Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bike Master Plan

Here's the current bicycle master plan that the i5 Group developed for Carbondale. Of course, the plan says that it is a starting point, not a static thing so do wonder how much was paid for a starting point, never mind that that city has had a bicycle master plan in place since the days of the Cole administration. In fact, that was one of the selling points of the Saluki Way tax, $500,000 for bike paths and greenways in the city.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Campus Lake

Rather impressive that the problems with algae in Campus Lake are even attracting attention in New Hampshire. Apparently they are having problems with it in one of their local lakes up there.

Monday, June 27, 2016

We're Number Three!

The editors of Midwest Traveler, the member magazine of AAA, selected the  Farmer's Market of Carbondale as the third best farmer's market in the Midwest. The only two markets ranked higher were the City Market in Kansas City and the Soulard Farmer's Market in St. Louis, so the Carbondale Farmer's Market is in pretty good company

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Jackson County Zoning

Jackson County is looking into establishing a county wide zoning policy and is asking for feedback from country residents. You can fill out the survey here.  You may have to scroll down a bit to see said survey.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Power the Tower

Advanced Energy Solutions will install solar power on the WDBX station building at no charge to the station and use the opportunity as a hands on training session on July 16 &23. Hopefully, other local businesses will check out the event and see if converting to solar might be a feasible option for them.

 In Celebration of 17 Years of Business, Advanced Energy Solutions Plans to install Solar Power on WDBX Community Radio Advanced Energy Solutions Group, Inc. dba AES Solar has now been providing excellent service and resources to Southern Illinois for 17 years as of June 4th. In the Native American tradition celebrating your birthday by giving presents to others, AES Solar will be gifting WDBX Community Radio 91.1 with solar power, and using the opportunity to train future solar power providers through a hands on John A. Logan class in Solar knowledge scheduled for July 16th & 23rd.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hampton Inn Open House

In case you are free this Thursday, the Hampton Inn on the east side of Carbondale will host an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. to show off their newly renovated facilities and guest rooms.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Live on Main

Live on Main had a pretty good turnout last Friday night. This shot was taken between the two shows. Attendance looked a bit lighter than the first show at the West Monroe location but I think the area was a bit larger than the first show there, allowing the crowd to spread out more.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fronabarger on Tax Increase

Councilman Lee Fronabarger posted this on the recent vote by city council to raise taxes on some categories of prepared foods as well as fuel and packaged liquor.

Update on Carbondale Community Forum

The city just sent out the below about progress on items brought up during last April's community forum meeting:

On April 21, 2016, the City of Carbondale hosted a community forum that was attended by over 170 people. The intent of the forum was to allow the public to present ideas as to how we can make Carbondale a safer and more welcoming community. Six key ideas were developed at the meeting that include enacting a nuisance ordinance; increasing police foot patrols; changing the mindset of Carbondale youth; improving lighting in the community; increasing landlord communication; and expanding outreach to SIU. In the weeks following the forum, the City of Carbondale has been working with community leaders to address these goals and provide the following updates:

·        Enact a Nuisance Ordinance – Carbondale Police have reviewed numerous ordinances from similar communities and have completed a first draft of an ordinance for Carbondale.  City staff has begun reviewing the ordinance and are meeting weekly to refine and prepare the final language to present to City Council.  Tentatively, staff will present a nuisance ordinance to Council at the August 9th Council meeting.

·        Increase Foot Patrols – On June 1, 2016, the City of Carbondale Police Department (CPD) and the SIU Department of Public Safety (DPS) formed a joint Neighborhood Patrol Program. As part of a long standing, ongoing cooperative effort between the two agencies, officers from CPD will be partnered with officers from SIU DPS to patrol Downtown Carbondale and the densely populated student neighborhoods within the Arbor District and along Grand Avenue. These patrols pair officers in motor vehicles while also placing high emphasis on directed foot patrols in the neighborhoods which border campus. 

·        Change Mindset of Carbondale Youth – Youth are most at-risk of being involved in a crime between the hours of 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Providing safe venues for kids during these times, coupled with programming to enhance character development, increases a youth’s chances for success. As such, the City is working with the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale (BGCC) and other community stakeholders to develop additional programming opportunities at the BGCC that could begin as early as September.

·        Improve Lighting in the Community – City staff has surveyed existing lighting in the neighborhoods bordering campus; specifically the area bound by Mill Street, Poplar Street, Walnut Street, and University Avenue.  Lighting deficiencies have been identified and City staff is currently working with Ameren to develop a schedule to make the necessary lighting additions.

·        Increase Landlord Communication – Carbondale Police maintain active and ongoing communications with landlords, as well as the Building and Neighborhood Services department, to share knowledge of problem tenants and “party houses”.  Over the next several months, the City will explore new strategies to enhance communication between landlords and to better notify them of problem tenants.

