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Volume 22 Issue 11

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May 24, 2014

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Julie Schenecker Sentenced To Life For Murdering Her Children during the past three years, the most important thing in all of this is Calyx and Beau, my lovely children. My smart, beautiful, loved and missed daughter and son.” Parker also thanked the students, faculty and staff of both King High and Liberty Middle School (in Tampa Palms), where Calyx and Beau were students. “While this decision doesn’t bring my children back, it does give our family an opportunity to move forward and honor their memory through the work that we’ve been doing with the Calyx & Beau (Schenecker) Memorial Fund and remembering how they lived,” Parker said. Parker was twice called as a witness in the trial, first on the second day of testimony, during which he was questioned about his travel while serving in the U.S. Army and the time leading up to his deployment in January 2011. He told of the “strained relationship” between 16-year-old Calyx and Julie (who long has struggled with bipolar-1 disorder with psychotic features and depression) and how the two rarely got along that last year due to Julie’s severe depression and mental state. Parker said that when he asked Julie if she’d be able to handle caring for the kids in his absence, she looked him in the eye and said, “I got this.” It was during his deployment that she drove to the Lock N’ Load gun store in Oldsmar to purchase the gun she used to shoot her 13-year-old son in the head and mouth

on the way to soccer practice in the family’s van, before shooting Calyx the same way as she sat in front of a computer in the family’s Ashington Reserve home doing homework. She left Beau in the van, but moved Calyx to her bed, covering both in blankets. Julie wrote about her actions explicitly in her journal, which was referenced throughout the case, especially by expert witness psychiatrists and psychologists who had worked with her in the past and knew about her struggle with severe mental illness. It was up to the defense to prove that she did not know what she was doing or that she did not know the difference between right and wrong at the time the crimes occurred to successfully prove insanity. Schenecker’s actions, records of her actions and taped interviews with detectives following her arrest made that job extremely difficult. “When someone is depressed, they see the world through those depressed eyes,” said Schenecker’s public defender Jennifer Spradley during her closing argument on May 15. “Her mind is clouded. She didn’t choose this disease.” Throughout the trial, the defense leaned heavily on Schenecker’s history of mental health, multiple anti-psychotic medications and stints in mental health facilities and rehabilitation programs, including participation in a nine-month study at the National Institute of Mental Health in Rockville, MD. At one point, psychiatrist Dr. Michael Maher

By Matt Wiley more than 40 people who wanted to give

for a dog park, playground area and even no development at all. Several of the speakers expressed other concerns about the development process itself. Several projects have been proposed for the land over the past ten years, but Hillsborough commissioner Ken Hagan (who was unable to attend the May 5 meeting) has said for some time that he hopes to bring some sort of a “passive park” (similar to Flatwoods Park just south of Hunter’s Green) to the area, which could include a dog park and biking/hiking trails, as well as a cultural center, but the meeting on May 5 was held to give county officials a better understanding of what the public would like to see developed at the site. “Today is the beginning of a fact-finding mission,” Dist. 2 Comm. Victor Crist — who lives in New Tampa — told the crowd. “Nothing is in concrete.” Crist explained that both he and

By Matt Wiley Following a nearly three-week-long trial, the verdict is in: Julie Schenecker is guilty in the first-degree murder of her children Calyx and Beau in their Tampa Palms home on January 27, 2011. Around 8 p.m. on May 15, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Emmett L. Battles read the guilty verdict to the courtroom. The jury found Schenecker, 53, guilty of both counts of first-degree murder after barely two hours of deliberation. A few minutes after reading the verdict, Battles commenced sentencing, but allowed Schenecker, who pleaded not guilty under an insanity defense, a chance to make a statement. “I apologize for what happened, what I did,” Schenecker said through tears. “I take responsibility. I was there. I know. I know I shot my son and daughter. I don’t know why, but have time to try to understand it.” She added that she hopes everyone whose lives she knows she either destroyed or affected can take comfort in knowing that the children are in heaven and not in pain. “It’s almost too much for most to comprehend, what brings us here,” Judge Battles said, before reading Schenecker’s sentence of life in prison for both murders. “Today’s decision, for many reasons, gives my family a great sense of relief,” said U.S. Army Col. Parker Schenecker outside the courtroom, following the verdict and sentencing. “As I’ve consistently mentioned

Julie Schenecker (right) closes her eyes as the guilty verdict is read on May 15, confirming that she will spend the rest of her life in prison for the 2011 murder of her two children. told the court that she was prescribed up to ten medications at a time, including antidepressants, anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety and mood-stabilizing pills. Although Maher declared that he thought Schenecker was insane at the time of the murders, he said that she told him during an interview in February 2011 that she bought the gun to kill herself and the kids. Schenecker overdosed on a toxic dose of lithium, which she mixed with alcohol after shooting the children. She reportedly passed out before she could kill herself and was found by police on the back patio of the home unconscious in a bloodstained bathrobe on January 28. Just more than three years later, she officially will spend the rest of her life behind bars. She has 30 days to appeal.

Locals Sound Off On Plan For Land Across From Hunter’s Green

The future development of the land owned by Hillsborough County across Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. from Hunter’s Green is in the hands of New Tampa residents. At least, that’s what county representatives repeatedly told attendees at a recent public meeting held at the New Tampa Regional Library on Cross Creek Blvd. The meeting, held on May 5, attracted

county officials their input about what should be done with the 13.4 vacant (and buildable) acres of about 80 acres of land the county purchased years ago to create the large retention pond now handling the drainage for the now-completed widening of BBD in that area. Several attendees showed interest in the creation of a cultural center at the county-run meeting and requests also were heard

News, Business, Sports & Education Updates

Neighborhood Magazine

Also Inside This Issue!

S.R. 54/56 Elevated Toll Road Plan Nixed, Cross Creek Blvd. Widening Begins, Site Plan Received For Wesley Chapel Outlet Mall; Plus Lots Of Local Business Features & More!

Our Summer Movie Preview, SukhoThai Brings The Heat, A Rave Review For The New O.T.B. Café; Plus, More Neighborhood Nibbles & Business Bytes!

Pages 1-42

Pages 43-64

Hagan share interest in developing the site and want to put together a private-public partnership (also known as a P3) to develop the useable acres of land. “The county’s interest up here (in the New Tampa area) has fallen short, and we recognize that,” Crist said. For the past several years, the New Tampa Players (NTP) theatre troupe has been trying to find a permanent home and has been actively pushing a deal with the county for the land in question to build a community theater. NTP president Doug Wall said during the meeting that the problem is not that NTP couldn’t raise the funds for a theater, but that there were additional See “Land” on page 12.


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Applauding Bridging Freedom’s Efforts To End Minor Sex Trafficking By Gary Nager

When I first got the email from New Tampa resident Kim Kelly stating that she was volunteering for an organization called “Bridging Freedom,” which is dedicated to creating local awareness about human trafficking (especially, child sex trafficking), I thought, “Great idea, but how much of that really is going on in our area?” Well, like many people who have met Kim and/or Bay area resident Laura Hamilton, MPH, the founder of Bridging Freedom, my jaw hit the floor when I heard the stats — that Florida is third in the nation (behind CA and TX) annually in cases of human trafficking and Hillsborough County is second in the state (to Orlando’s Orange County) in reported cases. And, with 300,000 new cases of child sex trafficking reported every year, this obviously is a huge issue nationwide. And yes, unfortunately, it’s happening even here in New Tampa. And yes, most of these cases are kids as young as seven and eight (although most are between 10-14) who end up having a new “friend” on and other social media sites. This friend likely won’t ask the child to meet right away, but what they will do is talk to them, in their own lingo, find out what they’re unhappy about in their lives (especially anything they’re not happy about with regards to their parents) and work on them, get the kids to trust them, for weeks, months or even years,

New Tampa Neighborhood News Please note our new address: 29157 Chapel Park Dr., Suite B Wesley Chapel, FL 33543 Phone: (813) 910-2575 Fax: (813) 423-6533 Advertising E-mail: Editorial E-mail: Publisher & Editor Gary Nager General Manager Nikki Bennett Assistant Editor / Photographer Matt Wiley Correspondents Amy Gutierrez • Kelly Miller Celeste McLaughlin • Lauren Saslow

before actually trying to get them to meet. “These predators don’t care if they’re able to get your child or mine,” Hamilton told the members of the Wesley Chapel Rotary Club (which meets Wednesdays at noon at Ciao! Italian Bistro in the Shops at Wiregrass mall). “When you have thousands of online ‘fishing lines’ out there, the numbers say that at least a few of these children will be ‘reeled in’ and agree to meet them.” And, when they do, Hamilton said it’s even easier for the traffickers to earn the child’s confidence and, within a short period of time, bam, they will ending up selling and reselling these children 30-40 times a night. Still think, “This couldn’t happen to my kid?” Think again, said Hamilton. “Human trafficking is now the number two crime in the U.S. in terms of how much money these people make on the crimes they’s second only to drug trafficking,” she said. “And the average age of the victims keeps dropping. The average age was 14 just a couple of years ago. Now, the average age is 12...and it’s still dropping. And the life expectancy of these children is only about seven years. Most die of diseases.” Although some of the parents in the audience at the Rotary Club thought Hamilton perhaps didn’t go far enough to really point how prevalent and terrible a problem this is, other parents with young children — boys and girls — were stunned to hear the stories Hamilton has heard since she created Bridging Freedom a couple of years ago. “Children playing alone on the internet attracts traffickers,” Hamilton said. “That’s a fact. And, it’s not just an online problem. Right here in Hillsborough County, a sports coach sold at least one young boy over and over — to his neighbors. There’s just so many ‘buyers’ out there. And, where there’s a market, a demand for something, there’s always someone...many people...happy to provide that ‘product.’ Your child.” Bridging Freedom’s mission is to combat the sex trafficking of minors by bringing restoration to those rescued and providing victim prevention services by spreading awareness of the problem in schools, churches, with Rotary and other local civic and service organizations, anywhere Hamilton can spread the word. “Our ultimate goal is to build a therapeutic ‘safe home’ because the Local News Updates.......................................4-27

Graphic Design Georgia Carmichael • Christa Stuart Erica Everett • Chelsie Rosatone Sales & Marketing Assistant Antwon Gildon

New Tampa News Briefs.........................................................6 Cross Creek Blvd. Widening Under Way Former Gator And NFL Receiver In Trouble Again ‘Safe Sales’ Now Available In HCSO Parking Lots U.S. Marshals Offer Reward For Wrongway Crash Suspect State Hopes Court Denies Grove 16 Shooter’s Bond Appeal New Site Plan Submitted For Wesley Chapel Outlet Mall.............12

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Neighborhood News

Corrections From Last Issue:

We need to correct (and apologize for) a couple of boo-boos from our last issue: First, in the story about Acti-Kare, we mistakenly referred to the home health service company as “Act-Kare” in the headline (ouch) and stated that the company has offices in Polk, Pasco. Highland, Hardee, Manatee, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, which they don’t, although it does provide services to all of them. We went even further to report that franchise owner Bradley Romp’s wife Michelle owns salon Chateau de M in South Tampa, which she does not. Also, the Moffitt Cancer Center was referred to as the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute multiple times, because that was the full name given to it when it was approved by the Florida Legislature in 1986. However, a spokesperson for the prestigious research institute says that the preferred name is simply “Moffitt Cancer Center.” Even so...sorry. — GN

Table of Contents

Advertising Sales Representative Mary Dorey

Nothing that appears in New Tampa Neighborhood News may be reproduced, whether wholly or in part, without permission. Opinions expressed by Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News writers are their own and do not reflect the publisher’s opinion. The deadline for outside editorial submissions and advertisements for Volume 22, Issue 13, of New Tampa Neighborhood News is Monday, June 9, 2014. 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, nor for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers.

children who escape this ‘life’ need so much treatment,” she says, adding that there are fewer than five such residences nationwide right now. “Ours will be a holistic campus with equine therapy, on-site professional counselors and more, similar to the one started by in Washington, DC. We’re looking at one remote site in Hillsborough and one in Pasco right now.” To find out more about Bridging Freedom, a faith-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which works in conjunction with the Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Task Force and the Tampa Bay FBI “Innocence Lost” Initiative, or to have Laura Hamilton speak to your school or group, visit or call (727) 828-7000.

