Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tri-County Children's Center holds Holiday Traditions celebration


Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:


via The Milford Daily News News RSS by Mike Gleason/Daily News staff on 12/25/12

467319 MA_MD_Traditions#2.jpg

The Tri-County Children's center held their annual celebration of Holiday Traditions for families of preschoolers on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The event is planned and hosted by Tri-County's Early Childhood Careers students and invites family members of preschoolers to bring a holiday dish that is traditional to them to share with the class. During the celebration, families are also given a gingerbread house to decorate and take home.


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Monday, December 24, 2012

Franklin Calendar for 2013

Christmas Eve
the elf on the shelf is ready
the children are ready

will Christmas be white? time will tell

Consider getting a calendar for the 2013

Available at the Franklin Art Center, the calendar depicts some views of Franklin each month. An artist chose a medium (watercolor, photography, etc.) to show a familiar or a good view of Franklin that you may not have seen before.

Several months provide information on the importance of a particular date for that month in the history of Franklin. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar go to the Franklin Historical Commission which operates the Franklin Historical Museum.

Note: the calendars were printed in error to say "Society," they should say "Commission"

In the News: pitching clinic, open house

Last day to sign up for this clinic!

Franklin Girls Softball slates annual pitching clinic, sign up by Dec. 24

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Markham Nolan: How to separate fact and fiction online

The difference between fact and fiction is more than in the eye of the beholder. Yes, that is a mixed metaphor. Maybe it caught your attention. Maybe it turned you off. As a citizen journalist, the difference between fact and fiction is so important.

"Truth is emotional, it's fluid, and above all, it's human. No matter how quick we get with computers, no matter how much information we have, you'll never be able to remove the human from the truth-seeking exercise.” (Markham Nolan)

You can watch Markham in this TEDTalk. About 15 minutes.

What is ALiCE?

The newspaper has an article on the current safety protocol "freeze" and a recent alternative called ALiCE which stands for "alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate."
Several members of the Franklin Police Department work in the schools, though not as full-time school resource officers. 
Franklin Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski said two officers were able to attend the ALiCE training for free since it was hosted in town. 
However, she said ALiCE has not been implemented since protocol changes require "a lot of coordination’’ among the schools, emergency departments and surrounding towns that would likely be called in if a violent intruder entered a school. 
Police departments that have ALiCE trainers on staff include Framingham, Hudson, Franklin, Hopedale, Natick and Wellesley, according to Response Option’s website.

Read more: Schools explore new armed-intruder protocol - Franklin, MA - Wicked Local Franklin

More about ALiCE can be found on the Response Options website

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Food Elves Press Release

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Franklin Downtown Partnership by (Franklin Downtown Partnership) on 12/21/12

Food Elves Collect Over 2 Tons of Food

The Franklin Food Elves' "12 Days of Donating" campaign exceeded expectations for the second year in a row, bringing in more than two tons of non-perishable goods and over $5,700 to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry. 

Working with the Franklin Downtown Partnership and local businesses, 50 Food Elves collected 4,223 pounds of goods. Eleven participating businesses each pledged $200 if the Elves met their goal. In addition, DCU donated $1,500, Berry Insurance donated $1,000, and numerous residents also wrote checks. 

According to Linda Sottile, operations director at the Food Pantry, the money donated will be used to purchase goods through the Greater Boston Food Bank, where every $50 translates into 118 meals. The combination of the dollar amount with the weight of goods donated translates into close to 17,000 meals for the families who currently use the pantry. 

"The community's response has been overwhelming," says Sottile. "In addition to the other contributions we've received this season we will definitely have the resources to help get us through March or April." 

"Our need has increased this year and we worried how we were going to meet that need," says Erin Lynch, the Food Pantry's development director. "We are grateful to this community that really stepped up and gave this year."

Co-founders of the Franklin Food Elves Melissa and Cameron Piana are more than thrilled with the results. "It is amazing the good that people can do when everyone works together for a common goal," says Melissa. "We are so proud of our team of elves and for the generosity of the community."  

