Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Community Garden (OPENING - Today) - Parks opening next week (with restrictions)

Good Morning,

Tomorrow (Weds, May 20) is the first day the Community garden will be open.  Water should be turned on this week.  Barricades should be moved from the entrance to the inside the park to block only the playground/ball field area.  For now, parks and playgrounds still remain closed, although we are making the Community garden available to you folks.  

Next Monday, we will be removing all barricades around Town and opening parks with restrictions in place.  I wanted to make sure you all received the attachment I provided last week, so I'm including it in the body of the email.  Have fun and please be safe.
Franklin Community Gardening during COVID-19
Franklin Community Gardens offer many benefits which include socialization, exercise, and the production and consumption of nutritious, fresh and locally grown herbs and vegetables.  Beginning Wednesday, May 20, we will open the Community Garden to one member per garden bed for their maintenance. 
Garden access will be restricted to no more than 5 gardeners at one time.  It is important to understand the state guidelines ( regarding social distancing and proper hygiene.  (These regulations also are subject to change amid fluid developments.)
This guide offers ideas and guidance on:
  • Best practices for community garden management during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Additional cleaning/sanitation precautions to utilize in the Franklin community gardens
  • Recommendations on being a safe, responsible visitor at the Franklin community garden.
Following these recommendations, along with the use of common sense and caution, can increase the likelihood that our community garden will remain accessible.
In such a public setting, the Centers for Disease Control now recommends wearing cloth face coverings. For a guide on how to create your own cloth face coverings, visit the CDC website ( 
Best Practices for Community Garden Management During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Franklin Community Garden is considered an essential space; garden members should immediately implement the following practices:
  • Garden members must wear masks or cloth covering at all times, along with gloves.
  • DO not visit the garden if you feel ill, have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks or have had known contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last two weeks
  • Leave garden gates open during hours of operation to avoid frequent contact.  No need to keep opening and closing gates, unless you are the last one to leave later in the day.
  • Avoid use of public benches or picnic tables
  • Limit the size of work groups to 5 people or fewer inside the fenced area
  • If folks cannot police this themselves, we may be forced to stagger times for arrival and availability to reduce crowds
  • Social distancing guidelines of remaining at least 6 feet apart at all times
  • If members have them, please bring your own tools or make certain you wear gloves while using.  We will have cleaning supplies in the shed and we expect anyone that uses a tool will sanitize before and after use.
  • We would appreciate folks helping with the following.
    • Regular cleaning of contact surfaces (doors, padlocks, water spigots, gates, wheelbarrows, etc.)
    • Hand-washing or hand-sanitizing regularly 
Ryan Jette
Director of Recreation
Franklin Recreation Department
275 Beaver Street
Franklin, MA 02038
Office: (508) 613-1667
Mobile:(508) 400-4099
"just for the fun of it"
Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Web

Prior notification on the Community Garden opening

Community Garden (OPENING - Today) - Parks opening next week (with restrictions)
Community Garden (OPENING - Today) - Parks opening next week (with restrictions)

Davis Thayer Facility Analysis Subcommittee - May 21, 2020

DT Facility Analysis Subcommittee

Virtual Meeting (Links in agenda)

DATE: 5/21/2020 

TIME: 4:30 PM

  1. Approval of past minutes
  2. Discussion: 
Update on recent conversations with Kaestle Boos 
     ○ possible recommendations and logistical implications

little free library at Davis Thayer
little free library at Davis Thayer

Reminder: Seniors join us for a Coffee Hour - Thu May 21 - 8:30 AM

Attention Seniors! Please join us for a Coffee Hour Thursday, May 21 at 8:30 AM! The Zoom links are found below. 
A great opportunity to connect with local and state officials!
Join the Zoom Meeting here Meeting ID: 818 3989 8549 or call the # below!

State Rep Jeff Roy, Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and members of the Town Council

Shared from

Seniors: Virtual Coffee Hour next Thursday, May 21
Seniors: Virtual Coffee Hour next Thursday, May 21

CDC Guidelines for reopening are now available

From the Washington Post, we find the CDC guidelines are available
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week laid out its detailed, delayed road map for reopening schools, child-care facilities, restaurants and mass transit, weeks after covid-weary states began opening on their own terms.

The CDC cautioned that some institutions should stay closed for now and said reopening should be guided by coronavirus transmission rates.

For schools, the CDC recommended a raft of social distancing policies: desks at least six feet apart and facing the same direction, lunch in classrooms, staggered arrival times, cloth masks for staff and daily temperature screenings for everyone.

It advised that buses leave every other row empty, bars add sneeze guards and child-care centers limit sharing of art supplies.

The 60-page guidance document was posted on the CDC website over the weekend without fanfare after weeks of delay and an internal debate over whether the guidelines were too restrictive."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Download a copy from here

or directly from the CDC page

CDC Guidelines are now available
CDC Guidelines are now available

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

FM #271 Franklin Health Director - Cathleen Liberty 5/11/20 (audio)

FM #271 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 271 in the series.

