Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!, originally uploaded by Daniel Greene.

Is there a ballot question next week?

The Community Preservation Act information session on Tuesday night was well attended by 9 people.

Michael Morton has his write up for the Milford Daily News here. My 2 cents will come later this week.

Franklin Town Council Candidate Profiles

Michael Morton has this article with the profiles of the 14 Town Council candidates.

Be aware of the election Tuesday, November 6th.

You will be able to cast your vote for what Franklin's future will look like.

Make it an informed vote!

Franklin candidates for Planning Board, Board of Health, School Committee

Michael Morton provides the profiles of the candidates for the Planning Board, Board of Health and School Committee in the Milford Daily News.

Be aware of the election Tuesday, November 6th.

You will be able to cast your vote for what Franklin's future will look like.

Make it an informed vote!

Franklin Downtown Partnership Meeting 11/15/07

From the Town Crier and worth sharing:

All residents and business owners are welcome to come to our November 15th Partnership meeting. We are a collaboration of community leaders, businesses and residents interested in revitalizing Downtown Franklin into an exciting and vibrant New England Village. Please come and learn about our plans for 2008. Be part of the on-going progress! Learn about the new development, new retail and new streetscape projects. Come and meet our Board of Directors and new members....and enjoy a cup of coffee and fresh danish! Everyone is welcome!

Event Date: November 15th
Event Time: 8:00-9:30
Location: Dean College-Student Center
Organization: Franklin Downtown Partnership
Contact: Lisa Piana
Phone: 520-4907

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Community Preservation Act - Info session - Tuesday 10/30/07

A voters information Meeting on the Community Preservation Act (Question 1 on November 6th town election ballot) will be held Tuesday, October 30th, at 7:00 p.m. at the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut Street.

The speaker will be Katherine Roth, Associate Director of the Community Preservation Coalition, a statewide alliance of environmental, housing, and historic preservation organizations.

For more information, email or call Susan Speers at (774) 571-0878. This session is sponsored by individual citizens who support the CPA.

For additional information about the CPA, visit the website of the Community Preservation Coalition:

or download the Town of Franklin's municipal services guide at:

Franklin needs a bigger pie

Michael Morton did a good job of telling a story based upon what was said during last night's discussion forum with the Town Council candidates. But it seems to imply that my question came in the middle of the session when in fact, my question started the whole discussion.

My question addressing the whole row of candidates:
In what I have heard and read about your positions on the split tax rate, I understand that the tax revenue today can be considered one pie. Both businesses and residents pay the same rate. What the split tax rate does is create two rates or two slices of pie, one larger than the other. I don't see how that solves Franklin's problem. What we really need is a bigger pie. How are those who are for the split rate going to increase the size of the pie?

Read Michael Morton's full article here.

Stay tuned for my write up summarzing their answers.

PodCamp Boston Photos

I did bring my camera but the quality of Steve Garfield's photos is such that it is far better to go to his Flickr group and see those than try to view mine.

Really nice photos, Steve!

We'll need to talk about a new camera choice for me, the next time we meet.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Franklin: Town Council Candidates

Franklin: Candidates, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Most of the 14 candidates appeared this evening. Those missing (with one exception) sent statements to be read as they had commitments elsewhere.

Due to the light attendance, the format was changed to allow each present ask a question or two. The resulting discussion was insightful.

I will combine my notes from the Dean session last week with tonight's forum to present my slate for the nine slots available.

Stay tuned, I will try to have that ready for Thursday, November 1.

Franklin: Audience for Town Council Forum

Franklin: Audience, originally uploaded by shersteve.

One could make a case that the election coming up November 6th is not a big deal for most of the Franklin voters.

Michael Morton, front row, was attending to report for the Milford Daily News. A couple of other folks came in after this photo was taken but clearly there was a very light turnout.

Let's hope the voters have enough information to make a decision and do get out to vote on Tuesday November 6th.

Many thanks to the PCC for sponsoring this forum.

Franklin: Where in Franklin? #16

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

Have fun!

Franklin: Where in Franklin? Answer #15

Ken Norman continues on a roll correctly identifying the entrance to Winterberry Farms as the site of picture #15.

Stay tuned for #16.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

PodCamp Boston 2 is history

I am still pumped up about PodCamp Boston 2! A great event. So many conversations. So much to share. Stay tuned as I work though my notes and work around the family schedule for the next couple of days.

One item of note: the free part of the conference may change in the future to a "nominal charge". We had over 1300 registrations and yet while the numbers are being finalized it is likely we will end up with about 600-700 unique visitors.

Hey, that's about half of who registered? What happened?

Good question. Most of the podcamps have run about 30-40% no show. Maybe the "free" part doesn't create enough commitment of those who register.

What do you think? Should it remain free or should there be a nominal charge?

PodCamp Live Blogging

Ewan Spence is outside the room gathering others to come into the room to listen to his talk. He is giving away free chocolate.

It the philosophy, stupid!
Building the circle: Listeners, hosts, advertisers

Practical advice: found on his web site

Some members of old media are perceived as dinosaurs.

A very good session. Ewan is quite a character!

Note: live blogging is no good when you have an intermittent internet. I think the room itself has the problem. I did not have trouble at the registration desk.

I liked the circle concept having already developed my own Fire Circle Story.

PodCamp Live Blogging

At the opening session this Sunday morning, PodCamp Boston 2.

Laura Fitton of Pistachio Consulting is doing a session on "Presenting ... Your Audience".

Note: She did a session on BlogTalkReadio recently with Bryan Person on Delivering Killer PodCamp Presentations.


