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Volume 13, Issue 1 Ph: 657-2418 P U B L I S H I N G
Local Firefighters Team Together To Create American Flags From Firehoses
By Nick Nahas
vice, firehoses. They either purchase them or retired hoses are given to them by fire departments. “It has a history to it,” said Burton. “Every single flag is unique. The dyeing process and the way that the hose is laid out on the flag, and the way that the stars are put on there, it’s all done by hand and they are all individual to themselves.” The dyed hose is laid on the flag and the stars are individually spray painted on with a single template. Firehouse Designs has not only made a name for themselves in the local area, but all over the country as well. They have shipped flags to almost every state in the country. Their goal is to build up their local following in Tampa. The two donate a lot of flags to raise money for charity as well, including for the Honorary Mayor of Brandon, the charity golf tournament for the Tampa Fire Museum, a Tampa soccer club and an event for Shriners Hospital, as well as for Old Fire Station #5 for children of soldiers who were killed in action. have donated 20 to 30 flags. The price range varies from flag to flag. If you are interested in buying a flag, you can view Burton and Muzzy’s work and get in contact with them through their Facebook page, Firehouse Designs. If you would like to donate a firehose to Burton and Muzzy, contact them through Facebook as well. The pair also sells flags at the T. Marie’s Sunday Morning Market at the corner of Lithia Pinecrest and Bloomingdale in Valrico.
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Dave Burton started his business, Firehouse Designs, in early 2016 after he created an American flag out of repurposed firehose Photo for the Temple courtesy of Andy Muzzy Terrace Fire and Dave Burton Department. He Dave Burton and Andy got such a great Muzzy’s flags vary in size and color. response from his fellow firefighters that he decided to make several more flags and put them in a craft show. After a very successful show, the business took off. According to Burton, making these flags has been a fire service tradition for many decades. This inspired him to make a flag for his own fire station, where he currently serves. Burton forged a partnership with a fellow firefighter, Andy Muzzy. Together they have created many flags. Both work for the Temple Terrace Fire Department, Muzzy for 16 years as a captain, and Burton for three as a firefighter paramedic. Burton previously did some firefighting in the Navy before moving on to banking after leaving the military. He went to school at Hillsborough Community College to become a firefighter and later began his career. Muzzy was inspired by his firefighter family in New York to continue the family tradition to join the same profession. “It was in my bloodline to pursue a career in the fire service,” Muzzy said. According to Burton, 95 percent of the flags are made from used, out-of-ser-
Photo by Tamas Mondovics
Not worried about the cooler weather, Wonder Woman and Batgirl take a moment to strengthen their friendship while enjoying some fun with a handful of young cartoon characters during a recent party at Pump It Up of Brandon. Offering abouncing-good-time for young and apparently for the youngat-heart, Pump it Up, 729 W Lumsden Rd, in Brandon, is considered by many as one of the best local fun things to do.
P O S I T I V E
C O M M U N I T Y
N E W S
USAA Begins Expansion On Crosstown Center Campus In Brandon
By Tamas Mondovics
An artist’s rendition shows USAA’s new 240,000 sq. ft., office building expansion near the existing Crosstown Center campus, The new facility slated for opening in 2019.
The completion of USAA’s Tampa facility at Crosstown Center in Brandon, which created more than 1,200 new jobs in 2015, was a welcomed addition to the Bay area landscape. Thanks to continued growth throughout Hillsborough County, the company announced further expansion in Tampa, specifically at its current Crosstown Center campus. The original 420,000 sq. ft. office building served its purpose well, but according to USAA officials the new expansion is part of the “financial services provider’s strategy to meet the evolving needs of its growing membership by attracting the best people in talent-rich regions like Tampa.” Such is by no means idle talk. USAA currently employs 32,000 people worldwide and serves more than 12 million members as it provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Now taking shape at the corner of U.S. 301 and the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, the construction of the new 240,000 sq. ft. office building promises to hold up to 1,000 additional employees. “When completed in early 2019, the project will bring USAA’s total potential capacity in Tampa to nearly 4,500 employees,” said USAA Communication Director Matt Hartwig. “Tampa has been a great market for us, and we are thrilled to be expanding our presence in the region,” said Yvette Segura, USAA vice president and general manager in Tampa. “Our growth here is part of our broader commitment to improve the products and services we
offer our members and strengthen our reputation as a great place to work.” As for the company’s future, USAA CEO Stuart Parker expressed full confidence in its success, when she said, “For 95 years, we have focused on serving the financial needs of the military community.” In addition to Tampa, USAA is constructing a new 150,000 sq. ft. office building adjacent to its existing location in Legacy Corporate Center in Plano, TX. When complete in early 2019, the building will have room for up to 850 employees. USAA opened its offices in Plano in 2014 and Addison in 2011. USAA membership is open to all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military – and their eligible family members. For more information about USAA, visit www.usaa.com.
In This Issue NO LIBRARY LATE FEES .....................PG 6 STRAWBERRY PICKING.......................PG 9 ASTRONAUT VISIT............................PG 10 DANCING FOR A CAUSE ...................PG 17 ORANGE GROVES............................ PG 19 EYE ON BUSINESS .....................PGS 21‐22 STRAZ SERIES ...................................PG 24
YEAR IN REVIEW......................PGS 25‐29
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Volume 13, Issue 1
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE • 6 Weeks Through 12 Years • Full & Part Time Options • Open: M-F 6am to 6:30pm • Creative Curriculum for Infants & Toddlers • ABC Mouse Computer Technology • Brainwaves Curriculum • APPLE Accreditation • CITA Approved Curriculum • Security Code Access Entry
• FREE Internet Viewing of Your Child’s Day • Outdoor Playgrounds with Water Park • Servicing the following schools, Grades K to 5 Stowers, Valrico Academy, FishHawk Creek, Bevis, Lithia Springs, Alafia, Cimino, and Foundation Christian • Nutritious Meals & Snacks: Low Salt & Sugar • Spanish & Music Included • Trained Professional Staff, Certified in First Aid & CPR • Extracurricular Programs
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Popular Hole In One Donuts Opens New Location In Brandon
Kraftologee Restaurant Offers New Concept In Dining And Play
The wait is taste test. over for Brandon “We are a area residents doughnut family,” who have been said Rebecca looking forward to while assisting satisfying their Harrison, who was cravings for freshworking on finishly made donuts ing a white frostfrom one of the ed, sprinkled most talked about doughnut. “We are local shops, Hole very familiar with in One Donuts. Hole In One and Getting some help from his mom, Harrison After nearly could hardly wait Lee, 1, takes a bite of his doughnuts, while his for it to open.” nine months of brothers, Hunter, 3, Mason, 5 and Ryland, 4, renovation, store Aside from its who have long finished their treats, hope for owners, Sockchea more. The family enjoyed the grand opening wide variety of of Hole In One Donuts at the Lithia Square Nam and his wife fresh doughnuts, Plaza on the northeast corner of Lithia Monica of Hole in One Pinecrest Rd. and Lumsden Ave. in Brandon. Cambodian Donuts also descent, hosted a grand opening of the serves fresh coffee, breakfast sandwichnew shop located in the Lithia Square es with croissants and bagels as well as Plaza on the northeast corner of Lithia soft drinks. Pinecrest Rd. and Lumsden Ave. Hole In One Donuts opens at 5 a.m. The couple, supported by their son Monday through Saturday. The shop Derek, have opens at 6 a.m., worked alongside on Sunday and as well as trained closes at by family memlunchtime all bers and Hole in seven days. A One Donuts dozen doughnuts founders, Than start at $8. and Larry Pheng, For more who have opened information about their first local Hole In One, doughnut shop in please visit its 2000 in Plant City. Facebook page The longHole In One anticipated earlyDonuts – Brandon morning opening or call 436-0130. It of the new 1,800 is located at 923 Madyson Demian, 8, and her sister McKenzie, Lithia Pinecrest sq., ft. shop did 10, show off their purchase of a half dozen not disappoint the fresh doughnuts during the grand opening cel- Rd. steady stream of Sokchea and ebration of Hole In One Donuts in Brandon. customers. By late Monica said, “We morning—as expected—it was slim pick- would like to express our sincerest gratiings of the sweet treats thanks to patrons tude and thanks to our kids, family up in buying up every last bite, leaving the New England, our friends and owners of shelves empty, and prompting Sockchea the other Hole In One Donuts shops to reconsider upping next day’s donut (Sam & Judy, Rom & Lisa, An & Sareth, count. Chea & Nancy, Kathy & Mike, Sal & “We live in Brandon and felt it was a Jeneeda) and Philay & Chris of Thai Xgreat location to open another store,” Press for their guidance and unwavering Monica said as she reflected on a good support. We could not have done this opening day business. without all of you. To our patrons, we Not surprising, the new Brandon thank you for your support and we look store is the sixth in the area including two forward to making and serving you deliin Plant City, one in Seffner, Zephyrhills cious donuts and breakfast sandwiches and Tampa. made fresh daily in our shop that you One of the first to try out the freshly have come to expect from Hole In One baked goods was Rebecca Lee, who Donuts shops. Please let us know how brought her four young boys, Mason, 5, we are doing and what we can do to Ryland, 4, Hunter, 3 and Harrison, 1 for a improve your experience at our shop.”
Kraftologee year-old room, they do is a new conarts and crafts, play cept restaurant with Legos, or watch located in TV. In the younger age Riverview, group, kids can enjoy where adults arts and crafts, as well can enjoy a as play with toys. relaxing dining The restaurant experience, and serves sandwiches, wraps, rice bowls, quekids can partake in supervised creative play. It is a fullservice food restaurant that serves breakPhotos courtesy of John Fontana Kraftologee is a new concept fast, lunch and restaurant that opened in May dinner and feaof last year, where adults can tures a full cofenjoy a relaxing dining experience, and kids can partake in fee bar and a supervised creative play. large selection sadillas, nachos, hamburgers and salads, of craft beer and wine. It is also the only among other things. Kraftologee is locally place in Brandon that serves the popular owned and run. Both Fontana and Buddy Brew Coffee, and they offer free Harman were born and raised in the wifi as well. Brandon area, Harman graduating from Owners John Fontana and Chris Bloomingdale High School and the Harman opened Kraftologee in May of last year. Fontana said they were inspired University of South Florida, and Fontana a Jesuit High School graduate. Adults with the idea for the restaurant by the don’t even need to have kids in order to other kids’ company that he owns called enjoy the restaurant. They can enjoy the Bricks 4 Kidz, where they teach kids coffee or food while using the free wifi. STEM concepts using legos. At Fontana’s goal is to open several Kraftologee, kids can check into Creativity more Kraftologees in different areas that Labs, or rooms for supervised creative could potentially include locations such as projects and play, so that parents enjoy FishHawk and South Tampa. time in the cafe. Visit www.Kraftologee.com. The Kids are broken up into different age restaurant is located at 10312 groups, and are supervised by trained Bloomingdale Ave., Suite 101 near the staff that keeps them engaged with fun SuperTarget. and educational activities. In the 6-12-
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By Nick Nahas
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Volume 13, Issue 1
Local Charities Are The Winners At Kappa Kappa Bunco
By Michelle Colesanti
The such as Nativity Kappa Outreach. Kappa It supports Chapter of various programs Kappa Delta and events at Phi invites Center Place, you to come which promotes and join the the arts in fun at its Eastern annual Hillsborough Bunco Come join the fun at Kappa Kappa Chapter’s Bunco County since fundraiser on Thursday, January 25 at Center Place to raise 1976. Over funds for local community charities. on Thursday, 17,500 children January 25 at 6 p.m. at Center Place, and adults have attended theatrical per619 Vonderburg Dr. in Brandon. formances in 2015 and 5,000 have Enjoy a light dinner served with soft taken art classes. drinks, wine and table snacks served by A Kid’s Place provides foster care the Kohl’s Volunteers who are very and a loving home for abused, neglectactive within the community. ed, or abandoned children and Kappa Socialize and meet some Kappa donates to help the kids. Bunco enthusiasts; possibly go home Kappa Kappa also supports and with a prize, and help out your commuprovides swim lessons for children at nity by supporting local children’s charithe Campo YMCA. For parents who ties. It’s quick to learn how to play if you cannot afford the lessons, this is a lifeare a novice. saver. Kappa Kappa was established “One thing special about our comin 1965. Nancy Kelley said, “It is munity is how supportive our charity involved in several local civic concerns groups among ourselves. Attendees and proceeds from the Bunco fundraisfrom Valrico Service League, Brandon ing event will benefit [the following local] Junior Woman's Club, and Charity organizations.” Chicks can be seen supporting our Kappa Kappa helps ECHO, which event and likewise we support them at provides emergency care to families in their functions,” Kelley noted. need and to help them toward self-suffiBring your friends and come out for ciency. Since 1987, ECHO has assisted a night of fun to support your communiover 180,000 individuals, over half chilty. dren within the community, and combatTickets cost $20 and are available ing hunger in the local community by at Center Place or at the door. For more donating funds to local food pantries information, call Connie at 601-6784.