FDOT Axes S.R. 54/56 Elevated Road Project.............................................4

New Tampa Community Calendar.....................................14

Local Business Updates......................18-42

Infinite Edge Helps Your Student(s) Succeed.................................18 Team New Tampa Are Area Real Estate Experts..............................22 Visiting Angels Help Care For Your Loved Ones............................24 Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre Keeps Pets Healthy.................28 New Tampa Pet Resort Gives You & Your Pet A Vacation...............32 Academic Career Counseling Shapes A Better You.........................36 Mid-Florida Physical Medicine Offers Alternative Medicine.........38

Local Education Updates.........................41 Heritage/Hunter’s Green Elem. Students Learn To Illustrate.........41

Neighborhood Magazine

Summer Movie Season Is Action-Packed!.......................................43 Patty Wolf Golf Tournament Celebrates Her Life...........................51 O.T.B. Delights Cafe Offers Healthy Options...............................54 Sukho Thai Is New Tampa’s Thailand Taste Connection...............58 ‘Neighborhood Nibbles & Business Bytes’.............................60

NEW TAMPA COLOR CLASSIFIEDS.......................62


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FDOT Officially Nixes Controversial S.R. 54/56 Elevated Toll Road Plan

By Matt Wiley

After months of speculation, negotiation and apparent opposition throughout Pasco County, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) officially has pulled the plug on the proposed S.R. 54/S.R. 56 (54/56) elevated toll road plan that would have linked U.S. 301 in Zephyrhills to U.S. 19 in New Port Richey along the 54/56 corridor (just a few miles north of New Tampa). FDOT officially announced its rejection of the proposal from International Infrastructures Partners (IIP), LLC, and OHL Infrastructures on May 9. IIP submitted an unsolicited bid to FDOT to lease the right of way along the 54/56 corridor to construct a privately owned, operated and maintained toll road that would span more than 33 miles. “The department (FDOT) was unable to reach an agreement with (IIP) on a framework of financing and various design concepts for the corridor that would be acceptable to all parties and address the concerns of the local community,” says FDOT secretary Ananth Prasad. “In absence of this framework, advancing this project would not make any sense.” It was announced that negotiations between FDOT and IIP were falling apart on May 7, when a statement from Pasco County administrator Michele Baker was released. “We appreciate that it was FDOT and OHL Infrastructures’ decision not to move forward with the elevated toll road concept,” Baker said. “However, Pasco County will continue to engage the public and move forward with its analyses and studies to determine how to manage future congestion on the S.R. 54/56 corridor.” Public opposition to the project was made abundantly clear during open meetings in March and through the formation of Pasco Fiasco (, a group of Pasco County residents that has been publicly petitioning against the project the past few months. Baker said that the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will need to continue to address the ultimate transportation needs along 4

54/56 as part of the ongoing update to the MPO’s Long Range (25-year) Transportation Plan, which is due for adoption by December 2014. “(MPO staff) are focused on the development of our ‘2040 Transportation Needs Plan.’ That was our focus before the conversation was steered to the ‘FDOT unsolicited bid” and it remains our focus today. We recognize that the S.R. 54/56 corridor has and will continue to have worsening congestion.” Edwards explains that, although FDOT is scheduled to begin widening the section of S.R. 54 between the Suncoast Parkway and U.S. 41 in Land O’Lakes next year, no other improvements to the corridor are scheduled between now and 2020. However, Edwards says the MPO currently is testing improvement alternatives in other areas that could help alleviate some traffic along the S.R. 54/56 corridor, including along County Line Rd., although details of the alternatives were not disclosed. “Our (the MPO’s) plan spans 20 to 25 years out, but the S.R. 54/56 corridor is problematic for us,” Edwards explains. “There is no viable alternative corridor to take those traffic loads and there is an inability to expand in the existing right of way limits.” For more information, please visit Turn clutter into

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New Tampa

News Briefs

By Matt Wiley

Cross Creek Blvd. Widening Under Way

Construction officially has begun to widen Cross Creek Blvd. to four lanes from the entrance to Cory Lake Isles to Morris Bridge Rd. (photo) The two-mile stretch is being widened by Kamminga & Roodvoets (K&R), Inc., which also widened Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. from Cross Creek Blvd. to Palm Springs Blvd. in Tampa Palms. Construction is estimated to take about 18 months for the $4.9-million project. Drivers in the area are urged to use caution.

Former Gator & NFL Receiver In Trouble Again

A New Tampa resident and former NFL and University of Florida player has been released on bond, following an arrest for drug possession. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), Donald Reché Caldwell, Jr., 35, of Cory Lake Isles, was arrested at the Lodge at Lakecrest apartment complex, located south of the University of South Florida (USF)’s Tampa campus on McKinley Dr. HCSO reports that Caldwell was in possession of MDMA, or ecstasy, and was arrested on probable cause. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, a third-degree felony, and was released on a $2,000 bond. As previously reported in the New Tampa Neighborhood News, Caldwell is a former University of Florida wide receiver who played for the San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots and Washington Redskins during his six-season NFL career. Caldwell made headlines in January when he was arrested as one of four ringleaders of a gambling operation based in Tampa.

‘Safe Sales’ Now Available In HCSO Parking Lots

If you’ve ever sold an item on the Internet on a site like or through another type of classified ad, you may be familiar with the feeling of uneasiness that comes with having to meet up with a stranger to make a sales transaction. Anything can happen, depending upon the


meeting place, even here in New Tampa. To help combat crimes that can occur during meetings to exchange goods and cash involved with online sales transactions, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) is offering up safe parking lots by beginning “Operation Safe Sale.” The operation authorizes the use of HCSO’s four patrol district office parking lots throughout the county to be used as meeting places. Currently, the lots are being used for parents involved in custody issues to exchange children; they are welllit and constantly under video surveillance. The closest parking lot for New Tampa residents is located at HCSO Patrol District 1 at 14102 N. 20th St., (just south of Tampa Palms) near E. Bearss Ave., a about a mile east of Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. For more info, please visit

U.S. Marshals Offer Reward For Wrong-Way Crash Suspect

Nearly two years after killing a Wesley Chapel resident in a drunk driving wrongway accident, the Tampa man identified by law enforcement officials as being responsible for the crash still is on the loose and a reward has been posted for any information leading to his arrest. According to the U.S. Marshals Office, a $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of Christopher Ponce, 24, of Tampa, who has been on the run since May 9, when he reportedly removed an ankle monitor that kept track of his location. Ponce As previously reported in the New Tampa Neighborhood News, Ponce was arrested on July 19, 2012, for driving under the influence and traveling north in the southbound lanes of I-275 near

downtown Tampa, just south of the I-4 interchange, in a 2012 Ford Fusion. Ponce struck a 2000 Ford Mustang driven by William Brooks Angel, 20, of Wesley Chapel, who was traveling with two other passengers. As a result of the collision, Angel sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene. His passengers sustained serious injuries, but recovered. Ponce was arrested and charged with DUI, DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI with serious bodily injury and reckless driving. The U.S. Marshals Office says that Ponce could be anywhere in the U.S., or even beyond. The agency urges anyone who comes into contact with him not to try to apprehend him, but (if in or near Tampa) to call 415-1967.

State Attorney Wants Denial Of Reeves’ Appeal For Bail

The State Attorney’s Office (SAO) officially is recommending that an appeal for bail submitted by accused Grove 16 movie theater shooter and former Tampa cop Curtis Reeves, Jr., should be denied by a Florida appeals court. More than two months after a circuit judge denied him bail for fatally shooting a man in a Wesley Chapel movie theater, court records show that Reeves’ attorney Frances Martinez filed a Criminal Habeus Corpus Petition in the Second District Court of Appeals on April 21, to release Reeves, 71, on his own recognizance or set a reasonable bond amount. “When a person accused of a capital

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offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment seeks release on bail, it is within the discretion of the court to grant or deny bail when the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption great,” wrote assistant state attorney John M. Klawikofsky in a 23-page response on May 13 that detailed the testimony and evidence presented during Reeves’ pre-trial hearing. “Based upon the foregoing reasons, arguments, and citations of authority, the instant Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus should be denied.” Reeves originally was denied bond on February 7 by Pasco Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa, who said that although it was not a verdict, he was not granting bail to the accused Grove 16 Theater shooter, who is charged with second degree murder and aggravated battery. Reeves pled not guilty to the charges of the murder of Chad Oulson, 43, of Land O’Lakes, who was texting his daughter’s babysitter before a matinee showing of “Lone Survivor.” Oulson was seeing the movie with his wife, Nichole. Reeves reportedly asked Oulson to stop texting repeatedly and even informed theater management. Surveillance video from the scene of the crime shows Oulson standing up and turning around before Reeves pulled out a .380 handgun and shot him. The bullet also grazed Nichole Oulson’s finger. Reeves claims that he shot Oulson in self-defense. You can check for updates about Reeves’ trial, which is set to begin on July 9, at


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New Site Plan Submitted For Tampa Prime Outlets Mall Off S.R. 56 By Matt Wiley During the past several months, there have been periodic rumblings about future development at the longvacant Cypress Creek Town Center Development of Regional Impact (DRI) on the north and south sides of S.R. 56, just west of I-75 less than five miles north of New Tampa). However, an updated site plan has been submitted to Pasco County and the development of the long-awaited outlet mall portion of the project looks as if it’s all but moving forward. In a letter to the Pasco County Zoning & Intake department on March 25, Nathaniel Linden, project manager for Tampa-based Kimley-Horn & Associates, submitted an amended site plan for the portion of the Cypress Creek Town Center DRI that is located entirely south of S.R. 56, on behalf of Tampa Premium Outlets, LLC, and the Richard Jacobs Group, which co-owns the property with the Simon Property Group. “The plans have been revised to reflect the joint development of the property by JG Cypress Creek, LLC, and Tampa Premium Outlets, LLC, into a Premium Outlets Mall with future retail,” wrote Linden. “And, even the internal layout of the buildings, access drives, parking lot and other site features (related to the mall) have all been revised.”


Linden also wrote that the project would be divided into phases, the first of which has been submitted to the county for approval and details construction of the outlet mall, the “spine road” that borders the front parking lot of the mall that will be named Grand Cypress Dr., as well as the overall infrastructure for the south side of the development. The 56-acre site for the outlet mall is Phase 1 of seven on the south side of S.R. 56 and the mall will be capable of accommodating 1.1 million sq. ft. of retail space. Linden’s letter also points out that, even though it has been revised, many aspects of the new site plan still are consistent with the plan that fell through in 2007, when development of the DRI was put on hold due to legal issues involving runoff pollution into Cypress Creek and damage to the habitat of the endangered east indigo snake on the property during the initial road and utility development of the planned mall sites. Among the features that have not changed are the master drainage infrastructure, intersection configurations at S.R. 56 and Wesley Chapel Blvd. (which will be extended), and the development footprint, which won’t affect any wetland areas. “The next step is getting the site plan approved,” says Pasco County Zoning administrator Carol Clarke.

A new site plan has been given to Pasco County for the long-awaited Tampa Prime Outlets mall planned for the portion of the Cypress Creek Town Center DRI located south of S.R. 56 “Several agencies will review the plans and give comments back to the developer, who will then have to resubmit the plan for approval.” No date has yet been set for Pasco County to vote to approve the final plans. Clarke notes that even though the site plan has not yet been approved, there still is a good chance that the developer could have the mall opened by sometime next summer, as was indicated last November. “The developers are very experienced and are very good at setting opening dates, creating a sched-

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ule and meeting it,” Clarke says. Although development is moving along on the south side of the DRI, Clarke notes that she hasn’t seen much movement on the more than 200 acres located north of S.R. 56 in the Cypress Creek Town Center DRI. That property is owned by Sierra Properties (which also owns one parcel on the south side) and approved for commercial and residential development. A representative from Sierra could not be reached for comment. Stay with the New Tampa Neighborhood News as we follow this development.


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Continued from page 1

county requirements that made it more difficult to comply. In addition to the 13.4 acres for a cultural center, or whatever the county ultimately decides to build on the land, there also are 3-4 acres along BBD that could be sold to the private sector for development. However, Crist said he has another idea. “If we lease (instead of sell) the land (to the private sector), we can control what happens on it, the way it looks, feels and the way it blends with the community,” Crist said. “We can also bond the rent. This allows the county to begin development at the same time as the private sector.” Crist added that county staff is conducting feasibility studies to determine what the best course of action should be. “(The developable land) is not large enough for sports,” Crist said. “The (environmental) footprint (for athletic fields) is too large.” But, Crist says that there’s easily enough room for a cultural center, similar to the University Area Community Development Center, which he helped facilitate near the University of South Florida. The planned cultural center in New Tampa would have room for a performance theater, as well as office and meeting space, Crist explains. He also noted that the acreage would provide enough room for adequate parking and room for stormwater runoff mitigation, as well. “We’re not dead set on what should


go in there,” Crist said. “The community should tell us what should go in there.” Adam DeLuca, the president of the Quail Creek Homeowners Association in Hunter’s Green, suggested closing the future park or facility at a certain time, similar to Flatwoods, to keep people from hanging out late. “Traffic and security are a big concern for Hunter’s Green residents,” DeLuca said. Elizabeth Belcher, who is running against Crist in the November local elections to represent New Tampa on the county commission, said that she wants to see a button for more info and updates about the land decision on the front page of the county’s website. Other residents were concerned about the timeframe for development. “The most important part is the decision making,” said Swathi Bose, a representative for the county’s Real Estate & Facilities Department. “If county funded, it could take at least a year and a half before permits (are received) and infrastructure (is built). A P3 or RFP (request for proposal process) could take longer. The land will have to go through the rezoning process and that could take up to two years.” David Larson, of St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church (located on Cross Creek Blvd.) spoke of the church’s plan to convert its current sanctuary into a community event center once its new sanctuary’s construction is complete. “We have a 28,000-sq.-ft. building basically across the street,” Larson explained, adding that the space will have a stage and seating for more than 1,000 people. “I

question the need for a second center like this, especially if it’s going to cost the public money.” Wall said that NTP does have interest in the St. Mark’s building, as well. “We want to look at both sites and see what fits (NTP) best,” Wall said. To watch the presentation and meeting online, please visit the Hillsborough County YouTube channel. Stay with the New Tampa Neighborhood News as we Quail Creek HOA president Adam DeLuca (far right) asks county continue to follow this commissioner Victor Crist (far left), about the land across BBD Blvd. from Hunter’s Green during a public meeting on May 5. story as it develops.

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May 2014

MOMS Club Of 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 for mothers and their children, opportunities for Moms’ Nights Out and many more benefits. For more information, or to join the club, email

Sunday, May 25

Zen Meditation Group - Enjoy meditation? Looking for a new way to relax? Check out the FREE Zen Meditation Group that meets Sundays at 10 a.m. in the Arbor Greene Community Center (18000 Arbor Greene Dr., off Cross Creek Blvd.) Aerobics Room. People of all faiths are welcome. You only need an interest in meditation and a more peaceful and relaxed mind and life. For more info, call Jeremy at 528-6285.

Monday, May 26

Community Acupuncture - A Monday night community acupuncture and discussion group is meeting at Ion Medi-Spa (8903 Regents Park Dr., Suite 130), 6:30 p.m. Topics include needle-free acupuncture, facial rejuvenation and stop smoking and customized weight-loss programs. For more info, call 960-8833 or visit

Saturday, May 31

New Tampa Dog Pack - Do you have a dog? Enjoy scenic nature walks? Join the New Tampa Dog Pack on Saturday mornings at 9 a.m at Flatwoods Wilderness Park (at the 18205 BBD entrance) and on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. at Compton Park (16101 Compton Dr., Tampa Palms). For info, visit

June 2014

Tuesday, June 3

NAMI Support Group Meetings - The Pasco County Chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a support group for friends & family of those with mental illness the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at North Tampa Behavioral Health (29910 S.R. 56). For more info, call (727) 992-9653.

Thursday, June 12

Northeast Tampa Women In Business (NETWIB) Meeting - The NETWIB group meets the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at Hunter’s Green Country Club (18101 Longwater Run Dr.). For more info, visit or call 843-2354.


