Thursday, July 4, 2013

Franklin's Fireworks - 2012 edition

In lieu of the laser light show replacing the usual 4th of July fireworks, you can step back to last year where I recorded the last 14 minutes of Franklin's fireworks!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On this day - Gettysburg - July 3, 1863

150 years ago, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1 - 3. Pickett's Charge is arguably the critical point of the 3 day fight that allowed the North to turn back the South.

Gettysburg: Confederate view
Southern view of Cemetery Ridge before Pickett's Charge
My wife and I visited Gettysburg in 2008 and captured these photos on the visit.

For more about the battle

Gettysburg: Cemetary 1
Gettysburg Cemetery
The remains of 159 MA soldiers are marked in the cemetery where Abraham Lincoln gave the historic Gettysburg Address.

You can find the text of the Gettysburg Address on the Civil War memorial along the main street side of the Town Common.

Franklin: Civil War Memorial
Franklin - Civil War  Memorial

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. 
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. 
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Civil War Memorial - Franklin, MA - Town Common
Have a safe an enjoyable 4th of July!

FYI - Gettysburg is just one of the many sites to be explored on the National Park Service website as mentioned on the Dean College Library blog
to mark the 150th anniversary of this battleground, the National Park Service (NPS) is giving Gettysburg National Military Park the royal treatment this summer.  From programming for all ages, to remembrance ceremonies of all sorts, there will be an event to meet every need.  Just check out theNational Park Service website for details.

Preparing for Franklin's 4th of July (part 3)

The last set of photos from the Town Common on the show rides set up for the 4th of July celebration.

Toy Story themed funhouse

polar express round she goes

cars spinning and swirling

twisted every which way

The theme for the collection of rides is to scare kids, or get their stomachs turning every which way. Hopefully, the kids will learn from one time when they do this that it is not a pleasant feeling.

What is the full schedule for the 4th of July?

Franklin Library: Closed on July 4th

closed on 4th July, open Fri, Sat
Franklin Library - closed for the 4th

Franklin Public Library - 118 Main Street Franklin MA 02038 - 508.520.4940

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Survey Says: No to Mayor

The survey question was posted:
"Would you be in favor of further amending the Franklin Home Rule Charter to provide for the election of a mayor to govern the city known as the town of Franklin?"

There were 44 responses and the vote was decidedly No = 27, Yes = 17

While was a survey question here, the Franklin voters will see this on the November ballot. What will happen between now and then will help to determine the fate of the question.

Those for the exploration of changing to a mayoral form of government would need to outline the proposal more distinctly. There are different forms of mayoral government, would saying "Yes" mean one of those in particular (no). It should really mean that the Town Council would then start the process of setting up a Charter Commission to determine what the change would be like. Ultimately, nothing would happen right away. It would still be sometime off before a fine tuned proposal would come back to the voters.

Want to know more about the forms of municipal government?

1 - You can visit the National League of Cities site here

(Note, we already operate legally as a city with a council and manager - coincidentally this is the most popular form of government. )

2 - wikipedia has a worthy entry

3 - Strong Mayor Council Institute has some good information

For other survey or quick poll questions that Franklin Matters has conducted over the years, you can visit the collection here

Franklin's Drinking Water

The 2012 Drinking Water Report has been published and should have arrived in your regular mail from the US Post Office. It provides an annual summary of the water quality and usage. Franklin is a ground water community. All our water comes from aquifers under ground. Out of sight, out of mind  but very important. Hence, the EPA is watching to treat the storm water runoff before it gets into the Charles.

There is whole lot of fine print in the annual report. It is worth spending a few minutes to read. One section on fluoride reports:
Fluoride occurs naturally in all water supplies in tract amounts. In many Massachusetts communities the fluoride level is adjusted to about one part per million (ppm or mg/l) so that it is optimal for better oral health. At this level it is safe, odorless, colorless, and tasteless. There are now over 3.9 million people in 140 Massachusetts communities and 184 million people in the United State who receive the health and economic benefits of fluoridation.
Worthy of note: in the water process flow shown above this paragraph on the Drinking Water Report, it states that fluoride is added to Franklin's water. In the paragraph itself, it implies but does not explicitly state that fact. Since MA has 351 communities, only about one third actually add fluoride. This is significantly less than the US as a whole which has approx. two thirds of the population getting fluoride. (184 million out of 313 million)

As a ground water community, one or more of the wells will turn up a bad test once in a while requiring a notification like the following:

As a ground water community, this is the major reason why the DEP which issues the permit for Franklin to draw from its wells, imposes the water conservation measures each year. We have the capacity to pump what we need to. The DEP fears we would draw down the aquifer more than we should, hence the restrictions.

annual water conservation for Franklin
annual water conservation for Franklin

The annual drinking water report can also be found on the official Franklin webpage

Preparing for Franklin's 4th of July (part 2)

While I was around on Sunday to take some photos of those show rides not yet set up, I did catch those there were set up on the Town Common. Such as

the slide




Seems like there will be rides that the kids will like! What is the schedule for the 4th of July?

