Anytime someone calls you, claiming to be some sort of official representative, and asks for any sort of payment, especially to keep you out of jail, hang up and call the office they claim to represent. 95% of the time the call is a scam.
Wednesday, December 28, 2022
Here is a list of what the city considers its successes and highlights of 2022. A lot of them seem to be developing plans, taskforces and website improvements. Giant City road is much better and the streetscape project makes downtown more attractive. Hopefully, if the city has funds, it could use some of them to attract businesses into downtown, maybe by subsiziding the first six months of rent, assuming landlords get more reasonable in their rent asks. The population does not reflect the 1990s anymore.
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Took a walk through University Mall and I estimated at least half the storefronts were empty. The only large stores remaining were Ultra Beauty, Old Navy and Shoe Dept. None of which are large enough to serve as anchor stores. I hear rumors that Bath and Body Works may vacate the Mall to move across the stree with Old Navy, leaving two more gaping holes in the retail mall storefront.
Monday, December 26, 2022
I noticed the city added more lights to the town Square this year. One of the trees to the east of the freight depot has lights running through its branches and up its trunk. Not as showy as the one at the corner of Springer and Main but nice nonetheless.
Friday, December 23, 2022
Carbondale only received about an inch of snow so the streets are generally passable but for some reason, people wanted to congest the downtown area around the civic center. On Illinois and University in that area, drivers teneded to all line up in one lane, even though the other two lanes had almost no cars in them. Granted I can see not wanting to get into the left hand turn lane but ehy were avoiding the center lane as well. Slowed down traffic a whole lot.
Thursday, December 22, 2022
Noted protestors in fron of Choices with a "Check in Here" sign, trying to get visitors to stop off before going to the clinic proper so they can have a chance to talk them out of getting an abortion. Someone should post a sign next to them reading "Not-affiliated with Choices Clinic".
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
Monday, December 19, 2022
According to a Facebook post, Starting Jan 3 Striegel Animal Hospital will start emergency vet hours from 5 p.m. - midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday. Apparently those are the only times not covered by Lakeside Emergency.
Saturday, December 17, 2022
In case you are interested in investing in downtown Carbondale, the building that formerly housed Sound Core and the one currently housing Phoenix Cycle are for sale. Not sure of price but the Phoenix Cycle building currnely has all of its spaces rented.
Thursday, December 15, 2022
Talked with a representative from the company trying to recruit businesses to move into Univeristy Mall. According to him, they are looking at other types of businesses beyond clothing and jewelry stores and are willing to offer rent of $1 per square foot and other incentives to get buisnesses to move in. to the space.
Wednesday, December 14, 2022
According to this, it appears that long time Quatro's owner Steve Payne is selling the business as the corporation that owns Quatro's has notified the LCC of a complete change in the officers of the business with the Paynes stepping down as officers.
From what I understand, both Old Navy and Ultra Beauty will move out of their spaces in University Mall into the old Best Buy location under renovation on the north side of Highway 13. That will only a collection of small retail storefronts in the mall, with no large stores to draw in shoppers. If this trend continues, I could see SIH as the only tenant at Univeristy Mall by 2025.
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
According to this round up from Broke Scholar, Carbondale is the 14th most affordable college town in the country. Carbondale actually ranks bettter than most of the other communities surveyed in terms of demongraphics (high percentage of single young people) and and is also more affordable than all but two of the other cities ranked higher on the list.
Carbondale gets hit badly in terms of entertainment and opportunity though. We ranked poorly in terms of density of bars, unemployment rate and Walking and biking availablity.
Friday, December 9, 2022
However there is a new restaurant open in the old China Express location at the south end of the Strip: Notcho Fries. Build your own bowl appears the focus of the establishment as customers start with a base of fries or chips and add toppings.
Joining other businesses that have recently announced closure, such as Party City and Bed Bath and Beyond, I hear that Kirkland's on the east side of Carbondale will soon close its doors. Granted I was never its customer base but I never saw the demand for the store here.
Similarly, I am suprised that Party City stayed open as long as it did. Even when Carbondale's population exceeded 25,000, there never seemed enough demand int he region for a superstore dedicated to party supplies. I figure such a store would need a city with at least a pupulation of 50,000 to 100000 to provide enough customers to justify the store's continued operation
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Were the sidewalk upgrades worth it? I know somebody questioning the money spent on them. I think money spend improving the appearance of downtown is money well spent and, since the city was upgrading them, they also had to make them ADA compliant, which does make it a bit more difficult to get to the sidewalk from a parked car.
What I will like to see is more infills in place. The city has a bad habit of allowing landlords to let buildings run down to the state that they cannot be repaired and raizing them is a cheaper option, leaving downtown with more open space. We have lots at the corners of Mill and Illinois and College and Illinois that have set empty for years. Buildings there fill in the space and make the downtown more walkable.
Monday, December 5, 2022
Driving east to west across Carbondale today, I was struck by the change in gas prices. I did not got so far out as the Reed Station area, which tends to be higher than in town, but prices on Giant City road were $3.44 a gallon. Stations on East Main and East Walnut had prices about the same while they jumped to $3.70 a gallon at the Shell station on the West side of town.
Friday, December 2, 2022
Here is the list of candidates for the position of Mayor (4 years term) and the three open council seats Mayor Henry has elected not to seek another term in office
1) Harold J. Visser
2) Nathan Colombo
3) Carolin Harvey
City Council Seats (3)
1) Adam Loos
2) Clare Killman
3) Justin Zurlinden
4) Lee Fronabarger
5) Nancy Maxwell
6) Thomas Grant
7) Joshua Dalton Liechty
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Detour signs have been up since before Thanksgiving for the Lights Fantastic parade, which takes place this Saturday . Road closures will start about 5 p.m. and reopen at 8 p.m., with the parade starting at 6 p.m. No word if cars parked on Illinois Avenue will get towed prior to the parade so doubt they will but also do not plan to move your car between 5 and 8.
