Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New FHS - Jan 2014


FHS - Jan 2014, a set on Flickr.

Sunday was a good day to walk around Franklin with my camera. I had not been to the high school in a while so I wanted to see how complete the brickwork and exterior was.

Draft - Franklin School Calendar for 2014-15

The draft school calendar for the 2014-15 school year is available for review and discussion. It is currently scheduled for approval at the School Committee meeting on Jan 28th.

While the school calendar started early this year, one main reason was for school to end early and help with the move from the old high school to the new. Next year's calendar was scheduled to start late (i.e. after Labor Day) to enable more time for the move and settling into the new high school. Labor Day falls on Sep 1 this year!

You can view the proposed calendar here

Or go to the School Department webpage here

Report card changes coming to elementary schools

Report card changes that were supposed to implemented this school year have been moved out to next year. So parents should be aware that the report card format currently used does not align with the standards being taught in the classrooms. Parents should participate in one of the forums being scheduled to review the proposed changes to the report card.

Parent Meeting Schedule
Oak and Kennedy = Jan 22, 6:30 PM (at Oak St Library)
Keller and Davis Thayer = Jan 30, 6:30 PM (at Keller Library)
Jefferson and Parmenter = Feb 6, 6:30 PM (at Parmenter Library)
Weather date (if needed) = Feb 12, 6:30 PM (TBD)

The letter to the parents was posted to the Franklin Schools webpage here

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee : 2014 Annual Appeal

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee
Meeting Reminder
January 2014
We are writing today to ask for your renewed support for the Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC), a grassroots organization of volunteers dedicated to developing the Southern New England Trunkline Trail, an abandoned railroad line into a universally accessible recreational trail in our community.
Over the past year, many exciting events have been happening with the Committee and with the development of the rail trail. In particular, the FBRTC:
  • Hosted a number of events, including a trail cleanup day, a guided bike tour of the SNETT from Franklin to Blackstone, and an Autumn nature hike for children and adults.
  • Participated in a meeting with DCR, Representatives Roy (Franklin) and Kuros (Bellingham), Franklin Town Officials, YMCA staff, and Franklin Downtown Partnership representatives to discuss the Prospect Street crossing/tunnel.
  • Staff informational tables at local events to increase awareness of the trail
  • Worked to stop the use of motor vehicle use on the trail.
The FBRTC is a volunteer organization comprised of local citizens and local officials who care about our community and who are dedicated to developing a recreational trail that is universally accessible for all activities and generations.

I hope you feel, as we do, that the trail is a tremendous asset, and when fully developed, it will improve the livability of our communities. Your annual tax-deductible membership contribution will provide you with a voice in the rail trail effort, and help the FBRTC continue to advocate, develop, and educate citizens and public officials about the trail.

Please take a few minutes to renew online at www.FranklinBellinghamRailTrail.org/support.

Thank you.

Marc Kaplan, Chair
David Labonte, Vice Chair
Mark McKeown, Treasurer
Theresa Tomaino, Secretary
Charles Maurer, Assistant Secretary
p.s. Check our calendar of events for our January 26 wine tasting...
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www.franklinbellinghamrailtrail.org Visit us online
Upcoming Events
FBRTC Wine Tasting
Poor Richard's Wine and Spirits
January 26th, 2013
Read more
4nd Annual Road Race - Saturday, May 3, 2014
Read more

Latest News
FBRTC Installs No Motor Vehical Sign
Read more

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Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee · PO Box 68 · Franklin, Ma 02038 · USA

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Stephen Sherlock

Chair, Board of Directors (volunteer) for Franklin Food Pantry
Community Information Director (volunteer) for FranklinMAtters.org/ 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Reminder: the Holiday delays trash/recycle pickups one day this week

Monday, January 20 is a Federal holiday so trash and recycling pickup will be on a one day delay from your scheduled pick up day.

trash/recycle lined up for pickup
trash/recycle lined up for pickup

Waste Management had put additional resources to catching up from the problem pickups and did recover. This should be a 'normal' one day offset week. Note that the DPW sent a voice message that if you still have extra trash, you can put out the extra bags this week without a penalty for pickup.

