Volume 21 Issue 01
Inside: We Reveal The Results Of TWO Reader Contests!
January 1, 2012
See Neighborhood Maga-
The Direct-Mail News Magazines Serving New Tampa & Wesley Chapel Since 1993! THIS INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY NEWS MAGAZINE IS DIRECTLY MAILED TO: NEW TAMPA: Arbor Greene • Cory Lake Isles • Cross Creek • Easton Park • Grand Hampton • Heritage Isles • Hunter’s Green • Hunter’s Key • K-Bar Ranch • Lake Forest • Live Oak Preserve • Pebble Creek • Richmond Place • Tampa Palms • The Hammocks • West Meadows WESLEY CHAPEL: Aberdeen • Belle Chase • Brookside • Chapel Pines • Country Walk • Lexington Oaks • Meadow Pointe • New River • Northwood • Pinewalk • Pine Ridge • Saddlebrook • Saddleridge Estates • Saddlewood • Seven Oaks • The Lakes at Northwood • The Villages of Wesley Chapel • Wesley Pointe • Westbrook Estates • Williamsburg
New Bruce B. Downs Blvd. Lanes To Be Open For The New Year! By Matt Wiley The list has been checked twice, and the New Tampa area has earned something nice to look forward to for the New Year. It looks as though a large section of the newly widened Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. will be open by the start of 2013. For the past several weeks, the smooth, newly paved and painted BBD lanes from I-75 north to Pebble Creek Dr. have been teasing drivers who have still been stuck in traffic, as the lanes lay unused on either side of the two lanes currently open in each direction, their access blocked by orange barrels. “We’re on schedule,” says Steve Valdez, spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Public Works department. “Right now, we’re coordinating with TECO (Tampa Electric Co.) and the City of Tampa to figure out the activation plan for the new traffic signals along BBD.” Valdez says that since the county’s traffic signals on BBD are computer-
controlled, they have to be in sequence with the City’s computer system. “We need a sequencing plan so we don’t mess up traffic patterns,” he explains. “Believe it or not, without a plan, traffic could actually get worse.” The remaining segment of the first phase of the BBD widening project that is still under construction from I75 south to Palm Springs Blvd. is scheduled to open to four lanes in each direction by February 2013, although Valdez says there still will be aesthetic work to be done when the lanes open. “We’re getting there,” he says. Although new BBD lanes soon will be open, the more than $100-million expansion project that began in January of 2010 will begin its Phase 2 construction in 12-18 months. That face will widen BBD to four lanes from Palm Springs Blvd. south to Bearss Ave. That segment is expected to take at least two years to complete, especially since two bridges south of Amberly Dr. also will have to be replaced. In addition, the New Tampa Gate-
way Bridge, which will bridge over I75 and connect New Tampa Blvd. in West Meadows to Commerce Park Blvd. in Tampa Palms, is currently on schedule to open concurrently with the new BBD lanes south of I-75 in February.
The finishing touches are being put on the new lanes of BBD from north of I-75 to Pebble Creek Dr. The lanes should be open by about the time you receive this issue.
Commerce Park Blvd. Lanes Open
Meanwhile, parents and students at Freedom High and Liberty Middle schools, alike, have probably noticed that the widening of Commerce Park Blvd. has been completed. The $1.5-million project widened a nearly half-mile stretch of Commerce Park Blvd., making it two lanes in each direction from Tampa Palms Blvd. to where Commerce Park dead-ends at
Freedom High’s student and staff parking lot entrance, in anticipation of increased traffic when the Gateway Bridge opens. Before the Gateway Bridge opens, however, a traffic signal will be installed in front of the entrance to Freedom to help keep school traffic flowing during high-volume hours, such as when students are being picked up and dropped off at the two schools.
Bullets Discovered On New Tampa Buses Days After Connecticut Shooting
Kinnan St. & Mansfield Blvd. Could Be Connected, Freedom ‘Bpmber’ Sentenced, FHWC Wellness Center To Open Jan. 7, Lots Of Local Business Features & More!
Our ‘Best Of New Tampa’ & Reader Dining Survey Contest Results, Another Fresh Portion Of ‘Neighborhood Nibbles & Biz Bytes’ & Much More!
NEWS, BUSINESS, SPORTS & EDUCATION UPDATES
lowing the December 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, where a gunmen killed 26 people, 20 of which were children, before turning the gun on himself. New Tampa schools were patrolled by both the Tampa Police Department (TPD) and deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) during the last week of classes prior to the holiday break. Officers from departments usually reserved for large-scale events were assigned to schools to provide a “visible presence.” Police helicopters also were used to patrol area schools from the sky, according to a media release from the School District.
Also Inside This Issue!
his apartment complex on the way to his bus stop and that it fell out of his pocket on the bus. At our press time, no students had come forward about the bullets discovered on December 18. No additional guns or ammunition were discovered at any of the schools either day. All schools involved in the incidents from December 17-18 remained on what the Hillsborough County School District refers to as a “modified lockdown,” in which doors throughout the schools are locked and students are only allowed limited movement throughout the schools, at our press time. Access to these schools also was carefully controlled and identification was required to enter or have students released to parents from each of the schools. Hillsborough County schools across the county already were operating with a heightened security presence fol-
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID TAMPA FL PERMIT 2801
New Tampa schools have been on edge during the week following one of the biggest school shootings in history. The fact that bullets were discovered on school buses that serve our schools two days in a row has not helped. Just one day after a bullet was found on a school bus serving three New Tampa schools (Wharton High,
Liberty Middle and Turner Elementary on December 17), bullets were discovered on another Hillsborough County school bus, serving Freedom High and Greco Elementary in Temple Terrace. The origin of the first bullet has been discovered. A release from the Hillsborough County School District (HCSD) says that an 18-year-old Wharton student told the school's resource deputy that he had found the bullet in
Dated Material Please Rush!
By Matt Wiley
For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 21, Issue 01 • Januar y 1, 2013 • www.NTNeighborhoodNews.com
For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 21, Issue 01 • Januar y 1, 2013 • www.NTNeighborhoodNews.com
After Newtown, A New Persepective On The Jared Cano Case A 17-year-old “kid” posts a video on Youtube.com calling himself the “Freedom High Bomber” and threatening to wreak havoc “worse than Columbine” on the school that kicked him out before the end of the previous school year. Thankfully, someone turns in the would-be bomber before he can carry out his plan on the first day of the 2012-13 school year and he is arrested and facing multiple charges for making the threats. Months later, he is convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison, despite his own pleas and those of his mother and sister for leniency and “another chance” to show remorse for what he planned to do — in great detail — with bombs and guns. Despite the recent events in both Columbine, CO, and at Virginia Tech University, I originally thought Judge Kimberly Fernandez went a little too far by throwing a now-18-year-old “kid” in jail for so long. As the father of two sons, now 24 and 20, it wasn’t hard for me to put myself in the position of the mother of would-be Freedom bomber Jared Cano (see page 12). After all, most teenagers do at least some things they regret before they become adults and although Cano’s threat to commit unspeakable acts at Freedom was at least scary, most of us understood that his actions may have been as much as a cry for help and
New Tampa Neighborhood News 15345 Amberly Dr., Tampa, FL 33647 Phone: (813) 910-2575 Fax: 910-2483 Advertising E-mail: Ads@NTNeighborhoodNews.com Editorial E-mail: EditorialDept@NTNeighborhoodNews.com
Publisher & Editor Gary Nager Assistant Editor / Photographer Matt Wiley Correspondent Camille Gillies Advertising Customer Service Manager Nikki Bennett Marketing Director Ashley Knoblach Senior Graphic Designer Porsha Lamos Advertising Sales Rep Taylor Gardner Nothing that appears in New Tampa Neighborhood News may be reproduced, whether wholly or in part, without permission. Opinions expressed by New Tampa Neighborhood News writers are their own and do not reflect the publisher’s opinion. The deadline for outside editorial submissions and advertisements for Volume 21, Issue 3, of New Tampa Neighborhood News is Monday, January 21, 2013. 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. © 2012 JM2 Communications, Inc.
An editorial by Gary Nager attention, as they were legitimate plans to perpetrate horrible violence on his former school. After the events of December 14, however — when an obviously also very troubled 20-year-old young man, who seemingly had no motivation for his actions shot and killed 26 people, 20 of them innocent children under the age of 8, in an attack that also apparently was “scripted” (as was Cano’s) — I definitely now understand why Judge Fernandez decided to throw the book at Cano for making those threats. Unfortunately, the news of Cano’s sentencing on December 5 most likely didn’t reach Adam Lanza, who ended up turning his gun on himself and taking his own life after destroying the lives of so many others. The sad part is that even if he did hear of what could happen to him if he was caught before he carried out his plan, Lanza probably would still have gone through with it — that is, of course, unless one of his friends turned him into local law enforcement officials, the way, apparently, one of Cano’s acquaintances did. In other words, even though words like “snitch” and “squealer” have long had negative connotations in our society, the bottom line is that no one can truly say for certain whether or not Cano would have gone through with his well-diagrammed day of destruction had he not first been arrested. The “good” news, however, is that because he will have to cool his heels in a jail cell perhaps into his early 30s, the students, teachers, parents and administrators at Freedom were spared even the possibility of having to deal with the kind of tragedy that their surviving counterparts at Sandy Hook Elemen-
tary in Newtown, CT, are going to be dealing with for the rest of their lives. In other words, while there have always been people who have committed unspeakable acts throughout history, in today’s world, where everyone has relatively easy access to assault and other weapons that can cause so much grief, those of us who abhor violence and are hoping to be able to protect the people we love have to agree that even just the threat of such violence has to be dealt with swiftly and properly.
The Issue Of Gun Control As someone who has never been a See “Editorial” on page 35.
The trial of Julie Schenecker, the New Tampa mother who has been charged with fatally shooting her children Calyx & Beau (see page 34) will begin on Oct. 7, in front of Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ashley Moody. For more details, visit NTNeighborhoodNews.com.
Correction From Last Issue: In our last issue, in the story about The Baker’s Gallery in the Pebble Creek Collection, we incorrectly identified Philippe, the cousin of owner Alexandra August as her husband. We apologize for any inconvenience the error caused.- GN
Table of Contents
LOCAL NEWS, BUSINESS, EDUCATION & SPORTS UPDATES....................Pages 1-42 Kinnan St. & Mansfield Blvd. Could Soon Connect...................6 New Tampa Nature Park Opens...................................................8 FHWC Opens New Wing, Wellness Center To Open Jan. 7....10
New Tampa News Briefs..................................12
Would-Be Freedom High Bomber Gets 15 Years iPhone App Solves Armed Robbery NETWIB Hosts Dinner For Daughters Of Farmworkers.....13
New Tampa Community Calendar...............16-17 New Tampa Chamber Newsletter......................18
Local Business Updates...........................20-31 Chart The Right Financial Path With Edward Jones.......20 Make That Body With Lipo Light Imaging.....................24 Pura Cycling: Indoor Cycling At Its Best!...................26 Seven Oaks Pet Hospital Specializes In Pet Wellness..................28 Say ‘Yes’ To The Dress At The Fancy Frock....................30
Local Education Updates.........................34 Liberty Students Raise $6,000 For Schenecker Fund
Neighborhood Magazine Which Businesses Are The ‘Best Of New Tampa?......37 Woman Paints Holiday Cheer On Local Storefronts.......39 Tampa Am 2012: Skatepark of Tampa Turns 20.............40 Mystery Monkey Of Tampa Bay Moves To Dade City.....41 Ciao! Italian Bistro Replaces Pagelli’s At Wiregrass.........44 Our 2012 Dining Survey & Contest Results..............46 ‘Neighborhood Nibbles & Biz Bytes’........................48
NEW TAMPA COLOR CLASSIFIEDS..............54
For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 21, Issue 01 • Januar y 1, 2013 • www.NTNeighborhoodNews.com
Kinnan St. & Mansfield Blvd. Could Soon Make A Connection By Matt Wiley In a dramatic turn of events, the barricades that block New Tampa drivers from using Kinnan St. to travel north into Pasco County could soon come down if negotiations between the City of Tampa and Pasco County continue to move forward. The issue of connecting Kinnan St. in the Cross Creek/K-Bar Ranch area to Mansfield Blvd. in Meadow Pointe has been at a standstill since the 2,000ft.-long roadway was paved north to the county line in 2007 by the developer of Live Oak Preserve in New Tampa. Earlier in 2012, it didn’t appear that there was any hope of a connection being made in the near future. However, in recent weeks, Pasco County officials have reached out to the City of Tampa about making that connection. On November 26, David Goldstein, the chief assistant attorney for Pasco County, sent a document to the City of Tampa attorney’s office and an attorney for the K-Bar Ranch development, located east of Live Oak Preserve in the city portion of New Tampa, that detailed Pasco’s requirements for making the Kinnan/Mansfield connection. “I am prepared to draft an agreement with the City and K-Bar Ranch as
soon they confirm these conceptual terms are acceptable,” says Goldstein. However, he notes that he has not yet received any response from the city or K-Bar since he sent the letter. Senior assistant City of Tampa attorney Julia Mandell says that city officials have not yet had a chance to go over Pasco’s proposal. “We’re waiting until we can get everyone involved on our end into a room at the same time to go over the proposal from Pasco and carefully analyze it from the City’s perspective,” Mandell explains. “We weren’t given a deadline (by Pasco County).” Goldstein agrees that there is no time requirement for an agreement to be made, but the roads will remain barricaded until an agreement is reached. Among the requirements, Pasco wants a commitment from the City and/or K-Bar to pay for traffic calming improvements, or traffic signals, at the intersection of Mansfield Blvd. and Beardsley Dr., which runs along the southern border of Meadow Pointe, as well as at Mansfield Blvd. and Wrencrest Dr. The county would cap the funding commitment at $500,000. Another requirement is a commitment from the City and/or K-Bar to provide four lanes of right of way, or
land on which to construct, the “Beardsley Extension,” which would link Beardsley Dr. east to Morris Bridge Rd. The City would not be required to give up the right of way until Pasco completes a planned route study on the extension and soon would have access to the study once it Kinnan St. currently is still barricaded at Oak Preserve Blvd., but could soon connect to Mansfield Blvd. in Meadow Pointe. is completed. the Kinnan/Mansfield connection Goldstein’s memo also says that being made. Pasco officials also want Pasco requires the right to construct right of way lanes from the city and/or any portion of the K-Bar East-West from K-Bar for a connection further road between Kinnan St. and the east, at the intersection of Wyndfield planned Meadow Pointe Blvd. extenBlvd. and the Beardsley Extension, sion if the roadway hasn’t been cononce it is constructed. structed by K-Bar within four years of
New Tampa Nature Park Opens, Provides Scenic Escape And Look At Wildlife By Matt Wiley It’s hard to tell how close the recently opened New Tampa Nature Park is to I-75. The entrance literally lies right next to it. But, once inside, all of the noises of New Tampa’s traffic and construction fade into sounds of chirping birds and rustling of leaves. The 122-acre park, located on the east side of I-75 near the Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. interchange, opened November 26 (as reported in our last issue), and offers numerous walking paths and dirt trails for bicyclists and walkers, as well as a playground and even a zip line (which Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn tried out The New Tampa Nature Park, which adjoins Flatwoods Wilderness Park near I-75, gives visitors an up-close look at local wildlife, provides trails and boardwalks for bicycling or walking, as well as a zipline (below) for kids of all ages. after the park’s recent ribbon-cutting ceremony) for families and kids. For The Duffields decided not to try “It’s a great addition to the city,” residents and visitors, alike, the park is a their luck on the zipline, but two-yearBill said. “The fact that it connects to great place to escape, and take in Flori- old Vishi Kalla had a blast and Flatwoods (Wilderness Park) is great da’s natural beauty, including some screamed with delight as his father, for bikers and serious walkers.” Bill’s close-up looks at local wildlife. Srini, carefully held him in the seat and wife Fran was using the walking paths “The woods still have that ‘new’ walked him to the end of the zipline. to exercise after a recent injury. smell to them,” joked Jeff Duffield, “(The park) is great because there “It’s beautiful out here,” she said. who was enjoying a walk with his wife aren’t many parks like this around,” “And it’s always wonderful to see the Sue on December 19 during their vaca- Kalla said. “You get to see nature and kids and their parents using the zipline. tion from Nashville, TN. “We asked wildlife that you normally miss out on They love it.” the front desk of the hotel we are staywhile driving along Bruce B. Downs.” The New Tampa Nature Park, ing at if there was a good place to take New Tampa residents Fran and located at 17001 Dona Michelle Dr., a walk. They recommended this park. Bill Davin enjoyed the warm winter has no admission fee and is open And, they were right.” weather at a picnic table in the shade. from sunrise to sunset.
