Want to Show Off Your Dog, Car, Family? Town Day Has Something for You

Photo: A cute dog.

Got a cute dog? How about a really cool car? Is your family worth a photo? How about all three? 

In less than two weeks, you’ll get your chance to show them off as Belmont Savings Bank will be hosting those and other activities during this year’s Town Day, Saturday, May 16, which is sponsored by the Bank. 

“Belmont Savings is again thrilled to serve as presenting sponsor for this year’s Town Day, a wonderful annual celebration and spotlight for what makes Belmont such an extraordinary place to live and work,” said Bob Mahoney, president and CEO of Belmont Savings Bank.

Events include:

  • Belmont Savings’ second annual Dog Show will begin at noon on the main stage on Leonard Street in front of CVS. Prizes will be awarded for categories such as Best Trick and Cutest Puppy while the “Best-in-Show” will be selected by the loudest applause. “Best-in-show” will receive a $100 Belmont Pet Supply gift card while each entrant will receive a gift bag. Dogs should be entered before Monday, May 11 to become eligible in the bank’s Facebook Favorite contest.
  • The Bank introduced the Car Exhibit in 2011, giving proud area collectors an opportunity to show off their pristine cars. Originally showcasing 12 cars, the show has grown to more than 40 cars. The cars will be at the bank’s headquarters at 2 Leonard St. and along Moore Street. Participating cars will be displayed in the “Monterey” style, parked angled to the sidewalk. Anyone interested in displaying their cars can contact Mike DeMarco, Belmont Savings Bank marketing director, at 617-484-6700.
  • New this year is a photo booth for family photos which will be open from 11 a.m.to 2 p.m.
  • There will also be face painting and a Cash Cube in front of the Belmont Savings main branch and pony rides from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. under the Leonard Street Bridge, also sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank. 

Belmont’s 2015 Annual Town Meeting Begins Tonight, With New Rules For Speakers

Photo: Town Moderator Mike Widmer.

Author Frank M. Bryan of the University of Vermont said that “the single most recurrent theme in the literature on the town meeting in the 19th Century … was the notion that town meetings are schoolhouses of citizenship.”

And Belmont will continue this New England tradition as the town will debate and vote on several citizens petitions including a ban on McMansions, proposed zoning changing and grants to several organizations from the Community Preservation Committee in the first part of the Belmont annual Town Meeting beginning tonight, Monday, May 4, at 7 p.m. in the Belmont High School auditorium.

As with recent custom, the first part of this year’s meeting of the town’s representative legislature – now in its 156th edition – will take up non-budget issues.

To view the warrant, head the Town Clerk’s web page.

This year, those who choose to speak before Town Meeting will have new rules to observe, according to Town Moderator, Michael Widmer. They include:

  • A five minute limit on speeches, to cut down on repetition of points over and over again.
  • Limit each speaker to an initial question and a single follow up. 
  • All questions must be asked through the Moderator, to ensure civil discourse.

If Town Meeting can not finish its business tonight, it will continue on Wednesday, May 6.

The approximately 290 representatives will debate the fiscal year 2016 budget in June when Town Meeting reconvenes.

This Week: Town Meeting Starts Monday, Annual Pops Concert Friday and Saturday

Photo: Town Meeting in Belmont.

This week begins the annual Town Meeting starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 4, at the Belmont High School auditorium. Expect a second night on Wednesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at the same place.

Other governmental business “This Week” include: 

  • The Belmont Board of Selectmen will meet before Town Meeting at 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 4, in the Main Office’s conference room of Belmont High School to vote on its support (or lack thereof) of the Warrant articles and the fiscal year 2016 budget.
  • The Planning Board will meet on Tuesday, May 5, at 7 p.m. in Belmont Town Hall is hear some special permit requests and other actions. 
  • The Underwood Pool Building Committee will be meeting on Thursday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Belmont Town Hall. 

Music & Movement with Rubi is all about moving to songs; recommended for ages 3 to 5 but 2 year olds are welcome.  There will be two sessions, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 4, in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room.

• Tuesday is story time at both of Belmont libraries. 

  • Pre-School Story Time at the Benton Library, Belmont’s independent and volunteer run library, at 10:30 a.m. Stories and crafts for children age 3 to 5. Parents or caregivers must attend. Siblings may attend with adults. Registration is not required. The Benton Library is located at the intersection of Oakley and Old Middlesex. 
  • The Belmont Public Library on Concord Avenue will be holding two sessions of Story Time for 2’s and 3’s, at 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. 

Registration for Smart 911, Belmont’s new enhanced emergency call system in which residents can supply dispatchers with information on their medications and medical conditions, will take place at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St, from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, May 5.

