Monday, September 10, 2018

Register O'Donnell Reports Small Increase in Norfolk County Real Estate Activity

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Register O'Donnell Reports Small Increase in Norfolk County Real Estate Activity

A small but noticeable increase in Norfolk County residential and commercial real estate sales offset continuing challenges faced in the lending market during the month of August 2018.

Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell noted, "Mirroring trends seen throughout Greater Boston, a total of 1,931 residential and commercial sales transactions took place during the month of August, a 4% increase year over year. Total real estate sales volume, again both residential and commercial, came in at $920.8 million, a 6% increase compared to August 2017. There is no question the trend lines are encouraging when it comes to real estate sales in Norfolk County."

While real estate sales were showing signs of improvement, the lending market was another story. "Once again," noted Register O'Donnell, "Norfolk County mortgage recordings fell year over year. A total of 2,418 mortgages were recorded compared to 2,631 the previous August, an 8% decrease. In addition, the total mortgage indebtedness figure fell 17% to $985 million. These figures tell us that Norfolk County consumers are watching interest rates closely and thinking twice before deciding to mortgage their home to invest in big ticket items such as home improvements."

One piece of very sobering news was the increase in foreclosure activity seen in Norfolk County during the month of August. A total of 29 foreclosure deeds were recorded during the month compared to 20 recorded in August 2017. In addition, 63 Notice to Foreclose Mortgages, the first step in the foreclosure process, were recorded in August versus 32 recorded the previous August, a whopping 96% increase.

O'Donnell stated, "There is no way to sugarcoat this very discouraging news. Clearly, there are some who are not benefiting from the overall good economic climate seen in Norfolk County specifically and eastern Massachusetts as a whole. For those facing challenges paying their mortgage, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds continues to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 x-376 and Neighbor Works Southern Mass at (508) 598-0950. These agencies are equipped to help anyone who has received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage. Another option is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General's Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at (617) 727-8400."

On the consumer front, Homestead recordings showed a modest 3% increase year over year. A total of 1,367 Homesteads were recorded in August compared to 1,326 in August 2017. "A Homestead," stated O'Donnell, "is an important consumer protection tool that provides a homeowner with limited protection against the forced sale of their primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000."

In conclusion, Register O'Donnell stated, "Like other interested real estate observers, both statewide and here in Norfolk County, I am cautiously optimistic that we are starting to see a small but noticeable improvement in the overall real estate sales market. What will sustain this good news is improvement in available real estate inventory, admittedly an open question at this point. The lending market will continue to face challenges due to the uncertainty surrounding where we are headed with interest rates."

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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Norfolk County Registry of Deeds Celebrates its 225th Birthday
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds Celebrates its 225th Birthday earlier in 2018

Senator Richard Ross: Summer at the State House

Senator Richard J. Ross, State House Update, Summer Update 2018
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State Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham)
proudly serving the Norfolk, Bristol and
Middlesex District.

State House
Room 419
Boston, MA 02133

Ph: 617-722-1555
Fax: 617-722-1054

Dear Friends,

This has been a busy summer here at the State House. Upon closing out our formal session, we finalized the FY19 budget and passed important legislation regarding veterans, the opioid crisis, energy, criminal justice, and many others. However, there is still more work to be done as we enter the fall. 

 I suggest you review my FY19 Budget Round-Up, which includes information on funding for improvements across my district to help our towns and lessen the burden on you, the taxpayers. Within this e-newsletter, you will also find important information pertaining to proper identifications and other important pieces of legislation. 

As always, please feel free to reach out to my office directly at (617) 722-1555 or email


FY19 Budget Round-Up
I am pleased that the budget signed by Governor Baker includes funding for many important programs and projects throughout my district. This funding will go a long way in improving the quality of education at our schools, providing transportation to our citizens, especially seniors, improving streets and dams, and fighting the opioid epidemic. There is more I wish we had done, as far as cost saving measures and letting taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned dollars, but our work continues.

