Westborough Shuttle comes to town!!

Westborough Today - General Town News Written by michael h   
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 08:12

Hurray!  We now have public shuttle running in town.  Have you seen the new buses that started yesterday?

Called the Westborough Shuttle, it's brought to us by the Worcestor Regional Transportation Authority (WRTA).  Service started yesterday, Dec 2nd, 2013.  

It's a WEEKDAY-ONLY service, running Monday thru Friday. Stops include:

  • MBTA Station
  • Computer Drive and Research Drive office parks
  • Route 30 McDonalds
  • Senior Center
  • Bay State Commons
  • Town Offices
  • Westborough Public Library
  • High School

It's a new service, starting out after a long time in thinking about various routes, and the need to serve the commuters coming into town and the residents within town.  

The WRTA plans to start and collect feedback, and can then change things to meet emerging needs. So let's give it a try, Westborough, and let's be both patient and kind with our feedback, as the inevitable bugs with any new service get worked out.  

WRTA is absolutely keen to hear how things are working, and are committed to incorporate feedback, learn, and make changes as needed in the futures.

See the WRTA site for information, and details about their schedules and stops.

From the above PDF schedule:

How to Ride the Bus

If this is your first trip on the bus, you may be a little nervous. Don’t worry — WRTA personnel are ready to help you! Here are a few tips:

  • It is best to arrive at the curbside at least five minutes early. Buses will stop if they are waved down and if it is safe to stop at that location.
  • When boarding the bus, give exact cash fare to the driver (if you qualify for reduced fare, show your identification card to the driver).
  • As the bus approaches your stop, let the driver know where you want to leave the bus.

For more information on How to Ride the Bus, visit www.therta.com/faqs/how-to-ride-the-bus or call 508-791-9782

Happy travelling, Westboronians!

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GRAND OPENING for Westboro Package Store

Westborough Today - General Town News Written by Webmaster   
Thursday, 24 October 2013 20:10

Under new management!  Please come welcome Rich Succar, the new owner of Westboro Package Store on the rotary for its


Friday Oct. 25, 2 PM - 7 PM

Free Wine & Beer Tastings with the following specials:

  • Grand Macnish Scotch Whiskey 1.75L $12.99 ea.
    [A blended Scotch, with a review, here! - webmaster]
  • Bud and Bud Light 30pks. $20.99 + dep.
  • Sam Adams 12 pks. $12.99 + dep.
  • Sutter Home wine 1.5L $7.99 ea.
  • Barefoot wines, 750mL $4.99 ea.
  • Belvedere Vodka 1.75L $45.99 ea.

We now have Lottery - Cigars - Cigarettes.


We reserve the right to limit quantities.

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2013 Special Town Meeting - day 2

Westborough Today - General Town News Written by Webmaster   
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 18:34

Tuesday, October 22. 7:30pm.  Back in the saddle, er, auditorium again.

WH-A-A-T?  Yes!  The "non-voter" section is EMPTY.  "First time I've seen that" -- Moderator Harrington.

Thanks again to the Scouts running mics.

Mr. Dodd - with a procedural question... to move article 14 AFTER 27.  Unfortunately, this motion fails.


Article 11. Wage and Salary Schedule Amendment (Personnel Board) – so vote. (8-0-0)

A motion to reduce Crossing Guard from proposed R4 to R3.   A count is necessary -- and the amendment carries!

Article passes.


Article 12. Amend Classification Plan (Personnel Board/Town Manager/Selectmen) – so vote. (8-0-0)


Rec Department states that salaries for seasonal worders are fully funded by program fees.

The Rec Department promised the finance committee that no rec department fees would need to be increased, if the status of the seasonal workers move from "contractor" to "employee" status as a result of passing this article.

HOWEVER, we're told that a workman's comp. audit surfaced the need to INCREASE the town's workman's comp coverage, in order to properly protect the seasonal workers.

And the assistant town manager confirmed that the TOWN is paying for this additional increase in insurance, and that it is NOT being paid for, out of the Rec Department's revolving fund.

I'd like to know what the additional insurance cost turned out to be; for it now becomes an ongoing cost that's caused by the Rec Department personnel, but isn't necessarily factored into the calculation of Rec Department program fees.  Is this what town residents want?

At any rate, I'm personally left wondering if it's completely accurate to represent to Town Meeting that Rec Department expenses are covered by Rec Department fees? It may be that we need to alter future use of language such as this.

Article 13. Funds for Easement for the Multi-Use Trail through Westborough (Bicycle and Pedestrian Ad Hoc Committee) – so vote. (8-0-0)

Opinion: folks need to be educated about "funds" and the dollars within them.



8:42 pm Article 14. Sandra Pond Reservoir Watershed Maintenance (Conservation Officer) – Transfer from Free Cash $50,000. (8-1-0)

9:41 pm -- move to close debate... is defeated! Debate continues...  To tree harvest or not to harvest?  Must we "harvest" (good trees)... such that it offsets costs for the overall article?  This seems to be an issue.