FHWC Opens New Wing; Wellness Plaza Public Event Jan. 6! By Matt Wiley It has been open since October, but the new Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel has only recently begun operating at its full capacity. The 83-bed facility, located on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., just north of S.R. 56, initially opened with only one of its in-patient wings in use, but finally was busy enough to open its second wing on November 26. Director of public relations Tracy Clouser says that FHWC was waiting for the number of patients to increase to justify the opening of the hospital’s second wing. “We’ve been very busy since we opened,” she says. “We’ve had a steady flow of patients, but it still took a little time for the number of patients to outnumber the amount of beds we had available.” Clouser says that the hospital has received a large amount of positive feedback from the community since opening on October 1. “A lot of (the feedback) has been about the environment inside the hospital,” she explains. “People seem to really enjoy how soothing it is. We’ve
also had a lot of positive comments on the ambient technology in the emergency rooms suites. And, of course, about the staff.” Ambient lighting, which patients can change the color of, is used as a tool in emergency room suites to help soothe patients before and after procedures. Children can choose between different animated themes that are projected and played on the walls. Clouser says that people have continually pointed out that, unlike many other hospitals they may have visited, at FHWC, they don’t feel like a number. The hospital, although now open at its full current capacity, was designed with room to eventually add on two more wings, for an ultimate total of 291 beds.
Public Invited To Wellness Center’s Jan. 6 Event! And, just in time to help with all those New Year’s Resolutions, the FHWC Health & Wellness Plaza, located adjacent to the hospital, is set to open for business on Sunday, January 7. And, just like the public opening of the hospital itself, the pub-
lic will be treated to a FREE “Community Grand Opening” on Sunday, January 6, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The 50,000 sq.-ft., state-of-the-art facility will take a new approach to fitness, integrating healthier lifestyle choices, including healthy eating and stress manageFHWC’s Health & Wellness Plaza is all but complete and ment, into workouts. will be officially open for business on Monday, January 7. According to the equipment demonstrations, as well as FHWC website, in addition to tradia “healthy food truck rally.” She says tional free weights and treadmills, the that instead of having a catering comFHWC Health & Wellness Plaza feapany supply the food, the public will tures a four-lane, 25-meter lap swimbe able to try different dishes from ming pool and warm water therapy several local food trucks that feature pool, Technogym equipment – which healthy menus. is the same equipment used by For more information about Olympic athletes – cardio equipment the FHWC Health & Wellness with built-in TV screens, a cushioned, Plaza and memberships, please call air-conditioned, indoor walking and 929-5252 or visit the Membership jogging track, four exercise studios, a Sales Center, located outside healthy café and childcare facilities. FHWC’s front entrance on BBD. A Clouser says that the public membership information kiosk also Grand Opening event on January 6 is has been set up inside the Shops at a great way to check out the Wellness Plaza. Attendees can expect live enter- Wiregrass mall. Or, visit FloridaHospital.com/Wesley-Chapel. tainment, refreshments, tours and
N EW T AMPA Cano Sentenced To 15 Years For Bomb Threat
After spending the past 15 months in jail, the would-be Freedom High School bomber has finally learned his fate. Hillsborough Circuit Judge Kimberly Fernandez sentenced Jared Cano (see page 3), now 18, to 15 years in prison on December 5. Cano has 30 days to appeal the sentence. His maximum sentence was 37 years. Cano’s mother pleaded with Judge Fernandez to give her son Jared Cano another chance, explaining that he needed only the right balance of therapy and medication. Cano’s sister was escorted from the courtroom during an emotional reaction to her brother’s sentence. Cano, himself, also wept as his sentence was announced. Cano was arrested in early August 2011 after a confidential informant told police that he was planning to set off a bomb and stage a school shooting on the first day of the 2011-12 school year that would be “larger than both the 1999 Columbine High massacre and the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.” Cano was charged with threaten-
News Briefs ing to discharge an explosive device and possession of bomb-making materials after Tampa Police Department (TPD) officers searched his mother’s Tampa Palms apartment, where he lived. “For those of you retards who don’t know who I am, I’m the Freedom High School shooter,” Cano said in a cell-phone video released by prosecutors last month, revealing the teen’s troubled state of mind. “Well, I will be in a couple of months.” In the video, Cano detailed his plan to set off four bombs in each corner of the Freedom cafeteria, before advancing on the Freedom courtyard, front office and parking lot, killing as many people as possible. Another video shows Cano smoking a bowl of marijuana and discussing his desire to die, possibly alongside a fellow student, whom he also says he fears might “snitch” on him.
Palms and ended in Wesley Chapel. According to TPD, a call was received from a unit in the Eagles Point Apartments at Tampa Palms, reporting an armed robbery. TPD responded with a K-9 unit and air support helicopter that began patrolling the area for the suspects’ black Toyota Avalon. The report says that when the TPD K-9 officer learned that the victim had the “Find My iPhone” application installed on her mobile device, the officer used his own iPhone to locate the missing phone on S.R. 56, near I-75. TPD’s chopper located the vehicle at a gas pump at the BP station on S.R. 56, confirmed the license plate number and initiated a felony stop. The suspects
were taken into custody and the stolen property, along with the firearm used in the robbery, was found in the car. The victim positively identified the suspects at the scene. Marc-Nally Guerrer, 21, who has no current address, is still being held at the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center on a $26,000 bond for burglary of an occupied dwelling, simple battery and robbery with a deadly weapon or firearm. Kwmane Brunson, 23, of Tampa, also is being held at the same detention center for robbery with a deadly weapon, although no bond amount was available. No arrest info was available for Gregori A. Harris, the third suspect, at our press time.—MW
iPhone App Helps Solve Armed Robbery Case
It’s not every day that an iPhone solves a crime. However, using a popular app on a victim’s device, Pasco County authorities have been able to close the book on an armed robbery that unfolded on Nov. 27 in Tampa
NETWIB Provides Christmas Dinner To Daughters Of Farmworkers By Matt Wiley A swirl of colors fills the dance floor inside Hunter’s Green Country Club (HGCC) to the sound of “Feliz Navidad,” as the girls of the Las Mariposas Dance Troupe twirl their gowns and perform traditional Mexican dances to kick off a dinner in their honor during the Northeast Tampa Women in Business (NETWIB) meeting Dec. 13. The holidays are a time for giving, and NETWIB made it a point to make sure that this group of 17 less fortunate girls from the Farmworkers Self Help (FSH) Teen Center had a Christmas they won’t soon forget. FSH, based in Dade City, is a nonprofit organization that represents more than 15,000 Mexican farm workers and their families in Pasco and surrounding counties. According to its Facebook page, FSH works to “find solutions to the problems of the farm worker population and helps promote self-reliance, development and independence within the farm worker community.” “Most of these girls are at, or below, the poverty level,” explains Dulcee Loehn, the current NETWIB vice president, who also owns Focal Point Business Performance of Tampa Bay.
“We got involved because we want to help the girls realize that there are opportunities out there for them. They’re isolated, so it helps for them to get out and interact with groups like this and talk to other women. ” Instead of just having a regular monthly meeting, NETWIB “adopted” the group of girls, ages 4 to 24, for the holidays and purchased gifts for them, as well as dinner at HGCC during the NETWIB meeting where the Los Mariposas dancers perThe girls of the Las Mariposas Dance Troupe, who range in age from 4-24, perform for the formed. members of the Northeast Tampa Women In Business Networking Group Dec. 13. NETWIB president Kelly Moththey choose to do, but this will give The group enjoyed a buffet-style ershead, who also owns A Focus On them an opportunity to talk to women dinner with chicken potpie, salad, vegFitness, a weight management and perwho are business owners from multiple etables and potatoes with cheesecake sonal training company in Wesley backgrounds and see that there is more and pumpkin pie for dessert, before Chapel, explains that after hearing out there.” more than 75 gifts, including two bicyabout the group at a Wesley Chapel After the performance, the group cles, were distributed to the girls. Rotary meeting, she went out to Dade heard a story from 23-year-old Patricia “We’ll definitely continue to do City and did “a night of health, beauty Jauregui, a dancer in the troupe who this, whether it’s for the same group, or and fitness” for the girls. She even gave also is a breast cancer survivor. Patricia a different group, next year,” Mothera CPR-certification class to the young explained that just a year ago, she had shead said. dancers so that they would be able to been diagnosed with kidney failure and NETWIB is a networking group volunteer at local hospitals. Stage IV breast cancer, but battled for women, dedicated to helping “I think that this night will help through it with six chemotherapy treat- women succeed in business. The the girls see that there are other choices ments. She currently is attending group began in 2003 and meets once out there for them,” Mothershead Pasco-Hernando Community College. a month at HGCC. For more inforexplained. “They don’t have to just stay “And now, I’m dancing with the mation, including meeting times, in their community, get married and girls,” Jauregui said. “Life is good.” please visit NETWIB.org. have babies. That’s great if that’s what
N EW T AMPA
MOMS Club New Tampa
The MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club of New Tampa is currently open to new members in the New Tampa area. The MOMS Club offers a variety of daytime activities of mothers and their children, opportunities for Mom’s Night Out and many more benefits. For more information, or to join the club, email MOMsClubNewTampa firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament Of Champions
Saturday, December 29-31, 8 a.m. - The annual lacrosse tournament, hosted by Pasco County and run by NDP Lacrosse, will be held at Wesley Chapel District Park (7702 Boyette Rd.). The tournament features 88 teams representing 20 states and Canada. The FREE event will feature a vendor village, as well as some world-class lacrosse. Come see why lacrosse is called the fasted game on two feet. For info, call Frank Britton at 997-3365 or visit NDPLacrosse.net.
BNI Millionaire Makers
Wednesday, January 2, 7:15 a.m. The BNI Millionaire Makers chapter meets every Wednesday morning at Pebble Creek Golf Club (10550 Regents Park Dr., off Bruce B. Downs [BBD] Blvd.). The $13 meeting fee includes a hot breakfast. Contact Lisa Jordan at 621-6015 for details.
Business Networking Int’l
Wednesday, January 2, 7:30 a.m. BNI, a group of business professionals dedicated to helping their respective businesses grow through qualified referrals, meets every Wednesday morning at the Cory Lake Isles Beach Club clubhouse (18630 Plantation Bay Dr., off Morris Bridge Rd.). For more information, call Jal Irani at 451-8229.
New Tampa Noon Rotary
Wednesday, January 2, noon - The New Tampa Noon Rotary Club meets every Wed. for lunch at Hunter’s Green Country Club (18101 Longwater Run Dr.). Guests are always welcome.
New Tampa Eve. Rotary
Wednesday, December 5, 6:15 p.m. - The New Tampa Evening Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at Hunter’s Green Country Club. New members are always welcome. For info, call Liz DeAmbrose at 956-6487 or email email@example.com.
Wednesday, January 2, 7 p.m. Great speeches & great topics. Come hone your public speaking skills. Tampa Toastmasters meets every Wednesday at Pebble Creek Golf Club (10550 Regents Park Dr.) New guests always welcome. For more info, call 428-6356.
