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January 2018 Volume 17, Issue 1 Ph: 657-2418 1 5




WWII Senior And Third Grade Student Bridge The Generation Gap

By Janet Noah

strongly that Ralph would like Marcelo to have his model airplane and a photograph of Ralph in his plane. Marcelo’s third grade teacher, Lauren Fechtmann, connected Ralph’s daughters to Marcelo and his parents, Erika Quesada and Esteban Moreira. When presenting Ralph’s items to Marcelo,



Center Place Presents Its Annual Fundraising Wild Dame Night

By Kathy L. Collins

Ladies, it is that time of the year again when you get to gather your friends and get ready for a wild night at Center Place's Annual Wild Dame Night. This fun and fabulous event will take place on Saturday, February 17 at Center Place located at 619 Center Place will host its Annual Wild Dame Night on Saturday, Vonderburg Dr. in February 17. This is a fun and fabulous night for ladies to get Brandon. The fun together and support the arts. All proceeds from the event benefit begins at 6 p.m. with children's programming at Center Place. social time and an theatre to underprivileged children in our open bar. area.” This is a ladies’ only event which Center Place, a registered non-profit, usually sells out fast, so get your tickets was established in 1976. Its members are now. Tickets go on sale on Friday, dedicated to the promotion of the fine arts January 5 at 10 a.m. Tickets are just $50 and civic involvement. Center Place offers per person or you can be a true supporter cultural enrichment through a variety of of the arts, and sponsor a table of eight programs including monthly exhibitions of for just $600. Please note that there are a fine, original art; art education for both limited number of tickets. children and adults; and the performing This year’s theme is Late Night arts. Laughs- The Ultimate Pajama Party. For more information on the Annual Ladies can wear their most comfortable Wild Dame Night and other upcoming PJs and enjoy a ladies’ comedy act by events, please visit www.centerplacebrancomedian, Trish Keating, an alum of don.org or call 685-8888. Second City in Chicago. Lisa Rodriguez, Director of Marketing for Center Place said, “This year we are changing up the In This entertainment with a comedy act to make Issue us ‘laugh out loud!’” In addition to social time and the comedy show, ladies will enjoy wine and ASTRONAUT VISIT..............................PG 4 a catered buffet dinner by Outback Steak House. In addition to a delicious dinner, HOA HOT TOPICS ...............................PG 7 ladies will be treated to decadent MANNA ON WHEELS .......................PG 11 desserts. This has become a tradition of Center Place’s Wild Dame Night. SCIGLIANO MEMORIAL....................PG 19 All proceeds from this very special HAITI MISSION................. ................PG 22 event benefit children’s programming at Center Place. Center Place has been YEAR IN REVIEW................. ......PGS 33‐41 providing quality art instruction and chilARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 44 dren’s theatre for over 40 years in the greater Brandon area. Rodriguez said, SPORTS CONNECTION .............PGS 46‐47 “The money raised from special events such as Wild Dame Night, help us to conREAD MORE LOCAL NEWS ONLINE tinue to provide art class scholarships and www.ospreyobserver.com

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A special connection happened on Valentine’s Day in 2017 between a 9 year old boy and a 95 year old man. When third grade students from Winthrop Charter School visited residents at The Bridges Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in February, student Marcelo Moreira met resident Ralph Mary thanked him Kitchens and an for being her dad’s immediate friendfriend. ship blossomed. Marcelo Throughout the replied, “Ralph was year, the school’s a great guy. I would students would have liked to spend visit with resimore time with him. dents, participate I hope what I did Marcelo Moreira meets Mary Johnson, who in themed parties will give other kids brought him memorabilia from Ralph Kitchens, and help make her father. Kitchens recently passed away but courage to help decorations. in the year prior, had become good friends other people.” with Marcelo. Marcelo gave Marcelo shared Ralph a handwith Mary that Ralph had told him ‘to made Valentine’s Day card, which hung never give up’. “Just like he didn’t give up on the door to Ralph’s apartment until when he jumped out of his airplane and Ralph passed away on October 7. landed in the ocean.” Ralph and Marcelo shared their pasAs Fechtmann observed Marcelo sion for airplanes and Ralph told Marcelo and Mary conversing, she commented, about his adventures when he few planes “My entire class said that visiting The during WWII. He showed him photoBridges was their favorite part of the year. graphs and a model airplane. The chance to be with all the grandparRalph told his daughter, Mary ents left an impression on everyone.” Johnson, about Marcelo and spoke fondly For information, visit of their visits. After Ralph’s passing, Mary www.winthropcharter.org/ or and her sister, Susi Brzezowski, felt http://bridgesretirement.com/.


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Photo Tamas Mondovics

Eric Rigby left and Eric Hamilton, nursing students at Hillsborough Community College, pause for a picture while assisting Operation Code Vet, which provides volunteers, equipment, and other resources to help local veterans fix and clean hop their homes. The volunteers work under the direction of the Hillsborough County Code Enforcement Community Outreach department.

Serving Our Customers in 4 Locations: Lithia • Big Bend, Riverview • 301, Riverview • Sun City Center

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 17, Issue 1

January 2018

Page 3

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Healthy Hearing Expo In Brandon To Offer Innovative Products To Try

Staff Report

hearing aid without first purchasing it, negating any chance to compare performances. Audiologists will conduct hearing screenings and consultations to guide attendees on which hearing aid models are best suited for their needs and merit comparing in their trials. San Francisco based NeoSensory, Inc., a developer of sensory substituA Healthy Hearing Expo will offer unprecedented consumer opportunity to try and compare advanced hearing technologies tion wearable prodon Saturday, February 3 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the First ucts for individuals, Presbyterian Church of Brandon at 121 Carver Ave. will make its first The second Brandon Healthy East Coast appearance, allowing attenHearing Expo will offer unprecedented dees to test the new ‘wearable’ vest consumer opportunity to try and comand wrist devices that enable the user pare advanced hearing technologies, to hear through skin conduction. The including innovative new ‘wearables’. company, which is on the cutting edge The Expo will take place on of neuroscience, claims these prodSaturday, February 3 from 9 a.m.-3 ucts offer the functionality of a p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church cochlear implant, without the need for of Brandon at 121 Carver Ave. surgery, at a fraction of the cost. Edward Ogiba, Chair of the Consumers can also explore a wide Healthy Hearing Expo and HLAA range of wireless accessories that Tampa Bay Advisory Board said, “The connect hearing aids directly to mobile Healthy Hearing Expo offers conphones, TVs, and someone’s voice sumers an unprecedented opportunity across the table in a noisy restaurant to try and compare a wide variety of and deliver added clarity and speech the leading hearing aids and all sorts of understanding. other advanced hearing technology in Numerous support groups for risk–free, highly supportive environhard-of-hearing and deaf people and ment. In the marketplace you cannot their families will be available, as well try hearing aids without first buying as resources who provide financial them, making comparison shopping assistance to those who cannot afford impossible. At our once-a-year clinic, hearing aids. everything is free from admission to There are 260,000 people with product trials, to consultations from hearing loss in Hillsborough County hearing professionals who will educate and 86% do not seek the treatment you and answer your questions and that could improve their quality of life not try to sell you a thing.” largely because they feel pressured or You can check out the latest hearoverwhelmed when exploring soluing aid technology, as well as learn tions. The Healthy Hearing Expo is about a wide array of wireless accessales-free zone structured to provide sories, cochlear implants, and assistive the added mentoring, guidance and listening devices. Some 40 exhibitors support many need to freely and fully will make this the largest consumer understand options. hearing health event in the Tampa Bay Attendees wishing to try hearing area. The Healthy Hearing Expo will aids at the expo can get pre-event host some key firsts in Florida. guidance on how to eliminate the line Attendees will have opportunity to for a hearing screenings by contacting try and compare a wide variety of hearHLAAhelp@gmail.com or 941-706ing aids from the leading manufactur4312. ers. Consumers currently cannot try a

Newsome’s Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Wolfpack Battalion Keeps Busy By Cadet Captain McKenzee Thornton, Public Affairs Officer

In November, cadets representing the Raider, Rifle, Drill, and Color Guard Teams travelled to Randall Middle School to perform in their Veteran’s Day Recognition Ceremony. The following day, Cadets from the Color Guard and Exhibition Drill Teams travelled to Bevis Elementary School to participate in their ceremony. It was an honor for Newsome’s JROTC Battalion to perform for the Veterans and showcase its many talented Cadets. Cadets participated in Operation Patriot, donating personal hygiene and comfort items to local Homeless Veterans and the Veterans residing at the Baldomero-Lopez State Veterans Home. The Battalion exceeded its goal of 2,770 items by donating almost 3,200 items to deserving Veterans. On November 11, 35 Cadets travelled to the Veterans’ Home to deliver the donated items and spend the afternoon. Earlier, the Cadets also performed at the Veteran’s Memorial Park. The Wolfpack Battalion launched its second Service Learning Project Operation Forgotten Angel, a drive to donate toys to underprivileged children not fortunate enough to be chosen during the community-wide Angel Tree Operation. Once again, Cadets met the challenge and exceeded the goal of 277

toys, bringing in over 325 gifts. During the Great American Teach-In on November 16, two cadets from each of the six JROTC specialty teams returned to Randall Middle School. Cadets spoke on their respective teams, special events and the experience of being a member of JROTC. They also addressed general questions with regards to high school life. The Battalion competed in several events during November: The Rifle Team competed in the Colonel Dale Vona Rifle Meet, placing second overall with a first place medal in the Standing position. For the first time ever the Battalion will send two Raider Teams to the State Championships as they come off a first and second place finish at the District level Raider Competition. Finally, both the JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl (JLAB) and Cyber Patriot Teams competed with the Academic Team tying the current Battalion record with a score of 91. The Cyber Patriot team competed early in the month with two teams and will be advancing to the next round of competition. The Battalion didn’t slow down as they prepared for their annual JROTC Program Accreditation (JPA) inspection. For more on Wolfpack Battalion, visit www.newsomejrotc.com.




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Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

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 Rebecca Shireman, Public Members of the Osprey Observer staff were excited to meet Relations & astronaut John McBride. He piloted Space Shuttle Challenger Communications Manager (STS-41-G mission) in October 1984. at Kennedy Space Center He was the pilot on the Space Shuttle (KSC). McBride may be of retirement Challenger (STS-41-G mission) in age, but he has not slowed down in his October 1984. This mission had seven quest to keep the passion of the space crew members. Notably, he was joined by program alive. On any given day, you will Sally Ride (her second flight) and during find him or other astronauts at Kennedy that mission, Kathryn Sullivan, became Space Center Visitor Complex greeting the first female to walk in space. visitors. When asked what excited McBride currently lives in Titusville; a him most during the stone’s throw away from all the action. shuttle trip, We learned that Kennedy Space Center McBride is not only thriving, but still growing with smiled, many exciting new things taking place. rememberMcBride, who originally hails from ing that it West Virginia, is a retired Captain in the U.S. Navy. He was a navy fighter test pilot was his first vision of and was selected by NASA to join the Earth. “The space program in January 1978 and was engine cuts off in the first class of shuttle astronauts. and you enter His interest in space began as a into weightlessyoung boy. In junior high school McBride ness,” noted began building rockets. While a senior in McBride. About high school, he got to spend about 10 45 minutes into minutes with John F. Kennedy and wife Jackie during Kennedy’s campaign run for the flight, his job was to open the payload doors, which is done in the first orbit. “I President; the first of many U.S. could see land; could see Australia after Presidents he would meet throughout the years. During his career he worked direct- leaving Florida 45 minutes earlier. I was looking at Sydney.” ly with Reagan and Bush (H.W.).

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. He now wants to share his enthusiasm and passion, especially with the younger generation, and KSC is the perfect place to do that. There is so much to see, and the many interactive exhibits there make learning about the space program not only educational, but fun. To

By Michelle Colesanti

see everything, you should plan to spend more than one day at the facility. 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. During your KSC visit, check out each ‘flown’ vehicle from every American space program including the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle (Atlantis) missions. Another exciting offering is a four hour ‘Fly with an Astronaut’ program where you can explore KSC as part of a small group with a veteran NASA astronaut guide, and then enjoy lunch together. It is offered around three times a month all year long and expanded during the holiday season to include dinner with an astronaut. Check the website for more details. Astronauts are an elite group – there are only 400 to 500 around the world since the space program began. In the U.S., there were 12 astronauts in the 2017 graduating class. Thirty-five nations now have astronauts, and in the U.S. there are about 50 currently active. Come and meet one. Visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com to plan your visit.

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January 2018

Page 5

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Campo Family YMCA Offers Weekly Art Instruction Classes For Adults By Kathy L. Collins






FOLLOW US: 918 Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Brandon, FL 33511 657-2418 (fax) 657-4469

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Marie Gilmore

Tamas Mondovics







Michelle Colesanti

Kathy Collins







Area residents who love to create art gather at the Campo Family YMCA in Valrico every Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to create art under the instruction of Jennifer Hand.

The Campo Family YMCA is about more than just physical fitness. The Campo Family YMCA offers an art class for adults 17 years and older. The group meets every Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Campo Family YMCA located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. The art group has been meeting for more than 15 years. They continued to meet even after their long-time instructor, Minette Webster, passed away. The art group is now led by Art Instructor, Jennifer Hand. “My goal in teaching this class is to encourage creativity,” said Hand. This is a very diverse group of artists. Some of them have been artists for a long time, while some of them dabbled in art and others took up art upon retirement. Hand has a bachelor’s degree in art and education and a master’s degree in art integration. She teaches all art media including basic watercolor, acrylic landscapes and portraits. The group works on one to two projects per month. They are currently working on abstracts. Hand said, “It is hard for older adults to think in abstracts. They tend to want to draw what they see. This requires a whole dif-

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ferent way of thinking.” The next project will be a favorite of the group. They will work on portraits for the Memory Project. This is a non-profit that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges such as violence and natural disasters. The group participates in the Memory Project every January. Hand said, “It is a very moving experience.” Hand added, “The members of the group did not think that they could do this. However, after working on it for a month, they find that they can in fact create a portrait.” Gretchen Elizabeth, a resident of Lithia, has been attending the group for two years. “The class is so varied. Jennifer is so talented in teaching us,” said Elizabeth. Susan Starnes from Brandon has been creating art with the group for five years. Starnes said, “We just love Jennifer. She has so much integrity. She is conscientious in teaching.” The art class at the Campo Family YMCA is a fee based class and fees vary. For more information, please contact Kavita Marballi at 684-1371 ext. 1606.

by Bay Area Clean Team

Kathi Hayes

Cyndi Cisneros







Terry Vassalotti

Denise Graf







Chuck Hoening

Kate Quesada







Patricia Tracy

Carole Fluhart







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Trisha Becker






Melissa Hartmann



If interested in advertising in our Brandon or Valrico editions, please contact us at 813-657-2418. CHRISTIAN VOICE EDITOR

Amanda Boston




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Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Hillsborough County’s Military Farm Tours Focus On Careers Beyond The Field

By Tamas Mondovics

In its contin“The tour will ued effort to take participants to assist its veterans a variety of farming Hillsborough operations and the County has once University of Florida again arranged to Gulf Coast host a free bus Research and tour of local agriEducation Center in culture businesssouthern es to provide milHillsborough Visitors get a tour of the Keel & Curley itary veterans, County,” said Winery. The business gave Military Veterans reservists, transi- an opportunity this month to explore career County options available in the agriculture industry. Agribusiness tioning activeduty personnel, and their spouses an Development Manager, Simon Bollin. opportunity to explore career options in “The tour is an opportunity to support our the agriculture industry. local vets who are now looking to transiHillsborough County has the fourth tion into civilian life.” largest Veteran population in Florida The tour is possible thanks to a partboasting of nearly 100,000. nership between Hillsborough County The Military Agriculture Tour is sched- Economic Development, Hillsborough uled for 8 a.m. on Friday, January 19, County Farm Bureau, Hillsborough 2018, from Hillsborough County County Extension Service and community Extension Service, 5339 County Road partners. 579 in Seffner. Bollin emphasized that at each stop, According to County officials, today’s local officials and participating business agriculture industries increasingly focus owners will highlight the diversity of agrion using technology and management cultural operations in Hillsborough systems for the production of food, mediCounty. cine, consumer products and energy, More information on Military which is playing a significant role in Agriculture Tour community partners and assisting tour participants to be introcareer resources for transitioning veterduced to career paths and job opportunians are available at ties within modern production agriculture HillsboroughCounty.org/Vets2Ag. operations and supporting industries. Pre-registration at During past tours local vets had a www.eventbrite.com/e/military-agriculturechance to visit and meet with local farmtour-tickets-19223128896 is required. ers at such facilities as Fancy Farms Seating is limited. Lunch is provided. Vegetable Farm; Harrell’s Nursery; Oak Contact Simon Bollin, agribusiness Ridge Fish Hatchery, and Keel & Curley development manager, at 276-2735 or Winery. bollins@HillsboroughCounty.org.

