Monday, November 30, 2015

Road Closing

Road Closing for the rest of the week. From the city:

Due to water main construction, Cedarview Street (between East Main Street and East Walnut Street) will be closed to traffic from 7:00 A.M. through 6:00 P.M from Monday, November 30, 2015 through Friday, December 4, 2015. 

State Leaders Meeting

Using the term "leaders" a bit sarcastically, as the governor and the heads of the state legislature have not met in about 6 months, Governor Rauner and the 4 legislative heads are scheduled to meet tomorrow. Given the seriousness of the situation, one would think they could have managed to meet monthly or even weekly, instead of debating the issues under consideration thorugh the media rather than in person.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gas Prices

Gas prices down about 74 cents from this time last year, just in time to encourage more people to drive for Thanksgiving. What really amazed me though was that gas prices are lower in Illinois than in Missouri or Indiana, at least the border counties.

Monday, November 23, 2015

New Business at the Armoury

Looks as if another business  plans to move into the old National Guard Armory, joining Alpha Rentals and Armory Hobbies. From an email sent out by the city:


Pursuant to Title 15, Section 2.17.11, any increase in the size, location, or amount of signage in an NB, Neighborhood Business, district must be approved by City Council and sent out via the Neighborhood Notification Program no less than 15 days prior to City Council review of the modification.

CrossFit Henosis, to be located at the Old National Guard Armory (500 North Oakland Avenue), has submitted plans for two architectural signs and one minor directional sign. This item will be on the City Council Agenda for December 8, 2015. The proposed plans are available for public review in the Planning Services Office.

Please direct any questions to Travis Taylor, Planner (618-457-3233).

Thursday, November 19, 2015

ABC Unveiling Party

Still time to make this:

Though the America’s Best Communities Prize Competition, Carbondale Main Street, the City of Carbondale and Connect SI have created a revitalization plan utilizing Carbondale’s new resource, Gigabit fiber.  Contracting with Sandel & Associates, including individuals involved in the original Google Fiber initiative in Kansas City, the “Carbondale ABC Grant Writing team”, has crafted a flashy “Playbook” while leveraging big ideas from community members.
An upcoming Unveiling Party will showcase hundreds of copies of the “Playbook”, an inspiring video presentation and remarks from City officials and the Carbondale ABC Team, followed by a champagne toast.  The event will be at Carbondale Community Art’s new gallery space at 304 West Walnut in Carbondale.  The celebration will begin at 6pm, with formal remarks at 6:30pm.  The Unveiling Party will close at 8pm.
We will be asking the question, “Who’s Our Next Champion”, and empowering someone to take the reigns on just one part of the “Playbook”.  If community members are interested in learning more, the event and participation in the process is open to anyone!
The Party will feature complimentary appetizers and champagne.
The “ABC” Prize Competition has awarded Carbondale Main Street with $50,000 so far.  The non-profit organization is now in the running for the next round of funding, where they could win $100,000 for downtown and community development implementation.
The America’s Best Communities Competition is funded by Frontier Communications, Dish Network, CoBank, and The Weather Channel, but was initiated by Frontier as a way to spur economic and community development in the rural areas they serve.  The winner of the entire competition will win a prize of $3 million to execute their plans for improvement.
For more information about the Carbondale ABC campaign, follow them on Twitter @carbondale4abc, or contact Carbondale Main Street at (618) 529-8040.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

In God We Trust

Yeah, police departments are just asking for trouble. Hopefully, Carbondale doesn't decide putting In God We Trust stickers on police vehicles

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Real Estate Taxes

Paid the last of this year's real estate taxes yesterday and always find it interesting to see where the money goes:
1.6%     Jackson County
.28%    Carbondale Township
.35%    Carbondale City
.49%    Carbondale Park District
.24%    Southern Illinois Airport
.035%  Mosquito Abatement
3.83%  School #95
2.39%   School #165
.59%     Logan College
.11%    Carbondale Road and Bridge
.34%    Carbondale Public Library
.37%    Special Service Area (only paid by those with property downtown)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Axe Monkey Ribbon Cutting

The Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting and Grand Opening ceremony for the Axe Monkey on Wednesday Nov. 18 at 11 a.m.:

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will hold a Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the grand opening of The Axe Monkey, 11a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 18. The new business is located in the University Plaza shopping center at 606 S. Illinois Ave., Suite 3 in Downtown Carbondale.
The Axe Monkey features guitars and other instruments as well as accessories and gifts. The store also offers fretted instrument repair by co-owner Nate Silkwood, a certified Galloup School of Guitar Building and Professional Guitar Repair craftsman and technician. Additionally, The Axe Monkey has practice rooms available for hourly rental.
Following the ribbon cutting, store owners will offer tours and refreshments. Representatives of the Chamber, City and business will participate in the ceremony. The event is open to the public.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Walk the Line Shoes

