Saturday, August 31, 2013

"If we didn't remove the weed, it would take over"

The trapa natans found in one of the DelCarte ponds is not unique to Franklin. According to Milford Daily News Mendon found it in one of their ponds and has been working to control it.

The Franklin Story

The Mendon Story

The cleanup is part of an ongoing effort to clear the weed from the water. Over the past four years, the town has used Community Preservation money to clear the pond by mechanical means. 
The eventual hope is to get the weed to such a level where it can be controlled by volunteers, working by hand.
Community Preservation Committee Chairwoman Anne Mazar said the work done by the town has begun to bear fruit. 
"It's much, much, improved," she said. "It will probably need one more year of mechanical removal, though we haven't gotten the environmental report yet."

Read more:

"wanted to have a deeper understanding"

Milford Daily News recaps the parent meeting Thursday evening after talking with Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski.

In the school library, about 80 parents attended the meeting, led by crisis counselor Maria Trozzi. 
An assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and director of the Good Grief Program, Trozzi has been consulting high school faculty members on how to approach questions about allegations of an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and one or more students. 
The educator has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of police, state and internal investigations.

Read more:

Related posts 

  • Monday 

First announcement from School Dept

  • Tuesday 


School Dept update on opening of schools

  • Wednesday

Looking for due process

  • Thursday

parent meeting announcement

  • Friday

NECN reports on the parent meeting

Friday, August 30, 2013

Farmers Market - today - noon to 6:00 PM

on the Town Common, along the High St side.

Franklin, MA: Farmers Market
Farmers Market today

You can also register your son or daughter for Boy or Girls Scouts today at the Town Common during the Farmers Market hours.

NECN reports on parent meeting

NECN reports on the parent meeting at Franklin High School on Thursday evening.

"it would probably be his last term"

The election line up for Nov 5th is starting to firm up according to the latest article from the Milford Daily News.
This week, Chairman Robert Vallee and councilor Matthew Kelly joined the field, as well as Peter Padula, a Franklin attorney who last year ran against Jeffrey Roy in the 10th Norfolk District state representative race.
Vallee has served on the council for 28 years. He said he decided against stepping down because of the "unfinished business" still left on the council’s agenda.
"A lot has been left undone," he said. "There are so many things ongoing, and with a new council in there, it may not get done."

To summarize the status of the current Town Council: Vallee, Kelly, Mercer, Pfeffer, Jones, Bissanti have taken out papers to run again. Roy and Powderly will not run again. Dellorco is the only current member undecided at this time.

Read the full article in MDN:

My offer to the candidates can be found here


In the News: job fair, more marathon runners

Companies look to hire veterans at Gillette Stadium job fair

Veterans are invited to network with more than 50 Boston-area employers on Thursday, Sept. 5 at a job fair hosted by RecruitMilitary and The American Legion. 

2014 Boston Marathon will have 9k more spots

Nine thousand extra runners will be able to run the 2014 Boston Marathon, the Boston Athletic Association announced this morning.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

FHS Parent/Faculty Meeting - 8/29/13 - 6:30 PM

In response to the recent, serious allegations of misconduct by a Franklin High School teacher, there will be a meeting on Thursday evening, August 29, 2013, for parents of Franklin High School students and FHS faculty from 6:30-7:30 PM at the FHS Library.  Please note that this is not a meeting for students.


The purpose of the meeting will be on how school personnel and parents can help students make sense of this situation which is contrary to our values and norms as educators, parents and a community.   The safety and security of all students is one of our highest priorities and we are all grappling with this alleged breach of trust on the part of one of our teachers.   


This meeting will be facilitated by Maria Trozzi,  the Director of the Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center.  Ms. Trozzi has been working with Franklin Public Schools over the past two weeks to assist high school teachers, counselors, administration and staff as they navigate the first few days of school.  She has met with central office administration, high school administration, new teachers and the entire high school faculty to provide strategies on how to address any student questions or concerns which may arise regarding this issue and how to best support and encourage students so that they can refocus on the primary task at hand—education.  


