Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Street Bar

According to the LAB agenda for tomorrow night (the committee that the city is looking at modifying), the liquor license for the Street Bar (located in the old Pony building) will transfer from an individual to a corporation. Safer for them, as corporations find it easier to limit liability than do individuals. From the agenda:

Application to transfer a Class B2 license (On premises consumption – all alcoholic liquors) from Danny Terry, an individual, d/b/a Street Bar, to S&D Ventures of Southern Illinois, LLC, d/b/a Street Bar, at 213 East Main Street 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

El Greco Reopening

Not sure when it is happening but I have had two different people tell me today that someone at Herrin Hospital purchased El Greco and will reopen it sometime later this year.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Meet the Candidates

Tomorrow night's "Meet the Democratic Candidates for Governor" event is sold out, or at least all of the tickets for the free event are gone. However, the event will stream live on several Facebook pages, including the Carbondale Times, Benton News and Daily Register

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Meet The Mayor Schedule

In case you want to meet Mayor Mike Henry or City Manager Gary Williams, here is the Meet the Mayor schedule for the rest of the year.  From the city's press release:

Sessions will be held every month on Thursday. Times will alternate between 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 1:30-2:30 p.m. Citizens will have the opportunity to talk to Carbondale Mayor John “Mike” Henry and Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams at various eateries throughout the city.
The locations will be as follows: 
Date                            Location                                  Time                           
·         February 1                   Panera                                     8:30-9:30 a.m.
·         March 1                       Italian Village                         1:30-2:30 p.m.
·         April 5                         Kroger Starbucks                    8:30-9:30 a.m.
·         May 3                          Bandana’s                               1:30-2:30 p.m.
·         June 7                          Denny’s                                   8:30-9:30 a.m.
·         July 12                         Longbranch                             1:30-2:30 p.m.
·         August 2                     Dunkin’ Donuts                      8:30-9:30 a.m.
·         September 6                El Paisano                               1:30-2:30 p.m.
·         October 4                    Cristaudo’s                              8:30-9:30 a.m.
·         November 1                Hunan                                     1:30-2:30 p.m.
·         December 13               Jen’s Joe                                  8:30-9:30 a.m.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Bost Q&A

Rep. Mike Bost had a Qand A yesterday at noon sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Some comments:

1. Smaller turnout than I expected, especially given that the Chamber sent out an email yesterday morning saying that the event had filled. The meeting was held in the Old Train Depot with less than 30 people attending and seats available. I almost didn't go after receiving the email, since I figured the place would be packed.

2. Written questions from the audience were taken rather that voiced ones.

3. Most questions had to do with Bost's stance on DACA and immigration. Bost favors reauthorization of DACA but wants it coupled with more money spent on border security.

4. High speed rail, esp. between St. Louis and Chicago. Bost favors investing in this as well but need to take into consideration its effect on rail freight between the two cities.

5. A economic development program that both Carbondale and Marion participate in is expiring. Bost will look into the possibility of continuing it.

6.Should people be allowed to refuse service to others based on religious beliefs? Bost thinks the government should minimize its interference in private business, i.e. if you are a pharmacist who doesn't want to sell a "morning after" pill, you should not have to stock it.  Not quite clear as to his position on discrimination against LGBT individuals for religious reasons.

7. Strong support of care for veterans and wants to make sure that disabled veterans get the best care available. Less sure on rights for other disabled Americans as that is the purview of other committees in Congress

8. Thing that most people do not realize about his job is how much time he spends on it. He didn't realize how many hours it would take.

9. He misses people in the state legislature but not the legislature itself.

10. Some questions were shouted at him from a group in the corner opposite from me. I gathered they weren't supporters of either his or the President's agenda.

The entire event lasted half an hour. Rep. Bost started taking questions shortly after noon and exited the room very quickly about 12:40

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Streamlining Liquor License Process

I see the council is moving ahead with its plan to streamline the process by which a restaurant or bar gets a liquor license, possibly by eliminating the review function of the liquor advisory board. It doesn't appear there was much announcement of the plans to modify the function of the LAB, since LAB chair Don Monty didn't know the council had plans to look at the function of the LAB. If the chair of the board didn't know about plans to modify its function, it's a pretty good bet the rest of the community didn't know either. As Monty noted, when looking at the agenda, it wasn't particularly clear which agenda item related to the proposed revamping of the LAB.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Letter to the Board

Carbondale Chamber of Commerce sent the following letter to the SIU BOD:

An Open Letter to the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees

As representatives of the Carbondale business community, we hold a keen interest in the happenings and discussions at Southern Illinois University. We are paying special attention to Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s plans for reorganization and restructuring of the University.

