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Hospital’s Christmas celebration lights 53 trees and the sky

News and notes on Pasco businesses
Taylor Morrison announced a new collection of 230 single-family homes in the Stansil Park neighborhood of Starkey Ranch in Odessa. [Taylor Morrison Home Corporation]
Taylor Morrison announced a new collection of 230 single-family homes in the Stansil Park neighborhood of Starkey Ranch in Odessa. [Taylor Morrison Home Corporation]
Published Nov. 30


NEW NEIGHBORHOOD COMING: Taylor Morrison recently announced a new collection of single-family homes to the master-planned community of Starkey Ranch in Odessa. The national home builder and developer has single-family and villa homes in its Esplanade and Whitfield Preserve neighborhoods, and will expand its floor plan selection into the Stansil Park neighborhood. It is a 2,400-acre area to include 230 single-family homes. Future residents will have access to Starkey Ranch’s two community pools, splash pad, dog parks, playground, picnic pavilions, an open lawn and the 80-acre District Park, which includes a baseball/softball field, multi-sport fields, a playground and a trailhead to the community’s 20-mile trail system. Visit to learn more.

DOCTOR EARNS ‘FELLOW’ STATUS: Lisa W. Barker, MD of New Port Richey recently earned the designation Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Barker is the medical director for Gulfside Healthcare Services in Pasco County. She began working in the field of hospice while still working as a family physician, then became the medical director of Community Hospice, serving northeastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. She moved to Florida in 2016. Dr. Barker is board-certified in family medicine and hospice and palliative medicine, and is a certified hospice medical director.

CREDIT UNION HAS SANTA’S TREE: San Antonio Citizens Federal Credit Union is participating in Santa’s Tree. Santa’s Tree is a “giving tree” that benefits families in the Restored Hope, Samaritan Project and Thomas Promise programs this year. Trees are set up at all locations in San Antonio, Dade City, Zephyrhills and Wesley Chapel. To participate, select a gift tag(s) from a tree, purchase the gift(s) listed, and return the unwrapped items and gift tags to the credit union by 5 p.m. Dec. 9.


GREEN INDUSTRY COURSE OFFERED: The Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service is offering Green Industry Best Management Practices training from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park community center, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes. The cost for training and lunch is $30 for Green Industry professionals and $20 for Pasco County Government and Pasco County School Board employees. All participants must have a photo ID and prepaid ticket for admission. There are no refunds. Call (352) 518-0156 or visit

HOSPITAL TREE LIGHTING CELEBRATION: AdventHealth Zephyrhills, 7050 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills, will host its 35th-annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8 on the hospital’s front lawn. There will be a special dance and musical performance by students from the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center in Tampa. Musicians and vocalists from Tampa Bay’s Late Night Brass will perform a medley of popular Christmas songs. The program will end with the lighting of more than 50 trees and fireworks. Families can arrive between 3 and 4:30 p.m. for a visit with Santa, bounce houses and a “Movebooth” to take free pictures against a Christmas backdrop. Food trucks will be on site. The event is free; bring lawn chairs or blankets.

FARMER’S MARKET: Wright’s Farmer’s Market and Sale will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 8 at Wright’s Natural Market and Cafe, 5800 Main St., New Port Richey. Local growers will participate, selling produce, food, honey, fresh-cut flowers and more. The market is held on the second Sunday of each month. Call (727) 848-5140.

RIBBON-CUTTING: North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting at noon Dec. 6 at Apricot Lane Boutique at the Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel.

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT SEMINAR: Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point will present a weight management informational seminar from 6 to 7 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Rao Musunuru, MD, Conference Center, 14100 Yosemite Drive, Hudson. It will be conducted by Donald Fridley, II, DO, who specializes in general and bariatric surgery. Dr. Fridley will give an update on the new bariatric service provided at the hospital. Healthy refreshments will be served. Seating is limited and reservations are required. RSVP to (727) 869-5498.

HOLIDAY PARADE ENTRIES: The Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce will host its 43rd-annual Holiday Parade on Dec. 14. The deadline for sponsorships and to enter a company float is Dec. 6. For details, contact the Chamber at (727) 842-7651.

Building skills

RISK MANAGEMENT CLASS: Pasco Economic Development Council’s entrepreneur program, SMARTstart, will present “Risk Management for Entrepreneurs” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at the SMARTstart West Pasco Entrepreneur Center, 4532 U.S. 19, New Port Richey. Participants will learn about avoiding, reducing and insuring against threats to the potential success of the business. Presented by Leslie Saland of A.L. Saland Insurance. The program is free. RSVP online at or call toll-free 1-888-606-2726.

