We're knee deep in summer in MI Town, loving cool early mornings when a good walk just about anywhere gives us positive energy for our busy days ahead. What makes these mornings even sweeter is to have a good friend as a walking partner to share the adventure.--The middle of July is nearly half a year away from Feb. 14, but I'd like to send hearts, flowers and valentines to so many of our local merchants and businesses.Our communities are so much better because of the goodness and thoughtfulness of those who help with fundraising for individuals and groups, giving space and supplies for car washes, promoting positive examples for our youth, helping seniors to live better lives, and quietly giving back to our communities in so many ways.Walking along Main Street in both Monmouth and Independence gives us the opportunity to see how many new businesses are opening and providing goods and services. When friends and family members visit from out of town, it gives us a chance to show off our bakeries, restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores that we sometimes take for granted. It just reminds us once again to shop locally and keep our money where our town is.--Both Monmouth and Independence libraries have outstanding summertime programs for readers of all ages. Librarians Krist Obrist and Robin Puccetti have so many good things planned for everyone to enjoy.MI Town's libraries can be a really cool place to be on these hot summer afternoons and you'll be able to travel far away without leaving the comfortable chair in the corner by reading a good book.For more information about summer programs and other activities: 503-838-1932 (Monmouth); 503-838-1811 (Independence); or check the city websites for the library pages.--Pack a picnic supper or purchase food at Main Street Park in Monmouth Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. and enjoy Everyday Prophets playing reggae music. All summer concerts are sponsored by local merchants who would appreciate your patronage. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and have a great evening.--Thursday evening, gather all the family together for a free movie, "Goonies," at the Riverview Park and Amphitheater in Independence. Much of "Goonies" was filmed in Astoria, located at the mouth of the Columbia River, so there's definitely an Oregon flavor. Showtime is at 9:30 p.m., but there's lots of time to pack a picnic or purchase food and get settled in comfortably.And mark your calendars for July 26, when the Ted Vaughn Blues Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the amphitheater. There's nothing better than a good concert on a summer evening in MI Town.