Post image for Art on Trails installation schedule for Saturday and Sunday

Above: Organizers of the annual art exhibit on Beals Preserve trails are inviting the public to view artists installing their works this Saturday and Sunday – in person and virtually. (images L-R Hope Rising by Kevin Duffy and from website)

As I posted on Monday, artists will be installing their exhibits in this year’s Art on the Trails this weekend. In lieu of an opening ceremony, the public is invited to come out and watch the action. (Though, we are asked to maintain social distance.)

The invitation seems fitting given this year’s theme “Rising Up”: 

“OUR GREATEST GLORY IS NOT IN NEVER FAILING, BUT RISING UP EVERY TIME WE FAIL.” RALPH WALDO EMERSON
As we move through our lives, in our communities, in our world, we are challenged. How do we face those challenges and move forward with courage? Artists responding to this theme are asked to consider this question and respond with proposals that answer the question or demonstrate the rising of the human spirit.

Organizers have posted a schedule of 14 of the 15 artists this weekend:

Saturday, June 6:

Art on the Trails Map 202010:00 am – Sara King (of Bridgewater)
11:00 am – Jen Hansen (of Southborough)
12:00 pm – Melissa Randall (of Lancaster, MA)
1:00 pm – Sarah Samways (of Pawtucket, RI)
3:00 pm – Kevin Duffy (of Arlington)
4:00 pm – Michael Greenberg (of Hopkinton)

Sunday, June 7:

10:00 am – Todd Bartell (of Watertown)
11:00 am – Pamela Esty (of Southborough)
12:00 pm – Kelly Goff (of Norton)
1:00 pm – Catherine Weber (of Southborough)
2:00 pm – Sarah Alexander (of Hopedale)
3:00 pm – Darcie DeAngelo (of Lowell)
4:00 pm – Christine Rowley (of Somerville)

By process of elimination, it appears the unscheduled artist is Cecelia Lamancusa (of Ashton, Maryland)

If you are visiting in person, click the map above right to see the locations on the trail. You can also enjoy the installation remotely via live streaming on artonthetrails.com.

Once installed, the pieces will remain on exhibit through September 22th for the public to enjoy. The 2020 exhibition is made possible through the support of Southborough Open Land Foundation and the Southborough Community Fund. It is juried by Hilary Zelson, artist and Cambridge Arts Public Art Administrator.

Below are excerpts that I’m sharing again from the original announcement:  [click to keep reading…]

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Trottier SOS thanks teachers

by beth on June 5, 2020

Post image for Trottier SOS thanks teachers

Above: Southborough’s parent organization for public schools thanked Trottier teachers last week (and at least one teacher thanked them back). (contributed photos)

Earlier this week, I shared pics of Algonquin’s parade, where faculty congratulated students. Today, I’m sharing pics from a bit of a reverse event held at Trottier last Friday. 

In appreciation of Trottier teachers’ efforts, the Trottier chapter of SOS (Southborough Organization for Schools) gave out thank you gifts. Teachers were given sweet treats from Anything Bundt Cakes and Amazon gift cards.* When they drove up to pickup the gifts they were welcomed by decorations (in chalk and signs) by students and families. (Additionally, students were invited to post thank yous via a note, picture, and/or video on a dedicated digital platform.)

Donations for the thank you gifts were solicited from school parents with the following explanation:

It has been an incredibly challenging time for all of us. That said, our incredible teachers and staff at Trottier Middle School have seamlessly created a distance learning model to keep our students engaged and actively participating in meaningful educational activities. We are so grateful to all of them for their dedication and hard work. Let’s show our appreciation to each and every one of them by providing them with a Trottier Teacher/Staff Appreciation Day on May 29th!

I asked for and received photos from the successful event:

 

  

Coming up between now and the end of school, Trottier will be holding virtual Award ceremonies for kids, an online tribute to 8th graders, and a drive-thru farewell to 8th graders.

*The thank you gifts were funded by parent donations and the Trottier SOS. (The event was in lieu of the traditional Staff Appreciation Days held in normal times.)

