Thursday, July 31, 2008
IDOT Move Efffect on Economy
Not sure if it's related or not, but after last night's rain, my rain gauge showed 3 1/4".
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
IDOT to Harrisburg
Of course there is a political spin on it to make it look like the governor wants to help out southern Illinois, but not a single word about the building that the current IDOT is in is owned by a friend/business partner of the governor and that he is trying to get out of that overpriced real estate deal so he doesn't get caught in yet another pay to play scam.
I admit I find it hypocritical of the governor that he's willing to force 116 employees to either disrupt their home lives and move to Harrisburg or give up their jobs, while he stays in Chicago rather than moving to Springfield so as not to disrupt his own family's life.
Labels: state government
Monday, July 28, 2008
Greyhound Station Moves
Labels: Bucky's Dome
Free Notary Service
Labels: city government
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
I don't remember if the amount generated by the sales tax increase was projected large enough to cover the additional $2 million now needed for these two projects. I hope so, otherwise I see the money coming out of the already endangered general fund.
I hope you’re enjoying the good publicity we’ve been getting for the Varsity Center for the Arts. Didn’t you think Jack Langowski—chair of the VCA development board—looked especially dashing on the front page of the Southern Illinoisan today?
Jack mentioned this briefly at the public meeting last night, and it’s not news to most members of the Stage Company and Carbondale Community Arts, but here’s a complete list of the VCA development board members. These are the people who have volunteered their time to guide the development and direction of this important community asset, and we are all very grateful for their efforts:
Mayor Brad Cole
William C. Hinde
P. Michael Kimmel, Esq.
Dr. John F. Langowski, Jr.
Dr. Peter J. Pirmann
President Glen W. Poshard
Dr. Marsha Ryan
Dr. Blanche Carlton Sloan
At the Varsity this week, we’re continuing to find areas where a little “light demolition” (Jack’s phrase) is needed. We’re scraping epoxy paint off masonry walls (a zen-like experience once you’re an adept) and chipping linoleum off the terrazzo flooring (not so much). Also, Mike Hanes has folks sorting movie posters and diagramming/inventorying all those hundreds of lightbulbs in the marquee, ultimately to be replaced with newer digital ones.
The builders have been framing out the dressing rooms at the northwest end of the building. General work hours continue to be 9-11 Wednesday & Saturday mornings, and the builders continue to keep to their Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday 9-3 schedule.
You may have seen the salvage workers haul away the old dead boiler from the basement this week, making more space available. Space is good.
Many people have inquired about opportunities to paint, of which there should be plenty. Once the drywallers have been in to mud & tape, we will be needing painters. Most definitely!
Labels: Varsity Theater
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Steve & Barry's Bankruptcy
The first indication that I had was that the St. Louis area store that I was assigned to train at was a three story, 142,000 square foot space. The ground floor was basically empty with loosely thrown together warehouse space in the corner, and the top floor had been previously used as a sales floor, but the store did not drive enough sales to keep it open. So, of the 142,000 square feet, only about 50,000 were even used.
Secondly, because they had no real way to track inventory, I had to spend a few weeks packging and shipping out truckloads of inventory to other stores, only to have the exact same products show up on our receiving dock the very next day. I was told that this was a weekly occurence, and that I might as well get used to it. You have to sell quite a few t-shirts at $6 each to make up for the $3,000 per truck freight bill.
Git Sum Update
It looks as if word has gotten around about the place as I saw another group going up to the order window as I was leaving.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
State Park Cuts
Unfortunately, Americans are visiting our national and state parks less and less. According to this article from the Economist, visits to parks have dropped by 11% since their high point in the early 1990.
Labels: state government
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Shortly after the park was built, the driving force (and chief fundraiser) behind the track moved out of the area and no-one else stepped up to the plate to keep working on it. Since it was not a high priority for the Park Board at the time, coupled with declining interest in the track, when the contract expired three or 4 years later, the on-site trailer was removed and the park abandoned. The current board is interested in suggestions on what to do with the property but I believe there are minimal funds, if any, available from the Park District to implement any ideas.
Labels: Park District
Monday, July 21, 2008
Carbondale/Jackson County Income
The thing I was intersted in was median income. Jackson County's in 2004 was $27.700 for a family of 4, while Illinois' was $47,700, reflecting the impact of the Second City on the state. Jackson County's median income is waaaay below the national median of $47,800, with about 20% of residents living below the national poverty line.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Git Sum Indian Restaurant
Sales Taxes Short
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Prevation Commission Meeting
1. Roll Call
2. Approval of Minutes - June 16, 2008 (attached)
3. Communication and Reports:
Education and Technical Assistance Committee
• Pamela Hackbart-Dean, Director of Special Collections Research Center at SIUC
4. Old Business:
5. New Business:
CLG Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2008 (attached)
6. Comments by the Public, Commission Members or Staff:
Labels: Preservation Commission
'This was a self-reported minor infraction and has been fully resolved with the attorney general's office,' he said."
