Thursday, May 14, 2020

"sacrificed too much over the past nine weeks to risk a second breakout"

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

"It would be “incredibly irresponsible” to send everyone back to work at the same time, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday, pushing back against critics who have accused him of moving too slowly to restart the state’s economy as he simultaneously tries to steer the state through the COVID-19 crisis.

The governor also resisted calls for him to tease out details of his reopening strategy before Monday, urging patience as some legislators and industries, like restaurants, are clamoring to be told what businesses will be on the initial list to reopen and what might be expected of them.

“I would love to be able to open everything up tomorrow. That would be an incredibly irresponsible thing to do,” Baker said."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Gov Baker Video link

'Bridge Over Troubled Water' For NHS

When Paul Simon shares a video performance of one of his classic songs, it must be good. This is indeed 'share worthy'. Enjoy!

"Here is an extraordinary performance of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' by the brave men and women from NHS in honor of the Llandudno's Venu Cymru, which has been turned into a temporary coronavirus hospital. During this process, the facility has been renamed to Ysbyty Enfys, which is Welsh for Rainbow Hospital, as a symbol for hope."
Video link =

Operators of Business Coaching Scheme Will Pay At Least $1.2 Million to Settle FTC Charges

The operators of a business coaching scheme will pay at least $1.2 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they targeted people who were trying to start new businesses online and used deception to sell them bogus marketing products and services.

According to the FTC's complaint, Position Gurus and Top Shelf Ecommerce, and their owners Aaron Poysky, Stacy Griego and Samuel Cohen Brown, targeted consumers who were looking for ways to make money by starting retail businesses on the Internet. The defendants found many of their targets by purchasing consumers' contact information from other online business coaching operations that had already deceived the targets.

"If you're starting an online business, there's no quick and easy path to success," said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Companies that charge you big up-front fees and make big promises about earnings are likely scams that offer nothing of value in building a profitable business."

The defendants would call consumers, the complaint alleges, in some cases falsely claiming to be associated with the coaching companies consumers had prior dealings with. The defendants then made high-pressure sales pitches for marketing assistance, claiming it would drive more customers to consumers' online stores and drastically increase sales and earnings.

The defendants also asked consumers for detailed financial information under the guise of determining whether the consumers would "qualify" for their products and services, but instead allegedly used this information to determine how much they could charge consumers.

The defendants then pressured consumers to pay up to thousands of dollars for their marketing products and services. The defendants often encouraged consumers to use their credit cards, or "other people's money," that they could later pay off with their supposed earnings. But the complaint alleges that, in many instances, defendants' marketing products and services did not increase sales or result in the promised earnings of thousands of dollars per month. Many consumers requested refunds and were dissatisfied, but the defendants' contracts included language prohibiting them from posting negative reviews or complaining about their experiences online.

The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the FTC Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), and the Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA). Under the terms of the settlements, the defendants will be prohibited from marketing or selling any business coaching services, from misleading consumers in the sale of any goods and services or to get access to their financial information, and from further violations of the TSR. The settlements with Position Gurus, LLC; Top Shelf Ecommerce, LLC; Poysky; and Griego also prohibit further violations of the CRFA.

The settlement with Position Gurus, LLC; Top Shelf Ecommerce, LLC; and Poysky includes a monetary judgement of $16,331,011, which is partially suspended due to an inability to pay. The defendants will be required to surrender more than $931,000, along with the proceeds from the sale of Poysky's 2017 Range Rover and the contents of a number of remaining merchant accounts used by the companies.

The settlement with Brown includes a monetary judgment of $11,053,852, which is partially suspended due an inability to pay. Brown will be required to surrender $123,096 as well as the proceeds from the sale of his 2014 Porsche Panamera.

The settlement with Griego includes a monetary judgment of $16,331,011, which is partially suspended due to an inability to pay. Griego will be required to surrender $234,600.

