Mozart’s ‘Solemn Vespers’ Final Belmont Open Sings This Sunday

Photo: Belmont Open Sings (Powers Music School)

The final Belmont Open Sings of the 2016-17 season will be Mozart’s Solemn Vespers, K339; it will be held on Sunday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Payson Park Church, 365 Belmont St. The night’s soloists are Janet Ross, soprano; Roselin Osser, mezzo-soprano; Cory Gross, tenor; and Ian Pomerantz, baritone.

Participate in a performance of a great masterwork for chorus and orchestra. Experience the thrill of singing your favorite works accompanied by a professional-level orchestra, and revel in arias sung by some of Boston’s finest soloists, led by Mary Beekman. 

First timers are welcome. Vocal scores and a choral warm-up are provided.

Tickets: $10 per person; No reservations needed. All ages welcome, and we encourage you to bring your family and friends to enjoy these masterpieces together.

Letter to the Editor: Former Selectman Backs Dash

Photo: Adam Dash

To the Editor: 

I support Adam Dash for Selectman. Please join me in voting for him on April 4. 

Adam has the right vision for Belmont. He supports excellence in our schools; he will continue policies to protect our neighborhoods; he will invest in the maintenance of our infrastructure. He will pursue these policies while managing the funds created by our recent override. He proposes to streamline our permitting and licensing policies, but he opposed the unwise sale of a liquor license by the current Board of Selectmen. 

Having worked with Adam on the Warrant Committee, I know that he has the skills and relevant experience to serve as a Selectman. In addition to his Warrant Committee experience, Adam also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and he is a member of Town Meeting. He also served on the building committee for the Underwood Pool. 

Finally, Adam is committed to action on issues of most concern to Belmont residents. In my experience, Adam quickly grasps the essence of an issue and then moves forward to a constructive solution. His decision-making is inclusive and collaborative. He will bring these skills to a Board of Selectmen that faces many important challenges in the coming years. 

Having served Belmont as a Selectman, I know how challenging–and important—a role it is for our community and its future. I am honored to serve as chairman of his campaign, and I urge you to vote for Adam on Tuesday, April 4. 

Ralph T. Jones 

Summit Road 

Pats are Back! NE Patriots Return for Belmont Boosters Fundraiser

Photo: They’re back!

Since the New England Patriots Basketball team began playing at Belmont High School four years ago, they’ve won two Super Bowls.

Why break up a good thing?

The Belmont Boosters will be holding its Fourth annual New England Patriots Basketball fundraiser during which members of the Super Bowl LI champion will compete against the Belmont Booster All-Stars, consisting of various members of the Belmont community.

Attendees will have autograph- and photo-opportunities, as well as a chance to win an autographed football.

Proceeds from the event support the Belmont Boosters, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is support Belmont High School athletics.

Event: New England Patriots Basketball Fundraiser

When: Wednesday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Belmont High School Wenner Field House

Ticket and sponsorship sales involve a direct solicitation of the entire Belmont community, which begins in early-to-mid March.

For information, please call 617-904-7542. You can also email the Boosters at

Belmont High’s PAC Brings Broadway’s ‘Chicago’ To Town [VIDEO]

Photo: “Chicago” performed by the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company.

Broadway comes to Belmont as the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company presents the hit musical “Chicago” this weekend at the Belmont High School auditorium.


  • Thursday, March 23 at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 25 at 2 p.m. (matinee) and 7 p.m.


ADULTS: $15 in advance, $18 at the door
STUDENTS: 10 (BHS Students get half-price tickets on Thursday)

Tickets are on sale at Champions in Belmont Center, and available online.

Chicago is one of the most iconic American musicals. It currently holds the record for longest-running Broadway Revival, thanks to the dazzling score, captivating story, and sensational dance. Set in the 1920s the show centers on a world of murder, fame, corruption, but most importantly: show business, and song/dance.

The show features a large cast of more than 80 students along with a backstage crew of equal size, working to bring the show to life. The production of “Chicago” highlights the Vaudeville backdrop for the show, which serves as a storytelling device and a platform for the show’s themes: the divide between appearance/reality, the nature of fame, the power of celebrity, and the workings of the justice system.

