Monday, September 30, 2013

Neighborhood Watch Meeting

The Police Department will have a meeting to talk more about the Neighborhood Watch program on Tuesday October 1 at the Civic Center.  If I recall rightly, Carbondale had a Neighborhood Watch program at one time but it has seen little activity over the past several years.

While revitalizing the Neighborhood Watch program is a good idea, I would hope they combine it with some form of foot patrol in the downtown and Poplar Street areas.  From what I heard over the weekend, there were at least three robberies on Poplar Street last Saturday night and there have been several others in months prior. 

According to the column linked above, foot patrols historically have had little impact on crime but that appears to have changed with increased community stratification.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Attitude Designs Reopening

Thought I guess technically it never closed but now, it appears that Attitude Designs will not even close temporarily as previously announced.  From comments:

Ok, so services were not so limited in September. The good news is it  (Attitude Designs) is not closing.
There is a new owner and a familiar one.
Good news for Downtown Carbondale and Southern Illinois

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Three card wreck on West Main, just west of Illinois.  From what I could tell, the grey car on the left stopped in the middle of the road, not sure of the reason. The SUV was following too close behind to stop in time and the third car, damaged the worst, drove up under the rear bumper of the SUV.  Took place shortly before 6 p.m Wednesday evening, still getting cleared away at 6:30

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What a Wal-mart Costs

I don't imagine we will ever get another Wal-mart here but recent research indicates having in the community community decreases economic output by $13 million over 20 years and costs another $14 million in lost wages over the same period

Monday, September 23, 2013

BMX Track

Here is a shot of the "Closed" sign of the Evergreen Park BMX Track sent in by a reader of the blog.  Seems a shame the Park District was unable to find money to keep it open while they have through themselves fully into finding funding for the Carbondale Splash Park

 photo IMG_9130.jpg

Friday, September 20, 2013

Evergreen Park BMX Track

Here are a couple of photos of the now derelict Evergreen Park BMX track, circa 1998

As you can see, it got quite a bit of use back then.  Thanks to a blog reader for calling these to my attention.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Super Buffet

Looks as if Chinese buffets are changing like leaves around here.  Qin Quan has taken the place of Great Wall (and is much improved) and Super Buffet, across the highway, has a sign on the front door:  "We close".

I have heard rumors that the the new owners of Qin Guan also owned Super Buffet.  Maybe they decided competing against themselves was a bad business move.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

West Sycamore Closure

West Sycamore is closed for about half a block just west of the intersection with Oakland.

The main reason I am commenting on this is that Sycamore east of Oakland is still pretty rough from repairs that were started there earlier this month.  Wondering why the city has started tearing up another section of Sycamore when work on the previous section hasn't been completed yet. Seems you would finish up one section before tearing up another one, especially since the two sections are separated by Oakland, which has not seen any repair work yet.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Business Open House

In case you are looking for something businessy to do this afternoon, orderbolt is having an open house between 4 and 6 today in the lobby of the Dunn-Richmond Center:

orderbolt Ribbon Cutting & Business After Hours Today!
4 p.m.- 6 p.m., 9/13/13, 1740 Innovation Drive

orderbolt Co. is celebrating their official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Dunn-Richmond Center (the Small Business incubator) immediately followed by a Business After Hours event. Join us for an afternoon of free martinis, an open bar provided by The Blue Martin, and prize giveawaysAlso, see a demonstration of orderbolt's  new application for rental payments.

Each attendee will receive one free general admission ticket to the orderbolt Launch Party on Saturday, October 5, 2013. One lucky guest will even win a Gold VIP Package to the Launch Event!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Street Work

In case you were wondering what has been going on with the street construction on West 13 at night, IDOT is cutting out patches of distressed asphalt/concrete and replacing them.  Getting it done pretty quickly too.

BMX Park

Did you know that Carbondale has a BMX park?  Had a BMX park is probably a more apt description as these photos show since Mother Nature has pretty much reclaimed it. The top picture shows the main part of the track while the bottom one shows the announcer's stand poking up above the surrounding shrubbery.  On past the stand, completely hidden by the brush, are the remaining bleachers from which the audience could watch the racers.

The park is owned by the Carbondale Park district which, from what I understand, decided it was unable to continue maintaining it when the District ran into financial difficulties several years ago and decided that maintaining Hickory Ridge Golf Course was a better uses of the limited funding available and served more people than providing upkeep of the track for the far fewer BMX racers in the area.

