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Ernest Hooper: In Ybor, plan with the heart, not with the greed

By Ernest Hooper

Itís all about planning.

When it comes to a potential Rays stadium in Ybor City, much of the planning has focused on the needs of the team and providing a boost in property tax revenue.

Yet I know the big-hearted folks leading the team share a concern about displacing the 1,100 people living in Tampa Park Apartments.

A new stadium and the rising real estate values could make the Tampa Park property too valuable for rent subsidies. But keep in mind, this is about more than just relocating people. The upheaval could disrupt the lives of kids who need a stable educational and after-school foundation.

As community activist Freddie Barton recently told me, any economic development plan tied to the new stadium needs to be accompanied by a "social development plan." Our love for the people should rise above our romance for the team and a new stadium. .?.?.

At the CDC of Tampaís 25th anniversary celebration last week, CEO Ernest Coney Jr. announced the nonprofit would soon lay out details on a new grocery store coming to east Tampa.

Itís a plan worthy of support, especially given the problems that come with food deserts. .?.?.

Seen on a bumper sticker: Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part. .?.?.

The St. Pete Glitter Queens planned to raise money for the Beth Dillinger Foundation at its annual gala. Last week, the group of fun and philanthropic women leaders presented the event proceeds to the foundation: a check for $73,697.

A match from the Pinellas Education Foundation will quadruple a portion of the funds to $160,000 in scholarships.

With the right plan, you too can add sparkle to the lives of others.

Thatís all Iím saying.