Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cole for L. G.

During his trip to Springfield last week, Mayor Cole met with State Sen. Kirk Dillard, who has already thrown his hat into the ring for governor in 2012. Cole hasn't announced what office he would seek, though, as the articles point out Lieutenant Governor is a good fit as he doesn't have the legal experience for attorney general, the financial background for treasurer or controller, or the statewide name recognition for governor or secretary of state.

Notes from Pickle's Alley

That's one way to put a positive spin on cap and trade. It may not hurt southern Illinois "much".
Chris Wiegman gives SIUC's website a thumbs up.
Does the state budget have a prayer?
You'd think we'd have seen more of this back during the windstorm.
Cab robbery on N. Illinois last Sunday.

Health Care Oligopoly

Been doing some reading on health care in the US since Rep. Flowers visit last week. Based on this report, it looks like moving to a single payer system would be that much of a stretch from where we are now. In 10 states, 2 companies cover over 80% of the population with insurance and the AMA views 94% of the country's insurance markets are defined as highly concentrated

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Notes from Pickle's Alley

Looking for a pool to beat the heat? Here's a summary of those in the C'dale area.
Oh, deer. You'd think they'd do a study of human deer interaction on the SIUC campus.
Rich Whitney speaks at energy festival, with a couple of silly comments and one pragmatic comment if you scroll down.
I see Mayor Cole made it to the state Senate last Wed.
Good time to buy a home in C'dale?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Single Payer Health Care

State Rep. Mary Flowers was in town last Thursday night as part of her statewide listening tour promoting her bill creating a single payer health plan for Illinois. about 40 of what I would bet are C'dales more liberal residents were there. As the Southern article indicates, Rich Whitney first showed a slide show about the benefits of single payer, then Rep. Flowers took comments from the audience.

Not surprisingly, the comments were overwhelmingly in favor of single payer. One mildly surprising thing was the last of insurance horror stories told by those speaking. With the exception of one gentleman who referred to himself as a "citizen-prisoner" of the state of Illinois because state Medicare would not pay for his hospital care at a non-state institution (which Rep. Flowers said was an error and that she would look into it for him), most of the rest of the speakers offered support for single payer but from a theoretical "single payer is good, will save us money and guarantee insurance for all and this is why" view, rather than a "Someone I know went bankrupt because they couldn't pay medical bills" stance.

One brave gentleman actually spoke in opposition to single payer, but not from the "ohmigod, we're gonna bankrupt the state" position. Instead, he was concerned about his money going to the state to pay for other people's insurance when he didn't have a say in it and losing his choice as to what type of insurance he wanted. A few people jumped on his comments but luckily, they attacked his position, rather than him personally, with one woman interrupting people already speaking to make her statement, because lord knows, she couldn't wait a few more minutes to state her piece. After that , the speakers stated to diverge on to such things as: fast food is bad for you, people should take responsibility for their own heath and Rep Mike Bost's trucking company, at which point I cut out.

Update: Seems the majority of Americans want some form of public health insurance, even if it means higher taxes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Blogging the Budget

Since the Hayes Child Care Center is coming up for further examination, here are the figures for it from the budget:
authorized budget 2009 $629,759
estimated actual 2009 $459,331
Actual 2009 $440,460
Budgeted 2010 $555,212

If the council does shut the Hayes Center down, there's enough money there to fund the Building and Neighboorhood Services director's position again.

Blogging the Budget

Interesting figures for police and fire department costs for last year and next:
Police Dept
authorized budget 2009 $7,372,962
estimated actual 2009 $6,987,418
actual 2009 $6,973,073
budget 2010 $7,185,703

Fire Department (including emergency management)
authorized budget 2009 $3, 287, 038
estimated actual 2009 $3,222,745
actual 2009 $3,050,025
budget 2010 $3,126,819

Notes from Pickle's Alley

Are you an Inspiring Woman? Why no Inspiring Man award?
Campus Lake open again for paddling.
Rep. Bost could handle the literal heat but not the figurative.
Commentors on the Capital Fax blog don't think much of Mayor Cole's chances for statewide office.
Il. budget cuts could affect about a third of SIUC students, since no financial aid.
Rudisall retiring from SIUC's law school.

