Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"I want to use those resources to help Jeff."

The Milford Daily News attended as former Rep Jim Vallee endorsed Jeff Roy for the 10th Norfolk seat that he left vacant.
"Jeff's somebody who's very energetic," Vallee said to a small crowd of Roy supporters gathered inside the Franklin headquarters of the Clark-Cutler-McDermott Co., a manufacturer of textile products for the automotive industry. "He's a great listener, which I think is important to this job." 
An 18-year veteran of the State House, Vallee said he waited until after the Sept. 6 primary before publicly endorsing a candidate because he wanted to respect the voters' right to choose. 
"My interest is ensuring that whomever steps into that seat cares as much as I did about Franklin and Medway," he said, calling his endorsement of Roy "a very difficult decision."

Read more:

In the News: Meals on Wheels, girls softball, 'woman of year'

Meals on Wheels needs help in Franklin

Franklin Girls Softball Association announce tryout dates

State Rail Network Progress

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Commonwealth Conversations: Transportation by Klark Jessen on 9/18/12

Murray_tim_764Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray this week released a progress report, "Transforming the Rail Network for Economic and Community Development", describing accomplishments achieved as a result of the historic agreement with CSX Corporation.

"Transportation is the enabling network of our economy – it's about getting people and businesses from one location to another," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "I have worked closely with many critical partners and stakeholders to advance the CSX agreement and invest in improved freight and commuter rail service. This progress report outlines how our rail system is evolving across the state, and simultaneously highlights the need to have continued conversations to enhance economic and community development in impacted regions."

Improving the state's transportation infrastructure has been a key priority of the Patrick-Murray Administration. As part of the Massachusetts State Rail Plan, the Administration has strategically invested close to $1 billion in the state's rail system through competitive grants, public funds and private sector capital. These investments, some ongoing, represent the most significant improvements in the Commonwealth's rail system as a whole in decades.

The historic agreement with CSX Corporation offers significant impacts to freight and rail service in Central Massachusetts, Metrowest, Western Massachusetts, Boston and South Coast regions.  The compact is being finalized in two parts, beginning with an initial closing in June of 2010, which set in motion the permitting processes and infrastructure work needed to allow for the relocation of CSX operations. 

The second closing, scheduled for early October will complete the full transaction.  Details after the break.
The second closing will allow for: 
  • Expanding commuter rail service to the Metrowest/Worcester areas by taking ownership and control of the rail line between Framingham and Worcester.
  • Raising the railroad bridge clearances from Westborough to the New York State line to allow, for the first time in state history, the double-stacking of full-size freight containers on trains serving Massachusetts. This will increase freight capacity, reduce costs, and give Massachusetts companies better access to national and Asian markets.
  • Making possible the eventual restoration of commuter rail service to the South Coast by taking ownership of the rail lines that run from Boston to New Bedford and Fall River.
  • Relocating the CSX freight rail operations now in Boston at the Beacon Park Yard, to rail yards in Westborough, Worcester and West Springfield. This relocation will allow for the redevelopment of an 80+- acre parcel along the Charles River to serve as a new gateway district for the city.
With the second closing, the full transaction will be complete and the Commonwealth will pay CSX $100 million in total for: 
  • 45 miles of the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail line between Boston and Worcester
  • 37 miles of rail lines running south from Taunton to Fall River and New Bedford
  • 8 miles known as the Grand Junction, which runs from Allston, across the Charles River, through Cambridge, Charlestown, Everett and Chelsea
  • 2 miles known as the Boston Terminal Running Track which extends from Dorchester to South Boston, including the West First Street Yard
As part of this public-private partnership, CSX is investing $129 million for rail yards in Worcester, Westborough and West Springfield to expand and enhance freight services throughout the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth and CSX have also worked together to complete bridge work at 31 locations across the state, from the New York border to Worcester, to raise the clearance to allow for the double-stacking of full-size freight containers. Through this initiative, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has raised clearances at 14 of those locations by investing $72 million and CSX has completed the work for the remaining sites.

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who eats the crusts of bread?

In this TED Talk, Tristram tells us something we don't normally hear or talk about.
Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible -- but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources. 
Tristram Stuart sounds the warning bell on global food waste, calling for us to change the systems whereby large quantities of produce and other foods end up in trash heaps.

If America really has 4 times the food that we need, then the Food Pantry and others in this space are clearly in the redistribution business, and there is still plenty to do.

Approximately 15 minutes and well worth watching!

For more information on Tristram's Feeding the 5,000

For more on his book

Parmenter modulars: 3 down, 1 to go!

More progress

Only one modular unit left on site now, with some landscaping work to do

"Foreclosure deeds statewide dropped"

Current numbers show the rate of foreclosure deeds declining although the activity year to date still exceeds the prior year. The article by Milford Daily News reports:
Franklin real estate agent Andrew Bissanti said the declining statistics are also a result of banks offering more short-sale opportunities. 
Bissanti said declining foreclosure activity may also help the overall real estate market. 
"A lot of people are waiting for things to get worse," he said. "Maybe if they start seeing things get better, they’ll get out there and be more active in the market."

