Category: Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce


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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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.

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voteIt certainly was worth being there!  The City Council Candidate’s Forum hosted this last week by the University Place-Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, that is. Somewhere close to 100 attended, not counting the eight participants on-stage who spoke up, one and all. I’m just glad it’s being broadcast on UPTV so more of our citizens can benefit from it.

Well, you can’t walk away from an evening like that without opinions. So, here is my take:
Position #5 Candidate Denise McCluskey– She may be one of the two extraordinarily intelligent people running for the council. It was nice to see Denice speak up and express her positions, loudly, clearly and lucidly. I can’t agree with them all but she’s a very sharp lady and it was good to see her speak up! If elected, she would not hurt our city.
Position #5 Candidate Rose Ehart – (Say it’s broke whether it is or not, if that’s the popular thing to do.  If you say it’s broke and you offer to deliver change, you’re the winner.) Well, Rose WILL be the winner next month and perhaps she will try to change what ain’t broke but that disruptive behavior can be a net loss not gain to the council. Rose is a sharp lady who obviously gives a damn and that’s great. She’ll be the winner in November. I hope she can be a constructive team member. If she can, we’ll all benefit.
 

Position #4 Incumbant Ken Grassi – If I’ve ever heard a candidate for public office speak from the heart this guy is it! Sincerity, from the moment he opens his mouth to the last thought he shares but that’s what you’ve seen from him on the council for years. Grassi sincerely works to represent his neighbors and make the city a better place and we can’t thank people like Ken enough. This week his thoughts were clear, honest, INFORMED and smart. Retain Ken Grassi!
Postition #4 Carl Mollnow– Sir, I didn’t stand up to run but you did. So, I owe you a sincere thank you and there you have it.  Now,  according to Mr. Mollnow, everything is broken. City government is staffed by liars and he has all the answers. Bombastic! And damned well in love with his own name. Sir, I would politely submit that a lesson to be learned is the skill to know when the crowd is laughing WITH you and when they are laughing AT you.
 

Position #3 – Incumbant Lorna Smith, pandering to the chamber members in the audience might SEEM to be the way to get votes but to stand by your convictions is a much, much better one. You HAVE convictions! You HAVE been the fly in the ointment for years on the council and frankly, I would submit that’s needed! Stick by your guns, Lady.  Tell us what you think.  It won’t always be in the majority but stirring up the waters can be a good thing. Especially when you do the research to be informed and you truly believe in what you do. That’s your game…stick to it!
Position #3 – Candidate Eric Chioniere,Very good “on his feet”. Excellent stage presence. The substance was rhetoric, a bit thin and repetitive. Eric COULD serve the city well. I have no doubt about that. However, anyone who wants to use the city job as a stepping stone to bigger things (State Legislature) doesn’t necessarily deserve to sit on the city council. Try this out for size – The U.P. City Council is important enough to be the end goal!
 

Position #1 Candidate Javier Figueroa– Calm, cool, collected… but that sells deodorant. Mr Figueroa spoke gently and with an ever-present smile and then what would come out was…well, my old Irish Father used to call it “malarkey”.  Sir, you are misinformed and that misinformation WILL do the city harm.
Position #1 – Incumbant Linda Bird,  Wow! She saw through the bull and called it! This lady has proven to us for a decade and a half that the city is in caring, intelligent hands and this week she showed the true backbone that a leader needs to have when confronted with a disservice to her people. Throughout the night, she was THEE most well informed individual on stage, conceptually, statistically, programmatically and after demonstrating that over and over again, she took a stance that “malarkey”, exaggeration and misinformation was not welcome in University Place government. As they say, “You go girl”!

It was a good night for University Place. Some races became very, very clear. If you were not there, do catch it on UPTV and as you watch, ask yourself a question, “If the Town Center really isn’t broken, why do I want to vote for this person?” I’m not kidding. If the Town Center is as on-track as it can be in this crappy economy, then why do I want to vote for this candidate? Remember that the library was planning new digs anyway. Remember that Stortini’s was planning to move anyway. And as Linda Bird did at the forum, let’s make sure this record is straight, the land on which the current city offices sit IS more valuable than 2nd and 3rd story office space in the new civic building. So, we SHOULD move the city offices and sell off the Windmill Village space to commercial development.

The EASY way out is to chant, “The city is broken because Town Center isn’t done!” Oh, give it a break and stop listening to the nay sayers. Do your research and find out what has really gone on there and why. Find out what IS really going on there and why and if you don’t, then to vote for those who insist we must change the city council because the Town Center isn’t finished, well… Oh, I know what word to use … MALARKEY!

libraryHave you heard what’s going on at the Library?  Well, it may be a good thing but it’s got me riled a bit.  If a Pierce County Library patron racks up some $700 in late fees and the library wants to establish an amnesty week so they can get all of those books back, I suppose that’s one way of making it happen. 

How about this other way. Call the cops! 

cuffsThat wonderful library patron, shown smiling on the front page of the Saturday  Tribune deserves a back seat ride to the pokie!  That’s right. Arrest her.  It’s called THEFT! 

I have a library card and I know that allows me to take out a book FOR A PERIOD OF TIME.  Well, why can’t I just keep it for as long as I want, like” Little Miss $700 Fine”, there?  Because somebody else has an equal right to that book and I’m keeping it from them. That’s why.  Yes, my taxes paid, in part, for that book to be on the shelf at the library but….Hey, wait a minute!  That’s right.  It belongs on the Library shelf not mine. If I can’t play by the rules…take me for a ride and by the way, take my card away from me, too! 

