News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

Volume 18, Number 6               February 10, 2016

North Lakes Golf Course

There are frequent discussions about what we might do about the deteriorating golf course property lovingly known as the North Lakes Golf Course – the one that WCI closed just before ClubLink bought all the courses a year or two ago.  Some 400 homes overlook one or more of the 18 holes and the subject came up at this morning’s CA Board Meeting.  The comments from the Board were that (1) we have no control over that property, but we have an interest in helping maintain the appearance of Sun City Center and, when we try to get in touch with ClubLink, they never return our calls.
     And (2) we learned that the golf property itself is now listed as ‘abandoned’. So I drove along all the streets that border the old 18 holes this afternoon and confirmed that the “No Trespassing” signs are gone and the ‘Private Property’ warning signs have been all painted over so they say nothing.  I’m told the property may still be ‘posted’ in a legal sense but I urge you not to go there; the bridges over the water hazards are not receiving any maintenance.
     Recently ClubLink changed its operations director here so we are hopeful this will signal a new channel of communication with them for us all. 

D A V Information

The Disabled American Veterans, Sun City Center Chapter 110, will host an information briefing and discussion addressing a number of veterans’ and spousal benefits that are commonly not well understood and are largely underutilized. The meeting will be held in the Rollins Theater, 970 Cherry Hills Drive, Sun City Center, at 2 pm on February 29th.
     The chapter has agreed to conduct this discussion as a result of numerous difficult and unpleasant encounters experienced in our veterans’ service office.  People are waiting too long before requesting assistance and expecting rapid resolution.  

     Topics: Auto & Adaptive Equipment Allowance, Veteran’s Pension, Survivors Pension, Aid and Attendance & Housebound Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), Non-VA emergency Care, Burial Benefits
     Please call 813-642-2047 to confirm attendance.

Breakfast and Bingo

The Hope Fund will have its Spring B&B on March 5 at the Community Hall on South Pebble Beach Blvd.  The time is 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.  The cost is $7.00 for a complete breakfast with an omelet made in front of you, a bagel and cream cheese or a donut from Elite Donuts, orange juice, coffee or tea.  (Thanks, Carla!)

Remember the Big Book Sale?

An entire sentence was deleted from my last eNEWS edition telling that the sale going on this Saturday, February 13, at the SouthShore Regional Library will run from 10 am to 1 pm.  Be sure to stop in the “half-price book sale room” and say hi to Linda and me at the desk.

Wimauma Collection Center Open

The Wimauma CCC (dump) is scheduled to be open the 3rd Saturday of every month this year starting a week from now on February 20.  Residents must show a property tax bill at this site to dump household items, but only a photo ID is required for electronics and paint.  (Thanks, Sam!)

What is a Hardanger fiddle?

The Scandinavian Club of Sun City Center will meet on Wednesday, February 24, at 2:30 pm in the Eberhardt (Lawn Bowling) Building.
     Karen Solgard, an accomplished performer, will play the Hardanger fiddle and talk about this national instrument of Norway. It is similar to the violin and each fiddle is a handmade work of art. The instrument probably originated in the area around the Hardanger fiord of Norway.
     Light refreshments will be served; admission is free for members, $5 for non-members. For questions concerning the program please contact Sandra Andel, 813.690.1359. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Scandinavian Club should contact Fritz Brinck at 813-260-3422

And, in Closing,

  • All CA Clubs must have their membership list turned into the CA by the end of February. It goes to Claudia at 1009 N. Pebble Beach Blvd.
  • We are all sorry to learn that our Sun City Center Librarian, Elaine Birkinshaw, has resigned to spend more time at home. We will all miss her very much.
  • The AARP TaxAide free tax service in Sun City Center is now open Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm at the United Community Church building.  Questions? Call Marilyn Wilson at 633-5679.
  • The treasurer reported that Capital Fund Fees have been received for the resale of 37 homes in Sun City Center in January. 
  • We understand that only 3 tables for the March 19 FunFest are available. Want one for your club or organization? Call Claudia at 633-3500.
  • At the end of January we had 11,022 total residents in Sun City Center.
  • I am getting advanced word about an all volunteer study program for Seniors like us to help us understand what Facebook is all about.  More in my next edition, I hope.
  • Among the more common questions is “why do we call our main campus on North Pebble Beach the ‘Central’ campus?”  Well, today for the first time, I heard mention of the ‘North Campus’.  It may not stick but, for the time being, that is the 37 acres of land where the walking trails are located on Del Webb Blvd West just between Vincennes and Seton Hall Drives.  Makes sense.
  • Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Merry will be conducting a bicycle safety and registration session on Thursday, March 10 from 9-11 am at Community Hall.  More later.

