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 Volume 16, Number 41               October 17, 2014

Keeping Our Roads Safe
and More Useful

We all know that new housing developments will soon start to surround us and new businesses will increase the traffic on our streets.  Many of us need better public transportation to get to nearby interesting places out of town.
     On Wednesday, October 29, from 10-12, in Community Hall, Mike Merrill, Administrator of Hillsborough County, accompanied by Lori Hudson, Communications & Digital Media Services Director, will present an update on a study on Transportation and Economic Development (TED) that will impact all of Hillsborough County to include the South Shore area and Sun City Center. 

Do You Like to Swim?

Are you interested in increasing your swimming activity? A research study (IRB#19036) is being conducted through the University of South Florida to determine if self-monitoring strategies can help you increase your swimming. If you are interested, please contact Sarah Abraham, Master’s Student and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst, by email at sarahabraham@mail.usf.edu or by phone at (305) 794-7613.

Discard Big Trash in Wimauma

You can discard unwanted items from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. once a month at the county collection site, 16180 Westlake Drive in Wimauma.  The dates for the rest of this year are all on Saturdays: October 25, November 22, and December 20.

  • These items are not accepted: 
    Tree Debris, Commercial Vehicle Tires, or Hazardous Chemicals
  • These items are accepted:  Furniture, Junk, Trash, Debris, Metal, Electronics, Tires (Limit 5  per residence).
  • Disposal requires at least one form of ID showing street address such as your FL Driver’s  License, FL Vehicle Registration, or Utility Bill.

Bicycle Registration

Deputy Castillo will hold a bicycle registration on Thursday, October 30 from 9 to 11 a.m. near the bandstand off Cherry Hills Drive.  I don’t recall this ever being done before, and I applaud the deputy’s effort. 
    
Information:  Call Community Service Officer Debbie Vijil at (813) 247-7817.

And, in Closing,

  • Susan Muise is one of our more active residents in town and was attracted by the USF Program on swimming mentioned above.  She regularly swims in the Atrium Building lap pool and has been wearing one of the ‘self monitoring’ units for several weeks. She told me she would welcome any calls from SCC residents about this.  Sounds like useful fun to me!

                                                                                                                        John Bowker


eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998 
Volume 16, Number 40               October 8, 2014

Lower CA Dues in 2015!

     The CA Board took a close look this morning at the budgetary plan we had heard about at the Budget Review Meeting back on September 24. You may recall that we had expected the dues to increase by $2.00 per person for the year 2015 based on that budget.  
     On examination, however, the Board this morning recognized that there is a budget surplus in 2014, and decided to transfer $65,000 from the present Operating Fund and to put it toward our Hurricane Reserve fund thereby fully funding the Hurricane Fund and, also thereby, reducing that amount needed for that fund from 2015 dues.     
     Further, in order to enhance our
Replacement Fund for 2015, the revised proposal calls for an increase in that annual amount by $1.00 per person so we can continue to keep our facilities operating at their best.
     The net budget changes, unanimously passed by the Board this morning, reduces our 2015 dues by $5.00 and that means our 2015 annual dues will be $270 per person if we approve this by our upcoming vote.

The Vote in December

     You will be asked to make several long-range decisions when you cast your Sun City Center votes later this year.  One will be the annual dues as described above, a second will be to elect three directors from the 9 candidates now running for our CA Board, a third will be to indicate if you think a new theater should be built and, finally, if so, how do you think the costs of such a building should be paid.
     You will be receiving a copy of The News of Sun City Center in the mail on November 1st.  In it will be ballots you can use to cast your votes. The instructions will be easy to follow.  
     If you prefer to vote in person, you can go to the Sandpiper Room in the Atrium Building on Tuesday, December 2 between 8 am and 3 pm, or you can vote in Community Hall on Wednesday, December 3 between 9 am and 5 pm.  
     I expect to repeat these days and times later, but I am already getting questions from people who like to plan ahead.

