Sunday, December 31, 2023

Bath and Body Works

 Spoke with an employee at the Bath and Body works in University Mall today. Apparently the plan is, at least for the forseeable future, to keep both locations open. I guess the one on the north side of 13 will feed on traffic going to University Place while the University Mall location relies on the diminshed traffic going there.

Saturday, December 30, 2023


 It is far too late to fix now but one of the biggest mistakes Carbondale made was to forego the opportunity of putting a convenient underpass in downtown, unlike the monstrosity at the intersection of University, Mill and Illinois. The plan was, as I understand it, to put underpasses on Walnut and Main, allowing traffic to continue moving even when a train passes through town. This would have avoided having the 2 fire stations the city has maintained for decades.

Planning and funding for the underpasses had been secured but opposition mounted from downtown businesses who objected to the distruption of downtown traffic, and hence business, necessary to put in the underpasses. They managed to delay the start of contruction long enough that the funding eventiually got pulled, leaving the city with only the Pleasent Hill overpass for decades. If the city had managed to build these, traffic flow would have been much smoother in downtown with far less traffic backup

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Downtown At Christmas

 After Christmas dinner at St. Francis Xavier, I took a drive through downtown Carbondale about 9 pm. PKs was open, as well as Old Town Liquors, ABC Liquor and at least one of the smoke shops on S. Illinois. Handful of people on the sidewalk out in front of PKs so probabaly a pretty good crowd inside. No foot traffic that I could see elsewhere in downtown.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

CMS Opening

 From an email sent out by Carbondale Main Street. The Executive Director position is still open and pays $40,000-$50,000 a year

Carbondale Main Street seeks a new Executive Director, who manages the day-to-day affairs of the non-profit organization and serves as the organization's spokesperson. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is supervised by the Board President on a day-to-day basis.
The Executive Director is responsible for facilitating and managing projects that achieve the organization’s goals and works  closely with the City of Carbondale. The Executive  Director is imaginative, promotes excellence in neighborhood revitalization through historic preservation and good business practices.
This is an exempt, professional management position; regular full-time 40 hours a week, with frequent evenings and weekends. Work hours are flexible. This job is based at the Carbondale Main Street office and the Executive Director is expected to work on site or in the corridor at least four days a week.
The salary range is $45,000 to $50,000.  Three-month probationary period. Benefits include: a stipend of $3,000 from CMS for health insurance of the employee's choice. Twelve paid  holidays, and fifteen paid time off days for the first two calendar years, according to the current Personnel Policy.
Qualified applicants should submit the following materials, gathered together as one PDF document:

  • Cover Letter with phone, email address and your salary requirements.
  • Personal Resume/CV
  • Three (3) Work References with name, email address and phone number for each
  • Two (2) brief (1 to 4 pages) samples of your writing (a grant application, an article, or
  • report, or press release, etc.) that you have completed for your current or previous employers.

Send materials electronically to Board President and Search Committee member, Adam Fletcher.  Send all materials to Adam at  Application Deadline Friday January 19, 2024, at 5PM Central time.
For a complete job description visit

Friday, December 22, 2023


 Caught SIU President Dan Mahoney on WSIU this morning talking about campus free speech but I was interested by what he had to say about the new $100 million investment in sports facilites on campus. As I have pointed out, he said that although sports can be a big component of student life during their time at college, not a lot of students, save athletes, come to campus because of the sports progams. Of course, top tier colleges with massively funded sports programs may get more PR and attention from students considering a college but a university like SIUC or SIUE, that does not get invited to play in Bowls regularly will rarely get national metion.

I have taught at SEMO for two decades and make it a point to survey my students as to why they chose the school. The only ones that ever mentioned sports were those that came on a scholarship. Overwhelmingly, the reasons were location, price, major offered, finacial aid. Never the sports program

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas Lights

 Time for my annual complaint about the lack of Christmas decorations in Carbondale. I drove through the north side of Carbondale last night and and maybe 10% of the houses had some form of exterior Christmas lighting. S. Glenview has some pretty nice lighting but even their they are pretty sparce. I have not driven the Tower Road area yet though so am not sure as to the lighting situation there.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023


 The Fuller Dome was one of five Southern Illinois recipients of Landmark Illinois grants awarded last week. The amount per grant averages $5300 per location but I think I heard that the Fuller Dome received about $1500.

Monday, December 18, 2023

$100 Million

 SUC plans to spend $100 million over the next decade on building and upgrading the following facilities

Priorities during the Salukis Unleashed initiative include the following construction: 

Basketball practice facility, which not only benefits men's and women's basketball, but will allow volleyball to regularly play in the Banterra Center

Indoor football practice facility and new locker room space for both the home and away teams

Enhanced baseball clubhouse and training facility, including an indoor hitting facility

New stadium for Saluki Women's Soccer

Golf practice facility

Upgrades to Lingle Hall, Banterra Center, Charlotte West Stadium, and Shea Natatorium

Funny, I thought the 20+ million spent on Saluki Stadium and Banterra Arena was supposed to bring massive numbers of new students to campus.

