Saturday, August 18, 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.

Courtesy of the Columbia Restaurant Group. 
Goody Goody waitresses pose for a photo circa 1950. Yvonne Freeman, who would go on to become the proprietor in the mid 1980s, is in the center of the photo.

Ernest Hooper: Goody Goody stars in latest documentary by Tampaís video historian

I donít know if she can outrace a giant boulder, navigate perilous pitfalls to capture a hidden idol or beat back Nazi soldiers intent on evil.Iím not even sure if she can deftly handle a whip, or fit a fedora over her salt-and-pepper...
Published: 08/14/18
Updated: 08/15/18
Mitchell Elementary School is one of 21 elementary and middle schools that have tested positive for exceedingly high lead levels. Over the last 16 months, the Hillsborough County School District has been quietly testing its schools' drinking water for lead. So far it has checked 51 schools and found lead in 50. There are roughly 200 more schools that haven't been looked at for lead. BRONTE WITTPENN   |   Times

Hooper: Hillsborough School Districtís water testing reveals journalismís value

There are so many takeaways from the Tampa Bay Times story on the Hillsborough County School...
Published: 08/13/18
Photo by Erin Hanson
Positive Coaching Alliance
Students in the Positive Coaching Alliance\u2019s summer program with Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation got a chance to attend the Aug. 2 Rays-Angels game at Tropicana Field.

Hooper: Positive Coaching Alliance guides kids by digging into the ĎROOTSí

Jennifer arrived at Northdale Recreation Center this summer full of the kind of energy that led her to get into trouble.Counselors, however, found a solution thanks to the Positive Coaching Alliance. They literally dug deep and addressed the...
Published: 08/08/18
Updated: 08/10/18
Times columnist Ernest Hooper convened a special group of guests for the latest episode of That's All I'm Saying on WEDU-PBS. The show focuses on the increased need for counseling on college campuses. Pictured are Marin Olmstead, Laura Randall, University of South Florida associate vice president Rita DeBate, Times Staff Writer Claire McNeill, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay CEO Clara Reynolds. Photo courtesy of That's All I'm Saying.

Hooper: Suicide a topic we canít ignore

Marin Olmstead turned blunt."You need to say it. You need to say suicide."As we met last month to talk about her appearance on my WEDU show, Thatís All Iím Saying, I danced around the topic with a vague phrase...
Published: 08/06/18
Updated: 08/11/18
Courtesy of Kevin Preast 
Kevin Preast, right, the senior vice president of event management at the Amalie Arena is pictured with the late singer-songwriter Tom Petty.

Sunday Conversation: Amalie Arenaís Kevin Preast tells Tampa Bayís story

Kevin Preast tells the story of Tampa Bay every day. ē As the Amalie Arena senior vice president of event management, Preast not only holds the responsibility of booking live events at the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, but also oversees concert...
Published: 08/02/18
Updated: 08/03/18

Hooper: Epic Chef Showdown to benefit Feeding Tampa Bay

Franciscan monk Richard Rohr recently wrote in one of his meditations that Jesusí most consistent social action was eating in new ways and with new people.Regardless of your faith, the spirt of that perspective should resonate.
Updated one month ago
Courtesy of Alan Lipke
Yvonne and Alan Lipke.

Hooper: One manís love letter touches hearts

Like most journalists, I receive a fair share of email from readers.Some of the correspondence contains compliments or constructive criticism. Some of the missives come with missiles so vile I canít share them in a family newspaper.Every...
Published: 07/27/18
Updated: 08/06/18
Sarah Frank is a rising sophomore at Blake High School and now a published author. [Courtesy of Jen Bravo]

Ernest Hooper: Seeing through her first work ĎOne Chanceí is giving teen author many more

One ruby-red, spiral-bound notebook. One vivid imagination.In the hands of a fifth grader, these seem like perfect tools for idle time. And for Sarah Frank, they proved to be just that ó a creative outlet. While squirreled away in her bedroom,...
Updated one month ago
Ruth Beltran of Black Lives Matter Tampa speaks to the crowd about standing up for the rights of black people in the community n July 22, 2018. Family and friends of Markeis McGlockton, the 28-year-old man who was killed during a parking lot altercation. The shooter was not arrested because authorities said it fell within the criteria of Florida's

Hooper: ‘Stand your ground’ can’t stand against senseless shooting over parking space

No 5-year-old should witness his father’s death.No person should die over a parking dispute.
Updated one month ago
The more than decade-long stadium drama that surrounds the Tampa Bay Rays entered a new phase when Rays principal owner Stu Sternberg unveiled the design of the ballpark the team wants built in Ybor City. [Courtesy of Populous Architects]

Hooper: Time to push the envelope in effort to build Rays stadium in Ybor

The Rays started employing a strategy of using relievers to start games when they sent Sergio Romo to the mound to face the Los Angeles Angels earlier this season. Through criticism and occasional outright ridicule, they stuck with the plan.
Published: 07/20/18
Updated: 08/11/18