Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Tradition

One of our family traditions on Thanksgiving is to listen to this on our way to the family gathering.

If you're traveling, drive safely.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thanks to WriterJax for the link to the video

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why We Shouldn't Cut Food Stamps to Pay for School Lunch

The food stamp program is officially called SNAP—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In March 2009 the average monthly SNAP benefit per recipient was $115. After the stimulus money began to flow in April 2009, it rose to between $133 and $134 (PDF). This may sound paltry, but for households on the poverty line, it's vital. A food secure household spends $200 a month on food for each household member. A food insecure household spends on average $55 less than that per person per month. In helping to bridge that gap, the food stamp boost made an immense difference. And it was an example of stimulus funding that was universally acclaimed—it led directly to higher productivity, jobs, and community multiplier effects. (Every dollar spent on food stamps leads to $1.73 in economic growth, compared to, say, $0.32 for making the Bush-era income tax cuts permanent.) 
Today, the poorest Americans are being threatened with a one-two punch. First, congress has failed to extend unemployment benefits for the 99ers—those who have run out of the 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, meaning that there are going to be many more families depending on food stamps in the future. Yet it is precisely these entitlements that the Senate has put on the block. Although many groups and large parts of the food industry think it's worth pushing for the Child Nutrition Bill this way, a few groups, such as the Food Research and Action Center, think it's short-sighted to let congress get away with robbing families' entitlements to feed their children. FRAC is right. 

Read the full posting on the website of The Atlantic

The Franklin Food Pantry website is

Franklin, MA

Holiday Stroll - Dec 2, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The Holiday Stroll will be held on Thursday, Dec 2 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM amongst various sites downtown Franklin. The flyer for this event with additional details and participating businesses can be seen here:

Note: stop by the Franklin Food Pantry on your way around downtown. The Pantry is located in the Rockland Trust parking lot across from the fire station. The Pantry will be holding an open house.

Franklin, MA

Teach real math through computer programing

In this TED Talk, Conrad Wolfram says:
... the part of math we teach -- calculation by hand -- isn't just tedious, it's mostly irrelevant to real mathematics and the real world. He presents his radical idea: teaching kids math through computer programming.
This is a full TED Talk, it will last 17 minutes but it is well worth it.

I remember struggling with word problems for a time in my early schools days. Some additional help was required and then one day, it clicked. I realized that the words could indeed be changed to an equation, that the equation could indeed be solved. Since then, problem solving has been one of my strengths. Not even the world's worst word problem stops me any more:

If a hen and a half laid an egg and a half in a day and a half, how long would it take a monkey 
with a wooden leg to kick all the seeds out of a dill pickle?

Once I found this problem in Tom Robbins novel "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues", it went to memory and hasn't left yet.

Do you have a memorable word problem?

Franklin, MA

Funding Storm Water Management - Dec 6th, 3:00 PM

Stormwater management is a growing challenge for local governments. As a resource that is increasingly regulated, municipalities must develop approaches that protect and enhance how stormwater is handled.
Please join us for a presentation and discussion of potential funding options to support stormwater management in your community and the surrounding region.

The flyer and details can be viewed here:


The towns of Bellingham, Franklin and Milford have been designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as pilot communities for draft enhanced stormwater regulations. To assist the towns with potential challenges associated with these regulations, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is developing background materials on Stormwater Utilities, which operate similarly to other public services like water supply and wastewater. MAPC is preparing information on state laws supporting use of a Stormwater Utility, the structure and administration of a utility, and case studies of other communities in Massachusetts and the US where stormwater utilities are in existence or are under consideration.

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

If you miss the Franklin time slot, there is also one later in Bellingham:

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council will give a presentation on the effects of the Environmental Protection Agency’s newly enacted stormwater management regulations at the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, Dec. 6.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and will be held in Arcand Meeting Room at the Municipal Center, 10 Mechanic St.

Franklin, MA

In the News - Commuter rail, Storm water regulations, new restaurant, Circle of Friends

Commuter Rail updates schedule on Franklin Line

Franklin, MA

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hungry together

The Boston Sunday Globe, Globe West section, had an article covering the rising need for food in MA communities. Franklin is no exception to this. The economic conditions and persistent unemployment have created needs not seen in years. 

