Monday, August 31, 2020

SEMO Numbers

 have not seen what the numbers are for SIUC yet, but Southeast Missouri State published preliminary numbers today:

Both headcount and FTE enrollments at the beginning of the semester are better than projected. Headcount is 9,603, a decrease of -4.9% and FTE is 7,957, a decrease of -3.8% from this time last year.

Sunday, August 30, 2020


 I do know the Census Bureau stops counting at the end of next month. What I do not know if whether tit still accepts submissions until the end of the year. From everything I see, Carbondale residents have not done a very good job of getting their numbers in. Whether it is apathy on the part of residents or that a goodly chunk of the population is students, we are still running way behind on getting our numbers in.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Joint Meeting

 Joint meeting of the Carbondale City Council and Park District board this Monday at 6:30. Given the back and forth in newspaper letter columns, it will be interesting to see what the two groups say to each other, zoom to zoom.I would like to see the Park District absorbed into the city, removing one more level of administration. Of course, I doubt the city wants to do that, given the current state of the park district's finances. There is still, from what I understand, a significant amount of money owed on Hickory Ridge Golf Course without enough money coming in to cover expenses and pay down the debt.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Dinner for Dictionaries

 In case you want to help the Rotary Club buy dictionaries for kids (thought I would think the kids would just Google words to find out how to spell them):

Rotary Club of Carbondale-Breakfast

For 10 years the Rotary Club of Carbondale-Breakfast has provided a Student’s
Dictionary to every third-grade student in the CCHS feeder elementary schools.
The project costs around $800 each year. It's part of a nationwide effort via The joy that the students show our members when they
visit classrooms and distribute the dictionaries is a highlight of our
service activities. Dictionaries will be distributed whether classes meet in
person or virtually.

Enjoy a delicious meal by St. Nicholas Brewing Co and support
this worthwhile project: 
    o Tuesday, Sept. 8 -International Literacy Day
    o Pickup* from 4:30 -6:30 p.m.
      @ Carbondale Elks parking lot
        220 W Jackson St, Carbondale
    o $30 per meal or $55 for two
*Delivery available. Add $3.

Orders are due by Wed. Sept. 2!
Each entree by St. Nicholas Brewing Co. is served with
rosemary roasted potatoes, mixed vegetables, a dinner roll,
and a cookie from Bake Me Happy, Food Co.
NB:  Meals will be cold with reheating instructions.

E-mail me back or call/text me (618) 525-3075

Entree choices (please indicate the number of each entree you are
____ Beer Glazed Meatloaf
____ Lemon Garlic Chicken
____ Vegetable Lasagna
____ Please deliver my meals (+ $3)
    (Carbondale area only, please)
Delivery Address_________________________________________

____ No thank you, but here is a donation _______________

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Masks in Restaurants and Bars

 Starting August 26, you have to wear a mask when interactive with any restaurant or bar staff. Masks come off while eating but we are trying to cut down the amount of breathing on other people until COVID-19 drops to a manageable or preferably insignificant level. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Number 1 for Working Families

 The Zippia website ranked Carbondale as the best city in Illinois for Working families. Criteria for the ranking include home cost, average length of work week and percentage of income going for childcare.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Vote By Mail

 If you want to request a vote by mail ballot in Illinois, here is a link to the website to request one. Despite what some people say, the state is not going to send you one without you requesting it.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Only 46%

 Jiminy. Only 46% response rate to the Census in Carbondale. Unless numbers start to pick up , the city will hurt a lot when competing for federal dollars as well as maintaining home rule status.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Varsity Theater

 The Varsity Theater is looking for additional funding and donations, otherwise it may have to close down , at least temporarily after November. Organizations like the Varsity Center help all of downtown. According to this show on the 1A, research on spending shows that every dollar a patron spends at a venue like the Varsity generates an additional $12 in spending at other local businesses like Quatros, Tres Hombres, Pagliai's and Dairy Queen because people go to see an event at the Varsity, then eat at a local restaurant either before or after the show. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Saluki Bar/Levels

 According to this, Saluki Bar/Levels got a summary suspension of its liquor license last June and the LCC will meet this Tuesday to determine what, if any, further action should be taken:

On June 2, 2020, a Carbondale police officer was stationed in the parking lot of Eastgate shopping center and heard the sound of shots being fired to the south of his location. Officers then proceeded to look for the exact location where the shots were fired, ultimately determining that the shots had come from the parking lot of Saluki Bar. On June 4, 2020, the Carbondale Liquor Control Commission Chairman issued an order closing Saluki Bar as a public safety measure given the fact that shots had been fired upon the controlled premises of the establishment, and to risk further harm to the public safety of the community. 