The New Parking Lot

     I will simply repeat what was said at this morning’s CA Board Meeting.  The new parking lot on the Central Campus should be open by the end of the first week of November.  The repairs on North Pebble Beach for piping needed for the new Information Center are being delayed by the weather and due to the need for additional county approvals.  It should all be back and pretty by early November.

Vote Both Sides of your Ballot

Did you get your state election ballots in the mail a day or two ago.  If you decide to vote this way, remember to make firm black marks for your choice of each candidate or topic, and be sure to turn the sheet over!  There are three Amendments on the back side; one has to do with appointment of judges, one is the well publicized medical marijuana issue and the third (actually Amendment #1) is the Water and Land Conservation Amendment that several groups in Sun City Center hope will be approved to protect rivers, lakes and springs, beaches and shores and the Everglades.  Remember to sign the mailing envelope once you have sealed it and have your signature and date cross over the sealed edge.

Free Party
(If today is Thursday, the party is this afternoon!) 

All SCC and KP residents are invited to the Men's Club ice cream open house this Thursday, October 9th from 1:00 until 4:30pm at the Community Hall at 1910 South Pebble Beach Blvd
     In addition to the ice cream,  there will entertainment by the Kegg And Elvis, plus South Bay Hospital will be displaying their construction plans.  We will be paying tribute to our Emergency Squad and their 50 years of service, thanking Fire Rescue for their great assistance, and introducing some exciting new medical alert items from Philips Lifeline!   (Thanks, Jim)

And, In Closing,

  • I note that the fall term for our United Community Church College will open next week.  If you have not yet registered, there are several courses that can still take one or two more students.  You must go to the church during regular hours and sign up (the classes usually run 90 minutes, once a week for 6 weeks).  I am taking one to learn what my Android Tablet can do, and the “News & Views” open forum for topics of public concern still has some openings .. go pick up one of their course catalogs and then ask what’s still available at the college office.
  • I see that some of the equipment in the Fitness Center is being replaced. The “Red Exercise Circuit” units were moved into the Center from the old exercise room (where the dance studio is today) years ago. 
  • Have you ever considered writing for The News of Sun City Center? We can always use good writers and, if you have a nose for news, we can always use more news or sports reporters.  If you would like to learn more about what this entails, please write to our editor, Adam Porter, at newsofscc.ca@gmail.com.
  • Treasurer Neil Rothfeld reported that “transfer fees” of $1,500 were received for 23 re-sale homes during September.  Sales of new homes by Minto result in a smaller transfer fee of $23 based on agreements signed years ago.
  • Community Manager Lyn Reitz reported that our resident count at the end of last month was 10,660.  Note: there are a few empty homes here and we collect up to two full dues from the owners of those houses so the total membership dues at the end of September were for the equivalent of 11,190 people.   

John Bowker


eNEWS
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Volume 16, Number 39              October 2, 2014

This has not been a particularly good week for me.  Whenever I cover an item in this newsletter I get news from at least two sources, or I have first-hand knowledge of the item. There were no exceptions this past week, but I still got two things very wrong.

Transportation to the Airports

     My information was incorrect.  The Information Center is still providing lists of drivers that they have called to be sure they are licensed and carry the right insurances.  The lady in charge, Janet Ditmore, has done a splendid job of keeping that list up to date so she was surprised (and dismayed) with my report earlier this week.  You can obtain the list by calling 813-642-2044 weekdays between 10 and 4 Eastern Time.

Ballots for the Upcoming Elections

     I was a month early in reporting that the ballots regarding a new theater will be printed in the newspaper you will receive on Saturday.  The ballots are scheduled to be in the November edition of The News of Sun City Center

eNEWS Distribution

     This was another thing that went wrong this week. My last edition of eNEWS was the first time I had used a new distribution system.  Most of you received eNEWS but several hundred did not.  So, until I can figure out a better system, I am returning to Yahoo Groups. It also means that I have lost several hundred readers whose addresses were deleted during change of distributors.

