Saturday, September 12, 2020

Election recap: Statewide in MA 47 percent of voters voted by mail

From the Boston Globe, an article of interest for Franklin:
"Faced with a historic number of voters, the Sept. 1 Massachusetts primary avoided the weeks-long delays that beset some New York elections. Officials said there is no apparent rash of potential fraud, as officials in Georgia are investigating. “Very positive” is how the state’s top elections officer described the experience.

It was also, in effect, a test run.

With less than eight weeks until the Nov. 3 general election, the scramble to distribute millions of vote-by-mail applications is beginning anew, and local clerks — some of whom struggled with the deluge of primary ballots — are girding for a turnout that could be double, if not more, than the record-setting 1.7 million ballots cast in the primary.

That expected flood is partially the result of the newly expanded option to vote by mail, a route nearly 813,000, or roughly 47 percent of voters, took for the Sept. 1 primary, according to data provided by state officials. And about 1.4 million people have already requested mail-in ballots for the general election, and Secretary of State William F. Galvin’s office expects that number to grow as additional mailings asking if voters want a ballot begin to go out."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Election recap: Statewide in MA 47 percent of voters voted by mail
Election recap: Statewide in MA 47 percent of voters voted by mail

In the News: studies show children can spread COVID-19, small gatherings are also sources

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

"Children who caught the coronavirus at day cares and a day camp spread it to their relatives, according to a new report that underscores that kids can bring the germ home and infect others.

Scientists already know children can spread the virus. But the study published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “definitively indicates — in a way that previous studies have struggled to do — the potential for transmission to family members,” said William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious diseases researcher.

The findings don’t mean that schools and child-care programs need to close, but it does confirm that the virus can spread within those places and then be brought home by kids. So, masks, disinfection and social distancing are needed. And people who work in such facilities have to be careful and get tested if they think they may be infected, experts said."

"Relatively small social gatherings continue to drive infections in Framingham, according to Wong.

Over and over, residents who have tested positive tell Framingham’s contact tracing team they recently got together with friends or family.

“We have not seen any one single gathering or a couple large gatherings that generated multiple cases,” Wong said. “That’s not happening at this point. But that is also telling us that there’s a lot of smaller gatherings going on.”

Over the past few weeks, younger residents have accounted for most new COVID-19 infections in Framingham. The median age of those newly diagnosed with the coronavirus between Aug. 23 and Sept. 5 was 40, according to the Framingham Health Department’s weekly data release."

Friday, September 11, 2020

Franklin's weekend - Sep 11-12

Friday, Sep 11 - Two shows with outdoor seating at THE BLACK BOX
The Peacheatersat 6:30 and 8:30 PM. 

Saturday, Sep 12 - Cub Scout Join Day
from 12-3 PM at the Franklin Historical Museum

Franklin's weekend - Sep 11-12
Franklin's weekend - Sep 11-12 

Franklin Police take positive steps to help people in a mental health crisis

Franklin Police (@franklinpolice) tweeted at 5:58 PM on Thu, Sep 10, 2020:

"Thank you to @wbz's @LouisaMoller  ( showing the positive steps that policing is taking to help people in a mental health crisis."

Direct video link (if embedded video below doesn't work)


Also a video link =

Plenty to listen to on Saturday on WFPR.FM

Saturday's schedule on WFPR, Franklin's Public Radio station. You can find it anywhere you are with your internet browser at or on the FM dial at 102.9 in the greater Franklin area.

9:00 AM Franklin Matters Radio – Steve Sherlock  (should be Easy Walks with Marjorie Turner Hollman)  Franklin and its local government, services and events 

10:00 AM Frank’s Music – Frank Falvey
Frank explores a range of music genres and artists 

11:00 AM Music to Lift the Spirit - Jim Derick & Frank Falvey
An hour of uplifting music for all

1:00 PM The Wonderful World of Wine – Mark Lenzi, Kim Simone 
All about wine, its culture, lore and finer points

2:00 PM Chapters – Jim Derick
Insightful, life-affirming stories and interviews 

3:00 PM        Franklin Matters Radio – Steve Sherlock (should be the Board of Health meeting Sep 2, 2020)  Franklin and its local government, services and events 

4:00 PM Senior Story Hour – Senior Center Scribblers Group
Original short stories presented by the authors 

5:00 PM Talkin’ the Blues – Jim Derick
Exploring the music of the great Blues tradition. 

Plenty to listen to on Saturday on WFPR.FM
Plenty to listen to on Saturday on WFPR.FM

Mask requirements - Franklin Public Schools, MA

Hello FPS!   
Please make note of our mask guidelines as posted on our Reopening Website! 

