Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FPAC Announces Open Auditions For 2014 Holiday Productions

The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) will hold open auditions for three 2014 holiday productions, Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet The Nutcracker and the original FPAC musicals Humbug! and ’Tis the Season! 
The Nutcracker remains a highly anticipated and treasured part of the FPAC season – a popular holiday tradition for more than 20 years. Presented with live professional orchestra, FPAC’s magical journey of The Nutcracker features more than 100 area dancers and special guest artists. A family favorite since debuting as part of FPAC’s 2008 season, Humbug! is an original musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. 
FPAC auditions for The Nutcracker
FPAC auditions for The Nutcracker
With musical hits of every genre and live accompaniment by a 10-piece band of professional musicians, Humbug! transports audiences from Dickensian England to contemporary America as the novel’s characters and storyline are reimagined with modern setting and dialogue. 
’Tis the Season! is an original large cast musical first presented by FPAC in 1995. The upbeat, jazzy holiday extravaganza features members of the Kenny Hadley Big Band and contemporary arrangements of favorite holiday classics in many musical styles including R&B, jazz, rock, Motown, gospel and Broadway. 
FPAC will present The Nutcracker on December 6 and 7, Humbug! on December 12-14 and ’Tis the Season on December 20 and 21. Humbug! will be staged at THE BLACK BOX, FPAC’s new home and performance venue in downtown Franklin. Both The Nutcracker and ’Tis the Season will be performed at the new Franklin High School auditorium. 
Open auditions for The Nutcracker will be held on Saturday, September 27 at THE BLACK BOX, 15 West Central Street, in Franklin. Students, ages 6 and older, from all area dance schools are welcome. Ballet attire is required. Audition times are 9:30-10 a.m. for ages 6 and 7, 10-10:45 for ages 8 and 9, 11-11:45 for ages 10 and 11, 11:45-12:45 for ages 12 and 13, 1-1:45 for ages 14+ (off pointe), and 2:15-3:15 for ages 12+ (pointe audition; must be on pointe for at least one year). Off-pointe callbacks are scheduled at 1:45-2:15 p.m., with pointe callbacks from 3:15-4:00.

Open auditions for Humbug! and ’Tis the Season! will take place at THE BLACK BOX on Sunday, September 28 at 1 p.m. for ages 6 and 7, 1:30 for ages 8 and 9, 2:00 for ages 10 and 11, 2:45 for ages 12 and 13, 3:30 for ages 14+, and 4:30 for adults. Students must be 6 years of age or older on the audition date to participate. Beginners and all levels are welcome. Please prepare 16 measures of a musical theater or pop song. A simple dance combination will be taught at the audition.

A distinctive suburban non-profit arts organization founded in 1991, FPAC brings together professional artists, community performers and students of the arts in a collaborative and creative environment. With a focus on youth development and a commitment to live music, productions draw performers and audiences from more than 100 communities throughout the region. For more information, call (508) 528-8668 or visit online at

FHS soccer teams win

From Hockomock Sports we find the results of Tuesday:
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Boys soccer

Foxboro, 0 @ Franklin, 2 - Final 

Adam Moessing and Bill Dorion scored the goals for the Panthers and James Fredrick picked up the shutout in net.

Girls Soccer

Franklin, 1 @ Foxboro, 0 - Final

The complete scoreboard results from Tuesday for all the Hockomock League action can be found here

Join us for Italian Wednesdays!

