Cypress Isles News
The official newsletter of the Cypress Isles Homeowners Association
May 2005 Edition - Published Quarterly



In This Issue - May 2005
Seeking Orange County Grant
Thanks, Alphabetically
Cyber Isles Alerts
Cypress Isles Contact List
Neighborhood Watch
Orange County Community Conference
ARC 90 Day Reminder
Hurricane Preparation Conference
Residents Elect New Board
Residential Horticulture Classes
DIY Hurricane Prep
Sexual Predator Locator
Don't Block the Sidewalk!
Gotta Gripe?
Street Light Out?


Seeking Orange County Grant
If we get the grant, County would pay half of entrance upgrade cost.
By now you must have noticed the missing front entrance sign. This was a daytime vandalism that occurred in the late afternoon of Monday, January 24th. Vandals removed the entire sign, ripped off the brass letters, and tossed the blue background into Bradfordt Village. Landscapers found the blue background, tossed away in Bradfordt Village with most of the letters missing, and brought it back to Cypress Isles. A police report was filed, but no suspects were identified. The letters seem to be collector's items for kids who want their initials hanging on their bedroom walls, and paid for by various neighborhoods via the signs.
If all goes well, we will have new, tamper-resistant entrance signs in the next several weeks, along with improved landscaping and repaired walls at both entrances. On March 24th, Lee Blackwell submitted our formal proposal asking Orange County for a ReNew grant to pay for half of the approximately $25,000 cost to refurbish our entrances -- $13k for new signs, $6k for plants and bushes, $5k for brickwork, and $1k for electrical work. The 55-page proposal is the result of three months of work by Lee Blackwell, Claudia and Scott Rilea, and the Entrance refurbishment Committee. Over 40 neighborhoods throughout Orange County submitted proposals. The County is expected to decide on the grants sometime in June.
Editor's note: If you happen to see big brass letters in ANYONE'S home, car, locker, or other personal property, or hear any bragging about the acquisition of same, please contact a board member.


Thanks, Alphabetically
It takes more than a Board to make Cypress Isles work.
Cypress Isles is fortunate to have a number of steady workers who make things happen while others just talk. They are listed here in alphabetical order.

Lee Blackwell was the driving force behind replacing our landscaping contractor with Kirkland and replacing our management company with Community Management Professionals - both big improvements. Lee also composed and submitted a 56-page request to Orange County for a ReNew Grant, which you'll hear more about later. Lee is also our one-man ARC, a job he would like to share with three or four other homeowners.

Dennis Bode continues as our webmaster maintaining our website, which is still the best website in Waterford Lakes.

Rex Bowman is our very helpful property manager from Community Management Professionals - a huge improvement over their predecessors.

Christine Culbertson is the new deputy coordinator of our Neighborhood Watch, helping to revitalize that program.

Myron Davis has been our conscientious Treasurer for as long as we've been an association. Myron keeps us on budget, and last year rescued our financial records from our obstinate previous management company using heroic efforts, even calling in the police to help.

Sandy Horazak is editor ("editrix") of the Cypress Isles News, the Welcome packet, and other "breaking news" flyers such as the alligator alert.

Claudia and Scott Rilea worked tirelessly to research and assemble all the bids for the signage and structural aspects of the ReNew Grant.

Kim Schmitt is our new Neighborhood Watch Coordinator, revitalizing that program.

Bill Snook, member of the Board since the beginning and our current Secretary, is leaving after years of being a steadying presence on the Board.

Cookie Symons dedicated years of service to the Board, the ARC, and the Neighborhood Watch Program. She and Myron Davis recruited the first block captains and organized the first program. They have stepped down due to other responsibilities.

Jean Thomsin is a master gardener and former Board member who developed the landscaping plans for the entrance refurbishment, and who continues to assist us with issues involving the plant kingdom.

Ron Wiley is our vice-president who has presided over meetings on several occasions and brought stability to the discussions.

We owe a huge "Thank you" to these homeowners, as well as others who participate in meetings, for all they do for Cypress Isles.

Dennis Horazak, President

Cyber Isles Alerts
News that can't wait for the Newsletter.
Got email? Want breaking news about Cypress Isles/Waterford Lakes/Orange County that can't wait for the Newsletter? Then send me your email address and stand back!
Most of the news in Cypress Isles can wait for the next quarterly newsletter, which is a good thing because it means we have a calm neighborhood to come home to. Sometimes, however, faster communication would be useful, such as when the 'gator was sighted in a retention pond, or when petitions were being circulated about a proposed nearby cell tower. Also, Cypress Isles is a member of the Orange County Neighborhood Organization Directory, which sends out various information and notices about free seminars on topics that may be of interest to our residents.
If you'd like to receive these notices and information, please e-mail Sandy at with a subject line of "CI Cyber News", and state your wishes to be included. Recipients will be blind-copied so nobody else will see your address, and there will be no jokes, chain mail, hoaxes, or virus alerts, real or phony. I ask the same of you. Your address will not be sold or given to spammers (even if I knew how to do that!)
These mailings will not be concerned with crime incidents or alerts - those will still come through the Neighborhood Watch coordinators and block captains.
We hope this works out to keep y'all informed between newsletters.

