Friday, May 29, 2015

Garden Tour

From Keep Carbondale Beyooootiful:

Carbondale is home to many fine gardeners, but some really stand out because they have taken a unique approach or gone to great lengths to fully develop a garden consistent with their approach.  Keep Carbondale Beautiful has identified a few locations and received the homeowners’ consent to open their gardens to the public on Sunday, June 7th, from 11 am to 3 pm, as a fundraiser for Keep Carbondale Beautiful.  The self-guided tour begins at the Town Square Pavilion (corner of Main and Illinois), where maps and tickets will be available for $5.  
KCB Board Member Sandy Litecky organized the tour:  “Each gardener creates a setting in response to their vision.  One wanted to add architectural elements, another added water features.  And the Ag Building’s rooftop garden has its own environment.”  This is the second year Keep Carbondale Beautiful has sought out special gardens to share with the public.  KCB Executive Director Sarah Heyer said the tour is fun for non-gardeners, too. 

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Just a reminder, you can dispose of household hazardous waste tomorrow at Southern Illinois Airport. No business waste accepted.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Soda Sales Tax

Probably won't get enacted if Governor Rauner has anything to say about it but apparently a majority of Illinoisans favor a 1 cent sales tax on soda. Taxes like this are the preferred form of sales taxes, much like those on cigarettes. You don't want to pay the tax, don't buy the product. Unlike cigarettes, however, a 1 cent sales tax on soda is pretty small and it is likely that most soda consumers would even notice the increase. The increase is certainly not big enough to drive them across a nearby state border, the way that another jump in cigarette taxes would

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Saluki Way Tax

Just got to thinking that with the last election, all of those who voted to increase the city sales tax to give $20 million to SIUC for the Saluki Way project, which started with replacing the football stadium and remodeling the Arena, because lord knows we need state of the art facilities for each, are no longer on the council. However, the rest of us are still stuck with the tax, which, by the way, goes up again this summer.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rental Signage

Have noticed quite a few "For Rent" signs in the area between S. University and S. Poplar, and I would venture to guess well over half of them are for Home Rentals properties. Normally, that is not unusual given this time of year but I wonder how many will remain after summer ends and the fall semester starts.

The Carbonale Flats/Evolve project should open by then and last I hear, was over 50% rented, taking potential renters out of the pool for those properties. I also have not heard anything about a high expected influx of new students for the fall, though it could happen, which means that the local landlords are competing for the same slightly smaller pool of potential renters.  My guess is we see more students migrating to the Carbondale Flats project since it has "New" written all over it, while most of the properties in the Poplar/ University area have not had much improvements made on them in years.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Celebration

In case you are looking for something to do besides grilling, Carbondale will hold its annual Memorial Day celebration at 10 a.m. on May 25 in Woodlawn Cemetery. The ceremonies take about an hour but there is a good chance of rain, so might be a good idea to carry an umbrella.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Farmers Market at 40

The Murdale Farmers Market celebrates 40 years with a ribbon cutting this Saturday. No idea if there will be food. Free food, that is:

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will help the Carbondale Farmers Market mark 40 years of service to Southern Illinois with a ribbon cutting, 10 a.m., Saturday, May 23, 2015.
The Carbondale Farmers Market is a Saturday staple for many area residents, offering locally grown fruit, vegetables, plants, herbs, cut flowers and more. The market is located in the parking lot of Westowne Center, 2000-block of West Main Street.
Representatives of the Chamber, City and market will participate in the ceremony. The event is open to the public.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dunkin' Donuts

The Dunkin' Donuts building is going up quite quickly behind the Super 8. At the rate they are building it, I expect it to open before the Carbondale Spash Park gets finished.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Koppers Report

Here's the report on the cleanup at the Koppers site for April:

