Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good Choice, Lousy Timing

Governor Blago has picked former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to replace Obama in the Senate. Does our governor without a clue actually think anyone he chooses has a snowball's chance of getting or is he trusting on Burris' repoutation to get him through the firestorm already developing?

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

More People Staying In?

It take a pretty expansive use of the term "more" for the Southern to move from a story mentioning 2 people staying in on New Year's Eve to a general statement that more people are staying in for the holiday. I guess two people is more but still, I was looking for some statistics or research that said there was a trend throughout the country or even the region.

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FDR and the Great Depression

I see people are still pushing the "FDR prolonged the Great Depression" story. As is noted here, under Hoover, about 20% of US banks failed. After the FDIC was created during the New Deal, almost none did. Excepting the year 1937-1938, when fiscal hawks pushed Roosevelt to balance the budget which caused another recession, the economy grew by an average 9-10% and unemployment dropped by 2% per year.

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Wall and Grand Center

Two more business are going into the Wall and Grand strip center at the corner of, well, Wall and Grand. Unless I miss my guess, Family BBQ will probably be selling BBQ, while, according to the sign in the window, the Hot Spot will offer hamburgers, cheeseburgers and gyros, among other fast foods. If Hot Spot is good, the heavy student population in that area should make it a success. Not so sure about Family BBQ, since you've got Southern Que less than a quarter mile away in the Grand Avenue Mall.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

More from Pawel Sawicki

Received the email below from Pawel Sawicki. His main campaign goals, according to his campaign flyer are 1) the "Green Business" logo and2) "Resident of the Year" ideas below, as well as 3) encouraging more student involvement in local government and 4) making it easiler for local businesses to recycle. Not bad ideas, and one way to see your ideas implemented is to run for office, but by themselves, not enough to base a campaign on.

If you're interested in contacting him abut his campaign or proposals, the email address is: sawicki4councilATyahoo.com

My main running point is to have Carbondale go green. The private sector isn't the one needing attention. Business in Carbondale rarely recycle and they amass far more waste than a homeowner.

Big businesses would receive incentives for recycling. Corporate America has to set a good example for the rest of America. Would you believe that a company like Dick's Sporting Good's does NOT recycle at all? All the paper used at that store, and trust me there is a lot, gets thrown into the garbage. There are many more big businesses that do not recycle because, "it's too expensive to do ourselves" quoting one business manager. The city should make it as easy as possible for these business to be environmentally friendly.

The city could develop a symbol that recognizes a business for being green. Once a business meets certain criteria for reducing their waste and recycling more they would become eligible to display a "Green Business" Logo. This idea is much like the energy star logo. After some time it would become a status icon. Business A and Business B have the logo, Why don't you Business C?

Another little idea would be to have a Resident of the Year award. Just something simple to raise civic pride. The person would get nominated then the council would meet and choose the winner.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Cross Board Religious Affiliations

Since he's the executive director of the Southern Illinois Tourism Development Office, it makes sense for Jon Musgrave to be selected as one of the interim members of the transitional board of directors for Bald Knob Cross. Not sure why it was necessary to mention his church affiliation as well:

Members of the transitional board are the Rev. Mark Roath, pastor of Anna Heights Baptist Church in Anna; Dr. Ralph Brandon, senior pastor of Covenant Christian Fellowship in Carterville; the Rev. Gerald Wright, senior pastor of Spirit of Life Christian Church in Du Quoin; the Rev. Steven M. McKeown, senior pastor of Christian Life Center in Herrin; the Rev. Doug Cherry, senior pastor of Victory Christian Center of Southern Illinois in Carbondale; Jon Musgrave, executive director of the Southern Illinois Tourism Development Office and member of Second Baptist Church in Marion; and Bradley Rogers of Buncombe, president of the Christian Motorcycle Association.

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Marion Tax Problems

This can't be a good sign.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

More about Students and C'dale Government

Got an email from Allan Keith, author of SIUC's Days of Dissent and, according to him, it was pretty common during the late 60s and early 70s for the city to appoint a non-voting student representative to not only city council but most city committees as well.

