Thursday, December 23, 2021

FHS wrestling team tops KP 39-34 on Wednesday

Via and Twitter, we share the results of the FHS winter sports action on Wednesday:

Boys Hockey = Franklin, 1 @ Catholic Memorial, 7 – Final
1:21 into the 2nd Franklin on the board D.Marchand to Shabbick to Magazu for the GOOAAL!!@cm_hockey 4 Franklin 1

Wrestling = King Philip, 34 @ Franklin, 39 – Final
Absolutely pulverizing win over KP 39-34. Pins by Carlucci, Jawanda, O’Leary, Fracassa and Parlon. Wrestler of the day is Jonathan Owen.

For other results around the Hockomcok League

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Enrollment Applications Open for the 2022-2023 School Year at the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School

The Benjamin Franklin Classical
Charter Public School
500 Financial Park
Franklin, MA 02038

December 22, 2021

The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School (BFCCPS), located in Franklin, Massachusetts, is pleased to announce that it is currently accepting applications for the upcoming 20221-2023 school year.  BFCCPS is a regional public charter school for students in Kindergarten through Grade Eight.  Founded in 1995, BFCCPS is one of the oldest and most successful charter schools in the state of Massachusetts. 

Siblings of currently enrolled students will have priority enrollment status; thereafter applicants from all 13 communities in the school's district will have an equal chance at securing a spot for their child through the annual enrollment lottery to be held on March 3, 2022.  Applicants from outside of the region (who reside within the state of Massachusetts) will be eligible for enrollment should additional spaces remain after all sibling and regional applicants have been placed.  

For the 2022-2023 school year 96 spaces will be offered for Kindergarten and students at all other grade levels will receive a waiting list number.  Offers for Grades One through Eight would be contingent upon currently enrolled students electing not to return next year. As a public school, there is no tuition to pay if an applicant receives an offer of enrollment during the upcoming lottery.

The school provides a well-rounded, rigorous academic program designed to educate the whole child providing yearlong courses in art, music, languages, technology, and physical education. The school's integrated character education, community service, and strong parent partnerships, have led to local, state and national recognition. BFCCPS alumni continue to excel during their attendance at local public high schools as well as independent high schools.  In the fall of 2019 BFCCPS moved to a brand new 72,000 square foot facility located at 500 Financial Park in Franklin. 

In lieu of our traditional in person enrollment information sessions BFCCPS is offering Enrollment Videos and will hold a virtual Question and Answer session on January 15, 2022.  All of the enrollment details, including applications can be found on the school website at Please note that the enrollment period will come to a close on February 15, 2022 at 4 PM.

If you'd like to learn more about the educational mission of the school or have enrollment related questions please contact the school's Communication Coordinator, Joanne Basile at or 508-541-3434 x104.

About the Benjamin Franklin Charter School
The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School's mission is to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children by providing students with a classical academic education coupled with sound character development and community service. Our mission is supported by four distinct, yet interconnected pillars that provide for a collaborative, rigorous education for all students. These pillars guide, direct and define the school in all it does.

Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School

Franklin Food Pantry will be closed Dec 23, 2021 through Jan 3, 2022

The Franklin Food Pantry will be closed Dec 23 through Jan 3. The bin is closed so please don't leave anything there.
    Online donations can be safely made during this period ->

Franklin Food Pantry will be closed Dec 23, 2021 through Jan 3, 2022
Franklin Food Pantry will be closed Dec 23, 2021 through Jan 3, 2022

Shared from Facebook -> 

Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve at Franklin United Methodist Church

"Join the Franklin United Methodist Church for a traditional service of Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve, December 24, at 11pm. This service will include scripture, song, and communion.

This service will occur in-person in-the-sanctuary, in-person virtually using Google Meet, and live-streamed via YouTube. All are welcome.

NOTE: All persons, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask over their mouth and nose upon entering our facility."

For more information including the remote participation links, please visit their Facebook event ->

Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve at Franklin United Methodist Church
Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve at Franklin United Methodist Church

Lifelong Learning sends Season's Greetings

Lifelong Learning sends their Season's Greetings to all

Lifelong Learning sends Season's Greetings
Lifelong Learning sends Season's Greetings

Bill To Stabilize Supply of Egg and Pork Products Signed into Law

Bill To Stabilize Supply of Egg and Pork Products Signed into Law

Following action by House and Senate lawmakers earlier this week, a bill to ensure a more secure egg and pork supply chain in the state, was signed into law Wednesday (12/22/2021). The legislation updates Massachusetts' farm animal welfare standards passed by voters in 2016 to align with other states.

