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Plantation Palms Golf Club closes
By Michael Hinman email@example.com
Unless you’re a resident, a guest or a vendor, anyone thinking about trying to get into the Plantation Palms community off Collier Parkway should think again. The community is on lockdown, even during the day. And it’s all because the golf course has shut down … again. Nine months after closing for a week, Plantation Palms Golf Club has shuttered its links, and this time there’s no telling when it might reopen. That’s forced the homeowners associa-
tion at Plantation Palms to act swiftly to protect not only its residents, but the private golf course as well. “While not our property and not our legal responsibility, (the golf course) is a critical component of our neighborhood,” the board, led by president David Gunsteens, said in a written statement to The Laker/Lutz News. “Many of our residents purchased their homes here because of the excellent golf course. Not only that, but one of the benefits all of us enjoy in living in a golf course community, whether golf enthuSee GOLF, page 14
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It’s closed again. Plantation Palms Golf Club has shut down the course, and it’s not clear when it will reopen.
Pasco lacks incentives for local filmmakers
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M AY 7 , 2 0 1 4
Seventeen local authors will gather at Barnes & Noble at The Shops at Wiregrass May 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., to sell their books and chat with patrons.
Barnes & Noble offers showcase for local authors By B.C. Manion
at different locations in the store, with a sprinkling of genres at each table, Brouillard said. “I’ll have a teen book maybe next to If you’re looking for a new recipe, want maybe one of the cooking books and the to make a quilt, are in the mood for a little quilting book, something like that,” he said. dark humor or want to be inspired, a selecSome authors have been there before, tion of books by local authors may appeal to such as Leigh Kenyon, a teenager who you. wrote “The Zebra Riders,” and Seventeen local authors will Madonna Jervis Wise, a retired gather at Barnes & Noble at The educator who has written severShops at Wiregrass May 17 from 2 al books, including “Wildcat p.m. to 4 p.m., to offer their Creek Kids,”“Sam & Company,” works for sale, chat with potential and “Juanita in Blue.” She’s also patrons, and sign books. co-author of “Kachina and the “It’s Barnes & Noble’s way to Bully.” recognize the community,” said Evelyn Johnson-Taylor, a Paul Brouillard, assistant store Check out a selecwomen’s ministry leader, will be manager at the bookstore, which tion from Janet there with her book “A Woman’s is located at 28152 Paseo Drive in Watson’s, “The Call, Living a Life of Purpose.” Wesley Chapel. “Our customers Artist,” on page 14. Those interested in learning are readers. A lot of them aspire to quilt can pick up some pointto be authors and have their ers from Elizabeth Dackson, books for sale in our store. So this is a great author of “Becoming a Confident Quilter.” way to get the authors who are local to our Guy Cote will offer his book “Long Live store.” the King: Book One of the Charlemagne It’s a fun event for the authors, Brouillard Saga.” Milt Harris will have three titles availadded. Besides having a chance to sell their able, a book for young readers called “Foxy work, they get to talk to customers and to Roxy,” a self-help guide titled “Ceilings,” and network with each other. See SHOWCASE, page 14 The store will set the writers up in clusters email@example.com
Years of filming low-budget shorts in and around Pasco County finally paid off for Christopher Leto when investors offered $250,000 to fund his biggest movie yet, a horror thriller called “The Ritual.” Yet when filming starts later this month, it won’t happen anywhere near his Land O’ Lakes home. Instead, Leto and his crew are heading south to Sarasota County where he can take advantage of film incentives like a 20 percent rebate on certain purchases, and waived costs for government services. “I met with the film commission there, and they were amazing,” Leto said. “Everything I asked them to do, they would bend over backward to help me get what I needed.” But if he had a choice, Leto would’ve much preferred to stay right in Pasco County. “I didn’t want to go to Sarasota to shoot my movie,” he said.“But they have incentives that are really nice.” Pasco has what officials here call a simple permitting process with no fees, and a requirement to carry an insurance rider that costs around $85. But don’t expect too much help beyond that, because Pasco County not only lacks incentives for filmmakers, it lacks an actual film commission. The work instead is handled through Pasco’s Office of Tourism Development, a department led by Ed Caum, who admits he is forced to wear so many hats, the film industry is almost an afterthought. Which is probably why the county’s website still links production companies to the closed mailSee FILMMAKERS, page 14
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHRIS LETO
Land O’ Lakes filmmaker Christopher Leto shot his independent film ‘Die Die Delta Phi’ in Pasco County, but his first larger-budget film, ‘The Ritual,’ moved to Sarasota County because of the financial incentives in place there.
Lutz leader: ‘The system, this time, worked’ By B.C. Manion firstname.lastname@example.org
Towering stands of pine trees and open fields characterize the plot of land at the northeast corner of Van Dyke Road and North Dale Mabry Highway, but that property soon could have an entirely new look. The parcel is part of a 251-acre plan that calls for upscale houses, multifamily units, offices, retail and a congregate care facility. Lutz residents are notorious for battling proposals they believe will disrupt their way of life. But in this case, they turned out en masse to support the proposed project. That’s because of all the work the applicants and community did before the public hearing took place. “They negotiated with our community members in good faith,” said Mike White, the president of the Lutz Citizens Coalition.“The system, this time, worked. And, it worked well.” Attorney Joel Tew and Richard Davis represent Geraci Land Acquisition LLC and Standard Pacific Homes of Florida, who presented their rezoning applications as companion requests. The companies are seeking to change the land from its current agricultural zoning to planned developments (PDs).