Can't help but wonder what was said during those secret seconds.
Blackwell Thomas reports, "the discussion not recorded pertained to possible litigation concerning Vaught, whose job duties include keeping recordings of city council meetings.
"The mayor believed that this put the city in the untenable position of having a possible litigant having access to all confidential deliberations by the council.'"
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuscan and Horizon Updates
Not sure about the Horizon Inn but I recall the Tuscan Lodge building was evaluated back in the 1990's and the estimate was in excess of six figures, close to seven, to make the building habitable. I remember hearing some talk of a company's plans to purchase the Tuscan building, gut it but maintain the facade, and convert it to offices. Doesn't look as if anything has come of that, though.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Crime of the Week
On 07/02/2008 at 4:41 p.m., the City of Carbondale Police Department responded to 1400 W. Main (Gem and Jewelry) in reference to a report of a theft over $300.00. Upon arrival, officers learned that a white male stole a white gold ring containing three diamonds and fled east from the store on foot. The male was described as being about 35 years old, 508/140, short brown course hair, wearing a black t-shirt with an unknown design. The male spoke with a "Southern Accent".
The City of Carbondale Police is asking anyone who has information about this case to contact the Carbondale Police Department at (618) 457-3200 or the Crime Stoppers line at (618) 549-COPS (2677) where callers can remain anonymous. Anonymous tips can also be made on-line by visiting the City of Carbondale Police website at www.carbondalepolice.com
Information which leads to an arrest in this case...Or any other case...You may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000...Call 549-COPS...That's 549-2677... And remember...You never have to give your name!
Monday, July 14, 2008
John Simon Obituaries
In the last months of his life, Mr. Simon was embroiled in a campus controversy when he was accused of verbally harassing three women employed by the Ulysses S. Grant Association and the university library, where the association has its offices. Mr. Simon was the executive director of the association, which seeks financing for historical research and provides research services for the Grant project.
He disputed the accusations, and in support of him, the association’s board voted to sever its ties with Southern Illinois and seek another university partner. A reconciliation that would have allowed Mr. Simon to return to teaching at Southern Illinois was being negotiated at his death, said the association’s president, Chief Justice Frank J. Williams of the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Problems at Steve and Barrys
If the Carbondale S&B closes, that leaves another huge hole in the mall, since nothing has replaced K's Merchandise yet. I wonder what, if any, incentives S&B got from the city. Anyone know or do I need to contact the city?
Edited to correct my error confusing K's Merchandise and Service Merchandise.
Missed Bucky's Birthday Yesterday?
Labels: Bucky's Dome
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Wine and Art Festival
The artist's pavilion was pretty quiet but then it was getting dark, the time of day when people are wanting to drink wine and listen to music, rather than buy art. The pavilion was a block away from the wine tasting area and I heard a couple of complaints about that. However, since only one artist brought a test and Main Street's limited number of tents were used by the various wineries that also didn't bring their own, the pavilion was the best solution to keep them out of the sun, rather than let them bake on the asphalt all afternoon. I did hear the guy who did the collages, at least, was quite happy with his sales.
I heard attendees were already asking when the next W&A Festival would be and urging Main Street to host one twice a year. Main Street, from what I understand, was hoping for 500-600 attendees. Rough estimates last night, after the staff had been on their feet several hours, were between 800-900. Pretty successful, esp. for an event that relied on WOM and publicity to get the word out, since the ad budget had been spent on promoting the May date for the event.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Stage Company and Varsity
A busy week, so this must be brief:
1. Come to the Varsity to work. Wednesdays & Saturdays from nine to eleven are the general volunteer work hours; the volunteer building crew works on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from nine to three.
2. Go to see “The Producers” at McLeod Theater, opening this weekend. Fun is good.
3. The Stage Company’s general membership meeting is Wednesday, July 16, 7:00 at the Mississippi Flyway. We’ve got some voting to do, so y’all come.
