Belmont Light Schedule Power Outage In Belmont Village Area 5 AM Saturday

Photo: Out goes the lights … and air conditioning.
A small explosion on a piece of equipment on Friday afternoon, June 29 will require Belmont Light to cut power to homes in the Belmont Village neighborhood early Saturday morning, June 30.

According to Belmont Light’s Aidan Leary, “Due to an equipment failure today, we must execute a planned outage tomorrow beginning at 5 a.m., on the following streets:”

  • Thomas St.,
  • Shean Rd.,
  • Weber Rd.,
  • Pearson Rd.,
  • Bradley Rd.,
  • Gordon Ter. 
“We plan to have power restored to all customers by 10 a.m.,” said Leary. 

US Sen. Markey Holding Climate Crisis Summit At Belmont High, June 28

Photo: Massachusetts US Sen. Ed Markey

Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Ed Markey is inviting residents and the general public to a Climate Crisis Action Summit at Belmont High School’s auditorium on Thursday, June 28 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Markey and three leading climate change experts will discuss what they believe is the greatest crises of our time. Following a discussion of the current state of affairs of climate policy and possible solutions, questions will be taken from the audience.

The expert panelists are:

  • Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator and current Director of C-CHANGE (Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
  • Dr. John Holdren, former Chief Science and Technology Advisor to President Barack Obama and current Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • Todd Stern, former U.S. Chief Negotiator for the Paris Climate Accord and current Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Distinguished Fellow at the World Resources Institute.

The summit is asking interested attendees to RSVP in order to gather an estimated headcount. Please note that registration here does not guarantee a seat, as attendees will be seated on a first come, first serve basis. Though we do hope to accommodate each and every individual who attends.

New Trash/Recycling Carts Start Arriving Monday … And What To Do With The Old One

Photo: Belmont residents can expect to see their new “carts” this and next week.

They’re here!

For the next two weeks, residents will discover something left behind on trash day: the delivery of the long-awaited “carts” for automated garbage and recycling collection by Waste Management, Belmont’s new trash collector.

The pair of carts will be left curbside during the last week in June and the first week of July. Each cart will have a serial number corresponding to the resident’s address.

If residents are not home during the drop-off, make arrangements for a neighbor or friend to place the carts on your property.

This week will be the final one for curbside removal of unlimited “bulk” items – large items such as couches or mattresses. 

Overflow bags will be sold at:

  • Hollingsworth, 89 Trapelo Rd.                               
  • Hillside Garden/True Value, 280 Blanchard Rd.
  • DPW Office, 19 Moore St. (Homer Building) Some of these locations only accept cash or checks.

Residents living in townhouses at Hill Estates will have their recycling changed from Monday Blue to Wednesday Green. This change is for recycling only.

For residents who are on a Tuesday Green recycle collection schedule, check the list below to see if your collection has changed to Wednesday Green. This change is for trash and recycling.

Change trash and recycling from Tuesday to Wednesday: 

  • 60-144 Blanchard Road
  • 11-157 Bright Road
  • 3-16 Dana Road
  • 5-65 Gale Road
  • 4-68 Glenn Road
  • 9-21 Mannix Circle
  • 17-90 Richardson Road
  • 10-49 Sharpe Road
  • 2-96 Taylor Road
  • 3-336 Washington Street
  • 16-176 Watson Road

What to do with your old garbage barrels?

Residents can continue to use them for personal use. But if a homeowner wants the barrel taken away, according to DPW Assistant Director Mike Santoro, place a large note on the barrel(s) on the next trash day that reads something like: PLEASE TAKE THIS BARREL. If you don’t take advantage of this one time removal, just remember that barrels are considered a “bulky” item and residents must call DPW Office to schedule pick up by noon before the next regular trash day.

CHAMPS AGAIN: Belmont Girls’ Rugby Repeat As State Champions Defeating Lincoln Sudbury

Photo: Senior Jess Rosenstein raise the state championship trophy.

Belmont High Girls’ Rugby Head Coach Kate McCabe huddled with her team just before the beginning of the second half of the state championship finals against Lincoln Sudbury Regional. Trailing 10-8, Belmont had been outplayed by the Warriors for long stretches of the match held at Newton South High School.

“Right now Lincoln Sudbury wants this game,” she told the team, looking at each player as she spoke. “I want you to want this game more. I want you to want to win this game,” said McCabe, imploring her squad to win each encounter on the field both as individuals and as a team. Now’s the time, she told them, to have the desire to win a state title.

