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Happy New Year

I can’t hardly believe it! I was just reviewing the stats sent at the end of the year by WordPress, detailing the traffic this blog got in 2010…holy moly! Thousands and thousands of hits! I was honestly surprised. Well, thanks, I guess but you know that makes me think maybe I had better get busy here!  By the way, if you have input for upcoming editions of University Place What’s UP?  just drop me a line, her.  Comments are welcome, too.

www.UNIVERSITYPLACEWHATSUP.wordpress.com

Looking back on 2010, in some ways it was a wonderful 365 days while in other ways it was disastrous, disappointing and sad. We lost some remarkable people. None less that the Pierce County deputy sheriffs who were taken from us as well as at least one very dear, long-time friend of University Place, Mr. Dick McEntee. How about one more sincere thanks for their service…God bless all of them and all of our neighbors to whom we bid farewell in 2010!

So, what does 2011 have in store? Well, the city enters the new year with a freshly confirmed City Manager in Mr. Steve Sugg which bodes very well for us in the new year. Steve is leading a staff that’s stretched pretty thin but I’ve been impressed at all they are getting done on our behalf. We’re lucky. There are some cities out there who are really suffering through this economy.
I don’t publicize a lot of info about upcoming classes at the city because it’s so very easy to just click on the city website and get the details but one recently caught my eye (Gee. I wonder why?) when I read… “Tired of the usual quiet still life’s, bored naked models, and redundant landscapes?” Bored what? I immediately had two thoughts: “What in the world is Parks & Rec offering now?” and “Just what have I been missing?!?” I guess it pays to stay in touch, er, um…
As it turns out, “Abstraction in Oil” is being offered as an art class to adults, starting Jan 22nd. So, I guess it’s not what I thought but if you want to know more… http://www.cityofup.com

If you’re interested, there’s a special city council meeting Monday, Jan 10th at 6:30 where, among other things, they’ll hold a required public hearing to consider a proposed rate hike for the garbage man. Yes. You ARE welcome to attend. Again, check the city website for details.

Out and around, 2011 is bound to be interesting. Perhaps frustrating or maybe a relief is in sight. Well, of course I’m talking about the economy and if I’m talking about the economy I’m bound to be looking at residential real estate.
When you do, you find so very many conflicting speculations, data compilations, “expert” predictions, etc. How do you know what to bet on? Well, I do think it’s important to watch the national scene but it’s equally important to examine local trends.
Every day we hear about how the banks have literally millions of foreclosed homes they have yet to offer for sale – yikes! Yet, we see the stats that demonstrate the delinquency on home loans is absolutely improving. It IS clear that we cannot have a strong recovery unless real estate contributes strongly to economic growth. Real estate “health” has been at the heart of every recession recovery for as far back as our economists care to observe. No, no, no I’m not denying the extremely powerful role employment plays in that process but I am saying simply this. We won’t have national recovery until the real estate market recovers. Fact.

CNN/Money posted an interesting article recently. On one side, Bill Ackman, founder and CEO of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management and the infamous Warren Buffett both stand on the side of the bulls who say it is time to start investing in real estate. Meanwhile, Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac which is, among other things, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties, highlighted the impending foreclosures to predict lower home prices in 2011.
Well, Who the hell is right?
When it all comes out in the wash, the news will probably be somewhere in-between.

So, what are market watchers keeping their eyes on right now? Oh, how about this Friday’s employment report, as a start? Overall, the recent numbers have been strong and growing but we have to remember that employment over the holidays is often topsy turvy. No short term snapshot can be effectively predictive, anyway. No matter whose data you digest. The trends show us where we have been, where we are and where we are going.

In the next installment of this blog, I’ll show you the end-of-year numbers for University Place and Fircrest residential real estate. They actually are pretty telling ESPECIALLY when you take them in the context of prior years. That’s where lazy journalists bother me greatly. (Am I picking on the Tribune again?) The concept that we can learn anything of value by comparing year-against-year stats. “Oh, home sales are up as compared to November of last year.” What does that tell us that we can use to formulate any opinion or make any decision or plan? Nothing. So, we’ll look back to a date BEFORE we had crashing housing numbers and we’ll see very, very clearly, where we have come and answer the question. “When will the housing market bottom out?” (Would you be surprised if I said, “It already has”?)

Want a crystal ball? Well, don’t look at me! If somebody tells you they know what’s coming in this economy, grab their crystal ball from them, turn it over and watch the sand running out the huge crack across the bottom!

You want to look ahead? OK, here’s the first of two installments thanks to Jeff Ashley and Mark Meath of Cobalt Mortgage. Here are their top reasons for the real estate market to get stronger this year (We’ll look at the other side of the coin next week):
1.) Homes are more affordable than they have been in a generation due to low rates and lower housing prices.
2.) The economy is improving and jobs are being created, unlike the previous three years. As the economy improves, household formulation will rise as well.
3.) While credit standards are tight, we have probably reached the height of the credit cycle and as real estate recovers banks will be more anxious to lend. Along the same lines, as rates have crept up, refinances are down and that means banks will be competing for a smaller market share of home loans.
4.) The population is growing. We are now over 300 million. These people need to live somewhere. Even those who are foreclosed upon will need to live somewhere–and not necessarily in an apartment. (We’ll take a look at these lender’s “Why not” side of the coin, next week.)

Did you realize that FHA, VA and conventional home loans are still being offered at rates less than 5%!?!  Ask all of those folks you know who bought their homes about 20 years ago when the rates exceeded 17%…ask them what a hellacious deal less than 5% is!

“Stay tuned Martha. This is going to get interesting!”

In the meanwhile, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I certainly do hope it brings good things to you and your family.
Our very best to you and yours from the Maddock – Janson -Croft family! See ya by next week.
Pat Maddock

cbbain-intranet-header2

So, just who IS this guy?

Pat’s been a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place and he was the 2007 President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS as well as a 2009 Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission.   Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. But most importantly, he’s been a     University Place native since 1953.

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So, University Place firefighter Greg Reimann shows up at the Friday morning meeting of the University Place-Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce.  He’s honcho’ing the fire department’s annual effort to gather and deliver toys and meals and you name it to U.P. families in need.  ( What is it about firefighters?  They just don’t know how to quit giving. Do they?)  He picks up a few toys the chamber members had brought and he mentions that the unfulfilled need this year appears to be a 16 inch and an 18 inch boys bike. Well, before the chamber members disbanded, they reached into their pockets and the bikes were bought!  Just spur of the moment, “‘Cause it’s the right thing to do.” explained one member as another one was throwing yet another $5 bill on the table.  Yours truly thought, this won’t break anybody and I’m sure it didn’t but then again, as I was driving to purchase the two bikes I remembered a number of conversations I’ve had throughout the year with other business owners and various professionals working through this challenging year.  I remembered how some businesses are hanging on damned near by a string and still others have already locked the doors.  I thought again about the folks who simply did not hesitate to reach into their pockets to help ensure that a couple of kids didn’t go without bikes. (Every kid should have a bike. Don’t you think?)  It wasn’t the biggest, most generous, greatest philanthropic gesture of 2010 but I was proud of how my friends didn’t even hesitate before adding their cash onto the pile.  It’s not the mission of the chamber, the promotion of my business or any other such “falderall” that keeps me active in the chamber and serving on it’s board of directors.  It’s the members.  Damned fine people!

