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News OVERVIEW FOR Sunday, April 20, 2014

Win Mom a Salon Pampering Package for Mother’s Day!

Kids and dads, listen up! Does the special lady in your life deserve some pampering? Tell the folks at Belanova Salon why your mom deserves to be treated like a queen and she could win a pampering package.

Do You Want to Serve on the Westchase CDD?

Mark Ragusa of Harbor Links/The Estates

The General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 4, will decide more than who wins the Florida governorship or control of the U.S. Congress. That election will give Westchase residents the opportunity to run for a position as resident supervisor on Westchase’s Community Development District (CDD).

Westchase Spring Garage Sale Is May 3

Throw open your garages and let the spring cleaning begin! The Westchase Spring Garage Sale is Saturday, May 3. The sale is one of two such events held annually on the first Saturdays of May and October. (The Westchase Fall Garage Sale is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014; please mark your calendars.)

Westchase Kids Share Summer Camp Favorites

Payton Heckman practices his putt at Westchase Golf Club.

Weeding through all of Tampa Bay’s impressive camp options can be daunting. So we turned to some veteran Westchase campers to find out what camps keep them coming back summer after summer.

Proposed Casino Triggers Westchase Worries

This picturesque scene of the large lake beside Westchase Elementary will undergo dramatic change with the construction of a large casino on the far bank.

One of the last available parcels of land in Westchase – originally slated for possible recreational use – will now feature a project that puts an unexpected twist on the word “recreational.” Last year, in an effort to put an end to repeated attempts to develop and access 5.5 acres of land lying north of the large lake beside Westchase Elementary School and between Stonebridge and The Vineyards, the Westchase Community Development District (CDD) purchased it for $217,000. At the time, CDD supervisors congratulated themselves from removing a long-term thorn in their sides. They appear to have celebrated too soon.

Newcomers Learn About Human Trafficking

The Newcomers of Northwest Hillsborough will meet for their monthly luncheon at 11 a.m. on April 17 at Flamestone American Grill, 4009 Tampa Rd. in Oldsmar. Tampa is a major hub of human trafficking in Florida. Ellie Almand and Karen Loos from the HeartDance Foundation will educate members about human trafficking involving women and youth in our area.

The Great Spiedini Opens in Westchase Town Center

New Orleans has the muffaletta, Memphis has BBQ, and Binghamton has the spiedie. While the spiedie might not be as familiar to you as the first two, one Westchase area resident aims to change that. “Italian immigrants brought spiedies to up-state New York,” says Rick Swartwood. “They are very well known and revered in Binghamton and the surrounding areas but when you leave that area, you find that people haven’t heard of them.”

WOW Preparing 2014 Resident and Business Directory

Were you in last year’s WOW Resident Directory? If not, now’s the time to make sure your information is included in the upcoming edition. In preparation for the 2014 Westchase Resident and Business Directory, WOW has posted an easy-to-use form on its Web site to allow residents who did not appear in last summer’s directory to submit their information for the new one.

It’s Time to Think Summer Camp!

Summer is just around the corner. For parents, this means one thing – time to think camp! Thankfully, Tampa Bay is chock-full of camp options that meet both the interests of children and the scheduling needs of parents.

Help from a Good Samaritan and an Angel

Catherine Barnhill with her daughters Clara and Abigail.

In February a Westchase Good Samaritan reunited another resident with an important lost treasure. On Feb. 10 Tammy Lynn Mittleman of Woodbay undertook a typical walk along Countryway Boulevard’s sidewalks and median. When Mittleman walks in Westchase, she makes a point to pick up trash she sees. That particular day was hot and her fingers were swelling, so she slipped her wedding and engagement rings onto her pinky finger.

The Grind: Far More Than Java

Richard Hunt and Harrell Lambert, owners of The Grind.

Westchase residents have a new dining out option that can also satisfy caffeine urges and sugar cravings. The Grind Coffee Shop and Café, located in the Westchase Town Center, serves gourmet coffee drinks, specialty herbal teas, and fresh fruit smoothies, a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, and homemade pastries, cakes and treats.

Ping Pong Tournament April 6

Join us on April 6 from 1-4 p.m. at the Westchase Rec Center for Westchase’s first ever Ping Pong Tournament. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society for the 2014 Relay for Life event on May 17-18. Registration begins at 1 p.m. Bring your own paddle if you have one. There is a suggested donation of $10 (registration fee). Checks should be made payable to the American Cancer Society.

