1. News

Brandon business owners inspire generosity in customers

Jana Broder of Drum Magic led a drumline for the 100-plus people who camped out to get a year worth of Chick-fil-A meals at the new Chick-fil-A at 2010 Bloomingdale Ave in Valrico. Photo courtesy of Cindy Sofarelli
Published Jan. 30, 2017

Tammy and Paul Holmberg put the give in giveaway.

The Holmbergs, longtime ambassadors of generosity in the Brandon area, opened a Chick-fil-A in Valrico on Jan. 26, and as with any new Chick-fil-A, residents camped out 24 hours before the opening because the first 100 customers receive free meals for a year.

This time, they gave as much as they received. Led by Tammy Holmberg, the customers boxed up lunch for Brandon's Meals on Wheels program, packaged non-perishable food for Feeding Children Everywhere and helped deliver dinner to A Kid's Place.

In the end, they gave more than they received. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: All We Need Is Love. Love Is All We Need. …

Cue up Big and Rich's Comin' to Your City. Three of my favorite Hillsborough nonprofits are expanding to Pinellas.

High Risk Hope, which supports women and families going through high-risk pregnancies, will begin serving patients at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital on Feb. 6. It needs volunteers. Visit

Starting Right, Now extends its mission to help and house homeless unaccompanied youth by opening a St. Petersburg campus on Feb. 8. Email info@ …

Trinity Cafe, which serves meals with dignity to the homeless and food insecure, is partnering with Catholic Charities to open a third cafe at Pinellas Hope. Learn more at …

Kudos to all the marches, protests and prayer vigils in support of refugees and immigrants. The message it sends to the White House is important, but the message to the refugees and immigrants speaks volumes.

That's all I'm saying.


  1. Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos listens to a speaker share an opinion about a city matter during a city council meeting at Clearwater City Hall in Clearwater, Fla. on Thursday, April 20, 2017.  On Thursday, the Clearwater City Council rejected the mayor's resolution urging lawmakers to ban assault weapons.  [Times files] TIMES FILES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    However, the city did pass a resolution calling for more modest gun control measures.
  2. An American Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft approaches Miami International Airport for landing in March. Bloomberg
    The 60-year-old veteran airline employee told investigators he was upset that union contract negotiations had stalled.
  3. Maurice A. Ferré at his Miami home earlier this year. JOSE A. IGLESIAS  |  Miami Herald
    He served as mayor for 12 years and set the stage for Miami to become an international city.
  4. Lilly Beth Rodriguez, left, Laura Robertson and Linda Lamont work on a Habitat for Humanity house in north Pasco. [Times (2013)]
    The increase is expected to happen in the first half of next year. CEO hopes other nonprofits follow suit.
  5. Terry Spencer carries his daughter, Trinity, through high water on 59th Street near Stewart Road in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, as heavy rain from Tropical Depression Imelda caused street flooding on the island. JENNIFER REYNOLDS  |  AP
    Although the amount of predicted rainfall is massive — forecasters say some places could see 40 inches or more this week.
  6. This April 2001 photo, which appeared in a newsletter from the West Point Grey Academy, shows a costumed Justin Trudeau, his face and hands darkened by makeup, attending an "Arabian Nights" gala. The academy is a private school in Vancouver, B.C., where Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics. (West Point Grey Academy/The Canadian Press via AP)
    A few Southern politicians responded to similar scandals recently with denials, apologies, and promises. Most of them have managed to stay in office.
  7. The number of single-family homes sold in the Tampa Bay area during August rose 2.8 percent when compared with the same month last year, according to a monthly report from Florida Realtors. (Times file photo)
    The midpoint price in the bay area rose to $250,000, which is still lower than the state and national median prices.
  8. This April 14, 2019 file photo shows a western meadowlark in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo. According to a study released on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, North America’s skies are lonelier and quieter as nearly 3 billion fewer wild birds soar in the air than in 1970. Some of the most common and recognizable birds are taking the biggest hits, even though they are not near disappearing yet. The population of eastern meadowlarks has shriveled by more than three-quarters with the western meadowlark nearly as hard hit. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) DAVID ZALUBOWSKI  |  AP
    “People need to pay attention to the birds around them because they are slowly disappearing,” said the study’s lead author.
  9. Michael Robert-Jose Harbaugh has pleaded guilty in the 2017 slaying of Safety Harbor neighbor David Sommer, a former reporter. Harbaugh also pleaded guilty to a charge he tried to have a witness in the case killed. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    Former journalist David Sommer was killed in 2017. Michael Harbaugh, 42, agreed to serve 30 years in prison for his crimes.
  10. Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, during a Feb. 7, 2019, meeting of the House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    ‘One test should not determine the rest of your life,’ Rep. Susan Valdes says.