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News OVERVIEW FOR Friday, October 09, 2015

Finding and Hiring a Tutor: A Tutorial

Over the course of the past decade, tutoring has grown from an informal part-time endeavor to a $5 billion-per-year industry employing more than 2 million tutors nationwide. More rigorous demands of the early elementary school years, an increased emphasis on test scores and today’s cutthroat college application process are just a few of the factors contributing to this growth.

Big Changes in Store for the SAT

In the coming year the SAT is undergoing a significant transformation. Do you and your student know what to expect? In recent years, concerns have grown as to whether standardized tests like the SAT and ACT truly predict college, and ultimately, career success. Despite this concern, a majority of colleges continue to require these exams and families continue to shell out hundreds if not thousands of dollars on test prep each year in order to increase their child’s scores and improve the odds that they are accepted by their school of choice.

Westchase Sunday Morning Market Re-Opens Oct. 4

The Westchase Sunday Morning Market will reopen for the season on Oct. 4. Shoppers will be able shop locally, supporting the local economy, while interacting with vendors who make and grow their products.

BOO! The Great West Chase Returns Oct. 31

For a scary good time, join your Westchase friends for the Great West Chase on Saturday, Oct. 31! Now you can begin a day known for jack o lanterns and haunted houses with your personal best time. (Which is a whole lot easier when you’re chased down Linebaugh Avenue by a mummy.)

Westchase Congressional District Left in Limbo

A walkout by state senators caused an August special session of Florida’s legislature, convened to redraw the state’s federal congressional districts, to end abruptly. That walkout left the future of Westchase’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives in question – and essentially pitched the responsibility for redrawing Florida’s federal congressional districts into the lap of a Tallahassee circuit court judge.

Can We Live with Gators in Westchase?

Walking across the canal bridge between West Park Village and Village Green, you may have recently noticed a juvenile alligator in the water below. Its eyes and snout sat above the waterline, facing the bridge from less than twenty yards away. The instant something was dropped into the water, it glided over to see if it was food.

Westchase’s Lost and Found

Community Development District (CDD) Office Manager Sonny Whyte hoped she had the right house when she recently knocked on a door of a home in The Bridges.

Westchase Fall Garage Sale Is Oct. 3

It’s time to make space for all your upcoming holiday gifts! The Westchase Fall Garage Sale is Saturday, Oct. 3. The sale is one of two such events held annually on the first Saturdays of May and October.

Great West Chase 5K and 10K Greet Halloween on Oct. 31

Held the last Saturday of October, The Great West Chase 5K/10K and Children’s Fun Run will kick off Halloween this year! Help WOW promote school success for underprivileged kids by joining a fun, fall tradition in Westchase.

Public Meetings Announced to Determine Residents’ Preferred Road Projects

After releasing the county’s long-range transportation plan in June, Go Hillsborough has scheduled three-months of community meetings to pinpoint road projects residents want funded if a proposed sales tax referendum passes.

Woodbridge Villas Tackles Renovations With Big Special Assessment

Woodbridge Villas board members Rick Goldstein, Mary Rodriguez, Nilo Menendez and Phyllis Roman visit their community’s pool to check recent work there.

This summer Hillsborough County transit supporters kick off a year and a half long campaign to convince local residents to vote for a half cent increase in the sales tax. If they’re smart, they’ll hire Woodbridge’s homeowners’ association board to lead the effort.

Newcomers Luncheon Feb. 19

The Newcomers of Northwest Hillsborough will gather for lunch this month on Feb. 19. They’ll meet at 11 a.m. at the Floridan Palace, 905 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 33602.

Plan to Attend the Aug. 12 TED Meeting

Westchase residents are encouraged to attend a meeting of the Policy Leadership Group for Transportation and Economic Development in Hillsborough County (TED). It will be held on Aug. 12 at 1:30 p.m. in the second floor board room of the County Center.

Public Notice of Westchase-Wide Guideline Changes

In addition to offering changes to the Westchase CCRs and Bylaws, Westchase VMs are considering amendments to the Westchase’s Single Family Residential Guidelines. If you read this article last month, the Documents Committee submitted some changes to the proposed Guidelines after the May meeting of the Westchase Voting Members. Changes of substance are indicated by italics in the summaries below.

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.