The driver of a truck heading east on Church Street last week stopped to measure the available overhead space, then decided to retreat north on Maple.

… that the next phase of the Dodge Avenue resurfacing project began this week. This part covers the street segment between Oakton and Lee. The project, according to the City, “will involve the replacement of existing curb, roadway base repair, replacement of asphalt surface from curb to curb along with selected sidewalk replacement and driveway aprons. Accessible ramps will also be built at the intersections.” The City also says it expects that the project will be completed by the first week of August. Watch out for the temporary “No Parking” signs – there will be a 48-hour notice.  The resident engineer in the field will be Pankaj Chokshi, who should receive any questions or concerns. He can be reached by calling 3-1-1 or 847-448-4311. Residents are asked to mark sprinkler systems with a flag.

… that the Emerson Street construction west of Asbury still allows traffic, somewhat slowed, in both directions,

… that a Gordon Foods grocery store is still in the works for 2424 Oakton – south side of the street and slightly west of James Park, the former recycling center and the animal shelter.

… that other, non-street, construction will be at Ward Manufacturing on Main – interior remodeling and a new loading dock – and at Roycemore School’s new site (1200 Davis) – a lobby, a gymnasium and access stair tower additions to the existing building.           

… that, as readers saw here previously, free rides for seniors ends Sept. 1, and the RTA says it is mobilizing to notify more than 590,000 seniors.

… that, keeping track of the progress of Evanston’s getting a Yellow Line CTA station, there is a survey on the City’s website, www.cityofevanston.org, to ascertain how residents feel about a station and where it should be.

… that one of the items on Monday night’s Human Services Agenda read “Wilmette Golf Curse.” Since it may not be a typo, folks should stick to the Evanston links.

… that City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz reports that he has decided to “exercised his option to receive a $200,000 loan from the City of Evanston toward the purchase of a residence in Evanston.” The option was part of his employment contract with the City. Similar offers have been made to and accepted by other top-level City officials who relocated here to take a job.

From our readers: TG: The quip about hybrid cars being greener than people, which you picked up from Scientific American, is an instance of the incredibly sloppy science reporting that has become all too typical of that magazine. It may be true that four men jogging put out more CO2 than a hybrid car going the same distance, but that does not make the hybrid greener, nor does it tell us anything useful about the impact of jogging vs. driving on the increase of atmospheric CO2 (the prime cause of global warming). The carbon in the CO2 we exhale comes from plant matter (often via plant matter fed to livestock). In turn, the carbon in that plant matter came from CO2 in the atmosphere, via the wonders of photosynthesis. So, it’s a closed loop, and so our exhalations do not in themselves do any environmental harm. The global warming impact of the food we eat does not come from the CO2 we exhale, but from the fossil fuels used to fertilize, cultivate, process and transport the food we eat.

The relevant figure for comparing the hybrid car with four joggers would be the fossil fuel input needed to grow the extra calories the joggers need to jog to the restaurant (as compared to their resting calorie needs). The Scientific American article is short on specifics, but as far as I can tell, the authors of the work they cite simply computed the CO2 exhaled by the joggers, rather than properly accounting instead for fossil fuel usage in agriculture.  So, you have (through no fault of your own) seriously misled your readers about the nature of the carbon cycle. I hope you can rectify that.

– Raymond T. Pierrehumbert,
Louis Block Professor in the Geophysical Sciences The University of Chicago

From TG: Thanks, Professor Pierrehumbert. Your letter does more to clarify the issue than TG could ever do.

TG: I’ve been walking on the new lakefront path. About a week ago a crew appeared and painted white markings on it: dashes running the length of the path about a third of the way in and some closer dashes crossing the path marked “BUTT JOINT.” Are they about to dig up the path they just installed and blacktopped last fall? Or is Evanston going to get a string of lakefront strip clubs? – Michael Levine

From TG: TG has seen those signs as well. Readers doubtless know that a few-clothes-sports-bar establishment was denied a liquor license downtown, but you never know: Keep an eye on the possibility of lakefront development.

That said, TG received the following clear but unsexy explanation from Paul D’Agostino, superintendent of Parks/Forestry and Facilities Management: “When the pathway was paved last year, it had some cross slopes that were not according to our specifications and therefore did not meet ADA guidelines. In order to correct this problem, the contractor was required to mill down some of the high spots before laying down another course of asphalt this spring. These markings were made to guide the milling operation, so they knew where the high spots were located. The “butt joint” marks are where previous paving had stopped and then started again during the original paving. These areas had to be avoided during the milling operation as the milling machine could have done damage to the joint underneath. All of this work is being done at the contractor’s expense in order to meet the project’s specifications.”

TG: A follow-up to last week’s photo you posted: Mom and Dad mourning doves have two new arrivals now perched in my window box. This evening, one perched on the edge, almost ready to fly. It’s been over two weeks now. Mom comes back periodically. Like Mom and Dad, the youngsters are not afraid of Joey, my white lab, or myself. We both respected their territory. “Fly and live well, my new feathered friends.” Thanks for two-plus exciting weeks.

From TG: What a nice ending for the story and beginning to the summer. Wonder if they’ll stay around or return next year. Keep us posted.

TG:  The VRAD at 1528 Dempster is not a new one but a relocation of the eyesore from the parkway at Dempster and Florence. [It was] through the tenacity of the grass roots group StoptheBox working with state Representative Robyn Gabel that AT&T agreed to this move. Rep. Gabel convinced the AT&T corporate staff that this VRAD’s location was unacceptable, and then they worked out a compromise location with the City. … It may be the only VRAD in the country to be relocated since the invasion began. [On another matter], I saw another siting of the caring man – at Ashland just south of Crain. It was on metal and bolted into a street sign – just the face and above it was the word “tender.”… A young boy was in the process of removing it with pliers, etc., as he said they are now collector items among his generation (of 12-year-olds) and if he didn’t get it then someone else would take it first.

– Dickelle Fonda

From TG: Thanks for the scoop on the relocated VRAD. Perhaps others could go into alleys in some sort of VRAD Protection Program. The news that the Guy Who Cares images are becoming collector’s items is very sad – especially since the “collectors” are preteens who are prying them off and cutting them from their original locations. O tempora, o mores. This is not what TG or the ERT envisioned when we first wrote about the guy.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that, after clearing the Metra overpass, this truck driver made the prudent decision to measure the possible space between a clear pass and a scalp at the CTA tracks near Benson, then backed up half a block to Maple and headed north.

… Hope everyone enjoys the Custer Street Fair. Watch for the City’s health director, Evonda Thomas, performing there. She won the Evanston Idol contest. If her singing is anything like her capabilities for keeping us healthy, the performance should be wonderful.