9/14 MI Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

All over MI Town, students of all ages are gathered at street corners on these crisp and cool weekday mornings, talking, laughing and waiting for the big, yellow buses to take them to school.

This time of year has always been a time of new beginnings, even as we say goodbye to the carefree days of summer. Parents, teachers and students are settling into new routines and schedules, as opportunities to learn so many new things are out there on the horizon, ready for everyone who reaches for them.

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Saturday, Sept. 17, begins another wonderful season of football at McArthur Stadium on the Western Oregon University campus, as Coach Arne Ferguson and our Wolves meet Central Washington University at 1 p.m.

We're looking forward to an exciting year of college football right here in MI Town and an opportunity to have a great time. WOU football is fun for the entire family, and an excellent way to support our community and enjoy small-college athletics.

There is absolutely nothing better than a burger or hot dog right off the grill and a cold drink at a football game on a gorgeous fall afternoon.

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We're fortunate to have university and high school athletic programs right in our communities, where everyone can have a good time, selecting from several sports on almost any given afternoon or evening. We can cheer for our favorite team without driving for miles and miles or paying for expensive tickets. Fall sports programs are now in full swing and schedules are available weekly in the Itemizer-Observer and on school websites.

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Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, when thousands of people were killed or seriously injured when several terrorists hijacked airplanes, then crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and near a rural Pennsylvania farming community.

Many people recall President Kennedy's assassination (Nov. 22, 1963) and the bombing of Pearl Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941), and remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the terrible news. Let us never forget 9/11 and honor all who gave their lives as well as those brave men and women who are fighting for freedom half a world away.

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The late summer weather continues to bring almost record-breaking temperatures to MI Town and most of Oregon, and our gardens are continuing to flourish, with fresh vegetables a few footsteps away.

For those who don't have the space or the time to maintain a garden, farmers markets in Independence and Monmouth can provide everyone with the best fruits and vegetables to enjoy for a few more weeks.

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