Sunday, August 31, 2008

Downtown Free Parking

I could be wrong, and lord knows it happens often enough, but I thought metered parking was free after 4 p.m. and weekends. Not according to the information on the city's website.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Waiting for the Other Shoe

The Cape Girardeau Steve and Barry's will close later this fall. Wonder how long it will be before the company makes the same announcement about the University Mall one.

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DE Blog

The DE has quietly launched a blog of its own. There are a couple of interesting posts already, one from Sheila Simon about her experiences at the recent Democratic convention and the transcript of the DE interview with Chancellor Goldman about the Simon affair.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Termination of Contract

There have been a few questions about what happens if the city can't meet its $1 million a year payment to SIUC for Saluki Way. I got curious so here's what section 7 says:


Either party may cancel the contract in the event of a default. For purposes of this contract, "event of default" means 1) a breach of any material provision of this agreement, 2) failure to pay any amount due within 10 days of its due date 3) the breach of any representation or warranty, or 4) any voluntary petition by or involuntary petition against either party shall be filed pursuant to any chapter of any bankruptcy code or either party shall make an assignment for the benefit of creditors, or there shall be any other marshaling of the assets and liabilities of either party for the benefit of such party's creditors.

In the event of a default, the non-defaulting party shall notify the defaulting party of the event of default. The defaulting party shall remedy the breach within 10 calendar days. If the default is not remedied in 10 calendar days, the non-defaulting party may cancel the contract by giving 30 days notice in writing of its intention to cancel this contract.

Nothing herein is intended to prevent the non-breaching party from seeking any remedy available to it, including but not limited to specific performance of this agreement.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Well, Ain't That Convenient

Apparently the chancellor was about to reinstate John Simon, when the professor threw a spanner into the works by dying. Of course, this announcement does come out over a month after Dr. Simon's death. I found this quote about the allegations interesting:

"Some people went public when they shouldn't have. It's kind of holier-than-thou - 'the world has a right to know.' No they don't. Not on situations like that," Goldman said.

One of the best known men at SIUC, a nationally known scholar, is accused of sexual harassment after a 40 year tenure at SIUC and ordered to stay off campus and Chancellor Goldman expected it to stay quiet?

Here's a nice tribute to Prof. Simon by a former student. Too bad no one every writes these things until after you pass away.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Meyer's Charges

If you want to read the letter from SIUC's general council, listing the allegations against Cal Meyers, who by the way has been a faculty member since 1964, it's here (Be prepared to twist your neck at an uncomfortable angle in order to read it). A couple of points stuck me as bemusing, to say the least:

1. The charges are supposed to be sexual harassment. Since when did smoking in Neckers Hall (the last point in the list of charges) become sexual harassment? Violation of university policy and state law, sure. Sexual harassment, I don't think so.

2. The first line of the last paragraph reads "This list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of the potential allegations." We don't have charges here, we don't even have allegations, we have POTENTIAL allegations.

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Monday, August 25, 2008


Who's the greatest 20th century composer? If you answered John Cage, you're absolutely right.

The good people at the OgreOgress label have provided me with a single-use, one-time only copy of a previously unrecorded Cage work-- and my listeners get to hear it first!

The world premiere broadcast of John Cage's "Twenty-Six with Twenty-Eight & Twenty-Nine" [Eighty-Three] (1991) will air this Saturday, August 30 from 4-6:30 a.m., on WDBX 91.1 FM.

Don't miss it, seriously!

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The Thing That Bugs Me....

about this and this is that I can't come up with a good reason for the university to act this way. I've heard some accusations of anti-Semitism and a desire for the university to gain control of the multi-million dollar endowments Simon and Meyers directed, but, given the number of years each professor had been at SIUC without a hint of trouble, those reasons don't make much sense. However, given that charges of harassment were brought against both professors at approximately the same time, it makes me wonder what the backstory is. Maybe the administration is really that ham fisted when when dealing with such sensitive topics as harassment charges.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Einstein Bros. to C'dale?

