Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Mary Lou's

Apparently the Thurs-Saturday thing wasn't generating enough revenue for Mary Lou's on S. Illinois as I see the restaurant has closed up until the end of July. I guess they figure that virus spread will have peaked and that they can go back to more regular seating.

Monday, June 29, 2020

El Greco Location

Saw workmen cleaning out the old El Greco's location. From what I have heard, another cannabis shop plans to go in there. Not sure if it will sell marijuana consumables, ala Consume Cannabis, or Hemp & More, but having another cannabis focused shop coming into town certainly shows there is a lot of interest in the product.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Consume Cannabis

Not surprisingly, the word has gotten out about Consume Cannabis. Saw a line of half a dozen people waiting to get inside the Carbondale location yesterday. Pretty small compared to the block long lines I have seen waiting to get into the Marion facility but expect that will pick up as word gets around.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Varsity 80th Anniversary

In case you are free sometime between 1 and 10 today, there is an 80th anniversary celebration and fundraiser taking place at the Varsity Center for the Arts today. Looks as if most of the activity will take place in the lobby and under the marquee outside.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Consume Cannibis

Consume Cannabis Carbondale opened for business today in the old Newel House location . Unlike the Harboury location in Marion (now renamed Consume Cannabis as well), there is no medicinal component at this location so those with prescriptions will still have to travel there. Strictly recreational consumption at the Carbondale location. Given that I have read that some 40-60% of Marion's business comes from out of state, and given that Carbondale will not have to give priority to those with prescriptions, I expect to see out of town traffic increase to this location

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Country Goddess building

Looks as if the old Country Goddess building at the corner of Illinois and College has finally rented. The white exterior has been painted a turquoise blue this week and it looks as if remodeling is taking place inside.

This looks a lot more certain than the coffee shop that had planned to go in there a couple of years ago. That made it no further than an occupancy permit on the front door before quietly vanishing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Shuttered Businesses

Both the Family Hair Center at the corner of Walnut and Illinois and Studio Day Spa on S. Illinois, have shuttered their doors. There is a For Lease sign on the Studio Day Spa building while all of the signage from the front of Family Hair Center has been removed. I have heard that Studio Day Spa moved to a different location in town, possibly on Grand Ave but am not sure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Consume Cannabis

Consume Cannabis  Company, which from what I gather is a large cannabis retail operation out of Chicago, will host a grand opening in the old Newell House location this Friday at 9;45, complementing the location the chain already has in Marion

Monday, June 22, 2020

Dining Requirements

Moving into Stage 4, here are the restrictions on dining establishments and bars in the state of Illinois. No-one, at least outside of Chicago, has suffered any repercussions for not following guidelines but still seems like a good thing to do 

Sunday, June 21, 2020


Taxes will stay in place unless someone pushes to remove them. Those of you who have lived in Carbondale for 15 years or so will remember the mayoral term of Brad Cole whose particular hobby horse was Carbondale's property tax, which he felt was too high so he spent much of his first term successfully eliminating the city's share of the property tax, leaving the rest of the tax divided up among other taxing bodies such as the Park District, Library, School District, Mosquito Abatement, etc. The city's share was actually small enough that removing it did not make much difference in the size of the tax but made for a good campaign slogan.

Saturday, June 20, 2020


Nobody in the city wants to see services cut. Also, nobody in the city wants to pay taxes. Taxes are the cost of having the city provide services. If you want lower taxes, you either need to find areas in which the city is spending money inefficiently or propose services the city should cut in order to lower those taxes.
In general, someone is always going to want those services that you might see as wasteful. There is a reason the city started providing them in the first place.  Someone wanted them. Of course, it is always easy to add taxes and services but much harder to take them away. About a year or so ago, the tax paying off the bonds that paid for roofing on Carbondale schools from 20 years ago was due to expire as the bonds had finally been paid off, However, the city needed that money to meet its budget and it was far easier to amend the  ordinance creating the tax to extend it than it was to let it lapse and have to pass another one. If I recall correctly, only about 3 people showed up at the council meeting when the amendment was passed and no one objected strenuously against it.

Friday, June 19, 2020

City Council and Spending

Rather hope that all of the people out protesting realize that they also need to put pressure on the city council if they want to see change in the city that they want. If you want less money going to the police, talk to the city council. If you want more money spent on streets, talk to the city council.If you want lower taxes, talk to the city council.But also remember, there is a balancing act here. Anything that you want more money spent on has to be paid for with money that comes from somewhere else. Especially now, when sales taxes have plummeted during the past two months, the city does not have a lot of free cash flowing into the treasury

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


Protests are good but the protesters should follow up and vote, not only in the national elections but in local ones as well. The city council determine show much money the police and other city organizations receive so, if say you want to direct money away from the  police department and towards other social services, you need to work to elect representatives on the council who have the same beliefs you do.

