Monday, May 31, 2004

Thanks for the bloggeries

Standing in Cedar Lake, with a laptop computer harnessed to my shoulders like a musical keyboard, to express approval of the NY Times profile about people for whom the blogging never stops. It's been a memorable Memorial Day, after putting in a couple of hours at Busdog's, driving out to Poplar Beach for fun with my son. Although sunnier than the day before, the breeze feels colder than the water; too blustery to throw a pluto platter. But it'd be cool if the water would stay this temperature through August.

. . . which reminds me . . . Everyone's talking about the new movie "The Day After Tomorrow," a film more science fact than fiction, or maybe not.

Speaking of being ignored . . . only three City Councilman and the Mayor have commented on the accomplisment they're proudest of, and the issue(s) they believe that citizens should be most aware of: Maggie Flanagan, Sheila Simon, Chris Wissmann and Mayor Brad Cole, leaving Corene McDaniels, Steve Haynes and Lance Jack among the tardy, although Cole's looked like something he wrote while the assignments were being passed down the row to the teacher, and Flanagan's response was like a summary of past City Council accomplisments (before there were 7). So only Simon and Wissmann receive full marks so far. But this blog is a patient blog, a persistent blog.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

In memoriam

Today's Doonesbury comic strip lists the names of 702 U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq up to April 23, the date that cartoonist Garry Trudeau submitted the strip for publication. For an updated list, readers are referred to www.lunaville.org. But an Indianapolis Star writer thinks the cartoonist's list is not complete enough, since it lacks the names of the thousands of Iraqis "who have left the world along with the men and women on Trudeau's roster." The author, Dan Carpenter, concludes: "Our sight must encompass all casualties and our litanies must include their names if political art is ever going to conquer tribal politics."

The fact that friendly fire killed Pat Tillman does not redeem this offensive Ted Rall cartoon.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Alas, the Saluki baseball team lost twice to Wichita State in MVC Tournament action earlier today.

Still "Bike to Work Month" after all those days

Just three more days for bicyclists to pick up a free "Bike 2 Work" tune-up from one of the three local bicycle shops (closed on sunday). . . . As previously instructed: Tell 'em "peddlin' dave sent u."

To Shock the Shockers

After trouncing Evansville yesterday, behind Josh Joiner, who was "outstanding" on the mound, the Salukis will play MVC Baseball Tournament championship game vs. top-seeded Wichita State Shockers at 2:07 p.m. today.

SIU will be seeking redemption against the Shockers, who beat them twice in the same situation a year ago. Also, the Salukis make their second straight MVC Tournament Championship appearance under head coach Dan Callahan. SIU has not accomplished that feat since the early 1980s, when it made four consecutive trips to the league's postseason championship - 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983, under then-coach Itchy Smith.

If you want to watch on television:

"The game from Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo., will be televised on Fox Sports Midwest. The game will be shown at 7 p.m., CST on May 29 on Fox Sports Net Midwest and Metro Sports, and tape-delay at 2 a.m., on May 30 on Fox Sports Net Chicago. If the 2 p.m., game is the championship game, it will be shown on a tape-delay basis at 7 p.m., CST on May 29.

If the 7 p.m., game is the championship game, it will be aired live on Fox Sports Midwest at 7 p.m., and joined in progress at 7:30 p.m., CST, on Fox Sports Net Chicago. It will also be shown on a tape delay basis at 2 a.m., on Fox Sports Net Chicago on May 30. Also, should the 7 p.m., game be the championship game, the 2 p.m., matchup will never hit the air."


Undoubtedly every bar in Carbondale with a television will have the game on.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Just heard this on WJPF . . . former Saluki basketball standout Shane Hawkins will not be an assistant coach at John A. Logan College this year after all . . . Paul Lusk's move to Purdue created an opening for an assistant coach at SIUC that Hawkins has been chosen to fill by Coach Chris Lowery. Hawkins served as a graduate assistant on the bench last year under then head Coach Matt Painter.

Kids' stuff

Last night's meeting of the Mayor's child care panel was well-attended and the group agreed that the city could remain in the child care business -- if some tough decisions are made (the City will have to "spank the baby," as one member put it) Meanwhile there have been four bids by private child care providers to take the City up on its offer of free rent, so it looks like little kids will have a spanking-new child care provider at the Eurma Hayes Center some day.

on the menu

The "Dancer's Trunk" dancers' supplies place next door to Printing Plant is out of business, but a new Mexican take-out place is moving in. C'dale still needs Thai and Italian restaurants, though (Italian Village doesn't count).

Stars on Main update

So busy with B2W Day last week, that I forgot to tell you about my meeting with Susan Karayanis, the woman behind the Stars on Main project, under the Carbondale Main Street banner. R. Buckminster Fuller will be first to be honored. They want to put the star up by the Labyrinth, but for some reason Hugh Muldoon, the Interfaith Center director, opposes it. He also opposed(s?) my idea for putting geodesic dome shelter over the Labyrinth at the Labyrinth Peace Garden. Since a dome structure was there originally, and it's impossible to see the labyrinth from the road, why not? Does Muldoon have something against Bucky Fuller and tetrahedrons?

Banner banter

Speaking of Carbondale Main Street banners . . . I didn't realize that CMS already had a banner behind the performers . . . paid for by sponsors (how much?) . . . but it's small and ineffective as a backdrop. I spoke to Roxanne and Linda, CMS's dynamic duo, about it, but they seem happy with the current set-up, so this blog will drop it for the time being . . . maybe next year.

Tea for two

Took my son to the Bubble Tea place on the Strip. He got a coconut flavored drink (with tapioca "bubbles") and I got some "Thai Tea" (with bubbles). We walked to the Labyrinth to drink them, sitting by the waterfall, where we discovered that the little tapioca balls and oversized straws make excellent pea shooters, and the tapioca balls stick to whatever they hit. This may not be a good selling point for "the drink you can chew," but after awhile, you get tired of chomping on those sticky little globules. Other toppings (or more accurately, bottomings) are also available, including some colorful jelly-like balls, which may also have good pea-shooter potential.

In Seattle, Bubble Tea is creating quite a buzz.

