Sunday, September 8, 2013

"I don’t really see it getting better"

The Milford Daily News reports on the increasing demands seen by MetroWest area food pantries. The Franklin Food Pantry was among those quoted:
At the Franklin Food Pantry, Director of Development Erin Lynch said the pantry distributed 186,000 pounds of food in its most recent fiscal year, up 24 percent from the prior fiscal year. Lynch, like other pantry leaders, noticed many clients have jobs but are still unable to afford food amid rising costs of living and inadequate pay. 
"I think it takes along time for families to feel the impact, even if the economy is getting better" Lynch said. "We really haven’t seen evidence on our end yet (of improvements)." 
Lynch said the pantry hopes in the next year to work with other community groups to better understand what causes food insecurity and how to improve the situation without just distributing more and more food. Items they could look at is improving job skill training resources, she said.
Read more:

What can you do to help the Food Pantry?One easy way is to buy a ticket to our fund raising wine tasting event coming up Thursday, Sep 12. Tickets are available online at or at the Food Pantry (in the Roackland Trust parking lot downtown Franklin).

Franklin Library: School tool carriers

The craft this Monday at the Library is to decorate your own pencil or school tool kit.

school tool carriers

This was re-posted from the Franklin Public Library webpage

For other activities and events at the Library follow them on Facebook too

In the News: apple crop, tree backlash

Farmers expecting robust apple crop

Agriculture officials and apple growers said this week that they are looking forward to a blockbuster fall and said customers have already been streaming in to pluck the season’s first apples off the trees.

Local utility companies deal with tree-cutting backlash

More than a year ago, dozens of residents in MetroWest had just about had it with NStar. They angrily packed local meeting halls and wrote letters to their representatives, urging leaders to do something.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Franklin Newcomers and Friends to meet on Wednesday, Sep 11

The Franklin Newcomers and Friends meeting will be held Weds, Sep 11 at 3 Restaurant on RT 140. Details can be found in the flyer shown here:

For additional information about the club and its activities, visit their website

Apple Picking Season opens at Fairmount Fruit Farm

Fairmount Fruit Farm
                Apple Season
Dear Stephen,
 The cool nights have given beautiful color to our apples. In the store we currently have Paula Red apples that we have been picking for a couple of weeks and well as Macintosh apples the we have just started picking.
The stand is full of peaches, nectarines as well as a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. We have a variety of local products and baked goods ranging from local coffee to homemade breads and jams.
   U-pick Apples 
 This Saturday marks the first day we will be open for U-pick which starts at 10 a.m. and will go till 4 p.m. You will be able to take a hayride into to the orchard and pick plenty of perfectly tree ripened apples.
Hayride is included with the purchase of a 1/2 bushel or peck bag.

For more information about picking or the farm stand please visit our website. or Call us at
 Do not forget about the homemade apple fritters!

Fairmount Fruit Farm                    

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

Franklin Library: Teen Book Club - Sep 25

The next Teen Book Club meeting will be held on Wednesday Sep 25th at 6:30 PM. The book for discussion will be the CS Lewis "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"

Bottle Can Drive today

FHS boy’s hockey can, bottle drive is Saturday, Sept. 7

The Franklin High School boy’s hockey team will hold its annual can and bottle drive on Saturday, Sept. 7, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., at Pirelli Veteran’s Arena, 910 Panther Way, Franklin.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Farmers Market - Town Common - noon to 6:00 PM

Yes, even with school back in session and summer over, the Farmers Market is still open every Friday through October.

farmers market sign downtown

Stop by to get fresh produce!

farmers market on a sunny day

Representative Roy's September Office Hours

Boston, MA -- State Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) announced today that constituent office hours will be held in Medway & Franklin for the Month of September on the following days:

Medway – Saturday September 14th, 10:00-11:00AM, Medway Public Library, Room: Cole A – 26 High Street, Medway, MA

Franklin – Saturday September 28th, 10:00-11:00AM, Franklin Public Library – 118 Main Street Franklin, MA

Christopher Yancich, his legislative aide, will be accompanying him.