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The Florida Aquarium And London Museum Team Up To Save Coral Reefs
W W W
O S P R E Y O B S E R V E R
C O M
By Kaitlyn Fusco
The Florida Reef Tract. Aquarium and The new the Horniman partnership with Museum and The Florida Gardens, based Aquarium takes in London, have the research projoined forces to tocols developed save coral reefs in the Horniman’s by spawning lab in Forest Hill, (reproducing) south London, corals in a lab – and applies them a major techin The Florida Photo Courtesy of The Florida Aquarium nique to aid coral Keri O'Neil at The Florida Aquarium's Center for Aquarium’s stateConservation with coral that has grown in the lab of-the-art coral restoration that from wild spawning. has only been conservation accomplished at the Horniman. nursery in Apollo Beach. Corals in the wild reproduce by “Project Coral is ‘game-changing,’ releasing their eggs and sperm into the allowing us to spawn corals on site, crewater at the same time, which is an event ate multiple spawning events across the that is increasingly more uncertain given year and drastically speed up restoration the changing climate. This wild spawning work to ensure the survival of Florida’s event only happens once per year, which reef,” said Scott Graves, Director of The has meant opportunities for research Florida Aquarium’s Center for have been limited – until now. Conservation. Keri O’Neil, The Florida Aquarium’s Corals bred at The Florida Aquarium Coral Nursery Manager, recently visited using Project Coral techniques – all from the Horniman to learn their techniques of species listed as threatened under the growing corals in a lab setting and brainU.S. Endangered Species Act – will be storm ideas of how to transport future transplanted into the ocean to restore the coral fragments to Florida for restoration Florida Reef off the state’s south eastern purposes. coast. The Horniman Aquarium “This partnership with The Florida started Project Coral and in 2013 became Aquarium is Project Coral’s first opportuthe first organization globally to prenity to make a ‘real world’ change, and dictably induce coral spawning in a fully we look forward to seeing the positive closed aquarium lab setting. Now The effects our work together will have on Florida Aquarium is providing even more Florida’s reefs” said Jamie Craggs, expertise to enhance this project with Aquarium Curator at the Horniman plans to plant the lab-grown coral fragMuseum and Gardens. ments to coral reefs along the Florida Visit www.flaquarium.org.
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Volume 13, Issue 1
No More Late Fees At Hillsborough County Public Libraries By Michael Smith
Beginning on New Year’s Day, Hillsborough County Public Libraries no longer charge late fines on overdue materials. While the library expects to save money by not assessing fines, Director of Library Services Andrew Breidenbaugh said that’s not the main benefit of this change. “The real benefit to the community will be the expanded access that we are able to provide. Libraries are not just about buildings and books; libraries are about people and community, and creating an environment where prosperity can be realized,” he said. “We want to remove as many barriers to access as possible and late fines can be an unnecessary barrier. The overwhelming majority of library customers borrows and returns materials responsibly and on time. For those who don’t, fines are not a deterrent – the only thing that is effective to getting library materials back is not being able to borrow more items.” Effective Monday, January 1, 2018: * Checkout loan periods have not changed, and the grace period has been extended from seven to eight
days. * You can check out a total of 35 items. * You can now place holds on 35 items at a time. * Any items that you have checked out will automatically renew two days prior to their due date as long as nobody else is waiting for them. If borrowers don’t return their overdue materials by the end of the grace period, their account will be locked and they won’t be able to borrow library materials or use digital resources OverDrive, hoopla, Freading, RB Digital and Lynda.com. Locked account holders can still use library computers and access some online databases. But once the item is returned, the current late fees of 20 cents a day and a maximum of $5 per item won’t be owed. Borrowers will still be charged for lost or damaged materials. If you find a lost item that you have already paid for, the item now belongs to you. No refunds will be issued for lost item payments. Fines posted to borrowers’ accounts prior to January 1, 2018 will remain. Fines can be paid online or at any library self-checkout kiosk using a debit or credit card. Payments by check or money order can be mailed to: HCPLC Library Administration, 102 E. 7th Ave., Tampa, FL 33602. For more information, visit hcplc.org or call 273-3652.
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Local RN Joins New Staff And New Treatments At Artisan Aesthetics
By Kate Quesada
The New certified Year is an nursing exciting time assistant at Artisan and first Aesthetics responder. Plastic She is curSurgery and rently studying to Laser Center. attend The group, graduate which has Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Doctor Stan Castor. Bille Jo Yost R.N. Carlye James. school to locations in become a Physician Assistant. Riverview and Tampa, recently added Hall brings 10 years of experience in three staff members and a new treatment the surgical field to her new position as to help local’s look and feel their best. the group’s surgical coordinator. Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon “Megan coordinates all of the surgerDoctor Stan Castor, who has more than 15 years of experience in cosmetic plastic ies booked here,” said Castor. “She is dedicated to making each patient’s expesurgery, welcomed Billie Jo Yost, R.N., rience a positive one, and the level of Carlye James and Megan Hall to the customer service in addition to her dedipractice recently. cation and compassion to our patients is Yost, a FishHawk resident and miliher number one priority.” tary wife, is the operating and recovery Castor, himself a native Floridian with room nurse at Artisan Aesthetics. She has a bachelor of science in nursing from a wife and three children and degrees from Florida Southern College, the Hawaii Pacific University and has more University of Pennsylvania School of than 19 years of experience in the ICU Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic and PACU. Her husband is a Marine, so Foundation, is also excited about the new Yost has had the opportunity to help Cellfina Cellulite Reduction treatment patients all over the country from Hawaii, offered at his offices. California and Nevada to Virginia, “This machine uses a micro needle Pennsylvania and North Carolina. to cut through fibers under the skin that As the front office administrator, James is a patient’s initial contact with the are causing cellulite dimples on the thighs Artisan Aesthetics team as she schedules and buttocks,” said Castor” Artisan Aesthetics is located at 13109 appointments, greets all incoming U.S. Hwy. 301 S. in Riverview and 5383 patients and performs administrative responsibilities. The Florida native earned Primrose Lake Circle in Tampa. Call 9712000 or visit www.DrCastor.com or visit a Bachelors of Science degree from the www.artisanplasticsurgerycenter.net/cellfiUniversity of Florida’s College of Public na. Health in addition to being trained as a
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Volume 13, Issue 1
Experience A New Beginning At Shapes Fitness For Women
Wish Farms Gearing Up For Fifth Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge
have become the resource for fitness for women in the community. It’s never too late to start your health-journey and improve your wellbeing. ‘Activeagers’ will find weekly classes offered to Have fun and get healthy in assure 2018. Shapes Fitness For Women has locations in both improved funcBrandon and Riverview. The tion, balance enrollment fee is waived for and core January. strengthening. “Our focus is on a ‘comfortable fit’ for all who attend,” said Gilbert. “We promote group fitness and personal coaching including the popular Diet When it comes to setting New Logic RD supported nutrition proYear’s resolutions, the number one gramming.” goal for most of us is to lose weight Shapes can help with your New and become healthier. We tell ourYear’s resolution by offering its annuselves that this will be the year we’ll give up carbs, run every day, or join a al no enrollment fee promotion in January. Gilbert wants women to gym. The secret to success for keeping our resolutions is to keep it simple embrace their 2018 health goals by helping women establish consistency and realistic. and accountability. Ann Gilbert is passionate about Gilbert is an educator by nature helping women achieve long-term and has been teaching and training success by approaching their health goals realistically. Gilbert is the owner for more than 37 years. She has been mentoring young professionals as of Shapes For Women in Brandon they grow into hybrid coaches teachand Riverview and she is excited ing national certifications classes. She about encouraging the women in the has also been featured on Fox 13 on community to become the healthiest Thursdays with fitness tips, talks on versions of themselves. trends and discussions on everything “Our biggest challenge in from weight loss to running a women's only fitness is encouraging marathon. women to make time for themselves Shapes Fitness For Women is and that fitness can fit into the daily more than just another gym. It is a routine,” said Gilbert. “We make our place where women establish friend30 minute express workout a focus, ships, find encouragement and have offer 30 min and 60 minute group genuine fun together. There are no sessions and educate on how easy it contracts with Shapes. The monthly really can be to just drop off the chilcost, which includes unlimited group dren in our Kids Zone and make fitness, is $34.99. KidZone childcare some quality mommy-time.” The Shapes Brandon location has is available for an additional $5 monthly cost. The enrollment fee of been open for more than 25 years. $99 is waived during January. The Gilbert purchased the franchise in Brandon location is in Oak Park Plaza October 2013 and since then has at 731 W. Lumsden Rd. The renovated, branded and updated the Riverview location is 11357 Big Bend facility. The Riverview location Rd. For more information, visit opened in May 2016 and is designed www.brandon.shapesfitnessforas the new premier franchise being women.com or www.riverview.shapesnationally promoted. Both locations fitnessforwomen.com. have more than 1,700 members and
Wish 11 a.m. to 3 Farms, p.m. bringing one of the local growers largest and the pubgrowers lic together and shipas they parpers of ticipate in a relay-style strawberberry picking ries in race. Florida, is Monte once again Packaging is making a service-oripreparaented, direct tions to host the Photo Courtesy of Wish Farms distributor of Children enjoy some fresh strawberries during last year’s agricultural Fifth Wish Farms Strawberry Picking Challenge. The event containers Annual raised more than $100,000 to benefit the children of and products Strawberry Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA). for produce Picking packers and growers throughout the Challenge. world The event has become an annual According to officials, each team tradition over the last half decade, and will be competing for the coveted continues to not only draw a large crowd for the fun and strawberry-filled Strawberry Joe Trophy, named after the late Joe Wishnatzki, owner Gary day, but to benefit the children of Wishnatzki’s father. Redlands Christian Migrants Joe and his brother, Lester, joined Association (RMCA). the family business in 1955. Joe was According to organizers, last passionate about strawberries and year’s event was a great success would be proud to support a charity resulting in the raising of more than event that promotes the importance of $100,000 with all proceed going to our farmers and pickers. The RMCA, a non-profit organization, ‘Strawberry Joe’ is a perpetual trophy founded in 1965, which now operates child-care centers and charter schools that is passed around each year to the new winner. for Florida’s rural poor, particularly The festivities are free to the genfarm workers’ children. eral public with free to parking. UTo date, the event has raised a Pick Strawberries, $5 per quart, will total of $328,000. be donated to RCMA. “A special thank you goes out to If you would like to sponsor our all of our 2017 sponsors for supportevent next year, email SPC@wishing RCMA,” said event organizer farms.com. Amber Maloney. For details, please contact Wish RCMA operates 70 child-care Farms’ Director of Marketing Amber centers and three charter schools, Maloney at 758-9027 or amber@wishthroughout the state including 18 in farms.com. the Tampa Bay area. For more information about Wish Wish Farms announced that this Farms, please visit year’s competition led by presenting www.wishfarms.com. sponsor, Monte Packaging is scheduled for Saturday, February 10 from
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Volume 13, Issue 1
Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Center Offers New Astronaut Training Experience After 31 years, the Space Shuttle program ended on July 8, 2011. Since then, many exciting things have been happening in front of and behind the scenes as NASA works with companies such as SpaceX and Boeing, working on rockets that will bring crews to the International Space Station and beyond. NASA is currently working on Orion, the next generation of space craft, which will eventually carry astronauts to Mars. Astronaut Jon McBride recently visited the Osprey Observer office, along with Members of the Osprey Observer staff were excited to meet Rebecca Shireman, Public astronaut Jon McBride. He piloted Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-41-G mission) in October 1984. Relations & Communications Manager nauts. at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). His interest in space began as a McBride may be of retirement age, but young boy. In junior high school McBride he has not slowed down in his quest to began building rockets. While a senior in keep the passion of the space program high school, he got to spend about 10 alive. On any given day, you will find him minutes with John F. Kennedy and wife or other astronauts at Kennedy Space Jackie during Kennedy’s campaign run Center Visitor Complex greeting visitors. for President; the first of many U.S. McBride currently lives in Titusville; a Presidents he would meet throughout stone’s throw away from all the action. the years. During his career he worked We learned that Kennedy Space Center directly with Reagan and Bush (H.W.). is not only thriving, but still growing with He was the pilot on the Space many exciting new things taking place. Shuttle Challenger (STS-41-G mission) McBride, who originally hails from in October 1984. This mission had West Virginia, is a retired Captain in the seven crew members. Notably, he was U.S. Navy. He was a navy fighter test joined by Sally Ride (her second flight) pilot and was selected by NASA to join and during that mission, Kathryn the space program in January 1978 and Sullivan, became the first female to was in the first class of shuttle astrowalk in space.
