League’s Brown Bag Lunch To Update Public On New Library’s Future And

Photo: The Belmont Public Library, circa 2025

The Belmont League of Women Voters is holding its next Brown Bag Lunch on Friday, Dec. 1, from noon to 1:30 p.m., the subject will be an update on the Belmont Public Library while the new library building is constructed.

Bring your lunch; the lunch will be virtual, so members and the public can join from home.

Kathy Keohane, chair of the Board of Library Trustees, and Library Director Peter Struzziero will discuss and answer questions on a wide array of topics, including the demolition of the current structure and construction of the new library, the status of programming and events, as well as an update on the relocation of books and services during the year-and-a-half it’s being built.

The lunch will be virtual by going to the League’s website and on Zoom:

The meeting is open to the public, so please invite friends.

What’s Open (Coffee, CVS), Closed (Everything Else) In Belmont On Thanksgiving

Photo: Thanksgiving (c. 1935) by Doris Lee (1905–1983), Art Institute of Chicago

One of only ten recognized by the federal government, Thanksgiving is both a national and state holiday, so most businesses along with federal, state and town offices are closed shut.

In Belmont, town offices will also be closed on Black Friday, Nov 24. And the Belmont Public Library But there are a few places where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen to pick up a coffee or hot chocolate or hit the drug store for whatever reason.

What’s open:

  • Starbucks in Cushing Square (Trapelo and Common) is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving and 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Black Friday.
  • Dunkin’ at Trapelo Road and Beech Street will be operating from 4:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. The location on Church Street in Waverley Square will be open from 4:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The store at 350 Pleasant St. will be open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • CVS at 264 Trapelo Rd. is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the pharmacy is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • CVS in Belmont Center on Leonard Street is operating from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The pharmacy is closed.
  • Star Market in Waverley Square is closed.

‘It Could Be Yesterday; It Might Be Tomorrow’: BHS Performing Arts Company’s ‘Inherit The Wind’ [VIDEO]

Photo: Henry Barnes (sitting) and Gavin Tieken-Zidel (standing right) were the leads in Belmont High School Performing Arts Company’s production of “Inherit The Wind.”

Belmont High School Performing Arts Company Presented “INHERIT THE WIND” by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee at Belmont Middle and High School Black Box.

​The Performing Arts Company Fall Play was the classic drama, “Inherit the Wind,” based on the real-life story of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, when a high school science teacher was arrested for teaching evolution and violating a new state law. The play tells the tale of a small town gripped in the ensuing debate about science, religion, free speech, the law, and the two legal heavyweights coming to town to battle for their causes.

The show features a cast of 18 actors and the tech crew includes more than 40 students working on lighting, scenery, costumes, props, sound, and stage management.

NOTES ABOUT THE SHOW FROM PRODUCTION DRAMATURG LUCAS HOLMAN:

A dramaturg serves as a literary expert for a theatrical production, providing historical research, analysis and interpretation of a play to the cast, crew, and audience. For Inherit the Wind, Junior Lucas Holman conducted research about the history of the play, which was presented to the cast/crew throughout the rehearsal process, and participated with the cast in conversations about the present-day relevance of the show. He also wrote an essay for the program, part of which is excerpted here:

“Inherit the Wind” is a timeless work of historical fiction based on the “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925, in which a high school biology teacher was prosecuted for teaching evolution, which had been banned months prior. The play was written in the 1950s as a response to the McCarthy trials and a critique to the kangaroo courts of the Red Scare.

“Inherit the Wind” takes the historical figures and blends them into a dramatization of the courtroom. On one hand, “Inherit the Wind” is a time capsule, not just of the Scopes Trial from which it borrows its story, but from the McCarthy era which it aimed to critique. Similar to Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” “Inherit the Wind” utilizes the American past to touch on its American present by interweaving the themes and conflicts of the past with what they needed to hear then. However, the play is both timely as well as timeless, as many of the critiques it directs towards the unchecked dogma of Bryanism still ring true today in the climate of a divided America.

