On the market this week in Southborough

by beth on March 23, 2018

Post image for On the market this week in Southborough

Above: This home at 25 East Main went on the market this week for $699,900 (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

  • 55 Central St (map) – 7 room, 3 bed, 1f 0h bath Cape – 6 days on the Market, Listed at $350,000
  • 18 Gen. Henry Knox Road (map) – 7 room, 3 bed, 1f 0h bath Raised Ranch – 38 days on the Market, Listed at $419,900
  • 96 Breakneck Hill Road (map) – 9 room, 3 bed, 2f 0h bath Raised Ranch – 44 days on the Market, Listed at $434,500
  • 38 Flagg Road (map) – 8 room, 4 bed, 1f 1h bath Colonial – 3 days on the Market, Listed at $549,900
  • 4 Darlene Dr (map) – 8 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Garrison – 57 days on the Market, Listed at $674,900
  • 75 Woodland Road (map) – 9 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Colonial – 4 days on the Market, Listed at $679,900
  • 14 Pine Hill Road (map) – 11 room, 5 bed, 3f 1h bath Colonial – 159 days on the Market, Listed at $745,000


  • 21 Latisquama Road (map) – 7 room, 3 bed, 2f 0h bath Cape – 6 days on the Market, Listed at $545,000, Sold at $525,000

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


Obituary: Walter A. Lapham III, 76,

by beth on March 22, 2018

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Walter A. Lapham III, 76, of Southborough, died suddenly on Monday, March 19, 2018.

Walter was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and his family moved several times during his childhood, but spent significant time in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he fell in love with the ocean and boating. His parents, Walter A. Lapham, Jr. and Marjorie Hudson Lapham, settled in Old Bennington, Vermont just in time for him to start high school at Hoosac School in Hoosick, New York. He later attended Williams College and Boston University. He served in the Vermont Air Guard. He met his wife, Julie, in Old Bennington. They moved to Southborough in 1984.

Walter loved serving others, and from a very young age worked professionally and personally to assist where he could. One summer while he was in grade school, he and a friend put together a map of Marblehead Harbor and sold advertisements from local businesses to serve visiting boaters; the boys motored around the harbor greeting visitors and passing out the map. After college, he joined the sales force at Paramount Greeting Cards in Pawtucket, Rhode Island where he worked for almost twenty years, and later represented several card and gift lines in stores throughout New England. More recently, he worked for Boston Coach and Knight’s Airport Limousine Service, where he enjoyed learning about the lives and travels of his passengers and providing suggestions for places to eat and visit that matched their needs and interests.

Walter actively participated in activities with his family, attending his children and grandchildren’s athletics and activities, and helping Julie at flower shows and demonstrations. He also loved cars, boats, and food. He started flagging at Sports Car Club of America events as a young man and raced his Alfa for several years. The Laphams spent several summers in West Falmouth, Massachusetts, where he enjoyed time on the water with his family and friends. No matter where life took him, he’d either have a restaurant in mind or be on the hunt for a culinary adventure, and he also loved experimenting in the kitchen. [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for District continues to examine school Start Time

Last night, the Combined School Committee met in front of a large audience asking for Algonquin to move it’s start time from 7:20 am to 8:30 am. If any of them hoped for quick, definitive action, they were disappointed.

Committee members sympathized with parents and students. All were all in favor of pursuing change. But the only clear suggestion they were given by the Superintendent for a possible vote was one they didn’t support.

That’s because members saw a 20 minute change as a too small of a band-aid.

Midway into the night’s discussion, Superintendent Christine Johnson said they needed to make a decision that night and move towards that. She said she believed the district was strong and successful enough to make any change, “but we have to know what that is.”

The Superintendent said that if the committee decided to move ARHS’ start to 7:40 am, the schools would “back into” it.

Members expressed concern that the change wasn’t worth the disruption to the lower grades.

After members urged for a bigger change, Johnson shifted into a continued investigation mode. Before the agenda moved on without a vote called, Johnson told members:

I think we should continue to pursue those things that we’ve already identified, because in the process of doing that, we don’t know what we’ll determine.

She made it clear that the small shift isn’t off the table yet, because one of those “things” may show the option as more viable than they think.

Johnson is waiting on a new report from the bus company in a few weeks. It will be an early stab at fall routes. She hopes to capture some extra minutes through reducing number of needed stops and changing procedures.* They will also look at possibility of reducing buses and what that would do to costs.

While Johnson is advocating for bigger long term change, her vision is an “innovative” structural approach that she warns will be years in the making.

