Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Where in Franklin? 2013 #1

Where would you be in Franklin to take this photo?

where in Franklin? 2013 #1

Send an email, or leave a comment with your answer. First correct answer is the winner. Complete guidelines for "Where in Franklin?" can be found here
http://www.franklinmatters.org/2013/12/2013-where-in-franklin.html

2013 - Where in Franklin?


When:
As you have seen, I have posted pictures of the local scenes in and around Franklin. As we close out the 2013 calendar year, I'll post a picture and ask for your help to identify where it is in Franklin.

Who can play:
Anyone can play but realistically, I understand that this will limit participation to those readers who are Franklin area residents (or at least local neighbors).

What kind of picture:
The picture will be of something seen from the sidewalk, trail, or road while walking, or riding a bike or car. All pictures will be found within the confines of geographical Franklin. The picture should be something of beauty, specialness, architectural, natural or the like that is found within Franklin.

How to play:
If you recognize the picture, send me an email or leave a comment on the post identifying where the picture is or what it is of. Cross streets, street addresses, or significant defining descriptions accepted. In case of a tie in identification, the time stamp on the entry (to indicate the first correct answer) will determine the winner.

Prize:
The glory and honor for identification of the picture. I'll publish as much of your name or identification as you will allow me to.

Why am I doing this?
To help us all explore the real beauty of what we have here. Sure there are great sites to see when we travel but "there is no place like home". If this effort does just a little to help us better see, understand, and appreciate our own Franklin area, then it will have succeeded. This will unite my desire for "life long learning", my passion for the good customer experience, and of course, where I live today: Franklin.

Disclaimer:
This is meant to be a fun thing to do.
If this gets to be not fun, well, I'll give notice and stop.

Oh, and the residents of my immediate household are not eligible to play.

Did I miss anything?
Please, let me know.

Annual Report 2013: Town Council

As we get into the end of the year, the news will be relatively quiet. There are no more scheduled meetings for the Town Council, School Committee, etc. I'll fill in with some section from the Annual Report for 2013. Note that the report is for the Fiscal Year 2013 which ran from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. The info is generally accurate for that time period but portions of the data may be out of date.


On behalf of the Franklin Town Council, it is my pleasure to submit our annual report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013. 
On a positive note, on May 16, we passed a balanced budget that included no layoffs and no use of reserves. We have kept a busy schedule this past year and accomplished a lot with help from you, the citizens. The high school project began with shovel in the ground in the fall and is progressing on schedule for a September 2014 opening. 
The Franklin Garden Club once again did a magnificent job keeping the Town Common and the downtown area blooming. The Concerts on the Common Committee brought spectacular entertainment to liven your Wednesday nights during the summer months. On behalf of the Citizens, the Council thanks them for their efforts. 
The new Master Plan Committee presented their draft plan to the Council in July and had an open public comments period. The Master Plan Committee would like this action plan of goals, and objectives for the Planning Board and Town Council to use as a tool to be finally adopted in September. 
The Citizens Committee has provided valuable input to the Council on issues such as improving the quality of life of Franklin’s citizens, improving citizen participation, evaluating the permitting process and business development as a revenue stream. 
Remote Participation by a Council member remains a popular practice of the Council when travel/etc. keeps them away from a Council meeting. It works well and it assures the Citizen that they are getting the most representation possible. 
Franklin’s Government is supported by its many boards and committees that are largely staffed by volunteers. Let’s not forget our elected officials, as they are volunteers also. (Except Treasurer Collector position and Town Clerk position are not volunteer positions) Our volunteers are of the highest caliber. Everyone has talent to offer, whether serving on a board, council, or committee, weeding a garden, planning a concert, or chairing a meeting. Franklin is your town and this is your government and it needs your input. 
In closing, you can rest assured that the business of Franklin will continue. We will continue to work for you, the Citizen, and the Community that we all love. You can be assured that you have dedicated, competent, and professional individuals working and volunteering their time on your behalf. 
I want to thank our Town Administrator, Jeff Nutting, for his dedication and service and all of the Town employees who go to work every day and help to make this community a great place to live and work. 
On behalf of my fellow councilors, Andy Bissanti, Bob Dellorco, Glenn Jones, Matt Kelly, Tom Mercer, Judy Pfeffer, Tina Powderly, and Jeff Roy, I want to thank you for the opportunity you have given us to serve this great community. 
Respectfully Submitted, 
Robert Vallee
Chairman, Franklin Town Council

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building


Closing note: The section above was composed as early as May for the report to reflect the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2013. The Master Plan was approved by the Town Council. At the November election, new councilors were elected to replace Councilors Dellorco, Powderly and Roy who all chose not to run for re-election. The Treasurer/Collector position was also approved to move to an appointed position with the expiration of the current term.