Tuesday, May 27

New Tampa Tri Club - The New Tampa Tri Club is open to runners, swimmers, cyclists and triathletes across the New Tampa/Wesley Chapel area. The club hosts group bike rides/runs at Flatwoods Wilderness Park (13330 Morris Bridge Rd.) every Tues., Thur. and Sat. at 7:30 a.m. For more info, join the Facebook group or e-mail GriefShare - This video-seminar-support group is for anyone who is grieving the death of a loved one. The cost is $20 for a workbook and 13 sessions, begin any week to find healing and hope. The group meets Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at Lake Magdalene Methodist Church (2902 W. Fletcher Ave., Rm. 310). For info, call 963-1555.

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BNI Millionaire Makers - The BNI Millionaire Makers chapter meets every Wednesday at Pebble Creek Golf Club at 7:15 a.m. (10550 Regents Park Dr., off BBD Blvd.). The $13 meeting fee includes a hot breakfast. Call Lisa Jordan (621-6015) for info. Business Networking International (BNI) - BNI, a group of business professionals dedicated to helping their respective businesses grow through qualified referrals, meets every Wed. morning at 7:30 a.m. at the Cory Lake Isles Beach Club clubhouse (18630 Plantation Bay Dr., off Morris Bridge Rd.). Call Steve Hopper at 918-8609. New Tampa Noon Rotary Club- The New Tampa Noon Rotary Club meets every Wednesday for lunch at noon at Café Olé (10020 Cross Creek Blvd., in the Cross Creek Center plaza (behind the Shell gas station). Guests are always welcome. New Tampa Evening Rotary Club - The New Tampa Evening Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. at Hunter’s Green Country Club (10101 Longwater Run Dr. inside the Hunter’s Green entrance gate). New members are always welcome. For more info, call Liz DeAmbrose at 956-6487 or email 9-12 Toastmasters - Great speeches & great topics. Come hone your public speaking skills. Tampa Toastmasters meets Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the New Tampa Family YMCA (16221 Compton Dr., Tampa Palms). Guests are always welcome. Call 428-6356.

Thursday, May 29

CBC Networking - Come together with like-minded professionals at the Christian Business Connections (CBC) Networking group, which meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church (located at 5338 Primrose Lake Cir., off Commerce Park Blvd. in Tampa Palms) for a “meet & greet,” followed by a meeting of the group. For more information, please send an email to English As A Second Language (ESL)- This group meets Thursdays at Tampa Bay Presbyterian Church (19911 BBD Blvd.), 9 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Classes are taught by a native English speaker using several ESL and Bible study resources. The cost is $20 each quarter, for the workbook & class materials. For info, call Heather at 753-8567.

Friday, May 30

New Tampa Rotary Club - The original New Tampa Rotary Club meets for breakfast at 7 a.m. at Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club (TPGCC, 5811 Tampa Palms Blvd.). The speaker will be Rodney Coleman. For more information, call Eric Longphee at 202-1105 or visit For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 22, Issue 11 • May 24, 2014 •

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Give Your Child An Academic Advantage At Infinite Edge Learning Center! By Kelly Miller

Nothing is more disheartening to a parent than watching their child struggle with homework. The way kids are taught in today’s classrooms is radically different than in previous generations. For example, today, students often aren’t even allowed to bring home their textbooks. So, what are kids supposed to do with difficult assignments and parents who don’t have the answers? Look to the Infinite Edge Learning Center in the Tampa Palms Professional Center off Commerce Park Blvd. for help. This privately-owned tutoring center specializes in customized one-on-one lessons in all subjects for students in grades K-12 and even for freshmen in college. Owner and director Sobi Jabbari explains that what separates Infinite Edge Learning Center from the local franchised tutoring centers is that, “We don’t prescribe to a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Here, we design a program that fits each individual student’s needs. We continually assess each child and help them improve in order to reach a higher level.” In other words, the curriculum for your student will be custom-created to fill his or her needs. Jabbari received a B.S. (Bachelor of Science) degree in Mathematics & Engineering Physics

and a M.S. (Master of Science) degree in Experimental Physics. Before he opened Infinite Edge Learning Center seven years ago, Jabbari had thirty years of teaching experience at the high school and university levels. He has lived in Tampa Palms for twenty years. His son, Koroh, is an eleventh grader at Freedom High in Tampa Palms and his daughter, Farnush, is a seventh grader at Liberty Middle School (also in Tampa Palms). Infinite Edge Learning Center is a family affair, as Jabbari’s wife, Ozra, who also is a former teacher, runs the day-to-day operations as Infinite Edge’s office manager. The center has so many success stories that we couldn’t list them all here, but Ozra provided a few examples — like the Hillsborough County student who failed his fourth grade Reading and Writing FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) exams before coming to Infinite Edge Learning Center. But, with weekly tutoring from Infinite Edge, he earned perfect scores on both FCAT tests in the fifth grade. Then, there was the boy who arrived at the center not knowing any English. “He started one-on-one tutoring sessions beginning in kindergarten and has been coming to the center for two years,” Ozra explains. “Today, he

is an honors student in second grade who has tested at a third grade level.” In addition to Sobi, there are fourteen other teachers at the center. Ozra says most of the teachers are current high school teachers and all of them approach each student with the following objectives: • Determine the student’s academic strengths and chalWith the help of Sobi Jabbari (left), Lawrence, a King High grad, lenges via assessment. scored 780 on the math section of the SAT and now is attending the • Establish a University of Florida in Gainesville on a full academic scholarship. grade equivalency and their staff believe each child has the standardized score to ability to excel beyond his or her curpinpoint areas requiring improvement rent educational level of performance, or intervention. and they’re willing to do everything • Design an individualized, they can to make that happen. This was student-based learning intervention even more evident when I witnessed strategy or curriculum of instruction. Ozra returning to the center after hav• Continuously assess and reassess ing picked up a student whose mother progress to maximize achievement as well as retention and comprehension of had car problems while driving to their tutoring session. academic knowledge. Another student named Anoud says, “Infinite Edge Learning Center It’s The Personal Touch . . . is the most amazing thing that has . . . that sets Infinite Edge Learnever happened to me. I honestly don’t ing Center apart. The Jabbaris and

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know how I’d get straight As in school if it wasn’t for Mr. Jabbari and Ozra. Coming here helped me keep up with my work and also helped me get ahead in my classes.” With Hillsborough County changing over to the Common Core Standards curriculum (a national initiative for grades K-12 seeking to establish consistent educational standards in English, language arts and mathematics in every state to ensure that students are college- and career-ready by the end of high school) this fall, children who normally excel in school might find themselves falling short. If parents see their child’s (or children’s) grades suffer, they should contact Infinite Edge Learning Center, where uniquely customized programs can help students in any one of these situations: • If they need extra academic enrichment beyond their school’s academic curriculum. • If they moved to a more competitive school or school district and want to get ahead. • If they need academic intervention (for students who’ve had trouble with a class or classes) and would benefit from one-on-one attention. • If they need home-schooled classroom support. • If they need distance learning support online. • For parents who want their children to be assessed for college and/or

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if they need college preparation. Students can get assistance in a variety of subjects at Infinite Edge, including mathematics, language development and enrichment, general science, chemistry, reading, foreign languages, college-level courses, FCAT, SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), ACT (American College Testing), and GRE (Graduate Record Examination)/ GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). The center also offers help with AP Calculus AB and BC, AP Chemistry and AP Physics. Infinite Edge Learning Center gets results. Among the center’s success stories are students who scored a 5 in AP Calculus BC in only the ninth grade. Many Infinite Edge students complete Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry, all before entering high school. David Springer of Temple Terrace says it’s worth the drive to bring his 17-year-old daughter Catherine to Infinite Edge. “My wife investigated several tutoring centers and all of the people she talked to who brought their kids here were extremely happy. Since coming, Catherine’s grades have significantly improved and she’s now more confident in math. She also increased her practice SAT scores by taking the center’s prep class.” The owners of Infinite Edge Learning Center also are proud to be the “Home of the Perfect SAT and Subject SAT Scores.” Brothers José


and Miguel Mungruza attended math tutoring and SAT prep courses with Sobi. Both boys received perfect 800 scores in math, which helped them both earn full scholarships for both their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Sobi says, “The best reward I can receive is to see the students I’ve helped go on to university and come back at Christmas time telling me how well they’re doing.” The center advises parents to enroll their children in the SAT preparation course beginning in ninth grade and no later than tenth grade. Ozra says that once students become high school juniors, many of them are so

busy with AP classes and extracurricular activities that they can become overloaded with the addition of having studying for the SAT exam — so, it’s best to start early with once-a-week tutoring sessions. The center also offers SAT group lessons for $20/hour with no more than five students per class. Infinite Edge Learning Center (17419 Bridge Hill Ct.) can be reached by calling 971-6500 or by email at infiniteedgelearningcenter@ More info also is available online at The hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 2 p.m. – 9 p.m.; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday; and special hours by appointment only.

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Team New Tampa Is On Your Side If Buying Or Selling A Home In New Tampa By Lauren Saslow

Spring is a time of transitions and new beginnings. May also marks the end of the school year, when many families with children decide to buy and/or sell their homes. And, if selling in the New Tampa or Wesley Chapel area, why not enlist the help of Realtors who specialize in selling homes in the area, like Team New Tampa? Ann Carlson, who has been a licensed real estate agent since 2006, recently partnered with Mark Pacheco — who earned his real estate license about a year ago — to create Team New Tampa this past January. Because state law mandates that all real estate agents work under a brokerage company, Team New Tampa operates as a team under the Keller Williams Realty New Tampa (KWRNT) umbrella. So, while Team New Tampa currently has its own office on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., just south of County Line Rd., the entire KWRNT team (including Team New Tampa) will be moving to the Burns & Wilcox office building (located behind the Muvico Starlight 20 theater on Highwoods Preserve Pkwy.) in June, where they will occupy the entire first floor. Carlson, a long-time Hunter’s Green resident, explains that, “April and May are the best months to sell property,” adding that even if the seller lists a property in April, it may take several months before the sale of the property is finalized. Carlson also explains that the reason often is because people who work for large companies

are often given until after the school year ends before they have to relocate, while also offering them time to acclimate to a new neighborhood before enrolling their child(ren) at new school(s) in August. Carlson and Pacheco, who also is a long-time Hunter’s Green resident, have extensive knowledge of all the streets and properties in the Hunter’s Green community, which was voted the Top MasterPlanned Community in the Southeast by the National Association of Home Builders when it was being developed. Both Carlson and Pacheco have maintained personal ties to the people within the community and the members of Hunter’s Green Country Club, where Ann plays tennis and where they both golf. Carlson and Pacheco also both raised their families in the community. “Most of our business is through personal referrals,” explains Pacheco. Even so, not all of Team New Tampa’s clients reside in New Tampa. Lutz resident Paul Ferlita enjoyed his experience working with Pacheco, stating, “From the very beginning, Mark always has been reliable… [and] is a knowledgeable professional committed to his clients and their needs.” Likewise, John Fitzpatrick, a resident of the Northwood community in Wesley Chapel, worked with Carlson for more than two years. “Ann has always gone the extra mile to ensure the best results possible. Beyond being well versed at her profession, I trust that what she has to say is in my best interest and not necessarily hers.

Mark Pacheco (left) and Ann Carlson of Team New Tampa can help you sell your house, just as they helped sell this home in Hunter’s Green. You would do well to have her representaHunter’s Green, according to the Multion as your (real estate) agent.” tiple Listing Service (MLS) System.” In Pacheco attributes his background in addition, KWRNT is the largest broker in the lighting industry (he earned his A.S. all of New Tampa in terms of the number degree in Electromechanical Engineerof agents, dollar volume and number of ing from Blue Hills Technical Institute in total sales. Pacheco attributes the Broker’s Canton, MA, and later his B.S. in Informasuccess to education, rather than paid tion Sciences from the University of South advertisements. Florida in Tampa) and working with many Gary Keller, co-founder and Chairman of the custom and spec home builders in of the Board of Keller Williams, has a focus his community as to why he transitioned on the education of the company’s agents, into real estate. with training programs in such areas as how “I built three homes in Hunter’s to use the MLS system, how to prospect, Green,” Pacheco explains. “And I’ve always contracts, listing agreements and short been interested in real estate.” sales. Keller Williams now is an international brokerage, and last year became the largHe adds, “Team New Tampa is the est real estate company in North America. number one team for listings and sales in

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Carlson’s reputation prior to partnering with Pacheco is equally impressive. She was the Top Individual Agent in the KWRNT office out of 168 Realtors in 2011, 2012 and 2013. She also was awarded the Regional Award for Top Five Producing Real Estate Agents in Keller Williams’ North Florida Region for volume (number of transactions) out of 3,400 agents. Additional awards in 2013 include a Platinum Award for Closed Volume, a Gold Award for Listing Units and Volume, as well as a Bronze Award for charitable donations to “KW Cares” and “KW Tampa Cares” to benefit KW employees, their families or anyone else the company decides to help in times of need. The first thing Pacheco and Carlson do when meeting with a client for the first

time is to sit down and interview them. They ask the client questions about their motivation to sell their home, their budget requirements, timeline and then offer input about what the market value of their home is under current market conditions. Carlson explains, “It’s about honesty, integrity and being as knowledgeable about the client’s needs and motivations as possible.” Team New Tampa currently is located at 20701 BBD, Suite 200. To contact Pacheco, call 994-4422 or email To contact Carlson, call 842-1099 or email KW_ For more info or to search Team New Tampa’s available real estate listings, go to TeamNewTampa. com or “Like” Team New Tampa’s page.