Forgive the fines? No way.  You’re a government entity. Put a lien on their house!  Yes, yes, yes I know. They’re just public library books but guess what?  YOU are that public.  They are YOUR  books.  Would you like to check them out so you or your youngsters can read the books you paid for?  Nope. You can’t.  ‘Cause Little Miss $700….oh, you’ve got the picture.

CPR Instruction, Sat 10/17, 9 am to 5 pm.  Advanced registrationCPR and payment is required.  564-1623 for more info.  Hey, don’t put it off. If they don’t have enough students registered in advance, they’ll cancel.  The next class at the Fire Department doesn’t happen until December 19th.

 

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 with details from public information. SOLD:  2542 Locust Ave W.  When this home first appeared on the market, I remember saying, “Oh, that baby is SOLD!”  Why?  Was it under priced, the deal of the decade?  Nope.  It had less than 2,000 finished square feet but was listed at morrison$329,500….not underpriced.  Was it the superb location?  Well, yes in that it’s in University Place, the city and the school district but the location?  Well, no. It’s in what we often refer to as “Old U.P.”  Off 25th and Locust.  That’s a fine neighborhood but by no means the most sought after part of U.P.  So, why did I consider it a home that would pop immediately?  Eye candy, baby, eye candy!  From one end to the other, the interior was loaded with beautiful hardwoods, floors, cabinetry, millwork and more…it was all so rich and warm.  Now let me set the record straight.  I called them hardwoods but they aren’t.  Most readers wouldn’t understand if I said they were beautiful softwoods.  Simply put, the home is loaded with vertical grain Fir.  Fir is a softwood unlike Oak, a hardwood.  Is it appropriate for these uses>  Oh, heck yes.  Many of the century old homes in town have hardwood flooring on the main floors but fir upstairs and (where it hasn’t been painted over) it still looks great.  This home is a piece of classic 1910 architecture with a remodeled interior that shouts 2000!  It shines.  I don’t mean to be demeaning when I say “eye candy”.  I simply am referring to the myriad of wonderful finishings and appointments that can make a home’s interior so pleasing to the eye.  This one has it, in spades!  So, the list price of $329,500 brought a $318,000 deal in just eleven days.  Honestly, I would have held out for more. THAT’S how fantastic this home looks!  And if I teach nothing else today about real estate reality…looks can make all the difference!

In last week’s blog I talked about a market analysis in this edition but the candidate’s forum ate up all my time and space.  It certainly was worth it.  We WILL do that market update and let’s look for that at the end of this week…OK?

Looks like the weather is about to warm back up again.  Get out and enjoy while you still can.  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

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.

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U.P. City Council Election

Candidates Forum

   We are a little over a month away from the second most significant election in the history of our young city and I promised back in June that I would run the candidate statement again.  So, now is about time.  Additionally, this week, you have an opportunity to hear it directly from the candidates themselves as the Universtiy Place -Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a live candidates forum.  Wednesday evening (9/30) from 6:30 to 8:30pm in the Curtis High School Auditorim you’ll have a chance to listen to all of the candidates who attend. They’ve all been invited.  It’s a structured interview with question not known to the candidates in advance and hence, and opportunity for our citizens to hear live, what these people’s positions are on some of the real issues of the day in our city.  As it’s the Chamber hosting, I would expect a bent toward business related issues in U.P.  It should be a very informative evening and you are certainly invited.

I should add that the event is graciously sponsored  (Yes. There Are expenses but thanks to the sponsors, the doors will be wide open…)

                                         Johnson, Stone & Pagano, PS.

Sterling Savings Bank

Merrill Gardens at Tacoma

Heartwarming Care

and finally

Yeager Associates, Land Use and Planning.

  Well, a promise is a promise.  So, here, once again, are the unedited statements provided by our candidates just a couple of months ago.  Two declared candidates did not meet the same requirements all of the others did in submitting their photos and statement.  So, those candidates are not represented herein.  Subsequently, one of them lost out in the August primary election for position one.  The other candidate not represented herein  is opposing incumbant Ken Grassi.

Postion #1:  Linda Bird– incumbent,  Javier Figueroa– challenger

Position #3 :  Eric Choiniere – challenger, Lorna Smith– incumbent.

Position #4:  Ken Grassi– incumbent, Carl Mollnow – challenger

Position #5:  Denise McClusky and Rose Ehart are both vying for the seat vacated by retiring Councilmember Stand Fleming.

[  The following are solicited campaign statements furnished by the candidates.  The author of this blog, through inclusion, neither endorses nor represents as true, the statements made herein. ]

bird5LINDA BIRD: Promises Made—Promises Kept
We moved to Pierce County in 1974 when my husband was assigned to Ft. Lewis. We fell in love with the area and decided to stay. Twenty-six years ago, we moved to University Place because it was the best place for our children to grow and thrive.

When I realized how poorly managed growth and increasing crime were destroying the things I valued most about the community, I became an activist for better zoning and public safety and parks. In 1994 managed the successful “Citizens for Incorporation” campaign.

