Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Home 2 Hilton Suites Open

After about 2 years, the downtown Hilton finally held a soft open today. First guest are staying in rooms tonight. Not all of the rooms in the building are open to guests as there is still some finishing needed. Official grand opening will be announced later.

Monday, October 15, 2018

SIUC Plans

Chancellor Walter Wendler got forced out and we have not heard anything regarding his "Southern at 150" plan.
 Chancellor Rita Cheng leaves for Arizona and her rebranding plans for SIUC come to a screetching halt.

Given this track record, I imagine the passing of Chancellor Carlos Montemagno will mean the end of the planned restructuring of the university.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Montemagno Dead of Cancer

SIUC Chancellor Carlos Montemagno died of cancer early this morning. Only met him once at a Chamber of Commerce event but he seemed a pretty affable guy, with some ideas for the campus , such as a holiday lighting of the Old Main area, that got lost in the controversy of his planned restructuring of the university. Given that he was the prime mover behind the proposed campus restructuring, I imagine it will go on hiatus until a successor is found and, even then, the new chancellor's ideas for the university will likely vary from what Dr. Montemagno had proposed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Candidate Forums

Couple of candidate forums coming up locally in the near future. Sadly, no sign of Mike Bost in the near future.

The League of Women Voters of Jackson County is hosting two candidate forums, Oct 16 and 18, for judicial candidates and Jackson County Board candidates. 

On Tuesday, Oct 16, at 7 pm, eight judicial candidates are expected to join a forum  at the SIU Law School Auditorium.  Voters in Jackson County will have to select among eight candidates for four judicial positions. Those in Union County, will select among six candidates and those in Williamson - ten candidates.  That is a good reason to come to the candidates forum.  More info available at and click on "By County".

Candidates for Jackson County Board will appear on Thursday, Oct 18, at 7pm, at 1410 Walnut St, the Murphysboro town hall (= Davis-McCann Center, entrance on 14th Street).  Come and hear how they stand on various county issues. 

Friday, October 5, 2018


Approval or denial of the controversial Brightfield solar array development at the city council meeting next week. Given that six hours of discussion took place at the planning commission meeting, I would bet this meeting will take equally long.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Ribbon Cuttings

In case you like attending ceremonies, there are a couple of ribbon cuttings taking place this week. Friday Oct 5 at 11 a.m. a cutting will celebrate the new solar installation at Gaia House on South Illinois and then Saturday Oct 6, also at 11 a.m. there is a cutting at the new Family Drug on the far west side of town, located in what was the short lived Doctor Donuts. Family Drug should do a lot better there than Doctor Donuts, since a pharmacy is more of a destination store that a donut shop is. We are willing to make more of an effort to get our prescriptions then we are doughnuts.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Pet Expo

Purrrrfect Pet Expo at the Carbondale Civic center this Saturday.  $3 admission or pet supplies gets you in. All proceeds go to local animal shelters, of which the region has several.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Cinnamon Wheeler-Smith

Cinnamon Wheeler-Smith, executive director of Carbondale Tourism for the past 5+ years, announced that Friday will be her last day. She has taken a position as Operational Triner at WPS Health Solutions

Friday, September 28, 2018

Cave in Rock Ferry

Glad to see the Cave In Rock Ferry will resume year round hours starting next month. By my calculations, it transports about 335 cars per day. Of course, no idea how many of them just take the ferry from one side to the other, turn around and ferry back.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Family Weekend

SIUC Family Weekend is this weekend. However, I have not seen much promotion for it, which is rather surprising. I have received a couple of emails from the Chamber of Commerce and seen one or two social media posts but, given how important the event typically is to the university, I would have expected to have heard a lot more about events taking place.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Free Downtown WiFi

Carbondale announced free Wireless access throughout the downtown region today, stretching from Town Square Pavilion at Main and Illinois south to Friendship Plaza at the corner of Mill and Illinois. No indication how far east or west the signal reaches. When the city last put in downtown wireless several years ago, you could pick it up about half a block east or west of Illinois 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Pritzker Campaign Office

Apparently Carbondale is proving a popular place for campaign offices. J.B. Pritzker's campaign has set up an office in the strip mall next to Sunny Street Cafe. If you are looking for one, a campaign staffer tells me they have some 5000 yard signs just waiting for  you to plunk one in your yard.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bright Spot Award

From Keep Carbondale Beautiful.  Always glad to see a residence or business in town notice for the effort it/they puts into making the spot more attractive:

Sewer line work in the front yard usually leaves a mess.  But some home-owners turn it into an opportunity.  At 301 Wedgewood, Virginia Gregory put in a unique sculpture and surrounded it with flowers and greenery, earning a Bright Spot Award from the Keep Carbondale Beautiful board.  The sculpture was done by Kathi Borrego, a friend in Oregon, and Greenridge Landscaping did the heavy lifting.   “They put in a ton of work, and a lot of nice landscaping,” in the words of the nominator.  Besides the sewer line mess, Mrs. Gregory had another motivation: “Once you paint the garage door mustard yellow, …. Fortunately, chrysanthemums come in that color.”

The KCB Board selects businesses or residences to receive the Bright Spot Award for enhancing the beauty of our community by means of revitalization of property, new construction, plantings and beautification, upkeep and maintenance, or rehabilitation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Seeking New HR Commission Head

Appears the Mayor is seeking a new head for the HR Commission. Given how hard it is to find people to want to serve on any commissions in Carbondale, it is interesting that he wants to let one go that wants the job. Of course, the fact that the HR Commission has set up meetings to discuss how to improve Carbondale apparently did not strike some council members as helpful.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Political offices

will less than 60 days until the election, I am seeing more political campaign offices open in Carbondale. Terri Bryant has had one on East Walnut for several weeks and the Democrats now have one in the old Radio Shack space in Murdale Shopping Center. Latest open in a Mike Bost office in the long empty Petal patch location at the intersection of Walnut and Illinois. Bust must be taking this election seriously as this is the first time I have seen a Bost office in Carbondale.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Ribbon Cutting

Short notice but there is a ribbon cutting for the new Sterling Sofa Company on Giant City Road at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, September 13 for the grand opening of Sterling Sofa Company. The retailer is located at 695 N Giant City Road.

