Saturday, November 5, 2011

There is no turning back the clock on face time

Tonight is the annual 'fall back' to regain the hour of time that Daily Savings Time provides. The earth moves in a cycle around the sun with the amount of daylight shortening from June to December and lengthening from December to June. The 'spring ahead' and 'fall back' effort adjusts the clocks by one hour. We all know this and accept it as the way it is.


However, there is no such adjustment for the loss of face time when a classroom grows from 20 students to 30. Franklin has seen a growth in class size as budget cuts force personnel reductions. Some in the community claim the increased size is not a problem as they went to school with similar class size (or larger) and made it. Making it with the instructional methods in those days versus making it today are two different things. There could be (and should be) a long and constructive debate on the pros and cons of instructional changes in those days, what is being done today and what really should be done to prepare the students for the global economy they will face. We'll hold that topic for another day.

Today, I simply would like to show how much face time is lost when class size increases.

Starting with a class of 20, assuming all students would obtain an equal amount of the teacher's direct attention during an hour of a school day, would calculate out to be 3 minutes. 60 minutes in an hour divided by 20 students equals 3 minutes. Simple math. While a lot of classes are 27/28 students to keep the math simple, we'll assume 30 students and the same assumption on equal face time from the teacher. 60 minutes is now divided by 30 and yields 2 minutes per student.

So Johnny or Susie would go from having 3 minutes of direct face time with his/her teacher to having just 2 minutes. There goes one minute. 1 minute times 5 hours in the school day equals 5 minutes. Times 180 school days equals 900 minutes. To bring the minutes back to hours, we divide the 900 by 60 and get 15. Simple math. So when your child participates in a class size of 30, they loose 15 hours of face time in the school year (compared to the class size of 20).


If that class size increase occurs when the student enters kindergarten and remains for their school time through high school, the student will have lost 195 hours of face time. Just over 8 days. If it occurs at a different grade, you can do the math; 15 hours of lost face time/per year.

When your student needs some extra help, where do you think it will come from? We have already taken away the 'normal' face time they would get. There are only so many hours in a day. I guess you would need to spend money on a tutor. Or consider funding the school budget to support a proper education! Your choice. There is no turning back the clock on face time.

"troublesome intersection"

A study conducted by MassDOT, however, said there isn't enough traffic to warrant more than the two stop signs. 
"(The study) shows that this intersection doesn't meet any of the federal requirements to have a signal there, which is why we're not putting one back there," said Michael Verseckes, a MassDOT spokesman. "The traffic study that was done showed that this was the proper treatment for this intersection." 
Conlyn Avenue resident Lauren Chousa drew up a petition signed by 176 neighbors and sent it to MassDOT in late October, requesting a deeper look at the intersection. 
Several residents will be on hand at Monday's Planning Board meeting, where the board is expected to make a decision on BJ's request for longer hours.

Read more:

In the News - Brunelli, veterans

Meet the Franklin Candidate: Philip Brunelli, constable

Franklin veterans fall in line to remember their own

FCC to hold first nationwide emergency alert test

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 11/4/11

The Federal Communications Commission will hold its first nationwide Emergency Alert System test at 2 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 9.

Things you can do from here:

Related post:
The Franklin Police had sent out their notification which includes a link to the national announcement

Friday, November 4, 2011

Glenn Jones answers 3 questions

Glenn Jones is running for his second term on the Town Council. We got together recently to discuss these three questions. Glenn admits he may not be the most analytical guy around the budget but he is really community oriented and does what he can to help.

FM - Tell me a bit about yourself, your family and your life here in Franklin?

GJ - I have lived in Franklin now for a little over thirteen years. A little after we moved here, we had our first daughter, Dakota, then along came Jillian, Simon, Rebecca, and lastly Sabrina was born in February. We live right here in the center of town. We enjoy it here. It is where the activities are. We have embraced Franklin as our home. Our children have as well. To move now, would be very disheartening to them.

In the 13 years we have been here, I have always been interested in how the inside works. I was reading an article in the Franklin Gazette about a 2.5% override. The year before we had just passed one and I like others around were asking, if we just passed one, why do we need another? Not truly understanding the inner workings of all that, I decided to get myself involved. So I started researching the committees and boards and the Council to get a better feel for how the government of Franklin works. After doing all that I decided to run for Town Council and two years ago this November, I successfully won a seat on the Council.

Since winning my seat on the Council. I have been successful at working with other councilors. Tina Powderly and I worked together to put together the Economic Development Summit at the former Putnam space. We had almost 90 people participate in showcasing what the town has to offer. To give an example of the tax incentives the town has, we just recently had a high technology company (Hamilton Technologies) decide to relocate and expand a facility in the Forge Park Industrial area. My hope when it comes to the business side of the town is to try and continue attracting businesses and corporations to help bring their jobs here.

