Monday, December 16, 2019

Cheryl Wheeler at Circle of Friends Coffeehouse - Jan 4

Cheryl Wheeler Jan 4th with Samantha Tracy
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with special guest Samantha Tracy
January 4 -  8 PM $30
Cheryl Wheeler tickets make great holiday gifts. Visit

Cheryl Wheeler returns to the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse on Saturday, January 4th at 8 PM. Cheryl is known for her brilliant, often hysterical, performances and beautifully crafted songs. She'll have you rolling in the aisles one minute, then she'll take off her glasses, close her eyes, and sing a heart-breakingly lovely song that may bring you to tears.   Her entire concert is an emotional roller coaster.

"Rare artist...strong poetry, complex melodies, clever wit." -SingOut!

Cheryl's songs are often emotional portraits of people, leaving you with the impression that you know the characters. You find yourself being dragged into the song rather than standing outside and observing. Other songs by Cheryl are hilarious situation comedies.  This is always a sold-out show, so order your tickets soon. 

New Hampshire performer Samantha Tracy will open the show. She is a 21 year old singer and multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, mandolin and banjo. She previously appeared at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse with her band, The Starlight Honeys.
The Circle of Friends Coffeehouse is a non-profit organization affiliated with Franklin's First Universalist Society. Concerts are presented in a smoke free and alcohol free environment at the Society's handicapped accessible Meetinghouse, 262 Chestnut St. in Franklin, and begin at 8:00 PM; doors open at 7:30 PM. Beverages and gourmet desserts will be available.  Please visit to purchase tickets or for more information.
Upcoming Shows
Feb 8         Small Potatoes
Feb 29       Pesky J Nixon presents Tribal Mischief
Mar 14       The Squeezebox Stompers
Apr 4          Tom Rush
Apr 18        Matt Nakoa
May 9         Red Molly

Circle of Friends Coffeehouse · First Universalist Society · 262 Chestnut St · Franklin, MA 02038 · USA

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Franklin Police Awarded Traffic Safety Grant


The Franklin Police were awarded a grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's (EOPSS) Office of Grants and Research (OGR) to increase the number of impaired driving patrols during the holiday season. Franklin Police will join other departments across the state and the State Police in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over (DSOGPO) enforcement mobilization.

"Impaired drivers are a risk to everyone on the road. Both the operator as a risk to themselves, and every other person traveling the roadways" said Chief Thomas J. Lynch of the Franklin Police Department. "These grants allow us to increase the number of targeted patrols on the streets looking for impaired drivers and making it safer for everyone."

"Arranging for a sober ride home before celebrating should be a part of everyone's plans this holiday season," said Jeff Larason, Director of Highway Safety at Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Office of Grants & Research. "We want all drivers to recognize the responsibility they have to drive safely and to avoid getting behind the wheel if they're impaired. Remember - If you feel different, you drive different."

Massachusetts Data (2013-2017):
  • Marijuana was the most prevalent drug found in drivers involved in fatal crashes.
  • 11 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes were found with both alcohol and drugs in their system.
  • 78 percent of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were men.
  • 35 percent of drunk drivers involved in a fatal crash were 21-29 years old.
  • The number of drivers involved in a fatal crash who were alcohol-impaired (BAC .08+) and had drugs in their system increased by 63 percent (35 to 57).
  • From 2016 to 2017, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities decreased by 19 percent (148 to 120).

National Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
  • Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers. On average, more than 10,000 people have died each year (2013 to 2017) in drunk-driving crashes. To put it in perspective, that's equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors.
  • In 2017, one person was killed every 48 minutes by a drunk driver on our nation's roads.
  • In 2017, almost one in five children (14 and younger) killed in traffic crashes were killed in drunk-driving crashes. Fifty-four percent of the time, it was the child's driver who was drunk.
  • Drugs were present in 43 percent of the fatally-injured drivers with a known test result in 2015, more frequently than alcohol was present.
  • NHTSA's 2013–2014 roadside survey found drugs in 22 percent of all drivers both on weekend nights and on weekdays.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychological effects—slows reaction times, impairs cognitive performance, and makes it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane.
  • Mixing alcohol and marijuana may dramatically produce effects greater than either drug on its own.

For more information on the Office of Grants and Research's impaired driving enforcement grant program or to view the accompanying "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" TV ads, please visit

This was shared from the Town of Franklin Police Dept page

Franklin Police Awarded Traffic Safety Grant
Franklin Police Awarded Traffic Safety Grant FHS boys hockey season preview

We share the Franklin preview here. The link to the other Hockomock League boys hockey team previews is shared below.

2018-2019 Record: 12-10-4
2018-2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Final
Coach: Anthony Sarno

"A new chapter begins in Franklin boys hockey with Anthony Sarno taking over on the bench after longtime Panther coach Chris Spillane stepped down following last season. While the Panthers might have a bit of a new look, expectations are still high inside Pirelli for the defending Kelley-Rex champs.

