Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book World Closing

In case you missed this story in the DE, long time Strip occupant Book World will close its doors on May 31.  The owner cites the economy and lack of time as reasons for his decision:

Owner John Ballestro said the economy and an increase in his time commitment at the business — which caters primarily to students, faculty and staff at SIUC — led to his decision to close.

Sorry to see it close as I remember first shopping there during the late 80s when I starting coming to Carbondale.  Rumor was that later in the business' existence  it survived solely on the sales of back issues of Playboy from the 8' long rack near the checkout counter.

Mayor Cole's New Job

This article looks as some of the in-state staff Senator Mark Kirk has hired, with an emphasis on Brad Cole's background and duties.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Muffler Men

Just because I have a soft spot for Route 66, here's a collection of Illinois Muffler Giants you can still find along the Mother Road.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Road Closure

Though this one is not caused by flooding:

Cedarview Street will be closed to through traffic from East Main Street to East Walnut Street due to a water line replacement. This closure is scheduled to be from 7:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Friday, April 29, 2011 depending on the weather. All businesses will be accessible from Walnut Street.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recycling Workshop

Rather last minute but there are still some seats left for today's workshop “Recycling Works: A Toolkit for Reducing Waste in the Workplace.”  The workshop is FREE and is being presented by Mike Mitchell from the Illinois Recycling Association and Mike Huskey from Revolution Recycling.  Please join us for a great presentation on taking the next steps to greening your office, department, program or business.  We will also have a display of serviceware (utensils, cups, plates, etc.) that are made from recyclable, compostable and/or renewable materials.  A continental breakfast will be provided.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Room 150, Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center

RSVP via this email (LINDBERG@SIU.EDU)  or leave a message at 453.6754

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

School Board Swearing IN

 Invitation from Amy Erickson to attend the induction of the District 95 School Board this Thursday night.  Too few people pay attention to the board after the election:

"To Those who supported my vision for education in Carbondale I want to personally thank you for your support.  To those who remain unsure, please let me know more about your views as we work together to improve our schools.
I have urged greater citizen involvement in the education of our children. Lets start by attending the School Board Member induction Thursday, April 28 at 7:15pm at Lewis School, 801 S Lewis Ln. (Corner of Grand & Lewis Ln). That's when I officially take my place on the Board along with the other newly elected members.

After the school board meeting all of you are invited to the reception at
Paglia's Pizza on the Strip around 8PM or so. Please come and let me know about your concerns for elementary and middle school education in Carbondale. And let's also enjoy the night.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cost of Recycling

Not much new came out of last Thursday's sustainability commission meeting.  Chicken ordinance is still on hold and will remain so until the new Mayor and council are sworn in.  The new bike path committee met last Friday and the commission will look into increasing recycling at apartment complexes.  One interesting fact did come out of the discussion regarding recycling costs.  Southern Recycling, who handles the city's recycling program, currently loses money on cardboard recycling.  However, the money made on aluminum recycling covers the losses on cardboard.  Recycling one truckload of aluminum covers the losses on recycling three truckloads of cardboard.

The city could save money by just dumping the cardboard in the Jackson County Landfill, but county ordinances prohibit the disposal of recyclable materials, including cardboard.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Esther's Clothing

New business in downtown at 211 West Main St. (old location of LilyWhite and Two Doves Photography). Womens' clothing apparently, with an interesting juxtaposition of girl's christening dresses and women's lingere in the front window.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Friday Night Fair

Tomorrow is the first downtown Friday Night Fair, a new event sponsored by Carbondale Main Street, offering free music and an outlet for local growers, crafters and civic organizations to get out word about themselves (and sell stuff too). The two bands listed on the flyer, Nighty Nite and the Rob Jacobs Band are both indy rock. A third band has been added to the line-up. Kid Tiger is composed of SIUC freshmen and has a good following among the same group at the university. Kid Tiger kicks off from 6 to 7 with the other tow bands taking the stage afterwards.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Temple

I have to wonder if the groundbreaking of a new mosque in town would have caused as little controversy as the groundbreaking for this Hindu temple did. My guess is no, as I have thankfully heard very little anti-Muslim rhetoric in the 'dale.

