Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by Beth Melo on November 21, 2013

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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.

(Photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

1 Chris November 21, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Anyone else get the junk mail from Dominion, about signing up w/ them for electricity instead of National Grid? I’m curious if anyone has in fact signed up w/ them…and has an y thoughts.

2 southsider November 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

is it junk mail?
I’ve asked here before if anyone had switched and didn’t get any reply… but the same day I got the Dominion letter, I got an electric bill that seemed to indicate a jump in rates… so I am more intrigued than ever about these Dominion guys…

anyone with info?

3 Trixie November 22, 2013 at 4:02 PM

I switched to Dominion a few years ago because I heard it would save money. It is only the supply portion of your electric service so you still get a bill from NGrid. My NGrid supply charge per kWh was .11672 when I switched in Mar 2007 and my Dominion Supply Charge on my last bill was .0892 so it seems it was a good choice.

4 southsider November 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

thanks. One other question: have you noticed any differences in service interruptions?

5 Resident November 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Picking a new supplier does not affect the delivery of power to your house. National Grid still owns and maintains the wires. Picking a competitive supplier is purely a financial transaction. On the books at National Grid, your electric supply will be switched out of National Grid’s account and into Dominion’s and the amount you get billed will be different. That is the only change.

6 Ditto November 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM

I also switched a few years back. Compare the rates and decide for yourself. The only thing that changed was the name next to the rate or something. All else the same.

7 M November 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Has anyone used “Men In Kilts” for window washing? There were many signs up this fall and my research showed it is a franchise started in Canada. Or do you recommend someone other than Crystal Clear, please?
The same for gutter cleaning? any good experience with a local company?

8 Kathryn k November 24, 2013 at 9:35 AM

The local Men in Kilts franchise is owned by a local woman — she’s very professional and her crew is seriously well trained.

9 i can see clearly now the rain is gone November 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Acute View window washers is fantastic

10 Townie December 18, 2013 at 7:58 PM

I’ve lived in Southborough for 20 years and have always used Crystal Clear cleaning for my window washing and gutter needs. A Southborough business and Southborough guy, and great service! How can you not support a town business?

11 LK November 22, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Just wondering if anyone noticed the confusing signs that went up this week regarding the Bridge St detour and the construction at the T station?? The construction has been going on for a year and a half and the bridge has been out since the summer. Why now?? The detour brings you right to the construction site that suggests you seek an alternate route! AND if you follow the detour signs it only brings you to the train bridge that is closed!

12 Southville December 5, 2013 at 9:42 AM

That detour is for the bridge up the road on Southville, past the intersection with 85 a bit to the west. The bridge there, on Bridge Street, is closed down indefinitely, and the detour is for that one, not for the construction on 85. It definitely is confusing at first though, having a “bridge street detour” sign that leads you straight into construction for a different bridge!

13 Saywhat November 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

We are wondering if anyone happened to find an iPod touch on any of the following streets over the last three (3) weeks: Parkerville Road (north from ~Trottier School area to Main St., Main St. West from Parkerville to Chestnut Hill Road, Chestnut Hill Road.

The iPod touch has a black two-piece silicone case: it’s outer layer has a grid of holes through which protrude small bumps or dots from the underlying layer. The color of these dots transition from dark blue to yellow over the length of the back panel.

Thank you!

14 mark November 23, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Anyone have any updates on that parcel of newton and main street? Are we approaching the 10 year anniversary?

15 Kathryn k November 24, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Seeking knitting tutor! Been teaching myself but need some help. Will barter: I can teach you to become a Twitter brand, or I can provide editing services (I’m a published author).

16 Rachel November 24, 2013 at 2:43 PM

What are the holiday hours for the transfer station? I’m hoping they’re open Wednesday!

17 JZP November 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM

It would be interesting if, say, the website were ever updated with relevant info.

I went this saturday and the semi-permanent traffic sign said closed Thursday & Friday [28 & 29], implying open on Saturday [30].