According to this article, the Einsten Bros bagels chain is looking to open up a store in C'dale with 3-4 more to follow in the region if the first one does well. However, the company is a franchise operation which means it won't be investing any of its hard earned capital in the Carbondale region. Instead, the company is looking for people willing to accept its requirements (mainly financial) and letting them open the stores. The major requirements are:

1. $1 million in net worth with $400,000 in liquid assets
2. $35,000 franchise fee per store
3. initial investment of approximately $500,000-$900,000
4. royalty fee of 5% of GROSS sales
5. advertising fee of up to 5% of GROSS sales
and 6. past experience in the restaurant industry (doesn't say if working as a counter person at McDonald's counts)

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Councilman Jack Arrested

And the councilman was charged with DUI and possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis. It appears as if one of the commentors on the article may know a bit more about what happened:

The Southern also says, “ Jack cooperated with officers”. Well, lets praise him for doing what he should have and not condemn him for what he did. First, not giving chemical testing or participating in field sobriety after almost striking a patrol car is not much cooperation to me. How about you?

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Friday, August 22, 2008

C'dale and MarionTIF districts

If you're interested, here are the maps of the Carbondale and Marion TIF districts. It looks like a good half to three quarters of the area in Marion west of the interstate falls within various TIF districts, giving tax breaks to incoming businesses, mainly retailers, that really didn't need them.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Interesting View of Growth

According to this Southern article, SIUC has about 700 more staffers than it did 10 years ago, while having 1200 fewer students. Roughly, for every two students the university has lost, it's added one (apparently full-time)

This quote (taken out of context of course because it makes it sound worse) is especially good:

“Obviously the university is growing, so it would make sense that employment would grow with it,” said Kathy Blackwell, director of human resources at SIUC.

It looks like most of those new positions are at the Springfield School of Medicine which is showing much more rapid growth than the university as a whole.


$3.5 Million and Counting

Alumni and others are just not coming forward with donations for the Saluki Way project:

Private donations for the first phase of the project rose from $1.6 million at the end of May to a $3.5 million currently, athletic director Mario Moccia said. But a large portion of the $83 million dollar project, which administrators have said will be funded equally by student fees and private donations, remains undetermined.

Student fees will double to pay for part of the project as well:

Staggered increases to student fees for the project are expected to cover half of the total. The student fee for the project increased from $40 to $60 this year while an increase to $80 is scheduled for fall 2009.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Carbondale vs. Marion

Was scrolling through the comments section on this article and found this interesting comparison between the Carbondale and Marion city governments:

Carbondale... ONE Tif District...
Marion... TEN... That's TEN TIMES THE TAX DOLLARS being DIVERTED AWAY from the Taxing Bodies... AND YOU CHicken (and the rest of us...) MAKE UP THAT DIFFERENCE!

Carbondale... ONE Open Meetings Violation... THEIR Council contacts AG's office, who responds with Training and a STERN warning.

Marion... 1,159 violations (Y A W N) and still counting.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Jerry Costello's Office Hours

Rep. Costello is gracing southern Illinois with his presence this Wednesday and Thursday. Info in the email below:

I will hold five Open Office Hours in Southern Illinois. No appointment is necessary. Just stop by one of the locations at the date and time listed to meet with me to discuss your issues.

Wednesday, August 20

Pinckneyville 8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Perry County Courthouse
1 Public Square

Anna 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Anna City Hall
103 Market Street

Thursday, August 21

Carbondale 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
My Carbondale District Office
Sen. Paul Simon Federal Building
250 West Cherry Street

Marion 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Marion City Hall
1102 Tower Square Plaza

Benton 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Benton City Hall
500 West Main Street

If you have any questions, please call (618) 233-8026.

I look forward to seeing you there.


Jerry F. Costello
12th District of Illinois


Smoking Ban

Anecdotally, at least, the smoking ban hasn't been the end of the world for locally businesses. I'd like to see some aggregated figures though.

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Aldi's Moving?

According to this article, Aldi's may soon be moving to the east side, leaving another empty concrete box on the west. However, the fun part of the article comes in the comments section, where a small group has decided to take on the bastion of evil that is the Southern Illinois Peace Coalition

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Getting a dental appointment is like pulling teeth

Dave called me out the other day, saying that I only post "self-promotional" entries-- after my experience trying to find a dentist this week, I decided to expand my range of blog topics.

