Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by Beth Melo on January 6, 2017

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Above: A reader shared his sighting of this cute little visitor on Christmas morning. (photo by Allan Bezanson)

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.

1 mike fuce January 6, 2017 at 8:41 AM

I love those blue birds in the winter, so beautiful.

2 Bob Ackley January 7, 2017 at 9:22 AM

Just want to say thanks to all the town employees for all of their work. The police and fire departments have great response times. The DPW and water departments do a great job with our roads on the limited resources we give them. Our taxes are high but we get what we pay for. Our school are really second to none regardless of rankings. Yes we have problems and disputes but that is all part of the process.

Thanks to all town employees!

Bob Ackley

3 Allan Bezanson January 8, 2017 at 2:39 PM
4 Sboro1992 January 8, 2017 at 10:33 PM


5 Townie January 8, 2017 at 5:46 PM

Any other dog owners noticing their 4 legs family members having issues walking on the treated roads? Mine are have no issues playing in the snow, the minute their paws touch the roads they start to limp.

6 MarthaB January 8, 2017 at 7:24 PM

It’s the chemicals used to de ice the roads. If your dog is older, their pads can be a bit cracked..the nasty stuff from the roads seeps in and it hurts. Even in younger dogs this can be a a dog walker, I tried to stay on the street where I wouldn’t slip, but also tried to keep my clients off the street at the same time. No matter what, wash their pads with a damp cloth and dry when they get home. There are dog booties, but they can be tricky to get on and keep on.

7 Kate January 8, 2017 at 7:53 PM

Yes, I don’t take them out on the roads until they’re dry. We head over to Cushing Park in Framingham instead. The ease of pavement for me and no sore paws for the pups!

8 Jojama January 8, 2017 at 7:59 PM


9 Sboro1992 January 8, 2017 at 10:32 PM

yes – I’ve had dogs here in town for years but this year seems to be the first year they are lifting their paws up during walks up & down my street (no sidewalks available). Maybe the town is using something different? Maybe it’s just a fluke?

10 Townie January 9, 2017 at 3:51 PM

It’s the first time ever they have had issues. The minute their paws touch any snow that as been treated they immediately start limping. Had to carry one of them home. Hope the DPW isn’t using any new chemicals that are going to harm residence’s 4 legged family members….

11 Jim Foley January 8, 2017 at 7:54 PM

We took our dog for a walk today and I wound up carrying her home because she was limping. She didn’t have a problem in our yard.

12 Resident January 10, 2017 at 11:11 AM

My dog too, I thought he was being wimpy. It would be nice if the DPW would chime in and let us know if they are using something new this year. I have had dogs for many years and never experienced this. Karen Galligan?????

13 beth January 10, 2017 at 12:24 PM

I think it is unrealistic to expect that Town officials are reading all the comments on the blog. (Especially under an open thread!)

When residents have questions for Public Works or Town officials, they are free to reach out themselves. But with a stream of comments on this topic, I will reach out to see if anything new is happening this year.

14 beth January 10, 2017 at 12:56 PM

I heard back from DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan. The answer is she was surprised by the issue since they aren’t doing anything differently.

Galligan wondered if a veterinarian would have input on why this year would be any different for some dogs “Age, cracked paw pads from hard ground from the drought, really dry air…?”

Years ago, my dog had issues. It happened suddenly one winter. We had to treat her paws with aquaphor. Since she passed since, I can’t weigh in on this year vs others.

15 Townie January 10, 2017 at 2:32 PM

Thank you! Probably just a combination of the cold, snow, and salt all at the same time.

16 Jojama January 10, 2017 at 2:40 PM

My dog has always reacted to whatever the roads are treated with. We bought her booties that work very well when they stay on.

17 Jesta Thaught January 25, 2017 at 10:34 AM

First of all I support the purchase of the St Marks golf course. This is a golden opportunity to acquire a significant amount of property in the heart of our downtown.
However I have a couple of issues with the “deal” we are cutting with St Marks. If the Final Proposal published on October 6, 2016 is the whole arrangement that we have agreed to then it appears St Marks is dictating to the town what we can use the land for after we own it. Why are we agreeing with them that the land can only be used for a public safety complex, possible community center, passive land use and 50% “undeveloped”. Shouldn’t that be the owner/taxpayer’s decision?
On the other hand why isn’t the town, in turn, demanding of St Marks that the land they are receiving from the Town not be used for their badly needed parking space for sporting events, graduations and concerts. Let’s also make sure that the Main Street property and the “stump dump” remain “undeveloped”!
Although I am a strong proponent of Open Space areas in Southborough I have a real problem with designating the “center of town” as open space. I have hiked and snow-shoed the Chestnut Hill Farm, Breakneck Hill land and trails around the reservoirs and appreciate their value for all of us citizens and to the “ambiance” of our town. The purchasing this land should be for the use of ALL the citizens of Southborough not just the golfers (many from out of town) or the advocates of open space of which I am one.
The prospect of being able to locate a municipal complex in the center of downtown most towns can only dream about. We should not be looking for pieces of land in outlying areas of town to plunk municipal facilities. They belong in the center of town. A first class combined public safety complex protects the properties and safety of ALL the citizens of Southborough. Here is a chance to place this vital facility near the geographic center of town with direct access to the town’s main artery. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to “do it right” so let’s not “nickel/dime” this project.
In the future, a community center should be constructed on the property to serve ALL the people of Southborough. A community center would include recreational facilities for all the youth and families of the town. Incidentally in the Open Space and Recreation Report of 2009 it states that a “a gathering space for teenagers” should be considered a priority. The inclusion of a senior center would provide space for activities and services for the ever-growing number of seniors in the town. Our current senior center is highly regarded however the building is ill suited for that purpose and has numerous short comings in both layout and infrastructure. A community center would also provide space for the many nonprofit groups in town who always searching for space to hold their events. Looking further into the future if land space allows how about an auditorium that would accommodate all the town meeting attendees in one room. At the same time making available a venue for concerts and other performing arts events. The parcel of land being adjacent to the reservoir trail affords opportunities for contiguous walking pathways and trails.
As I drive into town I see plenty of open space on its’ outskirts. The many reservoirs, conservation lands, tree lined streets and even the adjacent Hopkinton State Park. How many towns have a State Park next door offering all its’ recreational facilities? I would similarly be impressed if I drove into the center of the town and found a municipal complex with numerous facilities serving ALL the people of Southborough.

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