The Villages Voice - August 2020

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Area and Region News

by VHA Regional VP's



North of 466

Joan Testa, Vice President (817) 247-9677

It seems as if everyone in the North section of The Villages is really upset at the demolition of Hacienda Hills Country Club buildings including the restaurant, pro shop, Tiki Bar, and tennis courts.  The most upset are the residents of Hacienda Villages who paid a premium for their property because they were adjacent to the luxury facilities.  Priority pool members who pay an additional $200-$250 per year are very disappointed that they now have lost the convenient and unique pool.  Amenity Authority Committee members, District 1 supervisors, and I, have all been deluged with calls from Villagers wanting to know what is going into the location. So, let’s set the record straight: all of Hacienda Hills Country Club facilities are owned by the developer, and as a private property owner, he can pretty much do with it as he pleases.  No amenity funds were used to maintain it or to demolish it.  Rumors have been flying all over, with people guessing what may replace what was once a very popular, elegant facility.  Many long-time residents remember the days of sitting by the pool, enjoying the Tiki Bar, and tie-and-jacket dining in the upscale restaurant.  The only answer available at this time as to what will be occupying this real estate is…. wait and see.  The Morse family has not announced their intentions and seemingly no-one else knows.   Stay Safe!  Joan Testa   Editor’s Note:  This and other answers to resident questions/concerns were addressed for The VHA by the Town Hall panel and are reported in our front-page articleWe will have another Town Hall Meeting in October and encourage you to use this valuable resource to submit your own questions/concerns using the VHA Contact Form on Page  of this edition of The VHA Voice.   


Between 466 and 466A

John Dean, Vice President - 207--557-0371  

While we are still in a bit of a holding pattern anticipating an eventual return to “normal” at some point someday, I thought this might help us put things in perspective. Maybe we don't have it that bad?  It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria. For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. Smallpox was epidemic until you were in your 40’s, as it killed 300 million people during your lifetime. At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. From your birth, until you are 55 you dealt with the fear of Polio epidemics each summer. You experience friends and family contracting polio and being paralyzed and/or die. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. During the Cold War, you lived each day with the fear of nuclear annihilation. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, almost ended. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in the year 1900. How did they endure all of that? If you were a kid in 1985 (dream on for most of us!🥴) and didn’t think your 85-year-old grandparent understood how hard school was, and how mean that kid in your class was, all the while they survived through everything listed above. Perspective is an amazing art—refined and enlightening as time goes on. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Our parents, grandparents and/or great-grandparents were called to endure all of the above and ...... YOU ARE CALLED TO STAY HOME AND SIT ON YOUR COUCH! How is that going for you? And if you have to go out. Wear a mask and keep social distances. We will survive this as we have many other hardships.  Have patience and check on each other. Stay healthy and safe! John Dean  


Between 466A and SR44 Joe Elliott, Vice President – 757- 846-1998

  I’d like to echo the optimistic messages we have tried to convey in the past few editions of The Voice! As a Community, County, State, Nation and beyond, we have never faced a larger challenge! But the real challenge will be finding that silver lining, rising to the occasion, and staying optimistic. When this public health event began, we had two major objectives: To prevent overloading our Medical Facilities and to minimize the financial impact. We agreed to “Flatten the Curve” by minimizing interactions, to practice Social Distancing and to implement Stay at Home Orders. For the second, longer term objective, a massive $2.3 trillion Coronavirus relief package was implemented at a national level, and at local levels we implemented various options to provide for necessary services and look out for our workforce. We are not out of the woods yet; in fact, we are facing a whole new set of questions such as how to open schools and protect students of all ages, their parents, teachers, and staff; and whether to mask or not to mask, and who will drive that directive – government, businesses, or individuals? As we begin to reopen the state and look to the future, I am optimistic for our recovery although I do not think is will be as soon as we want. I’ve heard a lot of discussion about getting back to “Normal”. The promising message that some are talking about is not simply reverting to the way things were pre-COVID-19, but implementing a new normal where we actually regain some lost ground. I think such an approach is in order and challenge us to think of the recovery in those terms. As we continue, I am always happy to talk to you about “Keeping the Dream Alive”. If you have a subject you want me to explore, let me know, or contact a member of the South team listed inside the front page of The Voice. Be safe and healthy, Joe Elliott  


