(Tree on right) Cydney M Lewis, ‘Lift Off’, 2013 - plastic and wallpaper and (left) Allison Svoboda, ‘Swirling’, 2014 - Cut Paper

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… that the Starbuck’s drive-through on Dempster just west of Dodge is ready to go. The pink-beige stucco on the former KFC building is now a rich brown, dare we say, coffee color.

… that the City will contract with Garland/DBS of Cleveland, Ohio, to replace five of the 31 roofs at the water treatment facility, at a cost of about $710,000. Garland will also replace grout in some of the joints and install a steel coping cap coated with Kynar, a weather- and chemical-resistant fluorinated polymer.

… that the City will purchase 57 induction lighting-units from Elcast Lighting of Addison for about $25,000. The units will be installed in Tallmadge Street lights to increase the wattage from 85 to 165, as part of the Safer Neighborhood Area Project. The City says it upgraded 142 Tallmadge street lights in Wards 2, 5 and 8 under the 2013 (SNAP).

… that Schroeder & Schroeder of Skokie will get the contract for the Pitner/Dempster sidewalk project at a cost of about $167,000. Here’s what the City said about the project: “Students who walk to Evanston Township High School and reside in the area of Main Street, Pitner Avenue, Dempster Street and McDaniel Avenue currently walk in the street along Hartrey in the industrial area to cross at the signalized intersection of Hartrey and Dempster. Students select this route due to the lack of continuous sidewalk along Pitner [between Greenleaf and Dempster] and along Dempster [south side], between Pitner and Hartrey.” The new sidewalk will create “a safer direct pathway to the high school.” Unfortunately, eight trees – four American Elms along Dempster and four trees in front of Anton’s – will be removed.

… that the fire at North Shore Towing  over Labor Day weekend took  a couple of hours, a few additional fire departments – from Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka, Niles, Park Ridge and Northfield – and some extra water to control. No workers were at the place when the fire began, so a passerby reported the fire. Because the business is also a junkyard, with oil and some gasoline remaining in cars, the firefighters found a lot of small fires among the crushed automobiles. The aerial fire trucks put out 700,000 gallons of water per minute, said Fire Division Chief Dwight Hohl. “That taxed the water system, so we called the water department for more water,” he said. The response was instantaneous.  The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

…that the Evanston Police Department made one arrest for impaired driving and issued 76 safety-belt citations (43 after 9 p.m.) during the Labor Day crackdown. Here is the breakdown:  one zero-tolerance, under-21 arrest; six failure-to-restrain-child-in-approved-car-seat citations; six for driving on a suspended license; 12 for operating a hand-held cell phone; 29 for speeding; 10 for not having valid insurance; one criminal warrant arrest; three for no valid driver’s license and 21 other miscellaneous citations. The EPD said they gave extra emphasis “to the late-night hours, when, statistics show, the most people drink and drive and the fewest buckle up.”

… that these lovely trees can be seen behind the art center. They are part of the Art Center’s “Permeated Surfaces” exhibit.  

… that State Climatologist Jim Angel reports that the “12th wettest August in Illinois finishes out the 10th wettest summer on record.” Statewide, the average precipitation last month was “5.18 inches, 1.59 inches above average. The wettest area of the state was Cook County. The statewide temperature for August was 73.9 degrees F, 0.3 degrees above the 1981-2010 average. The statewide average precipitation for summer was 14.96 inches, 3.09 inches above average. …The wettest summer was 1993 with 18.51 inches,” according to information from Dr. Angel.

… that for the next few weeks, crews will be making street improvements on Ingleside Place east of Sheridan. The project will include “widening the south side of the street to 24 ft. to help accommodate fire and safety vehicles, replacing the existing curb and gutter, and installing a 4- foot-wide porous concrete strip on the north and south side of the road (except driveways) to allow storm water infiltration.” Crews will also reconstruct deteriorated utility structures, grind the existing asphalt, repair the roadway base and repave the street with binder and asphalt surface course. Folks should heed the temporary “No Parking” signs.
A. Lamp Contractors of Schaumburg is performing this work, as well as several other projects around town. Questions about this project should go to the contractor’s resident engineer, Christopher Welch, 773-615-5927; questions about street improvement projects in general should be directed to Sat Nagar, P.E., City Engineer at 311 or 847-448-4311.

… that, on one of the drier days near the  end of August, a giant swallowtail visited an Evanston garden.

… that Mother Earth News named Evanston one of the “Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of” for 2014. The City is one of eight communities featured in its October-November issue. Evanston is noted for its commitment to sustainability, particularly for the work by the  office of sustainability, and its volunteer spirit, exemplified by the 150,000 hours logged in as part of the sesquicentennial celebration and by the regular cleanups at Perkins Woods.

… that the City has given Northwestern University permission to shoot off fireworks for 7-8 seconds when the Wildcats score. This information, from the City, does not indicate what kind of score will allow the fireworks – a touchdown, a point after touchdown, a field goal, a safety. In any case, let’s hope for a lot of points and fireworks this football season.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that some folks need to learn the proper etiquette around school buses. As an example, when a school bus is stopped and has a stop sign extended on both sides, it is a signal for drivers to stop their cars so kids can exit the bus and perhaps cross the street in safety.
According to the Illinois Vehicle Code: when a school bus is traveling on a two-lane roadway is stopped to pick up or drop off students. The vehicles in all lanes must stop. Vehicles should stop at least 20 feet before reaching the school bus to allow pupils to cross the roadway safely.

… that, according to a recent article in the New York Times, some of the country’s top students are choosing colleges with a “mission,” such as Berea College in Kentucky or Harvey Mudd in California, over the major universities, which one person said have become like “department stores.” Given that, maybe NU should consider rebranding itself as “Macy’s on the Lake.”