Thursday, December 7, 2017

Tri-County Honor Roll for First Quarter of the 2017-2018 school. year

The honor roll for the first quarter of the 2017-2018 school year from Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin is now available.

  • Students who receive term grades of B- or better in all subjects earn honor roll status.
  • Students who earn grades of A- or better in all subjects receive high honors.

Tri-County Honor Roll for First Quarter of the 2017-2018 school. year
Tri-County Honor Roll for First Quarter of the 2017-2018 school. year

Holiday Stroll - today - 4 PM to 7 PM

Catch the tree lighting at Dean College at 4:00
Mrs Claus is at the Historical Museum
Santa is at Simon's Furniture
Decorate gingerbread men at Dean Bank

Music will be out and about the downtown businesses!

Holiday Stroll - today - 4 PM to 7 PM
Holiday Stroll - today - 4 PM to 7 PM

This was shared from the Downtown Partnership webpage

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ring In The Holidays With Two FPAC Original Musicals

Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) celebrates the holiday season with two original FPAC musicals, Alice in a Winter Wonderland and ’Tis the Season! The productions are family friendly, festive, and full of fun for audiences of all ages.

FPAC’s large-cast holiday musical, ’Tis the Season!, will be presented on Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 10 at 2 p.m. at the Franklin High School auditorium, located at 18 Oak Street. An FPAC family favorite since debuting as part of the 1995 season, ‘Tis is an upbeat, jazzy extravaganza featuring members of the Kenny Hadley Big Band, with contemporary arrangements of favorite holiday classics in musical styles ranging from R&B, gospel, and Motown to rock, pop, and Broadway. 

Highlights include Andy William’s “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” Quincy Jones’ sensational version of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” songs from several popular television holiday specials, and many surprises.

With a twist on the Alice in Wonderland children’s classic, FPAC’s third annual panto, Alice in a Winter Wonderland, debuts this season at THE BLACK BOX, located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. Performances are on Friday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 23 at 2:00 and 7:30. 

The production follows in the tradition of a British panto, a type of show that retells a well-known fairy tale in an exaggerated style filled with audience participation, popular music, slapstick comedy, jokes, dances, and more. Audiences are invited to cheer for the hero, boo at the villain, and sing along with some of their favorite songs. The panto also entertains with double entendre, references to modern culture, and open satire of other works.

Founded in 1991, FPAC presents the holiday musicals as part of the company’s 27th season. With a focus on youth development and a commitment to live music, the nonprofit FPAC supports educational arts experiences, quality entertainment, and outstanding performance opportunities for professional artists, community performers, and students of the arts. 

Tickets are $34 for Alice in a Winter Wonderland and $32-$36 for ’Tis the Season! For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or or call (508) 528-3370. Middlesex Savings Bank and Waters Corporation are FPAC 2017 Holiday Sponsors.

Ring In The Holidays With Two FPAC Original Musicals
Ring In The Holidays With Two FPAC Original Musicals

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School First Lego League to Attend States Championship

The BFCCPS Robotics has been hard at work since this summer. Over the weekend, the Gearminds Team competed at the First Lego League Regional competitions at WPI and was selected for the upcoming States Championship on December 16.

Gearminds was one of the 11 teams among 40 to receive the Golden ticket to the States. The team was selected based on their consistent show in Robotic matches, excellent Project presentation and teamwork during the Instant Challenge. They competed against some of the best teams in New England and placed 4th overall in Robot matches, and won a special jury award for Core Values which reflects the Character Education built here at BFCCPS.

The BFCCPS First Lego League Middle School team GEARMINDS is comprised of 7th and 8th grade students and is mentored by BFCCPS Alumni and one current Grade 8 student. The Elementary school training team attended the regional competition and have been inspired with the good ring side view of the matches and the team's achievement.

