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News OVERVIEW FOR Friday, December 19, 2014

Ready… Set… Shop!

Are YOU coming to the Westchase Holiday Market? The fifth annual Westchase Holiday Market will be held on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Westchase Golf Club. All net proceeds from the event, along with ticket sales from special raffles, will be donated directly to Autism Speaks.

A Westchase Icon Sees Renaissance at Open House

The former Westchase Welcome Center – now the Ross Building – saw an Oct. 17 Open House that revealed its extensive renovations.

Nope. You Can’t Use Fireworks in Westchase

Each New Year’s Eve the explosive celebrations prompt Westchase complaints. Since it’s “legal” to buy fireworks in Hillsborough County, it must be all right to use them in the community, right? Think again.

Santa Preparing for Dec. 13 Parade through Westchase

Westchase’s favorite annual visitor returns this month! He’s got news about his Westchase naughty and nice list – and how to track him! He recently dropped by to discuss his upcoming parade on Saturday, Dec. 13, with WOW Editor Chris Barrett, who pitched him questions submitted by residents, both young and old.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Holiday Tips

With the onset of the holiday season, Sheriff Gee offers some holiday crime prevention tips. The District III Holiday Initiative commences on Nov. 28 and concludes Dec. 26. During this time, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies will be conducting enhanced operations around the Citrus Park mall to deter criminal activity and ensure public safety.

Kingsford Residents Honor the Memory of Gary Davidson

Gary Davidson with his wife Terry

In recent weeks, yellow ribbons have fluttered in the breeze on Kingsbridge Avenue, a tribute to beloved neighbor Gary Davidson. “The ribbons are a sign of honor and friendship as we lost a dear friend to cancer,” stated fellow Kingsbridge resident, Lisa Noel.

Westchasers Got Talent!

Casey Banales

On Nov. 2, a number of Westchase residents put their musical talents to the test at the “America’s Got Talent” open call auditions held at the Tampa Convention Center.

Great West Chase Raises $22K for Bellamy Elementary

Keswick Forest’s Larry Smart, who took first place in the 5K and 10K races.

A little algebra for you: Take 5K and add 10K and what do you get? In the case of The Great West Chase, that would be $22K.

Road Repaving in Westchase: How Likely Is It?

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, the old saying goes. But getting enough grease from Hillsborough County to repave Westchase’s aging roads may be like getting blood from a stone.

Thanksgiving Tragedy Brings SWAT Team to West Park Village

Thanksgiving celebrations along Magnolia Blossom Drive were interrupted on Nov. 27 as the result of a five-hour armed standoff that culminated in the death of resident Matthew Cormier.

Thanksgiving Food Drive Sees Great Success

On a hot Sunday in November before Thanksgiving, hundreds of Westchasers, including scores of dedicated and their Troop leaders, gathered at Westchase Elementary for the 2014 Westchase Thanksgiving Food Drive.

Westchase’s State House Seat Declared Empty; Triggers Special Election

The prolonged court fight over the residency requirements of a state write-in candidate is over. The result? Westchase’s seat in the Florida House of Representatives has been declared vacant and new elections to fill the seat will be held Feb. 10 and April 21, 2015.

Westchase State House Seat Declared Empty; Triggers Special Election

The prolonged court fight over the residency requirements of a state write-in candidate is over. The result? Westchase’s seat in the Florida House of Representatives has been declared vacant and new elections to fill the seat will be held Feb. 10 and April 21, 2015.

WOW Seeks Applicants for 2015 WOW Scholarships

Have you proven yourself a scholar with a dedication to community service? If so, there’s a college scholarship you should know about.

Great West Chase 5K and 10K Results Are In!

The Great West Chase 10K, 5K and Children’s Fun Run broke a new record for the community event with nearly 1,000 registered runners for the Oct. 25 races in West Park Village. With 178 runners finishing the 10K race, first place was taken by Keswick Forest’s Larry Smart, 45, with a time of 34:51. Second place went to Matthew Farrell, 34, (36:14) and third place to Michael Rivera, 27, (36:47). Click on the title link for complete results.

Great West Chase 5K and 10K a Great Success!

The Great West Chase 10K, 5K and Children’s Fun Run broke a new record for the community event with nearly 1,000 registered runners for the Oct. 25 races in West Park Village. With 178 runners finishing the 10K race, first place was taken by Keswick Forest’s Larry Smart, 45, with a time of 34:51. Second place went to Matthew Farrell, 34, (36:14) and third place to Michael Rivera, 27, (36:47).

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.