Sandy Horazak, Cyber Editrix

Cypress Isles Contact List

2005 Board of Directors
Dennis Horazak, President 407 207-6557
Ron Wiley, Vice-President 407 384-2564
Mike Kranz, Secretary 407 380-6834
Myron Davis, Treasurer 407 737-8200
Lee Blackwell, Member 407 275-2541

Rex Bowman, Community Management Professionals
407 903-9969 Ext. 114

Architectural Review Committee
Lee Blackwell 407 275-2541
Mike Kranz 407 380-6834

Neighborhood Watch
Kim Schmitt 407 737-1966

Dennis Bode, Webmaster
Sandy & Denny Horazak, CI News Editor 407 207-6557

Handy Numbers
Orange County Sheriff
Non-emergency 407 737-2400
Animal Control (unleashed pets, etc.) 407 352-4390
Progress Energy Streetlight Repair 1-800-228-8485

Neighborhood Watch
Being vigilant and staying in touch are the best defenses against crime.
Welcome to our new Neighborhood Watch Coordinators, Kim Schmitt and Christine Culbertson. By now your block captain should have visited you to update your information for the Watch program, and to provide you with new green phone stickers and an overview of the Neighborhood Watch procedures.

Orange County Community Conference
The Orange County Community Conference is an annual event held in July. This year's Community Conference will be held Saturday, July 16, 2005 at the Orange County Convention Center, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch is included. The Community Conference provides Orange County residents with the opportunity to hear about positive improvements that can be made in their neighborhoods.
Workshops offer a well-rounded blend of topics for individual citizens, homeowners associations, and community groups. The goal of the community conference is to educate and assist all Orange County citizens to make their neighborhoods the best possible places to live and to learn techniques to help revitalize their neighborhoods.
This year's topics include: Legislative update; Transportation 2015 - How do we get there?; Government 101; Neighborly communication; Florida-friendly landscaping; Dangerous dogs; HOA enforcement; Code enforcement; Growth trends; 2004 hurricane season and beyond; nurturing volunteers; HOA conflict resolution; neighborhood project funding; citizen planner academy; neighbor redevelopment; and building a better place for recreation.
To view and/or print a copy of the 2005 Orange County Community Conference registration brochure (PDF), go to the Cypress Isles website, click on "Links," then "Orange County," "County Calendar," and "2005 Orange County Community Conference. Complete the conference workshops registration with check or money order for $10 per person early registration fee, and mailto: Orange County Neighborhood Services Division, P. O. Box 1393, Orlando, Florida 32802-1393.
REGISTER EARLY BY JUNE 24! After June 24, conference cost will be $15 per person and must be paid the day of the conference at the registration desk,
Verification packets for early registrants will be mailed out 2 weeks prior to July 16, 2005; this will include a voucher for free parking at the OC Convention Center.
Late registrants will be charged $15 the day of the conference and will also be responsible for the $5 parking fee at the OC Convention Center.
Did we mention that lunch is included?
For more information about the annual community conference please contact the Orange County Neighborhood Services Division at 407-836-5606.

ARC 90 Day Reminder
If you have ARC approval for modifications to your property but are not able to complete the work within 90 days for reasons beyond your control (such as unavailability of workers or supplies), write a short signed note explaining the reason for the delay and requesting a 90-day extension; attach a copy of your approved form, and deliver both items to the WLCA office at the cabana by the pool near the tennis courts and La Petite Academy on Mark Twain Blvd.

Hurricane Preparation Conference
HELPS Exhibition and Conference Prepares Local Citizens for Hurricane Season. And it's free.
Orlando, FL - May 2, 2005 - The first annual Hurricane Exhibition for Learning, Preparation and Safety (HELPS) will be held Friday, June 24 - Sunday, June 26 at the Orange County Convention Center in North Hall B located on Universal Boulevard. The information provided at this event is of utmost importance to Central Florida citizens therefore admission and parking will be provided free to the public. For details, go to Exhibitor information is available by calling (407) 384-0804.
"The HELPS exhibition and conference is designed to prepare the community for what is widely predicted to be another difficult hurricane season," explains Rick Still, Senior Vice President of Reed Exhibitions. "HELPS is offering members of the community the necessary resources and information to prepare their homes, personal property and families for the 2005 hurricane season."
The conference will also include exhibiting companies demonstrating their products and services such as the latest in construction materials, equipment and vendors (window shutters and coverings, generators, water systems, etc.), insurance and banking services.
Featured seminars include: Safety Before, During and After a Storm; What You Need to Know About Insurance Coverage and Filing Claims; How to Build or Update Your Home to Prevent Damage; Volunteer Programs - What You can Do to Help and What Others Are Doing to Help You; and Is Your Small Business Ready? There will also be vast information on the resources available from state, federal and disaster relief services.

