Thursday, November 14, 2019

Franklin Food Elves Launch Holiday Drive - Dec 1

This year the Franklin Food Elves "12 Days of Donating" Campaign marks 14 years of helping neighbors in need during the holiday season and beyond. Starting on December 1 and running through December 12, the neighborhood collection by local middle and high school student serves as the largest fundraiser for The Pantry.

Again this year, the Elves will collect monetary donations only for The Pantry. With dozens of food and fund drives underway, the Pantry is out of space to store the inventory. The Pantry uses the collected monetary donations to purchase chicken, beef and other meats, dairy products, eggs, fresh vegetables and fruits.

"Our community becomes very involved this time of year collecting food for the Pantry," said Lynn Calling, executive director for the Franklin Food Pantry. "We are grateful for the incredible amount of food we receive. But, after the holidays, when end-of-year giving subsides and food drives are infrequent, monetary donations will help us through the lean months that follow."

"In addition, monetary gifts allow us to buy what we need when we need it. They give us the flexibility we need to provide for the more than 1000 individuals who count on us. We are also able to purchase food through the Greater Boston Food Bank for much less money than people pay in the grocery story allowing our dollars to have more buying power."

The Food Elves will notify their neighbors about how the can support the Pantry. They will distribute flyers in their neighborhoods about the Food Elves Drive. Neighbors can make donations in two ways through a check donation that the elves will pick up personally; or through each Elf's own online personal campaign page. Each Elf will be able to keep track of how much they personally raise.

The Franklin Food Pantry thanks our middle and high school students who serve as our Food Elves. Any student interested in becoming a Food Elf can visit:

Some of this year's Food Elves gather at the Pantry for an orientation and tour
Some of this year's Food Elves gather at the Pantry for an orientation and tour

About the Franklin Food Pantry
The Franklin Food Pantry offers supplemental food assistance and household necessities to over 1,000 individuals. Clients have access to a variety of fresh, frozen and nonperishable foods on monthly scheduled shopping trips as well as Walk-in Fridays. They can visit the Pantry daily for fruits, vegetables, bread and pastry. As a nonprofit organization, the Pantry depends entirely on donations, and receives no town or state funding.
In 2018, 304,824 pounds of food was provided to clients. Other programs include the Weekend Backpack Program, Carts for Clients, Mobile Pantry, Healthy Futures Shelf, emergency food bags and holiday meal packages. Visit for more information.

Franklin Food Elves Launch Holiday Drive - Dec 1
Franklin Food Elves Launch Holiday Drive - Dec 1

Sleep Research Event features Dr. Judith Owens - Nov 19

"Join us as we welcome Dr. Judith Owens, Director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medial School.
She will be sharing her expertise in the areas of sleep regulation, consequences of sleep deficiency, school start times perspectives, challenges for communities and lessons to be learned.
Please RSVP to this event so we can plan accordingly."

RSVP via the Facebook event

Sleep Research Event features Dr. Judith Owens - Nov 19
Sleep Research Event features Dr. Judith Owens - Nov 19

In the News: non-binary gender for state licenses; MA House votes to ban flavored cigarettes

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Massachusetts residents can now have a non-binary gender designation on state driver’s licenses. 
The state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles says it now recognizes three gender designations: “male,” “female” and “non-binary.” 
The change took effect Tuesday. 
According to the state Department of Transportation, those designations are available for new credentials, renewals and amendments of licenses and IDs."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The Massachusetts House voted Wednesday to ban the sale of flavored vaping and tobacco products -- including mint and menthol cigarettes -- and to impose an excise tax on e-cigarettes. 
Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, a main proponent of flavor ban legislation, said the vote marked “a chance to put an unprecedented nail in the coffin of Big Tobacco.” The bill passed on a vote of 126-31. 
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said the bill would make Massachusetts the first state to restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. House Speaker Robert DeLeo described Wednesday’s vote as “a nation-leading step ... to modernize our laws that regulate tobacco.” 
The action in the House came almost 16 months after Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law raising the tobacco-buying age from 18 to 21 in an effort to curb youth smoking. Spurred by high rates of youth e-cigarette use, anti-tobacco advocates have been pushing to go further by banning all flavored tobacco products, which they say are designed to appeal to children and, in the case of mint and menthol, mitigate the harsh effects of smoking traditional cigarettes."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) Explorer

A cool tool to help determine what the future income of certain degree programs would be in the years after graduation. Only 4 states currently have data in this tool. For the state institutions in Colorado, Texas, Michigan, and Wisconsin the data query is easy to use and insightful. Someday, MA will be available (along with more states)!
"The U.S. Census Bureau released an update to Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) Explorer, a data visualization tool providing easy access to employment and earnings outcomes for college graduates based on the industries they enter after receiving their degrees. The PSEO pilot research program is being conducted in cooperation with higher education institutional systems to examine labor market outcomes of post-secondary graduates.

