Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Downtown Cameras

Looks as if we will have either a little more security or a little less privacy downtown.  Take your pick. Looks as if they will be installed along South Illinois with the first few going in between College and Cherry Streets, which make sense as most recent activity that has involved police action has taken place in that stretch. from the press release:

The City of Carbondale is installing security cameras downtown as part of a multi-phase safety project. 
The first phase includes cameras that will be placed between College and Cherry Streets with additional phases that will extend along Illinois Avenue. 
“The City of Carbondale continues its focus on revitalizing downtown, and enhancing the experience for our residents and visitors is a major part of that effort.  Improving safety and ensuring that downtown visitors feel safe is fundamental to our revitalization strategy,” said Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams.

Broken Window at Regions

The window at Regions was apparently broken at the same time as the graffiti but was covered with black paper at the time. From what I have heard, it was caused by someone flinging a brick through the window hard enough to send it across the lobby.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Two More City Council Candidates

As of 4 p.m. today 2 more candidates had filed for the open city council seats including one time city manager (I assume) Jeff Doherty:

"The period for filing nominating petitions for three City Council positions ended today at 5:00 p.m. Listed below are the five candidates who have filed for City Council Member. An “L” next to the name of the first three candidates indicates that those candidates will be involved in the Lottery for Ballot Placement to be held on Monday, December 5, at 4:00 p.m. in the City Clerk’s Office.

L - Jessica Bradshaw, 1113 W. Walkup Ave.
          L - Lee M. Fronabarger, 1140 Morningside Dr.
          L - Carolin Harvey, 109 South Tower Road
          4 - Tobias Merriman, 1200 W. Chautauqua Street
          5 - Jeff Doherty, 2918 W. Kent Drive"

No New City Council Candidates

No one has submitted any petitions to run for city council as of earlier today. The city will send out an update indicating if anyone new has registered at 4 p.m. today.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving Vandalism

Proving that stupidity never takes a holiday, the Regions Bank building and the building at the corner of Main and Springer got spray-painted sometime the night the before Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 24, 2016

3 File for City Council

Three current members of the city Council have filed petitions to get on the ballot for the next election. From the press release:

Three candidates have filed their nominating petitions for City Council member. Since these candidates filed at the same time, a lottery for ballot placement will be held on Monday, December 5, at 4:00 p.m. in the City Clerk's Office. Candidates who subsequently file for City Council will appear on the ballot in the order in which their nominating petitions are received. Listed alphabetically below are the three candidates who have simultaneously filed and will be involved in the Lottery:

Jessica Bradshaw, 1113 W. Walkup Ave.
          Lee M. Fronabarger, 1140 Morningside Dr.
          Carolin Harvey, 109 South Tower Road

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Day Dinner

In case you are interested, the American Farm Bureau Federation says that the average Thanksgiving dinner will cost 24 cents less to feed a group of 10 than it would have last year.

If you don't have any place to go on Thanksgiving in Carbondale, the Newman Center will host its annual Thanksgiving dinner for the community from noon to 2 p.m.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


The owner of the building that housed Curbside, and before that Icebox, apparently has finally give up on reopening the business as there is now a (falling off) "For Rent" sign taped to the awning. Under the sign is another name, so apparently someone else planned to open a business in there but never managed to get the door open, just a name painted on the awning.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gold Diggers

Looks as if the former Blue Martin on East Main Street (next to the still shuttered Pony) will reopen as Gold Diggers, with "Plenty of TV's for every sport, tons of gaming and of course hot girls with even hotter drink specials! "  Quite a transition from the former incarnation as a quiet upscale cocktail lounge.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Life and Style (in Southern Illinois)

Received a copy of the winter edition of the Southern Illinoisan's Life and Style bundled with this morning's copy of the paper and found the amount of focus on areas outside of Southern Illinois bemusing. One article looked at a Florida artist working on statues in Paducah, while another discussed the holiday programming coming to the Carson Center, also in Paducah. Is southern Illinois all out of artists and holiday programming?

However, the capper was the article directing people shopping for holiday gifts to shops in Saint Genevieve and St. Charles.  This time of year accounts for around 40% of retail sales for the year and southern Illinois already has a large problem with shopping leakage, consumers choosing to cross the rivers to shop in Cape Girardeau and Paducah instead of Carbondale or Marion. Southern Illinois has a difficult enough time of it economically without a magazine focusing on the region sending shoppers elsewhere to buy gifts.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sale Tax Increase

Sales taxes will creep up another percent on July 1 to 9.75%.  on most products in Carbondale, autos, ATVs, boats, unprepared food and drugs exempted. Prepared food is even higher, another 2% due mainly to the influence of the aforementioned sellers of autos, ATVs etc. who feared an extra percent or so tax on them would drive customers to Marion.