Representative Roy stated that all office hours are open to any residents of Franklin and Medway who may have questions or concerns that they wish to bring to his attention.  Walk-ins are welcome; no appointment necessary. He looks forward to hearing from you.
He also invites all constituents to call him at his State House office at (617) 722-2400, stop by Room 134 in the State House, or email him at

Pam's Run for Neighbor Brigade

Today marks "One Month Until Pam's Run for Neighbor Brigade"

To sign up to run:

To donate:

Six One Seven Studios September Newsletter

Six One Seven Studios | 430 Franklin Viilage Drive | Box 120 | Franklin | MA | 02038

"1.3 megawatts of energy from a solar farm"

Another solar farm is coming to Franklin. Along with the current installation at Mount St Mary's Abbey, the Tri-County Regional Voc Tech is getting into solar.

Tri-County reached a deal with SunEdison Inc., a global company specializing in solar power, that will save it an estimated $1.8 million on energy costs over the next two decades. 
After the contract expires, it can renew the contract or ask SunEdison to remove the panels.
The installation will be built atop four acres of grounds behind the school, with construction beginning in the spring or summer of 2014. 
Power generated from the ground-mounted panels will account for roughly 85 percent of the school’s overall energy use, according to John Roy, Tri-County’s business administrator.

Read more:

Photos of the solar farm at Mount St Mary's can be found here
June -
July -


Massachusetts Recovers Millions in Revenue by Reducing Employer Fraud and Worker Misclassification

BOSTON – Thursday, September 5, 2013 – Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein today announced Massachusetts has recovered more than $21 million over an 18-month period in owed revenue recaptured through the collaborative work of the state's Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification (the Joint Task Force). This recovered amount is greater than the sum of all previous years combined as detailed in the Joint Task Force's 2012 Annual Report.

In March 2008, Governor Deval Patrick established the Joint Task Force to restore fairness to the Massachusetts economy by addressing employer fraud and misclassification. Working towards this goal, the Joint Task Force is composed of various state agencies including representatives from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD), as well as other executive branch agencies, the Office of the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division, the Office of the Treasurer's Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission and the Insurance Fraud Bureau.

"Thanks to Governor Patrick's leadership, the Joint Task Force continues to successfully work together to confront fraud and abuse among employers, to provide an equal playing field for all businesses to compete in Massachusetts and to protect workers," said Secretary Goldstein. "While each participating agency has the ability to recoup revenue on its own, our collective efforts provide greater enforcement and compliance, yields significantly more in revenue for the Commonwealth and delivers better outcomes for both employees and employers in the state."

Joint Task Force agencies work together to reduce fraud and abuse within the "underground economy," a term often referred to those individuals and businesses that choose to conceal or misrepresent their employee population to avoid one or more of their responsibilities related to wages, payroll taxes, insurance, licensing, safety or other regulatory requirements. Often the employees are mischaracterized as independent contractors or paid in cash to avoid these obligations. The underground economy also encompasses other activities such as tax evasion, payroll fraud, under-the-table work and wage theft.

"The collaborative efforts of the Joint Task Force have worked successfully to bring businesses and individuals into compliance with our state laws," said Attorney General Martha Coakley. "The money recovered this year demonstrates both the scope of the problem and our aggressive response to combat fraud and abuse.  As the state's sole wage enforcement authority, our office will continue to take action to protect workers, stop unlawful business practices and level the playing field for all companies."

The Joint Task Force's 2012 Annual Report describes a breakdown of recovered funds and details noteworthy accomplishments and results achieved between July 2011 and December 2012, the most recent period of available collected data. During this 18-month period, Massachusetts recouped $21.39 million in owed revenue and ensured greater compliance with the state's labor, licensing and tax laws.