Comprehensive Plan Committee Meeting

Last night's comprehensive plan committee meting focused on two characteristics of Carbondale that the committee feels need to be addressed, one of which I agree with and one of which I don't. The first is the transient nature of the majority of the population. As a college town, almost 50% of our population cycles through every 4-5 years and there needs to be more co-ordination between C'dale and SIUC over those students.

The other characteristics I don't necessarily agree with is the the shifting of C'dale from a railroad town to a college town. This was presented as an ongoing process, whereas it looks to me as this is a done deal, with the railroads, once the lifebood of Carbondale, a negligable influence on the town since the 70s and probably earlier. For better or worse, the shift from the railroad as economic engine to the university took place decades ago. One interesting thing that came out of this discussion was that the original plans for SIUC did not call for on campus housing, instead preferring to house students off campus in apartments and boarding houses concentrated in the area between S. University and S. Poplar, a trend which, despite the presence now of oncampus housing, continues today and contributes to the run down nature of much housing within the area.

The committee also looked at possible areas for future growth. Carbondale's growth is really constrained by the huge amount of property owned by SIUC on the south side of the city and the foodplains and creeks on the east and west side, leaving only the north and infilling as viable areas for expansion. The city is looking at the area around New Era Road on the northwest outskirts of town as the major growth area over the next 5-15 years, though the trailer courts on S. Illinois and the area along S. Wall are also being looked at. There was also some concern expressed that the consultants working on the plan are not aware of the existance of the Green Earth organization and its green spaces within the city.

Finally, the committee looked at the main topics it wants the vision statement to cover. In no particular order, they are: housing, downtown, economy, walkability, education, open space preservation. The meeting closed with a short discussion of what the heck "smart growth" is, since we supposedly want it for the community.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blogging the Budget

These numbers are painful looking. From page 17 of the budget, the city expects $25 million in revenues coming into the governmental funds, and $32.6 million going out in fiscal '09-10. Proprietary funds (waterworks, parking, etc) anticipate revenues of $1.2 million and expenditures of $18 million, leaving a shortage of a hair over $7 million. There are some other financing sources for both and depreciation and pre-paid bond expenses to apply to the proprietary funds, but the net result is that the governmeal funds wind up $854824 short for this fiscal year and the propiretary funds are short $583,107.

Green Retreat

The rescheduled Green Retreat is this weekend:

Shawnee Energy Fest -June 27 & 28, 2009
(South of Murphysboro)
Over 30 workshops on energy efficiency and renewable energy for your home, local foods and organic gardens will be the focus of this festival. We hope to save you money, reduce our use of fossil fuels and introduce you to local resources. Workshops will include low-tech geothermal, solar, wind turbines, living off -the-grid, permaculture, solar hot water, local foods, green investing, greeing your business and much, much more!
In addition to educational workshops and vendor showcases, the weekend will feature speakers, tours of the Green Retreat, music, food, a kid’s activity tent, wine tasting, massages and a whole lot more! Save some $$ by purchasing tickets online: $7 per day or $10 for the entire weekend on the website with a credit card or PayPal. $8/ day at the gate, 12 years and under are admitted FREE.
This is a family-friendly event. The Kids Tent will have educational and fun activities, including the Energy Bike, Emriver River Model, PBS KIDS Literacy Van, Earth Rhythms and MORE hands-on activities. Children 12 years old and under are FREE and will be well supervised at the Kids Tent.
Parking will be at the SIU arena, with a shuttle provided to the venue every 15 minutes. There will be wine tasting, local BBQ, and other great food, plus bands to entertain you. The Energy Fest hours will be Saturday, 10 AM-6PM and Sunday, 10AM- 5 PM. Rich Whitney will give a keynote address on Saturday at 11 AM. An Earth Appreciation service will take place on Sunday at 11 AM
For more information, to reserve space for a commercial information booth, to conduct a workshop or for general information, contact Aur at tech@aessolar.com or 618-893-1717. More information and online ticket sales available at

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blogging the Budget

Pages 14-16 of the budget cover the time frame for development and approval. Looks like early last November, the final figures for 2008-2009 were entered into the Five Year Revenue Statements and that's the first step in developing the 2010 budget. After that, there're 2 and a half pages of target dates until May 5, when the Certificate of Anticipated Revenues and certified copy of the Budget Ordinance is filed with the County Clerk. That's about 5 months from start to finish, though it looks like most of the work on the 2010 budget starts about Jan 9th, with most of the time before that focused on finalizing info from 2008 and 2009.

