Friday, February 26, 2010

Bucky's Dome Meeting

In case you're free this Wednesday:

News: Call for Volunteers, Participants & Sponsors – Organizational meeting from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Wednesday, March 3rd in the upstairs dining room at Italian Village located at 405 S. Washington Ave. in Carbondale

Event: The Fuller Dome Transformation Initiative [FDTI]

Organization: RBF Dome NFP (Buckminster Fuller Dome Home Non-Profit)

Dates: April 18th – April 22nd, 2010

Contact: Brent Ritzel at 618.203.4844,

This April will mark the 50th Anniversary of a Carbondale treasure! The R. Buckminster and Anne Hewlett Fuller Dome Home was constructed on April 19th 1960 and the RBF Dome NFP has big plans to properly honor our local legacy. Five days of impressive events, guests, local food and entertainment is set to create a deservedly comprehensive event worthy of honoring a visionary, and celebrating a golden anniversary.

We are looking for those interested in volunteering for, participating in and/or sponsoring this citywide event to attend an organizational meeting taking place from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Wednesday, March 3rd in the upstairs dining room at Italian Village located at 405 S. Washington Ave. in Carbondale, Illinois.

The Fuller Dome Transformation Initiative

…will take place from April 18th to April 22nd and needs your participation! The success of an event often depends on the strength and help of the community that supports it. This is no exception! Volunteers are needed for all aspects of the Initiative. Do you have time, talents, services, materials, artifacts or even stories and experiences that you’d like to share? This is the perfect opportunity! No contribution is too small!

Often called the “father of sustainability,” the impact and legacy of R. Buckminster Fuller’s work is celebrated internationally. By volunteering, participating or sponsoring the Fuller Dome Transformation Initiative you help manifest a needed event focused on positive transformation for Carbondale, Illinois and the Southern Illinois region.

We have an impressive list of guests that will be taking part in the festivities, including Allegra Fuller Snyder, Bucky’s daughter. Join us in celebrating one of Carbondale’s most adulated and honored citizens and the anniversary of the only geodesic dome he and his wife Anne called home.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of a Carbondale treasure is most certainly a community event and your willingness to contribute will make all the difference!

Contact Brent Ritzel at 618.203.4844 or Together we hope to uncover the gems, networks, talent and rich intellectual legacy of our region. Be part of the transformation. Donate your time, service or become a sponsor of this unique Southern Illinois event.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Certificate of Appropriateness Meeting

Sat in on the Preservation Commission's Certificate of Appropriateness Committee meeting (geez, that's a long name) this afternoon. I was right, the sole topic was the Stotlar House. Basicallythe meeting boiled down to, here's some information about resources available if Home Rentals chooses to restore the house, please don't tear it down, but there's really not anything we can do to stop you if you do.

The Home Rentals representative (I think he is the construction manager but didn't catch his name), was sympathetic to the committee's requests but said he estimated that, due to vandalism (apparently all wiring and metal plumbing has been ripped out of the house, which is what happens when the entire rear end of your building is left wide open to the elements), it would cost approximately $200,000 to rehab the building or about the same as it would cost to demolish the building and replace it with one that was architecturally similar to those in the surrounding neighborhood.

The committee pointed out that rebuilding the property would automatically give it the current special uses status it has, while demolition and rebuilding would require the building to either conform to the commercial status the area is zoned for or for Home Rentals to re-apply for a special uses exemption.

The Home Retails rep did say they did not plan to bring in demolition equiptment as soon as the moratorium expires on March 1 and they would meet with planner Meagan Jones next week to further discuss the committee's recommendations

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Preservation Committee Meeting

Looks like the Certificate of Appropriateness committee is meeting tomorrow at 1:30. Wanna bet the Stotlar House is on the agenda, since the stay of demolition expires on Monday?

The City of Carbondale Certificate of Appropriateness Committee of the Preservation Commission will meet on February 25, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. on the second floor, in the planning department’s conference room B at the City Hall/Civic Center.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Public Pesnions

Given the problems the city is having in meeting its budget, a lot of which is blamed on the unfunded mandates from the state for pension payment, it's interesting to read that, by and large, the pension systems in most states are in good shape. It's the raiding or unfunding of Illinois pension plans since the 90s that has left them in such poor shape.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Show

DaveX, host of It's Too Damn Early on WDBX, announced on his blog that he will start hosting a similar show on WSIU Sunday morning starting in April, possibly becoming the "largest broadcast of experimental music anywhere in the state".

Saturday, February 20, 2010

SIUC Basketball Relevant?

The Kalamazoo Gazette asks why the Salukis have lost their edge.