If any of the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition or ability to pay, then the full amounts of the monetary judgments would become due immediately.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and stipulated final orders was 5-0. The FTC filed the complaint and final orders in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Federal Trade Commission: Protecting America's Consumers Banner

Shared from:

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

School Committee meeting notes - May 12, 2020

I took my notes using Twitter for the School Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. The full thread should be found tagged as "#schcom0512"

  • Real-time reporting underway for School Committee meeting tonight, tagged as #schcom0512 at start approx 90 attendees
  • Participation hit maximum of 100, if you can't get in try the cable broadcast; Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29 #schcom0512 no limits there. Or go to and check the live stream option
Superintendent's Report
  • Superintendent provides report on remote learning, survey results showing mostly ok, details in report posted to #schcom0512 page on Weds
  • Leap into kindergarten rescheduled to May 20 via remote meeting #schcom0512 connection details available, also streamed via YouTube so recording can be viewed after
  • Multiple students attending some Seniors also part of FHS graduation topic on agenda later, hence no comments at this time, a "thumbs up" from class 2020 president #schcom0512

A. Videos from FHS:
Senior Boys:
Unified Music:

FHS Graduation Planning
Facility Report - part 1
  • Next up, facility report from Kaestle Boos Assoc, tonight only part 1 of the update, lead presenter outside his house being heckled by his young kids, #schcom0512
  • #schcom0512 key slide on assumptions for class room utilization rates
  • KBA likes how Sullivan stands up today, they had helped with design so acknowledged bias, #schcom0512
  • Draft report being prepared for presentation next month, #schcom0512
  • Every school is so well maintained, DT does have issues physically #schcom0512
  • #schcom0512 capacity and utilization rates 67% at elementary and 49% currently, elementary goes up 2, middle goes down 8 per enrollment forecast
  • Q on capability for modeling with the data, yes, esp with social distance and likely only half students in room, so shifting schedule is being looked at #schcom0512
  • Q how has sq ft reqs changed over the last 10-15 years? Yes, a challenge to provide flex space vs. 'old' factory/industrial models #schcom0512 appropriate for kid interruption during his remarks, allows for pause and why we're here
  • Everyone is finding that school capacity is excess, a national issue and demographics related as well #schcom0512
  • Q is ADA considered. Yes, it is not a full requirements report but it is considered #schcom0512 
  • Target for conceptual analysis for draft review in June by Central Office and sometime in the month for school Committee #schcom0512 there are still 4 classrooms at Kennedy that are modular and end of life, not used for general education
  • Some folks would be better off not turning on their camera if they really want to watch; rather than have us (paying attention to the meeting) get distracted by cats on keyboards, or backgrounds circling the globe or other movements about their house ... #schcom0512
Discussion/Action Items
  • Moved on to school choice action item, haven't since 2007-2008 school year; recommended not at this time #schcom0512
  • Motion passed 7-0 via roll call, no school choice for next year #schcom0512
  • Bissanti asks question about comment in prior meeting by Pfeffer, because it was garbled he would like it repeated. Not appropriate at this time, deferred to budget item later in agenda #schcom0512
  • Spring sports, transportation, lunch balances, etc. Recommended for approval. #schcom0512 clarify questions via chat being answered , vote on measure via roll call passed 7-0
  • Moving to policy section, 3 moved to second reading previously now up for approval: #schcom0512 motion to adopt the 3 policies as detailed, passed 7-0 via roll call
  • For first reading 2 policies, one on pest management, one for emergency plans updated - last time was updated 2010 and thereby was due;
  • Motion to move to second reading, passed via roll call 7-0
  • Last up on discussion action, calendar update required for professional day; passed via roll call 7-0 #schcom0512
Discussion Only Items
  • Discussion only on the budget updates, more work to be done in prep for the Finance Committee meeting end of May, 1st week of June. #schcom0512
  • SchComm meeting calendar drafted for next year, no vote needed yet. #schcom0512
  • Refer to Davis Thayer analysis page for updates, presentation doc from tonight to be there soon #schcom0512
New Business
  • Next meeting, continue discussion on budget, usually recognize retirees, DECA students should be here sometime; pledge of allegiance at start of meeting usually done, didn't have flag as background for tonight, #schcom0512 also requested for remote school sessions  
  • Motion to go into executive session passed 7-0 via roll call, not to return to open session #schcom0512