Mayoral Succession

The DE looks at on Mayor Cole's aspirations to statewide office and local pundits' handicapping of the same. In the final paragraph, the DE says:

Cole was reelected to the office of mayor in 2007 for a four-year term that will expire in 2011. If he vacated his seat early in the event of a winning campaign, mayor pro tem Corene McDaniel would serve as acting mayor.

I was told this once before by someone and it's not quite correct. From my reading of the appropriate statues (and what I was told when I checked), if Mayor Cole resigns his office, the city council members then elect one of their number (maybe Corene McDaniel, maybe not) to serve as acting mayor until the 2012 election. The acting mayor would then select someone, with the advice and consent of the remaining council, to take their position on the council.

If Jack, Pohlman or Haynes were selected as acting mayor, their replacement would stand for election as normal in 2012. If one of the other three were chosen, a special election would be called in 2012, with the winner seving out the remaining two years of the term. Be that as it may, under state law, the mayor pro tiem does not automatically take the mayor's position if the mayor resigns.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Notes from Pickle's Alley

Drunken revelers back on campus.
Uh, Gov. Quinn, the budget needs to save everything. Whether it can or not is the question.
What a surprise. SIUC is getting looked at in the case of the "clout list".
James' account of his internship at the Mobile Press-Register might make for interesting reading but with small white font on black background, I'll never know.
Yep, DCFS cuts will hurt kids. All cuts will hurt somebody. Interesting discussion going on in the comments here with most people supporting their views through anecdotal evidence.
Darn, Carbondale isn't an All American City. Are we a partial American one, then?
Geez, more bicyclists through town. At least they stopped at Mary Lou's
Trains, trains and more trains.
It's nice that they're doing it but couldn't they find a house a little closer to SIUC?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blogging the Budget

Financial structure of the city is on page 11. All financial transactions by the city are accounted through the use of funds. C'dale has two categories of funds: Governmental and Proprietary.

I see 4 Governmental Funds:

General Fund- the general operating fund of the city. Most operating expenses are paid out of here.

Specific Revenue Funds- these hold moneys received from specific taxes or grants. Three of them: Motor Fuel Tax fund, Tax Increment Fund, Child Care Services Fund.

Debt Service Fund--this is where money is held to pay principal, interest and agent fees for city bonds.

Community Investment Funds--account for financial resources used for the acquisition or constructions of major capital facilities and infrastructure, not financed by legally restricted special revenue or proprietary funds. Currently only one the Local Improvement Fund.

The second category of fund is the:

Proprietary Funds--established to account for municipal activities funded by specific taxes and service fees. There are four of them:

--Waterworks and Sewage
--Parking System Operations
--Solid Waste Management
--Rental Properties

Notes from Pickle's Alley

Carbondale Iranians comment on what's happening in Iran.
Giant City Lodge is a great place for a vacation.
Southern Illinois Hawks win at soccer.
Blessed takes in a concert during the Southern Illinois Music Festival.
Plemon Financial Coaching answers your debt questions.

Eurma Hayes Child Care Center

As D. Gorton points out in the comments, based on past experience, there's no reason the council should not be able to come to a decision on the Eurma Hayes Center at its next meeting. Dragging out the decision will just drain more limited resources as whomever is studying it comes to a concclusion. Either decide to fund it or don't.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blogging the Budget

Some other interesting goals and objectives from the Strengthen and Promote Neighborhood Living section on pages 9-10:

--Maintain the integrity of residential neighborhoods though strict enforcements of occupancy limits
--Maintain a proactive approach to responding to neighborhood issues and concerns
--promote the community policing philosophy throughout the residential neighborhoods
--seek cooperation from property owners and tenants in the correction of code violations and aggressively prosecute those who fail to comply with the law
--increase awareness of and participation in Neighborhood Watch programs.

City Council Meeting

The meeting started at 7:37, after the Liquor Control Commission finished, with the swearing in of new C'dale Police Chief Jody O'Guinn.