Sterling Sofa Company specializes in providing designer styles and comfort for all furnishing needs. Sterling Sofa Company is the sister store to Sterling Mattress Factory.

The ribbon cutting is part of Sterling Sofa Company’s grand opening. Representatives of the Chamber and business will participate in the ceremony and light refreshments will be served. The event is open to the public.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Human Relations Roundtable

In  case you want to contribute your two cents on where Carbondale and SIUC out to go (no, to H**L is not a option), there is a  meeting this Thursday night at 6 p.m. to discuss the matter. A meeting is nice but it will take action in order to make change and, like it or not, that action has to come from the University. Carbondale can make itself as student friendly as possible but until SIUC starts attracting students again, all of the downtown landscaping in the world will not help. Although it will help, students will come here because of the programs the university offers, not because of the stores in downtown or the landscaping. An attractive downtown will convince students (and their parents) that Carbondale is an inviting city in which to live, but if the program is not there, they won't come.

The Carbondale Human Relations Commission will host a roundtable discussion on Thursday, September 13, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in Room 116 of the Carbondale Civic Center; 200 South Illinois Ave., Carbondale, Illinois.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Remodeling Oakland Avenue

The city has been doing extensive work on N. Oakland for the past month and now it is soliciting comments on the plans for remodeling south Oakland. Doubt very much if the comments will have any effect on the plans but the city is offering the opportunity for comments:

The City of Carbondale will host an open house on Tuesday, September 25 to present the plans and receive comments on the Oakland Avenue Reconstruction Project. This project is partially funded through a grant from the Southern Illinois Metropolitan Planning Organization (SIMPO).

Improvements to rebuild Oakland Avenue from Chautauqua Street to Walnut Street include new concrete pavement with dedicated bicycle lanes, new sidewalks, driveway aprons, storm sewers and appurtenances. In order to accommodate dedicated bicycle lanes in each direction, the existing on-street parking, south of Mill Street, will be removed.

Plans will be on display in Room 103 of the Carbondale Civic Center from 4:30-6 p.m. Community members are invited to view the plans and provide comments about the project. City officials will be on hand to explain the project and answer questions. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2019.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Human Relations Round Table

The Human Relations Commission, despite some pushback, is going ahead with its plan to host a round table to discuss possible solutions to attract more students and retain young professionals. More power to them, but unless the powers that be in the city act on recommendations, it won't do much good. As the press release notes, a similar meeting was held last January and ideas were proposed there. Haven't heard much about it since:

The Human Relations Commission (HRC) of the City of Carbondale will sponsor a round table discussion on September 13, 2018 at the Carbondale Civic Center (200 N Illinois Ave) from 6:00pm-7:30pm.
Our goal is to bring together community members, City and University officials, and students to discuss a proactive way to increase attraction of new students and businesses and retain young professionals in our community.

The HRC understands the challenges our state and region have experienced over the last several years and we want to bring together stakeholders to collaborate and suggest solutions to move our City and University forward.  Everyone will have an opportunity to “sit at the table” to discuss viable solutions. 

This round table forum follows a similar event held in January in which residents, City and University officials, and local business owners were in attendance. 

Friday, September 7, 2018


I see SIUE is arguing that, since it now has more students than SIUC for the first time, it should see increased funding or even more funding than SIUC. However, most of SIUE's students are commuting students, which have a lower foot print than SIUC's overwhelming numbers of residential students. In addition, SIUC offers doctoral degrees, which absorb more resources. It is also hard to justify increasing SIUE's funding, given that it has lost students along with SIUC

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Both Down

Even though both SIUC and SIUC are down in terms of attendance, for the first time, SIUE has exceeded SIUC in terms of total number of students. SIUC does point out that retention rates and average GPA of students are up at the university and that the university is "turning the corner". Of course SIUC has turned the corner so many times under so many different chancellors that I would expect the institution to have gotten back to where it started.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

12% Down

Caught on the news this evening that SIUC fall admission was 12% down from last year with between 12,000 and 13,000 students attending. but the university is "turning the corner" yet again. Retention rates and GPA of incoming students were both up though. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Student Protests

As usual, SIUC took a pretty heavy handed approach to student protest and activism and generated a lot of controversy and blowback as a result. I understand the administration would rather the students sit down and shut up but there are always a few who will not. Coach Kill also made a analogy about football, which is just fine if you have a pretty straightforward objective, like winning a game. The things the students are protesting and that people are objecting to are a lot more complicated:

Kill said the country should act more like a football team.
“They all have to work together to win. That’s beautiful,” he said, adding that if they can’t all work together then they’ve got the same problem the country has.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

tonight At the Varsity

Following up on yesterday's post, tonight at 7 p.m. at the Varsity Center is a panel on seeking solutions for Southern Illinois. Rather surprised that no one from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is on the panel. Wonder if anyone will make note of the return southern Illinois gets on its taxes? The region received about $2.50 from the state for every $1 in taxes sent to Springfield

 President and CEO of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer Olson, is a panelist for NPR Illinois' Election 2018: Seeking Solutions forum on Thursday, August 30 at the Varsity Center in Carbondale.
Olson will be joined by fellow panelists Dr. Kyle L. Harfst, Executive Director of the Office of Economic and Regional Development and Matt Donkin, Superintendent of Frankfort Schools District 168.
The forum will focus on Southern Illinois' access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. Panelists will comment on the issues Southern Illinois faces and discuss how to improve the region's access to vital services.
"It is important for those that are voted into office to understand the barriers to economic opportunity and what can be done to improve access in Southern Illinois," Jennifer Olson said of the event.
Topics will also include the impact of population loss in Illinois on state finances. The panel will answer questions from the moderator, NPR Illinois News Director Sean Crawford, and audience members.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the forum begins at 7:00 p.m. The program will run live on NPR Illinois and NPR Illinois' Facebook from 6 p.m. -7 p.m.
For more information, contact the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce at 618-549-2146 or