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January 2018

Page 7

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

By Kate Quesada

Fountain Opening, Food Trucks And More Park Square Fountains Open For Play

FishHawk Food Truck Rally Returns

The The new January Park Square FishHawk Fountains, Ranch Food which have Truck Rally will been under take place on construction Saturday, for months, January 20 from will open to 5-9 p.m. in the residents with Osprey Club a ribbon cutparking lot. ting ceremony Tampa Bay Photo courtesy of Andy Barrera on Sunday, Food Truck January 4, following the January Market Rally will roll out 15 food trucks, offering Day in Park Square. an eclectic selection of fine cuisine. FishHawk Community Development Admission is free, customers only pay for District (CDD) II Vice-Chairman Pat Reilly the food they order and entertainment will will be present to age opening remarks at be provided by a mobile DJ truck. the event, starting at 2 p.m. The rally is also an opportunity to The project required demolition of the help those in need as volunteers from original fountain and underground operat- Seeds of Hope, Inc. will be on hand to ing system and construction of a high-end collect pasta, canned fruit, cereal, peanut commercial grade structure with state-ofbutter and jelly, rice, canned tuna and the-art nozzles, controllers and operating chicken and pancake mix for those in systems. The mens’ and ladies’ restneed. rooms adjacent to the fountain have also Parking will be available directly been renovated as part of the project across the street at Bevis Elementary. which was funded by CDD II with availLawn chairs and picnic blankets are welable funds. come as seating is available on a first For more information, visit www.fishcome, first served basis. hawkcdd2.org. For more information, visit www.tampabayfoodtruckrally.com.

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Page 8

Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

The Triumphant Return Of Jahja Ling To The Florida Orchestra By Kelly Smith The Florida Orchestra opens the New Year with a true highlight of its 50th anniversary season: the return of former music director Jahja Ling for a special weekend of concerts Friday to Sunday, January 5-7 in Tampa and St. Petersburg. He will conduct Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 -- performed by his wife and noted Beethoven interpreter Jessie Chang -- and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2. That’s the same symphony Ling conducted in 1987 for TFO’s 20th anniversary, a pivotal performance that led to his appointment as music director in 1988. Popular with both musicians and patrons, his tenure lasted until 2002. The January 5 concert at the Straz Center is also a fundraiser presented by Classical WSMR radio, with proceeds going toward improving the signal of the only classical radio station in Tampa Bay. Tickets for this concert only range from $27.75 to $57.75. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for a reception where you can meet Ling. The concert is repeated January 6 & 7 at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, including a Sunday matinee. See floridaorchestra.org for details on all performances. Other upcoming highlights include:

Rodgers & Hammerstein (Friday & Saturday, January 12-13):

Broadway star Lisa Vroman wraps up a few of our favorite things from Rodgers & Hammerstein including songs


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from The Sound of Music, The King and I, Oklahoma! and more. Stuart Malina conducts, with a new Saturday matinee at the Mahaffey. Part of the Raymond James Pops series.

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Dvorak’s Cello Concerto (Friday to Sunday, January 1921):

Feel the joy and heartbreak of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto, one of the greatest love songs ever written, featuring Maximilian Hornung. Plus a rarely heard work: Janacek’s bold and brassy Sinfonietta -- with 12 trumpets! Michael Francis conducts. There will be a new Sunday matinee at the Mahaffey; free tickets for kids and teens in advance as part of the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series.

Distant Worlds: music of FINAL FANTASY (Friday & Sunday, January 26 & 28):

With composer Nobuo Uematsu in attendance, the phenomenally popular video game franchise comes to life on the big screen as the orchestra performs live at the Mahaffey, under the baton of Grammy-winner Arnie Roth. Cosplay welcome! Concert tickets: $25, $35, $50, $60, $75, $95. Separate VIP Experience with the composer: $50 The Florida Orchestra regularly performs at the Straz Center in Tampa, Mahaffey in St. Petersburg and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Purchase tickets at floridaorchestra.org or call 727-8923337 and 800-662-7286.

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Capital Tacos has opened a new location at 119 W. Bloomingdale Ave. and John Moore Rd. in Brandon. It joins The Mill and Olde Town Pizzeria.

Capital Tacos has brought its awardwinning combination of traditional Mexican cooking and regional Tex-Mex flavors to Brandon. The restaurant, which also has locations in Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel and New Port Richey, opened its Brandon store at 119 West Bloomingdale Ave., next to Olde Town Pizzeria and The Mill, on Monday, December 18. “Capital Tacos food is freshly prepared and made from scratch, and served in a quick, affordable, friendly way,” said co-owner Josh Luger. The restaurant, which was founded in 2013, has been awarded by Foursquare/Yelp as having a Top 3 taco in the United States (and the top outside of Austin, Texas). “We pride ourselves on being a local, homegrown business that establishes deep ties in the communities we operate in, and can thankfully say that each of the communities we operate in

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have welcomed us enthusiastically with open arms,” Luger said. Capital’s core menu consists of 25 chef-created signature items with all the ingredients made from scratch every day and served in five different varieties (i.e. The Five Ways To Capital): as a taco, burrito, rice bowl, salad or nachos. The restaurant is also launching a Capital Bakery at the Brandon location where all of the tortillas will be made from scratch. Side items include scratch-made Mexican rice, black beans and pinto beans. A variety of beverage options are available, highlighted by a wide-selection of domestic, Mexican and local craft beers, as well as wine, specialty Mexican sodas, iced tea and a mix of its own line of Capital fountain soda flavors. Capital also offers complete kids meal options. The Brandon location is beginning with a “silent opening” with limited hours from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for the remainder of the year (the restaurant will be closed on Christmas Day). In January, the restaurant will shift to a 2-8 p.m. schedule, and then go to full hours in February (Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.). To learn more about Capital Tacos, visit capitaltacos.com. You also can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CapitalTacos.

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January 2018

Page 9

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

AJ’s Fine Wines & Liquor

Custom Cleanups, LLC is a small locally-owned residential cleaning company that has teamed up with Cleaning For A Reason, an international nonprofit serving women with cancer. The company is dedicated to helping make family life easi- Jacqueline Costello, the er and focuses owner of Custom Cleanups, LLC offers on giving great free house cleanquality services women ing to cancer patients at reasonable during treatment. rates. Custom Cleanups understands that it is important to build long-term relationships with their clients and makes sure each client gets the personal experience. “I am a cancer survivor myself so I know how big of a gift it is to receive help during treatment,” stated owner Jacqueline Costello. “As a way to give back these women in need, there is no better way I know than to provide patients and families with the gift of a clean and comfortable home. These patients need to focus on their health and family not on cleaning their homes.” Custom Cleanups has agreed to help women battling cancer by cleaning two homes per month for four consecutive months at no charge. The only require-

ment is that the homes be within the company’s existing service area of Lithia. For more information about this company, visit www.customcleanups.com. In partnership with maid services throughout the United States and Canada, Cleaning For A Reason is celebrating 10 years of dedicated service to women battling cancer by Making A Difference One Home At A Time™. Together, these two forces offer free house cleaning to meet the needs of women, and since 2006, have donated more than $6 million in free services, helping more than 22,600 women with cancer. Based in Lewisville, TX, Cleaning For A Reason works with more than 1,200 professional cleaning companies and continues to grow and gain support. To learn more about Cleaning For A Reason and to apply for free house cleaning, visit www.cleaningforareason.org. For more information on Custom Cleanups, LLC, call 455-2803. Visit www.facebook.com/customcleanupsllc/.

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Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

FishHawk RN Joins New Staff And New Treatments At Artisan Aesthetics

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The New certified Year is an nursing exciting time assistant at Artisan and first Aesthetics responder. Plastic She is curSurgery and rently Laser Center. studying to The group, attend which has graduate Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Doctor Stan Castor. Bille Jo Yost R.N. Carlye James. locations in school to Riverview and Tampa, recently added become a Physician Assistant. three staff members and a new treatment Hall brings 10 years of experience in to help local’s look and feel their best. the surgical field to her new position as Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon the group’s surgical coordinator. Doctor Stan Castor, who has more than “Megan coordinates all of the surger15 years of experience in cosmetic plastic ies booked here,” said Castor. “She is surgery, welcomed Billie Jo Yost, R.N., dedicated to making each patient’s expeCarlye James and Megan Hall to the rience a positive one, and the level of practice recently. customer service in addition to her dediYost, a FishHawk resident and milication and compassion to our patients is tary wife, is the operating and recovery her number one priority.” room nurse at Artisan Aesthetics. She Castor, himself a native Floridian with has a bachelor of science in nursing from a wife and three children and degrees Hawaii Pacific University and has more from Florida Southern College, the than 19 years of experience in the ICU University of Pennsylvania School of and PACU. Her husband is a Marine, so Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic Yost has had the opportunity to help Foundation, is also excited about the new patients all over the country from Hawaii, Cellfina Cellulite Reduction treatment California and Nevada to Virginia, offered at his offices. Pennsylvania and North Carolina. “This machine uses a micro needle As the front office administrator, to cut through fibers under the skin that 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” appointments, greets all incoming Artisan Aesthetics is located at 13109 patients and performs administrative U.S. Hwy. 301 S. in Riverview and 5383 responsibilities. The Florida native earned Primrose Lake Circle in Tampa. Call 971a Bachelors of Science degree from the 2000 or visit www.DrCastor.com or visit University of Florida’s College of Public www.artisanplasticsurgerycenter.net/cellfiHealth in addition to being trained as a na.

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Manna On Wheels Meets Physical And Spiritual Needs Of The Hungry

By Michael Smith

Since 2006 Buddy Bass, who spent Bass and his nonprofit many years working as organization Manna on an insurance agent, said Wheels have been using the joy of seeing somefood to help the lost and one come to know the those in need--feeding not Lord is the greatest gift just their body, but their he receives from the eternal soul. ministry. He also enjoys Manna, founded by seeing people who have Bass and his wife, Jane, very little be so happy to focuses on feeding the Photo courtesy/Buddy Bass/Manna receive food to feed their on Wheels family and working with hungry and sharing the Buddy Bass and his wife, Jane, message of hope found in founded Manna on Wheels in June other believers in doing Jesus Christ. the Great Commission. 2006. Bass, a 67-year-old Bass said Manna’s Dover resident, said that Manna biggest need is prayer that God will reaches out to those in need whergive them a clear vision for His ever God leads, supplying food work and funds as He directs. boxes through local church“We can always use es. Manna also provides more daily help in picking food weekly to two local up food donations and children’s homes, two bringing them to our local homes for mentally diswarehouse, sorting food and abled adults, and a rehabilitamaking up food boxes for those tion home for recovering addicts. in need,” Bass said. “We have a Additionally, it distributes bulk food to definite need for a reliable cargo van other ministries in for daily food pickthe area. This year, ups.” Manna sent more As for the than 55,000 future, Bass said pounds of food to Manna, which is Puerto Rico, South governed by a Florida and Ocala board of directors after Hurricane of 10 people, has a Irma. planning committee So far this year working on the Manna has been organization’s busiblessed to be part ness plan. of more than 75 “The future is Courtesy/Buddy Bass/Manna on Wheels professions of faith. Manna on Wheels is a nonprofit organization of course up to that focuses on feeding the hungry and shar- God,” he said. “We In 2016, ing the message of hope found in Jesus Manna gave out plan to take a step Christ. nearly 156,000 of faith and pounds of food raise funds to to more than hire a person 8,000 families. to take over This year, the day-to-day through operations.” September 30, Bass Manna already wants Manna had given out to plan an outmore than reach for 363,000 every other pounds of food. month in 2018 In and continue November, its ministry to Courtesy/Buddy Bass/Manna on Wheels Manna hosted Manna on Wheels needs volunteers to sort food and the homeless make up food boxes for those in need. its annual Dover and sharing Thanksgiving Jesus. Outreach, providing more than 225 meals To learn more about Manna on with the help of more than 50 volunteers. Wheels or to make a donation or volunGod blessed the event with two profesteer, visit Manna’s Website at mannaonsions of faith. wheels.org or call Bass at 767-5708.

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 17, Issue 1

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.

January 2018

Page 13

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

By NITISH S. RELE nitishrele@gmail.com

Capable Land Rover Discovery Replaces LR4


supportive seats. Forget the DISCOVERY HSE The 16-way power body LR4. The adjustable front seat midsize SUV has along with a tilt and been substituted Wheelbase: 115.08 inches telescopic steering by the 2017 Length: 195.6 inches column can accomLand Rover Weight: 4,916 pounds modate the largest of Discovery. It is drivers. equipped with a Fuel capacity: 22.5 gallons Accommodating 3.0-liter turboCity: 21 mpg seven, with just a diesel V-6 Highway: 26 mpg touch of a button, engine (Td6) Web site: www.landrover.com both the rear seats belting out an fold down. Space ample 254 abounds inside with a dual glove box, horsepower @ 3750 rpm and 443 huge center console and a decentlypounds-feet of torque @ 2250 rpm sized trunk area. Other standard while mated to a responsive 8-speed amenities include a rotary gear shifter, auto gearbox. A permanent all-wheel tri-zone auto a/c, power panoramic drive delivers necessary torque to the sun roof and tailgate, heated front/rear rear wheels. Using the exclusive seats, 825-watt Meridian sound sysTerrain Response system, pick one of the following as per road/weather con- tem and a 10-inch LCD screen. Dual front and side airbags, side ditions: general (for daily driving), curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts, sand, brakes with Brake Assist and rock crawl and dynamic. Credit an Electronic Brake Distribution, hill independent front and rear electronic descent control, side door impact air suspension (enables the ride to beams, Electronic Stability and traction lower 1.6 inches to enable easy control, front/rear parking sensors, ingress/egress) for a remarkably supanti-rollover system, front crumple ple ride on the 20-inch wheel SUV. zones, two-speed electronic transfer Tow capacity is a remarkable 7,716 case with torsion-center differential, pounds. rear camera, daytime running lights Longer but lower with a slight boost in wheelbase, the Discovery is a and tire pressure monitoring system are standard. fitting replacement for the LR4. Its No doubt this diesel-charged and familiar clamshell hood meets up with luxury-packed Land Rover is nippy of jewel-like LED headlights and a mesh the mark, sprightly in traffic and a grille hosting the vehicle emblem. The pleasure to drive. Plus, you can put cabin is decked in typical Land Rover the SUV’s off-road prowess to use. fashion with rounded instrument Now you all need is $65,950 and gauges, straightforward climate, navigation and entertainment controls, and change.




