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Price nearly doubles for ‘diverging diamond’ By Kathy Steele

ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

Construction of the diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 75 and State Road 56 now has an estimated cost of $40 million. That’s $16 million more than the original estimated cost of $24 million. Despite the higher cost, construction is still expected to begin this summer. The retrofitted interchange is expected to take two years to three years to complete, said Bill Jones, who is the director of transportation development for District 7 of the Florida Department of Transportation. The Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization approved the increased cost at its Feb. 22 meeting in New Port Richey.

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The diverging diamond interchange relies on multiple lanes with a crisscross pattern, and fewer traffic signals.

The good news for Pasco County is the additional $16 million is not expected to affect any other road projects within the county. The state transportation department plans to take the money from a reserve fund, said Craig Casper, the county’s MPO director. At one time, the project had a 2024 start date, but the state transportation department moved it ahead nearly six years. “We’re excited about the project getting started,” said Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore. The interchange is expected to ease the rush-hour gridlock as vehicles maneuver on and off I-75, at one of the busiest junctures See DIAMOND, page 15A

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Hotel, retail, restaurants — arriving soon By Kathy Steele

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More retail, and a Hyatt hotel, are coming to Cypress Creek Town Center, even as other new shops and restaurants are opening for business. Along Sierra Center Boulevard, Mellow Mushroom, Great Clips, Mattress One, Men’s Wearhouse and Aspen Dental are open for business. Noire Nail Bar will soon open its doors, too. To the east, Chuy’s Tex Mex is headed to a spring opening, according to a news release from the national chain. Next door, Bahama Breeze Island Grille is under construction. A 132-room Hyatt Place hotel and convention center will open in July at the Cypress Creek Town Center, said Dilip Kanji, president and chief executive officer of Impact Properties Inc. There is a lot of demand for hotels in the Wesley Chapel area, but Kanji said,“There’s not a lot of choices.” The growth in the area is what attracted Impact Properties to build there. “Pasco County is the fastest-growing

county in the southeastern United States,” he said.“We typically prefer to get in when there are (more) spaces for growth.” Kanji said the selection for prime locations narrows as more development happens. At Cypress Creek Town Center, the hotel is situated at the Interstate 75 and State Road 56 interchange with immediate access also to Florida Hospital Center Ice and Tampa Premium Outlets. Sierra Properties’ plans to build a 330,000-square-foot shopping center within the town center also was a draw, Kanji added. Cypress Creek Town Center is approved for up to 2 million square feet of retail, hotel, apartments and offices, according to county records. In the past year, new restaurants have opened at the town center along Sierra Center Boulevard, which leads to the Hyatt property. There is Ford’s Garage, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, and Pollo Tropical. Other shops anticipated including Pet Smart and Burlington Coat Factory. Kanji provided a list of other anticipated retail in the 330,000-square-foot project

when he spoke at a luncheon, sponsored by The Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce (renamed the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce). Kanji said he had permission to release the store’s names, which include Chipotle Mexican Grill, HomeGoods, Earth Fare, Hobby Lobby,Walk-on Bistreaux & Bar, and Blaze Pizza. Kanji said he expected permitting as soon as April. Spokespersons for the stores either didn’t respond to emails from The Laker/Lutz News, or wouldn’t confirm their plans. • Chipotle Mexican Grill is a Denverbased fast-casual restaurant founded in 1993. Menu items include burritos, bowls, tacos and salads, made to order. There are more than 2,200 Chipotle’s nationwide. • Earth Fare is a North Carolina-based specialty grocery store offering organic and natural foods. It has about 45 locations. Most are in the southeast and Midwest. • HomeGoods is a discount home furnishing store, based in Massachusetts. It is part of the family of TJX Companies Inc., See HOTEL, page 15A

If you’ve captured a photograph of an interesting bird or wild creature, we’d love to share your image with our readers.

sider If you’d like us to consider graph, publishing your photograph, please email it to us att news@lakerlutzne ew ws.c com. Please be sure to include what kind of animal it is, and where you took the picture. Also include your ur contact information, so we can get in touch with you, if we need to.

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Great Clips, Men’s Wearhouse, Noire Nail Bar, T-Mobile and Mellow Mushroom are storefronts in a small retail center at Cypress Creek Town Center.

Pasco ‘super park’ land near Dade City By Kathy Steele

ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

Pasco County recently purchased 155 acres for a proposed “super park” at The Villages of Pasadena, off Prospect Road and Highland Boulevard, near Dade City. The acreage is conservation land that is the second purchase of a three-phase acquisition process. When complete, the county will have nearly 320 acres for the super park. Because the 155 acres will remain natural and be used for passive recreation, the

$4.6 million purchase price will come from the Penny for Pasco funds set aside for the county’s Environmental Land Acquisition and Management Program (ELAMP). However, the sale will be treated as a loan, with repayment in the form of park impact fees.Those fees will be collected from new residential and commercial development at The Villages master-planned community. Also, new development within the Connected City corridor, including the master-planned community of Epperson, will contribute their share of park impact fees

for the super park.A road is expected to link Connected City to the super park in The Villages. “The county is still in the acquisition phase,” said Keith Wiley, the county’s parks, recreation and natural resources director. Capital funds to design and build the park aren’t available as yet. The final land purchase of about 95 acres also must be negotiated, and approved by the Pasco County commissioners. “It’s a step in the right direction,”Wiley See SUPER PARK, page 15A


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Pulte Group’s West Florida Division plans to build 350 single-family residences on the south side of Wells Road, east of Boyette Road, according to a news release from BoardroomPR. The development will be a Centex-brand community, known as Wesbridge. Pulte recently purchased about 104 acres for the project. Wesbridge will be targeted to first-time homebuyers, with sales prices starting in the low $200,000s.There will be three different home designs on 40-foot, 50-foot and 60-foot wide lots. Several homes will back up to open space, preserved land and water, according to the release. Floor plans will range from 1,500 square feet to more than 4,000 square feet. Homebuyers can choose designs with three to five bedrooms, two to four bathrooms and two to three car garages. Wesbridge also will feature a resort-style swimming pool, splash playground, tot lot and dog park. “This is an assemblage of four different pieces of property in a prime location,” Sean Strickler said, in a written statement. Strickler is Pulte’s division president in west Florida. The location has easy access to Interstate 75, Interstate 275 and State Road 54, The Shops at Wiregrass,Tampa Premium Outlets,

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and the newly opened Wesley Chapel District Park. It will be located across from Wesley Chapel Elementary School, Weightman Middle School and Wesley Chapel High School. Wesbridge is Pulte’s third community in Wesley Chapel. The first, Country Walk, sold out in February 2017, according to the press release. The second is in Epperson, the community that features the Crystal Lagoon. Pulte is in its second phase of home sales for Epperson. Wesbridge sales are expected to begin in early 2019, with homes move-in ready by summer 2019. For information, visit Pulte.com.

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March 14, 2018

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Bus rapid transit could be ride of the future By Kathy Steele

ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

A proposed bus rapid transit system is under scrutiny as a “catalyst” project to jump-start a long-range regional transit vision for residents in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. It is getting mixed reviews from community leaders and elected officials in the Tampa Bay region. In the next weeks and months, representatives of Jacob Engineering will gather public comments on the plan.The Tampa Bay Transportation Management Area Leadership Group, which includes Pasco County Commissioners Kathryn Starkey and Jack Mariano, will get a finalized plan by October. The group also will consider a second project for an urban rail system running on about 9 miles of CSX rail lines between downtown Tampa and the University of South Florida. In January, a study by Jacobs Engineering singled out the bus rapid transit system, or “rubber tires,” as a doable starter project that would lay a foundation for a long-range transit plan for the region. “It’s not replacing anything in the vision,” said Scott Pringle, of Jacob Engineering.“It’s just to get things started.” It also would be something that can be built, if approved, within about five years, Pringle said. The CSX rail project would have a longer timeline of about 10 years, he added. The bus rapid transit system isn’t the usual bus service offered by most local transit agencies, Pringle said. “They look like a train,” he said. “They feel like a train.” Pringle has made presentations on the study to the leadership group, and, also recently spoke to the Hillsborough County Young Democrats at their meeting in Ybor City. The project’s public rollout through spring and summer of 2018 will include online data and surveys, and a speaker’s bureau. The Florida Department of Transportation funded the study, with Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) as the study’s manager. The 41-mile bus route would travel from Wesley Chapel to downtown St. Petersburg, with connections to downtown Tampa, the University of South Florida and the Westshore business district. Routes also would connect to Brandon and Clearwater. Estimated capital costs would be between $380 million and $455 million, with an annual operating cost of about $7 million. Projections are for about 3.3 million trips per year. The estimated cost per trip for the bus option is $8 to $10 per trip; and $11 to $13 for the CSX option. Costs would be shared with federal, state and local governments. A total of 21 bus stations are proposed, with 19 being at ground level and two elevated. Sleek, train-style buses would ride in designated lanes, bypassing other traffic. For a large portion of the route, the lanes would run parallel to Interstate 275, built on widened shoulders of the highway. Placing designated bus lanes in the median would cost more than $2 billion, according to the study. No right-of-way would be needed for lanes on I-275 shoulder. Right- of-way would be needed for bus stations. Starkey said she had seen examples of how transit stations in Miami spurred new development. That can happen here also,

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While generally supportive of a proposed bus rapid transit system, Pasco County commissioners Kathryn Starkey and Jack Mariano want future transportation projects to focus on other areas within Pasco County, including western Pasco and the CSX rail lines that travel up U.S. 41 into Lutz and Land O’ Lakes.

she said. “We have the ability to start something here that we all can benefit from,” said Starkey, speaking at a January leadership meeting. The estimated travel time for a full ride from Wesley Chapel to St. Petersburg would be about 80 minutes to 95 minutes, assuming the bus stops at every station on the route. Two stations would be built in Wesley Chapel, along State Road 54 and State Road 56.“They would be geared toward park and ride,” said Pringle. At leadership group meetings, Starkey and Mariano have been supportive but have raised questions about the need for additional financial information.They also want future projects to focus on more areas within Pasco, including western Pasco and the CSX rail lines that travel up U.S. 41 into Lutz and Land O’ Lakes. “I support starting in Wesley Chapel,” said Starkey, but noted that heavily populated west Pasco needs transit, as well. Long-range options in the transit vision include self-driving vehicles, light rail, and water-based ferries. “We are certainly leap-frogging in technology,” she said.“I’m excited to be a part of this.” Mariano isn’t convinced it would take as long as 10 years for the rail project to materialize. He also wanted information on land values along the rail line. “I think also Hernando County, at some point, needs to come in, especially looking at U.S. 41,” Mariano said. Pringle said a dialogue with CSX would be needed. He also stressed that the timelines for the projects are approximate because a lot depends on the final plan and available funding. “Both of these (projects) are competitive for federal dollars,” he said. The study looked at a range of options, but Pringle said it became clear some were very expensive.“The prices kept going up and up,” Pringle said.“We were pricing ourselves out of a project.” Federal agencies like to see projects that cost about $10 a trip, he added.That influenced the decision to focus on the bus rapid transit as a first project, Pringle said. “Funding is what kills transit 99 percent of the time,” he said. For more information, visit TBRegionalTransit.com.