Maria Trozzi is a nationally recognized speaker with over 25 years of experience consulting with school districts around development of crisis plans and working with parents, school districts and communities when faced with traumatic life events and loss.  Maria is a leading, national expert in the area of children and family bereavement and has spoken to audiences when crisis challenges all of us (Columbine, Katrina, Newtowne).  Using an interactive format, she will lead parents in how to assist their children when faced with stressful and challenging life events.


Please note that this is not a public meeting and as such, the news media will not be admitted to this meeting.  Ms. Trozzi will be available to members of the news media after the event to discuss her presentation.


We hope that you will join the Franklin Public Schools Administration and Franklin School Committee for this event.

Franklin needs you for one of these committees

The following Boards/Committees are looking for members:

Conservation Commission 
Kathy Celorier-508-520-4929

Finance Committee
Jeff Nutting-508-520-4949
Send letter of interest and resume to Jeff Nutting, 355 E.Central Street

Franklin Cultural Council
Claire Griffin-508-520-8857

Library Board of Directors
Felicia Oti -508-520-4940

Franklin Housing Trust Fund
Maxine Kinhart 508-553-4886

Public Land Use Committee
Beth Dahlstrom 508-553-4852

If you are interested in serving on the committee, please complete the form shown below and return to the Town Administrator's Office.

You can also find the form on the Franklin webpage here:

In the News: "Best Schools" issue

Several MetroWest and Milford area school districts made Boston magazine’s annual "Best Schools" issue, which hit newsstands this week. 
Among the towns on the list are Wayland (No. 9), Weston (No. 11), Sudbury (No. 16), Westborough (No. 17), Holliston (No. 18), Hopkinton (No. 28), Southborough (No. 30), Northborough (No. 39) and Medway (No. 42). 
The magazine compiled data released by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, ranking schools in the municipalities in 20 different categories, including average class size, student-to-teacher ratio, rates of college acceptance, and SAT and MCAS test scores

Read more:

You can view the full Boston Magazine listing here.

I find it noteworthy that Franklin did make the listing in the 62 position. While many of its rankings across the 20 categories were competitive with the schools ranked above it, there was one category were Franklin ranked next to last of the 62. Wrentham was the only school district of the Top 62 that spent less per pupil than Franklin. They spent $10,506 (ranked 58th overall) to Franklin's $10,708 (ranked 62 overall)

Another example of the best 'bang for the buck' that Franklin gets for what we choose to spend.

You can do something about the Technology Tax!

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce logo     


Massachusetts now has the highest and most aggressive technology tax in the nation at 6.25%. This is one time that being ranked #1 is not a good thing for anyone.This tax impacts many areas of information technology, including website development, software use and development just to mention a few. It also applies to installing virus scanning software, Microsoft office software and much more where you will be taxed for software and labor.
Effective July 31, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is applying sales and use tax (6.25%) to previously untaxed computer/software services. Known colloquially as the "tech tax," these new taxable services include: the installation of computer systems (including servers, PCs, switches, firewalls, routers, etc), the planning, consulting, or designing of computer systems, and the installation, modification, or adaptation of most software. This new tax on technological services was written into the legislature "An Act Relative to Transportation Finance," sections 48 and 49. 

Unfairly targeting the information technology industry, and completely unrelated to transportation finance, this new "tech tax" legislature is poorly written, poorly timed, and, as many argue, too reminiscent of previously failed attempts in this state to impose sales tax on services. Not to mention it has a potentially crippling effect on small businesses in Massachusetts.

We are working with our state representatives and local groups to petition the State to repeal, revise, or postpone this tax. The Mass High Tech Council has teamed up with The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation to further push for a repeal. There are also several blogs devoted to cataloging the repeal progress, including No Tech Tax and Repeal The IT Service Tax. We recommend visiting both of those pages to join the repeal movement.

How the New "Tech Tax" Affects You
The DOR has issued guidelines and a FAQ explaining the new taxable services vs. nontaxable services. Please look at this to determine how you will be impacted.
This means that any computer/software services performed after July 31, 2013 and falling under the new taxable definitions set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue will carry sales tax.