/John Bowker
Write to me at


News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

Volume 18, Number 5               February 7, 2016

Learn What’s Going On

     On Wednesday morning this week, the Community Association Board of Directors will be holding their monthly meeting that is open to all residents of Sun City Center.  You will need to be able to show your CA Badge but here is what you will hear starting at 9 am in the Rollins Theatre.
     The topics range from a comment about the outdoor showers on the South Campus to the present status of our finances. CA Board President, David Floyd, will present an overview of current matters of interest to the board, followed by a companion summary of activities by our Community Manager, Lyn Reitz.
     The board then will be voting on at least 6 issues; we have many very active dance groups in town, but one, the “Foxy Seniors” dance club is being dissolved.  If you are active on the shuffleboard courts you may want to attend to learn of plans for refurbishing them on the Central Campus, if you are into exercise programs, there is a new club forming (“NIA”.. non impact aerobics).  The Golf Cart Committee is taking on a new Chairperson.
    The floor is then thrown open to the audience to raise any questions of the full board.  Last month this part of the program brought up some interesting points by the attendees.

Upgrading the Medians

The work you see being done on North Pebble Beach Blvd medians near the CA Office is still part of the initial stage of the 2015/2016 Florida Friendly Median conversion project.  The project started with the removal 14 trees on the median that were too close to Pebble Beach Blvd or were diseased. The next step in the project is the removal of the existing sod which should be completed early this next week.  The tree and sod removal was funded by grants from the Men's Club and Interfaith Council. 
     The final phase will be the planting of the medians with Florida Friendly plants. The design objective of the 2015/2016 median conversion was to provide the Pebble Beach medians with a blend of plants with green, blue, yellow, purple and red colors - all together 11 different plants and 3 different trees.  Some of the plants being planted are Firecrackers, Thyrallis, Trailing Yellow Lantana, Brunifeslsia, and Viburnum - all of these plants were blessed by the Hillsborough County Extension Services, Hillsborough County Public Works as being low maintenance cost and low water requirements of  Florida Friendly.
     Also being planted will be 6 Crepe Myrtle, a Live Oak and 6 Purple Vitex trees. The plants are being funded with Tree Grants from Hillsborough County and administrated through the Office of Neighborhood Relations with grants awarded to 10 Sun City Center Home Owners Associations.
     The final phase of this conversion effort will be the installation of low volume irrigation systems in each of the three medians being converted and will be completed after the plants are in the ground.  This effort is being funded by grants from the County Water Department and should be completed this week.
     Thanks to Ed Barnes, Chairman of the Median Committee, for this write-up.

Big Book Sale
(What, another one??)

Oh my yes!  Now, if you took part in this weekend’s book sale in the Caper Room of our Atrium Building, I hope you had as much fun as we did with the wide variety of books, CDs and DVDs that Elaine Birkinshaw and her committee put out for us.
     But wait, there’s more!  This coming weekend the SouthShore Library on 19th Avenue is have their semi-annual sale that takes place in two rooms of that huge library building.  This is the one where you are given a shopping bag and the price you pay for whatever you can stuff into the bag is $1.00.  You don’t even have to bring your own bag – they will hand you one as you come in the door.
     There is a second room in the sale and here the rules are different.  The books are sold on a ‘half price of what is marked’ basis.  Some of them are priced at $3 or even higher, but the variety is enormous.
     If you need directions to that library, let me know by replying to this email at .. but be there between 10 am and 1 pm on Saturday.
     These sales come just in time for you to plan what to take north with you to fill in a dreary summer away from the excitement of Sun City Center.

Emergency Squad Information
This week Wednesday at 6 pm.