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
The city has released the results of its gun violence needs assessment study. You can read it here. 94% of the reports of gunshots, wounds, etc. take place in a section of the sity that comprises about a third of the city land and roughly half its population.
The Choices reproductive health care clinic on Giant City Road has errected a privacy fence around the parking lot, so passers by cannot see the lot from the road. Also blocks the view for the 2-4 protesters sitting out there most days.
Monday, November 28, 2022
Something is going into the long empty store front at 209 West Main. work has been done remodeling the interior and a long set of shelves put up along the east wall. No idea as to what is going in there though.
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Bakc when Carbondale and SIUC introduced the bus system, most people supported it as a way to let people without vehicles get around town. However, I know of one business owner who said it was a step into the hollowing out of downtown. His reasoning was, since SIUC required incoming freshment to park or not have a car, lack of available trasnportation meant they had to shop downtown. With the bus system, it now became much easier to get to places like Murdale and Wal-mart. Good for students, good for merchants on the east and west side of Carbondale and good for most Carbondale residents, especially those without cars or reliable transportation, but bad for downtown, as there are no general merchandise stores remaining in the downtown area. As far as I know, if o\you want to get soda or snacks, the only places to do so are the liquor stores or my place and neither has a particually large selection.
Monday, November 21, 2022
Noticed that Ivy Hall, a small apartment building on West Mill next to Carbondale Towers, has plywood across the firs tfloor windows. I have seen retail properties with plywood, expecially int he Beveridge Street area, but not apartments completely shut down.
Friday, November 18, 2022
Thursday, November 17, 2022
Carbondale Starbucks employees are on strike. Nationwide strike against the chain over working conditions. Picketers outside the shop on East Walnut, certainly much more enthusiastic than those picketing the Choices clinic on Giant City road
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Seeing Christmas lights and deocorations going up early than I remember. Hickory Lodge has trees lit up near the building, the Thrift Shop has a Chirstmas display in its front window and the city installed the rotating childrens' Christmas memorial on the town square this week.
Monday, November 14, 2022
From what I am reading, the Party City located on the east side of Carbondale, will or has closed. I am suprised the business lasted as long as it did. I just never saw enough party/holiday sales in the Carbondale region to support the store.
Friday, November 11, 2022
Remember the shuttered firehouse on Oakland that was sold off to a lower bidder becuase the purchaser was going to make the location in to an art space and wine tasting room? Well that apparently fell through and the special use permit for the space expired back in 2018. Since then, the building has apparently been used for storage and a coffee cart established in the parking area to the west of the building.
Now the owners are back, requesting that the city council again approve 2 special use permits. The plan for an art space has fallen by the wayside as one permit is for a restaurent in the location and one for a " "drinking place" including alcoholic beverages and a food truck park in the aforementioned parking area. As noted below, the Planning commission recommended approving both permits.
I am not sure how the people living in the vicinity of the old station will view having a resaurant and bar located right next door to their homes, especially given that, IIRC, the art space concept was the main selling point of the original proposal.
You can read the agenda item here. Will be taken up at the next city council meeting.
Still Woods LLC, is requesting the approval of two Special Use Permits, one for a ‘Restaurant’ and one for a ‘Drinking Place (Alcoholic Beverages)’, in order to carry out their business plan for a “neighborhood, family-friendly hub for social interaction, cultural development, networking and business incubation” to include a food truck park and bar at the old fire station building property they own at 300 South Oakland Avenue.
As a similar request was granted to John Deas and Alison Smith for this property in 2017, this new request was primarily made to ensure transparency with the City on the change of business plan. As the new plan no longer includes the 'art studio' use as it did last time, the limits on hours of operation and number of employees are no longer in place.
A public hearing regarding this request was held on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022, by the Carbondale Planning Commission. During this meeting, the Planning Commission unanimously moved to recommend the two Special Use Permit requests, with no additional conditions.
Attached for City Council review are the following:
1. A Resolution approving and a Resolution denying the Special Use Permit for a restaurant and a Special Use Permit for a drinking place with alcoholic beverages.
2. A copy of the unapproved minutes of the Planning Commission for PC 23-04.
3. A copy of the staff report to the Planning Commission for PC 23-04.
Constituent/Advisory Body Impact: The Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on November 2, 2022, and voted (6-yes, 0-no) on a motion to recommend the approval of the Special Use Permit for the subject property. A notice of public hearing was published in the Southern Illinoisan newspaper on October 15, 2022, and twenty-nine (29) property owners within 250 feet of the subject property were notified of the hearing by certified mail. John Deas of Still Woods LLC (the applicant) was present, one neighbor of the subject property spoke in favor of the request, zero people spoke in opposition to the request.
Financial Impact: None.
Staff Impact: Staff will be responsible for all applicable permits and licenses.
Thursday, November 10, 2022
A Carbondale tradition ends for the year this Sunday. The Downtown Dairy Queen closes for the season on Nov. 13. given than the 80 degree weather will give way to 50 F weather tomorrow, that sounds as if they have timed it right.
Noticed that Ham's Market, located in the Grand Avenue Mall, has shuttered. A small grocery store, it cated to foreign students and those living in the East Grand area. Apparnetly not enough business in that location to sustain the businee.
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Too early for results to post yet although surpisingly strong turnout in downtown Carbondale. One person waited just over an hour to vote at the Civic Center polling place.
Will post here as results come in tonight.
With 34% of precints reporting, looks as if Carbondale will remain a home rule community by 81% to 19%
Bost crushing Markel currently 62 to 38% in Jackson County
Jacobs beating Iver 56% to 44% here as well
However Democrats tended to vote early while Republicans vote on Election Day so early votes may not be figured in yet. Early results in Jackson County show all Republican candidates beating Democratic ones.
With 78% of precincts reporting in Carbondale, retaining home rule leads 78% to 22%
Bost wins against Markel 75% to 25%.
