Page 1

Volume 20 Issue 11

Inside: Recapping The 2012 Night Of 5000! In Neighborhood Magazine!

May 19, 2012

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 • Easton Park • Grand Hampton • Heritage Isles • Hunter’s Green • Hunter’s Key • K-Bar Ranch • Lake Forest • Live Oak Preserve • Pebble Creek • Richmond Place • Tampa Palms • The Hammocks • 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 • The Lakes at Northwood • The Villages of Wesley Chapel • Wesley Pointe • Westbrook Estates • Williamsburg

Looking Back At A Hot Time At The Ninth Annual Rotary PigFest! By Gary Nager From its humble beginnings with a crowd of fewer than 500 people when it first began nine years ago, the annual Rotary PigFest has blossomed into one of the premier events in our area year after year. The 2012 PigFest, held on a “muy caliente” Cinco de Mayo at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church on Cross Creek Blvd., nearly doubled the previous record PigFest attendance of 900, as more than 1,500 tickets were sold, thanks to the efforts of event cochairs Peter Gambacorta and Robert Garofano of the New Tampa (breakfast) Rotary Club, as well as tremendous support from five other local Rotary Clubs — New Tampa Noon, New Tampa Evening, Wesley Chapel, Temple Terrace and Tampa North. Although we don’t know precisely how much money, in terms of net proceeds, was raised through ticket and

(Clockwise from above left): Rotary PigFest event co-chair Peter Gambacorta announces the winners of the pig-roasting contest; the event’s “guest of honor”; the food line was long, but great volunteers kept it moving smoothly; political candidates like State Rep. Shawn Harrison (right) were prominent “vendors” during the event; the Freedom High jazz band was the final “act” of the day. “PigBuck” (used to purchase items during the event) sales to benefit the selected charities of each Rotary club, Gambacorta said, “We definitely took a step up this year.” See “PigFest” on page 52.

Water Main Rupture Leaves New Tampa Residents Waterless


Temporary Bridge Opens Over BBD, Car Thieves Caught & Tampa Palms Trees Come Down; Plus, Laser Affair Hair Removal & Lots Of Local Business News!

A Look Back At The ‘Night Of 5000,’ A Review Of Sushi Café, A Preview Of The You Do The Dishes Summer Camp, Our Exclusive Summer Camp Guide & More!

Pages 1-44

Pages 45-56



Postal Customer

Also Inside This Issue!

close for the evening, even though most had their water service restored within a few hours. Around 2 p.m. that day, a water transmission main ruptured just south of the intersection of BBD and Tampa Palms Northbound Bruce B. Downs Blvd. between Amberly Dr. & Tampa Palms Blvd. was more like a lake on May 4. Blvd. spilling water onto the northbound lanes of Workers from the Tampa Water the road and disrupting traffic. Water Department (TWD) responded quickgushed out of the ground along the ly and worked into the night to east side of BBD for hours, rushing its restore service to the affected area, way south next to the roadway, poolSee “Water” on page 7. ing just south of Amberly Dr. The Tampa Police Department eventually closed down the segment of BBD between Amberly Dr. and Tampa Palms Blvd., diverting northbound traffic through Tampa Palms. PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID TAMPA FL PERMIT 2801

Instead of the water from a ruptured transmission main that left New Tampa residents waterless the afternoon of May 4 and had one northbound lane of the road closed until May 8, traffic is flowing freely again on the northbound side of Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. between Amberly Dr. and Tampa Palms Blvd.

It was to be a big Friday night for local restaurants in the New Tampa area, as many recently graduated college students planned to celebrate their commencement from the University of South Florida (USF) over dinner with family and friends. But, those restaurant owners’ hopes of a line out their doors that night drowned when the water was shut off, forcing many of those restaurants to

Dated Material Please Rush!

By Matt Wiley

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


g n i s d n ay e P 3d in

g n i s d n ay e P 2d in

g n i s d n ay e P 3d in

Martinique Isles Dr.

g n i s d n ay e P 3d n i Timber View St.

Great Laurel Ave

Aniston Cr.

Cory Lake Isles

Arbor Greene

Live Oak Preserve

Palma Vista at Tampa Palms

MLS# T2512916

MLS# T2514565

MLS# T2512806

MLS# T2517147

List with us & Start Packing! List with us & Start Packing! List with us & Start Packing! List with us & Start Packing!

g n i s d n ay e P 3d in Aniston Cr.

g n i s d n ay e P 3d in Timber Trace Dr.

g n i s d n ay e P 4d in

Lake Chase Island Wy

g n i s d n ay e P 9d in Fox Chapel Rd

Palma Vista at Tampa Palms

Meadow Pointe


Pebble Creek

MLS# T2493886

MLS# T2514578

MLS# T2509628

MLS# T2515862

List with us & Start Packing! List with us & Start Packing! List with us & Start Packing! List with us & Start Packing!

g n i s d n day e P 8 1 n i

g n i s d n ay e P 1d 1 n i

Stormcloud Pass

Cory Lake Dr.

Marsh Wren Dr.

Colchester Palms Dr.

Meadow Pointe

Cory Lake Isles

Sable Ridge

Tampa Palms

MLS# T2512664

MLS# T2504021

MLS# T2507345

MLS# T2511382

g n i s d n day e P 0 2 n i

g n i s d n day e P 0 4 n i

List with us & Start Packing! List with us & Start Packing! List with us & Start Packing! List with us & Start Packing!


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

Editorial - The Many Faces & Lessons Of The Night Of 5000 I was 15 when the U.S. government stopped drafting 18-year-olds into the military and, as a young person who loved the music of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and other “protest” song writers, I was happy not to be forced into military service after I graduated from high school. As someone who hasn’t picked up any type of gun since riflery in summer camp (and with my Mr. Magoo-like vision, I was a terrible shot), I have always appreciated the fact that, throughout our history, there have been, and still are, brave young men (and now, of course, women, too) who willingly choose to enlist in our Armed Forces. Several of both of my sons’ friends (including Wharton High grad Brandon Allen, who just signed up this spring) have chosen this path and I not only respect and admire all of them, I actually thank each of them for their service. I know I am not unique in terms of how I feel about not only those who serve in any branch of the U.S. military, but also anyone who becomes a police officer or fire fighter. These are the people who run towards the battlefields and disasters more than 90 percent of us choose to run or stay away from. For that reason alone, I believe they are not only praiseworthy, I also believe it is our responsibility to take care of each and every one of them. To that end, I have to again commend my dear friend Valerie Casey for her unflinching, neverending quest to

New Tampa Neighborhood News 15345 Amberly Dr., Tampa, FL 33647 Phone: (813) 910-2575 Fax: 910-2483 Adv. E-mail: Editorial E-mail:

An editorial by Gary Nager raise money for the Tampa Fisher House, the residence located on the grounds of the James A. Haley Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital that, for free, houses the families of the soldiers being treated at the VA — our nation’s leading brain and spine trauma center. In addition to running her own golf tournament to benefit the Fisher House, Valerie, a long-time member of the GFWC (General Federation of Women’s Clubs) New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club (NTJWC), didn’t need to do too much convincing to get president April Simons and the Board of the NTJWC to select the House as the 2012 beneficiary of the 15th annual “Night of 5000” gala on April 21. Valerie and her co-chair, Isabelle Jensen, and their sizable committee of NTJWC members, put on a spectacular evening (see page 45) and raised around $10,000 net, but walking around Hunter’s Green Country Club that evening and talking to not only our wounded warriors but also some of the doctors who care for them, I realized how important our VA Hospital and our Fisher House truly are. I have previously written stories about U.S. Army Sgt. Joel Tavera, who would surely be dead today if not for the efforts of New Tampa resident Dr. Steven Scott, the chief of physical rehab medicine at the Haley VA, and the other amazing surgeons and doctors at our VA hospital. Well, not only was Joel on hand for the “Night,” several other wounded heroes and their families also attended the event as honored guests — including Purple Heart recipients Romy Camargo, an Army Ranger, and Marine Lt. Col. Ben (Ty) Edwards, who was featured on the cover of The Patriot magazine (the Fisher House program’s national maga-

Publisher & Editor Gary Nager Staff Writers John McGurl • Matt Wiley Correspondents Camille Gillies • Sheryl Young Advertising Customer Service Manager


Nikki Bennett

New Tampa News Briefs...................................10

Marketing Director Ashley Knoblach Advertising Sales & Graphic Design AnnMarie Beck •

Porsha Lemos

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 20, Issue 13, of New Tampa Neighborhood News is Monday, June 4, 2012. 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. © 2012 JM2 Communications, Inc.

zine) with Dr. Scott in May 2011. “We’ve gotten so much better at putting these soldiers back together,” said Dr. Scott, who wants to write a book about his experiences at the Haley VA since the first Gulf War, “but unfortunately, our enemies continue to get better at blowing them up, too. Sadly, this will never be an easy process for us, our wounded or their families.” I also got to chat with Trinity resident and Ret. U.S. Army Capt. Greg Amira, who was treated at our Fisher House after being blown up in 2007 by an IED that killed his friend and commander in Iraq. The perhaps even more amazing thing is that Greg, a New York City native, already was on full disability from his civilian job (he was working for Morgan Stanley on the 73rd floor of World Trade Center Tower #2 on 9/11). But somehow, he was still deployed by the Army Special Operations Center and completed more than 150 combat patrols before the explosion. Today, he is the founder, chairman and president of the Wounded Vets Assn (WoundedVets. org). Perhaps the most amazing thing I saw first-hand that evening was the incredible fighting spirit that still lives within these soldiers and their amazing families. I thank God for each of them, for the VA Hospital and for the Fisher House. What a “Night” it truly was!

Correction From Last Issue In our last issue, I made an error I felt I needed to correct and it may be an indication that I’m getting older. I was a French minor in college, so even though I’ve always spelled the Mexican holiday “Cinco de Mayo”correctly the past 18 years, I subconsciously changed it to “Cinqo” (“cinq” is five in French) several times in our last issue and didn’t catch it, as our Apple Spellcheck only told me “No similar words found” for “Cinqo” (it does the same for “Cinco,” by the way). I apologize for any inconvenience the unintentional error may have caused any and all of our Spanish-speaking readers. — GN

Table of Contents

Search Still On For Missing Wesley Chapel Woman...............6 Car Thieves Caught.................................................................6 Water Main Rupture Can’t Roll Up Red Carpet...................7

Counterfeit Cash Scammers & Bump Key Burglaries Temporary I-75 Bridge & New Lanes On BBD Open.......11 New Fire Station Opens........................................................14 Tampa Palms Trees Come Down........................................16 Meadow Pointe To K-Bar Still Up In The Air.....................18 Our Exclusive Tour Of Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel......20

New Tampa Community Calendar......22-23 Local Business Updates............................26-39 New Tampa Chamber Newsletter.......................26 Laser Affair Makes Unwanted Hair Disappear..........30 New Tampa Eye Institute Helps You See Clearly......34 Decorating Den Brings Interiors To You.................38

Education & Sports Updates...................40-43 Culinary Scholarships From Wharton High...............40 Starting Right, Now Helps End Homelessness..........42

Neighborhood Magazine Night Of 5000: A Look Back...............................45 Our Exclusive Summer Camp Guide....................46 You Do The Dishes Summer Art Fest........................48 Sonny’s BBQ Celebrates 14 Years In Wesley Chapel...48 Sushi Café Japanese Restaurant................................50 PigFest (continued from page 1)..............................52 An Amateur’s View Of A Pro Golf Tourney...............53


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


Pasco Sheriff Seek Info On Missing Woman After SWAT Standoff By Matt Wiley A five-year-old girl is safe, a man is dead and a woman is still missing at our press time after a SWAT standoff May 6 in Wesley Chapel. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) is searching for Linda Losacano, a woman who has been missing since April 14 and who, according to PCSO, could be the victim of foul play. PCSO spokesman Doug Tobin says new evidence has been discovered at the missing woman’s residence, 27154 Raven Brook Rd. in the Quail Hollow community of Wesley Chapel, that could indicate that foul play had a hand in her disappearance. “Right now, our primary concern is finding Linda, to find out where she is and to find out the full circumstances of the events that occurred with her boyfriend, Timothy Dean Arnold,” says PCSO Sgt. James Sessa. According to a PCSO report, deputies were following up a search for Losacano on May 6 at the request of her sister Connie, who says Linda has not been heard from since April 14. PCSO’s SWAT team responded after deputies heard shots fired inside the home around 7:19 p.m. while they searched for Losacano’s daughter. That

five-year-old girl, Kaylie, was found and removed safely from the home and is now in the custody of Losacano’s sister. The SWAT Linda Losacano team entered the home a little after 9 p.m. The report says that the team found Arnold, 49, deceased, with what is currently being described as a “self-inflicted gunshot wound.” “We need the public’s help,” Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a news conference on May 8. “Anyone who has any information, please, let us know. There’s a five-year-old girl out there who wants her mother and we’re trying to find her right now.” Losacano’s status has changed from a missing person to an endangered missing adult, PCSO says. Anyone with any information about her whereabouts is urged to call Sgt. Sessa at (727) 844-7711 or (727) 844-7781.

According to the Tampa Police Department (TPD), in the early hours of May 1, Anthony P. Daniel, Preston Dontay Williams and Donald Darnell Bowser, all 24 years old, were seen breaking (L. to r.) Anthony P. Daniel, Donald D. Bowser & Preinto a silver Dodge sedan ston D. Williams were arrested May 1, after leading in the parking lot of the police on a chase on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. Landmark At Grayson Landing (formerly before taking off on foot. Cypress Run at Tampa Palms) apartA perimeter was set up and, with ment complex off Bruce B. Downs extra support, including TPD Air Sup(BBD) Blvd., south of Amberly Dr. port and a K9 unit, all three suspects Following an anonymous tip, TPD were eventually apprehended around 4 officers responded and pursued the a.m. and charged with grand theft auto, vehicle northbound on BBD in Tampa auto burglary, possession of burglary Palms. After increasing speed, the sustools and resisting arrest without viopects in the stolen vehicle veered into lence. Daniel and Bowser were both the southbound lanes of BBD and held on $8,500 bonds and Williams on turned west onto Palm Springs Blvd., a $13,500 bond. All three were released abandoning the still-rolling vehicle May 2 on surety bonds.

Car Thieves Caught Off BBD Trying to make off with someone else’s ride can get you a free ride to jail, as three car thieves in Tampa Palms can attest, following a recent arrest.