As the largest economic engine not only for Carbondale but for all of Southern Illinois, what happens at the University – its successes in all areas (enrollment, research, athletics, cultural and artistic endeavors and more) as well as its shortcomings – affect us all. In recent years, the continuing freefall in enrollment has negatively impacted most of our businesses, even forcing many once-profitable enterprises out of business.

There is no doubt that Chancellor Montemagno’s plan is challenging and ambitious. We believe that the time for action is now. Reorganization must not wait for extended, lengthy discussion, reviews and inaction. With years of declining enrollments and numerous leadership changes, the University, the city and region and our businesses cannot afford any delay.

Something must be done, sooner than later. The time for study, posturing and inaction is over. We stand with the Chancellor and his proposed plan and will do everything in our ability to support him and Southern Illinois University.

Board of Directors
Carbondale Chamber of Commerce

Me, I am still not sold on the need for re-organization as the cure for what ails SIUC. Of course, my background is marketing, so I am admittedly biased, but SIUC needs to do a lot better job of marketing itself in the southern Illinois region. When you have a situation where every university in the region, except SIUC, sends representatives to a recruiting opportunity at CCHS, there is not an organizational problem, there is a recruiting problem 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Liquor License Process Modification

Among the agenda items for tomorrow night's City Council meetings is this one calling for modification to the ordinances regarding the Liquor Control Commission in order to streamline the process by which a liquor license gets approved by the city. Of all the problems faced by Carbondale, it seems speeding up the means by which more people can sell liquor doesn't rank very high up there.

Cheerleaders at MLK Breakfast

The univeristy respects what the cheerleaders did, still moved them off the field and out of view of the crowd

Friday, January 19, 2018

March to the Polls

In case you plan to participate in the March to the Polls tomorrow, here is the schedule, courtesy of the Sierra Club:

11:00 a.m. - Welcome and March Lineup. INSIDE Carbondale Civic Center - please be here to make signs, get excited for the march, learn the route and hear important information about the day!

12:00 p.m.- March! (But be early!)

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Table fair and getting involved forum. Carbondale Civic Center. Learn about Women United Network's 10 Actions that will lead to a successful election year. Hear from inspirational speakers. Meet local organizations and get involved in your community.

2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Concert/Rally at Hangar 9 with Loose Gravel, Free Range Chicks, & Honey & Tar. Time to celebrate!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Restaurant Tax

Was talking with someone this morning about business in Carbondale and he made a point of saying that the food and beverage tax drives him away from eating in Carbondale when he comes here to shop. He will make purchases at the stores but chooses to leave the city to eat rather than pay a "1% tip to the city" as he put it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Carbondale Board of Tourism Meeting

The Carbondale Tourism Board of Directors will meet, with the City Council in attendance, on Jan. 18 at 5:30 in the city council chambers at the Civic Center, This might be a good opportunity to ask questions about the rebranding, new logo or planning for the next Eclipse.

Monday, January 15, 2018


Rather bemusing seeing city and state snowplows driving along Highways 13 and 51 scrapping back another inch or so of slush from the edge of the road when so many side streets are still snow covered. I can understand the state trucks needing to focus on state highways but maybe the city vehicles could leave 13 and 51 to the state and work on the side streets, which the state won't touch. Or maybe there is something about the pattern that I don't understand.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Winter Storm

Well it appears the winter storm was not quite as bad as predicted. We did get a thin layer of ice and sleet on top of it but the total was less than an inch. Still enough to make driving hazardous though so probably a good thing we had all the closures throughout the region. Clouds are supposed to move out of the area tomorrow, so supposed to be sunny and cold.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Times and Southern

Well that was short lived. Dustin Duncan, who used to report for the Southern Illinoisan, took over the editorship of the Carbondale Times and Nightlife after the two papers sold last year. I see now that he is back reporting at the Illinoisan, and Geoff Ritter, who used to edit the Times, is now on the editorial masthead of both the Times and Nightlife. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Jackson County Mass Transit

In case you want to learn more about the Jackson County Mass Transit service, there is a presentation tonight at the Civic Center at 5 p.m. From the PR

Jackson County Mass Transit Executive Director Ted Gutierrez will share a special presentation at tonight’s Human Relations Commission meeting.
The meeting will be held in Room 112 of the Carbondale Civic Center at 5 p.m.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Wells Fargo

I see the city will authorize payment of a couple of warrants to Wells Fargo at this Tuesday's meeting. Just find it interesting that the city is using them given the negative publicity the firm received over the past year.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Architectural Wonders of Southern Illinois

In case you heard the story of the top 10 architectural wonders of Southern Illinois on WSIU and wondered what they are, no more worries. It took some effort but I did manage to finally find the website that lists all of them from 2013 to 2017

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Winston's Bagels by B-rad

Apparently the bagel business is not that great at night around campus anymore as the gentleman who purchases Winston's Bagels is operating during the day in Murphysboro and Herrin, bypassing Carbondale altogether