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News OVERVIEW FOR Sunday, November 19, 2017

Food Drive Shopping List Available

The Westchase/WOW Thanksgiving Food Drive is Sunday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. And we have uploaded the shopping list flyer here for you to use at the supermarket.

Will Your Neighbors and You Win a Holiday Party?

The judges are coming! The judges are coming! (But you have to remember to invite them!) It’s time to haul out the ladder, your five miles of icicle lights and all the tinsel your toddler can eat! Judges for WOW’s 19th annual Westchase Holiday Decorating Contest will be hitting the road the weekend of Dec. 9-10!

Autism Speaks Honors Contributions of Westchase Holiday Market

Jennifer Joyner, left, Director of the Westchase Holiday Market, displays Autism Walks’ recognition of the market’s contributions.

On Aug. 21 Jennifer Joyner, Director of the Westchase Holiday Market, and her husband, Jackie Joyner, attended the 2017 Tampa Bay Autism Speaks Walk Awards Reception. The event took place at the Ray’s Club at Tropicana Field, and celebrated the Tampa Bay walk teams, walkers, sponsors and volunteers who contributed to the Autism Speaks Walk Fundraiser this year.

Freebooters Put the Fun in Fundraiser

Ye Westchase Krewe of Freebooters Captain Eric Holt (center) and teammates Phil Petre and Dan Petre jump for joy during the Krewe

Sept. 16 brought a successful fundraiser for the Westchase Krewe of Freebooters at the Westchase Golf Course. Now you can mark your calendars for their next fun event.

Westchase Business Round Up

This vacant retail spot in the Westchase Town Center will hold a new title company, opening in November.

Westchase will see two new businesses and a completed commercial renovation in November.

Westchase Couple Celebrates 72nd Anniversary

Nov. 11 will mark Veterans Day as our country honors its military. This special day also marks 72 years of wedded bliss for Fords resident and Air Force Sergeant Robert Eckert and his wife Mary Jean.

Homeschooling: Why Do Westchasers Do It?

Alex Ferraro starts his day with a workout.

According to the Florida Department of Education, more than 58,000 families homeschool their children in Florida, with 3,749 of them here in Hillsborough County. Since 2006 the number of students enrolled in homeschool programs has increased by almost 15 percent and Hillsborough County is one of the top three districts with the most children educated at home.

Westchaser Shares Tale of Surviving Maria in Puerto Rico

Glencliff’s Jeremy Ramos with his notebook containing his plan to get home after Hurricane Maria slammed his father’s home in Puerto Rico.

The timing of Jeremy Ramos’ vacation seemed ideal. Only a week earlier, Hurricane Irma had weakened dramatically before skirting Tampa, leaving no damage to Jeremy Ramos’ Westchase home. He was ready to return to his native Puerto Rico to visit relatives and catch up on work remotely. It was goodbye, Irma. And hello to family, the Caribbean and ... Hurricane Maria?

Landscaping Debris Not Collected?

Recently a lot of residents have complained that the county’s waste collection contractor isn’t picking up their landscaping debris. What’s causing all the misses?

Westchase Men’s Tennis in Regional Championship

The men's Westchase 3.5 USTA tennis team went to the Florida Regional Sectionals in August as a representative of Hillsborough County. The team played well, losing 10-8 in a third set tie break in their bracket championship. The team will participate in the league again beginning in January. If interested in playing, please call Chuck Ankney at 505-2896.

Westchasers Assist Keys, Puerto Rico and Vegas

Ashley Mason, right, with friends and donated supplies during her recent drive.

Westchasers put together a number of drives, supported by scores of their fellow residents, to benefit the victims of two hurricanes and the Las Vegas shooting in September and October.

Bobbi Pitcher: In Memoriam

In August Westchase lost Bobbi Pitcher, Village Green’s dedicated voting member. Bobbi, a longtime resident of Village Green, passed away on Aug. 29, less than eight weeks after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. She spent the last two weeks of her life in home hospice, surrounded by family and friends.

Improvements Under Way at Westchase Golf Club

On Jan. 1 of this year Green Golf Partners took over the management of the Westchase Golf Club and things – and staff members – have changed. Senior Vice President Zack Vervaecke said their goal has been to improve the golf course and customer service.

A Scary Good Decorating Idea

If the idea of simply hanging a plastic skeleton on the wall or dangling fake spider webs across the bushes have lost their edge for you, AtmosFX’s digital decorating kit offers a fun upgrade for next year’s Halloween decorations -- or this coming Christmas.

Westchase’s 10th Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive Nov. 19

This year marks the tenth Westchase Thanksgiving Food Drive and we need your help to break all records! To help accomplish that, WOW will expand its the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to all subdivisions within Highland Park, Mandolin, Windsor Place and Westwood Lakes this month.

CDD Addresses Hurricane Matters and Golf Course

The Oct. 4 meeting of the Westchase Community Development District (CDD) saw supervisors address Hurricane Irma storm clean up, express concern with the construction on Linebaugh Avenue and express interest in potentially purchasing the Westchase Golf Course to preserve the community’s appearance.

VMs Elect Three to WCA Board

Winners of the Sept. 26 WCA Board elections: Greens resident Joaquin Arrillaga, Bridges resident Ashley Wait-Woodcock and Woodbridge resident Rick Goldstein.

The Sept. 26 annual meeting of the Westchase Community Association (WCA), previously postponed due to Hurricane Irma, saw a seat change on the Westchase association’s governing body. The annual meeting of the Westchase Voting Members (VMs), run by Nominating Committee Chair Keith Heinemann, saw five residents, including three board incumbents, throw their hats into the contest. Reelected to another two-year term were Greens resident Joaquin Arrillaga and Woodbridge resident Rick Goldstein. Joining them is newcomer Ashley Wait-Woodcock of The Bridges.

WCA Board Adopts 2018 Budget

At their Sept. 14 meeting the Westchase Community Association (WCA) Board of Directors voted to approve the association’s 2018 budget, which includes a $13 dollar increase in the annual assessment.

WCA Budget Workshop Projects $13 HOA Assessment Increase

The Sept. 5 Westchase Community Association (WCA) annual budget workshop combed through a draft of 2018’s $1.5 million budget prepared by Association Manager Debbie Sainz before landing on a new assessment for Westchase homeowners. At $275 the 2018 assessment represents a $13 – or 5 percent – increase over this year’s assessment.

WOW Issues Correction on Storm Surge Evacuation Maps

If you’re basing your judgment of your evacuation zone based on the maps printed in June’s WOW, it’s time to look again. Each year in preparation for our June 1 edition, WOW examines Hillsborough County’s evacuation maps. We did so again in early May this year. Unfortunately, Hillsborough County then made adjustments to their online evacuation maps after the June WOW went to print.

Westchase’s Wonder Dog

A superhero has landed in Westchase and his name is Duncan. But why is he there and how does it involve you?

WOW 2017 Scholars: Nicholas Fata, Teresa Manipadam and Julia Hossain

Julia Hossain

In June WOW announced the nine Westchase seniors selected as our 2017 WOW Scholars. This month we offer the final three profiles of our scholarship class. We introduce Nicholas Fata, Teresa Manipadam and Julia Hossain.

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.

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.