Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Second Sunday Speaker Series: Maureen Taylor – The Photo Detective - Aug 12

Author, speaker, blogger, noted researcher and expert on solving photo mysteries, Maureen Taylor returns to the Franklin Historical Museum Sunday, August 12 at 1:15. The Wall Street Journal called her ‘the nation’s foremost historical photo detective’. 

Wedding Gown display
Wedding Gown display
Join us for Maureen’s presentation ‘Telling the story of wedding photos’ as our speaker series once again relates to our summer Wedding Gown display. The 14 beautiful gowns will be on display until August 26th.

Immediately following the presentation, the public is invited to bring in their vintage family wedding photos (up to 3) to be scanned and become part of the museum’s permanent photo collection. 

All photos brought in for scanning must have a tie to Franklin through the Bride, the Groom or the location of the ceremony. Dig out those photos and let your family take their place in Franklin history.

The Franklin Historical Museum is located at 80 West Central Street, is ADA accessible and admission is always FREE.

Shhh, I Make More than My Husband

A puzzling thing can happen when wives earn more than their husbands do.

united states census bureau

America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers

Shhh... I Make More than My Husband

Shhh... I Make More than My Husband

When wives earn more than their husbands do, a puzzling thing can happen: Husbands say they earn more than they are and wives underreport their income.

Read More

New Census Bureau research shows that the incomes couples report on Census Bureau surveys do not always match their IRS filings. The Census Bureau is working to improve the quality of reported earnings by comparing an individual's survey response with their reported response from another source.

The America Counts Team
If you like this story, use the hashtag #AmericaCounts to share it on social media. 

About America Counts

America Counts tells the stories behind the numbers in a new inviting way. It features stories on various topics such as families, housing, employment, business, education, the economy, emergency preparedness, and population. Contact our Public Information Office for media inquiries or interviews. 

Support Franklin area non-profits with Smile Amazon!

Did you know that you can support the SAFE Coalition (or the Franklin Food Pantry, or the Random Smile Project, or HMEA, etc....) with anything and everything you buy on Amazon every day of the year? 

All you have to do is click on, place your order, and indicate that you want to support the SAFE Coalition (or the Franklin Food Pantry, or the Random Smile Project, orHMEA, etc....).

It really is only a little amount that ends up going for each purchase but as we all know, every little bit counts!

Support Franklin non-profits with Smile Amazon!
Support Franklin non-profits with Smile Amazon!

In the News: Senate Ways and Means endorsed opioid legislation

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"A powerful Senate committee on Tuesday endorsed legislation giving those addicted to opioids new access to medically assisted treatment in prisons and creating harm-reduction sites for people to use drugs while advancing several other ideas to curb the deadly scourge. 
The Senate Ways and Means Committee version of the bill in many ways follows the broad contours of legislation (H 4742) that the House passed unanimously last week. The bill would shift pharmacies over to electronic prescriptions, establish a standing order to make overdose-reversing medication available to well-meaning members of the public, and allow patients to fill part of a prescription and then go back to get the rest. 
A Ways and Means poll on the bill closed early afternoon on Tuesday, and the bill was reported favorably, according to an aide."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The bill likely would move to conference committee to resolve the differences with the House on a similar measure.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

St. Mary’s St. Vincent de Paul 24th Annual Backpack Collection - Aug 18-19

The St. Mary's Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is excited to announce its 24th annual collection of back-to-school supplies to help children prepare for a wonderful school year. 

If you would like to participate, please buy a school backpack, and fill it with back to school supplies. Please label the backpack either Grades K-3, Grades 4-5, Grades 6-8, or Grades 9-12. The backpacks should not be specific for either a boy or a girl. 

The backpacks may be dropped off inside the front of the church in the designated boxes on the weekend of August 18/19 and on Monday, (August 20th) until noon. 
St. Mary’s St. Vincent de Paul 24th Annual Backpack Collection
St. Mary’s St. Vincent de Paul
24th Annual Backpack Collection

Members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society will be distributing backpacks to families in town with school-aged children starting on Tuesday, August 21st. We are also hoping to have enough backpacks to offer them to families living in area shelters. 

Last year, 133 children and teens benefited from your generosity. It is so important for children and youth to see the goodness in the world.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this year’s drive!

Suggestions for supplies may be found on our website:

or here:

Concerts on the Common: Frank Padula Band & Martin Levin - Story Teller - July 18

July 18
Frank Padula Band 
Martin Levin - Story Teller

The main program is scheduled to run on Wednesdays from 6:30 PM  - 8:30 PM. The Children's Programs from 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM. 

