Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by beth on July 7, 2021

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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.

(image edited from contributed photo by Claire Reynolds)

Updated (7/8/21 8:14 am): The wrong image was posted, therefore wrong photo credit. The correct photo of a rainbow should be appearing now.

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Frank Crowell July 8, 2021 at 12:24 PM

Defunding the teacher’s union one student at a time. I wonder if the same thing is happening here?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-city-student-quit-stuyvesant-to-school-himself-heres-how-he-did-it-11625695818

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2 D Mcgee July 10, 2021 at 5:24 PM

How many times will you post this same thought and link?

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3 Frank Crowell July 12, 2021 at 10:05 PM

Obviously, you don’t look at the links since I have never posted the same link twice. As to your question (which I will re-phrase): When will I stop posting “Defund the teacher’s union,” ………



– When BLM (Buy Large Mansions) and The Squad stop calling for the police to be defunded.



– When the teacher’s union stops pushing CRT for K-12



– When the local union starts losing membership either due to significant down sizing or the members get fed up with the union.



– When more charter schools are allowed



But you caught me in a generous spirit (Four Roses bourbon will do that), I’ll take any two of the above.

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4 southsider July 14, 2021 at 8:04 AM

The Southborough teachers union is “.. pushing CRT for K-12”???? Is that accurate, Frank?

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5 Frank Crowell July 16, 2021 at 8:22 AM

Since local union dues go to the state and national organizations (MTA – NEA), they are supporting it – unless of course they stop paying and quit the union.

Now how would you introduce CRT into a school system in a nation that is questioning everything about it. Change the name…….

https://theconservativedispatch.com/2021/07/02/schools-use-equity-as-trojan-horse-for-toxic-critical-race-theory/

Defund the teacher’s union.

6 Petunia July 16, 2021 at 10:17 AM

Give us some specific examples of what you object to about “CRT”
or your personal understanding of it Frank.

7 Barbara Millett July 8, 2021 at 7:22 PM

Thank you to Claire Reynolds for the beautiful photo of the rainbow.

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8 Burnett-Garfield house July 9, 2021 at 10:31 AM

I have heard from a few sources that the owner of the property referenced above has decided to occupy the location himself instead of operating the property as a luxury B&B.

Is this the agreement previously agreed to with the town?

Taxpayers have funded this?

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9 Tim Martel July 12, 2021 at 10:35 AM

Taxpayers funded the preservation of the exterior (including main house, carriage house, chapel) and grounds, including a Preservation Restriction on the property that legally requires restoration and proper upkeep in perpetuity. Also bear in mind that the PR functioned to lower the overall value of the property (note: previous highest financial use of the land was to subdivide and develop, which is now illegal).

That is what taxpayers have funded.

The property, like any other, has a list of allowed uses as per the town bylaw. The developer applied for a B&B use and received it. That allowance does not require him to implement. You can apply for a 3rd spot in your home’s garage – that doesn’t require you to actually build it.

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10 Trixie July 13, 2021 at 9:58 AM

Oh that would be a shame. I hope he at least opens it up to tours once in a while.

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11 Dean Dairy July 10, 2021 at 12:48 PM

What are the results so far of the “Equity Task Force” announced by School Superintendent Martineau last year?

http://www.mysouthborough.com/2020/07/01/schools-on-racism-equity-task-force-to-be-formed/

The stated purpose of the Equity Task Force was to “undertake a close assessment of all aspects of the District’s policies, practices, systems, curricula, and schools’ culture and analyze the District’s Strategic Plan, Vision 2026: Educate – Inspire – Challenge through the lens of equity, tolerance, and diversity and identify further action steps that need to be taken.”

As we’ve seen occur elsewhere in the intervening year, however, “Equity” as a replacement value for “Equality” has opened the door to many forms of extremist indoctrination that are antithetical to academic quality, tolerance, diversity of thought and free inquiry in the schools, while being hostile to certain races and genders.

Who was appointed to the Task Force? What work product, recommendations and initiatives have been promulgated by the Task Force so far?

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12 Amt July 12, 2021 at 4:38 PM

I don’t think our schools are doing anything nefarious. I’m sure there is clear information on what the task force is discussing and this will be talked about with parents.

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13 Privilege Acknowledger July 13, 2021 at 2:57 PM

Awwww, is someone afraid that schools will finally teach our town’s lily-white children that they have a leg up in our country purely because of the color of their skin? The horror! Our first priority should be protecting the egos of little white kids, preserving their delusion that their successes are due to their merits, and assuring them that that race had absolutely nothing to do with it!

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14 Interested July 14, 2021 at 11:13 AM

As I have stated here on this blog more then once;

As an Irish-American, I take great offense at the term “lily white”

Please check your choice of language usage and make better word choices.

