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Week in review

Published Dec. 3, 2006

LUTZ WOMAN CHARGED WITH STALKING LAWYER: For five years, while defending high-profile clients like Debra Lafave, attorney John Fitzgibbons has endured harassment from a former employee with a history of petty crimes and mental illness.

She sent cards and gifts and a cell phone, showed up at his home with a bottle of wine, told people she was his girlfriend.

Last week, while Fitzgibbons was in Washington, D.C., on business, he checked his home voice mail. Five messages from her, the last one chilling: "Your doors are open, and I'm in your house."

When Tampa police arrived, Kimberly Dawn Moore was in Fitzgibbons' bed. They arrested her on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and stalking.

Because Moore, 33, of Lutz had a pending petty theft charge stemming from a grocery store shoplifting in October, Circuit Judge Walter Heinrich on Thursday ordered that she be held without bail.

When medicated for bipolar disorder, Moore is sweet and successful, said her mother, Judy Moore. But off her medication, she shoplifts and writes bad checks. Since 2002, she has been arrested 10 times in Florida for mostly petty crimes.

HAVES AND HAVE-MORES IN TAMPA PALMS: People who don't live in Tampa Palms' Lancaster and Ashington Estates neighborhoods might not see the subtle differences.

They might not notice that Ashington Estates homes have shingle roofs while the Lancaster homes have fancier tile roofs, or that the former was built by Lennar Homes Inc. and the latter by luxury home builder Hannah Bartoletta. They probably can't tell where the $600,000 homes end and the $700,000-and-up homes begin. But here in these adjoined communities, that dividing line matters.

Just over a month ago, Lancaster homeowners erected a gate on the neighborhoods' shared main vein of Emerald Chase Drive, preventing Ashington Estates people from entering or cutting through Lancaster's private roads to get to Bruce B. Downs Boulevard more quickly.

"We paid all the costs. We came to a unanimous decision as a community," Lancaster resident Matt Vogler said of the $55,000 gate. "And now we have what we were originally sold, which is a totally gated community."

The barrier creates confusion for anyone using online mapping services, such as MapQuest or Google Maps, which do not take dead-ending gates into account.

On top of the inconvenience, Ashington Estates residents say video cameras on the Lancaster side are pointed in their direction, as if to monitor them. Vogler, who lives near the barrier, says the gate has been vandalized several times.

For years, Ashington Estates and Lancaster blended as one neighborhood, with gates on either side of the subdivisions. Lennar (formerly U.S. Homes) originally owned the whole development before it sold half to Hannah Bartoletta four years ago, splitting the 106 properties in half. Lancaster has sought exclusivity from Ashington Estates for the past two years.

City of Tampa officials signed off on the gate's construction, stipulating only certain safety requirements, such as a special access code for emergency vehicles and proper turnarounds on either side of the gate.

CELEBRITY RABBI VISITS HILLEL: Starstruck, students at the Hillel School in Carrollwood peppered Rabbi Shmuley Boteach with questions.

Boteach, star of the Learning Channel's Shalom in the Home, was in town to speak at a fundraising dinner in South Tampa.

The rabbi, a father of eight, told his middle school audience they honored their heritage and religion by being good people.

He shared tales of his role as counselor to dysfunctional families on television. He also talked about the dangers of forsaking parents and family time for iPods, MP3s and YouTube.