Asturia’s Uniquely Smaller Size

More of a neighborhood than a sprawling development Asturia, a new home community in Odessa, stands out among other planned developments along State Road 54 in Pasco County because of its uniquely smaller size. At build out in the next few years, Asturia will be a community of just 670 homes, while nearby master-planned communities have between 1,500 and 6,500 homes planned over several … [Read more...]

Honoring our local graduates

The Laker/Lutz News is once again honoring our local high school graduates by publishing their names in today’s newspaper. Beginning on page 7A, we are recognizing more than 3,500 students from the 11 high schools in our distribution area. This is the 11th consecutive year we’ve published this edition, a popular keepsake for the families we serve. It is an honor to acknowledge our … [Read more...]

Learning how to ‘crisscross’ cookies with Grandma

I am delighted that this column about love is being published on Valentine’s Day. Let me begin by wishing you and all of your loved ones a lovely day. When I was a young woman, I thought Valentine’s Day was just for couples. And, when there wasn’t someone special in my life, I pretty much ignored Feb. 14. I hadn’t yet figured out that romantic love is often the most tentative of all loves, … [Read more...]

2017 was a good year; we expect 2018 to be even better!

One of the pleasures of getting older is that during the holidays, I no longer fret about finding the “perfect” gift for those I love, or worry about which relative I’m obligated to spend Christmas with, or stress about hosting holiday parties. This year, I celebrated Christmas with my daughter and Florida family over New Year’s, and will open presents in mid-January with my son’s family in … [Read more...]

Why we printed your newspaper early

As I write this column, it is Friday morning — two days before Irma arrives in Florida, and at least a full day before we know what kind of impact the hurricane will have on Tampa Bay. In the aftermath of Harvey, everyone is on edge because of the stress getting ready for the storm, and the uncertainty of when and where Irma will make landfall. In anticipation of Irma, one way we coped here … [Read more...]

A good week to be a newspaper publisher

Some weeks being the publisher of a weekly newspaper is more fun than others. And, the past week was one of them. Let’s begin with the recognition we received at the annual meeting of the Florida Press Association. Led by editor B.C. Manion, our news department received 10 statewide awards for outstanding photography, news stories and feature writing. These awards convey the quality of work … [Read more...]

Celebrating babies and family

My employees and I have worked together for a long time — some for as many as 15 years. In the beginning, we shared stories about the challenges of raising children. We went on to celebrate their graduations and weddings, and have begun to rejoice, as some of us have become grandparents. Most of us were in our 30s and 40s when we started working together and already had children, from … [Read more...]

10-Year milestone

This marks the 10th consecutive year that The Laker/Lutz News has published the names of every high school graduate in our local communities. The Class of 2017 amounts to more than 3,500 graduates in the eight high schools our community newspapers cover. In Pasco County, these graduates are from Land O’ Lakes, Pasco, Sunlake, Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass and Zephyrhills high schools. And, in … [Read more...]

Honoring my stepmother, Bettye

My stepmother, Bettye, is a remarkable woman. She was married to my father, Don Kortus, for over 36 years, until his death a little more than a year ago. While I miss Dad every day, I would miss him even more if we didn’t still have Bettye. I just spent a week with Bettye over the Easter holidays— the first time she visited me without my father. To be honest, I was a bit … [Read more...]

The amazing attitude of my sister, Karen

My younger sister, Karen, and I are three years apart. We typically see each other just two or three times a year, because Karen lives in my home state of Minnesota and I live in Florida — more than 1,300 miles away. While there’s a great distance between us, Karen and I have always been close. We share many common interests — traveling, gardening, dogs, cooking, outdoor activities, history … [Read more...]