Post image for The Library will Rock this summer: Special events and programs for kids kick off next week

Above: This summer, the Southborough Library is celebrating the theme Libraries Rock! – starting with a special magic and music program on Tuesday morning. (image right from Facebook)

The Southborough Library is officially kicking off its Summer Reading program on Monday. (Though, kids are already encouraged to start signing up.)

This summer’s theme is Libraries Rock! Children’s Librarian Kim Ivers has already made her annual rounds to the elementary schools to drum up excitement. She is challenging kids to top last year’s summer reading total of 6,600 books.

As usual, the library will be offering fun activities to keep the kids coming in frequently over the summer. That includes ongoing self-driven fun in the Children’s Room and themed drop in activities.

And as always – look for lots of entertainers. To start the summer off strong, they’ll be kicking off the season with a “Rock the Library” event the first morning of summer vacation.

On Tuesday, June 26th at 11:00 am, kids are invited to a special show sponsored by Fay School, featuring special guests.

Magician Debbie O’Carroll and Musician Tom O’Carroll are teaming up for a:

fun and funny interactive magic show that highlights the art of music. Tom’s lively songs and tunes on the guitar, banjo, tin whistle, mandolin, Irish drum and African thumb piano will introduce youngsters to music from Scotland, Spain, East Africa, Ireland, Italy and the U.S. Debbie’s enchanting magic illusions will involve all with some storybook characters from these magical and musical lands.

There’s a lot more in store this summer. So open your calendar app to save some dates:

One-time entertainers and special events (No registration required unless specified):

  • Strawberry Social 2.0: Saturday, June 30 (11:00 am – 2:00 pm) Strawberry Shortcakes and more for all ages. (See dedicated post for details)
  • Fourth of July Parade: Tuesday, July 3 (11:00 am) It’s time for the annual Fourth of July Parade! Children and their parents or caregivers are invited to march in the parade from the Library to the Town House. (sponsored by the Friends of the Southborough Library)
  • Comic Mime Robert Rivest: Thursday, July 5 (11:00 am) There will be “Laughter in the Library” when the (surprisingly verbal) mime brings his hilarious show to the library (sponsored by the Friends of the Southborough Library)
  • ScienceTellers in the Wild West: Wednesday, July 18 (3:00 pm) ScienceTellers combines stories and science to make some magic happen! Hear the tale of “Wild West: The Mystery of the Golden Piano.” (sponsored by the Friends of the Southborough Library)
  • Animal World Experience: Thursday, July 26 (3:00 pm) Animal World Experience returns to the library with all kinds of amazing animals. Children can learn about the animals and be able to touch some of them (sponsored by the Friends of the Southborough Library)
  • Big Joe the Storyteller: Tuesday, July 31 (11:00 am) There will be plenty of laughter when Big Joe shares his silly tales. (sponsored by the Friends of the Southborough Library)
  • Truck Day: Thursday, August 2 (10:30 am) In the Library parking lot that morning, children will be able to explore some police cars, fire engines, dump trucks and more. (sponsored by the Friends of the Southborough Library)
  • Star Wars Crafts: Tuesday, August 7 (3:00 – 5:00 pm): Registration Required – This limited space workshop for ages 8 thru teens celebrates all things Star Wars! Three station will be available to kids and teens as they rotate through the room, including “Wookie Cookie” decorating, Perler Bead Keychains and Star Wars finger puppets (using hot glue guns). (Sign up at the Children’s Room desk or by calling 508-485-5031.
  • Musician Steve Blunt: Thursday, August 9 (3:00 pm) We’ll be singing along with the musician when he presents his “Rockin’ Sing Along!” (sponsored by the Friends of the Southborough Library)
  • Flea Circus: Thursday, August 16 (3:00 pm) We’re wrapping up Summer Reading with some laughter and magic with magician Ed Popielarczyk and his “Flea Circus” (sponsored by Fay School)

Drop in programs this summer:
These events each run from 10:30 am – 5:00 pm. (Kids must be accompanied by an adult or caregiver.) [click to keep reading…]


Post image for Weekend reminder: Biergartens and Police Safety Workshop

Above: This weekend’s events feature a somber workshop offered by Southborough Police and lighthearted fun on the local farm. (image right cropped Notch Beer website)

There are only two public events I’m aware of in Southborough this weekend. But each deserves a quick reminder for different reasons.

