Thursday, March 15, 2012

Vote - March 27

No matter what your position is on the debt exclusion for the proposed New High School, whether you are against:

Franklin, MA: No

or whether you are for the proposal, your vote counts!

Franklin, MA: Yes

Mark the calendar to get out an vote Tuesday, March 27th. The polls open at 6:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM. All voting will take place at Franklin High School.

Absentee ballots are available at the Town Clerks office if you will be out of town on that day, you can still vote.

Bill would help communities create quiet zones downtown

A nice idea but not very practical. The money could be better used elsewhere.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin News RSS by Laura Krantz/Daily News staff on 3/14/12

You sit down to eat at a downtown restaurant, a local band begins to play, then ... HOOOOONK! The blaring horn of a train barreling through downtown disrupts your evening.

Things you can do from here:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Last few days to Win 2 FREE Southwest Airlines Tickets!

"Thank you" for your past participation in our annual fundraising event! We cordially invite you to join us at... 
Sunday, May 20, 2012 
EMC2, Franklin, MA

Sign In/Registration at 10:00AM — Event steps off at 11:00AM
Pre-registration fee: $10 for walkers / $20 for runners
  • REGISTER online at:
  • ***NEW THIS YEAR*** when you register online you will have an opportunity to create your very own personal or team tee shirt(s)...
  • Register ONLINE before March 17, 2012, RAISE a minimum of $100 and YOU will be entered to win 2 FREE Southwest Airline tickets!
(The winner will be announced at the event! No need to be present to receive the prize)
DON'T DELAY...Register and design your own fundraising page TODAY!
See you on May 20th!


Address postal inquiries to:
Doug MacPherson
8 Forge Park East
Franklin, MA 02038
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Informational Meeting on the Proposed New Franklin High School

Open to the Public!

Informational Meeting on the Proposed New Franklin High School

Wednesday, March 14th

7:15 pm

Franklin YMCA Community Room

Guest speakers include Maureen Sabolinski , Superintendent of Schools and Jeff Nutting, Town Administrator

15th Annual Trivia Bee - March 15th

Yes, you read that correctly.

The 15th Annual Trivia Bee will be held on March 15th! How cool is that?

FEF Trivia Bee Flyer 2012

Hold the date on your calendar!

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

Franklin Panthers 5th grade boys win Metro West Tournament

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Wicked Local Franklin News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 3/13/12

Metro West 5th grade boys champs
The Franklin Panthers Metro West 5th Grade Boys Basketball team won the D4 Metro West Tournament this year on Sunday, March 11, in double overtime against Sudbury.

Things you can do from here:

MassDOT, MBTA Letter to Customers

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 3/13/12

Over the last nine weeks we have engaged in a public process to allow our riders to weigh in on recommendations for closing a $159 million budget gap next year. As we conclude that process this week, we want to take a minute to thank you for the unprecedented level of engagement you demonstrated over this period.

Since January, nearly 6,000 of you attended our 31 public meetings, with nearly 2,000 individuals offering public comment. In addition, we received 5,850 emails from you about the importance of the MBTA in your lives. By comparison, the last time the MBTA raised fares in 2007 just 800 people attended a public hearing.

The choices before us are difficult, to be sure. Hearing your individual stories only makes them more so. We know that a quality, reliable public transit system is essential to getting our customers to work, school, doctor's appointments and other activities. We know a public transit option makes our air cleaner and roads less congested. And we know that it is a lifeline for many of you.

We have been honest about our financial problems and we thank you for your willingness to listen. Massive debt costs, coupled with increased operating expenses for things like energy and health care are overburdening our system. The system we have today we cannot afford and the system we want is well beyond reach.

Before our April 4th Board Meeting, we will lay out our final recommendation for closing the Fiscal Year 2013 gap. We continue to work on identifying prudent one-time revenues that will allow us to stave off some of the proposed service cuts for one year. Our final proposal will include both cuts and a fare increase, however.

Unfortunately, without a new dedicated revenue source, we know we will be back in this very place next year. Many legislators attended our public hearings, acknowledging the need for a new solution. The Governor also heard your voices at the hearing he attended in Revere.  Our hope is that we may continue these discussions in the coming weeks and months so that we can collectively figure out a way to continue to provide a world-class public transit system to you.

This is your system. Long after we're gone, customers will still have a need and desire for a public transit option. The decisions we make today will have a lasting impact on this system, and we thank you for remaining engaged in this process.

Richard A. Davey, Secretary and CEO

Jonathan Davis, Acting General Manager

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Franklin played the defense

“It really hit me about halfway through the trial that no matter the outcome, we proved we belonged,” the team’s coach and high school teacher Michael Walsh wrote in an email yesterday. “When (Franklin student) John Wiech succeeded in blocking admission of the Plaintiff’s key piece of evidence, it was some of the finest argumentation I have seen in 14 years of mock trial.”