Free ESL Classes
Thursday, January 3, 10:30 a.m. -
A FREE English as a Second Language (ESL) class is meeting at Tampa Bay Presbyterian Church (19911 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.) on Thursday mornings. Activities for school-aged children also are provided during these classes, which are taught by a native English speaker using several ESL and Bible study resources. There is no charge to attend. The classes also discuss American culture and English idioms and slang. Come practice your conversational English and make new friends in a fun and relaxed environment! For more information, call the church office at 973-2484.
Food Addicts In Recovery
Thursday, January 3, 7 p.m. - Are you having trouble controlling the way you eat? Are you underweight or overweight or obsessed with weight or dieting? You are not alone. Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) is a support group without any dues, fees or weigh-ins and is based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experiences and mutual support, are recovering from the disease of food addiction. FA meets at Florida Hospital Tampa (on BBD) in the Camelot A room. For more info, visit FoodAddicts. org or call Roz at 355-4197.
Thursday, January 3, 7:45 p.m. Come together with like-minded professionals at the Christian Business Connections (CBC) Networking group, which meets every Thursday at St. Andrew Pres-
byterian Church (located at 5338 Primrose Lake Cir., near Freedom High/Liberty M.S. in Tampa Palms). Call Annete Faurote at 407-9225 for more information.
New Tampa Rotary Club
Friday, January 4, 7 a.m. - The New Tampa Rotary club meets at the Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club (5811 Tampa Palms Blvd.). Lora M.A. Thompson will be speaking about a psychologist’s perspective of supporting cancer patients and their families. For more info, call Eric Longphee at 202-1105.
Women N Charge
Friday, January 4, 11:30 a.m.-
Join the Women N Charge at Pebble Creek Country Club (10550 Regents Park Dr., Tampa, 33647) for their monthly meeting, featuring Lisa Demmi of Cake - Sweet Promotional Concepts, who will be sharing social media tips. The cost is $15 online by January 1. Wednesday and after is $18. Please RSVP. For more information, please contact Judy at 600-9848 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘WeWork’ At LifePoint
Monday, January 7, 7 p.m. “WeWork,” which meets Mondays at LifePoint Church (on BBD, in front of Hunter’s Green), is designed to help you search for jobs, improve interview skills, write a resume, negotiate a job offer, improve your attitude, develop networking skills or discover your gifts. For more info, call 907-9818, or visit LifePoint.tv/WeWork.
New Tampa Tri Club
Tuesday, January 8, 7:30 a.m. - A new local club has formed for the fitnessminded. Membership is open to runners, swimmers, cyclists and triathletes across the New Tampa/Wesley Chapel area. All members receive club benefits, including a training schedule, group support, seminars and socials. The club hosts group bike rides/runs at the Morris Bridge Rd. entrance to Flatwoods Wilderness Park every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 7:30 a.m., and a group run from Kona Multisport (previously, the “Ironman Store,” in the same plaza as Sweetbay & LA Fitness at BBD/County Line Rd.), at 6:30 p.m. on Mondays. For more information, join the Facebook group or e-mail NewTampa TriClub@gmail.com.
Northeast Tampa Women In Business Meeting
Thursday, January 10, 6 p.m. The Northeast Tampa Women in Business group meets the second Thursday of each month at Hunter’s Green Country Club (18101 Longwater Run Dr.). This month’s speaker is Michelle Phillips, author of “The Beauty Blueprint.” For more information, visit NETWIB.org or call 843-2354.
Run With Pride 5K
Saturday, January 26, 8:30 a.m. Pride Elementary invites the public to take part in the school’s annual 5K run/walk. Entry prices vary from $12 for the “1-Mile Fun Run,” $25 for the 5K or $65 for families to compete in
either or both events. Entry fee includes a t-shirt, breakfast and lots of fun! For info, please email Kim Francis at Kim.Francis@PridePTA.org.
I WILL Inspire 5K
Saturday, February 16 - The GFWC New Tampa Junior Women’s Club will host the 2nd annual I WILL Inspire 5K/One Mile Fun Run to benefit the I WILL Foundation and local military families. Once again, Florida Orthopaedic Institute is going to be the race headquarters as the course taking place through beautiful Telecom park. For more information or to register, visit IWillInspire.com or Active.com!
‘Slice For Life’ Golf Tournament At TPGCC
Monday, February 25 - The Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel (FHWC) Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is proud to present the “Slice for Life” golf tournament to benefit FHWC’s Center for Women’s Health. Registration for the tournament opens at 10:30 a.m. and there will be a noon shotgun start. The cost for individuals to play is $150 per golfer (although a foursome costs just $500) and that price includes your greens fees, cart, a boxed lunch, dinner and lots of great prizes. There also will be hole-inone and “Beat the Pro” contests. For sponsorships, registration and other info, email exec. director Connie Bladon at Connie.Bladon@ ahss.org or call 929-5497.
New Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Inc. 15310 Amberly Dr., Suite 250 Tampa, FL 33647 Information: (813) 293-2464 Fax: (813) 388-4408
2012-13 Board of Directors President-Regina Ramalheira Board Members: VP-Neil Heird Treas-Karen Hilton Secy-John Lore
‘Working To Improve The Quality Of Life In New Tampa!’
Non-Officers: Dr. Rachel Haviland Mark Lange Dr. Earl Meyer
Executive Assistant: Jayne Baker
Attorney To Address Chamber Luncheon About Small Business Law Jan. 8! It seems that every year, there are new laws that can affect how your business does business. Attorney Scott Silverman of the firm of Akerman Senterfitt, who has many years of experience in business and labor law, will speak at the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday, January 8, about the “Changes in the Law for Small Businesses.” Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. for networking, with Silverman to speak at noon, at Hunter’s Green Country Club (10101 Longwater Run Dr.). Scott has counseled management in all aspects of labor and employment for more than 15 years. He has been recognized as a top lawyer in Florida by The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Trend magazine’s “Legal Elite,” Florida Monthly, and Tampa Bay magazine. For all questions or to register for either of these events, please call our executive assistant Jayne Baker at 2932464, or 2012-13 Chamber president Regina Ramalheira at 245-8893. You also may make inquiries on our website (NewTampaChamber.org).
More than 60 restaurants already have received the Taste restaurant information and event chair Gary Nager of the New Tampa Neighborhood News says most of them have definitely shown interest in this year’s first-time-ever plan to reimburse restaurants by charging a lower admission price (only $5 per adult until Friday, March 22, and $10 per adult the day of the event) and charging $1-$3 per “taste.” Restaurant members of the Chamber are FREE and will receive ½ off their $1 tickets they collect back to offset their food/employee costs for providing food and/or beverage samples. Current New Tampa Chamber members may obtain a Business Exhibitor booth at the discount fee of $200. We are seeking sponsors for this event from one major “title” sponsor of $10,000. All major sponsors of $1,000 or more receive marketing on everything printed for the event, including the goodie bags, banners, newspapers and wristbands. For more Taste info, please call our executive assistant Jayne Baker at 293-2464, or 2012-13 Chamber president Regina Ramalheira at 245-8893.
Taste To Be The Best Ever!
Thanks To Our New & Renewing Members!
The 20th annual Taste of New TampaTM will be held at Primrose Park, adjacent to the Primrose School of Tampa Palms (5307 Primrose Lake Cir.) on Sunday, March 24, noon–6 p.m., and this year’s milestone event promise to be the biggest and best ever!
PA, The Little Greek Restaurant, Firehouse Subs, Life Coach Holly Wilson, the Tampa Bay Lightning, PROTential Sports, The Links at Pebble Creek, Fleetisitics, 800-DRY-ME-OUT, The Shops at Wiregrass, Wingate by Wyndham hotel, Coast to Coast Realty, 3 Dimensions Recycling, St. Petersburg Concessions, Lipo Light Imaging, ReMax–First In Real Estate & Koizi Endless Hibachi Grill.
More Board Member Bios!
Chamber VP Neil Heird is the owner and principal consultant at MindSpark Consulting. With more than 17 years of executive leadership and operations experience, Neil Herd Neil leverages real-world business success to develop and deploy web-based business strategies that deliver bottom-line impact. MindSpark Consulting works with businesses of all sizes to create dynamic websites that become functional business
tools. This approach results in measurable return on investment and helps create new business efficiencies which result in more profit. To learn more about Neil and MindSpark Consulting, visit MindSparkConsulting.com. Karen Hilton is the VP and branch manager for Synovus Bank’s Cypress Creek office. She has worked in the banking industry for 19 years and joined the bank in2011. Hilton received a bachelor of arts degree in Karen economics from Ohio State Hilton University.Karen is an active member in the Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel and the Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce as well as the Treasurer of the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce. She is also a licensed Health, Life and Annuity agent in the state of Florida. For more info, email KarenHilton@synovusbankfl.com, call 7122385 or 712-2387 or visit Synovus Bank at 2145 Cypresss Ridge Blvd.
We thank all of the following new and returning members for their wonderful support of the New Tampa Chamber: the Healing Arts Center, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, Chase Bank, Truly Nolen Pest Control, Pamela Jo Hatley
Edward Jones Office Moves From Tampa Palms To Wesley Chapel! By Camille Gillies Edward Jones may have left the building – but not the area! After 18 years, the familiar Edward Jones financial services office fronting Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. in the City Plaza at Tampa Palms shopping center has relocated to the Windfair Professional Center, across BBD from the new Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel. Financial advisor William Morales and longtime branch office administrator Nancy Carazo continue to assist New Tampa clients and manage daily office operations at the new location. “We thought this was a good time to move,” explains Morales, who joined the firm in 2008. “When I took over the Tampa Palms office a few years ago, I had initially planned on opening a branch in Wesley Chapel, so this is working out just as I had hoped.” Morales and Carazo, who both live in Wesley Chapel’s nearby Meadow Pointe community, moved to the new office park in June. Morales explains that Edward Jones prefers to locate its offices throughout the community rather than centralizing them in a large downtown office building. “We feel we can serve our clients better if we are part of the community where we all live and work,” he says.
Although Edward Jones branches are independent and small – only two employees staff each office – they are not franchises. All 11,000 branches throughout the U.S. and Canada are held by Edward Jones, which is headquartered in St. Louis, MO. “The Edward Jones business model allows me to really get to know my clients, and they appreciate that level of personal service,” Morales remarks. “If I know them and their situation, I can make recommendations based on their own individual needs. Having an office in the community makes it convenient to do business with us, and it helps us establish those important relationships.” Morales adds that a snapshot of his clients would reveal half retirees and half working families. With the chief objective of reaching his clients’ financial goals, he works directly with them on everything from college savings strategies to retirement planning. “There is no cost to be an Edward Jones client,” Morales stresses, adding that, as a financial advisor, his goal is to find solutions and match clients with the proper investments. “We see ourselves as copilots, trying to help people navigate their finances.” One local resident who feels well served by Morales and Carazo is Ann
Fabel of Thonotosassa, who has been an Edward Jones client since the early 1990s and has worked with Morales since he joined the company in 2008 and with Carazo for the past 18 years. “They are wonderful people,” Fabel says. “William is dedicated and seems to William Morales & Nancy Carazo have moved the Edward really like what he’s Jones office that had been in Tampa Palms to Wesley Chapel. news of the day to affect their decisions doing, and I think he is grounded in the community. Nancy is just great, the and Morales says that’s a big mistake. “We adapt and tweak our advice constant in the office all these years.” for the long term, not based on trends Fabel says it is rarely necessary for her to go into the office, but she enjoys or current situations, especially political ones,” Morales explains. “At any given dropping in to visit with Carazo. time, something is going on in the “And, with the rocky economy world that could impact your finances: we’ve had the last four or five years,” the European financial crisis, Hurricane she adds, “I like to go in and sit down Sandy, the presidential election, etc. with William and review my options. Things are always changing and that’s Edward Jones is a very solid, conservawhy it’s important to look past the tive company that watches out for its headlines and stay focused on your clients and gives good, sound financial long-term financial goals.” advice. I highly recommend them.” Edward Jones embraces a philosoIn a good or bad economy, it’s phy of keeping your emotions out of always wise to seek financial advice. investing. For example, lagging conUnfortunately, many people allow the
sumer confidence might tempt you to keep your money in short-term investments, but historically, at times when consumer confidence has been low, stock prices also were low, and future returns ultimately tended to be higher. Despite volatile markets, the firm stresses the importance of staying invested during both the ups, and the downs of the market. Perhaps the soundness of this strategy is best illustrated by reviewing the market’s performance over the past few years: In March 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen to about 6,500 (from more than 14,000 in 2007). But, throughout much of the second half of 2012, the Dow has hovered near the 13,000 mark – a 100-percent gain in a little over three years. In addition to equity investments, such as stocks, Morales offers his expertise regarding annuities, retirement plans, estate considerations, education savings, fixed income investments such as bonds and certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, life insurance, mutual funds, and saving, spending and borrowing solutions. “If my clients are working with CPAs on tax planning or with attorneys on estate planning, I partner with them so that we can all arrive at the best financial strategy for each of them,” Morales emphasizes. To qualify as an Edward Jones
financial advisor, Morales says you must pass an 18-month to two-year training program, and that’s not easy to achieve. “There are more than 100,000 applicants a year at Edward Jones and of them, only 3,000 applicants are accepted into the program. And, about half of those that do get in, end up getting cut (from the program). So, only about one percent of applicants actually get approved. We definitely have the best-trained and most qualified people, and that’s a big part of why we always rank ahead of the competition in customer satisfaction.” Before joining Edward Jones, Morales was president of a mortgage company in New Tampa and served six years in the U.S. Army Ordinance Corps. He spent four years stationed in and around Kuwait. Originally from New York City, his family moved to Tampa and he was a graduate of Chamberlain High in North Tampa. He says he has never wanted to settle anywhere else. He and his wife, Mandy, have two teenage daughters and have lived in Wesley Chapel since 1998. To start off your new year on the right financial foot, call William Morales at the Edward Jones office in Wesley Chapel at 991-7034, email William.Morales@EdwardJones.com or stop by the office at 2748 Windguard Circle, Suite 101 (in the office plaza behind The Hungry Greek).
