A PUBLIC MEETING ON CORRALLING LEAF BLOWERS!! ON TUESDAY, JAN. 25 AT 7 PM!!

Photo: Leaf blowers will be discussed at a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022 (Credit: Wolfmann, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Belmont Select Board returns to the contentious debate on placing limits on what many believe is a necessity and others a scourge of suburban life – leaf blowers.

The board will once again hold a public form on a proposed bylaw to control the use of leaf blowers on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.

“I’ve had several requests of from people in recent months to revisit the subject,” said Adam Dash, chair of the board. Dash noted the last time the subject came before the members it “sort of yielded a Balkanized response about what to do with anything.”

The pro bylaw side says commercial portable leaf blowers cause pollution beyond their size while destroying quiet mornings and evenings by being so dang loud. The status quo is the gas-driven machines are the most effective method of moving leaves in a town with as many trees as people.

The meeting will help decide if the board will present a bylaw before the annual town meeting in May.

Covid Vaccine, Booster Shots At Belmont High On Wednesday; Register Now

Photo: Get on the bus (Credit: mass.gov)

The Belmont Health Department is offering COVID-19 vaccines, including 1st, 2nd, and booster shots at the Mass Department of Public Health’s Mobile Vaccine clinic on Wednesday Jan. 12 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Belmont High School, 221 Concord Ave.

Register here for the clinic: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/purpleshield?calendar=8d672bef-8ff4-464c-8fa1-524b3904a1f8

Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available for all eligible ages for 1st, 2nd or booster doses.

  • Individuals 5-11 can sign up to receive their first or second dose of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine
  • Individuals 12+ can sign up to receive their 1st, 2nd, or booster* dose of the Pfizer vaccine
  • Individuals 18+ can also sign up to receive either 1st, 2nd, or booster* dose of the Moderna vaccine

Boosters are available to anyone as long as it has been more than six months since their second dose of the Moderna vaccine, five or more months since their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, or two or more months if they received the Johnson&Johnson vaccine

This clinic will be operated through a partnership between and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Mobile Vaccine Program, Belmont Public Schools and the Belmont Health Department.

Happy (?) New Year, Belmont; What’s Closing Early on the 31st And Open On The First Day Of 2022

Photo: Fireworks over the Boston Common at 7 p.m. Take the T! (Credit: Estormiz, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

A Happy New Year, Belmont. We all deserve having something to celebrate, even if most of us will be doing it alone or with a smigin of the folks you wish you could as we try to be Omicron-avoidant.

Unlike a week ago on Christmas, there is a bit more options available for those seeking a strong cup of coffee, some aspirin or just resupplying the pantry.

Closed:

  • Town offices
  • Federal offices
  • Belmont Public Library
  • US Postal Service, Belmont Center and Waverley Square closed on Jan. 1. (Regular hours on the 31st.)

MBTA

On New Year’s Eve: For everyone looking for a cheap and reliable way to attend First Night 2022 in downtown Boston to participate in the First Night Procession (at 5:50 p.m.) or attend the Family Fireworks display over the Boston Common (7 p.m.), here is what you need to know.

Subway trains will run on a Saturday schedule, but with increased service after 3 p.m.

Buses will run on a Saturday schedule

Commuter Rail will run on a weekday schedule, and will hold the last train on each line after midnight: The final train on the Fitchburg line will depart North Station at 12:50 a.m.

New Year’s Day

 Commuter Rail will run on a weekend schedule

 Buses and subways will run on a Sunday schedule.

Dunkin’ Donuts

• The store at 353 Trapelo Rd. in Central Square (the one at the intersection of Beech Street) is running regular hours on both days: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The shop at 350 Pleasant St. is open until 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the First while the site on at 53 Church St. will, as always, stay hold regular hours 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the 31st and 1st.

Starbucks

• The location at 110 Trapelo Rd. in Cushing Square will close early at 1 p.m. on 12/31 and open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first.

Star Market

The supermarket at 535 Trapelo Rd. will be operating slightly shorter hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on both days with the pharmacy open until 5 p.m. on the 31st but closed on the 1st.

