Thursday, May 7, 2020

Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #18


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hi friends,

I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some of today’s glorious sunshine.

With rescheduled town elections just around the corner, I want to make sure all of you have all the information you need to vote safely during this pandemic period. Remember, local elections are very important, as local government routinely make decisions about property taxes, zoning, roads and other infrastructure elements in town, supports for senior centers and community spaces, and a host of other elements of daily life and town culture.

I’ve put all the information you need to get your mail-in ballot on my website. Here are the rescheduled in-district election dates:

Remember, in this public health crisis, it is extra important that as many people as possible vote by mail. It’s not as easy to do as it could be, but with a little leg work, you can get your mail-in ballot from your town clerk.

Here are a few additional updates about our state-level efforts to combat COVID-19:

Facemask Order Goes into Effect: Today, Governor Baker’s order requiring face masks in public went into effect ( Face Masks must be worn in all public spaces -- both indoor and outdoor -- where adequate social distancing cannot be achieved (like on the sidewalk in densely populated areas!). The order allows businesses to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask, and includes a possible $300 fine for noncompliance. I encourage you to wear a facemask as much as possible outside your home; this is a critical step to protecting ourselves and our neighbors, reducing coronavirus transmission, and helping our communities open up sooner.


As always, my team and I 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. Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook for real-time updates.

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

Yours in service,

Senator Becca Rausch

The newsletter was shortened for publication here. To review the full set of content visit this link

Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #18
Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #18

Franklin Cultural District Partners Meeting - May 12

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 7:00 PM
Virtual Meeting*

Welcome 7:00 PM

Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant Update (Nancy) 7:05 PM

FCD Photography Scavenger Hunt (Nancy) 7:10 PM

Massachusetts Cultural Council Webinars (Pandora) 7:15 PM

Cultural District Data Collection (Roberta ) 7:25 PM
  • 2020 Annual Report
  • Data requirements

Newsletter (Pandora & Nancy) 7:30 PM

Economic Development & Cutler Plant PPE update (Bryan) 7:35 PM

Guest Speaker Erin Lynch 7:45 PM
Executive Director of the Metrowest Visitors’ Bureau

Questions/Discussion 8:15 PM

Next Partner Meeting 8:25 PM
  • September 15th Tuesday

Adjourn 8:30 PM

The listings 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.

For Additional information, contact:
Bryan W. Taberner, AICP, Director
Department of Planning and Community Development

*Virtual connection info to be provided closer to the meeting

Franklin Cultural District Partners Meeting - May 12
Franklin Cultural District Partners Meeting - May 12

MassDCR: How to do social distancing in parks, trails, and paths

"Be smart! Be Considerate! Practice good #socialdistancing by staying 6 feet from others in parks, on trails and on paved paths!
Parks are open for all to enjoy but please be conscious of others and help everyone stay safe during the spread of #covid19. "
Additional info on how to visit the MA parks

How to do social distancing in parks, trails, and paths
How to do social distancing in parks, trails, and paths

Shared from the MassDCR twitter account

"The future is going to be what it’s going to be”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The advisory board figuring out how Massachusetts businesses might be able to reopen has already filed interim reports with the governor and is expected to make additional suggestions ahead of its May 18 deadline, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday. The governor also further elaborated on what conditions must be met before he will allow businesses to reopen.

Speaking outside Gillette Stadium after swearing in the latest class of Massachusetts State Police recruits, Baker said “the trends over the course of the last six to eight days have been reasonably positive” but added that the data still does not support a reopening of the economy.

“We’re still very much in this fight with COVID-19, but it is encouraging to see some positive progress. As we come through the other side of this and determine our next steps for a path forward, we need to see those numbers continue to drop,” he said. “Our goal, starting on May 18, is to begin re-opening certain types of businesses in a limited fashion where it can be done more safely than under normal operations. But this phased-in process can’t begin until we see sustained downward trends in many of the data elements that we talk about every day.”

