Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In the News - Dean College

Students move in to Dean College

Franklin, MA

Things don't always go as planned

Spending sometime in today's classroom environment would be rather interesting for most folks. Especially for those who claim to "have had 30 or more kids in their class and they did alright." Teaching in those days is considerably different from today.

  • There has been an increase in standards, 
  • There is more of a requirement to teach to the test
  • The students themselves are all post-Sesame Street

Coach Brown reflecting on a lesson plan that didn't work writes:
In the end, the lesson provided a decent idea of marginal analysis.  But it was clear that the lesson had little flow, was veering off track on every opportunity, and became a greater bane than a benefit to class time.  Was a total failure?  No, not by a long shot.  But by this point I want a certain vibe and flow to my class, and this new lesson didn’t provide that.  So it was a disappointment that I want to change before I teach it again in January to my next semester of Economics.  Hey newbs, even ten years in things will not always go as planned.  Get used to it and change it for next time.  You won’t have much time to mope about the negativity.  The next class begins in 7 minutes.  
Bold for my emphasis. Read the full posting here:

Read more of Coach Brown here:

Franklin, MA

Monday, September 6, 2010

What does the recession look like?

The percent of unemployed by county across the US shown as time progresses from Jan 2007 through May 2010 becomes quite the staggering picture.

You can view another version of this here

Against this background, the need to network, learning and sharing what those in the job search have experienced becomes all the more important. If you are unemployed, or know someone who is, let them know that the Job Search Jam Sessions can provide help. The event will be held in Hopkinton on Friday, October 1. The cost is only $7.00. Tickets can be purchased with credit card or paid at the door. We do strongly encourage registration so that the proper amount of food for the breaks and lunch can be planned for.

What are the Job Search Jam Sessions?
Across five time slots, there will be up to eight sessions offered. You'll be able to pick and choose what you need for that moment in time on your job search. The specific sessions will be finalized on Friday, Oct 1 to meet the needs of the participants. Stay tuned into this site to keep up with what sessions will be offered.

The schedule outline has been prepared.
If you'd like to suggest a session, you can do so here.

By the end of the day, the Job Search Jam Sessions will provide you with the information, the connections and/or the inspiration to reach the end of your job search successfully.

If you want to pay at the door, please click on the "Show Other Payment Options" link to register. This will give us a good count to plan for the food.

More information about the Job Search Jam Sessions can be found here:

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the document

Franklin, MA

Facts at a Glance: Jobs and the Massachusetts Economy on Labor Day 2010

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Facts at a Glance:
Jobs and the Massachusetts Economy on Labor Day 2010

September 5, 2010

Labor Day 2010 will be a challenging day for working people across America.  The nation is in the third year of a terrible economic crisis, one that has claimed a larger percentage of US jobs than any other recession since the Great Depression.

Here in Massachusetts, the painful effects of the economic crisis are being felt daily, particularly by residents with lower levels of education.  At 9.0 percent, the overall unemployment rate in Massachusetts does not trail the national rate by much. 

At the same time, the picture in our Commonwealth is somewhat less bleak than that which we see in most of the rest of the nation.  While in Massachusetts we have lost 2.8 percent of the jobs that we started the recession with, that is less than half the rate of job loss of the nation as a whole (5.9 percent) -- and a better performance than most other states.  Wages also have held up better in Massachusetts than in most states.

A new fact sheet, Facts At a Glance: Jobs and the Massachusetts Economy on Labor Day 2010 is available at www.massbudget.org or by clicking here.

See MassBudget's Budget Browser to explore Massachusetts state budgets from Fiscal Year 2001 to the present, as well as budget proposals offered by the Governor and the Legislature.

MassBudget provides independent research and analysis of state budget and tax policies, as well as economic issues, with particular attention to the effects on low- and moderate-income people.
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In the News - Y triathlon

Franklin YMCA hosts Annual Youth Triathlon

Franklin, MA

Sunday, September 5, 2010

I love my white shoes

Reading is so important. Do you have good reading habits for your kids to pick up?

