Blogcation week 1: Talk amongst yourselves

by susan on July 10, 2012

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Just because I’m on hiatus doesn’t mean the conversation here on the blog has to stop. While I’m gone, use this open thread to talk about any interesting stories that come up, to announce events going on around town, or just to chat with your fellow residents.

Simply add your thoughts to the comments below.

1 Eileen Samberg July 10, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Always wondered about Warner Oland’s tombstone and whether the always-present flowers were part of perpetual care. Finally went on the web and found this: Edith Oland cabled Boston lawyer Harrison Schaff to arrange a cemetery plot and he did so acquiring lot 51 of Block 10 in the Southbouough Cemetery in Massachusetts for $50, with an extra $100 for perpetual care of same. The ashes arrived and the size of the burial ceremony may be deduced from the invoice from Gregg and Sons Funeral Directors, all of $25. The charges for a “cement vault” are listed as $35 and the cemetery fee at $5. (His large stone headstone must have been a later addition.)

2 Judy Christensen July 10, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Thanks, Eileen, I was always a big fan of his Charlie Chan, and was pleased when I discovered his grave here when we moved to Southborough.

On another topic, can anyone tell me why there are colored, shiny pieces of paper/plastic in the field south of Route 30 and across from Northboro Road. I assume it is to keep some kind of animal away, but it is on the border of an unmowed field. Any help would be appreciated.

3 pdietz July 11, 2012 at 6:27 AM

Regarding Warner Oland’s tombstone, I believe that I read in one of the Southborough History books that the tombstone was created from a stone that was at the entrance of his home. Can anyone confirm?

4 Eileen Samberg July 11, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I have heard the same story about the tombstone — probably in Fences of Stone or something.

5 resident July 11, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Can anyone tell me why the Fay school grounds closest to Parkerville Road has a distinct odor of a gas leak? I walk by there often and I alway get a strong odor of natural gas, sometimes stronger than others but always present. It makes me wonder what kind of dangerous situation could occur there and why it is not addressed.

6 Resident July 11, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Call the fire department and they will check it out.

7 John Kendall July 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM

There have been electronic sign boards in the area of Southville Road and River Street advising motorists of construction since mid-May. They warn of construction beginning June 1st. The bridge over the Sudbury River is to be replaced. Other than one day that they used jackhammers near the bridge that crosses the Sudbury River, there have been no signs of life. Anybody know the answer to this??

8 Southside Gadsden Flyer July 20, 2012 at 3:52 PM

They JUST started the work, perhaps they wanted to keep us guessing! A pic from yesterday is now posted on

9 Alan July 11, 2012 at 8:22 PM

I have been wondering the same thing John.

On another issue, The new dump stickers are going to be PINK??????

10 John Kendall July 12, 2012 at 1:24 PM

YES! I was at the Transfer Station today and all the signs advertising the new stickers say that they are pink! I don’t think we’ve ever had pink since the inception of the sticker program.

11 Steve Ulfelder July 12, 2012 at 6:57 AM

OK, here’s mine. When you exit the Dunkin’ Donuts/Post Office plaza onto Richards Road, there is a No Left Turn sign. I and many others routinely ignore this sign (I confess!), and I’ve been told it is aimed at keeping large trucks off Richards and Breakneck Hill Road. Q: Do the police ever enforce this road sign for passenger cars?

12 MarthaB July 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Hi Steve, I don’t mean to be picky. But are you thinking of Mt. Vickery Rd. across from Gulbankians? BTW….I too am guilty of making a left turn out of there.

13 Steve Ulfelder July 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Yes, that’s what I meant, Mt. Vickery – thanks!

14 Wendy July 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Is there even a stop sign there? I had a close call this morning requiring me to slam on my brakes and blare my horn as someone came flying out of there, taking a left turn on to Mt. Vickery.

15 D. Romm July 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Yesterday I too noticed the new PINK dump stickers. Pretty funny.

On another note, does anyone know anything about the safety of motorized scooters? There was a child (maybe between 9 and 12 years old) riding one in the Finn School Parking Lot without his helmet. My young boys (5 1/2 and 3) were like, “Cool.” I was like “NOT COOL.” !!!!

A high school student we know lost several of her teeth when her scooter (not a motorized one) hit a hole in the road and she went head-over-heals over the “handle bar.” When I told the boy’s mother about the high school student losing her teeth, she looked at me like I had two heads!!!!!!

Any information on the safety of scooters, particularly motorized scooters,would be greatly appreciated.

16 SB Resident July 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

If by safety of them, you mean legality? I would wager that you are correct that it most likely is the law that they should be wearing a helmet, I’m sure google will help you verify.

However, many people do not agree with these laws and choose to ignore them. Others may even get upset when you choose to butt in to what they consider to be none of your business, so tread carefully.

Lastly, bike helmets do not offer very much mouth protecting. Maybe this was what spurred to the two heads look?

17 D. Romm July 13, 2012 at 7:17 AM

Hi All,

I would like to make some clarifications: The scooter was an Electric Razor Scooter, the type you stand on. It was not a moped type one that you sit on.

I did not mention the helmet to the mother. I simply shared with her the story of the high school student who lost several of her front teeth (and spent months at the dentist) when her non-motorized scooter stopped suddenly.

Yes, I agree (fortunately or unfortunately) that one must tread carefully. However, the boy was riding in a public school parking lot, the Finn School, where 5 and 6 year olds go to school.

I found this information:
. Always wear a helmet when riding your scooter and keep the chinstrap securely buckled. Always wear shoes. Don’t ride barefoot or in sandals. Keep shoelaces out of the way of wheels.
• Ride on smooth, paved surfaces away from motor vehicles.
• Avoid sharp bumps, drainage grates and sudden surface changes. Scooter may suddenly stop.
• Avoid streets and surfaces with water, sand gravel, dirt, leaves, and other debris. Wet weather impairs traction, braking and visibility. Avoid anything that could cause your front wheel to stop. Bumps have the potential to stop the front wheel. When in doubt, avoid the bumps.

As everyone knows, manufacturers don’t necessarily have the customer’s best interest in mind when marketing cool products! Clearly there is a safety issue when a child hits something that might “cause your front wheel to stop.”

18 Curious July 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM

There is a home on my street that is part of the affordable housing (40b?) group. The folks that live there mow their lawn perhaps twice a summer. This is an eyesore in an otherwise well-kept neighborhood. I’m curious…is there a legal responsibilty to maintain the property better?

19 Southside Gadsden Flyer July 20, 2012 at 3:37 PM

The surest way to get them to NEVER mow is to ask them to mow it! Have the same thing on my street—maybe we are neighbors?

20 daddyo July 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

curious i dont think so but you could ask ST MARKS ! lol

21 Alan July 12, 2012 at 1:49 PM

1, I too take a left onto Mt Vickory as well as my wife. My wife has said she has seen the police take a left there as well. I believe this as what we call a “political no left turn” sign.

2, Yes pink.

3, You did your part on the helmit issue. Motirized scooters are illegal on the roads of Southborough for a reason.

4. Not sure there is much you can do about your neighbors lawn. I would sure like to do something about the junk yard on Bryden rd.

22 Jim Freeman July 13, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I dunno what 40(b) housing has to do with lawn mowing but whatever. Have you thought about going over & offering to mow it for them?

23 Frank Crowell July 15, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Random Thoughts for the Summer

– If a family has been given the privilege of living in a single family affordable house and one of the requirements is to make sure the place is kept up, then all of us should expect the lawn to be mowed on a routine basis.

– After finishing the Steve Jobs biography by Isaacson, I can see why it is not on the reading list for high school students. Mr. Jobs did not have much good to say about the current state of education in the US and thought less of the teacher’s union. He wasn’t by any stretch a conservative.

– The ninth hole at St Mark’s Golf Course could use a chain saw. Try hitting from the left side of the back tee box. It is very difficult to hit between all those trees.

– My casual observations are that some businesses in town are not following the voluntary water odd/even water band. I found the driving range was watering on an odd day when it should be on an even day.

– I never cared for Southborough being spelled “Southboro.” Now I have changed my mind seeing that Rev. Stone spelled it that way.

24 Katie July 17, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Many businesses in Southborough utilitze private wells and are not subject to the odd/even water ban. Just something to keep in mind.

25 Leo Bartolini Jr July 17, 2012 at 4:16 PM

As owner of Southborough Golf i want to inform you that i have a private well that is used strickly for irrigation for my property. I think that before people make comments they should do a little research so they completly know all the facts about the situation that is being discussed.

26 Frank Crowell July 17, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Well Mr. Bartolini you own well – all sounds fine to me. Having libertarian points of view, the last thing I would do is stand between you and watering your lawn or place of business. Please refer to the words “casual observations” in my post above. I do use your driving range but ………

27 just curious July 19, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Mr Bartolini,

Could you please ask the owner of the awful looking lot at Main and Newton Streets to please mow it?

Thank you.

28 Trash question July 16, 2012 at 11:05 PM

We are deciding to switch from bringing our own trash to the transfer station to hiring someone to pick it up at our home. There used to be info at town hall about who would do this. It’s not there anymore and I can’t find anyone from the phone book.

Do you know the names of companies that will pick up trash and recyclables from our home?

29 Talking Trash July 17, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Harvey’s in Westborough is a very good company. They have been written up for their recycling efforts. BFI also picks up trash, but I am not sure if they will handle your recycling. When I used them, I still took my recycling to the transfer station.

30 Resident July 17, 2012 at 10:27 AM

We use Allied Waste since we moved here in Southborough. They charge about $49 a month and come every Wednesday. They alternate recycling paper and containers every other week. Here is their website and phone number (508) 832-9001

31 Jim Freeman July 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Could be a million reasons the lawn isn’t mowed – maybe they can’t afford a lawn mower – maybe they’re handicapped or elderly – maybe its a single mom with 4 kids – maybe they’re naturalists – who knows? My point is, be a neighbor, say hi and find out what’s up rather than anonymously complain on a message board.

32 Frank Crowell July 17, 2012 at 2:07 PM

On the one hand you have a point, be a good neighbor. But the people in the “40B” house (not sure that is what it should be called) could do their own reaching out. How about join a church in town with a youth group with many possible volunteers?

In a very small example, this is what is wrong with our society today. If the family in “Curious’” neighborhood signed a contract that requires maintaining the property, then they should keep the place up which includes mowing the lawn and not be an eye sore to the neighbors. The obligation is theirs on how to do it. I am sure I hold the minority position in town on this.

33 SB Resident July 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM

I doubt your position is the minority. Sometimes the majority just stay quiet (or anonymous on internet message boards) when their opinions are skewed into being viewed as politically incorrect. There may be a million reasons why their lawn isn’t mowed, but pretty much none of them are acceptable as far as I’m concerned, 40B or no 40B.

34 Curious July 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I wasn’t complaining. I was asking if anyone knew if they had a LEGAL responsibility as recipients of this special housing arrangement to up-keep their property. Sarcastic responses are not helpful. I cannot mow their lawn, as you previously suggested, as I do not own a lawnmower. Are you suggesting I should pay to have my landscaping company do their lawn? Are you suggesting that I shame them in person by knocking on their door. Sheesh.

35 C. Nicholas Ellis July 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM

It’s entirely possible to offer aid politely, without shaming someone. There’s a difference between “Hey! Mow your frickin’ lawn!,” and “Could I perhaps lend a hand in trimming your lawn?” I’m not suggesting you need to do anything, but saying you won’t offer to help because you’re afraid of shaming them is a cop-out.

