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eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998
Volume 17, Number 16               March 24, 2015

Backflow Valves

      We learned a whole lot last week at the county meeting held in the Florida Room about plans for everyone to have a backflow valve (some of us more than one).  But that meeting was cut short by an illness of one of the principals (who, we are told, is doing fine now).  So things will pick back up this week Friday, March 27, in the much larger Community Hall, 1910 South Pebble Beach starting at 10 am.  
     Everyone is invited to attend since this is really a county meeting.  Since we now know that we must all have these devices to help protect the county’s main potable water distribution system, we still need to find out how much this is going to cost each of us now and for tests in the future, and when this may all take place.

Saturday is A Day of Hope
Bingo!  You got that right.
 
8:30 - 11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 28, at Community Hall at 1910 South Pebble Beach Blvd for a full breakfast of a large omelet, a bagel or doughnut, with orange juice, and coffee or tea for only $7.00.  
     The best part is you can win it all back starting at 9:30 a.m. when the Bingo games start with cash prizes.  Bingo cards cost $1.00.  
     This semi-annual breakfast event benefits at-risk children who attend the after-school and summer programs at Bethune Park in Wimauma.   
     Tickets for the event are available at the door.  Everyone is welcome. Bring your friends. The Hope Fund is a 501©(3) organization that is run entirely by volunteers.  Call Carla Miles at 634-4268 for more info about the B&B or The Hope Fund, or to make a tax deductible donation, or check out www.the-hope-fund.org.  Hope to see you on March 28th!
Someone to Talk With
 
      Jim Clarke lost his wife earlier this year.  It has been a very sad time for him.  Recently, however, he found a source of helpful information - "all meat and potatoes" as he put it without any fluff.  There is a real need he points out, to be with people who will just listen and let you get your grief story out.
     He'd like to form a men's Wellness Group that meets regularly for coffee. The primary goal would be helping guys alleviate some of the burden encountered during the grieving process which is varied and lengthy. The 2 basic ground rules would be, being willing to listen to others and share your story.  If you think a meaningful chat with Jim and others about what you have gone through, he would like to hear from you by email at jclarke32@tampabay.rr.com.   

FunFest in Beautiful Weather

     Our talented Sharon Silverglade was at it again during FunFest last weekend, capturing the spirit of the beautiful day and showing off some of our ladies in the Atrium Building Dance Studio.  There is a 5-minute take on the day's events you can watch at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXZn1aBL1ts   and then click onto the dance studio:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k26ig2esku8.   (Thanks, Sharon!)

And, in Closing, 

  • Too many readers have written in to ask if I know anything about a new Dunkin Donuts (with Baskin Robbins!) being built next to Beef O’ Bradys on Cypress Village Blvd.   I say “too many” because, if you make contact with either of those organizations, they claim not to know what you’re talking about.  Just because all the staff in Beef’s tells you they know it is true .. well, we heard the same thing a month ago in another part of town with other companies coming in.  So my answer still has to be “no, I don’t know anything, not really”.
  • Isn’t it delightful to see that old, broken white wall come down along 674 just west of Prince of Peace Church.  I understand a replacement wall will be going up in a day or two so the six properties that were behind the old wall will once again have some visual isolation from all the traffic on 674.  There must be a story there somewhere about getting that eyesore corrected.  We’ll wait to see how it looks when finished.
  • When you put your trash and recycle cans out for the county to empty, please put them close to the curb so golf carts will not have to swerve out into the main traffic lanes.  The wheels of your cans can nest nicely in the lowest part of the curbs so neither the sidewalk nor the traffic lanes are significantly blocked.
  • If you have any constructive comments that might help the volunteer committee that runs the annual March FunFest, I know they would love to hear from you. We sure had a beautiful day on Saturday, and I liked the way the vendor and outdoor club tables were so spread out.  I will forward to them anything you feel would help next year’s program.
  • Events in the past two weeks have demonstrated that we are no different from  every other community when it comes to people trying to steal from us.  The most remarkable comment from our Community Resource Deputy is that they are aware of a burglary group that has been in operation from Miami to Toronto
           
      I am not an expert in protecting one’s home, but I know of several cases where an alarm system in a home was set up to detect any motion in the main living room all the way through to the kitchen.  But burglars knew that the valuables were most likely stored in the master bedroom area so an entry there did not trigger the alarm.  
             My wife and I came home once to find everything looking normal until we went into the bedroom and found the window smashed and all the bureau  drawers out with the contents strewn all over the floor – and yes, they got the ‘valuables’ we had hidden in the back of a bureau drawer.
  • We are still told that we have the lowest crime rate in Hillsborough County, and I do not believe any one of us feels “unsafe” here.  Quite the opposite.  Just use common sense when you leave your home.