Land Use Hearing Officer Steve Luce had two public hearings on April 21, to listen to the evidence that he will use to recommend whether the Hillsborough County Commission should approve or deny the two requests. Much of the testimony heard during the first hearing was carried over to the second hearing, as well, at the request of those testifying. One request incorporates the Landings at Lake Pearl, a previously approved rezoning that includes 650 multifamily units and 70,000 square feet of office. “We agreed, at the county’s request, to essentially roll that old PD into the new PD,” Tew said.“The county preferred to have one consolidated PD that would give easier site plan control, easier enforcement of conditions, easier platting and easier development approval, so we were happy to do that.” Besides the existing entitlements, the application calls for 240 single-family houses. Standard Pacific is planning a gated, highend residential community.Another parcel is planned for 177 multifamily units. The new requests total 417 dwelling units, about 25 percent of what would be allowed under the county’s long-range land-use plan,Tew noted.The retail uses requested in the companion proposal represents about one-third of what would
be allowed under the long-range plan designation. In essence, the requests are substantially less than the major activity center that was designated on the county’s long-range plan, Tew said. The applicants also worked hard with the community and the county’s staff to work out conditions that addressed concerns and will create a quality project,Tew said. “We have had a total of eight meetings with the major community associations that are directly affected by this project,” he said. “We’ve had very valuable, constructive input from them.We’ve listened to their concerns and we’ve made significant changes to the plan.” Both requests received favorable recommendations from the Planning Commission and the county’s land development staff. Ethel Hammer, a professional planning expert working for the applicants, noted that the proposed developments include conditions that exceed the county’s land development code. “There are project enhancements, such as increased setbacks from surrounding properties,” Hammer said.“There are conditions that deal with building orientation, which is somewhat unusual. There’s en-
Applicants sought for Community Water-Wise Awards The Laker/Lutz News Staff Report
Tampa Bay Water is now accepting applications for the 2014 Community Water-Wise Awards program until June 30. The program is designed for those whose yards incorporate Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles with an attractive design. It’s open to residents, businesses, builders or other organizations in Pasco,
Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, as well as the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and New Port Richey. The online application is available at TampaBayWaterWise.org, and should include a brief description and photos of an applicant’s water-efficient landscape. Each entry will be evaluated and scored on-site by a Florida-Friendly Landscaping representative during regular business hours in July,
Resta ur Open ant to th Public e
but the applicant does not have to be present during the evaluation. “It’s part of our station’s mission to try to minimize our impact on the environment, it’s kind of in our DNA,” said Paul Carrol of WMNF Radio, who won in 2012.“We separately meter the water for the irrigation of the station, so we know exactly how much we use, and we try to take that down to zero.”
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hanced landscaping and there are requirements for signage that are above and beyond the normal requirements in the code.” Conditions also call for a number of transportation improvements that residents want.That includes a signalized intersection at Exciting Idlewild Boulevard and North Dale Mabry Highway. The applicants agreed to a new alignment leading into the Veterans Expressway that essentially will square up that intersection. They also agreed to a single access point off of Van Dyke Road, instead of the three they initially requested. The limited access on Van Dyke Road was essential to gain the support of area residents and the Lutz Citizens Coalition, who were concerned about traffic impacts both on Van Dyke and nearby neighborhoods. Pamela Jo Hatley, an attorney representing the coalition as well as some individual Lutz residents, said “the broader community has expressed its support.” “The applicants and their representatives met with my clients and with me, and they listened to my clients’ concerns and they were very responsive,” she said.“We appreciate that.” About 40 people turned out to show their support.
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Mourners brave rain to remember fallen officers By Michael Hinman email@example.com
It’s said that J. Edgar Hoover himself traveled from Washington, D.C., to Dade City, to remember prohibition agent John Van Waters. The 46-year-old U.S. Department of Justice officer was killed alongside Pasco County constable Arthur Crenshaw on Oct. 4, 1922, in an ambush soon after investigating an illegal distillery near Dade City. They were just the second and third law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty at the time, but would eventually become a part of a list that now totals eight who paid the ultimate price in protecting the people of Pasco County. And those same people who benefit from that protection refuse to let them be forgotten as the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies celebrated their lives during a memorial service May 2 in front of the Historic Dade City Courthouse.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said that the men being honored showed courage, that ‘when there was a fight or flight situation, they did not run in fear, they fought.’
“It is truly a special day for us,” Sheriff Chris Nocco told the crowd of spectators who stood in a steady downpour to honor the officers. “In a world where so many times we get wrapped up in the petty little things of life, this is a moment that we can reflect upon what is most important.” Last year, the death toll for law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty dropped to its lowest numbers in more than 50 years. And while those are statistics that should be celebrated, Dade City Police Chief Ray Officers salute a wreath featuring pictures of law enforcement offiVelboom warned that cers who lost their lives in the line of duty in Pasco County during work to protect offiits long history. cers is still needed.
