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

In This Issue - December 2003
Both Entrances Now Lighted
Holiday Lighting Contest
Same Fee, Different Year
Reminder: Mail Fees to Two Places
Welcome to Cypress Isles!
Website Now Has Minutes, Agendas
Yard of the Month
Neighborhood Watch: Quiet Continues
Help Monitor Our Common Areas
Future Board Meetings
Sellers Must Tell Buyers about HOA
Cypress Isles Contact List
Tiny Insects Are Killing Our Sagos
Happy Happy:


Both Entrances Now Lighted
Everyone will be pleased to know that the Lighting Committee finally completed the Entrance Lighting project. The delay in the rear entrance was due to vandals tearing out the lighting almost immediately after installation a couple of months ago. That entrance is now brightly lit!
Thank you Chip for helping with labor and materials.

Ron Wiley, Chairman

Ed. Note:
How disheartening to have the hard work by the committee (Ron Wiley and Chip Crane) trashed by vandals.
These two workhorses dug in and redid the project. A huge thanks to Ron & Chip for your diligence, perseverance, and dedication to the lighting project.


Holiday Lighting Contest
This year's Holiday Lighting Contest will take place on Sunday, December 21, from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Kudos and prizes will be awarded afterwards. If you're not sure how to decorate your house, here are some helpful hints from a seasoned veteran.

Saturday, December 20th
Put up lights under spouse's helpful direction while cheerfully singing Christmas carols in perfect 2-part harmony.

Run to 5 different stores to find replacement bulbs for 8 burned out bulbs, while humming same Christmas carols.

Schlep to Apopka Wal-Mart when you find out that they are the only store to have "100-count dancing Christmas lights" in all white since the replacement lights didn't fix the problem. Hum "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" with a semi-maniacal grin on face.

Return home to discover that your helpful/ cheerful wife is semi-happily entertaining your boss who has dropped by since she, her spouse and their 3 snot-nosed house destroyers were in the neighborhood.

Late night trip to 24-hour Target to buy new manger scene to replace the one that was tossed in the fireplace by boss's cherubs. Change the words to the Christmas songs you are singing so that it's not just Rudolph's nose that is glowing red. Maintain cautious optimism that a nice cup of mulled wine will be waiting for you at the door upon your return home.

Rearrange exterior lighting scheme since your spouse had a brilliant idea while you were gone. Help self to large scotch since mulled wine was not on your spouse's mind.

Bang knee painfully while trying to find circuit breaker box when the plethora of lights blow the circuit breaker. Have another scotch to help ease the pain.

Climb the ladder to the roof because your loving spouse has decided that the chimney should be wrapped like a Christmas present. Trip on loose extension cord and tumble into shrubbery, causing two more strings of @#$%-ing lights to blow. Calmly discuss the situation with the deputy sheriffs who respond to the disturbance call and get their sympathy for your plight since they too are married to holiday-spirited spouses. Receive stern warning not to drive due to your apparent inebriated state.

Call deputies back to house to explain the "no driving" order to the not-so-understanding spouse who wants damaged lights replaced tonight. Have another scotch and pass out in the chair watching "Miracle on 34th Street".

Sunday, December 21st
Awakened by loving spouse who is unsympathetic about your throbbing headache and fuzzy vision. Given list of items you need to complete before that evening's lighting contest. Look longingly at the space vacated by the scotch bottle that spouse has now hidden better than Blackbeard's treasure. Drive to 8 stores as far away as Tampa to locate needed items. Scan radio dial for anything other than Christmas music. Curse self for not getting CD player in this vehicle.

Return home at 5:30 and frantically complete work under direction of equally frantic spouse. Finally finish at 7:00 pm and collapse in the front yard in the glow of the festive Christmas lights. Stare incredulously as HOA holiday lighting judging team speeds by at 40 miles an hour to deliver first prize to neighbor at end of block who ran 2 crummy strands of lights. Overhear judge's comment about how tasteful the understated display is. Where is that #@^#$%^@#^* scotch!!!!!!!

