Thursday, January 31, 2019

Southern Illinoisan Shutters Printing Press

This week, The Southern decided to shutter its printing facilities in Carbondale and outsource them to the St. Louis Post Dispatch in Maryland Heights. What this means to those who take the paper is that, according to a post on Facebook, deadlines will move earlier. This will mainly affect the sports pages as local evening games will probably not end in time to make that day's deadline for the following morning so expect a extra day's delay in seeing some local high school scores reported. However, maybe if this results in enough savings, the Southern could return to a seven day a week paper again.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Flaunt Your Salukiness

Carbondale and SIUC will host a Saluki Photo Shoot this Friday from 11 to 1 at the downtown Civic Center. Saluki and SIUC garb encouraged but apparently not required.

Student Interviews

SIUC is doing more outreach bringing students to campus. Some 320 students, and their families, from around the nation will attend scholarship interviews on campus this weekend. The students are interviewing for Chancellor's Scholarships, which cover tuition, fees and board for for years, as well as Excellence Scholarships, which award $9500 per year for 4 years. Bringing the students to campus is a great idea, as not only does it allow them to see t he campus, but the city as well.

Monday, January 28, 2019

House of Leisure

Looks as if another restaurant is going to give the Icebox/Curbside location in the 200 block of West Main a go. "House of Leisure" is on the marquee over the front door and hours are posted from 10:30 to 9 p.m. most night with one night, Friday I think, posted until 2 p.m. Hope they make a go of it.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

DPS Survey

The SUIC Department of Public Safety wants your opinion on how it interacts with the SIUC campus and, to a lesser extent, Carbondale. Some of the questions could be worded better. For example, I have no idea when I last interacted with the DPS, save to invite them to the St. Francis Xavier Christmas Dinner. Survey will take a little less than 5 minutes to complete

Polar Bear

Polar Bear is taking place this weekend, a bit more quietly than in past years.. Drove by the house on West Main that normally hosts huge crowds and saw about half the bodies from last year. Little Caesar's said they had not seen much Polar Bear traffic and had not been having to keep people from parking in their lot. Postal delivery person said that traffic and parking were not particularly worse than normal either.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Stay off I57 This Saturday

According to WSIL 3, trucks will "slow roll" all the way from Marion to Effingham, blocking traffic for a good hundred miles. Of course, it will have no effect on their concerns, since most drivers will not have any idea why they are doing it and will only get irritated at them. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Nathan Columbo

One thing you have to say for mayoral candidate Nathan Columbo, he is making the rounds. I sit on the Sustainability Commission and I do not recall Mayor Henry ever attending a meeting. Although the commission did not have quorum, Columbo did show up for this month's meeting. Not sure if he would keep that up should he get elected but it was nice to see him showing interest in the commission's activities.

Friday, January 18, 2019

American Tap Liquors

Noticed that American Tap Liquors, located on S. Illinois next to Bombay Olive, has been closed for the past several weeks. Apparently they finally decided that having a storefront less than half a block from a downtown institution like Old Town Liquors was not the best idea, at least not according to this notice on the agenda for the next Liquor Control Commission meeting:

2.2 Transfer of a Class C1 Liquor License (Packaged Liquor Store) from American Tap Liquors, LLC to change the location from 518 South Illinois Avenue, Suite A to 715 North Giant City Road, Suite 7

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Making Assumptions

Interesting, as a reader of the blog pointed out, that Mayor Henry assumes, based on his Meet the Mayor dates, that he will be re-elected. He has Meet the Mayor dates scheduled all the way through December.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Downtown Parking

There is some talk of the city removing metered parking in downtown Carbondale, replacing them with a 2 hour parking limit and, I guess, dedicating a city employee to monitor them. I have seen chalk markings on tires used in other municipalities. Monitor marks the back tire with chalk on the first pass, then comes by 2 hours later and tickets any cars still there with a chalk mark.

I was in Troy Ohio over the holiday season. The city had the two hour limit with a monitor but was in the process of phasing it out and replacing it with meters. Apparently it found the meters more cost effective than paying someone to check parking.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Warming Centers 2

Well, the city can move fast. following up on the vote to authorize putting in a warming center on the grounds where the Holiday Inn used to stand on East Main, the city will open the facility next week. However, based on feedback and complaints from businesses in the East Main area and a desire for a more centralized location, the city decided to move the location to 705 East College, about 2 blocks east of the Carbondale Police/Public Safety building.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Warming Center

This week, the city council approved a permit for a temporary  warming center to locate on the grounds of the old Holiday Inn/ Horizon Inn in the 800 block of East Main. The plan is to move mobile trailers onto the property during the winter months and remove them April 1st. The city doesn't appear to have had much luck selling the property after seizing it for unpaid taxes and razing the mold infested building, so at least this puts the grounds to beneficial use.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Meet the Mayor

In case you want to meet the Mayor (and city manager in most cases), here is the proposed schedule for the year. Generally about 6 to 10 people turn out for the event.:

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, Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams and a Carbondale City Council member at various eateries throughout the city.
The locations will be as follows: 
Date                                 Location                                             Time                           
January 10                      Quatro's                                              1:30-2:30 p.m.
February 7                       Neighborhood Co-op Grocery            8:30-9:30 a.m. 
March 7                            Italian Village                                     1:30-2:30 p.m. 
April 4                               Kroger Starbucks                               8:30-9:30 a.m. 
May 2                                Fazoli's                                              1:30-2:30 p.m.   
June 6                               Harbaugh's                                        8:30-9:30 a.m. 
July 11                               Dairy Queen                                      1:30-2:30 p.m. 
August 8                            McDonald's (East Main Street)          8:30-9:30 a.m. 
September 5                      Longbranch                                       1:30-2:30 p.m. 
October 3                           Common Grounds                             8:30-9:30 a.m.
November 7                        Keepers Quarters                             1:30-2:30 p.m.
December 5                        Gloria Jean's Coffees                        9:30-10:30 a.m. (special time due to mall hours)
If you have questions or would like more information, contact Carbondale Public Relations Officer Amy Fox at (618) 559-1939.
“Carbondale prides itself on providing its visitors, students, businesses and residents with a unique mix of edge and ease. It’s a cultural town, yet free of pretense, embracing the great outdoors as readily as urban sophistication. Here, we are open to new ideas, experiences and cultures, so you are encouraged to both express yourself and be yourself, in all ways. That’s Carbondale…All Ways Open… for family, fun, business, new ideas and a bright tomorrow.”

Monday, January 7, 2019

EZ Street Station Open

The EZ Street station on West main has moved into the Old Dollar Family/Hollywood Video storefront at the corner of Main and Oakland. Open now although the gas pumps will be removed and replaced with more "modern" ones. The station will have access to the pumps from both Main and Oakland with a drive up to the store on the south side.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Rental Propery Percentages

One of the big problems Carbondale is the high percentage of absentee landlords and rental properties. I have seen data indicating that 71% of housing in Carbondale is rental property and only about 28% is owner occupied. That means we have a whole lot of housing in the city that is lived in by people who do not own it and have no vested interest, aside from their security deposit, in maintaining it. Meanwhile, we have comparatively few owners of property in Carbondale who are responsible for maintaining a lot of the housing in the city.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

International Students

Why go after international students so strongly? According to a meeting I sat in on today, each international student recruited to SIUC injects $10,000 per year into the local economy. In addition, each international student generates 2 additional jobs in the community during their tenure at the university.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

LAB Agenda

Only thing on this week's Liquor Advisory Board agenda is a proposal to allow taxi and similar compensated drivers to purchase and deliver alcohol to customers. Really not a bad idea as it would keep people who are going to consume the alcohol off the roads. Big concern I see is checking for underage purchases. How do you make sure that the people who order the alcohol are of legal age to consume it. When you buy it in a store, ID is required. ID would still be required but there is a lot less oversight of a taxi or Uber driver than a checker in a store.