Thursday, March 22, 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

A man who said he was homeless panhandles near the intersection of Dale Mabry Hwy. and Kennedy Blvd. in November.  He didn't want to give his name and said that he was trying to find a job. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]

To give or not to give: Should you hand over a dollar to a homeless person on a street corner?

TAMPA — On a Tuesday morning, a stream of cars headed into downtown Tampa brakes for a red light at Platt Street. On the curb by a Walgreens stands a man holding a cardboard sign chest-level in his dirty hands.
Published: 03/07/18
The John F. Germany Public Library in downtown Tampa. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]

Another reason to love the library: No more fees for overdue books!

TAMPA — Here’s an early Christmas present for you literary scofflaws who tend to hang on to those borrowed best sellers a little too long:As of Jan. 1, 2018, the Hillsborough County Public Library system will no longer charge late fines on...
Updated: 3 months ago
This dog does not like Mondays. [SUE CARLTON  |  Times]

Peanut butter and loneliness: Leaving the dog in the morning

The dog does not want me to go. This is a given.This is our weekday morning ritual. I down caffeine and check the paper standing up in the kitchen with a bowl of cereal in my hand and TV news in the background. He digs busily through his...
Updated: 4 months ago
The Homeless Jesus statue outside the Portico in downtown Tampa is a  reminder of the city's population of at least 1,500 homeless.Next week, the ones who died will be honored here. SKIP O'ROURKE  | Times

Homeless Jesus remembers those who die living on the streets

Tampa has a mix of outside art for everyone, rich, poor and otherwise. There’s the well-known massive metal sculpture snarkily nicknamed The Exploding Chicken near the Florida Aquarium, the downtown bridges that light up softly in multiple colors, and...
Updated: 4 months ago
Jan Platt fishing from Tampa's Ballast Point Pier.

Sue Carlton: Who will take up where Jan Platt left off? Anyone? Anyone?

Here is a classic Jan Platt moment: In the 1990s, she ran for mayor against Tampa icon Dick Greco. But the day before election day — prime sign-waving time on city street corners — she had jury duty.So did she try to get out of it? To postpone...
Updated: 4 months ago
1st District Court of Appeal Judge L. Clayton Roberts  [Florida 1st District Court of Appeal]

Sue Carlton: On judges, guns and impartiality

Life is good when you're a judge.You go to law school, become an attorney and attain a position so prestigious people call you "your honor." You sit on the bench and ponder intriguing nuances of the law. You make rulings that, no exaggeration,...
Updated: 6 months ago
Members of the Indianapolis Colts take a knee during the Nation Anthem.  . SOURCE: AP

Sue Carlton: The president, the players and the one about free speech

Here is the remarkable thing about the president's recent and ongoing harangue against professional football players who kneel during the national anthem instead of standing, a form of peaceful protest:There may be no person in the free world...
Updated: 6 months ago