Town of Franklin Health Director Cathleen Liberty took some time from her schedule to sit and talk about something other than the coronavirus. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

While we are out on trail and in the outdoors, in general during this pandemic period, Cathleen informs us on some of the precautions to take with regards to avoiding ticks and mosquitoes. The new term from this conversation is “questing”. Questing is the term for the tick looking to jump to a food source.

We review the precautions that should be part of the daily hygiene when we head outdoors and make it as frequent a part of the routine as adding sunscreen lotion.

The recording runs about 22 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Cathleen   
Audio file =

Town of Franklin Health Dept page
Tick questing from the CDC page
EPA mosquito repellent page


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"

adult deer tick (photo by Scott Bauer)
adult deer tick (photo by Scott Bauer)

Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities = Water-Sewer Superintendent; DPW heavy equip operator; firefighter-paramedic

Job Opportunities

To apply for a vacant position, please submit a resume and cover letter to  Please put the job title in the subject line of your email.  
  • Water & Sewer Superintendent - Department of Public Works
  • Heavy Motor Equipment Operator - Department of Public Works
  • Firefighter/Paramedics - The Town of Franklin's Fire Department is in the Massachusetts Civil Service system. 
    • If you are currently a Firefighter/Paramedic in a Civil Service community and are interested in working for Franklin, send a resume and cover letter to
    • Please note: new hires must have and maintain a paramedic certification and complete an Associate's Degree within 5 years of the date they are hired.   
If you do not have a resume, you may send a completed Application for Employment instead.

To receive notifications of all job opportunities in the Town of Franklin, subscribe here ( .
Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities = Water-Sewer Superintendent; DPW heavy equip operator; firefighter-paramedic
Town of Franklin: Job Opportunities = Water-Sewer Superintendent; DPW heavy equip operator; firefighter-paramedic

Downtown Franklin Springing to Life with Flowers

On May 15, downtown Franklin sprung to life with colorful plants added to barrels, planters and window boxes. The Franklin Downtown Partnership (FDP) and the Franklin Garden Club organized the planting of pink, blue and white flowers to beautify the community.

“This year we held a Covid-19 appropriate beautification effort in the downtown area,” said lead organizer Eileen Mason. “We had designated families or residents be responsible for certain locations. Everyone wore masks outside their family units and we maintained the appropriate distancing. We only requested adult volunteers this year in order to keep us all safe.”

Roberta Trahan, vice president of the FDP, said this project is especially meaningful during this time of social distancing. 

“The planting of flowers and beautification efforts give us hope that life goes on,” Trahan said. “It is a visual reminder to our community that we will get through this. Seeing the flowers brings some joy and growth into this difficult time in our lives.”

Thank you to the following sponsors provided financial assistance to make the beautification efforts possible:
  • PLATINUM-Dean Bank, Fenton Financial Group, Glen Meadow Apartments, and Middlesex Savings Bank
  • GOLD-D.G. Ranieri Real Estate, Eileen Mason of RE/MAX Executive Realty, Kelly’s Landscaping Inc., and The Enclave of Franklin
  • SILVER-Chestnut Dental Associates, Keefe Insurance, Oteri and Son Funeral Home, and Vet Med Pet Supplies
  • BRONZE-Berry Insurance and Roche & Roche Law Offices
“Thank you to all who helped pull the beautification effort together this year,” Mason said. “Special thanks to Fairmont Farms for the flowers, the Department of Public Works for helping with watering and mulching and to Melanie Hamblen, owner of Franklin Agway, for donating potting soil and distributing it to all of the containers.”

Special thanks to Vicario Studio for providing these photos.

Downtown Franklin Springing to Life with Flowers
Downtown Franklin Springing to Life with Flowers

New Encore EnHarmonix CD available to order

NEW Encore EnHarmonix Album Available Now! Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios' recording ensemble, the Encore EnHarmonix have released their fourth album, STARS, available now for purchase!

YouTube link =

All proceeds from the sale of this album go directly to The Encore Music Education Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit, 501[c][3] organization dedicated to providing scholarships and financial aid to music students and programs. 

To order this seventeen-song movie soundtrack album featuring children ages 8 to 18, please call (508) 533-7700 or email: and include the phone number where you can be reached. 

Thank you for your support!

School Committee Community Relations Sub Committee Meeting - 5/20/20

Community Relations Sub Committee Meeting

Virtual Meeting (Links in agenda)


  • Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes (March 5, 2020)
  • Follow up on community outreach since last meeting
    • Cultural District Collaboration - Postponed
    • “Meet School Committee” - potentially virtually vs. at the library?
  • Community Relations Newsletter - Smore versus Constant Contact
    • Include highlight what we do for kids at all levels
    • Info sheet with budget materials
    • Coronavirus preparedness?

Read more:

Franklin Food Pantry Annual Appeal: You can help the Food Pantry help Rose!

We began planning for our annual appeal before the COVID-19 crisis began. While we are still happy to be able to share Rose’s story with you, we now know that it is even more important than ever that the Pantry keep its doors open and service everyone who has been impacted by this global crisis.