For fourteen years I have worked for you on the University Place City Council. I try to listen to your concerns and make the most balanced, sensible, responsible decisions I can. I want to serve you with integrity, fairness, and a sense of purpose.

I delivered on my promise to:
• Provide transparent and accessible city government
• Improve public safety,
• Maintain a balanced budget & a lean, efficient city government
• Support sensible land use planning
• Build sidewalks, and develop parks

Get Town Center moving forward.

I am excited about our future and the opportunities before us. With
opportunities come challenges. We need leaders who bring people
together to tackle the problems we face; who listen to the entire
community, and reject special interest politics. I have a “track
record” of doing just that. I appreciate your support and ask for your vote.—Mayor Linda Bird
More Information at http://www.re-electlindabird.com

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javierfigueroaphotoJAVIER FIGUEROA:  Javier Figueroa, a community leader and real estate development consultant, has announced his candidacy for University Place City Council. Figueroa is seeking election to position #1. Figueroa’s diverse background and 25 years of experience in forensic real estate contract management and property development will bring a fresh attitude and understanding to resolving the development and financial issues the City of University Place is currently facing. He is committed to making sure city government is transparent and accountable to the citizens of University Place.
Figueroa’s experience in the real estate field encompasses the specialized fields of contract management, sales, development, appraising, project management, environmental issues, and property rights. He is nationally & internationally recognized for his expertise in real estate negotiations, public right-of-ways, and financing of energy efficiency.
Deeply committed to the community, Figueroa has volunteered in a variety of community programs, from being a University Place Parks Commissioner to a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for the Pierce County Juvenile Court System, and from being a board member for The Grand Cinema to currently serving 15 years as a certified arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau of Washington.
Javier has lived in Pierce County for 32 years. In 1991, he moved to University Place. He has been married to his wife, Mary Kay, for 27 years and has four children. Contact: Javier Figueroa , Real Property Development & Project Management javfig@comcast.net Mobile: 253.226.3927

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lorna1LORNA SMITH:  I chose to move to University Place in 1978 because it was a community that had the desirable elements that I was seeking, such as open space, housing areas with lots of trees, wonderful views, quality schools, family and church oriented, involved and caring citizens, and a friendly and affordable business climate. I wanted to preserve these great qualities and became an involved citizen as well; first through the Chamber of Commerce as a small business owner, serving as Gov. Affairs Chair and as President; also a member of the Piece County Advisory Commission for UP on land use issues; a Fire Commissioner; founder and first chair of UP Community Council which brought incorporation to our city.
 
My vote for incorporation was to preserve those desirable qualities that led me to move here 31 years ago. I have served on your city council for 14 years with the goal of enhancing and preserving the character of our community. I have been an advocate for public safety, parks and open space, a positive business climate and reducing costs while maximizing results for our citizens.
 
I am now concerned, as many of our citizens are, with the direction of our city as I feel it is drifting away from some of the vision and values of our community. Often, in opposition to the majority of the city council, I have questioned, spoken out and voted against some of the proposals brought forward to the council by our city manager which I felt would have a negative impact to our community.
 
To help improve this situation, I feel it is critical to have more open communication and involvement of our citizens. The council needs to resume neighborhood meetings, listening and considering voiced concerns. We also need to have staff that understands our vision and is capable of managing it well.
 
With your support, I will continue to be your advocate on the city council to preserve the values of our great community.  LornaSmith37@yahoo.com
To reach Council member Lorna Smith, call 460-0910.
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ericERIC CHOINIERE: Last year, many of us in our community stepped up to help change the way our government works. We were volunteers as phone callers, door knockers, vote registers & donated to campaigns for the first time ever. We were part of the process to bring change in the United States. We worked extremely hard to make this dream a reality.
We have been constantly reminded that change starts from the ground up. In 2009, our city has its own unique challenges & has the opportunity to bring representation to everyone in University Place.
We are a proud community with a strong spirit of togetherness. We need to keep this same spirit while at the same time, include 21st century ideas for everyone in University Place. With our current limited budget in University Place, I want to make sure we have all of the tools to do the job right for the first and last time. My main priority goals are:
  • Complete Town Center
  • Attract new business into University Place
  • Re-invest new revenue created by the new businesses into community programs from youth & seniors
  • Represent ALL residents of University Place
  • Create more open dialog with our community

I know I am ready for the task to represent the community on the University Place City Council & if you give me the privilege to hold this office, I will work for everyone in our city. With your help, we will bring new ideas & better solutions to everyone in University Place.                    New Ideas…Better Solutions!

To reach Eric Choiniere: Phone 253-273-8351 

Email: ericforup@gmail.com / www.ericforup.com

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kenKEN GRASSI:  HAVING BEEN ELECTED TO SERVE ON THE UNIVERSITY PLACE CITY COUNCIL HAS BEEN ONE OF THE GREATEST EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE TIME. I AM OFTEN ASKED IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER , WOULD I? YES! I ENJOY EVERY ASPECT OF THE JOB, AND FIND IT BOTH VERY CHALLENGING AND REWARDING AT THE SAME TIME.