9:52.  Motion carries.  My tweet: Article 14 passes. Oh well, good-bye healthy trees that did not NEED to be removed... it's okay to chop 'em down if "offsets costs".



Article 15. Prior Year (FY13) Bill (Town Manager) – Transfer from Free Cash $150.04. (8-0-0)

Bizarre  9/10 vote was required!  This was for copier toner :)


Article 16. Council on Aging Revolving Fund (Council on Aging Director) – so vote. (8-0-0)



Article 17. Paving the Senior Center Parking Lot (DPW Manager) – Transfer from Free Cash $53,343. (8-0-0)



10:08pm Article 18. Economic Development Committee Revolving Fund (Economic Development Committee) - so vote. (7-0-1)

Majority in favor!

My tweet: YES! Economic Development Committee revolving fund article #18 PASSES; Go, EDC! (And come to their next mtg on Tue, Nov 5th.)


Article 19. Flanders Road Pump Station Generator (Sewer – DPW Manager) –Transfer from Sewer Retained Earnings $12,000. (8-0-0)



Article 20. Mixing Valve – Fay Mountain Tank (Water – DPW Manager) – Transfer from Water Retained Earnings $30,000. (8-0-0)



Article 21. Acceptance of MGL Chapter 60, Section 3D (Ad hoc Senior/Disabled Tax Relief Committee) – so vote. (8-0-0)

Yes, donations to this fund would be tax-deductible. What's "elderly?" -- the statue doesn't specify!  Tim Dodd - what's common in other communities is 60 years of age.



Article 22. Amend Zoning Bylaws, Earth Moving Regulations (Planning Board) - so vote. (7-0-1)



Article 23. Amend Zoning Bylaws, District Regulations, Section 2600, Dimensional Schedule (Planning Board) - so vote. (7-0-1)


Article 24. Amend Zoning Bylaws, Article 3, General Regulations, Section 3200, Environmental Controls, Subsections 3220, 3230 and 3240 (Planning Board) - so vote. (8-0-0)


Article 25. Amend Zoning Bylaws, Article 4, Special Regulations, Section 4500, Flood Plain District (Planning Board) – so vote. (8-0-0)


Article 26. Amend Zoning Bylaws, Article 2, District Regulations, Section 2300, Use Regulations (Planning Board) – so vote. (7-0-1)


Article 27. Amend Zoning Bylaws, Article 5, Definitions (Planning Board) – so vote. (7-0-1)


Article 28. (Moved up)


Article 29. Amendment to General By-laws to allow Electronic Voting (Ad Hoc Electronic Voting Committee) – The Advisory Finance Committee will issue its recommendation at Town Meeting.


Article 30. Municipal Zoned Property Dimensional Regulations – Country Club (Town Manager) – so vote. (7-0-1)


Article 31. Municipal Zoned Property Dimensional Regulations – Town Hall (Town Manager) – so vote. (8-0-0)

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Special Fall Town Meeting 2013 mini-blog

Westborough Today - General Town News Written by Webmaster   
Monday, 21 October 2013 18:34

Town meeting underway!

7:38 Preliminaries are out of the way, we're talking about the electronic voting proposal.

Good point just made... if we move to electronic, and thus an essentially secret ballot, voters on town floor will NOT know how their elected officials vote on issues.

The loss of public wifi in the hall is due to the understanding that it will "slow down the system".

Concerned about accuracy of the electronic system?  What about the accuracy of past times, that depended upon "the moderator's eyesight" and the "dynamics of the hall".  And, more importantly, what of the loss of accuracy, due to the "fear of an unpopular vote"?

The question was called, debate ended, and the motion passes.

7:52 Article 2. Tax Increment Financing Plan – Cumberland Farms (TIF) (Board of Selectmen) – so vote. (9-0-0)

Originally, 25 additional employees were proposed; but negotiations resulted in bumping this up to 79 jobs, as the original number we "not sufficient" to the towns.

Here's a question:  do we track how these TIFs actually turn out?  Is there any kind of audit that's performed after the fact, to validate that the employer has in fact fulfilled their obligation?

Answer: Yes! The State tracks these TIF programs, and if obligations are not kept, back taxes may be assessed.

FYI, our current tax rate *already* is favorable to businesses, compared to our surrounding neighbors; the ability to offer these TIFs is to encourage investment into local towns.

The point, however, was contested -- compared to Marlborough and Framingham, sure -- we are more favorable.  But the claim was made that some of the surrounding towns - Grafton, Hopkinton, Shrewsbury... are NOT 'favorable'.

At any rate, the electronic votes have been taken... and an independent audit is now being conducted on sampling of 10 volunteers' voting units.

Vote tally:

238 FOR, 19 AGAINST.  The motion carries.

HOWEVER!  The audit needs to be re-done!  More suspense...and after a few minutes... hurrah.  All is in agreement.

