Friday, July 31, 2020

Mask Ordinance

If you want to read the mask ordinance the city passed yesterday, here it is. No fine listed in it though, just punishable as provided by section 20-1-5 of the city code.  Stores already have the right to request you to leave if you come onto their property violating any posted directions, like "No shirt, no shoes, no service" or "No soliciting". If you violate any of the posted restrictions and refuse to leave when asked to, you are trespassing, which is a violation of the law anywhere.

Thursday, July 30, 2020


In case you get a mysterious package of seeds in the mail, do not plant them (well duh, you could create Audry 2) and contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  Apparently it is part of a "brushing scam"  in which third party vendors on Amazon send you a comparatively cheap item and then write a glowing 5 star review on it to push their listings higher in Amazon's rankings. Since 40 % of all searches for products start on Amazon, having a more visible listing there as a seller really helps.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Traxx For Sale

Looks as if Traxx will not be reopening, at least under that name. The building, with the downstairs bar and upstairs retail locations, is for sale.  Asking price $849,000. Three of the four upstairs locations currently have tenants although the barber shop does not appear to have been opened for a month or so.

Suspected Awaiting Formal Charges

Carbondale Police have announced that they will formally charge suspects in at least 75 thefts of checks from Carbondale mailboxes over the past several months.The police just announced the investigation this week and just today announced that suspects would be charged and that the police expected the mail thefts to cease.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Buffalo Wild Wings Carbondale

From what I have heard, several employees at Carbondale  Buffalo Wild Wings have tested positive for Covid-19 and the restaurant has closed inside dining. Pickup and delivery only.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Underground Temporarily Closed

Underground Public House has temporarily closed after an employee came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.Global Gourmet has also closed, as have Quatros, Tres Hombres and Flame. Thai Taste is only open for pickup and delivery again and Aban Kitchen is only open evening hours.

Looks as if Mary Lou's will open up again by the weekend.

Sunday, July 26, 2020


Jackson County is averaging 16 new cases per day for the past week. 38 new cases this past weekend. No new fatalities thank goodness but 70% of the new infections are among people age 18-30 . Almost all of these will recover without any problem.  The problem comes  if they carry the disease into a assisted living facility or nursing home, with confined quarters and people with weakened immune systems.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

City Response to CPD

The Carbondale Park District sent a letter to the Editor a few weeks ago, which was published in the The Southern.  Here is the city of Carbondale's response. As the letter from the Citypoints out, the referendum that passed in 2018 did not call for the merger of the CPD with the city but for the two to establish a committee to look at merging the two but certainly not a done deal.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Pinch Penny Liquors

After shutting down and disinfecting, Pinch Penny Liquors has reopened. The place has been cleaned and all of the staff tested negative for COVID-19

Old Tin Barn Bar

The Old Tin Barn Bar, located out in the Mississippi Bottoms west of Gorham, had someone come in who had tested positive for COVID-19, knew he had tested positive, lied to the staff of the bar about it and now, the bar is shutting down for two weeks while the staff tests to see if he infected them and they clean the bar. If you test positive, stay home and for Pete's sake, don't lie about it just so you can enjoy a drink at your favorite watering hole. His enjoyment costs the bar two week's worth of revenue.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Fuller Dome

Restoration of the Buckminister Fuller Dome continues and is about 99% complete, according to the committee overseeing it. Still looking for funding though.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Temporarily Closed

So far I have heard of the following locations in Carbondale that have temporarily closed. due to a staff member testing positive for COVID-19:

Tres Hombres
Pinch Penny Liquors
Flame (no one tested positive but the restaurant shut down proactively to get everyone tested)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Puff and Stuff

Following up on an earlier post, Puff and Stuff was a smoking supplies ship located on S. Illinois across from where Trax is now. There were a couple of other similar businesses in Carbondale in the 1990s that dabbled in smoking paraphernalia, such as Merlin's in the Island Building on S. University. They violated city ordinances regarding selling those problems but were pretty much ignored by the city until Discount Den, a convenience store located just south of where Keeper's Quarters is now, sought a license to sell beer.

When the liquor control board and city council turned down Discount Den's request for a liquor license, the manager at the time pointed out the hypocrisy of the council at the time in refusing Discount Den a license while at the same time allowing the sale of smoking paraphernalia, which was banned by the city. Stung, the council swung into action and, within a week, no businesses in Carbondale were selling smoking accessories. Puff and Stuff shuttered immediately and Merlin's closed up within a few months, after racking up significant sales tax liabilities to the state.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Quatro's Temporarily Closed

Due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19, Quatro's has closed for ten days to make certain no other staff members were infected. If you ate at Quatro's  last week, getting tested for COVID-19 is a good idea.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Head Shops

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state, Carbondale is seeing an influx of what were called head shops back in the 60s. Consume,in the Newell House building, is the only place in town to actually buy marijuana but you can now purchase smoking and related accessories at Hemp & Stuff on East Main, Legal Smile on South Illinois and soon, at Blue Gorilla in the old El Greco's location. Apparently, there will soon be a location next to Legal Smile that sells equipment for growing your own marijuana for personal use. 

