Jan. 13 MI Town

We’re deep into winter in MI Town and it seems like springtime is a distant future dream. It’s hard to think about sunshine and flowers and seed catalogues when there’s a constant cleaning up of muddy footprints from spouses, children and pets; and the coat closet has a lingering scent from wet wool coats and jackets. Streets and sidewalks can be slippery from early morning frost and occasional icy patches, so take care when walking or driving.

Our local mayors and city councilors are looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of this upcoming year. Mayors John McArdle of Independence and John Oberst of Monmouth will preside at the State of the Cities annual address this evening from 6:30 to 8:30 in the Columbia Room in the Werner Center, located on the WOU campus in Monmouth. There is no charge for this event, and everyone is welcome to attend. Parking is available in lots H or F, and no permit is required for this event.

Students are busy with school activities and winter sports. It’s always a lot of fun to attend the various games and events, and to cheer for our children and those of our friends and neighbors. It’s easy to catch enthusiasm and energy from just being around younger people. As always, our local schools are eager for volunteers in all their programs, and it’s another great way to chase away those midwinter blues.

Winter term has begun for Western Oregon University students and the calendar is full of ongoing events and classes for everyone. The campus is buzzing with new voices and the return of familiar students who are eager to get involved with school and social activities. MI Town residents have an excellent opportunity to meet students from all over the world and to help them feel welcome in our community. Language barriers all but disappear when people take the time to listen and try to understand one another. Many of our international students have never been far away from the countries they call home. We all have the opportunity to learn so much about cities and countries that are half a world away, and to also share information with students and others who are new to MI Town.

Even though we are getting a few minutes more daylight every week, it’s good to remember to use car and bicycle lights, so we can see — and be seen — as we travel. For those of us walking or riding bikes, please remember to wear light clothing and attach reflective tape to our coats and jackets, and carry a flashlight on these dark and rainy winter days and nights.


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