Sarno is hoping that momentum will carry over from the Panthers’ impressive playoff run from a year ago when Franklin upset Mansfield in overtime and knocked off Catholic Memorial in the semifinals. But there won’t be any nights off for Franklin with a loaded schedule that features Malden Catholic, Pope Francis, and a loaded Mt. Hope tournament — and that’s just December.

“It will be a work in progress and we will look to develop a solid team chemistry with a relentless work ethic, staying true to consistency, and discipline in an environment where effort and attitude is paramount, and not up for discussion,” Sarno said.

Up front, the Panthers will be leaning on seniors Shane McCaffrey, Kevin O’Rielly, and Shea Hurley to lead the way. McCaffrey is the team’s top scorer returning from a year ago so it will be vital for new players to step up and contribute. Juniors Conor O’Neil and Declan Lovett are also going to be important pieces to the Panthers’ offense. Senior Ray Ivers returns between the pipes are stepping in last season and playing well. In front of Ivers, Franklin will have two of the best defensemen in the league with senior Tom Tasker, a First Team selection last year, and junior Joe LeBlanc, who had a breakout sophomore campaign. "

For other Hockomock boys hockey team previews

Pat Dolan concentrates on the puck ( photo)
Pat Dolan concentrates on the puck ( photo)

Register O'Donnell Reports Continuing Increases in Lending Activity

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Register O'Donnell Reports Continuing Increases in Lending Activity

Continuing a pattern seen throughout the latter half of 2019, Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reported that lending activity, spurred by continued low interest rates, showed a healthy increase for the month of November in Norfolk County.

Register O'Donnell stated, "As we have seen over the past few months, there was a significant increase with lending activity. A total of 2,893 mortgages were recorded in November, a 50% increase compared to November 2018. Also, the total amount of money borrowed against Norfolk County properties in November was $1.8 billion, a 53% increase compared to the previous year. These lending statistics are compelling evidence that positive trend lines relative to lending continue unabated in Norfolk County. Consumers are definitely taking advantage of low interest rates to refinance existing mortgages and finance major capital expenditures."

During the month of November, the number of county real estate transactions was flat compared to the previous year. A total of 1,473 properties, both residential and commercial, were sold compared to 1,477 in November 2018. The average real estate price, combined for both residential and commercial properties, rose 8% to just over $1 million dollars. However, total dollar real estate sales for the month actually decreased 5% to $867.5 million. O'Donnell noted, "Despite the high real estate costs and challenges with available inventory, consumers still view Norfolk County as a desirable location to live and raise a family."

Homeowners living in Norfolk County continued to avail themselves of the benefits of the Homestead Act. During November, 1,035 Homesteads were recorded, a 1% increase year over year. "A Homestead," noted the Register, "provides limited protection against the forced sale of a homeowner's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. If they have not done so already, Norfolk County homeowners would be prudent to consider this important consumer protection tool."

In some conflicting real estate data, November saw a 24% decrease in the number of foreclosure deeds recorded. A total of 13 foreclosure deeds were recorded compared to 17 during the same timeframe in 2018. However, this encouraging news was offset by a 23% increase in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgages, the first step in the foreclosure process, recorded during the month.

In response to these figures, the Register stated, "After seeing a reduction in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage recordings during the previous month, the increase we saw in November was a bit troubling. At the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, my staff and I are working with our partners to help anyone facing the challenges of paying their mortgage. The Quincy Community Action Programs, 617-479-8181 x376 and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, 508-587-0950 have highly qualified staffs who can help any homeowner who has received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage document. Additionally, another option available to a homeowner is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General's Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400."

Register O'Donnell concluded, "While the Norfolk County real estate sales activity has seemingly leveled off, the same cannot be said about the lending market. It remains hot. As long as interest rates remain low, I see healthy lending numbers continuing. One caveat is the uncertainty surrounding where the local, state and national economies are heading as we enter the 2020 calendar year. The Registry will continue to closely monitor economic data to see how it will affect the real estate and lending markets in Norfolk County as we move forward to the next decade."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on and/or

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in 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 Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone 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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Stephen Sherlock

Community Information Director (volunteer) for Girls Soccer awards for Addi, Atwood, Balkus

Here are the FHS athletes selected for the Awards for Girls Soccer 2019.

HockomockSports Editor’s Note: The Awards are selected strictly by our staff and have no affiliation to the official Hockomock League all stars. Best XI

Sabrina Addi
Sabrina Addi
Sabrina Addi – Franklin – Defense
Franklin senior Sabrina Addi was a rock at the back for the Panthers, who tied King Philip for the fewest goals allowed this season and only allowed two goals in regulation over the final 13 games of the season. Addi dominated from her center back position and led a relatively inexperienced defensive unit. She also stepped up on the offensive side, scoring seven goals and dishing out a pair of assists. Franklin coach Tom Geysen said, “Sabrina took an inexperienced defense and helped turn it into an outstanding group of defenders. She took the challenge on and performed with outstanding consistency. She is well skilled, physical, tough, and reads the game as well as any defender we have had in a long time.”