ALTHOUGH MISTAKES HAVE BEEN MADE OVER THE YEARS, IT’S WONDERFUL TO SEE U.P. CHANGE AND GROW AND KNOW YOU HAD A SMALL PART IN THAT PROCESS. ONE OF THE PROJECTS I HAVE ENJOYED THE MOST IS STARTING THE CITY BEAUTIFICATION PROGRAM. WHAT STARTED  WITH A CHALLENGE TO RAISE THE MONEY IF I WANTED TO SEE FLOWER BASKETS LINE OUR STREETS,   HAS RESULTED IN OVER 150 BASKETS ANNUALLY PAID FOR ENTIRELY BY COMMUNITY DONATIONS. IN ADDITION OUR PATRON OF BEAUTIFICATION PROGRAM HAS RAISED THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS TO PAY FOR OUR CITY CLOCK, TRASH CANS, BIKE RACKS, CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS, AND OVER 60,000 DAFFODILS TO DATE. WE HAVE  VERY GENEROUS CITIZENS WHO GIVE OF BOTH TIME AND TALENT IN VOLUNTEER EFFORTS, AND OF THEIR RESOURCES.          

                   
I CONSIDER MYSELF A CONSERVATIVE VOICE ON THE COUNCIL, WHO TRULY CARES ABOUT CITIZEN CONCERNS. I BELIEVE CITY GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE RUN LIKE A BUSINESS, WITH A BALANCED BUDGET AND RESERVES FOR THE RAINY SEASONS. I AM ENCOURAGED THAT OUR LONG AWAITED TOWN CENTER IS VERY CLOSE TO BECOMING A REALITY WITH RETAIL AND RESTAURANTS. THE NEXT 4 YEARS ARE GOING TO BE CRITICAL FOR THE CITY AS WE TRULY SHAPE THE FUTURE AND DIRECTION OF OUR DOWNTOWN. I AM READY AND WILLING TO SERVE TO ENSURE THAT ALL VOICES IN OUR COMMUNITY ARE BOTH HEARD AND RESPECTED.  SINCERELY, KEN GRASSI.    To reach Council Member Grassi, contact him at grassisfg@aol.com  

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rose_ehart_photo11ROSE EHART:   I love this city and have invested in making it better. My husband and I chose to start our family here and are proud to call home. But lately there have been too many bad decisions, from poor city planning, to turning a deaf ear to the voice of the people. Things in our city are at a standstill. We need some new blood and fresh, creative ideas to bring things back to life.

Why me? What’s my experience? My father, an Army veteran turned businessman and my mother raised me to think creatively. So at 18, I started my first business and then went into real estate sales and property management in my early 20’s. I’m running in part because of poor decisions with our real estate.

 Look at the TOWN CENTER. That dream has been languishing for years. A completed Town Center will boost our economy, create local jobs, attract new businesses, and reduce our personal taxes, just as we were promised. Instead, we’re on developer #4 after paying $1.75million to developer #3.

Remember why we became a city? We had no voice as an unincorporated area, and things we needed weren’t getting done. Well, it’s not been long, and once again, things are no longer getting done. We need leaders who can see beyond the immediate. I will honor my community by doing just that. Please give me that privilege by voting for me on November 3rd, because I am a prudent voice of change. Thank you.   

Rose Ehart can be contacted at:  The People for Rose Ehart, PO Box 65312, University Place, WA  98464  www.RoseEhart.org   253-564-8058

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mccluskeyDENISE McCLUSKEY:  As your newly elected University Place City Council Member, I will serve your needs with over 17 years of local volunteer community service and regional management experience.  I will make a commitment to ensure and protect the public process.  I will support community input in order to build the relationships that will improve transportation accessibility, protection of community assets and ensure financial stability for future generations.  The outcome of my leadership will include enhanced public trust and fiscal accountability. We have had substantial growth.  It is time to transition towards a steady state that provides reflective and responsible planning to ensure economic stability of all city services and businesses while sustaining UPs natural beauty in accordance with the city’s adopted comprehensive plan.   For more about my candidacy, please, either give me a call at 253-678-1520 or visit my website at www.denisemccluskey.com

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     It’s great that motivated citizens think enough of the future of our city to stand up and offer to dedicate themselves to years of what amounts to a very substantive commitment.  Again, our thanks to those of you who have. 

   Now, Pat’s harangue.  I’ve lived in countries where the people don’t enjoy the myriad of choices we have. Not even close. I’ve lived in countries where they guard their right to vote like life itself and I’ve lived in a country where too many citizens take for granted what others  don’t have.  You and I live there now.  The staggering statistics of this last Presidential election tell the tale, well.  We set records for voter turnout. Never before in American had that many of our eligible voters cast their ballots but of course, it was a controversial,  certainly a celebrity event  and the ballot held a number of “firsts”, factors we had never seen before. So, turnout was indeed record setting. Given that, let’s understand that the highest ever voter turnout still left 38% of eligible voters just sitting on their hands. More than 81 million eligible Americans chose not to vote.  I don’t know about you but I find that absolutely staggering!vote-smart1

As you put up a Rose Ehart or a Denise McCluskey sign in your front yard, your neighbor won’t be putting up a sign which reads “I’m not registered to vote” but understand that millions of Americans are not. I’m not going to moan on about why you should. If you can’t figure that out, I suppose I don’t WANT you to vote!  Instead, I’ll just remind you how to: 

1.) Must be a U.S. citizen 

 2.) Must be 18 years old by the date of the election 

3.)  To register here you must be a resident of Pierce County or just go register where you ARE a resident or you can even change your legal residence to Pierce County.  It is a land of choices!