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15 you MUST be joking!!! July 15, 2021 at 1:31 PM

lily white as a so-called racial slur for Irish Americans?

Say what?!?

I would advise you to do a bit more research about what constitutes a racial slur.

Good luck!

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16 Fact Checking July 15, 2021 at 1:58 PM

lilywhites

Term used, originally by the British police with reference to the IRA, to describe terrorists with no previously known connections to terrorism.

From the Observer: “They even won over former Irish soldiers, at least five of whom are now in jail. Many of those it recruited are so-called ‘lilywhites’, with no previous convictions. They are hard to trace and even harder to catch. But they are deadly and effective.”

17 Interested July 15, 2021 at 2:09 PM

I am not joking. If you think that people with very pale skin are not discriminated against you are living a shelter life.
Name calling of any kind is wrong. “Lily white” is a derogatory term. Derogatory terms show a critical and disrespectful attitude.
If our intent is to move forward with respect for ALL, then name calling must end.

18 Tim Martel July 15, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Are some slurs worse than others? Yes.
Are they all wrong? Yes.

Racial slurs, often called racial epithets, are words or phrases that refer to members of racial and ethnic groups in a derogatory manner. Slurs and all other forms of racial defamation dehumanize targeted groups and justify racial oppression by suggesting that targeted populations are unworthy of equality.
–https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/racial-slurs

19 Tim Martel July 15, 2021 at 9:31 AM

Extremism (far right or left) and hate are never the answer.

Your use of race is insulting, demeaning, and immoral. Your generalization about all white children in this town is utterly beyond comprehension. Also, you’re a bit of a coward for posting such an inflammatory comment in anonymous fashion.

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20 Interested July 15, 2021 at 1:19 PM

I whole heartily disagree with the idea that posting anonymously somehow lessens the poster’s point of view. This is a blog on the world wide internet. Anyone in the world can view this blog. People have a right to protect themselves and their identity. Perhaps you have never been a victim of identity theft and so it is hard for you to fathom the issues that occur when one’s identity has been used illegally.
However, I do agree with the rest of your statement in reply to poster, Privileged Acknowledger.
My family lives below the poverty line (yes, here in Southborough, there are financially disadvantaged people) However, my children are fully aware of the “leg up” they are afford simply by being born white. But should they feel guilt for simply being born? Do they carry the sins of their forefathers? I think not. We strive to learn and do better.

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21 Dean Dairy July 14, 2021 at 9:46 AM

I don’t know whether “Privilege Acknowledger” is (a) being sarcastic, (b) attempting to demonstrate concerns raised about the poisonous “racial essentialism” being taught in schools, or (c) both.

Nevertheless, Barri Weiss – liberal New York Times writer forced out because she would not remain silent about this illiberal scourge – has the story of another NYC liberal who learned the hard way after being forced out of her position as legal aid attorney because she would not be silent about the intimidation just below the surface of so-called “anti-racist” training.

https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/a-witch-trial-at-the-legal-aid-society

In short, Maron is exactly the kind of lawyer you’d imagine Legal Aid would put on the cover of its brochures. But today the public defender is filing suit in the Southern District of New York against the organization to which she has dedicated her career…

“None of this would have happened if I just said I loved books like White Fragility, and I’m a fan of Bill de Blasio’s proposals for changing New York City public schools, and I planned to vote for Maya Wiley for mayor. The reason they went after me is because I have a different point of view,” she said.

That difference came out most starkly in education, and in Maron’s role on the school board and as a candidate for city council she was outspoken in her views.

“I am very open about what I stand for. I am pro-integration. I am pro-diversity. And also I reject the narrative that white parents are to blame for the failures of our school system. I object to the mayor’s proposal to get rid of specialized admissions tests to schools like Stuyvesant. And I believe that racial essentialism is racist and should not be taught in school,” she told me…

If she were someone else — a little more politically astute, a little less principled — maybe she would have understood the episode as a warning to shut up. But on July 23, 2020, Maron published an Op-Ed in the New York Post under the headline “Racial obsessions make it impossible for NYC schools to treat parents, kids as people.”

Here’s how it opened:

“I am a mom, a public defender, an elected public-school council member and a City Council candidate. But at a city Department of Education anti-bias training, I was instructed to refer to myself as a ‘white woman’ — as if my whole life reduces to my race.

“Those who oppose this ideology are shunned and humiliated, even as it does nothing to actually improve our broken schools.

Though facing severe budget cuts, the DOE has spent more than $6 million for the training, which defines qualities such as ‘worship of the written word,’ ‘individualism’ and ‘objectivity’ as ’white-supremacy culture.’

Once this poison enters the schools, besides indoctrinating the students, here’s how the ideology is used to intimidate the entire workplace as well:

Another former co-worker told me: “She was a great colleague. I’ve known her for two decades. She was very caring toward her clients and a very good attorney.” Did they ever see her exhibiting racist behavior or expressing racist views? “Definitely not. Not at all.”

