Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Theatre Institute performs Sat - Dec14

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"As a culmination of their learning, a group of 18 high school students will present an evening of songs and scenes for members of the public at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Guidrey Center at Dean College, 99 Main St., Franklin.

Over the past three months, the students have been exploring various techniques in acting, singing and dancing through a course offered by The Theatre Institute of the Hockomock Area YMCA.

Meeting twice a week for three hours, the students have honed their skills in audition technique, script analysis and musical theater performance."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Additional info on the Theatre Institute can be found on page 40 of the program guide  https://www.hockymca.org/shared/docs/hockymca-youth-program-guide-2019-20.pdf

The Theatre Institute of the Hockomock Area YMCA
The Theatre Institute of the Hockomock Area YMCA

Monday, December 9, 2019

Franklin, MA: Finance Committee - Agenda - Dec 10, 2019


Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 6:15 PM

Franklin Town Hall, 3rd Floor Training Room 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038


1. Call to Order
2. Departmental Capital Budget Presentation:
  • a. Schools
3. Public Comments
4. Approval of Minutes
5. FY20 Town Administrator Capital Plan and Free Cash Overview
6. Departmental Capital Budget Presentations:
  • a. Facilities
  • b. Recreation
  • c. Technology
  • d. Administration
  • e. Fire
  • f. Police
7. Adjournment (Next meeting December 17, 2019 6:30@ Senior Center) 

Balance Update
• General Stabilization $6,137,866
• Recreation Fields $304,951
• Open Space Acquisition $1,121,867
• Budget Stabilization $396,332
• Free Cash $3,482,875
• OPEB $5,852,978
• Property Acquisition $269,781
• Fire Truck Stabilization $209,595

OPEB Obligation as of 6/30/18 (PAYGO): $68,554,870

The full agenda doc including supporting capital budget materials

King St and Washington Sts intersection before the snows covered the ground
King St and Washington Sts intersection before the snows covered the ground

Tracy Grammer with Jim Henry at OCC Coffeehouse Jan. 11

at OCC Coffeehouse
Saturday, Jan. 11, 7:30 PM

Tracy Grammer with Jim Henry at OCC Coffeehouse Jan. 11
Tracy Grammer with Jim Henry at OCC Coffeehouse Jan. 11
TRACY GRAMMER is one of contemporary folk music's most beloved artists. Renowned for her springwater-clear alto, perfectly intoned violin, and guitar playing that is by turns percussive and delicate, Grammer is also a gifted storyteller whose incantations add a rare mixture of vulnerability, intimacy, and hard-won insight to her performances. As one fan puts it, "With Tracy, it's never just about the music; it's a soul journey." 

And what a journey it has been. Grammer rose to acclaim as half of the "postmodern, mythic American folk" duo, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer. From 1998-2001, the duo released three internationally celebrated, chart-topping albums featuring Carter's mytho-poetic Americana songcraft and in 2002, toured with Joan Baez, both as featured artists and Baez's bandmates. Called "the new voice of modern folk music," the duo was clearly in its ascendancy when in July, 2002, Carter suffered a fatal heart attack mid-tour. He was 49; Grammer, 34.

Grammer is currently on tour celebrating the release of LOW TIDE, her first album of original songs. "I've been a writer all my life, but it was never my intention to be a songwriter," she says. "However, the road has curves we can't see at the outset of the journey. At some point along the path, writing songs became the most effective medicine for the pains and unresolved questions of my life. LOW TIDE is an album of revelations, confessions, and ultimately, healing. I am proud of the writing and utterly thrilled with the sounds. I took risks. I tried new approaches. I told the truth, and delivered my multitudes. My eleventh album is the first one that really sounds like me." Co-produced with long-time touring partner Jim Henry, LOW TIDE was released January 19, 2018 on Grammer's own label, Tracy Grammer Music, and is available through Fish Records in the U.K.

