This Weekend: 15th Judith Record Concert Saturday, Sing-a-long Saturday Morning

Photo: The Record Players.

The Record Players will celebrate their fifteenth year of tribute to The Judith K. Record Memorial Conservation Fund with a night of chamber music on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at The First Church, Belmont, 404 Concord Ave.

This concert is a collaboration between the Players and the Judith K. Record Memorial Conservation Fund, bringing together people who find inspiration and beauty through music and nature. The concert, which is open to the public free of charge, serves as our annual appeal and is supported by pre-concert private and corporate sponsorships.

Contributions are accepted at the door. All proceeds from the concert go to the fund’s endowment managed by Mass Audubon.

The original core of musicians – Flutist and Founder, Andrea M. Nolin; Colin Davis, violin and Sarah Freiberg, cello – will be joined by clarinetist Ray Jackendoff and pianist Leslie Amper, who has captivated audiences with her “stupendous” performances throughout the Boston area, the United States and Europe.

The program includes:

  • Stamitz’s Trio in G, Op.14.
  • Beethoven’s Clarinet Trio, Op. 11.
  • Martinu’s “Promenades” for flute, violin and piano.
  • Brahms’ Clarinet Trio, in A minor, Op. 114.
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Vanessa Trien. Photo by Neale Eckstein.

• Join singer-songwriter Vanessa Trien, local rock star to the young (and young at heart) on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 10:30 a.m. in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room for a morning of singing and dancing. This event is part of the Children’s Room’s Saturday Sing-Along Series.

• Head over to the “Skip” (the ‘Skip’ Vigiloro Skating Rink on Concord Avenue adjacent to Harris Field) on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m. to see the Belmont High School Boys’ Ice Hockey Marauders take on the Rockets of Reading Memorial High School in Middlesex League play.

Your Business: A New Yoga, Wellness Studio With a Family Vibe

Photo: GROUNDWORK yoga + wellness in Belmont.

One day before she was to open her new business in Belmont, Megan Dattoli was running a bit behind schedule.

No, it was not because she overslept or was waiting for supplies to arrive; early Thursday morning Dattoli was at Boston Medical Center helping a client deliver her baby. For the past four years, Dattoli has been a birth and postpartum doula, a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during and after childbirth.

“You have to excuse my appearance but it’s been a long morning,” the Belmont High graduate (’97) who grew up on Homer Road said in the newly-renovated studio space that is now home to GROUNDWORK yoga + wellness, located just around the corner of Trapelo Road on Maple Street (first building off the intersection on the left).

It’s that background in assisting families through the birthing experience that led Dattoli – who lives in Watertown with her two young children and husband (Belmont High class of 1996) – to consider opening a business with the emphasis on bringing a holistic view to promoting family-friendly wellness to the studio.”

“There is such a need for the entire family to focus their wellness, not just before and during a birth, but also afterward,” said Dattoli, who is a yoga instructor.

The new studio will offer yoga and pilates classes and parenting education and childhood enrichment workshops that “encourage self-care of body and mind, healthy families and a mindful community,” according to Dattoli.

During GROUNDWORK’s grand opening weekend, the studio is offering free yoga and Pilates classes, along with discounted class passes and memberships starting today, Friday, Jan. 30 and running through Sunday, Feb 1.

Belmontonian: Tell me about your new studio?

Dattoli: “The yoga and pilates classes will be cornerstone of the business but it would also be nice to having a place to offer new moms support groups and to teach my private childbirth ed classes in a place where I can have group sessions. I’ve rented spaces in the past, but it ended up being difficult conducting recurring meeting when I was moving around all the time.”

Belmontonian: What is your studio’s focus?

Dattoli: “There is definitely a family focus here. Along with yoga and pilates that are open to everyone, we will offer the family and kids classes along with prenatal yoga. And the space will be used for newborn care and other birth-related classes. I’m really excited about the parenting education because we are not as mindful in a lot that we are doing. I’m talking to [someone] who gives workshops on how kids can ‘push your buttons’ which I love.”

Belmontonian: So a typical day at GROUNDWORK will be …

Dattoli: “There will be yoga and pilates in the morning and evenings. Mid-day I plan to offer the moms and kids programs with enrichment programs in the afternoon and on the weekends between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. We will also have an experienced yoga instructor who specializes in senior yoga.”

Belmontonian: There are some great yoga and pilates studios in and around Belmont. Why should people come to you?

Dattoli: “Every studio has their area of expertise and we definitely emphasise the family and parenting side of things. For yoga and pilates, there are so many studios everywhere, that people try out classes and get attached to a teacher or the studio’s vibe. So don’t expect hot yoga here, I want a warm studio with wonderful teachers. I hope it ends up being a little community, a place where people can hang out and not just come to a class. One of my friends said she got five or six hugs every time she goes to yoga because everyone there are friends, and I hope to have a place like that.”