Big News from Franklin Yoga & Wellness

Not sure if you are or have ever been a yoga enthusiast, but I thought you may want to get the word out about Franklin Yoga & Wellness. The new owner is the yoga teacher that I have been studying with for many years. Betsy Barry is a Franklin resident and has been teaching yoga for at least a 9 years. She is the most amazing and talented teacher I have met. Her directions are so precise and her attention to detail is so precise that every yoga position is done with the best possible form, realizing that pain or injury is not to be part of a regular healthy yoga practice!
Thank you
Jane Curran

summer banner
Exciting News
from Franklin Yoga & Wellness
Look What Has Sprouted
Dear Jane,

Welcome Summer!! In this time of sunny days spent outside, lazy afternoons with toes in the sand and cool evening walks we enjoy the abundance of nature and delight in continual discovery in our gardens. The summer sun restores and transforms, inviting new growth. So here is what we have been sprouting:

Welcome to Franklin Yoga's new owner and director, Betsy Barry!

Finally! The big day has arrived....

Commencement seems to be my theme this spring and summer with one son graduating from college and the other from high school. Endings and beginnings are partners. You can't have one without the other. So, sadly and most joyfully, Guruatma and I are handing Franklin Yoga and Wellness over to our dear friend and long-time teacher, Betsy Barry. She is stepping in as the excited new owner and director and is thrilled to cultivate new growth for all of our amazing and dedicated students.

Guruatma and I are beyond grateful for all of the relationships, memories, and all the blessings we received from our 9 year  stewardship of Franklin Yoga. To all of you, "THANK YOU from the depths of our hearts!"

Be sure to stop in and give Betsy a big welcome hug!

As always, wishing you blessings of love and joy!

Kaye Michelle (Khalsa)

Rooting & Rising: New Classes Coming Soon
Throughout the summer and into the fall we will be adding new classes to support your growth. We remain committed to helping our students cultivate roots that grow strong and deep. Our goal is that all students rise to new heights in their physical and emotional development with the support of our talented teachers. Please let us know what we should be planting in order for you to thrive.
Be sure to check the website for new growth and offerings each week:
Optional Link

this week only for the 4th of July Holiday 
Guruatma, Denise & Pam deserve a break today - don't cha' think? 
There will be NO
9:30 am Kundalini Yoga or 6 pm Gentle Yoga
 on Thursday and NO
9:30 am Divine Moves on Friday.  

CLASS ON THURSDAY  8:00 - 9:15 am
Help Betsy celebrate this exciting new change!!
Join her for a sparkling  Vinyasa Flow class which will ignite your Independence Day!
Join us at Franklin Yoga anytime you like all summer long for the low price of $189!

 Fire up your practice this summer and burn brightly as you embrace a new you. 

We Look Forward to Seeing You Soon!!
We are excited to share these new and exciting changes with you, our valued clients and friends.  Please continue to let us know how best to meet your health and wellness needs.

Franklin Yoga and Wellness | 508 520-4515 |
1256 West Central Street
Franklin, MA 02038

Copyright © 20XX. All Rights Reserved.

Franklin Yoga and Wellness | 1256 West Central St | Franklin | MA | 02038

Monday, July 1, 2013

Preparing for Franklin's 4th of July

On Sunday, the ticket booth was ready to be set up:

ticket booth

As was the Berry ride

berry ride

and the Italian swings

Italian swings

and whatever they call this ride

unknown ride (small cars on a track??)

What is the schedule for the 4th of July?

News from Fairmount Fruit Farm

Fairmount Fruit Farm Newsletter
                 PLANT SALE                    
In This Issue
What's in?
Plant Sale
Quick Links

  Come see us for fresh produce, now grown Hydroponically at our farm!
Visit our website to learn more at
Dear Valued Customer,

Hello, and happy Summer! Now that the heat wave is over, it is the perfect time to finish that summer planting! Get your yard ready for the upcoming holiday with beautiful annuals to bloom throughout the summer, and hardy perennials which will return to grace your garden every year.
Looking for farm fresh produce? Its that time of year! Stop in and support local business by choosing farm fresh vegetables and fruits, picked daily at Fairmount. All of your shopping needs can be met, as we now offer an array of grocery products, including dairy, bakery, produce, baked goods, eggs, and more...Stop in and see what's in store!
STRAWBERRY PICKING will be held daily throughout the entire summer (permitting berries are ripe and available), from 10-4. Please call for availability at 508-533-8737

snap dragon
ALL PLANTS are now on SALE
Buy one, get one half off on all plants, including vegetables, annuals, and perennials. Mix and match any combination to complete your gardening needs. Offer available while supplies last!
We appreciate your business and look forward to seeing you soon!
All of us at Fairmount Fruit Farm


Fairmount Fruit Farm | 887 Lincoln St. | Franklin | MA | 02038

"'deceiving' because it ignores known issues"

Milford Daily News has an article from the Franklin Facilities Dept.