When asked what excited him most during the shuttle trip, McBride smiled, remembering that it was his first vision of Earth. “The engine cuts off and you enter into weightlessness,” noted McBride. About 45 minutes into the flight, his job was to open the payload doors, which is done in the first orbit. “I could see
By Michelle Colesanti
land; could see Australia after leaving Florida 45 minutes earlier. I was looking at Sydney.” McBride was supposed to commander his second Shuttle flight on the Columbia in March 1986 to study Haley’s Comet, but it was cancelled due to the Challenger disaster a month earlier. He never got another opportunity to return to space because he was summoned soon after by President Reagan to serve as Assistant Administrator for Congressional Relations in Washington, DC at NASA Headquarters. In January a new Astronaut Training Experience (ATX) will begin on select dates each month. Families will spend a half-day immersed in astronaut training with realistic simulators and launching rockets. Work together with a veteran NASA astronaut to perform a space shuttle mission to the International Space Station in a full-scale orbiter mock-up and fully outfitted mission control facility. It is also offered for student field trips and scout groups, but it is not just for kids; as businesses should consider this great opportunity for corporate team building. To make reservations, call 855-433-4210 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com to plan your visit.
Florida Hospital Tampa Offers Minimally Invasive Solutions For Digestive Disorders
By Michael Smith
Doctor Alexander utilize robotic surgery Rosemurgy of the Florida for many things, includHospital Tampa Digestive ing pancreatic, liver and Health Institute is using esophageal resections. cutting-edge and innova“We do almost tive surgical techniques everything robotically that are minimally invanow--hardly anything is sive to cure digestive disopen operation anyorders and diseases. more,” he said. Rosemurgy, who Rosemurgy said practices along with many people live with Doctor Alexander Rosemurgy Doctors Sharona Ross digestive problems like came to Florida Hospital Tampa in and Iswanto Sucandy, reflux for a very long 2012. focuses on foregut disortime and don’t realize ders, including liver, biliary pancreatic and the dangers they are facing. He said esophageal gastric problems. being on a proton pump inhibitors like “We take care of lots of people with Prevacid or Nexium can have serious liver tumors, pancreatic cancer and consequences, including osteoporosis, esophageal cancer, but we also do a lot renal failure, dementia, pneumonia and of operations for swallowing disorders like intestinal infections. He said the Digestive achalasia and gastroesophageal reflux Health Institute offers patients a permadisease (GERD),” Rosemurgy said. nent, minimally invasive solution to reflux Over the years the doctors have so that they can get off of all the pills and been able to progress with minimally mitigate the chances of cancer. invasive surgery so that all their Rosemurgy said Florida Hospital laparoscopy now is done with single inciTampa, which opened a new location in sions. Brandon on Oakfield Drive last year, is “We make a small incision about the busiest pancreatic biliary center in the eight millimeters inside the belly button so Southeastern United States. it’s hidden, and it’s the only incision peo“[The Brandon office] is going very ple get so it’s scarless,” Rosemurgy said. well, and we’re working to improve our “We’re so good at this now that we operrelationships with the physicians and ate on many patients who are awake, patients within Brandon,” he said. “We utiincluding many patients who have gall lize the Brandon location for patient conbladder problems. They get a scarless venience, for initial visits, evaluations and operation and without general anesthesia, follow-up.” and they do very, very well.” To learn more about the services the Rosemurgy said it’s a much better Florida Hospital Tampa Digestive Health approach to surgery to get it awake rather Institute provides or to schedule an than under general anesthesia, and they appointment, call 615-7366.
Allen S. Carman Vanessa A. Bevington Michael J. Finegan FORMER ATTORNEY FOR A MAJOR AUTO INSURANCE COMPANY
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Volume 13, Issue 1
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EQUESTRIAN'S DREAM ON 8.96 ACRES! 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home sitting on FULLY FENCED lot with 2 stall barn & water available in all pastures! NEW A/C in 2015 & fresh exterior paint! Inside offers tile throughout, split floor plan, French doors & kitchen with raised panel cabinets & walk-in pantry! $335,000
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Throw The Ultimate Tailgate With Super Bowl Ready Buffalo Wings & Chili Football season may be coming to an end, but we still have the Super Bowl, and that means it’s time to stock up on all the tailgating essentials. Nailing the food lineup is key because few things can ruin a good game like getting ‘hangry’ before kickoff. Kick your game up a notch with Buffalo Chicken Wings simple tailgat2 1/2 pounds chicken wing pieces ing recipes that 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce 1/3 cup butter, melted bring the perblue cheese dressing fect blend of celery sticks flavor and -Heat oven to 450 F. heat. These -In foil-lined pan, bake wings 30 minutes until crispy, turning easy recipes once. -In bowl, combine sauce and butter. will get you -Toss wings in sauce to coat completely. enjoying the -Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks. festivities in no time, whether After all these years, there’s a you’re tailgating at the stadium or wings keep their defending reason homegating on your couch. champ status: they are easy to make No matter which team you and a surefire way to deliver that and your friends are rooting for, there’s classic Buffalo flavor. one thing that all football fans can Just bake the wings agree on: wings are the MVPs of for half an hour to get game day. Wings have been holding that crispy coating, the line ever since 1964, when toss with your twoFrank’s RedHot was the key ingrediingredient buffalo ent in the first-ever Buffalo wings.
Courtesy of Family Features
your way to the ultimate tailgate. In order to make sure you have got the win locked in, have more than one play in your back pocket. Turn to another tried-and-true, onepot classic: chili. Don’t overthink it – all you need to do is brown some ground beef, add some onion then crushed tomatoes, beans, hot sauce and seasoning. All you need is 15 minChili 2 pounds ground beef utes to build flavor 1 large onion, chopped and you’re good to 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree go. Even easier, let 1 can (15-19 ounces) kidney beans, undrained 1/4 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce your slow cooker 2 packages (1 1/4 ounces) chili seasoning mix do the work. Finish shredded cheddar cheese (optional) it off with shredded scallions (optional) sour cream (optional) cheese, scallions, sour cream and -In large, nonstick pot, cook beef until browned. more hot sauce, -Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Drain. -Stir in tomatoes, beans, sauce and seasoning mix. Heat and you’ll have the to boiling. Stir often. hearty chili you -Simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes, or until flavors need to keep the are blended. Stir often. -Garnish, as desired, with shredded cheddar cheese, tailgate going scallions and sour cream. strong. Enjoy your chili on its own or sauce and you’re spoon it on top of hot dogs, nachos all set. Serve them and whatever else you have on your up with blue plate. cheese dressing For more tailgate tips and greatand celery sticks tasting game day recipes, visitand you’ll be on franksredhot.com/recipes.
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nic, i l C g n i n e d Gar ern d o M y l h g u Thoro ance & m r o f r e P e i l Mil More…C.olesanti, e by Michell Compiled rver.com ospreyobse michelle@
No prior registration is required. This event is sponsored by the Hillsborough County Master Gardner Program of the Hillsborough County Extension, University of Florida, IFAS Extension.
Thoroughly Modern Millie To Be Presented By FAOPA Showcase Players
Vendors Wanted For Toy Train, Collectible, Hobby Show and Sale
Vendors are wanted for upcoming, Toy Train, Collectible and Hobby Show/Sale on Saturday, March 24. It will take place at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds, 215 Sydney Washer Rd. in Dover from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. All Vendors are welcome, any train memorabilia, trains, accessories, baseball cards, crafts, comic books, coins, crafts, antiques, diecast cars or any other hobby or collectible related items you may be interested in selling. Six ft. tables cost $20 each. If interested, call Joe at 727-244-1341 or you can rent online www.regalrailways.com.
Master Gardener Clinic On Camellias At Bloomingdale Library
A free Master Gardener Clinic on Camellias will be held on Wednesday, February 7 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. It will be given by Master Gardener Eileen Hart at the Bloomingdale Regional Library, located at 1906 Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. The clinic is free and you will learn all about this beautiful flower and discover the history, varieties, care, maintenance and how to propagate.
The Showcase Players of FAOPA proudly presents Thoroughly Modern Millie on Thursday-Sunday, January 25-28 at 7 p.m. Matinees will also take place on Saturday and Sunday, January 27 and 28 at 2 p.m. Music is by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan, and the book by Richard Morris and Scanlan. It is based on the 1967 film of the same name, which itself was based on the British musical Chrysanthemum, which opened in London in 1956. The show will take place at the James McCabe Theater, 506 5th St. in Valrico. Tickets cost $10 at the door. Only cash will be accepted. There is no reserve seating.
Stunning Five Year Old Male Brittany Spaniel Needs A Home
Winchester (aka Chester) is a stunning 5 year old male Brittany spaniel. He was loved by his previous owner who unfortunately, fell on hard times. Chester is a loving and energetic guy. He even knows some basic commands. He is good with people of all ages and enjoys the company of most dogs. He misses having a place
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Volume 13, Issue 1
to call his home. Come and meet Chester today at C.A.R.E. (Critter Adoption & Rescue, Inc.), located at 1528 27th St. S.E. in Ruskin. It is open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. For more information, call 645-2273 or visit www.CareShelter.org.
The Parkinson’s Disease support group is free of charge and open to those who have been diagnosed with the disease, family members, caregivers and anyone with an interest in learning more about Parkinson’s. Hawthorne Health & Hawthorne Hosts Rehabilitation Parkinson’s Disease Center, located at Support Group Photo courtesy of Chris Vergallito 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon, is a Chester needs a new home for the Hawthorne New Year. Please consider adopting skilled nursing faciliHealth & him. ty with inpatient and Rehabilitation Center outpatient rehabilitation programs hosts a monthly support group for including speech, physical and occupathose diagnosed with Parkinson’s tional therapies. Hawthorne also hosts Disease and caregivers on the third a dementia support group in the assistThursday of every month. ed living facility, as well as past meetA variety of speakers will provide ings for those dealing with strokes, diainformation on topics relating to swalbetes, low vision and other diseases. lowing, balance, walking, speaking, For more information or to register, mobility, exercise, self-care, cognition, call 661-8998 Monday-Friday from 9 and memory, all of which can be a.m.-5 p.m. impacted by Parkinson’s Disease.
