Widmer Honored At State House Ceremony As A Commonwealth Heroine

Photo: State Rep. Dave Rogers honors Belmont’s Jeanne Widmer (Credit: courtesy photo)

State Rep. Dave Rogers honored Belmont’s Jeanne Widmer as the 24th Middlesex District’s Commonwealth Heroine Award on the Status of Women at the State House on June 23.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the award recognizes the often-unsung heroines who devote their time, talent, and civic spirit to make a difference in their communities and enrich the lives of others.

“In her personal and professional life, Jeanne has exemplified what it means to be a Heroine,” said Rogers. “She is driven by her kindness and desire to give back. I was delighted to honor Jeanne with this award and to participate in a day dedicated to uplifting the women who help build and improve our communities.”

Rogers nominated Widmer for her varied and passionate work in Belmont. Soon after moving to the “Town of Homes, Widmer worked on the town’s campaign for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and has since volunteered on dozens of local campaigns. She was elected three times to the Belmont School Committee, serving two years as its chair, and has been a Town Meeting Member since 1981.  

Widmer also founded the Belmont Women’s Resource Center, which provides monthly programs on issues of concern to women. For 20 years, Jeanne has worked as a tutor and counselor, helping students access education and unlock their potential. She was awarded for volunteer work with Belmont Parent Teacher Organizations, METCO, and youth sports teams.

Belmont Adds the 3rd To July 4th Holiday, But Trash Will Be Picked Up Monday

Photo: The 3rd and the 4th in 2023

This year’s Independence Day holiday got a day longer for Belmont town employees as Monday, July 3, has been added to the July 4 celebration.

“The town was scheduled to be open on July 3. But with a lot of discussion from some stakeholders in the community – the school department, the library, the DPW, and the Beech Street Center – we are closing town offices on July 3 in recognition of the holiday,” Belmont Town Administrator Patrice Garvin told the Select Board at its Monday, June 26 meeting.

“Employees that are overworked will be able to enjoy a long weekend with their family and their friends,” said Garvin of the extra paid holiday.

Board member Elizabeth Dionne said she and her colleagues support the added day off as employees “are working very, very hard under challenging circumstances and [this] felt like something small that we could support as an appreciation of thanks.”

There is also the realization that nearly every non-retail business and government entity would likely find workplaces empty as employees would take a day off to make the 4th four days long.

But while the town is closed, trash and recycling will occur on Monday. After the 4th, the curbside schedule will return with Wednesday, July 5, the Tuesday collection day.

For problems with trash and recycling collections on Monday, call the town’s trash contractor, Waste Management, at 1-800-972-4545

Library Temp Spaces Selected As Planning Advances On New Building

Photo: The Benton Library at the corner of Oakley and Old Middlesex Roads.

Despite being closed for nearly two years as the new building is being constructed late in 2023, the Belmont Public Library will continue to serve the community at three locations around town.

Kathy Keohane, member of the Library Building Committee and chair of the Board of Library Trustees, came before the Select Board on June 26 to identify the temporary spaces it will be used to serve patrons.

“I’m thrilled to state we have a solution,” said Keohane, announcing where services will be held beginning in October/November.

  • Benton Library: Children’s collection
  • Chenery Upper Elementary: Staff
  • Beech Street Center: Adult services and circulation

“It’s taken a number of months, but I think with great leadership from [Town Administrator] Patrice [Garvin], from the Council on Aging, the School Board, and [Facilties Director] Dave Blazon, we found a solution for the community,” said Keohane.

“It was a victory to secure the spaces and work collaboratively. This is a wonderful example of how all the different groups came together to find a shared solution that can work,” said Keohane.

Since most of the permanent collection will be in storage for the next two years, the library will heavily rely on the Minuteman Library Network to provide books and media material to residents, said Keohane.

Keohane told the board the beginning of the demolition of the current library will begin in November/December, with the opening of the new facility in the second quarter of 2025.