Editorial: Resolving the Library dispute

In my role as the self-appointed Community Information Director, I present the details and leave the opinions aside. For the Library Board of Directors vs. Friends of the Library issue, this has gone on long enough and I can no longer sit idle on the sideline.

When the Library Board of Directors canceled the Book Sale run by the Friends of the Library, this was the ultimate move in a disintegrating relationship. The bi-annual book sale which raised about $10-20,000 per year was no more. The event held at the DPW that was a great community gathering was no longer. The Library proceeded to conduct their own regular and now a monthly book sale to raise funds in lieu of what the Friends would have been providing.

I attended the Board of Directors meeting in September. I also attended the Friends of the Library (FOFL) meeting this January. While there have been some personnel changes on both sides, the discussion doesn't seem to be making progress. During this recent FOFL meeting, no matter which side was leading the conversation, it would go down one of the rat holes of he-said/she-said with disappointing body language exhibited by the other side.

In the he-said/she-said, there is disagreement about timeliness of delivery of funds from the Friends to the Library, and there is disagreement about information requested by the Friends and not provided by the Library as an example of some of the issues. There is more but suffice to say, there is no point in trying to resolve this he-said/she-said.

Suffice to say there when some one plays in the mud, everyone gets dirty. Both sides have room to improve their behavior.

It is time to for both parties (Library Board and FOFL) to put the past aside. The real issue is the Library budget over the years. There is not sufficient funding for the Library to operate the way it used to or the way it should. For both sides to continue to squabble over the $10-20,000 from the book sale diverts attention from the real issue.

The people of Franklin need a library that functions well, is open for convenient hours, and provides appropriate services to meet the needs of the library users. The needs will change as technology changes. There will be need for less hardcover books and more ebooks for example.

The chart below shows the total Franklin Library budget from fiscal year 2005 through 2014. The peak year was in fiscal 2008 at $925,000. This year's budget is $237,000 less and both sides are arguing about $10-20,000? Come one, get real. Ten years of maximum book sales don't make up this years delta from the peak.

Franklin Library Budget History - total dollars FY 2006 - 2014
Franklin Library Budget History - total dollars FY 2006 - 2014

Frankly, the $10-20,000 is insignificant compared to the real budget issue. The budget currently covers the only the daily operating expenses.
  • What about the library renovations? That will need to come from the Franklin capital budget or perhaps the bonding capability that Franklin has. The proposal needs to be reviewed, discussed and supported. This seems to be on schedule for some time in March.
  • What about digitizing the archives of microfiche? Where will that money come from? Are there collections that Franklin has that others would like access to?
  • What about taking care of the original set of books from Benjamin Franklin that started the library as the first free and public library in USA? Do we really want our legacy and possibly most treasured possession to be "None of those books will ever be read again"? If you missed that story from November you can read it here http://www.franklinmatters.org/2013/11/none-of-those-books-will-ever-be-read.html

I respectfully encourage Franklin residents, taxpayers, and voters to talk with the members of Board of Directors AND the Friends of the Franklin Library. The next time you see one of them around town, tell them to put aside the past once and for all. Let's get on with solving the real mission of the library: providing a worthy resource center for all of Franklin residents young and old!

Let's not leave Ben wondering if he really did the right thing!

Benjamin Franklin statue outside Franklin Public Library
Benjamin Franklin statue outside Franklin Public Library

Information about both the Library Board of Directors and the Friends of the Franklin Library can be found here  http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_Library/about

Video tour of the new Franklin High School

From Pantherbook, you can take a student lead and produced tour of the new Franklin High School currently under construction. The video was put together by FHS students and finished in November 2013, posted to Pantherbook on Saturday.

Nice job!

The new school is going to an amazing facility that Franklin will be proud of.

Visit Pantherbook here http://pantherbook.org/

The video appears to have been recorded in late Oct or early November given the construction status of the building exterior. I compared the photo of Principal Peter Light in the opening of the video with photos of the same location in October and November.