What You Can Do???
We understand the impact that this service tax will have on your business as well as many of our Chamber members. If you wish to join us in a repeal effort, we recommend any of the following:
  1. Contact your local state representative:
Senate President Therese Murray, State House
Suite 332
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-1500

Senator James Timilty, State House
Room 507
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617 722-1222

Senator Richard Ross, State House 
Room 520
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-1555

Senator Karen Spilka, State House
Room 320  
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-1640

Senator Kevin Kuros, State House 
Room 443 
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2460

Senator Richard Moore, State House  
Room 111 
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-1420

Representative Elizabeth Poirier, State House 
State House 
Room 124 
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2100
Fax: 617-626-0108

Representative Paul Heroux
Room 236 
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2430
Fax: 617-626-0335

Representative Jeffrey Roy 
Room 134 
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2400
Fax: 617-626-0279

Representative Steven Howitt
Room 237  
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2305
Fax: 617-626-0211

Representative F. Jay Barrows
Room 542 
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2488
Fax: 617-722-2390

Representative Daniel Winslow
Room 33
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: 617-722-2060
Fax: 617-626-0296

  1. Sign the online petition at
  2. Send your comments and concerns directly to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue at:

Thank You for your support.

Jack Lank
The United Regional Chamber of Commerce 

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce | 42 Union Street | Attleboro | MA | 02703

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

High school traffic pattern

With the ongoing (on schedule and on budget) construction of the new high school building, the work on the parking lots reported earlier this week has resulted in a revised traffic flow. The revised flow is shown in the PDF below. For those dropping off students, there are two loops available. One from Oak St and one via Panther Way.

Parking lot photos

All other high school building related posts are collected in one place

50 year Anniversary

50 years have passed since the day on the Mall when Martin Luther King shared his "I have a dream"

The wikipedia entry for the speech

"make sure due process occurs"

The Milford DailyNews provides an update on the open allegation investigation:
In an interview Tuesday in her office, Sabolinski shed some light on how school officials learned of the allegation and described their thinking leading up to Monday’s public announcement that the educator in question had been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of police and internal investigations. 
"We are really sick over this," she said. "It has been devastating to the high school administration and the district administration." 
Sabolinski would not specify the nature of the allegation or identify the teacher, only saying that, at some point, "lines were crossed."

Read more:

WBZ Boston's news piece from Tuesday:

Related posts:
School Opening Update

Monday's announcement

It all about an allegation

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Franklin Public Schools: School Opening Update


Good Afternoon-

I wanted to take a moment to let you know that our first day of school was exceptional. We had minimal bus concerns and school started on time in all buildings despite the rainy weather. As our district administrators visited all of our schools, students were engaged in learning and happy to be back in school.

I am sorry the opening was marred by the need to send out the copy of the press release but we were contacted by the press and I felt parents needed to have the information before it went public. We strive to be transparent and honest in our communication as we partner with you in the education of your children. Also we wanted to assure parents that we are committed to a safe educational environment for all students.

Our investigation continues and we are planning to hold a  meeting on Thursday for FHS  parents/guardians (details will be sent out on Wednesday). Our Crisis Counselor Maria Trozzi will facilitate this meeting to help FHS parents address many  issues this situation has put in the forefront. Ms. Trozzi spent two days working with the faculty at FHS and gave them the tools to address classroom issues and concerns. The staff  were give the tools to keep students focused the process of education. I can report that today, education at FHS was orderly and students were engaged and excited to be back in school.

We were able to celebrate the "Last First Day" at the old FHS.

We want to thank the many parents who have sent messages of support as we continue this investigation. If any parent  or student has information to share please contact my office or Principal Light as we  are committed to a resolution of this situation.

Thank you for your continued support,

This e-mail has been sent to you by FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT. To maximize their communication with you, you may be receiving this e-mail in addition to a phone call with the same message. If you wish to discontinue this service, please inform FRANKLIN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at (508) 613-1777.

Future Sculpture Park (video)

Saturday afternoon was such a gorgeous day, I had to be out and about to capture some photos and in this case a brief 5 minute video. I took a walk to highlight the development efforts for the sculpture park to be opened this fall on Panther Way. The park will be located on the ground of the old town pool next to the Police Station.

If you haven't been out there yet, do plan on going when the sculptures are in place. In the meantime, join me for this walk.

Additional information on the Sculpture Park can be found on the Franklin Art Center webpage.