Cute girls

Author version

Kindergarten version

Our example to our children, to our families, and to the world around us is constant. The question is not whether or not anyone is watching, the question is what are they learning as they watch. -- Kirk Weisler

Franklin, MA

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Native Plants of Franklin

Did you recognize last week's mystery flower?

This is joe pye weed, another lovely native flower that is cursed with the name "weed". Joe pye is currently in bloom in sunny fields of Franklin alongside goldenrod.

(Thanks to wikimedia for this image.)

There are several types of joe pye weed, or Eutrochium, which in turn are in the aster family of plants. Joe pye weed is typically a dusty purple color when in bloom.

Much like goldenrod, Joe pye weed produces a clump of flowers on a tall and spindly stalk. It can form dramatic clumps. Click here to see what joe pye weed can look like in a flower garden.

Butterflies just love this flower.

Next up: sure looks tropical, doesn't it?

Post your guesses in the comments section, and have a great week!

Michelle Clay writes about gardening here in Franklin at the Clueless Gardeners Blog.

Franklin, MA

Town Council - Agenda - associated documents

The Town Council has an interesting set of discussions coming up this Wednesday evening. With the long weekend and hence the opportunity to do so reading, I thought I'd share the full document.

The DelCarte property discussion will be on the Finance Committee agenda for their vote Tuesday evening.

Franklin is getting to cleaning up the tax/title property is has. Per discussion with Jeff Nutting, this should be an annual exercise but this first batch gets the 'backlog' handled.

Some clean up of unused borrowing authorizations is on the agenda.

Franklin is looking to become a "Green Community" and proposing a committee of five town employees in order to apply for some grant money that will assist in generating further energy savings.

The public hearing for the downtown utilities is proposed for the Sep 29 Town Council meeting.

Town Council 20100908 Agenda document

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - 9/08/10

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – August 4, 2010 and August 18, 2010

B. ANNOUNCEMENTS -Meetings of the Town Council are Recorded



Cultural Council - C Kai Olsson
Historical Commission - Mary O'Neill, Mary Morrissey Olsson
Zoning Board of Appeals - Timothy C Twardowski





1. Resolution 10-48: Appropriation – DelCarte Open Space Design & Permitting of Repairs to Dam
2. Resolution 10-49:Rescission of Authorization to Borrow, Municipal Parking Garage
3. Resolution 10-50: Rescission of Authorization to Borrow, Construction of Fire Station
4. Resolution 10-51: Rescission of Authorization to Borrow, Fire Ladder Truck
5. Resolution 10-52: Scheduling of Public Hearing to Consider Removal of Utility Poles, Overhead Wires, and Associated Overhead Structures in Downtown Area
6. Resolution 10-53: Creation of Energy Committee
7. Resolution 10-54: Transfer of Tax Title Possession Parcels to Different Municipal Purposes
8. Bylaw Amendment 10-649: Amendment to Sewer System Map, Coutu Street- 1st Reading





O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


Friday, September 3, 2010

We are all serving a life sentence

The School Dept posts a "thought for the day" on a white board as you come to the top of the stairs on the 3rd floor at the Municipal Bldg.

The quote from Thursday was a good one and well worth stopping for the moment it took to snap this photo.

"We are all serving a life sentence and good behavior is our only hope for a pardon."

Franklin, MA

Friendly reminder: recycle your electronics on Saturday!

Friendly reminder:

I am posting this here for two reasons, one to help the Blackstone Valley area and two, if you have electronics to recycle, Cranston is not a bad drive from here.

Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful, a program of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and in partnership with REI Cranston and Indie Cycle, LCC will hold an electronics recycling drive on Saturday, September 4th, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at REI, located at 22 Chapel View Boulevard in Cranston.

“This electronics recycling drive is being held in conjunction with REI’s annual Labor Day sale,” said Mathhew DeMello, Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful program coordinator and AmeriCorps*VISTA member. .

Residents are encouraged to recycle the following items, all free of charge: computers, servers, printers, televisions, CRT monitors, LCD monitors, laptops, UPS battery back-ups, and stereo equipment. No other items will be accepted.