Big Book Sale
Saturday, October 4
10am - 1pm

     This Giant Book Sale is at the South Shore Regional Library on 19th Avenue with an extensive collection of items offered!   For $1, you can fill a plastic grocery bag with books.  All proceeds go to support adult and youth programs at the SouthShore Regional Library.  If you need driving instructions (the library is about 5 miles from downtown Sun City Center) let me know.

2015 Phone Book
 “Membership Directory”

The deadline for telephone listings in next year’s book is October 10.  If you need to have anything changed, in your present listing, send a very clear email to Judy Hill at the CA office; membership@suncitycenter.org.  Kings Point residents will want to notify the COA at KPCOA@yahoo.com. The deadline is a week from now.

 John Bowker


eNEWS
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Volume 16, Number 38               September 30, 2014

Now, about the Proposed Theater 

   A lot has been said and written both pro and con about the idea of having a new theater (or, perhaps better, a new entertainment center) in Sun City Center.  For those of you up north, you would be surprised at the number of lawn signs that are all over town arguing we should not go into debt or proclaiming support of a new theater.  As an observer of the scene, I am dismayed by the unsightly appearance of properties with these signs, many of them tipped to one side .. and combined with the terrible appearance of North Pebble Beach right now where it is all torn up during the installation of new utility pipes, I wonder if my wife and I would give this community a second look if we were starting over and planning to move to Florida.
 
    Our town is still the winner of age-restricted communities anywhere in the country.  You and I already know that, so let’s hope some of our neighbors will realize how much the signs may cost us in lost reputation in the long run.
     But here’s some helpful news -- on Saturday this weekend you will receive a copy of The News of Sun City Center and a front page a feature article tells the story of the proposal to build a new theater here.  It gives the reason why such a facility could add to our outstanding posture among retirees, and it tells about the costs that many are objecting to.
     We will all be voting on the issue in December but, for those who feel they already have enough information, there will be a ballot in The News for you to send in early.  Before you vote, just be sure you have all the information from a reliable source before checking Aye or Nay.

It Has Been Raining Here

     We have had three days of significant rain in town.  I know that many readers up north will tell us how dry and pleasant it has been this past week or two.  I have driven around town the last two mornings and, really, I am impressed that we don’t appear to have any flooded streets.  But please, readers, let me know if I have missed any flooding in your area that should be brought to the attention of authorities.  (Even El Rancho was dry this morning!)
     My main contact on such matters is concerned about the golf cart path to Walmart through the trees. Any additional heavy rain “will likely put parts of the path completely under water,” he writes.  “There is no remedy except evaporation.  Users of the path will have to proceed very slowly.”  (Thanks, Sam)

Looking for Work?

Yes, I had this same item in eNEWS a week ago, but the response by employers has amazed everyone associated with this effort that was launched by County Commissioner Sandy Murman.
     Anyone hoping to find full-time or part-time employment may want to be at the County College building at 551 24th Street just this side of Ruskin between 8:30 a.m. and noon on Friday, October 3.  More than 40 employers and vendors are expected to participate, some who will interview potential employees on the spot, while others will provide online links to jobs. These employers have nearly 1,000 positions available in both part time and full time work.
     Employers like Amazon, Mosaic, Brighthouse Networks, Hertz Car Rental, Home Depot, Lowe's, and many more have already signed up.  If you need better directions on how to find that building for interviews, just reply to this email with your question.

Can You Sing?

 There is a fellow in town who wants to start a new singing group. He writes:  “I'm looking for a baritone, a lead singer and a tenor to form a quartet singing songs from the 40's, 50's and 60's.  The plan calls for a lot of choreography and movement so a lot of practice will be needed.  It will be a Sun City Center quartet available for local functions and club events. Interested parties will have to have a great love of singing and performing.”  Contact Dan at 813-634-5271.