My full collection of posts on the high school with an almost monthly set of photos can be found here

Public Meeting: Emmons St Building

So many of you have great ideas for the future use of the downtown Emmons Street property.  Please come and be part of the discussion!

See details below:

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014
7:00 PM

Franklin Municipal Building 355 East Central St
3rd Floor Training Room

Discount CPR/First Aid Training Offer for Franklin Matters readers

Act First EMS, Inc. is offering $60 off CPR and First Aid Training for ALL FranklinMatters.org readers on Jan 25th at our training center located at 247 E Central Street, Franklin, MA. (Next door to Hess on Rt 140)

ACT First EMS - 247 E Central St
ACT First EMS - 247 E Central St
Act First offers high quality Public training at all of our training centers and Private On-Site training all throughout New England.

View our upcoming classes and register: https://www.actfirstcpr.com/open
To save $60 use Coupon Code: FRANKLINMATTERS 

You MUST preregister to reserve a seat. This offer cannot be combined.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reminder: Ben Franklin Birthday Party

Celebrate Benjamin Franklin's birthday today at the Franklin Historical Museum. His birthday was actually Friday, Jan 17th but cake and refreshments are available today when the Museum is open from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

birthday cake from Ben's party in 2012
birthday cake from Ben's party in 2012

The notice as posted to the official Franklin.webpage

The Historical Museum can be found on Facebook. Click through to Facebook here

Franklin Food Elves Bring In Record Donations

The Franklin Food Elves’ 2013 “12 Days of Donating” campaign exceeded goals on all fronts, collecting more than 3 tons of goods and $6,700 to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry well into the new year.

The 75 Food Elves, together with Franklin Downtown Partnership businesses, collected 7,357 pounds of non-perishable goods and $6,700 in the food drive last December. That is a significant increase over 2012 when 50 Elves collected just over 4,200 pounds of goods and $5,700.
Franklin Downtown Partnership

“Thanks to the Food Elves’ hard work and commitment, the donations have helped fill our shelves, allowing us to continue serving local families,” says Linda Sottile, director of operations for the Franklin Food Pantry. “It is amazing how this effort has grown thanks to Melissa and Cameron Piana and the many, many elves who have joined in over the years. It is heartwarming to see so many youth of Franklin getting involved.”

“According to the 2013 Status Report on Hunger in Massachusetts recently released by Project Bread, there are 700,000 households in our state for whom having enough to eat is a struggle,” says Erin Lynch, director of development for the Food Pantry. “This impacts us locally, yet many still don’t realize the magnitude of the issue.

“The ‘12 Days of Donating’ generates community awareness that will have a significant positive impact long after the holidays are over,” Lynch continues. “We are so grateful to the Food Elves for their record-breaking success and for rallying such tremendous support. To each and every person who contributed we thank you on behalf of more than 600 families we serve.”

Food Elves co-founder Cameron Piana is proud of the hard work of the Elves, who went door to door in neighborhoods to collect food and other necessities. “Students like to get involved in community service projects that are fun but also have a big impact,” says Piana. “This group has definitely made an impact and we are really happy that we beat our goal by more than a ton this year.”

Local businesses were deeply involved in the campaign. DCU donated $3,000 and once again Berry Insurance donated $1,000. Eight local FDP member businesses placed a donation bin at their location and each pledged $200 if the Elves hit their goal. Those businesses were DCU, Dean Bank, Dean College, Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, Franklin Downtown Partnership, Jane’s Frames, Murphy Business and Pour Richard’s Wine & Spirits.

Support snowballed to include companies and organizations outside of Franklin who donated goods and dollars upon hearing about the campaign.

“It’s gratifying to see the community response to this effort,” says Nicole Fortier, Downtown Partnership president. “We want to thank everyone involved for going above and beyond and supporting this campaign.”

Franklin Food Pantry
Franklin Food Pantry

For more information about the Franklin Food Elves campaign please contact the Franklin Downtown Partnership at downtown.franklin@yahoo.com. For more information about the Franklin Food Pantry please call (508) 528-3115 or go to their website, www.franklinfoodpantry.org.