Interesting Comment

I found this comment from Mayor Cole, regarding the desire by local supermarkets to sell liquor, interesting:

"All of the grocery stores came to town knowing they could not sell alcohol, so I don't know if they want to change from being grocery stores to liquor stores; but we haven't changed the rules on them since they've been here," Cole said.

Given that Mayor Cole has a reputation as a can-do mayor who had made Carbondale a more business friendly community, it's rather strange that he's intimating Carbondale's liquor code should remain as it is. With the current financial straits the city finds itself in and the city's reliance on the sales tax as a revenue driver, why not make a change in the code that would increase sales tax revenues here?

Friday, February 19, 2010

How to Fix SIUC

The Free U blog has a proposal on how to get SIUC (and other Illinois universities) out of the financial mess it's in. An interesting point the post makes is how low of a debt load SIUC students typically graduate compared to the debt carries by students at other state universities.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cell Phone Threat

If you missed this, Carbondale Middle School was closed down on Tuesday as the result of a phoned in threat regarding gun violence at the school. The police have arrested a 14 year old suspect and it does not appear there were any actual guns involved, just the threat of them. After a very short story about the incident on Tuesday, the Southern has followed up with two more, here and here, that don't give much more in the way of information.

1969 Tea Party

Allan Keith, in his book Days of Dissent, points out that SIUC hosted a Tea Party protest back in April of 1969:

My book "SIUC's Days of Dissent: A Memoir of Student Protest"  notes on
page 35 that:

"In April hundreds of 'hippies' held a convention, sponsored by the Tea
Party Now, a student political party. There was dancing to the
psychedelic sounds of a band in the Student Center. Stuart Novick said
in a news release that the party 'reaches back to the Boston Tea Party
for its foundations and guiding spirit.'"

Novick was a well-known activist. Use of the words "Tea Party," of
course, was meant to symbolize a revolt against tyrannical authority.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The American Gets it Wrong (sorta)

The Murphysboro American says that C'dlaa groceries can't sell liquor. That's not actually true. They can sell liquor, they just have to comply with pretty stringent requirements, such as a separate cash register and sales area and an opaque wall between the liquor sales area and the rest of the store.

Pohlman Not Seeking Re-election

Councilman Mary Pohlman will not run for another term on city council, choosing to step down when her term expires in May 2011. She hopes this will serve as encouragement for other civic minded individuals to consider" serving their city for four years without feeling they must make a lifelong commitment". She will remain active on the council and believes another year gives her "a fair amount of time to make my mark (so to speak)."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Population Level

This is interesting. Despite the sprawl of the city, Carbondale's population has actually grown by a bit less than 12% since 1970 and had actually dropped 4.5% since 1990, which, if I remember correctly, coincides with the peak years of SIUC attendance.

Cut From Where?

As this story points out, a recent survey by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute indicates that over 55% of Illinoisan beleive the state can cut it way out of the current budget crisis. However, no one appears able to say what is waste and what is a valuable program. The same problems we are having with the budget shortfall here in Carbondale are the same problems we are dealing with at the state and national levels. Nobody wants to say that my program is unneeded or wasteful. it's always the other guy's. You can read the Simon Institute report here.

Buy Local

Thy "Buy Local" movement continues to gain steam. Now Cleveland (the city) has announced it's implementing a buy local program.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Seed Swap

Announcing Carbondale's first of the decade and the century....
Seed Swap!!!
do you grow your own food?
ARe you a beginning or experienced seed saver?
come share knowledge and seeds.
No experience, or seeds required.

February 27, 2010 1-3 pm

Neighborhood Coop Grocery
Murdale Shopping Center

sponsored by the Carbondale Climate Action Network and the Neighborhood Coop Grocery
All welcome at any level of experience.
pass it on to your wanna be gardener acquaintances and friends-- there's nothing like growing yer own!

INFO; 618-684-6189 (leave message) or

Saturday, February 13, 2010

When Expenses Exceed City Revenues

Given the recent concern about Carbondale city government cutting funding to social service programs, I found this article in the Denver Post enlightning regarding what's happening in Colorado Springs when the second largest city in Colorado found itself with a $27 million budget shortfall.

Parks are watered only every other week, pools and community centers are closing, a third of the city's streetlights were shut off on Feb 1 and municipal trash hauling has ended, replaced by signs from the city advising residents to haul their own garbage to the dump. Local businesses are advocating drastic cuts in city employee salaries, even as voters turned down a tripling of property taxes to fill the budget gap.

Grocery Beer Sales

Local grocery stores are actively pushing changes to C'dales existing liquor code to allow them to sell liquor without the restriction of setting up a separate sales area to do so. Apparently there are petitions out at Krogers, Schnuck's, the Neighborhood Food Co-Op and Arnold's Market for customers to sign.