"When Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot question guaranteeing animal welfare in 2016, our state had the strongest protections for farm animals in U.S. history," said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "Since then, national and industry standards have shifted towards even stronger animal welfare and consumer safety protections. With this law, Massachusetts is taking action to prevent cruelty to farm animals and ensure that our state has continued access to eggs that meet the expectations of the Commonwealth's residents. I want to thank House Speaker Mariano, for his collaboration, Senator Lewis for his steadfast focus on this issue, his fellow conferees and their staffs, and the residents of Massachusetts, including animal welfare advocates and egg-producers, for their support for this legislation."

"This law ensures that Massachusetts consumers and small businesses will have continued access to affordable egg and pork products, while also honoring the intent of the animal welfare ballot question," said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). "I want to thank Senate President Spilka, Chair Dykema and the other members of the conference committee, as well as my colleagues in the House and Senate, for the hard work that ultimately led to this agreement."

"In 2016, the advocacy of animal welfare groups across the Commonwealth and overwhelming support from voters passed Ballot Question 3 to ensure that the factory farming industry provides more humane standards for pigs, calves and egg-laying hens, representing a historic victory for animal welfare," said Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), the lead sponsor of the Senate bill. "Since then, the standard around the country for egg-laying hens has evolved, and Massachusetts is now an outlier, which could threaten our supply of eggs. Fortunately, the egg producers and animal welfare groups have come together to agree on this legislation, ensuring safe and humane conditions for egg-laying hens and affordable eggs for Massachusetts consumers. I appreciate the leadership of the Senate President and the support and guidance of my fellow conferees, Senator Rausch and Senator Tarr, in getting this bill passed."

"Together with my fellow conferees, I am pleased that we reached a comprehensive agreement that makes necessary updates to the voter-approved ballot initiative while reducing the risk of price shocks and disruptions to our food supply as pandemic impacts continue," said Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston), House Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. "I want to thank the Speaker and my colleagues for their steadfast commitment to fighting food insecurity, supporting small businesses, and continuing our leadership on animal welfare at every step of the legislative process."

An Act to upgrade hen welfare and establish uniform cage-free standards updates a 2016 law passed by the voters of Massachusetts. It would align Massachusetts' standards to that of other states by:

  • Providing detailed cage-free standards that consist of one square foot of usable floor space per hen in multi-tiered aviaries, partially-slatted cage-free housing systems or any other cage-free housing system that provides hens with unfettered access to vertical space so that hens can engage in vital natural behaviors such as perching, scratching, dust bathing and laying eggs in a nest.
  • Ensuring protections for various types of egg products. As passed in 2016, the law applied to shell eggs, but not egg products. This legislation would also cover egg products, mirroring legislation passed in other states.

The bill would also enhance market and regulatory certainty by:

  • Delaying the effective date of the new standards for pork products to August 15, 2022, to allow the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) ample time to promulgate, and the industry to comply with, robust regulations. The ballot initiative passed in 2016 required regulations to be promulgated 2 years in advance of the effective date of the act in order to provide adequate time for affected industries to comply. This legislation gives producers not only more time to comply with the new standards but also an additional opportunity to participate in the updated regulatory process.
  • Updating authority for promulgating rules and regulations to include both the Attorney General's Office (AGO) and MDAR. As passed in 2016, the law assigns to the Attorney General exclusive authority to promulgate rules and regulations as well as to enforce the law. This legislation would update the regulatory authority so that it's shared between the AGO and MDAR. Enforcement authority would remain exclusively with the AGO. Many states with similar laws include their state department of agriculture in the regulatory process.

An Act to upgrade hen welfare and establish uniform cage-free standards is endorsed by New England Brown Egg Council, The Country Hen (a major egg producer in the Commonwealth), United Egg Producers, and the Massachusetts Food Association, which notes that the language in this legislation offers a "readily available solution" to ensure retail-endorsed cage-free standards. The bill also has the support of numerous animal protection organizations, including the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Farm Sanctuary, the Humane Society of the United States, Animal Rescue League of Boston, Animal Equality, Animal Outlook, The Humane League, Harvard Law School Animal Law & Policy Program, Mercy for Animals, Compassion in World Farming, and World Animal Protection—all groups that have been working to increase welfare for farm animals for decades.

Text of An Act to upgrade hen welfare and establish uniform cage-free standards can be found at

Bill To Stabilize Supply of Egg and Pork Products Signed into Law
Bill To Stabilize Supply of Egg and Pork Products Signed into Law

Boston Globe: America is ‘closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe,’ CIA adviser says

"One of the world’s leading experts on political violence and terrorism is sounding the alarm on the state of democracy in America, warning that the country is increasingly on the path to being caught up in the throes of a second civil war.

