Category: tacoma rainiers


IMG_2940I wanted to delay this edition of the blog until after I had made a visit to the CURRAN home at the U.P. apple orchard park, yesterday. After living for so many years here I realized that I had never been in the home.
Allow me to say right up front that I’m in favor of preserving it.  I could not be any more straight forward about that.
Also note, that I look at homes differently than most of the blog readers. Why? Because some weeks, I walk through dozens and dozens of homes in my real estate business. I see more homes than Carter has….(do you remember how to finish that?). Well, I do…visit a lot of homes that is, and I will also go on record saying the following about the Curran home.
In a sense, it’s unique because of where it is and how the city acquired the orchard and home. Famous architect? OK I’ve really got to respond with a hearty “Whoopie!”.  He’s not that famous. But I won’t argue with the fact that the architect is part of the reason to preserve the home.
“But Pat, it’s such a unique home!” No, it’s really not. I can walk you through others here in Pierce County which are considerably more unique in design and treatments. I can walk you through other homes built in the same style, some grand, some modest and a number of them, like this one, in between.  I won’t argue with the fact that it is unique in the sense of where it is and what it represents and I think the possibilities here are many.
I understand that a major objection to keeping it and preparing it for IMG_2937public use is the cost involved. No argument. It needs a considerable amount of work from top to bottom. Water leaks, mold, very worn interior, broken windows…the list goes on. If I were listing it for sale, I would have to call it something MORE than just a cosmetic fixer… it needs more work, that is.   Further, to prepare it for public use it would have to be brought up to the standards for such activity. Yes, an interior sprinkler system, ADA considerations and more. It would NOT be a cheap project.
So, what do I think should be done? I think preventative maintenance should be applied now so as to stem further deterioration and then let a community group, which does, in fact, exist, lead the fund raising efforts for restoration and retro-fitting to make the property suitable for public use. Of course, the city should bear a level of that responsibility as well and it’s the city which has been so successful with development grants from a variety of sources. Why not pursue assistance for this project, likewise?
The Curran Apple Orchard Park is a unique treasure and that’s no more apparent than today when a whole bunch of U.P. residents are picking and squeezing and making delicious cider from those beautiful apples. What a great afternoon to let your kids ruin a tee shirt and learn and experience and taste and have a ball right here at home in our city. Our summer open air concert series is hosted here in the park and it’s a joy just to take a wander through. Families adopt and care for the trees.  This IS a unique place and it’s certainly a unique park and Yes, the home is park of that…or it can be again with restorative work and ongoing care.  The home is part of what this place is.  Would the park live on without it?  It’s fair to say that it would.  Would it be a richer place if the home was restored and used in ways appropriate to it’s setting?  You bet!
IMG_2942The park is a gem. The house is part of that.  The city should find a way to participate in what’s needed here while the bulk of the fund raising should be a community effort. Preserve it. Rehab it. Use it and cherish it. It’s worth it!

In this final photo (above) is Chuck Curran, son of the late owners, chatting Saturday at the home with Cindy Bonaro, Councilperson Lorna Smith and Denise McClusky, council candidate. 

If you want to know more or get involved in the preservation efforts, contact Cindy at cbonaro@msn.com

I have not written for some time about our Tacoma Rainiers but I should say something in putting the lid on their season.  I stopped writing about them because #1.) They’re not in University PlaceRainiersanymore. You see, their corporate offices were just upstairs from mine in what’s commonly refered to as the Coldwell Banker building, across from the new Town Center near 35th and Bridgeport.  Well, they’ve gone to a facility on Union across from Life Christian and they tell me they’ve got more room there. (There was more available room in the CB building. So, that excuse hits me as pretty limp. )  At any rate, they moved to Tacoma.  2.)  It’s easy to follow the Rainiers in other publications.  3.) Cheney Stadium is in Tacoma and thus the end of the U.P. relationship with the Rainiers?  Naw, go to a Rainiers game and see your neighbors. My good friend John Lunkes and I were there the other night and I saw neighbors, retired coworkers, friends and cold beer.  Which one did I enjoy the most?  (Don’t ask a question like that!)  But it was the final win of the season that night against the buzz saw that kills our playoff hopes seemingly every time we get there, the Sacramento River Cats, and low and behold, they did it again this year.  So, the season is over but I’ve gotta tell ya, the Pacific North title is nothing to sneeze at and considering the slumps they survived this year, that’s a damned good finish.

Manager Daren Brown can be proud of his accomplishment especially considering the frequency of runs taken this season onDaren Brownthat elevator between Seattle and Tacoma.  Just look at the guys who are finishing the season with the Mariners who started with the Rainiers to say nothing of all of the other guys who went up to the dance and returned.  Then there are all the guys traded away this year. I would have to say, however, that if we lined up those we lost against those we gained, I’d say we outta respect the Mariners back office. It smells like they know what they’re doing. 

However, my favorite Mariner/Rainier play is now a Washington National.  In the trade that brought left fielder Ryan Langerhans, we12-Morse gave up Mike Morse. That kid is talented and I ALWAYS enjoyed watching him play.  I watched him play on his birthday in Peoria.  I watched him at Spring Training as he racked up the highest batting average of ANY major league player at ANY Spring training camp…how’s .492 sound for a complete preseason?  I watched him take that elevator up and take that elevator back down again but no matter where Mike ended up, when he stepped onto the field or he reached for his bat, he was a young professional.  Keep an eye on that talented utility player.  I think his potential for good things in the majors is high.

And as for our Tacoma Rainiers, I believe the new ownership is doing good things.  The price of a Rainier’s dog is still ridiculous but I like the updated rosters, The Dirt, a different player each night signing autographs out front, the new scoreboard, the freshnessrainiers fireworksthey’ve given back to Cheney, what you see when you sit in any of the good seats and baby, they’re ALL good seats at Cheney Stadium. (Except maybe for the seat directly behind the bronze of Ben Cheney.)  Not bad for a 50 year old ballpark, eh?  Yeah, officially, next year is the 50th Anniversary.  I remember that first season in 1960 watching the Tacoma Giants and that’s when I fell in love with pro baseball.  I still get that feeling in a good seat at Cheney Stadium watching the Rainiers…but it’s gotta be one of the good seats!

I should mention that a lot of sports and other Fall activities are getting underway in U.P.  To find out what all is happening and to get registered for the programs and events, check the official UP website.  See it listed there over on the right?  OK upper right.

I should tell you that some friends are doing something pretty smart.  Are you familiar with a University Place company known as CORNERSTONE FINANCIAL STRATEGIES?   Cornerstone is really Bob and Deanna Cleaveland and their team of financial professionals.  I first met Bob and Deanna through my work with the University Place – Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce but then I came to absolutely trust these two most ethical financial planning pros as they did what was absolutely appropriate for some aging members of my family.  They are both superb members of our greater community and we should be pleased to have their business in U.P.    What they are doing tomorrow night (Monday September 14th) is sponsoring one heck of a financial planning expert as he visits our area and he’s to be featured on KBTC Television beginning at 8pm.  His name is Ed Slott and he’s a nationally recognized IRA distribution expert.  He’s theSlott author of Growing And Protecting Your Money In Turbulent Times and other successful books.  Ed is often refered to as America’s IRA expert.  I just wanted to give you a heads up about something that I think is pretty darned sharp, that one of our local U.P. businesses is up to.  You just  might profit but tuning in Monday night.  That’s KBTC Channel 12 Comcast and Channel 3 on CLICK!  Thanks toBob and Deanna Cleaveland and the Cornerstone Financial gang.

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: 8801 45th Street West in Beckonridge.  Well, it’s time I talked about it.  The home that has become the scurge of our business. No, not this particular home but houseSHORT SALE homes in general.  Across the board, they are most always a nightmare.  By that I mean, they are most often not in the best of shape and they are usually an AS IS sale and why not?  A Short Sale is when you can’t sell your home for what you owe on it. You, the homeowner will walk away with nothing. So, why would you do repairs or keep it in tip top shape?  And by the way, once you accept an offer it still has to go to the bank for their approval and the bank says they’ll cooperate which implies that they will take a loss. So you go get what you can for it and then find out whether or not the bank really will cooperate. They often do not.  And too many times they tell the homeowner they will and then the homeowner get’s to the closing table and to get out from under the home they just moved out of they must sign a note to the bank for the deficit. Yes, they now loose their home and begin paying what they DIDN’T get in the sale, back to the bank and again, remember, they just LOST that home.  The bank isn’t cooperating at all!  They are not taking a short. They are simply letting you sell the hose to someone for less than you owe on it and now you owe the bank an unsecured loan at “what interest rate?”.  For the homeowner, it’s ugly but for the home buyer it’s ugly, too.  We have to remember that in a short sale, the homeowner is still making the monthly payments on that house up for sale.  You see it, like it make an offer that the seller approves but then you have to wait for the mortgage holder to approve it, too and here comes the ugly part.  That will take MONTHS!!!  If you make an offer on a bank owned property they are motivated to get it sold so they respond often in a matter of hours but with a Short Sale, again, somebody is making the payments so why should the bank be motivated to take a short (which in the end they often don’t do, anyway).  They drag their feet, deal very badly with the clients… I mean, MEAN, nasty, rude, offensive…get the picture?  And short sales are taking three, four, five, six months and more!  It’s a nightmare and No, the pricing is not necessarily anything near a bargain, to begin with.

