Friday, May 8, 2020

Town Council denies Dean College liquor license; approved trash/recycling fee increase

  • The Council denied Dean College a liquor license to replace the daily/event based one they request up to 30 times a year. No issues ever over the years of this process, yet fears of future problems prevailed for Council vote. With one member absent, the vote was 4-4 hence failing
  • The water resource map was updated as a formality and necessary to correct technical errors, this was approved as the last legislative item for action
  • The coronavirus update by Town Administrator Jamie Hellen still seems inadequate for at least one Councilor. The plan was released for the phased re-opening of Town operations but it seems to have been not enough
  • The trash recycling fee increase was approved 8-0-1 (1 absent, 8 for)
  • Action on the Community Preservation Act was punted to a future (June?) meeting primarily for tworeasons, Pellegri's absence and concern over the 3% proposal, although the Council still seems to want to put it on the November ballot. And they have time to do so by voting to approve before October
My real-time notes for the Town Council meeting of May 6, a lengthy session on Wednesday night.

  • Real time reporting underway for Town Council meeting tonight, #tc0506
  • 8 of the 9 Council in attendance tonight (Pellegri absent) approx 26 total participating at start of meeting #tc0506
  • Motion to approve minutes of March 22; seconded passed 8-0-1 via roll call (1 absent) #tc0506
  • Jackie Maciel lives on Elm St regarding COVID-19 data as published, raising problem with the #s as reported; towns being held hostage by the cities. Makes reference to AG Barr. #tc0506
  • Next item water resource map update for hearing, had been discussed in time BCE (before coronavirus era) required per state DEP, really a house cleaning item. #tc0506 TA Jamie Hellen provides update, No cost to it. Up to 29 participating now
  • Need to update map due to zoning requirements for the water resource protection, a developer had a proposal stopped to an inaccurate map #tc0506
  • Dean college license application for liquor as discussed in last meeting back up for discussion, and revised since last time per discussion. Modifications to address items raised last time. New license would replace the daily ones they had been using #tc0506
  • Discussion continues, side issues of future, and safety, and would this license then lead to a brewery desire? No, not desired by Dean, trying to simplify the license process for the Town and Dean #tc0506
  • Annual license actually provides more oversight and protection (than the 30 x daily licenses) which is what some Councilors are asking for but appear to be getting confused by the side issues they raise #tc0506
  • TA Hellen provides summary and updates to various points raised during the discussion. #tc0506
  • Roll call vote on the amendment to add the restrictions to the motion, passed 8-0-1 (1 absent) vote on measure itself: Bissanti no, Chandler no, Dellorco no, Kelly no, motion does not carry as it finishes with a 4-4-1 (1 absent) #tc0506
  • Moving on to coronavirus update, up to 98 cases, approx 20/week. Plan on return dept by dept shared last week including Library contactless pickup/take out #tc0506 all Beaver St services open next week, only brush this week
  • Councilor Jones asking for the plan when the TA already said that is further away. There is NO public access under the first wave of the plan released. Not ready to make those decisions, discussion still underway #tc0506
  • Moving on to Community Preservation act, recap of what's been done to get here. Did include 3% surcharge along with the common exemptions, if to out on ballot for Nov, need to decide by October. #tc0506
  • Concern on the 3% item, maybe go lower initially. Get it passed, and perhaps after we have had success raise it later. Bissanti asking for delay to allow Pellegri to participate. #tc0506 most community went with 3 for the additional match/round of funding available
  • Can getting kicked down the road on this item, seeming for and mostly for 3% but deferring to Pellegri for her to weigh in at a meeting in June #tc0506
  • 1- Budget subcomm update on discussion 5/4 with follow up meeting on 5/11 at 5:30pm #tc0506 2- EDC meeting on inclusionary zoning held, another to be scheduled meeting notes and audio posted
  • Legislation up now, Bruins Grant of $75K for Fletcher field of basketball street hockey court under construction #tc0506
  • Acceptance of gift passed 8-0-1 (1 absent) #tc0506
  • Recycling/trash fee increase up for 2nd approval; chart of fees over the years shared previously, still below what we had been paying before we started single stream, vote 8-0-1 (1 absent)
  • Next 5 items all up for approval are for the resulting agreements with various negotiation groups. First passed 8-0-1 (1 absent) these were discussed in executive session last week. All should pass by same vote hearing that. Second does
  • Third passes, same vote; fourth passes, same vote and fifth passes by same vote - see agenda doc for details vote via roll call 8-0-1 (1 absent) #tc0506
  • Zoning bylaw amendment 20-854 passed by 8-0-1 (1 absent)
  • Wouldn't due justice to the council comments with this method of notes, listen to the replay for details. #tc0506 thanks to residents for patience and compliance during this. Thanks to the first responders for their work helping us all!
  • Motion to adjourn, seconded, passed via roll call 8-0-1(1 absent)

