Monday, November 20, 2017


Ernest Hooper

Ernest Hooper

Ernest Hooper is the East Hillsborough Bureau chief and columnist at the Tampa Bay Times. Hooper joined the Times in 1992 and has worked as a prep sports writer and editor, TV/radio sports columnist, NFL writer, news columnist and unofficial ambassador, representing the Times as an emcee, judge or keynote speaker at hundreds of nonprofit events and civic functions. Hooper added the role of East Hillsborough Bureau chief in 2012. He oversees news content for the Times' regional edition east of Tampa, the SouthShore & Brandon Times, and writes two columns a week. His commentaries about family, community issues and political perspectives have helped Hooper connect with readers over the years, but he's probably best known for his signature tagline: That's all I'm saying.

A Salute to Black Veterans during 2005 is an example of the work once done in Tampa through the help of the Urban League. An effort is underway to revive the local organization, disbanded in 2006. [Times file]

Ernest Hooper: Effort to revive Urban League can fill a void in Tampa

A former U.S. Marine, Tampa businessman Stanley Gray knows all about a few good women and men.Now he’s looking for a few good corporations to help revive the Tampa-Hillsborough County Urban League. The chapter disbanded in 2006 after its...
Published: 11/20/17
Tona Bell traces her fascination with writing, pens and stationery back to her childhood. She now owns the Paper Seahorse in SoHo. Photo courtesy of the Dashing Ginger.

Sunday Conversation: Tona Bell invites customers to enjoy a ‘digital detox’

Like so many small businesses, Saturday will represent a special day for Paper Seahorse owner Tona Bell. Bell’s cozy bungalow business at 211 S Howard features paper and stationery, specialty pens, vintage typewriters and crafts classes. It will offer...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/19/17

Ernest Hooper: Tampa Bay transit woes hold us back in more ways than traffic jams

I met with HART chief executive Katharine Eagan earlier this year and she laid out a thoughtful, cogent, articulate presentation of the challenges facing the transportation agency and the strategies her staff developed to address the problems and its...
Published: 11/13/17
Students at Jefferson High School in Tampa left class Wednesday 11/08/17 in support of teacher pay raises. Hundreds of students at Hillsborough high schools joined the walkout  [News 10 WTSP]

Ernest Hooper: A salute to the students who walked out in support of teachers

When I was in grade school, I landed in the principal’s office and they called my mom down to the school.
Published: 11/09/17

Ernest Hooper: After heated mayoral election, blacks should bridge divide

He’s not a St. Petersburg resident, but like so many in Tampa Bay, the city’s mayoral race has caught the attention of former state Rep. Ed Narain.From his vantage point, Narain worries far more about how the election has divided the black...
Published: 11/06/17
Updated: 11/08/17
Trinity Cafe executive director Mandy Cloninger often serves and sits with the homeless and food insecure guests who come to the cafe every day. She is,

Sunday Conversation: Trinity Cafe’s Mandy Cloninger revels in her ‘year of abundance’

As the executive director of the Trinity Cafe, Mandy Cloninger is thrilled to combine her professional work with her personal passion for providing basic needs for people.She works tirelessly to help the cafe’s two locations serve nearly 500...
Updated one month ago
Inspiring Old Glory Relay will conclude 4,600-mile trek on Veterans Day at Westfield Brandon

Inspiring Old Glory Relay will conclude 4,600-mile trek on Veterans Day at Westfield Brandon

In California, a team from the U.S. Army’s Fort Irwin National Training Center drove four hours to help carry the U.S. flag from Laguna Beach to Oceanside. In National City, Calif., outside San Diego, a group of Las Vegas residents ran with the...
Updated one month ago
Luis Viera is a candidate for Tampa City Council District 7.

Viera drives effort to bring ‘sensory friendly’ park to New Tampa

NEW TAMPA — Tampa City Council member Luis Viera vividly recalls growing up with a brother with developmental disabilities and autism.As a child, his family left its Catholic church in Tampa and joined a Baptist church in Brandon because it...
Updated one month ago

Hooper: Tampa Pig Jig expands its recipe for success

TAMPAStart with various forms of barbecue, add some heaping helpings of spirited competition, toss in a few cups of trash talking and mix vigorously with college football, live music, friendship and a good cause.It’s a recipe that’s...
Updated one month ago
The Soul Circus Cowboys hopes the premier of its

Soul Circus Cowboys hope ‘Believe It’ video launches movement

BRANDON — In the wake of the Pulse night club shooting in 2016, Soul Circus Cowboys lead singer Billy McKnight posted a Facebook Live message called "Pause for Peace," asking anyone who would listen to pause or pray for 20 seconds every day at 7...
Updated one month ago