Saturday, March 29, 2008

Meeting agendas & discussion

Putting technology to work, I've uploaded this Tuesday's City Council Agenda as a Google Document. Since the City posts links to audio recordings of the meetings, discussion of each item can be linked to for later reference. The same can be done with Wednesday's Planning Commission agenda.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Williams Lawsuit

The Carbondale Times has a follow up article to last week's Southern Illinoisan article about the Corey Williams' lawsuit filing. Have to wonder why it took the Williams' family a year to file it and unfortunately, no one will come out a winner here save the legal representatives (and maybe not even them). If the Williams family wins, the money won't bring him back. The money the district spends on the lawsuit is money that could have gone to fund other areas of CCHS and eventually will come out of the pockets of the taxpayers.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Outstanding Citizen

Nice article in today's DE about the late Linz Brown: "Mayor of Valley Road" remembered on campus.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Name Change

I see a new sign has gone up, announcing the name change from Shoes-n- Stuff to Priority Sports. Not sure what this means if anything regarding operations but probably a better name since the store has been sports oriented in its selection of footwear for a number of years now.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Chancellor Musical Chairs

Jo Ann Argensinger lasted 1 year. Walter Wendler lasted about5 years and Ferdnando Trevino lasted 9 months. Wanna take bets on how long the next chancellor lasts? And what department Trevino moves to?


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Flooding and Street Closing

Wouldn't it be a good idea for the city to post notices of about streets closing due to flooding on the city website, maybe in the Daily News area instead of making me go hunt on the WSIL website or on the Southern Illinoisan's? The last notice I see posted in the Daily News is about the transfer of ownership of the Varsity Theater to the Stage Company. From the WSIL website:

Walnut Street between Wall and Cedarview is closed North Oak between Industrial Park and Charles is closed Dillinger Road between Marion and North 51 is closed

Intersection of Grand and Wall Industrial Park at 51 East College between Wall and Lewis

Trained spotter says IL Route 13 eastbound at Wall Street in Carbondale to be closed due to high water.

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Chancellor change

New Chancellor on the way out?:
"Chancellor Fernando Trevino on administrative leave while a review of his performance is being done. . . . Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor Don Rice is picking up the daily administrative duties of the chancellor's office until further notice. . . . Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole, who . . . sat on the search committee and has worked with Trevino on several university-city partnerships . . . said he was aware of concerns surrounding the chancellor but is not in a position to comment."
Walter Wendler will be tickled by this development.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Illinois Works" with Poshard and Hastert

Deciding to make use of President Poshard's copious amounts of free time, Governor Blagojevich, has picked him to travel the highways and byways of Illinois with Denny Hastert, putting together support for the Illinois Works Coalition, which is designed to pump about $25 billion into Illinois infrastructure, including expanding Hwy 13 between Marion and Carterville(?), new schools in DuQuoin and Benton, and a Transportation Education Center at SIU. Where the money for this is going to come from isn't part of their job, though it appears the Governor wants to fund part of it through selling off the state lottery.

Edited to correct the spelling of the Governor's name.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

I've noticed a sign in front of Animal Crackers advertising a 10% to 90% off sale for the past couple of weeks. The reason for the sale sign became clear today with the appearance of another sign announcing Animal Crackers will close March 31. Cherry Hill Realty is offering the property for only $250,000 and is trying to position it as a potential wine shop.

I've heard rumors over the past several months that the coming of Petco really put a dent into Animal Crackers' business. It appears the store just couldn't withstand the pressure anymore. Makes me wonder about the long-term effect of Dick's Sporting Goods on Shawnee Trails.

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Park District turnover

The SI reports: Park District Director Resigns. At Monday's board meeting, Brian Ramsey, executive director of the Carbondale Park District informed district board members of his decision to resign from the position in May, to take a similar job in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Still in Debt

The Carbondale Park Board will meet this Thursday evening to try to figure out how to cover an expected $100,000 debt in this year's budget. The proposal at the Feb 27th to cover the shortfall by eliminating the positions of Assistant Golf Pro and Superintendent of Childcare was met with strenuous objection by several golfers and parents, including former Park Board President Michael Heck, who, according to the Carbondale Times (available in a finer newspaper rack near you), suggested cutting all district staff salaries by 2%, eliminating the contingency fund or getting rid of the bookkeeper. This Thursday's meeting will go through the budget line by line to see if any potential costs can be cut to meet the $100,000 shortage.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wal-Mart Opens

And sounds of joy and the ringing of cash registers were heard throughout the land. Sorry, it's just hard for me to see this as a launching point for continued growth in Murphysboro. Yep, you've got lower priced groceries and consumer goods, as well as a slew of new retail jobs but only about 17% of the money spent there will stay to help build Murphysboro. The rest heads off to Bentonville Ark. and parts unknown, eventually winding it's way to China and southeast Asia, increasing our already out of whack balance of trade.

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Stimulus Payment Notice

Per the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, I received my notice explaining my stimulus payment yesterday. The government spent a goodly number of millions of dollars let me, any everyone else know that I will receive a payment up to $600 but generally not less than $300 and that if I had at least $3,000 income but paid $0 income tax, I will receive $300. Oh, and if I have kids and they quality, I may receive an additional $300 for each of them. Oh, and if I make more than $75,000, my stimulus payments will be reduced. Oh and did I mention we're borrowing to make these payments, since we don't have the money in the Treasury to fund them?


