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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.”

Plans were drawn up in 2013 for sidewalk and lighting...

Kent

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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The seriously fascinating history of outhouses

KENT — Georg Papp of Colchester, Conn., is a historian of an unusual kind. The object of his fascination is the humble outhouse. In a talk called “Ye Old Tyme Outhouse” at the Eric Sloane Museum on Saturday, Aug. 19, at 10 a.m., Papp will discuss the history of this often overlooked structure.

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Treasures and bargains at Sidewalk Fest

KENT — Despite occasional rain, the annual Kent Sidewalk Festival was a success. Shoppers turned out from Friday, Aug. 4, to Sunday, Aug. 6, to take advantage of sales and discounted merchandise offered by local shops and businesses.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal church held its much-anticipated yearly tag sale, which was buzzing with people hunting for odd items and bargains. 
A couple with a young child in a stroller emerged, victorious, with a hinged baby gate. 

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New Kent eatery to open in autumn

KENT — Ore Hill & Swyft, a new restaurant in the center of town (in the former Kent Apothecary building), is slated to open in September under chef and owner Joel Viehland.
Viehland began working in restaurant kitchens at age 16. In 2010, he was the opening chef at Community Table in Washington, Conn., where he worked for five years. During that time, Community Table was nominated for three James Beard Awards, including Best New Restaurant and Best Chef New England.

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For travel essays, it’s all in the anecdotes and details

KENT — The secret to a great travel essay, or one of them anyway, is change. “There has to be some change or shift,” said Lavinia Spalding. 
“A lot of times, the best travel stories are when bad things happen,” she told a crowd at Kent Town Hall on Saturday, July 15. 
Spalding spoke along with fellow travel writer Marcia DeSanctis at an event sponsored by the Kent Memorial Library called “There She Goes: Two Travel Writers Tell Their Stories.” 

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Hardware returns to Kent with ACE

KENT — The town of Kent will soon get a new hardware store. True Value, which had been the go-to hardware store for residents for more than 20 years, closed in December 2016. Now, in the same building, an ACE will open its doors under owner Chris Wolf.
“I’ve been in the hardware store business since I was 11 years old,” Wolf said. “I bought my first hardware store in 1999.” 
Also the owner of an ACE in Woodbury, Conn., Wolf said he is thrilled to be opening his second store in a new town. 

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Five new homes to help Kent residents

KENT — Kent Affordable Housing (KAH) held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, July 14, for a new five-unit complex at the Stuart Farm location.
KAH President Virginia Bush-Suttman spoke before the gathered crowd, which included First Selectman Bruce Adams and state Rep. Brian Ohler (R-64), among others.
“Kent Affordable Housing was founded in 1991,” Bush-Suttman said. 

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Swimming, sports and crafts at summer camp

KENT — Mondays at Club Getaway, tie-dying T-shirts, water balloons, science experiments and themed barbecues are all on the list of this year’s offerings at the Parks and Recreation summer camp at Emery Park in Kent, where youngsters in grades one through eight participate in a range of educational and fun activities.
Each week now through Friday, Aug. 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Camp Director Kevin Kalach oversees up to 24 children, the maximum number of children accommodated weekly.

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