461 W Central Street (Rt.140), Franklin, MA 02038 •
Please visit our other Let's Eat, Inc. restaurant in Norwood: SKY

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Let's Eat, Inc. | 461 Central Street | Franklin | MA | 02038

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Updates to the new and old high school buildings

The walk this weekend helped me capture some photos around the new Franklin High School. The old school building continues to come down. The new school building has had some additional finishing touches added.

demolition of the old building continues 1
demolition of the old building continues 1
vehicles gathering to decide what's next
vehicles gathering to decide what's next
the main entrance remains intact for now
the main entrance remains intact for now

interesting design for the new bike racks
interesting design for the new bike racks

a bike lane was added to the roadways on the school grounds
a bike lane was added to the roadways on the school grounds

tables and seats positioned for the outdoor cafeteria
tables and seats positioned for the outdoor cafeteria 

new sign is going up near the old one on Oak St
new sign is going up near the old one on Oak St
Additional information and photos on the new FHS project can be found here

Fitness, finance, fun…..Franklin Adult Education and Community Learning has it all

How many times have you thought “I’d like to take a class, participate in a workshop, have some fun.” Well, here’s your chance. Franklin Adult Education and Community Learning, a program of the Lifelong Learning Institute at the Franklin Public Schools, is rolling out its fall programs……AND you can register now by going to and clicking on Adult Education to get started. 
“Whether you are looking for fitness, finance, food, fun, sports, language or art, there is something for you. We are absolutely delighted to offer these opportunities to our residents through our public school system,” says Maureen Sabolinski, Franklin’s Superintendent of Schools. 
Area residents can find diverse and enriched education and experiences in the Franklin Adult Education and Community Learning programs and partnerships. Whether you are a working professional, senior citizen, person with special needs or in transition, there’s a program for you. Last year more than 1,200 individuals visited Adult Education.

“Now we have a new season. We have exciting new offerings and we are in a brand new building” says Pandora Carlucci, executive director for Franklin Lifelong Learning Institute, the umbrella under which the Adult Education program operates. She goes on to say “we are fortunate to have many of our classes operating in the new state-of-the-art Franklin High School. It’s an amazing facility that will increase our ability to provide new and innovate offerings now and in the years ahead.”

For example, this fall at Franklin High School you can participate in a variety of very interesting Financial help classes, even a Digital Photography class or find an activity on the schedule of Adult Education events posted on the Lifelong Learning Institute’s website
In addition, you can take advantage of online Learning Classes and Online Career Training Programs, courses conducted in partnership with Ed2go and Gatlin Education Services. These career-focused online courses give you the latest in learning, and skills that can help you to acquire professional caliber positions in many in-demand occupations.

These instructor-facilitated courses are available anytime, anywhere. A team of available online professionals, anytime scheduling, and educational textbooks combine for a relevant, interactive learning experience. You can find a complete listing of all titles and more information at

Brenda Reed, director for Adult Education and Community Learning says “Whether you’re five, fifteen, fifty or older, there’s much to like at Adult Education. Our fee-based programs have something for everyone. So, don’t wait. Register now before your favorite class is filled.”
Teri DeWitt at the community entrance to the new Franklin High School
Teri DeWitt at the community entrance to the new Franklin High School

About Lifelong Learning Institute and Adult Education and Community Learning

The Lifelong Learning office is located at 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038
Telephone: 508-553-4814; Email:

The Adult Education and Community Learning office is located at 218 Oak Street,
Franklin, MA 02038, Telephone: 508-613-1480. Email:

To explore the full array of program offerings and take advantage of the education
partnership services, visit the Lifelong Learning website at – click on Adult Education.

MassBudget: Analyzing the FY 2015 Budget for MassHealth and Health Reform Programs

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Analyzing the FY 2015 Budget for MassHealth and Health Reform Programs
A new budget brief, The Fiscal Year 2015 Budget for MassHealth and Health Reform Programs, summarizes the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, which covers the first full year of implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. This year's budget includes $14.7 billion in funding for MassHealth (Medicaid) and other subsidized health coverage programs, yet more than half of this funding will be reimbursed by the federal government.

This brief is one in a series of budget briefs focused on MassHealth and Health Reform Programs produced by the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute in partnership with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.