The Sun City Center Emergency Squad is hosting an Information Program to answer questions and provide details to prospective volunteers.
      The program begins at 6PM and will take place at the Training Building at 124 S. Pebble Beach. We invite interested residents to find out more about the Squad and the volunteer opportunities we have available.  The Squad is always looking for people interested in volunteering on the ambulance as Emergency Medical Responders, Ambulance Drivers and Emergency Medical Technicians. Other volunteer positions the Squad currently has available include IT specialists, vehicle maintenance volunteers, and cooks.
     Each year the Squad provides Basic Life Support (BLS) emergency services to the community. In 2015, the Squad made over 5000 ambulance runs and approximately 1200 medical wheelchair van runs. All of the Squad’s services are free, including blood pressure readings offered daily at the office, 8AM to 5PM.
     Coffee and cookies will be served at the Wednesday evening meeting.

And, in Closing,

  • Have you noticed all the new ground cover being put down around the Atrium Building?  Lyn Reitz tells me that most of the pastor grass we got during the recent construction was diseased and died out. We are replanting with new Bahia that tolerates just about everything.
  • A reader writes:  Yesterday I saw a bug on my screen outside on my screen room.  I knocked it off - didn't know what it was. It was ugly.  Today I saw in the paper it was the mosquito that carries the Zika. People must be watchful.    
  • Just a follow on to the story above about our medians, there is a long term plan to convert all 31 of the Pebble Beach Blvd medians to Florida friendly plants in order to reduce maintenance and water cost in the long run.  

 /John Bowker
Write to me at

News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

Volume 18, Number 4               January 22, 2016

How Not to Get Cheated

   The surest way to avoid being scammed by some very talented crooks is to learn how they operate. At least you will have a clue about what to watch out for. 

   This month, Our Deputy Sheriff Jeff Merry will focus attention the various ways fraud is committed on Lotteries, Sweepstakes and Charities. 

     He will be speaking on:

        Tuesday, February 9 at 10:00 am in the Caper Room of the CA Atrium Building,

        Tuesday, February 9 at 1:00 pm in the Kings Point Main Clubhouse Ripple Room.

        Tuesday February 16 at 11:00 am in the Freedom Auditorium at Freedom Plaza,

        Wednesday, February 17 at 3:00 pm in the American Momentum Bank.

Residents of Sun City Center can enter Kings Point for the  meeting; just tell the entry guard where you are going.

Homestead Property Value Increase

The ­2016 limit for assessment value increases of Homestead property in Florida has been capped at 0.7 percent. Assuming you have not added any new construction to your Homestead property, your assessed value cannot increase more than 0.7 percent this year. 

   These limits were established in 1995 by Save Our Homes, an amendment to the Florida constitution. This amendment caps the annual increase on the assessed value of Homesteaded properties at 3 percent, or the change in the CPI, whichever is less.

   In order to receive this benefit you must apply and qualify for a Homestead Exemption, or already have a property that is receiving Homestead Exemption. If you have not applied for Homestead Exemption and own a property in Hillsborough County that is your primary residence, you can submit a Homestead application online by visiting the HCPA at:     


New Policy for CA Clubs

An update to the CA Policy Manual pertaining to clubs was handed out at this week’s Community Leaders’ Meeting.  For those who did not attend but want to see the updated club policy, just send your request to

     Of course, you can see this update along with ALL of the CA policies on the CA website, by clicking on ‘Association’, then ‘Governing Documents’ and then ‘complete Policy Manual’.  (Thanks, Claudia!)

Planning Ahead

Once again, Sun City Center will celebrate its town fair called FunFest on the third Saturday of March – March 19 this year.  Please be aware that this means the CA facilities on the Central Campus will be closed down a couple of days in advance, so plan to do something else on Thursday and Friday, March 17 and 18!

A Moment of Sadness

Please let me share a letter I received this week from Vallery Thomson-McKeehan

My husband and I own property on Belle Glade Ave and my sister Kelly lived there.  She has MS so we bought her the house so she could live alone with our help minutes away. 

   The house was destroyed by fire Wednesday. It started at 12:30 a.m. on the lanai, source still unknown.  She takes meds at night before bed that heavily sedate her.  Her cat jumped on her chest to wake her when the fire started therefore saving her life.  Unfortunately, the cat perished and Kelly blames herself.  For this, she is heartbroken.

