Happy Birthday, USA!In MI Town we are all eagerly anticipating America's birthday. We're looking forward to visits from friends and family members to celebrate Independence Day.Main Street Park in Monmouth is being transformed into a marketplace with booths, displays and something for everyone to enjoy.Independence's Riverview Park and Amphitheater is ready for the annual fireworks displays and we'll all be waiting for the sun to go down and the celebration to begin.Our appetites are whetted and ready for the fireman's breakfast first thing Thursday morning, where we'll meet and greet friends and neighbors for some good conversation and a hearty breakfast. What a wonderful opportunity to show everyone our excellent fire station, where a great group of friends and neighbors are always prepared and ready in case of any emergency in MI Town.Over the years, I've watched and participated in parades in suburbs and cities from coast to coast, and absolutely nothing comes even close to MI Town's annual Fourth of July celebration. Our parade brings sheer joy and fun when we see our friends and neighbors get together for the celebration honoring our great nation's birthday.The Fourth of July events give us all an opportunity to celebrate and share in the very best MI Town can be -- and to be able to spend a couple of days showing friends, family and neighbors what truly constitutes the good life.--Another cause for celebration in MI Town is the appointment of Krist Obrist to the position of library director at Monmouth Public Library. Krist has done a fantastic job as the youth services director at the library for several years and we were thrilled to hear that she had applied for the job that became available with Phelps Shepard's recent retirement. Several excellent and well-qualified candidates were finalists for the position, and after careful review and deliberation by the search committee, City Manager Scott McClure announced that Krist was appointed to the job.--Both Monmouth and Independence have outstanding libraries with programs for everyone this summer. If you or your children aren't involved in any of the super summer programs, stop by your nearest library to see what you've been missing. With the many programs available, there's no reason for kids to say "there's nothing to do" this summer.--Summertime days and evenings have given us many reasons to get out and about and visit several of MI Town's restaurants -- and we have been pleased to find a variety of excellent menu choices just about everywhere. With summer concerts and picnics in the park coming up, it's a great way to start the evening.