/John Bowker


eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998
Volume 17, Number 15               March 18, 2015

FunFest is Saturday!
Biggest Day of the year in Sun City Center
Attendance is open and FREE!

     If you have ever attended our Town Fair on our Central Campus in any of the prior 15 years, I know you will be with us this weekend.  But if this is all new to you, please do yourself a favor and plan to spend maybe an hour or so wandering through the exhibits.  The all day Health Fair will give you a chance to see what kinds of service providers are right here just waiting to be asked. 

  • FunFest runs from 9 am to 2 pm.
  • There will be no parking possible on Saturday after the first early birds arrive around 8 am anywhere on our central campus for cars or golf carts, so
  • Plan to park at Community Hall, 1910 South Pebble Beach Blvd anytime during the day in that huge parking lot, and a free bus will bring you to (or from) FunFest every 20 minutes or so.  The last bus will leave from FunFest at 2:30 to take you back to Community Hall.
  • Pick up a copy of the free SCC Observer newspaper just about anywhere in town and find the insert that tells about the food (provided by various clubs at a modest cost) and all the free entertainment.
  • Visit as many of the clubrooms as you have time for from sewing/quilting,  through model railroading to the Woodcarvers and 30 or 40 more!)

Traffic in Sun City Center
Another local issue needing our attention

     It is getting worse all the time, right?  If you have any ideas or comments about what might be done by the county or state to keep our traffic moving in and around Sun City Center or nearby Hillsborough County, the county wants to hear from you right from your home. 
     Their latest event is a “Telephone Town Hall” and it will be tomorrow evening, that’s Thursday from 7 to 8 pm.  They want you to call in, tell the screener of your thoughts, and then either listen in to the general discussion with county personnel chatting with folks just like you in the same way you hear talk radio programs.  They will know when you called and what you wanted to talk about – and as soon as possible, they will include you in the discussion that everyone can hear.
     I have been assured that anyone who calls in with a question will get a considered answer, either during that one-hour telephone call or later on (even on Friday morning) depending on how many take part. If you call, you should have your idea or your question clearly stated (write it down so you can read it).
     Thursday night March 19, between 7 and 8 pm, call 1-877-229-8493 and entering the PIN 110301#.  A screener will take your call and hear your idea.  I am told that you can then just stay on the line to hear the discussion, or hang up and await a call back as soon as they can get to your question or comment.
     (This will be a first for me too; they may do this again a week or two from now so maybe we’ll learn more about how to use this technique.)

Back Flow Valves

      The meeting on Tuesday morning this week brought out several points of interest and may have prompted County Commissioner Stacy White to set up one more similar meeting here on this topic shortly.
     He confirmed that every water meter for residences in Sun City Center will be augmented by the county with an in-ground (buried) backflow valve; of course, a few residences already have the required valve.  Some things to watch: 

  • Some homes already have an above-ground backflow valve assembly with all the piping – it measures something like 2 feet long and stands over a foot above ground – and looks awful. Those valve assemblies will be removed by the county and replaced by an in-ground back flow valve right next to (or part of) the underground water meter where the county (potable) water comes into the home from the mains that run along the street. 
  • If a home now has two water meters, one for the house, one for irrigation, backflow valves will be installed on both lines leading from the water meters toward the house.  Those two backflow valves may therefore be different, one from the other.  There are expense and reliability exchanges to be evaluated by staff before any of this goes to the County Commissioners for a final decision.
  • The county has not decided just what the cost would be for each residence and how such costs would be billed or spread out over many months or years. 
  • Unfortunately the meeting was interrupted by the illness of a participant, but Commissioner White assured the attendees that he would do whatever he can to re-open this discussion in Sun City Center.