The agenda and associated documents can be found online

screengrab of virtual Town Council meeting 5/6/20
screengrab of virtual Town Council meeting 5/6/20 Teams of the Decade #16: 2014 Franklin Girls Lacrosse has compiled their "Teams of the Decade" listing and started revealing them this week working up from #20 to #1. In the 16th slot we find the FHS Girls Lacrosse team.

Team: Franklin Girls Lacrosse
Year: 2014
Record: 19-4-0
2014 Kelley-Rex Division Champions
2014 Division 1 East Champions & State Semifinalists

"In the life of any top program, there is a moment that takes a team from being one with potential to one that should be considered a threat to win a title every season.

For the Franklin girls’ lacrosse program that moment came in 2014. The team not only reached its first sectional final but also won the program’s first trophy, a springboard to the Panthers being considered among the state’s top teams every season.

“We had talented players and players who really wanted to take it to the next level,” said Franklin coach Kristin Igoe Guarino, who was in her second year as the head coach in 2014. “They kind of got a taste the year before and then just set high goals and worked hard.”

In Igoe Guarino’s first season in charge, the Panthers went unbeaten in the league and won the Kelley-Rex division title outright (after sharing with King Philip the year before). Franklin was emerging as the dominant force in the Hockomock, which would be borne out by eight straight league titles and more than 80 straight league wins (and counting), but there was a desire to see the team compete at the state’s highest level against the likes of Westwood, Needham, Wellesley, and Notre Dame Academy. "

Continue reading about the 2014 FHS Girls Lacrosse team Teams of the Decade #16: 2014 Franklin Girls Lacrosse Teams of the Decade #16: 2014 Franklin Girls Lacrosse

FHS "Keep Music Alive" 5/08/20 - #7

We hope that you are continuing to enjoy our teacher and student performances! 

Today, we will be featuring:

Chai Harsha
Chai is a sophomore viola player from FHS. He plays in the FHS String Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Repertory Orchestra, RI Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and this year was accepted into the Central District Orchestra and the MA All State Orchestra! Phew....He studies privately with Mr. Krishnaswami. 

Bach Sarabande

Amanda Melmed
This is an original by Amanda Melmed - a junior in the choral program at FHS. Amanda sings in the Treble Chorus and was slated to play Roxie in the 2020 production of Chicago. Outside of her work as a vocalist, Amanda plays piano and guitar, and writes her own songs. 

Enjoy "Sunflowers' Rays"!

Mr. Barrett, Mr. Gustafson, Mrs. Fuller and Mrs. MacMurray
Elementary Staff with a dedication to all of our students but especially to our graduating seniors! Thank you Mr. Barrett, Mr. Gustafson, Mrs. Fuller and Mrs. MacMurray!!! So much fun!

Lean On Me

MA COVIDTeam says: "Answer the call"

AlertsMA: Help support contact tracing efforts and answer calls with 833 or 857 area codes from the MA COVIDTeam. Learn more:

The Public Service Announcement (PSA) shown in the briefing:

Gov Baker's full press conference update on May 7, 2020 =

"Just Say Mindfulness" - May 15

Join Michelle Palladini, Norfolk Police Detective and King Phillip Middle School Resource Officer for an online workshop "Just Say Mindfulness" next Friday, May 15 at 12 PM!