Dr. Neeraja Jasthi • Cleanings (Ages 4 and up) • Crowns, Bridges and Implant Crowns • Veneers • Zoom & Take Home Whitening • Root Canals & Extractions

FAMILY & COSMETIC DENTISTRY 20441 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. (across the street from Wharton H.S., in front of Live Oak)

“Let Our Family Be Here For Yours”

866-9913 6

Dr. Neeraja Jasthi, DMD

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


Continued from page 1 which stretched from Fowler Ave. north to New Tampa. Most residents had service by Friday night and everyone had water flowing by Saturday afternoon, but a Boil Water Notice was put into effect that lasted until the morning of May 7. According to TWD, a new water main had been installed next to the one that ruptured in anticipation of the BBD-widening project and undergoing testing. It was only two weeks away from being put into use. Among the restaurants affected, Ciccio’s Lodge managing partner Robert Garofano says he turned away many large graduation parties that night. “We lost our entire night,” he says. The biggest beneficiaries of the closures were reportedly the restaurants at the Shops at Wiregrass mall in Wesley Chapel, which were apparently packed all night.

Water Main Rupture Can’t Roll Up The Red Carpet Faucets may have run dry in New Tampa on May 4 following the water main rupture along Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., but that couldn’t stop the third annual “Red Carpet Affair” at St. James United Methodist Church in Tampa Palms.

The “Red Carpet Affair” is a prom-like dance and sit-down pasta dinner for those in the area living with disabilities, put on by St. James’ Special Connections Program, or special needs ministry. Guests enter by walking down the “red carpet,” similar to a Hollywood event and get a chance to be the “stars of the evening.” “This was the first year that we were going to do a full, sit-down pasta dinner for everyone,” says Sally DePalma, leader of the special needs ministry at St. James. “More than 80 people were expected to show up.” DePalma says the guest list was long, with many coming from as far away as Odessa, Safety Harbor and Town N’ Country. Some local celebrities also were set to be at the event to dance with the “stars of the red carpet,” including Miss Florida 2011 Kristina Janolo, Miss St. Petersburg Chloe Lupo and Miss Southeast Florida Brianna Birmingham. But then, the water main ruptured, leaving all of New Tampa without water service mere hours before the event was scheduled to begin. It looked as if the event would have to be canceled, but it was going to take more than dry pipes to roll up the red carpet. With only a few hours before guests would begin to arrive, the volunteers working the event scrambled to

come up with a solution. Three separate teams of volunteers rushed to B.J.’s Wholesale on BBD and purchased more than 100 gallons of drinking water, because without water, there would be no pasta or beverages. Eric Mudge, a volunteer who works for Clark Construction, was Seth, one of the guests of the “Red Carpet Affair” at St. James able to coordinate having four Port-o- Church on May 4, poses with beauty queens (l. to r.) Kristina Janolo, Brianna Birmingham & Chloe Lupo. Potties delivered to the church around as much for the guests’ families as it is 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, a feat in for the guests themselves. itself, to substitute for the loss of “It’s not just another dance,” she plumbing. Clark Construction even says. “There is so much emotion picked up the bill. involved. It’s great for these families to And, the event ended up going off see their kids, who might live extremely without a hitch. At one point, there isolated lives, out having fun with other were more than 100 people at the people, especially in this atmosphere.” dance. Guests and their parents danced St. James United Methodist the night away while other businesses Church’s special needs ministry and restaurants closed their doors. focuses on “enriching the spiritual, “For this event to have happened, social and emotional needs of chilwe believe there were some big fingers dren and adults with disabilities.” involved,” says DePalma.” For more info, please call Sally She explains that the event is just DePalma at 971-4790, ext. 234.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


N EW T AMPA Cash Scammers Still At Large In Tampa Palms

New Tampa residents should be wary of a counterfeit cash scam that has occurred in the area. According to the Tampa Police Department (TPD), an elderly woman was scammed out of $5,425 by two unknown female suspects in the parking lot of either the Lowe’s or CVS Pharmacy on Commerce Palms Blvd. TPD says that the suspects showed the woman a wallet that they had “found” full of counterfeit bills. Claiming to have worked at a nearby store where there was a counterfeit “machine,” the suspects convinced the victim that the manager of that store would exchange counterfeit bills for real cash at the store’s bank, but needed real cash to replace the amount going to the bank. The victim agreed and took the suspects in her car to her residence and gave them the same amount of real money before taking the suspects to the store where the so-called “exchange” would take place. She was instructed to park next to a large van, blocking her view of the front of the store and waited for the suspects to return. One of the suspects came up to the victim’s window and instructed her to go to the rear of the store to receive


News Briefs

her money from the store’s manager, which she did, only to discover that the whole thing was a scam. The victim reported the scam and TPD is investigating. The public is urged to be on the lookout for two African-American females, one between the ages of 30-49, the other between the ages of 50-64, driving a goldbrown Toyota or Chevy midsize vehicle with unknown tags. Anyone with any information should call TPD at 931-6500.

Bump Key Burglaries

Thieves in New Tampa have adopted a “bump and run” strategy to pull off a recent string of burglaries in our area. Unfortunately, the community has seen a rise in “bump key” burglaries, and April was a busy month for these thieves who use a special to key to enter private residences. According to the Tampa Police Department (TPD), nine New Tampa residences — eight apartment units in three separate complexes and one private residence — fell victim to “bump key” burglaries throughout April. These complexes include Camden Live Oaks in Tampa Palms, the Enclave Apartments in Richmond Place and the Gardens and Addison Park apartments,

both located on Cross Creek Blvd. Bump keys are special keys that can be purchased online or at home improvement stores, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. They are sold as alternatives to having to drill through an entire lock should someone be completely locked out of their home or office. Sets of bump keys can be bought fairly cheaply. One website lists a set of 11 bump keys for less than $30. These keys are inserted into the lock and manipulate the pins. By tapping or “bumping” the key while it is inserted, it will release the lock. “Bump keys work, but you have to be skilled to use them,” says a local

locksmith from Tampa Bay Lock & Key who wished to remain unnamed. “You have to be able to turn the key at the perfect time.” The locksmith said that the only real countermeasure for bump keys is to buy a “bump-proof” lock, which can be expensive. “The average person trying to use a bump key would probably make just as much noise breaking a window to get in,” the locksmith says. TPD recommends that those concerned contact a locksmith. Those with alarm systems are encouraged to use them. No other leads or information was available at our press time. — MW

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

Temp Bridge & Northbound Lanes Open On Bruce B. Downs By Matt Wiley Drivers on and above Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. have been experiencing some new traffic patterns. In the past few weeks, both the temporary northbound I-75 bridge over BBD and the recently finished northbound lanes on BBD north of the interstate have opened to traffic. The temporary bridge, which will be in place for about two years during the reconstruction of the interstate bridges that carry traffic over BBD, opened to northbound drivers on May 7. Southbound I-75 traffic is now moving over the old northbound bridge, as construction will soon be starting on the now-vacant southbound bridge. Heading north on BBD has never felt so good. For tires, at least. Recently finished northbound lanes of BBD have opened north of I75 in New Tampa, all the way to the entrance of Hunter’s Green, and local businesses and residents of the Hunter’s Green community are beginning to feel the impact. Keith Oakley, the owner of Oakley’s Grille on BBD next to Dairy Queen, says that business is beginning to pick back up. “It’s better,” he says. “Not to the

extent it will be in the future, when it’s all done, but we’re definitely more visible now (than we were). And, we’re a lot more accessible.” For the past several months, the BBD widening project has diverted both directions of traffic to the southbound lanes, making businesses on the east side of BBD much less visible and more difficult to access during the road construction. “Before, it was like people had tunnel vision with all of the construction,” Oakley explains. “You had to watch where you were going. You couldn’t really look around to see what businesses were there.” The local business market isn’t the only thing expected to bounce back after the completion of the BBD widening project. “Once it’s reopened, the housing market should change considerably,” says New Tampa Realty owner Tom Bosso, whose office in the former Hunter’s Green Model & Visitor Center also has been made much more accessible since the northbound lanes reopened. He says the widening project has directly affected the local real estate market. “I see it every day when I’m driving around clients,” he explains. “I can

The temporary I-75 bridge over Bruce B. Downs is now being used for northbound traffic on the interstate. residents since January 2010. see it in their faces. They’re looking Hillsborough County Public Works around at all of the construction thinkspokesman Steve Valdez says that the ing, ‘I have to drive through this every stretch from Pebble Creek Blvd. to I-75 day?’ They’re preoccupied thinking about the construction.” should be completed by the end of the year. The stretch south of I-75 to Bearss The $107-million, three-phase Ave. should be completed by late spring widening project will eventually turn BBD into an eight-lane highway from 2013. Valdez says that the project’s the Pasco County line all the way south third phase, which is set to widen BBD from Pebble Creek Dr. north to the to Bearss Ave. Phase 1 construction along BBD from Pebble Creek Dr. to Pasco County line, is still unfunded, so Palm Springs Blvd. in Tampa Palms has no schedule has yet been set for its been causing problems for New Tampa completion.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


New Tampa Fire Rescue Station Now Open On Cross Creek Blvd. By Matt Wiley Where there’s smoke, there may be fire. And, if that fire occurs in eastern New Tampa, there is now a third Tampa Fire Rescue (TFR) station ready to respond to it. New Tampa’s third TFR station, No. 22, opened its brand new garage doors to its fire engines on April 19 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Prior to the new station, residents of eastern New Tampa often had to wait more than six minutes for emergency service, since the closest station, TFR Station No. 21, was more than three miles from Morris Bridge Rd., near the intersection of Cross Creek and Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvds. “Now you have a station that can respond more quickly,” says TFR spokesman Capt. Lonnie Benniefield. “Response times have been cut down to about three minutes.” Benniefield says that the new 8,600-square-foot station, located at 10871 Cross Creek Blvd., is now the primary station serving the New Tampa communities and businesses east of Kinnan St. near Morris Bridge Rd., including Arbor Greene, Cory Lake Isles and Heritage Isles, as well as the K-Bar Ranch/Easton Park area.


However, the station is not limited to only those communities. Benniefield explains that if a call comes in to TFR Station No. 21 and that station’s fire engine is already out on a call, units from the new station can respond. “It gives the citizens of that area more confidence knowing that station is there to protect them,” he says. In addition to serving New Tampa residents in a timelier manner, the $1.6million station also came at no cost to city taxpayers. It was paid for entirely with federal stimulus money from the 2009 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. More than 5,000 stations across the country applied for the grant. Station No. 22 was one of only 100 stations that were awarded the grant. In addition, the salaries of the twelve firefighters staffing the new station are paid for by a grant from the 2008 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER. The land that the station is built on was originally bought by the City of Tampa in 2007 for $750,000. Station No. 22 also is the City of Tampa’s first “green station.” Benniefield explains that the station is surrounded by “Florida-friendly” foliage, and features a metal roof, solar-powered water heaters and “earth-friendly” insulation.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn (center) and New Tampa’s District 7 City Council member Lisa Montelione were among those who cut the ribbon at the new Tampa Fire Rescue Station #22 on Cross Creek Blvd. mear Morris Bridge Rd. on April 19.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012



Trees In Tampa Palms Fall During The Widening Of I-75 By Matt Wiley Sam Shaheen could sometimes forget that I-75 was right behind his home on Yardley Way in Tampa Palms. That is, until all the trees behind his house were chopped down, leaving the home with a front row view of the noisy interstate. Now, however, a large, cement “sound wall” has been erected to “fix” the problem. “They told us about four years ago that a wall would go up,” says Shaheen. “I guess I thought they would have left the trees up and built the wall behind them. It was a very nice view. I was shocked.” Several homes along Yardley Way and Hammet Rd. in The Enclave once enjoyed pleasant views of a small pond bordered by trees on the far side, shielding the residences from the notso-pleasant view of I-75. Seeing the interstate out the back window would be bad enough, but it has become especially worse thanks to the current construction project to widen the interstate to three lanes in both directions. And now, residents living on the east end of the street get to stare at a large cement wall. Chris Welcomer and his family just moved onto Yardley Way about three


weeks ago, before the wall was built. “They put it up fast,” he says. “We saw the posts for it when we were moving in. They told us when we were closing on the house that it wouldn't be up until the fall.” Welcomer says that there has been a small difference in the amount of noise since the wall was put up, but nothing too substantial. Spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) John McShaffrey explains that the wall will only be in place at certain sections along the interstate. “Only one section qualified (for a wall),” he says, “and that is on the west side of I-75 in front of The Enclave.” McShaffrey says that, through noise studies, FDOT examines the cost of each wall and looks at how many homes will ultimately be affected by interstate noise to determine which sections qualify for a wall. He also says that noise studies have shown that trees don’t really factor into noise buffering. FDOT is exempt from any local ordinances concerning the replanting of trees along the interstate corridor. He says they are considered “clear zones” and that, with the widening of the interstate, there has to be room for

storm drainage to be installed. In addition, trees have to be planted a certain distance away from the interstate as a precaution for any vehicles that veer off the roadway. The is the new view of I-75 that has some Tampa Palms res“(FDOT) is not idents upset about trees cut down along Yardley Way. replacing any trees at this point,” he says. sound wall to help eliminate the interHowever, City of Tampa Parks & state from view. But, for those living Recreation director Greg Bayor says with the wall view, as of this point, no that there will be Southern Red Cedars trees are planned to be planted in front planted in between the gaps in the of the noise wall.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012



