Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by beth on March 25, 2021

Post image for Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

Above: Barnacle Geese migrated to/through Southborough last week. Thanks to Chris Robbins for the photo and some more details you can scroll down for.*

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.

*(Last week Chris Robbins shared the following details along with the photo:

This is a recent sighting of two geese “Barnacle Goose” with beautiful black plumage in contrast to the grey Canadian geese we often see in Southborough. These two recently landed this week on the open field as one drives South on Parkerville Road before the entrance to Neary School. Geese mate for life up to 20 years. March / April is egg laying time for 5 to 9 eggs. Migratory route ranges between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. )

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Southern Breeze March 25, 2021 at 11:37 AM

Any update on the swap shop??? Our favorite weekend destination.


2 Gail March 31, 2021 at 3:16 PM

I too was just about to begin a thread about this. It’s time to reopen. Everything else in our state is beginning our safe reopening.

The swap shop provides so much to the residents of this town. Residents who collect toys for children in need, artists and residents who upcycle items that would otherwise be thrown away (and for us to pay for) Books for all. Seniors in need of items.

We pay a lot of money to use the transfer station. And a ton of money in taxes.

It is a win win all the way around to reopen the swap shop.

When is this happening?


3 Jboro April 1, 2021 at 1:37 PM

I ditto all of what Gail said about the Swap Shop. I think people will be respectful of not crowding the space. Please reopen.


4 doubtful April 17, 2021 at 7:27 PM

Every visit to the transfer station, I see unmasked people not keeping their distance. While I definitely miss being able to leave things I no longer need to a hopefully new home, I doubt we *should* expect the swap shop to open up. Today there were three unmasked people in my short visit; I wouldn’t expect that to be an outlier. So sad to see people with too little concern for their neighbors.


5 SD Francis April 23, 2021 at 9:31 AM

Is there any recourse for these plague rats’ non-compliance in town facilities? Businesses in violation can be reported to the state (, but to the best of my knowledge there’s no recourse other than confronting them and telling them to stop being selfish (and being prepared to defend themselves because if they are the type who can’t be bothered to wear a mask after a *year*, they likely are the type to be belligerent about it)

6 Ma Boop June 12, 2021 at 1:36 PM

Yes, it IS open now. Yay. And we all have lots to swap as usual! God love the swap shop! So great to be able to recycle and not trash.

That said, friends, it has been looking a little chaotic down there – and is not the job of the transfer station folk to keep it organized, we must all pitch in and keep our favorite “store” in order! Five minutes times twenty people is over an hour and half of straightening and organizing. Many hands make light work! If you can spare five or ten minutes once in a while to help keep the shop tidy, let’s do.
Very inspiring to see some folks there today in fact, organizing & tidying up. Wow! Thank you, thank you, kiss kiss, dear fellow citizens.


7 Townie March 26, 2021 at 1:18 PM

Walked through the Breakneck Hill reserve and noticed a bunch of trees have green or pink ribbons on them. Any idea what that means?


8 beth March 29, 2021 at 9:44 AM

I reached out to the Stewardship Chair to see if she could explain. Joyce Greenleaf responded:

I am the chair of the Southborough Stewardship Committee, which manages that property to promote conservation values, such as biodiversity and habitat, and passive recreation opportunities, such as walking and bird watching.

The Breakneck Hill Conservation Land was formerly an orchard, and apple trees have a limited life span. Many of the trees are diseased, dead, or dying. We are working with an arborist who specializes in orchards to identify as many trees as possible to save. He has already begun pruning the ones that are salvageable. The ribbons are part of that effort. When we are done, we expect to have a healthier collection of apple trees remaining.

This is part of Stewardship’s ongoing management plans to reduce invasive species, improve habitat, and provide walking trails for everyone to enjoy.


9 leaf and debris piles March 29, 2021 at 12:05 PM

Would the DPW know when it plans to remove the unsightly piles of leaves and other debris left on the side of Parkerville Road, just south of Main Street? This is a residential area, not an industrial park.

Those piles have been there almost 1 year and look trashy. Is that intended to contrast with the neighboring Versailles complex/boondoggle?


10 Pat D March 29, 2021 at 2:56 PM

Some of the debris left there is stuff the State left there when they widened and paved the new road. Would think it is the responsibility of the State to clean up there mess but I would not hold my breath that they will do anything about it.


