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Hooper: Rally is a chance to send a positive message about where we should stand as a nation

In this March 27, 2019 photo, Central American migrants wait for food in a pen erected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to process a surge of migrant families and unaccompanied minors in El Paso, Texas. [AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio]
Published Jul. 8

I hope the Lights 4 Liberty Tampa rally at Ybor City's Centennial Park on Friday draws a crowd far beyond what organizers expect.

The event, part of a nationwide effort, will seek to bring attention to the inhumane conditions of detention facilities holding refugees on the border. A friend asked how such a protest could make a difference, but it'll be an opportunity to send a positive message about where we should stand as a nation.

Sometimes being American is about calling for the nation to reach its potential. …

The city of Tampa has yet to return park benches to Lykes Gaslight Square Park, and while the issue has left fewer homeless in the park, it's seemingly brought ancillary concerns to the businesses surrounding the park.

Homelessness remains a complex issue, but I know the solution doesn't lie in simply driving them out of sight. …

RELATED STORY: Benches may never return to Lykes Gaslight Square.

Seen on a bumper sticker: I Have My Faults, But Being Wrong Isn't One of Them. …

Kudos to the Patel Conservatory's Next Generation Ballet Summer Intensive. It's brought 200 talented dance students to town from around the nation and world. The students will perform in a special showcase at 7 p.m on July 19 at the Straz Performing Arts Center. …

Tampa's extraordinary saxophonist, BK Jackson, has announced he will perform with the renowned Howard Hewett on Sept. 14 at the USF School of Music.

Jackson has risen from teen phenom to perform with some of the world's best. Hewett's vocal work, including his hits with Shalamar, continue to resonate. Sounds like a can't miss show.

That's all I'm saying.

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