Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Solid Waste pick up snow delay

An email from Recycling News arrived this afternoon to announce:

Due to the anticipation of large snowfall, curbside trash and recycling will be delayed one day.  Please remember to make sure carts are placed in a stable location so they do not tip over or hit by snow removal equipment.  Cart lids must be closed for pickup and any additional trash placed in orange overflow bags available at the PW office.

Bulk burnable items (i.e. sofa or chair) must be called in today by 3 pm and placed for collection by Thursday at 7:00 AM.  They will be picked up on Thursday or Friday.

You can subscribe to receive your own news here:

"Construction is expected to last about four months"

"We are looking for your input so we can finish up and get this out to bid," Taberner told about 15 people who attended the meeting.
The work, to be paid for through a $1 million state public works grant, is expected to include the parking lot, Emmons Street between Main Street and Hillside Road, Dean Avenue between Main and Ray streets, Ray Street and Depot Street, Taberner said.
Taberner still has to talk with a few nearby property owners, and public works crews must finish surveying the existing drainage system with cameras before bids are sought, he said.
Curbing and sidewalks will be more clearly defined, delineating between pedestrian and vehicle space, said William Paille, a project manager with Weston & Sampson, a consulting firm that is working on the downtown revitalization efforts.
You can read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

This project covers the following area:

The detail on the upper parking lot. This is not the MBTA parking lot, although some spaces can be used monthly by commuters.

This photo depicts the benches, etc to be used in the area

Additional information can be found on the Planning and Community Development web page.
Franklin, MA

In the News - animal shelter

Teen's fundraiser a hallmark for animal shelter

Franklin, MA

Monday, January 10, 2011

Food and non-food needs

The current food and non-food needs of the Franklin Food Pantry can be viewed in the document below:

Franklin Food Pantry - JanFeb 2011 Needs

These items can be left at the Food Pantry during their open hours (Tue - Fri, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM). If the items won't freeze in the cold, they can also be left in the large wooden box on the porch.

Franklin, MA

Bullukian Oil in the snow

Saturday morning, it was still lightly snowing when Dolores and I went for our walk.

Bullukian Oil  was quiet in the snow.

Franklin, MA

Verizon Cable License Amendment - public comment period

The cable license between Franklin and Verizon is being amended to bring the revenue into agreement with the current revenue from Comcast. Actually a reduction from 5% to 4.8% of gross revenues would come to Franklin.

The comment period begins 14 days after the notification (12/16/10), hence 12/30/10 and runs for 21 days (hence Jan 20th).

Franklin Amendment Verizon Cable License

Related post from the Town Council meeting on Nov 17th discussing the possible public access channel operation

Franklin, MA

In the News - registration, garage proposal

Franklin's F.X. O'Regan ECDC accepting applications

Franklin schools to hold kindergarten registration

Franklin garage proposal may get new life

Franklin, MA

Sunday, January 9, 2011

FM #82 - Week Ending 1/8/11

Let's take about ten minutes to find out what matters in Franklin, MA as this week comes to a close. There are three important meetings in the coming week. We go over the highlights for each of them.

Time: 10 minutes, 0 seconds

MP3 File

Show Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 82 in the series for Franklin Matters.

In this session, let's take about ten minutes and I'll fill you in on what matters in Franklin as 2011 opens and the Fiscal Year 2012 budget season begins in earnest.

The Finance Committee was canceled this week. The first meeting they have for 2011 will be Feb 8th.

The Long Range Financial Planning Committee did meet on Wednesday for the first time since August 8, 2010. One of the citizen members (Morrison) was stepping back and a request went out for a replacement. The response was overwhelming in quantity and quality. So much so, that the group was reconstituted and resumed this week as a committee comprised of all citizens. The surprise, if any, was that there was an ex-officio Town Counselor present but no one from the Schools. Should there be? I think yes, and there is one single reason, a big one. With all due respect to the Town side of the budget, the schools account of half of the total budget. You can not leave out any insights into half the budget of any type of serious discussions. This is only the first meeting, they are still organizing, there was talk of having schools represented in some form for future meetings. We'll see what happens.

