Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

Above: A white pumpkin at Chestnut Hill Farm

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.

36 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gail Jenks
12 years ago

I recently delivered some toddler toys to SMOC’s shelter on Winter Street in Framingham. They seemed pleased to receive them and told me they also had need for winter clothes and shoes for an 8 year old girl that will be moving in soon. I suggest calling before going – their number is (508) 626-2586.

Debbie
12 years ago

I often donate to Big Brother Big Sister. 774-776-7200. They come and pick it up . It frustrates me that much of what is carefully given to the Swap Shop often ends up getting dumped in “the pit” – when what we really want is for someone to be able to make use of it.

DLD
12 years ago
Reply to  Debbie

That’s interesting. I leave quite a bit of kid stuff at the swap shop hoping that someone will take it and make use of it. I’d find someplace else to donate to if I knew a lot of it was getting pitched. My pet peeve are the people that hover around the swap shop skimming all the drop offs for items to sell on Craigslist. I can sort of admire their entrepreneurship but there’s something in the spirit of it that’s really off.

Debbie
12 years ago
Reply to  DLD

I can understand your peeve. On the other hand I do think I’d rather someone who could use a little extra cash can get it by, in effect, saving it from the “pit” and the charges of the excess tonnage. I have seen too much good stuff being tossed into the front end loader to get dumped below.

DLD
12 years ago
Reply to  Debbie

I totally agree Debbie. The swap shop skimmers was a side note. More importantly, I’d be interested to hear from the folks at the transfer station some numbers on how much of the swap shop stuff ends up in the pit because I’d much rather take it some place that it will be used rather than junked.

Nancy V
12 years ago

I’m a big fan of Rosie’s Place. Their site lists children’s books as one type of item needed, but they could probably use all kinds of children’s items. Give them a call. Drop-off is pretty easy.

http://www.rosiesplace.org

Kathryn Marous
12 years ago

There has been a lot of posting about school budget issues this year (closing Neary, teacher layoffs, etc.). I have been reading about Framingham and its proposal to charge parents who live within 2 miles of school who use the bus. My hometown in New York state did not provide bus service if you lived within 1 mile. Southborough has no such limitations, even for families that live within a block of their school. My children live within a ten minute walk of their school but are provided a bus. I am a stay at home mom (for now) so it would not be a hardship for me to give up our bus, as much as I like the option. I understand it would be a hardship for many working parents. What are people’s thoughts on altering the bus policy for families that live within 1/4 or 1/2 mile from their school? Would this save any significant money? I am not really advocating one position or another, but am curious if any blog readers have information about how these routes and budgets work,

carrie alpert
12 years ago

great suggestion Gail, i will bookmark that—

jojama
12 years ago

Kathryn, I live within 1 mile of two schools, but there are no sidewalks and trees jut into the road the whole way to school. In my opinion, if Southborough could provide safe routes, that means sidewalks, crossing guards to monitor crazy drivers driving down Flagg Road, cutting down some trees so drivers coming out of sidestreets can clearly see children walking, then I would agree with you.

Kathryn Marous
12 years ago

Jojama, you are right. There are some old roads without safe places for kids to walk (or cyclists to ride, or people to jog, etc.), like the neighborhoods near Neary.
If money were no object, it would be nice to have someone directing traffic near all of the schools during pick up times, without regard to the bus issue. The proximity of the intersection of 85 and 30 to Woodward creates a lot of unsafe traffic situations there at 8:50 a.m.

djd66
12 years ago
Reply to  Kathryn Marous

Jojama –

I agree it would be great if there were more sidewalks in this town. I really don’t understand why there is such an issue to install them. I do personally know there are some “tree huggers” on the BOS that may not want to cut anything down – even if it does make our town safer. I’d love to see a sidewalk on Rt. 85 from Rt. 30 to Framingham Road. There is plenty of room to do it and i can not immagine it would cost much.

carrie alpert
12 years ago

Kathryn, I brought this up numerous times last year, not at formal school committee meetings but at informal gatherings as i was curious like you are and i was told by those who are pretty high up in the stratification that it was a town/state mandate. I believe that Holliston or Hopkinton recently did away with town paid busing and that if you want your child to take the bus you have to pay for it.
I also understand and recognize that not everyone can pay for busing; however, the reality is that the money to fund the schools has to come from someplace and we have to make choices, hard ones. Some kids go to school hungry, we could use that money to feed them–that is the beauty of this blog, you get to voice your opinion, yipeee!
I also think that if we as a town were more open to a longer day and a shorter week, thereby only having to have the schools open 4 days instead of 5–something–anything–we could save money that way and not have to lose teachers.
The school budget will surely prove to be cumbersome and arduous and with the economy still so troublesome i vote for us to take a stand and help each other MORE and argue LESS.

