Credit: Timothy Hughes

Marilyn Burke, , Marilyn's Salon & Opera House

There must be something in Middleton's water. Last year Barry Levinson, the man behind the Mustard Museum, won the Indies' Market Spark award. This year, Middleton businesswoman Marilyn Burke is a slam-dunk in the Neighborhood Notable category.

And where better to find a Neighborhood Notable than in the Good Neighbor City? Burke, 52, has been a business and property owner there for more than 20 years. She owns Marilyn's Salon & Opera House (1833 Parmenter St.), a historic landmark with apartments and retail smack dab in the heart of Middleton. She's founder and president of the very active Downtown Middleton Business Association. Need further proof of her neighborliness? Five years ago she spearheaded the Middleton Business Watch, a partnership between the Middleton Police Department, city of Middleton and the Middleton Chamber of Commerce to get the word out about crime in the community. She continues to do volunteer work with the Police Department.

The unstoppable Burke must be channeling the Energizer Bunny. Asked what local events she's part of, she says, "I organize and am involved in all of them. It gives me great satisfaction and energy." No kidding. The list of city events she's had a hand in is daunting: Easter egg hunts, wine walks, gallery nights, the Middleton Beach Party, the farmers' market, the downtown Halloween party, and on and on.

Burke is also the city's biggest fan and advocate: "Middleton is a great community - the people, customers, business associates and the city as a whole. I feel that it is important to give to others, and there is such a warm feeling of working together here in the downtown."

Good fences may make good neighbors, but in Marilyn Burke's case, good neighbors make great cities.

- Michana Buchman