Status Report – April 2015
Former Koppers Wood-Treating Site
Carbondale, Illinois
Items Performed/Completed Since Previous Report:
 On April 27, 2015, Beazer submitted to USEPA a draft revision of the Human Health Risk Assessment
(HHRA), addressing USEPA’s March 5, 2015 comments.
 On April 28, 2015, ARCADIS (on behalf of Beazer) submitted a letter to USEPA responding to an April
23, 2015 email regarding the potential effects of solar farms on ecological habitat.
 Beazer, USEPA and others participated in corrective action coordination conference calls on April 9 and
23, 2015.
 On April 23, 2015, Beazer, USEPA, and others participated in a conference call to discuss an ecological
risk management approach for the Site.
 Beazer continued post-construction OMM activities (e.g., DNAPL thickness measurements/removal,
CAMU leachate monitoring/removal, Site inspections, etc.). DNAPL removal volumes are
summarized as follows:
RW-23 South Trench Sump North Trench Sump
April 2015 Total (gal): 35 44 26
Cumulative Total (gal): 7,708 18,710 551
Items Anticipated to be Performed/Completed over the Next One to Two Months:
 Beazer will propose a draft scope of a monitored natural recovery (MNR) program for residual impacted
sediment areas.
 Beazer will submit to USEPA a table and figures presenting a summary of various ecological-risk-based
remediation scenarios.
 Beazer will submit additional information requested by USEPA regarding the applicability of potential
ecological risk evaluations to shrews on a Site-wide versus area-specific basis.
 USEPA will provide comments on the October 2008 Draft Groundwater Monitoring Plan and all other
relevant information submitted over the past several months concerning this item.
 USEPA will review the April 27, 2015 draft revised HHRA to confirm the revision addresses USEPA
comments. The HHRA will be finalized pending USEPA’s acknowledgement that their March 5, 2015
comments have been satisfactorily addressed.
 Beazer and USEPA will continue coordinating regarding potential ecological risk with the goal of
identifying an acceptable basis for identifying any remaining areas subject to remediation to address
potential ecological risk.
 Beazer, USEPA and others will continue to participate in corrective action coordination conference calls.
0811512248_C'dale Apr 2015 StatusRpt_051915.doc 2
Status Report – April 2015
Former Koppers Wood-Treating Site
Carbondale, Illinois
Items Anticipated to be Performed/Completed over the Next Two to Six Months:
 Beazer will continue to advance proposed future Site uses, including conservation land use and
commercial solar energy.
 USEPA will conduct a public meeting in Carbondale.
Items that May Cause Delay in Implementing Future Activities and Efforts (if any) to Limit Such
 None.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Rauner's Speech

Looks as if 2275 signed the protest on asking the university to dis-invite the governor from speaking at graduation this weekend. Only about a dozen actually showed up to protest his appearance, proving once again that it is really easy to click something on the Internet but much harder to do when it actually involves action.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Island Convenience Mart

Happened to notice a sign for the "Island Convenience Mart" on the ground floor of the Island building at 715. S. University. No idea what they will be carrying but certainly would be handy for people living in the new Evolve apartment complex or the surrounding area to have a place to pick up toiletries and similar items without having to head to either the east or west side of town.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Saluki Craft

Saluki Craft, at 715 S. University (the Island) will celebrate their 1 year anniversary tomorrow, May 15, from noon to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bike Racks

Still not thrilled about the requirement for new construction in Carbondale to install a minimum number of bike racks on its property or pay for the city to install them elsewhere. If it is a good idea, the city should install bike racks paying for them from the general fund or point out to the business owner the benefit of installing the racks.

If it is a good idea to have them, any reasonable business would install them. If it does not make sense for the business to have them, then don't make it put racks in.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Pension Court Ruling

From my non-legal expertise, it seems like the lawsuit by the governor to change the state's pension payments was doomed from the start for two reasons:

1) the state Constitution says that you can't change pensions for state employees.

2) claiming that the state is in such a crisis that there is no other option doesn't wash since the state just let the temporary income tax increase lapse. Governor Rauner may not have liked it, a lot of other people may not like it, but keeping that tax increase in place was an option the state could have used.

Friday, May 8, 2015


According to this article in the Southern, Curbside will start opening for lunch again, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. after Mother's Day. They have opened most evenings from 7 to later in the evening for the past month or thereabouts, so glad to see them open during the day again.