Among notable accomplishments was the collection and disbursement of $1.17 million in unreported wages by subcontractors on the Marriott Copley Place, Boston (Host Hotels) renovation project, following a multi-month Joint Task Force investigation that began in the fall of 2011. Joint Task Force agencies also identified sub-minimum wage payments to workers; employers without workers' compensation insurance policies; misclassification of workers; and unpaid Unemployment Insurance taxes by contractors and subcontractors working on this renovation project.

"The Joint Task Force is an excellent example of good government at its best and is validated by proven results," said Heather Rowe, Director of the Department of Labor Standards and Interim Director of the Joint Task Force. "Along with our success stories, we are increasing awareness and forging a successful partnership among responsible business owners, labor, advocates, and government to bring fair employment conditions to Massachusetts and stem unfair competitive advantages some individuals seek."

Member agencies of the Task Force also regularly conduct cross agency compliance checks. An example of this cooperative partnership included a joint effort between DUA's Revenue Audit Department, the Alcohol Beverages Control Commission, Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, Department of Career Services, Department of Industrial Accidents and Department of Labor Standards to track down unpaid taxes, fees and assessments. Over this 18-month period, the state recovered more than $17 million from employers in unpaid unemployment taxes. Of this $17 million, close to $13 million was generated in 2012 alone, nearly double the amount collected in 2011. 

"The work of the Task Force is invaluable in reducing the growth of the underground economy in the state's construction industry," said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. "Taking on the illegal practices of wage theft, misclassification and tax and insurance fraud creates a more level playing field, which ultimately benefits legitimate employers, tradesmen and women and taxpayers."

"When businesses cheat in the underground economy, it is very tough for good businesses to compete," said Greg Beeman, President of the Massachusetts Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. "This, in turn, means fewer legitimate 'above ground' jobs for Massachusetts' workers. In hard hit industries like construction, what Secretary Goldstein and the Task Force are doing to keep a level playing field is an important part of the recovery."

Now in its fifth year, the Joint Task Force is focused on an expanded set of goals and objectives including: 1) Advancing technological capabilities for capturing and tracking referrals; 2) Building upon existing channels of multi-state and federal cooperation and maximizing future potential cooperation; 3) Completing the Task Force research study on employee misclassification and the underground economy in Massachusetts; creating education and outreach material for businesses and workers; 4) Continuing to provide and expand cross-agency training opportunities; expanding Task Force partnerships outside the Executive Branch Agencies; and 5) Working towards implementing objectives to achieve the strategic goals set by EOLWD to increase transparency in government as part of Governor Patrick's MassResults Plan.

To learn more about the Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification or to read the Massachusetts Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification 2012 Annual Report, visit

Workers who believe that their rights have been violated and businesses who believe they are at an economic disadvantage because of unscrupulous competitors are strongly urged to call the Attorney General's Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or the Joint Task Force Referral Line at (877) 965-2267, email tips to, or visit the Joint Task Force website at to submit complaints. More information about the wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the Attorney General's Workplace Rights website at

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sculpture Park update

In my prior visit to the Sculpture Park, I took a video and speculated on what would happen to cover the gap in the bank. Now I know and you can see that they have covered this water way very nicely.

water way covered

water way covered

back side of over grown pool

at the end of the trail

front side of pool

For more info about the Sculpture Park, visit the Franklin Art Center webpage

Contributions to help fund the construction of the park are still welcomed!

Related posts:
If you missed the video, you can view it here

Road Construction: Crescent St

On my weekend walk around Franklin, the sidewalks and base coat for the reconstructed road are almost done. Given the standard practice that Franklin has used, the road will remain like this until spring when the final asphalt coat will be applied.

Crescent St -sidewalk closed

Crescent St - road work

Fallen Hero - PFC Marshall Rollins
Coincidentally, Crescent St is the location of one of the Fallen Heroes signs that was covered here recently. PFC Rollins was in the 4th Marines Division and died from wounds received on Iwo Jima. My father was also in the 4th Marines and was one of the lucky ones to have walked off Iwo Jima.

If you missed the Fallen Heroes series you can find the collection here