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Bobby Knight Wannabe

I've been told by one parent with a child in the Murphysboro athletic program, that, when Coach Murphy isn't busy violating IHSA rules, he screams at the players, even those he's not coaching and has thrown a chair or four. Too bad such behavior isn't getting the team better than a 5-4 record.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nice Present for Bald Knob

A settlement was announced today in the two year old lawsuit between Tirzah Tweedy and the Cross board. Not intentional, according to the lawyers, but still great timing.


Santa's on His Way

Via the official NORAD Santa Tracker. Merry Christmas to one and all!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Dawg-scalator' rules!

SIUC team captures robotics championship: "The “Dawg-scalator” . . . won the head-to-head competition in a field of 11 teams from schools including Cal Poly, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa.

This year’s competition involved picking up at least three racquetballs and putting them in a box faster than the other robot in a head-to-head contest. The robot designed by the SIUC team used a set of rollers on the front that directed the balls into the space between two opposing conveyor belts, which subsequently grabbed the balls and moved them along and upward before depositing them in the box."

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Christmas Lights Worth Seeing

The house at the corner of Tower and West Sunset has a 40 foot tall fir in the front yard encircled with strings of lights from top to base, along with 2 dozen or so electrified ornaments interspersed among the branches. Just getting lights to the top of the tree is impressive.

Two blocks east at 278 West Sunset is another well lit display. While the one at Tower and Sunset impressed me because of the sheer height of the display, this one is impressive because of the sheer number of lights covering the eaves, front of the house and yard.


New Salon Opening?

After what seems like months of fits and starts, I see there's a sign on top of the old Saluki II Bookstore at 509 S. Illinois. I think it reads R 2 Salon but the R is pretty stylized. I'm glad to see something going in there finally but, given the half a dozen or so salons and stylists already in town, I'm wondering if the market for them isn't saturated.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Lights Worth Seeing

Can't give the street address on this one because I got turned around looking for it but it's off Lake Drive and clearly visible from Hwy 13. In fact, the display is designed to be visible from Hwy 13 rather than Lake Drive. Go west on 13 about 4 tenths of a mile past Striegel Road. The display is on the south side of 13. There's an illuminated "Merry Christmas" sign that's got to be 25 feet long and somewhere between 75 and a hundred plastic lawn ornaments. They weren't lit up when I drove by Friday evening but Saturday night, they were burning in all their glory. Pretty impressive.



Mayor Cole may have spoken too soon about Walgreen's putting a second location on the west side at the old Mugsy McGuire's location. However, Walgreen's has not confirmed a second Carbondale location yet and I've heard secondhand that the company is none too happy with the mayor for his premature announcement.

Something similar happened back in 2004 when the mayor announced the purchase of the American Tap before the completion of the negotiations. The city eventually purchased the Tap property, appraised at $39,000, for $150,000. BTW, the Tap property still sits empty, without even a "For Sale" sign on it.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Lights Worth Seeing

Hickory Lodge has a very nice display out, with strings running up into the trees and icicle lights outling the eaves of the building. You get a threefer if you go behind the building, as not only are there more lights, but the still lit City of Carbondale and Rotary Club floats from the Lights Fantastic parade are parked as well.

601 North Allyn also has a nice display with lots of lights and lit, but unmoving, animal sculptures fit into a pretty small area.


Bad Sign

Literally. If you drive down Cedarview or East Main, you can see the back side of the Dough Boys Pizza sign is completely blank. Apparently, the company only paid to put up a sign facing west, so that traffic heading east on Walnut can read it. I guess they figure people on East Main aren't that intersted in finding the place. Yes, trying to cut costs is important, epecially in this economy, but when you have a 40 foot tall sign, visible from at least 5 blocks away, leaving it a blank white space just doesn't seem like a real good promotinal move to me.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Students on City Council

As this article points out, there is a long tradition of students running for and failing to get elected to the C'dale City Council. If there are primaries, student candidates usually don't make it any further. The closest thing to a student council member I recall was when Larry Briggs got elected to the council for a term with strong student support. It's a far cry from the late 60's/early 70s when, according to the book SIUC's Days of Dissent, there was actually a student representative appointed or elected to the council.

