Saturday, August 12, 2017

Two quick updates on Tinkergarten

Two quick updates on Tinkergarten, the new outdoor classes that were recently announced as coming to Franklin. (1) they are a MA based company (2) they just announced additional capital funding to help them expand their leader recruiting efforts.

"Tinkergarten announced on Tuesday it has raised a $5.4 million Series A round of financing led by Owl Ventures, with additional investment from existing investors Omidyar Network (the philanthropic investment firm established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam) and Reach Capital.
The Northampton, MA-based company uses an online platform to organize outdoor educational activities for kids ages 1-8 years old. A mix of learning and play, activities are conducted by trained “leaders,” people with a passion for teaching who can be educators, scientists, artists or even attorneys."

Read more about the capital funding here

ICYMI - the prior posting on the Tinkergarten classes coming to Franklin

image from Tinkergarten webpage
image from Tinkergarten webpage

Friday, August 11, 2017

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 8/11/17 - THU 8/17/17

FRIDAY 8/11/17
9:30am   Family Yoga @ Franklin Public Library
12-6pm   Franklin Farmers Market @ Town Common
3:30pm   Lemonade and Giant Legos @ Franklin Public Library
5-10pm   Feast of St. Rocco: Rides, Food Booths, Entertainment @ 201 Main Street

SATURDAY 8/12/17
8-11am   Franklin Dog Park Clean Up @ Dacey Field
10-1pm   Franklin Historical Museum Open
10am   Feast of St. Rocco Anointing Mass under the tent @ 201 Main Street
10:30am   Pancake Breakfast with author Josh Funk @ Franklin Public Library
11am-10pm   Feast of St. Rocco: Rides, Food Booths, Entertainment @ 201 Main Street
2-4pm   Cultural Diversity Pot Luck @ Franklin Public Library
8pm   The Black Box Summer Concert: The Love Dogs @ The Black Box

SUNDAY 8/13/17
10:30am   Feast of St. Rocco: Closing Mass @ St. Mary’s Parish
12-8pm   Feast of St. Rocco: Rides, Food Booths, Entertainment @ 201 Main Street
1-4pm   Franklin Historical Museum Open

MONDAY 8/14/17
2:30pm   Maker Mondays @ Franklin Public Library
7pm   Learn to Cope Franklin Chapter Meeting @ FUSF

TUESDAY 8/15/17
9am   Do Gooders DIYs @ Franklin Public Library

10:30am   Jungle Jim’s Minecraft Madness @ Franklin Public Library
6:30-8pm   Concerts on The Common: Matt Zajac and Friends @ Franklin Town Common

THURSDAY 8/17/17
9-10am   Rep Roy Office Hours @ Elizabeth’s Bagels
9:30am   Baby Tummy Time @ Franklin Public Library
10:30am   Story and Craft @ Franklin Public Library
12pm   Park it and Read @ various Franklin Parks - check with the Library
3pm   Memory Cafe for Caregivers and their Loved Ones @ Franklin Senior Center
5-8pm   Franklin Historical Museum Open
7-8pm   Healing Hearts Community Support Group @ Franklin YMCA

For the Town of Franklin Public Calendar click HERE.

For all other events and Franklin happenings click HERE.

*To submit an event for the Community Calendar, please use this FORM.

The Vet Ruck Walk will travel through Franklin Saturday, Aug 19

Franklin's Veterans' Services Officer Dale Kurtz says:

"We expect the walkers to enter Franklin about 6 PM on Saturday, August 19. They will travel Lincoln St to make a brief stop at the War Memorial on the Town Common and then proceed through town via Main St to East Central expecting to exit at 7 PM into Wrentham. There will be 8 to 9 walkers and supporters are invited to join in, but we must keep up the pace of the team for them to make their timelines. We hope that veterans, scout groups and town people will come out to support the walkers."