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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 17, Issue 1

January 2018

MGM National Harbor Offers Perfect Weekend Getaway By Marie Gilmore It was supposed to be a Bucket List filled weekend. My motherin-law Ada Gilmore wanted to see Cher perform live which would complete a Bucket List trip for her. So great….grab some friends and book a hotel room at the MGM National Harbor, a gorgeous new resort hotel complex just outside of Washington, D.C. that offers hotel, casino, shopping, restaurants and a 3,000 seat luxury theatre. Sounds easy…especially with direct flights and a one hour and 45 minute fly time. However, we didn’t anticipate Hurricane Irma to cripple airline travel and cause delays, panic and gas shortages. We were fortunate to fly out of Florida the Saturday morning prior to Irma hitting the state and the airport closed for business hours later. But, we made the most of our trip and were very fortunate to have family and friends safe back home in Florida. We made it back two days later than planned but hotels, airlines and residents of the area were very kind and accommodating to us. Fulfilling the Bucket List! Cher has still got it! In fact, I don’t think she ever lost it and sitting in Row 3 for a Cher production concert with her greatest hits, historical photos of her partner in music Sonny and amazing Bob Mackey

Page 15

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

costumes. Listening to amazing sing-alongs from an artist who can hold a plank for six minutes is absolutely a thrill. Cher travelled between the MGM and her residency at the Park Theater at Monte Carlo in Las Vegas throughout 2017. The MGM National Harbor casino hotel and resort is the perfect weekend destination. Inside the modern and well-appointment resort is a 24-story, 308-room resort features premier amenities and a world-class casino with over 125,000 sq. ft. of space that includes slots, table games and poker; a state-of-the-art spa and salon; an entertainment theater with flexible seating for up to 3,000; high-end branded retail including the first Sarah Jessica Parker retail shoe location, plus 50,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. This joins a popular food hall concept and stand alone restaurants from renowned local, national and international chefs. The Theater at MGM National Harbor provides fans the opportunity to see world-class entertainment in an intimate setting. The recently opened Theater features seven VIP suites and flexible seating designs, accommodating 3,000 guests for reserved-seating events and a little more than 4,000 for general admission shows. Visit mgmnationalharbor.com of follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Voltaggio Brothers Steak House A Must See At MGM National Harbor Within the MGM National Harbor, there is a foodie’s delight. Several great restaurants but the highlight is the intimate and decadent setting of the Voltaggio Brothers Steak House centrally located within the resort hotel. Despite being directly outside of the entrance to a world-class casino, diners will want to dress to impress and make a reservation for this great restaurant. Arrive early and grab a seat in the library bar and sample a craft cocktail or single-malt before dinner. Once seated, the menu draws inspiration from the brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, best known for their appearances during the Emmy-winning season of Top Chef. The pair has designed a modern Steak House with dishes drawing inspiration from their home state of Maryland amid nostalgic design details and contemporary furnishings that produce a feeling of coming home. The restaurant menu features both familiar and nuanced offerings such as dry-aged cuts and playful riffs on classic steakhouse fare including shrimp cocktail, wedge salad and the twice-baked potato. Reflective of its namesake, the space itself mirrors a home complete with nos-

By Marie Gilmore

talgic design elements and childhood photos of the Voltaggio family. During our meal, which was the perfect start to a concert evening, we sampled the tasting menu, a great option for a good overview of the extensive menu. Options include choice of salad, choice of entree, shared side and choice of dessert. Try the Beefsteak Tomato Heart salad with homemade Burrata cheese, olive, basil to start accompanied by homemade Parker House Rolls, followed by the eight-ounce Wagyu Flat Iron Steak cooked to order with rich and decadent Macaroni & Cheese with three-year aged Cheddar and finished with the Upside Down Lemon Tart with aerated lemon, fennel, pollen, brown butter and whipped maple. A full menu is also available along with an extensive wine list and hand crafted cocktails from the bar. If given the chance, make a reservation at Voltaggio Brothers and enjoy an excellent night out. Open every day at 5 p.m. Visit mgmnationalharbor.com for reservations.

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Page 16

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 17, Issue 1

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. Point complex including the Patriot’s “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.

January 2018

Page 17

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Metro Development Fills First Crystal Lagoon In U.S., Lennar Releases Active-Adult Floorplans


Staff Report

Metro Development Group recently began to fill the first Crystal Lagoon in the nation at the new Metro Places community of Epperson in Wesley Chapel. It will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and is the first of four Lagoons Metro Development Group is building in Florida. A Grand Opening Celebration is being planned for early spring 2018 where Olympic Greg Singleton, President of Metro Development Group, Swimmer and 23-time stands near pond location at the Epperson Community being developed in Wesley Chapel. The Nation’s first Gold-Medalist Michael Crystal Lagoon is scheduled to open in early spring Phelps is scheduled to 2018. It will take 45 to 60 days to fill the lagoon with 15 appear. Phelps recently million gallons of water. signed with Crystal gle-family homes will open for sale in Lagoons as its Global Ambassador to January and the villas will begin selling bring swimming and water sports to in March. more communities around the world Lennar’s single-family homes in via Crystal Lagoons’ industry-leading the community range from 1,683-2,775 technology. sq. ft. The villas in the Homeowners have community are onebegun to move into or two-story, two-bedEpperson, which will room homes with a have approximately one-car garage and 2,000 homes upon flex space or a loft. completion, and will be The homes will the first residential include ULTRAFi, community in the which will provide Connected City. internet speeds The centerpiece of up to one of the resort-style gigabit per seccommunity will be ond. Residents the 7.5 acre tropican use multiple cal lagoon providing devices at once and it families hours of enterwill not slow down tainment, relaxation the internet speed. and beachfront views “We are looking right in their backyard. forward to bringing Metro this exciting amenity Development Group to the U.S. for the will soon break ground first time ever,” said on a second Lagoon at Greg Singleton, President, Metro the Metro Places community Development Group. “Filling the Southshore Bay in Wimauma in early Lagoon at Epperson is the first step as 2018. Metro continues to raise the bar and Lennar Releases Active Adult bring cutting-edge technologies to our Floorplans other communities, including Lennar Homes announced that it ULTRAFi.” will build its first Tampa Bay area For more information on Lennar active-adult homes in the new homes in this community, call 877Montage at the SouthShore Bay com205-1328 or visit LennarTampa.com. munity. Visit The floorplans have been www.MetroDevelopmentGroup.com designed with ‘aging in place’ in mind. and www.MetroPlaces.com for more Montage at SouthShore Bay will have eight model homes, featuring both sin- information on the new lagoon communities. gle-family homes and villas. The sin-

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How Can You Improve Melissa L Haskins

Your Financial Fitness This Year?

Financial Advisor

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get healthier, you may already be taking the necessary steps, such as improving your diet and increasing your exercise. Of course, phsycial fitness is important to your wellbeing – but, at the same time, don’t forget about your financial fitness. Specifically, what can you do to ensure your investment situation is in good shape? Here are a few “healthy living” suggestions that may also apply to your investment portfolio: • Build endurance – Just as exercise can help build your endurance for the demands of a long life, a vigorous investment strategy can help you work toward your long-term goals, such as a comfortable retirement. In practical terms, this means you will need to own some investments with the potential to provide long-term growth. These are the investments that, ideally, you can hold on to for decades and eventually reap the benefits of capital appreciation. Of course, growth-oriented investments, such as most types of stocks, will rise and fall in value over the short term, and there’s no guarantee of profits, or even preserving principal. But if you choose wisely, and you’ve got the patience and discipline to hold on to your investments through the market’s ups and downs, you may well be rewarded. • Maintain an ideal “weight” – You can help yourself stay healthy by maintaining your ideal weight. This can be challenging – as you know from the recently finished holiday season, it’s easy to put on a few extra pounds. And, just as inadvertently, your portfolio can tack on some unneeded weight, too, in the form of redundant investments. Over time, you may have

picked up too many similar investment vehicles, resulting in an overconcentration, or “flabbiness,” that can work against you, especially when a market downturn affects the asset class in which you’re overloaded. So, you might be better off liquidating some of your duplicate, or near-duplicate, investments, and using the proceeds to help broaden your investment mix. • Get proper rest – Many studies have shown that we need adequate rest to stay alert and healthy. In your life, you’ve probably already found that if you over-tax your body, you pay a price in your overall wellbeing. If you look at your investment portfolio as a living entity – which, in a way, it is, as it certainly provides life to your goals and aspirations – then you can see that it, too, can be weakened by stress. And one of the main stress factors is excessive trading. If you’re constantly buying and selling investments in an attempt to boost your returns, you may rack up hefty fees, commissions and taxes – and still not really get the results you wanted. Plus, if you’re frequently moving in and out of different investments, you’ll find it hard to follow a unified, long-term strategy. So, confine your trading to those moves that are really essential – and give your portfolio a rest. To enjoy your life fully, you’ll want to take care of your physical and financial health – and, as it turns out, you can make similar types of moves to help yourself in both areas. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Melissa L Haskins, Financial Advisor

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Page 18

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition


Calling All That Are Creative! - Recycled Yard Art Contest - 2018 Florida State Fair


By Lynn Barber

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

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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As you may know by now, twice each year, UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, sponsors Recycled Yard Art Contests, one at the Florida State Fair and one at the Hillsborough County Fair. The purpose of the Recycled Yard Art Contest is to increase environmental awareness and encourage reuse/recycling of materials into yard art. The competition involves two and three dimensional art created from items already used for their original purpose. The objective of this article is to request entries from all of you with the creative gene or the desire to give it a shot! There are four categories for entries: adult, high school, middle school and grade school, individual or group submissions. Each category has one winner and there is a people’s choice winner which is the creation that receives the most votes from the public. Past entries have included many types of items, from metal to glass, tires to fence posts and CDs to footwear.

Items need to be able to withstand outdoor elements, ready for installation and weigh less than 40 pounds. You do have time to ponder what you will create. The Florida State Fair starts on February 8 and ends on February 18. Entries need to be delivered to the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in Tampa at the Florida Center (enter through the Orient Road Gate) on Friday, February 2, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. or Saturday, February 3, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Entries must be accompanied by an entry form which includes the participant’s name, address, telephone number, etc. All of the contest winning entries will be on display at the UF/IFAS Extension Service, 5339 County Road 579, Seffner, FL 33584, for one month after the contest ends and fair closes. For more information, contact Lisa Meredith, MeredithL@Hillsboroughcounty.org, or call her at 744-5519 x 54146. Get crafting and good luck. Thanks for Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and Repeating.

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It may feel overwhelming to start talking about summer vacation in December, but now is the time to begin planning. What better way to help warm you up, then to have warm thoughts of vacation. To help start with the planning process, below are a few travel tips: 1. Plan 6-7 months out. This ensures you can obtain the travel dates wanted. Plus, it leaves plenty of time to check flights and obtain visas if needed. And depending on where you want to go and the time of year, planning may need to occur even earlier than seven months out. 2. Location. Narrow down exactly where you want to go. For example, rather than say you want to go to Europe, identify which country you want to visit. Perhaps it is Italy or Greece. This provides focus and from there, an itinerary can be built around those countries. 3. Activities. Give some thought as to what you would like to do on vacation. Do you want to hike? Is visiting cultural sights important to you? Are you a foodie? How do you envision your dream vacation? “Before I make any recommendations, regardless if it is a cruise or land package, I spend time with my clients listening to their dreams, what they want from a vacation, and the memories they hope to create,” said Jenifer Breaux, Dream Vacations franchise owner and vacation specialist in Lithia. “Vacations should be crafted to the individual. This is a memory that you will keep for your lifetime, and by planning in advance, we are able to work together to achieve it.” For more information or to be matched with the vacation of your dreams, please call Jenifer Breaux of Dream Vacations at 813.667.7000 or visit www.JBVacationPros.com.

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January 2018

Page 19

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Local Community Rallies Around Family Of Chris Scigliano After Tragic Loss At the beginning of December, a well-known community member died while coordinating a memorial community fundraiser due to a tragic and fatal car accident. Chris Scigliano, 44, was the event coordinator for the Deputy Morrell Memorial Carnival, a scholarship fundraising event for a longtime Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy who died in June after a battle with cancer. Scigliano, the general manager of Jake’s Wayback The Scigliano Family. Chris with wife Maryanne Burgers in FishHawk, was known for getting involved. He and children Nicole, Andrew and Matthew. Right: More than 200 attended a candlelight vigil at Park would support Toys for Tots Square following the loss. with annual visits with Santa, fundraisers for schools and sports associ- Scigliano was first hit by a Chevrolet pickup truck. The impact caused him to be ations, donations, and was well as being struck by a second vehicle, a Ford SUV. known in FishHawk as an entrepreneur He was pronounced dead following the and community advocate. crash. On the second night of the event, A GoFundMe campaign created by held on Church of Christ property on close friend Craig Heid has raised almost Lithia Pinecrest Rd., Saturday, December $15,000 for his wife, Maryanne; three 2, Scigliano opened a side gate to allow a kids, ages 11, 9 and 3; and step-son, 21. vehicle to exit and was struck as he A local charity, Operation Lotus, has stepped onto Lithia Pinecrest Rd.