NOTES ABOUT THE SHOW FROM PRODUCER/DIRECTOR EZRA FLAM

“Inherit the Wind” is a Modern American drama, which is a style of play we have not done in the PAC in recent years. Students have had the opportunity to explore character development, naturalistic acting and play dramatic scenes, which has been a fun challenge for rehearsal and a great learning experience for them.

In March of 1925, the Tennessee legislature prohibited the teaching of evolution. The strike against Darwin sparked outrage across scientific America. Local authority figures in Dayton, Tennessee, quickly agreed: they wanted to use the new law to bring money and fame to their unknown town. They convinced John T. Scopes, on whom the character of Bert Cates is based, to stand trial. The ACLU put together a defense team led by Clarence Darrow, the most famed defense attorney in the nation in his time. Darrow is fictionalized in the play as Henry Drummond, facing off against prosecuting attorney Matthew Harrison Brady, a disgruntled thrice-failed presidential candidate who sees the defense of God as his last mission. Matthew Harrison Brady is modeled after William Jennings Bryan, the 19th and early 20th-century presidential candidate and novel politician, whose influence derived from his populist ideals. 

In addition, the tech crew has been hard at work creating the world of the show. Under the guidance of Scenic Designer Anna Moss, Costume Designer Lila West and Technical Director Ian O’Malley, students are creating the world of the play. Although the show takes place in the 1920s, we felt it was important to show that the story is not a historical artifact. As the author’s say in their preface to the script, “it could be yesterday; it might be tomorrow.” We have represented that on stage with a “Wall of Americana” spanning the last 100 years of culture and invention, a decade spanning soundtrack of American music and costumes that evoke the 1920s, but don’t lock the characters into that time period.

Bring Your Pumpkins And Pennies To Town Hall For A Good Cause This Saturday, Nov. 4

Photo: Bring your pumpkins to Town Hall … but only on Saturday, Nov. 4!

Everyone loves the seasonal Halloween pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns that festoon front steps and around the doors. But some time after the holiday, those same variety of winter squash tends to get … messy.

So before your pumpkin takes a turn for the worse, bring them down to Belmont Town Hall on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where Belmont Helps is holding its 4th annual Pumpkin Composting And Pennies Drive.

On Saturday, residents will be able to drive through and drop off pumpkins which are collected “in a large pile in a truck” to be donated to a composting company, said Amy Kirsch of Belmont Helps. “Usually by the time Halloween rolls around, there’s a lot of people with pumpkins that have … started to wilt and melt,” said Kirsch. “So we provide this service for the people.”

There is no limit to the number of round, orange squash one brings as “we will fill the truck,” she said.

Kirsch said the non profit will be collecting donations at the drop off that will go to fellow residents who are in need of food support.

“The needs of people we help grows in the winter, so it’s a great time for us to collect as many pennies as we can. So any loose change you have in your house and I know people have piggy banks, we’ll be happy to … and we’ll make sure people in need gets help.”

‘Today Is A Celebration For You’: Dedication of The Belmont Middle And High School [VIDEO]

Photo: Dedicating the new Belmont Middle and High School

One thousand, six hundred and eight days. That’s the distance of time from May 2019, when the official groundbreaking for Belmont’s newest school took place in the parking lot of what was then the High School, to this past weekend in October 2023, when the town came together again, this time to celebrate the official dedication of the newly-completed Belmont Middle and High School.

The numbers say a lot about the new school: $295 million – $212 million raised from taxpayers – to construct a 450,000 square foot 7th to 12th-grade campus and renovate the existing field house and pool, with four new athletic fields, 200 plus parking spaces, and nearly 2,000 solar panels, as it houses 2,200 students.

