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Keystone Connection Newsletter- July 2022

A Note From Your Editor, Cassandra Leonard

Happy Independence Day as we Celebrate America the entire month! A huge Thank You and Salute to our Veterans and families for their sacrifice and service!

Please share your stories, pictures in area, recipes, hot news and  interview availability to: KeystoneCivicSect@gmail.com.

Reminder: we do not have a General Meeting scheduled in July, this has always been a break month in addition to November – December.     The Board of Directors will continue with their scheduled meetings.If you have topics you would like to hear more about, please email to KeystoneCivicSect@gmail.com or fill out the suggestion cards at the Meeting(s) upon sign in, this will be passed on to our President and BOD for discussion and inclusion accordingly.   As a community bound together we are a strong force; protecting our Keystone 36 !

Teamwork as a Community is what it takes to protect Keystone.  “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is Success! ” ~ Henry Ford

LAND USE NEWS

We highly recommend anyone able to attend this online event, please do.  More voices heard and ears to understand the County’s missions in planning is vital!   herein is the information provided to connect :

Commercial-Locational Criteria Study will hold last Virtual Community Meeting on July 14
Should commercial and other non-residential activities be allowed near neighborhoods? We want your thoughts on locating stores and other non-residential development near people’s homes in Unincorporated Hillsborough County. Join us for our fourth and final Virtual Community Meeting on Thursday, July 14 at 6 pm to weigh in.

Virtual Community Meeting
Thursday, July 14 | 6 pm
Register Here 

The purpose of this study is to provide an analysis of the current Commercial-Locational Criteria and analyze best practices resulting in updated policy for the Unincorporated Hillsborough County Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Element. Learn more about the study and read the latest draft language on the project page.

This is an ongoing text amendment with public hearings scheduled for August 8 for the Planning Commission and August 11 for the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC).

We welcome your valuable feedback! Contact Andrea Papandrew (papandrewa@plancom.org, 813.665.1331) or Melissa Lienhard, AICP, (lienhardm@plancom.org 813.547.4364) with questions and comments.

Variance Requests

JULY 25, 2022 10:00 AM Hearing for Variance request VAR 22-0898 on 18289 Gunn Hwy Property Folio #: 837.0000 & 838.0000.   Summary resident estate wants to place an 8 foot concrete wall around entire parameter of property.   Our current KOCP plans only permit 4- 6 foot barriers.   This does not follow our Keystone Community Plan!

Patterson Road Project Status
by C. Leonard 

We have received an update on status: the Emergency Injunction has been filed and is before the Judge at this time.   Awaiting ruling on this.

Meanwhile the resident team members who have initiated this legal suit created a website that will provide ongoing information updates and ability to donate directly toward the legal fees of this project.

The website address is :  www.protectkeystone.com

To contribute to KCA  please visit   www.keystonecivic.org  Home page.

 

News About Keystone Residents

Land Use Appeals Board
Recent Appointment of Clara Lawhead

The Board of County Commissioners, during regular session on June 2, 2022, appointed Clara Lawhead (a current KCA BOD) to serve as a member of the Land Use Appeals Board.  The term is effective through June 2025. Kimberly Overman, Chair of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners wrote in Clara’s appointment letter “I cannot adequately express to you the importance the County places on your participation.  I believe Hillsborough County is unique in the number of citizens who have a direct input into the government.  The caliber of membership is outstanding and the service invaluable.”

About this board :
This board hears and decides appeals of decisions from the Land Use Hearing Officer on requests for variances or special uses of the Land Development Code. Sec. 10.05.02. – From Land Use Hearing Officer to Land Use Appeals Board.

Congratulations to Clara on this very important and valuable appointment . We thank her for such dedication to serve our community with all her volunteer work! 

 

AGRICULTURE STORY

Our Highlight Agritourism story of the month!

 

The Essence of Community at Golden Spirit Alpaca Ranch

As Brenda Crum opened the pasture gate she talks to a group of males. “Come on boys – meet the guests” Brenda calls as they run toward the shelter. Their herd mentality makes them want to stay together; even so, there are a few skeptics and meanderers that keep a close eye on the group who will be feeding them during their morning visit.

You might have seen news clips or read newspaper articles highlighting the Crum’s business as they have grown over the last years. Frank Crum Jr started his PEO (Professional Employee Organization) along with a staffing and workman’s compensation business in Clearwater over 40 years ago. In 2005 he and Brenda found a parcel of property in Keystone that they considered ‘heavenly’ as soon as they stepped out of their car.  With the purchase of that property they became enamored with agriculture options that could be a business. They started an intense investigation and in 2006 decided to raise alpaca. They purchased their seed stock of four female alpaca and began a venture unknown to many. Raising alpaca was new to them and the learning curve continues since the industry is in it’s infancy in the US. The knowledge includes many lessons related to care and handling of the alpaca and the beautiful fiber they produce. Today, Golden Spirit Alpaca Ranch encompasses four properties along Tarpon Springs Road that is home to 180 alpaca and provides many employment opportunities.