Jacobs beats Iver 65 % to 35%
Monday, November 7, 2022
I have seem a number of ads regarding the HOme Rule vote the past week, including a full page ad in the Carbondale Times supporting the retention of home rule. the only opposition I have seen to retaining it come sfrom a realtor group up in Springfield, which happens to be a home rule commnunity. Retention should pass easily but the fact that voters have to vote "No" to retain it may prove problematical. Still, the ballot clearly stating that voting "No" is a vot to retain Home Rule should help a lot.
Friday, November 4, 2022
Today was the last day for early voting at the Civic Center. Now you will have to vote at your local polling place, which you can find here. Still do not need an ID to vote and I did not see any armed chaps wearing camoflage watching the polling place as they are in other parts of the country like Arizona.
Appears that Kat's Krab & Go has Krab & Went as there is a "for rent" sign in the window. Since the place's original business model was a hookah lounge/ sports bar (Hookahs and Hoops, if I remember correctly), I can see having to make a major change in your business plan would hit the bottom line. Apparently the owerns failed to check on city ordinances regarding
Thursday, November 3, 2022
Monday, October 31, 2022
Early voting is available until this Friday at the Carbondale Civic Center. I stopped off today and had to wait about 5 minutes to use one of the machines. About half a dozen people were also early voting while I was there. Got to use a touch screen machine and I did not worry once about the machine losing or miscounting my vote as the screen even showed that I had missed voting for one office.
I was gald to see the ballot clearly indicated that a "No" vote was necessary in order for Carbondale to Retain home rule. At the top of that section, it clearly stated that, if you wanted Carbondale to retain home rule, vote "No".
Sunday, October 30, 2022
Friday, October 28, 2022
Or as Carbondale Main Street is calling it now, the Candy Walk. Looks as if 26 locations from the North side of the square all the way down Illinois to Notcho Fries. Takes place from Noon to 2. Maps are available at the Carbondale Main Street offices as well.
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Listening to the debate between Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Kathy Salvi. Duckworth is doing a pretty good job of sticking to answering questions. Salvi, much like gubenatorial candidate Bailey, moves around the question and answers the question that she wants to answer, such as her non-answer to the question about what should be done about those covered by the DREAM Act and her statement the federal government needs to get out of the way of farmers. I wonder if she realizes how much fedearl funding goes to farmer?
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
It is unfortunate that the ballot is written such that voters will have to vote No to keep Home Rule. Generally the way things work is that if you want something, you say"Yes". I imagine the city tried to get the ballot measure reworded and was unable to do so. No there is a pretty massive blitz (well massive for Carbondale) to get the word out to vot "No on the measure. The last time I remember seeing this much activity on a measure was pushing through the Saluki Way tax a decade ago.
The only group I have seen advocating for an end to home rule is a Realtor's group out of springfield wich touts on their mailer that they have stopped several home rule measures in the past. Given that residents of Carbondale who are active in the community want to retain home rule and agroup of real estate agents that likely have never set foot here, and that I have see messages from even Carbondale realtors pushing for the retention of home rule, appears voting "No" to keep home rule is a good decision.
Monday, October 24, 2022
Removal of contaminated soil from the abandoned Koppers railroad tie plant continues, albiet slowly. 381 gallons of contaminated groundwater removed during September. No indication, although I am not an expert in reading these reports, that any dirt got removed or treated.
Heck of a discrepency in price changes between the Carterville and the east side of Carbondale tonight. Carterfill station had unleaded at $3.60 while the Shell at Reed Station Road had it priced at $4.30 and the Casey's on East Main priced it at $4.00 per gallon. Saving 70 cents a gallon almost makes the trip to Carbondale worthwhile as you would save $7 on a ten gallon fill up.
Saturday, October 22, 2022
In case you would like to start your week of Halloween festivities off with a bang, Brehm Preparatory School will host a fireworks show tonight at 8:30, celebrating its 40th anniversary. First 100 kids to attend get a treat bag.
Friday, October 21, 2022
Thursday, October 20, 2022
Shryock Auditorium has a ghost light. A ghost too, supposedly that of Henry Shryock, president of the univeristy back in the 1930s. He did in his office in Shryock just before he was scheudled to give the convocation speech. The next week, students, faculty and staff gathered in the building for his funeral. Reported his ghost has haunted the building since and ther have been a number of strange occurences reported there.
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
This is the second coach of the women's soccer team at SIUC suspended in less than a year. The press release from the unversity does not say why Craig Roberts got put on administrative leave. One would think the university would vet these guys mor ethoroughly or, even better, hire women for the position. Although it does happen, women do get caught up in sexual harassment or other such issues, and I would bet that is what this is, although I have no information one way or the other.
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Friday, October 14, 2022
A visitor center for the Buckminister Fuller Dome moved one step closer to completion with the acquistion and demolition of the house directly across the street from the dome. Before you worry about destruction of another Carbondale property, the building had termite damage, foundation damage and needed a new roof to become usable. Unfortunately, as with a number of homes in Carbondale, the landlord failed to maintain the building and without mainteance, it deriorated past the point where it was feasible to rehab.
At least all usable fixtures, doors, windows, etc. were removed from the building before the demolition.
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Have you noticed the new mural on the north side of the old Cricket building at the intersection of Mill and Illinois? It went up very quickly and will get dedicated as part of the Homecoming festivites this Thursday at noon.
Monday, October 10, 2022
Meets Oct 12 at 6 p.m. Only one item on the agenda, a request to rezone some property on Boskydell road from Agriculture to low density residential, indicating ht eowners was to sell or build homes on the property
1. Call to Order and Roll Call 2. Approval of Minutes: September 21st, 2022 3. Citizen Comments and Questions 4. Report of Officers, Committees, Communications 5. Public Hearings: PC 23-03: Elizabeth and Karl Mackenbach are requesting to rezone property located at 4133 and 4175 Boskydell Road from AG, General Agriculture District to R-1, Low Density Residential District, in order to re-subdivide their property
Thursday, October 6, 2022
Here is the list of events for SIUC Homecoming 2022. Showing how little conversant I am with today's music, I have no idea who Yung Gravy and Terror Reid are, although their concert at Shryock has sold out already with only about 40 tickets available to the general public. The rest were snapped up by students almost immediately.
