Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Sue Carlton, Times Columnist

Sue Carlton, Times Columnist

My dad always said the Carltons were thieves and cattle rustlers run out of Georgia, which makes me a bona fide Floridian going back generations. I grew up in Miami and landed in Tampa, a town that said “bland” to the world but turned out anything but. I live in an old bungalow in an old neighborhood with my husband and a very enthusiastic dog. I’ve covered everything - crime, courts, the homeless. I’ve come to love this place of outrages and injustices, history and culture, Deep South and café con leche, downtown growing up and a parade of political characters let’s just call interesting. And lucky me, I get to write about all of it three days a week.

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: Can’t 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, I’m walking the dog through Tampa’s 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 mayor’s race shows it’s possible

We hurtle toward next week’s 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, it’s 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.

It’s a fact: Tampa is a city standing still when it comes to improving transportation. And it’s 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 she’s got a longtime politician on the ropes.But forget, for a minute, that Smith’s 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 you’d 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 hurricane’s 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