11 Southville April 1, 2021 at 8:19 AM

Anyone around have trout fishing tips? They are actively stocking the local water bodies, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of the best spots (Hopkinton, Ashland, Sudbury River, etc) and any other tips. Would love to catch a few this year! I’m pretty good at catching bass, and countless sunfish, but would love to get a few trout.


12 Matthew April 4, 2021 at 10:19 PM

This link is for a book written by a former neighbor of mine many years ago but I imagine it still holds some weight.


13 Pat D April 5, 2021 at 8:55 PM

We have been away for several months and get back to obvious Parkerville Rd construction. What was it about??


14 beth April 6, 2021 at 9:20 AM

I’m assuming that you mean the area of Parkerville near the MassPike overpass.

In the past, I have shared information on the Acceler-8 bridge replacement project and that prep work would be done on local roads. However, when MassDOT added Parkerville Rd to the list of construction prep work projects, I neglected to update on that.

The latest project status on the roadwork on Southborough roads lists the following prep work (primarily from 7am to 3:30 pm):

Cordaville Road:
Drill micropiles for new bridge foundations on each side
Construct new bridge abutments

Woodland Road:
Repair concrete facing of existing bridge abutments

Parkerville Road:
Repair concrete facing of existing bridge abutments

Flanders Road:
Repair concrete facing of existing bridge abutments
Relocate utility cables into the newly installed ductbank under the roadway

There is also overnight work on areas of the MassPike. For more information on the Acceler-8 I-90 bridge replacement project, click here.

If you meant another area of Parkerville, let me know.


15 Pat D April 6, 2021 at 10:27 AM

I am asking about road work on north Parkerville between Route 9 and Main Street. Looks like laying some new pipes because a trench has been dug down the middle of the street. Just hoping after the work is down, whatever it is, that the entire street is paved. Thanks.


16 beth April 6, 2021 at 11:10 AM

Aah. That is work that I did previously write about – in the same post I linked before. I don’t have much detail, just that the schools had shared with parents in late February:

The Public Schools of Southborough were informed that the utility work being done on Parkerville Road between Route 9 and Main Street (Route 30) will continue for the next few months.


17 concerned citizen April 16, 2021 at 10:21 AM

The threat to citizen safety by right wing groups has recently been highlighted. Of concern to many people is the participation by first responders in groups such as: Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and Three Percenters.

What are the membership numbers in these or related groups for Southborough’s first responder (Ambulance/Fire/Police) employees?


18 southsider April 16, 2021 at 11:46 AM

Although I can’t imagine such membership records are public, it would be interesting to even know that such groups operated in our general area at all. Would they need to register somewhere?


19 Forrest Musselman April 16, 2021 at 3:51 PM

Is this a real question? ^^


20 John Kendall April 19, 2021 at 10:52 AM

Are you insinuating that our public safety folks are on the far side of normal??


21 Ravi Mynampaty April 19, 2021 at 2:44 PM

Dear Concerned Citizen:

Southborough public safety personnel are thorough professionals who work hard to serve our town. Your comments can be demoralizing to the very people who keep our community safe.

What direct experiences have you had with Southborough PD or FD that you think were a threat to citizen safety?

Please be very specific in your response.

-Ravi Mynampaty


22 Dean Dairy April 19, 2021 at 3:08 PM

CC is sugar-coating a coordinated intimidation campaign, intended to prevent people from exercising their most basic rights of free speech, free association and the right to a fair trial, targeting first responders. It is by no means limited to participation in the “related groups” listed above.

Moreover, illegal means have been employed in the furtherance of the intimidation strategy:

A data breach at the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo has revealed the identities of law enforcement personnel who contributed to the legal defense fund for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old boy who opened fire amid the chaos of riots in Kenosha, Wisc., seemingly in self-defense. The Guardian contacted the employers of cops who dared to contribute to Rittenhouse in an apparent attempt to get them fired.


23 SD Francis April 20, 2021 at 9:22 AM

CC: If there’s any evidence that any of our local folks are participating then in violent militias then it should be outed. I’m highly critical of much US policing but have no experience nor expectation that is the condition in Southborough. Our folks aren’t “militarized” and the to best of my knowledge none of the “warrior cop”/”thin blue line” nonsense has been drilled into them.

DD: The only “coordinated intimidation campaign” is the garbage falsely justifying the acts of turning parts of the US into territories occupied and acting against our citizens. Some officers in similar campaign used their badge numbers as handles for their donations (linking it to their position, not as acts of private citizens), some used publicly-funded, official departmental resources (email addresses, etc) for their donations. If they wish to act in their capacity as private citizens, they must make the effort to do so. In future maybe use an actual news source and not a blatantly one-sided commentary & opinion site.

