Touch-A-Truck Returns For A Second Year On Oct. 7 In Belmont Center

Photo: Living the dream at last year’s Touch-a-Truck event in Belmont.

It’s back: The second annual Belmont Touch-a-Truck event is on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bulldozers, snow plows, garbage trucks, police vehicles and motorcycles, fire and EMT apparatus, and a whole assortment of large vehicles will be open for children – and their parents – to climb into and explore at the Claflin Street Parking Lot in Belmont Center.

“Last year it exceeded all our expectations, the honking notwithstanding,” said Stephen Rosales, formerly of the Belmont Select Board and a member of the board of Belmont Youth Activities, who is sponsoring the event along with the town’s D.A.R.E. chapter.

“But honking [the vehicles’ horn] is what all the kids and some of the adults wanted to do, quite frankly,” Rosales told the Select Board at a recent meeting.

According to Rosales, talks are also underway with the Belmont Lion Club to have a mobile eye examination clinic that can test kids’ vision in 30 seconds to detect early signs of problems.

Attendees can expect refreshments – it was hot dogs and water last year – and there was a request from the Select Board.

“Stephen, can Touch-a-Truck include touching a food truck? That would be good too,” said Board Chair Roy Epstein.

Belmont First Cannabis Dispensary Opens Its Doors To Newcomers And Seasoned Patrons

Photo: They’re open (Credit: Cal Verde Naturals)

For all you “seasoned” customers out there, the Town of Homes is now a place for people to find a righteous time.

Belmont’s first cannabis dispensary, Cal Verde Naturals at 1010 Pleasant St., has officially opened its doors to adults – it is 21+ to get inside – and will have a grand opening celebration on Saturday, July 8.

Store hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I am so thrilled to bring the Cal Verde vision to life in Belmont,” said Cal Verde owner Kelly Tomasello. “It has been a labor of love for [more than] four years.”

And from reading the press release, Cal Verde is all in with their products and services. Saying it is staying true to its motto, “Nurture with Nature,” the adult-use dispensary is focused on curating a “unique, worthwhile experience” for “seasoned consumers and newcomers alike,” as the store provides “exceptional cannabis products through a hands-on, first-class retail experience.”

“We are happy to serve the communities in which we operate. We believe that cannabis can enhance any lifestyle … [we have] all the products and strains to meet your needs,” said Tomasello.

With the Massachusetts cannabis marketplace getting more crowded by the day, Tomasello hired Belmont resident Emma Thurston as the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, saying their quarter century cumulative experience in the retail industry is more relevant than ever.

“Cannabis consumers are seeking not only exceptional products but an exceptional shopping experience, something which [the executives] believe they are set to deliver on,” said the release.

“Emma and I have created what we believe to be a first-class operation. We are looking forward to being able to contribute to the town through our business and volunteer work. We can’t wait to meet all of our new patrons,” said Tomasello.

Widmer Honored At State House Ceremony As A Commonwealth Heroine

Photo: State Rep. Dave Rogers honors Belmont’s Jeanne Widmer (Credit: courtesy photo)

State Rep. Dave Rogers honored Belmont’s Jeanne Widmer as the 24th Middlesex District’s Commonwealth Heroine Award on the Status of Women at the State House on June 23.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the award recognizes the often-unsung heroines who devote their time, talent, and civic spirit to make a difference in their communities and enrich the lives of others.

“In her personal and professional life, Jeanne has exemplified what it means to be a Heroine,” said Rogers. “She is driven by her kindness and desire to give back. I was delighted to honor Jeanne with this award and to participate in a day dedicated to uplifting the women who help build and improve our communities.”

Rogers nominated Widmer for her varied and passionate work in Belmont. Soon after moving to the “Town of Homes, Widmer worked on the town’s campaign for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and has since volunteered on dozens of local campaigns. She was elected three times to the Belmont School Committee, serving two years as its chair, and has been a Town Meeting Member since 1981.  

Widmer also founded the Belmont Women’s Resource Center, which provides monthly programs on issues of concern to women. For 20 years, Jeanne has worked as a tutor and counselor, helping students access education and unlock their potential. She was awarded for volunteer work with Belmont Parent Teacher Organizations, METCO, and youth sports teams.

Belmont Adds the 3rd To July 4th Holiday, But Trash Will Be Picked Up Monday

Photo: The 3rd and the 4th in 2023

This year’s Independence Day holiday got a day longer for Belmont town employees as Monday, July 3, has been added to the July 4 celebration.

“The town was scheduled to be open on July 3. But with a lot of discussion from some stakeholders in the community – the school department, the library, the DPW, and the Beech Street Center – we are closing town offices on July 3 in recognition of the holiday,” Belmont Town Administrator Patrice Garvin told the Select Board at its Monday, June 26 meeting.