From the Warrior Thunder Facebook page:  
Oh, and they will be doing it nonstop over 3 days. 
The transition from military to civilian life can be difficult, especially when dealing with injuries, illnesses, the scars of combat and loss of comrades. Those who have not served have a difficult time understanding this and bringing Veterans back into the community, while Veterans have a hard time sharing their stories and becoming part of the community that wants them. 
This 200-mile ruck across Massachusetts will help raise awareness for the needs of Veterans, specifically, the need for them to become part of the community after service, the prevention of suicide and to raise charitable donations to support programs to help them. 
We will start at Bates Memorial State Park and finish at Plymouth Rock Park.
Check out our route at the site below.

Grab all of your friends and meet us along the route in your town or any town and cheer us on. I mean, 200 miles, nonstop...come on.
Wave your flags, bring all your Veteran friends, bring ALL your friends, family, dogs ... even your mother in law (no we won't take her with us).

Check out our website (by clicking tickets above) for the route. We will post the times of each location we travel through. If you would like to be sponsor or want your group or town leaders to meet with us, please contact Darren Bean. (508) 244-9950 or
We are proudly sponsored by Skeleton Optics, Cascade Designs, Petzl, The Cabby Shack and Reebok!! Thank you for supporting our Veterans and their Families."

The Vet Ruck Walk will travel through Franklin Saturday, Aug 19
The Vet Ruck Walk will travel through Franklin Saturday, Aug 19
Download and print this poster to help spread the word:

“We’ve had an excellent blueberry crop this season"

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

"After a rainy, cool start to the season, blueberry gatherers might have expected slim pickings. But the reality is the exact opposite. 
Local blueberry growers say their bushes have been putting on a good show this summer, and picking is plentiful. 
“We have a really good crop of berries this year. The cool wet weather hasn’t seemed to affect the berry production,” said Pam Gianetti, of Gianetti’s U-Pick Blueberries on Franklin’s Union Street. 
There, about five acres of high bush blueberry bushes are tucked away amidst a residential neighborhood at 557 Union St. -- a hidden treasure pocket laden with the plump, dark blue gems of summer. Since 1979 the Gianetti family has welcomed visitors to their blueberry beds to pick their own buckets full of berries."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

we went ti Gianetti's a couple of weeks ago and it was good picking
we went ti Gianetti's a couple of weeks ago and it was good picking

"It’s safer, and for me that’s a huge concern"

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

"The vibrant colors of the Panthers logo in the center of the new turf field at the high school are almost too bright to look at, but hard to turn away from. 
The fierce, blue panther and its intimidating teeth are sown proudly into the middle of the field, on the 50-yard line. 
“All I know is how beautiful it is and how excited we are to have it,” said athletic director Tom Angelo. 
The department of public works hired contractors to replace two of the three turf fields in town – the high school and Beaver Pond. They will also be replacing the track at the high school, as soon as the field is complete The town budgeted for the replacement far in advance, with the knowledge that turf life is about a dozen years. The project costs about $1.6 million."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

the new turf is being installed at Franklin High School
the new turf is being installed at Franklin High School

the crumb rubber infill is coated with an epoxy which should make it safer
the crumb rubber infill is coated with an epoxy which should make it safer

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Franklin Public Library: pancakes, potluck, and book sale - Aug 12

Pancake Breakfast with Author Josh Funk, Saturday, August 12, 10:30 AM

Franklin Public Library: pancakes, potluck, and book sale - Aug 12
Franklin Public Library: pancakes, potluck, and book sale - Aug 12

Cultural Diversity Potluck, Saturday, August 12, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Cultural Diversity Potluck, Saturday, August 12, 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Cultural Diversity Potluck, Saturday, August 12, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Franklin Public Library Book Sale, Saturday, August 12, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (and then the 'bag sale' on Sunday from 9:00 AM to noon)

Franklin Public Library Book Sale, Saturday, August 12, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Franklin Public Library Book Sale, Saturday, August 12, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM 

This information was shared from the Franklin Library webpages

Economic Development Committee - Quick Twitter Recap - Aug 9

The full set of notes and the recording will be made available shortly. In the meantime, here are the notes I posted via Twitter for the Economic Development Committee meeting held on Aug 9, just before the Town Council meeting also that night.

photo of the map handed out at the meeting showing the Nu-Style property as Lot 22
photo of the map handed out at the meeting showing the Nu-Style property as Lot 22 

#opioidFranklin: Not An Emergency?