Barbara F. Walter, a political science professor at the University of California at San Diego, has served on an advisory panel run by the Central Intelligence Agency for the past several years that aims to predict where in the world a “civil war, political violence, and instability is likely to break out,” she said in an interview with CNN on Sunday, where she discussed her new book out January, “How Civil Wars Start and How to Stop Them.”

But Walter, who has been studying civil wars and conflicts in places like Northern Ireland, Ethiopia, and Syria for the last three decades, applied international research and the metrics used to evaluate democracies in other countries to America. What she found was that the nation is “closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe,” according to a passage from the book published by the Washington Post.

“No one wants to believe that their beloved democracy is in decline, or headed toward war,” she writes in the excerpt. “If you were an analyst in a foreign country looking at events in America — the same way you’d look at events in Ukraine or the Ivory Coast or Venezuela — you would go down a checklist, assessing each of the conditions that make civil war likely. And what you would find is that the United States, a democracy founded more than two centuries ago, has entered very dangerous territory.”

Listen to Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and I riff on the need for civil discourse in our Winter Solstice episode of "Talk Franklin"

Talk Franklin - the Winter Solstice episode - 12/21/21 (audio)
Talk Franklin - the Winter Solstice episode - 12/21/21 (audio)

United against scams - "The first principle of Kwanzaa is Umoja (unity)"

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney, FTC's Consumer & Business Education

Kwanzaa, which is based on traditional African harvest festivals, is celebrated every year from December 26 to January 1. The first principle of Kwanzaa is Umoja (unity) and the importance of finding ways to stay united and working together. Pulling together to protect loved ones — against scammers, for example — is especially important this time of year.


United against scams - "The first principle of Kwanzaa is Umoja (unity)"
United against scams - "The first principle of Kwanzaa is Umoja (unity)"

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Talk Franklin - the Winter Solstice episode - 12/21/21 (audio)

FM #684 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 684 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my "Talk Franklin" conversation with Town Administrator Jamie Hellen. We had our conversation via the Zoom Conference Bridge.

This was recorded coincidentally beginning with the Winter Solstice at 11 AM on 12/21/21. Maybe the start of a new tradition.

We had a less formal agenda to talk through as we discussed the recent tragedy in Franklin, civil discourse, gratitude for what we do have, and looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities of 2022.

The recording runs about 40 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Jamie.

Audio file ->


Candlelight vigil recording

GoFundMe for Shirley Owen 

Community Preservation public hearings announced 

Rebuilding Civility in the Public Square (book mentioned by Jamie)


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 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"


Talk Franklin - the Winter Solstice episode - 12/21/21 (audio)
Talk Franklin - the Winter Solstice episode - 12/21/21 (audio)

K Carney = Player of Year; Hess = Coach of Year; Jones, Downing, O'Rourke, E Carney, and Wernig also recognized with awards for Field Hockey has posted the Field Hockey Awards for the fall 2021 season. Franklin High School was well represented by the following individuals:  

Field Hockey Player of the Year = Kaitlyn Carney

"Franklin junior Kaitlyn Carney has been selected as the 2021 Field Hockey Player of the Year. The midfielder led the league in scoring this season, helping the Panthers win a third straight Kelley-Rex division title and reach the Div. 1 state semifinal for the first time in program history.

Carney scored 37 goals and recorded 18 assists this season, finishing the regular season with nine more points than any other player. The 55 goals that she accounted for this year were more than all but two other teams scored this fall. Carney added seven points in four postseason games, scoring important goals to lead the Panthers into the semifinal against eventual champion Andover. It was the second straight season that she led the Hock in scoring.

With Carney leading the way, the Panthers scored 124 goals as a team, averaging nearly six goals per game and scoring more than double the next highest-scoring team in the league (Attleboro with 61). Carney now has 105 points in three seasons in the Franklin midfield and was selected as a league all-star for the second year in a row."

Continue reading the write up on Kaitlyn 

Franklin junior Kaitlyn Carney has been selected as the 2021 Field Hockey Player of the Year
Franklin junior Kaitlyn Carney has been selected as the 2021 Field Hockey Player of the Year


Kendall Jones – Franklin – Defense
Franklin senior Kendall Jones closed out her three-year varsity career by helping the Panthers continue their long unbeaten run in league play, win a third straight Kelley-Rex division title, and advance to the team’s first state semifinal. Jones was selected as a league all-star and picked to play in the Best of 60 Mass. State Coaches Association all-star game. As a threat at both ends of the field, Jones chipped in with eight goals and nine assists, while helping Franklin hold teams to just 14 goals in 22 games. Franklin coach Michelle Hess said, “Kendall is a very skilled and fast defensive player. Kendall’s leadership skills both on and off the field are quite impressive and a huge reason we had so much success over this past season.”