jojama
12 years ago
Reply to  carrie alpert

Make no mistake about it: installing sidewalks is expensive and complex. Land clearing, excavating, and paving is the easy part that just requires money. The hard part is acquisition of rights of way. This requires buying rights from abutters, many of whom would gain nothing personally from a sidewalk that cuts into their property. The lack of sidewalks in Southborough is a symptom of a town that grew too fast with too little planning. A developer in Massachusetts customarlity has to construct sidewalks along with code complient roads, drainage, etc., in order to receive a permit from the town to construct. Every town has different requirements. In my opinion, the best run towns have specific and comprehensive requirements that are kept up to date to reflect the needs of the community. Southborough takes pride in its rural setting and most residents favor the simplified approach to planning. I like the feel of our town. However, I think there is a legacy of neglect when it comes to the public works. It is time to get on board with the national trend toward building infrastructure that encourages fitness and reduction of energy consumption. Please visit saferoutesinfo.org to see what others in our community are doing to advance this agenda.

Deb Moore
12 years ago

Rosie’s Place wasn’t accepting children’s clothing last year; one unintended result of the recent laws regarding lead in children’s items is that a lot of places stopped accepting donations because they couldn’t prove where items came from. You should call and ask.

I live very close to Neary and Trottier and would be fine with no bus to those two schools. I would prefer a crossing guard at the crosswalks in that case, but for us, that would not be strictly necessary.

In other news, I saw a fisher on the Deerfoot reservoir bridge last Monday afternoon. It was pretty cool. (The week before, i had seen a red fox crossing the bridge.)

Karen G
12 years ago
Reply to  Deb Moore

I often donate clothing and kid stuff to Marlboro Community Services. They take donations on Monday Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-1 at their location in downtown Marlboro (255 Main Street, Suite 113, Marlborough, MA 01752 ph: 508.481.4080). They help a lot of people and I have been told that they give everything away to people who need it, they don’t sell stuff or throw it out. I agree that the swap shop isn’t always the best place to leave stuff if you want to help others in need.

Kathryn Marous
12 years ago

Jojama — Great post.

Joan Provencal
12 years ago

Another thing to consider with the issue of paid busing, is the way our elementary schools are organized. The elementary schools are not organized by neighborhood but by grade level. So, all children throughout the town in grades k-1 go to Finn whether they live on Southville or Sears Rd. I think it would be more palatable to go to paid busing if there was even the remote chance that all students could walk to their school, thereby making paid busing an option rather than a tax.

Tessa
12 years ago

The Southborough Arts Council is hosting a holiday craft show in the gallery on Saturday November 6 from 10am-4pm. If you haven’t visited the Arts Center lately this is a great opportunity.

Andrea Green
12 years ago

Tessa, How do I find out if the Arts Center is taking crafters for the show on Nov. 6?

Tessa
12 years ago

Email me Andrea, at tessastephens@charter,net I’ll give you the information and sign you up.

Tessa Stephens
12 years ago

 
Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal disease. Fortunately, although incurable, Polio is easy to prevent. A child can be vaccinated for just 
$1, protecting him against this terrible disease for life.
Through one of the world’s biggest immunisation programs, Polio has been 99 per cent eradicated – so this is one last push to destroy the disease for good.
Why is it called Purple Pinkie? When a child is vaccinated, they have a purple stamp put on their little finger. So each Purple Pinkie brings us closer to making Polio history.
By supporting the Purple Pinkie campaign, you can help make the pain and life-limiting effects of Polio a thing of the past. On Friday, October 29, the Trottier EarlyAct club , sponsored by the Southborough Rotary Club will have a Purple Pinkie Morning and color the pinkie of each student and faculty member who donates a dollar to help eradjocate polio. Please help us by reminding your student to bring a dollar on Friday. 

southsider
12 years ago

Today’s MWDN headline story is about a planned chemical transfer station off Walkup Drive in Westborough. Because Westborough borders parts of Southboro and because prevailing winds tend to blow west to east, I wanted to find out where in Westborough this transfer station will be located. Depending on its location, I think our town officials need to get involved and understand the potential impact of a spill on Southboro residents. I tried to find Walkup Drive in Westboro using some of the normal internet tools but was unsuccessful.
The story quotes the Westborough Fire Chief as being “fairly comfortable” with the plans he has seen. Apparently there will be some training provided to his staff but the implication is that it hasn’t been provided yet. No mention is made of concerns or training of neighboring towns.
The story goes on to say that CSX plans to open this transfer station in January!
Maybe I’m over-reacting but I’d love to hear that our Fire Chief is also “comfortable” with this new business.

