Category: University Place Washington


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pat Maddock

So, just who IS this guy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ Remove soapbox and get back to…. ]

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

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

Be Well,

Pat Maddock

 

cbbain-intranet-header2

So, just who IS this guy?

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

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

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

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

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

    Emergency Number:
    911

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

    Non-Emergency Number:
    (253) 798-4722

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

    So, what else is significant around here? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

    PAT MADDOCK     

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

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    Who is this guy?

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

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

    __________________________________________________

    ________________________________

    If you haven’t noticed before, I’ll point it out now. I rarely bother repeating negative news in this blog. Why not? Because the commercial media revels in reporting it and they waste no time. “Home sales are down again”, “The jobless rate is up for the ninth consecutive…” Why bother? They frame their newscasts and headlines around it. So, it IS nice to read a headline like the one in the May 31st Business Examiner. “Jobless rate falls”.
    Back in 2002 housing in this country was fully one quarter of the gross domestic product. THAT was the red flag so many ignored. You can’t sustain that! And we did not. Housing fell, the banks fell, employment fell and conditions are still not conducive to a full-scale recovery. As has been the case in the past, housing led us down the path and housing will lead us back up. History has shown that time and again and our recovery from this e-x-t-e-n-d-e-d slump should be no different. Recent upturns in home sales have and continue to be encouraging and it’s all part of a slow, sober recovery but when you get a good shot in the arm like the April employment numbers, that adds clearly to the overall picture.
    The state “…unemployment rate fell for the first time in more than three years.” The Business Examiner just reported.
    When we read percentage rates of unemployment in our state we see numbers like 9.5% but what does that translate to in jobs? Well, the recent increase took unemployment in Washington from 9.5% in March to 9.2% in April but what that translates to is 5,800 additional jobs and that’s a damned good thing! Bring it on! I know too many good folks right here in University Place scrambling for income. This is the first significant and positive change to the state’s unemployment rates in 36 months! I’ll take 3/10ths of a percent as an increase. Oh, hell yes! Onward!
    And this is all a vital part of the recovery. Declining unemployment, favorable interest rates, shrinking housing inventory…it all adds up to economic recovery and it IS a damned good thing. It’s coming slowly, every-so slowly but it’s coming and I for one continue to be encouraged.
    Now, for the nay sayers who like to write me and want to tear the good news down and say “No
    Way, there’s no recovery in sight”. Save your time. I won’t print you. Write the News Tribune. They love ya.

    Meanwhile, back home…
    University Place: What’s UP? DUCK DAZE! That’s what’s up. The unofficial kick off to summer in U.P. happens this weekend. So I hope you have your yellow rain slicker and your duck-billed cap ready.

    Saturday … THIS Saturday, the 5th, 10am, the Duck Daze parade begins at 27th and Bridgeport and heads all the way up to Town Center.  It’s fun to gather along the parade route and view the get ups and antics of our neighbors but they tell me it’s even MORE fun to get out there and join in!

    If you want to march in the parade, they need you at 27th and Bridgeport by 9:00 a.m. and you should call Dixie Harris first at 564-6373.  Following the parade, they all head for the Treasures in the Park Antique Show and  Flea Market and then most everyone heads over to the Public Safety building for the Fire Department and Police Department open house.  Treasures in the Park is scheduled for 10am to 4pm and they feature fun for the kids, too.  If you might be interested in a last-minute vendor opportunity, call Councilman Ken Grassi at 278-1946.  The Fire Dept and Police Dept open their doors from 10am to 2pm at the Public Safety building and that is all an open house with the firefighters and cops SHOULD be plus if you need a life jacket, bike helmet or a multi-sport helmet, they’ll be on sale there and the pros will properly fit you, which is even more important.  Good prices, too.  Life jacket $14, bike helmet $7, multi-sport helmet $10.   And there’s more fun down there for the kids with temporary tattoos, face painting, refreshments, etc.

    Did you know that the UP Town Cruisin’ Association will also be out in force on Saturday from 9am to 3pm. Call Charlie Maxwell to find out more at 405-9014.  And the United for UP Coalition will be in the Town Hall Courtyard with informational booths from local businesses and nonprofit organizations and they, along with some of the other functions that day will all be collecting non-perishable food donations. 

    You’ll encounter all sorts of entertainment throughout the day, even over and above the entertainment value of just seeing your friends and neighbors dressed up like DUCKS!   Tell me you don’t want to see Councilman Eric Choiniere in yellow feathers!   I would PAY to see that!

    Karaoke, storytelling, a band, a performing pianist, in fact, a lot of music and more!   Duck Daze is always fun and you know what?  One of these days each of us need to grab  Dixie Harris by the arm, look her in the eyes and tell her sincerely THANK YOU for making University Place a better place to live and raise a family! Among her other community endeavours, she has been behind the parade and Duck Daze itself since it’s inception, as I understand it.  And this is the 11th annual event! She would immediately point out all of the other folks who have contributed, too but they would all turn and point back at Dixie.  Credit finds its way where it belongs.  We all owe much to that sweet lady, hard worker, leader and really great neighbor!  ( Don’t you really think we should start calling her DIXIE DUCK? )

    Oh, and finally…take a cue from Dixie and Dress Like A DUCK !!!

     29 years! That’s a heck of a lot to give to the people of Pierce County but it’s what U.P. Chief of Police Jim Andrews has done.  Since April of 1981 he has served us throughout the county and as our own chief for the past five years.  The announcement was just made by City Manager Steve Sugg and Pierce County sheriff Paul Pastor that Lt. Rusty Wilder will succeed Chief Andrews effective July 2nd.

    And while Chief Andrews will certainly be missed on the softball field…  Oh, we’ll save that for later!

    Hey, it’s good to be back.

    In our next installment of the blog, we’ll get back into the University Place Real Estate Sale of the Day. (I WISH there were that many!)  There are plenty and we’ll start profiling them again for you.  So, you can keep tabs on what YOUR marketplace is doing and how it will affect your home value.

    Do set a side some time this Saturday to watch the parade up Bridgeport and/or come walk through the activities in the park and around the area to include the open house at the Fire and Police Departments.  After all it’s DUCK DAZE and it only happens in UNIVERSITY PLACE, WASHINGTON!

    And that’s What’s Up!

    PAT MADDOCK     

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

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    Who is this guy?

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

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

    __________________________________________________

    ________________________________

    OK OK OK … I’m back!
    You wouldn’t believe the hounding I’ve been taking because I haven’t been writing. Sorry. I’ll try to get my head back into it. I mean, after all, this IS the time our community starts to come to life, every year. So, I suppose I should, as well.

    Next weekend is DUCK DAYS! Even Fircrest is opening the pool today. Sheesh. We’re talking polar bear club.

    Well, OK, I’ll get back into it this week and get you the Duck Days details. The chamber has a number of things going on. City government is alive and … oh be nice now. And the real estate marketplace…now that’s another story!

    But first, there is one and only one important consideration this weekend, from where I stand. Please indulge me and then I’ll get the blog about U.P. back on it’s feet and looking forward, this week. Nice to be back. Good to “see” you all.

    MEMORIAL DAY
    A three day weekend for bbq, beaches, camping (blue tarps around here), working in the garden, time away from the job… Sure, I suppose. There’s nothing wrong with any of that. Not at all. If it wasn’t for the rain, I would probably be working in the yard, myself.

    Back during the civil war, the confederates didn’t think there was anything wrong with dumping the bodies of hundreds and hundreds of union soldiers into a mass grave and marching on off down the road. But in 1865 a group of emancipated slaves felt that maybe they owed those union soldiers a little something more. So, they voluntarily dug up that mass grave and established a cemetary for the union dead and they started what became known as Decoration Day, that Spring. That’s the day we visit the dearly departed, remembering them, who they were, what they stood for and we revisit our cherished memories of them. And as the day evolved, as all things do, it became known as Memorial Day, a recognized federal holiday and it became widely applied as a day or a weekend to visit our cemetaries and pay our respects to those who have gone before us. And what’s wrong with that?

    No. It’s not the absolute original intent of the commemoration but it’s certainly an honorable one. And that’s what I do, too.

    Today, I’ll visit our family’s cemetary, tidy up the decorations for my late parents, visit my grandparents and some aunts and uncles and before I leave, I will always put a fresh flag in place for my father… the Marine.

    He didn’t talk a lot about what he did during the war. That was WWII, by the way. I know he had some very vivid memories that were not very pleasant but he understood why he did what he did and, given the chance, he would have done it all again. He once told me that he was proud of me for my choice to serve our country and the 20 years I spent in an Air Force uniform and that meant a helluva lot to me, coming from him.

    I like to take a moment and remember my parents, honor them, say a prayer for them and put them back a little closer to my heart, where they belong.
    Memorial Day is a good time to do that. Yet, it certainly is also the time for us to remember all of our servicemen and women who have raised their hands and said “I will” when our country called on them, too. They may have fought to establish our freedom. They may have fought to stop aggression. They may have given their lives to thwart terrorism. There have been too many reasons over the many years of our young country, too many reasons for war. Can I say I support all of the causes which took our young men and women into harms way? Certainly not. I’m a child of the ’60’s, after all and we question everything. But I do honor THEM, the men and the women, and I honor those they left behind. It’s true that a parent should never outlive their child. It’s just not right. Ask any parent of a service member who did not come home.

    This is a time to remember who paid the ultimate sacrifice but I would submit it’s a time to also be mindful of the children who were left without a father, wives and husbands who felt as if they lost half of themselves and the parents. Oh, the parents who lost children, children in uniform. Could there be anything more desperately heart wrenching?

    I honor them, as well. They who also gave.

    I find Memorial Day to be an appropriate time to remind myself, too that we all ARE the government of this nation. We set the policies, make the laws and send our sons and daughters off to war. If we are mired in Afghanistan and Bin Laden is still creeping around after all of these years, do I blame George Bush? Well, honestly, yes I do but I have to stand up and take some of that blame myself because I AM the government of this country. I have a voice and No, I don’t just mean a vote. I mean that I talk with our elected representatives and I work to get the good ones reelected and I work to replace them when they deserve it, as I am today. I have that responsibility. I owe it to my country. I owe it to my family and I owe it to the men and women serving us all, in uniform…and those who have gone before them.

    It’s good that we honor a day of remembrance. It’s good that we remember to say “Thank You”. Even if we only take a moment on Monday afternoon to sit down for a few minutes and just imagine what it would be like to be the spouse or the child or the brother or the sister, or God forbid, the parent of a service member who never came home. Imagine.

    Don’t they deserve that from us? Don’t we owe them enough to remind ourselves what an unfathomable sacrifice they made for us, both them and their loved ones?

    Memorial Day is a good thing. It’s a very good thing.

    It’s been said that as long as there are men, there will be wars.

    Perhaps in remembering and imaging we can also take a moment for two more thoughts. One would be how wonderful our world could be without another war. If you really give that some thought, it’s beyond description. But the other thought harkens back to the words of Albert Einstein who said, “I do not know what weapons the next war will be fought with but I know the war after that will be fought with sticks and stones.”

    We all have a role in this.

    Memorial Day is a very good time to remember, to think ahead and to determine what role we each can play in stopping parents from losing their children.

    Memorial Day is a good thing. It’s a very good thing.

    Well, there’s lots happening around town but let’s get it from the Mayor’s Mouth.  Here’s the latest “Mayor’s Update” from Mayor Debbie Klowsoski.

     

    Council Selection Process—
    This week was quite exciting as the City Council finished an extensive interview and selection process for filling the open City Council seat which was left vacant due to the death of Councilmember Jean Brooks last December.

    The City Council began the process in January by narrowing a field of 14 candidates down to six after an initial public interview process. Although one candidate pulled out due to increased business commitments, the remaining five participated in a League of Women Voters’ forum featuring questions submitted by the public. The City Council also received considerable public input prior to the final interviews this week.

    After the final interview process, the City Council selected Caroline Belleci to fill the remaining term for Council Position 7. Ms. Belleci , who was sworn in Monday night, has served on the City’s Planning Commission since its inception along with being actively involved in numerous city issues. Her extensive involvement and knowledge will bring a valuable perspective regarding future issues before the City Council.

    Finally, many thanks to the other candidates who participated in this process.
    We were extremely fortunate to have the caliber of candidates that came forward to offer their services to the City. It is our hope that these candidates (Frank Boykin, Ken Campbell, Ross Hjelseth and Mark Kahley ) will participate in our community in the coming year because they certainly have much to offer. Also, thanks to the many citizens who took the time and effort to send their thoughts to us regarding the council candidates.

    Road Maintenance—
    Adequate funding for future road maintenance is among the agenda items slated for the Feb. 22 study session.

    Right now, the City receives approximately $700,000 in state gas tax funding which is less than half the cost of maintaining streets in their current condition. (Even if gas prices go up, the city does not receive additional funds since our revenues are based on the number of gallons sold versus the price).

    Our current gas tax revenues pay for street sweeping (which also keeps our storm drains clear), critical pothole and crack repairs, traffic signals and road striping. There are NO funds, however, to pay for regular asphalt overlays, chip seals and other measures which extend the life of the city’s roads and avoid the cost of major street repairs and replacements in the future.

    While our major road projects were made possible due to state and federal grants, outside funding for basic maintenance projects on local streets is often nonexistent. The lack of outside funds, increased costs for material and labor, declining revenues and budget cuts have made it necessary for us to examine other options.

    Although our roads may appear to be in good condition, the reality is that we have been unable to provide the level of recommended maintenance for a number of years. Instead, we have been relying on “band aid” approaches…but you can only do that for so long.

    Last December, the former City Council formed a Transportation Benefit District as allowed by state law which is the first step in providing local governments options for funding road improvements. Although the council created the district, discussions on funding options were postponed for later consideration by the 2010 City Council.

    The City Council will discuss this item in study session on Monday, Feb. 22.
    If the council wishes to explore the idea further, it will set the item for a public hearing in the near future so that the public can comment on this proposal.

    (Just a note of clarification–Study sessions are an opportunity for council and staff to have initial discussions on the merits of a proposal along with answering any initial questions or concerns that council might have. Although the public is welcome to attend the study session, public comment is not allowed at that time. Instead, public comment is encouraged at future regular council meetings where items are set for consideration and action).

    Pancake Breakfast –
    Enjoy a great breakfast and support the UP Youth & Senior Recreation programs at the UP Parks & Recreation Pancake Breakfast and Silent Auction on Saturday, April 3, at 8 am at Curtis High School. Tickets are $50 each or $400 for a table of eight.
    For more information, contact 460-2530.

    Conservation Futures Appointment
    Citizens interested in representing the City on the Conservation Futures Advisory Committee are encouraged to fill out applications. Conservation Futures is a land preservation program to protect threatened areas of open space, habitat and other areas and is funded by a portion of the county property tax.
    Applications are due March 8. For more information, contact the City Clerk at 566-5656.

    As always, I welcome your questions and comments. Please feel free to contact me at dklosowski@cityofup.com or 460-2501.

    Sincerely,
    Debbie Klosowski
    Mayor of University Place

    I just think it’s important to nod in the direction of our elected leadership from time to time, by way of finding out what’s hot and important in their eyes.  I applaud Mayor Klosowski’s initiative toward timely communication and I’ll do what I can to amplify it.

    And as for YOU…have a great weekend! 

    PAT MADDOCK     

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

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    Who is this guy?

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

    You can find him at the Bridgeport office of Coldwell Banker Bain.  If you want to know something about University Place real estate, talk with someone who certainly does!

    Not really caring what the “professional” sports commentators decide to say about it, THAT was one helluva Superbowl!

    So, with so much going on around University Place what shall we discuss today?

    Nothing.
    Nothing expect the election.
    And I’m really not going to discuss it.
    I’m going to “get a little pushy” instead. If you want rationale for why you should vote for the School Levy, read the newspaper or read the preceding installment of the this blog.

    My message to you today is really this simple. VOTE!

    VOTE right now! Tuesday the 9th is election day and if you are reading this on the 10th and you didn’t vote. Look for a hard object like a bat or maybe a  rolling pin or perhaps a shovel. Grasp the handle firmly and hit yourself in the head!  Yes. I’m serious. OK you can use your hand if you can’t find anything else.

    We cannot afford to “forget” to fund our schools. It’s really THAT important.

    So, I don’t want to dilute the message. VOTE, VOTE now and of course…

    VOTE “Yes” for Schools !!!

    My very sincere thanks to you!

    PAT MADDOCK     

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

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    Who is this guy?

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

    You can find him at the Bridgeport office of Coldwell Banker Bain.  If you want to know something about University Place real estate, talk with someone who certainly does!

     So, it was the driest January on record here?  It just felt kinda-yucky There is something VERY important I need to you do.  Frankly the people who need you to do this are a lot shorter than I am, come to think of it.    We need you to go dig up your ballot…now!  You, know, the one you received in the mail the other day.  Inside it’s labelled “Special Election Ballot – February 9, 2010, etc…”  Now, if you wait until February 9th, you’ll probably forget, as I would.  And instead of me just saying “Mark Yes” and mail it back in, I should set the record straight on an item of concern or two. 

    NO, NO, NO this is not in any way tied to the Town Center!  Sheesh!  I couldn’t believe it Friday when I was talking with our School District(UPSD)  Superintendent, Patti Banks, and she noted that there are people out there who are actually under the impression that the two are somehow connected. NO, NO, NO!   Please pass that word on, would you? 

    And while you’re at it, NO, NO, NO this is not a levy for capital improvements!  That means, this is not a tax so they can build new buildings. No! This is, as your ballot explains, a REPLACEMENT levy.  In other words, a few years back we voted to fund the operations, maintainance, staffing, materials, books, etc…the “stuff” needed to educate our youngsters. Well that runs out at the end of this year and this levy will REPLACE those funds.  It will NOT build new buildings. Those monies come from a totally different place.  This vote is essentially saying Yes, we want school to continue in University Place.

    Let’s take a quick peak at where funds do come from that keep the doors open through our schools.  State funds provide 68.28% of the revenue used by the UPSD and 21% of their revenue comes from local levies such as this one. That’s about 1 out of every 5 dollars used to operate our schools that is dependent upon this election.  Whew!  I would not want to see what would happen if we took 1 our of every 5 dollars away from the operations of our school district!  And I don’t even have kids in school!

      Which brings up another important point. I was in a conversation with a gent the other day who was bitchin about the fact that this was bound to pass and he was gonna have to keep paying for the UP Schools when his kids had all graduated from Curtis and now have families of their own.  I wanted to slap him but I’ve taken a personal vow to be nicer and I have no desire to inspect the inside of a Pierce County Sheriff’s facility.  If that thought every crosses your mind (No, not the slapping)  please think of two things.  When you were putting your kids through school, here or wherever, you were not alone in funding that.  Parents whose children were long gone were helping you fund your childrens’ education. Single folks who never had kids were helping to fund it.  Even my parents and so many like them who helped pay the cost of students in University Place while they also paid tuition to St. Charles where all six of us Maddock kids attended, then Bellarmine and so on.  But Dad didn’t gripe about having to pay twice because it was his choice to send us to Catholic school and  (Here’s that second reason I promised you) he knew that by maintaining a strong school district there was a direct impact on the rate of appreciation of his biggest monetary investment, our home. 

    In my business I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had clients come to me and list the U.P. Schools as THEE number one reason why they wanted to live here.  Of course you realize that the same home in U.P. and in Fircrest will bring two different prices, don’t you?  It’s primarily because of the schools!  The day I stop supporting U.P. Schools is the day I no longer care about the resale value of my home!  

    By the way, in 2010 we have a voter approved rate of taxation in support of the schools (bond, M&O and tech levies) of $6.85 per $1,000 of assessed valuation of our homes.  With the passage of this levy this week (don’t put it off) in 2011, the voter approved estimated total will be $6.62 per $1,000.  Ah, yes, that WOULD be less. Now wouldn’t it?  Do you think I’m going to fill out my ballot with a YES and send it in BEFORE the February 9th deadline?  Yes?  NO!  … I already did it!

    Please get to your friends and neighbors and politely remind them to get their YES vote in early and if you think it’s going to be a NO vote, then let’s hijack their ballot.  Yes, I’m kidding.  But you certainly know how to correct any misconception they might have about the election.  If not, give me a shout. I’ll be all too happy to chat with them.  It really is that important.  Thanks!

    The City of University Place Economic Development Office is about to start their Business Workshop Series again.  February 24th will be the first lunchtime session and they are worth their weight in ownership/managerial gold!  They really are.  I’ll tell you more as the date nears but grab a pencil and your calendar and write “U.P. Food for Thought” on Feb 24th.  They will happen about every other month this year and all you pay for is your lunch.  Last year’s sessions were worth TONS more than that!  Seriously, mark your calendar and check back here and I’ll tell you the details of the first one. So, you can make it a point not to miss it.  Outside experts talking specifically about issues we face with our businesses every day.  This is powerful stuff.

    Are you a business owner or manager in University Place?  If so, you really ought to look into the University Place-Fircrest Division of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce.  It is a very active and successful arm of the main chamber and it’s one that certainly makes a difference for you and your business here in U.P.   One small thing you might want to just show up for and yes, that’s totally welcomed…you don’t need to be a member to come join in…it’s called Wake U.P. and it happens the last Friday morning of each month. The February event is set for 7:30 a.m., Friday, February 26th and it always takes place at the U.P. Presbyterian Church (C’mon around back) at 8101 27th St West.  It runs until 9:00 a.m. and it’s packed full of information which benefits most all of us as business owners/managers here.  It’s different every month and it’s valuable every month.  Plus, that first half hour as most of us are drinking coffee and just trying to think lucidly, it’s a good time do a little networking with other business owners from the area.  Give it a try. I believe you’ll be surprised and if you want to, just tell anyone who asks that I invited you! 

    So, what is going on in the real estate realm now? We see all the for sale signs around University Place but what’s happening elsewhere. Yes. We heard the news that Pierce County essentially crashed in December, something over a 16% loss from the prior month. Does that mean the value of my home fell 16%? No. Certainly not. What it means is that we closed more than 16% fewer sales than in the prior month. But isn’t December traditionally a slow month? Yes. It is but that doesn’t cover the 16%. A player in that number was that so many first time buyers sprinted to meet the deadline to qualify for the $8,000 federal tax credit for buying their first home or the first they’ve owned in more than three years. There was a deadline to hit which did get extended until this June but many were sprinting and they closed in October and November and the rush was done by the time December rolled around.

    New-home buyers responded to the tough times in 2009 by opting for smaller houses, driving down the average size of a house built in the United States for the first time in 27 years. Data recently released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found the average size of a new home that was completed in 2009 fell to 2,480 square feet from 2,520 square feet in 2008. That doesn’t seem like a big adjustment but many of us feel the trend will continue.  I really think we’ll settle somewhere around 2,000 square feet.

    RealtyTrac, one of the leading online marketplaces for foreclosure properties, released its Year-End 2009 Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report, which shows that cities in four sun belt states accounted for all top 20 foreclosure rates in 2009 among metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more, but foreclosure activity showed signs of spreading into previously insulated areas as unemployment became more of a driving factor.

    California accounted for nine of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates, followed by Florida with eight, Nevada with two and Arizona with one. The highest-ranked metro area outside of those four states was in Boise City-Nampa, Idaho, which ranked No. 24 with 4.66% of its housing units receiving at least one foreclosure notice in 2009.

    Many of us in the industry feel that we’re entering a new wave of foreclosures, driven more by unemployment and economic hardship than what we’ve seen over the past few Areas like Provo, Utah, Fayetteville, Ark., Portland, Ore., and Rockford, Ill., all posted foreclosure rates above the U.S. average in 2009. And markets like Honolulu, Minneapolis and Seattle saw foreclosure activity increase at more than twice the national pace over the past 12 months—although all three of those markets still had 2009 foreclosure rates that were at or below the U.S. average.

    Las Vegas posted the nation’s highest metro foreclosure rate for the year, with more than 12% of its housing units receiving a foreclosure notice in 2009—more than five times the national average. Las Vegas reported a quarter-over-quarter decline in foreclosure activity in the fourth quarter—as did all the other metro areas with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 for 2009.

    Las Vegas never ceases to amaze me and for so many reasons. Did you know that there are more Catholic churches in the greater Las Vegas area than there are casinos?  (If you think about it, one sort of leads to the other.)  What I didn’t know was that the churches in Las Vegas accept casino gambling chips in the Sunday collection plate? No kidding. The churches have organized and figured out that if, each week,  they gather their chips together, hand them over to a local monastery of Franciscans, they get them exchanged for cash. The Franciscans, of course are the …. chip monks. (Didn’t even see it coming, did ya?)

    Next week we’ll look at a couple more recent, local home sales.  Have a great week!

    PAT MADDOCK     

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

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    Who is this guy?

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

    You can find him at the Bridgeport office of Coldwell Banker Bain.  If you want to know something about University Place real estate, talk with someone who certainly does!

    Boy! It’s been awhile and I’m glad to “be back”. I hope you are having a great new year in this 2010 and why not? I mean, yes, there’s rampant unemployment and bills need to be paid and businesses are not reaching their goals and schools need to be funded and the state has no idea where they will actually find sufficient sources of what they perceive to be necessary funding and our own city council is in crumbling disarray and… Whew! I’m starting to bring MYSELF down. Sorry. I’ll get off that. But why?

    For a very good reason. Positive begats positive. Negative begats negative. That is to say that life proves to us over and over again that the more positive our attitude and actions are the more positive our experiences and outcomes will be. It’s just an undeniable fact of life.

    In recovering from my open heart surgery, (exactly four years ago this week), I was one bitter son-of a gun and I let that linger for much too long of a  time. How did I expect to have positive things and positive people around me if I didn’t seem to have a positive bone in my body? The more positive I try to be, the more focused I am on BUILDING for the future, not tearing down but BUILDING….that’s a purely positive action…the more of that I exhibit, honestly, the more positive things flow my way and you know what, I love it!  And surprise – I get twice as much accomplished!

    I could dwell on that topic for a month of Sundays but that’s not what you “tune in” here for, now is it?  So, what’s UP in U.P?