Breanna Atwood
Breanna Atwood
Breanna Atwood – Franklin – Goalie
Franklin senior goalie Breanna Atwood earned first team honors for the second year in a row after another impressive season between for the Panthers. Atwood was one of the main reasons that the Panthers had one of the league’s top defensive records, allowing only nine goals in 18 games and allowing only two goals in regulation over the final 13 games of the season. She finished with 11 clean sheets and was selected as an all-star by the Hockomock League coaches for the second straight season. Franklin coach Tom Geysen said, “Her toughness, athleticism, and understanding of the game made Bre the best keeper in the league. In addition, she was a team leader and led by example in every possible way. Second XI

Anna Balkus
Anna Balkus
Anna Balkus – Franklin – Defense
Franklin senior Anna Balkus played in multiple positions for the Panthers this season, but it was her move to left back that helped solidify the backline and turned Franklin into one of the best defensive squads in the league. The Panthers allowed only nine goals in 19 games and gave up only two goals in regulation over the final 13 games of the season. Balkus, who started up top and in midfield early in the year, scored twice and had an assist. Franklin coach Tom Geysen said, “We were 1-3 and treading water. After the move to defender, Anna turned our season around. Game after game she marked the other team’s best offensive player and shut her down. A totally unselfish player for all positions.”

Continue reading about the other awards for Girls Soccer

Girls Basketball: Players to Watch - FHS' Ali Brigham

FHS senior Ali Brigham was named one of the Girls Basketball: Ten Players to Watch in 2019-2020 by

Ali Brigham, Senior – Franklin

Ali Brigham ( photo)
Ali Brigham ( photo)
"Every season Brigham has improved different parts of her game and last year it came together in a completing dominating performance that earned the George Washington University-commit league MVP and Player of the Year honors. Brigham scored 25.6 points per game, reaching the 1,000-point plateau for her career, pulled down more than 17 rebounds per game, and blocked more than six shots per game.

She led the Panthers to a division title, the D1 Central title, and had them minutes from a spot in the D1 final. If she continues at this pace, then Brigham could finish her career as the program’s all-time leading scorer. Numbers aside, Brigham continues to develop her all-around game, not just controlling the paint with her height but also showing off quick feet to cover forwards and extending her range on offense and forcing defenses to cover her further from the basket.

After stepping her game up to a new level in the postseason, Brigham looks poised for a huge senior season and is the primary reason that Franklin is the heavy favorite to repeat in the Kelley-Rex and is a state title contender this winter."

For the nine other girls basketball players to watch

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Dec 18, 2019

The published agenda and documents for the Franklin Town Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday, December 18, 2019.

You can also find the full set of documents in one PDF
(Note: where there are active links in the agenda item, it will take you to the associated document)

This was shared from the Town of Franklin page

a. This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown 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. October 2, 2019
b. November 13, 2019
- None Scheduled 
a. Historical Commission, Associate Member: Alan Earls
- None Scheduled 
- 7:10 PM
a. La Cantina Winery Company, Farmer Winery, Farmers Market
b. The Chateau Restaurant of Franklin, Change of Hours, 466 King Street.
c. Acapulcos Mexican Restaurant, License Modification, Change of Location, 371 Union Street
d. GlenPharmer Distillery, LLC, New Farmer Series Pouring Permit for a Farmer-Distillery, 860 West Central Street
e. 2020 Annual Alcoholic Beverages License Renewals 
a. Plastic Bag Waste Reduction
b. Town Administrator Annual Evaluation
a. Capital Budget Subcommittee
b. Budget Subcommittee
c. Economic Development Subcommittee
Resolution 19-89: Gift Acceptance - Franklin Veteran’s Services Department, $1,480 (Motion to Approve Resolution 19-89 - Majority Vote (5))
- Purpose #6: to consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property (majority roll call vote)

GlenPharmer Distillery, LLC, New Farmer Series Pouring Permit for a Farmer-Distillery, 860 West Central Street
GlenPharmer Distillery, LLC, New Farmer Series Pouring Permit for a Farmer-Distillery

Franklin, MA: Finance Committee - Agenda - Dec 17, 2019

FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING =Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 6:30 PM

Franklin Senior Center, Conference Room
10 Daniel Mccahill Street, Franklin; MA 0203.8


1. Call to Order
2. Approval of Minutes of 12/10/19 Meeting
3. Public Comments
4. Capital Budget Presentations:
a. Department of Public Works
5. Final Recommendations and Vote
6. Storm water Presentation
7. Adjournment

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 and documents released for this meeting can be found

rain garden at Parmenter, one of several around Franklin part of the storm water mitigation plan
rain garden at Parmenter, one of several around Franklin part of the storm water mitigation plan

FHS girls hockey win big, wrestling goes 3-1 in Quad meet, girls swim post win vs Canton

Via and Twitter, we share the results of FHS winter sports action on Saturday.