Also, it certainly helps to attend city council meetings and make your voice heard. If the councilpeople do not hear from their constituents, they are going to vote based on their own beliefs and biases. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Citywide Trash Pickup

Carbondale announced that the citywide Spring Cleanup will start on July 10. Haul anything you want to get rid of out to the curb no earlier than 5 days prior to your household's scheduled pick up date.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Flag Day

Just a reminder that today is Flag Day. Downtown Carbondale has S. Illinois and West main lined with flags.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Where to Eat

In case you are looking for a place to eat, here is the updated list of places offering take out, delivery and patio dining 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Great Shapes Closed

According to their Facebook page, Great Shapes for Women closed quietly on April 15 and will hold a yard sale today and tomorrow to sell off a lot of items including:

Multi Hip Machine, a 3 tier dumb bell rack, massage table, two Dr. scales, yoga mats & floor exercise mats, office stuff, computers, printers, electronics, music CD's, speakers, TV's, cordless telephones, pictures, coolers, Scentsy products

City Hall Reopens

Carbondale City Hall reopens to the public on June 15, meaning that there are more publicly available bathrooms downtown now. Visitors are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Stage 4

Reading that Illinois is performing well enough that we might move into Stage 4 by the end of the month, meaning that restaurants and other venues could offer limited inside seating. I see both Don Taco and Del Sol, as well as PKs and The Cellar all have outside seating, which their customers are happily using.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Railroad crossing Repaired

Repairs at both railroad crossings on Walnut and Main Streets have been finished, more quickly than I expected. Traffic was still blocked on Main street about 1 p.m. but had reopened by the time I passed by again about 2:15.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

city Council Meeting

meeting of the Liquor Control Commission and  Carbondale City Council tonight at 6 p.m. Have another group of bushiness applying for Community Development Block Grant Funds.  I would expect these get passed without any difficulty:

n response to the economic emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Pritzker announced on March 25, 2020, that the State of Illinois had repurposed $20 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in support of small businesses in downstate and rural communities across Illinois.  
Under the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines that oversee the use of CDBG funds, participating units of local government are required to ensure that residents will be given reasonable and timely access to local meetings, consistent with accessibility and reasonable accommodation requirements in accordance with federal law, as well as information and records relating to the unit of local government's proposed and actual use of CDBG funds.
The purpose of this public hearing is to hear testimony in favor of, or in opposition to, the use of CDBG funds to support local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 emergency, and to encourage citizens to submit their views and proposals regarding the City of Carbondale's community development and housing needs.
A notice of a hearing that informs the public of these grant applications and provides an opportunity to review them must be published at least 7 days prior to a public hearing before the City Council. The applications were published on the City’s website on May 29, 2020, and the notice was published in the Southern Illinoisan on May 31, 2020.
A Resolution in support of grant applications to the State of Illinois on behalf of the City of Carbondale’s local businesses will be considered later in the agenda to allow ample opportunity for the public to make comments.
Staff recommends the City Council hold a Public Hearing to hear testimony in favor of or in opposition to the submission of these grant applications.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Hugh Williamns

Local lawyer and author Hugh Williams passed away last month. Posting with permission some more information about his death:

I found out from Hugh's friend Karen that Hugh had heart blockages and some fluid buildup around the heart, but was too weak for bypass surgery. He was working on getting his strength back and doing much better so his death was unexpected. When he was in the hospital he was not quite calm. He was very weak but the speech problems were mostly caused by the tranquilizers they gave him. He was laid to rest at Grandview Gardens in Champaign.

Saturday, June 6, 2020


I see PK's is blocking off part of the alley that runs south of the building in order to provide an outdoor seating space to serve customers. The bar and Carbondale Main Street worked to get PK's a n easement on that alley a number of years ago, in order for PKs to set up a beer garden for their customers that smoke. For some reason, management never pulled the trigger on finalizing approval so smoking customers have clustered on the sidewalk in front of the bar for years now.

Maybe the bar will get the easement finalized and turn that stretch of alley into a permanent  beer garden. Putting some sort of wall up there would be a good idea, in order to block any cars driving down it from the west.

Downstate Small Business Awards

The state sent out notifications of the first set of businesses to receive the Downstate Business Stabilization Award grads. Unfortunately, not a single Carbondale business received one. Businesses in DuQuoin, Herrin and Marion received grants of about $25,000 each. Always bemuses me to see what whomever writes these things sees as downstate Illinois. Last time I checked, nowise could you consider Quincy "downstate".

Had pointed out to me that $18.7 million of the $20 million funding the program remains so maybe Carbondale will see some money come to businesses here during the next funding round.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Black Live Matter Protest

Passed by city hall/civic center about 1 p.m. this afternoon and it looked as if there was a festival going on. I sported a hundred or so people there and several tents set up on the small plaza with offering information about different causes and organizations.

From what I hear, there will be another march through the downtown area on Saturday. I has someone who said they were connected with the march reach out to me asking about any concerns, as a downtown business owner, I might have about the march. I emailed back some questions as to route and plans but never heard anything back.

JCP Closing

JC Penny's announced yesterday it will be closing the stores at University Mall in Carbondale and Times Square Mall in Mt. Vernon. More space for Southern Illinois Healthcare to move into, I guess.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Impact of COVID-19 on Southern Illinois

Here is a report conducted on the impact of COVID-19 on business in southern Illinois. Here's a spoiler:  it isn't good

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Letter from the Mayor and NAACP

Mayor Henry and Linda Flowers, chair of the local NAACP, have co-signed a letter calling for people to remain calm and unite in the wake of George Floyd's dealth

DMV Office Reopened

the Carbondale Department of Motor Vehicle office reopened yesterday after closure for two months. From what I have heard, people were waiting up to 8 hours to get new IDs and licenses.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Rail Crossing Repairs

Just a note that the railroad crossing on Walnut just east of Illinois is undergoing repairs today and tomorrow. Eastbound traffic on Walnut rerouted north on Illinois to the Jackson Street crossing.

Monday, June 1, 2020

More Cases of COVID-19

6 more cases of COVID-19 reported in Jackson County on Saturday and 4 more on Sunday. Pre-teens through 40s, save for one male in his 60s. Noticed that people practiced social distancing in the photos from Turley Park last night, although the march later on certainly did not.