Audobon Bird Walk – Wednesday morning

by beth on May 21, 2019

Post image for Audobon Bird Walk – Wednesday morning

Above: Some of the birds you might see tomorrow morning at Breakneck Hill. (image cropped from contributed photos of Birds of Breakneck by Dawn Vesey; click on image below right for a better look and more pics)

I know it’s a last minute invite – but the community is invited to join a free Bird Walk tomorrow morning – Wednesday, May 22nd. 

contributed photos of Birds of Breakneck by Dawn Vesey

(click to enlarge)

The walk will be led by MassAudubon’s Jeff Collins. Collins has led several past bird walks for groups in town.

This walk is sponsored by the Stewardship Committee and will take place on Breakneck Hill Conservation Land. Given Collins’ bio, it seems a natural fit:

Jeff Collins is Director of Mass Audubon’s Conservation Science department which includes our statewide bird conservation program, habitat management planning for our wildlife sanctuaries, the Salt Marsh Science program, and Ecological Extension Service. He holds a master’s degree in botany from the University of Vermont Field Naturalist Program.

Jeff is an enthusiastic birder and applies a landscape ecology perspective during our journeys, exploring the relationships of bedrock, soil, water, plants, animals, and human land use all while sharing his enthusiasm for the natural beauty of each destination.

He has traveled extensively, birding and botanizing throughout North America; exploring Southern Africa while a Peace Corps volunteer in Zimbabwe; visiting birding hot spots in Bolivia, Peru, Costa Rica, and Nepal; and leading tours to Namibia, Belize, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.

Obviously, the group believes in the “early bird” bit, since the walk is scheduled for 7:00 am.

Particiants should meet up at the Trailhead Parking Lot on Breakneck Hill Road. If lot is full, you can park at Community Gardens Lot and walk over.

Walkers are asked to dress appropriately to avoid ticks. And, you’ll obviously want to wear good walking shoes. Plus, since the focus is birding, you might want to bring along binoculars or a camera. 

Participants will also take a look at native plants along the way.


The Senior Center is bringing in a dietician to talk to seniors about reducing serious risks to their health.  The presentation will focus on inflammation.

The free talk will take place on Wednesday, June 5th at 10:00 am:

The Fight Against Inflammation: Put Food First

Traci Robidoux, BayPath Dietician will present on this very important subject. It is becoming increasingly clear that chronic inflammation is somewhere at the root cause of many serious illnesses—including heart disease , many cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. Learning how specific foods influence the inflammatory process is the best strategy for containing it and reducing longterm disease risks.

Please sign up at the front desk or call 508-229-4453.


Post image for A Night of Art – May 30th receptions downtown

Above: No need to choose between two downtown receptions on the night of May 30th. There’s time enough to attend both. (contributed image)

May 30th will be a night of celebrating Art and Wellness in downtown Southborough. The evening will feature two receptions coincidentally scheduled by community groups that same night.

Night of Art flyer

(click to enlarge)

They are now working together to make the most of it. Organizers are promoting a Night of Art in Southborough.

Hopefully, the convenience of locations a stone’s throw away from each other will help draw an even bigger audience for both events.

The evening kicks off at 6:00 pm at the Southborough Library with Beyond the Art Classroom. The free exhibit is sponsored by Southborough Cultural Arts Council. It will feature art and design work by previous Southborough students and their art teachers.

The exhibition will be on display in the Library’s upstairs area through that Saturday, June 1st. But the Thursday night Opening Reception offers “Light Refreshments & Comradery” from 6:00 – 6:30 pm followed by the opportunity to meet and greet the 20 artists during an “Artist Stroll”.

Beyond the Art Classroom flyerArtists taking part are:

Martha Bachman
Caitlyn Beck-Sabino
Fred Bloy
Joyce Caras
Susie Carter
Sam Chase
Mary Ann Croatti
Arianne Del Rios
Amy Dietz
Katie Dobberpuhl
Heather Dubois
Marsha Gleason
George Hancin
Denise Johnson
Daniel Martins-Ferreira
Palmer Morse
Michelle Sheppard
Courtney Steacie

The event will run until 8:00 pm. But you won’t want to meander that long. Another reception across the corner will be beckoning.

