From the President….

Monday, May 6, 2013 a record high of eighty-seven degrees; wow what a great start of the month. You can see May has brought us the beauty of azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom as well as many other flowers. May also brings us two important “holidays”; Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. At the time of this reading I hope all mothers had a good day and/or you made a positive connection with your mother or mother-in-law. Memorial Day later this month is a day to celebrate those that have passed before us; whether they are family members or possibly someone you knew that served our country in the military. It’s a day for us to appreciate and remember those that were and always will be special to us.
I mentioned last month that Pauly and I were on our way driving to see the Mariners play in Texas both Arlington and Houston. It was a great trip but started off very interesting we found snow on the pass in Washington, snow as we were leaving Idaho and into Montana. On day two we were planning on getting to Denver and to our surprise when we reached Casper, Wyoming the freeway was closed and we were stranded there overnight. Luckily the next day the freeway opened and we drove through snowing and blowing condition until we reached Colorado and didn’t see anything but white ground until we about a third of the way across Kansas and finally saw some green grassy fields. The rest of trip was great and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but we live in wonderful section of the country; it may be grey at times but I will take this over any of the places we saw along the way on this trip.
Here at ParTerra we recently had two minor roof leaks that were found and repaired; this was one of the concerns we had since we’ve had roof leaks every year since we’ve become an Association. With the number of repairs we’ve done and money we’ve spent over the years we were hoping we may have solved our problems? It is a positive making it past the rainy months of the year; let’s hope that is the end of them for this year and we get to our five-year replacement plan without any more leaks. We will soon get bids for the parking lot resurface and restriping project; we received bids and selected a service provider for the window cleaning. This company has also offered an inside window cleaning “deal” if anyone is interested; the cost for this service would be the responsibility of each owner.
It has been six months since we hired our full time Facilities Coordinator David Metz; I would appreciate your feedback on any positives you have observed or areas of improvement that you would like to see done. (Owners please share this information with your tenants). You can send me an email response to kenschoolcraft@comcast.net. Again your feedback would be valuable in making sure ParTerra remains in good condition and that we receiving the support we expect from this position that supports all of us.
I have found very good golfing weather lately and have enjoyed some good rounds with a tournament win last weekend and two more tournaments the next two weeks. The putting has been pretty good and the new irons I got last year having been treating me well also. Golf is a great game that is different every time you play. Some days the shots are straight and other days you struggle to figure out what direction they may be going? You hope for consistency and make the best of what the golf gods have planned for you on that particular day; lately they been good to me :o)
Thanks for listening!
Ken Schoolcraft

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From the President

Here we are in April, it is true that April Showers bring May Flowers and we certainly have been having the showers. It brings us the beginning of the baseball season and as a fan of baseball it gives Pauly and I an opportunity to travel. We have gone to 21 of the 30 major league parks and we will soon be on our way to Texas to see the Seattle Mariners play the Texas Rangers in Arlington (Dallas) and the Houston Astros. Pauly collects miniature helmets from each ballpark that happen to hold an ice cream sundae; it makes for good memories seeing the helmets from the different parks we’ve been. Like the swallows return to Capistrano the frogs have returned to the retention pond on the north side providing us with nighttime music (or noise) like no others. April also for some of us the start of the golf season; more about that later.
As we come to a close of this month one of the things that many owners have taken advantage of is replacing hot water tanks. We have found a source that has given us a great price on a quality tank; if you have not replaced the hot water tank in your unit or don’t know if the tank has been replaced we strongly encourage you to do so. It is very dangerous to let it go for both you and those that live below you. If you are interested in doing this please contact David Metz our Facility Coordinator for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Thanks to “almost all” of you for choosing an option for the Special Assessment last month we are well on our way to meet the needs identified by the Reserve Specialist. At the last board meeting the board approved several items on the Reserve list that need attention this year. There are a couple that will be somewhat of a disruption like when we resurface the parking lot and the deck coatings that will be applied when the weather gets a little bit warmer. You may recall a few years ago we had to park our cars at Beit Tikvah across the street for two days, but it worked okay for us when we did the resurfacing. We will try for that process again this summer so we are able to complete the project. We will also be washing all outside windows; you’ll be hearing more about this and all the items I’ve mentioned above as we get closer to scheduling those. I will not be able to attend this coming board meeting but if you get the chance to stop by you will hear the latest updates on ParTerra, its finances, projects etc. And if you’re really lucky you will hear a report from Vice-President Kat Molik and her adventures jumping out of airplanes, hot air balloons and find out if she has reached two hundred jumps yet?
So as you know I like to play golf and as I mentioned above April is the start of Boeing golf leagues which I belong to two of them. I have played five league days and two tournaments since the season started and I have done very well in league so far, but not so much in the tournaments. It is still a bit soggy on the courses and the weather has not been ideal; I’ve used my raingear more than I would have liked, but it is great to get out in the fresh air and knock that little ball around. My new irons are working well for me and I am so glad you don’t have to listen to me whine about my putting any longer. I should be good until 2016 when the golfing rule makers make the type of putter I use illegal or maybe by then they will change their minds and continue to let them be used?
Thanks for listening!
Ken Schoolcraft