Donations benefit the environmental programs of Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful. For more information, call 724-2200 or visit www.KeepBlackstoneValleyBeautiful.com.

Indie Cycle, LLC, a Providence-based company, recycles the electronic items. Their zero-waste policy means that everything is reused, resold, reclaimed or recycled.

About the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council
Established in 1985, the agency’s mission is to create positive change with regard to community values by developing and promoting coordinated, responsible and sustainable tourism in Rhode Island’s Blackstone Valley communities. To plan and collaborate with intrastate, state, regional, national and international organizations to sustain and enhance the character of our destination, and to develop the public and private natural, historic, cultural, ethnic, industrial, recreational, educational, special events, artistic and commercial resources in Pawtucket, Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Burrillville and Glocester.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is a national nonprofit public education organization dedicated since 1953 to engaging individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their local community environments. For half a century, Keep America Beautiful has been the nation’s leading community improvement organization successfully implementing an effective, systematic strategy for reducing waste, preventing litter and beautifying communities nationwide.

About Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful
Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful serves as the environmental education and awareness program of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. We are focusing on preventing litter, reducing waste and beautifying our communities by working with government, business and civic groups in Burrillville, Central Falls, Cumberland, Glocester, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Smithfield and Woonsocket. We work with these cities and towns to understand their specific needs and to create programs that will enhance their landscapes. Emily Soergel, the program coordinator, is sponsored by AmeriCorps*VISTA.

Visit the event's Facebook page

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: tower truck exercises

Regular exercise is good for the body. Regular exercise is also necessary to ensure equipment is in good condition, especially when it can make a difference in saving a life or a building.

Tower One was getting exercised on Thursday morning.

Franklin, MA

Chamber of Commerce updates

A couple of updates on the United Regional Chamber of Commerce front:


The United Regional Chamber of Commerce, 42 Union St., Attleboro, is hosting the next Executive Express-O meeting on Fri., Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 8:55 a.m. This month’s topic is “Perfecting Your Elevator Speech. Generate Interest, not Boredom!" The seminar is free to attend, but registration is requested. Register by calling 508-958-3681 or charlie.miller@vistage.com. Future dates of Executive Express-O are Oct.1 and Nov. 12. Executive Express-O is sponsored by The United Regional Chamber of Commerce and Vistage.


The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting two grant workshops on Thurs., Sept. 9 at its Attleboro office, 42 Union St. Admission is free. Register by calling 508-222-0801.

The first workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The workshop will explain The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Express Program. The Training Fund Express Program is accepting applications from organizations with 50 or fewer employees in Massachusetts that contribute to the Workforce Training Fund via DUA/UI investments. Training funded by this program should address the priorities of the fund which include projects that will result in job retention, job growth or increased wages and for projects where training would make a difference in the company's productivity, competitiveness, and ability to do business in Massachusetts.

The second workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to noon and will explain The Department of Industrial Accident's Office of Safety and Health Education's Training Grants and how to apply for them. Last year, a number of Chamber member organizations attended this meeting, applied for these grants and received them. Grants are considered for any type of safety training. Examples are, but are not limited to, ergonomics, crisis prevention, work zone safety, OSHA, and aging workforce topics.


The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, business support organization serving the communities of Attleboro, Bellingham, Blackstone, Foxborough, Franklin, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Wrentham.

Note: I joined the Chamber in 2009. This membership has been beneficial because it has helped me understand what it takes to do business in Franklin which in turn I think has helped me share what matters in Franklin.

Clarification on grant money

There is a key clarification to the notification of the grant awarded here:

The money is to be used by the EPA to provide consultants to help the three communities (Bellingham, Milford, and Franklin) make progress on the 'storm water utility' being proposed as part of the overall permitting process. The consultants should be a good help in this matter as the communities generally don't have the resources and or skills to devote to this aspect of the development.

Thanks to Jeff Nutting for sharing this nuance on the grant.

Additional information on the storm water permit which is open for comments through Sep 30, 2010 can be found here:


Franklin, MA