PSEO Explorer now features employment flows tabulations, which explore flows from institutions and degrees to the industries and geographies where graduates are employed. Tabulations on earnings outcomes compare data for different degree types by institution and years postgrad using grouped bar charts. Statistics will be updated for future graduation cohorts as they become available.

The Census Bureau is working to add higher education institution systems to the database."
For Univ Wisconsin-Madison, these five degree majors are shown
For Univ Wisconsin-Madison, these five degree majors are shown

You can find the tool at

A helpful video tutorial can be viewed on YouTube

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Live reporting: Legislation through to Closing

11. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS a. Capital Budget Subcommittee b. Budget Subcommittee c. Economic Development Subcommittee

  • a. Resolution 19-75: Gift Acceptance - Franklin Police Department, $300 (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-75 - Majority Vote (5))
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0
  • b. Resolution 19-76: Gift Acceptance - Franklin Police Department, $15 (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-76 - Majority Vote (5))
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0
  • c. Resolution 19-77: Adopt the Town Council Procedures Manual (Motion to Adopt Resolution 19-77 - Majority Vote (5))
annual exercise is appropriate, other discussion on line item for budget and meeting notifications not applicable to this doc; being handled elsewhere

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0
  • d. Resolution 19-78: Establish Town Council Standing Subcommittees (Motion to approve Resolution 19-78- Majority Vote (5))
annual procedure to reauthorize these standard subcommittee

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

a. Collective Bargaining

i. I request a motion that the Board vote to convene in Executive Session for the purpose of discussing strategy with respect to collective bargaining, because an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the Board.
motion to move to executive session, to return to open meeting
motion made, seconded, passed 9-0 (via role call)

Council back in order 9:44 PM
  • e. Resolution 19-79: Ratification of Public Library Staff Association Contract (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-79 - Majority Vote (5))
motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

blue bottles; councilor Kelly came up with idea saving money instead of buying water for the folks to use at each meeting

first week of clothing recycling, 3,000 lbs recycled in first

Bissanti - to explore zoning issues going forward

there is concern on water quality, another way to help with storm water

Kelly - we have EDC but we have nothing on residential, consider a fourth for residential zoning, let's set the policy (we already do) but monitor and watch and encourage

Pellegri - let's discuss getting the CPA for a consideration to bring to the voters

Dellorco - charter review possible to start

Bissanti - thanks for restoring me to the Council, I listened and they listened to me too. My views are changed on housing, I am glad Councilor Kelly said what he did. I am all for us slowing growth, inclusionary growth, 

condolences to the Chilson family

Earl - thanks for all those who did come out to vote

Kelly - condolences to the Chilson family as well
congratulations to our Chair and ViceChair
Veterans Day celebration was fantastic, thanks to Dale and his help for what they do
can we get an update on those roads with raised casting that need to get done

Chandler - thank you to all family, friends and all the voters who came out
I was quiet tonight and I am get my feet wet
my heart goes out to the Worcester fire fighters for loosing one of their own

Hamblen - echo my fellow councilors thanking the voters, thanks to Brutus Kate and Jean, I am sure we will see them again
a winters farmers market coming once a month; Fairmount Fruit Farm celebrates 100 years

Pellegri - if you have anything to help us get the voters out, let me know
thanks to the Rod and Gun club, breakfast once a month
Distinguished Young Women meeting at YMCA on Monday

Jones - echoing thanks to the voters, we held our ground on the weather
it is a big deal to cast your vote
one of my hopes we could consider putting together a committee on communications, we need to have a clear focus to address this, pair with the School Committee and our new comms person

Dellorco - thanks to the voters for coming out
thanks for the opportunity to be ViceChair

Mercer - I would be remiss if I didn't thank the voters for coming out, I am not sure i would call it a fun day, it was a long day
thanks to Councilor Kelly for those years as chair and vice char, we have a lot of work to do
I see this group as equal to the task

Thanks to the veterans group and lodge of Elks for their support
condolences to the CHilson family


motion to adjourn

Two-Thirds Vote: requires 6 votes
Majority Vote: requires majority of members present and voting

