Friday, October 30, 2009

Old Town Closed for Halloween?

It doesn't say in the story, just that Stix, Sidetracks and Gatsby's will be closed. I assume it will be since it has in the past but will check just to make sure. I understand that Fat Patties will close early as well. Lance Jack says he doesn't expect enough sales without the bar traffic to justify staying open later in the evening.

Update: Apparently the bar closing doesn't extend to liquor sales anymore as Old Town Liquors was open and doing a brisk business around 9:30 this evening.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Haunted Carbondale--Halloween Walk

Being as it's that time of the year, there will be a walking tour of haunted spots in downtown Carbondale, lead by yours truly, leaving Hallowe'en night from Castle Perilous shortly after the day long festivities end here at 9 p.m. Spots we'll be passing and talking about include the old train depot, the Johnson House, Hundley House, the old post office, and the Rain House. The walk will take about a hour. Cost is $5, $2 for kids, with the money going to the Jackson County Humane Society and be sure to dress for the weather. Of course, if it's raining, the walk is canceled unless people show up who really want to do it and have umbrellas.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Tips

The Carbondale Police Department sends out these tips:

The City of Carbondale Police Department wants to wish all children a safe and happy Halloween. In order to make Halloween safe and pleasant for everyone, we would like to offer the following Halloween safety recommendations.

- Wear light-colored clothing short enough to prevent tripping and add reflectors.
- Paint faces or make sure your children can see and breath well through face masks.
- Do not trick or treat alone and young children should be accompanied by an adult.
- If you are going to be out during hours of darkness, take a flashlight.
- Stay within the neighborhood and only visit homes you know and which have their porch lights on.
- Walk on the sidewalk and watch for vehicle traffic when crossing the street.
- Only give or accept wrapped or packaged candy.
- Examine all candy before allowing children to eat it.
- Children, do not accept rides from strangers.

volunteers wearing orange safety vests and driving vehicles bearing the "Pumpkin Patrol" logo will be patrolling areas of our community where kids go to "trick or treat". Although we strongly encourage adults to accompany children, the volunteers will identify potential hazards to children and provide a place where children can turn to if they feel threatened. If you have any questions please contact Officer Randy Mathis at 457-3200 ext. 428.

Sales Tax vs. Property Tax

The Southern's headline isn't quite right, since this is more a discussion than a debate. With the city facing a $5.8 million deficit over the next two years, something will have to happen. Either we raise more money or cut more costs. Cutting costs means someone's ox will be gored and those affected will point out how important the program to be cut is to the welfare of the community. Raising the sales tax should be hard since the council just put through the Saluki Way tax increase last year and I doubt they can find much support for another increase on top of it. Raising property taxes is another possibility and one the city manger has advanced as a means of closing the gap. I don't think this option would get much support from Mayor Cole as a good part of his mayoral campaigns rested on his leadership in the elimination of the C'dale property tax and it certianly wouldn't be politcally opportune for the re-instatement of the tax at a time when he is seeking statewide office.

Haunted Carbondale--Oakland Cemetery

Oakland Cemetery is located at the northern end of North Oakland Ave. and hosts at least one other abnormality besides the ghost lights mentioned earlier. There are two mausoleums in the cometary. It's the one closer to the eastern edge of the cemetery that behaves more unusually. Normally securely locked, people sporadically report finding it unlocked. I've never been lucky enough to find it unlatched when I've visited the cemetery but other people certainly find the mausoleum interesting. On several occasions, I've found half burned candles on the step in front of the door.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Graduate School Mess

How do you go about losing someone's doctoral degree? 'course, there's also the question if Turpin got her diploma from SIUC? IF she didn't, why didn't she keep after the grad school until it showed up?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

30 years for camera

Carbondale resident Abdullah Ali will be spending about 30 years in prison for stealing a digital camera from a C'dale residence last May. Apparently the length of the sentence was not so much for the crime itself as the fact that his record of convictions pushed him into a higher sentancing bracket.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Carbondale Crime Map

Courtesy of the industrious Jane Adams, here's a map of reported crimes in the 'dale from the first of September to Oct 23.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Haunted Carbondale--CMS Offices

The offices of Carbondale Main Street and the C'dale Chamber of Commerce were at one time the train depot for the community. Sometimes, especially on late summer afternoons, the shades of long ago passengers will walk through the offices to wait on the platform for a train that arrived decades ago. One staffer, who no longer works there, said they saw the figures infrequently and that the figures never seem to notice the living occupants or that the building was no longer a train depot.