But this lawyer wasn’t willing to defend Maron on the record. Chubinsky said he understands why: “Everybody is scared to death of the r-word,” he told me. “They live in dread that they are insufficiently radical and so they fall in line behind the most radical members of the union. There is a silent majority that keeps their heads down. A couple of lunatics rattle the cage, and the people at the top fall in line,” Chubinsky told me…

“If you had asked me when I became a mom what I thought were the pressing concerns my kids would face I probably would have said climate change, maybe ending the Iraq war,” [Maron] said. “I am so shocked that what I worry about now is creeping totalitarianism in America.”

“Defense lawyers are charged with defending citizens accused of a crime. You can do that as a liberal or a conservative and still be an excellent defense lawyer. You can certainly have different views about how to structure admissions to selective schools in New York. The idea that now you have to agree with the leftmost position in your office or be chased out is just wrong.”

This is so obviously true. And yet somehow liberals like Maron have come to be regarded as turncoats in their avowedly liberal institutions.

“It was becoming intolerable,” Chubsinky said of the intolerance that had taken root at Legal Aid. “We talked about all of this behind closed doors. Because you can’t talk about this with the doors open. It’s a really oppressive environment for anyone who isn’t radical, including, by the way, those attorneys of color who don’t share these lunatic views like abolishing the police or saying that it’s necessarily racist to arrest people for misdemeanor crimes.”

“So many of us have sat through trainings and listened to equity consultants say things we knew were not true. But it is easier to keep silent and discuss the absurdities in confidence with trusted colleagues and friends than to speak up or object in front of everyone,” said Maron. “The bill for that silence is coming due now.”

“I was embarrassed that I didn’t stand up for her. But I was scared. Everybody is scared of that label,” a former colleague told me.

“Nobody should have to endure what Maud endured,” Chubinsky said. “It’s outrageous.”

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22 Jason Feeney July 10, 2021 at 8:38 PM

Does anyone know what they’re doing at the Fayville Village Hall? Looks like they gutted the building. This week they seemed to have put in hookups for a gas meter. I was just curious.

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23 Tim Martel July 12, 2021 at 10:40 AM

https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20181119/southborough-selectmen-ok-21k-fayville-hall-bid

“Selectmen unanimously voted Monday night to approve a bid by Jon Delli Priscoli to buy the property with plans to open an antique shop and fine arts gallery.”

“Delli Priscoli agrees to restore the property’s exterior and allow people to park there to use the playground across the street under a license agreement with the town.”

He will be using historical pictures as his guide for the restoration.

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24 Kelly Roney July 16, 2021 at 4:20 PM

It is amazingly clear that many people commenting here are extremely sensitive to being identified as White. Just imagine if these White people had had a 400-year history of being systematically abused in pretty much every way possible, with no recourse to law or any other American institution, with their second-class (if not lower) status only recently improved! Imagine that one American political party sought to silence frank inquiry into this history.

Oh, right, no need to imagine.

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25 Interested July 17, 2021 at 7:38 AM

Just to be clear about my own statements here at this time, my objection is to name calling if any kind toward anyone at all.

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26 Dean Dairy July 17, 2021 at 12:25 PM

Kelly’s use of false equivalents and straw men is not persuasive in the least. He usually does better (I concurred with one of his recent posts), but you can’t defend the indefensible.

Not long ago, it was commonly accepted that judging people based upon their race is bigotry.

Yet, in a twisted notion of “social justice,” a base form of “racial essentialism” that would make Archie Bunker blush has been wrapped in the guise of scholarship and weaponized politically.

You see it in Privilege Acknowledger’s comment: crudely engaging in the practice of racial stereotyping, all the while preening with righteous indignation.

And reading the Bari Weiss piece, you see the harsh bigotry of low expectations exemplified in the NYC DOE spending more than $6 million for training that “defines qualities such as ‘worship of the written word,’ ‘individualism’ and ‘objectivity’ as ’white-supremacy culture.’”

It’s hard to believe that the inferiority of nonwhites could be taught in public schools in this manner. Unless, perhaps, the higher priority is to explain away the failures of public school systems that in so many cities have been run for generations by politicians of “one American political party” seeking “to silence frank inquiry into this history,” as Kelly would say.

No one is objecting to being “identified as white” or preventing “frank inquiry” into history. What people object to is what is already constitutes unlawful stereotyping, harassment, and discrimination under existing law. For example:

Any form of race or sex stereotyping or any form of race or sex scapegoating, including the concepts that (a) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (b) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; (c) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex; (d) members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex; (e) an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex; (f) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex; (g) any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or (h) meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race. The term “race or sex stereotyping” means ascribing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of his or her race or sex, and the term “race or sex scapegoating” means assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or sex, or to members of a race or sex because of their race or sex.

