Tuesday, May 12, 2015

FSPA 30th Anniversary Spring Concert - Complimentary Tickets Available For Prospective Students

Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) invites prospective students and families to learn more about programs in music, dance and drama via the school’s All Access Pass, which includes complimentary tickets to any of the FSPA 30th Anniversary Spring Concert performances on Saturday, May 16 at 4 and 7 p.m. and on Sunday, May 17 at 1 and 4 p.m. Featuring FSPA students in all levels and disciplines of dance and musical theater, including performing troupes, dance companies and the international touring ensemble Electric Youth, Spring Concert is presented in an audience-friendly, 90-minute format.
Since 1985, FSPA has been dedicated to the enjoyment of the arts for all ages and to the artistic growth and development of young people. Founded by Director Raye Lynn Mercer, FSPA offers an extensive roster of classes in music, dance and drama and an unparalleled calendar of performing opportunities. Programs are available for recreational enjoyment or serious study, with classes for all ages and ability levels. 
FSPA’s Spring Concert will be presented at Franklin’s Thomas D. Mercer Auditorium, 224 Oak Street. Tickets are $18 and $20 for general admission. Prospective students and families should call FSPA at 508-528-8668 to reserve their complimentary tickets and to schedule a trial class or tour of the facilities. Classes continue at FSPA through June 22 and registration for summer and fall sessions is ongoing. Visit www.FSPAonline.com for more information.

MassBudget: Implications of Privatization and the Pacheco Law


Building an Economy that Works for Everyone: 
Implications of Privatization and the Pacheco Law 
For too many families, economic conditions have not been improving in recent years. While wages grew in lock step with productivity growth in the thirty years after World War II, we have seen a troubling change since the 1970s: economic growth is no longer leading to wage growth for most workers. That's a problem for all of us because it is hard to sustain a strong economy, or a strong community, on low wage jobs. State governments can push back against this trend by setting wage standards, like a decent minimum wage, and also by being good employers and requiring the same of those they do business with.

In our newest fact sheet, Building an Economy that Works for Everyone: Implications of Privatization and the Pacheco Law, we examine the core elements of that law - the requirement that privatization efforts lead to savings based on improved efficiency and that they do not drive down the wages of working people - and describe the processes and steps the law requires.

To read the fact sheet, 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

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

Dean College - Children's Center- Open House Tours - May 19

There are Open House Tours scheduled for the Dean College Children's Center on Tuesday, May 19th from 10:00 to noon.

photo of mailer from Dean's Children's Center
photo of mailer from Dean's Children's Center

From the website we find the Children's Center Mission:

  • To provide children 2 years 9 months old to 6 years old an initial school experience that reflects current research in child development and early childhood education.
  • To provide a practicum site for Dean students preparing for careers in child care, education and other fields.
  • To provide demonstration teaching, resources and support for families and area child care providers.
For more info on the Children's Center at Dean  http://www.dean.edu/pre_school.aspx

"We will continue to watch enrollment"

The School Committee tonight will vote to pass the district’s $56.95 million budget, which includes a balance of job cuts and new hires. 
Next fiscal year’s budget, up 2.43 percent over this year, accounts for larger high school and middle school class sizes and declining elementary school enrollment. 
The district is expected to hire five teachers — four at two of its middle schools and one at the high school — to improve class sizes. On the other hand, it will cut five teacher positions from its elementary schools in response to a decrease in enrollment.
Continue reading the article here

The agenda for the School Committee meeting can be found here

Note: there is one inaccurate statement in the MDN article. The meeting is scheduled for the 3rd floor training room. There are no training rooms on the 2rd Floor of the Municipal Building.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - May 12, 2015

Note: the meeting is scheduled to start at 6:00 pm and be held in the 3rd Floor Training Room on Tuesday, May 12

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 April 28, 2015 School Committee Meeting.
Payment of Bills Mr. Clement
Payroll Mrs. Douglas
Correspondence: Budget to Actual – Miriam Goodman

Discussion: FY16 Budget Adoption

Action Items:
a. I recommend adoption of the FY16 Budget in the amount of $56,950,000.00 as discussed.
b. I recommend approval of budget transfers as detailed.
c. I recommend adoption of a new position for FHS Theater Technician.

Adjourn open session for Training Session.

The agenda for this meeting can be found on School Committee webpage here

Franklin Cultural Festival - Kick-off Evening - May 16

arts happen here
Franklin Cultural District
Festival Kick-off Evening

Come join us on May 16th as we kick-off the first annual Franklin Cultural  Festival.  Relax with friends of the arts, enjoy desserts, and listen to music from FPAC's Acme Jazz Trio.  The night will highlight some snippets of several of the performances and demonstrations that will be featured during the festival in July.

Your $1
trumpet.jpg8 ticket will help offset the costs associated with the Cultural Festival and will give you a great evening.  Your support of this effort is appreciated.
We hope to see you on May 16th.
Where:  The BLACK BOX, 15 West Central Street, Franklin, MA

When: Saturday, May 16, 2015, 8:00 PM

Cost: $18 per ticket.  To purchase a ticket, select the link below.