Unemployment Map

According to this map, Illinois is at the low end of states with high unemployment. We're doing about as well as most of the states in the southeast and way better than the states with high unemployment out west. Nowhere neare as good as the states in the Great Plains, though.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

City Council Meeting

Got to last night's city council meeting about 8:40 so mist the citizen comments section of the meeting. According to Councilman Joel Fritzler, most all of the comments were from local landlords protesting the proposed text amendment requiring the movement of 21 mobile homes from areas where they were not in compliance with the local zoning, with local resident D. Gorton the only person speaking in favor of the amendment.

Fritzler was in the middle of a somewhat lengthy statement when I arrived, discussing how he has visited the locations of all 21 homes and how some were in very good condition and some in poor and how maybe we ought to look at the specifics of each location rather than lumping them all together. He also pointed out that when the council last visited the topic, there were 17 homes in non-compliance and 10 of them were no longer there. This means we've found 14 more not in compliance that were overlooked 5 years ago.

Councilman Haynes also spoke on the amendment, mainly in generalities about how the council needed to look at both sides of the matter.

The mayor then asked if anyone on council wished to offer an motion. After some dithering by council members, Lance Jack offered one specifying the removal of the units within 48 months with a payment of $1000 by the city to the owner of homes moved by Jan. 2011. The motion died for lack of a second. Chris Wissmann then commented he could have supported Jack's motion, if the payment date had been 6 months earlier, June 2010, which got me wondering why he didn't second the motion then move to amend.

Mayor Cole then called the city's lawyer to the podium for some questioning. No, under the law this is not considered a taking of property. Yes, Illinois courts have held that cities are within the law in enacting and enforcing ordinances such as this. I did notice several times the mayor employed the questioning technique of, after someone has answered a question, just sitting there and staring at them, saying nothing. Invariably, the questionee will feel compelled to add onto or expand on their answer and the city's lawyer did that several times.

Finally, when no council member would move anything so they could tack action, Mayor Cole, with council's agreement, sent the amendment back to city staff, with the directive to add more specifics to it, including whether there should be an extended cutoff date by which the mobile homes had to be moved and whether some sort of compensation should be paid by the city to the owners. Cole then closed the meeting at 9:14.

John Cage Performance

Just received the following email from WDBX radio show host DaveX

John Cage Composition To Receive World Premiere Performance at SIUC

Southern Illinois resident and sound artist DaveX will perform the world premiere of "KNOBS" by John Cage this November 18, at 7:45 p.m., in the SIUC Student Center Auditorium. The performance will be part of "All Together Now," a three-day inter-arts event beginning the same evening.

"KNOBS," a 1971 composition by John Cage and former University of Illinois faculty member Lejaren Hiller; is a highly unique work scored for a recording of an earlier Cage/Hiller composition "HPSCHD" and stereo equipment. As was often the case with Cage's works, the score was generated through random means-- for "KNOBS," Cage and Hiller utilized the State University of New York at Buffalo's (then) state-of-the-art CDC-6400 mainframe, resulting in ten thousand unique and separate score printouts originally included in the LP release of "HPSCHD."

To date, none of these 10,000 scores have been publicly performed.

"After discovering an intact copy of the score in a used LP, I started trying to find out if it had ever been presented," DaveX said. "I was amazed to learn that it hadn't, especially after 38 years!"

"HPSCHD," a recording of which takes center stage in the performance of "KNOBS," is widely-acknowledged as one of Cage's most ambitious works. At its premiere performance in 1969 at the Assembly Hall of Urbana Campus, University of Illinois; "HPSCHD" featured seven harpsichordists, 208 computer-generated tapes, 52 projectors, 64 slide projectors with 6400 slides, 8 movie projectors with 40 movies, a 340 foot circular screen and several 11x40 foot rectangular screens. The performance lasted over five hours, with thousands of persons in attendance.