Revealingly, any idea why Joe Biden would strike such enforcement language on his first day in office?

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27 Eileen July 22, 2021 at 1:07 PM

Dean Dairy: Teaching history in an inclusive manner is not the same as bigotry.
Social justice is not racism. I think you don’t want to see it, which is why you keep making these lengthy, somewhat distorted posts.

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28 Dean Dairy July 23, 2021 at 8:31 AM

Eileen,

“Teaching history in an inclusive manner is not the same as bigotry” and “Social justice is not racism” are yet two more platitudinous strawman arguments. Drawn from an arsenal of hackneyed tautologies better suited for a virtue signaling lawn sign, you wield them to distort and dismiss what I said without employing logic or providing foundation.

In what you blithely dismiss as “lengthy, somewhat distorted posts,” I sought to persuade by providing specific examples of how a bigoted, official dogma has become the enemy of free inquiry and inclusivity in schools and the workplace.

Beyond the crudity of Privilege Acknowledger’s bigoted words, I pointed to the open and self-righteous tone with which that poisonous rhetoric was delivered as indicative of the new, tolerated racial animus creating a hostile environment that threatens free thought in education and elsewhere. I even provided an extensive list describing how that unlawful stereotyping, harassment, and discrimination can manifest itself.

I also cited a Substack article by a LIBERAL writer. Previously, she had been ousted from her job at the New York Times because she wouldn’t cow-tow to the bigotries of the NYT editorial board.

Her article was about a LIBERAL public defender who was fired from her job serving the poor and disadvantaged, because she wouldn’t cow-tow to the new bigoted party line enforced by people who themselves are anything but poor and disadvantage.

In sum, what is documented is not only professional malpractice against students, but a weapon of ideological conformity being used against educators and spreading to other work environments, even the military.

And make no mistake, the point of people losing their jobs is intimidation: aimed at creating a pervasive fear throughout the entire workplace that your job may be next.

Trust me, Eileen, I really do “want to see.” That is why I began the thread by asking what were the results so far of the “Equity Task Force” announced by School Superintendent Martineau last year.

You’d think they’d be proud of their work product.

Yet, thus far, no one has come forward, including the Superintendent and members of the Task Force itself, willing to explain.

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29 Eileen July 23, 2021 at 1:46 PM

Dean Dairy:

Unfortunately, many teachers across the country are leaving their jobs because they are being intimidated by right-wing backed groups(the Koch brothers, Fox News) who are “speaking out” against their perfectly appropriate and inclusive history lessons plans, some which have been in place for awhile. And they feel they cannot in conscience teach what is not the truth.

This is shameful. And it’s all about the Republicans throwing dirt to try and win the midterms and the next presidential election.

You don’t impress me with your cherry picked quotes from “liberal” writers.

30 Dean Dairy July 25, 2021 at 11:11 AM

To quote Joe Biden and Dexys Midnight Runners: “Come on, Eileen.”

The main impetus behind the adoption of critical theory in the schools comes from politicians, activists and outside consultants, not individual teachers.

School boards and administrators are notoriously risk averse. Like most bureaucrats today, they are easily intimidated by even the most casual charge of racism, whether substantiated or not.

Consequently, even school board members who should know better are cowed into simply “doing something” to “address the issue” in order to cover their posteriors. “After all, what harm could come from it?” they ask, as they hide under their desks.

Enter the self-styled “experts” of the diversity-industrial complex, whose members offer to inoculate all those involved from such charges leveled, well, by the diversity-industrial complex.

You see how the protection racket works.

And within that racket the most extreme views tend to prevail because anything short of hardline critical theory is, you guessed it, racist or a manifestation of white supremacy.

Worst of all, teachers and students are the ones down-stream from all this butt covering. Most of the “equity training” here is aimed at teachers, with all the subtlety and historical nuance of a lecture from the Human Resources Dept.

Teachers are told the narrative they are expected to espouse, or they themselves will be suspect and vulnerable.

I cited the ouster of Bari Weiss from the NYT, and linked her subsequent coverage of the firing of a public defender. The former was a huge event in media criticism in the last year. Both women, politically liberal, lost their jobs for speaking their minds. This is not obscure stuff, which in one breath you dismiss as “lengthy, distorted,” and in the next “cherry picked.” Meanwhile, you allude without citation to the alleged influence of “right-wing” boogie men.

So, honestly, what should all this mean for Southborough? We can very easily come together by insisting that Superintendent Martineau to release the work product, recommendations and initiatives that have been promulgated by the Equity Task Force so far.

Whether for or against, proud or aghast, who could oppose presenting that information to the public?

31 Frank Crowell July 18, 2021 at 9:17 PM

What do I have against CRT…… well here’s one.