Meadow Pointe-To-K-Bar Connector Still Not Happening On the Pasco County side of the roadblocks, lively communities of people go about their lives, never having to worry about traffic from the south moving through their area. The lonely road once thought to be an appealing portal to Wesley Chapel sits barren and unused, a thin strip of undeveloped land hugging its shoulders. A standoff between Hillsborough and Pasco counties is the only thing besides a few barricades and a small strip of land preventing improved traffic flow through the connection of Mansfield Blvd. in Meadow Pointe to Kinnan St. in K-Bar Ranch and Live Oak Preserve. The connection would offer commuters an alternative north-south route between New Tampa and Wesley Chapel to the nightmarish Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. “I think Kinnan and Mansfield need to be connected,” says Jim Edwards, manager of the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization. “But there is no set schedule or specific timeline.” Since the completion of the widening of S.R. 54 in Wesley Chapel in January, the Mansfield/Kinnan issue, which had been put on hold until that project’s completion, has re-emerged. Edwards says that Pasco is looking at other alternatives and has expressed


interest in doing so in the past, such as connecting Meadow Pointe Blvd., a road about 1.6 miles to the east of Mansfield, to a “reliever” road through K-Bar Ranch, the property south of the county line in Hillsborough County that Kinnan St. borders to the east. Some of the K-Bar Ranch neighborhoods have maps of roads that have not yet been paved that connect Hillsborough and Pasco counties, but Edwards says that these are still merely “conceptualized” at this time and that there is no official timeline for constructing these connections. Edwards also mentioned a four-six month “needs study” that will soon be conducted in Wesley Chapel by Tindale-Oliver & Associates, a Tampabased engineering consulting firm, to determine what is needed to expand and fill the roadway grid system to the east of Meadow Pointe Blvd. all the way to Morris Bridge Rd. “There is a lot of concern about road connections and what is adequate in terms of roadways and growth in that area,” says Edwards. “It is a ‘buildout land use scenario.’” He explains that the study will reconfirm and revisit potential connections and traffic volume between the two counties. He adds that the study looks at the maximum population den-

This unique cinder block “barricade” still blocks potential drivers from heading south into New Tampa from the southern end of Mansfield Blvd. in Meadow Pointe. sities likely to be built in the area to get barricades warning drivers of a closed an idea of the actual impact the traffic road. will have. The study also will address The connection has been met with many of the dead-end roads in the east- opposition from the Meadow Pointe II ernmost portions of Wesley Chapel to Community Development District Morris Bridge Rd. It will also re-exam(CDD) Board of Supervisors, as well as ine Mansfield and Kinnan. residents living in the communities “There are no immediate plans to along Mansfield Blvd. connect (Mansfield Blvd. and Kinnan The close proximity of these comSt.),” says Debra Bolduc of the Pasco munities to Dr. John Long Middle County Engineering Services AdminisSchool and Wiregrass Ranch High tration. “There is nothing in the capital already make traffic a problem for the plan for it.” communities and, they say, opening the The Mansfield Blvd./Kinnan St. connection to Hillsborough County connection project was never completthrough Kinnan St. would only make ed and has been on hold since 2007, those problems worse. leaving Kinnan St. a dead-end stretch In an April 2011 letter to the of road used for little more than illegal Pasco County Board of Commissiontrash dumping. ers, the Meadow Pointe II CCD Board The developer of Live Oak Preoffered their opinion of an alternative serve in New Tampa spent $2.2 million connection point for the two roads, to build the nearly 2,000-foot stretch stating that the “obvious resolution… of Kinnan St., extending it north to the would be to be to connect Kinnan St. county line, in hopes that the two roads to Meadow Pointe Blvd.,” a road built would one day connect. The roads are for higher traffic volume which conseparated by about 60 feet of brush and nects north to both S.R. 54 and 56 free-standing cement drainage pipes, from the Hillsborough line. — MW

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012



Our Exclusive First Peek Inside Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel! Robins & Morton at 2600 BBD, just north of the Shops at WireAlthough the walls are still bare grass mall. and many rooms sit unfinished or, at The New Tampa Neighborhood least unfurnished, the under-construcNews was invited by Wesley Chapel tion Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce members (FHWC) is already an impressive sight, Cathy Bickham and Mary Adele with its three-story glass atrium lining Cluck, who were joined by Ron the front wall, reflecting the work being and Charlotte Dykes (the owners done on the outside to those passing by of the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franon Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. The chise located across BBD from the hospital will be an extraordinary addihospital) to join an exclusive tour tion to the community and drive the by assistant vice president of conlocal economy when it opens to struction and support services for patients in early October. Florida Hospital’s Tampa Bay DiviAccompanying the hospital will be sion and 2012 Honorary Mayor The site plan on the left shows the buildings and 80-bed hospital in Phase 1 of the cona three-story, $10-million medical office of Wesley Chapel John Negley on struction of Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel. The plan on the right shows the hospital’s building that will house a unique WellApril 17. planned future expansion. Bruce B. Downs Blvd. is to the left (west) of the site. ness Center, with one floor solely dediDonning hard hats and safety cated to physicians’ offices. Alter+Care, water is purified and “softened” on site ed echoed overhead. glasses, the group, myself included, a Chicago-based company that is devel- cruised the more than 52-acre property and pumped into the hospital as “bottle We ascended the stairs to the third oping the Wellness Center project, quality.” floor to begin the tour, as the elevators by golf cart, getting a feel for what will broke ground on the 100,000-sq.-ft. Also in the energy plant was an were not yet in service. Quite the become the first-ever hospital in the building under clear skies on April 25 entire room full of electrical breakers, opposite of the first floor, much of the Wesley Chapel area this October. to a crowd of Wesley Chapel Chamber each valued at more than $15,000. A third floor looked nearly complete and Until FHWC opens, most of the of Commerce members and Florida typical house has one breaker on the almost ready to care for patients. closest hospitals to Wesley Chapel are Hospital executives. wall. In case of emergency, such as a Windows stretched from the floor FHWC’s sister hospitals — Florida The new hospital, which is ahead power outage caused by a hurricane, to the ceiling in many of the 80 patient Hospital Tampa (formerly University of schedule for completion — executive Community Hospital) in the University the hospital has enough back-up gener- bedrooms (photo, below) of the new director Connie Bladon of the FHWC ators to keep it powered for 72 hours, hospital, each of which are located on area of North Tampa, FH Carrollwood Foundation says construction should be and FH Zephyrhills. supported by a 25,000-gallon diesel the 2nd or 3rd floor to provide patients finished in July, with a community open fuel tank to keep everything running with privacy. “It’ll save travel time,” says Bickhouse planned for September and a until the power is restored. Each room also features five elecham. “It’s a great location. Wesley grand opening expected in early OctoOn the way to the back entrance, trical systems and a 42” flat-screen TV Chapel residents won’t have to go out ber — served as the backdrop for the we passed by the “healing/tranquility monitor that will allow patients to of town.” Wellness Center ceremony. gardens,” a beautiful courtyard area in watch TV, and even interact with loved Cluck, too, was excited about the the rear of the hospital where patients’ ones via email or Facebook. The moniupcoming opening of the hospital. Getting The Grand Tour loved ones may “relax or reflect.” Negtors also will be full of information on “Having this technologically-advanced Besides inspectors, not many ley says there are more than 1,400 trees whatever it is that has brought the hospital is a sign of how much the local members of the general public have yet and 60,000 plants on the property, fed patient to the hospital because, Negley been able to see what’s inside the nearly community has grown and will continby more than 110,000 linear feet of says, “when patients are better completed 80-bed, $150-million, ue to grow,” she says. “It’s something irrigation hose. informed, it helps the healing process.” 200,000-square-foot hospital being that this area has needed for a long time “I especially liked the tranquility Bladon says that, in fact, patients developed by contracting company and is a welcome addition.” gardens,” says Cluck. “It’s not somewill not be able to be discharged from As we approached the thing that you see in most hospitals.” the hospital without first watching cermain building after a tour of As we entered through the rear tain videos about their conditions. the surrounding grounds, loading dock, it was apparent where In addition, patients’ charts, preNegley gave us some backmost of the work was being done. The scribed medication from the hospital’s ground on the project. “We hallways were bustling with activity, as in-house pharmacy and the patients’ started the design in 2008,” he workers installed equipment and wristbands will all be bar-coded. Before says. “It was designed specifiinspectors passed by with clipboards. taking the medication, all three will be cally to fit the Wesley Chapel Emergency alarms that were being test- scanned to make sure that there are no area. The design is timeless.” Negley first gave us a tour of the central energy plant outside the medical center. It is here that the entire hospital is powered and also where it gets its water. “The Pasco County water treatment plant can’t handle all of the water (needed) for the hospital,” Negley says. “So, we put in a system to treat our own water.” Since the water that reguTaking our staff writer Matt Wiley on our larly comes through the pipes is too “hard” to drink before it first tour inside Florida Hospital Wesley reaches the treatment plant, the Chapel were (l. to r.) Wesley Chapel Chamber hospital has its own water treatBoard members Mary Adele Cluck and Cathy ment center. Similar to a reverse osmosis (R/O) system, Bickham and FHWC’s John Negley. By Matt Wiley


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012


discrepancies (such as patient allergies or other medications in use that shouldn’t be mixed together) and that everything matches up for the patient, otherwise the scanner will alert the doctor or nurse. Expectant mothers will be able to enjoy a relaxing Whirlpool bathtub in each of the maternity rooms, and there is a separate maternity emergency suite for patients who end up requiring emergency Caesarian sections, with a dedicated elevator for that purpose. As we made our way down the hallway, Negley pointed out a few things that bothered him about traditional hospitals. “Some pet peeves of mine,” he says, “are the lights in hallways. They’re always in the center of the ceiling, and if you’re on a stretcher, they’re always shining right in your eyes.” To resolve the problem, the lights in the halls of the new hospital are conveniently placed on the sides of the ceiling. Other improvements include the fire sprinklers; these usually hang down from the ceiling and are prone to spider webs and other pollution in an environment that needs to be as clean as possible. To fix this, the sprinklers themselves are recessed into the ceiling and pop down when activated. To assist patients, the halls are lined with recessed handrails. To assist nurses, the curved walls, rather than traditional straight-line walls (in the individual hallways) all meet up directly with a nurse’s station, so the nurses can see everything happening and everyone

in the hallway at once. Also, instead of stocking nursing supplies from inside a patient’s room, disturbing the patients if they’re resting, supplies are stocked through two-way cupboards that are accessible from both the hallway and the patient’s room.

Hurricane Protection, Too!

As we made our way to the bottom floor, home to the 17-room emergency and triage center, Negley pointed out that despite the massive three-story window lining the front wall of the hospital, standing behind it is actually the safest place to be during a hurricane or a severe-storm. The windows are “hurricane-proof” and, he says, “are able to withstand the force of a 2”x4” piece of wood smashing into the window horizontally at 120 miles per hour.” In addition to the C-section suite, the FHWC’s state-of-the-art emergency room, which includes 16 separate emergency “suites,” is located on the hospital’s first floor and houses four 850-sq.ft. surgery suites, or operating rooms. The emergency room also features its own X-ray room and four pediatric emergency rooms. Inside the pediatric patient emergency rooms, animated scenes or movies will entertain kids, played on the walls by projectors and ambient lighting, helping to distract them from the pain or discomfort they may be feeling. When the child enters the room, they pick out a scene from a wall-pad switch, similar to where a light switch would be. Once chosen, the scene, accompanied by sound effects, is played out in front of the child on the wall, and the lights change color to match the scene. Keeping kids entertained also was a factor when the waiting room was designed. It will feature an interactive wall for children to No, this isn’t a video theatre room in someone’s home. play with, as well as a It’s one of the 80 beautiful patient rooms at FHWC!

large, 900-gallon fish tank, with fish donated by the Florida Aquarium, located in the Channelside District of downtown Tampa. The fish tank will split the waiting room in half, one side for adults, one side for kids. Instead of a loudspeaker, like most waiting rooms, patients waiting to be seen will be given a buzzer, similar to what waiting patrons receive at a restaurant. “I really liked the waiting room,” says Bickham. “I think the focus on keeping kids occupied is really important. It will really help keep their minds off why they are in the hospital.”

Workout For Wellness

their primary office. Space is still available. The medical office building and Wellness Center are expected to be completed and open by January 2013. FHWC, although not yet completed, is looking towards the future, with plans and room to expand into a 288bed facility (see pics on previous page). Scheduled to open in early October, much work is still being done to complete the hospital, but judging by the progress already made, residents of the surrounding communities can look forward to a first-class facility to help keep the Wesley Chapel and northern New Tampa areas healthy. We will keep you posted on all of the news coming out of FHWC, including any announcements of homes about to be built in the Wiregrass Ranch area. According to the hospital’s website, FHWC is part of the Adventist Health System, a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Today, Adventist supports 43 hospitals nationwide, with FHWC to be the system’s 20th hospital in Florida. For additional information, please visit This story also is available on, with additional pictures. We will provide more FHWC updates in the future.

Another aspect of the hospital that will make it even more beneficial to the community is the separate medical office building and Wellness Center to be located adjacent to the hospital, (which held its groundbreaking on April 25), for both patients and members of the community. The Wellness Center will be unique in that it will have “crossover medical components,” meaning that physicians will work in the building and be able to prescribe exercise routines to hospital patients and outpatients to help them get healthy. With a membership, local residents also will be able to enjoy the 50,000sq.-ft. Wellness Center and its two pools (one for swimming laps, the other for physical therapy), 1/8mile indoor running/walking track, workout area, café, kids zone, physical rehab services and other amenities that make up the first two floors of the building. One half of the second floor and the entire third floor will serve as medical offices for physicians of all different specialties. Their Wesley Chapel Chamber members and FHWC executives break ground on the 100,000-sq.-ft. Wellness Cenoffices can serve as a satellite location, or as ter at Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012




Community Calendar

Ladies ‘Foodie’ Club Of New Tampa/Wesley Chapel

A new club for women in the New Tampa/Wesley Chapel area who enjoy socializing, trying out new restaurants and cooking ideas, sharing recipes and other food-related activities is looking for additional members. For more information, send an email to

MOMS Club New Tampa

The MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club of New Tampa is currently open to new members in the New Tampa area. The MOMS Club offers a variety of daytime activities of mothers and their children, opportunities for Mom’s Night Out and many more benefits. For more info, or to join the club, Email MOMsClubNewTampa_

Wesley Chapel Wind Ensemble

Sunday, May 20, 3 p.m. - The 2012 Wesley Chapel Wind Ensemble will be holding a charity concert to raise money for the Fine Arts of the Suncoast in their mission to save “arts for kids” programs in Pasco County Schools. In addition to the concert,


the event will also feature student artwork, refreshments and a raffle. Tickets are only $5. The Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel is located at 30651 Wells Road. For more information, visit or call 929-6929.

BNI Millionaire Makers

Wednesday, May 23, 7:15 a.m. The BNI Millionaire Makers chapter meets every Wednesday morning at Pebble Creek Golf Club (10550 Regents Park Dr.). The $13 meeting fee includes a hot breakfast. Contact Lisa Jordan at 6216015 for details.

Business Networking Int’l

Wednesday, May 23, 7:30 a.m.BNI, a group of business professionals dedicated to helping their respective businesses grow through qualified referrals, meets every Wednesday morning at the Cory Lake Isles Beach Club clubhouse (18630 Plantation Bay Dr., off Cross Creek Blvd.). For more information, call Jal Irani at 451-8229.

