Framingham Blog Posts
Framingham Mayor Primary Race
Last week Framingham residents went to the polls to vote for the town's first Mayor. Yvonne Spicer was the clear winner with getting more votes than all the other candidates combined:
More people voted for Yvonne Spicer than for the change for Framingham to be a City. (5,684 people voted to transform the town to be a city.)
Number of Register Voters vs Turn out
Last November there were 39,910 registered voters, in September there were 39,996. Which mean 86 people signed up since the Presidential election. Not a huge change, but not bad for a primary election.
- 27.52% of the registered voters turned up in the primary. (11,006 voted in the Primary Election)
- 75% of the registered voters turned up in the November Elections (30,028 voted in the General Election)
- 43% of the registered voters turned up in the Presidential primary. (17,300 voted in the Primary Election)
The General Election had a lot of national coverage so it was expected to have a higher turnout.
If you're at the end of your lease and don't want to trade it in at the dealer, there's a couple of options Massachusett residents have, the one nearest Framingham is ADESA.
What is ADESA
ADESA provides customers a whole car auction solution. We serve two main client types: institutional customers and dealers.
The dealers who consign and purchase vehicles at ADESA auctions are licensed franchises and independent wholesale dealers. Dealer consignment vehicles include over-aged dealer inventory and unwanted dealer trade-ins.
Six things to Know about ADESA
- Building was once housed by General Motors
- Michael Dukakis purchased a car that was manufactured here.
- Public is not allowed to purchase auction cars. You can watch the auction from the lobby window. (It's neat to see the various cars that come in the lot.)
- Pictures are not allowed on the property. If you want that last picture with your lease car you will have to do it before you arrive.
- There is very limited parking. You need to park the car and then walk into the building to do the car transfer. Make sure to have all the paperwork with you.
- There is no trash bin at the drop-off location, make sure you clean out the car before arriving. Don't forget to look under the mats and sun visors.
From Downtown Framingham, Take a right onto Hollis St, then the next right on Irving Street. Stay on Irving Street, it becomes Loring Drive. You will know when you get near the facility when you start seeing a lot of cars parked on your right.
Street Address: 63 Western Avenue, Framingham, MA 01702
CSA Shares at Hanson Farm
Several Framingham farms have doing CSA (Community Support Agriculture) shares. Framingham residents may have seen lawn signs promoting the CSA Shares.
Framingham's Hanson Farms is one of the Farms that offers CSA Shares.
How CSA Farm Shares Work
The program allows local farmers to get cash up front to help cover the cost of operating expenses. In return, the investor will get a weekly share of fresh locally grown produce from early June to late October.
The amount of produce received every week is enough to feed a family of four. The share does vary weekly depending on what's available to harvest and the current weather conditions.
Some of the items require the Investor to pick their own - a fun activity for the kids!
Plan Duration and Cost
The standard CSA program last for 20 Weeks and cost $650 (2017 figures). That comes to $32.50 a week.
For smaller families, there is an alternate share program where you get a share every other week. So you only get 10 pickups.
The alternative plan cost $350, which comes to $35 a week.
Hanson Farms has an interesting cost saving summary PDF of how the program is a win-win for everyone. In the PDF, you can see how the Investor was able to save a lot of money over the grocery store prices. In addition, the PDF shows the various type food that might be available every week.
Supporting Local Farms
Using the CSA program is a great way to support local farms. While you may get some produce cheaper at the local supermarket. Supporting local farms via CSA helps local farmers grow excellent crop.
Framingham 2017 Mayor Election
The Town of Framingham will have it's first Mayor election on September 26, 2017. There are 6 candidates that are meet the qualifications to be the first Mayor of the city of Framingham. The top two winners in the September primary will face off for the November election.
Here's a list of the candidates and a link to their official websites:
- Josh Horrigan - "We, as a people, Have decided to Change. Now let's commit to it."
- John Stefanini - "We need to bring government to people, rather than people to government."
- Dhruba Sen - "My vision is to make Framingham one of the top 5 Smart Cities of the world."
- Mark Tilden - "There's no reason a major part of the marathon route which appears on the national stage each year shouldn't stand out as a bustling hub of our growing city. "
- Yvonne Spicer - "I'm running for Mayor to build our new city government in a way that is open and accessible to everyone."
- Ben Neves-Grigg - "Ben's vision is to move the City of Framingham forward as the most desirable city in the Commonwealth."
- Priscila Sousa - "will govern to provide a voice for those who have become disenfranchised by the status quo."
Callahan State Park
Framingham's Callahan State Park is a public recreation area covering 958 acres. People use the park for hiking, Mountain Biking, Fishing, horseback riding and walking. There is a pond where dogs can play in a beach like area.
The park has many trials with various main entrances:
- North Entrance - Good place to start on the Hiking trails. Lots of available parking.
- Edman's Road Entrance - Nice lot
- South Entrance - Primary Dog entrance. Enjoy the pond and meet other dog owners. Watch out for Golfers across the street when parking!
This is a nice park where there is a combination of open fields and woods. There's all sorts of fun trails to explore.