    Hey. I got a postcard from a friend of mine who’s in the south sea islands on his well-deserved annual vacation!  He was around here about a month ago.  Thought you might agree…he deserves this.

    Speaking of hard work, we’ve got a staff over there at the city that’s scrambling like a dozen eggs, doing more with less. That’s for sure. After the end of year staff cuts, staff members still have a bit of a hard time explaining all the hats they are wearing simultaneously. The harsh part of that were those who were let go. It’s the economic times we are in. I understand that. The only thing to do now, is to support the people who are here to support us. Those who are juggling jobs like a circus entertainer need to be given the rights that go along with the responsibilities. We’ve given them a lot to do. Now, we need to let them do it or they are absolutely bound to fail, with micromanagement, interference, etc. I hate to sound boring but treat them Positively and the quality of people we have in this city will care well for us and our neighborhoods.

    Set them up to succeed.  Don’t harass them toward failure!

    Mommy/Daddy and Me starts their Kids Love Soccer program Monday 1/25 for the 2-3.5 year olds.  Want to know more?  Hit the city website at www.ci.university-place.wa.us   While you are there, watch for info on the other YOUTH SOCCER programs for the various age groups.

    Did you read the “big news” in the Tribune about the development at the Chambers Bay golf course?  Well, before you conclude that they are about to break ground on a hotel and everything else, understand that there’s no money on the table, yet and without it, it’s talk.  The developer happens to be an old friend of mine and actually a damned fine person (who I used to fight with constantly as kids…but that’s a different story….he really is a good guy).  But we do need to understand that if development of the nature being proposed does not have all the major glitches worked out and if it isn’t funded and ready to break ground aggressively within  about the next year or so, it’s not going to happen.  A committment has been made by our county to the USGA that Chambers Bay WILL be ready to host the U.S. Open in 2015 and if a development of this nature is not completed, well, let’s just say that a construction site is NOT where the USGA will host their tournament.  They always have an alternate site ready.  So, it’s either time to put up, strike the full agreement and break ground or go find another project.  All I’m saying is they’ve got to get a move on.  That’s the developer’s responsibility.  Commercial development monies are tight (Oh, THAT’S the understatement of this year!) as evidenced by the pace at Town Center but investment monies ARE there.  If the project is right and there is sales job extraordinaire being conducted…the $$$ will flow.

    Since former Pierce County Exec, John Ladenberg first made it known that he wanted to see the course sited there, I always thought view residences could fund a lot of good things on site.  That is to say, the sale of impeccable view lots for multi-million dollar homes which would not be in the way of anything planned or in place today, could produce revenue to fund the building of a number of the other amenities you want in a destination resort such as Chambers Bay COULD become.  The developer  with a memo on the table, Jim Burkhouse, is a smart and successful guy.  If there’s a way to do it in this economy, he’ll figure it out.  The county would love to see it but it CANNOT get in the way of preparations for or the hosting of the US Open just five short years from now.  So, I suspect it’s an Elvis deal.  “It’s now or never”.

    What else is up in UP?  I hate to sound like a broken record but if you’ve got somebody at your house interested in ballet, Polynesian dance, guitar or so many other instructional options, check out the city website.  Some are underway but many have more sessions starting shortly.  www.ci.university-place.wa.us

    And for the not-so-young youngsters around here, the AARP Driver Safety course is set for Wednesday and Thursday 1/27 & 28 at the Senior Community Center on Grandview. Call 564-1992 to complete the required pre-registration.

    Hey, by the way, let’s thank those folks, offices and companies who stood up to foot the bill to sponsor our Youth Basketball Coed League.  When you see the folks associated with these sponsors, please take the time to express your THANKS.  Sponsors make it possible for our kids to have this experience!  AHBL, Mercedes Nepute LMP, the Law Office of Clayton R. Dickson, Way Out Records, the UP Volunteer Center, Tacoma Bike LLC, Westside Community Bank, Owens Press Inc, the Pain Clinic, Alarm Works NW and Team Insurance. When city funds are tight, WE ARE THE CITY!!!  Isn’t it time for us to step up and make sure the programs which make this such a desireable place to live are maintained?

    Sponsored youth athletics IS possible, isn’t it?  We can’t quite now, though.  We’ve really got to ratchet it up for the upcoming sports seasons.  Just think how many youngsters play softball and baseball. 460-2530 is the number to call at Parks and Rec to find out how you or your company can be a sponsor for U.P. Youth Athletics.  It’s important!