‘Make That Body’ With Lipo Light Imaging Body Sculpting Treatments By Matt Wiley It’s that time of year again. New Year’s resolutions are upon us, and after all of that holiday indulging, it might be time to shave off a few pounds with the newest weight-loss product in the New Tampa area: the Lipo Light Imaging Body Sculpting System. Brought to the area by New Tampa resident Geoff Rocque, 31, and Lutz resident Jessica Rueff, 32, through their company, known as “Make That Body,” Lipo Light is now offered at Namaste Yoga Studio’s Harmoni Spa, located on S.R. 54 in nearby Lutz. Lipo Light is one of three LED Light Therapy consumer home-use products designed by Innovative Photonics, a United Kingdom-based company specializing in LED Light Therapy. The company’s website says that LED Light Therapy uses light-emitting diodes to produce specific wavelengths of light that create a beneficial physiological response in the human body. “Lipo Light Imaging is the very first LED red-light-based system for body sculpting, contouring and lymphatic drainage,” says Rueff. “It harnesses the power of light therapy to trigger the body’s own natural ability to burn fat and also visibly reduce inches
from all around the body.” The Lipo Light machine consists of eight pads, each with a total of 25 LED lights. These pads are applied for 30 minutes to target areas on the client’s body, basically any of the areas the client wants to slim down. “The pads emit a specific wavelength of light (635 nanometers) which allows the fat cells to release fatty acids and glycerol through a process called lipolysis,” Rocque explains. “The fat cells are then burned off during exercise, helping to produce faster results in the gym.” Make That Body’s website also says that the heat and light given off by the pads stimulates that release of energy in the body. Rueff explains that, when paired with a healthy lifestyle, Lipo Light is the new and natural slimming and toning alternative to invasive surgery. But, Rueff also warns that Lipo Light isn’t an “easy way out.” In fact, vigorous exercise is still a key factor in the Lipo Light process. “After each treatment, the client needs to burn between 300-500 calories,” Rocque says. “If the client doesn’t work out after the treatment, the fat that was released during the treatment will just be reabsorbed back into the body. Exercise is very important.”
Rueff says that the biggest advantage of using Lipo Light for weight loss is that it is non-invasive and easy. “With Lipo Light, there is no bruising, swelling, burning or pain and no anesthesia required,” she explains. “Essentially, there is no downtime and no side effects. The treatment achieves far greater results com- (L. to r.) Vanessa Saucedo, Geoff Rocque and Jessica Rueff pared to low-level laser of ‘Make That Body,’ which is located on S.R. 54 in Lutz. light systems, and is In the spirit of the holidays, Make much more cost effective.” Rueff adds that Make That Body’s That Body is running a special through main goal is to create a customized plan January, offering ten-session packages at a $200 discount. of action for each of their clients, helpKristie, a Make That Body client ing them to reach their personal goals who lives in Tampa, says that the results the natural way, by offering nutritional are definitely worth the effort. advice and a workout regimen tailored “"I have seen great results and to each client’s lifestyle, along with the have already dropped a full dress size in Lipo Light treatment. the short time I’ve used Lipo Light,” “You can see results in as little as she says. “The staff has been so wonone treatment,” Rueff explains. “But, derful and supportive. They truly create for optimal results, we recommend clients buying a package of ten sessions. an enjoyable, spa-like experience. I look forward to the personal attention and Results vary from person to person, guidance from Jessica to help me reach depending upon how many inches the my ideal look." client wants to lose.”
Making Make That Body
Rueff says that she started Make That Body with Rocque after spending eight years in the hospitality industry (before taking time off to be a stay-at-home mom and raise her three daughters). She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando in hospitality management. “I wanted to get back into the workforce, but I didn’t want my schedule to interfere with my children,” she explains. “Being a mom, I understand that after having children, your body goes through changes and it is easy to become self-conscious about those changes.”
natural for Make That Body. “We could not have found a better partner,” says Rueff. “The owner of the studio shares the same philosophy and ideas as we do,” says Rueff. “Namaste brings the same kind of personal dedication to their clients’ individual needs and goals as we do.” For more information about Make That Body and (Above left)A client enjoys a relaxing Lipo Light session. Lipo Light, stop by the (Right) A sample of the results possible with Lipo Light Namasté Yoga Studio, located at 23606 S.R. 54 in the HighRueff adds that she was “blown land Oaks Village shopping plaza in away” when she was first introduced Lutz, visit MakeThatBody.com, or to Lipo Light by her mother-in-law, a see the ad on page 22. licensed aesthetician of 30 years who saw incredible results, first-hand, from using the light therapy system. Rueff joined forces with Rocque in August 2012, when Make That Body was born. Rueff says she chose to partner with Rocque because of his experience in corporate hospitality and his medical background. Rocque holds an emergency medical services (EMS) degree from Brevard Community College and most recently spent five years working as a manager for Southern Wine and Spirits of America. Vanessa Saucedo also was hired as a treatment specialist who works directly with clients. Rueff says that partnering with the Namaste Yoga studio also was a
Pura Indoor Cycling Studio — Just Don’t Call It The ‘S’ Word! By Gary Nager So, even though I work out a minimum of three days a week (and usually more than that), thanks to our new advertisers — Pura Indoor Cycling Studio in the Shoppes at New Tampa in Wesley Chapel (between Publix and Bealls) — I decided to give the sport of indoor cycling a shot. It’s not like I haven’t been a bike rider for a long time — I completed seven triathlons in my 30s and still can be seen tooling around on my bike from Flatwoods Park to Amberly Dr.
Stephanie always demonstrates, as well as describes, the proper posture for each position on the bike.
— I just never had taken an indoor cycling class before. In fact, I had never heard the term “indoor cycling” before. Oh, I definitely had heard of another type of indoor cycling class, one which begins with the letter “S,” but had no idea this type of activity could possibly be referred to by this other name. Pura Cycling Studio is the brainchild of co-owners and Mad Dogg Athletics-certified indoor cycling professionals Stephanie (aka “Sheila” Farquhar and Alfio (aka “Hoot”) Carroccetto. The young couple combines Stephanie’s gift for marketing and Alfio’s teaching ability (he previously taught biology at Freedom High in Tampa Palms), although both also are very buf, but slim, and obviously able to handle the rigors of teaching multiple sp....er, indoor cycling classes a day. The studio is basically one large room with at least two dozen indoor bicycles all angled towards the instructor, who is on a raised podium adjacent to a major sound system wearing a headset microphone. The 45-minuteto-one-hour classes feature plenty of pulse-pounding music and lots of enthusiasm from Pura’s instructors. I took pictures of one of Stephanie’s classes, but I also had the
pleasure of participating in one of the classes taught by Julie Hinson, another Mad Doggcertified Pura instructor. Based on how the classes work at Pura, the whole key to this type of activity isn’t having mountain road or other backgrounds flashed on a wall or having a digital readout provide you with the number of miles you’ve ridden Stephanie (above, and with co-owner Alfio on the next page) keeps her class moving at all times. or how many calories you’ve burnt much resistance you use during any during your session. part of the class. So, because I live in Instead, the instructors teach and Florida, it had been a while since I had stress proper technique, especially when handled any type of hill. I therefore it comes time to tighten up the bike’s took it a little easier than I might have resistance knob so you can stand up off otherwise, just to make sure I got the saddle of the bike to simulate through the full hour in one piece. climbing hills or even mountains, There’s no doubt that indoor depending upon how much resistance cycling can burn up to 1,000 calories you use. an hour, but even if I only burned 300And, that’s the thing I really liked 500 calories that first time, I definitely about the class I took. Julie explained got a taste of how everything works — that no one is going to monitor how and I’ve already told Stephanie and
Alfio that I will likely end up cycling at Pura 1-2 days a week, as a cardio “supplement” to my regular workouts. “Indoor cycling really is perfect for all fitness levels,” Stephanie says. “You’re only competing against yourself and we provide a lot of emotional support for our clients, too.” Pura Cycling offers 1-on-1 fitness assessments, the ability to register for classes online, individual session fees as well as memberships, rewards just for being a member and best of all, your first class is FREE! Pura Cycling clients already are
raving about the studio, which celebrated its Grand Opening less than two months ago. “I took the class with Luanne about two weeks ago,” says Janet, a client who is now interested in becoming a Pura instructor. “I felt a bit intimidated at first, but I have to say that I enjoyed the class very much! Make this year your fittest ever at Pura Indoor Cycling Studio, located at 1822 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. For more information, including the current class schedule, call 501-2124 or visit PuraCycling.com.
Seven Oaks Pet Hospital Specializes In Overall Pet Wellness By Matt Wiley There are few things more difficult to watch than a suffering family dog or cat. However, there sometimes is a solution, and the first step is taking that family pet to Seven Oaks Pet Hospital in Wesley Chapel, where helping get pets back on their “paws”– and helping them stay healthy– is the name of the game. Seven Oaks Pet Hospital, located on S.R. 56 between I-75 and Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. in the Cypressview Square shopping plaza, is a full-service veterinary medical facility offering everything from anesthesia-free dental work and laparoscopic surgery (or surgery using a small incision and a camera to see inside an animal’s body), to acupuncture and holistic medicine for every family’s four-legged friends. The hospital prides itself not only on its customer service, but also on its patient care and focus on overall pet wellness. Seven Oaks Pet Hospital’s reputation precedes itself, thanks largely to the work of Dr. Sree Reddy, DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), who has been a practicing veterinarian for more than a decade. Dr. Reddy graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine in India in 1997, before moving to the U.S. and earning his Master’s degree in veterinary
microbiology from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL. After working as a vet in Ames, IA, and in Clearwater, Dr. Reddy opened Seven Oaks Pet Hospital in 2007, where he currently specializes in laparoscopic and bone surgery and acupuncture, taking a more herbal and holistic approach to pet medicine than most vets. “This isn’t a profession to me,” Reddy explains. “This is my life. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.” Reddy is so dedicated to his fourlegged patients, in fact, that he, personally, is on-call 24/7. “I usually work 70-80 hours per week,” he says. “I’m always thinking about my patients, even when I’m at home. If there’s an emergency, no matter what time, day or night, I’m here.” In March, Dr. Reddy welcomed another full-time veterinarian into the fold at Seven Oaks: Dr. Lisa Clifford, DVM. A Hawaii native and University of Hawaii alumnus, Dr. Clifford received her DVM degree from Iowa State University, also in Ames. “It was a bit of a culture-shock,” she says of moving from the Hawaiian islands to the Great Plains. Clifford has been working for Reddy since 2010, but now alternates between three and four days per week at Seven Oaks Pet Hospital.
Together, Drs. Reddy and Clifford take care of pets from all across Tampa Bay, some from as far away as Apollo Beach and St. Petersburg. “Most of our clients hear about us from other clients,” explains Reddy. “We’ve had between 25to-30-percent growth in our client-base in the past year. People just keep coming back.” Dr. Clifford agrees. “It’s more of a personal experience here,” she says. Dr. Lisa Clifford and Dr. Sree Reddy of Seven Oaks Pet Hospital on S.R. 56 combine traditional veterinary “We focus on quality of medicine with a more holistic approach to pet wellness. care, instead of quantity of patients. We know the plan. Seven Oaks offers plans for both clients and the pets well. They’re not in dogs and cats that range from complete and out the door.” care packages to dental plans. Puppy and In addition to the dedication to pet kitten plans also are offered until the wellness of Seven Oaks’ vets, patients animal is six months old. also keep coming back for the practice’s The value of many of these packcompetitively-priced “pet wellness ages can total more than $800, but the plans.” Seven Oaks Pet Hospital offers cost to the client is offered at almost a clients a choice in different levels of well- 50-percent discount, because you pay ness plans, which allow a client to pay a for the visits in advance. one-time fee for a pet-care package and Seven Oaks’ dental care works simibring their pet in as many times as need- larly to the care a human receives at a ed for an entire year, whether it’s for a dentist; no anesthetic is used, up to a checkup or just for vaccinations, certain point. If a pet’s teeth haven’t depending on what is included in the been cleaned for an extended period of
takes pride in Seven Oaks Pet Hospital’s use of laparoscopic procedures. Using a small incision and a tiny camera, Dr. Reddy is able to do biopsies and even spays without having to open up an animal’s abdomen. Neuters, however, are still done the traditional way. “I truly believe in (laparoscopic procedures),” Dr. Reddy says. “Technically, I’m losing money on (laparoscopy) because we Dr. Reddy is a skilled veterinarian, but is equally really don’t charge enough known for his compassion for the animals he treats. for it. It’s so much better for pets. The incision is only time and need extensive work, a sedative about the size of a dime.” may be necessary, but, if possible, pets Reddy explains that with this sort receive anesthesia-free dental work. of procedure, pets can be back on their “It’s cheaper, less invasive and easier on the animal,” says Dr. Reddy. “Pets feet in a matter of days, as opposed to come in every six months and have their weeks. he notes that some pets don’t even require pain meds. teeth cleaned, just like humans.” Another area that he specializes in is In addition, the facility also recently introduced digital X-rays, allowing imag- acupuncture. “I was seeing a lot of paralyzed ing to be done in a matter of minutes, rather than having to come back, or wait dogs,” he says. “A lot of my colleagues for an extended time to see what ailment were treating paralysis with acupuncture, is affecting an animal. And, beginning in so I was intrigued.” Dr. Reddy says that he joined the January, the facility will feature an inInternational Veterinary Acupuncture house ultrasound machine, which will Society (IVAS) in 2006 to see what allow Dr. Reddy to see inside a pet to acupuncture was all about. After six help diagnose a problem more accurateweeks of training, he became certified ly before performing surgery. and began offering acupuncture as an Speaking of surgery, Reddy also
alternative to traditional medication. “With paralyzed dogs, sometimes within six or seven treatments, the animal will begin to show signs of recovery,” he explains. Tampa resident Ken Timmins and Fenway, his mini-dachshund, experienced the wonders of Dr. Reddy’s acupuncture treatment first-hand. Fenway was in intense pain and Timmins feared that he would have to put the dog down, so he brought Fenway to Seven Oaks. Through an X-ray, Reddy determined that Fenway was suffering from a bulging disc and recommended acupuncture. “I was skeptical at first,” Timmins admits, “But, within seven treatments,
Fenway was much better, and he was back to his old self after the ninth treatment. If you have any doubts, I suggest that you put your faith in Dr. Reddy.” Whether your pet is suffering, or just needs to have a checkup or teeth cleaning, stop by and see Dr. Reddy or Dr. Clifford at Seven Oaks Pet Hospital. The friendly and experienced staff will help make sure that your pet is well, and continues to stay that way. For more information, please visit SevenOaksPet.VetStreet.com or call 929-4100. Seven Oaks Pet Hospital is located at 27227 S.R. 56 and is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m., and 8 a.m.–2 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.