Craft Beer Cellars

Located at 87 Leonard St., the store will be opened until 9 p.m. They will be closed on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

CVS Pharmacy

• The store at 264 Trapelo Rd. will be open regular hours from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Pharmacy will be open from 9 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

• The Belmont Center location at 60 Leonard St. is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on both days with the pharmacy open until 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day.

Belmont Town Offices Closed Dec. 27, 31; Library Shuts For Christmas Eve

Photo:

The holiday hours for town departments and buildings has been set with departments closing at noon on Christmas Eve, Friday, Dec. 24 and reopening on Tuesday, Dec. 28.

The town offices will be closed on Friday, Dec. 31 for the New Year’s Holiday with departments opening bright and early Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.

The Belmont Public Library will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 24 and 25. It will by closed for New Year’s on Friday, Dec. 31 and Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.

Get Into The Christmas Spirit With Brass On Belmont Center Thursday, Dec. 23 @ 3PM

Photo: Come hear Christmas carols on Belmont Center Thursday (Credit: Kreuzschnabel/Wikimedia Commons, Licence: Cc-by-sa-3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode)

If you’re looking to jump-start the holiday spirit – with so much going on around the world, who could use a shot in the arm – here’s an event that you don’t have to go too far to attend.

The Lokensgard Blechbaser Brass Ensemble, a group of talented amateur brass players, will be playing a selection of holiday music on the “Delta” at 2 Leonard St. (a block from Town Hall) on Thursday, Dec. 23, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Laura Tracey – she’s the tuba player – said the group consists of between seven to nine members (three from Belmont) who play every week in locations such as Davis Square in Somerville, Arlington Center and Spy Pond.

“Just like an hour at a time, playing some Christmas carols and we’d love to do that in Belmont,” Tracey told the Select Board on Monday. “If you’ll have us, we’d love to play on Thursday afternoon.” The board said yes.

So come down to the center on Thursday, do some last minute shopping and hear the sounds of the season.

Vaccine Clinic/Booster Shots For Students, Young Adults on Dec. 28; Covid Surge Testing Jan. 8-9

Photo: Belmont will be providing booster shots and testing in the coming weeks for the youngest residents in town. (credit: Spencerbdavis, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

“Booster shots help,” said Adam Dash, chair of the Belmont Select Board at its Monday, Dec. 20 meeting. And along with Covid testing can mitigate the surge of the coronavirus’ Omicron variant.

But as Dash noted, “Getting the booster shot has been difficult” as people clamber for the chance to get their third dose of the vaccine. As for testing, home Covid kits have all but sold out in most stores while state health officials said daily testing sites have handled between 75,000 to 135,00 people for the past week with waits typically running two hours and more. The line at a free testing site in the Cambridgeside Galleria in Cambridge extended up and around the three mezzanine levels.

So here is some welcome news: Belmont will be providing booster shots and testing in the coming weeks for some of the youngest town residents.

The Health Department is holding a pediatric vaccine clinic on Tuesday, Dec. 28 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Beth El Temple Center at 2 Concord Ave. “This clinic is going to be geared primarily towards 16- and 17-year-old who are recently eligible for booster shots,” said Wesley Chin, Belmont’s health director.

  • Individuals 5-11 can sign up to receive their first or second dose of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine
  • Individuals 12+ can sign up to receive their first or second dose of the adult Pfizer vaccine, or Moderna if they are 18+
  • Individuals 16-17 can also sign up to receive a Pfizer booster shot*
  • Individuals 18+ can also sign up to receive either a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot*

Register for a vaccine appointment here: https://www.appointmentquest.com/scheduler/2180061935?schedule=belmontvaccineclinic

For the second time after a holiday, Belmont and Lexington will be holding joint Covid testing clinics for their residents.

The testing in Belmont will be held on Jan. 8 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Chenery Middle School; Lexington will hold its on Jan. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lexington public school administration building gymnasium, 146 Maple St. Residents of either town can

Call the Health Department with any questions at 617-993-2720.

