Post image for Police Update: Hands Free reminder, latest logs, and more

It’s almost a month since I last posted logs from the Southborough Police Department. The good news is the logs didn’t include reports of any new burglaries. Though, officers did log five reports of possible larcenies or frauds.

Since late January four out-of-town drivers were arrested in town (three for alleged drunk driving). Ten other drivers had criminal citations filed against them.

Speaking of driving offenses, the SPD posted a reminder that the state’s new Hands Free law goes into effect on Sunday. Though, from the announcement, it sounds like there will be about a month of just warnings before fines are assessed:

Hands Free lawHands-Free While Driving – It’s the Law starting February 23rd, 2020.
After March 31, police will be able to start citing drivers for these violations.
We just wanted to make sure that the members of our community are fully aware of this new law, and what to expect in the weeks to come.

Overview- Massachusetts law prohibits operators of motor vehicles and bicycles from using any electronic device, including mobile telephones, unless the device is used in hands-free mode.
Penalty for violating the hands-free law:
1st offense – $100 fine.
2nd offense – $250 fine, plus mandatory completion of a distracted driving educational program.
3rd and subsequent offenses – $500 fine, plus insurance surcharge and mandatory completion of distracted driving educational program.

*We encourage you to “share” this information with friends and family. Thank you.

I’m sure public safety officials hope the law will lessen the number of accidents on the road. In less then 30 days, the SPD logged twenty accidents in Southborough. One of those incidents, an accident at River Street last Thursday, caused commuting headaches. It was another case of a truck vs bridge.

The MBTA tweeted that a vehicle hitting a bridge in Southborough would cause a 10 minute delay on the commuter rail line. A Framingham Source story (since disappeared) showed a photo of what was clearly the River Street bridge.

River Street bridge truck accident (contributed)I checked in with resident John Kendall who publicly complained over ten years ago about the frequency of trucks ignoring the height warnings and hitting the bridge. He was able to share a photo his wife took of the most recent accident (right). He also noted: 

Some of the problems stem from the total lack of paying attention. I do think that there should be more warning signs, but speaking with an engineer from the MBTA last year at an accident there, sometimes it doesn’t matter how many signs are up warning of the low bridge height. Some of this can be attributed to the common navigation apps such as Google maps. They don’t show low bridges. There are GPS navigation systems available for commercial trucking that list hazards, but evidently, not all drivers have this. I think the towns of Southborough and Hopkinton need to press this issue with state officials. Once a truck hits the bridge, it ties up traffic until everything is cleaned up, and disrupts the railroad as engineers have to inspect the bridge before trains can resume passing through and going back to normal speeds. 

On a happier note, on Saturday, the SPD shared news on its latest graduate from the academy:

L-R Officers Cameron & Austin Chapski from SPD Facebook postCongratulations to Officer Austin Chapski on his graduation from the 10th ROC Randolph Regional Police Academy last night!

Officer Chapski was hired as a Full-time Police Officer for the Southborough Police Department back in April of 2019. He was previously a full-time dispatcher for the department (hired in 2018); and has a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Worcester State University.

Austin will begin the Field Training Program next week; working a variety of different shifts and handling a variety of different calls.

Austin joins his brother, Cameron Chapski, in protecting and serving the Southborough Community.

police & fire station from FacebookThe Facebook page also shared that the public safety complex now sports the Town seal and lettering confirming it is the Police & Fire station.

Below are the latest logs from the Southborough Police Department.*

(Note: Not included in the logs is the January incident police alerted the public about, when a male driver allegedly exposed himself to a girl after school.) 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020  [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Oregon Road construction starts Thursday morning

According to a construction notice, a water main project is scheduled to begin on Oregon Road tomorrow morning. 

The notice states:

On Thursday, February 20, 2020, the Towns of Ashland and Southborough will begin installing a new interconnection vault on Oregon Road. The project includes the installation of a sub-grade concrete vault on the shoulder of the road and installation of 140 feet of water main within the roadway, as part of the Towns’ Supplemental Interconnection project to provide Ashland with access to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s (MWRA) water source. 

