Monday, March 1, 2021

Temple Etz Chaim: 3K Family Walk Run or Ride FUNdRaiser

Temple Etz Chaim of Franklin, MA is pleased to announce our Virtual 3K Walk, Run or Ride FUNdraiser. This year, we're welcoming walkers, runners and bicyclists from near and far to join us in our social distancing 3K. All proceeds from this event will help support Temple Etz Chaim as we support our local community.

Join us Thursday, March 11th through Sunday, March 14th to get out and get in your steps. Use your iphone, fitbit, pedometer, google maps, or any other tracking device to measure your distance.  Walk, run or bike as an individual, with your family, or join a larger team remotely, and submit your results here.  
We're also encouraging participants to get on Facebook and tag us @TempleEtzChaimMA ( showing us your favorite way to get active and healthy while staying safe.

For race questions or for more info, please contact Cindy Heilweil at or Margot Rivelis at

For additional info and to register:

Temple Etz Chaim: 3K Family Walk Run or Ride FUNdRaiser
Temple Etz Chaim: 3K Family Walk Run or Ride FUNdRaiser "Use all of the tools available to #StoptheSpread" (@MassGov) tweeted on Sat, Feb 27, 2021:

"Use all of the tools available to #StoptheSpread. Keep your friends and family safe by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. #COVID19MA"

Shared from Twitter: "Use all of the tools available to #StoptheSpread" "Use all of the tools available to #StoptheSpread"

The Hill: "CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine"


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States.

The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received.

Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."

"This vaccine is also another important tool in our toolbox to equitably vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible," Walensky said in a statement.

Continue reading the article online

Have you used the Suggestion Box? | Town of Franklin MA

On the Town of Franklin home page, there are a variety of Customer Service Request links available.
  • If you find a street light out, or a pothole that should be filled, use the "Public Works work order"
  • Sign up for the Reverse 911 to get notified by the Town of an emergency in your neighborhood.
  • Or use the Comment Box to make a suggestion...
Visit to use any one of these options

Have you used the Suggestion Box? | Town of Franklin MA
Have you used the Suggestion Box? | Town of Franklin MA

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Franklin, MA: Town Council Meeting - Mar 3, 2021 - Agenda


This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon Channel 29.  This meeting may be recorded by others. 


Citizens are welcome to express their views for up to five minutes on a matter that is not on the agenda. The Council will not engage in a dialogue or comment on a matter raised during Citizen Comments. The Town Council will give remarks appropriate consideration and may ask the Town Administrator to review the matter.


a. February 17, 2021
b. February 3, 2021

None Scheduled

a. Conservation Commission - Andrew Mazzuchelli

6. HEARINGS - 7:10pm
None Scheduled

None Scheduled

a. Senior Circuit Breaker Income Tax Credit - Erin Rogers, Senior Center Director
b. Downtown Franklin MBTA Parking Lot

a. Capital Budget Subcommittee 
b. Budget Subcommittee 
c. Economic Development Subcommittee


Bylaw Amendment 21-869: Chapter 82, Municipal Service Fees Section 82-6 Schedule of Service Fees, Subsection F. Fire - Second Reading (Motion to Adopt Bylaw Amendment 21-869 - Majority Roll Call Vote)

Resolution 21-12: Cable Funds in Support of PEG Service and Programming per MGL Ch. 44, §53 F3/4 (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-12 - Majority Roll Call Vote) 

a. COVID-19 Updates



None Scheduled


  • Two-Thirds Vote: requires 6 votes
  • Majority Vote: requires majority of members present and voting

Agenda and documents released for this meeting

Franklin, MA: Town Council Meeting - Mar 3, 2021 - Agenda
Franklin, MA: Town Council Meeting - Mar 3, 2021 - Agenda

March On!

It warms me. It warms me not.

by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 02/28/2021 

March is so fickle.
Its promise – a tickle
of warmer days yet to unfold.
Yet, I remain wary
as temperatures vary
with tall mounds of snow getting old.

But, time finds a way to brighten each day
with a little more light in the end.
And the rising of hope on an ascending slope
of optimism that we transcend.

Lest we let down our guard to seek Springtime’s reward
as the Winter snows fly yet again. Ahead? Or, behind?
March should make up its mind 
about which season rules in the end.