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SIUC Problems

Last weeks' episode of State Week in Review touched on the problems SIUC and SIUE are having in allocating funding and SIUC's drop in attendance by 10,000. Interestingly, at least to me, the only reason posited for the decline was the overall drop in population in Southern Illinois. While I agree with that, I would argue, and have before, that SIUC has lost its focus and no longer promotes itself as a top tier institution, instead focusing on the athletic department and its sports teams as a means of drawing national attention. Develop an institution like that that attracted Buckminster Fuller and the Four Horsemen and students will come

Monday, August 27, 2018

Solar Bear Weekend

couple of good sized House parties on West Walnut on Saturday celebrating Solar Bear. Couple of hundred students floating around the two houses on Saturday afternoon. Someone had considerately strung up Caution tape running from the house to the street, indicating to the party goers just how far west they should venture during the festivities. Saw a couple of girls out cleaning up trash as well.

Another house at 505 West Main had orange caution fence circling its property, again to indicate to attendees where the boundaries were.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Solar Bear

Just a heads up that the Solar Bear celebration is this weekend. According to my postal worker, West Maple is already pretty much impassible due to the number of cars parked along it. From the looks of it, a couple of houses in the 500 and 800 blocks of West Main expect a lot of visitors as well, since they have orange security fence set up around their yards.

Friday, August 24, 2018

History of Samuel Dunaway

Always wondered about the origins of the two story yellow house at 409 West Main, across from Memorial Hospital. Here is a history of Samuel Dunaway, who built it in 1881.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

City Lot Closed

The metered parking lot at City Hall is closed today for what looks like sealing and striping. Probably, given the increased traffic and need for parking in downtown, not the best day to choose to do it.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Streetscape Ribbon cutting

The city in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, will hold a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. next Monday to celebrate the completing of phase 2 of the Downtown Streetscape project. The ceremony will take place in front of City Hall. The next phase of the project, completing the work along Illinois between Main and Marion, will go on hold for a year or so while the city focuses on other projects and decides what do to with the awning that extends almost to the street in front of Priority Sports and The Door. I doubt, given the design of the streetscape as it has been implemented so far, that the awning will remain in its current state.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Keeper's Quarters

Keeper's Quarters restaurant is moving from its location on West Main to the shuttered Kaya Restaurant location on South Illinois. Glad to see another business moving into that section of downtown. The north end of Illinois Ave, has almost no empty space available but the south end has at least 10 storefronts sitting empty.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Culvers and Freddies

Carbondale has two chains moving into the area, both renowned for their frozen deserts. While I don't begrudge them moving it, it will certainly make things harder for the local operations Cool Spoons and Scoopz. I heard one local commenting today about how having Freddies coming into town will make it harder for Culver's and how someone should have warned Culver's. I wonder how much concern he had for Cool Spoons and Scoopz when Culver's moved in?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

City Website

The city update its website and it is much easier to use. However, and there had to be a however, why in the world is a picture of Garden of the Gods featured on the homepage? Why not something representative of Carbondale, say like Shryock Auditorium or the Arena, something showing off the university.  Or maybe South Illinois, with a view of the streetscaping, or the Varsity Theater?

If you want a natural theme, how about Campus Lake, or Cedar Lake or even Giant City? Or if you really want to go iconic, how about a shot of Boo Rochman "Castle" Park out on Giant City Road?  All of those represent Carbondale far better than an state park an hour away from the city.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Southern Illinois Taxes

For those people pushing to separate downstate Illinois from the rest of the state, meaning Chicago, I hope they are willing to forego the subsidies this region gets from the state. Southern Illinois receives about $2.81 in money from the state for every $1 in taxes sent to Springfield. Here's the full report from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

City Council Agenda

Here is next Tuesday's City Council Agenda, just in case you have a mind to peruse it:

3. Consent Agenda of the City Council
3.1 Approval of Minutes from the City Council Meeting of July 24, 2018
 3.2 Approval of Warrant for the Period Ending: 07/16/2018 for the FY 2019 Warrant 1334 in the Total Amount of $946,811.49
3.3 Approval of Wells Fargo Warrant for the Period Ending 06/30/2018 FY 2019 Warrant # WF 06/2018 in the amount of $130,791.79
 3.4 Reappointments to Boards and Commissions
 3.5 Adoption of the 2019 Calendar of City Council Meetings
 3.6 A Resolution Approving the Final BPL Development Plan for Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers at 500 North Giant City Road
3.7 Approval of Consent Agenda Items 4. General Business of the City Council
4.1 Discussion of Allowing Natural Burials in Oakland Cemetery
4.2 Ordinance Amending Title Five, Chapter Ten of the Carbondale Revised Code as it Relates to Permits for City-Owned Event Venues
4.3 An Ordinance Amending Title Five, Chapter Nine, of the Carbondale Revised Code as it Relates to Consumer Installment Loan Businesses
4.4 An Ordinance Amending Title Five, Chapter Seventeen, of the Carbondale Revised Code as it Relates to Vacation Rental Units and Hosting Platforms

Friday, August 10, 2018

Huffman Harker Funeral Home

The Huffman Harker Funeral Home  at the intersection of Oak and  University, just north of the Memorial Hospital complex, has been demolished this week. I assume after it became Huffman Harker Walker funeral home, with facilities on South Poplar, the owners decided they didn't need two buildings anymore.