From what I understand, SIUC is not hosting envents like this in the Arena, which one would think a better fit for concerts, because the Arena simply does not have the staff available to co-ordinate a major event. Shryock's maller seating is much more managable for SIUC's event staff.
Quietly, the Chamber of Commerce and SIUC have painted a SIUC themed mural on the north side of the old Cricket building at the intersection of Mill, Illinois and Universty. The mural features a 2 story tall Saluki dog head on a maroon background surrounded by the logos of the various SIUC colleges. Very nice and very quickly done.
Edited to remove the city ,which is focusing on its own mural project in conjunction with Artspace 305.
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Monday, October 3, 2022
Get out the vote event on oct 12
VOTE WITH CONFIDENCE brings Information to Voters
Carbondale, IL. “Vote with Confidence” is the theme for an event to boost voters’ knowledge of our voting systems and ways to interact with the political system. The citizen-education project will be held Thursday, October 13, from 6 to 8 pm at the Carbondale Civic Center and is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Jackson County, the Carbondale Human Relations Commission, the Carbondale NAACP, and Carbondale United.
Sarah Heyer, one of the organizers, stated: “There is a real gap between people’s understanding of how our government and our elections function and what happens before and after and behind the scenes. Our goal is to empower voters and get younger people fired up about participating.”
Doors will open at 5:45, with an option for high school students to register and get a “passport” for the various activities. Opening remarks will be made by Carmalita Cahill, Human Relations Commissioner and Coordinator of the Carbondale Warming Center.
The main part of the program will be run like a conference, with presentations in different rooms that attendees can choose from, and tables set up in the main room with information on various topics, all staffed by someone who can answer questions.
Walking around Room 108, people can get answers to questions like
Am I registered to vote? (and if not, get help registering or clarifying status)
Where do I vote?
What offices are on the ballot and what is involved in those jobs (requirements, duties, compensation, etc.)?
What is the schedule for this and upcoming elections (Voting Calendar Poster)?
There will also be a place for people to note what issues they care about most in this election. Other tables will answer questions beyond the November 8th election:
How can I communicate with the government to resolve problems or express my opinion on an issue?
How does instant run-off voting work (in other states)?
How can I serve my community now? What boards or commission have openings that I could apply for?
What other organizations are active in the community? Which ones align with my goals for improving this place?
And there will be a sign-up sheet for people interested in running for office or helping with a campaign.
In other rooms, short presentations will be repeating. One room will be set up like a voting station, with poll watchers and election judges to explain their roles, including what happens before polls open and after they close. Other expected topics are the history of voting; campaigning for office;
debates and what to listen for (by SIU’s debate coach Todd Graham); media literacy and disinformation (material provided by Alee Quick); finding websites that identify where candidates stand on issues and how representatives are voting on bills(by NAACP’s Linda Flowers); and what’s behind the ballot question, “Shall Carbondale cease to have Home Rule?” (material provided by LWVJC).
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Was walking South Illinois earlier this week and notice that most of the north end of the Strip, excepting the recently closed Sound Core and Carbondale Trophy Shop, have spaces filed. It gets looking a bit bleak towards the south end of Illinois with two of the three retail strips vacant save for Slabz. Seems if people are not coming in to rent your location and that location has sat empty for several years, the amount you are asking for that location is too high. Of course, if you own the building, you may be willing to wit longer for a tenant but meanwhile, you have to cover all of the fixed costs yourself.
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Received a direct mail postcard from Illinois REALTORS arguing against a vote for Carbondale to retain home rule. According to the orgainzation's website, it assisted in defeating 5 home rule referendums back in 2018, though it did assist in pushing through sales taxes. Appears that it does not oppose taxes, just taxes that cause its membership to have spend more time and money. Here are their reasons for opposiing home rule:
We oppose the increased debt for local governments that Home Rule allows.
We oppose higher property taxes without voter approval that comes with Home Rule.
We oppose the additional regulations, red tape and fees on real estate transactions that Home Rule authority allows.
We oppose possible new and excessive property inspections and fees which Home Rule authority can impose.
Monday, September 26, 2022
Two more vape shops have opened on South Illinois. Hollywood 22 opened in the old Pag's location a few months ago and Vegas Vape opened last week in the old El Greco location.. Appears the proprietors hope to make them attractive by hanging the "Hollywood" and "Vegas" names on them instead of names referencing their southern Illinois location, such as 618 Vape does.
At one time, we had about half a dozen dedicated vape shops in Carbondale but most closed after 1-2 years. Rather suprising the pair opened up across the street from each other but maybe they figure the customer base is there.
Saturday, September 24, 2022
SIUC Family Weekend takes place this weekend so expect to see above normal traffic around town today.
Thursday, September 22, 2022
Slabz is the only retail shop still open in the Univeristy Plaza strip. If whomever is working on it can get the indoor skate park opened across the street in what was the Crossfit Gym, both businesses would benefit. Not sure how it would affect the rest of downtown as we would likely see a lot more skateboarders on the sidewalks in the area.
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Sunday, September 18, 2022
Yet another nail in the coffin of Univeristy Mall, Bed Bath and Beyond has announced it will close its Carbondale location. Much like SIUC spinning the 1.4% decline as several different forms of positive, I imaging the mall management will present this as yet another opportunity to get a new tenant into that location. Given the amount of growth and number of buildings it is knocking down around Memorial Hospital, I would imaging SI Healthcare will rent the space out soon.
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
I see the shuttered Denny's on the West side of town is being razed, leaving quite an empty area as the car wash that stood next to it got pulled down several months ago. Hope that something goes in there within the next six months as we are seeing noticable hollowing out of the west end of Carbondale. Those two spots and the old McDonald's location in front of West Towne Plaza have all come down over the last couple of years, likely because the property owner felt the chance of selling the building was small and pulling it down meant less money spent on upkeep.