From the beginning when I first ran for TC and if I continue on the Council, I want to find new and interesting ways to create jobs for the residents here in Franklin. If that means continuing to be the ‘poster child’ for the town’s incentives by promoting and advertising the type of benefits that Franklin has to offer, I will continue to do that.

Another advocacy thing I have for the Council is communication. I am big on communication. Being able to let the residents know what is going on around town. What are the schools doing, what is the DPW doing, what is the Town Administrator doing, what are the Councilors up to? That is the topic of the day. Making sure that the residents get that information to the best of our ability. As we have discussed the past couple of years, that might mean improving the cable access program, having better communication with the local newspapers and getting that information out there or having more public forums for residents to come and hear all of what is happening around town whether it be zoning issues, or one of the major topics that I am hoping gets expressed more is all the downtown changes that are coming. For the past couple of years, we’ve been talking about and finally approved the traffic flow changes for downtown. Setting up a good logistical system so that the residents will know what is happening downtown as the construction starts and progresses so they don’t just run into a road block or that the businesses get affected. One of the most important things the town can do for the residents is to effectively communicate.

So I am big on communication and job creation and the other major thing I am big on is community involvement. People getting involved in their community, whether it is volunteering for the Food Pantry or the community gardens, helping out chidlren’s activities whether school based or not, volunteering is big. We need to promote the overall health and well being of the community. I might not be big into the numbers around the budget but I am big into the people and letting the people know about what their concerns are. I’ll do whatever I can do in my capacity as councilor to help the residents of the town. I am a big supporter of the schools, always have been, always will be, hence my bias for our children.

I grew up in a family of educators. My mom was a teacher, my sister is a teacher. I am learning to get licensed to be a teacher in my trade (electrician). Education is probably without a doubt THE most important thing we can do for our community and our country as a whole. Keeping our children well educated will ultimately help the United States and our community be a key player in the world and global economy. It all starts with education.

FM - What experience or background will help you to serve in this role? or What do you think makes you a good candidate to fulfill this role?

GJ - To answer what makes me a significant candidate for this particular role in town government, I carry no special interests, I don’t bring a bias to the table, and I have no personal political agendas. My feelings have been and always will be to remain a solid voice for the people. To be part of a group that can work collaboratively, potentially make all the right decisions, as a dedicated representative of the people of Franklin.

FM - What do you see as your role’s biggest challenge and do you have any suggestions on how we can resolve it?

GJ - The biggest challenge as a councilor, in my opinion, is trying to get the population as a whole to understand the nuances and the details of the town budget, of the school committee, of the tax base, and of all the services the town has to offer the residents. We kind of exist in our own bubble. Like I equated before, when I read the article on the override, not knowing how the insides worked, then finding out how those insides worked, that was kind of a unique thing. I don’t think too many people really try to go out of their way to find out what is truly going on.

I think to shorten my answer, being able to effectively communicate the everyday goings on of the Town of Franklin’s government to the people so that they have a better understanding, a clear understanding, as to what exactly is going on. And to be able to answer their questions as effectively and efficiently as I can. Now that being said, as a councilor we are obviously restricted as to what we can or cannot answer and most questions that the people have are directed to the Town Administrator and or to the Department heads. First and foremost we are legislators, we set the policy, approve the bylaws, we are not in operations, we set the budget, we are not the complaint department, although I welcome complaints if they are having difficulty getting an answer from a specific department or the Town Administrator..I like to think of us as the last stop. The most important thing a resident can do is to ask questions. Ask questions about their services, questions about their government, about the how their children, and family, and taxes are being treated. And reaching out to us and letting us know.

Understand that I don’t go into this understanding that I am just sitting in a chair taking up space. I am here with an obligation that I put myself in. Because I wanted to. I care and love this community to the point that I am going to put my best efforts and my best foot forward to help the Town of Franklin be the town that it really deserves to be. And that is really what it boils down to.

From my experience as electrician and as an engineer, stepping out to the surroundings and walking around to see the various parts, being able to evaluate it from the outside. And to look at all the parts from the inside and say, these in and of themselves are systems. The whole thing together makes up this community. I have the ability and mind to look at the various components and to understand, to some degree, how they all work, and how they all come make up one thing. I don’t look at the town that much different than that. The town has all its various systems, all its various communities, all its various neighborhoods. What it boils down to at the end of the day is to having a fair and unbiased desire to service all of the various parts that make the whole work. I think I understand that more than most people do. I understand that from an engineering perspective.

Additional information on Glenn’s campaign can be found here and here

Note: We also did this two years ago. If you’d like to see what was said then, check out this

Quick favor to ask, need your help with a vote for our causes, only 4 days left!

Hi my friends and colleagues,

We've been invited to a Boston- based PR event called Mass Innovation Nights, which represents a great opportunity to spread the word about the Confidence Beads and for our causes.

