Post image for Park Central: Trial in process; testimony to resume February 1st

Above: An update on the Park Central trial in progress. (image cropped from January 2020 project plans)

This week, the bench trial opened for an appeal of the approval for the controversial 40B project at Park Central in Southborough.

The trial focuses on Southborough Zoning Board of Appeal’s 2016 granting of a comprehensive permit for the project. The complaint is lodged against board members in their capacity and the developer.

Opening arguments began on Wednesday morning. Attorney Angelo Catanzaro represented developer William Depietri and Park Central LLC. He noted that of the 21 original plaintiffs he believed there were 8 remaining.

Catanzaro stressed that only persons aggrieved by a project are considered to have standing to appeal. He defined that they must be “truly and measurably harmed by the decision the board rendered”. Catanzaro stated their intent to rebut claims of increased traffic dangers creating measurable harm.

Referring to abutters’ locations and the direction of traffic to and from the proposed development, Dan Pasquarello said that if his clients didn’t have standing no one would.

Pasquarello accused the ZBA of ignoring a slew of unresolved issues to barrel ahead with a decision on the same day that one of the three ruling members sold his house. [Then-member David Eagle moved out of Southborough, making him ineligible to continue to serve.]

Town Counsel Aldo Cipriano rebutted that the board acted properly following 30 months of review when 6 months is the recommended standard. He claimed that any outstanding issues were covered by 105 conditions included in the decision.

On Wednesday and Thursday, attorneys for the developer presented witnesses that included Depietri, consultant Ed Marchant, Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan, and former Police Chief Joseph Mauro.  [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Postponed: “Peace Parade of Thanks” (Updated)

Above: Last spring, Marlborough Hospital frontline workers waved as first responders thanked them for their service. (images L-R cropped from Facebook post and video)

Updated (1/15/20 1:45 pm) I just learned that the event is being postponed due to forecasts of heavy rain and high winds.

Stay tuned for a new date.


Reminder, the community is invited to sign up to participate in a car parade scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, January 16th at 1:00 pm. The “Peace Parade of Thanks” is organized to:  [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for NECC vaccinating students and direct-care staff

Above: NECC began vaccinating teachers, other direct-care staff members, and students aged 16 and older yesterday against Covid-19. (images cropped from contributed photos)

The New England Center for Children is sharing some fantastic news. Yesterday, the Southborough based institute for autism received enough doses of a Covid-19 vaccine for all of its students ages 16 and older and NECC’s direct-care staff.

NECC began administering the vaccine yesterday and is continuing today and tomorrow. The institute shared the news along with some photos.

Below is the press release, followed by more pictures:

THE NEW ENGLAND CENTER FOR CHILDREN COMMENCES COVID-19 VACCINE ADMINISTRATION TO STAFF AND OLDER STUDENTS

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in education and research for children with autism, announced today that they received and have begun administering the COVID-19 vaccine to direct-care staff and residential students over the age of 16.

“NECC special education teachers are on the front-lines caring for children with autism in group homes. Many of these children are over 16 years of age and are themselves at high risk,” said Vincent Strully, NECC Founder and CEO. “The COVID-19 vaccination will lower that risk and the Department of Health and Human Services is to be applauded for their efficiency in distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to our most vulnerable populations.”

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in the school’s gym and aquatic center. More than 900 direct-care staff and students over the age of 16 will receive the vaccine over a three-day period. NECC is one of 34 schools operating 42 residential care programs in Massachusetts, which provide 24-hour supervision for special needs children in structured group homes. [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Register now for Winter Sow program to support Native Pollinator • Native Plant initiative

Above: If you’d like to have plants in your yard and around the community this summer that support native pollinators, sign up now to sow the seeds this winter to make that happen. (scroll down for photo credits)

For the second year running, the community is invited to participate in a “Winter Sow” program.

Southborough’s Open Space Preservation Commission sponsored a program last year to support its Native Pollinator • Native Plant initiative. Volunteers got together at hands on workshops to prepare and sow seeds in the winter and foster them into seedlings ready for planting in the spring.

This year’s challenge was finding a way to continue that work while keeping volunteers safe. The solution landed on was online registration for a curbside pickup of seeds and a zoom workshop.

OSPC’s communication encourages:

This is a Southborough organized and focused event but out-of-towners are welcome. In fact some of our best volunteers have come from other towns. . .

We aren’t just Creating Gardens we are Creating Community!

Organizers are offering over 20 varieties of flowering native plants that are beneficial to native pollinators.* Plants have bloom times shown as ranging from May – September.

