Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Hospital Breakin

 Carbondale Police are looking for a man who broke into restricted office areas of Memorial Hospital last Wednesday night. He entered several offices and left with unspecified items taken from the area. No mask so he should be easily identifiable .

Monday, January 29, 2024

Get Dipped!

 Get Dipped, a bakery and chocolate shop with breakfast and lunch options, opens for business in the 200 block of North Washington this Thursday. They have had a booth at the Winter Farmer's Market at Univeristy Mall since the Market opened for the season. Looks like their normal hours will be Friday 5 a.m.-9 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on , Saturday and Sunday

Sunday, January 28, 2024

SIUC Eclipse Rentals

 SIUC is renting rooms in University Hall over the eclipse period for $750 for a 5 day, 4 night period, which works out to $188 a night and come with 2 beds and linens, meals not included.  Parking passes are $25. For that price, one would think the university could throw in a free parking pass per room rented.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Polar Bear

Polar Bear was certainly quieter this year than in past year's. Typically it was the last weekend of January but this year it took place the first weekend after the SIUC semester started. I remember a customer telling me early afternoon on the 20th that College Street west of University was blocked off but by the time I drove through there in the early evening, all of the students were gone. Seemed a pretty quiet weekend compared to previous Polar Bear events when there were house parties next to Little Caesar's and in various parts of the Arbor District.

Friday, January 26, 2024


 PK's reopened today with nice new bathroom fixtures and Sean and Jim performing tonight at 10 p.m. glad to see the bar reopened.

Thursday, January 25, 2024


 I do not know what could be done about it but downtown Carbondale has way too much parking, at least visible parking. Parking on the south end of the Strip is hidden behind the buildings on the east side of the street but the further north you go on South Illinois, the fewer storefronts and more parking there is. There is the huge parking lot shared by FirstMid Bank and Bombay Olive, the Big Chill parking lot and the Amtrak parking lot. That much space without businesses really keeps people from walking north on the street. No one wants to walk a block or more past nothing but empty parking spaces.

If I remember correctly, at one time the FirstMid parking lot was a large grassy space, part of the hospital grounds that used to occupy the space but the hospital moved up to West Main and the greensward was paved over partially to keep students from hanging out there. However that was before my time, I could have heard wrong and it could have been done for other reasons. If you have lived here and remember back 40+ years, please let me know.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024


 According to their Facebook Page, Pk's has the bathrooms all brought up to code and will reopen this coming Friday at 4 p.m.  I wonder if this means The Cellar will revert to its regular hours or did it see enough early business to justify opening earlier?

Monday, January 22, 2024

Chirstmas Decor

 Wonder if the city plants to leave the lighted trees and revolving sculpture in the town square.  All of the other Christmas Decorations have been removed save those. Of course, I still see a suprising number of Chirstmas decorations in people's yards. Almost all of them are usually gone by this time of the month.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Warming Centers

 Carbondale has three warming centers should anyone need them.  The Warming Center on East College and Good Samaritan House on S. Marion are open 24 hours a day, as is the East Main Post Office. Though it it not an offically designated one, I have seen people in there in the evenings. City Hall is open from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. After hours, call the Carbondale Fire Department at 618-985-6082.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Warming Center

 A discussion of what to do with the Warming Center is on the agenda for next Tuesday's City Council meeting. Basically, the 24/7 use by a large number of people has put a lot of stress on the building and it needs a number of repairs, specifically a new HVAC system, a commercial kitchen, renovation of restrooms and showers as well as general accessiblity issues.

A couple of  architectural assessments indicate it would likely be more cost effective to just pull down the whole building and build a new one free from all the structural problems of the current structure. Of course, the problem then becomes where does the money come from for a new code-meeting building?

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Eclipse Campsites

 The cityis offering short term campsites in Evergreen Park for the weekend of the Eclipse.  Prices range from $500 to $800 for the period, which seems a bit steep but I remember the asking prices for hotel rooms during the eclipse weekend last time and I see at least one local hotel asking $700 a night for rooms that weekend.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024


 With the money Carbondale is putting into bike paths and lanes in the city, I really wish it would spend some money putting up wayfinding signs. Maybe everyone uses their phones and Google maps to find their way around but there is something to be said for installing a sign to let people know something exists. In general, Google Maps is most helpful in helping find the way to a place you are looking for but not so much in pointing out things that you had no idea existed.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

State of the City

 Finally got around to reading over the State of the City address and came away with a feeling of mild encouragement.

Normally, when I listen to these, the speeches are full of concrete achievements by the city and staff over the past year. Infrastructure, finances, tangible things that can be pointed to. I think the budget has a $24 million surplus but, from the way the Mayor phrased it, I am not sure.

A number of streets were resurfaced during the year, all of which really needed it. The bike path was extended further to New Era Road, with plans to eventually have a bike path extending from Marion to Murphysboro. It would certainly be nice to see more signage around town promoting Carbondale as a bike friendly city. One of the major cross country bike routes passes directly through town on Highway 13 but no signage indicates it.

The multimodal transporation station is coming along nicely and we should see a permanent outdoor entertainment venue at the corner of Washington and Walnut completed later this year. Eva Fisher, the city's relatively new Public Relations person also mentioned the Fuller Dome Home Museum Visitor Center, which should see completetion later this year. Carbondale also started a Shawnee Challenge this month, intended to get more people to visit locations in the Shawnee National Forest. The Carbondale Tourism office, which appears part of the Soutnermost Illinois Tourism organization and replaces the shuttered Cabondale Tourism office, will have an office in the multimodal transportation office

We can expect to see more of the Off the Rails Concerts and 2 weeks worth of Carbondale Halloween activities. Expect to see 75-100 trees and shrubs planted to replace the ones removed from Evergreen Park and more work at the Superblock, making the grounds more accessible, improving the ballfields and adding a new concessions and restroom building.

There was also a good chunk of the presentation devoted to Carbondale's new Violence Prevention Programs Director who stated three goals:  Community Engagement and Support, Data Driven Decision Making, and Prevent/Reduce Gun Violence and Promote Safety. I assume someplace the office has specifics on the goals, including what they will consider success.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Phoenix Cycle Move

 Phoenix Cycle now has signs in their window indicating the business will move cattycorner to the northeast corner of Walnut and Illinois and the closing sale signs are gone from the windows of Leather World so I imagine the move takes place fairly soon. I hope the new location includes expanding into the long shuttered Petal Patch location as well. It would be nice to have both those spots occupied.

Friday, January 12, 2024


 Received an email from Carbondale Main Stree regarding promotions the store is having to tie in with the upcoming eclipse. I sent in a couple of items but it rather bemuses me that the city does not have signage up all over the area promoting Carbondale as a prime viewing spot for the eclipse. I was in Southeast Missiouri this week and saw several signs adventising the Eclipse and, when I was in Indiana just before the end of the eyar, a number of signs promoted various locations along the interstate as prime viewing locations. The city should have had signage up last year touting Carbondale as a prime location. At least something near the Stadium since that is where I expect the center of the viewing to take place.

One thing that did concernment about the survey I received was questions about my hours over the weekend prior to the eclipse. if you remember, the city hosted a festival back in 2017with concerts and other activities that were poorly attended. Comparatively few people came to town until the day before the eclipse and they within an hour or so after it was over, with a traffic jam from here to Marion.

I know the university is hosting Eclipsecon (a renamed Salukicon for the year) at the Student Center the weekend before the Eclipse which generally brings in a couple of thousand people so we may see people in for that and have them stay the extra day for the eclipse.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

West Walnut Businesses

 Two of the three businesses in the Phoenix Cycle building at the corner of Walnut and Illinois have already moved out. Rumor says they have relocated to some of the empty storefronts in West Carbondale, of which there are aplenty

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Shot Spotter

 The city is considering implementing Shot Spotter technology, a system that uses acoustic sensors to detect the sound of gunshots. The company says its technology is 97% accurate but a study by the McArthur Justice Center found over 80% of  ShotSpotter reports were false positives and police found no crime when they responded. A number of cities that implemented ShotSpotter ended their contracts with the company after finding only marginal or no benefit to the technology.

Given Carbondale's size, I would like to see a very thorough discussion of the effectiveness of the technology before implementing it. I estimate to cover Carbondale's 18 square miles, would cost at least $2 million

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Meet the Mayor

 Carolin Harvey is starting up  Meet the Mayor sessions again with the first session taking place tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Neighborhood Co-Op. Anytime civic leaders make themselves available to take questions from the public, it helps the city as a whole. Here is hoping that some of the city council members make themselves available as well.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Leather World Closing

 Sign in the window at Leather World, at the intersection of Walnut and Illinois, says the store will be closing. No indication as to when though. Rumor says that Phoenix Cycle will move from its current location to the Leather World site, sometime later this year.

Planned Parenthood Ribbon Cutting

 Planned Parenthood had a very quiet ribbon cutting at its location on 200 N. Emerald Lane today. That makes three places in town for protesters to aggregate.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Phoenix Cycles 2

 Looks as if Phoenix Cycles is still open but only has about 2 dozen bikes left in stock. I have heard that instead of closing, the business will move cattycorner across the stree to the location where Leather World is now. Leather World does have a "Closing Sale", whereas Phoenix Cycle just had a sale sign.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Marilyn Halstead Back

 Long time Southern Illinoisan reporter Marilyn Halstead is back at the paper, hired as the new news editor. Guess the new owners decided it was not such a great idea to pitch decades of institutional knowledge. Or maybe, less charitably, they are rehiring terminated staff at lower pay rates?

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Phoenix Cycle

 Looks as if Phoenix Cycle will close or move after the Christmas holidays. The business has been up for sale since 2022 but never heard news of any buyers. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Name That Plaza

 The city got a $2 million grant to build the stage/entertainment plaza at the intersection of Washington and Walnut. You can submit names for the plaza here. The city posted the following questions as inspiration for your suggestion:

Does this name reflect the City of Carbondale? 

Does this name honor an artist who influenced the entertainment scene in Carbondale and beyond? 

Does this name reference a historical site or happening within Carbondale?  

Does this name embrace an abstract thought, feeling, or mindset of Southern Illinois and/or the Carbondale arts & music scene?

Maybe "Poet's Plaza"? At one time, Carbondale was,according to one of the episodes of "Whaddyaknow" recorded at Shryock, known as the "City of Poets", so the name would be a nod to that.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Magickal Hippie

 Magickal Hippie has decamped from Carbondale for a new location in Marion at 1000 N. Carbon. Apparently, among other things,  had problems with the roof in both of their locations on East Main. I can sympathize with the landlors as roof leaks are very hard to repair but still, if you are renting a property, it is on the landlord to make sure the roof is sound.

Monday, January 1, 2024

PKs Closes Temporarily

 PKs will close tomorrow (Jan 2) for bathroom renovations until the work is complete. No indication as to how long that will take though. In the meantime, The Cellar will open at 1 p.m. to give those lost PKs patrons a bar to belly up to until they can go back to PKs.