Saturday, January 25, 2014

Vani Hari aka the Food Babe, Takes On The Industry

Jonathan Fields is running a series of videos called the Good Life Project. He interviews a variety of really interesting folks to find out more about them, what they do and what they think a good life means. In this segment, he talks with Vani Hari, the Food Babe, who is doing some really good work in understanding what we are eating and what that 'food' is really doing to us. Watching the interview is well worth the 35 minutes to find out about Vani's story, what got her into this food research, then you can go to her website or Facebook page for the details on what to do (or not do).

"workshop on how to build a rain garden"

Through a $16,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the town has partnered with the Charles River Watershed Association to create a two-year rain garden training program, the first of its kind in Massachusetts. 
rain garden at Parmenter School
rain garden at Parmenter School
The training is to feature a classroom component where participants will learn how rain gardens work as a natural filter for polluted stormwater runoff, said Pallavi Mande, who is organizing the program for the association. 
The other component will be class trips to a sample garden at the Department of Public Works headquarters on Fisher Street. The educational excursions, Mande said, should prove "a successful way to get people motivated, rather than just providing outreach on the benefits of a rain garden. 
"People don’t feel compelled to take action until they get a little more in terms of training," she added.

See more at:

The rain garden project is looking for a catchy name, you can find out more about this and submit your idea here

"a false perception that the industry is dying"

During a manufacturing roundtable, he and state Rep. Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin, began the process of eliciting feedback from leaders in the industry on what they’ll need to improve and build those connections. Fourteen manufacturers, a fraction of the more than 7,000 companies in the state, attended, along with other lawmakers, public officials and Tri-County administrators. 
Tri-County cut its manufacturing program in 2002 in response to a decline in interest, closing its machine shop, said Superintendent Stephen Dockray. But, he said, voc-tech schools are prepared to provide a solution to the workforce shortage as long as they can get the right equipment. 
"We need to partner with many of you to purchase the machinery to train our students in manufacturing," Dockray said. "But it’s expensive."
Tri-County Voc Tech in Franklin
Tri-County Voc Tech in Franklin

See more at:

NEW DATE - United Regional YPO Event - "Networking Made Easy!"

The United Regional Young Professionals Organization (YPO) will be holding its first quarterly educational workshop called Networking Made Easy! hosted by Ed McDonough, a Business Coach, Speaker and Marketing Consultant, on Thursday, February 27th from 6-7:30 PM at the Fisher College North Attleboro campus. The event will provide business professionals tips and techniques on how to make and keep business connections, and other do’s and don’ts of networking. 
Young Professionals Organization
Young Professionals Organization
Ed is the founder of Executive Coaching in Walpole, MA. Since 2001 Ed has been a successful entrepreneur and multi-business owner who has a unique talent for developing and implementing long-term profitable marketing strategies. 
In addition to his business owner experience, Mr. McDonough spent over 25 years as a top-level Information Technology professional and Project Management Consultant in Corporate America, making him well versed in all facets of the business environment. His real-world brick and mortar business experience combined with his passion for effective web-based marketing has lead him to coach business owners throughout North America to success from the ground up. 
Don’t miss this opportunity to discover how you can make more and better business connections! 
The United Regional YPO consists of a diverse group of young professionals who have an interest in social and business networking, community involvement and professional development. 
The cover charge is $5.00 with pre-registration on the YPO website or $10 at the door. Attendees may register for this event on the YPO’s website or by contacting 508-488-YPO1 (9761).

Friday, January 24, 2014

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 1/24/14 - THU 1/30/14

1/25 SAT   8:30am-11:30am   Franklin Girls Softball Walk-In Registration, Elks Club, Franklin.
1/25 SAT   9am-10am   dance-FIT class to benefit Munroe family, Helen Owens Fitness in Franklin.
1/25 SAT   10:30am-12:30pm   Family Tracking at Stony Brook Sanctuary, Norfolk. Registration required.
1/25 SAT   4pm-7pm   Three Stories Band, Pizza & Beer Extravaganza at Pour Richard's, Franklin.

