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Providence St. Peter Foundations Christmas Forest

12/20/2010
Come check out Coldwell Banker's tree this year at the annual Christmas Forest opening on Thanksgiving Day! This traditional fund raising event benefits the Providence mission to provide basic health services to those in need.

Below is our 2009 tree, "Sweet Dreams".

Click image to enlarge.

All events will be held at the Red Lion Olympia Hotel, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive.

For the schedule of events visit http://www.providence.org/resources/swsa/Forest-Entertainment-Schedule.pdf

Noon Year's Eve

12/15/2010

Join the Hands on Children's Museum at this year's Noon Year's Eve on December 31st from 10am-2pm!

Complete with kazoos, make your very own party hat, win fun prizes, and create a confetti shower. What a wonderful event that allows everyone to celebrate the New Year together!

Admission is $8 for members, $10 for non-members and accompanying adults are free!

http://www.hocm.org/page.php?id=178

Harlequin Productions - A Stardust Christmas Carol

12/6/2010
Harlequin Productions presents A Stardust Christmas Carol, an original 1940s Holiday Musical Adventure by Harlowe Reed playing now thru December 31, 2010.

"The year is 1945 in lower Manhattan and the Stardust gang is celebrating the first peacetime holiday in four years. But in the midst of their floor show, they are invaded by a remote radio broadcast team arriving a week early for a celebrity radio presentation of Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol. It's too late to reschedule the airwaves--despite the fact that they have no celebrities--so the Stardust crew is wingin' it and swingin' it to bring the classic Christmas tale to life."

Visit http://www.harlequinproductions.org/index.html for more information on this fabulous show and others to come!

Fantasy Lights, Spanaway

12/3/2010
The 16th annual 'Fantasy Lights at Spanaway Park' is now open!

Presented by Pierce County Parks and Recreation, Fantasy Lights is the largest holiday drive-through display in the Northwest! This two-mile drive features almost 300 beautiful displays and thousands of twinkling lights. Tune your car radio to FM 93.7 and listen to holiday music performed by a local high school while you enjoy the view.

Fantasy Lights will be open every night including Christmas and New Year's Eve from 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm.

Directions to FANTASY LIGHTS at Spanaway Park: - From I-5 take Exit 127 (Puyallup/Mt. Rainier) - Head east on Hwy 512 - Take the second exit (Parkland/Spanaway) - At stop light, turn right onto Pacific Avenue (SR 7) - Go south for 2.7 miles - Turn right onto Military Road (152nd St). - Spanaway Park entrance is a 1/2 mile on the left.

For more information visit http://www.co.pierce.wa.us/PC/abtus/ourorg/parks/flights.htm

Zoo Lights at Point Defiance 2010

12/1/2010
Now through January 2, 2011 the Point Defiance Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland with more than a half-million lights in the shape of animals and local landmarks. Bundle up, grab a cup of hot cocoa and take a look around the zoo while you enjoy the festive music and beautiful lights! While you are there don't miss the steamy South Pacific Aquarium with lots of brightly colored tropical fish, eels and sharks. Take a ride on a camel, the antique carousel and so much more!

Visit http://www.pdza.org/page.php?id=435 for photos and videos of past Zoo lights displays.

Happy Thanksgiving!

11/25/2010
Thanksgiving is a time for togetherness, a time to be spent with loved ones. It is a time for remembering, cherishing and being thankful for all the good things in our lives.

Is there a special holiday traditions that you look forward to each year? Do you watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? Do you enjoy watching football games while lounging after the huge feast? Is there a certain holiday dish made by someone special that you look forward to each year?

Whatever traditions you may share always remember to cherish the time spent, give thanks, eat lots of great food and enjoy the holiday weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Olympia Yacht Club's Lighted Ships Parade

11/22/2010
The theme of this years Lighted Ships Parade is "Deck the Hulls".

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday December 1st and Saturday December 4th at Percival Landing in downtown Olympia. Watch the parade while it follows along the eastern shore of Budd Inlet to Boston Harbor and will return along the western shore of Budd Inlet to Percival Landing.

Bundle up and head downtown to enjoy the beautiful Lighted Ships Parade!

Visit http://www.olympiayachtclub.org/ for details.

First Snow of the Season

11/22/2010
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

There is something so magical about the first snow of the year. Watching it fall from the sky and cover the landscape with a pretty white blanket, the quiet streets, listening to the delightful sounds of snowball fights in the distance and then coming inside to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa, a good book and cozy blanket.

What fun traditions do you have for the first snow of the year? Do you make snow angels or have a competition to see who can build the biggest snowball? Do you take a walk in the winter wonderland or stay inside and watch the snow next to your warm fireplace?

Whatever snow day traditions you may have, remember to drive safely and enjoy it while it lasts!

Homebuyer Tax Credit, Extended for Military Personnel

11/18/2010
The $8,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit is Extended for Qualifying* Military Personnel.
The extended deadline is April 30, 2011.

If you were serving our country overseas, you may not have been able to put to use the Homebuyer tax credits that so many Americans used over the past two years. While the credit expired for most of the country back in April 2010, the popular program was extended for certain military personnel.

With home prices down and mortgage interest rates at all time lows, this is a great time to consider getting into a new home. To receive the tax credit, you must be under contract to buy a home by April 30, 2011.

To learn more about the tax credit, visit http://www.irs.gov/ and type in "Form 5405" in the search bar at the top of the homepage.

There are two tax credits; (1) First time buyer credit up to $8,000, and (2) Repeat homebuyer credit up to $6,500.
For details and qualifications, get advice from your accountant, or visit
www.irs.gov to learn more.
*To qualify, a member of the Uniformed Services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) must meet the following conditions:
Be on quailied official extended duty outside the United States for at least 90 days beginning after December 31, 2008, and ending before May 1, 2010.
*Qualified official extended duty is defined as: (1) Serving at a duty station that is at least 50 miles from your main home, or (2) Living in Government quarters under Government orders.

Federal Income Taxes

11/17/2010
As you are no doubt aware, the tax cuts that were put in place early last decade are set to expire at the end of this year. Among other things, the tax cuts brought the tax on longterm capital gains down to 15%. Without an extension, rates would revert back to 20%. However, there had even been discussion about moving that rate even higher.

This was one of the big issues leading up to the election. Prior to the election Congress and the Administration looked poised to let the cuts expire or at least limit the extension of the cuts to certain income brackets.

With the election results in, it is anyones bet what will happen. Keep a close eye on this issue. If the lame duck Congress does not act before the next Congress is sworn in, it will take a bill with retroactive application to ensure the cuts remain without a break. With a divided Congress that will not be an easy task.
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