Monday, February 10, 2020

Register O'Donnell Promotes AED Legislation

With February being designated American Heart Month, Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell today reaffirmed his support for legislation (H.1789) that would place Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) in Norfolk County governmental buildings.

The Register stated, "H.1789, currently before the Massachusetts House of Representatives, would place an AED in each of the ten Norfolk County governmental facilities. An AED is a lightweight, portable device that delivers n electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can potentially stop an irregular heart beat (arrhythmia) and allows for a normal rhythm to resume following sudden cardiac arrest."

Previously, Register O'Donnell, along with the bill's lead sponsor State Representative Denise Garlick (D-Needham) and co-sponsor State Senator Paul Feeney (D-Foxborough) had testified before the Legislature's Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government committee in support of the legislation. The Register noted, "Of the cardiac arrest deaths occurring each year, more than 95% of the victims never reached the hospital. According to the Occupational Safety Health Administration, using a defibrillator on individuals in cardiac arrest increases their survival rate by 60%."

O'Donnell went on to note, "In addition to requiring that an AED be installed in each of the 10 Norfolk County governmental facilities, the legislation also requires that at least one employee or volunteer be trained in its use and be on the building's grounds during business hours."

Since 2010, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, at its own initiative and expense, has installed an AED on each of the 3 floors of the Registry of Deeds building, maintained the equipment and trained its employees to use the AED equipment. "We believe the small cost required to purchase an AED and train employees is well spent when you consider the potential lives that could be saved," stated O'Donnell.

Register O'Donnell concluded by stating, "American Heart Month is a good time for all citizens to reflect and raise awareness about heart disease, how to prevent it, and steps that can be taken in the event of cardiac arrest. If a cardiac arrest incident does occur, the difference between life and death may be the availability of a functioning AED unit. H.1789 is a proactive piece of legislation requiring an AED in the 10 Norfolk County governmental facilities. The legislation, currently before the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading, has received strong support from Rep. Garlick, Sen. Feeney and the Norfolk County state house delegation as a whole. It is hoped the Massachusetts Legislature will advance this important, common sense legislation."

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

Register O'Donnell Promotes AED Legislation
Register O'Donnell Promotes AED Legislation

In the News: "staffed entirely by volunteers"

From the Sun Chronicle, articles of interest for Franklin:
"After years of borrowing space for meetings and support groups to help people with substance abuse disorders, the SAFE Coalition will finally have a home soon.

Next month, the grassroots organization will hold an open house at its first permanent office: 206 Dedham St., Suite E, at the corner of routes 1A and 115 in Norfolk.

The open house will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13.

“Opening this office and conference space will allow us to grow and more efficiently provide services to those communities that mean so much to us. We will no longer have to store our materials in our collective garages. We are now able to centralize many of our services,” Steve Spiewakowski, the secretary of the board of directors for SAFE, said in an email."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

For more about the SAFE Coalition, visit their web page

In the News:  "staffed entirely by volunteers"
In the News:  "staffed entirely by volunteers"

Protect Yourself from Social Security Scams

Protect Yourself from Social Security Scams

Scammers are pretending to be government employees. Scammers will try to scare and trick you into giving them your personal information and money. They may threaten you or your family and may demand immediate payment to avoid arrest or other legal action.


1. Hang up!

2. DO NOT give them money or personal

3. Report the scam at OIG.SSA.GOV!

cell phone image

Social Security may call you in
some situations but will never

  • Threaten you
  • Suspend your Social Security Number
  • Demand immediate payment from you
  • Require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer
  • Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or to wire or mail cash

What to look out for

image of SS card
The call or email says there is a problem with your Social Security Number or account.
image of a credit card
Someone asking you to pay a fine or debt with retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency, or by mailing cash.
image of a cell phone
Scammers pretend they're from Social Security or another government agency. Caller ID or documents sent by email may look official but they are not.
caution symbol
Callers threaten you with arrest or other legal action.

Protect yourself, friends, and family!