1/26 SUN  2pm-5pm   Wine Tasting with Appetizers to benefit Franklin and Bellingham Rail Trail Committee,  Pour Richard's Wine and Spirits, Franklin.

1/27 MON  7pm    Planning Board Meeting, Municipal Building - Council Chambers, Franklin.

1/28 TUE   7pm   School Committee Mtg., Municipal Building - Council Chambers, Franklin.

1/29 WED  7pm   Town Council - Zoning Workshop, Municipal Building - Council Chambers, Franklin.

Downtown Franklin on a warmer day
Downtown Franklin on a warmer day

For more details click HERE and select the event of interest.

If you know of an event or have a suggestions for the calendar, please email Renata at

Important change to Respite Companion Program

Do you recall the Respite Companion Program introduced at the Senior Center recently?
(If not, you can check out this link or this link and come back. We'll wait for you!)

The Senior Center has some good news to announce. They were able to get the grant amended.  It does say in the brochure that both the caregiver and the care recipient have to be 60 years of age or over.

The Senior Center found that they had turned down 25% of the folks who wanted respite care since September because the age of the caregiver was under 60. They have removed the age requirement for the the caregiver. The age requirement for the care recipient remains at age 60 or over.

This makes sense. Looking around at those I know in this situation, most of the caregivers are under sixty with the care recipient over sixty. The 'sandwich' generation is not just a media sound bite. It is real.

If you would like to check out the Companion Caregiver Program, contact the Senior Center. You can call the Senior Center to register: 508-520-4945

Franklin Senior Center
Franklin Senior Center

For more information about the Senior Center and all the programs they offer, visit their page on the official Franklin website

MassBudget: Analyzing the Governor's Budget for FY 2015

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

The Governor's Budget for FY 2015 
Yesterday, the Governor filed his budget proposal for FY 2015. Our new Budget Monitor shows how the Governor's budget would affect programs across state government, from health care and education to public safety and the environment--including information on tax revenues. 

The Governor's proposal does not include significant new revenue, which means that the investments he specifies are relatively modest. They include:

  • Higher Education, which would see a third straight year of increases--albeit to levels still 22% below where they were in 2001 (adjusted for inflation)

  • Elder Services, where increases would expand access to home care and improve quality

  • Early Education and Care, where continued funding growth would help move more children off the wait list and into early education and care programs
 Read our full BUDGET MONITOR
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

"There’s the understanding that change is scary"

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School, among the oldest charter institutions in Massachusetts, has sought approval from the state to double its enrollment and expand its district to include other towns. 
The school, which opened in 1995 in a Main Street building leased from the Archdiocese of Boston, has applied for two major charter amendments that would allow it to add 450 students over the next 10 years, increasing its enrollment to 900, and extend the district beyond the boarders of Franklin to include 13 other communities. 
If the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approves the school’s requests, prospective students from Bellingham, Blackstone, Holliston, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Millis, Norfolk, Plainville, Walpole and Wrentham would be on equal footing with those from Franklin in terms of their chances for gaining a seat at BFCCPS.

See more at:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Standard & Poor's gives Franklin the best grade yet!

As initially reported during the Town Council meeting on Wednesday evening, Standard and Poor's Rating Services has given the Town of Franklin the highest rating yet: AA+

In summary they wrote:
The stable outlook reflects what we view as the town's very strong liquidity position and strong budgetary flexibility. In addition, we believe Franklin's very strong economy and access to the Boston Metrolpoitan Statistical Area (MSA) ledns stability to the town's tax base. Consequently, we do not expect to change the rating with the outlook's two-year time frame. While unlikely, if management is unable to maintain structural balance resulting in what we view as weak budgetary performance and flexibility, we could lower the rating.

Congratulations, Franklin!

Additional details from the live reporting at the Town Council meeting on Wednesday can be found here:

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

cows on parade, now ladybugs!

