Post image for Thirty-five Southborough residents to run the Boston Marathon Monday

Above: Look for some familiar faces in the marathon on Monday (photo by Chris Wraight)

I plan to take Patriot’s Day off, so I’m posting this before the long weekend.

Southborough historically has a good showing in the Boston Marathon, and this year there is an especially large contingent. Thirty-five Southborough residents – 21 women and 14 men – will cross the starting line in Hopkinton Monday morning. 19 of them are returning runners from last year.

Here’s a complete list of our friends and neighbors who will be making the 26.2-mile trek with links to their donation pages where known. Please join me in wishing them well!

Jane J. Abu, 51
Alyssa Adams, 41*
Leah Ammon, 39
Kara L. Ashley, 43* (fundraising page)
Christa P. Brady, 47 (fundraising page)
Richard L. Chase, 49* (fundraising page)
Christina Ciccone, 40 (fundraising page)
Karyn D. Clarke, 40 (fundraising page)
Rebecca A. Dente, 31
Deborah L. Edwards, 65
Yun Gao, 53
Charles P Gennari, 53*
Brendon P. Giblin, 37
Robin H. Giblin, 36
Nancy B Gould, 41*
Leslie J Hadden, 51*
Chuck Hagedorn, 59*
Penelope V Hauck, 41*
James B Haugen, 54*
Susan Mahoney, 41*
Jennifer Martin, 47*
Safdar Medina, 45
Bryan K Mohn, 44*
Jim Norcross, 45*
Michael G. O’Connor, 42 (fundraising page)
Amy L. O’Leary, 47*
Nicole M. Rhind, 45
James Richardson, 45*
Heather P Roy, 36*
Anne Scharpf, 50* (fundraising page)
Lauren Sischo, 26*
Matthew Vogel, 32*
Stuart J. Wood, 43
Jonathan R Young, 49
Rachel A. Zides, 43

To you runners out there, if you’re doing the run for charity and want to include a fundraising link, let us know in the comments.

*Returning runners from 2013


Post image for United Parishes of Southborough to host Easter sunrise service

For a lot of folks in town, Easter is about much more than bunnies with baskets and chocolate eggs. For those of you looking forward to starting off the day on a spiritual note, town churches are issuing an invitation:

The United Parishes of Southborough invites you to welcome Easter with a sunrise service at Hopkinton State Park on Sunday, April 20. The service starts at 6:30 am in the marina area of the park.

In the event of inclement weather, the service will be held at The First Community Church, 137 Southville Road.

(Photo posted to Flickr by barryskeates)


Post image for Roundup of Residents making news: Sports champs, Eagle Scout, LGBT student honor, and tribute band guitarist

Above:  Southborough student Ryan Palmer (with Greater Boston PFLAG Program Director) was honored for his efforts to improve LGBTQ students climate at St. Mark’s School. (photo provided)

I can’t keep up with all of our news making residents. Frankly, there are too many to share in one post.

So here are just some of the recent stories worth sharing.

Southborough swimmers take top spots in Winter Suburban Swim League Championshipscontributed by Patty Cerro

Several of Southborough’s youth swimmers participated recently in the Winter Suburban Swim League “A” Championship at Milford High School on March 9th. The League is formed from 14 surrounding towns in the Boston area with well over 1,000 youth swimmers aged 6-18 years. In order to qualify for the Championship Meet swimmers must earn minimum qualifying times during the season, which runs from early December through February.

Many of Southborough’s swimmers competed for the Raiders swim team out of Westborough Tennis and Swim Club under head coach Karen Terry. Overall Southborough had 6 swimmers who qualified, including Sydney, Joshua, and Eli Chase; Mei Mei Arms, and Ray and Sydney Cerro. The Raiders team finished in 6th place overall out of 14 teams, an excellent result for a small team.

Joshua Chase, Mei Mei Arms, and Ray Cerro took top spots in at least one of their events, scoring points for their team. Ray Cerro placed 1st in the 100 Yard Individual Medley and 50 Yard Breast Stroke in his age group, setting a new meet record of 32.49 in Breast Stroke.

Congratulations to all the swimmers!

