Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Tri-County RVTHS Uses 3D Printers to Make PPE Face Shields

Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School has begun using its 3D printers to make face shields for local medical care providers. Currently, Tri-County is in contact with the Milford Health Department and North Attleboro Health Department to get them face shields and also has expressed interest from Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Veterans Affairs, and Norwood hospitals. The list continues to grow.

3D printing is not magic
3D printing is not magic
Tri-County is also one of at least 15 Massachusetts schools who are working together to make shields for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

“3D printing is not magic. But, as I looked into it more and got connected with some folks who were finalizing a design that was perfect for 3D printing and approved by care providers, I decided to jump in,” said Kristen Magas, a Tri-County Engineer Technology Instructor. She also shared the design Tri-County is utilizing for those who are interested.
face shields made at the school
face shields made at the school

The machines need frequent tending to get a large number of parts printed. “Harry [Takesian, Director of Facilities] and his team have been putting fresh trays in the machines when one print finishes and then starting up the next print,” Magas explained. Each print takes between one to three hours depending on the machine.

“We all look for ways to feel helpful and useful in this time of helplessness. I feel lucky to have this opportunity to help in some small way, and I am so grateful to the administration and to Harry and his team for making this work,” Magas said.

Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #8


Tuesday, March 31, 2020


I hope everyone had a positive weekend. I was glad to see good social distancing on display at my local grocery store.
As of today, Tuesday, March 31, there are 6,620 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. That's an increase of more than 1,000 new cases just since yesterday (5,572 cases). Of today's total, 738 cases are in Norfolk County, 306 are in Bristol County, and 1,340 are in Middlesex County. Until today, Middlesex County had the highest number of positive cases in the Commonwealth; now, Suffolk County has the highest number, at 1,373 positive cases. Nearly 47,000 people have been tested. A total of 89 Bay Staters have died. Additional COVID-19 statistics are provided by DPH. The number of positive cases is updated daily at 4pm.

I'm sure many of you have questions about what the federal stimulus, known as the CARES Act, means for you and your community. The multi-trillion dollar stimulus will provide direct cash assistance to individuals and families, expand access to unemployment benefits, expand loans to small businesses, and bolster our healthcare infrastructure. 
Some key provisions include:
  • One-time direct payments: Individuals making up to $75,000 will receive $1,200. Married couples making up to $150,000 will receive a one-time direct payment of $2,400. (Smaller payments will be made to individuals making between $75,000 and $99,000, or married couples making between $150,000 and $198,000).  
  • Federally-funded unemployment will be available for 13 additional weeks, bringing the total time period of benefits for Massachusetts workers to 39 weeks. Unemployment benefits will increase by $600 per week for every American, and access to unemployment benefits is expanded to include part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers.
  • $330 billion in emergency appropriations, including $100 billion to hospitals and health care providers. Additional funding will provide personal and protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health care workers, increase testing capacity, and finance construction of new housing for patients and emergency operation centers. 
  • Over $350 billion available in federally guaranteed Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses. Loan principal amounts will be forgiven for employers who maintain their payroll throughout the public health emergency, helping businesses to maintain current staff levels and prevent layoffs.  
While the unemployment benefits are an important part of the CARES Act, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) informed us that the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) still awaits federal guidance regarding implementation. Until the federal government provides that guidance, expanded benefits will not be available in Massachusetts. Accordingly, DUA asks people who are eligible solely through the CARES Act to wait to apply through UI Online. Please visit DUA's Information on Unemployment and Coronavirus (COVID-19) site to stay in the loop about when those benefits will be accessible.

So many of you have reached out to me and my team looking for ways you can support our medical professionals on the front lines of this outbreak and those impacted by it across the Commonwealth. Thank you. My team compiled a list of ways to help, including how to donate PPE, provide goods to bolster our statewide COVID-19 response efforts, or volunteer, whether or not you have healthcare experience.

Remember, we are in this together. Stay home to the greatest extent possible. Data shows we have not yet hit the peak of this thing, so it's still going to get worse before it gets better. Wash your hands, frequently and diligently. Do not spend in-person time with anyone outside your own household unless you must, such as performing an essential job or purchasing groceries and other supplies; if you spend in-person time with others, maintain at least six feet of distance at all times. Seek virtual mental health support if you need. Use tele-health, which is now covered in Massachusetts. We will get to the other side of this pandemic, but only if we all do our parts. That's how public health works.