Thursday, August 9, 2018


As long as the city is having so much work down downtown, maybe it could have the post with the signs for Station Carbondale, Carbondale Main Street and the Chamber of Commerce turned 45 degrees. The signs for the three locations are clearly visible to anyone heading west on Marion Street but invisible to anyone heading north on Illinois until they are parallel to them.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Downtown Streetscape

According to the Mayor, the downtown street scape development should be substantially completed by the time SIUC starts classes, which would meet the terms of the contract. Hopefully that means the south entrance to the old depot parking lot gets reopened by Friday as easy of parking is reduced by having it closed off.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Railway Crossing Closures

Just in time for back to school and students returning to the University, the railroad has announced a series of crossing closures in downtown Carbondale. Expect driving in downtown to get more messed up than usual the first week of classes. From the city:

Drivers should expect delays in the coming days due to railroad crossing repairs by Canadian National Railroad.
The following locations, between Illinois Avenue and Washington Street, will be closed to vehicle traffic during repairs:
  • College Street will be closed starting at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, August 8 until Thursday, August 9 at 3 p.m.
  • Jackson Street will be closed starting at 7 a.m. on Monday, August 13 until Tuesday, August 14 at 3 p.m.
  • Oak Street will be closed starting at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, August 15 until Thursday, August 16 at 3 p.m.
Drivers are asked to use alternate routes during these affected times.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Invest in the Local Economy

, shop at the Murdale Farmers Market (and other local farmers markets). For every $100 you spend at a farmers's market, according to the Farmers Market Coalition, so they may be a bit biased, $62 stays in the local enocomy. Compare that with spending money on food at Schnuck's, Kroger or Wal-Mart, where, if you spend $100, $17-$20 stays locally.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Olive Branch Program Students

Of the 70 students from China visiting Carbondale this week through the Olive Branch program, 20 of them, according to the University, have committed to attending SIUC starting in the fall of 2019

Thursday, August 2, 2018

PK's Mural

PK's, going along with the downtown improvements, is getting a large Black and White mural with the store logo and  "open 365 days a year" on the south side of the building. The format reminded me of the Jack Daniels label design.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Phillip Morris and Keep America Beautiful have a program in place to install cigarette receptacles in communities. Here is the email I received on the topic from Keep Carbondale Beautiful:

In partnership with Keep America Beautiful, KAB affiliates and partner organizations have an opportunity to participate in a Philip Morris USA initiative. Philip Morris will place 10,000 litter stands to collect cigarette butts  in communities nationwide and educate adult smokers 21+ on the importance of disposing of their cigarette butts properly.

Adult smokers are being given the opportunity to enter locations (city and zip code) on a map to indicate where they would like to see a litter stand installed. As stands are placed, an interactive map will populate featuring local stories and showing locations that have been selected.

Keep America Beautiful & Philip Morris USA request your help in finding locations to place litter stands to provide opportunities for adult smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts properly.
·        Install the litter stand(s) in an accessible place (e.g., outside entrance to retail location, or transition point where adult smokers commonly dispose of cigarette butts). Hardware is included to mount each receptacle.
·        Maintain litter stand(s) (e.g., regularly empty cigarette butts into garbage).
Share the GPS coordinates of each litter stand’s location with KAB to include on the interactive map. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Potential SIUC Students

There are 70 potential SIUC students visiting Carbondale from China this week . The university, Chamber of Commerce and the city have worked putting together a schedule of events to keep them busy and, from talking with a few of the students yesterday, they seem pretty impressed with the school and Carbondale. A couple of them were already talking as if they planned to attend SIUC starting next fall, so that's a good start.

At one time, SIUC was renowned for its outreach to international students and had the 2nd largest number of Indian students in the US. Unfortunately, other universities, over the years, targeted international students as well, pulling a good number of them away from Carbondale.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Erika Harold

Got to hear the Republican candidate for Attorney General this afternoon at the Chamber of Commerce round pies straight talk event. Most of the discussion with Erika Harold focused on combating opiod addiction in Illinois, although there was some discussion of workman's compensation reform and removing some regulations to make the state more business friendly. One topic she is interested in is prison reform, especially stopping using Illinois prisons as holding cells for the mentally ill. She also mentioned the possibility of reinstating work release programs for prisoners, which Gov. Rauner apparently put a halt to and which Chief Grubbs supported reinstating, as he said Carbondale had used them for decades without any problems.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Saltpeter Cave

Noticed work done on the road leading to Saltpeter Cave off Highway 127 today. The fence and gate have been removed from the entrance and gravel has been applied to the road. The cave was a prime concert venue for the region from the 1970s through the early 2000s but was sold about a decade ago and closed to the public since then.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Family Drug Open

The new Family Drug of Carbondale has opened on the north side of the intersection of Hwy 13 and New Era Road. Probably a good location for it since it is a destination store rather than  a convenience one, unlike the doughnut shop that occupied the location for a short period. I believe it is affiliated with one of the hospitals as well, which means business coming from there too.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

No More Straws

A SIUC student is asking local businesses to only offer straws upon request. So far, businesses that have signed on for "Straws Upon Request" include Longbranch, Reemas, Tres Hombres, Quatros and El Greco's. Starbuck's is already phasing them out. Going strawless appears a national movement as there are several dozen communities that have either voluntarily or by ordinance made straws available only on reques.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Walker's Bluff General Store

I see Walker's Bluff has announced they are closing their general store and turning the space into operations, whatever that means.I would assume the store only made money during the times the facility had events and sat empty the rest of the time  costing the business payroll.

Friday, July 13, 2018

One Scalp Collected

Looks as if SIU President Randy Dunn will step down next week, collect a $200,000+ severance package and get hired as a visiting professor at SIUE next January. Plans are to hire retired SIU School of Medicine dean Kevin Dorsey as interim President

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Incoming Freshmen

Just heard that the current projected number of incoming freshmen at SIUC this fall is around 900. Contrast that with just over 2100 in 2016 and just over 1700 last year. Hoping that number shifts higher as actual enrollment date gets closer.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

No Confidence in Dunn

SIUC Faculty Senate cast a vote of no confidence in President Randy Dunn 25-1 with 2 senators abstaining. Of course, I don't think the Senate has much confidence in Chancellor Montemagno so I am not sure who they want running the place. It is also nice that the university is in such good shape that the various organizations can focus on stuff like this.