  • If you receive a questionable call, hang up and report it at
  • Don't be embarrassed to report if you shared personal information or suffered a financial loss
  • Learn more at
  • Share this information with others

In the News: "a good start"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"A proposal from Gov. Charlie Baker to close a gap in skilled technical workers is a good start but needs funding, recruitment and capacity if it is to succeed, according to a local lawmaker and school administrators.

In its fiscal 2021 budget proposal submitted last month, the Baker administration proposed approximately $15 million to launch Career Technical Initiative, a multi-year investment to train an additional 20,000 skilled workers over the next four years by offering three teaching shifts a day at local vocational schools.

Aligned with the executive offices of education, economic development, housing, and labor and workforce development, Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet aims to provide career training opportunities not only for students enrolled in vocational schools but also for traditional high school students and adults.

“I like the concept certainly because I know that we definitely could use more skilled workers, and I think this concept would certainly address that issue,” said Rep. Jeffrey Roy, D-Franklin."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Sunday, February 9, 2020

FM #202 - Economic Development Subcommittee - Feb 5, 2020 (audio)

FM #202

This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 202 in the series, that we are now producing in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

The Economic Development Subcommittee chaired by Councilor Melanie Hamblen met on Wednesday, Feb 5, 2020 at 5:30 PM. 

Town Administrator Jamie Hellen, Councilor Andy Bissanti (member), Councilor Glenn Jones (member), Community Development and Planning Director Bryan Taberner and Councilor Eamon Earls (member - arrived late) spoke during the meeting. Assistant to Town Administrator Chrissy Whelton, Admin Assistant Alicia Alleyne, and Joseph Halligan (Vice-Chair Planning Board) participated but did not speak.

Town Council Chair Tom Mercer was also present for part of the meeting but did not actively participate to avoid the Open Meeting Law requirements (can’t have more than 4 Councilors in a meeting without having a Town Council agenda posted).

Discussion items
1. EDC Goals Prioritization Review
an extended discussion around the items on the Town Council goals listing that were aligned for the EDC and a few others added to it which you'll hear during the discussion
2. Lot Line Clean up #3: Areas near Pleasant, Chestnut & Brook Streets
a continuation of the plot line clean up effort so each plot would be contained within a single zone as opposed to being split over a couple of them
Get a copy of this agenda on the Town of Franklin page

Without further ado, here is the recording for the meeting approx 80 minutes


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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"

Town Council Meeting 
2020 and 2021 Goals 
Town Council Workshop 
January 8, 2020
EDC List

Economic Development - To the EDC

  • Revise Solar Bylaw in Residential districts - in process.
  • Continue Lot Line "Clean ups" around town - in process.
  • Zoning Changes
  • lnclusionary Zoning bylaw proposal to stabilize the Town's Affordable Housing Inventory with the state to ensure we maintain 10% affordable housing stock and preserving local zoning -- March 4th EDC
  • Master Plan Update before the Council -- Expected June/July 2020
  • Draft and Adopt state Affordable Housing Plan
  • Residential 5 and C-1 density
  • The Franklin Crossing Neighborhood District rezone
  • Approve Snow Removal bylaw on sidewalks - To review per TC April/May
  • Present Economic Profile to the Town Council - EDC to evaluate or implement ideas based off of the recommendations in the final report - Tentative March Presentation
  • Ferrara Parking Lot Lease for continued commuter rail and free municipal parking in downtown -- in process.
  • Nu-Style (Grove Street) options
  • Review BioTechnology Bylaw (EDC)
  • Analyze Food requirement and closing hours for restaurants (EDC)
  • Review and cleanup Marijuana Overlay District
  • Revise Over 55 Overlay, including open space requirement (EDC)
  • Monitor Mixed Innovation Business District (EDC)
  • MBTA parking Lot in Downtown

You can find the full agenda doc (including the plot line proposal map)

The Economic Development page referenced during the meeting

FM #202 - Economic Development Subcommittee - Feb 5, 2020 (audio)
FM #202 - Economic Development Subcommittee - Feb 5, 2020 (audio)

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - Feb 11, 2020

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. Jefferson Grade 5 Murals Presentation
B. Technology Presentation
C. DIP Goal #1 Update – SEL

III. Discussion/Action Items
A. Policy – 2nd Reading/Adoption
I recommend adoption of Policy EEAE – School Bus Safety as discussed.