“Meritocracy allows the empowered …….to feel good….. “ Meritocracy actually works in America. Many people of many races have gotten ahead, lifted themselves out of poverty, did not accept being a victim, applied themselves and created a better living for themselves and their families. Meritocracy is not “way for the powerful to remain powerful.”



The opposite of meritocracy would be socialism or what is happening to Asian Americans today at elite high schools and universities. 



There are other aspects of CRT that offend me, but this is the top of the list.

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED506735.pdf

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32 M July 21, 2021 at 2:23 PM

I am surprised that this open discussion thread is still going. But, frankly, I checked back on it a few times because I found many comments offensive and the whole MySouthborough blog just becoming depressing now. I wasn’t sure what to say, but being quiet about it is not right. We all need to think about what we are accomplishing with the bitterness.
Beth, please remind us of the rules regarding posting.

First, re Privilege Acknowledger, if someone finds a term offensive to them, it is not up to us to dismiss their feelings about it. No matter if it’s race or heritage or sexual orientation or gender, we should be saying, thank you for telling me and I will try in the future to not use that term again. And if you cannot bear to say that out loud, then just store it away in your brain to remind yourself.
But overall, I am discouraged with Southborough. If I were exploring places to move to or purchase a home, and I read the MySouthborough blog comments, I would NOT buy here. It is an ugly environment, and no longer the warm and inviting small town from when my family first moved here so very long ago. Yes there have been disagreements among citizens, that especially surfaced at Town Meetings over the years, but they were few and not so uncivil as today. This vitriol is too much.

We can have all the signs we want on our front yards, but it is the deep hatred evident in so much of the comments these days that now defines our once-sleepy town. (I know this problem exists all over the country, but perhaps we can just adjust our own behaviors to save our own little town.)

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33 Jen M July 21, 2021 at 6:24 PM

M – I agree with your take that these disagreements are not being resolved properly. You are spot on. It really exists everywhere so I have to take issue with that part. We have a community that really is tame compared to most when it comes to this. I think all of this is by design. The media and the left (yes I said it, and I am a registered democrat) have complete control over the narrative. Censorship by the media, big tech, and I’m sure even this blog site are keeping voices down from the right. As a result, we rarely hear from the majority of the conservatives. They are silent out of fear from retaliation which can be devastating. As a result we hear only from the loudest voices on the right, or the most extreme, which shapes our view. Regarding the CRT matter. We damn well better find a way to have a healthy conversation or else I fear that M’s concerns will be amplified significantly. I for one don’t know what to think at this point because the left seems to be steamrolling this. I resent what is becoming of my party. I’ve always felt that we need the Republicans to create some balance. The last 2 administrations did nothing but polarize America. The current one I sense is taking things to a whole new level.

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34 Eileen July 22, 2021 at 12:55 PM

Jen M, I respectfully disagree with you. In my view, the Republicans in congress have done nothing but stonewall very basic help for America’s citizens. For years. They have also fueled paranoid and dangerous theories, such as QAnon, that teaching history that is not whitewashed is dangerous and “indoctrinates” our children, and that we need to weaken our already weak gun laws. The “conservatives” have the loudest voices of anyone, and I don’t see any of them holding back on this blog, or anywhere else. There is no balance to be had when it comes to peoples’ right to have jobs that pay enough, to have healthcare, to not get sick.

We can only have good conversations if people are genuinely wanting to have them, and I’m not sure that for many people that is possible.

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35 Tim Martel July 28, 2021 at 12:44 PM

“There is no balance to be had when it comes to peoples’ right to have jobs that pay enough, to have healthcare, to not get sick.”

How can anyone have a conversation with you when your initial statement is that you need to be 100% the winner, and will not compromise at all?

You may feel justified, but these “absolutist” statements are extremist in nature and utterly kill democracy. Can you not see that this is the root problem?

Do you not realize, that from your above comment alone, you are absolutely regarded as a Socialist? And that will repel many Americans, even hardcore lifelong Democrats? How can we have a conversation when one extremist side immediately draws a line in the sand that represents entirely their own position and leaves no room for compromise or debate?

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36 Fellow Citizen July 22, 2021 at 6:37 AM

M, take heart.

I understand it’s a long shot, but as a fellow citizen I have some private thoughts I would like to share with you. If you are so inclined (I understand if not), please text me at 617-455-1937 and I will call you.

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37 R Jackson July 23, 2021 at 2:36 PM

M, I could not agree more on the disappointment in Southborough. As a recent home buyer, I wish I knew what I know now about the insider Southborough politics before buying into the system. Live and learn.

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38 Tim Martel July 28, 2021 at 12:47 PM

If you would like members of this forum to be more respective of one another, start a petition to require the moderator to disallow anonymous posts. That will not entirely solve the problem, but will get us there to a significant degree.