Six Pack Of Pale Blue Donation Bins Set To Help Residents Get Rid Of Unwanted Textile/Clothes

Photo: One of the bins in Belmont, at the cemetery entrance on Fairview Avenue.

Did you know as of Nov. 1, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection banned all textiles from being thrown in the trash? Now that you do, it has become imperative for Belmontians to find an alternative way of ridding their closets of last decade’s fads and yesterday’s fashion.

The town is now offering residents a solution as Belmont has begun a partnership with Northborough-based textile exporter CMRK to locate six donation bins to collect clothing and shoes now barred from the black waste carts.

This new partnership will provide a primary method for residents to recycle clothes, blankets, bedding, and shoes in six pale blue bins located throughout Belmont:

  • 310 Trapelo Rd. in the VFW parking lot
  • Grove Street tennis courts
  • The entry to Belmont Cemetery on Fairview Avenue
  • The Belmont Street delta adjacent to the Oakley Country Club
  • Two bins at the Claflin Street parking lot in Belmont Center

Donations left in the bins are limited to textiles, clothes, shoes and rags. All contributions must be placed in a secured/tied plastic trash bag.

Other municipalities working with CMRK include Winthrop, Bedford, and Pittsfield.

In addition, residents can schedule a home pick-up by the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation by going to the website or calling 800-483-5503. Pick-ups offer a larger number of items to donate, including household items (dishes, pots, pans, LPs), books, DVDs, and even art.

Remembering Belmont Pride 2023: ‘You Need Some Rain To Make A Rainbow’ [VIDEO]


It was a wet June 17 for Belmont Pride 2023, but a steady rain couldn’t dissuade many marchers, public officials, and spectators who came out to celebrate Belmont’s support for the LGBTIQA+ community.

“You need some rain to make a rainbow,” said one of many teens who came out to march.

Belmont High Boys’, Girls’ Rugby Go Undefeated, With A Pair Of State Championship Trophies In Tow

Photo: Belmont High Girls’ Rugby Head Coach Kate McCabe getting drenched after Belmont won its fifth consecutive MIAA Division 1 state girls’ rugby title.

The Belmont High School’s rugby program duplicated last year’s achievement as the Boys’ and Girls’ squads returned home to Belmont with a pair of Division 1 state championships in games played Sunday morning and afternoon on June 18 at Curry College.

Boys’ Back Line Leads The Way To Consecutive Championships

Win, return, repeat.

Belmont High Boys’ made it consecutive MIAA Division 1 state titles as the top-ranked Marauders defeated this season’s chief challenger, second-seed St. John’s Prep of Danvers, 24-14.

Belmont High finishes the season undefeated, 10-0, for the first time in the program’s 17-year history, which included three matches against out-of-state competition. The Marauders equals its traditional rival, Boston College High, with the most number of MIAA state titles with three.

“Day one of this season was, ‘Guys, you’re defending state champs, but that was last year’s team. This is a different team. We’ve won nothing,” said Belmont’s Head Coach Greg Bruce. That belief led to the team to adopt a “Zero, zero” mentality – which the team shouted out after every score by either team – which got the team grounded for the season.

Rather than viewing the score of individual games or an undefeated season as the measure of the team’s success, “they just wanted to come out here to play their rugby and have one last opportunity to be together,” said Bruce.

The match’s first 20 minutes was the expected heavyweight bout of hard tackling with no quarter given between programs that acknowledge a level of “bad blood” between the two. “[Chirpy] on the field and from the stands,” according to a Belmont coach.

“We knew they were going to be really physical, and they came out even more physical than we expected,” said Belmont High senior prop Asa Rosenmeier, a co-captain heading off to Brown, where he will play rugby. “We pride ourselves on our defense, so we took that challenge straight on.”

Playing without the senior inside center, co-captain, and the program’s all-time leading scorer Jake Cornelius who was injured in Belmont’s 49-14 semi-final victory over BC High, the Marauders stayed within their “game” of running at Preps’ front row led by the 6’5″, 280-pound Rosenmeier and keeping possession of the ball by controlling their rucks and winning the scrums.

