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It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying the Polk County Fair last week — and there was indeed something for everyone to enjoy. Kids of all ages enjoyed corn dogs and lemonade and good times at our favorite summertime event. 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 six-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.

The summer concerts in Main Street Park in Monmouth 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. Tonight we’ll enjoy a good time listening to Root Jack, featuring rock music. Time is passing quickly and these special summertime events will soon be over for another year. Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make Wednesday evenings so special for everyone in MI Town.

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 when the regular routines begin all too soon.

It’s almost time to check the schedule for Western Oregon University football games — a sure sign that fall is just around the corner. The team members are busy with daily practices on campus now, and everyone is looking forward to a successful year. As much as I love summertime, there’s something pretty special about spending a Saturday afternoon in McArthur Stadium and catching the enthusiasm of college football — right in our own backyard. It’s a good thing to support our local university sports program, and I promise you’ll have a great time while you’re there.

A great deal of construction, including major remodeling projects, is underway at all of our local schools, including several buildings on the WOU campus. With students and many staff members on vacation, summertime offers the best opportunity for this to get done. Custodial and maintenance staff can take advantage of this time of year to get classrooms and other buildings in good shape for the beginning of school in September.

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