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community members, including Operation Lotus founder Melanie Brockmeier-Jordy organized a candlelight vigil at Park Square. More than 200 residents gathered to light candles and acknowledge the loss. Mary Berg, community specialist of local foster children’s home A Kid’s Place, wsa in attendence at the vigil. “Every year, Chris would call us and have us bring kids for breakfast with Santa and breakfast with the Easter Bunny. He was



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very generous to our foster kids and will be missed.” The Scigliano family also attended the vigil and funeral services were held at Serenity Meadows and also in New York the following weeks. Christopher James Scigliano, 44, of Lithia, graduated from Holy Cross High School. He lived in New York for 34 years and moved his family to Fishhawk 10 years ago. Chris is survived by his loving family; wife of 12 years Maryanne; children Matthew, Nicole, Andrew and step son Danny; sister Elizabeth, brothers Nicholas and Michael; parents James and Leslie Scigliano. "We know that Chris loved this community and loved his family,” said Brockmeier-Jordy, "I hope it gave his family a sense of peace knowing Chris made a huge impact on this community and that there has been a large loss.” To assist the family, visit https://operationlotus.wixsite.com/website/sciglianofamily.



also pledged 100 percent of proceeds will go to the family and has set up a site https://operationlotus.wixsite.com/website/scigliano-family. Quickly following the tragic accident,


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Page 20

Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Takara Sushi Offers Unique Asian-Inspired American Cuisine

By Michael Smith

Takara Sushi Some of Takara’s owner Eugenia Yu most popular menu describes the food her items include Spicy restaurant serves as Tuna Nachos, Crab “one-of-a-kind, AsianRangoon, Baby Back inspired American cuiRibs, Surf and Turf sine with a twist.” Roll, and Bul-go-gee Sliders. Yu said Yu’s history as a restaurateur in Takara’s menu offers Brandon dates back something for everyto 2003, when she The Jabadahut roll features tempura one, including chilgrouper, avocado, cucumber, krab opened her first dren. salad, topped with tuna, served with Yu, a USF gradurestaurant, Tsunami tempura scallops, krab salad, eel ate, who came to Sushi & Hibachi Grill. sauce, yum yum sauce and spicy sweet chili sauce. Florida from Hong The eatery proved to Kong as an exchange be very popular from student in 1997, designed the interior of the time it opened to when she sold it in the restaurant building, which was former2009. ly occupied by Poblanos In 2012 Yu opened Mexican Grill and Bar. Takara Sushi near the She said Takara, University of South Florida which means ‘treasure’ in in Tampa. Wanting a locaJapanese, offers ‘a comtion with a full-liquor bar plete and memorable dinand more seating and to be closer to home, the ing experience.’ Valrico resident and mother of two moved “It’s an elegant-yet-casual place Takara Sushi to a standalone building in where anyone can come in, relax, feel the Oak Park Plaza at the corner of calm, comfortable and enjoy their time South Kings Ave. and West Lumsden Rd. spent with their friends and families over some great food, drinks and music. It’s an in December 2016. awesome place to hang out like no other Takara Sushi, located at 795 West in Brandon.” Lumsden Rd., celebrated its one-year As a restaurant owner, Yu enjoys anniversary on December 20 with half off being able to work with people who take everything and music from Josh Wesley pride in what they do every day while on the outdoor patio. mentoring and assisting them toward The restaurant, which seats 200, offers happy hour food and drink specials their goals. For more information about Takara Monday to Friday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 Noon- Sushi, call 662-6618 or visit TakaraSushiTampa.com. 5 p.m.



AAA: Don’t Be Fueled: Premium Not Always Worth The Price

Staff Report

AAA released new research that shows paying-up for premium may not be worth the extra money, unless your vehicle absolutely requires it. In a study released last year, AAA found that consumers wasted nearly $2.1 billion dollars fueling vehicles with higher-octane gasoline. While some vehicles are designed to run on premium octane gasoline, others simply recommend it. AAA set out to determine the effects of using premium gasoline in vehicles that recommend it, and whether the benefits in fuel economy and horsepower are worth the higher price at the pump. AAA tested a variety of vehicles that recommend, but do not require the use of premium (91 octane or higher) gasoline. A series of tests were conducted to determine whether the use of premium gasoline resulted in improved fuel economy and increased performance. Although AAA has already proven that these vehicles are unlikely to see any benefit from using premium gasoline during typical city or highway driving, laboratory and on-road tests were performed to simulate extreme driving scenarios such as towing, hauling cargo and aggressive acceleration. Most tested vehicles showed a mod-

est improvement in fuel economy and performance. Since premium gasoline costs 20-25% more than regular, the fuel economy improvements recorded during AAA testing do not offset the potential extra cost to purchase premium gasoline. "Sometimes consumers think they are giving their vehicle a boost by buying a higher-grade gasoline than what is required,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “AAA already proved that there is no benefit to using premium gasoline in cars designed to run on regular. Now we can confidently say that unless the vehicle manufacturer requires it, or you drive in demanding conditions, motorists who buy premium are wasting money at the pump." Last year, nearly 1.5 million new vehicles sold in the United States recommend, but do not require, premium gasoline. The trend toward recommending or requiring higher-octane fuel continues to rise as manufacturers work toward meeting stringent CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards. Drivers of vehicles that require premium gasoline should always use it. Daily national, state, and metro gas price averages can be found at Gasprices.aaa.com or download the AAA Mobile App.



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January 2018

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Page 21

Anytime Fitness In Park Square Offers Great Health Results For Clients Of All Ages

By Kate Quesada

FishHawk Bennett, who residents Beth suffers from scolBennett and iosis, has lost 35 Charlotte Albert pounds and have a health and gained muscle fitness secret they tone since joining don’t mind sharAnytime Fitness ing. Bennett and six months ago. She has also Albert have made noticed many huge wellness other positive strides in the time since they joined FishHawk residents Beth Bennett and Charlotte changes in her Anytime Fitness Albert work out at Anytime Fitness in FishHawk health, including Ranch’s Park Square with trainer Andrew an 11 degree in FishHawk Zoellner. improvement in Ranch’s Park her spinal curvature, a significant health Square and they credit their changes to the gym’s convenient location, superior change that she credits to her work with equipment, supportive atmosphere and Zoellner. helpful team, specifically trainer Andrew “Andrew has a very different Zoellner. approach to fitness training and has Anytime Fitness, owned by military focused on my joints and how muscles veterans Ron and Monica Rigand, offers connect and interact,” said Bennett. “ 24/7 access to gym amenities and a wide Zoellner considers himself to be a variety of equipment including virtual stucombination trainer, teacher and lifestyle coach. dio classes, but also has daily staffed “I take a holistic approach when hours with group and personal training working with clients,” said Zoellner who and personalized health plans. has worked in the fitness industry for Albert, who joined the gym shortly many years including almost eight years before turning 65 years old, works with with amateur golf and tennis players in Zoellner regularly and has developed a Miami. “Most people are looking to fitness plan that keeps her coming back. change and become healthier, but need “I made the decision to improve my health after spending thousands of dolguidance. I try to look at everything that is lars on my husband’s health problems,” going on with them and help them make said Albert. “I realized I could spend long term changes.” money at the gym and maintain a good Anytime Fitness is located at16144 healthy lifestyle well into my 90s or I Churchview Dr., Ste. 201; second floor of could sit back and wait to spend money Park Square. Call 438-8474 or visit on co-pays, deductibles, medications, www.anytimefitness.com for more inforprescriptions and assisted living.” mation.

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Page 22

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 17, Issue 1

Welcome Home Haiti Mission From FishHawk Fellowship Church Builds More Than Houses—It Forges Futures With Hope

By Amanda Boston

With more than half of its populace plagued with illiteracy and unemployment, Haiti is the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere. To help reverse the country’s plight, FishHawk Fellowship Church partnered with Pictured is an almost finished block home with a tin roof that proWelcome Home vides adequate shelter and protection. Haiti in 2013. Welcome Home Haiti seeks to restore the country as it builds homes and provides Haitian men with employment and Christian discipleship. The ministry focuses on raising up godly Haitian men to provide for their family. The nonprofit organization is a boots-on-the-ground ministry in Pillatre, a northern village in Haiti. Its founders, Steve and Shelley Hari, permanently reside on location fostering a relationship with community and coordinating mission teams. The infrastructure of Pictured is the standard mud and stick built home in Pillatre consists of a church, Haiti. This home used to house a family of five. school and medical clinic and issues. satisfies the town’s most basic needs. Welcome Home Haiti builds an However, the personal home average of 12 homes per year. The dwellings are constructed of mud and 400 sq. ft. homes are block construcsticks, which pose sanitary and safety

at FishHawk Fellowship Church. The husband and wife team organizes, trains and leads mission teams to Haiti every March and November. This past November, a team recently finished a home build. Currently, Bryan and Sara are planning a mission trip for high school students in March. The March trip will align with the Hillsborough County School District’s spring break. With 13 mission trips to Haiti, Sara has witnessed the fruits of the ministry and explained, “What started out as Sara Friendshuh is pictured with Haitian children as a way to minister to a group of she teaches them to play the well-known Cracker men and provide provision is Barrel Triangle Peg Game on a makeshift board. now bettering the community as men share labor skills and their testimony of faith.” She continued, “If you can find a mission that is God-oriented, Lord provided and Christ led, it’s an amazing thing to be a part of.” If you would like to tion with no running water and sepaknow more about Welcome Home rate outdoor latrines. The hired Haiti, visit Haitian masonry employees complete www.welcomehomehaiti.com. To the majority of the project. Then the mission team funding the project jour- financially support Welcome Home Haiti, visit neys to Pillatre to install the roof, https://secure.qgiv.com/event/927898/. paint and build furniture. To inquire about upcoming mission FishHawk residents Bryan and trips, contact Robin at missions@fishSara Friendshuh spearhead the hawkfc.org or call 655-7431 Ext. 229. Welcome Home Haiti mission efforts


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January 2018

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Page 23

Page 24

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 17, Issue 1


January 2018

Volume 17, Issue 1

Ph: 657-2418

InThis Section PET HEALTH ....................................PG 27 YEAR IN REVIEW......................PGS 33‐41 SAVE CORAL REEFS.........................PG 42 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT...............PG 44 SPORTS CONNECTION .............PGS 46‐47

Pamper Yourself At VIP Nails Spa

VIP Nails Spa is the ideal destination to get pampered offering comfortable, clean and friendly space to help you relax after a long work day. Owner Ann Nguyen said, “The skillful, professional and experienced staff will treat you like a queen. Whether you need a full day of rejuvenation, a completely new style or a quick manicure, you’ll find it here.” Nail care services offered are acrylic, gel, shellac and dipping. Other services include eyelash extension, facial, waxing & permanent make up and microblading. The hours are Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. VIP Nails Spa is located at 938 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. Call for an appointment at 438-8771. Visit www.vipnailsspas.com.

Dr. Rich Castellano is an artist and an award-winning double board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He is currently the #1 Bellafill facial filler injector in the United States, and he has performed over 3,500 facelifts under local anesthesia. Before you have a facelift or filler injection, make sure you meet Dr. Rich. You are invited to a Facial Beauty Social Mixer Seminar on Thursday, January 18 at 1 p.m. at the Sun City Center Club Renaissance, 2121 Pebble Beach Blvd. Lunch will be served. Call 888-8753223 as seating is limited. ImageLift is located at 3314 Henderson Blvd., Ste. 201 in Tampa. Hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 4639245. Visit www.ImageLift.com or Facebook.com/ImageLift.

New Dental Office Recently Opened In Lithia

José Ruiz, DMD, and Nadine Jean-Baptiste, DMD, are offering dental services to ImageLift Helps You Dr. Rich the community of Lithia at their Refresh And Look Castellano, Board-certi- brand new office, Bayberry Younger    fied facial plastic and Would you like to look reconstructive surgeon. Dental. The full-service, state-ofthe-art family dental practice younger, yet avoid surgery? opened on December 21. Do you have a special event, wedding, It will be fully equipped with the latest reunion, anniversary, or are you just lookproducts and equipment available in the ing to invest in yourself?

dental industry, offering recently celebrated 20 Dr. Ruiz, Dr. Jeanyears of service. Baptiste and the dental “It’s been an incredteam the opportunity to ible journey,” said Steve provide the most up-toManning, owner of date procedures and Master Garage Door. services to their “When we started, we patients. From routine wanted our business to cleanings and simple be known for honest, fillings to more in-depth trustworthy service, and restorative and cosmetthat’s carried us through ic services, patients can all these years. We are expect individualized grateful for our cuscare to help them keep tomers and our commutheir teeth for a lifetime. nity” Dr. Ruiz received Manning, along with his Doctorate of Dental wife, Tawnie Manning, Medicine from the founded the family busiMaster Garage Door Company University of Illinois at ness in Gibsonton in recently celebrated 20 years of service. New Leaf 4D Ultrasound 1997. Chicago. and Spa is set to open in Brandon They sell and repair Dr. Jean-Baptiste in January. garage doors and relatobtained her Doctorate ed accessories, such as springs and of Dental Medicine from LECOM School garage door openers, and respond to of Dental Medicine in Bradenton, and curboth routine and emergency service calls. rently an active member of the Florida people don’t often think about “Most Academy of General Dentistry, American their garage door systems. It’s easy to Dental Association, and Florida Dental take them for granted. But all that Association. changes immediately when there’s a Bayberry Dental is located at 16228 problem with the system. When people Bayberry Glen Dr. in Lithia and is acceptare unable to use their cars or enter or ing new patients. Call 448-6305 or their homes through their garages, secure visit www.BayberryDental.com for it's a major problem,” said Steve appointment. Manning. Call 684-7744. Visit Master Garage Door Company www.MasterGarageDoor.com. Celebrates Two Decades Of Service Master Garage Door Company

Continued on Next Page


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Page 26

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Business Column Continued.............

By Michelle Colesanti

All American Title Donates To Local Military Charities

All American Title, a long time established title company in Hillsborough County, donates every quarter to local military charities. All American Title believes in giving back to the local community it serves and with MacDill AFB right in our back yard, the military is the perfect option. Donating to local military charities can have a very positive effect on customers and their families. All American Title has operated in Hillsborough County for over 22 years and has always supported our troops in various ways. All American Title has two convenient locations in Brandon and Ruskin. Visit www.allamtitle.com or call 684-3330 in Brandon and in SouthShore at 649-9740.

Kidtopia Opens In FishHawk


Local Company Offers Toffee & Treats

Lunch & Learn

On Tuesday, January 19 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Kris Beaird will speak about Leadership Skills at a Lunch & Learn at CoWork Landing, 522 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon.

Vision Workshop: Set Yourself Up For

Toffee Tradition & Treats is a local tofSuccess fee and catering company. Its tradition Set Yourself Up for Success in started right here in the Tampa Bay Area 2018. Certified Life Mastery Consultant over 40 years ago. What started as a Megan Carter will help remove our roadfamily tradition and a treat given to teachblocks for personal success ers and neighwith an energized goal setting bors grew into a workshop. It will take place on business. A variTuesday, January 23 from 6-8 ety of Toffees and p.m. at CoWork Landing, 522 delicious Oakfield Dr. in Brandon. Call Cheesecakes are Shannon to register at 924offered. Flavors 4679. include The Original Little Greek Fresh Grill Chocolate Pecan, Celebrates Third Chocolate Anniversary Toffee Almond Coconut, Tradition is a Little Greek Fresh Grill, a Chocolate local toffee fast-casual Greek restaurant Peppermint, White and catering with an American influence company that has been in the area Chocolate Candy for over 40 years. recently celebrated its third Cane, Chocolate anniversary at 3474 Lithia Almond Coconut, Chocolate Cranberry Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. The owner/operWalnut and Holiday Sprinkle as well as ator is Frank ‘Foti’ an amazing Toffee Cheesecake. Gianniosis. You can find the company at the local Little Greek FishHawk market the first Sunday of the Fresh Grill emphamonth. You can order at www.toffeetradifresh Greek sizes tion.com or dishes created email toffeetradifrom generations tion@gmail.com for of traditional family recipes, with its chickmore information. en items among the most popular. You can also It is open Sunday to Thursday 11 find it on Facebook a.m.-9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday and Instagram at from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and offers dine-in, Toffee Tradition and take-out and catering. Call 685-0819 or Treats.. visit littlegreekfreshgrill.com.

