Yard Sales in Belmont, May 24, 25 and Memorial Day

Here’s a quick list of yard, garage and estate sales going on in Belmont this weekend.

• 34 Falmouth St.Saturday, May 24, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rain or shine.

71 Bartlett Ave., Sunday, May 25, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Scott Road off Pleasant Street, Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day), 9-ish into the afternoon.

265 Grove St., Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• 259 School St., Monday, May 26 (Memorial Day), 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Belmont Health Board to Vote in June on Raising Tobacco Sales Age

Residents could see tobacco and electronic cigarettes join liquor and beer with a 21 year old age restriction on their sale if the Belmont Board of Health approves a proposal at its June meeting, according to the board’s chair.

Answering questions at an informational meeting held at Town Hall Thursday, May 22, the Health Board’s Donna David said the move will be decided at the board’s next meeting in June.

“If we come to a consensus we could vote then,” said David, who added that she did not expect an outcry by raising the minimum age by two years.

“It’s not like we are saying you can’t sell tobacco in town. Now that would bring people out to comment,” she said.

The reasons for increasing the age is straight forward, it will delay the onset of smoking initiation and reduce the chances and opportunities to become addicted to tobacco, which David observed is more difficult to “kick than heroin.”

The new restriction will virtually eliminate any student attending Belmont High from purchasing tobacco products. It will also be the same age as alcohol which will make it easier for store owners and clerks “to do the math” and will also prevent those under 21 from using their “vertical” state driver’s license.

Belmont would join a growing number of communities in Massachusetts and the US if it approves increasing the minimum age for tobacco and other nicotine devices. Currently 17 municipalities have or will impose the higher age level by August, including Lexington (which it has not been enacted) and Arlington.

Nationally, New York City (on May 14) and Hawaiʻi Island of Hawai’i have adopted 21 as the new standard.

Belmont’s Health Board raised its minimum age to 19 in 2010.

According to the latest data from the state’s Department of Public Health, only eight percent of adult Belmontians – approximately 1,868 residents – smoke tobacco, which is about half the statewide rate of 15 percent.

But the rate of illegal sales to minors (at 21 percent) in town is 87 percent higher than in the state at 11 percent.

Yet David said the lacks direct data to prove that the new regulation would be effective in preventing smoking from the young. In addition, the new regulation could put a dent in the financial health of the convenient stores. David said stores still selling tobacco and lottery tickets can make up to $2,000 daily.

Both David and Angela Braun of the Health Department said they are concerned by the chemicals used in the delivery devices that have gained favor with those attempting to quit smoking and it doesn’t omit second-hand smoke.

“They are dangerous. I don’t know the exact chemicals but that is an issue,” said Braun.

Belmont Rugby’s Championship Game Starts at 2:30 PM Saturday

After defeating Boston College High on Tuesday, May 20, to advance for the second straight year to the Division 1 Mass. Youth Rugby Organization state championship game, the Belmont High School Rugby Club just needed to know two things as they prepared to meet Warwick, RI’s Bishop Hendricken High School in the finals.

Where and when.

And now the team knows.

The rematch of last year’s championship game, which Belmont won, 17-5, will be held at Fort Devens State Park on the “Antietam Field” Saturday, May 24 with the kickoff set for 2:30 p.m.

Admission is free so come and support the boys as they defend their title.

Fort Devens is about 25 miles from Belmont. The good news is that the location is off Route 2 so the trip is quite easy to make. Get on Route 2 westbound until Exit 37B which becomes Jackson Road. Stay on Jackson until you reach the intersection of Antietam Street. Take a left and the field is in front of you.

What to Do Today: Memorial Day Exercises, Belmont Flower Show, Bonnie and Clyde

• The Belmont Public Schools start off the Memorial Day Weekend by honoring veterans with a breakfast at Belmont High School at 8 a.m. before holding a ceremony in front of the school at 8:30 a.m. The vets will then travel to Wellington Elementary (9:15 a.m.) and then Burbank Elementary (10 a.m.) for exercises before a luncheon at the VFW Post at 310 Trapelo Rd. at 11:30 p.m.

• “A World of Celebrations” comes alive with floral arrangements at the Belmont Garden Club’s Flower Show taking place today, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, May 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room. Featuring  designs for France’s Bastille Day, China’s New Year, Italy’s Carnival of Venice, the show will also include a horticulture division.

• Eighty years ago today, in 1934, the bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were ambushed by lawmen and killed along a road in Black Lake, Louisana, marking the end of the romanticized “public enemy” era of celebrity criminals.