Brenda describes starting the business as a labor of love with bumps along the way. Even though she was raised on a farm and lived the 24/7 lifestyle, as the business grew, the learning expanded. Construction, pasture management, fencing, vendors, human resources, marketing, vet care and so many other aspects that wasn’t familiar territory provides daily challenges. The home they have provided for the largest alpaca herd in the southeast gives them grazing space necessary for production animals, and allows the Crum’s to share their unique business with others during scheduled tours. The original plan for a breeding program started with the purchase of quality animals and eventually herdsires (males selected for their fiber, build and personalities) that are among the best in the country.

It has expanded to include special events for people who love alpaca including bachelorette and bridal parties, work team building, birthdays; an adoption program; boarding for other alpaca owners; and retail store that includes diverse products made from alpaca. Crum says “We know that people think alpaca are cute, but once they realize that they are domesticated livestock, their questions go beyond just wanting to see alpaca. We can share the stories to provide a special experience of education and hands on time in an unusual environment that people don’t experience in Tampa Bay.”

The Crum’s support local FFA and 4H students who have the option to show alpaca at the Florida State Fair. Students work at the Ranch approximately five months before they take a fiber project and their selected alpaca to the Fair where they can win ribbons and prize money.

Since the reason for owning alpaca is because of their exquisite fiber, Brenda continues to study, including how to harvest (shear), clean, process and how to work through the steps to produce product. It is valued for its diverse qualities that might include any item you can have made from fiber using multiple techniques such as felting, weaving, knitting and crocheting. Producing a fiber crop requires healthy alpaca so with employees tending to every day responsibilities including feeding; mucking (ie, picking up poop); maintaining the shelters, pastures and property each play a key role by keeping a close eye on alpaca behaviors.

Crum says, “Once we decided to venture into agriculture we realized the multitude of benefits that resulted in hard work. Working in this uncharacteristic community blurs the line between work and play while also giving visitors a sense of wholesomeness in nature that isn’t available in other areas”.

DID YOU KNOW….

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Written by Jane Whitehurst

Dragonflies and Damselflies

Both the dragonfly and damselfly are in the insect order Ordonata.  According to fossils they were around 100 million years before the dinosaur.  In these prehistoric times they were much larger with a wingspan of 2 feet.

Although the two are similar when observed from a far, up close there are many differences.  The dragonflies have eyes close together, almost touching, and they have a shorter, sturdier body.  The dragonfly also has dissimilar wing pairs with the back wings being broader.  In contrast, the damselfly has a longer body with eyes on the side of its head and similar wing pairs.  Maybe the most interesting fact is where their gills are found.  For the damselfly, the gills are in the head region.  The dragonfly bears the great distinction of having their gills in their anus.

The two different ‘flies” have much in common.  They both have incomplete metamorphosis meaning they go from the egg to the larva to an adult and bypass the inactive pupa stage.  They are both found near water since the female lays their eggs in the water.  When the eggs hatch the larvae will remain in the water and can molt up to 15 times.  The larva is carnivorous eating many aquatic insects and even tad poles if they grow large enough.

Seeing the “flies” around bodies of water is a good indicator of healthy water.  The absence of these insects would indicate there may be pesticides or abundance of nutrients from fertilizer run off.

Once the “flies” enter the adult stage their appetite becomes more voracious.  The adults can eat 15% of their body weight every day.  Their favorite food is mosquitoes, midges, flies, but they are also known to eat butterflies, moths, and other dragonflies.  The ecological importance of the “flies “continues into their adult form.  Purple martins are just one species of birds who enjoy the dragon and damsel fly. During the mating ritual the male dragonfly or damselfly holds the female over the water to release her eggs.  In nature you are the predator or the prey, and in this moment, a fish or amphibian might enjoy a tasty snack of a dragonfly.

There are many myths associated with these strange insects.   In older times, children might be told that the dragon or damsel fly would sew their mouth, ear, or eye shut if they misbehaved   People also wrongly accused them of having stingers to hurt horses.  They are around horses because different varieties of flies and mosquitoes are around horses, but they do not hurt the horses.

We see now how valuable these flies are to our environment.  What can we do to help increase the numbers of dragon and damsel flies?  Keeping clean lakes and ponds is paramount.  Also planting Dwarf Sagittaria and other native aquatic plants will allow a nursery of carpet for the mother “flies” to lay their eggs.

Look at the pictures of the lava and the adult stage of the damsel and the dragonfly. We must do our best to increase their numbers since they are so beneficial to the environment. Next time you see one flying you might even be able to distinguish between the two and you won’t have to worry about you or your horse getting stung.  Marvel at their aerodynamics as they can go to speeds of 35 mph., hover like a helicopter and even fly sideways and backwards.

Remember, always work with nature not against her.

dwarf sagittaria

dragon fly metamorphosis
 Damselfly

 

KEYSTONE HISTORY 

  A walk down memory lane…

 

 by C. Leonard. (research done via Odessa History and findings, credits of some information found from Vivian Kortum, Gladys Kuhn and history interview with W. Netscher ) 2 great stories

Two land marks that serviced Odessa area for generations, only one continues.

