Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Franklin, MA: Override and Debt Exclusion History (new format)

As requested, I have formatted the override and debt exclusion history to make it easier to view

Hopefully this will make it easier to read the information on each election

You can also view this document here

This was compiled from official MA and Franklin election records. If there is a mistake, it is not intended. Please let me know what you think is an error and I'll check it out with the official records.

Cub Scouts want your usable shoes!

The five local Cub Scout packs of Franklin have banded together this spring to help those in need by organizing a shoe drive to benefit Soles4Souls Inc., a Nashville, Tennessee-based shoe charity, and Rerun Shoes, an Amherst, Massachusetts-based shoe charity. The packs, comprised of approximately 300 elementary school-age boys and adult volunteers, have committed to collect shoes over the course of five weeks in April and May, beginning April 14th, at locations all around Franklin. In turn, the shoe charities will distribute the shoes to people living in extreme poverty and recovering from natural disasters. Soles4Souls provides one pair of shoes to a person in need every 7 seconds and, since 2005, has distributed more than
13 million pairs of shoes because of the generosity and commitment of people and organizations like the Franklin Cub Scout packs.

“With tragedies such as the earthquakes in countries like Haiti and Japan, on top of the enormous needs elsewhere, including our own country, we can use the shoes that are taking up space in the closets of ordinary people to help change the world one pair at a time,” said Mike McGuire, one of the adult leaders helping to organize the Scouts.

According to Rerun Shoes, consumers who recycle their shoes for reuse help provide employment at home and abroad. They also avoid the wasteful practice of disposing useable shoes in a landfill. To help keep those shoes out of landfills, the Cub Scouts will be collecting your new or gently worn footwear to make a tangible difference in the lives of many people through the gift of shoes. Every donation will support the shoe charities’ initiatives to distribute shoes to those in need.

To promote giving, the packs are holding a friendly competition amongst one another to collect the most shoes. All the packs are asking the town’s residents to “vote” for their favorite pack by donating all the excess shoes in their closets to the pack of their choice.

“Donating shoes is one of the simplest yet profound acts someone can do, because it will greatly improve someone’s life in the most difficult of times,” McGuire added. “Our boys understand this and really want to do all they can to make this successful for so many people. That’s why we’ve introduced a small, healthy rivalry – to encourage as many donations as people are willing to give.”

The Cub Scouts will be collecting shoes at the following locations throughout Franklin from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. beginning on Saturday, April 14th and each Saturday thereafter until May 12th:

  • Dacey Community Fields on Lincoln Street
  • King Street Memorial Park on King Street
  • Fletcher Field on Peck Street
  • Beaver Pond on Beaver Street
  • Town Common across from St. Mary’s Church

“Our scouts hope that people will realize the great impact that small gestures can have in peoples’ lives,” added McGuire. “Through Scouting, our boys have many opportunities like this shoe drive to provide service to others and reinforce ethical values. These opportunities not only help them now, when they are young, but will carry forward into their adult lives, improving the standards by which they’ll live and our society as a result. That’s what keeps us committed to finding opportunities such as this that will
benefit both our local community here in Franklin as well as the global community, of which we are all a part.”

The Cub Scouts will be holding a registration event on May 20th on the Town Common from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for those interested in becoming part of the Scouting family. The event will feature some typical field day-type events in addition to traditional scouting events. For those that prefer to become part of the fun immediately, visit BeAScout.org today to register with your local pack.

In the News - Planning Board, feline friend

Franklin council to decide on subdivision roads

Franklin woman was unfailing friend of felines

Wally the Green Monster

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 4/9/12

Wednesday April 18th       1:30 PM

Come meet Wally the Green Monster, the official mascot of the Boston Red Sox.  Wally's friend will read a book about Wally and Wally will take pictures with the children and their families.

All Ages, No registration required.

Things you can do from here:

Bubble Party with The Bubble Music Man

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Public Library by Franklin Public Library on 4/9/12

Tuesday April 17th     11 AM - Noon

An interactive program designed for children ages 3 to 7 years which brings together musical fun, interactivity, and BUBBLES!

No registration required.

Things you can do from here:

Monday, April 9, 2012

You can help your neighbor

You may recall hearing of the house fire in on Hillside Road last Wednesday. The Milford Daily News story is here http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x826299284/Cat-dies-in-Franklin-fire

Fortunately, no one was hurt as the family escaped although they did lose one of their cats. The house and contents were destroyed. Neighbors have rallied to help collect food, clothing and money for the family.

Cheryl Hobbs is one of the neighbors leading this effort. Her post in the Yahoo Group for "Franklin Area Parents" summarized the situation last Wednesday:
Today has been a very terrible day for our neighbors (Lazanski/Kelly) on Hillside Road, they lost their home and all their belongings. Taryn is a senior at Franklin High. Tom graduated 2 years ago. All 4 are safe and being well taken care of. They, of course, are devastated! They did lose one cat and the other cat was revived and staying well at Tufts. I, first, want to thank my neighbors who came in in a clutch and gave clothing. Many of you have asked what you can do in lieu of clothes (because you don't have kids their size, etc.). Monetary donations are being accepted. Checks made payable to: Michelle Kelly. Please drop off your donation (or mail) to: Cheryl Hobbs - 144 Hillside Road, Franklin
Her update on Easter:
I just want to update everyone on the happenings here on Hillside. Michelle is in better spirits this morning...smiling, laughing and so thankful for all that has been given to her, her husband and kids. The cat is back home and not leaving Michelle's side. 
I am going to try and email once a week now, however, please know, I am still collecting. Again, it is overwhelming the generosity of this community. I was surprised to what I came home to last night..letter box over flowing, as well as, foyer filled with envelopes.