“While this number is gratifying somewhat, one life is still too many,” he said. “We as leaders continue to work hard to provide our officers with the awareness and training they need to confront the many dangers they are facing. We must strive to create a new culture of safety in law enforcement that addresses the elements of our job that we can control, such as driving habits.” Two of Pasco’s deaths were from automobile accidents, including the most recent, Hernando County Sheriff’s deputy John MICHAEL HINMAN/STAFF PHOTOS Mecklenburg, who was Pasco County sheriff’s deputies salute during ceremonies killed during a high-speed remembering law enforcement officers who were killed in the chase on U.S. 41 in 2011 that line of duty during the last century or so. crossed into Pasco County. Pasco County Sheriff’s deputy John Bradford-Jean Crooks, who was just 23 in McCabe also died on U.S. 41, but in 1948, May 1998 when he was slain by a man who while responding to a call about stolen had earlier killed two Tampa Police grove heaters. Department officers and a young boy. Brad “On this day, let us remember these men Crooks, as he was known by, never had a not by how they died, but how they walked chance to get out of his car, was shot and among us, and whose lives they enriched in killed on the off-ramp of Interstate 75 into a thousand ways by their very existence,” Wesley Chapel. said U.S. Circuit Court judge William Burgess And then there was the first officer ever III, after reading the roll call of the fallen offi- killed in Pasco in the line of duty. Sheldon cers. Nicks was working with his father, Fivay Those officers honored also included Lt. town marshal H. Robert Nicks, to serve a Charles “Bo” Harrison, who was killed warrant. When the man they were serving June 1, 2003, while doing surveillance near a realized he was being arrested, he pulled a Dade City nightclub. A sniper, whose only gun.The younger Nicks jumped in front of goal reportedly was to shoot a police offi- the bullet, saving his father, but died on May cer, hid in the nearby woods, and shot 8, 1909. Harrison in the back. Harrison, who was 56, “None of whom we honor today can be was just 15 days away from retirement after defined by their deaths,” Florida Highway 31 years of service. Patrol Capt. Kristina Quenneville said.“But Also remembered was a member of the by what is forever imprinted on the lives Florida Highway Patrol, Trooper James and hearts of those they have touched.”
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There have been so many changes in how dentistry is practiced since we opened our dental office 25 years ago in Land O’ Lakes. We want to use this dedicated space in The Laker and Lutz News to answer questions we are frequently asked and to share with you information about new innovations that make dentistry pain free and affordable.
What is the difference between whitening agents and true bleaching agents? Watch your product labels.
Whitening agents only affect stains embedded within the enamel pellicle (the protein skin of your teeth) and do NOT alter the base color. These work on surface (outside) stains. True bleaching agents will also remove stains on the outside of your teeth. The difference is a true bleaching agent will penetrate the tooth’s enamel and cause a change in the tooth’s color affecting the dentin layer of your teeth (the inside). The bleaching affect comes from either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient. Use of a true bleaching product will give a more dramatic change in tooth color and longer stability. With the help of your dentist you can a brighter smile in no time.
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Schools rack up awards for good performance Don’t be Scared Into Lawn Service You Don’t Need Because of an Unsolicited Door Hanger The Laker/Lutz News Staff Report
Does every house in your neighborhood have the same door hanger with the same problems circled? Look closely at the printing. Are check marks and circles pre-printed to claim your lawn has chinch bugs, mole crickets, fungus and fertilization problems?
Has your neighborhood been canvassed by workers with no lawn care knowledge who are paid to check off the same problems for every lawn?
Does your lawn have the same problems year after year, after year?
Public schools in Hillsborough County earned nearly $8.5 million and Pasco County $2.7 million in Florida School Recognition Program awards, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Education. Schools eligible to receive the recognition awards include those receiving an A school grade; those improving at least one letter grade from the previous year; those improving more than one school grade and sustaining the improvement the following year; or alternative schools meeting state improvement criteria. Award distributions are based on $100 per full-time equivalent student for each eligible school. Hillsborough schools receiving awards locally were: • Benito Middle, $107,383 • Chiles Elementary, $78,259 • Clark Elementary, $82,957 • Hammond Elementary, $69,710 • Liberty Middle, $110,342 • Lutz Elementary, $58,750 • Maniscalco Elementary, $54,156 • Martinez Middle, $108,800 • Schwarzkopf Elementary: $60,163 • Tampa Palms Elementary, $76,953 • Wharton High, $236,050 • Walker Middle Magnet, $80,066
Pasco schools receiving awards were: • Pasco High, $138,375 • Oakstead Elementary, $107,492 • Double Branch Elementary, $83,617 • Long Middle, $160,838 • Wiregrass Ranch High, $193,549 • Sunlake High, $153,626 • Veterans Elementary, $80,196 • Connerton Elementary, $86,881 • Pine View Middle, $90,207 • Lake Myrtle Elementary, $66,713 • Sand Pine Elementary, $63,254 • Wesley Chapel Elementary, $62,054 • Seven Oaks Elementary, $94,966 • Academy at the Farm, $38,982 • Countryside Montessori, $23,200 • Imagine School at Land O’ Lakes, $63,360 The Florida Lottery provides the program’s funding, and the legislation that created it authorizes the school’s staff and school advisory council to decide how to use the funds. The money can be used for bonuses for the faculty and staff, for educational equipment or materials, or for temporary personnel to help the school maintain or improve student performance. If bonuses are awarded, the staff and advisory team decide who receives them and how much each person receives, according to the state Department of Education’s website.
LIBRARIES Land O’ Lakes Branch Library • Baby Storytime, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., every Thursday • Preschool Storytime, 11:30 a.m., every Friday • Reading Buddies, 10 a.m., every Saturday • Alzheimer’s Association/Caregiver Support, 11 a.m., May 7 • LOL Social Seniors, 10 a.m., May 8 • Toddler Time, 10 a.m., May 10 • Tween Gaming, 2 p.m., May 10 • Chess Club, 2 p.m., May 10 and May 24 • Japanese Class, 3 p.m., May 10 and May 24
• Teen Volunteer Training, 5:15 p.m., May 13 and May 27 • Teen Advisory Board, 6 p.m., May 13 and May 27 • Computer Skills, 10 a.m., May 14 • Friday Afternoon Movie, 1:15 p.m., May 16 • CoderDojo Tampa Bay Area, 11 a.m. May 17 • Kids Crafts, 2 p.m., May 17 • Young Adult Book Share, 2 p.m., May 17 • Family Night Out, 6:30 p.m., May 20 • Land O’ Lakes Book Club, 1:30 p.m., May 21 The library is located at 2818 Collier Parkway. It can be reached at (813) 929-1214.