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FPS- Life Long Learning | 355 East Central Street | Franklin | MA | 02038

Share with others: Know someone else who would like to attend the May 16th kick-off event or know more about the Cultural Festival? Forward this to someone else.

To find out more about the Franklin Cultural Festival, visit the event webpage and subscribe to receive updates via email

Should there be High Stakes Testing for Kindergarteners???

Reminder: there is a forum for parents with current kindergarteners or those with children coming into kindergarten in September. 
This meeting will happen at the Alumni Restaurant (Function Room) 391 East Central Street Franklin MA from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Childcare will be provided. 
You can sign up for childcare with the information here

Related to this meeting, John Oliver does his thing on standardized testing! 

Rain Garden Training and Demonstration - June 13

Franklin Residential Rain Garden Project
Learn to design, build and maintain a home rain garden to treat polluted rainwater from your driveway and roof while adding beauty and visual interest to your property.
Rain Garden Training and Demonstration - Jun 13
Rain Garden Training and Demonstration - Jun 13
Saturday, June 13, 201510:30 am - 2:30 pmLunch Provided

Remington/Jefferson School628 Washington Street, Franklin
Register at www.soakitupfranklinma.org

Contact Alexandra Ash aash@crwa.org or 781-788-0007 x 200

This was shared from the Town of Franklin webpage

Dean College graduates more than 300

Dean College held its 149th Commencement exercises on Saturday, with more than 300 students earning their degrees. 
The keynote address was provided by Dean College President Paula M. Rooney, who encouraged students to “Take risks. Be your own advocate and create opportunities where others can’t see them.” 
She urged students not to choose their next move in life based on it looking easy or because it is expected, but rather to “Move down a road because it is where you think you should be. Do something that you can be great at. When you do this you will contribute to the world in ways that are both valued and necessary.” 
Rooney added: “You are now part of the fabric of this wonderful tapestry that has been woven for 150 years. You are now not just part of a College. You are a part of the Dean College Family.”
Continue reading the article in the Sun Chronicle

Dean College set up for the commencement activities on Saturda
Dean College set up for the commencement activities on Saturday

"several alternative designs and some cost information"

State Rep. Jeffrey Roy hopes to secure $50,000 for the town to use toward building a sculpture and small gathering place dedicated to Horace Mann, the state’s first secretary of education and an influential reformer who laid the groundwork for the country’s public schools system. 
Roy, D-Franklin, pushed through an amendment to the state’s $38 billion budget - passed by the House last month - providing the funding for a “Horace Mann Park” on the corner of Emmons Street. Now the Senate must debate and pass the budget. 
Born on a small farm in Franklin in 1796, Horace Mann is often referred to as “The Father of American Education." In 1837, Mann was elected secretary of the state’s Board of Education, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society; he would later help establish the first normal public schools in the United States, in Bridgewater and Lexington.
Continue reading the article online here

Sunday, May 10, 2015

"the state recommends “common sense” to minimize exposure"

While the decision to continue to build a new turf field at the high school won't be changed, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting is looking into the safety issue.

Part of the article published at Huffinton Post:
As opposition mounts, some consider the fields a solid waste problem, and question what towns would do with the thousands of pounds of crushed tires if the issue reaches a tipping point. The momentum of concern has pushed the California legislature to consider legislation prohibiting the use of state funds to build new fields with recycled tires and that would require towns and cities to examine cleaner alternatives before launching a new project. The Los Angeles Unified School District and the New York City Parks Departments already have stopped construction of new fields with crumb rubber following past concern about lead content. 
Artificial turf advocates say there are multiple studies that show fields are safe, while critics argue that there are no conclusive tests to prove such claims and that waiting for definitive evidence of a health hazard leaves children unprotected. 
More than 300 such fields have been built in Massachusetts during the past decade and they are becoming a coveted sports alternative for student athletes in towns from Boston to Attleboro, New Bedford to Springfield, according to a survey of field construction companies carried out by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. Athletes who play on the fields are well acquainted with the black pellets – a spray of which is often kicked up by bouncing balls and running children, and gets into cleats and tracked into homes and mixed with laundry after practice.
FHS girls soccer team kicks off a home game on the turf field at FHS in October
FHS girls soccer team kicks off a home game on the turf field at FHS in October

Continue reading the full article here

For more information about the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, you can visit their webpage here  http://necir.org/

