Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Eurma Hayes Center

 According to this, the Eurma C. Hayes Center will receive a $25,000 grant for repairs and upgrades from State Farm. There were 200 finalists competing for grants and the top 40 each received money from State Farm.

Combined with the $450, 000 the city committed Tuesday night to the Center from the COIVD-19 America Rescue Funds it will receive from the federal government, the money should go a long way towards long needed repairs on the building.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Town Square

 Took a look at the town square lighting last night and the east side of the squre is definititely brighter than the west half, though the west half is brighter than I remember it from the last time I took a look. That being said, both of them dim in comparison to the lighting along Illinois avenue, which the city put in last year. It defnitely brightend up Illinois.

If I was Tres Hombres or Global Gourmet or Longbranch, I would welcome anything the city could do to move the police calls away from the parking lot in front of my business.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

COVID-19 Numbers for Sept. 24

 Friday Sept 17 Jackson County 7696 infected,100 dead,6926 recovered, Randolph County 5226 infected 94 dead 5050 recovered, Union County 2899 infected, 38 dead 2794 recovered and Williamson County 11400 infected 148 dead 8645 recovered.

Friday Sept 24 Jackson County 7877 infected,104 dead, 7288 recovered, Randolph County 5383 infected 95 dead 5198 recovered, Union County 2934 infected, 47 dead 2842 recovered and Williamson County 11767 infected 152 dead 9185 recovered.

Saturday, September 25, 2021


 I do like seeing the Christmas lights left up year round on the light posts around the town square. I would like to see brighter lights on the west half of the Square. Once you get away from the sidewalks, which are well illuminated along Illinois, it gets pretty dark around the Pavillion> I have felt  some trepediation at times walking arcross the Pavillion parking lot after dark. I will have to take a look tonight and see if the lighting there has improved with the new lights the city installed on the east half of the Square.

Town Square Loudspeakers

 The city recently installed loudspeakers and brighter lights in an attempt to break up later night gatherings on the town square. According to the city website,  the police department has had more than 1150 calls to the town square. While some of the calls are for motorist assistance and bar checks, the majority "are shootings, fights, drunk and disorderly conduct, public urination, bathing in the fountain, defecating on public property, bullying, drug use, and drug sales".

By my calculations, that comes out to an average of four police calls to the town square a day since the start of the the year. That's an awful lot of police activity in a small part of town. Barrring posting police presece there permanently, I am not sure what else the city can do to mitigate the calls there. I am not sure how effective music will be at moving people around but brighter lighting should make people going to restaurants int he area more secure.

Friday, September 24, 2021


 given that the roundabout on Chautaqua has been operational for about four months, the city posted a link on the effieincy of roundabouts vs. traffic lights. the city has plans to install a second roundabout at the intersection of Grand and Lewis lane but wanted to see how they worked in operatioin first. Now that the Chautaqua one has proven successful, and if funding comes available, I imagine we will see one installed at Grand and Lewis sometime.

Woodlawn Cemetary

 Given the historical importance, at least to the local community, I was nonplussed to find the flyer holder with the walking tour of the cemetary emply on a visit last week. The material in the flyer replicates the information on the plaque standing next to the brochure holder so pele visiting the cemetary still have access to the information but the brochure provides a convenient guide to the graves and sites of note within the grounds. Maybe the city could post a PDF of the brochure online and link it to the history of Woodlawn?

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

AAA Auto Razed

 The AAA Auto lot buildings on North Illinois have ben razed and the contractor is now creaming the brick and concrete from the site. I still expect U Haul will expand onto the lot but there is no signage indicating that is the case.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021


 Looking at the multi-block long back up  caused by trains coming through town, primarily around 9 a.m. , noon and aournd 4 p.m. makes me wish for downtown underpasses or overpasses sinilar to what we have at Mills street and Pleasent Hill Road. The city looked at putting underpasses for Main and Walnut back in the 1960s but pushback from the downtown business community put the kibosh on that.

