Page 1

Volume 19 Issue 1

Inside: Win Tickets To The Straz Center!

January 4, 2011

See page 43!

The Direct-Mail News Magazines Serving New Tampa & Wesley Chapel Since 1993! THIS INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY NEWS MAGAZINE IS DIRECTLY MAILED TO: NEW TAMPA: Arbor Greene • Cory Lake Isles • Cross Creek • Grand Hampton • Heritage Isles • Hunter’s Green • Hunter’s Key • K-Bar Ranch • Lake Forest • Live Oak Preserve • Pebble Creek • Richmond Place • Tampa Palms • West Meadows WESLEY CHAPEL: Aberdeen • Belle Chase • Brookside • Chapel Pines • Country Walk • Lexington Oaks • Meadow Pointe • New River • Northwood • Pinewalk • Pine Ridge • Saddlebrook • Saddleridge Estates • Saddlewood • Seven Oaks • Lakes at Northwood • The Villages of Wesley Chapel • Wesley Pointe • Westbrook Estates • Williamsburg

Wesley Chapel Medical Center Construction Is Under Way By Michael Smith The once-sleepy hamlet of Wesley Chapel took another step towards becoming a modern metropolitan area last month with a groundbreaking ceremony for the community’s first-ever full service hospital. The December 14 groundbreaking, which took place at the site of the planned 80-bed facility – 52 acres that lie a half-mile north of S.R. 56 on the east side of Bruce B. Downs Blvd., within the Wiregrass Ranch Development of Regional Impact (DRI) – was the culmination of a collaborative effort between University Community Hospital (UCH) and the Adventist Health System (AHS). The two healthcare companies officially merged under the AHS banner earlier this year, but originally, they each had sought to build a hospital in the area. They joined forces after the state Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) denied their individual Certificate of Need (CoN) applications

in 2006. The following year, the two companies announced that they would form a joint venture to build the new hospital, and their new CoN application was subsequently approved by the AHCA over another application submitted by the Baycare Health System, which had proposed building a teaching hospital in conjunction with the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine. The new hospital was originally proposed for a site across from the Saddlebrook Spa & Resort, but it was relocated to the Wiregrass site after residents in the area of the first site voiced opposition to the plan. All of the legal wrangling delayed the start of construction on the hospital for several years, but really, it was a much longer process than that, according to Don Porter, the patriarch of the ranching family that originally settled the 5,000-acre Wiregrass Ranch property before opening it up to development a few years ago. At the groundbreaking ceremony,

Members of the Porter family, representatives of Adventist Health System and University Community Hospital were joined by Pasco County officials at the groundbreaking for the future Wesley Chapel Medical Center. Porter talked about growing up in a Porter also told of a ranch hand who cabin on the land just a few yards away had been injured in an accident a few from the site of the new hospital, and years later who had to be treated by a said that a plane had crashed there in veterinarian. “Now, our family is proud 1943. He said that the entire crew of to be a small part of helping this hospithe plane had died because there were tal come to Wesley Chapel,” he said. no doctors in the area at the time. See “Hospital” on page 6.

County Officials Will Discuss BBD Widening At Public Hearing


Looking Ahead Towards The March City Of Tampa Elections, A Look Back At The Top Stories Of 2010, A Visit To AAP Fitness & Much More!

Visits To The Gingerbread Cottage, Liang’s Bistro, Holiday Fund Raisers, Our Editor’s 2010 Restaurant Favorites & Your Chance To Win Tickets To The Straz Center!

See pages 3-32!

See pages 33-48!



struction of the light rail and allowed it to begin within a reasonable period of time after the commencement of construction of the roadway itself, which is scheduled for 2012. Since voters rejected the tax referendum last fall, however, it is not known when money will be available for the construction of mass transit. So, the MPO staff is now recommending that the Segment A project move forward as planned, with eight lanes, although Valdez says that two of those lanes, one in each direction, will be set See “Widening” on page 8.

Postal Customer

Also Inside This Issue!

Steve Valdez, although it was originally designed to be widened to eight lanes, Segment A is currently listed as a sixlane project in the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). That’s because planners felt it was a good idea to make that segment only six lanes in order to make sure there would be enough room to add mass transit, presumably light rail, in the future. The six-lane proposal with room for mass transit also was supported by a majority of residents who attended a pair of public hearings about the project last spring. However, that proposal was largely contingent upon the passage of the countywide Transportation Tax Referendum, which would have funded con-


The widening of the middle two segments of Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., between Palm Springs Blvd. in Tampa Palms and Pebble Creek Blvd., although frustrating to drivers who have to negotiate the delays, lane changes and traffic cones, is going fairly

smoothly. However, Hillsborough County officials are planning a public hearing on Tuesday, January 4, to receive further input from citizens on the southernmnost segment of the project, aka Segment A, which includes the area from Bearss Ave. to Palm Springs Blvd. According to county spokesman

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City Of Tampa Elections In March To Set The Tone For 2011 Although I’m actually writing this just before Christmas, the likelihood is that you probably didn’t receive this issue in your mailbox before January 3 or 4, 2011, since New Year’s Day was Saturday, the day you normally receive the Neighborhood News. In other words, we can finally say goodbye to another challenging year in New Tampa and look ahead to what we hope will be a better 2011. And, although New Tampa did do better as a whole in terms of the turnout for the November 2010 General Election than we traditionally have, the fact is that the voter turnout in our City of Tampa communities (Tampa Palms, Hunter’s Green, West Meadows, Richmond Place, Arbor Greene, Cory Lake Isles, Grand Hampton/The Hammocks. Heritage Isles and Easton Park/ K-Bar Ranch) rarely even approaches 20 percent of those registered for Tampa’s Municipal Elections, which are held in March every four odd-numbered years (including 2011). It’s easy to debate the reasons why the municipal election turnout is so low — we have a lot of people who feel disenfranchised because so much of the power in the city is based in or near downtown, many of those who live in New Tampa don’t stay long-term because of corporate relocations, many of us don’t even realize we live in the city because Bruce B. Downs (BBD) and Cross Creek Blvds. are both Hillsborough County roads and, of course,

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Office & Distribution Assistants Karen Glenn • Cyler Porter Nothing that appears in New Tampa Neighborhood News may be reproduced, whether wholly or in part, without permission. Opinions expressed by New Tampa Neighborhood News writers are their own and do not reflect the publisher’s opinion. The deadline for outside editorial submissions and advertisements for Volume 19, Issue 3, of New Tampa Neighborhood News is Monday, January 17, 2011. New Tampa Neighborhood News will consider previously non-published outside editorial submissions if they are double spaced, typed and less than 500 words. New Tampa Neighborhood News reserves the right to edit and/or reject all outside editorial submissions and makes no guarantees regarding publication dates. New Tampa Neighborhood News will not return unsolicited editorial materials. New Tampa Neighborhood News reserves the right to edit &/or reject any advertising. New Tampa Neighborhood News is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the actual cost of the advertising space itself, not for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers. © 2011 JM2 Communications, Inc.

An editorial by Gary Nager my favorite excuse, “I only vote in the BIG elections” — but the fact is that the city is responsible for providing many of our services (e.g., police, fire and some of our recreational facilities). That fact alone means that those who serve as Mayor of Tampa and on the Tampa City Council should be aware of what is happening in our community, despite the fact that we are, geographically (and some would say spiritually) further from the seat of the municipal government than any other part of Tampa. The sad truth is that even when they’re campaigning — and especially once they’re elected — many city (and county, for that matter) officials never venture far enough north on either I-75 or I-275 to reach New Tampa and a big part of the reason is our traditionally poor voter turnout. So, I am going to try once again to stimulate your interest in voting this time around. There are seven people vying to replace Pam Iorio as Mayor of Tampa. I didn’t endorse Pam eight years ago, but I do believe she’s done a good job and many members of her staff have lived here and/or still do. Among those in this big race in March are former Mayor (and former New Tampa resident) Dick Greco, former City Council members Bob Buckhorn and Rose Ferlita (who also is now a former county commissioner), current City Council member and former

county commissioner Tom Scott, former county commissioner Ed Turanchik and two candidates I don’t yet know anything about — Marion Lewis and Arthur Richardson III. Another crowded race is for the citywide District 1 seat currently held by Gwen Miller, who, like Iorio, can not run for her seat again due to term limits. Among those seeking to replace Miller are New Tampa resident Curtis Stokes, who was appointed to another “at large” seat (District 3, to replace Linda Saul-Sena, who ran unsuccessfully for the county commission), former State Rep. Sara Romeo, who represent

ed a portion of New Tampa in her District 60 state legislative office, Christopher Cano, who ran unsuccessfully in November for that same District 60 seat, and four candidates I don’t yet know — Rick Barcena, Guido Maniscalco, Tom Slaughter and Mike Suarez. In citywide District 2, incumbent Mary Mulhern, who defeated New Tampa resident and current State Rep.elect Shawn Harrison four years ago to win her seat, is running against Scott Strepina. In citywide District 3, current District 4 commissioner Yvonne Capin See “Elections” on page 11.