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Obama and Gov. Blago, Yet Again

Via Media Matters, CNN's Campbell Brown has a fairly silly commentary comparing Obama's response to questions about the Blagojevich scandal to the Bush presidency's handling of responses to similar questioning. One major difference is that Obama is being questioned about matters relating to an ongoing investigation which his campaign has been asked not before the full report by the campaign is released next week. Except for the Valerie Plame invsetigation, that was not the case with the Bush administration.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

High Society Function this Saturday

All of Carbondale's finest and most elite citizens will have already received their gold-embossed invites by the time you read this, and frankly, I don't even know why I'm mentioning it-- oh of course I do, the GLAMOUR-- but perhaps while you're consuming boxed spirits (or whatever it is that you people do on Saturday mornings from 4 to 6:30, I'm sure I don't know) it might give you a bit of cheer to consider all the gaiety your high-class betters will be delighting in while listening to refined musical outpourings at the charming and quaint little cottage colloquially known as WDBX-FM.

Run-on sentences are so droll!

For this week's diversion, the provincial musicians' outfit "Glass Pyramid" has been chosen not only for their gentility, but also out of recognition for an exquisite sense of form and meter. The French courtesians put it best: "Il est comme une licorne joignant à la rapidité et à la grande chaleur."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Groundbreaking Postposed

According to the email I just received from the Chamber of Commerce, the groundbreaking ceremony at noon tomorrow for the new Stadium Grille on East Main has been postponed to "scheduling conflicts". 'sides, it looked to me as if the bulldozers that had been there for the last couple of weeks had already done a pretty good job of breaking the ground.

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EEAC Meeting

The C'dale Energy and Environmental Commission meets tomorrow at 6 p.m at the Civic Center. Among other things on the agenda: Koppers status, Eco-Dawgs, recycling of domestic food waste,noise pollution and renewable energy.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Lights Worth Seeing

1019 West Willow has a lot of lights. No inflatables or moving things but a heck of a lot of lights.


Pawel Sawicki's Platform

Here're the reasons why Sawicki is running, at least according to the comments he posted in the Southern last Tuesday. The third person references remind me a bit of Bob Dole or Dr. Doom:

" After seeing all the problems going on in our fine nation, Pawel Sawicki has decided it is his time to fulfill his civil duties. He is entering his name into the race for Carbondale City Council.

My main running point is to have Carbondale go green. The direction our nation is heading is a disastrous one. We cannot go on using our natural resources at the current rate. The USA accounts for roughly 5% of the world's population but we use 20-40% of Earth's natural capital. What's going to happen when the rest of the world demands its fair share?

Big businesses would receive tax breaks for recycling. Corporate America has to set a good example for the rest of America. Would you believe that a company like Dlck's Sporting Good's does NOT recycle at all? All the paper used at that store, and trust me there is a lot, gets thrown into the garbage.

Everyone likes a good competition. Competition makes every participating party better. We need to implement the idea of: Carbondale vs Marion vs Murphysboro vs Carterveille. What are we doing as a city to attract businesses to Carbondale over the other three? Are we doing a good enough job?

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Seven Candidates

Looks like we've seven candidates running for the 3 city council positions open next term:

In order of ballot placement, shown below is the FINAL LIST of candidates who have filed for Carbondale City Council.

1. Kevin P. Clark, 1635 Logan Drive #6, Carbondale
2. Chris Wissmann, 1111 W. Walkup Avenue, Carbondale
3. Corene McDaniel, 516 E. Jackson, Carbondale
4. Joel Fritzler, 123 S. Violet Lane, Carbondale
5. Pawel Sawicki, 907 S. Taylor Drive, Carbondale
6. Justin Stofferahn, 905 Lentz Drive, 202 Kellogg Hall, Carbondale
7. Yolanda L. Dean, 410 Palm Street, Carbondale

Of the seven, Wissmann, McDaniel and Fritzler are known quantities, as they are serving currently. Clark has a good reputation as a local (gasp) " community organizer" and has been involved with several local not-for-profits. Sawicki and Stofferahn are much more nebulous. I understand both are students, Sawicki at JALC and Stofferahn at SIUC. Sawicki posted a campaign video on YouTube a month ago but has since pulled it down, while Stofferahn is a sports reporter for the DE. couldn't find anything on Yolanda Dean unless she is the Apostle Yolanda Dean (doubltful since the Apostle Yolanda Dean operates out of Texas).