• Kathy Devine of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs will speak about the state’s Prescription Advantage on Tuesday, May 5, at 1:15 p.m. at the Beech Street Center.

An Indian dinner, courtesy of The Friends of the Indian Seniors and catered by Arlington’s Punjab restaurant, will be served on Tuesday, May 5, at 5 p.m. at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St. There is a $4 cover at the door, but you must reserve a place by calling 617-993-2970. Limited to 50.

Papercrafting for Adults; a Mother’s Day Floral Commemorative will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room. All supplies included. For more information, including registering, either call 617-993-2870 or link here

• On early release Wednesday, May 6, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., Chenery Middle School student can stop by the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room, work on your homework, enjoy some lemonade and cookies, and try out an activity. This is for middleschoolers only, so high school students can do something else. The activity is funded by the Friends of the Belmont Public Library. Just drop in, no registration required.

• The Friends of the Belmont Public Library will be meeting on Thursday, May 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room.

• The LEGO Club for kindergarteners through second graders is back on Thursday, May 7, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the Belmont Public Library. Drop in anytime. Members will be creating their own unique LEGO structures. All LEGOs will be provided. Just bring your imagination!

• Belmont High School Performing Arts Company presents Improv! on Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m. in the Little Theater of Belmont High School. $5 for adults. It’s the spring Long Form Show in which  actors will develop an on-the-spot, original series of scenes, complete with recurring characters, thematic development and possibly even improvised musical numbers.

Belmont Girl Scouts leaders meeting will take place on Thursday, May 7, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Flett Room of the Belmont Public Library.

The Senior Book Discussion Group will meet on Friday, May 8, at 11 a.m. at the Beech Street Center as the group will continue its discussion of War and Peace (Part 8 through the end of the book).

• Powers Music School faculty members will present the music of the “Great American Songbook” canon, including Jerome Kern, Richard Rogers, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, and more on Friday, May 8, from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. at the Beech Street Center.

• Parents of Music Students hosts the annual Belmont High School Pops Concert, an evening of light concert music, performed by the school’s Symphonic Band, Concert Chorale, Jazz Choir and Jazz Collective on Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria.

Belmont Girls’ Lacrosse Takes Two at Home After Spring Recess

Photo: Belmont High Senior Sophia Eisenbach-Smith (center in white) in action.

Behind a goal-scoring binge from speedy senior Left Wing Attack Sophia Eisenbach-Smith, the Belmont High School Girls’ Lacrosse team took two well-earned victories at its home at Harris Field to move its record to 3-5. 

The multi-sport (soccer and basketball) standout Eisenbach-Smith tallied 14 goals in the two games, leading Belmont by Wilmington High, 15-8, on Wednesday, April 29, and over Burlington High Red Devils, 19-12, on Friday, May 1.

Friday’s victory over the visiting Red Devils was the team’s best game of the season, said Belmont’s Head Coach Aimee Doherty.

“We played very well beginning to end. The girls showed a lot of heart which I have been nagging them about. They stepped it up with the ground balls. And while we had some turnovers, we got a lot of them back by fighting for it so that made a huge difference,” she said. 

After falling behind 2-4 midway through the first half, the Marauders went on a 6 to 2 goal run to go into halftime up 8-6, as junior attack Lizzy Frick (3 goals) scored on a penalty with a minute remaining.

The second half has been a worrisome time for the Marauders this season when Belmont, but not this game as despite not having a great deal of possession in the first 10 minutes. Up 10-9, the Marauders started connecting on its passing, freeing up attackers for some open shots and goals starting with junior Sophia Pollack (3 goals) to make it 11-9 at the 12 minute mark. 

And when the passes weren’t there, sophomore Annemarie Habelow ran 40 meters up the middle of the defenders to score giving Belmont a 12-9 lead with 10 minutes remaining.

Preserving the lead were sophomore goalie Anastasia MacEwen – who made several in-close saves – and defenders juniors Bridget Treanor, Leah Bram and sophomore Margot Kubasek who crowded the slot in front of MacEwen.

Up 14-10 (through goals by Eisenbach-Smith and Kerri Lynch), with eight minutes remaining, Belmont swept up the victory with a great display of passes that put Belmont’s forwards, like Ellen Bragg (2 goals) one-on-one with the Burlington goalie. Fittingly, Belmont’s final goal was scored with 30 seconds remaining by Eisenbach-Smith, her eighth of the match. 

“Our passing was excellent today. Accuracy is something we’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks and I think we nailed it today. Those passes were dead on,” said Doherty.

Next up for the girls are Winchester on Saturday, May 2 (after the SAT tests) and Monday, May 4 at arch-rival Watertown. 