LIve reporting: Presentations - Open Meeting; Storm water

  • a. Town Attorney Mark Cerel Presentation

  • Open Meeting Law, Public Records, Public Hearings, and Ethics Presentation
remote participation must be of "unreasonable nature"
majority need to be present, all votes via role call

phone calls excluded from record keeping (as no technology can currently provide sufficient coverage)

segregate town from personal business

criminal statue
if you ask the ethics office for adivce, they can render a decision and assuming all facts are stated, it can be a safe harbor
if after the fact someone comes up with a incident, and you had not pre notified, then the Ethics commission acts as an investigatory body
applies to individual and ti immediate family members, a fairly broad group

conversation between individual and Ethics commission are confidential
conversation between Mark and individual are not necessarily

mandatory online training

self identify early on if a conflict, or potential

  • b. Stormwater Presentation and Discussion

  • i. Town Administrator Introduction Memo

  • ii. Public Works PowerPoint Presentation

  • iii. Stormwater Management Plan (393 Page document; 8MB PDF)

  • iv. Stormwater Brochures History

suit against EPA in mediation right now, not much can be said about it

no other community outside of Boston has gotten more grant money than Franklin

study was funded in 2007 to develop the utility 

$800K over and above standard DPW budget required to meet EPA permit for storm water management

10 million sq ft of impervious coverage added since 2011; an indicator of the growth we have

"I suggested that we should rake the state forest, and the EPA liked that" 

Q what is noncompliance with the EPA?
still early yet, more consent decrees now; usually need to do it faster than it had been planned for; only 2nd year of the new permit

Q - why us?
it is based upon the watershed, only 2% goes off to the Blackstone, 98% goers to the Charles

a little bit every year helps, the memo outlines other communities implementing this as well.

well or septic doesn't matter for this new utility fee

Q - road and sidewalk reduction was also in regards to reducing the impervious coverage, yes we are doing that

we should be focusing on getting with other communities (i.e. Cambridge) to work out the details of cross credits

Dellorco - all the rivers in MA are polluted, they built factories on them, that the problem

send out the bill with $0, that is the best way to start the education; a great way to get the attention; we started in 2007, now it is 2019

I'd rather get ahead of the EPA and a consent order. Well it is a bill but it is zero, why? it is a start

the toxic bloom has only happened once in four years, how do we sell that?

Live reporting: License transactions

  • a. Mormax Corporation d/b/a Bj’s Wholesale Club, Change of Manager, 100 Corporate Drive.

change of manager, otherwise things remain the same
with BJ for 5 years, at Franklin for 2 months

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0

  • b. JDJ Ichigo Ichie, Inc., New All Alcohol License, 837 West Central Street.

change of ownership

motion to approve, seconded, passed 9-0
  • c. Little Shop of Olive Oils, Inc. New Wine and Malt Retail Package Store License, 5 Main Street.

for take home sales only, not for sale/drink on site
take home to pair with vinegar and oil gift baskets

Ferrari's owner speaks against the license
Franklin Liquor speaks for the license

motion to close hearing, seconded, passed 9-0

motion to approve, seconded, passed 6-3

  • d. JAC Restaurant, LLC d/b/a Joe Allen's Casual Dining and Bar, New All Alcohol License, 14 East Central Street.

application withdrawn, no action required

The published agenda and documents for the Franklin Town Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

This was shared from the Town of Franklin page  

Live reporting: Town Council - Nov 13, 2019

Present: Chandler, Hamblen, Pellegri, Dellorco, Mercer, Jones, Kelly, Earls, Bissanti
Absent: none

slightly out of order but the two swearing in events did happen
Asst Clerk was supposed to swear in Teresa Burr who would then swear in the council

2. ELECTION OF OFFICERS – Chair, Vice-Chair, Clerk
motion by Jones to nominate Mercer, seconded, passed 9-0
motion by Pellegri to nominate Dellorco, seconded, passed 9-0
motion by Earls to nominate Jones, seconded, passed 9-0

< break - 3 minute recess>

a. This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and show on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon Channel 29. This meeting may be recorded by others.

a. 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 raised during Citizen Comments. The Town Council will give remarks appropriate consideration and may ask the Town Administrator to review the matter.


