Thursday, October 7, 2010

Where is the DelCarte property?

Not all of the folks in Franklin have grown up here so for those us of who came along because this was a good place to live, here is the Google Map of 'Franklin Reservoirs' - otherwise known as the Delcarte Open Space.

View Larger Map

Prior post on the location

Franklin, MA

Town Council - 10/06/10

The collection of posts reported live from the Town Council meeting on Wednesday Oct 6th can be found here:

Franklin, MA

Vallee holds office hours next week

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 10/4/10

Rep. James Vallee, D-Franklin, will hold his monthly walk-in office hours next Friday, Oct. 15.

Things you can do from here:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Live reporting - Closing

Nutting - there is a gain of six spaces downtown overall and attempts still underway to find more

Reference to a company who was read into the Congressional Record for life saving armor


Zollo - is there a prohibition against parking cars on the lawn
there is for large vehicles but not for cars

Zollo - I want to comment on the King St project, I was here 15 minutes early and it was due to the improvement made there, I'd like to commend the State and Town for that project

Jones - thanks to Brian and Jeff for putting together this economic summit
a lot of hard work went into making this happen

thanks to Mark and Jeff for writing up this bylaw, it is well written, thank you

Pfeffer - congrats to Dean College on the opening of their campus center, it is a great job, well done and asset for the Town

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

motion to go into executive session, passed 8-0  (via roll call)

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Action items

1. Resolution 10-48: Appropriation – DelCarte Open Space Design and Permitting of Repairs to Dam

motion to approve, as amended (taking from Hotel Motel Tax Fund - for open space and recreational improvements) passed 7-1

Vallee - given the state of the economy, I can't support it now, I am open to revisit it later
Pfeffer - the money is being used for something it can, it can not be used for education, we need to keep this property for our children
Whalen - I am torn over this but I think we should
Jones - we dammed if we do, we're dammed if we don't, couldn't help but say that.
Mason - state mandate are two words to increase project cost

2. Resolution 10-60: Acceptance of Deed with Conservation Restriction for Open Space Parcels Located in Franklin for the Preserve At Oak Hill

Land being developed in the old ski area 

motion to approve - passed 7-0, 1 abstained

3. Resolution 10-61: Renewal of the Comcast Cable Television License

the last contract was 7 years ago, after a long and difficult negotiation, we have reached an agreement
I can't say enough about the multiple hours that Bob Dean has put into this
Comcast is paying 4.8% of their fees, Verizon is currently paying 5%

this covers just the cable

The attorney worked on this needs to have his name added to this
motion to approve,  passed 8-0

4. Bylaw Amendment 10-649: Amendment to Sewer System Map, Coutu Street- 2nd Reading
motion to accept, passed 8-0 (via roll call)

5. Bylaw Amendment 10-650: Chapter 168, Vacant Properties: Registration and Maintenance -1st Reading

idea initially from Cerel and Jones, requires registration of vacant buildings
if they don't register, it kicks off the timeline to enforce action
goal is not to fine but to keep the place maintained

Some of these entities will be hard pressed to be found, they are all over the country
We do recognize this as a challenge, at least we can let the Fire Dept know not to rush into a vacant building

I was talking with Wells Fargo about a property in Medfield and they do have to go into maintain it, in the same call, they said there is no bylaw in Franklin so they'd skip right over us, I think it is a good idea to put it on the books

motion to move to second reading, passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - DelCarte proposal

– DelCarte Dam Feasibility Study

Nutting - recommend to take the money from the Hotel Motel Tax Fund instead

Matt Bellisle, Pare Corp

2 of the structures meet the MASS DCR requirements, need to be registered and maintained
Town is responsible for this, outlined in the Phase 2 of the report (see the PDF in the document published earlier)

The water provides a great conservation and recreation area for use by the Town folks
The trail system can be augmented, red lines on the chart indicate the proposed recreational trails (see photo below)

Incidental benefits:
  • flood control, hold back the storm water
  • natural cleaning process for nutrient removal
Whalen - There is talk of earthen dams but I see concrete
The control section of the dam is concrete, the whole dam is the raised portion which is earthen, the spillways are concrete