Daylight Robbery

According to the Carbondale PD website, 2 black males battered and stole personal property from a victim just before 4 p.m. on Wednesday. From the location description, I would guess the alley that runs from S. University to S. Illinois alongside P. K.'s.

What caught my attention about this robbery was that it took place during daytime. Usually, when you see a report of a robbery taking place in the downtown area or anywhere else in town, and the time reads 3:58, you normally expect to see that followed by an a.m., not a p.m.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Southern Pushback

Apparently the Southern Illinoisan is getting some pushback on its stance on the new noise ordinance from a couple of sources. Also, I have heard some comments that the editorial staff is working to take more controversial stances than in the past. Well, if so, controversy does sell papers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Pony Getting Harassed

In case you missed this, the owner of The Pony Cabaret and Steakhouse, which is not a strip club despite the complaints of some patrons who wish it was, filed a lawsuit against the city claiming that the Assistant City Attorney wants to close down the business.

Once again, it looks as if the city has gotten into a situation, much like Oakland Avenue Auto Repair, where it gave permission to a business to locate without considering all of the ramifications of the decision. I have heard of instances where people visiting SIUC have received directions taking them down Giant City Road, then on to Grand Avenue, bypassing downtown altogether.

Native Plants

The local Sierra Club will promote native plants with two events next week, first a program on Thursday night about transforming a yard with native wildflowers, then a native plant sale on Saturday the 16 at the Town Square Pavilion:

Wildflowers Program

Carbondale resident Laurel Toussaint will share how she
transformed her yard with native wildflowers.  Some native plants will be
available in exchange for a donation.

Free and open to the public!
Thursday, May 14 at 7 pm
Carbondale Township Meeting Room
217 East Main,
(Green door, in the alley, at the BACK of the Township office is
the entrance).
Ample free parking off Monroe Street between Washington and
Marion.  Contact Ruth Kelley at (618) 684-2196.

2.  Saturday, May 16:  Sierra
Club Native Plant Sale!
10 am til ?  Come early -- avoid disappointment!
Square Pavillion
100 North Illinois (near intersection of US 51 North and Hwy
13 West)
Carbondale, Illinois

Large selection of plants native to southern
Illinois -- hardy, beautiful, pollinator friendly, and low maintenance.  Plants
are reasonably priced.

We will have more than 1000 plants of many species,
including perennial wildflowers, grasses trees, shrubs, and vines for shade and
sun.  There will also be plants for rain gardens (moist to wet soil).

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

More on Noise

The Southern thinks the noise ordinance targets students, despite what council says. I have to agree.

Also 50 feet distance during the day time and 25 at night is not very much distance. I was walking down  N. Springer this afternoon and could easily hear two me talking loudly half a block away, easily over 50 feet. Are they in violation of the ordinance?

Monday, May 4, 2015


City council passed an ordinance cracking down on within city limits, with a 50 foot range during the day and a 25 foot range at night. I can see West Cherry as a particular flashpoint for ordinance infractions, given the student housing that lines the south side of the street and the residential housing on the north side The police likely won't complaints from areas devoted to student housing, such as most of the new housing put in on the south side of town and along E. Grand, or the area betwix S. Poplar and S. Illinois.

However, I do expect to see an increase in police calls to areas such as Cherry Street which have students and residents living in close proximity. 'twould be nice if residents in such areas reached out to students, and vice versa, to come to some sort of understanding regarding noise and parties.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Evolve Evolving Quickly

 It appears the new apartment complex in downtown Carbondale will finish more quickly than anticipated it. All of the one bedroom apartments have rented, leaving the building about 45% empty and competing with the other complexes and rentals in town. I would imagine 80 to 100% rented by the time school starts as Evolve is the "new hotness" and students will want to move into the newest place in town.

I still see parking as a problem, though the complex owners do not agree. Parking in that area has always been a problem, which the meters were put in to help deal with. Of course, people just bought 8 hours worth of parking for $2 and left their cars in the 710 lot all day anyhow. Now, over half the 710 lot is gone and 540 new bodies, all with cars I would bet, are moving into downtown. Yes, there will be parking provided over on S. Washington but that is still out of sight and inconvenient for residents of the complex.