Worm power

A cost-effective recycling project is in the works at the university: Having worms eat student garbage. SIUC's recycling and solid waste coordinator, Andilee Warner, "is working on a project that will use more than two million red wiggler earthworms to eat the food the students leave behind." It's a process called vermicomposting, and it will be the largest venture of its kind at any university. To paraphrase the SIU News Service: chalk another one up to Southern@150.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Still peddlin' pedalin'

Yesterday was Bicycles Rule Day! in Flagstaff, AZ. But tomorrow is "Penultimate Bike to Work Day in Bike to Work Month," in Carbondale and everywhere else. It doesn't matter where you live or work; if you work at home -- ride around the block. If your bike doesn't work, have someone work on it! To help you along, this blog will give a gift certificate for a free basic tune-up to the first customer to ask for one at each of the three local bicycle shops through Monday. The shops provided them for last week's Bike 2 Work Day lunch, but I forgot to give them out. Tell 'em "peddlin' dave" sent you; I'll tell them to expect you. Maybe you should call first to make sure no one beat you to it. Feel free to try all three. But if your bike is already in good operating condition, then all aboard! Ride like the wind, my sister; Sweat like a horse, my brother.

For more information about Flagstaff's event visit www.FlagstaffBiking.org.

For more information about the free tune-ups . . . phone one of the shops. Remember, this is a limited time offer. After Monday, the certificates will be given to the first three persons to comment on a future post. (Hoping this isn't too confusing to anyone. If so, please don't call the City Clerk. She's too busy with plans for Monday's Memorial Day observance. Maybe next year, the City can combine the two events into a "Bicycle to Memorial Day Observance" Day.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

kid stuff

As you know, I've been in Colorado picking up my young son for a visit with me here in Humidtown. Hoping to get back in time for the "Mayoral Panel for the Review of the Eurma C. Hayes Child Care Center" meeting tomorrow night (Thursday) at The Civ, in Room 103 at 5:00 p.m. I wonder what happened to the idea (suggested in this blog) that Kevin Clark's young entrepreneurs be given a shot at making it work. The idea was broached to Kevin Clark (who liked it) to Don Monty (who said he'd pass it on to Deb McCoy) to Deborah McCoy (who wrote it down on a piece of paper and said she'd pass it on to the Panel). Why not? Attending the meeting may reveal the answer -- during discussion of agenda item #4. Also be curious to see how many of the "blue ribbon" Panel are still showing up to meetings -- with childlike curiosity.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Although "B2W Day" in Carbonale is over and done for this year, there are still six days left of National Bike Month, as ordained by the League of American Bicyclists, so there's still time to ride! If your bike is broken, take it to Carbondale Cycle, or Phoenix Cycles, or to the new improved, old Bike Surgeon and get it fixed -- and ride to work or to the store or SOMEWHERE instead of driving your car before the end of the month. If you don't own a bike, buy one! Midwest Cash has good deals on used bikes.

Maybe next year the Bike Surgeon and Aur Beck can offer a free fix-up-your-bike day at the Civic Center -- in preparation for B2WDay #3. Why not? Aur has been doing this on Earth Day for several years, and the Bike Surge is noted for his pro bono repair jobs.

I'm so excited about the remaining days of National Bike Month that I'm thinking about riding a bicycle back to Carbondale instead of riding a Greyhound Bus. Probably take about as long. Ha.

Monday, May 24, 2004

According to a new website, Citizens Against Reckless Expansion was formed in 2003 by a network of individuals and groups concerned about the unnecessary and unwanted highway proposals for Southern Illinois." It'd be cool if they'd add a section about how denizens of this region might construct a superhighway on the internet in lieu of the asphalt kind. . . . Turn Illinois into a Land o' Linkin'.

Greetings from Greeley, Colorado, Bloggy . . . Being on the road over the weekend, I couldn't follow the fortunes of the Saluki softball team, which defeated Pacific University (on another Amy Harre shutout) but lost to Hofstra (again) on Saturday. Nevertheless a great year for Coach Kerri Blaylock's squad, which set a new school record with 45 wins, winning the MVC championship for the first time, and finishing as one of the top three teams in the Region VII NCAA Tournament.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Much going on here, there and everywhere, Bloggy, but a fuller report of Bike to Work Day is in order:

Bicyclists gather here and there

Between 20-25 people showed up at Fridays's "Bike 2 Work Day" lunch at the Carbondale Civic Center. Not bad, considering the event didn't receive much publicity beyond this blog, the Carbondale Times and radio stations WJPF and WIDB. In addition, about 25 flyers were also distributed around town and campus, and the Carbondale Bicycle Club notified its members. Only about ten of those in attendance actually rode bicycles to work, and a few rode to The Civ for lunch. This was a better showing than Valparaiso, Indiana, which had bad weather to blame for its poor Bike to Work Day participation.

Many other cities throughout America are hosting Bike to Work activities this month, including two that are spreading its events over several days. The city of Flagstaff is spreading its events over the entire week, the Arizona Daily Sun reports: "Bike to Work Week events include: a morning ride with community leaders. . . . Free coffee, bagels and pastries. 'Bike Films at the Orpheum,' including 'Red Light Go' and 'Peewee's Big Adventure.' And on Bike to Work Day, workplaces all over Flagstaff competed to have the most number of employees who ride their bike to work.

The City of Flagstaff is going even further . . . sponsoring "Bike to School Day," on Thursday, where parents are encouraged to bike their children to school. That night, a one-hour casual bike ride will be followed by more bike films with 'Triplets of Belleville.' And if that isn't enough, Friday is "Bike for Your Errands Day," and shops and restaurants providing discounts to those who bicycle. It's all outlined at Flagstaff Biking Org.

Those are some good ideas, especially the part about having a competition for the most employees to ride to work.

Springfield, Missouri has some pretty progressive ideas, too. According to the Springfield News-Leader, a whole week will be devoted to it, beginning Monday,and businesses competing for the Bike-to-Work Week traveling trophy, awarded for either the highest number of employees participating or the most commuting days. Springfield City Utilities will give free bus rides to anyone traveling on a bike during the week. (All city buses are equipped with bike racks.)The Springfield Family Y will provide showers and towels to participants during the week. It's sponsored by Ozark Greenways which even offers to help riders plan their routes.

Other cities had other approaches last week, such as, Arcata, California, where around 20 bicyclists showed up at the Arcata Plaza for the first city-sponsored Bike to Work Day. The phrase of the day, 'One less car,' was sported on T-shirts worn by Arcata Mayor Bob Ornelas and a handful of others, reports, Times-Standard Online. As bicyclists gathered on the plaza for a raffle and a ride, other commuters on bikes rode past. In Eureka on Thursday, about 40 bicyclists turned out for a Bike to Work Day rally in Old Town. Prizes were awarded for the longest commute and the most riders from one workplace. The Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association organizes the annual Bike to Work Day to encourage cycling as a viable alternative to driving an automobile.

While organizing Carbondale's mini-event on Friday, I spoke to Cindy Maples at SRSS, who was organizing "Walk Away the Blues" Day, also on May 21. Cindy was totally up for combining the events, although there wasn't enough time to pull it off this year, but next . . .

