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1/11 Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

It's time to banish the winter doldrums, and where better than to visit the Monmouth Senior Center Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 1:30 p.m., where a documentary film about the former town of Valsetz will be shown.

Producer Roman Feely put together this interesting and informative movie about a lumber town in Polk County, where many of MI Town and area residents lived and worked many years ago.

Oregon had several "company towns" in the 1930s, 40s and 50s where a couple of generations of families lived in housing and worked at the on-site lumber mills.

For more information about this and many other activities: Sue Teal, 503-838-5678.

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Betty Plude, who coordinates the Write It Before You Lose It workshops at the Independence Public Library, has written a book about the 1962 Columbus Day Storm, which devastated many homes and businesses in MI Town and much of the Willamette Valley.

The book is available at the Independence Library for $20, and is a must-read for those who weren't here to experience the frightening ordeal almost 50 years ago. Interviews, stories and photographs of area residents only make this historical adventure more interesting and an excellent read.

For more information: Independence Public Library, 503-838-1811.

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It's no secret to any of us who haven't been hiding in an undisclosed location without newspapers, Internet or televisions that 2012 is an election year.

After so many hours of reading about and listening to the candidates and all of their best friends and family members running for state and national offices, it's no wonder that information overload can strike and we wish it would all go away.

It's been said that all politics is local, and while we can speculate about our voices being heard on a national or even statewide election, we do have the opportunity to learn about candidates for Polk County Commissioner. MI Town resident and former Monmouth City Council member Steve Milligan joins current commissioner Jennifer Wheeler, who was appointed following the death of Mike Propes, and West Salem resident Dan Clem as the early candidates for Position 1 in the May primary election.

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On these dark and dismal days when it's cold and windy and raining sideways, we'd all rather be curled up in a comfy chair by the fire. Many of us have to bundle up and head out the door to school or work or both, and it's easy to get distracted with all the things we have to do in our everyday world. Even on sunny, bright and happy days, people and pets are out and about, so please take the time to watch out for others.

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