Cypress Isles News
The official newsletter of the Cypress Isles Homeowners Association
Spring 2003 Edition - Published Quarterly

In This Issue - May 2003
Cypress Isles Excels within Waterford Lakes
Underdrain Project Near Completion, Road Resurfacing May Come Later
Yards of the Months
Festival Person? Strategic Planner?
Board Will Meet in July and September
Contact List
WLCA Elects New Leaders
House for Sale?
Prez Sez: We Have Reason to Be Proud
Gardening Chores by Month
Neighborhood Watch - Little Activity
Floods, Your Mortgage Company, and YOU
Let There Be Light…
Entrance Maintenance and Upgrade
Roaming Pets Can Devastate Wildlife
On This Date in History...


Cypress Isles Excels within Waterford Lakes
Compared with other neighborhoods in Waterford lakes, Cypress Isles shows exemplary performance and participation.
Presidents and representatives from the neighborhoods of Waterford Lakes gathered for the first Presidents Forum on May 10. The Forum was originated by Dee Parzych, President of Finns Cove 1, as a way for neighborhoods to exchange ideas about community projects, traffic and safety issues, crime and vandalism, neighborhood communications, and improving homeowner participation. Based on suggestions and what other neighborhoods are doing, Cypress Isles is more pro-active than most other neighborhoods in several areas, including getting to know you parties, neighborhood watch programs, resolving neighbor disputes, policing for safety (traffic deputy), an active Architectural Review Committee, and efficient collections. (We have one of the lowest past due accounts in Waterford Lakes.)
A survey of maintenance fees throughout Waterford lakes showed a range from $20 to $63 per quarter. Cypress Isles was near the midpoint at $36 per quarter, even though we are one of the few neighborhoods with two entrances and four walls, and more common areas than most neighborhoods. Our neighborhood looks as good as or better than the other neighborhoods while our maintenance fees remain reasonable.
The board thanks all neighbors who have volunteered their time to make Cypress Isles the best neighborhood in Waterford Lakes. It takes many of you to run the Neighborhood Watch, Architectural Review Committee, C I News, Finance Committee, Lighting Committee, Fall Festival Committee, Proxy Committee, front wall/planting workers, tree planters and others. As long as we continue to volunteer and work together, we will continue to make Cypress Isles the best place to live in Waterford Lakes.

Steve Hartman, Director

Underdrain Project Near Completion, Road Resurfacing May Come Later
Meanwhile, drive carefully around the workers and equipment.
The Orange County Public Works Department, Road & Drainage Division, is installing 'underdrain' near the front and rear entrances of Spring Island Way.
Although not part of the original plan, the same work is being done on Crystal River Drive and various cul-de-sacs. It is still unknown whether Divine Circle will become part of the project. So don't think you're home free with your clean, non-muddy streets and intact sod. You too, may get a notice on your door of impending dig-doom.
The underdrain removes excess water from the soil near the street, and should help prevent deterioration of the roadbed under these roads.
Please use caution and common sense when driving through the construction areas. Drive slower than 10 miles per hour, be aware of oncoming cars in single-lane situations, and stay well clear of earthmoving equipment, which can move or turn around in a second.
As the project nears completion, representatives from the Cypress Isles Board plan to accompany the contractor on the final "walk-through" inspection.
The condition of the streets with underdrains will be monitored for about six months after the 'underdrain' project is complete. After that observation period, and depending on availability of County funds, the entire length of Spring Island Way, or perhaps all the streets in Cypress Isles, could be resurfaced.

Yards of the Months
Recent Yard of the Month Winners are:
Joe & Carolyn Kreuzpaintner
830 Spring Island Way (March)
Lee & Robin Blackwell
534 Spring Island Way (April)
Nancy & Paul Cline
629 Divine Circle (May)
Congratulations on your exemplary lawns!

Chip Crane,
Architectural Review Committee

Festival Person? Strategic Planner?
Be part of a party or plan for the longer-term.
Whether you're a spontaneous party-person or a deep-thinking strategic planner, Cypress Isles can use your help.
Festival 2003: Last September's Fall Festival was so much fun, we're going to do it again - only this time we'll do it when it's cooler, maybe in November. Since our ace Festival Coordinator, Allen Huck, has "left the building," the event will need planners, organizers, and workers, starting fairly soon. We bid fond farewell and best wishes to Allen and Ellie in their new location!
Longer term planning: Day-to-day operations occupy most of our time, but we still need to plan for the future. The same is true for Cypress Isles. The Board will begin planning for the next five years during July and August, in time for the preparation of the 2004 budget. We are looking for people with ideas about the neighborhood's needs over the longer term.
If you would like to work on either (or both) of these projects, pleased contact any board member fairly soon. See Contact List for email addresses and phone numbers.