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SPOTLIGHT ON... Academy of Montessori International Did you know that the Academy of Montessori International, located on Morris Bridge Rd. (just south of Cross Creek Blvd.), applies the educational philosophy of Montessori International namesake Dr. Maria Montessori of “follow the student.” The management and staff of this wonderful place of learning recognize that every student is unique and is allowed to grow at his or her own, in- Ramona Limon (right), the co-director of the Academy of dividual pace, which helps the Montessori Intl. (on Morris Bridge Rd., near Cross Creek students acquire a true love of Blvd.) is one the center’s many certified Montessori teachlearning which they embrace ers who allow each child to learn at his or her own pace. peace and an individualized sense of acfor a lifetime. The multi-age classrooms at the complishment. All of the teachers at AMI are deAcademy allow the older students to satisfy their natural needs through nurturing greed and/or certified in Montessori the young. “Our younger students learn education and have many years of Monclassroom skills faster than children in tra- tessori teaching experience between ditional schools, due to the positive role them! “Children who graduate from our modeling demonstrated by their older academic programs are fully prepared to peers, as well as by Montessori teachers,” successfully enter public or private school says Academy of Montessori Internation- anywhere in the world,” says Limon. For additional information about al’s co-director Ramona Limon (photo). Montessori materials are always dis- the Academy of Montessori Interplayed in an orderly fashion and learning national (15421 Morris Bridge Rd., takes place in a natural progression. The Thonotosassa), call 381-3870 and combination of “order” and “natural make an appointment for a personal learning” satisfies the child’s psyche with tour. Or, visit

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Visiting Angels Is New Tampa’s First Choice In Home Care

Perhaps you’ve seen one of Visiting Angels’ upbeat TV commercials. If you have elderly parents or an aging loved one, you probably have paid attention to the ads. The savvy spots, featuring the catchy motto, “Visiting Angels, America’s Choice in Home Care,” portray smiling caregivers visiting the homes of contented senior citizens, assisting them with a variety of tasks. The ad’s message rings clear: “There’s no place like home.” Home care services, such as Visiting Angels, provide a rapidly growing, aging U.S. population with an alternative to moving into a nursing home or retirement center, allowing seniors and others in need to maintain the independence of their daily routines in the comfort of their own homes, instead of in a facility. Christal Becton, owner and director of the Visiting Angels franchise that serves New Tampa and Hillsborough County, says she feels blessed to be in the business of helping senior citizens and their families. “When my 84-year-old aunt, who lived in Columbia, SC, needed assistance, I had to hire a caregiver for her because I was unable to keep traveling back and forth (to care for her),” Christal explains. “I believe that’s what started me on the road to in-home care. After my husband retired from the military, and I was ready to get out of my job in corporate America, I began

looking into franchises. That’s when I found Visiting Angels.” Christal, whose Visiting Angels office is located in the Sherwood Forest Shopping Center on N. 56th St. (south of Fowler Ave.) in Temple Terrace, bought the franchise seven years ago, when her family settled in New Tampa. She has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, and a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree from the University of Phoenix campus in Albuquerque, NM. She also has a wealth of nursing home experience, having served as Chief of Recreation Therapy at a nursing home in Albuquerque. Christal says, “Visiting Angels is an opportunity to use my degrees and (health care) background.” Her staff consists of 50 Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Home Health Assistants (HHAs) and companions. She says she currently serves 40-60 clients in New Tampa, Temple Terrace and the Bayshore area of South Tampa, but her territory includes all of Hillsborough County. “Our business is geared toward helping people who live alone, but still want to remain in their homes,” Christal explains. “We provide many services not only to seniors, but also to anyone over 18 who needs assistance. Younger people sometimes need help, too, due to physical challenges or health issues.”

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Available services include everything from helping someone temporarily recover from an illness or surgery to providing ongoing companionship to a senior who just needs a friend. “We also go grocery shopping and run errands, prepare meals, assist with personal care and do light housekeeping,” Christal Owner Christal Becton will help find the right Visting Angel to help care for your loved one in their time of need. adds. every client is treated as an individual One difficulty because they also may face different, common for many seniors, especially or even unique, issues. Some require those who don’t drive or have a relative help with bathing or shaving. Some just nearby, is arranging transportation to need a hand getting up in the morning doctors’ appointments. Visiting Angels’ and starting their day. Others may need staff will transport clients to and from clothes laundered and linens changed. their appointments, and always remain Other situations sometimes involve on site throughout their clients’ visits. a Visiting Angels caregiver providing re“We provide the vehicle, and we lief to a family caregiver who just needs often visit the V.A. (James Haley Vetera break. Simply put, the agency’s duties ans Administration Hospital) and other hospitals with our clients,” Christal says, depend upon each client’s needs and requirements. adding that the service is a relief to relaA non-medical agency, Visiting tives who find it difficult to take time off Angels does not determine their clients’ from work to drive their loved ones to schedules, but finds ways to accommotheir medical appointments. date them – day or night, weekends or Although many Visiting Angels holidays, temporary or long term. While clients experience similar struggles,


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Angels apart from other home care services is that our clients get to choose their caregiver,” Christal explains. “People don’t just show up and say, ‘I’m here to take care of you.’ Our clients actually meet the caregivers beforehand, so they already feel comfortable with the person caring for them.” Christal says Visiting Angels recruits top-notch caregivers, and before hiring, the Visiting Angels caregivers can help your loved one with company runs a compreheneverything from bathing to helping them with daily house- sive background screening on hold tasks to going for a walk. each employee. Christal says she is very particular when some clients require only a few hours selecting caregivers. of assistance per week, others need 24“One of my CNAs has been with hour care. In the case of an end-stage the same client since 2004,” she says. terminal illness, for instance, caregivers “In hiring, I make sure my staff has a rotate on 12-hour shifts. Live-in care passion for doing what they do, and that also is available. they have a strong employment history If you or someone you know needs in caring for seniors.” living assistance services, here’s how Many of the caregivers are graduto get started: Call the Temple Terrace ates of medical academies that specialize Visiting Angels office and set up a free in-home assessment. Christal will review in home care and/or have worked at assisted living facilities and in other health your needs and ask about the types of care environments. Christal says Visiting services you desire, noting the patient’s Angels caregivers choose to specialize daily routine, meals, proximity to docin home care because they enjoy the tors’ offices and number of regularly personal interaction with only one or scheduled appointments. Christal then two clients. prepares a care plan and selects the carWhen faced with the dilemma egivers best suited to your needs. After of how to care for yourself or for the personally meeting all of the available most precious people in your life, you caregivers, you choose the candidate definitely will appreciate these compasyou prefer. “One of the things that sets Visiting sionate and dedicated souls who come

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in and save the day. Nothing drives the point home more effectively than this note from a thankful daughter: “Your name is so appropriate; you all are ‘Angels,’” writes the client, who asked to be referred to only as “B.” “I have thanked God many times for your faithfulness and devotion to Mother. My family and I are forever grateful.” Visiting Angels (11007 N. 56th St., Suite 212, in Temple Terrace) is currently offering two free hours of service for a three-hour minimum visit for new clients. All services are charged at an hourly rate. To discuss how Visiting Angels can assist you or the loved ones in your life, call 9297067 or visit

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Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre Combines Holistic & Traditional Care By Celeste McLaughlin

When Helaine Lewis’s cat, Ashley, was having trouble getting around due to arthritis, her veterinarian recommended an innovative treatment: laser therapy. The recommendation came from Timothy D. Hodge, DVM, a 1995 honored graduate of Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Starkville, MS. He and his team at the Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre in the Cory Lake isles Professional Center on Cross Creek Blvd. used a non-surgical laser to penetrate into Ashley’s tissues, to stimulate cellular activity. “This speeds healing, increases blood flow, is a natural painkiller, and releases the pet’s endorphins,” Dr. Hodge explains, saying that laser therapy can be a good option to treat arthritis, as well as infections of the bladder, skin, and ear. It also can reduce the amount drugs given to a pet and mitigate side effects. “I could see a big difference in Ashley right away,” says Helaine, who lives in Cross Creek. “She could even jump again, which she couldn’t do before.” Dr. Hodge explains that laser therapy is just one way that he and his staff emphasize a holistic approach to

pet health care. They offer the highest standard of western medicine, plus traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and herbal therapies. In fact, the laser sometimes serves as a combination of the two. It can be used for acupuncture, where acupressure points are stimulated using the laser in place of a needle. In addition to laser therapy, Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre offers more services than you might expect at your typical neighborhood veterinarian. The clinic recently expanded its offerings by adding Board-certified specialist veterinarians to its team in the areas of internal medicine and surgery. “So now, when pets need specialized care, we don’t have to refer them out,” says Dr. Hodge, who explains the specialists are available by appointment. “We’re happy to offer these services in our office, so that we can be your one point of contact, where the doctor is involved in the pet’s care, and serves as a liaison between the pet and the specialist.” A list of the general practitioners and specialists who provide care at Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre is available at The clinic also uses digital radiology, providing amazing detail very quickly. Every image that is taken in the office is reviewed by a Board-certified radiologist. With digital imaging,

radiology reports are usually back in the office within hours, speeding and streamlining the process from diagnostics to treatment. Dr. Hodge stresses that his office offers the highest quality equipment, meds and supplies. “When it comes to vaccines, drugs and other medications, it’s been my experience that lesser quality Dr. Timothy Hodge of the Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre in the may invite setbacks, Cory Lake Isles Professional Center on Cross Creek Blvd. checks up on complications, or Yoda after a neutering procdure performed the same day with a laser. reactions,” he says. that gingivitis (or periodontal disease) “So, for example, if a pet needs an antiis an infection that can spread to the biotic, we’ll give them the best availbloodstream and potentially cause able antibiotic to treat that condition. heart disease, stroke, or kidney infecSometimes the generic medication is tion. He says health issues lie below the best option, but I have seen cases the gum line, so a proper cleaning for where generics just don’t work.” health benefits must include anesthesia. Dr. Hodge also emphasizes that an often overlooked area of health for pets Making Pet Care Affordable is dental care. If a pet has bad breath, The cost of veterinary care for red gums, a change of eating habits or doesn’t want to play with toys, a dental unexpected issues, and even routine wellness, can sometimes take pet ownexam and cleaning is a good idea. ers by surprise. Cross Creek Animal “Oral health can impact a pet’s Medical Centre recommends several lifespan,” says Dr. Hodge, explaining

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the relationship between doctor, pet and family. Pet insurance is growing in popularity and several companies are recommended by Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre. Pet insurance works much like medical insurance for people, with pet owners purchasing a policy that will help pay for accidents, illnesses and even routine wellness, depending upon the policy you choose. The Centre also offers wellness plans that provide a 20-35 percent discount over the cost of purchasing services a la carte. Wellness plans are purchased up front and Dr. Hodge performs a routine checkup on Max, a goldare valid for one year. The cost of en lab mix, at Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre. the wellness plans, along with other expenses at the clinic, can even be ways to manage your pet’s health care financed to allow clients to pay their expenses. pet’s bills over time. If you don’t already own a pet, be sure to research the breed you’re ‘State Of The Heart Care, interested in. Certain breeds are more State Of The Art Technology’ prone to health problems such as skin Cross Creek Animal Medical and heart issues, or even arthritis. Dr. Centre has been open on Cross Creek Hodge says that rescued animals are Blvd. since 2003, including four years often the healthiest, because they are at its current location. In addition, not prone to breed-specific problems. Dr. Hodge and hospital administrator Once you’re a pet owner, try to Edwin Martinez have recently opened budget for your pet’s care. Your pet a second clinic, Harbourside Animal should see the veterinarian twice a Hospital, in South Tampa. year for well checkups. This allows “We treat pets like family,” says Dr. the doctor to examine your pet and Hodge, explaining his clinic’s philosodetect subtle changes that could grow phy. For more than 10 years, the clinic into problems if a pet is not seen more has operated with this motto as its often. And, more frequent visits build

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guiding principal: “State of the heart care, with state of the art technology.” Helaine Lewis says she appreciates that Dr. Hodge and his team are “very thorough and explore all possibilities. If a treatment doesn’t work, they’ll try something else.” She says she has been taking her pets to Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre since moving to New Tampa in 2005. At the time, she was the owner of 10 rescued animals. Dr. Hodge cared for her three dogs, five cats and two birds. Although all of those pets have since passed away, Helaine recently rescued a kitten named Capone, who is now one of Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre’s newest patients.

Dr. Hodge is concerned about all pets, and values giving back to the community. Recently, the Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre donated $16,000 worth of preventive medications to Hillsborough County Animal Services. The drugs, which were nearing expiration, could be used quickly at the animal shelter, providing necessary medications for many animals. Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre is located at 10323 Cross Creek Blvd., Suite H. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., and from 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday. For more info or to make an appointment, call 994-6929 or visit

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New Tampa Pet Resort Offers A Vacation For You And Your Pets By Matt Wiley NTPR has everything your pet needs to

As you’ve all read during the past few months in these pages, our office recently moved to Wesley Chapel. About one month before the big move, I took a big “life step” and decided to get a dog with my girlfriend Vanessa as our Christmas gift to one another. We rescued Otis, an American dingocorgi mix, from Hillsborough County Animal Services (located off Anderson Rd. in Brandon). Needless to say (and all of you pet owners know what I’m talking about), life has been a little different from the second he came home with us. In addition to having a new dog, I also had to continue to keep you fine readers informed about what’s going on in your area, so I brought Otis with me to work. However, he wouldn’t be able to accompany us to the new office. Nervous and worried, I had no idea what I was going to do with him during the day, as my special lady friend currently is a full-time student at the University of South Florida. The New Tampa Pet Resort (NTPR), located in Lutz on County Line Rd. less than a mile west of Cypress Creek Dr. in Wesley Chapel, eased my apprehension. Celebrating six years in business, NTPR is a spot for your furry friends to enjoy some “R & R,” while you and yours enjoy some vacation time, or just some quiet time away from your pet. Whether it’s just for the day or for an extended stay,


feel pampered and everything you need to feel comfortable leaving your pet. NTPR owner and New Tampa resident Lisa Golicher says that she spent more than four years coming up with the business plan and actually getting NTPR built in its current location, which shares space with New Tampa Pet Hospital, a fullservice veterinary care center. Golicher adds that while she spent time in the telecommunications industry and served as the president of the Seminole County Humane Society, she decided that she wanted to come up with and open a “one-stop-shop” for pets, including veterinary services, daycare, boarding, grooming and some retail to make it easier on the customer. Cats, dogs, birds, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs and even hedgehogs all have been guests at NTPR. “I wrote the business plan in 2003, approached my veterinarian, who now is my business partner (Dr. Mara Ricci, of Wesley Chapel), and we opened in 2008,” Golicher explains. “I’ve always had a love and passion for pets.” In fact, Golicher and her family have four dogs at home: a border collie mix, a Siberian husky, a white German shepherd and a pomeranian-chihuahua mix. NTPR’s mission is to offer its clients, “a full-service pet resort and spa that provides our animal family members with the same love, security, fun and care they deserve during their time on earth. A re-