IV. Discussion Only Items – none

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 the January 28, 2020 School Committee meeting as detailed.
B. Transfers
I recommend approval of the budget transfers as detailed.
C. Music Gift
I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $4,264.00 from Franklin Music Parents for in-house enrichment as detailed.
D. Oak Street Gift
I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $1,145.00 from the Oak Street PCC for in-house enrichment as detailed.
E. MA All State Music Festival Trip (recurring)
I recommend approval of the request of Diane Plouffe to take music students to the MA All State Music Festival in Boston, MA on March 5 – 7, 2020 as detailed.
F. Baseball Field Trip (recurring)
I recommend approval of the request of Mr. Peri to take FHS student athletes to Cooperstown, NY from April 19 – 20, 2020 as detailed.
G. Parmenter Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $800.00 from the Parmenter PCC for field trips as detailed.
H. Davis Thayer Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $5,000.00 from the Davis Thayer PCC for field trips as detailed.
I. Annie Sullivan Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $1,000.00 from the Annie Sullivan PCC for in-house enrichment as detailed.
J. ECDC Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $1,000.00 from the Franklin Cultural Council for in-house enrichment at ECDC as detailed.
K. Keller Gr. 5 RW Zoo Field Trip
I recommend approval of the recurring Keller Grade 5 field trip to Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, RI on May 7, 2020 as detailed.
L. 3rd Grade Music Field Trip
I recommend approval of the recurring JFK/Parmenter 3rd Grade field trip to The Veteran’s Auditorium in Providence, RI on May 19, 2020 as detailed.

VIII. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

IX. Payroll Ms. D’Angelo

X. Executive Session
Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, §21(a)(3) to discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining with the FEA unit as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining position of the School Committee and the chair so declares.

XI. Adjournment

The documents released for this meeting can be found online. Some documents will be posted after the meeting.

Another detail shot of the Jefferson Elementary mural.... books parachuting from an airplane
"Another detail shot of the Jefferson Elementary mural.... books parachuting from an airplane"

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Feb 12, 2020

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.
- None

Firefighter/Paramedic: Michael McConaghy

- None Scheduled

6. HEARINGS - 7:10pm
Zoning Changes:
20-849: Changes to Ground-Mounted Solar Energy System Use Regulations and Use Regulations Schedule Updates

20-850: Zoning Map Changes On Or Near Highland, Maple and Lincoln Streets

20-851: Zoning Map Changes On Or Near Oak Street and Dailey Drive

- None Scheduled

a. Housing Authority - Lisa Audette, Executive Director, Franklin Housing Authority
b. Transitional Assistance Discussion - Franklin Senior Center

a. Capital Budget Subcommittee
b. Budget Subcommittee
c. Economic Development Subcommittee

Bylaw 20-847 As Amended: New Chapter 130, Plastic Checkout Bag Prohibition - Second Reading (Motion to Adopt Bylaw Amendment 20-847 As Amended: Chapter 130, Plastic Checkout Bag Prohibition - Majority Roll Call Vote)

Bylaw Amendment 20-852: Chapter 82, Municipal Service Fees - Second Reading (Motion to Adopt Bylaw Amendment 20-852: Chapter 82, Municipal Service Fees - Majority Roll Call Vote)

Resolution 20-12: Gift Acceptance Franklin Police Department - $10,000 (Motion to approve Resolution 20-12 - Majority Vote)

Resolution 20-13: Gift Acceptance Franklin Fire Department - $10,000 (Motion to approve Resolution 20-13 - Majority Vote)

Zoning By-Law Amendment 20-849: Changes to Ground-Mounted Solar Energy System Use Regulations, And Use Regulations Schedule Updates- First Reading (Motion to move Zoning Bylaw Amendment 20-849 to a second reading - Majority Vote)

Zoning By-law Amendment 20-850: Zoning Map Changes On Or Near Highland, Maple and Lincoln Streets- First Reading (Motion to Move Zoning Bylaw Amendment 20-850 to a second reading - Majority Vote)