  • a. September 18, 2019 - motion to approve, seconded passed, 9-0 
  • b. October 16, 2019 - motion to approve, seconded passed, 9-0



  • a. Cultural District Committee: Evan Chelman
motion to approve, seconded passed, 9-0


The published agenda and documents for the Franklin Town Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

This was shared from the Town of Franklin page  

Help the Franklin Turkey Trot support the Franklin Food Pantry

Franklin Turkey Trot Registration is OPEN and waiting for you! Running or walking (I will be walking) gives you a worthy excuse to have that extra piece of pie later Thanksgiving Day.

Please visit for race information and registration.

If you have any questions, please email

See you at the race! If you can't run or walk, you can donate to the Franklin Food Pantry online at

Franklin TURKEY TROT Registration Open
Franklin TURKEY TROT Registration Open

Tri-County to Host Community Forum on Vaping Epidemic - Nov 19

Students at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School will host a community forum next week highlighting the worsening teen vaping epidemic, with a panel of local experts who will discuss health, legal, and scholastic effects of vaping and vaping legislation.

The sophomore class of the Legal and Protective Services (LPS) career program will host the panel, “Inhaling the Facts: A Panel of Experts on the Vaping Epidemic” on Tuesday November 19 at 6 PM. The event is free and open to the public.

With the recent acknowledgement of vaping as a public health crisis and Governor Charlie Baker’s temporary ban on all vaping products statewide, students in the LPS career program have done extensive research on the matter, as it affects young people in their community. LPS students have learned about the known and suspected health risks of vaping, as well as the misinformation of products that are not regulated by the FDA.

State Representative Shawn Dooley, Dr. Lester Hartman of Westwood-Mansfield Pediatrics, Officer Paul Guarino of the Franklin Police Department, and Mary Ellen Bronner, a licensed social worker, will address the legislative and health issues related to vaping.

“In my opinion, this event will be successful if parents walk away feeling more educated about the vaping epidemic,” Teaghan LeBlanc, a sophomore at Tri-County said. “I hope that if middle schoolers learn the facts about vaping, they'll begin to realize that not vaping is their best option.”

“Teen vaping is currently at crisis levels in our Commonwealth. Teen smoking levels had reached an all-time low, but now we are seeing off-the-charts teen vaping. We must make sure we respond to this crisis swiftly but also thoughtfully and appropriately. Events like this panel are key to starting the dialogue, getting to the root of the problem, and ultimately establishing a smart, sensical policy to combat the issue,” said Representative Dooley.

Students in the LPS program are committed to public service, and the students wanted to reach out to the community with the information they have gathered in hopes of preventing younger students from picking up the habit.

What: Teen Vaping Expert Panel and Community Forum

Where: Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, 147 Pond St, Franklin, MA 02038

When: Tuesday, November 19 at 6 PM

  • State Representative Shawn Dooley
  • Dr. Lester Hartman, Westwood-Mansfield Pediatrics
  • Officer Paul Guarino, Franklin Police Department
  • Mary Ellen Bronner, licensed social worker

Download a copy of this announcement
Tri-County to Host Community Forum on Vaping Epidemic - Nov 19
Tri-County to Host Community Forum on Vaping Epidemic - Nov 19

Reminder: Franklin Cultural District Partners Meeting - Nov 21

Franklin Cultural District Partners and Franklin residents and business owners are invited to join the Franklin Cultural District Committee (FCDC), the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in discussing culture, arts, the humanities, and economic development in Franklin’s Cultural District. 

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 21 at 7 PM at the Franklin Senior Center, 10 Daniel McCahill Street.

Luis Edgardo Cotto, Cultural Districts Program Manager for MCC, and Annis Whitlow Sengupta, PhD, Assistant Director of Arts & Culture for MAPC, will be the featured speakers. Their presentations will focus on the mission of Franklin’s Cultural District. They will provide information about contributing to culture, arts and the humanities and supporting economic development in Franklin.

For questions and/or additional information, please contact Nancy Schoen, Chair, at

Franklin Cultural District Partners Meeting - Nov 21
Franklin Cultural District Partners Meeting - Nov 21

Franklin High School's Eian Bain named Patriots High School Coach of the Week

via the New England Patriots:
"With a 28-14 victory over Brockton on Friday Night, Franklin High School’s Eian Bain has been named this week’s New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week.

Franklin continued to impress in the MIAA Division I South semifinals, taking advantage of a breakout second quarter performance to propel them to a win over Brockton. The Panthers scored 21 points in the second quarter and added another touchdown in the third to separate themselves from the Boxers in the Division I South playoffs for the second consecutive season. The victory snapped a four-game winning streak for the Boxers. Senior quarterback Thomas Gasbarro established himself as a dual-threat in the game, completing 15-of-21 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 35 yards and another touchdown on the ground.

