Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by beth on August 1, 2013

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I need to get outside and spend a beautiful summer day with my family.

So, time for another open thread.

For those of you new to the blog, the open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Ask questions about programs in town or the town itself
  • Post a note about things that you’re selling or giving away, or things that you want
  • Share notices about upcoming events (Southborough or otherwise)
  • Register your thoughts on town issues or news stories
  • Point out interesting or helpful resources

You can add comments to the thread throughout the week. Check back often to see new comments. (If you read the blog via email or RSS, you might want to check the site from time to time for new comments.)

To view past open discussion threads, click here.

(Photo from Flickr by sandra.scherer)

1 just wondering August 1, 2013 at 9:33 AM

1. I don’t recall the structure at the intersection of route 85 and Framingham road being approved at TM. How is this project being funded? It’s been a few days since I’ve been by but it appeared the blocks being used have the potential of turning into projectiles that could put people waiting at the intersection at risk in the event of an accident there.

2. Has the bus lot on School street been permitted? With all the attention given to the Gulbankian’s bus lot I’m surprised that I’ve seen nothing in regards to the School street bus lot.

3. Just south of the School street bus lot next to the Mauro Building there’s a large compost pile that appears to be a near permanent fixture. Are there any regulations or by-laws that address the storage of fill or compost?

2 Kevin T August 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM

I lost my wedding ring while at the Neary playground last week. It’s most likely somewhere in the grass between the playground and the two closest soccer goals, it could also be in the playground mulch. We’ve covered a lot of the ground with a metal detector with no luck. Please call 781-640-4884 if found. Thank you.

3 Matthew August 1, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Looking for a straw poll on Snowden. Traitor or whistleblower?

4 John Kendall August 1, 2013 at 7:18 PM


5 Frank Crowell August 2, 2013 at 1:16 PM


6 Frank August 1, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I wonder if we will ever get to use the new swap shop buildings at the TS. I wonder why as towns people we wanted to keep the swap shop open and some how the head of the DPW decides to put up all these new buildings we don’t use. I wonder why if Mr Rooney is so concerned about the cost of running the TS he never said anything about the new buildings.

I did see we are moving another step forward with making the metal section throw out only with the new road the head of the DPW has started to put in.

Why is it as towns people we expressed our opinion in a survey to keep the TS as it is but it keeps getting changed.

7 Jimmy August 1, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Dump stickers- the letter from town says to put them on the FRONT bumper. Anyone get one yet? – are they really going on the front? ….or the rear like it has always been.

8 Dick Snyder August 1, 2013 at 9:34 PM

I have one. You can put them on driver side front bumper or driver side windshield. Since they stick on the OUTSIDE of the car the windshield won’t work if you ever scrape ice from your windshield.

9 Johnboy August 3, 2013 at 7:19 AM

Who’s bright idea was it to put the dump stickers on the front of the vehicle?
I suspect that it’s because the dump attendant ,when awake, doesn’t have to walk around the vehicle to see the sticker. What if you back into the transfer station? Maybe the sticker should be on the passenger side of the car. Even better, let’s have four stickers, one for each side.

10 I'm just sayin' August 6, 2013 at 8:31 AM

I am not really sure why “they” changed where the sticker goes…most everyone I see backs into the dumpster area…are we trying to make sure that people who recycle are from our town? Seems kind of backwards to me. I would think we would want to make sure the trash we have to pay for to dispose of is being dumped by legitimate sticker holders….ahhh, wait….is it so our police chief, when sitting in her cruiser those first weeks after Sept. 15 to check on whether we have a current sticker or not, does not have to turn her head to look at those back bumpers and instead can just sit there watching the front of the cars? Can someone who made the change tell us WHY the change was made because, honestly, the reasoning escapes me. Makes no sense whatsoever….it may not be the biggest question of the day, but I am a why person and one who also lives by the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Just curious…

11 Chris August 3, 2013 at 9:05 AM

I saw an article this past week about the transportation bill passing, that $5m of funding was included for the Main St. overhaul…doesn’t look like it will be done for a few years. Has our portion of the cost already been allocated/approved or will we be asked to ante up in the future?