Just being up-front-- unless you've got cash or non-Medicaid insurance, you're going to have a real difficult time finding a dentist in Southern Illinois. How do I know this? I just got off the phone with someone from the Adolescent Health Center in Carbondale-- I'd been calling to try to get my son a dental appointment, and they had told me last week that some openings were going to be made available.

The only catch? Like all services for poorer folks, it was going to be a cattle call, scheduled promptly at 8:30 a.m. this morning. I started calling at 8:29, and actually got through. However, it was about 10 seconds before 8:30, so like a radio show call-in contest, I found myself at the end of a polite hang-up.

82 calls and almost exactly 30 minutes later (I counted, seriously) I got through again. All the appointments were taken, and my son wasn't going to be able to be seen after all. He's got a good smile right now, so I guess the message from all those "I-don't-take-IDPA-insurance" dentists around here is that a toothbrush and floss is good enough. According to the beleagered woman answering the phone, she had more than 125 calls on her voice mail when she walked in-- and the previous woman answering at 8:29 said she had received nearly 400 early calls since 8 a.m. Say what you will, but these numbers speak for themselves-- Southern Illinois is in need of dentists willing to serve Medicaid/IDPA recipients. After all, state-sponsored health care isn't much of a benefit if nobody accepts it!

As for me, I'm a bit too old for the Adolescent Health Center. They do their best, but still had to laugh when I told them that Doral Dental (the "handy" phone service Illinois uses to connect Medicaid recipients with participating physicians) had given me their phone number. They also gave me the phone number of five other dentists who also don't take IDPA for new patients, or at all!

On the other hand, I'm loving the fact that one office told me of their "emergency" openings for those of us with severe tooth pain-- from now, until I try the Tom Hanks-approved ice-skate to the face, I get to call their office each morning and hope someone cancelled.

Drop everything, family! Some better-insured person might practice a bit of that trickle-down economy!

I'm apparently not the only one who noticed. Check a University of Illinois study about availability of dentists in rural populations-- here's a quote:

"More dentists should be recruited to enroll in the Medicaid program. Efforts should be made to increase the number of children treated by currently enrolled dentists. This recommendation includes discussion of: adequate reimbursement rates; outreach to enroll new dentists in Medicaid; increasing participation levels of currently participating dentists."

"A low supply of dentists in rural areas affects the entire rural population, not only Medicaid enrolled children. For Medicaid, as well as uninsured, children, it exacerbates the existing barriers to care. There were 18 rural Illinois counties that had no dentists who participated in Medicaid. The rural region also has few dental specialists, especially pediatric dentists. Also, the rural region had a slightly higher proportion (27%; 178/648) of active dentists who were 55 19 years of age or older. National ADA data show that older dentists treat fewer patient visits per year. the slightly higher proportion of older rural dentists and their estimated lower productivity leads to even further competition among all potential patients for the dentists’ time. As these older dentists retire, and there are not enough new dentists to replace them (see #3 below), it will affect access for all people in their communities, especially those with Medicaid coverage or who are uninsured."

Carterville resident John Flora's "Create-a-Smile" Dental Foundation initiative is also doing great work, helping those who otherwise have no access or ability to afford dental care. CAS receives some of its funding from their thrift store at 115 N. Division St., in Carterville-- and one at 33 Circle in Zeigler. Here's a small portion of what CAS has managed to accomplish:

"1. Purchased a pair of dentures for a woman. 2. Paid for numerous cleanings, oral examinations, and x-rays at John A Logan Dental Hygiene School. 3. Obtained a Root Canal and restorative dental procedure for a 12 year old girl. 4. Help people by referring them to others that might help them. 5. Obtained charity cases for our applicants. 6. Done extensive outreach. 7. Attended various Health Fairs with dental poster and info as well as toothbrushes and toothpaste free to the people who come through the health fair."