Table of Contents LOCAL NEWS, BUSINESS, EDUCATION & SPORTS UPDATES................................Pages 1-32 Hospital (cont. from page 1)........................................6 Widening (cont. from page 1)......................................8 New Tampa News Briefs......................................10 Holiday Thieves Were Busy In Tampa Palms Wharton Locked Down After Report Of Weapon WC Burglary Suspect Captured In Tampa Palms Power Outage Leads Cops To Pot Plants 2010 News Year In Review...................................12 New Tampa Community Calendar.......................13

New Tampa Business Updates.................14-23 Custom Car Show Is A Hit In Tampa Palms..............14 New Tampa Chamber Of Commerce Update.......16 AAP Fitness Can help You Get Started!................18-19 Shoppes Of Amberly Holiday Party......................22-23

New Tampa Education Briefs........................26 HGE Students Among Best In State On FCATs Local Teachers Receive Grants For Water Projects

New Tampa Sports Briefs..............................30 Freedom High Students Accept Scholarship Offers Honest Abe 5K Set For February12 New 11-U Baseball Team Seeking Players

Neighborhood Magazine Gingerbread Cottage For Year-Round Gifts.........33 Local ‘Idols’ Sing To Benefit The Homeless.........34-35 Snap Fitness Can Help You Keep Your Resolution!....38 Ballet Students Shine In ‘The Nutcracker’..................39 Our Editor’s Favorite 2010 Local Restaurants......40-41 Liang’s Bistro Serves Up Tasty Asian Cuisine........42-43 Win Tix To “Night Of Stars” At The Straz Ctr!...43 Neighborhood Nibbles..............................................44 . . NEW TAMPA COLOR CLASSIFIEDS..............46

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actually live in the area, and Stein said he was happy to Continued from page 1 finally see his pet project come to fruition, not only Along with Porter, numerous hosfor local residents, but for pital officials and local politicians also he and his family, too. spoke at the ceremony, praising the According to hospital improved access to health care that the new facility will offer to residents of the officials, construction of the new facility, which will only area, as well as the positive impacts it be about ten miles from also will have upon local revenues and UCH, will take approxiemployment. mately two years. Initially, “It’s a great day for Wesley the 200,000-sq.-ft. hospital The Wesley Chapel Medical Center will open with 80 beds, sometime around the end of Chapel,” said Norm Stein, the former 2012 or beginning of 2013. It can be expanded to up to 300 beds in the future. will have 80 patient beds, president and CEO of UCH, who was but it will be expandable to instrumental in the planning of the new obstetrics, pediatrics, general surgery, an “planting the seeds of health care in the hospital. He was just one of the officials up to 300 beds in the future. It will emergency room with a helicopter pad, community,” as hospital officials said. offer a full range of services, including at the ceremony who said that they and a comprehensive medical fitness program for both employees and members of the community. The plan also calls for the construction of a 100,000sq.-ft. medical office building on the site in a future phase of the project. A major part of the AHS philosophy is healing the mind and spirit as well as the body, so the design of the new hospital takes advantage of the area’s natural scenery, officials said, and one of the highlights of that design will be a healing garden, which got its start with the planting of a tree at the conclusion of the groundbreaking ceremony. The dignitaries in attendance were The hospital will be the focal point of the Wiregrass Ranch Development of also invited to toss a handful of grass Regional Impact. Bruce B. Downs Blvd. is the road to the far left. The Shops seeds into the garden, as a symbol of at Wiregrass mall is located a half-mile south of the planned medical center.


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

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“Widening” Continued from page 1 aside for high-occupancy vehicles (HOV) or buses. That will allow the project to move forward on schedule and will preserve the right-of-way for other future types of mass transit when funding for that becomes available, Valdez says. The move also keeps the project in line for possible federal funding, he adds. The eight-lane option does present something of a problem for residents and officials of Tampa Palms, however. Members of the subdivision’s Community Development District (CDD) Board of Supervisors met with county public works officials in November to discuss the impacts that the project would have, specifically at the main entrances to the community at Tampa Palms Blvd. on the east and west sides of BBD. Those signature corners are marked by large monument signs and landscaped areas, and community officials expressed concern that the eightlane option would require those entrances to be significantly modified. “We’ve taken great pride to keep this (area) from looking like Dale Mabry, and now you’ve taken us beyond Dale Mabry,” CDD Board


president Gene Field said at the time. However, Field and the other Tampa Palms officials were assured that the county would make every effort to work with them during the construction process to minimize any disruptions or damages to Tampa Palms’ property. They were also told that the specifics for the project, such as which lanes would be reserved for HOV use, have not been decided yet, and that will likely be one of the topics of discussion at the January 4 public hearing. That meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the County Center building (601 E. Kennedy Blvd.). For a preview of the meeting, as well as other information regarding the Segment A widening, visit

Segment D On New CIT List In other BBD-related news, in December, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners approved a change in the list of projects slated for construction during the third phase of the Community Investment Tax collection. Among the projects added to the list was Segment D of the BBD widening, which includes the area between Pebble Creek Dr. and County Line Rd. According to Valdez, this change simply allows any money that may be

This is an artist’s conception of how Bruce B. Downs Blvd. will look with 8 lanes with two lanes reserved for HOV vehicles. left over from the other three segments the commissioners also voted to add of the widening project to be transother projects in the Plant City, Bloomferred to Segment D. “It’s just to make ingdale and Lithia Springs area to the sure that if there is any money left over, Phase III list, to rename or alter the because of lower-than-projected bids or scope of several other projects currentwhatever, that money doesn’t go anyly on the list, and to eliminate one projwhere else,” Valdez says. ect, the widening of Park Rd. between In addition to the BBD segment, I-4 and Sam Allen Rd., from the list.

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N EW T AMPA Reported Weapon Leads To Lockdown At Wharton Students at Wharton High were kept late one day last month after a student reported seeing a weapon in the possession of another student, resulting in a campus-wide lockdown. According to a report issued by the Hillsborough County School District, the incident took place at around 1:40 p.m. on December 17. That's when a student reported that he had seen another student with a weapon in a boys restroom. The student was quickly identified and searched, but no weapon was found. As a precaution, school security officers searched the other students in the suspected student’s classroom with a hand-held metal detector, and also searched trash cans and lockers, but were unable to find a weapon. According to the release, schools automatically go into lockdown, which means students have to remain inside their classrooms and the classroom doors are locked. In addition, all outdoor activities are suspended and no one is allowed to enter or leave the school until the lockdown ends. The lockdown lasted approximately 90 minutes, and the students were


News Briefs dismissed about 15 minutes late because of it. Neither of the students was identified, nor was the type of weapon that was supposedly seen identified in the report. Possession of a weapon at school is considered a crime, and automatically results in expulsion of the student for the remainder of the school year.

Holiday Thieves Were Busy In Tampa Palms

While most of us were busily preparing for the holidays, thieves were busy as well, victimizing several people in Tampa Palms in the days leading up to Christmas. According to the Tampa Police Dept. (TPD), an unknown suspect kicked in the door of an apartment at the Promenade apartments in Tampa Palms on December 17 and made off with two television sets, jewelry, cash and an ATM card. According to a TPD report, the break-in occurred between 6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. A survey of the neighbors by TPD officers yielded no clues, but the report states that the female occupant of the unit suspects the former tenant, whom she said was recently evicted. TPD said, however, there was no evidence to support that claim.

Then, on December 19, a woman who was exercising at the Lifestyles Family Fitness center on Amberly Dr. had the window of her vehicle broken out, and the thief was able to reach in and steal her purse, which was inside the vehicle. There were several credit cards inside the purse, but none were used before the theft was reported and the cards were canceled. Also, sometime between 1 a.m. on December 18 and 8:30 p.m. on December 19, a thief entered an unlocked 1997 Honda Civic that was parked at the Camden Live Oak apartments in Tampa Palms and made off with the vehicle’s electronic control module. Again, a neighborhood survey yielded no suspects.

Burglary Suspect Nabbed In Tampa Palms

Police arrested one of two burglars who broke into a Wesley Chapel home after a brief pursuit that ended in a wooded area behind a shopping plaza in Tampa Palms. According to Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) spokesman Kevin Doll, two men forced their way into a home in the Lakes of Northwood subdivision off County Line Rd. on the afternoon of November 30. Neighbors alerted the authorities, but the men left the scene before officers arrived. They were spotted heading south

on Bruce B. Downs Blvd., and officers from the PCSO were joined in the chase by units from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The suspects ditched their vehicle Terell behind the Shoppes of Hanna Amberly plaza in Tampa Palms, and fled into a heavily wooded, swampy area behind the plaza. K-9 units and a helicopter from the Tampa Police Department were called in to join the search, but they were only able to locate one of the two men, 20-yearold Terell Troy Hanna of Tampa. Hanna, who has a history of numerous arrests, was charged with one count each of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, opposing an officer without violence and grand theft. At our press time, he was still being held in the Orient Rd. jail under a bond of $30,000. Doll said that a warrant for Hanna also is pending in Pasco County.

Power Outage Leads Deputies To Pot Plants

Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies uncovered a marijuana growing operation in a shed at a Wesley Chapel house in November after being alerted by an electrical worker who was responding to a blown transformer. According to reports, the worker,

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“Elections” will face three candidates I’ve not heard of before — Michael Ciftci, Seth Nelson and Jason Wilson. And finally, in New Tampa’s local District 7, the incumbent, local salon owner Joseph Caetano, is being challenged by New Tampa resident Dean Hale and local access cable TV host Charlie Perkins, who ran unsuccessfully for the same seat in 2003 and 2007. The biggest New Tampa issues the new mayor and City Council members will face this year is whether or not to build the New Tampa Blvd. “Gateway Bridge.” Mayor Iorio and her staff were committed to building it, despite opposition to it (and a lawsuit brought) by residents of West Meadows and Tampa Palms. But, with Iorio’s term in office ending in just a few short months, you can be sure that at least some of the seven candidates

for mayor will come out either in favor of or in opposition to the bridge. Also coming in 2011 are a third New Tampa fire station (at Morris Bridge Rd. and Cross Creek Blvd.), the possibility of new city parks and new roads to be built in the Easton Park/K-Bar Ranch area and more about the widening of Bruce B. Downs Blvd., especially considering that the Transportation Surtax Referendum failed, which means that the proposed light commuter rail line along BBD is very much up in the air, although it may not be dead yet. We will keep you posted on road, park and other developments and we will chat with as many of these candidates as possible. In addition, we plan update you on what’s happening with home values in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel in a future issue. Best wishes from all of us at New Tampa Neighborhood News for a happy and healthy (physically AND economically) 2011!

from the Withlacoochee River Electrical Cooperative (WREC), was called to fix a transformer that had blown out in a neighborhood off Boyette Rd. on November 30. During the course of his repairs, however, he noticed something amiss at a home at 29846 Cooper Rd., and alerted police. When deputies responded, they found 11 marijuana plants, each more

than 6 feet tall, growing in a shed on the property. The power outage had apparently been caused by the lights being used to grow the plants. One occupant of the home, 43year-old Lupe Pettee, was arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana, although she denied knowledge of the plants. She was released after posting $5,000 bond. — MS