12 M August 3, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Warning to anyone who has not yet purchased your dump sticker. There is a $10 fee from the bank that processes it online with a credit card. Better to mail it in with a check.

13 I'm just sayin' August 6, 2013 at 9:04 AM

So many questions need to be asked about stupid transfer station stickers this year! I would much prefer spending my time doing many other things than trying to figure out which is the best way to pay for our sticker! And don’t those making all these silly decsions have better things to do with THEIR time?!? Did the BOS raise the sticker prices just to be able to offer all the discounts we can have this year?!? I had planned on paying in person like I always do (contact with town employees is a good thing!) but not if it costs me more…and how much more is it?!? The next alternative would be online with a credit card, but again, not if it is going to cost me more $$$ (yes, I am a Yankee!) And by the way, if you go in in person, you need all kinds of proof that you are who you say you are and live where you say you live, but how is that accomplished online? If you mail it in, you had better have access to a photocopier so you can provide all this information as well. If I read it correctly, you save $50 if you pay online or send it in the mail by Oct. 1. We need to have new stickers by Sept. 15th. Where did the Oct. 1 date come from? All this is beginning to be so much nonsense! Who thinks up this stuff?!?

14 alan August 3, 2013 at 1:16 PM

It took years to get them to allow us to put the dump sticker on the rear window. Why is it being changed? Most everyone I see backs into the hopper. I don’t see the sticker lasting of my front windshield, not to mention possible obstructing the drivers view. I never put stickers on my bumpers so my front bumper is out of the question. We use to put the sticker on a magnet when we had to put them on the rear bumper so we could get them off at the end of the year. Unfortunately my front bumper is plastic. I guess I will be racking up the fines this year. Does the DPW head just change things because she can. I see no logic in the sticker location change.

15 Carol Fay August 3, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Regarding the Transfer Station….am I the only one wondering why there is a sign stating that cardboard, plastic and paper are not allowed in the pit? Which means I need to open my plastic Hefty trashbags, empty them into the pit, and take the empty bags to the recycle area? Funny, it looked like there were hundreds of bags and cardboard boxed in the pit when I went there today.

16 Karen Muggeridge August 7, 2013 at 3:24 PM

This may be in compliance with the state’s Waste Disposal Ban prohibiting these and other items from going into landfills and the waste stream. Many items on the list should be recycled, others may prove to be a hazard to the environment and should be disposed of differently.
Regardless of what Southborough sets it’s sticker price at, non-recycled, recyclables are an added cost the town. That in turn becomes an expense to the taxpayers as well as being detrimental to the environment.
It is unfortunate that our recycling rate continues to be low and that more is not being done to address this.

17 Debbie August 29, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Good answer Karen. I separate everything at home as I dispose of it to make it easy to recycle. I have three containers in my kitchen closet: One for paper, one for “co-mingled” (glass plastic and metal) and one for cardboard (like cereal boxes and squished egg cartons etc) I compost lots of paper as well as kitchen garbage. I toss one bag per month into the compactor.

18 Chris August 5, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Update on Eaton closing, for me anyways…got a letter informing me my prescription had been transferred to the Walgreens in town…thought that was helpful.

Re: dump sticker on the front, anything to prevent you from taping it to the inside of the windshield? I also don’t like having to put anything on my bumper and agree that the exterior is problematic. I’m thinking of putting it down near the inspection sticker…inside.

19 mike August 5, 2013 at 8:52 AM

I noticed the BOS is appointing Karen Finelli to be an Adminsitrative Assistant at the Rec Dept. What makes her or a person qualified. Is that sort of political pandering to your friends and neighbors? I dont think the BOS should be able to appoint town people to paid positions in town. It seems a conflict. Second why are we adding more staff to the town payroll and beneifts, and retirement when we cant afford what we have now? Are town peole blind to this conflict and the financial side?