You wanna see a happy lady?  Go find Cindy Bonaro, our local librarian.  Ya know why?  At long last, she and her crew are actually

Fourth year staff member Alex Byrne is happy to stock the childrens' books in their new home

PUTTING BOOKS ON THE SHELF at the new Library in Town Center.  No kidding!

That’s right.  They are moving into the new Library!  Woo Hoo!  And what a facility it is.  Holy smokes! It is amazing and Cindy is celebrating all the room they’ll have in their brand new home.  Especially after being cooped up for so long in the former auto parts store.  She would explain that plans were afoot for changes to their old home on the Town Center site but the new facility offers what they were in need of and much more.  At a time when we’re cutting back left and right in Pierce County library operations, we’re very, very lucky in University Place to be the site of the newest gem in the system.  Mark your calendar for February 12th.  That’s the date earmarked for the grand opening on Bridgeport Way.  The staff is thrilled about it. Patrons are excited and just wait until your little ones get   of this place of wonder.  It’s really going to be one of a kind!

Now what’s with the duck? He’s sporting a holiday garland necklace. One of the ducklings has a knitted cap on and they all seemed to be wearing seasonal scarves.  But you know my hang up about “the duck”.  How about a name?  Our duck needs a bloody name!  After the first of the year, if the great feathered one hasn’t been named, I may have to get a contest started but the way he and his brood look now it could be the Christmas Quacker or maybe the Hannukah Honker or even Mr. Festivus Q. Duck!  ( OK, OK. You’re right. Maybe he IS  growing on me!  But he still needs a name! )

Done with your shopping?  Yeah, me neither.  See ya!

Pat Maddock

So, just who IS this guy?

Pat’s been a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place and he was the 2007 President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS as well as a 2009 Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission.   Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. But most importantly, he’s been a     University Place native since 1953.

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STEVE SUGG Thank you, Sir. Thank you very much!
In case you’ve not noticed, our City Council, Monday evening voted to make Mr. Suggs temporary appointment as an “interim” city manager, a permenant one and we are all the better for it! Mr. Sugg is a gentleman. He is a professional. His experience is priceless and I promise you that you won’t agree with everyting he says but wisdom says, give him a chance to explain the “whys” and you may just find yourself respecting him and his ability to excell as a key player in our city’s leadership team. So very many of us are grateful to our councilmembers for the earlier Christmas present. Making Mr. Steve Sugg our City Manager will serve our city well, for years to come…that’s my hope (and I don’t doubt it for a second!). Now let’s do this the formal way…

Steve Sugg is a licensed engineer with over 32 years of experience in the planning, design, construction, and management of projects and teams in both the public and private sector. He’s worked for the City of University Place since 1996 in a variety of capacities including City Engineer, Public Works Director, Community Development Director and Assistant City Manager.

From 1996 to 2002, Mr. Sugg managed a $50 million transportation capital improvement program for the City involving the design, right-of-way acquisition, funding, and construction of over 20 miles of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, bike lanes, medians, planter strips and numerous roundabouts and traffic signals. Several of those projects received national, state, and regional recognition from organizations such as the Federal Highway Administration, University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina Center for Highway Safety Research, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Puget Sound Regional Council, Association of Washington Cities, Washington State Department of Transportation, Walkable Communities, and Sunset Magazine.

Prior to his employment with University Place, Steve was a Senior Engineer with Burns & McDonnell, a national consulting engineering firm based in Kansas City, Missouri. His education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Villanova University in 1977 and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Kansas in 2000.

Mr. Sugg has been serving as the interim City Manager of University Place since the retirement of Mr. Bob Jean, nearly a year ago.

I’m not a big fan of bios but when we have such good news as this, I’ll dedicate the entire edition of the blog to him.

We’ll get back to WHAT’S UP  around the rest of University Place next week.  Maybe I can get an elf to write that one.

Until then, be well.  Pat Maddock

So, just who IS this guy?

Pat’s been a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place and he was the 2007 President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS as well as a 2009 Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission.   Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. But most importantly, he’s been a     University Place native since 1953.

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Well, let’s see what sort of insane damage we’ve inflicted on our neighbors this week. (These are close-of-business numbers from Friday afternoon.)
*  US Senator Patty Murray again
*  US Congressman Norm Dicks AGAIN
*  28th Dist State Rep Troy Kelly again
*  28th Dist State Rep Tami Greene again
*  7th Dist County Council Stan Fleming – not new, just new to THAT job.

Same stuff. Different day.  So much for a clean sweep, huh?  In fact, all of our incumbents that ran are returning.  And as for the Republicans and Alice’s Tea Party sweeping the Democrats out of office…well, not around University Place!  The Mad Hatter didn’t even show up.  She stayed home…in Alaska.

By the way, for those who do not know, I am not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I’m a life-long Independent and intend to remain so.

At least the damned political ads are gone from the evening news and everyplace else, for that matter. Holy crap that was nauseating!  Does ANYBODY disagree with that observation?  ANYBODY?  And the signs! Mother of Mercy, what a blight! And they complain about a couple of real estate signs on a corner. That’s NOTHING like the visual disaster our community has been for the past months. No. Make that our nation. It’s not drastically different elsewhere. “Political freedom of speech as guaranteed by the US Constitution”  That’s the only defense I have ever heard for the mess our candidates make through their campaigners.  What a load of malarkey!  How sad that’s the way folks actually get elected, simple name recognition. And how do you achieve that?  Take the money. Spend the money. Buy the signs. Over and over and over and over again! Eventually the voter looks at his/her ballot and says, “Oh, I recognize that name.” and you add that to party loyalists who vote a straight slate of Republicans or Democrats regardless of what the individual may or may not bring to the task and what do you get? Elected! And now they all “wisely look out for our best interests”. Right.

Well, enough of that. Mark your calendar for Breakfast, November 13th at the American Legion Post on Cirque Drive just west of Bridgeport for a Pancake Breakfast from 8:00am to 11:00am. Here’s what’s shakin’… A group called the University Place Veteran’s Memorial committee was formed last year by our late Councilwoman Jean Brooks and her husband Harvey. The dream was to create a lasting memorial in our city, dedicated to the honor of all military veterans and their families from U.P.  The committee driving this project is made up of a broad brush stroke of the community from civic leaders to vets and other volunteers. What they are thinking this gives us is an appropriate place to hold veteran related events such as Memorial Day, Flag Day, Veterans’ Day and I’m sure there will be more, once it’s open.  Just south of the intersection of Cirque and Bridgeport in that small pocket park on the west side.  They anticipate a cost of some $250K.  So, we’ll likely see more events such as this breakfast at  the American Legion, November 13th.  You can buy tickets ahead of time by calling 202-7134 or email UPVeteransMemorial@gmail.com and request your tickets. (Good way to make a donation whether you can make the breakfast or not. I’m going to be busy with another event that day but you can bet my retired Air Force bipee that I just called Dennis Jones at 202-7234 and ordered three tickets!)  What a superb cause. Don’t miss out!  Get your tickets before the sell out!!!  It’s just a phone call or an email away!

Have you read the UP Council Goals for 2011-2012?  They are worth having a look at to see how the council has prioritized the actions of our city government for the next couple of years.  The budget they are currently working is directly in support of those goals and frankly the staff and council have been digging damned hard to make it all work.  The city website is the place to go for details and I hope you have been watching UPTV lately and have seen the excellent, brief production entitled “Budget 101”.  Simply the creation and airing of that is an outstanding service to us all.  Watch for it.

The DUCK is still here.  The duck does not have a name. That makes the duck think he isn’t loved. (Or so I’m told.) Oh, what shall we do about the duck?

