Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Franklin Library: Adult coffee and craft - Friday, Mar 13

Adult coffee and craft is coming up this Frday at the Franklin Library. Maybe the 13th is your lucky day! 

You can make a fleece neck warmer to keep warm until Spring does arrive!

Franklin Library: Adult coffee and craft - Friday, Mar 13
Franklin Library: Adult coffee and craft - Friday, Mar 13

Shared from the Franklin Library webpage here

FHS Lady Panthers Softball Players to hold Clinic Apr 21

Could you please help us spread the word regarding the upcoming Softball Players Clinic to be held on Saturday March 21st 9am to 12:00pm at the FHS Gym.  The Flyer attached has the sign up information, more details of the event are below.
Saturday March 21st 2015 (Rain or Shine) 
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon 
Franklin High School Gymnasium 
$30.00 per player
FHS Lady Panthers
FHS Lady Panthers

Grades 1-6
Players will learn the fundamentals of Fastpitch Softball. Specific skills will be covered using a series of stations which the players will rotate between to insure age groups and skill levels are being maintained.

Stations include:
• Proper throwing and catching mechanics
• Proper hitting mechanics
• Overall fielding and base running

The lead instructor will be KATE FALLON, Franklin High School Softball Program Director and Head Coach of Franklin High Lady Panthers Varsity Softball. Coach Fallon was a four year starter at Curry College in both pitching and catching and was team captain her senior year. After coaching JV softball at Cardinal Spellman High School, she went on to be Varsity Coach of SE Regional Vocational High School. Assistant coach Matt Connelly, along with the Varsity players will be on hand to assist in what should truly be an exciting three hours

Blanca Di Giacomo
FHS Softball Boosters

The flyer mentioned can be downloaded from here

Franklin Art Association: Spring Show on Apr 18-19

2015 Spring Members Show and Sale will be held at the Black Box Theater, 15 West Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038

Saturday, April, 18th 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Sunday, April, 19th  12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

The exhibit is free and opened to the public
* Exhibit of original works of fine art and photographs 
* Bin sales of original works of art and prints 
* Complementary food and beverage 
* Clothes line art sale

Awards ceremony Saturday evening at 7:00 pm

The Franklin Art Association since 1971
Sponsored in part by the Franklin Cultural Council

For further information please visit our web site at www.franklinart.org
and www.facebook.com/FranklinArtAssoc

THE BLACK BOX Theater, 15 W Main St, Franklin
THE BLACK BOX Theater, 15 W Main St, Franklin

Reminder: Seminar on Dealing with Children and Allergies

You're invited to learn what it takes to manage a child's food allergy and understand why certain policies are in place to help keep these students safe in school. 
You can even learn skills that can help make parties and play dates a safer and more inclusive experience for children with life
creating communities of support
creating communities of support
threatening allergies. 
Whether you are a parent, teacher, family member, friend, or caregiver of a
child with food allergies, we hope you will join us! 
This is a FREE seminar and open to the public. 
Please reserve your seat at: www.bfccps.org/allergy. (see attached flyer) If you have any questions, feel free to contact the school nurses at 508-528-1945 or via email at nurse@bfccps.org

To be held at THE BLACK BOX Theater on Wednesday, Mar 18th at 7:00 PM

Monday, March 9, 2015

There are Resources available for those Caring for their Elders

The MA Gov blog shares lots of good info. Regular readers can find that good stuff here as I share it, or you can subscribe directly to get it for yourself.

A recent post covers caring for elders.
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), more than 65 million Americans act as unpaid caregivers for a family member, and the average age of an adult who receives assistance is 69 years old. TheExecutive Office of Elder Affairs (ELD), primarily through the Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program, provides resources to enhance the quality of life for both caregivers and their elderly loved ones.
The posting goes on to provide a list of tips and resources. You can find them here  http://blog.mass.gov/blog/living-in-massachusetts/caring-for-elders-resources/

DId you know that the Franklin Senior Center offers an in-home respite program for companion caregivers? The program was introduced early in 2014 and modified in the Fall to provide better coverage.

You can find out about the program with this PDF file from the Senior Center

You can find more about the program by contacting the Senior Center directly.

Don't be overwhelmed by the support requirements. Ask for help!

Franklin Senior Center is full of resources
Franklin Senior Center is full of resources!

From the Boston Globe: charter school lawuit, ideas to fix the T

A couple of articles caught my attention in Sunday's edition of the Boston Globe that I think are 'share worthy.' 

