Post image for Weekend at a Glance: Halloween all around, mushrooms, concert and teen driving seminar

Above: There are so many choices for little monsters to enjoy this weekend, including the traditional Firefighter’s parade and contest (Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

Halloween week kicks off tonight with one of three costume parties for kids this weekend. But not all of the weekends activities are for kids. Here are the highlights.

Friday, October 24, 2014:

  • Halloween Party for 12 and Under (7:00 – 8:30 pm) @ Finn School cafeteria: $5 admission or $15 per family Party for 12 and under, accompanied by adults. Games, Arts and Crafts, Face Painting, and Treats. Costumes encouraged Sponsored by Youth and Family Services. See dedicated post for details.

Saturday, October 25, 2014:

  • Entertainer Jeannie Mack performsHalloween Party for 2-8 year olds (10:00 am – 11:00 am) @ Fay’s Primary School: Jeannie Mack’s Halloween Party Jeannie Mack, children’s musician, will perform songs about pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and silly witches. There will also be fun and games, a Halloween story, and a parade. Make sure you wear your costume! This program is designed for children ages 2-8 along with their parents. It will be followed by a complimentary snack. (Use the school’s East Entrance at 25 Middle Road for access and parking.) Please pre-register. (Photo from entertainer’s website.)
  • DNT TXT N DRV teen & parent seminar (10:00 am) @ Long Cadillac, 218 Turnpike Road: Free seminar to help teens and their role-model parents to avoid distracted driving. See dedicated post for details.
  • Steeple Coffeehouse – Tracy Grammer (7:30 pm) @ Pilgrim Church’s Fellowship Hall:  The singer/songwriter/storyteller will kick off the coffehouse’s 19th season. Tickets for the evening show are $15 in advance ($12 for students/seniors) or $18 at the door ($15 for students/seniors). Advance purchase is available online. For full details, see dedicated post.

Sunday, October 26, 2014:

  • Mushroom Walk (1:30 – 3:30 pm) @ Town Forest Trailhead, at the end of Walnut Drive (off Oak Street): Southborough Open Space Preservation Commission and Stewardship Committee are inviting adults in the community to join them as they identify 30-50 mushroom species in the town forest. For full details, see dedicated post.
  • Southborough Firefighters Association Annual Halloween Parade (4:00 pm) @ Main Street (Mauro’s Market to Fire Station): Parade line up begins in front of Mauro’s Market. Parade ends inside the Fire Station. Candy is handed out to the children and refreshments served. Costume prizes are awarded. See dedicated post for details.


Post image for BOS to vote on revised Main Street reconstruction plans November 18

Above: While it’s still designed bigger than the actual roads, a trimmed redesign of the Routes 30 and 85 intersection is touted as being as small as possible for the Main Street reconstruction project. (Image from DPW’s 25% plans)

Tuesday, the Main Street Design Working group presented their update to the Board of Selectmen. They shared revised plans based on their recommendations for the reconstruction project.

The new plans were pitched to and generally accepted by the board as the best version of the plan to date. Yet, selectmen Bonnie Phaneuf and Paul Cimino asked to hold off on voting that night.

Phaneuf asked that the community have a chance to see the materials and be notified of the vote. She pointed out that the agenda listed the item as an update, not a vote.

Chair Bill Boland stated that other business without language specifiying a vote (a liquor license also under “Appointments” agenda) was approved. And he argued that people will always find something to object to.

Boland counseled moving forward so the Mass Department of Transportation could schedule a public meeting they hoped to hold in November.

Phaneuf rebutted, “The DOT doesn’t pay taxes in Southborough.” She argued the issue was too important to the town to rely on semantics for the right to vote that night.

The new “25% plan” scheduled for a vote of support incorporates changes from the group’s back and forth with MasDOT and VHB (the town’s engineering design consultants). It was supplemented by the working group’s list of pros and cons for their revisions.*

The group was in consensus on most items, but not in full agreement with every detail or how the town should proceed.  [click to keep reading…]


Photo Gallery: A little bit of fall

by beth on October 24, 2014

Post image for Photo Gallery: A little bit of fall

Above: There are still beautiful places in Southborough that remind us of our town’s rural roots. (Photo submitted by Sarah Cassell)

Only a couple of readers answered my call for fall photos. But what they sent in was worth sharing. I hope these pics brighten the dreary day.

For a look at foliage shots from past years, click here.

(Thank you again to all the contributers.)

Click to enlarge

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SCAC seeks feedback for future grant funding

by alyssa on October 24, 2014

Post image for SCAC seeks feedback for future grant funding

Above: The Southborough Cultural Arts Council wants your feedback on the the cultural arts programs that you’re most interested in by completing a survey. (Photo: Southborough Cultural Arts Council logo from

The Southborough Cultural Arts Council (SCAC) is administering a survey seeking community input about funding for programs in the future.

“SCAC would appreciate your input to help us set our funding priorities for the next few years. The major effort undertaken by the council is to award grant money that is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, through its Local Cultural Council Program (LLC).”

The survey allows respondents to share which programs or services they think should be supported. You can weigh in on priorities for cultural issues and how the group should make funding choices.

The council recently issued a request for proposals for 2015. Now, it seems, they hope survey results will help them make decisions about which to fund.

