Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by beth on January 13, 2022

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A reader pointed out that it’s been too long since I posted an open thread.

So. . . 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)

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John Kendall January 13, 2022 at 10:52 AM

It’s been a while, so let me bring up a couple of things. First, the MBTA station. I live nearby and walk through the parking lot on a regular basis. It is turning into an urban dump. There’s always trash around, including nip bottles as well as used surgical masks. This past summer I started noticing hypodermic syringes. I was picking them up (with gloves) and putting them into the sharps receptacle at the Transfer Station. I was getting so bad I notified Selectwoman Lisa Braccio. She discussed it with Police Chief Ken Paulhus. He in turn notified the Transit Police. I met him in the parking lot and he was soon well aware of the problem. Patrols by both agencies have been stepped up. That issue has seemed to take a vacation when cold weather settled in. Another huge problem at the station is the condition of the walkways and wheelchair ramp. Due to the degradation of the concrete, none of these meet ADA regulations. I emailed all of my concerns to Carolyn Dykema. Her response was “they put up a new sign for the parking lot.” It’s as if nobody cares about it. We all should! It’s Southborough! Anyone in town who uses the commuter rail will hopefully follow my lead and start complaining.

Second-Our streets. A lot of them are in deplorable condition and need to be repaved. I think it’s time for Karen Galligan to put some items, like the pocket park, on the back burner and take a real look around. When John Boland was Highway Superintendent, nothing looked as bad as they do now. He was very responsive to the residents complaints and made sure that repairs were done right. No band aids.

I’ve lived in town forever. I think it’s time that we start fixing things the right way!


2 Vote for Accountability January 15, 2022 at 8:08 AM

John, thank you for your comments and action on the hypodermic needles especially. Agree with you completely on the roads. How do they manage to get in such unsafe condition and disrepair to begin with? I recall years at town meeting of an entire road budget for the town consisting of $250k, while other Recreation Department items would far exceed the annual road amount. Now this? Road closures for unsafe conditions? While spending taxpayer money to raze and deforest a likely burial ground (sickening) for a pocket park on St. Marks private property? No, BOS. You aren’t getting my vote at all, no matter how you try to stack and manipulate town meeting vote, along with crummy Town Moderator who ignores citizens motions.

Whose idea was the pocket park? On private land? Mr. Healey (St. Mark’s “liaison” to get payments in lieu of taxes, how’s that going Marty?) and the rest of BOS points to Karen Galligan of DPW. Back to the irresponsible cutting down of trees. Don’t you need trees for a park? And a parking lot for St. Marks? While roads are closed for unsafe conditions. Aside from poor management and inept budgeting, which results in road failure and unsafe conditions, there’s the ignoring of residents and agendas of catering to private interests. Am definitely in favor of change and replacing the DPW head, as well as restructuring the DPW to have more direct accounting to taxpayers. As it is, Ms. Galligan simply ignores state law and appears to do whatever the heck she pleases with zero impunity and accountability to the taxpayers paying her salary. Also, vote out the BOS members this spring to hold them accountable. All they do is cover up, instead of proper inquiry, firings, and actions. Pocket parks? Pick pockets!


3 Phil LaBelle January 13, 2022 at 11:34 AM

Has there been any information about the timing (if any) on the Northborough Rd. repair? I don’t recall seeing any, and it’s been a long time.


4 beth January 13, 2022 at 12:11 PM

In December, Massachusetts earmarked $347 million of ARPA funds to be used for specific purposes. $70K was designated for the repair of the culvert on Northboro Road. A memo from DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan on road work projects was included in last week’s Board of Selectmen packet. It referred to the fact that earmark only covers part of the cost and the Town needs to fund the rest. (No project cost was included.)

Selectmen indicated that they want Galligan to come in to talk about the many road projects especially ones she is looking to add to the capital projects list for the next fiscal year. I think we have to wait for that discussion to have a better idea of when that project may be undertaken.


5 Sobo Rider January 14, 2022 at 3:51 AM

Also wondering about any re-paving plans for the north side of Parkerville Rd. The utility repair in the middle of last year has made bike riding on that road difficult and unsafe. Why was it left in such bad condition?


6 Kelly Roney January 15, 2022 at 10:35 AM

And Cordaville, and Main, and Newton. Best to wait on Main and Newton, of course, until the concrete drainpipes are installed. When’s that going to happen?


7 Interested January 20, 2022 at 8:21 AM

There’s a cat food shortage. I never, ever considered that this could possibly be a problem. It’s just as concerning as the toilet paper shortage was. Admittedly, I’m feeling a bit privileged in that I have never had to consider that this could possibly happen. I’d just go to the store and mindlessly throw a bunch of cans into the cart. Never gave a thought as to all that went into getting it on the shelves. So, I’m humbly asking, how is everyone handling the pet food shortage? Have you found a good source to tide you over? Are you making cat food yourself?


8 Frank Crowell January 20, 2022 at 11:12 AM

How could this be! We’ve been told by the Transportation Secretary that the supply chain problems have been resolved. Could it be that inflation is so high that cat food is being used for human consumption? Let’s hope not.

Just another Joe Biden success story. The country is so much better off than a year ago.


9 Interested January 20, 2022 at 4:45 PM

Ok, that is not at all what I was hoping for.


10 beth January 21, 2022 at 10:02 AM

I had a thought and just checked – Walmart appears to have cat food in stock at their location on Rte 9/Otis St in Northborough. (I believe they have more control of their supply chain than some other retailers.)


11 Interested January 21, 2022 at 10:42 AM

Thanks Beth! I will check it out 😺

12 Kelly Roney January 21, 2022 at 1:44 PM

Wait, aren’t supply chain problems due to market forces that Frank would never want anyone to mess with? Trump would’ve sent mean tweets about powerless people. Birds of a feather!


