Providing accurate and timely information about what matters in Franklin, MA since 2007. * Working in collaboration with Franklin TV and Radio (wfpr.fm) since October 2019 *
Monday, August 16, 2021
Franklin Harvest Festival Sponsorships Needed
Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre also on "For The People Act"
The former guy lost the 2020 election. Sadly, his absurd lies about his loss have spawned an attack on voting rights across the country that threatens the integrity of our democracy. No matter what your personal political beliefs are, we citizens must act now to preserve the American experiment.
Trump is a diminished figure. Nevertheless, his multiple, fantastical lies about the election have been used to justify grotesque voter suppression bills in many state legislatures. These bills do not address 'policy' questions or make good faith efforts to ensure election integrity. They are blatant attempts to intimidate the kind of voter Republicans don't like. For example, in Georgia and Florida, it is now illegal to give food or drink to people forced to stand in hours-long lines waiting to vote. (This begs the question: Why are people forced to stand in line for hours?)
We are moving to "Jim Crow, Esq." in the sophistication and reach of these efforts. The intent is clear--make it harder for those who may oppose GOP policies to cast a ballot. They are intended to guaranty the dominance of a single political party in the currently red states, and weaken other voices in the rest of the country. But this is not 'just' an issue for certain minorities. These laws will impact everyone in the country, and everyone should be alarmed.
The effects of these proposed new laws are far reaching. If these voter suppression bills had been in place in November of 2020, the GOP would have manipulated the results and the now former guy would still be president. If the new batch of bills is left unchallenged now, the integrity of the 2022 and 2024 elections will be compromised. Remember, the Members of Congress elected in 2022 will vote to certify the winner of the 2024 Presidential election. Based on the performance of the GOP in (not) certifying the 2020 election on the day of the Insurrection on January 6, 2021, we can expect a coup-like power play in 2024.
The good news is that a path back to sanity exists. The US House has passed a bill called the "For The People Act." It set a nationwide floor for voting rights, and would reverse most of the egregious voter suppression bills in consideration in state legislatures. The bill is now before the Senate, but the filibuster rule is being used to prevent passage.
The filibuster rule was adopted early in our history and infrequently used-except to block civil rights legislation. It is anti-democratic, with a small "d." The filibuster requires a supermajority of 60 votes in order to pass legislation. Unfortunately, in recent years it has been weaponized by the GOP to block all action in the Senate. The important word is 'rule.' The Senate sets its own rules of procedure and can change them. The filibuster is a self-imposed rule. It is not in the Constitution. The Senate can simply vote to change that rule and allow a vote on the For The People Act.
Time is of the essence. If the bill does not pass this summer, there will not be enough time to implement its protective measures before the 2022 election. What can be done to get the For the People Act through the Senate? There are many ways to help, but the simplest is to call your US Senator. Here in Massachusetts, both Senators Warren and Markey are outspoken in support of the bill. They need to know that you support passing the bill and that you encourage them to do whatever it takes to get it passed. It is easy to reach the Senators. A brief phone call to 202-224-3121 will suffice. Simply leave a message saying "My name is ___ and I live in Franklin. Please do everything you can to abolish the filibuster and pass the For the People Act. I think Joe Biden should speak forcefully. The Senate should cancel its August recess. The Senate must pass these bills."
Time is short. The action is easy. Your democracy is at stake. Please act.
Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Police Department
I’m proud to state the men and women of the Franklin Police Department displayed tremendous fortitude, dedication and professionalism throughout this ordeal. Remember how little was known about COVID-19 in late March and while most were spending time at home at the direction of contagious disease professionals, your police department personnel never stopped working.
Even with all the challenges the department needed to deal with, we continued to work diligently to accomplish the goals we set for FY20. Many of our previous and current initiatives are familiar and have been discussed in past annual reports as they are multi-year projects due to the complexity involved in their implementation.