Local teen moves on to next round on ‘American Idol’ By B.C. Manion bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

Zach D’Onofrio has received a Golden Ticket, and his next national appearance on American Idol will be during Hollywood Week. The 17-year-old Wiregrass Ranch High School student impressed judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie with “The Way You Look Tonight,” a Frank Sinatra song. When he appeared before the celebrity judges in New York, the first thing he did was give each of them a pair of socks from his collection. Katy Perry immediately put the socks on her hands. Then, when Zach began singing, Perry came down from her chair and began dancing with him. Meanwhile, Richie and Bryan danced, too. The Wesley Chapel teen said the judges appeared to be surprised when he started to sing. “Can I hear you speak again?” Bryan asked.“Is this really your speaking voice, you swear?” Zach responded:“I swear, this is my natural voice.” Then Richie added:“You are unique.” Then they asked him to sing for them again. Richie then gave Zach a Golden Ticket, signaling that he’d made it to the next round. Despite performing before celebrity judges, Zach wasn’t rattled. “I wasn’t really too nervous,” he said, in an interview.“I tried to stay confident and believe I could do well in front of them,” he said, adding that it helped to have his mom in New York with him. Zach’s American Idol experience began when he auditioned at Tampa Bay Idol at Florida Hospital Center Ice, an event hosted by ABC Action News and Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend. There, he received a Front of the Line Pass for the next audition in Orlando. His mom, Darci, and his dad, Bryan, took the day off from work to go to Orlando, and his sister,Taylor, took the day off from classes at Florida Southern College in Lakeland,

Zach D’Onofrio said he didn’t feel too rattled while singing for celebrity judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Luke Bryan. His performance earned him a Golden Ticket, taking him to the next round of the competition in Hollywood.

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Zach D’Onofrio has a collection of 40 pairs to 50 pairs of colorful socks. He gave each of the judges a pair, and Katy Perry promptly put them on her hands, like gloves.

to be there, too. “We got there at 7 a.m., or so,” Bryan said.“There were roughly 5,000 people auditioning that day.The majority of them had to wait in this huge line. But, we only had to wait probably about an hour, and Zach got to sing in front of some of the judges.” Still, Bryan said,“it was a LONG day. “That was in August. It was all outside at Disney Springs,” Bryan said. “In the sun,” Darci added. “It was brutal,” Bryan said. Zach finished his first audition, and then was held back for a second one later in the day before he found out he had made the cut to sing before the celebrity judges. At that point, he had a choice to sing in various cities, Darci said. Zach announced: “We’ve got to go to New York, Mom. I’m a Frank Sinatra guy. I’m a crooner.” Darci and Bryan had to decide which of them would accompany Zach because they had a show scheduled at their Dreamhouse

Theatre, which they operate in Lutz. “I pulled the Mom card — ‘Hey, I birthed him,’” Darci said. Plus, she added, “I’ve never been to New York.’” Zach hadn’t been there, either, so the two of them made the most of it. They arrived on a Sunday and stayed for three days, in a hotel within walking distance of Times Square. They visited The Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial. The day they went to the 9/11 Memorial was the morning after the shootings in Las Vegas, Darci said. “It was very, very touching to be there that day,” she said. Zach’s audition day was on a Tuesday. The day began at 6 a.m., with Zach auditioning around 1 p.m. “By the time we were done with filming, we weren’t out of there until 10 o’clock that night. It was pretty intense,” Darci said. Bryan and Darci knew that Zach could sing, but didn’t realize how well he could sing until Zach came across a Frank Sinatra

album, while shopping for vinyl with Bryan. “When he heard Frank Sinatra, he was like:‘I think I kind of sing like him’,” Bryan said. Zach, who has performed in various Dreamhouse Theatre productions, said initially he ran the lights and the sound for shows. “I would always see the actors on the stage perform, and I always wanted to go on the stage and perform myself, but I was always too nervous to do it because I wasn’t sure what other people would say about my voice,” he said. After singing Sinatra-style for his parents, he decided to sing for cast members of “Little Shop of Horrors” at the theater. “They really liked my voice, and they thought I should keep pursuing this and keep putting myself out there,” Zach said. Although he’s interested in becoming a doctor, Zach is now considering the possibility of a singing career. Like most things in life, time will tell.

Handcrafted is Hot t, and Quirky is cool from excessive consumerism. “The craftsmanship and a quality found in The antique and vintage decor marmany vintage iteems, combined with ket is ever-changing. One year, shabby affffordable pricees, makes yesteryear’s chic is all the rage, and the next it’s castoffffs a smartt and practical investindustrialism. This constant change ment.” fuels the passion of the owners of the A look aroun nd her overflowing shop seven eclectic and antique businesses makes it easy to o see why people leave shown on the accompanyrave reviews r on her ing Fun on 41 map, as Faceb book page. Laughing, they fill their shelves with she ad dmits, “Y Yees, I have a littreasures galore. tle bitt of everything in my “It’s an interesting time store.. And, if I don’t have it, to be in this industry, industry ” I’ll fiind it for you.” says Kathleen Mullen, Sh he’s serious about that, owner of The Snappy too. T Trreasure hunting for Gator. “For one thing, the patron ns is one of her favorite supply is fantastic. Baby pursu uits. She keeps a cusboomers inherit mom and tomerr wish list and personaldad’s things, but don’t ly callls when she finds an Kathleen Mullen have room to keep it all. item on the list. “I love My inventory changes all the time.” doing this for peeople,” she says. Lately, she’s seeing a younger demo- “W Waatching someeone’s face light up graphic in her shop. She explains, when I hand theem that one thing “Y Yooung people don’t want a lot of stuffff, they’ve been qu uesting after for years is but they do want quality. They’re tired priceless.” of mass-produced pressboard and plasThe Snappy G Gator and other busitic. With a coat of chalk paint, what nesses shown on n the Fun on 41 map are was old and dated becomes fresh and located near U.S S. Hwy 41 and SR 54 new. The quirkier the piece, the better!” intersection. Caall Kathy at (813) 230“Upcycling and repurposing also 1432 to see if sh he has what you’re appeal to today’s minimalists,” says looking for, or m make a day of it and Mullen. She cites a movement away visit all the shop ps! Special to The Laker/Lutz News

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LUTZ, ODESSA, LAND O’ LAKES, WESLEY CHAPEL, NEW TAMPA, ZEPHYRHILLS, DADE CITY Serving Pasco since 1981 / Serving Lutz since 1964 PUBLISHER & OWNER: DIANE KORTUS, dkortus@lakerlutznews.com EDITORIAL B.C. MANION KEVIN WEISS KATHY STEELE MARY RATHMAN Editor bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

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What’s Happening

Your Community Calendar • Submit 2 weeks in advance to: news@lakerlutznews.com • All listings free of charge

SHRINERS BENEFIT The Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America, Cairo Court 97 will host a benefit dance March 15 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., to raise funds to purchase a Motion Analysis Laboratory for Shriners Hospital for Children.The event will be at the Zephyrhills Lions Club on Dean Dairy Road. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.Tickets are $15. Food will also be available for purchase. For information, call Dawn Bartels at (813) 3956767.

GARDEN MEETING The New River Library, 34033 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills, will host a community garden meeting March 15 at 6:30 p.m., for anyone interested in learning about gardening. For information, call (813) 7886375.

SOCIAL MEDIA CLASS The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will offer “Social Media for Seniors” March 15 at 11 a.m.The class will cover an overview of Facebook, how to manage the newsfeed, privacy and security settings, and how to use Facebook as a news source and current event resource. Participants should have a working Facebook account prior to coming to class. For information, call (352) 567-3576.

GARDEN GATE CLUB The Zephyrhills Garden Gate Garden Club will meet March 15 at 10 a.m., at the Magnuson Hotel, 55734 Gall Blvd., in Zephyrhills.The meeting will celebrate Spring with a high tea and a bonnet fashion show. For information, call Vicky Keffer at (813) 782-3798.

WOMEN BUILD Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build will host events March 16 and March 17. Participants must be at least 16 years of age, and can learn new construction, and help build or renovate a home for women and children affected by poor living conditions. For information and to register, visit HabitatPasco.org.

HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME The Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road in Tampa, will present “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” March 16, March 17, March 23 and March 24 at 8 p.m., and March 18 and March 25 at 2 p.m.The production is based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature.Tickets are $21 to $27. For information, visit CarrollwoodCenter.org, or call (813) 922-8167.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY The Pasco County Historical Society will meet March 16 at 7 p.m., at the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road in Dade City.The guest speaker will be retired Battalion Chief Greg Gude, of Pasco County Fire Rescue, on “Where’s the Fire? Talk About the Embers,” about the fire protection service in Pasco County over the last 30 years.A covereddish dinner will precede the program. Meetings are free and open to the public. For information, contact Madonna Wise at (813) 782-0246 or MadonnaJWise@gmail.com.

CHURCH FISH FRY Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 2348 Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes, will host its annual Fish Fry every Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., through Lent. Upcoming dates are March 16 and March 23.The cost is $9 for adults, $5 for children, and $30 for a family (parents and three children age 13 and younger). Dessert, beer and wine are available for an additional cost. Credit cards accepted.

SONS OF AMERICAN REVOLUTION The Tampa Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will meet March 17 at 11:30 a.m., at Golden Corral, 1180 N. 56th St., in Temple Terrace.There will be a halfhour of socializing, a business meeting at noon, lunch at 12:30 p.m., and a formal presentation at 1 p.m. For information, email William Floyd at bfloydpres@aol.com.

FERTILIZER SALE Growers Fertilizer Corporation will sponsor its annual truckload fertilizer sale March 17 from 7 a.m. to noon, at 9921 Old Lakeland

Florida Orchestra Performance St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, 4211 Van Dyke Road in Lutz, will host a free Florida Orchestra performance March 16 at 2 p.m., in the Mallah Garden Atrium. Guest conductor Joseph Young will lead the orchestra in a variety of inspirational and uplifting musical selections from history’s greatest composers. Selections will include Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 1” and “Coriolan Overture,” Debussy’s “Petite Suite,” and Haydn’s “Symphony No. 82 ‘La Poule’.” The performance is part of the orchestra’s health and wellness concert series, which aims to bring the healing, comforting power of music to local patients and caregivers. There will be free valet parking, and refreshments and hors d’oeuvres.