Say ‘Yes To The Dress’ At The Fancy Frock! By Camille Gillies If you’ve ever had to shop for a bridal gown in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel, you know your choices were nearly nil – until now. Thanks to the recent premiere of Wesley Chapel’s first bridal and formal wear shop, you can kiss that shopping trip to South Tampa, St. Petersburg or Brooksville goodbye. The new shop, dubbed “The Fancy Frock,” is the brainchild of local resident Jennifer Smith, who in August opened the boutique, located in the Redfern Professional Plaza behind Dunkin Donuts in Seven Oaks, off Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. The Fancy Frock features a varied assortment of wedding gowns and formal wear, including ball gowns, pageant dresses, prom and homecoming dresses, upscale cocktail and party attire and even men’s tuxedos and accessories. Although the shop anchors one end of a cluster of medical and professional offices and breaks the traditional retail shopping mold with its office park locale, The Fancy Frock isn’t too difficult to find, offers two spacious rooms replete with off-the-rack and custom gowns and boasts a comfortable, helpful and low-pressure atmosphere. “Customers are always welcome to come in and browse or they can make an appointment for more personal, one-
on-one service,” Jen says. One complete room of the boutique features designer bridal gowns, while another is dedicated to other formal gowns and even cocktail dresses. An enormous dressing suite – the kind of well-lit and fully mirrored kind required when making a nail-biting, once-in-alifetime (hopefully) wedding gown purchase – is available, as well as a pleasant sitting room for the usual critics...ahem, friends and relatives...the bride might bring along for moral support. Most designer wedding gowns are notoriously expensive, but these bridal gowns won’t break the bank. Ranging from $300 to $2,000, the majority of Jen’s gowns are priced under $1,000 and include such well-known designers as Anjolique, Mia Solano, Jasmine, Demitrios, Mon Cheri, Dolly Pearl, Nina Canacci, Christina Wu and Jordan. “I love to shop but I don’t like to pay full retail,” Jen says, who is proud to offer high-quality dresses that are more affordable, thanks to her own savvy shopping know-how. She says her prices are reasonable because she purchases dresses that may have been samples or their style numbers were discontinued, but all merchandise at The Fancy Frock is brand new and top of the line. “I also buy from wholesale distributors and bridal shop owners who want to turn over their inventory,” she contin-
ues. “They sell at a deep discount, and I pass that savings on to my customers.” She says similar shops in northern states, many as far north as Michigan, stock heavier gowns at this time of year, so they are anxious to move gowns made of lighter fabrics. As Floridians know well, those light fabrics are Seven Oaks resident Jennifer Smith of The Fancy appealing year-round in Frock off BBD Blvd. in Seven Oaks can help dress up our warm climate, the bride and the groom at your wedding. prompting Jen to purwhat at each high school. Ah, one less chase several gorgeous gowns from her moment of teen angst! northern contacts and offer them at the Speaking of angst, have you ever Fancy Frock. seen a girl choose a pageant dress? Let Staying on the cutting edge of the The Fancy Frock take the stress out of latest style trends, Jen says today’s fashthe process. The shop’s dazzling evening ion-forward looks include pleats, “rustic gowns deserve a look from any young chic,” layered ruffles and – the “in” color for the 2013 bride – silver. Jen can lady, whether walking down a runway or reigning over a parade. Jen currently has smartly outfit the entire wedding party, several in stock and will carry a couture from bride and groom to bridesmaids and groomsmen to mother and father of designer line beginning in 2013, but she is waiting to announce the designer. the bride and flower girls. The Fancy Frock also is a go-to destination for buying prom and homeMore Than Just Bridal Wear coming dresses. Girls won’t have to With the holidays upon us, now is a worry that someone else will show up to great time to check out The Fancy the dance in an identical dress because Frock for cocktail dresses and tuxedos Jen will keep a record of who purchased that will have you turning heads at this
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Unique gowns and dresses for other formal occasions also are available at The Fancy Frock. season’s formal parties and New Year’s Eve galas, with dresses from $59-$500. Jen also offers a line of custom accessories that includes hair clips, sashes, headbands and tiaras. She creates all of the pieces herself, a hobby she began as a creative outlet from teaching. In fact, some New Tampa residents may know Jen from her days as a teacher at Hunter’s Green Elementary. With a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a Master’s degree in special education, both from nearby St. Leo University near Dade
City, Jen spent the past 10 years as a teacher in Hernando and Hillsborough counties, but wanted to start her own business and exercise more of her creativity. Four years ago, she began toying with the idea of opening a formal wear shop, but with the recession in full swing, the timing wasn’t right. “But, right now, everything seems to have fallen into place,” she says. “Look at all of the growth and businesses popping up again along BBD. I knew this was the time. I am located right across from the new Florida Hospital and just a minute or two north of the Wiregrass mall. It’s a great place to be.” Jen adds that her research shows that Pasco County has a high number of professional, college-educated women who have never been married, a demographic ideally suited for her business. Coincidentally, Jen is a newlywed who resides in Seven Oaks (only seconds away from the shop) with her husband, Rob James, and their blended family consisting of children, Emily, 19; Granger, 12; and Isabella, 6. “I really hope that people will stop by The Fancy Frock to see what I have to offer,” she says. “Every dress is handselected and I have something for all age groups, from teens to seniors.” Wesley Chapel resident Stephanie Peters found this out first hand during her visit to the Fancy Frock. Stephanie says she recently purchased semi-formal dresses for herself and her two daugh-
ters, ages 12 and 14. “We were shopping for dresses for a Bat Mitzvah ceremony, and Jen told me she had the perfect dress coming in for me,” Stephanie says. “It was just the color and style I was looking for." She also says that the store has an excellent selection, and her young daughters were both equally pleased with their special dresses. “I’d definitely recommend her shop,” Stephanie says. “You can’t beat her prices." The Fancy Frock is offering a Grand Opening/Holiday sale featuring 20-percent-off all in-stock formal and bridal gowns. Jen also invites you to take advantage of her “secret envelope” pro-
motion, in which customers, upon entering the store, receive an envelope containing special discount coupons. The Fancy Frock is located at 3737 Maryweather Ln. in the Redfern Professional Plaza and is open Tuesday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. The store is closed on Sundays and open on Mondays by appointment only. Jen stresses that her goal is to accommodate her customers, so store hours are flexible and she welcomes evening appointments. For more info, including how the “secret envelope” promotion works, call Fancy Frock at 973-1999 or visit the store’s Facebook page.
Liberty Middle School Groups Raise $6,000 For Schenecker Fund By Matt Wiley In a room full of “suits,” business men and women sit and listen as the group’s president addresses them, before a check for thousands of dollars is donated to a specific fund. It sounds like the scene inside a Wall Street boardroom, but it’s actually two student clubs meeting inside the media center at Liberty Middle School, located off of Commerce Park Blvd. in Tampa Palms. On December 17, Liberty’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) together presented a giant $6,000 check to the Calyx & Beau Schenecker Memorial Fund, a scholarship program that helps to provide leadership, athletic and arts opportunities to promising teenagers across the Tampa Bay area. Col. Parker Schenecker set up the fund in honor of his two late children, Calyx & Beau, who were tragically killed in 2011. He and the children’s grandmother, Nancy Schenecker, were honored as special guests at the checkpresentation ceremony at the school. This year marks the second donation that the Liberty Middle School organizations have made to the fund.
cookie dough around the commuLast year, the two nity, enough to make more than groups donated $4,000. 47,000 cookies. “We worked hard “We are eternally grateful to and we not only each of you for continuing to show achieved our goal of your love and compassion to (Calyx $5,000, we surpassed and Beau), who were members of it,” said Liberty FBLA your ranks,” said Col. Schenecker president Lamine as he accepted the check. “My hat Diagne. “We raised is off to you. I’m both personally $6,000, and, in addition and professionally indebted to all of to that, Nancy Scheyou.” necker matched our A round of applause filled the amount, for a total donation of $12,000.” Col. Parker Schenecker accepts a $6,000 donation to the Calyx & Beau Sch- room as members of the two Diagne explained enecker Memorial Fund from two student groups at Liberty Middle School. groups tore the wrapping paper off the oversized check and posed for that FBLA decided to receive scholarships to use toward furpictures with Col. Schenecker, who raise funds for the scholarship as the thering their education. Some of the presented the group with another group’s community service project for money also has been used to help pay check for $6,000 to put into the fund. the year, and partnered with NJHS. dues to participate in local soccer clubs The two donations put the total “We chose this project because it for kids who may not have been able to amount raised by the Schenecker really means something to us,” Diagne afford to play. Memorial Fund at about $92,000. said. “This fund offers opportunities. It Beau Schenecker, 13, also was a Col. Schenecker explained that he gives people a chance they otherwise member of Liberty’s FBLA, what his and Nancy decided to match what the would not have had to pursue their father describes as one of Beau’s students raised to honor the kids that dreams.” favorite parts of attending Liberty (in were honoring Calyx and Beau. Col. Schenecker explained that the addition to playing soccer). Calyx, 16, “Calyx and Beau are Tampa kids,” scholarship fund already has helped was an International Baccalaureate (IB) Schenecker said. “It’s great to see a fund scholarships to Hillsborough student, artist and cross-country runner community like this continue to supCommunity College and will fund a at King High on N. 56th St. in the port great efforts like ours. Tampa’s a high school art contest named after Temple Terrace area. great, philanthropic community, and Calyx that will run in April, in which To raise money, Liberty’s FBLA we’re just a part of that: giving back to high school artists will submit their artand NJHS members sold 980 orders of the community.” work for judging. The winners will
Continued from page 3 hunter or gun enthusiast, I’ve never really understood why some people feel so strongly about their “Constitutional right to bear arms,” which of course, was intended by our forefathers to give the people of this country the right to bear those arms to raise militias and even rebel against the federal government if it treated the people unjustly. Since then, however, members of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun lobbyists have convinced millions of people to equate the right to bear arms with the right of individuals to own and use as many guns as they want, without fear of retribution from the government unless they use those weapons to commit crimes. As someone who believes very strongly in freedom, I may never have understood why so many people are so attached to their guns, but I still defend their right to own them, especially those who are responsible gun owners who keep their weapons properly locked and out of the reach of children. The events at Newtown haven’t changed my position on gun control — other than I agree that the federal and state assault weapons bans should be extended to include the type of weapon that Lanza used to murder 26 innocent people, despite the fact that the “Bush-
master” is also used as a hunting gun. I guess I just don’t see how it’s considered “sporting” to be able to shoot a deer or wild hog 30 times in a few seconds. Even though Lanza may still have killed multiple people had he only used a non-automatic handgun or rifle instead of the Bushmaster, perhaps a few more families could have survived his assault intact. About the only good news I have heard on the gun control issue since the tragedy at Newtown is that, it seems, a number of people who previously supported the current (or even weaker) gun control laws may finally be realizing how serious the gun problem is in this country. I have been elated to hear many news and even sports talk radio callers who claimed to be “avid hunters and card-carrying members of the NRA” say that they would gladly turn their guns into local law enforcement if it would save even one innocent child and that child’s family from having to deal with this type of horror.
Blame The Games?
Unlike some people, I don’t blame violent movies or even today’s too-realistic video games for incidents like Newtown or Columbine. I was either 17 or 18 years old and living in New York when I saw Robert DeNiro’s Oscar-nominated performance as New York City cabbie Travis Bickle in Mar-
tin Scorsese’s uber-violent “Taxi Driver” and not only did I not go out and arm myself against possible violence, neither did any of my friends, nor did I hear of any copycat incidents in the months after the movie — which also was nominated for an Academy Award. I also was an avid superhero comic book reader as a youngster, but I never even threw a punch in anger at anyone. Likewise, both of my sons and most of their friends have been longtime gaming enthusiasts who play “Call of Duty” and other shoot-em-up video games and none of them would ever perpetrate or even plan the type of violence that Lanza and the Columbine and Virginia Tech criminals carried out. I don’t even think it’s necessarily fair to blame the parents of these young people for their acts, unless they saw more than just the usual teenage/ young adult brooding so common among (mainly) young men in that most testosterone-addled age group — and did nothing about it. So many of us are looking for answers to this problem today, but I honestly don’t believe there is a single action anyone can take to fix it. The combination of access to powerful weapons, desensitization to violence because of our movies and video games and some parents ignoring the warning signs of impending violence on the part of their children are only part of the
issue, in my opinion. In some cases, there are no real warning signs and some serial killers never played a video game in their lives. So, despite President Obama’s mandate for stricter gun control laws, I fear there will be more incidents like the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in the years to come, which means that there will be more victims and, hopefully, more heroes who will be remembered for their bravery in the face of such unspeakable terror — such as Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto, who saved her students from Lanza’s attack while making the ultimate sacrifice herself. I know there are plenty of teachers and parents...and even people who have never been either...who would do the same in a similar situation. So, as I go to press with this issue on what the Mayans predicted as the last day of this planet’s existence, all I can do is pray for a better 2013 for all of us — a better economy, fewer tragedies and, as long as I’m praying anyway, a chance at world peace. Until then, however, I can only picture my sons both still being at Hunter’s Green Elementary and, even if the incident didn’t happpen at their school, having to explain to them that incidents like Newtown can happen here, too, we just have to hope it doesn’t. I don’t envy the parents who have to explain that to their kids today.
