Post image for Lacrosse: Boys team wins state and new Girls team seeks players grades 4-8

Above: ARHS lacrosse players from the Central MA state champ team – Alex Sabel (N), Paul Luongo (N), Paul Nardone (N), Ezrah Itkowsky (N), Jake Kelleher (N), Thomas Polutchko (S), Stuart Bleck (S), Dan Logan (S) (Contributed Photo)

I received two announcements on Lacrosse news to share. One boasts the accomplishments of players in town. And one seeks to recruit players to a new team.

Last Thursday the boys’ Central Mass lacrosse team won Gold at the 2014 Bay State Games. The 11-town regional team had 9 players from Algonquin, including three from Southborough. They beat out the Northeast Region team 10-4 to cinch the medal.

The Bay State Games website writes:

The Bay State Summer Games is Massachusetts’ own Olympic-style athletic competition that has annually been held since 1982. Each year the Summer Games features 7,000 athletes competing in 26 sports. Athletes of all ages and abilities represent over 300 Massachusetts communities each year. The Summer Games annually take place during the month of July. The Summer Games consist of Showcase Sports, Individual Sports, and Team Sports. Tryouts for Showcase Sports are held during the month of June statewide. Finals for all Summer Games competitions are held in the Metro Boston and Central Massachusetts area.

The team announcement showed pride in the team’s steady improvement over the past three years. Central MA won Bronze in 2012 and Silver in 2013.

Meanwhile, a new lacrosse club team is seeking girls grades 4-8 from town and the region to tryout. Gold Star Lacrosse pitches why players should seek a spot with them:

Our players will learn from coaches who have played at the highest levels. We know girls lacrosse because we have been competing on the field for years and love the game.

The coaches include a 2013 Gold Medalist from the US National team.

Tryouts will take place in Medway on August 17th & 24th.

To register, visit

For more information, click the flyer to enlarge.


Post image for “Herptiles” discovered at Beals Preserve

Above: SOLF volunteers have found  a number of  reptiles and amphibian at the Beals Preserve as part of its  study that began in March and will continue through September. (Photo from SOLF website)

In March, Southborough Open Land Foundation (SOLF) set out to discover which reptiles and amphibians (aka herps) are living in Beals Preserve. An update on the study reveals that seven frog species, four salamander species, turtles, and garter snakes have been identified.

SOLF reports that, “Reptiles have been more rare so far . . . with 12% of 24 species observed including the more cosmopolitan Painted and Snapping turtles and Garter Snakes . . . July should provide more wonderful examples of local reptiles…(read more)”

More than half of the 23 salamander species in Massachusetts have been identified at the preserve.

SOLF member Lawrence Spezzano and local volunteers have been collecting data three times a day and will continue until September. Volunteers are still needed.

If you are interested in helping explore the “herptiles” at Beals Preserve, contact the Southborough Open Land Foundation here.

Beals Preserve is 56 acres gifted to the SOLF by the Beals Family. Access is off of Main Street, Red Gate Lane, Hickory Road, or the Sudbury Reservoir Trail.


Post image for District among the minority choosing MCAS over PARCC testing for next year

Above: Southborough grades 3-8 and Algonquin will continue to offer MCAS this year rather than switching some grades to the PARCC test still in pilot phase. (Photos of Woodward and Neary from school websites; photos of Trottier and Algonquin by Susan Fitzgerald)

Southborough Wicked Local recently ran a story on the standardized testing choices made by area schools. According to the article, approximately 60% of Massachusetts public schools have chosen to switch some grades from MCAS testing to the new pilot test – PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers).

Both tests are being offered, as the board of education seeks to compare results next year. In fall 2015, the board will decide whether or not to permanently replace the MCAS with PARCC as of 2016. SWL reports:

In the hopes of getting on board early with what could become the state’s next standardized test, a dozen school districts in MetroWest and the Milford area last month signed up to administer the PARCC exam next year. . .

Most will be giving the test in third through eighth grade; a few will have their ninth- or eleventh-graders take it. . .

eight districts in the region told the state they will continue with the MCAS in 2015 (read more)

I checked in with Superintendent Christine Johnson to see what decision our district made, and why.

This June, the Combined School Committee voted to continue to administer the MCAS test at all grades. The decision was based on Johnson’s recommendation. In support, she provided the committee with an update on the spring PARCC pilot experience. She followed it with her recommendation and detailed reasoning.

According to Johnson’s documents, the district was one of a minority that was randomly selected to participate in the PARCC pilot this spring:

313 students from across our District representing a random sampling of students in grades 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 11 participated

Johnson believes the state still has work to do in improving the test before (or if) it is to become the mandated standard.

The administration met with students to get their reactions to the test (both online and paper versions). Their data differed from the state’s findings:

A higher percentage of our students reported that the questions were unclear, the directions confusing, and the experience of taking the test online was a good one but that many technical issues regarding access and input arose during the testing.

Meanwhile, she’s not concerned about other districts getting a leg up going forward. She reasoned that the recent experience already provided information to assist the schools in “our curriculum alignment and teaching and learning strategies”.

Click on the links for more information on last spring’s PARCC pilot and the recommendation to stick with MCAS this year.