Residents Elect New Board
The Annual Members Meeting was held on Tuesday May 17, 2005. For the first time in the history of Cypress Isles, a quorum was reached at the first meeting. Thanks to all who showed up or sent in their proxies. Here's your Board of Directors for the next year:
President: Dennis Horazak
Vice President: Ron Wiley
Secretary: Mike Kranz
Treasurer: Myron Davis
Member: Lee Blackwell

Residential Horticulture Classes
Want a greener thumb? The Orange County Cooperative Extension is offering classes at the Orange County Extension Auditorium, 2350 E Michigan Street, Orlando 32806.

Jun 8, 15, 22 (Wed) 7pm-9pm
Landscape Design - Summer
$10 per family

Jul 25-29 (M-F) 9am-12noon
Junior Master Gardener Program
$40 per child

Aug 25 (Thu) 7pm-9pm
Vegetable Gardening

Sept 8, 15, 22 (Thu) 7pm-9pm
Landscape Design - Fall
$10 per family

Sept 17 (Sat) 10am-12pm
Fall Lawn Care

Sept 20-Dec 13 (Tue) 8:30am-4:30pm
Master Gardener Program
$100 per person

Oct 8 (Sat) 9am-2pm
Master Gardener Plant Sale

Oct 20 (Thu) 7pm-9pm
Minimal Maintenance Landscapes

Dec 6, 13, 20 (Tue) 7pm-9pm
Landscape Design - Winter
$10 per family

For more information, or to register, please contact Frances Simoneaux at
(407) 836-7570 Monday through Friday between 8:00a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

DIY Hurricane Prep
Do it yourself, but do it right.
Now is the time to start preparing for possible hurricanes, while there is still plywood in the stores and you can still think straight. You can do it yourself, but do it right. Taping X's on your windows is worse than useless. Plywood should be set into window well, not nailed outside. Here are two websites that explain what works and how to do it.
Plywood Hurricane Shutter Instructions describe the best plywood shutter designs: <>
Plylox describes their fastening clips for plywood shutters: <>
And don't forget to wear eye protection.

Sexual Predator Locator
They're everywhere!
For a list of registered sexual predators in our area, link to the website below, then enter "ORLANDO" and "32828." It even has their pictures.

Don't Block the Sidewalk!
Park in the street instead.
While we try to discourage street parking, the streets are owned by Orange County, not Cypress Isles, so anyone can park there. If you have an overflow of vehicles in your driveway, please do not block the sidewalk with parked vehicles, but park in the street instead.

Blocking the sidewalk could create a hazard for school children and other walkers and joggers who would then have to enter the street.

Gotta Gripe?
You don't have to come to a Board meeting to address the Board.
Board meetings are open to Cypress Isles homeowners, and we welcome homeowner interest, but there are better and faster ways to get your issues resolved. You can contact Board members, preferably by email, anytime between meetings for quicker responses to your concerns.
First, a word about jurisdiction. Our homeowner association is responsible for maintenance of the common areas and enforcement of our legal covenants, all of which contribute to the goal of maintaining property appearance and improving our property values. However, our jurisdiction does not extend to the animal kingdom - wrangling local wildlife (leave them alone) or resolving disputes between neighbors (Orange County has a free mediation service).
Your issues are more likely to be resolved quickly if they are given to Board members by email rather than by telephone or in person.
Email is the preferred communication medium because your issue can be quickly emailed to the rest of the Board, so everyone will be on the same page within a day or so. Telephoned issues are typically handled more slowly because of the extra time needed to call the right people and re-explain the problem (which may get lost in translation). Also, the person being called is often not at home, requiring several rounds of "telephone tag."
So if you have a problem, let us know before it gets too old. If we can resolve your issues right away, we will do so. If your issue requires Board action at a regular meeting, we can put it on the agenda while there is still room on the agenda.
Board member contact information is published regularly in the Cypress Isles News.

Dennis Horazak, President

Street Light Out?
Call Progress Energy
Residents can, and are encouraged to, call Progress Energy to report burned out or malfunctioning street lights. Don't assume that someone else has called in to report it. The more people who call, the faster the repair is likely to happen.
Call the 24-hour outage line at 1-800-700-8744 OR - fill out an online form.
Go to; pull down the menu and click on Florida; when the next page comes up, scroll down to the bottom of the page to "Request Streetlight/Area Light Repair; click that, and voila! It will take you to the online form.


Happy Birthday to:
July 6 - Joka Thomsin

Happy Anniversary to:
June 1 - Jean & Joka Thomsin
August 17 - Bill & Kathi Snook


Thanks to those who have helped deliver newsletters and flyers to our homes:
Cookie Symons, Tammy Shassberger,
Kathi Snook, Gail Strachan,
Sonya Barsness, Mary Kranz