Many thanks to the parent volunteers Mr. Ramesh Balan and Mrs. Upasana Pendkar who have coordinated team practices to make this competition possible for our students!
About the Benjamin Franklin Charter School

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School's mission is to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children by providing students with a classical academic education coupled with sound character development and community service. Our mission is supported by four distinct, yet interconnected pillars that provide for a collaborative, rigorous education for all students. These pillars guide, direct and define the school in all it does.

special jury award for Core Values
special jury award for Core Values
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School First Lego League to Attend States Championship
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School First Lego League to Attend States Championship
selected for the upcoming States Championship on December 16
selected for the upcoming States Championship on December 16

Franklin Historical Museum: Spirits of Fashion - Sunday Dec 10

Karen Antonowicz will discuss the influences of wartime on fashion. From the Civil War to World War II. What does rationing and limited resources do to influence fashion. 

A presentation, discussion, and fashion samples are all part of Karen's one hour talk. Join us for this compelling look back at fabric and fashion by this noted fashion expert. Sunday, December 10 at 1:15 PM. This is a rescheduled event from a cancellation in November.

Starting Thursday December 14 through April the museum will not be open Thursday evenings. 

In addition, the museum will be closed Sunday December 24 for Christmas Eve and Sunday December 31 for New Year's Eve.

Fashions of The WW II Era - Dec 10
Fashions of The WW II Era

Find out more about the Franklin Historical Museum on the web at

In the News: new generation for Town Council; trees cut down on Maple St; Snappy Dogs fund raising

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Town government has a reputation for being filled with older residents and homeowners that have been in town for decades. The most recent town election changed that by introducing a new generation to Town Council. 
For the first time, two millennials sit in the Council Chambers to weigh in on the future of the town they grew up in. Patrick Casey, 28, and a digital account services coordinator at International Data Group, and Eamon McCarthy Earls, 23, editor at TechTarget, were sworn in after winning the November election. 
Casey and Earls agreed that the millennial generation has a number of negative stereotypes, but believe many of them are misplaced. 
“It’s important to keep all perspectives in play,” said Casey. “But it’s nice to have this breath of fresh air from myself and Eamon to have a new look at things.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Residents are angry about dozens of trees that have been cut down in a new development in the Maple Street area. And it’s likely more will come down in the future. 
Two large pieces of property equaling about 80 acres are being developed in that area. The owners of the property are working to create residential space on both sides of Maple Street. 
In late November, workers on the property that abuts Franklin Springs Road and Maple Street legally cut down the trees to make way for a new cul-de-sac and multiple houses."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The owners of Snappy Dogs hope to bring their popular hot dog stand back home.
To make it possible, owners Teresa Boyce and Lisa Volpe Hachey launched an online campaign to raise $10,000 to build a second trailer, to be called “Snappy 2.” The new trailer will be parked at CVS pharmacy, where the business spent its first six seasons before Colella’s Supermarket closed. 
The campaign on is called, Bring Snappy Dogs Home. As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, the business has received $7,185 with 18 days left. The campaign ends on Christmas day and is only funded if the full amount is raised."

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The Kickstarter link can be found here

More about Snappy Dogs can be found on their webpage

the original trailer for Snappy Dogs (photo via Snappy Dogs webpage)
the original trailer for Snappy Dogs (photo via Snappy Dogs webpage)

"app also gives parents the ability to control a child’s contact list"

At the Joint PCC meeting on Monday, they was a discussion on the use of mobile devices by children and how parents could or should handle these situations. I came home to find this article in my radar. It is share worthy.