Continued from page 3

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2010 Will Be Remembered For Oil Spill & Political Upheaval By Michael Smith In our first issue of every year, we typically take a look back at the top New Tampa news stories of the year before. As we were brainstorming this year, however, we realized that while there were a few stories that stood out from the dozens that we reported, most of the things that 2010 will most be remembered for did not have a great impact on our area, for better or worse. According to a list compiled by the editors of the 2011 World Almanac and Book of Facts, the Top Ten news topics of 2010 were as follows: 1. Republicans Take House, Win Big In State Races. While Republican candidates were capitalizing on voter discontent to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the November midterm elections didn’t result in any big surprises on the local level. Although many voters were dismayed by the amount of negative campaigning that took place, and by the scandals that were reported, including allegations of impropriety lodged against long-time Hillsborough County commissioner Jim Norman, who was running for the Florida Senate, most of those who were expected to win their

races — including Norman — did win. 2. Economic Recovery Stalls. We here in New Tampa have been pretty fortunate in that we don’t seem to have been hit as hard by the economic downturn as have some other areas, although a lot of local busineeses are hurting. While it may be of little comfort to those who lost their homes to foreclosure or who had to close up their businesses last year, a quick look around our area shows that home sales are on the rise, and there are still plenty of new businesses opening here. 3. U.S. Winds Down In Iraq, Surges in Afghanistan. While the U.S. military actions overseas continue, many residents and businesses in our area have been actively supporting our troops through fund raisers and other events. We also know that there are plenty of local residents who are among those who are serving in either Iraq or Afghanistan, and we want to thank them for their service to our country and keep them in our prayers. 4. Oil Well Blowout in Gulf Causes Huge Oil Spill. Thankfully, the oil from the spill did not reach the shores of our area in any real amount to do serious damage to the local tourism industry. Of course, many experts say that the full long-term consequences of

the spill have yet to be realized. 5. Earthquake Devastates Haiti. & 6. Pakistan Floods Leave 8 Million Homeless. While we had our share of wet and nasty weather in 2010, we were spared any natural disasters on the scale seen in some other areas. We did have some local residents with family members in these horrifically affected places, however, and we hope that by now, at least some of them have recovered from their experiences. 7. U.S. Congress Enacts Comprehensive Healthcare Legislation. Ever a controversial issue, we’re sure there are some families (and health care providers) in our area who are thankful that this long overdue legislation was passed, although not everyone is happy with its ramifications. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out in time. 8. Debt Crisis Forces European Budget Cutbacks. Again, see item #2 above. 9. Kagan Joins Supreme Court. The addition of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court marks the first time that three women have served on the high court at the same time. It remains to be seen, however, what effect, if any, this will have on the panel’s future decisions. 10. Olympics & World Cup

Showcase International Athletes. I think most of us had a good time cheering our athletes at the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where Americans led in the overall medal count by bringing home a total of 9 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze medals; and at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa this past summer, especially the U.S. team’s thrilling overtime victory against Algeria on June 23. Meanwhile, here in New Tampa, the beat goes on regarding the other major stories of 2010, such as the widening of Bruce B. Downs Blvd., which will continue through 2011, and the formation of the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce, which will help to promote business in our area for years to come. And, speaking of the NTCC, 2010 also will be remembered as the year we lost a great friend of the New Tampa community, former New Tampa Community Council president Frank Margarella (right), who passed away in March from complications related to food poisoning. His hard work on behalf of the community is truly missed.

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Community Calendar


Are you looking for a great way to socialize with other stay-at-home mothers in the area? The MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) offers a variety of activities each month for moms and their little ones. (Boundaries for the club include addresses in the 33647 zip code, except for those living in the Tampa Palms, Grand Hampton and Live Oak communities). For more information, visit or call Jamie Priest at 217-5567.

New Tampa Noon Rotary Club

Wednesday, January 5 – The New Tampa Noon Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at noon at Hunter’s Green Country Club (18101 Longwater Run Dr., inside the Hunter’s Green community). For more info, call 910-2575.

Business Networking International

Wednesday, January 5 – Business Networking International (BNI), a group of business professionals dedicated to helping their businesses grow through qualified referrals, meets every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at the Heritage

Isles Country Club Clubhouse (18630 Plantation Bay Dr., off Cross Creek Blvd.). For more information, call Jal Irani at 451-8229.

Civil Air Patrol

Wednesday, January 5 – The Wesley Chapel Civil Air Patrol squadron meets every Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m., at Tampa North Aero Park (4241 Birdsong Blvd., off S.R. 54, Wesley Chapel). For more information, visit or call Cheryl Spence at 973-7270.

New Tampa Evening Rotary Club

Thursday, January 6 – The New Tampa Evening Rotary Club meets every Thursday, 6:30 p.m., at Hunter’s Green Country Club (18101 Longwater Run Dr.). On January 6, the club’s guest speaker will be publisher Cindy Matter of Brainmatters. For more information, call Eileen Johnson at 892-7741.

New Tampa Rotary Club Friday, January 7 – The New Tampa Rotary Club meets every Friday, 7 a.m., at Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club (5811 Tampa Palms Blvd.).

On January 7, the group’s guest speaker will be agent Stephen Ibison of the Central Florida office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For more information, visit or contact Karen Frashier at 375-2663.

Northeast Tampa Women In Business

Thursday, January 13 – The Northeast Tampa Women in Business group will hold its first monthly meeting of the new year, 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m., at Hunter’s Green Country Club (18101 Longwater Run Dr., in the Hunter’s Green subdivision). The group’s guest speaker will be Karen Koch, managing partner of CompassPointz, LLC, an IT computer services firm. The topic of her presentation will be “Crimes Against Computers.” Reservations are requested, and may be made by calling 841-5932.

Funny Divas To Bring

(Clockwise, from top left): Funny Divas Long Island Mary, Robin Savage, Susan Saiger & Aniria Wilson

Laughs To Temple Terrace

Saturday, January 29 – Everyone’s favorite local female comic troupe, the Funny Divas, including New Tampa resident Susan Saiger, will present their new show, “Hey, Hey, She’s Funny,” at 8 p.m. at the Backstage Café (8858 N. 56th St., Temple Terrace). Tickets cost $7 per person. For more info, call 293-2511.

ATTENTION COMMUNITY CALENDAR ITEM SUBMITTERS: In order to make sure that our Community Calendar is current, we are asking all club and group representatives to please update their meeting and contact info ASAP for the New Year. To do so, please send an e-mail to You may also submit info by fax at 910-2483 or by regular mail to: New Tampa Neighborhood News, 15345 Amberly Dr., Tampa FL 33647, Attn: Community Calendar. Call 910-2575 if you have any questions. Thank you. — MS

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •


Ultra Evolution Car Shows Still A Big Draw At Peabody’s Driving up Peabody’s parking lot in the Shoppes of Amberly plaza in Tampa Palms, there was barely a space to be found. As the smell of gasoline blew in through the window, you were greeted by the pumping music and enhanced cars with their owners eager to show off their customized vehicles. Once again, Peabody’s hosted another successful car show organized by Ultra Evolution and attended by numerous car clubs, car enthusiasts, and vendors on December 18. This was Ultra Evolution’s third show at Peabody’s this year and even though it started out a bit rainy, it ended up

1320 Engineering was again a proud participant at the Ultra Evolution Car Show at Peabody’s.


No matter what type of custom-designed body kit, engine fabrication or even custom car audio you’re interested in, there was something for everyone to see at the Ultra Evolution car Show at Peabody’s in Tampa Palms on December 18. being a great day with an enthusiastic crowd that was given the opportunity to share their passion for cars and enjoy some great deals on Peabody’s awesome wings and adult beverages. More than 100 unique cars filled Peabody’s parking lot, with everything from domestic “muscle cars” to European roadsters, there was something for every auto enthusiast. Ultra Evolution provided judges who slected winners in a number of categories, including Best of Show, Car Club, Participation, VIP, Motor, Female, Stance, Wheel/Tire and Cleanest Ride. There also was judging for different classes of cars, such as car maker, Euro and Domestic. A number of local vendors used this car show as an opportunity to dis-

play their products and services. Among those was New Tampa resident Jon Pacheco, who began his 1320 Engineering about four years ago. Pacheco’s shop, which is located in Land O’Lakes, specializes in import performance builds and fabrication along with offering a wide range of specialty products for numerous car brands for sale. Many of the cars displayed at the show were worked on by 1320 Engineering. Another vendor at the Peabody’s event, Boost Lab, specializes in turbo sales, turbo rebuilding and fuel injector cleaning. Other vendors include NOS Energy Drink, Simply Clean, State of Stance, SSP Vinyl, Prosport Gauges, Cianfrocca Detailing, Sun Scion and Toyota and Enhanced Customs.

Car clubs that attended were Team Sunworks, Squadron 1 predominantly JDM Hondas, Team Solo, Team Styles run by “Celi Girl,” Street Dreams, 350z Club of Florida, Central Florida Rx8, Cobra Crew, Deviant Concepts, and F1 Body. This show is an opportunity for the shows to get together as a group and show of their cars. The Ultra Evolution car show was enjoyed by all who attended, in spite of the weather, Ultra Evolution is looking for more venues interested in hosting xar show events. Anyone interested can visit You can also find more pictures of the event at their website and on Facebook. All of the venors, sponsors, and hosts can be found on Facebook.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

For specialty parts or fabrication from 1320 Engineering, located at 4107 Land O’Lakes Blvd. (U.S. 41) in Land O’Lakes, call 973-8816 or visit Peabody’s is located at 15333 Amberly Dr. For food and beverage specials and entertainment schedules, call 972-1725 or visit For Ultra Evolution Car Shows, visit This was obviously one of the big winners in the judging at the Ultra Evolution Car Show at Peabody’s.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •


New Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

2010-11 NTCC Board of Directors President-Rachel Haviland

Board Members:

15310 Amberly Dr., Suite 250 Tampa, FL 33647 Information: (813) 293-2464 Fax: (813) 388-4408

VP-Said Iravani Treasurer-Lesley Zajac Secretary-Connie Bladon

Non-Officers: Regina Ramalheira

Website: NewTampaChamber.Org

Seema Jain Matt Palmer Craig Miller Nick Kline Judy Silvasi-Patchin

Executive Director: Karen Frashier

Chamber To Publish Community Guide & Member Directory! Following a busy 2010 and hoping for an even bigger and better 2011, the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce is a young and growing chamber! In early 2011, we will be introducing our first New Tampa Chamber of Commerce Community Guide a& Member Directory, in collaboration with Heron Publishing. The guide is a great way to promote your business as a resource in the New Tampa community and the directory will be available at the Taste of New TampaTM in March, as well as at area businesses throughout the year. A representative of Heron Publishing will be contacting all Chamber members this month to detail the advertising opportunities available. If you are not yet a member, but would like membership information and to find out how to be a part of our New Tampa Community Guide, please contact our Executive Director at or call 293-2464.