18 beth November 25, 2013 at 10:23 AM

I don’t know when the dates were posted, but the Town website actually does have the information. It’s on the home page. (I’m assuming that you, like me, were checking the DPW page.)

It’s easy to overlook. But that is where the town posts most announcements and changing news. So, I’d check there in future.

19 beth November 25, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Official word: The Transfer Station is closed on Thursday and Friday, November 28th and 29th. It is also closed on December 25th and January 1st.

20 Ann November 24, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Just received a call from a Southboro Firefighter asking for financial support and offering tickets to a comedy show. While I would like to support them, I am always concerned. I offered to bring a check to the station, but the caller stated they didn’t want a lot of people stopping by the station and they would stop by to pick up the check. How do I know if it is legit?

21 beth November 25, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Good thinking to check. We have been warned about scams in the past.

I gave the department a call. This one is a legitimate fundraiser – but I don’t have details yet. Someone will get back to me later this morning.

22 Parent November 25, 2013 at 8:49 AM

It’s hard to know. Often “professional” fundraisers call, saying they are calling for the police, or the firefighters, or perhaps the veterans. Then if you give, only a small percentage, if any, of the money goes to what they say it’s for. This sounds a bit different though, but I’m also wondering how you can find out if it’s legit. Maybe call the Southboro fire department? It could be easy I suppose for someone to call pretending they’re from the fire department, and then come and get the check.

23 Parent November 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Just saw your comment, Beth, that this one is legitimate.

24 Chris November 26, 2013 at 5:56 PM

So now I received a flyer from Constellation, promising me lower electricity rates…obviously if a pole/wire is down, you’re still susceptible to National Grid fixing it…since these folks are presumably leasing capacity from NG….still curious if it’s worth investigating or not…any opinions?

25 Roy Palmer November 28, 2013 at 8:45 PM
26 fayvilleresident December 1, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Is it just me or are people shooting in the woods nearby. They sound too close for comfort

27 Al Hamilton December 2, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Mass Law requires that, except for a few exceptions, the discharge of a firearm must be more than 500 ft from an occupied building or structure unless the permission of the owner is secured. Town By Law permits hunting only with the permission of the land owner.

28 saywhat? December 2, 2013 at 11:50 AM

It’s the shooting range in Hopkinton. By the sounds, I’d imagine there are people who are
hand loading their own bullets and we are bearing the acoustic footprint of the larger
explosions. It sounded like my next door neighbor was shooting in his backyard!

It’s unfortunate the range was built long before Southborough’s population increased. It
would be a good thing if they erected a building to contain the sound – that way they
could “enjoy” it without disturbing the peace of everyone else.

Apparently, when it comes to guns, disturbing the peace is seen as a right and not a
violation of other people’s rights to that peace.

29 Al Hamilton December 2, 2013 at 1:07 PM

I was assuming that given the posters name fayvillresident that the noise was in his/her vicinity. The gun range you are referring to is 3 miles away as the crow flies. So I thought it might be someone hunting.

If that was the source and it was Sunday it was likely people shooting trap and skeet which is definitely not an indoor activity. The facility has been there since the 40’s

30 southsider December 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Just a quick call out to those two homes on Parkerville ( south side, of course ) that have so much fun with their Christmas lights. I actually stopped my car in the middle of the road to check out this year’s offering. Great job, you two. Very amusing…

31 Frank Clark December 3, 2013 at 7:49 PM

I’m surprised at the MY Southborough site that they haven’t posted the latest article from the Metrowest Daily News showing that the Gulbankians’ may be in the right.Also the previous article as well.

Only when the town was giving them the screws was it front page news? well what about now?

This is our tax dollars at work or waste.

I don’t see fair and balanced here at all.

32 beth December 3, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I’ve given this topic a lot of coverage over time. I don’t know what other story on this you are claiming I ignored.

Frankly, I didn’t see any new information in the most recent article – except that trial is delayed to January. Therefore, I was waiting for my
next appropriate news story roundup.