In July, 2019, the department implemented a new schedule for the Operations Division consisting of 4 days on / 4 days off - 10 hour shifts. This transition was undertaken to reduce existing operating expenses so the funds could be used to increase sworn officer personnel.
In January, 2018, the FPD in collaboration with the Medway Police Department applied for and was subsequently granted a Jail-Diversion Program (JDP) grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Law enforcement based jail diversion programs seek to redirect individuals with behavioral health disorders from the criminal justice system into treatment when appropriate and safe to do so at the point prior to arrest. In addition these programs seek to enhance public safety by identifying strategies that can be safe and effective in handling acute situations in which police are called regarding a person who is in an emotional crisis.
The opioid epidemic and drug overdoses continue to impact communities in the United States and Franklin. The Department responded to 23 reported overdose incidents during FY20, two (2) of which were fatal. Public Safety personnel administered Narcan at 13 of the incidents. In FY19 there were 44 overdose incidents, three (3) of which were fatal. The FPD continues to collaborate with our federal, state, local and private partners (SAFE Coalition) in our efforts to provide those suffering from substance use disorders with resources, referrals, assistance and support in their efforts to get well.
In 2019 all Norfolk County municipal law enforcement agencies and the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office joined in collaboration to form the Norfolk County Outreach Program (NCOP). This multi-jurisdictional effort includes the real-time reporting of overdoses and the identification of at-risk individuals throughout the county through the use of a shared data management system. Follow-up visits by law enforcement officers and clinicians are conducted within 48 hours of the event to provide individuals with substance use disorder and/or their loved ones with appropriate resource information and access to treatment.
In early 2019 the department joined the The Norfolk County Police Anti-Crime Task Force, or NORPAC. The Task Force was originally established to facilitate a multi- agency approach to drug enforcement throughout the northern region of Norfolk County and includes 16 municipal police agencies. In 1996, its mission was expanded to encompass organized crime, serial crime, violent crime, crimes committed by traveling criminals, and fugitive apprehension, but Task Force detectives spend the vast majority of their time conducting drug investigations. Franklin detectives now have an exceptional resource available when investigating narcotics related crime.
In September, 2019, the department initiated a Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Unit within the Operations Division. Using a proven problem-solving method known as SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment), POP officers would identify or be assigned to investigate repetitive calls for service and develop strategies and solutions to reduce/eliminate such problems and behaviors. The POP philosophy is to “think outside the box” in an effort to reduce crime, identify issues at their roots, and improve the quality of life of the residents affected by the problem. The unit has worked on a number of issues over the past year and has had great success solving problems.
The FPD continues to pursue certification and eventual accreditation through the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission. Accreditation/certification is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession. These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations and technical support activities. They cover areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation, and holding facilities. The program not only sets standards for the law enforcement profession, but also for the delivery of police services to citizens. Members of the Accreditation Team have been working very hard and although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a delay, we expect to conclude a mock assessment in November, 2020 and obtain certification in February, 2021.
|Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Police Department|
Register O’Donnell Reports Continued Increases in Real Estate Activity in Norfolk County
Register O’Donnell stated, “The Norfolk County real estate market continues to be steady. There were 16,623 documents recorded at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds which is a 1% increase over last year’s July document volume. There were 2,061 deeds recorded out of this document volume, representing a 16% increase over July of last year. Average sale price, again including both residential and commercial sales, increased 21% over 2020 to $1,013,839.90.
Even though there was a considerable increase to the monies for mortgages the number of mortgages recorded decreased over the previous year’s numbers. There were 3,443 mortgages recorded during the month which is an 17% decrease over 2020. Total amount of money borrowed for mortgages county wide was well over 2 billon, a 61% increase compared to July 2020. “While some of the mortgages are due to purchases and sales of real estate, there are a large number of individuals and families taking advantage off historically low interest rates by refinancing existing mortgages. Individuals have different motivations to refinance. Some refinance to reduce their monthly payments, others to take some years off their debt while still others are using the money to pay for home improvements and other capital expenditures” said Register O’Donnell.
