Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Franklin Artist Amy Adams: "I AM HERE - art project opens Saturday, July 31 in Natick

"Hello FAA members. I have created a community interactive display.  If you happen to be near Natick please stop over to visit this very important installation. There will be a short dedication event that will have speakers and a host to help introduce the display. 
It will be on Saturday 7/31 @11am First Congregational Church lawn. Address is : 2 E Central St, Natick. It is also their Farmer's Market day so there will plenty of venders if you decide to walk the common directly across the street."

Please read about the installation below

I AM HERE (2021)
Amy Adams (b1979)

What would you do, for a loved one who needs you? What would you say to a loved one who has transitioned?". This interactive installation asks you to sit for a moment, read messages of encouragement and explore the resources available to you.
I Am Here is a community collaboration that highlights the importance of Mental Health, love, support and treatment. 

This scenario fits with Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Eating Disorders (etc.) and reminds us how easily these can relate to substance use and loss. The overall purpose is to promote awareness /prevention, acknowledge our loss and bring healing to the community. 
I Am Here, features non-binary figures created with concrete, a supporter and a person struggling. The seated figure in need of support is wearing a shirt made of material (donated by the families in our community), these represent someone in recovery. Its core is filled with flowers to symbolize the beauty within, often missed by the exterior and what we see. Perched on the edge of the bench, a bird holds tokens (donated by the families in our community) to serve as reminders for the loved ones lost during a mental health crisis or overdose. The open bench is covered in messages, words of encouragement and hope, these were also submitted by our community to show our support for one another.
The stigma behind affliction is isolating and thus needs to be a normalized conversation as it affects people from all races. This display will offer the directly impacted resources for support, to assist in preventative measures and hopefully open important discussions. 
The display is meant to connect people and amplify that Mental Health connects us all.

For more about Amy, visit her page  https://www.paintingvenus.art/about

MA News: masks for students remains question; masks make sense in circumstances

"FOR MONTHS, there was hope that by the time children returned to school this fall, they could be vaccinated against COVID-19. But with approval of vaccines for children still months away, many public health experts believe students – particularly in elementary school – need to continue wearing masks inside school buildings. The topic is becoming a significant debate in Massachusetts, where the Baker administration has not yet imposed any statewide COVID-related precautions on schools this fall.  

“Masking in schools until we can ensure we’ve reached a critical mass of children [with vaccines] is almost a no-brainer,” said Vincent Chiang, chief medical officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, at a legislative hearing Monday. "

Continue reading the article online

"With COVID-19 cases beginning to rise again in Massachusetts, you may be wondering whether it’s still safe to go shopping, catch a movie, or do any other indoor activity without a mask.

If you’re fully vaccinated, you already have the best defense against falling ill with COVID-19, experts say. But wearing a mask could still go a long way to protect others and inhibit the spread of the virus.

Although breakthrough infections are happening, and were expected, it’s unvaccinated people who make up more than 97 percent of those hospitalized with COVID-19 across the country."

masks make sense in circumstances
masks make sense in circumstances

MassBudget: "Envisioning Equity: Federal Relief for Mass. K-12 Schools" - July 29 (webinar)

Join @MassBudget  and sponsoring organizations (including CfJJ) on July 29 for "Envisioning Equity: Federal Relief for Mass. K-12 Schools". Register through the link below.  

Register for the webinar -> http://BIT.LY/K12ARPA 

Shared from Twitter: https://twitter.com/MassBudget/status/1419720707320296399

MassBudget: "Envisioning Equity: Federal Relief for Mass. K-12 Schools" - July 29 (webinar)
MassBudget: "Envisioning Equity: Federal Relief for Mass. K-12 Schools" - July 29 (webinar)

Monday, July 26, 2021

Reminder: Franklin●TV Annual Meeting - August 28, 2021

This year our Annual Open Board Meeting will be conducted as a neighborhood block party at our 23 Hutchinson St. studios.

Join us, Saturday, August 28 at 3:00 PM.
If you plan to attend, please RSVP by August 15 to: info@franklin.tv

It’s open to all Franklin businesses and residents. We’ll meet-and-greet and enjoy refreshments starting at 3:00 PM. Come hungry and enjoy some great barbeque. You can also tour our studios, and learn about Franklin●TV and wfpr●fm. We’ll also review our progress during the past year and discuss plans for the future. At our meeting you may cast a vote for new and/or renewing board positions. This year we will vote to extend Jay Horrigan’s board position for an additional three years.