What worries me is that, after the Saluki Way tax expires, the city fails to roll the tax back to previous levels. This was promoted to the community as a limited time tax but taxes, save under pressure, have a habit of never regressing once passed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lights Fantastic Banners

Banners promoting the Lights Fantastic Parade went up today. I know the parade is less than three weeks away but still, what about Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Empty Sunday Night

Took a walk through downtown about 8 last night and found it interesting how many restaurants and bars were closed at that hour. Those that weren't only had one or 2 tables of customers. Even Pagliai's, which is normally full on a Sunday evening, was about 3/4 empty. I don't know if it was the cold or the closeness to Thanksgiving but downtown was certainly empty.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Students in Front of Confederate Flag

According to this, the two SIUC students whose picture of them wearing blackface while standing in front of a Confederate flag was not intended as a racist reaction to Trump's election but rather two college kids acting silly. The post on the now deleted Facebook account said the "blackface" was actually a boscia face mask and the Confederate flag was a defaced one. Truth or an excuse they made up when the picture got out?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Campaign Offices Emptying

Noticed that Tammy Duckworth's campaign office on West Walnut had emptied out as of late afternoon today. Sheila Simon's office next door still had lots of material stacked around though, although the signs had come down from the windows.

Never did see any offices for any of the other candidates in Carbondale, though I would bet the local Green operations were located in someone's house.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Jackson County Election Results

You probably already know the national election results but the Southern is kind enough to post the results for Jackson County A few things I found interesting:

For the first time in recent memory, Jackson County voted Republican for President. The Trump/Pence ticket won by 12 points.

Sheila Simon didn't even win in her home county, losing to Paul Schimpf by 45 votes.

People's concerns about "big government" didn't stop them from voting to create the Public Building Commission of Jackson County.

Despite making Carbondale's sales tax among the highest in the state and comparable to the sales tax in DuQuoin, it passed. Here's hoping that all the people living in the county come to shop in Carbondale, rather than driving to lower tax communities like Marion

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Halloween Crackdown Numbers

Looks like a pretty quiet Halloween this year. The police department has posted the numbers for vehicle stops over the holiday and they were pretty low. Now idea what the number of alcohol related infractions were though.

Polling Places

Voting takes place today. In case you don't know where to vote, here is a handy list of polling places in Jackson County.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Building Demolitions

A couple of iconic buildings in Carbondale have gotten demolished in the past month, the Jeffery Laundromat, as mentioned before on the blog, and the Horizon nee, Holiday Inn on East Main Street. The Horizon has sat empty for the better part of the past decade while the city tried to determine who actually owned the property. Apparently there were a number of corporations associated with ownership and it was hard to track down which one to give the demolition order to.  The city has had some interest in the property but not with the mold infested building standing on it. Once it is gone, the city should find it easier to sell the land to a developer.

The nearby BP gas station that has sat empty for the past year or so, following a couple of abortive attempts to re-open it, should also get razed in the near future as Casey's General Stores wants to open at that location but plans to remove the current building and start over again from the ground up.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Solar Educaton

Want to learn more about solar energy? JALC and Advanced Energy Solutions Group will host a series of public meetings on the topic:

John A. Logan College and Advanced Energy Solutions Group are conducting a series of public meetings to educate Illinois residents about smart grid and smart meter technology as well as a bulk buy opportunity for solar power. Six events will be held, all open to the public, and one lucky attendee will win a free SolarWorld 285 watt solar module, valued at $350.

The presentations will provide context about upgrades being made to the state's electric grid and what that means for consumers. Several resources are readily available by visiting the website

In addition, AES Solar invites the public to learn about their current 'Go Solar Southern Illinois' program which offers participants tiered discounts based on how much cumulative solar power will be purchased through the program, which runs until December 10. The goal is to amass 100 kilowatts or more, and then everyone involved will enjoy a 20% discount on their modules, inverters, and racking.

All meetings will offer light complimentary refreshments, and more information is also available at
  • October 29, 9-11 am at JALC West Frankfort extension
  • November 26-8 pm at Design Center, 121 S. Illinois Avenue (train depot), Carbondale
  • November 96-8 pm at Mackie's Pizza, Marion
  • November 166-8 pm at JALC DuQuoin Extension, Room 1
  • November 30, 6-8 pm at Tres Hombres, Carbondale
  • December 66-8 pm at JALC main campus, Carterville