You might even consider giving them a tax-deductible donation, eh? Sounds like money well-spent. Maybe you'll help this guy:

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Welcome Fest

I was there Friday night and saw about 500-600 students turn out for the event, which I think is about 25% of the estimated incoming class. I'm not sure who the first speaker was but he worked hard getting the students to chant SIU, SIU. Acting Chancellor Samuel Goldman spoke next and he was followed by Carbondale Main Street executive director Meghan Cole. Rather surprised there wasn't any more representation from the community as no one from city government showed, nor anyone representing the greater business community. The Chamber of Commerce had a table next to Main Street but no-one showed to man it, so the Main Street reps put the Chamber materials out for students to take. The event was supposed to run until 9 but students and their families had grabbed up all the good freebies by about 8:30 and at least a third of the table were empty by 8:45 as Dominos' reps wandered around trying to give away pizza to people.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Housing Survey

Carbondale offers a variety of housing grants in an effort to encourage lower income and family purchases of homes within the city limits. In a effort to target the grants better, housing inspectors, as noted in the email below, will survey households throughout the city during August.

Housing Surveys to be Conducted in Carbondale for Housing Rehabilitation Program

The City of Carbondale will be conducting a City wide housing survey to determine the target area for future housing rehabilitation grant applications. Information gathered from the housing surveys will provide the City with an accurate picture of the neighborhoods where focus of housing rehabilitation assistance is needed to improve the overall housing stock of the community. The target areas will be based on the greatest concentration of lower-income, owner-occupied households in need of rehabilitation.

City Neighborhood Inspectors will be conducting the door-to-door surveys from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday in the month of August. The housing survey consists of statistical and housing related questions that are required to qualify an area for assistance and should only take about five minutes to complete. The statistical data will include questions such as the number of people living in the home, ethnicity, gross household income, if there are any household members who are physically disabled, if there are any household members who are age 62 or older and the gender of the head of household. The survey will also gather data about the home such as if the home is owner occupied or rental, how many rooms are in the home, the general state of the home and if major improvements are needed.

All information will be used for statistical analysis to determine the housing rehabilitation target area for upcoming grants and will be kept strictly confidential in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-579). Residents are urged to participate as this will be vital in the City’s efforts to continue securing funding to improve and enhance our residential neighborhoods.

If you are interested in further program information or wish to be put on a mailing list to be notified of housing grants when they are available for the area, please contact Khristina Vaughn, Housing Programs Administrator, at 618-549-5302 x 346.

For more information, contact:
Khristina Vaughn, Housing Programs Administrator
(618) 549-5302 ext. 346

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Free document shred day on Sept. 6

Please help spread the word about the event below - Thanks!

Jackson County Health Department, DataLock and Office Depot are sponsoring a free document shred day for area residents on Saturday, September 6 from 9am - 1pm. The event will be held in the Office Depot parking lot, 1130 E. Walnut Street, Carbondale.

DataLock Document Management Services of Mt. Vernon will be on-site with their mobile shredder to provide the shredding service. This event is open to all area residents; however, businesses, schools, governments and other large paper generators are prohibited. Examples of paper items that residents can bring in for shredding include: Bank Statements, Medical & Insurance Forms, Personal Files, Retired Tax Forms, Receipts and similar documents.

Paper clips and staples do not need to be removed. Assistance will be available to those needing help removing items from their vehicle. All shredded paper is sent to a paper recycling facility where it is turned back into new products, like paper towels.

Information from the Federal Trade Commission on preventing identity theft will also be available to participants.

Bart Hagston
Solid Waste Manager
Jackson County Health Dept.
618/684-3143, ext. 136

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sexual Harassment Policy

Good grief, the university is dragging its feet on this. I can understand upper administration wanting to evaluate any changes to the university's sexual harassment policy carefully, but the conclusion I draw from the article is that the administration tables or forgets about it until the Faculty Association brings it up again. Apparently, the current harassment policy is at the root of the lawsuit former professor Cal Meyers is bringing against the university as well as the difficulties former professor John Y. Simon had before his death as well.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Naming Rights

I've been looking over the agreement between the city and SIUC regarding the $20 million donation for Saluki Way. There's a separate agreement with more detail regarding terms, conditions and time frames, but the general agreement between the city and SIUC gives naming and advertising rights for the renovated Arena to the City. I'll have to see if I can get ahold of the more detailed agreement but in the meantime, any suggested names for the City Council to consider? Me, I like Binky. Binky Arena has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

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Horizon Boarded Over

It appears the Horizon Inn did not do well with the mold inspection as all the front windows are now covered with plywood.

