The building on the corner of Brown and Simpson that began as a church, is now becoming a mosque and may be ready for move-in before winter.

… that the Evanston Police Department will be conducting a series of “traffic-enforcement campaigns” this year that will “emphasize the use of occupant restraint” and also call attention to speed laws and impaired driving. In other words, the police will be on the lookout for speeders, drunk drivers and drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts or having infants and children in safe seats.

… that June 18, “Bike to Work” day, was also “Dump the Pump” day – a double-whammy against petrol use, encouraging folks to bike or take public transportation.

… that street repair seems to be a little less obtrusive this summer. Perhaps that’s because they’re on the smaller residential streets, where only local traffic and parking are temporarily disrupted.

… that the mosque at Brown and Simpson is coming along well. Crews put in a sewer line last week, and work on the interior may begin soon. TG hears the full move may occur in the next three or four months.

… that, in further answer to a question last time from a reader about the fence along the Sam’s Club property, Jill Chambers in the City’s Community Development department said “A fence permit for this location along the alley was issued back in 2003.  It is allowed to be installed on Sam’s Club property per City Code. No variations are required.” So Sam’s didn’t need permission to replace it. 

… that folks from the Open Studio Project in partnership with and Chicago Public Art Group artist Sonata Kazimieraitiene to create a mural at the Main Street CTA underpass. During the preparation process through July 2, Gallery 901 (901 Sherman) is hosting a mural exhibition. Stay tuned – and look for the mural itself later this summer.

… that this week is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. The folks at the National Weather Service advise everyone to take shelter at the first crack of thunder. Summer is the “peak season for one of the nation’s deadliest weather phenomena – lightning.  There is no safe place outside in a thunderstorm.” To learn more, visit

… that Rotary Club members and some area residents spent a fine Sunday morning in early June running along Lake Michigan to help fight polio during the ninth annual Race to the Finish. The goal of the race is to raise money and awareness for the fight against polio. A crowd of about 3,500 is expected for the annual Ricky Byrdsong Race Against Hate this weekend.

… that Chicago lost its number-two ranking and fell to 14th place in the fourth annual “In the Driver’s Seat AutoVantage Road Rage” survey. Contributing to its fall in the rankings, according to the survey, “Drivers in Chicago ranked No. 2 as most likely to observe other motorists talking on cell phones behind the wheel daily, compared to 24 other major American cities.” Well, Portland, Ore., took first place and New Yorkers were last.

… that the Alliance for the Great Lakes reports that last September “11.5 billion gallons of untreated wastewater emptied into Lake Michigan during an unprecedented rainfall. An additional 222 million gallons have already been released in 2009 form the same source, which is just one of several potential discharges throughout the Great Lakes basin.” And a lot more was dumped in after last week’s rain.

… that again this year the Windy City Miata Club will participate in Evanston’s 4th of July Parade with, as the Club put it, a “multitude of brightly decorated little roadsters. These crowd-pleasers will toot and swerve down Central Street, each one being dressed up for this year’s Parade theme of, ‘E Pluribus Evanston.’”

… that the annual Central Street “Race for Place” (TG’s term) begins at 6 a.m. on July 1, when residents and spread their chairs, blankets, whirligigs and other paraphernalia to save a spot for watching the Fourth of July parade. As you may recall, a few years ago some kids put out lawn chairs and other tacky stuff as a prank in early or mid-June, prompting a humorless City Council to institute the Proper Rules for Place-Saving, and we’re a better community for it.

… that despite the cool weather, a few frisky animals, such as Rocky and Bambi here, have been seen around town:

… that NorthShore University Health Systems, the newly renamed parent company of Evanston Hospital is having some branding trouble. Not only is there no North Shore University, the group has also taken over the “Connections” name for its publication – Connections being the brand name of Connections for the Homeless, an Evanston institution for more than 20 years.

… that Northwestern professor Gregory Ryskin has published an article about the Earth’s magnetic field that NU says may be “controversial, because it relates the Earth’s magnetic field to the oceans. Seems Prof. Ryskin has “has defied the long-standing convention by applying equations from magnetohydrodynamics to the oceans’ salt water (which conducts electricity) and found that the long-term changes (the secular variation, termed “geomagnetic jerks”) in the Earth’s main magnetic field are possibly induced by oceans’ circulation.”  The press release from NU about this article noted, “The Earth’s magnetic field, and thus the magnetosphere, are  the only buffer between us and deadly solar wind of charged particles.” TG is glad someone is paying attention to this. 

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that, in addition to the leash-your-dog and don’t-let-your-dog-use-any-beach-but-the-dog-beach ordinances, which TG mentioned last time, there are other ordinances that just go begging for enforcement: the leaf-blower ban, the use-turn-signals-when-changing-lanes law, the loud-noises-emanating-from-cars ban, the don’t-blow-through-stop-signs-or-re-lights-laws, the brake-for-pedestrians-in-crosswalks law and the anti-idling ordinance. TG realizes our police are scattered and over-busy and that violators of these laws are for the most part moving targets. Yet is seems if the City would prioritize differently, even for a few weeks, and give the parking guys some time off so they could enforce these ordinances, it could improve the quality of life here.

… that, as always, Evanston is the place to be in the summer. Hope everyone will enjoy the lakefront, the Starlight Concerts, the festivals and sidewalk sales, as well as their own block parties and family picnics.