Networking and mixers

• Trinity Positive Business Network: 8:30 a.m. Mondays at Oasis Coffee Spot, 9213 Little Road, New Port Richey. Call Kelly Steen at (813) 388-8726.

• Women’s Connection of New Port Richey: 11:30 a.m. the second Monday of each month (September through May) at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. Cost is $15 and includes lunch and a speaker. To RSVP, call Linda at (727) 856-4042 or Betty, (727) 807-6760.

• BNI Overachievers Chapter: 7 to 9 a.m. Wednesdays at Myrtle Lake Baptist Church, 2017 Reigler Road, Land O’ Lakes. Call (813) 317-5556 or visit

• BNI Outlook to Success: 7:30 a.m. Tuesdays at Verizon Event Center, 8718 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey. Cost is $10 and includes breakfast. Call (727) 815-7744.

• Suncoast Women in Networking: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at Beef O’ Brady’s, 5546 Main St., New Port Richey. Suncoast WIN is a group of professional businesswomen. Membership is $10 per year. Call Linda McFarland at (727) 863-6151.

• Rotary Club of Lutz: 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays at Heritage Harbor Golf and Country Club, 19502 Heritage Harbor Parkway, Lutz. Cost is $12, includes lunch and speaker. Call (813) 857-7089 or visit

• West Pasco Business Association: Monday Lunch Chapter, noon to 1 p.m. Mondays, Johnny Brusco’s, 10730 State Road 54, Trinity. Tuesday Breakfast Chapter, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Hampton Inn, 1780 State Road 54, Odessa. Tuesday After Hours Chapter, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, FlameStone Grill Trinity, 10900 State Road 54, Trinity. Thursday Lunch Chapter, noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays, Giovanni’s Fresh Italian Kitchen, 37611 U.S. 19, Palm Harbor. Friday Breakfast Chapter, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Fridays at the Oasis Coffee Spot, 9213 Little Road, New Port Richey. The group is made up of professionals who promote each other’s businesses. Each chapter is seat-specific. Contact Maria Johnson, or (727) 934-0940. Visit

• Coffee First: 8 to 9 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at First National Bank of Pasco, 23613 State Road 54, Lutz. The event is hosted by the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce in partnership with First National Bank of Pasco. Free and open to the public. (813) 607-2555.

• East Pasco Networking Group: 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at IHOP, 13100 U.S. 301, Dade City. Annual dues are $25. Nils Lenz, (813) 782-9491.

• Trinity Business Association: 6 to 7:30 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month at Fox Hollow Country Club, 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m., meeting starts at 6 p.m. Guests welcome. Cost is $12. Call Ginny Pierce at (727) 433-4073.

• BNI Platinum: 7:15 a.m. Wednesdays at Heritage Harbor Golf & Country Club, 19502 Heritage Harbor Parkway, Lutz. Call Bob Nixon at (813) 263-5632.

• Pasco Business Connections: 7:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Broken Yolk, 3350 Grand Blvd., Holiday. Email

• Wednesday Morning Networking Group: 7:30 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at Hungry Harry’s Family Bar-B-Que, 3116 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. A short networking presentation will be followed by a chance for all attendees to do a 30-second commercial. Cost is $7 in advance for members, $10 for guests, and includes breakfast. Call the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce at (813) 909-2722.

• Keep It Local-Trinity Chapter: 8 a.m. Wednesdays at Havana Dreamers Cafe, 3104 Town Ave., Trinity. (813) 405-7815.

• Pasco Aging Network: 8 to 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month. Location changes each month. For information or to RSVP, visit PAN is a coalition of agencies and private providers of elder services in Pasco.

• Keep It Local-Wesley Chapel Chapter: 8:30 a.m. Wednesdays at Lexington Oaks Golf & Country Club, 26133 Lexington Oaks Blvd., Wesley Chapel. (813) 405-7815.

• Keep It Local-Christian Women’s Network Chapter: 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Direction Connection, 2632 U.S. 19, Holiday. (813) 405-7815.

• Free Networking International: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Cantina Laredo, 2000 Piazza Ave., Building 4, Suite 170, Wesley Chapel (at the Shops at Wiregrass). Attendees pay for their own lunch. Call Martine Duncan at (813) 929-6816.

• Keep It Local-New Port Richey Chapter: 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Direction Connection, 2632 U.S. 19, Holiday. (813) 405-7815.

• Keep It Local-Odessa/Trinity Chapter: 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays at Seven Springs Golf & Country Club, 3535 Trophy Blvd., Trinity. (813) 405-7815.