Belmontonian: Where would you like GROUNDWORK to be a year from now?

Dattoli: “I’d hope to have a place with a lot of offerings that people can choose from and enjoy. I haven’t packed the studios schedule because I will actively be seeking feedback and suggestions. I’m really hoping to have families follow us from the prenatal to the mom who needs a break and wants a yoga class Wednesday morning.”

For more information, please visit

Belmont High’s Jazz Combo Presents All Kinds of Music Friday Night

Five talented senior musicians will premier their chops tonight, Friday, Jan. 30 as the Belmont High School Jazz Combo presents “Jazz of All Kinds” in the High School’s Little Theatre at 7 p.m.
The members – Max Davidowitz, drums; Mary Yeh, bass; Charlie Smith, piano; Rowan Wolf, tenor saxophone and Zoe Miner  vocals – have been part of ensembles in the past few years which have several gold medals from the Massachusetts Association of Jazz Educators for performances in the Northeast District Jazz Festival held each spring. They have also performed at Jazz Night and POPS concerts in Belmont as well as at the Hatch Shell in Boston. Friday’s concert is a first of its kind for the combo.
Under the direction of jazz pianist Maxim Lubarsky, the combo have been rehearsing weekly after school; in the past week, they have rehearsed extensively at members homes.
Special guests for Friday’s performance include Sa-Sa Gutterman, Riley Grant, Alex Sun and the BHS Jazz Choir directed by Sean Landers.
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PHOTOS: Snow Day in Belmont

The blizzard had passed and the next storm is still days away. A brilliant sun brings out the crowds to the town’s favorite sledding places as other create a snow couple or go out for a walk. On Town Field, an icy Stonehenge is created. 

Sold in Belmont: Million Dollar Bonanza Brings in the New Year

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

• 12 Greensbrook Way. Brick Ranch (1957) Sold: $1,250,000. Listed at $1,250,000. Living area: 2,735 sq.-ft. 8 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 4 baths. On the market: 16 days.

 37 Marlboro St. Multi-family (1913), Sold for: $825,000. Listed at $825,000. Living area: 2,760 sq.-ft. 12 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 44 days.

 30 Somerset St. The Albert Higgins House; Antebellum Greek Revival (1850) Sold: $1,950,000. Listed at $2,325,000. Living area: 4,023 sq.-ft. 13 rooms, 6 bedrooms, 3 full, 3 partial baths. On the market: 219 days.

 85 Juniper Rd. Quite unique architectural style (1952) Sold: $1,325,000. Listed at $1,250,000. Living area: 2,626 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 91 days.

Sixteen days. That’s all it took for a 1950s ranch to sell on fancy Greensbrook Way. For $1.25 million! Well, what do you expect from a residential property across the street from Tagg Romney’s 8,000 square-foot manse. And there’s more! The seller of note was 12 Greensbrook Way LLC, which bought the house in October, 2014 for $1,050,000.

So who is this 12 Greensbrook Way LLC? It’s address is 103 Hemenway St. Suite B2 in Boston, the same address as Real Estate Management & Investment, the Fenway-based real estate investment firm known for constructing multi-story buildings in Boston neighborhoods such as the new 50 Symphony Road condo development. So it won’t shock you to know that the listed broker, OffCampus Apartment Finder, LLC, is a subsidiary of REM&I. 

This sale appears to be a “flip” to a motivated buyer. I would not be surprised if this rather standard eight-room house (rated a B+ by town assessors) on more than half-of-acre of valuable land is put “on the sword” and demolished to build something more “appropriate” for the location. It will be interesting to discover who bought the ranch.

A mention about 85 Juniper Rd: a very unique house with a well-thoughtout architectural approach to the land. I love the two-story rear side, full of windows facing east down the hill. Boxy but functional. It does require work (the interior needs serious updating) but a great house to own. 

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Not attractive even when it was built.

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The backside of this house is just nice.

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With smart interior design, this could become a stunning room.

Town Meeting Warrant Opening For a Month for Citizen’s Petitions

Always wanted to change Belmont? How about requiring new homes to be painted one of only eight colors (an actual petition in another state), force model aircraft operators to be licensed pilots (another one) and make dogs wear pants (that hasn’t been petitioned … yet).

Your chance is coming next week when the town warrant – the document which Board of Selectmen approved to call a Town Meeting – will be open for residents who wish to add their own article to be heard and voted by the 290-member Town Meeting which will begin this year on Monday, May 4.

“Citizens are welcomed to submit petitions,” said Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman, who said the warrant will be open on Monday, Feb. 2 at 9 a.m. and will remain so until Monday, March 2, no later than 3 p.m.

Under Massachusetts law, residents may place articles on an Annual Town Meeting warrant without approval by the Selectmen by petitioning the Town Clerk to insert the article. Officially, it only requires 10 signatures on the petition from residents to secure a place on the warrant (although Cushman suggests getting 15 to be on the safe side.)