4.) You must not be a convicted felon. 

Then surf on over to http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/pc/abtus/ourorg/aud/Elections/REG2VOTE.htm  Complete the Mail-in Voter Registration Form and do so at least 30 days before the upcoming election.  Then sit back and wait for the mail to bring you a voter registration card and when the election approaches, in that same mailbox you’ll receive your ballot.

 NOVEMBER 3rd is the General Election. So, your voter registration MUST be in to the Pierce County Auditor by THIS FRIDAY, October 2nd!! 

   So, Wednesday night, September 30th from 6:30 – 8:30pm in the Curtis High School Auditorium…the Chamber of Commerce U.P. Candidates Forum.  With this slate of clients, I guarantee it won’t be boring!  See you there.

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 with details from public information. SOLD:  3904 80th Ave West.Gibson  Here’s an example of something we discussed before herein and something else which seems to be “afoot”.  We’ve got a lovely residence in a highly sought after area that’s priced right and so why shouldn’t it sell for close to the asking price in a timely manner?  Well, because so many others over the past two years have NOT been.  The market has been challenging, to say the least.  Yet, here is a good example of how accurate pricing can make all the difference.  This 1,800 square foot, 3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath 1989 home earned a sale after just 19 days on the market and with a list price of $299, they took $297,500.  Sweet!  I love to see a fair and balanced sale. That is one where the buyer gets the value he is purchasing while the seller gets the value he’s maintained.  I should note that this home was NOT plagued with the stumbling block so many University Place homes have to deal with.  It was NOT a dated interior.  When you walked into that kitchen it looked just like a kitchen would look in a brand new home of this price range.  The old, dark, dated kitchens which blanket the -60’s, ’70’s and early ’80’s developments across U.P. stop buyers in their tracks.  The only time they are NOT problematic is when the price of the home is reduced to represent a value somewhat less than the home’s potential value, less the cost of updating.  Did you notice I said it’s when the home price is reduced to a value SOMEWHAT LESS than that.  Why?  Why not just the potential value of the home less updating costs?  Because the competition, this home for one, offer homes that are ready to go or “turnkey” as we say in the business.  They are homes where most buyers can move right in and maybe adjust a couple of things later but there are no current NEEDS such as an outdated, worn interior.  Think about a turnkey home priced at $300K.  Now compare it to the identical home on an equally attractive lot but where the interior dates back to the late ’70’s.  You know, chocolate brown millwork, cabinetry and “colorfully” patterned vinyl, aluminum framed windows… a GREAT HOME…no doubt, just dated, worn for a couple of decades or more. How much would we have to take off that $300K price to get the dated one to be the choice of the two.  Well, if it would cost $15K to remake the kitchen, $3K for each of two bathrooms and, let’s say it’s $10K to replace the windows with white vinyl window.  That’s a cost of $31K (and No, don’t quote this rough example for your own planning purposes).  The point is, if this home is on the market for $269K, the $300K home will sell first.  Why?  Because the work is done!  There is no risk of surprise when you open a wall or remove a sink.  I’m referring to “remodelling surprises”, you know, the ones that double the original estimate due to interior water damage you  had no clue was right there in the wall and extending under the floor, etc.  You’ve got the picture.  The point is this.  An updated home will always sell first before the same home in need of updating unless the second home is priced to a discount beyond the cost of remodelling.

I made reference above to another reason this home sold for nearly the list price in less than three weeks on the market and we’ll talk about it extensively in the next edition of this blog.  What is happening to the home sale market, right now?  Are there significant changes afoot?  Is the market changing drastically?  Is the inventory down, hence, the competition? How are prices? Number of recent sales and just what ARE the current trends?  What are the other economic indicators with direct bearing on our marketplace?  If we know the answers to those questions, we probably have a pretty good idea of where we are going in the near term future.  Why would I address all of that for you?  Because so many of you have made it clear to me that you are waiting for the market to turn before putting your homes up for sale.  Is it time? 

Watch for the next edition of “University Place:  What’s UP?” 

Until then, 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

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.

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I just asked my grandson Evan (Brand new 3rd grader at Chambers… that would be Mrs. Geren’s class) I asked him, “What should I write about today in the blog?” and Evan answered, “Write about how I whipped you at Wii Baseball”.

IMG_2092OK, on now to the next grandson. “Hey, Ethan, (Another brand new 3rd grader at Chambers, Mrs Lawrence’s class) what do YOU think I should write about?” “Evan’s girlfriend!”
Well, so much for asking the twins for guidance!

How about a brief look at the U.P. calender, first…

CURRAN APPLE ORCHARD CIDER SQUEEZE is coming up this Saturday, Sept. 13th from 1 to 4pm.  It’s one of the most unique public events of the year in U.P.  Don’t miss it.  I can taste that fresh squeezed cider right now!  Can’t wait.

By the way, the afternoon before, Friday, Sept. 12th IN the Curran house at the orchard, the University Place Historic Society is inviting you to drop by and share your opinion about the future use of the Curran home.  You see, there are some very divided opinions around town about the structure’s future and the society would like as many folks to weigh in, as possible.  They doors will be open Friday afternoon from 1-4pm. 

