Belmont Yard Sales: July 1-2

Photo: Garage sales in Belmont

Here are this weekend’s yard/moving/garage sales happening in the 02478 zip code:

• 55 Becket Rd., Saturday, July 1, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


• 27 George St., Saturday, July 1, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• 59 Trowbridge St., Saturday, July 2, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


• Belmont at Marlboro streets, Saturday, July 1, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


After Nearly Two Decades, Harris Field About To Be Media Savvy

Photo: The pre-hoisted press box at Harris Field in Belmont.

The red single-room structure on a trailer placed hard by the entrance of the Skip Viglirolo Skating Rink looks like one of the popular “tiny” houses that have become all the rage across the country.

But the corrugated steel box with a door and a row of sliding windows wasn’t built with homeowners in mind. Rather, its occupants will be coaches, announcers, and the visiting media during fall and spring sports.

After nearly two decades of waiting, Belmont High’s Harris Field will finally have a press box.

In the next few weeks, the prefab unit will be hoisted to the top of the stands – work has been completed cutting space for the structure to fit into place by contractor Elizabeth Contracting of Westwood – with a completion date of September, coinciding with the start of the football, soccer, and field hockey seasons.

The press box has had a long history, first proposed in 2001 as part of the first renovation of Harris Field. But issues with cost and the need for the structure to include an elevator to comply with the Americans with Disability Act standards place the plans on the back burner. 

Those issues again delayed the press box in 2013 when Harris Field underwent its second renovation. 

Finally, through the efforts of Bill Webster – a long-time member of the Belmont Permanent Building Advisory Committee who has championed the press box since 2001 – the town and community groups and businesses including the Belmont Savings Bank, the Brendan Grant Foundation, the Belmont Boosters and individual contributors came together to raise in 2016 the $240,000 to complete the job. 

Obituary: David Senatus, BHS ’13, Known For His Athleticism, Kindness

Photo: David Senatus (Facebook)

David Senatus, a well-loved member of Belmont High School’s Class of 2013 who played an integral part in the 2013 club rugby state championship team before traveling out west to start a new life died Wednesday, June 21 in what has been called an accidental drowning.

Senatus was 23.

“He was an incredible teammate, friend, and person and I’m going to miss him forever,” said Barrett Lyons, who was a good friend and teammate of Senatus on the Belmont High School football and club rugby teams. 

Greg Bruce, Senatus’ teacher and rugby coach, said the news of his death was “heart-wrenching” to those who knew “this unique young man with the big personality and great smile.”

Press reports from the Davis County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday said Senatus jumped from a popular rope swing attached to a tree branch into a pond in Farmington, Utah just after sunset just past 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21. After surfacing, Senatus was heading for shore when he began struggling before sinking below the surface.

After his friends could not locate him in the water, Emergency crews were called at 9:50 p.m. Senatus – who was visiting friends in the Salt Lake City area – was found shortly after 11:35 p.m. but could not be saved.

Law enforcement said cold temperatures of the water – the pond’s source is snow runoff – and “inefficiency while swimming” may have led to the drowning, which remains under investigation. Police said drugs or alcohol were not a factor.

With family in Boston and Belmont, Senatus transferred from East Boston High School to Belmont in his sophomore year.

“I remember the day I met David,” said Lyons. “His personality took over whatever room it was he walked into. Despite being the ‘new kid.’ Everybody who knew him loved and respected David immensely.”

“David’s sense of humor is what a lot of people will remember about him; one of the funniest kids I’ve ever met. He would have a group of guys legitimately rolling on the ground, uncontrollably laughing,” said his friend.

Bruce, who worked closely with Senatus during his time as a student in Belmont, said “David could have been negative about school but he never allowed himself to be that way. He was always upbeat, someone who worked extremely hard towards a better life.”

Senatus made an immediate impact on Belmont’s athletic fields.

“He worked extremely hard in athletics and was one of the most naturally gifted athletes I’ve ever competed with. That includes my brief stint playing Division 1 football… he was more athletic than everyone on that team,” said Lyons.