Larry Sheeler, Vice President

Same Fee, Different Year
The Board approved an operating budget for 2004 at its November 18 meeting. Fortunately, projected spending increases in some areas were offset by program adjustments in other areas. As a result, Cypress Isles maintenance fees will be $36 per quarter, making 2004 the third year without an increase. Remember to mail fees in time to be received by January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

Myron Davis, Treasurer

Reminder: Mail Fees to Two Places
Cypress Isles homeowners pay two separate maintenance fees to two separate organizations: the Cypress Isles Homeowners Association and the Waterford Lakes Community Association (WLCA). These two separate organizations have two separate addresses, and they do not forward mail to each other.

Mail Cypress Isles maintenance fees to:
Waterford Lakes Tract N-25A
c/o Penn First Management Inc.
PO BOX 0910
Winter Park, FL 32790-0910


Mail WLCA maintenance fees to:
Waterford Lakes Community Association
PCB & Associates
P.O.BOX 621234
Orlando, FL 32862-1234

And remember to include the right payment coupon and mail early - a few days before the beginning of each quarter.

Myron Davis, Treasurer

Cypress Isles Automatic Payments

We have changed banks, and the bank from 2003 will not accept payments for 2004. If you automatically deduct your payments from your bank account you will need to complete the "Auto-Pay Authorization" form in the coupon book and send it to Penn First. If you have not mailed your " Auto-Pay Authorization" form by now, then pay your January fee by check and send the form to Penn First by March 15, 2004 so your April payment can be deducted automatically. Please call Penn First at 407 282-9988 with any questions

Welcome to Cypress Isles!

Seven new neighbors have moved in during the past several months. Here are their addresses. Go over and say, "Hi."

548 Divine Circle
636 Divine Circle
719 Divine Circle
504 Spring Island Way
854 Spring Island Way
927 Spring Island Way
13201 White Cedar Court

If we've missed anyone, please let us know so we can mention you in the next newsletter.

Website Now Has Minutes, Agendas

Draft minutes of recent meetings and agendas of coming meetings will now be posted on the Cypress Isles website. (The website URL shown at the top of Page 1.)

How is your money being spent? A good way to find out is to go to Board meetings, but even the Directors can't make all the Board meetings all the time. Starting this month, draft minutes of Board meetings are posted on the website soon after each meeting, about a month before the approved minutes are available.

Draft minutes of meetings are not official until they are approved by the Board at a subsequent meeting, but they can still provide useful information about the workings of the association and the status of neighborhood projects. Board-approved minutes from prior meetings will continue to be posted on the website - either from the home page or from the Archive page.

What will be discussed at the next meeting? The website will have that, too. Each meeting's agenda, including time and place, will be posted about a week before the meeting.

This move toward more electronic access is intended to improve participation in the Neighborhood Association by providing timely information to homeowners, and to encourage conversations with Board members between meetings. An average month includes 728 hours informal conversation opportunities followed by 2 hours of Board meeting. When is a good time to bring up your issue? You do the math.

But back to the website…

Advice about Plants
If you're like us, you moved here from a place where you more or less understood how to care for your plants and cope with the insects. Here in Central Florida, however, we need all the help we can get to keep our strange new plants from being destroyed by strange new pests. Fortunately for us, our own board secretary and master gardener Jean Thomsin has been steadily adding articles about plant care to the Architectural Review page, so you're only a click and a download away from expert advice.

Compared with the New York Times, the Cypress Isles News [Ed: Hey, that's us!] is one of the smallest publications in the galaxy. To keep it from being lost (Hon, where's the newsletter?), current issues are posted on the web about the same time that paper copies are home-delivered. Archive copies of past issues are carefully stored on the Archive page.

Homeowner Documents
Next to fee payment coupons, the most widely used homeowner document is the Architectural Review Application, nicknamed the "ARB" (the "B" apparently stands for "Application"). If you are changing the appearance of your house or yard, you can download this form from the Architectural Review page of the website, fill it out, attach your paint color sample or whatever, and take it to the Architectural Review Committee.
For researchers who want to know more about the legal framework of the Association, if you're not scared off by references such as "Art. V, Sect. 1 - Owners' Easements of Access and Enjoyment," you can dive into our neighborhood's Declaration of Neighborhood Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, and Articles of Incorporation. Both documents are click-indexed so you can get to XV.4 (g)(iii) much faster than by flipping paper pages.