"It is incredible what can be done in 12 days," Cameron added. "Each year we have been able to double the food donations."

Emma's Quilt Cupboard customers donated six bins worth of goods, according to Cyndi Rich, Emma's owner and FDP board member.  She was one of 11 business participants.

For more information about the Franklin Food Pantry, go to, or call 508-528-3115. For more information about the Food Elves and the "12 Days of Donating" campaign, please contact the Franklin Downtown Partnership at, or go to

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"We need to think hard about what message we're sending to kids"

The Milford Daily News reports on NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre's comments calling for armed security at school. Local officials comment on the NRA idea.

"There are armed guards in a lot of public places," said Franklin Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski, who called the NRA's plan "silliness." "That doesn't isolate them from violence." 
For Sabolinski, the federal funds that would go to placing those officers at schools should instead be used for educational services and programs geared toward violence prevention.

Read more:

In the News: somber service, holiday safety, special election

Franklin church bells mark somber service for shooting victims

Friday, December 21, 2012

Yes, you can help the Rail Trail effort!

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your past interest and support of the the Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC).  We are working hard to turn the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) abandoned railroad tracks into a multiuse, universally accessible trail for walking, biking, hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and other outdoor recreational activities.   We hope you have had a chance to use the trail in 2012.

Southern New England Trunkline Trail: SNETT
SNETT sign at Grove St entrance

Did you know that the FBRTC offers an annual membership donation?  Your tax-deductible membership fee of $25 or more ($15 for students or those on a limited income) gives us important operating expense funds to allow us to apply for grants at the federal, state and local levels.  As a member, your level of involvement with the FBRTC is up to you.  You can join us for our various activities during the year, or you can simply let your membership be your involvement. I am writing to ask for your continued support in 2013.  Please take a few minutes to renew online or print the attached form and send a membership donation.

You can renew your support online at 

Membership includes, voting privileges, advanced notice of trail events, meetings, and agendas, updates on important trail news and developments, and 10% off on parts and accessories at Crossing Cycles in Franklin.

Wondering what the FBRTC did in 2012?  Here is a quick summary of how your support has made a difference.
  • Early in the 2012, we revised our mission statement and officially changed our name to the "Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee" to reflect the growing membership base, and the locality of towns involved in the effort.
    In the spring, a team of committee members and groups from Bellingham (Boy Scouts) cleaned up a section of the trail in Bellingham.
  • In May, the committee received notice from DCR that it was approved for a grant of $10,801.  Over the course of the summer, the committee worked with DCR to identify how the grant would be used.  Gates are in the process of being erected at trail entrances in Bellingham and Franklin.
  • Also in May, the committee held it's second annual 5K run (1 mile walk) fundraiser event.  Over 100 people entered the race, and the committee raised over $3,000.
  • The committee had a table at the Franklin "Harvest Festival" on September 30th.  It was another great opportunity to increase community awareness of our efforts.
  • On October 13th, we conducted a guided "trail walk" with DCR's Ron Clough.  Almost 50 people attended.
  • The towns of Bellingham and Franklin continue to be supporting of our efforts.
  • A boy scout troop in Bellingham is planning to build a kiosk at the trail entrance on Center St.
  • The town of Bellingham has marked the trail crossing at Lake St and Center St.
  • A parking lot is being planned for Center St. in Bellingham.
  • The Ben Franklin Charter Public School 5th grade held a "Community Service Day" at the trail in the fall. They planted flowers, and cleaned around the kiosk at the trail-head at Grove St in Franklin. They were also given an interpretive tour of the trail by Ron Clough from Massachusetts DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation).
  • Developed a map of the SNETT in Franklin and Bellingham to guide users on parking areas and other points of interest.
  • Became and active partner with the Towns of Bellingham and Franklin in participating in a grants received by the Town of Bellingham from the NPS (National Parks Service) for "Rivers,Trails and Conservation Assistance".  This grant allows all towns and interested groups along the trail to work together to create a master plan for the trail's development.
On any given day, many people are utilizing and enjoying the trail, walking or biking, and connecting with nature.  The committee continues to increase it's outreach and to build awareness using social media.  Our Facebook page:  The page contains over 100 "likes".  We use our Facebook page and web site ( to inform the people of the community of our activities.

