Thursday, November 29, 2007

South Station - Making Progess 2

A little tinfoil hides the milk cartons.

A little cotton creates the snow look.

Soon these trains will be running on time in South Station.

Which is more than can be said of the MBTA trains that also arrive there.

South Station - Making Progress 1

Who has netted milk cartons?

Just building the foundation for the model train display!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Facebook is no paragon of virtue

Cory Doctorow writes:
Facebook has all the social graces of a nose-picking, hyperactive six-year-old, standing at the threshold of your attention and chanting, "I know something, I know something, I know something, won't tell you what it is!"

If there was any doubt about Facebook's lack of qualification to displace the Internet with a benevolent dictatorship/walled garden, it was removed when Facebook unveiled its new advertising campaign. Now, Facebook will allow its advertisers use the profile pictures of Facebook users to advertise their products, without permission or compensation. Even if you're the kind of person who likes the sound of a benevolent dictatorship this clearly isn't one.

Read Cory's full article here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

South Station - getting ready for the trains

A cable dangling from the ceiling, coiled into a bucket, blocked off with movable barriers appeared in South Station yesterday. Some folks did not know what to make of this odd combination. For those who have been around for some time, they realized that this means the trains are coming.

No, those always are coming. The model train set that appears for the holidays will soon be set up. This delivers the power for the model trains to run.

Rapid Fire Learning

It is that time of month again when one can stop, and reflect on what has happened, and realize how much we have learned amidst all that has transpired.

1 - Franklin Matters - I split off my writing about Franklin, MA to a new blog. No, it does not go counter to my move for simplicity, I think it actually helps it. I love that the focus on Franklin Matters will be all things Franklin. Steve's 2 Cents will revert to being the combination of the rest of me not already covered elsewhere.

2 - If we but look around us, how much can we find? I found "All things Sherlock" and my namesake is archaeologist with a major Anglo-Saxon find. There is another Franklin Matters, about Franklin, TN.

3 - Podcast feed problems can be tricky. Especially when the root cause was a single desktop system somewhere that was attempting to down load two of my podcasts multiple times but only partly each time. Since the number of times exceeded 18,000 in each case, it must have been some rogue program and not someone who listened to the sound of my voice. :-)

4 - Collaboration creates new words. Troy Worman started his On! Blog Meme. I added a few and posted it on Thanksgiving as a link love post, Connie Reece called it "Thankslinking". How cool is that!

5 - 19 syllables is sometimes all that is necessary to condense a book. I found several good quotes from Madeleine L'Engles' book A Circle of Quiet which I sprinkled around here, here, here and here. Then after finishing the book one night, I laid down to go to sleep and found my mind racing. I leaped up to write those thoughts down before they disappeared into the ether or where ever they go and ended up with this.

What did you learn this month?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good bye Andy! Wish you all the best!

The news out of MLS is that Andy Dorman has turned down a contract to continue playing for the New England Revolution and will seek his future back home in England.

Andy was a good midfielder and will still be. I feel he was playing out of position in the advanced role (after Clint Dempsey left). He had his best games when he was playing back along side Shalrie Joseph. He would have been productive wide right but with Wells Thompson (and his great speed) making so much progress that was not an option.

Jeff Larentowicz needs to emulate Andy's runs to offense. He has the defensive role down cold.

Who will come in during the off-season to compete with those remaining for the starting eleven? Only time will tell.

Read the MLS news article about Andy leaving here.

Watch/Read The Golden Compass

While it took the Vatican 2 years to make a statement about The DaVinci Code, other Christian groups are already gearing up to generate a boycott and dissuade folks from seeing The Golden Compass when it makes its appearance in theaters on December 7th.
... even before it opens, "The Golden Compass" finds itself at the center of a controversy. The Catholic League, a conservative religious organization, launched a campaign on Oct. 9 calling on all Catholics to boycott the film. The group also published a lengthy pamphlet attacking the story and distributed the pamphlet to Catholic schools across the country. Other groups have joined the fray, including the evangelical nonprofit Focus on the Family, whose magazine Plugged In urged parents to keep kids out of theaters showing the film. And the Christian blogosphere is alive with warnings not only about the movie trilogy, but also about the series of books it is based on.
I'll wager that the majority of those complaining have yet to read one of the three books. I have read and re-read them and I am working on completing a re-read of the trilogy prior to Dec 7th. I appreciate and agree with the sentiments in the Boston Globe article by Donna Freitas, who writes:

These books are deeply theological, and deeply Christian in their theology. The universe of "His Dark Materials" is permeated by a God in love with creation, who watches out for the meekest of all beings - the poor, the marginalized, and the lost. It is a God who yearns to be loved through our respect for the body, the earth, and through our lives in the here and now. This is a rejection of the more classical notion of a detached, transcendent God, but I am a Catholic theologian, and reading this fantasy trilogy enhanced my sense of the divine, of virtue, of the soul, of my faith in God.