The full annual report can be obtained from the Town Clerk's office (hard copy) or viewed and/or downloaded from the Franklin website here
http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_Clerk/annual/2013report.pdf

Annual reports of prior years can also be found online at
http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_Clerk/annual/


"there are a lot of people interested in this trail"

As an update to the story Milford Daily News has posted, there was a tunnel under Prospect St when the railroad operated. It was filled in years ago. The proposal being explored now would be to put a new tunnel in so the trail riders and walkers could go under Prospect St rather than over.
An underground tunnel is to be built at the section of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail that crosses Prospect Street, aiming to make the trek for bicyclists bound for Blackstone and beyond a little easier. 
The project has gotten a lot of attention recently from the state Department of Transportation and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which owns the 22-mile trail, thanks to the efforts of three local legislators — state Rep. Kevin Kuros, R-Uxbridge, state Sen. Richard Moore, D-Uxbridge, and state Rep. Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin. 
The former railway — one of the longest trails in southern Massachusetts — begins off Grove Street in Franklin State Forest on the east and extends through Bellingham, Uxbridge, Millville and Blackstone to Douglas State Forest on the west.




Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x915455540/Tunnel-slated-for-Trunkline-Trail-in-Franklin#ixzz2oIapwS9Q

For additional information on the Franklin and Bellingham Citizens Rail Committee you can visit them on the internet at http://www.franklinbellinghamrailtrail.org/
or on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Franklin-Bellingham-Rail-Trail-Committee/185258844899495

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Franklin's 5 Year Forecast - early view


This will be a good document to download, print out and then absorb in detail over your choice of morning beverage. This is an early view on the 5 year plan update scheduled to be finalized in Jan/Feb for Franklin.

Town Administrator Jeff Nutting walked through how the calculations were estimated during the December Finance Committee meeting. The key major departmental budgets are calculated for 'standard' increases. The labor contracts are all known so the increases can be forecasted.




Franklin Schools Capacity Summary

One of the more interesting worksheets handed out at the December Finance Committee meeting is this one. It summarizes the school building capacity status. The document is a printed version of a spreadsheet and one of the entries partially obscured when printed indicates that the numbers apparently remain to be validated by the School Dept/School Committee. While this is a "draft", it is worthy of sharing and discussion.

new Franklin High School
new Franklin High School

The new high school will open in September and according to the numbers shown will open at capacity (1600 students).

With the modular spaces being removed from the elementary schools, the number show that there will need to be some adjustment among the district population to take advantage of the extra capacity at some of the schools and shift from the tightness of space at other schools.

Davis Thayer's renovation options were reviewed at a meeting in August and of the three options presented, it really doesn't make a whole lots of sense to do anyone of them. The money required doesn't provide what is really needed. Never mind that the real money needed is just not availble.


Concert: St Mary's - Prolatio Singers


If you like beautiful music and would like to take a break from all the holiday craziness, there's a concert for you this Sunday evening at the St. Mary's Church in Franklin.

"Prolatio Singers" is a Franklin based accapella group, which was established more than a decade ago and is specialized in classical choir music. The music selection of this time's concert if full of the spirit of the holiday season. This concert starts at 7 pm, is free to the public and suitable for kids 6 and older.