The overview describes the project as expected to be completed in one month. But it appears from the details that they hope for the most disruptive work to be finished in 1-2 weeks.

Work will overlap with the morning commute. It is scheduled from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm – presumably on weekdays.

The notice states: 

  • There will be a representative of the Towns on site during construction hours to assist in the coordination of work. If you have any issues with construction activities during construction hours and need assistance, you can contact Shane Driscoll at 401-334-4100.
  • One lane of traffic will be open at all times during the construction and the crew will allow residents to get in and out of their driveways.
  • Any open trenches will be plated or backfilled at the end of each work day and equipment barricaded for safety.
  • We anticipate that the work will take between one and two weeks.
  • Temporary paving will be done every Friday during the project.

[click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Library invites public to read in companionable silence

The Southborough Library is introducing a program for introverts who want to socialize. It’s a new book group that breaks all the traditional rules. 

  • Readers aren’t urged to talk about the book they read.
  • They don’t need to read the book in advance.
  • They don’t even need to choose the same book to read.

silent book group flyerBasically, you could refer to the group as a reading circle. The Silent Book group simply invites the public (adults and young adults) to gather to read in companionable silence:

Strangers or friends meet the last Thursday of every month at the library to share one another’s company. The group can read the same book together or drop in with your own pick. There is no expectation for a discussion.

The first meeting is scheduled for a week from tomorrow. 

The new program is inspired by other Silent Book Clubs around the country. The concept was covered by National Public Radio:

A Novel Concept: Silent Book Clubs Offer Introverts A Space To Socialize. . .

The concept is simple yet revolutionary: Members meet up at a bar, a library, a bookstore or any venue that will host them. Once the bell rings, silent reading time commences. After an hour, the bell rings again.

Other than that, there are no rules.

Liberated from the orthodoxy of traditional book clubs, participants can bring whatever they’d like to read and chat about anything, before and after the designated reading time. (read more)

At the Southborough Library, the current plan is to pick a suggested novel each month. For the first session, the featured selection is The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. But readers are free to bring along their own book or pick one out from the Library’s collection. 

Patrons are invited to join the group on Thursday, February 27th from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. That evening’s reading will take place in the Library’s downstairs Eaton Meeting Room. In future months, the group will meet on the main floor. (Note: On those occasions, the background often won’t be silent even if the readers are.)

If you have any questions, please email staff member Amy Townsley at atownsley@southboroughma.com.

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Obituary: Edward Anthony Belloli, 70

by beth on February 18, 2020

Post image for Obituary: Edward Anthony Belloli, 70

Edward A. Belloli, 70, of Southborough passed away on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at home after a very brief illness.

He was the beloved husband of Rhonda (Gregory) Belloli for the past 21 years.

Born in Framingham, he was the son of the late Edward R. and Lorraine (D’Cecco) Belloli.

Ed was a 1967 graduate of Framingham High School. He worked for Middlesex Savings Bank as a teller for the last 15 years. Ed was a collector of many interesting things and enjoyed his time searching for the treasures he found. He was a very active member of the Southborough Senior Center, where you could always find him volunteering to drive people to their different appointments and doing odd jobs that needed to be done. Ed will be sorely missed by all that knew him.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his brother Chris Belloli of Peabody.

A memorial service will be held in the spring and will be announced at a later date.

Arrangements are under the care of the Morris Funeral Home, 40 Main Street, Southborough.

To leave words of condolence to the family, please visit [www.morrisSouthboroughfuneral.com].