Mask requirements - Franklin Public Schools, MA
Mask requirements - Franklin Public Schools, MA

More info on the Reopening web site #staysafe  #DosandDonts

Shared from Twitter:

Franklin students feature in WBUR story on reopening schools

WBUR (@WBUR) tweeted at 5:15 AM on Thu, Sep 10, 2020:
"As students get ready for a pandemic school year, WBUR checked in with a few about how they are feeling and what they want:  
Virginia and Henry Bernstein, rising seventh- and fifth-graders in Franklin Public Schools"
Virginia and Henry Bernstein, rising seventh- and fifth-graders in Franklin Public Schools
Henry and Virginia Bernstein. (Photo Courtesy Camille Bernstein)

FM #344 Franklin Senior Center - September Updates - 9/01/20 (audio)

FM #344 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 344 in the series. 

This session shares my conversation with outgoing Senior Center Director Karen Alves and incoming Director Erin Rogers. Our conversation was conducted via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

In case you missed it along the way, Karen is retiring Sep 17. There will be a socially distanced party in the parking lot to see her off. Details are in the September newsletter.

We also review a number of the activities during September, mostly conducted virtually but some careful steps are being made to move safely to an in person where possible.

Reminder to call the Senior Center to register for an event, to get on the mailing list, or to order from the Curbside Cafe.

Audio link =


Links to the 

Senior Center page 

Newsletter sign up 

Curbside cafe menu  or call 508-613-1313


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial. 

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 #344 Franklin Senior Center - September Updates - 9/01/20 (audio)
FM #344 Franklin Senior Center - September Updates - 9/01/20 (audio)

In the News: ‘Sons’ rise in Franklin; Gov Bakers extends support for restaurants outdoor dining

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

"Although he has not served in the military, Alan Earls has felt a strong connection to the armed services since he was a kid.

“When I was a child, my dad, and pretty much every adult male I knew, was a veteran of World War I, II or the Korean War,” said Earls. “Later, of course, many contemporaries went off to Vietnam.”

It was a time when, he said, “military service by males was universal and honored.” And while not everyone directly faced peril, “everyone who served played an important role, for limited benefits and modest thanks.”

As the son of a veteran, Earls felt from an early age the importance of always remembering and honoring people — both men and women — who have served, “or simply been ‘asked’ by their country to serve.” 

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Vittorio Ettore’s restaurant, Bistro 5, was “basically 100% empty” at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday when a city official happened to stop in and suggested Ettore needed a patio.

Ettore was skeptical of the idea at first, he recalled Thursday. His Italian restaurant is at a busy intersection, and with the West Medford commuter rail station nearby, overlooks steady train and bus traffic.

“There’s a lot going on in the streets, but she really got me inspired to actually do a small patio, and I have to say, since we decided that evening, within five days, I was able to do business outside, which is kind of incredible,” Ettore said. “We went from doing roughly about under 30 people per week in June and July, which is pretty crazy, to roughly 30 to 40 people a day, so that has changed our business completely.”

Gov. Charlie Baker, Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn and other officials visited Bistro 5 on Thursday, where Baker announced a doubling of the Shared Streets and Spaces grant program from $5 million to $10 million."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Commonwealth Magazine: money flows to opposition for one ballot question, group forms to fight the second question

From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin: 

"THE NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE  industry is ponying up huge sums of money to defeat a question on the Massachusetts ballot that would give independent auto repair shops the right to access more information about the cars they are repairing.

As of August 30, car manufacturers had contributed $25 million to the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data, a ballot committee formed to defeat Question 1 on the November ballot, which would update the state’s existing “Right to Repair” law to explicitly cover telematics, which are systems that transmit information wirelessly."

"The ranked-choice voting ballot campaign has been pushing its message for months with only minimal, informal opposition.

Now, with two months left before the election, an organization is finally forming to oppose ranked-choice voting, with the earliest supporters coming from the conservative wing of Massachusetts politics."


Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Peacheaters: An Allman Brothers Band Experience - 2 shows on 9/11/20

THE BLACK BOX Fall Concert Series presents The Peacheaters! Friday, September 11 at 6:30 and 8:30 PM. 

The Peacheaters dig deep into the 40+ year catalog of Allman Brothers Band music and deliver an EXPERIENCE like no other. No 2 gigs are ever alike. The Peacheaters make these songs feel as fresh as the first time you heard them. Fueled by admiration and passion for the music of the ABB, The Peacheaters have been rocking audiences for over 15 years. 

