Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Road Closure

Roadway Patching Work on
West Chautauqua Street
Beginning on Thursday, December 1, 2011 and through Friday, December 2, 2011, West Chautauqua Street will be closed to westbound traffic between Emerald Lane and Tower Road. West bound traffic will be detoured via Glenview Drive to Sunset Drive to Tower Road.  Eastbound traffic on Chautauqua Street will be permitted, however minor delays will be possible. 
The City of Carbondale greatly appreciates motorists cooperation and patience and urges motorists to use caution in all work zones. In order to prevent delays please seek alternate routes during this time period.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Police Auction

Looking to pick up some early Christmas presents?  The C'dale police department might have just what you need at the unclaimed property auction this Saturday at 9 a.m.  Hit the auction, then the downtown cookie walk, then the Lights Fantastic parade.  What a way to spend a day!

Beer Sales

Got curious about the effects of the increased number of beer and wine outlets on Carbondale sales so asked a friend who works for one of the local distributors.  According to them, overall beer and wine sales are up significantly since the change in the ordinance.  Sales are down some at the already existing liquor stores, but not as much as they had expected.  In addition, Carbondale is now pulling in a large amount of business that used to go to Murphysboro and Marion, especially Marion since Marion still does not allow beer and wine sales in supermarkets and discount stores.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday in Downtown

Very quiet in downtown Carbondale early this morning. Took a quick drive through downtown and didn't see any stores open aside from those that normally would be.  Looks as if all the action is out at the malls and east side of town again.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Business

Place Smart has opened an office in downtown Carbondale on West Freeman, in the strip of stores with B&L Photo and Mane Effects. I've seen a number of flyers posted about town advertising the company's employment and human resources services so it is nice to see they have a physical office, thought you wouldn't know where it was from the website or the flyers.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More Protesters

Not on campus this time, thank goodness. Saw a group of union workers protesting the new Long John Silver's at the intersection of East 13 and Giant City Road.  I gather, from the signs, that non-union labor was used in the construction of the building.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Restaurants

Yesterday's DE has an article looking at several of the restaurants that opened in downtown Carbondale recently.  Most attention paid to Kelly's Irish Boxty House and Blend Tea and Crepe, with mention made of Cristaudo's, Mo Wallace BBQ and Evelyn's.  Downtown Carbondale, according to the article, now boasts over 40 restaurants, more than it looks at first glance.  By the way, the Premier Lounge, north side of the square has a soft opening this weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Right of Way

Checked with the city's planning department regarding IDOT right of way and the state right of way for Highways 51 and 13 does extend from the edge of the street to the edge of the building frontage, in most cases.  In the case of buildings set back from the sidewalk, such as Tantastic and Fat Patties, the right of way stops at the edge of the sidewalk, meaning that tables and signs may be placed in the space between the sidewalk and building front. 

The awnings in front of  The Door and Priority Sports are in violation of the right of way but have been grandfathered in.  No new awnings extending that far out could be built today at other locations and, while repairs on the current ones can be made, under currently regulations, they could not be replaced with similarly extending structures.  Any new ones could only extend out about as far as the awnings on Thai Taste.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grand Opening

Grand opening of the new Goodwill location at 8:30 tomorrow morning. From the email sent by the Chamber of Commerce:

 Tomorrow 11/17 is the Grand Opening of the new Goodwill location!!! Join us at 8:50am for a Ribbon Cutting. The new Goodwill is located at 1445 E. Main Street in Carbondale. There will be giveaways, food, drinks and of course, shopping!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More Mexican

Heard that yet another Mexican restaurant will open in the 'dale soon.  El Baquero will open next to the Royal Plaza Motel on the west side of town, within the next month or so.  That makes, by my count, 8 Mexican or Tex/Mex places in town (9 if you count Taco Bell).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Better Late than Never

No, nothing to do with the strike bu the civic center now has automatic doors.  Seems one of the staff noticed a quadriplegic trying to get one of the power assist doors opened and decided to see if they could be adapted to open automatically rather than at the push of a button.  Turns out all the wiring and sensors to make them automatic had been installed when the doors were put in fifteen years ago , just never hooked up.  An hour's worth of work by an electrician and presto, magic doors.  The civic center staff admits to  feeling amused when they see the looks on peoples' faces when the doors open without the push of a button.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Strike Over?

The Southern says the Faculty Association will call off the strike against SIUC, effective immediately.  No contract signed but enough progress has been made that the Association will advise members to return to work.

Update:  The University's Facebook page has  a letter from Chancellor Cheng posted, confirming the end of the strike.

SIUC Facebook Page

Looks as if the negative publicity SIUC received about deleting comments on its Facebook page  had an effect as comments both supporting the strike and the administration are appearing there now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Negotiations Continue

SIUC strike negotations ended last night when the administration presented the FA with a revised offer and headed home for the evening.  Negotations were scheduled to start up again at 9;30 this morning.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Negotations Off Again

According to this Facebook page, the administration broke off negotiations with the Faculty Association this evening, meaning at least one more day of striking.

Why the Strike?

hHd the opportunity to talk with a supporter of SIUC's strike (though not an actual striker), trying to get a better understanding why the strikers feel it is important enough for them to strike.  From the conversation, a few factors emerged as underpinning the reasons for the strike, as least for some long time SIUC faculty members:

1) the SIUC 104, fired in the spring of 1974, ostensibly as part of a budget crisis/financial emergency.  However, it turned out that almost all of those fired were among the university's most outspoken opponents to the Vietnam War and many people perceived the university's finances as a convenient peg upon which to hang the removal of a disruptive element.  Some long -time members of the faculty see the current financial situation as the opportunity for the administration to void tenure and terminate a number of long serving ( and higher paid) faculty, replacing them with lower cost term faculty.

2. Last year's furlough days were at least troublesome and possibly in violation of the contract faculty has with the faculty and staff.  At best they were most burdensome on those members of the university making the lease, since originally everyone took 4 furlough days whether they were a vice president or an office manager.  It was only after significant bad PR, including President Poshard,  that Chancellor Cheng and the Vice Chancellors took more.    Compare that to UofI's policy, which spread the pain out, with higher paid administrators taking 10 days furlough while those making less than $30,000 took none.

There are other reasons as well, but those two stood out during the conversation.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Strike News

In case you want a strikers' eye perspective of what is going on at the picket lines, the new Occupy SIUC blog does a pretty good job of posting comments and photos .  The Bit51blog also has a post up on the university's lousy response to negative posts regarding the administrations response to the strike.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


According to this, looks as if bargaining may resume as early as tomorrow, under the auspices of a federal mediator.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Campus Habitat Going?

According to an email received from a blog reader, First Internet Bank out of Indianapolis has taken over ownership of Campus Habitat properties at 716 S. University and 700 West Freeman after Campus Habitat defaulted on the loans.  Councilwoman Jane Adams has more on the saga of Campus Habitat on her blog (scroll down to Sept 20th)

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Looks as if the FA is the only one of the four groups to not reach an agreement before the deadline this morning.  Here is WSIU's report.  The DE has stories here, here and here.  The Southern has stores here, here, here and here.  Here's the Faculty Association's viewpoint and here's a statement from GA United and the Non-Ttenure Track Association, as well as the ACE.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Strike Update

No agreement as of 7:30 this evening.  The following message was posted by the Chancellor on the university's Facebook page about the same time:
Dear Students:

As you know, four campus unions have indicated they would walk off the job tomorrow (Nov. 3) if we cannot reach contract agreements. At this hour, we are continuing to negotiate with the bargaining teams for these unions, and I remain hopeful of a settlement.

In the event any of the unions chooses to strike tomorrow, we are prepared to maintain normal operations across the campus. Your classes will meet as regularly scheduled in their normal locations, and I encourage you to attend all of your classes. We expect a limited number of faculty may walk off the job. All classrooms are being monitored for attendance. In the event your professor or instructor does not show up for class, a University employee will address the class and make arrangements for continuing your coursework.

I will keep you updated on the situation as new information becomes available.


Rita Cheng

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

FA Bargaining Points

In case you are interested. the linkon this page for the List of FA Interests and Issues Presented in Bargaining gives about 11 pages of  points the Faculty Association is negotiating with the administration over. One point I see fairly high on the list is Fair Share or what my Dad calls a union shop.  Employees do not have to belong to the union but have to have an among equivalent to union dues deducted from their salaries that is paid to the union:

Effective partnership between Faculty and Administration—Fair share.  How can we bring the Faculty Association in parity with other unions on campus who have Fair Share provisions?  How can we ensure a strong Faculty to work effectively in partnership with the Administration?

Staduim Grille and Goodwill

You can buy your own restaurant now as the old Stadium Grille building is officially on the market, asking price about $1.6 million.

Goodwill is finally making its move to a now location in the old Rex TV and Appliance Building at 1145 East Main.  Currently location closes November 11 and the new one opens Nov. 17.

Cristaudo's Open?

According to their Facebook page, the store reopened for a couple of hours last Friday, all day Saturday and is now maintaining regular hours starting today.  Talk about a soft launch.