FY19 Earmarks
1. Attleboro Fire Safety – Provides $50,000 for a fire safety grant in Attleboro
2. Franklin Veterans War Memorial - Provides $50,000 for Franklin to construct a veterans memorial parkway on the town common
3.Franklin – King Street Park Improvements - Provides $200,000 for improvements to the King Street Memorial Park
4. Franklin downtown Partnership - Provides $25,000 for the Franklin Downtown Partnership
5. New England Center for Children PArtner Program - $100,000 for Parmenter Elementary School in Franklin to help children on the autism spectrum.
6. Millis Senior Transportation - Provides $50,000 for Millis to purchase a new senior van
7. Millis High School Auditorium - Provides $60,000 for Millis to renovate the High School auditorium
8. Natick Veterans Oral History Project - Provides $30,000 to the Veterans Oral History Project at Morse Library in Natick
9. Natick Recreational Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities - Provides $75,000 to Natick to support Camp Arrowhead which provides recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities statewide
10. Natick Opioid Task Force - Provides $60,000 for the Opioid Task Force in Natick
11. Natick Service Council for Veterans -Provides $25,000 for the Natick Service Council for Veterans substance abuse prevention efforts
12. Needham handicap Accessible Transport Van for Seniors - Provides $90,000 for Needham to purchase a handicap van for senior transportation
13. Needham Pedestrian Safety Improvements - Provides $200,000 for Needham to make certain public safety improvements
14. Needham Cutler Park Improvements - Provides $100,000 for maintenance and improvements to Cutler Park in Needham
15. Norfolk City Mills Dam Improvements - Provides $50,000 for Norfolk for improvements to the portion of Main Street traversing the City Mills Dam
16. North Attleboro Child Safety Grant - Provides $50,000 for the WWII Veteran Memorial Pool in North Attleboro
17. Wellesley Pedestrian Crossing Study - Provides $30,000 for Wayland to conduct a feasibility study on improving the crossing at Route 9/Worcester Street in Wellesley
18. Wellesley Protective Gear - Provides $24,000 for Wellesley to purchase personal protective gear and medical supplies for law enforcement
19. Wrentham Developmental Center Mitigations - Provides $100,000 to cities and towns hosting developmental centers or state schools
20. Tri-County Voc-Tech High School Handicap Activity Van for Disabled Students - Provides $50,000 for Tri-County to purchase a new handicap activity van
21. King Phillip Regional School Safety - Provides $100,000 to the towns of King Philip (through Wrentham) for school safety improvements
Franklin Matters: The newsletter was shortened for publication here, to review the full set of contents follow this link ->

"They’re really the backbone of the electric system”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Officials from Eversource are hosting an open house next week at the Franklin Senior Center to discuss and answer questions about a project the company is undergoing that is designed to provide transmission system upgrades. 
The hearing takes place from 5-7 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Senior Center, 10 Daniel McCahill St. 
According to Eversource, the so-called Medway to Walpole Reliability Project calls for the company to separate two existing transmission lines onto new structures along an existing right of way (power line corridor). The project is expected to take about a year to complete, and runs from the West Medway Substation to the Walpole Substation. It will take place in portions of Bellingham, Franklin, Medway, Millis, Norfolk and Walpole. 
Michael Durand, a spokesman for Eversource, said the project is due to start construction in early 2020. He said that during the construction period, there should be no interruption in power in affected areas."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Prior post on Eversource Open House

Medway to Walpole Reliability Project Open House - September 20
Medway to Walpole Reliability Project Open House - September 20

"it could be a fun class, it’s going to be interactive"

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

"For the uninitiated, football can look like just an epic exercise in repetition, rife with specialized jargon and crowded with on-field roles -- quarterback, cornerback, center, fullback, running back, wide receiver, left guard, right guard, defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, tight end. 
Players line up on each side of the ball on a giant grid. The ball is put into play. The players dive into each other. They jostle for the ball - sometimes it goes soaring, but mostly it falls, the players pile up in a cringe-worthy heap. Whistles are blown. Coaches and referees are consulted. 
And it starts again."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"it could be a fun class, it’s going to be interactive"
"it could be a fun class, it’s going to be interactive"

For additional info on the class


To register for the class

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Sep 11

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

“The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.”