For additional information on the schedule of holiday masses and events at St Mary's  http://www.stmarysfranklin.org/

For additional information on the Prolatio Singers
https://www.facebook.com/events/185706444967729/

"This effort speaks to the spirit of our community"

The Milford Daily News reports on the Food Elves update:
The pantry has said that the students’ efforts serve as a learning experience for them and others: "It’s a nice way for them to start to understand that there’s a need out there, and that they are able to make a difference in addressing it," pantry director of development Erin Lynch told The Daily News in November. 
State Rep. Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin, told of the elves success on Friday, said, "I am thrilled to hear that the Food Elves exceeded expectations for the food drive. This effort speaks to the spirit of our community and the will to make a difference in the lives of others. 
"Unfortunately, we have a great deal of people in need of assistance, but it’s gratifying to know that the work of the over 60 elves will make the holiday a bit brighter for those families."
Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x915455378/Franklin-students-to-give-local-pantry-a-hefty-gift#ixzz2oCbEdnuY


The status update was posted earlier this week to the Food Pantry and Downtown Partnership websites and share here



When the final tally of the food and money collected by the Food Elves is available in January, it will be shared in the same manner.

On behalf of our neighbors who will receive the benefits of this generosity, Thank you!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Carol's Christmas - Today and Tomorrow at Horace Mann

From contributor Lisa Buccella:
I haven't seen the rehearsals for this show but it sure to be funny, witty and entertaining.  Nick Paone wrote it and he is brilliant!  Take a break from the bustle today, tonight or tomorrow.  Student "rush" tickets are available for single seats for teens/young adults age 16-22.  

Carol's Christmas

Celebrate the Holidays with a Show!

Enjoy a brand new, original FPAC holiday musical Carol's Christmas on December 21 & 22!
  • FPAC premieres Carol's Christmas this season, a new contemporary musical comedy written by Nick Paone, who penned FPAC's popular Humbug!
  • Ring in the holidays with a large ensemble cast of 160 talented area performers as they sing and dance their way through this joyous, uplifting and hilarious story!
  • Carol's Christmas features an entertaining score with music of many genres and live musical accompaniment by members of the Kenny Hadley Big Band.
Click below to Buy your Nutcracker and Carol's Christmas tickets online


http://www.fpaconline.com/box-office.php


---------------------

And, if you head to The Cake Bar.....you may see have a cupcake with frosting that was made by Jack.  Over his break, he has been working there!  In fact, if you come to Carol's Christmas, you may actually see Jack as he is working there this weekend!  

Last Chance to Order a Holiday Platter!
The last day to order a holiday platter is Sunday, December 21st by 7:00!  Our holiday platters include:
12" Platter - 30 pieces - $33.75
21 assorted mini cupcakes
3 mini pumpkin bars
3 assorted truffles
3 frosting shots
14" Platter - 41 pieces - $45.50
30 assorted mini cupcakes
4 mini pumpkin bars
4 assorted truffles
3 frosting shots
16" Platter - 55 pieces - $61.00
40 assorted mini cupcakes
6 mini pumpkin bars
6 assorted truffles
3 frosting shots 
PLEASE NOTE, THE BAKERY CLOSES AT 12:00pm  ON DECEMBER 24TH AND RE-OPENS AT 9:00am ON FRI, JANUARY 3RD.

You can visit The Cake Bar downtown or online here  http://thecakebaronline.com/

Pay your Franklin water/sewer/trash bills online

Did you know you could pay your Franklin bills online?
You can also get notification of the bill via email. This saves paper and can be more efficient for Franklin and you.

This one page handout was on the table in the entrance area at the Municipal Building.



You can pay your Franklin bills online here
https://unipaygold.unibank.com/Default.aspx?customerid=721

Note the link is available from the official Franklin home page. You can find the link in the lower left corner of the menu.  http://town.franklin.ma.us/


Franklin, MA: Committee openings


The following Committee have openings:


Franklin Disabilities Commission

Franklin Housing Trust Fund - Maxine Kinhart 508-553-4886


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

http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_News/01B2AF2D-000F8513.0/TOWN%20OF%20FRANKLIN%20VOLUNTEER%20FORM.pdf

Six One Seven Studios: Use Facebook to Easily Grow Your Business




Six One Seven Studios December Newsletter Is this email not displaying correctly?
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December 2013

• How To Use Facebook Advertisements
• Facebook Advertisement Best Practices


Check out our new website.

Click here!

Friend on Facebook Facebook
Follow on Twitter Twitter

Let's start with why you spend money on Facebook and how it can help you reach customers.