I don’t have a bone to pick in this “argument.” I just think it’s irresponsible to not offer aid to people based on the assumption one might “shame” them. Not trying to pick on you or anything, so don’t take it personal.

36 Alan July 17, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Maybe we should all take a break until it cools off outside. It will be cooling off soon thank goodness.

PS, check on the elderly if you can, very hot today.

37 Jim Freeman July 18, 2012 at 10:12 AM


No sarcasm intended (one of the problem with internet posting – can’t tell intent). I was serious – a neighbor in my old neighborhood had a husband who was a merchant marine (gone at least 6 mo/yr) and they had a toddler & an infant. My son & I used to go over & mow her lawn for her – just neighbor helping neighbor, which was my point. What I’m saying is that maybe there’s a perfectly logical reason but you’ll never know unless you get to know them.

As an aside, aren’t there any kids around who mow lawns for pocket money? All I ever see are the HUGE landscaping trucks.

38 pdietz July 18, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Funny story for you – I know someone who asked a neighbor father if his son might be interested in pocket change by mowing his lawn and was told “my son has no time for earning money, he needs to spend his time playing baseball so he can get a scholarship for college! TRUE story! This is what our world has become. Very sad.

39 Jim Freeman July 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM

That doesn’t surprise me. Parents have no idea how scarce athletic scholarship money is & how prevalent academic money is. The ratio of academic dollars to athletic dollars is well over 10-1. I wonder if that parent knows that the only way their child gets a free ride is at a NCAA Div 1 school. Div II athletic scholarships are partials at best & Div III is non-existent. Better advice is to make sure the kid hits the books.

40 RunGirl July 19, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Are there any running clubs in Southborough? I’m a newbie (read:sloooooow) runner looking for some running partners to keep my motivation up while I train for a 5k. If there aren’t any organized groups maybe someone else out there is a newbie too and would like to meet up for some runs in the Main St./ Parkerville Rd area?

41 Mark Fallon July 19, 2012 at 10:32 PM

RunGirl – you may want to ask the folks at PR Running in Westborough (next to Tatnuck). They know a lot of the local folks (and don’t care how fast you run). Good luck!

42 Jessica July 22, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Hi RunGirl,

I have been running for a few years now but also run slow (when I say run, let’s face it, I mean jog). I am not by any means a marathoner but I have run lots of 5Ks and love them! I also run the Main St and Parkerville Rd area so if you are looking for a running buddy I’m interested! If you are, email Susan and maybe she could pass along my email to you? (Susan is that ok?)


43 susan July 22, 2012 at 11:32 PM

No problem! I’m at

44 AR July 19, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Anyone have any recommendations for the best/prettiest spots to walk the sudbury river trail? Preferably a segment where there is a nearby place to park?

45 Al Hamilton July 20, 2012 at 10:58 AM

There is a section that is about 2 miles long that runs from the intersection of Nichols & Clemmons (off Pine Hill Road) to Parmenter Road. It is a fire trail and a very pleasant walk most of the time you are walking along the reservoir . There is a parking lot at the Parmenter end and side of the road parking along Clemmons.

Check for ticks after the walk.

46 AR July 20, 2012 at 9:55 PM


47 D. Romm July 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

And you might want to bring bug spray. I just did a run and it was quite miserable on the trail because of all the bugs flying around my head! It’s like a form of torture! (So much for that peaceful, zen-like, beautiful view of the resevoir trail run!)

48 Pat Q July 23, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Can anyone recommend a good electrician?

I have an outage, only in a certain area of the house, after the storm last week.

49 John Kendall July 23, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Bill Reilly in Millbury 508-341-1740 (former resident). Matt Braccio here in town, 508-481-9939. Bill has done work for me over the years and does excellent work.

50 Pat Q July 23, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Thanks so much John.

51 Pat Q July 23, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Matt Braccio just left…….problem fixed! Wasn’t here for long and vey satisfied with
the charges/price. Great service and glad I could use a local business.

Thanks for the recommendation. Would certainly use him again and will
recommend his services to others.

: )

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