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Forget finance, B.A. Arnot finds his sweet spot Getting to know You By Michael Hinman firstname.lastname@example.org
here may be about a dozen different cuts of steak, but the ways to prepare it are almost endless. Think about Bubba Blue’s long list of shrimp recipes in the film “Forrest Gump,” and replace all of it with all the types of steak that exist. B.A. Arnot has watched thousands of steaks carried from his kitchen to customers at his LongHorn Steakhouse location on Tampa’s Westshore Boulevard. Rancher’s Sirloin. Outlaw Ribeye. Flo’s Filet. There’s never a shortage of meat. And for the last 20 years,Arnot has dedicated his professional career to making sure hungry customers walk away satisfied from the restaurant chain. But his job as managing partner is not exactly the career Arnot expected to find himself in back in his college days at the University of South Florida. “My degree is in finance,”Arnot said one recent afternoon before the Saturday dinner rush.“I was on the USF golf team, too, and I was even thinking about maybe turning pro.” In fact, if the Super Bowl and a major golfing event ever ended up on the same night,Arnot might have to read about football’s biggest game in the newspaper the next morning.The only reason why he isn’t pursuing that dream is an injury that prevents him from playing as much as he likes. Of course, that does not mean Arnot never plays. Silverado Golf & Country Club
in Zephyrhills is just a short jaunt from his Lake Bernadette home. From time to time, people will find Arnot carrying his clubs, looking to master each hole. Injury explains the change in his golf plans, but what happened to a career in finance? “I don’t think I would’ve ever been good behind a desk,”Arnot said.“I’m used to being on my feet and walking around, because at the end of the day, it all comes down to customer service for me.” But Arnot doesn’t like the word “customer,” however. “’Guest’ is a better word,” he said.“It’s all about the guest, and taking care of the guest.” In 1994, LongHorn was a young restaurant chain that was more “roadhouse” style. The complete menu was found on a chalkboard when customers arrived, and each table offered complimentary peanuts — the shells of which were welcomed on top of the wooden floors, crunching under the servers’ feet. Arnot had worked at a Burger King when he was a teenager, and Bennigan’s in college. But at LongHorn, he was still starting at entry level, first as a host, and then as a server. Yet, the manager at his LongHorn saw something in Arnot. He saw a leader. “After a year-and-a-half here, I got offered a chance to go into management, so I did,” he said. Arnot would continue to work at the LongHorn location on North Dale Mabry Highway, until he became a kitchen manager at a new location in Citrus Park in 1999. Just two years later, he was back at the Dale Mabry location, now as its managing partner. Arnot gives back the same way he received nearly two decades ago. He looks for manager material from the staff he hires, and promotes them whenever the opportu-
Getting to know B.A. Arnot What are you watching on TV? There have been tons of shows on that everyone likes, but I tend to only watch TV on Wednesday nights when I’m off. So the shows I’m watching are “Burn Notice” and “Suits.” What music group makes you turn up the radio? Nirvana. Or really anything on 102.5 The Bone. If you could spend a week anywhere? I would go to St. Andrews Links, the golf course in Scotland. It’s the most famous course in the world.
MICHAEL HINMAN/STAFF PHOTO
B.A. Arnot doesn’t mind the long commute from his home in Zephyrhills to LongHorn Steakhouse in Tampa’s Westshore district. He’s worked with the restaurant since the days when guests still threw discarded peanut shells on the floor.
nity arises. He’s a big believer in hiring from within. During almost all of that time,Arnot has commuted the nearly 40 miles from his home to the restaurant. Even when the Dale Mabry location closed down and moved to nearby Westshore Boulevard, it was still a haul. But he doesn’t let all that travel time and long hours at the restaurant interfere with making time for his wife — a manager at a Fifth Third Bank — and three daughters, ages 16, 14, and 8. He takes turns getting his kids around to their various activities, and making sure he’s home for dinner the nights
Best golfing movie? “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”
he’s not working. Arnot also carves out a little time for himself in the middle of the week, where he can enjoy a round of golf, or simply work on projects at home. And as the LongHorn chain expands, Arnot hopes to expand with it. His ultimate goal is to become a regional director of operations, although such a job might mean moving. Moving up is a long-term plan, like waiting until his youngest daughter is on her way to college. “Yeah, 10 years would be my goal to move ahead,” Arnot said.“But who knows. It’s hard to predict.” And Arnot should know. Just 20 years ago, LongHorn was supposed to be a quick stop on the road toward a banking job. Instead, he’s focused his career on the industry, and still has a lot more he wants to accomplish.
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MARTIN TO LEAD SAINT LEO ADVISORY COUNCIL
Saint Leo University has launched a new Communication-Marketing-Multimedia Industry Advisory Council, with Summer Martin from the Pasco Economic Development Council, elected as chairwoman. The council’s mission is to serve as an advisory body, working collaboratively with the instructional faculty and students by providing ideas and opinions on matters concerning the industry, and to help advance the department’s strategic plan. “Talent is always No. 1 on a company’s wish list when choosing a location for its business,” said Martin, in a release.“This is a great opportunity for industry professionals to weigh in on the skills they would like to see future graduates have as it relates to their business and the field of marketing, communication and multimedia.” Martin joined the PEDC in 2012, and has since helped the organization win four awards recognizing its marketing efforts. She also serves on the Tampa Bay Partnership’s Regional Marketing Council, and in 2012, participated as a member of the Communications Action Group for the Tampa Bay Host Committee. “Saint Leo University is preparing students for future jobs, and we want to stay on the cutting edge,” said Michael Nastanski, dean of Saint Leo’s Donald R.Tapia School of Business, in a release.“We look forward to working with industry professionals to develop the Tampa Bay region’s talent.”