Board Will Meet in July and September
The Board will begin meeting every other month, but ongoing activities will continue as before.
Following a new schedule adopted at the May 2003 meeting, the Board will meet every other month, with the next meetings on July 15th, September 16th, and November 18th. This change will not affect neighborhood projects, such as architectural review, neighborhood watch, entrance maintenance, and the Fall Festival, which are coordinated by committees using day-to-day email.
Homeowners can still contact Board members on any day by email or telephone. (See Contact List.)

Contact List

 Board Members      
 Chip Crane    407 823-8601
 Myron Davis  Treasurer  407 737-8200
 Steve Hartman    407 384-8203
 Dennis Horazak  President  407 207-6557
 Larry Sheeler  Vice-President  407 282-9988 Ext.102
 Bill Snook    407 380-2202
 Cookie Symons    407 273-5460
 Jean Thomsin  Secretary  407 306-8459
 Ron Wiley    407 384-2564
 Tom Bontrager  Manager  407 282-9988 x111
 Dennis Bode  Webmaster  407 658-9703
 Sandy & Denny Horazak  CI News Editor and Copyboy  407 207-6557
 Animal Control  (unleashed pets, etc.)  407-352-4390  

WLCA Elects New Leaders
The members of the Waterford Lakes Community Association elected a new Board of Directors at a Special Meeting on April 7, 2003. The meeting and special election marked the end of three months of political turmoil that included binding arbitration and the recall of the previous board. The new Board is: Joseph Alvarez (Jade Forest) President; Patrick Carey (Sapphire Place) Vice President; Fernando Santos (Bradfordt Lakes) Secretary; Brian McCrary (Lakeshore Landing) Treasurer; and Alvin Little (Bradfordt Village) Director.
At their first two meetings on April 28th and May 19th, the new Board staffed its Architectural Review, Operations, and Finance Committees and began dealing with the maintenance and landscaping issues facing the common areas of Waterford Lakes. The failing irrigation tank has been replaced, the entrance fountains in front of Winn Dixie are operating again, and the sprinkler heads in the median of Lake Underhill are being replaced with rotating sprays that water the grass instead of the traffic. Other projects include hiring a pool attendant and replacing lots of sod.
The new board is focused on landscape maintenance and other daily operations, and intends to complete older projects before tackling new ones.

More information about WLCA can be found at their unofficial website:

House for Sale?
Whether yours or a neighbor's, here's what you can do to help seal the deal…
Most of us have noticed that there are a few houses for sale in the neighborhood. The spring and summer always seems to be the best times to think about putting your house up for sale. So keeping in mind that your neighbors may be selling their houses, this may be the best time to make sure your house looks great. There will be plenty of people driving through our neighborhood visiting these houses and looking at ours, and most will have realtors with them to help with their purchases. This means that the realtors will remember how great Cypress Isles looks when other clients want to buy or sell their houses in the future.
With that said, lets have our yards look their best by making sure our sprinklers are running OK and adjusted properly, our lawns are cut and edged to be the best, and our bushes and palm fronds are trimmed. Our driveways and sidewalks should be clean, and those little weeds that seem to come from nowhere to fill the cracks should be pulled. Mulch always has a great appearance, and makes the house and the yard look great!
I know we all try to keep up with all that has to be done around our homes and lawns. So let's remember our neighbors who are selling their homes, because in the future we would want to be blessed with the same kindness.
Thank You.

