Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sheila Simon bio

Huffington Post Chicago has a bio of Sheila Simon up. Who knew the Lt. Gov.'s race was going to attract this much attention outside of our area? Though I never quite visualized C'dale as a right leaning city. Maybe it is to someone out of Chicago.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010


In case you're looking for some physical labor with which to while away the daylight hours:

Big Muddy IMC is making a final push to finish renovations to The Space,
our multi-purpose event and meeting space. The biggest remaining task is
tearing off the old roof and replacing it with a rubber one that
actually keeps out the water.

TODAY: Now through late afternoon
TUESDAY through FRIDAY: 9-ish am through late afternoon

Anyone interested in volunteering for roof work should bring work
gloves, water, and thick soled shoes. Roofing type or flat end shovels
would also be nice but not necessary.

For more info, contact 618-713-7632. If you'd like to help but are
unable to do roofing work, contact Treesong at 618.525.0625 and we'll
organize a cleaning party (or two) for the interior of the building.

Quinn/Simon Kickoff

Or in this area, it's probably Simon/Quinn. At any rate, the campaign will hold a rally this afternoon at 5:30 in front of Shryock Auditorium. Thanks to Mary O'Hara for passing this along.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sheila Simon

Governing .com offers its take on Sheila Simon's nomination as Lt. Governor and why she lost her run for mayor.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jeffery Laudromat Closed

The Jeffery Laundromat at 311 West Main has temporarily closed, due to a fire. The signs in the windows say they will reopen after a remodel. Here's hoping the insurance payment is enough to get some work done to the sign on the building, as it's almost unreadable due to paint wearing off.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Elementary School Cuts

Fourteen non-tenured teachers have been cut from the rolls of the Carbondale Elementary School District. This makes a heck of a lot of sense (that's sarcasm, by the way). Cut back on the people who are actually doing the wsork of theaching the students. That's the purpose of a school district. If you have to cut someplace, how about looking at staff as well, instead of the people who are performing the job for which the school district exists. Spread the pain around, instead of making the teachers absorb all of it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Road Work

Better plan on detouring around West Sycamore today as water main work will close the street until 5 p.m

Due to water main construction, West Sycamore Street between North Glenview and North Baine Drive will be closed to traffic on Thursday, March 25, 2010 from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M..

In the event of inclement weather, this closure will occur on Friday, March 26, 2010.

The City apologizes for any inconvenience that this closure may cause and urges all vehicular traffic to use alternate routes during this time period.

If you have any questions, please call Robin Pengress, Senior Engineering Technician, at 457-3270.

Tutiton Freeze

The FreeU blog comments on the effect of the tuition freeze on SIUC and SIUE and why it will beenfite SIUE.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Art Exhibition

From an email:

There is going to be an art exhibit at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship
on March 24 at 7 p.m. featuring the glass creations of Carbondale local Tim
Shepherd. Tim is a senior in the School of Art and Design at SIUC, and he
has also attended a summer workshop at the famed Pilchuck Glass School in
Seattle, WA. He has done demonstrations at the Springfield State Fair and
at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Gallery in Wausau, WI. Tim will be in
attendance to discuss his art and techniques. Light refreshments will be

Glenn Poshard Available

No he hasn't lost his job as president at SIUC but the domain name is still available.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Local Food

n case you're wanting more information about buying local food in southern Illinois and don't want to start your own backyard chicken farm (or any other sort of backyard farm), here's some more information on it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Another ban a local group is interesting on overturning, this one on keeping chickens within the city limits. Wayne Weiseman presented this letter to the C'dale City Council a few weeks ago, advocating allowing Carbondale residents to keep a backyard coop of chickens. This looks tied into the "local food" trend that is growing in popularity throughout the nation.

However, comparing chickens to a pet such as a cat or a dog is a bit of a stretch. Chicken's are nowhere as well behaved as a cat or a dog and the owner will have to have multiples of them in order for a decent stream of eggs to come. However, there's no denying that a chicken is much more useful than the typical cat or dog, at least in terms of providing physical sustenance.

Friday, March 19, 2010

TPS Presentation

From an email I received:

Next Wednesday March 24 at 7 pm in Browne Auditorium (Parkinson Bldg), there will be a speaker talking about a double - almost triple - murder case. Lt. Michale Callahan was a State Police Investigator who was assigned to confirm that the prosecutors had done a good job. Unfortunately, that's not what he found out. The local authorities were corrupt as well as incompetent. But what really surprised him was that he was told by his superiors to stop investigating because it was "too politically sensitive" - which turned into the title of the book he wrote about it. His presentation is fascinating.