After coming close in the first minute, Belmont struck first at the 17-minute mark as junior Number 8 Max Cornelius took a “tap and go” and snuck over the try line after being set up by a 30-meter run by senior outside center Ben Williams that put the ball inside the 10-meter mark. Junior inside center Stephen Hong – who moved into Jake Cornelius’ number 12 role on short notice – nailed the conversation despite the acute angle to stake the Marauders to a 7-0 lead.

“I was ready for this moment,” said Hong. “We got the ‘W’ so I’m pretty happy about my performance.”

It took just five minutes for the Marauders to add its second tally as Hong hopped by a defender and sprinted 40 meters to score after Rosenmeier stole a Prep pass to give Belmont the ball 35 meters from goal.

Prep got on the scoreboard through Luke Rinklin, the Eagles’ Man of the Match, when the junior fly-half quickly took the ball on a touch and go and weaved 30 meters unopposed to place Prep within one score of the lead, 12-7.

But Belmont would have the final word in the half as senior flanker Matt Doban broke two tackles in the last ten meters to lunge over the try line at the 35-minute mark to up the Marauders’ lead to 19-7 at intermission.

During the opening 15 minutes of the second half, Prep’s task was straightforward: Get an early try and keep the score tight over the final 20 minutes. And the Eagles attempted just that, possessing the ball 20 meters from the Belmont try line as they pressed the attack.

But Belmont’s hard-pressed defense would bend but not break. While the Marauders’ front row punished St. John’s Prep’s runners in the center of the field, it was Belmont’s young back six – Henry Thomas, Luke Wilgren, Hong, Williams, Myles Torres, and Wyatt Sclafani – who made up for their lack of size with speed and tackling prowess prevented Prep from breaching the defensive line including twice inside five meters of the goal line. And when Prep crossed the try zone seven minutes into the half, Hong and junior fly-half Thomas prevented the Prep player from grounding the ball, allowing sophomore full-back Torres to come in for the steal.

“We got down low around the breakdown and then fired up and hit them. You can’t be scared playing defense. That’s how we held them,” said Rosenmeier.

“We asked them to put out their best defensive performance of the year,” said Bruce after the game. “Even though the score might not be the lowest points we’ve given up, that was by far the best defensive performance.”

The Marauders’ victory was secured with one of the season’s flukiest tries. On their first venture into the Eagles’ territory 15 minutes into the half, as Belmont was kicking towards the touchline, a Prep player made what one MIAA official called “an extraordinary athletic play,” leaping for the ball three meters out of bounds to tap the ball back into play. But Belmont had two players covering the kick, and the ball bounced once straight into Wilgren’s arms, who walked over the try line in what the left wing said is “the easiest try I’ll ever score.”

With Belmont up 24-7 and time draining, St. Johns’ was looking to the always dangerous Rinklin to spark a final comeback. And when Prep scored through senior Ryan Albano’s three-meter run with 12 minutes remaining, the Eagles would only cross the midfield line with less than a minute to play. When the final whistle blew, the team received their medals, and Rosenmeier and Cornelius raised the trophy aloft.

Girls’ Dominating Win Results In Five-peat

Just one word describes the championship game and season for Belmont High Girls’ Rugby.


Belmont pocketed its fifth consecutive MIAA state championship (completed in seven years), defeating a young Brookline High squad 59-0, placing a capstone on a 9-0 undefeated season.

“The team wanted to make a statement about defense, and I think they really came out in the first half and did what they needed to do,” said Head Coach Kate McCabe, who received a celebratory drenching at midfield.

Belmont was only threatened once in the season by a rapidly improving Weymouth squad in the Division 1 tournament semifinals. The Marauders fell behind 7-5 at Harris Field before scoring 26 unanswered points on four tries for a convincing 31-7 Final Four victory.

