BUSINESS BRIEFS: Pizza, Police Opportunity, Hot Work, Bottle Bill, and More


Above, a familiar sign and location for Franklin House of Pizza, which got its start in 1970...but the ownership is new. (, 508 528 2811, open 11 am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday at 355 West Central Street, near the Food Pantry and AutoZone. Closed Sundays.

SPONSOR OF Business Briefs in the Franklin Observer

The chamber serves the communities of Bellingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Medway, Milford, Mendon, Millis, and Upton. More information is available at

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Hot Work Bill Advances

Almost exactly 10 years to the day that two Boston firefighters died in a blaze reportedly sparked by welders working on a brownstone in the Back Bay, all 40 senators voted Thursday to tighten the state's regulation of so-called hot work like welding, cutting, brazing or other flame-producing operations.  Firefighter Michael Kennedy and Lt. Ed Walsh died in the wind-swept fire on March 26, 2014. Sen. Nick Collins, the chief sponsor of the bill (S 2712) that the Senate passed Thursday, said that "unpermitted, unlicensed welding was being done by torch on a windy day" and that "a wooden shed connected to the brownstone caught fire when the sparks flew into it due to the shoddy work, setting the building on fire."  In the aftermath of the fatal Back Bay fire, Collins said the state "learned of the gaping holes in our laws and regulations to prevent such shoddy work and ensure that welding and hot works professionals get the training, ongoing training, and compliance with permitting and licensing regulations and standards." He said the commission that was formed to study hot work came up with a comprehensive regulatory framework to establish and maintain standards of training, oversight and accountability, coupled with enforcement.

Bottle Bill on the Move Again

Although not a favorite with retailers, who must absorb substantial costs to meet its requirements, the state's bottle bill has moved a bit closer to an update. The deposit, which has stayed at a nickel since the law passed in 1982, is not sufficient to get the recycling rates of states like Michigan, which increased its deposit to a dime several years ago. In addition, many of the beverages on the market today, like water bottles, vitamin drinks, juices and more did not exist when the law passed 40+ years ago. S. 2104, which got a favorable report from the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy committee would increase the deposit to a dime and include beverages on the market today.

Credit Card Debt

With Americans owing around $17.5 trillion in total household debt, the personal-finance website WalletHub recently  released its new report on the Cities Where People Are the Most Delinquent on Debt to show where people are at the biggest risk of credit score damage and other negative consequences. To highlight the places where people are having the biggest issues paying their bills, WalletHub analyzed proprietary user data from Q4 2023 for the 100 largest cities for which we could obtain a complete data set. In our ranking, we considered both the percentage of individual tradelines that were delinquent and the percentages of residents’ total loan balances that were delinquent. Laredo, TX, ranked #1 as 'most delinquent." Greater Boston, on the   other end of the scale, was a few positions shy of least delinquent.

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