PDF form of the agenda doc

Documents released for this meeting

Superintendent's Report

School Capacity Report

Screen shots of the proceedings and presentations can be viewed here

proposed route through the FHS parking lots for diploma distribution
proposed route through the FHS parking lots for diploma distribution

Franklin Matters Radio broadcast schedule for 5/13-14

For this week: 5/12 = 5/13 tune to 102.9 on the local radio dial or to with your browser

On Wednesday 9:00 AM /12:00 PM /3:00 PM
  • 263 – FHS Empty Bowls Stars
  • 265 – Franklin Food Pantry – new building plus

On Wednesday at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
  • 266 - Jamie Hellen - “Talk Franklin”

On Thursday at 9:00 AM 12:00 PM 6:00 PM
  • 261 – VFJ Renovations “empower with gardening”
  • 267 – Doug MacPherson – Virtual IncredABLE 5K on May 17

Franklin Matters Radio broadcast schedule for 5/13-14
Franklin Matters Radio broadcast schedule for 5/13-14

Franklin Police arrest two on drug charges

On Friday May 8th, 2020 at approximately 8:00 AM the Franklin Police Department, working in cooperation with Homeland Security Investigations, Boston Police, Milton Police, and the Massachusetts State Police executed a search warrant on Brookview Road, in the Town of Franklin. This warrant was the result of an investigation which covered several months.

During the execution of the search warrant, the primary suspect in the investigation, Alan PENNINGTON, of 32 Brookview Road, Franklin, Massachusetts attempted to evade arrest after police officers identified themselves. PENNINGTON rammed the vehicle he was operating into several police vehicles, attempted to strike officers on foot, struck mailboxes, and finally came to a stop after hitting another parked vehicle. At this time, he was ordered out of the vehicle and taken into custody by Franklin Police detectives.

As a result of this investigation and the search warrant executed on the property many pills, believed to be fentanyl with an estimated street value of over $15,000 were recovered.

Additionally, approximately $100,000 in cash, and other items were seized.

Pennington was taken into custody and transported to the Franklin Police Department and was charged with the following offenses:

  • 1. M.G.L. Chapter 94C Section 32E - Drug Trafficking (Suspected Class A Substance - Fentanyl)
  • 2. M.G.L. Chapter 94C Section 32 - Possess with Intent to Distribute (Suspected Class A substance - Fentanyl)
  • 3. M.G.L Chapter 94C Section 40 - Conspiracy
  • 4. M.G.L. Chapter 90 Section 24 - Operating to Endanger
  • 5. M.G.L. Chapter 90 Section 25 - Fail to Stop for Police
  • 6. M.G.L. Chapter 266 Section 126A - Malicious Destruction of Property (8 counts)
  • 7. M.G.L. Chapter 265 Section 13D - Assault and Battery on a Police Officer (5 counts)
  • 8. M.G.L. Chapter 265 Section 15A - Assault and Battery Dangerous Weapon to Wit Vehicle (5 counts)

Also arrested during this incident was Shane CLINTON, of 103 N. Main Street, Woonsocket, RI. He was taken into custody at the scene and charged with the following:
  • 1. M.G.L. Chapter 90 Section 10 - Unlicensed Operation
  • 2. M.G.L. Chapter 94C Section 40 – Conspiracy
Both men were booked, and then subsequently transported from the Franklin Police Department to the Norfolk County House of Correction in Dedham, Massachusetts for arraignment by the Wrentham District Court.