Read more:

MassBudget: Analyzing the FY 2013 Budget

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
Analyzing the FY 2013 Budget
At the beginning of this budget season, MassBudget calculated that Massachusetts would face a deficit of roughly $1.3 billion in FY 2013. Our final Budget Monitor shows that the budget gap was filled through a combination of temporary revenue, cuts, and savings. These include:

  • $615 million in temporary revenue, $350 million of which comes from the "rainy day" fund

  • Significant cuts and savings in Health Care, Homelessness Prevention, Early Education & Care, and elsewhere

There is no revenue from new taxes in the FY 2013 budget. Of all the competing budget proposals, only the Governor's had included provisions for new taxes.

Looking across the FY 2013 budget as a whole, our Budget Monitor shows how the budget will affect each major area of state government, from health care and education to public safety and the environment--including information on tax revenues.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income people, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

Monday, September 17, 2012

No School - Sep 17th

A friendly reminder for those without school children... those with school kids already know this!

Voting for the Avery "Give back to Schools" program closed on Sep 14th. This will be something to keep in mind to set up and prepare for next August 2013.

Life changing on Washington St

A pleasant scene. Could almost be anywhere.

Yet, it is here in Franklin along Washington St.

Running by this area on Sunday morning I was concerned to see a road side shrine and the familiar markings of an accident investigation. The flowers were fresh so it had to be recent. So recent that it hadn't made the newspapers yet. (Milford Daily News put a story online at 11:30 AM, and updated the details around 7:30 PM Sunday)

The Franklin Police logs did record the accident as multiple vehicles (2 were towed away) with a fatality involved. Saturday morning at 11:17 AM there were multiple 911 calls to report the accident.

There is a story or two inside the police report yet to be known. One or more families lives were changed suddenly on Saturday morning with the death and the aftermath....

The Milford Daily News article can be found here

A form of this was originally published on Steve's 2 Cents

In the News: Young Women of the Year, dance cabaret

Orientation set for Franklin Young Woman of the Year Program

Saddle Up and Walk 5K - October 7th

Please save the date and register today for the Second Annual Saddle Up and Walk 5K fundraiser on October 7th.

The walk will start at 8:00AM from Fino Field in Milford, MA, and the first 200 registrations are guaranteed a t-shirt. Event will feature a family fun fair with children's activities and prizes, entertainment, food, door prizes, JetBlue ticket raffles, 50/50 raffle and more!

Register early and save!

There are many ways to donate if you can't join us on the day of the walk! Support a team or individual who is walking, or make a general donation both available through links on the left.

In addition, for any corporations looking for permanent or one-time sponsorship opportunities please click on the Sponsors Page Button!

All donations are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, we are a registered public 501(C)(3) charity.

You can register online at

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Sep 19, 2012

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – August 8, 2012

This meeting is being recorded by Verizon, Comcast, and Franklin Matters

Public Service Award




Transfer of Liquor License – NDO Enterprises LLC…

Dean College
David McKearney – Board of Health


1. Resolution 12-64:Order of Betterment Assessment – Summer Street Sewer Improvement





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


The full set of documents released with the agenda for this meeting can be found on the Franklin webpage

Needle disposal kiosk relocated

The town’s new needle/syringe disposal kiosk has been relocated to the lobby of the DPW office at 257 Fisher Street. The kiosk will be available to residents during normal DPW business hours. 
To protect the health of personnel servicing the kiosk, absolutely no needles/syringes or lancets will be accepted unless they are inside an approved sharps container. Laundry detergent containers, cardboard boxes and plastic bags are not acceptable. Also the needle kiosk is not for the disposal of medications. The Franklin Police Department has a collection bin for residents to dispose of medications. 
Residents may purchase small sharps containers from Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Target for a nominal fee. The Town of Franklin does not provide sharps containers to residents.

In July, a new state mandate requires disposal of medical needles and sharps in a secure manner. They are no longer allowed to be put into the normal trash.  On the practical side, how this will actually be enforced is another matter. Franklin has established a kiosk where residents can dispose of their needles and sharps. It was originally at the fire station downtown and now has been relocated to the DPW office.

Related post from July

The relocation announcement on the Franklin webpage

Where is the DPW office in Franklin?

View Larger Map

"having a friend with you is pretty cool"

The Milford Daily News has a good article about two classmates who have kept in touch since they met at the Kennedy Elementary school and then again more recently in Afghanistan.

In September 2011, Schepis was set to deploy to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. By that time, he had learned through Facebook that Cimon worked on planes in the Air Force. 
But he didn’t know that Cimon was already in Afghanistan and had been for several months.
Shortly before shipping out from Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Schepis posted on Facebook about his deployment. Cimon responded. 
They decided to meet at the center of Kandahar’s canteen a few days after Schepis arrived.

Read more:

In the News: Brown vs Warren, star holders

All eyes on the Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren Senate race

Franklin seeking Silver or Bronze Star holders