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.

Carlton: When does including all kinds of voices become an everyday thing?

This year, for the first time, a Star of David graces the outside of Tampa General Hospital alongside the traditional light-up Christmas trees, at the suggestion of some doctors and hospital employees. {Photo: Sue Carlton]
Women and blacks in positions of leadership, a Star of David joining the Christmas decorations: When does inclusiveness stop being remarkable?

A legal lion, not a hyena: Even after his death, a Barry Cohen legal mystery

Amidst a swarm of cameras and reporters, attorney Barry Cohen pauses while leaving the Sam M. Gibbons federal courthouse in Tampa. [Times files 2009]
Tampa lawyer Barry Cohen was known to stir things up, and a fiery letter bearing his signature sent to judges after his death has people talking. Except those who knew him best say it wasn't Barry.

Carlton: Don't worry, silly citizens who voted to improve transportation. Commissioner Stacy 'Sour Grapes' White knows best.

Despite a strong vote in favor of a transportation tax in Hillsborough, county commissioner Stacy White filed sued this week to invalidate the 30-year, $15.8 billion transportation tax intended to pay for road and bridge improvements and mass transit. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
Forget that a majority of voters took the extraordinary step of taxing themselves to fix transportation. Commissioner Stacy White knows better.

Can't we even agree to support public school kids who need it?

Even in polarizing times, surely we can agree that supporting a marginalized population of teens in schools - transgender kids - is a good idea. But in Pasco, conservative groups say no.

Texting at the wheel is a fine reason for police to pull us over

Under Florida law at the moment, police can't pull you over for texting while behind the wheel unless you've commited some other infraction.  [Times file]
In Florida, police can't pull over a driver for one of the most dangerous things you see on the road every day: texting behind the wheel. Soon your lawmakers get (another)chance to fix that.