Franklin Chief of Police Thomas J. Lynch stated “The work done by Franklin Police detectives and our law enforcement partners show the value of interagency cooperation. As a result of this investigation dangerous drugs were taken off the street and did not reach our neighborhoods.”

Additionally, Lynch added “I am immensely proud of the hard work by all the officers and investigators involved in bringing this case forward. They bring credit to the police profession, and this type of work continues to improve the quality of life for the residents of the Town of Franklin and all other communities.”


approximately $100,000 in cash, and other items were seized
approximately $100,000 in cash, and other items were seized


FM #268 Doug MacPherson HMEA Virtual IncredABLE 5K 5/17/20 (audio)

FM #268 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 268 in the series.

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Doug MacPherson, Vice-President of Development and Public Relations for Horace Mann Education Association (HMEA). We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

Doug and I talked about the preparation for the HMEA’s Virtual IncredABLE 5K scheduled for May 17, 2020. Alas, in this pandemic period, the road race, community walk, and family fun field day has been converted to a virtual event. Virtual? Yes, we talk about how you can run your 5K on a certified 5K course and send your results to HEMA for them to count.

Our conversation also covers how HMEA is adjusting to their delivery of service from in person to zoom and other virtual meetings.

Fund raising will continue beyond the virtual event on May 17, The fiscal year for HMEA ends on June 30, so there will be additional opportunities to participate in a virtual event with HMEA.

The recording runs about 18 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Doug


For all the information on the Virtual IncredABLE 5K

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 #268 Doug MacPherson HMEA Virtual IncredABLE 5K 5/17/20 (audio)
FM #268 Doug MacPherson HMEA Virtual IncredABLE 5K 5/17/20 (audio) Teams of the Decade #13: 2018 Franklin Volleyball

Team: Franklin Volleyball
Year: 2018
Record: 20-1
2018 Kelley-Rex Division Champions
2018 Division 1 Central-West Champions
2018 Division 1 State Semifinalists

"With a strong group of returning players, the Franklin volleyball team entered the season as the top-ranked team in our Hock 5 rankings. But there were few, at least outside of the program, that expected the Panthers to be as good as they were.

While the Panthers graduated a couple of key pieces from the lineup a year before, first-year head coach Kelsey Weymouth inherited a talented, experienced group that looked primed to get back atop the Kelley-Rex division. There were signs very early of just how talented Franklin was, including a 3-0 sweep over non-league foe Bishop Feehan, a 3-0 sweep over defending division champ King Philip, and a 3-1 win on the road over Hockomock power Canton — all in a five-day span.

Senior Lauren McGrath returned for her third year as the team’s starting setter was a key piece in orchestrating the offense as well as an important part of the Panther defense. After dishing out 545 assists her junior year, McGrath crossed the 1,000-assist mark as a senior with 547 assists. McGrath had plenty of choices to work with offensively with four players reaching the 100-kill mark: Ellie Wisniewski (151), Maggie Doyle (135), Allyson Bonnet-Eymard (102), and Hailey Sanders (100)."

Continue reading the article online Teams of the Decade #13: 2018 Franklin Volleyball Teams of the Decade #13: 2018 Franklin Volleyball

Once Upon A Town: The Franklin 500 - Franklin, MA (video)

Join Eamon McCarthy Earls and Joe Landry as they talk about the Franklin 500, a "racetrack" that was the loop that we took as we "rode around" the town of Franklin MA.

Hockomock League Class of 2020 Scholar-Athletes - FHS - Sarah Spanek and Rohan Herur

The Hockomock League Principals and Athletic Directors proudly announce the Class of 2020 Scholar-Athletes. The global, national, and local struggle against COVID-19 continues, but our persistence and resilience grows in that fight. The unique social situation in which we find ourselves pushes us to find new ways to publicly recognize and salute our heroes. The Class of 2020 will have much to remember about this unprecedented year, and we salute all of our athletes who lost this Spring season.

