Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

Above: Southborough after Friday’s storm. (See thumbnails below for photographers and better view.)

It’s time for another open thread. But first, I wanted to share the photos readers sent in after Monday’s post. (Thank you!)

Click thumbnails to enlarge.

Photo by Rodica Emmanuel Burnett House (photo by Allan Bezanson) photo by Dawn Barnes

Now – 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.

34 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alan
6 years ago

I am very disappointed they have closed the metal section at the dump. I was told it was closed for safety reasons yet I have never heard of anyone getting hurt in the past 35 years. I am also surprised that lifting heavy items over a knee high guardrail is the solution. Not only is someone going to hurt there back but the chances of falling in have increased dramatically. I guess I won’t be able to get that push mower I have been looking for now as well.

Rachel
6 years ago
Reply to  Alan

We noticed that last week. I’m unsure of what’s happening down at the transfer station. I hope someone will be able to be there to help throw things over the fence.

I really wish they’d move the swap shop back over by the recyclables. It makes me not want to take anything to the swap shop. It’s a headache having to loop around twice and parking is a mess. We had a lot of stuff to take to the swap shop last weekend, and we briefly considered just dumping it.

Matthew
6 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Agreed. I suspect the workers will be picking up all the good stuff for themselves from now on so at least something of value won’t get trashed.
And if I see something good I’m still go over the rail to get it. Maybe if I get hurt then they’ll realize their change has caused more injuries than they sought to prevent.

M
6 years ago
Reply to  Matthew

Rachel: I do leave things at the Swap Shop on occasion and don’t mind going around a second time to do so. If there were no Swap Shop at all, and you wanted to donate items somewhere, it is much more difficult to do than this simple second trip thru the transfer station. If you think “just dumping it” relieves your headache, than do so. But if you really want to donate somewhere else, than that is the bigger mess. I will take 3 trips from home and back if I have things for the Shop, so I am happy it is there at all.
I also appreciate that there is now less congestion in the recycle area due to shoppers. Weekly transfer runs are much faster now.

logical thinker
6 years ago
Reply to  Matthew

A very simple and easy to implement solution to the poor swap shop route is to reverse its direction. That way you go through the recycle area and have the choice of cycling through to the swap shop. There is no logical reason for the direction it takes now – just turn the arrow sign upside down!!!

M
6 years ago

Logical thinker–yes you are! Great idea! Ms. Galligan, DPW, what do you think? Let’s do it.

M
6 years ago
Reply to  Alan

I am guessing that the metal area was a hazard because of folks who like to rummage thru the site. You can imagine the repercussions if someone was hurt there. As for difficulties leaving items without lifting, would Karen Galligan and others please develop a design that would allow for dropping off? What does one do with bigger items? Or heavy items?

Townie
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth Melo

Did Galligan supply an answer to the initial reason for the installation of the guard rail? Is there a safey issue? Is it an attempt to thwart scrapers?

Wendy
6 years ago

I’d love to know if the Route 9 facing slope of Madison Place will be ‘fixed’ any time soon. It’s a mess and an eyesore as you drive into Southborough from the West. Anyone have insight?

Rob
6 years ago
Reply to  Wendy

LOL!!! That is the fix.

Downtown Resident
6 years ago

Thank you DPW for getting the sidewalks cleared promptly! Your efforts and attention to this matter is much appreciated. I have seen many of my senior neighbors out walking, safely.

M
6 years ago

Matthew: You are insulting the workers. Anyone can “pick out the good stuff”. But would you like to be going thru the Shop on a regular basis and ascertain what should NOT be there and take it to the hopper. Please respect that they work hard in what is not the most glamourous job. I have seen Transfer Stations in much wealthier communities that are truly dumps, no where near as clean and easy to use as ours.
P.S. If you go over the rail and get hurt, most people will think YOU caused your injuries.

Matthew
6 years ago
Reply to  M

M:
Obviously no insult intended and does anyone not agree that picking up the good stuff is a perk of their job? I’m just saying that now they have exclusive picking rights at the metal section and that’s the place I have picked up the best stuff!
As for heavy items I doubt that many are going to do more than just leave them up against the rail instead of lifting a mower up and over. It’s also pretty easy to just back up to the rail which is what they probably intended.
If I go over the rail I doubt their camera is good enough to determine that I didn’t fall accidentally. If Karen reads these posts I bet she’ll get ladder and redirect it so it at least looks like it’s capturing activity at the rail. Besides if anyone has a good metal item they should just be leaving at the new shed.
If there was a dumpster next to the new swap shop I would most certainly take a armful of crap from the shed and toss it in. (Just like I did whenever the front end loader was parked by the old shed.) Unfortunately this will likely lead to more people with recycling only stickers dumping their trash illegally.

Jim
6 years ago
Reply to  Matthew

Matthew,

I’m glad they blocked off the metal are and put up that guardrail. Lat summer, I got rid of an old propane tank and threw it up onto a large pile of metal. When I was at the recycling area, I was shocked to see a man walking up that big pile of metal to retrieve my old rusted propane tank. I saw him use a wrench to remove the brass stuff off valve and he took that home with him. In the time it took me to walk to the Swap Shop and tell the DPW worker, the guy had left. The DPW worker told me that kind of crazy stuff happens all the time at the Transfer Station.

I am glad they put the guard rail up.

Matthew
6 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim:
Even in the richest and safest communities there are those among us who must do what other won’t in order to get by. Recycling brass and other metals might put food on his table for a few days a month. Not sure why we should make it harder, instead you should have left the tank by the entrance where they go then he wouldn’t have had to climb. But then you like to throw propane tanks so I’m not sure you’ll understand my point.
And are you really glad the guardrail and gate are protecting your valuable trash? I guess that’s one of the joys of living in the first world and in one of the richest and safest communities in the country. We get to protect our trash while other poorer countries have theirs ravaged by looters, thieves, and the dreaded poor.