The MA Dept of Health letter on the topic can be found here

Updated: from the Sun Chronicle

Franklin Police: New Patrol Officers Hired

Chief of Police Stephan H. Semerjian is pleased to announce the hire of two new Franklin Police Officer Candidates bringing the Departments sworn police officer number to 45.  After extensive background investigations which included education, financial and personal character components of all potential candidates Michael R. Bolze and Michael J. Colecchi have been offered employment as police officers by the Town of Franklin.   
Michael Bolze is a graduate of Penn State University and brings with him police experience as a special police officer with the Cohasset, Massachusetts Police Department.   Michael Colecchi is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, a United States Air Force veteran who was employed by the Douglas, Massachusetts Police Department. 
Bolze and Colecchi will be the first brand new Academy trained recruits for the department since 2004.  Both men took the first non‐civil service department administered entrance examination in January of 2014.  Some 270 potential candidates took this examination; Bolze and Colecchi were in the top tier of passing scores.    
They will begin their rigorous 26 week Basic Police Recruit Training at the Massachusetts Police Training Council’s Randolph facility in May of 2015.  Upon successful completion of all required courses of study they will then report to Franklin for the beginning of a 10 week on‐the‐job Field Officer Training component with veteran Franklin Police Officers as their mentors and teachers.   
After successful completion of their Field Training Bolze and Colecchi will be given their duty assignments as full‐time Franklin Police Officers and begin the start of what I expect to be a very rewarding and beneficial career of police work for them both and the Town of Franklin.  
Franklin Police - 911 Panther Way, Franklin
Franklin Police - 911 Panther Way, Franklin

You can  find the announcement on the Police Department page here

For additional information on the Franklin Police Department, you can visit there webpage here

You can contribute to the Franklin Cultural Festival!

You can find out more about Franklin's Cultural Festival here   or on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/FranklinCulturalFestival

Franklin Culturaal Festival - Arts Happen Here!
Franklin Culturaal Festival - Arts Happen Here!

"As If It Were Already Here”

I have been traveling into Boston regularly and took the time to walk by the new aerial sculpture.

taken from just at the edge of the sculpture, every where you stand you get a different view
taken from just at the edge of the sculpture, every where you stand you get a different view
The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy announced that Janet Echelman has named her aerial sculpture, currently sitting pretty above the park, "As If It Were Already Here” in reference to Boston's industrial past. The industriousness that it took for Echelman to pull off the art installation though is aptly reflected in the statistics. 
According to the Greenway Conservancy:
  • The sculpture includes over 100 miles of rope
  • There are over half a million knots (~542,500)
  • The sculpture weighs approximately 1 ton
  • The sculpture can exert over 100 tons of force
  • Longest span is 600 ft
  • The sculpture is 365 ft at its highest point
  • Projected plan area of the sculpture is 20,250 sq. ft. or almost half an acre
  • Illuminated by 32 individually programmed LED lights

The time lapse video of the effort to put it up is impressive!


News from Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Register O'Donnell Reports on April 2015 Real Estate Activity

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P.O'Donnell reported robust increases in total volume of real estate sales and average real estate sales price but a relatively flat number of real estate sales in the Norfolk County real estate market for April 2015.

"The April 2015 real estate figures for Norfolk County clearly show a seller's market with average sale price of commercial and residential property increasing year over year by 23% to $776,760. Total volume of commercial and residential sales increased 16% to $537 million compared to April 2014 numbers. However, the total number of real estate sales only increased by 1% compared to one year ago. This was due to continuing issues with real estate inventory. Buyers in Norfolk County are competing amongst themselves for a limited number of properties. One of the issues causing the reduced inventory is the harsh winter that was experienced resulting in some homeowners having to make significant repairs to their properties before putting them on the market. Good news for the home improvement industry but bad news for real estate buyers; particularly first time buyers," noted Register O'Donnell.

A continuing bright spot has been the steady recovery of the mortgage market. Total number of mortgages recorded increased 36% compared to the same time last year. Total mortgage indebtedness also increased 32% year over year. O'Donnell noted, "The mortgage numbers are a clear indication of an improving economy in Norfolk County. Homeowners are taking advantage of increased equity in their homes to access financing for home improvements and other critical needs."

Homestead recordings, which provide limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence up to $500,000, increased 2% from April 2014 to April 2015. A total of 905 Homesteads were recorded versus 888 during this comparative time period. Information regarding the Homestead Act can be found on the Registry's website at www.norfolkdeeds.org.

Foreclosure activity in Norfolk County showed signs of improvement. The Notices to Foreclose recordings totaled 36 for April compared to 47 filings in April 2014. Foreclosure deeds recordings were also flat in April 2015. 16 foreclosure deeds were recorded during the month, the same number as April 2014. Register O'Donnell stated, "While one foreclosure deed is one too many, the reduced number of Notice to Foreclose filings is a sign that at least in Norfolk County, the worst of the foreclosure crisis recently experienced appears to be behind us. With that said, my office continues to watch these numbers closely and work with other government agencies and programs to assist homeowners who have received a Notice of Foreclosure."

Register O'Donnell concluded, "Without question, the total real estate sales number for April 2015 was less than expected. However, I am a firm believer this number will improve once inventory levels rise as the weather continues to improve and in some cases, homeowners complete necessary repairs to their residences caused by the harsh winter months. Norfolk County continues to be a destination location for individuals and families to live and work."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, "like" us on facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com @NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at www.norfolkdeeds.org.

Register William P. O'Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

phone: 781-234-3336

Forward email

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds | 649 High Street | Dedham, | MA | 02026-1831

screen grab of Norfolk County Registry of Deeds
screen grab of Norfolk County Registry of Deeds