North East Tampa Women in Business will host a pancake breakfast fundraiser May 17 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Lexington Oaks Golf Club, 26133 Lexington Oaks Blvd., in Wesley Chapel. The cost is $10 per person, and includes raffles. Money raised will help fund two $500 scholarships the organization gives in December. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (813) 451-8023.
MORE APARTMENTS COMING TO ZEPHYRHILLS
A developer that wanted to add another recreational vehicle park to State Road 54 just west of Zephyrhills, has been convinced to build a new apartment complex instead. Terrace Investors LLC were scheduled to appear in front of the Pasco County Commission May 6 seeking a rezoning of a 14-acre piece of property on New River Road next to Terrace Park Mobile Home Park, so that it could build a 228-unit project. Terrace Investors bought the vacant land in 1999 for $240,000, according to the Pasco County Property Appraiser. Steve McConihay owns the company, and in 2012 also proposed to replace a 138-lot RV park with a 230-unit apartment complex in Largo, according to published reports. His new project there, called Boulevard Apartments, secured $30 million in financing just last month. The commission’s decision on the rezoning request was not available by the time The Laker/Lutz News went to press.
LEVENT TO SPEAK AT WOMEN-N-CHARGE
COURTESY OF PASCO COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR’S OFFICE
Burke retires from tax collector’s office
Cathy Burke, center, is retiring from the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office after 11 years of service. Tax Collector Mike Fasano, left, and Dade City office manager Michelle VanCuren, honored her.
Cost is $15 for members, and $18 for guests, if purchased by Tuesday before the meeting. To register, visit Women-n-Charge.com. For information, call (813) 600-9848.
GRANDSON TO INTERN WITH CESSNA
Joshua Cherok, the grandson of Leon and Shirley Cherok of Land O’ Lakes, has accepted a summer internship with Cessna Aircraft Co., in Wichita, Kansas. He will work as a customer support representative with the engine events management team. Cherok will graduate in December from Kent State University in Ohio with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics.
PEDC NEEDS BANQUET SPONSORS
Women-n-Charge will have its next meeting June 6 at 11:30 a.m., at Pebble Creek Country Club, 10550 Regents Park Drive in Tampa. Guest speaker is business strategist and author Tammy Levent, who will talk about how to create successful strategic partnerships in this economy.
The Pasco Economic Development Council is seeking sponsors for its annual appreciation banquet. The 28-year-old event allows the organization to recognize those who help keep the Pasco County economy strong and growing, and is typically attended by more than 600 business and community leaders
each year, according to a release. The banquet is set for Sept. 2 at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel. Sponsorships range from $500 to $7,500. For information, call (813) 926-0827, ext. 226, or email email@example.com, by July 1.
MORE JOBS COMING TO REGION
The Tampa Bay market gained 30,000 new jobs in March, while the unemployment rate locally dropped by 1 percentage point to 7.5 percent. The numbers were released by Gov. Rick Scott’s office, and included gains in areas like professional and business services with 9,000 new jobs, and trade and transportation with 6,400 new jobs. Manufacturing had 4,100 new jobs. The region was first among the state metropolitan areas when it came to online job demand with 41,076 openings.That included nearly 10,500 openings in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — STEM jobs that are considered high wage and high skill. The unemployment rate statewide in March was 6.3 percent.
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Shops at Wiregrass
AARP launches initiative to help defeat scammers By B.C. Manion
tionally involved because that makes them more vulnerable, Henry said. When it comes to being One common ploy inscammed, virtually everyone is volves an email or a call at risk, said Claudette Henry, the that claims to be from a featured speaker at a recent relative needing help. It’s Land O’ Lakes AARP chapter best to hang up the meeting. phone and verify that inBecause identity theft and formation from another fraud are so pervasive, the AARP source. has launched the Fraud Watch There are other Network to combat the probscams that claim to offer lem. Last year, an estimated 12.6 investment opportunimillion Americans were the victies, such as oil and gas tims of identity theft, Henry stock options, she said. said, citing AARP materials. One victim lost $40,000. AARP’s Fraud Watch “It can happen to Network aims to help people of Claudette Henry anyone,” Henry said. all ages, not only members of Some criminals use the AARP, Henry said. threats and intimidation to try to get what “We’re trying to protect you against they want.“The latest scam involves calls or phone, email and mail scams,” Henry said. emails that claim they’re from the IRS,” she “If you receive a phone call or email from said. “They’re not going to call or email. anyone saying that your checking account They’re going to send you a letter. Don’t be or bank account or credit card or PayPal, or fooled.” anything that you do has been comproA caller attempted the IRS scam on mised, and you need to respond, do not.” Steve Dierking of Lutz, who was at the Instead, contact the company that sent AARP meeting. the communication to make sure it is legiti“I had the IRS call me a month ago and mate, she said. they said they had audited me over the last “If it is from the bank, they’ll address seven years. I owed $3,400,” Dierking said. you by name, not just your email account, “I had one hour to give it to them.And, if I or say,‘Dear Member,’ or anything like that,” didn’t, they were sending the sheriff out to Henry said.“If you receive a phone call and pick me up. it says,‘To verify your account, press 1.’ Do “So, I said,‘I have to get back to you, benot do it.” cause I don’t have that cash.’ I called the Another common scam involves mes- sheriff,” Dierking told the crowd. sages that say someone won a lottery. There are persistent scammers, who use “Anytime you receive information that harassment to try to get their way. you’ve won a lottery, you’ve won a prize — “The best thing you can do is get on the if you have to pay taxes up front, or a quali- phone with the authorities,” Henry said. fication fee, or a document fee — it’s a “Put an answering machine on your phone scam. Don’t fall for it,” Henry said. or block your phone calls. If all else fails, Con artists attempt to get people emo- change your phone number. Don’t let this