Highway in Dade City. Profits from the sale will support Dade City Sunrise and San Antonio Rotary Club’s Foundations.There will be dry and liquid fertilizers, pesticides, cypress mulch, potting soil and pine nuggets, and foliar-grade nitrates and chelates.There also will be a team to offer gardening and yard advice.

GREENEST BASH Mulligans Irish Pub at Plantation Palms Golf Club will host a “Greenest St. Patrick’s Day Bash” March 17, with live entertainment starting at noon.There will be a prize for best costume, kids’ activities and Irish party favors.There is a $5 cover charge after 3 p.m. Kids age 12 and younger are free. For information, visit PlantationPalms.net.

MAKE A MAIL HOLDER The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer a woodworking class March 17 from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants can make a mail holder. Registration, proper dress code and signed liability waiver are required. For information, call (813) 9291214.

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BOOK DISCUSSION

The seventh annual Mayor’s River O’ Green Fest will take place March 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N.Ashley Drive in Tampa.The Irishthemed party will center around turning the Hillsborough River the color green. There also will be live entertainment, games, kids’ activities, food trucks, a scavenger hunt and beer.The event is petfriendly. For information, visit RiverOGreen.com.

The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will host the Embry Book Discussion Group March 20 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., on the book “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir” by Jennifer Ryan. New members are welcome. For information, call (352) 567-3576.

CHASCO FIESTA The Chasco Fiesta will take place through March 17 in and around historic downtown New Port Richey.There will be entertainment (most of it free), including rock-and-roll, classic rock, bluegrass, blues, oldies and country music.There also will be a coronation ball; carnival; street parade; car, truck and bike show; boat parade, a Native American festival, and more.The West Pasco Sertoma Club also will serve barbecue in Sims Park. For information and a complete schedule, visit ChascoFiesta.com, or call (727) 842-6055.

BOOK CLUB The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host the LOL Book Club March 21 at 1:30 p.m., to discuss “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead.The club is for adults only. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

DIY MARKETPLACE The Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W. Bearss Ave., in Carrollwood, will present a free Introduction to the DIY Online Marketplace on March 21 at 6:30 p.m. Participants can get a basic overview, find out why do-it-yourself enthusiasts use Etsy and Pinterest, learn to create an account, post and promote items, manage settings and access analytic tools.Admission is free. For information, call (813) 204-2612.

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ST. PATTY’S CRAFT The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer a kid’s craft March 17 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., for kindergarten through fifth grade.There will be a story and craft with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

CLUB PLANT SALE The Orange Blossom Garden Club of Lutz will host a plant sale March 17 from 9 a.m. until sold out, in the Lake Chapman parking area next to LaYuma Restaurant, on U.S. 41 in Lutz. Sales will be cash only. For information, check out the Orange Blossom Garden Club of Lutz, Florida on Facebook.

LIBRARY BOOK SALE The New River Library, 34033 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills, will host a spring book sale March 17 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Older books will be sold at a discount.There will be a craft corner for kids.All proceeds help support the library programs.Wear green and get one free book with a purchase. For information, email finleyrl817@yahoo.com.

PAULIE PALOOZA The sixth annual Paulie Palooza, benefiting Gulfside Hospice, will take place March 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Zephyrhills Community Event Venue, 5200 Airport Road.There will be a car show, local vendors, a silent auction, and drawings. Admission is a $5 wristband. Food will be available for purchase. For information, contact Carla Armstrong at (727) 845-5707 or Carla.armstrong@ghppc.org.

FAN ART COMPETITION The third annual Tampa Bay LibCon is accepting fan art from local artists of all ages. LibCon, which is scheduled for May 12, celebrates comics, anime, manga, sci-fi, fantasy, and the world of fandom. Applications will be accepted through March 17. For details, visit HCPLC.org/libcon.

GEM Church will host Gilbert Birungi on the topic of “A Window into Africa” March 18 at 6 p.m., at Song and Dance, 27221 Foamflower Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. Birungi is an African evangelist, conference and public speaker, and author of “God Wants You Healthy.” For information, visit Facebook.com/GEMTampabay.

CORN HOLE TOURNAMENT The second annual Luck of the Irish Corn Hole Tournament will be March 18 at 2 p.m., at Fiddlers Green, 7813 Mitchell Blvd., in New Port Richey.There also will be live music featuring Shadofax, local vendors, and a 50/50 raffle. Proceeds will support the West Pasco Business Association. For information, visit WPBA.biz.

SENIOR SOCIAL The New River Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills, will host a Senior Social March 21 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., with games and refreshments. For information, call (813) 788-6375.

SPRING CONCERT The Betmar Acres Chorus will present its 46th annual Spring Concert March 21 at 2 p.m., and March 22 and March 23 at 7 p.m., at 37145 Lakewood Drive in Zephyrhills, in Clubhouse 2.The 70-member chorus will perform show tunes, spirituals, hymns and old familiar songs.Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door or by calling (813) 788-9606.

HERITAGE PARK FOUNDATION SPRING BREAK MOVIES The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer “Spring Break Movie Madness” every day at 2 p.m., March 19 to March 24.The movies will be G or PG rated, and there will be a related craft setup in the children’s room throughout the day. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

LAND O’ LGBT The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host a group for the LGBT community and allies March 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., for ages 16 and older.There will be snacks and educational information on the LGBT community. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

FERN SEMINAR The UF/IFAS Pasco Extension Office will offer a free seminar on ferns March 20 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the New River Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel. Participants can learn about the cultivars, cultivation and propagation methods for ferns. Registration is required at tinyurl.com/y7gjjt6n.

The Heritage Park Foundation will meet March 21 at 6 p.m., at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.The meeting is open to anyone interested in hearing more about the organization and interested in promoting events at the park.

GENEALOGY SEMINAR The West Pasco County Genealogical Society will meet March 21 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the CARES Enrichment Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway in Hudson.The guest speaker will be Tampa author Deanna J. Bennett, on the topic of her ancestors’ immigration to America from Lithuania.Admission is $7 for non-members and $5 for members.There will be a question-and-answer session, as well as a book signing. Register by calling (727) 2710770.

EASTER DECORATION The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host a class to make a Kumihimo Easter decoration March 22 from 10 a.m. to noon. Registration and a signed liability waiver are required. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

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New school safety measures greeted by controversy By B.C. Manion

they are saying that we need to have a SRO (School Resource Officer) in every school, they did not give us the funding to accomplish that. “So, once again, the school district is in a position to have a legislative mandate to do something, and yet we’re scrambling to find the dollars for it,” Browning said. The district has SROs at its high schools and middle schools, but not at its elementary schools. “Our hope was that they were going to Kurt Browning take any Safe Schools dollars out of the rainy-day fund,” he said.“They did not do that.” Browning said he and superintendents across the state are grappling with the state’s decision to establish the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, which creates a new $67 million program for county sheriffs to train school personnel to neutralize an active school shooter. Most districts that he’s talked to have chosen not to pursue the program, which will put more guns on school campuses. Browning said he would have preferred using those funds to help fund SROs, or for building modifications on campuses to improve school safety. While critics attack the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott, national protests continue as well. Students across the country are expected to take part in the National School Walkout on March 14. The event is supposed to last for 17 minutes — a minute for each life lost in the Parkland school shooting. “I’m pretty confident, based on some conversations we’ve had with principals, that we will have some students who will do that,” Browning said Browning said principals will make this “as educational as we possibly can, making the connection between public protest, civil disobedience and how that fits into our system of government.” The National Walkout is planned for 10 a.m., but Browning said that principals have been working with students to minimize disruptions, and some of the walkouts may occur before or after school, or during lunch.

bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

In the aftermath of a Valentine’s Day shooting spree that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law new restrictions on firearms and increased funding for school safety and mental health care. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, also known as Senate Bill 7026: • Raises the minimum age for purchasing firearms from 18 to 21, with some exceptions detailed in the law • Requires a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases, with some exceptions • Bans the sale or possession of bump stocks, which allow a semiautomatic weapon to fire more like an automatic weapon • Gives law enforcement more authority to seize weapons and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit, or who otherwise pose a threat • Creates the new Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, named in memory of the assistant football coach at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who died protecting students from gunfire. • Includes $400 million to keep students safe and to enhance mental health treatment The new gun regulations have drawn criticism for going too far and for not going far enough. The National Rifle Association announced on its Gov. Rick Scott Twitter account that it had “filed a lawsuit challenging Florida’s newly-enacted ban on the purchase of firearms by adults between the ages of 18-21.” It characterized Florida’s action as “an affront” to the Second Amendment, and said it “totally eviscerates the Second Amendment ‘rights of law-abiding adults to keep and bear arms.’” Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning said he’s glad the Legislature has begun to address school safety by funding some of the measures. However, Browning added: “Although

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POLITICAL AGENDA

Political groups hold forums, talk strategies DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS OF PASCO

FIREFIGHTERS ENDORSE MIKE MOORE

The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Pasco will have a Democratic candidates’ forum on March 17 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library, 2818 Collier Parkway. The forum will feature Stephen Perenich, Robert Tiger, Kimberley Walker and Kathy Lewis.The public is invited, but due to limited space, please RSVP at tinyurl.com/ybsx6cw.

Mike Moore, candidate for District 2 of the Pasco County Commission, has announced that he has received the endorsement of the Pasco County Professional Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 4420.

PASCO TEENAGE REPUBLICANS An informational meeting has been set for Pasco Teenage Republicans, a group that will promote Republican beliefs in Pasco County and will help in elections by supporting Republican candidates.The meeting will be March 31 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., at Copperstone Executive Suites, 3632 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Suite 100.

COURTESY OF TERRI DUSEK

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SUSAN MACMANUS TALKS MID-TERMS Dr. Susan MacManus, a widely known expert on Florida politics, will talk about the upcoming 2018 mid-term election at the Republican Club of Central Pasco’s March 26 meeting, which begins with a social hour at 6:30 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7 p.m. The club meets at Copperstone Executive Suites, 3632 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Suite, Suites 100. Everyone is welcome to attend. For information, call (813) 996-3011.