The book's concept of God, in fact, is what makes Pullman's work so threatening. His trilogy is not filled with attacks on Christianity, but with attacks on authorities who claim access to one true interpretation of a religion. Pullman's work is filled with the feminist and liberation strands of Catholic theology that have sustained my own faith, and which threaten the power structure of the church. Pullman's work is not anti-Christian, but anti-orthodox.

For all the years riding the commuter rail into Boston and back, there have only been two times where I was so engrossed into my book that I nearly missed getting off at the Franklin stop. Both times, I was reading the Golden Compass. And if you have read much of what I have written here and elsewhere, you know I read a lot.

I heartily endorse reading and going to see The Golden Compass.

created to be

With my naked intellect I cannot believe in God, particularly a loving God. My intellect is convinced that any idea of the person's continuing and growing after death is absurd; logic goes no further than dust to dust. Images, in the literary sense of the word, take me much further. Without my glasses I can see nothing but a vague blur. When I put them on, I become functional. But who is doing the seeing? The lenses of the spectacles are not. I am. There is an essential, ontological me --- that part of me which is not consumed in the burning --- which is (to use imagery again) that which I was created to be, the imaginative Adam and Eve as they were in the pre-history days of the Garden. Some of our children talk of going back to the garden; we can't do that; but we can travel in the direction which will lead us to that place where we may find out who we really are.

From A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Patriots Place Traffic

I do hope the Patriots have a plan for the traffic. Going to the New England Revolution soccer games has been more challenging than usual with the construction underway in areas that used to be stadium parking. With so many more folks going to the Patriots' games, I can just image what a mess it could be.
Team officials plan to enforce parking restrictions in the lots around the Patriot Place stores. Shoppers will get tickets that allow vehicles to be parked for free in lots next to the stores, but there will be time restrictions to keep out tailgaters and people attending the game.
So I guess that also means that you shouldn't plan on stopping at one of the stores to do any shopping before the game.

Read what the Boston Globe says about it here.

why do we need pain

Why is it that we learn from the things that hurt us? Why do we need pain before we can grow? There aren't any easy answers to this one, but all artists know the truth of it, and not only artists: it was Jung who said that there is no coming to life without pain.

From A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle

Book Meme (belatedly responding)

I got tagged by Troy Worman to participate but time has almost run away...

The Protocol: Answer 5 questions. Tag 5 booklovers.

The Questions:

  1. How many books do you own?
  2. What was the last book you read?
  3. What was the last book you purchased?
  4. What five books are most meaningful to you?
  5. What is your most obscure favorite book? Or, favorite most obscure book…

My answers:

1 - How many books do you own?
Too many to count. The photo above is from one of two small book cases. The one that is the most clean and therefore the most photogenic. I also have a 12 foot long by 7.5 foot tall bookcase that is full. I need to organize some of the non-book items and will ultimately share this picture. It is my favorite bookcase.

2 - What was the last book you read?

I am almost finished reading A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle

3 - What was the last book you purchased?

I just placed an order to Amazon for "Again to Carthage" by John L Parker Jr.

4 - What five books are most meaningful to you?
(in the business of life category)
Covey's The 8th Habit
Rosa Say's Managing with Aloha
This is Your Brain on Music - Daniel Levitin
Tim Sanders; Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends
Marcus Buckingham; The One Thing You Need to Know

5 - What is your most obscure favorite book? Or, favorite most obscure book…

Neuromancer - William Gibson


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Franklin: Town Common

Franklin: Town Common, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The new welcoming committee is ready at the Town Common. The tree lighting ceremony and associated holiday festivities will take place Sunday, November 25th from 4:00 - 6:00 PM.

Additional photos on the holiday decorations around Franklin can be found at Franklin Matters.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanskgiving Day - 2007

Thanskgiving Day - 2007, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The Sherlock's are gathering at our place later today to continue our Thanksgiving celebration. Here is a sample of what it looked like when the Proulx daughters gathered. Clockwise from the top left corner:
  • The table was set for all to sit together. No kids table this year
  • The serving plates were all marked for what was meant to go in them. This made it easy for many hands to make light work
  • The ladies conversed before dinner
  • The turkey just before being carved
A good time was had by all.

How was your Thanksgiving?

joy is always a promise

Sunday evening was clear and luminous so we went to the star-watching rock and welcomed the arrival of each star with a blast of a trumpet. We lay there, in an odd assortment of coats; I had on an embroidered coat a friend had bought in Dubrovnik; the two girls had on ancient fur coats; and we were covered with blankets. We needed them, even though the rock itself still held the warmth of the sun, our own star, and radiated a gentle heat to us as we lay there and watched the sky, blowing the trumpets and sharing a can of insect repellent and listening to the crickets and the katydids and trying to identify the other night singers, and then outsinging them with all the nursery rhymes and songs and hymns we could think of which had stars and alleluias in them.

And I was totally back in joy. I didn't realize I had been out of it, caught in small problems and disappointments and frustrations, until it came surging back. It was as radiant as the rock, and I lay there listening to the girls trumpeting, and occasionally being handed one of the trumpets so that I could make a loud blast myself, and I half expecting to hear a herd of elephants come thundering across the far pastures in answer to our call.

