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10/1 M-I Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

It's a brand new month and MI Town is busy with all the activities of the autumn season.

Our crisp and cool mornings begin in darkness now, and our long, twilight evenings won't return until next summer. There are still good tomatoes on the vines and the grapes are ready for picking. This has been a great year for apples and we'll enjoy applesauce and pies all through the upcoming fall and winter.

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This year's Hop and Heritage Festival was a wonderful experience for everyone, with so many good and interesting things happening right here in MI Town. Hearty congratulations are in order to all those volunteers and business and community leaders who worked so hard to showcase all the good things about Independence -- both past and present. We shared this year's fun with family members visiting from out of state and enjoyed every minute.

This year, it was great to also attend the used book sale at the old Independence Library, where we discovered all kinds of treasures to keep and to share. Revenue from the sale provided the Friends of the Independence Library with funding to provide needed goods and services.

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Speaking of books, both the Monmouth and Independence libraries have many good programs for everyone, from toddlers to seniors. More information is available by calling 503-838-1811 (Independence) and 503-751-0182 (Monmouth). Stop by either of MI Town's excellent libraries and discover so many wonderful things that are going on right here in our communities.

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Family Weekend festivities begin Friday at Western Oregon University, and we're anticipating our Wolves meeting Western Washington University for a football game Saturday at 2 p.m. in McArthur Stadium. These events always bring many visitors from all over Oregon to MI Town, where we can all share in the fun and enthusiasm together.

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I've been a member of the Polk County Citizen Review Board for several years now and discovered early on the importance of citizen volunteers working together to reach some really positive goals.

We spend one day a month reviewing cases of children -- from right here in Polk County -- who are in foster or substitute care. Training for volunteers is available at no cost, and you'll have the opportunity to participate in something for the children right here in our communities. For more information, please call Maria Chavez-Haroldson, lead field manager for Polk County at 503-986-4527.

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Good things happen when people work cooperatively -- and the veterans' programs at the Independence Elks Lodge are a great example. Every Thursday afternoon from 2 to 6 p.m., veterans and their family members are invited to look into programs and services available. Social time is scheduled from 6 until 10 p.m. For more information, or to get involved with this excellent program, call 503-373-2085.

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