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The Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its third Land O’ Lakes Music Festival. The event will be held March 24 from noon to 8 p.m., at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, formerly known as the Land O’ Lakes Community Center, at 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. This year, musicians will be able to use Heritage Stage — a community stage that was completed last year, following years of advocacy, and as a result of a multitude of partnerships between governments, business partners and community volunteers. Bands that are scheduled to perform during the festival are: • Solar Exposure with an eclectic mix of pop, rock and hint of country • Marlon Boone, Jazz/R&B saxophonist extraordinaire • Actual Bank Robbers’ unique indie pop rock • Trigger City Trio will entertain with rock & soul sprinkled with funk • Stonegrey jamming with arena/classic rock style • Sowflo, is coming from Naples, with a reggae vibe Fred Chandler, a vocalist who also plays multiple instruments, will entertain between acts. “It’s an entire day of music,â€? said Terri Dusek, event chairwoman. She hopes that the music festival, now being held for the third time, will evolve into a major event in Central Pasco. The idea is to provide a setting where music is the focal point, said Dusek, who has been involved with music her entire life.

Land O’ Lakes Music Festival WHERE: Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. WHEN: March 24, noon to 8 p.m. COST: Free admission; parking is $10. DETAILS: Spectators can enjoy a full day of music. There also will be arts and crafts vendors, a kids’ zone, and food and drink available for purchase. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. INFO: Call The Central Pasco Chamber at (813) 909-2722, or email office@centralpascochamber.com.

“Music has been a huge part of my life,� Dusek said, noting that her sons are members of Stonegrey. She also noted that Stonegrey, Solar Exposure and Fred Chandler are all Land O’ Lakes residents. Dusek also noted that Ryan Walker, owner of Artist Direct, will be handling the sound for the festival. While music takes center stage, there also will be arts and crafts vendors, a kids’ zone, and a business showcase featuring companies and organizations that want to spread the word about what they have to offer. There will be food trucks, as well as beer and wine. Admission is free, but parking is $10 per vehicle, which benefits local schools. No coolers or pets are allowed. For more information, call The Central Pasco Chamber at (813) 909-2722, or email office@centralpascochamber.com.

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What’s Cookin’ Bring on the corned beef and cabbage By Betsy Crisp

holiday and this onepot meal as an Irish tradition, Corned Beef and Cabbage is really an American tradition. Corned beef has been around for centuries in most of Europe and the Middle East, where it has been a staple in the diet. Its name comes from the “corns,� which are large grains of salt used to cure the meat. British landowners brought their beef into Ireland, and by the 17th century. Unfortunately, due to the high poverty rate, Irish people could not afford to eat it themselves and became known for exporting this product. Instead, they survived on corned pork and potatoes. When large numbers of Irish immigrants came to the United States, in the 18th century, they brought the recipe with them. Since beef brisket was

Special to The Laker / Lutz News

What began as a religious feast day, to honor the day of Saint Patrick’s death, has evolved into a variety of festivals throughout the world — celebrating the Irish culture with parades, foods, music, dancing and all things green. Saint Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17 every year, is reportedly celebrated in more countries than any other national festival. And, when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, there are several possibilities in the way of food. Last year, this column offered the recipe for traditional Irish Soda Bread. This year, I considered either Irish Stew or Corned Beef and Cabbage.The latter won the toss. Although we always think of this

Easy Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage INGREDIENTS: 8 red potatoes, cut in half 1 large onion, cut into wedges 4 cups baby carrots 2 cups celery, cut into 1-inch pieces 3 pounds corned beef brisket, cut in half 1 small head of cabbage, cut into wedges 3 cups water 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons cider vinegar ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 seasoning packet (included with corned beef)

cheap, and cabbage was also readily available, they combined the two in what became the staple for the working class here in the U.S. And, as St. Patrick’s Day evolved into a celebration of Irish heritage and nationality for Irish-Americans, corned beef and cabbage became a holiday tradition for consumers across the nation. Whether you are one of the 34.5 million Americans who claim Irish ancestry or not, as you celebrate the holiday, you can honor two traditions from those early Irish immigrants: corned beef and cabbage.

INSTRUCTIONS: • Place potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery into the bottom of a large (6-quart) slow cooker. • Cut beef in half, and place on top of vegetables. • Top with cabbage wedges. • In a 32-ounce (4-cup) measuring cup, combine water, garlic, bay leaf, sugar, vinegar, pepper and contents of spice packet. Stir, pour into slow cooker. • Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours, or until meat and vegetables are tender. • Remove bay leaf before serving.

Betsy Crisp, MS, LD/N, is a professor emeritus of the University of Florida/IFAS Extension - Family & Consumer Sciences

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SHE ELL L’S GARD DEN GU UIDE M MARCH H

By Dax Gonzalez

IT’S SPRINGTIME AT SHELL’S FEED & GARDEN SUPPL LY Y! HERE’S OUR GARDEN PRO TIPS FOR MARCH. WHA AT TO PLANT IN MARCH: • Beans • Green Onions • Beets • Eggplant • Ko Kohlrabi • Cantaloupes • Lettuce • Carrots • Mustard • Corn • Okra • Cucumbers

Sttore Manager Dax Gonzalez

• • • •

Peas Peppers Pumpkin Radish

• • • •

Squash Tomatoes To Turnips Tu Watermelon Wa

March is when Grasshoppers emerge from their eggs, gs, stop Them NOW Today! with Nolo Bait™ Organic Insecticide. Order Online or In Store To March Garrden “T o Do” List: To Landscapes: Fertilize laaw wns,, trees,, and shrubs (if this was not alr lread dyy done in February) with a 16-0-8 fertilizer.. Our 50% slow release 16-0-8 fe fertilizer is on sale in the store stor right now – 50lb bag fo for $17.95! Ve egetable Garrd dens: Fertilize vegetable gardens on prepared beds d b by b broadcasting d ti 2 2-4 4 lb of 6-6-6 or 8-8-8 per 100 sq.. ft.. two weeks beffo ore planting.. During the growing season (alread dyy planted beds) side-dress at the rate of 1-2 pounds per 100’’ row. Orrg ganic V Ve egetable Garrd dens: Use Shell’s Naturals 3-3-3 Organic Garden Mix with its brand-new fo formula,, now including Mycorrhizae fo for great microbial soil conditioning,, on sale now! It’s also a great time to add 2-4-2 Granulated Pasteurized Poultry Manure.. Use label application rates,, or just ask us if you’re not sure. Pest Control: Wa Watch fo for aphids on your vegetable plants,, if you have them,, use Triple Action Neem Oil, Conserve, Naturallyyte,, or Natural Pyrethrins – all of these are natural, organic aphid control solutions.. Be sure to treat the underside of the leaves. We We also have predator y insects like lad dyy bugs! Also,, watch fo for the emergence of Grasshoppers, aka Lubbers or Locusts,, from the ground in earllyy March. These voracious eaters can chew through a garden in a fe few daayys. Yo You can lure them aw away ay from your garden and ensure that they don’t procreate again by using Nolo Bait™,, an organic grasshopper insecticide. Shell’’s Fe Feed & Garrd den Supplyy,, Inc., has been fa family owned and operra ated since 1961, serving re residents of Ta Tampa, Lutz, and Land O’Lakes.. Our unique combination of gard rden, ffa arm, & fe feed supplies, including our own Shell’’ss branded fo formulations, have been helping Ta Tampa Ba ayy grow great gardens and landscapes ffo or thrreee generra ations.. Lutz resident, Grreeg Shell, is the owner of the storre. re e. He took over operra ations in 2007 frro om his father who originally started the fa fa family business.. Dax Gonzalez, our General Managerr,, has work rked ffo or Shell’’ss Fe Feed ffo or over 12 years. If you have any questions, please let us know. As always, we are here to help. (Above inffo ormation obtained from UF IF AS and the Hillsborough FA County Extension Service and condensed to serve our customers)

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March 14, 2018

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Health

MEDICARE 101 The New River Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills, will offer “Medicare 101” March 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 pm., to answer Medicare enrollment questions. For information, call (813) 788-6375.

&

Wellness

LUNCH AND LEARN

Send health news to news@lakerlutznews.com

SAFE SITTER COURSE St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, 4211 Van Dyke Road in Lutz, will offer a Safe Sitter course with CPR March 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for ages 11 and older. Participants can learn about minor to emergency situations, infant/child choking rescue, CPR training (not certifying), safety behavior, and entertainment. The cost is $65 per child. Bring a bag lunch and a drink. Parents must be present for check-in and pickup.A permission slip also must be completed. To register, call (813) 443-2046.

The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., will host “Lunch and Learn with Moffitt” March 15 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on the topic of prostate cancer. Participants can learn about the risk factors and screening methods for early detection. Lunch will be provided. To register, call (813) 788-0064.

HEALTHY EATING The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., will present “Healthy Eating Produces Healthy Living” March 15 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Topics include what creates health and how to be an active participant, followed by an information discussion. To register, call (813) 788-0064.

COLORECTAL CANCER

COMMUNITY EVENTS The Medical Center of Trinity, 9330 State Road 54, will offer these community events: • Lymphedema Support Group, March 15 at 3 p.m. • Huntington’s Disease Support Group, March 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. • Newborn Care Class, March 21 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. • Compassionate Friends Support Group, March 21 from 7:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. • Infant CPR, March 28 at 6 p.m. Reservations are required. For information, call (727) 834-5630, or visit MedicalCenterTrinity.com.

COURTESY OF KIRSTY CHURCHILL

Benefit raises more than $10,000 At least 125 bikers cruised across Pasco County to raise more than $10,000 for Gulfside Hospice at the sixth annual Hittin’ the Road for Hospice. The Golden Eagles Motorcycle Club received the Wings & Wheels Fundraising Award for the club that raised the most money, and for having the most club participation. Grant Hile, Golden Eagles’ club president, left, accepts the award from Carla Armstrong, Gulfside’s director of philanthropy.

The Lutz Senior Center, 112 First Ave., N.W., will host the Moffitt Cancer Center on the topic of colorectal cancer awareness March 16 at 1 p.m. For information, call (813) 264-3804.

tant mother and a support person. To register, call (813) 443-2046.

NEWBORN CARE

MEDICARE ASSISTANCE

St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, 4211 Van Dyke Road in Lutz, will offer a newborn care class March 17 from 9 a.m. to noon, in Garden Classroom A. This interactive class will cover feeding, diapering, bathing safety, signs of illness, and newborn characteristics. The cost is $25, which covers the expec-

The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer Medicare assistance March 17 from 10 a.m. to noon, to educate elders regarding Medicare insurance. For information, visit FloridaShine.org.

WOMEN’S HEALTH Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel will host “Let’s Talk Women’s Health” March 20 at noon, in the fourth-floor classroom. Staff members from the hospital’s Inspiration Place will moderate this free panel discussion. A light lunch will be provided. For information and reservations, call (844) 504-9378.