"These two composers were pioneers," DaveX said. "Cage introduced chance processes in composition, and Hiller helped create one of the first pieces of computer music. Hopefully, this performance will give Southern Illinois a nice introduction to them both."

"KNOBS" starts at 7:45 p.m., November 18, in the SIUC Student Center Auditorium. Admission is free.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Musical Heritage

Interesting display of southern Illinois musical heritage in the Carbondale Civic Center, with panels focusing on French music of the area during the 1700's, the "chitlin' circuit", and Benton native and Grand Old Opry member Billy Grammer, among other topics. Not sure how long the display will remain or who's responsible for it, but taking a stroll through is certainly worth 10-15 minutes of your time.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Roland Burris Email

Senator Burris is still acting as if he won't be out of office in less than two years. Witness this email:

As Congress debates contentious issues such as health care reform, climate change, and our continued economic recovery, it is more important than ever to keep in touch so that I can faithfully serve your needs in Washington.
To that end, I will be providing details of my legislative efforts in periodic e-newsletters, such as this one. I will also be launching a new website, where you will find information about specific legislation, services my office can provide, and the issues you care about most. In a few weeks, you'll be able to visit to explore my redesigned online office.

In this edition of my e-newsletter, I would like to address the ongoing national debate over health care reform.
As many of us know all too well, health care costs are spiraling out of control.
I believe Illinoisans deserve better. That's why we need a public option as part of our health care plan. It's time to restore choice and accountability to the insurance market.
A public option would save billions of dollars a year, stop companies from denying coverage to those who need it most, and reduce the burden on American businesses and families. This would improve health outcomes and make quality care more affordable for everyone.
A public option would not result in rationed care or "death panels" of any description. It would not force anyone to change their doctor and would not provide benefits to illegal immigrants. As your Senator, I refuse to vote for any measure that would change our system in this way. But I also refuse to vote for anything less than the real, meaningful reform a public option would provide.
I look forward to hearing from you as we all continue to work towards a brighter future for Illinois. It is an honor to serve as your United States Senator. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas with me.


Roland W. Burris

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Crime Rates

According to the Neighborhood Scout website, Carbondale is one of the least safe cities in America with a 1 in 213 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime (actually less of a chance than state wide) and a whopping 1 in 13 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime (Likelihood in the state: 1 in 31). The site's overall rating for the city: 3 out of 100, meaning that 97% of the cities in the US are safer than Carbondale. From the site:

With a crime rate of 84 per one thousand residents, Carbondale has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes - from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One's chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 12. Within Illinois, more than 90% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Carbondale.

Separately, it is always interesting and important to compare a city's crime rate with those of similarly sized communities - a fair comparison as larger cities tend to have more crime. NeighborhoodScout has done just that. With a population of 20,700, Carbondale has a combined rate of violent and property crime that is very high compared to other places of similar population size. Regardless of whether Carbondale does well or poorly compared to all other cities and towns in the US of all sizes, compared to places with a similar population, it fares badly. Few other communities of this size have a crime rate as high as Carbondale.

The crime data that NeighborhoodScout used for this analysis are the seven offenses from the uniform crime reports, collected by the FBI from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies, and include both violent and property crimes, combined.

Now let us turn to take a look at how Carbondale does for violent crimes specifically, and then how it does for property crimes. This is important because the overall crime rate can be further illuminated by understanding if violent crime or property crimes (or both) are the major contributors to the general rate of crime in Carbondale.

From our analysis, we discovered that violent crime in Carbondale occurs at a rate higher than in most communities of all population sizes in America. The chance that a person will become a victim of a violent crime in Carbondale – such as armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape or murder – is 1 in 213. This equates to a rate of 5 per one thousand inhabitants.

In addition, NeighborhoodScout found that a lot of the crime that takes place in Carbondale is property crime. Property crimes that are tracked for this analysis are burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In Carbondale, your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is one in 13, which is a rate of 79 per one thousand population.