MLK Community Breakfast Will Zoom To Belmont On Jan. 17

Photo: Rahsaan Hall is the keynote speaker at the 2022 annual MLK Community Breakfast which will once again be a virtual event

Belmont’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast, historically intended to bring the Belmont and Boston communities together in a program of unity around Dr. King’s legacy, will once again take place via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 at 9 a.m.

This year’s keynote speaker, Rahsaan Hall, director of the Racial Justice Program at American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, has chosen this year’s theme to be “The Arc and the Pendulum: The Long Journey toward Racial Justice.”

In this role, Rahsaan helps develop the ACLU’s integrated advocacy approach to addressing issues of racial justice. Through legislative advocacy, litigation and community engagement, the program works on issues that impact communities of color and historically disenfranchised communities. Rahsaan also manages the ACLU’s What a Difference a DA makes to educate residents about the power and influence of distract attorneys.

Adam Dash, Belmont’s Select Board chair, looks forward to the annual Belmont MLK event. While he
misses the in-person breakfast where people can mingle and meet, he looks forward to the perspective
each speaker brings to the presently virtual event.

“We can’t talk about race too much” and how the speaker forces local candidates for office to confront issues. Dash recalls how “blown away” he was by the MLK breakfast where former METCO students returned to give their accounts of what a difference the METCO program had made in their lives.

The Belmont Human Rights Commission, in conjunction with Belmont Against Racism and Belmont Media Center, will be the lead sponsor and organizer. The Commission is dedicated to fighting discrimination in all forms; increasing awareness of issues regarding diversity and discrimination in our community; and responding to allegations of discrimination.

Advanced registration can be found at Eventbrite at: https://bit.ly/MLKBelmont2022 For more information about this event, please contact the Commission at belmont.hrc@gmail.com or call 617-993-2795.

Winter Arrives With The Solstice At 10:59AM, Dec. 21

Photo: Winter is here

Winter will officially arrive to the northern hemisphere at a minute before 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21, according to the Farmers’ Almanac.

Best known for the shortest day of sunlight during the year, the sun will rise at 7:09 a.m. and sets this afternoon at 4:16 p.m., a mere 9 hours and 5 minutes of daylight – although last light will occur at 4:47 p.m.

Still it’s more light than what the residents of Oslo as those Norwegians will have less than six hours of daylight with sunrise at 9:18 a.m. and sunset just after lunch at 3:12 p.m.

Don’t Be Left On The Curb: Sign Up For Cardboard Drop Off On Saturday, Dec. 18

Photo: Cardboard should be flattened before driving it over to the Town Yard

The Belmont Department of Public Works cardboard drop off event – which is occurring this week – is for you to get rid of excess cardboard … and only cardboard.

There is a $5 fee for all the cardboard you can stuff in your vehicle; the drop off will occur on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the DPW Yard, 37 C St., off of Waverley Street.

But before you can participate, you have to first register here.

And there are some rules:

  • Please remain in your car
  • All cardboard should be in the trunk or rear of the car 
  • All cardboard should be flattened prior to drop off

Booster Monday At Beth El: Free Covid-19 Shots From 4 PM to 7 PM

Photo: Getting your card filled with a booster shot

The Belmont Health Department is offering a limited number of Moderna Covid-19 booster shots to eligible residents 18 and up. Massachusetts has expanded the eligibility criteria for booster shots, and the new criteria can be found below.

Belmont’s booster dose clinic will be held on Monday Dec. 13 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Beth El Temple Center, 2 Concord Ave.

Register for a booster dose appointment here:
https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/belmont
If you have difficulty with registration, call 617-993-2720 or email Lsharp@belmont-ma.gov for assistance.

Please present insurance cards, photo ID, and vaccination cards at appointment.

  • If you are 18+, and received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, you can get a booster dose once two months have passed since your original dose.
  • If you are 18+, and received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you can get a booster dose once six months have passed since your second dose.

*Booster shots can be any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of your original dose; at this clinic the Moderna vaccine will be provided.