In the current condition, they are in poor condition, significant erosion, large trees are growing there as well, the trees are not good for the dams
The rate of degrading can not be predicted but they will continue to fail

Given the size of the vegetation, approx ten years old, the had been maintained prior to that

They have seen a number of aqua-culture uses but now are designated as conservation space

There are 2 that have the power of the State dam safety requirements even if you don't do anything with the other five

You could loose some of the flood control by not doing anything on the other five

The lowest dam #5 is severely eroded, water does flow around the spillway, additional erosion possible with large water events, dam #3 also shows signs of beaver activity due to the vegetation there

The dams are proposed to be repaired by restoring what we have (no major concrete)
an increase in the spillway size but not a significant increase in the overall size of the dam

A restoration of the original dam, not looking to raise the dams to increase the body of water

What is the trigger event to register the dams with the State?
In 2006, the State passed legislation requiring registration and enforcement
At the State, they are working their way down the listing, they expected the listing to be addressed last December. They are working on it.

This amount is for the design and permitting which should enable us to look for grants and other outside help to defer the cost of this.

If there is reasonable progress, the State will work with the community. They don't like no action./

3 minute recess

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Town Council

Present: Kelly, Jones, Vallee, Whalen, Mason, Pfeffer, Zollo, Powderly
Absent: McGann


-Meetings of the Town Council are Recorded
Economic Development Summit - Oct 27, 2010
Congratulation to Franklin Housing Authority for award as as Outstanding Agency




F. HEARINGS - none

- New All Alcoholic Beverages Restaurant License, British Beer Company
Richard Cornetta, representing Franklin BBC

Located in former Applebees in the Franklin Village Mall
5700 sq foot building
extensive renovations to inside and outside the building
outdoor seating proposed
a partially enclosed area, control by a management station
enclosed by a 4 ft decorative wrought iron fence
all one level inside (currently two levels but the second is being removed)

British Beer Co a 'chain' of restaurants, most recently in Westford, next closest is Walpole
theme, an atmosphere of an 'Olde English pub'
food service is a central element to their offerings

motion to approve license, passed 8-0

Franklin, MA

"We just want to give you the tools you need to analyze"

Ken Moraff, EPA deputy director of ecosystem protection, said the agency hired the Horsley Witten Group, a Sandwich engineering firm to analyze the best options for each town.
Moraff said the study will conclude May 31, with the possibility of an extension.
"The study is supposed to give towns options," Moraff said.
Members from the company weren't present at yesterday's meeting in the Franklin Municipal Building. EPA officials said the company is finishing its final work plan, and will be available to meet with each town.
In an attempt to clean the Charles River, the mandate requires each town, and businesses with more than two acres of impervious surface to reduce phosphorous by at least 54 percent.
Read the full article on the EPA's new assistance for the local communities to handle their storm water here

Prior posts on the EPA and storm water

Franklin, MA

the power to change the world

“Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
This famous quote by the American anthropologist, Margaret Mead has always inspired me in my fight to end hunger. I am audacious enough to truly believe that Stop Hunger Now can be the catalyst to eradicate hunger in our lifetime.

Continue to read the remainder of Ray Buchanan's post here:

What struck me was the coincidence (?) that this same quote is hung on the wall of the restroom at the First Universalist Church where the Board of Directors of the Franklin Food Pantry held their planning session last Saturday. This has to be a good thing! Stay tuned for more from the Food Pantry as the organization renews itself.

What's in a name? High Fructose Corn Syrup vs. Corn Sugar

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Public Health by Kara Ryan on 10/4/10

Mass in Motion Posted by:
Meghan Mueller, Department of Public Health

Meghan is the State Breastfeeding Coordinator for DPH.

Controversy over consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) versus sugar has been a hot topic in the news for as long as I can remember. Recently, HFCS found itself back in the spotlight when the Corn Refiners Association petitioned the FDA to change their products' name from HFCS to 'corn sugar.' Their goal is to clarify that HFCS is still sugar.