Helping the Kids Next Door

The Hope Fund's Breakfast and Bingo fundraiser returns to Community Hall on South Pebble Beach Blvd. next Saturday, March 28th, from 8:30 to 11AM.  The cost is only $7.00 for an omelet of your choice, a bagel with cream cheese or a doughnut, juice, coffee, tea.  
     Play bingo for cash prizes starting at 9:30.  Bingo cards cost $1.00 each.  Tickets are available at the door.  All are welcome!  
     The Hope Fund is a 501(c)(3), all volunteer, organization dedicated to providing quality after-school and summer programs to at-risk children at Bethune Park in Wimauma.  The Fund provides tutoring and mentoring, a reading program, a running program, art and music classes to encourage creativity, chess, and woodworking.  Counseling on health, self-esteem, nutrition, family life, and first aid are provided. Also, The Hope Fund provides financial assistance to those families that cannot afford the full cost of tuition.  Tuition is needed to help defray the cost of maintaining the programs. 
     Spend a pleasant morning with us on the 28th and help some deserving children. Call Carla Miles at 813-634-4268 to learn more about The Hope Fund.

Sun City Center Night at Tropicana Field !

The Sun City Center Men’s Chorus will sing the National Anthem at the Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox game on April 23rd. The Rays have announced this will be declared Sun City Center night at the game. One section has been reserved for Sun City Center attendees down the third base line, lower level. The Men’s Chorus has made arrangements for bus transportation and has tickets for sale. 
    For more information call; 319-481-7896 or 813-634-4110. 

/ John Bowker
Respond to me at:  jbowker@tampabay.rr.com

 
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eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998
Volume 17, Number 14            March 12, 2015

Aldi Is Coming to Town


      I received a telephone call today from Joe LaForm of Ocean Blue Realty, Inc., that has been handling the sale(s) of properties at the corner of 674 and US-301.
    
He advised that an Aldi Supermarket will be built on that southwest corner that runs all the way from the former Copper Penny restaurant property around to the Boggs Jewelry Store location.  
     One of the problems that has delayed this news has been the size and shape of that corner property. The county requires a retention pond for flood control these days, and in order to accommodate such a pond, they may need to cover it, perhaps just as the developer of the Regions Bank across 674 did for the pond between them and McDonalds in the Kings Crossing Plaza.   
     No schedule yet for new building; we will see a lot of demolition there first.

 Wawa Is Coming to Town


     Yes, I know what was said months ago, but Joe LaForm was not able to tell me details such as this because of our agreement that investor confidentiality has to come even ahead of eNEWS! 
      Wawa will be building on the corner right across US-301 from the new Aldi location; It will fill in the wooded area from 674 to the Advance Auto Parts store.

 And, in closing,

  • Yes, both of those properties are really in Wimauma .. but for 53 years Sun City Center has had interests in the Aldi corner .. so why change just as things are getting interesting.
  • A reader asked if book donations to the South Shore Regional Library are tax deductible.  Answer is yes; any one of the workers in the book sale room can give you the proper form.
John Bowker
Respond to me at:  jbowker@tampabay.rr.com


eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998
Volume 17, Number 13               March 8, 2015

Are Your Clocks Right?

     Did you remember to change your clocks to Daylight Saving Time?  Wrist watch, car clock, bedroom, kitchen stove, irrigation timer …

Shredding on Tuesday

      CA Members can bring all their old records to be shredded professionally on Tuesday morning, 9 to noon, at the North Pebble Beach Blvd parking lot extension just beyond the entrance to North Course Lane.  Our Maintenance Department staff will be there to take your papers so you can just drive in and leave right back out onto North Pebble Beach Blvd.  If you want to stay and watch your papers destroyed, please park over next to the new buildings in the main parking lot.
     Be sure to bring your updated CA Card with you!

Local Scam

      There are people going around Sun City Center offering to cut down diseased fruit trees for residents.  They cut down the trees, take full payment and promise to return several days later and pick up the debris. They never return and the resident is stuck removing the debris. You should not to pay until a job is completed or at least only pay ½ up front and the balance at completion.

The First To Open

     Samaritan Services announces the Grand Opening of its new facility at 1207 N. Pebble Beach Blvd. at the corner of North Course Lane.  All are welcome as they have a ribbon cutting, music, refreshments and tours of the building. Please come for the event and a tour of their new quarters on Saturday, March 14th between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.   
     Openings for the other activities in the new buildings along North Pebble Beach will be coming shortly.

Going North for the Summer?

     Before you leave, you may want to verify that meeting room reservations for your club or organization for 2016 will be handled properly.  The CA will be sending out the information letter and the room reservation request form via email on Friday, March 27 to club presidents.  On Wednesday, April 1, the CA will start accepting the forms through the front door of the CA office (no email replies will be accepted).  Reservations will be accepted until April 30, but keep in mind the earlier you get them in, the better chance of getting what you want.  And yes, to repeat, we are talking about reservations for 2016.