Al Hamilton
12 years ago
Reply to  southsider

It looks like the facility is about 1/4 mile north of the 495/Pike toll plaza and 1/4 mile west of 495. Walkup is off Flanders road

Tim D
12 years ago

Walkup Drive is off Flanders Road just past the Rt. 495 overpass (opp. Whittier Rehab Hospital); about a mile as the crow flies from the Southborough town line. It is right next to the Great Cedar Swamp, an area designated by the state as an “ACEC”, Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

southsider
12 years ago

Thanks for the quick replies. If I understand them correctly, this new chemical transfer station will be just upwind from Wildwood, Parkerville and Gilmore and all their side streets and the Mary Finn School.

Anyone else think this is cause for concern or am I over-reacting?
Any of our town officials aware of any contact from CSX? Westborough?

Dick Chase
12 years ago

The transfer station can bee seen here.

Betsy Rosenbloom
12 years ago

Thanks again to Susan for this forum … is anyone else in Southborough talking about this? To “southsider”: I don’t think it’s “over-reacting” to be interested and want more info about a chemical transfer site so close to our town.
Here’s a link to an article about the proposed station. http://www.thedailywestborough.com/Articles-c-2010-11-07-72360.113122-Westborough-Selectmen-discuss-concerns-over-proposed-CSX-transfer-site.html

Al Hamilton
12 years ago

Here is a link to the CSX site that describes the Transflo service http://www.transflo.net/

Basically this is a facility that moves bulk materials from rail cars to trucks. Hence the desirability of being near 495/Pike.

While people have the right to a public vetting of the risks of such a facility this activity is one of those unseen tasks that are the backbone of the economy. Your windshield washer fluid, ethanol additives for your gasoline, sugar for your food, flour for your bread, plastic feed stocks for your computer, deicer for your plane, antifreeze for your car. All this stuff and much more passes through this type of facility. If you do away with the service then all this stuff will just end up in trucks on the roads which is inherently less safe.

Pat Q
12 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

Just because we all benefit from such a facility and certainly don’t want to live without windshield washer fluid, anitfreeze for our cars and sugar for our food, we
certainly have the right to make sure this facility is operating with the strictest of guidlines for public safety to ALL the surrounding towns. Yes, we would prefer to have these potentially dangerous items on trains rather than trucks on our highways but, we should still want only the highest of standards for safety regulations.

What should concern all of us is that, according to the article, 1) chemicals and hazardous materials will be loaded that are currently NOT loaded in Cambridge
and 2) the continuing problems with CSX’s railroad bridge which, according to the article, needs to be strenghened in order to handle the added weight of trains used as well as rasing the height of the bridge. Selectman chairman of Westborough
is quoted as saying, “the fact that trucks seem to get stuck underneath at least once a week”.

It seems like a no brainer that the Fire Chiefs and planners from ALL surrounding towns should be involved with this proposal. AND, we should all be involved in the public vetting of this project because it’s not just another Walmart or Home Depot going up. “Unseen tasks” or not, this is a serious undertaking happening very close to our town.

-Pat

southsider
12 years ago

I’m glad the Fire Chief is aware of the project. And thanks to Dick Chase for providing the GoogleMap link. It certainly highlights how close this facility is to Southboro ( and Hopkinton ).
I agree with Al about the need for these types of facilities but am also very aware that a large volume chemical transfer station does carry some risk. And it must be large volume indeed if involves as many CSX trains as implied in the article. To just read about this undertaking today in a story that claims that the facility will be operational in January is a bit disconcerting.

Pat Q
12 years ago
Reply to  southsider

I believe that Transflo is moving the facility only AFTER closing their Cambridge facility in 2012.

Kelly C
12 years ago

Last month my family participated in the fundraising photograph session at the Southborough Fire Department and we purchased prints. However, we missed the day to collect them. Does anyone know who to contact or where to go to pick up the photographs now? Thanks!

John Mauro
12 years ago
Reply to  Kelly C

Call the Fire Station at 508-485-3235. I believe your pictures should be there.

  • © 2022 MySouthborough.com — All rights reserved.