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KENT —In a split vote at their October meeting, Kent’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved an application for Birch Hill, an 85-bed for-profit drug and alcohol detox and residential treatment facility to open in the building that was formerly The Kent at 46 Maple St. 

The approval followed an extended public hearing period that began in July when the application was first put forward.

Birch Hill elicited strong opinions from residents both opposed to and in favor of the facility. There was standing room only at several Planning and Zoning meetings and...

Kent

Town urges governor to sign budget

KENT — The Kent Board of Finance (BOF) met for a special meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 19. 
First Selectman Bruce Adams gave his report to the board. 
“The Welcome Center continues to receive rave reviews from hikers, residents and visitors,” he said. Cleaning and maintenance are going smoothly. To date, there have been more than 175 showers taken at the facility. 

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Technology of the past

Machinery from another era — most of it working  — highlighted CAMA’s annual fall gathering last weekend in Kent. Above, a steam tractor; below, a portable sawmill. Bargain hunters had a wealth of choices: nuts and bolts, tools, parts, bits and pieces of anything and everything in a rambling tag sale. A good time was had by all.

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A Historic Site Transforms Into An Immersive Venue

Theater: ‘Performing Olana’

Jeff Mousseau and Paul Ricciardi are the co-directors of the Ancram Opera House, and they have brought some inventive theatrical performances to the venue’s intimate stage.
But for their next production, they’ve traded that tiny space for a massive landscape: the Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, N.Y. It was the home and studio of Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church, and he is the subject of “Performing Olana,” an original play written by Darrah Cloud and directed by Mousseau and Ricciardi.

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Concerns aired as Birch Hill hearing phase ends

KENT — Kent’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) met for their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Sept. 14. The main topic of discussion was once again Birch Hill, the proposed for-profit 90-bed drug and alcohol detox and residential treatment facility to open in the building that was formerly The Kent at 46 Maple St. 
Birch Hill’s application for a special permit is currently under review. A public hearing was held during the regular meeting.

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Fervor, fear and how they changed early America, in talk at KHS

KENT — A Great Awakening swept through Connecticut and New England in the 1730s. Ministers preached to impassioned parishioners about hellfire, repentance and redemption. In a talk sponsored by the Kent Historical Society on Sunday, Sept. 17, at Town Hall, Tom Key spoke about the religious fervor and ferment that took hold in the Colonies during that time.  

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Kent teachers object to new grading plan

KENT — The Board of Education held its first regular monthly meeting of the 2017-18 school year at Kent Center School (KCS) on Wednesday, Sept. 6.
Several teachers attended the meeting to voice concerns to the board about the implementation of new grading practices at KCS. A major change would be the elimination of percentages as grades, replacing all numbers with the letters A, B, C or NYP (not yet proficient).    

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Fraudulent info on Birch Hill petition

KENT — The Kent Board of Selectmen met for their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
Land Use Administrator Donna Hayes reported that someone created a petition on the website www.change.org regarding Birch Hill Recovery Center’s application with the Planning and Zoning Commission. The top portion of her town letterhead, containing her initials, was fraudulently used on the petition.

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What’s up with Birch Hill

KENT — Birch Hill, the proposed for-profit 90-bed drug and alcohol detox and residential treatment facility to open in the building that was formerly The Kent at 46 Maple St., has provoked strong opinions from residents during recent Planning and Zoning Commission meetings. The facility’s application is currently under review.
One of the concerns residents have expressed is not knowing much about the people behind this project. Who are they? Where did they come from? Do they have experience operating this type of facility? 

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Gilmore Girls fan fest fast approaching

KENT — The Gilmore Girls Fan Festival is fast approaching, with only six weeks until the weekend of the big event, Oct. 20 to 22, with Kent as this year’s host site. 
The Lakeville Journal caught up with Jennie Whitaker, the festival’s creator and organizer, to discuss how plans are shaping up.
“Everything is going well,” she said. “We started planning in January, so it has been easier than last year to put this festival together since we have had more time to organize things.” 

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Annie Bananie evolves in a general way

KENT — The Annie Bananie Ice Cream shop and Backcountry Outfitters are about to undergo significant changes. Both stores, owned by Anne McAndrew, share the same building at 5 Bridge St., with half the space dedicated to each business.
Backcountry Outfitters opened in 1994, and was followed by Annie Bananie Ice Cream in 2009. Now, McAndrew plans to reinvent the business as a single entity called Annie Bananie General, eliminating Backcountry Outfitters.

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