March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue…

We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at the State Fair, raise money for the Emergency Squad with Jack’s Shack, catch up with the RN Club, meet a new music director, make some Family Connections, learn how to avoid the latest scams, celebrate 105 years, travel for the birds, remember women who would not be silenced, and commemorate a resident who helped make SCC a great community.

And, be sure to check out the SCCCA Club News, Kings Point News, Military News, Sports, Arts, Faith & Service, and Community News sections to help you plan your month.

Read the March 2022 Issue of The News

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

Creating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area

By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff

First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and tacky drapes, you probably won’t want to stay there. Likewise, if you drive into a town and see median strips that are barren except for semi-maintained grass and no landscaping along the sides of the road, you may think about buying a home elsewhere. The Greater Sun City Center Beautification Corporation (GSCCBC) provides the first impression for people considering purchasing a home in the area. Just as importantly, residents of Greater Sun City Center can enjoy looking at the fountain, flowers, bushes and trees every day.

What the Greater SCC Beautification Corporation Does

The Beautification Corporation is the reason why we have lovely landscaping along the median and roadsides from just east of Cortaro Drive to just west of US-301. This includes landscaping, the Sun City Center monument sign and the Blue Star Memorial sign. Without the Beautification Committee’s work, we would just have grass in those areas and wait for the state to mow it.

The GSCCBC hires people to repair and maintain the fountain and adjacent pond, the irrigation system, and other structures. It also hires and oversees the landscape company that trims bushes, mows the lawn, and prunes trees. The corporation also pays for new plantings. When possible, Florida-friendly plants are incorporated into the landscape. Irrigation is done with treated wastewater.

How the Beautification Corporation Is Funded

The corporation is a not-for-profit organization. It is overseen by five volunteers. Two are from Kings Point, two are from the Sun City Center Community Association and one is an “at large” member. Currently, John Luper is the president of the group. Presidents of associations (HOAs, COAs, POAs, etc.) vote. The number of votes an association president has is equal to the number of homes in their group.

Most of the GSCCBC funds come from the residents of Sun City Center Community Association and Kings Point whose homes were built after late 1991. Currently, these households pay about $3.44 a month (about $41 a year) to help maintain and improve the landscaping along the medians, roadsides and also the low lying, depressed, often wet land along the south side.

Residents whose homes were built before October of 1991 do not automatically contribute. They are encouraged to make voluntary contributions to the Greater Sun City Center Beautification Corporation. To do so, make a check payable to GSCCBC and mail it to GSCCBC c/o Vesta Property Services, 1020 Brandon Boulevard, Suite 207, Brandon Florida 33511. John Luper says, “We spend what we get. There is always something that needs to be done.”

Whenever possible, the corporation applies for grants to help cover expenses. All donations are welcome. The SCC Community Association and Kings Point Federation do not contribute to the beautification funds.

This sign celebrates the many clubs, civic groups, and veterans organizations that make SCC such a great place to live and play.

Impact of SR-674 Road Improvements

The property alongside the road and in the medians all belongs to the state. Luper says, “We have an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation. If we want to take better care of the property than the state does, it is on our nickel. If something is damaged or removed, it is up to us to get it back to normal. The state won’t pay for it.” Our agreement with the Department of Transportation allows The GSCC Beautification Corporation to make improvements if two criteria are met. First, it gets the state’s approval. Second, the Corporation pays for any and all improvements.

Luper says, “We don’t own any of the property. We just want to keep it to a higher standard.” The state and county will leave it as unadorned grass. If we as a community want more, it is up to us. The GSCC Beautification Corporation will use all funds it receives to make the area more attractive.

Using the proposed plans for 674, the Beautification Corporation had its landscapers cap and bury some of the irrigation sprinklers. In the end, extended turn lanes, bike lanes, new sidewalks and paving took up more land than anticipated and much of the irrigation system was lost. The road was enhanced. However, landscaping was lost and the means of watering much of what remains was destroyed.

As a result of the roadwork on 674, Luper says, “Irrigation is a top priority. Currently we have six medians with irrigation not working. Much of the land was scraped and removed. It will cost over $55,000 to make those repairs. It is on us to maintain our improvements on state property and to replace trees and landscaping.”

A Little History

At one time, anyone driving into the area would go down a two-lane road with a grassy median. Later it widened into four lanes with the same type of median. In 1989, Al Hoffman was the only builder in the area. He and his company, most recently known as WCI, wanted the area to look nice so houses would sell. The GSCCBC was originally called the “Master Beautification Association.” All unsold lots owned by the developer on October 10 were classified as “Class A Members.” These Class A Members (one per household even if more than one person lives there) were to be required to pay an annual assessment to what was then called the “Master Beautification Association.” Aston Gardens and the Courtyards are also Class A Members. Since the developer could only make requirements for property he still owned, those with homes purchased before October 10, 1989 were not billed.