One is weighty in tone – a special workshop by Southborough police in response to public concerns about violent incidents in other parts of the country. On the other end of the spectrum is a fun event extending over most of the weekend.

Police Workshop on Active Armed Intruder situation

Saturday, June 23, 2018 (2:00 – 3:30 pm) @ Trottier Middle School: A free workshop for residents on techniques for personal safety involving an Active Armed Intruder. Officer Kevin Landry will cover situational awareness in public and private spaces, responses for dangerous situations, and advice on how to best respond immediately. Free childcare is available for the session. For details, see related post.

Notch Traveling Biergarten at Chestnut Hill Farm

You can click here for the full details on the free-admission, family friendly “Beer Garden”, co-run by Notch Beer and The Trustees of Reservations. The schedule was updated mid- week, so it’s worth sharing again:

Friday, June 22, 4-9 pm

  • Food:
    • Snacks: hummus and chips, soft pretzels, and beef sticks
    • 5-8 pm Trustees burgers, sliders, and BBQ brisket, along with Desiree’s chipotle coleslaw 
    • 5-8 pm Stone Comfort Wood-Fired Pizza
    • 5-8 pm Lady Laurie Cakes: cupcakes, cake bites, whoopie pies
  • Fun:
    • Cornhole, Can Jam, Giant Jenga, and other lawn games
    • Kids’ activities/games
    • Hike the farm trails
  • Farm stand: Open 2-6 pm

Saturday, June 23, 12-9 pm  [click to keep reading…]


Last night, the Board of Selectmen approved a slightly revised version of the Transfer Station Rules and Regulations that I previewed. Talk before and after the vote answered some questions commenters have raised. It also confirmed that selectmen will be taking a deeper look at changing how the station is funded.

And, at the urging of the Public Works chief, the board will look at creating rules around collecting petition signatures at the Transfer Stations and other properties. The focus is addressing complaints by residents who claim they were harassed.

New Transfer Station Rules

On Tuesday, I shared the draft rules and regs presented to selectmen. The board approved the document with a few changes. The most significant was allowing households to increase the number of vehicles allowed under the base fee for both all access and recycle only permits.

The original draft charged $25 per extra car beyond the first two. That was consistent with past years. Selectman Dan Kolenda suggested that residents should be allowed stickers for 3 cars without paying extra. The board agreed.

One other change has a big impact on a small % of residents. The initial draft referred to free permits for residents aged 65+ by 12/31/2017. The typo will be fixed to change that to 2018.

Other edits had to do how to make out checks and language around exemptions for people with financial needs. DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan explained that the fee exemption existed in past years. This year she was told that it should be included in the written rules and regulations.

Chair Lisa Braccio stressed that the new rules don’t increase fees. Galligan confirmed, but reminded that it eliminates the discount period.

Commercial vehicle complaints

On the blog (and apparently to at least one selectman), residents have complained that there is no special fee for commercial vehicles. Past and recent comments claimed to witness large amounts of construction debris dumped by commercial vehicles.

On Thursday night, Kolenda asked Galligan to address the concern. She clarified that many residents own commercial vehicles that they also use for personal purposes.

Galligan followed that any resident with a permit is allowed to dispose of construction debris from their own home – an example given was replacing a deck. That same rule applies for people with commercial vehicles working on their own residence. She said that whoever is working does try to keep people from taking advantage. If a commercial vehicle is disposing of a lot of materials, they look at the license plate and check into whether there is a building permit pulled for the owner’s home. But, she said that can be difficult since no permit needs to be pulled for some things like replacing a rug.

She acknowledged that some people try to take advantage. But she said that’s not just commercial vehicle owners. She told the public that if they saw some of the things people tried to get away with, they’d be surprised and that it often has no connection to commercial vehicles.

Chair Lisa Braccio, supported Galligan by explaining that her husband’s truck has commercial plates due to weight requirements, but is not used for work. It’s the only truck they have and is what they use for the Transfer Station.