Southborough student achieves Eagle Scout rank - from Community Advocate:

Stanley Zarrilli, 18, of Troop 92 of Southborough, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout March 18. Zarrilli, a senior at Algonquin Regional High School, is a lifelong Cub Scout and Boy Scout with years of community service and scouting activities. For his Eagle Project, he assisted in the construction of three picnic tables for the Town of Southborough Department of Public Works for community use. (See photo)

Southborough Youth Basketball is home to two state champions!!from SYBA

We are very happy to congratulate State Champions Trevor Burns and Kyle Henderson.

Over the past 2 months, Trevor and Kyle successfully competed and won four rounds of the 2014 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Shooting Contest. Each boy competed and won his respective age group at the local Southborough level, competed and won for our district, then regionals and finally this past weekend competed and won the Massachusetts State Championship at Nichols College in Dudley, MA.

This is a great accomplishment.Congratulations Kyle and Trevor, 2014 State Champion Knights of Columbus Free-throw Shooters !

Ryan Palmer of Southborough honored for making a difference for LGBT youth in school - from Greater Boston PFLAG

Greater Boston PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people) is proud to announce that Ryan Palmer of Southborough was the recipient of the 2014 Elsie Frank Scholarship Award. Since 1998, Greater Boston PFLAG has awarded scholarships to high school students who have improved their school climate for LGBTQ youth and their allies and whose actions have created greater support and acceptance of LGBTQ youth.

A senior at St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Ryan was honored for his work to amend the non-discrimination policy at this school to include protections for transgender and gender nonconforming students. In addition to changing the name of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) to Gender-Sexuality Alliance to further trans and gender nonconforming students, Ryan has organized trips to LGBTQ-focused conferences in the area and organized the school’s first Spirit Day. (read more)

Sounds Around Town: Monkeeing aroundfrom The Herald News

What a great name for a tribute band: Loose Salute. They could play the music of any composer or group. But Milford resident and Southborough native Mick Lawless chose that of Michael Nesmith and the Monkees. The band – Lawless on rhythm guitar, Tom Yates on lead guitar, Pete Zolli on bass, drummer Keith Prescott (they all sing) – will perform “Loose Salute Playing Michael Nesmith in Boston” at the Midway Café in Jamaica Plain.

“I founded the band out of the love of Michael Nesmith’s music,” said Lawless, who took the name from Nesmith’s 1970 solo album. “I was always a Monkees fan. But around the late-’70s I found some Nesmith records in cut-out bins at Caldor, and for the next five years I sought out every Michael Nesmith solo record until I had them all. I was always playing in bands, and in 2004, I had some people who were into his music, and I said let’s try to do this band.” (read more)

I’ll try to share more resident stories later this week. If you have news on a resident or group/team worth sharing, drop me a line at


On Monday, April 21, thirty-five Southborough residents will don a bib a to run in this year’s Boston Marathon. Many will be raising funds for important causes in the process.

Every runner has a story, and from now until marathon day, I’ll feature as many as I can.

Today, I’m sharing news from Christina Ciccone who is running for Cystic Fibrosis. Here’s her story.

cystic_fibrosis_logoI can’t wait to run my first marathon in support of a charity very dear to my heart, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!  Our neighbor and close friend Sean has been battling this disease for decades, displaying tremendous courage all along.  If I can muster even a fraction of the strength displayed by Sean over the years, I will surely reach my goal of finishing the race as well as raising money for continued research and therapies for those affected by CF.

At last check, Christina had raised $8,185 towards her $10,000 goal. If you want to help, you can donate online here.


Post image for Town Meeting wrap up: Main St committee petition loses by 3 votes, Gulbankians zoning passes and residents nix moves towards Town Manager (Updated)

Above: Alice and Carol Gulbankian after two long nights of town meeting, culminating in overwhelming voter support for the resolution of their zoning disputes with the town.

Last night voters wrapped up 2014 Annual Town Meeting business. It’s not a surprise that emotions were running high on the night that several citizen petitions were addressed. Still, which articles sparked controversy may be a surprise to some of you.

As expected, the most controversial Warrant Article was David Parry’s proposal to form a review committee for the Main Street project. After passionate comments and a move to vote, the proposal failed by a vote of 124-121 against. (So if you think your vote doesn’t matter at Town Meeting, think again!) 