Remember I told you the council is working on the budget right now?  We should know that this is an extraordinarily tough time to run a city.  With the economy the way it is, that makes any jurisdiction’s general fund act demonstratively depleted and they are.  You should SEE some of the cuts that are happening at other cities across the country. We are in GREAT shape compared to some others and then again, we are really tight compare to still a few other jurisdictions but the point is, it’s a tough time to budget!  Our council members could use your support right now.  The big budget night is at the November 15th council meeting.  We owe it to those who are working FOR us to be informed and involved.

Have you gotten the picture that I stand in support of our city council?  Well, good because I do. I’m especially glad you see that because I am about to take issue with an item they are working over right now and that’s their own 3% cost of living annual increase.  You can discuss their plans to change that effective with future elections or you can refer to the law that says they cannot decrease their own salaries or you can bring up the fact that their salaries are very minor to begin with…No, NOBODY could live on them, they are tiny.  I know council members who I respect and often agree with don’t agree with this but my position very simply is, until we can fund our kids programs, the operations of our senior center,  REVERSE staff cuts and furloughs and reduced hours, until we can return to a budget that is not at core levels of service or less, the council takes NO increases!  None.  Some have set a marvelous example by way of a creative method to do that.  Former Mayor Linda Bird refused increases. She handed hers back to the city and I know that Mayor Koslowski and Council Member Belleci stand with Linda’s good example. Other council members also have, in the past.  Again, until the city can return to “normal” fully funded operations, the council should refuse any salary increases and frankly it should have started LAST YEAR!  Please don’t misunderstand. I am not operating under the delusion that this will solve the city’s budget woes. It won’t. It’s a drop in the bucket but your don’t refill that bucket until somebody starts dropping some in!   LEAD!

Nobody’s asked me but I would be just fine with paying an extra $20 on my car tabs to help our local crisis in funding IF it was applied to Public Safety.  So, count me in for 5 x $20 = $100 per year.  If that, collected from all UP resident’s vehicles, can fund the replacement of an eliminated Police officer…DO IT!

I almost don’t want to bring up the next point, that of council benefits but let me just offer the following consideration, briefly. I don’t believe anyone runs for city council to earn health care benefits. (If they do, they are very confused.)  Most cities, including ours, do not pay council members a salary plus benefits that comes anywhere near reimbursing them for all they give to our city…not nearly.  However, if I cannot take the loss in income which may occur when I am away from my job and out doing city business. If I am struggling to afford health care or I just don’t have any and I’m looking for it. If I am not financially able, I should not be running for city council.  I should get my own financial ducks in a row before I stand up and say, “I’m prepared to lead!”.  Yes, that’s an oversimplification but it’s also appropriate.  Further, what is being spent on council benefits is about enough to hire back that police investigator who Chief Wilder and the citizens of University Place need and deserve.   If I can’t afford to be a city council member without getting health care and other such benefits from the city, then I can’t afford to be a city council member.  When times are tight, we tighten up but NOT in Police Protection!  To tie a ribbon around this entire topic, you’ll remember I started chatting about the goals of the city council?  They have clearly stated that Public Safety is priority number one.  PLEASE be so kind as to put your money where your mouth is.   Some most certainly are.  LEAD!

[ Remove soapbox and get back to…. ]

Did you know that the city’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) is seeking to fill a vacancy?  The commission gets involved in a lot, behind the scenes around the business environment of our city.  The EDC was behind the change to license renewal with the state. They have been integral with respect to the city’s recent actions on development fees and they have their fingers in everything from Town Center to business planning and education.  If you are interested, contact Becky Metcalf at the city.  Oh, by the way, the next time the EDC makes a recommendation to council that effects your business and you don’t like it, if you didn’t step up to at least investigate what it would take to serve on the commission now that it has a vacancy,  well don’t complain then.  In other words, here’s your chance!

Here’s also a good opportunity for a well deserved “Thanks“.  Now that little league football has come to the end of their season, it makes me think of all of the parents/adults/volunteers involved in that and other youth athletic programs, here.  I saw a lot of 4th grade tackle football games this fall and I don’t think I ever saw fewer than seven or eight coaches on the field with our team. Most of the competing teams from other communities can’t say that.  Most of those coaches were Dads and appropriately so but some were  just lovers of the game with a warm spot in their hearts for the little guys. That’s pretty cool.  Whether it’s soccer, football, lacrosse, wrestling, basketball, baseball…I’m forgetting some I’m sure but the point is it’s time to say thanks to two groups.  Those Mom’s behind the scenes organizing everything from banquets to game videos (and grandmas making cookies) to Dad’s out on the field and for that matter, the Mom’s who coach, too.  You all deserve a huge THANKS on behalf of the kids and the community at large. In these austere economic times, YOU are the reason our kids have a program. Whether it’s community or club sports, your work supporting the athletics of our little guys and gals are a DIRECT cause for the successes of our high school programs, to say nothing of the development of character in each and every one of those impressionable junior athletes.YOU make University Place a better place to live!  THANKS!

Be Well,

Pat Maddock

 

cbbain-intranet-header2

So, just who IS this guy?

Pat’s been a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place and he was the 2007 President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS as well as a 2009 Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission.   Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. But most importantly, he’s been a     University Place native since 1953.

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Didja know there is such a thing as the University Place Historical Society and they meet on the second Wednesday of the month in the Library at 7:00 p.m. If you have any interest in the history of our unique little city, you ought to stop in. Cindy Bonaro is the current president and she can be reached 565-9447.
What DO you know about U.P. history? Try this one out for size (We’ll answer it in the next edition of the blog)  WHO WAS THE FIRST FIRE CHIEF WITH THE UNIVERSITY PLACE FIRE DEPARTMENT?  He may also have been in the position the longest, I think. He took the job in 1941 and was the chief for about two decades.  So, who was he?  And did anyone know him or even meet him?  (I remember him well but I’ll explain in the next blog.)  Now, who has the answer?

What the big news about February 12, 2011 in University Place?  Don’t know?  Read on…

For every dollar of property tax collected in University Place:

44 cents goes to SCHOOLS

21 cents goes to Fire and Emergency Medical Services

15 cents goes to the State of Washington

8 cents goes to Pierce County

8 cents goes to the City of University Place

3 cents goes to the Library and finally,

1 cents goes to the Port of Tacoma.

So, the city of U.P. actually only gets 8 cents out of every dollar paid in property tax, here.  Surprised?

All across our nation cities are making cuts.  Staffing, programs, you name it. They’re getting cut due to economic pressures to include lack of funding, of course.  For example, our police operations are down to only two officers per shift.  (What can you do with that?)  According to our new Police Chief Rusty Wilder, this level significantly limits the ability of officers to do follow up work on cases along with any proactive police work. 

Try these numbers on for size.  “In 2009, there were 17,726 calls for service with 22 patrol deputies which breaks down to 806 calls per officer per year.  Then in 2010 there were 13,031 calls for service (so far) with 15 deputies which breaks down into 869 calls each. The 2010 projected total calls for service to University Place is 18, 929 which breaks down into 1,329 calls for each of the 15 officers.