Taste of New TampaTM 2011 Plans Moving Ahead Plans are rapidly moving ahead for the 2011 Taste of New TampaTM to be held on Sunday, March 20, 2011. This will be our 18th year of hosting the Taste and we are excited to have a new location! The 2011 Taste of New Tampa is being planned at Wharton High, right on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., which we believe


will generate increased traffic and exposure for our restaurants, sponsors and exhibitors, which should offer some additional value to those who choose to participate. Space is always limited at the Taste, so if you would like your restaurant or local business to be represented at the event, chamber members and non-members are invited to reserve your booth now. Email for application forms.

Exciting New Events Moving into 2011, the chamber will be introducing new events for our members, including more networking events and educational workshops. If you would like to suggest an event or workshop idea, or offer to be a member host for an event, please become a fan on the New Tampa Chamber Facebook page at and post your suggestion or recommendation! Join us in the new year for our first luncheon with our noted speaker,

Upcoming New Tampa Chamber Events: Monday, January 10, noon-1 p.m.: “What’s Good for Business in the County Budget?” — at Pebble Creek Golf Club (10550 Regents Park Blvd., off BBD, across from Super WalMart). Wednesday, January 26, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.: “Networking on the 9s?” Networking & 9 holes of golf — at Pebble Creek Golf Club. Thursday, January 27, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.: “Chamber Connections” Networking & hors d’oeuvres — at Stonewood Grill & Tavern (17050 Palm Pointe Dr., in The Pointe at Tampa Palms (behind McDonald’s & 7-11). For more information about these and other upcoming New Tampa Chamber events, visit or call the Chamber Hotline at 293-2464.

Hillsborough County commissioner Al Higgenbotham, speaking on the topic “What’s Good for Business in the County Budget?” The luncheon will be held at Pebble Creek Golf Club on Monday, January 10, 2011, at noon. Please RSVP for the event by Friday, January 7, at New And, to stay up to date on all of the chamber events and news, please join our email list by signing up at We thank you for your support of the chamber throughout the year and we wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year!

RIBBON CUTTINGS! If you have a new business opening (or that recently opened) in the New Tampa area, a New Tampa Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening party is a great way to announce to the community — and our hundreds of Chamber members — that your business is open and serving the New Tampa community. Visit or call the Chamber Hotline at 2932464 to schedule your ribbon cutting today! Also, see the story about the recent Snap Fitness Ribbon Cutting on page 38!

Somerset Professional Park - 15283 Amberly Dr., Tampa, FL 33647

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •


AAP Fitness Offers Expertise & Encouragement To Help You Get Fit By Michael Smith If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and/or get into better shape, you could join an ordinary health club or gym to try and meet that often-elusive goal. Or, you could achieve the same results as many of your friends and neighbors already have, with the unique mix of expertise and enthusiasm offered at AAP Fitness, located in the Cory Lake Isles Professional Center on Cross Creek Blvd. The “AAP” in the company’s name stands for owners Alex and Ashley Poptodorov, who have been providing customized personal training services at their intimate 900-sq.-ft. facility for the past five-plus years. Actually, however, Alex, who is a native of Bulgaria, has been a personal trainer for more than 15 years. Inspired by a father who played hockey on the Bulgarian national team and an uncle Alex (for whom Poptodorov was named), who was very actively involved in health and wellness, as well as by movie and TV musclemen such as Steve “Hercules” Reeves and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alex says he began


lifting weights when he was 12 years old and his family moved to the U.S. He later expanded his knowledge while studying microbiology at the University of South Florida, and that became the basis of what he calls the “AAP Health & Wellness System.” It wasn’t until he met the vivacious Ashley — a true personal training success story — that Alex was really inspired to open his own training center. Ashley is an amazing success story who attributes her accomplishments to the system that Alex has developed, which includes a custom fitness routine specifically designed for each client, as well as dietary guidelines that focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and other raw, unprocessed foods. Ashley says she was struggling to lose weight after reaching more than 200 pounds when she met Alex, and with his help, she was able to shed 80 pounds and to get into the best shape of her life. Inspired by her own success, Ashley says she then decided that she would make helping others do the same her life’s work. “That’s when I really started wanting to help other people change their lives, just as I had done,” she says.

For the new year, Alex and Ashley Poptodorov invite you to find the more fit, healthier you hiding inside your body at AAP Fitness in the Cory Lake Isles Prof. Center. So, the couple started out with a small training service that they initially operated out of their home, but as word of their success began to spread (and demand for their services began to grow), they eventually moved into the Cory Lake Isles facility. Now, the Poptodorovs offer a variety of programs for men, women and children. They’ve had customers from

ages 8 to 80, and the walls of their facility are lined with photos of some of their clients who, like Ashley, have achieved pretty amazing results. One of those clients is 49-year-old Cheryl Ryan of Wesley Chapel, who says she has been working out with Alex and Ashley for about three years. A long-time runner, Cheryl went to AAP because even though she had

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

always been fairly fit, she says she wasn’t happy with her weight and wanted to lose another 10-15 pounds. Three months after joining AAP, she dropped 18 pounds and was able to add muscle that lowered her overall body fat into the single digits. “One of the things that they taught me was that it’s not so much about your weight but more about body fat,” Ryan says. “Before that. I think I was just too focused on the number on the scale. Now, I feel great and I am healthier than I have ever been in my life.” After losing her weight, Cheryl says she actually quit going to AAP for a while in 2009, but returned after finding that she actually missed working with Alex and Ashley. “There’s just something about the environment there,” she says. “Ashley and Alex keep up with every client and are very encouraging. Plus, they really walk the walk, too, because you can see they’re both in really great shape.” The Poptodorovs have a variety of programs to fit just about anyone’s personal goals, schedule and budget. They include onsite one-on-one and small group training, in-home personal training and even online training, which they say is ideal for clients who spend a lot of time traveling.

In addition, they’ve recently begun a series of AAP “Fit Camps,” which are similar to the boot camp sessions offered by other trainers, but which include more emphasis on balance and coordination, in addition to weight training and aerobic conditioning. The Fit Camp sessions are offered several times per week, in the mornings and evenings, as well as midday — again, so that they are accessible to most anyone’s schedule. Ashley says that the Fit Camps also are optimal for people of just about any fitness level, because they have multiple instructors who can tailor the workouts for each individual. Participants also are divided up into pairs of similar levels, so that they can help and encourage each other during the sessions. “We pay really close attention to the proper form and injury prevention, so whatever your fitness level, you really can do it,” Ashley says. Ashley also notes that the social aspects of training are a big part of the AAP philosophy, too. Not only do they encourage whole families to work out together, but she also spends a lot of time writing motivational notes and messages that she posts all around the AAP gym and on the company’s website, and she is even in the process of writing an inspirational book about her

own experience, which she calls That’s Not My Shadow Anymore. “I’m a huge believer in the power of positive thinking,” says Ashley. “And a positive attitude is definitely part of our approach, because it helps people deal with everyday stress from the inside out.” Alex says learning the proper technique is an important part Positive of getting the results you expect from your fitness regimen. thinking and self In addition, Alex says he plans to confidence also are part of the inspirabegin offering online dietary consulting tion for another program that AAP will to help everyone learn about the imporbe starting this year, called “AAP’s tance of the nutritional aspects of health Angels,” which Ashley says is designed and wellness. to help some of their advanced female “Studies show that the ideal diet clients get in shape for competitive figfor man is [primarily] raw fruits and ure model, fitness and bikini exhibivegetables, and we made a big mistake tions. Since her transformation, Ashley when we started adding chemicals and has been participating in those events, processing our food,” he says. and she says doing so has really helped AAP Fitness is located at 10335 to build her self-esteem. Cross Creek Blvd., Suite A, in the “Competing is definitely about Cory Lake Isles Professional Center. stepping out and facing your personal For additional information, call 943fears, because that’s when you really 8069, or visit AAPFitness. com. grow,” she says.

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For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

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Rain & Cold Can’t Dampen The Fun At Shoppes Of Amberly Event By Gary Nager Unfortunately, no one can accurately predict what the weather will be like more than a month before an event and the only thing that could’ve kept the Shoppes of Amberly (in Tampa Palms) Block Party on December 12 from being a huge success was a cold, rainy day. And sadly, that’s exactly what the wonderful retail businesses with which this publication shares a location got — one of the nastiest days of the year 2010. Even so, the weather did clear up a little by midafternoon and even when the rains fell, the Block Party still featured delicious hibachi chicken and fried rice from Sushi Tsu Japanese Steakhouse, free pizza from Hungry Howie’s, free face painting, coffee and beverages from You Do The Dishes Paint-Your-OwnPottery Studio & Coffee Shop, a working train plus several inflatable bounce houses and slides for the small crowd of kids that showed up, a display of Royal Hardware Jewelry and free cotton candy in front of the Avalon MedSpa, great live music provided by bands who practice and take lessons at the Tampa Guitar School and a visit from a couple of guys going by the name of Santa Claus. The event also was a sadly slow collection day for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys For Tots program and visitors also had a chance to preview the new KB CrossFit Gym for Kids, which is now open in the plaza, as well as win lots of great prizes, many of which were donated by this publication. No, you unfortunately can’t predict the weather, but when the Shoppes of Amberly puts on its next big event, I promise it’ll be worth attending.


(Clockwise from top left) Rose Connolly showed off her Royal Hardware Jewelry. The kids who attended enjoyed free face painting at You Do The Dishes. It was a slow day for Toys For Tots, but Santa made it a little less dreary.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

Among the businesses that participated were (above) Dr. Ryan Whelton, DPT, of the Sport & Spine Physical Therapy & Wellness Center and (below) Dr. Rodney Holcombe (left) & Dr. Todd Williams of Advanced Dental Associates.

(Top) Sushi Tsu served delicious hibachi chicken and fried rice all day. (Above) The band Five Alarm Fire was one of the bands from the Tampa Guitar School that performed during the event.