Excerpt from FCCA bylaws: (Available on our website http://franklin.tv/ftv_v12_010.htm)

Section 15. Election of Director by the Membership (a) Members shall be notified by the Clerk of the election of a director by the Membership at the Annual Meeting. Said notice shall be in accordance with the notice provisions of Section 4 of this Article IV. (b) Any eligible voting Member may be nominated for election to the position of Director by:

(i) Written notification to the Clerk no later than seven (7) days prior to Annual Meeting; or (ii) By nomination from the floor of the Annual Meeting made and seconded by no less than three (3) eligible voting members.

Our facility enables us to provide full production support for Franklin residents and groups who wish to create TV and radio programs. Thanks to our board members who contribute their time and energy to help make Franklin●TV all that a public access studio can be. 

If you would like to become involved either as a volunteer or produce your own TV or radio programs at Franklin●TV and wfpr●fm, just send an email to: info@franklin.tv with your contact information. You can also call us to discuss and explore your ideas. 508-541-4118.

Please join us at our Franklin●TV event. Again, it’s Saturday, August 28th starting at 3:00pm. We’ll have tours of our facility, some good eats, and you can meet our board and staff. Our brief open meeting begins at 4:00pm. Come meet, greet, and learn all about local TV and radio in Franklin.

See you then. 

And – as always –
Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. 
And, thank you for watching. 
Get this week's program guide for Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) online

Franklin TV studio on Hutchinson St
Franklin TV studio on Hutchinson St


Improv Everywhere: "Stand Here for Dance Party"

Even with social distancing, there are opportunities for creativity and fun! 

"We surprised random people with an unexpected 100-person dance party on the streets of NYC.
Full Story: https://improveverywhere.com/2021/07/15/stand-here-for-dance-party/
Note: Our entire cast and crew were fully vaccinated for COVID-19 

This project is made in collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York and their new exhibition New York, New Music: 1980-1986. 
Learn more here: https://www.mcny.org/exhibition/new-york-new-music"
Stand Here for Dance Party

Stand Here for Dance Party

Register O’Donnell Delivers First Half of Year 2021 Real Estate Activity Report

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported that first half (January-June 2021) real estate stats showed a major increase in residential and commercial sales, while mortgage lending numbers experienced an uptick as well. 

Register O’Donnell noted, “The recently concluded first half of the calendar year, the average Norfolk County real estate sales price, both residential and commercial, increased 17% to $968,018.79. Total real estate volume, again both residential and commercial, was $5.5 billion, a 53% increase year over year.”

Register O’Donnell further stated, “The first half of the calendar year figures also show an overall 32% increase in the number of properties sold countywide from 7,502 to 9,889 for the same quarter of 2020.  This is a strong growth from last year.”

For the first half of 2021, the number of land documents recorded, (such as deeds, mortgages, Homesteads, mortgage discharges, etc.) was 103,023, a 37% gain from the previous year. Register O’Donnell noted, “This robust figure tells us there is a healthy real estate market.  I also greatly appreciate the efforts of the dedicated Registry of Deeds staff to process this document volume.”

One more piece of good news was the 26,042 mortgages recorded at the Registry during the first half of the calendar year 2021 compared to 19,019 for the same time period in 2020.  This is a thirty-seven percent (37%) increase in the first half of 2021 over the same period in 2020. Total mortgage borrowing was $12.3 billion for the first half of the year compared to $8.9 billion during the first half of 2020. “With the reduction in interest rates, consumers seem to be more comfortable borrowing money,” stated the Register.

Norfolk County homeowners continued to benefit from the Homestead Act. A total of 6,425 Homesteads were recorded during the first half of the calendar year, a 29% increase year over year. “The Homestead law provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge Norfolk County residents to consider this important consumer protection tool,” noted O’Donnell.

Foreclosure activity in Norfolk County continued to show signs of improvement. A total of 22 foreclosure deeds were recorded versus 69 filed during the first half of 2020. In addition, there was a significant 59% drop in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage recordings, the first step in the foreclosure process.

O’Donnell stated, “While the eastern Massachusetts economy remains on a solid footing, there are still those in Norfolk County experiencing economic hardship, in many cases through no fault of their own. The Registry continues to work with Quincy Community Action Programs, (617-479-8181 x376), and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, (508-587-0950) to help homeowners who have received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage document. A third option is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400.”

Register O’Donnell concluded, “A continuing strong economy in eastern Massachusetts and the possibility of further stable real estate market should bode well for the overall real estate market going forward.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds and Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.

Register O’Donnell Delivers First Half of Year 2021 Real Estate Activity Report
Register O’Donnell Delivers First Half of Year 2021 Real Estate Activity Report

Reminder: Trivia Extravaganza - Aug 1

On August 1, 2021, the public is invited to join the Franklin Odd Fellows for an afternoon of Trivia, fun and good cheer from 2 to 4:30 PM at the Bellingham Sportsman Club at 360 Lake St., Bellingham, MA 02019.

