Thursday, August 29, 2019

WSIU

From the PSAs the station has made the past week or so, it appears WSIU will move to an all news/talk format from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. The promos indicate that starting Monday, the station will broadcast 1A at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., Fresh Air at 11 a.m. and Think will replace Fresh Air at 2 p.m. For someone who likes the news, like myself, this is great, but I imagine classical music fans will be disappointed.

I certainly did not hear much discussion about this leading up to the announcement. I would think such a change to the schedule must have been in the works for awhile and wonder why they are doing it. Maybe the listenership drops drastically after the end of Morning Edition and picks up noticeably when Here and Now starts.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Amtrak Renovations

Amtrak will start renovating the train depot next week. No idea as to how long they will take but the station will remain open with access during the renovation period. Just be careful when entering and exiting the station.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

We're Number !

SIUC has the number one ranked university arboretum in the state of Illinois. From what I can tell, that means the university does an outstanding job of maintaining and tracking its trees and woody plants.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Solar Bear

In case you missed it, the annual Solar Bear celebration, consisting primary of college students drinking as much as possible, usually at Pinch Penny Pub. PKs had a Friday night event tied into Solar Bear but the house parties seemed fewer in number. Only one house along West Main and a second along West Cherry hosted parties with any significant number of attendees during the day. The number may ramp up tonight though.

Friday, August 23, 2019

City Council Meeting

The city council will meet this Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Quite a bit on the agenda but most of it comes in the form of a consent agenda, meaning that the items on it all get approved at once. A council member may request that council remove an item from the agenda for individual consideration. A couple of things I noticed on the regular agenda:

discussion of adding another TIF district to the city. Would be interested to know how successful TIF districts 1, 2 and 3 are. My reading generally indicates that giving tax benefits to a company to come into a city has little influence on the decision. The business locates in the city if it makes financial sense to do so and giving it a tax break just gives away money that could go to fund city operations instead.This one, from what I understand, focuses on encouraging residential building and is a relatively new form of TIF in the state.

Publishing the Carbondale Comminique.  Not sure how many people read the print form of the Comminique. Maybe moving to a fully digital format would  save the city some money. Not sure it is would be a significant sum though.t

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Lots of Stores Up for Sale

A lot of stores up for sale in the downtown area. Key West was just announced up for sale and Thai Taste, Pagliai's , Hangar 9, Traxx and PK's are all seeking new owners, although the current owners have said they will keep the businesses open until a buyer is found. Stix  and Reema's closed down earlier this summer and Fat Patties shut its doors last December, though it is still up for sale and a GoFundMe campaign is raising money to reopen the burger restaurant as a co-operative. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Trees

According to the city arborist, many of the trees in Carbondale's Historic District (the area bounded by Walnut, Main and Poplar) have reached the end of their lifespan. Ergo the city will replace many of them this fall with smaller trees that blossom and otherwise add visual interest to the area at different times of the year. In addition, while still viable, the Bradford pear trees that were planted years ago are now viewed as invasive and no longer desirable so will likely be removed.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Roundabout

Looks as if the city will install its first roundabout at the intersection of Chautauqua and Briarwood. The city has looked at roundabouts at various locations for roundabouts in the past but never has gone ahead with the project.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

West Oak Street

From what I have heard, SIH/Memorial Hospital has purchased all of the lots and houses on the stretch of West Oak behind the hospital. I would expect to see all of them knocked down in the next couple of years as the hospital needs more room to expand, probably including knocking down the Rain House. site of a murder and at least one accidental death. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Combined City Council/ Park Board Meeting

In case you are free tomorrow night, there is a combined City Council Park Board meeting tomorrow night at the Civic Center, starting at 6 p.m. Looks as if the two groups will devote the major portion of the meeting to a discussion of a merger of the two organizations and what citizens of the community expect of such and what could actually happen. Nothing will likely happen until something is done about the debt load the Park District has on the books as a result of Hickory Ridge Golf Course.

Also on the agenda is a resolution condemning the proposed discharge of waste water by Williamson Energy into the Big Muddy River.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Free Parking

So far the city's experiment with free downtown parking appears to be going well. I have not seen any members of the parking division patrolling the lots and traffic flow in the lots appears as smooth as it was prior to the start of the program. The is costing the city somewhere in the neighborhood of roughly $10,000 per month which was applied to parking lot maintenance, so that money will have to come out of the general fund.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Regions Bank

Regions will consolidate its two Carbondale locations into one at the new location at the corner of Oakland and Main in mid October. Memorial Hospital has already purchased the Regions property on West Main and will likely raze it for either more parking for the facility or adding another building to the Memorial complex. Not sure why the company did not just consolidate the two locations into one. Maybe because the current West Main location is somewhat awkward to access while the East Main location is much smaller.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Friday, August 2, 2019

Steak and Shake Closed

The Carbondale Steak and Shake closed without much fanfare. Sign on the door indicates the company is looking for another franchisee to take over but the company has also been having a lot of financial problems