Learn ways to empower your children with mindfulness, as a drug prevention effort. Zoom link and short video intro are below:

SAFE Coalition Inc. is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Just Say Mindfulness
Time: May 15, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 840 7601 7966
Password: 694418
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Password: 694418
Find your local number:

Mindfulness with Officer Palladini from SAFE COALITION on Vimeo.

"social distancing in Massachusetts is working"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Gov. Charlie Baker had a simple message Thursday for residents looking for their “chance to fight back” against COVID-19: Answer the phone. Apparently, many people are not.

Baker, along with local and non-profit partners participating in the state’s first-in-the-nation contact tracing program, said the effort will become even more important for the state to identify hot spots and track the spread of the virus as businesses start reopen.

Officials, however, said fewer than 50 percent of people diagnosed with COVID-19 and their close contacts are answering their phones on the first try by contact tracers to reach these individuals and assist them with self-isolation.

“If you get a call or a text from your local board of health or the COVID team it’s vital you take that call,” Baker said. “As we see the curve flatten we can begin thinking about permitting some businesses to resume operations and we want to reinforce that by increasing the importance of testing and contact tracing.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The Public Service Announcement (PSA) shown in the briefing:

Franklin Line: Double track photos via Keolis

"Phase Two of @MBTA_CR’s Franklin Double Track Project continues to make progress as crews prepare the track-bed for the installation of new track infrastructure. In 2019, Keolis completed Phase One ahead of schedule and under budget. (1/2)"

"An essential project, Keolis teams are taking appropriate measures with the @MBTA to supply proper PPE, maintain social distance and ensure good hygiene while following guidance from the @CDCgov and @OSHA_DOL. #BuildingABetterT (2/2)"

Franklin LIne: Double track photos via Keolis
Franklin Line: Double track photos via Keolis

Shared from Twitter

IRS: Three new credits are available to many businesses hit by COVID-19

The Internal Revenue Service today reminds employers affected by COVID-19 about three important new credits available to them.

Employee Retention Credit:
The employee retention credit is designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

The credit is available to all employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations. There are only two exceptions: State and local governments and their instrumentalities and small businesses who take small business loans.

Qualifying employers must fall into one of two categories:
  • The employer's business is fully or partially suspended by government order due to COVID-19 during the calendar quarter.
  • The employer's gross receipts are below 50% of the comparable quarter in 2019. Once the employer's gross receipts go above 80% of a comparable quarter in 2019, they no longer qualify after the end of that quarter.
Employers will calculate these measures each calendar quarter.

Paid Sick Leave Credit and Family Leave Credit:
The paid sick leave credit is designed to allow business to get a credit for an employee who is unable to work (including telework) because of Coronavirus quarantine or self-quarantine or has Coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis. Those employees are entitled to paid sick leave for up to 10 days (up to 80 hours) at the employee's regular rate of pay up to $511 per day and $5,110 in total.

The employer can also receive the credit for employees who are unable to work due to caring for someone with Coronavirus or caring for a child because the child's school or place of care is closed, or the paid childcare provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus. Those employees are entitled to paid sick leave for up to two weeks (up to 80 hours) at 2/3 the employee's regular rate of pay or, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in total.

Employees are also entitled to paid family and medical leave equal to 2/3 of the employee's regular pay, up to $200 per day and $10,000 in total. Up to 10 weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the family leave credit.

Employers can be immediately reimbursed for the credit by reducing their required deposits of payroll taxes that have been withheld from employees' wages by the amount of the credit.
Eligible employers are entitled to immediately receive a credit in the full amount of the required sick leave and family leave, plus related health plan expenses and the employer's share of Medicare tax on the leave, for the period of April 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020. The refundable credit is applied against certain employment taxes on wages paid to all employees.

How will employers receive the credit?
Employers can be immediately reimbursed for the credit by reducing their required deposits of payroll taxes that have been withheld from employees' wages by the amount of the credit.
Eligible employers will report their total qualified wages and the related health insurance costs for each quarter on their quarterly employment tax returns or Form 941 beginning with the second quarter. If the employer's employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may receive an advance payment from the IRS by submitting Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19 (

Eligible employers can also request an advance of the Employee Retention Credit by submitting Form 7200.