   Kelly adds, in the mass confusion, neighbors and family came forward immediately with everything I would need to recover.  In addition, I received an envelope with my name on the front of money from an anonymous person that should be recognized and thanked for their thoughtfulness as well as the neighbors that brought me limitless amounts of clothing.  I also thank HCFR SCC/Ruskin/Wimauma fire departments that immediately responded and put the fire out. 

   Because my cat lost his life saving mine, the fire department offered and took my angel's body and buried him for me.  I can never repay them for taking care of him in my hour of need. I am blessed and forever thankful to live in such a loving, giving and caring community.

    Much love and light to all,

        Ms. Kelly Hutchison

And, in Closing,

  • If your travels have taken you on South Pebble Beach Blvd this week, no doubt you have marveled at how quickly they are repaving, one lane at a time.  They have streamlined the procedure so they mill, sweep, tar and asphalt in seamless fashion.  We should all commend the way Hillsborough County Public Works is doing their work here.
  • The WaWa site in Wimauma received horizontal construction plan approval in late December and should be moving forward without issue.  As of the 14th of January, the opening date for WAWA in Wimauma, is planned for October 19th.  Work should start very soon.  (Thanks Nancy and Sam!)
  • The total cost of parking and road improvement for the South Campus is $120,000. I had reported a lesser amount in an earlier edition. It will be funded from the Replacement Fund and the Operating Fund.  (Thanks, Neil!)
  • CA members have one more week to fill out a form at the CA Office regarding their interest in being considered for one of the two open seats remaining on the CA Board of Directors.  The window closes at 3:00 pm on Friday the 29th.

/John Bowker

Write to me at


News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

Volume 18, Number 3       January 15, 2016

You can save paper if you are printing this out by using the attached .pdf version

Café Construction

We learned this week that not only are all the permits in hand for the proposed expansion of our Atrium Building café, but a “Value Engineering” review of the specific construction details has now been completed by The Project Office (TPO) of the Community Association to be sure the costs of each step are in line with our needs.  Construction will be able to start immediately after the March 19 FunFest event.  All costs will be borne by the CA’s Operating Fund and not the Capital Fund.  
     They are hopeful that the new operation will be open by mid-year.

Nature Walking Trail

The CA Board unanimously approved a Letter of Understanding with the Sun City Center Audubon Society.  They will provide maintenance to the trail on our West Campus.  The entryway to that trail is shown on page 12 of your Membership Directory; it is accessed from Del Webb Blvd West between Vincennes and Seton Hall Drives.  There is no automobile parking in that area, but plenty of golf cart parking at the entrance to that trail.

     The improvements planned by the Audubon people include new signs, labeling of flora and trees and an information center at the entrance to explain the different walking paths one can choose.

New Golf Cart Path?

There has been talk around town about a golf cart path that would provide access to the eating places and other businesses on the south side of 674 on the west side of Sun City Center.  We learned this week that a path on the Kings Point side from Cortaro Drive would not be approved by the authorities because it would cross wetlands and involve cutting cypress trees along that route.
     Instead, the Department of Transportation is considering how to improve the connection from the existing golf cart path on Upper Creek Drive to the sidewalk along Cypress Creek Boulevard and its intersection with 674 so golf carts could cross 674 there.  

Huge Clubhouse Sale

Friday & Saturday, January 22 & 23. 8 am to 1 pm. Estate and miscellaneous household items including tools, electronics and furniture - great prices!

This sale, by the Sun City Lawn Bowling Club, will be held in its clubroom building (“Eberhardt Building”) on the Central Campus next to the lawn bowling greens.  See page 28 of your Membership Directory; find building #6.)

     While we are on this subject, The Lawn Bowling Club is investing over $15,000 in one of its greens right there next to where the sale will be.  Master-Turf Farms Inc. has started the work to replace the base then re-sod Green #3. They are hoping to be back playing on it by April.  A second Green will get a similar upgrade with money from the CA Replacement Reserve Fund.

Hillsborough County Closings on Monday
Libraries to close; Regional Parks will remain open
All emergency services will continue without interruption.