Notice Under Fictitious Name Law Pursuant to Section 865.09, Florida Statutes NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the undersigned, desiring to engage in business under the fictitious name of Snipe Signs located at 1971 W. Lumsden Road, Suite 362 , in Hillsborough County, in the City of Brandon, Florida 33511 intends to register the said name with the Division of Corporations of the Florida Department of State, Tallahassee, Florida. Dated at Brandon, Florida, this 10th day of January, 2018. 4 Seasons Media Group, LLC / Maegan Herrick
e Tea, n i t n e l a V l Annua blic Develop Pu lls & i Speaking Sk More…Colesanti,
Father Bill will also be preaching the weekend Masses. There is no charge for this event. For more information, call 6819115. e by Michell Father Bill Cieslak m o Compiled c r. e rv ospreyobse is a Capuchin priest michelle@ and taught liturgy and sacraments at the Franciscan School of Theology (Graduate Theological Union) in Parish Mission Renewal Event At St. Berkeley, CA for 25 years. He is the Francis Of Assisi Parish In Seffner director of Preaching and St. Francis of Assisi Parish will be Evangelization for the Capuchin hosting a parish mission renewal Province of St. Joseph, headquartered on Monday to Wednesday, February in Detroit, MI. Besides liturgy and 26-28, facilitated by well-known sacraments, Father Bill’s interest is in Capuchin Franciscan preacher, Father Franciscan spirituality and theology. Bill Cieslak. The topic will The Capuchins are an international be Recalculating: Allowing God’s Spirit community of friars modeling themto Work Within Us More Powerfully. selves after St. Francis of Assisi. The The Parish Mission Renewal probrothers of the Capuchin Province of gram is an event designed St. Joseph, to renew faith and strengthheadquartered en convictions within a in Detroit, serve parish setting. in a variety of “You don’t have to be ministries holy,” Father Bill explains. including social “In fact, if you’re not…this is service, for you. Recalculating is a schools, chapcall to perhaps change your laincy, a retreat attitude about life. We are house, and going to examine how to parishes in spend more time loving and Michigan, less time worrying.” Wisconsin, The renewal event will Illinois, take place at the parish, Montana, 4450 CR 579 in Seffner at 7 Arizona, p.m. Each evening will Nicaragua, and Father Bill Cieslak include the presentation, Panama. prayer and music. Wednesday evening Established in 1857, there are currently will feature a communal penance serv- 170 members in the St. Joseph ice. province.
Brandon Christian Women’s Connection February Luncheon
The Brandon Christian Women’s Connection February luncheon will be its annual Valentine Tea ‘Sugar and Spice’. It will take place on Monday February 12 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Bell Shoals Baptist Church Special Events Center, 2102 Bell Shoals Rd. in Brandon. The cost is $15. First time guests pay $10. This luncheon is nondenominational; all ladies are welcome. No membership required but a reservation is requested by Monday February 5. Please call Lillie at 740-0098.
Spirited Toastmaster’s Will Help Develop Your Public Speaking Skills
Are you looking to develop and grow your public speaking skills? Do you like to learn by doing? Whether you're a ministry head or a stay-at-home parent, a retiree or someone in a career transition, you will improve yourself by building skills to express yourself in a variety of situations. The mission of Spirited Toastmasters is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop their God given communication and leadership skills that they may discover the strength and self-confidence that the Holy Spirit gives us to boldly proclaim
his word. Please join in on Tuesday, February 6 at 6:30 p.m. as Spirited Toastmasters celebrates the New Year. We will provide Food, drink, and dessert will be provided. Everyone is invited at 6:30pm in the Family Life Center at Saint Stephen Church. Please contact Tom Clemente firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Brandon Christian Writers Meet
Do you have a story to share but don’t know how to start? Would you like to get your feet wet in the sea of publishing? Come meet with a great mix of successful and aspiring writers who get together monthly to learn the ropes, find inspiration and enjoy networking. The Brandon Christian Writers meet the fourth Thursday of every month at St. Andrews Methodist Church, 3315 Bryan Rd. in Brandon in Room 305 of the Family Center. Upcoming speakers include: January 25: Multiple award-winning author Kerry Johnson speaking about ‘How to Enter (and Win!) Writing Contests.’ February 22: Award-winning author Ruth Ellinger will be speaking about ‘Fictional World Building.’ For more information and guidelines for manuscript critique, visit www.BrandonChristianWriters.wordpress.com.
Increasing Word Fellowship
WHAT WE ARE ABOUT: Life-applicable messages Interactive Services
OVERCOMING WITH GOD January 2018 - February 2018
We Buy C ins We also buy Stamp Collections, Proof Sets, Postcards, and Foreign Coins Buy • Sell • Estimates • Appraisals
CORBIN’S Stamp & Coin
209 N. Kings Ave. • Brandon, Florida 33510
813-651-3266 email@example.com Mon-Fri 9am - 4pm Sat 9am - 1pm
January 28, 2018 Your provisions provided February 4, 2018 The difference a Day makes February 11, 2018 We are the church February 18, 2018 The perfect Obedience At Increasing Word, we offer an inspired word of God that help meet the needs of everyday life. We welcome you to come and join us and see how the ministry can bring change to you. Our goal is to make the word of God applicable to today’s life. Come and take part in our upcoming services and see how your life can be changed today.
Sunday Services 8:30am
Hillsborough Community College/ Brandon Campus 10414 East Columbus Dr. Tampa FL 33619 firstname.lastname@example.org / 813-442-8022 Affiliated with AME Zion Church
r Spring o F r e t s i g e R ee Music r F , l l a b t o o F oung Y r o F p o h s Work More… Children & ti,
a.m. at Bloomingdale High School, 1700 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. The race starts and finishes on the track, and all paces are welcome. Your participation will help n sa le the band raise money for Michelle Co Compiled by instrument upgrades and om reyobserver.c sp o @ le el h ic maintenance. m For more information, visit www.facebook.com/bloomingdalebulls5k/. The fee for this event FSU Symphonic Band To Perform is $30. You can register at https://fitniche.com/event/running-bulls-5k/. All At Bloomingdale High School proceeds will go to the Bloomingdale The Florida State University symHigh School Rajun’ Bull Band. phonic band will be performing a free concert on Friday, February 23 at Spring Football At Brandon 7:30 p.m. at Bloomingdale Senior Broncos High School, 1700 E. Bloomingdale The Brandon Ave. in Valrico. This is Broncos are currently the last concert of their registering football tour before their players at all levels for Premiere Performance the spring 8 on 8 seaat the University of son. Spots are limited South Florida, which is so do not delay as hosting the College registration will end Band Director when all spots are Association conferfilled. ence. The band will Fee for the entire be performing World season is $150 and premieres by John includes coaching from Mackey and Dr. Kim experienced coaches, Archer. For more information please contact the band direc- personalized jersey and equipment rental. Register at www.brandonbrontor at Bloomingdale High School, Jon cos.org. Sever at email@example.com.
‘Running Of The Bulls’ 5K At Bloomingdale High School
The Bloomingdale Rajun’ Bull Band will hold ‘Running of the Bulls’ 5K run on Saturday, January 27 at 8
Music Makers Free Workshop For Young Children
Calling all young musicians for a free workshop on Saturday, February 10 at Music Showcase. FAOPA will
Volume 13, Issue 1
has provided a sensoryfriendly event where students get to meet Santa on their own terms, without having to wait in long lines or overcome an overly stimulating environment. Through the generosity of the YMCA donors, students get to partake in arts and crafts, opening gifts, and enjoying delicious holiday treats. The Y's board offer this workshop for members, young children to staff, and learn the sounds of volunthe instruments teers prooffered for private lesvided a sons at Music wonderful Showcase. Strum a holiday guitar or sound the experitrumpet. Join in and ence for see what sounds you the stucan make in this fun dents at interactive workshop Lopez. Youngsters at Lopez Exceptional Students and get a goody bag. “As a Center enjoyed Santa and holiday cheer brought Not sure what suits cause-drito them by the North Brandon Family YMCA. you? Join in and find ven four– out. This event is for children ages 3 star charity, the YMCA is committed & up. to giving back and providing support Music Showcase is located at 402 to their neighbors,” shared YMCA Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. Call 490Development Director Dwight Kerr. 2787 or visit www.faopa.org. North Brandon Family YMCA is looking forward to continuing its Thanks To North Brandon Family partnership with Lopez ESC. YMCA Santa Visits Lopez For more information about the Exception Student Center North Brandon Family YMCA, visit www.tampaymca.org/locations/no North Brandon Family YMCA is rth-brandon/. committed to bringing holiday cheer Learn more about Lopez to students at the Lopez Exceptional Exceptional Student Center Student Center. For the last six at http://lopezese.mysdhc.org/. years, North Brandon Family YMCA
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Dancing For A Cause Will Raise Funds For Domestic Abuse Victims
LET’S TALK SENIOR LIVING
By Michelle Colesanti
For 20 years, Enjoy live entertainChandra Bachu knew ment; belly dancer Giptah, what it was like to be a along with Chakacha by survivor of domestic Natacha, traditional music abuse. She tried to and dance of the Swahili escape; staying in shelpeople of coastal Kenya and Tanzania. Join on the ters three different times, but without money dance floor for Bachata saved, she returned and Kizomba and you and home. Bachu said, “I your partner can walk gave up, and stayed away with a prize. Enjoy because I wanted my finger food, wine, masLisa Peterson, author of sages and giveaways. kids to sleep on a bed, I Survived Three Types of Abuse Bachu has a goal to go to school, and we Sexual, Physical, and Mental; will be the guest speaker at raise $60,000 for the would not have to fear Dancing for A Cause on in order to foundation for our lives, because it February 11 at the Pepin would be worse if we Hospitality Center, raising funds house three families for for domestic abuse victims. up to a year or more as left.” After many years volunteering with needed. Cynthia Pinkney Ministries, she now She is appreciative that Publix, Fords spends her time helping to give families a Garage and Yeomans Cask Lion are partnew beginning through A Red Rose nering the event. More sponsors are welFoundation, Inc. come. “I believe nothing happens by coinciDespite greater public awareness, there are still not enough houses and dence, but taking a mess and turning it shelters for victims. “We seek to empower into a message is what life is about. victims of domestic abuse by providing a Giving a mom hope for a new beginning safe and nurturing environment for them can impact the rest of her life and her to heal and grow. We give them a stable children, environment changes people. support system, counseling, transportaOur goal is changing the next generation tion, school aid, and daycare for women, by helping mom; we are creating a new mothers and children emerging from traulife for these kids,” Bachu commented. Dancing For a Cause will be the matizing circumstances, and even proFoundation’s annual fundraiser and will vide an apartment for each individual be held on Sunday, February 11 at 4:30 family,” Bachu said. p.m. at the Pepin Hospitality Center, 4121 You can help make a difference. N. 50th St. in Tampa. Purchase tickets for $20 online. Tickets at Lisa Peterson, author of I Survived the door will cost $30. Visit http://areThree Types of Abuse Sexual, Physical, drosefoundationinc.com or email areand Mental; will be the guest speaker. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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One of the primary reasons to consider an assisted living community for a loved one is all of the wonderful opportunities for social interaction with other residents and staff. Studies have shown that staying socially active provides numerous benefits to seniors and can be as important as staying physically active. Seniors who have an active social life tend to be healthier than those seniors that live isolated lives, with a reduced risk for chronic conditions like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Socially active seniors also have less risk for depression and have sharper minds. Programming in assisted living communities should include a wide range of ways to keep residents engaged with others in the community. Some examples of these types of programs include: Music Programs such as Chorus groups, sing-alongs, Name That Tune Games, and karaoke can provide an outlet for expression of feelings, opportunity to reminisce with peers, and can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves with words. And most importantly singing is FUN!
Fitness Programs improve residents’ physical health and well being, which is so critical as we age. Examples include balance classes, walking groups, chair dancing, yoga, and bean bag toss. Learning Opportunities such as participation in a book club, jewelry making classes, painting lessons and flower arranging will not only provide opportunities for learning a new skill, but will also help residents stay intellectually stimulated. Communal Dining offers residents a group setting in which to enjoy their meals. Enjoying each other’s company during these times will often ensure more improved eating habits as well as three nutritious meals a day. Assisted living communities, in addition to providing assistance and supervision for day to day care, offer many opportunities for social engagement resulting in improved quality of life for our residents.