And the Marauders responded with a dominating hard-fought second half punctuated with a pair of inspired trys by junior flyhalf Gabriella “Gabby” Viale – adding to her first-half strike – to defeat Lincoln-Sudbury, 20-10, to repeat as MIAA Division 1 state girls’ rugby champions.

“I can’t say enough about this team. They rose to the occasion when [the game] was on the line,” said McCabe after celebrating with her team with the state tournament trophy.

“I can’t describe it,” said team captain senior scrumhalf Jess Rosenstein who accepted the state championship trophy with fellow senior center Kiera Booth. “It’s great,” she said, pointing out the victory was due to a true team effort. “It’s all our[s] [championship].”

Top seed Belmont (8-0) won the two regular-season games against second-ranked Lincoln Sudbury (5-3) by five (17-12) and two points (14-12) in physical contests and the championship match played in sporadic sprinkles under overcast skies was just as rough and tumble as the previous matches. And it was the Warriors that took the game to the Marauders, keeping control of the ball while threatening to break runs from the back.

When Belmont did have the ball, it was losing possession in the ruck – when a player must release the ball after being tackled – as the Warriors moved the Marauders off the ball. 

“That was a sticking point which we had worked on so we knew that was going to happen,” said McCabe. “LS really pressured us on our first pass from the ruck and scrum and that took away our options.” 

Lincoln Sudbury struck first when junior center Shelley Zuckerman romped around Belmont’s right end to score the first of her two tries in the half to give the Warriors a 5-0 lead. 

Belmont responded on a flukish play as the Marauders’ drove the ball within 10 meters to the goal when a quick stoppage had both teams suddenly stop play. The only player to realize that the ball was free was Viale to picked it up and ran to try. The conversion attempt from an acute angle by junior lock Johanna Matulonis was missed to leave the game level at 5-5.

“I had these opportunities. I saw it and I had to go,” said Viale who has scored in consecutive championship games.

Belmont took a lead on Matunlonis’ penalty kick from nearly 22 meters with the wind to her back. That lead was shortlived as Zuckerman scored her second from 20 meters out to give the Warriors a 10-8 lead into the half. 

The Warriors came out of the half on fire as it quickly drove the ball to the Belmont 10 meters and then nearly scored on a solo run after a Marauder defensive kick, but for a last-gasp stop by junior fullback Clare Martin.

“Clare Martin was making amazing tackles all game, some were try-saving tackles,” said McCabe.

But once it weathered the assault, Belmont put its stamp on the game, retaining control and drove to the Warrior’s try line. Belmont came close to scoring, once losing the ruck within 5 meters to the line and once crossing the try line but did not touch the ball to the ground. The Marauders kept control in the Warriors’ end despite junior lock Sam Dignan being sent for 10 minutes to the “sin bin” with a yellow card. Both teams would soon be playing 14 aside when a Warrior was sent off with her own yellow.

The constant pressure Belmont placed on Lincoln Sudbury by running straight at its front line by junior 8-man Grace Christensen, Matulonis and sophomore prop Madeline Mulken finally gave Belmont open space along the flanks and Viale capitalized by taking a final pass down the right side to outpace the Warrior defenders to sweep 20 meters into try midway in the half. Matulonis’s successful conversion gave Belmont a 15-10 lead. 

The remainder of the half saw a tiring Warrior team unable to break Belmont’s defense, only passing the half line once in the final 18 minutes. Belmont once again drove into the offensive zone, keeping possession for a majority of the last minutes. After a penalty on the Warriors 25 meters from the try line, Viale quickly restarted play with a “tap-and-go” and ran by the Lincoln Sudbury defenders for her final try giving Belmont an insurmountable 20-10 margin with less than four minutes to play.

“I couldn’t have done it without the work of my teammates,” said Viale.

“Lincoln Sudbury was phenomenal today. At times we lost our focus that potentially could have changed the entire game,” said McCabe. “But at halftime, I asked them to make a difference in the game. It was that desire, the willingness to own how each of them played which made the difference.” 

Underwood Pool Opens Saturday, June 23, Blasting Off The Summer Swim Season

Photo: Underwood Pool

Summer rockets Saturday, June 23, as the Underwood Pool’s season begins with the Belmont Recreation Department’s  9th annual Summer Blast Off at the pool at the corner of Concord Avenue and Cottage Street.

