Olav the snowman from “Frozen” at the outside freeskate on Arrington Lakefront Lagoon on Jan. 16.Photo from City of Evanston

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… that the Evanston Police Department’s chronicler reported some vehicle-related criminal activity over the past few weeks: “On 1/5, a “Denver boot” was stolen from a parked car on the 1100 block of Davis Street. … Evanston Parking Permits continue to be valued by thieves with another stolen on 1/5 from a parked car on the 500 block of Sherman. On 1/7, the owner of a 2007 Toyota was unpleasantly surprised to find all four tires and wheels removed when it was parked on the 700 block of Monroe. And on 1/12, a license plate was stolen from a 1990 Mercedes on the 1700 block of Darrow. … On 1/13, a running delivery vehicle was stolen near Crain & Dewey. It was later recovered.”

… that Citizens Greener Evanston has launched “Pro-Walk, Pro-Bike, Pro-Place 2015,” which they term a “12-month initiative for safer walking and biking and better quality of place. Our goals are a healthy, livable, and sustainable city and safe, friendly streets and public spaces.” The group will meet monthly at the Civic Center. Those interested can contact evanstonstreetsalive@gmail.com.

… that FEW Spirits, Evanston’s famous whisky distiller, hopes to have a wholesale establishment at 2308 Main St. This business has really taken off and the whisky has become internationally popular.

… that, speaking of popularity, the delicious Frio Gelato may soon have a home at 517 Dempster.

… that the owners of 1413-15 Howard would like to convert the 2,500-square-foot retail space on the ground floor there into six studio apartments. According to the City, the owner “couldn’t rent the retail space; determined that ADA accessible residential is the best use.” The upper two floors already have four residential units each. The proposal has made it through the initial review, the DAPR (Design and Project Review committee, formerly Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee, SPARC) Committee.

… that, speaking of the DAPR Committee, it members recommended that the Sign Review Board deny an application by Modern Signs, Inc., to install a new wall sign for US Bank, 1325-35 Howard. The sign would be 30 feet, six inches mounting height where maximum mounting height permitted is 15 feet, five inches. And more: NU would like to renovate its Kresge Hall by demolishing the east wing and building the new wing two stories higher and then connect it to nearby Crowe Hall. With the added two stories on Kresge, the two buildings will be the same height.  

… that, in anticipation of (or foreboding about) the NFC Championship football playoff between Seattle and Green Bay, the city manager of the City of Bainbridge Island (offshore Seattle) banned the possession and consumption of cheese in city hall on the Friday before the game. The one-day ban read in part “On Sunday, January 18, 2015, the Seattle Seahawks’ opponent in the NFC Championship game will be the Green Bay Packers, a.k.a. Cheeseheads. Fans of the Green Bay Packers are frequently seen wearing obnoxious wedge-shaped foam hats painted yellow. … Due to the relationship between the Green Bay Packers, their fans, and cheese, the possession of and/or consumption of cheese or cheese-flavored products shall be banned in Bainbridge Island City Hall on Friday, January 16, 2015.”

… that folks living near the Ecology Center report seeing a very healthy-looking coyote
prowling Simpson Street and Pioneer Road. Coyote sightings can be posted at coyotemap.com (“All things coyote in Chicago & the Suburbs”) of the urban coyotes research program.

… that even though this winter weather has been uneven, folks have been able to enjoy the outside. Earlier this month, the City invited everyone to join skaters from Robert Crown Center dressed as characters from “Frozen” to skate on the new Arrington Lagoon at Dawes Park. And apparently the signs prohibiting sledding on the big hill at James Park continue to go unheeded.

… that the mild winter has also allowed some infrastructure work to continue: sewer repairs on Forest from Dempster to Greenwood.  

… that the Hubble Space Telescope,  revisited the Eagle Nebula, provided NASA with this image of the Pillars of Creation. This region of gas and dust, where new stars are forming, is otherwise known as Messier 16, according to Earth SkyNews. The website Amazing Space says the Eagle Nebula, found in the constellation Serpens, is about 6,500 light years from earth. The pillars are two or three light years long, and the nebula itself, called an emission nebula, spans about 20 light years. The star cluster associated with the nebula, according to Amazing Space, is about 5.5 million years old.

… that, in other, perhaps more serious, news, Mike Cavender, the executive director of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) summarized the status of efforts to integrate drones (AKA “UAS,” unmanned aircraft systems) “into the newsgathering arena.

CNN reports the FAA has approved its partnership with Georgia Tech to conduct testing and data-gathering on how to safely integrate drones into the airspace during the newsgathering process. In a separate announcement, a coalition of 10 news media companies are partnering with Virginia Tech to do the same thing.

…The efforts are designed to conduct ‘controlled safety testing of a series of real-life scenarios where the news media could use small UAS technology to gather the news,’ according to a published report on the announcement by the Virginia Tech coalition.”

… that, with the proliferation of nuclear weapons and climate change, scientists have moved the Doomsday Clock from five minutes before midnight to three minutes till … Doomsday? Annihilation? Whatever it is, it will not be good.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that the fact that Ghirardelli Chocolate plans to open a 7,000-square-foot shop in the Wrigley Building in Chicago may help the RT in its search for the finest chocolate. Hard to beat Piron, though.

… that, since the City has purchased Boocoo, 1823 Church St., perhaps they could lease the space to Oakton Community College. After all, Skokie has a place for OCC, as does Des Plaines, and Boocoo is so very close to ETHS.

… or, wonders, rather: What happened to yarn bombs? This is the time of year we need them, when everything is dismal.