happen to you.” Keep your credit cards and Social Security number in a place where others can’t get to them, she added. Check your credit reports to be sure they are accurate. “Be real careful about your mail and how you handle your mail.You don’t want to throw stuff out in the trash with information from credit card companies, offers or even your name and address,” Henry said. “Shred the information. Don’t put it out there. People go through your trash trying to get information.” Also, be careful in returning calls when you don’t recognize the numbers, she said. “If you don’t know who’s calling you, don’t call them,” Henry advised. Ginny Sibley, a bank officer for American Momentum Bank, offered this advice: “When you’re traveling, please use a credit card, not your debit card.” Scammers can do serious damage once they get someone’s checking account number, Sibley said. “What they do, is they set up an exact time throughout the whole United States and they compromise your number,” she said.“At that moment, they use the cards, the plastic into the machine. You could have five, six transactions at the same time.” When buying gas, be sure to click the clear button after your transaction, Sibley added. Robert Brown took that advice a step farther. “Any time I use my debit or credit card when I get gas, I go inside and swipe it,” said Brown, a independent associate of LegalShield.“I always go inside.” The Land O’ Lakes chapter of the AARP welcomes new members.Annual dues are $10 per person.Anyone interested in learning more can email Phyllis E. Bross, chapter president, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a voicemail at (813) 996-1361.
Protect yourself with these tips from AARP • Don’t carry your Social Security card • Shred sensitive information • Limit the number of credit cards you carry • Keep copies of your credit cards, front and back, in case they are stolen • Watch for missing bills • Monitor your accounts carefully • Do your homework before making investments • Review your free credit report once a year • Do not carry your check card codes or passwords • Do not choose obvious passwords, such as a birthdate, phone number, consecutive numbers or the like • If you receive a suspicious email, do not respond to it • Avoid conducting personal or financial business on shared or public computers or over wireless hotspots • Protect your mail • Do not give out personal information to telemarketers • Check out a charity before donating by going to CharityWatch.org or CharityNavigator.org
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If you would like to invite Mazy into your family, email Cat Crusaders at email@example.com. For more information about other adoptable cats, visit TampaCatCrusaders.org.
Check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LakerLutzNews You’ll find stories, things to do, specials, community photos and more.
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May 7, 2014
What What’ss Happening
Your Community Calendar • Submit 2 weeks in advance to: firstname.lastname@example.org • All listings free of charge
The Pasco Alliance of Community Associations will meet May 8 at 7 p.m., at the Land O’ Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. Guest speaker is Pasco County elections supervisor Brian Corley. For information, call Ron Litts at (813) 475-4561.
SOUNDS OF SPRING AT OLOR
The Christ Renew His Parish group at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 2348 Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes, will present the Wesley Chapel Wind Ensemble in a “Sensational Sounds of Spring” concert May 9 at 7:30 p.m., in Rosary Hall. Admission is a canned food item for the church’s pantry. For information, call (813) 949-4565.
LUTZ GUV’NA DEBATE
Candidates for the next honorary Lutz Guv’na will tell their tall tales at a debate May 10 at 2 p.m. at the Old Lutz School, 18819 N. U.S. 41.This year’s candidates are Susan Gulash from Gulash Graphics, Jerome Smalls from Soccer Gemz, Cindy Perkins from Back in Health, Liane Caruso from Limelight Marketing Consultants, and Jay Muffly, whose candidacy is being sponsored by the Lutz-Land O' Lakes Woman's Club. The annual race raises money for local organizations and charitable causes.
USPS FOOD DRIVE
The U.S. Postal Service will have its annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive May 10.To donate, place a box or can of nonperishable food next to the mailbox before mail arrives May 10. Carriers will collect food donations, and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters.
LAWN INSECT SEMINAR
Pasco Cooperative Extension Service will offer a free seminar on getting rid of lawn insects May 10 at 9 a.m., at the Land O’ Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. Participants can discover how to identify and control what’s bugging their lawn. For information, call (813) 996-2411.
Florida Estates Winery, 25241 State Road 52 near Land O’ Lakes, will host a wine festival May 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.The event is pet-friendly and will include vendors, live entertainment and sample wine offerings. For information, call (813) 996-2113.
POPS IN THE PARK
The Florida Orchestra will present its “Pops in the Park” picnic under the stars at Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N.Ashley Drive in Tampa, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. Guests should bring canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest’s food drive.Admission to the concert is free. For information, visit FloridaOrchestra.org.
a survivor or caregiver, call Lilly Fontanez at (813) 770-4354. For information, visit RelayForLife.org/lutzfl.
Celebrate mom pajama party
Join a Girls Night Out Mother’s Day Celebration Pajama Party May 9 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., at Copperstone Executive Suites, 3632 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. There will be free dinner, cake, champagne, coffee, massages, music, and gift card giveaways. Participants can don their pajamas for a contest. To RSVP, call Lisa Rogers at (813) 458-9672, or email email@example.com.