Post image for Events this week (7/22-7/27/14): Science for kids, summer concert, and community theater

Right: Southborough native Laura Barrett partly credits her Algonquin AP Chem teacher for sparking her interest in science, leading to a Masters in Viticulture & Enology – and ultimately the award winning wines she’ll be pouring at a free tasting this week. Perhaps a program at the library this week will fuel an interest in science for youth in town. (Contributed photo)

Here are highlights of what’s happening around town this week. For more details and the full list, check the Event Calendar.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

  • Divorce seminar ( 10:00 am – 12:00 pm) @ Route 9 Legal Center, 304 Turnpike Road: The Massachusetts Family Law Group is offering free workshops to share important information and tips about the divorce process, including child support and custody, alimony, division of property. See dedicated post for details.
  • Drop-In Craft Days (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) @ Southborough Library: Stop by the Children’s Room between 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m. and make a craft project! Parents/Caregivers need to stay with the children.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • Free Senior Matinee (12:00 – 3:00 pm) @ Southborough Senior Center: Monuments Men – History, Adventure based on true story. Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and Bill Murray.(PG-13, 2 hours); Room will be open at 11:30 for anyone who wants to bring their lunch

[click to keep reading…]


Post image for Library displays local artists oil paintings; Reception August 21

Above: Wish our town had an art gallery? Stop by the Southborough Library to see Natick artist Rob Franco’s oil paintings on display this summer. (Photos by Beth Melo)

The Southborough Library is allowing another local artist to display his work. Natick artist Rob Franco’s oil paintings of boats, ponies and New England wildlife now line the Southborough Library’s downstairs meeting/event room.

Franco’s fascination of the ocean and other bodies of water inspire much of the work. Franco writes:

looking into a tidal pool or the reflection of a boat on the water gives me an emotional feeling of calm. . . and the light and colors are ever changing. Finding these opportunities is always exciting and priceless to me.

20140709_FrancoPaintings_BoatsHis passion for art began at an early age while visiting an artist in Newport, RI. Franco trained as an illustrator in the US Air Force and then continued as a graphic artist in the Boston area.

The artist’s passion soon turned to oil painting after studying pastel works in New York. He explains:

This medium allows me to build paintings with texture using palette knifes, brayers and assorted brushes

Franco’s work will be on display through August. A reception for the “gallery” will be held at the Southborough Library on Monday, August 21 at 6:30 pm.

For more information about Franco or how you can purchase some of works, click here.

If local Southborough artists are interested in displaying in the Eaton Meeting Room, contact Library Director Ryan Donovan by calling 508-485-5031.


Garfield House photo gallery

by beth on July 19, 2014

Post image for Garfield House photo gallery

Above: The Southborough Historical Society’s website provides a description of the Burnett estate layout and buildings. (Click here for enlarged photo.)

Southborough Historical Society member Paul Doucette provided a bounty of photos of the old Burnett (aka Garfield) house and estate. (Most were taken from past real estate listings, but he received permission for use.) They include interior shots of rooms and features.

The society has added information on the estate and a gallery to their site. Of course, all of this is in service of their quest to save the estate. Referring readers to the online petition, the website explains:

We hope the developer will recognize the passion that town has for this magnificent property and may reconsider [demolishing the house.]

As of this post, the petition had surpassed 1,000 signatures. Click here to support it. Click here for the demonstration blog.

Below are galleries of contributed photos organized by section of the estate.

1. The main house (aka Stone House). [click to keep reading…]


Obituary: Michael G. Anderson, 34

July 18, 2014 09:30:36 AM
Thumbnail image for Obituary: Michael G. Anderson, 34

Michael G. Anderson, 34, of Southborough, formerly of Upton, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, July 13, 2014 at home.

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Summer Concert Series: Bluegrass to blues to country to rock – Thursday, July 24

July 18, 2014 09:30:00 AM
Thumbnail image for Summer Concert Series: Bluegrass to blues to country to rock – Thursday, July 24

Southborough Youth & Family Services and Southborough Recreation Department are teaming up again to run their second Summer Music Series.

The goal is to produce family friendly entertainment while supporting an important cause.

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Favorite places: Running trails, routes in town, and places nearby

July 18, 2014 07:30:43 AM
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Runners seek a shady refuge from the summer heat with these favorite places.

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Free soccer clinic – Friday, August 8

July 17, 2014 04:30:00 PM
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Children aged 6-14 are invited to participate in a free soccer clinic offered by Global Premier Soccer (GPS) at the Neary School soccer fields on Friday, August 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration required.

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On the market this week in Southborough

July 17, 2014 02:30:33 PM
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What went on and off the market this week.

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Garfield House protest: Online petition, video and blog (Updated)

July 17, 2014 11:30:00 AM
Thumbnail image for Garfield House protest: Online petition, video and blog (Updated)

As I posted earlier this week, a Southborough teen is leading a protest against the demolition of the Garfield House. Southborough Access Media filmed an interview with those involved.

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Police news: Heroin antidote policy, new officer hired, and seeking to form public safety building committee

July 17, 2014 09:30:00 AM
Thumbnail image for Police news: Heroin antidote policy, new officer hired, and seeking to form public safety building committee

Southborough Police Chief Kenneth Paulhus spent a good chunk of time at the Board of Selectmen meeting this week. On the agenda, were the selection of a new police officer, requesting approval for a Narcan policy, and discussion of forming a public safety building committee.

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Obituary: Margaret A. (Flynn) Benson, 92

July 17, 2014 07:30:41 AM

Margaret A. (Flynn) Benson, 92, of Southborough died on Monday, July 14, 2014 at Shrewsbury Nursing Home after a period of declining health.

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