Thursday, June 22, 2017

Chance to WIN a $50 Polar Express Shop gift card

Purchase seats for the 2017 Polar Express Train Ride
by June 30th for a
chance to WIN a $50 gift card

We'll notify the winner by email in early July!!!

If you've already got your're already entered!
Call 401-495-1213 to purchase tickets or

  Here's a sampling of what our store offers...
 1 DEPOT SQ. WOONSOCKET, RI   |    401-495-1213 

Blackstone Valley Tourism Council | 175 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860

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Greater Franklin Distinguished Young Women

"The Greater Franklin DYW program held its performance showcase on May 13 at Dean College in Franklin. Alexa Katsaros was named Greater Franklin DYW 2018 and Alexis Juszczyszyna was named Greater Norfolk DYW. 
Both Katsaros and Juszczyszyna will go on to complete in the Massachusetts Distinguished Young Women Finals on Saturday, Aug. 12 in Holyoke. 
Katsaros received scholarships in the fitness, talent and self-expression categories and was the recipient of the Rebecca Most Community Award and the Amy Callahan Spirit Award."

The Distinguished Young Woman of Greater Norfolk for 2018 is Alexis Juszczyszyn, from Franklin.
The Distinguished Young Woman of Greater
Norfolk for 2018 is Alexis Juszczyszyn, from Franklin.
The Distinguished Young Woman of Franklin for 2018 is Alexa Katsaros, from Franklin.
The Distinguished Young Woman of Franklin
for 2018 is Alexa Katsaros, from Franklin.
For more information on the Franklin area Distinguished Young Women visit their webpage

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Green Infrastructure in Parks: A Guide to Collaboration, Funding, and Community Engagement

"This guide is intended to encourage partnerships between park agencies and stormwater agencies aimed at promoting the use of green infrastructure on park lands. Green infrastructure can help to maximize the environmental, economic, and social benefits of parks. By building strong partnerships, agencies can improve park lands and access to parks, better manage stormwater, increase community resiliency to shifting weather patterns, and provide funding to implement and maintain park enhancements that benefit the community. 
The guide offers information on why partnerships between stormwater managers and parks managers can be beneficial and how you can create such partnerships. The guide presents an overview of green infrastructure and describes practices that can be used to manage stormwater in parks. In addition, you will find information on factors that influence the selection of appropriate green infrastructure practices, such as maintenance requirements. 
The guide is designed to provide you with a stepwise approach for building relationships with potential partners, and includes information on how to identify and engage partners, build relationships, involve the community, leverage funding opportunities, and identify green infrastructure opportunities. It includes recommendations on the types of projects that are most likely to attract positive attention and funding, and which provide a wide range of benefits. Case studies are included to illustrate the approaches presented in the guide. These real-life examples portray how partnerships between municipal stormwater agencies and parks departments have improved recreational resources in the community, enhanced environmental protection, and reduced risks and burdens. 
For those who wish to go deeper into a topic, the guide includes short descriptions and links to external resources that provide more detail on the material presented within."
You can find the full EPA document here

Or on the Town of  Franklin webpage (PDF)

Sculpture Park on Panther Way in Franklin
Sculpture Park on Panther Way in Franklin

Registration for St. Mary’s Religious Education Classes

Registration for Grades 1—10 for Religious Education classes at St. Mary’s Church has begun. You can register your children 24/7 using a credit/debit card. Registration is being held now and continues until 11:55 p.m. on Sunday, August 13, 2017. 

Visit our website at and you will find the link for Registration. There is also information about the Religious Education Program for Grades 1-10. 

If there are any questions about this process or about Religious Education classes in general, please call Karen Ackles at 508-528-1450.

Registration for St. Mary’s Religious Education Classes
Registration for St. Mary’s Religious Education Classes

Encore Music: SUMMER REGISTRATION: Snag Your Lesson Time!

A friendly reminder that registration for Encore's 2017 summer session is now open!
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A reminder that Encore Music Academy's summer session is fast approaching! Don't miss out, sign up today!

We will be open for eight weeks during the summer, from July 10th through September 2nd. Lesson slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis with payment up front.

We understand that many families have vacations or camps during the summer. In our experience, students who take the entire summer off from lessons typically spend much of September and October in review of lost technique or skills.

For this reason, we do not require weekly lessons during the summer, but simply ask that students register for weeks they know they are available. Whether it's one lesson a month or the full eight weeks, we strongly encourage students to maintain continuity with their musical studies over the summer.

To register, visit the front office at either location, or call (508) 533-7700

Monday through Thursday from 12:00pm-8:00pm, both locations.
Fridays, CLOSED.
Saturdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm, Millis location only. 