As long as WCI and, later, Minto were here, they took care of expenses for many of the repairs such as repairing the fountain. After they left, it was all up to the Corporation to finance. Whether you already contribute to the GSSCBC or not, you may wish to send a donation to the corporation. All monies received go to maintaining and improving the medians and the areas alongside the road.

HEADLINE PHOTO: This bright sign and beautiful water feature welcome residents, guests, and prospective buyers to Sun City Center. (Photo by Shelba Porter)

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center

A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us   

By Diane M. Loeffler

The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our welcome center, a place where people who are considering moving into our community can learn more about who we are and what we offer. The Center does that job very well, and it also offers a valuable resource for all of us.

Orientation

The Information Center is now in charge of orientation meetings for newcomers. If you are new to the community, never attended an orientation in the past, or just want to learn more about our community, show up at the Center at 1 p.m. on any Wednesday. There will be one or two volunteers who are well-prepared to tell you about our community and to answer any questions you might have. The only requirement for attending is being an association member.

I attended an orientation seven years ago and found it to be very helpful. Before writing this article, I attended another one on January 12, 2022. The volunteers were prepared with information which they presented in an informal way. This session lasted one hour. Discussions are encouraged, so the time can vary. Materials were handed out and questions were asked and answered. Because of the interaction at these meetings, no two meetings are exactly alike. However, the volunteers have a script to follow in order to make sure important items are covered.

One of the items covered in the January 12 presentation was to review the new phone book. Sound simple? Actually, the book contains more than phone numbers and addresses. It includes bylaws, emergency numbers, club contacts, maps, a brief history, support services, hurricane preparedness recommendations, and more. The tendency is to grab it to look up a phone number and not realize the wealth of information it contains.

The presenters showed the boundaries of the Community Association, referred to the website for additional information. They talked about sources of community information, which include this newspaper and email blasts. They discussed the consumer affairs notebook in the administration office and online. They also discussed how we are governed, county services, guest policies, golf car usage and volunteer opportunities. Other topics covered were based on questions from the attendees. Afterwards, tours were offered to anyone who wanted one.

Dick and Dee Babbitt have been volunteers at the Information Center ever since the building opened. The Babbitts volunteer two hours a week. They have lived in SCC since 1999.

Using the Information Center as a Resource

Janet Ditmore is the Director of the Information Center. Ditmore says, “Residents usually want phone numbers for rooms or the local post office or trash pick-up issues. They ask about lost and found, when events are happening, when a scheduled meeting is taking place, the location of meetings, how to find rooms, how to renew their badges, why did you shut down for the holidays, how do I get a guest pass, and how do I get in touch with directors, clubs, the sheriff, etc.”

Ditmore says, “People don’t realize that the firemen at the Sun City Center station will change out the batteries in a smoke alarm. We get calls from residents who cannot get on a ladder. The alarm is going off and they don’t know what to do. Post lamp maintenance is also not well known.”

Volunteering at the Information Center

Ditmore says, “If you like meeting new people and enjoy living in Sun City Center, then we would love to have you as a volunteer in the Center. Shifts are only two hours a week on a regular or substitute basis. Our volunteers have a conversation with visitors about our lifestyle. We do not sell real estate. Training and resources are provided. You can choose to be a greeter, tour guide or orientation leader.”

 

Contact Information

The Information Center is open from 9 to noon and 1 to 3, Monday through Friday. You can call the center by dialing 813 633-4670. You can also email the center at “info@suncitycenter.org”.

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...

January Membership Meeting

January Membership Meeting

January Membership Meeting

By Diane M. Loeffler

At 3 p.m. on January 5, 2022, 294 people attended the Sun City Center Community Association Membership Meeting in person and 89 virtually attended using Zoom. In order to meet quorum, two hundred members are required. Since quorum was met, the Board was able to approve the minutes from Membership Meetings held on January 2, 2020, April 28, 2020 and July 2021.

If you drive on E. Del Webb, you know construction is happening near St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. Despite the extension of the professional buildings, we will continue to have a golf cart path to US-301 and Walmart.

Treasurer Dave Birkett says 611 homes were purchased in 2021. This is a record for one year. The previous high was 506. In the first few days in January, 2022, 42 homes were bought.  Transfer fees are charged when a home is purchased. These funds are the sole source for the Capital Fund and are set aside for new construction. This fund currently has $3,629,660.

As of the start of January, Birkett says the Operation Fund has $2,661,772; the Replacement Fund has $1,860,129; and the Renovation Fund has $43,377.

Community Manager Lyn Reitz announced the January 26 shredding day. Reitz says there will be one or two more shredding days for CA members this year. She recognized four people for their service to the CA: Carol Donner, 25 years; Claudia Hinson, 10 years; Phil Bennett, five years; and Tony Fronteratta, five years.