The opioid problem needs to be addressed on multiple fronts. The SAFE Coalition is working hard locally to provide help. Representative Roy and others in the MA legislature are working that avenue. This group is working on the the national level and can use your support.

Facing Addiction

Yesterday, the President of the United States suggested there would be a big announcement related to the ongoing opioid crisis. But what he said was more of the same – continuing the same, tired rhetoric, without any of the bold action this issue demands and that he promised on the campaign trail. 

President Trump even suggested going back to a simple, 1980's-style message "Just Say No," and telling young people alcohol and other drugs are bad is the best path forward. That didn't work then and it will not work now. We need real solutions.

Addiction is Not A Crime

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Tom Price, stated that, despite the recommendations of their own Commission on the Opioid Crisis, it was not necessary to declare addiction a national emergency. "We believe that, as this point, that the resources that we need, or the focus that we need to bring to bear to the opioid crisis at this point can be addressed without the declaration of an emergency, although all things are on the table for the President," Price said.

Not necessary to declare an emergency? Mr. President, and Secretary Price, with all due respect – if you don't see this issue as an emergency, you haven't been paying attention to the recommendations of your OWN Presidential Appointed Commission! Or every major newspaper, TV news program, and radio news program in the country.

Friends, let's force the administration to pay attention. Let's come together as we have so many times before. Please, add your name with thousands of others in support of President Trump acting on his Commission's recommendation to declare a national emergency. Once you do, please pass the letter on to your networks via your social media pages or email. Let's make our voices so loud and clear that they can't possibly ignore us. Let's be a bold and powerful constituency of consequence on this life and death matter.

I hope you'll add your name by clicking here and showing them just how wrong they are.

Warm regards,

Michael King 
Director of Outreach and Engagement

Donate Now
Facing Addiction is a national non-profit organization dedicated to unifying the voice of the more than 45 million Americans and their families directly impacted by addiction. |
100 Mill Plain Road, 3rd Floor Danbury, CT 06811
Facing Addiction

39th Feast of St Rocco's opens today

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

1 St. Mary’s Parish is holding its 39th annual Feast of St. Rocco festival this week. 
2 The event will be held Aug. 10-13 on the St. Rocco’s fairgrounds across from St. Mary’s Church, located at One Church Square. The celebration will feature Italian and other festival fare, live music, carnival rides, and more. 
3 Carnival rides will open Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. Get a $25 bracelet for unlimited rides. There will be limited food available (pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs). 
4 The festival will be in full swing Friday from 5-10 p.m. All food booths will be open. The Reminisants will be on the bandstand from 6 to 10 p.m.
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

the carnival rides were delivered to the grounds of the Feast of Sto Rocco's for set up
the carnival rides were delivered to the grounds of the Feast of Sto Rocco's for set up

Additional info on the Feast and schedule of events can be found

or directly on the St Mary's webpage

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Live reporting: Legislation through to Closing

I. Subcommittee Reports
I. Subcommittee Reports
J. Legislation for Action
J. Legislation for Action
1. Resolution 17-50: Acceptance of Gift - Town of Franklin Police Dept. (Motion to Move Resolution 17-50 - majority vote (5))

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

2. Resolution 17-51: Town Clerk Prior Year Bills (Motion to Move Resolution 17-51 - 2/3 majority vote (6))

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 17-795: Zoning Map Changes from Business and Commercial II to Single Family Residential IV and Commercial I, in an Area on or Near Union, Cottage and Saxon Streets - Referral to the Planning Board (Motion to Refer Bylaw Amendment 17-795 to the Planning Board - majority vote (5))

