Monday, September 28, 2015

Reporting by Walking Around - Sunday, Sep 27 (photo essay)

a good reminder
Signs and other promotional material are available at

Fortunately, Franklin Police do pay attention to speeding and coincidentally, the speed monitor boards were out in both directions on Union St on Sunday. They had been switched over from alerting about the railroad crossing closing for Saturday.

speed monitor on Union St
speed monitor on Union St

The traffic was a mess on Saturday trying to navigate around Franklin. Folks unaware of the crossing repair work were being re-routed on East St to West Central St and then to Cottage. Or via Cottage downtown to West Central.

the newly repaired railroad crossing on Union St
the newly repaired railroad crossing on Union St

brick cross walk showing increase sign of wearing, brick will be coming out soon
brick cross walk showing increase sign of wearing, brick will be coming out soon

even with all the construction, have a wonderful day!
even with all the construction, have a wonderful day!

Opioid Abuse in Massachusetts: What Parents Need to Know

"The number of annual deaths related to opioid use in Massachusetts increased dramatically between 2000 and 2014, according to the Department of Public Health (DPH). Parents should be aware that young people are at high risk of becoming involved in this fatal epidemic. Data provided by Governor Baker’s Opioid Working Group indicates that 74 percent of individuals with a substance use disorder began using by age 17. 
With resources from DPH, start a discussion about opioid abuse with your children, and learn how the Opioid Working Group is taking steps to protect young people from addiction."
screen grab of MA GOV page on "What parents need to know"
screen grab of MA GOV page on "What parents need to know"

Continue reading the MA Gov article online

"a pump will be needed to send water to the plant"

We need to be aware of what is happening in our neighborhood, not just along our streets but just over the town line. Medway is tackling the issue of the proposed power plant expansion and now Millis is getting involved.

The Board of Selectmen is expected to approve a contract with an engineering firm to perform a review of the town’s water system to determine the feasibility of selling water to Exelon, which is planning a 200-megawatt expansion of its Medway plant. 
The Medway water system is already overburdened, and as a result, the town can't sell water to Exelon, which needs an average of 95,000 gallons per day for emissions control for two proposed 100-megawatt turbines at its existing 117-megawatt oil-fired facility on Summer Street. Exelon is proposing to purchase water from Millis, which would then pump the water into Medway’s water system.
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Additional resources:

Medway Peaker Project page

Boston Globe's "The Argument" with both sides for the story

And the Stop Exelon Facebook page

and webpage

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Neighbor Brigade is recognized for their work by the Town Council

In one of the shorter Town Council meetings, the Council heard the Neighbor Brigade presentation, recognized them for the work they do, and effectively handled several legislative items in about 30 minutes.

Linda Gagnon, Cheryl Ferry and Council Chair Bob Vallee
Linda Gagnon, Cheryl Ferri and Council Chair Bob Vallee

The Neighbor Brigade is a volunteer organization that helps individuals and families in need. They have been in existence for 5 years, founded by a woman from Wayland. Linda Gagnon was inspired to bring this community service to Franklin.

They provide a virtual network of services and this is their 3rd year of service for Franklin. They had 15 requests in the first year, 400 requests last year. The requests keep coming in. They coordinate to deliver meals and provide other help as needed.

The volunteers go above and beyond the call of duty. A mother loses her husband and doesn't know how to start a lawn mower. Another mother dealing with impending surgery, no other family support, the volunteers provide that help.

The Neighbor Brigade is in contact with other organization like the hospital, Schools, Fire Dept, Police Dept to make referrals as necessary.

To join or donate to the NEighbor Brigade visit them on the internet at  or in Facebook at

In the business portion of the meeting, the Council approve payment of a bill from 2015 fiscal year that just arrived. The Council authorized payment from insurance for a couple of occurrences. This is required when the amount exceeds 20,000 dollars.  

The School Building committee was formally disbanded. While the major work of the committee is complete, there remains a 'punch list' of items that still require attention. Tom Mercer, the committee chair, has been empowered to address those until they are complete.

The Senior Center Renovation Project was funded for an additional 601,000. This provides a total of 1.6M for the project to cover the current estimate. The Committee will now put out a formal bid for the work to be done to build out the second floor, add an elevator and do some other work in the building.

The complete notes taken live during the meeting can be found here:

Improvement plans and accreditation are an ongoing cycle

The School Committee meeting featured the overviews of the school improvement plans for the 2015-2016 school year. The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) and all the elementary schools presented. The Horace Mann Middle school also presented to give Shawn Fortin a chance to cover the work before he leaves in October.