Speaking to the assembled bicylists at The Civ, last Friday, Mayor Brad Cole expressed his desire for the City of Carbondale to become an official "Bicycle Friendly Community" (as determined by the League of American Bicyclists), something which Anne Johnson, President of the Carbondale Bicycle Club has already presented to City Planner Tom Redmond, and City Councilwoman (and avid bicyclist) Sheila Simon, so . . . look for further developments on this project.

The Bike 2 Work event on Friday, was fairly simple, but effective. Mellow guitar riffs(melovator music) was provided by the Amazing Ran Dee (aka Darby McG) and sandwiches and veggie wraps by Andrea Barclay (of Global Gourmet) . . . Carbondale Times editor, Tom Riechman and Mary Avery(his wife) won a trophy for riding the longest distance, and Anne Johnson, President of the Carbondale Bicycle Club won a "lifetime achievement" award for many years of service to the club.

Anne had some sad news to report, though: John Stankovich, a member of the CBC, and all-around great guy, died Wednesday night while riding his bicyle home after a ride with friends. Keith McQuarrie and Sandy Semrow, who were with John that night, said there was no evidence of John being run off the road or foul play. Apparent heart attack, reports a heartfelt memorial tribute in Saturday's Southern Illinoisa.

The final speaker at the lunch, Mark Robinson expressed The Bike Surgeon's intention to fix-up bicycles donated by the Carbondale Bicycle Club for the Women's Center and other deserving groups in town.

The Saluki softballers lost to Hofstra, 1-0, in a 12 inning heartbreaker, yesterday, but defeated Southern Mississippi in a game last night, to face Pacific U. at 5:30 today. If they win, they advance in the tournament; if they lose, it's home to C'dale.

The live broadcast of the Pacific game can be heard online at Pacific's home website.

Friday, May 21, 2004

A lot going on today, Bloggy, so I'll keep it brief. Full report at 11. Until then, if you're near a computer about 2:30 p.m., you can listen to the Salukis vs. Hofstra NCAA softball game via the internet at www.wrhu.org.

p.s. Not sure how this happened, but in its front page notice of today's B2W lunch at The Civ, the Carbondale Times got the food provider wrong . . . Not Neighborhood Coop, but Global Gourmet is preparing the food -- for 50, not 100. So I hope 100 people don't show up clamoring for "Lance Armstrong" sandwiches made by the Coop.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

'Amazing' Amy shuts out Bulldogs

SIU softball pitcher Amy Harre threw a four-hit shutout without a walk to lead #6 seed Southern Illinois (43-15) to a stunning upset of upset of the #3 seed, Fresno State University, as the Salukis nipped the Bulldogs 2-0 today in a 1st round NCAA game at Stanford University. The win set a new school record of 43, breaking the mark set by the 1991 squad. "This was ... one of the best wins our programs 's ever had,"' said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock. The Salukis will play the Pride (as in Lions) of Hofstra University in the winner's bracket tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. CST. The Nashville native may pitch with one day's rest.


photo courtesy Saluki Sports

A couple of photos snapped on the way to work this morning. . . . Also had an interesting conversation with a City employee . . . the question: HOW EXPENSIVE WOULD GASOLINE HAVE TO GET for you to start riding a bicycle to work. The answer: $3.00. How about you? Me? I quit buying cigarettes at $1.25 pack.

Mayor Cole isn't hopeful about the State Legislature curing the malpractice insurance malady before the current legislative session ends, although local legislators are fairly optimistic reports Caleb Hale. In a phone interview with WJPF's Cap Miller, Cole noted that the City of Carbondale's "Home Rule" status may allow it come up with its own solution -- something the city attorney is looking into.

The mayor also mentioned the upcoming construction of a new department store, a development which Linda Rush details in The Southern: "Carbondale has scored another retail coup with announcement that Kohl's Department Stores is planning a store on the Giant City Road, just north of the Kroger East store."

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Chamber Flea Market

This Saturday, the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Flea Market at the Carbondale Community High School Parking Lot . . . 8:00 am - 2:00 pm.

New store open for breadness

Months under construction, Panera Bread opened for business near Office Max and Applebee's on Monday . . . and Marion is next, reports Andrea Marie in The Southern, along with some other tasty crumbs of information about making bread. Key quote: "Panera's fund-raising program, Dough for Funds, helps charitable groups generate cash to support their projects. The store will, according to corporate information, be a good place to hit up for donations of gift certificates and gift cards for community auctions and fund-raising drives." (Perhaps a loaf of bread or two for Bike 2 Work Day? Bagels for bikers? Sandwiches for tandemers?)

Scooter to Work Day?

Andrea Marie reports the highlights of last night's City Council meeting, leading with the fact that "small scooters remain misfits in Carbondale, not allowed on the roadways because they aren't roadworthy, and not allowed on the sidewalks because they have a motor." But a persistent scooterer named Tim Donahue gave the Council a revised city ordinance for scooters -- on which the mayor agreed to hold a public hearing, after city council and the city attorney have had time to consider Donahue's proposal.

Maybe Donahue and scooters just need some good PR. "Scooter to Work Day?" He claims a "proliferation" of the vehicles. Maybe they could scoot over to PK's some Saturday afternoon for a rally.

At the end of the meeting Mayor Cole "noted that Friday is Bike to Work Day in Carbondale, with an informative luncheon scheduled at the Carbondale Civic Center." . . . which reminds me . . .

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

In you could put hugs in a bottle: Spending soars for kids' behavior drugs

How 'the other half' bikes to work

Events for Bike to Work Day on May 20 are firming up.

"'Fresh pancakes, gourmet coffee and juice -- first class all the way . . . 'And it's not just breakfast -- the downtown . . . will have all-day attended valet bike parking so riders don't have to worry about bringing a lock or finding an available rack. . . . In addition to free food and drinks, Bike to Work Day participants can win prizes and collect giveaways donated by event sponsors. Riders who fill out an official Bike to Work Day 2004 registration form will be eligible to win two grand prizes of a round-trip flight for two to the Hawaiian island of Kauai, courtesy of Pleasant Holidays. Other prizes include a 'Muirwoods' model urban bicycle from Marin Bikes, two Palm Tungsten E handheld devices, and a folding bicycle from Dahon."

-- in the San Francisco Bay area, where thousands will be participating in Bike to Work Day on Thursday. . . . "Currently some 38,000 Bay Area residents use a bicycle as their primary means of getting to work. Thousands more occasionally commute to work by bike. Bike to Work Day has a proven record of getting cars off the road and pollution out of the air."