Dunn should not be focusing on shifting around funds until he gets SIUC stabilized. Nor should Montemagno work on restructuring the university until he accomplishes the same thing. Neither man has shown why either shift funds or restructuring will achieve the objective if increasing SIUC enrollment. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Dunn and Montemago

Well, it appears we have factions not happy with either President Dunn or Chancellor Montemagno. One faction thinks Dunn wants to split apart SIUC and SIUE with both of them on an equal regional footing. The other faction thinks Montemagno has been sent in to weaken SIUC at the behest of Gov. Rauner (see the letter on page 5 of this week's Carbondale Times) and return it to regional status as well and that Dunn is the only one standing in his way. It would appear that, based on this, SIUC is in trouble no matter who is in charge.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

More Video Terminals

City council voted to allow video poker terminals at truck stops within the city limits. Currently, the only locations to qualify are the Huck's on East Main and the Shell station on the west side of town. No idea if either one will apply for a permit or if they have the additional space they would have to provide for the terminals.
Revenues from the city's terminals have increased by about $25,000 from 2016 to 2017 despite 2 fewer units within city limits. Same number of establishments though and the growth in dollar amount collected indicates the market is not saturated yet.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Lone Star

From what I have heard, another Sergio's Mexican Restaurant will move into the closed and recently sold Lone Star Steakhouse location on East Main.

Friday, June 29, 2018

SIU President Not Exactly Neutral

Good story in the Southern today regarding the trove of emails released detailing communications between SIU President Randy Dunn, SIUE' s Chancellor and the Edwardsville members of the Board of Trustees.  What I found especially interesting what the reprimand from Dunn to SIUC Chancellor Carlos Montemagno for not following the chain of command. I'm not a big fan of Chancellor Montemagno but given how Dunn had left him out of the loop, chastising Montemagno seems a wee bit hypocritical:

I have read your attached memo,” Dunn wrote. “It is misleading at best and insubordinate at worst.”
He admonished Montemagno for sending the memo to the trustees without consulting him. Dunn said he had tried to support Montemagno’s leadership."

City Hall Streetscape

Work is starting on the streetscape in front of city hall

Work along Illinois Avenue, east of Carbondale City Hall, has begun as part of the Illinois Avenue Streetscape Improvements Project.
The contractor is removing existing sidewalk and steps. For your safety, visitors are asked to avoid this area as much as possible. In addition, parking will not be available along Illinois Avenue during contractor working hours
A temporary walkway will be in place until the new sidewalk is constructed. Visitors are encouraged to use the west entrance of City Hall.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Chamber Letter In Support Of Multi Modal Center

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce sent the letter below to the DOT supporting the city's request for funding for the proposed multi-modal center. Not sure what will come of it due to the lack of any significant funding for infrastructure improvements from the current administration.:

The Honorable Elaine L. Chao, Secretary
United States Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Secretary Chao:
I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce to express our support of the City of Carbondale's application for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant for $14.64 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation, for the Southern Illinois Multi-Modal Station (SIMMS) project. This grant will allow the City of Carbondale to complete design and construction and will also help generate much needed economic activity within our region.
In a rural area like Southern Illinois, transportation is often cited as a key impediment to connecting qualified workers with jobs. SIMMS will provide an opportunity to improve public transportation throughout the region and doing so, will provide opportunities to many low-income residents to access jobs, educational opportunities, and healthcare. Collectively, these improvements will improve the quality-of-life for many of our residents.
In addition to the improvements that the SIMMS project will provide for public transportation, this project would be a significant infrastructure investment to our region and would generate many high-quality construction jobs for the area which will generate additional economic impact. As such, we strongly support the use of BUILD funds to help facilitate the development of this critical project for Southern Illinois.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Carbondale Whiners

The Belleville News-Democrat does not have a very charitable take toward the SIUC members on the SIU Board of Trustees. Of course, despite the approaching parity in terms of enrollment, SIUC has far more residential students than does SIUE and also grants doctoral degrees, which SIUE does not, and which require more intensive time commitment from faculty. Granted, I got my doctoral degree from SIUC a number of years ago, but I had to wait several years to enter the program, as there were too many doctoral candidates and not enough faculty available to advise them. Some of the backlog, so to speak, had to clear out of the channel before the program could admit new students.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Kevin Lucas

In case you are free this Saturday. From the press release:

Local musician Kevin Lucas will be hosting a benefit concert for the Good Samaritan House homeless shelter of Carbondale on Saturday, June 30, at 2 PM at Alto Vineyards.  This is the third year that Kevin is hosting this event and every year it has raised more money than previous years.  "This is the kind of thing that builds on itself year after year.  I am extremely excited about this year and Patty Mullen from Good Samaritan has been doing a great job of getting the word out", said Lucas.  With state funding being cut for homeless shelters, it is more important than ever to raise money for them in new and creative ways.

Friday, June 22, 2018

City Council Agenda

Here is the agenda for next Tuesday's city council meeting. In addition, the LCC will vote on renewing Fat Patties liqour license:

7. Consent Agenda of the City Council
 7.1 Approval of the Carbondale City Council Meeting Minutes of June 12, 2018
7.2 Approval of Warrant for the Period Ending: 06/04/2018 for the combined FY 2018 and FY 2019 Warrant 1331 in the Total Amount of $1,132,037.57
 7.3 Award Purchase of Police Vehicles and Ordinance Authorizing a Budget Adjustment to the Police Department FY 2019 Budget
7.4 Award of Purchase of MFT Maintenance Materials for FY2019
7.5 Ordinance Approving a Budget Adjustment to Increase the City Clerk's Budget for Memorial Day Expenses
7.6 Award of Contract for Springer Street Water Main Replacement, CIP No. WS1301, to Dean Bush Construction of Carbondale, Illinois, in the Amount of $457,167.98
7.7 Award of Contract for Oak Street Sanitary Sewer Upgrade (Wall St. to Poplar St.), CIP SA1501, to ACI X of Chester, Illinois, in the amount of $1,188,001.46
 7.8 Appointments and Reappointments to Boards and Commissions
7.9 Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Execute a Project Labor Agreement with the Egyptian Building Trades Council
7.10 Approval of Consent Agenda Items
8. General Business of the City Council
8.1 Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Submit an Application for a BUILD Grant Requesting $14,640,000 in Funding to Construct the Southern Illinois Multi-Modal Station (SIMMS) 8.2 Ordinance Amending Title 5 of the Carbondale Revised Code to Allow Video Gaming in Truck Stops
 8.3 Ordinance Providing for the Regulation of and the Application for Small Wireless Facilities
8.4 Ordinance Adopting a Prevailing Rate of Wages of Laborers, Mechanics, and other Workers Employed in Public Works as Certified by the Illinois Department of Labor