Links to the Outside
The website also has links to other great sites, such as our favorite, the Live Traffic and Road Conditions site of the Florida Highway Patrol.
It's our website. Bookmark it!

Dennis Horazak, President
Dennis Bode, Webmaster

Ed. Note: All Cypress Isles residents thank Dennis Bode for his time, talent & expertise on our website -- the best (and only one of a few) within Waterford Lakes!

Yard of the Month
Happy Holidays to all homeowners and friends. Over the past 3 months we have given out only a few doorknockers, but many Hats Off commendations, which means our neighborhood is looking great! Just a reminder that our annual walk-around will be soon, so look at your sidewalks, driveways, and overall property to see what may need to be done.
The Yard-of-the-Month for October was awarded to:

Bob & Pam Janoske
505 Spring Island Way

Congratulations on your exemplary property!
Thanks again to all for great upkeep, and have a great holiday season!

Chip Crane,
Architectural Review Committee

Neighborhood Watch: Quiet Continues
And that's still a good thing!
This has been a quiet year for Cypress Isles and we are not complaining. Recently there was some Low Voltage Lighting installed at the rear entrance. Almost immediately someone tore out everything. We are hoping that our next attempt will not be undermined.

Just remember with the holidays coming we need to anchor down our lawn ornaments. In the past some of these things have been known to disappear.

I would like to thank all those homeowners and Block Captains who are watching out. This does make a difference. On behalf of Neighborhood Watch we would like to wish all homeowners a happy and safe holiday season.

Neighborhood Watch Coordinators:
Cookie Symons - 407-273-5460
Myron Davis - 407-737-8200
Sandy Horazak - 407-207-6557

Help Monitor Our Common Areas
Homeowners can help monitor the performance of our landscaping contractor

Our landscape contractor usually does a pretty good job, but recently several homeowners have pointed out what appear to be deficiencies in his performance, and we have discussed his performance in recent Board meetings.
Since we can't be everywhere, we are asking you to watch how the common areas are maintained and tell us about it.

Here are the specific criteria in our Landscape Maintenance Contract:

Mowing around pond and in the common areas should occur no less than once every seven days from April through October and no less than once every 14 days from November through March.

Edging around curbs, sidewalks, and streets should present a neat clean and beveled appearance at all times. Edging of paved areas should occur no less than once every seven days from April through October and no less than once every 14 days from November through March. Edging of plant beds will be completed no less than every fourteen days to maintain a crisp, clean appearance free of grass invasion.

Prior to mowing, the entire area will be policed to remove litter.

If you know of deficiencies in the contractor's performance, please tell the Board by e-mail, by phone call, or at the next Board meeting on January 20.

We will include your observations with the ones we already have and address this matter with the Master Association and the contractor. Our landscape contractor also serves the Master Association as well as many of the other Waterford Lakes Neighborhood Associations.

It is our goal to provide the community with the best services at reasonable costs. If you keep an eye on our contractors and tell us how they're doing, we will all benefit.

Bill Snook, Director

Future Board Meetings
The Cypress Isles Directors meets on the third Tuesday of the month, but sometimes they skip a month if there's not that much going on. There are four ways to know if and where they are meeting.

Check for signs posted at both entrances 48 hours before the meeting. The signs will also tell you the location.
Check the Cypress Isles website. The agenda for the next meeting will also be there.

Talk to a Director. They won't bite.
We highly encourage you to attend the HOA meetings to have an impact in our neighborhood and to get to know the board and your neighbors.

Sellers Must Tell Buyers about HOA
More than just a good idea, it's the law. (Reprinted with permission from the August 2003 OCHAA News)

Who is responsible for telling new owners that they are subject to the regulations of a homeowners' association? The answer is found in Florida Statute 689.26. This statute was amended in May and the new version took effect July 1, 2003.

It requires sellers of property subject to association membership requirements, including developers and individual owners, to provide prospective buyers with a specific disclosure statement/summery regarding the obligations of becoming a member of the association.