For the coming of Spring is a time that can bring
a new lightness and joy to the heart.
Let this be the year that we be of good cheer
as the dark days of Winter depart.

In March we march on to greet April’s dawn
as our march of time cadence is led.
For time plays its arch
as we’re marching through March 
toward sunnier days just ahead.

With each vaccination we feel jubilation
to ease the emotional cost.
So let it be done
as we welcome the Sun
but, never forget those we lost.

And as always

Thank you for listening to wfprfm. And, thank you for watching.

March On! (Franklin TV photo)
March On! (Franklin TV photo)

Get this week's program guide for Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio ( online

FM #475 Working Moms Social Club - 02/08/21 (audio)

FM #475 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 475 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Kristi Morin of the Working Moms Social Club based in Franklin. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

We talk about: 

  • Kristi’s Franklin story
  • the purpose of the group
  • meeting/gathering adjustments made during COVID
  • Open for new members with a nominal annual membership fee ($25)

Links to the Working Moms Social Club web and Facebook pages are included in the show notes. The recording runs about 16 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Kristi.  Audio file =


Working Moms Social Club web page =

Facebook page = 

Email for questions, etc. = 

Article by Warren Reynolds at = 


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 or

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 #475 Working Moms Social Club - 02/08/21 (audio)
FM #475 Working Moms Social Club - 02/08/21 (audio)

New York Times: "Where Have All the Houses Gone?"

"This picture is a product of the pandemic, but also of the years leading up to it. And if half of what is happening in the for-sale market now seems straightforward — historically low interest rates and a pandemic desire for more space are driving demand — the other half is more complicated.

“The supply side is really tricky,” said Benjamin Keys, an economist at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. “Who wants to sell a house in the middle of a pandemic? That’s what I keep coming back to. Is this a time you want to open your house up to people walking through it? No, of course not.”

A majority of homeowners in America are baby boomers — a group at heightened risk from the coronavirus. If many of them have been reluctant to move out and downsize over the past year, that makes it hard for other families behind them to move in and upgrade."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

As a "baby boomer", we (my wife and I) are looking to downsize and the problem we find is that there is not an acceptable smaller option for us readily available in Franklin, or even in MA. While some of what I would like is available in the South (North, South Carolinas, etc...)  I don't want to go there. 

The article touches on this in mentioning baby boomers but doesn't get into the nature of the supply problem: What kind of inventory do we have? (Whether it is available or not is a separate piece for now). Do we have inventory that would meet the needs of the marketplace and the population now and near term?

Instead of building apartments why not serve the growing sector of the market (i.e. the aging boomers). The Town used the demographics to expand the Senior Center. How come the developers are not using those demographics?

New York Times:  "Where Have All the Houses Gone?"
New York Times:  "Where Have All the Houses Gone?"

Franklin HS Athletics: Football and Volleyball schedule for Fall 2 season

FranklinAthletics (@FHSSports) tweeted on Sat, Feb 27, 2021:

The Fall 2 schedule may be found here:  or here

"The Hockomock League will continue to allow "HOME" spectators at their Fall II games; although limited to 2 parents & siblings per athlete. All will need to scan a QR code (for contact tracing purposes) & sign in upon entering. No spectators are allowed to attend scrimmage games."

Football and Volleyball schedule for Fall 2 season
 Football and Volleyball schedule for Fall 2 season

"new Netflix series looks at the importance and legacy of an amendment that calls for equality and freedom"

"Chances are it is the most influential amendment to the US constitution that you aren’t familiar with. Given its impact, it is astonishing how little the 14th amendment is discussed in public life. Americans can’t rattle it off like the first and second amendments – but its words have fundamentally shaped the modern definition of US citizenship and the principles of equality and freedom entitled to those within the country’s borders.

Sitting at the crux of these key ideals, the 14th amendment is cited in more litigation than any other, including some of the US supreme court’s most well-known cases: Plessy v Ferguson, Brown v Board of Education, Loving v Virginia, Roe v Wade, Bush v Gore, Obergefell v Hodges. And because these noble notions are embedded in the 14th, it has the remarkable ability to generate both boundless hope (for the promises of that more perfect union aspired to in the constitution’s preamble) and crushing misery (for the failures to achieve such promises)."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Radiolab did a spin off podcast where they examined Supreme Court decisions and then all the Constitutional amendments - well worth listening to, I did learn a lot.