What can you do?
Make your check made payable to: Michelle Kelly.

Provide a gift card for Walmart, Kohls, Stop & Shop or any other retail outlet the family could use.

You can drop off your donation (or sent via mail) to: Cheryl Hobbs - 144 Hillside Road, Franklin

MBTA halting 12-ride punch card

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

The MBTA plans to retire the 12-ride commuter rail punch card and its six-month expiration as of July 1, replacing it with a 10-ride pass good for a mere 30 days, the Boston Globe reports. As the Globe reports, the punch card is open to abuse, in which users can stretch the card well beyond the 12-ride limit, which means lost revenue for the cash-strapped T.

Things you can do from here:

Coming soon!

It is good to walk around Franklin. Walking slows things down, you get to observe more detail about what is around. On Saturday's walk, I realized that Bellino's had closed and there will be a new Indian restaurant opening in it's location:

Coming soon: new restaurant downtown

I had already heard through the Planning Board agendas that Dean was putting up a new residence dorm on the corner of West Central and West St.

Coming soon: new residence dorm for Dean College

What do you find out about Franklin by walking around?

In the News - marathon, autism, brush fires

Franklin woman runs for her buddies

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

No matter what religious beliefs you hold, spring time brings new life to this world that we inhabit.

Spring colors!

Enjoy the signs of new life!

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - 4/10/12

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 March 27, 2012 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mrs. McIntyre
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence: Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations
a. Music Department Update – Nancy Schoen (presentation)
b. Budget Overview

3. Discussion Only Items
Kindergarten Registration (Current status - PDF)
Pay to Ride Update

4. Action Items
a. I recommend acceptance of a check for $125.00 from JF Kennedy PCC for field trips and nurses fees for JF Kennedy Elementary School.
b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $750.00 from JF Kennedy PCC for field trips and buses for JF Kennedy Elementary School.
c. I recommend acceptance of a check for $150.00 from Cop Ex, Inc for Davis Thayer Elementary School.

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
Review of Executive Session Minutes
a. 1-24-12
b. 2-28-12

8. Adjourn

Franklin, MA: Music Program

Nancy Schoen is scheduled to present this document to the School Committee on Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 to provide an update on the Music Program.

Franklin Public Schools MUSIC presentation 4/10/12

Both my daughters participated in the Music program throughout their years in the Franklin schools (Parmenter, Remington and FHS). I think some of their success can be attributed to the musical program as a component of their overall development and growth.

Franklin, MA: Kindergarten Enrollment

The Kindergarten enrollment as of 4/2/12. This is a line item for discussion at the School Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012.

Franklin Public Schools K-registration as of 4-2-12

Note: the actual enrollment for K exceeds the projection provided last January. The details of that projection can be found here  http://www.franklinmatters.org/2011/01/school-enrollment-projections.html

Looking at the current K classroom staffing and the enrollment to date, it looks like there should be some re-alignment of K teachers to better balance the class size across the district. Parmenter for example has 4 K classes this year and may only need 2 next Sep. Current K classes and class size can be found in the following Enrollment document.

The enrollment comparison of March 2011 to March 2012:

Franklin Public Schools: Enrollment Compare March 2011 2012

Disclosure: yes, my wonderful wife teaches kindergarten at Oak Street Elementary School.

"These are not new challenges for Massachusetts"

As we get into the annual budget season, one factor driving up the cost of education is the cost of delivering services for the special education students. The Milford Daily News devotes a long article to a recap of this issue and the state's underfunding of the costs back to the local school districts.

The state funding of special education was raised in a MassBudget report posted here recently

The Marlborough School Department Finance Director Adam Olivere said that because special education costs have risen so dramatically, there is an underfunding in the foundation budget, which is calculated using the average cost-per-pupil, enrollment, and inflation. Costs are rising at a much greater rate than funding each year. 
“The state uses a percentage around 5 perfect to determine what the increase in costs should be, when in actuality, special education costs are increasing as much as 15 or 20 percent each year,” Olivere said. “The foundation budget underfunds special education costs by about $1 billion, and that affects net school funding.” 
Meanwhile, the federal government has never lived up to a promise 40 years ago to cover 40 percent of the excess cost of educating students with special needs. 
“The brunt of it still is falling on the local schools to fund out of their own resources,” said Rich Robison, executive director of the Federation for Children with Special Needs and a member of the Sudbury School Committee.

Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x826306718/More-students-complex-needs-higher-costs-in-special-education#ixzz1rRVln8jj

The 2011-2012 School Budget for Franklin highlights special education as one of the factors increasing the cost of education.  Additional information on the FY 2012 Budget for Franklin is collected here

Karen Spilka: A decade at the State House

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Joe O'Connell/Daily News staff on 4/7/12

Spilka 2012
Karen Spilka takes pride in her relentless approach to her job representing the Second Middlesex and Norfolk District in the state Senate. "Patience and perseverance" are two important qualities one needs to have to be a legislator, Spilka said.

Things you can do from here: