Friday, November 30, 2018

City Council Special Meeting

The city council has called a special meeting for this Tuesday evening at 6 p.m., apparently to deal with only one thing:

1. Roll Call
 2. Citizens’ Comments and Questions
 3. Closed Meeting Closed Meeting for the Purposes of Self-Evaluation, Practices and Procedures or Professional Ethics, When Meeting with a Representative of a Statewide Association of Which the Public Body is a Member Pursuant to 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(16)
4. Return to Open Session No Action Following the Return to Open Session Except to Adjourn

Apparently there might have been some problems with a recent meeting of someone on the council with a representative of a statewide organization of which the council is a member and the meeting was called as a refresher course in proper procedures.

Lights Fantastic Road Closures

Carbondale will start closing roads for the Lights Fantastic parade tomorrow starting at 5 p.m. and will reopen them shortly after the parade ends, typically soon after 6 p.m. No indication if cars parked on Illinois Avenue, which comprises the majority of the parade route, will be towed. You can go here for the complete parade route map, parking and shuttle information, as well as a list of most other activities taking place

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Captain D's Returning

Captain D's seafood is (unofficially) returning to Carbondale. The chain left town over a decade ago but is poised to locate a restaurant at the (now razed) location previously occupied by Godfather's and DiMaggio's Pizza. It is a decent high traffic location and Long John Silvers has moved to a much less visible location now out by Wal-mart

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Here is the list of candidates for next year's city government election. No primary, thank goodness. We have one mayoral office and 3 city council seats up

The following candidates have filed their nominating petitions for Carbondale Mayor:

1.     Nathan Colombo, 229 South Hunt Road                            9:11 a.m., November 26
2.      John “Mike” Henry, 1210 West Hill Avenue                      1:30 p.m., November 26

The following candidates have filed their nominating petitions for Carbondale City Council Member:
Council Candidate Name and Address                                                    Time of Filing/Ballot Order 

1.     Adam Loos, 512 West Pecan Street                                    8:00 a.m., November 19
2.      Mark Chalem, 1004 West Laurel Street                             8:03 a.m., November 19
3.      Navreet S. Kang, 613 South Terrace Drive            8:31 a.m., November 19
4.      Lee M. Fronabarger, 1140 S. Morningside Drive               1:51 p.m., November 19
5.      Thomas Grant, 5370 Springer Ridge Road            4:26 p.m., November 20
6.      Theodore “Ted” Jude Gutierrez, 316 S. Lu Court 2:59 p.m., November 26
7.      Greg Knoob, 3 Pine Lake Drive                                         3:38 p.m., November 26
8.      Jerrold Hennrich, 610 West Sycamore Street                    4:06 p.m., November 26

Monday, November 26, 2018

Nathan Columbo Announces for Mayor

Small business owner and social media marketer (and local comedian) Nathan Columbo announces his campaign for mayor of Carbondale at 12:30 today. Going to make this an interesting campaign. Mayor Mike Henry has the backing of many of the businesspeople in Carbondale whilst Columbo brings much more expertise in promotion, especially social media, and awareness among a  number of the activists in Carbondale.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Black Friday

Drove through the east part of Carbondale late morning on Black Friday and noticed quite a lot of traffic at University Mall, Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Best Buy, etc. Actually I was rather surprised to see empty parking spaces around the back end of University Mall. Even saw most of the parking spaces filled at the Furniture King's location on the east side. Not a lot of traffic for the retailers in the Reed Station Road area and traffic at the Marion mall was pretty pathetic, which is to be expected given that it will close up 2 weeks before Christmas.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Christmas Lights

City got the Christmas lights up early throughout the downtown area. Makes the place look festive but still wish they would hold off until after Christmas. However, given that the Lights Fantastic Parade is the 1st, I can see wanting to get everything up soon. Downtown window decorating has to be done by the 28th if you want it judged.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Why Shop Local

Giving that we are coming into the holiday/shopping season, Why shop local? Well, aside from the fact that it keeps the store in business, here are some other reasons from the Gift Guide of the Nov. 18th Southern Illinoisan newspaper:

1. Your money stays in the local economy. Different studies have different figures but in general, for every $100 you spend, if you spend it at a locally owned store, $65 to $70 stays within the local economy, spent with other local businesses or paid to staff members. $35 to $45 stays within the local economy if you spend it at a chain store and, of course,none stays within the local economy if you spend it online

2.  Your money recirculates in the economy before leaving to help other communities. In a comparatively small town like Carbondale, it will cycle through other businesses 2-3 times but in a large one like St.Louis or Chicago, the same dollar will circulate 7-12 times before cycling out.

3.Local businesses donate more to community based causes and non-profits. According to the Seattle Good Business Network, local businesses donate 250% more locally than do chain stores.

4. Taxes--Though no one really likes to pay them, the fact is that they go to fund the local police and fire departments, sewers and water, street repair, mass transit and other things that make life easier and safer.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Wanna Run for City Council

Filings opened today to submit petitions to get  on the ballot for next year's open city council seats. 2 people have filed already, including one current councilperson. From the press release:

wo (2) candidates have filed their nominating petitions for Carbondale City Council Member. 
Council Candidate Name and Address                                                    Time of Filing/Ballot Order 

1.     Adam Loos, 512 West Pecan Street                                    8:00 a.m.
2.      Mark Chalem, 1004 West Laurel Street                             8:03 a.m.