Audience + results = content

Message - Sent, received, acted upon

Who, What, Why, Where, Which

What you know…. What they need to know

Code = concise, organized, direct, effective

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Jerry and Fran

Jerry and Fran, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Fran (Sherlock) Campbell, the matriach of the Sherlock family has passed away today. Details on funeral arrangements are not available at this time.

This picture was taken a few weeks ago when Fran visited Dad (Jerry) on his birthday.


One of the more interesting conversations was with Chris Brogan and Simeon (sim) of Utterz.

I'd like to get you the direct link to Chris' post but one of the issues with Utterz (still in beta) is it is giving a 404 error when you try to get the permalink.

In the meantime you can join Chris, Sim and I as we talk in the hall and Utterz. You can listen to the second post on for the 27th.

PodCampBoston2: Day 1 Wrap Up

PodCampBoston2: Day 1 Wrap Up, originally uploaded by shersteve.

There is a party on at the Seaport Hotel sponsored by Pulver Media. Some family business got me home earlier than I think most folks will be from the party.

Day 2 tomorrow.

PodCampBoston2: Conversations in the hall

The thing about PodCamp (and most unconferences) is there are good conversations in the presentation rooms.

There are also good conversations in the hall outside the presentation rooms.

PodCampBoston2: Main Room

PodCampBoston2: Main Room, originally uploaded by shersteve.

The main room was empty early as that was the only time I was able to get to it. The registration/welcome desk was busy most of the day with 550 folks coming through on this first day of the event.

PodCampBoston2: Red Carpet Welcome

The red carpet was rolled out for those arriving at PodCampBoston 2

Friday, October 26, 2007

South Station People Watching

Waiting for the next train home, sitting here in South Station, being geeky with my laptop open and cruising the network. People watching is a good pasttime here.

A father and son with son's friend have come from some Halloween party. The boys 5-6 years old are dressed in costumes and enjoying exploring their bags of candy. As they get up to head for the train platform, they discover a hole in one bag as candy and other items slips out and over the floor. Fortunately they notice so they can pick it all up. I want my stuff one says. Then the schedule board does it shuffle thing as it moves the commuter train schedule to the left and top of the board. Forget the candy on the floor! The boys are enchanted by this clicking and movement.

But it ends all too soon.

There is more candy to gather and then they head for the platform. The boys still taking about the schedule board. Did you see that! Wasn't that cool!

Town Council Candidates Forum - 10/29/07


Monday, OCTOBER 29, 2007

Franklin town elections are November 6, 2007. There are several contested races including Town Council, Planning Board and Board of Health. The contest that is of most consequence to our school system is the race for Town Council. It is very important that we vote in our local elections so that our values and concerns are represented by the people who we elect.

In that spirit, the Joint PCC of the Franklin Public School System is sponsoring a Town Council Candidate Forum on Monday, October 29, 2007 at 7 p.m. in the Horace Mann Auditorium.

Candidates will address school related questions and issues at the forum.

Audience members will be encouraged to participate with questions.

If you cannot make the forum, please remember to go out and vote Tuesday November 6, 2007.

from an email received from the PCC

Bye Janna

Parmenter teacher Janna Paster passed away this week. She was a good example of the teaching that makes Franklin a great school system.

Michael Morton has additional details in today's Milford Daily News

5 for Friday

1 - from Creative Think -> the seven fingered hand!

2 - What's this about Dumbledore? Goes to show that once a creation is put forth, it is no longer owned.

3 - The Sexual Aptitude Test? Commentary from Georgia on the hullabaloo in Maine.

4 - PodCamp Boston 2 is upon us. I am looking forward to a full weekend of learning new media stuff. Meeting and greeting.

5 - I kicked off the Rapid Fire Learning for this month over on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Proposed PodCamp "generic" Anthem

I have a habit of re-writing lyrics and have realized that to avoid copyright problems one needs to do so with music in the public domain.

I did a version of this for me for PodCamp Boston. The lyrics here can be customized for any PodCamp.

Feel free to use and re-use!

If you come up with some improved lyrics, please let me know.



This can be sung to "Oh, Susanna"
with apologies to Stephen Foster

I come from "insert your place" with a recorder on my knee
I’m going to PodCamp "insert your place" my friends there to see
The web was down the day I left
Wireless was so spotty
Text and Twitter were all I had left
To keep me from going dotty

All you bloggers, don’t you cry for me
I’m a new media maker
With a PowerBook on my knee

I had a dream the other night
Google rank had settled still
I thought I saw my blog somewhere
High upon high, on top of the hill
Technorati, RSS, even Digg
Comments were incoming furious
How did this happen to get so big?
Ah, the "insert your name of the" video drew the curious!

All you listeners, don’t you cry for me
I’m a new media maker
With an iPod on my knee

I’ll soon be at PodCamp "insert your place"
And then I’ll look around
And when I find "insert your local celebrity"
I’ll fall upon the ground
But if I don’t find "insert your local celebrity"
This podcaster surely die
And when I’m dead and buried
Bloggers don’t you cry

All you viewers, don’t you cry for me
I’m a new media maker
With a camcorder on my knee

2007 Sherlock's Foolish Music
(MADCAP Records)

PodCast Boston Anthem

This can be sung to the tune of "Oh, Susanna"
with apologies to Stephen Foster

I come from Franklin, MA with a recorder on my knee
I’m going to PodCamp Boston my friends there to see
The web was down the day I left
Wireless was so spotty
Text and Twitter were all I had left
To keep me from going dotty

All you bloggers, don’t you cry for me
I’m a new media maker
With a PowerBook on my knee

I had a dream the other night
Google rank had settled still
I thought I saw my blog somewhere
High upon high, on top of the hill
Technorati, RSS, even Digg
Comments were incoming furious
How did this happen to get so big?
Ah, the Paris Hilton video drew the curious!