New Tampa Noon Rotary

Wednesday, May 23, noon - The New Tampa Noon Rotary Club meets

New Tampa Relay For Life Returns To Wharton May 18! For anyone who has ever lost a loved one to cancer, and for those who have survived their respective battles with the disease, few events are as uplifting as an American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life. New Tampa has had a wonderful and very successful annual Relay event for years and this year will be no exception. The 2012 New Tampa Relay will be held around the running track at Paul R. Wharton High on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. beginning Friday, May 18, 6 p.m., and continuing through the night until noon the following day. Cancer survivors and their families and caregivers walk the first lap and each of the 48 teams has to have at least one team member walking throughout the event. At our press time, the 582 New Tampa Relay participants had already raised nearly $70,000! To help or get involved, visit and search “33647.” every Wednesday for lunch at Hunter’s MS Fund Raiser @ Green Country Club (18101 LongwaGrillSmith Wiregrass ter Run Dr., inside Hunter’s Green). Thursday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. The Bishop family’s fund raiser to benNew Tampa Eve. Rotary Wednesday, May 23, 6:15 p.m. - efit the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society will be held at GrillSmith in the Shops The New Tampa Evening Rotary Club at Wiregrass mall. meets every Wednesday evening at For more information, please Hunter’s Green Country Club. New email members are always welcome. For more information, call Liz CBC Networking DeAmbrose at 956-6487 or email: Thursday, May 24, 8 p.m. Come together with like-minded professionals at the Christian Business Tampa Toastmasters Connections (CBC) Networking Wednesday, May 23, 7 p.m. group, which meets every Thursday at Great speeches & great topics. Come hone your public speaking skills. Tampa Heritage Church at 1854 Oak Grove Blvd. in Lutz (off S.R. 54, behind Toastmasters meets every Wednesday Organic Life Coffeehouse). evening at Pebble Creek Golf Club, Call 300-7511 for more info. located at 10550 Regents Park Dr., off Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. New Parkinson’s Support Group guests are always welcome. Wednesday, June 6, 1 p.m. For more info, call 428-6356. Come join an educational, emotional

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012


and social support group for those living with Parkinson’s disease as well as family, friends and caregivers. This group is co-facilitated by Faye Kern (coordinator of the American Parkinson’s Disease Assn.) and Shirley Berkery (John Knox Village Home Health). Meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month in the Private Dining Room (located in the tower) of St. Joseph’s John Knox Village at 4100 E. Fletcher Ave. For more information, call Cyndi Letzeisen 632-2331.

Tampa Palms Women's Club Spring Potluck

Thursday, June 7, 11 a.m. - The Tampa Palms Women's Club will be holding its spring potluck where it will give out its scholarships and charity awards at Compton Park in Tampa Palms. This will be the last Women's Club meeting before the summer break. The event is free to attend and those that do attend are encouraged to bring a dish as it is a potluck even. For more info, please call Ginnie Welch at 977-9291.

Cats At IDS

Thursday, June 7, 7 p.m. - Independent Day School's Corbett Campus (IDS-CC) in Carrollwood presents its production of the musical CATS, performed by musical theatre students in the IDS-CC Community School of

the Arts program. The play will be performed by two different production casts: the youth cast will be comprised of students from pre-k through 8th grade performing June 7th and 8th at 7 p.m. and on June 9th and 10th at 11 a.m. The second production will feature high school students who will be performing on June 9th and 10th at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets will be on sale for $10 at the door. For more info, please call Tom McColley at 961-3087, ext. 335.

Northeast Tampa Women In Business Meeting

Thursday, June 14, 6 p.m.- The Northeast Tampa Women in Business meets the second Thursday of each month at Hunter’s Green Country Club (18101 Longwater Run Dr.). Come out for some great relationship building with women in business from around the area. For more info, visit or call 364-2174.

Day Party Networking

Saturday, June 16, 2 p.m. - A new professional networking group will be meeting every third Saturday at AJA Wiregrass in the Shops at Wiregrass mall to network and socialize in a dayparty atmosphere. For additional information, please contact Jameka Taylor at (901) 210-2018, or send her an

email at

Teen Battle Of The Bands

It’s never too early to get your band pre-qualified to be part of the Teenage Battle Of The Bands held annually mid-October during the Hillsborough County Fair. Hillsborough County's Parks, Recreation & Conservation Department is looking for bands to participate in a competition that provides free studio time to the top two winners. Band members must be between 13-20 years of age, only one band member can be 20. The entry fee is $50 dollars and only a limited number of bands are accepted. Those wishing to compete must prequalify by providing a link to an online video of the band. For more information, contact Joe Soletti at 744-5871. Our Community Calendar is a free service provided for local events of interest. If your company, group or organization has an event you’d like to see promoted in these pages, send your information and pics to Attn: Matt Wiley at EditorialDept@

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


New Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

2011-12 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

Website: NewTampaChamber.Org

‘Working To Improve The Quality Of Life In New Tampa!’



VP-Regina Ramalheira

Earl Meyer

Secretary -Chuck Ward

Joyce Gunter

Treasurer-Karen Hilton

Neil Heird

Celebrating Marco’s Pizza-Our 2012 ‘Best Of Taste’ Winner & More! Congratulations go out to Marco’s Pizza, which celebrated being the proud winners of the 2012 Taste of New Tampa “Best of Taste” by hosting a celebration lunch on April 16. Chamber members and guests were presented with a delicious buffet of pizza, CheezyBread and buttery CinnaSquares and the brand new “New Yorker” pizza with oversized slices! Congratulations go to Scott Decker and his staff for creating the Chamber’s favorite pizza in New Tampa. The Taste of New Tampa judges awarded the prize to Marco’s Pizza for its yummy White Cheesy Pizza. The judges indicated that Marco’s did a great job of delivering both flavor consistency, as well as piping hot pizza, despite the windy conditions at the Taste. Please visit Marco’s at 20305 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in Live Oak to try this tasty treat! We will be celebrating the other Best of Taste winners during upcoming Chamber events, so stay tuned to our website for more information. The Board of the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate board member Lee Hoffman of Aflac on his recent promotion and thank him for his contribution to Chamber. We wish Lee every success in his new position. You will be missed! We would also like to welcome Karen


Hilton of Synovus Bank ( to the Chamber Board as our new Treasurer. Congratulations also go to Board members Regina Ramalheira of RE/MAX First in Real Estate and Chuck Ward of Florida Mobile Fusion on their new offices at 17010 Palm Pointe Dr., in The Shoppes at The Pointe plaza in Tampa Palms The Chamber ribbon cutting for those offices on April 26 was packed with friends, family and Chamber members to celebrate the Grand Opening of the new offices. Board positions and Ambassador committee memberships are still available, as well as the part-time Executive Assistant position. Please submit your request to info@NewTampaChamber. org for more information or an application form. It is through the support of such volunteers who dedicate their time to the organization that we are able to continue to strengthen the Chamber, and to develop new and innovative projects to serve our members and the New Tampa community.

Chamber Welcomes New & Renewing Members The New Tampa Chamber is proud to welcome the following new Chamber members:

•Bill Wright of Mattress Firm (17631 Bruce B Downs Blvd.); •My Tampa Bay Pediatrics; •Wesley Chapel Nursery & Landscape Supply Co.; •Docupro, LLC; •1320 Engineering; •HomeBanc, N.A.; •Hillsborough County Small Business Information Center; •Jayne Baker, Certified Natural Health Professional; •Carol Ford of Liberty Mutual Insurance; •Seven Oaks Pet Hospital; •The Tutoring Center; •New Tampa Eye Institute •New Tampa Weight Watchers.

We also thank Dr. Greg Stepanski of Children’s Dentistry on Cross Creek Blvd. for renewing his membership and continuing to support the Chamber. Please view our updated Membership Directory on our website at Remember you can register as a new member or renew your membership online through your account! The economy and all the construction on BBD have taken a real toll on your local business owners, so when you need a product or service, please consult our Membership Directory for a local member you can support! Join our Facebook page to receive

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012

regular updates on chamber news and upcoming events. Visit Facebook. com/NewTampaChamber and click on the “Like” button to join us!

Monthly Chamber Events:

• NEW!! NTCC Work It! The second Tuesday of each month, 8 a.m.-9 a.m., at the New Tampa Chamber offices (15310 Amberly Dr., Ste 250, Tampa Palms). FREE for Chamber members. Each “Work It” seminar offers tips and tricks for business building. See ways you can use the New Tampa Chamber member portal to build your personalized referral network and other great business tips! Register online now. • Lunch: The second Monday of each month, noon, at Pebble Creek Golf Club (10550 Regents Park Dr.). The cost is $15 for Chamber members/$20 for non-members. • Networking on the 9s: The fourth Wednesday of each month, 3 p.m., also at Pebble Creek Golf Club. The cost is just a $15 greens fee. • After Hours Networking: Held the last Thursday of each month, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Location varies. Free for members and prospective members. • Other events: including Power Lunches & Networking Breakfasts, Ribbon Cuttings and Grand Openings are listed on our website. Please register for all events online at


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012




For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012



Say Goodbye To Unwanted Hair At Laser Affair In Tampa Palms By Camille Gillies Summertime means bathing suits, shorts, sleeveless shirts – and lots of shaving! The stubble, the irritation, the razor bumps…ugh! Perhaps you have tried waxing and found it painful or, well, just a pain. What’s a girl – or a guy with a hairy body – to do? If you ask Mary Beth Lambert, certified medical electrologist (CME) and owner of Laser Affair in the Somerset Professional Park in Tampa Palms, laser hair removal is the answer. And she will tell you the benefits of it with unabashed enthusiasm because this Dade City native and long-time Tampa Palms resident loves her job. “I like the satisfaction people get from it (laser hair removal),” Mary Beth relates. “People try it, and the next thing you know, they are bringing in a friend or a cousin.” You might be surprised to learn that many wives are sending their husbands to her salon too. “About 35 percent of my customers are men,” she says. “Men or women…people are just more confident when they are well-groomed.” Mary Beth says that laser hair removal is second only to Botox as the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic pro-


cedure. Many people assume that waxing takes second place, but she says that assumption is incorrect. “Laser hair removal is preferable to waxing because it is permanent — you don’t have to grow your hair out before the treatment and it doesn’t leave your skin irritated,” Mary Beth explains. “Waxing can leave your skin raw and if it isn’t done properly, can even take off a layer of skin.” She says laser hair removal is relatively painless, feeling similar to the snap of a small rubber band on your skin, and results in a 70-98 percent permanent hair reduction if the procedure is done by a skilled technician using the appropriate laser. Proper equipment is a key factor in determining effectiveness and safety. “I use a laser that is the gold standard in the industry for treating people with light to medium skin types,” she says. Called the Alexandrite by Candela, it is an FDA-approved laser that precisely targets the melanin in the hair shaft, inflicting “injury” to the cells lining the hair follicle and inhibiting future growth. “It is the most effective hair removal laser in the industry,” she says. Mary Beth obtains a full health history of every patient and says it’s a

safe procedure for most people ages 14 and older. She not only uses the laser on herself but also on her teenage daughter. “It is a nonionizing laser, and unlike an x-ray, does not change the structure of your molecules,” Mary Beth explains. “It is simply the radia- Certified medical electrologist Mary Beth Lambert of Laser tion of light and is Affair in Tampa Palms, with patient Jessica Gaskins FDA-approved for your skin.” You should insist on knowing the manSkin type plays a major role in the ufacturer and wavelength (of the laser), effectiveness of the treatment. To and run as fast as you can if the technidetermine skin type, Mary Beth concian doesn’t know!” sults with each client before any treatSince most laser treatments require ment is scheduled. If you have a darker approximately six visits, clients of Laser skin type that would be more effective- Affair appreciate having the same techly treated with another laser, she will nician perform each treatment. Privacy tell you. is respected and, because of a shared “For safety and the best results, it office/reception arrangement with two is imperative to be treated with the cor- other businesses, a client’s reason for rect laser for your skin type and hair visiting the salon is not apparent to color,” she says. “Some facilities put a curious passersby ‘private label’ on their laser, but there Laser hair removal is not cheap, are lots of inferior products out there. but if you take into account the cost of

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

shaving over a lifetime – with razors, blades, creams and gels – or the costs associated with repetitive waxing, you can make a pretty strong case for the purchase. Mary Beth says her goal is not to get a client into the facility as many times as possible, but to achieve optimal results with a minimal number of treatments. Some treatments require more visits than others. At Laser Affair, you can purchase treatments individually or by the package. The price is determined by the area being treated. A man’s back, for instance, will cost more than a woman’s upper lip. Any area of the body may be treated, except for the orbital rim of the eye. Popular areas for women are the face, underarms, bikini area/Brazilian, and legs. Popular areas for men include ears, neck, back, chest and “manzilian” (Think: male version of the Brazilian). When someone is aiming a laser at your most sensitive body parts, you want that person to be highly qualified for the job. Only a medical doctor (M.D. or D.O.), nurse practitioner (ARNP), physician’s assistant (P.A.) or CME may legally perform laser hair removal in Florida. Mary Beth has seven years of experience as a CME and laser technician. She graduated from the Esthetic Laser Institute in Orlando and is licensed by the Florida Department of Health and Florida Board of Medicine

as a CME. She also is licensed as a certified clinical electrologist (CCE). A medical electrologist must operate under the direct supervision of a medical doctor. Laser Affair’s medical director is well-known local Board-certified plastic surgeon Gerard Mosiello. M.D. Dr. Mosiello, whose Tampa Palms Plastic Surgery practice is located in the suite next to Mary Beth’s salon, monitors all charts at Laser Affair. “If I have a question or concern, I don’t hesitate to consult him,” Mary Beth says. “He reviews all my charts.” Among Mary Beth’s many satisfied patients is hair designer Gwen Stewart, who is halfway through her series of six treatments. “Mary Beth makes you feel very comfortable,” Gwen comments. “She talks you through the process and guides you.” Gwen, who has waxed her unwanted hair in the past, says laser hair removal is not as painful. “It feels like a little twitch and then goes away,” she says. “I have been very happy with the experience.” She says her treatments take less than 30 minutes apiece. If you would like to find out more about laser hair removal, visit Laser Affair’s informative website at or call Mary Beth for a free consultation at 944-2445. The private salon is located at 15241 Amberly Dr. on the west side of Bruce B. Downs Blvd.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


New Tampa Eye Institute Offers Quality, Caring Ophthalmology! By Camille Gillies Never underestimate the importance of getting your annual eye exam. For example, did you know that damage to your eyes can occur long before a diagnosis of a disease like diabetes? In the early stages of diabetes, swelling and bleeding may occur in the eye, and an ophthalmologist can detect the problem, treat it with laser therapy and save the patient from severe vision loss down the road. With more than 7 million cases of undiagnosed diabetes in the U.S., chances are you or someone you know would benefit from a comprehensive eye examination by a quality, caring ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologist Gretta Fridman, M.D., shared this information while conducting a tour of her brand-new office at New Tampa Eye Institute, located in Summergate Professional Park, behind Sam’s Club, off S.R. 56, in Wesley Chapel. With the smell of fresh paint still lingering in the air, Dr. Fridman (pronounced “Freed-man”) explained that although ophthalmologists perform surgery and treat serious eye conditions, general eye exams are part of the practice, too. Unlike an optometrist, however, an ophthalmologist is a medical doctor with either an M.D. or D.O. degree who has special


training and skills to diagnose and treat all diseases and disorders of the eye. Dr. Fridman received much of her advanced training in Tampa while completing her residency and fellowship at the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine. She attended medical school at the State University of New York Downstate, Brooklyn, and received an undergraduate degree from Barnard College, New York City.