Don’t forget the PUBLIC HEARING, September 28th from 7 to 8pm in the Town Hall meeting room being held to get your opinions about the PROPOSED RATE INCREASE likely headed our way FROM THE TWO REFUSE DISPOSAL COMPANIES  serving U.P.  If you want a look at the proposed changes which involve more than just rate increases, you can stop by the City Clerk’s office where, I believe, those proposals are now posted.  Am I saying they should or shouldn’t increase our rates?  Nope.  I’m saying, if you care about it, stick your nose in and find out.  Then perhaps you WILL want to give public comment.  And if you don’t, as they say, …forever hold your peace!

FLAG FOOTBALLRegistration is almost here. Early bird registration: Sept 9th.  Final registration deadline: Sept 16th.  Divisions: 1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, and 5th/6th.  It’s a recreational league focusing on participation andHAVING FUN!  This is a non-tackle, pass only league with emphasis on teamwork, participation and sportsmanship.  They are seeking volunteer coaches and officials.  If you’re interested contact Brason Alexander 460-5432 or at balexander@cityofup.com 

You know our Parks and Rec also runs an INDOOR SOCCER program that operates in the same way. It’s not so much a competitive environment as it is an educational one. In fact, the city refers to both programs as Instructional.   While the flag football eligibility is 1st through 5th grade, Indoor Soccer is open to 4 year olds up through the 4thgrade.  The same registration information applies to both sports and the FEES for soccer and/or football are: Early Bird: $55 resident, $60 for non-residents.  Then before the final deadline it’s $65 for residents and $70 for non-residents.

Guess where I was this week?  Not in the mood for games?  OK How about on top of what is becoming the new municipal building housing the University Place Library and the U.P. City offices.market square   The Board of Directors of your localUniversity Place-Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce climbed up to have a first hand look at the plan in progress.  So, it seems like a good opportunity to set the record straight on a few topics related to the new University Place Town Center.  It’s a given that a LOT of misinformation is widely circulating around town and it’s important to get it straight. So, lets…

FACT:  When you hear “UP Center” know that it’s a plan covering about 90 acres from 35th to 40th and approximately Bridgeport to Drexler.   It exceeds those boundaries in a number of locales but that’s about it.   Town Center is really the under-development 18 acre portion of that from 35th Street to Homestead Park.

FACT:  There is a plan to relocate the U.P. Police to the east side of Town Center, thereby freeing up all of the current Public Safety building for the U.P. Fire Department.  That also gives the police more space (Double what they have now) and besides, we can’t expect them to trounce each other annually in the Hogs & Hoser’s game and still live together!

FACT:  There will eventually be some 550 parking stalls throughout Town Center, more than 100 have already been funded by federal funds supporting public transit.

FACT:  Town Center is NOT Market Square and vice versa.  While Town Center is the overall development, itself, Market Square is the public area between the west side of the new municipal building and Bridgeport Way. It already encompasses the outdoor fireplace (No kidding, I felt the flame) the fountain (I resisted), the site for the Christmas Tree (That’s what’s great about a blog.  I don’t have to be a pansy and call it a “holiday tree”.  It’s always been a Christmas Tree. It IS a Christmas Tree and it will always be a Christmas Tree.  Political correctness be damned!  It’s CHRISTMAS, not a shopping holiday genericized for the good of all beliefs….sheesh!).  OK, back on track, now.  Also in Market Square, tons of crushed granite. I thought it was concrete I was walking on. Then I saw it kind of crumbling and I wondered what was wrong. Not a thing. It’s all crushed granite and it’s sooo very smart!  A bunch of room for a lot of outdoor tables and chairs, more parking, etc.  A neat public gathering spot.  I saw one like it in a new development in Centennial,  Colorado, last year and it was the most brilliant thing!  I was eating in a restaurant next to it. This is all near Aurora, Colorado and the Southland Mall.   They had the windows open and we were enjoying a public open air concert as we ate our dinner and watched the hundreds of folks in THEIR Market Square, enjoying THEIR dinners, THEIR concert, each other and all-in-all, the heart of THEIR city but in a number of restaurants and other businesses ringing that square, we were ALL enjoying it.  It really was very, very cool.  So, I am a BIG supporter of this design  we’ve got because I’ve seen it come alive.  towncenterI’ve seen the space and the public use of it actually pull a community together.  This is very forward thinking and my hat is off to the planners!

FACT:  Don’t believe the nay sayers. Stortini’s wasn’t kicked out of the Windmill Village. In fact, if that restaurant wanted to be there still, they could be.  It was THEIR decision to go.  Joe and the family sold out to other owners. THEN the other owners announced their plans to relocate to Puyallup. THEN the city developed the Town Center plan and the space where the restaurant was, is still sitting there available.  As I said, if they wanted to, they could still be serving spaghetti on Bridgeport.  Don’t believe rumors.

FACT:  The commercial REALTORS working the project ARE currently courting what is referred to as an “Anchor” Business, one which brings traffic, specifically foot traffic, to a location.  Why?  Because that brings patrons for neighboring businesses. So, once the anchor business is signed, watch the others follow.  As of this month, they are somewhere around 90% sure they have an anchor business prepared to buy, develop and build and that anchor will be a state-of-the-art movie theater complex.  But as with any business in this economy, theater attendance is down and major chains are not yet expanding. So, we have patience. We have no control over it. It’s bigger than all of us.  It’s that simple.  For the past couple of years the businesses we would want in Town Center have been very frugal with expansion.  They are not ready yet.  It’s all dependent upon the economy but watch for it!  All of the preparatory development work already accomplished make the UP Town Center more and more attractive to a lot of businesses.  But again, the economy has the final word. So, we wait, like everybody else.

