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Regardless of how you vote, remember ballots are due by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21. It’s probably too late to get them in the mail, so look for a drop box near you (see page A3) and be sure to swing by and deliver it. The good news about the drop boxes is no postage is required.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

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You can tell the weather has turned nice again as people of all ages — and often their pets — are out using our parks and walking the paths, soaking in the sun.

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The city of Dallas has taken over planning the city’s events for 2019. Previously, the Dallas Area Visitors Center was charged with organizing the Polk County Bounty Market, the Fourth of July, Summerfest and Winterfest, along with a few other things sprinkled in such as the Old Timers Picni…

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Facebook and other social media outlets have a myriad of benefits to users — connecting people, families and communities. They can provide an open forum for discussion about local issues or spread information quickly — whether good or bad.

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This week, let us pause for a moment and reflect on the planet we call home. Those who celebrate Easter are in the middle of Holy Week while flowers and trees bloom.

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Dallas has joined efforts in welcoming our two- and three-wheeling friends to town, from building a bike hostel above Latitude One to looking at bike trails, repair stations and generally increasing access for those who prefer to travel via bicycle.

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At the Itemizer-Observer, we encourage and welcome letters to the editor. We appreciate the time you take to let us know what’s on your mind, from thanking people and organizations who have helped make a project reality, to letting us know when you have an adverse experience, to sharing posi…

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The Youth MIC group met Thursday to begin discussions on how they can affect change in their communities. The Monmouth Independence Council, made up of young people aged 16 to 24, gathered with mentors and members of the Multnomah Youth Council to get ideas started.

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 What a weekend. While some athletes came back disappointed they didn’t do better, let’s take a moment and recognize how far they went.

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The Dallas City Council should listen with an open mind to guests invited to speak at a future meeting about forming a consolidated fire district.

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It’s somewhat strange to feel relieved at reading in the daily logs from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office that deputies found someone passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle.

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The holiday celebrations throughout Polk County kicked off on Small Business Saturday last week with a new tradition that we hope continues: Making Spirits Bright in Monmouth.

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The towns of Dallas and Independence will have a variety of events this weekend — enough family fun that one may forget it’s mid-September.

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At Monday’s Dallas council meeting, Councilor Micky Garus suggested that the community consider closing its aquatic center, putting roughly $400,000 a year into public safety officers for Dallas police and fire, essentially eliminating the need for a safety utility fee.

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CLARIFICATION: The council has not approved the public safety fee itself, but rather approved asking the city attorney to draft an ordinance to establish the fee. That ordinance will be read at the council's next meeting on Sept. 4, and, if approved, will move toward final adoption at its second reading on Sept. 17.

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Dallas High School has requested making classrooms “cellphone free” zones, meaning students would lock their devices away during class times.

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You can tell it’s summer. We are in the longest heat wave — defined as a string of days with temperatures above 90 degrees — that Oregon has seen on record.

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We are grateful to serve a community who is active in expressing themselves publicly through letters to the editor.

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It’s that time of year again, where we come out as a community and celebrate our nation’s birthday, Independence Day

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If there’s one thing we don’t like to see, it’s teachers — kindergarten teachers — in tears at a school board meeting because their students are out of control.

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According to people who were involved in city leadership at the time, high-speed internet services were at least a decade away from coming to the rural cities of Monmouth and Independence.

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It’s that time of year again, when people will pitch tents and take turns walking a track for 24 hours, all while dressing up in various themes, carrying a baton and rallying together against cancer.

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Two events will happen this weekend in Monmouth, Independence and Dallas that promote downtown businesses and the shop local movement.

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The second election season of 2018 is nearly here. Next week will be the last week to submit a letter to the editor on an election-related topic until fall, when we gear up for November’s general election.

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Since January, Oregon’s trash haulers have become more aware of the high contamination levels in our citizens’ co-mingled recycling bins

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Councilors on the Dallas City Council recently chastised the Dallas Fire chief for requesting more money in his department, saying that the chief first should recruit more volunteers.

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Just about six weeks ago, many people in Dallas — or Polk County, for that matter — didn’t know what an all-abilities playground was.

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An incredible opportunity has been presented to the city of Dallas, along with the cities of Redmond and Gresham, to receive about $20,000 for all-abilities playground equipment.

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We welcome all points of view, so long as they fit into our policy — nothing obscene, or libelous, and keep it to 300 words or less, please.

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Odilon Campos-Santos was selected Monday to fill the vacancy on the Independence City Council after Ken Day resigned.

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We’ve been watching as negotiations between the Falls City Fire Department and Southwest Polk Rural Fire District have carried on and declared at an impasse.

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Oregonians, long proud of having no sales tax, now have two point-of-sales taxes — and one that rides the border of being such a tax.

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As we are busy investigating our local Community Champions, digging up all the good things our neighbors are doing in our communities, organizations and groups in Dallas, Falls City, Independence and Monmouth are putting the finishing touches on plans to host Santa and light trees.

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Whether you choose to hit the shops on Thanksgiving, or Black Friday, or sit in your pajamas and search for deals online through Cyber Monday, holiday shopping means opportunities to brighten the day of a loved one.