The majority of Hillsborough County offices and facilities will be closed on Monday, January 18, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.
     Closed facilities include the administrative offices of County government, all libraries, recreation centers, Head Start/Early Head Start centers, and senior centers and nutrition sites.
     The Pet Resource Center. A limited number of animal safety and enforcement officers will be on duty for emergencies only, via the main number at (813) 744-5660.
     The Sunshine Line transportation service will not operate.
     All Social Services Community Resource Centers will be closed.

Parking on South Campus

The CA will be spending some $71,000 to re-do the shell parking lots and roads in the back area around Community Hall.  Parking will be expanded around the tennis, volley ball, Pickle ball and horseshoe courts, fresh shell gravel will be installed.  The brighter surface will make driving easier and should improve the apparent lighting in that area.

Upgrades to Fitness Center

The CA Board of Directors unanimously approved the expenditure of nearly $40,000 this week for three new treadmills and a recumbent cycle for the Fitness Center on our Central Campus. Included in the package is a ‘multi-gym’ product for performing all major exercises found in most health clubs.

And, in Closing,

  • Anyone who has volunteered in any way for the CA is invited to a free “thank you” lunch in the Florida Room on Thursday, February 25 from noon to 2 pm. 
  • The count of residents in Sun City Center on December 31, 2015 was 11,010.
  • A new policy is now in effect for vendors/contractors/licensees with the Community Association.  The principal topics covered relate to Equal Employment Opportunities, Political / Religious activities, Insurance and use of our amenities.
  • Janet Ditmore announced that 3,561 visitors had come into the Information Center in 2015; Visitors came from 32 States, Canada, Mexico and Germany.
  • All ancillary assignments to the CA Board of Directors and all Committee Chairpersons have been made by CA President David Floyd.  To find out “Who’s In Charge Here”, go to that heading at the website
  • CA Vice President Sam Sudman has learned that the widening of US-301 from 674 north to the intersection with 672 (Balm Road) is scheduled to start late this year.  It will be centering its driving lanes to the east of the present roadway over that stretch.

/John Bowker
Write to me at

News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

 Volume 18, Number 2               January 7, 2016

Highlights from Annual Meeting

285 residents attended last evening’s membership meeting in Community Hall.  Three residents of Sun City Center were sworn in as directors of our Community Association for three year terms as a result of resident votes in December John Luper and Jim Schwartz are newcomers to the Board of Directors, and the current Board Treasurer Neil Rothfeld all accepted the terms of office administered by CA President, David Floyd.
   We were reminded that there are two open seats on the Board at this time and any CA Member is entitled to apply for consideration as an appointee to the board by picking up an application form at the CA Office reception desk at 1009 North Pebble Beach Blvd. The completed form must be returned to that desk no later than 3 pm on Friday, January 29.
   We learned that a net of 480 homes changed hands* in 2015 so we can see that Sun City Center continues to be attractive to buyers even after our 54 years of history.  That also means the CA Capital Fund grew by $720,000 during 2015.
   All approvals for construction of an enlarged café as an addition to the Atrium Building are now in hand and are under final review by The Projects Office of the CA.  Construction should begin during the first quarter of 2016.
   During 2016, the shell and gravel parking areas around Community Hall on our South Campus will be replaced (and expanded) with a much brighter mix of limestone and gravel.  Also, new trees and decorative shrubbery will be installed on CA property including areas around the parking lots on the Central Campus.

* Note that when a home sale closes, the buyer is charged $1,500 fee that goes directly into the CA Capital Fund, but there are conditions under which the seller of a home who turns around and buys another house in Sun City Center, may not be charged the fee for the second house.  (Details on request)

In response to audience questions:

  • The Sheriff’s Office will be monitoring the traffic that drives past a school bus that is picking up or discharging a student in town.  Drivers may not pass a bus that has its large red ‘STOP’ signs extended on your side of a divided highway or on either side of 2-lane roads.
  • We expect the new road surfaces in the parking areas around Community Hall will provide improved lighting.
  • The CA is aware that more and more tickets are being handed out to speeders on our streets. The Sheriff’s Office is patrolling in unmarked cars (both here and in Kings Point).  The questioner suggested the CA install signs controlled by radar showing car speeds as is now done on the two Del Webb Blvds.
  • The CA will review the need for more lighting at the pedestrian crossings of Cherry Hills Drive near the Arts and Crafts Building.
  • Beautification:  The CA and the county share responsibilities for keeping the community attractive; of course, the CA can only control its owned properties but frequently calls the county’s attention to needs.