All you listeners, don’t you cry for me
I’m a new media maker
With an iPod on my knee

I’ll soon be at PodCamp Boston
And then I’ll look around
And when I find Chris Brogan
I’ll fall upon the ground
But if I don’t find Steve Garfield
This podcaster surely die
And when I’m dead and buried
Bloggers don’t you cry

All you viewers, don’t you cry for me
I’m a new media maker
With a camcorder on my knee

2007 Sherlock's Foolish Music, Inc.
(MADCAP Records)

Franklin: Signs, Signs, Signs

The controversy over some candidates placing their signs up a day early gives us insight into the actions and beliefs of some of our 'leaders'.

I see the story as follows:

A bylaw is a law to be enforced.

Just because the town attorney renders an opinion that the bylaw is probably unconstitutional, unless the bylaw is challenged, and until the court renders it's opinion, it is still a law to be enforced.

Internal communication amongst some folks in government does not count as 'official notice', especially if it leaves some folks out of the loop. There is something called inside information.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Given that the real issue facing the town is "the budget, the budget, the budget", this is trivial and silly but at the same time insightful.

If your leaders would choose to seek this kind of advantage, are they worthy enough to be your leaders?

Your get a chance to make your choice on November 6th, Franklin!

In case you missed the sign affair, Michael Morton has this and this in the Milford Daily News.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Nothing like a family dinner!

Both Allison and Carolyn came home this evening to surprise their mother for dinner on her birthday. Carolyn met me at South Station and we rode the train together. Allison drove in from Worcester.

Dinner (London Broil or here, onion soup baked potatoes, steamed veggies, and Caesar Salad) was ready a few minutes after Dolores got home from her exercise class after her full day teaching.

The conversation was non-stop and wonderful. As nice as it is to "empty nest", it is wonderful to have a family dinner. The girls are really young ladies now and doing well in their respective schools.

San Diego Fire Info

The fires in San Diego are immense and out of control.

From the Wall Street Journal:

As of last night, more than half a dozen fires spreading from north of Los Angeles down to the Mexican border below San Diego had burned 420,424 acres, destroyed 1,155 homes and forced the evacuation of some 881,500 people, according to the Los Angeles Times's tally. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the fires, which are mostly uncontained, still threaten 68,000 more homes. And until the Santa Ana winds subside, there isn't much overtaxed fire crews are able to do other than tamp out spot fires and chase "ribbons of airborne embers to keep new fires from flaring," as the Associated Press puts it. "If it's this big and blowing with as much wind as it's got, it'll go all the way to the ocean before it stops," San
Diego Fire Capt. Kirk Humphries said. "We can save some stuff but we can't stop

and this one:
Like the fire chiefs on the front lines, state and local officials were raising doubts about government readiness for the periodic burst of wildfires in Southern California. San Diego, in particular, has been mired in a financial crisis that might have stopped it from improving preparedness since the last wave of fires there four years ago. Twice in recent years, voters rejected proposals to boost funding for local fire and police departments by raising hotel taxes, the Journal notes, and last year the city's fire chief resigned in frustration.

Bold for my emphasis

How big is the fire? Check out this map view updated by the local TV station, KPBS

Franklin: Community Preservation Act - Info session

There is an information session scheduled to address the ballot question on the Community Preservation Act.

Event Date: October 30th
Event Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: First Universalist Society, 262 Chestnut St

For additional information about the Community Preservation Act, you can visit this web site

Franklin: Candidates for Town Council

The line up at the candidate forum Tuesday evening created a full table.

Franklin, you have lots of choices to make. Since there were not many of you in the room to hear what these candidates had to say, I hope you tune into the the local cable channel to catch the broadcast. (the schedule is not yet available)

Michael Morton captured some sound bites in his article in the Milford Daily News.

I took a bunch of notes and will have them ready next week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Franklin: Center Commons

Franklin: Center Commons, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Exterior work is progressing on the new Franklin Center Commons building.

Franklin: Fire station

Franklin: Fire station, originally uploaded by shersteve.

Work is progressing on the new fire station.

Franklin: Two Chances Remain

Candidates Debate

Two chances this week

1 -----------------------------------------
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
at Dean College, 7 PM
Science Hall, basement, Classroom 11

2 -----------------------------------------
Friday, October 26, 2007
at Franklin Senior Center, 8:30 AM

The town election is scheduled for November 6th.

Who are you going to vote for?
Do you have enough information to cast your vote with confidence?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Franklin: Planning Board compromises

The on-going discussion with the developer of the Franklin Center Commons has been resolved with a compromise this evening.

The vote was 4-1 (Chilson objecting).

The compromise removed the building order (which had been one of the sticking points) and created language to ensure continuous construction with a targeted completion date of April 1, 2010 for the East Central building.

Work on the "park" building can resume. Work on East Central will commence after the leases expire and the existing structure is removed. The building across the street will continue to make progress as shown in the photos I have been taking (here, here, here and here)

Congratulations to the Board, Town Attorney Mark Cerel, Mr Marini and his attorney, Gary Brackett.

This is a good deal for Franklin!

For additional background on this, Michael Morton had an article in the Milford Daily News Monday morning.

