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5 Things You Need to Know Today: January 13

Swap blood for a pound of coffee, Cushing Village in 3D and celebrating Ratification Day!

1. During the winter, especially after the holidays, the need for blood for operations and emergencies is paramount. The American Red Cross and Belmont Town Hall are sponsoring a community blood drive on the third floor (in the art gallery) of the Homer Building located in the Belmont Town Hall complex from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All those donating will receive a coupon for a free pound of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. Walk-ins are welcome.

2. The Planning Board is holding its scheduled meeting a day early, today, at 7 p.m. in the Belmont Gallery of Art on the third floor of the Homer Building in the Town Hall complex. The developer of the proposed Cushing Village development will be presenting a 3-D look at his project. 

3. Books and Bites, a monthly book review program featuring presentations by local residents, Belmont Public Library staff, and authors, will be held in the library's Assembly Room at 11 a.m.

• Grace Taylor will discuss "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," by Cheryl Strayed and "The Plague of Doves," by Louise Erdrich. 

• Elizabeth Atkins will discuss "Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War," by Tony Horwitz and "The Orchard: A Memoir," by Adele Crockett Robertson.

All are welcome to attend this free program. Refreshments will be provided. 

4. Belmont Against Racism is holding a meeting in the Staff Room of the Belmont Public Library from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will be the final meeting before the annual Martin Luther King Community Breakfast – next week – which BAR sponsors. Belmont Against Racism promotes dialogue, awareness, and understanding about prejudice and celebrates diversity in Belmont. Meetings are open to the public. 

5. Today is Ratification Day, the anniversary of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris in 1784 at the Maryland State House in Annapolis by the Confederation Congress which officially ended the American Revolution and established the U.S. as a sovereign country.

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