All sale contracts must refer to and incorporate the disclosure summary and prospective buyers now have three (3) days after receiving the disclosure summary to rescind the sale. Failure to notify prospective buyers pursuant to the statute renders the contract voidable by the prospective buyer any time prior to the closing. Below is the revised law.

Florida Statute 689.26 - Prospective purchasers subject to association membership requirement; disclosure required; covenants; assessments; contract voidability.

(1)(a) A prospective parcel owner in a community must be presented a disclosure summary before executing the contract for sale. The disclosure summary must be in a form substantially similar to the following form:

Disclosure Summary for (Name of Community)

1. As a purchaser of property in this community, you (will) (will not) be obligated to be a member of a homeowner association.
2. There have been or will be recorded restrictive covenants governing the use and occupancy of properties in this community.
3. You (will) (will not) be obligated to pay assessments to the association. You (will) (will not) be obligated to pay special assessments to the respective municipality, county, or special district. All assessments are subject to periodic change.
4. Your failure to pay special assessments or assessments levied by a mandatory homeowners' association could result in a lien on your property.
5. There (is) (is not) an obligation to pay rent or land use fees for recreational or other commonly used facilities as an obligation of membership in the homeowners' association. (if such obligation exists, then the amount of he current obligation shall be set forth.)
6. The restrictive covenants (can) (cannot) be amended without the approval of the association membership or, if no mandatory association exists, parcel owners.
7. The statements contained in this disclosure form are only summary in nature, and, as a prospective purchaser, you should refer to the covenants and the association governing documents before purchasing property.
8. These documents are matters of public record and can be obtained from the record office in the county where property is located.

Date: Purchaser: Purchaser:
The disclosure must be supplied by the developer, or by the parcel owner if the sale is by an owner that is not the developer. Any contract or agreement for sale shall refer to and incorporate the disclosure summary and shall include, in prominent language, a statement that the potential buyer should not execute the contract or agreement until they have received and read the disclosure summary required by this section.

(b) Each contract entered into for the sale of property governed by covenants subject to disclosure required by this section must contain in conspicuous type a clause that states:
If the disclosure summary required by section 689.26, Florida Statutes, has not been provided to the prospective purchaser before executing this contract for sale, this contract is voidable by buyer by delivering to seller or seller's agent written notice of the buyer's intention to cancel within 3 days after receipt of the disclosure summary or prior to closing, whichever occurs first. Any purported waiver of this voidability right has no effect. Buyer's right to void this contract shall terminate at closing.

(c) A contract that does not conform to the requirements of this subsection is voidable at the option of the purchaser prior to closing.

(2) This section does not apply to any association regulated under chapter 718, chapter 719. chapter 721, or chapter 723 or to a subdivider registered under chapter 498; and also does not apply if disclosure regarding the association is otherwise made in connection with the requirements of chapter 718, chapter 719. chapter 721, or chapter 723.

Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2003.

Cypress Isles Contact List

Board Members

Chip Crane, Director 407 823-8601
Myron Davis, Treasurer 407 737-8200
Steve Hartman, Director 407 384-8203
Dennis Horazak, President 407 207-6557
Larry Sheeler, Vice-President 407 448-2979
Bill Snook, Director 407 380-2202
Cookie Symons, Director 407 273-5460
Jean Thomsin, Secretary 407 306-8459
Ron Wiley, Director 407 384-2564

Tom Bontrager, Penn First Management 407 282-9988 Ext.111

Dennis Bode, Webmaster

CI News Editor and Copyboy
Sandy & Denny Horazak 407 207-6557

Handy Numbers
Animal Control (unleashed pets, etc.) 407 352-4390

Orange County Sheriff
Non-emergency 407 737-2400

Tiny Insects Are Killing Our Sagos
They reproduce like crazy and ride the winds to other plants, but we can stop them if we all work together.
I believe that the over 50% of the King Sago plants (Cycads) in Cypress Isles are infected. If nothing is done we will lose these valuable plants in the next six months or so.

Asian scale is on the attack throughout central Florida. It has been found in Pinellas County, Tampa, Bradenton, Lakeland, Orange County, Osceola County and Brevard County. Now with increased publicity, more and more people are finding they have the pest.