Michael Morton's write up in the Milford Daily News on the agreement Tuesday morning.

Franklin: Planning Board Meeting 10/22/07

I'm trying to follow what is going on via the cable feed.

One camera is focused properly, one is focused with a blurred image.

As some board members tap on their work surface that action resonates louder than someone speaking.

The opening of the papers, the large draft planning documents is noisy. Flipping through their binders is also noisy.

Reading some of the text is complete legalize jargon. No wonder there are disputes about who said or agreed to what.

I'll need to go there sometime to see if it improves the understanding of what is taking place.

Franklin: Candidates need money answers

... while there is already a consensus that a proposed renovation of the high school will need to be financed by a debt exclusion, several council candidates have suggested getting citizen approval more often, evoking a philosophical debate over the merits of direct vs. representative democracy.
Do you know who they are?

Who are you going to vote for?

Michael Morton has the details in the Sunday edition of the Milford Daily News

The election is rapidly approaching.

Information R/evolution

This video is a must see. The same folks that created the Web 2.0 Explained video are back with this Information R/evolution video: 5 minutes 30 seconds.


Thanks to Mitch Joel at Six Degrees of Separation for the link. Mitch will be in Boston for PodCamp 2 next weekend!

Pumpkin Possiblities

This pumpkin is full of possibilities. What kind of jack-o-lantern will it make?
A happy face, or a sad face, or a scary face?

We have a choice each day to put a smile on our face. Even if we start out sad, or mad, we can change it to a happy smile.

Make your choice a happy one!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Franklin: Where in Franklin? #15

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


Franklin: Where in Franklin? Answer #14

The answer to picture #14 was correctly supplied by Ken Norman.

This is the current Senior Center. The new one off Beaver and Oak Streets opens November 11th.

PodCamp Boston 2 - Registration help needed

With over 1,000 folks registered to participate in PodCamp Boston 2 next weekend, the registration desk could use some help.

If you would like to spend an hour or two either Saturday or Sunday morning assisting with the registration/check-in process, you can send an email to "podcampbostonvolunteers" at gmail dot com.

I volunteered lasted year and will be there again this year.

The registration desk is a great opportunity to meet and greet the folks as they arrive.

Matching names and faces of the folks in the flesh with whom you have read, or heard, or viewed previously is a great way to help and make the connection. A true win-win situation!

Why not consider joining me at the desk?

Operation Paperback

A good idea for those books that you did not get to the Franklin Library book sale.

Operation Paperback is a non-profit, grassroots program founded in 1999. We collect gently used books and send them to American troops deployed overseas.

Many of our troops are serving far from home and living in facilities that provide few of the comforts of home. At the end of the duty day, the opportunity to escape into a good book is welcomed. Every week we receive thanks from troops who are glad to be appreciated and remembered.

Our service members make sacrifices every day for our country. It takes so little to let them know that we appreciate what they are doing for us. When you join in Operation Paperback, you will let our troops know that you support them, and you have not forgotten them.

Override Central - catching up

I have been behind on the news in Override Central so here is what has happened recently:

1 - One of the ways budget specialists want to cut costs is to steer city and town employees into cheaper state run insurance plan. But the towns are slow to embrace the idea. Check here for more
2 - Amesbury voters will get a chance to consider a tax cut. Town officials are divided over the proposed $1-million tax cut that goes before voters Nov. 6. Read more in Globe North.
3 - In Bolton, selectmen have voted to support a $5.7 million property tax increase to pay for a new public safety center, said Town Administrator Jodi Ross.

The proposed increase, as a debt-exclusion override of Proposition 2 1/2, is scheduled to go before voters at a Nov. 5 Special Town Meeting, More here

4 - Milford's Board of Selectmen has imposed a budget moratorium, mandating cuts in expenses and a search for more cost-effective means to pay for major projects, like an renovation of the local Armory and a proposed replacement of Milford High School's emergency generator. More in the article here

High school generator replacement? Sounds like Franklin doesn't it?

5 - Winchester is well known for its creative ways of financing its schools. But now the town northwest of Boston is facing a tussle over crowding at one of its schools. More in the full article here

6 - One town went to the junkyard to get engines for its police cars. Another laid off 30 workers. Another hit up businesses for $30,000 to keep the local senior center open.

In the towns south of Boston, failures of several Prop 2 1/2 override requests have hit hard, according to a Chris Wallgren article in Globe South Thursday. Full article here

7 - Should non-profits pay property taxes?
A really good question. Especially as the real problem is for communities to expand the tax base.

Override Central is a decent source of info on the local tax situations. I just wish they would update the calendar in their left column. It still references the override schedule from April through May. Come on folks! That is OLD NEWS.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Franklin: Fall Color Collection

Franklin: Fall Color Collection, originally uploaded by shersteve.

life is not black and white

life is full of color


Peaocks stay penned in

As an update to the earlier posting on the Mount St peacocks, the judge has ruled they need to stay penned it.

I guess being on a farm doesn't count any more.

Read the update in the Milford Daily News here.

Franklin: Candidate Debate

I guess I wasn't the only one who missed the debate as reported in the Milford Daily News by Michael Morton.

Bower and Evans were among 11 council candidates explaining their stances at the debate, sponsored by the The Milford Daily News and the Country Gazette and attended by a dozen residents. Three other hopefuls - incumbent Joseph McGann, Chairman Christopher Feeley and challenger Sergey Yurgenson - could not attend.