Carbondale's Bike 2 Work Day will be on Friday, May 21, at the Civic Center and lunch -- not breakfast -- will be provided. . . . Plus some trophies and a bicycle and some gift certificates will be awarded. Not high ticket items like those West Coast bike-to-workers, but everyone in Carbondale is encouraged to enter the Shimano Commuter Challenge, as well.

As for all those high-priced giveaways in the Bay Area . . . Maybe next year Carbondale can have a Caribbean Cruise thrown in? Why not? If the Bay Area can drum-up a trip to Hawaii, then the Land Between the Rivers crew can too. But this year it's gourmet goodies by Andrea Barclay . . . and some surprises.

(Thanks to the namesake of the San Mateo County coordinator for sending this link.)

Monday, May 17, 2004

Be there -- not at 'The Square'

Apparently, there is confusion, Bloggy, since I failed to explain that the Town Square Pavilion was rejected as the place for Bike 2 Work Day #2 lunch, because SIRSS was/is planning its "Walk the Blues Away" event at the same time -- originally booked for 4 p.m., but changed to noon, but not recorded on the calendar at the Civic Center . . . Soooo . . . we had to come up with another location, and make some calls. We wanted it to be outside but not many sheltered places downtown where bicylists can congregate. The Labyrinth Peace Garden and Interfaith Center were considered, but no help with set-up, whereas City Hall air-conditioned and well supplied with tables and chairs. Maybe next year we'll gather at Town Square, but this Spring we'll meet at the Civ.

Attaching the strings

Three more guys who should be on the "Guitars Between the Rivers" CD: Dave Parrish and Ivas Dambruaskas, who play for Big Larry's Down Home Blues Band, and Billie Bowden, recently profiled in Flipside. All three belong on a compilation disk of great Carbondale guitarists. Most readers of this blog have probably never heard the mellifluous and stirring guitar work of Bowden, Bruce Camden, Bill Carter, Kurt Carter, Dambruaskas, Dean Dayemi, Zak Harris, Grant Morgan, Robert Russell, Parrish, Robert Russell, Jimmy Salatino, or Robbie Stokes . . . But I have, and can't wait to hear the album! Rock, Blues and Bluegrass fans are (cliche alert) in for a treat. And Nancy Stemper's in for some dough for Carbondale Community Arts. Contract. Must make contract contact.

The Writers' Web

Freelance writer, Carl Hausler will discuss creating a web site, web site design, and how he uses the site to promote his writing and research business at a regular meeting of the Southern Illinois Writer's Guild in the Terrace Dining Room of John A. Logan College, Thursday night at 7:00. The meeting is free. Email your questions.

The cicadas are coming, the cicadas are coming

These big harmless insects can be a safety hazard to children says a Cincinnati pediatrician.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

A Bicycle-to-Work Day Built for Two

bike 2 work flyerIs your bicycle oiled and aired for Friday? If you ride it to work that day with a friend -- and then to the Civic Center at 11:30 a.m. for lunch -- the mayor may hand you a trophy! The second bi-annual(?) Bike 2 Work Day is pushing the idea of two people riding to work together -- which fits in with the "2" in "Bike 2 Work," and also with the Shimano Commuter Challege to experienced bicyclists and rookies. A choice of 8 different models of bicycles will be awarded to the winners.

"Didn't we just have Bike 2 Work Day?" asked Jeff Doherty when I asked him if he planned to ride. In October, yes, but this month is Bike 2 Work Month, and Spring is such a lovely time to ride . . . So maybe Bike 2 Work Day will only be in May from now on, and not October. Or maybe twice a year. We'll see what people think.

Also, it might be worthwhile to ask what routes riders took to get to work. Were bicycle paths or routes followed?

The rules for Shimano's Bike to Work Challenge are posted. Deadline for entry is May 31. Winners will be posted at Bicycling Magazine.

Locally, the two who ride the farthest will get a trophy from the mayor, and a gift certificate from one of the bike shops. Other gift certificates will be awarded to other bicyclists. The new City bicycle maps will be available, and a brief questionnaire, music, and other goodies. View the flyer.

Today's new word: neologism. Another day, another word.

The wild Blue Flag Irises are blooming. "Look for them in swamps, ditches and along railroad rights-of-way in low lying floodplains. Just one of about eighteen North American species (depending on who does the counting) this is probably our area's most common Iris species," explains our local Almanac.

Two MFA Thesis Exhibitions by 2D graduate students at the Surplus Gallery, Glove Factory. The work of Baggs McKelvey and Chad Wanzek, will be on display May 19 - June 1. Free and open to the public. More info: 453-4315. (links and photos not yet available).


Softball and Tapioca

Too bad about the Salukis losing to Creighton yesterday, but the team can still get an NCAA bid, and deserves one, although coach Kerri Blaylock is sweating it.

If they DO get the bid, the team should take a walk down the strip (yeah right) to the new QQ Bubble Tea (next door to China House) to celebrate! I tried one myself, and I must say . . . it's . . . different: a drink that's chewy and delicious. "QQ" appears to be a franchise with roots in Taiwan. So what the heck is Bubble Tea anyway? Flavored tea and with balls of tapioca at the bottom -- much smaller than softballs! -- that you drink with a straw twice the normal diameter. Try it yourself (tell 'em dave sent ya), or read more about it.

Winging it

Right next door to "QQ Bubble Tea", Harold's Wings just opened Friday night. Harold is from Chicago. Haven't sampled his wares yet, but will type a report just as soon as my fingers are licked clean.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

At a web site called The Dead Rock Stars Club, there's a reference to "Frankie Trumbauer (aka Tram) - Died 6-11-1956 ( Jazz ) Born 5-30-1901 in Carbondale, IL, U.S. - Worked with The Benson Orchestra, The Three T's, Bix Beiderbecke ('Singin' The Blues') and Manny Klein." Last week, Carbondale Community Arts was contacted about money from sales of the CD going to CCA to provide guitar lessons for a deserving young person: The Trumbauer Award?

Maybe someone from Egyptian Combo remembers Frankie T. . . . The band that had a Top-40 hit in 1964 ("Gale Wind") was profiled in the Southern Illinoisan last week with hopes to hit the silver screen. I wonder what Trumbauer's story was.

Speaking of the stories of rock & roll legends . . . earlier tonight on WSIU-FM R&B legend Jerry Butler recounted the lives of Little Willie John and Jackie Wilson. I already knew that "Mr. Excitement" (Wilson) had a heart attack while performing on stage at Cherry Hill, NJ . . . but didn't know he survived for another decade in nursing home. Depressing? Well that's nothing compared to "Dogville," currently showing at the University 8 Theater. A kind of post-modern(?) or film-noir(?) version of "Our Town" (surely some critics have noticed this.. . . yep.)