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39 Interested August 3, 2021 at 8:49 AM

Oh, the irony! Above you accuse someone of needing to be “100% the winner,” yet here you are, again insisting that the owner of this blog change her rules to suit you. Beth Melo isn’t the “moderator”, she is the owner of this private blog and readers are her guests.

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40 southsider July 24, 2021 at 8:21 AM

M. and R Jackson,
I wouldn’t give up on southboro because of what I read in this blog.
I suspect that many many residents never read it and it’s pretty obvious that only a very few ever bother to actually post a comment.
IMHO, I prefer to judge southboro by its lack of crime, its quiet,small town feel, the friendliness of my neighbors, and the quality of an education my kids received in the public school system that prepared them quite well to succeed in college and become hard working, contributing members of society.
I do have a growing opinion that the scope of citizen volunteerism ( within our school systems and athletic leagues and in the many town government committees and commissions ) may be dwindling a bit.
There are political disputes that often grow in perceived size and importance both in this blog and at various town committee meetings but I’d suggest that you must always keep in mind that these local issues never drive widescale discussions and attendance at any of the many public forums accorded to us all by our Town Meeting form of government.
The last widespread disagreement that I can recall that really drove town-wide discussions was the decision about renewing our regional school agreement. Nothing since has been close. I think most of us are pretty happy to live here. Could things be better? Sure… but I suspect the same could be said about almost anywhere.

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41 Eileen July 26, 2021 at 5:16 PM

Dean Dairy:

“Come on Eileen” is so passe.

It’s a shame that you and a few other residents are so threatened by what the Equity Task Force is doing. I am sure the school board and administrators have not been intimidated by the “diversity-industrial complex” (phew! What a term).

School boards and administrators in many parts of the country, especially in more conservative areas, are being cowed by threats from very vocal and moneyed right wing groups. I’m stating nothing that other well-informed people don’t know.

It is the students–and the teachers–who will lose out over the ensuing years. I am happy that that will probably not be the case in Southborough.

It’s been eye-opening (or not) chatting with you. I’m sure you’ll want to have the last word. I have bigger fish to fry.

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42 Dean Dairy July 28, 2021 at 10:38 AM

The Task Force has no power over my job or my education. So, unlike Southborough teachers and students, there’s no way I can feel “threatened” by their work.

But as residents and taxpayers, we do have a responsibility to the teachers, students and to the educational quality of Southborough schools.

Very simply, the Task Force’s work product must be made open to the public in order for the community to fulfill that duty.

Eileen’s continued avoidance and deflection is unpersuasive. Readers are left to surmise she doesn’t think the public should be informed of the Task Force’s work. For what reason, she does not say.

If the point of the Equity Task Force is consciousness raising, you’d think they’d want to promote their agenda. Perversely, having the Task Force operate in obscurity is undemocratic, inequitable and a recipe for discord or even litigation that could cost the town a lot of money.

I urge Eileen and other Southborough residents to join in insisting upon release of the recommendations, initiatives and mandates promulgated by the Task Force.

If we can agree on that, maybe she can recognize the humor in my bipartisan allusions to two syntactically challenged presidents, Biden and Eisenhower.

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43 Townie July 26, 2021 at 6:00 PM

Now that the Main Street project is pretty much finished, any idea when the section from Woodward to the PSC will be paved? It’s horrendous. Why wasn’t those part of the project?

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44 Kelly Roney August 7, 2021 at 3:27 PM

The project itself is not even finished. There are at least a dozen shortened light poles, whose utilities have yet to be moved, that double the new poles. Around them are temporary asphalt pads that should be replaced with concrete. Which vendor is responsible?

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45 Theo August 9, 2021 at 2:09 PM

I inquired about this early in the summer. I was informed that the project is now hinging on the individual utility companies moving their services from the short poles to the tall poles. In particular, Verizon seemed to be the issue back in June. Unfortunately, this hasn’t moved a lot in the past months. The Mass DOT representatives were quick to respond to my inquiries, however. https://hwy.massdot.state.ma.us/ProjectInfo/Main.asp?ACTION=ViewProject&PROJECT_NO=604989#

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46 Kelly Roney September 6, 2021 at 10:23 PM

Discussion at the August 17 BoS meeting: https://youtu.be/UPdsRZIw8VU?t=8301

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47 James Langham September 2, 2021 at 4:41 PM

TRUCKING ROUTES THRU SOUTHBOROUGH

Heads up, residents near Main St. Did you know that your quiet street may soon become a truck route?

The Board of Selectmen and town DPW recently discussed allowing tractor-trailers to use Main St. At present, there is a “truck exclusion” prohibiting large trucks from Main St., both east and west of Rt 85. Apparently the exclusion has been in place for over 50 years and was put there to force trucks to use Rt 9 instead of Main St. It seems to be very effective.

Imagine what will happen, IF this change is made. It will cause computer-generated driving maps (used by truckers) to be changed, to show Main St as an approved trucking short-cut to surrounding towns.

Incredibly, some on the Board are justifying this change because of the recent improvements made to Main St. Can this really be true?

Ironically, I am told it is very difficult to get truck exclusions approved. It requires a traffic study to prove there are viable alternate routes, and approval by Mass DOT which rarely grants exclusions. On the other hand, Mass DOT will be only too happy to remove the exclusion, if our Board of Selectmen requests it.

Can this irresponsible proposal be stopped?

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48 TRUCK ROUTE DOWN MAIN STREET September 3, 2021 at 3:17 PM

Beth, Could you please possibly do a separate article providing more information on the above Main Street truck traffic matter discussed above by James? This is the very first awareness of this high impact matter. Town residents need to know that this is even a topic under discussion. It’s a long holiday weekend and many families are away and could completely miss this.

Could you summarize basic details? Who is proposing this sweeping, backwards change? For what reason? Who, what, when, where, and why? How does Karen Galligan and DPW factor into this discussion? And are there links to more information (memos, emails, minutes, agendas, future dates to save?). Many thanks, Beth!

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49 beth September 3, 2021 at 3:47 PM

I hope to. I haven’t had a chance to look into it.

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50 Please September 6, 2021 at 10:19 AM

Please say it ain’t so. That’s insane.

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51 Dean Dairy September 6, 2021 at 10:32 AM

Incredibly, some on the Board are justifying this change because of the recent improvements made to Main St. Can this really be true?

Well, say good-bye to the newly completed roadbed if large trucks come through.

Is it me or does there seem to be an uptick in the tendency of people being elected to office at all levels of government who immediately set about defeating the interests of the people they were just elected to represent, usually employing some crazy, incongruous justification?

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52 Kelly Roney September 6, 2021 at 10:57 PM

Which BoS meeting was this?

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53 Kelly Roney September 7, 2021 at 10:52 AM

OK, found it: https://youtu.be/UPdsRZIw8VU?t=12098

The discussion lasts about a half hour.

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54 Kelly Roney September 7, 2021 at 10:59 AM

One other interesting finding: You can generate a project file for Google Earth from https://gis.massdot.state.ma.us/arcgis/rest/services/Roads/TruckNetworkALL/MapServer/generateKml, and it can show all truck exclusions if you select the option of the same name.

I’m not sure how current it is, since it doesn’t show a Gilmore Rd. exclusion, which the BoS approved in 2011, per http://www.mysouthborough.com/2011/11/29/selectmen-approve-truck-exclusion-on-gilmore-road/.

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55 beth September 8, 2021 at 4:01 PM

Your comment gives the false impression that selectmen have recommended pursuing lifting the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Exclusion (HCVE) on Main St. They actually are recommending conducting a “global study” of traffic patterns to reduce traffic – especially of tractor trailers – on problematic side roads – like Flagg, Deerfoot, and Clifford roads.

I’m giving a recap here instead of a story on this now – since there will be further discussion at tonight’s meeting. (I’ll plan to write a story later this week after that update.)

The potential that lifting the requirement on Main Street might make sense was raised. But the board wasn’t in favor of acting before studying what unintended consequences could result.

The conversation among selectmen and DPW stemmed from discussing how to tackle the issue caused by large tractor trailers on Flagg Road. DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan explained that lobbying the state for an HCVE requires proposing an alternate route in both directions. Each alternative route posed problems for other roads. One route would send trucks on Main Street, which currently has a truck exclusion. (There are some exceptions allowing trucks to travel the street when their destination is on that road.)

Selectmen discussed that Main Street is a safer road for large trucks to travel on than the narrow, windy side roads like Flagg, Deerfoot and Clifford. (Main Street is wider with more sidewalks.) However, the board wasn’t in favor of making any changes until they could better understand potential unintended consequences. Selectman Marty Healey posed that lifting the exclusion on Main St could cause bigger problems for side roads.

They want to pursue a more “global” traffic study to determine where traffic would be directed to. They also want to better understand where trucks are coming from and going to. (It’s not clear that they are mostly related to Ken’s warehouse.) They weren’t sure what a study would entail or cost. They asked Galligan to get back to them for tonight’s meeting with info (like what other towns have done to study similar issues) that could help them with next steps.

Additionally, selectmen would like to talk to MassDOT about options for signage on Route 9 and other ways to discourage trucks from turning onto Flagg.

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56 TRUCK ROUTE DOWN MAIN STREET September 8, 2021 at 4:55 PM

Thanks but no thanks. Not looking for ways to “discourage” trucks on Flagg. Looking to EXCLUDE trucks on Flagg, like Latisquama, Gilmore, and other roads.

