Her career touched many lives

Officially, Betsy Crisp’s last day of work was Feb. 3. But, based on her track record, it seems unlikely that the Land O’ Lakes woman will merely kick back and relax. Crisp retired after 29 years as the food and consumer sciences extension agent for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences – Pasco Cooperative Extension. She is the woman who crisscrossed … [Read more...]

Appreciating life, one moment at a time

Roslyn Franken doesn’t take life for granted. She understands its precarious nature. Her father was a prisoner of war in Japan, surviving the Nagasaki atomic bombing. Her mother was a Holocaust survivor, and later, a cancer survivor. And, in 1994, the then 29-year-old Franken also survived cancer. She shares what she has learned through her book, “Meant to Be: A True Story of … [Read more...]

Piano enthusiast opens Lutz store

Michael Pratt never owned a piano as an adolescent. He now owns a shop full of them. Last month, the 45-year-old Pratt opened Picarzo Pianos, 23916 State Road 54 in Lutz. As one of the few piano dealers in the Tampa area, the small, boutique shop specializes in Steinway and Hailun grand and upright pianos. The store also offers restored, early 20th century pianos, with relics built … [Read more...]

Former Wesley Chapel track star encourages kids to run

A Pasco County track legend is sharing his passion of the sport he still loves. His name is Bernard “BB” Roberts. And, he’s encouraging more kids to run — fast. He knows a little something about that. Roberts, now 31, still claims five sprinting records at Wesley Chapel High School — 100-meter dash, 200-meter, 400-meter, 4x400-meter relay and the sprint medley. As a high school … [Read more...]

‘Freeing’ birds from blocks of wood

Edna Speyrer was just a college student when a visit to a furniture store changed her life. While there, she saw a carving of a matador and a bull. “They were priced at $50 a piece. I said, ‘I can do that,’” she said. So, she got a piece of mahogany wood and went to work on it. She spent several months, using her Case pocket knife, to create the three-dimensional figure, with its … [Read more...]

Telling life stories, through ornaments

The ornaments on the Christmas tree in Becky Wanamaker’s Land O’ Lakes home are like tiny snapshots of the family’s life. “Everything on there is significant — has a story, or represents a memory,” she said. “They’re either passed down from the family, they’re something I made as a kid, got on a trip or was given as a gift,” Wanamaker said. “You see the Snoopy one up at the … [Read more...]

Local vet named ‘Pet Industry Woman of the Year’

A Lutz veterinarian has been named the “Pet Industry Woman of the Year” by the Women in the Pet Industry Network. Dr. Dani McVety is the co- founder of Lap of Love, a company based in Lutz that is made up of a national network of veterinarians who provide hospice and in-home euthanasia for pets. Besides winning the the network’s overall award, McVety also received the “Advocate” award for … [Read more...]

Guiding Pasco County Schools is a big job

As Kurt Browning begins his second term as superintendent of Pasco County Schools, he knows he’s got his work cut out for him. He found that out during his first term. “I tell people, I have not worked as hard in my adult life as I have this past four years,” said Browning, who directs the daily operations of Florida’s 11th-largest school district. The 58-year-old quickly added: … [Read more...]

Career educator joins Pasco County School Board

The newest member of the Pasco County School Board believes the perspective she brings to the board will aid in its deliberations. Colleen Beaudoin, a career educator, said her background in the field, coupled with the experiences she’s had as a mother of children in the system, will help her to ask the right questions when issues come before the board. “I didn’t set out with this goal … [Read more...]

Board member wants a school for the arts

Alison Crumbley also wants more arts education, in general As Alison Crumbley begins her third term on the Pasco County School Board, she has identified some key priorities that she wants the district to tackle. “I would like to see for the entire school district — fine arts, performing arts … humanities, whatever you want to call it, enhanced. “We had to cut out a lot of that my … [Read more...]