A reader feels the boat-access road blocks too much of the lake view from picnickers.

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… that the City has received word that the labor and operator unions strike has come to an end and that the construction projects that were halted by the strike will resume on July 21.

…that there’s a stop sign on the Ashland spur off Green Bay now. Whether it was put there in response to TG’s whining about the need for such a sign or because the City independently saw the danger there, TG is grateful for it – as likely are others.

… that the City will spend about $156,000 for automotive parts, supplies and accessories this year (July 2009 to July 2010) for City vehicles and equipment. The City plans to purchase parts for sedans, vans and pickups from Carquest Auto Parts on Main Street and parts for medium and large trucks from Aetna Truck Parts in Chicago. The City will also purchase about $90,000 worth of tires and tubes from Wentworth Tire Service, Inc. in Bensenville.

… that a 54-foot (about five-story) multi-family residence might be going up at Hinman near Main.

… that the dreaded and stubborn Asian carp seem to be making their way toward Evanston and the greater waters of Lake Michigan. Last week a man said he caught a 64-pounder in Garfield Park lagoon.

… that Fireman’s Park, at Simpson and Maple, will be rededicated tomorrow. A lot of the work on rebuilding the park as well as fundraising has been assumed by the firefighters’ local union, 742.

… that the STIHL Tour des Trees paid a visit to the Ecology Center last Sunday. Mark Younger, the City’s arborist, was one of the bike-riders in this weeklong, 500-mile ride to promote research on trees through the Tree Research and Education Endowment (TREE). The group paid homage to a tree that was planted earlier this year in the arboretum in honor of the tour and the TREE fund.

City Arborist Mark Younger greets Nancy MacKerrow, who had this disease-resistant American elm planted in memory of her daughter, Susie. The tree is now part of Susie’s Forest, composed of trees planted throughout the country in honor of Ms. MacKerrow’s daughter, Susie, a bicyclist and environmentalist. She was killed in 2002 while legally crossing a street in St. Louis.

… hears that Mather LifeWays would like to change part of its construction-management plan in order to save three parkway trees on Hinman. To do that, five parking spaces along Hinman would be temporarily eliminated and the parking lane on the east side of Hinman would be temporarily closed. The First Ward alderman alerted her constituents to these proposed changes and called a meeting about it last night and said, “These changes should ensure the uninterrupted flow of north-south traffic on Hinman Avenue during construction.”

… that not everyone in Evanston is a Cubs fan (even though they seem more
vocal). Here’s a sign of some local budding White Sox fans:

… that Bar Louie is operating under new management and a restaurant at the former (now closed) Va Pensiero will operate as Pensiero Ristorante, still on Oak Avenue.

… that the weed police were out in full force last month, citing a garden that the owner claimed was planted with prairie grass and prairie flowers but that the City thought exceeded the weed limit (14 inches).

… a proposed ordinance to allow chickens in the city is cooped up but still clucking in the Human Services Committee. The pro-chicken aldermen seem to be on the side of local food and fresh eggs; the anti-chicken aldermen are focusing on the possibilities of increased coyote and rat populations and increased enforcement expenses.

… that GreenPark hopes to open a “fully automated parking facility” in Bucktown next year. They say they hope to be the nation’s first LEED-certified gold parking facility, using recycled construction materials, purchasing electrical power from renewable energy sources, and installing a green roof and energy-efficient lighting that will not contribute to light pollution. Car emissions will be eliminated, as the cars will be moved “via a robotic system that uses only 125 amps of electricity with a natural gas backup generator,” according to GreenPark.  

… that, speaking of green, Australia is mounting an effort to limit the burping of cows in order to curb its carbon footprint. Seems cattle, with their many stomachs and continual regurgitation, emit methane gas, which is more polluting than even carbon dioxide.

From our readers: TG: In the photo above, the roadway for the boat launch, visually and really separates the park and the people from the lake. This so-called improvement is way worse than I thought it’d be: A lakefront picnic, only trucks and trailers are between you and the lake.

– Janet Messenger

From TG: TG sees what you mean. The swoop of the new road, cut in from Sheridan just south of Clark, takes up a lot more of the park than you and perhaps others expected. Picknickers now can see the road, the boats and the riprap in front of them before the lake. The new beach house and restrooms are quite lovely, though.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that the City’s latest “No Parking” signs around the RT office are more confusing than ever. The temporary signs say the same thing the permanent signs say: No Parking 9-4 on Tuesday. Is this a redundancy or are we supposed to ignore the permanent signs? More, does it mean that we’ll actually see some street-sweeping here this summer?

… that it’s time for TG’s biennial (or so) contest, and this time it’s the blues. Readers are invited to write an Evanston blues song.

Here are the rules: No more than five stanzas and two versions of the chorus per entry and no more than two entries per person. Send written entries to TG at

“I Got Them Ol’ Parking Ticket Blues
         Again, Mama”

Well I went to see a movie, put some
         quarters in the slot.

Yes, I went to see a movie, put eight
         quarters in the slot.

But the movie was three hours –
         got a ticket; I got caught.

Or: “Blues at the Lakefront”

I get the blues at the lakefront,
         when I see all them seagulls there.

I get the blues down at Lee Street,
         when I see those flocks of
         seagulls there.

But then I see them up at Dempster,
         I see them everywhere.

Writers who are borrowing someone else’s tune should put that in as well.  Those who are more creative can send in videos of themselves (or some ringers) singing their songs. Winners will be announced in this column in time for Arts & Humanities week.