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home : community forum June 24, 2016


Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Community forum entry by: Mari Barnes

Thank You, Central Street Business Association
I am writing this thank you as the person who brought the idea of the Art Walk to Central Street, but by no means did all the work. The Central Street Business Association has recently formed an all-volunteer Board of Directors who got behind this project and, along with the Evanston Art Center, made it into a great weekend.
Fifteen businesses along the street, Allegro Dance Boutique, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Central Street Yoga, Gracie’s, George Ritzlin Maps, Happy Husky Bakery, Heaven Meets Earth Yoga, Lois & Co., Maya Papaya & Tony Macarony, Notice, Perennials, Spex, The Spice House, Stella and Walsh Natural Health, all participated.
The event showcased painting, jewelry, pottery, and even exquisite bird houses. It was well-curated, thanks to the Art Center, and unique because the art was viewed in non-traditional settings. Combining art with business allowed many people just strolling by to stop in places they may not normally patronize. One resident said she was thrilled to have discovered so many special places on Central and that she intended to make it to the street on a regular basis.
Thank you to my fellow Board Members, Stephen (Happy Husky), Patty (Perennials), Simone (Maya Papaya), Larry (Spex), Aim and Ailie (Aim & Ailie) and Rachel (Stella).
It certainly takes a village, and we have a great village.

Posted: Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Community forum entry by: Eric Witherspoon, Superintendent

ETHS Water Meets All
Due to nationwide concerns about drinking water quality in schools, we are providing information to our families as reassurance about our water safety at Evanston Township High School, ETHS.
In addition to annual testing by the City of Evanston, independent testing conducted on April 8, has shown that the water at ETHS meets all standards, and the District is in compliance with laws and regulations concerning water quality, including lead levels.
A copy of this report is posted to our website

Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2016
Community forum entry by: Daniel Biss, State Senator

I want to extend a sincere thank you to the residents of Evanston and elsewhere in the 9th Senate District who turned out April 26 for a vigorous discussion about the Illinois budget.
A standing-room-only crowd gathered at the Evanston Civic Center to hear three experts – Therese McGuire from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Bill Stafford from the Oakton Community College Board, and Mark Weiner, CEO of CJE SeniorLife – discuss the consequences of the state budget stalemate and how it is damaging education and human services throughout Illinois.
I appreciated the thoughtful questions and feedback from those in attendance, and I encourage them to continue sharing their opinions with those they elected to represent them in Springfield. It is vital that the people of the 9th District and all of Illinois continue to be engaged and vocal about the role and function – or dysfunction, as the case may be – of government at all levels.
While the current situation in state government is obviously unacceptable and harmful to our state, I am heartened by the passion and engagement that was on display during our April 26 discussion. It is only by rising up in one voice and demanding different behavior that we can hope to see better and fairer outcomes.
For those who were unable to attend the event, I invite you to share your questions or concerns by calling my office in Skokie at 847-568-1250 or emailing me at

Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2016
Community forum entry by: Cordelia Maloney

I saw your article about the possible city loan to Dave Glatt for a new restaurant on Noyes. I was happy to see the article as the sudden closing of the old place was very sad.
I looked at the agenda for the council meeting on the 9th and didn’t see an item about the loan. I may have missed it, but wondered if you know when it is scheduled. I doubt I’m the only one, but I'd like to be there to show support for the city’s action in granting the loan – and support for Dave and his family – who have contributed enormously to Evanston in so many ways.
Ed. Note: Mr. Glatt has withdrawn his request for City funding.

Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2016
Community forum entry by: Dolores Ayala, Marie Balthazar, Jean-Marie Freise, Janet Kirby, Laurel O’Sullivan, and Jim Young

We are ETHS parents whose trust and confidence has been shaken by the administration’s incomplete and delayed response to a series of recent thefts from the boys’ gym lockers caught on video by students. These thefts are particularly disturbing because of the history of unsolved thefts at ETHS. Also, they were committed by at least one member of the school’s safety staff and students’ attempts to report their suspicions about safety staff were met with disbelief and in some instances, repercussions.
As parents we share the students’ frustration and outrage. The administration waited a week before sending a disappointingly incomplete email informing us of the incident. At the May 9 school board meeting, we delivered our concerns and were again disappointed by Dr. Witherspoon’s response as it lacked any sense of personal accountability and instead focused on defending his employees while “normalizing” locker thefts as “common.”
At the center of our frustration is disbelief over the lack of accountability over the years. In 2009, a group of parents met with Dr. Witherspoon to address the problem of gym locker thefts. Policies were left in place that appeared to invite continued abuse. For example students were mandated to use a lock to which safety personnel had a master key. In addition, there was no avenue open for students to report a theft that did not lead directly to the department where the problem originated, and recently, when student writers for the Evanstonian wanted to write an investigative article on the subject, they were directed not to by administration.
Contrary to School Board President Pat Savage-Williams’s comment in the Evanston Review, we do not believe that “all” members of the Safety Department are responsible, and we are not trying to “ throw them all under the bus because of what two people have done.” Yet, we emphatically do not believe that this is a case of a “couple of bad apples.” It is the culture of tolerance and lack of accountability that has led to the present situation.
For this reason we are requesting the administration to:
• Conduct an outside, independent investigation by an unbiased party.
• To issue a formal, written report upon completion to be shared publicly.
• To ensure that future allegations of theft will be gathered in a more systematic and comprehensive manner.
• To establish a safe, secure forum for students who are victims of theft to have their voices heard.
When a public institution, like ETHS, loses the trust of students and parents, the repercussions are felt throughout the community. We look forward to a response from the administration that will restore confidence in its leadership.

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