Only (4) participants will have the chance to "pitch" their product, and it is based on votes.

If you haven't already, please go to, select the "VOTE" button and then Confidence Beads.

There are some pretty cool products there as well to check out, which you might enjoy learning about!

Please feel free to share this out to your networks on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn as well, THANK SO MUCH!!

PS, We can also vote from smartphones J

Linda Waters
Back to Business LLC
office: 508-520-4100


Note: I have known Linda Waters for a couple of years. She has graciously assisted with Job Search Jam Sessions by delivering an excellent session for 2 of our events. Her Confidence Beads help raise money for important causes. She recently worked with the Bruins Foundation to create "Believe" which raises money for the Foundation to meet its mission “enhancing the quality of life for children in our community.”

Action: J F Kennedy Playground and the Pepsi Refresh Grant

Hi Steve,

As education budgets continue to shrink nationwide, the Pepsi Refresh Project is giving grassroots organizations opportunities to improve their communities.  Our school, J F Kennedy Elementary in Franklin, MA is trying to build an inclusive playground so that all children can play together in our community.  We are hoping that you can tell your readers how they can easily help J F Kennedy Elementary School win $50,000 grant to build an inclusive playground.  Our playground will have slides, climbing structures, ramps for access, and sensory panels for children with sensory integration concerns so that all children can play together.
Starting now through Nov. 30th you can help support our children by voting for our idea "Building an inclusive playground so all children can play together" at

Anyone 13 years of age and older can vote once a day via the internet and text for the idea they believe is most deserving of a grant.   The top ten ideas that receive the highest number of votes, in our category of education/$50,000 will be awarded thegrant.

Here are three easy steps you and your readers can take to help our community get a new inclusive playground.

1.      Vote online
1.      Log on to
2.      Register to Vote
3.      Vote for "Building an inclusive playground so all children can play together" once every day!
4.      Spread the word!
2.      Text to vote - Text* 109738 to Pepsi (73774) to vote from your mobile (standard texting charges apply)
3.      Downloading the Pepsi Refresh Project App for the iPhone or Android and using it to vote.

We hope you'll share the story and link with your readers to help make a difference in our community. Please let us know if you have additional questions?

Best Regards
Tisha Arffa
Kennedy Playground Committee

Question: Who can help with blueberry bushes?

Hey Steve,

I recently found your site and as a long-time resident of Franklin, I love it! I have a quick question........ Do you know of any site (perhaps even yours) which connects people who need some work with homeowners like me who need help? I'm very able bodied but I have a few specialized tasks which I need help with (trimming blueberry bushes, etc) . I've tried Craigslist but I'd rather stay with someone local who needs some cash.

Wanted: Able bodied Franklinite who has experience in gardening (particularly Blueberry bushes) to teach/help me trim a patch of Blueberry bushes.  I will pay for your time.

Just tossing it out there.  I am community minded myself.  In fact, I am going to be at Dacey Field this Saturday helping dig fence post holes for the new Dog Park ( ).  Again, thanks for the reply and if it's not something you want to add on to your site, no problem!  I just figured that there are people in town who need help with things and people who have the time/talent who may be out of work or whatnot.  I've been on both sides of that equation.


Dave Wolfe


In the News - Delfino

Meet the Franklin Candidate: Charles Delfino Jr., constable

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jeffrey Roy answers 3 questions

Jeffrey Roy submitted his answers to the three questions:

FM - Tell me a bit about yourself, your family and your life here in Franklin?

JR - I have been a trial lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts for the last 25 years. Locally, I have been a member of the School Committee for the last 10 years, and have served as the Chairman for nine of those 10 years. I have also served as a member of Franklin's Horace Mann School Building Committee, and as an elected Town Meeting Member in Milford, Massachusetts.

I am married to Maureen Roy and have two daughters (ages 21 and 18) and a son (age 15). All of my children were educated in the Franklin Public Schools. My oldest daughter currently attends Bates College in Lewiston, ME, and my other daughter is a freshman at Boston College. My son is a sophomore at Franklin High.

I am a 1986 cum laude graduate of Boston College Law School in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. I received my undergraduate degree from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in 1983, where I served as Editor-in-Chief of the Bates Student newspaper. In addition, I received engineering training at Worcester Polytechnic Institute from 1979 to 1981 and one year of legal training at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.

After growing up in Milford, I moved to Franklin in 1986 and this has been our family home for the last 25 years.

2 - What experience or background will help you to serve in this role? or What do you think makes you a good candidate to fulfill this role?

JR - I spent the last 10 years working with the Franklin School Committee and enjoyed the challenges of working in municipal government. I am proud of the accomplishments made by the Franklin Public Schools team over the past 10 years and I will bring that spirit of hard work and commitment to the Council. In addition, as a trial lawyer, I am a problem solver. I will bring those skills to the table to address issues that we will face on the Town Council.