Beth, perhaps the way to get something useful out of this thread before it descends further is having a chat with the Chief Paulhus regarding any “warrior cop” training and how much if any LESO 1033 and the GSA 1122 i


24 SD Francis April 20, 2021 at 10:41 AM

uh “how much if any LESO 1033 and the GSA 1122 equipment Southborough has received.”


25 Matthew Brownell April 20, 2021 at 9:00 AM

“Concerned Citizen” . . .

Yours is a most mysterious and awkward post.

What specifically are you referencing about the “threat to citizen safety by right-wing groups” ???

And why are you and “Southsider” embarking on ridiculous, fear-mongering,
race-baiting interrogatory of Southborough’s public safety personnel?””

Our public service employees and are under no obligation to divulge or declare their affiliation with social or political organizations. Please activate the “My Location” geo-locator on your Smartphone, so you can convince yourself you’re living in the United States, rather than a Totalitarian, Fascist collaborative –


26 southsider April 20, 2021 at 7:40 PM

you mis-read my post big time..or maye i left it more unclear than I should have.
my post basically asked if such groups even operated around here.. and if they did, how would an average person even know?? I found the initial question both preposterous and probably impossible to answer…


27 SD Francis April 21, 2021 at 10:14 AM

southsider: yes those violent groups (white supremacist, separatist so-called “militias”, et al) operate all over Mass, just like everywhere in the US. For the most part they constantly infight, splinter, and report on each other (look into the history of the worcester-based NSC chapter for a typical story). Easy to spot by stickers and patches when they feel safe [I’ve seen on some trucks doing construction locally]. But yes, I agree on the original question.


28 Mr. Frank Fact June 12, 2021 at 1:51 PM

My thought exactly…that you asked, and I was merely sitting here thinking…..

Lots of defensive replies, huh?
It seems you must have hit the nail on the head there Mr. Citizen…


29 paul April 16, 2021 at 1:26 PM

I’ve got a full set of Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia in my office and never reference them anymore.
Anyone aware of any nearby organization that would want them? Mint condition… probably 20/22 or so years old.


30 Just Curious April 16, 2021 at 3:09 PM

I see that the closed Volvo dealership is being spruced up and the for lease/sale sign is gone. Any idea what is going in to that space?


31 T April 16, 2021 at 6:33 PM

Cudos to Beth for posting this garbage from both the left and the right. This is a horrible post, full of hatred. The reality is most of us are sick of this garbage that comes from both sides. Beth’s site captures a better overall discussion nonetheless.. Facebook parents page is all one-sided and poison as an example of where things go wrong.


32 NO SH*T! April 18, 2021 at 12:08 PM

Will the person or persons who have been walking the BIG dogs on Parkerville Road north STOP leaving HUGE piles of excrement on the sidewalk?

Not only is this a filthy practice, you’re in violation of the following Town bylaw:

§ 81-11 Removal of dog litter.
[Added 4-12-2016 ATM by Art. 33]
A. It shall be the duty of the owner and each person who possesses or controls a dog to remove and properly dispose of any feces discharged by such dog on any sidewalk, walkway, street, park, public area, any other public property, or any private property in the Town.

B. Any owner or other person who violates the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of $25 for each offense.

C. The Animal Control Officer or any duly appointed police officer of the Town shall be authorized to enforce the provisions of this bylaw.

WHEN, not if, I see your dog defecating on the sidewalk, I will take your photo and submit it to the Southborough Police Department.

Will the person or persons who have been tossing their bags of dog excrement into the street and/or into the brush adjacent to the sidewalk on Parkerville Road north STOP this filthy practice?

Especially those people who are driving to this location and parking their cars next to the Fay School athletic field, then walking their dogs on Parkerville Road.


Like those scofflaws noted above, I will take your photo and turn it over to the Southborough Police Department.


33 Interested April 19, 2021 at 11:15 AM

It happens on Common St as well. Gross and disgusting.


34 Frank Crowell April 18, 2021 at 10:07 PM

You left off a few articles to prove your point….

I love when Marxist become Capitalist with other peoples money… shows their true intentions.

Not an Apple Store!

Your right……. we need to what first responders are contributing to: Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and Three Percenters. No need to find out who is contributing to Antifa and BLM from our town – those groups are no trouble at all.


