Positive Energy, BHS Musicians Present a Belmont Musical Collaboration Saturday Night

The cold and snow got you down? Need a much needed lift to your spirits?

Then head over to the Cultural Hall of the LDS Meetinghouse at 15 Ledgewood Place tonight Saturday night, Feb. 28 between 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. for a concert and dance party dubbed My Generation: A Belmont Musical Collaboration.

Sponsored by the Parents of Music Students (POMS), the night will feature critically-acclaimed band, Positive Energy, renowned for its eclectic mix of popular music, jazz, and folk styles while talented brass and wind players from Belmont High School are preparing to blow you away.

The BHS performers are Rowan Wolf and Yilei Bai are on saxophone; Jack Stone, trombone; Riley Grant, trumpet; and Gillian Tahajian and Hannah Read, flute.

These musicians will perform together, promising entertainment and synergy that is rarely witnessed and will long be admired.  It’s an event for all ages.

Tickets for “My Generation” are available through the POMS website: www.belmontpoms.weebly.com, with a small fee; and at Champions Sporting Goods in Belmont Center, with no fee. Donations will be accepted at the door.

Adult ticket prices are only $12, while student and senior prices are $10. POMS (Parents of Music Students) will use all proceeds to support music programs in the Belmont schools, K-12.

Watertown/Belmont Hockey Begins Playoffs Saturday Vs Andover

On Saturday, Feb. 28 at 12:30 p.m., the 4th-seed Watertown/Belmont combined high school Girls’ Ice Hockey team (18-3-1) will face off against the 13th-ranked Andover High (11-6-2) in the first-round playoff game of the MIAA Div. 1 state championships. 

The game will be held at the Ryan Skating Rink in Watertown.

Despite No Snow in Forecast, Belmont’s Limited Parking Ban Still in Effect

While the next few days will see highs in the 30s and sunny skies, the impact of more than 90 inches of snow continues as most Belmont side streets continue to be single-lane roads.

For that reason, the Belmont Police advises residents that the Limited Parking Ban will remain in effect until further notice.

Under the ban, parking is only allowed on the odd-numbered side of the street unless the street has been listed as exempt.

The ban is necessary for public safety. The roads are not wide enough for public safety vehicles and school busses to get down when vehicles are parked on both sides. To avoid being ticketed and towed do not park on the even numbered side of the street.

Please refer to the town’s web site for a complete list of exempt streets.

What to Know About Voting in the Belmont Town Election

The annual town election is fast coming upon residents, only five weeks on Tuesday, March 3. Here are some of the basic facts for Belmontians to know on voting on April 7 from Ellen Cushman, the Belmont Town Clerk.

Who can vote in Town Elections?

Any Belmont resident who is 18 years or older and a citizen of the United States can register to vote.  In order to be eligible to vote in the upcoming Annual Town Election the voter registration must be received or postmarked by the twentieth day preceding the election, Wednesday, March 18.  The Town Clerk’s office will be open until 8 p.m.to receive voter registrations on March 18.

Were you Registered To Vote in Another Town?

If you were a registered to vote in another town or state, you’ll need to register as a voter in Belmont in order to vote here.

Voter Changes to Party, Name or Address in Belmont

The deadline for registered Belmont voters who need to make changes to party affiliation, name or address within Belmont is also March 18.

Voter Registration Documents available at the Town Clerk’s office in Town Hall, 455 Concord Avenue or online at the Town Clerk’s web pages.

The following Voter Registration Forms can be found here.

Change of Belmont Address forms for registered Belmont voters

Change of Party Affiliation forms for registered Belmont voters

Absentee Ballot Application

Forms for individuals who qualify to receive an absentee ballot due to absence from Belmont on Election Day or physical disability preventing the voter from going to the polling place or religious belief. In lieu of using this form, a voter may simply submit a request for a ballot in writing but the request must include the voter’s signature.

Applications for absentee voting must be received by the Town Clerk’s office by Noon Monday, April 6, 2015; voted absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m., the close of polls Tuesday, April 7. Check the Town Clerk website for dates of in-office absentee voting or phone 617-993-2600.

Belmont Girls’ Hoops Takes Down Bedford in Thriller, Heads to Semis vs Watertown

Did you miss Thursday night’s Girls’ Basketball Div. 2 North quarterfinals at Bedford High?

Oh, I feel sorry for you.

