Post image for Holiday safety assistance and tips from the SPD: House checks on request

The Town of Southborough tweeted a reminder this week that the Southborough Police Department does house checks on request.

If you are traveling (for the holidays or any time of year), you can submit a house check request. SPD patrols will give your residence extra attention during your absence.

You can access the request form here.

I was wondering if the department had any other safety tips this season. In fact, they do.

Their Facebook page shared some Holiday Home Security tips.

Holiday Home Security tipsSPD posted:

we are sharing a Holiday Home Security Checklist, designed by a national home security company called “Protect America”. If you are traveling for the holidays, please take a minute to print this out and check off the list before you leave. We believe that its a great tool to help keep your home and property safe & secure while you are away.

You can click on the image to enlarge.

(I have to admit that I got a chuckle out of seeing tips based on a “survey of burglars”. I’m imagining the circumstance in which someone completed that survey. “You have the right to remain silent. But first, can you tell us, did you pick this house to rob because there weren’t any lights on?”)

The department website also offers a plethora of advice on holiday safety from locking car doors while driving, to eating before drinking, to talking to your tots about how to handle being lost in a store.

You can find that tip list here.

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On the market this week in Southborough

by beth on December 18, 2014

Post image for On the market this week in Southborough

Above: This home at 31 Woodland Road went on the market this week for $774,900 (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

  • 166 Southville Road (map) – 7 room, 4 bed, 2f 0h bath Colonial – 34 days on the Market, Listed at $157,500

Sold

  • 38 Constitution Drive (map) – 9 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Colonial – 103 days on the Market, Listed at $699,900, Sold at $690,000
  • 160 Woodland Road (map) – 9 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Colonial – 410 days on the Market, Listed at $709,999, Sold at $738,000
  • 5 Presidential Drive (map) – 10 room, 4 bed, 4f 0h bath Colonial – 41 days on the Market, Listed at $949,900, Sold at $951,000

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Southborough Wicked Local reported on two stories that effect Southborough tax payers this week.

On Tuesday, selectmen got a preview of the Town budget for the next fiscal year. As it currently stands, the $4.81 million budget would result in a 5.4% property tax increase.

That’s something selectmen are seeking to avoid. SWL reports:

“officials say the budget is likely to undergo changes in the coming weeks.

Local aid is still unsettled, especially with a new governor due to be sworn in next month, said Finance Director Brian Ballantine.

He said local aid accounts for 6.2 percent of total revenues, so any increase or decrease by the state could result in the projected tax increase moving up or down. Post-retiree health insurance remains a significant part of the budget, he said, signaling a need to make management of health costs a priority.

“We’re down a little in students, which improves our number,” said Town Administrator Mark Purple about the school department’s side of the budget. The district is expected to submit its budget estimates next month, Ballantine said.

“I would like to see a level-service funded budget,” said board member Bonnie Phaneuf . . .

“I don’t want our public safety departments to come up with a level-service budget, when we know that there are already deficits,” said Selectman John Rooney.

He said he would not be in favor of the projected tax increase and would not support it at Town Meeting.

Purple said rather than drafting level-service budgets, he prefers a system where the budget is deconstructed to zero and then built back up again. (read more)

In other fiscal news, the Regional School Committee is joining a fight against the state’s regional busing budget cuts.

What was seen as a budget boon earlier this fall was pulled back by Governor Deval Patrick last month.

At a past Regional School Committee meeting, members had lamented the low funding for busing. They noted that when the state was pushing for the district and other towns to establish their regional schools, they promised 100% transportation reimbursements.

Over time, the budgets had been cut significantly. The committee agreed on pushing for increased transportation funding as one of their legislative priorities.

In September, Superintendent Christine Johnson was pleased to share that the 2015 state budget included an increase in funding for regional transportation. The reimbursement would be for 90% of the expense. They were suddenly looking at an increase of about $200,000 in reimbursements.

According to SWL, Governor Patrick cut that increase back to the same level funding as the previous year. It was part of an effort to “close a projected $329 million budget gap for the current fiscal year”.

