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Kent

KENT — As a young man, fresh out of college and living in New York City, Otto Penzler got the idea that he wanted to read a book called “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.”

He went to a bookstore and was told it was out of print.

Penzler didn’t know what that meant. He was directed to a dense concentration of used bookshops on 4th Avenue.

“Twelve blocks, 96 bookshops,” he said recently in the living room of his home in Kent.

He found a copy for $10, which was a lot of money around 1963. It was even more considering...

Kent

State funds in hand, village upgrades can begin

KENT — Mike Everett, chairman of the Streetscape Committee, gave a report at the Jan. 2 meeting of the Kent Board of Selectmen on next steps in making upgrades to the village center.
 “The most critical areas that need to be addressed are the irregular and inconsistent sidewalks and curbs,” he said. “We need to define where the sidewalks end and where the street begins, and we need to make the sidewalks safe for everyone to use, particularly people with mobility issues.”

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Firearms store to open

KENT — First Selectman Bruce Adams reported at the Jan. 2 meeting of the Kent Board of Selectmen that a firearms retail store is planned for a space next to Sacred Heart Catholic Church. 
Adams has received a permit application for the shop. Approval is at the discretion of the first selectman, according to state statute.
“After consulting with the town attorney, there is no logical or legal reason why I should not or could not give this application my signature of approval,” he said. 

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Say it ain’t snow …

Once again, the weather was the big news story. The cold temperatures that came with the new year had created black ice that was perfect for outdoor skating; but with the heavy snow on Thursday, Jan. 4, many of those outdoor rinks disappeared. Snow totals for the area varied. 
The National Weather Service reported 15 inches in Winsted, 7 inches in Falls Village, 11 inches in Norfolk and 10.8 inches at Cornwall Bridge. 
Plow company employees said they saw as much as 12 to 16 inches in some areas.

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In Kent, the sweet smell of gingerbread success

KENT — The votes from December have been tallied and the winning entries in Kent’s annual gingerbread house competition have been selected.
The judges are anonymous; their votes were collected and tallied by the also-anonymous Ginger Judges.

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Welcoming change with open arms

KENT — Traditions and routine are deeply rooted in small New England towns, but that doesn’t mean change has to be hard. The First Congregational Church in Kent has warmly received its new transitional minister, Abby Gackenheimer, following the departure of minister Melissa Keck after 24 years of service. 
“This congregation views change as a chance, not a challenge,” Gackenheimer said, characterizing the heartfelt welcome she has received from the community.

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From a ladybug: change is OK

KENT — In Kent, Vincent LaFontan is perhaps best known as a former selectman and as the owner of Mountain View Farm, along with his wife, Maria. 
In addition to those accomplishments, LaFontan is also an accomplished storyteller. His book for children, “Farmhouse Ladybug,” has just been released.
LaFontan learned to tell stories while working in the after-school program at the New Milford Youth Agency (NMYA), where he was employed from 1994 to 2004. 

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Kent Historical Society’s trip back in time sheds light on life in 2017

KENT — The first Holiday Historic House Tour, presented by the Kent Historical Society, happened under blue skies on Sunday, Dec. 10 — with a new blanket of snow to punctuate the winter theme. 
Seven houses were opened for the tour, each with its own special character and history. 
Many have been renovated to accommodate 21st-century owners, but the work on all of them was done with an eye to preserving the original character of the house; many of the original elements have been carefully maintained. 

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Students shine in winter concert

KENT — Students in grades five to eight at Kent Center School performed a diverse program of songs and musical selections for the winter concert on Wednesday, Dec. 13, under the guidance of music teacher David Poirier and chorus instructor Sandra Kleisner.

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Slowly, the new Swyft pizza inn unfolds

KENT — The renovation of the former Kent Apothecary at the corner of Maple Street and Main Street took more than a year, but the work appears to have been well worth it. 
The interior is completely transformed; it’s virtually impossible to mentally reconcile the former country pharmacy’s interior with the understated, Asian-inspired dining room and kitchens (there are three cooking areas there now) at Swyft, the “pizza and beer” restaurant that opened on Friday, Dec. 8.

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Holiday music

Linnea Saxton played “Mountain Spring” during the Kent Center School grades five to eight winter concert on Wednesday, Dec. 13, under the guidance of music teacher David Poirier and chorus instructor Sandra Kleisner. For story, see Students shine in winter concert.

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