I was thoroughly impressed with the credentials of the new committee. These will be very good representatives for the citizen or outside view.

My meeting notes can be found here:

The week ahead has three important meetings.

Monday – the public has an opportunity for input to the smaller of the two downtown projects. Yes, there are two. The Federal grant is $5 million and covers E Central, Main St through to the Old Brick School. The second grant, Public Works Economic Development (PWED) from the state is worth $1 million and covers Emmons Street between Main Street and Hillside Road, Dean Avenue between Main and Ray Streets, Ray Street and Depot Street.

The two projects have separate budgets and separate plans but it does make sense to coordinate the planning and eventual construction work between the two.

Details on the location and time for this meeting are contained in the link attached.

Tuesday – the School Committee meets for the first time in 2011.

The guest and presentation section has the following items:

  • FHS Girls Soccer Team
  • Harry Potter Re-write – Davis Thayer - Debbie Taylor (Teacher) and students Katie Sumner and Reilly Deforge
  • K-5 Health Program – Kristen Cerce, Michele Kingsland Smith
  • Budget Update - Kindergarten

As I recall, there were two items previously scheduled for the January 25th meeting; kindergarten and the space needs report. Given the kindergarten update has been moved here, I can speculate (which is always dangerous) that kindergarten is no longer 'on the table' from a budget perspective. If you recall the analysis I did with the School Administration last year, moving from full to half day was NOT a cost savings. The Budget Subcommittee would likely have come to that conclusion in their recent meetings as well if that is the case. Again, this is reading between the lines on my part, I could be wrong. We'll find out Tuesday.

The school enrollment projections reinforce my expectation that with the shifts in population within Franklin and the overall decline in student population, we will see a re-districting proposal. Some of the schools are over capacity, others are under. It makes sense to shift the school boundaries to equalize the populations. This should be a collaborative process and not something done 'overnight'. The modular buildings over time can also be de-commissioned rather than replaced. This is also somewhat speculative on my part but I feel comfortable with that direction based upon what the numbers are showing. The details on this we should find out at the School Committee meeting on the 25th.

Either way, both of these items and their budget impact (if any) should be covered during the budget workshop on Saturday the 29th. If you don't have that on your calendar, I would encourage you to make the time for it.

Back to the meeting on the 11th, the School Committee also has a 'community engagement' item in the 'Discussion Only' section. As the parent communication survey was last done in 2005, it appears that the committee will be looking for an update.

School Committee agenda

Enrollment projections

2005 Parent Communication survey results

Wednesday – The Town Council meets for the first time this year. Amongst the items on the agenda, two caught my eye. One, Franklin Cafe and Grill is looking for a liquor license for their new operation to open in what was the KFC building at 418 W Central St. Two, there is a joint easement agreement proposed between the Town and the Franklin Center Commons

The Town Council agenda can be found here:

These three meetings get us quickly into 2011, the budget season and important decisions about how this town will look and operate. Please stay informed, please participate, this will be a busy and important year.

In case you missed the end of year 2010 or mid-year (Jan to Jun) review, you can find them here


---- ---- ----

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can use your help.

How can you help?

If you have an interest in covering the Planning Board and or the Zoning Board of Appeals meetings, please let me know.

As always - If you like this, please tell your friends and neighbors
If you don't like this, please tell me.

Thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.blogspot.com/
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - 1/12/11

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – December 1, 2010 and December 8, 2010




Franklin Recycling Committee, Amanda Costa


Franklin CafĂ© & Grill – New All Alcoholic Beverages Restaurant License



1. Resolution 11-01: Acceptance of Gifts –Fallen Heroes Signs
2. Resolution 11-02: Acceptance of Gifts – Council on Aging
3. Resolution 11-03: Acceptance of Gift – Recreation
4. Resolution 11-04: Acceptance and Grant of Easements: Franklin Center Commons I and Abutting Town-Owned Land





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


Franklin, MA

2005 Parent Communications Survey

The survey on communication preferences for the school community was last conducted in 2005. The results are summarized in this presentation document.


Assuming they will be updating this survey, I will be curious to see if and where Franklin Matters places. This site was born in Nov 2007.

