Framingham Blog Posts
Over the Air Signal in Framingham
This weekend we have joined the growing trend and cut the cord from Comcast's Xfinity service. We switched over to Fios Internet service without TV service.
We are getting live TV from Over the Air and from Hulu's new live service. Hulu also has some great cable programming that we like to watch.
Technology has gotten so advanced that you don't need a large outdoor antenna to get quality over the air TV signals - particularly if you live in Framingham or for that matter much of the MetroWest.
We purchased a Vansky 2018 Newest Indoor Amplified Digital HDTV Antenna It offers a 50 Mile Range, Local Broadcast 4K/HD/VHF/UHF, Signal TV Channels for Smart Television w/ Detachable Amplifier. We purchased it from Amazon. This works perfectly in our house. This is powered by USB, it comes with a wall adapter, but the USB port on the TV works just fine.
We did notice that our 10-year-old TV didn't get as many channels as some newer TV sets.
Over the Air in Framingham
Framingham residences can get access to 38 "Over the Air" channels. Here's the current listing that you should be able to get:
The quality of the picture is great. This is certainly not the same "Over The Air" picture quality from the 1980s and 1990s. No rabbit ears, just pure digital quality.
Using Hulu Live
It does take time to get used to Hulu interface - particularly after watching Xfinity for a long time. When you turn it on you get a menu on what you want to watch, not live TV right away.
The live functionality isn't available on every platform. Only Samsung TVs has built-in support for Live, on other TVs, you need to use the Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV or Chrome Stick to view Live broadcasts.
We'll still be able to watch popular news channels - Fox News or CNN whenever we want.
What We'll Be Missing
Unfortunately we won't see any of the regular Red Sox, Celtics or Bruins games as they are all on cable channels. Hulu doesn't carry NBCSP and NESN, where most of the games are played.
In some cases, we'll miss Xfinity DVD functionality and the voice remote.
We'll also miss the Xfinity Hotspots, especially along the Framingham/Worcester line.
Cutting the Cable is the Future
More and more people are cutting the cable because people are too busy to watch live TV. They are watching TV on their terms and cable is too expensive.
24-Hours Stores in Framingham
Framingham is very fortunate to have many establishments that are open 24-Hours. Here’s a list of the various locations and a note about each:
|CVS||1280 Worcester Rd (Corner of Temple and Worcester Road)||Pharmacy is open 24-hours. Great place to go to get medicine for children that are sick at 3am.|
|Walgreens||653 Worcester Rd||If CVS is out of your item, then try Walgreens. Good location if you live northern Framingham.|
|iHop||17 Edgell Road||New Restaurant that offers breakfast and comfort foods any time of the day.|
|McDonalds||Mass Pike I-90 Service Area||Good place if your looking for a quick late night bite this would be a good stop|
|Dunkin Donuts||692 Cochituate Road (Near the Mass Pike)||Looking for coffee before getting on the highway? One of the few Dunkin Donuts that is open 24-Hours. (The Dunkin on the Mass Pike isn't open 24-hours) They do have food services all night. It's great place to get donuts or donut holes for a late night software releases.|
|Cumberland Farms||730 Cochituate Road||Gas Station and Shop is open 24-hours. Great place to stop to fill up before heading to Logan Airport and catching the early morning flight.|
|Seasons Corner Market||846 Concord St||Shell Station that accepts Stop and Shop Fuel Reward Card. Easy access from Route 9 or Route 30.|
|Tedeschi Food Shop||430 Waverly Street (At the Corner of Concord and Waverly Street)||Lots of good snacks for the late night cravings.|
|VERC Gulf Nobscot||876 Edgell Road||Small store, has a lot of the basics. Convenient for those living around Nobscot and Northern Framingham.|
Villages of Framingham
The City of Framingham is broken down into 10 active neighborhoods:
- Downtown - City Offices, Downtown Framingham, MBTA Commuter Rail Station, MetroWest Medical Center.