Thank you. My team and I are all working overtime and are here for you. Call us at 617-722-1555 or email me directly at and one of us will get back to you as quickly as we can.

Wishing you and your families strength, health, and resilience.

Yours in service,

Senator Becca Rausch

Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #8

This newsletter was shortened for publication here, to view the full contents

In the News: stay-at--home advisory extended to May 4; State ed board grants emergency powers

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

stay-at-home advisory, closure of nonessential businesses extended through May 4
"Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced the extension of the state’s stay-at-home advisory and mandatory closure of nonessential businesses through May 4.

“This order also extends the 10 person limit on social gatherings until May 4 as well,” Baker said.

The original advisory took effect on March 24 and was scheduled to expire on April 7. It instructs all residents except for employees of essential businesses to stay home, with an exception for excursions to get needed items such as groceries or medicine."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

State ed board grants emergency powers to Commissioner Riley
"The day before school districts are due to submit new plans required under a 2019 funding reform law, Education Commissioner Jeff Riley said he expects a legislative fix soon.

The April 1 deadline for superintendents to submit plans detailing steps they’ll take to close persistent achievement gaps was set before Massachusetts schools, under orders of Gov. Charlie Baker, shuttered their classrooms for a period that will last several weeks in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

It’s one of various dates and other provisions laid out in statute and regulations that education officials are now looking to adjust."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Economic impact payments: What you need to know

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today (3/30/20) announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.

Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?
Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

How will the IRS know where to send my payment?
The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?
In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?
Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

How can I file the tax return needed to receive my economic impact payment? will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.

I have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?
Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.

I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?
For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

Where can I get more information?
The IRS will post all key information on as soon as it becomes available.

The IRS has a reduced staff in many of its offices but remains committed to helping eligible individuals receive their payments expeditiously. Check for updated information on rather than calling IRS assistors who are helping process 2019 returns.

Economic impact payments: What you need to know
Economic impact payments: What you need to know

Franklin Residents: Dog License deadline is POSTPONED until June 1st

Dog License deadline is POSTPONED until June 1st

Dog licenses are now due on June 1, 2020. They can be paid online here or payments can be made by check/money order in the white mailbox on the side of the municipal building. 

Shared from the Town of Franklin page

Top dog photos as of March 2, 2020
Top dog photos as of March 2, 2020
Franklin Residents: Dog License deadline is POSTPONED until June 1st
Franklin Residents: Dog License deadline is POSTPONED until June 1st 

“We didn't have weeks to act. We barely had days and we might be too late”

When the pandemic is by us (and no one know how long that will take), this story will be one of the contemporary pieces to go back to for the analysis of what happened and what could have happened. We will need to develop the 'lessons learned' from this pandemic for next time. The pandemic is a reminder that while it was predicted, it is likely to repeat until we change.

WBUR shares this reporing: 'We Knew The Inevitable': Why Mass. School Leaders Had To Close Schools On Their Own

“I said, ‘I think we have a kid,’ ” he said. “You could just see that everyone's face was like, ‘OK, this just got real.’ ”

And it got critical. Classes were starting at the school in less than 30 minutes. Immediately, Tremblay divided everyone into smaller groups and assigned tasks. Track down all students and staff who might have had contact with the symptomatic student. Inform those families and advise them to self-quarantine for 14 days. Tell bus drivers to stand by in order to bring kids home.

Some of the Framingham families who needed to quarantine didn’t speak English. Tremblay brought translators into the room. They wrote all official messages into Spanish and Portuguese simultaneously, working in Google docs.

“This escalated, as you can imagine, pretty quickly,” Tremblay said.
Continue reading the article online

“We didn't have weeks to act. We barely had days and we might be too late”
“We didn't have weeks to act. We barely had days and we might be too late”

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Town of Franklin - Fire Dept: Message to Franklin community - 3/30/20

Dear members of the Franklin community,

We are fortunate to be a town comprised of residents, families, business owners, students and visitors. The Franklin Fire Department continues to stand ready to serve each of you and today I am writing to update you regarding what steps we have taken to date to insure the safety of our town, specifically in terms of the COVID-19 virus.

As you are aware, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts declared a State of Emergency on March 10, 2020.