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Volume 13, Issue 1
Armor Guard Painting Offers A High Level Of Protection For Your Home
By Kathy L. Collins
Owning a home cially designed to is a wonderful thing. ensure that the exteAll homeowners rior of your home is know that their maximally protected homes require a lot against the eleof maintenance to ments. protect their investThe process is ment, and that extensive. First, an includes painting both inspection of the You can count the interior and the home is completed. on Armor exterior of the home. Guard Then, a three to sixPainting If you could opt inch trench is dug & Coating to provide a high for a method of proaround the perimeof protection to both the interior and ter of the home to level tection that is guaran- exterior of your home thus protecting it teed for a longer periprevent ground from the harsh Florida elements. od, would you moisture from seepchoose it? Armor Guard Painting & ing into the foundation which causes Coating offers that extra level of proteccracks. Next, the home is pressure tion. washed, patches and repairs are done Armor Guard Painting & Coating is and the home is masked off. Then, the one of Florida’s largest exterior and interi- primer/sealer is applied. A final coat is or painting and coating companies servthen applied and the trim is done. The ing most of central and southern Florida, crew will then clean up the property, and including right here in the greater a Completion Certificate is completed. Brandon area. In addition to painting and coating the Armor Guard Painting & Coating exterior and interior of your home, Armor offers a variety of options using superior Guard Painting & Coating can also proproducts that extend the longevity of the tect your pool deck and pavers, roof, protection the products give your home. garage floor and windows. They are specially formulated to withArmor Guard Painting & Coating is a stand Florida’s harsh sub-tropical climate. family owned business. Rodney They include the Armor Coat systems Yavorsky, the owner, has more than 20 that provide guaranteed protection for 10 years of experience in the industry. or 20 years. Armor Guard Painting & Yavorsky said, “We have perfected the Coating also offers an exterior standard process of protecting both the interior and coating system that is guaranteed for 10 exterior of your home. Call us today and years and exterior painting systems that we will get you scheduled and your projlast seven, five or three years. ect completed within days.” Regardless of the system you For information, visit choose, you get Armor Guard Painting & www.armorguard.net or call 727-501Coating’s 10 step process. This is spe1264.
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Dooley Orange Groves Celebrates Three Generations And 50 Years
By Kate Quesada
A lot has changed in Hillsborough County in the last 50 years, but one thing that has remained consistent is the Houghtaling family and Dooley Orange Groves. Located in Ruskin, Dooleys has been handed down for three generations offering citrus U-pick, a retail store with fresh squeezed orange juice and fruit shipping all over the United States and many parts of Canada. The business started as a Upick location in 1967 by Julius and Edith Houghtaling and is now owned by their grandson, Mike Houghtaling and his wife Diane, who began working on the property as teenagers 45 years ago. “Our family members have always worked hard to give customers a great product,” said Diane, who met Mike in 1971 when she was in the eleventh grade at East Bay High School. “Grandma Dooley started sharing her delicious fruit with friends and neighbors in the 1960s, and she worked to build the business the old fashioned way, family-run, turning customers into friends.” When Mike started worked at the groves, the farm owned 80 acres of land, 40 acres of that hosting the
3,000 citrus trees. The farm now boasts 8,500 citrus trees, with 6,500 of those being the well-loved Honeybell variety which customers travel from miles to pick. But it has not been an easy road. In 2005 the groves were completely wiped out by citrus canker, and it took five years for Mike and his team to
season starts. The farm offers Sugarbelle oranges and Christmas Tangerines in November and December, Honeybells from January to March, Tango Seedless Tangerines in February and March and Ortaniques and Honey Tangerines in March and April. During season, Upick is open every day from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with tours taking place every half hour. “Each group is accompanied by a guide who can tell the pickers the history of our groves and give them information about the citrus industry in addition to helping them find the perfect fruit to pick,” said Diane. “We also like people to learn about the animals in our area and the nature corridor that runs Owners Mike and Diane Houghtaling are celebrating through the property.” Dooley provides clippers 50 years of Dooley Groves this year. and baskets for pickers, and replant. The recent threat of it is recommended that visitors wear Hurricane Irma also scared the enclosed shoes and long pants. Houghtalings, although they were After picking, the fruit is weighed lucky to weather the storm almost and customers are charged by the unscathed. pound for the produce. “We actually went out and said In addition to the famous fresh goodbye to the trees as the storm squeezed orange juice, the market approached,” said Diane. The coustores offers a wide variety of local ple still lives on the property as products from honey to marmalade many of their family members have and there are various options for done before them. fruit shipping available in store, Citrus picking season starts in online and over the phone. For more November at Dooley Groves and information, visit www.dooleyruns through April when the growing groves.com or call (800) 522-6411.
Volume 13, Issue 1
Volume 13, Issue 1
ENTER TO WIN YMCA 3 MONTHS..PG 23
YEAR IN REVIEW......................PGS 25‐29 SPORTS CONNECTION ....................PG 32 SCOUTS VISIT YORKTOWN. ............PG 33 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 34
Nothing Bundt Cakes Offers Premium Cakes For Any Occasion
Call 409-2394 or visit at www.nothingbundtcakes.com. You can also visit on Facebook at NothingBundtCakesRiverviewFL.
At Nothing Bundt Cakes, nine classic cake flavors including Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Red Award Winning Program Offered Velvet, White Chocolate Raspberry, At The Bridges Lemon plus a seasonal featured flaThe vor are offered. You can award-wining choose from four different program, ‘A sizes. Matter of “Each cake is made Balance: in our bakery Managing with the Concerns finest preAbout mium Falls’ will be ingredients offered at The including Bridges real eggs, Assisted butter and cream cheese and Living crowned with our signature Community in cream cheese frosting. We partnership offer four different sizes from with Senior full-size Bundt Cakes, perfect Connection for sharing; miniature Nothing Bundt Cakes Offers nine Bundtlets, great for gifting; flavors in four different size Bundt Center, Inc. cakes made with the finest premium This free four and bite-sized Bundtinis®, ingredients. week program sold by the dozen,” said ownemphasizes ers Robert and Teresa practical strategies to manShuffield. age falls. Participants will Make someone’s day with a learn to view falls as controlNothing Bundt Cake. It is located in lable. They will set goals for the Winthrop Plaza at 11238 Sullivan increasing activity, make Street l in Riverview. Hours are changes to reduce fall risks, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and exercise to increase Saturday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and strength and balance. Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Anyone interested in improving their balance, flexibility and strength or that have restricted activities because of falling concerns are encouraged to attend. Classes will be held every Monday and Wednesday from February 5 –February 28 from 9-11 a.m. in the Clubhouse at The Bridges. Space is limited. Please call Janet at 413-8900 for more information.
Be Happy Boutique carries all price ranges in gifts and apparel, along with all sizes XS-3X. According to owner Tonya Antaki, “The goal is to inspire any customer by simply browsing our many uplifting merchandise and home decor. The name of the store is our mission; we want our customers to feel like they are shopping among friends Two Year Anniversary For and enjoy their Be Happy Boutique time in our store.” Be Happy Boutique is A few of the celebrating its two year many things caranniversary. Within that ried there are time, it has grown to over Tribal, Clara Sun 150 different lines of unique Woo, Desiqual, merchandise, most of which Adore, Brighton, has a story and gives back Be Happy Boutique owner Tonya Anuschka hand in some form to help others Antaki is bringing back the perpainted leather, in need. Be Happy Boutique sonal shopping experience. Lizzy James started out with the intention Dansko shoes, and Tyler Jewelry, of making the customer top priority in Candles. many ways. Be happy Boutique is located at By providing a cozy atmosphere 11369 Big Bend Rd. Visit behappyupon entering the store boutique.com. to the personalized service for any of your shopVernon And Christine Elliott Joins ping needs they go a Cruise Planners As Franchise step further to get to know customers and also Owners the person they are Vernon and Christine Elliott shopping for. Continued on next page
Business Column Continued.............
By Michelle Colesanti
announced they have joined Cruise Foxworth Rd. This is the brand’s Planners, an American Express fourth location nationwide. Travel Representative, the nation’s This property is owned by largest home-based travel agent fran- Starwood Capital Group who is lookchise network in the industry. ing to fill a need for the growing Affiliation means the Elliott’s now offer demand for lodging in Hillsborough travelers specialized land vacation County and particularly our Riverview and tour packages to the most area. The Suites will appeal to sought-after destinations around the guests looking for an affordable place world. As Cruise Planners travel advisors, the Elliott’s also provide exclusive pricing on a wide range of cruise and destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as cabin upgrades and special amenities such as shore excursions, discounted fares, travel gifts and more. “Everyone travels, and it’s important to use Photo by Tanya Doran, GRCC a trusted travel specialist The Riverview Chamber took place in a ground-breaking to help get the most ceremony at Uptown Suites Riverview site. value out of a vacation,” Vernon said. “As a Cruise Planners to stay for weeks or even months at a travel expert, I take the stress and time, but will also accommodate hassle out of planning a vacation for nightly guests. The apartment-style my clients. Through the resources studios will feature world-class techavailable to me, I am able to make nology amenities, fully equipped educated recommendations based on kitchens and exclusive At Home by value, destination, group size and Uptown Suites™ mattresses. Please seasonality, among other things to visit www.uptownsuites.com. customize the best vacation possible. Since Cruise Planners has achieved Brandon Ranks 19 Amongst Utop-producer status with every major Haul Top 25 U.S. Growth Cities cruise line and with many major travel U-Haul International, Inc. is partners, I am able to provide my pleased to announce its 2017 Growth customers with the best value along Cities with the return of its industrywith my expertise and personalized leading annual migration trends service.” reports. As an American Express Travel Brandon ranks No. 19 among the Services Representative agency, U-Haul top 25 U.S. Growth Cities for Cruise Planners offers special proall populations. grams for both American Express U-Haul locations in Brandon saw card holders and non-card holders, 52.6 percent of one-way truck rental offering even more added value to customers coming into the city as vacationers. opposed to leaving. Brandon had an Vernon and Christine specialize in 11 percent increase in one-way truck land and group travel. Visit www.why- arrivals year-over-year, while its waittravel.com or Facebook.com/why- departures rose 12 percent over the waittravel. same span. Despite the slight increase in outgoing traffic over 2016, Uptown Suites Breaks Ground For Brandon remained a convincing netRiverview Extended Stay Property gain city for do-it-yourself movers. In late 2017 Greater Riverview Growth Cities are calculated by Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) the net gain of arriving U-Haul onemembers were excited to take part in way trucks over departing one-way Ua ground-breaking ceremony at the Haul trucks for the past calendar new Uptown Suites Riverview site year. While migration trends do not located along US Hwy. 301 at correlate directly to population or eco-
nomic growth, U-Haul growth data is an effective gauge of how well cities are attracting and maintaining residents. Find the complete 2017 U-Haul Growth Cities and Growth States rankings at myuhaulstory.com.
Volume 13, Issue 1
by Dough Nation, the dessert-making business at Metropolitan Ministries. The theme was the Disco Era and many dressed in 1970’s attire. Live music provided by DJ Chris Heath and Sequel Band helped participants dance the night away. Student dance performers from The Way 2 Dance included Vince and Olivia and Gina and Luigi, a professional dance duo. Attendees were also encouraged to participate in mini dance lessons, taught by Tatyana Frost, owner of The Way 2
Annual Charity Ball Benefits Toys For Tots
The Way 2 Dance held its successful 6th Annual Holiday Charity Ball at The Regent in Brandon on December Toys For Tots was the recipient for The Way 2 Dance's 14. Bob Savage of Annual Holiday Charity Savage Consulting along 6thBall held in December. with Tatyana Frost from The Way 2 Dance organDance. ized the Holiday Charity Ball to beneNext fit Toys for Tots, along with the supyear, the port of many community sponsors theme will and volunteers. Twelve bicycles lined be ‘Hot the entry way and numerous Toys for Night in Tots donation boxes filled to the brim Havana’. with new toys. Save the A delicious, hot buffet was date: December 13. catered by Inside the Box, catering For more info, call Savage at arm of Metropolitan Ministries and 240-7772 or Frost at 966-4788. Visit great dessert choices were provided www.holidaycharityballbrandon.com.