Volunteers are asked to identify which varieties they would like to receive, with caveats:

The seeds are free as long as you commit to plant and care for them following our Winter Sow Method. We ask that you plant enough for yourself and even extras to give back to public gardens around town or to share with friends. Do not take more seeds than you are willing to make containers for. Each packet will be enough seeds for 1 to 2 containers. You can order 1 packet of each species whether it is 1 species or 22. . . 

Availability will depend on how many people sign up. Everyone will get seeds although we can’t guarantee you will get everything you order. For some plants we have a lot of seeds and others not so much.

Participants can pickup their seeds on Saturday, January 23rd at a drive-through event in the parking lot of Cordaville Hall (the Southborough Senior Center). 

An interactive webinar will follow, held over zoom on Friday, January 29th at 7:00 pm. (In between events, volunteers will receive information on all the materials they will need to prepare.) 

For those that can’t make the webinar, a recording of it will be posted.

For the full details, read the overview here. The plant list and a link to register are on a dedicated page of the Town’s website here.

*Most of the listed plants are shown as supporting the bumblebee species bombus fervidus and/or bombus vagans. Many also attract butterflies, birds, and/or native caterpillars.

(images cropped from OSPC program materials and communications, top L-R attributed to Freddie Gillespie and Dawn Vesey)

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Post image for Public Safety Update: House fire, accidents, covid safey measures, police logs, and more

Above: In December, the Southborough Fire Department put out a fire in a Parkerville Road home. (image from Facebook)

It has been a month since I shared news on what the Southborough Fire Department and Police Department have been up to. So, I’m rounding up recent highlights and sharing the latest police logs.

Emergency Responses, Training, and Communications

In December, the SFD posted that personnel were putting the training tower to good use, focusing on handling a chimney fire:

Chimney fire trainingThis month, members of the Southborough Fire Department have been training on how to properly handle a chimney fire. Ensuring proper safety measures are taken, understanding common hazards, and practicing techniques to prevent fire spread can limit damage to a home in a chimney fire incident. Using a smoke machine, members used a prop to simulate the firebox and chimney flue so the crew can practice clearing obstructions.

One day later, a chimney fire was reported in Southborough:

December 19 chimney fireLate [December 19th], Firefighters responded to Parkerville Road for a report of a chimney fire. Upon arrival smoke was coming from the eaves of the home. Crews stretched a handline and found a fire in the walls and ceiling around the fireplace. Firefighters from Engine 23 and Ambulance 29 made a quick knockdown, controlling the fire from spreading throughout the home. No one was injured, but the front room of the house sustained significant fire and smoke damage. Southborough was assisted by Ashland Fire Department and Westborough Fire Department. Framingham Fire Department provided station coverage.

Earlier in the month, an injuryless vehicle crash on the edge of the reservoir afforded the SFD an opportunity to help while practicing skills useful in worse scenarios:

Dec 8 truck crash at reservoirIcy roads contributed to this motor vehicle accident on the the Boston Rd causeway this morning. There were no injuries, however a motorcycle & job box in the truck bed launched into the MWRA reservoir requiring SFD crews to don cold-weather suits to assist Ted’s of Fayville towing company with recovery. The crash took down a untility pole requiring response from National Grid, closing the road during rush hour. There was a minimal hazmat spill requiring a response from the Massachusetts Water Recourse Authority (MWRA) & Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) Rangers to investigate. While not an emergency response, incidents like these offer SFD crews the opportunity to practice skills in a controlled and safe environment.

slick roads Dec 14In mid-December, the SFD used a photo from a car crash at Main Street and Johnson Road to remind drivers that roads can be slick this time of year.

These days, the Town’s police and fire personnel are better able to communicate with each other across town. But, residents who had been listening over analog scanners may have been surprised to lose the signal. The SFD explained:

emergency radiosIn a measure to improve emergency radio communications town-wide, both the fire and police departments have moved from analog to digital radio transmissions. Although the departments are using the same radio frequencies as before, the voice transmission is now instantaneously converted into a simplified computer language, which can then be transmitted more efficiently over greater distances. While digital signals do still diminish in quality as distance from the transmitter increases, they offer much greater clarity over greater distances than analog systems. Members of the community that have scanners may no longer be able to hear emergency radio traffic. A solution, for those interested, is to purchase a digital-capable scanner.

Covid-Safety

Temperature scan checkCoordinated by Southborough Emergency Management, the Town installed temperature scanners at entrances to municipal buildings including the Public Safety Building:

If you’ve visited one of the town municipal offices lately, you’ve likely seen one of the new infrared touchless thermometers. These were purchased through a federal preparedness grant awarded to the Southborough Emergency Management Agency (SEMA). SEMA coordinated with the fire, health and facilities departments to determine best locations, distribution and installation of these great screening tools.

