Saturday, April 30, 2016

Home to Hilton

The gourndbreaking for the new downtown hotel, Home to Hilton, is scheduled for next Friday, May 6th. Not sure what time though but guess I am wrong as I said they would get the new IHOP built before groundbreaking ever took place for the Hilton. Still not sure about the wisdom of building a brand new hotel targeted at those coming in to visit SIUC or Memorial Hospital next to what is widely known in Carbondale as a "dive bar". Hey, don't blame me for the name, that's how P.K.s classifies itself on Facebook.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

See Click Fix

Just learned about this app for your smart phone from City Manager Gary Williams today. It is called See Click Fix and can be downloaded to your phone for free. When you see a non-emergency problem that the city needs to address, such as a pothole or street light out, you open the app, take a picture of the problem, add an description and email it automatically to the Public Works department. If you like, you can do it anonymously . Turn around time, according to one person I spoke with who has used the app is less than 4 days.  He reported a pothole and, 4 days later, the city had repaired it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

10 Worst Places to Live in Illinois

Happily Carbondale did not make the list.  Benton, Salem and West Frankfort did, though. Rather surprised to not see Cairo on the list,  Carbondale doesn't make the list of top places to live in Illinois, either. That's Hinsdale.

Pagliai's for Sale 2

Not a question anymore.  Here is the realtor's listing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pags for Sale?

According to this post on Facebook from the Mayor's wife, who is also a realtor, Pagliai's Pizza is for sale. Asking price is $2,250,000.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tax Code Revision

While I agree that the tax code needs extensive revision, I was mildly amused to get this survey from Rep. Mike Bost asking my opinion on the code. Based on the way it is worded, I will be highly surprised if he does not get overwhelming "yes" responses to his questions. Getting rid of the current tax code without anything to replace it with seems rather silly to me. Develop the replacement tax code, make sure everyone is somewhat unhappy with it and THEN replace the current code:

With Tax Day falling on a Monday this year, many Southern Illinoisans were feeling the last-minute dread of finding the right forms and keeping up with the ever-changing tax code.  It can end up being an overwhelming task.
That’s why I co-sponsored the Tax Code Sunset Act, which completely phases out the federal tax code and requires Congress and the President to develop an alternative that is simpler, fairer and more conducive to economic growth.
It’s critically important that you reply to the polls questions below to let me know if I’m on the right track.
Do you believe the current tax code is too burdensome and time consuming?
Not sure
Do you support repealing the current tax code so we can start over with a system that is simpler, fairer, flatter, and more conducive to growing American jobs?
Not sure

Smoking Ban Effect

Illinois imposed a ban on interior smoking in public buildings, including businesses, back in 2008, accompanied by much hue and cry and lamentations of disaster, proclamations of economic disaster and massive closings.  Since then, Carbondale has seen one bar, Gatsby's II close, for reasons other than the cigarette ban, and one new store devoted to cigarettes and cigars, as well as four vape shops. Doesn't sound as if the ban has had that much effect on bar business or cigarette demand.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saluki Stay Scholarship

Announcement that the Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the Saluki Stay Scholarship just arrived. If you meet the criteria, it is a pretty good deal:

  The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 2016 Saluki Stay Scholarship Program, an effort to assist with the retention of students at Southern Illinois University. One of the most unique scholarship programs at SIU, the Saluki Stay scholarship awards five returning students with in-kind gifts ranging from store gift cards and assistance with utility bills to meals in area restaurants. The total value of awards is expected to be nearly $1,500 each.
                To be eligible for the award, students must be enrolled full-time for the fall semester 2016, be juniors or seniors with at least a 2.8 grade point average, have attended SIU for at the last two years and must be employed by a current Carbondale Chamber of Commerce member in good standing. Preference will be given to students with demonstrated financial need. Completed applications are due April 30, 2016. Applications and additional information are available online at or at
                The scholarship program is an effort of the Chamber’s Saluki Pride committee that works to strengthen relationships between Southern Illinois University and Carbondale’s business community. Dozens of Chamber-member businesses have make in-kind or cash donations to make the scholarships possible.

Friday, April 22, 2016


Accident at the corner of Main and Illinois last night about 9:35 pm. The car lodged against the light pole next to the building entered the intersection from the right and was hit by the car sitting in the center of the intersection that came in from the south. No idea which one had the right of way. Both cars were totaled the passengers appeared more shaken than injured. Second accident at that intersection this week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Water Meeting

With the concern about Flint Michigan's water system and the proposed chicken farm near Cedar Lake, this seems like a good opportunity to get your questions answered about Carbondale water:

May 2 Strike Committee

A group calling itself the May 2 Strike Committee is calling for a campuswide strike on Monday May 2. No idea if this comprises the same people who painted graffiti around campus over the weekend but the post certainly speaks approvingly of it. A second post lists the group's grievances and demands. Will certainly be interesting to see what happens on May 2 on campus. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

SIUC Graffiti

Here's a link to photos of the graffiti found on SIUC's Faner Hall over the weekend. For those not familiar with Faner Hall, "Riot Proof" is a reference to a long held belief that, after the May 1970 campus and Carbondale riots, Faner Hall was designed so that, should students attempt to take over the building in another protest, the section of the building they occupied could be shut off from the rest of the structure.


Looks as if work has started on the new International House of Pancakes out by University Mall. Would not be surprised to see the building substantially finished by the time ground gets broken on the downtown Hilton, though work is supposed to begin on it around May 1.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Preservation Commission

Preservation Commission meeting this Monday night. Committee reports might be interesting, especially the Downtown Advisory Committee report:

Roll Call and Determination of a Quorum
2. Approval of Minutes – March 21, 2016 (attached)
3. Communication and Reports: a) Educational and Technical Assistance Committee b) Nomination and Hardship Committee c) Work Plan Committee d) Certificate of Appropriateness Committee e) Downtown Advisory Committee Report
4. Old Business: a) Founders’ Day Reception Report
 5. New Business: a) Annual Meeting a. Election of Officer’s b. Adoption of Meeting Schedule (proposed schedule attached)
6. Comments by the Public, Commission Members or Staff: 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Panhandling Ordinance

Carbondale's panhandling ordinance may not stand up to a 1st amendment challenge, should another chose to bring one against it. Courts are showing a track record of throwing out ordinances forbidding panhandling .

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Community Forum

If you are concerned about the spate of recent shootings in town, the city has scheduled a community forum for the evening of April 21. Somehow, I don't think they will solve the problems behind the recent violence in two hours, especially since two of the men involved in the Easter shooting came from Cape Girardeau.

Mayor Henry and Interim City Manager Gary Williams met with Sandy Litecky and other citizens concerned about recent violence in our community on the afternoon of April 6. As a result of that meeting we have scheduled a Community Forum to be held at City Hall on April 21 from 6 to 8 PM. The topic to be discussed will be "What can we as a community do to make Carbondale safer and more welcoming for everyone?" Dr. John Washburn will lead the discussion and facilitate the meeting. We anticipate that most, if not all, City Council members will attend as well as representatives from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Our Chief of Police, Mr. Jeff Grubbs and others in his department will also attend. Carbondale residents that are interested in helping make the community safer are encouraged to attend.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Another Shooting

Another shooting in Carbondale Saturday night. I am seeing people now comparing Carbondale to bad parts of St. Louis or Chicago, which is utter nonsense. The rarity of shootings in the'dale is the reason these have attracted so much attention. Is the city less safe? A very little bit. Should you worry about walking down the street after dark? No more so than you did before the shootings. Their very unusualness is what is attracting media and public attention.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Beers to You!

Coming in May

Carbondale Main Street is partnering with the SIU Fermentation Science Institute and Southern Illinois Brewers to bring an exciting new event to downtown Carbondale, the CarbondALE Brew Fest! This festival will feature brews from all over the US, including ones from local breweries as well as those from Kentucky, Missouri, Michigan, and California.
CarbondALE Brew Fest will be held at the Town Square Pavilion on Friday, May 6th from 6pm-9pm, with early entry for VIP ticket holders, and an after party at Hangar 9 beginning at 9pm. In case of rain, the event will move to the Carbondale Civic Center at 200 S. Illinois Ave.
Limited advance tickets are currently for sale; General Admission tickets are $25 and include a souvenir tasting glass and tastes, VIP tickets are $40, and include a premium (larger) tasting glass, tastes, early entry to the Fest, and more!
Pricing will be $30 for General Admission and $45 for VIP at the door.
The CarbondALE Brew Fest is sure to be a great time, with live music and lots of information from brewers and representatives from over 20 breweries (a full list, and ticket information can be found at Several breweries are bringing seasonal craft beers and special releases!
A feature of the Festival will be the “Urban Chestnut Beer Hall” in the Town Square Pavilion itself, with a limited release of maibock from Urban Chestnut Brewing Company. The maibock will be sold for $5.00 per glass (tastes will also be available in the Urban Chestnut tent).
Proceeds will benefit Carbondale Main Street and the SIU Fermentation Science Institute. To learn more, call 618-529-8040 or visit!

