Tuesday, December 3, 2013

FHS Hockey Season Preview

With the cold weather already here, Franklin High School is turning their attention indoors to the winter sports with teams starting practice this week in preparation for the new season.

Coach Chris Spillane and the boy's hockey team are one to watch for after coming off Hockomock League and Division 2 South championships last year. This year the team will face new challenges, "we were moved up to the Division 1 level and will be challenged in our non-league schedule," says Spillane.

Try-outs started Monday morning and after coming off a successful season and with all the new challenges they face, there will be no time to rest. Along with tryouts, the next two weeks see four scrimmages and opening night on December 18 at Canton.

 "Our coaching staff relies on the players to train pre-season and show up for tryouts ready to go," says Spillane.

Canton and Mansfield will be two league rivals to watch out for along with Malden Catholic and Springfield Cathedral on the schedule who pose "extreme challenges". Despite a tough schedule, Coach Spillane is confident in his group of returning goaltenders, who will all be playing their fourth year on the team.

Their first home game is December 20 at 5 p.m. against Malden Catholic.

Contributed by Elyse Brightman

Christmas trees at Akin-Bak

In addition to the produce and honey at the farm stand, Akin-Bak has Christmas trees! They are open from 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM through Christmas Eve

Akin-Bak Christmas Trees

For additional info you can find Akin-Bak on the web at  http://www.akinbakfarmllc.com/

or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AkinBakFarm

Note: the photo was 'borrowed' from the Akin-Bak Facebook page!

Hockomock Field Hockey - Hock 5

HockomockSports.com announces the Hock5 awards for Field Hockey including:

  • Maddie Bressler and Kelly Dubowski were named to the 1st Team representing Franklin's Field Hockey team.
  • Tara Doherty and Marta Vesprille were named to the 2nd Team. 
  • Lisa Cropper was named Coach ofthe Year for the 15-3-2 record, #6 seed, D1 South Quarterfinals performance.

Read the full listing for Field Hockey here

Representative Roy's December Office Hours

State Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) announced Monday that constituent office hours will be held in Medway and Franklin for the Month of December on the following days:

  • Medway – Thursday December 12th, 7:30-8:30AM, Medway Council on Aging, 76 Oakland Street, Medway, MA
  • Franklin – Thursday December 19th, 8:30-9:30AM, Franklin Senior Center– 10 Daniel McCahill 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 Jeffrey.Roy@MAhouse.gov.

In the News: blood drive, property values

Blood drive in Franklin to honor Meredith Green

In honor of Meredith Green, friends and family will host a Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Blood Drive, Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Franklin Public Library, 118 Main St. Meredith was a member of the Franklin High School Class of 2008.

Franklin's proposed fiscal 2014 property values released

The Board of Assessors this week released proposed property values for fiscal year 2014, showing increases for both residential and commercial properties.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Consider #GivingTuesday so the Food Pantry can provide every day!

Thanksgiving and the other end of year holidays bring many folks around a dinner table to enjoy a good meal with the family and friends. While the awareness of hunger is heightened during this time of year, the reality is such that hunger is a year round problem.

The Franklin Food Pantry looks for ways to enable a sustaining volume of donations so that those they serve can be provided for throughout the year.

For #givingTuesday, there are several ways you can help the Food Pantry.

You can help in the following ‘traditional’ ways

  • Donate food or non-food items. Why non-food items? For those on WIC or SNAP benefits, purchases of personal health care products are restricted. A person needs those just as much as healthy food to live a good life. Review the listing of non-food items for the Healthy Futures shelf.

  • Donate money through the Food Pantry website with a one time payment, or set up a recurring payment. The website allows for payments from bank accounts or credit cards.

For the holiday season you might consider

  • The Franklin Food Elves will be collecting for the Food Pantry in their annual "12 Days of Giving" campaign.  "More than 60 Food Elves will be collecting goods in neighborhoods around Franklin. If you don't have an Elf in your neighborhood, you can still participate in the food drive! Look for the red collection bins at participating Franklin Downtown Partnership member businesses. For additional information, check here.

  • Buying a ticket or two, or more for “A Christmas Carol, Times Two!” A dramatic reading of the classic story  Charles Dickens with musical accompaniment. Thursday, Dec 12th at the Franklin United Methodist Church. Tickets $10 per person. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in advance through BrownPaperTickets.com/, either on-line or by calling their 24/7 toll-free number 1-800-838-3006  For additional details on this performance check here.