While candidates were queried on a number of subjects, much of the night's focus turned to the debate on the tax rate. Incumbent Thomas Doak said he supported the single rate since businesses, making up only 20 percent of the tax base, would have to take on an unduly large burden to lighten the load for homeowners, who represent 80 percent of the base.
Only a dozen residents attended?

How was this advertised?

Keynote to K12 Online 2007

"For the first time in history we are preparing our children for a future for which we can not predict how they will make their living."
"He learned because he's connected."
"Walls don't mean the same thing that they meant to us."
"It is so much within the grasp of those of us who are paying attention."

Quick quotes from David Warlick's keynote presentation at the K12 Online Conference that is being conducted virtually and in multiple media.

The video for this is available here

It is not, nor will it be a YouTube video, as it is longer than the 10 minute limit of YouTube.

It runs approximately 45 minutes and is worth every minute of it.

Do yourself the favor, follow the link and view.

Get Phone Fingers

What more is there to say:

Tired Of Smudges On Your iPhone? Get Phone Fingers

Item for my "Wish List"

How cool is this? A USB turntable!
What's a turntable?

You've just given away your age (just like I did) so now I know.

But what's it for?

It plays LP albums. Yes, vinyl. From before 8-track, before cassette, before CD, before MP3. I do have a few LP's in my collection that I could convert to the MP3 format. Why should I re-buy them to listen to the MP3 when with this device I can convert them.

Now if I had the time to do so that would be nice!

Note: While your are checking out the device, go explore, there are lots of cool items on this site.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Franklin: News Recap

The Franklin Gazette replays the article on the town council candidates positions on the split tax rate as well as the Milford Daily News which originally featured the same article in Sunday's edition.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Franklin: Mine Brook land agreement delayed again

How long will it take to get an agreement? 3 years and counting thus far.

This is the town that some would propose going with a split tax rate, taxing businesses a different rate than homeowners. Given our inability to negotiate a business deal (three years on this one, dispute with Norfolk over water...) Franklin does not seem to have a good track record.

Read the full story as reported by Michael Morton in the Milford Daily News.

Dodge Festival 2008

Waterloo Village, Stanhope, New Jersey
September 25 – September 28, 2008

The 12th Biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival will be held at Waterloo Village in Stanhope, New Jersey from Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2008.

We invite you to join Chris Abani, Lucille Clifton, Billy Collins, Martín Espada, Ted Kooser, Maxine Kumin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Simic, Franz Wright and dozens of other poets, musicians and storytellers for four days of poetry and music beside the Musconetcong River and among the Village’s lawns, trees, and historic buildings.

Please visit frequently in the coming months as new poets and performers are added to the line-up, and for updates on accommodations, opportunities for teachers and high school students, and scheduling information. Tickets will go on sale in April 2008.

Visit our brand new Dodge Poetry Festival Gift Shop to browse for anything from a mug or a tote bag to a 2006 Festival T-Shirt, all featuring our vivid new logo. The Dodge Poetry Festival Gift Shop is the only place outside of the Festival where you will find our gorgeous one-of-a-kind posters commemorating all 11 Festivals.

from an email just received from the Festival organizers.

I will book some of my vacation time next year to be there!

Good quote - Myth of Innovations

Discovering problems actually requires just as much creativity as discovering solutions. There are many ways to look at any problem, and realizing a problem is often the first step toward a creative solution. To paraphrase John Dewey, the creator of the Dewey Decimal System, a properly defined problem is partially solved. And if your particular innovation involves the support of other people, a clearly defined problem helps form bonds and build teams were none existed before. Author John Seeley Brown said, "When we get in the spirit of following a problem to the root, that pursuit of listening to the problem brings multiple disciplines and multiple crafts together. The problem pulls people together.

Bold text is for my emphasis. I finished reading Scott Berkun's book: The Myths of Innovation this week.

The book moves to my recommended listing.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Franklin Tavern Closed - for now

in case you stopped by to see the sign saying they were closed, here is some of the back story. Michael Morton goes into details in this Milford Daily News article. More here.

Linux vs. Windows; How do you innovate?

After reading colleague Alexander Wolfe's piece about a Linux distro called "Vixta" that apes the look and feel of Windows Vista, I confess to having mixed feelings about the whole thing. Mostly negative ones.

Here's the big reason I feel as uneasy as I do: it's tantamount to an admission of defeat. The only way Linux can "succeed" is if it looks like Windows. And frankly, isn't there something hypocritical about railing against Microsoft for not innovating and then turning around and mimicking them, right down to the chrome on the user interface?

This comes back to a question many people have asked before. Does Linux have to look like Windows to work? Not "beat Windows at its own game", which if you ask me is a red herring, but work. Granted, the Windows UI is familiar territory for most people with at least some degree of computer use, but that doesn't mean it has to be the be-all and end-all of UI design.

Read the full article by Serdar Yegulalp here.

When the dominant design is Windows, Linux (or any other OS) would need to at least pay some homage to it by being similar enough so that users (who in general do not like change) will feel comfortable enough with the interface/UI to try it. If Linux or any other OS does not provide some step of familiarity, they will not be able to make the next step into the change or unknown.

The author would benefit from reading The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No Email Fridays - Good or bad idea

Intel is reported to be the latest company to be flirting with "no email Friday
", Note, "flirting" not actually imposing!

I tend to be suspicious of such ultimatums. Legislating an idea is not the best way to get it to work. We (the human race) should have learned that by now. You can go through history and find any number of examples where something legislated had an unintended effect that was far worse than the intent.

It would be better to reward good habits. Reward good behavior. Provide incentives for good behavior.

If your workplace were considering "no email Fridays", what would you do?