Chip Crane,
Architectural Review Committee

Prez Sez: We Have Reason to Be Proud
Even with all the construction, things look good.
The Florida summer is approaching, the weather is getting hotter, the entrance signs and columns need work, and Spring Island Way is one long, dusty construction site. So why is this writer smiling? I feel confident because all of these projects are in good hands, and because the people of Cypress Isles have shown that they can do just about anything.
Consider last year's accomplishments. Last July 40 homeowners planted 63 trees in a community-wide effort led by Jean Thomsin. In the fall we gathered on the green for our first Fall Festival thanks to Allen Huck and the Festival Committee. That same green is now lighted at night at no cost to us thanks to persistent campaigning by Penn First Management. In December homeowners won prizes in our second annual Holiday Lighting Contest. Our annual fees have stayed low thanks to sound budgeting and good financial control by the Board and Treasurer Myron Davis. We have one of the best-looking neighborhoods in Waterford Lakes thanks to you, the conscientious homeowners, with added incentives, such as Yard of the Month and Hats Off Awards provided by Chip Crane and the Architectural Review Committee. Our entrances are now lighted thanks to the research and coordination of Ron Wiley. New homeowners now receive welcome packets compiled by Sonya Barsness. Our neighborhood is a little safer thanks to 14 Neighborhood Watch block captains coordinated by Cookie Symons and Myron Davis. Cypress Isles has a fine website (rare among Waterford Lakes neighborhoods) maintained and operated by Dennis Bode. I think we have a pretty good newsletter, too.
Larry Sheeler and the 2002 board did a fine job of planning and doing much of the work, and they deserve our thanks. But it was you, the homeowners, who contributed the time, talent, muscle, and joy that transformed these ideas from agenda items into community events. We can accomplish things without feeling overwhelmed because we have plenty of good people - homeowners, property managers, board members, and committee members - who are involved and in touch.
This year we have nine board members while other neighborhoods struggle to get three. We almost ran out of chairs at April's annual meeting. In Cypress Isles, we care and it shows. With our track record and community spirit, we should all feel very optimistic about the coming year.

Dennis Horazak, President

Gardening Chores by Month
This is an excerpt from 2003 Central Florida Gardening Almanac, an article that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel about the monthly major garden chores one should do in Central Florida to keep both yard and lawn in top shape. The source of the information is Tom MacCubbin, Orange County Extension Service.
June - Average temperatures high/low 91/71 - Expected rainfall 7.35 inches.
Hurricane season begins June 1; trim trees and remove weak limbs.
Feed orchids every other week.
Check lawns for chinch bug and mole cricket activity.
Summer arrives June 21; water only when rains don't provide needed moisture.
Replace declining cool-season flowers with drought-tolerant summer color.
Loosen ties on trees and shrubs to prevent girdling of stems.
Pinch the tips of lanky shoots to cause branching.
July - Average temperatures high/low 92/73 - Expected rainfall 7.15 inches.
Independence Day July 4: create a patriotic red, white and blue garden.
Finish transplanting palms and sagos.
Start transplants of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
Fill problem landscape sites with ground covers that can take abuse.
Pull weeds or use herbicides to spot-treat unwanted vegetation in lawns.
Operate irrigation systems manually only as needed to avoid over watering.
Till gardens to prepare for late summer warm-season plantings.
August - Average temperatures high/low 92/73 - Expected rainfall 6.25 inches.
Complete summer pruning of bougainvillea, crape myrtle and poinsettia.
Feed citrus trees for the third time this year.
Begin a warm-season garden with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
Fill hanging baskets and planters with warm-season flowers.
Check outdoor foliage plants for pests and repot if needed.
Learn to identify the good bugs to help reduce pesticide use.
Reshape trees and shrubs, removing lanky or unsightly limbs.

Jean Thomsin, Master Gardener


Neighborhood Watch - Little Activity
And that's a good thing!
Things have been relatively quiet in the neighborhood this past quarter, although there was an incident one night in March. Two boys, ages 14 and 16, were observed trying to break into a garage on Spring Island Way. Fortunately, an alert neighbor witnessed the incident and called the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The witness also provided a very good description of the boys, a deputy was dispatched, and the boys, who had fled on bikes, were caught. Being alert and watchful pays off in helping prevent crime in our neighborhood!
Remember to keep those garage doors closed and all your doors locked when you are not using them. If you see a crime in progress, such as the Boys of March incident reported above, call the Orange County Sheriff's Office Emergency Number -- 911. Then, after it's over, call or email your block captain so we can get the word out to the neighborhood.
As a reminder - for non-emergencies, for example, an incident that happened yesterday, last week, last month, or is otherwise not "in progress", do NOT call 911. Call the Orange County Sheriff's Non-Emergency Number - 407-737-2400 (phone number corrected on 6/19/03).
If you are a new homeowner please give one of us a call and give us your phone numbers, and emergency numbers where you can be reached. We have Block Captains and they will be calling you or e-mailing you in the event we have something to report. Also, please keep your Block Captain updated with any changes in your e-mail or phone number.

