Monday, January 31, 2022

Polar Bear

 With the shuttering of Pinch Penny, Polar Bear apparently died a quiet death this year. For about a decade, on the last weekend of January, Carbondale would see an influx of students and others converge on Pinch Penny for drink specials all weekend. Other bars would host competing events (Puck Finch) and the Grand Avenue area would fill with drunk students, and others. One year, it got so bad the Univeristy set up a hydration/first aid station at the coner of Grand and Wall. None of the other bars in town appear to have th space or inclination to carry on Polar Bear.

I did note a couple of large house parties the weekend before in the Unviersity/Poplar street area the weekend before with 'caution" tape up and lots of broken glass covering the road on S. Beveridge Street the morning after.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Outside Advisors

 I have noticed both the city and Univeristy tend to hire outside advisors when making decisions like this.  the city also hired an outside firm to design the new city logo and, under Rita Cheng, the university hired an outside marketing firm to advise in the rebranding and marketing of SIUC. Only thing that came out of that initiative was some banners along the streets on campus.

Always bemused me that neither the city nor the administration  make  more use of the people and departments on campus. SIUC has some very qualified desingers and resarchers and an entired department of amrketing that the administrations could take advantage of but nope, got to an outside firm instead.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Town Square Music

 It would appear that bright lights and loud music do very liitle to move away the people who congregate on the town square around the fountain during most of the year. WArm nights you can hear the music from a block away and people still congregate there.

Monday, January 24, 2022


 The Economist has an interesting story on tipping in today's economy. Tipping is common in the US, India and much of Africa but frowned upon throughout Europe, where a service harce is added in lieu of a tip, and Asia. Research shows that customers tip about the same, whether the service is good or poor. They also are a good way for the recipient to avoid taxes, as cash times are often not reported, although, as credit cards have become far more common, the tip paid on a credit card does get reported.

If you are a young female Uber driver, between ages of 21-25, and have a male customer, your tip will be roughly 8 times as large as if you were a young male driver with a male customer. The amount a male drive gets tips stays pretty flat the older they get ,while a female driver's tips drop significantly the older she is. Race comes into play when drivers get tipped, too, as black drivers get tipped about 7% less than white drivers do.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

TIF District

 In case you were wanting more information about a TIF district and its purposes, here is a Q&A from the city on the topic. Given that the city plans to expand TIF districts into a number of residential parts of the city, this might be handy information to have.

Friday, January 21, 2022

City Council Meeting

 In order to mitigate thThe city council will meet next Tuesday night via Zoom. You can also watch the meeting on the city's Facebook page.

Here are the major items on the agenda:

 Ordinance Authorizing the Issuance of the 2022 G.O. Bonds to Fully Fund the Carbondale Police Pension and Carbondale Fire Pension in an Amount Not to Exceed $42,500,000


Approve an Agreement with Arndt Municipal Support to Provide Consulting Services to Administer American Rescue Plan Act Funds

The Carbondale City Council will hold a remote access meeting utilizing Zoom at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.


Due to the High Transmission Rate of COVID Throughout the Region and State, the Continuation of the Governor's Disaster Declaration, and City Council's Determination that an In-Person Meeting Is Not Currently Practical or Prudent, this meeting is being conducted remotely.


The agenda for the meeting is attached. To view the agenda and attachments in their entirety, please visit this link:  


Citizens who wish to access the meeting by audio only:   

Dial in at +1 (312) 626-6799     Meeting ID  931 2022 3265   Pass Code: 131623


Citizens can attend this meeting at:


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Loitering Sign and Alcohol

The city has posted a "No Loitering" sign on the Old Train Depot pavilion. I know during warmer weather the city does patrol the area, especially looking for people hanging around the pavilion with open containers of alcohol. Not sure how the deisgnation of the downtown area as an "entertainment district" will affect that. After all, as far as I can tell, the ordinance allows anyone within the district to wander around carrying open cups of alcohol whith no way to indicate if they got it from a local bar or brought it from elsewhere. I have seen other cities pas similar ordinances but they also created a special "outdoor" cup that the bars in the distribut would use for alcohol that patrons wanted to take off the premises. That was, other bar owners and the police would know that the berr had been purchased within the district and not brought in from elsewhere.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Multiplier Effect