Availability within these hours will vary by instructor. Speak with the front desk to determine your instructor's summer availability. 
Don't forget about Encore's exciting summer classes! 
Summer Class: Clarinet Choir
Register now
Summer Class: The Audition Process
Register Now
Summer Class: Saxophone Symphony
Register Now

Copyright © 2017 Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios
3 Bent St
Franklin, Ma 02038

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

THE BLACK BOX Dance Series to Present Tributary - June 21

THE BLACK BOX Dance Series presents Tributary on Wednesday, June 21 at 8 p.m. at the downtown Franklin venue. Tributary is a collective of musicians from around the U.S. dedicated to performing spiritually rich and honest music that is thoughtful, creative and improvisatory. 

Their concerts are about spiritual discovery through the language of art, and will be a unique experience, full of immediacy and vulnerability. Tributary is led by Greg Woodsbie, a self-described “ritual artist” whose background in jazz, classical and Cuban music permeates his work as a highly regarded dance accompanist and church musician in the Boston/Providence area. 

Tributary also includes Adam Meckler (Trumpet), Aaron Hedenstrom (Saxophone), Brian Courage (Bass) and Derek Dreier (percussion), featuring dancers Kristina Berger and Bill Evans.

Tickets are $15. The home of the Franklin Performing Arts Company, THE BLACK BOX is located at 15 West Central Street. For tickets and more information, visit or call (508) 528-3370.

THE BLACK BOX Dance Series to Present Tributary - June 21
THE BLACK BOX Dance Series to Present Tributary - June 21

School Committee recap - June 13, 2017

The recap of the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 includes the following items:

The Educational Support Professionals (ESP) contract with the signed. The contract was approved in the prior meeting and formally signed in this one.

Recognition of many of the retiring personnel took much of the meeting.

  • Ron Taylor Akie - FHS Math
  • Gretchen Carr - Annie Sullivan
  • Ronni Cowen - Remington/Horace Mann
  • Chandler Creedon - School psychologist, former president of FEA
  • Jane Cronin - Jefferson 1st grade
  • Jane Hogan - K-12 Art Director "irreplaceable"
  • Randi Heiselmeyer - ECDC
  • Dr Pandora Carlucci - Lifelong Learning
  • Dr Maureen Sabolinski, Superintendent

The school district is loosing a whole lot of knowledge with these folks walking out the door. Given the performance, this will also create opportunity for others to step up and fill the shoes.

Slide show of the retirees 

School Committee - June 13, 2017

The video replay for this meeting is also available on demand from Franklin TV

My notes taken while I reporting live from the Council Chambers during the meeting can be found here:

Hunag heads to Distinguished Young Woman National Finals

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Helen Huang, of Franklin, traveled to Mobile, Alabama on June 18 to participate in the 60th Distinguished Young Women National Finals, which will be held June 29, 30 and July 1 at the Mobile Civic Center Theater. 
Huang is one of 51 representatives competing for thousands of dollars in cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the program as the Distinguished Young Woman of America for 2017. 
Following her selection as the Distinguished Young Woman of Massachusetts, Huang began preparations for the National Finals competition, which will include five categories of evaluation: scholastics (25 percent), interview (25 percent), fitness (15 percent), talent (20 percent) and self-expression (15 percent). During her two weeks in Mobile, Huang will participate in team building activities, complete community service projects, interact with the Gulf Coast community through various events and engage in many hours of rehearsal in preparation for the three-night scholarship competition."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Helen Huang was recognized by Rep Roy and Town Council Chair Matt Kelly
Helen Huang was recognized by Rep Roy and Town Council Chair Matt Kelly

Monday, June 19, 2017

Franklin Library: Teddy Bear Picnic - June 22

Teddy Bear Picnic at the Town Common, Thursday, June 22, 12:00 p.m.

Franklin Library: Teddy Bear Picnic - June 22
Franklin Library: Teddy Bear Picnic - June 22
This was shared from the Franklin Library page

"Participating students also gained an advantage"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"While students get a break from school over the summer, that doesn’t mean they should take a break from learning, many educators and advocates say. 
When kids experience the so-called “summer slide,” they lose some of the knowledge and skills they acquired during the school year. The result is that some – particularly those who may have already been struggling academically – can fall behind when they return to school in the fall. 
“For the first months when they come back to school, it’s like the teachers are retraining the kids,” said Jennifer Francioso, president of the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

This summer, the library is rolling out a whole bunch of fun new items to encourage literacy and creative play! Be sure to stop in and explore the fun new items we'll be unveiling each week! Check out the Summer Program flyer:

Lifelong Learning offers rising 9th graders the "High School Experience"

The summer enrichment programs will be held in three locations: Franklin High School, Horace Mann Middle School, and Oak Street Elementary School. There will be a nurse at the Oak Street/Horace Mann complex and a nurse at Franklin High School.