First, there is soon to be a lawsuit filed to challenge the limitation on charter schools.
"The highly charged charter school debate, waged for years in the Legislature, could soon become a constitutional court fight, launched by three prominent lawyers who believe students in Boston and other urban districts are being denied their right to a quality education. 
Paul F. Ware Jr., Michael B. Keating, and William F. Lee, who are partners at three top law firms, say the lawsuit they will file to overturn the state cap on the number of charter schools will break ground on two fronts."
Why follow this? (1) The funding of education is already being looked at from a forumla stand point. How is chapter 70 calculated? (2) The current governor's budget and the budget cycle will raise questions on what should be spent where. Recall that priorities are really set by budget dollars. There maybe good talk but if the money doesn't follow then it is just that, talk. (3) And now the number of charter schools is being questioned. All good questions as long as the discussion is healthy and civil.

Continue reading the full article here (subscription required)


Second, given the struggles with the weather that the commuter rail and other MBTA services have seen this winter, the Globe asked three experts to share what they would do to 'fix the T." Very interesting reading from the three points of view.

Read the full article here (subscription required)

"These are big steps forward"

At least three projects are slated this year to improve sections of a rail trail that travel through Bellingham, Franklin and Uxbridge. 
Town officials and volunteers continue advocating for slight improvements to the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) so that it will eventually be possible to bike or walk all 22 miles seamlessly. 
The state Department of Public Health has received approval from the Franklin Conservation Commission to grade less than a mile of trail from Prospect Street in Franklin to Lake Street in Bellingham.
- See more at: http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20150309/NEWS/150306865/1994/NEWS#sthash.Yrwl5M6b.dpuf

the walls of Wadsworth Station along the SNETT
the walls of Wadsworth Station along the SNETT

Remindder: Open House - Sunrise Montessori School - March 19

Montessori Open House

Thursday, March 19 from 4 to 6pm

31 Hayward St., Franklin

Free event. The public is welcome to learn about our Montessori preschool and kindergarten programs.
Sunrise Montessori School
Sunrise Montessori School

Contact: Karen Roeber, Director at 508-541-8010

The Town of Franklin has one wine and malt package store license available

From the Franklin webpage

The Town of Franklin has one wine & malt package store license available. 
Anyone who wishes to apply for this license should go to the www.mass.gov/abcc website to complete the license application 
and submit the completed application to the Town Administrator’s Office at 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038 by March 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm. 
Questions can be addressed to the Administrator’s office at 508-520-4949

Franklin Municipal Building is not really covered in snow
Franklin Municipal Building is not really covered in snow


Franklin Wine Club: It’s All About The Box!

The Franklin Wine Club meets on Tuesday, March 10 to discuss "It’s All About The Box!" The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 PM at Franklin Liquors on East Central St.

Bota Box takes its name from the traditional Spanish wine skin known as a bota used to carry wine for centuries. 
one of the kinds of wine delivered via Bota Box
one of the kinds of wine delivered via Bota Box
Bota bags became popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s with hikers, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts who were looking for take wine along on the outdoor adventure without the weight and hassle of glass bottles. 
Bota Box is the modern version of a bota … instead of animal skin; the wine is kept fresh inside a 3L and 1.5L vacuum sealed Mylar bag or 500ml Tetra Pak. 
We will welcome DFV Wines Bruce G. Hurst
Division Manager – New England

9 spots are still available for this meeting and box wine learning session

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Mar 10, 2015

Note: This meeting is scheduled to be held in the Lecture Hall of Franklin High School at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. This is a change from the normal location at the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building. This had been scheduled for FHS in January and had been canceled by the blizzard.

FHS in the snow
FHS in the snow

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."

1. Routine Business
Citizen’s Comments
Review of Agenda
Minutes: I recommend approval of the minutes from the February 24, 2015
School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Clement
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
FHS Student Representatives
Correspondence: Budget to Actual – Miriam Goodman

2. Guests/Presentations
a. FHS Update – Peter Light
1. Health/PE Update – Kristen Cerce
2. STEM Update – Brenda Redding
The presentation documents can be found here

3. Discussion Only Items
School Safety Update 
Staff Snow Day Survey 
State Budget Update

4. Action Items
a. I recommend the following dates be utilized, if needed, as school make-up dates in the event of school closures due to inclement weather. Dates:
1. April 3, 2015
2. April 11, 2015
3. April 21, 2015.
b. I recommend acceptance of a check for $361.52 from Target for In-house enrichment at FHS.

c. I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $1,255.75 for Keller Elementary School as detailed:
1. BOKS $500.00 – In-house enrichment2. Keller PCC $755.75 - Field Trips
d. I recommend acceptance of a check for $6.86 from Schoola for in-house enrichment at JF Kennedy Elementary School.

e. I recommend acceptance of a check for $220.00 from the Franklin Music Boosters for district wide in-house enrichment.

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
Personnel Update

8. Adjourn

Franklin School Committee - Presentation Documents for March 10, 2015

These are the documents released for the agenda of the Franklin School Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, 2015. 

The meeting will be held in the Lecture Hall at Franklin High School instead of the Council Chambers at the Municipal Building. You may recall this was scheduled for January but was wiped out by the blizzard. No snow in the forecast this time around!

