National Purple Heart Day Observation At Vets Memorial Clay Pit Pond On Sunday, Aug.7, 1 PM

Photo: Residents of Belmont, veterans and Purple Heart recipients are invited to attend this special event. 

The Town of Belmont will honor and observe National Purple Heart Day on Sunday, August 7 at 1 p.m. at the new Belmont Veterans Memorial at Clay Pit Pond off Concord Avenue and across from Belmont High School.

Brig. Gen. Paul L. Minor, the co-rector of Belmont’s All Saints’ Church, and the newest assistant Adjutant General of the Massachusetts Army National Guard at Joint Force Headquarters, will be the guest speaker.

Residents of Belmont, veterans and their family members and in particular all of those who are Purple Heart recipients are invited to attend this special event. 

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States armed forces who are wounded by an enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action.

Chartered by Congress in 1958, the Military Order of the Purple Heart is composed of military men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal for wounds suffered in combat. Although membership is restricted to the combat wounded, the organization supports all veterans and their families with a myriad of nation-wide programs by Chapters and National Service Officers.

Belmont Fire’s Recruitment Open House: Tuesday, Aug. 16 At 6 PM

Photo: If you had a dream to become a firefighter, come by the Fire Department’s HQ on Tuesday.

Learn about how to become a Belmont Firefighter at a Recruitment Open House on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 6 p.m. at the Belmont Fire Department Headquarters 299 Trapelo Rd.

Learn more about …

  • Tour our headquarters station, view our apparatus and equipment, and talk with our firefighters.
  • Our modern apparatus, equipment and stations,Exemplary Advanced Life Support Services
  • Advanced training opportunities in Haz Mat, Technical Rescue and other skills,
  • 24/72 shift schedule,
  • Competitive compensation and benefit package

An innovative fire department where you can make a difference.

Town Opens Cooling Centers As Heat Wave Prompts Belmont Light To Ask Public To Cool It

Photo: Cooling centers will be open until Friday

With high temperatures to be in the mid-90s until next Monday, the Belmont Council on Aging will open the Beech Street Center at 266 Beech St., and the Belmont Public Library will open the Library at 336 Concord Ave., as cooling centers, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The hours will be as follows: 

  • Beech Street Center: Wednesday 8am-8pm, Thursday 8am-8pm and Friday 8am-4pm.
  • Belmont Public Library:  Wednesday 9am-9pm, Thursday 11am-9pm and Friday 9am-5pm.
  • Belmont Public Library: will also be open on Friday night from 6:30pm-9:30pm for a free movie night. 

“We encourage everyone to stay cool and hydrated. We ask you to check on elderly friends and neighbors, and others who may need help, during this period of high heat and humidity,” said the press release from the town.

Belmont Light is asking consumers to reduce electric usage when possible from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. beginning July 19 to July 22.

With Covid Variant On The Rise, Town Holding Vaccine Clinic Thursday, July 14

Photo: The clinic will take place at the Beech Street Center

As the BA.5 offshoot of the Omicron Covid-19 variant is on the rise, the Belmont Health Department is offering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents (ages 3+), including 1st, 2nd, and booster shots.

Thursday, July 14, 10 a.m. to Noon
The Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.

This clinic will be operated through a partnership between VaxinateRX and the Belmont Health Department. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available.

NEW! Those 3 years and older can now sign up to receive their primary vaccine series at this clinic.

Look here for information and to register for a vaccine appointment.

If you have difficulty with registration call  617-993-2720
or Email: for assistance
*Please present insurance cards, photo ID, and vaccination cards at appointment.

‘Now It’s Your Turn’: Select Board Voice Support For $39.5M Library Debt Exclusion On November Ballot

Photo: Architectural drawing of the new Belmont Public Library along Concord Avenue (Oudens Ello Architecture)

After waiting in line for years behind other capital projects, advocates for a new Belmont Public Library building received the support of the town’s three-member Select Board for the project to be placed before voters on the November 2022 election.

”Now it’s your turn,” said Mark Paolillo, chair of the Select Board during an update on the new library project at a joint meeting with the Board of Library Trustees. ”This is ready to go.”

According to the latest data from the design firm and the library building committee, the revised price tag for the new 41,500 sq.-ft. library is $39.5 million.

