Framingham Blog Posts

January 3, 2018

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.

Plastic Bags

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:

  • Barnstable
  • Brookline
  • Cambridge (includes a fee per bag)
  • Concord
  • Falmouth
  • Great Barrington
  • Greenfield (proposed)
  • Hamilton
  • Harwich
  • Manchester
  • Marblehead
  • Nantucket (1S25 3- on biodegradable packaging)
  • Newburyport
  • Newton
  • Natick - August 2017
  • Northampton
  • Pittsfield - In Progress
  • Provincetown
  • Somerville - August, 2016
  • Truro
  • Wellfleet
  • Williamstown

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.

December 27, 2017

Top 7 Wednesday Blog Posts of 2017

Wednesday this year was a mix of different topics. Earlier in the year the focus was on Affinity Designer, then Bash , Productivity and then finally the topic turned to Framingham .

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...

December 20, 2017

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.

Framingham Soldiers 2018

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!

Previous Locations

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

December 13, 2017

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.

Largest Town

Current Listing

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 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, 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.

December 6, 2017

Christmas Gala Music Selection

On Friday the Saint Bridget School is holding a fundraiser Gala at the Sheraton Tara. This is sure to be an exciting event with great food and entertainment.

Gala Music

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
Amazing Grace Gregorian 3:11
Angels We Have Heard On High Andy Williams 2:32
Ave Maria Jewel 3:53
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
Believe Polar Express 4:09
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
November 29, 2017

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.

Framingham Holiday Tree

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.
November 22, 2017

Edward F. Loring Ice Arena

The Edward F. Loring Ice Arena is Framingham’s only indoor ice skating rink. The area host public skating sessions, local hockey games and figure skating events.

The need for Framingham to have an Ice Arena because the Framingham Ice Hockey team would have to travel all the way to Worcester to play their games. In 1961 the team captured the attention of the town when they won the state championship.

Loring Arena

Things I learned about Loring Ice Arena

  • Opened in November 30, 1963. (In 2019 it will be the 55th anniversary)
  • The arena is named after the former Framingham High School’s Ice Hockey head coach Edward F. Loring. He was the coach of the championship 1961 team.
  • Owned by the Town of Framingham and operated by the Town's Park & Recreation department.
  • Cost $535,000 to construct the ice rink in 1963 (Same Item would cost $4,312,572.06 in 2017)
  • In April 2015, the Town of Framingham approved a $5.66 million resolution to modernize the arena. The arena will have to improve handicapped accessibility, better separate boys’ and girls’ dressing rooms and other adjustments. Construction began in the Summer of 2017.
  • The ice rink is open from Labor Day through Boston Marathon Weekend.
  • Loring Skating Arena is a cash only facility (There are no ATMs on site!)
  • Weekend Open Skate cost $5 to get in and $6 for skate rentals. Rentals are only available on weekends!
  • There is Infrared heater above the grandstand which is operated by a coin machine at the top of the grandstand. (4 Quarters for 30 mins) These machines are currently out of order.
November 15, 2017

Framlingham vs Framingham

Technically Framingham, Massachusetts should really be Framlingham, Massachusetts. Why the name change is the first mystery of the town.


Brief History of the Town Name

In 1662, the town was originally called Danforth Farms. The area was originally owned by Thomas Danforth who acquired the land by purchasing various land grants by the Massachusetts General Court.

After selling off some of his lands, Thomas Danforth started naming the area Framlingham after his birthplace Framlingham, England.

Born in Framlingham

According to historians, there are only three people that are recorded to be born in Framlingham, Massachusetts:

  • Tomas Eames had two children, Nathaniel Eames (b. December 30, 1668) and Lydia Eames (b June 26, 1672),
  • Joseph Bradish had a son named Joseph Bradish (b November 28, 1672)

Framingham not Framlingham

Then one day in 1673 everyone stopped calling it Framlingham. No one is exactly sure why the letter 'l' was removed from the name.

Since December 23, 1673, the Massachusetts County Court has recorded the name of the area as Framingham.

Some historians thought it was a clerical error - perhaps someone just left out the 'l' and it changed history. However, around 1673, Thomas Danforth started referring to the area as Framingham in his writings.

I wasn't able to find out what event/situation in December 1673 that caused the name change. I believe that it had to have happened sometime in December 1673 and that is why the Massachusetts County Court made a note of it. There was

Framingham wouldn't be an official town until another 26 years later.

If you have any insights please leave a comment below.

Celebrate Framlingham in Framingham

The town still honors the mother city, Framlingham, England and invited a representative to the town during Framingham's Centennial celebration. The person was treated like royalty.

November 8, 2017

Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer

Congratulations to Yvonne M. Spicer on being the first Mayor of Framingham.

Framingham will be the first town to be transformed into a city in the 21st Century. The last city in Massachusetts to make the transformation was the town of Garder in 1923. (93 years ago!)

Yvonne M. Spicer will officially take office on January 1, 2018. (53 Days from now) That’s when the Town of Framingham will be officially known as the City of Framingham.

Election Day Voter Turnout

  • Yvonne M. Spicer - 9,128 (W)
  • John A. Stefanini - 6,455

Total Voters: 15,583

Primary Results

  • Yvonne M. Spicer - 5,967 (W)
  • John A. Stefanini - 3,184

Total Voters: 10,994 voters

Social Media

Interesting look at both candidates social media profiles on Election day. This is what their Twitter account looks like:

Spcier Twitter

Evidentially Framingham voters don't use Twitter to follow their candidates.

November 1, 2017

Framingham Mayor Election

There are two remaining candidates in the running for to be the first Mayor of Framingham:

Framingham Mayor Signs

Framingham voters should check out the websites of the two candidates to learn more about their plan as the first town mayor.

Do you know?

Test your knowledge:

  • Which candidate has an action plan for the first 100 days?
  • Who will implement a six-month moratorium on new apartments?
  • Which candidate will create a Framingham Planning and Development Agency?
  • Which one will create a 311 Hotline to the Mayor’s office?

Endorements are Coming in

While Spicer did very well in the primary in September, John Stefanini has done a lot of campaigning in the last few weeks. In the process, he has picked up some key endorsements.

Yvonne Spicer Endorements

  • Teri Banerjee Charter Commissioner, Town Moderator
  • Adam Blumer, Charter Clerk
  • Framingham Teachers Association
  • Jordan Ramsay Framingham High Class of 2017 President
  • Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund
  • Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus

John Stefanini, Endorements

  • The Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO
  • The Framingham-Newton Building Trades Council
  • Roofers & Waterproofers Union Local No. 33
  • Iron Workers Local 7
  • Carpenters Local Union 26
  • Framingham Police Superior Officers
  • Mark S. Tilden. Former Candidate for Mayor of Framingham

Not Over on Election Day

Framingham residents that are concern about the traffic conditions around town can make a difference even if their candidate doesn't win on November 7th. One of the responsibilities of the new mayor will be to appointment a new Traffic Commission.

The new commission will require four town residents appointed by the town council.

Town Charter describing the new commission:

(a) Establishment, Scope. Until such time as provided otherwise by paragraph (a) of section 1 of this Article, there shall be a traffic commission which shall consist of the police chief, the fire chief, the director of public works, the superindentant of schools, or each of their designees, and four residents: one from the business community, one from the downtown area (defined as the area within a one mile radius of the intersection of Routes 126 and 135), and two residents at-large. All resident members shall be appointed by the council, but shall not be members of the council. Such appointed members shall serve for 3 year terms.

Election Day in a few days

I believe this will be a much closer election than the primary. I still haven't decided on who I'll vote for, and it will probably be a game day decsion.