This production’s cast includes:

  • Roxie Hart: Olivia Pierce
  • Velma Kelly: Anelise Allen
  • Billy Flynn: Evan Wagner
  • Amos: Sammy Haines
  • Mama Morton: Lea Grace Swinson
  • Mary Sunshine: Oliver Leeb
  • Liz (“Pop”): Molly Thomas 
  • Annie (“Six”): Nicole Thoma
  • June (“Squish”): Cheyenne Isaac
  • Hunyak (Uh-Uh): Miriam Cubstead
  • Mona (“Lipschitz”): Amelia Ickes.

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Selectmen Candidates in Testy Exchanges at League’s Night

Photo: Adam Dash (left) and Guy Carbone at the League of Woman Voter’s Candidates Night.

Over the past decade, political debates nationwide have become more course and acrimonious with sophomoric name-calling – remember last year’s “Lying Ted”? – and accusations are thrown around with little merit to any facts.

On Monday, March 20, at this year’s League of Women Voters’ Candidate’s Night, the national debating trend arrived in Belmont, when a candidate for the open Board of Selectmen seat accused his opponent of being … a “dilettante!”

Pass the smelling salt, Lovey. I feel the vapors coming!

While the dustup which occurred during the question and answers section between first-time Board of Selectmen candidates Guy Carbone and Adam Dash was nowhere near the rowdy nature of recent Congressional constituency meetings seen nationwide, the interaction between the two residents revealed different approaches each would take if elected to the three-member board in April.

For Woodfall Road’s Carbone, his experience in local (terms as selectman and on the school committee in Watertown) and state (Commissioner of the former Massachusetts District Commission) government and his long career as an engineer and attorney is the perfect mix to meet the challenges facing Belmont in the near future, specifically in capital building projects such as construction of a new high school, police station and public works buildings.

“I think I’m a natural for this,” he said. “For me, this is a busman’s holiday.”

Carbone said he would review the town’s critical spending needs with the ability of property owners to pay for them. “We have to be careful not to ask our residents for more than they are capable of providing.”

“Belmont needs balance,” said Carbone.

Goden Street’s Dash pressed his work expertise – many years working in and with Somerville and Belmont including on the Warrant Committee and Zoning Board of Appeals – to “bring action” to repair “a broken town process” and end “the sad cynicism” so many feel about local government

Dash told the audience many important municipal department buildings such as the Public Works and Police Headquarters “are not acceptable” and only by wisely phasing in projects and seeking private funding and applying for federal and state grants, “can address these capital needs without overburdening our taxpayers.”


Adam Dash

He pointed to his work on the Underwood Pool Building Committee where he led the process where Community Preservation Committee funds, private donations and a town debt exclusion to bring about a project that is “staggeringly popular.”

“I have the current Belmont specific experience to transition onto the Board of Selectmen seamlessly,” said Dash.

During the Q&A, Carbone saw himself as having the practical hands-on experience that would benefit the town. When asked his view of the proposed Community Path running through Belmont,  the renovation of Belmont High School and increasing sidewalk repairs, Carbone said will review projects “with an engineer’s eye” then listen to all sides of the issue.

“I will ask the right questions at the right time,” said the former Army Corp of Engineers officer. 

But for Dash, Carbone’s construction expertise would best be used seeking another town position.

“I am not running for town engineer. We have a good one,” quipped Dash, who said his leadership style of bringing people together in a bottom-up approach was the most efficient avenue to avert the missteps of projects such as solar power net metering or the controversy of the Loading Dock liquor license transfer from happening again.

“Had they been done process-wise differently would not have blown up and had been as divisive. We’re a small town. We should not be at each other’s throats. We should be working together,” he said.

Testy exchanges

While both men will seek to use their slot on the board to support climate initiatives, one policy area the two diverged was how Belmont should meet the challenge of nearly $150 million in unfunded financial obligations facing the town. 

