Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by beth on February 25, 2016

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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.

1 Library Patron February 25, 2016 at 5:59 PM


What happened to the days of a library being a place where one tries to be quiet in respect to other patrons? I spend a lot of time on the road which enables me to frequent libraries in many areas. The ones I frequent the most are Northborough, Marlborough and Southborough. I understand some people, and especially children, not knowing this. But when did the staff become so inconsiderate in some of these locations as to speak so loudly? They will have work-related and trivial conversations between one another and I find it difficult to focus on the reason I am there. I guess I will just need to start bringing earplugs.

2 beth February 26, 2016 at 6:58 AM

I have seen results in the past of southborough Library surveys. There are usually one or two people who feel like you do and wish it was quieter. But most people seem to indicate they like the small town feeling and community feeling of the library. I do wonder if your experience isn’t a change in how people behave at the libraries, but a difference in which libraries to use to go to and which ones you go to now? The Southborough library hasn’t become louder in my lifetime. I used to work there in 8th grade and it was always a social place.

3 em February 26, 2016 at 10:43 AM

In many high schools and colleges, the “Library” is now becoming the “Learning Commons.” The difference is explained as libraries being a place to house materials whereas a learning commons is a place to gather and collaborate with others. It’s possible that the Southborough Library is following that trend.

4 beth February 28, 2016 at 6:05 PM

I learned today that someone found a single ford key at Mooney fields, specially the field closest to the Finn building. They were turned into the Southborough Police.

5 HS February 29, 2016 at 5:32 PM

Have people had a tough time selling a house with noise from the Mass Pike? I am considering buying a house near the Pike and wanted to know how big a liability that may be if I were to sell it a few years down the road.

6 SouthboroDave March 2, 2016 at 1:16 PM

I can tell you it dissuades me from even considering houses. I’m looking to move in the near term and would like to stay in SB. I will not consider houses that are too close to the pike.

You could look into the ‘on the market’ stats for houses that have recently sold near the pike. It’s probably a bit difficult to gather, but with some research i bet you could come up with a list of homes that sold recently and then track down their ‘on the market’ statistic or as a realtor to do this for you.

7 HS March 2, 2016 at 1:32 PM

Thank you for your response! I will try to compile some stats.

8 southsider March 3, 2016 at 10:43 AM

Traffic noise is something of a constant throughout Southboro, I’d say.
The Pike, Route 9, 495… all the roads that make it convenient to live here contribute to the ever-present background noise.
I’d say the answer to your question is : ” it depends”. Adjacent to these roads can be problematic.. as you consider homes a bit further from the highways, the re-sell issue diminishes. Certainly look for lots of evergreens between you and the Pike; they will help block the noise year round.

9 Chris March 3, 2016 at 10:53 AM

I would think they would but I recall this recent (Feb 4th) post here: “Pending: 52 Oregon Road (map) – 9 room, 4 bed, 2f 1h bath Colonial – 22 days on the Market, Listed at $575,000”.

22 days is not very long (although it hasn’t shown up in the sold listing so it’s not clear how close to asking it went for). I also see homes on Lover’s Lane and the development across from Finn which backs up to the Pike sell pretty frequently. A friend on Lover’s Lane, on top of a steep hill and right next to the Pike had no problem selling last year in a short amount of time.

The value is dropped due to the proximity but that makes it attainable for folks who can’t afford the high end homes and want to get into SB.

10 Souse Bro March 3, 2016 at 8:51 AM

Someone was walking on the 911 field on a Sunday morning at 11:30 am and they were told to leave. I assumed that as our tax dollars were being used for the up-keep, we would be allowed to use it if no permitted games were being played, (it wasn’t me). This town, after 61 yrs. never ceases to amaze me. We are pushed and prodded to recycle, but alas, you can’t unless you pay a hefty fee to go out of your way to use the transfer station, which should be self supporting by companies buying the paper, cans and plastic instead of having to pay to have it hauled away. Can only hope and pray for strong leadership for the country and just a bit for Southborough in the future…

11 Matthew March 3, 2016 at 10:29 AM

Just because your taxes pay for physical property in town doesn’t mean you get free use. Should we also “assume” that that someone also wants to hop into police cruisers and drive around? The field is for specific purposes, not nature walks. Plenty of other open space PAID FOR BY YOUR TAXES that is specifically for that purpose.

No one is going to give you a free ride on recycling. As long as we buy products that are packaged in NON-re-usable containers you are going to have to schlep that stuff to the dump. Try changing your habits a bit and maybe you won’t have to go so often.

You could always buy in bulk.
Get your milk delivered and bottles picked up and never buy plastic again.

Buy your beer here and never recycle cans or bottles:

Get big jars of mayonnaise and use the containers for loose screws or craft supplies.

Join a CSA for your veggies and even some meat.
For store bought veggies use the bags from fresh veggies to line your bathroom trash cans, then you don’t have to recycle them (cause that’s so very hard)

Find a local hunter and buy venison, freeze it in a vacuum sealed bag and eat whenever. You could support the local economy and avoid harmful additives.