 While preparing for my sports marketing class, I ran across a discussion of the multiplier effect, which once again denonstrates the importance of shopping locally. the multiplier effect says that every dollar you spend in a locality is multiplied in value by between 1.8 to 3 times.  so if you go out and get a pizza from IVs or Pag's or Quatro's  and spend $20, that $20 will have an economic impact on the community of  between $36 and $60. You are going to spend money on gas to get to the restaurant, for example, and the money you spend on the pizza helps pay the wages of the staff, who then go out and spend that money or goods and services in the local economy.

As a local example, I recall being told that on the nights the Varsity Center for the Arts has an event, Pag's and Quatros see a bump of 10-15% in sales, caused by attendees at the event eating there befor eor after the event.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

COVID Relief Funds

 The city is looking for applications from local organziations interested in reeiving funds from the $7.8 million the city is earmerked to receive in COVID-19 relief funds.

All projects for which an organzaiton seeks funding must, per the guidelines of the various acts, fall withn one of the following four categories.

According to the US Department of Treasury, funding may be used to meet local needs within these four eligible use categories:

  • Replace lost public sector revenue
  • Support the COVID-19 public health and economic response
  • Provide premium pay for eligible workers performing essential work
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure

Home Rentals

 According to this Home Rentals is selling off a large number of their properties, about 166 of them at a combined totla of over $12 million. All of the apartments on West College Street between University and Poplar are currently up for sale

Friday, January 14, 2022


 Accoding to this, just over 6200 students at SIUC have had a test for COVID and 6.8% of them tested positive. About 4000 more to go which means seated classes will start next week without everyone getting tested. Seems to me it would make more sense to require everyone to get a shot than a test as the shot helps top you from getting sick or reduces the symptoms signifcantly.  I would rather know that I have reduced my likelihood of getting the thing or suffering symptoms rhater than, at one particular time, you did not have it.

Dog Park Open

 The PetSafe Carbondale Community Dog Park is open for your dog's (and your use). More landscaping needs installation and the drinking fountain construction has been pushed back due to COVID but the grounds are open. Grand opening will take place in April.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Hollywood Lounge

 Not sure if this means the bar has shut down, and it does appear to only open spradically,  but the Hollywood Lounge building at the corner of Jackson and Illinois is up for sale. Asking price is $160,000 for the building and adjoining patio area.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

SIUC Enrollment

 No official figures yet, as far as I have heard but scuttlebutt from some SIUC staff members says that attendance is down slightly from Fall 2021I would not be particularly suprised as Spring typcially has a slight decline from Fall.

Monday, January 10, 2022

City Council Agenda

City Council meets remotely tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Here is the link should you wish to attend

and here is the agenda for the meeting.

 1. Preliminaries to the City Council Meeting

1.1 Roll Call

1.2 Citizens' Comments and Questions

1.3 Council Comments, General Announcements, and Proclamations

2. Public Hearings and Special Reports

2.1 Presentations from Moran Economic Development on findings from the Feasibility Study and Housing Impact Study within the proposed amended boundaries of the Tax

Increment Financing District #2

3. Consent Agenda of the City Council

3.1 Minutes from the Regular and Special City Council Meetings

3.2 Approval of Warrant for the Period Ending: 12/10/2021 for the FY 2022 Warrant 1422 in the Total Amount of $1,298,245.67

3.3 Approval of Warrant for the Period Ending: 12/23/2021 for the FY 2022 Warrant 1423 in the Total Amount of $1,110,410.60

3.4 Approval of Wells Fargo Warrant for the Period Ending 11/30/2021 FY 2022 Warrant # WF 11/2021 in the amount of $137,148.57