The remains of the park are located south of the intersection of Pleasant Hill and McLafferty Roads, behind Evergreen Terrace and just a bit southeast of Williams Field.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

State of the University Speech

Caught Chancellor Rita Cheng's State of the University speech this afternoon (You can listen to it here if you have about an hour and fifteen minutes). Some notable points from the speech:

--Enrollment is down 4.7% and has dropped about 2600 since 2008 (that's the bar graph in the picture above)  After noting that enrollment had dropped consistently over the past decade, it was all positive after that.

-Largest freshman class in 20 years with ACT scores averaging a point higher than last year.

--750 academic scholarships awarded, triple the number three years ago with the number of students in the honors program triple as well.

--Online courses up 36%

--2700 scholarships awarded with 1135 accepted

--Summer school schedules posted earlier than ever with more classes open to community memebers and more remote learners.

--all new students received a tablet computer on entering the university

--Received about $20 million from the state, $15.7 from the Federal Government, $7.4 from industry, $3.17 million from the SIU Foundation and $14 million from other sources.

--25 firms currently in the SIUC Research Park.

--$14 million invested in campus renovation last year

--New Student Services Building expected to open Homecoming weekend, then Woody Hall rennovation begins, expected to be completed in 18 months.

--Morris Library renovations completed by spring semester .

92% of classrooms will have up to date technology.

--400+ video cameras installed on campus

--McLafferty Annex turned into laboratory facility.

--Cummunications Building rennovations to start soon.

--New residence facilities to open by 2016

--Women's resource center coming

--Listed as a top 100 school in US New and World Report (funny how schools that don't make the list say it either doesn't mean anything or is skewed).

--Debate Team one of only 6 teams to win two national titles in one year.

--Only mention of sports teams was the award winning women's volleyball team.

--Recognized Mayor Joel Fritzler and Councilman Don Monty, who, so far as I could tell, were the only city council members in attendance.  Others may have been there but they weren't recognized by the Chancellor during her speech.  Did spot City Manger Kevin Baity and Jeff Doherty, ED of the Jackson County Growth  Alliance in the audience.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Here is the sign advertising the soon to be opening Cafe Melange at the location of the late lamented Melange Coffeehouse.  No idea what connection this one has to the original.

Also, Qin Guan has a very quiet opening in the old Great Wall location.  Happened to drive by this afternoon and noticed pennants draped around the building, lights on and cars in the parking lot.

Friday, September 6, 2013

West Monroe

It appears there is some planned construction at 310 West Monroe Street, according to the email below from the Preservation Commission.  This appears part of the same parcel that Home Rentals applied for a special uses permit to build a 4 apartment building back in 2011. Council eventually turned down the application after a number of complaints from residents in the area.

The Preservation Commission's Certificate of Appropriateness Committee will
meet on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, at 3:00 pm in Conference Room B on
the 2nd floor of City Hall at 200 South Illinois Avenue, to discuss the new
building to be constructed at 310 West Monroe Street.


Melange may be re-opening soon, either under than name or a different one.  A reader of the blog says there is an "Opening Soon" sign posted on the building.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

B and L Photo

Longtime downtown business B and L Photo has moved about a block west from its long time location above the now closed Gatsby's.  It is now located in the strip that houses Quatro's and Jerry's Flowers.

There was some talk of B&L closing down last December. Glad to see that business has picked up enough that they were able to move to a more accessible location as the old one is only accessible via a short flight of steps.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Attitude Designs

Sign on the door says Attitude Designs will offer limited services during the month of September and will close temporarily at the end of the month.

Monday, September 2, 2013

5 Places in Southern Illinois

Since it is Labor Day and the end of Summer (thought it does not feel like it yet), I started thinking about where I would take a visitor to the area if I wanted to show them five iconic spots in the southern Illinois.  Since I am not a big fan of water sports and I don't drink wine, that leaves the lakes and local wineries out.  After a little thought, I came up with these five:

1.  SIUC 
2.  Giant City State Park
3.  Cave in Rock
4.  Bald Knob
5.  Garden of the Gods

Granted this list does weigh heavily towards outdoor activities but southern Illinois does hold over 400 square miles of national forest drawing outdoor enthusiasts from all over the Midwest. You probably have a different set, if so, leave them in the comments.