Girls 400 Relay, Perkins Crowned Eastern Mass Div. 3 Track Champs

Photo: The Belmont High 4×400 meter relay: Danielle Kelly, Meggie MacAulay, Sara Naumann and Julia Cella.

When junior 200-meter specialist Julia Cella crossed the finish line just after 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, the automatic timer on the Burlington High School track read: 3 minutes 57.01 seconds.

It would be a record time for the Belmont High School Girls’ 4×400 meter relay squad, breaking an 17-year-old record by 4/10th of a second in the Eastern Mass Division 3 championships.

It was another fastest time ever for the four teammates. But it was not just the best time by a team in one division of one corner of the state. The quartet of junior Danielle Kelly, senior Meggie MacAulay, junior Sara Naumann and junior Julia Cella make up the best 4×400 relay in all of Massachusetts. 

The relay’s victory – by more than a second over the team from track-powerhouse Tewksbury – was just part of a great three days for the Girls’ Outdoor Track at the divisional championships, as the girls coached by Melissa Glotzbecker finished 8th with 38 points, only five points from a top four placement.

Yet all the noise wasn’t just coming from the girls’ side of the track. Belmont sophomore Calvin Perkins took home the 400 meter title with an outstanding 50.61 second over the one lap, outpacing Lamont Haynes of Boston Tech by more than 6/10th of a second, solidifying his position as a sprinter who could be a dominating factor in the event. 

Joining Perkins on a podium was senior Luke Peterson who soared 21 feet, 10 1/2 inches in the long jump to finish third. 

Scoring for the girls included

  • Katrina Rokosz, third in the javalin, 118 feet, 3 inches.
  • Naumann, fourth in the 800 meters, 2:16.48
  • Rachel Berets, 4th in the 100 meter hurdles, 16.39
  • Samantha Kelts, 4th in the pentathlon, 2475 points
  • MacAulay, 5th in the 400 meter hurdles, 1:06.83 
  • Kelly, 6th in the 400 meters 59.73.

But it was the relay that had the track buzzing on a hot Saturday afternoon. Belmont entered the meet as the top seed, holding the fastest time in the state of 3:59.97. And the other teams facing the Marauders in the penultimate race in the meet were gunning for the leaders.

“Through the first leg, Kelly was in the hunt with runners from several other teams, including Plymouth North and Tewksbury,” recalled Glotzbecker.

“Meggie MacAulay who came off the final turn of the stagger even with the runner from Tewksbury. The handoff to Sara Naumann was close to even with the Tewksbury squad, but Sara managed to pass their third runner on the back stretch. The final hand-off to Cella was made a few meters ahead of Tewksbury and she maintained that lead” through the finish, Glotzbecker said.

“Danielle, Meggie, Sara, and Julia all ran sub-60 seconds for their splits. This team is remarkable in that they each have an equal impact on the success of the team,” said Glotzbecker.

“Another significant factor for this team is their trust in one another, and their dynamic as a team. They are able to focus on the event at hand, knowing that they are accountable for one another at that moment no matter what may have transpired for them individually earlier in the meet. Their focus and determination paired with teamwork and talent has helped dictate the success of this group this season,” their coach said. 

Competing along with the relay at All-States will be Rokosz, Naumann, MacAulay, Perkins and Peterson.


Memorial Day Friday: The Price of Freedom, Paid Forward

Photo: WWII Veteran Jim Boozier at Friday’s ceremony.

The students flanked the walkway at the entrance of Belmont High School where just a week previous several strode with their dates to the buses taking them to this year’s prom.

The young freshmen, sophomores, and juniors – the newly-liberated seniors were spending a day in community service – were in marked contrast to the aging men who now filed between them towards the white flagpost at the foot of Clay Pit Pond on the warm May morning.

As the school’s marching band played “Anchors Away,” the assembled students gave a steady applause to the men who marched before them, who once, just a few years older than the present students, put on their country’s uniform to defend the nation.

The yearly observance of Memorial Day at Belmont schools – at the High School and the Butler and Winn Brook this year – allows the generation that served and fought to be a testament to students of sacrifice for a greater good. 