I asked about the feasabiltiy of puttin in overpasses on the two streets but was told in order to make the gradiant a reasonable one, IDOT would have to raxe the buildings on either side of Main and Walnut for a block east and west from the tracks, destroying waht reamins of the early architecture of downtown Carbondale. An underpass is a bit more reasible but would require each street's closure for several months, if not years. Again not feasible so we are looking at blok long backups with trains come through for the foreseeable future.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Legacy Bright Spot Award

 Keep Carbondale Beautiful has introduced its Legacy Bright Spot Award, given to previous winners of the Bright Spot Award who have undertaken long term care of the property. From the press release

The Legacy Bright Spot award is an award given by Keep Carbondale Beautiful to recognize previous recipients of the Bright Spot award. This recognition is intended to encourage and maintain long term care and stewardship to the local environment of Carbondale. One of the missions of Keep Carbondale Beautiful is to preserve and maintain the local natural beauty of Southern Illinois.

The inaugural Legacy Bright Spot award winner is kicking off with 601 W. Walnut. Kathy and Austin Rigney recall receiving the Bright Spot award in July of 2004. “A sign just showed up in our yard one day, and that was the bright spot award” Kathy laughs, telling what she remembers. The home was built in 1917 and has been added on to over the years. They moved to the residence in 1988. Preparing for a growing family, Kathy began gardening in the front yard. In this nesting garden, irises, spiderwort and Pocomoke crape myrtle were planted. The oldest surviving plants are Jerusalem roses, over 20 years old.

The May 8th storm shifted their yard around, an 80 ft oak lodged in their attic. Getting the tree out, “we were entertainment for the whole neighborhood” Kathy recounts. After that, they had the bug for reorganizing the landscape. A white blooming redbud took its place, casting its canopy over hydrangeas and boxwoods lining the front of the home. A Japanese maple shades a horseshoe shaped garden with English ivy and ferns. Around the side of the home is an oasis from the busy city street, birdfeeders are set among a variety of herbs and large hostas. 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

COVID 19 Numbers for Sept 17

 Friday Sept 10 Jackson County 7329 infected, 90 dead,6592 recovered, Randolph County 5112 infected 92 dead 4952 recovered, Union County 2847 infected, 37 dead 2727 recovered and Williamson County 11012 infected 138 dead 8369 recovered.

Friday Sept 17 Jackson County 7696 infected,100 dead,6926 recovered, Randolph County 5226 infected 94 dead 5050 recovered, Union County 2899 infected, 38 dead 2794 recovered and Williamson County 11400 infected 148 dead 8645 recovered.

Town Fountain

 Sounds like (pun intended) the city or someone is playing classical music very loudly in the fountain area in an attempt to encourage the people that hang out there to move to another location. I would guess whomever though up the idea heard the anedotal evidence of classical music played at malls got teenagers to vacate the malls and move to other locations. However, the ontly time I see anyone down on the square is when there is an event such as a concert taking place. Few of the community spend time  socializing on the square.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

U Haul

 The rest of the AAA Auto buildings just north of U Haul on N. Illinois Ave have been demolished. Given that the operation has already rented the old Southern Illinoian complex to expand its self storage operation, I would expect that U Haul will expand on the the razed property, using it as more parking for its fleet of rental vehicles

Friday, September 17, 2021

$7.8 Million Grant

 Since the 47.8 million grant to Carbonale is supposed to mitigate the effect of  COVID-19's econodmic effects, how about using the money to send out a $700 check to each household in Carbondale? According to the Census there are about 10,400 households in Carbonale so by my math, that would mean roughly $700 for each household.  That way, no worrying about which organizations get the funds. Give the money to residents and let them pump it into the city's economy.

However, if the city does want to pass out funds to organzaitons that got hit hard by the epidemic, I would recommend the Varsity Theater:  central to the community, privately funded, shut down for a year and could really use the money forgone over the past year.

I see Southeast Missouri State is doing something similar with the grants they have received for their students  From the email:

As you may know, the American Rescue Plan (ARP), a federal stimulus package responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed into law on March 11, 2021. A portion of the ARP provides funding to support students at institutions of higher education in covering unexpected expenses due to COVID-19. Southeast received $10.4 million in HEERF III funds to distribute directly to students. This amount is based on a formula in the ARP and funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Education.

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 22, funds will be distributed to students, with the exception of dual credit and pre-college, using an institutional formula that takes into account need and enrollment intensity (number of credit hours) as of Sept. 1, 2021. The formula ensures as many students as possible benefit from HEERF III. To view more details about this and other COVID-19 relief funding, visit

You do not need to do anything to receive these funds. However, a couple of notes:
  • To ensure you receive your funds quickly, make sure you have signed up for direct deposit. You will need to sign-up for direct deposit by Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. to receive your funds in this manner. Click here if you need instructions. Please note that once distribution begins, it can take 2-3 days for the funds to show up in your account.
  • If you are not set-up for direct deposit, Student Financial Services will mail a check to the permanent residence address on file for you.
  • International students, we encourage you to sign up for direct deposit otherwise a check may be mailed to the permanent address in your home country.
  • HEERF III funds are not like other refunds or financial aid. Funds will not be applied to any outstanding charges on your account.
It is my sincere hope that this aid will help ease some of the stress, burdens, and other challenges many of you have faced during the pandemic.

No ICU Beds

 According to a survey by the Illinois Department of Publich Health, we have no available ICU beds in southern Illinois Hopefully no one else in southern Illinois gets seriously sick from anything else.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Jarnigan Firing

 According to today's DE, AD Liz Jarnigan was fired over a lack of response to sexual harassment charges brough against women's swim coach Geoff Hanson by several SIUC swimmers.  I do find it interesting tha Jarnigan is gone but a quick search on Google does not find anything about Hanson getting put on adminstrative leave while the charges are investigated.

Indigo Event Space and Lounge

 Indigo Event Space and Lounge will hod a ribbon cutting/grand opening at 4 p.m. on Sept 24.. Located in theHouse of Leisure/Icebox/Curbside/ Coal City Diner location in the 200 block of West Main. Have seen activity for the past couple of months so it appears the remodeling is completed. I fear they will suffer from the same problem every other business that has gone in there had:  lack of parking.  There is parking behind the 200 block but it is all reserved for adjoining businesses. the Indigo building readed back to the alleyway running behind it, not leaving any place to park.

Curbside and Bistro 51 attempted to deal with this by offering valet parking and Icebox had an agreement, for a time, to use the church parking across the street For Indigo to prove viable, the owners will have to figure out a way to address the parking problem.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

$7.8 Million

 One of the topics at tonights city council meeting is the best way for the city to spend a $7.8 million grand fromthe federal government for COVID relief. Money could help with COVID related health emergencies or with the negative economic impact on individuals, small busineses and organizations. As a federal grant, it likely comest with spending guidelines but still, $7.8 million injected into the city's economy would help a lot.

Saluki Athletics

 First SIUC gets rid of its Athletic Director with no warning and now the univeristy has put the women's soccer coach on administrative leave, once again without giving any reason. Certainly does not look good for the althleting department to have two high profile releases within such a short period of time.


 The city is enforcing metered parking again. If you park in downtown frequently, it might be worthwhile to pick up a parking pass at the Water office in City Hall. 

Downtown merchants pushed pretty hard in 2019 to get these parking passes so seems a shame not to make use of them. Of course, if I remember rightly, downtown merchants were also lobbying for free parking for their employees and free parking period so reduced price parking is not exactly what they wanted  but still better than downtown had before.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Arrested for Animal Cruelty

 It apears this idiot posted someting indicating he had aboused a dog badly enough to kill it. The post appears on Fb last week and got widely shared enough that the Carbondale PD got involved and arrested him.

Sunday, September 12, 2021


 Took a walk through downtown after 9 pm. last night and saw no house parties for the second weekend in a row. However the lines waiting to get into both Traxx and the Hollywood Lounge. Line to get is to each stretch for about half a block. Not nearly as many people trying to get into either the Cellar, Hangar 9, P.K's or Tres Hombres, at least not at that hour. . 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

COVID 19 Numbers Friday Sept 10

 Friday Sept 3 Jackson County 7122 infected, 89 dead,6452 recovered, Randolph County 5071 infected 91 dead 4885 recovered, Union County 2785 infected, 34 dead 2663 recovered and Williamson County 10571 infected 136 dead 8369 recovered.

Friday Sept 10 Jackson County 7329 infected, 90 dead,6592 recovered, Randolph County 5112 infected 92 dead 4952 recovered, Union County 2847 infected, 37 dead 2727 recovered and Williamson County 11012 infected 138 dead 8369 recovered.

Charlie Birger Educational Modules

 For those interested in the history of Southern Illinois, especially its gangster era, SIUC has put together an interactive 4 module series based on the book and podcast A Knight of Another Sort:  Charlie Birger and Prohibiition Days in Southern Illinois. Especially designed for middle school and up teachers who want to introduce their students to a unique part of southern Illinois History.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Electric Larry's

 Electric Larry's had moved from its Univeristy Plaza locatin on S. Illinois to the 200 block of West Main. If you are not familiar with them, you can find their Facebook Page here.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

AAA Automotive

 The Quonset Hut shaped garage facility that sat on the AAA Auto property has been demolished. No idea what will go in there but I would guess that U Haul has puchased or leased the lot and will demolish the buildings to make room for expanded UHaul parking.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

BookWorm Location

 The long empty location of BookWorm has finally been filled. Ashely Furnishings expanded their store space into the area so not as much space as when Ashley had two locations and an outlet store in town but somewhat more than Ashley had for the past fewyeras.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

China Express

 According to the sign in the window, South Illinois mainstay China Express has decided not to reopen. The store closed up shortly after the lockdown started in 2020. The sign in the window said they would be reopening. I always wondered why they did not since their location and size meant they always depended on delivery for their business so a delivery heavy economy should have proved tailor made for them. However, the "reopening" sign has been replaced by a large "For Sale" sign. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Dunkin Donuts

 According to a sign on their door, Dunkin Donuts is closed today and tomorrow. Not able to get enough staff to work the hours. apparently was taking GrumHub over a hour to get deliveries from the shop over the weekend and the business had closed the lobby entrance, only allowing drive through.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

COVID 19 Numbers Sept 3rd

 Friday August 28 Jackson County 6766 infected, 86 dead,6120 recovered, Randolph County 4976 infected 90 dead 4750 recovered, Union County 2722 infected, 34 dead 2605 recovered and Williamson County 10028 infected 136 dead 8199 recovered.

Friday Sept 3 Jackson County 7122 infected, 89 dead,6452 recovered, Randolph County 5071 infected 91 dead 4885 recovered, Union County 2785 infected, 34 dead 2663 recovered and Williamson County 10571 infected 136 dead 8369 recovered.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Mask Ordinance Info

 Here is a link to which city department is responsible for  mask  enforcement.  The business is subject to a $250 fine for not enforcing the city's ordinance. I was mildly bemused by a sign I saw posted at Hobby Lobby statating that if a customer did not wear a mask, the business assumed they were exempt from state/local regulations:

What City Department (s) is in charge of enforcing the Mandate?
The City’s Building and Neighborhood Services division will be proactively out in the community to ensure businesses are complying with the mandate. They will also be following up on any complaints made to the City about businesses not complying. If an individual is asked to leave a business for not wearing a mask, police officers may arrive to ask them to leave. If there is still no cooperation, that individual may be ticketed for trespassing.

Friday, September 3, 2021


 SIUC was ranked among the top 30 LGBTQ Friendly univeristies by the website Campus Pride. According to the website

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Resource Center is one of four resource centers in the Center for Inclusive Excellence. The LGBTQ Resource Center provides programming that engages the entire SIU campus and community on LGBTQ issues through a calendar of events, support services and facilitation of a variety of training opportunities throughout the year. The Center for Inclusive Excellence space is a dedicated Safe Zone that provides a welcoming and affirming location on campus for all, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The LGBTQ Center maintains a library that communicates an all-too-often hidden history. The Center is the primary point of contact for members of the LGBTQ community as it works collaboratively with campus departments, student organizations, university administration, and local community groups to connect students with resources, activities, and support services. The LGBTQ resource center offers LGBTQ and Ally students an opportunity to come together in solidarity and learn about issues that impact the LGBTQ community and allies. We offer Safe Zone trainings regularly, Queer Mentors and Trans*itions as programs out of the resource center to support our LGBTQ students. Additionally, we collaborate with the Saluki Rainbow Network, our LGBTQ student organization, and other individuals and groups to teach and promote diversity and inclusivity.

Thai Taste

 Thai Taste was getting ready, after almost a year, to reopen to seated dining. They have extesively repainted and redone the interior. However,t he recent accident in which a car hit the side of the building had delayed the reopening. The car did enough structural damage that the wall will have to undergo repairs before the restaurant is safe to reopen.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Carbondale Dog Park Receives Grant

 Friends of the Carbondale Dog Park annonunced today Carbondale will recieve a $25,000 grant from PetSafe to finish construction of the dog park on West Sunset. The press release is below

Friends of Carbondale Dog Parks is thrilled to announce that Carbondale has been selected as a winner of the PetSafe Bark for Your Park $25,000 new dog park grant.

Our small town came in third place (out of 5), a testament to the way Southern Illinoisans pull together for worthy causes. FCDP is deeply grateful to everyone who voted for the dog park. It's your park too!

This grant will allow FCDP to complete the 2 1/2 acre dog park that is under construction at Parrish Park, 2500 W. Sunset Drive, Carbondale. The completed dog park will have an ADA friendly walkway from the parking lot to the shelter, small and large dog fields with a water fountain and spray fountain in each field, three "sally port" entry gates as well as maintenance gates, a boulder field and other play features, an event area outside the east gate, and landscaping to screen the dog park from the Parrish School playground and adjacent soccer fields. 

Through the generous support of the community, the Parrish Park dog park is being built without use of any tax money. John A. Logan Construction program is building the walkway and shelter; the Plumbers Union Apprenticeship Program will install the fountains; Asaturian Eaton has provided surveying and site engineering; Arthur Agency provided design work; Thad Heckman, Architect, created the concept drawings; E.T. Simonds and Mark Mathis Excavating prepared the site; the Egyptian Board of Realtors donated the water fountains; the City of Carbondale laid the water lines; Pure Pet, Indian Creek Kennel, and Banterra Bank donated benches; the Carbondale and Murphysboro Walmarts made grants for the project; and many individual donors, including Glenn and Jo Poshard and other anonymous large donors, made this project possible.

North Oakland Closed

 North Oakland is closed for two blocks at the intersection of  Oakland and Willow northbound for today and tomorrow. Street reparts getting clompleted from damage caused to the street from last winter. Should be open to through traffic again by the weekend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

SIUC Enrollment Down

 Once you get past the happy talk of the first three paragraphs, fall attenance at SIUC is down another 1% from last year or as the university puts it "essentailly flat". The problem is, the univeristy has seen this small declines in student population consistantly for over 2 decades and, while on their own, the drop in number is insignficant, taken in total the univeristy has seen a drop of about 14000 students over the past 20+ years.

Entertainment District Map

 The city will create an "entertainment district" website that will show the boundaries and restrictions of the new district.  Distirct boundaries currently are Illinois Ave from Jackson  on the north end  to Grand on the south, west to Univeristy and east to Washington. It includes the block between Main and Walnut then cuts down Washington before heading east to the railroad tracks at Cherry St. then parallels the railroad tracks south to Grand.

Essentially, the district will comprise the area between Illinois and University from Jackson to Grand with an extension east to include Consume, Buckwater and Italian Village.

Entertainment District

 Along with the mask madate, the city council also approved an ordinance establishing a downtown entertainmnet district. The ordincance waives the beer garden license fee, lowered the legal entry age to 18 for class B license holders, allows public consumption of alcohol from 5 p.m. to 2 am  Monday through Thursday and noon to 2 a.m. Friday through Sunday. Also relaxes the noise restrictions for the district, whcih consists, as far as I can tell, South Illinois Ave but not sure from where to where is not clear.  I would assume from East Grand to East Oak as that would go past Keeper's Quarters on the south end and Hollwood Lounge and Longbranch on the North end but have an email into the city to find out specifics.