Congratulations To Our First-Ever ‘Best Of New Tampa’ Winners! By Gary Nager As most anyone who has been reading this publication for any period of time surely knows, we have featured a Reader Dining Survey & Contest (see page 46) each of the past 19 years, but we’ve never offered any similar awards for other businesses that aren’t places to eat. That is, we haven’t done so until this year, although we primarily promoted the contest through our website — NTNeighborhoodNews.com — which means that those of you who either don’t visit our website regularly (which you should, because we update it with great news and information every weekday, but that’s another discussion for another time and place) may have missed it altogether. The good news is that several local businesses did a good job of promoting the contest to their regular customers, so we were actually very pleased with this year’s first-year contest total of nearly 400 entries, with those voters split roughly 60 percent from New Tampa and 40 percent from Wesley Chapel. We freely admit this was little more than a “popularity” contest and an opportunity for businesses who participated to be able to display a “Best of New Tampa” and/or “Best of Wesley Chapel” plaque in their respective offices so that maybe next year, more of our advertisers — and perhaps also businesses that aren’t yet advertisers — will get their friends, family and customers to help them win our 2013 honors. We appreciate everyone who participated this time around and send out congratulations to all of our winners!
Your Favorite AfterSchool/Daycare Programs In New Tampa & Wesley Chapel
Your Favorite Doctors In NT & WC
New Tampa: Primrose School of Cross Creek (994-6800) Runners-up - ProTential Sports (843-9460) & Bright Horizons of Hunter’s Green (991-0030)
Colin Beach, MD Family Care at Tampa Palms (979-6978) Runner-up - Rajani Shah, MD, New Tampa Physicians Group (Cross Creek Blvd., 994-7670)
Discovery Pointe at Seven Oaks (994-2700) Runners-up - Discovery Pointe at Lexington Oaks (907-8892) & Creative Times Academy (County Line Rd., 907-2700)
Esther Tatoy, MD Board-Certified in Pediatrics (Behind Sam’s Club, 973-7076) Runner-up - Dr. Mitch Forman, New Tampa Urgent Care (Next to Bonefish Grill, 929-3600)
Your Favorite Gyms/Fitness Studios In NT & WC
New Tampa: LA Fitness (Tampa Palms, 971-8800 & New Tampa, 435-6040)
Runners-up - New Tampa Family YMCA (866-9622) & Fitness Revolution Of New TampaMark Lopez (843-5294)
Wesley Chapel: A Focus On Fitness-Kelly Mothershead (344-3325) Runners-up - Shapes Total Fitness (Off S.R. 56, 973-7354) & Sports & Field (948-5500)
No other doctors had enough votes to be statistically significant
Your Favorite Golf Courses In NT & WC
New Tampa: Pebble Creek Golf Club (973-3870) Runners-up - Hunter’s Green Country Club (973-1000) & Heritage Isles Golf Club (907-7388)
Wesley Chapel: Saddlebrook Resort Tampa (973-1111) Runners-up - Lexington Oaks Golf Club (907-7270) & Quail Hollow CC (333-0033)
Dr. Nicole Mitchell (3rd from left) and her staff are thrilled to be found at New Tampa’s favorite dentist’s office for 2012!
Your Favorite Dentists In NT & WC New Tampa: Nicole Mitchell, DMD Family, Impant & Cosmetic Dentistry (Highwoods Preserve, 957-5887)
Runners-up - Paul Duga, DDS Dr. Duga, Dr. Feeney & Associates (Tampa Palms, 631-1100) & Michael Green, DMD General & Cosmetic Dentistry (Now behind Sam’s Club, 973-1440)
Wesley Chapel: McIlwain Family Dentistry (Behind Sam’s Club, 991-9893) Runners-up - Joan Lynch, DDS Magnum Opus Dental (Gray Rd., 991-0097); Lee Daniels, DMD Seven Oaks Family & Cosmetic Dentistry (Ashley Oaks Cir., 907-7313) & Allan Fallah, DMD, Apex Dental (Next to SuperTarget; 994-4200) For More ‘Best Of’ Results, see page 42!
Painting Local Storefront Windows Helps Woman Battle Unemployment By Matt Wiley It’s been a tough year for most, with a struggling economy nationwide and millions of people out of work. This holiday season, the perfect gift may not have been a shiny new diamond ring or a gaming system; what many people around the country want is just to find full-time, stable work. Some people, like Suzanne Alvarez, are putting their minds to work and thinking outside the box to come up with other ways to pay the bills. A full-time job was at the top of Alvarez’s list this year. Unable to find anything but small, part-time jobs — mostly working with the elderly or providing childcare — for more than a year, Alvarez, a Temple Terrace resident, put her creative mind to work by painting storefronts with holidaythemed murals. “I’m honestly just trying to pay the rent.” Her work can be seen bringing holiday cheer to businesses at The Walk at Highwoods Preserve shopping plaza on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., just north of I-75. Elves throw snowballs outside of Heimberger’s Martial Arts, while kids play in the snow on the windows of Dr. Nicole Mitchell’s family dentistry office.
Alvarez, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of South Florida, explains that she had been sending out resumes for more than a year after her part-time job providing childcare ended unexpectedly, but received no responses from any of the places that she applied. “I sent out an email to friends to see if they needed any help at their businesses,” Alvarez explains. “A friend emailed back who knew I was artistic and suggested that I paint storefronts. She lives in New Tampa, so I started up here. At first, I didn’t know anything about it. I even had to research Suzanne Alvarez recently painted many of the storefront windows in The Walk at Highwoods Preserve shopping center with holiday themes. what kind of paint to use.” Alvarez is no stranger to drawing, to theirs. I try to include the something how complex the design is to create. having worked through her time at about the business in the painting.” “It takes a while, but it’s a lot of USF as a pastel portrait artist at Busch Santa Claus hoists a first place trofun,” she explains. “I’m a creative perGardens to help pay for school. She has phy over his head at Crown Trophy, son, and I like getting to express my since traded in her pastels for colorful and then cycles across the windows of creative ideas.” She adds that she plans acrylic paints. Oliver’s Bicycle Shop. And, Frosty the to keep her window painting business She says that she first approached Snowman twirls a pizza in the air on going after the holidays. several nail shops around New Tampa the front window of Westshore Pizza. Be sure to check out Suzanne about storefront painting, with no sucUsing acrylic paint, Alvarez says Alvarez’s work at The Walk at Highcess. Then, she found the shops at The that once she figures out how she will woods Preserve shopping plaza. If Walk, where she started with painting incorporate the business into the mural, you own a business, or know somethe window at Crown Trophies. she first puts down a layer of white, one who is interested in having any “(Painting storefronts) has worked before going over it again with the type of window artwork done, give out well,” she explains. “I’ll do it for other colors, to help the image stand Suzanne a call at 785-7993 or send one business, and then the business out. She sometimes spends 5-6 hours her an email to Suzanne@KirtanMunext door will see it and want it done on one storefront, depending upon sic.com.
SPoT Celebrates 20 Years Of Skateboarding History At TampaAm! By Matt Wiley
A warehouse lies in the industrial district of East Tampa, off Columbus Dr., not far from Ybor City. From the outside, it looks like just another building where some product is being massproduced by machines. However, history is going down inside those walls, and young people were writing another chapter of that history on pieces of painted wood with four wheels during the 19th annual Tampa Am skateboarding contest at Skatepark of Tampa (SPoT) Dec. 6-9. For 20 years, SPoT has been the center of the Tampa skateboarding scene, holding contests and giving kids, as well as seemingly grown (on the outside) men a spot to roll around and witness some incredible skating, especially during the annual Tampa Am and Tampa Pro contests, which draw some of the industry’s biggest names. Before SPoT, the only place to skateboard — besides the streets, of course — was the “Bro Bowl,” a downhill, cement “gravity-bowl” located off Orange Ave. in downtown Tampa. Until recently, the “Bro Bowl” was surrounded by some of the most povertystricken housing projects in the city, and was a dangerous place to skate after dark. All of this changed, however, thanks to the work of Brian Schaefer, SPoT’s founder and owner. “It was 1993 when we got the lease,” says Schaefer. “It’s been a crazy ride that’s created a ‘rad’ life for more than 20 people.” Schaefer, 41, leased the park from a skeptical landlord when he was only 21. Now, he owns the property. During the past 20 years, skateboarding has steadily increased in popularity. There now are more than ten skate parks in the Tampa Bay area, including a nice one right here in New Tampa — at the New Tampa Recreation Center on Commerce Park Blvd. in Tampa Palms. Team Pain, the same company that has rebuilt SPoT’s
(Left) Skateboarders have been ‘getting air’ at the Skatepark of Tampa (SPoT) for 20 years. (Right) The winners of the recent TampaAm skateboarding contest at SPoT are celebrated with a champagne shower.
18,000-sq.-ft. course each year for its annual contests, constructed the New Tampa skatepark. The Winter Springs, FL-basedcompany has more than 30 years of experience building skateparks across the globe. While SPoT is an indoor park with a combination of wooden ramps and concrete ledges, the 14,200sq.-ft. New Tampa skatepark is completely outdoors and made of smooth cement. Pads and a helmet also are required at the City-run New Tampa skatepark. SPoT’s annual contests have made Tampa a sort of “mecca” for skateboarding and, each December, hundreds of skaters converge on SPoT, which is where I found myself during the finals of this year’s Tampa Am, working on a photo project for graduate school. The contest began on Friday, but I wasn’t able to get down to the park until Sunday. Luckily, the contest was broadcast worldwide via webcast, so I was still able to catch a glimpse of the top skaters before I arrived. As the world watched, more than 140 skaters were narrowed down to 12 during the three-day contest.
But, I finally got to sweat it out, literally, with the hundreds in attendance during the finals and “Moat Race,” a SPoT tradition in which several spectators trudge through the muck that is the ditch in front of the park, as eggs, flour and even marinara sauce are hurled at them, each hoping to be the first to cross the finish line and win a box of free gear. “The ‘Moat Race’ is one of the best parts about the contest, besides the open bar for the adults,” says Nic Cuniff, a skateboarder who drove near-
ly two hours from Cape Coral, FL, to watch the contest. “You’re actually allowed to throw eggs at people. But, it’s all in good fun. Kids sign up for it. They get really stoked for it.” Congratulations to this year’s Tampa Am winner, 17-year-old Alec Majerus of Rochester, MN, and to SPoT (4215 E. Columbus Dr.), for 20 years of amazing skating and contests! Cheers to 20 more. For more information about SPoT and full results from the contest, please visit SkateparkofTampa.com.
Bay Area’s ‘Mystery Monkey’ Running ‘Wild’ In Dade City By Matt Wiley After spending four years running from the “law,” a fugitive is behind bars, but it’s not the kind of fugitive that probably springs instantly to mind. “Cornelius,” the “Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay,” was moved into his new home at Dade City’s Wild Things (just a few miles north of Wesley Chapel) on December 3, after evading trappers around the Tampa Bay area for more than four years. From Clearwater to Temple Terrace, Dunedin to Pinellas Point, Cornelius has taken wildlife rescuer Vernon Yates on quite a wild ride. “He’s a very intelligent animal,” says Yates, who also is the founder and director of Seminole-based Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc. “It got to the point where he’d actually recognize my truck. He’d be sitting in a tree and as soon as he’d see me pull up, he’d take off.” Yates explains that Cornelius could have been caught much sooner, as he has been able to hit the monkey with tranquilizer darts numerous times. However, Cornelius would run up into a tree before falling asleep. Yates says that knocking on someone’s door and trying to explain to that person that he’d just shot a monkey that ran into
Petersburg on October 24, Cornelius has been in Yates’ custody at his wildlife refuge until a proper home was found, which Yates determined to be Dade City’s Wild Things, the 22-acre zoo that is home to more than 250 animals, including several other species of macaque. “It’s been a four-year ordeal and people kept asking me what I would do with the monkey when I finally caught him,” explains Yates. “I just wanted someone who could give him a good home and didn’t want him just for the publicity. There was another facility in Lakeland that was interested, but they since Cornelius, the “Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay,” backed out, so I decided on Wild peeks out of his new home at Dade City’s Wild Things.” Things, just a few miles north of Wesley Chapel. Cornelius’ new home isn’t their backyard usually gave Cornelius too shabby, either. He currently lives enough time to escape. alone in a 14 ft. x 14 ft. cage made of During the past four years, Yates 9-guage chain link on a cement slab, explains, the rhesus macaque monkey shielded by a glass pane – a health has used his intelligence to avoid both requirement since Cornelius was diagcapture and the deadly mistakes that nosed with being infected with the hermany other less intelligent animals pes B virus following his capture. His commonly make, such as making concage also features swings, a small, heattact with power lines or trying to cross ed house and a feeding station. After busy intersections. 30 days, other macaques will be introSince his capture in south St. duced into his environment.
“He’s adjusting pretty well,” says Wild Things director Kathy Stearns. “At first he explored everything and ate some food from a high spot in the cage. He seems comfortable. Curious, but comfortable.” Dade City’s Wild Things, located at 37245 Meridian Ave. in Dade City, is currently setting up a “Mystery Monkey Fan Club” to help raise funds to pay for the maintenance of Cornelius’ new cage. For more information about how to get involved, or to make a donation, please visit DadeCitysWildThings.com.