13 Interested January 22, 2022 at 7:31 AM

How does a simple inquiry about cat food become a political mudsling?
I ask a simple, honest question in hope that my neighbors might have a solution, and some just cannot resist political sarcasm.
It’s not funny and in fact, it’s quite annoying and only adding to the high level of stress we are all coping with.


14 Frank Crowell January 23, 2022 at 9:10 AM

Kelly, you would serve your party and country well if you would walk away from or at least challenge the group think of the current Democrat Party. The free market doesn’t work with mandatory shutdowns and paying people not to work. It also doesn’t work when there is a monopoly: public school systems. 

Interested, we have not had much of a problem finding cat food for the most part. Here’s a helpful tip though if your cat is older: Our 15 year old cat really benefits from “Daily Joint Support” from Austin and Kat.


15 Kelly Roney January 24, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Good tip on cat food, Frank!

The rest is amazing – pro-depression, pro-death, pro-pandemic in one sentence! Congrats!

BTW, if you can find any market that delivers goods and services anywhere in Massachusetts, any market that has hundreds of vendors the way Massachusetts has more than 200 public school districts and hundreds of private schools, maybe there is a market here that qualifies as free. How many cell phone companies are there?

16 Sara January 21, 2022 at 9:37 AM

I have been ordering my cat food online from chewy. They have plenty of wellness and weruva cat food options. If you are looking for fancy feast they still have some flavors in stock. It’s definitely worrisome! Good luck!


17 Dean Dairy January 21, 2022 at 11:06 AM

Wake up, smell the cat food in your bank account

When you are alone, you are the cat, you are the phone
You are an animal
The words I’m singing now
Mean nothing more than ‘meow’ to an animal
Wake up, smell the cat food in your bank account
But don’t try to stop the tail that wags the hound


18 northsider February 3, 2022 at 9:39 AM

Have you tried sites like that can send you food on a regular cadence?


19 Interested January 21, 2022 at 10:45 AM

Thanks Sarah! We order from Chewy sometimes too. The last time we checked, they had little to choose from and the flavor that was available doesn’t appeal to our cat. But I’ll check again today, maybe they have more in stock now. 😺


20 Jessica January 25, 2022 at 12:53 PM

My understanding is that in addition to an issue with getting truck drivers, some of the trucks have been caught in the wild snow storms. We forget that people getting snow south of the Mason Dixon wreaks havoc. They not only cannot figure out how to drive in it, they don’t have the equipment to clean it up either. So, perhaps, the cat food is stuck en route?

We’ve had luck with online Chewy orders as well as Target drive up orders. Good luck!


21 M O'Neill January 25, 2022 at 3:55 PM

This is sarcasm right? It’s so hard to tell right now because there are legitimately people believing the Biden admin propaganda. We have winter every year folks. This is one more result of the supply chain crisis created by Biden policies. It was predicted pet food was going to become a big issue back in early November.


22 northsider February 3, 2022 at 9:41 AM

Did you not read Jessica’s post? She said in the south, where they do have winter every year but are not as equipped as us Northerners. So no, not sarcasm I believe. I love how people turn cat food into anti-Biden sentiments. Classic.


23 Jack February 1, 2022 at 12:56 PM

Is it still the general rule when walking on the street to be facing on-coming traffic (walk on the left side of the road)? It seems like 75% of the people on Flagg/Deerfoot walk on the right, so cannot see you coming. Half have dogs that are even closer to the road than they are, and are oblivious to cars approaching them from behind. Did I miss a memo somewhere to start walking on the right side?


24 Questions for those who walk on roads February 1, 2022 at 6:13 PM

Do you think old drivers have the vision of teenagers?
Do you think no driver is ever distracted?
Do you think the sun cannot blind drivers?
Do you think it’s cool to dress all in black?
Do you have eyes in the back of your head?
Have you ever seen a school bus?
Do you know why school buses are yellow and black?


25 We need more sidewalks February 2, 2022 at 7:24 PM

We need more sidewalks and faster/better clearing of snow after storms. I went for a walk today and a lot of sidewalks are poorly cleared or not cleared at all. Some crosswalks were not opened up, ex: Main and Latisquama. With more sidewalks and sidewalk maintenance after storms, we’d have less people walking on roads.


26 northsider February 3, 2022 at 9:43 AM

While true that we need more sidewalks, we won’t be getting them (ever probably) on the roads in question. Which is why we’re constantly reminding drivers to SLOW DOWN.


27 Snow Angel February 2, 2022 at 9:17 AM

After last week’s storm, Southborough DPW apparently plowed Finn school and pushed the snow across the street onto Parkerville Rd. at the corner of Wildwood Drive, making piles approximately 8-9 feet high and completely blocking visibility of drivers coming out of or into the Wildwood area (with, among others, seniors in 55+ housing). These snow piles completely block a crosswalk that Finn students use, and a sidewalk on Wildwood Dr. that walkers in the area use every day. Yesterday, some of the snow pile was pushed back and a little removed from the top. HOWEVER, the snow piles still completely block the crosswalk and sidewalk. Are we really paying for our town DPW to remove snow from a public property only to create a public hazard? Why is the snow not dumped within the Finn property where there is plenty of space? Why are we paying for the DPW snow plows to completely block crosswalks, sidewalks and obstruct visibility for vehicles? DPW apparently needs some proper guidance.


28 John Kendall February 3, 2022 at 3:05 PM

The town has some new contractors this year. They guy doing my neighborhood never pushed the snow back, just a narrow passage down the streets. Fire apparatus never would have made it through. Another botched effort by Karen Galligan. Between this storm, the pocket park, and other boners pulled by her, I feel it’s time she was replaced.


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