Plus, the man whose life was saved by his intervention will also be here. Randy Steidl spent 17 years in prison, 12 of them on death row. He'll talk about his experience. All this happened in Paris, Illinois, a small town near the Indiana state line, just north of I-70. The murders remain unsolved, although Callahan's evidence points to several suspects (none of them Steidl). I say 'almost triple' because it seems that they were trying to get rid of him, too. He had written a letter complaining about corruption. But he did not realize how far that corruption extended into higher levels of Illinois government. Those aspects of this case are revealed by Michale Callahan.(that's how he spells it)
I hope you can let your friends and colleagues know about this.
more info at

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stotlar House

Drove by the Stotlar House this morning around 8 and still no demolition equipment in the yard. There were about half a dozen automobiles parted at various spots on the lawn and drive, though, so I'd bet some sort of meeting or walk-through was taking place.


Looks like the liquor control commission is meeting this coming Tuesday at 7 p.m. Apparently no action to be taken on the sale of liquor and beer by grocery stores as the only item on the agenda is the approval of a couple of Fair Day liquor licenses for Carbondale Main Street's Art and Wine Fairs later this year. I'm getting the feeling the whole grocery store alcohol sale issue is going nowhere fast.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Textbook Rental

In an attempt to save students money and cut the cost further of attending, SIUC will offer limited textbook rentals starting this fall. Sounds like the university is turning the clock backward as I recall it offered textbook rental up until sometime in the 1970s. The argument in the past against textbook rental has always been that the university is too large to properly maintain a rental program profitably. It will be interesting to see how this one works.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dome Doings

From an email sent by the RBFDNFP

Let the Transformation Begin…

It’s not everyday you get a chance to see a geodesic dome assembled, let alone a 3-frequency, 20 foot diameter, 6,000 pound, 5/9 hemisphere one! If you are near SIUC’s Quigley Hall (875 S. Normal Ave.) between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm today (Monday, March 15), you will get exactly that opportunity.

The Buckminster Fuller Dome Home Non-Profit (RBF Dome NFP), Fuller Dome Transformation Initiative, faculty members of the SIUC School of Architecture, and Blair Wolfram from the St. Paul, MN based Dome Inc. are combining efforts with a number of SIUC students to piece and bolt together the 3-ton structure.

This spontaneous event is meant to draw attention to the upcoming Fuller Dome Transformation Initiative, which will be taking place university and citywide Sunday, April 18 to Thursday, April 22 (see for more information). This 5-day event, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the building of the R. Buckminster & Anne Hewlett Fuller Dome Home, will feature some of the world’s top Bucky experts in a number of presentations, panels and mixers, in addition to a wide of range of film showings, live performances, improv/sketch comedy, poetry readings and design competitions.

While watching the raising of the all steel geodesic dome structure, you could discover that your affiliation with SIUC connects you to a rare and precious legacy.

The man many considered “the father of sustainability” called SIUC home for 12 years! R. Buckminster Fuller remains one of the most internationally acclaimed figures associated SIUC. His own “home” in Carbondale was a self-designed geodesic dome, one of his 28 patents, which stands today on the corner of Forest and Cherry Streets – awaiting a complete restoration that will bring it to a national historic landmark standard.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Business Fair

Which its nice to see SIUC sponsoring this, it's interesting to see they are putting it in the Haynes Center, rather than the Dunn-Richmond Center, Civic Center or Student Center, all three of whichh have facilities designed to host an event like this.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Presenvation Committee Meeting

The city Preservation Committee meets this Monday at 7 p.m in room 103 at the Civic Center. Looks as if the handling of the recent kerfluffle over the Stotlar House is still resonating as one agenda item is protocol for demolition procedures and handling media inquiries.

More on DaveX's New Show

The Southern's Flipside has a nice article on radio host Dave Armstrong's new show on WSIU.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No Action

Looks like I was wrong. The Liquor Advisory Board took no action on changing the city's code vis a vis grocery stores selling liquor at last nights meeting. It appears Mayor Cole sets the agenda for the meeting and, surprise, code change wasn't on it. No Mayor Cole in attendance either.

Wanna Rehab Your House?

This is the list of resources provided to Home Rentals by the Preservation Commission should HR decide to rehab the Stotlar House rather than demolish it:

Property Tax Assessment Freeze--property taxes on the building can be frozen for over a 122 year period after rehab is completed.

Landmarks Illinois has the Preservation Heritage Fund Grant which provides assistance to preserve or protect significant structures and sites in Illinois

Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit--offers a dollar for dollar Federal income tax credit equal to 20% of the construction costs.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit--Offered a tax credit for the rehab of low income housing. Either 9% per year for 10 years for projects not receiving Federal subsidies or 4% for those subsidized. (Don't think the Stotlar House would qualify).

National Trust for Historic Preservation--A number of grant and loan programs are available.

Amtrak Schedule Change

Southbound Train 391 Departs Earlier

Temporary Weekday Schedule Change

March 15-19, March 22-26 and March 29-April 2

On Monday through Friday of each week from March 15 through April 2, southbound Train 391 (The "Illini") will depart Chicago 25 minutes earlier and depart all remaining stations on the route 30 minutes earlier, due to track work being performed by Canadian National Railway. The weekday schedule shown below replaces the one published in Amtrak’s Fall 2009-Winter 2010 System Timetable. Please note: Saturday and Sunday schedules will not change.

Northbound Train 392 – Possible Delays: During this period, northbound Train 392 will operate according to the published schedule, but may encounter delays of up to 30 minutes on Mondays through Fridays.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Toyota Hits Back

Looks like SIUC prof. David Gilbert's research is getting attacked/questioned by Toyota. No real surprise there, nor the resignation of two Toyota executives from the school's Automobile Technology board of directors.

Update: It appears Gilbert has been retained by a safety expert who is working with lawyers, likely with an eye towards lawsuits aimed at Toyota.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lt. Governor Post

I see past city council rep and erstwhile mayoral candidate Sheila Simon has thrown her hat in the ring for the Lt. Governor position on the Democratic ballot. It's amazing how many people want the job now that they don't have to go to the trouble of campaigning for it. At last count, 46 people had announced they were seeking the position.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Earthquake Readiness

While I was in the civic center the other day, I decided to check on the earthquake readiness of city buildings. While I havne't ehard anthing back on other structures, I did find that the civic center is designed with a "seam" in the building specifically to let it resist the effects of a quake. The seam splits the building in half, allowing the two halves to shift in the event of a quake, rather than pulling against each other.

The is visible evidence of the seam in the building. Look for a row of tiles about a dozen feet north of the bench in the atrium, with cracked filler between them. You'll see the cracked filler running from the east wall to the west. That marks the protective seam.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

LAB Meeting

The monthly Liquor Advisory Board meeting has been rescheduled for next Tuesday (March 9th) at 5:30. Main thing on the agenda is approval of Fair Day F1 liquor licenses for the Downtown Wine and Art Fairs scheduled (barring a windstorm) for this May and October, though a discussion of possible revisions to the city's liquor code is also on the agenda. Want to bet that has something to do with the petitions gathered by assorted grocery stores in town?

Business Resource Fair

Saw a flyer for this at City Hall last week. Rather late to start getting work about it, though:

The City of Carbondale in partnership with SIUC Entrepreneurship and Business Development, the Small Business Development Center, the Carbondale branch NAACP and the John A. Logan Procurement Technical Assistance Center, is hosting a Business Resource Fair. The event will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Eurma C. Hayes Center located at 441 East Willow Street in Carbondale. A light dinner will be provided by Southern Que BBQ.

Event sponsors encourage minorities and women who are interested in starting their own business or strengthening their existing business to attend. One of the goals of the event is to increase minority and women business participation in economic development projects in the area.

Participants will learn about business ownership, free counseling services and workshops available to assist with starting and expanding a business, methods of finding financial resources and securing financing, services available to help Illinois firms (contractors, vendors, suppliers, etc.) compete for government contracting opportunities, City economic development resources and incentives available for businesses that locate in an Enterprise Zone or a Tax Increment Financing District.

Registration is limited. Please register by March 16th. Registration forms can be obtained and completed at Carbondale City Hall located at 200 South Illinois Avenue, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. or at the Eurma C. Hayes Center located at 441 East Willow Street on Tuesdays and Fridays between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Completed registration forms may be placed in the drop box in the NAACP office at the Eurma C. Hayes Center. Registration will also be accepted by phone. To register by phone contact Faith Johnson at 457-3229. To request additional information contact Marilyn James, Community Relations Officer at 457-3246 or leave a message at the NAACP office for Rev. Sidney Logwood at 457-7722.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Notes from Pickle's Alley

MVC tournament starts on Thursday.
Secular Student Alliance chapter starting up as SIUC
Memorial for deceased students yesterday.
Here's a report on the coal symposium held at Cedarhurst
SIUC still looking to borrow money.