From the President

March is here and it’s brought us “Daylight Savings Time” (don’t you hate those first few mornings? Yuck!), I do like the light at a later hour so I guess it serves us a purpose. It also has brought some more rainy weather, St. Patrick’s Day (a good reason to have a drink or corn beef and cabbage?) and at the end of the month Easter. And for those of us here at ParTerra the due date for the Special Assessment; hopefully all of you have chosen one of the three options and have made those first payments. Having to “chase” owners to collect is unpleasant for both you and us.
Over the past few weeks some notices have been coming from the Board of Directors regarding Rule Violations and Hot Water Tanks. First let’s talk about the Rule Violations; this notice is serious in nature and hopefully gets the attention of those that need a reminder. Believe me we the board would rather not have to send reminders and even worse impose penalties for violations, such as fines or have a car towed away. Most of the complaints come from fellow residents; your neighbors. On the parking in assigned stalls, this is very disturbing to the owners of those stalls to come home and find a vehicle parked in an area that is “owned” by them. These are the Numbered stalls P-1 through P-25 in front of A building, C building and three stalls by the play ground area. As the note stated if there is a vehicle in one of these stalls and it is reported to our Facility Coordinator or a Board member, the vehicle will be towed immediately at the owner’s expense. The decks and patios should be kept neat and clean and not used as a storage area for a variety of things too numerous to mention. Keeping them tidy adds value and pride to our community for us and future residents that come to ParTerra to look for a new home; first impressions are very important. Excessive noises especially during the “quiet hours” 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. these are reported to us more than we would like and we have issued fines to repeat offenders. One of the things each of you can do is if there is excessive noises in the “middle of the night” call 911 and report the offense. The Board or EMB can’t deal with this other than authorize and impose the fines; I’ve heard of fellow neighbors knocking on the door of the offender to let them know of the noise and this has helped in some cases, maybe it could work for you? Hot Water Tanks; we found what we believe is a very good deal on the replacement of the tanks. The plumber told us every one of the tanks he has removed so far have shown signs of rust and commented it was good for them to get a new one. We strongly encourage you if your hot water tank is an original it needs to be replaced. It doesn’t matter if you are a single resident or a family of many it does not effect the life of the tank; they have reached their life expectancy and are soon going to give out which will include leaks that will affect not only your unit but most likely those that live below you. Any damage caused to another unit or common area will be your responsibility for any needed repairs.
Wow I don’t mean to sound cranky so let’s talk about something that is fun; how about golf? At the time of this writing I am in Southern California in 73 degree weather and yes I played golf and will play again before I start heading home. I didn’t play as well as I would have liked, I played with two young men who played from the “back tees” and of course I thought to myself I can play from there too. That dang ego it messed me up again; I should have played from the “regular tees” I’m sure my score would have been better and I know I would have enjoyed it more. Even from the back tees I had a better score than the two of them, but they didn’t care, they bet on everything; hitting the fairway, closest to the hole, etc. Ah youth isn’t it grand? They were fun and kept me laughing at them throughout the round. Until next time take care and thanks for listening.
Ken Schoolcraft

From the President

February has brought some mild temperatures and mostly cloudy and/or rainy days; but compared to those on the east coast we are very fortunate. Can you imagine three feet of snow in one night – yuck! We have had a mild winter so far and let’s hope it continues as we stroll into Spring a month from now.

At the Annual Meeting in January we had a descent turnout and it was supported by many proxy statements from those that were unable to attend in person. We had a guest from Multimedia Circuits & Services; they have installed updated satellite dishes on our roofs giving us an option for television viewing. There are information flyers in both mailrooms and in the A/B lobby if you might be interested. We also held election of officers to the Board of Directors; there were two, two-term positions open, a vote was taken and Nancy Buergel and Marnye Moore were re-elected. Sharon Boyer who has served on the board for the past year resigned from the board due to her busy schedule and travel commitments. We thank Sharon for her service to ParTerra and the accomplishments she provided to us. The board met and assigned to a familiar person to fill the remaining one year vacancy with Mason Emanuel. We are honored to have Mason join us with his vast knowledge of ParTerra he will be a valuable asset. Each board member remained in their previous positions.