It's hard to know where to start when describing Jim Henry. He does a lot of things and he does them well. As a sideman, on a variety of electric or acoustic guitars, or on mandolin or dobro, Jim can render emotional sensitivity in one moment then tear into a rock or country solo with such fire it's hard to catch your breath. He is a master of adding whatever is needed at any musical moment. At center stage, whether as a solo artist or leading a band, Jim delivers his finely crafted original songs with a smooth, rich baritone voice and engaging storytelling and humor.

Tickets for the concert are $20, available at the church office, 508-384-3110, or at https://www.musicatocc.org/. The event will be in Fellowship Hall at the back of the church with entry from the parking lot behind the church. Parking is available behind the church and in the lot across the street. 

For more information and to be added to the mailing list, visit the website or contact Ken Graves, 508-384-8084, occmusic99@gmail.com.


AT OCC COFFEEHOUSE: Tickets are now available for all shows on the website. All shows are general admission seating, so arrive early for good seats.

** Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, Everly Brothers Experience featuring The Zmed Brothers. Since 2016, brothers Zachary and Dylan Zmed have been performing internationally to enthusiastic crowds to honor the memory of America's greatest Rock 'n' Roll singing sibling duo, the Everly Brothers.

** Friday, March 20, 2020, Tom Paxton & The Don Juans. Folk artists Tom Paxton, Don Henry and Jon Venzer have received many honors, including Grammy nominations and awards. Their songs have been covered by Harry Belafonte, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, John Denver, Bob Dylan and more.

** Saturday, April 25, 2020, Aztec Two-Step 2.0, featuring Rex Fowler, Dodie Pettit & Friends. Now that Neal Shulman has retired, Rex continues on, recapturing the sound of the duo's original studio recordings.

** Sunday, May 24, 2020, Ted Vigil, John Denver Tribute. Ted is an award-winning singer, songwriter and tribute artist. He performs internationally, and wows the crowd, selling out theatres everywhere. A typical comment is "I can't believe how much he looks and sounds like John Dever."

See website for complete season schedule, more details, and for ordering tickets.

LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Tuesday, December 10

Let’s Laugh Today in Franklin is on Tuesday, December 10 (and every second Tuesday once a month) from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Meetinghouse of the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin, Massachusetts. 

Enjoy this delightful practice, appropriate for all ages and levels of fitness. When we laugh, we energize our bodies and revive our spirits. All that is involved is deep breathing and a few stretches, playful laughter exercises (no jokes or comedy), clapping and deep relaxation. It has many benefits besides the joy of laughter. It can strengthen the immune system, combat the negative effects of stress, and is a powerful antidote to depression and anxiety. 

$5 donation to the church, $10 maximum per family. 

Please bring your water bottle because laughing can be dehydrating. 

Led by Certified Laughter Yoga Master Trainers and Laughter Ambassadors, Linda and Bill Hamaker. See www.letslaughtoday.com for opportunities to laugh in other towns. 

If you have any questions, just e-mail billandlinda@letslaughtoday.com.

LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Tuesday, December 10
LET'S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Tuesday, December 10

Franklin Garden Club Holiday Auction Open to Public - Dec 10

The Franklin Garden Club is opening its annual holiday auction to the public. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 10, beginning at 6:00 PM at the Franklin Senior Center, 10 Daniel McCahill Street, Franklin. 

A silent auction will run from 6:00 – 7:00 PM followed by a live auction beginning at 7:00 PM. Appetizers and desserts will be served throughout the evening.

The auction will feature a wide variety of holiday items made by Franklin Garden Club members, as well as other donated articles. Items will include beautiful live flower and evergreen arrangements, holiday decorations, baked goods, gift baskets, and other types of home and garden items. There will also be a raffle of nine holiday centerpieces.

“The auction is a wonderful way to jump start your holiday decorating and purchase gifts for friends and family,” noted Susan Childers and Debra Degrazia, co-presidents of the Garden Club.

All proceeds from the auction help to support the Club’s programs and community activities, which include the awarding of a scholarship to a graduating high school student, the distribution of pine tree seedlings to Franklin first graders to mark Arbor Day, and maintenance of the Franklin Town Common Garden in partnership with the Town. 