Geraldine Ready, the treasurer of Sun City Center Bingo, says, “In mid 2019 the participants of Monday Night Bingo asked the officers to come up with a way to give back to our community during the holiday season.” In 2019, 2020, and 2021, the club has donated cards to residents of area assisted living, long-term care, memory care, and rehabilitation facilities. This year, the group distributed 3,700 cards to 1,810 residents in 23 of these facilities and at least two gifts to 822 of the residents.

Ready says, “All of these gifts were either direct donations or purchased with the donations received from offering water, soda and ice cream treats to participants during our Monday night Bingo sessions.”

Roger Zieg, Jim Collins, and Ron Clark were sworn in as new directors during the meeting.

 

During the general discussion portion of the meeting, many members took the opportunity to address the board voicing their concerns, asking questions and offering their opinions.

In response to questions, several concerns were addressed. CA Community Manager Lyn Reitz explained the frequent power blips often blow the pumps needed to bring hot water into the pool. CA Vice President Kim Roush says she continues to work on the web page, “suncitycenter.org,” to make it more user friendly.

Bob Sullivan says the cost to “fix” the Rollins Theater building will be in excess of $381,000. He says 46 residents applied to be on the Long-Range Planning Committee. CA Member Debbie Caneen presented her ideas about the Rollins Theater Building.

Addressing road concerns, Director Gary Bratt says he worked with Hillsborough County all of 2021 and described the process as “most frustrating.” In addition to numerous phone calls, on February 18, June 17, and August 5, Bratt met in person with engineers, supervisors, and even the county operations manager once. Bratt was told work on El Rancho, North Pebble, Rickenbacker and part of New Bedford would start in October. During subsequent calls he was told November, then January or February.

CA Member Kathy Krause suggested members go to HillsboroughCounty.org to voice their concerns to county officials. Other options would be phone calls and email. Unless you live in a gated community, the county owns your roads. The Board will continue to urge the county to make repairs. In addition, the more people who contact the county about road issues, the more likely the streets will be repaired.

 

IN THE PHOTO: Larry Smith was given a plaque in appreciation for his three years on the board.

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...

From Hobby to Museum Quality

From Hobby to Museum Quality

From Hobby to Museum Quality

By Kai Rambow

“It’s museum quality,” commented the gallery owner. High praise from an appraiser on the Antiques RoadShow. This was one of several highlights from a recent presentation by Diana Young of the China Painters club.

Young recently entered seven pieces at the Florida State Fair. Three won first place, another three won second place, and one of the first place winners captured best in show as well.  Young’s work is currently displayed at the new De Stijl Art Gallery in Ruskin.

Young was presenting to a women’s group and delighted them with highlights from her development as an artist, and enthralled them by showing her actual work. There’s a lot more to China painting than meets the eye.

Young has been an enthusiastic porcelain painter for 20 years. She likes to experiment, learn new techniques and teach others about her discoveries.  The result is some stunning work.  Even though Young won big at the State Fair, she shared, “I’m all excited about my next piece.”

The De Stijl Art Gallery is showing and selling local artists’ works, many from our community.  They will be switching artists and displays every two to three months.  This rewarding experience is just a short drive away in Ruskin.  Note: Gallery is open only a few hours on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

 

De Stijl Art Gallery

100 E Shell Point Rd. (near post office)

Ruskin, FL  33570

(813) 773-7771

www.destijlartgallery.com/

IN THE PHOTO:  Diana Young delivering a well-received talk at the De Stijl Gallery in Ruskin. She is holding her first place and best in show vase.

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

April 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… Mark your calendar for Earth Day, shoot hoops with Senior Basketball, immerse yourself in Van Gogh in Sarasota, hear what ClubLink is planning in the community, catch up with residents who won ribbons at the state fair, learn why...

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

March 2022 NEWS is HOT off the PRESS!

In this issue… We honor standout members of the SCC Security Patrol, uncover a Hoot of a Story, learn how to connect with the Long Range Plan, travel back in time to the Renaissance Festival, play some Games Highland Style, have a Great Time at...

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s Ark

Funny Farm: It looks a Bit Like Noah’s ArkBy Andrea L. T. Peterson Peppered with references from the cultural milieu in which many of us and our children were raised, Laurie Zaleski’s Funny Farm is both a heartbreaking and a heartwarming...

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification Corporation

SCC Beautification CorporationCreating a First Impression of the Greater Sun City Center Area By Diane M. Loeffler, Photos by News Staff First impressions count. If you walk in the lobby of a hotel and see run-down furniture, a dirty carpet and...

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & Grill

Books At Bunkers Bar & GrillBy Andrea L.T. Peterson What a beautiful afternoon for an outdoor book signing! Sun City Center resident Michael H. Blaine, author of The Invisible Walls of Dannemora: Inside the Infamous Clinton Correctional...

The Information Center

The Information Center

The Information Center A Place for Prospective Buyers, New Residents and All of the Rest of Us    By Diane M. Loeffler The Information Center sits at the southeast corner of Cherry Hills and North Pebble Beach. Some people think of it as our...