And joy is always a promise.

From A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle

Holiday tradition

On the way to Dolores' mother's house for the family gathering and dinner on Thanksgiving, we played Arlo Guthries' Alice's Restaurant which we used to be able to catch on one or more radio stations but since we managed to get our CD of Arlo's greatest hits, we are no longer dependent upon the radio waves to continue this tradition.

In case, you would like to review the lyrics, you can find them here.

Is listening to Alice's Restaurant one of your Thanksgiving traditions?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Joyful Jubilant Thanksgiving

The Joyful Jubilant Learning group has collaborated on their Thanksgiving greeting. Click on over to see some reasons to be thankful for on this day!

Yes, I did contribute!

Link Love on Thanksgiving!

How to best give thanks on Thanksgiving?
I think link love works well!

  1. 100 Bloggers
  2. 37 Days
  3. 43 Folders
  4. A Clear Eye
  5. All This Chittah Chattah
  6. Angela Maiers
  7. Antonella Pavese
  8. Bailey WorkPlay
  9. Bizhack
  10. Blog Business World
  11. Blogging for Business
  12. Blogher
  13. Bob Sutton
  14. Brand Autopsy
  15. Branding and Marketing
  16. Branding Strategy
  17. BrandSizzle
  18. Brandsoul
  19. Business Evolutionist
  20. Business Pundit
  21. Busy Mom
  22. Carpe Factum
  23. Change Your Thoughts
  24. Cheezhead
  25. Chief Happiness Officer
  26. Chris Brogan
  27. Church of the Customer
  28. Circaspecting
  29. CK’s Blog
  30. Come Gather Round
  31. Confident Writing
  32. Conversation Agent
  33. Converstations
  34. Core77
  35. Corporate Presenter
  36. Creative Think
  37. Culture Kitchen
  38. Craig Harper
  39. Dawud Miracle
  40. Dave Olson
  41. David Airey
  42. David Maister
  43. Design Your Writing Life
  44. Director Tom
  45. Every Dot Connects
  46. Extreme Leadership
  47. Feld Thoughts
  48. Fouroboros
  49. Franklin Matters
  50. Freaked out Fathers
  51. Genuine Curiosity
  52. Glass Half Full
  53. The Good Life
  54. Great Circle
  55. Hello, My Name is BLOG
  56. Holly’s Corner
  57. Homeless Family
  58. Innovating to Win
  59. Inspiring & Empowering Lives
  60. Instigator Blog
  61. Jerry's Story
  62. Jibber Jobber
  63. Joyful Jubilant Learning
  64. Joy of Six
  65. Kent Blumberg
  66. Kevin Eikenberry
  67. Lip-sticking
  68. Listics
  69. Logical Emotions
  70. Logic + Emotion
  71. Make It Great!
  72. Management Craft
  73. Managing with Aloha
  74. The Marketing Minute
  75. Micropersuasion
  76. Middle Zone Musings
  77. Motivation on the Run
  78. Naked Conversations
  79. Neat & Simple Living
  80. New Charm School
  81. Next Up
  82. The [Non] Billable Hour
  83. Office Politics
  84. Optimist Lab
  85. Own Your Brand
  86. Passion Meets Purpose
  87. Passionate Runner
  88. Pause
  89. Perfectly Petersen
  90. The Power of Choice
  91. Practical Leadership
  92. Presentation Zen
  93. Priscilla Palmer
  94. Prosperity for You
  95. Purple Wren
  96. Qlog
  97. quiet poet
  98. Rex Blog
  99. Ririan Project
  100. Rohdesign
  101. Rothacker Reviews
  102. Scott H Young
  103. Shards of Consciousness
  104. Simplicity
  105. Slacker Manager
  106. Slow Leadership
  107. Spirit in Gear
  108. Spooky Action
  109. Steve’s 2 Cents
  110. Strength-based Leadership
  111. Studentlinc
  112. Success Begins Today
  113. Success Creeations
  114. Success From the Nest
  115. Successful Blog
  116. Success Jolt
  117. Tammy Lenski
  118. Think Positive!
  119. Tom Peters
  120. Verve Coaching
  121. Viral Garden
  122. Wealth Building Guy
  123. You Already Know this Stuff
  124. Zen Chill
  125. Ze Frank
After enjoying the meal, sit back, relax, and explore a site or two to feed your mind.

Namesake does very well

Another Steve Sherlock, from the north of England, is in the news:

More than 100 graves were discovered when an aerial photo, showing evidence of an Iron Age site, gave freelance archaeologist Steve Sherlock clues to the “buried treasure”.

The amazing finds, including gold and silver brooches dating back to the 7th century, look certain to have connections with the ancient Kings of Northumbria.

Steve, 53, formerly of Redcar, described it as “the find of a lifetime”.