(The new principal for Horace Mann was announced on Thursday as Rebecca Motte. She is currently an assistant principal at the Annie Sullivan Middle School.)

The school improvement plans build upon the District Improvement Plan presented in the prior School Committee meeting. Each school takes the district level plan and brings it to their level.

Links to each elementary school plan are included below. The district plan can be found here:

Other note worthy items from the meeting:

The FHS accreditation process will begin Mar 2017. Committee leads have been appointed, training is starting and more info will be shared as the process develops. Recall that one of the drivers of the new FHS facility was to help close an accreditation item. The new school building opened successfully in Sep 2014, the item was closed and the whole new accreditation review cycle will begin again.

On October 15, music students from around the District will be performing at the October Stroll in business locations downtown.

As fall arrives this week, the District is gearing up for first snow planning meeting. They are looking to make some refinements on the snow plan, including to the process for clearing the FHS parking lots.

Finally the last FHS building Committee was held and the committee will be officially disbanded as the work is now complete. This is an item on the Town Council agenda for Weds. 

Updated from the Town Council meeting, while the major work of the committee is complete, there remains a 'punch list' of items that still require attention. Tom Mercer, the committee chair, has been empowered to address those until they are complete.

The set of notes reported live from the meeting on Tuesday, Sep 22 can be found here: 

the entrance to the new FHS
the entrance to the new FHS

Franklin Food Pantry seeks additional donated space

The Franklin Food Pantry seeks additional donated space for our busy season!

Space will be used for non-perishable donations October through January. 

Franklin Food Pantry
Franklin Food Pantry

Looking for:

  • Ground level receiving and storing, no stairs.
  • Roughly 800 square feet or more.
  • Indoor temperature controlled.
  • Room to setup tables and shelves for volunteers to sort and store food donations.
  • FFP staff will need daily keyed access for scheduled donation drop-offs.

Please email or call the Franklin Food Pantry (508-528-3115) if you can help. 

Thank you!

Hayrides at Hoffman Farms - weekends through October

"Come visit Hoffmann Farm on the weekends this fall! We will have Hayrides out to our pumpkin patch, $8pp and you get a to pick a pumpkin!

Kids under 2 are free! 

Rides start at 1pm Saturday's and Sunday's through October. Rides go out every half hour and last ride is at 4:30. 

We have all your fall decor and the farm stand is open 10-6 daily with lots of fall veggies!!!"

Find more info about Hoffman Farm on Facebook

Hoffman Farm - Facebook photo
Hoffman Farm - Facebook photo

FHS field hockey drops match, football touchdown video

The FHS field hockey team lost 2-0 to Walpole and we can shared this video of a key touchdown pass from Friday night's football game. Both items were shared from Hockomock Sports.

Field Hockey

Franklin, 0 vs. Walpole, 2 – Final 
– Seniors Taylor Reutlinger and Maddie Gendreau and junior Dana Lewandowski played a strong game for Franklin according to head coach Lisa Cropper.
For all the results across the Hockomock League on Saturday

And one of the highlights of Friday night's football game where the Panthers came back from a 13-0 deficit to win 14-13 was this pass.

"we’ve driven and rated every mile in town"

Milford Daily News has a long article on the road maintenance programs of the MetroWest communities and quotes DPW Director Robert (Brutus) Cantoreggi in a couple of places.

"If the base road is good, you can do maintenance over and over at a third of the cost of a full-depth reclamation," said Milford Highway Surveyor Scott Crisafulli. 
To maintain road integrity, local departments of public works and highway departments deploy an array of tools. The least intrusive, said Franklin DPW Director Robert "Brutus" Cantoreggi, is crack sealing. 
“With crack sealing, we take an emulsion and use it to fill hairline cracks,” he said. “That’s to keep out water which, during the winter, causes potholes. 
“It doesn’t look great, but it’s a very cost-effective way to maintain roads,” he added.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Crack seal

crack seal on Everett St, Franklin
crack seal on Everett St, Franklin in 2014

Chip seal

chip seal on Delta Dr in 2014
chip seal on Delta Dr in 2014

rework the road base

Lewis St in 2015
Lewis St in 2015

new base

new base coat in place, the curbing and sidewalks are being installed before the final coat is applied on Lewis St
new base coat in place, the curbing and sidewalks are being installed before the final coat is applied on Lewis St

Final coat

the raised crosswalk at Dean College on the newly paved Main St
the raised crosswalk at Dean College on the newly paved Main St

Saturday, September 26, 2015

FHS football and field hockey win while golf and volleyball lose

It was a break-even Friday for the athletic teams at FHS where they posted wins in Football and Field Hockey while the Golf and Volleyball teams lost. The detailed results are shared from Hockomock Sports.