The dozen or so veterans – who served in all branches of the armed services from WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan – stood under the flag pole as speeches were made and lessons taught.

“The bitter lesson of history is that freedom is never guaranteed,” said Belmont High Principal Dan Richards.

“It is only those great and noble men and women who have been our guaranteers of our freedoms who we have come here to honor and those who are not able to join us, we owe you more than any ceremony can recognize,” said Richards.

For the veterans, the day is special for the recognition of their service as well as the opportunity to be a living history lesson.

“Twice a year, the veterans who come to these programs, we feel like rock stars when we leave for the day,” said Roger “Kip” Gaudet, Jr., commander of the Waverley VFW Post 1272 on Trapelo Road.

While it is an emotional time for the honorees to participate in the annual observations, “but it means more to us to have you people come out and support what we’ve done in the past,” said Gaudet.

“We are the Old Guards of the freedoms that you have today. And you people standing out here, are the guards of our future freedoms,” he said. 

“Freedom is not free. There is a price to be paid for it,” said Gaudet. 

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Sports: Belmont Baseball Heads to Sectionals On A Roll Winning Grant Tourney

Photo: Belmont, winners of the Brendan Grant Memorial Baseball Tournament.

It’s been seven frustrating years since the last time the Belmont High School Baseball took the title of its own end-of-the-regular-season annual Brendan Grant Memorial Baseball Tournament.

That long wait came to an end on Saturday, May 28, when senior captain Joe Shaughnessy lifted the winners’ trophy as Belmont rode to the title on the arms of its two strong starting pitchers, Belmont’s senior ace Cole Bartels and sophomore phenom Nate Espelin.

For Belmont’s long-time Head Coach Jim Brown, the late season victories are just the sort of preparation he was looking for as the squad enters the Division 2 North Sectional playoffs this week.

“These games, and especially the win over Reading, are great confidence boosters for the team,” said Brown, who said it’s likely Belmont will host a first round game this coming Friday.

“With 14 wins this season, it got the money off our backs of 11 wins in the past three years which meant we were going on the road for the playoffs. We should be a seven or eight seed this year which should be nice.”

In the first game on Friday, May 27, Belmont avenged last week’s heartbreaking 1-0 defeat by beating Reading, 5-2, behind Bartels’ seven innings, 12 strikeout performance – and for the second straight start striking out six consecutive Rockets in the fifth and sixth innings. Bartels helped his cause with a home run and three runs batted in to survive five infield errors to take the victory.

“[Bartels] carries us. He puts us on his back; he says I’m going to do it and bare down,” said Brown of Bartels, who is looking to repeat as the MVP of the Middlesex League.

In Saturday’s championship final, Espelin (four strikeouts) kept Lynnfield High off balance with an array of pitches as his teammates feasted on Div. 3 pitching, scoring five in the first to run away from the Pioneers, 16-2.

Belmont lead off the top of the first – the Marauders were the “visitors” during the game due to a pregame coinflip – with a barrage of singles from catcher Cal Christofori, Noah Riley (rbi), Steve Rizzuto (rbi), Trevor Kelly and the big shot from senior first-base Evan Biette, a two-run single to finish the scoring in the first.

After Espelin got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first with a strikeout, Bartels drove in Christofori in to up the score to 6-0 before a five-run third – highlighted by a two-run single from Matt Kearans – essentially put the game out of reach.

It didn’t surprise anyone that Bartels was named the tournament MVP.  Bartels, who has committed to play at Penn State next year, ended the regular season near the top in batting and pitching: hitting .475 and registering 73 strikeouts in Massachusetts.

Belmont will now have six days to prepare for its opening round game in the playoffs.

“One of our goals was a home playoff game because the town comes out and does a great job supporting us,” said Brown.

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Sold in Belmont: Reaching For The Stars, And Being Pushed Back Down To Earth

Photo: A $2 million house? 

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169 Orchard St., Brick Colonial (1930). Sold: $930,000.

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38 Taylor Rd., Brick split ranch (1955). Sold: $886,000.

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13 Francis St., Condo in a two family (1927). Sold: $610,000.