As a result, the Franklin Fire Department issued several General Orders over the past several weeks to all members of the department to ensure the safety of community members, themselves and their families. Some of the significant orders include medical screening of personnel before reporting to duty, strict daily cleaning guidelines for the vehicles, equipment and stations as well as setting protocols for emergency personnel interaction with all members of the public.

The Department has an adequate reserve of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and has submitted more orders through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and private vendors for the continued safety of everyone in our town. While it is necessary that both fire stations be closed to the public for safety reasons, online burn permitting is still available
at By order of the Governor, smoke and carbon monoxide inspections have been postponed until further notice.

I want to assure you that the level of service from the Franklin Fire Department has not and will not change during this time. We have made the necessary modifications to our standard practices based on the guidance of the health professionals. The men and women of the department are well trained and have the proper equipment and support they need from the Town to perform our vital services to the community.

I urge everyone to please abide by the recommendations made by the CDC, the Governor and the Department of Health. In addition to those organizations’ websites, also stay up to date on local information at

We will continue to be in touch with you as this situation evolves. Please feel free to reach out to me personally at 508-570-8248 with any questions or concerns you have in the meantime.

Thank you and please stay safe and healthy. 

James G. McLaughlin
Fire Chief/EMA Director

This was shared from the Town of Franklin page

Town of Franklin - Fire Dept:  Message to Franklin community - 3/30/20
Town of Franklin - Fire Dept:  Message to Franklin community - 3/30/20


FM #232 Franklin (MA) Health Director Cathleen Liberty 3/27/20 (audio)

FM #232 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 232 in the series.

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Franklin’s Health Director Cathleen Liberty. We did a conference all to adhere to the ‘social distance’ requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cathleen shares some insights into the current pandemic and what we can learn from previous ones (HIV-Aids, H1N1).

The conversation runs about 15 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Cathleen.


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We 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 something here, please let me know
Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I 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"

FM #232 Franklin (MA) Health Director Cathleen Liberty 3/27/20 (audio)
FM #232 Franklin (MA) Health Director Cathleen Liberty 3/27/20 (audio)

State Rep Jeff Roy: Update #6 on COVID-19

COVID-19 update #6

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to test us, but our Commonwealth and communities have stepped up to the challenge. Our goals are to keep infections down and to watch out for one another. Communication is key at this time and that's why I send along these updates regularly in addition to updating my website. New information is coming out regularly and in great volume. To keep the information timely and manageable, I will continue to post only new information in these update emails. Please visit for a compilation of all of the updates. That site will be updated frequently to keep you up to speed on the latest developments. Here are the updates since my last email:
Current cases. In Massachusetts, there are a total of 4,955 cases of COVID-19, out of the 39,066 individuals that have been tested. Forty-eight deaths in Massachusetts have been related to the virus. The state's capacity to test has been expanded so we expect that number to continue to rise as more people get tested. For complete details, click here.
Producers and volunteers. To donate goods for use in Massachusetts' response to the COVID-19 public health emergency: click here.  To provide information about goods you are looking to sell to support Massachusetts' COVID-19 response efforts: click here.  To adapt your business to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): click here.  To volunteer to assist in public health, health care, and emergency response: click here.
Screenings available. MA residents who suspect they might have COVID-19 can now use this Buoy Health COVID-19 Web App, which will help to screen them based on a series of questions and connect them to a health care provider via telehealth. Click here to get to the site.
COVID-19 Text Alerts. Today, Massachusetts launched a text alert system called AlertsMA. The new messaging tool will allow residents to subscribe to real-time notifications by texting the keyword COVIDMA to 888-777.  After signing up, state and public health officials can send short messages and links to information directly to a resident's cell phone or other mobile device.

State Tax Deadline Extended. Massachusetts has moved the state personal income tax filing and payment deadline to July 15, consistent with the federal government, in order to provide additional flexibility to filers during this crisis.

Remote learning. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is requesting that educators continue to develop high-quality educational materials to provide students with effective remote learning resources through the month of April. The Department is also creating a model for districts to use and modify in collaboration with local stakeholders to fit their school district's needs, and will continue to work with schools to identify best practices for implementing effective remote learning. Additionally, through a new partnership between DESE and WGBH, educational resources will be posted on the department's website, and middle and high school students can access WGBH and WGBY educational programming on WGBH and WGBY on the WORLD channel from noon to 5 p.m.