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Lights Worth Seeing

The house at 409 North Oakland has a nice assortment of lights outlining the eves and fits 5 inflatables into a pretty small yard. Well worth a look.


Individual C

If you want to read the Blagojevich complaint yourself and see if you think President Poshard is "Individual C", here's the full complaint. Scroll down to thumbnail 37, paragraph 67 for the relevant conversation. Maybe I'm being charitable, but I don't see any indication that "Individual C" was involved in the illegal aspects of the Bloago administration.

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Courtesy of Talking Points Memo, here's video of a couple of size 10s being pitched at president Bush yesterday.

Update. see here for the importance of shoes, esp thrown ones, in Arab culture. Via Media Matters.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bad Weather Coming

Here's the latest from the weather service as of 2:30 today:

250 PM CST SUN DEC 14 2008



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No Blago Resignation

At least, not tomorrow. Though, given the Gov's rep for honesty and straight talk, I wouldn't put it past him to say "no resignation" then resign.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Lights Worth Looking At

The house at 314 West Walnut crams a whole lot of lights, inflatables and animatronics (is that a word?) into a postcard sided lawn.

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0 for 2

Office Depot has announced the closing of the Carbondale store along with another 16 underperforming stores in Illinois. It lasted about as long as OfficeMax did at the same location. Nationwide Office Depot will close 112 of its stores and cut about 2200 jobs over the next three months. Naturally, the stock price of the company rose about 9% afte the news was announced.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Blago and Obama

Media Matter's Jamison Foser has a good piece on attempts in the mass media to link Obama with Gov. Blago's mess. Can you say Whitewater?

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It's that time of year again. Time for cookie walks. The churches have wised up this year or at least two of them have. The First Christian Church (Gee, I didn't think any organization used geocities anymore) at Monroe and University is having their's tomorrow from 9 to noon, then St. Francis Xavier hosts their's NEXT weekend from 9 until noon as well. You see the cunning plan, don't you? The FCC sucks you in: "Why bother baking? Get your Christmas cookes for the home and office parties here." But what happens to those delicious cookies next week? They all get eaten, that's what. Then St. Francis comes along, a week later, with plenty more cookies to add to your holiday parties (and wasitline). In past years, wehn they had the cookie walks on the same weekend, there wasn't the opportinity to hit the cookie buyer with that one-two punch, but now.....

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grant Papers to Mississippi

Via FreeU, the US Grant association moves the Grant collection of papers from SIUC to Mississippi State University, thus ending the 45 year association with SIUC with a whimper instead of a bang.

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Kevin Clark Files

In case you missed it in the comments or elsewhere, long-time local not for profit stalwart Kevin Clark filed his petition last Monday for one of the City Council seats. Apparently he, McDainiel and Wissmann were all there bright and early on Monday, signed petitions in hand, whilst johnny come lately Fritzler didn't make it in until Tuesday, the slacker.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Impeachment rather than Election

Rich Miller has a good article in the Sun Times on why Gov. Blago should be impeached rather than having a special election for Obama's seat. Despite the fact that he served in the Blago administration, Pat Quinn has done a pretty good job of keeping himself separate from Blago's operations, clashing with the governor on several occations.