The excavations began in 2005 and continued under Steve's supervision with help from Tees Archaeology and local volunteers, working four to six weeks every summer. They have covered an area the size of half a football pitch near Loftus, discovering a cemetery of 109 burials.

The items are thought to have been buried after 650AD at the time St Hilda was trying to establish a monastery at Hartlepool and later at Whitby.

Read the full story about Steve's find here. The BBC version of the story is here.

Way to go Steve!

I cannot take myself seriously

So my hope, each day as I grow older, is that this will never be simply chronological aging --- which is a nuisance and frequently a bore --- the old 'bod' at over a half a century has had hard use; it won't take what it did a few years ago --- but that I will also grow into maturity, where the experience can be acquired only through chronology will teach me how to be more aware, open, unafraid to be vulnerable, involved, committed, to accept disagreement without feeling threatened (repeat and underline this one), to understand that I cannot take myself seriously until I stop taking myself seriously --- to be, in fact, a true adult.

To be.

From A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

MBTA Trains Running Late - this is news?

The news in the Globe today reported that the commuter rail was late 30% of the time in October. For the Franklin line in particular, the on time record was only 60.9%

I think that is high. I do not recall a train during the last couple of months that was on time. The outbound are more late (10-15 minutes) than the inbound (5-10 minutes) but late is a regular occurrence recently.

Read the full Boston Globe story here.

South Station: Thanksgiving Travelers

I hope every one gets home or where their holiday destination may be. South Station was busy this afternoon.

putting away childish things

Far too many people misunderstand what putting away childish things means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I'm with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what is meant by being a grownup, then I don't ever want to be one.

From A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle

shadows which moved with candlelight

One night after dinner a group of us were talking about the supernatural, and one of our dinner guests said that when the electric light was invented people began to lose the dimension of the supernatural. In the days before we could touch a switch and flood every section of the room with light, there were always shadows in the corner, shadows which moved in the candlelight, with firelight; and those shadows were an outward and visible sign that things were not always what they seem; there are things which are not visble to the mortal human being; there are things beyond our ken.

From A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle

My father has had some recent health issues. Yes, he is getting as much older each day as I am. Hard as that is to believe as it is to accept, we are as young as we will ever be. This has forced my siblings and I to face some issues with his health, his driving, and his medical coverage. I found and a quick read shows it to be a good source of information. For example:
  1. figure out if my parent has Alzheimer's
  2. understand why driving is such a charged issue
  3. keep my parents from getting scammed
  4. sort through the Medicare maze
  5. move my parent to assisted living or a nursing home
  6. understand my parent's cancer prognosis
If your parent or parents of friends have similar needs, let them know about this site.

Use caution with Flickr pix

Found this article on Wired that caught my eye, especially since I have used a couple of Flickr photos recently that were thus marked.

Yahoo's photo-sharing site, Flickr, has been an early and enthusiastic supporter of Creative Commons licenses. But there's one aspect of the licenses that Flickr doesn't respect: Users can remove the Creative Commons designation from their photos -- even though that may violate the terms of the license.

Creative Commons offers several licenses that people can attach to their creations as alternatives to more-restrictive copyright protection. Under CC licensing, content creators can indicate that their works are OK to republish under various specific conditions. Once applied to a creative work, Creative Commons licenses are supposed to be permanent

and this is the kicker:

Flickr provides more flexibility to photographers than Creative Commons does. On the popular photo-sharing site, users can switch photos back and forth -- without limitation -- between CC licenses and "all rights reserved" copyrights.

Read the full posting here to see what you can do to protect yourself if you have used a Creative Commons licensed picture that then changes its license.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Family dinner

The girls came home from college today to help celebrate the long weekend. Allison navigated the traffic and weather to pick up her sister in Boston and make it back to Franklin before my (late) train got me home. We all made it safely, sat for a good family dinner and discussion to catch up on what's been happening.

Why Family Matters
Research shows that the benefits of family dinners go far beyond nutrition. A recent study from the University of Minnesota reported that teens who had regular meals with their parents had better grades and were less likely to be depressed. From Harvard came word that chances are slimmer—by 15%—that children will be overweight if they eat with their families. Researchers at Emory University found that preteens whose parents tell family stories at dinner have higher self-esteem and better peer relations during adolescence. And a study out with sexually active friends. And 12- and 13-year-olds with limited family dinners are a staggering six times more likely to have used marijuana. The study also revealed that 84% of teens said they’d rather eat withtheir parents than alone.
This was in a recent issue of the Sunday Parade Magazine.

In recognition of her engagement, Allison was presented with a Willow Tree figurine: Joyful Anticipation.

We may look back on this day

In an unprecedented feat of biological alchemy, researchers have turned human skin cells into stem cells that hold the same medical promise as controversial embryonic stem cells.

Two teams of researchers -- one led by Kyoto University's Shinya Yamanaka, the other by the University of Wisconsin's Junying Yu -- used a virus to add four new genes to skin cells. Thus transformed, the reprogrammed cells became capable of changing into nearly any cell type in the human body. Embryonic stem cells also have this ability, and may someday be used to cure degenerative diseases, grow new organs and even replace limbs.

"It's a new era for stem cells," said Robert Lanza, chief science officer of Advanced Cell Technologies, a cloning company in California. "It's the holy grail. It's like turning lead into gold."

You can read the full article here in Wired.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Five O'Clock Shadow @ Circle of Friends

Caught concert Saturday night by Five O'Clock Shadow at the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse. Here is a brief bit of one of their songs:

If you like live music, especially folk, this is one of Franklin's gems.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Franklin Matters

"A gathering place to share information and create a conversation on all things that matter in Franklin"

My writing on all things that matter in Franklin will henceforth be found at Franklin Matters

For more information on the change, please visit here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

O! Outstanding Blog Recognition

I am honored to be part of the O! Outstanding Blog meme.

Thanks Troy!

Change This!

The latest proposals on Change This! are up and the voting closes on November 20th. You have time to review and vote for the proposal you'd like to see.

What are proposals?
Proposals are ideas for manifestos submitted by others like you. If you see one you'd love to read, vote for it!

How do I vote?

It is easy, go to the proposal page. Read the introduction to the proposal. If you like it, then click the vote button right there.

Where do I find out more about ChangeThis?

A good place would be their Frequently Asked Questions page.

Thanksgiving Fund Raising

I am raising funds for the Boston Volvo Village 5K Road Race to benefit Best Buddies on Thanksgiving Day.

You can view my page here and if you can contribute, it would be greatly appreciated!

The 5K is a good excuse to get out on the roads before sitting to have a good turkey dinner. It is also an opportunity to benefit an organization doing worthwhile work, Best Buddies!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

WGBH Web Site Complaint

I love PBS. I listen regularly to WGBH 89.7 FM for Celtic Sojourn, Folk, and Prairie Home Companion as my top three shows. I don't like the pledge breaks but understand their need and contribute yearly.

The WGBH web site is severely lacking in user friendliness, especially for members.

You can login I suppose and not be a member, which starts the problem. Because when you do login, you are not asked for your member number. You are asked to become a member. But if you already are, that doesn't help.

And if you go from the home page (already logged in) to the Shop to purchase something with you member discount, you get a big banner across the top asking you to become a member to save more. More what? I already am a member and you don't recognize that.

In order to get the member discount you are directed to go to the Member Benefits page and obtain the code. I got into a loop twice but did not find a code. I did find plenty of info on how to become a member and what the membership options are but I already am a member (did I say that already?).

I saved myself further frustration by looking at the membership card I dug out of my wallet and was happy to find the elusive code there. Halleluiah!

Given the hassle of this site, I won't be spending too much time or money here. The member discount was equally offset by the shipping cost.

Oh well....

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

zip skinny

This is a slick web site that gathers and presents information from the 2000 Census for a specific zip code. I set this up for Franklin. Once on the site, you can change the zip code to check another one, or compare up to ten others with Franklin.

Have fun!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Book of Love

Book of Love, originally uploaded by davelamorte.

Dave LaMorte crafted this paper cut with text from the Book of Love by the Magnetic Fields.

Nice work Dave!

Click through to Flickr and view additional art work by Dave.

Free Rice

Via a Reuters item on InformationWeek's IWDaily, I heard of this cool fund raiser.

Free Rice

You build your vocabulary and generate grains of rice to be donated to some one.

I must caution you that I found this to be an addicting game for wordsmiths!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Allison's Ring

Allison's_Ring, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Sitting with my father on an easy going Sunday afternoon, we're recording new episodes in Jerry's Story when the phone rings.

My daughter Allison, a senior in college, was calling to say she had accepted her boyfriend's offer of marriage. She and Brad will have a long engagement as Brad is planning on heading to law school when they both graduate in May 2008. We'll get to see them when she comes home for Thanksgiving, in the meantime, she sent us a picture of the ring.

Good thing I am sitting down. I wonder how Dolores is taking the news. She is off on a shopping expedition. Allison had already talked to Dolores. She caught her in a dressing room trying on a new outfit. Fortunately, there was a bench there for Dolores to sit on while she talked. I don't know the details if that outfit was selected or not, she did come home with a bunch of bags, so I at least know the news was not so distracting that it stopped her from letting the store register ring.

Turn! Turn! Turn!

Lyrics for: Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)

(from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

To everything
(Turn, turn, turn)
There is a season
(Turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose
Under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything
(Turn, turn, turn)
There is a season
(Turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose
Under Heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything
(Turn, turn, turn)
There is a season
(Turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose
Under Heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time to love, a time to hate
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything
(Turn, turn, turn)
There is a season
(Turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose
Under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sow
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late.

written by Pete Seeger

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Steve Forbert - "Strange Names"

Digging into the past, I found Steve Forbert's web site. He has a couple of videos posted there. One of them; "Strange Names (North New Jersey's Got'em)" is simple and cool.

