Maw of the new salt domeRoundTable photo

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… that yard waste collections ended and snow-parking regulations began on Dec. 1. Wheel tax payments are due by Dec. 15. Readers doubtless remember that the City has vehicle-recognition software, which scans the license plate, to determine whether the tax has been paid. No more window stickers, though.

… that the City has a new salt dome, constructed at the site of the old salt dome, in the City’s Service Center, 2020 Ashland, kitty-corner from the Civic Center. The dome cost about $335,000 and has a capacity of 4,200 tons.

… that, even with that capacity, it is difficult to predict how long the supply of road and sidewalk salt will last. The City has a lot of ways to confront the wiles of winter, such as new sidewalk snow-removal equipment, a snow-melter, anti-icing procedures, such as brining streets before a storm hits, salting at mid-block and intersections on side streets unless it’s really icy and plowing curb-to-curb (which is why folks have to pay attention to those snow-parking signs and alerts).

… that A. Lamp Concrete Contractors Inc. of Schaumburg will get the $1.4 million contract for the new sustainable parking lot at the Civic Center. The company is repairing and replacing a lot of infrastructure, mostly sidewalks, around town, so the name may be familiar to some. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago will give the City a grant of $750,000 and the rest will come from the City’s Parking Fund. According to the City, the sustainability parts will include a porous concrete sidewalk, a porous asphalt parking area and paver block parking stalls. The main lane through the parking lot will be regular asphalt, as will be a new parking lot south of the building.

… that chemicals to be used in the City’s water treatment plant will come from several places. USALCO of Baltimore will provide aluminum sulfate for $192,000; JCI Jones of Sarasota will supply $35,000 of chlorine; Key Chemical of Waxhaw, North Carolina, will supply the HFS acid (fluoride) for $133,000; Polydyne Inc. of Riceboro, Georgia, will send $23,000 worth of polymer; and Carus of Peru, Illinois, will supply about $94,000 of blended phosphate. Part of the money will come from the City; the rest from the Northwest Water Commission, which buys water from Evanston. Well, it doesn’t really buy water, as most folks know. Municipalities have an allotment of water, which Evanston treats and pumps for them – “their” water, our treatment and propulsion.

… that the City will purchase property for a park and accept a dedication of land for the extension of Ashland Avenue through Emerson Square, the new development between Foster and Emerson, Jackson and Dewey. The development has a park within it (see photo below), and the Public Works department staff have “reviewed the park and certify that it meets City of Evanston standards, including all design and safety requirements,” according to information from the City. The City also said that staff from Public Works and Utilities reviewed the “roadway, including sewer and water improvements, and certify that completed street meets City of Evanston standards.”

… that there is some more commercial activity around town: The City will give the owners of Bangers and Lace, a new restaurant and tavern at 810 Grove, some money “not to exceed $10,500,” according to the City. The money will go for façade improvement and will be matched 50/50 by the owners. The City will grant a special use permit for Barre Code, a “commercial indoor recreation facility” at 604 Davis. Finally, a Domino’s Pizza will be coming to 911 Foster.

From our readers: TG
 The Traffic Guy told Katherine McGonigle that the authorities have smoothed out the bump at the Main Street stoplight at the exit of the Sam’s Club/Food 4 Less mall along the McCormick Canal. Wo:uld that it were so. To keep the exit ramp from rocking your car, you must straddle the ramp and Main Street, starting your left turn early so you’re hitting the Main Street gutter at an angle, not straight on. It’s not a bump, it’s an inverse bump, but it’s still very, very far from smooth. Given that the mall generates major tax revenues for Evanston, you’d think the City would make that intersection as inviting as possible for out-of-towners. I guess it’s easier to raise residential property taxes instead. – Mark White

From TG: Mr. White, TG was certainly in error. The source for the comment, although generally very reliable, was in error, and TG should have checked it. Here is a photo of the rough place that has certainly not been made smooth.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that it’s a mark of good will and possibly atonement toward Native Americans that Northwestern University will take John Evans’s name off its alumni center and the room in the Norris Student Center for the actions of Northwestern University and Evanston founder John Evans. A committee of scholars appointed by the University to investigate Mr. Evans’s role in the Sand Creek Massacre in the Colorado Territory found him not directly but somewhat responsible for the massacre. A few years ago TG opined that since the name of this City would likely not be changed, it might be wise to change the person it was named for. Several people responded with possible eponyms, and one of the RoundTable’s April Fool stories was that the City was named after Dale Evans (whose husband founded Rogers Park?).
Another possible channel of amelioration is to change the name of the street, well, the road, that borders much of the campus. It is named after General Philip Sheridan, possibly because he coordinated the military relief after the Chicago Fire of 1871. He was also instrumental in creating and protecting Yellowstone National Park. But he, too, has a darker side when it comes to dealings with Native Americans. From the website comes the following information: “In 1867, Ulysses S. Grant charged Sheridan with pacifying the Great Plains. … Sheridan attacked several tribes in their winter quarters, and he promoted the widespread slaughter of American bison, their primary source of food.” Wikipedia reports that he said, “Let them kill, skin and sell until the buffalo is exterminated.” Later, “When the Texas legislature considered outlawing bison poaching on tribal lands, Sheridan testified against it, suggesting that the legislature should give each of the hunters a medal, engraved with a dead buffalo on one side and a discouraged-looking Indian on the other,” according to Wikipedia. says, “Where some of his generals in these campaigns, such as Nelson Miles, occasionally expressed a soldierly respect for the Indians they were fighting, Sheridan was notorious for his supposed declaration that ‘the only good Indians I ever saw were dead’ – an attribution he steadfastly denied.”
So maybe a street name-change is in order, at least as far as NU’s property – or, TG would suggest – the entire length of Evanston.