Back in the News

Published on: October 30, 2013

Sun City Center residents approve funding
The results of the Oct 14-15 vote on funding a new multi-purpose building in Sun City Center at a cost up to $664,000 was approved with 2008 “yes” votes to 415 who said “no.” As reported in the Oct. 10 edition of The Observer News, which may still be read at, the building is slated to be constructed at the intersection of North Course Lane and Pebble Beach Boulevard and is being built to alleviate crowding in the existing common rooms and club rooms. “This was an overwhelming majority,” said David Floyd, who is in charge of the building project for the Sun City Center Community Association Board of Directors. “It shows the community is really behind the project. ”
Plans are in the works and construction is set to begin in 2014.

First goal nearing target on Ruskin Cemetery Project
The South County community is contributing nicely to the recently-formed Ruskin Memorial Cemetery Preservation Fund, a project of the Ruskin Woman’s Club. The first $7,500 has come from the National Cremation Society of Ruskin, Betty Jo Council, Donald and Phyllis Elsberry, an anonymous donor, and a promise from The Historical Trust. The Woman’s Club initiated an endowment fund for perpetual mowing of the cemetery for future generations and has received a promise of help from The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. As first reported in The Observer News and The Current Oct. 10, the Challenge Grant the club applied for gives the community three years to raise $75,000 and the Tampa Community Foundation will then credit the account with an additional $25,000. Fundraising is planned by several local organizations. To assist, contact Debbie Bonebrake at 813 892-7235 or Deb Adams, 813-649-0400.

Redhawk Ranch announces store hours, other news
The 18-acre Redhawk Ranch owned by Bud and Brenda Hoshaw at 4110 County Rd. 579 in Wimauma will have store hours Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in its on-site store which will sell many types of American Indian arts, crafts and reproductions. The Hoshaws plan other events there as well, such as the Boy Scouts earning badges by building old native-style living quarters Oct. 25-27, and Sacred Circles that are open to the public. But with advance notice by telephone to 941-545-7084, visitors are welcome to come by and enjoy the serenity of the land and property when there are no events going on. Another feature at the ranch is a vibroacoustic chair used for periods of relaxation and meditation. The fees for that use have not yet been decided. Although many historical tales have been told about the land upon which the ranch sits, Bud’s research had shown that a breakdown of a train carrying Native Americans near Fort Hamer had some escapees on it that eventually joined the Seminole tribe. A story about the ranch reopening was originally published in The Observer News and The Current Oct. 17.
Parks and Rec projects moving swiftly
News of Hillsborough County’s parks and recreation department upgrades and changes have been followed by this newspaper since the formation of 10 regional centers changed the way the county’s recreation programs were run in 2010. The most recent development reported in The Observer News and The Current was in the July 4 edition, when it explained additions and renovations to the local regional centers. Since that time, an update was given by Parks, Recreation and Conservation Spokeswoman Shorty Robbins, who said Gardenville Recreation Center, at 615 Symmes Road, Gibsonton, is currently going through the permitting process and Ruskin Recreation Center, 901 Sixth St. S.E. in Ruskin, is going out to bid for contractors this week. “Everything is on target and going according to plan,” Robbins said in an interview Oct. 22.

Pickleball to be added to South County recreation programs   
One of the new programs that will be added to all of Hillsborough County’s recreation  centers is pickleball. This is because there was so much interest in the sport at last year’s Senior Games, said parks spokeswoman Shorty Robbins. The sport has already been added to Brandon and Northdale recreation centers, and is being played indoors at Gardenville temporarily. Since it is an outdoor sport, arrangements will eventually be made to have field play. Meanwhile, there are monthly pickleball tournaments at the All People’s Life Center on Sligh Avenue in Tampa and anyone is allowed to participate. More active adult programs are slated to go into the rec centers once the renovations and additions are complete, Robbins said. A list of dates for pickleball play and other information about current and planned programs is available on the park’s website,