Local blogger on all things beer, the Beer Philosopher weighs in on the controversy as well, saying that Mayor Cole's opposition to more liquor licenses "smacks of cronyism" and plans to post an online version of the petition on his site. Kroger had copies of the petition at all of its checkouts this morning and most of them appeared half filled.

Slow News Week

Must be a slow news week when Gary Metro uses his editorial space to opine on the terrorist trial or lack thereof, in New York.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wetlands Conference

In case you're free the weekend of March 4th:



Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Dunn Richmond Center - 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road

March 4-6, 2010

The Center for Delta Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is hosting a regional conference on the cultural and natural heritage of the lower Ohio and Mississippi Valley. We welcome professionals, students, local historians and naturalists, and all others interested in the subject.

The conference consists of 4 invited panels, with volunteered posters, exhibits, and performances following each panel. Members of Dance Discovery, a dance troupe that researches and performs French Colonial and early American dances and music will lead a dance workshop. Other workshops and posters deal with traditional music, migrant workers in the region, Sears Roebuck houses, anda variety of other topics.

There is a free tour on Saturday to the internationally recognized Cache River Wetlands, with a no-host lunch at a local winery. Register as soon as possible to reserve space on the tour.

Please distribute this announcement to anyone you think might be interested. For more information, see the conference call on the Center website

Registration is open at The basic registration fee, which includes a Thursday and Friday lunch, will be $50. A limited number of partial scholarships are available for students and others of limited means.

Please email any queries to Kayeleigh Sharp,

Oxen Being Gored

A number of local social service agencies are looking at having their funding from the city either reduced significantly or zeroed out completely under the proposal from city manager
Allen Gill. According to this weeks C'dale Times, Attucks Community Services and I CAN READ would receive no funding under the proposed budget, nor would the Lights Fantastic Parade, Lions Club fireworks show, or Carbondlae Junior Sports, among others. Decreased funding would go to the Boys and Girls Club (down $2782), Carbondale Community Arts (down $10,281), Senior Adult Services (down $3291) and the Sunset Concerts (down $2233), with several other organizations receiving cuts of under $1000 each. A total of eighteen groups will see their funding cut.

These are only proposed cuts. The city wants to get the numbers out now, so that people have a chance to discuss them before the actual budget is adopted in April. Even with the new sales tax, the city is still coming in $200,000-$300,000 over budget, mainly due to the state mandated cost of city pensions. Until that is changed, or we see an increase in the economy, projected city expenses will still exceed revenues and cuts will have to be made somewhere, but nobody likes to see their favored program go under the ax.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Goldman on SIUC

Chancellor Goldman has been popping up with more frequency lately to get the word out that, yes, the university is facing financial difficulties and yes, attendance is not what he would like but no, the university is not closing down.

Atomic Home

The Talking tourism blog wants to call your attention to the Atomic Home over in Murphysboro. I assume they do a lot of internet sales as I don't see how a store with such a specialized focus can make it in Murphysboro.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Mary Lynn Schroeder, owner of relatively new local business Dayshift got interviewed by arts and crafts website etsy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

C'dale Roads

Hopefully the city will make a sustained assault on the increasing number of potholes cropping up around town. I blew a tire hitting one yesterday and the driver from the towing company said I was the third person he had towed that day that had flattened a tire driving through a pothole.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Liquor Fun

The Liquor Control Commission has two items on its agenda as of now: a request for an A2 license for the Chili's coming in over in front of Dick's Sporting Goods and a request from Pagliai's Pizza and Pasta to transfer their license to the new location at 509 S. Illinois. Meeting is at 7 p.m. on the 9th if you're so inclined.

City Website Problem

Looks like the city's website is currently down. Going to Explore Carbondale only brings up a blank page.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Liquor Licenses

Looks like Schunck's, at least, will be approaching the council about raising the liquor license cap further. One part of the article is technically incorrect though. There is no ban on grocery stores having a license or selling liquor, they just have to have an opaque wall between the liquor and the rest of the store, as well as a separate checkout area.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Several stories on SIUC's drop in enrollment, esp. compared with SIUE's increase. Here, here, here and here, to name a few.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Primary Results

In case you're following the primary election with baited breath, here're the unofficial primary results for Jackson County. In the most active race locally, Berkowitz beat Reeder by 200 votes to retain the office or at least the Democratic nomination for it.

Southern Illinois Eateries

The Talking Tourism blog lists their top 10 +1 places to eat in Southern Illinois.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Term Paper Sales

A local company selling access to term papers online just lost in district court. According to the ruling, it's OK to sell access to term papers, but if they are not original work, you must have the permission of the original authors.

Election Funding

In case you want a good look at who's funding who in tomorrow's elections, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform website is a good place to check. Here's the site's info on Mayor Cole.