Click HERE to read the brief. 
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

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

Franklin Library: Doggie Tales returns Sep 17th

Improve your reading skills and make a new friends by reading aloud to a therapy dog. Young readers (grades 2 and up) may sign up for a 15 minute slot at the Library Circulation desk.

doggie tales returns to the Library Sep 17th
doggie tales returns to the Library Sep 17th

This was shared from the Franklin Library webpage here

The complete listing of programs for September can be found here

Panthers win Field Hockey and Volleyball matches

Field Hockey

Foxboro, 1 @ Franklin, 2 - Final - Franklin sophomore Alex Sullivan scored with two seconds left off a corner by junior captain Taylor Reutlinger. Reutlinger scored Franklin's first goal on an assist from sophomore Dana Lewandowski. Samantha Jones made three saves in net while Emily Jeffries and Maddie Bressler also played well for the Panthers.
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers


Foxboro, 0 @ Franklin, 3 - Final

The results were shared from the Hockomock Sports posting here

Monday, September 8, 2014

La Cantina Wine School

On my walk Sunday, I found that the recent work setting up the small office space on Union St was not going to be a campaign office. The sign proudly announces the home of La Cantina Wine School.

La Cantina Wine School
La Cantina Wine School

There was an article last year by the Milford Daily News about La Cantina.
Did you know Franklin has a school that teaches you how to make wine in the Italian tradition? This article in the Milford Daily News introduces us to Bob Vozzella and La Cantina Wine School.
On Saturday, Professore di Vino Vozzella, as he has taken to calling himself, taught a group of students how to press the grapes, which had fermented a couple of weeks within special tubs. The wine would be a zinfandel.  
Wearing black T-shirts with the words "Crush Crew," they were scooping the rich violet grapes into the press. The work left their hands covered in the same color.  
Robert Alario, one of the pupils, enrolled at Vozzella’s school to relive some of his childhood. "I use to make wine with my father," the 59-year-old Fitchburg resident said. "This brings back incredibly fond memories."
Read more:  (subscription may be required)

Last year's posting to Franklin Matters appeared here

You can find out more about the wine making school by visiting their webpage

Walking around Franklin

Out walking this weekend, I find the stone walls and site preparations are still underway at the entrance to Chestnut Ridge.

stone wall at entrance to Chestnut Ridge
stone wall at entrance to Chestnut Ridge
If you missed what is going in at this location, it is a "congregate assisted living facility".

The signs are in place for the new location of the Franklin Art Center

Franklin Art Center
Franklin Art Center
They moved effective Sep 1 from the Berry Building downtown to this location next to the Municipal Building (near the Alumni Restaurant, across from the Big Y).

In the News: election prep, candidate endorsements, new high school gym

With less than 48 hours to go before polls open on Tuesday for the primary election, candidates from all races were travelling across the state to meet with voters on Sunday. Their mission was the same: to spread the word. 
Democratic gubernatorial candidates Don Berwick, Martha Coakley and Steve Grossman were attending rallies, stopping by farmers markets and catching the Patriots game with voters. 
“Our biggest focus right now is getting out the vote,” said Patrick Sheridan-Rossi, field director for the Berwick campaign.
Continue reading the Milford Daily News article online here (subscription may be required)

election day sign on the railroad bridge downtown Franklin
election day sign on the railroad bridge downtown Franklin

The editorial board of the MetroWest Daily News and the Milford Daily News have made their endorsements for Tuesday’s primary elections. Their recommendations include Don Berwick, Charlie Baker, Steve Kerrigan, Maura Healey, Tom Conroy and Michael Sullivan.
Continue reading the Milford Daily News to read the individual endorsements for each candidate

the gymnasium section in the front of the new FHS
the gymnasium section in the front of the new FHS

Demolition of the old Franklin High School was not only the end of an era for the town's schools, but also for the town clerk's office - with the old field house went the town's long-time voting venue. 
Voting will now take place in the new Franklin High School next door, but with parking still under construction, Town Clerk Debbie Pellegri has had to do some careful staging to ensure a smooth voting process at Tuesday's primary. 
"We're going to have a policeman directing people into a certain parking lot at the new high school," Pellegri said. "And there's going to be all new signage to direct people to the parking lot."
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News here (subscription may be required)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Sep 9, .2014

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

"The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law."