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Reef House for Sale

From an email sent out to the Arbor District mailing list:

Many of you are probably aware that the Reef House on the NE corner of Poplar and Cherry Streets is for sale. Arbor District member Susan Metcalf is the agent for Sosanya Jones, who was recruited by Howard University. It's a wonderful opportunity for her, but a real loss to our neighborhood.

The Reef House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by Jean Sternberg, wife of the founder of the SIU Press (1956), Vernon Sternberg. The house is thought to have been built by A.M. Etherton who built a number of the highly decorated Victorian houses that once dominated Carbondale's architecture. It's small but beautifully restored and upgraded.  It's priced to sell at $89,900.

Jean and Vernon raised their family there. Vernon died of a heart attack apparently from shoveling snow in the historic "blizzard of 1979"; Jean died in 2006 at 86. Jean was an activist, being a founding member of the Humane Society, serving on a number of City boards and commissions during Carbondale's heyday in the late 1960s-early 1970s, and taking a deep history in local and regional history. 

Gary and Susan Edgren bought the house from her estate in 2005 and did a wonderful job restoring it. Their son lived there until 2014 when Sosanya, a new faculty member at SIU, bought it. 

With the Varsity Theater on Illinois, the Reef House on Poplar, and the Bucky Dome on Forest, Cherry Street embodies much of the history of Carbondale.

If you know someone who might be interested, Susan says she's holding an open house this Sunday, 3 to 5 p.m.

South Dakota vs. Wayfair

The Supreme Court ruled in the case of South Dakota vs. Wayfair this morning, a case revisiting the collection of sales taxes by states and local communities.

The SCOTUS Quill decision, back about 1992, in the early days of online retailing, ruled that retailers without a physical presence in a state were not required to collect and remit state and local sales taxes. At that time, online retailing was a minor presence and the taxes lost were pretty small. However as online retailing has grown over the past couple of decades, accounting for about 10-15% of all retail sales, the sales tax revenue loss has impacted states and cities severely. Just ask anyone in management at Carbondale City Hall.

Under the South Dakota law, which was upheld today, any retailer doing more that $100,000 in online sales or with over 200 customers in the state, is required to collect and remit sales tax to the state. This ruling only affects South Dakota but opens the way for other states to enact similar laws or for Congress, under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, to enact some sort of national regulation. Since there is no national sales tax in place, I doubt we will see any national form of sales tax collection put into place though.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

SIUC Medicne SIH Groundbreaking

Good turnout for the groundbreaking for the new SIUC/SIH complex going in on West Oak. I estimated 150 to 200 people there. I imagine that eventually SIH will want to acquire the entire block, pull down the houses there and replace them with either additional medical facilities or rental properties for doctors and staff working at the hospital, or short term rentals for families of patients at the hospital.

Unfortunately, hospitals and universities, because of their focus on the most modern technology and facilities, tend to not consider the effect of their activities on the surrounding neighborhoods. Ergo, most are located on the outskirts of communities or in areas where they can expand without disrupting the surrounding residences.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Celebrate 618

Walked through the Saturday afternoon Celebrate 618 event a couple of times Saturday afternoon and saw very little foot traffic. Good idea but needs more of a draw to get people out on a 90+ degree Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Celebrate 618

I haven't heard much about it, but that it certainly no criteria, but the Celebrate 618 festival kicks off tonight by incorporating the Sunset Concerts into the event, then Steak by the Lake tomorrow night and a days' worth of events on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Founders Park Design Forum

SIUC Agriculture students' designs for the proposed founders park will be on display in room 108 of the Civic Center from 3 to 7 p.m. It would be nice if the city took advantage of the resources of the University and use one or a combination of the designs but, based on past experience, it will probably outsource the park design.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Most Underrated City in Illinois

Thanks to a reader for pointing this out. According to the Thrillist, Carbondale is the most underrated city in Illinois. Here is what the writer has to say about the town, although he appears to view the city as more of a home base from which to visit other parts of southern Illinois:

The case to be made for visiting Carbondale, and southern Illinois as a whole, is that it’s the polar opposite of the big-shouldered metropolis up north. Carbondale is a Podunk college town with the feel of Bourbon County. Take advantage of the multiple wine trails, Cache River wetlands, and Shawnee National Forest, home to the Garden of the Gods and vistas unmatched anywhere else in the state. Speaking of: Carbondale had a total (if cloud-obscured) view of the 2017 eclipse -- and will also get to see America’s next total eclipse, in 2024.
At night, stop in neighboring Murphysboro for 17 Street Barbecue, where champion pitmaster Mike Mills has been working his cherry and applewood-smoked magic on baby back ribs for more than 20 years. Count on catching a live show at Carbondale’s Hangar 9, a dual-level bar with a musical legacy rooted in bluegrass and rock acts pouring through. The spot is modeled after an old airplane hangar that burned down and rebuilt -- because who needs an airport when you can have a kickass concert venue and beer garden? -- Sean Cooley

Monday, June 11, 2018

Gwen Hunt Passes Away

According to this post on PK's Facebook page,  Gwen Hunt, the boss at PKs for more years than most residents of Carbondale have been alive, passed away Saturday at the age of 84. The bar closed yesterday and most of today in memory of Gwen but the staff figured it would probably annoy her they closed at all so reopened at 4 p.m. today instead of 8 a.m. tomorrow as originally planned.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hazardous Waste Collection