Register O’Donnell went on to state, “There has been a strong demand for housing, single family housing particular, coupled with a limited supply of available housing stock and historically low interest rates which could be motivating buyers to do what is necessary to secure housing. The growth in numbers seen in 2020 continues into 2021.”
A moratorium on foreclosures in place during the pandemic in 2020 was lifted on October 17, 2020. This moratorium was in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has been closely watching the foreclosure market. O’Donnell stated, “During July of 2021 there were 5 foreclosure deeds recorded as a result of foreclosure processes taking place in Norfolk County. Additionally, there were 5 Notices to Foreclosure Mortgages, the first step in the foreclosure process, recorded here in Norfolk County. A foreclosure recording is very impactful on those being foreclosed on. July of 2020 there were no Notices to Foreclosure Mortgages and 2 foreclosure Deeds. Though it is great to see that the Foreclosure deed numbers have decreased, it is troubling to see the Notices of Foreclosure have increased so much. We will continue to monitor these numbers.”
Additionally, for the past several years, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has partnered with Quincy Community Action Programs, 617-479-8181 x376, and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, 508-587-0950 to help anyone facing challenges paying their mortgage. Another option for homeowners is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400. Register O’Donnell stated, “If you are having difficulty paying your monthly mortgage, please consider contacting one of these non-profit agencies for help and guidance.”
Homestead recordings by owners of homes and condominiums continue to increase this year at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds in July. There was a 7% increase in homestead recordings in July 2021 compared to July 2020. “A Homestead,” noted O’Donnell, “provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. It is great to see folks protecting the biggest asset most of us have, our homes. I would urge anyone who has not availed themselves of this important consumer protection tool to consider doing so. Please visit the Registry website at www.norfolkdeeds.org to get more information on homestead protection.”
Register O’Donnell concluded, “Available real estate inventory continues to be a constant source of concern in Norfolk County. It’s especially been a problem for first-time homebuyers attempting to crack the market. However, there is a silver lining in the July real estate statistics and that is based on the optimistic lending numbers that we’ve seen. These figures are very encouraging and tell us reduced interest rates and a robust eastern Massachusetts economy are having a positive effect on the Norfolk County region. The Registry of Deeds was operational every work day during the pandemic. The Registry of Deeds continues to be open for business, however that is being evaluated as the COVID-19 developments unfold. The drop-off box located outside the main entrance of the Registry Building for the time being will continue to be available for use by those members of the public who may not be comfortable in entering the Registry of Deeds Building. Land documents are being recorded electronically for many of our institutional users. We are also receiving documents in person, via regular mail, Federal Express and from those placed in our drop-off box located just outside our main entrance at 649 High Street, Dedham, MA.”
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 email@example.com
Iceland's short story: vaccines work
"Vaccine opponents have gleefully pointed to Iceland as proof that the shots are a “failure.” But contrary to online misinformation and conspiratorial social media posts, infectious-disease experts say Iceland’s outbreak actually illustrates how effective the vaccines are at preventing the virus’s most severe impacts.Many of the country’s recent infections have occurred among vaccinated people, but they’ve been overwhelmingly mild. So even as new cases multiplied, Iceland’s rates of covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths have remained low. Of the 1,300 people currently infected, just 2 percent are in the hospital. The country hasn’t recorded a virus death since late May."
|Iceland Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir. (Michael Sohn/AP)|
wfpr.fm: A Priest A Rabbi and A Minister - 006 - December 2020
"Jay Horrigan and Dr. Pandora Carlucci join Rev. Cherry, Priest McAdams and Rabbi Alpert to discuss faith in their own congregations and how listeners can discover more opportunities to practice faith in their own lives."