Owner Lisa Golicher hangs at the bone-shaped pool at the New Tampa Pet Resort on County Line Rd. in Lutz (just west of Wesley Chapel) with some “doggy daycare” patrons, including Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News assistant editor Matt Wiley’s dingo-corgi mix Otis (lower right). sort that is an experience for our pets, our clients and our employees.” Golicher says that the idea is to provide “La Bella Vita” (Italian for “The Good Life”) for pets who live in and near the New Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Lutz and surrounding communities.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 22, Issue 11 • May 24, 2014 •

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Doggy Daycare, Grooming & Boarding

It all starts with personalized care that is based upon the temperament of the animal. Each day, dogs that are brought in for “doggy daycare” are gently introduced to each other to make sure that they get


villa is constructed with high-end laminate and draining floors, not the chain link fence with cement floors that many imagine when considering boarding their pets. Villas come in 4 ft. x 6 ft. and 4 ft. x 8 ft., with the option of a pass-through door, if you’re boarding two pets. If you really want your pet to have the ultimate resort experience, 5 ft. x 10 ft. private suites with actual miniature beds, TVs and webcam access are available. All dogs that are boarded have the option of going out to exercise with the daycare groups, at each owner’s discretion. In addition to webcams, (Left) Otis hangs out in one of the 4 ft. x 6 ft. “villas,” while NTPR groomer Tracy Propper gives a visitor a prim other technology is infused into and proper grooming. NTPR that is a little more difgradually gets about a foot deep, before along, before getting separated into play ficult to notice, but still beneficial dropping off to the five foot deep end for groups. Bigger dogs are usually grouped to guests. The facility features separate air pets who swim. The pool also features a together, as well as smaller dogs and highhandling heating and cooling systems that salt generator and Ozonator, which helps energy dogs, to ensure a safe play environchange the air 5-6 times per hour with reduce any harsh chemical effects and keeps special filters manufactured for pet facilities ment for every pet. furry coats silky and healthy. “Daycare is perfect for those who are to guarantee the freshest of air. There also NTPR also offers on-site grooming, working that just want their dog to have is an on-site water treatment facility, as well which can be done while your dog or cat is as 24-hour video surveillance throughout that extra benefit of exercise and socializaat daycare, or by appointment. Janet Martion,” Golicher explains. “It’s really good the property for our pets. Just like we need exercise tinez, who has been with NTPR from the “We try to cater to our customers’ daily, they do, too!” start, and Tracy Propper, a four-year NTPR needs,” Golicher explains. “The perfect Groups are taken outside to the masgroomer, will have your pooch looking his situation is when a customer has their dog sive, more-than-an-acre fenced-in yard to or her finest by the time you come to pick groomed, has a vet visit next door and then run and play, before getting a chance to him or her up. leaves the dog for day care. That’s when If you need a few days away, consider take a supervised dip in the bone-shaped (everything we have here) is really advantabooking a “villa,” for your pet. NTPR pool with “beach-access,” meaning that geous. It just takes away all of the stress of offers a variety of options for any pet. Each having to go to different places at different the pool starts at four inches deep and


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 22, Issue 11 • May 24, 2014 •

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times for different services and trying to make all that work with your schedule.” Golicher adds that, besides taking care of New Tampa and Wesley Chapel’s pets, the mission of NTPR also is to give back to the community, which it does through charitable donations. She says that each year, NTPR picks a new “Pick Charity.” This year, for every new customer, NTPR will donate $5 to “Island Dog,” a 501(c) (3) shelter that’s currently fighting to end animal cruelty in Puerto Rico, from which Golicher actually recently adopted Sandy, her border collie.

Trust Me, They’re Cool!

From the first day I brought him in, Golicher and her staff made me feel assured that Otis would be looked after (and worn out) every time he visited. He even has learned how to swim. Otis has gotten well socialized with other dogs and is better in public thanks to his exposure to other pups while at daycare at NTPR. I highly recommend NTPR to anyone looking for a place to drop off his or her pet for the day. Neither you nor your pet will be sorry. New Tampa Pet Resort is located at 3513 E. County Line Rd. in Lutz. The lobby (which is fully stocked with baked goods for your pet and other toys and treats) is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.– 6 p.m., from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. on Saturdays and for prearranged drop offs and pickups at noon and 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, please visit or call 949-NTPR (6877).


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Rasesh Patel RPh. 813-907-3150

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy #1829 Receives Accreditation from National Board PCAB recognizes pharmacy’s excellence and commitment to quality standards

Tampa, USA --The Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) today announced the accreditation of The Medicine Shoppe #1829 in New Tampa area. The accreditation is awarded in recognition of the pharmacy’s commitment to meeting and/or exceeding national quality standards. “Our new PCAB® Accreditation status and our designation as a PCAB Accredited ® Compounding pharmacy lets our community know that The Medicine Shoppe #1829 ranks among the best for commitment to quality,” said Rasesh Patel. “We are honored by this new accreditation. It confirms our commitment to providing safe, personalized solutions that meet the medical needs of our patients – and the needs of the healthcare providers in our community who rely on us for these specialized medicines,” said Rasesh Patel. “We believe this will further strengthen the bond of trust between our pharmacy and the Tampa community.” Compounding medications is an integral part of the practice of pharmacy and the demand for these customized medications are increasing every year. Yet many people may not even be aware of its role. Compounded medications are prescriptions that are written by physicians, veterinarians and other legally authorized prescribers and prepared for an individual patient by a specially trained pharmacist.

About The Medicine Shoppe #1829 The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy #1829 is conveniently located at 10010 Cross Creek Blvd., Tampa, FL 33647 and serving New Tampa and Wesley Chapel area since 2003. From the moment you visit my store, you’ll feel the difference. It’s an environment rarely experienced today. You’ll be welcomed by our pharmacy staff—caring professionals who are readily available with answers and information regarding your medication questions. It’s the kind of personal service you should expect from a community pharmacy. Our goal is to make The Medicine Shoppe® Pharmacy a place you come to between doctor visits for health information, questions, wellness programs or just reassurance to help you better manage your health. The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy #1829 also offers prompt prescription service, Home Health Care Products, Durable Medical Equipment, Compression Stockings, Diabetic Shoes, Free home delivery and Prescription Counselling. Affiliations:


ABOUT PCAB The Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) is a nonprofit organization that provides a voluntary accreditation program for compounding pharmacies nationwide. Formed by eight of the nation’s leading pharmacy organizations, PCAB promotes, develops and maintains principles, policies and standards for improving the quality of pharmacy compounding nationwide. For more information, visit .

A Better You Counseling Adds The Academic Career Counseling Center By Amy Gutierrez

There may not be another center in Pasco County that can offer the array of services available at A Better You Counseling Center — located just off SR 56, in the Cypress Glen Professional Park in Wesley Chapel. Started by Amanda Fink, a Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), A Better You Counseling Center specializes in treating anxiety, depression, anger management, childhood disorders (3-18 years old) and marriage and family counseling. Fink earned her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Psychology at Anderson University in Anderson, IN, and her Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Clinical Counseling at Webster University in Ocala, FL. It was while working alongside Dr. Phyllis Hart, Ed.D., at A Better You Counseling Center, that the two professionals brainstormed together and the Academic Career Counseling Center (ACCC) was established within the same office. Dr. Hart has been in the combined fields of psychology, counseling and education for more than 16 years. She is a 15-year teacher and academic advisor and a Florida-certified school counselor. She received her M.A. in Experimental Psychology, specializing in Human Neuropsychology, from Towson State University in Towson, MD, in 1997, and her Doctor of Education (Ed.D) degree in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University in Tampa in 2012.

ACCC offers individualized assessment of personality, interests and aptitude to identify top career matches. For high school students, this analysis allows families to tailor high school experiences and plan for college with confidence that the student is on a path towards academic success and a rewarding career. Dr. Hart also provides assessment for professionals who have been in their chosen career fields for decades! In her opinion, it’s never too early or too late to find your true areas of interest, passion and aptitude and all of those things can evolve several times during a lifetime. At any age, she can help you shine brighter! Combining potent counseling with a thorough understanding of requirements for a range of academic and career paths, Dr. Hart help clients refine their interests, aim for higher achievements, and prepare for a wide-open future. For grades Pre-K-12, Dr. Hart provides academic evaluations designed to put children on the right path early. For teenagers, young adults, and professionals, she offers interest and aptitude assessment tests, combined with college and career strategies. In addition, academic evaluations performed by ACCC offer parents the ability to make certain their child is being taught appropriately based on their particular aptitude. For example, parents exploring the possibility of gifted student programs will receive a non-biased determination through specialized testing, the results of which parents can give to their school,

whether public or private. The same holds true for parents desiring educational support through tutoring. “Education is incredibly important for children and parents want the best opportunities for their children to be successful,” says Dr. Hart. “By determining individual learning styles and placing them in the best possible environment for them, the stage has been set for a successful future.” With ACCC operating in the offices of A Better You Counseling Center, Dr. Hart and Fink often experience Amanda Fink, LMHC, & Phyllis Hart, Ed.D., of Academic clients who take advantage Career Counseling & A Better You Counseling off S.R. 56. of multiple services under career testing but, with a comprehensive the one roof , which sets the office apart breakdown following testing at ACCC, from many others. The two are seeing the students are not only told what careers they benefits for children and adolescents, parmight excel at, they also are made aware ticularly, with this invaluable service. Both of the interests and personality traits they point out that Wesley Chapel and New Tampa are communities full of families who have that will help direct them to advanced learning opportunities such as internships, invest greatly in the physical and emotional clubs and other extracurricular activities. well being of each family member. “Strengths, alone, in an academic area Both Dr. Hart and Fink also are happy is not necessarily an indicator of what you to report that all of their assessments have are supposed to be doing,” says Fink. “We been applauded by various school systems. “The schools value what we’re doing,” says review logistics, job outlooks and personal fulfillment based on your personality, as Dr. Hart. “They don’t necessarily have the well. Only then do we help develop a resources available to do the kind of intencareer counseling strategy.” sive aptitude testing that we do.” One high school student in New High school counselors also lack the Tampa remarks, “Before my career testresources and manpower to administer

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ing package, I knew that I wanted to do something in science but I didn’t know what. Dr. Hart showed me the things that I was really interested in and now I have a great plan for college. This was an awesome experience!” Dr. Hart spends a great deal of time visiting college campuses all over the country and has developed a rapport with university admissions offices to keep on top of entrance requirements and to also learn about the general feel of a campus so that she can later determine if it’s a potential fit for a client. She is well versed on the many colleges available within a university and how challenging or rigorous the specific programs are. Before and after an Aptitude Test, Dr. Hart personally discusses interests and goals, likes and dislikes, and the pros and cons of all fields of interest with her clients. The bonus, of course, is that in addition to running her own academic and career counseling practice, Dr. Hart currently also provides emotional counseling for adults, couples, teens and families at A Better You Counseling Center. Any time there is conflict or struggle in a family dynamic, counseling can be a useful tool in problem solving and resolution. College planning and career transitions can often benefit from such counseling. Dr. Hart currently offers two testing and counseling packages for high school students. The first is the Academic Evaluation Package, which includes a Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scale test, a WideRange Achievement Test and a results interpretation session. Recommended for students in pre-K through 12th grade, this

Neighborhood News

t est must be taken in-office. The other option is the Career Testing & Academic Planning Package, which includes a preliminary counseling session, a Strong Interest Inventory, a MyersBriggs Type Indicator and a written report, along with a results interpretation session. Recommended for teens and young adults, this test may be taken in Dr. Hart’s office or at home. The time is now. The 2013-14 school year is winding down and fall enrollment will be here before long. A Better You Counseling Center and the Academic Career Counseling Center make it easy with some great Spring Specials. Buy 4 sessions, receive $100 off and/or receive $50 off an Academic Evaluation or Career Counseling before June 17, 2014. Incidentally, Dr. Hart will be spending a month in Costa Rica this summer to help with children who don’t have educational programs in place over the summer months. She’ll also be volunteering with a local sea turtle rescue in that same country because her own 10-year-old daughter, Melanie, has a marine biology interest and is accompanying her mom on the trip. In other words, says Dr. Hart, it’s never too early to discover your passions! To take advantage of the individual, family, couple or group counseling Spring Special, call A Better You Counseling Center at 817-5468. For ACCC, call 470-9001. The office is located at 2406 Cypress Glen Dr., Suite 102, Wesley Chapel. For more information, visit or


SPOTLIGHT ON... Cory Lake Isles Professional Center If you drive every day on Cross Creek Blvd., as tens of thousands of local residents do, I’m sure you’ve been visiting one or more of the many fine businesses located in the Cory Lake Isles Professional Center, which offers a unique mix of retailers (like Biagio’s Pizza and the Vitamin Discount Center), as well as several doctor and dentist and other professional offices. The center has been under new ownership and management since December of 2013, when it was purchased by CLPC, LLC (the controlling members of which are Arthur J. Gore and David J. Shukovsky). Osceola Partners, LLC (is controlled by Michael Winters), a South Tampa-based licensed Real Estate Broker, is the manager of the Center and the new owners and management are all focused on the Center’s outstanding qualities, including: • It’s a wonderful destination to help with solutions for everyday busy family needs • Located in the heart of residential New Tampa, in close proximity to 23,000 households, four schools (Hunter’s Green, Heritage and Pride elementaries and Benito Middle School) and the New Tampa Regional Library • The surrounding neighborhoods include: Arbor Greene, Cory Lake Isles, and both the Hunter’s Green and Heritage Isles Country Club golf courses • Nestled between Bruce B Downs

(BBD) Blvd. and Morris Bridge Rd., the center has easy access from Cross Creek Blvd. and houses 10 individual buildings with a total of 85,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space • The plaza has a solid mix of complementary practices, including a diverse tenant mix of doctors (pediatric urgent care, chiropractor), dentists (pediatric, orthodontic and general), massage therapy, a dance academy, fresh specialty foods and catering, afterschool care, music and dance lessons and more • The management is dedicated to improving tenant accommodations and increasing business through advertising • The Center encourages high-end and family-oriented services and professions, with options for luxury executive suites available • Limited space is available now. For more information about availabilities in the Cory Lake Isles Professional Plaza, call Osceola Partners at 532-8142.