Following a question from current Selectman Jim Williams on how they would deal with the town’s pension and post-retirement health payments, Carbone said all the town has to do is “just listen to Jim Williams” as the selectman “is right on target” in paying off the obligations upfront rather than over several decades under the existing policy.


Guy Carbone

Dash agreed with Williams’ advocacy to revisit the town’s current payment plan but would stick with the current blueprint – paying off the pension in 2029 then use the same revenue stream to begin paying down the OPEB debt – “is the way to go.”

It was a question on Carbone’s town administrative experience in Belmont that resulted in the most controversial moment of the Q&A. When Carbone said it was his careful examination of legal documents that ended a potentially costly litigation on the renovation of the historic fire station in Belmont Center, Dash noted that Carbone represented the contractor who “screwed up the fire station” which eventually cost the town in settlement fees. 

“It’s not necessarily a positive for the town,” said Dash, who said being a Town Meeting member and working on building committees and town boards showed his dedication to the community “and a lot of people I worked with these committees are supporting me.”

Carbone was not going to let Dash’s broadside go unanswered, saying he was “getting tired of what I’m hearing in this campaign,” insinuating that Dash was misrepresenting the facts.

“I’m not going to let anyone attack my client when my client was the only who had no problems. And I have to hear this?” said an increasingly upset Carbone. “I’m getting sick of this from this candidate” before Debbie Winnick, the night’s moderator, put a halt to the line of inquiry. 

Later, after Dash said after being immersed in the critical financial issues and trends he would be better able to handle town affairs “if things go wrong,” Carbone responded that his expertise of working with project consultants in the past will be vital to the town rather than having a “dilettante who has been involved with zoning.”

In closing, Dash said speaking to residents; he discovered that they not only want potholes fixed, “but to have a voice in town government. And I will provide that voice. If we work together, we can get things done.” 

Carbone asked, “if you are not happy with the ways things are going in Belmont than you should vote for Guy Carbone for selectman.”

“I don’t have to talk about all the problems. I know what they are. I am a problem solver,” he said.

Meet Belmont Presents Talk of the Town on Tuesday, March 21

Photo: Poster of the event.

The Vision 21 Implementation Committee has added to the extremely popular late summer “Meet Belmont” community get together with a new event called “Talk of the Town.”

Co-sponsored by Belmont Public Schools, “Talk of the Town” will be held on Tuesday, March 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Chenery Middle School Auditorium, 95 Washington St.

Journalist/author/radio host Jane Clayson Johnson will welcome four notable Belmont residents, each sharing ideas and insights from their work and/or personal interests:

  • Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School
  • Alfie Kohn, author and lecturer on education and parenting
  • Rupal Patel, Northeastern University Communication Sciences and Disorders and entrepreneur
  • Elissa Ely, physician, author, founder of the WBUR Remembrance Project

Admission is free and all Belmont resident, young and old, are invited to attend.

Letter To The Editor: Adam Dash, An Experienced Leader

Photo: Adam Dash

To the editor:

I am writing this letter in support of Adam Dash for Selectmen. During my time on the Belmont School Committee, I appreciated the thorough review, thoughtful questions and action-based thinking that Adam brought to the budget process, especially during joint meetings of the Board of Selectmen, Warrant and School committees.

In Somerville, where Adam has his law practice, he is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor’s Zoning Advisory Committee and the Homeless Coalition. He has proven experience working within various municipal environments as well a deep understanding of the issues facing some of the most vulnerable in our communities.

In Belmont, Adam’s leadership positions on the successful 2015 override as well as the Warrant, CPA Study and Underwood Pool Building committees have all demonstrated that he approaches issues with an open mind without preconceived decisions. He not only asks cogent questions but listens to the answers while encouraging input from all stakeholders. Adam works to build collective consensus during the decision-making process and, most importantly, he has the skills needed to take action, facilitate the implementation of plans made and to see them through to completion.

I believe that Adam’s experienced leadership makes him the best candidate for Board of Selectmen and ask that you join me in voting for him this April 4.

Laurie Graham

Warwick Road

Former Belmont School Committee member

Town Meeting member, precinct 6

Know Before You Vote: Town Election Is April 4; Are You Ready?