Long shuttered downtown business Walk the Line Shoes recently reopened, likely to take advantage of the traffic generated by the Evolve complex, as well as neighboring women's boutiques Dare to Be... and Katina's.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Insomnia Cookies


Insomnia Cookies has been open in one of the retail storefronts in the Evolve apartment complex since the beginning of the semester. The store doesn't do a lot of walk in traffic, from what I understand, as the company's business model focuses on late night delivery of fresh cookies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Memorial Hospital Parking

One of the  complaints about downtown Carbondale is the lack of free parking. I happened to notice that the parking garage on the north side of the Memorial Hospital campus has several signs on it offering free parking. Since it says that patients and visitors are to park on the first floor and the edifice has several levels, I would assume that means the upper levels are free for people visiting downtown to use.

While a very nice gesture, it fails to address what people actually want when they complain about the lack of parking in downtown. What people actually mean is that they want free parking located conveniently to the place they want to visit.  SIUC has a similar problem as people, especially students, have complained about the lack of parking on campus for a couple of decades, ignoring the acres of parking available south of the Arena. It takes more walking or scheduling to use the Arena parking and then get to the main campus than most people willingly invest.

Same problem with Memorial Hospital. Though not as far away, it is still about 3 blocks away from the C'dale square and several more from other businesses on S. Illinois. Your average downtown shopper is not going to park and walk a minimum of three blocks to get to stores. Far easier to go to the mall or one of the spots on the east or west side of town with ample parking.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Scam

Once again, if you ever get a phone call or email or letter telling you that you have won a big prize but need to send money in order for the prize to clear the account, don't. Especially if, as in this local case, the scammer tells you to destroy your receipts in order to avoid paying taxes. Legitimate sweepstakes NEVER require you to pay money to receive your winnings and would NEVER assist you in avoiding taxes.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Dairy Queen

Just a quick heads up that if you want some delicious Dairy Queen treats, today is the last day to get any from the Carbondale DQ until next year.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Book Sale

The Carbondale Public Library will hold one of its book sales tomorrow and Monday and for those with an interest in such things, offer a rare opportunity to see the inside of the old Brush School building

Thursday, November 5, 2015

End License Caps

The Southern makes a good point regarding getting rid of liquor license caps. A better idea than the caps would be an open number of licenses, with new ones issued on an as needed basis.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Halloween

Halloween, as has been noted elsewhere, was a comparatively quiet event this year. I took a walk through downtown about 9 p.m. and saw a number of people out in costume but no larger numbers than on a typical Saturday night. Of course, from what I understand, big numbers don't hit the Strip until 10 p.m. or later in the evening.

A drive through downtown on Sunday morning showed no sign of any damages. In fact the streets and sidewalks were surprisingly clean. I saw very little litter remaining at about 10 a.m. so either revelers did a good job picking up after themselves or clean up crews were out early. I'd bet on the latter.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Empty Bowls

From a press release sent out by the Neighborhood Food Co-op

The Neighborhood Co-op Grocery and the SIU School of Art and Design, Southern Clay Works are joining to create an event to give back to the community. The Empty Bowls event “art for your table” and “food for the community.”  All sales of the bowls will be donated to the Good Samaritan House of Carbondale. In 2014, the Empty Bowls event raised over $2300 for the Good Samaritan House, with Southern Clay Works selling 246 bowls! 
Empty Bowls takes place on Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 11am - 2pm at the Neighborhood Co-op Grocery. Mike Heath, Executive Director of the Good Samaritan Ministries says: 
”Empty Bowls has been a very successful event that helps feed the hungry while, at the same time, offering a very enjoyable experience allowing the general public to participate in an opportunity to obtain some very attractive “original” art pieces that they can personally use or complete their holiday shopping list.  It is definitely a win-win situation for both the hungry as well as the Carbondale community.” 

The hand made bowls are being crafted by students and faculty at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Pattie Chalmers, Associate Professor of Ceramics at the School of Art and Design states:
“My idea with this project is to combine a lesson in community participation with a lesson about the hand made objects and most importantly give a little assistance to individuals in need.”

The Co-op will fill the bowls at no extra charge with a plant based, Carrot Ginger soup. The soup can be enjoyed on site in our community room, while supplies last.  SIU students of the School of Art and Design’s Ceramic Program will be on hand to wash bowls and serve soup. A family friendly event, everyone is welcome!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Varsity Center Liquor License

Looks as if the Varsity Center for the Arts is requesting a change in the type of liquor license it has. From the LAB agenda for this Thursday:

Approval of minutes from September 3, 2015 3. Consideration of a request to reclassify an existing liquor license from a Class B2 (On-premises consumption of all liquors) to a Class J license (Public Arts Venue) for Varsity Center for the Arts at 418 South Illinois Avenue

4. Discussion of a proposed Liquor Code classification for Movie Theaters