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 22, Issue 11 • May 24, 2014 •


Mid-Florida Physical Medicine Offers Chronic Pain Treatment Alternatives By Lauren Saslow

Individuals suffering from chronic medical issues, musculoskeletal conditions and severe disabilities often require the services of multiple specialists for treatment. Establishing a doctor-patient relationship with each specialist can become an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, as the co-pays, travel expenses and prescriptions can add up quickly. Mid-Florida Physical Medicine (located in the Cypress Ridge Professional Center off S.R. 56 between I-75 and Bruce B. Downs [BBD] Blvd. in Wesley Chapel) is a traditional, private practice with a unique specialty called Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation or PM&R. Dr. Asma Syed — a Board-certified doctor of PM&R, also known as a “physiatrist” — is a specialist who is qualified in the art of restoring or maximizing an individual’s ability to function during normal daily activities from self-care to work and play. Dr. Syed says that the field of PM&R quite literally combines two fields: physical medicine and rehabilitation. Physical medicine is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of physical problems affecting movement and activity, while rehabilitation concentrates on achieving the highest possible degree of function after the physical problem has been treated or fixed. Dr. Syed also maintains practice privileges at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills and Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel (FHWC),

DECEMBER 31, 2014

which allows her to admit and care for patients who require hospitalization. And, while the office is open every weekday, the doctor only sees patients on Mondays and Wednesdays. The rest of the week, the office is open for administrative tasks and specific types of appointments with MidFlorida Physical Medicine’s phlebotomist Tina Schmahl. The practice, which opened in January, is still growing and the suite is shared on alternate days with The Vein Center of Wesley Chapel. Mid-Florida Physical Medicine has two other staff members: office manager and Dr. Syed’s husband, Kal (formerly a software engineer), and Schmahl, a Medical Assistant (MA) who earned her MA degree at Ultimate Medical Academy of Tampa and also is a phlebotomist (qualifying her to draw blood in the office) certified through the National Healthcare Association. Schmahl assists Dr. Syed with front office duties and with medical procedures. Dr. Syed, originally from India, moved to the U.S. to pursue her degree in this specialty because, “Nine out of ten doctors in the PM&R field practice here in the U.S.” She completed a five-year medical degree in Hyderabad, India, at Deccan College of Medical Sciences, before moving to Chicago, IL, to complete her internship at Rush Westlake Medical Center. She then went on to earn her three-year specialty degree in PM&R at Case Western

University, which is a combined program that allowed her to practice at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH, for two of those years. Dr. Syed says that the appeal of the “weather and beaches” was enough to lure her and her husband to Florida, where she practiced in Leesburg for the past decade. When Dr. Asma Syed of Mid-Florida Physical Medicine off S.R. 56 demonstrates how to use to perform a nerve conduction study using an electrothey decided to myogram (EMG) machine. move their family and her practice to resulted in long-term pain, radiating from the Tampa area, they chose Wesley Chapel her sciatic nerve. “I am able to walk, but because, as Dr. Syed explains, “It is the I have difficulty sitting for long periods perfect location, near a big city, to work of time. I retired (from work) six months and raise a family.” ago, and I am now on disability because I She says they, “still love the people could not work.” in Leesburg,” and evidently they love her, Dr. Syed completed the Family and too; Dr. Syed built such an impressive rep- Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms necesutation that patients like Deborah Brooks sary for Brooks to receive full disability for are willing to make the more-than-oneher back and leg pain resulting from the hour drive to continue seeing her! sciatica. Brooks was able to avoid surgery Says Brooks of her physiatrist, “Dr. altogether, and Dr. Syed has supported Syed is nice, caring and supportive.” her traditional medical care (such as nerve She adds that sitting at a desk job for 35 block injections in the knee) with alternayears, coupled with many years of barrel tive therapies (such as acupuncture). racing (a rodeo event on horseback) have “Insurance companies often do not

DECEMBER 31, 2014

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Mid-Florida Physical Medicine’s phlebotomist Tina Schmahl, MA, with Dr. Syed. cover treatment by pain management specialists as easily as PM&R doctors,” Dr. Syed explains. “My specialty integrates orthopaedics, neurology and rheumatology.” Other diagnostic and treatment methods available at Mid-Florida Physical Medicine may also include heat and cold therapy, hydrotherapy (a form of therapy that uses water to treat pain using temperature and pressure), electrotherapy, traction, prescription medication, massage therapy and therapeutic exercises — all in conjunction with patient counseling and education. Dr. Syed treats a wide range of medical problems such as arthritis, stroke, migraines, neuropathy, pinched nerves, balance disorders, post-polio syndrome, bursitis and tennis elbow. Dr. Syed says that most of her patients are seniors, some of whom have suffered from polio, which is a conta-

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gious viral illness that can cause a variety of long-term medical problems such as muscle weakness, pain or paralysis. Since the creation of a polio vaccine in the 1950s, there have not been any naturally occurring cases documented in the U.S. since 1979, but those who contracted the virus in previous generations sometimes still suffer from long-term complications. When Dr. Syed lived in Leesburg, most of her patients came to her from The Villages, where she was even featured in The Villages Daily Sun (June 12, 2012), and founded a post-polio support group. Dr. Syed also speaks at medical seminars and hopes to soon be a guest speaker at a Wesley Chapel Noon Rotary club meeting. The website allows patients to review Dr. Syed and schedule appointments. Nearly every verified patient review gives her a full five-star rating. One patient, Nancy, describes Dr. Syed as “professional, knowledgeable and personable” and having “genuine concern for her patients.” Mid-Florida Physical Medicine is located at 26827 Foggy Creek Rd. (off Cypress Ridge Blvd.), Suite 103. To schedule an appointment or to invite Dr. Syed to give an educational presentation to your club or organization, call 907-0033. The office is open MondayThursday, 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m, and 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. on Friday. Dr. Syed sees patients by appointment only on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

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Illustration Demonstration Inspires Young New Tampa Illustrators By Matt Wiley

It starts as just a small, strange outlined shape. With a few more strokes of colored pencil to paper, though, that initial shape takes form and eventually evolves into the face of a dog, who is the star of Tails of Fluffy McDuffy, a children’s book written and illustrated by Tampa residents. On May 9, author Nancy Mercurio and illustrator Leah Lopez gave presentations to second grade students from both Hunter’s Green (HGE) and Heritage elementary schools, sharing their passion for writing, illustrating and, of course, for their character Fluffy McDuffy. During two presentations, more than 200 students got a chance to listen to Mercurio describe her pup and what the story is about, as well as watch Fluffy come to life, as Lopez drew him from scratch right in front of the students’ eyes. Duffy, as he is called when not on the page, is Mercurio’s real-life, seven-year-old cockapoo (half cocker spaniel, half poodle) who helps teach lessons of peace, acceptance and tolerance in the new children’s book series. The first installment of the series, entitled Lessons of Love, was released in January and follows the dog as he is adopted and gets acclimated to a new family. Mercurio said that she was wrapping up seminary school in New York, sitting on the banks of the Hudson River, when she came up with the idea for the Tails of Fluffy

McDuffy series. “The books look at McDuffy’s experiences in finding out that there are other kinds of dogs and other kinds of families than just his in the world,” Mercurio explained. “The stories are all about learning to live in this world as it is, but using McDuffy’s experiences to deliver a bigger message.” Lopez — who owns an illustration company called Leah’s Cartooning Parties, Inc. — says that Mercurio approached her to illustrate the book one day while she was dog-sitting Duffy. The two met 13 years ago, after Lopez bought one of Mercurio’s books. “As an artist, I jumped at the opportunity,” Lopez explained. Since taking the job, she said she has drawn the dog about 60 times, including at the presentation at the library. The kids laughed and watched in amazement as the face of McDuffy began to emerge on paper. “I like to tell the kids (during presentations) that once I got to really know the

ping,” she said. “I just never stopped drawing.” An HGE second grader named Laniya said she really enjoyed the presentation because Fluffy reminded her of her dog at home. “He won’t get that fluffy, though,” she said. “It’s such a good partnership (Left) Illustrator Leah Lopez shows Hunter’s we have being next Green Elementary second graders how she to the (New Tampa draws Fluffy McDuffy at the New Tampa Regional) library,” Regional Library on May 9. said Nancy Elliott, media specialist dog and his personality, it made it really at HGE. Elliott noted that this was the easy to illustrate him,” Lopez explained. second year that the school has teamed up She added that she enjoys seeing the with the library to host a local author to kids get excited about the character. speak to students. Last year, she says, a lo“Kids really recognize cartoon charcal author spoke with fifth grade students. acters, like Spongebob Squarepants, for Kailani, another HGE student, said example,” Lopez says. “You can see them that she was inspired by the presentation getting excited about Fluffy McDuffy in a and thinks it would be fun to be an illustrasimilar way. It’s exciting to be a part of and tor someday. very rewarding.” For more information about Tails Lopez told the students that she knew of Fluffy McDuffy, visit FluffyMcDuffy. from a young age that she wanted to be an com. For info about upcoming presentaartist. tions at the New Tampa Regional Li“I scribbled on the walls when I was brary (10001 Cross Creek Blvd.), please two years old and was supposed to be napvisit

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Summer Blockbusters Sling, Slash, Smash Their Way Into Theaters By Matt Wiley

As school lets out and summer vacation begins, so, too, does the annual summer blockbuster movie season, and this year is looking like an action movie juggernaut with some highly anticipated comedies mixed in, as well. Whether it’s super heroes, fairy tales, raunch comedies or graphic novel-based “noirs,” there is something for everyone on the silver screen this summer. Here are a few films that we’re looking forward to seeing most at the Muvico Starlight 20 (located off Highwoods Preserve Pkwy. in New Tampa) and the Cobb Theatres Grove 16 (located in The Grove shopping plaza in Wesley Chapel).

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass”), looks like the epitome of summer blockbuster fun. (Photo above right: Warner Bros.) “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (PG-13, in theaters): Whether you’re a fan of the original X-Men trilogy or 2011’s “X-Men: First Class,” “Days of Future Past” brings together fan favorites from both franchises for a time-bending twist of mutant warfare. (Photo below: 20th Century Fox)

“A Million Ways To Die In The West” (R, May 30): If you like TV’s “Family Guy” or 2012’s “Ted,” then you probably already know that “A Million Ways” stars and is directed by Seth McFarlane, who plays a farmer living in the brutal west who May “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (PG-13, in theaters): Already slinging webs at must take down a dangerous desperado (Liam Neeson). (Photo below: Universal local theaters, this marks the second outing for Andrew Garfield in the Spidey suit. Studios) Directed by Marc Webb (fitting, eh?), the latest film in the franchise pits Peter Parker “Maleficent” (PG, May 30): Directed by Robert Stromberg in his directorial against Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Rhino (Pail Giamatti). debut, Angelina Jolie stars in a live-action re-imagining of the classic Disney animated “Neighbors” (R, in theaters): Comedic heavyweight Seth Rogen stars along- fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty,” as a vengeful fairy who casts a curse on the young Prinside Rose Byrne as new parents getting used to life in suburbia never expecting Zac cess Aurora, who may be the only one who can restore peace to the world. (Photo Efron’s fraternity to move in next door. A noise complaint is all it takes for an all-out above left: Disney) war to ensue between the houses. (Photo below: Universal)


“How To Train Your Dragon 2” (PG, June 13): If Maleficent seems a bit dark “Godzilla” (PG-13, in theaters): It’s been nearly 20 years since Matthew Brodfor your kids, consider the animated sequel to 2009’s “How To Train Your Dragon.” erick stared down the infamous lizard beast and 60 years since the original monster terrorized Japan. However, “Godzilla” is back and up to his same old destructive The original’s characters return to explore the world of dragons and, after discovering tricks, only this time the lizard is joined by more giant creatures. “Godzilla,” directed a new breed, must fight a battle to ensure peace. (Photo below: Dreamworks) See “Summer Movies” on page 47. by Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”) and starring Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and

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Anna Maria Island



Continued from page 43

“Transformers: Age Of Extinction” (PG-13, June 27): Say goodbye to Shia LaBoeuf and hello to Mark Wahlberg as the star of yet another “Transformers” film from Michael Bay. Alien robots battle among humans on earth. The new chapter is the first installment in a new “Transformers” trilogy.


“Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes” (PG-13, July 11): The follow-up to 2011’s “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes,” “Dawn” shows a modern human society broken down and a community of apes thriving; that is until it comes into contact with a group of human survivors. Directed by Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”) and starring Andy Serkis (Golum from “The Lord Of The Rings” and “Hobbit” films) as Caesar the ape alongside Gary Oldman (“The Dark Knight Rises”) and Keri Russell (“The Americans”), the dawn of the planet of the apes is upon us. (Photo on page 43: 20th Century Fox) “Sex Tape” (R, July 25): What happens when the “cloud” turns against you? A sultry Kama Sutra video of Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel gets leaked online for the world to see. This film focuses on their quest to destroy every copy.