This particular home was a Short Sale but I chose it because it was the rare exception to that model I described above.  This 1972 split level U.P. home offered 4 bedrooms, 2.25 baths and as I recall it was pretty clean inside and had been maintained fairly well but NOT updated at all, again, as my memory serves from when I saw it when it was first listed back in March.  They started at $279K which wasn’t bad but had to drop it first to $259K then to $249 to finally get a buyer.  So, it took about 70 days to get that buyer but then it took another two and a half months to get it closed (thanks bank!).  Now that one wasn’t too bad.  There ARE exceptions to the rule but that is NOT what your average Short Sale is like.  It’s more like the one I have in progress on North 30th Street in Tacoma right now.  Eight weeks we have been waiting for ANYTHING from the bank.  No answers.  They keep saying things like, they are still reviewing the file.  We check for an updated states every single week and most weeks there is none.  It’s a long, ridiculously drawn out process and (here’s the bombshell) MOST BUYERS WILL NOT PUT UP WITH IT.  They just march down the street and buy the one that isn’t a short sale or the one that was foreclosed on and it’s now a bank owned property for sale.  Those buyers know they will receive timely answers and they have good reasons to expect their purchase to go smoothly and they will be treated with the respect they deserve. More and more of the practitioners in my profession are not showing Short Sales because they don’t want to put their buyers through that nightmare. And more and more buyers when they see what the average Short Sale looks like, they don’t want to have anything to do with it either.  By the time you even get a response from the bank about your offer, you could have purchased, closed and moved into many other homes.  So, why bother?  On rare occasion we find short sales like this one where it only took two and a half months to get it closed.  Folks, that’s still two and half months most buyers don’t want to wait, especially when they don’t have the final answer and what about those sellers who don’t know if they are going to walk away clean or if they are absorbing a new and often sizeable debt.  The banks take the bailouts and then the screws get put to the mortgage holders.  That’s the reality of it.

To determine what you should do if you need to sell and you suspect this market might not support what you owe on the home or to find out if you really do want to consider short sales in your buying efforts…on either issue, one way or another…to reach an informed decision, just give me a shout.  It’s what I do and I’ll be happy to make sure you get the straight word!

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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WOW!  Great UPfest this weekend, huh? 

You know what I loved?  The car show!  Some sweet rides!  The red-on-red ’59 Corvette with the 283…yeow!  The ’48 drop top Jag was a real treat. There was a purple ’59 caddy with wings like the batmobile but it was in superb condition, too and dressed from stem to stern. Boy, did that bring back memories!  Most of the cars on display were eye-catchers in their own right.  It seems to grow each year and even with the heat, which obviously kept some folks away, the turnout of show cars was impressive.  I’m already looking forward to see what’s new in the show next year.

Attendance at the live music venue seemed light but again, I’ll write it off to the heat.  The cooling station was a gift from the gods.  And I’ll bet the Philly Steak Sandwich booth pumped a couple hundred gallons of lemonade.

A moment of silence is appropriate for the HOGS!  The HOSERS were victorious Friday evening in the heart of the fest as the firefighters did not let the cops repeat last year’s win.  The annual softball game between our two favorite teams was a well fought battle that may have, in fact, come down to two factors in the bitter end.  Late in the game, the sun was dropping in the sky which made it very, very difficult for batters to see the pitches. However, that effected both squads. So, in the end, perhaps it was just one catastrophic event which foretold the final outcome. Perhaps it was that one cataclysmic turn of fortune which doomed the police to defeat. In the end, it was, without a doubt, the strikeout of Police Chief Jim Andrews which literally handed the trophy to the Fire Department, on the proverbial platter.  A strikeout?  A strikeout?!?  WHO STRIKES OUT IN SOFTBALL?!?!  Even official Bob Lucy, out on the base path, stood there and watched with a look of stunned horror in his eyes as the chief’s bat flailed aimlessly at the gently arcing bright yellow melon, a target bigger than life. Even Ed Troyer, gabby PA commentator for the game, went deathly silent for the moment.  In fact, my eight year old grandson looked at me and asked, incredulously, “Did he REALLY strike out?!?”  Yes, even the eight year olds recognized the extreme disappointment, the abject failure, the terrible, terrrible let down of the entire team…No, the entire police force, in fact.  Well, Chief, I suppose one might say, “It’s only a game.”    Tsk, tsk, tsk…JimAndrews The Chief during happier times

It was nice to see some of the UP City Council Candidates out pressing the flesh and, more importantly, answering a lot of questions.  I especially watched Eric Choiniere and Linda Bird in their own individual booths working the crowds. Linda must have put smiles on 500 or more little faces as she handed them helium balloons.  But more to the point, those two candidates worked it Friday night and ALL DAY Saturday…in the heat!  My hat is off to both of them. I watched a lot of folks stop and engage them both in conversations about the city and city issues.  That was really encouraging. 

In all fairness, I did see a Denise McClusky booth in operation as well as a Lorna Smith booth and a Dan Carnrite booth, although I didn’t catch either Denise or Lorna  on site.  Probably my oversight. I do remember seeing Dan chatting with folks one time when I strolled by. I know Ken Grassi was working the fest, itself and spent his share of time dedicated throughout the event.  The other candidates may well have been very productively engaged, elsewhere this weekend but I do wonder when a candidate passes up such an event.

I should take a moment to share with you the results of the panel of REALTORS who interviewed most of our candidates a week or so back.  Five U.P. REALTORS spent from 1pm to 6pm asking the same questions of all candidates and listening to what they had to say about U.P. issues.  At the end of the day the following endorsements were issued:  Pos 1:  Javier Figueroa,  Pos3:  Lorna Smith, Pos 4: Ken Grassi and Pos 5: Rose Ehart.  Congratulations to all.

Ballots are out for the August 18th primary election and UP residents have four votes to make.

Both Proposition 1 and 2 are simply renewals, if you will, of the property tax levies we authorized before, dedicated to fire and EMS services within our fire district.  In my opinion, it’s a small price to pay for the outstanding and responsive quality services we enjoy from our Fire Department.  I highly encourage you to vote to APPROVE both propositions. 

UP Fire DeptI do think one additional point of discussion is salient BUT it should not get in the way of our support for this important funding.  That point is the question of whether these are basic services which should be provided by our incorporated city or if they should be funded, as they are, through special levies.  Elsewhere it’s done as we do and in yet other cities, they are funded as basic services.  I do think it’s a question that ought to be on the table but so too, the issue that we pay lower taxes since incorporation here than we would be if we were still unincorporated Pierce County.  While I am not a proponent for change in this manner, I do think that a robust discussion ought to be accommodated on the topic but again, let’s not let that get in the way of ensuring continued funding for these life-or-death services.  Please, Vote to APPROVE!

We also have the right to cast our votes in the primary race between Port of Tacoma Commissioner Position 1 candidates, Bernardo Tuma, Connie Bacon and Bill Casper. Without hesitation I canbacon heartily endorse Connie Bacon not because she is the incumbent but because of what she’s accomplished in that position and  respectful attitude she brings to the task.  Connie is a good ambassador of our community with her eyes cleared fixed on the future of that huge and growing economic engine. VOTE Connie Bacon!

And finally, the race most effecting U.P. citizens and a race that’s turning into the most controversial of all our City Council contests. That is the race for Position 1 on the UP City Council.  I should immediately apologize for using the term “controversial” in that the race really shouldn’t be seen that way.  This three way contest seems to be the race with the bull’s eye painted on it, however.  This is the contest which seems to represent the oft bandied about slogan, “It’s time for a change.”   Those chanting that may in fact have a leg to stand on but if they do, this is NOT the position to change. 

Would I say that the city council couldn’t stand to have some fresh blood in the mix?  No, I do believe some fresh eyes and energies may be a good thing right now and the recently announced retirement of Council Member Stan Fleming assures some of that.  While I am not endorsing in that race, I do believe candidate Rose Ehart will prevail over Denise McClusky.  But those who think that change should come by not returning incumbent Council Member and our current Mayor, Linda Bird, to the council… Well, they are sorely misinformed. 

birdEarly on, I publicly endorsed Linda Bird for Position 1 and I have seen no reason to waiver from that for even a moment.  I should mention that there are two gentlemen running against Mayor Bird but many of us have concerns about both. 

Challenger Dan Carnrite has but one issue he constantly thumps like the good book, itself. He carries the Comp Plan with him and frames the focus of his campaign around that document.  We understand how the Growth Management Act and the Comprehensive Plan provide a framework for aspects of our future but sir, that is but one very small piece of the pie called government.  Mr. Carnrite is a planner by profession.  So, it’s obvious why he clings so tightly to the planning publication, chanting on  about how we’re not following it and how no one will listen to him.  The old saying goes, “You do what you know.”  Again, sir, what you know could be a vital part of city governance but that’s why we have a planning commission, where you do currently serve.  It’s my position that you have found the place where you might serve this city best and I encourage you to continute doing so.