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45 Middlecot St., Colonial (1953). Sold: $905,000.

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11 Rutledge Rd., Colonial (1940). Sold: $1,125,000.

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25 Thayer Rd., Condominium (1958). Sold: $275,000.

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318 Trapelo Rd., New attached condominium townhouse (2015). Sold: $1,035,000.

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104 Lewis Rd # 2., Condominium in two family (1923). Sold: $525,000.

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100 Lexington St. Apt C3, Classic Colonial (1977). Sold: $238,000.

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55 South Cottage Rd., Townhouse (2012). Sold: $1,240,000.

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53-55 Trowbridge St., Brick multi-family (1973). Sold: $900,000.

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21 Bartlett Ave., Second floor condominium (1964). Sold: $507,000.

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

169 Orchard St., Brick Colonial (1930). Sold: $930,000. Listed at $1,999,000. Living area: 2,664 sq.-ft. 9 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 340 days.

38 Taylor Rd., Brick split ranch (1955). Sold: $886,000. Listed at $869,000. Living area: 1,759 sq.-ft. 8 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths. On the market: 47 days.

13 Francis St., Condo in a two family (1927). Sold: $610,000. Listed at $579,000. Living area: 1,729 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths. On the market: 60 days.

45 Middlecot St., Colonial (1953). Sold: $905,000. Listed at $869,000. Living area: 1,610 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 46 days.

11 Rutledge Rd., Colonial (1940). Sold: $1,125,000. Listed at $1,199,000. Living area: 2,535 sq.-ft. 10 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 74 days.

25 Thayer Rd., Condominium (1958). Sold: $275,000. Listed at $274,900. Living area: 615 sq.-ft. 4 rooms, 1 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 80 days.

• 318 Trapelo Rd., New attached condominium townhouse (2015). Sold: $1,035,000. Listed at $1,100,000. Living area: 2,900 sq.-ft. 9 rooms, 3 bedrooms, 3 full, 2 half bedrooms baths. On the market: 208 days.

104 Lewis Rd # 2., Condominium in two family (1923). Sold: $525,000. Listed at $499,000. Living area: 1,349 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 60 days.

100 Lexington St. Apt C3, Classic Colonial (1977). Sold: $238,000. Listed at $239,000. Living area: 774 sq.-ft. 3 rooms, 1 bedrooms, 1 baths. On the market: 95 days.

55 South Cottage Rd., Townhouse (2012). Sold: $1,240,000. Listed at $1,249,000. Living area: 2,800 sq.-ft. 7 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths. On the market: 124 days.

53-55 Trowbridge St., Brick multi-family (1973). Sold: $900,000. Listed at $869,988. Living area: 3,200 sq.-ft. 13 rooms, 6 bedrooms, 3 full, 2 half bedrooms baths. On the market: 84 days.

21 Bartlett Ave., Second floor condominium (1964). Sold: $507,000. Listed at $484,000. Living area: 1,173 sq.-ft. 6 rooms, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths. On the market: 82 days.

If you attend St. Joe’s or walk your kids to Wellington Elementary, you are certain to have seen the brick Colonial at the north corner of the intersection of Common and Orchard streets. It’s at the crosswalk that’s busy twice each day school is in session and on Saturday before and after afternoon mass. It’s been owned by the same family for more than 50 years according to town assessor records. 

It’s one of several brick homes built by the same developer in and around 1930, solidly built (although the roof looks a bit threadbare) with lots of period interior features: wood floors, built-in cabinets in the dining room, original molding and baseboards and a custom center spiral staircase. There’s the standard upgraded kitchen with the standard cabinets and horrid granite countertop. It’s not a small house by any standard, at 2,700 sq.-ft. with five bedrooms, but several of the rooms do appear a bit … tight, such as the rectangular living room at 14×25 (the big bedroom is 20×16), dining room, 13×14, and a family room of 11×18. Throw furniture into the rooms and your walking sideways to get here to there. 

