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eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

Volume 18, Number  36              September 23, 2016

Save paper; if you are printing this out, please use the attached .pdf version of this newsletter.

During the next week, the sun will rise and set within a minute or two of 7:20.

No Dues Increase in 2017

     Community Association Treasurer Neil Rothfeld presented his 2017 budget proposal this morning at an open meeting in the Florida Room. The next steps will be for the CA Board to confirm that our CA dues will remain at $270 per person, and then for all CA Members to vote on it in December.
     By the time you read this, the entire budget should be available for review on the CA website at www.suncitycenter.org.  Please note the remarkable savings in our utility costs that have been accomplished by judicious improvements credited to Community Manager Lynn Reitz.

Deputy Jeff Merry Honored

    


 Our Community Resource Deputy (above left) has been selected as Winner of the 2015-2016 Outstanding Law & Order Service Award by the Military Order of the World Wars organization.  The presentation was by MOWW Commander Sam Thompson on Tuesday at the Community Leaders Meeting in our Florida Room.

Mark your Calendar

There will be an informal “coffee and conversation’ get together for ALL members of the Community Association on October 7.  There will be more information available about plans for a new CA Office Building -- hopefully enough to prepare us for a vote in December on whether we need a whole new building or if we should just repair and upgrade the office building we presently have. The meeting will be at 9 AM in the Caper Room (Atrium Building).

You should Apply to Become a
Community Association Director

     CA Members can now pick up an application and instructions at the reception desk at the CA Office, 1009 North Pebble Beach Blvd.  The application asks your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and CA Member number.
     Directors receive no compensation for their work, and cannot be an employee (or an immediate family member of an employee) of any organization engaged in subdividing or marketing any unimproved area of Sun City Center.
    You will be asked to select the term of office for which you are applying; there are one-year terms and three-year terms open.
     Your application must be completed and returned to the CA Office by 3:00 PM, Wednesday, October 5.

WAWA is Really Underway


Once it is built and opened, it will be easy to get to -- but, for now, the best I could do yesterday was to park next to McDonalds near the intersection of US-301 and SR-674, and look across that busy intersection.

     And what about Aldi’s across the street?  There is a lot of daily work there. The building itself still needs a lot of cosmetic work and today they are grading the parking lot.  We’ll keep an eye on that for you.

And, in Closing,

  • I see that work has started on our South Campus where the streets there will now be covered with Limestone “Pea Gravel”.  The existing parking areas will not be enlarged, but the improved access to those areas will create a few more accessible spaces for cars.
  • Someone in the Budget Review meeting asked me if I was going to bother to mention it in eNEWS.  You see, there were only 7 people there who were not either press, paid employees or actual CA Directors.  It’s a shame that more people don’t show an interest in how this all-volunteer community is run.
  • If you don’t see the two pictures in this edition, click on the Attachment to this eNEWS to see the whole message in high definition with the pictures.

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


eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email

Founded in 1998

Volume 18, Number  35              September 19, 2016

During the next week, the sun will rise 7:18 a.m., and will set at 7:25 p.m.

Cafe Expansion Starts

     We are so delighted to tell you that the plans to enlarge our Atrium Cafe have now been converted into actual construction.  We are guessing along with the others that the work will be completed by the end of the year.  For at least the first few weeks, Ambereen will be able to keep her operation open as usual, and we will let you know when the construction makes that impossible.  That will occur when a couple of outside walls are removed.
     But wait, there’s more:


        This photo was taken today from the entrance to the Rollins Theater looking over toward the Atrium Building with the outdoor pool out of sight at the left edge.
     You will not be able to enter or exit the Atrium Building through the back door at all until all the construction is finished later this year.  That strange green wall you see will block your way to or from the patio.
    