FACT:  Here’s another rumor you can flush down the old…    Town Center has the city’s bond rating  in the dump.  Ha! Nothing could be further from the truth.  Just this last month, “the big boys” all rated U.P’s bonding at A+.  You don’t get any better!  There are many reasons for that but credit our current governmental leadership with the win!  Not bad, folks. Not bad at all.  Oh, by the way, the City also has more than $4M in strategic reserves.  The next time one of these knucklehead candidates for city council refers to the city as broke, ask them about those facts.  Surplus of strategic reserves and an A+ S&P bond rating.  The neighboring cities jealous of both can line up at the door!

FACT:  Did you know that plans were underway to answer the need for library expansion even before the Town Center plan was developed.  The new library will “rock” and it’s only about a year away.  “But, but, but…the city got rid of a perfectly good library”  Oh, puhleeze.  The Pierce County library system was looking for a way to get more space and to make it all state-of-the-art. The city gave it to them!  And by the way, what a very nice visibleplace that will be for a library, right in the heart of the biggest draw in the area, in an absolutely featured location with TONS more room and amenities than they had or they likely could have afforded without outside assistance. 

FACT: (Here’s my favorite) ” The city paid off $1.75M to make a developer go away.”   ARRRRGGGHHHH!  I feel like a Charlie Brown cartoon.  If we are going to flap our gums about it, let’s get it straight. The city DID dish out about $1.75M to a developer in this way… At one point, the city reimbursed a developer’s earnest money, purchased architectural drawings and engineering plans (the building of which is underway) and then he went away and we were able to move forward to where we are today.  Good move.  He and his subcontractors got some good things accomplished but couldn’t get us where we wanted to go. So, we got what was good from it and moved on.  Good move.  That’s commercial development.  The biggest stumbling block to the development of  Town Center is very, very clearly the national economy and the resultant “stinginess” on the part of commercial entities in reference to new expansion.  A number of retail companies are certainly interested in Town Center but most are sitting on their hands waiting for the national economy to turn. It’s the only safe way to do business right now.  Does ANYBODY in this town or anyone we might hire have control over that?  Well, if you think so…   Oh, be nice, now, Pat.CityofUP_logo

You can tell that the nay sayers frustrate me because they DON’T get the facts straight.  They think the Town Center should be complete, operational and a thriving success by now.  Get real.  Wishing shall not make it so.  Talk to any commercial REALTOR today and you are talking to a desperate character!  As a Vice President of the statewide association of REALTORS,  I work across the table from one of their key leaders and she just rolls her eyes every time the topic comes up.  She points out how far into the mire our commercial market has sunk. That has a direct impact on the U.P. Town Center.  So, we stay the course. Trust in our leadership as they continue to earn federal and state grants, No I didn’t say loans, GRANTS  in the MILLIONS of dollors to make the very effective dream of this city reach reality.  I have no doubt that it will but then I’m one of those positive thinkers who believes the housing market will turn around, too…and it will.

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 with details from public information. SOLD: 290911148715 61st St W  Here’s yet another example of how, if you price the property accurately, even in THIS market, it will sell in a timely manner.  The old real estate adage, “There’s a right price for every home.” is, while obvious, also absolutely correct.  This 4 Bedroom, 2.75 Bath, 1978 home first appeared on the market with an asking price of $269,500 and they must have asked nicely because the 2,300 square foot Woodlake home took a $260,000 offer in  just 25 days!  They could have asked $300K for it and we would probably be reading about it’s sale oh, somewhere around December but only after they had dropped it to about $250K.  That’s the way it works!  So,it’s nice to see it work the RIGHT way.  Congratulations!

By the way, if you’ve been wondering about that $8,000 tax credityou’ve been hearing is available for buying a home, just check out last week’s blog, issued 8/30/09 and watch the brief video I included there.  It really does tell the story quite clearly.

As always, if you have questions about real estate, perhaps you’re wondering what your home would bring on the market or maybe it’s time to get that family home ready for when the market turns. Well, let’s talk.  It would be my pleasure to provide an analysis for you to help you plan accordingly and then you can press on, heading for the day you put it on the market WITH an accurate understanding of what it will take to earn top dollar and just what that top dollar should be. I’ve been around U.P. since 1953 and I’ve sold a lot of homes in this town.  It’s always a pleasure to help another neighbor!

Well, dry out and we’ll see you again at the end of the week. 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

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.

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I can’t believe it!  Today is only August 27.  AUGUST 27TH!!!  The kids aren’t even back in school, yet!  What is the matter with some people?!?  They already have Halloween candy on the store shelves!!!
My wife came home with candy corn and those little candy pumpkins today.  Now, don’t get me wrong. I do have a sweet tooth and I have been nibbling but August 27th?!?  You’ve GOT to be kidding.  Labor Day will probably bring sales on canned pumpkin!halloween candy
By Columbus Day, we’ll likely see Christmas Decorations!
Thanksgiving will probably unveil the St Paddy’s Day…oh, well, now, THAT’S ok. I mean St Paddy’s Day, after all.  It IS thee most important holiday of the year, after all!  So, you can put that stuff out ANY time. In fact, I think it’s runnin’ a little behind schedule, now.
But Halloween candy in August…sheesh!