 All in all, a solid 85-year-old house … that’s worth $2 million? Gagh! Talk about reaching for the stars. While over the past decade, homes on Common Street have reached the $1 million threshold, rarely do you see a single family home breech $2 million outside of Belmont Hill. But there it was: a listing price of $1,999,000 in June, 2015, a mere thousand dollars from a double mill. Yes, Colonials are selling for a premium, but by more than a million dollars over its fiscal 2016 assessed value of $927,00?

[Editor: There is some readers who contend that the $1,999,000 is a misprint. Maybe so but it’s in the MLS under that amount.]

The initial price tag could have simply been a homeowner cashing in during a two-year stretch when property values soared by more than $200,000:  

  • 2016: $927,000
  • 2015: $845,000
  • 2014: $711,000

But even your wildest dreams need some basis in reality, and quickly the sales price tumbled by $800,000 to $1,199,000. And while the new listed price was that’s nearly $300,000 greater than the assessed value, it appeared the salesperson and owner were going to make that price work come hell or high water, stubbornly sitting on the price for seven months. Yet the broker had to put the waders on as buyers were unwilling to part with their hard-earned cash. 

Despite two price reductions – $1,099,000 in February and $1,050,000 in March – the brick Colonial sat there as the Spring season was about to pass them by. Likely, a buyer put a “low-ball” bid on the property which was happily accepted at $930,000, nearly bang-on the assessed value of $927,000. And for once, the market value prevailed.

The twin is sold

Back in March, one half of newly-built attached townhouses was sold on busy Trapelo Road for $1,040,000. The story of the condos – located the the midst of the hurly-burly of the Fire Department, banks, parks and a busy roadway – showed that sometimes a good design and new construction can be a success, even if you have to share a common wall and no backyard. 

Last week, the other half of the townhouse was purchased for $1,035,000. A bargain.

Breaking: Belmont Memorial Day Parade, Cemetery Ceremony Cancelled

Photo: Last year’s parade.

Due to a forecast of a heavy morning and afternoon rainstorm on Monday, May 30, the Belmont Memorial Day Parade and the ceremony at Belmont Cemetery on Grove Street have been cancelled. 

A reverse 911 call from the Belmont Police Department to town resident at 6:41 p.m. Sunday, May 31, made the announcement of the cancellation. 

Third Annual Battle Of The Bands Set For June 22 At Payson Park

Photo: Last year’s winning band, Belmont’s own Free Shipping.

Belmont Savings Bank will be sponsoring the upcoming third annual Battle of the Bands on Wednesday June 22 at Payson Park. Middle school and high school bands from local communities are able to compete to be Battle of the Bands Champions.

The annual event opens the Payson Park Music Festival’s 2016 season.

Band interested in competing can contact Belmont Savings at The concert begins at 6:45 p.m. Or if you would like to enter a band into the contest, contact

All the participating bands will receive a $25 iTunes gift card. The winning band will get a $250 grand prize. The concert is proudly sponsored by Belmont Savings, which will be on-hand to add to the festivities by giving away a free Bose Soundlink.

The bank will also post a video of each band in advance of the concert on its Facebook page. which The band with the most votes (“Likes”) will receive a “Favorite on Facebook” award: a $50 AMEX gift card.

The bands so far are:

  • The Hitchikers
  • Mother Russia
  • Non Prophet
  • Waltham Show Band

For more please visit:

Selectmen Balk At Hillcrest Neighbors Request on Private to Public Roads.

Photo: The roads in the Hillcrest neighborhood. 

While filing out of the Board of Selectmen’s meeting Monday night, May 23, the consensus among the majority of homeowners from Belmont’s Hillcrest neighborhood of transforming their private roads into public ways was fairly succinct.

“It’s back to the drawing board,” said David Hurley, a Birch Hill Road homeowner who is a leader of the effort to transfer several roads – including Crestview Road, Evergreen Way, Longmeadow Road, Spring Valley Road, Stony Brook Road, and Woodfall Road to name a few – on the northwestern end of Belmont from private to public stewardship.

While the homeowners who live on the streets located on Belmont Hill  and town officials agree that the increasingly worn and ragged roadways should come under local control – for safety and fairness reasons, said Hurley – a new impediment has been revealed which is a deal breaker for the town.

The potential of a big fat lawsuit.