Read more:

Related posts:

Lori McKenna

The Boston Globe Magazine on Sunday featured singer/song writer Lori McKenna on the cover. Lori appears regularly at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse in Franklin
For McKenna, 43, self-deprecation has long been her nature. The I’m-no-good shtick, though, gets crazier every day. Fifteen years after she broke into the Boston folk scene with her raw, honest lyrics and unique vocal style, her songs keep getting better and keep blowing people away. Even longtime collaborators, family members, and fans can’t make it through certain ones without choking up, if not weeping. 
The power of McKenna’s music lies in her artful pairing of intimacy and universality. With her own experience as a template, she explores and dignifies the many corners of domestic life, the hopes of small-town dreamers, and the emotional voids that aren’t easily filled. McKenna, whose mother died young, is especially moving when she’s wrestling with that wounding loss.
Read the full article online

In the News - open meeting, house fire, girl's team

Open Meeting Law videos posted for Sunshine Week

Monday, March 12, 2012


  • During the Councilor Comments section of the last week's Town Council meeting, some folks were wishing a speedy recovery to Bob Dean. He has been heavily involved with the broadcast and video operations for Franklin meetings. I wonder if that is why all of a sudden meetings since Feb 15th have not been posted to the video archive section?

  • The Planning Board is scheduled for a meeting on Monday night. There may be a meeting agenda posted on the window at the Town Clerk's office but there is nothing on the Franklin website (yet).

  • There won't be a weekly summary this week. Two family funerals over the last three weeks has taken the 'free time on the weekend' away I would have had to prepare such. The family is doing well through this period. The support has been great. Time is reinforced as all that more precious.

Ensuring Food Stamp Integrity

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via USDA Blog by Kevin Concannon, Undersecretary of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, USDA on 3/8/12

Cross posted from Politico:
As agriculture undersecretary and a former director of state Health and Human Services departments in Maine, Oregon and Iowa, I know the importance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. In today's difficult economic times, this vital program helps families across the nation put food on the table.

Despite a rash of recent stories about food stamp fraud, the facts are that the Agriculture Department has a zero tolerance policy on this. We aggressively pursue those trying to take advantage of America's compassion for people in need.

First-quarter results of our anti-fraud efforts demonstrate this commitment. From Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011, we penalized — with fines or temporary disqualifications — more than 225 stores that violated program rules and permanently disqualified more than 350 stores caught trafficking food stamp benefits.

We're now stepping up our efforts. I announced in December new anti-fraud initiatives. We awarded a 10-year contract to SRA International to develop the next generation of fraud-detection systems.

We plan even stronger penalties for retailers that misuse the program. We recently updated our policies to clarify that advertising the sale of benefits through social media is a violation and can result in disqualification from the food stamp program.

In addition, we're finalizing rules to deter the practice of buying and discarding food to get money-back deposits; or reselling and exchanging products bought with food stamp benefits to obtain cash or other noneligible items.

The Agriculture Department's efforts to combat SNAP trafficking have been particularly successful. Trafficking — the sale or purchase of benefits for cash — is an illegal activity punishable by criminal prosecution. Over the past 15 years, department and state agencies administering the program have sharply reduced such trafficking — from 4 percent to 1 percent.

But we cannot be content with that success — the people taking unfair advantage constantly change their tactics. We remain vigilant, working to stay ahead of these new forms of program abuse. We have stepped up documentation requirements and background checks on retailers who participate, or seek to participate, in food stamps. Stores that falsify information will be denied or disqualified and may face a $10,000 fine or imprisonment for as long as five years, or both.

The Agriculture Department recently launched a website ( to get the word out about our efforts to deter fraudulent food stamp activity and enlist the public's help in fighting it. We will continue to use all tools available, including the latest technology, to combat fraud.

Some perspective on this is crucial. There are 46 million eligible Americans who depend on food stamps, largely because of income, age, disability or job circumstances. Nearly half are children, 8 percent are elderly and 20 percent of food stamp households include a person who is disabled. The great majority abide by program rules.

The fact is fraud is a limited problem in SNAP — though no amount is acceptable. Stores violating the program represent less than one-half of 1 percent of the more than 230,000 food stores authorized to redeem benefits. And the recent fraud stories indicate enforcement efforts are working — as those who would abuse the program are being caught and prosecuted.

This is good news for all U.S. taxpayers and good news for those who use the program — including millions of children and older Americans — who depend on food stamps. Which, in turn, is why the Agriculture Department is committed to assuring the integrity of this vital program.

Things you can do from here:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - 3/13/12

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 February 28, 2012 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mrs. McIntyre
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence: Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Parmenter Update
b. Health / PE Update
c. Senior Project

3. Discussion Only Items
Policy – First Reading
JJ – Co-Curricular and Extracurricular Activities

4. Action Items
a. I recommend acceptance of a check for $500.00 from the Parmenter PCC for field trips.
b. I recommend approval of the Field Trip request of the FHS Classics Club to attend the MA Junior Classics League State Convention in Hyannis from April 27 to 29, 2012 as detailed.
c. I recommend acceptance of the donation of a digital piano from Doug Newton for the Annie Sullivan Middle School.
d. I recommend approval of the Field Trip request of the FHS Drama Club to see Godspell in New York City on March 24, 2012 as detailed.
e. I recommend acceptance of a check for $239.45 from Super Valu, Inc. (Shaw’s) for the Franklin Public Schools.

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. Adjourn

Senior Project and Health/PE Updates

These two presentation documents are scheduled for the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012

The Senior Project update


The Health/PE update


The full agenda for the School Committee meeting can be found here

Grease is the word!

FHS production of Grease. March 23 & 24, 2012 at the Horace Mann Middle School in Franklin starting at 7pm. Tickets are $10 at the door.