The "Emergency Control Suggestions" below are taken from the website:

On this site you can find much more information on this pest, including pictures.

Jean Thomsin - Florida Master Gardener

Asian Cycad Scale Emergency Control Suggestions
It seems those who are finding they have Asian cycad scale are at a loss as what to do to save their favorite king or queen sago palms. There are conflicting reports as to how to control the insects. Even landscapers who once found the king sago to be a virtually trouble free plant are now at a loss as to what to do when the homeowners ask them to tend to the problem. We have considered here several options and are now prepared to suggest a treatment regiment.

1) Determine whether or not you have the Asian scale. This should be easy to identify. The Asian scale differs from magnolia scale in that it seems to always start in the fuzzy part of the crown, the trunk or near the roots. Early infestations are hard to determine except magnolia scale is much less likely to start in these locations. About 28 days after initial infection of the sago, then you start seeing the eggs hatch and millions of crawler scales moving from the crown up the leaves of the sago, at first the stem of the individual leaves are nearly coated white. A definite clue that you have Asian scale is the speed at which it can multiply. Once the first egg batch hatches a clean sago palm can get so many scales on the stems of leafs that the stem can show up white in photographs. The crawlers also can move inches per day rather then inches per month as with magnolia scale. You can also see small long/thin pin shaped "male" scales all over which typically outnumber the females dramatically.

2) Cut and remove ALL leaves on the sago. Be careful in this leaf removal process that you do not shake up scales to be blown in the wind. It is in your best interest not to allow the scales from your plants to spread to others in your yard or to infect neighbor's plants. Carefully bag all the leaves, do not carry them to the dump loose in an open trailer or back of pickup truck. This will spread them all over town and then the war against these pests will be lost. The best option is to try to burn them. If burning is not an option, Asian cycad scale does not infect other plants. You can find a location 30 feet or more away from your sago and bury the leaves.

3) Spray or coat the trunk, crown and soil with oil. Seems the pest can be smothered to death by spraying cooking oil, horticultural oil (available at better lawn and garden centers) or fish emulsion oil has also been shown to be effective. You may need a dial-and-spray sprayer and follow the directions on the label. It seems approximately 5 fluid ounces per gallon is the mixing rate. To make the oil mix with water use some type of dishwashing liquid squirted in the sprayer, and it is a pretty good idea to mix either Malathion® 50% or Diazinon® so that both the oil and pesticide spray on at their individual suggested rates per gallon. The suggested rate is about 1 quart per sago palm although some indications are this is ignoring scale that could be in your soil in the roots of the plant, so you may want to give the soil a really good soak down with the mix. The treatments will need to be repeated every two weeks; if you are getting heavy rains of summer, repeat weekly. This is only a short-term immediate fix just to contain your own damage to your palm and to prevent spreading your insects to others in the yard or neighborhood. Treatment with oil should be used for about 3 months and then you can discontinue as long as neighbor's plants don't appear to be infested and you have no signs of infestation yourself.

4) Inform your neighbors about Asian Cycad Scale. Show them what to look for and give them treatment advice. Identification and treatment is the best thing we can do to beat Asian Cycad Scale. Unlike Citrus Canker, this pest can be cured. The idea is to get your neighbors to cure their plants as well so they will not re-infect your plants later.

5) Long Lasting Systemic Pesticides. In Tampa it's not certain the war against the pest is completely lost. There is a good chance Tampa's much colder then Miami winters will harass the insects. We stand a better chance of controlling the pest. After the initial response with oil and rapid kill pesticides, systemic pesticides like Imidoclopid®, Sygon® or Orthene® will help buy you more time between treatments and in effect, make the entire plant poisonous to anything that tries to feed upon it. Imidoclopid® seems to be the longest lasting, lasting up to 4 months between treatments and is the treatment of choice at Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Miami (in the middle of the worst infested area of the state). Systemics also prevent reinfestation from a neighbor's infested plant by never allowing wind-blown scales to establish and feed upon your plant.

Happy Happy:
December 22 - Cookie Symons
February 3 - Claire Sheeler
February 4 - Scott Symons
December 31 -Larry & Claire Sheeler
And Happy Holidays to All!