HORMONE SEMINAR Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel will present “Balanced Hormones, Balanced Life” March 20 at 6 p.m., in the Health & Wellness Center Classroom, Wellness Plaza, second floor. Participants can learn how to naturally balance hormones through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to optimize overall health. For information and reservations, call (844) 504-9378, or visit FHWesleyChapel.org/Events.

NOW OPEN

The NAMI Connection Recovery Support Group, for those living with mental illness, is a structured, closed group for individuals age 18 and older, interested in the recovery process, sharing coping skills, and being with others who understand the daily challenges. This group meets the second and fourth Friday from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Atonement Lutheran Church, 29617 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel. The NAMI Family Support Group, for family, friends and caregivers of those with mental illness, meets the first and third Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., also at Atonement Lutheran Church in Wesley Chapel. For information, call (727) 992-9653, or visit NAMIPasco.org.

NEW SURGICAL SERVICES MANAGER Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point has promoted Evangeline “Vangie” Pagulayan as manager of surgical services, where she will oversee pre-admission testing, same-day surgery, the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, EBCD education (evidence-based clinical documentation), and the entire OR patient experience. Pagulayan started at the hospital in 1983 serving on the medical/surgical unit, and later worked in the surgical intensive care unit before joining the post-anesthesia care unit.

COUNSELING SERVICES

Convenientl Co i ly l loc l ated d on Dale l Ma Mabry bry H Hw wyy next to W Wa almart

24/7 Em mergency Room m for Adults and Kids ER 24/7 offfeers easy, convenient access to emergenc g y care with all the resources you need ffo or acute care of a serrious illness or injury. Providing more advanced emergency serrvices than an urgent care centerr,, this full-service ER also accepts patients via ambulance and has on site CT Scan, Ultrasound und, X-ray and Laboratory services. d in Emergency ER 24/7 is staffed by physicians Board Certified ence and Care and nurses with emergency care experienc certifications.

Benefits • Y Yo ou will ALWA LW WA AY YS be seen by a physician

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• Convenient access to home, school or work

• Te Telemedicine capabilities • Allows first responders to return to the field quicker

• Shorter wait times • Same services and level of care consistent with a traditional hospital emergency department

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• Warm and inviting clinical environment

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 2348 Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes, provides on-site professional counseling services to children, adults, couples and families, Thursdays and Fridays, by appointment. For information, contact Carmen Anderson, licensed mental health counselor, at (813) 949-4565, ext. 223, or CAnderson@ladyrosary.org.

ZUMBA CLASS Women-only Zumba classes will take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 10:30 a.m., at Karl & DiMarco North Dance Studio, 19022 Geraci Road in Lutz. No experience necessary.Wear sneakers, and bring a water bottle and towel. The cost is $5 per class.

NAMI SUPPORT GROUPS The Pasco County Chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers two types of monthly support group meetings.

STRENGTH AND BALANCE Silver Sneakers Flex Strength & Balance Classes are offered Wednesdays at 9 a.m., and Fridays at 10:30 a.m., at The Groves Golf and Country Club Civic Center in Land O’ Lakes. These are low-impact classes, for men and women, to help improve flexibility and balance. The cost is free to Silver Sneakers members and $5 for non-members. For information, contact Tom Marbell at (352) 409-2984.

TOOLS TO QUIT Oak Hill Hospital, 11307 Cortez Blvd., in Brooksville, will offer a free “Tools to Quit” seminar March 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., in its GME Conference Center. Topics will include how to prepare a plan, ways to deal with cravings, physical and emotional symptoms, and how to cope. Four free weeks of patches, gum or lozenges will be provided, while supplies last. To register, call (813) 929-1000.

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Join the Florida Orchestra for a Musical Afternoon

Friday, March 16 2–3pm St. Joseph’s Hospital-North Garden Lobby Atrium 4211 Van Dyke Road, Lutz Free Valet Parking Refreshments and Hors d’oeuvres

St. Joseph’s Hospital-North invites you to a free midday concert with guest conductor Joseph Young and the Florida Orchestra.

Registration not required.

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March 14, 2018

13A


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION Pasco-Hernando State College will host information sessions for current and prospective dual-enrollment students and their parents. • March 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch, 2727 Mansfield Blvd. • March 20 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., North Campus in Brooksville, 11415 Ponce de Leon Blvd. • March 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., East Campus in Dade City, 36727 Blanton Road • March 22 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., West Campus in New Port Richey, 10230 Ridge Road For information, visit PHSC.edu.

Send school news to news@lakerlutznews.com

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK The students at Mother Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School in Lutz celebrated Catholic Schools Week by taking part in a variety of enriching activities. The “Serve Without a Cent” activity taught the students that kindness is priceless. Each student selected a kind act or deed to perform during the day, and learned that a simple smile can make a big difference. The fifth-grade students headed up the “Penny Drive for Catholic Charities,” by placing penny jars in each class and managing the donations. For information about the school, call (813) 933-4750, ext. 105.

SCHOLARSHIPS The Rotary Club of Trinity is accepting applications for the organization’s Al Arzu Scholarship. Applicants must be a high school senior, and reside in and attend school in Pasco County to be eligible. Applications must be postmarked by March 31. For information or to get a copy of the scholarship application, email Candace Glewen at Candace.Glewen@Midflorida.com.

IMAGINE SCHOOL FUNDRAISER Imagine Land O’ Lakes Charter School will host the Imagine Marketplace Fundraiser Event on March 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Harvester United Methodist Church, 2432 Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes. Local vendors and merchants will include hot air balloon rides, home, bakery, health and beauty, Tupperware, gourmet cookies, crochet items, and more. The school’s eighth-grade students and their parents are hosting the event to help the students raise money to attend a school trip to Washington D.C. For information, email Elisa Nieves at elisa.nieves@gmail.com, Graciela Hernandez Ward at hernandezward@yahoo.com or Liska Garcia at liska.garcia@imaginelandolakes.org.

FALL VPK PROGRAM Primrose School at Collier Parkway, 23021 Weeks Blvd., in Land O’Lakes, will offer free summer and fall VPK (voluntary pre-kindergarten) programs for eligible families and their children. Primrose has earned an accreditation with AdvancEd, a Balanced Learning curriculum, and enrichment programs for children to ready themselves for kindergarten. Summer VPK will run Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 4 through Aug. 3. There are various fall sessions to choose

Students awarded for ‘going green’ Pasco County Schools’ Recycling Operations Department, and Pasco County Recycling and Education have named 13 “Art of Recycling” contest winners. Grace Carter, Sunlake High School, placed first overall with her project entitled “In the Eyes of the Turtle.” Anna Scarone won second place with “Bee Green, Bee Pollution Free,” and Holly Denette placed third with “Bleached Life.” Both are from Ridgewood High. The following students won special category awards: • Meagan Reiss, Sunlake High, Best Use of Materials for “Rainbow Fish” • Wesley Womack, Sunlake, Best Use of Plastic for “Waves of Plastic” • Sarah Wasley, J.W. Mitchell, Best Artist Expression for “Afghan Girl – Steve McCurry” • Alexys Armentrout,Wiregrass Ranch, Best Use of Aluminum for “We Can Save Our Birds” • Brittany Stumpf, Gulf High, Best Environmental Concept for “Turtle Trouble” • Felicitee Bly, Wiregrass Ranch, Most Innovative for “Worlds” • Kiersten Houck, Genesis Prep, Covanta Award for “Recycling is a Piece of Cake” • Faith Graves, Ridgewood,AOR Award from, including classes that start Aug. 13 and Aug. 20. For information, call Angella Hart, school director, at (813) 242-7800.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS John Long Middle School in Wesley Chapel is calling for nominations for the

COURTESY OF PASCO COUNTY SCHOOLS

Sunlake High’s Grace Carter won first place overall with her recycling project, ‘In the Eyes of the Turtle.’

for “Light the Way” • Hannah Farrell, J.W. Mitchell, People’s Choice Award for “Sisters in Solidarity” The 13 winning pieces are on display inside the lobbies of Building 3 and Building 4 at the Pasco County Schools District Office Complex, 7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., through the end of March. John Long Middle School Parents, Teacher, Students Association Executive Committee 2018-2019. Positions available are president, treasurer and recording secretary. Any persons willing and interested in serving should send an email to johnlongptsa@gmail.com.

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New community park planned in North Tampa By Kevin Weiss

kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

A new family friendly county park is coming this fall to the Greater Carrollwood area. After nearly a year of finalizing its conceptual design, construction is slated to begin next month on the new Carrollwood Village Community Park, at 13055 Delwood Road in Tampa. The park replaces the site of the Dale Mabry Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is situated on 50 acres along the west side of North Dale Mabry Highway, just south of West Village Drive. Hillsborough County Public Utilities is presently decommissioning and relocating the existing treatment plant infrastructure, which has been in operation for more than 40 years. Everything associated with the treatment plant will be demolished with the exception of two reclaimed water tanks, pump stations, an administration building structure and fencing. Details about the forthcoming park were unveiled during a March 6 pre-construction open house at the Carrollwood Cultural Center. County parks and recreation officials were on hand to answer questions and gather input from residents. Described as a “passive” community park, the main amenities will include a dog park, multi-use walking trail, splash pad, playground, indoor community space, and picnic shelters. Other features include a pond, an open lawn, restrooms and parking. Each of those aspects were finalized and based on input gathered from Carrollwood residents in a series of community meetings dating back to 2015. Officials say most of the park will be complete by October, with final touches targeted for December. A ribbon cutting is planned sometime this fall. Speaking at the open house, Hillsborough County parks and recreation director Rick Valdez called the park a “very important project” for Carrollwood. “We’ve been meeting on this for months, and I think we have a really good sense of what the community wants to see,”Valdez said. Park hours will normally be from sunrise to sunset, with staff on-site to facilitate programming and provide maintenance. Based on renderings, the park’s main entrance will be off West Village Drive with a secondary entrance to the south, off

COURTESY OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION

Described as a ‘passive’ community park, main amenities for the Carrollwood Village Community Park will include a dog park, multi-use walking trail, splash pad, playground, indoor community space, and picnic shelters. Other features include a pond and open lawn, along with restrooms and parking. The $6.5 million project was approved last May by the Hillsborough County Commission.

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Construction is expected to begin next month on the new Carrollwood Village Community Park, at 13055 Delwood Road. It replaces the site of the Dale Mabry Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is situated on 50 acres along the west side of North Dale Mabry Highway, just south of West Village Drive.

Delwood Road.The two entrances will not connect, to avoid the potential for becoming a pass-through route.There will also be new pedestrian crossings on West Village Drive and pedestrian park access in the northeast corner of the park. Offsite work includes re-striping West Village Drive, which includes a left-hand turn lane, deceleration lane and addition of the multi-use trail.