Excellent Educators: Inaugural Set of Belmont’s Outstanding Teachers Honored

Photo: The Foundation for Belmont Education’s “Outstanding Teachers of the Year Awards” (from left) Belmont Superintendent John Phelan, Suzanne Lijek, Audrey Ruddock, Steven Tenhor, Danielle Pandolfo, Ben Ligon, Katharine Caritey and Foundation for Belmont Education President Jamie Shea. 

The six teachers representing each of Belmont’s public schools are different in age and experience, what and who they instruct, and how they arrived at their careers in education. 

The one thing Katharine Caritey, Audrey Ruddock, Steven Tenhor, Danielle Pandolfo, Ben Ligon and Suzanne Lijek do have in common now is being honored as Belmont’s most exceptional educators.

On Thursday night, April 30, at Chenery Middle School, the sextet was recognized by the community at the Foundation for Belmont Education‘s inaugural “Outstanding Teachers of the Year Awards.” 

“It’s so great to shine a nice positive spotlight on teachers,” said Belmont School Superintendent John Phelan, whose experience with a similar awards ceremony in Milton where he was the assistant superintendent sparked the Foundation to start its celebration. 

“When I heard that … I said this is something that we have to do,” said Jamie Shea, president of the Foundation.

Nominated by students, parents and community members, the teachers were recognized for the extraordinary contributions they make every day to their students and the greater community.

“The mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates but the great teacher inspires. And I think what we are going to see tonight is teachers that are truly inspiring,” said Hal Tovin, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Belmont Savings Bank, the night’s sponsor which has given more than $40,000 to the FBE. 

With their families, town officials, colleagues and a smattering of the boisterous students they teach, each of the honorees spoke about being a teacher.

Katharine Caritey, Burbank Elementary, Grade 2

Katharine Caritey, Burbank Elementary, Grade 2

“I love being a second grade teachers because of my students, their families and my colleagues,” said Caritey, whose second-grade class from the Burbank Elementary – where she is known for her “unparalleled ability to deeply understand personal styles, personalities and needs … of every single one of her 23 children” – came en masse to cheer for her.

Audrey Ruddock, Butler Elementary, Kindergarten

Audrey Ruddock, Butler Elementary, Kindergarten

“People always asked me why I wanted to be a teacher and teach kindergarten and the only thing I always say is ‘Because I love it,'” said Ruddock, who not only teaches at Butler Elementary, but attended the school as did her three sons.

Steven Tenhor, Wellington Elementary, Grade 4

Steven Tenhor, Wellington Elementary, Grade 4

Called “engaging, understanding, effective and caring,” Wellington School’s fourth grade teacher Tenhor wanted to thank especially “my kids, because you guys are the reason I get up in the morning every day … and makes everything possible.”

Danielle Pandolfo, Winn Brook Elementary, Grade 3

Danielle Pandolfo, Winn Brook Elementary, Grade 3

“When I asked my students at morning meeting what to say tonight, one student said, ‘When in doubt, practice, prepare and then perform’,” said Pandolfo, who teaches third grade at the Winn Brook. She particularly thanked her teaching colleagues, “each one who could be up here” who “pushed me to become a better teacher … I would like to share this award with them, my friends who became family.” 

Ben Ligon, Chenery Middle School, Grade 6 (Math)

Ben Ligon, Chenery Middle School, Grade 6 (Math)

Ligon actually named the 12 fellow educators he worked with since coming to the Chenery 15 years ago to teach 6th-grade math after discovering how much he wanted to teach by speaking at a Career Day event. He said he loved the school community so much, “I married you,” referring to meeting his wife who was then a colleague. “How many people can say they met their spouse in sixth grade, raise your hand?”

Growing up, he said he never wanted to be a teacher seeing his parents, live long educators, always working and caring about students. “Any talent I have in the classroom was nurtured by them,” he said to his mother and father, who wore an “I’m Ben’s Dad” button. 

Suzanne Lijek, Belmont High School, Science (Biology)

Suzanne Lijek, Belmont High School, Science (Biology)

Belmont High School Biology teacher Lijek was in several other careers before noticing how much she loved creating “Science Camps” over the summer vacation for her two daughters and their friends.

The very first teacher to be awarded an “Outstanding Teacher” honor, Lijek said she “wished everyone could do this in their lives, finding a career that really makes you happy, and … share what you love with someone else.”

Dominating Second Half Powers Belmont Rugby By St. John’s Prep, 26-17

Photo: Ball Out! Belmont tackling knocked the ball out during match vs, St. John’s Prep.

Over the past two years, Peter Berens made countless great saves as the starting goalkeeper with the Belmont High School boy’s soccer, help leading the team to a sectional quarter- and a semi-finals.