The IRS has also posted Employee Retention Credit FAQs ( and Paid Family Leave and Sick Leave FAQs ( that will help answer questions.

Updates on the implementation of the Employee Retention Credit and other information can be found on the Coronavirus page of

Related Items:
•FS-2020-05, New Employee Retention Credit helps employers keep employees on payroll (

Shared from

FTC warns 45 more sellers of scam Coronavirus treatments

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission
by Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Every day we are reading about researchers studying potential ways to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. However, at this time there certainly are no products you can buy online, or services you can get at a neighborhood clinic, that are proven to work. 

But that doesn't stop some sellers from pitching products that claim to protect or heal you.

Read more 

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Soup R Bowl Friday - Takeout Tailgate at Gillette Stadium

Soup R Bowl Friday - Takeout Tailgate at Gillette Stadium
May 8, 2020 - 2 - 5 pm - Registration Required

The Massachusetts Military Support Foundation, Patriots Foundation, and Revolution Charitable Foundation are excited to invite you to Soup R Bowl Friday, a "takeout tailgate" that you won't want to miss! 

Soup R Bowl Friday will take place at Gillette Stadium this Friday, May 8, from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM, and is for Military, Veterans and their families to pick up a box filled with plenty of soup, crackers, salad fixings, eggs, cheese, assorted frozen vegetables, fruit and more! 

and lookout for a follow-up email with arrival instructions.

Soup R Bowl Friday - Takeout Tailgate at Gillette Stadium
Soup R Bowl Friday - Takeout Tailgate at Gillette Stadium

FM #263 FHS Empty Bowl Club Stars 5/04/20 (audio)

FM #263 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 263 in the series.

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with the FHS Empty Bowls Stars. Brenna Johnson, FHS ceramics teacher and club advisor. The stars introduce themselves: Allison Ivers, Breanna Atwood, and Drew Conrad. We had our conversation via virtual conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

We started the discussion with the round of introductions and their work on the Empty Bowls Dinner. It would have been held Thursday, May 7 and due to the pandemic has shifted to a virtual event.

Posts on Thursday, May 7 will share photos and talk about the virtual event coming up the week of June 8-12

The “Week of Giving” virtual event will be held online. The site is still in development and will be shared when ready. It will enable donations to the Franklin Food Pantry for which you will receive a crafted bowl. There will also be an online auction for about 15 special pieces crafted for this event.

Support from the FHS Principal Paul Peri and Superintendent Sara Ahern has been key to enable this effort by the students for the Food Pantry.

The recording runs about 25 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with the FHS Empty Bowls Stars


FHS Empty Bowls Club is still active albeit virtually working to complete some of the hand crafted ceramic bowls for the event now to be held virtually.

The virtual event called a “Week of Giving” is scheduled for June 8-12
  • Direct Donations to the Franklin Food Pantry during the “Week of Giving” will receive a hand made bowl (The first 150 people)
  • An auction online will also be held this week too. 15 hand crafted pieces made by current and recently graduated FHS students and Claymark Studio (Patricia & Larry Vintinner) for this event.
Stay tuned for more to come from the FHS Empty Bowls club

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"

an empty bowl
an empty bowl

working with clay
working with clay

Memorial Day Activities Cancelled Due to COVID-19

Memorial Day Activities Cancelled Due to COVID-19

This year's Memorial Day activities have been cancelled due to concerns about the safety and well-being of attendees and participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the annual Memorial Day breakfast scheduled for May 22 and the annual parade and ceremony on the Town Common scheduled for May 25.

Memorial Day flag placing on veterans' gravesites in our town's three cemeteries will still take place and volunteers are needed. Those wishing to volunteer should email: and put "Flag Volunteer" in the subject line. All volunteers must wear face coverings.

Memorial Day Activities Cancelled Due to COVID-19
Memorial Day Activities Cancelled Due to COVID-19

Calling All Franklin High School Senior Parents — Adopt A Senior!

Let's put a smile on our Senior's faces! We have recently created an "Adopt a Senior" Facebook Page, so please join today. Currently we have 194 senior families that have posted, but our goal is to have as many senior families that would like to participate included!

