Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-Jan. 21, 2015

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Kumquat Festival offers old-fashioned fun; Housing sales likely to improve expert says; Grandmother’s comforting book gets published

Transcript of Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-Jan. 21, 2015

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    By Michael Murillommurillo@lakerlutznews.com

    The first story Aleda Reilly wrote wasntdesigned to launch a writing career, sell a lotof copies or even get published.

    All she wanted to do was comfort hergrandchildren.

    (It was) just to help them through a re-ally emotional, tough time, said Reilly, wholives in Land O Lakes.

    Following the death of her mother,Gladys Soldato, Reillys grandchildren wereconfused and upset at the loss of theirbeloved Bama. They were close to theirgreat-grandmother, and adult explanationswerent doing the job for Isabella and Katie,ages 4 and 2. As their grandmother, Reillywanted to console them and describe com-plicated feelings in a way theyd understand.So she sat down and wrote them a story.

    Angel Balloons describes the two girlsspending time with Bama until she passesaway right after Christmas. Theyre told shedidnt get to say goodbye because she wastired, and now lives with the angels inHeaven. The girls send Bama drawings andstickers tied to balloons so she can receivethem and share them with the angels.

    When Reilly showed the story to thegirls, it wasnt illustrated or published. It wasjust a story written by their Avia, a term forgrandmother. But they got the message.

    I read it to (Olivia) and in an exasperat-ed attitude she said, Well you know, Avia, ifanyone had told me this, I wouldnt havebeen so upset at the time, Reilly recalled.

    She decided that other children mightbenefit from Angel Balloons, and she self-published it. Tate Publishing, a family-owned

    Christian-based publisher later picked it up,turning it into a fully illustrated publication,a 3-D book with glasses, coloring book andaudio download.

    Reilly appreciates any format that con-veys the story to more children.

    Parents can be reserved when it comesto serious subjects with children, she said,

    and arent always sure how to address newfeelings. She wrote this story to tackle a seri-ous topic in a positive way that youngreaders can understand. Shes pleased it cannow reach more children than her initial au-dience of her two grandchildren.

    MICHAEL MURILLO/STAFF PHOTOAleda Reilly combs through copies of of her childrens story, Angel Balloons, which hasbeen published in a variety of formats. She wrote it to help her grandchildren cope with theloss of their great-grandmother.

    Grandmothers comforting book gets published

    See BOOK, page9A

    B

    PIGZ IN ZHILLSINSIDE, PAGE 1B

    By B.C. Manionbcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

    Every year, as marauders take overBayshore Boulevard in Tampas GasparillaParade, theres another invasion ofsorts as thousands stream into down-town Dade City for the citys annualKumquat Festival.

    Its a wonderful alternative (toGasparilla), said John Moors, executive di-rector of The Greater Dade City Chamber ofCommerce.

    The Dade City event which draws itsname from a diminutive, tangy orange fruit gives visitors a chance to experience ataste of old Florida in a family friendly at-mosphere, Moors said.

    With its free parking, free admission, freeentertainment and assorted free activities,people can enjoy the day without having to

    spend a fortune, Moors said.Of course, Moors said, the chamber

    would like to see festival-goers do a bit ofspending on items sold by vendors, at arearestaurants and in merchants stores.

    The event, now in its 18th year, is expect-ed to attract 30,000 to 40,000.

    Event-goers come from as far north asThe Villages, as far south as Sarasota, asfar west as the beaches, and as far eastas Orlando.

    For some, its an annual tradition. Forothers, a reunion. And for still others, its

    an introduction to the East Pasco city withthe historic courthouse and quaint shops.

    The annual festival started simply.It began when Phyllis Smith, Roxanne

    Barthle and Carlene Ellberg were lookingfor a way to help inject new life into down-town Dade City.

    They decided to have a festival to honor

    This tiny orange fruit has helped calledattention to Dade City, a town that boasts acharming downtown and an annual festivalwith an old Florida feel.

    Kumquat Festival offers old-fashioned fun

    Housing saleslikely to improveexpert saysBy B.C. Manionbcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

    Most of the time when you hear whatLawrence Yun, chief economist for theNational Association of Realtors has to say its during a congressional hearing or onthe national news.

    But last week, Yun made an appearancebefore real estate professionals gathered fora meeting of the Greater Tampa Associationof Realtors.

    He offered plenty of food for thoughtabout the housing markets condition.

    The bottom line is that we have en-countered some degree of recovery. I thinkwe will continue the recovery over the nexttwo to three years, and then subsequently,the recovery may well change into expan-sion, said Yun, who frequently speaks atconferences for real estate professionalsaround the country.

    Now, you are just trying to get back tothe prior principal in terms of prices. It maytake an additional two to three years to getto where it had been in 2005-2006, Yun said.

    When it comes to home prices, he said,Florida has a key advantage: Its warm winterweather.

    Through the years, people have movedto Florida from colder climates in northernstates.

    It sort of came to a halt during the hous-ing market crash. People up North justcould not sell their home, or they weresomewhat underwater, Yun said.

    The market recovery has put them in abetter position to move, which is goodnews for Florida, he said.

    So, you will regain that flow of new resi-dents coming into Florida. Florida has beenNo 1, consistently, during normal years in at-

    tracting new residents, Yun said.The housing market had generally expe-

    rienced a two-year recovery in 2012 and2013, but then stalled in 2014, Yun said. Sopeople are wondering what will happennext.

    A two-year-and-out situation would behighly unusual, if one looks at the past, Yunsaid. He considers it an anomaly and pre-dicts that there will be a continued recovery

    that may well lead to growth and higherprices in the market.

    One of the key reasons is pent-up de-mand, Yun said.

    We have 37 million additional peopleliving in the country and yet we are essen-tially getting the same home sales, he said.

    We have lower mortgage rates today,

    B.C. MANION/STAFF PHOTOLawrence Yun is the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. Hes predictinga continued recovery for two to three years, and then possibly an expansion.

    Theres more people workingin the Tampa region, so theresmore potential homebuyers. Lawrence Yun

    See HOUSING, page9A

    See KUMQUAT, page9A

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