As for the final of three citizens vying for the council position, challenger Javier Figueroa bills himself as a commercial real estate consultant who has the solution to the town center dilemma.  Well, I have not been able to find any commercial agents who have worked with Mr Figueroa but that doesn’t mean he’s never done a commercial real estate deal.  One would think that his campaign material would include successful development projects in his past if they were there.  Plus, I don’t really understand why a commercial real estater who knows that realm as well as Mr. Figueroa claims to, why he would be working in the operations of a landscaping company.  But even more to the topic, he purports to have the solution to the Town Center project in his suggestions to stop the construction of the public buildings which are vertically visible on-scene now and turn them into commercial structures. Stop the construction of the Library and the Town Hall and sell the partially built structures, is what he is on record suggesting to be the right course and he emphasizes that as a ‘must happen’ to save it all.  What the candidate fails to take into account is that those structures are standing there, in-progress, due to public funds. Public grants, loans and other matching public funds are building those structures and if we sold them off to commercial developers as Mr. Figueroa suggests,  a lot of money would immediately be owed back from where it came and somebody would likely end up behind bars for the misappropriation of public funds!   Additionally, he insists that to give away what he calls the most valuable site in the whole development to public transit is crazy. What he is saying is that if we let public transit have one of the two corner lots at 35th and Bridgeport we are missing out on a building site that most any commercial developer would jump at the chance to use.  Well, it’s about a 6 year project thus far and I haven’t seen anyone jumping up and down on that corner, yet.  But more to the point, he insists that we just don’t need public transit in the development.  Who does he think funded the huge underground garage?  We have a development on a site where there is not sufficient surface parking  to support all of the proposed commercial functions.  With the addition of a transit hub, the funding for the underground parking becomes available and our parking problem is solved.  Rather smart solution, I would think.  Not Mr. Figueroa.  

I hold that the fix to the Town Center comes in the following ways.  The current commercial real estate team in place working this project and the single site development proposition, combined with a positive turn in the commercial market, those are the factors which will solve the town center issue.  Not ill-conceived schemes based on only partial knowledge of what is on site and how it came to be.   Those are NOT the solution. 

As with Mr. Carnrite there is but one issue which occupies the majority of Mr. Figueroa’s campaign thinking and that myopic approach to government won’t serve the city worth a hoot.  To select either of these gentlemen for the sake of change will cause irrevocable damage to the city council and the wide breadth of issues they have mastered and oversee most effectively.  In other words, it’s fine, gents, that you are each passionate about one issue but that don’t get the big  job done!

In Linda Bird, not only do you have the leading reason why our young city has accomplished so very much in it’s brief existence but I and MANY other U.P. citizens see clearly that in this dedicated,Vote Smart intelligent and respectful public servant lies the most sound future we can envision for our city.  My public endorsement for Mayor Linda Bird stands.  I encourage each of you as enthusiastically as I possibly can to vote for Linda Bird and more importantly to urge your neighbors to fill their ballots out and return them before the 18th, too. 

I really would be remiss if I did not add a nod to the News Tribune.  I don’t know if you saw it or not but about a week ago the News Tribune, which has taken issue with the Town Center project, overwhelmingly endorsed Linda Bird, saying “…it would be unfortunate if voters took out their frustration about the slow progress of  Town Center on Linda Bird, a fine incumbent…”  They continued by saying “If anybody on the University Place City Council enbodies the spirit of the city, it is Bird.”  They most clearly added, “…she is the best of the three candidates running.”

The Tribune has also gone on record warning voters about a University Place City Council candidate and how some of his campaign signs have wrongly claimed that he got the News Tribune’s endorsement and named himself as the second choice in a field of three candidates.  To set the record straight, the Tribune called Mr. Carnrite “…the better choice” for voters absolutely set on change while describing Mr. Figueroa as not having shown a proclivity for working together respectfully on other boards he has served on.

What we have are two candidates each myopically focused on a single issue and not necessarily very clearly, while Mayor Linda Bird offers very seasoned leadership at a time when our council will require sound leadership principals, interpersonal respect and a broad vision of governance in order to succeed.  Mark your ballot. Vote LINDA BIRD.

REAL ESTATE SALE OF THE DAY:  Due to the lengthy nature of today’s blog, we’ll skip the sale of the day and resume on Friday. 

Hey!  Anybody else going to watch the Rainiers tonight?  What a great night to enjoy  Cheney Stadium during it’s 50th Anniversary year!  See you there.

Be well

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

 patmaddock@cbbain.com

bain

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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Wow!  What a summer this is shaping up to be, weather-wise.  Somebody please remind me of this if I start whining about the wet cold in February. I mean I may tell you to go stuff it, but it’s a good idea, nonetheless.

At any rate, the WEATHERMAN is talking above 90 by this time next week. That settles it. I’m leaving! Honestly, I’m a hot weather wimp. There, I’ve said it. I think I’ll take this week to figure out where to go and before the weekend I’ll just run away. ANY SUGGESTIONS? 

Don’t lose sight of July 31st and August 1st. That’s UPfest, the big, outdoor event of the year, here. We’ve already published the entire schedule and we’ll talk more about it but I’m personally awaiting the car show. “Stay tuned.”

Remember a couple of weeks ago we urged you to register now for the First Aid and CPR Class coming August 15th.  564-1623, that’s the number to use.  Don’t put it off.

I think they are voting on the Housing Choice Code Amendments tonight at the U.P. City Council meeting.  A good group of your neighbors has had their hands in that project for quite a few months now and the results, I believe are rather good.  There’s just no question that sizablenumbers are coming.  That is to say, the population of our little city will grow significantly in the next few years and we can either make allowances for smart concentrated housing choices or we can walk around with our fingers in our ears, chanting “La La La” so we don’t hear the problems.  Our friends, neighbors and city staff have done it right.  I believe tonight the council has their chance to make it or break it.

And speaking of our council, this Thursday, the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS (TPCAR) will hold their city council candidate interviews, here.  The REALTORS in University logoPlace and across the nation as part of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) are much more politically involved than you might ever imagine and they see community issues, just as you do.  But they have come to feel, over the years, that it’s their job to do something about them.  So, they act politically and the REALTORS are no small players on the political stage of this state.  Most all of our candidates have jumped at the chance to meet with a panel of REALTOR Government Affairs Committee members who live and work in University Place and that will all happen this week.  It’s actually impressive how the REALTORS do these interviews in that they set firm guidelines for the conduct of them, as in, same exact questions in the same order for each and every candidate, etc.  They come prepared to fairly evaluate and they discuss each interview, vote and eventually endorse the candidates they believe will do the best job for the city. In endorsing they can also vote to help fund specific campaigns. They can, they don’t have to but sometimes they feel it will help to make a difference for someone they believe in.  So, even in tight times, when REALTORS walletsare anything but fat, they can still chose to put their money where their mouth is.  It’s just one more way citizens get involved in our political process for the betterment of our communities.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Also in U.P. Aug 15th is the 3rd annual Cirque Slam.  It will be a day ofskateboarding skating, video games, music, and food. Skaters will also have the opportunity to receive free gear, t-shirts, hats, backpacks, decks, wheels, and other great stuff!  By the way, THANKS to the U.P. Youth Council. Wanna know more now? Contact  Brason Alexander at balexander@cityofup.com

It was early Sunday morning, out on the deck with the newspaper, a cup of coffee and a smile. Doesn’t get much better than that. Then I saw it and that wonderful warm summer, Sunday feeling went up in smoke.  BACK saleTO SCHOOL Sale Ads!  You’ve got to be kidding. Didn’t we just celebrate July 4th? It was somewhat reminiscent of Christmas sale ads before Thanksgiving. OK so sales haven’t been what you wanted this year but come on! Back to school already? How depressing. I haven’t even celebrated summertime yet. Of course, I suppose that’s my fault. There! Another reason to escape, this week. That settles it, I’m outta here before the end of the week. Maybe the coast. Perhaps the mountains. Someplace cooler than here. Ah, the Olympic Rain Forrest is always calling. Hmmmm cooler weather, beautiful surroundings, maybe some fishing and above all, somewhere I can talk my wife into going! So, it will need shopping options then. I mean we can’t very well leave and miss the Back to School Sales, now, can we?

GUITAR Camps begin next Monday, 7/27. Register through Parks & Rec.  See the City website over there on the right and HURRY!

This year, catching up with the home team is pretty easy. It’s not like their moving quickly or any such positive action….sheesh!  Over the weekend, the Rainiers beat LasVegas here withwinning pitcher “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!” Ryan Rowland-Smith in a 6-3 finish. However, Saturday and Sunday saw Vegas turn the tables.  5-6 Saturday and 4-5 Sunday added up to a season record of 45 wins, 49 losses for the Tacoma boys…thus far.  Hope for the best.  However, it’s only fair to say that making the short drive to Cheney Stadium on a warm summer evening by yourself, with friends or dogfamily will still get you some of the least expensive, quality entertainment in the Puget Sound region.  That ballpark is legendary.  It’s been praised by players who have experienced parks from coast to coast and at age 50 this summer, it will continue to be the site of a great experience and superb memories!  Taking kids to the ballgame for a Mountain Dog, nine innings, some laughs and some of those memories, too.  THAT’S summertime in America!

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: 4312 68th Ave Ct W in Ketchum Knolls.  They really are ketchumwonderful homes, Seattle builder Murray Franklin has filled this small development (at the corner of 44th and 67th) with and while the final sale prices won’t make this high quality builder happy, at least they are selling which is more than can be said for a lot of new homes currently growing nothing but dust,  around our area.  This one is 3,353 sq ft featuring 4 bedrooms and 3 baths and it really is nicely appointed throughout.  They priced it at $636,990 and settled for $546,900.  Whew!  That’s a killing! 

But that IS the market and speaking of that market, let’s set something straight about how we understand our real estate market around here.  Where do most of our neighbors turn to get an understanding of what is happening in the real estate of their own neighborhoods?  They turn to the News Tribune.  And that fact, in itself, explains why so many people have such misunderstandings about the market. 

Very simply put, the Tribune is a victim of lazy journalism.  They consistently fail to communicate the most important aspect of a story based on statistics and that is the duty of the reporter, the duty of the publication to PUT THEM INTO PERSPECTIVE!   How else can we truly understand the meaning of the numbers?