Thanks to IWDaily
for the incentive to share my 2 cents!

Ze Frank with a new song

Ze Frank, who made quite an impact for the year he did a daily video, has been relatively quiet since then. He does have a new song out on a new social network for two. Great fun. Only 1 and a half minutes.

Previous post on Ze - one of my favorites: Ze delivers the CDs/DVDs to Ray.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bylaws for the birds?

The peacocks I used to see once in a while on Mount Street apparently are in the news. They are supposed to be caged. Which would also explain why I have not seen them recently.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News today.

Blog Action Day - Environment

The theme for Blog Action Day is the environment.

How coincidental is it that in the same week that Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on "An Inconvenient Truth", the courts in England ruled that in order for the teachers to present "An Inconvenient Truth" in class, they must correct 9 points.

So folks can't quite come to an agreement on this I guess. Are we really in global warming or are we not? Is there something we can do about it, or is there not?

Maybe the discussion on this day will bring about some points of agreement.

There is hope, I am an optimist.

In my quiet way, I will attempt to highlight roadside detritus. I get to see a bit of it as I run around Franklin and walk with my wife on the weekends.

sherku: coke detritus

sherku: budweiser detritus

These are two of a series that unfortunately, unless something changes, may be a long one.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Franklin: Library Book Sale 10/20/07

Yes, the Library Book sale is coming on Saturday, October 20th.

Franklin: Where in Franklin? #14

Aside from needing a bit of paint to fix the peeling, where is this railing found?

Guidelines for playing can be found here.


Franklin: Where in Franklin? Answer #13

Fletcher Field located between Peck and Wachusetts Streets is the answer to picture #13.

Stay tuned for the next one.

Franklin: Candidates Split on Tax Rate

Michael Morton continues his election preparations with a summary of the Town Council candidates and their views on the discussion of a split tax rate in this article in Sunday's Milford Daily News.

Let's see. The revenue pot remains the same under a split rate. It does not increase taxes. Can't. There are only two ways to do that, pass an override or increase the tax base.

Businesses would pay a different rate than regular tax payers.

Oh businesses like the ones that employee folks who might work in Franklin.

If they have to pay higher taxes, they would take their business elsewhere.

Hmm, where would that leave the Franklin resident taxes? Faced with additional increases sounds like to me.

Split tax rates are not a solution to our problem.

I think our problem is how do we increase revenue in an equitable manner. We are all in this together.

Or do you think our problem would be solved with split tax rates?

I'd like to hear your rationale.

East of Shirley

Dolores and I got to hear East of Shirley play Friday night at The Java Room in Chelmsford.

They got off to a slow start in getting their playing together but did improve as the evening went along. There was one group of ladies in the corner who were clearly intent upon their own conversation (and that's okay, it is a coffeehouse) but a few times they made it difficult to appreciate the music. Once they left, the last several songs were better to listen to (both with less distraction, and the group having its act together).

I wrote a sherku.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Myths of Innovation - Scott Berkun

I am working my way through Scott Berkun's book: The Myths of Innovation this week. It reads easily. A good quote from the section I read this morning:
"Like the child in the park, creativity is intertwined with the ability to see ideas as fluid, free things. Ideas come, they go, and that's OK; to an open mind, ideas are everywhere (something I'll prove momentarily). It's the willingness to explore, experiment, and play, to invest energy, hit a dead end, and then chase a new direction that allows minds to find good ideas. All of our notions of play, and its freedoms from formal judgement, are inexplicably linked to finding good ideas."

Are you going to find time to play today?

Town Council Candidate Information

As a follow up to the "All in Favor" article published earlier this week, I found a timely article summarizing some of the 14 Town Council candidates' positions. Michael Morton performs his excellent reporting in this recap in this week's Franklin Gazette.

This election will be a important one to help determine Franklin's future. Depending upon who you listen to or believe, there is likely to be additional override possibilities in the years ahead. Understanding the positions of the candidates for this election will be critical.

Be informed.

Cast an informed ballot.

Paraphrasing the All In Favor flyer for a Town Council position (instead of a School Committee position) we would find:

The Right Person Makes a Difference

What qualities, skills, and experience should you look for in a town council candidate? Here
are some questions to consider.
• What are the candidate's vision and goals for making Franklin a good place to live and raise a family.
• Does the candidate inspire residents and other stakeholders to have confidence in the local
• Does the candidate understand that the Town Council's role is about the big picture—
setting the direction for the community, and providing oversight and accountability—rather
than day-to-day management?
• Does the candidate focus on one issue or discuss a broad range of local concerns?
• Does the candidate's approach make it likely that he or she will be able to work
effectively with the rest of the board and town officials to get things done?
• Will the candidate enhance the mix of skills and backgrounds on the board and help
represent the diversity of the community?
• Does the candidate have the commitment to do what is right for all residents, even in the
face of opposition?

Will any of these 14 candidates meet these guidelines?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Access a concern at Brick classroom

Michael Morton reports on the Brick Task Force meeting last night.

For years, students with health issues or disabilities have been steered away from the town's one-room Red Brick School and into its parent elementary school, Davis Thayer, a move parents have agreed is in their children's best interest.

But at a meeting last night, Brick School Task Force member Kevin Walsh asked what would happen if a parent pushed to enroll their child at the historic schoolhouse, which lacks a nurse, special education staff, and access for the physically disabled.

Hmm, what if someone really, really wanted to go?

