Sunday, April 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

Former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor. [Times photo]

Carlton: Mayorís race: plot twists, meteoric rises, candidate implosions. Itís what we do in Tampa.

The one thing you can say for sure about electing a mayor in Tampa is you canít really say anything for sure.Historical proof: A couple of elections ago, Harvard-educated hometown-boy-gone-to-Washington Frank Sanchez was going to be our next...
Published: 04/20/18
With local high school students leading the way, an estimated 13,000 supporters of the March For Our Lives movement rallied at Kiley Garden in Tampa on March 24, followed by a march around downtown. Days later, planning began for a local town hall meeting, part of the student-led strategy to keep the Feb. 14 Parkland school shooting in the public eye. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]

Carlton: Kids, want to make them listen? Vote

Today across America, high school students are expected to walk out of class in their latest show of solidarity against gun violence and elected officials unwilling to do much about it. It marks a grim anniversary — 19 years since Columbine...
Published: 04/20/18
Carlton: Thanks, Gov. Scott, for the dreaded trip across Interstate 4

Carlton: Thanks, Gov. Scott, for the dreaded trip across Interstate 4

The other day I had to go to Orlando from Tampa on Interstate 4, which has to be one of the most disliked highways in Florida. And I say this as someone who learned to drive on Miamiís I-95.It turned out to be the same root canal of a trip...
Published: 04/18/18
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor addresses the high rate of bike citations issued in minority neighborhoods in 2015. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times ]

Carlton: Jane Castor now says biking-while-black tickets were wrong

Former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor faces a simmering and pointed question in her who-doesnít-already-know-sheís-running bid to be the cityís next mayor:What about the police departmentís controversial and disproportionate ticketing of black...
Published: 04/12/18
Illansy Ruiz, a director of food services with Fresco Y Mas, trains new employees at their new location on Sheldon Road in Tampa last week. The parent company of Winn-Dixie, Southeastern Grocers, is opening the first Fresco Y Mas stores outside of South Florida in Tampa and Orlando. (OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times)

Carlton: The weird vegetable, the new grocery and that West Tampa flavor

The vegetable — I was pretty sure it was a vegetable — looked like the weirdest potato you ever saw: long, gray and hairy.
Published: 04/11/18

Carlton: Mayors raise their voices for guns and sense

In the fight to stop senseless shootings, could mayors make a difference?Several from South Florida have put their names behind a lawsuit pushing back against some serious bullying out of Tallahassee.In the face of the most recent gun...
Updated one month ago
Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, during a commission meeting last year when she switched her vote on the Confederate memorial. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times

Carlton: Voters deserve the ear of more than one commissioner

Right now, each voter in Hillsborough County is lucky enough to be able to elect a majority of the county commissioners who represent them.Okay, "lucky" may be a stretch given the colorful history that has occasionally made the commission more...
Updated one month ago
Dick Greco, shown in 2011, was elected Tampa's mayor four times, with a long hiatus in the private sector in between. Voters declined to elect him on his fifth try.

Carlton: Change Tampaís charter! Or not.

For the first time in more than 40 years, a Tampa Charter Review Commission of appointed locals ó citizens, lawyers, business types ó is looking at whether the cityís charter needs tweaking.Wait, donít nod off yet. Itís not as boring as it...
Updated one month ago
Then-Florida Sen. Ronda Storms, R- Valrico, debating the trigger bill on the floor of the Florida Senate. [ TIMES PHOTO: SCOTT KEELER]

Carlton: Ronda Storms may be ready for her comeback, but we sure arenít

Given the state of the world ó and our daily dose of this-canít-possibly-be-true news ó is anyone surprised Ronda Storms plans a political comeback?Not that weíve forgotten her. As a conservative Republican Hillsborough County commissioner, she...
Updated one month ago
Mayor of Tampa, Bob Buckhorn talks during an editorial board meeting at the Tampa Bay Times newsroom in Tampa, Fla. on February 20, 2018.

Carlton: The mayor who said too much

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is brash. You could even call the mayor mouthy. The man can full-on brag all day long about his town becoming a national contender.The mayor, however, has also been known to sound less, shall we say, considered in his...
Updated one month ago