Not only is this a fun place to go for a walk, but its a fun place to bring your camera and take pictures - especially in early October.
You don't need a dog to visit the park - as there are lots of trails to explore. During a recent visit we encountered several families out for a nice Labor Day walk.
Ten things I Learned About Callahan State Park
- Officially Became a State Park in 1970
- Named after Raymond J, Callahan, an editor of the Framingham News. The park was named after him shortly after he died in 1969.
- Was a farm land since 1699 and 425-arces was turned over to the state as park land in 1969. The state paid $322,500 for the land. The state was buying lots of open space and some people didn't think it was a good use of the state's money.
- The park now encompasses 958-arces. (I wasn't able to find out specifically when the park expanded in size.)
- When the park first opened, there were personal aircraft shows near the Millwood entrance. Over a 1,000 people showed up. (Where did they park?)
- Dog owners should be careful about having their dogs swim or drink at the pond off Millwood Street. There are bacteria in the water since it is still water. Probably not a good idea to have puppies play in the water.
- One of the few places in the MetroWest where you can take dogs off the leach. Make sure to read the park signs, this is not a 100% leach free area and park rangers have been known to enforce the rules. Make sure you are in control of your dog at all times.
- Learn about the trails before you go. There are trail maps available if you need it.
- There is only 30 parking spaces on the Millwood Ave parking lot. This tends to fill up quickly on Weekends because its very close to the leach free area and pond. Cars will line the streets near the parking lot entrance.
- If you plan to visit the park with your dog frequently, consider joining the Callahan Dog Owners Group. It's a group that is working to make Callahan State Park the best multi-use park in Massachusetts.
Official Street Address
The park offical street address is 1048 Edmands Rd, Framingham, MA 01701. If you are bringing a dog visit the Millwood entrance as you'll see other dogs enjoying the open field.
Curbside Refuse Collection Planner
Framingham residents will soon be dusting off their rakes and leaf blowers. Pretty soon leaves will be falling down on lawns all over town.
It's important to know when the town will come by and pick up the Lawn/Leaf bags.
Note: the paper bags aren't strong enough for many re-uses. It's pretty safe to use it a couple of times, after that, you take a chance of the bags opening up in the car. This is especially true if you have wet leaves.
Here's the Town of Framingham Curbside Collection for September 2017 - to January 2018:
I recommend saving a copy of the graphic and display it near where you keep trash bags. Basically, remember that when you put out the trash in November to also put out leaf bags.
Framingham's Old Colony Hotel
The Old Colony Hotel is a small hotel near downtown Framingham. Framingham MBTA commuters may see the hotel as they drive to the commuter rail parking lot, as it's the last business before the parking lot.
Some online reports claim that the hotel was built around 1885. However, the town of Framingham lists the building as being built in 1900.
50 Year old Murder in Framingham
According to local reports In April 1966, John T. Horning murdered James Barry Sr. at a bar at the Old Colony Hotel. Police said that his motive for the killing was that John wanted to collect money that James owed him. John confronted James in the men's room, a fight broke out and James ended up on the floor with a broken neck.
James Barry Sr., age 66, died a few hours later at a local hospital from the neck wound.
John T. Horning, then 26, was charged with the murder. There is no information on the status of the trial, beyond that the jury visited the hotel to see the crime scene.
Here are some other things that I have learned about the hotel:
Interesting Facts about the Old Colony Hotel
- Built in 1900, but the sign on the hotel says it's established in 1885
- There are 24 bedrooms in the hotel
- The hotel square footage is 11,677 sqf
- The building is worth more than the land. (Building: $1,095,900 and Land: $155,100)
- The Hotel was built across from the railroad depot as a place to people to stay when they arrive to Framingham via rail.
- Was once called the Park Central Hotel and the Park Haven Hotel.
- Apparently the name of the hotel changed between Park Haven and Old Colony over the years.
- A Boston Globe report stated owners of the Old Colony Hotel were going on a cruise in 1920, and then a few years later articles talk about events at the Park Haven Hotel.
- Hotel was own by Frank E. Brooks until his death on July 30, 1926. He left the hotel to his son Frank H Brooks.
- Frank H. Brooks attempted to sell the hotel in an ad in the Boston Globe April 23, 1944.
- There were two fires at the hotel: November 24, 1946 and sometime in 1959.
- The fire in 1946 started at the Grain Elevator next door caused significant damage to the hotel.
- Murder Occurred at the Hotel in 1966, A Middlesex County Superior Court jury visited the hotel on April 25, 1966.
- Hotel went under foreclosure auction on September 21, 1975
The Old Colony Hotel is located at 2 Franklin St, Framingham, MA 01702
Did you know that the town of Framingham once had 2 airports. Between 1920 and 1942, there were two airfields in Framingham. The field names were State Musterfield and Gould Airport.
State Musterfield - 1920 - 1931
- Airport was located between Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Fuller Middle School
- A heliport serving the Massachusetts State Police Headquarters.
- There is a monument at the State Police Headquarters for those that served in the First World War.
