Monday, May 21, 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.

Hooper: Vote against the politics of division

My friend says instead of boycotting Publix, people upset about the company’s support of gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam should back voter registration drives and get more people to the polls.And when they register those...
Published: 05/21/18
Olivia Rivera, a recovering pediatric cancer patient, plans to become a pediatric oncology nurse. She graduates from East Lake High on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Covelli Family Limited Partnership

Hooper: Stand and cheer for these courageous children

Olivia Rivera will rejoin her East Lake High School classmates Thursday for graduation ceremonies, but as with all commencements, it’s as much a beginning as it is an end.
Published: 05/14/18
ChappellRoberts CEO Colleen Chappell says her family is her foundation.

Sunday Conversation: ChappellRoberts CEO Colleen Chappell extends her ‘influence’

Colleen Chappell sat more than 5,000 miles from the city when she learned the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce named her the 2018 Dottie Berger MacKinnon Woman of Influence, but for many reasons, the award resonated from the downtown Tampa to the...
Published: 05/11/18
Updated: 05/12/18

Ernest Hooper: Carrying the load for those who carry it for us, as troops and first responders

Carry the load.The three simple words can mean so much.In sports, it speaks to leadership and performance. LeBron James is carrying the load for the Cleveland Cavaliers and building his legacy as one of the greatest.With family,...
Published: 05/08/18
Updated: 05/09/18

Hooper: We need smarter governance, more heart from the state

In a commercial supporting Gov. Rick Scott’s bid for the U.S. Senate, a man brags that Scott cut taxes 40 times.But what Scott and the Republican leaders in the state House and Senate really have done is return nickels and...
Published: 05/07/18
Ryan Haczynski, a Strawberry Crest teacher and head of a blog web site and podcast called Teacher Voice, points to a poster in his classroom that features his favorite quote. Gandhi said,

Sunday Conversation: Strawberry Crest teacher gives voice to the state of public education

Strawberry Crest teacher Ryan Haczynski first caught the attention of fellow teachers and public education supporters in 2016 when he sent a list of concerns to Tampa Bay Times reporter Marlene Sokol about the Hillsborough County School...
Updated one month ago
Kathleen and Tony Phelan pose at their Pinchers location at the Marina at Edison Ford. ERNEST HOOPER | Times staff

Hooper: Phelan Family partners with Moffitt to honor high school scholars

One student cared for her mother as she battled breast cancer.Another overcame a poverty-stricken upbringing. Two others endured the death of a parent, including one who witnessed her stepfather killing her mother.All 10 of the high...
Updated one month ago

Hooper: Sarasota ‘promposal’ points to need for diversity education

A student at Sarasota’s Riverview High School will not attend the prom or any other school functions after asking his girlfriend to the prom with a racially offensive sign.If all that results from a sad incident is the...
Updated one month ago
Florida A&M president Larry Robinson (right) attended a scholarship gala for the university with his wife Sharon on April 21 gala at the Doubletree Hotel Tampa Airport-Westshore in Tampa. Photo courtesy of the FAMU National Alumni Association-Tampa Chapter.

Sunday Conversation: FAMU president Larry Robinson looks to keep the flame burning

Hundreds of FAMU faithful gathered April 21 for a Tampa gala to raise more than $250,000 in scholarship dollars and salute the university’s newest president, Larry Robinson. • Robinson, who has a 20-year connection with the Tallahassee university, has...
Updated one month ago
Attorney Theresa Jean-Pierre Coy continues to serve as president of the George Edgecomb Bar Association despite giving birth to her son Thaddeus and being diagnosed with breast cancer. Photo courtesy of Theresa Jean-Pierre Coy.

Ernest Hooper: Legal giants inspire campaign to fight cancer among blacks

A tapestry of remarkable stories enveloped the Hilton Tampa Downtown ballroom on Monday night at the George Edgecomb Bar Association’s annual dinner. You had the former bar president who doctors recently declared a cancer survivor; the founder...
Updated one month ago