This gambrel-style building (some might say “barn”) may be the model for the City’s new salt dome.

…that construction (or reconstruction) work has begun on a part of the bike path in the Arboretum.

… that a four-way stop is coming to Grant and Lincolnwood.

… that Cricket Communications wishes to install three wireless antennas at Ryan Field.

… that the peregrine falcons are back and nesting at the Library. Check out

… that the City has still not settled on a new location for its new half-million-dollar salt dome. Seems the present location – at the City’s Service Center on Asbury – is too small and cramped for a new big dome. It’s in a residential neighborhood, besides. But there are still some concerns about constructing the new dome (if, indeed, that is the shape) at either the recycling center or the (almost) adjacent former leaf-composting site. Now here’s some news: It might not have to be a dome; people at Streets & San are looking at more of a “salt barn” with a gambrel roof. TG reiterates the opinion of several years ago that any one or more of Evanston’s extremely creative artists can make the new salt edifice look great.

… that the City annually pays the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to dispose of the sludge generated by our water treatment process.

… that public art is blooming again in Evanston: Maybe you all caught the Mother’s Day installation of Indira Johnson’s “Conversations Here and Now.” This summer Kiela Smith-Upton will begin restoration of the “Wall of Struggle and Dreams” mural at Clyde-Brummel Park. This mural has been called one of the most significant pieces of public art in Evanston. Ms. Smith- Upton says she thinks that, with summer preparation, the mural can be ready to repaint by the fall. And a third piece is coming – Jim Brenner is going to create a light-sculpture for the Custer Avenue bridge.


…. that intrepid RT folks put another box on Central Street to replace the one that was stolen.

… that a few more alleys will be paved this summer: those north of Payne and east of Hartrey, north of Greenwood, east of Grey; north of Leonard, east of Asbury and west of Bryant; north of Madison Place, east of Pitner; north of Greenwood, east of Brown; and north of Thayer, east of Marcy. Public Works Director Dave Stoneback said, “The appearance is that [paving] helps with flooding. We never say it will keep alleys from flooding. TG has heard of a couple of places where alley paving increased backyard flooding. Maybe the City should make sure that these are green alleys.

… that the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported last month that Chicago-area consumers paid more for electricity (15.1 percent) than the U.S. city average in March 2009.  Gasoline prices were 3.1 percent above the national average in March, while the price of utility (piped) gas was 27.7 percent below the average price for the nation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

… that the windows on Fire Station #1 are sagging to the point of needing repair.

… that at 7 p.m. on May 20 the Evanston Bicycle Club will participate in the worldwide Ride of Silence, which is “intended to raise awareness of road safety and to honor riders who have been lost or injured due to motorists on the road.” This will be one of five local Rides of Silence. Information about the local rides can be found at The Evanston Bike club website is

… that Metra officials finally listened to reason and have decided to accept credit cards, starting next February. This helps set the stage for getting universal fare cards that could be used across the entire RTA system. A press release from Representative Julie Hamos (the power behind mass transit progress and, if there is any, reform, said, “Last month, in response to a Chicago Tribune article and numerous complaints received from Metra customers, Rep. Hamos called upon Metra’s executive director, Philip Pagano, to testify before the (state) House Mass Transit Committee on Metra’s failure to adopt best practices, including credit-card processing.” Go, Julie!

From our readers:


TG: On April 28 I saw two scruffy coyotes loping along Greenwood and disappear into the back yard of the Dawes House. Maybe they were waiting for the Evanston History Museum to reopen.

– Janet Messenger

From TG: Read on.


TG: I took [this picture of a coyote] at about 11:30 a.m. on Sheridan Road and Lee Street.      – Michael J. Molinaro, AIA


From TG: And TG hears of another coyote-spotting, this one on Ridge, just south of Church.

TG: Hello. I saw the Traffic Guy’s musing on having an aggregate name for Evanstonians, and I think I have, if not a winner, at least a worthy possibility: “a green of Evanstonians.”

On the one hand, it cites the ecological-mindedness of our citizens; on the other, it refers back to the notion of a “village green,” a central location (usually grassy) providing an outdoor meeting place for the people of a village. Thanks for the fun.

– Jenny Peel

From TG: Thanks, Jenny. Great idea. Read on:

TG: Suggestion for a name of an aggregate for our residents: a fortress of Evanstonians. “Fortress: v. t. To furnish with a fortress or with fortresses; to guard; to fortify.” Just a suggestion of course. I think of Evanstonians as kind of like warriors protecting the old while inheriting the new and trying to guard and defend the way we used to know our City, way back when there was a Marshall Field’s downtown Evanston, the old Wig and Bag, the world’s largest garage sale, ample parking, Edwards Shoes and no crazy towers. 


I still love this place but have such fond memories of the way it used to be. 

I think most Evanstonians (true Evanstonians, the ones that grew up here, and are now raising families here) feel the way I do. 


With that said, I also feel like embracing the “new” honors change for the better and helps to fortify our investment in the City I love.           – Jean-Marie Freise



From TG: Another great idea. TG did not realize “fortress” was also a verb.

The Traffic Guy thinks…


… Both of these ideas are great – better than other, snarkier suggestions, such as an “opinion,” a “whine,” or a “protest” of Evanstonians.

… that the Associated Press reported last week about another biofuel option: waste from chocolate factories. The AP story said scientists at the University of Warwick unveiled “what they hope will be one of the world’s fastest biofuel vehicles, powered by waste from chocolate factories and made partly from plant fibers.

“Its makers hope the racer will go 145 mph and give manufacturers ideas about how to build more ecologically friendly vehicles.”

They say their car is the “fastest to run on biofuels and also be made from biodegradable materials. It has been built to Formula 3 specifications about the car’s size, weight, and performance. Their claims cannot be independently verified.

“Warwick’s project manager James Meredith said their model shows that it is possible to build a fast, efficient, environmentally friendly car.”

Chocolate waste? Is there such a thing?

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