Having lived in NJ for the better part of 13 years, with both daughters born there (yes, they are Jersey girls!), the concept of crafting the lyrics around the names of the towns is something I would have done. He sings far better than I do so enjoy!

Friday, November 09, 2007

New home for Franklin Matters

I am making the break to create a new home for all that matters for Franklin. Appropriately called "Franklin Matters", this new site will contain all my writing on Franklin. This site will revert to the Sherlock family items and other incidentals that don't fit in one of my other sites.

An updated run down on what I write and where:

Franklin Matters: the new home of "Where in Franklin?" and all town, budget, school and other local matters.

Passionate Runner: my podcast and writing on running with free coaching advice.

Jerry's Story: I am recording the oral history of my father (Gerald Sherlock) and our family. We have recorded his early days and up to World War II and are currently working on the post-war period. We have quite a few stories to record.

Quiet poet: the home for my sherku and other poetry I write

Hitchhikers Guide to the Blogosphere:
a collection of good sites that I find as I cruise around the web

Joyful Jubilant Learning: a group blog of which I was one of the original contributors and while we have been in existence for one year now, it seems like we have really got a whole lot going

100 Bloggers: another group blog that started with a theme to focus on connecting the unconnected and now is working on a different theme each month

Steve's 2 Cents will revert to family items and those that don't fit elsewhere

Amanda Beard - GoDaddy Girl

Yes, Amanda Beard takes a new step as GoDaddy Girl. Read all about it here. Be sure to view the two videos, especially the "shocking internet only" version!

Eastern Conf Final - Gillette Stadium

The Eastern Conference Final between the New England Revolution and the Chicago Fire started off with some pizazz as there were fireworks timed for the "rockets red glare" during the national anthem. The End Zone Militia did their usual volley when the Rev's were introduced.

The End Zone Militia fired once more during the game with Taylor Twellman scored on a marvelous bicycle kick between two defenders to provide the wining goal. The Revs topped the Fire 1-0 and head to the MLS Cup for the 3rd straight year.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

NE Revolution repeat as Eastern Conference Champs!

The New England Revolution beat the Chicago Fire 1-0 tonight at Gillette Stadium to return to the MLS Cup for the 3rd year in a row!

This will be the year. Three trips to the MLS Cup, third time is the charm.

The last three games the Revs have shutout the opponent. One more shutout and one more goal will bring home the big cup!

By the way, look for a vido of Taylor Twellman's goal this evening, it is worthy of a highlight film for sure. A superb bicycle kick with two defenders on him.

Join the Conversation

Now the the Franklin election is behind us, the work remains to be done. PodCamp is still fresh in my mind and there is much to share.

What is PodCamp?
PodCamp Boston was an unconference, a gathering of folks around new media (podcasting, video blogging, and variations there of) to meet, greet, share and learn together.

One way to summarize PodCamp Boston is with this video put together by Mark Blevis with the musical background performed by Matthew Ebel. The song title is "Join the conversation".


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Milford Daily News Election Coverage

Michael Morton published three articles in the Milford Daily News covering the results of the 11/06/07 election.

He wrote on the town council changes here, on the Community Preservation Act failing to pass here, and on the changes for the Planning Board here.

Reflections on the Franklin Election 11/06/07

What do the votes, now that they have been tallied, tell us? I think:

It does not matter much to Franklin voters that some of their candidates (and now elected officials) are willing to violate the law that they created and should be obeying.

While the Franklin voters have been lapping at the trough of Commonwealth funds (50% of the town revenue comes from Chap 70 funding), they decided not to spend a little more to gain a little more and rejected the Community Preservation Act.

The Planning Board incumbents were given a message that a change in how Franklin conducts business with developers was needed.

The School Committee candidates ran without opposition. One new face took the top vote count however as M Kelly replaced MJ Schofield. Is this the same Kelly as associated with the Brick classroom? Let’s look to see what he can do for the whole district now!

The split tax rate proponents did not gain a seat running on their platform. Just as well, the split tax rate is not a solution for Franklin. Franklin needs to grow the pie not split it.

Two new voices and one returning voice join six incumbents on the Town Council. The problems remain today as they were yesterday: Leaking library requires repairs. High school needs renovation or replacement. The budget needs to provide appropriate support for all town services including education. Support that can help to maintain our selection as one of the Top 10 towns to raise a family and one of the Top 100 towns to retire in. The quality of life we have does not get cheaper.

The Ben Franklin seal in the Town Council chambers reads “Industry need not wish”. This translated to our modern interpretation means that the hard work that got Franklin to these top rankings is still required. If we continue to work hard, good things will happen.

Congratulations to all the newly elected folks! Your work is cut out for you.

Good luck to all those who gave it their best. Stay involved. A good discussion requires two sides for the conversation. The Franklin problem can not be solved by any one person or group, it will take coordination, cooperation, collaboration, and many conversations to keep Franklin a quality place to live.

My writing on the election can be found here.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Franklin Election Results 11/06/07

The Franklin election results for November 6, 2007 as announced by Town Clerk Deborah L Pellegri at the high school field house.