Recycling expenses

Another question again raised in comments this week on the blog was why the charge for recycling stickers is $75 when recycling is presumably free. In the past that has been explained as contributing to the running of the station including staff. But at that time, there was also a lower fee available for $50 to residents who purchased during the now eliminated discount period.

This week, Galligan revealed that some recycling is actually pricier than disposing of trash. Beginning in February, the Town’s recycling vendor (Harvey) began charging $220 per month to take away “comingled” recycling. She referred to issues with recycling in China. Harvey used to sell the materials to China, now they are having trouble getting rid of them.

Rules for petitions and harassment

Galligan told selectmen that she has frequently gotten complaints from residents claiming they were harassed by people collecting petition signatures. She said one woman complained of being basically chased after while trying to dispose of her trash.  [click to keep reading…]


Post image for Strawberry Social “2.0” at the Library – June 30

Above: Fresh farm strawberries + the Southborough Library on its last open day this summer = a revamped “Strawberry Social” with shortcakes and more. (photos cropped L-R from Chestnut Hill Farm’s blog, pic by Susan Fitzgerald, and flickr post by Todd Van Hoosear)

For years, Southborough Library staff have heard long time patrons reminisce about The Friends of the Southborough Library’s “Strawberry Social”. This summer, the Library Trustees are teaming up with the Friends, plus Chestnut Hill Farm and the Southborough Rotary Club to jointly reboot the festivities.

strawberry social 2.0 flyer“Strawberry Social 2.0” is a revised version of the old event.

To celebrate the last Saturday the Library is open before it closes for weekends over the summer, the Library will be doling out free strawberry shortcakes made with fresh farm strawberries. (Though, donations are welcome.)

The event will take place a week from tomorrow – Saturday, June 30 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.

And for those who have allergies to strawberries (or aversion to fresh fruit) they’ll also be giving out shaved tropical ice until 1:00 pm (appropriately flavored strawberry and strawberry lemonade).

CHF strawberries from this summer (from CHF blog)Strawberries will be from the Trustees of Reservations’ farms.* Volunteers will be using them to make strawberry shortcakes that weekend.

The Library could use some more volunteer hands to help with preparation (9 – 11 am) and/or serving (11 am – 2 pm). If you’d like to pitch in, please e-mail library director Ryan Donovan at

When you swing by, you can also drop in to an encore Book Sale. The Friends will be running a smaller version of the sale indoors for those of you who missed the big one earlier this month.

*(Chestnut Hill Farm hopes to donate the berries. But if they run out, they’ll help the library get berries at a discount from other TTOR farms.)


Post image for Obituary: Marjorie R. (Wheaton) Putnam, 90

Marjorie R. (Wheaton) Putnam, 90, of Southborough passed away on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, with her son by her side, at Marlborough Hospital after a period of declining health.

She was the beloved wife of the late Willard S. Putnam, who died in 2012.

Marjorie was raised in Weymouth and was a 1946 graduate of Weymouth High School. For over 34 years, she was the executive secretary for the Selectman of the Town of Southborough and retired in 2000. She was a member of the Pilgrim Church for many years and enjoyed needle point and quilting, but her greatest joy was spending time with her family.

She is survived by her devoted son, Dana S. Putnam of Southborough with whom she lived; a brother, Gordon Wheaton and his wife Carolyn of Magnolia, TX; and many nieces and several nephews.

Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, June 24, from 3 to 5pm at the Morris Funeral Home, 40 Main Street, Southborough.

A funeral home service will be held at Morris Funeral Home, on Monday, June 25, at 11am. A burial will follow at Southborough Rural Cemetery.