In a game that could have been lost in so many ways – questionable calls, missed shots, a quicker and fresher opponent – 15 girls from Belmont High School willed themselves with guts, determination and intensity to craft a thrilling victory, 57-51, against the fourth-ranked Bedford High Buccaneers.

Belmont (16-6) now book a date (Tuesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden) in the semi-finals with their neighboring arch-rival, undefeated (19-0) and number-one seed Watertown High, for the right to play in the sectional championship game.

“They showed so much heart and poise to come back from being down away from home,” said Head Coach Melissa Hart after the victory in which Belmont parents and fans savored the emotion with the players on the opposition’s court.

“”We gave up a lot of points early, but they never stopped fighting, not once,” said Hart.

The statistics compiled at the scorer’s table could scarcely tell the narrative written on the court in the bandbox gymnasium filled to overflowing with especially boisterous Bedford supporters. From the relentless team defensive leaving Bedford’s five starters exhausted and broken in the fourth quarter to the individual acts of top-notch athletic skill allowed the Marauders to rip the game out of the Buccaneers’ hands in the crucial third quarter and calmly “seal the deal” from the charity stripe in the final minutes.

“I wasn’t playing well,” said junior forward Sarah Stewart, who had three early fouls.

“So when I went back in, [Hart] told us you have be fierce in this game. So I didn’t get angry; I went in determined that we are going to win,” she said.

Leading the Marauders was captain and center Linda Herlihy, who finished with a game-high 21 points, five rebounds, and two blocks. Not seen in the stats is what Herlihy also provided – senior leadership. Once, at the very moment Belmont was on the edge of collapse – falling behind by nine points late in the second quarter – Herlihy yelled to her teammates, “Get a grip! Find your man!” to set the defense.

“We needed to focus and keep our heads. You can’t look at the score. You just have to play the game,” recalled Herlihy.

Down the final stretch, Belmont relied on the ball handling skills of freshman Carly Christofori (16 points), who secured the victory by coolly knocking down free throws in the fourth quarter where she went 8 for 12.

“Do you ever miss a free throw?” Bedford’s head coach Matt Ryan asked Christofori after the game.

Christofori admitted feeling a bit anxious when she stepped to the line to take her shots.

“I was really nervous, but I knew the team needed the points, so I just thought about converting,” said Christofori.

Both teams came out fast with Belmont – which came in with a height advantage, on its inside game as Herlihy scored eight of the team’s 16 points, countered by Bedford’s senior guard duo Kristen Bullock (14 points) and Amanda Cohen, who was red hot early, hitting a pair of 3 pointers (the Buccaneers put five in from distance while Belmont came up empty from beyond the arc) to score 10 of her 19 points in the first quarter.

Leading 26-24 midway through the second quarter, Bedford made their move, spreading out the defense and driving to the basket for shots in close while Belmont was having trouble with the Buccaneer’s man-to-man defense, turning over the ball several times. Belmont could only hit two free throws while Bedford was making free throws to take a 33-24 lead at half time.

“They were good, but we didn’t play the sort of defense we needed to win,” said Hart.

But as with its first-round playoff game – a 71-43 home victory over Danvers where Belmont outscored the Falcons’ 45-19 in the second half – the Marauders stepped up its press defense which began to take a toll on the tiring Bedford players. While Hart was liberally substituting, Ryan kept his starters on the court, and it began showing as shots that were going in where staying out. With Belmont’s edge inside, Belmont took control under the boards.

“They were getting tired, so we just kept pushing,” said Herlihy.

And Belmont began seeing shots drop: a jumper from junior Irini Nikolaidis (4 points), a tough two under the basket from Herlihy, a free throw by Christofori and finally senior Sophia Eschenbach-Smith (4 points) pretty bounce pass to an open Stewart (4 points) completed a four-minute, 10-0 run, giving the Marauders their first lead since 10-8 in the first quarter.

Belmont kept the lead, going ahead 39-35 on a sweeping hook from freshman Jenny Call (2 points), before two Bedford free throws and a three from Cohen gave the Buccaneers the lead, 40-39, entering the fourth.

And it appeared Bedford caught a second wind, pushing their lead up to 46-41, but it was apparent the Buccaneers were drained, committing turnovers – including an easy steal and bucket by Christofori – and unable to keep up with Belmont’s defense, demonstrated when Bedford could not attempt a shot within 30 seconds and holding a one-point lead.