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For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •



Education Updates

HGE Students Score In FCAT Top 5% In The State Fifty-nine students at Hunter’s Green Elementary were among those who scored in the top 5 percent in the state of Florida on the 2010-11 FCAT Reading and Math exams. Recognition certificates were presented to 27 fifth graders and 32 fourth graders at a ceremony in November. Fifth grade FCAT Reading top scorers were: Ryan Benefiel, Hannah Cardozo, Joshua Collins-Hahn, Isabela Ferrer, Mairyn Harris-Jones, Rachel Hineline, Caroline Kee, Chandler Snyder and Eric Zhang. Fourth grade FCAT Reading top scorers were: Ashlyn Bartley, Joseph Carlson, Kendall Driesse, Ezekiel George, Aaron Ha, Kendall Hartland, Isabella Herrada, Alyson Hurst, Jett Jacobs, Devyn Kettner, Lauren Lamb, Anmol Mittal, Julia Montalto, Cora Salzano, Jordan Scott, Avery Thomas, Danasia Williams-Griffin and John Zambito. Fifth grade FCAT Math top scorers were: Alysha Acevedo, Andrew Chekan, Marissa Coringrato, Timothy Ford, K'Uaziya Hammond, Caroline Kee, Brandon Lo, Paul Meyers, Noah Morrissey, Ryan Philbin, Ryan Sherry,


Kelly Spence, Halley Taylor, and Meixang Wang. Fourth grade FCAT Math top scorers were: Joseph Andel, Joseph Carlson, Kadanny George, Ezekiel Foster, Aaron Ha, Kendall Hartland, Jett Jacobs, Devyn Kettner, Daniel McCarthy, Anmol Mittal, Julia Montalto, Sean Moore, Katelyn Sacks, Cora Solzano, Beatriz Sandin, Jordan Scott, Hunter Tomlinson, and John Zambito. Congratulations to these outstanding students, who worked so hard to do well and make their teachers, parents, and school proud!

Local Teachers Awarded Grants For Water Projects Fifty-one Hillsborough County teachers and three private school teachers are among the educators who were awarded 2010-11 “Splash!” school grants through the Southwest Florida Water Management District. This year, 206 “Splash!” grants were awarded to educators across the District’s 16-county region. Mary Margaret Hull, lead communications coordinator, attributes the effectiveness of the grant program in Hillsborough County to the strong partnership with Hillsborough County Schools, which helped get the word out

to teachers. Four school district staff serve as the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s liaisons to teachers: Karen Folsom, Nature’s Classroom administrator; Larry Plank, supervisor of secPictured with HGE principal Kristin Tonelli are some of ondary science; Andi Hunter’s Green Elementary’s top FCAT performers. Ringer, science tary, $2,256. Students will compare a supervisor of middle school education; hydroponics system to conventional and Shana Tirado, elementary science gardening, analyzing water use, plant supervisor. growth and plant production. “These teachers are receiving a • Gale Crowe, Freedom High, small amount of money but are able to $3,523. Students will study their wateraccomplish so much,” Hull said. shed and the organisms inhabiting it by “Grant recipients also use the District’s participating in educational field trips collection of curriculum materials and and performing water quality testing. other free educational resources.” • Cheryl Pahl, Hunter’s Green The Hillsborough County Elementary, $2,046. Students will awardees from New Tampa include: learn about water conservation by gar• Autumn Balthazor, Benito dening with Florida-Friendly LandscapMS, who will receive $1,805. Stuing™ principles. dents will discover strategies that stabi• Jennell Graham, Pride Elelize soil and improve percolation to mentary, $3,250. Students will take a reduce erosion and chemical runoff. field trip and construct hydroponic and • Lori Hanson, Chiles Elemenin-ground gardening systems. tary, $2,830. Students will participate • Kevin Maloney, Wharton in educational field trips. They will eduHigh, $2,547. Students will test the cate families, peers and the community water in the creek that traverses Wharabout conservation and protection of ton High’s campus, and analyze comwater resources. ponents that are vital to the watershed. • Jane Kemp, Chiles Elemen-

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

Tampa Real Estate Guide

Start the New Year with a New Home. Great Time to Buy or Sell.

Marc Stern (813) 760.0809

Doug Muehl (813) 340.7939



Custom Hannah-Bartoletta pool home w/ 3400 SF and located in gated village of Huntington. Walk to one of the best newly renovated parks that Tampa Palms has to offer. Fantastic opportunity to update this classic Tampa Palms home. $405,000

This former model home has one of the best water views in the gated community of the Preserve, West Meadows. The 3 bedroom + den, 2 bath open floor plan has a large screened lanai to take in the beautiful evening sunset. $189,000



Stunning villa in gated Audubon Landing. Over 2100 sq. ft. w/ 2 bed, 2 baths, den & sunroom. Loaded w/ every upgrade imaginable. Relax on your screened lanai overlooking beautiful conservation. $219,900



This highly updated 4 bedroom, 3 bath w/ den pool home will wow you. On one of the best tree canopied streets in Tampa Palms & backing up to beautiful conservation. With over 2700 SF this will make a perfect home for your family. Call Us for Details!



Live Oak Preserve - Great Price! 4 bedroom/3 bathroom grand home on cul-de-sac and pond with two bonus rooms & master suite upstairs. 3,120 sq. ft. $227,000. Ready to close immediately!

Arbor Greene Townhomes - 4 Bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 3 story townhome with conservation views, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Maintenance-free living at its best! 2 car garage and 3,040 square feet of living space. $195,000


• 2/2, 1088 sq. ft. condo, $975 • 5/4/3, 3530 sq. ft. home, $2500 • 2/2/1, 1058 sq. ft. condo, $1000 • 4/2.5/2, 2548 sq. ft. home, $1795 • 4/3/2, 3120 sq. ft. home, $1850

RENTALS To view our rentals online please go to our website or email to

IRENE OCASIO (813) 632-9452

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Meadow Pointe - Lovely four bedroom, two bath home overlooking picturesque conservation. Fenced yard. Culde-sac. Gated community. Movein ready. Only $175,000

Lutz - Three bedroom, three bath custom built home on a lakefront homesite. 1/3 acre. Hardwood floors. Fireplace. This home also includes a 22x16 attached workshop. Great location only minutes to I-275. $200,000

Forest Hills - Three bedroom, two bath home with garage. Large screened lanai. Fenced yard. Excellent condition. Great location. A great value at $113,500



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •


Lewis, Three Other FHS Athletes Accept Scholarship Offers Four Freedom High student athletes are among those who will be moving on to compete at the next level, after accepting scholarship offers from some prestigious Division I and Division II programs. Three young ladies — Kaitlyn Pacholke, Megan Paul and Sarah Wolford — signed letters of intent on National Signing Day (November 10). Pacholke has been instrumental in helping the Lady Patriots basketball team go undefeated this season (as of

our press time), and she signed a letter of commitment to play at Jacksonville State University. Paul, who will play softball at the University of Tampa, played catcher for the Lady Patriots last season, where she batted .463 and led the team in RBIs with 28. Wolford, who has been competing in gymnastics since a young age, also accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Iowa, a top Division I program. Meanwhile, FHS head football coach Tchecoy Blount announced last

week that LB Keith Lewis has given a verbal commitment to play football at the University of Mississippi, in the Div. I Southeastern Conference. Lewis, one of the most highly recruited players in the state, led the Patriots with 108 tackles and three sacks. He also blocked three field goal attempts and rushed for three touchdowns. In addition to Ole Miss, he had scholarship offers from more than two dozen other top-tier programs, including Southern Cal, Auburn, Tennessee, Michigan and Nebraska.

N EW T AMPA Boy Scouts Hosting 1st Annual ‘Honest Abe 5K’

Watched over by their parents, Kaitlyn Pacholke, Sarah Wolford and Megan Paul sign letters of intent on National Signing Day.


The Gulf Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America is honoring our 16th president by hosting the first annual “Honest Abe 5K Race,” which will be held Saturday, February 12, 8 a.m., at American Consulting (2818 Cypress Ridge Blvd., Wesley Chapel). Registration in advance costs $20, and can be done online at Participants also can register (for $25) between 7 a.m.-7:45 a.m. the day of the event. Free parking is available, and following

LB Keith Lewis impressed scouts with his speed and knowledge of the game.

Sports Briefs the race, a free hot breakfast will be provided during the awards ceremony at the Hampton Inn next door.

New 11-U Baseball Team Seeking New Tampa Players The Tampa Thunder (formerly the Wesley Chapel Wildcats) 11-U baseball travel team is looking for players. The Thunder will playing their spring season games at the Live Oak Park off BBD Blvd. in New Tampa. For additional information, contact Harold Alvarado at 340-2576.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

The Gingerbread Cottage Is A Unique, Year-Round Gift Store! What began as an idea to provide a couple of months of pre-holiday shopping for entrepreneur Wendy O’Neill is now becoming a permanent new fixture at the Shoppes at New Tampa of Wesley Chapel. Located in the same plaza as Publix and Beall’s (across from the Shops at Wiregrass mall) is The Gingerbread Cottage Gift Shop, a conglomeration of independent vendors of everything from The Pampered Chef and Amway cosmetics and other products to the Potty Express potty trainer for boys, which was invented by a Tampa Palms resident. The store also features talented artists and artisans who otherwise only sell their wares at craft and trade shows. “We still have some limited vendor space available,” says O’Neill, who seems to really be enjoying bringing in everything from the wildlife and nature art of Land O’Lakes resident Terry Smith to beautiful hand-painted glassware by artists Christina Snell and Becky Hawkes, and from custom-

designed Bible covers, handturned wood pens and toddler-sized Gingerbread Cottage owner Raggedy Wendy O’Neill & one of her Ann and Andy dolls “Love Links” charm necklaces. by “Shadow of Creations” artisan Sharon Wilson to unique handbags and totes from Thirty-One, energy bracelets from CieAura — and much more! “One of the great things about this place is, for example, that our Pampered Chef consultant Stacey Janoske can host her parties here, instead of at someone’s home,” says O’Neill, who also sells a line of products from her own promotional marketing company called INKcredible ADventures. “Even though Christmas has passed, we still also do professional gift wrapping by appointment and we’re really gearing up with

some new vendors who feature great gifts that are just perfect for Valentine’s Day!” The Gingerbread Cottage (1836 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.) is open every day until Valentine’s Day. Stop in or call 770-7876 and tell Wendy and her sons that we sent you! — GN

(Left) The Gingerbread Cottage sells everything from the Potty Express Potty Training for Boys Disposable Urinal to the truly outstanding cooking and other houseware products from Pampered Chef consultant Stacey Janoske.