- Coburnville - Keefe Technical School, Waushakum Pond
- Framingham Centre - Framingham State University, Centre Common, Bowditch Field
- Golden Triangle - Shopper's World, Target, AMC DINE-IN and Logan Express
- Nobscot - Edgel Road and Water Street, Garden in the Woods, Knox Trail Boy Scout Camp
- North Framingham - Wittenborg Woods, Callahan State Park, Hanson's Farm, Sudbury Valley School
- Salem End Road - Salem End Road, Framingham Country Club, Temple Street Plaza
- Saxonville - Framingham High School, Venetian Tower, Lake Cochituate and Cochituate State Park
- South Framingham - ADESA Boston and South Middlesex Correctional Center
- West Framingham - Cushing Memorial Park and Reservoir area
In May 2012, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority allowed the public access to inactive aqueducts on various sites around Metrowest. One of the sites open was the Sudbury Aqueduct in Framingham.
Five Things I learned about the Sudbury Aqueduct
- This portion of the Aqueduct was created between 1875 and 1878.
- The purpose of the Sudbury Aqueduct is to move water from the Framingham Reservoir to Farm Pond as part of the route to transfer water from the Quabbin Reservoir to Boston.
- According to MWRA records, the aqueduct tunnel is brick lined and is 8.5 feet in diameter and 7.6 feet high.
- The Sudbury Aqueduct was taken out of regular service in 1978. The Aqueduct is still maintained as it needs to be available as an emergency back-up to the regional water supply system.
- This portion of Aqueduct is only xx feet, from Winter Street to Dudley Road. Local residents use the trail to get to Cushing Memorial Park.
Rules of the Aqueduct
There is a sign at both entrances to the Sudbury Aqueduct which read:
Welcome to the Sudbury Aqueduct walking trail.
This property is passive trail that has been permitted for use from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority to the Town of Framingham Parks & Recreation Department.
The Town of Framingham and the MWRA would like to thank you for visiting the Sudbury Aqueduct walking trail. We ask that you observe the following while using this trail;
- Passive activity only (e.g.: walking, jogging, or bicycling). All other users are prohibited.
- Activity is restricted to 20 ft wide corridor down the center of the aqueduct. The use of all other land is considered trespassing and is prohibited.
- All users are responsible to access their own abilities and physical limitations prior to entering the property.
- Trail is open Dawn to Dusk
- Alcohol is prohibited
- Motorized Vehicles are prohibited.
- All dogs must be leashed. Remove all pet waste.
- Do not liter. This is a carry-in, carry-out facility.
- Please look for the 'Aqueduct Trails' markers along the trails to find your GPS location.
Getting to the Sudbury Aqueduct
The best place to park your car is at the Cushing Memorial Park near the chapel. You can then safely walk down Dudley Street to the entrance of the Sudbury Aqueduct.
Looking for the 'Aqueduct Trails' markers looks like a fun game to play with kids.
Plastic Bag Ban in Framingham
Welcome to 2018 in Framingham, there are some new changes around here...
Now a City
Framingham is American's newest City. Most residents won't see much of a change during the transformation.
No more Plastic Bags!
At the 2016 Town Meeting, residents voted in favor of Article 42 - Amend General Bylaws: Article VIII Section 8 - Plastic Bag Reduction Bylaw.
According to the Article, the intent of the new Bylaw:
The production and use of thin film single-use plastic checkout bags have significant impacts on the environment, including, but not limited to: contributing to the potential death of marine animals through ingestion and entanglement; contributing to pollution of the land environment; creating a burden to solid waste collection and recycling facilities; clogging storm drainage systems; and requiring the use of millions of barrels of crude oil nationally for their manufacture. The purpose of this bylaw is to eliminate the usage of thin-film-single-use plastic bags by all retail and grocery stores in the Town of Framingham, on or after January 1, 2017.
How will this be enforced?
According to the Article:
Enforcement of this bylaw shall be the responsibility of the Town Manager (now Mayor) or his/her designee. The Town Manager shall determine the inspection process to be followed, incorporating the process into other town duties as appropriate.Any retail or grocery store distributing plastic grocery bags in violation of this bylaw shall be subject to a non-criminal disposition fine as specified in Appendix A of the Regulations for Enforcement of Town Bylaws under LM.G. Chapter 40,2S1D -Any such fines shall be paid to the Town of Framingham.
Framingham Not Alone on the Ban
Plastic Bag Regulations have been approved in 61 Cities and Towns in Massachusetts. The following city and towns in Massachusetts have now ban the use of plastic bags in retail stores:
State Law Proposed
There is a Bill in the Massachusetts legislature that will make any single-use bags against the law - not just plastic bags. If the bill passes, the law would go into effect on August 1, 2018.