8:28 pm Article 3 (and next few) deal with Westborough State Hospital land.  We're so close!

90 acres... "a portion" (of what is 300 acres overall)

Tally the vote... SURVEY SAYS....

248 favor, 14 opposition, motion carries.

9:02 pm Article 4.

230 Favor 3 Negative. Motion carries.

9:05 pm Article 5.  Westborough State Hospital Disposition.  Moved to PASS OVER.  Why is this?

Ian Johnson replied to the effect of:  "Because... thru the public meetings held, and conversations held, it's premature to bring this article forward at this time.  Instead, we will have further public meetings to create a comprehensive master plan regarding this site.  Think this is a better use of our time [than to ask for disposition] before we have a sense of what the uses will be. "

226 pass over, 4 in opposition

9:09 Article 6. Westborough State Hospital Revolving Fund

213 favor, 11 opposed

9:12 Article 7. Westborough State Hospital Property Maintenance (Board of Selectmen) – Transfer from Free Cash $50,000. (8-0-0)

217 favor, 7 opposed, motion carries

Article 8. Chapter 90 Reduction (State Aid for Roadwork) (Town Manager) – so vote. (8-0-0)

207 favor, 7 opposed


9:20 pm Article 9. Library Space Needs Study (Library Board of Trustees) – so vote. (8-0-0)

Yay!  The Library looks to the future and offers a chance to accept grant funds from the Commonwealth to study their space needs (and, move into the 21st century!)  The library was last renovated in 1980 -- 33 years ago!

215 favor, 7 opposed.  Motion carries!


9:27 Article 10. Adjust General, Water and Sewer Fund FY2014 Budgets (Personnel Board/Selectmen/Town Manager/Treasurer/Collector) – see Article for line item recommendations. (6-2-1)

10:27... debate on motions to adjust numbers continues...

MUCH debate about the removal of the custodian position at the Senior Center and proposal to "save $50,000" by using contract staff.

An amendment to counter this (and essentially retain the postion) passes with:

164 favor, 34 opposition for f and g

10:40 as amended, the final vote is:

158 favor, 26 opposed

OH!  Article 28 moved up.


Article 28. Sense of the Meeting on Electronic Voting (Ad Hoc Electronic Voting Committee) – The Advisory Finance Committee will issue its recommendation at Town Meeting.

10:47 Article 28. "sense of the meeting"

We learn there's two systems -- the check-in system, where names and box (numbers) are associated with each other.

The vote tally system (in the hall), where votes from boxes are tallied.

... question!  Do the keypads get sanitized?  How do we assure we won't get charged for the box, when we turn it in?

How many handsets do we need?  What if we need more?  Well, we could have a separate section for manual voting on paper, as one option.


ouch, i zoned out, the meeting ended for the night... we continue with DAY 2 (night two, really)

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Zentangle Creators at Mill Pond Aug 22 6:30-9pm

Westborough Today - Event Articles Written by Webmaster   
Wednesday, 21 August 2013 06:42

Internationally known artists Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, inventors of the art form Zentangle, are slated to appear in Westborough later this month. Zentangle is an easy, relaxing way to create beautiful drawings using structured patterns, inspired by objects in the artist’s environment. Many people who do Zentangle use the practice as a way to relieve stress, increase focus, and foster an approach of mindfulness.

Zentangle was created in Whitinsville, MA, and just within a few years, has grown to hundreds of thousands of practitioners worldwide, who claim benefits beyond its original expectations.

Rick Roberts, who lived for years as a monk, and Maria Thomas, a lifelong artist, combined relaxed attention with drawing to create the Zentangle Method so they could share the benefits of their discovery with others. They have taught Zentangle artists to recognize patterns in their surroundings and “tangle” them into an enjoyable creative experience.

The Westborough Public Library and Art and Frame Emporium are pleased to announce that Rick and Maria will be appearing in Westborough on Thursday, August 22 from 6:30-9 pm at the Mill Pond School, located at 6 Olde Hickory Path. Rick will discuss their creative moments and how they started this worldwide phenomenon. Following his presentation, Maria will present a Live Tangle, where she will demonstrate how a piece of Zentangle art is created. Copies of their new book, The Book of Zentangle, will be available for purchase and signing at the event. There is no charge for admission, and the public is welcome.

Two exhibits of Rick and Maria’s original Zentangle work are currently on display: at the Westborough Public Library, 55 West Main Street, Westborough; and at the Art and Frame Emporium in the Westborough Shopping Center, 18 Lyman Street, Westborough. Copies of the book may be purchased in advance at the store, and can also be checked out at the library.

For more information, contact Ed Turner at the Art and Frame Emporium, 508-366-5650, artandframeemporium@verizon.net; or Maureen Ambrosino at the Westborough Public Library, 508-366-3050, mambrosino@town.westborough.ma.us.

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