The event will consist of teams of up to ten players with a registration cost of just $10 per person and $15 at the door.  Team pre-registration and pre-payment is strongly encouraged.

After a long and difficult year in 2020 where four Odd Fellows fundraising events were canceled due to Covid-19, William F. Ray Lodge #71 has remained active and continues with the renovation process of the building and with indoor meetings and cookout gatherings in their quaint pine grove back yard.  

This will be our first social event for this year that will help us to continue the longstanding tradition of giving back to our local community - and have a good time while doing it!  The Bellingham Sportsman Club has worked closely with the Bellingham Board of Health and is now following restaurant guidelines for holding public events.  

Get your team of trivia masters together and register today.  Entries at the door will be integrated into whatever teams have space remaining at their tables.  There will be a cash bar available during the event.

Register and prepay:    http://www.franklinmassoddfellows.org/trivia2021/

Download the flyer as a reminder ->    https://drive.google.com/file/d/133QIpuopY5ohYYMvs3X5TXV-jyrOQUcM/view?usp=sharing  

Franklin Odd Fellows: Trivia Extravaganza - Aug 1
Franklin Odd Fellows: Trivia Extravaganza - Aug 1

Watch "Help us Grow Healthy Futures!" on YouTube

"Summer is a particularly difficult time for families facing hunger, since kids, teens, and even college students are not receiving regular school meals. 

Growing Healthy Futures: Sponsored by MathWorks will benefit all of GBFB’s summer children and family hunger relief initiatives, ensuring students have access to enough food during the summer months. 

MathWorks will generously match all gifts (through 9/30/21), dollar-for-dollar, up to ONE MILLION DOLLARS to multiply our impact! Our collective efforts will sustain and bolster the GBFB network and allow communities most impacted by the pandemic to re-emerge stronger."

Visit Greater Boston to donate ->  https://www.gbfb.org/
Or visit Franklin Food Pantry to donate -> https://www.franklinfoodpantry.org/

Boston Globe: "Would you fall prey to authoritarianism? Take the test."

"Do you have a susceptibility to authoritarianism that deeply influences your viewpoint and possibly your voting behavior?

This is your chance to find out, on the privacy of your own laptop, cell phone, or iPad, with results for you alone to see. Simply by clicking your level of agreement or disagreement with 20 statements, you can learn where you stand in comparison with other Americans.

The Boston Globe’s online authoritarianism exam measures your inclination toward authoritarianism using a scale developed by Robert Altemeyer, a retired professor of psychology who has spent decades studying, researching, and writing about authoritarianism.

Do you dare? That is, do you want to know?"
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - July 27, 2021

Franklin School Committee
July 27, 2021 = 7:00 PM
Municipal Building – Council Chambers

Call to Order 
Pledge of Allegiance 
Moment of Silence

I. Routine Business
A. Review of Agenda
B. Citizen’s Comments
In the spirit of open communication, “the Committee will hold a public participation segment (also called Citizen’s Comments) about matters not related to an agenda item at the beginning of each regular School Committee meeting. The Committee will listen to, but not respond to any comment made…. A Committee member may add an agenda item to a future meeting as a result of a citizen comment…. The Committee will hear public comments related to an agenda item when the Chair deems appropriate during the Committee meeting. Topics for discussion during the meeting must be limited to those items listed on the Committee meeting agenda for that evening…. ” - from Policy BEDH

C. FHS Student Representative Comments
D. Superintendent’s Report

II. Guests/Presentations
A. none

III. Discussion/Action Items
A. Policy - 2nd Reading / Adoption
I recommend adoption of policy JRAA-R Student Admission / Residency as discussed.

IV. Discussion Only Items
A. none

V. Information Matters
A. School Committee Sub-Committee Reports (e.g. Ad Hoc Supt. Evaluation, Budget, Community Relations/Public Schools Advocacy, Policy, Transportation)
B. School Committee Liaison Reports (e.g. Joint PCC, Substance Abuse Task Force, School Wellness Advisory Council)

VI. New Business
A. To discuss any future agenda items

VII. Consent Agenda
A. Approval of Minutes
I recommend approval of the minutes from your June 22, 2021 School Committee Meeting as detailed.
B. Music Gift
I recommend acceptance of two checks totaling $1,221.54 from Music Parents for in-house enrichment for the Music Department as detailed.
C. Athletic’s Gift
I recommend acceptance of a check for $500.00 from the Special Olympics-MA for in-house enrichment for the Athletics Department as detailed.

