Friday, April 18, 2014

Saluki Way Sales Tax

Some years ago, when the Carbondale city council increased the sales tax for the purpose of donating $20 million to SIUC for the purpose of funding the Saluki Way project, proponents of the increase had two arguments:

1. replacing the hulk that was McAndrew Stadium with a brand new football stadium and remodeling the Arena, along with the additional construction comprising the Saluki Way project would draw more students to the university, thus benefiting the community as a whole by increasing the customer base for businesses in Carbondale.  That hasn't worked so well.

2. Building the sports complex would draw more people into town to attend games. These people would then spend money, thus driving up sales tax revenue. That hasn't worked so well, either.

However, so as not to end the evening on a down note, here are some pictures of cute cats.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Debate Team In Action

Promoted from the comments, if you have never seen SIUC's debate team in action or are curious just as to what a debate team does, SIUC's team will debate this Monday night, with the topic  "Should the State of Illinois increase the minimum wage to $10.10?":

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Debate Team Follow Up

Following up on yesterday's post about the SIUC debate team, it is rather a shame that the university does not choose to devote more resources to supporting the debate team, given how well it consistently preforms at the national level as compared to say, the basketball team, which has not made an appearance at the national level since 2008.

However, the university keeps tossing resources at the athletic department, while cutting them from debate, indicating where priorities at the university remain

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SIUC Debate Team

SIUC's debate coach Todd Graham made quite an interesting presentation at today's Chamber of Commerce lunch, pointing out that SIUC's debate team was nationally ranked, won back to back national championships, has won at least one national championship in every decade AND has placed in the final four at the national level for the past seven years.  Pretty impressive.

Also pretty impressive is that they have done this while fielding one and a half teams (one member dropped out halfway though the season), going up against universities fielding 4 and 8 teams.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SIUC Research Booklet

Received a spiral bound booklet from SIUC, mailed in a box, highlighting professors and students conducting research at the university. Nice looking booklet but not sure why the university sent it out. It only highlights 4 pieces of ongoing research and most of the booklet is taken up with pictures. There is a call to action on the last page, directing me here to find out more, and I am certainly glad to see that members of the university conduct research but still not sure as to the reasoning behind the mailing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

EPA Meeting About Koppers

Just a reminder that there is a meeting with the EPA tomorrow night at the Eurma C. Hayes Center.  According to the press release, representatives from Brightfield's will be there as well to answer questions

The Carbondale Community is invited to an Information Session on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., regarding the cleanup of the former Koppers Wood-Treating Site. The meeting will be held at the Eurma C. Hayes Center, 441 East Willow Street. The USEPA is the sponsor of the meeting which will feature an information session, poster session, as well as a question and answer session.
The public is advised that although representatives from Brightfield's will be present at this meeting to answer questions that might arise regarding their proposed solar panel project, this meeting is not considered one of the two meetings required by the City of Carbondale as part Brightfield's Special Use Zoning Permit process.

More information on this meeting can be obtained by contacting Rafael Gonzalez, USEPA - Chicago, at 1-800-621-8431 or

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pravin Varughese Death

The results of Pravin Varughese's toxicology report came back negative, indicating he was neither drunk or under the influence of drugs when he died.  The thing that bothers me about Chief O'Guinn's statement in the story is that the terrain where Varughese fled to is "difficult terrain". If you are familiar with the area, it is not. Located just east of Buffalo Wild Wings, the area is quite flat and covered with small trees. While in spring and summer, the area can get quite swampy, in 14 degree temperatures, the ground would have frozen solid and, with no leaves on the trees, the lights of Buffalo Wild Wings are easily visible less than 100 yards away from the area into which Varughese ran. Assuming he was conscious, he could have made it to the building in less than five minutes.

However, the bank from Highway 13 down to that area is about 30 feet long and fairly steep. If Varughese tried to run down it in the dark, he could easily have slipped, fallen and knocked himself out. Lying on the frozen ground, in what are described as a t-shirt and jeans, he could have died from exposure in a couple of hours.