Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-June 18, 2014

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Massive Lutz project gains approval; Running for Guv'na, Gulash will try, try, try again; Town hall reveals VA problems hitting close to home

Transcript of Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-June 18, 2014

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    By B.C. Manionbcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

    The Hillsborough County Commissionhas cleared the way for a massive project atthe northeast corner of Van Dyke Road andNorth Dale Mabry Highway.

    The land, characterized by its toweringstands of pines and open fields, has been re-zoned to allow a mixed-use development

    including upscale houses, multifamilydwellings, offices, retail uses and a congre-gate care facility.

    Commissioners approved the rezoningrequest, without debate.

    While Lutz residents have a reputationfor battling proposals they believe will dis-rupt their way of life, in this case theyworked with the applicants to devise a planthat the Lutz Citizens Coalition and nearby

    communities supported. It even had coali-tion president Mike White saying that at thetime that thus far, the system has workedexactly as it was intended to.

    The development must undergo a siteplan review by the county before any con-struction can begin, White said. But heexpects the county will ensure the plan fol-

    Massive Lutz project gains approval

    Running forGuvna, Gulash willtry, try, try againBy Michael Murillommurillo@lakerlutznews.com

    If Susan Gulash seems at ease managinga business, a magazine, an Internet radioshow and a Lutz Guvna campaign at thesame time, its because shes done it all be-fore.

    I actually ran lastyear, Gulash said. Itwas an amazing expe-rience just to meetthe different commu-nity businesses.

    Suzin Carr wonlast years event toearn the ceremonial title of Lutz Guvna,given to the candidate who raises the mostmoney for local organizations. But Gulashenjoyed the experience so much, she decid-ed to do it again.

    And she didnt wait for another Guvnarace to stay involved in the community. Sheused her design and marketing talents atGulash Graphics to design the Old Lutz

    MICHAEL MURILLO/STAFF PHOTOGuvna candidate Susan Gulash runs her magazine and graphics business out of a room inher Lutz home. She also uses it to broadcast a weekly Internet radio program with her hus-band, Brian.

    See PROJECT, page 12

    By Michael Hinmanmhinman@lakerlutznews.com

    Whether its overburdened, improperlyrun, or a combination of the two, veteransare struggling to get the health care theyneed from clinics and hospitals run by theU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The issue has led to the resignation ofthe departments longest-serving secretary,Eric Shinseki, and has been fodder in politi-cal campaign ads and debates.

    In his seat as vice chair of the HouseCommittee on Veterans Affairs, U.S. Rep. GusBilirakis, has earned national media attentionin recent months as he digs into whatscausing delays at VA-run medical centers,and what can be done to fix it. The PalmHarbor Republican has since opened thedoor to hear from veterans themselves, invit-ing them to a town hall meeting June 5 inNew Port Richey to find out other strugglesfacing those who have returned home fromwar.

    We have an obligation to do whatever ittakes to solve this problem, Bilirakis said.We must make sure that our veterans haveaccess to a broad range of services thatmeet their specific needs, he said.

    Last month, Bilirakis co-authored a letterwith U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, tothen-Secretary Shinseki asking him tochange internal policies at the VA to allowveterans easier access to programs like theNon-VA Care Coordination program that

    would allow veterans to seek subsidizedhealth care from medical providers outsideof the VA system.

    Veterans who attended the recent townhall expressed some specific concerns withtypes of service theyve received over theyears some dating back more than adecade but many agreed problems aretypically focused on routine care outside ofthe emergency room.

    The system has been broke for a longtime, since I got out of the service in 1973,said Michael ODell, who also is president ofthe Hillsborough County Veterans Council.The care he receives at the James A. HaleyVA hospital near the University of SouthFloridas main campus has always beengood, as long as its been an emergency.

    This last time has not been an emer-gency, and theyve been screwing aroundwith my knees, O Dell said. When the doc-tors decided that I cant take the painanymore, they said it would take three orfour months (for the surgery). Now with allthis stuff going on (the controversy), theymiraculously told me that they can operatein three weeks.

    MICHAEL HINMAN/STAFF PHOTOU.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis listens to a veteranshare his story about problems he hadreceiving medical care during a town hallmeeting June 5 in New Port Richey.

    This is one in aseries of storiesprofiling thecandidates forLutz Guvna.

    See GULASH, page 12

    Town hall reveals VA problems hitting close to home

    See PROBLEMS, page 12

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