Kaitlyn Carney – Franklin – Midfield
Franklin junior midfielder Kaitlyn Carney put together an incredible individual season to help the Panthers win a third straight league title and advance to the first state semifinal in program history. With 37 goals and 18 assists this season (including seven points in the playoffs), Carney was the top scorer in the league for the second straight season. She has more than 100 points in her first three years and was selected as the Player of the Year (see above). Franklin coach Michelle Hess said, “Kaitlyn is one of the most talented athletes I have ever had the pleasure of coaching but Kaitlyn also works very hard at her skills. Kaitlyn has a drive and determination that is rather impressive, she never settles.”

Shaw Downing – Franklin – Forward
Franklin junior forward Shaw Downing was a key part of the league’s top offense. Downing scored 20 goals and had nine assists this season and was sixth in the league in scoring during the regular season, helping Franklin score 124 goals as a team, on its way to a third straight league title and the program’s first-ever state semifinal appearance. Downing was selected as an all-star by the Hockomock League coaches. Franklin coach Michelle Hess said, “Shaw can put the ball in the net once she gets it in the circle. Shaw is a fast and highly skilled forward that is aggressive to the ball and has the ability to find the net and collect rebounds off the goalie’s pads and redirect them skillfully into the goal.”

Kate O’Rourke – Franklin – Defense
Franklin senior defender Kate O’Rourke was integral to the success of the Panthers defensively this season. With O’Rourke on the left side, Franklin allowed only 14 goals in 22 games this season on its way to a third straight league title and a spot in the state semifinal for the first time. O’Rourke was selected as an all-star by Hockomock League coaches and chosen to play in the Best of 60 Senior All-Star Game by the state coaches association. Franklin coach Michelle Hess said, “Kate is a very smart and highly skilled player who relies on her speed, skill, and aggressive play to keep her opponents out of the circle. Kate is our trail on our defensive corners and makes it very difficult for teams to execute their corner plays against us.”

Emily Carney – Franklin – Midfield
Franklin freshman Emily Carney stepped right into the heart of the midfield this season and became a crucial piece of the Panthers winning a third straight league title and making a run to their first state semifinal. She scored six times and had 18 assists, as part of the league’s top offensive unit, but also helped shield the back line as part of the league’s top defensive group. In one of the most difficult positions on the field, Carney never looked out of place and showed a game sense beyond that of most freshmen. Franklin coach Michelle Hess said, “Emily’s presence on the field at center midfield was noticed immediately. Emily’s field hockey IQ and her ability to play both offensively and defensively were instrumental in the success of our team this year.”

Haley Wernig – Franklin – Forward
Franklin freshman forward Haley Wernig jumped right into the varsity team and provided a boost to the league’s top offense. In her first season, Wernig scored 16 goals and added six assists. Her 22 points were in the top 10 in the league this season and helped the Panthers win a third straight Kelley-Rex division title, extend their long league win streak, and reach the state semifinal for the first time. Wernig played on both wings and showed the speed and skill to compete with the top teams in the state. Franklin coach Michelle Hess said, “Haley has a bright future ahead of her especially because her work ethic is impressive. Haley is always coming to me for feedback and asking how she can execute her skills better, she is very reflective and a pleasure to coach.”

COACH OF THE YEAR = Michelle Hess
"Franklin’s Michelle Hess has been selected as the 2021 Field Hockey Coach of the Year. Hess led the Panthers to their third straight Kelley-Rex division title and to the program’s first-ever Div. 1 state semifinal.

“Coming into the season, it wasn’t obvious that Franklin would be the dominant team they turned out to be,” said Managing Editor Josh Perry. “Michelle fit players into the right spots and built a team that was not only a league power but a statewide one. Talent helps, but Michelle kept the Panthers focused on the goal from the start of the season and they made program history.”

Despite returning only three starters from last year and beginning the season with three freshmen in the starting lineup, the Panthers finished as the top scoring team in the league with 124 goals, which was more than double that of second-place Attleboro (61). Franklin also allowed only 14 goals in 22 games all season (and five of those goals came in the semifinal against Andover). With a goal differential of plus-110 in a competitive league, Franklin put together a historically dominant season."
Continue reading the write up on Michelle and on the other selections around the Hockomock League 

News literacy requires work on everyone's part, and that includes you

Via the News Literacy Project:

"2021 marked another year of rapidly spreading misinformation following breaking news events, from the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol to the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to the Biden presidency. Get ready for 2022 by reviewing our news literacy takeaways from the past 12 months. You’ll be prepared to recognize and debunk falsehoods, conspiracy theories and hoaxes in 2022, and know what information to trust, share and act on.

