Girls’ Lucky 13: With Double Digit Wins, Boys, Girls Lax Readies For Playoff Run

Photo: The new record of 13 wins after the Marauders final regular season game.

The 2023 season has seen Belmont High Boys and Girls Lacrosse teams reach new heights having secured playoff berths and prepare for runs in their respective MIAA tournaments.

Girls’ Lucky 13

In its final game of the season on Thursday, May 25, the Girls’ set a program record 13 victories (against 5 losses) after defeating Arlington in a 17-13 slugfest.

The girls broke the previous record of 12 registered in 2011 and 2009. And the Marauders play has been heating up along with the summer weather. In its final 11 games in which they scored 158 goals or just over 14 per game, Belmont’s record was 9-2 with their two losses by single goals.

“We only only go up from here,” said first year Head Coach Dan O’Brien. “We still got a couple games left the season hopefully, because we’re going to make some noise in the tournament.”

“Making the playoffs is great for our seniors. We have ten of them,” he said. “The girls have done such a great job this year.”

The victory against the SpyPonders put a cap on an end-of-the-season five game winning streak. In a game that resembled a playoff contest, Belmont were in a scrap with Arlington with the hosts up 8-5 with seven minutes to play in the first half. It’s then Belmont’s captains on the field brought the Marauders back into the game. Senior midfield Stella Lesnik started the come back with a goal in the 14th minute, followed a minute later when senior attack Mary Mullan buried an eight meter penalty. Senior Layne Doherty took a pass from first-year mid Niamh Lesnik to score in the 17th minute with Mullan putting in her fourth of the half off an isolation with two minutes remaining in the half to tie the game at 9 at the break.

The Marauders showed their offensive prowess scoring four in four minutes early in the second half: Junior attack Carli Gaziano off a penalty, then the Marauders’ “Nickel and Dime” attack combo of Mullan and junior Tess Desantis scoring off the transition and from eight meters as Doherty finished off the goal burst with the Marauders leading 13-9. While the hosts narrowed the margin to two, Belmont’s defense led by junior goalie Julia Herlihy and senior defenders co-captain Nina Leveroni and senior Kiki Hovsepian put a halt to the comeback.

The Marauders are currently 27th in the final MIAA Division 1 Power Rankings. While its position should see them on the road for a first-round playoff match, there are eight to ten teams below the 32nd power ranking position – the tournament cut off – with records at or above .500 which makes them eligible for a play-in game, a match Belmont will host.

“[The squad is] really balanced and that’s what’s been great. It’s never one girl who’s just dominating the whole thing, it’s really been a team effort. And that’s what makes it so fun. And I’m glad we could celebrate and now we’re going to focus on the playoffs,” said O’Brien.

Boys’ Lacrosse

While Belmont High Boys Lacrosse is entering the Division 1 tournament with the offense stalling in the final two games, the squad’s 11-7 record marks a high for wins under the tenure of head coach Josh Streit and was one win away from tying the program’s record for victories with 12 set in 2009. As of Monday, Belmont is 26th in the MIAA Power Rankings, the second year running the Marauders have finished as an automatic qualifier for the playoffs.

“This group has really bought in to the program. They are a special group. They work really hard in the off season,” said Streit, pointing to senior co-captain Peter Grace and Peter Ausrotas in attack, the Pomer brothers, Matt and Mike, Mason Lemach-Bremen and Delan Doherty holding down the midfield. Senior defender Joe Gaziano anchors the long sticks with Joe Hanley and Collin Galloway in front of goalie Nate Moss.

Library Building Committee Seeking To Use ‘The Ditch’ For Site’s Construction Staging

Photo: Lawn or ditch; the Library Building Committee wants to use the site as a staging area for the construction of the new library

The patch of sunken land adjacent to the Underwood Pool and Concord Avenue doesn’t have an official name attached to it. Some call it the Underwood Lawn, but it’s sort of an extended ditch.

In winter, the town fills the basin with water, and it’s used for outdoor skating like the ponds the old timers talk about. It gets pretty swampy in spring and summer after a couple of days of rain draining into the space. It’s principally where youngsters eat ice cream while taking a break from frolicking in the pool.

But to the building committee overseeing the construction of the $39.5 million, 42,000 sq.ft. new town library, that “ditch” is the perfect location to become the main staging area for the project, where tons of steel, building materials, and parking for the construction team.

During a project update before the Select Board, Clair Colburn, chair of the building committee, presented a first draft plan in which the land would be fenced off and prepared for construction and parking use – mostly layering the site with stones and gravel – then returning the land to its present state. In addition, the committee will make pains to protect the existing culvert that takes Wellington Brook from the library property, under the ditch and Concord Avenue, to Clay Pit Pond.