How misleading can one newspaper be?  Two years ago when I was President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS I tried to get them to report it accurately and they just blew us off.  Obviously a couple of so-called business reporters had a better understanding of the real estate market than the 2,614 REALTORS in Pierce County did.  Well, sure.  ( It’s a good time to suggest they check their own ad revenues and their subscription rates.  I’ll bet they can put THOSE dismal figures into perspective! )

They are still today ignoring the concept of accurately reporting the story but they are doing a wonderful job of LAZY JOURNALISM!  In fact, they’ve got it down to a science.

What do I mean?  Here it is.  They go to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service for their stats. Fine. In fact, that’s good, IF you understand the stats there and even more importantly, IF you put whatever this month’s story is into perspective by looking at MORE THAN JUST YEAR TO YEAR STATS!  That’s where they consistently get lazy and that’s how they blow it.   They rarely, if ever, put their reporting in perspective.  If very far and few between when they actually take the extra step of gathering past years data to compare and contrast and to use as a reliable source for perspective.  They seem to think that if they print what percentage of change has been recorded between this year and last, they’ve told the story. Get real! 

If some current statistics say that the U.S. Dollar suffered from 3%chartdepreciation on the world market this year then I’ve told the story, right?  What a headline…”US Dollar Suffers 3% Depreciation Worldwide”.  Is the headline writer being accurate?  Well, sure.  Is he being misleading?  If you stop to think that the dollar depreciated 11% the year before and 9% the year before that, of course his headline is terribly misleading!  Given a multi-year perspective, a much more accurate story would be that we ONLY slipped a minor 3%  this year.  A headline might even accurately call the year of only 3% a rebound and in doing so, in giving perspective, they would have communicated meaning and understanding.   That’s what the Trib does NOT do…consistently.  They fail to put the story into perspective.  They get lazy and simply look at the new statistic laying in their lap and there is their story.  So, if the greater Pierce County real estate market was down 8.1% over one year ago, well, we now understand it, don’t we?  Hell no!  What did the market do the year before and the year before that and…  PUT IT IN PERSPECTIVE!  Perhaps the 8.1% slip over the past year was minor compared to the preceding years or maybe it was double the “going rate”.  If all we do is read the story in the Trib we have no idea what that 8.1% means.

Perhaps if they looked at the five prior years,  they could give that 8.1% some real meaning for their readers.  Perhaps if they compared it to the 69.8% decrease in Detroit that year, the 29% decrease in Las Vegas that year and the 4.2% decrease in Seattle that year, they could give us some PERSPECTIVE and in the end they would have accurately communicated to us and what would be the result?  We would UNDERSTAND.  Is that too much to ask?

Do I get “wrapped around the axle” about lazy journalism?  You bet I do especially considering three things.  First, my background in print and broadcast journalism.   Second, the fact that the Trib is the only paper in town. Any time you have two, you have competition and they tend to get it right much more often…at the least, lazy journalists don’t get promoted. They get fired.  And the third thing is the sad story that iscronkite leading the news this week, the death of a beloved and respected American by the name of Walter Cronkite.  Never was there a bigger foe of lazy journalism than Mr. Cronkite. Never was there an editor who sent more copy back for rewrite when they didn’t get it right and he was not shy about writing one word on a story, circling it and sending it back to the writer.  That word?  PERSPECTIVE!

If you care to share your thoughts about this or any other edition of the blog, please feel free to send them.  My email is below or you can simply reply online to the blog, itself. You are more than welcome to, especially when it comes to matter affecting University Place.

I’ll see you all on Friday.  Be well…

Pat Maddock, Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS, 3560 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA 98466 (253)682-1182 patmaddock@cbbain.com

bain

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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princeAmerica comes to a screeching halt as St Louis hosts the MLB All Star Game Home Run Derby tonight and then “the big game” on Tuesday. Right? Well, um, er, uh kind of.

You see, when you’re a baseball addict, you just assume the rest of the nation is, too and really nothing else happens on the national scene during ball season. Right? Well, then something jolts you like Junior coming to the plate with one batting glove on to honor Michael Jackson and all you can do is your AFLAC duck impression…. “A-R-R-R-R-R-R-G-H !!!” As my daughter says, “Whatever”.

I guess it’s fair. I mean, I will always get up and dance to Louie Louieduring the 7thinning stretch, even if I’m at a game at Camden Yards in Baltimore.  In fact, a few years back, I recruited a half a dozen Mariner faithful to go to a game in Baltimore with me and sure as Seattle has slugs, there we were, shouting out the Northwest Rock and Roll classic and twistin’ the night away to the old Kingsmen hit, “…three nights andblutodays me sail duh sea. Me think I go schmuh hercka flea. (Don’t hold me to that part.) Me on the deck. Me dreams she’s there. Me smell duh roses ah in her hair. Me sing ah Louie Louie, yeah baby, now. Me gotta go now. Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah!”  Of course, about 31,000 people all thought we were freakinnuts!  There we were with our Rainiers hats, Mariners shirts and Louie, Louie.  What else mattered? It was as if we were expecting the boys from Faber College (“Knowledge is Good”) to show up and join in.  Two of the visiting Mariners stuck their heads up out of the dugout to see who the nutballs from back home were. We waved but kept on beltin it out. Richard Berry would have been proud.

OK now, here’s the test. What’s the significance of that name? And by the way, if none of this makes ANY sense to you, it’s your turn to buy!

The WEATHERMANsays nothing but light clouds and increasing temps through the week with a target of 84 degrees by Friday. Yeow!  Us U.P. boys ain’t used to that!

There’s even and All Star Break in the minors and the Rainiers could bloody well use a rest. Even after three wins in a row (Woo Hoo) over the weekend against Portland (3-1, 8-3, 1-0)  those guys need a break.  Shelton and LaHair were headed for the PCL All Star game in Portland but then Chris got called up to the big dance and got his first Mariner hit the other night against the Rangers.  I suppose he was pretty willing to trade away the Triple A All Star game for that major league smack.  Tacoma will be back in action Thursday in Las Vegas.  Then they’ll bring the Sacramento Rivercats home with them next Monday.

Don’t forget that Seniors Summer BBQ this Wednesday at the Senior Center from 5 – 8pm.  It’s my understanding that for seniors, it’s free.

Guitar Camp…Yeah, it’s for real and it’s scheduled to happen 7/27 – 7/31.  Two different sessions are set, one for ages 7-10, the other for ages 11-15.  Wanna know more, visit the official UP website. There’s a link over there on the right.

lanceJuly 23rd it’s another Concert in the Park with the Lance Buller Show featuring Stephanie Porter from 6:30 until 8pm.  The Jazz ensemble puts on the live outdoor show for free, thanks to U.P. Parks and Rec.

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 publicwestcliffe information. SOLD:  8723 53rd St Ct W in Westcliffe.  That’s one of UP’s great little neighborhoods with some gorgeous homes and views to match. However, when the bank ends up with the home… Well, you know the story.  It’s all in the numbers.  Built in 1978, 3,754 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, purchased in 2006 for $657,750, listed last October for $565,000 then finally sold just recently for $400,000.  No kidding! And you DON’T think this is a fantastic time to buy?!?   It’s unbelievable!

For my loyal reader, Rita, who doesn’t believe I mention the UPfest enough…it’s Friday July 31st and Saturday August 1st in Cirque Park.  In fact, last Monday, the blog carried the entire schedule for both days and we’ll do it again before the event, too.  UPfest  UPfest  UPfest …. Now, Rita, leave me alone!

OK new schedule for the blog.  We’re moving to Mondays and Fridays.  So, we’ll get you ready for the weekend, then recap it and prepare you for events that coming week. How’s that?  See you Friday.

Be well!

Pat Maddock, Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS, 3560 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA 98466 (253)682-1182 patmaddock@cbbain.com

bain

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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Hello again!  It’s a great summer week in U.P. but Wednesdays always make me want to take a nap!
Well, our friend the WEATHERMAN wasn’t nearly as accurate as he though he would be and I really don’t mind these cloudy days where it sprinkles ever-so-slightly, every now and then. It makes for a nice respite from the 80+ degree days.  University Place natives need to cool down from time to time. This works. However, the rest of the week looks good in the mid-70′s and you won’t hear me complaining!

There is something coming up I want you to be aware of and if you’ve never been involved in it, you’ve missed out. It’s easier than heck to organize in your own neighborhood and it serves quite a number of positive purposes AND it CAN be fun, too. I’m talking about National Night Out. I’m posting the link to their website and rather than listen to what I have to say about it, let’s get it from the Chief.  Here’s today’s letter from UP Police Chief, Jim Andrews…

Greetings National Night Out participants!

It’s that time of year again, time for University Place citizens to turn on Jimlights, lock doors and step outside to join neighbors in the fight against crime.  National Night Out arrives this year on Tuesday, August 4th.  

 This is a great opportunity to re-connect with your neighbors by organizing a neighborhood barbecue or a potluck.  In addition to a great community feast, the University Place Police and Fire Departments along with City staff and City Council members will be out visiting all neighborhoods that sign up with us.  Caravan teams will be traveling the streets of University Place in fire trucks, medic units and patrol cars –the whole nine yards!

Register your neighborhood for National Night Out today by calling 798-3141.  The registration deadline is Monday, July 27th.   We ask ALL neighborhoods to host their events from 6PM-9PM and we cannot take specific requests to be at your party at any certain time.  We will do our very best to rotate neighborhoods that were near the end of routes last year.   