Sponsored by Belmont Youth Activities and D.A.R.E. Inc., there will be games and music, a dunk tank, music, free hot dogs and chips, and swimming and splash about from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. A membership or day pass is required for entry.

The Underwood Pool is open from June 23 to Sept. 3.

The pool is open during the peak season to Aug. 17 from Monday to Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, Sunday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The late-season runs from Aug. 18 to Sept. 3 with the pool open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Information on fees and schedules can be found at the Belmont Recreation Department web page.

Belmont Rugby Teams Meet Familiar Rivals In Saturday’s State Finals [VIDEO]

Photo: Senior Scrumhalf Joe Viale racing down the pitch vs. St. John’s Prep

With a pair of dominating performances in the state championship semifinals last week, Belmont High School’s boys’ and girls’ Rugby squads now prepare to meet familiar foes in the state finals in a rare doubleheader where girls and boys high school teams will be seeking championships on the same day this Saturday, June 23.

The number one-ranked boys’ (6-0) in Division 1 will meet defending championships and second seed Boston College High School (5-1) in the late match of the three championship finals taking place at Newton South High School at 4 p.m

In the middle match at 2 p.m., the first seed and defending champs Belmont (7-0) is match up against second-ranked Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School (5-2) in the Division 1 Girls’ finals. 

The Belmont teams earned their place in the championship match with convincing victories in the semifinals that took place at Harris Field. On Tuesday, June 12, Belmont’s girls’ defeated the Needham High squad, 54-7, in a game that was more competitive than the earlier encounter between the teams.

Saturday’s opponent Lincoln Sudbury has been the one team which has placed the most pressure on the Marauders. It took Gabby Viale‘s ten-meter “tap and go” dash up the middle for a try on the last play of the game to give Belmont a 17-12 away victory on April 25. In the reverse fixture on June 12, Belmont’s defense and tackling kept a surging Warriors’ at bay for the 14-12 win, the margin of victory provided by junior Johanna Matulonis‘ converting both two-point conversion kicks after trys. 

Belmont will be relying on Senior Scrumhalf Jessica Rosenstein – who will be playing collegiately at national champs Lindenwood next year – to deliver the ball to the backline and direct the offense. Expect the team to rely on Number 8 Grace Christensen to take inside runs while Viale will be relied on to continue her season-long game-breaking runs while the back row wingers – highlighting juniors Hannah Hlotyak, Clare Martin, and Kiera Booth – will play a central role advancing the ball. 

The Marauders will need to protect the ruck – when a runner is stopped, their teammates attempt to push back the opponents so the scrumhalf can release the ball to the back row – and win the scrum when Belmont’s front eight players battle Lincoln-Sudbury’s front eight for the ball. 

On defense, watch for Belmont tackling attempt to counter the speed and physical nature of the Warriors.

If there is one advantage Belmont will carry into the game will be its experience – Saturday will be consecutive championship matches for nearly all the players on the field – and knowledge of the game which will 

Belmont Boys’ completed the season undefeated and rarely challenged in the late going of matches. And they showed its superiority in the semifinals as they dispatched St. John’s Prep High, 33-3, on Wednesday.

Boston College High squeaked into the championship game with a 12-10 semifinal victory over Lincoln Sudbury. Belmont defeated the Eagles on a rainy April 25, 26-14, with BC High scoring a late try. 

The Marauders will look to its senior front-runners, captain and flanker Will Lozano and scrumhalf Joe Viale, who will provide leadership by example on both sides of the ball, leading the attack into the heart of the BC High squad while being the first line of defense with an emphasis on stealing the ball from the ruck or during the run of play. 

And it will be in the ruck, side out and especially the scrum where Belmont will attempt to continue its season-long dominance. Despite being outweighed by BC High and St. John’s Prep by a significant amount, the forwards – front row Jake Parsons, Ryuichi Ohhata, and Mark Morash; locks Andra Duda and Maxwell Baskerville; flankers Connor Shea and Lozano; and 8-man Sam Sagherian – have controlled the majority of scrum restarts by working in concert as a single unit, resulting in the Marauders dictating how the game is played.

Look for Belmont to control the line-outs with Baskerville as the jumper who is lifted to capture the ball. Center back Sam Harris and wings Joe Altomare will give Belmont a great amount of pace in the open field. 

And the Marauders is expected to have an advantage in the kicking game as senior flyhalf Laurent Brabo has been hitting conversions and penalty kicks from well past 30 meters.