Science misinformation
No, vaccines don’t magnetize you, increase the risk of infertility, contain tracking devices, or cause cancer and HIV. But misinformation surrounding vaccines — along with other science-based topics like climate change — continued to deluge social media feeds throughout the year.

News literacy takeaway: Turn to credible, authoritative sources to confirm or debunk science-related content, such as NLP’s COVID-19 resources page or reputable institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And know that bad actors will even resort to cute cat videos as “engagement bait” to draw you to their sites and spread falsehoods."

Continue reading the article online

Checkology is one of the resources available for news literacy awareness

News literacy requires work on everyone's part
News literacy requires work on everyone's part

Trane shares tax benefit with Tri-County

Representatives of Trane Technologies (NYSE:TT), a global climate innovator in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and transport refrigeration, presented a check in the sum of $27,327.74 to Superintendent, Karen Maguire for the benefit of Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School at their Franklin, MA facility.  

Through a proven and innovative procurement and contracting process known as Performance Contracting, Trane designed and installed a comprehensive range of facility improvements at Tri-County that will provide a safe, comfortable, and efficient learning environment while substantially reducing energy consumption.

The $7M project, financed by an independent third party, and completed in 2020, included a roof replacement, new HVAC equipment and controls, and a comprehensive lighting systems upgrade. As part of the Performance Contracting process, Trane will guarantee that Tri-County will realize a reduction in energy consumption equaling $178,000/year over the 20-year term. Trane will also provide ongoing maintenance services to ensure optimal operation of project improvements for the long term.

Photo (L-R): Harry Takesian, Karen Maguire, Leo McNeil, Morgan Perras, Chris Marshall
Photo (L-R): Harry Takesian, Karen Maguire, Leo McNeil, Morgan Perras, Chris Marshall

“As a local resident and taxpayer, I am pleased to help facilitate a mechanism whereby Tri-County is able demonstrate fiscal and environmental stewardship while optimizing the learning environment for students.” said Leo McNeil of Trane.

“As a civic minded organization, Trane is pleased to share a portion of the 179D tax benefit with our customers” said Morgan Perras, of Trane.

Internal Revenue Code Sec. 179D is a popular tax incentive that provides building owners and eligible designers/builders the opportunity to claim a tax deduction for installing qualifying energy efficient systems in buildings.  Accordingly, Trane Technologies can file for this incentive for projects implemented at tax-exempt entities, such as Tri County Vocational Technical High School.

“Trane is pleased to present this share of the 179d tax benefit for this project to Tri-County”, said Chris Marshall, of Trane. The check is presented as a gift to Tri-County for their use in fulfilling their mission to provide an excellent comprehensive technical and academic education to regional high school students.

FHS girls hockey team tops KP 3-2 on Tuesday

Via, we share the results of the FHS winter sports action on Tuesday:
King Philip, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final 
– After trading goals in the first two periods, Franklin scored with just under three minutes to play to give the Panthers a league win over King Philip. Franklin jumped ahead in the first period but KP knotted the score before the buzzer. The Warriors took their first lead but this time it was Franklin who leveled the game just moments later in the second period. Molly Hurley, Lynsey Dennett, and Haley Wernig scored for Franklin while Dennett, Hurley and Dana Stott each had an assist. Izzy Brown had a standout performance in net for Franklin.

Boys Swimming = Franklin @ Bishop Feehan, 6:45
Girls Swimming = Franklin @ Bishop Feehan, 6:45
no results available at this time, once found, will share

For other results around the Hockomock League

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers

Tri-County gingerbread house made it to the quarter finals!

"Ok people this is a big round. FPD is up against the reigning Champs.
We need a ton of votes to advance....let get voting!
Franklin is the top picture!"

Pantherbook: Watch AP 3D Art Students Create Pottery in a Homemade Kiln (video)

Watch AP 3D Art Students Create Pottery in a Homemade Kiln
"AP 3D Art goes on a field trip outside! Using a special kind of clay called Raku, we were able to fire our glazed piece in a homemade kiln, something that we had been looking forward to doing since last year. 

The whole class agreed that they had a great time and thought that it was a good experience where we learned more about ceramics and each other. 

We are looking forward to hopefully doing another Raku fire in the spring as well!"

Check out a video of the experience below: