Tag Archive: Ken Grassi


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

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Who is this guy?

As a top producer with Coldwell Banker Bain REALTORS in University Place, Pat Maddock is the former President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS and 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 !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday July 31st

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday,  August 1st

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

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

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

11:00 – 7pm  Vendors and Food Concessions

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

11:00 – 8pm  Open Mic Karaoke

Noon – 5pm  Mural Design –  Youth Painting Competition

12:15 – 12:25pm  UP Viking Jr Cheer

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

1:00 – 3pm  Skyhawks Sports Activities

1:00 – 1:45   Greg Bennick – Juggler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catch you on Wednesday and Be Well…

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

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Who is this guy?

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

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Four University Place City Council races are coming up this year. This was the week for candidates to file. As of 10:47 this morning, here’s what the contests look like (If there are any additions before the close-of-business deadline, I’ll edit and add, then):

old UP logoPosition #1: Incumbent – Mayor Linda Bird Challenger: Javier Figueroa     AND HERE’S A LAST MINUTE ADDITION:  CHALLENGER Daniel Carnrite.

Position #3: Incumbent – Councilmember Lorna Smith Challenger: Eric Choiniere

Position #4: Incumbent – Councilmember Ken Grassi Challenger: Carl Mollnow

Position #5: Incumbent – Councilmember Stan Fleming (Has not  filed) Challenger: Rose Ehart   Challanger: Denise McCluskey

I also see that in the U.P. School Board races, we have two uncontested candidates, Ray Tennison and Michael Ehart.

Next, we’ll pursue the candidates for their campaign statements and if you have thoughts on this year’s election we would certainly like to hear them.  The PRIMARY ELECTION is set for August 18th with the GENERAL ELECTION being held November 3rd.

GARAGE SALES: I’m sure I’m missing some neighborhoods but the bigger sales set for this weekend are today and tomorrow in Woodlake off Chambers Creek Rd. Then Saturday it’s sales galore in Vintage on Bridgeport and in Westhampton off 54th west of Bridgeport. DRIVE CAREFULLY!!!  Watch out for the “little shoppers” crossing the streets.  They live here!

And what does the WEATHERMAN say about this weekend?  The call today was for Partly Cloudy with a high of 73 while tomorrow they expect cloudy skies and a high of 70 and a 20% change of something wet. Sunday they think it will stay mostly cloudy but warm back up to about 75 and then into the new week it looks like up to a 30% chance of rain by Wednesday with temps in the upper 60s.

The RAINIERS are trying NOT to split the four game series with Reno tonight following a Tuesday 5-1 win, a 4-10 loss on Wednesday and their 8-5 victory last night.  At 29 and 25, they are only 3.5 games out which is still ahead of the Mariners who are at 26 and 28 at 5.5 games back…not that they would want me to compare the two but, it’s baseball…it’s all about stats!    The RAINIERS have a 7pm home game tonight, of course, with FIREWORKS!   And you can take the kids for CHEAP!

Well, this Saturday is a big day here in University Place as we officially, if not prematurely, kick off the Summer season with DUCK DAZE beginning with the PARADE Saturday morning at 10am marching south from 27th and Bridgeport to City Hall and Homestead Park, the site of TREASURES IN THE PARK, the city’s yard sale, antiques sale and much, much more including the FIRE DEPARTMENT AND U.P. POLICE OPEN HOUSE which will run all day long.  Come out, line the parade route on Bridgeport, catch all of the costumes and you just never know what else. Then head for the park and make a day of it.  I was at the city this morning for a meeting and they were already setting up canopies and blowing up the Bouncy House (or whatever you call that big inflatable thing that kids get into and bounce all over each other and HOWL with laughter!).  Why so early?  Well, City Manager Bob Jean is a big guy but even HE can’t get that thing blown up quickly!

SALE OF THE DAY: In an effort to help you keep tabs on this continually changing real estate market in 65th St Ct WUniversity Place here’s another recently sold U.P. home with details from public information.  SOLD:7812 65th St Ct W across from Charles Wright Academy.  This 4,000 sq ft, 4 Bedroom, 3 Bath home languishedon the market for over a year!   Why?  Well, in April of ’08 they started at $599K.  When it ends up selling for $549K, that pretty much explains it.  They house was really chocked full of fine appointments and it overlooked the “ultimate greenbelt” Chambers Creek but the right price works. The wrong price doesn’t. End of story!  We often have a tendency to try to make this all out to be more complicated than it is.  You do your homework and with appropriate experience of doing this every day, every week for years and years, you put the right price on it and get is sold in a reasonable timeframe.  That’s that.

Hey. It’s a good looking Friday. School’s getting close to wrapping up for the year. Lots going on around us. So, I’ll cut this short and just say…”Get out there and get into life. Don’t let it pass you by!”  

Until Monday, be well.

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

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Who is this guy?

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

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