Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by beth on October 22, 2020

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Above: When a reader contributes a photo so beautifully Southborough, it’s a good excuse for a new open thread. (Photo by Alan Bezanson – for a larger version, click here)

It’s time for another open thread. What’s on your mind this week, Southborough?

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.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Southsider October 22, 2020 at 1:26 PM

I was wondering when the cemetery was approved for passive recreation? I realize it’s a quiet place to walk with or without your dog, but now aerobics? I go there to remember my family members and numerous friends I have lost over the years. Quiet reflection, which is what I can’t have when that group is near where my parents are buried. There are plenty of fields in town that might be a bit more appropriate


2 Rev.Jeanne Friswell October 25, 2020 at 8:58 PM

It is unfortunate that a gathering of local women at the Southborough Cemetery for meditation, Tai Chi (NOT aerobics) and a healing circle (no fee), during Covid times, is consider intrusive. Regrettably, a recent complaint, based on casual observation, made to local authorities, resulted in banning these sessions. Some participants have family members interred here, and to suspend a spiritual, supportive activity seems at odds with this peaceful location. The Instructor is an ordained minister who honors this Sacred Space, and welcomes others to join her. Hopefully, this incorrect observation can be updated with accurate information, and some latitude can be given for people to connect during these stressful times.


3 Interested October 26, 2020 at 12:14 PM

One of the many open spaces and athletic fields that Southborough is blessed with would be more appropriate for such an activity. Why not take advantage of these wonderful spaces the town provides the residents with? Truly, this has nothing at all to do with the pandemic, but is more about showing respect for those who wish to visit their deceased loved ones in peace.


4 Al Hamilton October 26, 2020 at 10:17 AM

I am not sure if there is a law against aerobics in a cemetery but, there are cemetery regulations that prohibit, “Idling, loafing, loitering, playing or other boisterous demonstrations…” see page 6

There is a sort of common etiquette. Here is an example:


5 Prudence Webster October 27, 2020 at 11:39 AM

The cemetery is indeed a quiet place. This is exactly why we enjoyed doing our meditation and Tai Chi in a tranquil and harmonious unused corner.

Tai Chi is the practice of slow deliberate movements to cultivate the life energy within bringing harmony and balance to ones inner and outer self. Often referred to as moving meditation Tai Chi is generally conducted in silence. We were unaware that our silent Tai Chi practice, started in June, was disrupting others in the cemetery.

How we pay homage to, or talk to deceased relatives, is personal. We are sorry that “Southsider” felt unable to approach us and discuss the discomfort we apparently caused them. Instead a complaint must have been lodged with the Town as we were advised by the Senior Center, in early October, to stop. We had no opportunity to put our case for why we felt Tai Chi an appropriate use of the space, to alter where we parked (the complaint passed onto us the week before) or the time when we used the cemetery.

Fortunately Tai Chi teaches us to be “flexible in the face of change” so “THAT GROUP” of seniors will be enjoying beautiful new locations.


6 northsider October 28, 2020 at 4:24 PM

Exactly, how someone pays homage is personal. And I, too, wouldn’t want folks on my loved ones’ grave(s) for ‘recreation’ either as that is quite impersonal to me.


7 MarthaB October 29, 2020 at 8:26 AM

I have been a member of THAT GROUP for 10 years. I can assure you that no one is on the graves. We took special care to remain away from the burial areas.


8 Interested October 29, 2020 at 10:10 AM

I don’t understand why people from the Tai Chi group are putting the words “that group” in all caps. And I really don’t understand why they seem to be insulted by the fact that they have upset some others. Isn’t it proper manners that once it’s realized that that other people’s toes have been stepped on, whether intentional or not ( and it’s obvious that it was not), to simply apologize and move on? I thought we were trying to move in the direction of a kinder, gentler community. Let’s try harder, can we please 🙏


9 Prudence Webster October 29, 2020 at 7:52 PM

I, too, would state we never practiced TaiChi standing on, or between, any graves. It is regrettable that such a misconception should be circulating.

Furthermore, in an unspoken thank you to the community for the use of the tranquil unoccupied space, we routinely stood up blown over flags, stacked fallen branches by the roads, and, picked up any trash we came across while waiting for our small group to assemble.


10 Theo October 23, 2020 at 5:09 PM

I absolutely love how Main St. is coming along – the sidewalks and the street are looking great. But I wonder about the double utility poles along the way: We have newer poles (taller), but also older poles just along them – Is it naive to expect that the utilities from the old poles would have been moved to the new poles and the old ones removed? In some instances, poles are actually in the roadway / interfering with the curb.
Separately, does anyone know whether any of the trees (we used to have those beautiful cherry blossoms) will be replanted?


11 beth October 25, 2020 at 4:41 PM

My prior understanding was that trees would be planted, but not cherry trees


12 Curious October 29, 2020 at 10:49 AM

Does anyone know if the rte 85 stretch from Woodward to the Fire station will be repaved? Thanks.


13 Kathryn K. October 24, 2020 at 6:11 PM

This year Halloween will have a Full Moon! The free Full Moon Halloween hikes have just a few spots left! This is for guided hikes at Breakneck Hill. Adult-only and kids’ hike options. Register here: Weather permitting, dress warm


14 Southville October 25, 2020 at 8:47 PM

Are there any word on town guidelines or rules for Halloween yet?


15 beth October 26, 2020 at 10:38 AM

Yes. The Board of Health said it was OK to enjoy Trick or Treating. They just urged the public to follow CDC guidelines for doing it safely. You can see those details here.

Last week, the Board of Selectmen publicly concurred that people should enjoy the holiday in whatever way they feel comfortable/safe.

For those looking for an alternative to Trick or Treating, the Stewardship Committee is leading special Halloween Hikes under a full moon at Breakneck Hill. Find those details here.

There are no big Halloween parades and parties this year. (The SFA cancelled their parade and it was never a real consideration that Rec would hold the indoor Halloween party at Finn School this year.)

Meanwhile, the Southborough Library is inviting Trick or Treaters to come to the Children’s Room window this Friday and Saturday. Read about that here.

To keep tabs on Halloween activities this year, including any updates I post this week, click here.


16 beth October 26, 2020 at 10:49 AM

One more Halloween event I have yet to share. I noted there are no big parades. But Chestnut Hill Farm is selling tickets to a special Boo in the Barnyard event on Halloween. I just saw that their activities include costume parades.


17 Ben December 5, 2020 at 8:25 AM

When is the swap shop reopening? it’s been quite a while since anyone has commented and during trips to the dump I see lots of stuff in the hopper that could of been repurposed. Same goes for the Steel bin.
The Instigator that caused the disruption and closure of the steel bin has moved on literally.
I say it’s time to reopen both. Who’s with me?


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