The Hillsborough County Commission approved the $6.5 million project last May. If more funding becomes available, the county would look to construct an additional playground, an event center, a boardwalk and fishing dock, and a nature center.The items would be part of Phase II and perhaps a Phase III. “Those are things we want to address; we just don’t have the money to do it right

DIAMOND, from page 1A along State Road 56. Tampa Premium Outlets, the Cypress Creek Town Center, Florida Hospital Center Ice, and the future residential community of Brightwork Crossings are boosting retail and residential development in the area. The diverging diamond interchange provides multiple lanes of traffic operating in a crisscross pattern, with limited traffic signals. Casper said the projected construction costs increased when it was discovered that

Bahama Breeze Island Grill is under construction on Sierra Center Boulevard in Cypress Creek Town Center.

HOTEL, from page 1A which includes TJ Maxx. • Hobby Lobby is a family owned arts and crafts store that also sells picture frames, jewelry-making items, fabrics, and floral and wedding supplies. Founded in 1972 in Oklahoma City, there now are more than 800 stores in 47 states. • Walk-on Bistreaux & Bar is a New Orleans-based sports bar founded by

Brandon Landry and Jack Warner.The business partners met in 1997 when they were walk-ons to the Louisiana State University’s basketball team.They opened their first location near LSU’s Tiger Stadium. Today, the company is co-owned by New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees. • Blaze Pizza is a California-based fast-casual restaurant founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel of Wetzels Pretzels. Similar to Chipotle, customers select the ingredients for their made-to-order, fresh-from-scratch pizzas.

SUPER PARK, from page 1A said. The inclusion of Connected City as a contributor of impact fees for the park should help in getting the needed funds, he added. Pasco County commissioners approved the newest purchase in December.The sale closed in January. When the park is built, it will essentially result in two parks that are the size of district parks, next to each other. One will be kept in its natural state for passive recreation, such as walking trails and

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now,” said Kyla Booher, planning and development manager for the county’s parks and recreation department. More could be on the way if at least one county commissioner gets his way, however. Eric Denney, a legislative aide to Commissioner Ken Hagan, was at the meeting and said the commissioner is “going to work his tail off to get money in the budget” for Phase II of the park. Hagan is a northwest area resident and longtime supporter of the park project. “When everything is said and done, this should be a true community asset —something that will improve the standard of living here in Carrollwood,” Denney said. The original idea for a new park in Carrollwood became a community-driven, grassroots effort after word spread four years ago about the retirement of the wastewater site. Public comments on the Carrollwood Village Community Park will be accepted through March 20. To provide feedback on the project, visit HCFLGov.formstack.com/forms/public_co mment.

additional ground stabilization would be required. The design will include retaining walls, traffic railings, a shoulder barrier wall, and a permanent sheet-pile wall, according to the state transportation department’s request for the cost upgrade. The bridge that crosses I-75 will be redesigned with additional lanes on the ramps. Road signs and lane markers will help guide motorists through the diverging diamond interchange, with speed limits dropping to 35 mph on the approach to the interchange.

kayaking. It will provide access to Buddy Lake. The other will be an “active” park with ball fields, playgrounds, trails and other amenities. There also are plans to co-locate the active park area with a planned elementary school. Co-location is a trend, as the county seeks to make the most efficient use of funds. The recently opened Starkey Ranch District Park, at Starkey Ranch, is an example of co-location. It was built in partnership with Pasco County Schools, which plans to build an elementary and middle school at the site.

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March 14, 2018

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Community Sports Your Neighborhood Sports Source

Solid year for local boys and girls hoops By Kevin Weiss

kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

F

lorida high school basketball has wrapped up, and while no teams from The Laker/Lutz News coverage area won a state title, several boys and girls squads nonetheless achieved impressive performances during the 20172018 season. Here’s a look back at some of the teams and players who stood out:

BOYS CARROLLWOOD DAY SCHOOL PATRIOTS (CLASS 4A) RECORD: 24-4 OVERALL, 8-1, DISTRICT 4-4A

Four more points — that’s how much Carrollwood Day School needed to clinch a win to reach the Class 4A Final Four. The Patriots lost to Oviedo Master’s Academy 71-68 in the region finals on Feb. 27. Yet nothing should be taken away from first-year coach Teddy Owens, a former assistant at the University of Nebraska. Owens tripled the Patriots’ win total from the prior year — the team went 8-12 during the 2016-2017 season — and steered the program to its first winning season since 2012. A bevy of talent helped, too. The Patriots had one of the Tampa Bay area’s most electrifying players in 6-foot-1 junior guard Malcolm Whitlow, who averaged a whopping 32 points, seven assists and nine rebounds per game, and set a school-record 47 points during a game against Durant High in January.The program also received major contributions from 6foot-3 guard Edgar Ziegler (17.5 points, 4.6 rebounds) and 6-foot-8 senior center Owen Mixon (10.9 points, 10.5 rebounds). KEYSTONE PREP KNIGHTS (CLASS 2A) RECORD: 20-10 OVERALL, 10-3, DISTRICT 4-2A

It was a year of firsts for Keystone Prep. The Odessa-based school celebrated its first 20-win season, first district tournament win, first district championship, first playoff win and first region final appearance — and was just one win away from the Class 2A state semifinals. It was an utter turnaround from last season, when the Knights won just four games. Keystone Prep was particularly dominant throughout district play, outscoring opponents by an average margin of 36 points. The team was led by a trio of seniors in Myikel Wilson (19.6 points, 5.7 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 5.7 steals), Ryan Sanders (14.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.1 steals) and Jairen Embry (10.4 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 3.3 steals). Despite losing a strong senior class, the Knights may to be in good shape next season should they return juniors James Pursley (14 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.3 blocks), Jalon Pittman (11.9 points, 9.7 re-

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COURTESY OF ACADEMY AT THE LAKES FOOTBALL

Academy at the Lakes’ Thomas Kramer

LOCAL OFFERS & COMMITMENTS Academy at the Lakes senior quarterback Thomas Kramer committed to play football at Division II Brevard College (Brevard, North Carolina). The 5-foot-9 Kramer threw for 372 yards and 10 total touchdowns in 2017, as a member of the Wildcats 8-man state championship team. Pasco High School senior midfielder Jennifer Luna committed to play soccer at Florida College, a USCAA (United States Collegiate Athletic Association) program in Temple Terrace. Luna, a four-year varsity player, tallied 28 goals and 68 points this past season.

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March 14, 2018

first time in school history, captured its third straight district title, and fell just one win shy of reaching the Class 7A Final Four. They also earned a fourgame sweep of district rival Mitchell High. Its ability to force turnovers proved troubling for opposing offenses all season long. The Seahawks allowed just 39 points per game and gave up 50 or more points in just five contests. Like last season — when the team won 18 COURTESY OF KEYSTONE PREP HIGH SCHOOL games — the Seahawks COURTESY OF CARROLLWOOD DAY SCHOOL Keystone Prep boys basketball celebrated its first 20- were carried primarily by Carollwood Day School girls basketball won 28 games win season and first district championship. The and finished Class 4A state runner-up. The team is the same four players: 6Odessa-based school was also just one win away poised for another successful season in 2019, as the foot-1 forward and from reaching the Class 2A state semifinals. roster is composed entirely of underclassmen. double-double machine Andrea Wallace (13.3 points, 10.6 rebounds) and guards Kasia bounds, 1.7 blocks) and Mario Lovett (8.8 OTHER NOTABLE BOYS PLAYERS: Ramirez, Mary Moran and Elizabeth Moran. points, 4.7 rebounds). • Elijah Howell, junior,Wiregrass Ranch: All seniors, finding capable replacements It also helps that the program has a 12.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.7 SPG young, up-and-coming coach in Matt • Mekhi Perry, sophomore, Land O’ Lakes: will be a must for the team to have a fourth straight winning season in 2019. 17 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.3 SPG Grossenbach.An alumnus of Academy at the Lakes, Grossenbach was that school’s first • Isaiah Ramsey, sophomore,Wesley Chapel: 18.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG WIREGRASS RANCH HIGH BULLS (CLASS 8A) player — male or female — to score more RECORD: 20-9, 11-3 DISTRICT 8-8A) than 1,000 career points (1,189). He later • Angelo Sardegna, junior, Steinbrenner: 12.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.3 SPG Wiregrass Ranch celebrated yet another served as an assistant coach at the Academy • Roney Webster, senior, Pasco: 18.3 PPG, 20-win season— it’s fifth straight and sixth before taking the Keystone Prep gig. 6.3 RPG in the last seven years under head coach • Jamaal Wright, junior, Sunlake: 15.5 PPG, John Gant. No small task as the Bulls play in WHARTON HIGH WILDCATS (CLASS 8A) 9.3 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 1.3 BPG a tough district that also features Plant, RECORD: 23-6 OVERALL, 11-3, DISTRICT 8-8A Under longtime head coach Tommy Steinbrenner and Freedom high schools. Tonelli,Wharton High once again showed itMore striking, perhaps, is the Bulls’ extremeself as one of Tampa Bay’s most consistent CARROLLWOOD DAY SCHOOL PATRIOTS ly young roster. Outside of senior guard hoops programs, by surpassing the 20-win (CLASS 4A) Alexis Bolden (10.8 points), the 2018 team mark for the ninth straight season. was composed entirely of freshman and RECORD: 28-4 OVERALL, 8-1 DISTRICT 4-4A They did so in exciting fashion, too. After a resounding 32-point victory over sophomores.That means Wiregrass should In addition to a nail-biting 51-50 victory Gainesville P.K.Yonge in the Class 4A state be exciting to watch for the next several over Bartow High in the Class 8A region semifinals, it appeared as though years, thanks in part to the freshman duo of quarterfinal, Wharton finally downed Carrollwood Day School was well on its 6-foot-2 forward Zoi Evans (11.6 points, 11.4 crosstown rival Plant High to capture its way to a state championship. Alas, the rebounds) and 5-foot-7 guard Alexis first district crown since 2014.The Wildcats Patriots run fell just short after losing to Couzens (9.9 points, 4 rebounds). lost to Plant twice earlier in the season be- Miami Country Day — with that team fore getting revenge a third time around. OTHER NOTABLE GIRLS TEAMS: claiming its fifth straight state title. The Wildcats next season will be withEven so, the Patriots are no flash in the • Steinbrenner High (15-10 overall, 10-4 out three players who are 6-foot-4 or taller pan. district 8-8A) in team captains Ryan Anders and DJ Its entire roster is comprised of six sophHenderson, and Nate Barnes. omores, two eighth-graders, a junior and a OTHER NOTABLE GIRLS PLAYERS: However, the team will return top player freshman. Four of those players — each a • Kiara Broner, senior, Pasco: 14.6 PPG, and Division I prospect Darin Green Jr., a 6- sophomore— averaged double figures in 5.7 RPG, 2.6 APG, 2.6 SPG foot-4 junior shooting guard, who claims scoring:Tarriyonna Gary (15 points),Tiasia • Valeria Burbano, senior,Wesley Chapel: scholarship offers from a handful of mid-ma- McMillan (14 points), Nabaweeyah McGill 9.9 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 5.2 SPG jors, including Cal State-Fullerton, Florida (12.6 points) and Cairah Mays (10.1 points). • Regina Henry, senior,Wharton: 8.1 PPG, Gulf Coast and Rider universities. Additionally, the team is coached by 10.2 RPG, 2.0 SPG Karim Nohra, one of the most successful • Isabella Prada, freshman, Bishop OTHER NOTABLE BOYS TEAMS: girls basketball coaches in Tampa. The McLaughlin: 16 PPG, 3.2 APG, 3 RPG, 4 • Land O’ Lakes High Gators (18-8 overPatriots also won 28 games last year — SPG all, 4-2 district 8-7A) Nohra’s first with the program after leaving • Ashauna Jones, freshman, Zephyrhills • Wiregrass Ranch High Bulls (17-9 Academy at the Lakes. Christian Academy: 10.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 2.1 overall, district 8-8A) SPG • Wesley Chapel High Wildcats (16-11 SUNLAKE HIGH SEAHAWKS (CLASS 7A) • Lexi Kilfoyl, junior,Academy at the overall, 10-6 district 8-6A) RECORD: 20-8 OVERALL, 6-1 DISTRICT 8-7A Lakes: 11 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 5 BPG • Zephyrhills High Bulldogs (20-9 overBuoyed be a senior-laden group of conall, 14-4 district 8-6A) tributors, Sunlake won 20 games for the —Stats compiled using MaxPreps.com

