Category Archives: Foxboro

Train line extension, Olympics… What’s happening in Foxboro?

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 1/2015

Before I begin this OP/ED, I think it appropriate to make the following statements: number one, I am NOT implying or accusing anyone of any wrongdoing. Number two, I have every respect for the Kraft organization, and believe that our number one tax payer is an enormous benefit to the town of Foxboro. Number three, I am NOT implying or saying that our selectmen have done anything wrong.

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A little Christmas miracle as the Foxboro Jaycees decorate Foxboro Common

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 12/2014

This story begins with a very nice affirmation. Christmas miracles – they still happen.

And it should be noted before I go further I swear this is true; and there are witness and photographs!

It all begins this past frosty Saturday after Thanksgiving. As is our tradition for over four decades, the Foxboro Jaycees were up early, shoveling out the storage area for the Nativity Set and holiday lights, loading up the trucks with the (very) heavy plaster figurines, and heading to Foxboro Common to begin our holiday decorating.

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This is not the Foxboro I remember — that’s a good thing (progress takes time!)

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 10/2014

This is not the Foxboro I remember.

Good golly Miss Molly how many times have we heard/read that?

It seems like every week there’s a battle brewing about this or that change to the town, and the latest debate/discussion/battle is town hall. But like most hot-button issues, our town hall issue will be settled at some point in the future, and we will move onto something else.

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What if they gave an election in Foxboro and most everyone stayed home?

ballotby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 5/2014

So before I go on my little rant here… A full disclosure so I’m not a hypocrite.

I didn’t vote last Monday.

Yep, the guy who moderated candidate’s night and is always reminding everyone what a privilege it is to be able to vote didn’t show up at the polls Monday May 5, 2014.

But I had a good excuse — I didn’t vote on Monday because Saturday, my car broke down with a bad case of shredded serpentine belt, broken water pump and wasn’t going anywhere.

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I’m moderating Foxboro Jaycees Candidates Night LIVE on Foxboro Cable Access 4/10/2014 – please watch, meet the candidates, and please vote!

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 3/2014

One of the many benefits I enjoy as a member of the Foxboro Jaycees is to participate in community development projects and other programs that have a direct benefit to the town of Foxboro. One such privilege is coming up this April 10 at 7 p.m.: Candidates night, on Foxboro Cable Access.

For over 20 years, the Foxboro Jaycees have held this program at FCA, which is filmed there LIVE and broadcast repeatedly until Election Day.

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2014 Foxboro Town Politics: Time to take a breath…

Entering Foxboro Signby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 2/2014

While I am not a Foxboro townie, I have lived here 23 years. And like those lifelong residents who will tell you that Foxboro has changed so much that since they were a child, I have observed that Foxboro has changed a lot in the two decades I have lived here.

My observation has been the Foxboro is a town of paradox. Like the Bruce Springsteen song, we do indeed “take care of our own”, not just through community service and fraternal organizations, not just through the discretionary fund, not just through thousands of small acts of kindness, but in every way that matters.

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Win or lose, THANK YOU New England Patriots!

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 1/2013

Before our New England Patriots go to Denver this weekend, before we are either anticipating another Super Bowl or looking toward next season, I would like to say this to the Pats, a sentiment I think most of us share:

THANK YOU.

I’ve proposed before that football has replaced baseball as the favorite American sport, and while baseball may certainly continue to be the great American pastime and will always remain beloved and well attended, NOTHING compares to the intense debates, discussions, fights, celebrations, and sheer love of the game of football — especially here in Foxboro, the only town in America to host a professional franchise.

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Remembering Tom Sawran, Foxboro Jaycee and so much more

2002-haunted-house-116by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 10/2013

Tom Sawran passed away last week, and if you’ve lived in Foxboro for any length of time you probably knew him. He was a paradox to be sure, but I liked Tom, and I respected him, and as a Jaycee mentor he taught me a lot.

While other tributes for Tom will likely come in from those who knew him best — his children, his family, his very closest confidants, I thought I would talk about the man from a Jaycee and Foxboro family perspective, and why his passing is a loss for us all in the chapter and the community at large.

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Foxboro Founders Day turns 25!

Founders_Day_2013_Logoby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 6/2013

Living here for more than 20 years, and contributing to this newspapers for slightly less than that time, this columnist has been puzzling about what I could say about Founders Day that is new — in other words, what “fresh’ spin could I put on it?

After all, if you’ve lived here for any amount of time you’ve been to Founders Day — the town’s birthday and a day of celebration.

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Celebrating the remarkable clergy of Saint Mary’s Foxboro

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 5/2013

Each year around this time, I’ve made it a tradition to write a piece about spirituality, about faith, religion, or clergy who have made a difference in my life. While this column is not “church chat” and is intended toward folks of all faiths (or none), I’d like to talk today about three members of the clergy who make a difference, and encourage you, if you are so inclined, to thank your clergy or spiritual leaders as well.

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Foxboro town election 2013 — some thoughts, some advice, and a reminder to VOTE!

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 4/2012

As a Foxboro Jaycee, I was so honored to be the moderator for candidates night — yes, I was nervous but my main goal (beyond not passing out) was too ensure that things ran smoothly, ensure the candidates were all treated fairly, got their say, and that the information got out.

It was a welcome opportunity to “step out of my comfort zone” and be in front of the camera instead of my usual filming behind the camera.

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[Foxboro] Sign of the times? Thoughts on an electronic news sign on the Common

Foxboro - Foxboro Lions Signby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 1/2013

I read with interest the news that the Foxborough Lions Club is talking about the possibility of upgrading the two aging signboards at the top and bottom of Foxboro Common with electronic signs.

Since we’re talking about Foxboro Common, itself to many residents (myself included) sacred ground, many people will have a thought on this one.

I hope the debate is lively — it means people care.

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Foxboro Thanksgiving 1997, 15 years later…

Foxboro Signby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 11/2012

Happy Thanksgiving! Back in 1997, one year into writing in this paper, I wrote a Thanksgiving piece. I came across it recently and thought it might to be fun to revisit it, and see how things have unfolded over the last 15 years. I left the 1997 sections as written and added sections called, “2012 update.” Enjoy!

1997: Thanksgiving, years ago. Mom has just moved into the new house in Quincy.

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Post election, the business of Foxboro continues — stay involved

Foxboro - Sign - SpringBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 5/2012

After an historic and record breaking turnout at the town election on May 7, where about 6000 voters cast ballots, one week later, only 217 people attended the town meeting.

I think it’s understandable that we’re all exhausted, and for most of us, the thought of attending yet another meeting was just too much. The last nine months have been grueling (to say the least) and it’s fair to say many (if not most) people want a break from all the business and politics, myself included.

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Foxboro’s Casino War: It’s Starting to come apart

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 4/2012

Do you remember Gary Larson’s often bizarre and always hilarious “Far Side” comic strip? It always made me laugh, and I wanted to reflect on one of my favorites because it’s apropos to today’s topic. In the panel, nuclear mushroom clouds are bursting everywhere, and Earth is a radioactive wasteland. Two people emerge from a bomb shelter and the man exclaims joyfully, “Thank God, Sylvia, we’re alive!”

The last time I saw that one, I thought, “What a great metaphor for Foxboro, 2012.”

Every time I read the news — and I read all of it — I’m seeing our town become more divided over the casino issue, and what I fear is an out and out war, in which the victors will inherit a broken wasteland of hatred, resentment, and bad feelings that will last generations.

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