Baker said the reopening panel led by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy has already “made several” reports on potential strategies. “They’re planning to make what I would describe as interim reports along the way here between now and the 18th, absolutely,” he said."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Gov Baker's update from Weds May 6

"The roll call on the legislation took under seven minutes"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"House lawmakers, many of whom watched on computer screens miles from the State House, took an historic and unanimous vote on Wednesday to authorize the Treasury to borrow billions of dollars as needed through June to meet the state’s financial obligations during the ongoing fight against the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

House Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz, speaking from the House chamber with a mask covering his nose and mouth, said Treasurer Deb Goldberg may need to borrow as soon as this month to balance the state’s outflow of cash, which is not being replenished as fast as it otherwise might.

State revenue officials reported Tuesday that April tax collections had fallen off 54% compared to the same month in 2019, and missed budgeted estimates for the month by nearly $2.2 billion.

April is the state’s largest tax revenue month of the year, and Michlewitz called the losses a “staggering number.” He and other experts have said a “large portion” of the drop in revenues could be because of the extended income tax filing deadline. If that assumption is correct, it would allow the state to quickly recoup some of the losses in July to begin repaying a large short-term debt by the end of fiscal 2021."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

FHS "Keep Music Alive" 5/05/20 - #6

I hope that we all are doing well. Because I missed last Thursday (sorry!), I will be posting three performances today. We are featuring students who play the guitar and electric bass today! Enjoy!

Max Allard - FHS Senior
Max is a student who uses his diverse artistic talents to help others daily. Max founded the Unified Music program at FHS. He plays saxophone in the FHS Band, is a founding member of the FHS Acapella group and has recently become a thespian in our drama program. Max, Thank you for this beautiful performance.   

You Raise Me Up

Zachary Vigil - FHS Senior

Zach plays guitar and electric bass in the FHS Jazz Band. He has been very active in our audio production program.
Sadly, Zach recently lost his grandmother during this time of isolation. He would like to dedicate this performance to his Nana.   

All Things Must Pass

Ian Richardson - FHS Sophomore
Ian plays electric bass in the FHS Jazz Band. This year, he learned how to play the upright bass and joined the orchestra. He studies privately and participated in the Central Districts Jazz Band this year.  

Jazz Improvisation

Diane M. Plouffe
Director of Music
Franklin Public Schools
Franklin High School

FM #261 VFJ Renovations - Empowering through Gardening 5/01/20 (audio)

FM #261 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 261 in the series.

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Jessi and Vinny Faneule, of VFJ Renovations. We had our conversation via virtual conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

I was excited to have this call as I say during the session (in my words, and butchering theirs) they had me with the line in their essay that I shared here earlier:
getting back to where we were is complicated, and begs the question: Was where we were, where we want to be?

We discussed their raised garden bed initiative, to empower us with gardening.

Note: in reviewing the recording, we realized that the mention of “Richard” Means was really "Russell" Means, the American Indian activist and actor. Russell’s father was of the Ogala band of the Lakota Nation. The quote mentioned is a paraphrase of the text that can be found in Russell's autobiography. The full quote is also included below.

The recording runs about 25 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Jessi and Vinny   


The essay that got me excited

Facebook page:

VFJ Renovations webpage and ordering process

Russell Means - wikipedia entry

The full text that was paraphrased during the conversation:
"We knew the universe and how it includes and interacts with our Grandmother. Before I was six years old, my grandparents and my mother had taught me that if all the green things that grow were taken from the earth, there could be no life. If all the four-legged creatures were taken from the earth, there could be no life. If all the winged creatures were taken from the earth, there could be no life. If all our relatives who crawl and swim and live within the earth were taken away, there could be no life. But if all the human beings were taken away, life on earth would flourish.

That is how insignificant we are."

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"

Franklin, MA: Board of Health - Agenda - May 6

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 = 5:00 PM

Due to the growing concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus, we will be conducting a remote/virtual Board of Health Meeting. In an effort to ensure citizen engagement and comply with open meeting law regulations, citizens will be able to dial into the meeting using the provided phone number (Cell phone or Landline Required) OR citizens can participate by clicking on the attached link (Phone, Computer, or Tablet required). The attached link and phone number will be active for the duration of the meeting for citizens to ask questions/voice concerns.