Franklin information portal. You can view other information on Franklin's portal by clicking here.

Medway information pages. You can view the Medway School Department's update page by clicking here. The town's health page can be accessed by clicking here.
Further guidance and recommendations. Health-related guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for various audiences can be accessed by clicking here. I wish you the best as you navigate this public health crisis.
Please look out for your friends and neighbors and stay informed with the links above.
If you have additional questions or need additional information, please let me know. I am not a medical doctor, so please contact your health care provider if you have specific health concerns. But I am happy to try and chase down any policy or state government related questions you might have. You can reach my State House office at 617-722-2030 or email me at

State Rep Jeff Roy
State Rep Jeff Roy

State Rep Jeff Roy: Update #6 on COVID-19
State Rep Jeff Roy: Update #6 on COVID-19

The newsletter was shortened for publication here. To view the full set of content

Hockomock Area YMCA Responds with Food Collection & Distribution

The Y served over 5,700 meals in the first weeks of responding to the Coronavirus health crisis, and will continue to be on the front lines preventing hunger to the most vulnerable - our children. As the community need continues to grow, the Hockomock Area YMCA has announced that family-sized bags of food will be available for drive-up distribution on Wednesdays from 1-2 PM and 5-6 PM at the YMCAs located in Foxboro, Franklin and North Attleboro. No registration is required.

Last week, at these locations (67 Mechanic Street Foxboro; 45 Forge Hill Road Franklin; and 300 Elmwood Street North Attleboro) the effort resulted in the distribution of 259 bags of much appreciated food for local families in need.

In partnership and collaboration with school nutrition and many other community partners, the Hockomock Y is also providing grab and go meals Monday through Friday in North Attleboro at the Community School and in Milford at the Memorial Elementary School. “To date, we have provided 5,729 meals,” says Ed Hurley, president of the Hockomock Area YMCA.

“It is with heartfelt gratitude that the Hockomock Area YMCA acknowledges and thanks all of our community partners and Y members, friends and donors for their extraordinary generosity during this time of need,” continues Hurley.

For anyone interested in helping out, the Y has located collection bins for non-perishable food donations at the above sites, which are available seven days a week from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. The response from Y members and our community has been heartwarming. But the demand will continue to grow in the coming days and weeks. Suggested donations include the following food items: oatmeal cups/packets, macaroni & cheese boxes/cups, granola bars (nut free whole grain preferred), applesauce or mandarin orange cups (no added sugar), whole grain crackers, tuna pouches in water (low sodium), Progresso chicken soup (low sodium), rice boxes/cups, Barilla Ready Pasta and pasta boxes.

Needless to say, these are challenging times that none of us could have predicted just a few short weeks ago. Despite the social distancing that is required these days, let us not miss the opportunity to benefit from social connection. Technology and social media offer great opportunities to still stay connected. But let’s also pick up our phones to check on our friends and loved ones more—which is something the YMCA is doing for its senior members: calling to check on them.

“As our YMCA has always done, we will face these challenges head on and continue to do whatever we can to meet the incredible community need that exists all around us,” says Hurley. “We encourage those who are able to provide contributions of non-perishable foods to do so at any of our Hockomock Area YMCA branches.”

If you are interested in providing monetary donations, please contact Katie Moore at or 508-643-5265. Thank you to these leadership donors who have joined our philanthropic efforts: CVS Health, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Dave and Anne Doran, Tom and Trish Gruppioni, Stop & Shop, The Captain Kyle R. Van De Giesen Memorial Award Fund, and anonymous donors.

For more information, please visit:

About Hockomock Area YMCA:
Where Cause Meets Community. At the Hockomock Area YMCA, strengthening community is our cause. The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility.

Our YMCA is committed to partnering and collaborating with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities we are privileged to serve. The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable cause-driven organization with facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro, Franklin, and Mansfield. For more information visit

2020 HockomockSports Boys Hockey Awards

The Franklin High School selection for the 2020 HockomockSports Boys Hockey Awards are shared here. Follow the link below for the complete listing

First Team
Tom Tasker – Franklin – Defense
Tom Tasker
Tom Tasker

Franklin senior defenseman Tom Tasker was not only an imposing physical presence in all three zones, but he also scored important goals for the Panthers throughout their run to another Kelley-Rex division title and a spot in the Div. 1 South semifinal. Tasker scored eight goals and had two assists in the regular season and added a goal and two more helpers in three playoff games. Franklin coach Anthony Sarno said, “His leadership and talent has helped guide this team all season. He has become the face of our club. So strong and has one of the best shots I’ve ever seen. He is such an amazing young man on and off the ice and in the classroom.”