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Dayshift Boutique is rebranding itself as "Nest". Not sure why the name change, especially since they have spend several years building the Dayshift brand and do not appear to plan to change their product lines any but the store will have a grand re-opening tomorrow at 11:30

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will hold a Ribbon Cutting at 11:30 a.m., Friday, April 8 at Nest (formerly known as Dayshift Boutique). Nest offers locally-made and handmade arts and artistic gifts. The ribbon cutting will kick-off the business’ Grand Re-Opening events set for Saturday.
Nest is located at 101 W. Washington, next door the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce office.

LAB Meeting

According to the agenda for tonight's Liquor Advisory Board, it appears that Fujiyama will be moving from its slightly parking limited location to a spot with more parking on Giant City Road.  University Place looks to be moving along with plans to offer alcoholic drinks in the theater as well.

Application to transfer the location of an existing A2 liquor license (Restaurant – serving all alcoholic liquors) held by Fujiyama from 715 North Giant City Road Suite 11 to 225 North Giant City Road 4.

Consideration of an application for a Class K license (Movie Theater) for American Multi-Cinema, Inc. d/b/a AMC Theatres University Place 8 at 1370 East Main Street

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Blue Kids

If you have seen the "blue kids" in front of the Carbondale Police Station and other locations, their purpose is to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect.

Fourth Friday Fairs

In a plan to avoid burnout, Carbondale Main Street will cut back on its Friday Night Fairs this summer and rebrand them Fourth Friday Fairs. A number of other communities, including Cape Girardeau and St. Louis, have First Friday events but none, AFAIK, have Fourth Friday ones:

The Friday Night Fair Gets  a Makeover; welcome the Fourth Friday Fairs!
Beginning Earth Day, April 22, come see what’s happening downtown at the Town Square Pavilion.  Featuring local vendors, artisans, entertainment and more, the Friday Night Fairs, which have been held weekly in past years, provide something for everyone.

The Fair will also feature crafts, games and educational activities for little community members.

This year the Fairs will be on the Fourth Friday of each month, from 6-9 pm, and as always, local bands will be center stage.  Young professionals, couples on their way to dinner, families, and people of all ages will enjoy the food court, rotating activities and of course, live music.

On Earth Day, SIWADE will open for the Swamp Tigers, a Carbondale favorite. The Fair will also feature flower planting (kids can take home their own), a bouncy house, a paper bead-making workshop, and more.  At each Fourth Friday Fair, a BYOB policy is now in place as well.

The Fourth Friday Fairs will run April - September.  This event has the potential to draw in all parts of the community in a back-to-basics way; Carbondale Main Street is proud to bring you this new event series!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

City Council Meeting

Wanted to watch the city council meeting tonight but not sure if they are still live streaming sessions or not. Had not streamed a session in quite awhile and could not find a streaming link posted. They might have just gotten finished quickly but based on past sessions of council, I rather doubt it.

Monday, April 4, 2016

City Council Meeting

The city council meets tomorrow night. Comparatively short agenda, if the consent agenda passes without problem, though discussion on the budget will probably make up for that. I certainly hope the council does not put out another call for every organization that would like money from the city to apply for it. There are too many groups out there wanting money and the city is not particularly flush with it. I want to see fire and police funded adequately and maintenance functions maintained. Anything after that is icing on the cake.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Tim Beaty Obituary

Here's a link to Tim Beaty's obituary. Visitation is today from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Walker Funeral Home with the funeral tomorrow at 11 a.m.

Human Relations Commission

Going to try to make this meeting on Monday. Could prove interesting, especially the Law Enforcement report as, from what I understand, the Carbondale PD's ginger handling of Carbondale house parties is partially due to reactions from the HR Commission:

Roll Call Approval of Minutes – March 7, 2016 Meeting
 Public Education/HRC
Public Forums/Events
Racial Taboo Annual Retreat
Public Comments
Process Assessments
Neighborhood Action Group Report
Non-Violent Carbondale Project Report
Racial Justice Coalition Report
Sparrow Coalition Report
Law Enforcement Report
Items to be forwarded to City Council (action needed)