Pursuant to Carbondale Code, the licensee is entitled to a hearing within 7 days following a summary suspension. As such, on June 9, 2020, the Liquor Control Commission hearing officer heard testimony concerning the Chairman's order to determine if there was sufficient grounds for the Chairman to order the emergency closure pursuant to 2-2-3(B) of the Carbondale Revised Code. Attached is a copy of the report and recommendation from the Hearing Officer along with a copy of the transcript of the hearing.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Bright Spot Award

 From the press release from Keep Carbondale Beautiful:

This month’s Keep Carbondale Beautiful Bright Spot Award winner goes to 1013 Emerald lane. Retired Carbondale High school administrative employee, Sandy Brown dedicates time during the growing season to maintaining a lovely landscape. A healthy gumball tree shades a single story brick home. An adorable, silvery Yorkie named DeAngelo oversees the yard.  Welcome signs decorate and greet a visitor. Up the walkway is a handicap accessible ramp, folded in nicely with a large brick planter and surrounding green vegetation. A curvy brick border breaks up the straight lines of the yard and house, and wraps around the house. Playfully arranged blooms of color match the rocky hem of the border.

Box bush, black eyed Susan’s, lavender, calla Lilly and english ivy are all carefully arranged through out the front. Very modestly, Sandy states “I take a little time to water it when it doesn’t rain, about 30 minutes a day. Every year I add two or three new plants to the front of the house.” When asked if she had trouble with deer, she proclaimed the chipmunks are the biggest nuisance.

SIUC COVID-19 cases

 In case you want to keep track of how many COVID 19 cases there are at SIUC, the university now has a website where, after some resistance I understand, it will post them weekly.  Why not daily? I guess they hope the numbers stay low enough that weekly updates are enough.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Evergreen Park

 Looks as if the city will receive $1.2 million to upgrade infrastructure and make Evergreen Park more accessible. Not sure, given the financial status of the state, where the money will come from but I figure that is the state's problem, not the city's . of course, every resident of Illinois will have to foot the bill eventually. but meanwhile, we will get a nicer park.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Habitat for Humanity Theft

 The Jackson and Union County Habitat for Humanity's storage shed in Murphysboro got broken into over the weekend and a number of power tools stolen including a Missing a pasload cordless finish nailer in orange case and Milwaukee cordless drills and drivers 12 volt. All of the tools are clearly marked "Habitat for Humanity".


 While Illinois is running about a 68% response rate, Carbondale has had less than 50% of residents respond yet. If you have not responded to the census yet, you can do so here. The amount of tax dollars sent to distributed to the city is based, in part, on its official population and dropping below 25,000 population could cause the city to lose automatic Home Rule status

Monday, August 17, 2020

Artistic Minds Tattoo

 From the sign on the building, Artistic Minds Tattoo will be relocating into the old doctor's office?Country  Goddess building at the corner of College and Illinois. this is the one that sits just south of Bombay Olive and has been empty for about 5 years.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

New Students

Did certainly note this weekend that the students are back in town. Saw a number of new faces and talked with several dozen new students, many of which were transfers from other schools but a few were freshmen starting off at SIUC. Had one student who said he came from Connecticut but came to Carbondale because the program he wanted was offered here.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Money for Students

 According to this about 15% of SIUC students will get a one time grant of roughly $1400 from the state of Illinois . Does not look as if  the funds can be used for tuition or room and board but could be used for past-due bursar balances, school related technology purchases or COVID-19 related purchases. 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Traffic Up

 Compared to a couple of weeks ago, traffic has certainly picked up on the main streets this week. However, I am not seeing the newcomers to town driving the wrong way on our one way streets. Usually by now, I would have seen at least one person heading south on Illinois or east on Main street. Are people really reading the signs better  or do we just have fewer new people in town?

I did ask a couple of SIUC staff members if they had any idea how many students were moving into the dorms this week. Neither of them had any idea so we probably will get very optimistic figures from the administration over the next week and the real, lower, figures much more quietly in September.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Census 2

 Why is Carbondale pushing responding to the census so much. Primarily because, if the city's population of record drops below 25,000 it will lose its Home Rule status. Communities get home rule status by either exceeding 25,000 in population or passing a referendum designating it as such. The population requirement is automatic, getting the referendum passed would prove more difficult.

Why does the city want home rule status? Cities with home rule status can perform any function they want as long as it does not conflict with state law, thus giving the city council a lot more freedom in taking actions. Cities without home rule status can only take actions authorized by state law, limiting the city government's power significantly.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020


 Looks as if the city and civic organizations are really getting concerned about Carbondale's census population. There are a number of signs around town reminding people to fill out their census forms but this afternoon I saw a tent in the Town Square parking lot with a table manned to get people to fill out their forms.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Southern Illinois Cleanup

 From a press release from Keep Carbondale Beautiful:

On September 12th motorcyclists of all backgrounds will descend upon southern Illinois natural areas for a litter cleanup, and event intended to be a fundraiser for the local nonprofit Keep Carbondale Beautiful. (501) (c) (3). Riders and non-riders alike are invited to this opportunity to contribute to the beauty that southern Illinois has to offer.