Thursday, March 6, 2008

New Wal Mart Opens

Got a card from Wal-mart today announcing the grand opening of the Murphysboro store tomorrow, ergo, unless I have pressing business in that area tomorrow, I will make it a point to stay as far away as possible as the traffic is going to be murder. It appears the company is pushing their produce offerings heavily as one side of the card features a very nice picture of a grapefruit while the other has a silver bowlful of lettuce.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Greens Fee?

According to this article in the DE, the Student Environmental Center, along with SIUC's Plant and Service Operations, is pushing for an additional $10 student fee to fund renewable energy research and projects on campus. The fee would raise approximately $300,000 per year. The implication is the funding would be directed by the proposed Sustainability Council. I was struck by this comment:

Megan Pulliam, a senior from Chatham studying Spanish, said the fee would only be implemented if it has student support. There will be a campus-wide student vote in April on the proposed fee.

"I'm confident that students will show concern for the environment," said Pulliam, who is also the campus's representative on the Board of Trustees.

So if you don't vote for the fee, you're not concerned for the environment. Seems to me I've recently seen a similar "If you don't agree with me, you're not concerned for the environment/deserving of a position of leadership" comment.

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Attn: Doogie Blogger

If any readers of this blog are in grades K-3, there’s still time for you to enter the 14th Annual Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators Contest, sponsored locally by WSIU-TV8/DT40 and WUSI-TV 16/DT 19, the public television stations of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC); Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon; and Old National Bank. According to Monica Tichenor, original story submissions must be submitted to WSIU postmarked no later than March 31. Copies of the official entry form, along with contest rules and guidelines, may be downloaded from WSIU’s web site at

Gary Gygax Passes Away

Gary Gygax, co-creator of the Dungeons and Dragons game passed away this morning at his home in Lake Geneva WI. He was 69. Two generations have grown up playing the games he created, sitting around tables in their parent's basement rolling dice, then in their college dorm rooms, then teaching their own kids how to play. Without the paper RPGs he created, it's doubtful that MMOGs such as EverQuest or WoW would exist, at least in their current format and I certainly wouldn't be in the business I'm in.

I had the pleasure of meeting Gary several times over the years and he was always gracious and willing to talk. I just watched a documentary on the early years of TSR, the company he co-founded to produce Dungeons and Dragons, which he thought would sell 50,000 copies, at most. Over the last 30 years, over $1 billion has been spent on the game.

Rest easy, Gary.


Monday, March 3, 2008

New contributor introduction

Hello everyone, my name is DaveX, and I'm the newest contributor here at Carbondale Bytelife. I have a habit of parking my vehicle in front of the Greyhound, which is how I met Dave-- on my way to WDBX of course, but luckily I had time to chat with someone new.

Naturally, our conversation eventually turned to blogging. I've been writing STARTLING MONIKER since late 2006. It primarily deals with experimental music, and my early-morning radio activities hosting "It's Too Damn Early" while broadcasting such music.

My long-stated goal has been to develop an experimental music community in Southern Illinois-- both those who create it, and those who appreciate it. The task has been rough going, but I'm finally starting to see some tangible results!

One avenue toward this end has been my dogged pursuit of working experimental musicians willing to visit Southern Illinois to play on-air at WDBX. This coming Friday night/Saturday morning (depending on how one looks at it) I will be proud to host Craig Colorusso, a New England-based artist who has been playing one enormous piece of original music since its conception in 1997.

Colorusso has this to say about the composition, entitled MB 89:

"MB 89 is an attempt for me to play a continuous piece of music that spans the greater part of my life. Unlike a composition with a discrete beginning and ending that may be played over and over, MB 89 is a composition played once, continuously; spaces between performances are to be treated as musical rests. Instead of many starts and finishes there is constant music. Thus MB 89 is a reference point in my ever-changing life."

Most folks don't realize the amazing things happening in Southern Illinois while they sleep!

Some past highlights include a fully-broadcast ghost hunt on the WDBX premises by two separate teams, the world premiere of a "dark cinema" audio work from Rhode Island, live performances by experimental musicians from all over the midwest, a 4-hour marathon of Japanese noise artist Merzbow, a live collaborative sound event with artists in various European locales, and the regular broadcasting of new experimental music from all around the world.

You can hear the show every week from 4-6:30 AM Saturday mornings, on WDBX 91.1FM. For those with poor reception, dig the online broadcast. I hope you make time for this-- let's face it, nothing else important is happening at this time, right?

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tree Limbs

Despite a slow start, it looks like most of the downed tree limbs that C'dale resides drug out to the road have gone into the wood chipper. As the mayor points out in the email below, there were a lot of broken branches out there. But no charge? As the mayor points out in this month' s Carbondale Communique, we pay for everything one way or another:

"We have had such an enormous outpouring of limbs and debris, more than what was created by the storms, that are crews are working extra to pick everything up. Everything will be picked up, as part of this no-charge service to our residents."


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