South of SR44

Andrew Bilardello, Vice President – 561-644-1358

It seems like we are headed towards round 2 of the “Great 2020 COVID-19 Lockdown”. In recent weeks, the number of virus cases has seemed to rise exponentially; this is of course if you choose to believe the reported numbers. As the CDC readily admits, several testing sites have made erroneous reports. Most of those have been occurring right here in Florida according to an investigative report by Fox 35 News.  Since this all began, I have gone to Publix and other stores as needed. I absolutely can’t stand being cooped up in my house all day and I know that many of you feel the same way! Of course, I wear my mask and practice social distancing, as we all should. In the past few weeks things here in The Villages have begun to slowly get back to normal. Pickle ball courts are back open at full capacity, while the Rec centers still remain closed to Lifestyle groups. Many of our local restaurants remain open for curb-side pick-up or drive through only, while some offer inside dining, but at 25-50% capacity only. And who knows when the Squares will reopen for nightly entertainment? Whether you believe in the efficacy of wearing a mask or not, everyone should be wearing one while in close proximity to other people. It’s the right thing to do. I know my mask won’t stop me from contracting the virus, but I may have it and not know I am infected and can spread it to others due to its pre-symptomatic gestation period. This is a time for unity, not division. I implore everyone to please wear a mask and help stop the spread of COVID so our lives here in America’s Friendliest Home Town can fully return to normal. Andy Bilardello  


Lynn Davis - 352-250-7782

  The new U.S. Post Office located in the La Plaza Grande Shopping Center is expected to open late in the fall. The Rio Grande Air Gun Range located behind the Rio Grande Family Pool is progressing nicely and is about 60% complete. As of now, it is scheduled to open around the middle of September. A major site plan has been submitted to the Town of Lady Lake for the Serenity Cottages of Lady Lake.  It is located at 1165 Hwy 466 (between the La Zamora gate and Spring Arbor).  The proposal is to develop a memory care facility complex consisting of an administration building and six memory care buildings hosting a total of 144 beds.      IN OTHER NEWS: We want to encourage you to visit The District Government website regularly to find out what is happening in our community. The information below is from the District’s weekly bulletin at: WILDWOOD:  The City of Wildwood has contracted with Pavement Technology Inc. to apply a pavement preservation treatment to your roads. This treatment has been used by agencies throughout the country to extend the life of asphalt roadways. The product will protect the pavement by providing an in-depth seal and revitalizing the asphalt to withstand the effects of aging. There will be some minor inconvenience during the construction process. Typically, the work takes less than an hour while the product is being applied. Residents will have access to their driveways at all times. Prior to any construction you will receive a door notification 24 hours in advance with additional instructions and information. District Administrative Offices:  As the safety of residents, guests, staff and visitors in The Villages community continues to be of utmost importance to the District, all District Administrative Offices will continue to be open on an appointment only basis until further notice. Appointments can be made by emailing or contacting the appropriate District Department. If you do not know which department to contact, please call the District Customer Service Center at 352-753-4508. Masks are required for all appointments at all District Administrative offices, due to the nature of the transactions being less than 6 feet apart. There is a drop box available in the breezeway outside of the District office located at 984 Old Mill Run. If you need to drop off correspondence, please utilize the locked drop box. JUST A REMINDER:  Political signs are not allowed to be placed in yards.  Signs may not be affixed to the exterior walls of District-owned property. Signs may be affixed to golf carts or Low-Speed Vehicles. Signs may be held by candidates or their supporters.  Signs may not be placed on District property. Signs placed on District property will be removed and the District is not liable for the return of removed signs. In the event of tornadoes, hurricanes, other severe storm watch or warnings or weather conditions, the Recreation Department has the right to close facilities and/ or cancel/postpone or relocate activities at Recreation facilities for public safety. Can I park a truck or RV on the street? The District’s adopted rule for home units states: No trucks over ¾ ton size, boats or recreational vehicles shall be parked, stored or otherwise remain on any lot or street except for service vehicles located thereon on a temporary basis while performing a service for a resident.