Didja know that you have a mayor who WANTS to hear from you?  If you want to write a quick compliment about something you notice is going right with the city or you want to chat about a problem or perhaps you have a suggestion…drop our mayor a note and I think you may just be surprised.  dklosowski@CityofUP.com

So, what’s on your schedule for next weekend? Well, whatever it is, you’ll be an hour early if you don’t remember to FALL BACK Sunday, November 7th?  The end of daylight savings time ushers in the unofficial beginning of the Pacific Northwest – I’m Depressed As Hell and I Ain’t Gonna Take It Any More season of the year.   I call it the Woody Allen season.  The fact is that Woody was diagnosed as clinically depressed long before clinical depression became one of those overused cliché diagnosis but the key here is what he does about it.  He, very successfully uses humor to battle depression. I can’t think of anyone who has used it more effectively than old Woody.  Bottom line from where I sit is simply this. Yes, the Pacific Northwest annually endures a depressing, cloudy, rain-soaked winter and it gets people down. I love bright sun-filled summer days as much as anyone but when it comes to the winter doldrums around here,  I’ve always thought, you have a choice. I chose humor.  I may not look to Woody Allen’s life as a great role model but I energetically adopt his approach to depression.  I laugh about it. I laugh around and through it and eventually I laugh my way out of it. There is so very much humor around us every day, if we simply keep one eye open for it.  My prescription battles my blues very effectively.  Ask anyone who knows me.  “Don’t worry. Be happy.”, as Bobbie McFerrin says.   I whistle a lot.  Ya just don’t whistle when you’re depressed.  Or better put, how can you be depressed when you’re whistling?

February 12th, 2011?  That’s the announced grand opening of the new Library.  You KNOW we’re going to be talking more about THAT as the date approaches.  But didja know you can ADOPT A BOOK?   It’s a way of helping stock the shelves of the new library and dedicating the book to someone in particular.  I think I will see about adopting a couple of books in my grandsons’ names.  Maybe a couple of their favorites.  How do you do it and how do you get in touch with their capital campaign? (Speaking of helping the new library!)  Here you go…  http://www.piercecountylibrary.org/about-us/foundation/Default.htm

Or you can catch up with them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/University-Place-Library-Campaign/131952136818898

As a REALTOR and on behalf of homeowners, I am constantly reminding folks that when it comes time to sell, your biggest enemy frequently is DEFERRED MAINTENANCE.  The things we put off that get worse and worse because we DO put them off.  For example, if the gutter is sagging today and we don’t do a thing about it, a year from now we decide to put our home up for sale but first we have to replace that gutter that fell off the house.  Yes, I did say “Replace” ($$$$$) because it’s past the stage where you could have just repaired it ($).  Deferred Maintenance.  Seasonal changes in our environment also drive a recurring need for home maintenance and now is a great time to be doing something about things like uninsulated water pipes.  If you have a hose bib (external faucet) for example. Is the supply line to that hose bib a dedicated pipe? Is it insulated?  Should it be drained and shut off for the season?  Or should you plan on enjoying an indoor ceiling waterfall in my garage like I did a few winter’s back?

If you’ve got trees around the house that are currently doing their annual strip tease, maybe it’s time to take a peak in your gutters to make sure they are not ready to clog up with all of the guck that was once the big green leaves which shaded your home so nicely from the summer sun.

The Climate Prediction Center and the Farmer’s Almanac are both forecasting this fall and early winter to be wetter than usual for our area…aka, lots of rain. 

When weeks like this hit, it’s a great time to watch the basement and even your crawl space for the formation of everything from minor leaks to “Lake Seep-through-walls”.  Speaking of deferred maintenance biting a home seller in the rear region, nothing does it quite like standing water in your crawl space or the mold and smell and damages that come from  a leaky basement.  This is the time of year that those problems most often show themselves.  Watch for them.  And speaking of leaks under the house, does the ground around your home slope downward TO the house or does is slope downward AWAY from your structure.  That can be the biggest reason why you have water under the house.  Our gardens or lawns or whatever is right around our homes for about 10 feet or so, should slope AWAY from our homes.  The reason is obvious.  Take a walk around your home and don’t be surprised if you ARE surprised.

I have tried not to be a hound about bugging you to vote, this year.  Why not, when I normally do?  Because, as I am sure you’ve noticed, the water cooler talk around the elections  this time around seems to be the disgust so many of us are feeling, not about the elections themselves but about the insulting, low-brain, repugnant political attack ads we’re all being bombarded with.  I really don’t know how they could get much worse.  Now, we can think about the political parties and the control they have over so many of those ads when it comes time to place blame or we can watch for the identification of the special interest groups behind so many of the ads and point at them.  We could even blame the TV stations as they rake in the HUGE monetary rewards for cramming so many of them down our throats but we would be way off target, I think, in terms of where the blame actually lies.  Try this on for size.  Every time another political candidate voices “I’m Joe S0-an-so and I approved this ad.” and then it delivers attacks and smears and half-truths, and distortions and a degree of negativism that would even depress Woody, isn’t that a great time to grab your pencil and pad of paper and write down one more name of a candidate you refuse to support?  Before you give that option much thought, Yes, you will find yourself without a horse to back in several races.  For example, the Rossi-Murray race for the senate.  I scratched both of them out weeks ago.  Those are some of the very worst ads out there and they both have stood up and said “I approve this.”   Nope.  Not getting my support.   Politicians who decide that it’s just fine to conduct such attack campaigns are politicians who forgot how to take the high road.  Those are also the politicos who have forgotten how to work with others and get done the maximum they can for their constituents.  ANY, yes, ANY political candidate can refuse to conduct such a campaign.  Just imagine if, Patty Murray, cited simply as an example, had seen the Rossi campaign ads attracting her and instead of exchanging punches with the Republicans, she simply said to her campaign manager, “No” I won’t lower myself to that level.  I won’t sling mud.  I will, instead talk about the good things I’ve done and the good things I’m doing and the good things I want to do.  I will take the high road.   Just imagine how soon the tone of the overall campaign would have shifted to something very different than we have and are experiencing.  Just think of how it could actually be focused on ISSUES instead of mud.  We might actually find out what the candidates stand for!  Ha!  What a refreshing change that would be, don’t ya think?  So, yes, I’m voting this year but there are races and initiatives that I’m not going anywhere near just because of all of the crap they’ve spewed on radio, TV, in print and all around me, all Fall.  I won’t condone it.  Now, my vote and those of people who think like this will be missed by the candidates and issues we would have supported but you know what?  From where I sit, they don’t deserve ’em!

Additionally, you may not be like me and that’s fine.  By that I mean, I go one more step. I drop those candidates a note saying, “I was intending to support you but because of your personal endorsement of the disgusting ad campaign waged against your opponent, you’ve lost me vote and, oh, by the way, my wife’s vote, too!  Next time, if there is one, maybe you’ll consider taking the high road.  If you do, I bet your opponent gets the hint and follows.  Think about it.”

And as for all of you, be well…

PATMADDOCK   Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS   3560 Bridgeport Way West,  University Place 98466                                                                                                                                  (253)682-1182

 patmaddock@cbbain.com

cbbain-intranet-header2

So, just who IS this guy?

Pat’s been a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place and he was the 2007 President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS as well as a 2009 Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission.   Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. But most importantly, he’s been a     University Place native since 1953.

____________________________________________________

The U.P.-Fircrest division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, will be

Betty Ringlee

 hosting a Pierce County Council candidates’ forum for a discussion of business issues on Friday, October 29 at 7:45 a.m. in the University Place Presbyterian Church on 27th Street. In fulfilling their commitment to assist in the election of business-minded public officials, the UP-Fircrest Division is hosting this candidate forum during its regular monthly meeting.

 

Stan Flemming

Stan Flemming and Betty Ringlee,

two candidates seeking to replace current Pierce County Council Member Terry Lee (District 7 which includes U.P. and Fircrest) who is term-limited, were invited by the UP-Fircrest division. The host will be division president Randy Walden.

