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7/30 Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

Summertime in MI Town brings us the best of all possible worlds ... crisp and cool mornings, warm sunny afternoons, and what we wish could be endless twilight evenings for reading or relaxing after a busy day's work. As these wonderful days quickly fly by, we appreciate and enjoy them all the more.

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We took the train to Seattle for the recent Red Sox-Mariners series and had a wonderful time with baseball games, a visit to Pike Street Public Market, and the fun and excitement of being in that beautiful metropolitan city. By the time our return train arrived at the Salem depot, we were looking forward to coming home to MI Town. It's good to get away for a few days and enjoy different sights and sounds -- and to return to a place where everybody knows your name.

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All the news from our very own Western Oregon University gives us so many reasons to be optimistic about the future of higher education in MI Town.

The incoming freshman class is the largest ever, there is a new nursing program beginning in September, and the university is hosting more and more events for everyone to share and participate in.

To see our WOU athletes, Sara Tucholsky and Kevin Boss, recently featured in a nationally broadcast ESPN television program brings even more positive attention to our campus.

There is always something interesting happening at WOU. For more information about upcoming events, the university web site is www.wou.edu.

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The theme this year for the Polk County Fair is "Family Fun at the Fair" -- and it's time to mark your calendars for Aug. 7-10. Fair exhibitor books are available at the Polk County Extension Office, local banks and post offices throughout the county. If you have any questions, please call 503-623-3048 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Polk County Fair showcases all the good things about our county, and it's a chance for people of all ages to have a wonderful time.

It seems like every day the news on TV and radio features more and more bad news about our cities and our country, and very few stories about the good things that are happening. A day at the Polk County Fair can bring us all back to reality -- and its an opportunity to see positive activity by all the young people who participate in 4-H and FFA activities, to see the beautiful quilts that have been lovingly created by your friends and neighbors, to visit booths and exhibits featuring our local merchants and businesses, and to enjoy a glass of lemonade and a corn dog on a bright and shining summer afternoon.

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Don't forget to pack that picnic supper and enjoy two outdoor concerts this week. Music in the Park is this evening (July 30) from 7 to 9 p.m. in Main Street Park in Monmouth. Friday evening's concert will be held at Riverview Park Amphitheater in Independence and begins at 7:30 p.m.

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