Ophthalmological Specialties Well-versed in all aspects of ophthalmology, Dr. Fridman specializes in treating diseases of the eye, including: • Cataracts, or the clouding of the eye’s lens, which can lead to blurry vision, and surgery is the only way to remove them. Symptoms include a painless blurring of vision, light sensitivity, poor night vision, double vision in one eye, needing brighter light to read and fading or yellowing of colors. The most common cause of cataracts is age, but other contributing factors include family history medical problems (such as diabetes), eye injury, medications (especially steroids), radiation, longterm, unprotected exposure to sunlight and previous eye surgery. • Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve and a leading cause of blindness. It can damage nerve fibers

and increase pressure inside the eye. Since symptoms are not noticeable until the damage has already occurred, preventing blindness from glaucoma is another reason to keep up with your eye exams. Glaucoma is often controlled with eye drops, but Dr. Fridman, who has a subspecialty in glaucoma, says she will perform surgery when the condition cannot be controlled through other means. Risk factors for glaucoma include age, elevated eye pressure, a family history of glaucoma, being of African or Spanish ancestry and past eye injuries. “You think of glaucoma as affecting seniors, but it affects a younger population, too,” Dr. Fridman explains. “Certain types of it can run in families.” • Ocular Surface Disorders stem from tear duct and eyelid abnormalities. These include blepharitis (an inflammation or infection of the eyelid) and conditions such as dry eye. Dry eye may be treated with punctal plugs (devices inserted into the tear duct to block drainage), prescription drugs or surgery.

A Caring, Friendly Approach Dr. Fridman says she chose ophthalmology as her field of expertise because it’s a mixture of surgical and medical specialties. “And, you see the same patients year after year,” she adds.

Ophthalmologist Gretta Fridman, MD, and her husband, Michael Alperovich, of the New Tampa Eye Institute, located behind Sam’s Club in Wesley Chapel.

“Because repeat visits are necessary, you really do get to know your patients.” In fact, thanks to her residency at USF, she has gotten to know many patients at the James A. Haley Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in North Tampa. She also practiced at the Orlando VA Medical Center, but the 90-mile commute became too much travel, so she is concluding her work in Orlando, but continuing on staff part-time at the Tampa VA hospital. “I enjoy the patient population there,” she says. Dr. Fridman runs her practice with a personal approach. “We will spend as

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

much time as needed with each patient,” she says. “This is a patientcentered practice, where I really try to address the individual problems and concerns of every patient.”

Flex Hours, High-Tech Office The office accepts most medical insurance plans and offers flexible hours. To accommodate busy schedules, New Tampa Eye Institute is open Thursday nights and every other Saturday, with same-day appointments available for emergencies. The facility is equipped for laser surgery, and if surgery in an operating room is necessary, Dr. Fridman performs such procedures at the New Tampa Surgery Center, located nearby on Cypress Ridge Blvd. Dr. Fridman says her husband, Michael Alperovich, has been instrumental in constructing and opening the new office, which is totally paperless. “We have the latest medical records technology and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment,” he says, indicating that one of the exam rooms was designed specifically for wheelchair accessibility. The couple moved to New Tampa in 2007 and is excited about the growth potential of this new venture. According to Dr. Fridman, ophthalmologists are scarce in the New Tampa/ Wesley Chapel area.

“At one time, the closest ophthalmologist (to Wesley Chapel) was in Zephyrhills,” she says, adding that she eventually plans to expand the New Tampa Eye Institute to include other subspecialties, including oculoplastics, which involves plastic surgery of the eye. She also is enthused about the addition of Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, where she hopes to have operating room privileges. “We love New Tampa and Wesley Chapel and want to raise our kids here as well as work here,” she explains. The couple lives in Hunter’s Green and has two daughters, ages 3 and 6. For more information, call the New Tampa Eye Institute (27348 Cashford Circle, off S.R. 56 and Ancient Oaks Blvd.) at 994-7000 in Seven Oaks. The office’s website,, is currently under construction, but should be online soon.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


Shop At Home When You Redecorate With Decorating Den by Sheryl Young Decorating Den is an interior decorating franchise known for its “traveling offices.” The company’s interior designers bring their decorating stores to the customer. Local franchise owner Debbie Demboski is no different. Her lovely van is packed full of all the colorful samples needed to pick out a new look for anything from single a room to your entire house. Debbie also is Decorating Den’s regional director for New Tampa, Wesley Chapel and surrounding Tampa Bay-area neighborhoods. As a designer, her shop-at-home service has saved clients countless hours of shopping for the perfect items to beautify their living spaces. As a director, she also searches out new designing talent and helps to award new franchises. Perhaps the best thing you can say about Debbie is that you can tell she loves what she does. “I wanted to get into fashion design when I was younger,” says Debbie. “I worked in retail, and ended up doing design details for a large company. Some friends started a Decorating Den franchise and encouraged me to do the same, but I resisted stepping out into my own business.” After Debbie had her daughter,


she wasn't working and those same friends asked her to help them parttime. She was convinced to take the next step after seeing how relaxed the rapport with their customers was, outside of a corporate office environment. That was 23 years ago. Debbie has built her Decorating Den franchise in the New Tampa area through networking and by advertising in media like the New Tampa Neighborhood News. Then, she started helping others with the franchises they were awarded. Although Debbie has worked with some of her clients throughout these many years, she took a break to assist the franchise owners in her regional director role, before returning to designing. “About two years ago, I reactivated my own love for interior decorating and helping people with their homes,” Debbie says. “I live in Seven Oaks and started participating in community events, like the Taste of New Tampa. I drive my van around everywhere, and so many people I know asked me to start helping them with their decorating again.” In addition to single-family houses, Debbie has helped design retirement homes and businesses. She even helped a 100-year-old lady in Dade

Debbie Demboski, our local Decorating Den franchisee and regional director, has been helping New Tampa residents redecorate their homes for nearly a quarter of a century. City reinvent her entire mobile home. “This lady was so precious and lively,” Debbie says. “She wanted me to do everything from top to bottom, including a trailer she had bought for guests. Then, I ended up doing her daughter's house.”

Free Consultations, Too

With new customers, Debbie always does a free initial consultation. “The consultation can last up to two hours,” she says. “I’ll take a tour around the area they want to work on,

talk with them about their tastes and budget plans, and then discern what samples I need to bring in from the van to show them.” Debbie unselfishly advises her customers about services that might be less expensive without going through a middleman. She recommends paint colors, trends, materials and types of surfaces in order to help the client pull their rooms together. She works with a large number of suppliers to find what suits the project, and will inform her customers about vendors that aren’t

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

well known to the public. “No job is too small,” she says. “I will help someone with small things like just choosing window coverings or changing a room through new touches like pillows and pictures. In fact, 70 percent of my new clients come from people who simply need ideas for window designs.” She notes that doing small tasks and one-room projects usually helps her form new relationships that can eventually allow her to do bigger decorating assignments for the same customers. Just ask her client, Jane Mrus. “I had just moved to the New Tampa area,” Jane recalls. “I wasn’t familiar with the neighborhoods and didn’t know anyone. I just wanted to redo my kitchen cabinets and carpeting. But there was so much to consider, I realized I was spinning my wheels and wanted help.” Jane found Debbie’s website and was thrilled to locate a decorator who was so close to her new home. “Debbie came over, got a feel for our tastes and price points, and really listened,” Jane says. “She personally took me places to select things, and helped me decide just about everything. Through our interaction, Debbie even got my husband excited and involved and we eventually just began doing the whole house. Plus, Debbie follows up after every step.”

Helping Others Start A Decorating Den Franchise! Ever see those Decorating Den trucks and wonder would it be like to have a rolling interior design business? Debbie can help you realize that vision. “This is a great opportunity for people who love design,” Debbie says. “Our economy is a roller coaster, but carrying the entire business in a van like this helps avoid the overhead of a storefront and other complications.” This allows the company’s decorators to give customers great prices. “While owning their own franchise, they still have the power of a big company behind them,” she says. “We’re each in business for ourselves, but not by ourselves.” Today, Decorating Den has about 500 business owners/decorators who have tremendous purchasing power to set the best prices with merchandisers. Created in 1969, the concept behind this traveling interior design business was to “Make the world more beautiful one room at a time.” “We have an intense ten-day designer training program,” Debbie says. “This includes product knowledge, appointment steps, how to help with budgeting and conduct a house tour, and of course, the principles and elements of design.” Then, directors like Demboski give local training to those who end up in

Debbie Demboski Of Decorating Den’s Current Design Trends -Dark walls to showcase artwork. -Gray is the new beige, and browns are popular. -The trendiest vibrant color right now is called “Tangerine Tango.” -Use lots of textures. -Precious metals add glamour to a space. -Animal prints, especially zebra, are very popular right now. -Bring the outdoors in with living plants.

Color Tips: -Infants and children respond well to red. -Blue and green are calmers, while pink can make you feel pampered. “There's really no right way or wrong way to decorate,” Debbie concludes. “If a decorator tells you to throw away everything, get rid of the decorator! Classic contemporary and traditional never go out of style, with just a few small touch-ups.” their districts. “This includes ongoing training in industry changes and trends, supplier meetings, sharing experiences with other designers, and hands-on projects for which even newcomers can win awards.” She notes that some Decorating Den designs have even ended up as award-winning photos in magazines like Traditional Homes. Although Debbie has a design and business degree from West Virginia University, the designers don't need previous formal training because of the intense training they get when they become a Decorating Den franchisee. “And it makes a great second career,” Debbie adds. “I helped one lady start a

franchise who had been a bank owner.” When not busy helping her clients, Debbie believes in giving back to her community. She raises money for her company's support of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, participates in Local Habitat for Humanity events, and provides design seminars free of charge to local groups and organizations. To have Deborah Demboski bring Decorating Den to you, call 817-2264 or e-mail Her website is, where you can downloaded a brochure by clicking the “I Come to You” link.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

Former Student Provides Culinary Scholarships For Wharton Seniors By John McGurl High temperatures, high stress, and a fast-paced work environment are what culinary students at New Tampa’s Paul R. Wharton High are looking for. But, before they can start a job in the cooking or hospitality industry, they must get the proper education — and thanks to the efforts of Chef Maxcel Hardy, some Wharton culinary students are getting a good start. Schools like the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Johnson & Wales (J&W), and the Art Institute are some of the better-known places for talented young chefs to go and hone their skills before becoming the next Emeril Lagasse. Hardy, a former pupil in Wharton’s first culinary program, is giving back to his high school in the form of five $1,000 scholarships. The recipients this year are Tony Kekoa, 18, who is planning to attend J&W’s Miami campus; Kaylee Melendez, 19, who plans on attending the Hospitality & Culinary Arts Management program at Hillsborough Community College; Khaleel Mohamed, 17, who will be headed to the Hospitality Management program at the University of Central Florida; and Caitlin Christmas, 17 and Benjamin Pomales, 18, who are headed to CIA’s renowned

Hyde Park, NY, campus this fall. “I just love cooking,” says Pomales, adding that he originally thought about computer engineering. He is excited to be attending CIA with Christmas, his classmate and fellow scholarship winner. Both plan to study culinary, with a little baking. “I’d rather learn more about actual cooking with a some baking, than be able to bake and not be able to cook,” says Christmas. Hardy graduated in 2002, and since then, has become a renowned chef. The 28-year-old has established himself among high-profile clients in sports, entertainment and politics. Hardy, who was part of Wharton’s inaugural culinary class, has written a cookbook entitled Recipes For Life, and also has developed a clothing line, “Chef Max Designs.” Through his foundation, One Chef Can 86 Hunger, he has set up a scholarship program to help Wharton students further their education in the culinary arts. Applicants for the scholarships wrote essays explaining why they wanted to pursue a career in the culinary arts, and where they hoped to be in 10 years. Initially Hardy was going to give out one $2,000 scholarship, but was so impressed with the essays he received, he decided to award all five.