I’ll cover more on this further down, but first the other votes. . .

Residents also shot down the non-binding resolution to endorse a Split Tax Rate and two measures that would have increased the authority of the Town Administrator. 

Voters were happy to support 911 field renovations, expanded liquor licenses for Panzano’s Market and Sperry’s Market, and the rezoning for Gulbankian family property.

Articles indefinitely postponed were the Site Plan Review changes (as previewed last night) and a citizen’s petition to allow department heads to directly accept donations under $5,000.

Some highlights from the discussions:

  • The proposal to switch the Town Clerk position from appointed to elected -

    • If the article had passed, and if legislators then approved the town’s petition, the change wouldn’t have taken place until the end of Town Clerk Paul Berry’s next term, ending 2017. (He’s up for reelection this May, but uncontested.)
    • Pros outlined by town officials and advocates: The position requires extensive knowledge and education. Opening the applicant pool to non-residents would help ensure qualified candidates and also allow for succession planning. Allowing the Town Administrator to oversee the clerk and his staff would help the town consolidate staff for efficiency. And the person who oversees elections shouldn’t be elected.
    • Cons outlined by opponents: The person who oversees elections and open meeting laws should report directly to the people, not be beholden to town officials. This person should also be a town resident. The change in power structure could lead to cronyism.
    • Berry, who has held the position for 40 years, opposed the measure. He pointed out that only 70-80 of the 300+ towns in the state have appointed Town Clerks for many of the concerns residents shared.
    • Both sides of the argument lauded and applauded Berry for his excellent work and service to the town.
  • Article to appoint future Town Clerks and to shift reporting/appointing authority of Police, Fire and DPW chiefs to the Town Administrator -
    • The Advisory Board explained that this was in effect already happening. John Butler likened having the chiefs report to the BOS to having vice presidents report directly to a board of directors. He claimed that the power structure will cause a problem in the long run.
    • Many residents objected to the town’s apparent efforts to strengthen the Town Administrator position especially with language giving the TA authority to appoint the chiefs, subject to BOS approval.
  • Main Street Project review committee -
    • Advisory Board Member John Butler proposed an amended version of the article (supported by David Parry). Changes included shrinking the committee to 7 members, adding language about the committee’s work including ”recommendations on project Right of Way acquisition and appropriation by Town Meeting”, and loosening the language on which Town Meeting the committee would report to.
    • Selectman John Rooney informed the crowd “make no mistake about it”, a vote in favor of the article would kill the state funding. He explained that the state refused to move the 25% hearing date past June. He said that the state made it clear they couldn’t push the 25% version of the plan past that date. So a committee to vote on the issues at a future town meeting would cause the state to drop the project.
    • John Butler and David Parry argued that since the state already knows that easements required by the plan would require passing at a Town Meeting, the committee to review that shouldn’t undermine the quest for state funding.
    • Rooney promised that he intended the BOS’ working group to incorporate Main Street resident concerns, including inviting outspoken Main Street project opponent Steve Phillips.
    • Several residents passionately supported the proposed committee while criticizing elements of the current plan. Some residents questioned how much the project would end up costing the town in the long run.
    • Eventually a motion to move the vote cut off discussion, leading to the 121-124 vote.
  • Gulbankian Family property zoning -
    • The last item of the night, residents were eager to cut off long speeches. Apparently, they didn’t feel a real need to hear more on the issue. The sentiment was clear in both the overwhelming vote in their favor and the ensuing applause.

If you’re still concerned about the Main Street reconstruction project and wondering, “Where do we go from here?” . . .

The Board of Selectmen are looking for community members to volunteer for their Working Group.

      • The goal of this committee will be to meet with residents to hear concerns, visualize those concerns, and try to resolve issues.
      • The timeframe is to report out publicly in time to gain consensus before the June 18th state public hearing.
      • If you are interested in participating in the 7-member working group, email by April 25th. The members will be selected/appointed at the BOS’ April 29th meeting.

