Letter: Will Uplands Development Lead To More Scenes Like This?

Photo: A photo by Stephanie Liu of a suspected coyote roaming in her backyard. 

To the Editor:

[This letter was a comment on the town issuing a building permit for the 299-unit apartment complex in Belmont Uplands]

A couple of days ago, I saw this very emaciated coyote walking in my backyard and then turned to Little Pond. I have to admit that I was so tempted to bring some food for him as I don’t think he can survive very long. But it’s illegal and it’ll create the impression that backyards are bountiful feeding areas. Can we blame them when we take away their habitats?

I guess this is the pattern we are facing after losing our forest and their sanctuary. It’s so sad. Coyotes are generally nocturnal, but they do hunt during the day when they are hungry. The town should issue warning for residents to keep their children and pets indoors.

Stephanie Liu

Oliver Road


Letter to the Editor: Lobby to Preserve Tennis Courts in Belmont

To the editor:

Our town once had three tennis courts at Town Field, ten at Belmont High School and four at Chenery Middle School.

We have lost two at the Middle School when they rebuilt it for parking. Six-to-eight courts at the High School leaving two to dilapidate.

There are two tennis teams at the High School which need to practice from March to the end of May and play their matches.

The town also removed four where the [Skip Viglirolo] ice rink is. There used to be four covered and lighted courts at that location before they made it into a hockey rink.

Tennis is a life-living sport. Grove Street Playground people fought to restore their courts.

We have lost 11 tennis courts to date. Please do not add to that number.

The public courts are used by the  school tennis teams, children taking lessons after school and other people. No reservations are made; people just go down and play so you do not have a count of who is playing.

Why is the cost so high? The courts must be totally restructured to allow proper drainage etc.

Last time it cost about $20,000 to $25,000 to rebuild them. I worked with Dick Bette when that happened. They have been patched many times and just painted two years ago.

Please consider what we have and do not eliminate another lifetime sport for all ages to play.

Anyone who enjoys the sport of tennis, please read the article and lobby for their preservation.
Maryann Scali

Prospect Street 

Letter to the Editor: Thanks, Everyone – Gerry

To the editor:

My house caught on fire Oct  21, at 7 a.m. According to the fire marshall, the fire was caused by an old fan that ignited while running in the basement as I was trying to dry out my rug that was wet due to a burst water heater the day before.

I thought I could put it out, as I ran back downstairs the second time with a bucket of water the fire was blazing and had consumed my couch, the wall and was burning on the ceiling. I decided to just get out! I was very lucky!

I ran upstairs, called 911 and then ran out the door with only the clothes on my back.

Since then, I have been overwhelmed by kindness and generosity by the Belmont community. Everyone from past and present employees, all the town sport leagues and great customers have offered to help.

My house has been gutted and everything has been thrown out as the soot from the fire gets into everything. After living in a hotel for 10 days, I’ve moved into a mobile home on my front lawn for the next five months while repairs are being done. The donations have gone to purchase new clothes, towels, blankets, dishes, sheets, pillows, shoes, food and much more.

I wanted to thank everyone who kept me in their prayers, stopped by to give me a hug, dropped off blankets, made me dinner and asked if they could do anything for me and for the generous donations. What a great community!

Please take the time to check your smoke detectors to make sure they’re working properly,

Thanks so much,

Gerry Dickhaut

Champions Sporting Goods

Belmont Center

Brownsberger: The ‘Sad’ End to Silver Maple Forest

As the Philadelphia-based commercial real estate firm O’Neill Properties continues to clear an eight-acre portion of the Belmont Uplands for the construction of a 299-unit apartment complex off of Route 2, the hindsight analysis has begun of what many believe is the destruction of the Silver Maple Forest situated on the border of Arlington, Belmont and Cambridge.

One of the first and most detailed reviews of the failed efforts to preserve a Massachusetts mainstay environmental preserve comes from State Sen. Will Brownsberger.

“As the saga of the Silver Maple Forest winds to a sad end, the question recurs: What will the state do to help save the forest? The discouraging short summary appears to be: nothing,” wrote Brownsberger.

 “It is with great sadness and a sense of defeat that I report these realities. For me, the Silver Maple Forest is a special place,” he said.

To read the entire essay, go here.

Opinion: Halt the Automatic Gas Tax Hike by Voting ‘Yes’ on 1

Letter to the editor:
Ballot Question 1 offers taxpayers the opportunity to repeal the automatic gas tax, an increase put in place by the Legislature last July while we were enjoying the summer.

This tax is egregious on many fronts. First and foremost, it is a regressive tax, costing the poor, those with less money,  to spend more of their income on getting to and from work. Conversely, our legislators who voted for this tax increase, do not have to pay for their own gas, or the new tax. We pay them to travel to their work through “per diems,” a daily payment for going to their job.

But what makes this tax so insensitive to the people (us) is that the tax is linked to inflation; that means that the tax will go up without our Legislators even having to go to work to vote on it. This tax is automatic every year. It can never go down.

Funding for the advertising of this tax has come from big business, unions and trade associations. We the people/taxpayers are David. Those who might benefit from government spending are Goliath.

Opponents of this initiative will tell you that that we need the $1 billion to be  raised by this tax to pay for roads and bridges. But just in the past two fiscal years, the Commonwealth raised even more than it expected by $1.1 billion for roads and bridges. They have a surplus. They already have enough. But they still want more.

Send a message to greedy legislators. Vote yes on Ballot Question 1. Repeal the automatic gas tax hikes.

Tomi Olson

Bay State Road

Opinion: Vote Yes on Question 2 to Update Bottle Bill

This opinion piece was submitted by Louise Domenitz.

A “yes” vote on Question 2 will update the highly successful Bottle Bill law to include a refundable five cent deposit on water bottles, sports drinks, teas and other beverage bottles that are ending up in our streets, parks, ballfields, streams and beaches. The Bottle Bill, the state’s single most effective recycling initiative and anti-litter program, needs updating to include the many types of “on-the-go” beverage containers that did not exist when it was originally passed in 1982. Curbside recycling doesn’t address this because most of us don’t carry our empties home to recycle.

A “Yes on 2” would also re-establish the Clean Environment Fund, earmarking unclaimed deposits to improve recycling, clean up parks and fund other environmental projects. Right now, abandoned nickels go to a state’s General Fund, the update would correct that and get those funds working towards environmental projects.

“Yes on 2” is supported by the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the Environmental League of Mass (ELM), the League of Women Voters, MassPIRG, and many other groups, towns, cities, and elected officials, including Gov. Patrick.

“No on 2” is bankrolled by the Washington-based American Beverage Association. They’ve already spent $7.6 million on TV and internet ads containing factual errors and misleading info.

Voting “YES on 2” will:

  • Stop litter in our communities, parks and open spaces.
  • Increase recycling rates. Right now, 85 percent of bottles with refundable deposits are redeemed/recycled, compared with 23 percent of bottles without deposits. The rest end up as trash or litter.
  • Save millions of dollars for cities and towns. About $6.7 million a year, an average of $1 per person living in Massachusetts, is spent on litter pick-up and trash disposal costs.

The Yes on 2/Belmont is asking your help to get the word out.

Phone Banks are held every Tuesday and Thursday evening, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., or 7:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. Please sign up here to help make calls:<http://www.yeson2ma.org/wp/campaign-events/

We will canvas every weekend up to Election Day. Contact us to join.

Please like our Facebook page ,https://www.facebook.com/YesOn2Belmont so you’ll see our schedule of activities.