These five Wharton High culinary students each received a $1,000 college scholarship from Wharton alum & chef Maxcel Hardy:(l. to r.) Tony Kekoa, Caitlin Christmas, Benjamin Pomales, Kaylee Melendez & Khaleel Mohamed.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


Local Nonprofit Ends Homelessness Starting Right, Now! By Matt Wiley The years spent getting an education in the public school system can be some of the most challenging for kids today. The pressure of trying to fit in, get good grades and make the most of those adolescent years in the classroom really takes a toll on many young people. But, try to imagine all those same challenges without a supportive family or a place to call home. Skye Schmelzer can imagine it. Just a few years ago, she was couch surfing by night, taking International Baccalaureate (IB) classes at King High and working at Moe’s Southwest Grill, barely making rent for her and her mother. Today, she’s finishing up her sophomore year at the University of Florida in Gainesville studying Chinese. In fact, she recently returned from a trip to China to learn Mandarin. None of the opportunities she has had would have been possible without the help of the Tampa Palms-based nonprofit group called Starting Right, Now. Helping to end homelessness one child at a time since 2008, Starting Right, Now (SRN) earned the title “2011 Non Profit of the Year” from WEDU-TV (Channel 3), west-central


Florida’s primary PBS station, during the annual WEDU “Be More…” awards in February, beating out other well known nonprofits such as the Glazer Children’s Museum and The Spring of Tampa Bay. “We were very shocked,” says SRN founder Vicki Sokolik. “We’re so young and new that I thought for sure that wouldn’t happen. It was amazing.” According to WEDU’s website, the award was issued by an independent judging committee to the group that best fulfilled the “Four Commitments to the Community,” including service to the organization’s constituency, level of community impact, financial viability and embodiment of overall community goodwill. “It was really cool that the impact we were having on these students was powerful enough for someone to say, ‘Okay, you really are making a difference,’” Sokolik explains. In addition to the recognition, SRN also received a $1,000 WEDU Community Investment Grant that it will use to help students in the program participate in extracurricular activities at school, such as buying cleats for soccer or football or paying travel costs. SRN’s mission since its creation by Sokolik and her husband, Joel, in 2008

Starting Right, Now, started by Tampa Palms residents Vicki & Joel Sokolik (2nd & 3rd from left), received $1,000 as WEDU-TV’s 2011 “Non Profit of the Year.” is to help stop the “generational cycle” of homelessness in which many homeless students and families find themselves stuck. There are two sides to SRN’s program. The first helps homeless families get on their feet by providing deposits to get into an apartment, finding employment for parents and making sure their children go on to accomplish their highest level of education possible. SRN pays the security deposit and first month’s rent for families, giving them 18 months to pay it back, using money from the job that the program helped the recipient get.

The bigger side to SRN, Sokolik says, is the side devoted to helping the federally termed “unaccompanied youth,” or, kids who are in high school, but not living with a parent or guardian, and are homeless. Sokolik mentioned one case in which a student was sleeping in the woods near his high school in a sleeping bag every night, but still going to school every day. Schmelzer also fit into this group. While attending King, located off of Sligh Ave. on N. 56th St., and taking IB classes, Schmelzer was living on-andoff with her mother. “I was living with my mother and

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

we were very poor,” she explains. “We were in a very small apartment with a lot of animals. It was a very uncomfortable situation.” Schmelzer also was working nights at Moe’s Southwest Grill at the Shops at Wiregrass Mall, while her mother was working at Taco Bell. Together, the two could barely make rent. Schmelzer says that her mother often asked her for money. She slept on friends’ couches even when she technically did have a home because, she says, she didn’t feel like she had one. “I thought I was going to flunk out of IB,” she says. “I didn’t go to school for about a week and called in to drop out. The IB director begged me to stay. He said he had been in contact with someone recently, and that I would be a perfect candidate for that person’s program. I had no idea what he was talking about.” That person was Vicki Sokolik.

A Whole New Life

A few days later, Schmelzer had an interview with SRN and its Board of Directors. Sokolik was one of the interviewers. “I was accepted almost immediately,” she says. “I mean, the Board had to decide, but they basically looked at each other at the end of the interview and said, ‘Yeah, you’re a member starting right now.’” Sokolik says that the program reaches out to students who are, like Schmelzer, referred to it by the Hillsborough County School District. She says it is generally a school social worker that first recognizes that a student is living on his or her own. “(The program) is by referral only and we take a limited number of students each year, usually around 30,” Sokolik says. “Our program is not easy. You have to want to change your life.” She explains that when considering students for the program, SRN looks at school attendance, test scores, life history and puts the applicant through an interview process. During the two interviews with the Board, members get

a chance to ”get a feel” for the student. At the end of the interview, the student is asked what their three wishes would be. Sokolik says that if the student answers with basic needs, “you know they’re the ones you’ll be able to help.” Schmelzer began the program during the beginning of her senior year at King. SRN set her up with an apartment off of 56th St. and got her a job at Smoothie King off of Fowler Ave., much closer to her school and new home than the Moe’s at Wiregrass. “They paid most of my rent,” she explains. “I only had to pay about $90 per month. It allowed me to save some money for college.” And college is what SRN is all about. “We are graduating 15 seniors this year,” Sokolik says. “All of them are going on to higher education on free rides.” The rides aren’t completely free. SRN helps students fill out financial aid forms and apply for scholarships to assist in getting them as much financial help as possible. Sokolik says that SRN works with the colleges to get the rest of the necessary funding. Schmelzer was one of the first to go through the program and on to college. She applied to three schools (USF, UF and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte). She chose UF, where she is currently studying Mandarin Chinese. Through UF’s Study Abroad program, and with the help of SRN, Schmelzer was able to travel to China during the summer of 2011. “I basically said I wanted to learn Mandarin Chinese and I’m going to go to China,” she explains. “UF is really good about study abroad programs and making sure that any student who wants to, will. I learned a year’s worth of Chinese over the summer. I got to stay in Chengdu in the Sichuan Province and it was phenomenal. I honestly wouldn’t have been able to do it without SRN.” Schmelzer says that she had to apply for a grant and a loan from SRN for the trip, both of which she qualified for and received.

“They’re always there to support me,” she says of SRN. “It’s not a handout. I have to work for it, obviously. I know that if I ever stop working, they’ll stop supporting me, but that’ll never happen because I’m so driven. They have faith in me. They see the progress (I’ve made).” Things weren’t always like this for Schmelzer. Even after SRN began helping her, life wasn’t easy. She still worked until 11 each school night before going home to do IB homework until 2 or 3 in the morning, only getting a few hours of sleep before having to be up in time to catch the bus at 6:30. “That was really difficult, but at least I was in a better place,” she reminisces. “I was coming home to independence, instead of negativity.” She sometimes would miss the bus and have to call people she barely knew from school to try to get a ride, which she called an “awkward experience.” “Most of the kids I went to school with were very privileged,” she says. “They had supportive families and were upper-middle class. Everybody has their problems; problems are relative, but none of those kids were at risk of being homeless, so they didn’t understand, and I got made fun of a lot for it. It was really hard to go through that and not have one person my age that was willing to help me.” Luckily, SRN was, and still is, there for Schmelzer. Students in the program are given an adult mentor whom they are required to talk to every day while in the program. Schmelzer still speaks with her mentor at least once a week, even though she is no longer with the program as a high school student. Mentors take the students on an “experience” once a week that can be something like going to the circus, or something as simple as eating at a restaurant. Sokolik says that the program also requires students to attend school every day, take leadership classes, work 20 hours per week and go to therapy. “It’s intense,” she says. “But it works.” The program started when former

The Starting Right, Now program helped Skye Schmelzer (right) visit China. Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio heard that Sokolik and her husband were helping one homeless family per year get back on their feet and help the children of those families reach their highest level of education possible. They had been doing so since 2001. “We had been doing that for about five or six years not even thinking that there would one day be a nonprofit attached to this,” she says. Iorio asked if Sokolik would do what she was doing citywide if a Board of Directors was organized for it. Five years later, the Sokoliks are still doing it, but on a much grander scale. The SRN Board is a who’s-who of big names from around the Tampa Bay area, including its chairman Matt Silverman, the president of the Tampa Bay Rays, current Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, as well as other prominent business leaders. Vicki and Joel have been living in Tampa Palms for more than 17 years and decided that this was the area for SRN to call home, as well. Their work has changed the lives of more than 100 families and students since 2001. “It’s black and white with us,” she explains. “There’s no gray area. We take these students, help them meet their education potential and we propel them to whatever that may be. At the end of the day, they end up getting educated and actually stop the cycle of homelessness. We completely change the direction of their lives.” For more information about Starting Right, Now, visit Starting, or call 760-5472.

Teena Hughes, M.D., P.A. Pediatrics Board Certified

Solo Practice! Practicing 17 years in Tampa Graduate of UF & USF Residency All Children’s Hospital

• Same Day Appointments We’ve moved to a larger office just next door!

4444 E. Fletcher Ave., Suite C


Most Medical Insurance Plans Accepted!

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

The 2012 ‘Night Of 5000’ Raises $10,000+ For The Fisher House! By Gary Nager It may not have raised quite as much money as its organizers may have hoped, but there’s little doubt that no one who attended the GFWC (General Federation of Women’s Clubs) New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club’s 15th annual “Night of 5000” on April 21 at Hunter’s Green Country Club (HGCC) will ever be able to look at one of our nation’s “wounded warriors” and be able to not thank them for the sacrifices they have made for all of us and for this great country of ours. In a glamorous evening filled with great food, beverages, fun, casino gaming, silent and live auctions and even disco dancing, the stars of the “Night” were still the brave U.S. service men and women who have been cared for at the James A. Haley Veterans Adminis-

tration (VA) Hospital on Bruce B. Downs Blvd., south of Fletcher Ave. Event co-chairs Valerie Casey and Isabelle Jensen and many other members of the New Tampa Juniors put together a spectacular night to benefit the Tampa Fisher House, where the families and significant others of these wounded warriors are housed — for free — while their loved ones receive treatment at the Haley VA Hospital, the nation’s leading trauma center (see page 3). “Although we don’t yet have final numbers (at least at our press time),” Casey said afterward, “we believe we raised at least $10,000 net, which we are proud to donate to the Fisher House. Isabelle and I want to thank

and give credit to all of our 2012 ‘Night’ chairs for their efforts to make this happen for our heroes.” HGCC provided delicious pasta, hand-carved turkey and slider sandwich stations, plus amazing cupcakes and a cappuccino station, and one entire room was set aside for craps, roulette and blackjack. There was even a photo booth where many attendees got to don funny hats, glasses, masks and other props to pose for their pics. The live auction items included

everything from a “Bring Stonewood (Chef Danny Lee) Home” dinner for eight people to a family reunion package at Walt DisneyWorld. Retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. General Martin Steele, Fisher House manager Paula Welenc and 2011-12 NTJWC president April Simons were among the evening’s featured speakers. For info about the NTJWC, visit For the Tampa Fisher House, call 910-3000 or visit

(Clockwise from top left): Ret. U.S. Marine Lt. Gen. Martin Steele; “Night of 5000” co-chairs Valerie Casey (left) and Isabelle Jensen (right), with Tampa Fisher House manager Paula Welenc; the craps table was hot all night; injured U.S. Army Sgt. Joel Tavera (in uniform) and his father José (far right) pose with NTJWC members.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


Presenting Our Exclusive 2012 Summer Camp & Program Guide! Academy At The Lakes

The Academy at the Lakes school in nearby Land O’Lakes invites all children in the Tampa Bay community ages 3-14 (PreK to rising 9th graders) to join us for a summer of adventure, sports, creativity, and friendships. The “Summer at the Lakes” Day Camp will be open for 8 one-week sessions from June 11-August 3. For more information, check out our online brochure at, visit the school at 2220 Collier Pkwy. or call 948-7600.

America’s Ballet School

America’s Ballet School (ABS) in the Shoppes of Amberly plaza in Tampa Palms is offering its Summer Intensive ballet program (July 9-August 10) for ballet students who want to develop discipline, confidence, self-esteem and enthusiasm. The program is taught by professional instructors and registration is open now.

For more info about the award-winning America’s Ballet School, call 5580800 or visit

Camp IDS

Independent Day School-Corbett Campus (IDS-CC) hosts one of the largest summer camps in the Tampa Bay area for ages 3-18, Camp IDS. Divided into seven weekly sessions from June 11 to July 27, Camp IDS 2012 offers more than 70 different full-day and half-day camps in a broad array of fields: academics, communications and technology, performing arts, visual arts, recreation, sports, and travel. Free morning extended care is provided from 7:15 am - 8 am. Bus transportation and after-camp care from 3 pm - 6 pm are also available for an additional fee. Lead camp counselors are highly trained teachers. For more info about Camp IDS, call 961-3087 or visit camp-ids (where you can download the camp brochure and registration form).

Camp Seal

Your little ballerina will be ready to grace the stage, too, after America’s Ballet School in Tampa Palms’ Summer Intensive!


Camp Seal is a full-day local camp for children ages 4-12 offering a variety of activities. Camp Seal offers weekly themes, swim lessons or stroke development, recreational swimming, arts and crafts, archery and sports. The cost of camp is $175 per week and families can enroll weekly. Payment plans are available. For additional information, call 229-7946 or visit the camp, which is held one block north of the Seal Swim

School (off N. Dale Mabry Hwy.) in the Christ Cumberland Presbyterian Church at 19501 Holly Lane in nearby Lutz or visit CampSeal. net/contact.html.

Carrollwood Day School

Carrollwood Day School (CDS) 2012 Summer Camps & Enrichment Programs are for campers entering 1st grade through 12th grade. Each camp session is one-week long, beginning the week of June 11 and running through August 3. CDS offers an array of camps, from sports to art to robotics, so there is sure to be something perfect for your child! All camps cost between $100-$250 per week. Sign up today at The camp information and forms can be found under Quicklinks or Community. If you have any questions, please contact Camp Director Donna Holyman at or call 920-2288.

Family Of Christ Camps

The Family of Christ Christian School & Child Development Center Summer Camp in nearby Tampa Palms will have weekly themes that include outside games & athletics, computers, arts & crafts, cooking projects and age-appropriate field trips. We have certified teachers on hand, offer full- & part-time programs and offer multi-child discounts. Separate groups for: Kindergarten, 1st-3rd grades, and 4th-8th grades. We also offer summer VPK & 3 & 4-year-old Summer PreK. For more info, visit 16190 Bruce B.

Downs Blvd. or call 558-9343, ext. 10. For a downloadable brochure, visit camp.

Hunter’s Green CC

The summer camp programs at Hunter’s Green Country Club (HGCC) in New Tampa starts Monday, June 11. For ages 5-12 & ages 12-15, the Kids Choice Activities include themed tracks, such as cooking, archery (new), cheerleading, Frisbee golf (new), flag football, lacrosse (new), volleyball, origami (new), nature, soccer, dance & basketball. Additional daily activities include daily swimming, music group games, movies, arts & crafts & much more. Afternoon snack included! Weekly field trips will be added fun for all! (Additional fees will be applied for field trips.) Visit Hunter’s Green Country Club at 18050 Longwater Run Dr. For info about our Counselor-in-Training Program for campers ages 12-15 or the camps, call 973-4220 or visit ClubCorp. com/Clubs/Hunter-s-Green-CountryClub/Amenities/2012 summercamp.