The Franklin Garden Club, founded in 1987, is a member of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts. 
Franklin Garden Club Holiday Auction Open to Public - Dec 10
Franklin Garden Club Holiday Auction Open to Public - Dec 10

FM #185 - Plastic Waste Reduction approved to move to Town Council

FM #185

This internet radio show or podcast is number 185 in the series for Franklin Matters.

This recording shares Economic Development Subcommittee meeting held on Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019.

One item was on the agenda for this session, the FHS student proposal on “Plastic Waste Reduction.” Yes, this is the revised proposal name as this is the first step to address the plastic shopping bags, then as time and resources permit, address other plastic items.

With a new Town Council elected in November 2019, there was a slight re-organization of this subcommittee. Councilor Matt Kelly is no longer a member and he has been replaced by Councilor Andy Bissanti. Councilor Melanie Hamblin now is Chair for this subcommittee. Councilors Glenn Jones and Eamon McCarthy Earls remain as members.

After going around in discussion, the measure was voted to bring forward to the Town Council for the Dec 18 meeting. The vote was 3-1 (Earls voting no).

The meeting runs approx 38 minutes.



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?
  • 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 Franklinmatters.org/
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"

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Representative Roy to hold public meeting in Franklin with representatives from the MBTA and Keolis - Dec 17

Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) announced today (Friday, Dec 6) that he will be hosting a public meeting with representatives from the MBTA and Keolis concerning commuter rail service in our area. The meeting will take place at the Franklin Town Council Chambers on Tuesday, December 17 at 7 PM.

The entire commuter rail system’s on-time performance took a dive in late September and October and the Franklin Line was the worst performing line, with a 79.2 percent on-time performance. Many of the delays and cancellations on the Franklin Line were due to mechanical failures of the equipment. The meeting will be an opportunity to hear more about these issues and ways that they are being addressed.

“I have seen an increase in the number of complaints from constituents about the commuter rail since the beginning of the Foxboro Pilot Program,” said Rep. Roy. “This meeting will give the community a chance to share their concerns and provide feedback. I know Keolis took steps to increase service and reliability including the hiring a “route manager” and installation of more double tracks. With the increased complaints and poor performance, this is a god time to talk about what is working and where things need improvement.”

Representative Roy recently started the “Franklin Line Working Group,” consisting of Representatives and Senators whose communities are served by the Franklin Line. The group meets periodically with officials from the MBTA and Keolis to discuss ways to improve the system, including issues such as parking, increased fares and fees, and infrastructure.

Anyone with questions or concerns about commuter rail transportation should join us on December 17.

Franklin line train pulling into Dean Station
Franklin line train pulling into Dean Station

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Dec 10, 2019

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.”

I. Routine Business
A. Review of Agenda
B. Citizen’s Comments
In the spirit of open communication, “the Committee will hold a public participation segment (also called Citizen’s Comments) about matters 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…. The Committee will hear public comments related to an agenda item when the Chair deems appropriate during the Committee meeting. Topics for discussion during the meeting must be limited to those items listed on the Committee meeting agenda for that evening…. ” - from Policy BEDH
C. FHS Student Representative Comments
D. Superintendent’s Report

II. Guests/Presentations
A. MCAS Presentation – Dr. Joyce Edwards

III. Discussion/Action Items
A. None

IV. Discussion Only Items
A. 2020-2021 Proposed School Year Calendar
B. Conflict of Interest Disclosure

V. Information Matters
A. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Ad Hoc Supt. Evaluation, Ad Hoc Facilities Analysis, Budget, Community Relations/Public Schools Advocacy, Policy, Transportation)
B. School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC, Substance Abuse Task Force, School Wellness Advisory Council)

VI. New Business
A. To discuss any future agenda items

VII. Consent Agenda
A. Approval of Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from your November 26, 2019 School Committee meeting as detailed.
B. Transfers
I recommend approval of the budget transfers as detailed.
C. Best Buddies Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $500.00 from the Franklin Lodge of Elks for in-house enrichment for the Best Buddies Program as detailed.
D. FHS Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $51.74 from Ohiopyle Prints, Inc. for supplemental supplies at FHS as detailed.
E. Recurring NY City trip
I recommend approval of the (recurring) request of Renee Hersee to take MS Chorus Students to New York City for a Broadway Show on May 9, 2020 as detailed.
F. Recurring DECA State Competition trip
I recommend approval of the request of Miguel Carmo to take FHS DECA students to Boston, MA from 2/27/20 to 2/29/20 for the State competition as detailed.