The committee is eyeing the site for staging and parking to keep down expenses. Colburn said if they can not use this location, the committee will be required to rent a warehouse to store the material and truck it in and out on an already congested Concord Avenue. Also, without dedicated parking, construction workers will take up scarce spaces on Concord and residential side streets.

“The best option is to keep it there,” said Colburn.

Just how receptive town officials, residents, and especially the adjacent neighbors will be to a supply location and five-days-a-week parking for one “pool season” – spring through fall of 2024 – is a request the committee knows will come with its own issues.

“We know this will be a hot-button issue for some people,” said Colburn.

And the Select Board is already asking if transforming the drainage ditch with a culvert is possible.

“Can you park cars there? Can you do that?” queried Select Board Chair Mark Paolillo, who will either deny or approve the ask with his two fellow members. Town Administrator Patrice Garvin said several town offices are “running all that down” to determine if it can be done safely.

An official request will come for town consideration as demolition of the current library and the construction of the new facility are scheduled to begin around the New Year, according to Building Committee Member Kathy Keohane, who joined Colburn before the committee. However, before that occurs, the committee will hold at least two public forums to discuss the project.

In other news of the new library, one of the significant architectural features that library proponents pointed to for the past three years is receiving a haircut. The impressive main stairs that would allow patrons to work, seat and ponder life’s questions as patrons moved between floors is no more. Not that it’s gone; it’s just been squeezed a bit with only three levels of seating and a more typical turn (to the right) to reach the second floor.

What’s Open/Closed Memorial Day 2023: Trash/Recycling Collection Delayed A Day


Memorial Day is a federally FCC holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday this year is observed on Monday, May 29.

Belmont will commemorate Memorial Day with an observation at the Grove Street Cemetery beginning at 11;30 a.m. to be followed by a parade to the Veterans Memorial at Clay Pit Pond off of Concord Avenue.

What’s Closed:

  • Belmont Town offices and Belmont Light are closed. They will reopen to the public on Tuesday, May 30.
  • US Postal Service offices and regular deliveries.
  • Banks; although branches will be open in some supermarkets.

MBTA: Operating buses and subways on a Sunday schedule. See for details.

Trash and recycling collection: There will be no collection Monday; trash and recycling will be delayed ONE DAY this holiday week.

What’s Opened:

  • Retail stores.
  • Coffee shops: Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are serving coffee all day.
  • Supermarkets.
  • Convenience and drug stores (CVS/Pharmacy) open regular hours.
  • Establishments that sell beer and wine are also allowed to be open.

Belmont High’s Lehr Takes 800M And Mile State Titles In Big PRs At Division 2 Championships

Photo: One Win, One To Go: Belmont High Dana Lehr after winning the 800 meters in the D2 championships (Courtesy photo)

Belmont High’s Dana Lehr left the M.I.A.A. Division II Track & Field Championship in Hingham as hot as the weather.

Over two early summer afternoons during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the sophomore smashed personal bests in the 800 meter and mile to take home a pair of state championships while dusting off two outstanding sets of competitors.

On Friday, May 26, Lehr took to the front from the start of the 800 meter finals and held off fellow sophomore Danielle Lomuscio from King Philip Regional by less than 2/10th of a second, breaking the tape in 2 minutes, 15.56 seconds. Lehr came to the meet ranked 10th with a season PR of 2:22.69.

Even more impressive, Lehr’s pre-performance season best in the mile held on Sunday, May 28, was 5:20.36 (although her best indoor mile in 2023 is 5:08.01), only the 13th fastest in the field. But the 16-year-old quickly separated herself from the 12 runners in her heat and simply ran away from the field to finish in 5:00.98, 9.1 second ahead of senior Ava LoVuolo of Marshfield.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that for the past year Lehr has been a team-mate with multi-national high school track champion Ellie Shea at Emerging Elites.

Next up for the member of the Class of ’25 could be the New England Interscholastic Outdoor Track & Field Championship on Saturday, June 10, in Bangor, Maine.

Town Of Belmont Gives A Watertown Pub & Grill A Summertime Boost

Photo: Conley’s is serving barriers this summer

Since it opened more than three decades ago, a Watertown bar and restaurant has been a favorite hangout for Belmont residents. Situated across Belmont Street from Precinct 7, Conley’s Pub & Grille was the place for for a drink after work or the place to watch sports, especially when until recently Belmont was one of the last “dry” towns in the Commonwealth.

And now the town of Belmont is helping the Watertown watering hole, located at 164 Belmont St., a boost in its summer dining by blocking off three parking spaces with jersey barriers outside its front door.

But the establishment is located in Watertown where it pays its property and meals taxes? So why is Belmont providing a helping hand to a business not in the town? It has to with the lay of the land – or roadway.