In his final Thanksgiving Day varsity football game, Senatus was matched up Watertown star receiver TJ Hairston. Despite losing, Senatus’ performance was remembered by the way he man-handled a tall (six-foot, five-inch) All-Scholastic receiver. 

“Hairston messaged me after David’s death, saying ‘that’s the one kid in high school who could shut me down.’ David didn’t even have experience playing corner, he was just a more gifted athlete than everyone else on the field. He was fast, strong, and vicious in contact,” said Lyons.

David played an integral part in Belmont’s Rugby Club’s 2013 State Championship campaign.

“I’ve never played with somebody who could just impose their will on others the way he did. We would never have broken St. Johns Prep six-year winning streak if it wasn’t for [him]. He broke an amazing 40 yard try with the clock running down. No way we win that game or the state championship without David,” said Lyons.

Bruce, who is Belmont’s long-time rugby head coach, used Senatus as the team’s “impact substitute,” inserting him in the second half of matches when the other team was exhausted.

“David would come in and be so physical, so fast, the opponent would struggle to stop him,” said Bruce, who recalled Senatus’ raw emotion not only on the pitch, but also from the sideline encouraging his teammates.

But it was Senatus great sense of humanity that is being remembered.

“David was also the type of kid who would say hi to everyone, especially those who looked like they needed it. In high school, we all know those quiet reserved kids who look uncomfortable socially. David would sit with these kids and treat them just like he would the varsity athletes,” Lyons said.

“Despite being one of the most intimidating kids to ever walk the halls of Belmont High School, David made sure everyone knew the kindness in his heart. He had that ‘treat the janitor the same way you’d treat the CEO’ attitude. And he was beloved for it. It’s just the way he was,” said Lyons.

After graduation, Senatus returned to Boston, for a time working at Abercrombie & Fitch.

Later, Senatus moved to the West Coast taking classes and playing football at a junior college in California before he was injured. He then moved to Utah with his brother and was working and taking classes at LDS Business College in Salt Lake City when he died.

A wake for Senatus will be held Friday, June 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Waitt Funeral Home, 850 North Main St., Brockton. A funeral service will take on Saturday, July 1 at 9 a.m. in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 79 Mt. Hope St., Roslindale. Burial to follow at Melrose Cemetery, on North Pearl Street in Brockton.

Trash Talk: Picking Up on Belmont’s Garbage Options

Photo: DPW Director Jay Marcotte modeling the possible containers Belmont residents could be using to place their waste in 2018. 

The options how Belmont will gets rid of its garbage and recycling beginning in the summer of 2018 is increasing by the day.

Single or dual stream? Use only big plastic bags you have to buy? Automated or keep it the way it is?

Who knew trash could be so complicated?

That was the feeling for many of the three dozen residents who attended the first of two – or possibly three – public discussions sponsored by the Belmont Department of Public Works held Monday, June 26 in the Town Hall auditorium.

In the presentation before the Belmont Board of Selectmen which included a wide variety of plastic trash containers as examples of possible receptacles residents could be using next year, DPW Director Jay Marcotte along with the town’s recycling coordinator Mary Beth Calnan sought to give the public the town’s choices as it prepares to signs in early 2018 a new long-term trash collection and recycling contract to collect curbside waste at nearly 10,000 locations.

“It’s a balancing act, said Marcotte on determining which of the options will best meet the needs of all the town’s residents.

The town currently is in the second extension of its 2011 contract with Cambridge’s J.W. Russell which expires on June 30, 2018. The new contract will be put out to bid in the fall with a final contractor selected in mid-January, said Marcotte. 

The DPW is seeking “direction” from the Selectmen on what option the department should pursue, said Marcotte, much relying on balancing residents’ expectations and the town’s fiscal resources.

And there is an array of ways for the town’s trash and recycling to be collected. The town will need to decide if recycled material will be included with everyday trash – known as the single stream approach – versus a dual stream which recycables are picked up seperately. 

The first option is to continue what the town is doing. The current program is collected manually four days a week with an unlimited number of barrells, yard waste and bulky items. If you put out a dozen containers and a sofa or two on the curb, it’s all going to be picked up.

Recycling is collected once every two weeks and there are Recycling Days for items not collected such as rigid plastics, textiles and DVDs/CDs.