Direct ink -> https://player.captivate.fm/episode/c25496ff-369a-4b6f-9248-051fa5506f2b
|wfpr.fm: A Priest A Rabbi and A Minister - 006 - December 2020|
MIAA - The Hub - week 2 - Self Awareness (video series)
Week 2 at The HUB: "Self Awareness"Owning your Own Story> shares how to develop an understanding of your personal story, what makes you uniquely different & how that story builds a stepping stone to your future #MIAA http://ow.ly/NPEN50FxAcD
|MIAA - The Hub - week 2 - Self Awareness (video series)|
Sunday, August 15, 2021
Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - August 18, 2021
1. ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHAIR
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.
Chair to identify Council Members participating remotely
2. CITIZEN COMMENTS
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.
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Proclamation/Recognition: Dale Kurtz - Retirement, Veterans Service Officer
Recognition: Bristol Savings Bank - Donation to the Fire Department
Recognition: Fourth of July Committee - Joe Carmignani & Paul Kortick
6. HEARINGS - 7:10pm
Zoning Bylaw Amendment 21-874: Amendment to Ch.185 Section 21 Parking, Loading, and Driveway Requirements (to be continued)
7. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS
99 Restaurants of Boston, LLC d/b/a 99 Restaurant Pub #30130, Located at 847 West Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038, Change of Manager
9. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS
- Capital Budget Subcommittee
- Budget Subcommittee
- Economic Development Subcommittee
10. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
10a. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
Resolution 21-46: Gift Acceptance, Fire Department, $25,000 - Bristol County Savings Bank (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-46 - Majority Vote)
10b. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
Resolution 21-47: Gift Acceptance, Fire Department $5,000 and Police Department $5,000 - Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-47 - Majority Vote)
10c. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
Resolution 21-48: Gift Acceptance, Police Department $10, Recreation Department $250, Veterans Department $200 (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-48 - Majority Vote)
10d. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
Resolution 21-49: Acceptance of Access Easement Over Property Located at 340 East Central Street (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-49 - Majority Vote)
10e. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
Bylaw Amendment 21-875: Chapter 82, Trash and Recycling Fee Increase - First Reading (Motion to move Bylaw Amendment 21-875 to a Second Reading - Majority Vote)
11. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT
12. FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
13. COUNCIL COMMENTS
14. EXECUTIVE SESSION
- Two-Thirds Vote: requires 6 votes
- Majority Vote: requires majority of members present and voting
Public comment on qualified immunity requested - hearing on Friday, Aug 20
The Special Commission on Qualified Immunity will host a virtual public comment meeting on Friday, August 20, at 11 a.m. to give members of the public an opportunity to share their views on qualified immunity and its impact on the administration of justice in the Commonwealth. This will provide everyone an opportunity to share their perspectives with the Commission as it works its way through the various provisions of the charge from the reform legislation passed last year.
The public hearing will be livestreamed on the Commonwealth’s website at https://malegislature.gov/. To register to testify, individuals must provide contact information on this Form (https://forms.gle/qujupLFGAKA81jNW7) at by 5:00 p.m. on August 19, 2021. Written testimony may be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Qualified Immunity Commission, 24 Beacon Street, Room 136, Boston, Massachusetts 02133.
The legal doctrine of qualified immunity is a complex one and legal scholars do not all agree on its application, which is why Rep. Roy filed an amendment (#204) (link below) that created the special legislative commission to study the origins and interpretation of qualified immunity. The precise language that was adopted can be found by clicking here (link below).
Over the past few months, the Commission has heard from academic experts, studied the impacts of Chapter 253 of the Acts of 2020 (commonly referred to as the “Police Reform Law”) on the doctrine, and reviewed recent legislation passed in other states and jurisdictions relative to qualified immunity.
To learn more about the members of the Commission, review documents discussed by the commission and read the charge please visit its website at https://qicommissionma.com/.
