Belmont Porchfest Meet & Greet Thursday

Somerville Porchfest

A scene from one of Somerville’s recent Porchfest celebrations

Belmont will host its first Porchfest on September 8. Want to learn more? There’s a meet and greet at Belmont Books on Thursday evening, July 12th starting at 5 pm!

You may not know it, but Belmont is becoming the latest town to host its own “porchfest,” along with peer communities like Somerville, Arlington, Jamaica Plain and more. Porchfests are daylong celebrations of music and community, with impromptu concerts scattered around town on front lawns and, yes, porches.

Porchfest Belmont Books Meet and Greet

Come learn more about Porchfest Thursday evening at Belmont Books!

Belmont’s Porchfest is scheduled for Saturday, September 8th and, already, there are 22 performances scheduled across 28 porches in town. The event already has the backing of Belmont Savings Bank and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  The organization is looking to grow that number by the time September rolls around to give everyone in town the chance to experience great, live music.

If you’re interested in learning more, there’s a Meet & Greet with the Porchfest organizers tomorrow (Thursday) evening at 5PM at Belmont Books. Come by and learn about the event and get any questions answered about participating or just attending the first annual Belmont Porchfest!

As with any big event, Porchfest’s organizers are also looking for volunteers from the community to make the event a success.

The organizers are looking for people willing to perform, host performances, volunteering and fund raising. Let’s make Belmont’s first Porchfest a great success. I’ll see you there!

Get Involved: Town Committee Application Deadline is Today!

Attention Blogging Belmont readers and restless progressives: are you tired of yelling at cable TV and pulling your hair out over the headlines? Well, there’s a great opportunity for you to get involved and actually make important changes happen in your community.

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Belmont needs volunteers for its committees. Put in your application today!

I’m speaking of course of our many and able Town Committees which, together, do much of the yeoman’s work in this $160 million non profit organization we call The Town of Belmont. Volunteering for one of the many, interesting Town Committees is a great way to make your voice heard and to meet engaged, talented and smart Belmontonians who share your passion for the town and willingness to get involved.

I say this because today (Monday, July 9) is the last day to submit an application to the Board of Selectmen for appointment to a committee. There are openings on some of the Town’s most important and influential committees to consider including the Belmont Planning Board, the Capital Budget Committee, the Human Rights Commission, the Community Preservation Committee (oversees funds from the Community Preservation Act) , the Energy Committee and so on.

The application can be found here. Also, The Town Clerk’s Office has a portal set up that gives you all the information you need as well as links to the application form. You have until Midnight to email your application in and you can apply to multiple committees if your interests are broad.

[Apply Now!]

Two words Benjamin: ‘No Plastic’

Taiwan Announces Ban on All Plastic Bags, Straws, and Utensils

“Plastic” May have been the one word of advice given to Dustin Hoffman’s wayward college graduate ‘Benjamin’ in The Graduate.’ But 50 years later you might be more prescient encouraging young graduates to look at alternatives to plastic.

Just this month, for example, the island nation of Taiwan announced one of the globes most aggressive stands against plastic: a blanket ban that, within 12 years will end the use of single-use bags, utensils, straws, and containers.This according to an article in the Hong Kong Free Press.

Taiwan’s will be one of the farthest-reaching bans on plastic in the world, and evidence that a growing anti-plastic movement in gaining speed as the scale of environmental harm caused by the substance is fully realized.

“We aim to implement a blanket ban by 2030 to significantly reduce plastic waste that pollutes the ocean and also gets into the food chain to affect human health,” said Lai Ying-yaun, a Taiwanese Environmental Protection Agency official, in a statement.

Taiwan’s ban will be phased in over time and builds on existing regulations like an expanded recycling program and extra charges for plastic bags, according to the science website Phys.

The ban will start with a ban on plastic straws at chain restaurants in 2019s and in dining outlets by 2020.

Taiwan will charge retail stores for providing free plastic bags, disposable food containers, and utensils in 2020 and additional fees will be added by 2025. By 2030 the island nation will have a flat-out ban on single-use bags, utensils, straws, and containers.

Globally, around 380 million metric tons of plastic are being created annually. Meanwhile, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans each year.

The UN recently proposed a global ban on plastic pollution entering the oceans; Canada is planning to introduce a similar proposal at the G7 gathering later this year; and a range of local, state, and federal governments are enacting targeted and sweeping bans on plastic use.

Plastic straws in particular have been the focus of environmental advocates. Each day, US citizens use about 500 million straws, according to Eco-Cycle.

Almost none of these straws can be recycled because they’re generally made from single-use plastic and are so flimsy that they can’t endure the recycling process. So businesses, cities, and even countries are getting rid of them.