The current seperate recycling program is quite effective in Bemont; 95 percent of residents recycle and nearly three-quarters of recyclable items are recovered.

But the cost is pricy: fiscal year ’18 expense for collection, disposal and recycling is $2.5 million.

High on the DPW’s list of options is automated collection. One need only travel south to Watertown to see a single truck with a mechanical arm pick up wheeled-trash recepticles provided to residents being hoisted up and into the container. 

Marcotte said this method – which is increasingly becoming the industry standard throughout the country – is efficient, cuts labor costs and workmen compensation claims and is neater than the current system.

There is a signficiant upfront cost of between $250,000 to $450,000 for the new “carts” as well as the liklihood that an addtional recycling truck will be neeeded. And trash pick up is limited to what’s in the barrels; bulky items will need a seperate removal at an addtional cost. But the town will see yearly cost savings by the fourth year of upwards of $200,000 versus the manual method.

Another option is Pay-As-You-Throw or PAYT in which all garbage is required to be placed in a 35 gallon bag that costs a few dollars. If you put your garbage in any other bag – sorry, it’s not being picked up.

The pickup can be done within a manual or automated system, with a state grant avaliable to subsidize puchasing carts. The bags will be a distinctive color with the town’s seal on it.

Marcotte said PAYT will decrease the amount the town will pick up and it’s a great incentive to reduce, reuse and recycle. It would also be somewhat cheaper to run. But he noted “throw” systems come with its own issues: you have to purchase bags for all waste, collection is not as efficient, recycling is not as “clean”, and there has been increases in illegal dumping – or people throwing trash in other people’s bins – from those who just won’t pay for the bags. 

With so many options, some residents wondered why things need to change from the familiar system currently in use.

“I think the whole thing is nuts,” said Maryann Scali of Prospect Street, speaking for several long-time homeowners in the hall. “Why can’t we leave what we’re doing?” 

Several people believe the largest container at 65 gallons would prove too unwhelding for older residents and those living on slopped roadways especially in the winter. Others said that they would not need a large PAYT bag for their weekly curb-side offering.

“I would really like to see the emphasise here placed strongly on conveince and ease for the customer,” said John Gilman of Claflin Street 

Amanda Mujica of the Belmont PTA/PTO Green Alliance felt that it was wasteful for the 10,000 customers to throw out the their existing barrels and purchase new containers for a quarter of a million dollars. 

“I know that everyone is on this rally about automation but the trucks are going to take longer as they go up and down each street because they can only go up one side at a time,” she noted.

Pat Brusch of Radcliffe Road said she would be in favor of a “throw” system but only if it was accompanied by an article before Town Meeting to discuss and vote on “an underride.”

The opposite of an override which allows a community to permentaly exceed the annual 2.5 percent cap on the property tax increase, the underride Brusch is proposing would reimburse Belmont taxpayers the $2.1 million they approved in 1990 to create the current curbside trash and recycling system.

Several residents noted they were in favor of the PAYT option, including Taylor Road’s Kim Slack who brought a successful citizens petition at May’s Town Meeting to allow the Board of Selectmen to consider PAYT in future contracts. Slack told the board the “throw” option would not require an automated system which would result in more diesal fumes and would reduce the waste collected from residents “starting on day one.” 

Others, such as John O’Connor of Upland Road didn’t believe it was fair to ask homeowners – who will be facing in the next few years requests for higher taxes to pay for a new high school and other capital projects – to pay to place their rubbish in a bag when they paid for collection 27 years ago. 

A compromise between the existing system and the “throw” option which some selectmen appeared favorable with was voiced by Terese Hammerle of Adams Street who suggested that residents should be able to fill either a 35 gallon bag or container for free each week and then pay for any additional waste.

“That is a way to address the town having already paying for [collection],” she said. “You don’t want it to be unlimited then there is no incentive to reduce the garbage we produce.”

Walk This Way: Wellington Send-Off Marks End of Elementary Experience

Photo: Movin’-on at the Wellington.