    There’s so much more going on around University Place these day and we’ll get back to it all but before I close out with an updated look at U.P. real estate allow me to finish with just one simple thought.  If you never support any taxation levy ever again in your voting life, support the current request for University Place Schools.  There are those who say “Now is not the time, not in this economy.”  While I put off things I would like to buy right now for my wife and myself, I cannot put off funding for our school system. Yeah, sure my kids are all grown and long out of school.  That’s not the point and I take issue with ANY senior who says, “Don’t tax me. It’s somebody else’s turn.”  Well, you know what?  When we were putting our kids through school, we needed the support of the seniors who already had and you know that’s the truth!  It’s our turn to step up and support what those youngsters need, what our school district needs to remain one of the best in the state.  By the way, if you want to negatively affect the value of your home and property, just stop supporting our schools.  They backslide and so does your home’s value!  Undeniable Fact!  See that old black and white photo of Mr. George Curtis and friends in front of the old original U.P. Elementary School? (Yes, yes I did.)  Do you see what the sign said?   And now,  U.P. schools still need our support.  U.P. kids DESERVE it!

    So, what has the U.P. real estate market been up to lately?   (Shhhhh Do you hear that quiet?)  It might be an overstatement to say you could hear a pin drop but it’s been very, very quiet.  In fact, since the day after Christmas there have only been seven U.P. residential sales close.  That included one condo.  Seven!   I have closed seven in one day…No, I haven’t. Five is my record but seven is very, very slow for a city of our size, especially for a period of nearly a month.  Two factors are to be kept in mind. Yes, the obvious…we’re in the heart of a very slow market but on top of that is the reoccurring factor of “Seasons”.  This is NOT the season for big sales in residential real estate.  We are approaching a traditionally stronger period but January is just a slow month and that’s ALWAYS a fact.  Now, couple that with the down market we are in and you get the picture.  Is that to say U.P. homes won’t sell now?  No, not at all. In fact, I’m listing a VERY marketable U.P. home next week and I promise you, it’s going to sell!  It’s a great 5-bedroom, beautifully remodelled home with a fantastic fenced yard, ringed by evergreens and … I’ll tell you all about it when I put it on the market.  In the meanwhile, WHAT’S SELLING?

    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.  (In fact, to catch up, here are several)  SOLD7607 Chambers Creek Road West.  It started at $497,500 and after  dropping the list price to $449,950, they sold it for $412,000 in a mere 753 days….WHAT?!?  That’s over two years!  Yep, it is.  But that includes a period of time when they were offering a developement as part of the listing.  Overcomplicated deals aren’t going together right now. Those monies are hard to find.  Simple, well priced home deals work.     SOLD:  4108 Brouse Blvd West in the Heitman Addition near Curtis.  They listed it for $229,900 and sold it 53 days later for $225,000.  Another rambler, this one from 1963 offering 1,447 square feet including 3 beds and 1.5 baths. This home had some remodelling inside with Corian counters, cherry cabinetry, vinyl windows and hardwood floors and even as small as it is, it was relatively desireable and the price was right on.  So, it didn’t linger on the market as so very many are, here today.  The house on Sunset (above) sold in 247 days.  SOLD:  8314 63rd St St West. Now here was an owner-occupied home that was neither a Short Sale nor a bank owned property.  Oh, the market is just loaded with those at the moment and WILL be for some time to come.  Here was a home in comparatively excellent condition and it was originally listed for $395,000 but it was dropped to $330,000.  Why?  Because those cut rate deals on the bank owned and short sale properties effect EVERY home on the market.  In 91 days they took $335,000 for this 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,125 square foot home built in 1990 in the Danbridge community above Chambers Creek Road.  It’s only fair to add that they pay $157 per month in homeowner’s dues, there.  When you are looking at value and monthly payments, you’ve really got to look at the whole picture and those association dues are a legitimate part of that.  SOLD: 2019 Sunset Drive West.   Listed at $315,000 then eventually dropped all the way down  to $249,000 then sold for $245,000.  It was a bank owned 1954 rambler with 3 beds and 1.75 baths on a third of an acre with a 2-car garage. 2,644 square feet.  It closed on 12/30.  It took 434 days for this house to finally sell and close. Oh they had earlier sales…FOUR OF THEM!  None of them got past the inspection phase.  Think there was a problem with this house?  Oh, just maybe?

     

    PAT MADDOCK     

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

    cbbain-intranet-header2

    Who is this guy?

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

    You can find him at the Bridgeport office of Coldwell Banker Bain.  If you want to know something about University Place real estate, talk with someone who certainly does!

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