Summer Youth Work Program
SUMMER YOUTH WORK PROGRAM (SYWP)
Family Advocacy Services has been notified by the Governor Blagojevich's staff that Carbondale is one of three southern Illinois cities selected to provide summer employment opportunities to 50 youth. Family Advocacy Services, through its Youth Empowerment Services (Y.E.S.) Center, was designated as the non-profit agency which will oversee this program in Carbondale. The Y.E.S. Center is located at Hopewell Church, 400 E. Main Street in Carbondale.
The Illinois SYWP seeks to provide employment opportunities for youth in underserved communities across the state, as a means of engaging them in positive activities.
During this two-month period, youth will gain community development skills including: leadership training, project management, life skills and other service related experience which impact the quality of community life. The primary focus of this initiative is to institute new opportunities for youth development in Illinois. It is anticipated that this relatively short-term experience will have a long-term, positive affect on the lives participants involved in this initiative to prepare them for the world of work.
Scope of Employment Opportunities
The summer youth employment program will employ youth from ages 13 to 15 years old, 16 to 18 years old, and 19 to 22 years old, who will be placed employments. They will perform duties these duties:
1. Community Service is designed for youth who are 13 to 15 years. Youth in this category will be solely responsible for helping with the development or design of community service projects with their peers. They will pledge to remain positive and display good behavior while they accumulate valuable work experiences. Participants are expected to work ten to 15 hours per week for eight-weeks. At the culmination of this program each person youth will receive a $250 stipend for
their participation and commitment.
2. Community Development Projects are for youth ages 16 to 18 years old, which will perform work experiences including: office and clerical duties, youth-to-youth tutoring, mentoring, community beautification projects, gardening and eight days of life skills training. Participants will be expected to plan, develop and implement projects for eight weeks. Youth in this category will be paid $8 an
hour at 20 hours per week.
3. Transportation Related Career Opportunities Placements are for youth ages 19 to 22 years old who will work perform duties as interns with companies that provide transportation-related services to the Illinois Department of Transportation. The youth will earn $10 per hour for 25 hours per week.
Eligibility Guidelines for Youth Participants
1. To be eligible for the Summer Youth Works Program (SYWP), the family income must be less than 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level or $63,600 annually for a family of four.
2. SYWP youth must live within the designated community.
3. SYWP youth must be the appropriate age (13 to 22 years of age).
4. SYWP Providers are responsible for reviewing and maintaining records and documentation for criteria eligibility.
Should you choose to participate, I would need to know the number of youth you could hire per age group, the start date and time, and a brief job description for the positions.
The deadline to place youth in these positions is July 17. However, we would like to start as early as next Monday.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Varsity Center for the Arts
Carbondale Community Arts and the Jackson County Stage Company are working together to envision a future “
To help determine the community needs and wants, we began by launching an assessment of the space and public access needs (as well as wants, hopes, and dreams) of area artists, presenters and civic organizations through a short survey. Over 95 copies of the survey were distributed throughout our community by e-mail and regular mail.
In addition, a review of all available prior studies and surveys
relating to downtown redevelopment since 1984 was conducted to
determine community support for an arts center in downtown
With these preliminaries completed, we would like to open up the process to everyone in the community: give us your ideas, your hopes, and your dreams in regard to the transformation of the old Varsity Theater into the “
Please join us Wednesday, July 23
At that time we invite you to share your ideas about how to best enable the “
It’s a time for all of us to come together and plan for our future and the future of downtown
I was struck by his interest in downtown C'dale, especially his emphasis on the unique restaurants there. He commented, and I'm paraphrasing, that people expect to see an Appleby's, a McDonald's and a Buffalo Wild Wings in a larger community and eat at them because they are consistent in the quality of the food they provide. However, it's the unique restaurants (and stores), the Harbaugh's, the Tres Hombres, the Mary Lou's and Corner Diner's, of a community that provide food you won't/can't find at Ruby Tuesday's or Lone Star.
CS at SIUC
Hat tip to Peter the Great.
Noted blogger notes passing of Noted Historian
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
The Power of Rumor
Image Architects (originally Garrison Jones Architects), has been in constant business since 1960. They started in the old Bank of Carbondale Building, which was torn down last year (the Stage Company), moved across to Bening Square and eventually down to their current location at 1118 W Main. Mr. Garrison retired some years ago and sold the firm to John Parkinson and his partner, but Mr. Jones still works there part time in his retirement years. They've done schools and all types of commercial and educational buildings all over southern Illinois.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Labels: southern Illinois
Monday, July 7, 2008
Horizon Inn Demolishment Order
The owner is a company called Carbondale Hospitality LLC out of Morris Plains NJ but no indication of how many other holdings, if any, the company has in the C'dale area.