Their previous round of grants went to the following organizations for this year:

  • ARHS Sachem magazine
  • Artist John Root
  • Assabet Valley Mastersingers
  • Audio Journal, Inc.
  • Fruitlands Museum
  • MetroWest Symphany Orchestra
  • Northborough Area Community Chorus
  • Pilgrim Church
  • Southborough Library
  • Southborough Recreation

Click here to take the survey.


Post image for St Mark’s School named one of nation’s top Christian boarding schools

Above: St. Mark’s School class of 2014 may be happy to hear they graduated from one of the country’s best Christian boarding schools. Then again, they probably already believed that without any rankings. (submitted photo)

A website dedicated to identifying the best schools has bestowed the honor to St. Mark’s School. The private school located in downtown Southborough was listed among the top 30 Christian Boarding Schools in the country.

The Best Schools website listed the schools alphabetically without a rank. With only a few exceptions, the focus was on co-educational institutions.

Schools were purportedly chosen based on:

  • Academic excellence and college counseling/preparation
  • Programs for spiritual growth of students
  • Extra curricular activities/enrichment
  • Geographic, demographic, and theological diversity

But it’s not clear how elite this rank is. The article doesn’t specify how many schools were reviewed.

I found one website (Boarding School Review) that identified more than 100 Christian boarding schools in the U.S.. But I couldn’t narrow down how many of those were co-educational.

The Best Schools write up of St. Marks included:

Life centers around the residential community, even for day students. Every weekend activities are planned for students, from athletic events to visits to restaurants and places of interest. On two mornings a week, students are required to attend chapel, but there are several chapel services during the week which students can choose to attend if they wish. Qualified school counselors cover topics important to young people on their path to adulthood.

Co-curricular activities in athletics, the arts, and performance are offered. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in community service, as well as clubs to pursue personal interests. . .

St. Mark’s believes that community living means exercising kindness, responsibility, and understanding.

Interestingly, the site lists St. Mark’s School as “St. Mark’s Episcopal School”. Although it was rooted in Episcopal faith and shared history with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (both founded by Joseph Burnett), I can’t find anything that shows the school ever used that name.


[Ed note: My Southborough accepts signed letters to the editor submitted by Southborough residents. Letters may be emailed to]

To the Editor:

It is with extreme honor and without any hesitation that I write to endorse Representative Carolyn Dykema’s reelection to the Massachusetts State House of Representatives. I base my recommendation on my direct knowledge of Representative Dykema’s tireless efforts on behalf of the Town of Southborough, a Town I have the privilege of sitting on many boards and committees, including as a member of the Board of Selectmen.

Having never personally interacted with state politicians prior to my election to the Board of Selectman, I viewed such politicians with skepticism, believing that their primary interest was personal, with only a secondary, passing obligation to the electorate. My view was immediately dispelled when I first met Representative Dykema. I witnessed how responsive Representative Dykema was to our Town, how genuine and sincere she cared for residents, and how she has always been available to discuss a local issue for as long as necessary. She is a constant supporter of Southborough’s Board of Selectmen, and has advanced Town causes through the Legislature whenever asked. She is a constant at many, many events involving our Town seniors and veterans, causing me to wonder in amazement if her day is longer than 24 hours.

[click to keep reading…]

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Obituary: Jane Marie (Larrivee) Spinoza, 71

October 23, 2014 11:55:50 AM

Jane Marie (Larrivee) Spinoza, 71, beloved wife of Frank X. Spinoza, Jr., died Tuesday, October 14,2014 at her home after a long illness.

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On the market this week in Southborough

October 23, 2014 09:30:56 AM
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What went on and off the market this week.

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Drag your teens to Dangers of Distracted Driving seminar this Saturday (and then stay to listen)

October 23, 2014 07:30:58 AM
Thumbnail image for Drag your teens to Dangers of Distracted Driving seminar this Saturday (and then stay to listen)

Saturday morning, Long Cadillac is hosting “a straightforward discussion of how to keep safe behind the wheel.” It is focused on teens and their parents/guardians.

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What the Fire Department’s been up to: House blaze assist, education, and alarm at Woodward

October 22, 2014 04:30:30 PM
Thumbnail image for What the Fire Department’s been up to: House blaze assist, education, and alarm at Woodward

In place of the fire log (temporarily unavailable), news from the Southborough Fire Department’s Facebook page.

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Why flags will are at half staff: October 22, 2014

October 22, 2014 02:20:31 PM
Thumbnail image for Why flags will are at half staff: October 22, 2014

Flags in Southborough and across the state are flying at half staff in honor of SPC 4 Nicholas A. Outhuse.

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Steeple Coffeehouse kicks off the season this Saturday with Tracy Grammer

October 22, 2014 11:29:20 AM
Thumbnail image for Steeple Coffeehouse kicks off the season this Saturday with Tracy Grammer

Steeple Coffeehouse is opening its doors back up this weekend for its 18th season.

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Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

October 22, 2014 09:20:54 AM
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The open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers.

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Gubernatorial Forums around the corner this month

October 21, 2014 04:20:41 PM

The 495/Metrowest Partnership is hosting two Gubernatorial Candidate Forums at the Sheraton in Framingham.

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