It was a special class of students for Wellington Elementary Principal Amy Spangler who she led the fourth-grade students on their final walk out the front door on the last day of school, Wednesday, June 21, also known as “Moving-On” Day.

“Every year we have to say goodbye to our students, but this is the class which I have known since they were in kindergarten,” said Spangler, who arrived to head the school in January 2013. 

“They were in school for half the year, but they were still very young when I first met them,” said Spangler.

“Now they are on their way to [Chenery] Middle School,” said Spangler with a smile.

In what has become an annual event at Belmont, fourth and eighth graders moving into new schools are given an opportunity to have a “final exit” from their current building. At the Wellington, the five classes of fourth graders are led out the school’s front entrance by Spangler and their teachers – Jessica Endres, Aaron Ogilvie, Erin Severy, Steven Tenhor and Christina Westfall – in front of parents and family.

Then if was off to the turf playground for icicles, a last hug, and a photo before a summer long recess. 

“It’s nice to see them one last time as Wellington students,” said Spangler.



Belmont Yard Sales: June 24-25

Photo: Garage sales in Belmont

Here are this weekend’s yard/moving/garage sales happening in the 02478 zip code:

Permitted yard sales by the Belmont Town Clerk are in bold:


• 28-30 Cross St., Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, 9 a.m. (10 a.m. Sunday) to 2 p.m.

• 63 Davis Rd., Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• 11 Harvard Rd., Sunday, June 25, 8 a.m. to noon.

• Lexington Street at Ripley Road, Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• 180 School St., Saturday, June 24, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• 22 Townsend Rd., Saturday, June 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cardboard Recycling At Town Yard Saturday AM

Photo: Cardboard, uncut but folded.

Belmont’s Department of Public Works’ cardboard recycling program was such a big hit after the winter holidays; the town decided to bring back the service for the summer. 

So once again, rather than spend time cutting up and wrapping them into bundles so it can be collected during the weekly trash/recycling collection, this Saturday, June 24, from 9 a.m. and noon, the Belmont’s Highway Department will accept uncut but folded cardboard packaging for recycling.

Cardboard will be the only item taken. And the DPW will accept as much as you can fit into your vehicle.

While Belmont’s trash and recycling contractor, Somerville-based FW  Russell and Son, accepts the heavy-duty paper, 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.

Magic, Music, Market Day In Belmont

Photo: Market day
It’s market day in Belmont and shoppers can expect to find strawberries, early harvest produce, and lots of baked goods on this first week of summer.
Today, the market will host a performance by Belmont resident Solomon Murungu, Ryan Lally Magic will be back with his bag of tricks, and Selectman Adam Dash will be at the Community Table to answer questions. 
The market is located in the Claflin Street Municipal Parking Lot at the corner of Channing Road and Cross Street. It is open from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Weekly vendors are:
Bread Obsession, Brookford Farm, Del Sur Empanadas, Dick’s Market Garden Farm, Goodies Homemade, Foxboro Cheese Co., Hutchins Farm, Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery, Red’s Best Fish/Boston Smoked Fish Co., Stillman Quality Meats, Freedom Food Farm
Monthly and occasional vendors are
Bittersweet Herb Farm, Minuteman Kettle Corn, Valicenti Pasta Farm, Bombay Duck (New), Swissbäkers, Tewksbury Honey (New), Garbage to Garden, Recreo Coffee & Roasterie
Learn more about the vendors on the market’s website.
Community Table
4 p.m.: Selectman Adam Dash
Schedule of Events
2 p.m.: Music by Solomon Murungu
4 p.m.: Storytime with the Children’s Librarian at the Belmont Public Library.
4:30 p.m.: Ryan Lally Magic

Banner(s) Season For Girls’ Rugby, Boys’ Tennis, National Honor for Krafian [VIDEO]

Photos: Banner day for Belmont Girls’ Rugby.

It’s been a banner 2017 spring season for Belmont High School sports as the school saw three state championships come through the door and some banners ready to be placed on the wall of the Wenner Field House.

Both Girls Rugby and Boys’ Tennis will see 2017 banners go up; rugby’s historic state championship and tennis’ fantastic post-season run defeating three higher-seeded squads to reach the Divison 2 North sectional finals.