You should have recently received your notice of the Reserve Fund Assessment; if there is any confusion with this I will make an attempt to explain what needs to be done. In the notice there was a cover page and then a list of every unit and the assessment amount per unit. Each of us are given three options on how to pay the assessment; the first being pay the full amount by sending a check to EMB at the address provided in the letter. The second option is a three

payment method with one-third due March 1st of 2013, 2014 and 2015; this option carries a 3%

interest charge. The third option is a five-year monthly payment with the 3% included; this option will require an automatic withdrawal from your bank account. If you do not contact EMB the third option will be the method applied to you. This is a burden to all of us but it is necessary to put us at a funding level in our Reserve Account to meet the future repairs and maintenance here at ParTerra.

David Metz, our Facility Coordinator remains active in his third full month of employment here at ParTerra; hopefully you’ve met him or possibly emailed him with questions, concerns or comments. He continues to learn his assignment by meeting with the various vendors we use and his daily walk-around the property both inside and out. I try to meet with him daily to go over items that are brought to my attention and it has been rewarding to watch him interact with other owners, children and pets. He has a friendly demeanor and looks forward to meeting all the owners and residents that live here. It was great to receive positive feedback from owners that attended the Annual Meeting praising his work and attitude.

I’m sure you know I have enjoyed the mild winter that has allowed me to find my way to the golf course now and then. I only had to take out the umbrella on a few occasions, the exception was one day Pauly and I went to Bellingham for her son’s birthday and we played that day in a steady downpour that left all of us very soggy. I watch the weather report regularly to plan my outings, but as we all know that live in the Pacific Northwest that those who forecast the weather aren’t always correct? I will keep you posted on my outdoor adventures and my love for the game of golf.

Thanks for listening,

Ken Schoolcraft

From the President

I understand that as of this writing it is very cold in Newcastle and a bit of that white stuff showed up a time or two? Pauly and I are in Southern California visiting the grandchildren (and their parents), but it’s cold here too; ten degrees below normal with overnight temperatures around the freezing mark. We will be returning soon to enjoy the remainder of the winter along with you.

January brings the ParTerra Annual Meeting being held on the 23rd at Beit Tikvah; the meeting will be held in the Sanctuary instead of the usual Fellowship building. There will be Lotto Scratch Tickets for the first fifty owners to sign in (one per unit), refreshments (can’t take them inside), and most importantly at the meeting there will be the election of two (and possibly three) Board of Director positions open for nominations. Other important subjects will be covered as well; we hope to see many of you there. If you cannot attend please consider providing a neighbor or one of the board members your proxy vote.

Our Facility Coordinator is becoming more comfortable with his surroundings and discovering new things daily with his new job here at ParTerra. David continues to learn about the operations required for this job and what needs to be done to keep ParTerra in good condition for all of us. David is now assumed the janitorial responsibilities that include dusting, vacuuming, and window cleaning, and keeping the fitness center in good condition. He recently cleaned many of the dryer vents on the first and second floors savings us several hundreds of dollars by not having to have this work performed by a vendor. There will continue to be opportunities for these types of savings as time goes on; we may have to invest in some equipment and supplies, but we will see those costs offset by the labor that David will be able to provide us.

I recently received a disturbing report of dog waste in the hallway of the B building; this follows several complaints of the same thing in the C building not long ago. I don’t know what it will take for those that are guilty of this disgusting behavior for those pet owners. I’ve heard from owners asking why do we tolerate this and that we should do something about it; such as charge a fee to all dog owners for the cleaning required. Or completely disallow pets on the property. These types of actions should not be required if those pet owners would only take responsibility. As owners if you see and can identify this awful behavior please report it to us so some serious actions can be taken against the offenders. I would really enjoy not having to mention this as often as I do so please pick up after your dog and dispose of it properly in one of the two areas we provide to dog owners.

Even though it has been cold where I am I have gotten out for two rounds of golf since we’ve been here and I plan on playing at least two more times before we head back home. I did wear shorts both times I played and in January that is a real treat. I will be ready to return home and play in those rainy wet conditions that we have at home, but it is good to be out there. I can hardly believe that a year has gone by since I retired at the end of January last year. I exceeded one-hundred rounds of golf during the past twelve months and feel very fortunate that I am able to play a game I enjoy so much!

Thanks for listening, hope to see you at the Annual Meeting on the 23rd!