You can download a copy of the schedule

Concerts on the Common: Sharon Band and Rob Peters Bubble Man - July 11
Concerts on the Common: Sharon Band and Rob Peters Bubble Man - July 11

The concerts will use the new stage. Franklin's Town Council authorized the purchase last year and it has arrived in time to be used this summer.

stage in the early morning dewy sunlight
stage in the early morning dewy sunlight

full stage view
full stage view

FHS' Girls' Lacrosse Coach in the current issue of Lacrosse Magazine

From the Franklin network we find that "FHS' Girls' Lacrosse Coach, Kristin Igoe Guarino, is profiled on the back page of the current issue of Lacrosse Magazine published by US Lacrosse."

or go directly to the digital edition here

FHS' Girls' Lacrosse Coach in the current issue of Lacrosse Magazine
FHS' Girls' Lacrosse Coach in the current issue of Lacrosse Magazine

FTC Scam Alert: Avoiding tech support scams

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information

by Carol Kando-Pineda
Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education

You're working on your computer when, suddenly, a message pops up on the screen: "Virus detected! Call now for a free security scan and to repair your device." 

That's a tech support scam. Don't call, text, or email. Legit tech support companies don't operate that way

Monday, July 16, 2018

St. Rocco Festival of Food Finale - Aug 9-12, 2018

Times change and traditions evolve. This year’s annual Feast of St. Rocco, on August 9-12 will mark the 40th and final food festival in Franklin. Driven by the energy and passion of long-time committee members, and executed with the strength of 300 volunteers, this festival finale will be one to remember! 

This year’s celebration will feature more than a dozen food booths offering everything from fried clams, calzones and sausages to authentic Italian pastries and fried dough. Entertainment throughout the weekend will include live bands, DJs, raffles, and amusement rides. Commemorative T-shirts and aprons will be on sale. Raffles for cash prizes and homemade items will be available all weekend.

Throughout the years, the festival has adapted to the changing lifestyle of the community. In the early days all food was donated and prepared in the kitchens of the parish faithful. For a time, food was prepared in the kitchen of what was then the St. Mary’s School. Today, the food is prepared under the tents where it is served, under strict board of health guidelines. The one constant for 40 years has been the enthusiastic volunteers who prepare and serve the food throughout the weekend.

Entertainment has changed over the years as well. Music has always been part of the celebration and the early days featured several stages with multiple bands and dancing. A pie eating competition and chocolate chip cookie contest are some of the past events. And the young and young-at-heart have enjoyed old fashioned midway games, carnival rides, cotton candy and laughter galore throughout the years!

Weather has been noteworthy over time. The festival has been held in scorching heat and throughout thunderstorm-ridden weekends, but the spirit of the festival has always endured.

Don’t miss the final food festival beginning Thursday evening, August 9 and continuing through Sunday the 12th, held on the field beside the parking lot across from the St. Mary’s Church. Come for the food. Come for the rides. Come for the people. Just come… be a part of the St. Rocco Festival Finale! For more information or to volunteer to help on festival weekend, please contact the St. Mary’s Rectory at 508-528-0020.

Additional info can be found on the St Rocco page

Photos from the St Rocco Festival in 2013


“We do it because there’s a need”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
“Times were really financially tough, and we’re still behind on bills and catching up,” Leal said. “Once I started working again, it came a little bit easier. You have to turn to your community, and that’s what I’ve been doing, and I’m not ashamed of it.” 
The problem is, diapers are not a WIC-covered item, and the twins easily zip through close to 60 per week. Food pantries can be a sporadic source for the pricey baby staple – especially the right size – because they rely on donations. 
That’s where Benda’s Diaper Project comes in. 
“Most food pantries, the diapers might be donated,” Diaper Project coordinator Eva Benda said, “but it’s not really a fundamental thing they do.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Diapers Galore
diapers (Flickr photo via domandtrey)

Register O'Donnell Delivers 2nd Quarter 2018 Real Estate Activity Report

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Register O'Donnell Delivers 2nd Quarter 2018 Real Estate Activity Report

Continuing a countywide trend seen for the past several months, Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reported that 2nd quarter (April-June 2018) real estate stats showed a reduced level of residential and commercial sales, while at the same time the price of the average property remains on the rise.

Register O'Donnell noted, "During the recently concluded 2nd quarter, the average Norfolk County real estate sales price, both residential and commercial, rose 13% to $876,136. Total real estate volume, again both residential and commercial, was $2.9 billion, a healthy 10% increase year over year."

