Photo of the Day: A Cry of Help From the Modern Work Force


They’re called Starbucks squatters, coffee-shop campers and laptop hobos. They are the workers who have gone into business on their own or are hired by a firm as a freelancer or under a contract. While the independence is wonderful, their work place is no longer a cubical but a table at the friendly eatery with a Wifi connection. But for many, the convenience of the coffee place is trumped by the longing for a “real” office to work from. This Belmont resident has raised the white flag of surrender as they seek the normalcy of a desk in an office, like the good old days.

This Weekend in Belmont: Rolie Polie Guacamole Saturday, Afternoon Football

• Rolie Polie Guacamole, Brooklyn’s hippest “kindie” band, brings their high-energy show to Belmont to kick off the Public Library’s Children’s Room Saturday Sing-Along Series beginning on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 10:30 a.m. The band will rock original songs and unique covers of classic songs. Check out the band’s big hit: Red Light Green Light (Time For Hummus).”

• Due to the Rosh Hashanah holiday, this week’s Belmont High School Football game will return to its traditional Saturday afternoon game time as the Marauders travel to neighboring Lexington High School on Sept. 27 for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff. In addition, Belmont Boys’ Soccer will host Somerville at 10 a.m. at Harris Field while Field Hockey also travels to Lexington to meet the Minutemen at 11 a.m.

• The Belmont Auxiliary Police and the US Drug Enforcement Agency will host a prescription drug Take-Back Initiative at the town’s DPW yard, 37 C St., on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• It’s a good weekend to get that long-delayed flu shot.

Underwood Pool Fundraiser Hits $300K, But Still a Ways to Go

There is a saying that goes: It’s not how you start, but how you finish.

That’s how Ellen Schreiber views the fundraising effort she is heading for the Underwood Pool Building Committee to secure $200,000 from residents and businesses in just under five weeks that will allow construction to begin on a new Underwood Pool.

In just over a fortnight, the campaign – which began after the low bidding construction company set to build the $4.16 million project backed out at the last minute leaving the town nearly $400,000 short of the new low bid of $4.55 million – has raised nearly three-quarters of the goal, in large part to a $200,000 matching grant from the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation to go along with nearly $100,000 in contributions large and small, Schreiber told the Belmontonian.

But Schreiber, a veteran campaigner who co-led the major town-wide undertaking to build a new Joey’s Park adjacent to the Winn Brook Elementary School, is far from complacent. In a question and answer with the Belmontonian, Schreiber said she is gearing up for a sustained final push to secure the needed funding to replace the existing 102-year-old structure and secure a summer swimming season in 2015.


Belmontonian: You wrote in an recent email that in the first week of the fundraising effort for the new Underwood Pool fundraising raised $93,000, just under half of what needs to be raised to meet the $400,000 goal. Were you expecting such as hopeful response to building the new pool complex?

Schreiber: I am very excited by the response of the Belmont community to the fundraising effort for the New Underwood Pool. I have never seen donations come in so quickly for a fundraising project of this size. I think it shows how much Belmont residents care about the pool. At this point, including the Belmont Savings Bank Foundation matching grant, we’ve crossed the $300,000 threshold, but there is still a lot of money to raise.

Belmontonian: Could you break down in percentage between large – $1,000 and greater – and the smaller donations? What is the total number of donators? How many businesses have donated?

Schreiber: We have received pledges and checks from more than 250 Belmont residents. From my fundraising experience, the donation amounts seem to be higher than typical. I think people understand the fundraising goal and short timeframe and have responded by doing everything they can to help meet the goal. You couldn’t raise this amount of money without some large donations plus many smaller donations, and we’ve gotten a lot of both.

Belmontonian: There has been a great initial response from residents and businesses. How do you keep up the enthusiasm so the goal can be reached by the Oct. 30 deadline?

Schreiber: Communication! It is very important to keep people in the loop. The closer we get, the more enthusiasm we all have. So far, the response has been incredible, but we’re not done yet. We want to begin building the pool while we still have great weather. So for people who are considering a donation, sooner is better.

Belmontonian: How will you be reaching out to the community for funds?

