Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

Above: Two years ago, a reader shared his sighting of this cute little Christmas morning visitor. (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.

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4 years ago

Transfer station concerns~ I was at the transfer station today and am shocked at the condition that it is being kept. In the hopper area there is more JUNK being piled up and corny, old decorations being hung that I think may have been retrieved from the hopper.

I am all for the swap shop idea but based on today’s visit it should be closed. I went to put a small box of treasures into the swap shop and the two building are a major safety hazard. You could not walk into either of them. There were boxes and items just thrown on top of each other. It looked like an episode of the tv show Hoarders. I did see a few people brave the sheds. It is very unsafe for people to be mulling around in the piles of junk in the sheds. Someone will fall and end up suiting the town as a result of getting hurt.
People this is our town stop throwing your crap around it is a major eye sore.

4 years ago

On and off over my years in town, someone has flown a flag on the island in the reservoir bordering Route 9. I’ve always thought it was a great idea… but such an action also comes with some responsibilities.
During a recent storm, the flag’s pole was severely damaged and the flag is now hanging by a seeming thread before it simply falls into the water.

sending a shout out to the original installer or the DPW or SFD or SPD or any qualified citizen to prevent further damage to this flag. Not sure if it’s legal for private citizen to take boat onto that water…

4 years ago

Sadly, it’s still there… next severe storm should knock it down completely.
Not the respect our flag deserves…

4 years ago

Couple of things about the “dump”, swap shop, and the flag on the island in the res. I grew up in Southborough and have seen how it has transformed. I can give you a little history about both the transfer station (dump) and the flag on the small island. First, the dump. It was built, I am guessing here from memory, about 35 years ago when the town was MUCH less populated. There have been renovations since but the hopper is still the same size and the amount of traffic, i.e. trash must have increased 30% or more.

The flag has a bit more history and mystery to it. For years and years, even decades, the flag would mysteriously appear and disappear and no one knew who would put the flag on the island, There used to be a restaurant, White’s Corner, where the Starbucks and Tomasso are now and it was owned by the Rossi family. The principal owner, whose first name is escaping me at the moment, passed away years ago, it was thought that he was the one responsible. My guess is that since his passing someone or someone’s have tried to keep the tradition alive, and has not kept up with it,

Keep in mind that this is all my recollection and my facts from 30+ years ago may be inaccurate.

Kim V
4 years ago

Sam, I have had the same thoughts when I have visited the swap shop! Please, folks, don’t use the Swap Shop as your personal giant trash can. Take a moment to go through your “treasures” first and discard anything that is not cleanable or fixable. That way it’s much more likely that another family will be able to spot and put to good use the worthwhile items you are donating.

Kelly Roney
4 years ago
Reply to  Kim V

Amen, Kim. There’s a lot of stuff in the swap shop that clearly should’ve gone into the hopper, which gets in the way of the useful stuff, a bunch of which I have in my apartment.

VHS tapes? Those are trash, not treasure.

4 years ago

I wonder how much trashy things in the swap shop are from recycle only permits who can’t use the hopper.

Downtown Resident
4 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Exactly what I knew would happen when the recycle only sticker became available. No one in Southborough wants a broken laundry basket, falling apart filling cabinets, badly chipped/broken plates, over used toys, etc…

Kelly Roney
4 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Maybe it’s time to reconsider those permits if there’s evidence they’re being abused. Is there video, or does that just record the stop sign?

I’ve seen a couple of TV/computer screens there, too, and that’s definitely an evasion of the rules.

4 years ago

…or not…

I too have seen the Swap Shop deteriorate in a sensational manner over the last few years – mostly since the ‘scandal’ of a few years ago.

While we’re on the subject, isn’t it just a bit odd that some of us take the time and effort to keep our recyclables separated and don’t simply drop them in the crusher – and that the transfer station staff, when clearing out the Swap Shop buildings, simply toss the ‘treasures’ into the bucket loader bucket and head to the crusher with all of it.

What the h*ll?

Is it really that difficult to separate plastic/metal and paper from the Swap Shops – the rest going to the crusher?