·        Expand Outreach to SIU – The City of Carbondale meets regularly with SIU administration and is always considering new ways to share community information with faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Live on Main

The Carbondale Music Coalition will present its third, by my count, "Live on Main" concert tonight. West Monroe will close about noon between S Illinois and S. University. and the gates to the event will open at 6 p.m.   Nikki Hill takes the stage at 7 p.m. and Aaron Kamm and the One Drops start performing at  9 p.m. The last event at this location was curb to curb people and I would expect the same this time.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Michael Madigan

This 2013 Chicago Magazine piece on Michael Madigan is a fascinating look at what makes the Speaker of the Illinois House tick:  he is obsessed with detail and consolidating power and hates to lose.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Taxes Approved

In case you weren't watching the city council meeting last night or missed it in the papers, council approved all three proposed new taxes and extended an already existing motor fuel tax. That last one shows the problems with setting a sunset date on taxes in general. The taxing body gets used to the money coming in from the tax and finds it easier to extend it rather than deal with the reduction in revenue that allowing the tax to expire would cause.  It was truly a rare case when the income tax increase that Illinois passed a couple of years ago was allowed to expire and Democrats pushed, and are still pushing, for the tax to be reinstated because, after all, no-one ever wants to cut services that benefit them. No major programs in the state have been cut. Those that have, like work camps, social service programs for the poor, and prisons, affect only comparatively powerless groups or specific regions.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Looks like we have a lot of taxes on the City Council's agenda tonight. Most of the taxes will go to fund the unfunded portion of the police and fire department pension funds, with the rest going to fund various unspecified community projects.

The plus side is that the city will finally get the pension funds funded, which has hung over the city for several years now. Also, the funds will come from a broad section of the users of city services, rather from those that live within city limits, since, as has been noted before, most of those who work within the city limits live outside of them. The down side is more taxes, especially on those who buy gas or liquor within the city.

Another option would be to increase the lodging tax, as that gets paid by visitors to the city, who generally do not let the amount of a tax influence where they stay. However, since amounts generated by the lodging tax go to fund the tourism bureau, I imaging it would take a rewriting of that ordinance to divert any funds to other areas.

Monday, June 13, 2016

"Pear"fect Contest

The Neighborhood Food Co-op took 2nd place in a national display contest sponsored by USPears:

Neighborhood Co-op Grocery has won 2nd place and a prize of $750 from USA Pears for a charming display of pears, wine, and cheeses entitled “Pearfect Together.” Last year, the Co-op won third place in this national contest.

USA Pears holds this annual contest to promote pears to US consumers, most of whom focus on apples and bananas, says Co-op Produce Manager, Chris Neville. “Pears are considered an impulse buy in the produce world. This display contest helps customers become familiar with different kinds of pears.”

Displays are required to include Anjou, Red Anjou, and Bosc USA Pears, and stores are encouraged to include other varieties “The Co-op also included Barlett, Comice, and Seckel pears,” reports Neville, “and we sampled them daily to give customers a chance to decide their favorites and take advantage of the great sale prices.”

Ribbon Cutting

Ribbon cutting for Intuitive Massage and Bodywork this Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Looks as if it is in the Julia Building, the same location as E. Clair Salon

Gambling in Southern Illinois

The Southern has a good article on the effect of casinos and video gaming on the southern Illinois economy. One interesting point is that the expansion of the Walkers Bluff resort complex will likely not happen if it does not get approval from the state for an onsite casino.

I was in Metropolis for the Superman Celebration the past weekend and the downtown area certainly has never seen any benefit from the waterfront casino there. The community did get quite an influx of cash when the casino went in but really do not see it reflected in downtown development.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hwy 127 Detour

Rather amusing that IDOT, due to repairs on Hwy 127 closed it this weekend. Where did they send all of the extra traffic? Down, or up, depending on your point of view, Hwy 51, which, by an incredible piece of timing, was getting resurfaced and down to one lane of traffic this week. Wasn't too bad early in the day but if you got caught later in the afternoon , you were looking at a 10-15 minute wait before getting the go-ahead.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Non Union Labor

It appears whomever is building the new IHOP is using both union and non-union labor as there is a sign at one entrance to the construction site designating it a "non-union" entrance.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Noah's Lounge

Noah's Lounge (the former Premier Lounge) on West Jackson has signage posted that they over at 4 p.m. but I never have seen them open at that time.In fact, I only see them open one evening an week, if that often. The surprising thing is, based on the cars outside and people waiting to get in, when they do open, they apparently do quite a decent business.

Monday, June 6, 2016

City Manager Gary Williams

City Council will have a special meeting tonight to enter into an agreement to higher acting City Manager Gary Williams as full City Manager. A good choice in my opinion.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Rendleman Orchards

Looks as if the fruit is running late at Rendleman Orchards. Normally the store opens in June and closes just before Christmas but this year there is a banner on the front porch and a note on the website saying they won't open until July.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Garden tour

In case you like gardens, or tours, or both, Keep Carbondale Beautiful will host a self guided garden tour this Saturday:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Longbranch on CBS

As Dustan Duncan points out, the exterior of the Longbranch apparently appeared, uncredited, on an episode of The Odd Couple. Apparently, the stock shot is considered an iconic enough exterior of a coffee shop to appear on that show and one or two others.