The SNETT is a tremendous asset for our community.  Please consider making a membership donation today and become a vital piece in making change happen.

FBRTC Mission: The Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC) is a volunteer advocacy group dedicated to the development, maintenance, and financial support of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail as a multi-use, universally accessible recreational path.

FBRTC is a subsidiary of the Grand Trunk Trail Blazers, a recognized 501(c)(3), working in partnership with federal, state and local governments, members of the FBRTC are committed to exploring all private, state and federal funding avenues to implement all necessary design plans.

Six One Seven Studios (video)

The studio has been operating in Franklin for about a year now. To help promote their presence, they held a recent Franklin Downtown Partnership networking event. They provided tours of the studio space along with refreshments. One could easily imagine great work being done there. In fact, you don't have to imagine you can view some here.

A video of the Stone Soup Dinner held in Concord, MA

A video of Guru Restaurant here in Franklin, MA

One of their projects is to create a website of local restaurants and show the food served there. You can go to Select Franklin, search for a type of food (pizza, Italian, etc.) or for the name of a restaurant. No videos are available yet as this is still being put together but the info available should be accurate.

You can visit their webpage here

MassBudget: Rise and Fall of Local Aid in Massachusetts

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
The Rise and Fall of Local Aid
To help close a mid-year budget gap, the Governor has proposed a 1% cut to General Local Aid, a program that provides money to cities and towns for police and fire protection, parks, and other vital local services.

On its own, that is a relatively small part of the Governor's broader cuts. But funding for General Local Aid is already at its lowest point in over three decades. Like so many other programs in the state budget, it has been squeezed by the large revenue shortfalls that followed the income tax cuts of the late 90s.

MassBudget's new report, "The Rise and Fall of Local Aid in Massachusetts" finds that:

  • Total aid to cities and towns--including both General Local Aid and Education funding--declined by $1.7 billion between 1982 and 2012 (adjusted for economic growth).

  • The bulk of that decline--$1.3 billion of the $1.7 billion--comes in the form of reduced funding for General Local Aid (adjusted for economic growth).

An accompanying interactive tool allows you to track changes in General Local Aid for each city and town in Massachusetts.

In addition to this report on Local Aid, MassBudget is also releasing its annual assessment of education funding in Massachusetts, "Public School Funding in Massachusetts: Where We Are, What Has Changed, and How We Compare to Other States."

Using the latest Census data on state-by-state education spending, we find that:
  • Massachusetts devotes a smaller portion of its total resources to education than most states

  • Per-pupil spending in Massachusetts is relatively high (the fact that Massachusetts is a high-income state means that it can spend more than others on a per-pupil basis while still using a smaller percentage of the state's total resources)

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 children and adults, 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

Business After Hours Jan. 15

United Regional Chamber of Commerce

Take the first step to improving your business in 2013. Attend a Business After Hours sponsored by The United Regional Chamber of Commerce's Extreme Networking Group I on Jan. 15 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The cost is $5 for Chamber members and $10 for non-members. 

The event will be held at Dean College, Campus Center Dining Hall, 99 Main St., Franklin. Parking is available in a lot next to the Campus Center and is accessible via Main Street and Route 140. Register by calling the Chamber at 508-222-0801, 508-528-2800 or 508-695-6011.

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit, business support organization serving the communities of Attleboro, Bellingham, Blackstone, Foxborough, Franklin, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Wrentham.


In the News: bell to toll, regional dispatch

Franklin church's bell to toll for victims

Project manager chosen for Franklin-Wrentham regional dispatch center

Thursday, December 20, 2012

DelCarte Property (video)

I made another stop along my run on Sunday to spend a couple of minutes enjoying the quiet at the DelCarte Property along Pleasant St.

DelCarte Property - Open Space in Franklin, MA

Two weeks ago I recorded a video and you can view that here