The Bill S.424 simply states:
Except as provided in this section on and after August 1, 2018, a store shall not provide a single-use carryout bag to a customer at the point of sale.
The Bill is currently in a Joint Senate/House hearing. However, pass bills never made it Pass the Joint hearing and pretty much dies in committee.
Top 7 Wednesday Blog Posts of 2017
There were a lot of interesting posts done this year, it was difficult to pick just seven...
Top Seven Wednesday Blog Posts
In no particular order...
- Stitching Panoramas in Affinity Photo - Really like creating Panorama photos from a groups of photos.
- Extra Large Mousepad - You never have to worry about your mouse falling off. Probably get one for work
- Momentum Dashboard - Get inspired by beautiful photos and inspirational quotes
- Tagging in Google Photos - A easy way to manage your Google Photo library
- Emoji on the Command Line - Creative way to identify the server your on using Emoji.
- John Swift Dwelling House - Learned a lot about one of the earliest Framingham residence.
- CSA Shares at Hanson Farm - One way to help local farmers. How CSA Sharing works.
Framingham Wooden Soldiers
It's that time of year again. When the cold weather has arrived, and people are putting away the lawn motor and getting ready to dust off the snow blower. It's that time when local Framingham residences are working the various back roads to get around the mall traffic.
Around town, people may see some large Wooden soldiers standing by some of Framingham landmarks.
History of the Wooden Soldiers
The wood soldiers originally came from the original Shopper's World as a way to promote the mall during Christmas season. Some children may think they are nutcrackers, but they are in fact soldiers.
I wasn't able to find the exact date that they were placed, but it they appeared every Christmas since the min-1960s. There are 23 12-feet Wooden Soldiers. There was one giant soldier in the center of the shopping plaza. Kids know that where Santa was.
When the mall closed in 1994, the Wooden Soldiers were sold. Nobody knows what happen to the large one. There is a rumor that it was buried under the mall.
Framingham Wooden Soldiers Game
The Town of Framingham acquired some of the soldiers when Shopper's World closed. The town places 19 wooden soldiers around various landmarks around town.
For some Framingham residents, there's a tradition of "Finding the Wooden Soldier." They grab some hot chocolate and venture out to find all 19 Wooden Soldiers.
I created a PDF Document to help record the location of the wooden soldiers. Download the document, print it and see how many your family can find!
To help you out on your journey, here's a list of places where they were placed in the past:
Bowditch Field entrance (2), Memorial Building (2), MutualOne Co-op Bank on Concord Street (2), Downtown Common, Cushing Memorial Park (2) , M&O Building, Loring Arena, Adesa, Framingham Centre Common, Old Library, Albie Russo's old gas station in Saxonville, Russo's old bank in Saxonville, Robinson's Hardware in Saxonville, Edgell Memorial Library, Tripoli Police sub-station
Largest Town in America
In 2012, CNNMoney ranked Framingham the 38th best small city in America. It was a surprise to many since Framingham has rarely made the top 10 list of towns in Massachusetts.
CNNMoney described Framingham as..
Located 20 miles west of Boston, Framingham celebrates its ethnic diversity, offering public school calendars in three languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese. It has a sweet job market to celebrate too; the town's unemployment rate is a mere 4.2% as of May. High growth has recently helped revitalize the downtown, which includes Hispanic and Brazilian retail shopping and restaurants. Completing the picture is an array of affordable housing options, from Victorian homes to multistory apartment buildings.
Framingham hasn't made the top 100 list on CNNMoney since 2002. The current Time/Money survey has Waltham (13), Newton (26), Norwood (78), and South Weymouth (73) as the only cities in Massachusetts to make the list.
Currently the Niche.com website has Framingham ranked #114 in the survey of the best Town to live in Massachusetts. The town gets high marks for Diversity, Outdoor Activities, and Commute. It lacks on affordable housing, cost of living and weather.
In 2013, Boston.com put out a DreamFinder list of "25 best places to live in Massachusetts." Framingham took the #14 spot. The article says "has a strong location score, above average schools and decent housing costs."
America's Largest Town
Framingham is currently America's largest town. After January 1st, the title goes to Brookline, Massachusetts.
Christmas Gala Music Selection
I am helping a committee of volunteers put together the music for the Gala. The theme that we selected is Christmas with some 1980s/1990s dance music.
