Monday, August 31, 2015

Downtown Free Parking

The city has put "Free Parking" bags on meters in the parking lots in downtown, though onstreet meters still require payment. I was bemused to see that someone has torn off a number of the bags from meters in the Town Square lot. Cannot see a reason why someone would oppose free parking.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Axe Monkey

Axe Monkey recently opened in downtown Carbondale in University Plaza, next to Printing Plant. The business offers rehearsal space and guitar repair by a certified graduate of the Galloup School of Guitar Building and Professional Guitar Repair. Should be an addition welcomed by Carbondale musicians.


Haven't heard of much difficulty with parking after Evolve opened last week so hopefully my fears are overblown. Still, access to the parking behind the storefronts lining the east of S. Illinois needs improvement. The city has an easement to access it  through Reema's from the south, but access from the north end is blocked by Sidetracks.  Access could be improved by eliminating Friendship Park at the intersection of Illinois and Mill, as the city could probably create another 40 spaces there plus offer direct access to the row of parking behind Reema's , but advocates of green space in the downtown area would likely oppose that.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Musical and Boozy Weekend

Looks like 'twil be a weekend of music and alcohol.  PK's, Carbondale's oldest bar, celebrates 60 years this Saturday, Wanda Jackson performs at Turley Park with 11 other bands opening for her and the DuQuoin State Fair opens its gates.

Oh, and Solar Bear takes place at Pinch Penny Pub. Haven't heard as much about it as January's Polar Bear but a lot of students look forward to the event as a kick off to the fall semester.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

60 Years of PK's

The Southern has a gallery of photos of Carbondale's PK's collected over the years, which it posted in honor of the bar's 60 years in business.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sen. Mark Kirk Meeting

In case you would like to express your satisfaction, dissatisfaction or have a problem, Senator Kirk's staff will be at Rep. Mike Bost's office tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

I wanted to make you aware that my staff will hold mobile office hours in your area tomorrow, August 26th at U.S. Congressman Mike Bost's (R-Ill.-12) office located at 300 East Main Street, Hunter Building - Suite 4, Carbondale, Illinois 62901. They will be available from 8:30 am - 1:30 pm to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing with the federal government, including Veterans Affairs, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, student loans, and immigration.
I look forward to addressing your concerns and making the federal government work better for you and all the people of Illinois.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Traffic does not appear nearly as heavy as it  has during past fall semester starts. Usually I see 4-6 cars turning the wrong direction onto Illinois, Walnut, Main or University by this time of the month and so far none. Here's hoping that trend continues

Friday, August 21, 2015

New Store

It appears a few new businesses moving into downtown. I understand an upscale baby and toddler store will locate in the empty Paul Hampton Photography space next to Dayshift on the town square. Wonder how upscale the babies you can buy there are?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Greyhound Relocating

Starting tomorrow, Greyhound will load and unload at the downtown Amtrak station.  That has to make travelers more comfortable than getting picked up and dropped off at an abandoned gas station. 

Greyhound Lines, Inc. today announced it will start operations from a new location in Carbondale, Ill. Beginning Friday, Aug. 21, Greyhound customers can conveniently board at 401 S. Illinois Avenue at the Carbondale Amtrak station, less than two miles from the former location at 905 E. Main Street.
            “Greyhound is excited to continue serving the Carbondale community from this new location,” said Deborah Laney, area manager, Greyhound Lines, Inc. “We hope to better serve the Carbondale community by centralizing transportation services in this town. We are thankful to Amtrak and the City of Carbondale for their efforts to make this a reality.”
From the Amtrak station in Carbondale, Greyhound offers three daily schedules to destinations including Champaign, Ill., Atlanta and St. Louis, with connections to more than 3,800 locations in the United States. This location is only a bus stop and tickets must be purchased online. For ticket information, call 1-800-231-2222.

Buffalo Wild Wings Ribbon Cutting

Buffalo Wild Wings will hold a ribbon cutting to celebrate the recent remodeling of the restaurant tomorrow morning.  No word if wings will be served at the ceremony:

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will hold a Ribbon Cutting at Buffalo Wild Wings at 11 a.m., Friday, Aug. 21. The ceremony is in celebration of the restaurant’s recent remodeling

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monte Alegre Winery

For those wanting to visit a winery and not make the trip down the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Monte Alegre Winery is located within the C'dale city limits, just west of Reed Station Road. You will have to make it past the construction on Reed Station Road however.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Still No Budget

As Illinois Issues points out, we still don't have a budget and have no sign of one on the horizon. The governor's last proposal relies on projections that show little evidence of coming to pass while the legislature's does not include funding to cover its spending

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Aban Kitchen

Aban Kitchen, specializing in Mediterranean cuisine (no idea what part of the Mediterranean they refer to) will open in the old Mary Lou's location. The sign says "Opening Soon" but I have been told they would open in about two weeks, several times this summer.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mill Street Traffic Light

Getting reports of problems with the light directing traffic from West Mill onto University. Apparently the light is staying red so long that cars running it. I recevied an email from one driverwho said he timed it Saturday night after seeing cars give up waiting for it to change and the light stayed red for over 10 minutes before he gave up waiting and pulled through.

I know there has been resurfacing on West Mill for the past few weeks and wonder if some adjustments were made to the timing of the lights there that has not been reset.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Day of Music

Just received this.  More music coming to Carbondale on top of the Jason Isbell show in October:

Saturday, August 29th from 1pm to 10pm Carbondale Main Street will be hosting a day of music featuring Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly at Lenus Turley Park. Jackson will be headlining the show with local bands taking the stage throughout the day. The festival will also feature local artists and other community vendors.

With a career spanning seven decades, Wanda Jackson is known as the Queen of Rockabilly. She has made numerous appearances on the Billboard Top 100 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Other performers include; The Swamp Tigers, William Feigns, Secondary Modern, Hans Predator, Flowers of Evil, Thee Mistakes, Greta Matthews, Arlin Peebles, Matt McGuire and Girls Rock Carbondale.

General admission tickets are $10 and are on sale now at Carbondale Main Street offices, Plaza Records and on EventJoy at VIP tickets are also available for $13 and include a limited edition mixed cassette tape with music from all of the local musicians. Tickets will be available the day of the show for $12.

There are five Golden Tickets mixed in with the regular general admission tickets. If you purchase a ticket and the sales person pulls out a Golden Ticket, your admission is free!

World Shooting and Recreational Complex

The World Shooting and Recreational Complex, located near Sparta Il and currently hosting the Grand American, is scheduled to close, by order of Gov. Rauner, sometime after the end of the Grand American.

I caught on the news this morning that the WSRC costs about $3 million per year to operate and generates about $1.2 million in revenues and another $40,000 in sales taxes for Sparta, meaning the state has to provide $1.8 million per year in subsidies to keep the complex open.

According to this press release, the Complex provided around 250 jobs when it first opened, but no indication how many the facility employs currently and of course there are the ancillary jobs generated by visitors to the center, such as in motels and restaurants. The question becomes, do these jobs generate enough to warrant infusing $1.8 million in tax dollars into the complex annually?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Party Like It's 1985

The Neighborhood Food Co-op will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday August 22 in Turley Park:

Neighborhood Co-op Grocery is celebrating their 30th year as a storefront by throwing a party for the community complete with free ice cream, lots of vendor booths with free sampling –including beer and wine (with ID), prizes, a free photo booth, plus a slip and slide water feature courtesy of the Carbondale Park District, and Southern Clayworks will be selling ceramic tableware. Plus, live music by the Bankesters starting at 2:00 pm and Gentle Ben & Friends beginning at 4:00 pm. It will be lots of fun and the public is invited to this free event!

Courtney Smith, outreach and owner services manager, We are excited to have musical acts The Bankesters and Gentle Ben & Friends to help liven the atmosphere. Lots of fun products will be sampled with a wide variety of suppliers and producers, including olive oil, salsa, jerky and items for sale from local artists, producers and farmers. A photo booth will be a rousing good time, along with a water slide and other fun happenings. It's been a great experience cooperating with other local organizations to plan our 30th Anniversary Park Party!”

The history of the store is one of total grass roots. Francis Murphy, general manager for the store tells the short story this way, “Neighborhood Co-op began around 1980 as a network of buying clubs. Early members would drive Lloyd Tucker’s (an SIU math professor) ¾ ton flatbed truck up to Madison, Wisconsin to the North Farm Cooperative warehouse and heap it full of bags of grains, beans, nut and cheese. With a full load the flatbed could only go 40 MPH and the 8 hours trip up to Madison became a marathon 12 hour return trip. Once safely back to Carbondale, the food was dropped off at various people’s homes, which served as distribution points for their neighborhood.”
Back in those days there was always a waiting list to get into the co-op, so in 1985 a store front was established at 102 East Jackson Street, which took the place of Mr. Naturals, a privately owned natural foods store. Members of the Co-op built the shelves with two-by-fours and smoke damaged doors that were reclaimed. In 1997, the co-op moved to 104 East Jackson, doubling the square footage. In 2005, a major change got underway to relocate to the Murdale Shopping Center where the store quadrupled in size! The Co-op continues to grow with the support of the Southern Illinois community.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Evolve Tours

In case you would like to get a look inside the Evolve/Carbondale Flats complex, the facility will host a ribbon cutting followed by tours this Friday at 11 a.m.:

Ribbon Cutting for Evolve Set for 11:30 a.m., Friday, August 7
The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Evolve at SIU at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, August 7, 2015.
The new mixed-use facility includes 121 high-end, modern apartments for students and young professionals.  On the street level, restaurant and retail locations will open at a later date.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, tours of the facility and refreshments will be available to attendees.
Media, city officials and the community are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

America's Best Communities

Carbondale Main Street is spearheading Carbondale's participation in the America's Best Communities competition sponsored by Frontier and Dish Network. Along with 49 other cities, Carbondale advanced to the quarterfinalist round in the competition earlier this year, winning $50,000 to further develop the city's proposed economic development plan. First place wins $3 million to implement the proposed plan, 2nd place wins $2 million and 3rd place $1 million.

Carbondale's proposed plan focuses on enhancing internet access for its residents, with installation of a gigabit broadband system, wireless access throughout downtown as well as removing utility poles, burying the cables so as to reduce the likelihood of breakage and enhance the downtown appearance.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Little Vegas

In case you go over your budget while engaging in video slots and poker at Little Vegas, it's good to know you can find assistance only a few steps away.