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News OVERVIEW FOR Monday, May 29, 2017

New Davidsen Middle School Principal Named

Outgoing Davidsen Principal Brent McBrien

On May 2 in the afternoon Davidsen Middle School Principal Brent McBrien announced that he was leaving the school to serve as principal of Martinez Middle School. In his place the Hillsborough School Board appointed Martinez Middle School Assistant Principal Stacy Arena on May 16.

Davidsen Transformed into Performing Arts Attractor

“My intention is to make Davidsen a better school and you will see that,” said Area 2 Superintendent Marcus Murillo at an April 13 meeting featuring School Board member Susan Valdes. The meeting announced that new arts classes would be placed at Davidsen to convince more Westchase area families to choose it as their middle school.

WOW’s 2010 Scholars: Where Are They?

Lindsay Sullivan during a recent medical volunteer trip to Africa.

June’s WOW will announce the 2017 WOW Sylvester Scholars. This month we reached out to our 2010 scholars to see what they’ve accomplished. Honored in 2010 were Neil Christy of Tree Tops, Kelly Colden of Woodbay, Katie Hernandez and Samir Makhani of Kingsford and Lindsay Sullivan of The Estates. WOW was able to contact all but Makhani.

Westchase Resident Stars in The Bachelor

West Park’s Astrid Loch accepts a rose from Nick Viall on The Bachelor.

Six months after complaining to her friend about a bad date, West Park Village resident Astrid Loch found herself on the ultimate date. The hitch? Twenty-nine other ladies tagged along trying to steal the guy.

Own a Piece of the Tree

If you’ve visited UTB you’ve likely seen this beautiful bronze tree on the lobby wall. This photograph of the Friends of UTB Tree was taken by Richard Hector, a wonderful photographer and Westchase resident. The tree represents strength, growth and endurance while enhancing its surroundings. That describes how the UTB Friends group sees our library!

Relay for Life Keeps Vigil

The Westchase community continued its decade-long tradition by staging the all-night Relay for Life fundraiser event at Davidsen Middle School over April 28 and 29. It celebrated cancer survivors, remembered those who lost the fight and provided hope for people who are battling the disease.

Westchase Smells Smoke; County Burn Ban Still in Place

Westchase residents who emerged from their homes on May 9 to the heavy smell of smoke encountered the most recent reminder of the active wildfire season currently plaguing the state. The smoke is likely drifting south from a smoldering wildfire that has scorched nearly 2,300 acres of the Starkey Wilderness Preserve at the juncture of State Road 54 and the Suncoast Expressway just over the Hillsborough and Pasco County borders.

Fords Friends Tackle Ragnar

In late March four adventurous Westchase residents joined friends and co-workers to participate in a two-day, one-night, 200-ish mile relay race across Tennessee. As part of the Sloppy Joggers team, Fords neighbors Nathalie and Brian Koebel, Kirk Sexton, and Michael Nordwall, along with friends from California, Virginia, and North Dakota, ended up winning first place in the mixed masters division of a race called the Ragnar Relay.

Entertaining Amazing Race for Life of Westchase Returns in May

The Sixth Annual Amazing Race for Life of Westchase is coming on May 21.

Meals on Wheels Seeking Volunteer Drivers

Are you looking for a way to help your community? Meals on Wheels of Tampa (MOWTampa) is in need of additional volunteers to help deliver meals in Hillsborough County.

Westchase Elementary Ends Classroom Drop-Offs

Many parents at Westchase Elementary School have had a tradition of walking their child to class each morning. Some, with multiple children, have been doing so since the school opened 20 years ago. That tradition came to an end in March when administrators initiated a closed campus policy.

Arr, Matey! Have Ye Seen Me Boat?

The Freebooters enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

A new group of fun-loving pirates have invaded the Westchase area and their goals over the next six months are to grow and scare up a new ride.

WOW Bids Farewell to Longtime Business Manager

WOW Business Manager Tracy Urso, center, with her husband Dave and sons, Austin and Jack.

This month also brings a remarkably sad moment for me and for a lot of folks in Westchase. At the end of May, we will be saying goodbye to Tracy Urso, my fellow WOW team member. Tracy is responsible for so much remarkable goodness throughout Westchase and the Northwest area.

Spate of Car Burglaries and Thefts Strikes Westchase

Last week The Bridges was hit. This week, on April 17, thieves struck again in Keswick Forest and Bennington. This time more than electronics were taken...

Westchase Swim Team Expansion Plans Withdrawn

After a month of opposition from Westchase lane swimmers and West Park Village residents, the Westchase Community Association’s (WCA) announced on April 6 that the recently approved expansion of the TBAY Westchase swim team to West Park Village’s pool has been withdrawn by the swimming coach.

Linebaugh Traffic Danger Postpones Reclaimed Waterline Work

Residents who were shocked by the recent and sudden lane changes on Linebaugh Avenue were not alone in thinking they could cause significant accidents. It took one trip through the new construction zone to convince Jim Duncan of Hillsborough County Public Utilities that the abrupt lane shifts put both drivers and folks working on the road in danger.

Rotary Pub Crawl April 29

The Rotary Club of Tampa Westchase has announced its 10th Annual Pre-Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl. The crawl has been the club’s most popular event within the Westchase community. In 2016 the Westchase Rotary, along with the help of its sponsors and revelers, raised $11,000.

Reclaimed Water Pipe Project Impacts Linebaugh Medians

The Westchase CDD and WCA have been deluged with calls from residents concerned about the work in the Linebaugh Avenue medians and its impact on traffic. What's going on? Read on...

Where Will They Go?

Alonso High School is jam-packed. The situation is the product of the full-sprint expansion in northwest Hillsborough County – its new housing developments, apartment complexes and townhomes sprouting like weeds on steroids.

A Travel Dream Come True

Nancy and Gary Konopka

For years Greens residents Gary and Nancy Konokpa and Nancy’s brother, Frank, talked about going to Greece. “A trip to Greece has always been on my brother-in-law’s bucket list,” said Gary.

Friends of the UTB Library: The UTB Library - Your Terrific Resource

We all have busy schedules. Sometimes with everything going on, it is easy to miss out on the advantage of treasures like the Upper Tampa Bay Library within our community.

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.