Saturday, November 17, 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

Traffic backs up south of  Bloomingdale Avenue last month in east Hillsborough. Hillsborough County voters said yes Tuesday to an extra penny tax for improved bus service and roads, relief from traffic jams, safer walking and biking and expanded public transit. [SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times]

Carlton: Some good things happened around here on Election Day

Post election, we are celebrating our victories and licking our wounds after that wild and partisan ride. So how about some largely positive takeaways from Tuesday?Turns out we actually do care about transportation. After years...
Published: 11/09/18
Times file
After this tower clock work,  maybe the technician can help adjust our car clocks?

Carlton: Canít Christmas come when it comes? And seriously, does daylight need saving?

Two days after Halloween, with mini Snickers wrappers still littering the sidewalks and dollar store ghosts blowing in the trees, Iím walking the dog through Tampaís Hyde Park Village headed toward the pretty pumpkin patch they put up every...
Updated one month ago
Tampa's mayoral candidates are on stage for the start of an Oct. 3 debate at  Hillsborough Community College. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE   |   Times]

Carlton: Civility in politics? The Tampa mayorís race shows itís possible

We hurtle toward next weekís big election in a hurricane of anger and insult, with some mailers you can barely hold in your hands without burning your fingers.In some cases, itís less impassioned politicking, more all-out dumpster...
Updated one month ago
Customers board the Cross Bay Ferry in St. Petersburg last March for a scheduled departure to Tampa. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

Carlton: Finally, a ferry between Tampa and St. Pete that makes sense

Two years ago, a sleek ferry big enough to carry 149 passengers set sail between the downtowns of St. Petersburg and Tampa to test the waters.If we float it, will they come?
Updated one month ago
Greyhounds leave the starting gate at the start of a race  at Tampa Greyhound Track.  [Times files]

Carlton: No, a vote to ban greyhound racing is not a vote to end fishing, hunting and life as we know it in Florida, no matter what they tell you

"The humane treatment of animals is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida."Well, sure.Even in a politically polarized world, all of us Floridians can get behind that one,...
Updated one month ago
NAACP Hillsborough Branch president Yvette Lewis. [Times files]

Carlton: Ask questions, get facts, vote yes on the transportation tax that would help neighborhoods that need it most.

Itís a fact: Tampa is a city standing still when it comes to improving transportation. And itís a no-brainer this hits poorer neighborhoods the hardest.Those communities suffer most when bus routes get cut like they were last year, when streets...
Updated one month ago
No question, voting is one more job in your already busy day, says Times columnist Sue Carlton.  But if we don't have a say on new taxes, whether felons should vote, if greyhound racing needs to end and who represents our interests here, in Tallahassee and in Washington, other will be more than happy to decide for us. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

Carlton: Vote early, get your say (and your sticker)

I voted early. On Monday, even, the very first day I could.This is rare for me. Especially in high-stakes elections like the one coming, I vote on Election Day, not before and not by mail. And yes, I still sometimes write checks, too.Why...
Updated one month ago
Joe Kotvas, who served time in federal prison for bribery as a Hillsborough County Commissioner, wrote a book on how his career in politics came to abrupt end. He's now running as a no-party candidate for the District 5 commission seast.  [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]

Carlton: How a shortage of candor could tilt a commission race (Bribery scandal? What bribery scandal?)

In one of the most interesting local races around, first-time candidate Mariella Smith, a Democrat, looks like sheís got a longtime politician on the ropes.But forget, for a minute, that Smithís opponent is veteran Republican Hillsborough...
Updated one month ago
Mayor Mel Jurado listens to the public during a City Council meeting at Temple Terrace City Hall on Sept. 4.  [TAILYR IRVINE   |   Times]

Carlton: How about a little mayoral truth-telling about degrees, right here in Temple Terrace?

Just outside Tampa and not far from the University of South Florida, Temple Terrace is a pretty city all its own, an old-school golf course community with shady oaks and a river running through it.This might not be where youíd expect political...
Updated one month ago
As Hurricane Michael was gathering strength to become the Category 4 monster that slammed into the Panhandle on Wednesday, people looked to TV for storm tracking and evacuation updates. They also got to see Republican Party of Florida attack ads aimed at Ron DeSantis' gubernatorial opponent, Tallahassee mayor and Democrat Andrew Gillum. [Times files]

Carlton: Playing politics when a hurricaneís coming? There oughta be a law

Maybe Florida needs a new law. The Disaster Decency Bill, we could call it.Because given the current political divide wider than the Gulf of Mexico, we might need it to mandate what has long been a tradition of coming together in the face of...
Updated one month ago