Dey General Store

The Dey General store was located on 17897 Boy Scout Road, on the corner just south of Tarpon Springs Road, originally opened by Evan and Alvin Dey in 1954.  The Deys became more than a grocery, cold drinks, and gas station nestled among the orange trees.  It was their vision to be a service to the community, the Deys found it was needed to handle parts for the equipment used in the local orange groves, watermelon patches, vegetable and flower gardens.  Therefore not too long, they included tools and supplies for the local grove workers, gardeners, carpenters, well drillers, electricians, roofers.   It was like your one stop shop!  A true General Store with its natural components. As the business grew so did the size of the building. Over the years several additions were made.

April 1973 Eva Dey sold her store to Wil and Vivian Kortum and their son Ken who were from White Bear Lake, MN.   Wil was a banker for many years and always wanted a little piece of Florida.  He liked the idea of moving to Florida and having a service station business.   When the Kortums purchased the store and property, Wil expanded the garage business offering repairs /service for cars, tractors and lawnmowers for quite many years.    “Deys” had become a historical landmark for delivery men and friends of people living in the area.  Residents always would say go to Deys if you need something.    It was a gathering place for residents and many people passing through to congregate.   Boy Scouts from Camp Brorein used the store as a halfway station for their hikes while many bicyclers from Pinellas County would stop there for  rest and refreshments.     I remember when we used to ride our horses up there for beverages as a stopping point on a daily ride.   It was a horse friendly place as we picked oranges off the trees nearby on our rides back home for snacks.

The Kortums carried on the Dey tradition of friendly service to all resident customers for years as they enjoyed servicing and befriending many people in the Keystone community.     The property was eventually sold and gas pumps capped to no longer provide gas services but the General store continued in variations under new ownership of Rheda Weeks who continued the mission.  The property was recently sold in November 2019 and the new owner tore down the Historic Icon of Deys memories.   What we have left are pictures and memories to remind us of what it once was.  A part of Odessa history…

Keystone Service Station aka
“Keystone Korner”

65 Years of History in Business.

In 1957 Joe Bischof and his son-in-law, Bob Kuhn (wife Gobby Bischof Kuhn) started Keystone Service on the corner of Tarpon Springs Road and Crawley Road.  Address 18515 Crawley Road.  At this time it was known as Pure Oil Gas station.  In 1960 Joe lost his life saving a child in the lake across the street (Island Ford Lake). Since this tragic event, Bob carried on as a one man business and changed to 76 gas, light mechanical work and tune ups for a number of years. I remember as a child my father would fill up at the ole 76 pump for gas and get repairs done by Bob on his El Camino.  The big orange globe was fitting for our area filled with citrus groves!

On July 23, 1993,  Bob and Gobby Kuhn sold the service station to Edward Netscher and Kay P. Netscher.  In this year good friends of Edward and Kay Netscher, Jack and Trudy Branigan leased the property from Netscher and it became what we know today as the “Keystone Korner” Sandwich shop.  They embarked on this venture for their children Tommy (married to Edwards daughter Linda),  Chris and Terri Branigan. Netscher owned the property until his daughter Linda, who was married to Tommy Branigan passed away in 2003.  On October 28 2004, Netscher sold the property to his son in law, Tommy Branigan who is the current owner while his sister Chris Branigan and family run operations to this day.   Keystone Korner not only has so much history behind it with its evolution being handed from one family to another, it connects Keystone residents. It is a favorite place to hang out to eat with fresh air, watch the cars go by, bikers roll through, and enjoy awesome Cubans, Pizzas, Salads, Ice Cream etc. It’s around the “Korner” for everyone and even better it’s  “family owned”.

                                                                                                             Click pic for menu and info!

 

Local area 30 year old farmers market is requesting support for rezoning with county in order to stay in business to keep farm operational.

Carrollwood’s Bearss Groves asks for community support to help rezone the popular farmers market.

Although this may not have a lot to do with Keystone, it does have a lot to do with outer lying community support that works in all ways.  This is where we can support them, to keep the Local Farming business strong!  A part of what makes our rural area unique.   What happens here sets a precedence for all urban /rural farmers in our county.

Bearss Groves is reaching out the to all communities for support as they have been here for 30 years servicing Carrollwood and North Tampa areas.   Many remember stopping by on the way home to their market on Bearss Avenue for fresh vegatables, fruits etc.. They need to rezone in order to keep operations open as they are considered within city limits.

See this link article for more information :

https://www.cltampa.com/food-drink/carrollwoods-bearss-groves-asks-for-community-support-to-help-rezone-the-popular-farmers-market-13707128

 

Get involved with KCA

JOIN ONE OF OUR COMMITTEES!  

Below is a list of our Committees.  If you are interested to be more involved with KCA, we would love to have your support by joining one of our committees below.

Simply click the link to directly Email the Committee Chair and Co Chair to SIGN UP  or for your inquiries!   It is our goal to make “communications” easy for our members.

 

Thank You to our Keystone Business Sponsors for their continued support!

 

Nuccio Sharpe RoofingOdessa Garden CenterArborist AboardPoofessional OrganicsJulia WrightSeabury DroneAmerican LegionHayman Jewelry

 

 

Email Us if You have Any Questions!