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

Franklin, MA

Tri Country Regional Vocational School Committee looking for member

Please send resume or letters of interest to Jeffrey Nutting Town Administrator, 355 East Central Franklin or email jnutting@franklin.ma.us.

If you have any questions, please call 508-520-4949

Franklin, MA

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - 1/11/11

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

Mission Statement
The Franklin Public Schools, in collaboration with the community, will cultivate each student's intellectual, social, emotional and physical potential through rigorous academic inquiry and informed problem solving skills within a safe, nurturing and respectful environment.

"The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law."

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the open and executive sessions of the December 14, 2010 School Committee Meeting.
1. Payment of Bills Mr. Glynn
2. Payroll Mrs. Douglas
3. FHS Student Representatives
4. Correspondence
 - Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations
a. FHS Girls Soccer Team
b. Harry Potter Re-write – Davis Thayer - Debbie Taylor (Teacher) and students Katie Sumner and Reilly Deforge
c. K-5 Health Program – Kristen Cerce, Michele Kingsland Smith
d. Budget Update - Kindergarten

3. Discussion Only Items
Community Engagement
Policy – First Reading - BEDA: Notification of School Committee Meetings

4. Action Items
a. I recommend acceptance of a check for $600.00 from the ECDC PCC for supplies.
b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $1,000.00 from the Davis Thayer PCC for Library books.
c. I recommend acceptance of two checks ($200 & $50) for the Jacqueline Schaeffer Theatre Arts Memorial Scholarship at FHS.
d. I recommend approval of the request of the FHS Music Dept. to take the Jazz band and workshop to New Hampshire for the UNH Clark Terry Jazz Festival on Saturday, March 12, 2011 as detailed.
e. I recommend acceptance of the anonymous gift of used books for the Oak Street Elementary School.
f. I recommend acceptance of a check for $50.00 from the Insurance Store for Keller Elementary School in-house enrichment.
g. I recommend acceptance of a check for $50.00 from an ECDC parent for supplies.

5. Information Matters
Superintendent’s Report

School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business
To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7.Executive Session
Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn

Franklin, MA

School Enrollment Projections

In the School Committee packet for the Tues Jan 11 meeting is the following report on enrollment projections for the Franklin Public Schools.

According to this report, we have seen the peak enrollment, the numbers will be declining from here for the foreseeable future.


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

Franklin, MA

Friday, January 7, 2011

Community Health Council hears from the KP BeSmart Wellness Coalition

The Community Health Council met on Thursday night. Much of the evening was a discussion with the BeSmart Wellness Coalition from King Philip Regional HS.

What is the BeSmart Wellness Coalition?
It is a group of student leaders formed to leverage existing programs and provide a focus on wellness activities for teens and parents in the KP community. In hind sight, they did their organization backwards. They would coordinate more with the School District and faculty to bring this around. They feel the district and teachers was somewhat threatened by the organization and aggressive desires of the group. Contentious teacher contract negotiations were going on during the group’s formation and that did not help the situation.

This did not stop the group from holding events such as:
Sheet draping for Junior Prom 2009 – based upon a stat that every third car had a serious or fatal accident, the group obtained a donation of sheets. Every third car was draped while the students were in the Prom so the visual was impact-full when the students left the event. There was communication and notifications prior to the event so it was not a complete surprise and worked out to be quite effective.
A big hit was the development of an intramural program. This was held after school, using school facilities, and started with volleyball. All parent volunteers were used to coordinate. The program lasted one and half hours each evening. It was just enough time, 6:30 – 8:00. The time slot right after school was not as successful, the later time worked better for attendance. They are working on developing a dodge ball intramural league for this year.
They did plan activities for school half days. In particular, the middle school students loved the monster mini-golf. A future event is being planned for the dinner theater in North Attleboro.
The Distracted Driving Campaign was a great success. They are looking to re-do this year as well. There were daily posters and notifications leading up to the event. They collaborated with the high school video production students and the DECA program. Competing for the grand prize, sign the pledge, etc. There was a tangible marketing production. The video production group got to go to the local production of Oprah in Boston.