The Boston Globe, WZLX, Boston's Classic Rock Radio, and many other media outlets have raved about the authenticity of the band's performances. From festivals to concert halls, the band's success has taken them all over the U.S.—including performances at venues such as Showcase Live, The House of Blues, Daytona's Bike Week, The Big House in Macon, GA, and B.B. Kings, NYC. 

The band's dedication to this music, and to “hitting the note” every night, has helped them build an loyal and ever-growing fan base. The “Peach” has won multiple “Best Tribute Band” awards, and shared stages with legends such as The Outlaws, Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band), Matt Abts (Gov’t Mule), The Zen Tricksters, and James Montgomery. 

Get tickets

Find out more about the band on their web page 

Or listen to this video sample of the band:


Stormwater Ad hoc Committee Recap - Sep 9, 2020 - find your impervious area


  • One of the key questions for the proposed stormwater utility fee is “What is impervious area? “ The DPW has updated one of the GIS Franklin maps with the calculation per property.
  • The new web page highlighted during this meeting is a great start. How to calculate the fee based upon your impervious area needs to be added. What credits are available also need to be added.
  • The utility fee proposal now moves to the Town Council for further discussion. There will be more info coming on this as it continues to develop for an implementation in July 2021.

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.

The Twitter hashtag can be found online #swsc0909 

  • Real time reporting underway for Stormwater ad hoc subcommittee #swsc0909
  • Follow along shortly with your own property on this map 
  • #swsc0909
  • 2 page memo mentioned with charge per unit $18.66 #swsc0909 copy of memo found after agenda page here 
  • 50% credit for property initially, if qualify for Community assistance, get full waiver of fee. Would require a bylaw change but it is not anticipated to be a problem #swsc0909 Town Admin Jamie Hellen providing updates
  • If we don't do this, liable for fines from EPA for non-compliance, already took them to court and gained remediation on timeline #swsc0909 the proposed charge is less than other Communities that have implemented a similar fee. DPW Director Cantoreggi adds points of info
  • Stormwater fee will eventually allow for shifting of some expenses from operations budget to Stormwater utility fee (similar to trash/recycling or water/sewer) #swsc0909 will allow for billing for usage across all properties commercial and residential
  • Approx $1.2m in operations budget today could move to utility over time, recognize that the fee needs to build up some to be able to pay those invoices. Wouldn't start charging until 3Q 2021 due to billing change to system to add the line #swsc0909
  • Leaf pickup has not been included in this yet as EPA has not created the credit value for leaves. It would be a capital expense (to get the trucks/equipment) to do so. #swsc0909 moved to demo portion to highlight use of map
  • A great start to helping to provide the information to explain what it is #swsc0909 
  • Would need to add how to calculate the billing unit from the impervious area. #swsc0909 would need to add the other approved surfaces i.e. to replace a blacktop driveway with some stone or other approved surface - what is the standard?
  • Motion to move forward to full town Council for review and discussion, second, passes 3-0 via roll call (Hamblen, Dellorco, Jones) #swsc0909
  • Motion to adjourn, second, passes 3-0... #swsc0909 That's all for today folks, catch you next time!

Photos from the meeting used in the Twitter stream can be found online


Stormwater Ad hoc Committee Recap - Sep 9, 2020 - find your impervious area
Stormwater Ad hoc Committee Recap - Sep 9, 2020 - find your impervious area

Franklin Cultural District Partners Meeting - Sep 14

Dear Franklin Cultural District Partners,

It is hard to believe that the summer of 2020 is now behind us. As fall approaches we would like to remind you of the upcoming FCD Partners Meeting scheduled for Monday, September 14th at 7:00 PM. We will once again be using the video conferencing platform, Zoom. On Friday we will send out the meeting agenda which will have the Zoom meeting link.

At our September 14th meeting our guest speaker will be Anne Marie Tracey.  Anne Marie is the Marketing and Communication Specialist for the Town of Franklin/Franklin Public Schools. Anne Marie will be discussing the Franklin Cultural District's website ( We will also be sharing an overview of the Massachusetts Area Planning Council, Regional Indicators Project.

We hope everyone is able to attend this meeting. If you have any questions, please reply to this email and we will do our best to assist you.

The Franklin Cultural District Committee looks forward to seeing you on Monday evening.

Best regards,

Nancy Schoen
Chair, Franklin Cultural District Committee 

Franklin Cultural District Partners Meeting  - Sep 14
Franklin Cultural District Partners Meeting  - Sep 14

Superintendent’s Report to Franklin (MA) School Committee: September 8, 2020 Meeting

School Reopening Update

First Ten Days of PD

We have had five excellent days of professional development so far. The administrators and faculty/staff alike appreciate the training on workplace safety standards and professional development on digital tools and SEL. They are most appreciative of the afternoon time to collaborate, plan, and implement new learning.