To RSVP, visit the Chamber website or contact Susie Wagner at 253.627.2175 by October 27th.

Curtis Vikings…nice job kicking the stuffing out of Bethel last night with a final score of 43 – 14.  The Viks employed senior C.J. Langlow for for touchdowns on their way to clinching the South Puget Sound League title again with their 8-0 overall record.

Tonight, the big game pits two undefeated 4A powerhouses against each other as Bellarmine takes on Olympia.  It will be a tough one but this Alum’s money is on the Lions.

PLAYGROUND BY THE SOUND and the PEPSI CHALLANGE….Yes, we are sooooo sick of emailing Pepsi to help the local project earn that $50K grant.  Well, you’re off the hook…for awhile.  The organizers have determined that the ONLY way we can win such a large amount is with MAJOR support, like NATIONAL support. So, the message today is “Quit it.” but don’t forget how.  They have a plan and they’ve really done their research.  It seems what we CAN win is a grant for $25K and we’re not going after it until December when the competition is down.  So, give your voting fingers a rest but we’ll come after you for help about December first.  Nobody is giving up. They’re just figuring out how to do it more effectively.  Stay tuned! IT’S FOR THE KIDS!

Hey. Whatch doing with the kiddos tomorrow?  FIRE DEPT FALL FUN DAY is tomorrow!   It’s a FREE event at the Public Safety Building (aka the fire station and cop shop).  Pony rides and a petting zoo, Halloween bags, digital photos of the kids in costumes, refreshments and they are conducting a food drive as well as the U.P. Primary School’s PTSA Bake Sale on site. Rain or shine your firefighters will be looking to greet you and yours, especially when the youngsters are in costume. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  And did I mention that there will be free pumpkins for the first 300 kids?

Next week, more analysis of the currant University Place housing market.

Have a wonderful weekend and, as always, be well…

PAT MADDOCK                                                                                                                                           Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS  3560 Bridgeport Way West,          University Place, WA 98466                                                                                                                             (253)682-1182

 patmaddock@cbbain.com

cbbain-intranet-header2

So, just who IS this guy?

Pat’s been a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place and he was the 2007 President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS as well as a 2009 Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission.   Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. But most importantly, he’s been a     University Place native since 1953.

____________________________________________________

What a gorgeous couple of days! Is THIS finally summer?

Has anyone tried the new angle, back-in parking in front of town center on Bridgeport? I had one fella write me and say, “I tried to accomplish this almost impossible driving act, during the 5:00 – 6:00 traffic.  Needless to

Just in front of the new town center

say the result was less than favorable with the other drivers. Many honked their horns, waved (with one digit) and yelled obscenities.” Oh, sure, the old “You’re Number One” hand gesture.  I occasionally use the angle, back-in parking downtown on Tacoma Avenue and find it to be a bit “unnatural” but it’s certainly doable. After watching men, women and (comparative) children doing it without hesitation I concluded that it’s just something I need to get used to. Ha! Remember all of the hubbub about roundabouts? “Somebody’s gonna get killed because of those things.” “They’ll be tearing ’em up and repaving inside of a year!” Right. Give me a choice between a four-way traffic signal and a roundabout and I’m taking the roundabout EVERY time! And as for the back-in parking, I understand it really increases capacity and you don’t have to BACK INTO TRAFFIC like you would with a nose-in parking spot. Do I think it’s a good idea? Well, the folks I’ve talked to around Tacoma Ave seem to think so. I suppose then, what we ought to do is just give it a chance. Once town center is built and it’s been used for months, we should know better. Now don’t get me started about roundabouts made to resemble an eagle’s aerie!

Speaking of unexpected birds.  Have you seen it?  Did you see it being delivered?  What am I talking about?  The DUCK! 

They are dedicating it tomorrow (Sat) afternoon at 1:00.  Go see for yourself.  It’s under wraps today but tomorrow afternoon….tada! A giant duck!

Now, let’s set the record straight.  For the city to have an unending affection for the late Mr. Terry Reim is, at the least, appropriate.  Anyone who gives and gives and gives ought to be remembered and yes, perhaps memorialized.  But a DUCK?!?  No less a five foot duck (I may be exaggerating just a hair).  But the fact is that our new town center and beautiful library building and new cop shop and market square and all things great and architecturally beautiful about the hub of University Place – to come, will now be fronted by a gigantic brass duck.  I’m at a loss. 

Now, I know some people who I think a lot of are very much in favor of this

Is that a duck under there?

 memorial.  And I know they are very fond of the duck and they are very fond of University Place and you put it all together and we end up with a giant brass duck symbolizing our city.  Yes, yes, yes. I know that nobody said this was being placed there as a symbol of our city but that’s EXACTLY the effect it will have. I promise you.  Give it time.  Put money on it. You’ll win!  We’ll become “the Duck city”, “Ducktown”, “Quackersville”. The new UP obscenity will be “Duck you, buddy!”  OK, well maybe not but you get my drift. Just imagine how much fun they are going to have with this up and down the halls of Curtis Senior High. I have news for our new police chief. You want a target for pranks and graffiti?  You just got it.  “Hey, let’s go T-P the duck!”  Graffiti duck, I can just see it, now.  Is it easy to get spray paint off brass.  I honestly do hope no moron damages it (whether you like it or not – that’s just wrong) but you gotta admit, it’s about to take the place of the 56th Street Rock as a target for mischief.   I’m sure someone is envisioning little kids crawling around it as Mom takes a break in Market Square in the afternoon sun. Sure. It will happen but then that night at about 1am, big brother and his buddies, after another win by the home team, well… the boys will find a target for their “nuttin’ to do around here” lament.  The youthful, immature corners of my mind are going crazy right now with all of the stunts that could be played at, on, under and around Mr. Duck.  And, oh yeah, does he have a name?  Or is he a she?  There’s our first question to answer. Would somebody who actually knows something about ducks, (for real) certainly not me, go determine if it’s a rake or a hen, please.  (Yes, that IS what you call a male duck.)

Yes, I certainly am aware of our annual Duck Daze and the duck parade. Can I figure why people want to dress up in yellow and walk through the spring rain to the old town center in celebration of Duck Daze?  Nuttin’ to do around here? Mmmmm, yeah, that COULD be it?  Or maybe they really are seeking and identify for them and their city and the love our ducks!?!

Again, no argument…it’s a good thing to memorialize an outstanding citizen who was very popular and did a lot around U.P. before his untimely passing. No arguement.  In fact, my reticence about wholeheartedly accepting the big brass duck right in front of Market Square, has not a thing to do with the late Mr. Reim. It has everything to do with the fact that if I had to pick a symbol for our city, an animal in fact, that stands for the spirit of University Place, I certainly would rank mole, frog, racoon and coyote above duck. 

So, let me wrap a ribbon around this topic with one final thought. Over the course of the past year, what animals have I seen in University Place?  Aside from domestic dogs and cats and other such pets, let’s see… racoon, coyote, deer, mole, rat, possum, about 12 gazillion squirrels, a multitude of birds including eagles and the oft-depositing Canada goose, bats and not one single freakin’ DUCK! None. Zero. Zilch!  No ducks!!!  Maybe at one of our nature parks, they hang around doing whatever ducks do but since I don’t frequent our nature parks, I have seen not one single, solitary duck and not just in the past year but I’m willing to bet I haven’t seen a single duck in U.P. in the past FIVE years!    So, with all the civic pride I can muster I’ve got to ask, why oh why if you were going to put a memorial piece of art in front of Market Square, why in the hell is it a big, fat duck?