Alan
6 years ago

Jim,

Why you would be glad about taking food off someone’s table or deprive someone who can’t afford to buy a lawn mower is beyond me. The fact that you can’t dispose of your propane tank in the proper location is also beyond me. The reason the propane tanks are put at the entrance of the metal section is so the valve can be removed so it is no longer a potential explosive device. The man that climbed the pile to remove the valve could have possible kept someone from getting hurt at the metal recycling company. Maybe we should have a test for people before they are issued a dump sticker.

EZ Pass Warning
6 years ago
Reply to  Alan

I have neglected to check my EZpass statement for a long time. The amount varies every month but it always seemed reasonable.

For whatever reason, I just looked at each charge and I saw a $5 charge for exit 19, Beacon Plaza (Cambridge). That was odd because I had several other charges for that same exit which were only $1 or $1.10.

I called EzPass and they told me that the $5 charge was a computer ‘glitch’ and they would issue a refund. They were very nice about it and they said they would go back through my charges for the past 6 months to check for other ‘computer glitches.’

I did some research and it turns out that these ‘computer glitches’ far far more common than anyone realizes.

So, I was foolish not to have checked these EzPass statements every month. I will do this every month going forward.

I’m posting this so others may learn from my foolishness and maybe save themselves some money.

M
6 years ago

RE: Easy Pass. Thank you so much! I never look at it. Will do so now.

sl
6 years ago

Thanks! I just looked at the last 90 days and found one error where they charged me $3.00 instead of $1.65 like the same two exits show every other time. And that is just glancing through the transactions available quickly. I didn’t start going back through older statements. Thank you for this prompt.

JMO
6 years ago
Reply to  sl

You only need to go back six months. They won’t issue refunds for over charges occurring more than 6 months ago. I always check my statements and do find errors from time to time. (If cars follow through the toll too closely the lead car gets charged as if it has more axles.)

M
6 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Alan, Your comments are unfair to Jim. He surely isn’t glad to take food off of someone’s table. And we are not all idiots that need a “test”. Everyone’s knowledge about the trash and recyclables differs. Let’s be civil here.
Is there a sign that specifically tells folks to leave propane tanks in a certain safe area for inspection? I don’t recall. If Jim ignored it, then he is wrong. But I do know if your tank is unsafe, no propane seller will fill it and it must be disposed of. Thank you for informing us of that valve issue as well.
But The man that climbed the pile could also have hurt himself. THIS is the safety issue. DPW employees would no doubt have removed the valve before scooping things up. They are bonded and insured and trained. If we are concerned about the people wanting to take metal items (If someone needs the scrap metal to feed their families, this is a separate issue.), it is NOT a disregard for their economic status. It is about their safety.
Now that the Swap Shop can take reusable metal items, let’s hope we all know what fits into that category. And no one again should be climbing on the metal pile. We currently collect the scrap and sell it to offset costs of running the Transfer Station. If someone ever gets hurt, you can be sure that section of the Station will be removed altogether, if not the whole recycling center.

Allan Bezanson
6 years ago

I have put plenty of good stuff in the metal area and always made it convenient for someone to pick up when I did so. Gave me a good feeling. So now the metal goes into the dumpster to be incinerated (?) I don’t get it.

M
6 years ago
Reply to  Allan Bezanson

Allan, no the metal is sold for scrap to offset some of the transfer station operating cost. You can now leave reusable items at a section of the Swap Shop instead. Some things from both sites end up in the dumpster because they are not accepted as scrap metal and the DPW employees know and must sort.

Alan
6 years ago

Horrible design. Someone is going to fall over that guardrail.

S
6 years ago

Hello, does anyone have any opinions on preschools in town? I am thinking about looking for a new preschool for my 4-year-old son. We are currently at one in another town but I’d like to get to one in Southborough so he can meet kids he will be in school with.

I work full-time, so it needs to have longer extended hours, more like a daycare. I have done a little bit of research but a few of the ones I’ve looked at – including the integrated one at Finn – don’t have hours that are conducive to my schedule. And others seem to be very expensive!!

Curious what others’ opinions and experiences were on this.

Matthew
6 years ago

Anyone know if it is permitted to ask the Board of Appeals to read aloud and enter into the minutes (public record) letters from residents who cannot make important meetings?

Wendy
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth Melo

For letters from residents of the town, I’ve been told by the ZBA chair @ a ZBA meeting, that the 10 day rule does NOT apply. However, consider that the board would need time to review it before a meeting.

Whether the board reads it aloud at the meeting or not seems to be completely at their discretion. Some they do, some they don’t.

Matthew
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth Melo

There were two letters that I know of that were sent to the ZBA by 3PM yesterday afternoon with the specific request that they be read allowed and entered into the minutes. I spoke with Karen Finelli who indicated that she would be the one to read them.
Interesting that it could be possible that the Chair would decide the letter(s) not be read. Seems counter to giving folks a chance to contribute given the short notice of certified letters announcing the meeting date. Given the deficiencies of the post office certified letter system the advanced notice seems to dwindle down to about one week. I’d bet the ZBA and the petitioner knew the date with more notice.

Maybe we could sign up with an email address all the topics that would discuss addresses within 1/4 mile of our homes. This way we would know immediately when a meeting is scheduled not seven days out (or less).

I don’t know if mine was read since the meeting minutes online miss the second meeting in January so it will be a few months before they catch up. I would bet Beth will know sooner!

Wendy
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth Melo

In my experience, they’ve read letters when not specifically asked to do so.

  • © 2022 MySouthborough.com — All rights reserved.