Next was a brief public hearing on the vacation of the Wagner Street right of way on the north side of the city. One property owner spoke in favor of the vacation of the right of way.

Next, the consent agenda. As is usual, Councilman Fritzler pulled one of the warrants out for a separate vote and someone, Councilwoman Pohlman I think, wanted a separate vote on the Wagner Street right of way vacation. Councilman Fritzler wanted to ask about an expenditure of $396.11 to pay a security company to escort a city employee the three blocks to make the city's bank deposits, asking if it wouldn't be more cost effective, saving the city $5000 a year, to have a police officer escort the employee, rather than hiring a security guard? He also wanted to know about money spent on inflatable beach balls to promote the city's recycling efforts. Councilwoman Pohlman also asked about the beach balls and the mayor promised to look into if they were made out of recycled plastic. Both the warrant and the right of way passed.

Next up was the item generating the most discussion of the night, what wound up being a resolution denying a special use permit to put a couple of apartment units in an area zoned for professional/administrative use. The opposition to the re-zoning came from residents of Woodland Hills, the gated subdivision off West Striegal Road. From the look of the proposed map, the parking lot for the apartments would butt up against the fence surrounding Woodland Hills and the trees the developer proposed putting in to screen the subdivision from the lights and noise of the apartments wouldn't be big enough to to the job by several years.

The developer pointed out the property in question had been for sale for 14 years and his proposal met all fo the requirements the city had in place. The Woodland Hills residents countered that the development would mean increased traffic in the area and a decline in property values. The mayor noted he had held a meeting with Woodland Hills residents that only 7 had attended and, when Councilman Wissmann asked how many of the residents had attempted to discuss the situation with the developer, only one held up their hand, while the developer indicated he had attempted, at least, to contact residents, but with no luck. In the end, Councilmen Fritzler, Jack, Pohlman and McDaniels voted to deny the permit. A good thrid of the audience left after this vote.

The resolution authorizing city manger Gill to purchase property for a fire station on the west side of town passed pretty quickly and then it was on to the Eurma Hayes Child Care Center report, which points out that the center has really turned into a money pit over the last few years, with the city subsidizing it to the tune of $1 million since 2004. Among notable expenditures, the city replace the roof after the recent storms at a cost of $64,000 and remodeld the kitchen last year in a building only 50% (maybe 75%, they're not sure) of which is used. Currently there are 44 children using the center, down from a high of 150 in the early 90s, from 35 families, 13 of which don't even live in Carbondale. The city charges the Center no rent for the building, leaving the Center to seek outside funding for salaries and other expenditures. The state is a major source of funding but last year, the Center expected funding of $115,000 from the state and only received$67,000. Somehow, (I couldn't figure out quite how) the Center expects to receive $174,000 for 47 children for fiscal 2009-2010. The city manager proposed shutting down the facility on August 1st. The council will vote on the proposal at its July 21 meeting.

Councilman Haynes protested that was too short a time to give to a major decision such as this. I thought a month was about all the time the council gave to discussion about the Saluki Way tax (yeah, I still think that was a bad idea) and eliminating the Building and Neighborhood manager's position. Mayor Cole then launched into a good 5 minute speech about how the economy was bad at the national, state and local level and people needed to realize this and, if we didn't cut here, the city would have to cut someplace else. Meeting dismissed at 9:37

City Council Meeting

Ought to be a good turnout at tonight's city council meeting given that the Eurma Hayes Center is on the block again. The city is losing $71,000 next year on a child care facility that serves only 44 children from 35 families, with 13 of those families not even living in Carbondale. I guess the council expects quite a few people there as earlier today, I saw the walls were moved back to double the size of the meeting chamber.

Temporary New Business

John Beal Roofing has moved into the empty Merle Norman space next to Gold's Gym. From what the folks at the post office have told me, there are quite a few roofers and contractors that have rented post office boxes and set up temporary offices in town as a result of the storm damage. They've been telling the woman I spoke with they expect to be here at least a year before all the damage is repaired.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lionel Britton

This is interesting. Not only did SIUC have the papers of U. S. Grant, only to lose them, but for some reason the university currently houses the unpublished works of 1930's writer Lionel Britton.