You can also help by

  • Purchasing a “Franklin Pride” bead or necklace or bracelet. These items are carefully crafted in the Franklin blue and buff colors and make great gifts throughout the year. Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day to mention just a few. A percent of the purchase price comes to the Food Pantry thanks to the collaboration with Beads for a Cause

  • Consider “Sponsoring a Shelf”. Contact Erin Lynch, Development Director to discuss how this would work for your budget. She can provide examples of items (peanut butter or toilet paper for example) that the Food Pantry uses on a regular basis. Your donation could provide the funds to keep a shelf stocked with that item for a set period of time. Your name (business or family) would be placed on the shelf to help provide recognition for your contribution.

  • Last but not least, you can find the Franklin Food Pantry on Facebook. “Like” the page and enable notifications to your timeline as the Food Pantry makes updates so you will always be “in the know”. Share items you find are worthy with your friends and neighbors so the Food Pantry can reach all of the Franklin user on Facebook!

  • If you have a Twitter account, you can also find and follow the Food Pantry

When you sit for your next meal, please give thanks for what you have. Please consider giving when you can to help the Food Pantry provide for others in Franklin throughout the year.

This was first posted on the Franklin Food Pantry website

Note: I am privileged to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Franklin Food Pantry

Santa Claus arrives in Franklin

If the rain kept you away from the Town Common Sunday afternoon, this brief video will take you there to see Santa arrive.

Thanks to the "Concerts on the Common" for putting this together. Everyone who was there had a smile on their face!

Screening of Dalai Lama interview Dec. 11 at Franklin Federated

On Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 7 PM the public is invited to a special screening of an exclusive interview with the Dalai Lama that was conducted by theologian Lloyd Geering. The recording will be shown at the Franklin Federated Church, 171 Main Street. 
The up-close and personal interview by the two spiritual scholars was the only interview given by the Dalai Lama during a 2013 visit to New Zealand. 
The showing is being cosponsored by Franklin Federated Church and the Franklin Interfaith Council. There is no charge for admission but there will be a free will offering to benefit the Interfaith Council's fuel assistance fund.
Franklin Federated Church

Tiffany Vail Miller
Communication Director
Franklin Federated Church

Hockomock Sports recognizes Irvine, McCue

Lauren Irvine represents Franklin High School on the Hock 5 Volleyball All Star First Team. Dayna McCue received Honorable Mention.

You can find the full listing of the HockomockSports.Com 2103 Volleyball awards here

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda, Dec 4, 2013

October 16, 2013









1. Resolution 13-82 : Adoption of Town Council Procedures Manual
2. Resolution 13-83: 505 West Central Street – A Private Way Acceptance of Covenant with Owner
3. Resolution 13-84: Confirmatory Order of Taking – Land at 37 Beaver Street
4. Bylaw Amendment 13-725: Amendment to Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic – 1st Reading
5. Bylaw Amendment 13-724: Amendment to Chapter 82, Appendix A, List of Service Fee Rates- 2nd Reading





Real Property, Fire Negotiations


Franklin, MA: Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

The full set of documents for this meeting as released can be found here

FY 2014 Proposed New Assessed Values

The Board of Assessors has posted the following notice on the assessed values for Fiscal year (FY) 2014. The property values are increasing which is good on two counts: 1 - a sign of the economic conditions improving (2) this should also mean that the property tax rate will go down when it is set in December.

Note as reported here annually, the rate goes up when property values go down, and the rate goes down when the property values go up. In either case, the amount of tax levy usually increases. How much we will be asked to pay individually will vary on a number of factors.

FY 2013 property tax rate info

FY 2012 property tax rate info

Affordable housing for sale

As posted on the Franklin webpage, there is affordable housing for sale. There are strict income requirements for this condominium in Benjamin's Landing. You also need to be a first time buyer.

Where is Benjamin's Landing Lane?

A Christmas Carol, Times Two!

"A Christmas Carol Times Two!", a dramatic reading performance of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" combined with traditional 19th century English Christmas carols will happen on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7PM at the Franklin United Methodist Church, 82 West Central Street in Franklin, Massachusetts.

"Englishman Thomas Hutchinson, Traveling Thespian" portrayed by actor Al LePage, complete with English accent and Victorian-era clothing, will give his dramatic reading performance based on Dickens' very own historic script as a one-man show using only his voice, facial expressions and gestures to create some 18 characters.

Organist and local minister Rev. Dr. Dianne Carpenter will weave organ music between various scenes to set the tone for what's to come and entertain. This is a special benefit performance hosted by the Franklin United Methodist Church with all proceeds to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry. Admission is $10 per person and the performance is best appreciated by both adults and children 7 years of age and older.

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in advance through BrownPaperTickets.com/, either on-line or by calling their 24/7 toll-free number 1-800-838-3006, and if still available, at the door the day of event. 

Doors for the performance open at 6:30PM, the fun begins at 6:45PM, and seating is general admission.