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WITH FLORIDA YARD EXPERT Lynn Barber, Hillsborough County Extension Hard to grasp that the New Year is upon us already. What new opportunities are you seeking? You may want to install microirrigation in a landscape bed, a compost bin or rain barrel. Maybe have less lawn and more groundcovers or learn how to improve your vegetable gardening skills. Our landscaping opportunities are pretty much limited to our imagination, and in some cases, homeowner association rules and restrictions. At the Extension office, we offer workshops on composting, vermi (worm) composting, microirrigation and rainwater harvesting. We provide many free items to Hillsborough County residents one time so they can conserve water and recycle kitchen and yard waste at home to use as soil amendments. There is a small fee for worm composting. Our office has many publications you can browse and take that will help you identify some home gardening projects you may want to undertake. We have vegetable gardening guides, schedules of upcoming workshops, rain garden manuals, University of Florida calendars and brochures about different types of mulch and benefits of each. There are several
... “Relax ke a t l we’l it.” care of
demonstration/teaching gardens at our office which you can walk through and enjoy. These gardens showcase FloridaFriendly LandscapingTM principles which include right plant-right place, water efficiently, fertilize appropriately, mulch, recycle, control yard pests responsibly, reduce stormwater runoff, attract wildlife and protect the waterfront. For groups of ten or more, we can arrange docent tours of the gardens. Many of us at Extension present a variety of horticulture/gardening related topics in the community, to schools, hospitals, at libraries, gardening related events and more. Contact our office if you have an interest in our presenting at an upcoming event. We hope you will stop by our teaching/demonstration gardens at the Extension office to view our plant selections. Check out our calendar of events at: http://hillsborough.ifas.ufl.edu/calendar.shtml. For horticultural assistance, contact the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, 744-5519, or visit us at 5339 CR 579 in Seffner.
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Volume 13, Issue 1
Great Seats And Great Date Nights Still Available For The Straz Center Broadway Series
For the remaining shows of the 2017-2018 season, the Straz Center for the Performing Arts has great seats still available for select nights for its touring Broadway blockbusters to celebrate its 30th anniversary season. Tickets are available online at www.strazcenter.org, by phone and in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office. “We are proud to offer such a spectrum of performing arts next season,” says President and CEO Judy Lisi. “We’re expanding our community events and broadening our programming in a way that is so exciting for the Tampa Bay area. We’ve included a lot of community feedback about what people want to see at their performing arts center, and we feel like we’ve achieved a solid representation of what inspires and entertains.” The 2017-2018 season at the Straz Center includes:
plans, bold choices and bloody consequences. The series includes fullscale, grand opera productions of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (Feb. 2 and 4, 2018), Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (March 2 and 4, 2018) and Verdi’s Macbeth (April 13 and 15, 2018). This season engages the senses with powerhouse operas designed to thrill opera lovers and our growing fanbase of newcomers to the form.
JOBSITE THEATER PLAY SERIES
Broadway stars come to The Straz for a series of intimate evenings of song. The series includes the Tony®- winning star of stage and screen Laura Benanti (Feb. 11, 2018), comedian, actress and Saturday Night Live star Ana Gasteyer (March 18, 2018) and Broadway musical and SMASH star Megan Hilty (April 22, 2018).
The Straz Center’s 2017-2018 season includes an eclectic lineup of music performances including international sensation Gobsmacked! (Jan. 24, 2018), featuring a joyful mix of beatboxing with knock-out harmonies; Take Me To The River: Memphis Soul and Rhythm & Blues Revue (Feb. 2, 2018) brings a journey through the soul of American music with artists featured in the Netflix documentary of the same name; and America’s Got Talent finalists Sons of Serendip (April 12, 2018) bring their serene, ethereal interpretations of pop music using voice, harp, piano and cello.
One Monday night a month for eight consecutive months, Club Jaeb transforms the Straz Center’s Jaeb Theater into a music space featuring folk, Americana, alt-country and other hand-picked music that matters. The Club Jaeb Series includes
Some great shows are still available for the rest of the Straz 2017/2018 Broadway series.
John Gorka (Jan. 22, 2018), Dana Louise (Feb. 26, 2018), Anna & Elizabeth (March 26, 2018), Dead Horses (April 23, 2018) and Shannon McNally (May 21, 2018).
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE!
Behind every great National Geographic story, there is a storyteller: the writers, photographers, filmmakers, scientists, explorers and adventurers who bring the world home. The eighth season of this popular and informative series will include View from Above with Terry Virts, NASA astronaut (Jan. 16, 2018), A Wild Life with photographer Bertie Gregory (March 8, 2018) and Standing at the Water’s Edge with Cristina Mittermeier, marine biologist and photographer (April 3, 2018).
The 2017-2018 dance season includes international sensation Dance Theatre of Harlem (March 3, 2018). The season also includes the
magical, joyous ballet Cinderella (May 5-6, 2018).
The Straz Center’s 2017-2018 Bank of America Broadway at The Straz season continues with The Color Purple (March 6-11, 2018), Waitress (April 24-29, 2018), as well as The Bodyguard (March 20-25, 2018). Forever Plaid (Jan. 12 - March 11, 2018) will be presented in the Jaeb Theater as part of the 20172018 series. The season will also include encore engagements of Riverdance The 20th Anniversary World Tour (Jan.19-21, 2018), the spectacular new production of The Phantom of the Opera (Feb. 14-25, 2018), Beautiful –The Carole King Musical (March 27-April 1, 2018), The Sound of Music (June 5-10, 2018) and The Illusionists™ Live from Broadway™ (June 15-17, 2018).
Under the baton of Artistic Director and Conductor Daniel Lipton, the line-up for the 2017-2018 Opera Tampa season promises big
Jobsite Theater is dedicated to the creation of socially and politically relevant theater and the pursuit of performing it to the broadest possible audience. Through all forms of theater – be it experimental, new plays, contemporary works or the classics – Jobsite inspires their community to become not just consumers but true citizens. Jobsite’s 2017-2018 season features Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Jan. 17-Feb. 18, 2018), an adaptation of one of the most influential pieces of 20th century literature, 1984 (April 25 -May 20, 2018) and the contemporary classic Dancing at Lughnasa (June 13 - July 8, 2018). The season also sees the return of Israel Horovitz with one of his newest plays, Man in Snow (March 7 - April 1, 2018).
Single tickets for most performances in the Straz Center’s 20172018 season are available online at www.strazcenter.org, by phone and in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office. Those interested in subscribing should call the Ticket Sales Office at 813.229.7827 or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa. For more information about the Straz Center and its upcoming events, visit www.strazcenter.org. Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice. The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its programs are funded in part by the City of Tampa; the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners; the Tourist Development Council/Hillsborough County; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
(813) 643-8888 1202 W Brandon Blvd Brandon, FL 33511
We use herbs in our pho recipes that help syndromes such as common colds, stomach or intestinal issues, and constitutional deficiencies. Mon - Thurs 11:00 am - 9:30 pm Fri, Sat 11:00 am - 10:00 pm Sun 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017
Osprey Observer Celebrates 16 Years Of Good News
Hillsborough County Commision Stacey White offered a Commendation For Osprey Observer for publishing positive community news for 15 years.
It seems like 2017 has flown by. Wasn’t it just yesterday, we were celebrating 15 years of publishing positive community news? And this month, as we publish the January edition of the Osprey Observer newspapers, we are marking the 16th year of publishing local newspapers in the community. As a locally-owned, direct-mail community newspaper, what does this mean? This means that the S.E. Hillsborough Community has a voice and a representation. We have 14 freelance writers in the community that live here, work here and have chosen this area to raise a family. We care. We care about the schools, we care about the charities, about the opportu-
The Osprey Observer team and spouses enjoyed an annual holiday dinner at Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium.
nites for our kids to mail newspaper volunteer and for the because of the continbusinesses that ued support of the choose to come here. businesses and corpoWe care about the rations in the commuhealthcare options for nity. our families, about In addition, we our locally-owned, have a dedicated office mom and pop busiteam and have staff nesses and we care members who have when someone wins been on board for a prize, earns an more than 14 years. award or celebrates a They have become new certification. familiar faces in the The Osprey community and they Observer is an active The first edition of the Osprey continue to make an Observer, Jan 2002. member of four local impact. chambers. We make We have an office located at 918 every effort to be in the know of road Lithia Pinecrest Rd. Brandon, FL widenings, improvements, approvals 33511. We are in the Five Points and Grand Openings as we can. We Plaza directly across the street from want to celebrate the best possible the Neighborhood Walmart at the corthings that our community has to offer ner of Lithia Pinecrest and Lumsden. and we want to get involved! Stop in sometime and say hello; we We are a free distribution, directalways have extra editions and we’re
happy to meet members of our community. Finally, the most important person is you, the readers in the community who continue to read the local paper and Shop Local at community businesses. If you have a story to share, we would love to hear from you! Follow us on social media and subscribe online to our bi-monthly newsletter. This is the best way to stay ‘in the know’ on all the latest news in the local community. We appreciate you for supporting the Osprey Observer and for reading the editions each month. Please let us know if there is something we can do for you! Sincerely, Marie Gilmore Managing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 13, Issue 1
Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017 Sprouts, PetSmart & Orange Theory Fitness Confirmed To Anchor Old Alberstons Plaza By Tamas Mondovics
One of the most welcomed Hillsborough to the commission. As these plazas sit news of 2017 came in early May County vacant for a long period of time, blight when residents heard about Commissioner Stacy begins to set in. You could see that takplans for a 30,000 sq. ft., Sprouts White, whose district ing hold at this plaza with things like skid Farmers Market to anchor the includes the Valrico marks from kids goofing off at the site 55,000 sq. ft., former Albertsons community, also and rusted out sign posts at the site.” grocery store building on the spoke highly of the The three new stores in Valrico northeast corner of Lithia renovation, and the Landing are slated to open early 2018 and will now add to the growing list of Pinecrest Rd. and Bloomingdale need for a redevelAve. opment of the plaza, recent upgrades, improvements, renovations and additions to the neighborhood, The nearly completed new which by sitting including a previously opened-new store is slated to open in midvacant was slowly Wawa store on the corner of Lithia February 2018 and is currently becoming an eyeDeveloper, Woerner Equity Group is now redeveloping the former Pinecrest and Bloomingdale Ave., the sore. in the process of hiring 120 fullAlbertsons Plaza for Sprouts Farmers Market, PetSmart and Orange grand opening of the new 150,000 sq. ft. “I am excited and part-time positions. Theory Fitness slated for early next year. spots and will also include one additional Walmart Supercenter Sprouts will share the plaza with 4,000 sq. ft. outparcel for rent near the along with Chick-fil-A a brand new Orange Theory Fitness front of the site. South Brandon owned and PetSmart. Woerner officials confirmed that the by Paul & Tammy Original Story printed May 2017 building will be divided into three secHolmberg, Starbuck’s The long held debate and guessing tions with Sprouts occupying nearly and Wendy’s on game about what store(s) if any, might 30,000 sq. ft., leaving a little more than Bloomingdale Ave., as occupy the more than 55,000 sq. ft. for20,000 sq. ft. for a new PetSmart store. well as the improvement mer Alberstons grocery store building Orange Theory Fitness will make Bloomingdale Ave. of the Culbreath and that has been sitting vacant for the past use of the former 3,500 sq. ft., liquor Bloomingdale Ave. interfew years in Valrico is officially over. section. Developer, Woerner Equity Group, a store space at the north end of the building closer to Miller Rd. BayCare Health West Palm Beach Florida-based full Happy with the news of the long System is also planning service real estate firm that focuses awaited redevelopment of the site in the to build a brand new $25 on the acquisition and development of heart of their community, many million 160,000 sq. ft. commercial properties with an emphasis expressed relief and spoke highly of the Wellness campus on shopping centers, is now redevelopchoice of new stores. behind the former ing the site to house Sprouts Farmers “So very excited about the construcAlbertsons Plaza. Market, PetSmart and Orange Theory starting on the new Sprouts store tion For more information Fitness. A site map shows the layout and the three new stores including Sprouts Farmers Market, PetSmart and Orange Theory about the project, please (old Albertsons on Lithia),” posted Renamed, Valrico Landing, the site Fitness to anchor the former Albertsons Plaza in Valrico. Buckhorn Preserve resident Shawn visit, is located just east of Brandon, at the Bernier on his Facebook page shortly about the upcoming revitalization,” White www.woernerequity.com. intersection on the northeast corner of after he heard the news. “I was at the said, adding, “I have received much corFor leasing information, contact, Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Bloomingdale Sprouts in Carrollwood, last week and it respondence from constituents about Cantrell & Morgan Pete Fraser at 904Ave. in Valrico. is a fabulous store. Kind of like Trader that plaza, as well as other vacant 302-6931 or email pete@cantrellmorCoupled with signalized access, the Joes.” plazas in the area, since being elected gan.com. entire plaza will feature 155 parking
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Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017 HCSO Seizes 66 Firearms, Arrests Dozens In ThreeMonth Undercover Weapons Investigation
By Tamas Mondovics
2017 began Gee said that on a high note detectives posed for members of as convicted the Hillsborough felons and tried to County Sheriff’s buy guns from office. During a people during the February press 12-week period, conference at which he said was easy to do the HCSO as nearly 60 peoSpecial ple told undercovInvestigation er detectives that Division, 2224 N. they could get Falkenburg Rd. in Tampa, Sheriff During a recent press conference, Hillsborough them guns. County Sheriff David Gee shares the results of When done, David Gee a 12-week undercover weapons investigation. the operation announced the seized 42 handguns, 15 riffles and nine completion of a three-month-long, multi-agency investigation resulting in shotguns, seven of which were reported stolen. the arrest of several suspects along A total of 188 firearm and drug-relatwith the seizure of weapons and illeed charges have reportedly been filed in gal drugs. connection with the case. Original Story printed Feb 2017 “I can’t say enough about the underMembers of the State Attorney's cover operation that was done here,” Office of the 13th Judicial Circuit, the Gee said emphasizing the outstanding Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, work accomplished by the men and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and women who took part in the hand to United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida were all on hand hand transactions as the offenders were delivering loaded guns, which Gee said last month to discuss the conclusion of a were “really easy to buy.” major criminal investigation that resulted “According to HCSO, aggravated in the seizure of dozens of firearms, illeassault in Hillsborough County has gal drugs and the arrest of multiple susincreased about 11 percent last year, a pects in Hillsborough County. significant increase. Hillsborough County Sheriff David “The firearms recovered during the Gee told reporters during the press con12-week operation, a relatively short ference at the HCSO Special amount of time, is alarming.” Gee said. Investigation Division, 2224 N. For more information about the Falkenburg Rd. in Tampa, that the unified Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, effort between the agencies involved resulted in the seizure of 66 firearms from please visit www.hcso.tampa.fl.us. 51 offenders.