Wow. And this is from a website people research to find out info about communities before deciding to move there.

New Basketball Recruit

Is it that good of an idea, given the problems C'dale is having with crime for SIUC to immediately recruit a player who got let go from his last team for admitting to burglary?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Haunted Carbondale--I24 Exit

The interchange where I24 exits I 57 and looks back over 57 is haunted by one of the myriad ghostly hitchhikers populating the country's roadways. This is an abnormal case as, unlike the norm, this hitcher is male, wearing jeans, and carrying some sort of pack. Also unlike the norm, he never gets into the car, just vanishes when you see him, your lights hit him, or you stop for him.

MAP Grants Approved

Like there was ever really any doubt. The vote was unanimous in the House and only one senator cast a vote against it. 'course, the question now is, where does the money come from since there was no source of the funds included in the bill. Maybe magic funding faeries?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween in C'dale

It's been over a decade since Halloween in C'dale was pretty much killed off but students up in Champaign Urbana are still talking about coming down here for the party.

More SIUC Facilities Lacking

According to a grad student in the school of Architecture, Quigley Hall sorely lacks facilities for architecture students. I taught in Quigley during the late 90s and remember it wasn't a particularly accommodating building for students (or faculty) then and doubt if the facilities have improved much in the ensuing years. I also doubt if remodeling Quigley is very high on SIUC's list of priorities

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ISAC Hearing Video

Channel 12 has video of yesterday's ISAC testimony at SIUC regarding the loss of MAP grants, including a short interview with President Poshard regarding Mayor Cole's offer to redirect the Saluki way sales tax and the reasoning behind Poshard's declining the offer.

Given how much press has been devoted to the loss of the grants, the video shows very few students showing up to testify and what looks like their last opportunity to get their stories before the Commission.

Update: WSIL has their story about the same event here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Haunted Carbondale--Railroad Lights

Running late on the round up of haunted places in C'dale and southern Illinois but better late than never.

There are at least three sets of spook lights associated with railroad tracks in the Carbondale area. The one closest to town is along the abandoned railroad bed that runs along the northern edge of Oakland Cemetery, located at the north end of Oakland Ave. I've heard stories of people reporting occasional lights along there infrequently since the 1970s.

A second spot to try to catch a railroad spook light is along the tracks running though Makanda south. This one has a story attached to it about a railroad conductor/engineer, who when the train he was on stopped on the tracks, frantically waved his lantern to alert an oncoming train. Unfortunately, the oncoming train didn't halt in time, smashing into the stoppd one. However the engineer/conductor's heroic actions caused it to slow down enough that only he was killed in the accident. Needless to say, this is a common motif found in railroad ghost light stories.

The third light has been reported floating along the tracks running through the Boskydell area. No particular story attatched to this one that I've heard, except that it's supposed to be bad luck to see them. The lights in all three locations appear infrequently, glow yellow or white and float 3-6 feet above the tracks.

Saluki Way Letters

According to an exchange of letters retrieved by D. Gorton through a FOI request, Mayor Cole sent a letter to SIUC Pres. Poshard on Sept 28 offering to amend the city's agreement agreement with the university regarding the Saluki Way tax. Mayor Cole's letter says that due to the possible loss of funding for MAP grands, if Pres. Poshard wishes, the mayor will approach city council about amending the contract to allow the money from the Saluki Way tax to go towards offsetting the lost grants.

President Posahrd's response, two days later (Spet 30) declines the offer for two reasons. First, he expects the state to reinstate MAP grand funding and second, the money from the sales tax enabled the universty to sell bonds funding Saluki Way and "any changing in the intergovernmental agreement would, in all likelihood, affect the University's ability to pay for those bonds."

This works out very well for Mayor Cole. For the people who support the tax going to Saluki Way, it's still in place. For those who want it changed, it's now a matter of record that he approached the university about changing it and it's now President Poshard's doing that the tax still goes to fund Saluki Way, and President Poshard has shown in the past he has enough support at the unversity and state level to weather any criticism he might receive as a result of this.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Homecoming Detour

Tomorrow is SIUC's Homecoming, so it looks like most of downtown from Walnut South will be closed from 9 a.m. until after the parade is over.