Please read more about Rose’s experience and learn how you can help her and everyone who needs the Pantry.

When Rose graciously invited us into her home to share a cup of tea and her experience at the Pantry, we weren’t expecting to feel such happiness and pride. It is such an honor to be a part of an organization that helps to create and facilitate community and acceptance from the moment one walks through our doors! You help make that happen.

Rose has lived a full life. She has contributed so much to the world and is now at a point where her life circumstance will not change. We know that with a 13% increase in the number of seniors who came to the Pantry last year, our presence makes their life a little easier. Rising medical costs, living on a fixed income, and daily expenses add up. The Pantry helps to alleviate financial stress by providing a place for our neighbors to receive fresh food on a regular basis – all while also providing a sense of community support.

Your donation is critical for the Pantry to continue to provide food, personal care items, and a physical location for our neighbors in need. The Pantry is so much more than a place to get food. We receive no state or town funding and we rely on the generosity of people like you to help to foster this community and continue to make lives better for families, veterans, and seniors – our friends and neighbors. People like Rose.

You can help us make sure that our shelves are always stocked – no matter what time of the year – and that everyone in Franklin has access to healthy food. A gift of any amount makes a difference and you will be supporting your neighbors right here in Franklin.

Suzanne Gendreau                  Lynn Calling
Board Member                          Executive Director
Franklin Food Pantry                Franklin Food Pantry
Fundraising Chair

P.S. – Rose shared that she has recommended the Pantry to friends and has brought in additional people needing help. She knew that the Pantry employees and volunteers would treat her friends with dignity and respect.

P.S.S. You may have seen the exciting news that the Pantry has purchased a new building in Franklin to expand our offerings and better serve our neighbors. While we will need to launch a capital campaign our annual appeal is strictly for operation spending. Thank you!

The Franklin Food Pantry is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization FEIN #04-3272663

Find the full flyer content with Rose's story in the PDF

Donate to the Franklin Food Pantry here
Donate to the Franklin Food Pantry here

Let’s Laugh Today Laughter Club is Free EVERY Wednesday at 7:30 PM on ZOOM!

Let’s Laugh Today Laughter Club is on ZOOM! In these challenging times, there is nothing like a good belly laugh to help release stress and anxiety. These laughter exercises and deep breathing help to bring more fresh oxygen into the body and brain helping you feel more energetic and healthy. 

It's a great way to connect with other people through eye contact while remaining socially distant and it is thoroughly up-lifting and immunity-boosting! 

See for link to the free ZOOM Meeting EVERY Wednesday at 7:30 PM. All ages are welcome. 

You can sit or stand the entire time. It’s a good time to try something new! Led by Certified Laughter Yoga Master Trainers, Bill and Linda Hamaker.

Let’s Laugh Today Laughter Club is Free EVERY Wednesday at 7:30 PM on ZOOM!
Let’s Laugh Today Laughter Club is Free EVERY Wednesday at 7:30 PM on ZOOM!

Town of Franklin: Reopening resources

A new section has been added to our Coronavirus Information Portal: REOPENING RESOURCES

We will continue to keep it updated as information becomes available. Find Governor Baker's Reopening Massachusetts Report and more here:

Town of Franklin: Reopening resources
Town of Franklin: Reopening resources

Shared from the Town of Franklin Twitter:

FTC Consumer Alerts: Credit reports are now free, every week

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission
by Cathlin Tully - Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection

If you're feeling anxious about your financial health during these uncertain times, you're not alone. That's why the three national credit reporting agencies are giving people weekly access to monitor their credit report — for free.

Read more

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

Monday, May 18, 2020

Reopening Plan in 4 Phases with more details

The Reopening Plan:

Or directly from the page

Gov Baker YouTube link =

Gov Baker provides update on reopening plan
Gov Baker provides update on reopening plan

Safer-at-Home Advisory (Stay-At-Home updated)

Phase 1

  • People over the age of 65 and people who have underlying health conditions – who are at high risk for COVID-19 – should continue to stay home except for essential errands such as going to the grocery store and to attend to healthcare needs
  • All residents are advised to leave home only for healthcare, worship and permitted work, shopping, and outdoor activities
  • When going to the pharmacy ask if you can fill your prescriptions for 90 days if possible; for some medications this is not allowed. If you are at high-risk, try to use a mail-order service
  • Don’t participate in close contact activities such as pick-up sports games
  • All residents are REQUIRED to cover their face when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public
  • Parents should limit play dates for children
  • Refrain from visiting nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, or other residential care settings
  • All residents are advised to wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soapy water
  • All residents are advised to be vigilant, monitor for symptoms and stay home if you feel sick
  • Use remote modes of communication like phone or video chat instead of visiting friends or family who are high risk for COVID-19
Shared from

Links to what was shared earlier on the report, etc.

Safer-at-Home Advisory (Stay-At-Home updated)
Safer-at-Home Advisory (Stay-At-Home updated)