On the plus side, looks like a new doctor's office has opened up in the Central Plaza strip mall on Gian City Road

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saving Money?

Would someone like to explain to me how this saves money? Near as I can tell, the state winds up hiring more people and leases a second building, in addition to the already expensive one currently housing some of the IDOT offices.

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Obama in southern Illinois

NPR has an interesting story about Obama's trip back in 1997 to southern Illinois. Before that trip, the then state Senator had never been below the Mason Dixon Line.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Lots o' New Faculty

Twelve new faculty in the School of Education and five new hires for the College of Mass Communication. You'd think the university would have a centralized spot for posting press releases, maybe University Communications, but if there is, I can't find it. Wonder if anyone's discussed the politics at the university with them?


Don't sleep!

Or better yet, catch an early nap-- I have live musical guests for this week's broadcast of "It's Too Damn Early," and you'd be foolish to miss hearing it!

Carbondale Bytelife readers knew about it first, but if you're a little late to the party, why not check out the Flipside article?

The broadcast commences this Saturday morning, from 4-6:30 AM on WDBX 91.1 FM. Trust me, it's easier just to stay awake through Friday!

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Crime of the Week?

If this is the Crime of the Week for the Carbondale Police Department, as was mentioned on WSIU earlier this week, why isn't it more prominently featured on the Carbondale Police website? Currently, its in the latest news area of the site, with no indication that it's the Crime of the Week. Any way, for Pete's sake, why isn't there a Crime of the Week link on either the site's main page or in the Crimestopper's area of the site?

Update: The above link to the Crime of the Week is no good because the page has been removed from the Carbondale Police website, apparently after the suspect turned himself in.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Housing Legislation email from Costello

Our local Representative just sent out the following email regarding proposed housing legislation:

I wanted to drop you a note to update you on legislative matters that may be of interest.

The Congress and the Bush administration have approved a major package of housing reforms to restore confidence in the mortgage and financial markets while helping homeowners and communities deal with rising home foreclosures and falling home prices. The bill includes:
  • A $7,500 tax credit for first time home buyers.
  • Provisions to expand the Federal Housing Administration’s loan limits to increase its market share and promote greater stability in the mortgage market.
  • Provisions to better regulate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank System.
  • $3.92 billion for state and local governments to purchase abandoned and foreclosed homes and residential property to keep neighborhoods from deteriorating and further reducing home values for everyone.
  • A voluntary program where the government will back loans that have been written downby 10-15%. If the home owner sells the house within five years, they must reimburse the government for a portion of the sale. Importantly, this should not help speculators as it can only be used for a mortgage on a primary residence.
  • The bill will make the implicit federal backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac explicit, providing temporary authority to purchase their stock (expires at end of 2009).
The legislation is the result of over a year of bipartisan negotiations and is backed by a wide range of realtor, civil rights and business organizations. The Congress will monitor the implementation of the bill closely and will continue to examine ways to bolster the U.S. economy during the remainder of the 110th Congress.

You are invited to sign up for future electronic newsletters. Please feel free to forward this message to friends and neighbors you think might be interested in this issue.


Jerry F. Costello
12th District of Illinois

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grower's Market on the Square

Looks like Carbondale Main Street's relaunch of its farmer's market on the Square is a moderate success, with about a dozen vendors showing up for the inaugural day last Saturday, about 3 times the number that showed up on Wednesday afternoons earlier this summer. About half the vendors were crafters of some form but there was still a good selection of peaches, tomatoes and even some grapes.

