Forum This Thursday To Discuss How Belmont Can Reach Goals Of Equitable, Affordable Housing

Photo: A road towards more equitable housing in Belmont

Belmont Against RacismThe Belmont Housing TrustThe Belmont Media Center, and the Belmont Human Rights Commission are hosting an informational public forum titled “Belmont’s Road to Housing Equity this Thursday, April 29 at 6:55 p.m. via Zoom or live on Belmont Media Center.

It will be an evening to explore historical and present day housing issues an how Belmont can reach its goals of equitable and affordable housing.

Zoom link at https://bit.ly/Belmonthousing

https://www.belmontmedia.org/watch/infotv or Channel 96 (Comcast) or Channel 30 (Verizon)

  • How can Belmont reach its goals of equitable and affordable housing? 
  • What’s the historical background and how does it relate to fair housing law?
  • Who shapes local housing and zoning decisions?
  • What does new zoning legislation mean for Belmont?
  • Where is Belmont today on meeting its housing goals?
  • How does Belmont fit into the wider transportation picture, with its new zoning rules and tools as well as its financial incentives for the Town?

Learn from a panel of experts as we explore these questions. There will be a Q & A opportunity.

  • State Rep. Dave Rogers(24th Middlesex District), 
  • Robert Terrell (Fair Housing, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Boston Housing Authority and previously Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston); 
  • Katherine Einstein (Assistant Director of Policy at Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research); 
  • Jarred Johnson (Executive Director of TransitMatters); and
  • Judie Feins and Betsy Lipson of the Belmont Housing Trust.
  • Moderated by Rachel Heller (Co-Chair of the Belmont Housing Trust and Chief Executive Director of CHAPA.

Boston Globe’s Renee Graham To Speak Virtual At Belmont’s Annual MLK Breakfast

Photo: Martin Luther King Breakfast

Belmont’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast will be held virtually on Monday, Jan. 18, at 9 a.m. through the Belmont Media Center.

The featured speaker, Renee Graham, Boston Globe associate editor and Op Ed columnist, will address the question: Rejecting ‘Normal’, Embracing Radical Change: Can we build a democracy that finally lives up to its ideals?

Graham reflects articulately and powerfully in her column on many contemporary issues – from voter suppression, to institutional racism, to LGBTQ issues, to politics, and to other social justice issues.

The event is co-sponsored by the Belmont Human Rights Commission, Belmont Against Racism, and Belmont Media Center.

To register, go to Eventbrite at: bit.ly/Register-2021MLK  For more information, contact Belmont Human Rights Commission or by email to Belmont.hrc@gmail.com or call 617-993-2795.

The event is free of charge but donations to the Belmont METCO Support Fund are greatly appreciated. Contributions may be made by cash or check to Belmont Against Racism, re:METCO Support Fund, PO Box 649, Belmont 02478 or on line at belmontagainstracism.org at the “donate” button.

BREAKING: Beech Street Center, Belmont Media Open As Cooling Centers Until 7 PM Tuesday

Due to high heat and humidity today, Tuesday, Aug. 7, the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St., is being used as a Cooling Center until 7 p.m.

Belmont Media Center, at 9 Lexington St. in Waverley Square, is also being used as a center today until 7 p.m. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Belmont and most of eastern Massachusetts that will remain in effect until 8 p.m.

“We encourage everyone to stay cool and hydrated and to check on elderly friends/neighbors,” said a press release on the town’s website.

[VIDEOS] Young Belmont Filmmaker Flying High Winning National Award

Photo: A scene from the video “Boston in 4K,” produced by Belmont’s Lucas Tragos.

The views of Boston and Cambridge are stunning.

In the nearly five minute film dubbed “Boston in 4K” uploaded to the Marauder Media Youtube channel, familiar locations such as the Esplanade, the cities skyline, Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, the Charles River, Fenway Park and Harvard Stadium are captured using a DJI Phantom 3 4K Quadcopter Drone from just off the ground to up several hundred feet in the air during a myriad of times in the day, but particularly in late evening near sunset.

And people are responding to the film, having reached nearly 50,000 views on the Youtube in just over a week on the channel.

“Boston looks better than the music sounds… I’m impressed!” commented one viewer while a photographer noted its “[a]bsolutely amazing footage. Thanks for sharing. Great to see new perspectives of my city.” It has also garnered the attention of a Boston news channel which sought to broadcast some of the images. 

The video is just the latest of several outstanding short subject films created by 18-year-old Belmontian Lucas Tragos of Dartmouth Street. A regular figure along the sidelines and courtside for many Belmont High athletic events filming for the Belmont Media Center, Tragos’ films has the same high qualities of noted video bloggers (vloggers) such as Casey Neistat who is changing how stories are told on film. Just this week, CNN created its own drone/news division with that in mind.

Tragos has been producing videos for the past three years in association with the Media Center, creating nearly 50 short (about three minutes on average) films during his time there. 