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Post image for Candlelight Vigil for Peace and Racial Justice – June 14

Above: In nine days, community members are invited to bring their own candles to a vigil for peace and racial justice. (image cropped from photo posed to flickr by Caitlin Childs)

A week from Sunday, the Southborough Neighbors for Peace is holding a “Candlelight Vigil for Peace and Racial Justice”.

The event won’t be held sooner to allow participants in other local events this weekend to participate in Southborough’s as well. (Scroll down for info on this weekend’s nearby events.)

The Southborough vigil details are below:

Candlelight Vigil for Peace and Racial Justice flyerSouthborough Neighbors for Peace

Candlelight Vigil for Peace and Racial Justice

Sunday, June 14 at 7pm
St. Mark’s School Field — Rts. 85 & 30

Southborough Neighbors for Peace are inviting the public to:

Join with neighbors to stand for peace and racial justice in our community, our nation, and our world.

The Vigil will include:

  • Nearly 9 minutes of silence in memory of George Floyd.
  • Reflections from town officials, and area residents.
  • Candle lighting (Please bring a candle).

Important Note: Please wear a mask and practice physical distancing while participating in the Vigil.

Bring homemade signs and posters to reflect your desire for peace in our world.

Together we can make a difference in our world to root out the pain and injustice of racism, and fully become those who respect the dignity of every other person.

ALL ARE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND

I found information online about two local events this weekend. Feel free to share info on others in the comments:

Northborough 

Peaceful Black Lives Matter Demonstration” – RSVP requested

A Google doc circulating on Facebook shares the info on this event, which had a time change due to weather forecasts:

We are holding a peaceful event to commemorate the lives lost to police brutality on Saturday, June 6th, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Northborough Town Commons (45 W Main St, Northborough, MA 01532). All of those attending MUST WEAR A FACE MASK. Please bring WATER as it will be hot and follow the social distancing measures we put in place or you will be asked to leave. Feel free to bring a sign if you feel moved to do so.

Click here to RSVP.

Westborough 

Anti-racism solidarity vigil

Anti-Racism Solidarity VigilA Facebook event for the Sunday, June 7 vigil from 5:00 – 7:00 pm doesn’t call for pre-registration:

Join us for a peaceful, socially distant vigil in solidarity with People of Color. We will acknowledge and mourn those impacted by police brutality and racism. Bring your family and friends. Wear a mask, and be safe! There is strength in numbers!

The event will be staged at the Bay State Commons, 1100 Union Street, Westborough. Speakers are listed beginning at 5:00 pm. Children’s Poetry Readings are at 5:30 pm followed by a Candlelighting and Moment of Silence.

You can find more details on the currently scheduled speakers in the image above right. (It has prompted an interesting back and forth in the event comments as organizers have apparently not had success in finding “speakers of color” to participate.)

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Post image for Town Meeting Update: Details on the Articles up for vote (Updated)

Annual Town Meeting opens next week (weather permitting). As I posted earlier this week, the meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 13th at 1:00 pm with Sunday as the raindate. 

Voters will be asked to wear facemasks to the meeting. Once in their safely spaced seats, they can remove them for as long as they remain seated.

Since it’s an outdoor, daytime meeting, the limited presentations will rely on speakers and handouts – nothing projected on a screen. (Hopefully, most of the handouts will be available online sometime next week. I’ll share them when posted.)

Today, the Town posted confirmation of how it plans to handle the Warrant for a (hopefully) streamlined meeting.

Basically, the Town is looking to focus on the Articles that need to be handled before the start of the July 1st fiscal year. Others that can wait (especially controversial ones) they hope to postpone to a Special Town Meeting in the fall. (That date has yet to be determined.)

Selectmen and the Moderator have publicly assured that any Articles indefinitely postponed “for convenience” of voters this spring will be taken up at the fall Special. Citizen Petitioners won’t need to collect signatures again, since Selectmen can sponsor their Articles for the Warrant (even if they don’t support them). Given those assurances, it appears that all sponsors impacted have agreed to cooperate.