For information about obtaining a street closure permit call the City Development Services Department at 460-2509.  If you wish to be visited by Police and Fire you must register at 798-3141, obtaining a permit will not automatically register your neighborhood.  Visit http://www.natw.org/nno/ to download a few things to help you get your neighborhood ready for the big night.

Thank you for your support in making this year’s National Night Out our biggest yet!

Sincerely,

JIM ANDREWS

Chief of Police, City of University Place

So, how many do you think we can organize in University Place for August 4th?  Spread the word!  They really can be a kick.  A convenient way to get to know the neighbors better, it serves the purposes of it’s original design and I just really don’t see a down side!  So, why not?  Again, I’ve posted the link to their website over in the list on the right side of the page here and I’ll leave it there up until the event but don’t put off your commitment to make your own happen.  And don’t be surprised if you check with your neighbor and they were already thinking about doing it. You just beat them to the punch.  What happens then?  Your committee of volunteers just doubled!  Go for it.  When you do it, take some pics and send me some. I’d love to see your neighborhood in action and we can use YOUR pictures to publicize next year’s National Night Out.

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. connieSOLD: 9329 29th Street West.  Now, THIS is a classic illustration of two factors any home seller should note.  The first, is what this market is doing to home values. The second is what happens when we don’t pay attention to the market and the advice of a good REALTOR and we demand that our house be overpriced.  They listed this home on June 15th, 2007…that’s right, no typo…2007!  It was listed at $1,550,000.  Now, some 669 days later (No kidding) it’s sold but the sale price was less than HALF of the original list price.  It sold for $765,000.  First, the market simply would not support the asking price…no way.  Second, when your price reductions still lag behind current market value, it’s not going to sell until you MORE than catch up.  That is to say, until it’s priced UNDER true market value.  Why?  Because it’s been on the market so darned long that we all look at it as “damaged goods” and nobody wants it.  To get it to sell, you’ve got to turn it into the deal of the year, so to speak.  It finally sells when the price is below the fair market value enough so that buyers easily recognize the bargain.  What would have happened if this home had been priced at $1M when it was listed?  I’m willing to bet they would have secured a timely sale and a much higher price than they eventually had to take.  It’s a tough lesson to learn because it’s a costly lesson to learn but that’s why you hire a professional.  The crime of it is, when you do hire a professional, a REALTOR, not a real estate agent, and then you don’t listen to them. Ouch!

The Tacoma RAINIERS… Oh, what can I say?  Well, they did pick up a win on their way out of Salt Lake City last night and they brought the Portland Beavers home. Tacoma hosts four consecutive 7pm games with the Beavers through Saturday night.  Tacoma is now 9 games back…that’s an improvement from 10!

Did you happen to notice today (Wednesday) just a bit after noon that an unusual numeric event occurred?  (You’re going to think I’ve flipped!) Just after noon today, looking at the clock and then the calender, it was 12:34:56 on 07/08/09.  Don’t get it?  Look at the numbers again and count out loud.  Aha!  Now, that you get it you are authorized to say, “Pat, Don’t you have anything better to do?”   I realized it last night, thanks to Dave clockNiehaus and today, as I was showing a home in Old Town, an accountant brought to my attention that it was about to occur in approximately ten minutes.  I must confess that I did pass on the temptation to stare at my watch as the time approached and, just as it did at Midnight on News Years 1999/2000… the earth again resisted the temptation to stop spinning.  See, it’s just like I used to tell my high school Algebra teacher, “Numbers are irrelevant!”  He responded by saying, “Well, then it’s not a problem if I contribute a 1.5 to your GPA!”  He made his point.

Catch you all on Friday.  Be well…

Pat Maddock, Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS, 3560 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA 98466 (253)682-1182 patmaddock@cbbain.com 

bain

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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Welcome back to” The Blog that Ate University Place”.  I don’t know who came up withthat but I’ve taken a liking to it.  If you’re new to our effort here, know this… it’s simply about helping in some small way to further lace together the fabric of this unique community we have here in the City of University Place, Washington.  With communication we can do wonders.  The blog is open to your comments and you can also call me or email me directly. That contact info is at the bottom of today’s and every day’s blog. 

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been featuring campaign statements from our University Place City Council incumbent candidates and their challengers.  We’re down to our final position, that which is held by Council Member Ken Grassi.  As was the case will all of the candidates, we offered this opportunity to Council Member Grassi and his opponent, as well.  The council member submitted his material within the deadline while his challenger did not, after multiple offers from the author. 

ken

KEN 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   Again, Council Member Grassi is challanged in the upcoming election. However, after multiple offers, his opponent failed to submit his statement.

Wasn’t the Fourth of July some kind of glorious day? I officially take back everything I’ve ever said about the WEATHERMANon the Fourth of July in years past, all the comments that rhymed with “ton of a stitch” and “niece of spit”…yep, I take ‘em all back. He out did himself last week and I don’t even care that we have about a week’s worth of sprinkles in front of us, now. Nope. The gardens and lawns need it and I could stand to cool off a bit. After all, I am a Northwesterner and what do I know about weather consistently in the 80′s, anyway? Very, very memorable holiday.

Well, if you don’t have any plans to leave town this summer, it’s time to make a couple. Every time I have visitors from California I love waiting for a clear day and driving them up to Hurricane Ridge for a picnic. Well, it’s not so much for a picnic as it is for a session of them sitting there, gazing at the view with their mouths hanging very wide open and they do it every time, especially early in the season with the Olympic peaks still sporting a fair amount of snow. There’s a serious Wow factor!

In tight economic times, “stay-cation” local destinations like Hurricane Ridge and Mt. Rainier can provide remarkably vivid visual memories.

And speaking of the great mount about an hour and a half to our east… Finally did it. We took our California visitors up to the refurbished Paradise Inn for their Sunday Brunch. Oh my! The old hat is off to the National Park Service for the ParadiseInndecision to PRESERVE the integrity of the old inn. They reopened the beautiful structure last October and brunch there Sunday was a real joy. While a brunch may not get you thinking of the best prepared food, this one exceededexpectations while providing a nice variety running the gamut from cheese blintzes to a baron of beef, from waffles with blackberry compote to crab salad. It measured up nicely.

If you’re going to visit Paradise, don’t be too shocked when you drive around the corner and the old “spaceship” is gone. That’s right, the very out-of-place looking visitors center is nothing but a memory and nearly in it’s place is a high pitched building that looks like it certainly belongs there among the other old alpine buildings. Then inside, it’s nothing less than beautiful. So, very striking. It seems smaller inside than the old visitors center but it was comfortably accommodating at least 150 people at the time I was in there yesterday. Some were watching a movie they show in a nice theater off on one end of the building while others were taking in an historic slide show in another area tucked away among the exhibits. Everyone was taking their turns as they always have, peering through the scopes counting the climbers crossing the Muir snowfield and there were plenty in the blazing sun of Sunday midday.

So, if…No, when, the vacation bug bites and you’ve just got to escape the city, think about the local mountains. After all, when you live, as we all do, in a triangle between three national parks, to NOT take advantage of them is just a crime.

Back home the RAINIERS didn’t have such fun last week.  They now stand, No, sit… ten games back trailing Colorado Springs and Salt Lake in the PCL Pacific North.  Somehow, they are a half game up on Portland and speaking of the Beaver town, they are hosting the PCL All Star Game July 15th and two RAINIERSwere named to the squad last week and for darned good reason.  We might argue about why another one or two of the local boys didn’t make it but you would be hard pressed to make a case against both Chris Sheltonas Designated Hitter and Brian LaHair on first base representing Tacoma.  I should mention that the guys did beat Salt Lake on Independence Day (7-5) . Then they gave one up last night (2-6).  Two more games in Utah before they come home Wednesday bringing the Beavers with them for the weekend before they take the All Star break beginning Monday.  They could use it!

Are you planning ahead to the biggest party of the year in University Place?  UPfest should be marked on your calendar for Friday evening July 31st and all day and evening Saturday, August 1st.  It will be worth it!  Just take a peek…

Friday July 31st

5:30 – 7pm  Hogs & Hosers – UP Fire and Police Softball Game

6:00 – 7pm  Second Tiime Around- Smooth Jazz

7:30 -9pm  Vicci Martinez – Soft Rock and Roll – an absolute local favorite!

5:00 – 8pm   Plenty of Vendors and Food Concessions

5:00 – 8:00   kIdS zONe  – $8 wristband = Unlimited Friday Pass / $15 = 2-day pass… Inflatables, Bouncers, Rock Wall…the works!

Saturday,  August 1st

All day long until 4pm – Classic Car Show in the Cirque Park Parking Lot

7:30 – 11:30 $5 Pancake Breakfast & Silent Auction thanks to the Optimist Club of West Tacoma

9:00 – 9:45 & 10:15 – 11am   Tacoma Banjo Band down in the Curtis High School Cafeteria

11:00 – 7pm  Vendors and Food Concessions

11:00 – 7:30   kIdS zOnE with a Trout Pond, too!

11:00 – 8pm  Open Mic Karaoke

Noon – 5pm  Mural Design -  Youth Painting Competition

12:15 – 12:25pm  UP Viking Jr Cheer

12:30 – 12:55   MEREDITH CONNIE – Folk Guitar (Superbly trained, educated and talented!)

1:00 – 3pm  Skyhawks Sports Activities

1:00 – 1:45   Greg Bennick – Juggler

2:00 – 3pm  Deuce – 70′s Blues-Rock and Retro Rock

3:00 – 4pm  Reptile Isle – snakes, lizards & turtles  (No, I’m NOT kidding!)