Belmont grabbed the lead (47-46) for good on a driving layup by Christofori with 3:50 remaining before Herlihy showed her touch by taking the ball and kissing it off the backboard to up Belmont’s margin to three at 49-46 with 3:12 left.

While Bedford cut the lead to 52-51 with 88 seconds remaining, Belmont forced a turnover and was soon fouled every time up the court. A pair from Christofori gave Belmont a 54-51 lead while Bedford blew a bunny in close. Christofori knocked down two more to bring the lead up to 56-51 with 45 seconds left.

And it was preserving the lead against some accomplished three-point scorers where Belmont players showed their grit. Senior Elena Bragg (5 points) grabbed a critical defensive rebound on a missed free throw followed by Stewart ripping down an offensive rebound after Christofori missed her second of two free throws and, finally, Herlihy pulled in an offensive rebound between three Bedford players with 20 second left.

Then the celebration began.

“This is a great win. Now we have to bring all that with us against Watertown,” said Hart.

Obituary: Robert Sullivan, Former Belmont High Asst. Principal, Dies at 84

Photo: Belmont High School Assistant Principal Robert Sullivan in 1971.

Robert D. Sullivan, a Belmont educator who knew generations of Belmont students serving as assistant principal at Belmont High School for nearly a quarter of a century, died suddenly on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015.

Sullivan celebrated his 84th birthday on Feb. 17.

A moment of silence was afforded Sullivan – who coached the junior varsity and sophomore basketball teams in the 1960s – before the first-round boys’ basketball playoff match between Belmont and Winchester on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

“I can tell you from a personal view that he was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known,” said Dan Macauley, who attended Belmont High when Sullivan was vice principal and was his neighbor for decades.


Belmont High School Asst. Principal Robert Sullivan in 1977.

Born in 1931, Sullivan was raised on Huron Avenue in Cambridge and graduated from Ringe High School in Cambridge in 1949. He entered Boston College and graduated in 1953. After serving two years in the US Army, Sullivan began his teaching career in 1956 in the Acton system before being hired to teach mathematics at Belmont High School in 1960. He would later proclaimed himself, with some jest, “the world’s best Geometry teacher.” The same year he came to Belmont, he earned his Master’s from the Boston College School of Education.

After a decade in the classroom, Sullivan was named the school’s assistant principal in 1970 and would serve in that position for nearly a quarter century until his retirement in 1994.

“Being the disciplinarian at the High School for many years was a very difficult job,” said Macauley.  “[But] even the kids that had issues in school are saying nice things about him.”

Sullivan, who became a Belmont resident in 1966, was active in Belmont athletics, being a member and two-time president of the Belmont Boosters, a group he was associated for 50 years. He was also the founder of the Belmont High School Athletic Hall of Fame and was a fixture at Belmont High School athletic events. His support of student athletic was recognized as he was awarded a lifetime pass from the Middlesex League at his retirement, “a rare and prized possession,” said his daughter, Elizabeth Martins.

“He was a true Belmontian through and through and was a great historian of Belmont athletics.  He was always the ‘go to guy’ if you ever had a question about a Belmont athlete from the 40’s through Tuesday morning,” said Macauley.

He was also a longtime member of the Belmont Education Scholarship Committee, a member of the B.C. Club of Cape Cod, the B.C. Reunion Committee and of the Mt. Auburn Post # 8818 V.F.W. 

Sullivan said his true loves in his life were his family, Belmont, Boston College and his Cape Cod home in Mashpee.

In 1990, he stated he had three wishes before he died: his son getting married, the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series and Boston College beating Notre Dame in football. After all three events had been accomplished in 2004, he started to worry that he was on borrowed time, said Martins.

Sullivan is survived by Elizabeth A. “Betty” (Boyle) Sullivan; and their children, Kathleen R. Mahoney and her husband Paul of Belmont, Michael F. Sullivan and his wife Angela of Belmont, Elizabeth M. Martins and her husband Tony of Southboro, Maureen H. Tortola and her husband William of Natick and Martha J. Millicker and her husband Paul of Glastonbury Conn.

Sullivan was grandfather to Nicholas and Roseann Tortola, Audette and Patrick Martins, Jacqueline Mahoney, Megan and Stephanie Millicker and Erin Sullivan. He was brother of William P. Sullivan of Mashpee, Patricia West of Hanover, Barbara Sullivan of Cambridge and the late Marilyn Doyon.