The gameplan was formed when the meeting was planned for indoors. On June 1st, the decision was made to move outdoors. Selectmen and the Moderator decided to stick with the plan to streamline the meeting. In a meeting yesterday, Town Administrator Mark Purple explained that the notice would have been too short for sponsors to prepare to present additional Articles. It would have set them up for failure. 

On Tuesday night, other reasons were raised. Selectman Marty Healey noted that the number of voters who feel comfortable showing up and debating Articles may be low. And Selectwoman Lisa Braccio noted that rain isn’t the only weather concern for the meeting. Voters may have to sit outside on a hot day. (Moderator Paul Cimino assured that he would try to keep the meeting moving quickly and bottled water will be given out for free.)

“Critical Articles” up for vote

Below are Articles that Town boards plan to ask voters to decide on as written in the ATM 2020 Warrant.

Annual administrative/financial authorizations:

Article 2: Acceptance of PILOT Payments
Article 3: Annual Borrowing authorization
Article 4: Authorization of contracts in excess of 3 yrs.
Article 8: Fiscal Year 2021 Water Enterprise budget (Click here to see the figures)
Article 13: Capital maintenance fund – ($100,000 for the ongoing maintenance of capital equipment and systems associated with town buildings
and facilities.)
Article 15: Annual authorization of revolving funds (spending limits for previously authorized accounts)
Article 16: CPA – Administrative (The budget and set asides as required under the Community Preservation Act)
Article 17: CPA – Burnett House bond (required annual payment for previously approved project)
Article 18: CPA – Library façade bond (required annual payment for previously approved project)

Article 5: Salary Administration Plan

The Personnel board’s recommended adjustments to the by-law that governs policies and pay structures for non-union Town employees. This years changes are explained in this summary and demonstrated in this redlined version. The board doesn’t plan to make a presentation but will be available to answer any questions.

Article 6: Amend borrowing authorization for PSB

This is to reduce the amount allowed for the Public Safety Building project. It was created to highlight to Town Meeting voters that the Town carried through on its promise to work to keep costs lower than the funding they requested.

The original Article budgeted for a $22.6M project with 10% based on contingencies for unforeseen issues. Currently, the project is projected to come in at $19.5M. (The building is complete but there are a few outstanding items the contractor is working on.) The Article doesn’t state the amount to be rescinded, but PSBC Chair Jason Malinowski confirmed on Tuesday that they plan to rescind $3 Million at this meeting and hopefully another $100,000 in a future year.

Article 7: Fiscal Year 2021 budget (Selectmen will move to replace the Article with an amended budget with reduced spending. That is still in flux. Click here for related stories.)

Article 9: Capital Budget (Non-borrowing)  [click to keep reading…]

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On the market this week in Southborough

by beth on June 4, 2020

Post image for On the market this week in Southborough

Above: This home at 10 Banfill Lane went on the market this week for $929,900 (MLS photo)

Here’s what went on and off the market this week. Thanks to Gail DuBois (email) of Keller Williams for supplying the town’s new listing information for the week.*

New on the market

Sale pending

  • 195 Parkerville Road (map) – 8 room, 3 bed, 2f 0h bath Ranch – 72 days on the Market, Listed at $379,900
  • 20 Darlene Dr (map) – 11 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Colonial – 31 days on the Market, Listed at $800,000
  • 15 Joslin Lane (map) – 12 room, 5 bed, 4f 1h bath Colonial – 18 days on the Market, Listed at $1,095,000

*Listings for the week are based on data pulled from MLS on Thursday mornings.

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Post image for Town Election: Vote Now reminder and new info from candidates for selectmen

Registered voters* are running out of time to vote by mail in the Town Election. So here are some important reminders and updates.

The election will be held at Trottier Middle School (through the front doors) on Tuesday, June 16. Hours are shorter this year (8:00 am to 4:00 pm). That’s based on the Town Clerk’s impression that most of us will vote by mail out of safety concerns.