With the win, Franklin High School moved to 7-2 on the year and advanced to the final round of the MIAA Division I South playoffs. They’ll look to push their winning streak to five games and capture the Division I South finals title when they face off against Catholic Memorial on Friday night.

Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, now the team’s executive director of community affairs, met with the Franklin players and coaching staff Tuesday afternoon to present the football program with a $1,000 donation on behalf of the Patriots Foundation, in honor of Coach Bain. The visit and check presentation will be featured on the Patriots weekly television show, “Patriots All Access,” which airs on Friday night at 7 p.m. on WBZ-TV in Boston and will be available immediately after on"

FHSl's Eian Bain named Patriots High School Coach of the Week
FHSl's Eian Bain named Patriots High School Coach of the Week

Greater Franklin Distinguished Young Women Information Night - Nov 18

The Greater Franklin Distinguished Young Women Program will hold an information night for current high school juniors from Franklin and surrounding towns, on November 18, 2019 7:30 pm at the Hockomock YMCA in Franklin.

The Greater Franklin Distinguished Young Women Program is part of a national scholarship program that inspires high school girls to develop their full, individual potential through a fun, transformative experience that culminates in a celebratory showcase of their accomplishments. 

The program has provided life-changing experiences for more than 700,000 young women and more than $93 million in cash scholarships has been awarded at the local, state, and national levels combined.

Distinguished Young Women strives to give every young woman the opportunity to further her education and prepare for a successful future.

Last year the Greater Franklin Distinguished Young Women Program offered over
$43,000 in scholarship dollars including a full one-year scholarship to Dean College! Come join us in this incredible journey and participate in this program - it will be life changing!

Past local participants have earned scholarships at the state and national levels. Information:
  • Open to all high school Juniors in all towns, no age requirement.
  • Program is free to join.
  • Rehearsals begin in January 2020, one night per week. Showcase held in Spring 2020.
  • Attendance is preferred but we are flexible and will work with you if you cannot attend all the rehearsals.


Download a copy of the flyer

Greater Franklin Distinguished Young Women
Greater Franklin Distinguished Young Women (courtesy photo)

FM #181 - Economic Development Subcommittee - Oct 23, 2019 - (audio)

FM #181

This internet radio show or podcast is number 181 in the series for Franklin Matters.

This recording shares the meeting of the Economic Development Subcommittee on Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019. The only item on the agenda was the FHS student initiative on plastic bags.

The next meeting was not determined.There would be a new Council after the Nov 5 election and the Chair would need to confirm members of the subcommittee, as well as the timeline to bring the proposal to the Council.

The recording of the meeting itself runs approx 45 minutes.

Without further ado, here is the meeting of Oct 23.


The handouts as referenced:

The student proposal (and agenda for meeting)

H771 drafts and talking points

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can always use your help.

How can you help? Overall:
  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors.
  • If you don't like this, please let me know.
Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements.
Thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"
search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

In the News: Franklin Police - no shave November; Assumption College to change to University

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

"Officers from Franklin, Hopedale, Medway, Bellingham, Millis and Upton police departments are participating in the Home Base No Shave campaign in support of Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program.

Traditionally, police departments have a grooming policy where officers must remain clean-shaven. However, for November, police officers have pledged $100 to forego the traditional grooming policy and grow beards, mustaches and goatees to support Home Base and its mission to provide no-cost clinical care to Veterans and Military Families impacted by the invisible wounds, such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.

The movement is spearheaded by MBTA Transit Police and Boston Gang Unit Detective Kurt Power, a U.S. Army Veteran and Purple Heart recipient who sought care for his own invisible wounds at Home Base."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Ben Franklin and the Franklin Police Department are once again participating in No Shave November
"Ben Franklin and the Franklin Police Department are once again participating in No Shave November"

"Assumption College received approval from the state to become a university and will do so next year, according to an internal memo school leadership sent on Wednesday.

In that message, President Francesco Cesareo said Assumption’s Restructuring Implementation Committee will prepare for that “historic transition” over the next year.

“There’s a lot of work to be done before we can actually turn the switch,” he said in an interview with the Telegram & Gazette, including the development of a “unifying visual identity” for the renamed school, which enrolls around 2,500 students."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Find out more about Assumption at

Note: I graduated from Assumption College in 1976 with an English major and Education minor.