Belmont Against Racism Honored By State Teachers Association

Photo: (from left) Louise Gaskins, the eponymous educator of the award for her leadership on issues of women and people of color in education, with current and former BAR Board members, Meg Anderson, Bev Freeman, Charlene O’Connor, Kathryn Bonfiglio, John Robotham, and Mike Collins.

Belmont Against Racism will be in the spotlight on Friday, June 15, as the group is presented with the 2018 Louise Gaskins Lifetime Civil Rights Award from the Massachusetts Teachers Association at its 36th annual Human and Civil Rights Awards dinner held in Westborough.

Belmont Education Association members Carla Hawkins and Karen Duff nominated the group for this year’s award.

Duff, a Chenery Middle School librarian, said she has reached out to the group many times, including for help with funding, “to invite local authors of color and authors from the LGBTQ community to come in and provide writing workshops.”

Hawkins, a Chenery school counselor, said, “As is the sad and disturbing truth everywhere in America, Belmont has its share of racial, homophobic, religious intolerance and other incidents of hate and intolerance. BAR is the leader in the community that, in a timely and mindful way, organizes the community by providing a space and forum to address the issue and open a dialogue. Belmont is becoming a safer and more accepting community as a result of BAR’s existence.”

Belmont Against Racism is an all-volunteer organization started 26 years ago after the Rodney King verdict with an emphasis on anti-racism work.  In 2001 it broadened its mission to address all forms of prejudice and bias. With its partner programs, The LBGTQ Alliance, and The Stand-Up Campaign, BAR’s stated mission is to strive “to build a diverse, inviting community-based on fairness and mutual respect.”

BAR organizes and co-sponsors programs and films related to social justice issues, race relations, and identity. BAR also funds grants to the schools and community, including support for after-school transportation for Belmont High School METCO students.  BAR started and continues to fund the annual Belmont Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast.   BAR is the sole fundraiser for the METCO Support Fund that provides after-school transportation for Belmont High School METCO students who participate in after-school activities, for activities sponsored by the Boston Belmont Friends Group, and for programs across the schools. 

Examples of programming supported by BAR in  the Belmont Public Schools this past year include a Thanksgiving luncheon for English Language Learners and their families at Winn Brook School, funding for Belmont teachers to attend an IDEAS Educator Conference that explored the impact of race, culture, and equity on student engagement, learning and achievement, support for diverse authors at the Chenery Middle School, bringing award winning slam poet, Regie Gibson to Belmont High School for presentations and writer’s workshops and funding for Belmont High School students to see the play, “Unveiled.” 

Community support by BAR has included funding for Story Starters, a program for children and their parents that uses literature to talk about race and racism, co-sponsorship with the Belmont Public Library to bring Gish Gen to speak about her book The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap and funding for Teen Empowerment to do a diversity workshop with Boy Scout Troop #304.  BAR also distributes lawn signs that read “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.”

“We try in our small way to make a difference in our community, with a particular emphasis on supporting efforts to make our METCO students feel welcome and appreciated in our town,” BAR’s President Kathryn Bonfiglio told the MTA audience. Bonfiglio said that while it has been a discouraging few years given the increase in bias incidents, the rise of student activism country-wide has been inspiring. Bonfiglio commended local youth groups including Black in Belmont students, Muslim students who spoke at a recent Iftar dinner at Beth El Temple Center, and Belmont High Students who marched in the Boston Pride Parade as examples. 

Future programs for BAR include a forum on Nov. 15 on “Bringing Restorative Justice to Belmont” with speakers, Middlesex District Attorney Marion Ryan, State Sen. Will Brownsberger, Belmont Police Chief Richard McLaughlin, Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan, and members of Communities for Restorative Justice. 

Opening Reception For Belmont Gallery Of Arts Summer Show June 21

Photo: The summer show at the Belmont Art Gallery will have its opening reception on June 21.

Celebrate the Summer Solstice at the opening reception for “Take 5 Plus 2” this year’s summer art show at the Belmont Gallery of Art. The reception will be held Thursday night, June 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the gallery located on the third floor of the Homer Building located in the Town Hall complex off Moore Street in Belmont Center.

The exhibit features works by five members of the BGA’s board of directors:  Chris Arthur, Kimberly Becker, Helen Canetta, Richard Hill and Adine Storer, together with two guest artists; Trey Klein and Carol Wintle.

The show will run until Aug. 15. Summer gallery hours are Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Fridays in August from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bike Park, Anaerobic Digestor, Pet Cemetery: What To Do With Belmont’s Old Incinerator

Photo: Residents wait to speak to the Selectmen on the future of the town’s incinerator.

