Credit Union Opens 10th Local Location

seffner-grand opening (3)

The Greater Seffner Area Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting for the Railroad & Industrial Federal Credit Union (RIFCU), located at 1209 Kingsway Blvd. in Seffner. The RIFCU opened its new Seffner location and graciously donated an office for use by The Greater Seffner Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 11808 E. U.S. Hwy. 92 in Seffner.

For more information, please contact Rachel Roetter with the Greater Seffner Area Chamber of Commerce at or

Picnic at Plaza Bella Benefits ECHO

Plaza Bella’s Picnic in the Plaza fundraiser event will be held on July 25 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Emergency Care Help Organization (ECHO).  Rock N Pineapple, sponsored by Patrón Tequila, will host the Paradiso Girls and, together, Plaza Bella will feature the new Patrón drink.  Join the staff for an afternoon of fun at the Plaza Bella in Valrico. Rock N Pineapple Restaurant and Bar is located at 1020 Bloomingdale Ave. and is now open Tuesday – Thursday from 4 – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Due to popular demand, it is now open from 9:30 a.m. for Sunday brunch. For more information call 321-4900.

Makeover Company Now Open

Make Me Over, Inc. is now open and running full-time. Owner Cola Swartz, a model and style consultant, has spent over 20 years in the modeling and fashion industry. She is now sharing her knowledge, experience, and secrets with the world. Swartz’s personal services offered include: head-to-toe makeovers, dressing for your body consultation, a wardrobe and closet consult, editing, planning, a makeup consultation, a hair consultation, personal shopping, special occasion shopping, or just plain advice. Starting in mid-July, Make Me Over, Inc. will be offering Ladies, Let’s Talk Style In-Home Parties. Swartz focuses on ladies’ positive traits and teaches them to bring them out. What ladies gain from this experience, besides knowledge, is a brighter smile, a head held higher and the great news is it’s all surgery free.

For more information on Make Me Over, Inc., call 598-0466, visit or e-mail

Ice Cream Parlor Sports 1950s Theme


Offering relief from the summer heat, Legends Ice Cream recently opened in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s plaza on Bell Shoals Rd. The store plays on its 1950s theme by naming some of its sundaes after stars from the era, which include the Marilyn Monroe, the Elvis Presley and the James Dean. It also has a sundae named “The King,” which consists of every flavor of ice cream the parlor offers, topped with chipped cream, nuts and cherries. It will run you $20. The ice cream shop also offers hot dogs, shakes, malts and more.

Legends Ice Cream is located at 4344 Bell Shoals Rd. in Valrico. For more information, please call 938-7271.

Realtor Sells $1 Million In Six Months

“What bad market?” replies Ken Brownlee, of Keller Williams Realty of Brandon, when his clients and friends comment on the current condition of his real estate practice. Brownlee, licensed for 18 months, entered the market when it was in rapid decline. In his first six months, he sold over $1 million in property and is on track to more than double that volume in 2009.

“When you are successful in this type of market, you know you are doing something right,” said Brownlee, who learned the business from long-time real estate practitioners as well as from his experience as a real estate investor. Brownlee says his secret is “finding out what customers need and bringing viable solutions to the table is the bottom line. You must know the market.”

Brownlee feels that the biggest challenge in today’s market is an overabundance of inventory combined with cautious lenders. “The other factor is would-be home buyers who are sitting on the fence waiting for the ‘bottom’ of the market,” Brownlee says. “There are some indications that we are near or past the so-called ‘bottom’ as inventory is shrinking and prices are stabilizing.”

“First-time homebuyers are starting to figure out that the combination of low prices, low interest rates, plus the $8,000 tax credit, makes this the ideal time to jump in. We have seen a flood of contracts coming in over recent weeks, and we are very optimistic.”

