Category: TPCAR


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

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

Just in front of the new town center

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

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

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

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

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

Is that a duck under there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2002 University Place home

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

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

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

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

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

 patmaddock@cbbain.com

cbbain-intranet-header2

So, just who IS this guy?

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

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

REMEMBER WHEN IT LOOKED LIKE THIS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's a perfect U.P. condo

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

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

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

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

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

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

 patmaddock@cbbain.com

cbbain-intranet-header2

So, just who IS this guy?

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

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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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