Burns Middle School Celebrates 30 Years Of Excellence With Anniversary Festival
By Tamas Mondovics
Burns Middle Named after school enjoyed Guy O. Burns, the spotlight last known as “Pop” year after reachBurns, a ing a significant Hillsborough milestone. The County educator, school located coach, and at 615 Brooker assistant princiRd, in Brandon pal, the school celebrated its is located at 30th anniversary 615 Brooker with a fulfilled Rd. in Brandon. Burns Middle School located at 615 Brooker festival that The school Rd, in Brandon opened in 1986 as Burns Junior drew hundreds opened its High School, but was restructured 10 years later as a middle school represented by the of teachers, studoors to the Burn’s Bruins as its mascot. dents and parpublic in 1986 ents to reflect on the school’s as Burns Junior High School, but was accomplishments. restructured 10 years later as a middle Original Story printed Mar 2017 school, represented by the Burn’s More than 300 alumni, students Bruins as its mascot with the colors of and staff along with current and future navy blue, maroon, and white. Burns Middle School families enjoyed Burns’ long list of successes a special fun-filled event earlier this includes its Men's Choir, which has month to celebrate the school’s 30th recently earned an overall rating of anniversary with a festival, which excellent with a superior in sight readaccording to Burns Student ing. The Burns Chamber Choir and Government Sponsor and event Intermediate Ladies received straight organizer Martin Harrigan, had somesuperiors, while the Advanced Ladies thing for everyone. received straight superiors ‘with disBurns Art Club joined the festivitinction’ as they had an accompanities as the students offered face paint- ment by Bryton Smith on the Cello. ing and games. The student governBurns students also won the ment members class offered temporecent Math League Team rary tattoos, while the Burns PTSA vol- Competition. unteered to operate the 'cake walk,' Burns Middle School is currently concession stand and silent auction. boasting of its student enrollment of The school has every reason to be 1,250 with capacity at 1,400. proud of its long history and accomFor information about Burns plishments including its consecutive Middle School, visit www.burns.mysd"A" rating for the past 15 seasons. hc.org
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Volume 13, Issue 1
Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017 County To Begin $16.4M, 3-Year Lithia Pinecrest, Lumsden, Durant Intersection Improvements
County Closes Paul Sanders ‘Tree’ Park To Begin Two Month Park Renovation Project
Residents turned out in numbers for a public meeting hosted by the Hillsborough County Public Works department in connection with the The addition of a right turn lane, an additional left turn lane and an long-anticipated additional through lane. Add raised medians and concrete traffic and troublesome separators. Lithia Pinecrest summer, the more than $16 million, Road, Lumsden Road, Durant Road, multi-phased project is said to retain the and Bell Shoals Road intersection in current traffic pattern on all the major Brandon. approaches, with a few changes. Construction began on time and “One of the bigger changes is a is now underway to be accomplished right in, right out traffic pattern for Durant in phases with several promised Rd,” said Hillsborough County Public improvements to nearby roadways, Works project director Mary Sheets. including drainage improvements, “Lithia Pinecrest and Lumsden Roads pedestrian safety features, sidewalks, will see extended or added raised medibicycle lanes, and an upgraded traffic ans and concrete traffic separators.” signal system. The project hopes to Commenting on the project’s length, see completion in the summer of which is expected to last 37 months, 2020. (summer of 2020) Sheets said, “To Original Story printed May 2017 maintain traffic, we are doing the project Area residents recently had a in four sections, coordinating with local chance to learn about a long-awaited utilities.” project to increase traffic flow and The project’s cost, length and end improve safety at the intersection of result, however, did not sit well with all in Lithia Pinecrest, Lumsden, Durant and attendance, including Valrico residents Bell Shoals Roads in Brandon. Jay Bidlack, who did not shy away from Hosted by representatives of the voicing his disappointment, when he Hillsborough County Public Works said, “This plan will create more probdepartment, the open house, public lems than we have right now. They are information meeting was held at the spending $16 million dollars on some Bloomingdale High School cafeteria, extra lanes, concrete medians and 1700 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. paint.” Scheduled to start construction this Please visit www.HCFLGOV.net.
That area county officials public comsaid. munity park Famous for renovations its mature oak and upgrades trees that protook center vide shade by stage in 2017; means of a natthere is little ural canopy, the doubt. The park has been busy Paul the favorite Sanders Park, hangout for also known as the thouthe “tree sands of Paul Sanders Park is getting a park” in visitors it facelift and is scheduled to be Brandon also temporarily closed until the end sees annuof March. enjoyed some ally. Picnic much-needed attention. tables throughout the park have been The $315,000 project covered by used for birthday parties and family gaththe County Parks and Recreation erings. department's budget for Capital The facelift is a much welcomed and Improvement Projects, included a anticipated project for many of its regular wide range of upgrades. guests including Lithia resident Jinifer County workers completed the Leichner who said, “I love this park. I project within its promised timeline, have great memories growing up as a and upon its reopening park visitors teenager visiting this park and as an adult expressed their thanks for all of the bringing my children here. It is a beautiful upgrades that now makes the famous park and I am glad the county is putting park more enjoyable. the effort into making sure it stays that Original Story printed Feb 2017 way.” Hillsborough County has temporarily The $315,000 project covered by closed and began a two month long reno- the County Parks and Recreation vation project of one the largest and most department's budget for Capital heavily used parks in Brandon. Improvement Projects also includes renThe makeover at Paul Sanders Park, ovating the restrooms, repaving the 602 W. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon, parking lot, adding sidewalks, and creatnamed after long time Brandon resident ing an additional entrance on the northPaul Sanders three years before his west side of the park to improve traffic death in 1991—is promising to upgrade flow, which will come in handy. as well as expand the park, while virtually For more info, visit www.hillsborreplacing all of the playground equipment oughcounty.org. and adding additional play structures,
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Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017 BSAC Celebrates Opening of Ken Hagen Learn To Swim Community Pool
By Tamas Mondovics
A large group of local leaders and community representatives during the official ribbon cutting of the center’s brand new Ken Hagan Learn to Swim Pool.
Members of the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC), enjoyed the grand opening of a brand new pool at the facility that has exponentially in membership and programs as it served the Brandon and surrounding area communities for more than a half a century. The new community pool is named after BSAC’s longtime supporter Hillsborough County Commissioner District 5, Ken Hagan. Original Story printed June 2017 Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC) Executive Director Chuck Burgess, was pleased to welcome a large group that gathered last month for the celebration of the opening of a brand new community swimming pool. Guests included members of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) Greater Brandon and Valrico-Fishhawk Chambers, Honorary Mayor of Brandon Tammy Holmberg, local community leaders, and Ken Hagan, Hillsborough County Commissioner District 5, in whose honor the pool was named–the Ken Hagan
Learn to Swim Pool. According to BSAC officials the completion of the pool was made possible through a partnership with the Hillsborough County Commission in a major youth drowning preven-
tion initiative. The new facility was built as part of $1.3 million BSAC program improvement project. To support the effort, the Board of County Commissioners approved the allocation of an $800,000 gift to the BSAC, which funded the building and provided renovations to the center’s current pool. The remaining $500,000 investment came from privately-raised dollars in the local community. “This is not just a new pool, but also a celebration of BSAC’s partnership with the Hillsborough County Commission,” Burgess said. Hagan added that with Florida leading the nation in children drowning BSAC is a valuable resource in the community. During the event, Honorary Mayor of Riverview Tammy Holmberg, owner of Chick-fil-A Brandon, delivered a proclamation. BSAC, located at 405 Beverly Blvd. in Brandon is a community-based 501c3 non-profit. Visit, www.mybsac.org.
Bloomingdale High School Principal Sue Burkett Wins Brandon Honorary Mayor’s Race
By Tamas Mondovics
Academic charities supportand athletic ing children. achievements Honorary Mayor involving teachBurkett replaced ers and stuformer Honorary dents at Mayor Chuck Bloomingdale Burgess and High School also took her made a number rightful place as headlines in a member of The 2017. One of Community the most excitRoundtable ing achieveboard. ments that Burkett Bloomingdale High School Principal Sue Burkett celebrates her recent victory as the new gave testimony received both Brandon Honorary Mayor, during the Fourth of to the school’s her Bachelor July Parade. Burket defeated rival local spirit and the and Master journalist, Linda Chion Kenney by raising $41,601.57 for local charities supporting community’s degrees from the children. support was University of the school principal Sue Burkett’s South Florida and began teaching victory as Brandon’s 56th Honorary Exceptional Education Students at Plant Mayor. Burkett defeated her rival, City and Durant High Schools. local journalist Linda Chion Kenney Burkett’s fundraising campaign by raising $41,601.57 for local charifocused on three Brandon area charities ties supporting children. for children: Bloomingdale High School Chion Kenney worked very hard Academic Foundation, Boys and Girls over several months to raise almost Clubs of Tampa Bay and Center Place $35,000 for local charities. Fine Arts and Civic Association. Original Story printed July 2017 The Community Roundtable origiAfter some well-organized preparanated the race for the title of Honorary tion and a month-long fundraising camMayor of Brandon in 1959. The contest, paign, Bloomingdale High School which begins June 1, and concludes at Principal Sue Burkett celebrated her vic- 8 a.m., the morning of Brandon’s Fourth tory as the 56th Brandon Honorary of July Parade, was designed to raise Mayor. funds for charities in the Brandon comTo win the honor of representing her munity. community for a one-year term, from The candidate who raises the most July 4, through July 3, Burkett defeated dollars (votes) in the 33 day period is her rival, local journalist Linda Chion then named Mayor. Visit www.thecomKenney by raising $41,601.57 for local munityroundtable.org.