1. Routine Business
a. Review of Agenda
b. Citizen’s Comments
i. In the spirit of open communication, “the School Committee will hear public comment not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee Meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment” – from Policy BEDH

c. FHS Student Representative Comments
d. Superintendent’s Report

2. Guests / Presentations
a. Middle School and High School’s School Improvement Plans
b. Lifelong Learning Presentation – Chris Nayler

3. Discussion / Action Items
a. None

4. Discussion Only Items
a. Draft School Committee Presentation Schedule

5. Information Matters
a. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Budget; Community Relations;
Policy; Transportation; Public Schools Advocacy; Ad Hoc Superintendent’s

b. School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC; Substance Abuse Task
Force; School Wellness Advisory Council [SWAC]; School Start Times Advisory
Committee [SSTAC], MASC)

6. New Business
a. To discuss any future agenda items

7. Consent Agenda
a. Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from your August 28, 2018 School Committee Meeting.
b. School Improvement Plans
I recommend adoption of the following School Improvement Plans as presented:

  • Annie Sullivan Middle School
  • Horace Mann Middle School
  • Remington Middle School
  • Franklin High School

c. Parmenter Gifts
I recommend acceptance of six checks totaling $3,123.15 from Parmenter PCC as detailed:

  • $390.15 Supplemental Supplies
  • $150.00 Field Trip (Buses Gr. 2)
  • $650.00 Field Trip (Kindergarten)
  • $100.00 Field Trip (Bus Gr. 5)
  • $933.00 Field Trip (2017-18)
  • $900.00 Field Trip (Bus Gr. 3)

8. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

9. Payroll Mrs. Douglas

10. Correspondence
– Budget to Actual – Miriam Goodman, School Business Administrator

11. Executive Session
Strategy with respect to collective bargaining.

12. Adjournment

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Sep 11
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Sep 11
The PDF version of this agenda can be found online

The documents released for this agenda can be found online (when released)

9th Anniversary of LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is Sep 12

Celebrate the 9th Anniversary of Let’s Laugh Today in Franklin with laughter and milk and cookies and feel like a little kid again! Boost your joy factor, lighten up, release happy chemicals and open channels of expression and well-being to source your natural aliveness! 

Experience the health benefits of joyful laughter on Wednesday, September 12th (and every second Wednesday once a month) from 7:30pm to 8:30pm at the Meetinghouse of the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin. 

Laughter Yoga is a body/mind practice for well-being that involves deep breathing and a few stretches, playful laughter exercises (no jokes or comedy), clapping and deep relaxation. It can strengthen the immune system, combat the negative effects of stress, and is a powerful antidote to depression and anxiety. 

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 See other opportunities to laugh at

9th Anniversary of LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is Sep 12
9th Anniversary of LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is Sep 12

Dr. Matzkin at FHS on Sept 11 to talk about female athletes

"We are fortunate to have Dr. Matzkin here on Sept 11 to talk to our female athletes, families and coaches on injury prevention, bone stress injuries, Relative Energy Deficiency and sports specialization.
Free to the public!
7 PM in the Franklin High School auditorium."

Elizabeth Matzkin (Twitter profile photo)
Elizabeth Matzkin (Twitter profile photo)

Orthopedic Surgeon and Chief of Women's Sports Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Harvard Medical School. Boston, MA

Extra! Extra! Christopher Rice to star in Newsies!

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Extra! Extra! Christopher Rice to star in Newsies!

Extra! Extra! Broadway's Christopher Rice to Star in Disney's Newsies!

40432255_2433652523326777_587442554182565888_n 5FPAC is thrilled to announce that Broadway's Christopher Rice (The Book of Mormon) will star as Jack Kelly in our upcoming production of Disney's Newsies

In addition to The Book of Mormon on Broadway, Christopher Rice appeared in the national tours of West Side Story and Irving Berlin's White Christmas. Rice's viral tap dance video series #TAPPY has been seen by over 3 million people worldwide. 

Learn more about Christopher by visiting his website!

October 13, 14 and 19-21 at THE BLACK BOX! 

Newsies-website 3

Franklin native, Ali FunkhouserAlso joining the cast is New York City-based actress, and Franklin native, Ali Funkhouser who will play Katherine Plumber. She appeared in the national tours of Joseph...Dreamcoat and Evita

Other credits include Legally Blonde at The LEX and Puccini's Suor Angelica with Chelsea Opera (NYC). Last season, she was seen on the FPAC stage as The Narrator in Joseph...Dreamcoat.
Learn more about Ali by visiting her website!

FPAC favorite Nick Paone joins the Newsies cast as Joseph Pulitzer. Nick 

FPAC favorite Nick Paone

Nick's regional credits include CabaretMacbethThe Wedding SingerLittle Shop of Horrors, and Pirates of Penzance. He will appear in FPAC's season opener Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as George. 

Read Nick's full bio here. 

Support FPAC and THE BLACK BOXAs previously announced, Broadway's Clay Thomson will choreograph! Clay has appeared on Broadway in Newsies (Spot Conlon) and Matilda the Musical

His national tour credits include West Side Story and WickedHe has also made numerous television appearances on shows such as Dancing with the StarsThe Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadeThe Late Show with David LettermanThe ViewGood Morning America, and more. He is featured in the viral YouTube videos #TAPPY.

Learn more about Clay by visiting his website!



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Franklin Performing Arts Company
PO Box 48
Franklin, Massachusetts 02038

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In the News: brewing growth in Marlborough; MA election security improvements after November

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The brewing industry’s rapid growth in MetroWest over the past few years has reflected the overall growth of the industry. 
But for awhile, one of the larger MetroWest communities – Marlborough – went without a brewery as they continued to open in smaller surrounding communities such as Hudson and Westborough. 
But now that’s changing. By the end of this year, it’s expected there will be three breweries operating taprooms in the city, with a fourth planning to open in the spring of 2019. Marlborough is about to become a destination for craft beer fans throughout the state.
That is intentional, said Meredith Harris, executive director of the Marlborough Economic Development Corp. Last year, the corporation took out advertisements in beer magazines, offering incentives in the form of small business loans and help with permitting, to try to attract a brewery or two to downtown."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Massachusetts has received millions of dollars in federal funding to bolster election security, but most of it will not be spent until after the November election. 
The Bay State has received $7.9 million from the federal government, which election officials plan to spend on voting equipment, voter registration systems and cybersecurity, according to documents shared with Wicked Local. About 81 percent of the money, however, will be spent after the upcoming midterm election. 
State officials, nonetheless, say the federal dollars -- while helpful -- are not vital to running a safe and accurate election. 
“We were already spending money and resources from our existing budget on cybersecurity, so we were not dependent on the federal funding for 2018,” wrote Debra O’Malley, spokeswoman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office. “This additional funding will be used to add to our existing preparations and for future elections.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

MA election security improvements after November
MA election security improvements scheduled for after November

FTC Consumer Alerts: It’s National Preparedness Month - Time to Make a Plan

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission
by Colleen Tressler
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Extreme weather and natural disasters can occur with little warning. This year's floods and wildfires are proof of that. Are you ready to leave your home at a moment's notice? 

You can reduce your anxiety about these scary events by making sure you are prepared if and when they happen. September is National Preparedness Month and a good time to get your family, pets, and property ready.

You can, for example: Read more

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

This email was sent to using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: FTC Consumer Alerts · 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW · Washington, DC 20580 · 1-877-382-4357