Register O'Donnell further stated, "These 2nd quarter figures also show an overall 3% reduction in the number of properties sold countywide from 4,979 compared to 5,113 for the same quarter of 2017. These stats clearly indicate that low inventory is driving up prices. No doubt it's a buyer's market, but at the same time it's also making it harder for first-time homeowners to crack the market."

For the 2nd quarter 2018, the number of land documents recorded, (such as deeds, mortgages, Homesteads, mortgage discharges, etc.) was 37,314, a 6% drop-off from the previous year. Register O'Donnell noted, "This decline can be directly attributed to the reduction in real estate sales and the continuing challenges in the lending market."

There were 6,826 mortgages recorded at the Registry during the quarter compared to 7,255 for the same time period in 2017. Total mortgage borrowing was $4.0 billion for the second quarter compared to $3.7 billion during the 2nd quarter 2017. "Currently, we are seeing an uptick in mortgage interest rates," noted O'Donnell. "We are approaching a 5% interest rate which, while historically a relatively low figure, has not been seen for several years. It will be interesting to see how consumers react if the 5% interest rate level is breached."

Norfolk County homeowners continued to benefit from the Homestead Act. A total of 3,353 Homesteads were recorded during the 2nd quarter, a 6% decrease year over year. "The Homestead law provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge Norfolk County residents to consider this important consumer protection tool," noted O'Donnell.

Foreclosure activity in Norfolk County continued to show mixed results. A total of 48 foreclosure deeds were recorded versus 78 filed during the 2nd quarter of 2017. This good news was tempered by a significant 21% increase in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage recordings, the first step in the foreclosure process.

O'Donnell stated, "While the eastern Massachusetts economy remains strong, the foreclosure numbers tell us that there is a segment of the Norfolk County population facing economic hardship. The Registry continues to work with Quincy Community Action Programs, (617-479-8181 x376), and NeighborWorks SouthernMass, (508-857-0950) to help homeowners who have received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage document. A third option is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General's Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400."

Register O'Donnell concluded, "The key variable is available real estate inventory. Until we see consistent growth, the housing market will remain challenged. Also, we need to see how prospective real estate buyers will react if interest rates, as anticipated, continue to rise."

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, 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 at Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center 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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Register O'Donnell Delivers 2nd Quarter 2018 Real Estate Activity Report
Register O'Donnell Delivers 2nd Quarter 2018 Real Estate Activity Report

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Planning underway for Franklin Harvest Festival - Oct 13

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is planning downtown Franklin’s Harvest Festival for Saturday, October 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In case of rain the event will take place on Sunday, October 14.

Main Street will be closed to vehicular traffic for the event which will feature music, entertainers, delicious foods, crafts, give-aways, sidewalk sales and more. For the first time, the Harvest Festival will also host a Fall Craft Beer & Wine Tent.

In mid-August, the Partnership will post a link to register online through the FDP website, Booths are free to 2018 FDP business members and $125 for non-members. The registration deadline for participants is September 20. Downtown business owners need to send in a registration to secure store-front space. A late charge of $35 will be added to registration forms received after September 20, and no registrations will be accepted after September 30. Booth space is expected to sell-out prior to the deadline so businesses are encouraged to sign up during August if they want to secure a booth.

“Traditionally, the Harvest Festival has been our biggest FDP event,” said FDP Executive Director Lisa Piana. “We expect this year will also be incredibly popular and we’re excited to bring such a vibrant event to downtown Franklin.”

Sponsors are needed to help support the Harvest Festival. Sponsorship forms are posted on the FDP website
Alternatively, business owners can contact the FDP office. Questions about the Harvest Festival should be directed to Scott Martin, chair of the Harvest Festival, at

Planning underway for Franklin Harvest Festival - Oct 13
Planning underway for Franklin Harvest Festival - Oct 13
This was shared from the Franklin Downtown Partnership apge

"empowers individual senators to help steer the policy direction of the legislative body"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Less than two weeks from today, the Massachusetts Senate will have its third president in the span of eight months, capping off a tumultuous session for the chamber during which senators grappled with instability in the top ranks of its leadership. 
Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka, an Ashland Democrat currently enmeshed in protracted negotiations with the House over a late fiscal 2019 budget, is expected to be elected Senate president by her colleagues on July 26. 
According to people familiar with the transition planning, the vote will take place at 1 p.m. when the Senate will pause what is normally a busy period of lawmaking in the waning days of the two-year session to inaugurate a new president."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Left to right: Sen Ross, Rep Roy, Sen Spilka and Delegate Ladybug
Left to right: Sen Ross, Rep Roy, Sen Spilka and Delegate Ladybug (from the FM archives 2015)

While Senator Spilka takes on the Senate leadership role, change may also be found among the other Franklin legislative team. Both Senator Ross and Representative Roy have challengers for this year's election cycle.  Stay tuned to the election news as the primary rolls around in September and then the election is held in November.