Hey, you know what your local division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Vote SmartChamber of Commerce is going to do?  They are hosting Candidate Forums for both University Place and Fircrest and I think that is great.  That’s a real service to the community!  I mean, we can listen to each other talking about who brings what to the position, who’s a problem, who’s the solution…but why not get it straight from the (forgive me please) horse’s mouth?  And that’s just what you’ll have next month on two different evenings. I recall the University Place candidate’s forum is set for September 30th and I’ll get you the rest of the details soon. Those will be worth attending.  How better to be an informed voter come November?  More to come about those events.

Have you had a good week?  I must admit, that I started out playing hooky which I don’t do often. I joined a couple of friends and floated the upper Cowlitz river fly fishing for cutthroat trout and the occasional steel head.  Well, up as far as we were, they really aren’t in yet. (Barrier Dam to Blue Creek)  I hear they are bangin’ em down below the Toutle but we spent eight and half hours on the river in our pontoons and didn’t exactly clean up.  But here’s the point.  What a greatcutthroatway to recharge your batteries.  What a way to clear your mind and come home refreshed!  Floating effortlessly and quietly down a beautiful stretch of river, surrounded by evergreens and wildlife.  Deer, herons, a family of otters frolicking (oh, yeah, THEY had fish!) and the osprey….Man, the osprey were really something to watch.  Gorgeous birds and plenty of them.  Then the big payoff.  Two male bald eagles and you had better bet THEY had fish!  Beautiful big birds with impressive wingspans and a swooping grace loaded with power, as they swept down over the placid waters of that fresh, flowing river.  Yeah, that will recharge your batteries.  I know it did mine.   And don’t get me wrong, I have no problem coming home with a few very nice cutthroats but I will probably be back down there, pole in hand, in another week or two looking for the big boys, hunting for hogs, chasing the steel head. I’m waiting for reports from my scout in Lewis County.

PUPS IN THE PARK  Don’t forget. It’s this Saturday.  10 – 2 in Cirque Park.  Get the details BEFORE you take your hound and head for the action, by checking the city website at:                                      www.ci.university-place.wa.us/EventsCalendar.asp

About a month from now, a public hearing will be held  in City Hall, September 28th beginning at 7pm.  The purpose of that hearing will be to consider a contract extension, contract amendments and RATE CHANGES for 2010 by the two refuse companies serving University Place.  Just for clarification, those proposed adjustments are for rate INCREASES.  How could I even consider that they would DEcrease the rates? Oh, silly me.CityofUP_logo

You are encouraged to attend and citizens may provide written or verbal testimony pertaining to this matter. And if you wish to review the proposed changes, you can get your very own little copy by stopping by the City Clerk’s office at City Hall.

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 with details from public information. SOLD: 4306 67th Ave Ct W in Ketchum Knolls. Now, here’s an interesting one. No. It’s not a new home. In fact it sold as a new home two years ago this month for $700 thousand.  Well, here it was back on the market in March of this year as a bank owned ketchumproperty, aka foreclosure.   That should raise a few eyebrows.  Well, this lovely 5-bedroom, 3.5 bath, two story home came on the market at $569K and as banks will normally do, it started its periodic schedule of reductions until it attracted a buyer. You see banks don’t really want to own homes. No. They want you to own them and pay them for the pleasure.  That’s the way it works.  So, when somebody says, “Nope. Ain’t payin’ ya no more.”  Then eventually, the bank comes and collects the keys while waving bye bye to the former “owner” who, by the way, now has garbage for credit.  Try buying another house after that!  So, there’s the bank holding the home for 111 days actively on the market at $569K, then $535K, then $499K, then $460K…No Kiddin!  And that’s what got it sold, the price of $460,000 and they closed it this month while in the same development a new home with over 600 square feet less than the foreclosure home sold for $546,900.  Like I said, No kiddin!  I told you it would be interesting.

I’m listing a wonderful home for sale tomorrow back in that lovely neighborhood off 37th, West of 67th.  Have you ever been back there?  (By the way, it’s called Westridge, in case you never knew….most don’t.)  Talk about quiet!  There’s no through traffic at all because there’s no other way out.  It’s a big, one-owner home that was very, very well designed, built and maintained since 1970 and it will be a great family home for someone very soon.  More about that one later or give me a call.

Oh, if you REALLY want to hear about interesting University Place home sales, try this one I just sold. A 655 square foot home for $325K.  No kidding.  When it closes, next month, I’ll tell you all about it.  No, really, I’m NOT kidding! 

The latest Kitchen Cabinet Update just came out from the office of our State Senator Mike Carrell of the 28th Legislative District….Yep,Mike Carrell that’s us.  In his lasted epistle Mike talks abut the future of McNeil Island, Anderson Island power, Western State Hospital and more.  He IS your state senator and that makes his communique worth reading.  If you wish to get on his distribution list via email, contact him at carrell.mike@leg.wa.gov    or catch him at mcarrell@hotmail.com  

And that’s that for today. I really can’t remember what I came here to say in the first place.  I supposed I’m just lost.  So, I think I’ll go now and look for myself.  If, however, I should return before I get back, please have me wait! 

Thanks. See ya next week… Be Well

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

 patmaddock@cbbain.com

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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.

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