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News OVERVIEW FOR Monday, July 24, 2017

Gasparilla Mermaids Visit Westchase July 29

Interested in joining Gasparilla's fun? On July 29 Ye Westchase Krewe of Freebooters will introduce their renowned mermaid team and welcome new krewe members for next parade season.

County Commission Takes First Step to Rename UTB Library

Eric Denney, Commissioner Ken Hagan’s legislative aide, called WOW’s offices this afternoon to announce that the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has taken the first important step toward renaming the UTB Regional Library the Maureen B. Gauzza Library.

County Commission to Consider Renaming UTB Library after Kingsford’s Maureen Gauzza


At the July 19 meeting of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), commissioners will consider a proposal to rename the Upper Tampa Bay Regional Library after library advocate Maureen Gauzza, who passed away on July 3 after a lengthy illness.

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.

New Leader Takes Dragon Reins

Two dragons greet new Davidsen principal, Stacy Arena.

New Davidsen Middle School principal Stacy Arena said she’s arriving at the perfect time. She’s excited about the school’s new Center for the Arts – an attractor program that features the visual and performing arts – and believes it will strengthen Davidson’s status as the middle school of choice for Westchase residents.

Around the World in 365 Days

Young Scott Hazlett, who had a map of the world painted on his boyhood bedroom wall.

Scott Hazlett, Alonso High School’s assistant principal for administration, is quitting his job to take a year off and travel the world. You read that correctly. Quitting his job. Taking a year off.

Woodbay’s Bristol Commons Circle Holds Block Party

It was a bright, sunny and perfect day for a Memorial Day weekend picnic! On Sunday, May 28, residents of Bristol Commons Circle celebrated with a neighborhood block party. The event was funded by WOW after the street won its 2016 Holiday Decorating Contest.

2017 WOW Scholars: Megan Gajewski and Virginia Howell

Kristen Gajewski

June’s WOW announced our 2017 WOW Scholars. This month we take a closer look at some of these impressive Westchase residents.

2017 WOW Sylvester Scholars: Faith Colagouri and Kyle Johnson

Faith Colaguori

June’s WOW announced our 2017 WOW Scholars. This month we take a closer look at some of these impressive Westchase residents.

Flournoy Apartment Complex Breaks Ground

If you haven’t driven down Sheldon Road in a while, you might be in for a surprise. An area once hidden behind a line of trees off Thomas Ranch Lane is now easily visible. That area is being cleared to make way for a new luxury apartment community.

Funeral Services Set for Kingsford’s Maureen Gauzza


Maureen Gauzza, the force behind the original, local effort to convince Hillsborough County to build the Upper Tampa Bay Regional Library near Westchase, passed away after a long illness on July 3.

The Official Gasparilla Mermaids to Visit Westchase!

On July 29 Ye Westchase Krewe of Freebooters will introduce their renowned mermaid team and welcome new members for next season. Are you fit to be a Freebooter?

Are Fireworks Allowed in Westchase?

Each July some explosive Independence Day 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? You might be surprised by the actual answer.

Dragons Fly High!

The Davidsen PTSA was so proud of its Dragons this year, they decided to announce it to the community. As school let out for summer break, the Davidsen PTSA proudly posted a banner and a series of colored pinwheels on the lawn in front of Davidsen Middle School.

Celebrating a Booming Fourth

Whether at the beach, at a baseball game or at a hometown (or downtown) festival, if you’re looking for spectacular fireworks displays, Tampa Bay has plenty.

Protecting Westchase Ponds: How Can You Help?

If you’re a homeowner living on a pond, there’s a lot you can do to help protect your yard from erosion.

Linebaugh Lane Work Resumes Monday, June 12

The long delayed project to replace a reclaimed water main will resume on Monday, June 12, according to a county official.

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.