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Sorry if I got your hopes up but I do not think the late lamented but unprofitable El Greco will be re-opening. However, there is a large sign in the window reading "coming soon". Maybe a smoke shop similar to the late, not open long enough to be lamented Blue Gorilla which operated for a month or too in the same location in the Fall of 2020.
Sunday, September 11, 2022
The City council meets this Tuesday. A couple of interesting items on the agenda
Buffalo Wild Wings applying for an on-premises secondary business license. Maybe opening a ghost kitchen?
Ordinance approving a vacant building registry. Would be interesting to know just how many buildings are vacant in Carbondale. for example, I had no idea that the apartment on West Monroe has been vacant for awhile before it burnt
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Been listening to the Chancellor put multiple spins on fall enrollment at SIUC: largest Freshman class in 6 years, freshman class size increased for the third consecutive year, increase of 2.5% new students from the region, etc. Still, when you look at overall numbers, enrollment is down 1.4%, in a year when Uof I Champaign enrolled record numbers. It is not that students do not want to go to college, it just appears they do not want go to college at SIUC.
Throwing money at the athletic program won't do it. I have taught at SEMO for twenty years. Every year for 20 years I have asked students why they chose to come there. Responses are always the same with these the top three: 1. cost 2. location 3. programs. The only ones who have ever said they came because of the athletic program were those attending on an athletic scholarship.
Monday, September 5, 2022
Sunday, September 4, 2022
Last night's Off the Rails concert was cancelled due to the possibiltiy of rain. It sprinked off and on most of the evening but no outright rain.
Saturday, September 3, 2022
Friday, September 2, 2022
Appears both the apartment building and the house next to it on West Monroe were empty so no injuries from the fire. Of course, the question then becomes, if no one lived in the apartments, what caused the fire? I imagine the police and fire departments are still investigating to see if there was criminal activity .
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Yep, it's that time again. Well, almost. Should you want to run for Mayor or one of the three city council seats open, 4 year term for both, you can pick up nomination packets at City Hall starting today. You have until November 28 to submit your signatures. If more than 5 people want to run for mayor or 13 for city council, the city will have a primary in February, otherwise the election will take place April 4th. May the best people win!
Also Home rule will be on the ballot as well and a mayoral election should get more voters out to vote on maintaining (or not) city Home Rule
Monday, August 29, 2022
Took a drive through downtown Carbondale about 9:30 last Saturday night and was pleasently suprised to see how packed the sidewalks were. Traffic on South Illinois actually had to slow down because of the number of students walking across the street. Not quick back to the "Take the Strip" levels of the 1980s and 1990s but still a lot of bodies.
Appears there was some sort of activity going on in downtown Saturday afternoon, which may have accounted for the activity, as I hared earlier in the day that West College was blocked off and the FirstMid parking lot was full.
Saturday, August 27, 2022
The 3 story white apartment house on West Monroe, just east of the intersection of Monroe and Poplar, burnt to the ground this morning. The blaze started sometime between 9 and 10 am and both the building and the house to the east of it were destroyed by the fire. I have heard conflicting reports as to injuries. One person said several people were injured in the blaze and another source said everyone got out safely.
Update: according to the media, no one was injured although the house next door was damaged enough to be uninhabitable as well.
Thursday, August 25, 2022
Given the amount of discussion over the murals proposed by 304 Artspace, I noticed someone starting painting on the wall of SI Pawn at the corner of Walnut and Universiy. No idea if it is one of the proposed murals or something different.
Monday, August 22, 2022
From what I have heard, Carbondale Tourism has yet to schedule a presentation before the city council regarding maintaining future funding. The council is considering shifting money to Visit SI and Southernmost Illinois. I believe the city partnered with Visit SI to promote the recent Off the Rails concert series. There must be events coming up but if you look at the Carbondale Tourism website, there are no upcoming events listed
Thursday, August 18, 2022
From what I have heard, the Clearwave installation is proving a case of "measure once, cut two or three times". The burying and landscapping around the units has been done so poorly that Clearwave has a list of 400+ places it will have to go back and landscape around to get the yards back too looking normal. Walking along west Main this morning, I noticed piles of dirt left next to seveval of the in-ground installed units. I also heard that at least one of the ground crews was fired midway through the installalation but that is second-hand information.
Seems an awful lot of extra work that should have been done right the first time.
Monday, August 15, 2022
the city announced today that it will receive a $2 millionn grant from the state to help with building the Washington Street concert venue. Once it gets constructed, I would bet the city moves the Sunset Concerts from Turley Park to the new venue.
Happened to notice Carbondale is down to two payday loan shops, at least that I can tell, from the half a dozen or so the city had before COVID. Both are located in Eastgate Plaza, conveniently next to Little Vegas.
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Employees at the Starbucks on East Main successfully voted to unionize. vote was 11 yes, 2 no and 1 ballot challenged, which was enough to see the vote passed.
Do not think this will mean any major chages to customers of the business, although Starbucks has threatened to withhold some health care benefits from employees at any of its stores that voted to unionize.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
According to both WSIU and The Southern, Terri Henry, Local ReMax realtor and wife of Carbondale mayor Mike Henry and a Remax realtor, died in the couple's home Tuesday night. After presiding over the Tuesday City Council meeting, Mayor Henry returned home to find her dead. Carbondale police are investigating.
Saturday, August 6, 2022
Friday, August 5, 2022
A major problem will be the wording of the question: “Shall the City of Carbondale cease to be a home rule unit?” A yes vote means the end of home rule, a no vote means Carbondale continues to operate as a home rule community as it has for well over half a century. Expect to see a blitz by members of the city council pushing for a "no" vote or , even better, get the question reworded to read "Shall the City of Carbondale retain its status as a home rule community?"
Losing home rule status means a drop in sales taxes, an increase in property taxes and a cut in city services.