Presenting Our 2012 ‘Best Of New Tampa’ Winners! (cont. from page 37) Your Favorite Orthodontists In NT & WC New Tampa: Mark Farina, DMD Farina Orthodontics (972-2929) Runner-up - Steven Dau, DMD Dau Orthodontics (929-3361) No other orthodontists had enough votes to be statistically significant
Your Favorite Chiropractors In NT & WC
New Tampa: Tim Bain, D.C. Bain Family Chiropractic (Cross Creek Blvd., 907-9898) Runner-up - Robert Lupo, D.C. (Skipper Rd., 978-0020)
Wesley Chapel: William Scheu, D.C. New Tampa Chiropractic & Injury Center (994-6111) Runner-up - Micah Richeson, D.C. (Cypress Creek Chiropractic & Wellness 994-5455)
Decorating Den-Debbie Demboski (817-2264) No other residential services companies had enough votes to be statistically significant
Your Favorite Veterinarians In NT & WC New Tampa: Cross Creek Animal Medical Centre, Timothy Hodge, DVM (Cross Creek Blvd., 994-6929) Runner-up - Pebble Creek Animal & Bird Hospital (Next to Wendy’s, 973-8566)
Quail Hollow Animal Hospital (Off SR 54, 279-8079) Runners-up - Seven Oaks Pet Hospital (SR 56, 929-4100) & Wesley Chapel Veterinary Clinic No other chiropractors had enough votes to be statistically significant (Off BBD, 973-3591) If some of your favorites didn’t make these lists, make sure you vote in our 2013 “Best of New Tampa & Wesley Chapel” Contest!
Your Favorite Retail Stores In NT & WC New Tampa:
Your Favorite Residential Services Company In NT & WC New Tampa & Wesley Chapel: Spa Moritz in Tampa Palms owners Dennis & Dyan Piller
Your Favorite Salons/Spas In NT & WC New Tampa: Spa Moritz (Commerce Park Blvd., Tampa Palms, 971-4772) Runners-up - Happy Nail & Spa (Shoppes at The Pointe, Tampa Palms, 910-9591); Bella Mia Hair Designs (New Tampa Center, 632-3552) & New Identities Hair Studio (Shoppes at Amberly, Tampa Palms, 979-0760)
Wesley Chapel: Ideal Massage & Spa (Behind Sam’s Club, 406-4418) Runners-up - Star’s Organic Spa (Ashley Oaks Cir., 973-8787) & hq Salon & Spa Aveda, Shops at Wiregrass, 527-0448)
Ross Dress For Less (Market Square at Tampa Palms, 978-3795) Runners-up - Walmart Supercenter (994-6543) & SteinMart (City Plaza at Tampa Palms, 972-5330)
Wesley Chapel: Macy’s (Shops at Wiregrass, 528-4300) Runners-up - SuperTarget (9076687), JC Penney’s (907-7266) & Marshall’s (994-7330)
Your Favorite Supermarkets In NT & WC New Tampa & Wesley Chapel: Publix (NT-Tampa Palms, Cross Creek Blvd. & New Tampa Center; WC-Shoppes at New Tampa & Hollybrook Plaza) Runner-up - Sweetbay (NT-North Palms Village; WC-Wesley Chapel Towne Centre) No other supermarkets had enough votes to be statistically significant
Your Favorite Pet Services Companies In NT & WC New Tampa: Petsmart (Market Square at Tampa Palms, 558-8160) Runners-up - BowWow Boutique (Cross Creek Blvd., 903-9663) & Petsburgh Mobile Pet Salon (928-1494)
Wesley Chapel: Petco (Next to SuperTarget, 973-9067) Runners-up - Petsmart at The Grove (994-7010) & Fido’s Funland (381-6360)
Your Favorite Businesses In NT & WC That Don’t Fit Any Of The Categories New Tampa: Kares Kommunications PR (279-8045) Runner-up - Contemporary Captures Photography (469-8757)
Wesley Chapel: Medi Weightloss Clinic (SR 54, Lutz, 909-1700) Runner-up - Thurow Financial Services (SR 54, Lutz, 406-4436) No other bsuinesses had enough votes to be statistically significant
Ciao! Italian Bistro Takes Over Pagelli’s Spot At Wiregrass reviews for what they sampled, especially assistant editor Matt Wiley, who flipped over Ciao’s prime rib and Considering how packed the cheese panini sandwich, which features Shops at Wiregrass mall have been slow-roasted prime rib of beef, smoked throughout the recent holiday shopbacon, smoked Gouda, caramelized ping season, I’m sure most of you onions and horseradish mayo on grilled already know that Ciao! Italian Bistro Ciabatta bread. The waffle-cut fries has replaced Pagelli’s Italian Grill in the which come with the sandwich are a mall. Hopefully, you’ve also already similar style as, burt a crisp improvesampled some of the cuisine at Ciao!, ment on, the waffle fries at Chick-fil-A. but if you haven’t, I’m hear to report Senior graphic artist Porsha Lemos about some pretty impressive menu and I both really enjoyed the crispitems I’ve already gotten to sample in crusted Margherita pizza and I also can the short month or two that Ciao! has vouch for the “Angry Mussels,” which been open. are sitting in a wonderful, heady mix of I recently treated the office to olive oil, bacon, garlic, green chilies, red lunch at Ciao! and everyone had rave pepper flakes, chives, chopped tomatoes and pinot grigio and served with addictive garlic bread. Meanwhile, office manager Nikki Bennett said her chicken canneloni, which are big tubes of pasta filled with (Left) The Angry Mussels at Ciao! are excellent, as is the chicken, ricotta rigatoni alla Toscana.These photos not taken by GalleriesByJayne. By Gary Nager
Photos by GalleriesByJayne.com
and spinach and finished with both Alfredo and marinara, was also topnotch. On the subject of pasta, perhaps my favorite dish at Ciao! to date has been the rigatoni alla Toscana, which features large tube pasta sautéed with Italian sausage, roasted peppers, onion and tomato sauce, topped with garlic-herb Rondele. I would order the Rondele cheese on the side next time, but the dish is an excellent mix of sweet and spicy. I also have to say that I’m impressed with Ciao!’s ability to go from traditional Italian to unconventional grill restaurant, and always with a little bit of a twist. For example, while many restaurants serve grilled salmon, sales rep Taylor Gardner said his salmon was definitely fresh and he really enjoyed the Among our office’s favorites at Ciao! way it was prepared (topped with Italian Bistro in the Shops at Wiregrass parmigiano reggiano, basil bread crumb mall are the prime rib panini (top) and encrusted tomatoes and citrus pesto Margherita pizza (above). sauce, a side of perfectly sauteed fresh on the menu, especially when it was asparagus tips and a unique asparagus served with an almost-hash-brown-like risotto. Speaking of fish, I was stunned potato-parmesan crust and served with to find a fresh grilled yellowtail snapper
lemon basil butter sauce and the same sides. My favorite non-pasta entrée so far, though, has been the slow roasted prime rib, served with rosemary au jus, horseradish sauce, aged white cheddar and basil mashed potatoes and those yummy asparagus. The prime rib definitely has me wanting to come back to sample Ciao!’s other grilled items, including the double-cut pork chops, the unique (for this area) bone-in fillet and my Other favorites we’ve sampled at Ciao! Italian Bistro include (clockwise from top left) the Ciao! Meatballs, the chicken canusual favorite, the New York neloni, the 12-oz. roast prime rib, the Italian cookies and the grilled salmon. strip steak. But, I really need to the restaurant every Wednesday at noon deep-dish caramel apple pie, and tradipizza, Ciao! also offers a variety of extend that wish list, because Ciao! has (go figure). Ciao! serves a nice buffet other pizzas and flatbreads, with everytional Italian desserts like tiramisu and a huge menu that includes everything that changes every week and the Rotary thing from steak tips to barbecue chickcannolis. from starters like jumbo lump crab Club is a great group of local business en. The pasta variety also is huge, The interior of the restaurant hascakes to calamari to a definitely differincluding butternut and wild mushn’t changed much since Pagelli’s, which leaders. Definitely worth checking out. ent burrata caprese (tomato, mozzarella room ravioli dishes to lasagna BologThe website says Ciao! is “all was always a casually elegant, relaxed about warm Mediterranean flair with a nese, eggplant milanese, heirloom put& basil salad) and even crab & macaatmosphere, especially at the beautiful tanesca, chicken Florentine Abruzzo roni and cheese. bar area, which features super-premium twist. Ciao! has a feast for the eyes, as well as the palate.” and photographer Jayne Baker enjoyed liquors, imported and micro-brewed Speaking of salads, I’ve already the Ciao! Meatballs. The descriptions Ciao! Italian Bistro is located at beers on tap and in bottles (try the enjoyed Ciao!’s wedge and traditional just from the menu alone are making 2001 Piazza Ave., directly across Ciao! Rustic Red) and a nice selection Caesar salads, but there also is everymy mouth water. from Cantina Laredo, in the Shops of popularly priced wines. The place thing from a seared salmon salad to a Other sandwiches on my list to at Wiregrass. It is open daily from isn’t cheap, but with so many options Ciao! Greek salad and even a poached sample are the bacon cheddar burger 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (Friday & Saturday from which to choose, I’m sure you’re pear salad, which I don’t believe I’ve and even the Greek pita, with gyro-style going to find new favorites of your own until midnight). You also can host seen in Tampa before. lamb and tzatziki sauce. your next event at Ciao! for up to every time you visit Ciao! Ciao! also has a variety of 100 people. For reservations (not For dessert, Ciao! always has freshor, if you want to try a small sambruschettas I’ve yet to sample, from a required, but recommended) and baked cupcakes and a variety of Italian pling of the cuisine at Ciao!, you shrimp ceviche bruschetta to a version should attend one of the Wesley Chapel more info, call 907-2200 or visit cookies, as well as everything from a that includes an heirloom tomato salsa. CiaoItalianBiatro.com. Noon Rotary Club meetings, held at And, in addition to the Margherita made-to-order chocolate souffle to
Here Are The Winners Of Our 2012 Dining Survey & Contest! So, here are this year’s winning restaurants and the names of the readers who won prizes in this year’s biggest-ever Reader Dining Survey & Contest. And, thanks to a lot of (for once) correct ballot-stuffing, we have a few restaurants that really took off this year. We always encourage restaurants to give the forms to their customers, but we always warn them that if they only have one or a couple of restaurants named, those votes will not be counted. Well, the new Full Circle Pizza & Grill’s customers did exactly as instructed, so Full Circle won Your Favorite New NonChain Restaurant, Your Favorite Pizza Place (unseating runner-up La Prima Pizza, which previously had won every year it’s been open) and Your Favorite Sandwich Shop in New Tampa & Wesley Chapel & was named, behind first-time winner, The Olive Garden, as your second Favorite Restaurant in New Tampa. Also named a first-time winner, thanks to lots of loyal customers, is Taste of Boston, your Favorite Restaurant in Wesley Chapel for 2012. Don’t forget to check out my annual “Gary’s Favorite Restaurants” in our next issue. Congrats go out to Sandy Elvenia of Lexington Oaks, whose name was drawn at random from our record 600+ entrants to win $100 at the restaurant of her choice. See the complete list of winners at the end of the next page. — GN
Your Favorite Restaurants In New Tampa (NT) 1. Olive Garden 2. Full Circle Pizza & Grill 3. Liang`s Bistro 4. Red Lobster 5. Stonewood Grill & Tavern 6. Acropolis Greek Taverna 7. Chili’s Grill & Bar 8. Las Palmas Spanish Café 9. Romano’s Macaroni Grill 10. Ruby Tuesday 11. TGI Friday`s 12. Burger 21 13. Ciccio’s California Cuisine 14. Mr. Dunderbak’s 15. Oakley’s Grille 16. Kobe Japanese Steakhouse 17. Panera Bread 18. Koizi Endless Hibachi Grill 19. Five Guys Burgers & Fries 20. Sushi Tsu Japanese Steak & Sushi 21. Sushi Ko 22. Sukhothai 23. Ploy Thai 24. Sushi Café 25. Tijuana Flats
Your Favorite Restaurants In Wesley Chapel (WC) 1. Taste of Boston 2. Bonefish Grill
3. Wolf’s Den 4. GrillSmith 5. La Prima Pizza 6. Vallarta’s 7. Texas Roadhouse 8. The Hungry Greek 9. Outback Steakhouse 10. Cantina Laredo 11. Red Robin 12. First Watch 13. PizzaMania 14. Applebee’s Grill & Bar 15. Beef O’Brady’s 16. Burger Monger 17. Cracker Barrel 18. Sonny’s BBQ 19. Café Fresco 20. PrimeBar 21. Bonsai Sushi 22. Dickey’s BBQ 23. Yamato Japanese Steakhouse 24. PDQ 25. Dempsey’s Steakhouse
Your Favorite NEW Restaurants In NT/WC 1. Full Circle Pizza & Grill 2. Burger 21 3. Koizi Endless Hibachi Grill 4. Oakley’s Grille 5. Latin Twist Café
Your Favorite Asian Restaurants In NT/WC 1. Liang’s Bistro 2. Kobe Japanese Steakhouse 3. Ho Wok 4. Yamato Japanese Steakhouse 5. Asian Buffet 6. Koizi Endless Hibachi Grill 7. Sukhothai 8. Thai Ruby 9. Saffron Indian Cuisine 10. China Wok
Your Favorite Latin Restaurants In NT/WC 1. Vallarta’s 2. Las Palmas Spanish Café 3. Cantina Laredo 4. Tijuana Flats 5. Latin Twist Café 6. Moe’s Southwest Grill 7.Café Ole 8. Baja Fresh 9. Taco Bell 10. J Baja’s Mexican Grill
Your Favorite Pizza Places In NT/WC 1. Full Circle Pizza & Grill 2. La Prima Pizza
3. PizzaMania 4. Marco’s Pizza 5. Wolf’s Den 6. Papa John’s Pizza 7.900º Woodfired Pizza (Wiregrass) 8. Biagio’s II 9. Woodfired Pizza (Bearss Ave.) 10. Bosco’s Pizza
Your Favorite Sandwich Restaurants In NT/WC 1. Full Circle Pizza & Grill 2. Subway 3. Firehouse Subs 4. Publix Deli 5. Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop 6. Wolf’s Den 7. Panera Bread 8. Oakley’s Grille 9. Jersey Mike’s Subs 10. La Prima Pizza
Your Favorite Restaurants For Steak In NT/WC 1. Texas Roadhouse 2. Outback Steakhouse 3. Stonewood Grill & Tavern 4. GrillSmith 5. Dempsey’s Steakhouse 6. Bonefish Grill 7. Applebee’s 8. Kobe Japanese Steakhouse 9. PrimeBar 10. Ciccio’s California Cuisine
Your Favorite Bars & Taverns In NT/WC 1. The Brass Tap 2. PrimeBar 3. Beef O’Brady’s 4. Mulligan’s Irish Pub 5. Peabody’s 6. World of Beer 7. Linkster’s Tap Room 8. Bonefish Grill 9. Skinny’s Sports Bar 10. Acropolis Greek Taverna
Your Favorite Places For Dessert In NT/WC 1. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream 2. Dairy Queen 3. Cold Stone Creamery 4. CherryBerry 5. You Say When Yogurt 6. Frogury 7. iCream 8. Cafe 365 9. MochiBerri 10. Roux’s Snowballs
Congrats To Our Winners! $100-Sandy Elvenia, Lexington Oaks $50 - Dana Salmon, Plantation Palms & Paula Hatfield, Hunter’s Green $20 - Joseph Ramsey, Northwood, Jason Dobrow, Tampa Palms, Susanne Zralka, Pebble Creek, Amy Davis, Bridgewater, Jeff Clernoff, Arbor Greene, Jonathan Coman, Seven Oaks, Diana Collins, Pebble Creek & Joy Gaziaro, Meadow Pointe
The Latest & Greatest News About Dining, Shopping, Retail & More In New Tampa & Wesley Chapel! By Gary Nager I heard a rumor that the economy isn’t very good these days. If that’s true, then how come every time a business in New Tampa or Wesley Chapel closes, new places keep popping up in their place? This appears to be particularly true about local eateries, as you’ll be able to tell when you see all of the new places opening in both of our distribution areas!