In the opinion of the town’s legal representative, unless the group advocating the change can convince each of the approximate 180 property owners to go along with a deal, the threat of a renegade homeowner who feels cheated by the process could end up costing the town far more than any

“Anytime a government agency exercises the power of eminent domain, anyone who is dissatisfied with the amount … given for their property has a two-year period to file in Superior Court for a jury to determine the damages,” said George Hall, Belmont’s Town Counsel at the meeting that served as an update for an initial request from a neighborhood group back on March 14.

Hall said an aggrieved homeowner would not just be entitled to the fair market value of the property but also argue that the remaining land had been diminished in value. 

And the risk of litigation is real, said Selectmen Chair Mark Paolillo, recalling a few years back a “simple” taking of land on Trapelo Road resulted in the town occurring more cost than it ever expected.

“My point of view is to trying and find a way forward, but the town will need to be protected itself from future litigation,” he said,

To avoid the risk, Hall is advising the Selectmen only to move forward with the plan in which each of the 181 homeowners signs off on the town taking their property – the roadway in front of their homes to the centerline of the road – and for what cost.

But so far, the group leading the charge has received the backing of three-quarters of Hillcrest homeowners.

Currently, about 69 percent of homeowners approve the private-to-public transfer, 10 percent – 18 households in total – are opposed, and 30 have not yet been contacted to turn over the streets maintenance and ownership to the town, said Hurley.

“It would really be difficult for us to ask town meeting to accept these roads as public ways with the threat of litigation out there,” said Paolillo.

The mandate for 100 percent was hardly what the residents wanted to hear.

“You’re putting us back to square one,” said Al Murphy of Longmeadow Road, who with Hurley has been leading the neighborhood initiative. 

One solution broached by Selectman Jim Williams who suggested that some streets or stretches of roadways can be handed over to the town if those sections received unanimity for the overall plan.  

Both sides spoke on the merits of adding the seven private roads into the fold.

“It’s a safety and a fairness issue,” said Hurley, who said the town already plows and patches the streets which are accessed by vehicles and pedestrians. 

“If it were up to me there would be no private streets in town,” said Hurley, adding there are too many “gray areas” with private ways. 

While the town would like to foster the transfer of the collective roads, it will only take possession of the streets after each has been repaired and passes town muster.

Town Administrator David Kale outlined one of two ways the residents can bring the streets up to standard; either the homeowners fix the streets out of pocket or accept a betterment process – a tax assessed on owners.

According to Hall, the betterment approach has lost favor in the past three decades since the passage of Prop. 2 1/2 in the early 1980s as communities has found it harder to find a ready pot of money to pay for the upfront repairs. The Office of Community Development has estimated the total cost of upgrading the roadways at $2.1 million.

It would ultimately be a vote by Town Meeting whether the town accepts the transfer.

When Hurley asked the board’s position if the town would accept the roads if they were repaved and repaired, the selectmen suggested a willingness to present such a deal to Town Meeting, but with one very large caveat.

While in favor of such a deal, “you still need 100 percent so you’re still stuck wth that,” said Paolillo. 


Movie Under The Stars Comes To Belmont Friday, June 3

Photo: The cast photo of “The Sandlot.”

A fun family activity that happens across the US each summer is coming to Belmont next Friday as the Belmont High School Class of 2019 presents “Movie Night Under the Stars” featuring “The Sandlot” on June 3, at 8 p.m. on the Brendan Grant Field. next to Belmont High School.

Tickets are $5 per person with a $25 family cap. Bring your own blankets and pillows. Popcorn and beverages will be available for sale.

All In Ten Minutes: Annual One Act Plays On Stage Friday, Saturday

Photo: The poster for the 2016 One-Act Plays.

A man falling from a plane who spends his final moments on a business call, a bedtime story that goes terribly awry and the tale of a boy becoming a man with a topsy-turvy ending you’ll see coming from miles away. 

These are just a few of the stories being presented by the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company at its annual One-Act Plays. In performance Friday and Saturday in the Little Theater at Belmont High School, the eight plays – a combination of comedy, drama, satire and romance – are directed by 11th and 12th-grade students and acted by their classmates. And each just about 10 minutes long. 