Jackson County is collecting household hazardous wastes at the SIUC Area parking lot until noon today. Paints, lightbulbs, batteries, etc are accepted, no industrial waste and you have to have an id or utility bill showing you live in the county. Easiest way to get to the collection site is from the Pleasant Hill Road entrance to the Arena lot.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Historic Park Committee Meeting

I think this is a meeting to discuss planning a park behind the public safety nee police station.
 Next Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers:

Introductions and roll call Special reports: Update on landscape displays in the Student Center New business: Discussion on setting up a 501 C3 foundation for the park Old business: Master plan schedule submissions (5 year) Maintaining the Facebook Page for the Park Continue discussion of Kiosks and historical information to be used/included. Consensus on landscape elements for the park Private/Public partnerships: Update on partnering progress

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Dunn Update

Randy Dunn may not go on administrative leave after all. At least one member of the BOT doesn't think the executive committee has the power to put him on leave. BOT Chair Amy Sholar says that removing the President is a duty reserved for the entire BOT, not for the Executive Committee and she does not believe it an important enough action to warrant calling the entire BOT into session.  Wanna bet there is more to come?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Dunn on Administrative Leave

SIU's BOD announced today that SIU President Randy Dunn has been placed on administrative leave and the BOD is looking for an interim President to take his place for the immediate future. Apparently the trustees received some additional information in the past week regarding Dunn that caused them to take this action which appears to have caught Dunn by surprise.  Since I bet Dunn is going on a paid leave of absence, SIU will have to pay salaries for both him and the selected interim at a time with the university is not exactly flush with money.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Fat Pattie's Liquor License

Fat Pattie's liquor license for 2018-2019 comes up before the Liquor Advisory Board this Thursday night. Looks like the only thing on the agenda.

Monday, June 4, 2018

New Chamber CEO

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce has decided to name its interim executive director as permanent director. From the press release:

The Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce have voted to accept the recommendation of the Search Committee to hire Jennifer Olson as the President and CEO of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Olson has been serving as the Interim Director since March 19. Prior to joining the Chamber, Jennifer had a 15-year career in Commercial Banking, primarily based out of Carbondale. Before banking, Jennifer spent five years as Marketing Director for University Mall.
“We are pleased to have Jennifer lead the Chamber, her Business background combined with her extensive knowledge of Public Relations, Marketing, and Special Events is sure to be an asset,” said Shane Carsrud, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In addition to the position as President and CEO, Ms. Olson serves on several committees and boards for various organization. Most notable, Delta Regional Authority (DRA) Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell recently asked Jennifer to Chair the Regional Advisory Council to the Delta Leadership Network of the DRA.

Saturday, June 2, 2018


In case you are looking for something to do this weekend, Pridefest kicked off Friday night and continues through Sunday. Events today and Sunday include:

Saturday, June 2nd:
PrideWalk - Carbondale Gaia house to Carbondale Pavilion, 11:00 a.m.
Festival - Carbondale Pavilion, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., with Mistress of Ceremonies, the Living Legend, Blanche Dubois! Performers Heather Hammers, Laura King Neville, Improv, DJ Keith Hughes, tables, activities and events for all ages.
Drag Queen Bingo: 4:00 - 6:30 p.m., the Varsity
YOUTH PARTY – Doors open at 6 p.m., shows at 7:00 p.m. - 11 pm, Carbondale Gaia House – Laura King Neville, Bad Ghost, drag shows, performance games and prizes. Ages 13-19
BENEFIT CONCERT FOR THE RAINBOW CAFE - Street Bar, 8:00 p.m. - featuring drag artists/ performers, including live bands Sleeping Tapes and Trophy Shop. Mistress of Ceremonies, Jodie Santana.

HIV and STD Screenings, Jackson County Health Department and The Community Action Place Mobile Unit, all day

Sunday, June 3rd:

Special Service at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, in conjunction with the Church of the Good Shepherd, CUF 10:30 a.m.
The Ralph Anderson Interfaith Dialogues (subgroup of Carbondale Interfaith Council): "Coming Out in Faith", 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship.
Film Screening, “Tangerine”, Big Muddy Film Festival, lLongbranch Cafe

Thursday, May 31, 2018


The Hilton is slowly coming along. My guess is they will get it open sometime in late July or early August, about a year after the original projected date. Both it and Evolve will do a fine job of sticking out like sore thumbs among the much lower buildings that comprise the rest of the downtown area  From what I understand, under the new standards for downtown development, I gather neither building would be approved. However, given that the city really wants development in downtown, I would also bet that both projects would receive a waiver if they had asked for one. After all, both bring quite a few people to stay in the downtown area, Evolve for semesters at a time and the Hilton for several nights.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

S. Illinois Streetscape

The city has started work on the S. Illinois Streetscape project. I see a couple of the larger trees along the street have been cut down, I assume in order to make way for the newly redesigned sidewalks coming into place.

Incidentally, I have heard people complaining about the "wall" that now parallels the sidewalk after the street redesign and people's complaints about how difficult it is to step over. From my understanding, the divider was put into place in order to comply with ADA requirements, so that it is harder for people to go off the sidewalk. It also decreases the gradient of the sidewalk as well, reducing the slope on hills. If the city put steps or a break in the divider in order to make it easier for people to get from their cars to the sidewalk, in order to comply with ADA requirements, a ramp would have to be installed as well. Apparently, any new steps put in also have to have complimentary wheelchair accessibility and a ramp suitable for wheelchairs would stretch out some 16 feet.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Liquor Advisory Board

So can the city get rid of the Liquor Advisory Board now? since it will no longer review  liquor license applications, which was its primary function, there seems no good reason to keep the Board in place as its functions will be limited to, according to the article, "Other changes included new language that says the advisory board may be allowed to review new liquor applications if the licensee requests additional help in preparing their application. The board will also be involved in reviewing and making recommendations to the full board on renewal applications."