Residents Caffeinated Over Possible Starbucks Relocation

When William Chin, chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals, asked late in the hearing on the proposed temporary relocation of Starbucks Coffee from its current home in Cushing Square up Trapelo Street to the corner of Belmont Street if anyone wanted to speak in favor of the application, a slight laugh rose from those filling the Board of Selectmen’s Room at Town Hall on Monday, May 19.

“Don’t everyone run [to defend it],” Chin said wryly, to the now chuckles of the approximately 40 residents who came  to show their overwhelming displeasure with the anticipated migration of the popular national coffee shop across from their residential neighborhood even if it is just for a single year.

After nearly 90 minutes in which few resident questions were concretely answered, the Board of Appeals voted to adjourn the meeting until Monday, June 16  so the applicant would be able to answer or explain neighbor’s concerns including parking, deliveries and adding another eatery to the area.

“This is only the start of the process,” said Chin. “It could also end here,” he added.

The move, as development consultant Gerry Pucillo told the board, is necessary so the Cushing Village development – the three building, 186,000 square foot parking, retail and residential complex in the heart of Cushing Square – can begin construction shortly after the relocation which should take place sometime around September.

The undertaking will be a friendly transaction as Cushing Village developer Chris Starr of Smith Legacy Partners controls both sites.

“We looked at several locations and he felt this was the one that suit Starbucks need,” said Pucillo after the meeting.

The transition, which will force two small businesses (a tailors and a jewelry store) to decamp from 6 – 8 Trapelo Rd., requires the issuance of two special permits by the Zoning Board, said Chin. One is simply structural; to straighten out the concave-shaped store front window.

The other will allow for a restaurant that doesn’t require food to be cooked on the premises to take over the space, placing 30 seats into the location, the same amount at the existing store.

Chin said the issuance of a special permit for a restaurant goes to the applicant or their representatives and does not apply to the actual space.

Yet according to the application for the special permit filed at the Office of Community Development, Smith Legacy declared once Starbucks returns to Cushing Village, the “site will then continue to be used for the new use granted under the Special permit.”

While Chin said the board does not have the ability to place a “sunset” clause on the restaurant special permit that would terminate the application, they can place in the permit a clause requiring any business at the location to submit to a periodical “review” to determine if it is a “good neighbor.”

“If not, we can close them down,” said Chin.

The argument against the relocation was capsulized by Oak Avenue homeowner Rickland Powell who said the inclusion of Starbucks into the area would “cause personal and irrefutable harm” to his neighborhood since the temporary Starbucks can only supply on-street parking for both employees and customers.

Pucillo said six employees are in the store during a typical shift.

Powell said there exists “parking issues” from commuters who park on area streets so they can use the popular MBTA bus route and coming from customers of Moozy’s, the popular ice cream which would be located two doors from the temporary Starbucks.

Under the town’s bylaw, “how many [parking] spaces are actually available and can multiple businesses claim the same space within their permit?” asked Powell.

Chin said in a Limited Business 3 zone – also known as a LB-3 – where the temporary space is located, a retail operator must have one space for every 250 square feet of business space. The proposed Starbucks is expected to take up just under 800 square feet.

“So clearly they are not near the zoning requirement,” said Chin, who noted that this situation is common around “strip” stores in Belmont.

Pucillo said parking will be discussed in the coming week when he meets with Community Development Director Glenn Clancy.

Yet Jeanne Mooney of Oak Avenue noted the relocation will occur at the same time as the reconstruction of the Belmont Street/Trapelo Road Corridor at the location. That construction in itself will take out parking along Trapelo and Belmont, making side streets the preferred long-term parking sites.

Other concerns included deliveries at the store, increased trash and the addition of a dumpster and the “rushed nature” of the move.

“The developer should have known well before this that … Starbucks needed to move to a different location,” said Steve Klionsky of Payson Road.

“Now we are being faced with the fall out of that as a fait accompli,” he said.

Health Board Seek Comment on Raising Tobacco, E-Cigarette Sales Age to 21

The Belmont Board of Health will be holding an informational meeting tonight, Thursday, May 22, at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium to hear from residents on a proposal to raise the age to 21 years old to purchase both tobacco and the increasingly popular “e-cigarette” nicotine delivery devices in Belmont.

“It is a proposal that we want people to know and comment,” said Dr. David Alper, vice chair of the Belmont Board of Health on Monday, May 19.

Two years ago, Belmont raised the age requirement to 19 to purchase all tobacco-related products such as cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.

The board can unilaterally increase the age limit without Town Meeting approval since it would be a change in health regulations, not altering a town bylaw.

In 2005, Needham was the first community in the United States that prohibited sales to anyone under 21 years old.

Since then, New York City has issued the same ban while neighboring Arlington is raising their age of sale to 21 via a three-year step plan.