A place for recreation, revenue, and reflection. Those were just three broad public suggestions for the future of Belmont’s former incinerator site at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, June 18 at Town Hall.  

With the land now fully under town control, the post-closure use of the roughly 17 acres of usable land – 8 acres of the 25 total acres is comprised of wetlands –  which has been closed since 1976 is an empty canvas for residents to fill with their recommendations but only up to a point.

“We can’t do everything on this site, it’s a finite amount of land so clearly … not everyone is going to get what they necessarily what they want. I hope that everyone can keep in mind what’s in the best interest of the town … and the cost of doing these things,” said Selectmen Chair Adam Dash.

Community Development Director Glen Clancy discussed the nuts and bolts of the land off Concord Avenue near the Lexington town line. The site is segmented into three areas; a pair of front parcels – known as A and B – totaling 14 acres and 3 acres in the back which is identified as C. The front parcels – made up of  land was deeded to the town by the state – are under restrictions that limited its use to “recreation, public works, or other municipal uses.”

While the back parcel was never used as a landfill and will not need capping of the soil below, the two front areas will require either an augmented cap or an extensive layering of material over the contaminated ash fill.

While the town in the past had discussed numerous post-closure uses for the site – the location of a new police station, a park, and ride, a skating rink and private commercial development – the restrictions by the state and high costs have officials eyeing a more passive approach to the future uses. In addition, the town’s Department of Public Works will require several “bins” to keep leaf and yard waste for composting, storage of pipes and for emergency snow removal.

Some residents have been thinking about possible best uses of the area. An ad-hoc group is proposing a multi-use project that includes a skate park, bike trails and a solar array that will increase recreation space, be environmentally friendly and create a revenue stream – estimated at $1.5 million over 20 years with a similar solar field – from passive energy benefiting the town and Belmont Light.

“This is something where it produces power, helps us reach our future climate goals, it has an economic payback and it helps our ratepayers,” said Travis Frank who introduced the proposal with a slide show of the plans.

Another plan that came prepared as a written proposal is dubbed anaerobic digestion. While that may sound like what happens when you do high-intensity exercise after eating lunch, rather, it’s when microorganisms break down biodegradable material – ie. food waste – in the absence of oxygen at a moderate-sized facility on the landfill. The byproducts from the process are methane that can be used to generate a large amount of electricity and compost for fertilizer. 

“If the town moves forward on this proposal, they will meet with town officials on how big of a facility will be and how it would be capable to the land it is on,” said Bruce Haskell of Langdon Environmental in Southborough. While the proposal, which would be built by a third-party private vendor, garnered some interest by potentially reducing solid waste collection in town and would be a revenue source, there were concerns of controlling potential odors and truck traffic bringing in organic waste and taking out compost were presented.

Other residents suggestions included passive use, a possible location of the proposed Belmont Youth Hockey ice skating rink, and a dog park.

Another dog related use that perked the ears of those attending was a proposal for a dog/pet cemetery at the location. There are relatively few final resting places for the family pooch and the town could “ask $2,000” for a plot for Spot, suggested Evan Harris from Statler Road. 

While suggestions on the possibilities for the site filled two posterboard sheets of paper, the day of the ribbon cutting of any of the ideas is some time in the future.

“The site will be used as a staging area for the construction of capital projects and the new Belmont High School, so we are looking well down the road,” said Dash after the meeting.

“But its good that we have begun the process,” he added.

Last Day Of Classes At Belmont’s Public Schools Today, June 20

Photo: The final walk out of school at the Wellington.

Do you hear the pupils sing? Singing the songs of no more school.

Unless it snows today, Wednesday, June 20 is the final day of the 2017-18 school year in Belmont. Coincidentally, it’s also the final day of spring as the summer solstice occurs on June 21 at 6:07 a.m. (for any druid who needs to know).

And students won’t be spending the entire day in class as Wednesday is an early release day for all grades. Some of the elementary schools will have a final walk out of school of the “graduating” 4th graders who will be heading to the Chenery Middle School in the fall. 

While school is officially “out for summer,” there is one final student event of the year taking place on Saturday, June 23 as Belmont High’s boys’ and girls’ rugby squads will complete in the state championships at Newton South High School.

And for parents, it’s only 77 days until the first day of the 2018-19 school year on Wednesday, Sept. 5.