Riverview residents Nick and Susan Clark recently opened Kidtopia, a state of the art indoor playground and tutoring club at 15276 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia. The space is designed for children from toddlers to elementary school ages to play, explore and learn while building relationships and social skills. In addition to all day play hours on inflatables, cannon blasters, ball pits, rock walls and climbing structures, the location offers an after school program with pick-up from local elementary schools offering a balance of play time and learning and Create Your Life tutoring designed by Vision experienced educaBoard The Clark family, tors. Party packages Susan, Makayla Workshop for all age groups are Nick, (8), Madalyn (3) and A also available with priMason (2) recently opened Kidtopia, an Vision vate tables and cusplay area and Board is a tomized options. An in- indoor tutoring club in the way to see store concessions FishHawk Pizzaanchored shopping your own area also offers reaplaza on FishHawk Blvd. ideas to yourself, to sonably priced food anchor to your dreams and allow the and drink choices. magic of manifestation to work in your life. “Being parents ourselves, we have A workshop will take place on Saturday, really thought through how we can best January 13 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at The serve this area and we are excited to Event Gallery, 524 Oakfield Dr. in show the community what we offer,” said Brandon. It will include brunch, mimosas Susan, a fourth grade teacher at Bevis and new friends. Seating is limited to 20 Elementary who has 10 year experience so make your reservations early. in education in Hillsborough County. “Our Visit www.eventbrite.com/e/createfocus is on offering a clean, fun place that your-life-vision-board-workshop-ticketsis safe, engaging and interactive.” 39345129341?aff=es2 or call Shannon Kidtopia is open seven days a week at 924-4679 to register. from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 548-1062 or visit

30-Day New Year Transformational Boot Camp

Starting, January 8, Holistic Health and Wellness offers an online 30 day program will give you all you need to start your New Year off right. Lynne Wadsworth of Holistic Health & Wellness is launching a brand new program that will teach you how you can: lose an average of three to five pounds (and keep them off); feel lighter and have tons of energy; kick sugar crav-

Volume 17, Issue 1

ings to the curb; sleep like a baby, without waking up at 3 a.m.; decrease your belly bloat; get a leaner body just in time for your favorite skinny jeans; and enjoy endless energy throughout the day. Many of us in this busy world don't know how to easily fit health and healthy eating into our busy lifestyles, but this program will show you ways to be healthy, cook healthy meals in a shorter amount of time, and have time and energy left over at the end of the day. Visit http://holistic-healthandwellness.com/new-year-boot-camp/ or call 340-1368 for more information.

SBA Offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans To Small Businesses In Florida Affected By Hurricane Irma

Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations located in the declared counties of Florida that have suffered financial losses as the result of Hurricane Irma, should consider applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are designed to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster and are available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage. To determine if the business is located in a declared county, visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declaratio ns/Index. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.

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Page 27

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

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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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 17, Issue 1

January 2018

one that has legislative experience, the conservative values and the actual courtroom experience, plus I'm the only one with substantial criminal justice experience." ti, an es ol C Spano is an estate lle he Compiled by Mic om .c er planning and probate rv se ob michelle@osprey attorney, but has served on the House criminal justice subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, currently as Veterans Job Fair Tampa chairman. RecruitMilitary helps military vetSpano, 51, is married and has erans and military spouses connect four children ages 18-25. He graduatwith employers that seek to attract, ed from the University of South hire and retain America’s best talent. Florida and the Florida State RecruitMilitary and DAV will host a law school. University Veterans Job Fair on Thursday,

an’s Job Fair, Veter & Honor Mission More…

January 11, 2018 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Armature Works, 1910 N. Ola Ave. in Tampa. This is a free hiring event for veterans, transitioning military personnel, National Guard members, Reserve members and military spouses.

State Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover, Has Filed To Run For Attorney General In 2018

State Rep. Ross Spano, now in his third two-year term in the state House, becomes the fourth candidate to enter the Republican primary for the seat term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi will vacate next year. Asked why he's entering what promises to be a tough primary with three other well-known candidates, one from his own home turf, Spano said he believes he stands out in the field. "If I felt the right person was already in the race I wouldn't have chosen to run," he said. "I'm the only

Page 29

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Yellow Ribbon Flight To Honor Veterans

The Yellow Ribbon mission taking Veterans from Lakeland Linder Airport to Washington DC will take place on April 11, 2018. The mission will be a one day event departing early in the morning and returning that day. The mission will take place during the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in. All Veterans who have not participated in a previous Honor Flight or Flight to Honor are eligible. At the request of numerous veterans of the Vietnam and later eras, options were created that a veteran may select to participate on the mission. Option 1. Veteran accompanied by a Guardian. This is primarily for a Veteran requiring physical assistance

and/or a Guardian specifically requesting to accompany a particular Veteran. The Guardian donates $450 for the opportunity. No cost to the Veteran. Option 2. Veteran unaccompanied by a Guardian, but sponsored by a family member, employer, organization or friend. The sponsor contributes $250 for a seat on the mission for the Veteran. Option 3. Veteran unaccompanied by a Guardian sponsors himself or herself and donates $250 for a seat on the mission. For Options 2 and 3, the Veteran must be physically capable of completing the mission without assistance such as a walker, wheelchair or other mobility device. This does not preclude another veteran accompanying a veteran needing assistance. Veterans wishing to participate are urged to submit an application as soon as possible. Visit PolkVeteransCouncil.com to download an application.

Two Citizens Honored By League Of Women Voters Of Hillsborough County

The League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County (LWVHC) is announcing the selection of two distinguished individuals to be honored for their contributions to the local community and Florida. The following individuals will be honored at the

LWVHC Lifetime Achievement Award Luncheon on Thursday, February 8 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Tampa Airport – Westshore Hotel, 4500 West Cypress St. Geraldine McKinnon Twine - 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award: As a young wife and mother living in the segregated south of the 1960s, and in the face of social and societal obstacles, Twine defied barriers, acquired professional credentials, and attained academic degrees. Now a retired advanced registered nurse practitioner, Twine’s legacy of empowerment and drive lives on through the Geraldine Twine Endowed Scholarship providing financial support to a full-time undergraduate student studying within USF Health with a preference towards Nursing majors and members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Joe Guidry - 2018 Sydney & Thalia Potter Civic Leadership Award: As an editorial writer at The Tampa Tribune from 1984 until the newspaper ceased publication in May 2016, Joe Guidry successfully championed environmental stewardship and wise growth management. With his pen, Guidry has done much to protect Florida’s environment. Guidry’s reasoning encouraged grass roots activists, brought new advocates to the table, and persuaded decisionmakers to protect our natural resources. Registration and more information is available at www.hclwv.org/laa.

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

p, u o r G s s o L Weight Programs Gardening ore… & MMichelle Colesanti, by Compiled rver.com spreyobse o @ e michell

TOPS Weight Loss Support Group

TOPS is a non-profit weight loss support group that shares ideas about nutrition and low calorie choices. There are speaker programs, contests, prizes and fun while getting healthier and thinner. The cost is $6 per month and $34 a year for the National Club. Meetings are held on Tuesday’s from 6:30-7:45 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, located at 121 Carver St.(behind Bills Pharmacy). There is no cost to attend your first meeting. For more information, call Elizabeth at 924-1512.

Learn About Orchids At Riverview Garden Club’s January Meeting

The Riverview Garden Club will hold its business meeting on Wednesday, January 10 at 10 a.m. The guest speaker will be Gerri Almond on Orchids. The club's address is Riverview Civic Center, 11020 Park Dr.

in Riverview. Call 654-6987 for more information.

Hawthorne Hosts Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

To register, call 661-8998 MondayFriday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Master Gardener Clinic At Bloomingdale Regional Library – Are Your Garden Bugs Good Or Bad?

Volume 17, Issue 1

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 foot tables cost $20 each. If interested, call Joe at 727-244-1341 or you can rent online www.regalrailways.com.

Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation Center hosts a On Wednesday, January 3 monthly support group for from 6:30-7:30 p.m., there will be a those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Master Gardener Clinic on Good Disease and caregivers on the third Bugs/Bad Bugs/Integrated Pest Thursday of every month. The next Management given by the Hillsborough County Extension Environmental meeting will take place on January 18 Horticultural Agent and Master from 2-3 p.m. in the Media Center. The speaker will be Mary Crossfield and Gardener Nicole Pinson at the Bloomingdale Library, located at 1906 she will discuss the Benefits of Tai Chi. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. The Parkinson’s Disease support The clinic is free and will address group is free of charge and open to those who have been diagnosed with the question; Are those bugs in your yard helpful, harmful, or harmless? It the disease, family members, careA Simpler Place Farm Friday Night will help you learn to identify common givers and anyone with an interest in Farmers Market yard insects - good and bad - and learning more about Parkinson’s. On Friday, January 12 from 3-7 friendly ways to manage them. Hawthorne Health & Rehabilitation p.m., join in for the monthly farmers' This event is sponsored by the Center, located at and artisan market at A Simpler Place Hillsborough County Master Gardner 851 W. Lumsden Farm. Enjoy dinner on the farm under Program of the Hillsborough County Rd. in Brandon, is the twinkling lights, locally grown proa skilled duce and sample locally made nursing products. facility There will be live music, with inpaadorable photo spots, farm tours tient and at 4 and 6 p.m., a cooking outpatient demonstration from Jessi's rehabilitaFlaming Fruit Sauce and more. tion proInside the farm store, there grams will be local honey, eggs, vegincluding etables, GMO-free proteins, speech, herbs, mushrooms, bread and physical desserts. Also, check out the and occupational therapies. menu for a meal from the A Hawthorne also hosts a Simpler Place Cafe. Monthly Friday night Farmers’ and Artisan Market at A Simpler dementia support group in the You will find artisan crafted Place Farm on January 12 from 3-7 p.m. assisted living facility, as well soaps, locally made pet treats, as past meetings for those dealing with Extension, University of Florida, IFAS jewelry, beef jerky, cheese, salsa, and strokes, diabetes, low vision and other Extension. more. diseases.

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Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

New , n a i d e m o C i b Rab ext Location For hN& Level Churc More…

workspace and a light dinner for Friday; a light breakfast, lunch, drinks and dessert for Saturday. You must bring your own supplies. Registration fees for both days are $45 (Friday only is $25 and Saturday only is $30). There will be raffle prizes and a Creative Memories rep will be there on Saturday for some make-andtakes. Proceeds from this event will benefit Holy Innocents’ mission trips. The event will be held at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, 604 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. You can register at www.hiepiscopal.org. For more info, call the church during business hours at 689-3130.

Next Level Church FishHawk Opens Doors At Its Permanent Location

Next Level Church (NLC) FishHawk invites , Colesanti e ll e h you to its official ic by M com r. e Compiled rv e s launch on Sunday, b o osprey michelle@ January 28 at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. at its permanent location at 10540 Browning Rd. in Lithia. Rabbi/Stand Up Regular service Comic Appearing At times will continue Congregation Beth on Sundays at Shalom 9:30 a.m. and 11 Enjoy 90 minutes a.m. of non-stop laughter For the past at Congregation Beth three years, NLC Shalom of Brandon, has been among 706 Bryan Rd. in the top 10 fastestBrandon on Saturday, growing churches January 6, when ‘the in America. It conworld’s only practicing tinues to live out its clergyman doing mission by opening stand-up new locations to comedy…intentionalreach as many ly,’ returns to Derry by people as possible popular demand in a with the hope and program open to all in love found in the community and Jesus. universally enjoyable. If you are There’s a reason interested in learnwhy Sirius/XM sateling more about NLC FishHawk, check lite radio plays Rabbi Bob Alper’s out NLCFishHawk.com or email the comedy bits several times daily, often FishHawk pastor at sandwiched between Bob Newhart Bobby.Brown@NLC.tv or 740-225and Jerry Seinfeld: Bob’s unique 3095. background…he’s an ordained rabbi who served congregations for 14 Congregation Beth Shalom years and holds a doctorate from Presents An Evening With Author Princeton Theological Seminary…preMorris Wolff, Esq. pared him well for a 28 year comedy Meet and hear Morris Wolff, Esq. career with wonderfully unique materiwho unraveled the mystery of Raoul al presented in a way that’s intelligent, Wallenberg’s disappearance and sued sophisticated, and 100% clean. the former Soviet Union for He is the author of three books Wallenberg’s release. that further showcase his considerable It will take place at Congregation talents: Life Doesn't Get Any Better Beth Shalom, 706 Bryan Rd. in Than This, an inspirational collection Brandon on Saturday, January 20 at 7 now in its fifth printing, the award-winp.m. ning full-color cartoon book A Rabbi Raoul Wallenberg, a Righteous Confesses, and the newly-published Christian who saved thousands of Thanks. I Needed That. He has also Jewish lives during WWII mysteriously produced two best-selling comedy disappeared when the Soviet Union CDs, and a 102-minute DVD, What liberated Hungary. Wolff has been are you…a comedian awarded the United Nations Peace Tickets are on sale and cost $20 Award for Humanitarian Service, and in advance and $25 at the door. Doors the National Council of Christian and open at 6:30 p.m. The show begins at Jews Medal for humanitarian service 7 p.m. for his work in contributing to the Call 681-6547 for more informaUnited States Civil Rights Act of 1964. tion or visit www.bethshalom-branA private wine and cheese event will don.org and follow the link to purkick off the evening. Tickets for the chase tickets online. private event are $18. Wolff will pres-

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ent highlights from his book, Whatever Happened to Raoul Wallenberg and will autograph copies for sale. Donations appreciated and all are welcome. Please RSVP to the congregation office, at 681-6547.

Scrapbooking Event At Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church Benefits Missions

Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church is hosting a weekend scrapbooking event on Friday, January 19 from 6:3010 p.m. and Saturday, January 20 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Registration fees include

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Bass Fishing Club Looking For Members

North Tampa Bass Club is looking for new boaters and nonboaters to this friendly fishing club serving the Tampa area for 30 years. It is a draw format. Anglers and coanglers are randomly paired and fish as a team. Established in 1988, it continues to promote the values of a friendly fishing club with the goal of education, conservation, community service and enhancing the sport of Bass Fishing. Monthly meetings and tournaments help build camaraderie and teach new fishermen the techniques necessary to compete. NTBC is the host for the annual Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) bass tournament and started the Tampa Bay Junior Bass Club for 11-18 year olds. Meetings are the second Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at Gaspar's Patio bar and Grill at 8448 N. 56th St. in Temple Terrace. The next meeting will be on January 9. Visit www.northtampabassclub.com or call Steve Jarrett, President (Valrico resident) at 391-4105.

‘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 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 the band raise money for instrument upgrades and maintenance. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/bloomingdalebulls5k/. The fee for this event is $30. You can register at

https://fitniche.com/event/running-bulls-5k/. All proceeds will go to the Bloomingdale High School Rajun’ Bull Band.

FSU Symphonic Band To Perform At Bloomingdale High School

The Florida State University symphonic band will be performing a free concert on Friday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Bloomingdale Senior High School, 1700 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. This is the last concert of their tour before their Premiere Performance at the University of South Florida, which is hosting the College Band Director Association conference. The band will be performing World premieres by John Mackey and Dr. Kim Archer. For more information please contact the band director at Bloomingdale High School, Jon Sever at jonsever@sdhc.k12.fl.us.