(Left) The Gingerbread Cottage also features the awesome nature and wildlife art of Terry Smith, who often creates his masterpieces in the store. a truly comfy University of Florida (wiith other NFL and college teams available) lounge chair and great cosmetic and other gift ideas for Valentine’s Day from Amway.

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Karaoke Party To Benefit The Homeless Draws A Crowd! I am proud to say that I have known U.S. Marine reservist Taylor Gardner and his family since Taylor was about five years old. I am also proud to have been able to help Taylor, for the second time in two years, put on a great event that helped people in need. Two years ago, Taylor and yours truly cohosted a karaoke party at Mulligan’s Irish Pub at the Pebble Creek Golf Club (PCGC) to benefit a program that teaches disabled veterans how to handle a kayak without the use of their legs and takes them on some great kayaking adventures. This time, Taylor was back at PCGC, to raise money and collect non-perishable food, clothing and other basic needs to help benefit the thousands of homeless people living in Hillsborough County. At least 150 people brought in those necessities and donated $1 for chances to win some great prizes (many, but not all of which we donated) and to do a little singing with the help of CeCe Productions (973-4221) karaoke on Dec. 14. By the evening’s end, more than $900, plus 6,000 pounds of food and supplies, 2,000 lbs. of which were donated by Hope Presbyterian Church in Lutz, were collected. All of those proceeds were donated to Five and Two Food ( and Barefoot Hope (, through Re:Wired Worship, a ministry of Van Dyke Church on Van Dyke Rd. in Lutz which meets at St. James United Methodist Church of Tampa Palms. Todd Leet, who leads the college programs (Clockwise from top left) Event organizer Taylor Gardner (right) and his friend Aaron step up to the mic. Van Dyke for Re:Wired Worship, called Gardner “A natural Church college programs minister Todd Leet thanked Gardner & everyone in attendance for helping the homeless. The born leader who has heard the calling to help othevening was full of great singers. Boxes filled with warm clothes, blankets and food for the homeless made everyone happy. ers.” I would have to agree. — GN The room inside Mulligan’s Irish Pub at the Pebble Creek Golf Club was full and festive.


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Florida Executive Realty Distributes Food To The Needy

Hundreds of needy local families received food and sundries in time for the holidays, thanks to the staff at Florida Executive realty in Tampa Palms. In the spirit of the holiday season, ly was given one bag of food items and Florida Executive Realty, independent another of toiletries. and locally owned since 1992, held a Representatives from Hunter’s food drive to benefit families in need Green, Lewis, Muller and Clark Elefor 7 local schools and2 churches. mentaries, Liberty and Weightman The company’s agents sent letters Middle Schools and Freedom High to their clients enlisting their help in and two local churches came the next providing non-perishable food items, morning to pick up the contributions. toiletries and clothing. These donations Many were surprised to see the stagwere collected at the FER office and by gering amount that was supplied by December, a mountain of goods had the community for this event. flooded the office and needed to be FER is still receiving many donatransferred to the Compton Park recre- tions from generous individuals and ation room. The company gathered businesses in our community and will there on Dec. 3rd to create individual continue to distribute them. bags for distribution. Florida Executive Realty is With all hands on deck, the FER located at 15802 Amberly Dr. For staff was able to create enough bags to more info, call 972-3430 or visit help a total of 110 families! Each fami-

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Snap Fitness 24-7 Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution! By Gary Nager Since you’re receiving this issue on January 3 or 4, I’m assuming that many of you are still hoping to fulfill a resolution to lose weight and get in better shape. If the big, commercial gyms haven’t worked out for you in the past, I suggest visiting Snap Fitness 24-7, which is located in the Shoppes at Pebble Creek plaza on bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., across from Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse, in the plaza that has Wendy’s as an outparcel. Owner Jordan Levy says that one of the things that sets Snap Fitness apart from the big gym chains is true 24-7 access. Every member receives a key to the place, which means that you can get in to work out whether you work 9-5, the “graveyard shift,” or have different times on different days when you can get to the gym. “Every member on a month-to-month or annual contract also receives a free consultation with one of our three certified trainers where they get to talk about their goals and expectations and take measurements,” says Levy. “In addition, every client receives a full orientation on how to use the machines.”The strength training machines at Snap Fitness are mainly Cybex machines, which Levy says “are known to be among the best in the business.” Levy and his staff recently held a Grand


Opening party and ribbon cutting with the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce and he says he plans to be active in the Chamber and the community. Snap Fitness also has affordable single, joint and family memberships available. In addition, if you just want to try it out, you can get a free one-week pass to the gym, but the pass only allows you to work out when a staff member is present, usually from 8 a.m.8 p.m. every day. The club’s motto is “Get fit. Feel great. Be well.,” and the bet here is that it will work for you! Snap Fitness 24-7 is located at 19402 BBD Blvd., in the Shoppes at Pebble Snap Fitness 24-7 owner Jordan Levy (top) cut the ribbon with representaCreek plaza. For additional information, tives of the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce (above) in November. call 994-4434 or visit

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America’s Ballet School Students Shine In ‘The Nutcracker’ In November and December, students from the DanzAmerica’s Project program at America’s Ballet School in Tampa Palms (under the direction of Paula Nunez), enthralled audiences with their breathtaking performances of “The Nutcracker.” The cast featured dozens of youth and adult performers, who presented their hard work in two outreach programs for Pasco County students at the

Wersley Chapel Center for the Arts on December 10-11, and also in a couple of shows at the University of South Florida’s Theater 1. The students also performed at the Hyde Park Christmas celebration in November. For more information about America’s Ballet School, which is located at 15365 Amberly Dr., in the Shoppes of Amberly, call 5580800 or visit

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We’ve Seen Your Favorite Restaurants For 2010, Now Here Are Mine! Sadly, many of my favorite restaurants in our area — and yours — closed altogether or at least changed hands in 2010, including my perennial favorite, Circles New Tampa Bistro, Polo’s Italian Grill, the Louis Pappas Market Cafe and others that have really shaken up my annual favorites rankings. The good news is that there are still plenty of great places in our area, with new ones I hope to add to this list someday opening to replace those that have closed. 1. Ciccio’s/The Lodge Always in my top two when it was just Ciccio & Tony’s, the closing of Circles and the addition of favorites from The Lodge (another South Tampa staple owned by the same partners) and weekly dinner specials has bumped it up to my Numero Uno for the first time. The black and white sesame tuna “Lodge TV Dinner,” New Tampa (cooked grouper and onion) American sushi roll and chicken Fit 4 Life are all among my favorite choices in New Tampa. 2. Acropolis Greek Taverna - With the closing of the Pappas Market Cafe, Acropolis can now safely call itself “Greek.” The grilled lamb chops, fresh grouper and Mahi-Mahi and steak, chicken and pork kabobs are all


among my faves. 3. Cafe Ole Tapas & Spanish Cuisine - Based on its off-yourcharts showing in the 2010 Reader Survey, this favorite of mine definitely ranks as New Tampa’s most underrated restaurant. Delicious fresh fish, succulent authentic Spanish sauces and perfect paella, plus amazing lunch specials daily, all make Cafe Ole a must-try. 4. Sukhothai - I guess I love Asian food more than our average reader does and Sukhothai is my favorite of a long list of great Asian places in our area. Awesome sushi, including a signature tilapia tataki, is complemented by a unique steak teriyaki, delectable crispy duck, super spring rolls and an incredible combo fried rice. 5. Fushia Asian Bistro Fushia gets the nod from me for best Chinese cuisine in our area because it is truly New York style, with real dim sum appetizers and the best beef with Chinese broccoli and Yong Chow fried rice in New Tampa. 6. Liang’s Bistro Asian CuiCuisine - Just a shade below Fushia to me, our readers’ annual favorite Asian restaurant in our area for six years running definitely is a local treasure, with the best egg rolls, excellent BBQ spare ribs and the best homemade sweet Thai

chile sauce I’ve had in Florida. 7. Thai Ruby - Again, just a notch below the three above because it doesn’t have sushi like Sukhothai, Thai Ruby may be the prettiest of the bunch and has my favorite crispy duck with ginger sauce and great combo fried rice, spring and egg rolls. Try the daily dinner specials, too. 8. Urban Culinary Cafe Much more than just an urban soul food place, you can’t beat the value at UCC, which adds great weekend entertainment to the best fried chicken, great fresh fish specials and unique sauces. 9. Wood Fired Pizza & Wine Bar - Still focused on the best ingredients and most unique 850-degree wood-burning oven-baked pizza in town, Wood Fired also has an incredible selection of fine wines and craft draft and bottles beers at unbeatable prices to go with its awesome pizza pies named for sexy female movie stars. 10. Bella Vita Italian RestauRestaurant & Market - OK, so it’s no longer Circles and didn’t retain many of the old fave’s dishes. On the other hand, Bella Vita’s pizza is now the best NY style in New Tampa and the homemade pastas (ridiculously good raviolis) and sauces at the new market side definitely keep it in my top 10.

