Thursday, June 20, 2019

Veterans Memorial Walkway - Bricks remain on sale

Brick Sales Are Ongoing

The Veterans Memorial Walkway Project has been an overwhelming success! The Walkway was dedicated on Sunday, November 11, 2018 on the Franklin Town Common. The dedication followed the first installation of engraved bricks as well as 45 memorial plaques which honor Franklin's fallen heroes (from WWI to present day) who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our country.

Local and state dignitaries, members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard and a crowd estimated at several thousand family and community members attended the Walkway dedication ceremony. The Massachusetts National Guard 215th Army Band and the Franklin High School Chorus provided patriotic music and songs for the event which was followed by a reception at the Franklin Senior Center.
Veterans Memorial Walkway
Veterans Memorial Walkway

The second installation of engraved bricks coincided with Memorial Day 2019. Future installations are planned for Veterans Day and Memorial Day moving forward until all Walkway bricks are sold.

The buy-a-brick project offers individuals the opportunity to honor a special veteran by purchasing a brick paver inscribed with the veteran's name and branch of service. Non-Franklin veterans and those currently serving in the U.S. military are also included.

Brick order forms are available in the lobby of the Town Hall and Senior Center, at the Veterans Services Office and online at:

Brick order forms are available online at:
Brick order forms are available online at:

"allowing drivers only a single touch or tap to activate a device’s hands-free mode"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"As a handful of lawmakers began efforts Wednesday to resolve differences in hands-free driving safety bills passed by the House and Senate, they papered over past failures to get similar legislation over the finish line. 
Rep. William Straus, House chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation, described the “legislative history” of the push — branches advancing bills but never agreeing on a final bill — as “secondary at this point” now that conference committee negotiators face the task of producing compromise legislation to effectively ban the use of cellphones and other handheld electronic devices behind the wheel. 
“We have stars aligned in terms of both chambers, leadership of both chambers and the governor himself who have all indicated a desire to deal with hands-free,” Straus said Wednesday as the conference committee began its first meeting in the Senate Reading Room. 
The six lawmakers tapped as negotiators — Straus, Reps. Joseph Wagner and Tim Whelan, and Sens. Joseph Boncore, William Brownsberger, and Dean Tran — kept the meeting open to the public for less than five minutes before voting to continue the discussions in private, a common move for conference committees."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The text for the House version is found

The text for the Senate version is found

Google Assistant manages your phone hands free
Google Assistant manages your phone hands free

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

LiveARTS: Season Announcement 2019-2020

Announcing our
2019-2020 Season
Celebrating the
250th anniversary
of the birth of
Ludwig van Beethoven
(b. 1770).

Each concert this season
will feature a
work of his!
Be sure to visit our website
for more information.
Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 3 PM
Annual Fundraiser for LiveARTS
Boston Symphony Orchestra
violinist Victor Romanul
Lisa Romanul, piano
Beethoven: Sonata in D for
Violin and Piano, Opus 12

and music of Bach,
Brahms, Foote, and
Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 3 PM
String Quartet
10th Anniversary

Beethoven: String Quartet
in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2
and quartets by
Bartok and Borodin
Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 3 PM
Young Virtuosi
Ilana Zaks, violin
Eric Zaks, cello
with Dina Vainshtein, piano

Piano Trio in D Major,
Op. 70, No. 1 "Ghost"
and music of Ginastera,
Schubert, and Tchaikovsky
Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 3 PM
Michael Lewin, piano
Variations in C Minor,
WoO 80
and music of Brahms,
Liszt, and Schumann
Season Subscription Rates
including the
Annual Benefit Concert

Still the best
ticket prices anywhere!

All four concerts for
Adults: $100
All four concerts for
Senior Citizens (65 +): $80
As always,
Students 18 and under
are by donation 

How to Buy Tickets

  • Follow this link to our website ( and use your credit card to purchase your season subscription or tickets for individual concerts.
  • You can purchase a season subscription at the door at our first concert, Sunday, October 6th. Tickets for each concert are available at the door.
  • You can write a check to LiveARTS and mail to LiveARTS, c/o Rick Duthe, 283 Prospect Street, Franklin, MA 02038
We look forward
to seeing you
at each of our concerts
next season!