A funeral mass in be celebrated at St. Joseph Church on Common Street in Belmont on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 10:30 a.m. Visiting hours in the Stanton Funeral Home, 786 Mt. Auburn St. (Rt. 16), in Watertown on Friday 4-8 P.M. Burial will be at Highland Meadow Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers contributions in Bob’s memory to the Belmont High School Education Scholarship, P.O. Box 56 Belmont, MA 02478 would be appreciated. 

Sold in Belmont: What Would You Have Bought? The Renovated Condo or One of the Smallest Houses in Town

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

 68 Unity Ave. #1 Condominium (1924) Sold: $489,750. Listed at $439,900. Living area: 1,018 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 33 days.

 33 Knox St. Ranch (1957) Sold: $526,000. Listed at $549,000. Living area: 1,027 sq.-ft. 4 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 92 days.

The town residential properties that sold last week in Belmont are similar in two ways; each are affordable relative to the median value of homes in these parts – nearly $840,000 according to town data – and each a tad more than 1,000 square feet of livable space. While the Unity Avenue property is a single-floor condominium on the Cambridge line, the Knox Street ranch is snug in Belmont Hill.

So, which would you have bought?

The ranch: The structure is yours, you don’t have to share common spaces and parking have a neighbor living above you – God only knows who’ll move in next year – or pay a condo fee on top of property taxes. It’s located on “the hill,” it’s quiet and you can jump right onto Rt. 2.

But it’s just a smudge more than 1,00o square feet of interior space, making it one of the smaller homes in Belmont. You better be on good relations with whomever you are living with because there is limited private space available. It’s one of the few houses in this one-time subdivision previous owners didn’t build-on extra space. In fact, a look at the interior shows a great deal of original detail. Ranch developers wanted to put them up as cheaply as possible. The result: middling-quality material that should be torn out and replaced. The ground floor rooms need extensive rehab and fast.

The condo: As a South End developer once told me, people who buy condos are “purchasing air,” as the owner’s property rights extend only to the four walls in which the condo lies. Want to improve the common area? Renovate the garage? Replace the grass with stone in the backyard? Hello, neighbor! You are constantly seeking someone else’s cooperation to increase the properties value, improve your quality of life or just park your car in a slightly different location. It’s like being a kid again, living in the same room with your brother. That’s fine if you like him; if not, it’s potentially a nightmare.

But just look at the Unity Avenue condo’s interior: now this is great detail. French door, built-in cabinets, closets with real doors, hardwood floors that you can polish, an open kitchen design with new everything. Recently renovated, you can move in and not worry about putting mucho dollars into the property. It shouldn’t surprise anyone the condo sold for $50,000 above asking in only a month.

I pick the condo.

Limited Tickets Remain For Foundation for Belmont Education’s Spring Fling

Photo: The highly entertaining Neal Fay will be this year’s auctioneer at the Foundation for Belmont Education’s 16th annual Spring Dinner.

Don’t be left out in the snow: a limited number of tickets are still available to the Foundation for Belmont Education’s 16th annual Spring Dinner set for Saturday, March 21.

And it would be wise to get those tickets soon as the price of tickets will increases March 2, from $125 to $150.  

You can obtain tickets here.

“Mad for Education” is this year’s theme for a night of dinner, dancing and a fast-paced auction led by Neal J. Fay.

The event takes place at the Belmont Hill School from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

For more information, e-mail the FBE at springdinner@fbe-belmont.org

Second-Half Explosion Propel Belmont Girls’ Hoops Past Danvers in Playoff Opener

A newspaper sports columnist predicted that the best opening round girl’s basketball playoff game would be between Belmont High and visiting Danvers.

And the journalist’s forecast was right on … for the first half.

Leading Danvers, 26-24, after the first 18 minutes, Belmont’s vaunted defense and the scoring prowess of one of its youngest players allowed the Marauders to outscore the Falcon’s 24-4 in the third quarter and 45-19 in the half to cruise to a 71-43 home victory to start their post-season campaign in the Div. 2 North sectionals.

“This was a good one to have. We struggled early but we showed again we can come off a bad stretch,” said Belmont High Coach Melissa Hart.

Next for fifth-seeded Belmont (15-6) is a rematch on Thursday, Feb. 26, at fourth-ranked Bedford High (14-6) which came down Route 2 as a team to see the contest Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Wenner Field House.