Schreiber: We are trying every way we can to reach Belmont residents and let them know about the fundraising campaign. This really is a viral campaign – some people are sending emails to their friends, some are sending letters, some are talking it up. And of course, we’re trying to get the word out through the press. It seems to me that the word is out, based on the response we’ve been getting.

Belmontonian: Is it more efficient to court businesses and high-income individuals to raise the remaining funds or can you meet the goal with smaller contributions?

Schreiber: I think it is important to give everyone the opportunity to make a difference. You can’t raise money for a project like this if there is not widespread community support, and that is clearly demonstrated by the response – both in numbers of donors and size of donations. This pool belongs to everyone in Belmont; we all have a crucial role to play.

It’s great to have the opportunity to help our community replace a treasured Belmont gathering place. Clearly, there is broad support for the pool, including young families and empty nesters, homeowners who are new to Belmont and those who grew up here, residents who use the pool and those who don’t.

The pool means so much to me – I’ve watched my kids grow up there. And I spoke with a donor yesterday whose parents first met at the Underwood Pool and his now grown children spent lots of time there. The pool brings us together and builds community for kids and adults, and it helps make Belmont the town we love.

One more thing; please visit to donate online or to follow instructions for donating by check.

Belmont Police Collecting Unwanted Prescription Drugs Saturday, Sept. 27

The Belmont Auxiliary Police and the US Drug Enforcement Agency will host a prescription drug Take-Back Initiative to prevent the abuse and theft of old, unused and expired prescription drugs.

The Auxiliary Police will have a collection point set up at the town’s DPW yard, 37 C St., on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Old or unused prescription drugs (no liquids) may be dropped off for free with no questions asked. You won’t even have to get out of your car. Please take some time to check your medicine cabinet and visit us on the 26th. Unfortunately, these drugs are highly susceptible to misuse by family and friends. In addition they can be improperly disposed of and end up in our environment, posing a potential health hazard.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic, according to the White House. While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs like cocaine, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug non-medically.

For more information on the Rx Drug Take Back Initiative or a list of additional collection sites visit . You may also contact Lt. Kristen Daley at  The Belmont Police also has a permanent Rx drug collection kiosk located in the lobby of Belmont Police Headquarters that is accessible at any time, day or night.


Sports: Belmont Junior Kelsey Breaks School’s Diving Record

In reality, it was just a matter time before Belmont High School junior Cynthia Kelsey would break the school’s scoring record in the one-meter dive.

Kelsey’s talent was confirmed at last year’s Division 2 State Championships in November 2013 where, although ranked 10th in the field, she pushed eventual winner Hannah Phelan of Walpole High for the entire event to earn second place with 432.05 points, only 5 points from the school’s 11-dive record. 

And that time finally came on Wednesday, Sept. 24 during a duel meet with Stoneham High School where the three-year varsity diver – who goes by Thea – scored a total of 251.55 points over six dives, shattering the 235.70 point total set in 1989 by Laura Reagan in the year she won the state diving title.

Kelsey started the year strong with 210 points in the first meet of the season against Acton-Boxborough and 219 points vs. Melrose.

Kelsey has been a stellar competitor since her first dive at Belmont High as a 9th grader when she quickly broke and then extended the freshman record at 223.75 points in 2012.

Now Kelsey follows in the footsteps of Belmont’s champion Reagan, who would earned an appointment to the United States Naval Academy where she graduated in 1994.


A Noisy Weekend Along Commuter Rail as MBTA Performs Overnight Repairs

Belmont homeowner living close to the MBTA commuter rail tracks expecting to leave their windows open this summer-like weekend, Sept. 27 and 28, may need to reconsider as the T will be performing what it calls “noisy” construction on the Fitchburg Line.

In its effort to make “once-in-a-generation improvements” on the tracks running from Belmont Station and Belmont High School, “substantial construction activity is scheduled between Pearson Road and Brighton Street” that “will be noisy at times and may be disruptive at its peak for neighbors in the area of Pearson Road to Channing Road.”

In addition, some of the work will be occurring during the night and the early morning hours, according to the T.

“This weekend, Sept. 27 and 28 , while most work will begin at approximately 6 a.m. and continue to approximately 10 p.m., it is anticipated that some work at this location will require overnight operations in order to complete track improvements during this weekend’s service outage,” reads a MBTA advisory.