As someone noted above – it’s likely the people with recycle-only permits who are filling the Swap Shops with – literally – trash.

4 years ago

I’ve always seen the staff separating metal and cardboard. Plastic and paper is more of a challenge. There are some plastics we cannot recycle. There are a lot of paper bags that get trashed because they contain trash. This stuff goes to the hopper and then shipped off to generate electricity at the Wheelabrator in Shrewsbury.

There are many people dropping off trash. Those of us who care should feel comfortable talking to those who don’t. Reduce your own stress about trash in the sheds by talking to your neighbors who are leaving it there.

And by all means stop and help the staff deal with the treasures. I think with a little one on one with the people and a little hands on with the trash you will come to appreciate a little more the job they do.

4 years ago

…as Betty Boop would say.

Would the people who are tossing their orange peels and banana peels on Parkerville Road (north) please take them back to the office with you when you’re going on your midday walks?

And, would the people who are doing the following:

* allowing their large dogs to defecate on the sidewalk and road (let the cars pick it up
with their tires) and people’s lawns

* bagging their dog’s waste and leaving the bags in the woods, in the road and on the

PLEASE – start behaving in a responsible manner and TAKE IT HOME WITH YOU.

We’re on the lookout for you and will use our phones to record your activities, then you can deal with law enforcement personnel. There is a town ordinance regarding picking up after your canine.

4 years ago

Actually I don’t believe Southborough has any law about picking up after your dog. We went from being a town with lots of places for dogs to go without bothering anyone to a town where peoplelet their dogs crap in front of your house. Happened so fast the town couldn’t react.

This is also a problem all over town with dog walkers leaving their little bags of crap on streets and sidewalks. I have a DVR camera that can see part of the street and have recorded two of my neighbors either not picking up their dogs crap or leaving the bag.

Time for a little public shaming or should I leave a bag of my own in their driveway?

4 years ago

To ALAN : I never thought of that, I bet you are right, last week I couldn’t believe the crap in there that someone dropped off., It was defiantly trash, and when I was leavening someone was dropping off a busted chair

4 years ago

There was an older gentleman who used to ride his racing style bicycle, dressed in cycling spandex outfits, up and down Parkerville Road, General Henry Knox and Middle Road during most of the year. I used to see him riding around midday for many years. Alas he seemed to ‘disappear’ sometime last summer.

Would anyone know who he was and of his whereabouts?

Perhaps he relocated to a warmer clime?

David Parry
4 years ago

In reply to the question above, from “Where_has_he_gone”.

I think that was probably Dick Upjohn. He rode his bicycle in the neighborhood you described. He was a teacher at Fay and a member of the Conservation Commission. Sorry to say he died a few years ago.

alas, no
3 years ago
Reply to  David Parry

I’m afraid it was not Mr. Upjohn, since I encountered this bicycle riding gentleman as late as early summer, June timeframe, of 2018.

The man I’m referring to was always dresses in bicycle-riding spandex and wore a bicycle helmet and sunglasses. If I recall correctly, he had more than one bicycle – or he replaced his bicycle.

Pat D
3 years ago
Reply to  alas, no

I would see him riding his bike on Parkerville—he soon recognized my car and would nod his head in greeting. Although I have not been around much in the last several months, I have not seen him lately. Hope he is OK.

4 years ago

Julieann: You are correct about the history of our flag placed on the island , for many years it was kept under rap, His name was Frank Rossi, when he could no longer get out there to do it his son continued with the task, when he could no longer do it, a long time highway worker continued the task, Then I was told that folks from the VFW and American legion was doing it, as of right now I have no idea so the Mistry continues for now. But it should be displayed with respect out there if the misty continues.

Allan Bezanson
4 years ago
Reply to  arborist

Jack Frost will make this easy

3 years ago

Worcester Business Journal this week offers something to think about when the talk of a dual rate comes up. Cities and towns with dual rates are also the ones who lavish the most tax breaks to big business with dubious benefits to the residents. Framingham and Worcester among the most generous at doling out tax breaks also have some of the highest commercial rates. Natick with a lower commercial rate no trouble attracting businesses.

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