VIII. Payment of Bills Dr. Bergen

IX. Payroll Atty. Pond-Pfeffer

X. Adjournment 

Meeting folder

Agenda document 

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - July 27, 2021
Franklin, MA: School Committee - Agenda - July 27, 2021

Franklin, MA: School Committee Workshop - July 27, 2021

Franklin School Committee
July 27, 2021 = 4:00 P.M.
Municipal Building – Training Room

Call to Order Dr. Bergen

1. Workshop
a. Update from the Superintendent
b. Superintendent’s Evaluation Evidence
c. Superintendent’s Evaluation Process and Timeline
d. Discuss School Committee’s Goals
e. School Committee Presentations 2021-2022
2. Adjournment

Franklin, MA: School Committee Workshop - July 27, 2021
Franklin, MA: School Committee Workshop - July 27, 2021

We Are Convened - In Order to Form a More Perfect Union

by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director   07/25/2021

Zoom is the new normal for our weekly Radio Roundtable, More Perfect Union.

The good news – it works remarkably well, enabling the four of us to find an hour in our full calendars to gather and open the floor to vibrant discussions on all manner of issues. We recorded this episode about election reform on Friday morning.

Some weeks might begin with, “Not sure what I can bring to this week’s discussion.” Then we start recording and the conversation flows. Jeff Roy, Dr. Natalia Linos and Dr. Michael Walker-Jones all begin to spark off each other, and I (upper right) am happy to draft in the wake of their brilliant insights. Next thing we know – another easy hour has rolled by, and we are all just a bit smarter for the discussion.

You can get a little smarter along with us. Search for wfpr●fm’s ‘More Perfect Union’ wherever you get your podcasts.
And –  as always –
Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. 
And, thank you for watching. 
Get this week's program guide for Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) online http://franklin.tv/programguide.pdf  or for archive purposes

More Perfect Union can be found on Google Podcast (among others)

We Are Convened - In Order to Form a More Perfect Union
We Are Convened - In Order to Form a More Perfect Union

FM #585 - Town Council Quarterbacking - 07/22/21 (audio)

FM #585 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 585 in the series. 

This shares my conversation with Town Council Chair Tom Mercer. This is one of a series of conversations meant to provide a recap of the prior Council meeting. Akin to one of the many sports post-game analysis broadcasts we are familiar with in New England,  this would be a discussion focused on the Franklin Town Council meeting: 

  • ok, what just happened? 

  • What does it mean for Franklin residents and taxpayers?

We cover the following key topics


a. Retirement: Patti Wyllie, Treasurer-Collector's Department 

b. Retirement: Tommy Gundstrom, DPW 

c. Recognition: Ndoumbe Ndoye, Franklin High School, Commonwealth Heroines Award

Acknowledged – Chrissy Welton relocating to FL, hiring to backfill

Transition planning


Dean College all alcohol license

Right of first refusal for Maple Hill, first use of CPA funds

Town Administrator contract minor modifications and extension

The show notes include links to the meeting agenda and associated documents.

Our conversation runs about 28 minutes, so let’s listen in to my quarterbacking session with Tom Mercer.

Audio file -> https://player.captivate.fm/episode/54ea70a2-5181-4415-92f9-81216f7b4319


Agenda doc (including connection info) ->  


Agenda folder -> https://www.franklinma.gov/town-council/agenda/july-21-town-council-agenda 

My notes from the meeting -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/07/recap-town-council-approves-dean.html 

Town Council audio recording -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/07/franklin-ma-town-council-meeting-audio.html 


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) 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 Franklinmatters.org/  or www.franklin.news 

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 #585 - Town Council Quarterbacking - 07/22/21 (audio)
FM #585 - Town Council Quarterbacking - 07/22/21 (audio)

Franklin, MA: School Committee - Policy Subcommittee Meeting - July 28, 2021

Policy Sub Committee Meeting

Municipal Building - Council Chambers (Virtual Link in Agenda)

Wednesday, 7/28/2021 
TIME: 6:00 - 7:30 pm
I. Electronic Distribution of Approved Policies
1. JFAB - Student Moving Procedures
2. JFABE - Educational Opportunities for Military Children
3. JFABF - Educational Opportunities for Children in Foster Care
4. JFAA-R - School Admission/Residency (pending SC adoption 7/13/21)
5. Policy Distribution Folder
II. Discussion of Policies sent to School Committee
A. none
III. Policy Revisions & New Policies - New Discussion Item
A. COVID-related policies for return to school 2021-2022
B. Review of Policy EEA - Student Transportation Policy and Eligibility
C. Review of Policy JFAA - New Resident Procedures
D. Continued review of Policy Section G
Policy Subcommittee Meeting - July 28, 2021
Policy Subcommittee Meeting - July 28, 2021

SAFE Coalition is hiring

The SAFE Coalition is looking to hire a full time community outreach coordinator. 

SAFE Coalition is hiring
SAFE Coalition is hiring