Bissanti recuses himself
motion to waive the reading, seconded, then withdraw

was discussed in a planning workshop a few years ago, was also brought up recently at the EDC and then brought here for action to clean up the zoning and plot lines

possible addition of another lot to the proposal, lot 53 on Union St

difference between C1 and C2, more restrictions on C2
C1 more appropriate for smaller neighborhoods
parking requirements and dimensions

motion to amend the parcel requested to C1, seconded
additional language to clarify the amendment
passed 9-0

motion to refer as amended, seconded, passed 9-0

K. Town Administrator's Report
K. Town Administrator's Report

L. Future Agenda Items
L. Future Agenda Items

questions about the Senior bus? borrowing one from Medway rather than spending over $100,000 for a new vehicle for limited use

Cultural Festival and 4th of July possible for combination? Pellegri to reach out

Bissanti - town trying to avoid the opioid problem, identified areas in and around Franklin, get some restaurants NARCAN training (should be brought to SAFE Coalition)

M. Council Comments
M. Council Comments

Brutus recognized for his recent degree 

FHS final audit for MSBA is coming to a close, hopefully to get final approval and payment end of Oct/Nov then we cna close the books for the project that began in 2008

Jones - no private well restrictions as we have been getting so uch rain
condolences to the Gilboys on the loss of Axe

Dellorco - went to the opening on Sat, it was excellent
Bob Donovan retiring from the Fire Dept after long years of service

Bissanti - thanks to the Cultural Festival folks, it was a great event at THE BLACK BOX, plug for up and coming committee, Franklin Pride a group to raise funds for things that they might need

Pfeffer - do have funds as part of the Franklin Elders but there has been no money promised, there has not been that much interest in bus trips; will provide a bus but not buy one

Library will be finished in mid-October to late October, bricks still for sale

Bridge on West Central St, the flags are fantastic, thanks to whomever does it

Kelly - congrats to Bob Donovan on retirement

N. Executive Session - Non-scheduled
N. Executive Session - None scheduled
O. Adjourn
O. Adjourn

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

Live reporting: License transactions, Dr Ahern introduction

G. License Transactions
G. License Transactions -
1. New Farmer-Winery Pouring License - La Cantina Winery - 7:10 PM

open hearing
no comments
close hearing

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

H. Presentations/Discussions
H. Presentations/Discussions - School Superintendent - Dr Sara Ahern

Started July 1, great 6 weeks to get to know folks and what's happening

thanks to Jamie and Jeff for being welcoming and collaborative
took a tour of the town and school buildings

impressed with collaboration and professionalism found among the staff here

Live Reporting: Town Council - Aug 9, 2017

Present: Pellegri, Padula, Mercer, Vallee, Kelly, Pfeffer, Bissanti, Dellorco, Jones
Absent: none

A. Approval of Minutes
A. Approval of Minutes
June 28
motion to approve, second, passed 9-0

July 2
motion to approve, second, passed 9-0
B. Announcements
C. Proclamations/Recognitions
C. Proclamations/Recognitions
1. Swearing in of Police Officer - Leeanne Baker

2. Recognition of Gary Premo 
recognition of Gary as he is leaving to Direct the new Regional Operations Center

Recognition of former Detective Chris Baker. It should have been done earlier but due to a clerical mistake acknowledged by the Chief, his recognition is today

Recognition of Michael Gilboy, and the passing of Canine Oficer Axe, the police dog who passed recently.

< 3 minute recess>

D. Citizen Comments
D. Citizen Comments - Citizens are welcome to express their views for up to five minutes on a matter that is not on the Agenda. The Council will not engage in a dialogue or comment on a matter that is not on the Agenda. The Council will not engage in a dialogue or comment on a matter raised during Citizen Comments. The Town Council will give remarks appropriate consideration and may ask theTown Administrator to review the matter.