Sign In Sheets

President Floyd announced this morning that, effective today, January 7th, the Community Association will not require Clubs or Organizations to use the sign-in sheets for meetings or gatherings in clubrooms.  The CA Board of Directors wish to review this exercise and the project in general.  They will review the data collected and decide whether to go forward or modify the collection of data.

How Things Change

President Floyd points out that, when this community was founded, about 15% of the new residents were golfers, but a recent poll shows that only 5% of our new residents show golf as a major pastime.  This helps explain why Clublink has been forced to close some of its lesser used golf courses recently.

Shredding Day Announced

     Community Manager Lyn Reitz has arranged for a shredding truck to give free service CA Members on Tuesday, March 8 from 9 to noon.  The truck will be located the ‘north’ end of the long parking lot that services the CA Office, library and all the way beyond the Samaritan Services Building on North Pebble Beach.  You can stay and watch your documents be destroyed or leave them with one of the attendants where you pull in.  If you stay, please park well out of the way in the main parking lot behind the Samaritan Services Building.

All About Scams

Some of the newest scams are so clever that one or more of us are just bound to be hit with some costly mistakes.  There is one person in Tallahassee who is most conscious of how Seniors are being targeted by these clever devils, and he is coming all the way here to offer some tips.
     Florida's Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater will be speaking at our Chamber of Commerce Ballroom next Wednesday, January 13 from 10 to 11:30 am.  His topic covers the Psychology of a Scam, How to Spot Fraudulent Behavior, Common Scams that Target Seniors, and How to Fight Identity Theft.
     This is a program called "Operation S.A.F.E." .. Stop Adult Financial Exploitation. If you plan to attend, I know the Chamber would appreciate hearing from you at 634-5111.   

And, in Closing,

  • Clublink now has a contract with an outside firm to take care of the retention ponds on its properties.  (There has been particular concern about the ‘lake’ near the intersection of North Pebble Beach and Cherry Hills Drive.)
  • That was a fine article about golf cart rules on the front page of the SUN newspaper this week – now, I know things are more relaxed in Manatee County than here, but I’m assured they will be considering new restrictive road rules for golf carts later this year .. not 2106 as mentioned in that article.
    (Forgive me Lois .. I just couldn’t resist)

/John Bowker
Write to me at

News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

Volume 18, Number 1               January 4, 2016

You can save paper if you are printing this out by using the attached .pdf version

Learn all about Sun City Center

All residents of Sun City Center should plan to attend the annual meeting of the Community Association that starts at 7:00 pm on Wednesday evening this week in Community Hall at 1910 South Pebble Beach Blvd.
     Not only will the new 2016 directors will be sworn in, but you will hear the latest news and plans about our community.  You can also chat informally with the town leaders before and after the formal meeting (light refreshments at 6:30!).
     A highlight of this annual meeting is the open segment at the end of the agenda during which attendees to the meeting can go to a microphone and ask questions of the CA Board. So if you have ever wondered how to get something done or clarified, this is the meeting to attend. 
     Be sure to bring your CA ID card with you; you won’t be admitted without it.

Community Church College

The 2016 Community Church College Spring semester is ready for online registration.  You can go to to see the fine new 64-page catalog of classes and trips planned for this spring.  The pages turn as you click on the little arrow at the right edge of each page.
Look for the red shopping cart and click the class or trip you want to purchase and it will take you to the Paypal website.  NOTE: When using Paypal online, please add any additional guests, select a meal if advertised, and give a contact phone number under the link Add special instructions to the seller
   Normal in-person registration will be held on January 20, 2016 in the Great Hall at the United Community Church, 1501 La Jolla Ave, Sun City Center. 