Let’s go back to the spring when Conley’s co-owner and former Belmont resident Kevin Treanor wanted to set up outdoor dining as it is happening in Belmont. He approached the city of Watertown for a permit to block off a small portion of the street to allow for al fresco dining.

Sorry, he was told, but the curb along the south side of Belmont Street lies in Belmont. How the curb on the Watertown side of Belmont Street somehow belong in Belmont is the archetypical New England tale.

Glenn Clancy, the town’s engineer and director of the Office of Community Development, said his best guess on why Belmont extends beyond the street’s midline is likely due to a “quirk” in how the street was laid out hundreds of years ago.

Watertown’s Conley’s Pub & Grill

With that knowledge, Treanor – who was a long-time Belmont Youth Soccer coach – approached Town Administrator Patrice Garvin with the same request. After a little research including determining there was enough additional parking available on side streets, Garvin saw no reason not to help a popular establishment promoting al fresco dining which attracts a large number of patrons from Belmont.

“So we figured that given that it was this weird situation and they certainly shouldn’t necessarily be penalized for that, that all the other businesses in town have [barriers],” said Garvin.

In a gesture of gratitude, Trainor is donating 7.5 percent of proceeds sold in the new patio to Belmont’s general fund or a selected charity.

Not everyone was happy with the move as the owner of a Belmont barbers shop located across the street from the establishment made his thoughts known on social media on losing three parking spots.

‘But with Belmont attempting to change its perception of being difficult for new businesses, the Conley’s plea was answered in its favor.”

“We are trying to be more business friendly,” said Elizabeth Dionne, member of the Select Board.

Let’s Talk Budgets: Warrant Briefing On Segment B Of Annual Town Meeting

Photo: Budget discussion this Thursday

The Belmont League of Women Voters is hosting a Warrant Briefing before the start of Segment B – the budget related articles of the annual Town Meeting on Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m.

At this virtual meeting held over Zoom and broadcast via the Belmont Media Center, the briefing – cosponsored by the Warrant Committee and the League’s Education Fund – will allow Town Meeting members and residents to ask questions on budget articles prior to the first night of Segment B on Wednesday, May 31.

Town officials and department heads will be present to provide information. Moderating the meeting will be Geoffrey Lubien, chair of the Warrant Committee.

Viewing options include:

Participating on Zoom

Zoom meeting ID: 878 6042 1130

Watching on cable television or live stream

Live broadcast: Belmont Ch 8 (Comcast); Ch 28 (Verizon). Livestream or on-demand:

Memorial Day Observation With Parade (Abbreviated) Starts At 11:30 AM Monday

Photo: The Memorial Day parade will go from the Grove Street Cemetery to the Belmont Veterans Memorial on Clay Pit Pond.

It will be an abbreviated parade at Belmont’s Memorial Day Observation ceremony held on Monday, May 29 at 11:30 a.m.

This year, the parade assembly and starting point has been relocated from Cushing Square to Grove Street just outside the entrance to the Grove Street Cemetery. Assembly for parade participants should begin at 10:30 a.m.

“So we’ll march from [Grove Street] in somewhat of a truncated parade,” said Mark Paolillo, chair of the Select Board. “We’ll miss going down Trapelo Road.”

The traditional observation will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the cemetery with speeches, the Belmont High School marching band playing the National Anthem, decorating of graves, reading the names of Belmont residents who died in service of their country during conflict, and the playing of taps.

This year’s parade will step off immediately following the ceremony and will march down Grove Street to Bright Road. The parade will turn left on Concord Avenue traveling to the new veterans memorial at Clay Pit Pond.

The Belmont Police is also reminding residents that blocking sidewalks in any way is prohibited and can create hazards for pedestrians. 

“Please make sure your vehicles are legally parked at all times and not blocking sidewalks,” said the press release.

Belmont Farmers Market Opens Thursday, June 1 With A POP And A Food Assistance Fair

Photo: Opening Day for the Belmont Farmers Market is Thursday, June 1.

Mark your calendar: the Belmont Farmers Market will open for the season on Thursday, June 1.

The Opening Day celebration will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Claflin Street Parking Lot in Belmont Center with a ribbon cutting, a speech and the ringing of the market bell.

The market is open weekly on Thursday afternoons, 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., until the last week in October.

Market favorite vendors are back, bringing produce, baked goods, prepared foods and knife sharpening to Belmont each week. In addition,

In addition, the Just Hummus food truck will be a Market regular throughout the summer.

Opening With A Pop

This year the market will participate in the POP Club, a nationally-recognized program aimed at empowering kids to make healthy food choices and learn where their food comes from. Each week, POP Club members get a $3 POP Club coupon to spend at the Market on fruits, vegetables, or food-producing plants of their choice.

