Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Lights Fantastic

 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

Gun Violence Prevention Report

 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

Bus System

 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

Ivy Hall Shuttered

 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

Korean BBQ

 Looking for Korean barbeque?  A Korean BBQ food truck will open soon inthe Beauty Depot parking lot on South Wall, just north of the Walgreens on East Walnut

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Starbuck's Strike

 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

Christmas Lights

 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

Jerry's Flower Shop

 After 52 years, Jerry's Flower Shop on West Freeman will shutter its doors. Happened to drive by this afternoon and noticed the sign. Appears ready to retire

Party City

 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

Fire House

 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.

Additional Information:

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

Dairy Queen

 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.

Ham's Market

 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

Veterans Day Vigil

 SIUC's ROTC programs will hold their annual Veteran's Day Vigil this Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Old Main Flagpole just south of Woody Hall. Typically at least 2 ROTC members there on vigil all day. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Election Results

 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

Home Rule

 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

Polling Places

 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.

Kat's Krab & Go

 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

Notcho Fries

 I wondered what this was when I saw it on Carbondale Main Street's trick or treat map. Whatever the  restaurant is, it is going into the old China Express location at the far south end of the Strip