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No Whiskey Tango

Looks like the Whiskey Tango bar scheduled to open in the old Club 51/ Big Boy's Q'n location at the corner of North Illinois and West Jackson is a no go as I see there's a For Sale or Lease sign up the windows Sunday morning.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Attention, bored Southern Illinois residents

The Sunset Concerts are over, and let's face it-- nothing is happening. If you think you can spare a moment of your intensely interesting lives, I'd like to encourage you to turn your abused little ears to the good sound of your radio.

Dan Godson and Eric Glick Rieman will be performing live August 9th on WDBX 91.1 FM, as guests of "It's Too Damn Early," the flagship experimental music program in Southern Illinois.

The Godston/Glick Rieman Duo explores collaborations with non - human animals ( in this case, snails.) Eric Glick Rieman is co-composer of this set of graphic scores, collaborating with a trio of snails of the species commonly found wild in California gardens and originally introduced by nostalgic French immigrants for meat. With an emphasis on the space between musical events, the Godston/Glick Rieman Duo rides a wave of intensity and extended technique. The duo represents an intersection between the Avant Garde traditions of Post-Jazz (think Anthony Braxton or Roscoe Mitchell) and the heavily art influenced American Experimentalist tradition of John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Pauline Oliveros.

Daniel Godston is a Chicago trumpeter who also plays "small instruments." Unexpected oddiments of tonal flavor emerge from these found objects and create a scintillating landscape of noise.

Eric Glick Rieman is known for his manipulations of the Rhodes electric piano, and he will be performing on a deconstructed/reconstructed instrument. Using rocks, marbles, and other non-traditional means of triggering sounds ( as well as the keyboard), his instrument becomes an access point into an edgy world of experimentation. Glick Rieman has previously worked with Fred Frith, Lesli Dalaba, Stuart Dempster, and Carla Kihlstedt, and performed the work of Phil Minton, Olivia Block, Meredith Monk, and Terry Riley as a member of the Mills College Contemporary Performance Ensemble.

"It's Too Damn Early" is broadcast from 4-6:30 AM each Saturday morning, with liveblogged commentary at:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

1000 New Units

According to this story in the Southern, the moratorium passed by the city council last May puts a hold on the 1000 or so rental units that are on the planning board for Carbondale. Abut 850 units were constructed last year and another 400+ units beat the moratorium's cut off date.

Seeing all this development makes it hard to argue that C'dale has a poor economic future since given the current state of the housing market, it's not likely these developers are willing to risk the kind of money they are investing in their properties if they didn't see a significant upside to C'dale's economy. According to their banner, even Lewis Park is investing a million bucks in upgrading their units. Of course, the owners probably wouldn't have done that without all the competition coming from new development.

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Varsity News

Here's the latest email from the Stage Company soliciting help at the Varsity:

Dear Everyone,

Been busy much? Us too. The plumbers, electricians, salvage haulers, etc., have been plying their trades at the Varsity Center for the Arts. Among our many volunteers, the cleaners and sorters and tally-ers are still cleaning and sorting and tallying, while the builders are still building.

General work hours are still Wednesdays and Saturday mornings from 9-11, and the builders’ hours are Tuesdays-Thursdays-and-Saturdays from 9-3. (If you just want to drop by for a look around, Weds & Sats are your best bet. Because unlike everyone else, I am always glad to stop working and talk.)

We’ve uncovered most of the terrazo in the restrooms, and might be able to reclaim most of it. Sweet!

What you can’t help but notice in the east theater this week if you should drop by: the floor of the (nonsloping) scene shop has been framed out by our volunteer carpenters, including Bill Crain, Stuart Saken, Lee Brackett, and Loren Cocking. A thirty foot firewall goes up between it and the seats, and the stage goes in front of that. (Audiences won’t ever see or give the scene shop a thought, but we’ll all know it’s there.)

What to do this weekend because it’s too hot to be outside anyway: Go see the musical “Little Women” at McLeod. It’s how to cap a Carbondale summer.

Cathy Field


Done Deal?

The gov. says the IDOT jobs move is a done deal. I'm not so sure. Gov. Blago hasn't come up with a real good reason for the move yet and I'm seeing a lot of opposition to the move and only lackluster support for it.


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