Volunteer Information Program
Emergency Squad hosts first 2016 Briefing January 13th

The Sun City Center Emergency Squad is hosting an Informational Program at 6 PM on the second Wednesday of each month to answer questions and provide details to prospective volunteers.  The meeting will take place at the Training Building at 124 S. Pebble Beach Blvd.
    Interested residents can find out more about the Squad and its volunteer opportunities.  The primary need right now is for folks who are interested in working on the ambulance: Emergency Medical Responders, Ambulance Drivers and Emergency Medical Technicians. Other volunteer positions the Squad has available include IT specialists, vehicle maintenance volunteers, and cooks.
No prior medical training is needed; all instruction is handled after you join.  Coffee and cookies will be served.
    All of the Squad’s services are free, including blood pressures that are offered daily at the main office on Ray Watson Drive from 8AM to 5PM.  Volunteers are the lifeblood of our community. Please consider visiting with us and learning more about how we are “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”

Calls from the IRS

This is the time of year that we begin to think about the IRS.  Worse than that, your phone rings and, by golly, there they are telling you that you have committed tax fraud. Believe me, the call sounds very legitimate.
    But the IRS does not work that way; go to: for a list of all the ways you may be confronted with this scam.  Just ignore such calls. 
(Thanks Connie!)

Feel Good About Yourself
Put Aside two hours on Saturday, January 16

Veterans Theater in Kings Point, 12 – 2 pm.

Once a year, my wife and I take part in a two-hour program in Kings Point called “Meals of Hope”.  It has been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sun City Center in recent years.  The program consists of about 300 of us (volunteers) packaging some 55,000 meals (or more) that are then distributed to food pantries in the area .. pantries visited by over 1,000 area families each week.  We scoop beans and hand the bag to the next person who is scooping something else…and then we scoop more beans for another couple of hours.  A social event?  Well, we do laugh a lot with the person next to us. It is all set up beautifully by the Rotary.
   A lot of organizations pitch in to make this all work – Kiwanis, Lions, Shriners, Knights of Columbus, Women’s Club, Men’s Club, Emergency Squad, Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts and more arts, crafts and sports clubs than I can list here.  In fact, if you are part of an organization, please wear your vest, shirt, name tag .. so we can all understand just how worthwhile this is.
   No need to pre-register – just be sure to show up a bit before noon on the 16th. If you need more information, call Tony Badalamenti at 642-8715.
   NOTE:  As you approach the main gate at Kings Point, keep to the right and tell the guard at the “Visitor” entrance you are there for the Meals of Hope Program. He will let you right in, and all you need do is enter the main clubhouse and go straight to the back of the lobby area where the Veteran’s Theater is located.

And, in Closing,

  • Remember to have your golf cart registered by the Security Patrol this week at Community Hall on South Pebble Beach Blvd on Thursday, Friday or Saturday from 9-2.
  • The Lawn Bowling Club will be replacing the entire North Green on the Central Campus with new sod.  They will dig out the old, laser level the surface, and replace with all new hybrid. (Thanks, Rick)  
  • The Q&A sessions for those interested in writing their family history are now being held on the 4th Monday of each month.  The first one sponsored by the South Bay Genealogical Society in 2016 is on “Roots Magic” and will be held in the Caper Room of the Atrium Building starting at 10 am on January 25th.  There is no charge for admission.
         Regular monthly Society meetings will continue on the 3rd Tuesdays at the Little Harbor Resort (Bahia Beach).

/John Bowker
Write to me at

News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

Volume 17, Number 55               December 30, 2015

CA “Coupons” for 2016 Dues

By now property owners in Sun City Center should have received a mailing from the Community Association advising that their dues for 2016 are payable at this time.  The annual dues amount is $270 per person.
     You should either mail your payment to the BB&T Bank at the address shown in that mailing, or you can hand deliver it to the local BB&T bank at the corner of Cortaro Drive and the 674 service road.  You should mark your CA Number and the coupon number on the check so the bank can credit your account properly.
     It usually takes a couple of weeks to process those payments.  If you have already made your payment, the 2016 stickers for your ID cards will be available at the CA Office, 1009 North Pebble Beach Blvd, starting January 6. (Editor’s note: BE SURE to have your CA ID card with you when you go in for your new sticker.)
     In past years there has always been a 2-3 day delay in the processing of those update stickers and that meant a return visit to get my sticker so I think I will wait until the middle of January to stop in for mine.
     If you have misplaced your CA ID card, please go to that same office and they will usually help you out while you wait.