Salukis play big game today

I heard this yesterday from Saluki Fan #1: due to yesterday's inclement weather (it rained all day), the two top seeds in the Missouri Valley Conference softball championship series, SIU and Creighton -- both undefeated in the first-round -- will play at noon today in a winner-take-all championship game. The game will be televised on videotape by Fox Sports Midwest and Metro Sports at 3 p.m., and again on Fox Sports Chicago at midnight on Sunday. Read more about the game and the duck at the Roc, as described by Paul Klee in The Southern Illinoisan.

A peek inside Bedlam Cottage

Want to know what people think of Carbondale Code Enforcement? Well, 80% of those surveyed at a new Carbondale web site, think it too lenient on landlords. Okay, only 5 people have voted so far, but the site is only a few weeks old. It appears to have been created by a computer savvy individual who's interested in historic preservation. For instance, there's photos of the different buildings that have occupied the space where the Carbondale Public Library now is.

Friday, May 14, 2004

For Dentmon, it's academic

In what Todd Hefferman calls "a bizarre twist," CCHS Terrier basketball star, Justin Dentmon is opting to attend a Massachussets prep school, Winchendon School, rather than Illinois State Univ. next year . . . giving JD another year of high school eligibility. He made the decision in order to better prepare for college academics. Smart kid! It's all explained by Hefferman in the Southern Illinoisan -- including the fact that Justin's decision means he is no longer obligated to play at Illinois State, and could be wearing Saluki maroon in a couple of years.

you go girls!

As reported in Saluki Sports, yesterday, "SIU junior Amy Harre pitched a complete game, three-hit shutout, leading #1 seed Southern Illinois (42-14) to a 1-0 win over #5 seed Wichita State in a first round pitching dual at the 2004 MVC Tournament at West Stadium.

"SIU is striving to become the first Salukis squad to win conference and conference-tournament titles in the same season since 1991," writes Paul Klee in the Southern.

The win ties the school record of 42 set in 1991 (42-7) and advances the Salukis to a winner's bracket meeting against #2 Creighton or #6 Evansville . . . Today at 4 p.m., weather permitting, since thunderstorms are forecast.

photos from Saluki Sports photo gallery.

While in other news . . . Bike 2 Work Day #2 is shaping up this way:

Carbondale residents are being invited to ride a bicyle to work with a friend, have lunch at city hall, and maybe win a bicycle or a gift certificate from one of the local bike shops.

This time around, the sandwiches will be prepared by Global Gourmet, a new version of the "Lance Armstrong" sandwich, plus fruit and drinks for those adventurous enough to put their shoes to the pedals next week. FRIDAY, FRIDAY, FRIDAY . . . carbondale civic center . . . be there.

At the first Bike 2 Work Day, the guitarist, Mellow Man, filled the air with pleasant sounds as the thirty or so participants milled around and sipped and spoke together. This time, I'm gonna try to get a guitar jam going on . . . unfortunately Robert "Catgut" Russell will out of town, but other local guitarist will be around, and -- who knows? -- may be willing to play for food, and a good cause.

Is riding a bicycle to work with a friend a good cause? Damn straight! Unless you work at home, or reside way out of town, but a mile or two or three . . . why not? I know . . . you might get sweaty, or messy hair. Well too bad! At least for this one day, give it a go . . . and hear the birds chirp, and the cars pass by . . . or listen to music on headphones -- You'll like it. And so will your friend!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Business Bulletin: The new Economic Development Manager (since May 3) for the City of Carbondale is . . . former City Planner, Jeremy Hayes! The formal announcement will be made at next week's council meeting. Not sure why there wasn't a press release about this, but hey! . . . Hayes! Maybe The Southern will do a profile of Carbondale's new Biz kid on the block. . . . a TIF block, of course.

Bloggy -- I'd love to fill you in at length, but flyers for Bike 2 Work Day (May 21) haven't been designed, printed or distributed yet, so that's today's major task. Plus getting contracts drawn up for "Guitars Between the Rivers." (and a web page too!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Here at Big Boy's Q'n with Carbondale's newest blogging web designer, Tiffany, whose website, Nika's Garden, offers but a hint of her graphic design wizardry. She recently moved here from Madison, WI to ply her trade and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of our fair (and consistent) city. Tiffany also designed and maintains the BuckysDome.Org website which we just added to the "organizations" links in the Carbondale Directory.

Talking about the cover design for the "Guitars Between the Rivers" CD. . . . On a related note . . . Majnun guitarist Dean Dayemi has agreed to lend his talent to project, leaving only Bill Carter and the guy who plays for Big Larry's Down Home Blues Band to be contacted.

blogitor's note: the above post was edited the next morning, which is 'now' as I write, but 'then' when . . .

Hear bands for free

In a couple of hours at the Town Square Pavilion . . . Jim Skinner Blues, as part of the "Brown Bag Series" sponsored by Carbondale Main Street this Spring and Summer. Flipside has an article and schedule in "Bag your lunch and some music."

Do you like country dancing? How about "contra" dancing? This Friday night "in the bluff."

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Just added links to other blogs created in Southern Illinois in column to the left. This blog makes no warrant as to the contents, except they're neither pornographic nor stupid, and they're updated frequently.

The Education and Technical Assistance Committee of the Carbondale Preservation Commission meets in two hours and 30 minutes in Conference Room B, 2nd Floor, City Hall.

tort reform retort

Vis a vis, Chris Wissmann's analysis of the malpractice insurance crisis in this state . . . this morning, an ominous male voice on the radio proclaimed "millions in frivolous lawsuits, friendly judges, courts out of control, unscrupulous lawyers." Only one of these charges is provable: the first. What about it? The voice said to visit the Illinois Chamber of Commerce web site for more info. Since the legislators are currently meeting to make some decisions . . . maybe Chris can reply to this, or to Fraydog's earlier comment. The idea is to get a conversation going here that will lead to contructive action -- not to score debating points. (oooh, chalk one up for this blog!)

gambling our way out of debt

RE: the legislature . . . Brandon Phelps and Gary Forby were interviewed on WJPF-AM 1340 this morning by Cap Miller. The very strong message from Phelps was that he supports having more gaming facilities, like Metropolis, in the rest of the state. Four or five are in the works, and Rumor* has it that Makanda may get a permit to have a pair of dice for a craps game every Wednesday on The Boardwalk, while Pomona will be issued a deck of cards.