While not all petitions are successful, a good portion have succeeded before the Belmont Town Meeting. In the past few years, citizen’s petitions on banning smoking in town playgrounds, combining school and town building supervision, restricting yard sales and requiring residents to shovel snow from sidewalks have passed Town Meeting muster and included into the bylaws.

In fact, a citizen’s petition before this spring’s annual Town Meeting restricting the height of residential homes near Grove Street Playground was inspired by the successful passage of a citizen’s petition in 2013 halting for a year the tear down of single-family homes to build two-families structures in the Waverley Square neighborhood.

For those residents thinking about putting their stamp on the town’s bylaws, Cushman advise petitioners to do their homework and be prepared to work with town officials and government groups to construct their appeal to have the chance of a favorable vote before Town Meeting.

For those seeking changes to the town’s zoning bylaws should meet with the Planning Board and the town’s Office of Community Development while those looking to alter the town’s budget priorities need to get in touch with the Warrant and Capital Budget committees and the town’s financial departments, said Cushman.

With all petitions, the town counsel, George Hall, is required to review them, so they do not violate the state or US constitutions.

“So it’s important that citizens start the process earlier than later to receive advice in drafting their petitions and getting the support they need to give themselves a good chance before Town Meeting,” said Cushman.

Clearing Out: What to Know the Day After the Blizzard in Belmont

While the snow emergency parking ban will be lifted at noon today, Wednesday, Jan. 28, Belmont Department of Public Works Director Jay Marcotte is asking residents to keep their vehicles off of town streets for a bit longer.

“It would be great if our crews could have clear streets to finish plowing,” Marcotte told the Belmontonian on Monday, Jan. 26, hours before the storm hit.

That is just one request from Marcotte and other town officials who are looking to finish

Today, plow operators will begin “widen out” all streets by pushing the accumulated snow back towards the curb line and clearing the intersections. For that reason, Marcotte would like the widest possible clearance for the plows.

In addition, here are some things to know while clearing out the nearly 20 inches of snow that has settled in Belmont:

  • When clearing driveways, snow should be kept on the owner’s property, the tree lawn or in the gutter. Snow should not be deposited onto the street or sidewalk, or across the street onto a neighbor’s sidewalk. It’s actually the law: Section 60-800A of the Town’s General Bylaw.
  • Here’s a tip: Whenever possible, it is best to pile snow to the right of the driveway (as you face the street) to reduce the potential of having it redeposited at the driveway opening when the plows pass.
  • Prevent street flooding by clearing catch basins near your home to allow rain or melting snow to enter the drainage system.
  • At the urging of Belmont Fire Department, residents should shovel and clear fire hydrants of snow in your neighborhood.

“We do our best to shovel out each and every hydrant in town, but doing so takes several days,” said Belmont Fire Chief David Frizzell.  “If we need to use a hydrant that hasn’t been shoveled out yet, it significantly delays the time it takes for the firefighters to get water on the fire.”

And the clock has started on residents clearing sidewalks adjacent to their property. Belmont’s general bylaws requires paved public sidewalks adjacent to residential property to be cleared and made safe for pedestrians. Residents have until 8 p.m. the day following the end of the storm (Thursday, Jan. 29) to clear the sidewalk of snow, slush and ice. For enforcement information, call the Belmont Office of Community Development at 617-993-2664.

Snow Emergency Ending Noon, Wednesday; Town Offices, Library Remain Closed

Belmont’s Snow Emergency Parking Ban will be lifted at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 28, according to the Belmont Police Department.

The removal of the ban – put in place on Monday at 6 p.m.  due to the nor’easter that arrived on Tuesday, Jan. 27 – will allow residents and commuters to park on the street as well as the town’s commuter and school parking lots.

While the roads will be open, town offices, the Belmont’s schools as well as the Belmont Public Library will remain closed.

PHOTOS: A Blizzard Walk in Belmont

The cold and wind knocked the breathe right out of anyone who stepped outside today as the Blizzard of 2015 settled over Belmont.

With wind chills below zero and the difficulty of several feet of snow on the ground, whether one was beginning to shovel out front steps, walking the dog, heading for some sledding or just to take some time out of the house was a challenge.

The Eastern Massachusetts driving ban – which was being ignored by some just after noon – allowed walkers to stride (albeit carefully) down main streets such as Trapelo Road without the hassle of thousands of vehicles. Town equipment and private contractors were mostly successful to keep the main thoroughfares open but most side streets appeared untouched for hours. In many areas, contractors lugging snowblowers had already begun throwing snow from sidewalks and driveways.

On Payson Road, the north side of the Cambridge Reservoir had drifts up to four-feet deep, while on the south side, hardy souls both young and not-so-young wanted to take the first ride down the slope.