The Regional School Committee is now banding with other school districts in battling the cut. SWL reports:

Committee members voted Wednesday to chip in $500 toward a legal fund established by the Massachusetts Association of Regional Schools to research the legality of Patrick’s mid-year budget cut. . . [click to keep reading…]

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Sing-a-long with the Songsters – December 23

by beth on December 18, 2014

2014 Senior_songsters_sing-a-longThe Southborough Senior Center is hosting a Holiday Sing‐a‐Long.

Familiar faces will lead the merriment. The event is being held by the center’s Southborough Songsters.

The sing-a-long will be at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, December 23.

Refreshments will follow the festivities.

If you plan to join them, please sign up in advance at the Senior Center desk or by calling 508-229-4453.

Click to enlarge

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Ethics of giving to teachers

by beth on December 17, 2014

Post image for Ethics of giving to teachers

Superintendent Christine Johnson issued a reminder this month about the ethics regulations surrounding gifts to public school teachers.

In it, she outlines the financial restrictions around direct gifts to teachers. He also encourages parents to give gifts to the classroom, school or school organizations in a teacher’s name.

If you’re worried that a donation to the school won’t feel personal enough, here are some ideas teachers and students should enjoy:

  • Have your choose something from the teacher’s classroom wish list, wrap it and bring it in to his/her teacher. (The schools generally keep wish lists in the office for parents to check.)
  • Make a Red Apple Award donation in teachers’ names. The Southborough Education Foundation will email a “Red Apple Beastie” created by Mr. LaChance that your child can personalize and present to their teacher.
  • Have your child make a card with a personal note to the teacher. Include an explanation of the gift made in teacher’s name (e.g., a contribution to SOS, a book to the school library.)

Click here for Johnson’s December 4th message.

(Image posted to Flickr by asenat29)

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Today, 14 employees of New England Compounding Center were arrested in a federal racketeering case. The charges stem from a 2012 meningitis outbreak that infected 750 patients and is blamed for the death of 64 people.

One of the company’s co-founders charged with defrauding the FDA is Greg Conigliaro of Southborough. Additional charges of second degree murder were brought against two others involved, co-founder Barry Cadden and Pharmacist Glenn Adam Chin.

It’s a major news story getting a lot  of print and TV news coverage. So, I’m going to leave it to professional journalists.

Click here for WBZ news coverage of the arrests. Click here for telegram.com’s article on the charges.

Click here for the Grand Jury’s indictment released by the U.S. Justice Department.

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SWL: Historical Commission pursuing Demolition Delay Bylaw and Historic District

December 17, 2014 09:15:20 AM

Southborough’s lack of a demolition delay bylaw for historic homes was front and center in town news this summer. A Town committee has been working to change that.

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St. Mark’s opens for public skating over the holidays on Sunday

December 16, 2014 04:20:36 PM
Thumbnail image for St. Mark’s opens for public skating over the holidays on Sunday

Mother Nature has not cooperated enough to get the community skating rink at Woodward up and running, but there will still be opportunities to skate over the Christmas break as the rink at St. Mark’s opens to the public.

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Magical animals at the Library – December 29

December 16, 2014 02:53:10 PM
Thumbnail image for Magical animals at the Library – December 29

The Library will host Flynn’s Magic Show over winter break.

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Register/save dates for Winter Break fun: Dodgeball, movie day, gadgets, and open gym (Updated)

December 16, 2014 11:50:05 AM
Thumbnail image for Register/save dates for Winter Break fun: Dodgeball, movie day, gadgets, and open gym (Updated)

If you’re going to be home with kids over Winter Break this year, you’ll be happy to know that there are programs available after Christmas.

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ARHS Football pride: Media coverage of the team’s turnaround season

December 16, 2014 09:03:12 AM

ARHS Football didn’t win their division championship. But after a decade and a half of losing seasons, the team’s successes this year earned them widespread attention and respect.

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Scholastic awards for high school students – deadline January 15

December 15, 2014 04:30:19 PM
Thumbnail image for Scholastic awards for high school students – deadline January 15

Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce is promoting its scholastic awards available to high school students.

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The week in government: Discussion of developer involvement in bylaws; and updating Affordable Housing Strategic Plan

December 15, 2014 02:52:15 PM
Thumbnail image for The week in government: Discussion of developer involvement in bylaws; and updating Affordable Housing Strategic Plan

A list of board and committee meetings for the week.

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SWL: Southborough student an inspiration to others

December 15, 2014 11:40:37 AM
Thumbnail image for SWL: Southborough student an inspiration to others

Southborough is home to a new You Tube star.

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