Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Phillip Morris and Keep America Beautiful have a program in place to install cigarette receptacles in communities. Here is the email I received on the topic from Keep Carbondale Beautiful:

In partnership with Keep America Beautiful, KAB affiliates and partner organizations have an opportunity to participate in a Philip Morris USA initiative. Philip Morris will place 10,000 litter stands to collect cigarette butts  in communities nationwide and educate adult smokers 21+ on the importance of disposing of their cigarette butts properly.

Adult smokers are being given the opportunity to enter locations (city and zip code) on a map to indicate where they would like to see a litter stand installed. As stands are placed, an interactive map will populate featuring local stories and showing locations that have been selected.

Keep America Beautiful & Philip Morris USA request your help in finding locations to place litter stands to provide opportunities for adult smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts properly.
·        Install the litter stand(s) in an accessible place (e.g., outside entrance to retail location, or transition point where adult smokers commonly dispose of cigarette butts). Hardware is included to mount each receptacle.
·        Maintain litter stand(s) (e.g., regularly empty cigarette butts into garbage).
Share the GPS coordinates of each litter stand’s location with KAB to include on the interactive map. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Potential SIUC Students

There are 70 potential SIUC students visiting Carbondale from China this week . The university, Chamber of Commerce and the city have worked putting together a schedule of events to keep them busy and, from talking with a few of the students yesterday, they seem pretty impressed with the school and Carbondale. A couple of them were already talking as if they planned to attend SIUC starting next fall, so that's a good start.

At one time, SIUC was renowned for its outreach to international students and had the 2nd largest number of Indian students in the US. Unfortunately, other universities, over the years, targeted international students as well, pulling a good number of them away from Carbondale.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Erika Harold

Got to hear the Republican candidate for Attorney General this afternoon at the Chamber of Commerce round pies straight talk event. Most of the discussion with Erika Harold focused on combating opiod addiction in Illinois, although there was some discussion of workman's compensation reform and removing some regulations to make the state more business friendly. One topic she is interested in is prison reform, especially stopping using Illinois prisons as holding cells for the mentally ill. She also mentioned the possibility of reinstating work release programs for prisoners, which Gov. Rauner apparently put a halt to and which Chief Grubbs supported reinstating, as he said Carbondale had used them for decades without any problems.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Saltpeter Cave

Noticed work done on the road leading to Saltpeter Cave off Highway 127 today. The fence and gate have been removed from the entrance and gravel has been applied to the road. The cave was a prime concert venue for the region from the 1970s through the early 2000s but was sold about a decade ago and closed to the public since then.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Family Drug Open

The new Family Drug of Carbondale has opened on the north side of the intersection of Hwy 13 and New Era Road. Probably a good location for it since it is a destination store rather than  a convenience one, unlike the doughnut shop that occupied the location for a short period. I believe it is affiliated with one of the hospitals as well, which means business coming from there too.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

No More Straws

A SIUC student is asking local businesses to only offer straws upon request. So far, businesses that have signed on for "Straws Upon Request" include Longbranch, Reemas, Tres Hombres, Quatros and El Greco's. Starbuck's is already phasing them out. Going strawless appears a national movement as there are several dozen communities that have either voluntarily or by ordinance made straws available only on reques.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Walker's Bluff General Store

I see Walker's Bluff has announced they are closing their general store and turning the space into operations, whatever that means.I would assume the store only made money during the times the facility had events and sat empty the rest of the time  costing the business payroll.

Friday, July 13, 2018

One Scalp Collected

Looks as if SIU President Randy Dunn will step down next week, collect a $200,000+ severance package and get hired as a visiting professor at SIUE next January. Plans are to hire retired SIU School of Medicine dean Kevin Dorsey as interim President

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Incoming Freshmen

Just heard that the current projected number of incoming freshmen at SIUC this fall is around 900. Contrast that with just over 2100 in 2016 and just over 1700 last year. Hoping that number shifts higher as actual enrollment date gets closer.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

No Confidence in Dunn

SIUC Faculty Senate cast a vote of no confidence in President Randy Dunn 25-1 with 2 senators abstaining. Of course, I don't think the Senate has much confidence in Chancellor Montemagno so I am not sure who they want running the place. It is also nice that the university is in such good shape that the various organizations can focus on stuff like this.

Dunn should not be focusing on shifting around funds until he gets SIUC stabilized. Nor should Montemagno work on restructuring the university until he accomplishes the same thing. Neither man has shown why either shift funds or restructuring will achieve the objective if increasing SIUC enrollment. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Dunn and Montemago

Well, it appears we have factions not happy with either President Dunn or Chancellor Montemagno. One faction thinks Dunn wants to split apart SIUC and SIUE with both of them on an equal regional footing. The other faction thinks Montemagno has been sent in to weaken SIUC at the behest of Gov. Rauner (see the letter on page 5 of this week's Carbondale Times) and return it to regional status as well and that Dunn is the only one standing in his way. It would appear that, based on this, SIUC is in trouble no matter who is in charge.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

More Video Terminals

City council voted to allow video poker terminals at truck stops within the city limits. Currently, the only locations to qualify are the Huck's on East Main and the Shell station on the west side of town. No idea if either one will apply for a permit or if they have the additional space they would have to provide for the terminals.
Revenues from the city's terminals have increased by about $25,000 from 2016 to 2017 despite 2 fewer units within city limits. Same number of establishments though and the growth in dollar amount collected indicates the market is not saturated yet.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Lone Star

From what I have heard, another Sergio's Mexican Restaurant will move into the closed and recently sold Lone Star Steakhouse location on East Main.