(Obituary via Morris Funeral Home)

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Post image for This week in sports: ARHS Gymnastics League Champs (Updated)

Above: Algonquin Gymnastics and Boys Ice Hockey had a good week. (images cropped from tweets by @ARHSAthletics)

For the 4th year running, ARHS Gymnastics won the Mid-Wach league title. The Telegram covered Sunday’s league meet at Algonquin:

The Tomahawks, who went 10-0 in dual meets this winter, amassed a 144.35 first-place total in this annual league meet, a battle for the top post among six schools. Marlboro, with its highest team total of the season, finished second at 137.2. . .

Leading the Tomahawks Saturday morning was talented sophomore Lizzy Debroczy and her first-place all-around performance, with a score of 38.15, repeating as the overall champion.

ARHS league champs (cropped from tweet by ARHSAthletics)You can view T&G’s photo gallery here and read more about it here. According to the story, the team is only 4th seed for the South sectional this Saturday.

They’ll be hosting that meet and the February 29th state championship. (You can also get a better look at the tweeted team photo right.)

The ski team had a good time on the slopes last Thursday. ARHS Athletics tweeted:

With Thursday’s W, Girls Ski finished with an undefeated season. Boys finished 8th. 6 girls qualified for states-Rudy Utzschneider, Luciana Postizzi, Mina Utzschneider, Lauren Dratch, Jula Utzschneider, and Elly Beauchesne. M Clark qualified for the boys team.

You can check out photos here.

Gonk Boys Ice Hockey has had a much rockier season. But they had a week worth celebrating with 3 straight, significant wins.

The team won the Matt Bruce Cup over Westborough on Wednesday. According to the Community Advocate’s coverage the event was an annual ALS fundraiser in memory of:

Matt Bruce was an avid hockey player and Algonquin graduate who died in 2014 at the age of 26 from ALS.

On Saturday, the team won another game of personal significance to the school – the Brian Arsenault Memorial game. That event raised funds for the scholarship fund that honors the memory of another former team member that died in 2014. Arsenault was Killed in Action in Afghanistan. The Community Advocate covered the game here. ARHS Athletics tweeted pics along with the message:

ARHS Boys Ice Hockey Arsenault Memorial game (tweeted by ARHSAthletics)Boys Hockey earns the win vs. West Springfield 8-1 in the Brian Arsenault Memorial game. Great job Thawks and everyone involved for making this such a special event. Thank you Terriers for your generous donation to the Brian Arsenault Memorial Scholarship Fund!

On Sunday, the team secured its place in the playoffs with a 5-0 win over Hudson.

ARHS Wrestling is another team that struggled this season. ARHS Athletics tweeted some good news on Saturday:

The boys finished 5th as a team at sectionals today. Congrats to the following who are moving on to States next week:

Rafael Knapp 1st at 132 lbs.
Joey Czechowicz 3rd at 182 lbs.
Michael McEvoy 3rd at 195 lbs.
Timothy Goddard 3rd at 170 lbs.

The school’s aquatic athletes competed at their States on Saturday. The Gonk Girls Swim & Dive team ranked 14th out of 26 overall, but Lizzie Meschisen finished 2nd place for Diving. The Boys apparently didn’t qualify a team score, but you can check out results for individual swimmers here.

Indoor Track teams competed in their sectionals last week. The Girls team ranked 12 out of 24 and Boys 17 out of 25. Austin Mowry had a 2nd place high jump for Boys and Priscilla De Carvalho came in 3rd for Girls. The Girls 4×200 Meter Relay squad also placed 3rd. You can see those results and more here.

On a different note, Wicked Local ran a nice piece on Southborough’s Karmyn Shreeve. After she and teammate Julia Kardos stepped up to fill in for the missing national anthem singer at the league meet, the reporter followed up with her. Turns out that in addition to being an MVP and Daily News All-Star, the runner is working on a career as a singer-songwriter. You can read about her here.

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

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Post image for The week in government: Advisory on budget (Updated)

Here is a selection of the committee and board meetings for the week along with my selected highlights from the agendas. Unless otherwise noted, all of these meetings are open to the public, so you’re welcome to stop on by.

Be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.

[Editor’s Note: As I predicted was likely – one of the two identical Advisory meetings was cancelled. The committee will meet on Thursday evening, but not on Wednesday.]

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

  • Board of Assessors Meeting, 9:00 am @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Review and sign FY21 mapping contract, FY20, omitted and revised personal property report, and FY20 real estate abatement certificates
  • Stewardship Committee Meeting, 6:30 pm @ Cordaville Hall, Rooms B, 9 Cordaville Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: 2019 mowing recap & implications for 2020; Updates
  • Municipal Technology Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Cordaville Hall, Room A, 9 Cordaville Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Brief tech status updates, strategy, & next year budget reviews; Committee Operating model; Strategic tech plan & tech use surveys

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

  • Board of Commissioners of Trust Fund Meeting, 4:30 pm @ Town House, 1st Floor Treasurer’s Meeting Room, 17 Common St (agenda)
  • Southborough Housing Authority Meeting, 6:30 pm @ Colonial Gardens, 49 Boston Rd (agenda)

Thursday, February 20, 2020

  • Advisory Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm @ Public Meeting Room, Public Safety Building, 32 Cordaville Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Proposed budget for FY21 and longer term budget forecast; Vote on administrative, recurring warrant articles 

Updated (2/19/20 8:53 am): I had advised checking the schedule today to see if the Advisory Committee meeting scheduled for tonight was still on. I checked and it is cancelled. So far, the committee is still scheduled to meet on Thursday evening. (The agenda is identical.)

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Events this week: Creatures at the Library, Free Skate, Selectmen’s hours, and Crafternoon and Button Making for teens

February 18, 2020 08:27:37 AM
Thumbnail image for Events this week: Creatures at the Library, Free Skate, Selectmen’s hours, and Crafternoon and Button Making for teens

Here are some highlights of events in and around Southborough this week.

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Reminder: St. Mark’s Free Skate and Sticks & Pucks

February 17, 2020 09:33:48 AM
Thumbnail image for Reminder: St. Mark’s Free Skate and Sticks & Pucks

St. Mark’s is offering Free Skate sessions again over February break, with some caveats.

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Featured Home: Classic, spacious Garrison in private setting; Open House Sunday

February 14, 2020 04:14:06 PM
Thumbnail image for Featured Home: Classic, spacious Garrison in private setting; Open House Sunday

[The following information was provided by My Southborough sponsor Gail DuBois (email) of The DuBois Realty Group.]
Classic 4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom Garrison Colonial on 1-acre private setting at the end of a cul de sac!

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Workshop for Fostering Language & Literacy in the early years – February 25

February 14, 2020 02:21:00 PM
Thumbnail image for Workshop for Fostering Language & Literacy in the early years – February 25

Fay School is re-running a special literacy event for parents of young ones. It’s pitched as a workshop to help you add to “Your Parenting Toolbox”. 

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Southborough Teachers Association offering scholarships

February 14, 2020 11:31:23 AM
Thumbnail image for Southborough Teachers Association offering scholarships

The association for teachers in Southborough’s K-8 schools is offering two scholarships to graduating seniors from Algonquin.

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On the market this week in Southborough

February 14, 2020 09:50:24 AM
Thumbnail image for On the market this week in Southborough

What went on and off the market this week.

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Obituary: Elizabeth Hurley Connell, 76

February 14, 2020 07:57:43 AM
Thumbnail image for Obituary: Elizabeth Hurley Connell, 76

Elizabeth Hurley Connell, 76, of Southborough died February 10th.

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Water rates for Southborough will hike for most (especially for biggest users)

February 13, 2020 01:59:43 PM
Thumbnail image for Water rates for Southborough will hike for most (especially for biggest users)

Selectmen approved a new water rate plan for Southborough users this week. The plan is projected to charge a 25% increase for average households and a major fee hike for high end users. Town officials hope that for low use residents, especially seniors, the increase will be small.

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