Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dean College - "Think Pink"

The Dean College Women’s Basketball team, in conjunction with the Sisterhood and the Student Government Association are sponsoring the second annual “Think Pink” night to raise awareness about breast cancer. The groups will be selling “Think Pink” tee shirts to raise money for the College’s Relay for Life team later this Spring.
The shirts are available at the basketball team’s 6 p.m. game on Thursday, February 10 at the Pieri Gym on School Street, on the College’s campus in Franklin.
Admission to the basketball game is free, but a suggested donation of $3 per person will go to the “Relay for Life” team. Tee shirts are available in white, pink or black and range in price from $8 to $12.
Attendees are encouraged to wear pink. Refreshments, activities and drawings will be available during the basketball game.

Franklin, MA

MA sales tax less than national average

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Revenue by Robert Bliss on 2/4/11

The non-partisan, non-profit Tax Foundation has released its latest ranking of state sales taxes and Massachusetts ranks 31st (with No. 1 having the highest rate).

Unlike many other states, Massachusetts , which has a sales tax of 6.25 percent, does not allow municipalities to levy their own sales taxes.

The highest combined rate is 9.44 percent in Tennessee, which has a 7 percent state tax and an average local rate of 2.44 percent. California, Arizona, Louisiana and Washington are at the top just below Tennessee.

Things you can do from here:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Changing Education Paradigms - Sir Ken Robinson

I have shared Sir Ken Robinson here before but this animated delivery is I think stunning!

What do you think?

Franklin, MA

MA Local Property Tax Exemption Fact Sheet

From the MA DLS email comes info on a fact sheet about local property tax exemptions for religious and charitable organizations:

This fact sheet is to provide general information to taxpayers about local property tax exemptions for religious and charitable organizations. It is not designed to address all questions or issues and does not change any provision of the Massachusetts General Laws.
If the link above does not work, please copy and paste the following in to your browser:
For more Forms & Brochures please click here; for more Municipal Law Publications please click here.

Franklin, MA

In the News - sledding, regionalization

Huge sledding run created by Franklin family


Medway, Franklin discuss end of library director sharing deal

Franklin, MA

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Quick updates

I have updated both the Welcome page and the "Why Franklin Matters" page.

  • The Welcome page update removed the prior slidecast and replaced that with subscription forms.

And as always - 

  • If you like this, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like this, please tell me
Without this feedback loop, I can not improve this service.

Thank you!

Franklin, MA

In the News - mailboxes, Dean dance showcase

Mailboxes getting smacked by snow from plows

Dean College dancers critiqued by well-known choreographers

Franklin, MA

Snow update - School Calendar - Now when do we get out?

Note: as this was updated School web page as of Jan 31st, and we used another day (2/2/11), the last day would be June 22. For ease of reading, I used strike through in the beginning then made the update for the day used there after.


Snow Day Update/January 31, 2011
Estimated last day of school June 21 22  (based on use of 4.5 student snow days)

Per MA General Law students must be in school for 180 days and the school year cannot go beyond the fiscal year -June 30. Please be advised the Commissioner of Education will not approve any waiver of this requirement. This situation is not unique to Franklin as most districts in the Commonwealth have used at least three or more snow days to date.
We have used three and one half days to this point- current last day is 6/22 and it would be a student half day- we have 6 additional days for inclement weather- if we use all 6 days we need to make up days during April vacation or have students attend school on the weekend- As Saturday/Sunday is impacted by religious traditions this may prove challenging. Any change in the calendar (using April vacation or scheduling weekend school) will require the School Committee to vote on any decision after soliciting feedback from the community. It is premature to speculate that we will have to explore this decision.
Other Weather Related Concerns
Some parents have requested we keep schools closed until all sidewalks and access paths are clear. Due to school attendance requirements we will not be able to honor this request. The town has used its resources to clear roads, parking lots, sidewalk, access paths and bus stops. The amount of snow has created a number of hazards such as limited visibility due to the snow banks. We ask parents and students driving to use caution when driving. As getting to school is the purview of parents/guardians the parent has the right to keep children home if they feel conditions are not safe. If buses see children walking we have requested that they stop and pick children up.
In some communities and neighborhoods, residents have been chipping in to help shovel sidewalks. A JFK parent was out shoveling a path last week as were some parents from the Keller district. Thanks to all who have helped out. Thank you to all the community members who have been patient with school and town personnel during this unprecedented streak of winter weather. We appreciate your kindness and patience!
School Closing - Information for inclement weather, etc. will be disseminated through the Connect Ed system as well as local TV and radio stations. Please keep your contact information current at each school.
You can find the original post on the Franklin School web page

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Town Council meeting 2/2/11

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

(tuned in late to meeting via cable feed)

1. Updates:

Snow Budget - getting eaten up quickly with the weather we have had, exhausted the $750,000 initially budgeted, authorization to exceed budget on for approval later, do have $1.3 M set aside in anticipation of this.