35 Mr. Frank Fact June 12, 2021 at 2:01 PM

Oh I love the Daily Mail! In fact, today’s front page shows a drunken Katie McGlynn (whoever that is) at a party, and Kim Kardashians’s boobs. That’s Rupert Murdoch isn’t it? Boobs are always good sellers…who needs news and facts when you can have boobs, booze, and lies?

Do you have any links from the National Enquirer for us to read?


36 John Kendall April 20, 2021 at 7:12 PM

Thank you to Ravi, SD Francis, and Matt for seeing Concerned Citizen and Southsider’s posts for what they are…..trash


37 SD Francis April 21, 2021 at 10:17 AM

Not trash, just ill-informed (in the case of CC). Trash is the obvious trolls deploying non-news “references”, whataboutism and “both sides” distractions.

– S(ettle) D(own) Francis


38 Ravi Mynampaty April 22, 2021 at 10:41 PM


No thanks needed. Until I hear otherwise, I am going to assume that CC can provide precisely zero examples of what I requested.

Southsider has written a clarification and seems to be on the side of reason. In general, I have no issue with people posting under pseudonyms, and am happy to engage in civil discourse with them.

However, some of those other anonymous comments have descended into the patently absurd. (E.g., the irony of someone anonymous insinuating that others have something to hide.) I am not going to feed such trolls.

With best wishes,


39 you still don't get it April 22, 2021 at 9:40 AM

To the naysayers above – You still don’t get it!

Concerned Citizen above has alluded to the fact that a number of the insurrectionists who invaded the Capitol on January 6, 2021 were members of law enforcement agencies across the US.

It is completely and perfectly legitimate to ask whether any members of the Southborough fire and police departments are members of the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys or Three Percenters organizations.

The people employed in the departments listed above are town employees paid for by the taxes imposed on Southborough residents. Those first responders are our employees – they work for us. Those people report to their chiefs, who in turn report to the BOS, which in turn is accountable to the voters of Southborough.

I want to know whether someone who is potentially going to save – or take – my life supports any one of the extremist organizations listed above.

I would urge the fire and police chiefs to voluntarily obtain the requested membership information from their groups and provide it to the town. If that fails, the BOS needs to step in and obtain the information.

We have a right to know.

Why the protestations above? Is there something to hide?

Where is the accountability?


40 Frank Crowell April 22, 2021 at 2:48 PM

I can assure you that I got it. How about we track all contributions by town employees and their unions. Not just the ones you list but BLM and Antifa or any other ultra left groups. If we are going to break some constitutional rights might as well be equitable about it.

Any protests to that?

We have the right to know…….right?


41 Mr. Frank Fact June 12, 2021 at 1:48 PM

Absolutely, that works for me!
Guess what?
Political and other contributions make by unions are already public record!
They have no problem disclosing who they support.

Black lives matter is not an ultra left group. It’s a statement of fact to remind persons who hace forgotten,
that all lives matter.


42 Matthew Brownell April 22, 2021 at 10:58 PM

“you still don’t get it” . . . your post is simultaneously hilarious and tragic. . . not unlike a schizophrenic Shakespeare.

You opine, pontificate, and eulogize in **complete anonymity** – obnoxiously lecturing Southborough residents, and impugning Southborough’s public first responders – manufacturing a hysterical , fearmongering suggestion that unless our public officials declare their affiliation with any groups whom *you* deem to be “Extremist” , that the Board of Selectmen should “step in to obtain the information”.

You complete your ersatz rant with the questions of “Is there something to hide?”, and “Where is the accountability?” Again, that’s amazingly rich coming from someone who doesn’t even have the moxie to identify his/herself, offer any evidence or facts to support their maniacal implications, or bother to check his/her Totalitarian and Hitlerian ambitions at the door of the same federated, Constitutional Republic that affords freedom of association.

Question for “you still don’t get it”. Your commentary has all the markings of an imported Rental Anarchist and paint-by-numbers outside agitator. I have lived in Southborough for 21 years, and have yet to encounter a single soul , in or out of public office, who could remotely be considered a political or social “Extremist”.

You’re embarrassing yourself, and contriving an awkward , irresponsible narrative for Southborough. Stop the high-octane social arsonist rhetoric. Grow up. Get Better.


43 SD Francis April 23, 2021 at 8:16 AM

lol that posting “has all the markings” of the cartoon image of a leftist boogeyman as dreamed up to be an enemy by contempory neofascists. $100 it is an alt of FC or one of the other Dan White Society members posting here imaging there is an “antifa” organization.

Settle Down, Francis.


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