Language adopted -> https://malegislature.gov/Bills/GetAmendmentContent/191/H4860/C/House/Preview
|Public comment on qualified immunity requested - hearing on Friday, Aug 20|
Ben Franklin's bitter regret that he didn't immunize his 4-year-old son against smallpox
"Five weeks had passed since the death of Benjamin Franklin’s son, and rumors were swirling. Four-year-old Francis “Franky” Franklin had died after being inoculated for smallpox, the rumor went, and now his pro-inoculation father was trying to hide it.The gossip reached such a point that on Dec. 30, 1736, the grieving father, then 30, confronted it in the pages of his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette.“Inasmuch as some People are, by that [rumor] ... deter’d from having that Operation perform’d on their Children,” he wrote, “I do hereby sincerely declare, that he was not inoculated, but receiv’d the Distemper in the common Way of Infection.”It must have been hard to admit — Franklin had long advocated inoculation as a “safe and beneficial practice” — that his own son had gone unprotected."
Town of Franklin, MA: Ice Cream Social and Vaccine Clinic - Aug 25
|Vaccine Clinic - Aug 25|
Join us Wednesday, August 25th, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, in the Davis Thayer Parking Lot for an Ice Cream Social and COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic! https://t.co/Zj1zWEzduQ
|Ice Cream Social and Vaccine Clinic - Aug 25|
Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Planning Board
In FY2020, the Planning Board reviewed and issued decisions for several projects throughout the year. Some of the major projects were located on Grove Street. At 186 Grove St, a new business re-located to the site. At 176 Grove St, the Planning Board approved a 150,000 sq/ft warehouse for product distribution. Also at 162 Grove St and 164 Grove, the Planning Board received applications for Retail Marijuana. A Marijuana Cultivation site was approved at 160 Grove Street. All sites included associated paved access drive, landscaping, lighting, utilities and stormwater infrastructure.
The Planning Board reviewed and approved a 35,000 sq/ft Marijuana Cultivation building at 105 Constitution Blvd for the use of growing and processing of non-medical marijuana.
The Planning Board received a submittal for a 59-single family subdivision located at the end of Bridle Path and Kimberlee Lane. There was also approved a large scale solar farm proposed off of Maple Street in Bellingham, next to MapleGate Country Club.
In March of 2020, we found ourselves with the a new challenge, COVID-19. The Planning Board delayed public hearings for 6 weeks, to allow time to prepare for the remote Public Hearings. Once the Planning Board began remote hearings, using a Zoom platform, the Board added several additional meetings dates to accommodate the applicants. The Planning Board has continued holding meetings remotely throughout this pandemic. The Planning Board accepted six (6) Form H - Certificate of Completions. Acceptance of a Form H indicates all work has been completed according to Site Plans or Subdivision Plans previously approved by the Planning Board. The Planning Board also received (10) ten Special Permit applications including Marijuana Cultivation, and Retail Marijuana, as well as several multi-family developments.
The table below is a summary of Planning Board Activity during the 2020 Fiscal Year.
The Planning Board held public hearings on several proposed Zoning Bylaw changes including changing where solar farms can be built and updating the Water Resource map. The Planning Board has also reviewed and recommended several zoning map amendments. The Planning Board is currently reviewing zoning districts all over Town and cleaning up the zoning map, to ensure that parcels have one zoning district. The Board continues to help property owners make the desired changes and improvements to their properties while fostering responsible growth and development in the Town of Franklin.
The Planning Board typically meets twice a month on Mondays at 7:00 PM in the Municipal Building. All Board meetings are open to the public, and are televised via Community Cable Access.
Planning Board Membership
Below is a list of current Planning Board members:
Anthony Padula, Chairman
Joseph Halligan, Vice Chairman
William David, Clerk
|Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Planning Board|
wfpr.fm: More Perfect Union - 028 - Biden & The Vaccine; What Does It Mean
"In this episode, the group talks about the Biden administration's efforts to roll out the vaccine and mitigate the virus in a timely fashion, how virus misinformation hurts these efforts, and the problems still at play with the coronavirus."Direct link -> https://player.captivate.fm/episode/01b9e9b6-7ff5-43d8-b97a-589856b20e77
|wfpr.fm: More Perfect Union - 028 - Biden & The Vaccine; What Does It Mean|