VIII. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

IX. Payroll Ms. D’Angelo

X. Adjournment

The agenda and associated documents released for this meeting can be found online

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Dec 10, 2019
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Dec 10, 2019

Community Outdoor Menorah Lighting and Shabbat Service - Dec 27

Please join us for our family Shabbat Hanukkah service and community menorah lighting.
Be sure to bring your menorah and candles to add to the "glow!" This is a great celebration, complete with latkes! Please consider bringing a sweet treat for the Oneg!
Celebrate Hanukkah as a community with your Temple family. This is a great event for everyone, including families with young children!

Temple Etz Chaim   https://temple-etzchaim.org/
900 Washington St, Franklin
Dec 27, 7:00 PM

Community Outdoor Menorah Lighting and Shabbat Service - Dec 27
Community Outdoor Menorah Lighting and Shabbat Service - Dec 27

Music 4 Kids is looking for help putting on a concert

"If you'd like to help organize a fundraising concert in Franklin for mid-February, please get in touch! 

We need performers, auction items, and sponsors. Looking for several volunteers to help December - February. 

Potential for employment with Music4Kids in the future. Perfect gig for stay at home parents, college students, or anyone who is interested in helping children have access to music!"


Music 4 Kids is looking for help putting on a concert
Music 4 Kids is looking for help putting on a concert

In the News: RMV analysis update, Senate District primary date not defined yet

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The House Transportation Committee chairman said last week that key players in the Baker administration should have noticed the Registry of Motor Vehicles was falling behind on public safety-related tasks while it focused on reducing customer wait times, but conceded that investigators may never get a clear answer on who knew what.

Rep. William Straus, who previously criticized a “war on wait times” at the RMV, told WGBH’s “Greater Boston” that extensive interview notes from an outside audit firm reveal a significant focus on customer service at the Registry before a fatal crash in June prompted re-evaluation of thousands of warnings that should have resulted in license suspensions.

Gov. Charlie Baker and his administration have denied that they shifted staff from back-end departments that manage violation notices to front-facing service tasks, but Straus alleged Wednesday that argument is “simply not true.”

“Positions were left unfilled in critical areas and vacancies were only filled, from the information we’ve developed, in these branch offices because, again, the focus was only customer service,” Straus said during the interview."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"The confrontation over when to schedule a special election for an open Senate seat has spilled outside the Senate chamber walls.

Gov. Charlie Baker last week endorsed Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr’s plan to avoid a general election on the same day as the presidential primary, and Secretary of State William Galvin accused Republicans of attempting “voter suppression.”

For three days last week, Democratic and Republican Senate leaders were unable to broker an agreement over when voters will choose a new senator in the Plymouth and Barnstable District to replace Viriato “Vinny” deMacedo, a Republican who resigned at the end of November.

With the delay continuing, the implications of the ticking clock are unclear. Galvin said his office looks to set special elections 12 to 14 weeks in advance, but cautioned that there is no “magic number” after which the March 3 presidential primary would no longer be a viable date for the Senate."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Franklin, MA: Office of Campaign and Political Finance Meeting - December 11 - 6:00 PM

December 11Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) Meeting

The State Office of Campaign and Political Finance will make a presentation in the Council Chambers (2nd floor of the Municipal Building).

For more about the State Office of Campaign and Political Finance  https://www.ocpf.us/

Franklin, MA: OCPF Meeting December 11 - 6:00 PM
Franklin, MA: OCPF Meeting December 11 - 6:00 PM

Franklin Public Library Closed Monday, December 16 Through Wednesday, December 18

Franklin Public Library Closed Monday, December 16 Through Wednesday, December 18

The Franklin Public Library will be closed on Monday, December 16 through Wednesday, December 18, 2019 for the cleaning of its brick hallways on the first floor. 