“Employees that are overworked will be able to enjoy a long weekend with their family and their friends,” said Garvin of the extra paid holiday.

Board member Elizabeth Dionne said she and her colleagues support the added day off as employees “are working very, very hard under challenging circumstances and [this] felt like something small that we could support as an appreciation of thanks.”

There is also the realization that nearly every non-retail business and government entity would likely find workplaces empty as employees would take a day off to make the 4th four days long.

But while the town is closed, trash and recycling will occur on Monday. After the 4th, the curbside schedule will return with Wednesday, July 5, the Tuesday collection day.

For problems with trash and recycling collections on Monday, call the town’s trash contractor, Waste Management, at 1-800-972-4545

Remembering Belmont Pride 2023: ‘You Need Some Rain To Make A Rainbow’ [VIDEO]


It was a wet June 17 for Belmont Pride 2023, but a steady rain couldn’t dissuade many marchers, public officials, and spectators who came out to celebrate Belmont’s support for the LGBTIQA+ community.

“You need some rain to make a rainbow,” said one of many teens who came out to march.

Juneteenth: What Open/Closed In Belmont; Trash/Recycling Delayed By A Day

Photo: Juneteenth Celebration (Credit: Town of Belmont)

This year on Monday, June 19, the country celebrates Juneteenth National Independence Day or Juneteenth. It is a federal and Massachusetts holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Deriving its name from combining June and nineteenth, it is celebrated on the anniversary of the order by Major General Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. (Thank you, Wikipedia)

Trash and recycling pick-up will be delayed by a day.

Here is what’s closed and what’s open on Juneteenth:

  • Belmont Town Hall and town offices: Closed
  • Belmont Public Library: Closed
  • Belmont Public Schools: Summer recess began last week
  • State and Federal government offices: Closed.
  • US Postal Service: Both Belmont post offices are closed; express delivery only.

Most retail operations are open for the new holiday.

  • Retail stores and coffee shops: Open
  • Liquor stores: Open.
  • Supermarkets: Open.
  • Convenience stores: Open.
  • Taverns, bars: Open.
  • Banks: Closed.

For those who want to do some day traveling using public transportation, the MBTA will operate on their regular schedule.

Belmont Help’s Spring Fundraiser Is A Chance To Be Bowled Over

Photo: Belmont Help co-founder Amy Krisch

Founded in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Belmont Helps provides $20,000 annually in food support to the nearly 1,000 Belmont households that qualify for federal nutrition programs. Belmont Helps can only continue its outreach through the generous support of volunteers and the donations of Belmont residents.

This year’s spring fundraiser will be critical in continuing to assist families struggling with basic food needs.

Judy and Ian Edwards of Belmont have donated three handcrafted wooden bowls they made from Belmont trees to support the fundraiser. For every $50 donated to Belmont Help by June 15, a raffle ticket will be entered in your name to win one of the bowls.

Online donations can be made at

Checks can be made to Belmont Food Collaborative with “Belmont Helps” in the memo line. The mailing address is Belmont Helps, 8 Jason Rd., Belmont, MA 02478.

State Rep Rogers Announces June Office Hours In Belmont

Photo: State Rep Dave Rogers at the Belmont Farmers Market

State Rep Dave Rogers has announced his June office hours in Belmont. They will be:

– TuesdayJune 13from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Beech Street Center in Belmont (266 Beech Street, Belmont, MA, 02478) 

– TuesdayJune 20from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Bellmont Café in Belmont (80 Leonard Street, Belmont MA, 02478

Belmont’s (Shorter) Pride Parade Set For Saturday, June 17

Photo: Pride is coming to Belmont on June 17

The Pride Parade, the highlight of Belmont Pride, will be a tad shorter this edition but for all the best reasons.

Hosted by the Belmont LGBTQ+ Alliance; and co-sponsored by Belmont Against Racism and the Human Rights Campaign, Belmont Pride takes place on the Town Green adjacent to 404 Concord Ave., First Church Belmont, on Saturday, June 17 at 12:45 p.m. The parade begins at 1 p.m.

The event begins with opening remarks before the parade. This year we’ve changed the march route to make it shorter, flatter, and more accommodating for everyone. (see map below) 

After the parade, join us to celebrate Fran Yuan at 2:45 PM at Trinktisch (indoors, 2nd level) in Belmont Center on Leonard Street. 

Belmont High Graduates 315 In The Misty Chill Of Harris Field

Photo: Caps tossed into the overcast as Belmont High School graduated 315 in the Class of 2023.

