Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Polar Bear Citations

Carbondale Police reported 91 citations during Polar Bear weekend, given to 89 people. Underage consumption of alcohol was the most often cited offense and most of those took place on public property. Only 7 took place inside a bar, 3 at Levels, 2 at Pinch Penny Pub and 2 at Stix.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Polar Bear

In case you missed it, the annual Polar Bear "celebration" took place this past weekend. This is a shot of the rear of a house in the 800 block of West Main about 2 p.m. on Saturday. I estimated between 300-500 people in the back yard and quite a bit of foot traffic in the area. When I drove by the location about 4:30 later in the afternoon, the revelers had all cleared out.

Not sure how many arrests took place over the weekend. I drove by the East Grand epicenter of the event Saturday night and the lot was packed with cars  but there was not a huge amount of foot or vehicular traffic in the area.

The downtown parking lots were pretty full both Friday and Saturday nights and the foot traffic was definitely up Saturday night with a line half a block long waiting to get into Stix. Did not see any similar lines at any of the other downtown bars though.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Tree Removal

The city has cut down several trees bordering Main Street that were rotting out. Plans are to replace them with new trees this spring. Incidentally, you can see, just past the speed limit sign, the remnants of a light pole, the base of which rusted badly enough that it collapsed during the ice storm, blocking traffic on West Main until it could be removed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Farmers' Markets Down?

Although there is no research to support it, anecdotal evidence leads the departing head of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance to say that shoppers at farmers' markets in Illinois have dropped significantly over the past few years. Anyone connected with the Murdale Farmers' Market have any thoughts? When I go, crowds seem really good on sunny days and noticeably sparse on cloudy ones.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

We're Number 18! We're Number 18!

Uhaul ranks Carbondale at number 18 in its list of growth cities with a population between 10,000 and 50,000. At first I thought this was based on the sheer number of rentals in the city and given the problems with the state budget and the decline in attendance at SIUC I thought it was due to the number of people renting a Uhaul to move out of the city.

Nope, Uhaul bases its number on the difference between one way trips originating in the city and terminating there. It appears we have more people renting a trailer to move here than they do to leave.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Coffee with a Cop

In case you want to "Coffee with a Cop" tomorrow, join the Carbondale PD at 8 a.m. at Longbranch Cafe and Bakery. I assume you're buying:

"The Carbondale Police Department wants to remind residents that next Coffee with a Cop will be held tomorrow, January 24th, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. at Longbranch Café and Bakery located at 100 East Jackson Street in Carbondale, IL

Southern Illinois Women's March

I had estimated about 1500 attendees at the march but apparently I overestimated by  a factor of 2 as the DE says that about 800 people. People started showing up to the event about 9 in the morning and peaked between 12 and 1 in the afternoon.  Last few protesters trekked across the Civic Center parking lot about 5 p.m. that evening.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Gold Diggers and Hollywood Lounge

Looks as if Gold Diggers and Hollywood Lounge both had soft openings.  Hollywood Lounge has been open for several weeks now and had maintained a fairly regular schedule of opening late in the afternoon, though I am not quite sure what the official hours are yet.  They appear to be doing business as several cars are parked in front of the location the nights it is open.

Similarly, Gold Diggers opened quietly about a week ago. at least based on the pictures on the business' FB page.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Bombay Olive Parking

When you do not have any parking for your customers, what's a new restaurant to do? In the case of downtown's Bombay Olive, you make arrangements with the bank in the same block, which has way too much parking for its customer's needs.  The east half of FirstMid's parking lot sits empty for most of the day and all evening so why not generate some revenue by leasing parking spaces to the neighboring restaurant?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Parking Permits

The city might sell more of its parking permits for downtown parking if it promoted them more. There is not a single sign in the downtown area, of which I know, promoting the availability of the longer term permits. Promoting the permits more would certainly put more parking lot money in the city's coffers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wanna Buy a Home

Given that, last time I checked, roughly 70% of Carbondale property was owned by absentee landlords, the city would definitely like to encourage more people to buy their own home. To help with this the Carbondale Neighborhood Action Group and the Egyptian Board of Realtors will host a free home buyer seminar on February 18. The PR is below