Now don’t get me started on the public art in University Place. You really DON’T want to do that.  There is one I actually like…a lot.  The others…  just don’t get me started!

Have you been voting in support of the Playground by the Sound?  EVERY DAY?!?  That’s what we need to compete and earn the $50K from Pepsi.  It only takes a moment and all you have to do is past this address into your browser and go do it.  EVERY DAY until we win!  The kids deserve it dontcha think?   http://www.refresheverything.com/search/?q=%22Playground+by+the+Sound+Committee%22+kids.basket+Joshua.Hazelton+fox.road+copper.Improvement+bed.head+upper.brain+%22vanRensburg%22+Oakland.Christian

Our U.P. Fire Department will host a free Fall Fun Day on Saturday, October 23 from 10 am-1 pm at UP Fire Dept. Pony rides, petting zoo, digital pictures for kids in costume, bake sale and food drive and pumpkins for the first 300 kids are all included in the plan.  They encourage you to wear your costume and the kids can get their Halloween safety bracelet and bag, there, too.  Refreshments are being served and the U.P. Primary PTSA will hold their bake sale, as well.  When you are packing up the kids to bring them, grab some non-perishable food to donate there, too. Would you?

Don’t forget tomorrow (Sat) is Fall Clean Up for everyone who lives NORTH of 40th Street.  It’s time to all your stuff to UP Refuse.  Next week, everybody SOUTH of 40th Street. 564-3212 is the number for more info.

Tuesday, Oct 19th is another installment of the Free Natural Yard Care Workshop series at the U.P. City Hall from 6:30 to 8:30.  This week, it’s Designing with the Right Plants in the Right Places and the topic of Natural Lawn Care which I don’t need to worry about. Instead, I should find a clinic offering “Natural Moss Care”.  If it wasn’t for moss my lawn wouldn’t be green!  Space is limited. So, contact grinehart@tpchd.org to reserve your seat.  The final night will be Oct. 26th when they will present Garden Pest Management (I wonder if that includes firearms?) and the topic of Smart Watering Techniques.  Do we need to be watering our gardens?  After all, we live in University Place, Washington!  Well, attend the clinic and listen to the experts, not me.  In my garden I grow hops and hot peppers…what do I know?

REAL ESTATE SALE OF THE DAY: In an effort to help you keep tabs on this continually changing real estate market in University Place here’s another recently sold U.P. home (Info from public records).  

2002 University Place home

Well, here’s another one that the bank took. I don’t know why the owner didn’t make their payments. I don’t know why they walked away from it and it’s really none of our business. The point is that YOUR home won’t sell for what it should because there are far too many of these bank owned properties, priced aggressively and stealing our buyers…yours and mine.  True!  If I can get this 2,411 square foot home built in 2002 and in good condition for less than $300K, why am I going to pay you what you want for your home?  This home sold for $120 per square foot. Now, don’t go comparing your 1970’s home on that basis and don’t go comparing your rambler based on that data.  Different homes are worth different prices.  If you want to know what your home is worth or what you can get for it TODAY, just call me and I’ll be more than happy to tell you.  However, know that if it’s out there competing with the likes of this home, the bank owning this home is competing with you in ways you can’t do.  Can you price your home to compete with bank foreclosures?  Most often the answer is “No”.  But you MUST if you want your home to be the one selected by the buyers who are also considering the bank owned properties.  It’s head-to-head competition and the banks WILL win if we price our homes like we would have four years ago…FACT!  

Banks don’t want to own homes.  They lose money every day they hold them.  So, they price them to be SOLD…NOW!  They have to and will beat your price because, again, they don’t want to own them and will do what it takes to get them sold, without hesitation.  Pierce County leads the state in foreclosures.  THAT should startle you.  That should also tell you that it takes very up-to-date market knowledge, experience and insight to get your home sold right now.  We can but it ain’t the old days when we had bidding wars ever other day, when we didn’t get the sign up before it was sold. No, I don’t know that we will EVER see those days again. But is getting your home sold for a decent price a doable task right now?  Yes, it is but it isn’t for the faint of heart.  If you want to discuss that, give me a shout.  I do it all the time and would be happy to sit down with you and discuss what it will take to get your deal done.  University Place homes STILL compete well in our market and, as is the case with this one that just sold, even if it’s a UP house that’s NOT in the UP School District, it competes well.

Well, I have a football game to get to tonight, a chili cookoff to compete in tomorrow, a birthday party for a daughter and son-in-law tomorrow, a benefit concert for a distant cousin tomorrow night and sheesh!  I’ll catch my breath in time for the Seahawks, I hope!

Have a wonderful weekend and, as always, be well…

PAT MADDOCK                                                                                                                                           Coldwell Banker BainREALTORS  3560 Bridgeport Way West,          University Place, WA 98466                                                                                                                             (253)682-1182

 patmaddock@cbbain.com

cbbain-intranet-header2

So, just who IS this guy?

Pat’s been a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place and he was the 2007 President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS as well as a 2009 Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission.   Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. But most importantly, he’s been a     University Place native since 1953.

____________________________________________________

OK, OK, OK already. I get it! You want me to start up the blog again! Whew!
I suppose it’s a good thing that so many folks have been “beating me up” to resurrect the “University Place: What’s UP?” blog.  So, I should say a sincere “Thank You” for the compliment.
However, to restart the process I have to clear the air just a bit and here’s the best way for me to do that.  Set Policy.
As frequent readers will know, I don’t author this blog to piss and moan. I don’t put the time into it to gripe and rant about what’s wrong with… most anything. There are enough folks around us every day who do that FAR better than I ever could. Don’t mess with the masters.
But more importantly, there is so very much around us that is positive, is good, is healthy, fun … that we LIKE! …that we LOVE!  I began writing this blog for a simple reason. TO BUILD COMMUNITY!  Not to tear it down.
I spent my morning, today,  in a class with experts talking about social media and they acknowledged that there will always be those who seek out good things in order to play their small-minded “Troll” games and “Pee on the flower bed” as my Father used to say. And you know what? The flowers don’t like it.
Well, I view you as the flowers, the things that are bright and good about our community and if I can perpetuate a tool which contributes to that just a wee bit, I think it’s worth doing.
I’m not going to dwell on the nay sayers who caused me to back off production of this blog with their constant gripes about our community, our city, it’s leadership and about the economic state of our society at large. No, I didn’t post their messages and I won’t. That’s not why I created this little creature and, according to YOU, that’s not what you want to read. They were not griping about me or what I was saying here but still, I won’t be the platform for “pissin’ and moanin'”. I don’t need it. You don’t want it. Door closed!
OK. I needed to get that out. Thank you for sitting through it. I hope you understand that you sure can write me about ANYthing but what WE seem to want is information about what’s coming up in our community.  A fair and equal treatment of local issues.  A positive look at our world here in University Place and, from what I do every day, a peek at our own slice of the real estate marketplace and how it’s effecting the value of our homes and investments, here.  So, shall we get back to the business at hand?
UNIVERSITY PLACE: What’s UP? (Now that we got all of that out of the way, I’ll give you a mini version and we’ll really catch up in the next edition.)

REMEMBER WHEN IT LOOKED LIKE THIS?