On Wednesday, April 29, Berens was in the spotlight again, but for his speed and smarts as the senior fullback scored a pair of highlight reel tries as a dominating second half allowed Belmont High Rugby Club to defeat St. John’s Prep, 26-17, in an exciting – and at time, chippy – match between first division teams on the pitch of Harris Field.

“That was one excellent second half,” said Belmont Head Coach Bruce Greg. 

“We had 21 unanswered points and only one mistake gave them that try. This game says a lot where we are,” he said.

After a falling behind 12-5 at half time, Belmont was able to establish constant, physical pressure on the Danvers-based school – which three years ago had a five-year undefeated streak with nearly 50 consecutive victories – setting up the offense and Berens. 

About nine minutes into the half, at the 44 minute mark, Berens took the ball 40 meters from the try line and ran down the right sideline, sidestepped a pair of Prep defenders and sprinted in for a five-point try. Darren Chan hit the two-point conversion from an acute angle with plenty to spare, leaving the match knotted up at 12. 

Soon after, St. John’s Prep found itself two players down after a particularly violent hit by a Prep player on a Belmont player who was in the air. At the 50 minute mark, Belmont was on the front foot, pressuring St. John’s when Berens suddenly kicked the ball over the heads of the Prep defenders and outran the Eagles to retrieve the bouncing ball and dove into try. Chan again scored the conversion to give Belmont a seven-point margin, 19-12.

While St. John’s had the opportunity to take control of the game when a Belmont mistake gave the visitors the ball 20 meters out but a jarring tackle by senior back row Jacob Hale gave the hosts the ball. Over the next 10 minutes, Belmont forced the ball down the pitch through its speedy backs and kicking the ball forward for line-outs.

At the 61 minute mark, Belmont’s Luke Perrotta pushed his way over the line for the third consecutive try. A late Prep try did not threaten Belmont’s well-deserved victory. 

The team is now 4-1, 3-1 against Division 1 competition. The next match is against Xaverian Brothers High School on Wednesday, May 6 (the second night of Town Meeting) at 7 p.m. at Harris Field.

This Weekend: Hedy’s in the Homer House Sunday, Movement in Music Saturday

Photo: Actor and writer Judith Kalaora portrays Hedy Lamarr at the Belmont Woman’s Club.

Belmont’s Powers Music School is presenting a Dalcroze Eurhythmics Showcase on Saturday, May 2, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, at the corner of Clark and Common  streets. Dalcroze Eurhythmics teaches concepts of rhythm, structure, and musical expression using movement, and is the concept for which Dalcroze is best known.

• The Belmont Woman’s Club will present a benefit performance of “Hedy Lamarr — Tinseltown Inventor” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, in the club’s headquarter’s, the Homer House, at the corner of Pleasant Street and Concord Avenue.

Actor and writer Judith Kalaora portrays the Hollywood legend from the 1930s to the 1950s, bringing to audiences the story of a glamorous film actress whose genius for invention was generations ahead of her time.

Admission of $35 per person includes an actor’s reception following the performance. Proceeds support the maintenance of the Homer House, listed on the State Register of Historic Places and also on the National Register as part of Belmont’s Pleasant Street Historic

To reserve tickets, call 617-484-6494.  Recommended for adults and teens.

A Week of Road Closures, Parking Restrictions Set During Golf Tourney

Photo: The map of street closures set for June during a golf event in Belmont.

A popular travel link between Route 2 and Belmont will be closed for nearly a week in early June and residents living close to Belmont Country Club will have daytime parking restrictions in their neighborhoods while a major golf tournament takes place, according to Belmont Police.

During the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour’s Constellation Senior Players Championship, taking place at Belmont Country Club next month, initial plans call for Winter Street from Route 2 to Marsh Street to be closed during the day to through traffic from Tuesday, June 9, through Sunday, June 14, 2015, according to Belmont’s Assistant Chief James MacIsaac.

Residents should also expect daytime parking restrictions in the neighborhoods abutting the club.

These are initial plans that still need to be finalized, said MacIsaac. 

The news comes a few weeks since the PGA initiated, then rejected using Rock Meadow Conservation Land for up to 1,000 parking spaces. Currently, the PGA acquired parking, outside of Belmont, for employees and spectators who will be transported by shuttle bus from parking areas to the club. 

Belmont Police will host a public meeting at 7 p.m. on May 14, in the Wadsworth Room of the Belmont Hill School Athletic Center. This meeting will provide residents with information pertaining to traffic and parking plans. The meeting will also provide residents with the opportunity to ask questions to law enforcement.

Those interested in obtaining future announcements on the PGA’s event at Belmont Country Club should follow the police and town’s social media accounts and websites.