Spier Family Issues Camp Challenge At Hockomock Area YMCA

The Spier Family is once again issuing a challenge grant to Hockomock Area YMCA members, donors, local businesses and partners. For the second straight year, a generous $25,000 matching gift challenge is being offered. The Spiers are matching every donation made July 16 through July 27, 2018 up to $25,000, which will result in an additional $50,000 to provide more kids with a summer camp experience in August.

Children and families who face financial challenges are welcomed each day to enjoy a YMCA experience in a place where they are nurtured and where they belong. On average 1,300 kids attend Hockomock Y camps each summer day, including YMCA camps located in Bellingham, Foxboro, Franklin, Mansfield, and North Attleboro.

Last year, the Y provided $173,409 in confidential scholarships for summer camp; more than 20% of campers received some form of financial assistance. As the need continues to grow, the generous Spier Challenge gift will provide more opportunities for kids to experience camp this summer.

Many family budgets are increasingly strained, placing a hardship on children in area communities, especially during the summer when they may not have access to quality care, active outdoor fun, and healthy meals each day. To learn more and make a gift, visit

Kids deserve to be active, happy and care-free, especially during the summer months. Summer days are longer, warmer and more enjoyable for children to explore the world around them. This is exactly the setting YMCA member Lisa needed and wanted for her three grandchildren. “Thanks to a Y scholarship, this will be our fourth summer coming to camp,” explains Lisa, the guardian of her three grandchildren Chloe, Davion and Dashon. Lisa, a single grandparent, speaks with pride when she describes the growth in her children through their Y experiences. “Chloe is my oldest and the social butterfly. She’s become even more confident. She’s always there to help her brothers and looks to help others. She aspires to be a camp counselor someday.”
Spier Family Foundation at opening of Spier Family Outdoor Aquatics Center
Spier Family Foundation at opening of Spier Family Outdoor Aquatics Center

Greg and Kathy Spier, long time Foxborough residents, Y members and volunteers, and community leaders, are passionate about improving the quality of life in their community. The Spier Family name is prominently displayed on the indoor and outdoor aquatics centers at the Y’s Invensys Foxboro Branch. The Spiers are also benefactors of the SPLASH program which has resulted in teaching hundreds of local school children how to be safe around water, learn to swim, and begin enjoying swimming as lifelong recreation.

“Our family has always believed in giving back to the community we love and our Mom and Dad modeled the importance of paying it forward. There is something magical about summer camp that every child needs and deserves. Through this challenge, together with our community, we can provide more kids an opportunity to experience their best summer ever at the Hockomock Area YMCA camps,” said Greg Spier.

When asked why the Spiers are issuing this challenge, Greg Spier shared, “Kathy and I give because our hearts feel good when we do so, and we advocate for the Y because we know the Y strengthens families and communities. Summer camp provides a special opportunity to shape a kid’s life while building confidence and self-esteem.”

Ed Hurley, President of the Hockomock Area YMCA expressed, “We are so grateful to the Spier Family for their continued commitment and confidence in our YMCA. This donor challenge and the gifts that will result means more children will have the opportunity to experience the magic of summer camp at the Y.

Our Y has a proud yet ever-growing history of inclusiveness. Whether it’s a family that cannot afford a Y camping experience for their children or a teenager who struggles with bullying at school, we continually extend our arms, welcoming them into our Y family. We are grateful to be part of 15 communities full of caring, committed people who share the values of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility,” said Hurley.

In 2017, the Hockomock Area YMCA provided $ $2,017,318 in confidential scholarship assistance and program subsidies.

To learn more and make a gift, visit

About Hockomock Area YMCA:
Where Cause Meets Community. At the Hockomock Area YMCA, strengthening community is our cause. The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility.

The Hockomock Area YMCA is committed to partnering and collaborating with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities they are privileged to serve. The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable cause-driven organization with facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro, Franklin, and Mansfield. For more information visit

US Census: July 15th is National Ice Cream Day!

"Did you know there are 458 ice cream and frozen dessert makers throughout the United States? 
Explore our State Facts for Students tool with your students to find out how many of these frozen treat makers are in their state. 
For some added fun, have students guess the amount before displaying the correct answer. They can even compare the results to other states!"

July 15th is National Ice Cream Day!

July 15th is National Ice Cream Day!

State Facts link

MA State Facts link