No More Art Lovers

According to this post, Art Lovers Trading Company has closed up shop, leaving no private galleries remaining in Carbondale.

Suspect Sought

The C'd Police have identified Omar Blythe a suspect in the $20 thefts on the north side of town. Naturally, they already have a mugshot on file.

Notes from Pickle's Alley

Women's flag football at SIUC.
Future GEN is baaaaack.
Ted left Carbondale last Friday.
Flag Day in Carbondale.
This is timely, now that Future GEN is baaaaack.
Congratulations to Lizette R. Chevalier
Dang, more bicyclists blogging about coming to Carbondale.
Wow, $11,000 raised for Bald Knob Cross.

Burke Branch Winderness Designation

The Shawnee Chapter of the Sierra Club is looking for people to help conduct a survey of the Burke Branch area:

Wilderness Survey – Can you Help?

One of the main obstacles to moving forward with our longstanding Wilderness proposal for Burke Branch is the Forest Service insistence that the area doesn’t qualify for Wilderness designation because it contains too many roads and too many pines. We dispute the validity of these claims, but we need documentation to prove that Burke Branch not only qualifies as Wilderness, but deserves to be protected as such.

To that end the Illinois Chapter Shawnee Wilderness Campaign is organizing a one-day photo documentation survey of this huge, 6000+ acre area, which is located in far southeastern Illinois. To cover this ground and accomplish the task in one day we need a cadre of strong hikers with digital cameras.

The survey will take place on Monday, June 29 beginning at 8 a.m. Specific logistics will be determined after we know how many people we have participating. To sign up for this unique opportunity to help out the Wilderness Campaign please contact Barb McKasson at 618-529-4824 as soon as possible. (You may also contact Terri Treacy at terri.treacy@sierraclub.org, but she will not be able to respond until June 23). For those of you traveling a distance also let Barb know if you will need a place to camp or lodging recommendations.

Want More Wine?

The Bucky's Dome folks are hosting a fundraiser at Orlandini Vineyard this Sunday:

The R. Buckminster Fuller Dome Home Non-Profit [RBF Dome NFP, www.BuckysDome.org] is proud to announce its 2nd Annual Orlandini Vineyard Benefit to support restoration efforts of the R. Buckminster & Anne Hewlett Fuller Dome Home (located at 407 S. Forest in Carbondale, IL) scheduled for Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21st, 2009 from noon to 6 pm. Orlandini Vineyard is located at 410 Thorn Lane in Makanda, just 1.3 miles south of Blue Sky Vineyard, off of Rocky Comfort Road. You can reach Orlandini Vineyard at 618.995.2307 (www.orlandinivineyard.com). Make sure to bring your own lawnchairs!

The event will include both silent and live auctions featuring a variety of interesting premiums (the later conducted by Joe Baker, Manager of the Adolescent Health Center), a 50/50 raffle, food will be available from Pomona’s own Mase’s Place (www.myspace.com/masesplacebarandgrill), and entertainment will be provided by the blues stylings of The Ivas John Band (http://ivasjohn.com/press_kit.php), with opening act folk/country artist Candy Davis (of Parsley & Sagebrush Band, www.myspace.com/parsleysagebrushband). Of course the event will also feature a fine variety of hand-tended vintages from the Orlandini Vineyard, which novices and connoisseurs have been enjoying ever since 2001.

The first annual Orlandini Vineyard Benefit, which took place last summer and drew more than 300 supporters, was organized RBF Dome NFP Board Members Bill Perk and Cornelius Crane, and local Fuller aficianado Dr. Linda Hostalek of Holistic Healing Arts (www.FeelGoodDoc.net). Organizers of this year’s event are expecting more than 500 to attend the festivities this Father’s Day.

The recommended donation for the event is $10, and all fundraising proceeds go towards the restoration of the R. Buckminster and Anne Hewlett Fuller Dome Home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The RBF Dome NFP recently completed a $200,000 Save America’s Treasures restoration grant proposal, and will soon be applying for National Historic Landmark status. There are currently only three National Historic Landmarks in Southern Illinois, and none in Jackson County.