20 alan August 5, 2013 at 9:41 AM

I think the bigger question is “why the change” for the TS sticker location. Residents struggled for years to get approval to have the stickers on the rear window, a change from the rear bumper only. Now we have a complete change from that to something that has no logic. No discussion, No debate. If you question Karan about any changes she says “that’s what I was told to do”, if you asked the Selectman they say “its her decision”. I don’t think she has been in town long enough to know what the residents want, but the selectman seem to be happy with a “YES” person in the position though. Something funny going on down at the DPW dept.

21 Matthew August 5, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Location of sticker is a mystery.
Location of new swap shop is off the road and the selectmen have give Karen the OK to close it when it’s too muddy, or perhaps when there is too much snow – doubtful she will go out of her way to have it shoveled out since she wanted it gone in the first place.

Even the metal section is getting a change with the small access path/road up the backside which would suggest that we will only be able to dump and not pick up. Perhaps to address concern about people taking from the site perhaps public safety. I heard that we never profited from the metal since the company that takes away the AC’s and refrigerators and freezers does so for free so they can get the scrap metal. Seems like a good arrangement that enabled the residents to pick up a few things without affecting the bottom line.

Which selectmen told her to do what exactly?

Do you want your swap shop to be closed in the winter because Karen doesn’t want to have her people shovel?
Do you want it closed because it rained and it’s muddy because she didn’t want to put asphalt up the three sheds?
Spent a whole bunch of money on cameras that ARE NOT EVEN BEING USED so why not a little asphalt?

22 Carrie August 5, 2013 at 10:52 AM

regarding the Transfer Sticker: I opened the envelope to fill out the paperwork for my stickers and it is like a college application this year. The only thing missing is sending in your blood type but it may actually be in there to send in—so many pieces of paper and after perusing it for 3 1/2 minutes I felt like the teacher from Charlie Brown was going to start speaking to me “wha-wha-wha-wha”

and honestly if you are paying for the sticker why can’t you put it where you want to? we have kids going without food in the town if someone wants to make that a priority then that to me is a big waste of time which is equivalent to money

23 SB Resident August 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

I’ll add another complaint about the sticker location. I will either be taping it temporarily each trip or finding some other even more creative solution. I was intrigued by the notion of using magnets in some fashion. Anybody else have an creative ideas so that the sticker can be quickly and easily used just for trips to the TS?

24 SouthSider August 5, 2013 at 4:56 PM

I suspect that putting the new sticker over or beside the last sticker will be allowed.
That’s what I plan to do.
If caught, I’ll plead ignorance.

25 Good grief! August 5, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Wow, good stories. You know what we did? We put ours on the front bumper and got on with real life.

26 Pat Q. August 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Dear Good grief…..your comment gave me a good laugh this morning. Thanks

27 Good grief! August 6, 2013 at 11:02 AM

You’re welcome, Pat. I think it was the comment about disclosing blood type that finally confirmed for me that Southborough is not actually in the real world. Which is not a terrible thing until folks start to forget that.

28 SB Resident August 6, 2013 at 10:53 AM

This blog doesn’t need trolls. Beth should consider filtering posts like yours. I think it clearly violates the guidelines.

29 Good grief! August 6, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Oh, come on SB Resident, surely you’re not suggesting that a bunch of folks are free to complain about Stickergate, including launching broadsides against the head of our DPW, but then I should be censored from suggesting that these complaints are whiny and silly? This is still America. If the (anonymous in your case) shoe fits, wear it. Clearly you disagree with my opinion of your opinion. I have no problem with that.

30 Good grief! August 6, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Just to clarify — “anonymous in your case” means as among those who are complaining. Obviously I’m also anonymous on this thread, so I am certainly not suggesting anything wrong about the use of a pseudonym.