Did I forget any important details or your favorite moment? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Updated (4/18/ 5:46 pm): I fixed a huge typo pointed out by a reader. It was meant to say that John Butler (not Rooney) proposed the Main St article amendment. That’s what happens when I try to write a story in the middle of the night. (Not that I don’t make plenty of mistakes in the daytime.)


2014 Boston Marathon runner: Anne Scharpf

by beth on April 17, 2014

Post image for 2014 Boston Marathon runner: Anne Scharpf

Left:  Southborough mother Anne Scharpf is running to raise funds for The Children’s Room. (photo from fundraising page)

On Monday, April 21, thirty-five Southborough residents will don a bib a to run in this year’s Boston Marathon. Many will be raising funds for important causes in the process.

Every runner has a story, and from now until marathon day, I’ll feature as many as I can.

Today, I’m sharing news from Anne Scharpf who is running for The Children’s Room. Here’s her story.

My affiliation with The Children’s Room has evolved over the past five years. In the beginning, my family sought out support from TCR as a family in crisis, experiencing the death of a loved one. My husband, my children’s father, Jim Scharpf, died suddenly and without warning in October 2008. Now, five years later and taking what we learned from TCR, my family is doing well. Things are different, and we have adjusted. We move forward, and now my relationship with TCR is different. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to support them by running this year’s Boston Marathon, which will be my 3rd TCR run.

After Jim’s death, my sons, James and Robert, ages 10 and 5, received grief support and care from The Children’s Room. The challenges and emotions we faced were many, but thankfully made more manageable with each TCR meeting we attended. What seemed like an interminable uphill climb became easier as volunteers supported us and we befriended other families like ours.

It is hard for me to think back on that time. It was very difficult to imagine things getting better, but they did. For families facing this kind of challenge, TCR offers hope, a little slice of peace and the tools to get life back on track.

At last check, Anne Scharpfe had raised $5,275. If you want to help, you can donate online here.


Why flags are at half staff: Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17, 2014 12:09:37 PM
Thumbnail image for Why flags are at half staff:  Thursday, April 17, 2014

Flags in Southborough and across the state are flying at half staff today in honor of Officer Dennis O. Simmonds, Boston Police Department.

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Town Meeting: Barn Hollow Open Space accepted; more controversial items up for vote tonight

April 17, 2014 11:27:34 AM
Thumbnail image for Town Meeting: Barn Hollow Open Space accepted; more controversial items up for vote tonight

Town Meeting had an estimated over 400 in attendance last night. (No official count yet.) Voters easily approved most articles addressed, including a controversial open space acceptance.

13 Articles still need to be addressed at the continued meeting, beginning 7:30 pm tonight at the Trottier Middle School auditorium.

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Southborough Recreation sponsoring Portraits in Silhouette next week

April 17, 2014 09:30:00 AM
Thumbnail image for Southborough Recreation sponsoring Portraits in Silhouette next week

Southborough Recreation has teamed up with local artist Jean Comerford to offer silhouette cuttings next week. They make great Mother’s Day gifts or special keepsakes for the ones you love.

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On the market this week in Southborough

April 17, 2014 07:30:30 AM
Thumbnail image for On the market this week in Southborough

What went on and off the market this week.

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Robotics at the Library this Thursday

April 16, 2014 04:30:00 PM

This week, the library will host an event run by St. Mark’s School’s robotics team.

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Letter: From Selecman Dan Kolenda

April 16, 2014 02:30:33 PM

My Southborough accepts signed letters to the editor submitted by Southborough residents. Letters may be emailed to

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Reminder: SG Scholarship applications due April 18 – for more than gardening

April 16, 2014 01:00:00 PM
Thumbnail image for Reminder: SG Scholarship applications due April 18 – for more than gardening

The Southborough Gardeners are offering a scholarship to a student who has been accepted to a school of higher learning or is presently attending college in one of the following fields: Arts and/or Sciences related to Horticulture, Floral Design, Environmental Studies, Ecology, Conservation, Agriculture, Botany or Landscape Architecture/Design.

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Roundup of town politics in SWL: Candidate deception, Police Chief politics, and Warrant Article on appointing chiefs

April 16, 2014 11:07:00 AM

Here are some stories about residents recemtly honored through their achievements:

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