All fines will be waived on materials returned during that week. Items on the hold shelf will be made available for pickup for an additional three days. Museum passes reserved for those dates may be picked up by Sunday, December 15th. 

For more information, please contact Library Director Felcia Oti at 508-520-4941 or foti@franklinma.gov .

brick hallway on the first floor at the entrance
brick hallway on the first floor at the entrance

The number of potential MA 2020 Ballot questions now down to 8

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Ballot questions related to electoral reform, beer and wine sales, automotive repairs and more are on track to go before voters in 2020 after supporters cleared a major signature-gathering threshold by Wednesday’s deadline.

Eight campaigns pushing for changes to state law or constitutional amendments submitted signatures from registered voters to Secretary of State William Galvin by the end of the business day on Wednesday, according to Galvin’s office.

It was not immediately clear how many of those will clear the threshold of 80,239 certified signatures required to advance, a key hurdle toward appearing on the ballot next November, but supporters of questions about ranked-choice voting, right to repair, nursing home funding and sales of beer and wine in food stores each said they submitted a sufficient amount.

This cycle’s ballot push officially ended Wednesday for proposed constitutional amendments to restore voting rights to incarcerated Massachusetts felons and rewrite the state constitution to remove language that has been interpreted as a right to an abortion for those who qualify for MassHealth. Although both campaigns submitted signatures, neither collected enough, according to organizers."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"In 1918, the voters of the Commonwealth approved an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, stating that “Legislative power shall continue to be vested in the general court; but the people reserve to themselves the popular initiative, which is the power of a specified number of voters to submit constitutional amendments and laws to the people for approval or rejection; and the popular referendum, which is the power of a specified number of voters to submit laws, enacted by the general court, to the people for their ratification or rejection.”
For stats on ballot questions going back to 1919 which is the first election after the MA Constitutional amendment that enabled the ballot question process

To view the MA Election calendar (month by month)

MyFM 101.3 Wins Coveted “Station of the Year” Award

“I was absolutely stunned. This is the equivalent of winning the Super Bowl or the World Series, so I was in complete shock when they announced we had won the Station of the Year Award for a record 9th time. I can’t say enough about my staff, our listeners, fans and followers, and all the local partners we’ve developed over the years” said Tom McAuliffe, owner of MyFM Media, as he accepted the 2019 Massachusetts Broadcasters Association’s Station of the Year Award. “

And to think we also won awards for Outstanding Public Service Campaign for our work with Ben Speaks, and our Summer School promotion with Dean College was also recognized. This certainly proves that our Multi-Media efforts over the past few years are resonating with our listeners and community partners. People expect to be able to access what they want, where they want, and when they want it, and My FM is fulfilling that need,” McAuliffe added.

"The Station of the Year Award is the one award that every station strives to win. It's the most cherished station award the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association presents,” explained Jordan Walton, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association. “My FM 101.3 truly epitomizes what LOCAL radio, and service to the community is all about, and we're proud to salute them with this honor for a record 9th time.”

“The Station of the Year” award is presented annually by the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association to the most outstanding radio station in the Commonwealth, and is open to all of the more than 180 radio stations.

The “Station of the Year” award is given to the top station in Massachusetts that exemplifies overall excellence in all phases of operation. The judges, members of the Iowa Broadcasters Association, cited MyFM 101.3 had experienced extraordinary growth of audience, client base, but most importantly, MyFM was providing exceptional service to their listeners, community officials, and local organizations.

To put this award into perspective, the television “Station of the Year” for 2019 was WCVB, Channel 5 Boston, considered by many to be the finest TV station in the United States. You can see the prestige that this award grants MyFM 101.3.

About MyFM 101.3  https://myfm1013.com/
My FM 101.3 and WMRC 1490AM has been on the air since 1956, making it one of the oldest, continuously locally owned and operated radio stations in Massachusetts.

MyFM 101.3 Wins Coveted “Station of the Year” Award
MyFM 101.3 Wins Coveted “Station of the Year” Award