Thursday, August 4, 2022
Since Someone asked a couple of weeks ago, or at any rate chastised the city for investing money in the VEO scooters, I contact the city to see if any city money had gone into them. The short answer: No.
The longer answer is that the city facilitated VEO's opearation in the city and issued a permit to the company allowing it to operate scooters on the city right of way. In fact, included in the service agreeement with VEO is a small fee paid to the city and SIUC per scooter ride, the money to go to a mutually agreed upon safety initiative.
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
SIUC announced today that masking and vaccinations for COVID are recommended but not required on campus, except for the Student Health Center and simiar facilities. Regular testing is also not required, although it will be offered each Tuesday.
COVID has not gone away, although symptoms are much milder and from what I read, masking and vaccinations are the best way to stem the spread. However, I see very few people wearing masks in any retail establishment in Carbondale. Still, there are far more mask wearers in Carbondale than there are in the Marion area. I stopped by both Sam's Club and Kroger last week and there were three times as many people wearing masks at Kroger as there were at Sam's Club.
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
From what I hear, the seated Veo scooters and getting sequested away in locations off the beaten track as they are more desirable than the standing scooters. Have not heard how the scooters get recharged. I assume the process is somewhat like Wing in that people clooect and recharge the scooters in exchange for a credit to their Veo account or a credit to a designated bank or charge account
Friday, July 29, 2022
In case you are looking to save on a bicycle or accessories, Carbondale Cycle is having a moving sale. Wants to minimize the amount it has to move to the new location at the corner of Marion and Illinois.
Monday, July 25, 2022
More pets are coming into the HSSI shelter. They are an "open access" facility, which means they take every pet left there and, when they get overcrowded, they either have to foster pets or put them down. Before you get outraged over that, remember the local "no-kill" shelters have the luxury of saying "We are full and cannot take your pet". HSSI is a small shelter than takes any animal brought there, wheter from an individual or Animal Control and works very hard to place animals brough there. If you can foster an animal, esp. larger dogs or for longer periods of time, here is the applicaton .
They can also use food, supplies, monetary donations and volunteers.
I was talking about the availablity of cars in Carbondale with a salesman for a local dealership. He only expects a trick of new cards to come into the Carbondale market until 2023 and they are getting a lot of traffic from outside the Carbondale area: St. Louis, Springfield, Paducah. Local dealerships, according to him, are keeping prices on new cards very close to sticker price, unline dealerships in more metro areas, which are marking prices up on new cards $2000-$4000 over sticker price.
As far as used cars, most local dealerships are bringing in about 15 used cars a week and those are moving very quickly so, if you want a new used car, contact a salesperson at a dealership and ask them to contact you if one arrives.
Friday, July 22, 2022
Have seen a lot of people riding the new electric scooters around town, more often on the sidewalks than is safe. Just like with bicycles, City ordinances exclude riding scooters on sidewalks, except on those walkways designated for dual use, which, I beleive is primarily on campus. Going to look into policies for maintaining scooters. Is someone collecting them, recharging them and replacing them, as I have seen them left standing at palces on the east and west side of town? Wing offers a bounty to people that collect, recharge and replace the company scooters? Would be useful to know Veo's policies.
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Looks as if PK's is shorthanded. Either that or HVAC problems as there is a sign on the door saying that Carbondale's oldest bar for the time being, is not opening until 4 p.m. Still opening every day but later than normal and the new hours only extend until the end of July
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
The city has updated ordinances to make it easier for food trucks to operate within city limits. They now only need a permit from the Jackson County health Department, operating times are removed as are criminal background checks and surity bonds.
Saturday, July 16, 2022
The Veo Scooter program launched yesterday and I saw a number of people riding them aournd town yesterday afternoon and evening. not sure how the recharging program works. I imagine it runs something like Wing's , werein people get paid for collecting scooters, recharging them and replacing them at usable locations. Since Veo relies on photo verification, the company might require rechargers to upload a photo of the replaced scooter before releasing payment.
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Tuesday, July 12, 2022
Liveblogging the city council meeting as I can. Here is the agenda
Pro and anti abortion speakers at tonight's city council meeting. Those supporting access to abortion are trying to get the mike and just run out the clock on citizen comments. The term "fascist" getting used. One young woman offering to arrange for adoption of any babies to prevent them being aborted. Of course, the problem becomes the previous 9 months as she did not mention anything about carring for those women during the pregnancy.
Citizen concerns about number of miniorites on city bid projects.
Another citizen concerned about zoning for the Choices abortion clinic. She is not sure why the zoning cannot be changes to keep the clinic from opening. The location where the clinic will open is zoned for medical business so the zoning is not an issue. She did ask the council for forgiveness for judging them during her last time speaking before the council and wants to know what can be done to change the zoning so the clinic cannot open.
Councilwoman Harvey now asking why it is easier to get a gun than it is an abortion and asks people not to judge the other. Asking for help for the people in Georgtown Apartments some (or many) of which are getting moved. Also thanked people for coming out to Juneteenth events and the re-opening of the Eurma Hayes Center.
Councilman Loos points out the city cannot rezone properties without the property owner's request.
New LED display for Turley Park
City providing funding to help relocate Carbondale Cycle from its current location to 126 S. Illinois (the old tourism office). Carbondale Cycle's current location will be demolished to make way for the new multi modal transit station.
Consent agenda approved.
Council approves annexing properties in Bonnie Brae Subdivision.
Discussion on tourism. Belleville spends about $38000 on tourism and Charleston spends about $124000, less than what Carbondale does.
City staff sees the Superblock as a possible focus of tourism.