This week the League would have celebrated its 30th Annual Hockomock League Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner. Today, we are proud to celebrate each of the twenty-four athletes that have earned this League’s honor. Each scholar-athlete has been selected by the Administration of their respective schools and represent the top student-athletes in the Hockomock League based on academics, athletic participation, sportsmanship, leadership, and citizenship. They have all successfully balanced a demanding academic schedule along with participation in athletics as well as many other extra-curricular activities during their high school career. To be selected for this award represents four years of dedication and commitment, and we are proud of all their accomplishments.

We hope that these student-athletes will put all of their experiences over the past four years to good use and that those experiences will help guide them through the challenges ahead. We congratulate the parents and guardians, too, for your contributions and guidance as you have enabled your child to reach this level of excellence. We are certain that the foundation you have given them will carry them through future endeavors.


  • ATTLEBORO: Jacqueline Lynch-Bartek AND Nicholas McMahon
  • CANTON: Caroline Tourgee AND Nathan Quan
  • FOXBORO: Jaime Notarangelo AND Ryan Proulx
  • FRANKLIN: Sarah Spanek and Rohan Herur
  • KING PHILIP: Samantha Robison AND Jack Cannon
  • MANSFIELD: Eliz Healy AND Peter Oldow
  • MILFORD: Annie Flanagan AND Maxwell Manor
  • NORTH ATTLEBORO: Abigail Gallagher AND Owen Harding
  • OLIVER AMES: Allison Kemp AND Sam Stevens
  • SHARON: Eliana Boxerman AND Cameron Baker
  • STOUGHTON: Emma McSweeney AND Joshua McNamara
  • TAUNTON: Kamryn Li AND Nolan Melo

Class of 2020 Scholar-Athletes - FHS - Sarah Spanek and Rohan Herur
Class of 2020 Scholar-Athletes - FHS - Sarah Spanek and Rohan Herur

Shared from

Leaping Into Kindergarten Event - May 20

Our Leaping Into Kindergarten event has been rescheduled for Wednesday, May 20th at 6 PM. 

It will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel, which is available here

Leaping Into Kindergarten Event - May 20
Leaping Into Kindergarten Event - May 20

In the News: Baker announces $1B budget bill at visit to Ashland biotech firm

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

"With the cost of the bill expected to be covered by the federal government through reimbursements and other federal funding sources, Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday filed a $1 billion supplemental budget bill to help cover COVID-19-related expenses.

Baker announced that Tuesday afternoon after touring MatTek Life Sciences, a biotechnology company headquartered in Ashland that has been developing coronavirus testing materials and hand sanitizer.

“We remain, as we said before, one of the hardest hits states by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we still have a lot to do, and a way to go to contain the infection rate and reduce the number of people that need serious hospital care,” Baker said.

As of March 12, the state has conducted 401,496 tests. Of those tested, 79,332 have tested positive and 5,141 people have died, according to the Department of Public Health. On Monday, the state conducted 6,768. Of those tested, approximately 13% tested positive."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

HMEA IncredABLE 5K - Time is Running Out!

Hurry, Time is Running Out!
Do something incredABLE TODAY!
Jukebox Virtual Bingo
May 15th @ 7 PM online
Photo Contest
1 vote = $1 donation
Video Contest
1 vote = $1 donation
Hurry, contests end at midnight May 15th!!

Virtual Community Walk
$10 per person

Registration closes at midnight May 14th!!
Dream Raffle
$5 for a book of 6 tickets

Quik Pik 50/50
$25 per ticket
Hurry, tickets sales end at noon May 16th!!
Virtual Auction
May 10 - May 24th

one week vacation, electronics, concert tickets, and more!
Do Something incredABLE TODAY!

HMEA | 8 Forge Park East, Franklin, MA 02038

Sent by in collaboration with
Trusted Email from Constant Contact - Try it FREE today.
Try email marketing for free today!