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More on Blago

Pres. Poshard says SIUC won't be affected by Gov. Blago's arrest, except insomuch as state government focuses on dealing with this and what to do about the empty Obama seat, instead of on the financial mess the state is in. On a related note, Taling Points Memo says it's just a rumor the Obama orgainzaiton tipped off the Feds with Gov. Blago tried to work a quid pro quo on filling the senate seat.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More on Gov. Blago

Following up on Dave's post, here are some more takes on Gov. Blago's arrest from various sources. The Trib covers it here. Rich at the Capitol Fax has stuff here, here and here. Archpundit has updates as well. NPR's Ken Rudin weighs in as well. TPM offfers reasons to think Candidate #5 was Jesse jackson Jr.

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Blagojevich arrested by FBI

The Springfield Journal-Register reports: Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrested in Obama successor probe, including 76 page FBI affidavit and US Atty Gen. Press Release.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fritzler's a Go as Well

Joel Fritzler let the DE know via email that he will see another term on the city council. If only the three current Councilmen submit petitions by next Monday, they will be the only three appearing on the ballot and are shoe ins for re-election.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lights Fantastic

Caught most of the Lights Fantastic parade last night, which looked very well attended, despite the chill temperatures and brisk breeze. The Square had people standing 6 deep on the west side, all of them very well bundled up, except for the one guy I saw running around in shorts. The hot chocolate tent had a line of 10-12 people most of the parade and the funnel cake wagon was packed as well. I didn't see many people getting pictures taken with Santa and the reindeer but most of that action may have taken place during the pre-parade activities. I was wondering if any kids were getting confused since we had one Santa with the reindeer and one on the float at the end of the parade

Teardown was pretty well organized as well. The parade ended about 7 and traffic was back to flowing normally by about 7:15 when I headed back to the store to thaw my nose and ears out. Kudos to the city for that.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Election '09

In case you are planning to run for one of the three available seats, nomination positions are due by this Monday. Last time I checked, McDaniel and Wissmann had decided to run again, whilst Councilman Fritzler was still on the fence.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

St Louis: Gatreway to ... Craft Beer

Read about it in the Beer Philosopher blog - Drink Wisely.

Poshard and Plagiarism yet Again

It's the gift that keeps on giving. The new proposed plagiarism policy for SIUC is out now and the DE focuses on one particular part, the provision allowing the president's office to punish those who bring plagiarism charges deemed frivolous or malicious.

I find it amusing that this section follows one prohibiting retaliation against an individual who makes complaints or allegations of a violation of the plagiarism policy. Also, interestingly, the proposed policy ONLY applies to the Offices of the President and Chancellor. All other cases will be handled by the individual academic unit. You can read the entire 7 page draft here.

In a follow-up in today's DE, one of the principals in the plagiarism investigation, associate professor Gerald Nelms, commented that, under these guidelines, the allegations against President Poshard would have been considered worthy of investigation. However, Professor Nelms felt that his comments to the DE were taken out of context and he has written a very lengthy explanation of his reasoning in the article comments.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Illinois Gifts

If you're looking to give someone a gift made in Illinois, here's the link to the Ill. Dept. of Agriculture Illinois Gift Guide. Scrolling down the page, I found listings in southern Illinois for Blue Sky VInyards, Country bob's, Darn Hot Peppers, Genkota Winery and Hodgson Mill but quit after the Hs.

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Wednesday Notes

Want a Wii? Good luck. it's the top selling product on eBay with over 3100 of them sold on Friday alone, average price $349.

Car retailers closing. Around another 500 nationwide will close by this time next year.

New CoC director named yesterday. Interestingly, WSIU mentioned she had a degree from CCHS but not that she has a master's from SIUC.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Creche scene at Washington & Main

Posted by Picasa

Evening Summary

Yeah, it's a recession. And it's already longer than the average post WW II recession, which lasted about 10 months.

Durbin asks for a communtation for Ryan.

No salt shortage, it's just more expensive.

The Faculty Senate announced recommenced changes to SIUCs sexual harassment policy. They're not quite far enough for the dankprofessor.

Does this mean no football at SIUC while they're building this thing?

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Poshard Maybe Favors Tax Increase

Given the state of the state budget. Chancellor Poshard opines that a tax increase may be the only solution to the state's budgetary woes. There just doesn't seem to be enough sources for money to keep funding the services that the state's population demands.

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