Zoning By-law Amendment 20-851: Zoning Map Changes On Or Near Oak Street and Dailey Drive - First Reading (Motion to Move Zoning Bylaw Amendment 20-851 to a second reading - Majority Vote)

Resolution 20-14: The Town of Franklin Civil Discourse Pledge (Motion to approve Resolution 20-14 - Majority Vote)




- None Scheduled


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

The agenda and docs released for this meeting can be found in one PDF

Individual docs may be available on the Town of Franklin agenda page

beaver damage at DelCarte observed recently
beaver damage at DelCarte observed recently

FHS girls basketball and girls hockey teams post wins on Saturday

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

Girls Basketball = Franklin, 52 vs. Holy Name, 43 – Final
– In a potential playoff preview, the Panthers held off a second half charge from Holy Name to sweep the season series against the Div. 1 Central challenger. Franklin jumped out to a 34-18 lead at halftime, but the Naps rallied after the break to cut the lead to as little as five. The Panthers shut down the visitors over the final four minutes to extend the lead back out to nine. Ali Brigham led the way with 20 points and Olivia Quinn added 12. Megan O’Connell chipped in with eight points for the Panthers.


Indoor Track

Girls Hockey = Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final
Josh Perry, Managing Editor of, provides the game recap:

"Sometimes goal-scoring is about being in the right place at the right time and for the second time this season Franklin’s Amanda Lewandowski found herself in the right spot to score a game-winning goal against Mansfield/Oliver Ames.

Lewandowski was left alone on the far post to tap in the game-winning, power play goal with just under six minutes remaining in Saturday evening’s league encounter at Pirelli Veterans Arena. Franklin added an empty net goal in the final minute to beat the Warriors 3-1, sweeping the season series, and in the process clinching at least second place in the league and a postseason berth.

“She’s that player that’s always on,” said Franklin coach Margie Burke about Lewandowski. “Every game this season has been tough and always against this team. They always come to play.”

Both meetings between the Warriors and Panthers have been tight, low-scoring, and evenly-matched. In games like that, one lapse can prove decisive and that is what happened to the Warriors on Saturday."

Continue reading the game recap

For a Photo Gallery from this game

For other results around the Hockomock League

Franklin junior forward Amanda Lewandowski scored a pair of goals, as the Panthers beat 3-1 to clinch at least second place in the Hock. (Josh Perry/
Franklin junior forward Amanda Lewandowski scored a pair of goals, as the Panthers beat 3-1 to clinch at least second place in the Hock. (Josh Perry/

Community Preservation Act (CPA) Presentation

Community Preservation Act (CPA) Presentation

The Community Preservation Act was passed in 2000 to help communities empower themselves to raise a dedicated revenue source for the purposes of open space preservation, historic preservation, affordable housing and recreation.

On February 5, Town Administrator, Jamie Hellen, gave a presentation at the Town Council meeting showcasing the benefits that could arise from Franklin Adopting the Community Preservation Act. Please Click on the Links below for more information!
  • **CPA Presentation - Presented by Jamie Hellen**

  • Memo - Jamie Hellen CPA Presentation
  • CPA Adoption Process
  • General CPA Information 

Quincy City Councilor-At-Large Noel DiBona Announces Candidacy for Norfolk County Register of Probate

Quincy City Councilor-at-Large Noel DiBona officially announced his candidacy for Register of Probate of Norfolk County last week. DiBona who began his political career in 2013 as a Quincy School Committee member, has served as a Quincy City Councilor-At-Large since 2016, and has been elected to three consecutive terms. 

DiBona has been a small business owner in Quincy for the last 24 years, managing Russ DiBona & Son Landscape & Snow. DiBona graduated from Quincy High School in 1993, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts-Boston.
Noel DiBona
Noel DiBona

DiBona has been employed by the Norfolk County Sheriff’s office since 2016, where he currently serves as re-entry program coordinator for inmates. DiBona previously served as a senior community services coordinator for the Sheriff’s office, assisting senior citizens in scam and fraud prevention at facilities for the elderly throughout Norfolk County. If elected as the Register of the Probate, DiBona plans to improve all services provided by the court, and pledges to be a consistent strong advocate for attorneys, judges, clients, and citizens. 

