Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin and Ben in Franklin

Martin Luther King Day today and a holiday for most. School is out here in Franklin and elsewhere. 

Benjamin Franklin's birthday was celebrated with a party at the Historical Museum on Sunday. A good crowd gathered to hear Vera Meyer's play the glass harmonica, one of Ben's many inventions.

The Town Council meets on Wednesday. Among the items on the agenda:
1 - Treasurer/Collector, Jim Dacey apparently will talk about a section of the Home Rule process
2 - DPW Director, Brutus Cantoreggi will provide an update on the DPW snow plowing process.

In the action items, one key piece is the first part of the capital budget is scheduled for approval.

TOTAL REQUESTED:   $ 1,598,000
PURPOSE:  To transfer/appropriate funds for the 2013 Capital Improvement Plan:

Dept                          Type                             Amount
Fire                          Equipment                       $215,000
Police                       Equipment                       $  92,000
Police                       Vehicles                           $  71,000
Town Technology     Equipment                        $  97,500
School                      Vehicles                           $  63,000
School                      Technology                      $233,000
DPW                        Vehicles & Equipment      $193,500
DPW                    Street/Sidewalk/Drainage     $500,000
Facilities – School      Equipment                       $133,000

If you missed anything from the past week, these links can help you catch up!

Jan 20

Jan 19

Jan 18

Jan 17

Jan 16

Jan 15

Jan 14

Monday, January 14, 2013

New England winter weather changes

Chilson Beach in winter
 This week the snow is gone, the ice is melting.

Ice fishing on Beaver Pond
Last week, the snow still provided a cover and ice fishing at Beaver Pond was a viable activity.

As many of you may recall, the Parmenter School Tour was scheduled for Thursday Jan 10th. Prior school tours have had minimal attendance by the general public. As we approach this weeks tour, I checked the school websites, newsletters, etc. and offered the following to the School Committee and Central Office.
  • The Parmenter PCC has no notification on its webpage or weekly update.
  • The Parmenter School newsletter has no notification of this event
  • The Parmenter School sign has no mention of the event.
  • The School Committee blog last update was for the overall tour schedule as published in Sep 2012.
  • The Schools website has no mention of the event (this one or past, or future tours).
Not one to just raise an issue without providing some solutions, I also offered some suggestions on what could be done to help spread the word.
  • Could there be an update on the School Committee blog?
  • Could there be an update on the community event calendar with the cable channels?
  • Could there be a press release touting the tour and showing off the only school installation of solar panels, or even of the rain gardens in the front, or of the modulars removed from the property?
  • Could some one use a couple of minutes of the Citizens Comments at the beginning of the Town Council meeting on Wednesday to spread the word?
  • Could some one think of some other way to help spread the word about this free yet valuable opportunity to meet with School Administration, School Committee and local school principals?

Note: The Parmenter sign was updated to tout the tour. The one set of parents that did show up for the tour heard about it via a ConnectED notification sent to all the school families that chose to register. But what about the non-school families? Were they notified in some way? Unless they heard about the tour via Franklin Matters, or perhaps the school sign and chose not to attend, they may not have known.

The choice is with the School Committee and Central Office. They all do an awful lot of good work and could do a better job of sharing information about the work they do. I do my part on here on Franklin Matters and the Facebook page, but I wish they would do a little better in the communication area. A little bit of work can go a long way!

If you think the School Committee and Central Office can do a better job of communicating, then you should let them know.  Email addresses for the School Committee can be found here

Jan 13

Jan 12

Jan 11

Jan 10

Jan 9

Jan 8

Jan 7

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Turning the page to the new year

I trust you and your family had a pleasant time with family and friends over the holidays. Now that we are well rested, it is time to get back to work.

Christmas trees get picked up this week. Leave them on the curb for your normal trash pick up day.

Christmas tree ready for pick up
The Planning Board meets on Monday. Among the agenda items are review of the plans for

  • Stop and Shop gas station
  • Franklin TV
  • Hoffman Farm
  • Robin's Nest Childrens Center

The Finance Committee meets on Tuesday to discuss the Capital Budget and start discussion on the FY 2014 Operational Budget.

The Town Council meets on Wednesday. The proposed changes to the site review plan process that were before the Council look like they will indeed be removed for now while the subcommittee discussed in their last meeting in December takes some time to adjust the changes to make them more agreeable.

You can tour the Parmenter School on Thursday evening. Outside the school, you can see solar panels and rain gardens. What can you see inside? Come along and find out. It is free. It just takes about an hour of your time. You gain access to the facility tour lead by the Central Office School Administration, the Parmenter Principal and members of the School Committee.

Learn more about the history and many stories of Franklin at the Historical Museum next Sunday. Eamon Earls will be there to sign and talk about his new book about Franklin.

Jan 6

School Tour: Parmenter

Jan 5

Jan 4

Jan 3

Jan 2

Jan 1

Dec 31

"The $10.5 million effort will begin in 2016"

Monday, December 24, 2012

Elf on the shelf

Some Facebook updates over the past couple of weeks talked about moving or forgetting to move the 'elf on the shelf'. This is a vehicle for some families to help reinforce good behavior in advance of Christmas. It helps to set expectations. Do something wrong, the elf will know. Do something right, the elf will know.

Some may quibble about the silliness of the elf, while others are living by it. Either way, setting expectations and consequences for behavior is good. Whether it is the elf or some higher power watching over us, there is a sense of right and wrong that I believe is inherent in humanity.

Christmas is one of many opportunities during the year to pause and reflect on what has happened, good and bad. There are consequences for both.  Some of the consequences are immediate, some will play out over time.

In this holiday season, this time of darkness, find a light, even if it is a glimmer of light. I do believe that there is a light and that light will bring hope and love. Hope that neighbors will help neighbors. That the neighbors will become a community, and live in a community of love and respect for one another.

This will be the last weekly summary for 2012.

Except for December, I have summarized the major event of each month as we progressed though the "12 Days of Donating." If you missed those updates you can find them here:

May you and your family have a great holiday season, and may the New Year bring goodness to Franklin!


Markham Nolan: How to separate fact and fiction online
What is ALiCE?