GIRLS

Pasco High School senior midfielder Taylor Boyd committed to play soccer at NAIA Division II Warner University in Lake Wales. Boyd is a three-year varsity player and was a team captain this season. Zephyrhills High school senior infielder Chase Booker committed to play softball at St. Johns River State College, a junior college program in Palatka. Booker has a .305 career batting average and .414 onbase percentage through 20 varsity games. Zephyrhills High School senior offensive lineman Omar Estrada committed to play football at Division III Aurora University (Aurora, Illinois). The 6foot, 235-pound Estrada 14 pancake blocks in nine games in 2017. Zephyrhills High School junior wide receiver Cartrell Strong picked up a scholarship offer from Division I Marshall University (Huntington, West Virginia).The 5-foot-10 Strong posted 25 catches for 410 yards and seven total touchdowns.

TAMPA LUCKY RUN 5K SET FOR MARCH 17 The Tampa Lucky Run 5K/1-mile Fun Run is set for March 17 at 8 a.m., at Tampa Premium Outlets, 2300 Grand Cypress Drive in Lutz.The St. Patrick’s Day race is open to the public and hosted by Speed Starz Youth Track/Running Club. Baby strollers and dogs on leashes are welcome. Cost is $26 for the 5K and 1-mile races, and $23 for the Kids Fun Run.All participants will receive a T-shirt, finisher medal, PDQ gift card and a goody bag. Register online at TampaLuckyRun.com.

www.LakerLutzNews.com

COURTESY OF DARLA SARHADDI

Super Score! Sunlake High School junior golfer Jordan Sarhaddi fired a combined 7-under par (68— Round 1, 69—Round 2) to finish third among 84 players at the Florida Junior Tour at Stone Creek Golf Club Boys 16-18 tournament in Ocala last month. One of the top prep golfers in The Laker/Lutz News coverage area, Sarhaddi tied for 16th in the 2A boys state meet back in November. Sarhaddi’s next Florida Junior Tour meets are April 14 and April 15 at Cypress Creek Golf Club in Ruskin, and May 19 and May 20 at Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club in Sarasota.


The LAKER / Lutz NEWS INSIDE: Directories, Classifieds, Games & More

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MARCH 14, 2018

RANDY UNDERHILL

Reme Rovi-Garcia took first place; Aiden Gehle took second place; and, Wesley Swank took third place, overall. There were eight categories in the competition: Lions, Tigers, Wolf, Bear, Jr. Webelos, Sr. Webelos, Outlaws and Supercharge.

Gabe Heinzmann, one of the starting officials, stands by as three cars are lined up to start the first round of racing. A collection of Pinewood cars used in previous derbies was on display during the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Cup Series held Feb. 24 at Lake Myrtle Elementary School in Land O’ Lakes.

Pinewood Derby offers Cub Scouts fast fun By Randy Underhill

Special to The Laker/Lutz News

C

ars zoomed down a 34-footlong track at Lake Myrtle Elementary School on Feb. 24, during Cub Scout Pack 323’s Pinewood Derby Cup Series. Sixty-five Cub Scouts, from the Land O’ Lakes pack, tested their racing skills as they pitted cars they had designed against each other. Contestants had to create their models from pinewood, add wheels and weights, and give them a paint job, too.Then, the vehicles were inspected and weighed, just like in a real race. During the event, cars were lined up in three lanes at the top of a steep incline and then were released, letting gravity carry each car to the finish line, where official times were recorded. Greg Mark, chairman of the event, said he enjoyed working on his pinewood with his dad when he was young and wanted to share the experience with his son, Ryder, who is 8. “He did the majority of it this year,” Mark said. “I want him to learn how to build a race car. The project begins with a box of

wood, four wheels and four axles.Then, it’s fashioned into a car, which is painted. Weights are added to get as close as possible to the maximum weight, so it will perform well in the race. “I think it’s an awesome thing for the boys to do with their dads,” he said. To make the event enjoyable for families, there were other activities, too, including crafts. Food was also available. “Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves,” Mark said. The pinewood derby has been part of local Cub Scouts since around 1975. The creation of a Pinewood Derby dates back much farther. Dan Murphy, a Cubmaster from Ohio, came up with the idea in 1952. He wanted to do something for kids who were too young for the Soap Box Derby. The Pinewood Derby swept the nation in the mid 1950s and is still part of the Cub Scouts today. Sponsors of the local event were Christian Brothers Automotive, Cameo Salon and Spa, Hungry Harry’s Family BarB-Que, Jerry McCarthy State Farm, Russel Marine, Tampa T-shirts, Parker Pest Control, Accurate Signs On Time, 67 Design Co., and Studio 54 Tattoo. —B.C. Manion contributed to this report

Starting officials, Gabe Heinzmann, left, watches as Rob Heinzmann, middle, releases the cars and Jon Urban talks with other starting officials at the annual Pinewood Derby competition.

Antonio Rivera’s Jumanji, right, is in the lead, with Michael O’ Conner’s lizard car, middle, close behind, and Jacob Caltron’s red racer trailing, during the Pinewood Derby at Lake Myrtle Elementary.

Nine-year-old Kenneth Huffman, of Land O’ Lakes, gets a helping hand from Joann Tabarres, of Land O’ Lakes, as they put together a toolbox, which was just one of many activities at the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby race at Lake Myrtle Elementary School.


LOCAL WILDLIFE

Cherry likes special attention

Out of the darkness

Cherry is a 6 ½-year-old female shepherd mix that has been at the shelter since last June. She was adopted in December, but unfortunately came back due to no fault of her own. Cherry did well with the family’s older children, knows some basic obedience commands and seems to be housetrained. She has been on walks in the parks before and enjoys the open environment. Cherry needs to be the only animal in the family, and despite her age, she is lively and full of energy.

Tim McMurry was greeted by this little guy at his front door near the Hillsborough River and 56th Street, on the outskirts of Temple Terrace. Opossums are nocturnal, and usually favor dark, secure areas.

PET PAWS THESE DOGS NEED A HOME On average, most dogs at the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, 440 N. Falkenburg Road in Tampa, only stay for a couple weeks before being adopted. But, for some dogs the weeks stretch into months. There are about 15 dogs at the shelter that have been there for 100 days or more. These 100-day dogs need a permanent home, and are all spayed or neutered. To celebrate these long-term guests and give them a helping ‘paw’ in finding a new home, their adoption fee is just 100 cents. The shelter is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information, call (813) 744-5660.

MUTT MADNESS Pasco County Animal Services, 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes, will host “Mutt Madness” during the month of March and offer $30 adoption fees for all dogs with the word “mix” in their description. The offer excludes puppies age 6 months and younger, and adult dogs weighing less than 25 pounds. And, every Friday in $5 Feline Friday, with no exclusions. All fees include spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations and heartworm testing. For information, call (813) 929-1212.

DOGS’ DAY IN DADE CITY The ninth annual Dogs’ Day in Dade City will take place March 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Agnes Lamb Park in downtown Dade City, across from The Edwinola. There will be a Dog Wagon Parade at 10 a.m., a Dog Costume Contest at 11 a.m., and a K-9 Challenge at noon. There also will be a Canine Got Talent competition at 12:30 p.m., and an Ice Cream/Yogurt-Eating Contest at 1:30 p.m. All furry friends must be on leashes.

For information and space rentals, call Lucy Avila at (352) 424-4972.

CARTER’S CANINE ADOPTIONS Carter’s Canine Rescues will host a dog adoption event March 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Quality Pet Market, 1408 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz.There will be several puppies and dogs on site. For information, call Quality Pet at (813) 909-1767 or Carter’s Rescues at (813) 2356366

KITTEN SHOWERS Pasco County Animal Services, 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes, will host “It’s a Kitten!” March 17,April 21 and May 12 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., in Building B. New foster families can come to the shelter for training and education. Donations of essential foster supplies are appreciated and needed. Kitten Milk Replacer (KMR), kitten bottles, microfiber bedding materials and more are always needed, and welcome. To RSVP, email educationoffice@pascocountyfl.net.

Harley is a little shy Harley is a 2-year-old female mixed breed that came to the shelter as a stray last October. She is shy and needs some time to warm up, but once she knows you, she will continue to seek you out. Harley remembers all of her favorite volunteers and happily wiggles up to them. She is nervous around young children and should go to a home with no children under the age of 6 years. Harley attended our first Pasco Park Walk and enjoyed the outing. She is ready for her next big walk and perhaps the chance to meet her new family.

BARK IN THE PARK The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will host its 31st annual “Bark in the Park” March 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Curtis Hixon Park, in downtown Tampa. There will be food trucks, wine and craft beer, vendors, dog costume contests, a dog agility zone, adoptables, a VIP tent, a pop-up dog park, and more. Those interested can start the celebration early by fundraising for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Participants can register by creating or joining a pack to raise money and then walking for the animals. Donations provide shelter, food/ spay/neuter services and medical care for the shelter animals. For information, call (813) 876-7138.