Dale Kurtz - Veterans Officer
Aug 17-20 Ruck march, Pittsfield to Plymouth
down Lincoln to Main to East Central, arrive approx 6:00 AM and leave about 8:00 AM walking about 4 mph

Warrior Thunder Foundation dot org for more info

Teresa Burr
Biannual election, Nov 7th
positions and terms of officers posted recently, and replayed here, nominations due Sep 19th  
schedule of events to be posted to Franklin Matters

E. Appointments
E. Appointments
1. Design Review Commission

Samuel Williams
motion to approve, second, passed 9-0

F. Hearings
F. Hearings

39th Feast of St Rocco - Aug 6 -13, 2017

The carnival rides were delivered to the grounds of the St Rocco Festival and will be set up to open on schedule.

carnival rides delivered and ready for set up
carnival rides delivered and ready for set up

The schedule for the rides is as follows:

The entertainment schedule is as follows:


On the Festival Grounds

5:00-10:00 Ride all rides for $25 (bracelet)

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Andi the Clown
6:00 - 10:00 p.m. (ON THE BANDSTAND) The Reminisants

11:00a.m.-3:00p.m. Ride all rides for $25 (bracelet)
1:00 p.m. Paws, the PawSox mascot will be on the field
1:30 - 4:30 p.m. (ON THE BANDSTAND) 
Bobby Costello D. J.
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Andi the Clown
6:00 - 10:00 p.m. (ON THE BANDSTAND Sea Breeze

12:00 - 4:00p.m. (ON THE BANDSTAND) Bob Costello D.J.
12:00 - 4:00p.m. Ride all rides for $25 (bracelet)
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Andi the Clown
4:00 - 7:00 p.m. (ON THE BANDSTAND) Jerry Seeco Band
7:00 -8:00 p.m. Bob Costello D.J.
7:30 p.m. Drawing to be held

For additional information, you can visit the St Rocco's Festival page

Senator Spilka: FY18 Senate Budget + Session Wrap Up

We did it!  Thanks to your calls, emails, tweets and testimony, we were able to stop the Baker Administration from pushing through the most sweeping reforms to Massachusetts health care without any input from the public.  The Legislature will now move forward with our efforts to vet these proposals in a formal, transparent manner.

Working with our colleagues in the House, we were also able to create a dedicated reserve for Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) in the FY18 budget, to support the important work of our bar advocates and ensure access to justice for all.  

I'm also proud to report that the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is now law. Everyone deserves a safe, healthy work environment, and that includes pregnant and nursing workers.  Women are an important part of our economic success, and we must do all we can to make sure our laws reflect the everyday reality facing our workforce.

Below are more highlights from the final Fiscal Year 2018 state budget, the beginning of the 2017-2018 legislative session, and around the district.

Please remember that this newsletter is just a snapshot of my work at the State House and in the district.  If you want the full picture, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

It continues to be my absolute pleasure to serve the people of the 2nd Norfolk and Middlesex district, and the Commonwealth.  As always, if you have any questions, comments or ideas, please don't hesitate to contact my office! 

Photo by Mike Deehan

Spilka: Our state's health care commitment
MetroWest Daily News
These proposals, arguably the most significant changes to the state's MassHealth program since the 1990s, would rescind MassHealth eligibility or reduce benefits for 400,000 low income adults. Many stakeholder groups and health care advocates have expressed concerns to me that these changes could seriously impact our most vulnerable residents, those who are least able to afford restricted access to medications, the loss of benefits or an increase in co-pays and deductibles.
Reforms Or Rollbacks? Baker Battles Dems Over MassHealth

Ashland Sen. Karen Spilka, the Senate's top budget writer, said there need to be solutions to the cost problem that don't include limiting local Medicaid enrollment, which was expanded under the Affordable Care Act.

"If we accepted the governor's proposal on this, Massachusetts would be the first state in the nation to start rolling back Medicaid expansion. That is not a direction I would like to see Massachusetts going. We are a Commonwealth. We take care of our residents, particularly our most vulnerable residents," Spilka told WGBH News.

Commonwealth Magazine

WCVB Channel 5
Office of State Senator Karen E. Spilka
Room 212, State House
Boston, Massachusetts  02133
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Senator Karen E. Spilka, Massachusetts State House, Room 212, Boston, MA 02133

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