Here Comes Santa Claus: Kris Kringle Takes the T to Belmont [VIDEO]

Photo:Santa in Belmont for the second time this week.

Each year, Santa Claus makes his annual visit to the Belmont Lions Club’s Children Christmas Party via the MBTA commuter rail, always arriving at Belmont station on the 2:30 p.m. train.

Because he’s ageless, Santa only has to pay $2.75 from his trip from the North Pole.

Santa recruited Belmont’s Becca Pizzi as his special elf this year.

Sold in Belmont: A Softening in Multifamily Prices, For at Least a Week

Photo: The only single family home to sell last week and, as always, at a premium.

A weekly recap of residential properties sold in the past seven days in the “Town of Homes.”


136 White St., Condominum (1910). Sold: $360,000. Listed at $414,900. Living area: 1,244 sq.-ft. 5 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 66 days.


181 Claflin St., Colonial  (1950). Sold: $1,150,000. Listed at $1,050,000. Living area: 2,493 sq.-ft. 9 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 53 days.


225 White St., Two-family (1908). Sold: $728,000. Listed at $799,000. Living area: 3,203 sq.-ft. 10 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 80 days.


210-214 Waverley, Two-family (1880). Sold: $720,000. Listed at $739,900. Living area: 2,925 sq.-ft. 12 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 75 days.


140 Trapelo Rd., First-floor condominum (1932). Sold: $390,000. Listed at $400,000. Living area: 830 sq.-ft. 4 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 78 days.

Lions Share of Christmas Tree Sales Ready for This Week

Photo: Cathy Cresta has her tree.

It didn’t take long for Cathy Cresta to find the right Christmas tree for her house.

Wandering through the rows of evergreens from a farm in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Cresta pointed one which turned out to be “just right” and soon it was being carried to her car.

Getting the tree was as easy as knowing where she would buy it: in front of the Lions Club on Royal Road at the entrance of Belmont Center.

“I’ve been coming here my entire life,” said the life-long resident who lives currently on Beech Street. “And I tell everyone at work at McLean Hospital they can not beat the quality of these trees. They’re beautiful.”

Cresta is just one of hundreds of residents and customers from neighboring towns who come to the 52nd annual Christmas tree sale held by the Belmont Lions Club.

And beginning this weekend, the crowds will be coming to find that particular tree for the holiday season.

Kevin Vona said that many of the 50 volunteers – who make up four different teams – will look at the schedule which will be pulling duty during the first two weekends of December “because we know that some shifts we’ll be busy for the entire time we’re here,” he said.

Dan MacAuley, a Lions past president, said the tree sale is the biggest fundraiser the Lions run each year.

The sale is open from noon to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, “until the last tree is gone” which happens about a week before Christmas.

The prices for each tree is according to the height indicated on board next to the wrapping area.

  • 4 feet   $22
  • 5 feet   $30
  • 6 feet   $38
  • 7 feet   $44
  • 8 feet   $50
  • 9 feet   $55
  • Special sheared trees are priced as marked.
  • Wreaths range from $11 for a small 12-inch plain one to more than $35 for a decorated 24-inch.

While it is a fundraiser, “every penny of this goes to charity. We don’t get a cent from this,” said MacAuley.

The tree sale help supports Mass Eye Research, Lions Club International Foundation, Diabetes Awareness, scholarships for students at Belmont High School, community activities, Lions Clubhouse Historic Preservation and more activities.

And the Lions went the extra mile when they came to the rescue of the truck driver who brought the first of two loads of trees to Belmont. As he was beginning his 14 hour trip up north, the truck’s steering power line broke, said MacAuley. 

“Some good people in Belmont including Frankie French put together a repair to get him back to Canada,” he said.

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Holiday Cardboard Recycling Set for Saturday, Dec. 3


For the first time, Belmont’s Highway Department will accept uncut cardboard packaging for recycling. 

Residents will be able to drop off cardboard – which will need to be folded at the Department of Public Works Town Yard – on Saturday, Dec. 3 between 9 a.m. and noon.

While Belmont’s trash and recycling contractor accept cardboard, it must be cut into pieces no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet and tied or taped together to make a stack no more than nine inches high.

The new pilot program will take place on three Saturdays – the other dates are Jan. 7 and Feb. 4 – during the holiday season. The DPW will evaluate the scheme in February to determine if it will become an annual service. 

Fill Some Holiday ‘Big Wishes’ at Belmont Savings’ Giving Tree Drive

Photo: A giving tree at Belmont Savings.

To help brighten the season for local children, Belmont Savings Bank is supporting the “Big Wishes Gift Drive” in its Belmont, Watertown and Cambridge branches to benefit the Home for Little Wanderers.

From now until Dec. 15, those interested in participating can stop by Belmont Savings Bank branches in Belmont, Watertown or Cambridge and select an ornament from the giving trees on display. Each ornament indicates the gender and age of a child, as well as the type of gift needed.

All unwrapped gifts dropped off at Belmont Savings will be delivered to the Home for Little Wanderers, which serves children and youth from birth to 21, making a positive impact on more than 7,000 lives each year through a wide network of programs.

Located in Waltham, Dorchester, Roslindale, Plymouth, Walpole, Roxbury, Norwood, Brighton, Somerville and Bridgewater, The Home has an “open door structure that allows children, families, and young adults access services at any point in continuum of care, based on their needs.” Services include: adoption, foster care, clinical and family support, residential care, special education, youth aging out, case management, and program evaluation.

For additional information, please visit Belmont Savings Bank’s website.

Panos Named A ‘Super Lawyer’ by Boston Magazine

Photo: Laura Panos

The Law Office of Laura A. Panos is proud to announce that its founder, Laura Panos, has been named one of Boston Magazines “Super Lawyers,” a designation given to outstanding attorneys.

“I am honored this year to be selected to join such a distinguished circle of peers,” said Panos who has been practicing law for more than 25 years and serving the Belmont community for more than a decade. 

Her office is located at 50 Leonard St. in Belmont Center.

Panos was also named one of 50 Top Women of Law in Massachusetts for 2014 by Massachusetts Lawyers’ Weekly.

Panos provides employment counseling to businesses and individuals at every level, including representation of a large number of locally owned businesses. The spectrum of services includes terminations, severance, leaves of absence, policy drafting and presentations and trainings on a wide range of employment topics. Individualized counseling specific to industry and position are a unique strength.

“We strive to provide practical, creative, employment solutions specific to our client’s needs. We make it a priority to serve as both client advisor and strategic counselor to optimize opportunities and mitigate risk,” she said.