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Memorial Day

As you probably know, Memorial Day is a major event here in Carbondale. This year's festivities take place at 10 a.m. on Monday in Woodlawn Cemetary (of course).   From the city:

The Memorial Day Sesquicentennial Service will be held on Monday, May 28, at the historic Woodlawn Cemetery, located at 405 E. Main Street in Carbondale.

Civil War historian Gary Ecelbarger will be the keynote speaker at this year’s event. He has written multiple books, including The Great Comeback: How Abraham Lincoln Beat the Odds to Win the 1860 Republican Nomination and biographies of Civil War generals “Black Jack” Logan and Fredrick W. Lander.

Other participants include Carbondale Mayor John “Mike” Henry, storyteller Brian Ellis, the Red Bank Reunion Band and members of the Carbondale Fire and Police Honor Guard.

The service will begin at 10 a.m. and will be held regardless of inclement weather. Seating is limited, so you are encouraged to arrive early. Parking is available at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, Wendy’s, Bandana’s Bar-B-Q, Popeyes, Walgreens, First Southern Bank and Fastenal.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Incentive Areas

Carbondale city government announced the governor has approved 3 low income incentive areas for the city.  Nice to have but doubt if they will have much effect. From what I have read, and others with more experience are certainly welcome to chime in, TIF and similar tax reduction districts do little to actually attract business into a low income area 

Monday, May 21, 2018


The second phase of the S. Illinois Ave. streetscape project is scheduled to start this Tuesday with completion scheduled for August 10. This phase of the project will work on the blocks of S. Illinois between West Cherry (just south of the Varsity Theater) to West Monroe (north side of the Civic Center).  No eclipse this year to drive the deadline but there is a substantial non-completion penalty if substantially all of the project is not finished by the 10th.

Friday, May 18, 2018

South End

With 710 Bookstore moving over on East Grand, that leaves quite a few empty spaces at the south end of the Strip. The set of shops above Trax is empty, the strip where Printing Plant used to be is half empty and now the block at the south end is half empty as well.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Water Supply

One of the benefits of the city having its own water supply is that we don't rely on Rend Lake like many of the surrounding communities do. If you remember, there was quite a bit of controversy over Mayor Cole's proposal to privatize the city water system  during his administration. From the city:

 Carbondale residents are not impacted by the recent water main break at the Rend Lake Conservancy District.

If residents in surrounding communities are in need of water, the City has a bulk fill station at the Water Treatment Plant, located at 2401 S. McLafferty Road.

If you have questions or would like more information about the bulk fill station, call the City of Carbondale Water Treatment Plant at (618) 457-3241 or the 24-hour hotline at (618) 529-1731.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Casper Passes Away

In case you missed it, the Bookworm's cat, Casper, passed away just days after the store closed this past weekend. According to the post on Facebook, Casper had appeared in the store parking lot about 15 years ago and soon settled into his position as the store mascot.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


On the heels of the departing hair salon on West Main, it looks as if there is a Screenprinting shop opening in the empty space next door. Used to be a tattoo parlor if I recall correctly.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Hair Salon Gone

The little hair salon that opened up in the 100 block of west Walnut, behind Phoenix Cycle, has shut down and cleared out the space. It wasn't there long enough for me to even notice what the name of the place was. Saw it open a few times but not consistently. Hopefully, the owners found a different location at which to open.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Econo Lodge

Due to continued incidents of flooding, the city wants to tear down the Econo Lodge (formerly known as University Inn and Days' Inn) and replace it with green space. If the grant from the state is approved, the city would purchase the property for about $800,000, demolish it and return it to open space. It appears the motel sits in the flood plain for Piles Fork Creek and there is no way to prevent the parking area and first floor of the building when the creek overflows its banks, which happened almost never when I first moved here but has happened several times since the turn of the century. In recent years, the Econo Lodge has shifted from providing rooms to visitors to Carbondale to offering weekly or monthly rentals.

Thursday, May 10, 2018


Given city council's embracing of Halloween this year, (you can submit your festival logos here), I wonder if the local media will retire their film clips and photos of Halloween riots past? If  a discussion of  Halloween in Carbondale makes the local news media, you can bet it will come accompanied by videos and photos of Halloween crowds the city hasn't seen since the mid 1990s. Case in point, this recent article in the Southern. To be fair, the focus of the article was the party school image the university had during its heyday in the early 1990s, but still, similar photos appear every time a story about bringing back Halloween appears.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

city Council Meeting--Food Trucks

City Council meets tonight. Main item on the agenda appears a look at the ordinances regarding food trucks in the city and possibly relaxing them. Last year a dozen operated in the city and apparently enough more want to operate that council is considering making it easier for them to do so. More options are good, as long as all of them don't offer variations on the same thing.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Did Losing the Party School Image Cut Enrollment?

Front page story in yesterday's Southern asking  if losing its party school image contributed to the decline in enrollment. Unfortunately, posing the question and only asking 2 people for their opinion doesn't really give an answer to the question.

Omar's Food Mart

Looks as if the old Veach's Short Stop behind University Mall is getting remodeled into Omar's Food Mart. Likely planning to serve the residents living in the area behind University Mall. Not a great location for a gas station though, as drivers have to get off of eastbound 13 onto old 13 and go through a stop sign to get to it. Hopefully, food sales will prove strong enough to keep the place in business.

Friday, May 4, 2018


If you are looking to clear stuff out of your house, the Freecycle exchange returns to Carbondale at the end of the month:

Anyone looking to downsize or just clear clutter is invited to bring items (in good condition) that are no longer needed to a Freecycle Exchange at Gaia House, 913 S Illinois Avenue.  And anyone looking for household goods or clothing can come and browse and help themselves. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 24 - 26, between the hours of noon and 8 pm, the doors will be open for people to drop off or pick up re-usable items. At the end of the week, the Freecycle Exchange will close and all remaining items will be donated to the Thrift Shop at 215 N Illinois.

For more information on the Freecycle Exchange, call the Gaia House at 618-549-7387; Keep Carbondale Beautiful can be reached at 618 525-5525 or