“I am seeking the seat as the Register of Probate of Norfolk County because I have a strong desire to serve and assist others. Virtually everyone will encounter an experience with probate, whether it is a birth, a death, or divorce. Your experience with the court should be managed with compassion and empathy. I will apply my business management background to the official record keeping and customer service areas of the court to ensure that the public always has the best experience possible, especially during tough times” Said DiBona.

“The decision to run for Norfolk County Register of Probate has been a family decision. Following discussions with my wife, Niamh, and other family members we collaboratively decided that I should seek the seat and they are all 100% behind the decision”. Added DiBona.

DiBona will be running as a Democrat. The primary election is set for Tuesday, September 1st and if successful in the primary, the final election will be on November 3rd. The Committee to Elect Noel DiBona will be holding a Kickoff Reception event at Alba Restaurant at 1486 Hancock St. in Quincy Center on Thursday, February 27 from 5:00-8:00 PM, and members of the public are encouraged to attend. 

Court Stops Sprawling Scheme that Operated Hundreds of Websites that Deceived Consumers About Government Services

Court Stops Sprawling Scheme That Operated Hundreds of Websites That Deceived Consumers About Government Services
Defendants made millions of dollars from sites that overwhelmingly mislead consumers

A court has granted the Federal Trade Commission's request to preliminarily halt a scheme in which the defendants operated hundreds of websites that promised a quick and easy government service, such as renewing a driver's license, or eligibility determinations for public benefits. Following an evidentiary hearing, the court held that the FTC was likely to prevail in proving that "the websites were patently misleading."

The FTC's filings in the case allege that consumers provided their information because they believe the websites will actually provide these services. Instead, consumers received only a PDF containing publicly available, general information about the service they sought.

Documents filed by the FTC allege that the defendants' sites employed similar branding, language, and functionality to induce consumers to relinquish their credit card information, personal data, or both.

State Licensing Sites

According to the complaint, the defendants operated sites like, which offers links for driver's services in all 50 states and presents itself as a clearinghouse for many types of DMV-related services, from licensing to driving records, under the heading "Online DMV Services." Other sites operated by the defendants included,,, and

The defendants used search-engine advertising and search-engine optimization to target consumers who search for state motor-vehicle or licensing services online. The FTC's complaint alleges that in the spring and summer of 2019, entering the phrases "renew Florida drivers license online" and "get fishing license" into online search engines brought up the defendants' sites as either the first- or second-listed link.

According to the complaint, after consumers submitted payment, in some instances, the sites simply linked back to the landing page, and the consumer received nothing. In other instances, the consumer received an email containing a link to a downloadable PDF with general, publicly available information.

The FTC alleges that the defendants' sites did not deliver the promised services.

Public Benefits Sites

Documents filed by the FTC further allege that the defendants also operated dozens of websites that promise to verify consumers' eligibility for public benefits. These sites appeared high in search results or sponsored links when consumers searched for ways to obtain public benefits.

The defendants' public benefits sites offered to help consumers seeking government programs, such as housing assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, or unemployment benefits. According to the complaint, the sites solicited certain core pieces of personal information from consumers, including, but not limited to, their full name, address, date of birth, gender, telephone number, and email address.

According to the complaint, the sites also asked consumers about various sensitive topics, including their employment status, income range, social security eligibility, health insurance, credit-card debt, and health conditions. The FTC alleges that consumers who provided all the requested information on the defendants' public benefits websites did not receive the promised eligibility determination.

According to the complaint, after providing information on the defendants' public benefits websites, consumers almost immediately began receiving marketing emails from the defendants and third parties. Consumers also started receiving text messages containing marketing offers from the defendants and third parties. The emails and texts contained various marketing offers, including job-search assistance, free gift cards, and home buyer grants. The complaint alleges that the defendants received millions of dollars from selling the personal data they collected from consumers through deceptive marketing.

The FTC complaint names as defendants Burton Katz, Brent Levison, Robert Zangrillo, Arlene Mahon, and Elisha Rothman, along with more than fifty companies they own and control.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint was 5-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the named defendants are violating or are about to violate the law and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The case will be decided by the court. 
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission