Friday, April 27, 2007

Jung at Heart, Saturday

FLIPSIDE Online: "Featuring Cayenne Boyd at 9:30 and Josh Plemon and the Lonesome Drifters and Matthew Perryman Jones, 10 p.m. Saturday, April 28; Club 51 (formerly BBQn's) 104 W. Jackson, Carbondale; $3 cover; all proceeds will go to cover the remainder of Jim Jung's medical expenses"

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Shawnee Talking Wands in the news

Reported in The Southern Illinoisan by Brent Stewart:
"The talking stick is a Native American tradition that has recently been rediscovered by Randy Osborn, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale.

This simple idea has turned into the Shawnee Talking Wand Project, a unique and creative collaboration with different youth- and nature-oriented groups in the area. The initiative combines whimsical magic wand features with the ceremonial talking stick function and artistic sculptural appeal."
Cool, huh? Says Randy, "It's an educational opportunity, an instrument for conflict resolution, artwork and conservation project all rolled into one."

Carbondale Square Tour

For those of you who would like to tour the Carbondale Town Square but want to do so on your own schedule, Carbondale Main Street has made available on their website a downloadable audio tour. topics covered included early times, the railroad, the Civil War, local politics and efforts to preserve the Square.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Thinking about the Peace Pole

Margie Parker writes:
With a huge thank you to the hard work of Lori Senteney, Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois/FOR Carbondale Interfaith Council, Church Women United of Carbondale, Southern Illinois chapter of the United Nations Association in the USA, Justice and Witness Committee of Church of the Good Shepherd, Southern Illinois Society of Friends, Social Action Committee of the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship are giving the City of Carbondale the gift of a Peace Pole which will proclaim "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in eight languages. Over 220,000 peace poles have been planted in 180 countries around the world.

The Peace Pole will be dedicated by Mayor Cole this Friday, April 27, at 10:00 am at the Friendship Plaza, corner of Illinois Ave. and Mill St.

You are welcome to attend.

Friday, April 20, 2007

One Closes, Another Opens

Or reopens in this case. As China House closes its doors tonight (to a packed house I might add, leaving the tables at nearby New Kahala empty), Adelita's Restaurant reopened its doors tonight, adding another Mexican restaurant to C'dale's selection. Adelita's is more traditional Mexican rather than Tex-Mex like local favorite Tres Hombres. Adelita's opened last fall until the Christmas holidays, then closed with a sign saying the restaurant would reopen in February.

February came and went with no reopening. However, the doors opened today and the interior appears much less dark than the last time I visited. The owners advertise they are open for lunch and dinner and have added a buffet as well.

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Gun Rights = Human Rights

As the harsh edge of the recent events at Virginia Tech begins to dull slightly with the passage of time, it behooves us to examine their impact on our own lives and ideas.

The right of self-defense is an inherent, inalienable right. If we have a right to life, we have an absolute right to defend that life against unwarranted aggression. This idea goes back to John Locke, if not before. Yet the administrators of Virginia Tech deprived their students and professors of their right to life, and 32 of them died because of this loss. What’s more, it was done proudly. On the defeat of a bill mandating that Virginia public universities respect the right to life of those on campus by allowing concealed handguns on their grounds, a VT spokesman said, "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on campus."

I’m sure they feel safe now.

Those of you who work or study on the SIUC campus, think about this: while firearms of any sort are prohibited on campus except in the possession of law enforcement officers, do you really think that will in any way inhibit this sort of attack from being carried out here? We have all heard of “copycat” killings. In fact, Cho himself deliberately patterned his actions after those of the Columbine killers. Who’s to say something like that cannot happen here? What would prevent it? What systems or rules do we have in place that would prohibit such an occurrence at our own school? Answer: None. I travel to, from and on campus every day. Never—ever—have I, in my capacity as a student, been checked for weapons of any kind. I could carry a handgun of the exact kind that Cho used—a Glock 9mm, a fine weapon—everywhere on campus, and, if I concealed it well enough, no one but my family would ever know. Now, I’m not going to start randomly shooting people. But someone else might. What’s to stop them from doing so? Nothing. The only thing that could possibly stop or deter a maniac like Cho is the fact of other people—good, decent, law-abiding people—carrying guns as well. If those in that fated classroom had not been deprived by the Virginia Tech administrators of their right to life, they could have exercised their right to life, and kept their lives, with one or two well-placed shots.