Southernmost Tourism covers the 10 southern most counties of southern Illinois, with offices located in Anna, including Jackson County. Carbondale is the only large metro area in the region that could provide lodging and infrastructure for a significant influx of tourists. Would like to strenghten relationship with the city. 1 full time employee. Generally carves out Carbondale from the rest of the 10 county region because Carbondale has its own tourism office but agrees Carbondale should be more represented in the office's outreach. Shawnee National Forest and Shawnee Wine Trail are the main destination drivers. Funded through a state grant as well as a hotel/motel tax. Budget is $250,000
Illinois South covers 21 counties and is membership funded. Reaches from the Cairo up to Highland. Heavy into social media and online marketing of the region. Carbondale not currently a member. Runs a very high end online operation. Anecdotal evidence as to the effectiveness of their operations. Budget is $2 million
Carbondale Tourism having problems tracking how effective their their promotional activities are. City should quit doing the same thing it has been doing over the past several years as council does not think it has been successful.
Don Monty now speaking, saying the city should say it wants from the tourism entities it supports. Carbondale Tourism started off promoting conventions and meetings in the city but has gotten away from that.
Council discussing rental of space at Eurma Hayes Center. Market value is roughtly $3-4 per square feet. Does the amount the city has contributed to refurbishing the center justify a lower market rent? Council seems to be saying yes, at least for the immediate future. Get the center running and see how it works. Councilpeople Rye-Sanders and Daughtery think market value is fair because the money the city gave came from Coivd relief money.
Looks as if a large number of attendees have departed by this stage of the meeting.
Motion to rent the space, apparently at the lower rate, carries unaimously and the meeting adjourns.
Monday, July 11, 2022
Accident at the intersection of Walnut and Illinois shortly after 9 a.m. this morning. A SUV apparently t-boned a Carbondale police vehicle. Not exactly the sort of car you want to hit as it is very hard to disput what happened to the police. Fire and police vehicles were on site about 9:30 but traffic was moving smoothly and I saw no ambulance so do not think anyone was injured.
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Monday, July 4, 2022
Friday, July 1, 2022
Either the railroad or the state or the city has painted warning signs on either side of the rail crossings on East Main and East Walnut. Just before the sidewalk crosses the tracks, painted on the concrete in large letters is "See Tracks? Think Train."
Given than the trains run right through the recently designated "entertainment district" wherein a good number of the town's are located, it is a wonder that more people do not get hit by trains after leaving the bars.
Appears that is what happened with the truck train crash over in Missouri. The crossing has no lights or guards but the driver seems to have ignored the oncome train or gambled that he could get across before it got closer and failed.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Not sure who "we" are but this takes place tomorrow at the Dunn Richmond Economic Development Center from 9:30 to 11. Apparently a presentation on local services available to local buisnesses.
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Sunday, June 26, 2022
Clearwave has a contract from the city to install underground fiberoptic cable and are currently doing soin the Northwest part of the city. Appears there have been some problems with sewer lines and water mains getting cut into during the installation. One family reported their basement flooded with sewage after a line cut while another had to boil water after a water main got severed
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Sat in on a meeting of the Certificate of Appropriateness subcommittee of the Presearvation Commission, regarding the 5 proposed murals for downtown. From what I understand, the Certificate of Appropriateness subcommittee determines if a building to which someone wants to make a change, such as painting a mural on it, is historically significant and, if the change is appropriate for the building.
In the case of the 5 building selected for the mural project, only the Varsity Theater and Julia Building fall into the historically significant category and the section of the Varsity for which the mural is proposed is of more recent brick so does not fall under the subcommittee's purview. That leaves the Julia Building, which the subcommittee determined did fall into the subcommittee's jurisdiction, so to speak. However, due to the type of rough brick from which the Julia Building is constructed, the committee determined it would be very difficult to paint a mural on it and, I think, decided to recommned that panels be affixed to the building and a mural painted on them.
The subcommittee has no say as to whether murals are painted or not and I am not sure what happens if it fails to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness for a project.
Monday, June 20, 2022
Here is a link to the proposed murals for placement in downtown Carbondale. Voting closes on June 28 and plans currently are to have them finished sometime this fall. I am not a big fan of any of the choices as, save for the comedians of Carbondale, they do not reflect anything particularly unique about the community. The trains are good, as Carbondale has its roots in the railroad but how about an acknowledgement as to why the trains came here? I know the coal industry is in decline today and for good reason, but the trains came here because of coal.
the only acknowledgement I see of Buckminister Fuller is the geodesic dome behind the two trains on one of the Varsity Centery murals. His thinking and concepts are broad enough that the man deserves an entire mural to himself.
Why not a reference to Woodlawn Cemetary on the side of the Wallace Building? Some image that reflects the solemnity and history associated with Woodlawn.
I like the one featuring the fruits and vegetables proposed for the side of the Julia building but cannot tell if there is a callout in the image to the Carbondale Farmer's Market, which is one of the oldest farmers markets in the Midwest and which the AAA ranked as one of the top 5 in the Midwest.
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
According to this Keeper's Quarters will close its door permanently on July 2. The article blames it on the epidemic but it seems that other restaurants in Carbondale have weathered it or shuttered their doors early on. I do know the restaurant seemed to have a problem keeping staff as they closed a few times just because they did not have the staffing available.
Attended last night's city council meeting for about an hour, primarily to pick up the proclamation designating June 25 as RPG Day here in Carbondale. A large number of supporters for the reproductive health/abortion clinic coming to Carbondale later this year spoke in favor of the clinic and chastised the mayor for some comments he made during a previous meeting, whihc he did apologize for making. Appears that the overwhelming majority of those who spoke opposing the clinic during previous meetings do not actually live in Carbondale and made the trip here specificlaly to speak against the clinic's opening.
The mayor as well as a couple of council members made the point that Choices, the clinic, is in compliance with both state an dcity law and therefore has every legal right to open in the city.
Friday, June 10, 2022
Recieved a notice today that the state will suspend the collection of the grocery sales tax from July 1 of this year until June 30 of 2023. That is 1% that stores will not collect. The grocery sales tax applies to food that is to be consumed off the premises where it was purchased.