The cows went on parade in Chicago in 1999.  The cow parade came to Boston in 2006.

The MBTA Map Cow
The MBTA Map Cow
The cows have been on parade in many major cities around the world. For other photos, you can visit the website here  and here

And now ladybugs will come to Franklin!

Do you know the story of the ladybug? if not then you should read this

Note: Franklin's ladybugs will be about 2 foot in size, not as large as the cows shown on parade in Boston

Senior Center: Conversations about Dementia - Feb 4

The Senior Center is holding a "Conversations about Dementia" on Tuesday, Feb 4th

conversations on dementia
conversations on dementia

You need to call the Senior Center to register: 508-520-4945

For more information about the Senior Center and the programs they offer, visit they page on the official Franklin website

In the News: bond rating

Standard & Poor's has upgraded the town’s long-term bond rating to AA+ from AA, citing its strong local economy and adept budgeting. 
Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting announced the new rating — the highest Franklin has ever received — on Wednesday night at a Town Council meeting.
See more at:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Live reporting - Legislation, Closing


1. Resolution 14-05: Appropriation: Fire Detail Account
tabled until April 1, approved 9-0

2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 13-726: Amendment to §185, Attachment 9. Schedule of Lot, Area, Frontage, Yard, and Height Requirements – 2nd Reading- Requires 2/3 Vote
Mercer and Bissanti recused themselves

motion to approve, seconded, 7-0 (via roll call)
a correction to the original bylaw

3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 14-728: Changes to §185-5 Zoning Map- Referral to Planning Board
motion to table until after the workshop, until first week of April
approved 9-0

thanks to DPW for the work on the snow storm, job well done

received notification on bond rating increase, good news, highest level ever

zoning workshop next Wednesday, open to all, 7:00 PM, 3rd Fl Training Room

several stabilization accounts, recap from FinCom meeting totals
these accounts and overall fiscal prudence have helped to get the rating increase

Financially we are good shape, yes because we have made the difficult decisions, you still have reserves

Vallee - I am impressed with the way you are doing things, good job

Kelly - what is snow budget?
Nutting - we were at 485K and we'll now later this week what this one did

training session for all town officials?
Nutting to send draft agenda
Cerel going to Planning Board for how to properly hold a public hearing, Feb 10th

Jones - What about the Remington Jefferson issue?
I'll have an update next week

Bissanti - do we have a bylaw on blight properties
Nutting - we have a vacant property bylaw in the town code

Feldman - local aid numbers?
Nutting - The governors budget was just released, it was within the ballpark expected (about 18K off)
what will the legislature do with the totals? Not sure. We'll go with the governors total for now

Padula - good show of support from the community for the Monroe family
great news on the bond rating, that is why you get the big bucks
great follow up today with the notice and reminder on the trash pickups

Kelly - great work on the bond rating

Jones - echo Councilor Padula's comments on the Lexi and Sean wake/funeral

Bissanti - I reserved the first three foot ladybug, I know where I am going to put it
I see the roads deteriorating, that is something we are going to have to face

Nutting - I want to thank Jennifer for organizing the candle light vigil

Collective Bargaining – Fire Union
motion to go into executive session, passed 9-0 (via roll call)

Live reporting - Housing


• Municipal Affordable Housing Trust, Christopher Vericker
info on new project starting to buy and sell housing for affordable buyers

mini team together, something formal being prepared
alert the realtors of this option
the Town would be a cash buyer to help sellers

Nutting - funding source for affordable housing Trust, from two developers who didn't want to develop affordable housing as part of their plan
payments from one of them still coming
formula set by Government based upon members of the household and income
it should be cheaper than otherwise

Bissanti - revitalization?
Nutting - we would prefer not to get into that aspect because then it becomes a construction project

Padula - deed restrictions forever?
Cerel - yes, as long as you apply with the process when it is set up

Live reporting - Ladybug project

• Franklin Cultural Council, Claire Griffin

 to be added