BOS agenda states meeting is tonight at 6:30 pm.

To FYI, thank you for the good reminders and summary below. Most people have a good grasp on these hurdles already, but these factors bear reminding. FYI, Flagg Road does qualify. Thanks again.

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57 Kelly Roney September 8, 2021 at 8:34 PM

Thanks for your usual temperate response, Beth.

I have to say that this issue doesn’t seem that complicated to me. First, let’s frame it for what it is: This is about semi drivers who somehow miss their obvious right turn from Rte 9 into Ken’s warehouse/Barrett Distribution. (How is that even possible!?)

These drivers divert onto Flagg Rd., which is completely inappropriate for vehicles that big. To get back to Ken’s, they try to make the right onto Deerfoot at a very sharp angle. I’ve never driven a semi, but I wouldn’t want to steer a 24-foot truck around that corner. But they can’t take the straight route from Flagg in the other direction up Deerfoot, because Main St. excludes them.

The obvious solution seems to be truck exclusions on all of these: Flagg, Deerfoot between the Ken’s back driveway and Main, Parkerville, and Middle. They’re all north-south streets that are inappropriate for semis. (Only Parkerville is wide enough, but only goes to Main, which already has an exclusion.)

Then the alternative access is via Rte. cloverleaves at 495 and 85, both of which can and do accommodate semis. Rte. 9 is the east-west route, and 85 and 495 are the north-south routes. What’s wrong with that?

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58 TRUCK ROUTE DOWN MAIN STREET September 7, 2021 at 3:14 PM

To Dean Dairy and other above commenters: Yes, all of this is concerning. And yes, one is left asking why Gilmore Road or Latisquama gets high praise from BOS to resident sponsors and the Flagg Road residents are handed discussions, DPW excuses, false arguments, and bottom line: the dangerous run-around. An 18 wheeler tractor trailer was towed off the children’s paved footpath. What does BOS do? Absolutely nothing. News flash: We don’t care how the trucks are re-routed. They can arrive at their destination by staying on Route 9 or 495. Period.

Sick of the BOS BS and DPW baloney? You are not alone. They seem to go out of their way to talk the talk but kick the can with “global” talk. No one cares about “global” approach, and that is a false argument because trucks, if not cheating, can go to legitimate destinations regardless of exclusions. Take note DPW. No one is buying the bias and the runaround. If you can’t put forward the proper exclusion, get out of the way. Flagg Road qualifies. The town meeting vote overwhelmingly is behind supporting heavy vehicle exclusion. Btw, the BOS agenda should not contain spelling errors on the acronym, and spell it out, so the public actually understands WHAT is being discussed during the BOS meeting. It is extremely wrong, disrespectful disregard, and really negligent to give Latisquama an exclusion or Sears Road and not Flagg.

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59 FYI... September 8, 2021 at 10:55 AM

A Truck Exclusion is NOT decided by the Southborough DPW, though its cooperation is needed in order to conduct a traffic study which will be submitted to the ‘MA DOT for
CONSIDERATION of a possible Truck Exclusion.

This was attempted a few years ago on PArkerville Rd. (north). The DPW “cleverly” scheduled the traffic study to occur over the school Thanksgiving holiday break, so the back & forth of buses and parent traffic was EXCLUDED from the numbers – which did NOT meet the state’s threshold requirements for a Truck Exclusion.

I seriously doubt Flagg Rd. would meet said threshold. Parkerville receives cut through traffic DAILY as well as deliveries to schools, the auto part business on Parkerville, deliveries to Fay and caskets to the funeral home on Main St.!

It is NOT up to town voters at the ATM whether or not a Truck Exclusion is established. It is up to MA DOT.

BEAR in mind, a Truck Exclusion only means a little, bitty sign is erected stating such. There is NOTHING to stop trucks from continuing to use the street. I see trucks using Main St. ALL THE TIME. Where do you think they go when they reach the end of Parkerville Rd.? They turn onto Man St.!

A Truck Exclusion is worthless without ENFORCEMENT. Just ask the police chief how he feels about the SPD responding to calls concerning truck traffic!

Parkerville Rd. is CRUMBLING as a result of HEAVY truck traffic during the last 4 years for the following projects: Burnett House, Main St., gas line replacement, etc. Soon it will be reduced to a dirt road. There is a LOT of water beneath PArkerville Rd. and the underlying road bed seems to have been build WITHOUT consideration of this fact. Maybe next time?

Flagg Rd. residents – Good Luck with your Truck Exclusion – you’re going to need it!

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60 Kelly Roney September 8, 2021 at 8:38 PM

As you probably know, trucks with local destinations are not excluded, even by an HCVE. That means a semi you see on Main St. may very well not be in violation.

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