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
Boo Rochman Castle Park is the only, as far as I know, Dungeons and Dragons themed public park in the US. I have had people stop by the store who stopped off in Carbondale just to visit the park. A sign up at the intersection of Highway 13 and Giant City Road would certainly help people find it and pique the interst of those popel who are visiting Carbondale and may not have heard of it.
Sunday, June 5, 2022
Since the previous post, I have had it pointed out to me by people that were here during his residency that Buckminister Fuller was called "Bucky" by a number of people during his time here so Bucky's Haven is an approparite name for one of the covered picnic pavillions on campus. However, without a PR campaign re-introducing him to the campus and community, few people willknow who Bucky is.
The univeristy did have Bucky Days, focussing on his accomplishments and writings sometime within the past 5 to 8 years according to one faculty member with whom I have spoken but I cannot find any information on it. Also accoding to second hand information, Carbondale also used to sponsor an event focued on Fuller and his work but that also ended some years ago.
Friday, June 3, 2022
Thursday, June 2, 2022
Seeing people riding on the sidewalk in downtown reminded again that the town could use some signage directing riders to the various bike paths around town. If nothing else, one at the town square and another at SIUC pointing riders to the path connecting the two locations. Seems a shame to have spend so much money building the path and not making sure riders know it is there.
Monday, May 30, 2022
According to this, Carbondale is currently a buyer's market for houses with houses typically selling for 4% below asking price, far different from hotter housing markets. Median house price is $48,000 with listing ranging from $5500 to 12 million, though I am not sure where the $12 million listing is located
Saturday, May 28, 2022
In case you are looking for Memorial Day activities that do not involve swimming or food, St. Francis Xavier will hold a Memorial Day mass at 9 a.m. and then the city will hold its annual Memorial Day celebration at Woodlawn Cemetery at 10 a.m. Will have to check and see if the damaged tombstones ever got repaired.
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Since Buckminister Fuller is hailed as one of the great minds of the 20th century, it has always surprised me that Carbondale does not do more to play up the city's connection to him. Near as I can tell, we have 2 geodesic domes on campus, 1 in downtown, the Fuller Dome Home, run by a non-profit which has struggled for funding for years and one other geodesic dome house a bit further west of the Fuller Home. There is also a mosaic in the sidewalk on South Illinois, one of a few installed as part of the aborted "Stars on Main" project of 2 decades ago. Why do SIUC and the city not play up the connection they have to one of the few figures of international renown to call the city home? Based upon the attention paid to him and his work in the city, no-one who visits Carbondale would know anything about the city's and university's connection to Fuller.
How about renaming a building or street on campus in his honor? Maybe rename Douglas Drive Fuller Drive? Maybe install a Dymaxion map someplace on campus or in downtown. There is some evidence that art on streets reduces accidents so maybe paint a map at the intersection of Main and Illinois or one of the other major intersections in town. We paint pawprints every year so why not something calling attention to the communities link to Fuller.
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
The city has asked SIUC to conduct a survey of perceived and actual gun violence in Carbondale. You can take it here. Will take about 5-10 minutes to complete.
I was rather surprised to see the city asking the university to undertake something like this. Usually the city prefers to go with an outside consultant, despite the fact that they have the resources of a major university for the asking.
Monday, May 23, 2022
Stix has reopened but looks like very late and limited hours. According to Google, only open Thursday Friday and Saturday and then only 9 p.m. 2 a.m. As the bard targets students heavily, the end of the semester may not have been the best time to reopen but it does give them the summer to get any bugs worked out.
Sunday, May 22, 2022
Looks like there are some changes in ownership coming to Pinch Penny Liquors. From the upcoming Liquor Control Commission meeting agenda, scheduled for May 24th at 6 p.m.
2 Approval of a Change in Officers for PPL, Inc. d/b/a Pinch Penny Liquors, Located at 701 East Grand Avenue
Thursday, May 19, 2022
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
From the presentation at today's Chamber of Commerce lunch, it looks as if the multimodal center may break ground sometime this fall or next spring, with the facility completed sometime in 2024. SIUC will have a welcome station in the facility and the Chamber of Commerce, Carbondale Tourism and Carbondale Main Street offices will all move into the facility. Busses will enter from South Illinois, pickup and dropoff passengers at the station and exit eastbound onto East Walnut.
I am going to contact the city to see about starting No Mow May in Carbondale. It sounds like a worthwhile initiative to increase food for pollinators early in the year. Homeowners register with the city and receive a waiver for the month of May from having to maintain their lawns, allowing dandelions, clover and other flowering plants to grow and provide food for bees and other insects early in the year. Once the grace period expires, of course, local ordinances regarding lawn maintenance once again apply.
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Friday, May 13, 2022
The city's certificate of appropriateness committee meets next Monday. On the agenda, it is appropriate to demolish Gen Logan's one time residence at 400 West Oak and what sort of awnings (I guess) are appropriate to replace the ones removed from Priority Sports and The Door. If I recall correctly, SIH owns many of the properties along West Oak and would like to pull down the houses there and expand. Seems a shame, given how much the region venerates Gen. Logan, to raze his house, at least without putting up some acknowledgement that he lived there. Hospitals, universities and churches all have a habit of razing older buildings, even historically significant ones, when they need more space.
Here's the link if you want to watch the meeting
1. Roll Call and Determination of a Quorum
2. Communication and Reports:
a. Certificate of Appropriateness review for the demolition of General John A.
Logan’s residence at 400 West Oak Street.
b. Certificate of Appropriateness review for replacement awnings for properties
located at 106 and 112 South Illinois Avenue.
3. Comments by the Public, Committee Members, or Staff
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
The City of Carbondale is looking for someone(s) to paint 5 murals in downtown Carbondale. Locations are the Wallace Building, SI Pawn, Varsity Center for the Arts, Julia Building and Horstman's Cleaners. You can see the spots here as well as the mural on the side of Arnette's Barber Shop which looks to be what the city is looking for.
The Chamber of Commerce is working on something similar but prominently featuring SIUC's logo and images.