We request that all FHS Senior Parents post a picture of their child along with a brief profile, no later than May 8 at 5 PM and indicate on the top line, "Not Adopted".

Let's bring our community together to celebrate the Franklin High Class of 2020!

Please note: If you would prefer your child not to appear on the Facebook  posting, or you would like one of us to post for you, please send an email to one of the Administrators (Daniela Masters (, Nicole Nesbit (, Roseanne Szczepanowski ( or Laura Gagnon).

Feel free to share this information with all FHS Senior Parents that may not have social media accounts.

The Adopt a Senior Facebook Page and details can be found here:

Thank you for your support!
Parents of FHS Class of 2020 

Calling All Franklin High School Senior Parents — Adopt A Senior!
Calling All Franklin High School Senior Parents — Adopt A Senior! Teams of the Decade #17: 2014 Franklin Wrestling has compiled their "Teams of the Decade" listing and started revealing them this week working up from #20 to #1. In the 17th slot we find the FHS wrestling team.

Team: Franklin Wrestling
Year: 2013-2014
2014 Kelley-Rex Division Champions
2014 Division 1 Central Champions

"There have been a lot of great individual performances by Hockomock wrestlers through the years, but few teams had the depth of Franklin in 2014. The Panthers started slow as they incorporated new faces, but they rolled through the league (including a big win at North Attleboro) to win the league double, claiming both the dual meet and league championship meet titles.

Franklin carried that success into the postseason, winning the Div. 1 dual meet crown and the D1 Central title as well. The Panthers finished third in Div. 1 and fifth at All-States, showcasing a high level of wrestling throughout the roster.

Head coach Carmine Colace said after the Panthers edged North Attleboro at the 2014 league meet, “We do have a lot of depth; we do and that really helps. Today was a real team effort because we had some tough matches in the semis, but nobody got down on themselves and they all battled back.”

After winning the dual meet title, Franklin went into the Hockomock Championships as favorites and took control of the leaderboard early on. The first four weight classes were won by the Panthers. Mike Coppola (108), Cam Kelly (113), Ben Zogby (120), and Dan Pisani (126) went back-to-back-to-back-to-back to start the final round and Griffin Tighe (195) added a fifth individual title later that evening."
Continue reading about the Franklin wrestling team Teams of the Decade #17: 2014 Franklin Wrestling Teams of the Decade #17: 2014 Franklin Wrestling

Franklin Public Schools: FHS Principal Announcement

This is a message that has also been shared with the FHS community, but we also wish to share it across Franklin Public Schools.

May 6, 2020

Dear Franklin High School Community,

I am very pleased to share the news that Mr. Joshua Hanna has accepted my offer to be named the principal of Franklin High School.

We were fortunate to have three excellent candidates emerge as finalists from a rigorous and thorough search process. Candidates were interviewed by an Interview Committee composed of faculty, administrators, parents/guardians, students, and two School Committee members. Finalists joined the district in a remote site visit to converse with students, parents/guardians, administrators, and faculty/staff in mid-April. Feedback from the visits was reviewed and considered carefully and references were checked. I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the members of the Interview Committee, led by Assistant Superintendent Lucas Giguere and Director of Human Resources Lisa Trainor. I would also like to thank members of our student focus group, parents/guardians, administrators, and faculty/staff members who contributed feedback.

Mr. Hanna has been serving as Assistant Principal at Hopkinton High School since 2013. Prior to this role, he was a Social Studies Teacher and Social Studies Department Head at Natick High School. While in Hopkinton, Mr. Hanna has guided work around social/emotional learning, founded the Passion Project Club for the Class of 2023, created the Top of the Hill Program, led the Crisis Response Team, and served as designated school official for the F1 International Student Program. Mr. Hanna received a Bachelor's Degree from Framingham State in History and he earned his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Simmons College.

We look forward to welcoming Mr. Hanna to the PANTHERS community. More communication from Mr. Hanna will be forthcoming as we prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.

Kind regards,

Sara Ahern
Superintendent of Schools

Franklin Public Schools: FHS Principal Announcement
Franklin Public Schools: FHS Principal Announcement