Spring Football At Brandon Broncos

The Brandon Broncos are currently registering football players at all levels for the spring 8 on 8 season. Spots are limited so do not delay as registration will end when all spots are filled. Fee for the entire season is $150 and includes coaching from experienced coaches, personalized jersey and equipment rental. Register at www.brandonbroncos.org.

Boy Scout Mulch Fundraiser

Help local scouts from Troop 632 earn their way to camp. Mulch will be available for purchase until Monday, February 19 and then be delivered February 24-26 and March 2-4. Pine Bark Large Nuggets, Pine Bark Small Nuggets, Cypress and Red are all available for $4 per bag (2 Cubic Ft.). The mulch is delivered free to your home or business. You can purchase online at http://troop632mulch.weebly.com. For more information or to mail in an order, email mulchsales632@gmail.com.

Volume 17, Issue 1

(FHCE). Mrs. Gaines, a second grade teacher at FHCE, is her partner in the newly established Militlary Kids Club. They meet once a Valrico and Circa Fishhawk Kids R Kids families helped 250 foster chilmonth on dren celebrate the holidays by purchasing new holiday gifts for them. Thursday after school. The club is now up to 54 members. There are also other military spouses who help too. Last month the students made welcome bags for new children entering FHC. This is an ongoing project for all new students, not just military. They learned a few facts about the Medal Of Honor, it’s one Iris Green Realty partnered with FishHawk Creek and Stowers of the only Elementary to award one student every quarter with a Kindness medals that can Award. This was its first one awarded to Jordyn Adams was selectbe worn around ed. Jordyn has participated in our school community service nights packed up donated turkey food baskets for 100 families. They the neck. There andjust put out 140 wreaths on graves at the Sarasota Veterans are 13 stars in Memorial.Outstanding school and Community Service = Kindness Award. the district sky blue ribbon that represents 13 colonies and it’s the only medal that can be worn illegally if worn by a person who didn’t earn the medal.

New Miliatry Kids Club At FishHawk Creek Elementary Mrs. Huisman is a military wife and mom with a child at FishHawk Creek Elementary

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FishHawk Creek Elementary learned about the Medal Of Honor. There is a medal for each branch of the service and these kids were proud of their respective branch.

January 2018

Page 33

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

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 editor@ospreyobserver.com

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Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017 Area Student-Athletes Enjoy First Semester Success & Achievement In Multiple Sports

By Tamas Mondovics

Photo courtesy of BYSA

Bloomingdale 10U All-Stars, Emma Velasco, Jansen Warbritton, Riley Porter, Camryn VanGalder, Leah Pabon, Haylee Baker, Ava Velasco. Paige Sanchez, Kimora Okimosh, Emily Knowles, Leanne Allen, Carly Rivera. Charlie Allen, Larry Knowles, Local diver, Aiden Sadler, 11, Jason Warbritton and Eric VanGalder celebrate their smiles after winning first place in state championship victory. the three-meter springboard competition at the USA Diving National Championship in Columbus OH.

The start of the season drew attention to the success of the Bloomingdale 10U girls’ softball all-stars who enjoyed the spotlight after winning both district and state champions on the back of an undefeated season. The team led by program manager Larry Newsome Wolves senior kicker Spencer Shrader (84) gets Knowles represented the extra point against the Sharks during a district game. Bloomingdale communities as well as the state of Florida at the Area student-athletes gave parents, annual Babe Ruth World Series. coaches, and fans a great first half of the Another athlete’s success the com2017-2018 athletic season to which a few munity enjoyed hearing about this fall was highlights provide clear testimony. 11-year-old Fishhawk resident and sixth

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BPHAT Fitness powerlifters Katie Little, 21 and Anna Boettger 15, competed in the annual International Powerlifting League (IPL) World Power lifting competition in Las Vegas last month. Little won gold while Boettger brought home a silver and broke an American record during the tournament.

The Bulls began with a two-game loss but proved their right to appear in the postseason after defeating Class 7A, District 9 rival Durant 21-15. The win set up the program for a round-two, against the Titans in the 7A region three quarterfinal game; the Bulls’ third postseason appearance in school history.

grade Bell Creek Academy student, Aiden Sadler, who has managed to post a solid performance during this year’s 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. The most anticipated sport each fall, of course, is high school football, which continues to draw large crowds to support their teams on Friday nights. While needing some work, Newsome High School fans were not disappointed as the Wolves turned in a solid season after a strong start of a 4-0 overall and 20 district record in preparation for a makeup game against Durant. Before taking on

Riverview, Newsome Head Coach Kenneth Hiscock spoke highly of his players’ commitment, preparation, and hard work in hopes of posting solid season. One of the most praised programs was the Bloomingdale Bulls varsity football team, which following a two-game loss to start the season, managed to refocus and plow through its conference to reach the post season for the third time in school history. Of course, the above highlights but just a few of the hundreds of local student-athletes who have worked hard this fall and deserved the commendation and recognition. The community is looking forward to the second semester for more great achievements to highlight as well as celebrate. For more information about local students and teams, please visit, www.maxpreps.com.


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Page 35

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017 Parents Respond To Hillsborough County School Board Vote To End Courtesy Busing By Tamas Mondovics The year 2017 started off with a one of the most talked about issues, the end of courtesy busing for students living within two miles of their home. While concerned, parents and students had no choice but to voice their worries and await the start of the 20172018 school year and hope for the best. The decision has affected nearly 1,000 students attending Newsome High, Randall and Barrington Middle Schools. Other than the expected increase of pedestrian traffic and the need for motorists to use more caution there were no significant problems reported for the first half of the season. Parents continue to voice their concerns even as school district officials also prepare to end courtesy busing for elementary, students beginning the 2018-19 school year. Original Story printed Jan 2017 As anticipated, Hillsborough County Schools Board’s 6-1 decision last month to end its nearly 20-year-long courtesy busing offered to thousands of students living within two miles of their schools was met with much concern. Parents living in communities like FishHawk Ranch immediately turned to social media in hopes of finding the best way to come to terms with the loss of courtesy busing, a term that many have never heard, and a service that most thought was the norm. “Heavy traffic, long car lines and safety has been our concern for several years. It’s funny how the beginning of the

school year the school Similar to most communities, none board said the area of the 1,000 FishHawk Ranch area stuwas deemed hazdents attending Newsome High, Randall ardous conditions and and Barrington Middle schools who we were always told receive courtesy busing met the state that the solution is to hazardous criteria, school officials said. utilize the buses,” said “Our streets are already gridlocked FishHawk resident with school traffic,” Hayes said adding, “I Kathi Hayes. “Traffic can’t imagine what it will look like next continues to increase year with carlines, students hauling as more residents heavy backpacks walking in the heat move into the area, and afternoon thunderstorms!” suddenly, the area That is just what the “FishHawk The Hillsborough County Schools Board voted 6-1 last month to end isn’t hazardous and courtesy busing for middle and high school students living within two Safe Bus for US!!! Advocacy for Safe now we are losing the miles of their school. The decision is the result of the Districts plan School Bus Transportation Group” on to reduce spending. buses, which makes Facebook planned to find out by means no sense.” of a ‘Safe Bus for Us Drive In,’ scheduled school is hazardous is determined by To explain the decision, school offifor Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Parents state criteria such as traffic count, speed cials mailed out a comprehensive packet were asked to drive their student(s) to limits, traffic path, and whether or not trafto nearly 7,500 middle and high school school to demonstrate the impact to fic signals are controllable,” Arja said. students who will be affected by the roads and traffic among other things, losThe district currently has more than change at the start of the 2017-2018 ing the buses would cause. 4,000 elementary and 7,500 middle and school year, saving approximately $3 milSchool Board member, Melissa high school students living within two lion for the District. Snively, the only vote against the Board’s miles of a school. “Parents of elementary students will decision agreed when she reportedly said Arja said that buses were awarded have more time to plan,” said HCPS that the savings of several million dollars based on temporary hazards, such as spokesperson, Tanya Arja. “We will end are not worth the safety risk and disrupconstruction zones, but were not elementary courtesy busing as well, but tion, a notion that was obviously rejected. removed once the hazard was corrected. not until the 2018-19 school year.” School Parents who feel that the walking “For years students who no longer officials estimate the total saving at nearly path for their students is unsafe may fill met the state’s hazardous criteria, contin$10 million. out a review request form, which was ued to be bussed, costing the district milThe state provides funding to transincluded in their packet and can also be lions of dollars that could be used in the port students who reside more than two found on the District’s website. classrooms,” she said, adding that the miles from their assigned school, for preThe district will also conduct commuphasing out courtesy busing was recomkindergarten or special education stunity meetings in the coming months to mended by the Gibson Consulting Group, dents who require transportation living advise families on alternate ways to get as a means to reduce spending. inside the two-mile boundary. their children to school, including carIt took nearly five months for school Students not meeting the state’s hazpools, organized walking groups and pubofficials to determine that of the 7,495 stuardous criteria are known as courtesy ridlic transportation. dents within the District’s 8 areas only ers, thus the term courtesy busing. For more information, please visit 803 meet the state criteria. “Whether or not a student’s walk to www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

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Page 36

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 17, Issue 1

Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017 County Closes Paul Sanders ‘Tree’ Park To Begin Two Month Park Renovation Project

Four-Term Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee To Retire September 30

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 natural canopy, the there is little park has been doubt. The the favorite busy Paul hangout for Sanders Park, the thoualso known as sands of the “tree Paul Sanders Park is getting a visitors it park” in facelift and is scheduled to be sees annuBrandon also temporarily closed until the end of March. ally. Picnic enjoyed some tables throughout the park have been much-needed attention. used for birthday parties and family gathThe $315,000 project covered by erings. the County Parks and Recreation The facelift is a much welcomed and department's budget for Capital anticipated project for many of its regular Improvement Projects, included a guests including Lithia resident Jinifer wide range of upgrades. Leichner who said, “I love this park. I County workers completed the have great memories growing up as a project within its promised timeline, teenager visiting this park and as an adult and upon its reopening park visitors bringing my children here. It is a beautiful expressed their thanks for all of the park and I am glad the county is putting upgrades that now makes the famous the effort into making sure it stays that park more enjoyable. way.” Original Story printed Feb 2017 The $315,000 project covered by Hillsborough County has temporarily 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 Improvement Projects also includes renheavily used parks in Brandon. The makeover at Paul Sanders Park, ovating the restrooms, repaving the parking lot, adding sidewalks, and creat602 W. Bloomingdale Ave. in Brandon, ing an additional entrance on the northnamed after long time Brandon resident west side of the park to improve traffic Paul Sanders three years before his flow, which will come in handy. death in 1991—is promising to upgrade For more info, visit www.hillsboras well as expand the park, while virtually replacing all of the playground equipment oughcounty.org. and adding additional play structures,

While not and in 2016. much of a During his surprise but long career made headGee has lines throughenjoyed a long out list of awards, honor and Hillsborough accolades County was while humbly the retirement stated, “Each announceof my Sheriff's ment of fourOffice family term Sheriff David Gee, After serving the community for nearly four decades, and the citiHillsborough County Sheriff David Gee has zens of our who has announced his retirement effective at the end of community is decided to September. Gee’s potential successors include a very important turn in his pair of agency veterans. to me. I have badge on dedicated my life to serving others and September 30, 2017. hope that I have served well. Gee was elected Sheriff of Throughout the years, serving the Hillsborough County in 2004 and community has been my priority and it was re-elected—unopposed—in has been an honor and privilege to 2008, 2012 and 2016. serve with you by my side.” Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointPerhaps the best thing about this ed Colonel Chad Chronister as intercommunity leader is his truly genuine im sheriff to serve Hillsborough care for those whom he worked with County until the appointment of a and those he served over the years. new sheriff at the next general elecGee thanked his staff for their tion in November 2018. “remarkable service” and spoke highly Gee is now enjoying his retireof leading the more than 4,000 memment with his family. Original Story printed June 2017 ber agency when he said, “It has been an honor and privilege for me to be After nearly four decades of serving his community in a great number of your colleague, your friend and your extended family member. It is now time law enforcement functions, four-term Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee for me, however, to concentrate and devote my full attention and support to has decided to retire effective my family. I wish each of you well and September 30. ask that you continue to provide the While not unexpected, the level of commitment necessary in makannouncement has saddened many ing this transition as smooth as possithat have had the privilege of knowing ble.” and working with Gee who has led the Visit www.HCSO.Tampa.fl.us. agency unopposed for the past 13 Note From The Osprey Observer years and would have likely continued Editor: such a status in 2018. The Osprey Observer Newspapers But, Gee said it was time. wishes to express its sincere apprecia“After over 40 years of law enforcement service, I have decided to tion and gratitude for the service provided by Sheriff Gee. His leadership retire at the end of September,” Gee has led the Hillsborough County wrote in an email to his employees Sheriff's Department for many years while announcing his decision, which and the success of the department is a he said, “has not been made lightly direct result of his efforts and dedicaand was one of the most difficult decition. Sheriff Gee's commitment to qualsions that I have made in my career.” ity and professional integrity has set The Sheriff’s career began 38 the bar for future leadership positions. years ago as a patrol deputy, followed Thank you Sherriff Gee, enjoy by serving as a homicide investigator, every minute of your retirement and we Internal Affairs supervisor, public inforknow your legacy of kindness, respect mation officer, chief financial officer and integrity lives on in Hillsborough and chief deputy. County. Gee was elected Sheriff of Sincerely, Your Friends at Hillsborough County in 2004 and was Osprey Observer re-elected—unopposed—in 2008, 2012

By Tamas Mondovics

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January 2018

Page 37

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017

Riverview 14 GDX Now Open As Tampa's Destination Movie Theater After some delay, Goodrich Quality Theaters celebrated the grand opening of Riverview 14 GDX (Giant Digital Experience) a 66,000 sq. ft., facility with 14 screens in Gibsonton. The theater opened on the heels of the $15 million Xscape Theaters just five miles north of Progress village Blvd. giving moviegoers the third choice of cinema entertainment desti- Dubbed as Tampa's destination theater, Goodrich Quality Theaters, (GQT) Riverview 14 GDX Theater’s recent nation. opening at the southwest corner of I-75 and Gibsonton The opening of the two Drive directly east of Super Walmart (exit 250). new facilities has prompted judging by opening AMC The Regency 20 Theaters, weekend results, the located in Regency Square 2496 W 66,000 sq. ft., Riverview Brandon Blvd., which has been 14 GDX (Giant Digital serving the Brandon area and has Experience), located at dominated the movie market for the southwest corner of more than three decades, to renoI-75 and Gibsonton Drive vate and update some theaters to directly east of the Super help keep its longtime guests. Walmart (exit 250), did Original Story printed April 2017 not only meet its goalsGoodrich Quality Theaters, (GQT) but has far surpassed its a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based combest expectations. pany founded in 1930, chose The theater features Riverview to build its 30th location, a 1,665 electronically $20 million, state-of-the-art multiplex in reclining seats with Florida, the objective was clear and snack trays and cup non-negotiable; open with no misholders and all seats are takes. reserved. “Our company culture is all about “We opened our doors merely two fanatical attention to detail,” said GQT hours after government approvals and Marketing Director, Kelly Nash. “This is sold 1,300 tickets within the first 120 our first multiplex outside the Midwest minutes,” Nash said, adding that in its and we wanted to ensure we opened first weekend, more than 10,000 tickwithout excuses or errors.” ets were sold. Based on Nash’s sentiments, and Upon arrival, guests are greeted

By Tamas Mondovics

by a giant contemporary lobby that proudly includes Features, a first-ofits-kind, stand-alone restaurant, bar and Gastro-Pub developed by Celebrity Chef Brian Duffy of Bar Rescue and drink specials crafted by mixologist Mike Tipps. The restaurant has its own entrance, and is also accessible through the lobby and offers a scratch kitchen perfect for lunch, dinner and latenight snacks, with nothing on the menu over $12, which gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “dinner and a movie.” Following her visit on opening weekend, Riverview Honorary Mayor, Tammy Holmberg, said, "This is not just the movies. Goodrich Riverview 14 is a game changer in the movie watching experience.” The lobby features box offices and self-serve ticket kiosks as well as concession stands coupled with self-serve soft drinks and $0.50 popcorn refills.