Call in number: 1-929-205-6099 and enter Meeting ID# 879 3242 2140 Password: 526288…Then press #

1) Reading and acceptance of April 8, 2020 and April 27, 2020 minutes 

A. None

Chairman opens the floor for any other old business

A. Revisit face covering order
B. Discussion of non-essential business complaints Chairman opens the floor for any other new business



Next Board of Health meeting will be Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM

Franklin, MA: Board of Health - Agenda - May 6
Franklin, MA: Board of Health - Agenda - May 6

Senate President Karen Spilka: "Our 'new normal' will be hard in a lot of ways, but it will also be necessary"

From Senate President Karen Spilka:
"The spread of the coronavirus, and with it the declaration of a state of emergency in Massachusetts, has created a situation unlike any we have ever seen. At the state leadership level, Gov. Charlie Baker, House Speaker Bob DeLeo and I have been united in our belief that our first priority is the health and safety of our residents and doing what is necessary to keep people safe.

Our long-term goal — and challenge — is to address the economic fallout of this unprecedented situation. This work has already begun in the Senate and will continue for quite some time. Since early March, the Senate has reacted to this crisis with urgency through a number of measures, including: waiving the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits; halting evictions and foreclosures, with the strongest moratorium in the nation, to help renters, homeowners, small businesses and non-profits; waiving the MCAS requirement for this school year; and helping frontline health care workers through expanding scope of practice and providing medical liability protections.

When it comes to deciding when it is safe "open up the state," the Senate will rely on the advice of public health experts to ensure we are acting in the best interest of our residents. But we will also work with economic experts, business leaders, and our partners in local, state and the federal government to support our economy as we move toward what will likely be a "phased-in" reopening."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

For other COVID-19 Updates from Senate President Spilka:

“No one thinks you need less than 14 days, let’s put it that way”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Key indicators about the COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts have for the first time moved in an encouraging direction for several days straight, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday, but as other states are opening up economic activity, officials here still want to see at least two weeks of steady progress.

Ten percent of the new tests reported Monday came back positive, the lowest daily rate since late March when Massachusetts had roughly half the testing capacity. The number of patients actively hospitalized because of the highly infectious virus has also moved on a downward slope in recent days.

While Baker said the state has now seen “for the first time, a few days in a row, the right kinds of trends,” he hinted that a phased reopening of closed businesses cannot safely take place unless the patterns continue.

“We’re still very much in the fight against the virus, but it’s encouraging, I think, for everybody to see progress, given how much hard work and how much sacrifice has been invested in this,” Baker told reporters after he toured a manufacturing facility in Fall River. “As we come to the other side of this and start to determine next steps for going forward, we need to see these numbers continue to fall.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Video link for Gov Baker update 5/05/20

50+ Job Seekers Networking Group: Interviewing Session - May 8

Friday, May 8th 9 am - Noon

Facilitator: Edward Lawrence; Career Coach
Co-facilitator: Erin Rogers; Social Services Coordinator
Special Guest: Coach Melissa Molinero

Melissa Molinero is a Life and Career Coach and Certified Job Counselor in New Jersey offering individual and group coaching sessions, workshops and professional resume writing services. She has built a reputation for engaging one-on-one sessions to develop areas of need and partner with clients in the development and execution of clear and measurable goals. Her website is

This session focuses on two aspects of the interview process.

First, we will focus on interview preparation, including the types of interviews, key components of an interview, and types of interview questions.

Melissa will discuss interview strategy: How do you distinguish yourself from the field of other candidates? What must you do to navigate the weeding out process and ensure you are one of the finalists? What should you do after the interview to ensure you remain under consideration?

Program Pre-Registration (once per town location) is required:

Registration is required for this specific online meeting:

After you register for the 50+ Program, we will place you on a list to receive a meeting's registration information.

If you have registered previously with the town that virtually hosts the session, there is no need for you to register again.

For additional information about this program, please contact Erin Rogers; Social Services Coordinator, Franklin Senior Center;; (508) 520-4945

Franklin is the hosting town for the Friday session.

Download your copy of the flyer here:

50+ Job Seekers Networking Group: Interviewing Session - May 8
50+ Job Seekers Networking Group: Interviewing Session - May 8

LiveARTS: BSO Cellist and Violinist Play a Streaming Live Concert - May 17

LiveARTS: BSO Cellist and Violinist Play a Streaming Live Concert - May 17

Join us for

a special donation-based concert

featuring a husband and wife team

from the Boston Symphony Orchestra
and their children.