Taunton, 13 @ Franklin, 14 – Final

  • 1st Quarter: No scoring.
  • 2nd Quarter: (T) Damion Theodule 1 yard rush, XP good; (T) Tanner Costa 46 yard rush, XP fail.
  • 3rd Quarter: No scoring.
  • 4th Quarter: (F) Brad Jarosz 1 yard rush, Nick Yelle XP good; (F) Jake Wolowacki 53 yard pass to Sam Harrell, N. Yelle XP good.

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers


Mansfield, 3 @ Franklin, 1 – Final 
– Mansfield picked up wins in the first two games and finished it off in the fourth game. The Hornets took a 25-9, 25-21, 24-26, 25-18 win behind 10 kills from Meg Hill, six kills from Colleen Riley and 13 digs from Cathryn Heavey. Franklin’s Caroline Maguire had three kills, three blocks and a pair of aces, Aubrie Kutil had six kills and Dayna McCue finished with 22 digs and three aces.

Field Hockey

Franklin, 1 @ Taunton, 0 – Final 
– Franklin senior Kelsey McPhee scored the lone goal of the game while Panther goalie Samantha Jones have a big save on a breakaway to preserve the lead. Head coach Lisa Cropper said seniors Abby Egan, Maddie Gendreau and Kenzi Pleshaw all played well defensively.


Franklin, 171 @ King Philip, 156 – Final 
– King Philip’s Mickey Riley was the match medalist, shooting a 37 to lead the Warriors. Matt Dao shot a 40 for the Panthers.

For all the results around the Hockomock League

"We've been meeting on the subject for over a year"

The town has removed parking meters along downtown East Central Street, a move that could be made permanent. 
Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said the meters were being removed to accommodate ongoing roadwork taking place in the center of town. He said the status of the meters after the work is completed is in question. 
"There's been a proposal to not (put the meters back), but it hasn't been approved," he said. 
Nutting said the police department would be enforcing a two-hour parking limit where the meters once were. That regulation, he said, would remain in effect until the Town Council adopts more permanent rules.

New flag pole? No. Parking meter in process of being removed.
New flag pole? No. Parking meter in process of being removed.

Continue reading the article online (Subscription may be required)

Franklin News from the Twitterverse - Saturday, Sep 26

Drug Tack-Back Day is today from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, drop off your extra prescription medicines at the Franklin Police Station, 911 Panther Way.


Concussion Awareness week concludes but the need for concussion awareness goes on!


As mentioned during the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, each Friday at the High School is a dress up theme day. This Friday (Sep 25) the Freshman Class won.

Free Flu Shot Clinic - Oct 13

For all Franklin residents 6 months or older

No copays

  • Bring your insurance cards
  • Wear a shortsleeved shirt

When?  Tuesday, Oct 13 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM

Where?  Franklin Senior Center

Franklin Senior Center
Franklin Senior Center

This was shared from the official Franklin page

StoryCorp: How stories can transform a classroom

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"Telling our stories brought all of our lived realities into the classroom." Rebecca Mieliwocki, Seventh Grade Teacher

Photo: David Andrako
Caitlyn, a quiet seventh grader, was bullied by the other kids in her class because she wore the same cowboy boots every day. The boots were a gift from her father, who had passed away. But Caitlyn's boots were special for another reason. After she shared her story, the teasing stopped. Not just for Caitlyn, but for everyone.

Click here to read TEDBlog's latest post about how StoryCorps helps students discover the power of their own voice. 

Between now and October 17, every dollar you donate to our education programs will be doubled by a special matching grant. Please give today. 
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Friday, September 25, 2015

Franklin Public Schools: Rumors/ Pediculosis

Good Morning: 
It has come to our attention that there are a number of rumors circulating on social media that there has been an outbreak of pediculosis. Comments cite an epidemic of lice (pediculosis) in our schools that has gone unchecked. Please be assured that if the facts had any credibility we would communicate to our parents/guardians. 
As of this morning school health officials report there are no active cases of lice. From the start of the school year there were two reported cases - and only one at the elementary level. Both Cases were effectively treated medically and we can report no recurrence. 
We are not sure what motivated the circulation of these rumors but be assured there is no epidemic. We take public health concerns seriously and our protocols and practices are aligned with the Department of Public Health regulations and guidelines. 
Thank You
Franklin Public Schools - 'the key to learning'
Franklin Public Schools - 'the key to learning'

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