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News OVERVIEW FOR Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Tampa Tailgate Oct. 3

Do you have your tickets yet? Westchase’s favorite tailgate party is back! Fourteen years ago our 5-month-old son, Logan, was diagnosed with the life-threatening illness called Cystic Fibrosis, a fatal digestive and respiratory disease. We were devastated.

2015 WOW Dining Survey: The Winners and Runners Up

Drum roll, please! The results are in! In August and early September, scores of Westchasers completed our dining survey to pick the Best Restaurants in Tampa Bay and we believe any of our top three finishers in each category are worth a visit.

17th Annual Dining Survey: Best Restaurants in Tampa Bay

The results are in! In August and early September, scores of Westchasers completed our dining survey to pick the Best Restaurants in Tampa Bay. This month we reveal the top three finishers in all categories!

Three Seats Open in Sept. 8 WCA Board of Directors Election

Joaquin Arrillaga of The Greens

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m., the Westchase Community Association (WCA) will hold its annual meeting in the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center’s activity room. The annual meeting marks the Westchase Voting Members’ (VMs) election of the WCA Board of Directors. Three seats are up for election this year – those currently held by WCA Directors Joaquin Arrillaga, Ken Blair and Dyan Pithers.

Westchase Bus Stop for Robinson IB Shifts

After years of departing from the back of Westchase Elementary for its trip to South Tampa, the Robinson IB bus stop will shift to the front of the elementary school for the coming school year. The shift came at the request of a Westchase parent who felt the front of the school would allow safer access for students who walk or bike to the stop.

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.

Veterans Linebaugh Exit to Reopen Late August/Early September

Beleaguered Westchase commuters inconvenienced by the closure of Veterans off-ramp at Linebaugh Avenue on July 26 may see relief by early September. On Aug. 12 Christa Deason of Florida Turnpikes Headquarters told WOW, “We expect to have the Linebaugh off-ramp reopened in the next two weeks.”

Social Action Project Fundraiser Offers Dinner and Movie Deals

Sabrina Takagishi, a resident of The Bridges and incoming seventh grader at Davidsen Middle School, is completing a social action project for her Bat Mitzvah. Her goal? To purchase school supplies for needy kids.

Has Your Credit Card Been Skimmed?

Fraudulent card skimmers are on the rise at ATMs and gas pumps. How can you protect yourself?

Westchase Rotary: Not Your Dad’s Rotary Club

Rotarian Laura Lendved during a recent service outing at Mackay Bay.

While most Rotary Clubs tend to be comprised of an older, more masculine demographic, the Westchase Rotary Club is highly diverse. It’s proud of its dynamic female leadership and a youthful membership base! Westchase Rotary’s newest Rotarian, Laura Lendved, is a perfect example.

Fruit Fondue Opens in WPV Town Center

The chocolate fountains are flowing at Fruit Fondue in the West Park Village Town Center. The unique café opened in mid-June and owner Izzat Abaza promises it is not like anything in Florida.

Florida Special Legislative Session May Change Westchase Congressional District

A special session of the Florida Legislature between Aug. 10-21 looks poised to change Westchase’s U.S. congressional district. Currently Westchase lies within Congressman Gus Bilirakis’ district (Rep., District 12); under proposed maps, the community would be shifted into Congresswoman Kathy Castor’s district (Dem., District 14).

Escaped Wolf Back in Pen

Akela, the wolf-dog that escaped with the help of rising flood waters earlier this week from HorsePower for Kids has returned safely to his pen.

Wolf Escapes Petting Zoo Just South of Westchase

HorsePower for Kids, a non-profit farm and petting zoo located at 8005 Racetrack Rd. just south of Hillsborough Road, has requested help in locating a wolf that has escaped from a pen at the petting zoo. According to Barn Manager Saskia Ravelli, the wolf, which she identified as a wolf-dog hybrid, escaped when flood waters undermined its pen two days ago.

Westchase Hit With Street Flooding Aug. 3

Divers ignore road closure barricades on Montague Street in The Bridges on Aug. 3. The black car in the center was abandoned as inoperable earlier when the water was approximately a foot higher. Another damaged car had been towed away by the time this photo was taken.

Like much of South Tampa, Westchase experienced areas of localized street flooding on Monday, Aug. 3. Much of the resulting damage, however, ultimately proved man-made.

County Transit Plan Hinges on Half Cent Sales Tax Referendum

After three months of meetings aimed at gathering public input on transportation priorities, Hillsborough officials released their transportation plan in June. But all of its recommended improvements hinge on Hillsborough voters supporting a half cent increase to the county’s sales tax on the November 2016 ballot.

WOW Wants Your Back-to-School Photos

Westchase’s best and brightest return to school in August. As in past years, WOW wants your back-to-school photos.

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.

Three Seats Open in Sept. 8 WCA Board of Directors Election

INTRO: Will you consider volunteering to help your community? Election for three WCA Board of Directors’ seats will take place Tuesday, Sept. 8, at the Westchase Swim and Tennis Center.

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.