Calling all Council

So far, only three members of City Council have responded to this blog's email survey from last week: Maggie Flanagan, Sheila Simon, and Chris Wissmann. I'll give the other four a day or two, or maybe a phone call.

*blogitor's note: Rumor is capitalized in the Spenserian sense.

Monday, May 10, 2004

A couple music notes:

The Natives aren't restless

Flipside online has the story: : "After a span of more than 12 years and quite a few drummers, The Natives are celebrating their history with a CD release party at Pinch Penny Pub on Thursday, May 13."

The album is $10 and will be available at the release party and also at PMAC music.

One night, two bands, at Boobys

Tomorrow at Boobys Beer Garden -- two great rock bands: Jackhead and Brain Regiment, beginning at 10 pm.

submitted by a brainy member of Brain Regiment, while just last week, Jerry Bradley submitted a story in Flipside about Booby's By Day...And By Night.

Giving youth props

Carbondale appreciated its Youth on Saturday, as City leaders joined with local principals to recognize the many students at CCHS who have made positive contributions to the community. The award for the Volunteer of the Year went to Megan Baumann, who received a standing ovation from the crowd of a couple hundred at Carbondale Middle School. Special thanks goes out to organizer Deborah McCoy, who spotted a tag on the back of my pants and took it off before I entered the room. It's because of dedicated service to the community like that that the City of Carbondale stands out as the Capital of southern Illinois.

Capital idea

Mayor Brad Cole is always saying that Carbondale is the Capital of southern Illinois, but he doesn't CAPITALIZE the "s." But since it identifies a region, like "South Jersey," it should be capitalized, shouldn't it? (unlike southern New Jersey, which shouldn't) but "Southern Illinois" is taken as the name of the region (as evidenced by the university). Writing Southern with a capital "S" emphasizes that the region deserves a capital.

Blogitor's note: The spelling of "capital" has been amended, thanks to Allison's comment below

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Heard thru grapevine

Dear Bloggy, I went to a couple local vineyard Wine & Music Festivals last weekend. At Alto Vineyards, Carter & Connelly on Saturday, St. Stephens Blues on Sunday. Spoke to Curt Carter about being in "Guitars between the Rivers" CD. (Jimmy Salatino of St. Stephen's Blues is interested, too.)

Alto Fest brought out hundreds of people over the weekend, including author Peter Delacorte and C. David Nelson, Dem. candidate for States Attorney in Saline County, who received an uncoveted "Soggy Award" from this blog for outstanding blogging in Southern Illinois. Actually, Dave has two: a campaign blog, and a whimsical blog about guys named "Dave Nelson." Writer Delacorte does not blog though, but enjoys word gaming on Yahoo.

Meanwhile, over at Owl Creek Vineyards, Shady Mix mixed it up a little bit, met Karen Binder, chief spokesman for the local wine industry, and Jeff Bean, father of the Shawnee Hills wine district. . . . They couldn't tell me what the deal was with David Ponce, the guy who wants to create the largest wine district in the world. This may be a job for Blogman.

Fuller town?

Also at Owl Creek, Cornelius Crane--the point man for the R. Buckminster Fuller dome home project-- pointed out a good parking spot, then made some points about his idea for Carbondale embracing the great man as its own . . . Put signs outside of town "Home of ..., etc." I told him of an idea previously advanced in this blog: that the City should emphasize it's domeness: become the city of the dome. So, yeah, I agree with Corny: Carbondale should adopt the buckmeister. Why not? (besides time and money reasons.)

Some more links would be nice, I know.

MVC Softball Championships



. . . at Charlotte West Stadium, Thursday and Friday games: 11 am, 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday game at 9:30 am, 12 pm, and a possibly a championship game at 3 pm. The championship game will be televised on FOX sports Midwest. Tickets available at the Saluki Ticket Office, Arena Room 113. For pricing call 453-2000.


The Salukis will play Thursday morning beginning 11 a.m. After that, it depends. Tickets can also be purchased day of game at the box office.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

briefly

gonna stop blogging for the rest of the week . . . to catch up -- and move ahead -- on various projects. A good time to, with school being out, and nature calling. . . . But first . . . a comment on blogger Fraydog's take on meeting me at Big Boys: He left out the part about his killer Chris Rock impression, and the photo I snapped of him in the Town Square Pavilion.

Radio station WJPF (1340-AM) news reporter, Roz Rice, is moving to The Southern Illinoisan, as two other writers get expanded responsibilities.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

In Nightlife News and Opinion, Chris Wissmann offers an excellent analysis of the facts re: tort reform and medical malpractice insurance, concluding:

"A better solution would be . . . a state universal-healthcare policy for all citizens, and universal-malpractice insurance for all Illinois physicians. . . Universal health care would ensure that patients can afford the care they need-- particularly preventive care, which would reduce the burden on high-risk medical professionals and thus their liability. Universal-malpractice coverage would give the state a direct fiduciary interest in policing attorneys who abuse the tort system, and in ending the medical careers of doctors who cannot competently perform their jobs. The insurance industry would be the only loser, and few will mourn for it."

This sounds like a great idea . . . I wonder if anyone in Springfield agrees. Bost? Bradley?

In the same issue of Nightlife, Chris and Ana Velitchkova report on student Marc Torney's recent brush with the Student Conduct Code -- and the repercussions that will follow. . . in Four Corners.

G-Rod's Roads and Bridges Plan a Scam?

According to an article in The Southern by Mark Samuels, it's drawing heavy criticism:

"The ink on Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed roads-and-bridges budget was barely dry before critics began savaging it Thursday.

The 300-page Illinois Department of Transportation document stretches the state's normal 5-year plan across seven years -- and asks for $2 billion in new borrowing to replace motor fuel tax money the administration is essentially diverting to the state's day-to-day checkbook.

It also contained little detail about transportation projects in four of the state's 10 'Opportunity Returns' economic development regions."


Bloggy -- Since tomorrow marks one year that the current City Council has been in business, I finally got the questions sent off to each member. Specifically,

1. What is your proudest accomplishment as a member of City Council? and,

2. What is (are) the most important issue(s) for local residents to consider in the coming year(s).

Quick take tabled

Concerning the City intervening in negotiations between a landowner and a grocery store developer in order to "Quick Take" the property, Andrea Marie writes in The Southern: City Council Tables Discussion of Eminent Domain. The motion was proposed by Councilwoman Sheila Simon to give the parties in question time to gather relevant information. The matter will come up for discussion and vote at the next Council meeting, May 18.

Speaking of relevant information,

Virtue of bicycling

Sheila Simon just forwarded a news release about Bike to Work Month, with the message that bicycling promotes community . . . totally! For instance . . .

