Friday, June 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

The ground skink tends to hang out in leaf litter, but are sometimes found lurking in Florida homes.[Photo provided by Steve A. Johnson, University of Florida, IFAS]

Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

At first I thought it was a snake.Because wouldn’t it be typically Florida to come home and find a snake poking its nose out from under your stove? Which wouldn’t be a problem or anything. I would just have to move out is all.But no,...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Les Miller was one of two Hillsborough County commissioners to vote against giving voters a chance to make constitutional offices non-partisan. His suggestion that the commission make itself nonpartisan too was met with stony stares and died for lack of a second. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]

Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

So Hillsborough County commissioners — most of them, anyway — want voters to consider dropping political parties from certain elections, making those races nonpartisan instead.This would mean when you go to vote in those elections, you won’t...
Published: 06/22/18
The University of South Florida Sun Dome will soon be called the Yuengling Center, after the beer company that bills itself as the nation's oldest. The ten-year naming deal was announced last week at a news conference.

Carlton: From Sun Dome to Beer Stadium: Don’t let suds scare you

Am I missing something in the — pardon the expression — brouhaha over the renaming of the University of South Florida Sun Dome to the Yuengling Center? In trading a college arena’s longtime name for that of a big-name beer brewed...
Published: 06/20/18
The City of Tampa every year sends trucks through local neighborhoods that will take virtually any trash you put out, including furniture, mattresses, carpet and even toilets. [SUE CARLTON  |   Times]

Carlton: Tampa will take almost any trash, just hold the rattlesnakes and hand grenades.

The little oak table was mine for a negotiated five bucks at a South Tampa yard sale — a bit battered, but great potential. I would sand out those round stains from wine glasses past and restore it to its full glowing-wood glory.Which of course...
Published: 06/16/18
A  $2.67 million Florida Department of Transportation grant means people will soon be able to ride the 2.7 mile TECO Streetcar Line for free instead of paying $2.50 for a one-way trip. [Times files].

Carlton: A trolley instead of a boondoggle? About time, Tampa

You could rightly call the vintage streetcars that trundle between downtown Tampa and Ybor City big, beautiful boondoggles.Charming?Yes. An integral part of this city’s unique history?Absolutely.And in their current...
Published: 06/15/18
John Barrineau, 17 (left), Cameron Herrin, 18 (middle), and Tristan Herrin, 20 (right) were arrested in connection with the deaths of an Ohio mother and her 21-month-old daughter last month, struck as they were crossing Bayshore Boulevard. Police said Tristan Herrin, charged with street racing, was a passenger in his brother's car. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times / Tampa Police Department]

Carlton: Bayshore tragedy a lesson kids need to hear

During the long, hot summers in Miami when I was a teenager, we jumped off a bridge.For fun.Which was insane.This bridge was high over a narrow inlet from the ocean — fast-moving water below, jagged rocks along each side and — for...
Published: 06/13/18
A rooster roams N 19th Street in Ybor City. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

Carlton: Let Ybor City maintain its espiritu de pollo — save the chickens!

The rooster cannot rest. He must not grow complacent. If he does, they will come for him. Again.The chickens of Ybor City — the chickens that are Ybor City — are under attack.Some residents of Tampa’s funky Latin quarter are...
Published: 06/09/18
A view of the Tampa Riverwalk at Curtis Hixon Park. Big banners on the Riverwalk pitching the still-to-be-built Riverwalk Place tower are working the Riverwalk vibe big time, picturing people sipping drinks at umbrella'd tables, paddleboarding and taking leisurely bike rides. [Photo: Luis Santana | Times]

Carlton: A school board goes silent, a sheriff spells and some Riverwalk truths: The week that was

Well shut my mouth and give the Hillsborough County School Board an "A" for accord.
Published: 06/08/18
Carlton: Another woman's death shows it’s not safe to walk here

Carlton: Another woman's death shows it’s not safe to walk here

Tampa City Council member Frank Reddick offers his condolences to everyone affected by the young mother and daughter senselessly killed on Bayshore Boulevard two weeks ago. But he also thinks traffic fatalities on 40th Street in east Tampa deserve...
Updated one month ago
Someone got hold of  Hillsborough School Board member Melissa Snively's Facebook messages, apparently copied them when she wasn't looking and gave them to the local newspaper, La Gaceta.

Carlton: Don’t Hillsborough County school board members have better things to do?

In this season of high school diplomas and graduation gowns, of ceremony and celebration, members of the Hillsborough County School Board are continuing a special little tradition of their own.You might have thought the drama and the headlines...
Updated one month ago