All the events were student lead, student driven from conception through execution. They recommend having food involved for the student activities, it helps to make the event attractive and successful. The group grew from 20 (last year) to 60 (this year). Their meetings are currently held in the KP cafeteria which is not a great location as it is not a very quiet and private space to help build the relationships amongst the group. They also split into subcommittees to focus planning on each of their initiatives. They want to get a better meeting space and bring the group together after the subcommittee working sessions to help foster the relationships as a group.

For the group as an organization, the students developed a policy and an application with questions and an interview process to apply for membership. The students pledge to not drink, etc. This group coordinates with the Students Against Drunk Drinking (SADD) which is focused on drinking. The BeSmart group has a much broader health wellness focus.

They are proposing a joint event to be coordinated with Franklin High School featuring Cara Filler ( http://www.carafiller.com/) It would be possible to hold during day events at each school (FHS and KP) and then do a joint event for the parents in the evening.

Additional updates

Deb Sweeney, representing Arbour Counseling, discussed possible coordination with the Council.

For example – if a group was identified via the MetroWest survey with a particular problem, then a support group could get formed to meet that need. Groups are more powerful than one-on-one sessions due to peer-to-peer interaction. They are looking to link the services with the needs of the community. They do handle a lot of individual referrals but think there may be an opportunity for more group work. They are looking to find out if there are service needs that are not being met. In most cases, funding for their counseling can be done through the individuals health insurance coverage. They left the group with a question: How can we capitalize on the audience of another event to provide some counseling awareness or services?

Lauren Marciszyn, from the YMCA, put a plug in for the planning meeting on Jan 11th .

Lisa Keohane provided a quick update that 240 folks attended the Perry Aftab event in December. It was video taped and will be posted to the cable channel sometime TBD. The teenangels program is now 78 students. It is the only one in New England. They are continuing to work on cyber bullying. Four students have moved from the middle school to be freshman at FHS this year. Kristin Cerce is working to help get them and their teenangel experience integrated into the high school.

Lisa also provided a book recommendation “Please stop laughing at me” by Jodee Blanco. (http://www.jodeeblanco.com/) While their program to date has been using the Wired program materials, they are also looking to integrate other materials appropriately.

Action Item
As the meeting closed, there was a proposal raised to add a meeting to the calendar for Feb 3rd. Email Michelle Kingsland-Smith if unable to make this date.

Additional information about the Council can be found here

Franklin, MA


Proposed Agenda for Jan 11, 2011
Location: Franklin YMCA 45 Forge Hill Road
Start Time: 7:30PM

I. Call to Order
A. Ask for volunteer to keep minutes of meeting
B. Introduction of new attendees
We encourage new attendees to join a committee ASAP
C. Review & approve minutes of previous meeting

II. Nomination of Officers for 2011
Committee Chair – Nominations - -
Co-Chair – Nominations - -
Treasurer – Nominations - -
Secretary (Please Anyone) – Nominations - -

III. Vote on Election of Officers for 2011
Committee Chair –
Co-Chair –
Treasurer –
Secretary (Please Anyone) –

Note: To all meeting attendees, please remember that the rules that we set up for paying membership fees were that it bought you one vote on important Committee issues. Consequently, only paying members will be allowed to vote. Whether a paid member or not, we appreciate your contribution and attendance at our meetings.

IV. Report from our representative from DCR
Need for signage disallowing motorized vehicles on trail
Volunteer Eamon Earls is researching history of railroad
Contact made at WPI and with Tetra Tech Rizzo for Design
Can we meet on Thursday nights?

IV. Membership Committee Report
Committee to report on membership activity

V. Report from Finance Committee
Report from Treasurer

VI. Report of Fund Raising Committee
Report on fund raising activities
Report Road Race Committee
Promoting the Road Race – Fundraising Activity

VII. Report from Grant Writing Committee
A. National Public Lands Day web site is announcing Grant Opportunities – Can we apply?

IX. Unfinished Business:
Business plan in the making
Distribute revised brochures and support locations with displays

X. New Business:

XI. Set Date & place for Next Meeting and Adjourn

Franklin, MA