In weather more attuned for a fall football game, parents, siblings, relatives, and friends bundled up to witness the graduation of the members of the senior class of Belmont High School on Saturday, June 3.

The anticipated rain never came during the event, but the mist, wind, and 50-degree weather put an unseasonable chill on the ceremony underway at 10 a.m. outdoors at Harris Field. Retiring Superintendent John Phelan and retiring Assistant Superintendent Janice Darias (“I’m finally graduating,” she said before the ceremony) lead the long crimson procession for a final time from the high school to the field with the Belmont High School Wind Symphony playing Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance.”

With parents and friends taking photos and umbrellas opening in the stands and on the field, the graduates strode down the 50-yard line to their seats in the center of the field, where the ceremony began with the Belmont High Chorus performing the National Anthem.

In his speech, Belmont High School Principal Issac Taylor addressed the assemblage the “fear and uncertainty in a world that is undergoing enormous changes compressed into one generation.” And while these “new tools are powerful and where there is power, there is both opportunity and danger.”

“Technology responds to you, and you respond to it. And the ease with which you navigate the modern world is a dynamic tool that will help you succeed. You will also be the people who helped steer the direction we take as a species, how we use this technology, and to what ends. This is an enormous responsibility and a great opportunity,” said Taylor.

“I hope that you all find your version of success. In a world that is changing so quickly, defining a successful life can be elusive. Like happiness, success comes from within. Partly success and happiness comes from the skills that we develop. Partly they come from the experiences that we have. But mostly being successful comes not from the pride of what we know and what we can do.”

Class of 2023 President Nicky Mosharaf reminded her classmates and graduates, “the most abundant challenge for us this year was making a tough decision. Deciding which college you’re going to go to, if you’re going to go to college.”

“However, we haven’t gotten to life’s hardest decisions yet. From what I’ve seen, I think the most difficult life decisions are the ones where you have to decide whether to give up or not. Usually the first thing that comes to mind is never give up,” said Mosharaf, using her mother’s decision to return to school to seek her MBA with two small children and an infant.

“On the other hand, there’s a second option to give up. I know it doesn’t sound as motivational as never give up. But I think sometimes it can be better to scrap the current plan and go down a new path. Maybe sometimes it is better to give up.,” she said, remembering how she decided gymnastics wasn’t her cup of tea.

“So deciding between the two options is tough, and there’s no specific Tiktok that’s gonna give us the right answer,” she said. “Whether we give up or not … is not as important as we think. The most important thing is to make your decision positively and take joy in your decision and what you do.”

The Belmont School Committee awards for outstanding achievement and scholarship were presented to seniors Leo Son and Ana Lehmann. Son, whose accomplishments in the classroom and as a student leader run an entire printed page: he is a math and STEM scholar, took 11 AP courses, and plays and teaches chess, among numerous other accomplishments.

“And I’m sure many of us were thinking about this idea on our last day of high school, navigating thethe hallways for the last time on route from yellow to light blue to pink, already missing the comfort of a weekly club, where you found a community that you belong to.”

“But as this meeting place for all of us comes to an end … be proud of how far you’ve come. Remember all the connections and routines we’ve let slip by, and we look forward to the opportunity to find a new lunch table for the first time and new club communities again next year or sooner. Do not let go of what you’ve gained from the sources of joy that you once knew and grasp more tightly onto the experiences we have now.”

When Lehmann – an international Math Olympian, a harrier, and a talented German speaker whose language proficiency is at the university level – heard she would be receiving the award and expected to make a speech, “I procrastinated.” While admitting she was “mostly excited and honored to be speaking,” the suggested subject concerning the future was “nerve-racking.”

“What can I, a 17-year-old, impart to an audience – at least half of which has much more life experience than me – about the future? I don’t even know which college I’m going to in the fall!” Instead, Lehmann decided to speak “about the uncertainty of it all.”

Lehmann spoke of her parent’s immigration story – her Serbian mother and German father who came to the US and met in Pennsylvania – and how their journey became hers. “I’ll technically follow in their footsteps as immigrants. They didn’t know what to expect when they came here. And like many of us here today, we don’t know exactly what’s awaiting us at college.”

“On the journey into our inherantly uncertain futures, we can choose familiar constants to keep with us and help us along the way, whether it be family, friends, mentors, pets, or even hobbies. We’re not all about to be immigrants, but we are all starting an exciting and unknown new chapter in a new environment with new labels of high school, graduate or college students,” she said.

A rendition of “Landslide” by the Belmont High A Capella was followed by the presentation of diplomas – the names masterfully handled by Mosharaf – then the moving of tallases and tossing of caps into the air. And it wasn’t surprising that not that many people stuck around Harris Field as the chilly wind picked up had the clouds grew dark.