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… that the downtown Farmers’ Market officially began for the 40th season on May 9, with Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl’s ringing the opening bell at 8:30 a.m.

… that on May 26, A. Lamp Concrete Contractors, Inc. of Schaumburg will begin its rehabilitation of the parking lot at the Morton Civic Center, using various permeable pavements, rain gardens and native plantings to substantially reduce storm water run-off – making it the City’s first sustainable parking lot. Construction is expected to last through September, but during each of the four stages of construction the parking lot will be open with about 50 parking spaces displaced, with the result that some City staff will end up parking at the Service Center, where some City vehicles will be parked as well. A grant from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District grant will cover nearly half of the project’s $1.5 million cost.

… that McCormick between Howard and Oakton was closed for a few hours on Monday, and service on the CTA’s Yellow Line has been suspended – possibly for several days – because the tracks appeared unstable. The CTA is offering shuttle bus service for the nearly 3,000 daily Skokie Swift riders. According to the CTA, the embankment there subsided and a sinkhole opened up because of a construction project near the tracks.

… that work is underway for road resurfacing on six street segments: Ridge from Garnett Place to Noyes and from Central to Isabella; Hartrey from Cleveland to Washington; Elmwood from Crain to Dempster, Davis from Fowler to Pitner and the Otto Lane cul-de-sac to Highland. The work will entail roadway base repair, asphalt replacement, curb replacement as needed, and “select” sidewalk replacement and driveway aprons and the installation of ADA accessible ramps. Motor Fuel Tax revenues will fund the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of June.

… that weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. from May 26 through June 3, ComEd crews will be replacing underground cable on the 1200 and 1300 blocks of Simpson. Crews will also be installing fiber optic cable on Grey at manholes on Emerson and on Church, same workday hours, from May 25 through June 25.

… speaking of streetside work, NICOR crews finished installing new gas mains along the RT (1100) block of Florence.

… that the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has designated Evanston as a Gold Walk Friendly Community for its walkability initiatives and programs. Other cities to receive this distinction are Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco.

… that, complementing the City’s recognition for walkability, biking comes to the fore in May.

… that the City will contract with Midwest Pressure Washing & Restoration of Griffith, Ind., for tuck-pointing and porch repairs to the boiler building and the Civic Center, to cost about $27,000.

… that, speaking of the Civic Center, the League of Women Voters of Evanston will likely renew its lease of space there for three more years.

… that the City will spend about $146,000 to purchase two Ford one-ton dump trucks from Currie Motors of Frankfort, Ill.

… that, speaking of the heavy equipment, Global Emergency Products of Aurora will have a one-year contract with the City to test, repair and certify fire apparatus and aerial devices, at a cost of about $72,000.

… that Blaze Pizza, 1739 Sherman Ave., will soon likely have a sidewalk café, and Ten Mile House, 1700 Central, would have outdoor seating on its property there.

… that a few alleys will be paved this summer: the one north of Colfax and east of Central Park (cost of $126,000 to the property owners there); and the one near Lyons east of Ashland (cost of $130,500 to the property owners). That land owned privately north of Thayer and east of Marcy will be dedicated for the purpose of alley paving.

… that the Autobarn has got its plans together for a warehouse at 222 Hartrey, behind the east part of the shopping plaza on west Howard Street. They plan to have a Mazda and Fiat storage/service center there – the east side for detailing and the west side for storage. They will “maintain but not increase” the existing landscape. Autobarn says it expects to have about 600 cars on the site, with hours of operation 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

… that the four peregrine falcon chicks (eyases) hatched on the Library ledge will be checked out and banded by Mary Hennen and Josh Engel of the Field Museum at 10:30 a.m. on June 3. The Library is also taking suggestions for names of the chicks – to be submitted to the Library (epl.org), along with a reason – by May 26.

… that the City will ask President Obama and the Congress to memorialize the Carl Sandburg National Historic Trail in Illinois, which would include Cook, Will, Grundy, LaSalle, Bureau, Henry and Knox counties. Mr. Sandburg (1878-1967) began his career as a journalist with the Chicago Daily News., but he may be best known for his poetry. Most everyone is familiar with his description of Chicago: “Hog Butcher for the World, / Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, / Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler; / Stormy, husky, brawling, / City of the Big Shoulders. …”

… that there are plans for 1101 Dodge, built as a racquetball court in the 1970s then converted to a multiple-family building. The owner would like to create four more units, intended to be sold as condos – four three-bedroom and four four-bedroom units.

… that, farther north on Dodge, the Design and Project Review Committee approved plans that included zoning relief for 1820 Dodge, the site for the house now being constructed by ETHS students, with community help at times, on the school’s south parking lot. The title of the course for the student-builders is “Geometry in Construction.” Perhaps if the students attend the City meetings related to the requested zoning relief, they should get some civics credit as well.

…that, with Memorial Day weekend coming up, the Evanston Police Department has joined the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois State Police (ISP) and hundreds of local law enforcement agencies across the state in the annual Click It or Ticket campaign. Since May 11 and through May 25, “officers will be cracking down both day and night on motorists who fail to wear their seat belt
in the front and back seat,” according to the EPD.
In 2013, back seat passengers in Illinois accounted for 48 fatalities and over 7,500 injuries. Out of those 48 fatalities, 24 of them were not wearing their seat belt.  Provisional numbers show that during the 2014 Memorial Day weekend there were 12 fatalities on Illinois roadways, three of them alcohol-related. In Illinois, children are required to be in a car seat or booster seat until at least age 8 and all children younger than 13 should ride in
the back seat.  

From our readers: TG: What ever happened to the north Sheridan Road
upgrade project? – Mike Sackheim.

From TG: The City has delayed it until about 2017.

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that, in light of Governor Bruce’s agenda for economic recovery for the state, perhaps his new name should be Turnarauner.

… that this great blue heron enjoyed the quiet of a Sunday afternoon, despite traffic close by on Green Bay.