Are you prepared for Christmas Eve?  I’m referring to the tracking of the grand old man. The NORAD Tracks Santa web site is and that features holiday games and activities that change daily.  I suppose there is just a right age to be “wowed” by this show. Not sure what it might be but I do know some “kids” in their 60’s who love to visit the site.  On 12/24 the web site will stream videos captured by NORAD’s Santa Cams from along the jolly old elf’s route.
Beginning that morning at midnight, the website will show Santa preparing his sleigh, checking his list, etc… later, the kids can track him via Google Maps and Google Earth reports.
At 4am MST (no kidding) on Christmas Eve, they begin answering phone calls and emails at Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. The phone number is 877-Hi-NORAD (877-446-6723) or youngsters can send email to
Although they’ve certainly expanded the program since then, NORAD began providing Santa updates back in 1955 when a child dialed a misprinted phone number and reached the NORAD Headquarters near Colorado Springs. That’s the North American Aerospace Defense Command…for the record.
If you are travelling in an OnStar equipped vehicle that evening you simply push the blue OnStar button to get status reports on Santa’s whereabouts.  What will they think of next?
So, do you want to amaze your little ones?  Now you can!

I asked a friend last summer if he ever attended the outdoor concerts at the Curran Orchard and his response was, “Not any more…same old same old, ya know.”  So, I just called him and reminded him of that and told him to solve the problem. Here’s how you can.  Faye Anderson at 565-3754 is the person to contact if you have a band you would like to hear in the park or if there’s a type of music you would prefer or even if you are in a band and want to be considered for performance.  We can sit and bitch or we can promote change.  Speak now or forever…you know the rest.

Are you ready for Christmas?  Are you ready for a safe Christmas?  Our friends at the fire station remind us… Recycle wrapping paper – Don’t burn it in the fireplace…  Keep the lit candles up high and away from kids and pets…  When there’s something cooking on the stovetop make sure the cook is there, too…   Smoke outdoors…  Keep matches and lighters up high and locked away…  Don’t overload outlets… Extension cords can not only be a tripping hazard but a fire hazard, too when we start walking on them…  Oh, one more comment about those candles…not too close to decorations!  Common sense goes a long, long way toward a safe holiday.

With the recent passing of Council Member Jean Brooks, the city is seeking an applicant to fill Position #7.  Completed application packets will be accepted at the city until January 8th.  For more information, visit the city web site

By the way, do you have a neighbor who might be alone this week?  The holidays can be a real depressing event for some.  Maybe a knock on the door from you and a brief visit could make a difference.  And when the temperature drops, are you thinking about neighbors who might not be fending well for themselves, perhaps the elderly, perhaps the not-so-able?  You know it feels good to help.  Winter calls for more than the usual amount of that.Well, it’s Monday afternoon and there’s one more gift I need to buy, a few yet to wrap and a bird to thaw.  But I also must remember that it’s a challenging Christmas for many families around us.  Unemployment is high and a lot of businesses just don’t know how they will make it into next year.  Our country’s economy hasn’t seen the likes of this in many, many years but to heck with the big picture…think about YOUR neighbors.  Who might need a hand or even an invite? Perhaps a meal?  What’s your part in making this Christmas in University Place a good one?  Maybe a knock on the door down the street just to check and see how things are.  The good Lord knows we would appreciate it, if the shoe was on the other foot!  Living in U.P. IS different.  It IS special and along with all that we enjoy here, I suppose some little bit of extra effort on our part might be appropriate, as well, in terms of “giving back”.  There ARE neighbors in need, here.  Perhaps you are the one who can make that little bit of difference to restore their faith, lift their spirits and make them feel good about themselves again.  How?  Just extend your hand, ask what’s needed, keep them in your prayers, maybe invite them over for a warm cup and in the end, eye to eye, wish them a sincere Merry Christmas. You just might be surprised at how much it is appreciated.


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


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 a current 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.