In the meantime, Southborough member Paul Desmond advised concerned residents to mail letters to state legislators. He advocated that parents could point out that the state’s failure to meet promised regional busing reimbursements are part of what is depriving their kids of sleep.**

The potential 20 minute shift had been raised by Johnson as a potentially no cost, minimal disruption solution. She described it as a reasonable first step. She said it was time to do something. She reminded that the first time she briefed committees on the problem was three years ago.

Southborough’s Gerry Capra said that he wasn’t sure there really is a solution without cost. He questioned whether the 20 minutes change was worth pursuing. Summing up what he heard from fellow members, he called it a compromise that no one likes very much.

Johnson did indicated she eventually wanted a bigger change. But she referred to changes to bus schedules as “oversimplistic” solutions to complex problems. She instead suggested that the problem was an opportunity for “innovative change” to look at the “total schedule” for students in their high performing school.

She referred to a pilot idea that she floated 3 years ago for a transitional start to the schools. It was never adopted. Last night, she blamed that on the issues raised about “inequity”.

Looking for structural change without inequity, she said she had talked to Principal Sara Walsh about “expanding the school day”. In a tiered scenario some Algonquin students would be bused to school for 7:20. While they began classes, buses would return to pick up other students who would return for 8:20.

Though she referred to the concept several times, she didn’t provide detail on how that would work. And she followed that it would take at least a couple of years for ARHS to develop

an innovative schedule that’s going to embrace all the practices that we feel we would like to see in place. And if are we willing to wait and do one schedule change with the possibility of two tiering – there will be a cost factor to that. . .

that’s the kind of conversations we should be having, along with the start time. So, that’s a conversation I think the school committee needs to embrace.

The meeting began with public comment from an audience citing lack of sleep as causing problems for students’ health, depression, stress, drug use, and other problems. You can read more about the public comment in Southborough Wicked Local’s coverage.

During the meeting, an Algonquin teacher Christina Smith presented her findings on the issue. She explained to the audience that she had been specifically asked to see if there was a way to move the start time to 7:40 am with no additional cost and minimal disruption to K-8 students. She concluded the answer was no. [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Art on the Trails short film screening – March 29

Above: Southborough artist Catherine Weber and Northborough filmmaker (Algonquin’s Radek Jaster) teamed up to bring us a film about last summer’s Art on the Trails. (photos from Art on the Trails website)

A local filmmaker will be debuting a short at the Southborough Library next week. The film’s focus is last summer’s Art on the Trails exhibit Finding Solace in the Woods.

art on the trails film screening flyer

(click to enlarge)

Algonquin senior Radek Jaster received a grant from Southborough Cultural Council to fund the work.* The completed film is scheduled to be screened at the Library on Thursday, March 29th at 7:00 pm.

If you aren’t familiar with Art on the Trails, it was a juried exhibit installed along trails in Southborough Open Land Foundation’s Beals Preserve.

The public was invited to explore the trails and enjoy the art.

The community was also welcomed to actively participate. The public was invited to add their own exhibits (within guidelines). And poetry inspired by the artwork was collected for a chapbook last summer (which is available for purchase.)

On the exhibit’s website Program Director Catherine Weber explained the origin for the film:

After producing the 4-minute film about the closing event in September, I got the idea that we had a special story to tell, and the skilled artist who could help us tell that story. Radek is finding time between finishing his senior year of high school, applying to colleges, and making films for Assumption College to work on this project. . .

We look forward to sharing this wonderful story with the public and will share the details of the screening soon. Stay tuned!

Following the film, a discussion panel will feature Jaster, Weber, and participating artists. They will talk about how the Beals Preserve inspired the artwork and poetry.

Weber is already working on another round of Art on the Trails for this summer. You can read about this year’s call for artists here. (And stay tuned for news about a new element this spring – a Fairy and Gnome Village on the preserve!)

*SCAC’s $550 grant was supplemented with another $100 by Northborough’s Cultural Council. Northborough will hold its own screening of the film in April.


Post image for Town Meeting: Upcoming forums on Rec Fields and Golf Course articles

Above: Upcoming forums address projects to keep Rec fields in play and Golf Course operations open and running (photo left of Depietri field in 2015 by Joao Melo, image right from Golf Club website)

Annual Town Meeting will again be asked to commit dollars beyond the Town’s budget and capital plan. Some advocates are working to make their cases to voters before the meeting convenes in 2 1/2 weeks.

I’ve already shared that the Recreation Commission plans to hold a forum at the Senior Center this Monday. Their focus is the three Articles on field (and track) projects. They’ve now added a second forum to be held at the Library.

The Library will also be hosting a forum by advocates of Articles supporting the Golf Course Articles.

