Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-May 25, 2016

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Plantation Palms golf course to reopen; Lutz Learning Center starts All Pro Dad chapter; Two local chambers consider joining forces

Transcript of Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-May 25, 2016




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    By B.C.

    The Central Pasco Chamber ofCommerce and the Trinity-Odessa Chamberof Commerce are considering a merger.

    An exploratory committee is beginningmeetings this week, with an eye toward see-ing if combining the two chambers willyield positive results for both chambers andtheir members, said Elayne Bassinger, presi-dent of the Central Pasco Chamber.

    Bassinger said the Central PascoChamber was approached by the Trinity-Odessa Chamber, with the idea that amerger may be mutually beneficial.

    Initially, the chairman of Trinity-OdessaChambers board, Todd Pillars, and its incom-ing chairman, Mike Kelley, met with

    Bassinger and Terri Dusek, incoming presi-dent for the Central Pasco Chamber.

    When there was an interest in seeing ifthis would be doable, then the executiveboard from Trinity-Odessa met with the ex-ecutive board of Central Pasco Chamber;from there we decided there would be anexploratory committee, Bassinger said.

    The exploratory committee is made upof the four-member executive board of theCentral Pasco Chamber and four membersof the executive board of the Trinity-OdessaChamber.

    The committee will consider the logis-tics and benefits of a merger.

    If the chambers merged, the single cham-ber would have about 800 members.Currently, both chambers each have about400 members.

    The larger chamber would provide astronger voice, enabling it to be a strongeradvocate for issues that are important tobusinesses in the area, Bassinger said.

    Financially, we would be a strongerchamber, Bassinger added, noting the twochambers could pool their resources.

    Businesses who are now members ofboth chambers would need just a singlemembership, too, she noted.

    That also frees up our companies tosponsor more because when youre splittingyour advertising dollars between a numberof chambers, then youre more limited inthe resources you have to support each ofthose chambers, Bassinger said.

    While noting a number of benefits,

    Two local chambers consider joining forces

    By Kathy

    After a hiatus of more than two years, ac-tivities are expected to begin again at thePlantation Palms Golf Course.

    A new owner took possession on May 16and plans to get the golf courses fairwaysand greens ready for use within a fewmonths.

    Bill Place, owner of Ace Golf Inc.,bought the golf course and clubhouse forabout $700,000 in a short sale approved bythe U.S. Department of Justice. His generalmanager picked up the keys to the club-house at the closing, said Rob Rochlin of

    Dennis Realty.Place is on vacation in Africa.In an email sent to The Laker/Lutz News

    in late April, Place said he hoped to have thegolf course open within four months.

    After years of neglect, the golf courseneeds extensive work, including restorationof the fairways and greens, Place said, in alater email on May 18.

    Grass and weeds grew up to 6 feethigh! Place said. The greens are all dead,and most of the fairways will have to be re-grassed.

    Almost everything from the parking lot

    Plantation Palms golf course to reopen

    PHOTOS COURTESY OF LUTZ LEARNING CENTERTony Dungy, left, has a chat with John Viscardo, one of the dads in attendance.

    This sign gives dads instructions as theyenter the All-Pro Dad meeting.

    Lutz LearningCenter starts AllPro Dad chapterBy Kevin

    Kimberly Wilson found out about the AllPro Dad program after sifting through a fewchildrens books a parent had recently do-nated to the Lutz Learning Center.

    That parent was legendary NFL coachand Hall of Famer Tony Dungy.

    After speaking with Dungy and findingout more about the Family First-based fa-therhood program, Wilson, the learningcenters director of innovation, was ecstat-ic about creating a chapter at theindependent private school, which current-ly serves 120 students.

    This is really all about connecting dadswith their kids, and giving them that time toconnect together, Wilson said. Have break-fast and sit and hang out, and get to knowyour kids and have meaningful discussions.

    Thats what happened at the first chap-ter meeting on May 18, when 15 dadsbonded and shared a meal with their youngones at the Lutz Learning Center campus.

    The new chapter will meet quarterlyduring the school year, with each session fo-cusing on a particular topic. Mays topic wasFinishing Well.

    The overall goal of the discussion was toempower children to complete what theystart and do their best in all aspects of life.

    The topic of Finishing Well also provid-ed an opportunity for Dungy to reflect onone of his coaching experiences from near-ly a decade ago, when he was the headcoach of the Indianapolis Colts.

    It was the 2007 AFC Championshipgame, where Dungys team faced the NewEngland Patriots, and quickly fell behind 21-3. They eventually mounted a historiccomeback to capture the Super Bowl XLItitle, with a score of 38-34.

    See DAD, page 11A

    FILE PHOTOPlantation Palms golf course and clubhouse,which have been closed for about two years,are expected to be reopened by Ace Golf, thenew owner, in about four months. See GOLF, page 11A

    See CHAMBERS, page 11A

    By Kevin

    The Lutz Learning Center is looking toexpand operations into Pasco County.

    The school, located on a 1-acre campusat 621 Sunset Lane in Lutz, is seeking anadditional site to accommodate more fam-ilies, said Kimberly Wilson, the schoolsdirector of innovation.

    Were bursting at the seams, she saidreferring to the current campus.

    The independent private school cur-rently has an enrollment of 120 students,ranging from pre-kindergarten to sixthgrade.

    Wilson noted grades seven and eightwill be added next year, with an eventualgoal of serving high school students oncethe expansion is in place.

    The school uses a Limitless Potentialphilosophy and a Differentiated

    Instruction Curriculum model, in whichstudents are advanced based on wherethey belong socially, emotionally and aca-demically.

    For example, a student may be in theirfirst grade year, but understands conceptsequivalent to a third-grader.

    We look at education like the rungson a ladder, Wilson said. Our model isvery different, so we dont use grades,meaning just because a child is in theirsecond grade year doesnt mean thattheyre only around second grade kids.Basically, every child is two years academi-cally advanced.

    We plug a child in where they be-long...and encourage them to just climbas high as they can.

    Annual tuition at the school rangesfrom $7,700 to $8,500.

    The original campus built in 1980 will still remain, Wilson said.

    Lutz Learning Center seeks expansion

    Fifteen fathers attended the Lutz Learning Centers first All-Pro Dad Chapter meeting on May18. The program uses football themes to tout the importance of being a good father.

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    By B.C.

    The crushed beer cans on the grass helpto set the scene at this assembly for studentsat Wiregrass Ranch High School.