“We’re feeling comfortable that this is the number that we would ask the Select Board to move forward with and what the building will cost,” said Kathy Keohane, vice chair of the trustees. The bill for the project has seen a jump since Sept. 2021 from $35.9 million due to a $2.1 million increase in construction costs in addition to the building committee adding $1.86 million in what is called ”market volatility contingency” above the current contingency line items “which we felt … was prudent to include that additional safe guard.”

While the Select Board is scheduled to vote at its July 25 meeting to OK placing debt exclusions on the Nov. 8 mid-term ballot, the members are ready to put the project before voters.

“I am committed to the library being on the ballot in November,” said Select Board Member Adam Dash. “You guys have done your homework and that the library trustees have been very patient and letting a lot of other go first.”

“You’re welcome to come [on July 25] … and listen to our favorable vote to put this on the ballot in the fall,” said Paolillo.

Keohane reported community donations to defray the cost of the new library has nearly reached $3 million (currently at $2.86 million) from 850 supporters. Keohane noted the donation figure is conservative as there are “many folks that have told us they are planning to make a donation but we don’t have that paperwork.”

”We are also pursuing grants with businesses, banks, local foundations and very much open to any suggestions that people may have about the possibilities … [in addition to] CPA grants,” she said.

The November vote comes as the library’s popularity has returned to near pre-pandemic levels, according to Library Director Peter Struzziero. The 2021-22 fiscal year [ending June 30] is the second busiest books in total collection use in library history with more than 600,000 books and material used by patrons, only topped by 2018-19 with 650,000. The library has also expanded its mentor match, collaberation with schools and other and the return of One Book One Belmont in the fall.

”We had a great response to the pandemic. We were a leader in the Commonwealth and learning new ways to serve while we built new relationships with our patrons,” said Struzziero.

Learn More About New T Bus Line That Runs Through Belmont In Virtual Meeting Wednesday, June 22

Photo: MBTA meeting on new bus routes including one through Belmont. (credit: Wikipedia)

As part of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Bus Network Redesign initiative – to re-imagine the MBTA’s bus routes to better serve current and future bus riders – the authority is holding a series of regional meeting to present and discuss the new bus lines that will be a central component of the redesign.

One of the featured new bus lines will run from the MBTA’s Green Line D Riverside Station in Newton to Arlington Center passing through Waverley Square, Belmont Center and down Pleasant Street to the Arlington line. Below is the link to the meeting:

June 22, 6 p.m.: Bus Network Redesign – Minuteman & Metro North (Virtual)

Between now and through the end of July Mass Department of Transportation and MBTA staff will be collecting feedback through multiple platforms.

Below are additional information about the Redesign Initiative:

  • A link to an interactive version of the draft map is available here.
  • There are a series of detailed, community-specific booklets that include comparisons between the draft map and today’s bus system, and a summary table of all route changes. You can find a link to all the booklets here.
  • Members of the public can see how this proposed bus system could affect their personal travel by entering origins and destinations in this digital Trip Planner, which compares their potential commute with today’s network. You can find a link available here.
  • The public can share their feedback on the draft map here through this feedback form.

Summer’s Here! Underwood Pool Season Starts Wed., June 22 With Kick Off Pool Party Sat., June 25

Photo: Summer is here as the Underwood Pool opens for the 2022 swim season.

Summer in Belmont officially started on Tuesday, June 21 just before 6 a.m. with the sun setting on the longest day of the calendar year at 8:26 p.m. (Compared that to sunset in Reykjavík, Iceland that occurs at 12:04 a.m., the next day!)

But everyone knows summer really comes to Belmont when the Underwood Pool at the corner of Cottage and Concord opens for the swim season. And that will occur on Wednesday, June 22 when the facility opens at 10 a.m. for its three-day “preseason.” The facility will be operating on a limited schedule – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – from Wednesday to Friday, June 24.

The pool will begin its “peak” season from Saturday, June 25 to Aug. 21 when the hours are lengthened from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. And on the first Saturday, the Belmont Recreation Department will hold a kick-off summer pool party dubbed Summer Splash-Down. The celebration, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., will include ice cream courtesy of the Belmont Public Library, giveaways, food trucks and music from local bands Vibe Check, So Blue Jazz and a Led Zeplin cover band. Entry to the pool and stuff will be with a pool membership or a day pass.