Read the full article in today's Milford Daily News

Franklin: Special Education Costs

School Committee Chairman, Jeffrey Roy, wrote on the School Committee blog:

The question on special education is not whether we should provide the services. We have a moral obligation to do so, and it is the right thing to do for these children and their families. The question is, however, who should pay. Currently, the burden is left to municipalities like Franklin, and that taxes our limited resources. The only way to meet these budget needs is through property tax overrides — an unpopular choice.

There are potential solutions, however. First, we can demand that Congress increase the funding as promised back in 1975. Second, we can request that the state fund special education transportation. Currently, the state provides no help in that area. And third, we can attempt to keep more special education students in district by expanding program offerings. Franklin has been successful in this third area, but we need more support from the federal and state government.

Read the full posting here.

All in favor!

Franklin, listen up
Your local school board makes the decisions that determine how your community's children are educated and how your tax dollars are spent. Voting for school board members is a simple but powerful way to support student success and strengthen your community.

Every child enrolled in your school district is a reason for you to vote in school board
elections. The overall quality of your local schools, both now and in the future, rests with decisions made by the board of education. You want the best and the brightest of your fellow citizens in charge.
The Center for Public Education has a nice flyer with information on how to prepare yourself to vote. Since we are facing an election this November with all the School Committee and Town Council spots up for grabs, the time to get informed is now.

Click through to take a copy of the flyer for yourself. It is PDF file, virus free and equally important FREE for the taking.

You Have Everything to Gain—or Lose
Everyone—not just parents—has a stake in the success of public schools. When schools are strong and students succeed, everyone benefits.
• Good schools are good business—they attract employers, strengthen the local
economy, and enhance property values.
• Good schools ensure our students will be prepared to keep our nation competitive in
a global economy.
• Good schools keep the American Dream alive with an opportunity for every child to
receive a world-class education.
• Good schools keep the quality of life in a community high by producing citizens
who pay taxes and obey the law.
• Good schools teach students from all backgrounds how to live and participate in our

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Franklin: Teacher Contract Press Release

Press Release
For immediate release
Comments presented at the school committee meeting by Chandler Creedon, Jr.

School Committee October 9, 2007

Tonight your are being asked to authorize a Memoranda of Understanding concerning a new three year collective bargaining agreement between the Franklin Teachers and you, the school committee. Please know this was by no means an easy sell. As teachers, we have lost 20 of our colleagues to budget cuts. Your records show we have already gained approximately 100 additional students over last year’s population. Class size is not optimal nor is it uniform across the district. The Franklin teachers took a huge hit given the budget problems facing The Town.

Please know there is much discontent and disillusionment in the ranks of The Franklin Education Association Membership. Teacher frustration is at an all time high. Each day there seems to be some new task that must be completed. Each day there is a new form to be completed or additional paperwork to be carried out. Daily there are new responsibilities added to analyze this new math program or analyze that new writing program, on top of all the normal duties such as directing traffic, and acting as crossing guards for our students. There are also many numerous and lengthy meetings with building principals that consume so much precious time. All these activities are in addition to the day to day running of classrooms.

This agreement that you will be authorizing meets only minimum standards. The FEA calls on the school Committee to be extremely cautious with each and every budget decision made. The Family Circle Magazine has invited many families to come and live in Franklin, pointing out the excellent school system and exceptionally low tax rate, a combination that presents major difficulties. We are again on the brink of more budget problems. As the student population continues to grow, the school department will need to add additional teachers next year. The demands and responsibilities placed on teachers continue to grow. We are in a very precarious situation. We look for your leadership and direction to address these issues. Thank you.

Chandler P, Creedon, Jr.
School Psychologist
Franklin Education Association
President 2006-2008

College Scholarship - Update

I wrote earlier of a college scholarship being offered to the best blogger. The contest had so many good entries, they have decided to post the top 20 for review and voting.

Check them out and pick one
you like.

If the six degrees of separation work, someone must know one of the top 20!

Let us know who that is!

The Friendly Advice Machine

Yes, John Cleese of Monty Python fame has a new gig pitching "friendly advice" for IT professionals for Iron Mountain Corp.

Of course, it is purely John Cleese....

Click here to check it out


Franklin: Where in Franklin? #13

Focus your eyes as intently as the baseball character here and you'll know where this is in Franklin.

Guidelines for playing "Where in Franklin?" can be found here.


Second chance: Maybe you have not guessed this location because the field has not been in playing condition this year.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Driveway Signs

On our walk Sunday morning, the driveway signs for the new medical center building on the corner of King and Union caught my eye.

Top sign: Dolores and I are walking across the street by the Tedeschi's. The sign to the left says "Do not enter". The second sign (to the right) says "One Way Do Not Enter". But the arrow on the driveway pavement is inbound.

What is the one way?

Bottom sign: If you were approaching via King with the building on your right (Union ahead of you, Tedeschi's to your left), the sign says "Enter Here".

So I guess it is a one way entrance that way but not an entrance from the other direction.

The pavement has the incoming arrow and also "Entrance Only" painted on it so drivers in the parking lot should not come out that way. The drivers attempting a left turn can be confused. The drivers attempting a right turn would not notice anything out of the ordinary.

Seems to me there would have been another way to make this less confusing.

What do you think?

NPR: One Room School Series

For the record, National Public Radio (NPR) had a series on one room schools during 2006 around the United States. Croyden (NH) happened to be one of those selected.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Assist Artist - Steve Ralston

In soccer, a sport where one goal is often the difference, the scorers get the glory. But the passes leading to those goals can be as brilliant as the scores. And nobody playing Major League Soccer today is passing better than the New England Revolution midfielder Steve Ralston. In a 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on July 14, with a simple backward pass off his heel to Shalrie Joseph (who passed to Andy Dorman, who scored), Ralston racked up his 115th assist, replacing Colombia's Carlos Valderrama as the league's all-time assist leader.
A good article in the Sunday Globe Magazine section today on Steve Ralston of the New England Revolution. Read the full article here.