Experts from Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and regional tourist agencies have estimated that conservatively speaking, a restored Buckminster Fuller Dome Home will initially bring in somewhere between 15,000 and 25,000 visitors or tourists per year to Carbondale to see the historic site. According to the Southern Illinois Tourism Development Office, the average tourist visits for about two and one third days, and spends an average of $306 during their visit. This means that a restored Buckminster Fuller Dome Home would inject somewhere in the neighborhood of an additional $4.6 to $7.6 million into the local economy initially per year. In terms of tax revenue this would mean an additional $110,000 to $180,000 to the City of Carbondale each year, and an estimated net increase of 50 to 70 jobs to accommodate the increased need for services. This is money that will very much be spread throughout the community, especially among hotels, restaurants, retail and other points of interest and cultural attractions. As marketing of this historic site grows and word of mouth spreads, Carbondale will be looking at an additional influx of $100 million over a 10 to 12 year period.

Making the restoration of R. Buckminster and Anne Fuller’s Dome Home at 407 S. Forest Ave. a priority for the City of Carbondale and the entire region is a necessity of the highest order, it is a total “no-brainer.” It is an opportunity to more fully embrace and share a unique cultural and intellectual heritage that belongs to Carbondale alone, while engaging in a tremendous economic development project that will have an immediate and sustained Return On Investment for Carbondale and area residents and businesses alike for decades to come.

Thanks. Please address any questions to...

Brent Ritzel
President, RBF Dome NFP
618.203.4844 - cell phone
407 S. Forest Ave., Carbondale, IL 62901

Friday, June 12, 2009

Notes from Pickle's Alley

Ron Hines retiring from SEMO after 29 years.
Green scholarships coming to SIUC.
So are funding woes.
Couple of small thefts on the north side Tuesday.
Saturn of Carbondale has 3 (count 'em 3) cars left.
Tony Shaw reminisces about his time in C'dale.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Notes from Pickle's Alley

Guess it's a good idea to bring a knife to a golf club fight.
Where have all the nurses gone, long time passing?
Remember, Illinois is Chicago and downstate.
More Southern Illinois students LEADing.
Bicyclists, they're everywhere, they're everywhere (Nice pics of downtown, too).

Blogging the Budget

Some interesting goals and objectives in the budget. Some that stand out are:

1. Expand the City's boundaries and jurisdiction in an orderly manner while maintaining quality services.
2. Support transportation improvements that will improve access to and from the community and properly channel traffic through the City.
3. Develop and maintain a comprehensive bicycle trail network in the community.
4. Provide customer service training to all City employees.
5. Transition the City's vehicular fleet to energy efficient vehicles.
6. Acquire energy efficient equipment for City facilities and operations.
7. Encourage and attend neighborhood meetings to serve as a source of information and provide more community outreach.
8. Seek cooperation from property owners and tenants in the correction of code violations and aggressively prosecute those who fail to comply with the law.
9. Maintain the integrity of residential neighborhoods through strict enforcement of occupancy limits.
10. Promote the concept of citizens helping themselves and each other rather than relying entirely on City government.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Notes from Pickle's Alley

Lots of people honored at SIUC.
Digital TV is still coming.
Stix, Clai's and Callahan's may change hands.
Maggie weighs in on the decline in enrollment at SIUC.
More bicyclists passing through town.
Tom Burtonwood gives us a look at his studio, circa 1999.

Blogging the Budget

Pages 5-10 cover community goals. The budget addresses four main goal, with a heck of a lot of subgoals and objectives under each one. Hopefully the city will get the final revised budget up on line sometime as I really don't want to type them all out. The four main goals of the city are

1. Promote economic development and community growth
2. Provide quality services with fiscal responsibility
3. Encourage citizen participation and community pride
4. Strengthen and promot neighborhood living (which interestingly does emphasize the importance of the Building an dNeighborhood Services Division to achieving this goal. Gonna be intersting to see how well it achieves that one when it doesn't have a Buidling and Neighborhood Services director anymore.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blogging the Budget

Pages 2-3 show the organizational and departmental services charts. Since this was produced before the recent changes to the budget, Building and Neighborhood Services still exists as a separate department. Be interesting to see if it says independent or is combined with Planning Services or Development Management in the revised budget.