We haven't had this many places to buy smoking accessories since back in the 90s when the city council closed them all up within a week. More on that tomorrow.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Virtual Walk to Nashville

No, Tennessee, not Illinois. SIUC has put together a virtual walk from Carbondale to Nashville Tennessee. at 2000 steps per mile, if you log 20,000 steps per day, you could make it to Nashville in about 20 days. You can check out the website here.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Chamber Executive Director Position Open

In case you are looking for work and have the skill set, the Executive Director position for the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce has opened up. Jennifer Olson, the current ED has resigned and will take a position as ED of the Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission starting July 27

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Hundley House Sold

Carbondale's famed Hundley House, on the market since 2016, has finally sold. At least a "Sold" sign has replaced the For Sale sign in the front yard. Originally listed at $379,000, the last I heard the price had dropped to $189,000 but that came with a $10,000 tax bill and tens of thousands of dollars in needed repairs.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Cybersecurity Certificate

SIUC will offer a fully online cybersecurity certificate program starting this fall.  SEMO started a full cyber security program in 2019 as are a lot of other colleges. This, of course, means we will see a lot of people trained in cyberscurity hitting the job marketing in 3-4 years and the market unable to absorb them. This, from what I have read, is a trend in higher education. There is a demand for a set of skills to fit a particular job, colleges set up a program to meet that demand and, then by the time the program starts producing graduates, the demand has been filled and the market is looking for people with a different skill set.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Probably a good time to be doing street repairs in Carbondale. Students still gone and COVID-19 still keeping a lot of people off the streets. I do not recall seeing this much street work going on at once in so many different locations in town, though.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Staples Temporarily Closed

Drove by the Carbondale Staples on the east side of town this afternoon. Well, actually, I drove to it since I planned to make a purchase but a sign on the door says they are "temporarily closed" and directing customers to either make purchases online or shop at the Mount Vernon or Cape Girardeau locations. Not knowing anymore than that  and not having heard of any financial problems with the chain leading to the shut down of stores, I would bet one or more employees tested positive for Covid-19 and management shut the store down as a precaution.

More Crossing Repairs

Walnut and Main will each be reduced to one lane tonight through Wednesday as the railroad makes some repairs to the crossings at each location

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Harbaugh's Cafe

Was wondering when Harbaugh's Cafe would reopen. Apparently earlier this month. Good for them. I heard they did a major remodel and cleaning during the shutdown.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

QQ Bubble Tea

According to the sign on their door, QQ Bubble Tea, which closed around April 20 due to the quarantine, will re-open for business on July 15, happily adding back yet another reason to go downtown.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Household Refuse Pickup

Friday and the days leading up to it for the rest of the month would prove a good time to cruise around if you are looking for some beat up furniture or just to see what your neighbors think of as household refuse. According to directions from the city and depending on which day of the week your regular trash pickup is, city residents can start putting out large refuse like mattresses and furniture starting on Monday for a Friday pickup.


Currently in Illinois, the positivity rate on COVID-19 testing is just under 3%, meaning as I understand it, that only about 3% of people who get tested for the disease in the state test positive. Compare that with a state like Florida, which had a 2 week average rate of 22%

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Household Refuse Pickup

The city will start household refuse pickup tomorrow and every Friday through the end of the month.  Here are items that will not be picked up:

The following items will NOT be collected as a part of this program:
  • Electronics such as computers and computer accessories; televisions and TV accessories; MP3 and IPOD players.
Tires, appliances, or yard waste - these items can be disposed of by the City’s Landscape & Special Waste Sticker Program.

Hazardous materials including paint, oil, gasoline, car batteries, pesticides, and other chemicals. Note that many of these items may be disposed of through a Household Chemical Collection Event by the Jackson County Health Department. For more information, check the Jackson County Health Department’s website at

Contractor’s remodeling or construction debris - residents or contractors must dispose of these items using private haulers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Farmstead Razed

Noticed today that a small farmstead on 127 about a mile and a half south of Alto Pass had been demolished in the past week. The house, from its architecture, dated back about 75 to 100 years. It and all of the the outbuildings had been reduced to rubble and the property cleared.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Golden Corral

I see by the sign that Golden Corral has reopened. No indication what the restaurant is doing to minimize the chance of infection. I would certainly be more concerned about eating there than I would a traditional plated restaurant as, with the plate, a lot fewer people are touching the food and fixtures. I hope they do well though.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Consumer Traffic Dropping

As reports of COVID-19 increase again, cell phone tracking is showing people once again avoiding restaurants and other consumer businesses, especially in states like Florida, where the virus is surging.  Open Table showed similar movement back in March, when customers slowed down their visits and reservations at restaurants prior to the late march shutdown.

Sunday, July 5, 2020


Still rather bemused at the number of people who do not wear masks when going into a store. I can understand at a restaurant, it is hard to eat with a mask on. However, walking past a sign asking you to put on a mask and not doing so is rather inconsiderate.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Sign Shaker

From what I remember, the rationale for Carbondale' s ordinance banning sign shakers is rooted in the number of accidents that have taken place, near the intersection of Main and Oakland, primarily due to distracted drivers. I think, given the epidemic and the difficulty that city businesses, especially restaurants and bars are having and the drop in the number of cars on the street, it might be a good idea for the council to revisit this ordinance and others, perhaps putting in a exemption until restaurants get back to normal operation.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Temporarily Closed

Thai Taste, China Express and Mary Lou's have all closed for varying amounts of time. Thai Taste will close for the next week. Mary Lou's will reopen at the end of July and China Express will reopen in Early August

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Hangar 9

According to the notice on their marquee, Hangar 9 will reopen to the public next Thursday July 9th. That leaves Trax and what used to be known as Stix the only bars that will not have reopened after the shutdown.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Here are links to the Carbondale Police Departments press releases on the arrest for spray painting on a wall on South University after an evening protest march. This release describes the arrest and this one expands on the story and the name provided by the individual arrested.