31 alan August 6, 2013 at 11:15 AM

I hate stickers on my vehicle and find nothing amusing about being forced to put one on my new nicely painted bumper that cost me $40,000.00. That’s my real world. It’s ok if other people don’t care about their cars. The bigger point here is there was nothing wrong with where it was located, on glass on the rear window where it can be removed without damaging the vehicle and where it is not an obstruction. I am also not paying for a replacement sticker every time it snows and I scrap the one off the windshield, a $25.00 cost. The stickers also had a hard time holding up for a year on the back of the vehicles, imagine how fast they will degrade being out in front doing 65 mph on rt 495 in the rain and snow. Trivial?? Well see.

32 Mark Ford August 6, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Mine is going where it always went…back bumper. Front windshield stickers drive me crazy re: impeding view…plus more subject to weather damage and winter scraping trauma

33 M August 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Me too. I was thinking of just putting it on top of last year’s sticker. BUT, the way the police will ticket you is to sit at the entrance and look at the front. Will they take a photo and mail you the ticket or fine? I actually believe it was not Karen, but the police department who need to do this work each September, that may have asked for the front placement. It does make more sense for transfer station employee to see it on the back since we all back into the hopper area.

Can someone from the police department answer this: will you still give us a ticket if we put it in the back?

34 Mark Ford August 12, 2013 at 8:02 AM

You know, I’m guilty of not having read the new policy. I thought it had to be placed on the windshield. Front bumper=no problem, and that’s where it’ll be on my car. And as another poster said (was it Pat Q?), I’ll now get on with my life. Thanks to the person below who suggested adhesive remover–a great tip!

35 The new normal August 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

These Stickergate comments make me laugh. Why does everyone think the stickers will do damage to your front bumper but not your back?

Peel the sticker off and use adhesive remover to take off the residue…your bumper will be good as new. I do this every year and no problems at all.

On the subject of keeping the old stickers on your car, why do people keep all the old stickers anyway? Is this some “I’ve been going to the transfer station longer than you, let me prove it” drama?

For all the people with leased cars worried about getting the adhesive off your windshield or bumper from the TS stickers, here is what you need to take it off:

3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner 08984

Be sure to wear protective gloves when using this.

36 Gary D. August 28, 2013 at 10:31 AM

WD-40 works just as well, if not better to remove the adhesive residue…

37 Anita Reeder August 28, 2013 at 11:32 PM

And even better is Goo Gone…amazing stuff, no damage to anything, ever, and does a fantastic job :-)

38 tristen August 7, 2013 at 9:14 PM

DOes anyone know what is going on across from the SOuthborough Medical Group. It looks like more construction.

39 concerned_resident August 11, 2013 at 2:57 PM

When will DPW restrict the disposal of Commercial Waste at the Transfer Station?

Why am I commenting on such a nice Sunday afternoon, I do not know. But since I am here already I am wondering why the DPW management doesn’t control the disposal of commercial waste at the transfer station. The sign posted there indicates it cost ~ $75 per ton of waste to dispose trash, and I regularly see pickup trucks and vans arrive with renovation waste of all sorts, tossed by guys that appear to be contract workers, not weekend SB resident do-it-yourself home improvement renovators. In a couple instances this past weekend, I noticed two such trucks dumping waste building materials into the pit (my estimated weight would be about 500 lbs. — that’s about $40 of junk). If tossed like this each week then the usage amounts to about $1,500 – $2,000 per year. Pretty good return on a Transfer Station sticker fee of a couple hundred dollars.

And we are concerned about where we put TS stickers on our cars….. its mind numbing…. Who is in control? Does anybody even car about keeping costs down?

40 concerned_resident August 14, 2013 at 5:33 PM

C’mon folks…. Is anybody interested in pushing for stricter Commercial and/or construction waste dumping at the Transfer Station. At $78 per ton, it adds up. I know others have seen these pickup truck, flat bed trucks and van pull up and dump debris that clearly comes from a professional renovation contractor.