FHS in the snow
FHS in the snow

You can find the full agenda for the School Committee meeting here

FHS girls close out season in D1 Central Final

The Franklin High School girls basetkball team closed out their season with a 19-6 record by playing in the D1 Central Final game. They lost to the #1 seed Wachusett.
FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Girls BasketballD1 Central Final#2 Franklin, 45 vs. #1 Wachusett, 56 - Final

For the listing of the season results for the FHS girls team

Congratulations ladies! 

Some folks say that unless the season ends with a win it is not a success. I tend to go with the season is a success if you have been competitive, learned something along the way, and had fun. By that measure, I think you can walk proud!

Homelessness is a problem that can be solved - Invisible People @home on PBS

Mark Horvath is working to eliminate homelessness. I was fortunate to meet Mark a couple of times in Chicago when we went to a conference together. His story and passion is real. How real? Watch this four minute trailer for the documentary that is soon to be broadcast on PBS to get a sense of this reality.

@home is a documentary that tells the story of modern U.S. homelessness and one man’s fierce commitment to end it. PBS will air this documentary on March 25, 26 and 28 (see times below). Mark Horvath has experienced the highs and lows of the American Dream, from a successful career in television to barely surviving, homeless and addicted, on Hollywood Boulevard. @home follows Mark as he finds his voice again, hitting the streets with a digital camera and a smartphone to ask homeless people about their own experiences. 
“The invisible guy didn’t intend to become homeless. I didn’t plan on living on the street. Everyone on the streets has their own story, some made bad decisions, others were victims, but none of them deserve what they have been left with, and it is a reflection of our own society that we just leave them there. Please always remember, the homeless people you’ll ignore today were much like you not so long ago” said Mark Horvath.
Mark Horvath’s work has garnered the attention of social media gurus, politicians, advocates, and the American public, and he’s become a respected, independent voice on this issue. It is through this lens that @home, a documentary film produced by Kindling Group, explores the reality of homelessness in America today. @home follows Mark on a cross-country road trip, as he visits communities that are springing up all over this country in tents, by-the-week motels, and storm drains — and shares his struggle to make homelessness in America visible.

Website: http://www.athomedocumentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/athomecampaign

Twitter: https://twitter.com/home_campaign

Mark with his pet lizard years ago
Mark with his pet lizard years ago

The broadcast schedule for the documentary is as follows:
Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 PM
Thursday, March 26 at 12:00 AM, 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Saturday, March 28 at 1:00 PM ET

MassBudget: Analyzing the Governor's Budget for FY 2016

The Governor's Budget starts the Franklin budget process at the state level. Why? Franklin depends heavily on state funding for its local budget. Being aware of what is happening on the state level is a key piece to understanding what Franklin can do with its local budget.

Each department has prepared their capital needs. These will be prioritized and dependent upon what is left of 'free cash' after the shortfall in the snow/ice budget is covered.

Each department has also prepared their operational budget needs which will begin to get reviewed at the Finance Committee before coming to the Town Council for hearings and then a vote to approve the budget in late May or early June. The budget needs to be in place to fund operations for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.

It is note worthy that one of the 'one time solutions' in the Governor's budget is the delay of a payment of $24 million to the state OPEB account. Franklin has an outstanding unfunded liability of about $89 million in our OPEB account. One of the priorities in our budget will be to increase some funding each year to help cover the requirements.

Stay tuned for frequent updates as the budget process develops over the next several weeks.

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Analyzing the Governor's Budget for FY 2016

In releasing his state budget proposal (House 1) on Wednesday the Governor identified important priorities: "creating better communities, better schools, and better jobs for all of Massachusetts." House 1 does not, however, propose the types of significant investments in these areas that could make a meaningful difference in the lives of working people across the state.

With the budget, the Governor filed a tax reform proposal that would significantly help lower-wage working people across the state: a doubling of the state earned income tax credit. This is a tax credit that increases the after tax wages of people with incomes under about $52,000 a year. The largest benefits go to low wage workers with children. It helps these families to make ends meet and be able to pay for basic necessities like food, clothing and rent. The Governor proposes paying for the increase in the earned income tax credit by eliminating the state's tax subsidies for movie producers.

Our Budget Monitor describes the spending proposals in each major section of the budget. One of the most notable features overall is how heavily this budget proposal relies on temporary revenue and savings and on proposals that may prove to provide only temporary savings. As the chart below describes, the budget relies on over $600 million in temporary solutions that will help to balance the budget this year but will leave in place a longer term structural gap.
one time solutions  
In addition, the budget counts on $178 million in savings from an early retirement program. This savings estimate assumes that most of the positions of people who retire would not be filled. It is not clear, for reasons we describe in the Monitor, that doing so would be possible, or in the best interests of the Commonwealth.

Te read our full Budget Monitor, please click HERE

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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