Meanwhile, if too many people try to use their computers in Quigly Hall, circuit breakers trip on the electric system and the univeristy keeps rehiring SIUC faculty retirees because it is cheaper than bringing on new staff and the retirees already have benefits from their retirement plan.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

State of the City

 The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the Mayor's annual State of the City speech this Tuesday at noon. There is a luncheon as well which does cost money but you can attend and listen to the speech for free.  I am betting that the state of the city is "good", maybe "great"  but good at the very least.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Parking Lot

 From what I have heard, Hilton has bought the property on the southeast corner of Walnut and University, planing to knock down the buildings there and expand parking. If true, this means Horstman's Cleaners, SI Pawn and Sew A Lot will have to find new locations. Also say good bye to the recently completed train mural on the side of the SI Pawn building.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Univeristy Mall

 Drove by the University Mall tonight and Ross Dress for Less was the only light on in the whoe facility. Both the entrances were dark about 7:45 and no cards in the parking lot save for those parked in from of Ross. Want to take a walk through sometime before Christmas and see if there are any stores still remaining open in the place.

Update:  Well, duh. University Mall now closes at  7p.m. so of course everything was dark

Wednesday, December 13, 2023


 Watched some last night's city council meeting and noticed a couple of things

1. residents of the city were annoyed about the city cutting down a number of dying trees in Evergreen Park. Apparently they thought the people who have worked in the field were not  able to make good judgement and determine which trees were able to be saved and which needed to get removed. One point city government did bring up was that Evergreen Park has been under the auspices of the Carbondale Park District until last May so any complaints about upkeep of trees in many of the parks through out the city should rightly be directed towards the CPD.

2. It appears the city plans to put in more stringent regulations of landlords, which brought both renters and landlords out, with renters saying there are too many "bad" landlords in town and the landlords says that "good" landlords should not be punished and the city should enforce the regulations on the books already. Funny that we never hear the "good" landlords pushing the city to do something about the "bad" ones until the city starts looking at rental regulations. I remember the hue and cry when the city started taxing prental property owners several years ago to fund rental inspectors. If I recall correctly, we have so much residential rental property in Carbondalt that it is almost impossible to inspect a unit more than once every couple of years.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Fast Food Format

 I would be willing to bet that, should any more fast food locations come to Carbondale or get extensively remodeled, they will follow the format of the west side Burger King, with drive through and window service only  Caught on yesterday's 1A that drive through service at fast foods restaurants has increased by 30% since 2020 while inside dining has dropped by 50% over the same period. Since inside dining service is "customer space", it does not provide any direct revenue for the business. 

Getting rid of inside dining space is actually a return to the early days of the drive-in, though not the drive through. Customers would park in front of the restaurant, walk up to the service window and place their order to take back to eat in the car. What goes around comes around.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Veo Scooters

 We should see Veo Scooters vanishing from streets and sidewalks pretty soon. If I remember correctly, the company pulled them all off the city streets after the end of Fall semester and brought them back out around March or April.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Liquor Licenses

 Looks as if Chalky's, just off New Era Road, which shut down last November, is seeking to reopen and applying for a renewed liquor license at next week's city council meeting. Same for Stix, which shut down last November and appearenty will open back up under new ownership should the license get approved.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Central Christian Church

 Central Christal Church, out of Mount Vernon,  is opening another location in the vactated CVS space next to Legacy Fitness on the west side of town. After all, that is what Carbondale needs, yet another church. Well, that and more apartments. According to the signage, services start in March of 2024

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Home Rentals

 If you are interested in investing in property in Carbondale, nearly all of Home Rentals' properties are up for sale. apparent;y the company managed to negotiate with the bank holding its mortgages to avoid forclosure but its financial status is likely dicey, to say the least.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

CMS Director

 It looks as if Carbondale Main Street is looking for a new Executive Director. Pay is around $50,000 per year with paid holidays and time off, along with a $3000 stipend for health insuance.

Monday, December 4, 2023

N. 51 closed

 Highway 51 north was closed between Dillinger and Willow. Vehicle crash with injuries has the road closed. Two SIUC students killed and another person seriously injured

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Lights Fantastic Parade

 Parade got over suprizingly quickly this year and crowds did not appear as heavy as in past years. Everything was cleared out by a bit after 8 p.m. I did hear preliminary attendance figures were 20,000 attendees, making it the largest crowd in years.

We normally make the store bathrooms available to parade atendees and usually have a dozen or so people take advantage of the offer. This year only 2-3 did. People did get an early start on the Cookie Walk as we had people stopping by storly after three. We did have plenty of cookies and cider left over as I heard a couple of other locations did as well.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Cookie Walk

 Here is a map of this afternoon's cookie walk locations and the street closures for the Lights Fantastic parade, courtesy of the City of Carbondale. Mill Street will close at 3 pm and the rest of the streets will close at 3 p.m and reopen around 8 p.m.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Papa John's

 According to the company website and a post on Facebook, Papa John's Pizza will be reopening in its long shuttered location at 602 East Grand Avenue this Saturday, just in time for the Lights Fantastic Parade. Store hours will be 9:30 am to about 2 a.m. with free pizza between 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturday to celebrate the grand reopening.

Electric Larry's Closing

Electric Larry's will close its storefront at the end of the month and move all product online. Currently the storefront is only open Saturday and Sunday. They may be doing pop up sales in the location until the lease expires in August of 2024