Third Team
Ray Ivers – Franklin – Goalie 
Ray Ivers
Ray Ivers

Franklin senior netminder Ray Ivers started in between the pipes for the Panthers this winter and helped them retain the Kelley-Rex division title and reach the Div. 1 South semifinal. Despite going up against some of the top teams in the state this season, Ivers allowed only 2.29 goals against and saved 91 percent of the shots he faced, stopping 486 shots in 885 minutes in the regular season. Franklin coach Anthony Sarno said, “His dedication and passion as a student as well as an athlete was refreshing to witness and be a part of. He was our backbone all season and suck a great inspiration for all to follow. He will be missed and we all wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

Joe LeBlanc – Franklin – Defense 
Joe LeBlanc
Joe LeBlanc

Franklin junior defenseman Joe LeBlanc made sure there was no drop-off when the Panthers went to their second pairing and was an important piece of their winning another league title and making a run to the Div. 1 South semifinal. LeBlanc scored once and assisted on eight goals in the regular season and added another goal in the playoffs. Franklin coach Anthony Sarno said, “His passion for the game is incredible and he is extremely hard on himself to work harder and be better each week. It will be nice watching him develop even further and be a leader on and off the ice. He will be looked upon to lead the charge on the back end next season.”

Underclassman of the Year
Franklin sophomore forward Dylan Marchand has been selected as the Boys Hockey Underclassman of the Year for the 2019-2020 season. This is the seventh season that the award has been given out. He is the first Franklin player to earn this honor.

“Dylan may be the fastest player that I’ve seen in the Hock,” said Managing Editor Josh Perry. “He just flies up and down the ice and there never seems to be a puck that he can’t chase down, but he also has the attitude to never back down or let up. He has the potential to lead the Franklin attack for the next couple of seasons.”

Marchand scored four goals and had nine assists during his debut season on varsity and going up against Franklin’s typically loaded schedule. He helped the Panthers win another Kelley-Rex division crown and then added another goal and two assists in three playoff games, as Franklin made a run back to the Div. 1 South semifinal.

Follow the link to continue reading about Dylan

Franklin sophomore forward Dylan Marchand
Franklin sophomore forward Dylan Marchand

The math behind social distancing

"As we wait for scientists and healthcare professionals to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, there is another, more readily available tool at our disposal.

Social distancing, defined as measures taken to reduce physical contact, is the first line of defense for containing an infectious disease like COVID-19. That’s because these infections spread when people cough, sneeze, or touch surfaces on which the virus resides.

To help us grasp the impact these measures can actually have, today’s infographic illustrates how a reduction in social exposure can theoretically contain the spread of infection."
Continue reading online

 The math behind social distancing
 The math behind social distancing

Franklin Community Garden Status

Good Morning,

The Town of Franklin and Franklin School Department have taken serious measures to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We have temporarily closed all public buildings, parks and playgrounds through May 3rd. We hope to resume all activities and open facilities on Monday, May 4th. 

We understand how important the Community Garden is for mental health, physical exercise and access to fresh food. But, given the current situation and the guidance from public health officials on social distancing, we are postponing the opening of the gardens until May 4th. 

We want to limit in-person social interactions and avoiding spaces where people congregate in close quarters. We are particularly concerned about the spread of the virus through hard surfaces and shared equipment. I understand this will make folks anxious and irritable, but we ask that you please be patient with us as we fight through this difficult time.

We have already taken steps to close facilities, including:
· Locking permanent fencing gates or installing temporary fencing
· Posting signage
· Wrapping equipment in caution tape

We will continue to use social media (facebook and twitter) and our website to keep folks up to date on parks and playgrounds. You can also follow the Town of Franklin COVID-19 portal.

We are keeping trails open as they provide fresh air and exercise for residents. Please remember to practice social distancing and keep a minimum of 6 feet apart. These trails will remain open for the public to use in responsible ways that protect public health and safety. For information on trails in Franklin, please visit the Recreation Department's Fields/Playgrounds website.