“The girls walked away from that semi-final match saying the defense and the spread that we were doing wasn’t enough. It really motivated them,” said McCabe.

Already without star Number 8, senior co-captain Val Detheux, on the pitch – lost to a knee injury suffered during the fall soccer campaign – Belmont would suffer a second blow when its all-around commanding presence, junior right flanker Alek Townsend, left the field with a knock to her knee in the first half. But the team didn’t miss a beat Sunday, as there was no loss of skill and talent with the substitutes who were sent in.

“Honestly, the privilege that I have with the depth of this bench is unbelievable,” said McCabe. “The ability to turn around and know exactly who you can put in and make a difference is amazing.”

In a game in which the weather changed by the minute – rain, sun, a dose of showers – Belmont began scoring in the first two minutes with a driving run from junior lock Rowan Dragon with the conversion from junior fly-half Lucy Kabrhel, – who went 7 of 9 in conversion attempts – as the team began a masterclass on all aspects of the game.

Brookline couldn’t string the passes needed to stretch the Marauder back line, forcing them inside where they could not make headway against a physical Belmont front. When the Warriors attempted to push the ball out wide, their runners would meet Townsend, who laid out several crushing tackles before she departed.

On offense, the Marauders were much stronger up front while Belmont’s passes, starting from senior scrum-half Shelby Ball, were quickly delivered and on the mark.

Belmont junior lock Sally Amer punched in Belmont’s second try at the 10-minute mark, followed by junior inside center Olivia Mann diving across the line at 19 minutes to give the Marauders a 21-0 lead at the half.

The Marauders’ junior full-back Mia Taylor finished the game early in the second half with two scores, including a 45-meter solo gallop and a 30-meter run around the edge.

“I was committed to finding the openings as I got the passes from my teammates,” said Taylor, who garnered a second-half hat trick. Taylor saw her sister, sophomore flanker Sadie score her try while senior prop Elise Conroy finished her career with a pair in the final minutes.

And for the fifth time, Belmont took home the state tournament winners trophy as an emotional Detheux raised the silverware with senior co-captain Number 8 Sage Tonomura-MacDonald in front of their ecstatic teammates.

Losing just a handful of senior starters from this year’s first 15, McCabe said the program is on track to continue its impressive championship run.

“We’re building from a good place,” she said.

Juneteenth: What Open/Closed In Belmont; Trash/Recycling Delayed By A Day

Photo: Juneteenth Celebration (Credit: Town of Belmont)

This year on Monday, June 19, the country celebrates Juneteenth National Independence Day or Juneteenth. It is a federal and Massachusetts holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Deriving its name from combining June and nineteenth, it is celebrated on the anniversary of the order by Major General Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. (Thank you, Wikipedia)

Trash and recycling pick-up will be delayed by a day.

Here is what’s closed and what’s open on Juneteenth:

  • Belmont Town Hall and town offices: Closed
  • Belmont Public Library: Closed
  • Belmont Public Schools: Summer recess began last week
  • State and Federal government offices: Closed.
  • US Postal Service: Both Belmont post offices are closed; express delivery only.

Most retail operations are open for the new holiday.

  • Retail stores and coffee shops: Open
  • Liquor stores: Open.
  • Supermarkets: Open.
  • Convenience stores: Open.
  • Taverns, bars: Open.
  • Banks: Closed.

For those who want to do some day traveling using public transportation, the MBTA will operate on their regular schedule.

Chenery Eighth Graders Champs Of National Middle School Quiz Bowl Tourney

Photo: The National Champions of Middle School Quiz Bowl: (from left) Gregory Zeldovich, Jeffrey Wu, Fergus Williams and Andrew Gao

When Andrew Gao answered what would be the deciding question in the 2023 Quiz Bowl Middle School National Championship Tournament, he knew he got it correct. And when they the announcer confirmed it, an excited Gao jumped out of his seat knocking over the chair in front of an auditorium filled with students, parents and Quiz Bowl officials.

