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8/15 Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying the Polk County Fair last week -- and there was indeed something for everyone to enjoy.

Seeing the young people involved in 4-H and FFA gives everyone a good and positive feeling about what's good in our world.

Unfortunately, the 6 o'clock news rarely showcases stories about these teens, and focuses more on sensational stories of all the bad things that happen daily in the cities and small communities alike.

Even in MI Town, it's not all sunshine and flowers -- but seeing the accomplishments of many of our young citizens, I'm optimistic that our future is in very good hands.

We visited with County Commissioner Mike Ainsworth on opening day of the fair, and he echoed our positive outlook about Polk County youth.

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It was so much fun to have the opportunity to bring back the Table Settings displays at the fair this year. Six beautifully decorated tables graced the Arts and Crafts Building, and those judging the contest deliberated quite some time before making their decisions, as the exhibits were all so well done.

I'd like to recognize Grandma's Attic and Old Mill Feed & Garden in Dallas, as well as Petals & Vines and Yeasty Beasty Pizza in Monmouth for gift certificates and Mary Olson and everyone at Airlie Winery for the special award to the grand prize winner.

So often we don't realize just how many good donations come from our local merchants and businesses, so we need to remember to shop locally.

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The summer concerts in Main Street Park in Monmouth and at Riverview Park and Amphitheater in Independence just keep getting better and better -- and what could be more fun on a summer evening than packing a picnic supper and spending a great time with friends and family, listening to a variety of excellent entertainers. Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make summer evenings so special for everyone in MI Town.

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We're in the middle of August now and it seems like summer is flying by more quickly every year. Stores are featuring back-to-school clothes and shoes, and there are displays of pens and notebooks and paper everywhere you turn. Families are enjoying these last precious days of summertime before the regular routines begin all too soon.

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Mother Nature has been mighty kind to those of us in MI Town and our wonderful Willamette Valley, with a most welcome respite from the usual hot August days. The combination of cloudy mornings and comfortable sunny afternoons are just about all we could wish for. Now, if there was only a way to have this kind of weather all year long.

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