     Swim Dancers
Annual Program is Saturday at 2 p.m.

      Each year our Swim Dancers put on an elaborate program in the Indoor Pool at the Atrium Building.  This year Susan Muise has composed a Who Dunnit theme – there is a crime spree and the ladies need help in capturing the culprit.  You will enjoy seeing how the crimes are being investigated during the exciting one hour program on March 14.  
     Our guest swimmers, the Synchro Stars and Synchro Belles from Palm Harbor will be joining in the fun.  
     Tickets are on sale at the Ticket Kiosk in the Atrium Building from 9-noon during the week; you can call Ginny Williams at 634-1710 for more details.

A New Household Cost
Come hear the details a week from Tuesday

      County Commissioner White will hold a Town Meeting in Sun City Center on Tuesday morning, March 17 at 10 AM in the Florida Room to discuss a proposed new county surcharge to each homeowner.  The county intends to install a new device in your main water system that is supposed to keep contaminants from getting back into the public drinking water supply. 
     The device is called a ‘backflow valve’.  
     You should attend with your neighbors!  It seems clear now that everyone will have to pay for one of two types of backflow valves but the County has not yet determined how the new valves will be paid for; maybe a general surcharge on all of us, or a specific billing to each of us as the valve is installed at our property, or even a grandfathering with the surcharge starting after the property is sold.   The more who attend and voice their concerns, the better our chances for a lower financial burden.  (Thanks, Dave!)

Membership Meeting
Wednesday, March 11, at 7 p.m.
Community Hall, 1910 South Pebble Beach Blvd

      The Community Association Board holds two such meetings each year so you really should plan to attend. Among the agenda items will be a discussion about thoughts for new amenities in Sun City Center.
     There will be an open time for audience questions and comments at the end of the meeting. 

Book Donations

     When you go into the county library on 19th Avenue (“South Shore Regional Library”) you may have noticed a large cabinet in the lobby on your right with a slot for your donations of books. that support all the free programs put on by the Friends of the Library there.     
     If you would like to support that work, just put your books (carefully) in that slot or, if you have them in a box, put them under the table just beside the donation cabinet.
     And you will soon learn about their next (huge) book sale in the James Duffy Meeting Room at the library on Saturday, April 11 from 10 – 2.  (Thanks, Mimi!)

/John Bowker


 

eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998
Volume 17, Number 10              February 20, 2015

Hospital Expansion
South Bay to add 26 Rooms


     This is the latest artist’s rendition of changes now planned for our South Bay Hospital.  The expansion will be built over what is now the parking area in front of the existing building (shown as the back part of the building in this drawing).  A new parking lot will be built in the area now occupied by the Sun Hill Medical Center – that is the building just to the east of the hospital.  The existing Sun Hill building will be demolished to make room for that parking lot.
     I expect we will see work starting here in early May and I am told the new facility will be opened in August, 2016.  There will be no interruption in services at the hospital during construction.  When finished, South Bay Hospital will have 138 beds for patients.

John Bowker
Respond to me at:  jbowker@tampabay.rr.com

eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998
Volume 16, Number 44               November 6, 2014

New Water Pipe to be Installed

     Hillsborough County will be installing 26,000 feet of 4 and 6 inch PVC pipe in Sun City Center in 2015.  This is due to new county standards for the spacing of hydrants. 173 new hydrants will be installed here and in the Villages of Cypress Creek in the next development to our west.
     The only areas of our community to be affected lie north of SR-674.  The work will start in January; this will involve marking many properties to indicate where there are existing pipes to be avoided.  The actual laying of new pipe will start shortly after and continue through the year with an expected finish in November. After that, testing and decontamination of the new pipes will take another 2-3 months. The old pipes will remain in place filled with sand or capped off.
 
    The new pipes will be located 3 feet below the ground surface and will be installed using a “horizontal trenching” technique to minimize the disturbance to the surface around peoples’ homes.  At each house, there will be a connection made from the new pipe to the water meter.  They will advise home owners “a couple of days in advance” before they come to disturb your property.  The house water will have to be cut off briefly for the installation.  They assure that any driveway blockage would be finished within one day. 
     Below is a map of Sun City Center showing where each of the new hydrants will be installed; you better know your way around town because the streets are not named on the county map.  Each little green dot is a new hydrant.