Here is that schedule:

  • Rec forum flyer (click to open 2pg pdf)

    (click to open 2pg pdf)

    Recreation Forums (For more details and links to background information, click on the 2 page flyer right.)

    • Monday, March 26, at 7:00 pm at the Southborough Senior Center/Cordaville Hall
    • Wednesday, April 4, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Southborough Library, main level
  • Golf Course Forum (For more on ATM Articles click here. For more background on the golf course, click here.)
    • Thursday, April 5, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Southborough Library, main level


Post image for Town thanks personnel for efforts through storms; DPW asks for patience as it struggles with aftermath

Above: Messes like this one caused power outages and issues all over town a few weeks back. Though power has long been restored, there is still cleanup to be done. (photo by Joao Melo)

I’ve heard grumblings about tree debris on the ground and broken, dangling branches. “When is the Town going to clean it up?” Last night, the Public Works Superintendent addressed the ongoing problems from the big Nor’easter in early March.

Karen Galligan told the Board of Selectmen that some “dangles” people complain about are literally out of their reach. The DPW relies on National Grid to return with its bucket trucks for more clean up of those issues.

As for brush on the ground, DPW has been hard at work chipping away at it. (Again, literally.) Workers have had to grapple with digging out brush frozen into the ground by rain followed by snow. And they are making their way around town, using their chipper to dispose of broken limbs.

The DPW head said that some debris is the responsibility of residents whose own trees broke. BOS Chair Dan Kolenda responded that some residents dragged Town trees onto their properties to get them out of the way. Galligan acknowledged that. She said they know where those trees came from and will be responsible for those.

During the update, Galligan explained that during days immediately following the storm, her crew was constrained on what it could do. They worked to move debris, but only for limbs not touching wires. To deal with those, they had to wait for NGrid crews and follow them around, cleaning up after it was safe.

The information was part of an update by the safety chiefs on Town’s personnel efforts during the storm. The discussion praise from selectmen for Town Police, Fire and DPW employees for their work during those difficult days.

Selectmen were enthusiastic about emergency personnel’s interaction with residents in need (with individual instances of employees going out of their way), the setting up of a warming center, and other efforts.

In turn, the safety chiefs expressed appreciation, not only of hard working employees, but also of the many residents who showed them support. That included examples of people who brought them food and coffee throughout the ordeal.

Galligan summed up her update by saying that residents have been very patient. With another storm on the way, she hoped they would continue to be.


New schedule announced for Rec summer camps – Sign up for Early Bird rates

March 21, 2018 02:11:49 PM
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An overlap between the last week of Southborough schools and the original start of Rec camps prompted a new schedule.

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Southborough job listings: CIT Coordinator (deadline today) and Firefighter/EMT

March 21, 2018 01:20:45 PM
Thumbnail image for Southborough job listings: CIT Coordinator (deadline today) and Firefighter/EMT

I received another posting of jobs available in Southborough.

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Police logs (3/13-3/19): Bear sighting and an OUI crash that ended in a (successful) manhunt

March 21, 2018 11:17:40 AM
Thumbnail image for Police logs (3/13-3/19): Bear sighting and an OUI crash that ended in a (successful) manhunt

The Southborough Police Department had another busy week, including some drama covered by local media.

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Family Math Night – March 28

March 21, 2018 09:30:00 AM
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Next week, families with school aged kids are invited to enjoy “Family Math Night”.

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Town Election: Shea and Stivers for selectman; smaller races for School Committee and Library Trustees

March 21, 2018 07:47:55 AM
Thumbnail image for Town Election: Shea and Stivers for selectman; smaller races for School Committee and Library Trustees

While two potential candidates dropped out without filing, we still have three races and no empty seats.

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Another week, another March storm: Uncertain forecast for Southborough

March 20, 2018 05:06:16 PM
Thumbnail image for Another week, another March storm: Uncertain forecast for Southborough

The prediction is now along the lines of 5″. That’s more than a flurry, but a whole lot less than earlier predictions of 12-14″ for most of our town.

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Tuition-Free Kindergarten by August 2019 (hopefully)

March 20, 2018 02:19:17 PM
Thumbnail image for Tuition-Free Kindergarten by August 2019 (hopefully)

Some good news came out of some of the many meetings during this year’s budget season. The Southborough Schools are carrying through on the promise to “transition” to tuition-free full day Kindergarten.

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Neary Theater invites students to dive into video game musical

March 20, 2018 12:35:37 PM
Thumbnail image for Neary Theater invites students to dive into video game musical

The after school theater program at Neary is expanding to offer a spring musical this year. Student actors and singers are invited to register for “Press Start”.

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