Candidates who subsequently file for Mayor or City Council member will appear on the ballot in the order in which their nominating petitions are received, except that those candidates who file petitions between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on November 26, 2018, will be entered into a lottery for the last place on the ballot.

If five (5) or more candidates file for Mayor and/or thirteen (13) or more candidates file for City Council member, and if no petitions are rejected based on an objection being upheld, or other reasons that a petition(s) cannot be certified to the ballot, a Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. The Primary Election will narrow the field to two (2) candidates for Mayor and/or six (6) candidates for City Council member appearing on the April 2 ballot. Ballot placement for the Consolidated Election is determined by the highest number of votes received in the Primary Election.

The period for filing nominating petitions for Mayor and/or City Council extends through 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 26.  Nomination packets remain available for pick up in the City Clerk's Office, Room 165 of Carbondale City Hall, 200 South Illinois Avenue. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Circle K Closed and Moved

It looks as if the Circle K station that stands at the corner of Wall and Walnut has closed and that Circle K has taken over the Shell station standing on Walnut a couple of blocks further east. Not sure why they didn't go the other way around since the Wall and Walnut location had two streams of traffic while the new location only has one, unless the owner decided to keep the location with more space.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

TJ. Fine Jewelry Closing

TJ's Fine Jewelry has had "Store closing" signs up for the past month with a Stormtrooper waving at passing cars on occasion. The store's website is offline,, meaning that the only online info is on Google and Yelp. Unfortunately, jewelry stores are not destination stores anymore, as they were in  the 1990s when Carbondale boasted 2 jewelry stores (and a bridal shop) in the downtown area.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Dunaway House Burns

In case you didn't drive West Main Today, the Dunaway House at 409 West Main burnt. Not totally but badly enough that the owner will probably demolish it. Although the fire started on the first floor, most of the visible damage was to the roof and  a chunk of the second floor.

While not the oldest house in Carbondale, the Dunaway did date back to 1881, when it was built for local merchant Samuel Dunaway. Over the years, the exterior had been extensively modified and added to. The building had converted to apartments decades ago.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Neely Hall Reopening

Well, the plan to reopen Neely Hall next fall is good news. Still not back to the glory days of the late 1980s and 1990s, but with University Hall full, moving students to Neely from University Hall makes sense as it allows more flexibility in housing them.

Friday, November 9, 2018


A new bookstore, Wild Thyme, I believe, is seeking a special use permit to put a retail operation in the office building at 705 West Main St. Not a great location for a retail business since t here are no other retailers in the immediate area.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Omar's Food Mart

Omar's Food Mart will host a ribbon cutting celebrating its grand opening November 9 at 11 a.m. Was not sure there was a good location for it but now that the Circle K at the corner of Walnut and Wall has closed and is fenced off, having a second option for drivers to get gas on that side of town looks like a better idea. Currently, if you want to get gas on East Walnut, you have to either stop at the Shell station or the station out at Reed Station Road. Omar's out of the way and drivers wanting to gas up there will have to pull off East Walnut then swing back around to get back on Walnut or continue east on old 13 to pick up Giant City Road. If you are going to do that, you might as well gas up at the Kroger. Will be interesting to see if there is enough demand for food in the neighborhoods to the south of Omar's 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Brightfields Solar Project

Though I did not make it to the city council meeting, from several posts I have seen on Facebook, it appears the council decided to not approve the permit for the Brightfields solar project, meaning the property keeps getting cleaned up and sitting empty.

Friday, November 2, 2018


Picked up some numbers from last weekend's events. If you have any additional figures, go ahead and post them in the comments or send 'em as a message.

Attendance at Trump Rally--somewhere between 7000 and 13,000. No appreciable traffic increase or business in Carbondale prior to the event but traffic picked up noticeably on Walnut heading east afterwards. Talked to the owner of one coffee shop in Murphysboro and they were slammed with business on Friday night, as were other coffee shops and restaurants. Apparently the Secret Service really like their coffee. Business was back to normal on Saturday as everyone was at the rally.

Trick or Treat on Main--estimated 200-300 trick or treaters in downtown. Wedding at the civic center took up a lot of parking so it was really tight in downtown between about 11 and 3.

Great Pumpkin Race--did not see it but was told more participants than last year but fewer spectators.

Halloween concert--Walked over about 9:30. The various vendors were doing little to no business at the time, although from what I heard later they were all happy or at least satisfied with sales. Found out that the Washington Street concert area can hold about 12,000 people. I estimated about 500 at the time I went by, all clustered in the grassy area next to the stage. Others estimated the number at over double that, some 1200 to 1300. Reportedly, quite a few people in costume.

Downtown--Drove through Downtown about 10 p.m. and saw what I considered a normal number of people on the strip and comparatively few in costume, significantly less than last year and no lines to get into any of the bars. Maybe most of them were at the concert and things picked up later.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

DQ Season Closing

Last day of the year for the Downtown Dairy Queen will probably be Saturday Nov. 10. At least, I was told today they will shut down for the year in 10 days, so November 10th makes sense. Get your delicious DQ soft serve while you can and remember, you save 10% if you present a recent receipt from a downtown restaurant.