Crime Roundup

The boys and girls have been busy this week.

Residential burglary on East Sycamore.
Residential burglary on S. Beveridge
Armed robbery on South Washington
Residential burglary on West College.
Arrest for use of a stolen credit card.
Property recovered from July burglary.
Property damage on East Grand
Auto burglary on S. Forest.
Residential burglary on North University.
Property damage on South Ash.
Arrests in East College burglary.

New Busiess

Inner City Merchant on East Oak. Inspiring story too.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Planning Commission Meeting

Sat in on last night's Planning Commission meeting, which had only one item on the agenda: a vote on a text amendment requiring the removal of certain non-conforming mobile homes from their current sites. If I recall correctly, there are 21 mobile homes that would be affected if the amendment is adopted. The majority of the structures are in violation because they are located next to or behind houses in areas not zoned for multiple residents on a property. These were put in during the housing shortage of the late 60s, prior to the adoption of the zoning ordinance in the mid-70s and were grandfathered in. However this does make them 35-40 years and most mobile homes don't bear the ravages to time well.

Notices of the meeting had gone out to owners of the affected buildings and about 10 people showed up to speak. One woman spoke in favor of the ordinance, since she lived across the street from one of the homes. She said she had been told by Councilman Chris Wissmannn the structure would be moved, but instead new tenants had moved into it. she hope the new amendment would cause the owner to move it as she viewed it as a blight on the neighborhood.

The other attendees all spoke against the amendment. Most appeared to be landlords or their representatives, arguing that the amendment would imposed undue economic hardship on them, as they would lose the rental income from the property until they could relocate it and would have to bear the costs of moving the buildings. They also advanced the argument that the amendment represented an unfair taking of their property by the city without compensation and asked if the city was prepared to compensate them for the costs of moving or loss of rental income.

The only other argument offered was from one woman whose son had lived in the mobile home behind her house for 22 years with a tree growing up over it, making it impossible to move the home without cutting down the tree.

After listening to everyone's statements, three or four times in some cases, the commission voted 4-2, with one abstention by a member who had a financial interest in rental properties in the city, to approve the amendment and pass it along to the city council for a vote at the next meeting.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hazardous Waste Collections

Courtesy of the Sierra Club Shawnee Group:


A free household chemical collection will be held at Southern Illinois
Airport near Carbondale on Saturday, October 17. This collection
program helps residents safely dispose of old and unwanted household
chemicals. Residents can drop off waste at the site on the date of the
event between 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. only.

Items to be accepted at the collection include: paint, paint thinner,
aerosols, household cleaners, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides,
motor oil, antifreeze, old gasoline, batteries of all types, solvents,
polishes, pool chemicals, and lawn chemicals. Also accepted will be
unwanted or outdated medications, both prescription and
over-the-counter. These items should be brought in their original
container, but you may black out all personal information other than the
drug name. Do not bring in controlled substances, needles, syringes or

Citizens are especially encouraged to bring in mercury-containing
devices, such as thermometers, thermostats, and compact fluorescent
bulbs. Mercury is a silver, liquid element that can be harmful to human
health and the environment when such devices are broken or disposed of
in landfills.

Items which will absolutely not be accepted at the collection include:
explosives, ammunition, fireworks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors,
propane tanks, farm machinery oil, electronics, appliances, tires,
radioactive material, and medical waste. No business, industrial,
agricultural or government wastes will be accepted. Eligible
participants wishing to dispose of materials in containers larger than
five gallons should contact Jackson County Health Dept. prior to the

This rain or shine, one-day collection is open to all Illinois
residents. The event is being sponsored by Jackson County Health Dept.
and the Jackson County Board. To get to the collection, from Illinois
Route 13 west of Carbondale, take Airport Road north and follow the

Please contact Jackson County Health Department at 684-3143, ext. 128
for more information, or visit
<>; .

Council Meeting

Didn't make the city council meeting last night but it appears most of the controversy was over the proposed cutting of the community relations officer's position.