Ken Schoolcraft

From the President…

A very wet December has arrived and the days are reaching the least amount of daylight we see during the year. The holiday shoppers are out in force making traveling on the highways a slow process. I went to Factoria the other day and found it difficult to find a parking space and when I did find one I got very wet trying to get back to my car because of the rain and the distance I had to park from the buildings. Maybe I should start ordering more online?
You’ve received the 2013 budget information from EMB (our Property Management Company) and we hope to see you at the December meeting on the 19th to ask questions and then ratify the budget. You will see we raised the dues by 2%; this is the first increase since May of 2007; we’ve done our best not to do this, but we’ve squeezed the items in the budget as tight as we should. We do have a few things to do next year that we will have to dip into the Reserve Account, but the Operating Budget is for our monthly bills, service contracts and unexpected repairs.
And please put on your calendars January 23, 2013 for our Annual Meeting for the election of Board Members and very important information will be shared!! One of those things that we will be sharing is we should be up and running with “new” satellite dishes for those of you that may what that as an option to cable.
Hopefully you’ve gotten the chance to say hello to David Metz our new Facility Coordinator if not stop by and introduce yourself. I personally believe he’s off to very good start providing us with a constant watch over the property, meeting with the vendors when they are here, cleaning garages, hallways, elevators, sidewalks, fitness center and so on. He is still very much in learning mode, but he certainly is eager and willing to take on any and all tasks.
We still have not received all the information on the Special Assessment; we have the information on the amount for each unit, but what we are missing is the breakdown of payments for each unit. EMB Finance has put a lot of work into this to be able to provide us with the three payment options.
I recently received a complaint from one of our owners regarding a dog they encountered in the hallway without a leash; this was quite disturbing to this owner. So please be reminded of the rule that dogs must be on a leash at all times while on ParTerra property (yes this is coming from the person who violated this rule back when Chloe was part of my family). One other rule that needs attention from many of us is the patio and decks of our units. The rule states patio furniture, flower pots and up to two bicycles may be stored, but many of us have many other items that do not fall within the rules. So when you’re cleaning up after the holidays please add this to your list to avoid a “nasty note” and especially potential fines for non-compliance.
The golf report is a short one this month only three muddy rounds played since the last report, but believe me on a day it isn’t reported to rain I will be out there enjoying every minute.
In closing I will wish each and everyone of you a happy holiday season and that you will be safe and enjoy your families and have some fun along the way too. So our best from Pauly and I to you and yours!!
Thanks for listening!
Ken Schoolcraft

From the President

November has given us a hint that the winter weather is not far away.  It was below freezing the morning of this writing.  November also has a couple of holidays that should be near and dear to all of us.  First is Veterans Day; a day to honor those that have served our armed forces to keep us safe in this great country of ours.  My father will turn 93 years old this month and he is a veteran of World War II – I can’t imagine what he had to go through during those times being wounded twice during his four years of service.  He doesn’t like to speak of those times; he says he did what he was trained and told to do (I am very proud of him).  Thanks to all of you here at ParTerra that are veterans; thank you for your service!  The second holiday is Thanksgiving; a time we should stop and be thankful for family, friends and our lives that we live.  I hope these holidays are meaningful to you and those around you!

You recently received a notice regarding the assessment; we’ve been doing our best to communicate the status of the assessment and when it was to be implemented.  Once the required Reserve Study was done and we received the results the ParTerra board of directors was responsible to respond to the findings.  We’ve worked very hard on this subject with owners meetings, surveys and have looked at ways to lessen the impact to all of us.  We are willing to take some risks by delaying the suggested scheduled replacements or repairs; we believe some of the findings are not essential at all or in the time frame suggested.  Some examples are the immediate replacement of our patio furniture (not needed); the asphalt seal coating and restriping, we did these three years ago and it can wait for another year or so; and as mentioned before we will take another look at the roof after the winter months to see how the roof has done with leaks or the lack thereof.  We could also do some repairs to the most common areas of leaks we’ve had the past three years.  The roof is the largest cost item on the study and we are hoping we can get by a few more years before the roof needs replacing.

We have interviewed and made an offer for the full-time Facilities Coordinator; he will become our employee on November 16, 2012.  He is an ambitious young man that we the board believes will serve our community well and more importantly will save us money by doing many of the repairs and maintenance work we currently pay for by outside service providers.  If you have the opportunity to attend the board meeting on the 14th he will be in attendance and it will be a good time to meet him.  At the same time we can thank Mason for the many years of service he has provided to us here at ParTerra; he has served us tirelessly and knows more about this property than anyone.  His knowledge has been a huge value to us and we probably have taken him for granted on too many occasions.

One other important subject that will be covered at the board meeting will be the 2013 budget; there will be an increase in dues and this would be your chance to hear what is proposed and ask appropriate questions.

The golf report continues to be positive with me still playing better than ever; I guess the almost 90 rounds that I’ve played this year have been beneficial to my handicap.  I just completed a three week trip where I played six rounds in very good weather.  I may have to make some adjustments with the winter golf.  I will keep you updated on how that is going; I may have been spoiled by that trip and the great summer we had here locally.

Thanks for listening!

Ken Schoolcraft