Golf Cart Registration
Next week at Community Hall

The Sun City Center Security Patrol is holding its free golf cart registration for area residents next week at the Community Hall parking lot at 1910 South Pebble Beach Blvd. Stop by and have your Golf Cart registered with the Sun City Center Security Patrol.  You can have your cart inspected then too if you want.
    Please check your current Patrol Registration Golf Cart Decal. If it has four (4) or more numbers, your cart needs a new registration number due to a new and updated system. These services are free of charge and available to all residents of Sun City Center and the surrounding area.

    The registration is held in conjunction with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Thursday, January 7, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Friday, January 8, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 9, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

New Entertainment Director

     The Community Association has announced the appointment of Lynn Manzi as the new Entertainment Director.  Before she left, Judy Schings arranged for most of the programs to be shown in the next few months, but Lynn was right there watching so we know she will fit right into her new position.

South Pebble Beach Blvd

     The signs are up alerting us to major repairs to South Pebble Beach Blvd that will cause lane closures and redirections starting Monday, January 11.  It is my understanding that they simply plan to redirect some southbound traffic into northbound lanes, and vice versa.  The good news is that we will wind up with a like-new pavement on South Pebble Beach.

So, What is Ahead?
2016 Should Unravel Some Questions

Well, besides a smoother ride on South Pebble Beach, we can look forward to a larger café in the back part of our Atrium Building; this should start in a month or two and it will also make the entrance to our outdoor pool much more welcoming from the patio area where we park our golf carts.

   We will also soon welcome two new members of our Community Association Board of Directors if plans continue as announced earlier.  I imagine we will hear more on this at our Annual Meeting in the Community Hall on January 6 at 7 pm.

   We should also learn more about several unknowns as 2016 progresses.  What (or when) is something really going to happen on the two corners where State Road 674 intersects with US 301.  And what will go into that newly cleared area along 301 just north of Walmart (my sources hint at a Lowes Home Improvement Center), and that leaves the large area just east of Walmart before you get to the entryway for the new housing development called Sereno? 

    We all hope the new tower at South Bay Hospital will be opening in the fall with new rooms and equipment   Here is how it looks at the end of 2015.

If you scroll down this website page you will see what the new Patient Tower will look like and what it includes.

And, in Closing,

  • The CA Office will be closing at 1 pm this week on Thursday to reopen on Monday, January 4 at 8 am.
  • Checkers restaurant just off 674 is doing a land-office business.  I swear they went from “Opening Soon” to Opened Yesterday during the past week!
  • A reader advises that seniors can get a 10% discount at the new Popeyes …  if you ask for it.
  • If you are using Microsoft OneDrive on your computer, there are some changes you should know about coming up immediately.  Just let me know and I will forward information from our SCC Computer Club (Matt Batt).
  • And with this we come to the end of another year of eNEWS editions.  We will begin our 18th year sometime next week. Thank you for your continued support, and Linda’s and my most sincere “Happy New Year”.

 /John Bowker
Write to me at

News of Greater Sun City Center by email
Founded in 1998

Volume 17, Number 52               December 9, 2015

CA Leadership

Each year at this time, the continuing or newly elected directors of the Community Association meet to elect their officers for the upcoming year.  The meeting took place this morning and the board members decided to keep its present leadership for another year.  That means:

     For 2016:

            President:  David Floyd

            Vice President: Sam Sudman

            Secretary: Joe Elam

            Treasurer:  Neil Rothfeld

And, in Closing,
  • The resident population of Sun City Center reached 11,000 for the first time this past month (well, actually it was 11,001 at the end of November).  We don’t have such statistics from Kings Point.

John Bowker                           
Write to me at


As you drive up North Pebble Beach Blvd, glance to your right just before you get to the new Information Center building and admire the new fountain they have installed there.  And if you pull into the parking lot for the Information Center, you will find a new paver sidewalk leading to a delightful swinging bench giving a lovely view of Swan Lake down to Yankee Island.  It is all a very nice touch for our visitors to Sun City Center and residents alike.

 /John Bowker
Write to me at

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: