Sunday, May 31, 2020


Saw a few protesters out yesterday. Three black women held up BLM and related signs at the corner of  Main and  Illinois early afternoon yesterday, along with a auto parade protesting both Floyd's killing and housing for the homeless. Apparently there was also a march that ended early when the leaders stopped to help rescue a kitten that had wandered into a storm drain. The kitten was eventually rescued and and rehomed.

Another group of three protesters held signs at the corner of Walnut and Illinois around 4 p.m. Another protest scheduled for today at Turley Park around 8 p.m. Given what has happened at other protests throughout the country, I rather wish they would not call one.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Hemp & More

See a sign for "Hemp and More" opening on East Main, in the plaza where Plaza Records is located. No idea if it will actually focus on hemp manufactured products or CDB oil and related products

Friday, May 29, 2020

15 More COVID-19 Cases

According to WSIU yesterday a local church has been holding seated services. The upshot, 15 more infections among their attendees and a couple of stores having to close because employees there attended the church and got infected. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Cutting It Close

Mayor Henry just signed an order allowing bars and restaurants to apply for permits to expand seating onto public areas such as sidewalks, parking lots and  other public areas. While the permits are free, the waiver only extends until 10 p.m. which is fine for most restaurants but not for bars. Maybe have different hours for different types of licenses? Anyhow, here are the guidelines

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Refuse changes

The city really wants you to remember to point the arrow on your trash can towards the street as the new  automated pickup system only works if you point them that way. Also put the cans on a hard surface with at least 3 feet of space between them and the next closest thing that might block the grapple from picking it up.

Carbondale Public Library

Carbondale Public Library is now doing curbside pickup. Here are the directions 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

New Guidelines

The state released new guidelines for businesses reopening on the Sunday before the modern celebration of Memorial Day takes place because what else would you do on your  Sunday afternoon but check for updates on Restore Illinois

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Outside Dining

Following up on the Governors announcement that outside dining would fit within stage 3 of Reopen Illinois, the city will work with local restaurants to find ways to increase the availability of outside eating spots. Maybe close down and detour traffic around N. Washington and West Jackson and make the streets available as expanded dining areas during specific evenings. The city could also designate the parking spaces behind assorted bars and restaurants on S. Illinois as available for outside dining and allow open carry of alcohol within those areas.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Musician Question

I do not follow the Carbondale musical scene, though I have always been amazed at the number of bands and performers that have made Carbondale their home base over the years.  So the question came up, which of Carbondale's current musicians would other musicians in the city or region most like to play with? Let me know who you think in the comments.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Cambria Road

Apparently some sort of construction on Cambria Road heading north from Highway 13 as there is a detour sign posted. Interesting thing about the detour is that it requires the driver to detour clear into Carbondale and take Hwy 51 northbound to get to where you want to go on the north side of whatever is blocking the highway.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Jane's Consignment

Jane's Consignment Shop, a 30 year fixture on the west side of town, has apparently closed down permanently. From what I have heard, all of the merchandise inside has been removed, leaving only the building.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Skate Park

Was talking with a friend about the lack of a skate park in Carbondale. Before it ran into all sorts of financial difficulties with the Splash Park and Hickory Ridge Golf Course, the CPD was discussing putting one into the empty lot behind the public safety center.
About 15 years ago, SIUC had one located back by the tennis course behind the Lesner Law Building but it was located too far out of the way to get a significant amount of use and the university eventually demolished it.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Property Taxes

Carbondale really ought to look at doing something about consolidating property taxes and boards. It has got to be more efficient to have fewer boards and cumulative taxes. Granted the way the state constitution is set up, in order to do things like mosquito abatement, fund libraries and parks, the community has to establish a board and a tax to pay for it but seems to me the city council should start lobbying  the state, in conjuration with other taxing bodies, to simplify the taxing structure. Do we really need a separate Carbondale Park District and a separate Carbondale Township office? 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Events in Marion

Due to the relaxation of the quarantine in Marion, I have heard of some group face to face events taking place in the city. Will be interesting to see if there are any increase in COVID-19 infections in the community as a result

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Window Painting

The next time you drive around town take a look at all the painted windows honoring the 2020 graduates. Most of them congregate around the downtown area but some are moving out onto businesses on the main streets leading into downtown . Kudos to all of the artists who gave up their time to decorate so many windows.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Hobby Homebrew

Hobby Homebrew quietly opened up on East Main several months ago, primarily offering wine and beer making supplies  sold online., although customers can do local pickup. According to the post office, they are shipping enough that the postal delivery person often has to make two stops a day there.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

City Council Meeting 5/12/2020

Caught the City Council meeting last Tuesday night. Logged into the meeting website  late so missed the consent agenda (oh darn). Started listening midway though the discussion on extending liquor licenses through the end of the year rather than having licenses expire at various times throughout 2020, which the council ultimately voted to do.

Since restaurants holding liquor licenses are currently only allowed, under the quarantine order, to offer pickup and delivery, a discussion of the status of alcohol came up. Since restaurants under their liquor license can sell alcohol on premises but not package liquor for customers to take home, this was seen as harming restaurant sales during a time when they were already struggling. Council voted  to allow,  for the duration of the emergency, restaurants with a liquor license to sell packaged beer and wine with the purchase of other food items.

The council also voted to recommend the following applicants for approval for state Business Stabilization Grants. All of them had to post their bank statements for the previous quarter on the city website for public viewing.   The vote appeared pretty non-controversial until Councilman Loos said he would vote against a grant for Midwest Medical Thermography because of the controversial nature of thermography and that he would vote against the entire list if  submitted as a whole. The council voted to remove and vote on Midwest Medical Thermography separately, then voted on the other fourteen applicants as a block, passing the recommendation unanimously. Council then voted on recommending the grant for Midwest Medical Thermography, which passed 4-3, if my notes are correct.  Council then adjourned for the evening.

Allied Physicians and Rehab of Southern Illinois, S.C. ($25,000)

Castle Perilous Games & Books ($24,980)

Cristaudo’s LLC ($25,000)

Dayemi Organization, Inc. dba Midwest Medical Thermography ($10,142)

Flame Eatery & Wine Bar, LLC ($25,000)

F-W-S Solid Surface Specialist dba F-W-S COUNTERTOPS ($25,000)

Hair Brains, Inc. ($16,213.74)

Los Gringos, Inc. (Tres Hombres) ($25,000)

My Hat Station Inc. dba Embroidery Station ($24,997.60) 

Pagliai’s Pizza of Carbondale, Inc ($25,000)

Sports Blast LLC ($25,000)

TE Enterprises, Ltd. d/b/a Gloria Jean’s Gourmet Coffees. ($24,982.50)

Toomey Enterprises, Inc dba Hangar 9 ($25,000)

True Adventures, LTD ($25,000)

Woodard Wellness Group, LLC ($25,000)

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Fireworks Cancelled

due to uncertainty about the status of the area given the COVID-19 epidemic and social distancing, the city has decided to cancel the annual July 4th fireworks show, making the area's dogs much less terrified.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Washington Street Complex

The university has razed the old Public Safety complex sitting on South Washington just north of the Newman Center. Started about 2 weeks ago and now removing the remaining piles of rubble. No idea what will go in there, though I have heard a rumor of another parking lot.

Monday, May 11, 2020

City Council Meeting

In case you want to "attend" tomorrow night's city council meeting, here is the agenda:

2.1 Public Hearing to Hear Testimony in Favor of or in Opposition to the Use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds in Support of Local Businesses Impacted by the COVID-19 Emergency
 2.2 Review of Proposed Improvements at North Giant City Road and the Frontage Road Intersection in Preparation for Submitting a Grant Application for Possible Project Funding
3. Consent Agenda of the City Council
 3.1 Approval of Minutes from the Regular City Council Meeting of April 28, 2020
 3.2 Approval of Wells Fargo Warrant for the Period Ending 03/31/2020 FY 2020 Warrant # WF 03/2020 in the amount of $141,833.16
3.3 Approval of Warrant for the Period Ending: 05/01/2020 for the FY 2020 Warrant 1380 in the Total Amount of $1,118,985.54
3.4 Reappointments to Boards and Commissions
3.5 Award of Contract for the NWWWTP Effluent Pump Station Replacement CIP No. WW1009 to Haier Plumbing & Heating, Inc. of Okawville, Illinois in the Amount of $494,985.00
 3.6 Award of Two-Year Mowing Contract for FY2021 and FY2022 to J & S Services of Desoto, Illinois in the Estimated Amount of $109,855.06
3.7 Award of Contract for CIP No. SA1302 Haake Jenkins Lift Station to Scott Escue Construction, LLC of Cobden, Illinois in the Amount $52,000
3.8 Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Purchase Materials from Henry Printing in an Amount Not to Exceed $4,000 for FY2021
3.9 Resolution Appropriating $150,000.00 of Motor Fuel Tax Funds and the IDOT Agreement for the Construction of the Chautauqua St / McLafferty Roundabout
3.10 Approval of the Purchase of Replacement Raw Sewage Pumps for the Northwest Waste Water Treatment Plant (NWWWTP) in the Amount of $122,525.40 from Municipal Equipment Company 3.11 Approval of Consent Agenda Items 4. General Business of the City Council
 4.1 Council Discussion Regarding the Extension of Liquor Licenses Through CY2020 and Amending the License Year to a Calendar Year Thereafter
4.2 Council Resolution of Support for Community Block Development Program Grant Applications

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Pickup at Restaurants

Rather impressive to see the number of people doing pickup meals at Thai Taste. Some nights I see 5 cars sitting in the pickup lane.  I will see 3-4 cars waiting for pickup at Don Taco an dI have heard of waiting times running up to 2 hours for New Kahala.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Party Hall

According to the sign in the window, the old Reema's building, located just north of the intersection of Mill and Illinois, is now available for rent as a "Party hall" whatever that it. Building is also for sale, in case you want to buy a Party Hall or fixtured restaurant.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Window Painting

Since CCHS and SIUC students don't get a formal graduation, Becky Borowitz, a teacher at Unity Point School with a student graduating from CCHS this year, decided to do something to recognize them. The result, thanks to her co-ordination, is all of the windows painted with signs congratulating graduating seniors. Pulled it all together in less than 2 weeks.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

City Furloughs.

Have not heard anything about city staff being furloughed, although I see the park district furloughed a number this week. As long as the city forsees a shortfall in tax revenue and has voted to money over from designated funds into the General Fund, maybe some people ought to be laid off?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Westgate for Sale

Big sign posted in from of Westgate Shopping Center, where the Murdale Farmer's Market is located, offering the property for sale. 11 acres of land in case you were wondering. If it sells, hopefully the new owner will allow the Farmer's Market to continue to operate there.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Trash Pickup

From Keep Carbondale Beautiful

Keep Carbondale Beautiful thanks all those in the Carbondale community who participated in their 30-Day Challenge.  Nearly 50 people reported that they had been out and picking up litter, and most said that they are doing it on a regular basis.   
Estimates are that hundreds of hours were put in.  “But more importantly,” according to Executive Director Anne Krippenstapel, “the community came together.  I am heartened by the stewardship of our citizens.”  Some people were out every day, especially if walking a dog.  Sunny warm days saw more participation, as recorded on Keep Carbondale Beautiful’s Facebook page.
Sponsors of the 30-Day Challenge cleanup include Burris Disposal, CIMCO Recycling, and Southern Recycling.  KCB also gets critical funding from the City of Carbondale.  All participants are eligible to receive a T-shirt or a tote-bag.  Contact Anne Krippenstapel for more information: 618-525-3075 or

Monday, May 4, 2020

COVID-19 Stats

Caught on the news this evening that Illinois had 2200+ more cases of COVID-19 today but none in Jackson County. Hope we can keep that latter number up.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Dairy Queen Open

Well, it is spring time again in Carbondale. The Dairy Queen opened yesterday for the 2nd time this year.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Board Meetings Cancelled

Per Mayor Henry, and the state of emergency Carbondale is operating under, all in person board and commission meetings through the end of the month have been cancelled

Friday, May 1, 2020

Jane Adams' Letter

A letter from former councilperson Jane Adams, sent to members of the city council this week. A condensed version of this letter appears in this week's Carbondale Times. Letter posted with Adams' permission:

To my elected representatives,

I wasn't able to watch the zoom City Council meeting last night, but have read the Southern's and Scott Thorne's accounts. I'm frankly perplexed:

You have stopped some, perhaps many, City services. The ones I most notice as a resident is the administrative policy of not enforcing our weed and grass ordinance, and as a landlord, the temporary suspension of the rental inspection program. But with the City Hall/Civic Center closure, receptionists and others whose jobs required a lot of face-to-face contact with the public, as well as managing activities in the Civic Center, now have no obvious work to do. Have these workers been reassigned to other jobs? Or are they simply home drawing a paycheck without working?

If the former, the residents of this town have a right to know how staff who are underemployed are being reassigned. If the latter, they should be furloughed immediately, while the $600 weekly federal stimulus monies can be added to their regular unemployment benefits. 

You know -- and can calculate -- the amount of revenue the City is losing by not getting food and beverage and lodging taxes. And you can assume that, even if the stay-at-home orders are lifted the end of May (or perhaps earlier), those revenues will remain depressed at least through the end of this calendar year. And if predictions are accurate that students will be reluctant to return in large numbers until a COVID-19 vaccine is available, the City's economic depression may well continue for at least another year.

I don't understand your reasoning at all. It makes no fiscal sense to me, and seems to be a wasteful and irresponsible use of taxpayer monies. This crisis is putting a great deal of pressure on our community as the many small-scale, often sole-proprietor, businesses are closed, the "gig economy" collapses, and retirement portfolios shrink. This is a time for the City to take seriously the need to re-energize investments in, for example, promoting restoration of the large amount of blighted housing and business stock, helping our local hospitality and retail businesses restart, and making the community attractive to visitors and residents. That was at least part of what the new taxes were earmarked for. To take those revenues, without first furloughing temporarily redundant workers, is unconscionable.

Our restauranteurs have taken an enormous hit, and they're stepping up to help our entire community through the Southern Illinois Kitchen Collaborative and other initiatives. People have taken it on themselves to make masks for front-line workers. The University is providing food and learning materials for their students. All over the region people are stepping up to help those most deeply affected by this crisis. 

Where is the City? Raiding the local improvement fund to keep redundant workers on staff. If they, like so many small businesses, contract workers, and retirees in our community, faced penury if they were laid off, I'd say keeping them employed would be the right thing to do. But this is one place where our social safety net has actually been strengthened -- at least for covered employees -- by federal stimulus money. Take advantage of it!

Jane Adams