You should probably plan to come in to the Atrium Building through the front door, or through the outside door by the Computer Club room, or from the outdoor pool through its connections into the Atrium Walkway area.  There may be occasions when you can get to the Florida Room through its Kitchen entrance or through the Armstrong Room.  We will watch to see what use can be made of the double doors shown at the right edge of this photo to enter/exit the Florida Room.
     Entry to the outdoor pool from the patio where I was standing to take this picture is through a new gate at the left edge of this photo where you see a small white sign.
                              

New County Website Design

The County has redesigned its website to be easier to use and more mobile-friendly. It uses a new, streamlined address, HCFLGov.net.
     The new design provides a more intuitive website. Residents can navigate in a few clicks to lists of local parks and recreation programs. Companies can easily locate information on permits or how to do business with the County, and residents can quickly find out their garbage pickup days and what items are recyclable.

     Research showed increasing numbers of people come to the website through a mobile device, so HCFLGov.net was designed to be easily accessible by cellphone, tablet, or laptop.

Community Church College

Registration

Registration: September 21 from 9 to Noon at SouthShore United Church of Christ 1501 La Jolla Ave, Sun City Center.  Course catalogs are at the church and at the CA Information Center.

  • Fall Semester starts October 10, ends November 18
  • Early Registration via our website: www.4lifelearning.org
  • Late Registration: September 22 thru October 7

And, in Closing,

  • I have had three emails this week from residents reporting that political signs have been removed from their front lawns .. two from one party, one from the other.  Stealing such material is against the law and seems pretty petty to me; each thief ought to be ashamed. 
  • For the 2016-2017 season, CDC recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017.

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


eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

Volume 18, Number  31               August 15, 2016

For the next week, Sunrise is just before 7 a.m., Sunset is shortly after 8:05 p.m.

New Emergency Gate
Fire / Rescue / Sheriff will have a key

Minto has begun construction of a new permanent gate to provide emergency entry and exit at the south end of town. 
    Hillsborough County has shown such a street connection into US-301 since December, 1990 in its General Site Development Plan for Sun City Center.  Several years ago the community voted to restrict access to its properties from the south, so this will require a locked gate that only the county Sheriff, Fire and Rescue personnel can open.   

Is This Familiar ?
(If so, you may be in for some fun!)

Winners in the Double Six and Double Nine categories in this age-old game can win prizes and will be recognized at a celebration on Sept. 29 in Riverview.
   If you have any idea what I’m talking about here, and feel you could compete in a county-wide competition in this popular table game during the next few weeks, send me a note at:  jbowker@tampabay.rr.com  and I will explain.

Need Food Stamps?
A new location in town for applying for “SNAP” benefits

The Mary Petro Fund office at 1501 LaJolla Ave in the South Shore United Church of Christ building is now authorized to help residents of Sun City Center and Kings Point apply for benefits.  Twice each month a staff member from Feeding Tampa Bay visits the Mary Petro office and will assist residents with their on-line applications.  Reservations are required and residents should bring necessary documents with them to their appointment.  Please call 813-634-8306 to find out more information and/or to make an appointment.  The Mary Petro Fund is provided by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and our volunteers are pleased to offer this new service to local residents.

KEGG Concerts

Coffee Concerts
by the Florida Symphony Orchestra

A series of nine Thursday morning Coffee Concerts by the Florida Symphony Orchestra is being offered at the Mahaffy Theater in St. Petersburg from October to May.  A bus will run from both Kings Point and Sun City Center for each concert and, upon arrival at the theater, free Krispy Creme Donuts and coffee are offered.  A preview before each concert features an interview with a musician or soloist, followed by audience questions. There is a lot of humor and a sense of excitement to be with a full house of folks enjoying classical, show and familiar music.
     Carolyn Deming at 633-2241 has all the information about costs and other details.  This has been an ongoing program from here for over 20 years.

Handling your own Retirement Funds?