Check Out Cigar Castle!
We’ll start with one that isn’t new, however. I’m only sorry I didn’t get this info to you for our last issue, because I know a lot of you are yourselves — or at least know — cigar smokers who would really appreciate the truly huge selection of the finest cigars at the Cigar Castle, located on N. 56th St. in Temple Terrace (between Fletcher and Fowler Aves.), only five minutes from the southern portion of Tampa Palms. Owner Atul Solanki is a long-time New Tampa resident who started his business as Beverage Castle (which is still adjacent to Cigar Castle in the same plaza), but took over the sizable space next door a few years ago. I’m not a cigar smoker myself, but I know one thing for certain about Cigar Castle — you can’t beat Atul’s selection of Ultra-Premium liquors in the Cigar Castle’s exclusive Montecristo Lounge (photo), including more top-shelf single-malt Scotches and single-barrel bourbons than any place in New Tampa. So, if you’re a smoker who also enjoys top-shelf adult beverages — and a variety of entertainment, from karaoke to dominoes — you really
need to stop in at Cigar Castle! And, please tell Atul I sent you! The Cigar Castle is located at 11724 N. 56th St. For more info, call 985-1300 or visit TheCigarCastle.com.
New Eateries In Highwoods
We’ve recently reported a lot of news about the area we call Highwoods Preserve, especially being the only local media source to report the correct information about Lee Roy Selmon’s closing its doors for good (although the reports now say Selmon’s will open a new location in Wesley Chapel; we’ll update you about when and where when we have more details) and about BB&T Bank opening a new branch shortly in the former Krispy Kreme Doughnuts location adjacent to the old Selmon’s. Well now, we’re happy to report about two new eateries joining the serpentine shopping plazas located on the same (west) side of Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. as Selmon’s and BB&T that wind their way around Highwoods Preserve — from the Verizon/Amscot building, past Linkster’s Tap Room, FedEx Office and Boston Market all the way to Starbucks. Behind FedEx, right next to You Say When Yogurt (our area’s fifth favorite dessert place in our exclusive 2012 Reader Dining Survey [see page 47]; we’ll tell you more about You Say When, which is under new ownership and management, in a future issue), the Taste of New York Pizzeria has been open for a month. And, I can assure you — as a true, transplanted New Yawka — that the place lives up to its name. I don’t want to give away yet how far up my 2013 Favorite Pizza Place list Taste of New York will debut at in my own annual survey of my 2012 dining favorites (and it did open while I was still compiling that list), but I can assure you it already is in my Top 10 favorites pizza joints in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel.
Tell Sam, the owner, that I sent you to Taste of New York (17503-C Preserve Walk Lane) or call 9717000. And, look for my complete dining survey results in our next Wesley Chapel and New Tampa issues, and online by Jan. 15 at NTNeighborhoodNews.com! Right next to Taste of New York, the Greek Villa Mediterranean Cuisine restaurant also has opened, although it was only open a day or two when I had to finalize this column, so I haven’t gotten to sample it...yet. All I can tell you is that the place looks immaculate and the aroma of both the chicken and regular lamb gyro sandwiches was already off the chain. If Greek Villa also has a killer Greek salad, we’re going to be seeing a few mentions of them in both my survey and our Reader Survey in 2013! Stop in at Greek Villa Mediterranean Cuisine (also 17503 Preserve Walk Lane) or call 898-8991.
Takara Sushi & Sake Opens
Meanwhile, just south of Tampa Palms, in the Acropolis-anchored Oak Ramble Plaza on BBD, Takara Sushi & Sake Lounge has opened at the extreme south end of that plaza in the same location that originally was home to the Louis Pappas Market Café. Sadly, neither of the restaurant concepts that came after Pappas left the space has panned out, but Takara isn’t “just another” sushi place. Takara literally looks more like an elegant place to hang out than a restaurant, with the sushi bar set in from the entrance, where instead cool loungestyle tables and upholstered chairs literally invite you to sit down and enjoy hot or cold sake, those awesome Japanese and other imported beers and even some nice wines. The sushi is wonderfully fresh and presented beautifully and the couple of hot dishes I’ve tried so far haven’t disappointed, but I’ll get back to you with a full review on Takara in a future issue. Stop in at Takara Sushi & Sake Lounge (14913 BBD) or call 9771062 for more info...and please tell the owner Eugenia that I sent you!
Halftime Sports Lounge
Opens Next To Pizza Hut
A little further north on BBD, in the Publix-anchored New Tampa Center plaza across from Hunter’s Green, the new Halftime Sports Lounge (19012 BBD) has opened in the space previously occupied by the Excalibur Lounge in the plaza. But, while Halftime also is a smoking bar that stocks a nice selection of premium liquors and micro-brewed beers, the similarities between it and Excalibur pretty much end there. Halftime, which was open only a couple of weeks as we went to press with this issue, offers everything from live jazz to karaoke to spoken word nights and also is one of the more elegant hookah lounges I’ve seen in the Bay area. For more info about the Halftime Sports Lounge, call 910-4102. Also opening in the same section of the same plaza is The Little Greek Restaurant, which will move into the space previously occupied by Firehouse Subs. We’ll tell you more about The Little Greek (MyLittleGreek.com) in a future issue.
North Pole Ices Closes, La Fuente Opens In CC Center
Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of changes in the Cross Creek Center plaza at the corner of Cross Creek Blvd. and Kinnan St., where North Pole Ices closed at the end of November and La Fuente Real Mexican Restaurant opened the day before we went to press. We’re sad to see North Pole Ices go, but La Fuente has a great menu of authentic Mexican favorites and owner Roger (no relation to Sen. Marco Rubio) promise that his fajitas are the real deal, but we shall see! For more information, stop in at La Fuente (10032 Cross Creek Blvd.) or call 907-0592.
Shops At Wiregrass Update
There’s also lots of new news to report about the ever-evolving Shops at Wiregrass mall in Wesley Chapel. For example, right across a nowdecked-out-with tables-and-umbrellas alleyway from Blue Lagoon (thanks to our friends at the adjacent 900º Woodfired Pizza & Cafe 365), a new
Charley’s Philly Steaks & Grilled Subs shop is set to open in the space previously occupied by The Teriyaki Experience, which closed a couple of months ago. The owners of 900º and Cafe 365 also are involved in opening the new sub shop, which has hundreds of locations from Hawaii to Alaska and even Japan and beyond. The company’s website says Charley was taking a family vacation when a missed exit brought him to South Philly. His first encounter with a local delicacy, a Philly Cheesesteak, was love at first bite, so he brought his findings back home to Columbus, Ohio and began testing recipes on his college buddies.He opened the first Charleys on the Ohio State University campus and not long thereafter, to keep up with customer demand, Charley began franchising his award-winning taste in 1991. Locations began popping up all over the world, including mall food courts, strip centers, airports and even Army & Air Force Bases. Also now open in the mall, finally, is Blue Lagoon Island Grill Authentic Caribbean Cuisine. Located next to 900º Woodfired Pizza and featuring everything from authentic Jamaican jerk dishes to fresh fish entrées with mango and other fresh fruit sauces, Blue Lagoon’s menu is unique and the couple of things I’ve sampled so far have been pretty delicious.
About 50 of the 85 current volunteers at the new Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel were feted by the hospital at a holiday thank-you meal at the hospital less than a week before Christmas. addition to Tampa Palms and Wesley member of the local media who attendLook for an update on Blue Chapel), including handling the ined a special thank-you meal for the 85 Lagoon (994-1526, BlueLagoonhouse catering kitchen at the Pepin current volunteers who helped not only Tampa.com) in a future issue. Distributing Hospitality Center on get the new Florida Hospital Wesley Gerry’s Back At Winners! N. 50th St. in Tampa, has been busy Chapel (FHWC) open, but have Congratulations to Gerry Malyupgrading the Wesley Chapel Winners’ played such a vital role in helping opernovsky, the original owner of all of the menu and promises to roll out an ate Wesley Chapel’s newest and most Winners Sports Grills in the Tampa entirely new, upgraded menu soon. impressive economic engine. Bay area (including the once-very-pop“We’re going to be adding some Connie Bladon, the executive ular location in the City Plaza at Tampa great fresh fish options, additional director of the FHWC Foundation, says Palms shopping center), who recently steaks, pastas and daily specials,” he that in addition to the 85 current voltook back over the Winners location in says. “We’re not going to forget that unteers, another 19 are in the process at 5429 Village Market, at the corner of this is still a ‘sports grill,’ we just want of completing their orientation and Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. and S.R. to give our customers more choices.” needed certifications. 54 in Wesley Chapel. For more info, call 973-7474. “Our volunteers are a wonderful, Gerry, who has been primarily in diverse group of people,” Bladon says. the catering business since selling his FHWC Thanks Volunteers For more info, visit FloridaHosthree Winners locations (Odessa, in I also am pretty sure I was the only pital.com/WesleyChapel.
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CAR SERVICES – Don’t Have a Ride? Don’t Want to Leave Your Car? Shouldn’t Drive? We Drive You and Your Car Home! Night Clubs, Corporate Events, Sporting Events, Concerts, Appointments, Airport or Stranded... Call Jay at (813) 966-1530. FOR SALE - Solid wood Drexel Heritage, Italian Traditional style, Dining Room Set: Dining room table w/ leaf 86 in. long, 42 in wide, 6 chairs w/ burgundy and gold accent cushions, and matching lighted china cabinet. For pricing or more information please call (813) 690-1062. TURN YOUR CLUTTER INTO CASH! - 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
LOOKING TO PLACE A LISTING? Call The Neighborhood News 813-910-2575
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FIND YOUR DREAM HOME FROM YOUR CELL PHONE! - Wish you could see home details while you are driving around looking at homes? NOW YOU CAN! With Team Bohannon's Mobile MLS Search application, you can search for any home in the area on your cell phone. Check out price, beds/baths, details, maps, even photos – all from the convenience of your cell phone. SEARCH PROPERTIES WHENEVER AND WHEREVER YOU WANT! GET IT NOW - Text: MLS4YOU to: 87778 Compliments of Doug, Annette and Dale Bohannon Coldwell Banker (813) 979-4963 REALTOR - Let me Find your Dream Home for you,... I WILL DO THE WORK! - You will get my full attention to your Real Estate needs. Call me directly at 813-679-9595 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. MARIA CHERREZ VANGALDER, Realtor, Ceritfied Short Sale Expert; Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
JASMINE’S LANDSCAPING - Complete lawn maintenance, Tree, palm and hedge trimming, Planting, mulching, stones, Sod replacement, Pressure washing, Gutter cleaning and more. Cited by your HOA for violations? Need to comply for: Pressure washing, Trimming, Mulching, Sod replacement, Sprinkler repair or Mailbox repair or replacements?Ask about our HOA SPECIAL! FREE ESTIMATE! (813) 420-4465 LAWN CARE - We Specialize in Residential Lawn & Landscape Maintenance! Landscaping, Mulching, Clean-ups, Palm/Tree Trimming & Sprinkler Repair also available. Owner Operated over 17 years. Call us today for Reliable Service for everything that grows @ your property (813) 973-3825 or visit: ntlcpropertymaintenance.com
50 For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575
• Volume 21, Issue 01 • Januar y 1, 2013 •