Doesn’t the new Library look inviting , these days?  Have you paused on Bridgeport to take a look at it, lately? Wow!  That place is really going to be something and Yes, I understand they ARE on track to have it finished shortly after the first of the year.  I really am looking forward to walking through. I’m absolutely looking forward to taking my grandsons!  I loved the old Swasey Branch Library on 6th Avenue when I was a kid and I loved the Pierce County Bookmobile in the summertime.   Remember?  They brought us The Hardy Boys,  Long John Silver, the magic of Shakespeare, scientific discoveries, our national parks, the adventures of Lewis and Clark.  All right, I AM dating myself but they did bring my sisters Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie mysteries.  They trained us to use our imagination. They helped us develop a thirst for more and more and more!  Yeah. The library.  If we don’t think it’s a gem of our community we really missed the boat somewhere.  Get ready to reaquaint yourself with all that magic but much bigger and better than University Place ever knew of the very fine facility we had.  My understanding of the plans for the new library is…well, just wait.  We ain’t seen nuttin’ yet!   There are, however, some unmet needs inside and the Library folks are conducting fund raising to meet them. I’ll tell you more about that next time but understand you can participate in small or large ways, you, your kids, your neighbors, all of us!   It’s a chance to invest in something which will pay us back and right away. To say nothing of what it will do for our youngsters…and theirs!

October 12th, this next Tuesday evening from 6:30 – 8:30 the Pierce County Department of Health is bringing a free and informative workshop to us at U.P. City Hall.  What’s it about? NATURAL YARD CARE.  (Hey, NOW’S the time of year!) Specifically, Tuesday the experts will present you with answers on Garden Design:  Backyard Composting & Growing Healthy Soil.  Sign up RIGHT NOW as space is filling up. grinehart@tpchad.org  will register you and/or get you more info but DON’T put it off.  They’ve got more sessions planned for upcoming weeks and I’ll get in to those specifics, next time.

FALL CLEAN UP…FALL CLEAN UP…FALL CLEAN UP  How many times have I heard

My wife insisted, "But there's MORE!"

my neighbors bemoaning the fact that they missed it?  Well, don’t.  Here it comes.  Saturday, October 16th. If you live NORTH OF 40TH Street it’s your day.  Load up your truck (I didn’t say OVERload) with your “stuff” and head to UP Refuse & Recycling at 2815 Rochester Street West between 9am and 4pm.  (Pssst some of us go early to avoid too much of a waiting line.)  Call them at 564-3212  (8:30am to 4:30pm) to get all the details.  Hey!  What if I live SOUTH OF 40TH Street?  No problem.  The following Saturday is YOUR day, October 23rd.

REAL ESTATE DEAL OF THE DAY: In an effort to help you keep tabs on this continually changing real estate market in University Place here’s another Actively For Sale U.P. home.  

It's a perfect U.P. condo

When you hear the admonition that “It’s a great time to BUY!”  Well, it certainly is.  The deals are unbelievable.  The equity you have when you walk in the door is crazy.  History concretely tells us that the healthy market will return and some are saying we’re already on the upswing. I won’t argue that the market has picked up as of late but the admonition doesn’t change.  The prices are way down and they need ‘em sold. So,  it IS a great time to buy! .  Interest rates are hovering at or below 4.25% … like the lowest EVER!  So, what’s for sale out there that you haven’t seen?  Well, here’s one…behind locked gates.  The neighborhood is called Williamswood, built 10 years ago by William Barrett. (Hence, Williamswood.) and the beautiful little community,  just west of University Place Elementary School and on the north side of 27th is just clean as a whistle with freshly paved streets with a nice

It’s light and bright and the price is right!

clubhouse. The exteriors and yards are all maintained by the community and this two bedroom, two bath, one-level home without stairs, is on the market for only $209,000!  No, I’m NOT kidding. What’s wrong with it?  I see nothing wrong.  The seller kept this 1,322 square foot home in superb shape.  The master suite is HUGE. I swear you could play basketball in there…OK, now I’m exaggerating.  The fact is, this is a very nice, open concept rambler condo in a pristine little gated community in the heart of University Place and the price is RIGHT!  Want to take a look?  Give me a shout!  I would be happy to show it to you…today!

 
First of the week, we’ll get back to our regular delivery of timely University Place information and we’ll certainly keep our eyes on the real estate market for you. You tell me you like that.  I really do want to thank so many of your for your positive feedback and your calls to “Bring back the Blog!”  Those were nice to hear.  There’s a lot coming up in our little piece of the world over the next few months and we’ve got some important elections just around the corner. Hey!  Are you as tired as my wife and I are of political ads?!?  OMG “…and I endorsed this message”.  Give me a break!  If the candidates did everything as wrong as their opponents said they did, I think they’d be behind bars! But you know what those ads ARE doing that I like?  Every time one comes on in the middle of one of the few decent shows on TV right now, my wife and I turn to each other and actually speak!   Imagine that.  To heck with NCIS or Dancing with the Wanna Be’s or whatever.  We’re so sick of the political commercials, we actually talk to each other… after 37 years of marriage.  Wow!  So, I’ll take this opportunity to thank Dino and Patty and Dave and Susan and whoever else is out there “…endorsing this message.”  You’ve done my wife and I a real service.  Thanks. Oh, we’re not voting for you but thanks anyway.

Have a wonderful weekend and, as always, be well…

PAT MADDOCK                                                                                                                                           Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS                                                                                              3560 Bridgeport Way West,                                                                                                                             University Place, WA 98466                                                                                                                             (253)682-1182

 patmaddock@cbbain.com

cbbain-intranet-header2

So, just who IS this guy?

Pat’s been a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place and he was the 2007 President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS as well as a 2009 Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission.   Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. But most importantly, he’s been a University Place native since 1953.

____________________________________________________

July is upon us and that means so many earth-shatteringly significant things, well, maybe…
July 1st is Canada Day…ok, enough on that.
You can set off legal fireworks in University Place from 9am to 11pm now through July third.  You get an extra hour, until midnight, on the fourth.  (By the way, if anyone’s setting off fireworks around my house at 9am, you’ll get to see… No, I think I’ll let it be a surprise.) 

In U.P. you must be 16 years old to purchase, posses or discharge any fireworks.  Kids younger than that involved with fireworks must be under the direct supervision of an adult. No, a 16 year old is not an adult.

 Hey, would you be careful, please.  Even the legal fireworks can be dangerous.  Sparklers…safe, right?  Well, if handled appropriately, sure. However, please note that sparklers burn at a temperature which is hot enough to melt gold!  Between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees farenheit is where sparklers burn.  How do you think a little kid’s fingers would do in contact with that or someone’s eye?  I’m not saying don’t light off fireworks. What I’m saying is:

  • Buy fireworks only from licensed retail outlets;
  • Never hold fireworks in your hand or throw them;
  • Don’t lean over fireworks or relight duds;
  • Have a RESPONSIBLE, SOBER adult present;
  • Know your local emergency numbers, your address/location and basic first aid.
  • Why not opt for attending a public fireworks display. They are much cooler than what you can do in your driveway!
  • That’s what I’m saying.  And you know what?  It’s a good time to remind you about the University Place Emergency numbers:

    Emergency Number:
    911

    In case of an emergency, to report a crime in progress, or if you need an officer to be dispatched.

    Non-Emergency Number:
    (253) 798-4722

    To reach the dispatch center for non-emergencies where the perpetrator is gone and you want an officer to investigate.
    All Other Calls:
    (253) 798-4058
    For general inquiries Monday through Friday during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Firearm Permit
    (253) 798-7441
    For questions relating to gun permits.

    So, what else is significant around here? 