All concerts take place at 3:00 PM in the Meetinghouse of the First Universalist Society in Franklin at 262 Chestnut Street. Located in a beautiful natural setting, the Meetinghouse is accessible for all.

LiveARTS, a Franklin-based chamber music concert series, is dedicated to presenting classical music featuring outstanding Boston-area and national musicians in a local setting. Ticket prices cover a very small part of the expense involved to bring these concerts to you. LiveARTS relies on the generous support of donors to bring world class musicians to the area at affordable ticket prices. Your donation are greatly appreciated!
LiveARTS is an 
autonomous, nonprofit, nonsectarian affiliate of the First Universalist Society in Franklin. Tax-Deductible contributions go directly and exclusively to LiveARTS.

Support the ARTS!

Support LiveARTS!

Copyright © 2019 LiveARTS, Franklin, Massachusetts, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
LiveARTS, Franklin, Massachusetts
283 Prospect Street
Franklin, MA 02038

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Veterans July Coffee Social - July 3

The next Veterans Coffee Social will be held on Wednesday, July 3 at 10:00 AM at the Senior Center.

Veterans July Coffee Social - July 3
Veterans July Coffee Social - July 3

Joint Budget Subcommittee Meeting - June 19

Joint Budget Subcommittee Meeting

(Comprised of members of the Town Council, School Committee and Finance Committee)
June 19, 2019

3rd Floor Training Room
Municipal Building
355 East Central Street
6:00 PM

1. FY2020 and Beyond Budget Overview

Joint Budget Subcommittee Meeting - June 19
Joint Budget Subcommittee Meeting - June 19

MassBudget: "Towards Equity," 2019 Kids Count Data Book, and the State of Education in Massachusetts

Towards Equity: Massachusetts Education Funding Reform Proposals Grapple to Provide Resources to Students Most in Need
Students have the best chance of succeeding when their schools are equipped with the resources to serve them effectively. While Massachusetts is regarded as a national leader in education, we are leaving some of our students behind. The state's schools funding formula, known as Chapter 70, has not been comprehensively updated in 25 years and this has left schools, administrators, and entire districts across the Commonwealth unable to adequately support all students.
In our new report, Towards Equity: School Funding Reform in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) examines recent proposals from the Legislature and Governor Baker to update the state's education funding formula. While the current Chapter 70 funding formula helps some students reach their full potential, more statewide aid is required to make the improvements that would ensure all students are able to succeed.
"Providing high-quality public education that allows all of our students the opportunity to reach their full potential can improve both the lives of our children and the long-term vibrancy of our society," said Marie-Frances Rivera, MassBudget's President. "For public education to reach this aim in Massachusetts, it is critical that funding reforms reach every child in the state - regardless of their socioeconomic status, zip code, or race."
In the Commonwealth, wealthier communities are able to provide excellent schools through ample local tax revenue, an option not available to some of our communities who serve students with higher needs. In order for Massachusetts to truly lead the nation in education, it must move forward this once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance equity for all. The proposed reforms have the chance to close scholastic achievement gaps that particularly impact low-income students and English Language Learners (ELL).
The report contains data by district and finds that proposed changes under the most progressive reform proposal (the Promise Act) - when fully phased in after seven years - could mean as much as $1.41 billion in additional annual funding for school districts across Massachusetts. Under the more moderate proposal from Governor Baker, districts would receive $460 million extra aid in 2026. "Bringing our school funding formula into the 21st century would allow us to better serve and support students," said Senior Policy Analyst Colin Jones, lead author of the report. "With increased funding, districts across Massachusetts would have greater ability to support effective practices such as early childhood programs, wraparound social services, after school opportunities, and career-technical education. These types of approaches have increased achievement, particularly for disadvantaged kids."
MassBudget: "Towards Equity," 2019 Kids Count Data Book, and the State of Education in Massachusetts