3.5 Approval of Change Order for Evergreen Park Accessibility Improvements (SP2102) in the Amount of $153,816.08

3.6 Ordinance Authorizing a Budget Adjustment for the Repair of Variable Frequency Drives at the NorthWest Waste Water Treatment Plant

3.7 Approval of Natural Gas Bids and Contract with Affordable Gas and Electric to Supply Natural Gas to City-Owned Facilities

3.8 Approval of Consent Agenda Items

4. General Business of the City Council

4.1 Authorize the Announcement of American Rescue Plan Funding

4.2 Approve the FY23 Community Agency Funding Process

4.3 Resolution Authorizing City Staff to Initiate a Text Amendment Relative to Ground-Mounted Solar Energy Systems

4.4 Ordinance to Approve or a Resolution to Deny the Rezoning of Property Belonging to Lakeland Hills, LLC from an R-1-12, Low-Density Residential, District, to an AG,

General Agriculture, District

4.5 Resolutions and an Ordinance required by the Illinois Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act to amend the current boundaries of the City’s Illinois-University TIF

Friday, January 7, 2022

Entertainment Venue Ask Approved

 In its special meeting yesterday, city council gave the go ahead to the city manager to apply for a grant to help fund construction of a permanent concert venue in the Washington Street concert space. Putting a permement facitily in there will certainly improve the admosphereics of what can become a muddy path of grass after a rain. Hope it gets approved and a local contractor submits the winning bid.

SIUC Virtual for First Week

 In order to give all students, staff and faculty time to get vaccinated, SIUC decided just this week to make the first week of classes online/virtual. While a good idea, one would think some one in the administration would have had the foresight to have realized that the number of people had infected and they were not going to be able to test or check all 11000+ students in the few days before classes start and never mind the poor instructors who had their first week of classes prepared and now have to shift everything on a dime.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Entertainment Venue

 I like the idea of the proposed entertainment venue, espeically since various civic groups plan to have concerts downtown on a regular basis. While closing off the street for a show lends a hip vibe (is that a term anymore) to the festivities, having a dedicated stage would improve the performances and make downtown more of a entertainment venue. Not having to worry about setting up the temporary staages on the grass would be a plus and would also make a strong argument for moving the Sunset Concerts from Turley Park to downtown.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

City Council Meeting

 City council will hold a special meeting this Thursday at 4 p.m. via Zoom. Only item on the agenda is authorizing the city manager to submitt a grant applicaton for a downtown entertainment and event plaza, likely in the Washing Street concert space.

If you want to attend the meeting, here is the zoom link

1. Preliminaries to the City Council Meeting

1.1 Roll Call

1.2 Citizens' Comments and Questions

1.3 Council Comments, General Announcements, and Proclamations

2. General Business of the City Council

2.1 Resolution Authorizing the City Manager to Submit an Application for Rebuild Downtown & Main Streets Grant Funds for a

Downtown Entertainment and Event Plaza

3. Adjournment of the City Council Meeting

3.1 Adjourn meeting

Monday, January 3, 2022

Classical Music

From the sound of the loudspeakers on the town square, the Christmas season is over and we are back to classical music for the next several months.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Downtown New Year's Eve

 Since I was up, I took a quick drive through downtown Carbondale just after midnight New Year's Eve. Hanga 9, as mentioned in yesterday's post, closed for the week and will reopen on Jan 7th.Indigo Lounge on West Main had a small crowd with a couple of people on the sidewalk outside.  People had overflowed to the sidewalk at PKs as well and the parking in front and across the stree were full. The Celler had no overflow but parking was full at the end of the downtown lot near the bar. Tres Hombres appeared pretty lively as well. The spot that suprised me was Trax, as every available parking space for a block around the bar was filled. 

Not a lot of foot traffic between the bars though but the rain likelly had a lot to do with that. Isaw one lone soul walking on South Illinois.