Hunter’s Green CC Tennis Camp

Give your child the sport of a lifetime at the Hunter’s Green CC Summer Tennis Camp! From 9 a.m.-2 p.m., your child will enjoy tennis and fitness instruction from certified USPTA instructors with more than 25 years of combined teaching experience. Play on-court games, contests and tournaments. Morning instruction is halted for a cool swim and lunch break. Then it is

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

back on to the courts for more tennis fun. Cost: Ages 7 & up: prices from $190.00 weekly. Ages 4 – 6: half day program 9am - 12:30 prices from $100.00 weekly. See you at the courts!!! Weekly Sessions start June 11th through August 6th. Call 973-4220 for more information. Before and after care available!

Infinite Edge Learning Ctr

Infinite Edge Learning Center is offering its summer camp June 18-August 17. The price is $125 per week. The hours are 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Extended hours are available for an additional charge. There is a minimum of a two- week commitment required. Focused studies are predominantly concentrated on Math, English and Science. Infinite Edge Learning Center is located at 17419 Bridge Hill Ct., in the Tampa Palms Professional Center. For more info, call 971-6500 or visit Infinite

New Tampa Dance Theatre

The New Tampa Dance Theatre (NTDT) on Cross Creek Blvd. is offering its popular and exciting Summer Program for the beginner through advanced student, ages 3-adult, June 11-29 (Mon.–Fri.) with 1-, 2- and 3-week options available. There are multiple programs from which to choose: half & full-day camps exploring the creative world of dance, intensives designed for the serious student, and daily afternoon or evening classes for all ages. Each program allows students to participate in a variety of classes, as NTDT is equally proficient in multiple artforms (classical ballet, modern, tap, jazz, hip-hop and creative movement).

For more info, visit NTDT at 10701 Cross Creek Blvd. or NewTampa Or, call Dyane Elkins IronWing at 994-NTDT(6838).

New Tampa Piano Lessons

Learn how to play piano this summer at New Tampa Piano Lessons. Now accepting students ages 6 and older to receive a combination of small group classes and private lessons. Classes start June 20. Dr. Judith Jain holds a Doctorate degree in piano performance and piano pedagogy, had an extensive career as a classical musician and a post-graduate fellowship from the prestigious New School for Music Study (which specializes in the training of piano pedagogues based on the teaching philosophy of Frances Clark), plus more than 10 years of teaching experience. Come join Dr. Jain in her New Tampa studio for this unique camp. Adult and other less intensive programs also available. Visit or call (513) 885-4825 for more info.

Pebble Creek Jr. Golf Camps Pebble Creek’s Junior Golf Camps are getting ready to begin their first session for kids ages 7-15 on Monday, June 11. If your child wants to learn basic golf fundamentals including driving, iron play, chipping, putting, etiquette and rules, this camp is a fun way to lean. Sessions run Monday-Thursday and cost $139/camper. For more information, please call Stacy Keisler at 973-3870, ext. 224.

PROtential Sports

Our summer camp program is designed to give your child, ages 5-15,

structure, fun and physical activities during the summer months. Fun, weekly field trips to places like Busch Gardens, MOSI, movies, and more. The sports curriculum is set up so your child will learn a multiple number of sports daily. The daily schedule provides five sports per day along with a rest time and lunch. Your child will also be with a small group, thus receiving lots of individual attention from our hand pick coaching staff. All of our coaches are former professional or collegiate athletes, and are qualified to inspire your child to become an all around better child. Visit the Seven Oaks location at 2300 Guard St. PROtential also has camps in nearby New Tampa in the Grand Hampton and Heritage Isles communities. Register ASAP, as the price fluctuates with distance from start date of camp. Call 843-9460 or visit PROtential

USF Pre-College Camp

Take advantage of an outstanding oncampus pre-college summer experience at the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus. USF offers twelve programs for high school students in contemporary studies, including engineering, architecture, global sustainability, marine science, art and design, music, film studies, American SignLanguage, S.T.E.M. and more! Students can pursue academic interests, discover career options, earn college credit and explore university life. Programs range from single day to three weeks and offer residential, commuter and even online access. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to jump-start your college experience and

pursue your interests! Visit USF. edu/precollege or call 1(888) 873-4968 or visit the school at 4202 E. Fowler Ave.

Wildcats Basketball Camp

Head coach Tommy Tonelli and his staff at New Tampa’s Paul R. Wharton High will be hosting their 15th annual Wildcats Basketball Camp for boys and girls entering 2nd-8th grade (ages 8-14). The camp will be held in three weekly sessions June 18-21, June 25-28, & July 9-12, noon-5 p.m. each day. The camp will emphasize fundamentals, team play and sportsmanship. All levels of players are welcome. Campers will compete in groups according to several factors, including age, grade, size and ability. All campers will participate in daily 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 team play. Each participant will receive a camp T-shirt and certificate. For more info, contact Tommy Tonelli at 631-4710, x230 or email thomas.tonelli@sdhc.k12.

You Do The Dishes

If your child loves art, then this summer camp is for you! You Do The Dishes in the Shoppes at Amberly plaza in Tampa Palms is now offering Art Fest 2012 for children ages 7-13. Workshops will be held Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. during the following weeks: June 11-15, 18-22, 25-29; July 913, 16-20, 23-27, July 30-Aug 3; Aug 610. See the story on page 48 or call 975-1700 or visit the studio at 15357 Amberly Dr. or for more information.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


You Do The Dishes Can Provide Your Kids With An Artistic Summer By Gary Nager Do you have a budding young artist living in your house? Has he or she ever been to You Do the Dishes (YDTD) Paint-Your-Own Pottery Studio & Coffee Bar in Tampa Palms? If not, now is the time to go and check out not only the studio, but owner Cindy Kozlowski & her husband Herb Pinder’s great Summer Art Fest program. Although kids who attend the camp still get an opportunity to paint their own pottery, too, the Art Fest program is so much more than that. The one-week sessions (which begin Monday, June 11, and are run 10 a.m.-4 p.m. every weekday) for ages 7-13 include printmaking, drawing, watercolors, acrylics, collages, pottery making and origami. Herb, who first met Cindy shortly after she opened the studio in 1998, first came into YDTD to paint some pottery. An artist/educator who received his formal art training from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and from USF, Herb has led the summer art program for kids at YDTD the last eight years. “Every year, we have a theme for the Art Fest program,” says Herb. “This year’s theme is folk art. We will show the kids a variety of different types of folk art and have them create projects in those themes. We get a tremendous response to the program year after year.” Last year, he adds, the kids had fun creating fish statues in the style of renowned artist Frank Gehry. He admits that more girls than boys participate in the Art Fest annually, “But, there are always boys participating, too. I try to give them serious art training but always remembering that they are children, so of course, it has to be fun for them. We get a lot of repeat students, plus siblings of past students who have participated.” For only $210 per session, which includes all materials used and created by each student, your child can have


supervised fun — and get an art education — in YDTD’s safe, nurturing environment. Please note that all Art Fest students have to bring their own lunch and snacks each day.

And So Much More!

In addition to the annual Art Fest summer camp, YDTD also offers opportunities for kids under age 15 (although kids under age 7 must be accompanied by an adult) to join the studio’s Summer Paint Club. For only $100, your child receives unlimited Monday-Friday studio time, paints and firing costs for the entire summer (June 8-August 21), between 11 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays. Paint Club students are separated from the Art Fest kids and the cost of the bisque (unpainted pottery), food and drinks is in addition to the $100 cost of the program. Students can bring their own lunch and snacks, as well. And yes, adults can still paint during the summer months, too. Call YDTD (see info below) for details. YDTD also is an outstanding coffee bar serving delicious Joffrey’s coffee (and coffee drinks), Tazo hot teas and Arizona iced teas, as well as Otis Spunkmeyer cookies and other baked goods, from brownies and muffins to an ever-changing variety of cakes. And, Cindy and Herb are proud to announce that YDTD has added several flavors of Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, available in cones and cups. And, considering our office is right next to YDTD, it’s hard for me to not stop in every day to get a scoop of Moose Tracks or Cookies & Cream. And of course, YDTD is still a great place for parties and events and even offers programs through The Soap Factory (in another part of Tampa Palms) where you can design and take home your own bars of soap. For more info, call You Do The Dishes (15357 Amberly Dr., Shoppes of Amberly plaza) at 9751700 or visit

(Clockwise from top left): Each year, students in the You Do The Dishes Summer Art Fest program get to put their own “thumb prints” on each assigned art theme. Last year, the students created fish sculptures in the style of artist Frank Gehry; You Do The Dishes owners Cindy Kozlowski and Herb Pinder.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

Sonny’s BBQ Celebrates 14 Years In Wesley Chapel! Hoff (photo, right) — since the location in front of the Publix-anchored While there are some very good Hollybrook Plaza on Bruce B. Downs places in our area that some members of (BBD) Blvd. (just south of S.R. 54) first our staff at the New Tampa Neighboropened 14 years ago. hood News are lukewarm about, there is Everyone in the office rushed to no doubt in this reporter’s mind that check out the menu online to pick their Sonny’s BBQ, the 45-year-old favorites. Office manager Nikki Bennett Gainesville, FL-based “real pit” barbegot her half chicken lunch plate, sales cue chain, isn’t one of them. and advertising assistant AnnMarie Beck In fact, there wasn’t one person in got to enjoy her pulled pork lunch the office who wasn’t excited when I (graphic artist Porsha Lemos was beamsaid I was doing a story on the Wesley ing about her pulled pork sandwich), Chapel Sonny’s, which just happens to staff writers Matt Wiley and John have been and continues to be owned McGurl both slathered plenty of sauce by my friends and former neighbors in on their pulled beef brisket sandwiches Hunter’s Green — Jim and Kristina and yours truly had tastes of my two favorites — the rib sampler combo and the High Springs chicken (I love Sonny’s sizzlin’ sweet and other BBQ sauces, but I order the chicken without the sauce) topped with cheese and mushrooms. I got the rib sampler in order to enjoy my Sonny’s favorite — the meaty, tender signature baby back ribs — but also to sample, for the first time, the new classic dry-rub ribs, which I really enjoyed dipping Among the favorite dishes our staff enjoys at into the sweet BBQ sauce to offset Sonny’s BBQ are (clockwise from far left) the the spiciness of the dry rub. pulled pork lunch platter, pulled beef brisket sandSpeaking of sauces, you can wich, rib sampler combo, chicken & ribs combo take home all four kinds of Sonny’s and the High Springs chicken. bottled BBQ sauces — mild, smoky, By Gary Nager

sweet and sizzlin’ sweet — as well as the dry rub, and of course, Sonny’s also offers the fresh and delicious “Garden of Eatin’” for those dining in, as well as chicken Caesar and “big” salads both to go and to dine in-house. And, you can’t beat Sonny’s delicious corn on the cob, BBQ baked beans, French fries, homemade corn or garlic bread and other sides, like fresh veggies, plus homemade sweet tea.

Need A Cold One?

Back in 2010, the Hoffs were among the first Sonny’s owners to add the chain’s new “lunch counters,” where you can sit in comfort and watch big, flat-screen TVs while enjoying an ice cold beer, a glass of wine and premium liquor selections. There are even four varieties of great new chicken wings to enjoy and great all-day Happy Hour specials — just don’t call the lunch counter a “sports bar.” “We separated the lunch counter from the dining room, so families can still be comfortable,” says Kristina. “You can get alcoholic beverages in the dining room, too, but adults who want to enjoy their food and drinks away from children really seem to enjoy the separate lunch counter.” Jim and Kristina hope that now that the widening of both S.R. 54 and

BBD has been completed, more of their regular customers — like the Neighborhood News staff — will start returning more...regularly. “It’s been a long haul with the road,” says Jim. “We opened the lunch counter just as the construction really got rolling. Even some of our regulars didn’t know we had it because they just couldn’t handle the traffic to get here.” In the ad on pg. 32, you’ll find a great deal on Sonny’s Special Feast for Four. And, Sonny’s is a great place to bring the family for Mother’s Day. Sonny’s BBQ is located at 5324 BBD. For more information, call 994-8989 or visit

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


Sushi Café Is More Than Just ‘Another’ Japanese Restaurant! By Gary Nager Long-time readers surely recognize at least two things about my dining reviews — #1) I prefer mom-and-pop restaurants to any sort of chain eatery and #2) perhaps my biggest complaint is about having too many of certain types of restaurants and not enough of some others. For example, although we have quite a few very good-to-great pizza places, we don’t really have even one non-chair Italian restaurant anywhere in New Tampa. But, what we do have is quite a few outstanding Asian restaurants, many of which serve delicious sushi. So, why am I (and my entire staff) so excited about the new Sushi Café, located next to Panera Bread on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., in The Walk at Highwoods Preserve plaza? First of all, general manager Kevin Noin, who has run both successful Japanese and non-Asian restaurants in Orlando and Miami, found a “perfect” location for an elegant, but very affordable, traditional Japanese restaurant and sushi bar in our area. His Sushi Café features truly wonderful sushi and Japanese fare at prices well below those found at the Japanese steakhouses in New Tampa or Wesley Chapel.


