So, even though I’ve also had a lot of haters over the 25 years I have owned and been the editor of the New Tampa & Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News, the fact is that I get the most amazing feedback from all of you — our readers — about what we do to bring our communities together.

A case in point is our now-finalized plan to celebrate my 25 years at the helm of the primary news and information source for New Tampa and Wesley Chapel residents and businesses. Even though we didn’t (at that time) yet know when the celebration would be held, we’ve still have at least 60 people register to be part of that celebration — and another 30 or so of our advertising business owners who say they plan to attend.

So, let’s see how many of you will register to be on our guest list now that we are officially announcing the details of that little shindig.

Although my 25-year anniversary was actually February 25 of this year, the celebration will be held on Friday, April 12, at the awesome Bayscape Bistro at Heritage Isles Country Club (off Cross Creek Blvd.), with heavy hors d’oeuvres being put out at around 6 p.m. and karaoke with my friend Gary Carmichael of Heart & Soul Karaoke kicking the musical festivities into high gear by 7 p.m.

The food will be outstanding, as Bayscape owners Eddie and Lourdes Bujarski (who ran the culinary arts program at New Tampa’s Wharton High for nearly two decades) will put out everything from fruit and cheese to some of Bayscape’s Friday Fiesta fare like tacos, fajitas and more. We’re still working on an exact menu (and Bayscape’s complete menu will still be available for purchase) and the bar will be a cash bar, but this is a unique opportunity to hang out with not only my amazing staff at the Neighborhood News, but also the owners of many of the businesses you see advertised in every issue of this publication.     

So, all you have to do to be part of the celebration is email us from a valid email address with your first and last name, the community you live in (Tampa Palms, Live Oak Preserve, etc.) and the first and last names of any other people you plan to bring with you.

There is no admission fee to attend my “25 years of Neighborhood News” celebration, but you’re not officially on the guest list until you receive a confirmation email from us. If you want to get an idea of how crazy Jannah and I and some of our friends are about karaoke, check out my article on page 44 of our latest New Tampa issue. 

And no, you don’t have grab a mic to sing at all to attend, but you do have to email us at and put “Neighborhood News Guest List” in the subject line! See you there!

The Latest On Google…

It’s been almost exactly two months since we were among only 23 news organizations in the U.S. and 87 worldwide to receive funding support from Google — and lead video producer Gavin Olsen, our new in-house videographer/video editor Charmaine George and managing editor John Cotey and I are all pretty excited  about how things are going. As you’re receiving this issue, you have the opportunity to watch a new “Neighborhood Dining News” segment with owner Steve Falabella of 900° Woodfired Pizza at the Shops at Wiregrass mall, our second “Chappie Chatter” segment with Wesley Chapel Community Facebook page administrator Jennifer Ames and even a new video about Liberty Middle School’s human hot fudge sundae.

Many of our latest videos have done very well for us, both on Facebook and on our WCNT-tv (Wesley Chapel & New Tampa television) YouTube channel.

Of the videos that we have released since my last update in these pages, our video about the new Twistee Treat in Wesley Chapel has been viewed 8,500 times, our story about the Pasco County School District’s planned purchase of property for a new school in Wesley Chapel has been viewed 5,600 times and our video about Wharton’s boys basketball team defeating the Freedom boys in the Regional playoffs has been viewed 4,600 times.

And, although I wasn’t available to go myself, Gavin and I were invited to travel to New York City to be part of a global conference call among all of the news organizations who received funding from Google. He surely will report about that conference in our next issue.

And, by the time this issue reaches your mailbox, most of our existing print advertisers and many people who have requested information about our video and online subscriptions will have received that information. 

So, if you’re interested in having a Featured Business video produced about your business, or you’re interested in the only truly multimedia advertising opportunity for businesses in New Tampa & Wesley Chapel, please email us at ASAP!

And, look for more info in these pages about our soon-to-launch new website —! 

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