Compiled at the request of Town Council, the 14-page report looks forward five years, offering terse recommendations on what should be done with, or to, each facility. It also lists several pages of recent work orders, all of which were for minor repairs. 
America’s first lending library may require more than $2 million in upgrades, including a new HVAC system. Currently, engineers are updating a 2007 study, which looked at balancing structural repairs with the building’s many historic attributes. The Facilities Department will use the results of the study to plan construction. 
Much like the library, the David Thayer Elementary School has outdated infrastructure. The Facilities Department has known this for some time, but other matters, such as the new Franklin High project, took precedence.

Read more:

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Franklin's 4th of July

With no fireworks this year, what will be the attraction for the 4th?
Organizers readily acknowledge that nothing can replace fireworks on July 4th, but they say they have at least found a creative alternative: a laser light show, set to music, beginning at 10 p.m. on July 3 on the common. 
"It’s something that people haven’t seen in the town before," said Warren Revell, co-chairman of the Franklin July 4th Coalition. "Hopefully it draws a crowd to the common. The night of the fireworks has always been a big night, but from what I understand, (the light show) is quite a thing." 
During a show expected to last about half an hour, lights will be projected onto a 40-foot screen. People are encouraged to bring blankets, though coolers are prohibited. 
The light show is just the beginning of five days worth of events, including the annual parade starting at 2 p.m. on July 7. Vietnam War veteran Robert Gardner, recipient of the Bronze Star medal, has been selected as the 2013 grand marshal.

Read more:

The complete schedule of events for the 4th of July in Franklin can be found here

You can also contribute to the 4th of July Coalition on their webpage

Summer is the time to play

Updated 7:00AM This was an interesting idea. I found some other navigation features that made this a pain to use for me so I have already removed this new layout.


Yes, school is out and there is time to play. I will be taking advantage of some vacation time to do some fun stuff this week too. Not that I don't have fun during the normal week. I do, really. Between work and volunteer efforts for this site and the Food Pantry, you probably see that I like to keep busy. I also like to have fun!!!

One of the play areas for this week is with the layout on this website. Google's Blogger software which drives this site has some features that I'd like to test. For those of you reading this during the week, I'd like you to play along.

Dynamic views is one of the templates that I can use which also gives you the reader a choice for how you would prefer to read this site. I have it currently set to default to the Magazine view but you can change it. One of the decision points will be does this new view really allow you to read this page better?

As I tested with Internet Explorer I found this view:

IE shows the dynamic view
IE shows the dynamic view

with Firefox I found this:

Firefox shows the dynamic view
Firefox shows the dynamic view

and with Chrome I found this:

Chrome shows the dynamic view

Statistically you come to read this page with Internet Explorer (29%), Firefox (25%), Chrome (20%), Opera (10%), Safari (10%) and all others (16%).

One key difference among the views shown above: Only Chrome gives you the option of changing the view and only Chrome give you the option of navigating among the sidebar links I provide for you.

(Note in the screen shots above that IE and Firefox show a black line across the top with no text visible. The visible text is only shown in the Chrome view. This text allows you to change the view and to navigate among the tabs.)

The numbers tell me that giving this full functionality to only 1 of 5 of my readers is probably not going to work. However, you do get to have your say in this matter.

  • Many of you read via the daily email updates and hardly ever come to the web site itself. 
  • Many of you read via Facebook and only when the link is really interesting come here to get the full set of details. 

So who wins in all of this? 
You should. You are the ones reading.
Leave a comment or send me an email on what you think I should do with this layout test.

Do you like the dynamic views or should I return to the previous layout?

Updated 7:00AM This was an interesting idea. I found some other navigation features that made this a pain to use for me so I have already removed this new layout.


"looking to improve service and trim expenses"

The Milford Daily News has a long article on the trend and effects of increasing costs for special education.
One of the top drivers of special education funding is out-of-district tuition – tuition costs associated with students that need to be sent to other private or public specialty programs to meet their needs. 
Administrators say costs for day programs can cost as much as $100,000 per student annually, while a residential placement can cost as much as $350,000 annually. Since districts by law are required to educate special education students until they either graduate or turn 22, one or two extremely high-need children can add a strain on a budget for years, while planning is difficult because a new high-need child can move into a district at any time. 
State funding "does bring funds back to the district, but not commensurate with the increase of private, collaborative, and public tuition and transportation costs," Milford Superintendent Robert Tremblay wrote in an email.
This is also a significant factor for the Franklin school budget and has been for many years. Franklin has taken steps to increase their capability to provide special education services to as many of their students within the district as possible.
Franklin Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski said special education costs in Franklin actually declined by $200,000 this year. 
"The strength of our in-district programs and our commitment to co-teaching has enabled our educators to be successful in meeting the needs of students," she wrote in an email.

Read more:

The presentation on the Franklin school budget for fiscal year 2014 can be found here

In the News: grand marshal, 4th fireworks, virtual school

Franklin July 4 parade grand marshal named

The Franklin July 4 Coalition Parade Committee has named Vietnam veteran Robert Gardner as this year's grand marshall of the annual Independence Day parade.  The parade is set for July 7, 2-3:30 p.m

Where's the fireworks? Check here

Fourth of July fireworks displays are an American tradition. Here's a list of local celebrations.

Local collaborative wants to start virtual school

A local education collaborative aims to be among the first in Massachusetts to start a virtual school, when the state begins accepting proposals later this year.