Here is a clip of “Sure Thing,” a favorite one-act play.

Performance Information:

  • Friday, May 27 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 28 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

Tickets: Adults: $12, Students: $5, FREE for BHS staff.

Tickets are on sale online and at Champions in Belmont Center.

Always popular, One Act Performances may sell out so buy tickets in advance. A very limited number of tickets or wait list seating will be available at the theater.

Read a synopsis of the plays here


Directed by Sophia Lubarr & Tenny Gregorian

BALTHAZAR: Oliver Leeb


Directed by Emma Giallongo & Katie MacAuley

SAMUEL: Raffi Manjikian

STACIE: Josie Cooper

DJ: Jack Merullo


Directed by Daphne Kaxiras & Katie Mabbott

SON: Sri Kaushik

DAD: Nic Neves

MRS MALBY: Miriam Cubstead

DAN TOLLISON: Patrick Bean

JENN GROUT: Maerose Pepe

MRS. TELLER: Julia Cunningham


ALIENS: Naria Sealy, Melanie Aftandilian, Kirsten Poulos


Directed by Andre Ramos & Jasper Wolf

NANCY: Molly Thomas

ANTHONY: Alex Aleksandrov

LIBBY: Lilikoi Bronson

DR. BLEDSOE: Al Hughes

AUDIENCE: Conor Bean, Giulianna Ruiz-Shah


Directed by Helena Kim & Rafi Wagner

BILL: Nick Borelli

BETTY: Nicole Thoma

BELL RINGERS: Alyssa Bodmer, Megan Bodmer


Directed by Hannah Messenger & Kyra Armstrong

PRODUCER: Tess Hayner

MAN: Danny Holt

DIRECTOR: Grace Christensen

ARTHUR: Ben Crocker

EMILY: Natalie MacKinnon-Booth

COSTUMER: Zoe Armstrong



Directed by Benjy Cunningham

LADY MAGNESIA: Olivia Pierce



PHYLLIS: Abigail D’Angelo

LANDLORD: Sam Sorensen


DOCTOR: Evan Wagner


Directed by Aaron Fairbanks & Cameron Fetter

FATHER: Clark Addis

CHILD: Sammy Haines

MOMOMO: Jocelyn Cubstead

GLABBO: Wonyoung Jang

CLOWN: Becca Schwartz

SPAMEISTER: Callie Reagan

SPAWORKER 1: Nathan Miller

SPAWORKER 2/MELINDA: Sarah Jane Henman

SPAWORKER 3/MOM: Isabella Jaen-Maisonet

TREE: Haley Brown

Follow Up: Cambridge Man Arrested on Drug Charges in Trapelo Haz Mat Incident

Photo: The incident on Trapelo.

A Cambridge resident was arrested on multiple drug charges on Sunday, May 22, after he ran his vehicle into one of the new raised traffic islands on Trapelo Road, resulting in the busy thoroughfare being closed for nearly five hours due to possible hazardous material found in the car.

Jonathan Ottinger, 26, of 172r Harvard St., Cambridge, was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute, three counts of possession of Class E drugs and a marked lane violation. 

The incident continues to be under investigation by Belmont Police. 

A Belmont Police officer on patrol “looked up after hearing Ottinger’s 2003 VW Passet hit the island at 12:12 p.m.  When he arrived at the scene, he found the vehicle’s driver-side tires flat by the collision adjacent to the CVS/Pharmacy at 264 Trapelo Rd. 

After a short investigation, Ottinger was placed in custody. Soon afterwards, Belmont Fire was called to the scene – the incident took place 100 feet from Belmont Fire headquarters – and it was determined that the scene warrented a visit by a regional Haz Mat team. 

Trapelo Road was closed until just after 5 p.m. 

The one Class D drug under Massachusetts law is marijuana. A person convicted of possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute can be sentenced up to two years in county jail and fined between $500 to $5,000. 

A Class E controlled substance includes lighter doses of prescription drugs that contain Codeine, Morphine and opium. Conviction could see a person sentenced to up to nine months in jail and fined between $250 to $2,500.