WCA Board Hears Costco Update; Decries WOW Coverage of Investment Properties

There was a packed audience for the February Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors’ meeting. Residents attended not to speak during the open residents’ forum, but to hear about the proposed Costco development at the corner of Sheldon Road and Linebaugh Avenue.

Costco Developer to File Rezoning Request March 6

While it was announced in January that February would see a formal presentation by the Costco development team, February’s WCA meetings came and went without its appearance.

Proposed 2014 WCA Budget Draft Contains $2 Assessment Increase

The 2014 draft budget that emerged from the roughly 90-minute Westchase Community Association (WCAO) Budget Workshop on Aug. 20 produced a projected assessment of $322. The amount represents a two dollar increase over the 2013 assessment. If adopted, it would be the first increase in the WCA assessment since 2008.

Westchase VMs Approve Three Guidelines

In a very brief meeting that preceded the Westchase Association’s Aug. 20 budget workshop, Westchase Voting Members (VMs) took their final votes on three amendment to Westchase and neighborhood-specific guidelines. In all cases, the 20 VMs present cast unanimous votes.

VMs Entertain New Paver Rules for Driveways and Sidewalks

The July 9 meeting of Westchase VMs started with two quick, unanimous approvals for Abbotsford's and Chelmsford’s new mailboxes before VMs turned to driveway pavers.

VMs Approve New Mailboxes for Castleford and Portions of The Bridges

At their June 11 meeting, Westchase Voting Members’ (VM) two main agenda items were final votes for updated mailboxes for Castleford and the Bridges. VMs also received an update on the county’s new garbage collection system, scheduled for rollout in October.

CDD’s 2014 Draft Budget Recoups Incorrect 2013 Credit

Westchase Community Development District (CDD) supervisors are discussing a tentative spending plan that projects a 7.62 percent increase in operations and maintenance spending. The plan, which may see adjustments at the CDD's July and August meetings, is slated for final approval on Aug. 6.

CDD Supervisors Approve Harbor Links’ Streetlight Conversion; Stonebridge Homeowners Voice Concerns

The June 4 meeting of the Westchase Community Development District (CDD) saw resolution of a years-long process to address a Westchase neighborhood’s leaking gas lights and attendance by a number of Stonebridge residents concerned over nearby developments that could significantly impact them.

Memorial Services Scheduled For Westchase Swim Coach Kelley Allen

Westchase Community Association (WCA) Manager Debbie Sainz and Operations Manager Kelly Smith have released information about upcoming memorial services for Kelley Allen, the WCA’s Director of Competitive Swimming. Allen was tragically killed on Oct. 28.

Tales from the Black Friday Ninjas

Some Westchasers celebrate Thanksgiving night by pulling the covers over their heads and relishing their turkey-induced slumber. Others become Black Friday Ninjas. Millions of Americans choose to participate in the highly competitive consumer Olympics known as Black Friday, where average shoppers display the stealth and cunning of a ninja in order to bring home retail gold. These warriors head out in the dark of night risking a stray elbow to the eye or worse, a shopping-cart wheel to the freshly pedicured toe.

Public Notice of Residential Guideline Changes

At their Oct. 11 and Nov. 15 meetings, Westchase Voting Members (VMs) will be considering changes to the Westchase Residential Guidelines. The Westchase Residential Guidelines is a supplementary document to the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs). Both documents spell out architectural and use rules for Westchase residential properties.

Help a Wizard Make Magic

With just an hour of your time each week, you can dramatically change the life of a child who needs an adult role model. Westchase Elementary is looking for mentors for this school year. Can you lend a hand?

School Open Houses, 2011

Several private schools in the area are holding open houses to the community in the upcoming months. The list below is not a complete listing of all private schools in the area. Some of these institutions hold open houses in different locations; please contact the school admissions office for more information.

Westchase Birthday Celebration Oct. 29

This year Westchase turns 20 and you’re invited to the biggest birthday celebration around! On Saturday, Oct. 29, from 3-7 p.m., WOW is throwing a party to celebrate all that is great about our community. All residents are invited to join the fun on the West Park Green on Montague Street for a celebratory street party. The party will be held on the afternoon of the tenth anniversary running of The Great West Chase 5K and Children’s Fun Run.

Fitness Trail Opens This Month

The Westchase Community Association (WCA) and Community Development Districts (CDDs) are happy to announce the upcoming opening of the Fitness Trail in Baybridge Park.