Parking-station confusion                    Photo by Elizabeth Bouchard

… that TG made a horrible mistake in the last column (corrected online, thankfully) that the street-sweeping season was over. Readers should pay no attention to that – the season lasts until Nov. 30. Irate readers might renew their faith in karma and take comfort in the fact that, under that delusion, TG misparked and the car was towed that week. 

… that the construction on Davis Street is over. The only sounds in the downtown area now should be automobiles (no horns, since there is now no reason to be angry), happy pedestrians and Salvation Army bells.

… Speaking of Davis Street, the area around Fountain Square will be blocked off tomorrow, Nov. 22, for the arrival of Santa and the kickoff of the Holiday Bash.

… that drivers continue to blow through stop signs at Brown and Washington and typically ignore or play chicken with pedestrians trying to cross Dodge at Crain.

… that the promised new street lights are being installed along Church at Pitner, Hartrey and Darrow. Other lighting upgrades will be energy-efficient 200-watt induction fixtures installed on Greenleaf from Dodge to Pitner, on Greenwood from Dodge to Hartrey, on Hartrey from Greenwood to Greenleaf and on Dempster from McDaniel to Dodge and wattage updates (from 85 watts to 165 watts) to Tallmadge lights on McDaniel and Fowler from Main to Dempster, likely to be completed next year. Also in that area, a new pedestrian crossing and pedestrian signal operation is slated for the Main-McDaniel intersection.

… that the City plans to allow commercial parking lots in the B3 zoning district, as long as there are front-yard and street-side-yard landscaped setbacks. This is a move to attract customers to east Howard Street (the only B3 district in the City), where the only available parking is in metered spaces.

… that last week’s early snow did not last long, but it was enough to get City crews out with granular salt, anti-icing bridge decks and elevated surfaces.

… that the City has received nearly half a million dollars ($480,000) in federal CMAQ  (Congestion and Mitigation of Air Quality) funds to construct a (TG thinks, much needed) protected bike lane on Dodge Avenue from Church  to Howard Street. The plan is to have the protected lane completed by the time school starts next fall.

… that Evanston’s first cyclecross bike races were held on Nov. 9 at the golf course. The tracks were marked so that the bikes would not get on the main part of the course but stay on the perimeter, which reportedly was going to be reseeded anyway. 

… that NU is constructing yet another building on the lakefront. This one, at the northeast end of campus, is for the Kellogg School of Management. It has a footprint of about 410,000 square feet. NU calls the building a “global hub.” The architects are Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg. Now, who says the University doesn’t have its mind on that lake bottom land they own out there, since it’s cluttering up its own beautiful lakefront?

… that the latest in the City’s show & tell is a Tweet-along with Police Chief Richard Eddington, between 2:45 and 10:15 p.m. on Nov. 22.  In inviting its Twitter friends, the City said,  “For the past two years, the Evanston Police Department participated in a virtual ‘Tweet Along,’ tweeting out police calls from the Police & Fire Communications Center. This year, the ‘Tweet Along’ will be enhanced as it moves out of the station and onto the streets.” More information is available at 311; following or tweeting is available at twitter.com/EvanstonPD.

… that folks must register their cats and dogs by Dec. 31. In many cases, the pet registration forms were sent along with the wheel tax forms. Otherwise, folks can pick the forms up at the Civic Center. Licenses for neutered or spayed pets are $10; $15 otherwise.

… that this photo of a squirrel-toting (no lunchbox needed) juvenile red hawk comes courtesy of Linda Gartz. She took the picture on Oct. 30 at Bennett and Lincoln, not far from Perkins Woods.

From our readers:

TG:

Re: Punctuation. You neglected to mention the most important reason for punctuation: Punctuation saves lives – e.g., “Let’s eat Grandma,” compared to “Let’s eat, Grandma.”

– Delores Pick

“Let’s eat Grandma,” 
or “Let’s eat, Grandma”?

From TG:

An even worse example would be. “Let’s eat TG.”

TG:

An item in your Oct. 24 column caught my eye.  It was with regard to the City Council approving a zoning variance for the Montessori high school in the downtown area. I admit that I am a bit confused. Is the annoyance at the City directed toward their zoning policy, their allowing a special use zoning permit in a downtown area and not in an industrial one, or is it at the fact the City is allowing a private high school to be run in Evanston? The comment mentioning the fact that there is a “pretty cool high school in the area” makes me think it is the latter rather than the former. (If this is not the case, then feel free to disregard the rest of this email as I have clearly misunderstood the meaning of the item.)

As a resident of Evanston who currently has one high school student living at home and two older children who are high school graduates, none of whom have ever attended a public school, this takes me a bit by surprise and not really in a pleasant way either. I am already somewhat used to the fact that the

RoundTable, a paper which purports to be “Evanston’s Newspaper,” seems to only care about education as it relates to the public schools, but this seemed even a bit much. Since when is having a multitude of educational options within a city a bad thing? It’s not as though anyone is forcing parents to send their children to a private school. And it’s also not as though a parent who chooses a non-public educational option is endangering the public school choice for anyone else. My property tax bill every six months tells me that public schooling in Evanston is actually doing quite well.

For the record, we do not even make use of the private school option in our City since we have chosen to homeschool our children. Since we have been doing this for the past 15+ years, we have heard a lot of comments about our decision. Each child is different, and what is going to be best for one is not going to necessarily be best for another.

I suppose this is why I was so disturbed by a pretty off-hand comment. It shows that there is still a very widespread cookie-cutter attitude towards what constitutes a “good” education. As a city, we should be thrilled to be able to offer our residents a variety of choices and just because there is a “pretty cool high school” out there, does not mean that it is a good fit for every high school student in the city. I would hope that as a paper representing the whole of the city of Evanston, you would take off your collective blinders as to what is happening educationally in the city and be more diverse in your coverage.

– Elizabeth Curry

From TG:

Thank you for your letter about schools and education – something TG knows little about, having spent a lifetime hanging around a street corner – but can agree that there are many ways to educate students. Zoning and cash are altogether different, and TG feels public money should be spent where it will do the most good for the most residents. TG meant for the points to be 1) that $8 million (reportedly the legal fees in the Shure Brothers property case) seems a little excessive just to keep a school out of town and 2) City Council often makes Swiss cheese out of the zoning code.  

TG:

Maybe we need another pay station?

From TG:

That could be the case. Good idea.

TG: 

Several years ago Sheridan Road was reconfigured between the Northwestern University campus (at the north) to Church Street (at the south). On the west side, where Judson and Clark converge and end, a signal was erected, prohibiting traffic to go down on Judson. It seemed silly at the time and was largely ignored. Judson is a two-way street and drivers (then and now) enter and park on the southbound lane. Several years later, when the sign is even more irrelevant, it is still there. So, TG, I hope you can convince the city’s Streets and San guys to take the damn thing down.

Thanks, Bill Friedlander

From TG:

TG will forward your suggestion to the Public Works Department, Mr. Friedlander, but believes your concise letter speaks for itself.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that the hookah-smoking caterpillar in Walt Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” may have been the first texter when he puffed “Who are you”  (“Who R U?”) to Alice. Maybe that’s what Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and  John Entwistle were thinking when they wrote  you-know-what.