We continue with five more professional days this week, which include a focus on assessing students’ knowledge and skills upon return to school, more training on digital tools, and anti-bias education for faculty, staff, and administrators. We are working with a consultant, who built capacity among the leadership team. This will be an extension of that work with staff across the district.


Families can expect a multitude of communications to be forthcoming this week -- cohort information, schedules, and class placements will all be issued. Additionally, Anne Marie Tracey is developing a presentation for families on the numerous things that they can expect -- from appropriate mask wearing, to monitoring of symptoms, and how to be ready for remote/ hybrid instruction.

Air Quality

The Franklin Public Schools, in preparation for welcoming staff and eventually students back to school, will implement processes to increase air circulation from the outdoors. For one week prior to the start of the school year, commencing with the return of faculty and staff to campus on September 1st, the dampers will be open greater than their typical 20-35% to promote circulation throughout the buildings. HVAC settings will be adjusted to increase the flow of outdoor air daily and will be set to extend the hours of ventilation beyond the school day.

Windows and doors will be open to promote air circulation when appropriate and safe

The District proactively services all units and changes filters through a maintenance contract with Automatic Temperature Controls, Inc.. (ATC). ATC services the HVAC twice per year for preventative maintenance and as needed for repair work. Preventative maintenance occurred on all systems in the summer of 2020. This included the changing of filters, all of which are rated as appropriate for each system.

Carbon dioxide readings are automatically maintained between 200-800 parts per million. Air transfer is a minimum of 20 cubic feet per minute per individual in a classroom.

The District is beginning the project to upgrade the HVAC systems with Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI). This project will occur over the fall months with a goal of completion by the end of December. This upgrade is not a requirement, but rather is a suggestion by ASHRAE Notification of COVID Cases, and will help to promote better air quality not only for COVID but also in protecting against other viruses in the future.

All classrooms are equipped with indoor fans, which may be placed in an exhaust mode in classrooms. Air conditioning units may be used only with District approval.

Mike D’Angelo is preparing an additional statement on the status of our HVAC systems and what has been done to promote even greater air quality.

Notification of COVID Cases

The District needs to maintain student and staff confidentiality at all times. The District, however, will also weigh the community’s need to know in order to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus. The facts and specifics of each case’s circumstances will determine the nature of the communication. The greater the exposure for people in the district, the more communication and direct guidance there will be.

We are also mindful, however, that there is a stigma attached to COVID-19 and appeal to the community to be generous and kind to each other. We can not tolerate harassment based on medical status.

The COVID Handbook addendum contains additional information about partial and full closure of schools and/or the district. In these instances, the facts would support widespread communication so that individuals can monitor symptoms.

The local Health Department and Public Health Nurse will be responsible for contact tracing, although FPS will assist with these efforts.

Mandatory Influenza Vaccine

I’d like to clarify my statement from last time related to the mandatory influenza vaccine. Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, influenza vaccine will be required for all students. Documentation of immunization status should be submitted to schools within 60 days of school start. This immunization is required in all models of learning, including Remote. Vaccinating against influenza is important for several reasons. Influenza vaccine is always important to receive to reduce the risk of getting sick with influenza, reduce the severity of disease if one does get sick (including the risk of hospitalization) due to influenza, as well as preventing the spread of influenza to others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza vaccine will be especially critical to reduce the overall impact of respiratory illness on the population, protect vulnerable populations from severe illness, and decrease the overall burden on the healthcare system.

Exceptions may be granted for those for whom the vaccine is medically contraindicated. This needs to be supported by a statement from the child’s pediatrician. Exceptions may be granted for families who attest in writing that the vaccine violates sincerely held religious beliefs.

Document should be submitted to the school nurse by December 31, 2020. 

Superintendent’s Report to Franklin (MA) School Committee: September 8, 2020 Meeting
Superintendent’s Report to Franklin (MA) School Committee: September 8, 2020 Meeting

Attention Franklin: special Town Election timeline to fill a Town Council seat

Attention Franklin: There is a special Town Election scheduled to fill an empty Town Council seat.  Please see the important dates below. The last day to file nomination papers is Monday, September 21st.

Attention Franklin: special Town Election timeline to fill a Town Council seat
Attention Franklin: special Town Election timeline to fill a Town Council seat

For more info on candidate papers, check with the Town Clerk