Filling Fritzler's Seat

As Beetlejuice notes, mayor elect Joel Fritzler will solicit applications from members of the community to fill his seat for the remainder of his term. Fritzler indicated last night he will request that applicants supply a resume showing their qualifications for the job along with the application. This should help 4th place finisher Tom Grant as well as Lee Fronabarger, should they seek the position, as both have long track records of city and community service.

Storm Info

Press Release from the city about last night's storm:


The City of Carbondale experienced damage due to powerful winds associated with the storm that passed through southern Illinois late on Tuesday, April 19. Numerous trees and limbs were down, causing temporary road closures and widespread electrical outages along with some damage to private property.
Residents are urged to check their homes for any possible damage and consult with their insurance carriers as necessary. Residents should be aware of contractors or others who may seek to do immediate repair work that is not necessary or seems to be unwarranted.
Residents are requested to notify utility service providers if they are aware of downed power lines and to notify the City of any lines or trees blocking roadways. Residents should not attempt to clear wires or trees that are impeding the right of way.
Significant damage was sustained by the City of Carbondale Police Department at our new Public Safety Center. However, all services are being provided and the Center is functioning fully at 501 South Washington Street. Temporary road closures around that structure are in place while debris and building clean-up is under way.
If assistance is needed please contact the Police Department as usual, or in case of emergency call 911.
A Disaster Emergency Proclamation was ordered by Mayor Brad Cole at 11:30 p.m. on April 19, 2011 and is in effect. Notices to the public will be provided through regular media sources, and information may be obtained at City Hall, as it becomes available.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

District 95 Program Passes

In a very long and storm interrupted meeting, the city council passed the 2011-2012 budget, including funding for the controversial District 95 summer reading and math program. The budget passed on a 4-3 vote, with Mayor Cole and Councilpeople Haynes, Neill and McDaniel voting for it and Wissmann, Fritzler and Pohlman against. Councilman Haynes attempted to include $30,000 plus in funding for Attucks Community Services, but had no luck.

Councilmans Haynes' vote is a change from his position during the recent election, when all four candidates for mayor spoke against the proposed $150,000 summer reading program. The continued funding of the I CAN READ program, which he had pushed for, may have influenced his changed vote.

Also, the grand opening of the new Public Safety Center may be postponed as the storm caused significant damage to the roof. Not sure how much, but the contractor is over there right now evaluating the situation.

In the Liquor Control Commission meeting earlier in the evening, Gatsbys appealed a $1000 fine and costs stemming from a citation for having someone under 19 in the bar last September. The Commission voted to accept the appeal and changed the punishment to a letter of reprimand and hearing costs of about $120. I was bemused by the length of time it took for the whole process. The original citation was given in September, the first hearing (which a representative from Gatsby's missed, thinking the time was at 4:30 rather than 4 p.m.) was in March and the appeal was granted in April. Not exactly swift justice.

LCC and City Council

Liquor Control Commission meets tonight at 6:15. Looks as if an appeal by Gatsby's is the only thing on the agenda.

City Council meets at 7:00. Looks as if the budget will be the big thing on the agenda. The city is also authorizing the City Manager to enter into contracts with community organizations such as District 95 for the tutoring program. The District 95 proposal has been modified to allow either side to terminate the contract within 120 days after the end of each summer's program. I see the city plans to restore funding to the I Can Read program as well. Probably a little hard to justify cutting it when you are planning to spend $150,000 on a similar program.

Monday, April 18, 2011

One Down...

.. one to go. The C'dale Police Dept. announced today that the new Public Safety Center is now open for your ticket paying convenience. Next up, the new Fire Dept. building, planned to go in on the property behind the Walgreen's on the west side.