“Guardians Of The Galaxy” (PG-

Neighborhood News

13, August 1): This Marvel comic adaptation’s synopsis doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, so let’s just say it’s a collaboration of super heroes (including a tree and a raccoon) traveling through space, fighting to save the universe. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (PG-13, August 8): Forget about 2007’s computer animated “TMNT,” which didn’t quite do the early 1990s franchise justice. This summer’s reboot of the crime-fighting band of turtles takes it back to live action and to a grand, blockbuster scale. Watching the initial teaser trailer is pretty nostalgic and highly recommended. “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” (R, August 22): Fans will surely rejoice, as the long awaited sequel to 2005’s Sin City finally is ready to grace the screen once again. Based upon the graphic novels by Frank Miller, “A Dame To Kill For” takes fans back to the crime-riddled streets of Sin City. Expect lots of stylistic cinematographic flair, as well as an excellent ensemble cast that features many characters from the original, including Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba and Mickey Rourke. So there they are, a handful of hopefully awesome summer movies. Be sure to check out for the trailers! For local movie times, please visit Muvico. com or


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Wolf’s Den Again Raises Scholarship Money At Patty Wolf Golf Tournament! By Gary Nager

Congratulations go out to my good friend Roger Wolf, the owner of the Wolf’s Den Restaurant — An Authentic American Diner (on S.R. 56 in Wesley Chapel) — who is proud to have raised $13,000 in only two years to go towards veterinarian school scholarships for qualified graduating high school seniors from Wharton, Wiregrass Ranch and Wesley Chapel high schools in memory and honor of his beloved late wife Patty. The second annual Patty Wolf Memorial Golf Tournament was held at Pebble Creek Golf Club on April 26 and more than 50 golfers came out to enjoy the camaraderie, a beautiful day to play 18 holes and the delicious posttournament banquet provided by Roger himself. The feast included my favorite fried chicken in the New Tampa/Wes-

ley Chapel area and Wolf’s Den’s own pulled pork, homemade cole slaw and potato salad, an array of decadent desserts and more. Patty Wolf, who owned The Classy Canine dog grooming studio in New Port Richey, lost a long struggle with cancer two years ago and she and Roger started working to create the Patty Wolf Memorial Foundation & Veterinarian Scholarship before she passed away in 2013. “Patty loved animals and wanted to be a vet herself,” Roger told the golfers as they chowed down on the yummy food. “It’s nice to be able to have so many friends here to honor her memory and do something good for the community.” Roger’s long-time friend and local community activist Mary Ann Yaney (top right

photo) of Central Bank helped run the tournament, which included outstanding raffle prizes (like the cool 1950s-style radio I took home, coffee makers, rounds of golf and so much more). The top three foursomes and the last-place team all took home trophies and there were prizes for men’s and women’s longest drive and being closest to the pin. Among the event’ sponsors were PigSilly BBQ, US Foods, Suncoast Accounting & Tax Service, Central

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O.T.B. Delight Cafe — ‘Only The Best’ Ingredients, One-Of-A-Kind Tastes! I have to rave about on Long-time readers of this publication behalf of his know how much I try to do to help new outstanding local restaurants, especially ones I truly like. new establishYes, you folks know I do everything ment, which I can to promote everyone in these pages, has been built but you also know the difference between a around no lukewarm, just-OK review and a rave. concept other Well, folks, this one’s a rave. In other than uniquely words, if you haven’t yet tried Only The tasty food usBest (O.T.B.) Delight Café, located directly ing only the Among our editor’s favorites at the new O.T.B. Delight Café opposite Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel truly finest (FHWC) on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., ingredients. on BBD across from FHWC are (l. to r.) the amazing artisan burger, the Asian orange ahi salad and the Shanghai chicken join the growing crowd of locals enjoy“This is “Rice, Rice Baby” bowl. ing O.T.B.’s healthy-but-truly-delicious the way I eat, cuisine, you owe it to yourself — and your the way I like to eat,” says Dirson, who is another large chain last year (feel free to taste buds — to check it out ASAP. originally from Brazil but who has 20 years ask Dirson what company it was when you I can’t swear that I love the name of experience in the restaurant/food busimeet him). “I love non-traditional, unique owner Dirson De Mesquita chose for his ness, including being a regional supervisor food made with the freshest, organic (when unique breakfast, lunch and dinner spot, for a large chain that was purchased by possible; see below) ingredients. People but I already have at least eight menu items think healthy can’t be delicious or fun. I’m trying to prove them wrong.” The names of many of the menu items/categories are certainly fun (more on those in a minute), but I’ll be honest, cutesy names don’t impress me as much as delicious cuisine does. So, let’s start with breakfast, ‘cause I always do. O.T.B. Café starts with only the finest locally sourced eggs, from cage-free hens that are fed an all-vegetarian diet. All vegetables are locally grown and certified organic whenever possible. Check out the breakfast at O.T.B. Café, includAll breakfast fare is served all day, with ing huge, fluffy free-range egg omelettes (above) your choice of healthy sides like oatmeal, and sunny-side-up eggs with turkey bacon. fresh fruit or sliced tomatoes Instead of By Gary Nager

O l a a I grits and home fries or hash browns) and to date, I’ve enjoyed some perfect “Egglectric Slide” fried eggs (sunny-side-up shown here for the picture; I order mine over easy) with probably the best-tasting turkey bacon I’ve ever enjoyed. You also can choose a side of Black Forest ham instead of the bacon and the thick slab of marble rye (wheat toast also is available) reminded me of an old “Seinfeld” episode. Other breakfast items to try and enjoy are “Omelette’ing You Go,” “Eggy Breaky Heart” and the “Yolko Ono,” to name a few. Check ‘em out and let me know what you think. And, speaking of “Seinfeld,” the lunch and dinner fare at O.T.B. Café pays homage to not only that old favorite (with “Soup For You”), but also to old Broadway Shows (“Lettuce Entertain You”). My favorite salads are the awesome “Asian

D ’A L E S S I O I TA L I A N R E S TAU R A N T 2 6 5 3 B r u ce B. D ow n s B l vd We s l e y C h a p e l, F L 3 3 5 4 4 AC R O S S F R O M F LO R I DA H O S P I TA L , W E S L E Y C H A P E L


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O f c t r N a

f I t m m f g B s a F S

Orange” seared ahi tuna salad served with a lip-smacking-good sesame ginger dressing and the seared steak carpaccio salad with an also-yummy balsamic vinaigrette (although I hold the bleu cheese crumbles). Other delicious options include O.T.B.’s “Rice, Rice Baby” bowls, my favorite of which so far is the Shanghai chicken, with big chunks of free range, antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken, jasmine rice, sesame seeds, green onions, romaine, Napa cabbage, carrots, toasted almonds and that same sesame ginger dressing. Perhaps the biggest surprise to me so far among my faves at O.T.B. Café is that I didn’t expect the artisan burger (part of the “Too Hot To Handle” section of the menu) to be so delicious. Dirson convinced me to give it a try and wow, his grassfed, seasoned and hand-pattied burger is grilled to order, served with arugula, sliced Beefsteak tomatoes and red onion and will surely be among my top five in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel in this year’s “Gary’s Favorites” after our 2014 Reader Dining Survey ends.

Our GM Nikki Bennett loves the veggie burger and I’ve heard some O.T.B. Café regulars say great things about the wildcaught salmon burger, although I’m not big on salmon myself. Other recommended items from our office’s most recent lunch at O.T.B. Café include the “Going Back to Cali” chicken and Santa Fe shrimp burritos, the “Cool Hand Cuke” veggie sandwich on focaccia and the roast beef arugula whole wheat wrap. Speaking of rave reviews, Dirson is particularly proud of his reviews from his customers on O.T.B. Café’s Facebook. com page, including this one from James Litchford: “For the same price it would cost us to go to (a popular local chain), we got something unique, delicious, and farm fresh. Portions are great as well. We will definitely be back. Keep this place going.” And, O.T.B. Delight Café also has delicious gluten-free baked goods from Stacy’s Gluten-Free Goodies and probably the best gluten-free brownies I’ve ever tasted, amazing organic coffee (the dark Java roast is my fave) and Dirson can handle any kind of catering order. He also offers great specials, like 35-percent-off your second entrée (of equal or lesser value) when you purchase one at regular price with the coupon on page 40. O.T.B. Delight Café (2653 BBD) is open Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m.-9 p.m., and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sun. For more info, call 973-8880, visit or

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SukhoThai’s New Tampa Location Continues To Attract Hungry Locals! By Gary Nager; Photos by Matt Wiley

I’ve been telling you about SukhoThai Restaurant, located across Highwoods Preserve Pkwy. from the Muvico Starlight 20 movie theater off Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., for nearly a decade now. Although owner Niyom (Neil) Nitayangkul and his wife Pansri’s second SukhoThai (the other was on N. Dale Mabry Hwy. in Carrollwood) has always scored well in our annual Reader Dining Survey & Contest, based on my own survey of my favorites in the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel areas, it hasn’t been scoring high enough with our readers — and my goal has long been to get more local residents to check it out because it truly is one of New Tampa’s independently-owned dining treasures. What sets SukhoThai apart from most other Thai restaurants in our area (and we actually have several good ones between our two distribution areas) is the fact that not only does it have outstanding Thai cuisine and two dining areas (one for sitting “below the floor” without your shoes, as well as an equally attractive sushi bar area also equipped with “regular” tables for

those who don’t want to have to take off their shoes), it’s the fact that the restaurant also has some of the freshest and most delicious sushi in our distribution areas. Let’s start with the sushi. One of my absolutely favorite dishes at SukhoThai is the jalapeño tuna tataki, which adds a spicy kick (but not “killer-spicy”; more on spice and Thai food below) to perfect, bite-sized pieces of ahi tuna in a citrus ponzu sauce (although I then like to “double dip” it in low-sodium soy sauce with wasabi mixed into it). If you’re looking for delicious rolls, SukhoThai has everything from a unique tempura duck hand roll to an equally unusual Tokyo roll (with tuna, asparagus, conch and tempura crisps) and many of

Among our editor’s favorite starters at the elegant SukhoThai restaurant on Highwoods Preserve Pkwy. (across from Muvico) are (bottom left) the pan-fried dumplings, (left) the variety of fresh sushi and the awesome jalapeño tuna tataki (above). your favorites and soon-to-be favorites. My favorite entrée not pictured here But, SukhoThai also still has some is the teriyaki steak, which is grilled, sliced of our area’s best Thai cuisine and my flank steak with teriyaki sauce, fresh veggies favorites are almost too many to name or and a touch of wasabi cream sauce (I usupicture here. ally order extra of the wasabi cream). And no, Thai food doesn’t have to be Among the items pictured on these spicy, although spice lovers can vary the pages, assistant editor/photographer Matt spice of virtually any dish from mild to a Wiley and I both raved about the Korean basically nuclear “Thai spicy.” For those pork, which is a grilled pork tenderloin who are averse to spice, make sure to ask marinated in hot pepper and garlic sauce for everything mild. and served with mixed veggies. The sauce For starters for those who aren’t so isn’t overly spicy, but it leaves an amazing, adventurous, try the pan-fried pork and lingering taste in your mouth and by orderveggie dumplings with a zesty ginger soy ing the sauce on the side, I was able to also dipping sauce. I also love the crispy Thai enjoy it on SukhoThai’s combination Thai veggie spring rolls, Pak Pro (crispy calamari fried rice with pork, chicken and beef (I sprinkled with peanut and tamarind sauce) have to skip the available shrimp). There’s and spicy “stick chick” (marinated chicken also a spicy Thai fried rice on the menu. on skewers). Although I know that not everyone


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Our editor and staff also loved (clockwise from top left) the marinated and grilled Korean pork, the combination (pork, chicken and beef) Thai fried rice, the crispy Ped Palo duck with ginger soy sauce and the pillowy Thai-style beignets at SukhoThai of New Tampa. likes duck, if you like crispy fried chicken, I suggest trying Sukhothai’s Ped Palo duck, which I order extra crispy. It is served with mixed fresh greens and an outstanding ginger soy dipping sauce. I’m not real partial on curry or noodle dishes, but plenty of SukhoThai regulars are and several told me that both the seafood curry and chicken with red curry dishes are outstanding. I also suggest checking out SukhoThai for lunch, with great low prices on favorites like chicken pad Thai, beef with broccoli and Sukhothai chicken. Whether lunch or dinner, save room for dessert, because SukhoThai also has amazing Thai-style beignets, which are like pillowy doughnuts topped with raspberry and dulce de leche cream, as well as an excellent flourless chocolate cake.

To wash it all down, I suggest either of the two Thai beers available — Chang and Singha. There’s also two kinds of Thai iced tea and delicious hot green tea. SukhoThai of New Tampa is located at 18101 Highwoods Preserve Pkwy. For more info, call 615-2345 or visit


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The Latest & Greatest News About Dining, Shopping, Retail & More In New Tampa & Wesley Chapel! By Gary Nager & Matt Wiley

USF Federal Credit Union To Expand In New Tampa

Having outgrown its current space, the University of South Florida (USF) Federal Credit Union branch soon will have a new home, just across the parking lot. The bank, currently located in the Winn-Dixie shopping plaza at Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. and County Line Rd., is planning a move to a new, free-standing branch that is to be constructed on 1.3 acres of land in the shopping center’s parking lot. The bank closed on the land in April. The 4,500-sq.-ft. new branch will have a focus on new technology, says USF Credit Union chief marketing officer Debbie Clark. “The new branch is going to be much larger,” Clark says. “We’re moving in the direction of innovation. We’ll even have virtual kiosks to assist customers with typical teller services.” Clark notes that the shopping center location is still the bank’s temporary home until the new branch is built, which recently won approval from the Tampa City Council for a three-lane drive-thru. The bank previously shared a location with the MidFlorida Credit Union, located about half a mile south on BBD. Clark says that, although USF Credit Union had its own space for members to speak with banking specialists, they still had to wait in the MidFlorida teller lines. She says that the new location will help cut down their wait times. “The new branch will allow us to better serve our New Tampa and Wesley


Chapel members,” Clark explains. “Our footprint extends much further than USF’s campus.” USF Credit Union members will continue to use the shopping plaza location, as Clark explains that the new branch won’t be ready to open for at least 18 months. “People will be used to where we are,” Clark says. “We won’t be moving very far.” For more information about the USF Federal Credit Union, please visit — MW

Café Don José Under New Ownership

Although there may be a few (but not many) restaurants in the Tampa Bay area that have had a better reputation the last 20+ years, there’s no doubt that Café Don José (12350 N 56th St., Temple Terrace) is the closest to New Tampa of the Bay area’s top restaurant “institutions.” And, Café Don José is back with a vengeance, as local Realtor Mehdi Belhassan and his brother Priam have teamed up with longtime Café Don José general manager Chris Causey to maintain the traditionally outstanding authentic Spanish seafood and steakhouse while giving the place an overall freshening, especially in the restaurant’s spacious bar area, which is now filled with flat-screen TVs and an incredible new, totally revamped tapas menu and ultra-premium liquor. The new tapas bar is the perfect place to watch not only all of the upcoming World Cup soccer games (beginning June 12), but also the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid on Saturday, May 24, 2 p.m. For more information, see the ad

on page 42, call 985-2392 or visit

Jacquie Caetano Opens Urban Renewal Hair

Like so many New Tampa and Wesley Chapel residents, I have known master hair stylist Jacquie Caetano for about 20 years. The daughter of former Bostonian Hair Salon owner Joseph Caetano has been doing her own thing, previously at a studio in Wesley Chapel. Well now, Jacquie’s back in New Tampa, this time in the Pebble Creek Collection (behind Kobe Japanese Steakhouse), where she has opened Urban Renewal Hair (at 19651 BBD), where the looks are urban and Jacquie specializes in custom cuts and color treatments, as well as treatments to help renew (you knew that word was coming, right?) your hair. Jacquie also has a booth rental space at Urban Renewal Hair for stylists and even aestheticians with established clientele who might be looking for a great location in the heart of New Tampa that also is just minutes from Wesley Chapel. For a free haircut with any highlights job (a $60 value), see the Urban Renewal Hair ad on page 24 of this issue and call 978-9292 to make your appointment today.