Neighborhood Watch Coordinators:
Cookie Symons - 407-273-5460
Myron Davis - 407-737-8200


Floods, Your Mortgage Company, and YOU
Your mortgage carrier may tell you that you need flood insurance when you do not. Here is some advice from a Cypress Isles homeowner on what to do:
I received a notification from my mortgage carrier that I needed Flood Insurance. The following are the steps to take to resolve this issue.
1 - Contact your mortgage company, and discuss everything and explain what you will be doing to resolve this matter.
2 - Contact Orange County Public Works Department. (407) 836-7990
3 - Explain that you are being told that your mortgage company is requiring that you purchase flood insurance within 45 days. They will send you the necessary documents that show your property in a SHFA (Special Flood Hazard Area), but that your structure is not located in a SHFA. Specifically they should reference Letter of Map Amendment case no: 94-04-952A.
4 - Send a copy of this information to your mortgage carrier, and be sure that they send you a letter stating that you no longer are required to carry Flood Insurance. Keep all correspondence for your records, if this should pop-up again.
I hope this helps.

Michael Langan

Let There Be Light…
…and there is!
After months of anticipation and promises in this newsletter, we finally have lights in the dark'n'creepy area of Crystal River Drive. Yes, on February 26, 2003, the common area on Crystal River Drive is creepy no more!
Thanks Penn First for your action in getting these lights for us (even though Florida Power seemed to take forEVUH to get the job done.)

Let There Be Lights and More…
…and there will be soon!

Entrance Maintenance and Upgrade
With all the construction equipment, huge coils of tubing, and torn-up lawns on our streets, at least our entrances are looking better.
The entrance areas at both intersections of Spring Island Way and Lake Underhill are being refurbished with new lighting, new sign backgrounds, pressure-washed walls and columns, and replaced plants. Here's an update.
Thanks to Ron Wiley and his "Light Brigade," we have lighted entrances. With the research and testing completed (described in the Cypress Isles News, February 2003) the installation is now underway. Under Ron's direction a party of seven -- Ron, Chip Crane, Myron Davis, Bill Snook, Dennis Horazak, Jean Thomsin, and Michael Langan -- dug several trenches for electrical wires at three of the four entrance segments on Sunday April 27th. Later that week Chip, Jean, Ron and Wayne Anthony had to dig some more before the wires could be laid and the trenches covered back up. Lights have been purchased and are being connected to Florida Power & Light.
Soft lighting of the CI logo on the eight columns could be connected to the entrance light outlets later, if desired.
Signs & Backgrounds:
The blue background behind the brass "Cypress Isles" lettering has faded and will be replaced with a more formal black background. Several neighborhoods have made this change already. The options are marble (expensive), black tiles (looks very good) or stucco (easy to repaint). Cost estimates for these options have been (requested / received), and will be evaluated. In the meantime, Chip Crane has re-glued the partly loosened CI sign on the right side of the back entrance.
Walls & Columns:
We now have clean walls and columns, thanks to pressure washing by Chip Crane and Jean Thomsin, a pressure washer borrowed from Larry Sheeler, and water donated by adjacent houses.
The twelve stone columns are open on top, and there is concern that children could go in there and be hurt. The cost of closing the tops is being investigated.
The Indian Hawthorns around the entrances have been attacked by the dreaded leaf spot (entomosporum mespili), known to most of us as "that fungus that the guy at the nursery told us to watch out for." Thirty of the Hawthorns have been replaced by Chip Crane, Myron Davis, Steve Hartman and Jean Thomsin.
The evergreen Ilex Cornuta (Chinese Holly 'Rotunda') is an excellent candidate to replace the Indian Hawthorns in a few years from now. The Ilex Cornuta needs very little maintenance and grows on nearly any type of soil as long as the drainage is OK.
In other plant news, twelve replacement Begonias have been planted, some dying wax myrtles will probably be replaced with Viburnum.