Still Time to Attend!
If you're going to be in the Framingham area on December 8th, why not attend a fun event? There’s still time to attend the Gala! Head over to the Saint Bridget website and sign up. I don’t believe that there’s going to be any tickets available at the door.
There’s a large growing list of auction items, including:
- Wine Tower - One bid wins you a large selection of quality wines!
- Disney tickets
- An airplane ride to the Vineyard
- An Aruba Vacation
- 50,000 airline miles
- beautiful class projects from the youngest students
- Principal for the Day
- front row seats at First Communion and Graduation
Breaking it Down to Categories
We have identified the need for four main categories:
- Music for the Cocktail Hour - Need some quiet music so it doesn’t drain out people when they arrive.
- General Music - Start the Gala with some popular Christmas Music.
- Music for Dinner Time - Some nice Quiet Music while people enjoy their food.
- Music for Dance and Auction - Exciting music to make it fun night.
Christmas Music List
This is the collection of music that we have select, it’s pretty much a collection of some of the most popular Christmas songs of all time. We select the appropriate artist that most people would associate the song too. Since Saint Bridget school is a Catholic school, we wanted to include some popular Christmas music that would be played at school/church.
I thought I include the list here so other people that are putting together similar events can have a nice music to select from. All of these songs are available on iTunes. You can find popular music collections that contain many of the classic songs by Bing Crosby, Andy Williams and others.
Here is the Christmas song list in alphabetical order:
|Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)||Bing Crosby||3:14|
|All I Want For Christmas Is You||Mariah Carey||3:55|
|Angels We Have Heard On High||Andy Williams||2:32|
|Away in a Manger||Kids||2:38|
|Baby It's Cold Outside||Dean Martin & Martina McBride||2:54|
|Baby Jesus is Born||GARTH BROOKS||3:59|
|Carol of the Bells||Mannheim Steamroller||3:53|
|The Christmas Song||The Carpenters||3:40|
|Do you hear what I hear||Bing Crosby||2:45|
|Feliz Navidad||Jose Feliciano||3:05|
|The First Noel||Connie Francis||3:07|
|Go Tell it on the Mountain||Dolly Parton||2:43|
|Happy Christmas (War is Over)||John Lennon||3:36|
|Happy Holidays||Andy Williams||2:38|
|Here Comes Santa||Gene Autry||2:34|
|I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day||Casting Crowns||4:20|
|It's begining to look a lot like Christmas||Perry Como||2:39|
|It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year||Andy Williams||2:32|
|Jingle Bell Rock||Brenda Lee||2:10|
|Joy to the World||Christmas Carol & Song Children||2:10|
|Last Christmas||Ashley Tisdale||3:55|
|Let it Snow||Frank Sinatra||2:37|
|Little Drummer Boy||Harry Simeone Chorale||3:19|
|Mary, Did You Know?||Kathy Mattea||3:15|
|Mary's Boy Child||Bioney M||5:09|
|Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) [Single Version]||Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters||2:55|
|O Come All Ye Faithful||Casting Crowns||3:49|
|O Come, O Come Emmaunel||Citizen Shade||2:52|
|O Tannenbaum||Nat King Cole||3:01|
|Rocking around the Christmas Tree||Brenda Lee||2:06|
|Silent Night||Frank Sinatra||3:07|
|Silver Bells||Bing Crosby||3:06|
|The Star||Mariah Carey||4:02|
|There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays||Perry Como||2:58|
|White Christmas||Bing Crosby||1:38|
Framingham Holiday Tree
Next weekend, December 5th, Framingham will light up the last Town of Framingham Christmas Tree. Next year Christmas Tree will be the first for the City of Framingham.
Six Things You May Not Know about the Holiday Tree Tradition
- This is the 26th annual Holiday Tree tradition. Started back in 1991.
- You may donate one of your trees at by contacting Cherry Manuel in the selectman's office at 508-532-5400.
- When you donate a tree, the town will cut it down for free and plant another tree in it's place. The town will cut the tree down on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
- The tree stand is actually a man hole in front of the Town Hall
- This year's Christmas Tree took about 20 years to grow.
- The Christmas Tree lighting starts at 5:45 pm. Parking and Traffic is very busy around 5:30, recommended to arrive at least 5:15. Best Parking location is the Concord St / Howard Street public parking lot.