And that work has paid off for the high honor roll student. In July, Tragos and his friend and fellow Belmont resident James Neylon were honored by the Alliance for Community Media – which represents more than 3,000 public access and community media centers in the US – with a Hometown Media Award for “Belmont Football 2015: First Look 2.0,” a 22-minute documentary features players and coaches during the 2015 preseason as well as an inside look in the homes of two of the team’s star athletes.

Tragos and Neylon will accept the award on Friday, Aug. 19, in Boston during the ACM’s national convention. 
Born in Boston, Tragos attended Belmont schools K-12, graduating from Belmont High School in June. He lives with his mother in the Harvard Lawn neighborhood. He will soon leave town to begin his college experience at UMass/Amherst. 

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 6.44.57 PM

Lucas Tragos.

Q. Describe how you made your stunning video of Boston from the air? How much preparation goes into making a video that runs 4:40 minutes? Do you have an idea how the video will look like while you’re filming it? 

A. I made the video using a drone I bought a couple of weeks ago. There was not too much preparation that took place, I am familiar with Boston because I go there all the time, so I had an idea of the shots I wanted and at the times I wanted too.

I had about three hours of 4k footage but slicing down to 4 minutes wasn’t so difficult because the cuts that needed to be made are so clear and distinct, unlike the documentary I made last summer. I can almost envision how every one of my videos will look and how it will line up with the music. Shooting in 4k was very exciting for me because I could finally get the cinematic shots I’ve always been seeking. 

Q. When did you start producing video? Why did you first approach the Belmont Media Center? Who was helpful in you becoming a filmmaker? 

A. I honestly started producing my videos in sophomore year of high school when my friend, James Neylon (who is heading to Syracuse) and I created a varsity football highlight video for Belmont High and from there everything took off. We created our Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pages so everyone at the High School and Belmont could keep tabs on Belmont sports and see them from a new view point: cinematically instead of traditional low-end highlight videos. Creating drama and emotion or hype is a goal I strive for in every video. I want people to feel something, not just see it.

My mom brought me to the media center in 6th grade and that’s when I became involved with the proper production. I always had a passion; I used to film street basketball in elementary school with my neighbors. The Media Center facilitated my growth and ability to become better because of the equiplement that they could offer me but for the most part, I taught myself how to edit and film because I’ve been told I have an “eye” for shots.

Q: You have a great way of creating a video – like your sports projects for Marauder Media – with a clear storyline/narrative but you also an excellent use of visuals and technique. Do you “map out” your video with a story in mind or do you just go with what your gut tells you?

A: For the first and second Belmont football documentaries, those required mapping out and script writing and prep because of their nature and length, but for the average highlight video, I just think of the shots I want to get and then everything clicks and lines in my mind when I bring them into the edit. Shooting shots is just guts, and knowing what will look good and what won’t.

Q: Who is your inspiration for your visual technique: NFL Films, ESPN, or a filmmaker?

A: No one is my inspiration; I never watched TV as a kid, and I still don’t unless its sports. I am my own inspiration. My last video is always the motivation to make a better one. es wasn’t so difficult because the cuts that needed to be made are so clear and distinct, unlike the documentary I made last summer. I can almost envision how every one of my videos will look and how it will line up with the music. Shooting in 4k was very exciting for me because I could finally get the cinematic shots I’ve always been seeking. 

Belmontonian/Belmont Media Hosting Selectmen Candidates Debate March 31

Photo: Two debates between the candidates for Belmont Selectman will be broadcast live by the Belmont Media Center. 

A pair of candidate debates focusing on the contested election for Selectman have been scheduled and will be televised on Belmont’s media outlets.

• On the evening of Tuesday, March 31, the Belmont Media Center will cablecast a live debate with candidates Jim Williams and Andy Rojas for Board of Selectmen sponsored by The Belmontonian and moderated by its editor, Franklin B. Tucker. The one-hour debate will be seen live on BMC Ch. 8 (Comcast) and 28 (Verizon), online at belmontmedia.org/live and on the Belmontonian news website. Stay tuned for more details.

• One week earlier, on Thursday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m., BMC will cover live the Belmont League of Women Voters “Candidates Night” which will include a question and answer panel with Williams and Rojas. This program will air on Ch 8 & 28, on online and will be replayed as part of the campaign programming block.

• On the BMC Community Bulletin Board (Ch. 96-Comcast and Ch. 30-Verizon and on the web @ belmontmedia.org/bulletin-board), BMC will provide town-wide office candidates the opportunity to host a “Candidate Page.” If interested, please submit a photo electronically, and the name and office for which you are running. Email all photos and information to julie@belmontmedia.org.

• BMC will cover the 2015 Town Election Live on Tuesday, April 7 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tune in to Channels 8 (Comcast) and 28 (Verizon) for results, analysis, and interviews.