The council also approved the replacement of the Mugsy McGuire's building on the west side with a new Walgreen's and denied (again) William Hamilton's rezoning request along Black Diamond Drive. Funny, the article says city planners approved the project but, at the last planning commission meeting, the city planners spoke against it and the planning commission voted against the rezoning.


Robert Lash, 24 is wanted in connection with three counts of 1st degree murder in Mt. Vernon. Police reports say he may be in the Centralia or Carbondale area, possibly driving a maroon 1981 Oldsmobile couple.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blue Martin

Looks like Fusion has fully made the transition to The Blue Martin, as there is much more signage with The Blue Martin on the building than there ever was for Fusion. Guess Fusion was going for the understated look.

Want a House?

Civic organization Hannah House is raffling off chances to win a house, flat screen TV or $1500 cash to raise money to keep the organization funded. The drawing is just in time fro Christmas, December 24.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Team Brad

Brad Cole has racked up a number of endorsements in his quest for Lieutenant Governor. For the most part, they look like mayors and GOP chairs from this region. He's going to need to build much more statewide support if his candidacy is going to succeed.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sales Tax Agreement

Apparently the agreement between the city and SIUC regarding the increase in the sales tax is not as set in stone as was believed. D. Gorton found a revised agreement between the city and university dated April 15 of this year, signed by Mayor Cole, Chancellor Goldman and President Poshard, with at least three changes in it.

In the original agreement, Section 3-A-2 gave the city "naming and advertising rights for the renovated Arena." This section is no longer in the April 15 document. I asked Councilman Chris Wissmann what he thought of this and he wasn't particularly concerned, saying he felt people would complain no matter what the city named the Arena. There would be complaints if we named it to honor somebody and didn't get money out of it and complaints if we sold the rights, with the naysayers saying we should have taken the opportunity to honor someone instead.

Section 2 of the agreeement has been extensively rewritten to more closely define what the university is doing with the funds, i.e. paying interest or principal on tax exempt or tax credit bonds or obligations and (quote) "In the event the University notifies the City of an examination of its bonds or obligations by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America, the City will cooperate with the University in defending such examination." (unquote)

Finally, Section 10 originally said that the city was still obligated to make its annual payment, even if the 1/4% sales tax is repealed or there is(quote) "a change to State law or andministrative regulations which modifies the manner in which the Home Rule Sales Tax is collected or paid or the base upon which it is levied." (unquote)

When he emailed Mayor Cole about the changes to the contract, D. Gorton received the following email in reply:


Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 10:53 AM
To: Duane Stucky
Subject: Saluki Way Contract

There have been some questions recently about why the original Saluki Way contract was revised, which was done at the University's request to meet bond counsel concerns..... can you please provide me with clarification that I can share with the City Council and others? Thank you.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 12:20 PM
Subject: Saluki Way Contract

The three primary reasons that bond counsel requested changes to the original agreement are:

1) Language in the agreement did not accurately describe the amount of revenue the City agreed to allocate to the University.
2) Language was desired to determine how the City would accumulate revenue so IRS tax-exempt rules would not be violated.
3) The inclusion of naming rights could lead to private use issues and impair the tax-exempt status of the bonds.

Items 1 and 2 were addressed by a number of suggested changes in Section 2A. Item 3 was addressed by a suggested change in Section 3A.

Other less significant changes were proposed. Changes were suggested in Section 3B and Section 17 to ensure full disclosure of the University's intent to use the revenue to finance bonds, and minor language changes were suggested in Section 3C and Section 7.

As a footnote, I would add that the University ultimately chose to issue Taxable Build America Bonds. These bonds must comply with the same requirements as tax-exempt bonds.

Duane Stucky
Senior Vice President for Financial and Administrative
Affairs and Board Treasurer
Southern Illinois University
Office of the President
Phone: 618-536-3475
Fax: 618-536-3404

Crime (with pictures)

C'dale Police report the theft of a debt card, along with other stuff and are looking for the two gentlemen pictured here as they entered the Circle K just about the time the stolen debit card was used.

Kopies n' More

Looks like there's work being done on the old Kopies n' More location on S. Illinois. There's a plywood screen covering the view of front end of the building.