“For a lot of kids it’s a fresh start”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Facing steadily rising costs to educate students each year, several MetroWest and Milford-area school systems are using school choice money to make upgrades and prevent cuts to programs and staff. 
Public school districts can vote to accept students from outside their district under the state’s school choice program. A student’s home district pays the receiving district a tuition – typically about $5,000 – each year a student is enrolled in the receiving system. Districts that enroll in school choice can limit the number of students they want to accept each year and into which grades, but cannot remove a student once he or she joins. 
Holliston has been a staple in the program since it was created in 1991 and has drawn several out-of-district students the past several years due, in part, to the district’s French immersion classes, Montessori education and small class sizes, said Superintendent Brad Jackson. 
“Some students and families are looking for a more intimate and small school district,” he said. “Others are just seeking a change in venue.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

While not covered by the article, Franklin used to use school choice but the School Committee has voted not to use school choice. The decision was based upon the class size. When school choice is opened, students can come into any grade and then the district is committed to serve them until their leave or graduate. While the funds provided would be nice, there wasn't sufficient capacity to provide for the option. If I recall correctly, the district peaked at about 70 students and the school choice enrollment has declined over the years to less than a dozen or so.

Milford Daily News article from 2013

The article from 2013 includes a table on the school choice enrollment from the 2003-2004 school year through 2013

School Committee decision in 2016

School Committee agenda for March 2017

Parmenter school sign
Parmenter school sign

Register O'Donnell Promotes Homestead Act

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Register O'Donnell Promotes Homestead Act

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell today reminded homeowners about the importance of filing for Homestead protection.

Under Massachusetts law, a Homestead recording provides for limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.

"For most people, their home is the most important financial asset they have," noted Register O'Donnell. "If you own a home, and it is your primary residence, one way to protect it is to file a Homestead. The Homestead law also allows for the filing of an Elderly Homestead application, which defines an elder as a person who is 62 years of age or older. This protection can be increased if the elderly couple files jointly."

O'Donnell further stated, "The Homestead Law was significantly enhanced by an act of the Massachusetts Legislature back in 2011. Language in the new law states a valid Homestead cannot be terminated when refinancing a mortgage. Other changes include wording which states that a Homestead can provide protections for a primary home even if it is kept in trust. The definition of a primary residence has been further expanded to include a manufactured or mobile home."

While a Homestead provides important protections for consumers, it is important to note there are certain debts that are exempted from protection under the Homestead Act. These include federal, state and local tax liens, as well as mortgages contracted for the purchase of a primary home and nursing home liens. Most other mortgages, debts, and encumbrances existing prior to the filing of the Declaration of Homestead, along with probate court executions for spousal and child support, are also not covered under the Homestead protection statute.

Homestead recordings can be filed at the Registry of Deeds for a state imposed fee of $36.00. To find out more about the Homestead law, or to get a free application, please go online to the Registry's website at or contact the Registry's Customer Service Center at 781-461-6101.

Register O'Donnell concluded, "It is important to reiterate that a Homestead protects consumers against the forced sale of their primary owned residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. While the debt is still owed, homeowners will at least have the comfort of knowing that with a Homestead filed at the Registry of Deeds, their primary residence cannot be forcibly sold to satisfy most debts."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on and

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry's website Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at

Register William P. O'Donnell
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

phone: 781-234-3336
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, 649 High Street, Dedham,, MA 02026-1831

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

"you talk to kids about caring for themselves”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"At age 15, when he was spending his mother’s money on drugs and getting drunk to hang out with friends he’d known his entire life, Chris Herren wishes someone had asked him one simple question. 
“Like, with all you have going for you, why?” said Herren, the former Boston Celtics player and one-time drug user who now dedicates his life to the cause of preventing others from making the same bad choices he made. 
Decades later, Herren is imploring schools to begin asking that same question of their students, promoting dialogue around the factors that lead young people to use drugs and alcohol."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Chris spoke at FHS in February 2016. My notes from his talk sponsored by the SAFE Coalition can be found here

#safe-ch0229 "I did not know that one pill was going to change my life"
-ch0229 "I did not know that one pill was going to change my life"

Rail Good Coffee expands the brewing

On the #shopFranklin front, the recent announcement by Rail Good Coffee reminds me that they are now operating in three locations. Folks who use the Franklin/Dean station can stop for coffee in the station shop. Rail Good Coffee also operates the coffee shop at the Walpole Station and recently reached an agreement to operate the Franklin/Forge Park Station coffeeshop. 

Three opportunities to get Rail Good Coffee.

And now this week, Rail Good Coffee is also offered in pound packs to brew at home or the office.

Way to go Randy!

Inside the Rail Good Coffee shop at Franklin Dean (Facebook image)
Inside the Rail Good Coffee shop at Franklin Dean (Facebook image)

If you can visit Rail Good Coffee in person, you can visit them on Facebook

Franklin Library: Summer Reading Kickoff Carnival - June 21

Summer Reading Kick-off Carnival, Wednesday, June 21, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Franklin Library: Summer Reading Kickoff Carnival - June 21
Franklin Library: Summer Reading Kickoff Carnival - June 21

This summer, the library is rolling out a whole bunch of fun new items to encourage literacy and creative play! Be sure to stop in and explore the fun new items we'll be unveiling each week!

Check out the Summer Program flyer: