Thursday, December 31, 2020

Mary Lou's

 Looks like Mary Lou's got hit with a $750 fine for offering indoor dining. When the fall shutdown came, the cafe chose to remain open and offer seating dining. Rather surprised to see them get hit with a fine since the States Attorney's office said it would not prosecute. So far the Governor's closure orders have held up in court.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Stoplight Repair

 The city currently has the right lane of West Walnut shut down as they repair the stoplight at the interaction of Walnut and University. No traffic blockage but drive slow through the area so as not to hit any workers.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

A letter From Mary Alice

 A friend of mine, Mary Alice Wilson, owns a used book store in Yellow Springs Ohio. She emailed me as to how she has adapted to retailing in the time of COVID-19

“Dark Star is doing ok with ebay and one employee.  Our comic guy whom we laid off, is getting the unemployment boost to his check . The check is for more than his salary.  he was hinting it would be   good thing if he stayed laid off. and that we hire a newbie. Kate wasn't good with that idea! 

Our Gov. De Wine just announced plans for the future.  First doctor, dentist and then veterinarian.  then construction and factory work.  and on May 12, WE can open.  Already have the $335 plastic shield at cash register. trying to buy a large hand sanitizer dispenser for at the front door,  which is  hard to find.  However, i could see Magic and Pokemon games with a plastic shield between the players across from each other.  I don't really know much about gaming, but it might work.

One of our staff has been making masks like a demon - and today i saw one with clear plastic over the mouth area, so folks a little hard of hearing, like me, can read lips a bit.  i either have to have visitors lift the mask up  or have someone tell me what they said.  Getting folks to just talk louder doesn't seem to be in my skill set.  Our staff mask maker  said, “oh yes, I know about those”.  Well, MAKE some, for goodness sake.  i wouldn't know how.   I said, there is one thing a comic book store has, is plastic, and Mylar. 

Hoarding is great!  I don't know why I bought - and much less KEPT - bathroom decals from the 30's; a whole box full of boxed 12" figures from the 70'S (well i know NOW it was a good idea - best one sold for  $400); boxes full of mads and cracked and warren mags like elvira.....we have a double house. The other side was was where we put stuff we didn't know what to do with after we bought it.  or stuff that came in while buying things we DID know what to do with.  but along comes our staff member Kate and her pop culture know how, and all that stuff now has price tags.  Being in the book biz means we had hoarded lots of first editions for when we got an on-line presence.  Well we have that now, and 1700+ items currently listed.  Some of the things that sell are from early days.  we sold something the other  day that had been on eBay for 10 years, maybe, and i cringed at the way it was listed and the price - too low - but hey, it sold, that's all good.

Where do I sell online? Ebay, baby! and abe and amazon.  Gary does abe, which is strictly books.  He also does amazon - and Kate and staff do ebay.  and the latter does amazingly well.  if there is someone out there that wants to pay some outrageous price - and remember this is being available to everyone in the world with an internet device - that person can find us.  They would NEVER find us on our website.  The most looked at items on our website are cat pictures.  (They are really cool; kate finally put up a video.) Really glad to hear from you.”

Monday, December 28, 2020

City Government Promotions

 John Lenzeni has been promoted to the newly created position of Community Development Manager and Megan Brightharp to the position of Senior Planner.Congratulations to both.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

COVID 19 Numbers Dec. 25

 Friday Dec 18 Jackson County 3360 infected, 51 dead, 2935 recovered, Randolph County 2958 infected 38 dead 2717 recovered, Union County1461 infected, 24 dead 924 recovered and Williamson county 4795 infected 97 dead 2678 recovered.

Friday Dec 25 Jackson County 3517 infected, 54 dead, 3086 recovered, Randolph County 3126 infected 43 dead 2837 recovered, Union County1518 infected, 24 dead 975recovered and Williamson county 5107 infected 99 dead 2952 recovered.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Dinner

 St. Francis Xavier served its annual Christmas dinner yesterday. Due to COVID-19 all meals were delivered or to go. The church delivered 140 meals to Carbondale residents' homes and 225 "to go" meals to people who came by the church. For the first time in at least a decade, the church ran out of turkey, serving 8 trays of it, 7 trays of dressing, 10 trays of whipped potatoes, 9 cans of restaurant sized green beans and 32 gallons of gravy. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Tim "Murph" Murphy

 The man behind West Frankfort's Candy Cane Lane passed away yesterday. Caught COVID-19 and was not able to recover.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Multi modal center

 The planned downtown multimodal transportation center received another $300,000, pushing the total money from the state to just short of $3 million, bringing the total the city has received for the project to $16.8 million. Still not sure this is the best use of the money and, from the artist's concepts, I am not to sure as to how well it will fit in with the rest of downtown Carbondale. Buildings erected in the downtown area are supposed to fit in with the overall look of downtown. This structure has a much more modernistic look to it than other buildings in the district.

Monday, December 21, 2020


 If you want a good look at the conjunction tonight, some good locations are Evergreen Park, North Oakland by Oakland Cemetery and Campus Lake near the boat docks.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Friday COVID-19 Numbers

 Friday Dec 11 Jackson County 3165 infected, 45 dead, 2706 recovered, Randolph County 2736 infected 32 dead 2407 recovered, Union County1364 infected, 24 dead 854 recovered and Williamson county 4365 infected 90 dead 2513 recovered.

Friday Dec 18 Jackson County 3360 infected, 51 dead, 2935 recovered, Randolph County 2958 infected 38 dead 2717 recovered, Union County1461 infected, 24 dead 924 recovered and Williamson county 4795 infected 97 dead 2678 recovered.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Arnold's Market

Windows on the now closed Arnold's Market on the south side of town have been boarded over. Not a good sign for the future of the property. From a retail standpoint, the location has two problems:  1) it is on the south side of town, which is not the section of town showing growth and 2) it is on the 51 south cutoff which makes it even harder to get to the store. Due to the rerouting of 51 some years ago, customers have to make an effort to get to the store's location. Anyone reopening Arnold's or another store in the building would have to make quite an effort to make it a destination store so as to encourage customers to make the extra turn to get there.

Friday, December 18, 2020


 Roughly 100,000 restaurants closing in the US, either long term or permanently. As far as I know, the only ones to close permanently in Carbondale were S&B's Burger Joint and Denny's. If you want to keep your preferred local restaurants open, order expensive items or order often and leave a good tip.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Confluence Books

 Confluence Books, so named because of the nearby confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers as well as the streams of used books coming into the store, is now open and accepting orders

More than two years after Bookworm closed its doors, Carbondale once again has a used bookstore.  Confluence Books has a storefront location, 705 West Main, but browsers have to go on line to examine the inventory (go to and plan on curbside pickup.  Contact the store to ask about delivery or shipping. 
There are over 3,000 used books on the website, with more added daily.  Owner Sarah Heyer says there are thousands waiting to be processed: "I’m hoping to sell some and clear space for more, so I can accept more donations."  She can be reached at or 618 525 3075.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Harold's Chicken

 Harold's Chicken opened this week and the line to get in was half a block long. Phone lines were swamped as well, with people reporting waiting half an hour before someone would take their call. Unless you really cannot wait, hold off for a couple of weeks. They will still be here and the crowds, much like at Popeyes, will have died down.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Christmas Tree Lots

 Following up on yesterday's post about lights, I just realized no Christmas tree lots this year. Typically we have at least one out at Murdale Shopping Center, one in the Hobby Lobby parking lot and one out by Qin Guan. This year, not a one that I have seen in Carbondale.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Christmas Lights

 I am seeing more Christmas lights in town this year and they went up earlier than in previous years. I saw lights on houses up as early as October. The Light Before Christmas, a professional Christmas lighting company, says I am not crazy and people did put up lights much earlier than in a typical year.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

COVID-19 Numbers

 Friday Dec 4 Jackson County 2917 infected, 34 dead, 2451 recovered, Randolph County 2483 infected 29 dead 2220 recovered, Union County1252 infected, 23 dead 748 recovered and Williamson county 4003 infected 82 dead 2240 recovered.

Friday Dec 11 Jackson County 3165 infected, 45 dead, 2706 recovered, Randolph County 2736 infected 32 dead 2407 recovered, Union County1364 infected, 24 dead 854 recovered and Williamson county 4365 infected 90 dead 2513 recovered.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Shop Local

 I was on Talk of the Town a couple of weeks ago and the importance of shopping local came up. If you shop local and by local I mean at a locally owned store, not a chain store, your money stays in Carbondale longer. If you buy online, unless you are buying from the online outlet of a local store, your money leaves the community immediately, if you buy from a chain store, it circulates in the community about 2-5 times before leaving. If you buy from a locally owned store, of which granted there are not too many of in Carbondale these days, save restaurants, the money you spend circulates 5-12 times within Carbondale before leaving, helping generate local jobs.

El Paisano

 Looks as if El Paisano is moving. Saw some workmen at the long shuttered Mississippi Flyway who said that business had gotten good enough that the restaurant has to move to a larger location. No idea as to when the new location will open for business

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Mike Madigan

 I am a big fan of the WSIU program State Week In Review. Last week, I emailed the panelists the question, "In your opinion, has Mike Madigan overall been good, bad or neutral for Illinois?" here is part of the response:

Based on that experience, I’d consider Madigan’s overall tenure as speaker as good, with positive benefits for the state.  He’s worked with governors of both parties, from Jim Thompson through J.B. Pritzker, in an attempt to address some of the state’s most pressing issues, including tax and spending pressures, pension reform, more equitable school funding, support for health care and human services, capital improvements, and a long list of once controversial, now generally accepted, positions, such as abolition of the death penalty and recognition of same-sex marriage.

At the same time, he’s opposed gubernatorial initiatives that he considered harmful to the state and its citizens, such as Bruce Rauner’s war on organized labor and Rod Blagojevich’s ill-advised attempt to impose a gross receipts tax.  Indeed, he led the House in impeaching Blagojevich, whom the Senate then removed from office; subsequently, Madigan’s House with the Senate enacted a series of ethics reforms directed at executive branch abuses.

Throughout his career, I believe he’s been motivated by a couple of main objectives: first, to protect the city of Chicago and its institutions, e.g. the mayor’s office, Chicago public schools, the White Sox, from any and all external threats, and secondly, to protect the legislative branch from encroachment by the executive.  To be in a position to do this, he’s been able to change the House from one in which Republicans held a majority for all but seven sessions during the first three-quarters of the 20th century, to one in which Democrats have held majorities since 1997.  Demographic changes have been a big help, along with luck-of-the-draw in redistricting, but without Madigan’s political skills, Illinois would be much more purple and a lot less blue, in my opinion.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Winter Farmer's Market

 Looks as if the Winter Farmer's Market is up and running in the east wing of the University Mall, Not sure if you can enter through Bed Bath and Beyond or only through the main entrance 

Creekside Vet

 Looks as if the Creekside vet building on Old Highway 13 has sold. The "For Sale" sign is good and a few vehicles were parked in front of it this afternoon.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Farmer's Markets

 It appears Carbondale will have 2 Farmer's Markets for the immediate future. The indoor market at University Mall started the first Saturday of December and the Westtown/Murdale Farmer's Market for as long as the weather remains favorable, likely ending at Christmas but don't hold me to that. We ahve had far warmer and better weather later in the season than Carbondale normally gets.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Friday COVID 19 Statistics

 Friday November 27 Jackson County 2639 infected, 32 dead, 2176 recovered, Randolph County 2162 infected 27 dead 1872recovered, Union County1103 infected, 21 dead 676 recovered and Williamson county 3569 infected 76 dead 1975 recovered.

Friday Dec 4 Jackson County 2917 infected, 34 dead, 2451 recovered, Randolph County 2483 infected 29 dead 2220 recovered, Union County1252 infected, 23 dead 748 recovered and Williamson county 4003 infected 82 dead 2240 recovered.

Lights Fantastic Floats

 Lights Fantastic Floats are lined up in the concert venue on S. Washington St. There are 5 there if I recall correctly and if you want to take a look, they will be there through tonight. I am hoping the powers that be decide to keep them there to brighten downtown until Christmas.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Downtown Cookie Walk

 Apparently Carbondale Main Street will host a downtown cookie walk tomorrow. Cannot find any information about it on their website or Facebook page. The plan is to have a map posted somewhere and tables with cookies set up in front of participating businesses. No idea what time though. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Carbondale Park District Forums

 In case you would like to have some say on the future direction of the Carbondale Park District, the board is hosts several forums over the next week. Now would be a good time to ask why the District still has a money losing golf course

The Carbondale Park District has undertaken a strategic planning process as part of its 80th anniversary celebration.  The Park District Board of Commissioners is facing the challenge of hard times by envisioning a brighter future for its parks and recreation programs.  

They have scheduled a series of public forums for your input. Help the Park District set its priorities for the next 5 to 10 years!



WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2020 – 5:00 P.M.-7 P.M.  

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2020 – 9:00 A.M.-11:00 A.M.  

MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2020 – 6:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M.  
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2020 – 12:00 P.M.-2:00 P.M. 

Contact your Park District Commissioners. Let them know your priorities for Carbondale's parks and recreation programs.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

SIU President Moving to Springfield

 Looks as if the president of the SIU system is moving to Springfield.  Not sure how this will allow him to keep a close eye on either or both campuses. Plus now the system, which I thought was cash strapped already, will now have to foot the bill for his accommodations in Springfield and I bet he is not looking to rent a suite at a Courtyard by Marriot .

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Dog Park

 After three years of planning, member of the Friends of Carbondale Dog Park and the Carbondale Park District broke ground on the Carbondale Dog Park. Plans currently are to open it to the public in June of 2021.