Ernest Hooper, Times Columnist

Ernest Hooper

Times Columnist

When I look in the mirror every morning, I realize I like the guy looking back at me. Don't get me wrong. The man in the mirror comes with flaws. He needs to eat less, exercise more and try not to get so caught up in his own thoughts. But I still like him. I like having a wife willing to put up with all my flaws after nearly three decades of marriage. I like that God has blessed me with three children -- two sons and a daughter -- who have grown to become great young adults. I like that every morning I awaken excited about journalism, the awesome opportunity to connect with readers in ways both big and small. I love coffee, but serving Times readers represent my true caffeine. Most of all, I like that guy looking back at me -- all of his loves, all of his memories and all of his weird personality traits -- because he's still pushing to do more, be more and learn more. Nothing matters more than looking in that mirror and appreciating the man who looks back at me because that drives me to be better.

Hooper: Beach-side businesses need a red carpet response to Red Tide struggles

Red Tide curbed beach visitors at its height, but it's subsided now and businesses are looking for an infusion from locals and tourists. (Times Files)
One owner says, 'Most of us are truly struggling'

Hooper: Hip-hop's misogyny deserves more criticism than a holiday perennial

Songwriter Frank Loesser (left) composed
The criticism of Baby, It's Cold Outside pales when posed against Gucci Gang.

Hooper: Demand a legacy of inclusion from Florida's new leaders

New Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva, R- Miami Lakes, expressed a tone of cooperation after being sworn in on Nov. 20. SCOTT KEELER | Times
The lack of an African-American on the Florida Supreme Court signals an increased need for accountability.

Hooper: Homeless need solution-driven approaches, not guilt-edged tweets

The Trinity Cafe on Nebraska Avenue is one of two Tampa locations that provide meals to the homeless. (Times Files)
Ancillary issues arising from Trinity Cafe's efforts to feed the homeless can be solved.

So why isn't Blake Casper resting on his laurels and eating Egg McMuffins every morning at one of his 64 McDonalds?
He is. But he says he has other restaurants to create