Planning Commission

Planning Commission meets this Wednesday at 7 p.m. Looks as if the main things on the agenda are a couple of rezoning requests.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bucky's Dome Visit

CNET blogger Amanda Kooser writes about her visits this weekend to Bucky's Dome and the Boo Rochman Memorial Park. Apparently, she's both a fan of Buckminister Fulller and Dungeons & Dragons. When you think about it, that's not really so hard to understand. Fuller was one of the most visionary and imaginiative people of the 20th century and Dungeons & Dragons is a game that plays best with people of strong imaginations.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Etherton Home

Documentation of the Etherton Home is on the agenda for next Monday's meeting of the C'dale Preservation Commission. Hope this doesn't wind up another Stotlar House. Also on the agenda, the 2011 Historical Preservation awards. Doubt very much if Home Rentals is in the running.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Streetsweepers or Not?

This is getting mildly befuddling. I have been told by two different people that the city's streetsweeping program is back in the budget but got told today that it definitely isn't in there. One of the original sources I spoke with say they were agreeing with my question rather than having any official knowledge. Confused? I know I am.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Civic Center Soda

Looks like it will be a really long time before you will be able to buy a Coke in the Carbondale Civic Center as it appears the city just renewed a long term contract with Pepsi Mid America, and by long term I mean fifteen years.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Non Violent Communication EVent

In case you are interested (I do wonder who the certifying board is for nonviolent communication practitioners):


On Monday, April 18, at 7:30 pm at the Carbondale Civic Center in Room 112, the Carbondale Human Relations Commission will host an evening with Mair Alight. Alight, a Certified Trainer in Nonviolent Communication, will engage participants in an experience of Nonviolent Communication and how NVC can be practiced in everyday life – at work, school, home, and in the community. This program is part of the HRC’s ongoing Nonviolent Carbondale Project.

Alight has learned and practiced with Marshall Rosenberg since 2000, attending International Trainings and bringing Nonviolent Communication to many countries and populations. She co-founded the San Quentin Teaching Team and worked with victim-offender reconciliation programs. She has worked with businesses, with mental health providers, and with schools. She has broad experience working with individuals and communities.

Marshall Rosenberg is the author of Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, and founder of The Center for Nonviolent Communication. An international peacemaker, educator, and mediator, Rosenberg has been developing and sharing his communication process for peacemaking for 50 years.

Mair Alight will be in the Carbondale area April 11-18. For more information about her visit, contact Gaia House Interfaith Center at (618) 549-7387 or

Monday, April 11, 2011

Street Sweepers

I haven't found the item in the proposed budget for 2011-2012, but two different sources have said it includes money to reactivate the city's two streetsweepers. The daily sweeping program went on hiatus a couple of years ago as a money saving measure, since running both of them cost the city $200,000 per year. Ergo, instead of getting cleaned weekly, the streets got swept only a couple of times a year, before graduation and the beginning of the fall term, when lots of out of towners visited the city. Of course, they still cost money, even while sitting idle, since the city still had to make payments on the money to pay for them.

At least, the Sustainability Commission has one less thing to fret about, since the cleanliness of Carbondale's streets was a topic that had come up a couple of times.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

CNET Visit to Bucky Dome

Amanda Kooser, a freelance blogger for CNET, is making a drive along Rte. 66 from Albequerque to Chicago. While that's cool (and something I've done a couple of times), the interesting part is her plan to detour off the Mother Road to Carbondale for a visit to Bucky's Dome.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Grand Old Varsity

If you are free the evening of April 21 (that's a Thursday) several of the area's top bands will each play a 45 minute or so set at the Varsity Theater, starting at 6 p.m. Only 150 tickets available, $20 each (plus a $1.50 charge for online orders). Beer and wine available for purchase.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Map Your Neighborhood Workshops

Build a Neighborhood Disaster Preparedness Team On Your Block —Map Your Neighborhood (MYN)

Training workshop for Map Your Neighborhood April 25 or 26

Carbondale’s Housing and Neighborhood Action Group will provide "Map Your Neighborhood (MYN), Train the Trainers" sessions to those people who would like to facilitate Map Your Neighborhood meetings in homes throughout the region. Choose to attend one of two identical sessions: Monday April 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Carbondale Civic Center; or Tuesday April 26 from 9 am to 12 pm in Room F-110 at John A. Logan College. The sessions are free and open to the public. However, a reservation is needed to ensure sufficient materials for everyone. Reservations can be made by calling Mary O’Hara at (618) 713-0820 or <>.

The hour following a disaster is called the "golden hour" by emergency preparedness professionals. Golden because well planned responses to a disaster in the first hour can significantly prevent the loss of lives and property. "Map Your Neighborhood" trains neighborhoods how to work together to maximize their effectiveness during the golden hour.

After completing the training, a participant will have the tools to organize a neighborhood (usually 10-20 homes) to

-- learn the 9 steps to take immediately following a disaster,

-- develop a neighborhood skills and equipment inventory,

-- map the neighborhood and identify areas of concern such as gas meters, and

-- verify which neighbors need extra help in a disaster such as the elderly, those with a disability, or children who may be home alone.

Mary Pohlmann, lead trainer for the workshop, observed, "The extent of the devastation in Japan has left people in shock. We are not susceptible to tsunamis, but Southern Illinois sits between two seismic zones -- New Madrid and the Wabash Valley. Plus, tornadoes and ice storms are other disasters for which we need to prepare. The award winning Map Your Neighborhood program will help us be ready for all such disasters." MYN won the 2009 International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) "Public Awareness Award."

The Neighborhood Action Group grew out of the 2005 Carbondale Conversations for Community Action (a program of the Carbondale Human Relations Commission), when the conversations looked at Building Strong Neighborhoods. The Map Your Neighborhood program is organized in concert with Carbondale Emergency Management Services (549-5302 x 234). A video of a local MYN neighborhood meeting is available at Speakers to describe the MYN program to groups are also available. For more information contact or call Mary O’Hara at 713-0820

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Carbondale Hotheads Closing

Since the newly elected council members and mayor focused on downtown redevelopment as one of their planks, maybe they can recruit a replacement for the soon to close Hotheads Salon on S. Illinois.

According to the sign on the door, Hotheads' last day is April 16, though apparently the stylists have relocated to Clique Hair Design in Marion. All exterior signage has been removed from the storefront already, with a phone number the only thing remaining. The Marion Hotheads remains in business.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Final Results

Here're the final results for today's elections if you want to take a look at them. For all the attention focused on them, voting was down significantly in the mayoral race from the Cole/Simon contest, about 40% by my rough estimation. Apparently the concerns that votes for Haynes and Goldman were votes for Maroney and against Fritzler proved overblown as Fritzler beat Maroney by 8%, indicating that a vote for Goldman would up a vote for Friztler, instead.

Fritzler and the three winners in the city council race, Don Monty, Jane Adams and Lance Jack proved once again that name recognition and a good ground game are hard to beat in politics. Monty and Fritzler about tied in terms of walking neighborhoods and knocking on doors with Adams and Jack not far behind. Fritzler also dumped a significant amount of money into direct mail as the campaign sent out several postcards in the week before the election, compared to one or two from Goldman and none that I saw from the other two candidates.

Looking at the council results, it roughly appears that most voters cast one vote each for Jane Adams and Don Monty,t hen picked a third candidate. Only about 30 votes separate Lance Jack and Tom Grant, indicating Grant's name recognition was almost enough to beat Jack's extensive campaigning. Also indicating the importance of name recognition, Janet Elizabeth Donoghue, who suspended her campaign several weeks ago, beat Candle Wester-Mittan by about 50 votes and Hugh Williams by about 10.

In the other race catching a (comparative) lot of attention, Amy Erickson won a spot on the school board for District 95, due in part to lots of support from residents of the Arbor District, who hosted several "get to know the candidate" meetings with her. Tommy McQueen-Hamilton, who had been canvassing quite a bit in his bid for a seat on the school board and had his campaign literature available at several of the candidate forums, came in last in the field of five.

District 95 Preliminary results

48% of the precincts reporting at 8:19:

Carbondale Elementary School District
95 Total
Number of Precincts 30
Precincts Reporting 17 56.7 %
Total Votes 1396
AMY ERICKSON 348 24.93%
JOHN MAJOR 326 23.35%
SUSIE TOLIVER 271 19.41%

City Council Update

As of 8:19, with 48% of the precincts reporting:

Cdale Councilman
Number of Precincts 27
Precincts Reporting 13 48.1 %
Total Votes 1684
DONALD MONTY 251 14.90%
JANE ADAMS 262 15.56%
TOM GRANT 179 10.63%
LANCE JACK 211 12.53%
RICK JACKSON 221 13.12%
JOHN HOLT 93 5.52%

Preliminary Mayoral Results

With about half the precincts reporting in:

Cdale City Mayor
Number of Precincts 27
Precincts Reporting 13 48.1 %
Total Votes 676
JOEL FRITZLER 188 27.81%
SAM GOLDMAN 130 19.23%
STEVEN N. HAYNES 231 34.17%

City Council & Mayor Overview

In case you haven't made your mind up yet, today's DE has a good overview of positions of the candidates for city council and mayor.

Turnout looks to be good. There were actually other voters in the polling place when I cast my vote this morning.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yard Signs

If the increase in yards signs is any measure, Tom Grant, Jessica Bradshaw and Rick Jackson have surged strongly in the past couple of weeks. Jackson's performance at the recent candidate forums seems to have attracted a lot of attention and he, based on the number of signs, now has a lot more support in the near northwest section of the city. Tom Grant, as indicated by signs, has a lot more support in the Arbor District than he showed earlier in the campaign while Bradshaw's (and Lance Jack's) support looks scattered throughout the city, as does Riley's.

Only a few signs have popped up touting Fronabarger's candidacy and no new ones for Holt since early in the campaign. If Williams and Wester-Mittan have any signs, I haven't seen them.

Based on sheer number of signs, though, Jane Adams and Don Monty still remain in the lead.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why I Am Voting For....

Joel Fritzler for mayor. Four main reasons, three of which he shares with Steven Haynes and one he doesn't:

1. Experience with city government. Similar to Haynes, he has about 6 years of experience with city council and government under his belt. Maroney and Goldman have none.

2. Part time mayor. Though some people have cited the full time availability of Goldman and Maroney in the position as an advantage, I have to wonder how having a full time mayor affects the effectiveness of Alan Gill as city manager. In a larger community, having both would certainly help the community run more effectively. However, from what I hear from talking with people who deal with the city government, Gill runs decisions by the mayor before undertaking anything, slowing decision-making at upper levels of city government. From what I have seen of the temperament of both Goldman and Maroney during various forums, I would expect them to both have management styles to Mayor Cole. Part time mayors, such as Fritzler and Haynes, would leave more decisions in the hands of the city manager, which is why we pay him.

3. He asked me for my vote, as did Haynes. Despite speaking with both Goldman and Maroney at several forums, neither asked for me to vote for them. It's not a huge factor but still, the personal touch does count.

And the reason Fritzler gets my vote and not Haynes:

4. He voted against the Saluki Way tax. As I have indicated before, I think the tax and the way it was implemented was the biggest mistake made by the council in the past 8 years and will haunt the city for years after the current council has long stepped down. In addition, at the first mayoral forum sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club, when asked about the tax and stadium funding, Haynes, Maroney and Goldman all indicated they still thought it a good idea. Given that I don't, I have to question whether I want them in the leadership position in Carbondale. This reason, combined with the previous three, means I will vote for Joel Fritzler on Tuesday.