Franklin Public Schools - 'the key to learning'
Franklin Public Schools - 'the key to learning'

1. Routine Business

Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the August 26, 2014 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Clement
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence: Budget to Actual

2. Guests/Presentations

a. Lifelong Learning – Pandora Carlucci

3. Discussion Only Items


4. Action Items

a. I recommend donation of a set of cheerleading floor mats (valued at approximately $1,000.00) to Franklin Pop Warner program.
b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $250.00 from Fidelity Charitable for supplies at ECDC.
c. I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $323.04 from Wells Fargo Community Support for in-house enrichment at Franklin High School.
d. I recommend acceptance of a check for $300.00 from Jefferson PCC for in-house enrichment at Jefferson Elementary School.

5. Information Matters

Superintendent’s Report
School Committee Sub-Committee Reports
School Committee Liaison Reports

6. New Business

To discuss future business that may be brought before the School Committee.

7. Executive Session

Contractual Negotiations

8. Adjourn

Looking for work? Tickets available for Job Search Jam Sessions

If you are looking for work, or know someone who is, this is the event to be at. The 5th edition of Job Search Jam Sessions returns Sep 12.

What will the Job Search Jam Sessions be like?

Additional details on the event can be found here

Job Search Jam Sessions - Sep 12
Job Search Jam Sessions - Sep 12

What is the schedule for the day?

The schedule will be similar to that held in 2013

Where will this be held?

Job Search Jam Sessions #5 will be held in Hopkinton at the St John Evangelist Parish Center

How much does it cost?

$8 you can pay online or at the door. Tickets can be purchased online or reserved so you can pay at the door. (To pay at the door - choose 'Show other payment options.'  Advance registrations are highly encouraged to ensure we have a good count of participants to plan for the food and refreshments).

If there is interest in helping to sponsor this event, please let me know!

"He spent the first few weeks in the hospital without even knowing he was paralyzed"

When most athletes say their coaches are their family, they are using speaking metaphorically. 
However, when wrestling standout Ritchie Elgar says it, it is 100 percent true. 
Earlier this summer, Elgar was in a car crash that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Facing an unknown prognosis, he turned to religion and asked to be baptized. His coach, Carmine Colace, stepped in to serve as his godfather. 
And now Elgar's coaches, teammates, friends and family are helping to raise money to help pay for his mounting medical bills. 
Last school year Elgar, then a sophomore at Tri-County in Franklin, was the state vocational wrestling champion, winning the Division 3 Central Sectional at 106 pounds. He then finished second in the Division 3 states and fifth at All-States.

Continue reading the Milford Daily News article here (subscription may be required)

Ritchie Elger Fund Raising page
Ritchie Elger Fund Raising page

To contribute to the fund raining effort for Ritchie Elger follow this link

Online tool for MA 'lemon law'

The Office of Consumer Affairs recently conducted a survey of auto dealerships to see how they complied with providing notification to consumers on the 'lemon law'.
The number of dealerships that complied with the law and displayed the sticker on their car was disappointing: overall, 43 percent of the cars surveyed were missing the required Lemon Law sticker. Of the 71 dealerships examined, only 16 showed 100 percent compliance – 30 showed over 80 percent compliance. 17 dealerships had no stickers at all on any of the cars examined in the survey. 
Fortunately, the Office of Consumer Affairs created an online tool to educate consumers on the state’s lemon laws. You are still protected by these laws, even if the dealerships don’t tell you. Users can fill out our online survey with “yes” or “no” answers to find out if they qualify under the lemon laws. Users who qualify will be directed to the proper paperwork that they can fill out and take the necessary steps to refund their money. If a consumer requires arbitration to receive the refund they are entitled to, the application form for that is available on the same application page.
Office of Consumer Affairs
Office of Consumer Affairs

You can find the full article online here