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January 18, 2018


Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Community forum entry by: Dave and Neta Jackson

Questions Linger Re: Arrest of 12-Year Olds
The recent report (Dec. 28 Roundtable, p. 3) that police have been exonerated in arresting two 12-year-olds for riding on a bike unsafely did nothing to quell the disturbing questions that still remain.
Why were the kids riding as passengers arrested, but not the kid actually driving the bike? (The police say that child “can’t be found.”
Really? Really?
Why haven’t that child and his parents come forward, letting the passengers take all the heat?
Why weren’t these kids simply placed in a police car and taken home if the main concern was their safety?
(A paddy wagon? The police station? A formal station report? Really?)
If writing up a “formal station adjustment” on the kids was an error, why hasn’t the police department issued an apology to the families? And corrected it?
Will the “formal report” be expunged from the child’s “record,” as parent Rod Bady has requested?
And the question a lot of us have: would the police have handled the situation the same if the kids had been white?

Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Community forum entry by: Robert Teska

Kudos and More for ‘High Rise Free for All’
Editor:Kudos and more. Ellen Galland’s article in the Dec 28 issue of the Evanston RoundTable was excellent: professional, clear, precise explanation of the current situation in downtown Evanston. Your dad would be proud.
People keep asking me (at coffees etc.) “What is going on in Downtown Evanston?” or “how did the City make that decision?”
You covered it perfectly. Now I just have to keep a copy of Ms. Galland’s article in my hip pocket and hand it over to each inquirer.
I hope everyone interested in what is happening in downtown has read or will read this article. The City Council has a challenging year ahead of it.
I sincerely hope you can keep analyzing and documenting the process.

Posted: Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Community forum entry by: Kathy Kovacic

Opposes $10 Million Renovation of EPL
Why is the main library, which is a building that is only 23 years old, set to undergo a $10 million renovation?
In order for this “renovation” to occur, Evanston taxpayers are taking financial hits whether we can afford them or not.
Higher parking fees, another increase in property taxes, and increases in gasoline among other increases in fees and taxes.
These increases in fees and taxes are going to hit poorer Evanston residents particularly hard, residents who in fact live the farthest away from the Main Library.
Instead of wasting millions of dollars on “renovating” a relatively new building, why not put that money towards speeding up the renovation of the Robert Crown Center, which will include a branch that will serve the residents hardest hit by the tax increases?
Or, why not use those millions to balance the budget and for the police and fire pensions?
Why not use that money to increase services to the elderly and the poor?
Why not use that money to take some of the burden off homeowners, perhaps by reinstating the “free” leaf pickup program that was discontinued the last time the City needed cash?
It sounds from this article like the millions allotted for this wasteful, unnecessary library expenditure has already been approved.
What kinds of “renovations” are we even talking about?
Trying to track down information on the planned library “renovations” is no easy task.
It’s like the Library Director and Board and the City Council are trying to hide something from Evanston residents.
Shouldn’t there be a public hearing about an expenditure this massive, especially when we’re suffering for it?
Evanston residents are not some sort of cash cow that can be milked forever, especially when many of us will be facing financial hardships due to increases in healthcare costs.
For the sake of all of Evanston’s residents, I urge you to reconsider this extravagant, thoughtless use of our hard-earned money.

Posted: Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Community forum entry by: Fred Wittenberg

Aghast at Amount of Legal Fees: In reading the Dec. 14 RoundTable, I was aghast at seeing Shawn Jones’ “City Paid Outside Lawyers $400,000 for Robinson Lawsuit.” I applaud the RoundTablfor employing FOIA to bring this to light, including former 9th Ward Ald. Brian Miller’s prior efforts when he was in office.
The above figure is only the tip of the iceberg, with pending James Park litigation fees yet to be added. Evanston had prided itself on transparency, but the attempt to mask the magnitude of this borders on malfeasance. This City has just finalized a 2018 “balanced” budget, but the juggling to cover substantial waste needs to be answered. I implore the Council to take a close look at the functions of the City Manager and the Corporation Counsel, as I believe that heads have to roll on this one.

Posted: Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Community forum entry by: Small Business Owners Support Davis Town

As small business owners in Evanston, we’re writing to urge the City Council to support and approve the proposed development project at 601 Davis because this development and others are crucial to the continued success of the city’s thriving downtown and to the survival of locally-owned shops and restaurants.
Many of us grew up in Evanston. We chose to stay, build careers and raise our children here because we love this city. But, in the last few years especially, the business climate has become especially competitive. Rising real estate taxes have increased the cost of doing business.Everyday, we face the stark realities of having to bring customers through the door, so we can pay our employees and turn a profit.
While some may think newer, taller buildings don’t fit into the downtown landscape, we know from experience that development is good for our city. It expands the tax base, increases tax revenue, supports our schools, fosters a bustling downtown and – for small businesses – helps bring in the customers we depend on to survive.
Development is the spark that helps a city grow and prosper. You can’t block new construction and expect to have the businesses that people want. Unique coffee shops, charming boutiques and cozy restaurants need people willing to spend money to support us and keep our businesses viable.
The proposed development at 601 Davis Street is exciting for us and we hope the City Council will think through the benefits that this building would bring to the downtown business community, and that they will vote “yes” for approval.
-- Zach Friedlander, Owner Aloha Poke Co. Brian Huston Owner, Boltwood Sandy Chen, Owner Koi Fine Asian Food Dan Barton, Proprietor, The Spice & Tea Exchange of Evanston Hassib Blan Owner, The Olive Mountain Gina Vericella Crevi., Dennis Clarkson Owner, Gigio’s Pizzeria Chris Botti, Owner, Botti Studio of Architectural Arts Inc. Kris LaPoint, Chicago Campus Director, Midwest College of Oriental Medicine Jack Weiss President, Design Evanston Nikki Kuehl, Owner Bottle & Bottega

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