4:30 – 5:30   Starstruck – Teen Girl Band

6:00 – 7pm  Cody Rentas Band  – Rock n’ Roll

8:00 – 9:30  Freddy Pink – Rock n’ Soul

Keep watching.  We’ll get you all the details as we approach the event but mark your calendars now. So, you don’t let anything get in the way.

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: 5414 65th Avenue West in StonewoodStonewood, south of Cirque and east of 67th.  They brought it onto the market at the end of March and took a sale before mid-April, were out of Pending-Inspection status by the end of April but did not close it until June 22nd.  The List price was an accurate $269,000. The sale price ended up at $273,800 which was certainly a bargain for this lovely turn-key home and I don’t use that term loosely. It WAS indeed ready for someone to move right in.  Condition often IS the determining factor between homes. When buyers have multiple homes to choose from as they certainly do in today’s market, the one that’s absolutely ready for the movers is often the choice.  After all, who wants to inherit someone else’s problems.  I’ve often said to clients this simple reminder, “Deferred maintenance is the enemy of any home seller”.  And, after all, we’ll all be selling one day or another. If we maintain it now we’ll likely be preventing more deterioration and a bigger bill to fix it. In the end, if it’s not fixed, not only will be be an issue at sale time, it may prevent or greatly delay you from getting to sale time.  Don’t put it off.  Take care of what is probably your biggest investment before it’s time to replace rather than repair.  These sellers certainly did and it served them very well, in the end.

Well, it’s a week following a holiday and with the weather threatening it just might be a week to catch up on projects (speaking of maintaining the home) but don’t tell my wife.  I want to watch some baseball !

Catch you on Wednesday and Be Well…

Pat Maddock, Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS, 3560 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA 98466 (253)682-1182 patmaddock@cbbain.com 

bain

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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Welcome to Monday in what looks to be a superb week leading up to Independence Day.

As we did last week, we continue taking a look at the candidates for the various positions up for election to the University Place City Council.  Both incumbents and challengers were offered the opportunity to submit statements and photos for your review and most have.  Today, let’s look at Position #1 currently held by Mayor Linda Bird (a rotating duty, that of mayor) and her challenger is Javier Figueroa.  There is one other citizen who has filed to run for this position. However, after multiple opportunities, he has failed to submit any information for your consideration.  And by the way, next week, we’ll take a look at our final position up for election.

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BIRD

 LINDA 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 www.re-electlindabird.com

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JavierFigueroaPhoto

JAVIER 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 FigueroaReal Property Development & Project Management  javfig@comcast.net    Mobile: 253.226.3927

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 I know that our friends over at the U.P. Public Safety Building wouldn’t mind if we reran the section we did on Fireworks, last week. So….

 Independence Day is almost upon us.  Do you know the NEW rule about Fireworks in University Place?  I mean, we do have an active police force and I would hate to have you meet them as you stand there with your bottle rocket in hand incredulously asking, “What?”  A dispatcher told me today that if they get fireworks complaint calls they WILL be dispatching police patrols.  I don’t know what the fine is and I don’t want to know.

University Place FIREWORKS Rules

Discharge or use of fireworks is restricted to

July 4th from 9am to Midnight

Please note that is the NEW rule for University Place effective this year!  Legal sales here can be conducted from Noon June 28th through 9pm, July 4th.

You must be 16 years old to purchase fireworks and to discharge, a youngster below 16 must be under the direct supervision of an adult.

Any fireworks purchased at a licensed stand in University Place are legal for you to discharge in U.P.  Fireworks purchased elsewhere leave you as the responsible party to make sure what you have are legal here. You can surf over to the city website (the link is in the lower right corner of this page) for a definitive description.  To give you a general idea of what’s NOT legal here…  Missile-type rockets, Skyrockets, Chasers, Firecrackers, Salutes, Cherry Bombs and the good old M80’s.  (Which, come to think of it, weren’t really any good for anything other than destruction, anyway.) illegal

Fireworks are prohibited in all city parks and on all school grounds and on my old neighbor’s shake roof…you remember, the one that burnt that year because of fireworks that landed there when they weren’t home…on July 3rd!                                             

Here’s one final thought for today on fireworks. Sparklers burn up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot enough to melt gold.  What will it do to a kid’s face, bare foot, hand…his eye?  

Do you want to see fireworks?  The Tacoma Freedom Fair is one of the best shows around and info is available on where and when to go, all over the place. So, I won’t belabor that except to say, GO EARLY!

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:  4316 68th Avenue Court West in Ketchum Knoll, the Murray Franklin new home development off 67th.  This 3,619 square foot 4 bedroom 3 bath home29030455started on the market at $629,990 and they eventually brought that list price down to an even $600,000.  They recently took $579,990 for a sale price.  You have to know that the Seattle area builder is anxious to close out this project as would any builder in this marketplace.  New homes,  just like resales, are taking forever to sell and the builders are not getting what they originally planned to charge for the homes.  However, you have to tear apart a new home listing just a bit to understand pricing.  For example, know first that they paid $200,000 for each developed lot before they ever even dug a foundation.  Now, you can start to understand how they get to the prices they are asking.  Additionally, this is a very good quality builder with a great reputation. They put all the bells and whistles in the Ketchum Knoll homes.  They are good looking homes outside but you “ain’t seen nothing yet”, not if you haven’t walked through one of their finished products.  Beautiful homes…period!   A 3600 Ketchum Knoll home for $580K?  You bet that’s a good buy!

Oh, man, the WEATHERMAN is back to being my personal hero, this week.  Yeah, I’m fickle but so is U.P. summer weather!  Did you know that he is calling for 85 degrees by Thursday?  Holy roasted weenies, bat boy!  That rocks!  Clear skies all the way til monsoons on July 4th… No, No, No….just kidding.  It would, however, be easy to get away with that because that’s what we’ve come to expect around here on Independence Day, isn’t it?   Actually the forecast turns wet on Sunday (which is suspiciously close to July 4th).  Well, we’ll see as the week develops but I, for one plan to get out and take advantage of it while it’s here. 

Speaking of taking advantage of things…Reno has been taking advantage of the RAINIERS over the weekend with back-to-back losses of 5-6 and 3-4.  They’re starting to sound more and more like the Mariners with their one run losses.  Two more games in Reno then they bring Portland home for games here Wednesday, Thursday and SUPER-Fireworks Friday. Then they are on the road again, next weekend.

This week I’m in the holiday mode. So, I may or may not get back to you before the weekend.  I am going to sneak away for a run to Hurricane Ridge and Port Townsend with out-of-state guests,  before the 4th hits us. So, if I don’t catch you before the holiday, remember what it’s all about and do me a favor and make sure the kids know what we’re celebrating, would you?  It can really be enjoyable telling youngsters about why we celebrate certain holidays. 

Didja know, for example that of the founding fathers, 13 were merchants, 6 were land speculators, 11 speculated on securities on a large scale, 12FLAGowned or operated slave-operated plantations or large farms, yet several were anti-slavery advocates and activists, 2 were small farmers, 8 of them obtained a substantial part of their income from public service, 3 had retired from active economic endeavours, 3 were physicians, 1 was a college president and 35 were layers. (Holy Crap. How did we ever get it together in the first place?!?)  Quite a cross sections of the leaders of young America.  While many had strong educational backgrounds, Benjamin Franklin was self-taught!  No kidding.  Back in those days they did not live to a ripe old age. In fact, of our founding fathers, the average age at death was 67.  Two lived into their 90′s but five passed away in their forties.  Some claimed not religious affiliation but the large majority were Protestants while 3 were Roman Catholics.  Two were life long bachelors and one married member had 15 kids!  How many were there in total signing the Declaration of Independence?   57     How many had wooden teeth?  I have no idea!  If you find out, let me know, OK.

If I don’t catch you before, HAPPY and safe INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Be well !

Pat Maddock, Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS, 3560 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA 98466 (253)682-1182 patmaddock@cbbain.com 

bain

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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 This and next week we are profiling the candidates for University Place City Council election.  We have already seen the statements of Denise McCluskey and Rose Ehart, both vying for Position #5 which is being vacted by the retirement of Council Member Stan Fleming.   Next week we will have a peak at the campaign of  incumbent Council Member Ken Grassi in Position#4 as well as the most contested race, that between Council Member, now Mayor, Linda Bird  and  Challenger Javier Figueroa for Position #1.  There is another candidate who has filed for that position as is there for position#4  but both were offered the same opportunity as all of  these candidates to present us with their photos and campaign statements. In fact, they received the offer multiple times and they both declined.  So, we’ll focus on those who are, in fact, doing all they can seeking your vote.

CityofUP_logo

Today, we’ll look at the candidates for Position #3  held for more than a decade by Council Member Lorna Smith.  This is at least the second time Smith has faced a rival for reelection but she has fended off earlier challenges.  A new face has entered the race in Eric Choiniere.  Both of their statements follow:

LornaLORNA 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.
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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In Monday’s edition of the blog, we’ll move on to the other races for U.P. City Council.  I want to thank the incumbents and challengers for submitting their material and we’ll run it all again before election time.  Are YOU registered to vote?

While we’re watching the calendar of upcoming events in U.P. it’s probably wise to remember that we have a very active neighbor in Fircrest and their summer activity schedule includes the following:

Fircrest Strawberry Feed and Band Concert,  June 29th, 6 – 9 PM,

Fircrest Movie in the Park, July 10th , 9:45 PM, Fircrest Park.