I have put together a website at which more fully articulates my vision and priorities for this community and details why I am running for Town Council.

3 - What do you see as your role’s biggest challenge and do you have any suggestions on how we can resolve it?

JR - From a big-picture perspective, funding for education, public safety, public works, and our other town services is the biggest challenge. Addressing that will require strategic planning. Strategic planning will invite us to visit the questions of who we are and what we want for our community. The Town Council should do everything in its power to bolster and strengthen our programs in education, public safety, public works, and other town services. In addition, as a Town Council, we must develop policies that embrace economic development with the goal of creating jobs, attracting business, and improving our infrastructure. We also need to restore decorum and pledge fairness, integrity, and civility, not only in Town Council meetings, but also in all written and oral communications. Finally, we must deliver a Franklin High School building project that will serve this community and our students for a long time. The project was first advanced in 2005 and I am encouraged that the question will be presented to the voters in the near future. I will devote time, energy, and enthusiasm to completing this project.

Rail Trail Committee: Clean-Up Day and Grand Trunk Meeting

Just as a reminder, a SNETT clean-up day will take place this Saturday, November 5, 2011 from 8:00 to noon.  The clean-up will take place on the trail in Bellingham at the Lake St crossing.  For more details you can check the web site at or email Kathy Wicks at

Also, the Grand Truck Trail Blazers will hold a meeting tonight in Franklin at the YMCA at 7:00 pm.  Sorry for the late notice, but we were just informed of it.  You are welcome to attend.  See details below.

Finally, attached for your continued review is the list of potential new committee names and the mission statement. We will discuss both of these at the next meeting on Tuesday, November 8.  

----- Original Message -----
From: Scott B
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2011 11:11 PM
Subject: GTTB Nov. meeting

Our November meeting of the Grand Trunk Trail Blazers will be at the Franklin YMCA at 45 Forge Hill Rd, tomorrow, Thursday, Nov 3rd at 7 pm.

Upcoming meetings are
December 1st at the Southbridge Police Station, 1 Mechanic St. 01550  7 pm
January 5th at the Palmer Library, 1455 N. Main St 01069  6 pm

Scott Benoit

FCRTC: Names and Mission Statement

"did not officially discuss or take action"

"This will allow us to staff a position that was eliminated last year," Fire Chief Gary McCarraher said. 
The town employs 44 firefighters, but, because of budget cuts, just nine - rather than the 10 needed - can been used at any one time. The department has been fully staffing only the station in the center of town, leading to increased response time for emergencies, McCarraher said. 
The money approved last night will go toward paying current firefighters to work more hours. The $85,000 comes from new growth, or extra tax revenue, councilors said. 
The budget amendment also included $8,000 for the Planning Board and $9,000 for the Board of Health, which would allow each to hire two temporary clerks working 16 hours per week.

Read more:

The full set of my notes from the Town Council meeting can be found here

In the News - Carroll, i495 region, power

Meet the Franklin Candidate: John Carroll, Planning Board

Meetings talk about growth in the Rte. 495 region

Power back for most local residents

Town Council - 11/02/11

The collection of posts reported live for the Town Council meeting held on Nov 2, 2011 can be found here

Live reporting - Closing

6th Annual Casino NIght - Nov 5th

Franklin Education Foundation’s 6th Annual Casino Night Planning is in Full Swing!

On Saturday, November 5, 2011, the Franklin Education Foundation (FEF) will hold its 6th Annual Casino Night at the Franklin Elks from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. The event will feature Black Jack, Roulette and Money Wheel as well as raffles, a Silent Auction, a live band, cash bar and FREE hors d’oeuvres. The event is well known as a fun evening out with friends and neighbors, all while contributing to a worthwhile cause.

For the first time ever, FEF is thrilled to announce the addition of live music to our annual event. Guests will be treated to the amazing acoustic rock sounds of Ben Gardner's Boat, one of the areas most popular bands.

FEF is currently seeking table sponsors as well as auction donations. If you have an item to donate or if your company is interested in sponsoring, contact FEF. It’s a great way for local companies to show their commitment to education in Franklin.

Admission is $25. To avoid waiting in line at the door, advance ticket purchase is recommended. For ticket purchase, auction donation or sponsorship information, please contact Mike Doherty at (508) 541-3000 or Cash only accepted for chip purchase. Checks and Visa/MC accepted for Silent Auction items. For more information visit

Since 1997, The Franklin Education Foundation events have raised well over $200,000 which has been distributed to Franklin public schools in the form of special grants. All Franklin Public School staff members are eligible to submit creative, innovative ideas for programs or activities that would not traditionally be funded by tax dollars. To see a list of programs FEF have funded over the years, visit