Our office staff already has enjoyed a wide variety of the Café’s unique sushi rolls, with great names like Monster, Pacific Fusion, Fantastic Spicy Tuna and Rock n’ Roll, and no one at the Neighborhood News who has sampled any of these rolls (I have loved all but those that contain shrimp, because I’m sadly allergic to it) has had anything but rave reviews for them. And, Sushi Cafe’s seared tuna tataki and red snapper sashimi both rate high among my list of local favorites. I was told that among the Cafe’s appetizers, the favorites are probably the gyoza (meat & veggie-filled dumplings), edamame (soybeans) and crab rangoon (which offers its own “special sauce”), but my favorite to date is the chicken & vegetable tempura, which also is available as an entrée. Speaking of main courses, Sushi Café offers some unique choices as well. In the tradition of Spanish tapas and other “small plate” eateries, you can get delicious hibachi-grilled steak, chicken, shrimp, scallops or king salmon with your choice of Japanese fried or white rice, for just $6.50-$8! And the steak is served in tender, rectangular chunks to your desired temperature with a light, teriyaki-based sauce. While the tables themselves

aren’t the “dinner & a show” teppanyaki tables you’ll find at a Japanese steakhouse, Sushi Café does have a hibachi grill in its Among our favorite starters at kitchen. And the hibachi dishes are Sushi Cafe on BBD are (clockwise from above) the tuna among not only tataki, unique sushi rolls and our favorites, but of the chicken & veggie tempura. the months-old restaurant’s already growing list of regu- and the lar customers. These small plates are new Mochi available anytime, but before 3 p.m. (pronounced daily, you can add soup, salad and “Moo-chee”) sautéed veggies for just a dollar or two Japanese ice more. Even the orders of Japanese fried rice, with your choice of veggies, chickcream, as well en, steak, shrimp or the house special as great Japancombo are nicely priced ($7.25-$11). ese (Asahi, The large plate hibachi meals Kirin, etc.) and ($11.95 for veggies only to $31.95 for a other domestic shrimp, scallop and lobster combo) offer and imported beers, hot sake and a varieverything from tofu to filet mignon ety of the very popular cold sakes. So, and are well worth the price. My please tell the staff that the New Tampa favorite so far is the teriyaki white fish Neighborhood News sent you! (izumidai, $16.95)), which features Sushi Café (18015 Highwoods thick, lightly floured fish in a deliciously Preserve Pkwy.) is open every day (at different savory sauce. I also love the 11 a.m.) for lunch and dinner (until breaded and deep-fried chicken katsu 10 p.m./11 p.m. on Fri. & Sat. For main course. reservations (not required) & more Sushi Café also features decadent information, call 977-7800 or visit desserts, like fried tempura cheesecake

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

Whether you want a full-sized entrée, like the delicious hibachi white fish (izumidai, left) with veggies, Japanese fried rice and a ginger salad (salad not shown) or a “small plate” of hibachi steak and fried rice, you can’t go wrong at Sushi Café.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •


“PigFest” Continued from page 1 Gambacorta, Garofano and company had good reason to be proud. Despite temperatures that sweltered near 90º, the nine pig-roasting teams put on a great show (including giving out hundreds of free samples), Lee Roy Selmon’s provided delicious BBQ pork & “fixins” for the attendees, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn enjoyed judging the pie-eating contest, the entertainment (including the first-ever PigFest bungee jumping booth) was outstanding and business vendors sold everything from market-fresh veggies to solar heating solutions and legal services. One lucky winner went home with more than $1,000 in the day’s 50/50 drawing and the classic & custom car show featured everything from a $200,000+ McLaren MP4-12C sports car to the “People’s Choice” awardwinning classic VW bug. Last year’s pig-roast-winning team, the Meat Monkeys of St. James


Church, did not repeat, as multipletime former winner Gary Callicoat of Cally’s Sticky Bones BBQ & the “Sir Pigs A Lot” team took this year’s top honors, which. for the first time, was judged according to Florida BBQ Assn. rules. But, the big winners were still the attendees, the six Rotary clubs and their preferred charities. To get involved (Clokwise from top left) We didn’t get the names of all the winners, in next year’s but these were the leaders of the top three pig-roasting teams; bungee jumping for joy!; the lucky 50/50 winner took home more than PigFest, visit! $1,000. This classic VW bug won the “People’s Choice” car show prize!

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •

Encompass Pro-Am: An Amateur’s Perspective On A Day Of Pro Golf! the former quarterback for the Washington Redskins during their Super Standing in the middle of the 18th Bowl XVII victory in 1983, who won green at the TPC of Tampa Bay in the pro-am portion of the tournament. nearby Lutz after the conclusion of the But, the feeling was still surreal, 23rd annual Encompass Insurance Pro- people clapping all around me as if I Am of Tampa Bay golf tournament on had just birdied my way to victory. April 15, I listened as the crowd roared, Moments before, the trophies for breathing it all in. the winners had been parachuted onto Of course, it wasn’t meant for me. the fairway of the 18th hole by U.S. Air I wasn’t being awarded a giant check or Force Para Commandos as the waiting a trophy. In fact, a professional would crowd looked to the sky. Fittingly, Van probably have written me a check to Halen’s “Jump” blared through the not be on his team, had I participated. speakers as the Commandos glided Nope, instead of me, the checks through the air. and trophies went to Michael Allen for None of this would have been poswinning the professional portion of the sible without tournament director Amy tournament, his second Champions Hawk, the Arbor Greene resident who Tour victory, and to Joe Theismann, has been in charge of the Pro-Am for the past nine years. “This year was a huge success,” Amy says. “Even with the new title sponsor. We had a record Sunday crowd and perfect weather.” The tournament had been New Tampa resident Amy Hawk (far left), with Encompass called the Outback Pro-Am winners Michael Allen (in white) & Joe Theismann. Pro-Am from 2004By Matt Wiley

11, but switched title sponsors to Encompass Insurance for the 2012 tournament. Over the past 25 years, the event has raised more than $9 million for various charities. Theismann was not the only celebrity in attendance, playing amongst the professional and amateur golfers of the Professional Golf Association (PGA) Champion’s Tour, a series of tournaments for profesThe trophies presented to the tournament’s winners (photo, sional golfers over the left) were brought onto the 18th green by parachutists.. age of 50. The pros played in twosomes Rice. Murray, one of my all-time with an amateur throughout the threefavorite actors, was probably who I was day contest, some of whom were hoping to see most, even going so far celebrities, such as Tampa Bay Lightas to practice clever ways of introducing ning founder and Honorary Chairman myself using a catchphrase from “Cadof the tournament Phil Esposito — dyshack,” one of his biggest hit movies, who teed off on Saturday with a hockey where Murray played a pot-smoking stick to the delight of Lightning mascot greenskeeper. Thunderbug, to commemorate LightEven without seeing Murray, it was ning Day — as well as retired Tampa definitely still a great day on the links Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick for an amateur “Cinderella story” like Brooks, Bucs cornerback Rondé Barber, yours truly! University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino, former “Dateline” NBC-TV anchor Stone Phillips, television actor John O’Hurley and former Tampa Bay Devil Rays first baseman Fred McGriff. Previous celebrities who have played in this popular pro-am include the likes of actors Bill Murray, Tampa Bay Lightning founder Phil Esposito (far Michael J. Fox, Mark right) was one of the celebrity players at this year’s Wahlberg and NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Encompass Pro-Am.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 11 • May 19, 2012 •




Join OrthoTechnology’s Winning Team! Ortho Technology, a medical supply distributor located in New Tampa, is seeking talented energetic candidates for the following positions: Distribution Associates - Small parts pick/pack/ship experience preferred. Strong attention to detail, computer skills, ability to stand/walk for entire shift & lift up to 50 pounds required. We provide a great work environment, excellent benefits package and growth potential. Submit resumes to Visit our website at for additional information and other job opportunities. We provide a great work environment and excellent benefits package. PHYSICAL THERAPIST OR PTA – An established New Tampa outpatient clinic is hiring a PT or PTA to provide customized, oneon-one care during afternoon and early evening hours for diverse patient population. Fax resume to (813) 994-3080 MEDICAL BILLING - Experience Only need apply. Responsibilities include contacting insurance carriers to get maximum payment on accounts. Must be detail oriented and possess strong verbal and written communication skills. Fax Resume to 813-910-0071 HELP WANTED - Medical Billing Personnel, part-time, flexible hours, Local PT Clinic. Fax resume to 813-994-3080. HELP WANTED - Full-time/Part-time Medical Assistant needed to work in our New Tampa/Tampa office. Must be a medical assistant by training. Prior experience preferred. Call 813-632-7111 or Fax Resume to 813632-7114 SPA STAFF NEEDED - Paris Hair, the New Look, is a beautiful free-standing Salon and Spa in the heart of Temple Terrace. With an extremely professional team, we are a thriving business! We offer a relaxed atmosphere, excellent customer service, and we're ready to increase our staff! Massage Therapists, Nail Technicians, Estheticians, and Hair Stylists are all needed! For more information, Contact: Alex at (813) 985-3343 or at










TAMPA CAT LADY- Professional Cat-Sitting Service." Cats are happiest 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. Insured, bonded, & Red-Cross certified in pet first aid/CPR. Call 994-9449 or visit us at



FIND YOUR DREAM HOME FROM YOUR CELL PHONE! - Wish you could see home details while you are driving around looking at homes? NOW YOU CAN! With Team Bohannon's Mobile MLS Search application, you can search for any home in the area on your cell phone. Check out price, beds/baths, details, maps, even photos – all from the convenience of your cell phone. SEARCH PROPERTIES WHENEVER AND WHEREVER YOU WANT! GET IT NOW - Text: MLS4YOU to: 87778 Compliments of Doug, Annette and Dale Bohannon Coldwell Banker 813-979-4963





DRY WALL SPECIALIST - Not a handyman. Affordable Quality Work repairing water damage, ceilings and walls, retexturing, popcorn removal, room additions, cracks, holes, plaster and stucco repair. 26 Years Experience. Wesley Chapel resident. State Certified. Call Ron for free estimate (813) 784-5999 NEED HOME MAINTENANCE – Almost any job, large or small, ext/int, fencing , screening, sm. concrete, sprinklers, painting, repairs, int. doors, locks, sheet rock, windows, paint, caulk, grout, trim, shelving, garages organized. Installations, removals, pressure washing, wood restoration & more. Call Dale’s Home Maintenance @ 973-0194 or 727-2582. GREG’S PAPERHANGING – For all of your wallpapering needs. Licensed & insured, clean, quick & reasonable. Call 973-2767 for free estimate. RAYMOND PAINTING – Interior & Exterior pressure washing, paper hanging, plaster, stucco, tiles, clean & seal pavers, roofing leaks, etc. Licensed & Bonded. References available. Free Estimates. Your Neighborhoond Arbor Greene Resident. We work 7 days. Call 994-5124. DAVID BRIDGES PRESSURE CLEANING - Complete exterior cleaning of your home or business with a professional and personal touch. - Pool decks and screen enclosures - All fencing/ driveways and walkways/roofs - Gutter and downspouts. Find your happiness in a fresh, bright clean home. Your neighbors will love you for it! All work guaranteed. Licensed and insured. 813-215-1177 THE HAPPY HAULER - Smith's Cleanup Service Junk Removal, Garage Cleanouts, Small Buildings Torn Down, Above Ground Pools and Playsets Removed. Available for all your hauling needs. Call Don 813-727-6655.

CLEANING SERVICES D-ULTRA CLEANING SERVICE - We have our own supplies & more than 200 clients in New Tampa! For more information, Call 758-9710. M.Y. CLEANING SERVICE - Offering Residential cleaning. We offer complete bath & kitchen cleaning, as well as dusting and polishing furniture. We provide our own supplies. Free estimates! Your satisfaction is our priority! With 5 years of experience, we guarantee meticulous cleaning! Call Mila: (813) 516-3554.










TAI CHI CLASSES - Open to the public at the Club Tampa Palms. Benefits: Strength, Flexibility, Balance, Focus and reduced stress. New Beginner 6 week courses starting every few month’s adults Thur. evening’s 7-8 pm and seniors Wed. 2:30-3:30 space is limited. Also personal instruction in Tai Chi, Kempo Karate, Boot Camp Fitness Training and more. With more than 31 years of training and teaching experience. Please contact me for more details or go to: Peter 787-7560 or e-mail

JASMINE’S LANDSCAPING - Complete lawn maintenance, Tree, palm and hedge trimming, Planting, mulching, stones, Sod replacement, Pressure washing, Gutter cleaning and more. Cited by your HOA for violations? Need to comply for: Pressure washing, Trimming, Mulching, Sod replacement, Sprinkler repair or Mailbox repair or replacements?Ask about our HOA SPECIAL! FREE ESTIMATE! 813.420.4465

LICENSED MOBILE MASSAGE THERAPIST Available seven days a week, 9am -9pm. $55 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.

NEW TAMPA’S 31 CHOICE - We Specialize in Residential Lawn & Landscape Maintenance in New Tampa! Landscaping, Mulching, Clean-ups, Palm/Tree Trimming & Sprinkler Repair also available. Owner Operated over 17 years. Call today for Reliable Service for everything that grows @ your property 813-973-3825 or visit:



TRANQUILITY POOL SERVICE - New Tampa owned & operated. Great Pricing with outstanding customer service! LICENSED, BONDED & INSURED. See why we are New Tampa’s #1 Choice!! New customer’s ONE MONTH FREE! Call Chris Today @ (813) 857-5400 or visit KJ POOL SERVICE – Enjoy Your Pool, While We Maintain It. Servicing pools for over 6 years. First Month Free, Plus Free Evaluation & Quote. Owner & Operator. LICENSE, BONDED & INSURED. Office:(813)909-9466 Cell:(813) 748-9817 Visit our website @ AQUATEC POOL SERVICE - keeping pools clear & swim safe since 1994. WE DO POOLS RIGHT! Commercial & Residential. CPO #33-303052 Licensed & Insured. Service guarantee. Call 813-780-8616 TODAY and get 1 MONTH OF QUALITY SERVICE FREE.








TURN YOUR CLUTTER INTO CASH Garage & estate sales, inventory liquidation,& appraisal services. We'll sell it for you online! We evaluate & appraise your products, you get top dollar. Call Mary: 813-428-5793. 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 years experience. Charles Jewelers, 9724653 (next to Stein Mart on Bruce B. Downs).

M I S C E L L A N E O U S SPRINGER STORAGE: RV & Boat Storage Port Richey, FL Starting at $35.00 mo. Pay first two months, 3rd month free. 24 hour access & 24 hour monitoring. Call to reserve your spot. 813-833-1191. CAR SERVICES – 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.


To get your listing, call Nikki at the NeighborhoodNews ! 813-910-2575!

WINDOW WASHING Most windows. $6.00 incl: Inside,outside & sills. Make Your Whole House Shine! 10+yrs. experience. Convenient appointments. A Point of View Window Washing Wesley Chapel. 813-973-1451 CLEANING LAUNDRY, YOU NAME IT ! $51.00 Introductory special, Mon - Wed. Make your list, put us to work! Anna's Housekeeping A BBB Accredited Business Servicing Florida since 1991. We have private housekeeper rates with agency backup coverage! Licensed and all housekeepers are background checked. Call 813.985.1150.

COMPUTER SERVICES PROFESSIONAL TECH SUPPORT – in your home or small business. A+ certified computer tech with 15 years of exp. Maintenance & repairs, upgrades & tutoring. More affordable than the large chains! Friendly, personalized svc. Technical jargon explained in plain English. References available upon request. Call 957-8342 for free estimate.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 9 • April 21, 2012 •

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 9 • April 21, 2012 •



For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 20, Issue 9 • April 21, 2012 •

New Tampa Neighborhood News Issue 11-12  

Hits mailboxes Saturday May 19th, 2012

New Tampa Neighborhood News Issue 11-12  

Hits mailboxes Saturday May 19th, 2012