Monday, May 21, 2018


Sue Carlton

Sue Carlton

Sue Carlton is a native Floridian from a longtime Southern family that her father always said consisted of thieves and cattle rustlers run out of Georgia. She grew up in Miami and joined the Tampa Bay Times in 1988. Over the years she has covered community news, politics, cops, government, and her all-time favorite, criminal courts. For nearly nine years she wrote about the kind of strange cases that only seem to happen here, about intriguing legal issues and courthouse politics. On that beat, she authored a lengthy narrative series on a trooper who killed his wife and co-authored a series on a suburban mother murdered by her teenage daughter and her friends. Sue was the deputy editor of the features section and was the Tampa city editor before she became a columnist in 2005. Three times a week, she writes about politics, outrages, observations, court cases of the day and whatever else comes up. She lives in Tampa with her husband and their very good dog. Phone: (813) 226-3376 or toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ext. 3376

Adam Putnam, Republican gubernatorial candidate makes a campaign stop at Kimmins Contracting in Tampa last month. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

Carlton: For Florida, Publix and politics are a bad mix

Say it ain’t so.Tell me my favorite grocery store — the trusted green-and-white icon of many a Florida childhood, a chain woven into the fabric of this state, as dependable as decent asparagus, tidy aisles and bag boys you’re not supposed to...
Published: 05/18/18

Carlton: I got your apologies and your decency right here

To the lady who walked into Panera Bread two steps ahead of me last week: I know it was you.I could not prove this in a court of law. But it was you, hacking away from an obvious cold without ever once, in any way, attempting to cover your...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Uncle Tom Road in Riverview has been so named since at least the 1960s, according to some locals there. Now Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller has revived an effort  to change the road's name which he says is offensive to black residents. The road is located off US Highway 301 south of Boyette Road.[SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times

Carlton: Time for Hillsborough’s Uncle Tom Road to go — but artfully.

In Hillsborough County — where one of the world’s largest Confederate flags still flies near a busy interstate — you may not be surprised to learn there’s an Uncle Tom Road.The name is a flash point and a slur, shorthand for a black person who...
Published: 05/16/18
A Tampa couple eat lunch along the Hillsborough River at Rivercrest Park in S. Seminole Heights.
 [ROSS MANTLE | Times]

Carlton: Tampa: This town knows parks

On a curve of Tampa’s Hillsborough River sits what looks to be an unassuming city park. At least until you’re in it.The shady trees, grass and paths of Rivercrest Park slope down to the banks of the water. It’s not the flashiest park in town,...
Published: 05/12/18
In 1999, Tampa Mayor Dick Greco took the Oath of office from his son Judge Dick Greco, Jr. The son says he has no intention of running for Mayor next year.  [Times file]

Carlton: Greco for mayor? And will this be Buckhorn’s last State of the City?

This may be the last mystery left in the race to be Tampa’s next mayor, besides who ends up the last man or woman standing:
Published: 05/11/18
David Straz Jr. announced that he is throwing his hat in the ring and running for mayor of Tampa in next year's election. [ JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]

Carlton: To run for mayor, Straz needs better answers

So the latest and likely last candidate for Tampa mayor — the one who’s had the most time and money to get ready for his political debut — kicks things off appearing not to know which of the city’s neighborhoods are troubled.
Published: 05/09/18
Sostenos Cunplidro, 60, speaks with his translator, Salvation Army case management specialist Ivy Neely, at the Red Shield Lodge in Tampa. Cunplidro lost his passport and immigration documents after suffering a stroke and being hospitalized last year. [Times photo by John Martin]

Carlton: The man who wants to go home

The words won’t come. They’re in there somewhere behind the man’s intelligent eyes, things he wants to tell you, memories that will explain how he got here and what happened to him. He tries but he can’t find them.He is a young 60, a square,...
Updated one month ago
Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist was one of three Republicans on the board who voted this week to extend the waiting period for buying a gun from three to five days.  [Times files 2016]

Carlton: Hillsborough Commissioners thoughtful on guns? It happened.

The other day, something thoughtful happened at the Hillsborough County Commission. No, really, it did.And we’re not talking holding-the-elevator-for-the-annoyingly-slow kind of thoughtful. This was more like...
Updated one month ago
The Hall on Franklin is a restaurant collective with some of the biggest names in the city's food scene. It is part of the commercial boom transforming Tampa Heights. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

Carlton: Tampa Heights is exploding! And we can learn from it.

Tampa Heights is exploding.It’s on fire.It’s killing it.And a lot of other over-the-top cliches.
Updated one month ago
Joe Kotvas, a former Hillsborough County commissioner, served time in federal prison on bribery charges. He has written a book,

Carlton: Only in America: Convicted Kotvas wants to be your commissioner — again.

You shake your head.You think: Seriously?Then you marvel a little at the human spirit, or maybe just the utter lack of shame.Joe Kotvas — one of the Hillsborough County commissioners famously led from the courthouse in...
Updated one month ago