Adding to the experience is Goodrich’s cutting-edge, large format auditoriums with 4K digital projection onto two 70 by 40 foot, floor-to-ceiling screens, with sound powered by the Premium Dolby ATMOS system with more than 60 speakers and more than 265 seats each. The 12 additional screens feature state-of-the-art digital projection on 35-45 ft. screens with the Trinnov Ovation system. “Customers say that this is the best movie experience they have ever seen,” Nash said. It is safe to say that while Riverview 14 GDX opening was a little delayed, its arrival did by no means disappoint. GQT COO, Martin Betz was also pleased when he said, “The fantastic welcome from across the Tampa Bay area demonstrates its excitement to have our state-of-the-art, family-friendly fourteen screen cinema experience, as this is our first theater in Florida.” Betz highlighted the theater’s rewards program and free popcorn for people who bring a ticket stub from another theater through May 31. Riverview 14 GDX is hosting its Grand Opening Community VIP Weekend, scheduled for Friday-Sun, April 21-April 23. Moviegoers will receive a popcorn and soft drink combo all weekend for only $4. Visit www.GoodrichQualityTheaters.com. and on Facebook @GoodrichRiverview.

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Page 38

Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

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 Pinecrest Rd. and Bloomingdale need for a redeveland will now add to the growing list of Ave. opment of the plaza, recent upgrades, improvements, renovaThe nearly completed new which by sitting tions and additions to the neighborhood, store is slated to open in midvacant was slowly including a previously opened-new February 2018 and is currently becoming an eyeWawa store on the corner of Lithia Developer, Woerner Equity Group is now redeveloping the former in the process of hiring 120 fullsore. Pinecrest and Bloomingdale Ave., the Albertsons Plaza for Sprouts Farmers Market, PetSmart and Orange and part-time positions. “I am excited grand opening of the new 150,000 sq. ft. Theory Fitness slated for early next year. spots and will also include one additional Sprouts will share the plaza with Walmart Supercenter 4,000 sq. ft. outparcel for rent near the a brand new Orange Theory Fitness along with Chick-fil-A front of the site. and PetSmart. South Brandon owned Woerner officials confirmed that the Original Story printed May 2017 by Paul & Tammy building will be divided into three secThe long held debate and guessing Holmberg, Starbuck’s tions with Sprouts occupying nearly game about what store(s) if any, might and Wendy’s on 30,000 sq. ft., leaving a little more than occupy the more than 55,000 sq. ft. forBloomingdale Ave., as 20,000 sq. ft. for a new PetSmart store. mer Alberstons grocery store building well as the improvement Orange Theory Fitness will make Bloomingdale Ave. that has been sitting vacant for the past of the Culbreath and use of the former 3,500 sq. ft., liquor few years in Valrico is officially over. Bloomingdale Ave. interDeveloper, Woerner Equity Group, a store space at the north end of the buildsection. ing closer to Miller Rd. West Palm Beach Florida-based full BayCare Health Happy with the news of the long service real estate firm that focuses System is also planning awaited redevelopment of the site in the on the acquisition and development of to build a brand new $25 commercial properties with an emphasis heart of their community, many million 160,000 sq. ft. expressed relief and spoke highly of the on shopping centers, is now redevelopWellness campus choice of new stores. ing the site to house Sprouts Farmers behind the former “So very excited about the construcMarket, PetSmart and Orange Theory A site map shows the layout and the three new stores includ- Albertsons Plaza. ing Sprouts Farmers Market, PetSmart and Orange Theory tion starting on the new Sprouts store Fitness. For more information Fitness to anchor the former Albertsons Plaza in Valrico. (old Albertsons on Lithia),” posted Renamed, Valrico Landing, the site about the project, please Buckhorn Preserve resident Shawn is located just east of Brandon, at the visit, Bernier on his Facebook page shortly intersection on the northeast corner of about the upcoming revitalization,” White www.woernerequity.com. after he heard the news. “I was at the Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Bloomingdale said, adding, “I have received much corFor leasing information, contact, Sprouts in Carrollwood, last week and it Ave. in Valrico. respondence from constituents about Cantrell & Morgan Pete Fraser at 904is a fabulous store. Kind of like Trader Coupled with signalized access, the that plaza, as well as other vacant 302-6931 or email pete@cantrellmorJoes.” entire plaza will feature 155 parking plazas in the area, since being elected gan.com.


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January 2018

Page 39

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017

Construction Underway For New Fishhawk Fire Station No.44 Hillsborough County’s plan to build a brand new fire station to serve the FishHawk and Riverview communities was good news last year for many reasons. Station No. 44, is promising to take the load off stations No. 2 in Lithia, and No.16 in Riverview near SR 301 as well as station No. 7 on Bloomingdale Ave., in Valrico. HCFR Chief, Dennis Jones emphasized the benefits of the new location, which he said will maximize response time for residents living in the area. The new three-bay 9,300 sq. ft. station is located on the south side of Fishhawk Blvd. During a recent groundbreaking ceremony, HCFR Deputy Chief of Administration Jason between Mosaic Dr. and Bell Dougherty talks about the construction a brand Shells Rd. The total cost of the new fire station now underway in FishHawk. facility is $3.4 million. “The fire station was much needConstruction is nearing completion ed for the citizens of the area, so we with a scheduled opening set for can have quicker response times for early 2018. those that call us in an emergency,” Original Story printed July 2017 said Deputy Chief of Administration It was nearly two years ago when Jason Dougherty. The 9,300 sq. ft., residents first learned about the three-bay fire station is located on county’s plans to build a brand new the south side of Fishhawk Blvd. on a fire station to better serve the two-acre lot donated by Newland FishHawk and Riverview communiCommunities, between Mosaic Dr. ties. and Bell Shells Rd. Construction County officials hosted a groundcosts are approximately $2.8 million breaking ceremony in May and are with a total budget of $3.4 million. pleased to announce that construcThe project is managed by tion of Fire Station No.44 is now well Mansour Yazdi, Real Estate and underway, with plans to complete the Facilities Services, and is funded project by December 2017 and to through the Public Safety open the new station to serve the Improvement Bond Project Funds. public in early 2018.

By Tamas Mondovics

The three-bay station will mirror the newly completed station No. 7 on Bloomingdale Ave., which includes modern living quarters and workspace for each of the 24-hour full-time crew of five to six personnel each shift, a fire engine, and rescue unit. In 2005, a site was originally designated for a fire station within the FishHawk Sports

Complex, but officials decided that the new location will serve the community better. HCFR Chief Dennis Jones emphasized the benefits of the new location, which he said will maximize response time for residents living in the area. “The new station will be an Advanced Life Support station (ALS),

with a fire engine ladder truck and Rescue Ambulance Unit,” Jones said adding that the new station will have a direct access to FishHawk Blvd. for fire rescue vehicles, which is something the property within the originally proposed sports complex site did not have. Earlier this year, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, emergency operations officials, Fire Rescue personnel, and members of the community also celebrated the opening of the County’s brand new $36 million Public Safety Operations Complex (PSOC) in Brandon. According to County officials the adopted $4.9 billion FY17 budget, which represents a $100 million increase over the previous year is a balanced, equitable plan to provide Hillsborough County residents with vital services. Aside from funds to support Fire Rescue, the increase meant new funding for transportation, public safety, parks, and libraries for Hillsborough County. For more information, please visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.

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Page 40

Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017 County Changes Direction In Proposed Bloomingdale Parks Improvements The news of proposed renovation of a pair of Bloomingdale area community parks drew some pushback from residents last year. The project called for renovating the two parks located about half a mile apart on either side Bloomingdale Avenue. While the County’s proposed renovation and amenities were favorable to some park goers, East Bloomingdale residents A map shows Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation’s did not want to lose the originally proposed enhancement plan for Bloomingdale East Park. After residents’ input County officials have decided to tennis courts promptrefine the project or decide if the project should not move foring officials to reconward. sider the proposed plan “We have received a lot of input for both parks. from the community prior to the meetThe project is now under coning indicating that residents were glad sideration with planned future pubabout improvements to the parks, but lic meetings. were not excited about some of the Original Story printed Aug 2017 proposed changes,” said County Pointing to unexpected scheduling spokesperson Kyla Booher. issues and a fair amount of public input The project called for renovating ahead of an open house format public the two parks, which are about half a meeting, Hillsborough County Parks mile apart on either side of and Recreation officials have changed Bloomingdale Avenue. direction on a proposed improvement At Bloomingdale West, the proproject of two Bloomingdale area parks. posed project was going to expand the Prior to its cancellation, the meeting tennis courts into a $600,000 tennis was scheduled for Tuesday, July 11 center and include racquetball courts, and was seeking public input on restrooms, shelters and parking. improvements to Bloomingdale East At Bloomingdale East, the project Park, 3902 Natures Way Blvd. in would have removed the tennis and Valrico, and Bloomingdale West Park, racquetball courts because of the new 3940 Canoga Park Dr. in Brandon.

By Tamas Mondovics tennis center nearby and added a $400,000 splash pad, also known as a spray pool area with sprinklers, fountains, nozzles, and other devices or structures that spray water with little or no standing water. The projects’ estimated total cost is $1 million for the splash pad and tennis center and

Booher said that East Bloomingdale residents did not want to lose the tennis courts prompting the County to reconsider the proposed plan for both parks. Based on public comments and the engineering analyses and surveys, Booher emphasized that Parks and Recreation will refine the project or decide the project should not move forward. “We have decided to change direction and for now looking at a smaller renovation such as repair and resurfacing of the existing amenities at each park,” she said. Some of the amenities at the 19acre Bloomingdale West Park include a basketball court, picnic shelters, open field, playground, racquetball and tennis courts, sand volleyball and walking trails. The East Park has similar amenities. Some residents have expressed concern about the lack of restroom facilities at Bloomingdale West and hope that county officials will consider adding it to the proA map shows Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation’s orig- posed improvement inally proposed enhancement plan for Bloomingdale West Park. After residents' input County officials have decided to refine the plan. For information, project or decide the project should not move forward.. contact Kyla Booher at would have been paid for through park 307-1891 or visit www.hcflgov.net. impact fees for new construction.

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January 2018

Page 41

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Year in Review- Updates on the Top Stories from 2017 Community Welcomes Medically Retired Army Sgt. Katie Thomas Home By Tamas Mondovics

One of the year’s most memosoning. Katie’s carbon monoxide and robbing them of rable events that demonstrated a boyfriend, a decorated oxygen. spirit of community, kindness, and officer who did several Katie is considered to be in a care undeniable when Lithia Ridge tours in Afghanistan minimally conscious state. She cannot residents welcomed home Army and was shot a number speak, walk, or sit on her own. Sgt. Katie Thomas, 29 after her of different times and “Homecoming day, however, was medical retirement, following an not expected to live, not a day to mourn the past, though, accident and subsequent injury died at the scene. but to celebrate that Katie is finally while stationed in Hawaii. The Jeep’s tailpipe stable enough to allow her to live outThomas is now dealing with an side the confines of a hospital,” anoxic brain injury needing 24/7 Kathy said. care for the rest of her life. "This means so much to us," According to Thomas' mom, Kathy said of the emotional homeKathy Powers, Katie continues to coming adding that the Lithia adjust to her circumstances and is Ridge community has been very thankful for the community’s care. supportive. "I thank you from the Original Story printed Sept bottom of my heart.” 2017 At the time of her accident, Army Sgt. Katie Thomas joined by her mom Kathy Powers durIt was as if someone ordered the ing a homecoming ceremony for Katie, who spent the last three Katie had completed her college rain to stop and the sun to come out years at the VA hospital following an accident she suffered while courses and had aspirations of serving in the Army. for but a few minutes when Army Sgt. attending Officer Candidate "It's been a long jourKatie Thomas, 29, arrived to her Lithia School. ney for Katie,” Kathy said Ridge home last month from the To organize Katie’s welcome adding that her daughter James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in home, residents were hoping to get spent the last three years Tampa. as many residents to attend as at the VA’s Polytrauma As Thomas and her mom Kathy possible, which became a bit worriRehabilitation Center folPowers pulled into her driveway the some due to the stormy weather lowing the life changing two were cheered on and welcomed forecast. accident. by loved ones, family and friends Rain or no rain, a large crowd Kathy who has quit her along with dozens of flag-waiving resipatiently waited for Katie as well as job and moved from dents. enjoyed the singing of the National Tennessee to Valrico to be Katie, the oldest of three, also has Anthem by 20-year-old Makaylah closer to her daughter two brothers who served in the Army. Caschette, a neighbor, followed by recalled that Katie and her She was an operating room specialist a baton-twirling routine. boyfriend were both in the at Tripler Army Medical Center in The family is also collecting Dozens of Lithia Ridge residents welcome home Army Sgt. Army and had gone mudHonolulu for nine years before she Katie Thomas now medically retired, following an injury while donations towards gift cards for ding in Katie’s new hard was medically retired, following an stationed in Hawaii, which left her with an anoxic brain injury Kathy to get things needed for the top Jeep, during one rainy needing 24/7 care for the rest of her life. injury she suffered while stationed in house for Katie. day in March 2014. Hawaii, which left her with an anoxic For more information and to supreportedly got clogged while the two The two were later found unconbrain injury needing full-time care for port the family, please visit www.facewere navigating through the mud scious due to carbon monoxide poithe rest of her life. book.com/sgt.katieswarriors/. which resulted in the cabin filling with



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Page 42

Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

The Florida Aquarium And London Museum Team Up To Save Coral Reefs

Bluegrass, Patsy Cline Tribute Show And More Are Offered At The Florida Opry In Plant City

The Florida Reef Tract. The new Aquarium and partnership with the Horniman The Florida Museum and 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. conservation has only been nursery in Apollo Beach. accomplished at the Horniman. “Project Coral is ‘game-changing,’ Corals in the wild reproduce by allowing us to spawn corals on site, crereleasing their eggs and sperm into the water at the same time, which is an event ate multiple spawning events across the year and drastically speed up restoration that is increasingly more uncertain given work to ensure the survival of Florida’s the changing climate. This wild spawning 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 we look forward to seeing the positive dictably induce coral spawning in a fully effects our work together will have on closed aquarium lab setting. Now The Florida’s reefs” said Jamie Craggs, Florida Aquarium is providing even more Aquarium Curator at the Horniman expertise to enhance this project with Museum and Gardens. plans to plant the lab-grown coral fragVisit www.flaquarium.org. ments to coral reefs along the Florida

The Florida Florida Strawberry Opry will continFestival for a numue its 2017ber of years. 2018 season "The Florida with Southern Opry is a family Express friendly live music Bluegrass Band concert venue that on Saturday, is held right here January 6. in our community," Southern said Shelby The Southern Express Bluegrass Band will per- Bender, President Express form at the Florida Opry on Saturday, January 6. Bluegrass Band The Florida Opry is housed in the historic 1914 and Executive is one of the Director of the Plant City High School Community Center. premier Florida East Hillsborough bluegrass bands. It’s members all have Historical Society. "Our professional long and distinguished backgrounds in musicians are highly regarded in music bluegrass. The band is comprised of showcases throughout the southeast five very accomplished members who and beyond," added Bender. are talented both instrumentally and The Florida Opry is one of the vocally. many programs that the East There will be two shows in Hillsborough Historical Society funds February. The first one is a Patsy Cline and operates. "In hosting the Florida Tribute Show on Saturday, February 3. Opry, the East Hillsborough Historical There will also be a fundraising comedy Society is striving to keep live music, show. The date of the comedy show will it's legends and history a part of what be announced. we offer to the community. We offer In April, the Florida Opry will feature venue where entertainment is affordLarry Mangum, a singer songwriter with able and suitable for everyone," added over five decades of performing folk, Bender. rock, country and Americana. Mangum All Florida Opry shows begin at 6 has lived in Florida since 1970. He has p.m. Tickets to the Florida Opry are $15 released 10 albums of original music for adults and $8 for students. You can and two live albums since 1980. reserve tickets by calling 757-9226 or Mangum is also an award-winning email info@thefloridaopry.com. songwriter. You can pay for and pick up the The Florida Opry's Master of tickets by visiting the East Hillsborough Ceremonies is Randy Scott, a Plant Historical Society office located at the City native who is a singer-songwriter. 1914 Plant City High School He sings both country and gospel Community Center at 605 N. Collins St. infused music and has performed at the in downtown Plant City.