Read the full posting by clicking the title and follow the link

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Franklin school earns state nod

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 10/5/10

Rep. Vallee visits school
Rep. James E. Vallee, D-Franklin, today congratulated students at Franklin's John F. Kennedy Elementary School with an assembly and an official citation for being named a "Commendation School" by the state's Department of Education.

Things you can do from here:

Franklin, MA: DelCarte tour

I managed to get a tour of the DelCarte properties with Conservation Agent Nick Alferi and Conservation Commission member Jeff Livingstone in May. The brief tour helped me to better understand the potential for this property. I hope the pictures show here will help you as well.

This is a view of the one of the larger ponds. If my notes and orientation is correct this is the water held back by Dam 3.

This is the broken spillway of Dam 3

A rusted basket on some concrete at Dam 5

Refuse collecting below Dam 5

Clearly on one dam, looking back across the water to another dam, but I have misplaced the notes telling me exactly which one this is. Perhaps someone can help us identify which one this is?

The broken concrete on Dam 5

One of the signs posted to keep folks off the dam

Evidence of two-legged and four-legged 'beaver' damage.

The dams do need to get fixed, sooner or later. The area has so much potential to be a recreational gem for Franklin residents. I wonder what the presentation and discussion at the Town Council meeting on Weds will lead to?

Franklin, MA

International Walk to School Day October 6

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 10/4/10

Walk to School MassDOT encourages students, parents and school officials to celebrate International Walk to School Day this Wednesday, October 6, as part of the Safe Routes to School Program, which works with students, parents, school staff and local police in 115 communities and more than 340 schools to promote walking and bicycling to school in order to improve students' health, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in Massachusetts communities.

MassDOT Highway Administrator Luisa Paiewonsky will join students walking to school on International Walk to School Day, Wednesday, at Beebe School in Malden.

Safe Routes to Schools through MassRIDES provides students, parents and the school community with education and training on transportation, safety, and health benefits from walking and bicycling to school. Participating schools also qualify for financial support for improvements to sidewalks and other infrastructure surrounding schools.

Read the full post by clicking on the title above to follow the link

Things you can do from here:

Read WAITING FOR "SUPERMAN" and Help Schools

R E A D  T H E  B O O K,
H E L P  A  C L A S S R O O M

Read Waiting for "Superman": How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools -- the companion book to the acclaimed documentary

Each book includes a $15 gift card from to use to help a classroom in need

The American public school system is in crisis, failing millions of students, producing as many drop-outs as graduates, and threatening our economic future. Educators, parents, political leaders, business people, and concerned citizens are determined to save our educational system. Waiting for "Superman": How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools offers powerful insights from some of those at the leading edge of educational innovation, including:
  • Bill and Melinda Gates, whose foundation's groundbreaking work reshapes how schools select, train, support, and reward teachers
  • Geoffrey Canada, leader of the Harlem Children's Zone, which is demonstrating that kids from even the most challenging backgrounds can learn
  • Michelle Rhee, the remarkable chancellor of the Washington, D.C. public schools, who is challenging tradition as she brings reform to a troubled system
  • Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, who is working to make her union a major force for change on behalf of students
  • Bill Strickland, founder of the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, who explains how an effective school can bring hope to an entire depressed neighborhood
  • Eric Schwarz, creator of the Citizen Schools movement, who discusses the vital role ordinary people are playing in transforming America's schools
  • Jay Mathews, the nation's leading education reporter, who recounts the lessons he's learned about how excellent schools are really built
  • Eric Hanushek, renowned educational researcher, who has documented the impact that great teachers have on kids' achievements
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Waiting for "Superman" is an inspiring call to action and includes special chapters that provide resources, ideas, and hands-on suggestions for improving the schools in your own community as well as throughout the nation.

For parents, teachers, and concerned citizens alike, Waiting for "Superman" is an essential guide to the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing America's schools.

Available in paperback or as an e-book

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In the News - Pirelli Scholarship

Third annual Comedy Night benefit

The SSG Robert Ryan Pirelli Scholarship Committee presents the third annual Comedy Night on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Franklin, MA