Fircrest Classic Car Show, July 12th, 10 AM – 3 PM at Fircrest Park.

Fircrest Fun Days,  August 7th & 8th at Fircrest Park.

Call 564.8177 for more info on any of those Fircrest events.

I swear the WEATHERMAN was just messin’ with me when he issued the forecast upon which I based my last posting.  Sheesh.  Let’s try again for this weekend, plus.  Friday – partly cloudy, high of 71, Saturday – partly cloudy, high of 75, Sunday – 30% chance of showers, high of 70.  Monday through Friday, he’s calling for about a zero percent change of precip with temps building up to 78 degrees. However, his July 4th forecast now calls for a 60% chance of showers (That’s his way of saying it’s gonna rain.) and a high of 72….muggy!   Stop and think now, how many Fourth of Julys do you remember in Tacoma that were dry?  I mean the firefighters LOVE it! Picnickers, beachgoers and pyromaniacs ain’t all that pleased but many things can change over the next ten days.

Have you got your tickets for the ultimate Baseball and Fireworks extravaganza?  It’s Friday night, July 3rd at Cheney Stadium as the RAINIERS host Las Vegas and then it’s the big FIREWORKS! show following the game.  Check out their website for ticket info:  http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?sid=t529   In the meanwhile, they’ve been hosting the Las Vegas 51′s and it’s been up and down.  Tuesday night was the 14-4 Tacoma win. Then Wednesday Las Vegas got ‘em back 1-4 and Thursday night, thanks to four doubles in the top of the fourth off  Tacoma pitcher Gabby Hernandez, Las Vegas clobbered the Rainiers, 11-4.   Tacoma’s not at all out of it. They’re only 7 games back and in Pacific Coast Triple-A ball…anything can, and often does, happen.  Hang on to your hats. We haven’t even hit the the All Star break, yet.

Don’t forget that Taste of Tacoma is this weekend,  Friday through Sunday at Pt. Defiance Park featuring dozens of local restaurants, artisans, crafts, kids activities, live music and fun.  Admission is free.

Let’s get the straight word out. U.P. Fest  IS happening on both Friday night, July 31st and on Saturday, August 1st.  Other info is in circulation but now you’ve got it straight.

Every other year, McChord AFB hosts what’s called the AIR MOBILITY RODEO and  non-ID card carrying civilians cannot get on base to watch what amounts to a readiness competition.  The key here is that it is an Air Mobility RodeoINTERNATIONAL competition. We’re talking flying teams from Turkey, NATO, Germany, Belgium and on and on.  Let me just go on record as saying Air Force competitions like this are really something.  We’ll get into more details next week but make a mental note that you need to start looking upward, that is into the skies surround McChord beginning July 13th when our international visitors start arriving…flying in and then flying around the area. You’re going to see some aircraft up there you don’t normally see…and oh, there’s MORE to tell you.  We’ll get into it right here, next week.

The U.P. day camps and sports programs kicked off  this week and lots of opportunities are still available for that program in their upcoming weeks.  Rather than list them all here, which we have already done in earlier blogs, check out the details and registration information at the UP City website (There it is down there in the lower right hand corner of the page).

Good news from the Chambers Creek Properties!  Construction bids are due in by July 17th and construction is scheduled to begin on the pedestrian North Dock Overpass which will be our new, elevated pathway from Central Meadows over the railroad tracks to reach a section of the Puget Sound shoreline there that has never been open to public access.  It’s a (hold on to your hat) $3M project!  This is going to more than multiple the use we get out of that locale.  It is set to be completed next year and then…we’re walking to the beach!

And while we’re talking Chambers Creek Properties, the new off-leash dog park at Central Meadows will open Thursday, July 2nd from 4-7pm. The area, to the south of Central Meadows is actually a temporary, fenced, one-acre location for this purpose.  The plan is to have it open to the public during daylight hours but it may close during events down there.  The temporary location may actually operate there for more than four years.  The first permanent off-leash area will actually open on North Beach after the overpass is finished next year. Other off-leash areas are in the long range plan.  If you’ve heard of the local group SUNDogs, they are largely responsible for making this happen and they’ve got a bill to pay. So, they are seeking donations. Contact them at www.dogpark.org

 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: 7813 Cirque Drive West.  Sometimes it doesn’t help to be on a busy thoroughfare.  This home was on the market almost all of last year and it’s finally a done deal. Original list price was $335K  and they finally28194691 took $300K for it after dropping the price to $299,950.  It’s a 2000 square foot home built in 1962 but remodeled and updated.  The out buildings were a draw but to only a select percentage of buyers. With a 2-car attached garage, this property also offered a 4-car detached garage, out back. Not everybody has a use for that.  I’m glad to see it closed.

The kids are out of school.  Are you taking advantage of it?  If you’re empwondering what to do, try this. Just pretend you have out-of-town visitors and go where you might take them.  What do you think they would want to see?  Mt St Helens?  The Experience Music Project? Underground Seattle?  Game Works?  My son-in-law’s friend from Colorado is visiting with his 13 year old son. So, they’ve gone to all of those places and more.  Why leave exploring those unique places for when we’ve got guests?  Just out our backdoor we have some of the most unique destinations in the country. How about the Museum of Flight?  Yep, they went there, too.  Why not our own Museums downtown?  They are excellent!  Once the kids are back in school, you’ll be too busy.  In about a week, I’ll have out-of-state guests and we are heading for paradise innHurricane Ridge and Paradise up at Mt. Rainier.  Places I like to go, anyway.  The picnic at Hurricane Ridge is a repeat for them. They were so taken by it last time, they’ve asked to go again!  A quiet evening in U.P.?  Naw, take your guests for a walk around the Chambers properties and enjoy a world class view and check out one of the best and most unique new golf courses in America.  Maybe a picnic dinnercentral meadows down at the Central Meadows.  We have so very many options in Western Washington.  People are talking about not going on vacation but rather taking a “Stay-cation”.  Right here, look at our choices. Millions of visitors come to check out Western Washington every year.  We can too, without leaving home!

So, the weather looks good. There’s lots to do. It’s a weekend!  Go get it!

Catch you next week. Be well.

Pat Maddock, Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS, 3560 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA 98466 (253)682-1182 patmaddock@cbbain.com 

bain

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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Welcome to the blog for and about the residents of the City of University Place, Washington.  Yes. We know others read it for a variety of reasons and that’s great. You are more than welcome.  But the efforts to create this are dedicated to furthering “community” in this wonderful little place we call our home.  This blog is rewritten every Monday, Wednesday and Friday by a VERY long time U.P. native who is also a busy REALTOR here.  Please accept it as it is offered, with sincerity, with sober efforts toward accuracy and with the hope that in it’s own small way, this blog might contribute to the wonderful quality of  life we enjoy  in University Place.  And if the occasional humor along the line doesn’t drive you nuts…enjoy!

Few people in this small city of ours can make a bigger difference than those men and women we elect to serve as our City Council members. Seven residents of University Place serve by virtue of our votes and because they stood up in the crowd and said, “I will”  in the first place. Simply for doing so seriously, I think we owe them all a vote of thanks. I know I haven’t said “I will”. You haven’t either but they have and for that, we ought to be grateful and supportive of their efforts but, of course, first, they have to get elected. Yes. It’s approaching that time again.

This year, for four positions, nine candidates have filed to run, three incumbents and six challengers. In one race, Position #5,  the incumbent, Council member Stan Flemming is retiring after more than a decade of service to our city. Certainly anyone who will dedicate that amount of time to his neighbors deserves our appreciation and Council member Fleming is not just “anyone”.  But we’ll talk about Stan another time. 

As for now, it’s time to start exposing the city to who these candidates are and what they are all about. To do so, once filing was complete June 5th, I offered each of them the opportunity to submit a campaign statement up to 250 words, along with a photo, and I offered to run those statements in the blog more than once between now and the elections. Let me be repetitive for just a moment.  “I offered each of them.”  That statement will become significant below.  Today we begin delivering those statements to you. Since we have no incumbent in one race, we’ll start there. Both of these candidates have run for the council before, against incumbents. This time, as I said, they are challenging each other for the soon-to-be empty seat of Position #5. In alphabetical order, they are Rose Ehart and Denise McCluskey.  Here are their Unedited statements.

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ROSE EHART:   I love this city and have invested in making it better. My husband and I rose_ehart_photo[1]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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DENISE McCLUSKEY:  As your newly elected University Place City Council Member, I will serve your needs with over 17 years of local mccluskeyvolunteer 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, begins 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!

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. Instead, I’ll just tell 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. 

Remember your first ballot?  Did you go to the polls?  Did it come through the mail?  While serving in an Air Force uniform for more than two decades, mostly outside of the United States, I don’t ever remember anything but a ballot in the mail.  How much easier can they make it for you?  Do it at your dinner table!  Do it in bed!  Do it on the “john”!  OK, maybe not on the “john” but you get the point.  As the folks at Nike enjoy saying, “Just Do It”!  There is NO, NO, NO excuse not to.  Remember, this is the guy who’s lived where they can’t, where they barely can and now, where they don’t seem to give a damn.  In November, there will be nowhere near the 62% that turned out last year. It just won’t happen. So, your vote counts now more than ever.  Be thankful for what we have and make your voice heard!

In upcoming editions of the blog we’ll feature the other candidates for city council both the incumbents and the challengers.  In those other races, I’ve received statements and photos from:

Postion #1:  Linda Bird- incumbent,  Javier Figueroa- challenger, Dan Carnrite – challenger – did not submit.