On the individual side, junior track star Anoush Krafian not only captured two state championships this month as the All-State Outdoor Track and Field Meet – the 100-meter hurdles and the pentathlon – she extended her exceptional season by placing 4th in the 100 hurdles (14.80 seconds) at the New England Championships in Norwell on June 10 before heading to the New Balance National Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Greensboro, NC last weekend to compete in the multi-event heptathlon.

Against the best high school heptathletes in the nation, Krafian placed fifth in the competition that required her to compete in seven individual track and field events including the sprints, jumping, hurdles, middle distance running and throwing. 

During the meet, Krafian achieved personal bests in three events (shot put, high jump and javelin) as well as her total score of 4,496 points, trailing the winner, Kaitlyn Kirby of Florida, by less than 500 points.

Watch Krafin run the 200 meters at Nationals here. She is running in lane 7. 

Banners have also been hung this school year for Field Hockey (Champions/Middlesex), Girls’ Basketball (Co-champions/Middlesex), Boys’ Golf (Champions/Middlesex) and Baseball (Champions/Middlesex, Super 8 Tournament).

Burbank Picked To Be Modulars’ New Home With a $2.2M Pricetag

Photo: Belmont Superintendent John Phelan.

The fall Special Town Meeting now has a price tag for the big ticket item on its agenda as Belmont Schools Superintendent John Phelan recommended four new modular classrooms be sited at the Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School on School Street.

The anticipated cost of the project – which will be up and running in September 2018 – is $2.2 million, excluding furniture and teaching equipment, Phelan told the Belmont School Committee at its Tuesday meeting, June 20.

“This is a very significant ‘ask’ to the town for the Burbank to take on the modulars,” said Phelan.

The Burbank was selected at the Butler Elementary School to be the home of the third set of modulars used by the district – there are several at the High School while six were installed at the Chenery Middle School in November 2016 – to alleviate the skyrocketing enrollment gains occurring throughout the district.

Phelan said adding the classrooms will help reduce class sizes in elementary grades from 25 and 26 students per room to a more acceptable 22 to 23 students.

Last month, administrators and staff held a pair of two-hour meetings at each school to discuss the concerns of residents and parents of adding prefab structures, afterward was a walk of the sites with an architect.  

The Burbank four modular will be sited adjacent to the rear of the school building which will allow for a covered walkway. The location will also have a minimal impact on neighboring houses as it’s lower than nearby Richardson Road and next to a stone wall.

Another factor leading to the Burbank taking on the modulars was its ability to take on additional students without affecting the teaching going on at the school. While it could have met the needs of students if selected, Phelan said the Butler had been home to a historically smaller school community, which has worked educating students successfully.

The greatest difference between the two proposals was the extensive infrastructure proposed at the Burbank. Including the repair and expansion of the parking lot and the overhaul of the playground area while the Bulter’s improvements would be limited to adding sod to the school’s two playgrounds.

In dollars and cents, the Burbank’s infrastructure costs exceed $692,000 compared to $172,000 at the Butler.

Heather Rubeski of Dalton Road, a Burbank parent and Precinct 7 Town Meeting Member told the committee and Phelan that presenting the most expensive option to the town’s legislative body could result in pushback by members.

“When I look at the cost difference of almost $500,000 … I think there is gonna be a lot of questions at Town Meeting on why are we spending all this extra money to put them at Burbank when the town has many things it needs to spend money on,” Rubeki said.

Putting on her “parent’s hat,” Rubeki also asked why would the district select the Burbank for additional space when the school population has been static resulting in children being bused to the school in September 2019.

“It has a feeling of ‘us’ vs ‘them’ and that has become very noticeable in the parent conversations,” she said.

Town officials and Town Meeting members had already begun on how to pay for the modulars with discussions on whether to dip into the “free” cash account which paid for the prefab classrooms at the middle school (a total of $1.4 million) or to finance the project through a bond.

Phelan said moving forward with the project is the best solution until a decision is made on the future of the new Belmont High School which will impact the district’s building requirements. 

“This is something that I believe is a good decision for the town … that this is a short-term trend that will help inform our long-term planning as well,” he said.