It is often helpful to start thinking about things in a very black and white way. In the most simple case, Carbondale is divided into 3 distinct business areas: SIUC; Medical; and everyone else. It is interesting how few people know of anything outside of their own business area.
Like most people in the "everyone else" category, I'm interested in SIU. We all follow SIU, because most of us are in the service businesses, that support SIU, their employees and students. We know who is naughty and nice in SIU management. We hear all the rumors. When I talk to professors, they are always amazed by how much more I have heard about University Politics then they have. When you are making money on people, and not making money by sitting in your office staring at a black board, you need to know.
I know nothing about the medical community in Carbondale. I'm not sure that anyone, outside of the medical community does. I figure, they are like the mafia, in Good Fellows, we are the chumps, and many/most are using the general public as boat payment plans. It is hard to party with the chumps, when you are feeding off of them.
The "everyone else" group is your standard collection of small business men, insurance agents, restauranteurs, and a few fools like me. I think that we believe that if there is to be economic growth in Carbondale, if the number of students doesn't suddenly turn around, it had better come from us. We also know how incredibly difficult it is to deal with the City of Carbondale, and their economic development arm, the CDBC. In particular, if you aren't a local.
I remember when I used to have comments. I guess you shouldn't stop blogging for 5 years, if you want that to continue. :)