- The airport was for government use only.
- The most notable event happened in October, 1921, when it became the first landing point for Airmail in New England. (Washington DC -> Framingham)
- Airport was in service between 1920 and 1931.
- Airport stopped operating after the town tried to buy the land from the state.
Gould Airport - 1930 - 1942
- Located on Western Ave. near the location of the ADESA (Auto Auction Dealer)
- Located on Gould Farm
- Dedicated on November 8-9, 1930
- 10,000 people attended the dedication
- It was at the dedication where many people from Massachusetts got their first experience being in an airplane.
- 2,800-foot Runway (North and South)
- 1,500-foot Runway (East and West)
- The airfield was force to close in 1942 because of World War 2 as All civilian airfields within 25 miles of the coast were forced to cease operations.
- After the war, the town were in the plans to buy the land to make it a municipal airport, but were side-step when Teddy Gould sold the land to General Motors.
Last Aviation Death in Framingham
This Christmas marks the 80th anniversary of the last person to die at the Framingham Airport (Gould Airport). Lloyd George Wallace (age 21) died while flying his plane on December 25, 1936.
According to various news reports at the time:
On Christmas Morning Lloyd Wallace went out on his airplane and flew over his parent's house (21 Speen Street, Natick MA). He waved to his family and friends who were at the house. After spending a few hours flying around, he returned to the airport, drove to his parent's house and enjoyed a Christmas meal.
After dinner, he returned to his airplane for another flight. However, shortly after takeoff, the plane went into a tailspin at 100 feet in the air. The plane crashed to the ground near the airport. He was taken to the Framingham Union Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Further investigation found that the cause of the crash might have been low fuel. As the plane was going higher in altitude, gravity was preventing the low fuel from going into the engine.
Lloyd George Wallace was buried at Pine Hill Cemetery in Sherborn Massachusetts.
Winter Street Bridge
The Winter Street Bridge in Framingham, Massachusetts is set to close so that a new bridge can be installed. The new bridge is scheduled to be completed by September 2017, just in time for the new school year.
The bridge handles about 8,000 cars a day, according to a traffic count done last April.
Most of the people that use the bridge come are coming from Ashland and are heading towards Route 9. Some popular places are Joseph P. Keefe Regional Technical High School, and Framingham's Barbieri Elementary School and Framingham State University.
The new bridge will be wider than the current bridge, which will allow for turning lanes at the Waverly and Fountain Street intersections. The goal of the new bridge will be to reduce traffic congestion at Winter Street's intersections with Fountain Street and Waverly Street.
A pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the project.
Accelerated Bridge Program
The MassDOT Accelerated Bride Program is a major infrastructure investment to fix all the high-risk bridges in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Through October 1, 2016 the MassDOT Accelerated Bridge Program has advertised 200 construction contracts with a combined construction budget valued at $2.45 billion.
According to the active project listing provided by the MassDOT the Bid amount for this project is $6,649,130. The Construction Contractor for this project is Northern Construction Service, LLC.
The original plans, from MassDOT, had the bridge to be closed 14 months from June 2015 to Aug. 2016. The project was delayed due to planning issues - including work on another bridge on Winter Street.
Fountain Street will see an increase in traffic. Drivers from Ashland will be better off using the Fountain Street exit on 135, near the Best Friends Pet Care. Drivers from Downtown Framingham would be best to use Fountain Street, near the Ron's Tire and Service and Walgreens.
Both of these routes will make avoiding the traffic around Winter Street a bit easier.
Winter Street Bridge 2013
On June 10, 2013, the Winter Street Bridge over the Sudbury River closed for repairs. This was the first time in 83 years that the road was closed to repair that bridge.
Shopper's World Track
On Sunday morning, while waiting in front of Toy R Us, we saw a person running around the Framingham Shopper's World parking lot several times. That got us wondering what is the total distance running around the parking lot.
Thanks to Google Maps, I was able to figure it out:
Thanks to Google Maps for the measurement.
Total area: 740,366.42 ft (68,782.29 m)
Total distance: 3,873.50 ft (1.18 km) or (.73 Miles)
If you were doing a 5k, you would need to run a little more than 4 times around the parking lot. The good thing about this is that the parking lot is very flat. The bad part about organizing a 5k here is that you would need a lot of barriers to prevent people from cutting across the parking lot.
That guy that was running, he kept a really good pace, and to be up before the crack of dawn...well that's dedication.
Better 5K Location
If you're planning a 5K race in Framingham, the better place would be near the Cushing Memorial Park.
The race would start on Dr. Harvey L Cushing Way and the runners would head towards Winter Street. The would take a right on Winter and head down over the river and then a right on Maple Street. At the end of the street, they would take a left on Franklin St, then a right on Maple Street. At the end of the street, they would pass by the Minutemen Monument and down Main Street, then a right onto Walnut Street. After passing Bowditch Field they take a right on to Mount Wayte Ave and head back to the parking lot at Cushing Park.
This is a standard 5k route and it's a pretty much level field, with some elevation on Mount Wayte and Winter Street.
Here's a map of the route: