Thursday, March 31, 2016

Downtown Hilton

It appears planning for the downtown Hilton still moves apace. From what I have heard, appropriate paperwork for various OKs has been filed at city hall regularly and they expect to break ground about May 1.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Another Shooting

Another shooting last night, this time around 7 p.m. in the Evolve apartment complex. This makes three shootings, one fatal, so far this week. Though no indication the two incidents are connected, there are strong correlations between them. Both apparently originated in arguments between the victim and the suspect in both cases is a young, black male.

The locations, however, are significantly different. The Sunday morning shooting took place at a heavily attended party located in the older residential section of town, while last night's took place, according to the story, in the victim's room in the newest apartment complex in town.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Founder's Day Reception

It only took 200 years for Carbondale and Jackson County to start honoring the three men responsible for the founding of the community. It does beg the question, if this is the inaugural one, does that mean more are coming?

The Carbondale Preservation Commission will host an Inaugural Founders’ Day Reception from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., on April 15, 2016, in the City Hall/ Civic Center Room 108, at 200 South Illinois Ave., Carbondale, Illinois 62901. The Event is free to the public with refreshments provided.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Saturday Night Shooting

According to this post on the DE website, a shooting took place at a party inside a house about 3 blocks west of the intersection  of Walnut and Poplar late Saturday night.Apparently 2 men got into an argument which had to be settled by the use of a gun near a crowd of approximately 50 people.

Update:  Here is the most recent information from the Carbondale Police's website.  It appears a bullet fired by one of the idiots at the party entered a nearby house and killed local musician Tim Beaty.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Carbondale Boards

Happened to look over the last communication from the Mayor on the Carbondale website and noticed that we have a lot of boards and wondered if there were any of those the city could eliminate. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Local Business Wins Award

This is pretty cool, especially for geneologists:

Juli Claussen Search and Genealogy Services is excited to announce the redesign of their website,, to provide visitors with even more relevant information about the important work of genealogy and the vital role provided by the search professional.

 In 2015 the company had the honor of being one of a handful of local businesses awarded a Smart Broadband for Small Business grant. The Smart Broadband for Small Business grant is part of an initiative stemming from a partnership between Connect SI and AT&T to spotlight and support small business that use wired or wireless broadband as a key part of their success. Acknowledging the entrepreneurial spirit that prevails in southern Illinois the award recognized Juli Claussen Search & Genealogy Services as a micro-enterprise doing “unique, innovative and compelling business applications” with technology.  The newly redesigned site was made possible in part by the grant award and makes it possible for anyone looking for a search professional (or wondering if they need one) to access information in their decision making process. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Eyeglass Drive

Got some old eyeglasses sitting around gathering dust? The Neighborhood Food Co-op wants 'em to send to Torgo:

– Neighborhood Co-op Grocery and Alaffia are working together to collect eyeglasses for Togolese citizens. Glasses will be collected at Neighborhood Co-op and sent to Togo to help change the lives of those in poverty. April 1 - June 30 eyeglasses, sunglasses, and reading glasses in sizes for both adults and children will be accepted at Neighborhood Co-op Grocery, 1815 West Main Street in Carbondale located in Murdale Shopping Center. 

Landmarks Illinois

There will be a meeting of the Landmarks Illinois organization at the Carbondale Main Street offices on Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Not sure what exactly will be the topic except that I assume it has something to do with Illinois landmarks

Monday, March 21, 2016

LCC Meeting

The Liquor Control Commission meets prior to the City Council tomorrow night but not much on their agenda, only a request for a liquor license by Carbondale Community Arts for their new facility on West Walnut. From the agenda:

Consideration of an application from Carbondale Community Arts, Inc. for a Class J license (On-premises consumption – Public Arts Venue) at 304 West Walnut Street

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Rally's Coming Back

Rally's looks as if it plans another try in the Carbondale market. The last one was located at the spot now occupied by Reema's Indian Restaurant but closed in the early part of this century. Either the company thinks the market has changed enough in Carbondale to make it worthwhile to re-enter or growth has slowed for them enough to make Carbondale viable again.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ribbon Cutting

In case you are looking for something to do on Tuesday afternoon:

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will hold a Ribbon Cutting at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 22 at the new location of Heartland Women’s Healthcare.
“We are excited to complete this facility, to commence our Carbondale revitalization journey with more capacity to see more patients,” said Dr. Michael Schifano, chief executive officer of Heartland Women’s Healthcare.  “We strive to give the utmost and comprehensive care to every woman regardless of her socio-economic status.  The complex is a great asset to the community and we are furthermore elated to contribute to a community that has welcomed us so graciously. We are especially grateful to Southern Illinois Healthcare and their leadership. We value our partnership with Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and look forward to a bright future.”
Heartland Women's Healthcare is a leader in obstetric and gynecologic care in Southern Illinois, they are a comprehensive practice that oversees the total health of women in all phases of life. They currently have 25 locations which house 33 providers, 18 physicians, 8 nurse midwives, and 5 nurse practitioners, a physician assistant and one physical therapist.
“It has been the goal of Heartland Women’s Healthcare to expand into Carbondale and bring our services to the women of this community and the surrounding region. We have had a great experience working with the City of Carbondale; the Chamber of Commerce; our contractor, Mike Middendorf, as well as the subcontractors,” Gary Samples, chief operating officer of Heartland Women’s Healthcare, added.
Heartland operates in a 7,000 square-foot facility which is part of a new 25,000 square-foot retail and medical complex at 900 E. Walnut Street in Carbondale. Representatives of the Chamber, City and business will participate in the ceremony. The event is open to the public.

Friday, March 11, 2016

TIF Agreement with Hotel

Looks as if construction on the downtown Hilton will start about April 1 (hope that is not symbolic of anything), now that TIF financing is in place. From my reading of the article, the developer can realize a maximum of $1,850,000 in TIF reimbursements, which isn't too bad. My problem with TIFs in general is that, if this is a good spot for a business to locate, there is no need for any tax incentives for the building and the city is just giving up money that could be spent on other projects.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Consultant Comment

Interesting comment from our consultants that are drafting the downtown Carbondale comprehensive plan, a blog reader pointed out. From the Southern:

Committee Member D. Gorton said he would like to see the two-way traffic on Illinois Avenue at least remain a possibility.
Fellow Committee Member and Longbranch Café Owner Elaine Ramseyer said the U.S. 51 street being controlled by the city is a critical move, and she would hate to see the plan not recommend it.
“So many things hinge on that,” she said.
The committee has mentioned in the past that if the city had control of Illinois Avenue, it could host city festivals and events when it wanted instead of being granted permission from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Also, a desire to slow down traffic has been a concern on the busy road.
Nik Davis of Houseal Lavigne said the doors aren’t completely closed on obtaining ownership of the street, but it didn’t make sense under current conditions to recommend it. He said the group would recommend taking out a parking lane at the very least, plus possibly a bike lane and the ability to have outdoor dining because of accessibility laws.
“I would hate to put something in this document just because people really want it,” Davis said. “We didn’t hear two-way conversion from the community. We heard more about access to easier parking.”

Why in the world would you not put something in the document that people want? I assume Davis means that no-one brought up two way traffic on Illinois but since it has been a topic of conversation for over a year, it is rather surprising that he didn't hear anything about it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bobcats Go Away

Another interesting point to come out of last night's presentation by the Public Policy Institute was that a majority of southern Illinois residents favor the  legalization of hunting of bobcats that passed last year. Nearly extinct in the state 50 years ago, the bobcat population has rebounded to the point that they are found throughout the state.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Survey Presentation

Caught the Paul Simon Public Policy Center's survey presentation at the Varsity Center for the Arts tonight. I got a round count of just about 100 people with the vast majority of them sporting a silver head of hair.  You can catch the full presentation on the Center's website but a couple of interesting takeaways.

Illinois as a whole has grown more liberal over the past 10 years or so with increased numbers approving of medicinal and recreational marijuana and abortion, both with restrictions and without. The attitude showing the greatest change owe was that of gay marriage, which went from less than a 30% approval rating to well over 80% of the state approving either marriage or civil unions, in less than 10 years.

Just under half of use want to cut any state programs to balance the budget, with public pensions the largest target, but still only 49% of respondents wanted to cut them. More popular was raising revenue, with 75% opting for a millionaires tax and lesser percentages opting for other methods such as a graduated income tax or increasing the gas tax. We like our programs, we just want someone else to pay for them.

1000 people were surveyed, with a margin of error of about 3.1%

Monday, March 7, 2016

Koppers Site

For those keeping up with what is going on at the old Koppers wood treating site, there apparrently has been little movement on the Bright Fields project. Here is the latest report on the cleanup:

Status Report – February 2016 Former Koppers Wood-Treating Site Carbondale, Illinois Page: 2/2 Items Performed/Completed Since Previous Report:
• During the week of February 1, 2016, FTS conducted the first 2016 semiannual RCRA groundwater monitoring event (reflecting the recently revised/approved GMP). •

On February 12, 2016, Arcadis submitted to USEPA a Groundwater Monitoring Network Modifications Report, which summarized groundwater monitoring network modifications completed at the Site, and presented the analytical results for soil samples collected during drilling for certain of the new monitoring wells along the southern property boundary of the Site. USEPA issued a letter approving the report on February 18, 2016. •

 On February 26, 2016, FTS submitted to USEPA the 2015 Annual RCRA Groundwater Monitoring Report. • Beazer, USEPA and others participated in a corrective action coordination conference call on February 18, 2016.
• Beazer continued post-construction OMM activities (e.g., DNAPL thickness measurements/removal, CAMU leachate monitoring/removal, Site inspections, etc.). DNAPL removal volumes are summarized as follows: RW-23 South Trench Sump North Trench Sump February 2016 Total (gal): 48 99 0 Cumulative Total (gal): 8,046 19,503 655

 Items Anticipated to be Performed/Completed over the Next One to Two Months:
• Beazer, USEPA and others will continue to participate in corrective action coordination conference calls, including specific calls to discuss the ecological risk-based remedy, the sediment MNR scope of work/fish consumption advisory, and institutional controls.
• Beazer will propose an approach for evaluating trends in visual observations that could be used to assess the proposed probing/reconnaissance portion of the MNR program.

Items Anticipated to be Performed/Completed over the Next Two to Six Months
: • Beazer will continue to advance proposed future Site uses, including conservation land use and commercial solar energy.
• USEPA will conduct a public meeting in Carbondale. Items that May Cause Delay in Implementing Future Activities 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pag's Hit By Car

A car pulling out  at a high rate of speed from the First Mid-American lot across the street failed to make the turn and smashed into the front of Pagliai's this afternoon. Same thing happened back in March of 2012. I would think it would be rather hard for a car to run into the Pag's building but apparently not if you are pulling out from Chris Wissmann Way.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

LAB Meeting

The Liquor Advisory Board meets March 3 to consider the application of Carbondale Community Arts for a liquor license for their location on West Walnut. Better be careful or the next thing they will be wanting to do is to add video gaming to the facility. We do  still have quite a ways to go in order to catch up with Mount Vernon.

Application for a Class J Liquor License (All alcoholic liquor for consumption on premises - not for profit public arts venue) for Carbondale Community Arts Inc. at 304 West Walnut St. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Southern Monday

Saw a notice on the front page of the Southern Illinoisan that, at the end of March, the paper would no longer publish a Monday print edition. I knew that weekend news was sparse but didn't realize it was that lacking. Apparently, not only is there a lack of news but also a lack of advertiser interest in the Monday paper as well.