In my role on the Board of Directors for the Franklin Food Pantry, you will see more frequent postings here on food and food security. What is food security? The wikipedia entry says:
Food security refers to the availability of food and one's access to it. A household is considered food-secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation.
When the household is not food secure, then it can be referred to as food insecure. There is a whole set of new terms to become aware of in this area and over time, I'll be sharing them here and eventually on the revamped Food Pantry website

Other worthy links for information on this are:
MA Dept of transitional Assistance 
SNAP (previously known as food stamps)
Project Bread

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Boston Globe -- Globe West by Calvin Hennick, Globe Correspondent on 11/20/10

Lisa Richards, a Framingham resident, works two jobs, one as a personal care attendant and another driving a van for senior citizens. Acton resident Julie Neubauer works part time in retail. Virginia Loftus, also of Acton, receives a disability pension.

Add to Facebook Add to Twitter Add to digg Add to StumbleUpon Add to Reddit Add to Email this Article

Things you can do from here:

TEDxPhilly - High School Stinks

A quick set of slides from Chris Lehman, who presented this at TEDxPhilly,  asks some good questions about making education more relevant and worthwhile.

TEDxPhilly - High School Stinks

If you have the opportunity to participate in the visioning exercise for FHS, it would be a good thing to do. Time intense, yes - but a good thing. Details available here

and here:

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the slide deck.

Franklin, MA

"this community has been blessed by their efforts"

Over the last year, Anne Marie Bellavance has presided over the rebirth of the Franklin Food Pantry as its new executive director following the retirement last year of its former leader.
Volunteers at the pantry's office at 43 West Central St. are distributing about 200 "turkey meals in a bag" to families that have met eligibility criteria.
Bellavance said she's seeing more "working families with recently unemployed members" looking for food assistance.
Working with Franklin's Interfaith Council and seven churches, the pantry recently collected 8,000 pounds of food, which has been distributed to about 700 people.
Bellavance credited manager Linda Sottile and volunteers for reviving the food pantry at a time when the economy has left many on the edge.
"We love volunteers. This community has been so ready and willing to help out," she said. "I feel blessed. I think this community has been blessed by their efforts."
Read the full article about volunteers helping this cause in the region

Franklin, MA

In the News - Anti-bullying Plan comments wanted

Franklin stepping up anti-bullying crusade

Related posts on the Anti-bullying Plan
The background presentation on bullying

the Anti-bullying Plan

The Dec 9th event on Anti-bullying

Franklin, MA

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Grand Opening: Printsmart Office Products

Joel Carerra has expanded his mail order and website office products to a retail store in downtown Franklin. I took a few minutes to stop by on Saturday afternoon to have Joel take us on a tour of his new store.
Started in 2007, Printsmart Office Products has been supplying local businesses and offices with ink, toner, office supplies and office furniture. We work with our customers to lower their office supply bill. We offer free delivery and very competitive prices.

You can find Joel's website at

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

Franklin, MA

Print extras in today's Milford Daily News

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Staff reports on 11/20/10

Milford Daily news front page 11/20/10
Every day, The Milford Daily News prints stories you will not find anywhere else. In today's edition, read about a lockdown drill at Hopedale Junior-Senior High School; talk of setting up a nonprofit to run Franklin's cable TV studio; and columnist Lenny Megliola's take on the Celtics' Kevin Durant.

Things you can do from here:

There are three good advantages for those folks in Franklin. MA and beyond who want to keep up with what happens in Franklin.

First, you can visit Franklin Matters and get the information about the business of Franklin, everyday in one place.

Second, you have an option to subscribe via RSS feed or email, or just visit the site from a bookmark or list of favorites. If you want to skip the daily dose and go right to the weekly summary, you can get that either via RSS, email, or iTunes.

Third, while my colleagues at the Milford Daily News are out to sell something, I am not. So when I report from the Town Council or School Committee meeting you get all the information available from the meeting as it is discussed. You don't need to wait until Saturday to have to buy the paper to find out that Franklin is considering establishing a non-profit 501(c)3 entity to run the cable feeds for the town.

Your choice to stay informed on all the business of Franklin.
Because Franklin MAtters!

In the News - Tri-County

Medway farm to be repaired by Tri-County students

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Explore the Tri-County website to find out more about what they do

Franklin, MA