Sold in Belmont: Condo on Former One-Family Site Sells for Nearly 7 Figures

Here is the weekly recap of residential properties bought in the “Town of Homes.”

37 Statler Rd. Center-entrance Colonial (1938), Sold for: $710,000. Listed at $599,900. Living area: 1,340 sq.-ft. 6 rooms; 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 47 days.

44 Marlboro St. Condominium, Sold for: $406,000. Listed at $389,000. Living area: 1,288 sq.-ft. 6 rooms; 3 bedrooms, 1 bath. On the market: 47 days.

109 Waverley St. Condominium new construction (2013), Sold for: $943,000. Listed at $939,000. Living area: 2,650 sq.-ft. 8 rooms; 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 84 days.

519 Belmont St. Multi-family structure (1923), Sold for: $799,000. Listed at $815,000. Living area: 3,125 sq.-ft. 14 rooms; 6 bedrooms, 3 baths. On the market: 99 days.

105 Longmeadow Rd. Two-story modified Colonial (1959), Sold for: $1,150,000. Listed at $1,195,000. Living area: 3,773 sq.-ft. 9 rooms; 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. On the market: 69 days.

14 Hough Rd. Split-level ranch (1954), Sold for: $899,000. Listed at $899,900. Living area: 1,945 sq.-ft. 10 rooms; 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 111 days.

Belmont High Baseball Makes Playoffs Behind Shea’s Arm, Bat

Belmont High School Baseball’s Brendan Shea is best known for this pitching – he is heading to UMass-Lowell to join Head Coach Ken Harring’s River Hawks – but on Tuesday, May 20, the southpaw showed he can wield a bat in a game against Salem (NH) High School.

The senior sent a 0-1 pitch over the fence for a three-run home run to put Belmont High into the Division 2 North Sectional playoffs with a 7-4 victory over the visiting Blue Devils at Brendan Grant Field.

Shea once again showed his prowess on the mound as he struck out 10 batters and gave up one bloop hit over five innings while giving up four unearned runs. Kevin Arria relieved Shea with two scoreless innings to earn the save and end a three-game losing streak where Belmont left 34 players on base over that stretch. 

Making the post-season for the 12th season in a row turned out to be tougher than Belmont Head Coach Jim Brown had anticipated.

“Finally. It was a battle making [the playoffs] this time,” said Brown. “We finally got timely hitting today.”

The big blow came in the bottom of the fifth when Shea cranked the dinger out of the park bringing in outfielder Matt Rocha (hit by a pitch) and shortstop Cole Bartels (double) to give Belmont a 5-4 lead.

Belmont played small ball in the first when Rocha reached first on a single, stole second and came in on freshman catcher Cal Christofori’s single. 

Belmont will next play on Friday, May 22, at 4 p.m. at Grant Field against Reading High during the annual Brendan Grant Tournament.

What to Do Today: Warrant Briefing at the Beech, Chenery Concert, K-12 Art Show

• The Warrant Committee and the Belmont League of Women Voters Education Fund invites Town Meeting members and the public to a warrant briefing on financial and budgetary articles (both town and schools) prior to the reconvening of the annual Town Meeting on June 2. Town officials and department heads will be present to provide information at the meeting, starting at 7 p.m. at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St. Michael Libenson, chairman of the Warrant Committee, will lead the discussion.

 The 7th & 8th Grade Chorus and Orchestra Concert will take place at 7 p.m. in the Chenery Middle School’s auditorium.

• In its first combined kindergarten through 12th grade show, the annual Belmont Public Schools Art Show gets underway today at the Belmont Gallery of Art located on the third floor of the Homer Municipal Building in the Town Hall complex.

Infant Lapsit Storytime at the Belmont Public Library is for infants and pre-walkers. Come enjoy songs, finger plays and rhymes chosen especially for our littlest readers. The fun starts in the Flett Room at 10:30 a.m.

Fundraising Site Established for Victims of the Marlboro Street Fire

A Fundly account (that is an online fundraising site) has been established for the victims of the Marlboro Street fire who were left homeless and without belongings from the blaze that took place just after midnight, Wednesday, May 21.

“Please donate to help our neighbors get back on their feet,” reads the message on the web site.

According to a message on the web page which was created by Daniel Parmer:

“The 9 (sic) residents escaped without injury, with nothing but the clothes on their back and no insurance to help recover what was lost. We are reaching out to our neighbors and the Greater Boston community to request your generous contribution to this fund. Donations will be distributed solely and equally amongst the displaced tenants to help them purchase essentials, find a new place to live, and begin to restore their lives.”

“We are the Belmont Corner Neighborhood Association and we believe it is our responsibility to help the members of our community. Please join us in supporting our neighbors.”