Hillsborough County residents can receive free one-on-one financial guidance on basic personal finance topics from Florida Master Money Mentors.
     Mentors can meet with you here in town at a convenient time for you to provide guidance on how to develop a spending and savings plan, manage debt, build a good credit history, and achieve financial goals. The mentor will provide continued guidance for as long as you need to learn the basics of financial management. 
     Any Hillsborough County resident interested in meeting with a Florida Master Money Mentor can call Lisa Leslie at (813) 744-5519, ext. 54143.

And, in Closing,

  • There were 10,938 residents in Sun City Center at the end of July.
  • You should be planning your golf cart’s decoration for the December 10 Parade; the theme is “Our Florida Winter Wonderland”.
  • The CA Board has approved a new Policy allowing 501(c)(3) organizations needing a CA room to have room rental fees waived for its board meetings and for a charitable fund raising event. Information from 633-3500.

/John Bowker   
Reply to this at jbowker@tampabay.rr.com


eNEWS

News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

Volume 18, Number  26               July 13, 2016

Save paper; if you are printing this out, please use the attached .pdf version of this newsletter.

Sunrise this week is at 6:43 am; Sunset is at 8:43 pm

Big Subject Coming Up

The CA building at 1009 North Pebble Beach Blvd was built as a model home by the W-G Development Company in the late 1970s.  It was one of 4 houses built on the corner where CVS is now located.  When it was moved to its present position in 1980 a new foundation had to be constructed. 

     You are looking at a photograph taken under the CA Office Building recently. 


    Unbelievable, unsupported spaces under the CA Building must be addressed.  The underside of the cement slab on which the office floor is placed is at the top of this photo with pipes and cables running from the ground up into the building.
    So, what to do?  We learned this morning at the regular CA monthly board meeting that the floor in parts of the building are beginning to sag and that the roofing timbers (some 40-50 years old) are showing signs of decay.  Clearly, we cannot count on that building as a reliable work place or storage facility for more than another year or two at most.

Gravel for the South Campus

The plan for using shell gravel on the driving surfaces around Community Hall has been changed to using limestone where paving is not in place.  The limestone will provide a more uniform and clean appearing surface and will be less subject to damage from the weather.  Also, please note that Community Hall will be closed to all from Tuesday, July 26 to Sunday, August 7 for floor repairs and refinishing.
     The schedule for cleaning up all the areas needing this new surface treatment depends now on the contractor who has agreed to take this on.  But you see he has a commitment to finish up his work for Wawa over at the US-301 intersection with SR-674.  I was pleased to see some activity over there today where Wawa is scheduled to build.  According to the information I have received, Wawa has been having the same problem getting county permits that we have for the cafe. 

And, in Closing,

  • I can’t let the big topic today go without reflecting on a question asked of me during today’s Board meeting, “Do we really need a CA Office building?”  By July 26 I will have my answers and comments ready for the meeting (if needed).
  • During June, there were 52 homes sold in Sun City Center for which the CA received Capital Fund fees.  The number does not include the brand new homes being constructed on the old Ben Sutton Golf School property.
  • The Capital Fund now totals $954,000.
  • Golf Cart Parade:  Snowbirds take note too!  The theme for the December 10th community Parade will be “Our Florida Winter Wonderland”.  It is never too soon to begin your plans for golf cart decoration.
  • Out total resident count as of the end of June was 10,933.
  • Rumor Control:  I get very strange (but very welcome) emails from readers. This week there were two asking about the huge increase in the Capital Fund Fee.  Answer:  There has been no increase in that Fee.  Yes, the CA Board brought this up for discussion recently but it has not been brought to a vote by the Board members.  The Fee is now $1,500 when an existing house is sold here   and they are just talking about raising it to $1,800.  I will keep you posted.

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


eNEWS
News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998
Volume 17, Number 19               April 14, 2015

Please Greet Deputy Jeff Merry


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 old Sun Hill doctor office building was demolished to make room for that parking lot; the doctors have moved to a new building on Galen Court.
    We will see work underway here 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