I could go on—quote statistics that show that concealed-carry states have lower crime rates, that gun-control laws increase crime; relate stories about how similar incidents have been stopped by gun-wielding students, etc., etc., but all of that is beside the point. The point here is the question of whether or not we have a right to life; that is, a right to defend our lives. Virginia Tech, the State of Illinois, and SIUC believe that we do not.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

China House Closing

After 28 years in downtown Carbondale, Carmen's China House will close its doors for good this Saturday. Located at 701 S. Illinois, the China House served food with an ambiance not quite that of Hunan but certainly above that of New Kahala and China Express. Take this last opportunity to dine at a Carbondale institution before it shutters its windows.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Preliminary Results

At shortly after 9 p.m. with preliminary counts from 26 of Carbondale's 27 precincts, it looks like Brad Cole has defeated Sheila Simon, 54.14% to 45.55% with a total of 3245 votes cast. It also looks like Steven Hays and Lance Jack win re-election and Mary Pohlmann takes Simon's place on the council.

Incumbents didn't fare so well in the Park Board race, with challengers Fralish, Ollar and Suarez beating incumbents Heck and Kang.

Over in the Carbondale Elemenary School Board Race, looks like it's Major, Rendleman and Tolliver, with Elbert Simon the next closest still 6% behind.

Absentee and early votes remain to be counted.

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Election Day

By tonight it will all be over but the shouting. The Carbondale Times got out a special election edition yesterday with last minute coverage of the Park District, School Board, and Mayorial races. Saw a huge stack of them at Schnuck's this morning.

Both Simon and Cole's campaigns have been busy calling voters. There were 4 people in the Simon office until at least 7 last night and an equal number in the Cole office. Simon has another group in this morning making calls again and I think I see a couple of heads in the Cole office as well.

From my point of view, I'd say Simon has done a better job of getting out the vote. There's been steady activity in her campaign office, which overflowed with volunteers on recent Saturdays, with little apparent activity in Cole's office on the same Saturdays I've received 2 calls from her campaign in recent days, none from Cole. After signing up for both campaign's email lists, I've gotten weekly emails from the Simon campaign, nothing from Cole. Both have had about the same number of newspaper ads and direct mailings. If the election comes down to who puts the most feet on the ground, I think Simon wins.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Carbondale After Dark

Picked up the reissue of Carbondale After Dark this weekend at Rosetta Stone and have been enjoying the read. I remember owning a copy when I first moved to the area in 1989 but never could find it after I finished it. Apparently other people feel like I do as the first edition has been commanding some pretty steep prices on eBay, as Koplowitz notes in his introduction to the 25th Anniversary edition. Looks like the reissue has really killed the market for it, though.

I found the forward by Dennis Franz amusing since apparently it wasn't actually written for Carbondale After Dark but is cobbled from a interview Franz gave the Carbondale Nightlife in 2006.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Carbondale 2.0

When the Carbondale Times came out yesterday, its headline "Candidates Butt Heads" made me ask, "They ARE?" My impression is that, outside of a little negative campaigning, they are both pretty good people who mean the best for us. Nevertheless, they have failed to address what is to me one of the biggest issues, and that is that Carbondale does not have a city center, a place for people to collect and enjoy a nice day, outside and away from the noise of a highway.

Other cities have made places with a little park, fountain, brick pedestrian mall, large play structure for kids, etc., where on a nice day one can walk and enjoy the atmosphere. It seems like Carbondale's prettiest places are all right next to 13 or 51, and normal sounds like conversations are drowned out unless you go indoors. Maybe businesses resisted rerouting of the highway(s), because they wanted the area's traffic to go right past them. But the result has been bad for us, the people of the town, who now have no nice place to collect when the weather gets better.

There are a number of solutions to the problem- including moving one or more highways, developing the area by the old train station and Monroe Street, building sound barriers, or changing the placement of parking lots. The goal would be that some nice place is fixed up, pleasant to be in and sheltered from the noise of either highway- I'm sure we can do it. I haven't heard anyone say they would try.

I'm sure that headline will make it to Letterman- and that whoever wins the race will do fine in many ways. The title of the post, "2.0" comes from the Web where they are trying to envision the future as they want I thought, we residents of Carbondale should do the same, and let people know what would really make this a better town. That's my first idea- though it may not be original- still, I'd like to see someone run with it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Money, Money, Money

Lot of folks outside of Carbondale taking an interest in the mayoral race. Mayor Cole especially has gotten a lot of cash from interested parties outside of the city. See here, here and here. Simon has been pulling in decent amounts of cash as well but in smaller quantities, not requiring itemization.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Carbondale Park District Board Debate Slated

A debate between candidates for the Carbondale Park District Board is scheduled for
Sunday, April 15, from 3 to 5 PM at the Fellowship Hall First Christian Church, 306 Monroe Street, Carbondale.

Questions focusing on neighborhood issues from the audience are encouraged.

The Park Board election along with municipal elections will be held April 17th, 2007.

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