     July 8th is the date for the next concert in the park at the Curran Orchard park. It’s the Washington National Guard 133rd Army Band playing patriotic and popular music. The Thursday concerts begin at 6:30 and run until 8pm and you can bring your own picnic dinners or purchase food from the Kiwanis, there.   Upcoming shows include the Motown sounds of Fingertips, July 22nd and the always popular Dead Edsels with their old rock and roll show on August 12th.    

                                    
    You’ve heard reference to the PLAYGROUND BY THE SOUND (PBTS), haven’t you? It’s that “not small” undertaking that groups of U.P. citizens have committed to, aimed at funding and constructing, next year,  a sizeable and unique playground on the Chambers Creek properties overlooking the golf course and Puget Sound. They’ve found a great way to help fund it but you’ve got to help to make this work.

    Pepsi has accepted the Playground By The Sound project as a July candidate for their $50,000 Refresh Everything grant. With a total budget of $200,000, the Pepsi grant would make a significant contribution to achieving the goal. The Pepsi grant is a competitive grant which is won by popular vote – YOUR VOTE!  Fire up your computer then online, go to  www.Refresheverything.com  to register and vote EVERY DAY during July. Ask all your friends to vote. too. It will take TONS of votes to beat other communities competing with us for their own projects. For more information on the project, go to the PBTS website  www.playgroundbythesound.org

    This one fund-raising effort could make it or break it for the PBTS project and it’s SOOOOO easy to help. You know what’s even more important than YOU clicking online and voting EVERY day in July?  Asking more and more of your friends to vote, too. They can be email friends on the other side of the planet. They don’t need to be in U.P.  Just forward this to them and BEG them to click on every day throughout July. It could sure put a smile on a lot of little kids faces!  That’s enough motivation for me. I have three different computer addresses. I’ll be voting three times every day. How often will YOU vote? (How many friends will you get to vote?) Let’s not pass up this grant!  The kids are worth it.  Thanks!  (Pass the word)

    By the way, if you would like to garden AND do you Green part, there’s a Rain Garden Class set for July 13th from 6 to 8pm at Narrows View Intermediate School.  It’s all about learning how to put your rain water to work supporting your gardening.  Register by calling 460-2505 or email  sbuter@cityofup.com

    OK, I’ve over stayed my welcome but in the next edition of the UNIVERSITY PLACE:  WHAT’S UP?  Blog, we’ll get into the fact that May’s unemployment numbers are a continued improvement and we’ll take a look at what U.P. home prices are doing.  Those two factors go hand-in-hand in determining our recovery from this recession.  By the way, it’s good news!    And maybe,  just maybe, we’ll take a look at that back-in, angle parking on Bridgeport.  I’ve already gotten one query about it and the city is providing a response. So, come back soon and we’ll see what that topic’s all about.  If I don’t catch you before, have a safe July 4th and remember that it’s not just BBQ, beer and fireworks that we’re celebrating.   Be well and God Bless America!

    PAT MADDOCK     

    Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS      3560 Bridgeport Way     University Place, WA  98466      patmaddock@cbbain.com

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    Who is this guy?

    As a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place, Pat Maddock is the former President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS and the 2009 Vice-President of the Washington REALTORS, the statewide trade association of professional members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). He also serves the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce on it’s Board of Directors and he serves the City of University Place on the Economic Development Commission. But most importantly, he’s been a University Place native since 1953. Pat is also a 20-year Air Force veteran. ( And he ain’t runnin’ for nuttin’! )

    You can find Pat at the Bridgeport office of Coldwell Banker Bain.  If you want to know most anything about University Place real estate, talk with someone who knows it, understands it and can explain it !

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    Last evening at the Franciscan facility on Bridgeport Way, a most kind gentleman passed away, once again leaving his rich and unique mark on this community.
    J. Richard McEntee, Dick, as we all knew him, was finally given rest after suffering from lung cancer but that trial represented less than one percent of an extraordinary life  many will recall in the forthcoming weeks when his name comes up again and again.
    A proud Villanova alum, Dick spent the bulk of his working life with Nalleys and then Grace Foods. As their director of Operations, Dick took the local food enterprise to new heights and  landed them on the map as a premium Northwest business.

    Dick could have been called, the number one supporter behind the lady who founded the Washington State March for Life, his late wife, the wonderful Kathy McEntee.  Together, they provided a moral compass for a state struggling with what may well be THEE moral issue of our time.  They did so without wavering, without compromise without any consideration of defeat.  In her absence Dick and daughter Noreen picked up Mom’s gauntlet and there is little doubt the name McEntee will be behind that crusade into the future.

    And that touches upon Dick’s finest contribution, if you asked him.  A proud father of six and an equally loving grandfather to nine.  Those were the reasons he was put here, according to his own words.  This man who left his mark in profound ways on most all he touched throughout a life which literally defined outstanding citizenship, would, when asked, softly reflect on the joy of his own family as the single-most important factor in his noteworthy life. 

    This blog is no obituary or eulogy.  It’s simply a shout from the hilltop.  “Attention! Attention! Take notice of the passing of a remarkable man!”  Dick McEntee gave and he gave and he gave but where he gave us all the most was in simply being that remarkable man. A most honorable character from whom any of us could learn a lesson in life…ANY of us!  

    Always with a sound political sense about him, Dick served more than 40 years ago as a Fircrest City Councilman and later in a number of capacities with the City of University Place, after moving his family to Beckonridge. Dick is also well know to those behind the scenes at the top end of St. Joseph’s Hospital where he served for ten years on their board of directors. He served as the national president of a trade association. He has given leadership to the Knights of Columbus.   He served Governor Booth Gardner on his advisory board for three years and the list goes on…seemingly forever.  But when his political party came to him with hands outstretched, Dick stood tall in running against the state auditor many called untouchable.  The party asked him to take on the Sontag “dynasty” at a time when Brian’s occupancy of that position was seemingly concrete.  Dick’s presence caused Sontag’s party to open the coffers wide and spend to defend their incumbant against this most serious candidate. In fact, when face-to-face with Dick, checkbook in hand, I asked him, “Do you think there’s any hope of a win against him right now?”  I should have known better.  I should have remembered who in the heck I was talking to.  “Patrick, I’m not running to run. I’m running to win! No question about it, my friend.”  I wrote the check.  Why?  Did he ask me to?  No.  Did I believe he could win that year?  Did I believe anyone could unseat State Auditor Sontag?  Nope but I believed in my friend Dick and that’s all that mattered.  He was like that. He inspired confidence.  I had a young friend about to run against a formidable candidate just a few years back. So, I took him to Dick for advice.  Dick really put him on the spot. He grilled him and when my young friend seemed to have passed the McEntee scrutiny, Dick took him and his positions on yet again.  He gave him more than I could have asked him to.  And he planted that seed of McEntee confidence in him and it went on to serve him very well.   The last time I saw Dick as we both served on our respective commissions at the city, he was joking and smiling and that notoriously errant lock of Irish curls was prancing about as if to say, “Do what you can, my friend but don’t take yourself too seriously…life will inevitably prove you wrong.”

    Your life proved to us all that one man can make a difference, Dick.  Your civic life, your faith, your fatherhood taught lessons to those you never even knew you touched.  You shepherded a wonderful family alongside a  wonderful  woman who gave you credit for most every accomplishment of her own remarkable life.  You leave this a better community, a better state for you having been amongst us.  Our sincere thanks go with you, Sir.  Your likes may not soon be seen again.

    “Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened!”