The event will start at 1:00 PM at the downtown Carbondale pavilion for check-in and meet-and-greet. KCB asks participants to observe recommended social distance guidelines and to bring a mask for any activities occurring indoors. Opportunities to sign up for membership for Keep Carbondale Beautiful will be available, as well as a chance to enter into a raffle of items donated by S.I. Motorsports, Black Diamond and Philips Pro Cycle.

A route has been pre-planned with the intention of providing both access litter sites as well as a lovely chance for riders to enjoy a beautiful afternoon out in the countryside. Three sites have been selected in conjunction with local natural areas agencies for safe parking, a short litter cleanup, and a bit of shade. The event will then regroup downtown at the pavilion for pictures, thanks-yous, and one last chance to enter the fundraising raffle.

The raffle will be held at 5:00 PM at the nearby bar, PKs, a.k.a. Pizza King. A mask is required to enter the building, and social distancing must be honored. Participants must be present to win. Motorcycle related items have been donated by local repair shops and dealerships. S.I. Motorsports, Black Diamond, Philips Pro Cycle and others are contributing.

“We are so lucky,” says longtime rider and Executive Director of KCB, Anne Krippenstapel, “to live in such a wonderful and picturesque recreational riding country.”

The event was inspired partially by “poker run” events held by other motorcycle clubs and organizations in charity/fundraising efforts and motivated by the presence of trash blowing on the side of distracting viewers on scenic routes. This project is the first of its kind in the area, combining recreational riding with stewardship of the land. If the reception and goals are successful, KCB will consider making this an annual event.

Anyone who is looking for a truly hands-on way to get involved. Volunteers will be provided with gloves and bags of refreshments on site. No entry fee is needed. Keep Carbondale Beautiful supports environmental education, Litter clean-up, public beautification and waste reduction.

Monday, August 10, 2020


 Rather interesting to see the resurfacing on Walnut street stripping the asphalt down to the brick about 6 inches down but still there are serviceable.  Carbondale still has a short stretch of brick street running along the north side of city hall that seems to need far less repair than the asphalt paved streets in town do. I did ask a member of the public works department once about replacing the asphalt with brick and was told that the asphalt stands up better to the amount of traffic the main streets in town get and is far cheaper to replace than replacing bricked streets would be.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Walnut Street 2

 Looks as if Walnut is torn up for resurfacing all the way from Oakland to Lewis Lane. I realize it needs to be done but starting 2 weeks before classes start (we hope or don't, people seem of two differing views) at SIUC and reducing lane usage to one lane seems poor planning to me.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Walnut Street

 Walnut street is getting repaved from the Oakland Street intersection each. Traffic is down to one lane until downtown making traffic through the area pretty slow.

Friday, August 7, 2020


 Looks as if the Flame restaurant on East Walnut has sold. At least, there is a item to transfer the liquor license for the business to another owner on next Tuesday's LCC agenda 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

SIUC Undecided

From what I am hearing, SIUC is still deciding how it will reopen in a couple of weeks. The Faculty and Graduate Student Unions are pushing for a remote opening, with all classes that can be moved online. The university had planned to open with as many seated as possible but now, given the rise in COVID-19 cases in Jackson County in the last few weeks, the BOD is getting a bit worried about bringing some 9000 college students into town and what that could due to infection rates.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Panera's Reopened

Panera's had shut down for a few days due to a staff member, I believe, testing positive for COVID-19 but has reopened. Seems a lot of that going around. I can see shutting down to test staff members for infection but the deep cleaning, from what I have read, seems not particularly useful, since the virus transmits through the air rather than from touching items that someone else has touched. 

In addition, most of the cleaning appears to focus on killing germs, using disinfectants and sanitizers, which do very little against a virus. Of course, someone with more medical expertise than I is certainly welcome to correct me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Qin Guan Open

Looks as if Carbondale's remaining Chinese buffet restaurant has reopened although they may offer takeout only. The sign says they are open but on one side says "Takeout Only" so assume you get to go into the building, load up a take out box, and leave.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Spirit Halloween

Looks as if the Spirit Halloween store is opening up in the empty Macy's building. Far more room for them than in the long empty Office Depot store and certainly a more elegant location. Ceilings are not as high though.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Mary Lou's Reopening

According to the signs in the windows, Mary Lou's will open again on August 4th. This time for good? 

Dunkin' Donuts Closed

Apparently the coronavirus has hit Dunkin' Donuts as a sign on the door says they are closed until further notice. On the other hand, Staples has reopened and I am seeing a lot more people wearing masks in stores. Was at the Carbondale Farmer's Market yesterday and only saw one family wandering the stalls without one.