And, in Closing,

  • In some of my last editions, the words “the bound lane of North” were omitted through a typing error.  The location of that donation bin that I was criticizing was supposed to be: “…entrance to the parking lot from the southbound lane of North Pebble Beach.”  I want to thank all 30+ of you who wrote in to correct me.  I have, of course, suspended your names from the mailing list of eNEWS.
  • We learned today that the contract with the company building the new parking lots has a closing date of December 9, 2014.  That could be interpreted to read that we will be able to drive on it by that date.  Of course, there are lights and irrigation systems to be installed and adjusted .. so I will wait until there is a formal opening announced; otherwise I’ll just be in the way.
  • Today is the third consecutive day of abnormally heavy rain and I must guess that a lot of repairs will be needed to the open dirt they have put in but, if it hadn’t been for the rain, I’m told they would have started paving the parking lot this week.  Now we will have to wait and see.  Oh, and anyone can guess the condition of the golf cart path to Walmart as of now.
  • Caregivers of cancer patients listen up.  The Cancer Support Group will be meeting again on October 9th, 9:30 a.m. at 1901 Haverford Ave, suite 106 (immediately across from the South Bay Hospital emergency entrance).  We have coffee .. and no fees to join with us. We are always glad to see cancer patients, but be sure to bring your caregivers since they are our main focus.
  • This edition of eNEWS is my first using “EmailDodo” as my distributor.  I can’t wait to see all the problems I’m making for myself. So far, they seem great!

/John Bowker


eNEWS
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Founded in 1998
Volume 16, Number 37               September 24, 2014

2015 Budget Plan

CA Treasurer Neil Rothfeld spoke this morning about a proposed 2015 budget for the CA prepared by the CA appointed Budget Committee and reviewed by Community Manager Lyn Reitz and the treasurer.  The three residents on the committee are Dave Mohl, Gene Morris and (Chairman) Jerry Mahoney.
     Neil made it very clear that this is a draft report. It will be reviewed, discussed and voted on by the full CA Board of Directors at their next meeting, Wednesday, October 8 in the Rollins Theater at 9 a.m.  
     The proposal calls for an increase in annual dues of $2.00 per member; that would bring the total CA dues per person to $277 per year.  
     The CA then issued an email report stating that the increase was to the Replacement Fund because of new construction.  In fact, the increase in that fund will be applied to rather extensive changes to the parking lot along North Pebble Beach (from the Security Patrol up to North Course Lane and beyond), and to some modifications to Community Hall on the South Campus next year.  Those changes are just in the discussion stage right now but we are assured there will be details available in early January.
     You can see the entire proposal at www.suncitycenter.org by clicking on the large SCCCA BUDGET REVIEW SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 link on the opening screen.
    
CA Members will be voting on the dues in December.

Emergency Squad Phone Numbers

      An article in tomorrow’s SCC Observer newspaper is very laudatory about the volunteer work of our Squad and is much appreciated.  Some of the details were in error; the main emergency phone number for the Squad is 634-3800.  The article correctly states that there is never a charge for any service performed by the Squad but, rest assured, Medicare is not involved in any way with its operations.  The funding is purely voluntary donations of residents and businesses in this area.   

And, in Closing,

  • Phillips Edison & Company are now the owners of the Kings Crossing Shopping Center at the corner of 674 and US-301.  We have no idea what this will mean to the stores around the Publix supermarket there but, according to their website, Phillips Edison is in business to buy grocery-anchored properties and maximize their value through hands-on leasing, management and redevelopment.
  • There is a new ‘donation’ bin at the entrance to the parking lot off South Pebble Beach Blvd leading to the locksmith and Samaritan Services.  I tried to learn about them but their website is not functioning and their office hours are on Pacific Standard Time.  Rest assured, that bin (which is not a pretty sight) is not connected with the Nearly New Shop whose bin is clearly marked next to their main store at the back of that shopping center.

  John Bowker                                                                


eNEWS
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Volume 16, Number 36               September 19, 2014


 SCC Plaza Face Lift

You can see that things are changing in the center of town at the plaza. First of all, driving is dangerous with the temporary barricades and tall derricks in front of all the stores while they finish work on the roofs. Drivers are not used to having so many distractions around them in that area. And then they began to paint the overhead store signs. So far, they are using four face colors, green, yellow and orange plus an off-white as shown here in the foreground. The final outcome is a favorite speculation in talks around town.