“The night work will begin approximately 2 am Saturday Morning and continue through Sunday evening,” according to the advisory.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this work and may cause. It is critical that these major construction efforts be undertaken over weekends and some nights when the track is taken out of service,” said the message.

Residents with questions about the project can contact the MBTA by email at the MBTA Fitchburg Project or by phone at the MBTA Fitchburg Project Hotline at 617-721-7506.

Belmont residents can cross off the MBTA commuter rail line for their weekend transportation options as the T is temporarily suspending Fitchburg Line weekend service through Nov. 16.

Sold in Belmont: Condos, a Cape and Tudor Taken Off the Block

A weekly recap of residential properties bought in the past seven days in the “Town of Homes.”

• 59 Vernon Rd. Expanded Cape (1934), Sold for: $760,000. Listed at $785,000. Living area: 1,684 sq.-ft. 7 rooms; 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 75 days.

• 58 Channing Rd., #2. Two-level (attic) condominium, Sold for: $464,000. Listed at $419,000. Living area: 1,248 sq.-ft. 6 rooms; 3 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 44 days.

• 61 Dartmouth St., #1. Single-floor condominium, Sold for: $380,000. Listed at $385,000. Living area: 906 sq.-ft. 5 rooms; 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 63 days.

• 202 Goden St. Brick and shingle Tudor-inspired Colonial (1930), Sold for: $1,000,000. Listed at $959,000. Living area: 2,443 sq.-ft. 9 rooms; 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 55 days.


Remembering a Belmont Brother: Kevin’s Memorial Ride Begins in Hometown Oct. 4

If you lived in Belmont from the 1960s to the 1980s in Belmont, you likely knew one of Muriel and Jack Normile’s kids. There were 11 brothers and sisters in total, so running into any one of them in the halls of Belmont schools or around town as they were growing up was simply unavoidable.And one of the brothers was Kevin, who played football and ice hockey for his family’s hometown high school – he and 31 members of his extended family are Belmont High graduates. But he was much more than simply an athlete or a member of the class of 1979.”Kevin was the type of guy who lit up a room, he had a very outgoing personality and had a lot of friends,” said his brother, Patrick Normile.

Eventually, Kevin left Belmont for Dedham, living there with his wife, Stacey, their sons; Kevin Jr. and Jake, and his dog, Chance, while working at National Grid for 17 years. He also had a passion for riding his Harley Davidson that stayed with him even after being diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer.

Last year in August, Kevin, a person his brother Patrick said had “a very big heart, and would do anything for anyone,” lost his battle with cancer.

Next week, Kevin’s loved ones and friends will remember the man who always had “a smile on his face and made people laugh” with an early autumn motorcycle ride beginning in his old hometown.

On Saturday, Oct. 4, “Kevin’s Memorial Ride” will start at “Skip” Viglirolo Skating Rink on Concord Avenue before riding through several communities. The ride will finish at Arlington’s Sons of Italy, 19 Prentiss Rd. just off Mass. Ave. where a celebration of Kevin’s life will be held beginning at 3 p.m.

Registration for the ride will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the lot next to the Skating Rink.

Donations may be made payable to “Kevin’s Memorial Ride” and can be sent to 53 Trowbridge Street, Belmont, MA 02478

Proceeds from the Ride will be used to establish a scholarship in Kevin’s name at his alma mater Belmont High School.



Sharpen Your Knives at Belmont Farmers Market

Siraco Sharpening returns to the Belmont Farmers Market this week. Drop off your knives, scissors and gardening tools for sharpening while shopping.

The Belmont Farmers Market is open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Claflin Street municipal parking lot off Cross Street in Belmont Center.

Guest vendors:  D.C. Farms pure maple syrupCoastal VineyardsThe Amazing SmokehouseSoluna Garden FarmBenny’s Crepe Cafe, and Bedford Blueberry Goat Farm.. They join all of the usual weekly vendors.

Food truck: Benny’s Crepe Cafe.

In the Events Tent

  • Patou Thai, Belmont Center own Thai restaurant (and a big Market supporter) at 2 p.m.
  • The Belmont Public Library hosts stories for preschool and older children from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • A Belmont business, Damnation Alley Distillery, will have a demo – but not a tasting – at 4:30 p.m.