Girls Hockey = Stoughton, 0 @ Franklin, 7 – Final
– Franklin opened the season with a big win at home over visiting Stoughton. Freshman Lyndsey Atkinson had a big debut, scoring her first goal while adding a pair of assists to lead the way. Sophomore Maggie McCaffrey, freshman Shaw Downing, and freshman Molly Hurley also scored their first career goals for the Panthers win the win. Gabby Colace had a 12-save shutout for the win.

Wrestling = Mount Hope (R.I.) Quad (Franklin, Stoughton), 10:00AM

Boys Swimming = Canton @ Franklin, 10:30 (@ Milford)

Girls Swimming = Canton @ Franklin, 10:30 (@ Milford)

Boys Indoor Track vs Taunton on Friday

Girls Indoor Track vs. Taunton on Friday

For other results around the Hockomock League

Boys Hockey = Canton, 3 @ Franklin, 2 – Final
Josh Perry, Managing Editor of, provides the boys hockey game recap:

"Canton was on its heels for large portions of Saturday night’s season opener at Pirelli Veterans Arena, struggling with the speed of the Franklin forwards and struggling to find the outlet passes that would send the Bulldogs racing forward into the offensive zone.

Still, the Bulldogs know how to find ways to win games. Senior forward Shane Marshall took advantage of a fortuitous bounce off a skate to score a power play goal with 11:27 to play and it turned out to be the difference in a 3-2 victory that extends Canton’s unbeaten run to 27 games and makes it four straight wins against the Panthers.

“It was probably not as tightly played as we’re used to, but that’s a really good team,” Canton coach Brian Shuman said. “They’re a very skilled, high-flying team this year. They were doing some stuff that we hadn’t seen them do in the past. I was very impressed with them, they played very well, and they took it to us.”
Continue reading the game recap

For a photo gallery by Josh Perry

Declan Lovett ready for a face off ( photo)
Declan Lovett ready for a face off ( photo)

Pantherbook: "Toxic Turf at Beaver Pond?"

Via Pantherbook:
"Have you ever played on the field at Beaver Pond in Franklin, MA? Many kids have. Little do they know, discarded turf from the field has been decomposing in the pond’s wetlands for over two years."
Continue reading the Pantherbook article online

The Pantherbook posting was prescient as the Boston Globe published this:
"Amid growing concerns about toxic chemicals in the water supply, state regulators Friday announced significant new limits on the human-made compounds in drinking water and approved new requirements ordering polluters to clean up contaminated soil and ground water. 
The long-awaited rules come as environmental officials acknowledge that the per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, known as PFAS, have been found in a growing number of communities across the state. 
The chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, low infant birth weights, and a range of diseases, have been found so far in 28 of 37 municipal water systems that have provided test results to the state Department of Environmental Protection, officials said this week. Of those, 12 found that the amounts exceed the proposed standards for drinking water."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

And as an update to the previously shared listing on the "turf issue":

What we know:

What we don’t know:

  • What happened to the Conservation Commission mitigation measures from when the field was first installed (in 2004?)?
  • Where was the old carpet and bags of unused infill taken?
  • What will the Federal agencies do with PFAS and the recent revelations (if anything)?

bags of the acrylic coated infill ready for install at FHS in August 2017
new turf carpet being installed at Beaver St field in 2017
new turf carpet being installed at Beaver St field in August 2017

In the News: tax cut will reduce state tax revenues; La Salette opens for 65th year

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

"In 2000, Massachusetts voters handily approved a ballot question meant to reduce the state’s income tax rate to 5%.

Two decades later, they’re finally getting their wish.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week that on Jan. 1, the income tax rate will be cut from 5.05% to 5%.

The tax cut marks the end of a process that began in 2002 following passage of the ballot question two years earlier."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"For 65 years, the Christmas Festival of Lights at La Salette has helped illuminate the reason for the season while providing delight and beauty for countless visitors.

The Rev. Flavio Gillio loves to light up the night. After all, that’s his job; he is the director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro. Each year, he is responsible for making sure the 300,000 lights and scores of holiday displays at the religious site shine brightly. As you might imagine, it’s a lot of work.

“Tis the season! ’Tis the season! Yes, we are very busy!” chuckles Father Flavio in a soft Italian accent. The priest in the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette was born in a small town near Turin in Italy, across the valley from the village in France where Mary was said to have appeared to two young children in 1846."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)