“I hope they saw something while they were here,” said Hart.

Despite defeating Bedford last week in a winter recess tournament, 61-49, and having identical records, Belmont was given the lower seed after losing a coin flip administered by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, which sanctions the playoffs.

Belmont was led both on the ball and scoring by 9th-grader Carly Christofori, who scored 17 points including going three for four from 3-point range. Belmont hit a season-high eight treys Tuesday.

“We just wanted to win the game for the seniors so it wouldn’t be their last game especially at home with so many fans, finally,” said the freshman, noting the Wenner was filled for the first time this year for a girls’ game.

While Belmont finished strong, the Marauders wasn’t impressing anyone, including themselves, in the first half. After going up 19-12 on Christofori’s second three of the half just after the 6 minute mark in the second quarter, the team went into the freezer, giving up open shots and becoming flustered by a young athletic Danver’s team playing good defense.

When Danver’s junior Hannah Llewellyn hit a three point shot with two and a half minutes to play in the half, the Falcons outscored the Marauders 10-0 to take a 22-19 lead.

“I think the girls were, and they actually said it, that they were nervous right before the game,” said Hart. “Our defensive intensity was not at it best for a quarter but [Danvers] earned the lead.”

Then senior center Linda Herlihy took control; in the last 90 seconds of the half putting in an offensive rebound, hitting one of two from the charity stripe after being fouled and banking a hook shot with four seconds before the buzzer to give Belmont the 26-24 halftime lead.

“At half time it was really close and we knew we should be beating this team and we took over,” said Christofori, who started the half with a pair of free throws (9 points in the third) followed by offensive rebounding by Herlihy (five of her nine rebounds were under the Belmont basket) and senior Elena Bragg to set up Christofori for yet another downtown 3 pointer to up the lead to 33-24.

And a smothering press defense – including blocks by Herlihy and forced turnovers against the Falcons – led to fast break chances which Belmont began scoring. Stepping up were junior Sarah Stewart (throwing up a three from another ZIP code) and Bragg, who scored her six points for the night in the third. By the end of the quarter, the game was effectively done.

By the end of the fourth, every Belmont player got onto the court with 10 Marauders scoring, with the team cheering as junior Meghan Ferraro put in a layup with an assist from senior Lauren Noonan and for senior Kayla Magno when she drained a three.

“Having such a strong second half gives us a ton of confidence going into the next game and that’s really important,” said Herlihy.

Suffolk DA: Belmont Teen Arraigned Tuesday on Gun Charges

The Belmont teenager arrested on firearm charges in Boston on Saturday morning was arraigned in Roxbury Municipal Court on Tuesday, Feb. 24, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. 

Kenneth Madden, described by Conley as “a high school student from Belmont” was charged before Judge David Weingarten on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, carrying a loaded firearm, possession of a large capacity feeding device, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, and trespassing. 

According to a press release from Conley’s office, Assistant District Attorney Caitlin Fitzgerald requested bail of $25,000 and that Madden wears a GPS tracking devise, abide by a curfew and stay away from Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood if he is released from custody. Weingarten set bail at $7,500 and imposed the three conditions of release.

Fitzgerald told the court that members of the Boston Police Youth Violence Strike Force observed approximately 15 to 20 people running from Brook Avenue onto Dudley Street shortly before 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21. Witnesses told officers a man running from the scene was carrying a firearm and he provided police with the suspect’s description. 

Conley’s office said the officers continued on Dudley Street in the direction of Columbia Road where the group had fled and observed a man matching the description, later identified as Madden, walk into an alley along with approximately 10 other young men. 

The officers pulled the cruiser into the alley and observed Madden standing near the driver’s door of a Mercury Grand Marquis.  Upon seeing the cruiser, Madden ducked down behind the vehicle’s door then reappeared and closed the door. Officers observed that members of the group appeared to be bruised and bleeding, as though they had just been in a fight.

Out of concern for their safety, officers pat frisked Madden and five others standing around the car’s other open doors before discovering a firearm tucked partially under the vehicle’s driver’s seat where Madden briefly ducked out of sight. The firearm, a Sig Sauer 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, contained 12 rounds of ammunition in a high-capacity magazine and had an obliterated serial number, according to the press release. 

Madden was placed under arrest, while the other members of the group were released.

Madden will appear in the Suffolk County Gun Court on March 23.