If members of the garden are not comfortable with these rules, we are happy to issue refunds at anytime. We understand these are unusal circumstances.


Ryan Jette
Director of Recreation
Franklin Recreation Department
275 Beaver Street
Franklin, MA 02038
Office: (508) 613-1667

My last visit to the garden was a walk by in December 2019
My last visit to the garden was a walk by in December 2019

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Settles with FTC, Agrees to Stop Making Overly Broad and Misleading ‘Made in USA’ Claims about Houseware and Furniture Products

"Home products and kitchen wares company Williams-Sonoma Inc. has agreed to stop making false, misleading, or unsubstantiated claims that all of its Goldtouch Bakeware products, its Rejuvenation-branded products, and Pottery Barn Teen and Pottery Barn Kids-branded upholstered furniture products are all or virtually all made in the United States.

As part of the proposed settlement, Williams-Sonoma is required to pay $1 million to the FTC.

"Many of us want to buy products that are made in the USA, and we trust companies like Williams-Sonoma to tell us the truth," said Andrew Smith, the Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "When a company falls short, we will hold it accountable."

The San Francisco-based company, also doing business as Williams Sonoma, Williams Sonoma Home, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, West Elm, Rejuvenation, Outward, and Mark & Graham, markets its products throughout the United States, in stores and on its websites and social media platforms.

According to the FTC's complaint, Williams-Sonoma deceptively claimed in advertisements and promotional materials that certain categories of its products were all or virtually all made in the United States.

In 2018, the Commission received reports that Williams-Sonoma claimed in ads and promotional materials for Pottery Barn Teen organic mattress pads that those products were "Crafted in America from local and imported materials." When consumers purchased the mattress pads, they discovered that the pads, in fact, were made in China, according to the complaint. Williams-Sonoma quickly corrected the country-of-origin information for the mattress pads, and agreed to comply with the FTC's requirement that it undertake a larger review of its country-of-origin verification process. Consequently, on June 13, 2018, the FTC staff issued a letter closing the investigation.

The FTC alleges that since the closing letter was issued, Williams-Sonoma has made misleading claims that all Goldtouch Bakeware, Rejuvenation-branded products, and Pottery Barn Teen and Pottery Barn Kids-branded upholstered furniture products, including raw materials and subcomponents, were all or virtually all made in the United States. These claims include:
  • Goldtouch Bakeware is made in America or in the USA. This claim appeared on the company's website and in its catalogue.
  • On the company website and in emails, Rejuvenation-branded products are made in America or in the USA
  • In a company video, Pottery Barn Teen and Pottery Barn Kids-branded upholstered furniture is made in America or in the USA.
In fact, according to the complaint, numerous Goldtouch Bakeware products, Rejuvenation-branded products, and Pottery Barn Teen and Pottery Barn Kids-branded upholstered furniture products are wholly imported, or contain significant imported materials or components. Therefore, Williams-Sonoma allegedly deceived consumers with its broad claims that all items in these product lines are all or virtually all made in in the United States.

Under the terms of the proposed order, Williams-Sonoma is prohibited from making unqualified U.S.-origin claims for any product, unless it can show that the product's final assembly or processing—and all significant processing—takes place in the United States, and that all or virtually all components of the product are made and sourced in the United States. 

Under the order, any qualified Made in USA claims must include a clear and conspicuous disclosure about the extent to which the product contains foreign parts, components, and/or processing. To claim that a product is assembled in the United States, Williams-Sonoma must ensure that it is last substantially transformed in the United States, its principal assembly takes place in the United States, and United States assembly operations are substantial.

The order also prohibits Williams-Sonoma, its officers, and any other company representatives from making untrue, misleading, or unsubstantiated country-of-origin claims in their marketing materials about any product or service.

The FTC's Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims provides further guidance on making non-deceptive "Made in USA" claims.

The Commission vote to issue the complaint and accept the proposed consent order for public comment was 5-0. The FTC will publish the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. Instructions for filing comments appear in the published notice. Comments must be received 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Once processed, comments will be posted on"

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has "reason to believe" that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $43,280.

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.

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Settles with FTC
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Settles with FTC

Veteran's Memorial Walkway Update

The spring brick installation on the Veterans Memorial Walkway will be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please stay tuned for updates

The Veterans Walkway in the rain Monday, March 29, 2020