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M-I Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

Spring fever is alive and well in MI Town and we're all thrilled to have caught this wonderful seasonal affliction.

The streets are alive with kids of all ages, and what fun it is to see everyone out for morning and afternoon walks. The trees are in bloom and our local stores have a great selection of flowers and plants available for us to transform our garden spaces into delightful retreats.

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Start the upcoming weekend early with the Next to New Book Sale at the Monmouth Public Library, beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 16.

Here's your opportunity to get a head start on good books for gifts and for summer reading. Prices are reasonable and you'll find something for everybody on your list. The sale continues on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The Friends of the Monmouth Library sponsor several book sales every year, with all funds and donations going to pay for materials and supplies that are not normally covered by regular library funding.

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Saturday, May 17, is Monmouth-Independence Cleanup Day, with opportunities for everyone to participate in making MI Town sparkle and shine. Those who volunteer for park restoration and roadway cleanup will be rewarded with lunch on Saturday afternoon.

Refuse, including trash, metals, wood and tires, can be brought to Riverview Park in Independence for disposal for a cost of $10 for residents and $12 for nonresidents between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Please don't bring paint, household garbage or chemicals as they can't be accepted for disposal.

Call Pete Roy at 503-606-4910 for more information and to sign up to help with various projects in MI Town.

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For those of us who would like to learn another language, the Independence Public Library is beginning a conversation group on Tuesday, May 20, at 7 p.m. This group will give everyone an opportunity to learn both English and Spanish in a comfortable and casual setting. For more information, call 503-838-1811.

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Meet and greet your friends and neighbors at the Independence Farmers Market every Saturday in the Sterling Bank parking lot on the corner of Main Street and Monmouth Avenue. Farm-grown vegetables and fruits and all kinds of handcrafted items are available at reasonable prices from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Good springtime fare from our Willamette Valley is available right in our neighborhood -- and our money stays home when we buy locally.

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This is the season for proms, celebrations and graduations, and we want them to be wonderful and memorable. It's the time of year when we joyfully throw caution to the winds and want to savor every minute of every day. Let's all try to make these prom and graduation festivities even more special by not drinking alcohol or using drugs. A treasured memory can turn into a tragedy in a heartbeat, and we treasure our young people too much to have that happen.

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