Mother’s Day conference
Water’s Edge Community Church, 30200 Overpass Road in Wesley Chapel, will host “Mothers and Mentors for Christ” May 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be guest speakers and a complimentary lunch. For reservations or directions, call Patty Fitzpatrick at (813) 528-8565.
MOSI’s Mother’s Day
The Museum of Science & Industry will grant mothers free general admission, with the purchase of a child’s admission, May 10 and May 11. The promotion is limited to one offer per household. Other restrictions may apply. For information, call (813) 987-6000, or visit MOSI.org.
Puppets for Christ
The youth ministry Puppets for Christ will perform a Mother’s Day show “Wildfire” May 11 at 6:30 p.m., at Van Dyke United Methodist, 17030 Lakeshore Road in Lutz. This is a musical black light performance. Admission is free, however donations will be accepted. Dessert will follow the show. For information, call (813) 968-3983.
SENIOR RESOURCE FAIR IN ZEPHYRHILLS
U.S Rep Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor will host a free senior resource fair May 12 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Alice Hall Community Center, 38116 Fifth Ave., in Zephyrhills. Senior citizens will be able to pick up information on a number of issues including health and wellness, nutrition, home health services, and identity protection tips.
NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY PROGRAM
The Nature Coast Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society will host “A Journey from ‘My Wildflower Garden’ and Back into the Woods” by Jeanne Parks May 13 at 7 p.m., at the Land O’ Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.There will be light refreshments and a native plant drawing. For information, call (727) 3767663.
EMBROIDERS’ GUILD POTLUCK
The Gulfview Chapter of the Embroiders’ Guild of America will host a potluck luncheon May 14 at The Lakeside Club, 12606 Shadow Ridge Road in Hudson. There will be a variety of Mother’s Day stitching projects shown. For information, call Betty Brandt at (727) 856-3643.
GARDEN FEST AT CONNERTON
Connerton Assisted Living and Memory Care, 21021 Betel Palm Lane in Land O’ Lakes, will host its Garden Fest May 15 at 2 p.m.There will be a release of 30
butterflies, cake, and flowers to beautify the garden in honor of loved ones. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PINNING CEREMONY FOR VETERANS
Gulfside Hospice will host a community veterans pinning ceremony in honor of Armed Forces Day and as part of the We Honor Veterans program May 17 at 9:30 a.m., at Harley-Davidson of New Port Richey, 5817 State Road 54.Veterans will be presented with a flag pin and certificate of recognition. This is a free event. For information, call Kelly Milner at (800) 561-4883.
MASS OF HEALING
New Tampa Players is hosting auditions for “Seussical:The Musical” May 17 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., May 18 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and May 19 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at CrossPointe Church of the Nazarene, 919 Dubuel Road in Lutz. Performances are in August. For information and character descriptions, email email@example.com, or visit NewTampaPlayers.org.
PASCO FIASCO RALLY
Pasco Fiasco, the activist group that opposes the proposed elevated toll road along the State Road 54/56 corridor, is staging a rally May 19 beginning at 7 p.m. at Sunlake High School, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. For information, visit PascoFiasco.com.
FREE SCRAPBOOK DAY
Myrtle Lake Baptist Church, 2017 Reigler Road in Land O’ Lakes, will be the site for a free scrapbook day May 24 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies, lunch and snacks. Space is limited. For information, call Jo Anne Shaffer at (813) 996-1185, or Penny Benitez at (813) 323-1867.
MEMORIAL DAY PARADE
Knights of Columbus Assembly 2741 and Council 8104 will present their inaugural Memorial Day parade May 26 starting at 8 a.m.The route will start at Dupree Lakes Boulevard off Collier Parkway, and end at the Baldomero Lopez Memorial Veterans Nursing Home on Parkway Boulevard, in Land O’ Lakes. For information on participation, call Bob Barbero at (813) 9952736, or Ed Aguila at (813) 995-0973.
GOODWILL AND DINOSAURS
St. James the Apostle Church Chapel, 8400 Monarch Drive in Port Richey, will host a Morning of Hope and Healing & Mass of Remembrance May 17 at 10 a.m., for those who have suffered a pregnancy loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth, early infant death, invitro loss or abortion. Participants will receive a flower to represent each loss. To register, call (813) 924-4173 or (727) 534-5729.
Donors who drop off clothing or household items at any Goodwill Industries-Suncoast donation site before May 31 will receive a coupon good for two free children’s tickets to Dinosaur World, 5145 Harvey Tew Road in Plant City, with paid adult admissions, while supplies last. Coupons can be redeemed through July 31. For a list of donation sites, visit Goodwill-Suncoast.org.
STEINBRENNER RELAY FOR LIFE
Wesley Chapel Cadet Squadron of Civil Air Patrol, located at the North Tampa Aero Park just off State Road 54, meets every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., next to the airport hangar. Cadets range from 12 to 21 years old, and senior members are 18 and older. For information and a schedule of activities, visit WesleyChapelCAP.com.
Steinbrenner High School, 5575 W. Lutz Lake Fern Road in Lutz, will host the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life May 17-18, beginning with opening ceremonies on the first day at 2 p.m. to form a team or to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To register as
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The award winning youth ministry Puppets for Christ Presents “Wildfire” A musical black light performance celebrating the light of God’s Love For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Ephesians 5:8-9
Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014 • 6:30 pm Van Dyke United Methodist 17030 Lakeshore Rd, Lutz, FL. 33558 A love offering will be taken and dessert will follow. Proceeds from the love offering will fund a summer tour to Washington D.C. to serve outreach ministries.
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10:00 am to 1:30 pm
Wellness Plaza at Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel
19502 Heritage Harbor Parkway Lutz, FL 33558 $70 individual $260 Team of Four
In celebration of Men’s Health Month, we invite you to join us for a free Men’s Health Seminar focusing on health and wellness topics for men.