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Volume 13, Issue 1
ACH-OO! Your Family Pets Can Catch Colds, Too!
By Dr. Jennifer Challenger DVM, MPH
Flu season strikes every year, and we all notice everyone also begins to come down with a cold at about the same time. What you might not realize is that your pet can catch a cold, too. Dogs and cats suffer from upper respiratory infections at any time of the year. These viruses are highly contagious and spread quickly. The obvious places pets catch such viruses is in surroundings in which they are around lots of animals, including boarding kennels or grooming salons. When veterinarians offer grooming and boarding services, they require that all pets be current on vaccinations to prevent the introduction of such illnesses at their clinics. What many people do not realize is how easily these diseases can be spread by doing ordinary things. These viruses are airborne and can be spread by the wind. On a breezy day, a coughing cat down the block can infect your cat if it is outdoors or even in your own lanai. A dog out for a walk may want to sniff where other canines have been or may meet another dog face to face, but it is best if you make them keep their distance. Unfortunately, many dog parks do not insure that all pets that play there are current on vaccines to avoid infection.
And, although many parks, beaches and other public places have water bowls and fountains for your dog to enjoy a nice drink after a romp in the park, it is best to avoid such communal drinking spots. I recommend bringing your own water bowl or Frisbee from which your pet can drink. If your pet does contract an upper respiratory infection, you will know it within a few days when symptoms begin to become apparent. Dogs present with a harsh, hacking cough that keeps everyone awake at night and gives rise to the phrase ‘kennel cough.’ With a large sinus system in their heads, cats usually start off with sneezing fits, but the condition can quickly exacerbate into red, swollen eyes (conjunctivitis), congested nostrils, fever and ulcers in the mouth that eventually can inhibit eating or drinking, which just makes them sicker. Young animals are most at risk, so it is important to vaccinate puppies and kittens on a veterinarian-recommended schedule, without delay. Older pets can get sick as well, so keeping current on vaccinations is critical. Most people know sinusitis if you wait too long to receive medical attention for your pet. Most pets have ‘barnyard manners’ and will sneeze and cough right in your face. This may, in fact, be their own way of letting you know they need to see a doctor.
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Volume 13, Issue 1
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Area Student-Athletes Enjoy First Semester Success & Achievement In Multiple Sports Durant, Riverview, Apollo Beach, and nearby community’s student-athletes gave parents, coaches, and fans a great first half of the 2017-2018 athletic season, of which a few highlights provide clear testimony. The start of the season drew attention to the success of the local 16U A Hockey team, which pulls students from across the Danielle Kanas, 12, competes in the under 14 shot-put county after winning the events the National Junior Disability Championships. state championship. Paralympic Sports Tampa Bay, a program of Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation, also enjoyed the spotlight last fall, after a record-setting day during the National Junior Disability Championships. The program in its Small Team Division, with its diverse membership posted nine national Durant senior running back Cameron Myers breaks through records along with top the Bloomingdale defense for a first down in the first quarter. team honors including Myers finished the game and the season with a fractured a gold medal, which collarbone. came when 12-year-old Riverview Danielle Kanas shattered the old (formally Riverview Warriors ’05) national record in the javelin by a Fastpitch travel softball team also stunning six meters. managed to enjoy the spotlight last The success of young athletes fall. The girl’s victory came at the continued with a pair of Triple Creek 12U USSSA (United States Specialty BMX riders, Dylan Harnage, 9 and Sports Association) Emoji Madness Tyler Harnage, 12, after the two qual- Fastpitch softball tournament in ified to represent Team USA and race Clermont. The team dominated the in the BMX World Cup Championship top 12U teams in the state of Florida. at the Novant Health BMX Diving also made it on the list of Supercross Track in Rock Hill, South sports that featured the success of Carolina. The Tripple Creek BMX local students, including Bell Creek facility is located at 12705 BalmAcademy’s, sixth-grade athlete, Aiden Boyette Rd in Lithia. Sadler, who has managed to post a The Florida Batbusters ’05 solid performance during this year’s
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Local diver, Aiden Sadler, 11, smiles after winning first place in the three-meter springboard competition at the USA Diving National Championship in Columbus OH.
16U A Hockey State Champions.
USA Diving National Championship held in Columbus, OH. The win qualified Sadler to represent TEAM USA in Victoria, Canada at the 2017 Junior Pan American Championships in October. Of course, the most anticipated sport each fall is high school football, which continues to draw large crowds to support their teams on Friday nights. The most praised programs, the Bloomingdale Bulls varsity football team, which following a two-game loss to start the season has managed to refocus and plow through its conference to reach the postseason for the third time in school history. The Cougars varsity football team led by program head coach, Mike Gottman was not as fortunate. Durant lost its chance for the postseason after a 15-21 loss to Bloomingdale during an end of season conference showdown. The community is rightly looking forward to the second semester for more great achievements to highlight and celebrate. For information about local students and teams, visit, www.maxpreps.com.
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Scouts Spend Weekend In History Aboard WWII Aircraft Carrier By Marie Gilmore Valrico Troop 61 Boy Scouts spent Veteran’s Day camping aboard the USS Yorktown, WWII Aircraft Carrier while participating in a unique campout adventure available to youth. This is not the troop’s first time traveling from Valrico to Charleston, South Carolina where the Boy Scouts from Troop 61 Valrico spent two nights sleeping Yorktown has been a sigaboard the WWII Aircraft Carrier, the USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina. nificant part of the Patriot’s Point complex for 30 years, but this year, the trip happened to be on Veteran’s Day which gave the boys a unique opportunity to be onboard for the special day. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, JROTC, churches, schools, and other youth groups have the opportunity to sleep in the berths that sailors once occupied and immerse themselves into the lives of heroes. With packages that include lodging, meals and an educational activity, groups are offered a unique opportunity to stay aboard. The scouts had the opportunity time.” to meet WWII Navy Veteran Bill In Wilkerson, 95, who was a pilot and addition flew Hellcats while serving aboard the Yorktown in 1944. He completed 70 land- to sleeping and enjoying meals aboard the ship, Scouts have access to the entire ings and still has stories to tell. Patriot’s Point complex including the “It was hot on board,” said Bill, who Vietnam Experience Exhibit, WWII volunteers several hours a day talking to destroyer, the USS Laffey, a Cold War visitors at the museum. “We were doing submarine, the USS Clamagore and at our job and serving on board the ship but least 20 historical aircraft. there was no air conditioning at that Once the scouts arrived on
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Friday night, movies were shown on board and the scouts were able to explore all decks except the flight deck, which is closed after dark. For the two-night stay, campers sleep in typical WWII style barracks. On Saturday morning, scouts were fed breakfast in the galley and then took a ride across Charleston Harbor to Fort Sumter National Monument. This was an add-on educational experience for the
scouts. Back onboard, scouts were offered a bag lunch and free time to explore the complex until dinner time when another hot meal was offered. After 6:30 p.m., the complex closes to the public and the scouts have the ship to themselves. Exhibits, historical artifacts and five self-guided tours which include boiler room, laundry, dentist, shoe cobbler, munitions storage and more are available until 11 p.m. each evening for the scouts to explore. The USS Yorktown is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II and was commissioned in April 1943. It participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. Late in her career, she served as a recovery ship for the Apollo 8 space mission, and was used in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!, which recreated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; and in the science fiction film The Philadelphia Experiment. Yorktown was decommissioned in 1970 and in 1975 became a museum ship at Patriots Point, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She is a National Historic Landmark. For information, visit www.patriotspoint.org.
Volume 13, Issue 1
With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins
Plant City Entertainment Presents The Drowsy Chaperone Plant City low and a Entertainment man in a will present chair the Tony appears on Award winstage. He ning puts on his Broadway favorite musical, The record (a Drowsy cast recordChaperone, ing of a fictibeginning on tious 1928 the weekend musical). of Friday, Then, the February 2 recording and Saturday, comes to life Plant City Entertainment is excited to present the February 3 at and The delightful musical within a comedy, The Drowsy 8 p.m. and Drowsy Chaperone, this February. Get you tickets now. You can Sunday, Chaperone see a great show and support local theatre. February 4 at begins as 2 p.m. Additional shows will be held on the man in the chair continues to look Friday, February 9 and Saturday, on. February 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, The Drowsy Chaperone is a playFebruary 11 at 2 p.m. ful parody of a 1920’s musical comeThe Drowsy Chaperone will be dy. The story revolves around a glamperformed by an all-star cast of local orous wedding of a glittering starlet actors at the Plant City Entertainment who has left a sucTheatre located at 101 N. Thomas St. cessful in historic downtown Plant stage City. career for Tickets love. The are $18 for investor adults (18-59), of the $14 for Seniors stage (60 and older) show and students she left (under 18). tries to Group rates are stop available and the special pricing is wedding by sending in offered for PCE two gangsters disguised as pastry members. Advance chefs. Mix in a vain Latin lover, a tickets can be purchased at Hardee’s drunken diva and an eager best man Fashions located at 1501 N. Wheeler and as Golombek said, “You have the St. in Plant City. Tickets can also be ingredients for an evening of madcap purchased online at delight.” www.pceshows.com. The Drowsy Chaperone features The Drowsy Chaperone is a show a great Jazz Age score by Lisa within a show. According to April Lambert and Greg Morrison, and a Golombek, First Vice President for lively, clever book by Bob Martin and Plant City Entertainment, “The Drowsy Don McKellar. Both the score and the Chaperone is a loving send-up of the book won Tony Awards in 2006. Jazz Age musical, featuring one show For more information on The stopping song and dance after anothDrowsy Chaperone and how to super.” port Plant City Entertainment, please The show begins with the lights visit www.pceshows.com.
Village Players To Present Arsenic And Old Lace The Village Players great comic timing and it is will kick off their 2018 seafun to watch.” son with a production of Arsenic and Old Lace Arsenic and Old Lace, a was written by American black comedy. The play playwright, Joseph will be presented this Kesserling in 1939. The February at the historic play is a farcical black James McCabe Theatre comedy revolving around located at 506 5th St. in the Brewster family who Valrico. Gail Pierce, a are descendants of the Murder, intrigue and comedy Producer with the Village but are now Mayflower are at the heart of the Village Players’ upcoming productio composed of homicidal Players said, “This is a this February at the historic maniacs. The family is led great show to kick off a James McCabe Theatre in fantastic season.” by Mortimer Brewster, a Valrico. Arsenic and Old Lace drama critic. Mortimer will be presented over a three-weekend must deal not only with his crazy family, period beginning on Friday, February 9 at but also with the local police. 8 p.m. followed with Saturday, February His family includes two spinster aunts 10 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, February 11 who have taken to murdering lonely old at 3 p.m. Shows will also be presented men by poisoning them with a glass of on Friday, February 16 and 23, Saturday, home-made elderberry wine laced with February 17 and 24 at 8 p.m. and arsenic, strychnine, and ‘just a pinch’ of Sunday, February 18 at 3 p.m. cyanide. There is a brother who believes Tickets are $18 for general admishe is Theodore Roosevelt and digs locks sion and $15 for Seniors, students, milifor the Panama Canal in the cellar of the tary with ID and groups of 10 or more. Brewster home. These serve as graves Tickets can be purchased online at for the aunts' victims. www.villageplayersvalrico or by calling The Village Players’ production of Chris at 480-3147. Arsenic and Old Lace is certain to be a Arsenic and Old Lace is directed by fun evening out for everyone who loves a Hal Granholm who said, “I first saw the well written, superbly acted play. For 1966 film version and fell in love with it. I more information, please visit www.vilalways wanted to direct this play. It has lageplayersvalrico.com.
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Volume 13, Issue 1
At An Emotionally Difficult Time
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