[The answer was the 1976 Korean axe murder incident]

But that small faux pas didn’t dampen the realization the team from the Belmont’s W. L. Chenery Middle School had enough of a lead to hold off their Georgia competition and secured the national title to the team made up of four eighth graders – captains Gao and Gregory Zeldovich, along with Fergus Williams and Jeffrey Wu – who represented Belmont’s W. L. Chenery Middle School.

“It was like a mystical thing,” said Williams when the final score was announced. “Then it instinctively click: we won!”

Quiz bowl is a competitive, academic, interscholastic activity for teams of four students. Quiz Bowl teams use buzzers to answer questions about science, math, history, literature, mythology, geography, social science, current events, sports, and popular culture. The matches feature a blend of individual competition and team collaboration, since no individual player is likely to be an expert in all subject areas. Participation in quiz bowl both reinforces lessons from the classroom and encourages players to develop new intellectual interests.

“It’s like Jeopardy but with longer questions and there are bonuses for getting the question early,” said Gao.

See how you would do answering these Middle School Quiz Bowl questions.

The Chenery joined 159 of the top middle schools Quiz Bowl teams from 31 states and South Korea at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Chicago for the annual event held over the May 13 weekend.

Not that the Goa or the Chenery team are strangers to the competition as the school’s Quiz Bowl club was runners-up in the 2022 edition, losing to Longfellow Middle School of Falls Church, Virginia.

“That really helped knowing how to take on the pressure of each game,” said Zeldovich.

The young men are members of the school’s Quiz Bowl Club which includes students who are competitive and those who simply want to have fun with a wide array of subjects. The club qualified for the national tournament being one of the top 15 percent of teams in the country.

“I feel like we do pretty well in tournaments that we took part in last fall,” said Williams.

Coached by Beth Manca, Chenery began the preliminary rounds with a eight-game winning streak, finishing the preliminary rounds with a 8-0 record, qualifying them for the eight game playoff round.

There were some tense moments in the final round. Chenery defeated Sycamore A from Indianapolis, Indiana by the narrow margin of 440-415 during round 5 and then suffered a narrow loss to River Trail A from Johns Creek, Georgia, 345-340, during round 21. But by then, Chenery cumulative record was good enough to put them in the championship finals against Johns Creek.

In the ultimate match, Chenery had a small lead at the half 200-160. “It was back and forth, just like in the last game with them, It was Deja vu,” said Gao.

After a second half push by River Trail, Chenery managed to pull ahead for good with two minutes remaining, winning 380-280.

Gao was honored as an All-Star for correctly answering 60 tossup questions, 46 of them for “power questions.” Goa said he’s good at quires about literature, geography and history. “But not math,” he said with a shrug. “So it’s OK that there are not that many math questions.”

Belmont High Boys’ Tennis Grind Out 5-0 Playoff Win Over Marblehead; No. 1 Duxbury Up Next

Photo: On to the Elite Eight for Belmont High Boys’ Tennis

While the score line might read Belmont High Boys’ Tennis pitching the 5-0 shutout of Marblehead High in the Sweet 16 of the MIAA Division 2 state tournament, for much of the day, the action at Belmont’s Winn Brook tennis courts resembled a street brawl.

“I called it a boxing match,” said Belmont Head Coach Dave Benson as the 8th-seeded Marauders (13-6) has reached the Elite Eight for consecutive years. “Some punches to the face, then back with some body blows, and finally some knockout punches. So it was an impressive showing against a really good Marblehead (16-4) team.”

The prize for its second shutout performance will be meeting the Division 2 number-one seed and 20-1 Duxbury on Saturday, June 10, at 5 p.m.

“That’s a fabulous opponent. We’re honored to play them, the first seed. I’ve got them circled on my draw,” said Alek Karagozyan, Belmont’s senior co-captain and the program’s talisman for the past three seasons. “I’m excited for what we have to offer them.”

