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I love this town, and, in all honesty, thatís no easy thing to say.

Through my years here Iíve had plenty of complaints. Like at the library or with the city council, or the hospital, planning department, county, train station, school district, any corporate store or that hilarious run around at the fair.

But Iím proud of this town, and Iím fierce defending it. It must be the forests Iíve known before they were subdivided, or the feel of soil that is richer than gold. It might be childhood roots: sneaking out of church to watch chickens in a nearby garden, smelling every September the constant smell of greasy food or climbing with friends up the ivy in Pioneer Park. (Itís a pity it wonít be as private with city hall looming over it, eh?)

This is a pride of place, the pride of knowing the regionís cultures, quirks, foods and wild things. Thereís a fancy word for it called Ďbioregionalism.í Why does it matter? Places are different from each other, and when we honor what makes our place distinct, we are much more likely to celebrate and defend it.

Take the Daffodil Parade, which has been in the news lately. Honestly, it could be cheaper, a lot more regionally based, and at least a little more fun. My two cents: Nix the out-of-town floats and the statewide travelling. Instead, I want to go to the parade and see valley farmers who grow my food waving at me; thatís something Iíll cheer for. I want to see the city council mud wrestling. Iíd like to see cute little kids dressed up like salmon and hopvines, berries and daffodils. I want to see local business owners naked and painted on bicycles, encouraging us to spend time downtown but not drive there. I, for one, would be proud.

The bioregional possibilities are endless. How about a restaurant that serves local, in-season foods? Or for music, a locally-grown bluegrass band could sing about our poor river, polluted from Crystal Mountain to the Superfund delta.

Also, why read fantasy adventures about far-off lands; we have a dire need for elves and druids defending our fields and forests right here. And when it comes to athletic mascots for our schools, Iíd sure like to see pumas take the stage or red-tail hawks.

Tomorrow I look forward to being at the opening of Puyallup City Hall. And I wonder about this town: Is our culture defined for us by the latest corporate taco store or weekend sales at the mall? Or do we celebrate something more?

CALENDAR: Aug. 8 City Hall, Aug. 9 Raingarden installation Pack Forest and Edgewood picnic, Aug. 12 Environmental Health meeting, Aug. 16 Community garden picnic.

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Page last modified on December 12, 2008, at 05:13 PM