Incidentally, according to another Southern article, the Tuscan Lodge was issued a repair or demolish order at the same time.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
This just in--
Anyways, my little group ordered a lovely extra-cheese and garlic on the thick 'n crispy... along with a vegetarian special on the chewy thick crust. Great food, nice big drinks, and naturally saved gas by not driving to Chester.
Marcello's still gets my vote for best pizza in Southern Illinois, though-- yummy garlic butter with fresh spinach on a veggie pie sets 'em over the top in my opinion.
So let's talk pizza, 'cause I'm sorta bored with everything in Carbondale closing, etc. Feel free to leave vehement comments about your favorite Southern Illinois pizza (current, historical, whatever) and where to get it. Call out a favorite waitress! Gripe about the bathroom-- it's all game.
(And yes, that's Pizza Head above. Remember him?)
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Wine and Art Fair: Take Two
Friday, July 4, 2008
Wanna Buy a Bookstore?
Business for sale - Bookstore - No Real Estate included.
Remodled Bookstore in business for over 15 years. 1600 sf. All fixtures included (computer excepted). Month to month lease is $1,300. Convenient parking. Steps from Southern Illinois University and a short walk to downtown. Asking $75,000. Contact Chris Sisulak, Cantury 21: (618) 457-3344.
Labels: downtown Carbondale
Indian Restaurant Coming downtown
Labels: downtown Carbondale
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Labels: downtown Carbondale
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Carbondale Ragwear Closing?
Labels: downtown Carbondale
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Why The Train Inn?
PROCEDURE FOR DESIGNATION:
Paul Lewers has submitted the required petition for the nomination of The Train Inn located at 406
East Stoker, to the Carbondale Register of Historic Places.
The Preservation Commission is required to conduct a public hearing to hear testimony from the
owner, staff, other interested parties, expert witnesses and any written comments submitted prior to
or during the hearing. The Commission shall make a Finding of Fact with regard to the criteria for
nomination, the district boundaries, and the design guidelines, and shall also make a
recommendation to the City Council. The nomination is then reviewed by the City Council and
approved by ordinance if the designation is granted.
Attached for the Commission's review are the proposed district boundaries (Exhibit A), the
Preservation District Nomination Form for the property, and photos of the subject property.
DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY:
The Train Inn located at 406 East Stoker Street is one of the few surviving home’s located in Block
4 of Hester and Stoker’s addition. The subdivision was platted in 1902 by a Mr. George Kennedy,
Jr., and construction of new homes began shortly thereafter. The Train Inn was constructed in 1905
as part of the Arts and Crafts movement. The Arts and Crafts movement was the first phase of the
modern movement (1900-1940) in domestic architecture in the United States. The home is an
excellent example of the Craftsman Style, inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, which began
in Southern California around 1903 and quickly spread. Due to the age of the home it was certainly
one of the earliest examples of the Craftsman style in Carbondale. According to the owner, around
1960 Southern Illinois University offered each home owner on the block $10,000 for their property.
Mr. Vernon Biggs, the owner at the time, was the only home owner to refuse the offer. Thus leaving
what would become a great example of American architecture.
The home contains wood clapboard siding, an asphalt shingle roof, and the exposed front porch
typically associated with the Craftsman style. On the inside the home maintains the original tongue
and groove walls with a refurbished Mission Style oak staircase. The interior was refinished by
exposing the original interior wood, and refinishing without the use of paint or overlaying material.
FINDING OF FACT:
A.) Criteria For Designation:
The property satisfies the following criteria for designation (Section 15-2D-1.D of the
Preservation District regulations):
d. Its embodiment of distinguishing characteristics of an architectural and/or landscape
style valuable for the study of a period, type, method of construction or use of
f. Its overall embodiment of elements of design, detailing, materials or craftsmanship
which renders it architecturally significant;
h. Its unique location or singular physical characteristics that makes it an established or
familiar visual feature.
B.) Proposed District Boundaries:
The proposed Landmark District includes property commonly referred to as 406 East Stoker
Street, as outlined in Exhibit A.
C.) Recommended Design Standards:
The Nomination and Hardship Review Committee's recommended Design Standards for The
Train Inn at 406 East Stoker Street are as follows:
1. U.S. Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.
2. Architectural Preservation Guidelines (City of Carbondale, 1996)
1) Staff recommends the Preservation Commission accept the Findings of Fact as
described in Parts A, B, and C of the staff report.
2) Staff recommends that the Preservation Commission recommend approval of PD 07-
02, The Train Inn, as a Landmark District on the Carbondale Register of Historic
Labels: Preservation Commission
Labels: downtown Carbondale
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