11. La Cubanita Cafe - So new I almost didn’t have time to sample much of its menu (and almost certain to move up on my list next year), I already can vouch for this newly opened cafe’s incredible breakfast sandwiches, the best roast pork in the area, an incredible chicken fricasse, delicious desserts & more. See page 45! 12. Sushi Ko Chinese & Japanese Cuisine - The best BBQ spare ribs in New Tampa, a superb garlic sauce and always fresh sushi have been joined by a new selection of gourmet Chinese seafood dishes and unbeatable lunch & dinner specials, making Sushi Ko well worth another visit if it’s been a while for you. 13. Sushi Tsu Japanese Steak & Sushi - Always great sushi and topnotch hibachi steak, chicken and scallops keep Sushi Tsu high on my list and yours. You can even get the hibachi specialties to go. 14. Soho Sushi - The sushi is always fresh and the asparagus & steak maki, the best tempura in our area and incredible boxed meal specials keep Soho Sushi among my local favorites. 15. Stonewood Grill & Tavern - Excellent steaks and appetizers like sesame seared tuna and smoked salmon on crispy toast points, as well as

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the rocking bar area make Stonewood a top local favorite. 16. Cole’s BBQ - The best BBQ sauce in our area is perfect on everything from Cole’s pork ribs to beef brisket, but sides like buttered green beans and savory baked beans have made Cole’s one of my favorite 2010 newcomers to our area. 17. Las Palmas Spanish Cafe - Always reliable for Cuban style roast pork and merluza (a flaky white fish) a la Russe, Las Palmas also has great pressed Cubans, ropa vieja and one of the best lunch crowds in New Tampa. 18. Lee Roy Selmon’s - The awesome spicy Caesar salad, grilled NY strip steak, grilled chicken with wild rice and the multitude of TV screens make Selmon’s my favorite restaurant for watching football, baseball, basketball and hockey games. 19. Wasabi Japanese SteakSteakhouse - Very good sushi and hibachi grill dishes in one of the prettier restaurant settings in our area make Wasabi a top local choice for a fun night out. 20. Jersey Mike’s Subs - As an avowed roast beef addict, Jersey Mike’s house-roasted roast beef might be enough for the place to make my list, but add in superb tuna salad, Italian and “club” combos and Philly cheesesteaks, and you have a place well worth a top-20 ranking. 21. Five Guys Burgers &

Fries - A favorite of mine since the first Bay area location opened on Fowler Ave., Five Guys combines big, juicy burgers and skin-on Idaho potato French fries with, of course, free peanuts while you wait. 22. Ploy Thai - Great duck, excellent fresh fish and great spring rolls in an elegant setting make Ploy Thai another New Tampa dining. 23. Panera Bread - The best of the bigger chain restaurants in New Tampa, crusty bread, excellent soups, salads, sandwiches and coffee, plus some decadent baked goods, make Panera one of New Tampa’s favorite breakfast and lunch locales. 24. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream - I also really like Cold Stone, Dairy Wueen and Baskin Robbins, but I love Bruster’s — dense, creamy and with the mix-ins already mixed in. Plus, Bruster’s ice cream pies are the best ice cream value in town. 25. Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop - Another great newcomer with outstanding bread, Jimmy John’s, now located in the slot formerly occupied by Smoothie King, has become a local sub shop favorite very quickly. Honorable Mention - Mr. Dunderbak’s, Saffron Indian Cuisine, Biagio’s II Pizza & Pasta, Coffee Beanery Cafe, Cold Stone Creamery, Olive Branch Deli, Peabody’s, PizzaZone, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Panda Buf-

fet, Ruby Tuesday, Maggie’s Tea Room, Bullseye Saloon and the new Joy of Tokyo (see page 45). Gary’s Wesley Chapel Favorites 1. Dempsey’s Steak House, Saddlebrook Resort 2. Bonefish Grill 3. Cantina Laredo 4. GrillSmith 5. La Prima Pizza 6. The Tropics Restaurant, Saddlebrook Resort 7. Outback Steakhouse 8. The Hungry Greek 9. Texas Roadhouse 10. Santo’s Italian Grill 11. Remington’s Steakhouse 12. Aja Wiregrass 13. PizzaMania 14. Los Vallartas Mexican Grill 15. Taste of Boston 16. Pagelli’s Italian Restaurant 17. Yamato Japanese Steakhouse 18. Café Fresco 19. Cosi Café 20. Bonsai Sushi 21. Wolf’s Den 22. Sonny’s BBQ 23. Woody’s Pizza & Wings 24. Red Robin 25. First Watch Honorable Mention - Boardwalk Frozen Custard, Super Buffet (S.R. 54), Dairy Queen, Beef O’Brady’s, MochiBerri, Winner’s Grill, China Taste, Don Pan Int’l Bakery, Ho Wok My 10 Favorite Asian Restaurants In New Tampa & Wesley Chapel are:

1. Sukhothai 2. Fushia Asian Bistro 3. Liang’s Bistro Asian Cuisine 4. Thai Ruby 5. Sushi Ko 6. Sushi Tsu 7. Soho Sushi 8. Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse 9. Yamato Japanese Steakhouse 10. Bonsai Sushi My 5 Favorite Coffee, Tea & Smoothie Shops in NT/WC are: 1. Cosi Cafe 2. Coffee Beanery Cafe 3. La Cubanita Café 4. Café Olé 5. Starbucks My 5 Favorite Italian Restaurants in NT/WC are: 1. Ciccio’s/The Lodge 2. Santo’s Italian Grill 3. La Prima Pizza 4. Bella Vita 5. PizzaMania My 5 Favorite Pizza Places in NT/WC are: 1. La Prima Pizza 2. Bella Vita 3. Wood Fired Pizza 4. PizzaMania 5. Santo’s Italian Grill My 5 Favorite Sandwich & Sub Shops in NT/WC are: 1. Jersey Mike’s Subs 2. Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop 3. Panera Bread 4. Café Fresco 5. Olive Branch Deli My 10 Favorite Bars/Taverns in NT/WC are: 1. Aja Wiregrass 2. Peabody’s/The Palms 3. Acropolis Greek Taverna 4. Café Olé 5. Linkster’s Tap Room 6. Lee Roy Selmon’s 7. Santo’s Italian Grill 8. Ciccio’s/The Lodge 9. Stonewood Grill & Tavern 10. Bullseye Saloon My 5 Favorite Places for Dessert/Ice Cream in NT/WC are: 1. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream 2. Cold Stone Creamery 3. Boardwalk Frozen Custard 4. Baskin-Robbins 5. Dairy Queen

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Liangs Bistro Is Still New Tampa’s Favorite Asian Cuisine! By Gary Nager Every year since 2005, Liang’s Bistro Asian Cuisine (located next to Chick-fil-A and Walgreen’s on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. in North Palms Village) has been named by our readers as your Favorite Asian and/or Chinese Restaurant in New Tampa & Wesley Chapel. That’s a pretty remarkable accomplishment, considering how many great Asian restaurants we have had in With starters like these, it’s hard to save room for your main course at Liang’s Bistro Asian Cuisine on Bruce B. Downs New Tampa each of those years. Blvd.: (l. to r.) Crispy cheese puffs, the best egg rolls in New Tampa and delicious New York-style baby barebcued spare ribs. Obviously, Liang’s, which also has won many other awards (see below) cheese puffs, delicious pan-fried dumpand wonderful mixed veggies. This may and Liang’s beef or chicken in the trafor its outstanding fusion of Chinese, lings and more. And of course, all of be my favorite entrée ever at Liang’s, ditional “crispy jacket” are all great, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean Liang’s starters go great with the although I’ve always been partial to the although I try to stay away from the cuisines, has been and continues to be incredible trio of house-made sauces — prepared-tableside sizzling teriyaki steak fried entrées myself. doing something right. The restaurant’s the best sweet Thai chile sauce I’ve ever with mushrooms and onions that blows Liang’s continues to expand its casual, but elegant setting and prime tasted, a great dumpling sauce and a doors on any sizzling fajitas I’ve had! seafood selections and we had a chance location on BBD can only take it so far. spicy Thai chile sauce. I also enjoy Even though only one of us was a to sample two of the house’s specialties If Liang’s didn’t have a chef from New Liang’s wonton soup, although it usuvegetarian, we all also enjoyed the Viet- — the Golden Nest Seafood, which York providing great food at always fair ally comes with shrimp in it, which I’m namese lemongrass tofu, which is stircombines fresh lobster, shrimp, scallops prices, there’s no doubt it wouldn’t still unfortunately allergic to, but they do fried with broccoli, asparagus and red and crabmeat with mixed vegetables in be around today. make it for me without the shrimp. and green peppers in a wonderful the chef’s “secret” (similar to a lobster) The starters are always excellent, The starters are so good that it brown lemongrass sauce. My favorite sauce, all served in a beautiful golden beginning with what I believe are the may be difficult to save room for veggies at Liang’s are the sautéed green nest, made out of potato; and the walbest egg rolls in New Tampa, perhaps entrées, but there are lots of great beans, which I order a little spicy. nut shrimp, which has a cream sauce in the entire Tampa Bay area. Then, options from which to choose. On our We all also agreed that all of and a touch of pineapple on top of there are the perfectly not-oversauced most recent visit, our entire office had a Liang’s breaded and fried entrées, jumbo shrimp. I did sample the Golden New York-style baby barbecued spare chance to sample a wonderful filet of including General Tso’s chicken, sesame Nest, just not the shrimp, and it was ribs and other favorites like crispy fried red snapper in a semi-spicy oyster sauce chicken, orange peel beef or chicken wonderful, but I did not try the walnut


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shrimp. Managing editor Michael Smith, an avowed shrimp lover, said the walnut shrimp was his favorite dish. And of course, Liang’s serves a variety of hot teas and offers beer, wine and catering. In addition to its annual Neighborhood News honors, Liang’s also is a Golden Spoon Award winner, has received a Diamond Award from AAA every year since 2005 and recently won an urban Spoon Award as one of the 100 best restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. Liang’s Bistro is located at 17515 BBD Blvd. and is open for lunch and dinner ever y day at 11 a.m. For more info, call 978-1225 or visit

Win Tickets To ‘A Night Of Stars’ At The Straz Center! If you enjoy great music AND a great meal, Opera Tampa is sponsoring a fun contest just for you! The winner will receive VIP treatment for the “A Night of Stars” concert on Thursday, Febr uar y 24, in Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Per forming Arts (formerly the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center)! The Grand Prize winner’s package (a $250 value!!!) includes: two premium seats for the Feb. 24 “A Night of Stars” concert AND dinner for two at Maestro’s, inside the Straz Center, before the show! (Please note that the dinner does not include alcoholic beverages or gratuity.)*** To enter the contest, all you have to do is go to to fi fin nd the correct answers to these

three questions & fi filll them in below: 1. Who is the leading baritone of his time and a three-time Grammy Award winner? ____________________________ 2. What opera is being performed on the Carol Morsani stage on Apr. 29 & May 1? ____________________________ 3. What is the local telephone number to order tickets? ____________________________ To be eligible to win, you must answer all three questions above correctly and fill out all of the info below. Entries are due by Thursday, Febr uar y 10, and can be mailed or emailed to the addresses given below.