Southborough Youth and Family Services is organizing a “one night only” community art show – Celebrating Wellness – at the Community House, 28 Main Street. The focus is honoring Mental Health Awareness month. The 7:00 – 8:30 pm reception will include live music and refreshments.

At 7:45 pm, SYFS will present the Laurie Sugarman-Whittier Wellness Award. According to their updated flyer, this year’s honor will go to Mary Ellen Duggan.  [click to keep reading…]


Post image for Southorough Lions commit to college sports programs

Above: Next year, 23 members of the St. Mark’s Class of 2019 will participate in college and university athletic programs. Four of them are Southborough residents (photo from school website)

St. Mark’s School shared news about four of its seniors – sorry, make that “VI Form students” – that are also Southborough residents. The student athletes signed on to play their sports next year.

Since the news is from the school, I think its safe to assume that none of them “photoshopped” their way in. In fact, a little digging turned up some impressive past highlights for the students:

Grant GattusoGrant Gattuso will run for cross country for Williams College

A Captain on the Boys Varsity Cross Country team, he consistently led the team in meets and finished 3rd place in the Independent School League Championships and 12th place at the Division One New England Championships.

Zoe MaddoxZoe Maddox will play soccer for College of the Holy Cross

As goaltender, she helped get her team to the NEPSAC quarter final round last fall. She was one of the players recognized by the Independent School League.

Gunnar VachrisGunnar Vachris will play baseball for Rhodes College

In his last year of Little League play, he was part of the Southborough team that earned the State Title in 2017.

Kerrie VerbeekKerrie Verbeek will play soccer for Colby College

She helped get her team to the NEPSAC quarter final round last fall. She was one of the players recognized by the Independent School League 

Click on contributed images above to enlarge.


Post image for Downtown Initiative: EDC & BOS joint meeting; Town pursuing grant for zoning assistance

Above: The EDC hopes that a state grant will support efforts to revamp zoning for the Downtown Business Village. (image cropped from EEA website)

The Board of Selectmen and Economic Development Committee have scheduled a joint meeting for this Thursday night, May 23rd. The topic is EDC’s Downtown Initiative.

The talk will follow up on a discussion at the May 7th BOS meeting. On that night, selectmen approved EDC’s pursuit of a state grant to help their efforts.

The EDC initiative focuses on revitalizing the the Downtown Business Village. Two of the biggest obstacles they have identified is the area’s limited septic capacity and zoning.

At the meeting two weeks ago, Selectmen Dan Kolenda spoke to fellow board members about supporting EDC’s efforts. He offered to be a liaison on working with the group on updating zoning bylaws. The discussion took place one week before the Town election to elect two new selectmen. BOS Chair Lisa Braccio suggested that the EDC return this week to talk to the reorganized board.

EDC Chair Julie Connelly agreed. But first, she still wanted to give them a quick update. She explained that the Mass Executive Office of Environmental Affairs offers a a Planning Assistance Grant for municipalities. The deadline to apply is May 24th. According to Connelly, 100% of last year’s 31 applicants received grants – ranging from around $5K to $150K. Ashland was awarded over $27K just to rezone their downtown.

The EDC Chair said that volunteers didn’t have the bandwidth to take on the application. The committee planned to have former member and former interim EDC Coordinator Claire Reynolds take on the task. She’ll work at her contract rate and agreed to keep it under $2K. The EDC approved the measure since the money is in the budget (due to a past staffing gap) and they expect a big return on the investment. 

It wasn’t clear that a vote of approval from selectmen was required, but one was unanimously given.

I was curious about the EEA grant. I wondered, given the agency’s name, and the downtown conservation issues impacting septic/sewage restrictions, if there was overlap on that front. It’s possible that EDC will manage to find one, but it’s not an apparent focus of the grant.

The agency’s posted top priority for the grant appears to align with EDC’s efforts to adopt mixed-use zoning that includes 2nd floor residential units:  [click to keep reading…]


Post image for This week in sports: Girls Tennis players Singles and Doubles Central MA Champs; Boys Track League Champs

Algonquin Athletics had a pretty great weekend.

While sectionals for the Tennis team are still on the horizon, several of Gonk’s Tennis players competed in the Central MA Boys and Girls sectionals for singles and doubles.

Competition in most categories kicked off the previous weekend. On Saturday, 13 ARHS players – 5 singles and 4 pairs – made it into winnowed down rounds.

From there, Olivia Almy, Bharathan Sundar, Ryan Farhat, and the duo of Elaine Cho and Yasmin Lee played their way into Sunday’s semi-finals.

Almy walked away with the Girls Singles Champ title and Cho & Lee were named the Girls Doubles Champions. They’ll play in the State semi-finals (and hopefully Finals) on Saturday, June 15th. The Telegram wrote:

Algonquin Regional freshman Olivia Almy lived up to her top seed with consistently powerful baseline volleys featuring superior pace to top AMSA sophomore Kirstin Hailey in the Central Mass. individual girls’ tennis final Sunday at St. John’s.

You can read the rest of telegram’s coverage of the girls’ wins here

ARHS Boys and Girls Track teams competed in its league championships on Saturday. Leading up to the big meet, the Telegram put the spotlight on runner Matthew Madamba, covering his hopes: 

Algonquin’s Matthew Madamba hopeful he’ll dash to titles. . .

This year, after a strong winter, a healthy and fit Madamba is in peak form as he gears up for Saturday’s Mid-Wach A outdoor championships, followed by next weekend’s Central/Western Division 1 championships at Fitchburg State.

Madamba did dash in first. But Boys Track was forced to share the Mid-Wach A League Championship title. The Telegram wrote:

Algonquin and Wachusett have been battling for supremacy all season, and it was no different on Saturday, as the teams tied for a share of the league title, each notching 145 points at Shepherd Hill.

Algonquin’s Matthew Madamba won the 200 (22.51) and the 400 (49.7), while Brett Kush took the high jump (6-0), John Bai won the pole vault (13-4) and Andrew Rybarcyk rushed to the 400 hurdles title (58.21).

As for the Girls, they came in 2nd to Wachusett. But, as usual, the team earned some bragging rights. The Telegram writes

Algonquin’s Tess Reyes won the mile (5:23.97), Christina Defeudis won the triple jump (34-7), Rai Ann Bu captured the pole vault (10-0) and Kate McNeil took the javelin (95-7) to help the Tomahawks take second with 152 points. Algonquin also won the 400 relay (50.54) and the 3,200 relay (9:49).

There were no titles involved in T-Hawks Boys Lacrosse win over Groton-Dunstable last Tuesday. But according to Wicked Local, it was a significant game for player Dom Russo, who made his 200th career point. That same day, ARHS Baseball must have been happy about its win over St. John’s. It secured their place in the playoffs.

Now, here are the ARHS varsity games on tap for the week.  [click to keep reading…]


Algonquin prom pics available online

May 20, 2019 04:56:32 PM
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Photographer Jeff Slovin shared on social media that pictures are available for free download.

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Memorial Day observances: Flag placement Friday, parade Monday

May 20, 2019 03:16:00 PM
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Here is the information you need to observe Memorial Day in Southborough. Events begin with the annual flag placement in the rural cemetery Friday night.

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The week in government: BOS to revise charge for PILOT Committee

May 20, 2019 11:21:05 AM
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A list of board and committee meetings for the week with my selected highlights from the agendas.

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Events this week: Mosaics, Farm Hike, Poetry writing, Iftar Dinner, and early Memorial Day observances

May 20, 2019 10:45:21 AM
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Here are some highlights of events in and around Southborough this week.

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Videos: Choral Masterworks, Restorative Sleep, Jazz, Drama, and Bees

May 17, 2019 03:40:53 PM
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Here is the latest round of videos from local media and the schools.

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Resident Roundup: Senior of the Year, ARHS senior making over a mustang, and more

May 17, 2019 01:47:39 PM
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I’m feeling a bit of “Girl Power” here in recent Community Advocate coverage of residents doing good in the community.

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SCAC 2019 grants: Concerts, dancing, art on the trails, and more

May 17, 2019 11:56:01 AM
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Promoting upcoming events sponsored by SCAC reminded me that I never shared information when their last round of grants were awarded.

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Ballroom Dancing at the Library: 4 week series

May 17, 2019 08:48:03 AM
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Starting June 5th, the Library will host free Ballroom Dancing lessons.

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