Early voting by mail is well underway. The application for the ballot warns that once the request form is submitted, it can take 10 days for the ballot to reach you by mail. That means, if you haven’t yet applied, the time is now. The application information can be found here.

As for who to cast your votes for. . .

Board of Selectmen

Three candidates are running for two seats on the board. Yesterday, the Community Advocate posted a story on them. The paper asked each candidate questions about what makes them the best person for the job, the Town’s primary problems, and more. You can read their answers here.

You can also read the candidates’ statements previously issued on this blog below:

Assabet Valley Regional Voc. Dist

(The Southborough representative on the committee for Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School)

While the ballot is blank, two candidates are running write-in campaigns for the single seat. Their statements links are below:

Northborough – Southborough Regional School Committee – Northborough Candidate

This one is made interesting by the fact that one candidate is also running for three other seats in Northborough and not traditionally campaigning for why he should be elected to this (or any) seat. You can read more about that here, including my endorsement of the top two candidates in the list below. Below are links to the candidates’ statements in The Northborough Guide:

For a look at everyone else running uncontested and tow other seats without any listed candidates, you can view the ballot here or read an old blog post from March here.

*Unfortunately, in Massachusetts, the deadline to register to vote is 20 days prior to a regular Town Meeting or Election. So, if you haven’t registered yet, it’s too late. However, you’ll still want to register to weigh in on the Special Town Meeting in the fall and the federal election in November. So, click here to register.

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AVM asks you to join in a “fervent plea” through song “The Time Has Come” – Friday Night

June 4, 2020 09:54:26 AM
Thumbnail image for AVM asks you to join in a “fervent plea” through song “The Time Has Come” – Friday Night

Assabet Valley Mastersingers is asking the community to join them in singing a special song about justice, peace, healing, and bridging chasms on Friday night. The group will be singing their “fervent plea” in support of Black Lives Matter.

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BOS & Advisory to go back at budget differences on Monday (Updated)

June 3, 2020 05:57:07 PM

When we head into the week of Annual Town Meeting, the FY21 budget to be presented to voters will still be in flux.

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How to reach out to “remotely advocate for justice” to officials who represent us

June 3, 2020 02:48:18 PM
Thumbnail image for How to reach out to  “remotely advocate for justice” to officials who represent us

Witnessing the pain so many people are feeling across the country, a Southborough resident asked me to help share non-partisan resources to allow community members to “remotely advocate for justice”.

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Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

June 3, 2020 01:38:21 PM
Thumbnail image for Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

The open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers.

12 comments Read the full article →

District nurses and cafeteria workers make news across the country

June 3, 2020 10:36:33 AM
Thumbnail image for District nurses and cafeteria workers make news across the country

Yesterday, the work of Northborough and Southborough school nurses and cafeteria workers to support district students was documented in a feelgood story shared by local news stations across the country.

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School Surveys: Fall “Hybrid” Reopening, Start Times, & Strategic Plan surveys seek feedback from parents/community by Monday (Updated)

June 2, 2020 05:52:47 PM
Thumbnail image for School Surveys: Fall “Hybrid” Reopening, Start Times, & Strategic Plan surveys seek feedback from parents/community by Monday (Updated)

Earlier today, Northborough and Southborough public school parents received the monthly newsletter from the Superintendent. In it, he asks for responses to three surveys with deadlines this Friday, June 5.

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Police News: St Anne’s “sick parishioner” scam, liquor store hold up, and a hit (or snag) and run

June 2, 2020 04:16:16 PM
Thumbnail image for Police News: St Anne’s “sick parishioner” scam, liquor store hold up, and a hit (or snag) and run

In less than a week, there were already three new incidents worth sharing. One is an attempted crime that police are warning the public to avoid being a victim of. The other two are crimes which the police are hoping the public can provide information on.

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Photos: Faculty Farewell tribute to Algonquin seniors

June 2, 2020 02:31:05 PM
Thumbnail image for Photos: Faculty Farewell tribute to Algonquin seniors

Algonquin faculty held a tribute and farewell for the Class of 2020 last week.

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