"Facebook today (12/4/17) announced a new version of its Messenger chat app designed for children ages six to 12. Called Messenger Kids, the new app does not require a Facebook account — due to federal law, users under the age of 13 cannot legally sign up for Facebook. Rather, parents are able to manage a child’s Messenger Kids app from their Facebook account, controlling which friends and family members the child is able to contact. Facebook is launching the app today in preview with a limited rollout on iOS. 
Facebook says it’s going to great lengths to make sure the app does not come off as exploitative. “There are no ads in Messenger Kids and your child's information isn't used for ads. It is free to download and there are no in-app purchases,” the company writes in a blog post. Facebook says Messenger Kids is also designed to be compliant with the Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act, or COPPA. That’s the federal law that protects underage children from exploitation online, and it’s the reason so many online services require children be 13 years of age or older in order to sign up. Facebook says the new app is only available in the US, with plans to expand its availability beyond iOS to the Amazon App Store and Google Play Store in the coming months."
You can continue reading the full article on The Verge

A messaging app for kids ages 6 to 12 to chat with friends and family
A messaging app for kids ages 6 to 12 to chat with friends and family (image from The Verge article)

 Just because they can doesn't mean they should.

"opportunity to have a lower cost energy option"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The town (Medway) has entered into a municipal aggregation agreement with an energy supplier, saving residents an estimated $215,500 over the first half of 2018. 
The town entered into the six-month contract - its first under the new Medway Community Choice Power Supply program - with Constellation NewEnergy of Texas late last week. The state’s Department of Public Utilities approved the local aggregation program in October. 
The town worked with energy consultant Colonial Power Group throughout the approval and bidding process. Mark Cappadona, Colonial’s president, said the agreement charges Medway customers about 11.8 cents per kilowatt hour, beginning in January. This represents a savings over the default rate of 13.2 cents per kilowatt hour that Eversource will begin charging in January."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Update: Franklin also has a municipal aggregation program. The Town has gone to bid three times and have yet to get an acceptable rate to start. Deputy Town Administrator Jamie Hellen wants to get a good differential rate for the first time out as the rate will change over time (as shown in the Medway article).

The Municipal Aggregation program documents can be found here

  • From the Town Council meeting where this was approved

cover page of presentation to Town Council on Aggregation Program
cover page of presentation to Town Council on Aggregation Program

We Did It For You! - Women's Journey Through History - Dec 10

"We Did It For You! Women's Journey Through History tells the story of how women got their rights in the United States. With catchy musical numbers and a dash of comic relief, this highly entertaining and educational musical is a must see for teens and adults. 

In a time when our rights are being questioned, We Did It For You! shines light on how we got to where we are. Q&A with playwright and cast. Reception to follow sponsored by Starbucks. $10 tickets ($5 students). 

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Natick Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."
"This heartwarming play takes audiences on a profound emotional journey that results in a deepened awareness of, and appreciation for, women in history upon whose shoulders we stand today. I urge you to run, don't walk, to see this magnificent performance!” - Women's Information Network
We Did It For You! Women's Journey Through History - Dec 10
We Did It For You! Women's Journey Through History - Dec 10

Common Street Spiritual Center
13 Common St, Natick, Massachusetts 01760

Additional info can be found on the Facebook event page

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Recognition of Significant Accomplishment

Dec 4, 2017 

Recognition of Significant AccomplishmentTo: Franklin Cultural District Committee, Jeff Nutting, Town Administrator, Jamie Hellen, Deputy Town Administrator

CC: Bryan Taberner, Director, Planning and Community Development, Representative Jeffrey Roy

From: Franklin Cultural Steering Committee

RE: Recognition of Significant Accomplishment

We want to take a moment to recognize the significant accomplishment that has occurred over the past several years. What started as an idea for a cultural district was nurtured, tended to, and brought to reality through hours of dedicated service by numerous individuals. It began on November 21, 2013 when several of us, joined town and school officials, Ms. Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Mass Cultural Council, and Jeff Roy, State Representative, on a tour of the high school (which was under construction) and the downtown area, including THE BLACK BOX (also under construction). During this tour, the seeds of the proposed cultural district were planted.

We set out to create a Cultural District, conduct a Cultural Festival to showcase the wealth of cultural assets in Franklin, and prepare an application for Cultural District status for the town. We did this work over the past four years. The Franklin Cultural Festival began in July 2015, highlighting the visual, culinary, performing arts, music, dance, and the talents of the many individuals and organizations within Franklin. The Festivals continued in 2016 and 2017 demonstrating the importance of cultural events and encouraged the inclusion of the arts within other town events. By way of example, the Franklin Downtown Partnership has consistently elevated its inclusion of the fine and performing arts within its community events.

The seven member Franklin Cultural District Committee was formally approved by the Town Council on Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017 by unanimous vote. The formal application for Cultural District status can now be submitted.

The Cultural District Steering Committee, which brought this to fruition, has achieved this through much hard work, many hours of planning, collaborating, and executing. We want to thank the Town leadership, Franklin businesses, and institutions, and the numerous individuals and organizations that helped to advance Franklin along the pathway to Cultural District status.

Our work as a Cultural District Steering Committee and as the coordinator of the Cultural Festival is complete.


Pandora Carlucci
Alan Mercer
Jim Schultz
Susan Sheridan
Steve Sherlock
Roberta Trahan

PDF version of this letter can be found here

Town Council Recap - November 29, 2017

The meeting saw the Town Council approve

  • meeting minutes from the Oct 11 and Oct 25 meetings
  • the appointment of the Franklin Cultural District Committee
  • the single tax rate and set the rate at 14.65
  • no exemptions for open space, small business, and residential property
The DPW provided an update on the snow/ice plan for the coming Winter season

The Town Council also announced their sub-committees as follows

Budget:  Padula*, Mercer, Pellegri, Kelly
Economic Development Committee (EDC): Mercer,* Earls, Jones, Hamblin
Capital: Dellorco*, Casey, Kelly, Pellegri
Review of council proceduresMercer*, Padula, Pellegri
Liaison to the Agricultural commissionHamblinLiaisons to the Safe CoalitionDellorco, Casey

* indicates chair of the sub-committee

The tax classification hearing documents can be found here

Actions Taken can be found here:

My notes: reported live from the meeting

tax classification hearing underway at the Town Council meeting Nov 28
tax classification hearing underway at the Town Council meeting Nov 28

Superintendent Ahern - Community Forum Recap - Nov 30, 2017

Newly appointed Franklin Superintendent of Schools, Sara E. Ahern, held a forum at the Municipal Building on November 30, 2017 to provide a chance for community members to meet and share their concerns and for her to discuss her approach to school management. 

The meeting commenced at 6:30 PM with an overview provided by Ahern. She first described the four primary initiatives within the 2017-2018 District Improvement Plan: Social-emotional learning, curriculum and instruction, collaborative culture, and two-way communication. In pursuing these initiatives, she said she is starting with stakeholder engagement through events such as the forum and similar events held with faculty, administration, school committee, and small groups of parents. 

Based on input from these sessions, Ahern said she hopes to identify themes and patterns that will help her to understand concerns and problems needing attention. She said she will then report on those findings to the district as a first step in developing a strategy for implementing improvements.

Ahern explained that her goal is to provide “stakeholder” (parents, faculty, etc.) awareness and “investment” in the District’s Strategy. In other words, she emphasized; she plans to listen. 

One of the attendees expressed appreciation for that approach and said she had “tried for five years to get an appointment with the previous superintendent and couldn’t even get a return phone call.”

She and others commented about concerns such as extremely short recess periods that they felt were not conducive to learning in young children. Similar comments were aired regarding lunch periods that were perceived as being too short for a child to eat and snack breaks for young children as late as 11 AM.

Another parent raised a concern regarding frequent changes in math curriculum that required his child to relearn fundamental skills in a new way in order to move ahead. Ahern said some of those shifts were driven by external changes in state mandates. The future, she said, would likely be less chaotic.

A parent whose children are no longer in the system, expressed concern that Franklin schools were perhaps not measuring up to their public reputation, since most were ranked as “level 2” [In a Massachusetts 1-5 ranking system]. “Only the high school is level 1,” he said. Ahern, for her part, said that the high school is actually now also ranked as level 2. However, she noted, the rankings can be misleading since they measure improvements and the standards by which they are measured shift. Therefore, she explained, even a top-rank school can have its designation reduced simply because it hasn’t improved further.

Ahern closed the meeting with an invitation to participants to reconnect at any time.

Submitted by Franklin Matters contributor Alan Earls

The handout Superintendent Ahern talked to for her overview:

The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) published the district scorecard. The scorecard and supporting information for Franklin can be found here

Superintendent Ahern - Community Forum Recap - Nov 30, 2017
Superintendent Ahern - Community Forum Recap - Nov 30, 2017

Reminder: New England Irish Harp Orchestra - Dec 10

New England Irish Harp Orchestra will share a wonderful medley of Holiday music that will put you in the perfect mood for the season!

Sunday, December 10 - 7:00 pm

St. John’s Episcopal Church 
237 Pleasant Street Franklin, MA 

Tickets $10 (payable at the door) 

FREE  With Dean College ID 

Transportation provided call (781) 708-1327 

New England Irish Harp Orchestra - Dec 10
New England Irish Harp Orchestra - Dec 10

LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Wednesday, December, 13

Trade all your holiday stress for laughter on Wednesday, December 13 from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM at he Meetinghouse of the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin. 

Come and enjoy this unique exercise of guided laughter exercises combined with gentle breathing that brings more oxygen to the body's cells. This oxygen boost gives enhanced vitality, energy and a feeling of real well-being. 

Any age and any level of physical ability can participate in this uplifting experience! New laughers are always welcomed! 

$5 donation to the church, $10 maximum per family. Please bring your water bottle because laughing is dehydrating. 

Led by Certified Laughter Yoga Teachers, Linda and Bill Hamaker. If you have any questions, just call them at 508-660-2223 or e-mail

LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Wednesday, December, 13
LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Wednesday, December, 13

In the News: breathalyzers included in policy; Library events planned; Bohmiller hired; new acting Senate president

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The School Committee voted to support changes in the high school student handbook that would allow staff and administrators to conduct breathalyzer tests at social events such as prom. 
Franklin High School Principal Paul Peri said the idea came from a student. Peri said that a group of students came to the administration to propose the idea, citing that many other school districts in the area have already implemented this in their high school student handbooks. 
“This was exciting because it was student voiced, and student generated by student leaders,” he said. “They did most of the legwork.”
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Franklin High School
Franklin High School

"The Franklin Public Library, 118 Main St., has announced the following December events. For information: 508-520-4941. 
The library will be closed Dec. 24 for Christmas Eve; Dec. 25 for Christmas Day; Dec. 31 for New Year’s Eve; and Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day."

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Franklin (MA) Public Library at night
Franklin (MA) Public Library at night

"The Bulfinch Group announced that Samuel Bohmiller, of Franklin, has become affiliated with the firm. 
Headquartered in Needham with offices throughout New England, The Bulfinch Group is a financial services firm helping individuals, families and businesses build and preserve wealth. 
Bohmiller graduated from Babson College with a degree in business administration, concentrating in finance. During his time at Babson, Bohmiller was a point guard and captain of the basketball team, leading them to victory in the 2017 NCAA Championship. A lifelong goal of Bohmiller’s is to visit and watch a game in every MLB ballpark across the country, which he has achieved one third of."

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"The Senate initiated an Ethics Committee investigation on Monday night into its now former president Sen. Stanley Rosenberg in a dramatic day of upheaval that saw Worcester Democrat Harriette Chandler installed as the new acting Senate president pending the outcome of an investigation into sexual harassment and Senate interference by Rosenberg’s husband. 
The election of Chandler, Rosenberg’s top lieutenant, and the adoption of an order green-lighting the Senate Ethics Committee investigation marked the culmination of a marathon day of closed-door talks between Democrats and Republicans. 
Chandler emerged as the unanimous choice of Democrats to take over the Senate temporarily after Rosenberg announced in the morning that he wanted to take a “leave of absence” from his leadership duties to ensure a “fully independent and credible” investigation."

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