• BNI Eagles: 7:15 a.m. Thursdays at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. Cost is $10 and includes breakfast. Call Clay Henderson at (727) 534-5191.

• BNI Referral Connection: 7:15 to 9 a.m. Thursdays at Vallarta’s Mexican Restaurant, 22948 State Road 54, Lutz. Call Rob Hamilton at (813) 431-5887.

• Christian Business Connections of Central Pasco: 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. Thursdays at Quail Hollow Golf Club, 6225 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel. Cost of $9 per meeting, includes breakfast and beverages. Annual membership dues are $100. Call Rene Van Hout at (813) 300-7511.

• Trinity/West Pasco Chapter of NPI: 7:45 a.m. Thursdays at The Grand Plaza Café, 4040 Little Road, New Port Richey. Call Rob Marlowe at (727) 847-2424.

• Networking For Your Success: 8 a.m. Thursdays at Lexington Oaks Country Club, 2615 Lexington Oaks Blvd., Wesley Chapel. Cost is $5 and includes a continental breakfast. Annual membership is $79. Call Matt at (813) 782-1777.

• Women-n-Charge: 11:30 a.m. on the first Friday of each month, Plantation Palms Golf Club, 23253 Plantation Palms Blvd., Land O’ Lakes. The cost is $15 for members and $18 for guests who RSVP by Monday prior to the meeting. Tuesday and after, the cost is $20 for members and $23 for guests. To RSVP, visit For information, call Judy at (813) 600-9848.

• Women of Wesley Chapel (WOW): 7:30 to 9 a.m. first Friday of each month, Beach House Assisted Living and Memory Care at Wiregrass Ranch, 30070 State Road 56, Wesley Chapel. WOW is the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce’s women only networking group. The cost is $5, includes breakfast and networking. To RSVP, call (813) 994-8534 or email


  1. The new Maydell Drive Bridge will be a multi-use bridge to cater to cars, bicyclists and pedestrians with travel lanes, 8-foot shoulders, and a barrier-separated 5' sidewalk & 10' trail. [Hillsborough County]
    Hillsborough County closed the bridge in December 2015 after an independent engineering study found it was structurally unsound.
  2. Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco discuss salary and benefits during negotiations on Sept. 18, 2019. [JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff Writer]
    The School Board will consider a $2.2 million package at its Dec. 17 meeting.
  3. New Port Richey City Hall  ALICE HERDEN | Special to the Times
    The revamped Sims Park is being used more by daily visitors and events drawing thousands. The New Port Richey City Council discusses how to protect its investment.
  4. Brett Griest, 61, and his wife, Shannon, are the proprietors of the East Main Street Coffee Shop & Sandwich Shop in New Port Richey. The coffee, specialty sandwiches and a neighborly feel keep customers coming back. [Michele Miller]
    Three years in, the East Main Street Coffee and Sandwich Shop is making a go of it.
  5. Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. [Courtesy of Lynn Cristina]
    If it helps to pull some good behavior out of my youngest, it will be $29.95 well spent.
  6. Island Fin Poké Company offers freshly prepared and customizable Hawaiian style poké bowls.
    Diners can build their own bowls by choosing from seven proteins, over 25 toppings, house made sauces and mix-ins.
  7. An administrative judge previously said a Pasco County ordinance allowing solar farms in agricultural districts did not violate the county's comprehensive land-use plan. On Tuesday, the county rejected a settlement offer from the litigants who challenged the planned solar farm. [Times]
    Two residents proposed a $165,000 payment to end litigation over a planned solar farm in Blanton.
  8. The Legendary Sirens will perform Dec. 14 and 15 at Weeki Wachee State Park. The nostalgic show features performances by Weeki Wachee Mermaids from the 1940s to the '70s. [Handout]
    Things to do in Pasco and Hernando counties
  9. An artist's rendering of the planned Encompass Health Corp.'s regional office in the Bexley by Newland Communities in Land O' Lakes. [Pasco Economic Development Council]
    The company receives a $983,000 incentive package for the relocation
  10. Rooker Properties of Atlanta plans to build at least 400,000 square feet of industrial and office space at what is now county-owned land on Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel. Pictured is Rooker's Spartan Ridge Logistics Center, a 273,000-square-foot, Class-A industrial building in Spartanburg, S.C. It was constructed in 2018, and the company said the buildings planned for the Pasco County site will closely resemble this. [Rooker Properties]
    The inventive package includes a $3.7 million forgivable loan to Rooker Properties.