To leave words of condolence to the family, please visit

(Obituary and photo via Morris Funeral Home)


On the market this week in Southborough

by beth on June 21, 2018

Post image for On the market this week in Southborough

Above: This home at 166 Marlboro Road went on the market this week for $525,000 (MLS photo)

Here’s what went on and off the market this week. Thanks to Gail DuBois (email) of Keller Williams for supplying the town’s new listing information for the week.*

New on the market

Sale pending

  • 81 Oak Hill Road (map) – 6 room, 3 bed, 2f 0h bath Ranch – 6 days on the Market, Listed at $390,000
  • 10 Bryden Road (map) – 7 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Split Entry – 20 days on the Market, Listed at $442,000
  • 60 Framingham Road (map) – 8 room, 3 bed, 2f 1h bath Contemporary – 33 days on the Market, Listed at $486,960
  • 3 Stonebrook Court U:2 (map) – 6 room, 2 bed, 2f 1h bath Townhouse – 52 days on the Market, Listed at $579,900
  • 17 Walnut Drive (map) – 8 room, 3 bed, 3f 0h bath Colonial – 56 days on the Market, Listed at $589,900
  • 62 Charles Court U:33 (map) – 9 room, 2 bed, 3f 1h bath Townhouse – 4 days on the Market, Listed at $619,900
  • 83 Deerfoot Road (map) – 10 room, 4 bed, 3f 0h bath Colonial – 19 days on the Market, Listed at $929,000
  • 1 Kidder Lane (map) – 13 room, 4 bed, 4f 1h bath Colonial – 78 days on the Market, Listed at $959,900
  • 39 Lynbrook Road (map) – 11 room, 5 bed, 4f 1h bath Colonial – 3 days on the Market, Listed at $1,299,000

[click to keep reading…]


Historical Commission filing Ethics Complaint against a Selectman

June 21, 2018 01:56:41 PM

Earlier this month, I reported on the conflict between Board of Selectmen and Historical Commission member Michael Weishan. Last night, the Historical Commission voted to file an ethics complaint against the member of the board who led the charge against renewing Weishan’s term on the Commission.

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SAT Bootcamp: Register now for summer classes

June 21, 2018 11:30:21 AM
Thumbnail image for SAT Bootcamp: Register now for summer classes

[The following information was provided by My Southborough sponsor Peter Arvantely, otherwise known to Southborough students as “Peter the Tutor”.]

Peter Arvantely offers intensive SAT Bootcamps this July and August.

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Sign up for Summer Camps and programs through Southborough Rec

June 21, 2018 09:30:26 AM
Thumbnail image for Sign up for Summer Camps and programs through Southborough Rec

Tomorrow is the last full day of Southborough Public Schools. Are you freaking out yet about what to do with your kids this summer?

Don’t worry. Southborough Recreation has a lot of options to offer.

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Obituary: Elizabeth (Fish) Butler, 90.

June 21, 2018 07:30:41 AM

BUTLER, Elizabeth (Fish) May 31, 2018 at age 90.

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Main Street area updates: Reconstruction of Downtown Business Village; Night Work; state project delay, beautifying a corner, and more

June 20, 2018 04:21:40 PM
Thumbnail image for Main Street area updates: Reconstruction of Downtown Business Village; Night Work; state project delay, beautifying a corner, and more

Selectmen approved $1.2M in spending to extend the Main St Reconstruction project to the Downtown Business Village and make other connected improvements.

That’s part of five project updates I’m rounding up on what’s happening on Main Street and intersecting roads near downtown.

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Police updates: Truck trapped under River St Bridge; Reminder on safety workshop; details on manhunt; and logs

June 20, 2018 02:28:08 PM
Thumbnail image for Police updates: Truck trapped under River St Bridge; Reminder on safety workshop; details on manhunt; and logs

It’s time for my weekly update on what Southborough Police have been up to.

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Audio (or visual) Book Club for sci-fi/fantasy fans launches next week

June 20, 2018 10:23:31 AM
Thumbnail image for Audio (or visual) Book Club for sci-fi/fantasy fans launches next week

This summer, the Southborough Library is launching a new adult book club focused on adult sci-fi/fantasy books. The twist is – no reading is required.

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Biergarten offers free family fun at Chestnut Hill Farm – Friday thru Sun (Updated)

June 19, 2018 04:20:00 PM
Thumbnail image for Biergarten offers free family fun at Chestnut Hill Farm – Friday thru Sun (Updated)

Friday through Sunday, Chestnut Hill Farm will be converted into a “Biergarten” – aka Beer Garden.

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