Facebook has more than 1 billion registered users and 618 million daily active users, with those totals continuing to grow. If you sponsor a page or posts and target your ads to a specific audience, you can actually:
  • Grow your Facebook audience.
  • Increase traffic.
  • Boost visibility in the market.
  • Generate leads.
Leveraging this capability by creating highly targeted campaigns will result in more successful ads. Think about who you are targeting and why. Who are the main users of your product / service?

Is a majority male, female or both?
Are your customers typically older or younger?
Where are most of your clients coming from?
Use Facebook Insights, Insights provide measurements on your Page's performance and are available after at least 30 people like your Page. Find anonymized demographic data about your audience, and see how people are discovering and responding to your posts. This will help you get an idea of the gender, age and location of individuals who like your page and use this data when creating your ads. Learn more how to access Insights click here.
The individuals who like your page indicate the type of people who would respond positively to your ads. Focus your ads around these statistics and choose options that make sense.
Customize Ads to Your Target Market
Once you've focused your target market, the next step is creating ads that cater to that particular group. If the majority of your client base is female, create ads that speak to women. If your brand relates to adventure and family fun, add a photo of a family and create an exciting statement with a call to action.
Create Ads That Stand Out
Since businesses are only allotted one thumbnail photo and a maximum of 135 characters, you've got to make it count. Use clear, up-close images to really make an impact. Avoid images that are ambiguous or zoomed out. People are more apt to click on ads that interest them and draw in their attention; vibrant and clear images are attention grabbers. It is also important to have interesting text along with your image to encourage a click. An enticing photo may cause individuals to look, but the text is what ultimately makes someone click.

Here is an example of an ad that stands out. American Express created an ad that said "Small business owner? Earn points faster for your business. Click here to learn more!" American Express ads are consistently great. The headline and the first line of body copy are questions. There is a "Click here" for the benefit call to action.


The later is clearly more catchy, invokes the readers' interest, and includes a call to action. Using text that makes an impact is very important to the success of your ad. Specials and discounts are also catchy and can be successful in advertisements.
Continuously Test Your Ads
Continue to test your ads to find out what works and what doesn't. It's beneficial to run several ads for a certain period of time and see how they perform. Switch up the pictures or text in ads that aren't performing well and look for any measurable improvements. Run the successful ads in a campaign, but remember, people are continuously changing their tastes and new trends surface, so it's important to always re-evaluate your target market and create ads accordingly.
Facebook is the most affordable way to reach a huge number of customers and make them aware of your company's product or service.

1. Strong Call To Action: Always include a clear, simple call to action in your Ad's copy like "Click now"

2. Offers & Discounts: Clearly highlight the benefits (features, discount, special promo) of your product

3. Fun Images: Use a catchy image relevant with the text. The image is the most important element of the Ad.

4. Get To The Point: Text in your ad needs to be right on target and straight to the point. If you want them to Like your page, simply ask. If you want to sell a point, get right to it.   
Six One Seven Studios provides complete video, media and graphic services to help get your project from start to finish. Although, if you asked us what we really do, we help people tell their story. We help them tell it well. We help them tell it powerfully. We help them be noticed. We capture the highest quality images and concepts to make your story stand out. We ensure that every project captures and communicates the right message and gets the right results.

Copyright © 2013 Six One Seven Studios, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have contacted Six One Seven Studios in the past.

Our mailing address is:
Six One Seven Studios
430 Franklin Village Drive
Box 120
Franklin, MA 02038

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In the News: false collections, EPA compliance

Franklin man charged with falsely collecting unemployment benefits

Four people, including a Franklin man, have been charged in connection with collecting a combined total of more than $132,000 in unemployment benefits while still working, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

Kennedy: EPA compliance costs high for local communities

U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III has co-written a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, requesting the agency detail its plan to help cities and towns throughout the country shoulder the cost to comply with environmental regulations.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Franklin's portion of the Norfolk County Retirement System

Unfunded liability is an item of discussion for the Franklin budget. There are two areas of unfunded liability. The Norfolk County Retirement System and the towns own post-retirement benefit liabilities. Town administrator Jeff Nutting reviewed this worksheet with the Finance Committee at the December meeting. It was the first time that Franklin had received such detail from Norfolk County.

As you read the table in the attachment below, FRA is the Franklin line. We have an outstanding liability of $36.4M.



How Franklin will save to pay for this unfunded liability will continue to be a discussion item each budget cycle.