Saturday, June 29, 2019

Free Downtown Parking

Just a reminder that the city council starts its experiment with free downtown parking this Monday. From what I hear, the limit is three hours. Not sure how the city will track that as chalking car tires has been ruled an unconstitutional violation of the 4th amendment. Taking photographs of car license plates remains legal though.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Chautauqua Street Closing

The city announced that West Chautauqua will close from Emerald Lane to Tower Road starting July 1 for bridge repairs. Projected date of reopening is July 31.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Rent Cut

I see a sign in the window of the empty strip of stores behind what is now Trax, offering space for $500 per month. Not exactly the most desirable location, given that customers have to climb a flight of steps to get to any of the store fronts located there. Looks as if a hat shop is going in at one end and a clothing boutique at the other but both have been in the "set up" stage since spring semester and I still do not see any movement towards opening going on.

When Carbondale had 10,000 more students and downtown space was at a premium, I could see those locations being desirable. Hair Brains (I think) and B&L Photo both ran there successfully for years. Today though, anything you put between the store and the customer, like a flight of steps, dissuades the customer from coming in.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Captain D's Ribbon Cutting

Captain D's Seafood, which left Carbondale, if I remember correctly, over 20 years ago, will reopen with a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 1 at 10:30 a.m., beating the new Sergio's Cantina which still sits unopened across the street.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Cellar Changes

On the agenda for next week's Liquor Control Commission meeting, a request by long time local bar The Cellar for a change in operations. The agenda does not specify what sort of changes The Cellar is seeking, though.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Reema's Closed

Apparently the move did not work well for Reema's. I stopped by for lunch last week and the doors were shut. Today I learned that the restaurant quietly shut its doors earlier this summer. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Fast Lube Express

happened to drive past the Fast Lube Express, located behind the Woolly Wash on West Main and noticed a sign saying "Closed until Further Notice". By my count, that is at least 3 quick oil change operations that have opened and closed at that location.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Tree Talks

Want to know more about the trees in Carbondale and how to care for the ones in your yard? The city will host tri-annual Tree Talks in the summer, fall and spring, walking tours of Carbondale trees hosted by the City Arborist (Did you know we had one of those? We have an Arboretum as well) the first one takes place in Turley Park this Saturday from 9 to 11. The notice doesn't say where but would bet it starts at the pavilion.

City Council Retreat

No, not that kind of retreat.

The city council will hold a retreat this Wednesday to discuss city issues at the Dayemi Community Center, located on N. Illinois a block north of the town square. From the press release, the public is welcome to attend and listen in to what they are planning, though 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seems an awfully long time. Some of my suggestions: putting into place the commission to discuss merging the Park District with the city, replanting trees along Walnut and Main and making plans to deal with ending the Saluki Sales Tax when it winds down, instead of keeping it in place.

Here is the release:

The Carbondale City Council will hold a day-long Retreat on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Dayemi Community Center located at 218 North Illinois Avenue. The Retreat is intended to encourage the discussion of policy matters in a more informal setting. Public attendance is welcome.

Friday, June 14, 2019


According to this press release from SIUC, Carbondale's fireworks display will move from the Superblock back to the SIUC campus, likely down by the Arena where they took place for a number of years.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Cannabis Science at SIUC

Di you know we had a cannabis science initiative program at SIUC? Neither did I. It appears the university plans to offer a degree in cannabis science starting in 2020.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


The Sustainability commission wants your ideas on developing a Sustainable Action Plan for Carbondale. From the press release:

The Sustainability Commission is seeking ideas from the community to help develop a Sustainability Action Plan for Carbondale.

Ideas from individuals who live and work in Carbondale will be crucial in helping the City achieve its goals. Specific areas of interest include Energy in Built Infrastructure, Energy in Transportation, Water Use and Green Infrastructure, Food Production and Consumption, and Waste Reduction.

Reaching sustainability and resilience goals requires measurable reductions in the City’s contribution to greenhouse gases and an increase in its ability to withstand the impact of extreme weather events. However, there are many paths to achieve these measurable goals.

A Sustainability Survey is available in the June/July issue of the Carbondale Communique. It can also be accessed on the Sustainability Commission’s web page. Completed surveys can be dropped off at City Hall or sent by email to The deadline to submit ideas is Friday, August 16.

The Sustainability Commission will begin a community conversation in early fall to discuss the creation of Carbondale’s Sustainability Action Plan in more detail.

If you have questions or would like more information, contact the Sustainability Action Plan Subcommittee member, Jane Cogie, at (618) 713-7024.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Green Space

Looks as if the Econo Lodge will be coming down by Halloween. Used to be a very nice Days' Inn about 15 -20 years ago but in recent years has had significant problem with Piles Fork Creek flooding and covering the parking lot and water getting inside the first floor rooms. Rather surprised we have not seen any Piles Fork creek flooding this year, given all the rain the area has received.

Plans are to demolish the building and either leave it as greens space, much as has been done with the demolished Sunset Hotel and Boo Jr. bar. or, if the city can get approval, turn it into a park. Unless parking goes in, the location is not a very good one for a park, as there are no residential areas close by.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Vape Store

In another store closing, just noticed that the Vape Store, which was located in the strip that houses Quatro's and Jerry's Flowers, has emptied its storefront there. The west side location remains open though.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Street Bar Closing

According to this post from its show director, the Street Bar on East Main, Carbondale's only bar focused on a gay clientele,  will close soon. No idea exactly when but all bookings for shows in June have been canceled. Since 1990, at least, the location has housed a gay bar under one name or another, interspersed with short stints as a blues club (The B & S Lounge) and a quasi-strip club/steakhouse (The Pony).

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Associated Lumber

It would appear that Associated Lumber has shut down its Carbondale location on West Willow. The space has been empty for a couple of months and there is a "For Sale" sign on the property.

Monday, June 3, 2019


In case you missed last week's city council meeting, the city council decided, as an experiment to eliminate parking meter charges from July 1 2019 for the next 7 months. From what I understand, people using the downtown parking spaces will only be allowed to park for 3 hours before getting a ticket and no overnight parking will be allowed.

This means the city will forgo the approximate $260000 the meters and tickets generated annually and that went into parking lot maintenance. Money for the maintenance, assuming the program continues, will now come out of the city's general fund.