LiveARTS presents violinist
Ala Jojatu,


Mihail Jojatu,
their daughter Maria (violin),
and their son Gabriel (cello)

in a streaming

live concert

on Zoom!
Sunday May 17, 2020 at 3 p.m.
To take advantage of this opportunity,
go to our website,,
and order a free ticket.
The Zoom link will be emailed
to you 24 hours before the concert.
Tickets are free,
but donations are always welcome!
Watch your email
for more information.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin and Cello Duo in C major
J.S. Bach: Partita No. 1 in B Minor, BWV 1002 (Allemande and Double)
William Henry Squire: Bourree, Op. 24
Nicolo Paganini: Caprice No. 24
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Trio op. 3 in E flat major, Op. 3 (Allegro con brio)
You can download Zoom
using this link:

Download Zoom
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 678
Franklin, MA 02038

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Grab-and-go Meal Options

This week's grab-and-go meal options for any child 21 and under. 
Available behind FHS 11 AM - 1 PM

Grab-and-go Meal Options
Grab-and-go Meal Options

Shared from Twitter:

In the News: "Documentary on Vineyard’s Gay Head Light gets wide release"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Filmmaker Liz Witham grew up in Aquinnah, with the beam of the Gay Head Light shining in her bedroom every night. Now she has the chance to show TV viewers nationwide how her small town saved the more than 150-year-old brick structure.

Five years after the lighthouse was moved 129 feet back from a dangerously eroding cliff, “Keepers of the Light,” a documentary by Witham and Ken Wentworth inspired by the lighthouse’s rescue, will be shown on 80% of the country’s PBS stations.

The 65-minute film became available last week for online streaming via Vimeo, with a portion of rentals through Thursday benefiting Gay Head Light."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

“Keepers of the Light”:
To stream documentary:
To register for Thursday’s Zoom gathering:

In the News: "Documentary on Vineyard’s Gay Head Light gets wide release"
In the News: "Documentary on Vineyard’s Gay Head Light gets wide release"

Budget Subcommittee Notes - May 4, 2020

My notes taken with Twitter for the Budget Subcommittee meeting on Monday, May 4. In addition to that shared below, FY 2021 is going to be a tough budget. It was going to be even before the pandemic. Post pandemic, with revenues forecast to drop by about $3M, just from the March 4 expectation, the revenues will pose some tough questions for how we will choose to operate.

The School Committee for example, has approved a budget $3.5M more than they got for the FY 2020 budget. They did so knowing they were not going to get it all, it at least was a priority listing for themselves to work through. When the schools do re-open, what will their process look like? 

How will they maintain social distancing (assuming it is still required, and per current info, it is likely to be the 'new normal'). What will social distancing do to bus routes, to class sizes? To the budget? I don’t want to speculate, there are too many unknowns.

The only thing that is certain, is that, if ever, there was a time to be informed about the budget and town operations, that time is NOW.

Committee members present: 
Matt Kelly (Chair), Melanie Hamblen, Tom Mercer, Debbie Pellegri

Other participants:
Town Administrator Jamie Hellen, Finance Director Chris Sandini, Treasurer Kerri Bertone, Asst TA Chrissy Whelton, Admin Asst Alecia Alleyne, Brian Chandler, Denise Spencer, George Conley, Sussan Deswnap, Roberta Trahan, (unidentified phone#) (I had 2 connections, one for me to take notes, one for the audio recording)
  • Real-time reporting underway for Budget Subcommittee meeting #bsc0504
  • Town administrator Jamie Hellen provides overview re: memos released before meeting
  • Budget will be really tight, the draft as issued is what it is, revenue is not likely to go higher, quite possibly could go lower
  • Likely a Joint Budget Subcommittee meeting to be scheduled for next week to enable an update and turn around in time for FinCom budget hearings during the Memorial Day week
  • Joint meeting targeted for May 11 at 4:30 PM, meeting ends today after 30+ mins.

The meeting agenda and associated documents released for the meeting can be found

My tweets can be found with this search result (#bsc0504)

Meeting audio file =

screen grab of Budget Subcommittee meeting May 4, 2020