Photo: Town Clerk’s Office

Belmont’s Town Election is approximately two weeks away and it is now time for residents to check your voter registration, party affiliation, voting status, their precinct and polling location to save time and avoid frustration on Election Day.

Where do I vote?

Belmont’s voting precincts and locations:

  • Precinct 1 – Belmont Memorial Library, Assembly Room, 336 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct 2 – Town Hall, Selectmen’s Room, 455 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct 3 – Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct 4 – Butler School gymnasium, 90 White St.
  • Precinct 5 – Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct 6 – Fire Headquarters, 299 Trapelo Rd.
  • Precinct 7 – Burbank School gymnasium, 266 School St.
  • Precinct 8 – Winn Brook School gymnasium, 97 Waterhouse Rd. (Enter from Cross Street)

Who is on the April 4 ballot?

Belmont’s Town-wide officers, including Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Treasurer, Moderator, Board of Assessors, Board of Health, Board of Cemetery Commissioners, Library Trustees and Town Meeting Members in each of our eight precincts, will be on the ballot.

View the sample ballots for April 4.

Who can take out an absentee ballot?

Absentee ballots are now available for this election; Early Voting is not available for local elections. Voters who qualify for absentee ballots by being out of Belmont on Election Day or have a medical issue making voting in person on Election Day too challenging or have a conflict on voting day due to religious reasons, may request an Absentee Ballot be mailed to them or may vote in person at the Town Clerk’s office. Requests for Absentee Ballots must be in writing and include the voter’s signature.

What is your voting status and how to register to vote?

Find information about your current voter registration.

To register to vote using the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s secure online system.

Or visit the Town Clerk’s web page and select Town Clerk, Elections: Register to Vote or Check Voter Status.

Also visit Belmont Town Clerk Elections: Information for Residents and Media or email to:

Look Who’s Running: League’s Candidate’s Night Monday at 7PM

Photo: The League’s Candidate’s Night

The Belmont League of Women Voters’ Education Fund hosts Candidate’s Night on Monday, March 20, beginning at 7 p.m. The event will take place at the Chenery Middle School, 95 Washington St.

The annual event prior to the Town Election – taking place April 4 – allows residents and voters the opportunity to meet and greet with those running for Town Meeting and town-wide office.

The night’s schedule:

  • 7 p.m.: Town Meeting member candidates meet with voters by precinct in the school’s main lobby.
  • 7:30 p.m.: Town Meeting member candidates introduce themselves to the audience (no speeches, Thank you.)
  • 7:45 p.m.: Short speeches and a question and answer with the town-wide candidates.


Belmont Dispatcher’s Heroic Act on Tragic Day In Watertown

Photo: The scene of the fire. (Courtesy Watertown News)

Dave Jones should have been the good news story on a tragic St. Patrick’s Day.

The long-serving Belmont Police dispatcher was off-duty as he and his wife were heading to Donohue’s in Watertown to listen to Irish music on Friday morning, March 14. As the couple of two young boys were on Bigelow Avenue, Jones spotted a house on Merrifield Avenue with heavy smoke and fire coming from the building’s second floor.

“We were just traveling through. Just being in the right place at the right time,” Jones told the Belmontonian on Friday night as he began his shift at Belmont Police Headquarters.

Pulling over to the side of the road, Jones – whose father was a firefighter – jumped out and followed a Watertown Police officer who had just arrived into the burning structure.

Inside the house, Jones found an elderly resident who he brought out of the structure.

In his two-plus decades in public safety, “that’s the closest I have ever been to being a firefighter,” said Jones, who is a familiar figure at Belmont High football games as one of the members of the chain crew.

But should have been a story of selfless heroism by Jones and the Watertown police officer instead became on of the tragic death of Watertown firefighter Joseph Toscano who died of a heart attack battling the two-alarm blaze.

“Rather than me, what everyone has to remember, an old [man] lost a house and the loss of a firefighter,” said Jones, who last week celebrated his 21st year as a dispatcher, the same length of service as Toscano, a father of five from Randolph.

“It didn’t turn out to be the sort of story we all would want it to be,” said Jones.