Signing up is simple. If your child is between the ages 5-12, fill out this POP Club form or stop by the Manager’s Tent at the Market to grab a POP Club Passport. Then collect your $3 coupons, get a stamp, and go shopping.

Food Assistance Fair To Inform Shoppers How To Stretch Budget

The Market will host their second annual Food Assistance Information Fair as part of the Opening Day celebration. The fair’s primary goal is informing shoppers about the many benefit programs that can help them stretch their food budgets.

BFM’s food assistance doubles SNAP benefits – formerly Food Stamps – up to $25 weekly for each shopper. They are one of the few farmers’ markets that double Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons (FMNP) for eligible seniors and WIC families.

The Market’s food assistance program grew significantly in the 2022 season:
• $26,000 in matching funds for SNAP and FMNP, an increase of 60 percent over 2021.
• $22,000 in produce purchased from HIP farmers, an increase of 15 percent over 2021.

Donations from the community and sponsorships from local businesses pay for the matching program, while the Commonwealth reimburses vendors for HIP purchases. Spending those additional funds at the Market also supports local farms and businesses.

The Market is a project of the Belmont Food Collaborative, Inc. BFC is a nonprofit whose goal is education about food and nutrition, and helping families in need get fresh produce.

Editor’s note:

A reader asked: Why does the Belmontonian use “farmers” rather than “farmers'” in the title of the market? Here is an explanation from Kevin Hessel, a top-notched copy editor:

“[Farmers Market] is a descriptive phrase, not a possessive – a market for farmers, not a market belonging to farmers – so there’s no need for a possessive apostrophe, which is the only thing an apostrophe here would seem to indicate. Boys basketball, girls basketball, teachers union, farmers market, etc.”

“Descriptive phrases like children’s hospital (a hospital for children, not a hospital belonging to children) get an apostrophe because the plural children doesn’t end in s, also e.g. men’s basketball, women’s basketball.”

“A complete explanation of the applicable rules is under the apostrophe entry in the Punctuation chapter of the [AP] stylebook.”

From Banking To Beaujolais: New Owner Of Belmont Center Beer And Wine Store Set To Open

Photo: Roxana Lemus, the owner of Belmont Wine and Beer in the former Cuvee Fine Wines on Leonard Street in Belmont Center

Ever since she came to the United States as a 10-year-old from El Salvador, Roxana Lemus was looking to take the

“It has always been a dream of mine to become a business owner,” Lemus told the Belmontonian.

And sometime this summer, Lemus will realize her goal when she opens the doors to Belmont Wine and Beer, in the location of the former Cuvee Fine Wines at 32 Leonard St. in Belmont Center.

The new Belmont Wine and Beer store on Leonard Street

“I am very happy about the opportunity that I see now,” said Lemus, after the Select Board approved her request for an off-premises beer and wine liquor license in March. The license was the existing one for the location, being surrendered by Gandbhir Swapnil who purchased the former Vintages: Adventures in Wine store in August 2016.

For the past several years, Lemus was moving up the retail banking ladder at Rockland Trust, as branch manager of its East Boston office on Meridian Street. It was when she recently purchased a house in Marlborough that Lemus said to herself, “it’s about time that I get to own my own business that was closer to my home.” Her search took her to Belmont where she discovered the long-established business was up for sale.

“I was first very, very tentative but then I knew this is what I’m looking for. So it was about time for me to step up and become a business owner,”, said Lemus.

While her primary goal is to continue the success of the business, Lemus also wants to get to know and support the Belmont populace.

“I want everyone to know me more than just a business owner. I want people to know me as Roxanna, that she’s part of the community.”

Breaking: Town Day Cancelled Saturday Due To Wet, Cold Weather; Rescheduled Sometime In The Fall

Photo: See you in the fall

The 32nd Belmont Town Day celebration scheduled for Saturday, May 20, has been cancelled due to a daunting weather forecast for the day. According to Gerry Dickhaut, president of the Belmont Center Business Association which sponsors the annual event, will be rescheduled sometime this fall.

Showers are expected early on Saturday than becoming a steady rain by noon with the potential for heavy rainfall resulting in a half-an-inch sweeping the area. In addition, the expect high temperature is not expected to breach 64 degrees with wind gusting to 15 mph.

This is the second time in a decade the event has been postponed by weather with the day pushed back three weeks. The COVID pandemic forced the cancellation of Town Day in 2020 and delayed it into the fall of 2021.

Hosted by the Business Association along Leonard Street, the Town Day is filled with events including musical groups, classic cars, tours of the Belmont Center fire station, carnival rides, a bouncy castle, trinkets for sale, booths sponsored by civic groups and businesses and and lots of food.