Daan PPeet SSpa niii’’s Pet p a pa

If you would like to adopt Cherry or Harley, be sure to visit Pasco County Animal Services at 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes. The adoption center is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6:30 p.m. All adoption fees include spay/neuter, microchip and vaccines. For more information, email adoptionpartners@pascocountyfl.net.

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COURTESY OF MIRIAM COOK

Parents can find out about all sorts of summer options for their children at the second annual Family Friendly Summer Camp Expo. The idea is to arm families with the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves, according to Miriam Cook, the expo organizer.

Expo offers summer options for kids By B.C. Manion

bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

It’s a perennial challenge for families: Finding the best way to keep their child, or children, occupied during the summer months. That’s why Miriam Cook, founder of Family Friendly Tampa Bay, organized an expo that aims to bring parents and providers of summer camps, and other activities, together. “My whole goal is to arm people with information, with resources, so that they can make the best decisions for themselves,” Cook said. “With this summer camp expo, we’re giving parents that opportunity to go and kind of make those choices — to have all of those options, so they can make the best choices for themselves.” It’s a great way for exhibitors to tell parents about their summer camps, and a great way for parents to get their questions answered, Cook said. This is the second time that Cook has organized the expo, which will be held in two locations this year. It will be held March 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Florida Hospital Center Ice, 3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., in Wesley Chapel.The other will be on April 7 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive in Tampa, in connection with the Tampa Tarpons home opener. Both summer camp expos offer a onestop shop to local summer camps, summer activities, special needs camps, programs and services. “There’s pretty much something for everyone,” Cook said. There also will be free weeks of camp, attraction tickets, and products up for grabs for those families who register onsite for their

Children enjoying the bounce slide from last year’s Family Friendly Summer Camp Expo.

Second annual Family Friendly Summer Camp Expo Where: Florida Hospital Center Ice, 3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., Wesley Chapel, 33544 When: March 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: Free admission Details: Parents that are seeking out summer activities for their children will have a chance to see what 75 exhibitors have to offer. Those attending can purchase a Buy One, Get One skating pass that can be used for a two-hour skating session during the event. Note: A second expo is planned at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on April 7. Go to FamilyFriendlyTampaBay.com for details.

Charming and sweet kyrOH is a 5-year-old Himalayan kitten. Here, he shows off his new strawberry sweater and haircut. All the female felines love kyrOH. His proud owner is Emma Turgeon, of Land O’ Lakes.

Send us a picture and information on your favorite pet!

Write a short paragraph about why your pet is special along with a photo and mail to: Pet of the Week, c/o The Laker, P.O. Box 479, Lutz, FL 33548 or email to mrathman@lakerlutznews.com, ATTN: Pet of the Week PLEASE NOTE: OWNERS NAME AND ADDRESS MUST BE INCLUDED FOR YOUR PET TO BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION.

Info: Visit FamilyFriendlyTampaBay.com, or call (813) 331-5579.

child’s Summer Camp at one of the expos, Cook said. The events aim to provide information and options for new families moving into the area, and for families who now have schoolage children and need to find summer activities for them, Cook said. “Especially in the Wesley Chapel area, there are so many new families moving in,” she said.“They’re asking:‘What do I do with my kids in the summer?’ “Having this summer camp expo really does help them out,” Cook said. Besides gathering useful information, families can take advantage of free activities for their kids at the expo, Cook said. “We’re going to have laser tag. We’re having a mobile game truck onsite. We have a toddler section.There’s face painting.There’s live entertainment,” she added. Admission, parking and the activities are free, she said. “The only thing they have to pay for is food,” Cook said. Attendees also can pick up a printed list of various summer options. For more information about either expo, visit FamilyFriendlyTampaBay.com, or call (813) 331-5579.

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UPS ACCIDENT-FREE DRIVERS United Parcel Service, widely known as UPS, honored 25 company drivers in Florida for 25 or more years of accident-free driving, including employees from Pasco County, according to a UPS new release. Jeffrey Coakley, of Land O’ Lakes; Ruben Alfaro, of Lutz; Louis Lasseter of New Port Richey; and Stephen Matis, of Hudson were among more than 1,500 UPS drivers worldwide to be inducted into the Circle of Honor. Florida has more than 630 Circle of Honor drivers with a combined total of more than 15,000 years of accident-free driving. UPS employs about 5,300 drivers in Florida. Globally, about 10,500 UPS drivers belong to the Circle of Honor organization. According to the release, UPS employs about 127,000 small package drivers who are among the safest on the roads.They log more than three billion miles a year and deliver nearly five billion packages annually. UPS was founded in 1907, and issued its first driver handbook in 1917.The company began recognizing safe drivers in 1923.The safe-driving honor program began in 1928.

JELLY BEANS, JELLY BEANS National Jelly Bean day arrives on April 22. In honor of the approaching celebration, Candystore.com completed a state-by-state survey identifying the favorite flavors.The results were based on sales data and interactive surveys of more than 12,000 jelly bean eaters.

It revealed some surprises, including the dethroning of black licorice as the national favorite. The winner in 2018 is buttered popcorn, followed by black licorice, cinnamon, watermelon and cherry. In Florida, the top jelly bean is watermelon, followed by peach and juicy pear. The “peach state” of Georgia prefers buttered popcorn. Cotton candy jelly beans melt in the mouths of Montana residents. And, coconut jelly beans appeal to Massachusetts’ residents. The tiny, egg-shaped sugary convections are often associated with Easter.They get plopped into the green straw of Easter baskets, nestled next to the chocolate bunny. President Ronald Reagan famously loved the candies and passed them around to visitors to the Oval Office. The first known advertisement for jelly beans came from Boston candy maker William Schrafft who asked customers to send them to Union soldiers during the Civil War. But, the candies also can be traced back thousands of years to the Middle East. For information on the survey, visit Candystore.com.

NEW MYPASCO APP MyPasco mobile application can now provide wait times for construction permits, according to a news release from Pasco County. Central Permitting Wait Times is a new addition to the MyPasco app menu. It allows customers of Building Construction Services to see a live view of permitting and zone wait times, as well as peak hours, before heading to the New Port Richey office. This new mobile application is in addition to another MyPasco feature to Report Illegal Dumping.The app allows Pasco citizens to aid in identifying illegal dumping sites, and pursuing people who are illegally dumping trash and other debris.

WOMEN’S FORUM A forum on women’s issues,“We Can Do It:Women Making Strides,” is scheduled for March 14 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the

RICHARD K. RILEY

Dade City Chiropractic opens Friends, family, and members of The Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce celebrated with Dr. Deborah Fisher (holding scissors) at a ribbon cutting for the new office of Dade City Chiropractic, 14122 Seventh St. The office is in the alleyway between Top Drawer Antiques and Antiques Main.

Pasco-Hernando State College Porter Campus, 2727 Mansfield Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. The free event is sponsored by PHSC and WOW (Women of Wesley Chapel) of the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce.The host is San Antonio Citizens Federal Credit Union. Panelists are Hope Allen, president and chief executive officer of the North Tampa Bay chamber; Denyse Bales-Chubb, president and chief executive officer of Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel; Melissa Harts, vice president of technology and distance education at PHSC; Paula O’ Neill, Pasco County clerk & comptroller; and Natalie Verdina, multimedia journalist for Fox 13 News. Ghada Jadallah, of Dash of Salt & Pepper, will host a live cooking demonstration. Registration isn’t required. For more information, please visit WesleyChapelChamber.com.

MEMBERSHIP LUNCH The Greater North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce will have its monthly membership lunch March 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Fox Hollow Golf Club, 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway in Trinity.

The cost is $25 at the door for members and non-members. For more information, please call the chamber at (813) 994-8534, or email office@wesleychapelchamber.com.

MIXER AND RIBBON CUTTING The Greater Zephyrhills Chamber of Commerce will host a mixer and ribbon cutting for gastroenterology specialists, Nensey & Associates, March 15 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at 5633 Sixth St., in Zephyrhills. The event is free. For information, contact the chamber at (813) 782-1913 or info@zephyrhillschamber.org.

HISPANIC LEADERS’ MIXER The Hispanic Business Leaders of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce will host a mixer March 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at The White Room Bar & Lounge, 6472 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. Enjoy two-for-one drinks, free soft drinks, refreshments and Latin music. For more information, you can call the chamber at (813) 909-2722, or visit CentralPascoChamber.com.

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The LAKER / Lutz NEWS

CROSSWORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1. Builder’s trough 4. Pouch 7. Adam’s partner 8. Zelda soldiers 10. Network of nerves 12. Heinrich __, poet 13. Algerian port 14. Reciprocal of one ohm 16. Title of respect 17. Form of expression 19. Hoover’s office 20. Samoan monetary unit 21. Cooperation 25. Fiddler crabs 26. Portion of a play 27. Tropical American shrub 29. Frosts 30. Short-winged diving seabird 31. Chemical compound used as a hardener (abbr.) 32. Diversion 39. __ Turner, rock singer 41. __-bo: exercise system 42. Large, edible game fish 43. Doctor of Education 44. Where the Knicks play 45. Basics 46. Tall tropical American trees 48. Men wear them 49. Widespread destruction 50. Midway between north and northeast 51. Vast body of water 52. Hair product SEE SOLUTIONS, PAGE 7B

DOWN 1. Very brave 2. Go too far 3. Individual feature 4. Drug trials term (abbr.) 5. Has emerged 6. Helped the Spanish conquer Mexico 8. Northern Vietnam ethnic group 9. Dried-up 11. Reactive structures (abbr.) 14. Licensed for Wall Street 15. Japanese conglomerate 18. Home to the Celtics 19. Title given to Italian monk 20. Drunkards 22. Cylindrical containers 23. South American plants 24. Frozen water 27. Town in Galilee 28. Not in 29. Journalist and suffragist Wells 31. Consumed 32. Edible Mediterranean plant 33. Poke fun of 34. “First in Flight” state 35. Fortifying ditch 36. Receding 37. Christian liturgical creed 38. Used to decorate Xmas trees 39. High-__: complex 40. Thoughts 44. __ and cheese 47. Constrictor snake

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March 14, 2018

7B


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The Laker-Wesley Chapel/New Tampa-March 14, 2018  

Price nearly doubles for ‘diverging diamond’; Hotel, retail, restaurants — arriving soon; Pasco ‘super park’ land near Dade City

The Laker-Wesley Chapel/New Tampa-March 14, 2018  

Price nearly doubles for ‘diverging diamond’; Hotel, retail, restaurants — arriving soon; Pasco ‘super park’ land near Dade City