In the match in which the top singles and doubles were forced to battle it out in their respective matches, the Marauders relied on its lower-tier players to provide the needed early edge in the contest. Third singles Julian Wong was having a grand ol’ time running the court with sophomore enthusiasm against his 10th-grader opponent.

“I just came in thinking I’m just gonna play my game and play how I know how to play,” said Wong, who won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. “I had some trouble in the first set, but after I figured out the weaknesses of his play, it helped me a lot.”

Second doubles, made up of youngsters Henry Moriarty and Soyam Pokharel were on the front foot the entire match, although it got a bit squirrely finishing off the first set as Pokharel’s serve went south. “I got a little bit nervous, but we won the set, and that’s what counts,” he said.

“Coach has been motivating us to stay strong no matter how close the game is. Always stay positive, play our game. I think we did pretty well today, and we capitalized at the end,” said Pokharel as he and Moriarty won in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1.

But for the top-line matches, it was anything but a romp as the three were more akin to the battles depicted in “Game of Thrones.” On the left side of the Winn Brook court, Belmont’s top two singles were in for grinders against tough opponents as they showed their contrasting styles on the court; Karagozyan’s street fighter persona with his emotions out there (“Oh my gosh!” “Come on!” followed by his trademark fist pump) while the quiet Osborn took a more Zen-like “living in the present moment” approach to his match.

Karagozyan’s Marblehead opponent forced Belmont 1 to generate nearly all the power strokes in rallies that averaged in the double digits as the two-setter lasted well more than 90 minutes.

“I used to play like that, so I know what kind of mental effect it has on an opponent, and I have to give full credit for really making me doubt myself a little bit sometimes,” said Karagozyan. “But I forced myself to put my head up, and convert my serve and my forehand under pressure.”

The cumulative impact of Karagozyan’s shot selection and power strokes beat down his Marblehead opponent as he collapsed with cramps in both legs at 5-3 in the second set. During a delay for treatment that lasted 20 minutes, Osborn quickly took his third set decider.

“It was tough because I could play a good point and he would hit like an insane shot. Then I’d play a bad shot, and he’d have a bad return. He just got kind of annoying to deal with because neither of us got into a rhyme,” said Osborn, who won 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. Karagozyan would win the two final points to take the W, 6-4, 6-3.

But it was first-doubles – comprised of Belmont’s two Bens: senior co-captain Packard and junior Trost – that earned the title “True Grit” for its marathon. The pair admitted their first set was “terrible,” with more unforced errors than you could find in an unforced error factory. “I was really kind of tense the first set, and it showed,” said Trost. After dropping the first set 3-6, the decision was made at the start of the second set to throw away the playbook and revert the match into a point-by-point grudge match.

“In all honesty, that second set, we just grinded it out,” said Trost. “We just stepped in our shoes and stuck it out,” said Packard, ending into a long tiebreaker in which Belmlont gutted out the win, 9-7. The third set saw Packard and Trout break twice and survive, 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-1.

Belmont will have a quick turnaround before spending the day traveling down to the South Shore to take on the Dragons.

Belmont Help’s Spring Fundraiser Is A Chance To Be Bowled Over

Photo: Belmont Help co-founder Amy Krisch

Founded in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Belmont Helps provides $20,000 annually in food support to the nearly 1,000 Belmont households that qualify for federal nutrition programs. Belmont Helps can only continue its outreach through the generous support of volunteers and the donations of Belmont residents.

This year’s spring fundraiser will be critical in continuing to assist families struggling with basic food needs.

Judy and Ian Edwards of Belmont have donated three handcrafted wooden bowls they made from Belmont trees to support the fundraiser. For every $50 donated to Belmont Help by June 15, a raffle ticket will be entered in your name to win one of the bowls.

Online donations can be made at belmonthelps.org

Checks can be made to Belmont Food Collaborative with “Belmont Helps” in the memo line. The mailing address is Belmont Helps, 8 Jason Rd., Belmont, MA 02478.