The Carbondale Neighborhood Action Group is teaming up with the Egyptian Board of Realtors to host a free home buyer seminar on Saturday, February 18.
The event will be held at the Carbondale Public Library from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The library is located at 405 W. Main St.
Realtors, mortgage lenders, home inspectors and title companies will discuss a variety of topics associated with buying a home. This includes selecting a relator, finding the right home, selecting a lender, home inspections, contingencies and post-purchase maintenance.
Lunch will be provided to all attendees and light refreshments will be available throughout the seminar. Activities for kids will also be available.
This event is free, but registration is strongly encouraged. To sign up, visit http://goo.gl/forms/pLGXoQFyyrO30bZu1. For more information, contact Daniel Presley at (626) 487-9747 or CarbondaleHomeBuyer@gmail.com.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ice Storm Follow Up

In case you missed it, last Friday's ice storm knocked out power to about 40% of Carbondale homes. By 6 p.m. Saturday, due to yeoman work by Ameren linemen, power was restored to all by about 3% of them.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Ice Storm

Streets in Carbondale are fine, though steps can be a bit slick. Tree down on a power line on North Oakland, just north of the intersection with West Sycamore. According to the Amerin website, just under 40% of the residences in the 62901 area code war without power

It Lives

Looks like Interstate 66 nee the Shawnee Parkway still lives. According to the meeting of the Sierra Club I attended, this time the plan is to propose building the Parkway in segments, thus lessening the apparently environmental impact when the necessary studies are completed. After all, short segments of Interstate highways cause less environmental damage than does a full stretch of highway through wetlands.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


No, not me.

Carbondale will launch its own bi-weekly podcast starting next week. Should prove interesting though I am not sure how it will differ from WDBX's "Talk of the Town", save for the fact that it is a podcast whereas TOTT has to be caught live as there are no archives.

The City of Carbondale and WDBX 91.1 FM are teaming up to launch a bi-weekly city podcast.              
“Inside Carbondale” will feature interviews with city officials and community leaders. The goal is to provide residents with the latest information about projects and events going on in the community.
The podcast will be available at www.wdbx.org and www.explorecarbondale.com.
The first episode will go live on Wednesday, January 18 at 9 a.m.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sales Tax Perception

Carbondale needs to work on getting out the word about the new sales tax and the upcoming one. I got told today by someone who lives in Anna and comes to Carbondale mainly for the music scene that the Carbondale sales tax is now 12%. It is high, thanks to the county, but not quite that high.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Discount Parking

In case you park a lot in downtown Carbondale and don't want to keep feeding the meters, the city is offering a 20% discount on parking permits if you purchase them between January 16th and 27th. You have to purchase permits for at least 4 months and some restrictions, of course, apply.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Golden Corral Sales Tax Flyer

The local Golden Coral decided to post this prominently around their restaurant. Not sure what good they think it will do, unless maybe some of their customers will contact the city to complain. Seems to me it would more likely just encourage their customers to go eat in another community.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Chuckin' Clouds Gone

Well, that didn't last long. The Carbondale outpost of the Chuckin' Clouds Vape Shop chain, located at 715 S. University, has closed up as quietly as it opened. No idea if it moved to another location in town or if the owners decided having a Vape Shop opeing up less than a block away was too much competition.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

We're Number 315! We're Number 315!

Like many other publications, the Wall Street Journal ranks colleges, both public and private and according to the newspaper, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale ranks 315 out of a total of 1061 ranked, putting SIUC in the top third of colleges ranked. That's pretty impressive when you think about it.

Chat With the Chancellor

Following in its current trend of alliterative meeting titles, the city presents "Chat with the Chancellor", an opportunity to meet with Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell at the Civic Center this Monday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Not sure how much of this will be Colwell talking to attendees and how much will be listening though. From the press release:

The City of Carbondale and the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will host “Chat with the Chancellor” on Monday, January 9 from 6-8 p.m. at the Carbondale Civic Center.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell and members of his leadership team will facilitate a community conversation about SIU, its direction and its relationship with the region.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Meet The Mayor

The first Meet the Mayor event at Harbaugh's Cafe this morning looks as if it had pretty light turnout. However, given that today is only the third day of the year and a drizzly grey one at that, I expect future ones to boast better attendance.  Both this and Coffee with a Cop are excellent outreaches by the city.