MEN’S HEART HEALTH
Chetan Khamare, MD, Cardiologist
Includes greens fees, cart, Range balls & BBQ Awards Dinner SPONSORS:
THE TRUTH ABOUT LOW TESTOSTERONE
Jonathan Yousef, DO, Family Medicine
For application & details visit the chamber website www.CentralPascoChamber.com or call 813-909-2722
SAVE THE DATE!
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION: CAUSES & TREATMENTS
Brent Sullivan, MD, Urologist
Registration is required and space is limited. Sign up for one or all of the lectures by calling (813) 929-5432 or visit http://tinyurl.com/kg65xf4. Lunch is provided..
Don’t miss this chance to Network & Have Fun! www.LakerLutzNews.com
May 7, 2014
POLITICAL AGENDA SEND POLITICAL NEWS TO MHINMAN@LAKERLUTZNEWS.COM
THE GROVE AVAILABLE FOR EARLY VOTING
Pasco County has added a new early voting location for the upcoming Aug. 26 primary and the regular Nov. 4 general election, finding room at The Grove at Wesley Chapel. The location, on the west side of Interstate 75 and north of State Road 54, will join other locations that include the Land Oâ€™ Lakes Library, New River Library and East Pasco Government Center in Dade City. â€œThe need for an additional location reflects the growth and economic upswing of that area in recent years,â€? said Pasco elections supervisor Brian Corley, in a release. â€œWe are grateful to Genesis Real Estate for providing this location to serve Wesley Chapel voters at no cost to the taxpayers of Pasco County.â€? Expansion of early voting sites was made possible by the passing of H.B. 7013 last year, Corley said.
RAULERSON, CRUZ HAVE OPPOSITEFEELING CAMPAIGN MONTHS
State Rep. Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City, didnâ€™t raise any money for his unopposed re-election campaign in March, but he did spend a lot of it. Raulerson paid out more than $12,500 in March â€” well above his monthly average of $900 â€” with more than half of it going to
Strategic Image Management in Jensen Beach for what was described as â€œdesign, print, mail pre-session survey.â€? He spent another $2,300 on a telephone town hall, according to state election records, and $3,125 with Capitol Consulting out of Odessa. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, kept pace with her fundraising despite drawing an opponent, raising $6,750 in March. She now has accumulated $76,300, with $43,000 of it in the bank.
POLL WORKERS NEEDED FOR AUGUST, NOVEMBER ELECTIONS
Energetic? Service-oriented? Then the Pasco County supervisor of elections may be looking for you. Poll workers are needed for both the primary election Aug. 26 and the general election Nov. 4. Positions are paid, but potential candidates will need to be able to stand, bend, stoop, lift approximately 30 pounds, and have normal vision and manual and physical dexterity. Applicants also need to write and read English, have an email address, and be able to work the entire day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. All positions receive mandatory paid training the month preceding both the primary and general elections. For information, call (800) 851-8754, or visit PascoVotes.com.
DANISH GAINS FUNDRAISING GROUND ON HARRISON
Former state Rep. Shawn Harrison is doing what he can to regain a seat in
Tallahassee, but it appears the man holding that seat right now â€” state Rep. Mark Danish, D-Tampa â€” is starting to gain some ground. Harrison raised $5,950 in March, down slightly from his $6,500 average, according to state election records. Danish, however, pulled in $5,750 of his own, topping his $4,700 average. Yet, Harrison still leads the fundraising battle with just under $78,000 compared to Danishâ€™s $66,750. But when it comes to who has the most money available right now, that would be Danish with $52,000 in the bank, compared to Harrisonâ€™s $37,500.
MOBILE HOURS FOR ROSS
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, will host mobile office hours May 13 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Lutz Library, 101 W. Lutz Lake Fern Road in Lutz. Other dates in Lutz include June 10, July 8,Aug. 12, Sept. 9, Oct. 14 and Dec. 9. For more information, call (863) 6448215, or (813) 752-4790.
WILSON TAKING WELLS CHALLENGE SERIOUSLY
Pasco County Commissioner Henry Wilson is taking advantage of the fact that he announced his re-election plans early, especially now that his challenger is a candidate with strong name recognition in Mike Wells Jr. Wilson raised $1,910 in March, bringing his total campaign war chest to a little over $19,000. Wells, who announced his candidate earlier this month, would not have any
fundraising to report. Wilson has spent just $350, leaving him a lot of room to mount a financial defense of his seat. But he will have only until the August primary to do it, since both he and Wells are Republicans.
BURGESS DOMINATES HOUSE FUNDRAISING
Former Zephyrhills mayor Danny Burgess is showing he can raise money for bigger campaigns as he continues to pound his opponents when it comes to fundraising. Burgess, a Republican who wants to replace House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, in Tallahassee, raised $5,600 in March to bring his total to nearly $40,750. His primary challenger, Minnie Diaz, pulled in $365 in donations during the same time, bringing her campaign a total of $2,860, and only a few hundred dollars in the bank. Burgess received checks from the likes of Oakley Transport executive vice president Ronald Oakley and Wesley Chapel Dentistry on State Road 54. However, most of the money Burgess raised in March â€” some $3,000 worth â€” came from political action committees, supported by companies and organizations like AT&T and United States Sugar Corp. Beverly Ledbetter, the only Democrat in the race so far, raised $1,850 in March, bringing her total to just under $6,000. Barring anyone else entering the race, sheâ€™ll face the winner of the August primary between Burgess and Diaz in November.
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May 7, 2014
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