Bill Lovallo

But for Bill Lovallo, who headed the Belmont Middle and High School Building Committee since its inception, the number that stands out – besides the 166 public meetings the building committee held – will be the students who will benefit from learning in Belmont’s state-of-the-art for more than a half-century.

“Today, we celebrate the name Belmont Middle and High School. Two schools coming together under one roof for the first time in Belmont,” Lovallo said to the assembled officials from the town, schools, and state legislature, along with members of the building committee and the community who gathered in the school’s auditorium/theater.

“A place to learn, to grow individually and together in knowledge and maturity. To be curious and ask questions, to be safe, to take challenges, to go places never expected, to be thoughtful and caring of others,” he said.

Bill Lovallo, chair of the Belmont Middle and High School Building Committee, on an construction tour of the high school wing.

While the rainy conditions tamped down the number of participants, those who attended Saturday’s celebration had the opportunity to explore which, until recently, was one of the largest public school projects in the state that committee member Bob McLaughlin proudly foretold, “is on time and budget.”

As host, Lovallo highlighted the numerous committees, volunteers, and firms who had a hand in building the schools, with special recognition for Building Committee Vice Chair Pat Brusch, who has been involved as a member of three school building committees and the chair of the Chenery committee three decades ago.

“You are a steady hand in an erratic project environment,” he said. “You give unselfishly of your time and talents and Belmont is better for it.”

Others praised were the architectural firm Perkins+Will and the general contractor Skanska, which kept the project on an aggressive schedule despite the onset of Covid-19, which shut down most other construction projects.

State Rep. Dave Rogers noted hearing from Lovallo and others. “you just realize what an amazing team effort … [and] the importance of collaboration.” That included when the public insisted on the importance of solar power and cost increases forced some painful value engineering.

While compromising and having to make hard decisions ends in no one getting their way all the time, “Yet you have to keep working together,” which resulted in a first-class structure that Rogers said rivals many buildings at the state’s public universities and colleges.

School Committee Chair Meghan Moriarty believed L Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is the perfect analogy for the day’s celebration. On entering Oz, Dorothy is given special glasses so as not to be blinded by the city’s brilliance. It was later she discovers it was the glasses that gave the city its dazzling green appearance.

Dorothy learns “Oz is really special … is because of the relationships, how important community is,” said Moriarty. The brilliance of the open design and the learning spaces of the new school with a commitment to the needs of students now and in the future is “how this building is actually transforming the culture of teaching and learning in Belmont.”

Remembering his first day of high school in 2021, Belmont High Junior Class President Mark Brazilian spoke of the awe “how spectacular [the school] was and how lucky I was to be able to go to school and learning in such a new and state of the art school.”

“I’m certain that students are using these facilities to their fullest and I, along with the entire student body, are very thankful for all that this new school offers.”

Lovallo made a point several times to thank the community as a whole for taking on the burden of financing the project.

“Citizens of Belmont, we can’t thank you enough for your vote of confidence in 2018 when in overwhelming numbers, you endorsed this project saying ‘Yes. We need this. It is right for Belmont … [b]ecause this community is committed to investing in our future, particularly the future involving our children.”

“Today is a celebration for you,” he said.

Performing Arts Company’s 2023-4 Season Gets Underway With ‘Broadway Night,’ Oct. 13, 14

Photo: Nicole Thoma singing “History of Wrong Guys” on Broadway Night, 2015

BROADWAY NIGHT 2023, the Performing Arts Company’s annual evening of musical theater cabaret, will take place Oct. 13 and 14, at 7 p.m. in the Belmont Middle and High School Main Theater.

TICKETS: $5 Students, $12 Adults BUY TICKETS FOR BROADWAY NIGHT

Advance Ticket Purchase online recommended. Some tickets will be available at the theater 30 minutes before each performance.