Your Name _________________________________________ Address (with zip code) ___________________________________________________ Phone # _____________ Email _______________________ Have you ever been to an Opera Tampa performance? ___Yes ___No Among our favorite entrées at Liang’s are (top to bottom) the incredible red snapper, the Golden Nest Seafood, the sizzling teriyaki steak and sautéed green beans.

Mail to: Neighborhood News Straz Contest, 15345 Amberly Dr., Tampa, FL 33647 Email to: Note: The winner will be notified by telephone! ***Tickets are for the “A Night of Stars” concert. They do not include the gala after the concert.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •


Neighborhood Nibbles — Check Out La Cubanita & Joy Of Tokyo By Gary Nager Anyone who’s been reading this publication for any period of time knows how much I love food...and checking out new restaurants, especially those that open in our area. Well, there’s two new additions to New Tampa’s dining scene that have opened since our last issue and I believe both are a must-try. I hope you’ll read these little tidbits and decide to check both out for yourself AND tell the owners that I sent you!

La Cubanita Café

After failing to last long-term as Baci’s and then Polo’s, the all-new La Cubanita Café in the same location in the New Tampa Center (Bruce B. Downs Blvd. at New Tampa Blvd., next to Publix) as those Italian restaurants looks like a surefire winner. With a clean, inviting décor and the best roast pork in mojo sauce (photo) and café con lechés I’ve tasted in Tampa, plus outstanding value for breakfast and lunch, La Cubanita has the delicious food, fast service and low prices to not only survive a down economy, but thrive in our area, regardless of the economy. And, with the coupons on page 41 in this issue, you can get a delicious bacon, egg and cheese on


Cuban bread breakfast sandwich AND small café con leché for just $4.99! You also can try a lunch meal (like the mojo roast pork, yellow rice and plantains in the photo above) and fountain drink and get 20-percent off! I’ve also sampled La Cubanita’s wonderful chicken fricase that literally falls off the bone and yummy marinated masitas (pork chunks). There’s also picadillo (ground beef), ropa vieja (shredded beef), palomilla steak, garlic shrimp and merluza (a delicious, flaky white fish), as well as decadent desserts like authentic tres lechés (sort of a sweet, milky bread pudding) and a light and airy mango mousse. La Cubanita Café is located at 19040 BBD Blvd. Call 632-9100 for more information.

opened in the same location in the Oak Ramble Plaza on BBD (south of Tampa Palms) a couple of weeks ago. Joy of Tokyo features a small, but inviting sushi bar and an open seating area with fast service and excellent Japanese fare. Start with the sushi, including one of the tastiest spider (fried soft shell crab) rolls in town, plus great seared tuna and a a couple of mild Japanese white meat fish options I loved, even though had I never heard of them before. I also can recommend the huge appetizer portion of chicken tempura for only $3.99.

We recommend the spider (actually soft shell crab) roll at Joy of Tokyo. I haven’t yet had a full dinner at Joy of Tokyo, but check the coupons below for some great offers. Joy of Tokyo Sushi & Grille is located at 14913 BBD Blvd., in the same plaza as Acropolis & Jersey Mike’s. It’s open for lunch and dinner every day, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, call 978-8222.

Joy Of Tokyo

Although a lot of us miss the old Louis Pappas Market Café that closed earlier this year, sushi and Japanese cuisine lovers will definitely enjoy Joy of Tokyo Sushi & Grille, which

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •




Join OrthoTechnology’s Winning Team! Ortho Technology, an international orthodontic supply distributor located in New Tampa, is seeking talented energetic candidates for the following full-time positions: Distribution Associate: High energy individual needed to receive, restock, pull & pack customer orders. Fast paced environment. Basic math & computer skills, ability to stand/walk for entire shift & lift up to 50 pounds required. QC Inspector: Entry level position responsible for accuracy of outgoing orders. 1-2 yrs exp w/QC responsibilities. Ability to stand/walk for entire shift, close vision, basic color differentiation and basic math req’d. Small parts/med device experience a plus. We provide a great work environment, excellent benefits package and growth potential. Submit resumes to PTA position available. Part-time (Tampa Palms clinic). Fax Resume to: 813-994-3080 Part time Medical Assistant. Must have lab/blood draw experience. Wesley Chapel office, family medicine. evening and Saturday hours. Fax resume to 813-994-0085. New Financial Advisors office in Wesley Chapel located in Live Oak is looking for a FT Administrative Assistant. Flexible schedule. Pay range $10-15 per hour. Must have working knowledge of Word and Excel. Must also be able to type 50 wpm. No Smokers. Please e-mail your resume, photo, and contact information to:

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LAWN MAINTENANCE Enjoy your time & let A.T.B. Landscaping & Lawn Service do the work for you. We provide landscaping, lawn maintenance, clean-ups, tree & hedge trimming, sodding, sprinkler repair & fertilization. Other services also available. 907-LAWN Lawncare. Residential/Commercial We are a Father and Son Business. Licensed and Insured. Affordable pricing for all. Per cut or with a contract up to you.Call Patrick or Dora anytime. (813)907-1234 (Hauling Service too!) NTLC Property Maintenance. Residential & Commercial lawn maintenance for New Tampa & Wesley Chapel. Sprinkler repair, tree trimming, mulching, landscaping & clean-ups also available. Licensed & Insured. Call Bill @ 973-3825.



Tranquility Pool Service. New Tampa Owned & Operated! Great pricing w/outstanding customer service. Relax & enjoy while we keep your pool in pristine swimming condition! Licensed, Bonded & Insured. Call Chris today for a free quote @ 857-5400 or visit us at to see why we are New Tampa’s #1 choice! New customers mention this ad & receive one month FREE!



Professional Pet Care. Exp’d. Pet sitter. We walk, play, feed & administer medicine, all in the comfort of your pet’s home. We also bring in mail, water plants & help maintain home security while you’re away. Bonded, insured & trained in Pet First-Aid & CPR. Call For The Love Of Pets at 545-8406 or 4163126 or Tampa Cat Lady Professional Cat-Sitting Service. You say goodbye - we say hello. Cats are happiest when in their own home, surrounded by familiar sights, sounds & smells. When you are away, we feed, cuddle & play with your kitties & clean & dispose of litter. We help deter crime by bringing newspaper/mail & rotating lights/blinds, giving your home that lived-in look. Licensed, bonded & Red-Cross certified in pet first aid/CPR. Call 994-9449 or visit New Tampa Pet Sitting Service. Lots of love & care for your pets. Great experience & references. Recommended by Angie’s List. Licensed, Insured & Red Cross Certified. Call Maria @ 416-5301.



NEED EXTRA MONEY…We can turn your unwanted, old or broken gold jewelry into CASH! Take advantage of high gold prices which may not last long. Don’t sell to the fly by night companies. Take it to Tampa Palms Hometown Jeweler. Jeweler on staff w/ 35 yrs. exp. Charles Jewelers, 972-4653 (next to Stein Mart on Bruce B. Downs).








Licensed Mobile Massage Therapist. 9am 9pm, Mon, Tues & Wed. $50 for 1 hour! Types of massage available: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Aroma Therapy, Hot Stone, Corporate Seated, Pregnancy, Sports & Injury Rehab. References available. CALL. 727-372-6389 Lic # MA47546.

D R I V I N G S E RV I C E Don’t Have a Ride? Don’t Want to Leave Your Car? Shouldn’t Drive? We Drive You and Your Car Home! Night Clubs, Corporate Events, Sporting Events, Concerts, Appointments, Airport or Stranded... Call Jay at 813-966-1530.



Foreclosure Homes & Bank REO listings by email at Team Bohannon, Coldwell Banker 813-982-7512 Avoid Foreclosure, We can help! Team Bohannon, Coldwell Banker 813-982-7512

I N V E S T M E N T SEEKING INVESTOR/PARTNER Experienced restaurateurs interested in acquiring an existing successful restaurant in Sarasota/ Bradenton area. Total purchase price: $120K. Monthly lease: $4K. We have the 20% down payment. Seeking $100K-$150K. Serious inquiries only, please. Call (941) 377 3125 or email

T A I C H I L E S S O N S Tai Chi Classes open to the public at the Club Tampa Palms. Benefits: Strength, Flexibility, Balance, Focus and reduced stress. Class Times, Tues. Seniors 2:30-3:30 pm and Beg. 7-8 pm. Also New 6-week Beginners courses starting every few months. Space is limited. Contact me for more details. Also personal instruction in Tai Chi, Kempo Karate, Boot Camp Fitness training and more. With more then 30 years of training and teaching experience. Call Peter today #787-7560 or E-Mail me at



A/C WAREHOUSE W/OFFICES, 920 S.F. In New Tampa off Bruce B Downs located in New Tampa Professional Park behind Pilot Bank. Call Gail- 813-973-4155. Tired of working out of your house? Is a long commute getting to you? Need space in New Tampa? Cory Lake Professional Center. Office suite available. 950 sf. Call David – 813-494-8654

BABYSITTER WANTED Part time Baby Sitter wanted for a 13 month baby girl. Two days a during the week, mornings 9am -12 pm and Saturday evenings. Montessori experience preferred not required. Background check and References required. Call Sonia 216316-4343. Lives in New Tampa.



Get Your Estate In Order ...Last Will...Power of Attorney...Living Will. Experienced Tax Attorney 813-972-5078.

Aquatec Pool Service **Special Offer: New customers get 1 Month FREE!** We follow strict National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) standards - We do pools right. All technicians are in uniform, drug-free, and background checked. Quality, professional service. Licensed & Insured. Call Today 780-8616 or visit our website to see why you should choose us! ENJOY YOUR POOL, WHILE WE MAINTAIN IT. KJ POOL SERVICE. Ser vicing pools for over 6 years. FIRST MONTH FREE, PLUS FREE EVALUATION AND QUOTE Owner and Operator. LICENSE, BONDED & INSURED. Office Number: 813.909.9466 Cell Number: 813.748.9817.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 1 • Januar y 4, 2011 •

New Tampa 01-11  

Issue 01-11 New Tampa hits mailboxes January 4th

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