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

Position #4:  Ken Grassi- incumbent, Carl Mollnow – challenger – did not submit.

It’s a pleasure to assist  both the candidates to get the word out and to assist you in getting it “from the horses” mouth, Unedited.  We’ll run them all and run them again.  It’s that important.

Hey!  Independence Day is almost upon us.  Do you know the NEW rule about Fireworks in Univsity Place?  I mean, we do have an active police force and I would hate to have you meet them as you stand there with your bottle rocket in hand incredulously asking, “What?”  A dispatcher told me today that if they get fireworks complaint calls they WILL be dispatching police patrols.  I don’t know what the fine is and I don’t want to know.

University Place FIREWORKS Rules

Discharge or use of fireworks is restricted to

July 4th from 9am to Midnight

Please note that is the NEW rule for University Place effective this year!  Legal sales here can be conducted from Noon June 28th through 9pm, July 4th.

You must be 16 years old to purchase fireworks and to discharge, a youngster below 16 must be under the direct supervision of an adult.

Any fireworks purchased at a licensed stand in University Place are legal for you to discharge in U.P.  Fireworks purchased elsewhere leave you as the responsible party to make sure what you have are legal here. You can surf over to the city website (the link is in the lower right corner of this page) for a definitive description.  To give you a general idea of what’s NOT legal here…  Missle-type rockets, Skyrockets, Chasers, Firecrackers, Salutes, Cherry Bombs and the good old M80′s.  (Which, come to think of it, weren’t really any good for anything other than destruction, anyway.) illegal

Fireworks are prohibited in all city parks and on all school grounds and on my old neighbor’s shake roof…you remember, the one that burnt that year because of fireworks that landed there when they weren’t home…on July 3rd!                                               NOPE !

Here’s one final thought for today on fireworks. Sparklers burn up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s hot enough to melt gold.  What will it do to a kid’s face, bare foot, hand…his eye?  

We’ve got a real dilemma in terms of our friend the WEATHERMAN. It depends upon who you want to listen to this week. Some are calling for more rain while others think that’s behind us for the near future.  Well, my favorite guy says, nothing more than a 20% chance of precip between now and Independence Day. Temps are forecast to start climbing again from 70 today up to 81 degrees by the holiday.  Not to jinx it but Woo Hoo Baby! 

Between now and then I’m looking forward to a drive up to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics with some out of state relatives and freinds and a night in Port Townsend.  With those plans, this kind of forecast ROCKS!

Our RAINIERS, speaking of Woo Hoo, came back to life last night and in hellacious fashion. Holy Crap, 14-4 over Las Vegas! A six run seventh inning didn’t hurt us a bit.  Both Shelton and Clement homered last night.  It’s pretty colorful right now at Cheney Stadium with Jeff Clement here. Kenji  Johjima is still here. Mike Morse was at short stop last night. Ryan Rowland-Smith started and pitched into the fourth inning.  Did anybody else notice that he hit the batter immediately AFTER the coach’s trip to the mound?  Hmmm?  Yes, Smith was ejected last night.  By the way, if you see Ryan today, consider not saying “How’s it going?”  Jesus Delgado took over and earned the win. Vegas is here through Friday night. (Fireworks!)  Then our boys are on the road again.

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:  8722 33rd St West here was a nice little sale and it gives us another opportunity for yet one more ‘Lesson in Real Estate’ from your REALTOR, Pat Maddock.  Often, home owners fall into the easy trap of seeing what another home in their area sells for and applying the factors 8722of that sale directly to their own home, thereby concluding an incorrect value for theirs.  Why?  Because homes are apples and oranges. You know, for example, that the home right next to yours is very different than yours. It may be much larger or smaller or newer or older or it has a hardiplank exterior while your is simulated stucco…there’s a million and one possible differences.  Most often, when folks go astray extrapolating  factors from on sale and applying them to their own property, it has to do with size and that old stand by of  “price per square footage”.  Do I use price per sq ft to evaluate homes?  Well, of course I do. HOWEVER, I cannot look at that factor alone…never, never, never or I guarantee I will come to the wrong value for a house.  For example, we recently evaluated the sale of a U.P. property that offered 2,876 square feet of finished living space and it sold for $310K.  Today’s example is a small home offering only 896 square feet and it just sold for $195K.  The first home had a price per sq ft of $108, while the small home sold at $218/sq ft.  If I live in a U.P. home that’s about 2,800 sq ft am I safe to figure my value at $108/sq ft?  NO!  If I have a small, say 900 sq ft home can’t I then assume it will go for about $218/sq ft. Absolutely Not!   And for about a million reasons.  But frankly, that’s what you hire a REALTOR  for. To know how to factor in all of those other reasons and to correctly understand and apply the lessons learned from today’s sale and use them in evaluating your home.  So, what did we find in this little home?  2 beds, one full bath.  It was built just blocks from the home I grew up in and it was built in the same year, 1953.  Down west of Grandview on 33rd, this sits in what was the heart of U.P. back then. Now, it’s an affordable, starter-sized home within walking distance of the schools. They were a bit optimistic when they listed it back in March at $239,950 but their final list price of $219,950 brought the successful offer. It really is a good looking little home and the grounds look marvelous. New roof, new furnace…all-in-all, someone got a very nice buy and probably is looking forward to using the $8,000 tax credit for first time buyers.  And why not?

There’s lots going on around here this weekend that you’ll find listed in past editions but we’ll hit the highlights again when we get to Friday.  In the meanwhile, be well.

Pat Maddock, Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS, 3560 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA 98466 (253)682-1182 patmaddock@cbbain.com 

bain

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’m holding my breath for the weather this week and the kick off of the annual CONCERTS IN THE PARK series in the University Place park at the Curran Apple Orchard, Thursday evening from 6:30 to 8pm.  It’s been sodead edsels enjoyable before and we’ve got a return act this week in the Dead Edsels  with their fun ’50′s dancingand ’60′s sounds.  It really is a great family venue and U.P. has a history of getting up and dancing if they like what you play.  So, let’s bribe the weatherman and see if we can’t get the season started with a dry night and a lot of fun in the orchard.  See you there!  (Of course, remember, that if there’s a rain out, we just move inside to the cafeteria at Curtis High School.)

Taste of Tacoma is this weekend,  June 26, 27 & 28 at Pt. Defiance Park featuring dozens of local restaurants, artisans, crafts, kids activities, live music and fun.  Admission is free.

And don’t forget, for Dixieland Jazz, the Greater Olympia Dixieland Jazz Festival is happening this week,  6/25 through 6/28. Check out the details at http://www.olyjazz.com/

I’m not sure you want to know what the RAINIERS have been up to!  How about a 5-game loosing streak?  Yuck.  Kenji Johjima has been down on a rehab assignment, catching a bit, hitting even less as he lets his toe mend from that accident he was in recently.  The Reno Aces have been embarrassing them here and yesterday afternoon was the worst with a 2-11 clobbering. I’m just surprised they got the game in with the thunder and rain and all.  OK let’s get off that downer. They’ve got tonight off before opening a home series against Las Vegas who has about as poor a record right now as the Rainiers have.  At 34-36 Tacoma finds themselves 6 games back in the PCL Pacific-North. Las Vegas, with a 30-41 record, are 15.5 games out in the PCL Pacific- South…..Holy Crap!  I guess maybe we shouldn’t complain.

And speaking of complaining, the WEATHERMAN is buying more of those blue plastic tarps, I hear.  Regardless of what you see on TV, OUR weather dude is calling for rain today with a high of 66 degrees. Since I woke up and the deck was soaked, I guess he’s already correct.  However, tomorrow, he’s calling for partly cloudy skies with only a 10% change of precip and a high of 74.  Wednesday it’s only a 20% change with a high of 75.  He is calling for more rain by Thursday. So, we’ll check in with him when we do this again on Wednesday.

Rather than a SALE OF THE DAY, let’s take a look at how this market turns a wonderfully remodelled home into a “Screamin’ Deal”… No kidding!  1,824 sq ft, remodelled/updated inside and out. The floor plan is designed as a 3 bedroom but it also offers a good sized open bonusJanson Kitch room with tons of built-ins.  There are two bedrooms and a full bath on the main while the master suite with totally redone tile bathroom is upstairs along with the bonus room.  The sellers used that as a nursery then a bedroom for their young twin boys until they got “too big” … a mental state, and asked to move to their own space, downstairs.  The bonus would make a superb office, toy room, hobby room, guest room…whatever.  The ground floor all flow off the janson bathremodelled tile kitchen and good sized dining/ breakfast nook…it flows into a LARGE great room configuration with fireplace, tons of windows and space for an immense collection of furniture!  Before the market fell off a cliff, this was easily a $350K home especially in it’s outstanding condition but it’s available right now for $250K…I am not kidding.  It’s close to University Place but closer to commute convenience and this market has made it an absolute steal. Let me know if you want to see it now that it’s been reduced so drastically.

Well, that will see us through until Wednesday and, oh by the way, we’ll start running the campaign statements from the University Place City Council candidates in this Wednesday’s blog.  As we have no incumbent running for what has been Councilman Stan Flemming’s seat for so very long, we’ll first feature the two candidates for Position #5,  Denise McKlusky and Rose Ehart.  That’s coming up in the next edition of University Place:  What’s UP?   See you then.  Be well.

 Pat Maddock, Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS, 3560 Bridgeport Way West, University Place, WA 98466 (253)682-1182 patmaddock@cbbain.com 

bain

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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