First responders vaccinatedThis week, Southborough Police and Fire personnel received Covid-19 vaccinations. 

Feel Good News

The SPD posted that the department raised money for a good cause this fall:

SPD patch for Home BaseNo Shave November turned out to be a great success for the Southborough Police Department.

The department was able to raise $2,630 for “Home Base”.

Home Base is a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program, dedicated to healing the invisible wounds of Veterans of all eras; Service Members; Military Families and Families of the Fallen through world-class clinical care, wellness, education and research. Home Base operates the first and largest private-sector clinic in the nation; devoted to providing life-saving clinical care and support for the treatment of the invisible wounds to include post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, co-occurring substance use disorder, family relationship challenges and other issues associated with military service.

A big THANK YOU to all who bought a patch and contributed to the success of this fundraiser. We couldn’t have done it without you!!

The SFD posted a thank you to those who waved to Santa on Santa Day. They also posted a Thank you to everyone who supported Project Just Because by donating “hundreds of toys, clothing, diapers, and personal care items for Metrowest children in need this season”.

Santa Day 2020 SFD collection for Project Just Because

Police Logs & Statistics

The Southborough Fire Department’s November and December reports have been posted. In those two months, personnel responded to 226 incidents, including 9 fires and 130 emergency medical calls.

The police logs since December 7th, list over 400 incidents/reports. SPD responded to 24 car accidents. No break-ins were reported, but there was one auto theft and a dozen reported cases of larceny, forgery, or fraud. 

Officers made three arrests, pressed Criminal Charges related to five other incidents, and took four complaints of harassment.  (Any incidents of Domestic Disturbance are omitted by law.)

The latest logs are below*:  [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Disposable facemasks for veterans available through Southborough Rotary

The Rotary Club of Southborough is continuing to distribute facemasks. This time, they are making a public offer for Southborough Veterans in need of disposable masks.

As I previously shared, Rotary received 10,000 masks to distribute locally. To date, they have donated 2,600.

Next week, they will be donating what remains to the New England Center for Children. (Apparently, NECC goes through 500 per day.) But first, they are looking to distribute some to Southborough veterans who need them.

Any veterans looking for a box can coordinate by calling Chris Robbins at 508-735-6100 or VFW Commander Steve Whynot at 508-439-1092. They will be giving away boxes, each containing 50 surgical masks. 

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On the market this week in Southborough

January 14, 2021 11:03:00 AM
Thumbnail image for On the market this week in Southborough

What went on and off the market this week.

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Flagpole update: New pole to be built, antennae moving to Pilgrim Church steeple

January 13, 2021 05:50:46 PM
Thumbnail image for Flagpole update: New pole to be built, antennae moving to Pilgrim Church steeple

Catching up on the situation with the Town’s flagpole(s).

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NSPAC: Special needs estate planning – January 21

January 13, 2021 01:47:17 PM
Thumbnail image for NSPAC: Special needs estate planning – January 21

The Northborough/Southborough Special Education Parent Advisory Council (NSPAC) is promoting an upcoming planning presentation on estate planning

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Virtual Craft sessions: Valentine Boxes, Sculpey Fun, and Cookie Decorating

January 13, 2021 11:27:33 AM
Thumbnail image for Virtual Craft sessions: Valentine Boxes, Sculpey Fun, and Cookie Decorating

Children ages 8+ can enjoy more free crafting events led over zoom.

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Southborough job listings: Technicians; NSBORO jobs

January 13, 2021 09:11:05 AM
Thumbnail image for Southborough job listings: Technicians; NSBORO jobs

I received another posting of jobs available in Southborough.

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Obituary: Ronald O. Edgren, 82

January 12, 2021 04:58:36 PM

Ronald O. Edgren, 82, of Southborough, passed away suddenly on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

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Help for “Healthy Relationships” between teens & parents/romantic partners

January 12, 2021 03:52:19 PM
Thumbnail image for Help for “Healthy Relationships” between teens & parents/romantic partners

SYFS is partnering to offer more vital workshops for residents. The next two focus on helping teens have healthy relationships.

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The public can view Park Central court trial over zoom starting Wednesday

January 12, 2021 01:57:24 PM
Thumbnail image for The public can view Park Central court trial over zoom starting Wednesday

This week, a “jury-waived trial” opens in Worcester Court against Southborough’s Zoning Board of Appeals and the Park Central developer.

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