About The Starlight Express
The very First Issue
of Starlight Express Newsletter was created
by the Editor and Chief Pat Ifft on
February 29, 1992 and since then is
maintained and produced monthly by her for 17 years!
All Starlighter's owe immense gratitude
to Pat in keeping them informed with all happenings good and bad.
Thank You Pat
September 10, 2006
Editor – Pat Ifft (
Webmaster - Louisa Simos (
Tempus fugits... and I am finally
feeling enough guilt to sit down and write our newsletter. This
has been an extraordinarily quiet summer. So far, no major
storms to plague us. Let’s hope it continues until all our
snowbirds are safely back from their northern nests.
Alberto (remember him?) in June didn’t have a great impact on
our beach, although we did lose some sand. The big yellow groin
right out front did a good job of protecting our property,
especially the north end. The wind kicked up for about 24 hours,
and Christy and Tim put up the furniture in the lobby and
removed all pool deck chairs. There was never a question of
having to leave……we never lost power, and there was no flooding
anywhere on our property or out on Beach Plaza. Ernesto in
August brought some rain and thunderstorms, but no problems. Now
we are watching Florence……hopefully she will remain out in the
Atlantic and not bother anyone, but it looks as though Bermuda
might feel her wrath.
The beach re-nourishment crews are back, extending the existing
beach out further, and covering all the groins with sand. They
began on Treasure Island, and then came to Upham. Right now they
are at the south end of Caprice and are working their way up to
Starlight and Envoy Point. The birds love it……because the newly
pumped sand is filled with all kinds of goodies to please the
avian palate. There was some red tide reported south of us, and
it is working its way up here also. Lots of coughing and
sneezing. Hopefully it won’t last too long.
At this point, I have no further information regarding our
upcoming planned building rehab. I can report on a get-together
we had a few weeks ago. We invited 2 couples to visit with us
from Pointe Pass-a-Grille (the southernmost building on St. Pete
Beach). Their building had gone through an extensive rehab last
year and these folks very graciously spent all one Saturday
morning with 19 Starlight shareholders in our lobby, telling us
their experiences. Their building is quite different from
ours……only 50 units, 4 stories, and open balconies. The
balconies were in very bad condition. They used Karins
Engineering and Wilson Kehoe Building Contractors and were
pleased with their work. Their assessment was for $1.4 million,
of which $100,000 was returned to unit owners at the end of the
project. The project took from May 1 well into December, and
most owners left the building for all or part of the work being
done. The people who visited us were some of the few who
remained in the building throughout, and they said it is very
noisy and very dirty, although the workers were all efficient
and pleasant to be around. Let’s hope that when our time comes,
regardless of what is done to our building, we can keep our cool
and remember that we are all neighbors.
A couple of reminders: Do not take the pool chairs out to the
beach. They are meant to be used on the pool deck only. Our pool
closes at dusk….a state law. Swimming later than that is at your
Maryann Piplica, (Apartment 906) have two very gifted
youngsters. Son Anthony, graduated last year as Valedictorian of
his Tampa Jesuit High School senior class. He is in his second
year at Georgia Tech. Daughter Andrea graduated this past spring
as Valedictorian at Tampa Catholic High School. She is a
freshman at Wellesley in Boston. Congratulations to all the
We have a new resident in apartment 203 – Marvene
Blair. Welcome, Marvene.
Al Stucko will be
returning in October after a long absence for health reasons. It
will be great to see Al again.
The other night at a Devil Rays game, we ran into our former
maintenance gal, Brooke Kovalska. She graduated in the spring as
a pharmacy tech, and when I asked her where she was working, she
said that she wasn’t working as a tech yet. The company that had
employed her part-time at the Tropicana Field (Carvel) offered
her a job as assistant manager, and she took it. She looks
wonderful and asked to be remembered to everyone back at
Starlight. Her little boy is now 6 years old, in first grade.
Some people who were here this summer: Mo and Laryn Finder;
Donnie and Elsie Tarrell and W. A. and Nelda Smith; Doug Joy;
John and Sheila Somogyi (Sheila divided her time between the
pool and the St. Pete Beach library); Evangelos and Louisa
Simos; Gerlinde Eaves and her family, all the way from London.
And of course, some of us had children and grandchildren
visiting…..all enjoying our warm Gulf and warmer pool. I am sure
there were others, and if I missed you, I apologize.
We ran into Marge Whittey the other evening, and she says
“Hello” to all Starlighters. She misses the people here, but
loves her house and garden.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for
Thursday, October 19th at 7 p.m.
There were a lot of birthdays over the summer. We hope you all
had good ones, with a very happy, healthy year ahead.