Jean Thomsin and Dennis Horazak

Roaming Pets Can Devastate Wildlife
Editor's note: We have pets and we love pets, but they should be leashed whenever they are outdoors. Orange County fines up to $500 for non-compliance with animal leash and waste laws. Call Orange County Animal Control 407-352-4390 to report violators.
As more people move into our county, so do their pets. Roaming domestic pets can be quite detrimental to our native wildlife populations. It has been documented that cats and dogs are domesticated predators. Domestic roaming animals reduce the number of native species and also limit the number of prey for native wildlife. Free ranging domestic animals also pose a health threat to humans: several diseases like ringworm, leptospirosis, distemper and rabies are spread by these animals. Dr. Joe Schaefer of the University of Florida's Wildlife Department has written a publication entitled "Impacts of Free ranging Pets on Wildlife." Following are some excerpts from his written material.
Killer instincts
Dogs and cats have natural prey-chasing, capturing and killing instincts. As a result of this, the large number of roaming dogs and cats pose a serious threat to local wildlife populations. Roaming dog packs kill turtles, small mammals and birds. Dog packs can be very intimidating to humans as well. Exotic snakes, iguanas and other pet predators can also have local impact if released into the wild.
Cats: most fierce predators
But the pet that is by far the most devastating to wildlife is the furry feline. While some larger predators such as the great horned owl and coyote may find cats a delicacy, many wildlife populations are threatened by "outside" cats that are allowed to range freely. The estimated population of owned cats in Florida is about 9.6 million. The feral cat population is estimated at 6.8 - 9.6 million. Since an average of 60% of all owned cats spends a portion of their time outdoors, the number of cats potentially preying on wildlife is a staggering 12.6 - 15.4 million animals. The instinctive hunting and killing behavior of cats is extensively documented. Unlike wild predators that kill to eat, cats kill impulsively even when they are not hungry. So the theory that well-fed cats don't kill goes out the window. Animals that nest or feed on the ground such as cardinals, bobwhites, wrens, rabbits, frogs and lizards are most susceptible to feline predators.
Voracious appetites
A Michigan study showed the impact of a single cat on local prey. During an 18-month period, one well-fed domestic farm cat killed at least 60 birds and 1,000 small mammals. A study in England estimated that more than one million birds are killed each year there by free ranging cats.
So far, no study has been done in Florida but estimates are astounding. Several hundred stray cats are picked up monthly by county animal control. If each cat killed only one animal each month, thousands would be killed yearly. This is conservative; as studies have shown that cats kill more than one animal per month (almost 100 per month were killed by the cat in the Michigan study). We also know that animal control picks up only a percentage of roaming cats.
What to do?
There are some things you can do to reduce the chances of cats sneaking up undetected on wildlife.
o Be a responsible pet owner by spaying or neutering animals. This will help reduce the number of unwanted kittens and puppies.
o Keep pets indoors, on a leash or fenced in your yard. Indoor cats do not kill wildlife, are healthier and can live longer than outdoor cats.
o County ordinances don't allow the feeding of feral cats for more than 24 hours, unless all the cats are vaccinated and registered.
o If cats are untagged or feral, trap them with a live trap and take them to animal control or the Humane Society.
o Place two bells on the collars of any cats that spend time outdoors. Some cats can learn to adjust their moves to silence a single bell.
o Avoid allowing cats to roam at night when they are more effective predators.
o Avoid placing bird feeders and birdbaths immediately next to dense shrubbery that predators may use for hiding places.
By following these simple guidelines, we can provide healthier environments for our pets and help protect what native wildlife we still have left.

Carolyn Saft, Florida Yards & Neighborhoods ("Univ. of Florida - Master Gardener - Volunteer News", Spring 2003, Vol. 15, issue 2)


Don't Forget Those ARC Forms
Remember…you must submit an application form to the Architectural Review Committee prior to making any changes to your property. These changes include, but are not limited to: landscaping, construction of pool, enclosures, satellite dishes, outside house paint, gutters, additions, statues or fountains in your yard, tree houses, swings, and play sets.
When in doubt, submit an application. The ARC will let you know if it's not needed.
Need an application form?
Download one from our website:
Call Penn First at 407-282-9988


On This Date in History…
(Some more historical than others)
Happy Birthday…
May 4 - Alexandra Sheeler
May 5 - Steve Wood
May 23 - Michael Symons
May 27 - Jean Thomsin
July 6 - Joka Thomsin
July 23 - Dennis Horazak
July 27 - Sandy Horazak
July 28 - Kris Barfield
July 30 -Hein Pham
Happy Anniversary…
May 22 - Cookie & Scott Symons
May 27 - Sandy & Denny Horazak
June 1 - Jean & Joka Thomsin


Have a safe and enjoyable summer!



this page was updated 06/05/2003