Note that homeowners of such renovation projects are charged separately in their contract for waste disposal and yet these contractors simply pocket the $$$ and dump at the TS, thereby increasing the overall tonnage that WE must absorb. It’s a big deal!

Can we at least get a meaningful monitoring program set up (demand one from the DPW) to get a real estimate of how much this practice contributes to overall cost?

Lets make some noise on this boring, but important issue. thanks!!!

41 Wondering August 11, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Does anyone know why a disposal can’t be installed in a home. I was surprised when a plumber told me he would not be able to get a permit for it. I have private septic system, so why is the town saving me from myself? Was the plumber mistaken?

42 M August 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I am not the expert, but when I built my home many years ago, the policy was that a disposal required a larger septic/leaching field. Special permit to assure that this happens. The food products require more decomposition, so it makes sense, somewhat.

43 SouthboroDave August 12, 2013 at 12:52 PM

I may be mistaken, but I believe garbage disposals are ‘not recommended’ for private septic systems because the food does not decompose fast enough and causes issues clogging the other parts of the system such as where the water drains into the ground. If the septic isn’t designed to take this account, which most of our older systems weren’t, you may very well end up with clogs. Apparently this is such a significant issue they began listing is a reason for failure, so if you have a garbage disposal you may have difficulty getting a title V.. I’ve never heard of anyone actually having this problem, but my plumber suggested we do not install one as well. My system is original to the house: 1967. For now I think I’ll live with it as opposed to spending 10-15k on a new septic system..

Please refer to Your Septic System | CMHC: [Canada, but its all the same..]
“You should avoid putting anything into the septic system that doesn’t break down naturally or anything that takes a long time to break down. Materials such as oils, grease, and fat, disposable diapers, tampons and their holders, condoms, paper towels, facial tissues, cat box litter, plastics, cigarette filters, coffee grounds, egg shells, and other kitchen wastes, should never be put into the septic system. You should also avoid the use of in-sink garbage disposal units (“garburators”) unless the septic tank and leaching bed are designed to accommodate the increase water and organic load created from these devices.”

44 SouthboroDave August 12, 2013 at 1:10 PM

To answer your second question: I supposed this is related to public health or the next homeowner when you eventually sell your house or both.

If your system isn’t able to keep up with breaking down the additional food particles it may have difficulty breaking down the other more important things in your septic tank as well… gross. So I imagine that would lead to a larger scale breakdown in your system, eventually releasing toxic waste water into the ground water and putting the towns ground water in danger of contamination. Now you could argue you own the property and can have a poor functioning septic system if you so desire, but the town does have a responsibility to all residents and has codes in place to protect against unsafe conditions. A failing septic could affect your pets, children, landscaper/husband, wildlife or close neighbors if the sewage is draining toward their property.

I wish there was a better solution, as well. I hate not having a garbage disposal. Pets and toddlers love to play with my kitchen trash can. Empty food packages are one thing, slimy spaghetti is another..

45 Angela Varner August 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM

We will be holding a garage sale on Saturday, August 24th from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Sunday, August 25th from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

9 Sadie Hutt Lane (off Sears Road)

Many toys- lots of them still in their packages. Priced to move! Summer house cleaning sale!

46 Angela Varner August 24, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Thank you to everyone who came to the garage sale! We have SOLD OUT. Therefore, we will NOT be holding sale hours on Sunday. Thank you!

47 southsider August 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

I just received another offer in the mail to switch to an electric company that I’ve never heard of. They claim the switch is free, transparent and certain to save me money on my electric bills. Always skeptical of things that are too good to be true… which this sounds like to me.
Anyone got any experience with this?

48 Anita Reeder August 28, 2013 at 11:35 PM

Anyone interested in 30 years of National Geographic magazines with slipcases? There may be 2 issues missing due to moving situations when the mail didn’t follow us :-( Make an offer :-)

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