Notes from Pickle's Alley

SIUC'sAutism Disorder Center needs funding or it may close.
Kids learn about animals at Touch of Nature.
In case WSIU woudl let you forget, their Fantasy Auction is this weekend.
SIUC awards more scholarships
Some tornadoes in the area last night, not sure how many (3.5" of rain at my house)
The Varsity Theater is up for an All American City award.
Budget cuts could hurt regional services (Well duh!)
Third suspect in custody.
Flag Day ceremonies planned for both C'dale and Murphysboro.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Notes from Pickle's Alley

$9,063 dollars in stimulus money to SIUC.
Saturn of Carbondale closing about June 19th.
The Sunset Concerts are coming, the Sunset Concerts are coming.
Tom Kane has an exhibit in the Civic Center. Took a look at it this morning. Nice work.

Strawberry Fields

Stopped off at Blueberry Hill by Cobden this morning to pick up more strawberries. The manager on duty told me this would be the last week for strawberries there and he actually expects to be out by Wednesday.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Notes from Pickle's Alley

SIUC is seeking a coordinator of athletic equiptment and facilities.
About a thousand people sampled wine and art last Friday night.
Man bites police officer (because man bites dog has been so overused).
Here're some pictures from the Downtown Art and Wine Festival.
Local Muslims liked Obama's speech. No idea what other locals thought of it.
A couple of people like SIUC's music program.
Mayor Cole seeking something at the state level. He apparently has no idea what though.
More bicyclists coming through Carbondale.
Guess I'm too tired to understand this 'casue it makes no sense to me. Nice postcard though.

Cleaning Up

Want to go into the laundry business? Laundry World at the corner of College and University has a "For Rent" sing in front of it, saying the owner will gladly remodel it to whatever suits your needs, be it retal, office or medical. Guess the laundry business isn't doing as well as it was.

Also, SI Wireless has moved into the Capps Law Firm building on East Grand Ave.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Notes from Pickle's Alley

SIUC MBA and MA programs go online.
Young Writers Workshop comes to campus later this month.
The 'skeeters are coming, the 'skeeters are coming.
In response to student demand (?), Krispy Kremes are now at the Student Center.
Clifford Liddell held on drug charges.
If you have a STD, safelabcentre.com is now here for you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Royal Plaza Inn

Interesting side story arising from the Oluwatofunmi Kaiyewu story. Kaiyewu had been a medical student at Windsor University Medical School at St. Kitts in the West Indies. Students who fail courses at the main campus are sent to Royal USMLE courses taught at contract schools in the US to retake those classes. One of these courses is taught at 2400 West Main St. in Carbondale, which coicidentally is the Royal Plaza Inn. According to this, the Royal Plaza no longer rents rooms to the public but serves solely as a dormitory for students from Windsor and is either an extremely fine hotel or slowly falling apart.

Notes From Pickle's Alley

A lot of southern Illinois infrastructure projects are on hold until the budget gets worked out.
The C'dale Public Library is offering assistance with converting your TV to digital.
Support groups for Mom in southern Illinois.
Downtown Art and Wine Fair this Friday night (assuming it doesn't storm again).
Cross country bicyclists pass through Carbondale.
Energy-related events in the area for June, both of them.
WSIU keeps flogging the Fantasy Auction.
Oluwatofunmi Kaiyewu had mental health problems and was often absent from his SIUC classes.

Blogging the Budget

Working my way from page 1 to page 274. Page one is a short history of Carbondale with the main focus on the community's economic development, the importance of the railroad in the early years and the ever increasing importance of SIUC, which currently, according to the budget, employs about 40% of Carbondale's labor force.

Quick Work

Looks like the C'dale police have arrested some suspects already in last Thursday's spate of robberies. An arrest has also been made in last Friday's attempted robbery of the Stake & Shake.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Blogging the Budget

This is interesting. On page 5, under objectives of the budget, there are only 2 organizations specifically named to get support from the city in the budget. Objective 10 is Support the Main Street Program for Downtown and Objective 15 reads Provide resources to support the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale. No mention of the Hayes Center, Chamber of Commerce or Conv3ention and Tourism Bureau. Give the amount of money allocated to the Convention and Tourism Bureau, you'd think it would be listed on there but the closest thing is Objective 6: Encourage development of tourism related destination facilities.