Radiolab's first ever spin-off series, More Perfect
Radiolab's first ever spin-off series, More Perfect

Franklin's has a series on Monday called "Towards A More Prefect Union"
Frank Falvey converses with Rep. Jeff Roy, Dr. Michael Walker-Jones and Dr. Natalia Linos. The show airs on Monday's at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Work is also underway to make a podcast version of this show available.

"without an image of the virus, the scientists could learn only so much"

"Overlooked is a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times."

"With no money to pay for college in post-World War II Scotland, 16-year-old June Almeida took an entry-level job in the histology department of a Glasgow hospital, where she learned to examine tissue under a microscope for signs of disease. It was a fortuitous move, for her and for science.

In 1966, nearly two decades later, she used a powerful electron microscope to capture an image of a mysterious pathogen — the first coronavirus known to cause human disease."

Continue reading the article about June Almeida (subscription may be required)
June Almeida in 1963 at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto. In her day she gained a reputation for “extending the range of the electron microscope to new limits.”Credit...Norman James/Toronto Star, via Getty Images
Credit...Norman James/Toronto Star, via Getty Images

Franklin Public Schools, MA: Budget Sub Committee - Mar 3

Franklin Public Schools 
Franklin School Committee - Budget Sub Committee 
March 3, 2021 4:30 PM 

  • FY22 Budget Development

Please find the agenda and links for the upcoming Budget Sub-Committee meeting posted here 

Shared from Twitter:

Franklin Public Schools, MA:  Budget Sub Committee  - Mar 3
Franklin Public Schools, MA:  Budget Sub Committee  - Mar 3

The Guardian: "AstraZeneca and Moderna’s contrasting rewards for fighting Covid hardly seem fair"

In my reporting for Franklin Matters, I like to use the line "to follow the money" and in so doing I focus on the Finance Committee, Town Council and School Committee. So this article on the profit approach of the vaccine makers caught my eye.

"Compare and contrast. AstraZeneca is currently producing COVID vaccines for no profit and still manages to get beaten up by opportunists in Brussels. Over in the US, Moderna is hailed as a national saviour while shouting from the rooftops about how its commercial prospects have been transformed by its own COVID vaccine.

Moderna’s full-year statement on Thursday was extraordinary. The company expects to generate revenues of $18.4bn (£13.1bn) year from deals it has signed to supply its vaccine, which is priced at $30–$36 a shot, so is definitely intended to produce a chunky profit margin. That revenue forecast is enormous. For comparison, AstraZeneca’s entire established portfolio – for cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory treatments and more – generated sales of $26.6bn last year.

The backstories to the vaccines are very different, of course. Moderna was a loss-making biotechnology firm that has poured billions into developing messenger RNA technology (also used in the BioNtech/Pfizer product) and a successful return on that investment was never guaranteed. AstraZeneca has merely accelerated original research done at Oxford University – and a condition of the partnership was “at cost” pricing for all the deals to date."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The Guardian: "Will I have to wear a mask after getting the COVID vaccine? The science explained"

"Public health authorities want people to keep wearing masks and social distancing, even after they receive a vaccine. This might seem counterintuitive – after all, if someone gets a vaccine, aren’t they protected from the coronavirus?

The answer is complicated: the vast majority of people who are vaccinated will be protected from Covid-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, vaccinated people may still be able to transmit the virus, even though they do not display any symptoms.

“We know now the vaccines can protect, but what we haven’t had enough time to really understand is – does it protect from spreading?” said Avery August, professor of immunology at Cornell University.

That is because the the SARS-CoV-2 virus may still colonize the respiratory tract, even as systemic immune cells protect the overall body from the disease it causes – Covid-19."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

World Beer Index 2021: What's the Price of a Beer in Your Country?

And not for something different:
Although fewer people have been able to grab a beer at the pub during this pandemic, the global desire for beer prevails. For example, sales of the Corona beer actually shot up in the past year, despite—or perhaps because of—associations with the coronavirus.

This World Beer Index from Expensivity (  ) 
compares the average price of a bottle of beer in 58 countries in a detailed map. Additionally, we show which countries spend the most on beer per capita, and just how much beer people really drink.
Continue reading the article online