Saturday, April 21, 2018


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.

Tampa Bay Times columnist Ernest Hooper, far right, recently joined five others for induction into the Godby High Hall of Fame, created and supported by the Association of Godby Graduates. Also pictured: Santanu Kumar, Hugh Curry, Marcus Sachs, Sheddrick

Hooper: A tribute to my Godby High School instructors

Every time I see an algebraic formula, Mrs. Watson, Mrs. Landreth and Mrs. McBee flash through my mind.If you say history, I say Mr. Groot and Mrs. Melton. If you say civics, I say Mrs. Jennings and Mrs. Hunt.I type using the "home keys"...
Updated: 5 hours ago
DIRK SHADD   |   Times  
Leigh Fletcher, 46, an attorney with her law firm Fletcher and Fischer is also the co-founder of Rising Tide Innovation Center, a 4,000 square foot collaborative work space with private offices, open desk work areas and conference space located on the fourth floor of the Historic McCroury Hotel at 433 Central Ave., in St. Petersburg.

Sunday Conversation: Attorney Leigh Fletcher let’s passion for community guide her

Attorney Leigh Fletcher split her childhood between Columbus, Ga., and Florida’s St. George Island, developing a love for the ocean. She’s a diver, she loves coral, but she never imagined she would end up owning a pair of water treatment laboratories...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Film and television producer Will Packer, left, poses with his mother Birice and his sister Tameche, after William Packer, Sr., was honored at the University of South Florida Kente Awards and Scholarships Luncheon on Monday (April 16). Packer delivered the keynote speech at the event. [KERRICK WILLIAMS   |   Special to the Times]

Hooper: Hollywood producer’s humility earns added admiration at USF event

Will Packer stepped before the audience at the University of South Florida’s annual Kente Awards and Scholarship Luncheon on Monday as both a successful Hollywood producer and a proud son.Packer’s father, the late William Packer Sr., received...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Hooper: Honoring Robinson’s legacy classy gesture by Rays, MLB

On Sunday, the Rays once again honored Jackie Robinson and the people in our community who have helped extend his pioneering legacy.The team celebrated Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier on April 15,...
Published: 04/16/18
Queena Phu attends the prom last spring with date Derrick Perez. [Times files (2017)]

Ernest Hooper: New book chronicles 10-year journey of attack survivor Queena

We’ve given so much empathy, so much support, so much love to Queena Pho and her family.We feel like we know her so well we call her by her first name — Queena. She inspires, as does her tireless mother Vanna Nguyen, and her adoring older...
Published: 04/12/18

Hooper: Voters — don’t be baffled with balderdash

On the surface, Tampa Bay would seem to possess no shortage of positive attributes. But there are some key challenges this region must confront. Public transportation, workforce development and housing are three big ones. And each of...
Published: 04/09/18

Hooper: Hillsborough schools shouldn’t tune out reading aid

If you step into a classroom at Community Charter School of Excellence on a particular morning, you’ll find the air filling with an audible buzz from the students. But this isn’t chatter from the kids, who all wear headphones and focus on an animated...
Published: 04/03/18
Updated: 04/06/18
FILE--Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., is shown in this Oct. 1966 file photo.  Most of the test bullets fired from a rifle belonging to James Earl Ray, who was convicted of King's 1968 assassination, had marks different from the slug that killed the civil rights leader, Brown said Friday, July 11, 1997.  Brown commented at the opening of a hearing where Ray's lawyers, hoping for a new trial, asked for additional tests on the rifle to try to reinforce the findings from recent test firings at the University of Rhode Island. (AP Photo/File)

Ernest Hooper: Fifty years later, find inspiration in RFK’s words

When a 50-year-old speech still resonates with the pain of the moment while reverberating with the challenges of today, it says as much about the strength of the words as it does our failure to heed them.In this difficult day, in...
Updated one month ago
Ann and Michael Doyle are the founders of Love INC Tampa. Photo courtesy of Ann Doyle.

Sunday Conversation: Ann and Michael Doyle create charitable ‘love stories’ with Love INC

TAMPASomewhere in the middle of his multiple cancer battles — between doctors diagnosing him with in-stage renal failure, the removal of diseased organs and a kidney transplant — Michael Doyle experienced what he calls a "foxhole...
Updated one month ago

Hooper: USF professor says we need to face the music about Facebook

The latest news revolving around Cambridge Analytica and the use of personal data gathered through Facebook may have shocked some, but having shared a panel with University of South Florida professor Kelli Burns last fall, I knew...
Updated one month ago