Broadway Night kicks off the theater season at Belmont High. Students perform classic show tunes and contemporary work from new musical theater composers in an evening of song, dance and storytelling. ​This year, the show features more than 40 solo, duet and group performers, with a mix of humor, heart, romance and high-energy fun, plus a dance number

Broadway Night represents the core mission of the PAC, with an emphasis on showcasing student work. The performers have selected, staged and rehearsed the songs almost entirely on their own, In addition, the lighting design is done entirely by students, and the show ends with a finale song featuring the entire company

Belmont Fire Department Open House Set For Sat., Oct. 28

Photo: Belmont Fire Department headquarters

The Belmont Fire Department invites you to join them for an Open House Event at Fire Department Head Quarters on Saturday, Oct. 28, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The event is free and is sure to be fun. There will be demonstrations, hands-on activities, actual firefighter equipment, and many fire-safety education opportunities. Pizza and soda will also be available. 

Your Invitation: Dedication Ceremony For Completed Belmont Middle/High School Sat., Oct. 21

Photo: The dedication of the completed Belmont Middle And High School will be on Saturday, Oct. 21

The Belmont Public Schools is inviting the town community to attend the dedication ceremony of the completed Belmont Middle and High School taking place on Saturday, Oct. 21.

The ceremony consists of a formal dedication program, an opportunity to view the new learning spaces and a tour the new BMHS Campus. The event will begin at the schools’ Auditorium at 11 a.m., where the district will thank the many partners who helped create the state-of-the-art school.

There will be an Open House from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., where members of the Belmont community will be able to see the student learning spaces.

In anticipation of high attendance for the event, the district requests attendees walk or car pool to the ceremony if possible and obey all campus, street and parking restrictions.

Dress Up In Your Costume Best For FBE Halloween Apple Run 5K

Photo: Scary run through Belmont on Oct. 29

With a new date and route all with a holiday theme, the Foundation for Belmont Education’s Apple Run 5K is not just about how fast you run but do you have the best costume?

The 2023 5K Apple Run will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29, with the shorter 2K race starting at 10:45 a.m.

Now being held on the weekend before Halloween, the annual road race that benefits improving educational opportunities for students and teachers at the Belmont Public Schools is expecting its share of ghouls, ghosts, and Marvel superheroes racing through the streets of town.

There will be exciting and fun new prize categories for this year’s Halloween Apple Run, including awarding prizes for Best Individual Costume and Best Team Costume and the fastest runner in age groups and fastest team! A complete list of prizes can be found here. So get working on those costumes!

The first 400 registrants receive our limited edition 2023 Apple Run t-shirt! Register today to reserve one: they’re almost all gone!

Volunteers are needed! Is running not in the cards? We need lots of help to organize and run this amazing community race. Click here to sign up and help out.

The race sponsors are Cityside Subaru of Belmont (PLATINUM SPONSOR), Belmont Orthodontics (RESULTS SPONSOR), Belmont Youth Activities, and D.A.R.E. Inc. (BIB SPONSOR), and East Cambridge Savings Bank (WATER TABLE SPONSOR)

You can find more information about the FBE, and the FBE Apple Run 2023 at this website.

Belmont Health Dept’s Covid-19, Flu, And Vaccine Clinic Set For Wed., Oct. 11

Photo: Vaccine clinic run by the Belmont Health Department will occur on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

With infection rates for both COVID-19 and the flu outpacing last year’s numbers, the Belmont Health Department has announced its next vaccine clinic for the fall season.

This week’s clinic will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is now open. Click here to register.

The clinic will occur at the Beth El Temple Center, 2 Concord Ave., with vaccines available for Covid, flu, pneumonia, RSV, shingles, and tetanus.

If anyone has trouble registering or isn’t comfortable going online, they are welcome to call the Health Department at 617-993-2720, and we can register them over the phone. At this clinic, we will most likely only have Pfizer available for COVID-19 boosters, but if Moderna becomes available, it will also be offered as a choice at the time of the clinic.

Other clinic dates include:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 18: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 1: 10 a.m – 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 8: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.