Lock Your Car

This week’s meeting with the Deputy Sheriff’s office highlighted the need to keep your car doors locked while you are at the store AND in your own driveway.  You should never leave anything of value exposed on a car seat; it is too easy to break a window and get in. It is also easy for the bad guys to walk past a car, try the door and, if it is unlocked, to climb in out of sight and go through the glove box and remove all the items.  If you should come back, the bad guy can easily escape; after all, you will be surprised and confused by the situation .. but he will not.

Scams

Numerous reports of phone calls to reader’s homes have come to me this past week.  Those with more than one report include calls from “TECO” (we’re going to turn off your power if you don’t pay me by credit card right now), and calls from an “attorney” offering to help you because of the heinous crime you committed and there is a Grand Jury indictment out on you. One was accused of not reporting for jury duty.  Use common sense; our judicial system (and TECO) is not going to take action based on a phone call! 

Looking for Work?
 
Many Tampa Bay employers have been invited to participate in a South County Job Fair on Friday, October 3, at the Hillsborough County College, 551 24th Street in Ruskin. They will conduct on-the-spot interviews of potential employees. Florida Department of Education, Hillsborough County Civil Board and County Fire Rescue will also be available to present information about their community programs.
    This Job Fair is free and open to the public. For more information call David Robinson at CareerSource Tampa Bay at (813) 930-7868 or email Mr. Robinson at robinsond@careersourcetampabay.com.  The event is being held in association with Career Source, Hillsborough Community College SouthShore and Hillsborough County.

A Ferry Service into Tampa
From Apollo Beach to MacDill AFB

You may have seen some references to this proposal in the press recently. It could be boon for Southshore and those who commute to MacDill every day.  There are conservationists opposing the project that would create a combination ferry terminal and recreational park on Tampa Bay half way from Apollo Beach to Gibsonton. There are questions about how much this would cost the County and the taxpayers, and concerns regarding bird sanctuaries that would be destroyed, but the idea needs to proceed to find out the rest.  For more information go to http://www.tampabay.com/search/?q=bay+high+speed+ferry 
     Send an email to the Southwest Florida Water Management District with your comments. Send an Email cara.martin@swfwmd.state.fl.us with a copy to tampabayferry@Hotmail.com.

Cancer Support Group
Are you a caregiver to a friend or relative?

The next meeting of the Cancer Support Group will be on Thursday, October 9th, 9:30 a.m. at 1901 Haverford Ave, suite 106 (immediately across from the South Bay Hospital Emergency entrance).  There are no fees or charges for this group.
     The attendees at their meetings have been mostly patients at various levels of cancer recovery or treatment.  They hope that continues, but the meetings also promote the understanding and assistance for caregivers; they hope to see more.
     This upcoming meeting will feature Sue Walters, MSM, RD, director of Food & Nutrition Services at South Bay Hospital and we are expecting her to discuss acceptable diets for the various types and levels of cancer.   

And, in Closing, 

  • Flu shots: Walgreens is doing it at Community Hall, Tuesday, September 23rd.  Tuesday, October 21st and Thursday, November 13th.
  • Sales tax will not be collected today, tomorrow or Sunday on the first $1,500 of the sales price of energy efficient ceiling fans, dishwashers, freezers, clothes washers, refrigerators, light bulbs, bathroom sink faucets, showerheads and more.  Go to: www.FreshFromFlorida.com/TaxFree
  • The next time you need to give a presentation in the Caper Room, you may want to use the new 80" TV provided by the Digital Photo Club.
John Bowker

eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998
August 21, 2014 

The library addition (below) may be the first of the new buildings to be completed.

eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998
August 8, 2014

More Construction Underway

These 2 buildings at the corner of North Pebble Beach and North Course Lane will be home to the Samaritan Services organization, the Digital Photo Club, Macintosh Computer Users and several dance clubs.

eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998 
June 17, 2014

NEW COFFEE KIOSK
Just as you enter the Atrium Building