Riding down the sidewalk on Main St., past the old high school football field, I saw the guy who mows the fields taking a break (it takes 4 hours to mow the property), so I asked him if he knew who to talk to about acquiring the property to construct a public outdoor swimming pool there (in the upper tract, where the tennis courts are. He told me the property was owned by Gelco Management of Vienna, and they're connected with Jackson-Hewitt. (The Jackson-Hewitt Community Swimming Pool? Why not!)

Moral: If I were driving in a car at 30 mph, I may not have noticed him.

Questions for discussion: What grocery chain is it . . . IGA? There used to "Borens IGA's" in town, where Mugsy's is, across from Turley Park, and Carboz, in back of Pinch Penny.

When was the last time the City invoked Quick Take proceedings to obtain property? (A question for the City Attorney.)

Just what the Old Town District needs . . . Another coffee shop? There's a flyer in the window about wanting an antique dealer . . . Antiques and Coffee? Why not. . . just so long as the antiques are old, but not the coffee.




Backdrop background

While at City Hall yesterday I obtained the dimensions of the Town Square Pavilion for the purpose of obtaining price quote for a removable cloth banner/backdrop for the north end, behind the performers and speakers -- who are frequently lost in the background of buildings, trees, and sky behind.

Everyone agrees that it's a good idea, but . . . who will pay for it? Advertisers? A combination of advertisers, Carbondale Main Street and other business organizations, in addition to the City? The structure is 24 feet long and 10' high . . . Something about 36 feet long and 5 feet high should do. . . . a job for Noteworthy's poster/banner division -- or Quick Signs!

The DE answers the question: What's up with Morris? The CD asks: What's up with the photo?

I know I said this blog would not concern itself with national politics until closer to the election, but conservative political essayist George Will finds serious fault with the President's mind set in Time for Bush to See The Realities of Iraq in the Washington Post.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Serendipity doo-dah

Bicyclying to city hall this afternoon, encountered Hugh Muldoon, as he was walking down an alley off of Cherry St. and we walked together for awhile and spoke of the trash and trendiness of the strip of buildings from the Interfaith Center to Kopies & More. Told him I just mentioned him in this blog, and wanted to follow up. Told him about Lance Jack's desire to have more trash cans in neighborhoods, so Hugh's challenge to Lance to organize the cleanup brigade seems well placed. While walking, we discussed the lack of identity of that stretch of shops (not to mention the shortage of parking space) and tried (unsuccessfully) to come up with a suitable name.

Meet at Big Boys, big boy

From city hall, it's a short walk to Big Boys BBQ, where a traveler can find some wireless internet, big screen tv, and water. Other customers ate BBQ sandwiches and drank beer, or shot pool. The wireless internet is great . . . It's very cool to be able to go online at a moment's notice to look something up. The owners plan to have beer garden between the Big Boy's building and the Mexican Grocery . . . which will also be very cool, but narrow . . . Maybe they should call it "Fat Man's Squeeze." (photos pending)

Until one of the coffee shops in town get's internet access (or some form of high speed net availability), this blogger will be at Big Boys. I'll speak to the owner about adding an espresso machine -- or at least some good coffee beans to its menu (We'll discuss a new name for the place later . . . how about "Monks"? Using Herb Fink's drawing of Prof. Eddie Epstein in monk's garb, as illustrated in one of John Gardner's books. . . . King's Indian?)

Planning Bike to Work Day 2

From Monks, walked across the tracks to the headquarters of Global Gourmet (between Long Branch and Neighborhood Coop) to speak with Andrea Barclay about making sandwiches for the Bike 2 Work Day event on May 21 at Town Square Pavilion between 11:30 - 1 p.m.. She agreed to prepare them, but we didn't settle on what kind of sandwich exactly . . . The "Lance Armstrong Special" or something else?

Besides food, entertainment will be provided at B2W2 . . . but instead of a lone acoustic guitarist like at the first B2W Day at City Hall . . . B2W2 could have a guitar jam session . . . a preview of some of the artists to perform at Guitars Between the Rivers. Of course, most of these guys have day jobs, so we'll have to see, but still . . . we'll have to set a limit on how many sandwiches are offered. Sandwiches, apple and chips to the first 100 bicylists and guitarists (bicyling guitarists can have two sandwiches).

Speakers at the event are also needed . . . This and other details will be discussed and finalized at a meeting this Friday at Big Boy's from 5 - 6 p.m. If you are interested in helping with Bike 2 Work Day 2, please attend the meeting.

Two minutes ago, the Citizens Police Academy's 20th Graduating ceremony commenced. Linda Rush wrote a preview in The Southern.

Quick take on Quick Take

An interesting but predictable development is reported by Andrea Marie in The Southern Illinoisan: Carbondale City Council may invoke eminent domain "Quick Take" procedures to acquire property. To be considered at tonight's meeting.

Key quote: "Councilman Steven Haynes is against using eminent domain in this case. He said he thinks the city should not be involved in the negotiations between the property owner and the grocery store."

Grocery Store? Should Councilman Haynes be voting on this, since he himself manages a grocery store? (Kroger West . . . and a fine job he does of it.) Just wondering.

With Adobe Acrobat Reader you can preview Item 5.1 Quick Take Public Hearing.pdf

Projecting into the future

I think Fraydog has the right idea to drop politics from his blog. This blog will do the same . . . until closer to the election, 182 days away. Of course this blog has always been focused on one main thing anyway: helping to make Carbondale a better place to live through the power of blogging, plus follow-up in the real world.

Projects in the works include "Guitars Between the Rivers," compilation CD featuring the top guitarists in Carbondale and vicinity, due for release in late summer.

Another project coming up more immediately is the second Carbondale "Bike 2 Work Day" on May 21. There will be an important planning meeting on Friday afternoon, to decide on guest speakers, type of music, and food to be served at the lunch. If you read this and want to help out, please come to Booby's Restaurant (next door to the Bike Surgeon). Meeting will be over by 5:30 or so.

Speaking of the Bike Surgeon, soon that vehicular institution will be under old management. Pete Hertzing and John, who used to work with Mark Robinson (the original Bike Surgeon) at the Walnut Street location will be taking the business over from Bill Watts, who's ready for a change of climate and trail riding opportunities in Colorado. Mark will be available for making rims true, greeting people at the Grand Opening, and newspaper quotes. He'll still be run the Greyhound Station next door, though, and offer charter bus service, when he's not working on his website. Look for the change by the end of the month.

