Friday, September 28, 2018

Cave in Rock Ferry

Glad to see the Cave In Rock Ferry will resume year round hours starting next month. By my calculations, it transports about 335 cars per day. Of course, no idea how many of them just take the ferry from one side to the other, turn around and ferry back.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Family Weekend

SIUC Family Weekend is this weekend. However, I have not seen much promotion for it, which is rather surprising. I have received a couple of emails from the Chamber of Commerce and seen one or two social media posts but, given how important the event typically is to the university, I would have expected to have heard a lot more about events taking place.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Free Downtown WiFi

Carbondale announced free Wireless access throughout the downtown region today, stretching from Town Square Pavilion at Main and Illinois south to Friendship Plaza at the corner of Mill and Illinois. No indication how far east or west the signal reaches. When the city last put in downtown wireless several years ago, you could pick it up about half a block east or west of Illinois 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Pritzker Campaign Office

Apparently Carbondale is proving a popular place for campaign offices. J.B. Pritzker's campaign has set up an office in the strip mall next to Sunny Street Cafe. If you are looking for one, a campaign staffer tells me they have some 5000 yard signs just waiting for  you to plunk one in your yard.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bright Spot Award

From Keep Carbondale Beautiful.  Always glad to see a residence or business in town notice for the effort it/they puts into making the spot more attractive:

Sewer line work in the front yard usually leaves a mess.  But some home-owners turn it into an opportunity.  At 301 Wedgewood, Virginia Gregory put in a unique sculpture and surrounded it with flowers and greenery, earning a Bright Spot Award from the Keep Carbondale Beautiful board.  The sculpture was done by Kathi Borrego, a friend in Oregon, and Greenridge Landscaping did the heavy lifting.   “They put in a ton of work, and a lot of nice landscaping,” in the words of the nominator.  Besides the sewer line mess, Mrs. Gregory had another motivation: “Once you paint the garage door mustard yellow, …. Fortunately, chrysanthemums come in that color.”

The KCB Board selects businesses or residences to receive the Bright Spot Award for enhancing the beauty of our community by means of revitalization of property, new construction, plantings and beautification, upkeep and maintenance, or rehabilitation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Seeking New HR Commission Head

Appears the Mayor is seeking a new head for the HR Commission. Given how hard it is to find people to want to serve on any commissions in Carbondale, it is interesting that he wants to let one go that wants the job. Of course, the fact that the HR Commission has set up meetings to discuss how to improve Carbondale apparently did not strike some council members as helpful.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Political offices

will less than 60 days until the election, I am seeing more political campaign offices open in Carbondale. Terri Bryant has had one on East Walnut for several weeks and the Democrats now have one in the old Radio Shack space in Murdale Shopping Center. Latest open in a Mike Bost office in the long empty Petal patch location at the intersection of Walnut and Illinois. Bust must be taking this election seriously as this is the first time I have seen a Bost office in Carbondale.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Ribbon Cutting

Short notice but there is a ribbon cutting for the new Sterling Sofa Company on Giant City Road at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, September 13 for the grand opening of Sterling Sofa Company. The retailer is located at 695 N Giant City Road.

Sterling Sofa Company specializes in providing designer styles and comfort for all furnishing needs. Sterling Sofa Company is the sister store to Sterling Mattress Factory.

The ribbon cutting is part of Sterling Sofa Company’s grand opening. Representatives of the Chamber and business will participate in the ceremony and light refreshments will be served. The event is open to the public.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Human Relations Roundtable

In  case you want to contribute your two cents on where Carbondale and SIUC out to go (no, to H**L is not a option), there is a  meeting this Thursday night at 6 p.m. to discuss the matter. A meeting is nice but it will take action in order to make change and, like it or not, that action has to come from the University. Carbondale can make itself as student friendly as possible but until SIUC starts attracting students again, all of the downtown landscaping in the world will not help. Although it will help, students will come here because of the programs the university offers, not because of the stores in downtown or the landscaping. An attractive downtown will convince students (and their parents) that Carbondale is an inviting city in which to live, but if the program is not there, they won't come.

The Carbondale Human Relations Commission will host a roundtable discussion on Thursday, September 13, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in Room 116 of the Carbondale Civic Center; 200 South Illinois Ave., Carbondale, Illinois.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Remodeling Oakland Avenue

The city has been doing extensive work on N. Oakland for the past month and now it is soliciting comments on the plans for remodeling south Oakland. Doubt very much if the comments will have any effect on the plans but the city is offering the opportunity for comments:

The City of Carbondale will host an open house on Tuesday, September 25 to present the plans and receive comments on the Oakland Avenue Reconstruction Project. This project is partially funded through a grant from the Southern Illinois Metropolitan Planning Organization (SIMPO).

Improvements to rebuild Oakland Avenue from Chautauqua Street to Walnut Street include new concrete pavement with dedicated bicycle lanes, new sidewalks, driveway aprons, storm sewers and appurtenances. In order to accommodate dedicated bicycle lanes in each direction, the existing on-street parking, south of Mill Street, will be removed.

Plans will be on display in Room 103 of the Carbondale Civic Center from 4:30-6 p.m. Community members are invited to view the plans and provide comments about the project. City officials will be on hand to explain the project and answer questions. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2019.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Human Relations Round Table

The Human Relations Commission, despite some pushback, is going ahead with its plan to host a round table to discuss possible solutions to attract more students and retain young professionals. More power to them, but unless the powers that be in the city act on recommendations, it won't do much good. As the press release notes, a similar meeting was held last January and ideas were proposed there. Haven't heard much about it since:

The Human Relations Commission (HRC) of the City of Carbondale will sponsor a round table discussion on September 13, 2018 at the Carbondale Civic Center (200 N Illinois Ave) from 6:00pm-7:30pm.
Our goal is to bring together community members, City and University officials, and students to discuss a proactive way to increase attraction of new students and businesses and retain young professionals in our community.

The HRC understands the challenges our state and region have experienced over the last several years and we want to bring together stakeholders to collaborate and suggest solutions to move our City and University forward.  Everyone will have an opportunity to “sit at the table” to discuss viable solutions. 

This round table forum follows a similar event held in January in which residents, City and University officials, and local business owners were in attendance. 

Friday, September 7, 2018


I see SIUE is arguing that, since it now has more students than SIUC for the first time, it should see increased funding or even more funding than SIUC. However, most of SIUE's students are commuting students, which have a lower foot print than SIUC's overwhelming numbers of residential students. In addition, SIUC offers doctoral degrees, which absorb more resources. It is also hard to justify increasing SIUE's funding, given that it has lost students along with SIUC

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Both Down

Even though both SIUC and SIUC are down in terms of attendance, for the first time, SIUE has exceeded SIUC in terms of total number of students. SIUC does point out that retention rates and average GPA of students are up at the university and that the university is "turning the corner". Of course SIUC has turned the corner so many times under so many different chancellors that I would expect the institution to have gotten back to where it started.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

12% Down

Caught on the news this evening that SIUC fall admission was 12% down from last year with between 12,000 and 13,000 students attending. but the university is "turning the corner" yet again. Retention rates and GPA of incoming students were both up though.