I’m not invested in either side of argument. So your accusation of imbalance is groundless.

33 beth December 3, 2013 at 8:02 PM

I am also wondering about reference to “they”. Makes me wonder if your comment about taxes is in regards to this blog. I certainly hope you understand that the town does not fund the site.

34 Alan December 4, 2013 at 9:53 AM


I to do not understand why the new article was not printed in my Southborough and it seems that My Southborough is being bias. The fact that the article is pointing out that the fines given to the Gulbankians may very well be illegal is very important to all tax payers. If my Southborough wants to cover town news and present itself as a media source for the town, it must cover all the news, it can’t stand back and decide what is important and what is not to the people reading it. This web site has lost credibility with me because of this. With Southborough news web site gone, The fact I don’t get the town local TV station because I have satellite TV and my trust in My Southborough in question, I have no idea where I will get good information about the happenings in town. Sad day.

35 beth December 4, 2013 at 10:52 AM

I’m honestly extremely surprised by yours and Frank Clark’s.

1. The claims that the story points out that the fines may be illegal.

This is simply a statement made by their lawyers. It is the same claim he made in the story I posted in August. (“A $126,600 town zoning fine levied against J&M machine shop earlier this month ignores history and the law, the Gulbankian family argues in new court filings.”) Here you can look at the August post which appears to cover the same ground as last week’s:

The fact that it is put in the headline of a new MWDN story doesn’t make it new information. (In my opinion it shows that it was a slow news day and the paper needed another story to post.) The only new information I saw in the story was the postponement of trial from October to January.

2. Of course I have to decide what to share.

You have no idea how full my inbox is with items people ask me to share and how long the daily newsfeed is with items. So I have to choose what I will post and when. I don’t have the time in my life to share what you may consider to be “all the news” let alone as soon as it happens.

Last week when it popped up, I had waaay more stories that I wanted to share than time to post them.

This was one I had decided wasn’t urgent since there is no new information except for the trial being postponed from October to January.

3. The bias. I don’t understand the bias claim. I DO NOT have an investment in the outcome, bias against the Gulbankians or bias towards the town. I have shared new stories when they came up to keep everyone informed and allow others to share their opinions.

36 Pat Q. December 4, 2013 at 8:35 PM

This site is a blog, not a community or town newspaper. A blog is “a place to share news, debate issues, support each other in crisis, find out about events in town, and, hopefully, have some fun” (quoted from “The local behind the blog” on this sites “About” page).

I don’t think Beth did any harm in not posting the article. It is a blog, not a main media source for the town. There is a difference. Of course she gets to decide what to post and what not to post. A little harsh to accuse her of being bias and very harsh to bash her because you expect all your local news from a blog.

37 Parent December 4, 2013 at 2:07 PM

It seems to me that Beth has reported news from this case in an unbiased manner, and reported when she had something new to report.

The case against the Gulbankians is so sleazy, mean spirited and unnecessary that it is hard to not have a visceral reaction whenever seeing a headline or post about it. Perhaps that is why it may FEEL like the reporting is biased, especially if you are in disagreement with the town about the pursuit of the case. But we needn’t make the person behind this blog a scapegoat.

I am hoping, along with many people, that things will work out in the Gulbankians’ favor.

38 Just Curious December 4, 2013 at 5:41 PM


I couldn’t agree with you more!

39 Parent of Elementary School Kids December 8, 2013 at 1:08 PM

I am new to town and am looking to get a new piano teacher for my kids. Is there someone in town that everyone loves who focuses on young kids just starting out with the piano? I’d love to have a teacher who does recitals with her students and who would come to our home for lessons.

I’ve got a 4th grader (Bastien Level 3), a 1st grader (Bastien Level 2) and a Kindergartner (total beginner).

40 Janet Maney December 19, 2013 at 4:52 PM

So sorry I just noticed this question. Morgan Scott is a great teacher and comes to the house. My daughter started with him at an older age, but there are very young children at the recitals. He has worked with many, many families in Southborough.

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