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Mi Town : Patty Taylor Dutcher

The brightly colored hearts and flowers remind us all that today is St. Valentine's Day. Whether we celebrate with candy or flowers or a book or a special card, or good wishes for our family and friends, we all have a special opportunity to thank those whom we love and care for.

It's a wonderful day to celebrate love and romance and friendship -- no matter who we are.

This year, I'd like to send valentines of my own to many of the folks in MI Town who show all of us how much they care all year long.

To everyone at Western Oregon University who works hard to provide an excellent education to our younger generation, thank you for sharing your gifts and giving students the opportunity for a bright and happy future. Thanks to the professors and teaching assistants and the clerical folks and the men and women who keep our campus neat and tidy and safe, and those who are there to help with physical and emotional needs, as well.

Thank you to the students who come to MI Town from all over the world -- you keep us young and give us an opportunity to become more involved in so many activities.

I'd like to bestow lots of hearts and flowers upon both the Monmouth and Independence Public Libraries for providing the best children's programs for our even-younger generation, and a warm and cozy place to meet with friends and colleagues. There are so many activities available for everyone.

The color red often signifies danger to our local firefighters and police officers, so wouldn't it be nice if they received some kind and caring wishes as well? They are always watching out for us, and they are our friends and neighbors.

Nothing beats the feel of a newspaper in our hands and the opportunity to read for ourselves what is going on in our community and our world. The newspaper -- whether on a daily or weekly basis -- is our true connection with local events and happenings and human interest stories about people we know.

Warm Valentine wishes to everyone involved with our newspapers (and to our I-O most especially), and thank you for all those hours and days of hard work when the rest of us are sleeping or celebrating holidays.

Bright red valentine wishes to all of our other city and county workers, our sanitation and utility crews who keep our communities bright and shining, too. We appreciate all the good things you are doing to make MI Town the wonderful community it is.

In the weeks to come, I'll be sharing more personal and informative stories about people and organizations in MI Town. Last week it was my pleasure to speak to the Emeritus group about the joy of working with rescued Golden Retrievers.

Next week I'll be observing Drug Court in Dallas and attending a workshop as well.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

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