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Page 43

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Brenda Wade Real Estate Partners With Businesses To Benefit Seeds Of Hope

By Barb Kern

raised! It really takes a village to support all that we do as an all-volunteer organization.” In September, Seeds of Hope led relief efforts for Alafia residents affected by flooding from Hurricane Irma. Those ongoing efforts highlighted the The Brenda Wade Real Estate Team donated $11,000 to commitment the charity Seeds of Hope from its annual Partners in Giving Campaign. has to helping local The Brenda Wade Real Estate Team people –a commitment shared by The and its business partners (All American Brenda Wade Team. Title, All Bay Insurance, American Eagle Seeds of Hope is known for it’s Mortgage, American Mortgage Services, annual FishHawk Turkey Trot 5K Buyer’s Choice Home Inspection, fundraiser and has been in the Complete Choice Insurance, DR Horton, Brandon/Valrico/Lithia community for FBI Inspection Group, Fifth Third Bank, over seven years and began with local Guaranteed Rate, First Home Bank, resident Leda Eaton helping her then Hillsborough Title, Jake Moore Insurance, high school students receive meaningMarket Prime Mortgage, Old Republic ful community service hours. Home Protection, Osprey Observer, Seeds of Hope has grown as an RiteRug Flooring, The Rice Financial organization to combat hunger in three Group, United Mutual Funding Corp and ways by providing: weekend backWillums Home Services), joined together packs of food for school children, for the fifth annual ‘Partners in Giving’ boxes of food to families on event. Wade and her agents matched Thursdays, and a weekly mobile every dollar that was contributed by the pantry aimed at short term food relief. partners during the campaign, so togethEaton is proud of the impact the er they could have an impact in the comcharity has had, “Before Hurricane munity. “Our goal was to raise $10,000,” Irma, we were a food relief organizasaid Wade. “And we were so happy to tion. After Hurricane Irma, we added exceed that amount and donate disaster relief to our resume. It’s not $11,000 to our local charity Seeds of something I ever would have planned, Hope.” but am so thankful we were there. So Seeds of Hope president Leda many volunteers stepped up.” Eaton was amazed, “I was beyond For more, visit www.sohopefl.org. excited to hear the total amount

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Page 44

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Volume 17, Issue 1

With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

Area Residents Are Encouraged To Enter Artwork In The Annual Florida Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show A Call To Artists has been Artists can enter up to issued by the East Hillsborough four pieces of original artArt Guild (EHAG) for the 2018 work. Florida Strawberry Festival Fine There are multiple Art Show. The show will run categories are for adults throughout the Florida ages 18 and up including Strawberry Festival which is set professional and amateur to run from Thursday, March 1 in oils, acrylics, watercolor through Sunday, March 11 at the and graphics/mixed Festival Grounds in Plant City. media. In addition, entries The show will be held in the for miniature art (2D Artists, young and old, professional and amateur, are encouraged to enter original artwork into the 2018 Florida Milton E. Hull Building. media) and sculpture are Strawberry Festival Fine Art Show. You may be the lucky winner of the Strawberry Theme or even Best of Show. Karen Crumley, a member accepted. of EHAG, is this year’s chairperFor Youth, the ages favorite piece. Voting will take place chosen by a representative of the busison. Crumley encourages all area resiare separated into four age categories- N throughout the entire 11 days of the festiness. Crumley said, “We have had dents, both young and old, to enter the for ages 6 to 8; M for ages 9 to 11; L for val. requests from new businesses to be a show. The show is open to both amateurs ages 12 to 14; and K for ages 15 to 17. While this is not a juried show, there part of this. They love the thought of havand professionals. All entries must be Youth can enter oils, acrylics, watercolors, is limited space. Entries are accepted on ing the opportunity to be a judge and original works of art. and graphic/mixed media. a first come, first serve basis. Anyone select the entry they think is the best.” The Annual Florida Strawberry Crumley said, “We want to encourinterested in entering artwork must careAll Youth Division entries are sponFestival Fine Art Show is always a grand age the youngest artists, including high fully review all of the rules and take care sored by Jim Scott of Jarret Scott Ford. one and has grown over the years. school students, in our area to enter this to follow them. Early entries are accepted Youth can win $25 for First Place, $15 for Entries are eligible for substantial moneshow. The Florida Strawberry Festival until Monday, February 12. Artists can Second Place and $10 for Third Place. All tary awards. This includes $100 for the has a huge audience of art lovers. This mail their entry form and fee to East Youth Entries receive a participation ribStrawberry Theme Award, $300 for Best gives the young artists the opportunity to Hillsborough Art Guild, P.O. Box 3055, bon. Crumley said, “Jim is very interested of Show and $500 for the Exclusive receive real life experience in showing Plant City, FL 33564. Arts must be in supporting the youth in our community.” Purchase Award. The latter is sponsored their artwork in a gallery setting that is brought to the Festival Grounds on New this year, is the return of the by Suncoast Credit Union. In addition to seen by thousands.” Friday, February 23 from 12 Noon to 6 People’s Choice Award. The winner will the prize money, the winning artist’s piece Entry forms and rules can be found p.m. receive $50. Crumley explained, “We is displayed at the Suncoast Credit Union at www.FLstrawberryfestival.com. Simply Youth entries have the option of mailwant to engage the public more this year Plant City branch. click on Contests and scroll down to the ing their paper art along with their entry to let them feel they are a part of the art Artists who do not win one of the Art Show. If you have questions, please form and fee. However, if youth art is on show. As such, we have reactivated the above prizes are eligible for a Business email Crumley at kscrumley@yahoo.com canvas gallery wraps or canvas boards, People’s Choice Award.” Attendees will Leaders Choice Award. These awards or call 924-3829. youth must follow the above procedure. have the opportunity to vote for their are sponsored by local businesses and

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January 2018

Page 45

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Busch Gardens® Extends Holiday Season With New Three Kings Celebration

Staff Report

Busch memory to last a lifeGardens® Tampa time. Bay unfolds the Festive Food and famed journey to the Drinks - Food conhumble town of noisseurs can enjoy Bethlehem during an Latin-inspired dishes all-new Three Kings and drinks prepared Celebration from exclusively for Busch Monday to Saturday, Gardens’ Three Kings January 1-6. Celebration. Enjoy 5 An all-new Three Kings Latin influences or 10 delectable creCelebration will are found throughout ations from holiday take place at the park with live menus with Sampler Busch Gardens® from Monday to Saturday, music, crafts, authenLanyards. Culinary January 1-6. tic Latin food, and locations like more. This cultural celebration boasts Christmas Town Village will feature authentic Latin flavors found only during savory treats and Yuletide sweets the the holidays, live entertainment honoring whole family can indulge in throughout the three Wise Men and Busch Gardens’ the Three Kings Celebration. dazzling display of twinkling Yuletide Live Musical Entertainment and lights. Exclusive Meet and Greets - While new Three Kings Journey Show - Follow holiday flavors tempt guests’ taste buds; the Three Wise Men to a mesmerizing live musical acts will have the family nativity scene depicting the arrival of the singing along to a variety of Latin holiday Three Kings. A storyteller will share the favorites. The party continues with an tale of their voyage and the traditions of exclusive meet and greet with your the Three Kings holiday to park guests. favorite friends from Sesame Street®. The journey, featuring live animal topiarThe Three Kings Celebration is ies, will take place several times throughincluded with any annual pass, Fun Card out the day and offer a truly special photo or daily admission to the park and begins opportunity with the three Wise Men and at 3 p.m. until close. New Year’s Eve at live camels for park guests. Busch Gardens® Three Kings Celebration Buffet – The best way to experience the During the celebration, join in for the allThree Kings Celebration and New Year’s new Three Kings Celebration Buffet at is with a 2018 BOGO Fun Card. When Serengeti Overlook Restaurant. Start the you purchase a 2018 Busch Gardens New Year with a delicious feast that Fun Card you also get a 2018 Adventure includes traditional Latin delicacies, hand- Island Fun Card free. crafted appetizers, savory entrees and For information, visit delectable sweets. It's a mouthwatering BuschGardens.com.

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Page 46

Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition






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Randall And Barrington Qualify At Six-Way Fall Cluster Track Meet Hosted By Randall Middle School Young athletes from Shields, Eisenhower, Barrington, Rogers, Randall and Burns Middle Schools got a chance to measure up their skills during the 2017 Fall Cluster Track Meet. The event was officially hosted by Randall Middle School Hawks and held at Newsome High School, saw nearly 200 talented boy and girl student-athletes. While all six programs turned in a solid performMembers of the Randall Middle School Hawks Track team pause for a photo during the County Championship ance, this year’s spotlight Track meet. The student-athletes were pleased to wellanded on our south county come area programs including Shields, Eisenhower, area schools: Shields, Barrington, Rogers and Burns to measure up their strengths. Eisenhower, Barrington and Randall. With the one and only track and field meet, the fall Cluster was also the qualifier for the upcoming County Championship Track and Field meet that was held Wednesday, December 6, 2017, hosted by Jefferson High School. The county meet hosted the top three event winners from the recent cluster. With such a very short track and field season, the students learned their sport quickly and with precision. Please see a full list of qualifiers for the countywide meet in this article. The county meet showcased our local schools with Burns Middle School students stand ready Eisenhower placing first overall in the to compete in the 800-meter event during boys division and Barrington placing secthe 2017 Fall Cluster Track Meet. ond overall in the girls division. Randall’s Corbin Bush, placed fourth in the boys 400M and Krista Russ placed second in the girls 800M and fifth in the 400M. Barrington’s Jayla Stewart placed first in the 200M and third in the girls 100M. For more information about Barrington, Randall, Rodgers, Eisenhower, Shields and Burns Heat 1 Boys 100M at the County Championshop Middle schools, please visit Track meet held in December at Jefferson High School. www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

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January 2018

Page 47

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

Sports Connection Story by Tamas Mondovics

Season Ends With Armwood Loss To Miami Northwestern In 6-A Region Championship By Tamas Mondovics That the 2017 fall high school varsity football season managed to post some excellent results, there is little doubt. Area schools including Bloomingdale, Durant, Newsome, East Bay and Armwood quarterback Devin Black takes matters into his own hands Armwood all and gets the first down during a recent game. The Hawks managed to reach the 2017 Class 6A region three state championship game have worked but suffered a 21-16 loss to Miami Northwestern. hard and made their marks on the season. Interestingly the teams that got the most attention this year included the Bloomingdale Bulls and the Armwood High School Hawks. The Hawks (Overall 14-1 District 5-0 National Rank 32, State (FL) Rank 6) began the season with new program head coach Evan Davis, following the departure of former head coach Sean Callahan, Bloomingdale High School varsity football players Jon who led the program to a Catala, Hunter Delones and Tyler Hunter meet up with local pair of state champirival Durant for a fall conference game.

Newsome senior Patrick Jolly runs the ball for a first down during a recent game against Riverview.

onships. Without looking back, Armwood plowed through the regular season and then the postseason to meet region three opponent Miami Northwestern Bulls for the title game on Friday, December 8, 2017. While the Hawks managed to get an early boost with a 9-0 lead, the Bulls managed to hold Armwood to only 150 total yards and to win the state title 2116 in front of nearly 6,000 fans.

The loss was the first of the season for the Hawks. As for Bloomingdale, the season was as exciting as it could get. The Bulls began with a two-game loss but turned things around to prove their right to appear in the postseason after defeating Class 7A, District 9 rival Durant 21-15. The win set up the program for a round-two, against the Titans in the 7A region three quarterfinal game; the Bullsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; third postseason appearance in school history. Unfortunately, to win its 10th consecutive contest, the Titans (10-1, No. 2 seed) defeated Bloomingdale 42-22. It was the Bulls second lost to TBT. The first loss came early in the season 4921. The Brandon Eagles, under program head coach Isaac Anderson, closed the season with an overall 4-7, District 1-4 record. The Durant Cougars under head coach Mike Gottman ended the year with an overall 7-4, district 3-3 record, closely followed by East Bay (Overall 54 District 3-3) and Newsome (Overall 64 District 4-2) With its rather disappointing overall 11-2, district 0-6 record, the Riverview Sharks hope for a better outcome next year. For a full list of teams and results, please visit www.maxpreps.com.

Page 48

Volume 17, Issue 1

Bloomingdale/FishHawk Edition

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**HUGE PRICE REDUCTION** OVER 12.5 ACRES IN THE HEART OF VALRICO! Zoned for 'A' schools, this is the perfect spot to build your dream home! Private gated entry & long driveway & two ponds! Currently two mobile homes are on the property! $500,000

DROP DEAD GORGEOUS DAVID WEEKLEY "GRANADA" HOME ON CONSERVATION LOT IN FISHHAWK WEST! 4/3.5/3 + office home with almost 3,000 sqft! Upgrades galore incl. tile roof, plantation shutters, molding, surround sound & serene master suite! Chef's kitchen with all the bells & whistles! $509,900

0.61 ACRES ON CONSERVATION LOT IN FISH HAWK TRAILS! 3/3/3 + office + bonus + pool/spa home with pond views! NEW ROOF Oct 2016, wide base, plantation shutters, crown, fireplace & more! Kitchen & master bath with beautiful white cabinets! $494,500


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Osprey Observer 2018-1 Bloomingdalef/FishHawk  

Osprey Observer 2018-1 Bloomingdalef/FishHawk