Vintage Estate Homes Cuts A Ribbon In Grand Hampton!

If you’re looking for a uniquely beautiful, high-end luxury home, or you just want to see what all the fuss is about, check out the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce (WCCC) ribbon cutting and Realtor event at the new Vintage Estate

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Homes model located at 8434 Dunham Station Dr. in Grand Hampton on Thursday, May 29. The WCCC ribbon cutting will take place at 4:30 p.m. and the Grand Opening Party for the new Torrence model will be held 5 p.m.-8 p.m. There will be a $25 cash prize to each of the first 25 Realtors who attend, plus a an Apple iPad Air, a green Regions (Bank) Bicycle and other prizes, plus hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and the signature “Vintage” cocktail, plus live entertainment by singer/guitarist Joshua Williams. To RSVP (by Monday, May 26) or for more information, call Tiffany Maxwell at (321) 749-2601.

WingHouse Of Wesley Chapel Celebrates 1 Year!

Those of us who appreciate great naked (unbreaded) wings and under-dressed servers and bartenders surely appreciate that the Ker’s WingHouse of Wesley Chapel (5510 Post Oak Blvd., off S.R. 54) is celebrating its one-year anniversary with an awesome Customer Appreciation Day on Friday, June 6. Just like at its Grand Opening and WCCC Ribbon Cutting a year ago, you’re sure to find bonus WingHouse girls on hand, plus a live DJ from 93.3 WFLZ-FM. If you can’t make it to the one-year anniversary party, the Wesley Chapel WingHouse girls also will be participating in the “Dress to Impress Bikini Bash” all day the day before the anniversary event — on Thursday, June 6. WingHouse girls in bikinis? And naked wings? We have a feeling both special events for June will be wellattended. For more info, call 428-7157 or visit — GN


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Among the recent ribbon cutting ceremonies in our area was the Dade City Chamber of Commerce’s ribbon cutting for the new Dade City location of the Law Office of Matthew J. Jowanna, P.A., who also has an office on BBD Blvd., just north of S.R. 56.

Apply For Wesley Chapel Walmart Jobs At Wiregrass!

Walmart is hiring approximately 300 associates to work at the new Walmart slated to open this summer in Wesley Chapel. A temporary hiring center has opened at 28211 Paseo Dr., Suite 190, in the Shops at Wiregrass mall, where applications will be accepted Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. -8 p.m., and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Interested applicants may also apply online at   Through Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment, the company will offer a job to any qualified veteran who has been honorably discharged within the past 12 months.* Interested veterans may find out more at WalmartCareersWithaMission. com.(*Note-Veterans must be within 12 months of active duty and meet Walmart’s standard hiring criteria.) According to store manager Stephanie White, the new Walmart will be hiring both full- and part-time associates. “I’m excited to meet potential associates who want not only a job, but a great career with Walmart,” said White. The majority of new associates will begin in July to help prepare the store for its upcoming Grand Opening.

Jowanna Opens 2nd Office In Dade City!

Congratulations to long-time Wesley Chapel-based attorney Matthew Jowanna on the opening and Dade City Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at his beautiful new office in Dade City. About 30 people (photo, right) attended the opening of the second location of the Law Office of Matthew J. Jowanna, PA (14220 8th St., Ste 101, Dade City). “I frequent the Dade City drive-in and thought that it would be a cool place to open an office,” says Jowanna. “I closed on the building within a week of it being on the market.” He adds that the gorgeous building was built in 1932. It has been a carriage house and barn for horses, a funeral home and construction office. Jowanna jokes that he’s going to do some ghost hunting, as the location of his office within the building is apparently where the “dirty work” was done in the funeral home days. For more information about the Dade City office of the Law Firm of Matthew Jowanna, call (352) 4375990. For the Wesley Chapel office (located at 2521 Windguard Cir.), call 929-7300. — MW

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L.I.F.E Academy for Learning, LLC, is a licensed home daycare located in New River Township. The daycare is managed by Nora Dudley, an exp’d. elem.FL-certified teacher also certified in infant/child CPR & First Aid. Nora is a loving mother of two who is passionate about helping children. Call Nora at (813) 395-8487 or for more info, visit today to enroll your child & mention this ad to waive your registration fee! Refs. available. Lic. #F06PA361 DRUM LESSONS! - Beginner through advanced. Professional Percussion/Drum Instructor. Teacher with Hillsborough County Schools. Taking on new, percussion students. Great preparation for auditioning for school band/ orchestra. Competition and Examination opportunities. Graduate from the Musician’s Institute of Hollywood, CA, in rock and jazz percussion; Masters from USF as a Speech/Language Pathologist. Have studied with some of the most famous drummers in Rock, including Stewart Copeland (Sting’s drummer). 25 years of experience performing and teaching. New Tampa/Pebble Creek location. Call John Wendelken at (813) 416-5334 or visit

Infinite edge is located in Tampa Palms and offering all subjects tutoring in Math and English and, SAT ,ACT , FCAT from first grade to 12 grade. We also offer AP classes and our students got last year 5 on any subject that they got help. Please call 813-971-6500


Don’t Have a Ride? Don’t Want to Leave Your Car? Shouldn’t Drive? We Drive You & Your Car Home! Night Clubs, Corporate Events, Sporting Events, Concerts, Appointments, Airport or Stranded. Call Jay at (813) 966-1530.


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 22, Issue 11 • May 24, 2014 •

Neighborhood News


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. Insured, bonded, & Red-Cross certified in pet first aid/CPR. Submit a service inquiry at or call 994-9449


ANNA’S HOUSEKEEPING, A BBB-Accredited Business Servicing Florida since 1991. — Cleaning, Laundry, You Name It! $74 introductory special, Mon-Wed. Make your list, put us to work! We have private housekeeper rates with agency backup coverage! Licensed & all housekeepers are background checked. Call 813.985.1150. WHITE TOUCH CLEANING SERVICES a professional, reliable, and affordable company. We have been in business for more than 11 years. With over 80 satisfied clients throughout Tampa. Customers are our 1st priority. References are provided. Please contact Cristina or Francisco at (813) 325-6917. TAMPA CLEAN MAID SERVICE - a residential cleaning service with a flexible scheduling, offering basic and custom cleaning weekly,by-weekly and monthly service. For more information, Call 813 502 9452. M.Y. CLEANING SERVICE — Offering residential cleaning, complete bath & kitchen cleaning, plus dusting & polishing furniture. We have our own supplies. Your satisfaction is our priority! With 5 years of experience, we guarantee meticulous cleaning! For a free estimate, call Mila @ (813) 516-3554.

SQUEAKY CLEAN HOME SERVICES is a residential cleaning company offering weekly, bi-weekly, & monthly services. We also specialize in move-in/move-out cleanup. All supplies & equipment provided. We are an Owner Operator company with over 20 years of exp. “If it needs to be clean, we’re your team!” Call 813-625-6045 for a free in-home estimate today! D-ULTRA CLEANING SERVICE — We have our own supplies & more than 300 clients in New Tampa! For more info, Call 758-9710.

COMPUTER / BUSINESS SERVICES PROFESSIONAL TECH SUPPORT — in your home or small business. A+, Certified computer tech with 20 years of exp. Maintenance & repairs, upgrades & tutoring. More affordable than the large chains! Friendly, personalized svc. Technical jargon explained in plain English. Remote assistance available. References available upon request. Call (813) 957-8342 for a free estimate. DO YOU HATE YOUR COMPUTER?!? WE CAN HELP YOU! Troubleshooting, installation, networking & virus removal. WE COME TO YOU! Servicing residential & businesses, w/ more than 25 years of experience. Contact Jeffrey Blank @ (813) 973-4507, visit WSICA.COM or email today! *BASIC QUICKBOOKS TRAINING* Washington Woods Accounting & Tax Services, LLC For $75.00 Learn About: -Setting Up A Company -Creating Invoices -Receiving Payments -Creating Bills From Vendors -Paying Bills -Understanding Your Financial Statements -Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Statement of Cash Flows Add Ons-$50 each -Payroll Setup and Processing -Making Journal Entries and More. Call for an appointment today! 813-482-2123 Give yourself the Ultimate Cleaning that you deserve. Responsible, Reliable, and Honest with references. Call 727-645-7779 for FREE estimates. Ask for Ybonne


Turn your clutter into cash!" Garage & estate sales, inventory liquidation,& appraisal services. We'll sell it for you online!We evaluate & appraise your products then get you top dollar. We do the work you get the cash. "Ask me how, contact Mary at 813-428-5793 @NTWCNews

Neighborhood News


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 22, Issue 11 • May 24, 2014 •


16310 Armstrong Place

JUST LISTED 5 Bed +Loft +Media Rm | 3 Bath | 3,973 SF | 3 Car Garage Built 2006 | Granite, Wood Floors | Oversized Conservation Lot Offered for $459,900


4 Bed | 3 Bath | 2,388 SF | 3 Car Garage | Built 1994 | Plantations Shutters | Cul-De-Sac | Conservation Lot Offered for $299,000

4 Bed +Bonus Rm | 3.5 Bath | 3,069 SF | 3 Car Garage | Built 2005 Upgraded Throughout, Granite | Heated Pool Offered for $400,000

5 Bed +Theater Rm | 5.5 Bath | 4,842 SF | 3 Car Garage Exquisitely Remodeled | Outdoor Kitchen /Fireplace Pool /Heated Spa | Offered for $998,000

17349 Emerald Chase Drive

5014 Givendale Lane

4 Bed + Bonus Rm | 3.5 Bath | 4,005 SF | 3 Car Garage | Built 2004 Two Sided Conservation | Immaculate! Offered for $499,000

6 Bed + Bonus | 5 Bath | 5,436 SF | 3 Car Garage | Custom Hannah Bartoletta | Large Lot | Gated Village | Pool/Spa Package Offered for $1,000,000

4 Bed + Office + Game Rm | 3.5 Bath | 3,447 SF | 3 Car Garage Heated Pool/Spa | Conservation | Granite, Upgraded Throughout Offered for $389,900

8413 Fenwick Avenue

18967 Wood Sage Drive

3 Bed + Loft | 2.5 Bath | 2,321 SF | 2 Car Garage | Built 1997 Pool | Conservation | Pond Offered for $255,000

4 Bed + Den + Bonus Rm | 3 Bath | 3,266 SF | 3 Car Garage Built 2001 | Pool/Spa | Outdoor Kitchen Offered for $365,000

4916 Londonderry Drive

16326 Heathrow Drive

4 Bed +Den +Bonus | 3.5 Bath | 4,815 SF | 3 Car Garage Walk-In Sauna /Steam Shower | Pool/Spa Package Offered for $725,000

5011 Landstar Way

4 Bed | 3 Bath | 1,975 SF | 2 Car Garage | Built 2001 Upgraded throughout Offered for $219,000

5 Bed + Exercise Rm + In-Home Theater | 6.5 Bath | 6,269 SF | 3 Car Garage | Built 2002 | Pool/Spa |Conservation Offered for $1,175,000

4 Bed + Study + Game Rm | 4 Bath | 4,292 SF | 3 Car Garage | Built 2001 Pool/Heated Spa Package | Upgrades Throughout | Conservation/Pond Views Offered for $769,000

4 Bed + Den | 3 Bath | 2,951 SF | 3 Car Garage| Built 2005 Pool | Conservation/Pond View Offered for $375,000

4 Bed + Den + Bonus Rm | 3 Bed | 3,375 SF | 3 Car Garage | Built 1998 Pool/Spa | Outdoor Kitchen | Conservation Offered for $439,000

6005 Catlin Drive

16370 Heathrow Drive

SALE PENDING 5 Bed + Office + Game Rm | 3 Bath | 3,641 SF | 3 Car Garage | Built 2003 Granite Throughout | Outdoor Kitchen | Pool/Spa Package Offered for $619,900

6420 Renwick Circle


6417 E. MacLaurin Drive

5 Bed + Bonus Rm | 4.5 Bath | 5,222 SF | 3 Car Garage | Built 1997 Pool/Spa | Outdoor Kitchen | Over 1 Acre Offered for $889,000

16170 Colchester Palms Drive

4 Bed +Den | 3 Bath | 2,406 SF | 2 Car Garage | Built 1996 Travertine Tile, Granite, Stainless Steel Appliances | Heated Pool Offered for $350,000

SALE PENDING 4 Bed +Den +Bonus Rm | 4.5 Bath | 3,888 SF | 3 Car Garage | Custom Hannah Bartoletta | Granite, Upgrades Throughout | Conservation | Pool Outdoor Kitchen | Offered for $639,000

SALE PENDING 4 Bed + Office | 3.5 Bath | 4,411 SF | 3 Car Garage | Granite, Gourmet Kitchen | Conservation | Heated Pool/Spa Package Offered for $799,000

New Tampa Neighborhood News, Volume 22, Issue 11, May 24, 2014  
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