Meeting with Recreation Advisory Board -
postponed due to emergency health problems, won't happen immediately
looking to investigate the option of implementing this

Handicap Parking - please don't park in a handicap spot unless you are authorized to do so

High School Feasibility Study - under way

FY 2012 Budget - numbers will be more solid for the beginning middle of Mar, level service budgets loaded from each Dept. School Dept hasn't had their hearing yet (canceled meeting Tue due to weather). Not sure about using the Governors numbers, wanting to see what the House and Senate for with the revenue numbers before proceeding.

Jeff Nutting added that the Library is collecting books, that there will be a book sale.


1. Resolution 11-05: Authorization to Expend Funds in Excess of Available Appropriations
Passed 5-0

not tonight, see above updates



Jones - congratulations to Simon's Furniture on 100's years of business here in Franklin

O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required
Motion to enter executive session for collective bargaining, not to return to open meeting
Passed 5-0 via roll call

Note: The meeting went into Executive Session about 7:15 PM


from the video feed:

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – January 12, 2011
motion to accept, passed 5-0

The meeting is recorded by Verizon and Comcast, usually by Franklin Matters (but not present for the meeting that evening).



Design Review - Chris Baryluk as member
motion to approve - passed 5-0

Len Rafuse as Associate member
motion to approve - passed 5-0

F. HEARINGS - none

Maguro House – Change of Manager
motion to approve - passed 5-0

Franklin, MA

Change, one laugh at a time

Cartoonist Liza Donnelly spends a few minutes (about 7 actually) sharing some thoughts about humor and change.

Have a good laugh today!

Franklin, MA

LinkedIn Event: Small Business Marketing Strategies

For the small business owners in the area, this would be a good event to participate in to see how you can incorporate the social media tools into your business.


Tricia White; MSBDC Advisor has sent you a message.
Date: 2/01/2011
Subject: LinkedIn Event: Small Business Marketing Strategies
Tricia White; MSBDC Advisor found Small Business Marketing Strategies on LinkedIn Events and thought you might be interested in going!

Small Business Marketing Strategies Thu, Feb 10 Ames Free Library, North Easton, MA, US Keywords: social media, small business, small business training, SEO, Facebook, LinkedIN, Blogs, E-newsletters, social networking

Sponsored by Ames Free Library, Easton Chamber of Commerce, Marketing Strategies using Social Media – We touch upon basic SEO and what drives search engines, social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube and My Space), Blogs and E-Newsletters.

If you already know this seminar, please share it with others who could use some help in social media!


In the News - snow on roof

Snow crushes Upton barn, damages Franklin building


Franklin, MA

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FYI - Trash and recycling cancellation for Wednesday

For safety concerns, the trash and recycling will not be picked up Wednesday and will be delayed one day from your normal pick up day. Friday pick up schedule will be Saturday.

We apologize for the inconvenience, safety is the first priority.

So Weds becomes Thu, Thu becomes Fri, Fri becomes Sat for the trash pick up this week

test post

Test post

post to test new Facebook like function

Updated: I like the looks of it. It is only visible on the individual post, not on the full page which would be overkill.

We'll leave it here for a bit and see (1) if more Facebook likes occur and or (2) someone complains (3) or it breaks something else or ???

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: School Budget Book - FY 2012

The full and complete budget book for the FY 2012 school budget. This is scheduled for discussion Tuesday at the School Committee meeting beginning at 7:00 PM.

- The Budget Book is not available yet. Due to the way it was packaged with Adobe, it is not viewable via my normal sources - I'll correct it as soon as possible.

You can view the presentation from Saturday

and the document handout (which is the intro to the Budget Book)

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

Franklin, MA