Festive Fun at the Holiday Stroll December 5

Come celebrate the sights, sounds and sweet tastes of the holiday season at the Franklin Holiday Stroll on Thursday, December 5, from 4 p.m to 7 p.m. The evening promises fun for the whole family, including a visit from Santa, holiday crafts, live entertainment, tempting treats and seasonal shopping deals at local businesses.
Franklin Downtown Partnership

The Stroll will begin with a traditional tree lighting, complete with carolers, gingerbread men and hot cocoa, at 4 p.m. in front of Dean Hall on the Dean College Campus. From there revelers can stroll through downtown Franklin and explore the festivities at more than 30 participating businesses. A complete listing of each location’s special offerings will be available at the tree lighting and at participating locations.

“Downtown Franklin really shines during the Holiday Stroll,” says Roberta Trahan of the Franklin Downtown Partnership and co-chair of the event. “Families can make an evening of it. They can visit Santa, do a little shopping, listen to a handbell choir, have dinner together, and explore new shops, all while staying close to home.”

Fresh from the tree lighting, visitors can stop by Dean Bank to decorate gingerbread men and hear enchanting performances by the students of the Mount St. Charles Hand Bell Choir at 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.

At Santa’s Workshop next to Rockland Trust Bank, the Franklin Girl Scouts will help little ones write letters to Santa and create holiday crafts from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Santa himself will greet children at Simon’s Furniture from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Around the corner from Simon’s, new business Terry Louison Photography invites everyone to stop in for a portrait at the holiday-themed photo booth.

There will be plenty of opportunities to do some holiday shopping at participating businesses. Browse for locally made gifts, plan a holiday party, pick up a gift certificate and catch some martial arts demonstrations while staying warm at the “Holiday Bazaar” located inside the Depot Plaza building next to Acapulco’s on Main Street.

Music and entertainment will fill the downtown. Milford radio station WMRC 1490-AM will broadcast holiday music live at the event. Dean College’s costumed carolers and its a cappella group, Vocal Conviction, will sing at the tree lighting. Franklin High School groups Take 5 and The Salzillo Jazz Trio will appear at downtown locations, and the Franklin Dance Company will entertain the crowds outside Simon’s.

Other venues around town not to be missed include Jane’s Frames, where musician Jamie Barrett will perform, and the Fire Station, which will have a fire engine for the kids to climb upon.

With all of these activities, visitors will work up an appetite. Many businesses will lure shoppers through their doors with holiday treats and warm beverages, and several downtown restaurants will offer meal deals that night.

While strolling, visitors will notice red collection bins at many locations. The Franklin Food Elves, a charitable community service group, will be collecting non-perishable goods for the Franklin Food Pantry as part of the “12 Days of Donating” campaign. The food drive will run through the first two weeks of December.

“It’s important to remember that the holidays are also a time to give back, and in that vein the Franklin Downtown Partnership is working with the Food Elves to help make the ‘12 Days of Donating’ drive another big success,” says Gregg Chalk, Holiday Stroll co-chair. “Last year, due to the generosity of our community, the Food Pantry had resources that lasted into March. We are proud to work with these students and make such a difference.”

The Food Elves will have a drop-off bin placed at the tree lighting ceremony and at Partnership member businesses including Dean College, Dean Bank, DCU, Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, the Franklin Downtown Partnership office, Jane’s Frames, Murphy Business and Pour Richard’s Wine & Spirits.

This year’s Holiday Stroll is made possible by Platinum Sponsor Big Y World Class Market, and by Gold Sponsors Dean Bank, Dean College, DCU and Middlesex Savings Bank. Silver Sponsors are D. G. Ranieri Real Estate, Local Town Pages Franklin and Franklin Ford, and Bronze Sponsors are the Franklin Girl Scouts of Southeastern Massachusetts and Simon’s Furniture.

For more information about the Holiday Stroll contact co-chairs Gregg Chalk, gchalk@dean.edu, or Roberta Trahan, roberta_icu1@verizon.net.

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization made up of business owners, community leaders and residents working to revitalize downtown Franklin. For more information about the Partnership please go to our website, www.franklindowntownpartnership.org/, or contact Executive Director Lisa Piana at (774)571-3109 or downtown.franklin@yahoo.com.

In the News: beavers, Christmas trees

Beavers remain a pest

The flat-tailed, long-toothed rodents making dams across MetroWest are causing headaches for homeowners, even as environmentalists say beavers are a precious part of the local ecosystem.

More people buying local Christmas trees

On a cold, crisp Friday morning this past week, Eleanor Zelnick was all smiles as she took pictures of family members at Ellsworth Tree Farm.