MI Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying the 88th Polk County Fair last week -- and there was indeed something for everyone to enjoy.

Grandchildren Bailey and MacKenzie enjoyed hot dogs and lemonade and good times during their annual visit from Miami, Florida. Seeing the young people involved in 4-H and FFA gives everyone a positive feeling about what's good in our world. Unfortunately, the 6 o'clock news rarely showcases stories about these teens, and focuses more on sensational stories of all the bad things that happen daily in the cities and small communities alike.

Even in MI Town, it's not all sunshine and flowers -- but seeing these accomplishments by many of our young citizens, I'm optimistic that our future is in very good hands.

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The summer concerts in the Monmouth Park just keep getting better and better. What could be more fun on a summer evening than packing a picnic supper and spending a great time with friends and family, listening to a variety of excellent entertainers.

Tonight we'll be entertained by a group known as Nettles -- which performs Celtic music with a kick. Time is passing quickly, and these special summertime events will soon be over for another year. Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make Wednesday evenings so special in MI Town!

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Can we be in the middle of August already? It seems like summer flies by faster every year. Stores are featuring back-to-school clothes and shoes and displays of pens and notebooks and paper everywhere you turn. MI Town's families are enjoying these last precious days of summertime, because the routines will begin all too soon.

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Our Western Oregon University football tickets arrived in the mail -- a sure sign that fall is just around the corner. The team members are busy with daily practices on campus now, and everyone is looking forward to a successful year.

As much as I love summertime, there's something pretty special about spending a Saturday afternoon at McArthur Stadium and catching the enthusiasm of college football - right in our own backyard. If you haven't yet enjoyed our local university sports programs, I promise you'll have a great time while when you do.

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A great deal of construction, including major remodeling projects, is under way at our local schools and the WOU campus. With students and many staff members on vacation, summertime offers the best opportunity for this to get done.

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Good ol' Mother Nature has been mighty kind to those of us in MI Town and our wonderful Willamette Valley, with a most welcome respite from the usual hot August days. The combination of cloudy mornings and comfortable sunny afternoons are just about all we could wish for. Now if there was only a way to have this kind of weather all year long!

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