… that there appear to be two new cameras on Dodge Avenue: one over the high school’s emergency phone, just north of Lake, and one in front of the Burger King at Dempster.
… that City crews will soon be removing trees in City parks to take advantage of the frozen conditions and decreased use of parks. According to the City, almost all of the trees slated for removal are ash trees that show “extreme symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer infestations and are in very poor condition.”
Here’s the list: Raymond Park – 1 tree; Dawes Park – 12 trees; Penny Park – 3 trees; Harbert Park – 1 ash tree and a dead cottonwood tree; Clark Square – 5 trees; Stockham Park – 4 trees; Elliott Park – 6 trees; South Blvd. Beach – 1 tree; Alexander Park – 3 trees (work to be scheduled during Roycemore School’s spring break); Larimer Park – 1 tree; Grey Park – 1 dying maple tree; Twiggs Park; Butler Park – 3 ash trees and 3 smaller dying boxelder trees; Beck Park – 3 trees; Chandler Park – 3 trees; Lawson Park – 2 trees; Lighthouse Landing/Harley Clarke – 13 trees, most of them east of the mansion in the natural area; Clark Street Beach – 1 tree; James Park – 4 trees; Leah Lomar Park – 1 dying honey locust tree; Eiden Park – 3 trees.
… that there are some changes to the Levy Center bus schedule:
• The 12:15 p.m. route will now leave the Levy Center at 12:30 p.m.
• The last run of the Levy bus will be at 3:30 p.m., rather than 3 p.m.
• Grocery shopping at Jewel or Food For Less will be on Wednesdays only.
• On the third Tuesday of every other month, the Levy bus will take people to the Century Theatre, leaving at 10:45 a.m. and returning at 2:45 p.m.
• The bus will continue to go to the Art Institute of Chicago on the third Tuesday of every other month (the opposite month of the Century Theatre). Folks wishing more information can call the Levy Center, 847-448-8250 or stop by the front desk.
… that the City will spend about $413,000 on the purchase of some new fleet vehicles: two Ford F-250 pick-up trucks with utility bodies, one Vactor Hydro-Excavator and one tandem axle Pipe Hunter sewer rodder. The purchases will be made from Currie Motors and Standard Equipment. The vehicles to be replaced are two F-350s with utility bodies (in “poor” and “very poor” condition); a Vactor Prodigy; and a trailer rodder.
… that the City will purchase a year’s worth of fuel from Palatine Oil Company of Schaumburg for about $800,000. This purchase comes through the Northwest Municipal Conference Bid System.
… that the City had to spend an extra $60,000 for extra snow hauling trucks and drivers after the 20 inches of snow that fell at the end of January. KLF Hauling of Markham received the contract.
… that the Transportation and Parking Committee has voted to “modify the purpose and membership of the committee to better reflect the multi-modal needs and policy topics.” Its purpose is now “To study the intermediate and long-term parking and multi-modal needs of the City, including but not limited to, bicycle, transit, and walking with consideration of environmental issues and shall provide to the City Council, and other relevant committees, recommendations to resolve parking and mobility challenges.” The committee will now be composed of four members of City Council, two Evanston residents or Evanston business owners, an Evanston resident with multi-modal experience, an Environment Board Parking Committee Liaison, a Planning Commission Parking Committee Liaison and a non-voting representative of the Chamber of Commerce.
… that the City will apply for a Surface Transportation Program grant for improvements on Howard from Dodge to Custer. If the application is successful, STP funds will cover 70% of the $3.5 million cost – about $2.3 million – and the rest will come from capital improvement funds. The proposed work for this mile of Howard includes roadway rehabilitation, street lighting improvements, streetscape improvements, pedestrian safety enhancements and accessibility improvements at intersections in coordination with the City of Chicago. Chicago will kick in $255,000.
… that Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl apparently took umbrage on behalf of the whole City when Evanston was mentioned in the television show “The Good Wife” as a conservative suburb. She tweeted: “@GoodWifeWriters #Evanston is not the conservative place ref. in Sunday episode. We welcome all, even uninformed TV writers #TheGoodWife.”
… that a medical office, Access Community Health Network, may be coming to 1719-1723 Howard St. Speaking of medical stuff, TG hears that the Tooth Fairy was less generous in Illinois in 2014 than other parts of the country, according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, sponsored by Delta Dental of Illinois: “Nationally, parents reported the going rate for a lost baby tooth was $4.36 last year, while the average in Illinois was just $2.89.
Despite her stinginess, the Tooth Fairy still left a staggering $6.9 million for lost teeth in Illinois based on Delta Dental of Illinois estimates.” This information came from Delta Dental of Illinois in honor of National Tooth Fairy Day, Feb. 28. TG thinks that rather than being cheap, the Illinois Tooth Fairy may have been busy tending to dentally challenged hockey players.
… that the police will be keeping an eye out for anyone who rides a bicycle on the downtown sidewalks. A recent weekly report from the Evanston Police Department noted that that is one of the things the department will be focusing on “before too long. … Bicycle citations more than doubled from 2013 to 2014.” Speaking of biking, TG hears that the City will submit a grant application for bike parking at the Main Street Metra and CTA stations. The City hopes to get enough money to purchase and install 40 bike racks in three locations adjacent to those commuter stations. And more: Evanston Township High School reports that students there “paused to say ‘thank you’ in a video message to alumni, parents, and friends of ETHS for their support of recent capital improvements in the school and around campus.” Donations made through the ETHS Educational Foundation played a big part as well.
… that the supermoon of March 20, the vernal equinox, will cause a total eclipse of the sun, visible only from far, far north. One interesting point about this, according to Earthsky.com, is that the moon will again be a new moon and a supermoon – hardly visible here “but having a larger-than-average effect on Earth’s oceans. Plus this new supermoon swings right in front of the sun so that the moon’s shadow falls on parts of Earth.”
From Our Readers: TG: How ironic that the decision on the arboretum path had to come in a month of record cold and snow, when plowing is on the mind of virtually everyone who drives or walks in Evanston. Would the Mayor have had to break a tie vote in the Council if the matter were decided in July? I hope you follow up on this item the next time we experience a snowy winter. Will the path take priority over downtown, snow routes and side streets? How exciting it will be to see a 10-ton tandem wheel truck and plow zipping through the trees. Or will we see a Bobcat or snow blower? — Dick Lanyon
From TG: TG shares your doubts about the implementation and efficacy of this decision. There is no doubt that children need a safe way to walk to school, but permeable concrete (recommended by City staff) would have been the better choice. The City doomed the Arboretum from the outset by applying for a transportation grant. To paraphrase a saying used by a certain no-frills airline: “It’s not the Arboretum’s fault, it’s the asphalt.”
The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that the magic of spring is seen first in the trees. Underfoot, it’s more like a feral cub that has to be licked into shape, as the melting snow uncovers all the stuff that was dropped, thrown out, blown in or not cleaned up over the past several months.