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Hooper: Police officers in Ku Klux Klan shows Florida has a ways to go

Published Jul. 14, 2014

Orlando's WFTV-Ch. 9 reported over the weekend that two police officers in the Central Florida town of Fruitland Park are off the job after FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that they were members of a local Ku Klux Klan chapter.

Yes, this is 2014, but even now Florida is near the top when it comes to being home to hate groups. Despite all our progress, we still have work to do.

It all calls to mind the words of the late Maya Angelou, who once said, "Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet." …

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce hosts a political hobnob from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. I'm going with litmus test questions. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: I Am An Old Veteran. Have Patience. …

Local foodies aren't sure what Refinery chef Greg Baker will have on the menu at his new Seminole Heights restaurant, Fodder & Shine, but Baker did share one item when I ran into him Saturday: rattlesnake. Don't shudder. It's good. Fodder & Shine brings its "Florida Cracker Cuisine" to life this fall. …

Three jazz stars with Tampa connections — Eric Darius, Shaun Brown and B.K. Jackson — come together Aug. 23 for a "hot and saxxy night." The fourth star will be the venue: beautiful Tampa Theatre. …

I recently found myself in the Friendly Tavern in Redington Shores, and I'm happy to report — with Ben the bartender promising to make any drink I could imagine — it is indeed friendly.

With KKK philosophies still being espoused, sometimes you need a stiff drink and a smile.

That's all I'm saying.

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