Land O’ Lakes park and community center have a new name

The Pasco County Commission has renamed the community center and park in Land O’ Lakes as the Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park. Commissioners adopted the new name on Nov. 7, at the request of Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore. “They are trying to have more of an identity in that area,” said Moore. “I think they’ll be excited by this.” Moore said he consulted with members of the … [Read more...]

Book pays homage to Florida minority political trailblazers

When Dr. Susan A. MacManus set out a decade ago to write “Florida’s Minority Trailblazers,” she wanted to recognize the men and women who changed the face of Florida’s government. Her book does just that. She recounts the personal stories of the first minority men and women elected or appointed to state legislative, executive and judicial offices, and to the U.S. Congress since the … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes’ Heritage Stage makes its debut

It was an occasion to mark the completion of Heritage Stage in Land O’ Lakes, and it had all of the trappings of a traditional small-town celebration. The American Legion Post 79 presented the colors. Sanders Elementary students led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Sunlake High School Seahawks band played a few numbers. And, public officials and staff members were there … [Read more...]

A walk through history at Lutz Cemetery

The first resident of the Lutz Cemetery is a man known only as Mr. Nims. His grave marker is gone and the burial plot nearly obliterated. Local historians think he was buried there in 1914, and almost nothing is known of his personal history. That is not the situation, however, for most of the people resting in peace at this hallowed ground, off U.S. 41 at Fifth Avenue. Instead, their … [Read more...]

It’s a small world, after all

Richard and Juanita Wirth, of Lutz, have been traveling to Germany for years, to join in Oktoberfest festivities. This year, though, when they stopped in Tutzing, Germany, they were surprised to find a butcher shop called Lutz, Metzgerie. “We stopped and shared that we lived in Lutz, Florida,” Juanita Wirth said. “They were delighted to find the name had made it all of the way to … [Read more...]

Serving up fried chicken, nostalgia

They come to the Old Lutz School, on U.S. 41, bearing casserole dishes and memories to share. These are men and women who have deep roots in Lutz and Land O’ Lakes. Their families helped settle the area, and every year they come to celebrate the connections they feel to the community and each other. The size of the annual gathering has diminished over time, as people have died or can no … [Read more...]

Florida could decide 2016 presidential election

Predictions as to which Republican candidate will come away with the prize of the national party’s presidential nomination is an impossible task this early in the race. But there is no doubt that Florida will be a pivotal state in a hard-fought 2016 election, according to Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political scientist. “There’s not another state in the country that will be … [Read more...]

Election Day is here! And so is everything you need to know

Today is Election Day where Florida will elect a governor, an attorney general, a chief financial officer and an agriculture commissioner among others. Locally, however, voters will have to decide on representatives in Tallahassee, as well as who will represent their interests on the county commission. In last week's print edition of The Laker/Lutz News, we offered an election primer, which you … [Read more...]

Medical marijuana, Common Core gaining statewide support

More often than not, elections become about people: Not the ones politicians are trying to represent, but the politicians themselves. The latest release from the University of South Florida’s Sunshine State Survey, however, is trying to shift that focus a bit back to issues, including those affecting the state as a whole. USF’s School of Public Affairs department, under the direction of Land … [Read more...]

Economy still plagues Floridians, but politics in way

The biggest issue facing Floridians today is the economy. And the biggest obstacle to fixing that is government partisanship. Those were the primary findings of this year's Sunshine State Survey, a collaboration between the University of South Florida and the A.C. Nielsen Co. It's based on 1,875 telephone interviews conducted between July 30 and Aug. 15, compiling a random sample of adults 18 … [Read more...]