Franklin: Free Stuff

Franklin: Free Stuff, originally uploaded by shersteve.

More free stuff available for the taking, this time at 711 Summer Street.

A couple of filing cabinets, a sewing machine, a lacrosse helmet, a couple of coolers....

Free stuff....

Franklin: Where in Franklin? Answer #12

You knew the answer. You guessed correctly that it was a corner of the roof on the Franklin Public Library. You just didn't send in an email or leave a comment to confirm your guess.

That's okay, there will be another chance soon.

Stay tuned for the next picture of "Where in Franklin?"

PodCamp Anthem

The PodCamp Anthem

rewritten by Steve Sherlock with sincere apologies to Frank Sinatra

Start spreading the news, I’m blogging today
I want to be a part of it – PodCamp, PodCamp
My interesting views, are begging to spray
Right through the very heart of it - PodCamp, PodCamp

I wanna wake up in YouTube, RSS doesn’t sleep
And find I’m king of the hill - top of the heap

These internet blues, are melting away
I’ll make a brand new start of it – an audio blog
If I can upload it there, you’ll download it anywhere
It’s up to me – PodCamp, PodCamp

PodCamp, PodCamp
I want to make up a new podcast, interview Joanne
Or maybe Steve, or Chris, footage in Berkman, mix it at Bunker Hill
All number ones

These Technorati blues, are melting away
I’m gonna make a brand new start of it – podcasting the world
And if I can upload it there, you’ll download it anywhere
It up to me - PodCamp, PodCamp

PodCamp Boston

2006 Sherlock's Foolish Music, Inc. (MADCAP Records)

Created after the first PodCamp Boston. Maybe a new one will get created for PodCamp Boston 2. Stay tuned to find out!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Aroma's without power

For the second Saturday in a row, Dolores and I were unable to get our morning coffee fix at Aroma's. Whatever power problem they are having is requiring some electrical work to be done.

No estimate as to when they would be re-open according to the sign on the door this morning.

I wrote this sherku last week.

Previous picture of Aroma's.

I don't care for this

What's the difference between "interrogation techniques" and torture?

One is approved and one raises hackles!

Read the NY Times article here.

What do you think?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Oak Street Kindergarten Featured in Gazette

Photo credit: Ken McGagh/Milford Daily News Staff photographer

Heather McCarron's article in this week's Franklin Gazette opens:
It’s "choice time" in Dolores Sherlock’s kindergarten classroom at the Oak Street Elementary School, and the children are variously engaged in reading, playing dress-up, and creating artwork with pieces of construction paper, Q-Tips, cotton balls, crayons and colored glue.

"London Bridge is falling down," chants 5-year-old Lily Barney, watching some Q-Tips she has fashioned into a bridge begin to sag under the weight of the glue she has used to meld them together.

No matter. She tilts her head closer, as if the added concentration might make a difference, and props the Q-Tips back up.
Read the remainder of the article here.

PS - yes, Dolores is my lovely and talented wife. You can check out Dolores's classroom page on the Oak Street web site for additional info on the full kindergarten class schedule and pictures of her friends activities.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

50 years ago today - Sputnik 1

Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite to be put into geocentric orbit. Launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, it was the first satellite of the Sputnik program.

The satellite helped to identify the density of high atmospheric layers by its orbit change and provided data on radio-signal distribution in the ionosphere. Because the satellite's body was filled with pressurized nitrogen, Sputnik 1 also provided the first opportunity for meteorite detection, as losses in internal pressure due to meteoroid penetration of the outer surface would have been evident in the temperature data. The unanticipated announcement of Sputnik 1's success precipitated the Sputnik crisis in the United States and ignited the so-called SpaceRace within the Cold War

Read the remainder of the wikipedia entry here

Health Care Options Reviewed

The historic deal between GM and the UAW on health benefits is the latest and loudest signal that health care will be the largest domestic issue facing the next President. That news, combined with Hillary Clinton's announcement of her plan and the Mayo Clinic's release of its proposal, starts to set the firm outlines of the coming debate.

It will be big and messy, taking us places we haven't imagined, but here's one probable - and surprising - consequence: Americans will increasingly realize that their own health depends on business's health.

Read the rest of the article here

Health care will be a defining issue for the presidential election, be informed.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

NE Revolution take US Open Cup 3-2

A trophy, finally!

After multiple finals and multiple close calls, the NE Revolution have finally taken home a trophy!

Twellman, Noonan, Thompson scored.

Go Revs!

Vote for Franklin - Friday Night Lights

The voting has started for the free lights. We have a chance to win these free lights for a Franklin School Field. It's a contest promoted by several private companies. The way the contest works, for every 850 votes a town gets, you get one sweepstakes entry for the grand drawing. Obviously, the more votes we get in 850 increments, the better our chances are of getting our name drawn.

Getting these lights would benefit many programs in town like soccer, lacrosse, football and many more. All you need to do is go on the website listed below and vote for Franklin. You can only vote once per email address so if you have more than one email address please vote again. Also, please forward this to as many people as you can think that would like to help us out. So, start spreading the word. You don't have to be a Franklin resident so spread this to family, friends and friends of friends. Lets win this thing.

Here's the link to the voting site