Hefty fee !?!?! – I’d pay twice that to keep the trash off the side of the streets and the smelly, loud and dangerous trucks out of the neighborhoods. Curbside pickup supports mindless consumption because you don’t have to take responsibility or do the work for what your throw out. Do you think that your taxes won’t go up if you get curbside pickup?
Having to bring your rash somewhere can actually influence your future purchasing. Are you ever mindful of packaging used in the products you buy?

Learn a bit more about recycling before you cry about it being out of the way or too costly. When done right it can lower costs for a town.

Should I also assume that you hope Trump will let people walk on a sports field or pay to have your recycling brought to the horrible south side of town?


12 Frank Crowell March 3, 2016 at 1:18 PM

So if someone were just walking on the field they would have to pay a fee? What’s next a charge to walk into the library?

13 Downtown Resident March 4, 2016 at 4:27 PM

Wow! why so hostile?

14 resident March 17, 2016 at 2:23 PM

Because eventually we all hit the “enough is enough” button. Maybe somebody has hit their limit of being fined to death in this town.

15 beth March 21, 2016 at 10:19 PM

I looked into this because it surprised me as well. My understanding has been that town fields are open to residents for non-commercial use as long as not in conflict with scheduled use. (And I post that on the blog.)

Weeks ago, I accidentally replied under the wrong post. Here’s what I meant to reply to your comment:

The answer is that this isn’t a Town-owned field. According to Chief Paulhus, the Town’s use is especially restricted during off season:

the Department of Conservation and Recreation controls the property. From mid-Nov to late-March the park is closed including the lot which is currently chained off. The field itself has signs stating it is “Use by Permit Only”.

Looks like I need to update my blog info on Town fields and facilities.

16 Househunter March 3, 2016 at 10:46 AM

Can someone share which neighborhoods of Southborough are considered the most desirable? I am considering purchasing a house in the town and I am new to the area. My budget is $800k to $1m. If anyone can provide a primer I would really appreciate it.

17 southsider March 3, 2016 at 3:38 PM

Many would say: Northside. Presidential, Sadie Hutt, Wolf Pen, Sears and Schipper Farm are the usual suspects based on only price and exclusivity…

I’d say: get advice from a local realtor. There are nice neighborhoods all over town and your choice depends on what you’re looking for: prestigious address? quiet? place with lots of kids playing outdoors whenever possible? access to train station?
maximum value for your purchase dollar?

18 beth March 3, 2016 at 3:53 PM

I absolutely agree. “Desired” depends on priorities. And you may have noticed many realtors advertise on this site. I’m sure all of them would be happy to work with you on figuring that out!

19 Househunter March 3, 2016 at 5:36 PM

Homes in my price range are slow to move in Southborough, often close to a year. I am trying to understand which areas are better from a resale perspective. I am already working with a realtor but it doesn’t hurt to do your own research. Would you recommend something right on Fisher Road near the Schipper Farms neighborhood? I have two concerns. There’s a cargo train that runs not too far from the house and I want to know whether my kids can play safely outside.

20 Choo Choo March 4, 2016 at 10:54 PM

The train is such a non issue. Have lived near the train in that neighborhood for 13 years and seldom hear it. The speed of the train is very slow.
My kids are in high school now but played outside every waking hour.

21 Downtown Resident March 4, 2016 at 4:34 PM

In my opinion, all of Southborough is desirable. There is not any one part of it that is less safe than all the rest. Beth has noted some of the streets that are considered more prestigious, but you can find beautiful houses and wonderful neighbors throughout the whole town. Good luck & welcome to our lovely town!

22 Downtown Resident March 4, 2016 at 4:37 PM

Oops! Southsider mentioned the streets.

23 kathryn K March 14, 2016 at 11:19 AM

Dog fight–help needed. On Saturday 3/12 at roughly 2:30, there was a dog fight on the Beals’ preserve trails. I need to find the owners of the dog that bit my dog. Nice looking couple, late 30s (a guess), they were jogging on the trails when our dogs met up. Seemed like a nice couple, wife tried to comfort me while I was screaming–I think she had blond hair. My medium sized dog was badly bitten. My vet needs to know if the other dog has a rabies certificate. I am not looking to sue anyone–I just want a copy of the rabies certificate. If I don’t get it, my dog has to be quarantined for 2 months–no walks, no dog parks, no groomer–nothing. If you know who this may have been–or if this was you, please contact me–again–NOT looking to sue!!!!
508 579 5936 Thanks

24 beth March 14, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Two months is a long time! I shared your comment as a post of its own (and Facebook). Good luck.

25 M March 16, 2016 at 12:06 PM

I feel so bad for you and your dog. Please try to give us all a good description of the dog and the couple. We will try to scope this out for you. Peer pressure from fellow dog-lovers may get this couple to do the right thing.
Sadly, our family found that over holidays when folks are visiting their families, they don’t always know the leash laws and we have to deal with interactions with our beloved pets. Let’s hope that this couple is local and we can find them soon.

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