For those who could not get to the field house to hear the results read out, here they are.


Time: 8 minutes, 23 seconds

MP3 File

Franklin: School Committee results

As announced by Town Clerk Deborah L. Pellegri at the high school field house Tuesday evening:

Candidate Votes
Kelly 2141
Roy 2021
Trahan 1976
Cafasso 1899
Mullen 1871
Armenio 1823
Rohrbach 1761

All seven candidates were elected.

Franklin: Community Preservation Act Fails

As announced by Town Clerk Deborah L. Pellegri at the high school field house Tuesday evening:

Ballot Question 1
Yes - 1528
No - 2174

The Community Preservation Act did not pass.

Franklin: Election Results

As announced by Town Clerk Deborah L. Pellegri at the high school field house Tuesday evening:

Town Clerk:
Deborah L Pellegri 3845

James P Dacey 3845

Board of Assessors:
Debaggis 2265
Norman 2094

Brunelli 2222
Delfino 1898
Jarvis 2052

Congratulations to those elected!

Franklin: Planning Board results

As announced by Town Clerk Deborah L. Pellegri at the high school field house Tuesday evening:

Candidate Votes
Ballarino 2103 *
Denommee 1927 *
Calabrese 1700 *
Lamberto 1524
Chilson 1102

Congratulations to those elected!

Franklin: Board of Health Results

As announced by Town Clerk Deborah L Pellegri Tuesday night at the high school field house:

Candidate Votes
Cheli 1570 *
Ranieri 1362 *
Harris 1325
Hunchard 1214

Congratulations to those elected!

Franklin: Town Council Results

As announced by Town Clerk Deborah L. Pellegri at the high school field house Tuesday evening:

Candidate Votes
Vallee 2201 *
Feeley 1979 *
Zollo 1978 *
Bartlett 1893 *
Pfeffer 1692 *
Whalen 1680 *
Doak 1673 *
Mason 1568 *
McGann 1549 *
LeBlanc 1481
Bower 1348
Grella 1337
Yurgenson 1237
Evans 1236

Congratulations to those elected!

Franklin Election - November 6th

Polls are open from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM at the high school field house

Franklin Election - November 6th

Polls are open from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM at the high school field house

Monday, November 05, 2007

Franklin: What's up with Aromas Caffe?

Franklin_Aroma Caffe
, originally uploaded by shersteve.

On Saturday Sep 29th, Dolores and I saw the sign about their power problem and repairs were going to be made while we did our walk. The sign is still there.

Anyone know when they will re-open? If they will re-open?

Hot Stove - Planning Board

There are five candidates for three positions with two incumbents running again. Given the issues that the current Planning Board has created for the town, I recommend an almost new slate.

Top three: Ballarino, Calabrese, Denommee

Vote November 6th at the high school field house

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Franklin: Where in Franklin? #17

The guidelines to playing Where in Franklin? can be found here.

Have fun!

Franklin: Where in Franklin? Answer #16

The answer to Pictures #16, first and second, is indeed Dacey Field on Lincoln Street.

Stay tuned for the next picture.

Signs discussion makes the Globe

The advantage a couple of candidates have used by putting their signs up early has made it to the Boston Globe today.

Vallee called the topic a nonissue and said the reaction was overblown.
I disagree. I think it shows what kind of leadership some of our candidates possess. Those who are in charge of setting the laws for the town should not be able to flaunt the law. They won't get my vote.

And while we are on the topic of signs: doesn't the ordinance limit the signs to 6 per property? Who is in charge of enforcing it?

The new medical building on the corner of Union and King has 7 signs this morning. Two of them are from Councilor McGann, so taking one of his down would bring the property into compliance!

Franklin: Where in Franklin? #16

Apparently the first photo for #16 was a tough one, so I'l add an additional clue. If you follow the road pictured, you will be able to see this as one view.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Frequently asked questions on CPA

Frequently Asked Questions

About the CPA in Franklin

Question 1 at Town Election November 6th

Q. What is the CPA and why should the public support this?

A. The Community Preservation Act is a state, local option law that allows communities to establish a local dedicated fund for open space preservation, historic preservation, and affordable community housing. Communities that adopt CPA can better manage growth, preserve community character, and strengthen and vitalize their community. They also become eligible for other state, federal, and private sources of funds. The state favors CPA communities in determining eligibility for grants in many of its programs.

Q. What are the long term goals of the CPA?

A. Smart growth, preservation of community character, and strengthening Massachusetts' communities.

Q. It is my understanding that Franklin will raise $1,000,000 a year if the CPA passes. What type of assurance will the public get that the funds will be used for said purposes?

A. By state law, the CPA funds can only be used for the three (four including active outdoor recreational lands and facilities) CPA purposes.