For all information about the Underwood Pool – membership, day passes, rules and regulation – go to the link here.

As Anti-Gay Laws Increase Nationwide, Belmont’s Pride Parade Demonstrates Support For Equity, Inclusion

Photo: The third Belmont Pride Parade in Belmont Center

Ziza Soares would likely be fired from her job if she was working in Florida. And in some states, what the Chenery Middle School six grade teacher did on Saturday would have been seen as worthy of prosecution.

In Florida under Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, which becomes law on July 1, Soares would find her teaching position in jeopardy just by being an openly gay educator. While the Florida law prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity to kindergarten and elementary students up to third grade, critics contend the ultimate goal of the legislation is to “muzzle any discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity” by all public educators.

Chenery Middle School educator Ziza Soares

“I am out in school … and I’m pretty confident that I would, at least at the end of the school year, not be invited back if I taught there,” said Soares, who is in her second year as an English Arts educator.

And as co-advisor with Crystal Waters of the school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance, Soares came to the Town Green on Saturday, June 11 with approximately 40 Chenery 5th to 8th grade students – between 10 and 14 years old – to march in Belmont’s third Pride Parade, the town’s celebration promoting awareness, inclusion and equity. In states in the US South and Midwest, Soares’ action would be viewed as promoting the gay lifestyle onto children which would bring her to the attention of state officials.

”I feel so bad for the students but also I feel so bad for the teachers who are put in impossible positions that no one should be put in,” she said.

Countering anti-gay laws spreading throughout the country, more than 300 residents, supporters, students and parents took to the streets on a warm Saturday for a boisterous trek through Belmont to support pride and the progress made in gender and sexual equality. With speeches and a town proclamation read by Adam Dash to start the day, the parade got underway with a Belmont Police detail as Soares’ middle schoolers demonstrated a non-stop energy that was evident from start to finish.

Marchers were greeted by honking horns along with cheers and waves as the event was the largest and most successful in its history.

”This is a great day to come together and celebrate each other and our allies and recognize the progress that we’ve made in the community over the past years,” said Dr. John Davis, a member of the Belmont LGBTQ+ Alliance leadership team which co-sponsors the annual march.

While Belmont and Massachusetts are viewed as progressive on the subject of equality, the same can not be said for nearly half the states in the US, according to Davis.

“Anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ legislation is occurring at an unprecedented level across the country. And this includes 25 bills in more than 20 states.” While laws and measures taking place around the country “may not affect us directly here in Belmont or in Massachusetts, it does have an effect particularly on our youth who hear these discriminatory bills and feel threatened and powerless,” said Davis.

“So we cannot give up the fight. That’s why participating in this march in Belmont, to support LGBTQ+ individuals and groups as they fight discrimination anywhere in the country is so important.”

At the Chenery, that advocacy is provided by the Alliance which provides a safe space for LGBTQ students and allies as well as an opportunity to community build, said Soares.

“We have kids connect with each other. It’s a really important space for them to make sure that they know that there are people in the school that support them, and that want to advocate for them,” she said.

“I just think it’s a great that there’s a community to feel supported by,” said Maia Readi, an eighth grader who came with Alliance.

Belmont Pride Parade Set For Saturday, June 11 At 1 PM

Photo: The Belmont Pride Parade will head through Belmont Center on Saturday.

In celebration of Pride Month, the annual Belmont Pride Parade will be held on Saturday, June 11, at 1 p.m. The parade will begin at the Wellington Station in the Town Green next to the First Church at 404 Concord Ave. across from the underpass to Belmont Center.

The three-mile route will start at the Green, continue through the underpass to Channing, Claflin, Alexander, through Belmont Center on Leonard, under bridge taking a right on Common, another right on Waverly, left on Beech, left on Trapelo, left on Common and back to Town Green.

June is LGBTQ Pride Month! Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated each year in June, to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising demonstrations by Manhattan’s gay community.

Learn About A New Belmont Library At Virtual Public Forum Thursday, June 9

Photo: A drawing of the facade of the new Belmont Public Library

The Belmont Public Library Building Committee will be presenting the seventh open public forum on Thursday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m.via ZOOM. The forum will give residents and patrons an opportunity to see the new library’s plans including site plan, floor plan, budget, timeline, and exterior and interior renderings.

The forum will be held virtually: participants can register for the Zoom link or click here to join: