Things to Do Today: Apollo at the Beech, Toddlers in the Libraries, Track on the Track

• The Apollo Club men’s chorus returns to the Beech Street Center for its annual concert at 7:30 p.m. The free concert is open to everyone in the community so everyone can enjoy this popular choral concert by the second oldest continuously performing men’s chorus in the United States. Founded in 1871, the Apollo Club performs all over the country with a repertoire that includes folk songs, love songs, sea chanteys, show tunes, classical and semi-classical compositions. Their director, Florence A. “Flossie” Dunn has been with the chorus for over 50 years.

• Spring break is over and the School Committee is back, holding its scheduled public meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Chenery Middle School.

Two for the toddler set:

  • Pre-School Storytime will be held at the Benton Library, Belmont’s independent and volunteer run library, at 10:30 a.m. Seasonal stories and crafts for children age 3 to 5. Parents or caregivers must attend. Siblings may attend with adults. Registration is not required. The Benton Library is located at the intersection of Oakley and Old Middlesex.
  • The Belmont Public Library’s Children’s Room is holding Storytime for 2’s and 3’s.  Due to overwhelming popularity, this storytime is offered both at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Bring your little ones for stories, songs, and more. Both programs will take place in the Flett Room, across from the Children’s Room. 

• Belmont High School’s Boys’ Track and Field will host Woburn High at Harris Field with the first events getting underway at 3:30 p.m.

• The musical “Hair” opens on this day in 1968 at the Biltmore Theatre on Broadway. What was seen as the height of the hippy counterculture and the emerging sexual revolution entering mainstream entertainment, the musical today is seen as quaint in its depiction of the 60s.

Things to do Today: Wizard of Oz at the Library, Kids Recycle and Ballplayers in the Morning

It’s the final day of spring recess so make it count, kids.

• The Hampstead Stage Company, a national-touring children’s theater group from Barnstead, NH, presents the children’s classic “The Wizard of Oz” at 2 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the Belmont Public Library. The 50-minute play is performed by two actors in full period costume, each playing several roles with emphasis on audience participation. This sounds like fun for kids AND parents.

• Celebrate the Earth and make a fun project out of recyclable materials at the “Recycle, Reuse, Reduce” open workshop at Paprika Kids at 404 Trapelo Rd (on the same block as the Studio Cinema) from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Bring a plastic bottle and Paprika Kids will provide the rest of the materials. Registration is required for this event so go on-line or call 617-993-3431.

• Belmont High School’s varsity baseball and softball teams will be in morning action today as both home games will begin at 10 a.m. vs Woburn High.

• On this day in 1792, La Marseillaise – the French national anthem – is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

Things to Do Today: British Troops at the Library, Food Collaborative Meeting

The British are coming to Belmont! Members of His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot Revolutionary War re-creators will be in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. to tell the British perspective on the American Revolution and demonstrate an 18th-century military drill under the guidance of their commander, Rob Lee. The group is dedicated to portraying the life of the British troops garrisoned in the Boston area during the War for Independence. For ages 10 and up. Sign up online or call 617-993-2870.

The Underwood Pool Building Committee will be meeting at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall to continue refining the design of the $5.2 million facility.

If you are interested in Belmont’s award-winning Farmers Market and the idea of good food, nutrition as well as local and sustainable farming, come attend the Belmont Food Collaborative’s meeting from 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the Belmont Public Library’s Flett Room.

All of Belmont High’s sports teams are in action in neighboring towns: Baseball in Arlington and Softball at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, both at 10 a.m., and Boys’ Lacrosse at Waltham at 1 p.m.

The Week to Come: Liquor Licenses, Kid-Friendly Library Events and Drug Drop Off

It’s a quiet week in Belmont with schools on recess and many families going away for spring vacation.

• The Belmont Board of Selectmen is holding an early morning meeting at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 22, to fix next fiscal year’s water and sewer rates along with reviewing the application for four all alcohol licenses. One of the applicant’s most people already know, Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont Center. The other three include a new store called D&L Wine & Spirits (there are three D&L Liquors in Waltham and Woburn) which will be located on Pleasant Street, the Loading Dock on Brighton Street and LC Variety on Trapelo Road.

• Thank goodness that the Belmont Public Library has scheduled kid-friendly events during the school recess week!:

  • Meet kid’s author and illustrator Jef Czekaj for a wonderful children’s program on Tuesday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 8.23.39 AM
  • The British are coming to Belmont! Members of His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot (OK, the library doesn’t have a time machine; the soldiers are Revolutionary War re-creators) are coming to the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 to tell the British perspective on the American Revolution and try an 18th century military drill under the guidance of their commander, Rob Lee. The group is dedicated to portraying the life of the British troops garrisoned in the Boston area during the War for Independence. For ages 10 and up. Sign up online or call 617-993-2870.
  • The library is sponsoring a children’s event associated with One Book One Belmont with a tour of the Jason Russell House in Arlington on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Russell was killed at the doorstep of his Arlington home by British troops ransacking and burning homes on their retreat from Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.  Daniel Leclerc, former Belmont selectman and history teacher, will lead a tour of the house and tell more about that fateful day.  Recommended for families with children ages 8 and up. Space is limited so registration is required; sign up at 617-993-2880.
  • More on the musical end of the schedule, come hear the music from the country that is holding the World Cup in June: Sounds of Brazil with Sulinha Boucher is Brazilian music for the whole family. The show will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 26 in the library’s Assembly Room.

Belmont World Film 2014 will be screening “An Afghan Love Story” the story of an Afghan father who weighs his family’s honor against his allegiance to his daughter after she is seduced and impregnated by a handsome waiter. The movie, which was nominated for an Academy Award, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. at Belmont’s own Studio Cinema at 376 Trapelo Rd. on Monday, April 21. 

One Book One Belmont events continue this week as John Stauffer, Professor of English, American Studies and African American Studies at Harvard University, tells the story of Phillis Wheatley, a Boston slave born in Gambia, became one of the foremost poets in early America known for the revolutionary nature of her works. Co-sponsored by Belmont Against Racism, the Belmont Historical Society, and the Human Rights Commission, the talk will take place on Wednesday, April 23, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Belmont Public Library’s Assembly Room.

• Belmont joins communities across the country participating in the Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative on Saturday April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Belmont Auxiliary Police will have a collection point set up at the DPW yard, 37C St. You can contact Belmont Police Lt. Daley at for more information.

Things to Do Today: Kennels, LEGO Club and Tax Help

Things to do around Belmont today, Thursday, April 10.

• The Belmont Board of Health will be holding an informational public meeting on the proposed bylaw amendments on animal kennels in town. In addition, the board will vote on whether to allow one final season (its 102nd!) of swimming at the Underwood Pool. The meeting takes place at 5:30 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium.

• It’s LEGO time at the Belmont Public Library! The library’s LEGO club is for kids in kindergarten through second grade who want to meet and create their own unique structures.  All LEGOs will be provided so just bring your imagination to the Assembly Room from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Belmont High School Boys’ Tennis will be taking on Reading at the High School’s courts at 3:30 p.m.

• The Belmont Senior Center at the Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St., will be offering tax assistance to seniors today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 617-993-2970 for availability.

• On this day in 1925, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald is first published in New York City.

The Library Book That Returned Home Four Decades Late

The book returned to the front desk of the Belmont Public Library last week was like no other waiting to be placed in the stacks; “Lorenzo De’Medici & The Renaissance” by Charles Mee did not have a bar code or a classification number.

When the librarian opened the book, there were two pieces of documentation. The first was printed on a single sheet of paper: “It appears that I am late returning this book. My apologies.” The other was an old-style library slip with the due date stamped on the top: Oct. 15, 1979. The book was overdue for 34 years, 5 months and 12 days or 12,582 days.

“We have no idea who returned it and no way of finding out because we haven’t used the ticket system for years,” said Reference Librarian Corinne Chan, who said every library has a book that shows up sometimes decades later.

And if you are trying to calculate the fine on the tardy borrower, the library would have fined the scofflaw the maximum $5 for overdue books despite the lateness of the return.

“We’re just happy that it’s back,” said Chan.

The Week to Come: Town Election, Great Music,
So Long Mr. Jones

It’s a busy week ahead for Belmont residents as voting, music and sporting events crowd the calendar:

• The annual Town Election is Tuesday, April 1 with polls opened from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are competitive races for Selectman, the Board of Library Trustees, in most of the precincts for representative to Town Meeting and there is the $2.9 million debt exclusion vote for a new Underwood Pool. Stay connected to the Belmontonian for up-to-the-minute results and analysis of the vote on Tuesday after 8 p.m.

• Music lovers, rejoice! Two great events are occurring this week: Tonight, Monday, March 31 at 7 p.m. at the High School is “Jazz Night” featuring the Belmont High Jazz Collective along with the Chenery Middle School Jazz Ensemble. The special guests at tonight’s concert is the Quintessential Brass and tenor sax extraordinaire Jim Repa.

Cruzamente (which means “crossroads” in Portuguese), a Boston-based, all-female band led by lead singer Maria ‘Lutchinha’ Neves will be preforming a variety of musical styles of Cape Verde as part of the Library’s  free “Music on Saturday” series on Saturday, April 5, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the library’s Assembly Room sponsored by the Friends of the Belmont Public Library.

• The Powers Music School is celebrating its half century of providing musical education to Belmont and Boston with the 50th annual Mildred Freiberg Piano Festival Student Concerts, Each concert will feature a special short performance by a regional teaching artist. The concerts are 

Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6 at 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and  7:30 p.m.

The concerts are free and will take place at All Saints’ Church, 17 Clark St.
Concert admission is free.

• The town will be holding a retirement ceremony for Selectman Ralph Jones today, Monday, March 31, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Town Hall’s Board of Selectmen’s Meeting Room. There will be cake.Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 1.48.00 AM