Spoke to Hugh Muldoon, who's latest great idea dovetails nicely with mine. Namely, clean up and promote the strip of stores from the Interfaith Center to Kopies & More. Hugh suggested to Lance Jack, offhandedly, that the young Councilman might follow up on his desire to place trash cans on neighborhood street corners by leading the charge to cleanup the block where his restaurant is. My own idea is for "the City" (Carbondale Main Street, or someone) to aggressively seek more restaurants for that block. Sell-it-All (formerly Discount Den) will be empty soon. Tina's gonna set up shop in Ava instead. Can't blame her . . . the rent is pretty steep for a low price store. So that store will be empty, along with the old laundromat, next to the Japanese restaurant, which I still haven't eaten at, but will soon. . . . maybe find out what the owner thinks of the Restaurant Row idea. This town could use first class Italian and Thai restaurants, no?

Alley up?

This has been proposed before. Something we can get going right away . . . an "Adopt an Alley" campaign. Why not? Local businesses and organizations could be responsible for keeping them free of trash and litter. Maybe Keep Carbondale Beautiful would be interested. The alley pictured here is usually pretty clean. I use it sometimes while riding my bicycle to City Hall (which you can see at the other end of the alley) to pay a parking ticket.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Quaker play

Thanks to a new local blog I learned a play the author wrote about the founding of the Society of Friends: Quakers Rock the 17th Century, being performed at the Interfaith Center. Terrific performances by all the kids, especially the Leverett brothers and Amos sisters.

For more information about Quaker meetings in Carbondale, keep your finger poised on the mouse over Southern Illinois Society of Friends web page until the spirit moves you to click on it.

Speaking of poised . . .

Makanda Fest Success

Jan York, owner of Visions Gallery in Makanda, did such a good job coordinating last weekend's Makanda Fest that she's been asked to do another, though she thinks two Makanda festivals a year may be enough. And yet . . . Makanda Days has a nice ring. Or "Makanda Months" -- with something one weekend a month, every month. Why not? Perhaps Rainmaker artist Dave Dardis can put a finger on it.

Lack of enough parking space may be one reason. In the past, Makanda Fest got so successful, it moved to Touch of Nature -- and people were bussed to Touch of Nature for a few years! It was fun, but more like "Touch of Nature Fest" than Makanda Fest. So Makanda Boardwalk businesses organized Vulture Fest in October in the meantime, a great success. And a few years ago Makanda Fest returned to the rustic, charming town from whence it springed (sic). Go there any other day. There's plenty of parking.

Carbondale Conversation, or talking to myself?

As promised, the Carbondale Conversations Action Report was delivered yesterday at CCHS cafeteria by group leaders. Things the community could do to make it better. Group block parties, that sort of thing. Chris Wissmann made the point that -- except for the swimming pool -- everything suggested could be done by people immediately. I agree, so I hereby propose a block party on the corners of Springer and Main. There's a house band on the NE corner that will rock around the block. I think the guys on the SW corner can hook us up with party supplies too. The guy who lives on the first house south of the business on the SE corner has a band with some friends of his. . . . after the summer semester, when traffic on Main St. subsides for awhile.

Speaking of NW . . . another idea was better road access to NW Carbondale. . . Have Sycamore St. continue across the tracks and around to Wal Mart.

The event was well attended. I knew about 33% of the people there at least by sight. It was great to see former Scholastic Hi-Q quizmaster Marvin Kleinau do his thing again.

One thing that concerned me was that a site was mentioned near the new high school, in the so-called "Super-Block," since the property at the old CCHS football and tennis fields is a better location. But other than that, it all sounded great.

As an aside, I wonder what the demographics facts are of the participants. Age, place of residence, employment . . . that sort of thing.

Ain't gonna pay cheap tax on Fuhrhop's farm no more

I heard this first from Cap Miller, while chomping on a walnut at Harbaugh's, but sat on it (the info, not the walnut) pending further investigation, which Ken Seeber puts succinctly in The Southern: "Owners of 500 parcels of Jackson County farmland will be receiving much higher property tax bills this year."

One guy's tax was raised from $43 per year to $1600 (a 3700% increase!?) There has been speculation that this was being done by Jackson County Board Chairman Gary Hartlieb to pay for improvements needed by County law enforcement, since the so-called Safety Tax was not approved by voters in the recent election. (Apparently, Hartlieb blames Cole for the loss, but Cole has offered to help him, so we'll see what happens). But the change in farmland assessments may not have much to do with that, since the Illinois Department of Revenue has mandated that all counties reclassify farmland that isn't being used productively by its Market Value, rather than as farmland, by 2006. It's just that Jackson County was the first to actually do it. All that property owners have to do to keep the lower "farmland" classification is come with an approved forestry management plan.

It's all explained in Bulletin 810, which I don't have time to read. There's more at the . . . . Illinois Farm Bureau.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Finding Shady Mix

Finally got the scoop on when Shady Mix was playing today at Flipside and (after a bit of searching) in Nightlife, too, although both articles have comic beginnings. Quoting Jan York, the Festival's coordinator, the Nightlife article begins: "People will be infested with Makanda's laid-back atmosphere." Is there a spray for that?

Unfortunately, the opening 'graph in Some of the Best at Makanda Spring Fest was not a typo:

"Spring has sprung in Southern Illinois and as green is being established as the predominant color on the landscape, music and merriment will be filling the "Valley of the Arts," on and around the Boardwalk in rustic downtown Makanda . . . "

Spring has sprung? Gag me with a spoonerism! Thankfully, after this initial misstep into the trough of triteness, author Jerry Bradley paints a colorful preview of the event -- definitely enticing me to drive to Makanda. You should too!

Have you ever heard Shady Mix perform? Or the other first-rate bands appearing in downtown Makanda today? I wonder how many other bands have web sites. Let's see . . .

Chickenfoot Gumbo, Shady Mix, The Natives, The Woodbox Gang, Country Generation, Old Santa Fe, Kevin Lucas Orchestra, Barry Cloyd, Dean Thieubaud, Big Muff, Sagebrush, New Arts Jazz Quintet, Patrick Mounyard

Did you hear the thunderstorm last night? More of the same today? The Weather Underground folks forecast: "Showers and thunderstorms with heavy rainfall."

Too bad for Makanda Fest. I hear that Shady Mix has added some Nashville cat to the band. Would like to hear them play. I think at 2 p.m. Let's see if the info is conveniently posted online. Where would you look first? Carbondale Calendar? Nightlife? Pulse? Flipside? The Calendar lists the event and gives a phone number, but no schedule of events. A phone call should do the trick. Better than the internet sometimes.

Not in this case however. I telephoned the contact number given in the Carbondale Calendar but the person answering didn't even have a schedule of events!