Pictured left to right, front row: Nicole Fortier, Dean Bank and Downtown Partnership; Erin Lynch, Franklin Food Pantry; Linda Sottile, Franklin Food Pantry; Beth MacBrian, DCU.  Second row:  Kevin Goffe, Dean Bank; Ann Williams, Pour Richard's Wine & Spirits; Cameron Piana, Food Elves Co-founder; Haley Frank, Food Elves Captain; Dave Drucker, Dean College; Jane Curran, Jane's Frames.  Third row:  Cam Strouse, Emily Shea, Karen Cunningham, Evan Strouse, Carter Castillo. 

Seven of the 75 Food Elves, left to right:  Karen Cunningham, Emily Shea, Haley Frank, Evan Strouse, Cameron Piana, Carter Castillo and Cam Strouse.

Poem-A-Day: A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

The Academy of American Poets publishes a daily email 'Poem-A-Day'. Today is Edgar Allen Poe's birthday.
Edgar Allan Poe was born 205 years ago today, in Boston, Massachusetts. Poe's work as an editor, poet, and critic had a profound impact on American and international literature, and his short stories mark him as one of the originators of both horror and detective fiction. Poe died on October 7, 1849.

A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.  
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream? 

Today's poem is in the public domain.

You can find the webpage version of this 'Poem-A-Day' here. Follow the link if you would also like to subscribe to receive your own copy of the daily email.

For more about Edgar Allen Poe you can read his entry on wikipedia here or on poets.org here

Franklin Girls Softball Registration

Registration for the 2014 season is open online for all age groups. Please visit the FGSA website at www.fgsafastpitch.org, and click on the registration button on the left hand side. There is just over two weeks left to register, so please sign up right away.

League fees will not be increased this year, Instructional and Intermediate will remain at $115 and Junior and Senior will stay at $135.
franklin girls softball
Franklin Girls Softball

**REMINDER - All Sixth graders should register for the Junior division and, just like last year, 6th graders will be placed in the division best suited for their skill set to ensure player safety.

There will also be a Walk-In Registration on January 25th at the Elks Club on 1077 Pond St. from 8:30am-11:30am for those that would like to pay with either cash or check.

Players eligible for the JUNIOR and SENIOR leagues, please "SAVE THE DATE" of March 8th for the skills session. It will be held at the Field House at FHS between 9am-3pm. Specific times will be emailed to you, like last year, for when your daughter should arrive, once registration closes.

"The opportunity to lead is a privilege that is earned"

The Milford Daily News reports on the Project 351 'Day of Service' that was held on Saturday. 8th grade students from around the Commonwealth gathered at the State Capital where Governor Deval Patrick was quoted as saying:
"I think having a sense of community is vital to solving every issue facing us, our commonwealth and our country," he said. "It's the notion that we have a common cause, a stake not only in our own struggles, but those of our neighbors as well." 
Ashland ambassador Julia Sicard asked Patrick if, as a youth, he thought he could be governor. Patrick said he had not, but was driven to politics by a desire to stop short-sighted policies. 
Project 351
Project 351
"I think the way we make government better is to make hard decisions now, which will pay off over time," he said. 
Rebekah Redwine, of Franklin, was among the students who led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

See more at: http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20140119/NEWS/140118635/1994/NEWS#sthash.0F9cM7f6.dpuf

For more information about Project 351 visit their webpage here  http://project351.com/

"the next generation of transportation"

The Milford Daily News provides an update on the Metrowest area's top 10 traffic and transportation challenges that were identified 10 years ago. There has been progress made.

9. I-495 at Rte. 119 in Littleton and I-495 at Rte. 140 in Franklin 
The Littleton area has seen work in conjunction with development, including a project with developer Sam Park to widen part of Rte. 119, reconstruct sidewalks and add signals and turn lanes. 
Crews improved the Rte. 140 area in Franklin in the mid-2000s by relocating and widening a 1.5-mile stretch of Rte. 140 and improving and widening the 140/495 interchange, according to the MassDOT website. Nagi said there are still some transportation challenges there, including parking at the nearby commuter rail station.

See more at: http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20140119/NEWS/140118592#sthash.Swa8pjX3.dpuf