Q. I thought the Hotel Tax buys open space?

A. The annual set-aside of the hotel tax from our 3 hotels is voted each year at the discretion of the Town Council. This policy can be changed by the Council, and there has been discussion by Council members of this possibility in the next fiscal year. [Note that even if this step is taken, the monies already set aside will remain dedicated to open space purchases in the future.] Also, please recall that the hotel tax fund is not available for the other two community needs CPA would fund: historic preservation and housing that’s affordable. CPA should not be seen as “just” for any one of the three purposes, but it will Franklin take care of all three needs.

Q. Isn’t the money set aside for open space enough?

A. The money set aside for conservation could very quickly be used up if any one of several large (over 100 acre) properties are offered to the Town.

Q. Franklin is so big now! What’s left to protect?

A. The Land Use Committee is working on an update to the Franklin Open Space and Recreation Plan. The previous plan identifies priorities and opportunities for future conservation efforts. There are many hundreds of acres of farms and other open space which are not protected. These include over 500 acres at the Mount St. Mary’s Abbey on Upper Union Street and the Camp Hyastan property on Summer Street, next to our Town Forest.

Chapter 61 lands on which the town has the right of first refusal include: privately owned farms and forest land, two golf courses, and a private a day camp. Some Chapter 61 lands could potentially help protect current water supplies or provide future water supplies.

Q. Who decides how to spend the money raised through CPA?

A. A local Community Preservation Committee will be established by bylaw in Franklin after adoption of the CPA, to administer the program locally. Establishment of this local committee is a required part of participating in the CPA. Under the terms of CPA law, “the Community Preservation Committee shall consist of 5-9 members, and must include one representative each from the local conservation, parks, and historical commissions; planning board; and housing authority. If a municipality has not established one or more of these boards or commissions, a representative serving in a similar capacity can be appointed to the committee. The other members of the committee, if any, may be appointed or elected, as provided in the bylaw or ordinance adopted to establish the committee.”

Q. If passed, over 5 years CPA could net $5m just in the local raise. All this money will not go to the Library. How is the money portioned out?

A. Local residents determine how the funds will be spent each year. All CPA projects must be approved by Town Council. So if the library repairs are a priority, the funds will be channeled to that project by the town. At least 10% of the money raised must be given to each of the three major categories of eligible projects. The rest (70%) may be devoted to one of the three needs, if the community wishes. Also, no more than 5% of the CPA funds can be spent on ‘administrative’ costs.

This means 65% of the fund is “flexible” and can be added to the 10% minimum for a specific project. For instance, the Community Preservation Committee might decide to direct 10% plus 65% -- or 75% total – for the historic repairs.

Q. If the Library is the top priority for the Town, how much would be left for other types of CP projects?

A. At least 10% of the money raised must be given to each of the three major categories of eligible projects. If the CPA raises $1 million, plus the state grant, there would be at least $100,000 available for open space/recreation projects and $100,000 available for housing needs projects. The rest (70%) may be devoted to one of the three needs, if the community wishes.

Q. How long would CPA remain in effect?

A. There is a five year mandatory trial period with the CPA program, so at minimum, the CPA surcharge would last for five years from the date of adoption of the program. However, a community can choose to lower (or raise) its CPA surcharge, and or change the optional exemptions it has chosen at any time, including within this first five year period. After five years, a community may opt out of the program by the same mechanism it used to adopt it - legislative body vote followed by a ballot election. No community with CPA has yet chosen to opt out of the program after five years.

Q. How can I figure my actual CPA contribution if my home is worth more or less than the “$437,000 average” home in Franklin?

A. The average Franklin homeowner will owe $90 to the local CPA fund annually, based on FY07 DOR tax figures and the average residential property value of $437,000. Individual homeowners will owe more or less to the local CPA fund, based on the value of their property. First, deduct the $100,000 residential exemption from your assessed value. Then, re-calculate your tax owed on this reduced value. Then, once you have the reduced tax, calculate 3% of that for the CPA.

Q. I’ve heard there is no guarantee that the state will provide funding or a match.

A. This is incorrect. Every community that participates in CPA is guaranteed an annual state match of from 5% to 100% of what they have raised locally with their CPA surcharge. Each year so far, including this year (just last week), the state has been able to match what each CPA community has raised at a rate of 100%. This is most likely the last year that the state will have enough funds to match what each community raises locally at the 100% rate, but the Community Preservation Coalition has submitted legislation which, if passed, would guarantee a minimum of a 75% match for each participating CPA community each year.

Q. It is my understanding that in 2010, the Town of Franklin will have the ability to borrow more money in the form of Bonds for the Library repairs without placing a strain on the town budget.

A. Communities that adopt CPA can also bond against the locally raised portion of the funds.

Q. Is CPA a permanent “over-ride” on the allowed Prop 2 ½ tax levy?

A. CPA is not an override. CPA does not raise the town’s established levy. Prop 2 ½ is still in effect. CPA does not affect the tax rate of the community. It is a surcharge on individuals' property tax bills.

Please vote on Question 1, Tuesday, November 6
Polls Open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
at the Franklin High School Fieldhouse

Information obtained from Susan Spears.