2019 KIDS COUNT Data Book Highlights Need for Investments in Education, Housing, Public Programs in Massachusetts
"Towards Equity," 2019 Kids Count Data Book, and the State of Education in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has always been strongest when it has been open to newcomers. As classrooms, pediatricians' offices and homes become more diverse, the need to ensure every child has the chance to thrive - regardless of where they live or how wealthy their families are - is ever more important. That's a key takeaway as the 2019 KIDS COUNT® Data Book - the most comprehensive annual report on children's well-being - is released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
"Even though Massachusetts has always been a national leader in math and reading education, half the state's children still lag behind on math and reading proficiency," said Nancy Wagman, director of KIDS COUNT in Massachusetts. "No single program or service can ensure that our kids do well - we need to support our children in all aspects of their lives, by investing in their schools, affordable housing, libraries and programs to help their parents get good jobs. Data indicates that the child population has grown more diverse- and a wealthy state like ours can do more to invest in equitable public education for our children."
According to the Data Book, Massachusetts leads the nation in health measures, reading levels and mathematic achievement, but the share of children living in poverty is the same as it was in 2010 - 14 percent. Within each domain, Massachusetts ranks:
  • 15th in economic well-being. Massachusetts has fallen four places from last year's ranking in this dimension.The share of Massachusetts children whose parents lack full-time, year-round employment decreased by 10 percent since 2010.
  • First in education. Massachusetts children remain first in mathematic achievement (with 50 percent of eighth-graders scoring at or above proficient level) and reading level (with 51 percent of fourth-graders scoring at or above proficient level). The percent of 3- and 4-year-olds attending school has stayed essentially the same since 2009-2011.
  • First in health. The state remains first in the nation in ensuring children have health insurance, but the number of children without health insurance rose slightly between 2016 and 2017.
  • 10th in family and community domain. Massachusetts' rank slipped one place since last year's ranking in this dimension, which includes children living in high-poverty areas and teen birth rates.
Interested in learning more on the state of child well-being in Massachusetts? Read or download your copy of the Data Book here
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.
BOSTON, MA 02108

“There’s a lot of things to consider here”

Via Wicked Local, we share their recap of the retail marijuana hearing at the Planning Board meeting held on Monday, June 17. The hearing continues July 22. There is not yet a timeline for when a decision would be made.

"A retail marijuana dispensary proposed for an industrially-zoned site at the northwest side of Forge Hill would be open by appointment only, starting with a maximum of 40 visitors allowed within an hour. 
The site would also include 24-hour interior and exterior surveillance, with ID check-in and check-out, ample parking above and beyond the minimum required by the town, and no sign. 
Proponents of the shop, GTE Franklin, LLC shared these plans for the venture with the Planning Board at an initial hearing on Monday, which drew a sizable crowd. Many were there to speak against the proposal, though there were also voices raised in support. 
For the Planning Board, it is the start of the members’ first foray into considering a marijuana-related business that will be open to the public."

Continue reading the article

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee: StoryWalk® - June 22

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee
June 22, 10 AM
Center Street Parking Lot, Bellingham

Please join us for a StoryWalk® and group walk on the SNETT on June 22 at 10 AM. We will meet at the Center Street parking lot in Bellingham. The book to explore on the trail will be "Get Up and Go" by Nancy Carlson. Four-legged friends on the leash are welcome to join us as well.

Please visit our event website or our Facebook event page for more information or any weather related changes.

See you on the trail!

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee: StoryWalk® - June 22
Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee: StoryWalk® - June 22

Find the book on Amazon or the Library

Dick Flavin, Red Sox Poet Laureate Visits - July 19

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Fenway, the Boston Red Sox are sending Fenway to us! Dick Flavin is the poet laureate and senior ambassador of the Boston Red Sox and voice of Fenway Park, serving as public address announcer for Red Sox day games. 

His television commentaries won 7 New England Emmy Awards. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Red Sox Rhymes: Verses and Curses, a collection of sixty-four humorous and nostalgic poems celebrating the Boston Red Sox. 

Dick will join us on Friday, July 19 at 10:30 AM, for a Q&A session. Space is limited so call to sign up today!

Dick Flavin, Red Sox Poet Laureate Visits - July 19
Dick Flavin, Red Sox Poet Laureate Visits - July 19

FSPA Alumni Return for “Homecoming Cabaret” at THE BLACK BOX - Jun 22

Four alumni of the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA) will return to Franklin for a one-night only “Homecoming Cabaret” on Saturday, June 22 at 8:00 pm at THE BLACK BOX. Madi Asgeirsson ('16), Pat Dutton ('11), Sam Evans ('18), and Katie Gray ('17) will be joined by the ACME Rhythm Section for an evening of entertainment presented in an intimate night-club atmosphere.

Madi Asgeirsson is a rising senior at Wagner College studying musical theater, Pat Dutton graduated from Wagner College in 2015, Sam Evans will be a sophomore musical theater major at the University of Miami, and Katie Gray just graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC.

Entertainment for the evening is accompanied by the venue’s full bar. This special cabaret is part of the Franklin School for the Performing Arts Homecoming Weekend. On Friday night, the school will hold its annual “Prom” for past and present students and their families.

For tickets and more information, visit or call 508-528-3370.

FSPA Alumni Return for “Homecoming Cabaret” at THE BLACK BOX - Jun 22
FSPA Alumni Return for “Homecoming Cabaret” at THE BLACK BOX - Jun 22

Dementia Friendly Training - June 26

Dementia Friendly Training

Sessions for the Alzheimer's Association's "Training for Professionals" (and retailers) will be held on Wednesday, June 26 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Retailers who participate will receive a Dementia Friendly sticker for their storefronts.

Please RSVP to Maggie at the Franklin Senior Center if you will attend.  (508) 520-4945

Dementia Friendly Training - June 26
Dementia Friendly Training - June 26

“Data shows that high stakes testing doesn’t measure outcomes that matter"

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

"Educators and advocates on Monday urged lawmakers to press the pause button on the use of the state’s standardized test program as a graduation requirement and a component of school accountability measures. 
Bills filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker and Sen. Michael Rush would impose a three-year moratorium on what critics describe as the “high-stakes” nature of the MCAS exam, temporarily halting consideration of the results for graduation, accountability rankings, and teacher evaluations. 
Supporters of the bills told the Education Committee that the MCAS tests are not working as intended, and a break would give state education officials a chance to come up with new methods of measuring student and school performance. 
Jack Schneider, research director for the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment, said standardized tests can act as a gauge of family income, race, and parents’ educational attainment, while not always capturing “many facets of a good school.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

“Data shows that high stakes testing doesn’t measure outcomes that matter"
“Data shows that high stakes testing doesn’t measure outcomes that matter"
A good place to start with MCAS on the site is

Monthly Morning Prayer at St. John’s - Jun 19

St. John’s Episcopal Church offers Morning Prayer on the third Wednesday of each month at 11 AM. Everyone is welcome to this small informal worship service in the church library, with lively reflection on the day's readings. Discussions and prayer are led by Rev. Kathy McAdams.

For this summer, it includes: June 19, July 17, August 21, September 18.

St. John’s Church is dementia-friendly. They welcome all people of all abilities from the community. There is plenty of parking in front and at the side of the church building. Come and enjoy camaraderie and meditation with your neighbors.

For more info or directions: 

Monthly Morning Prayer at St. John’s - Jun 19
Monthly Morning Prayer at St. John’s - Jun 19

FTC Alert: Put the brakes on phony online car sales

FTC Alert: Put the brakes on phony online car sales
by Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

You can buy practically anything online, including used cars. But before you shell out any hard-earned cash, here's a warning about scammers trying to sell cars they don't have or own.

Read more

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