For more information, please contact Brownlee, with Keller Williams Realty, at 767-4673 or visit his Website at

Pressure Washing with Reclaimed Water


Don’t let the summer rains fool you, Hillsborough County is still under Phase IV, the most severe, water restrictions. What that translates to homeowners, is that they cannot do their own pressure washing. Although commercial pressure washing is still allowed under the restrictions, Frank Hall, owner/operator of Specialty Pressure Washing Services, has been aware of the dire water situation since early spring and wanted to do what he could to help ease the burden on an already taxed water supply and possibly preserve his livelihood.

The first and most viable option, Hall said, was the use of reclaimed water.  Hall had used reclaimed in the past.  “When I lived in Abbey Grove, we opted to have the available reclaimed sprinkler water line put in. I went a step further and had a reclaimed hose spigot put in as well. I left the house almost every day with over 200 gallons of water that was perfectly usable and did not put a strain on the potable water supply.” He continues, saying, “Reclaimed water can’t be used in all applications.  We’ve been using it on jobs where it’s feasible to use it – mostly sidewalks, street gutters, driveways, property fences, property walls, and community entrances for various homeowners’ associations.”

For more information, call Hall at 956-1742 or visit

Chiropractor Moves Locations


Local chiropractor and six-year Valrico resident David Wages recently moved his business, AdvancedCare Chiropractic, P.A., from his 700 sq.-ft. location at 710 Oakfield Dr. in Brandon to 115 Margaret St., Ste. F, in Brandon, near the intersection of S.R. 60 and Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Brandon. Wages has also started practicing at a Plant City clinic, Premium Care Medical Associates, with Clinic Director and Valrico resident Brian S. Clukie. The Plant City clinic offers physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic. At AdvancedCare Chiropractic, services offered include massage therapy, traction and diversified chiropractic. AdvancedCare also uses surface electromyography to scan the spine.

Wages has been in business since March of 2003 at his old location and opened his new location in May of this year, when he also started practicing at the Plant City Clinic. He is available at his Brandon location Monday-Saturday by appointment and at the Plant City clinic Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday also by appointment. AdvancedCare Chiropractic accepts most insurance and also has private pay plans.  Wages said at AdvancedCare Chiropractic, “We pride ourselves on our clinic, about being compassionate and treating our patients kindly. We don’t only treat their illness, we treat the patient as a whole.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Wages, please call the Brandon office at 655-1310, which can be called 24 hours a day or visit, where appointments can be made online. To make an appointment with Wages at the Plant City clinic, please call 659-2273.

Agent No. 1 in Brandon/Valrico Offices

Keller Williams Realty is pleased to announce that Steve Moran is the No. 1 Individual Agent for the first and second quarters of 2009 in the Brandon/Valrico offices. Moran has been the top Keller Williams realtor for the past four years and was ranked in the top 200 in the U.S. in 2006. Moran credits his success to his past clients and also his staff. Moran states, “The number of sales have picked up for 2009, but the values are still in decline.” Moran has lived in the Brandon area for 22 years and has been selling real estate since 1993.

For more information, please call Moran at 661-2476 or e-mail at

Practice Offers Permanent Birth Control

Dr. Keith Whitehead, a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist with Women’s Care, a Division of Women’s Care Florida, is offering “a permanent birth control procedure, called Essure, a great option for women who have completed their families.”

Essure is a permanent birth control procedure that can be done in the comfort of a physician’s office in about 13 minutes – without hormones, cutting, burning or the risks associated with general anesthesia and tubal ligation. “This procedure makes getting permanent birth control so much simpler,” continues Whitehead. “It is incisionless and performed in the office under local anesthesia only.  This allows the patient to resume her activities almost immediately, without the pain and risks associated with abdominal surgery.”

Developed, manufactured and marketed by Conceptus Inc., the Essure procedure has been FDA approved since 2002. It is 99.8 percent effective and is the only birth control method with zero pregnancies.

Visit to learn more about Essure, or contact Women’s Care, at 1-866-418-3489.

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Jennifer Silverstein
Jennifer is the Assistant Editor at the Osprey Observer, having climbed the corporate ladder from intern in 2007. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She lives in Channing Park with her husband, Eric, and their two dogs.