Canny gorillaSubmitted photo

… that the Fourth of July parade was magical again this year. There were the traditional favorites – the scouts, the ETHS band, PomKits and teams, the Backlot float, the Marching Kazoo Band, the Jesse White Tumblers, Model T Fords carrying celebrities such as Grand Marshal Paul D’Agostino, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and several Fourth of July Association Trustees; and, TG’s favorite, EPL’s Precision Library Cart Team. And, of course, lots more. Many of the floats followed at least the first half of the theme – “Tree City” with tree decorations and slogans; others followed the “Green City” part by riding bicycles, rollerblading or marching. The Backlot did both – bicycles towed the three parts of the tree-themed float. Several aldermen followed the banner of the “79th City Council,” some on foot, one in a car and one on a bicycle, as far as TG could see. That night, fireworks reverberated throughout town – some no doubt from the legit show at Clark Street Beach but other stealth (except for the sound) displays at various area parks.

… that, speaking of the Fourth of July, the Evanston Police Department cracked down on careless and heedless drivers over the holiday weekend. Here are the violations, from EPD: 50 for seat belts, 20 for operating a vehicle while using a hand-held phone, two for transporting open alcohol, seven for operating a vehicle with no valid proof of insurance, three for speeding, two for operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license, two for unlawful possession of cannabis and 14 miscellaneous. Two of four arrests for driving under the influence were felony charges due to the drivers having previous DUI arrests.

… that crews have begun upgrading the traffic signals along Dempster from Fowler to Dodge – which includes those at Hartrey and Evanston Plaza. The project involves some short-term inconveniences that will result in long-term benefits. As examples, according to the City, “Workers will attempt to minimize these inconveniences. Construction zone daytime “No Parking” restrictions on the side streets will be intermittent throughout the duration of the project; evening and nighttime parking, 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., may be unavailable at times.” But, these new traffic signals will improve the traffic flow, and there will be countdown indications and accessible pedestrian signals at each of the intersections. This part of the project will take about six months, so Dempster could be back to normal by New Year’s. The City and the feds will share the cost of the project. Anyone with questions may contact Senior Project Manager Rajeev Dahal at 847-448-4311.

 …… that, farther north, the Sheridan/Forest traffic signal modernization project is under way. Crews will install new LED signals, controllers and traffic-signal equipment at Main and Sheridan, Forest and Burnham Place and Forest and Dempster. There will be pedestrian countdowns and new pavement markings. “No Parking” signs will alert residents and others to the exact dates of construction, but evening and nighttime parking – 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. – will generally be available. Anyone with questions may contact City Engineer Sat Nagar at 847-448-4311. Speaking of Sheridan Road, TG hears that that the water main project there will be re-bid, with work anticipated to begin in February and completed before Northwestern University’s commencement next June. According to information from the City, “Contractors have completed all work on the CIPP [cured-in-place piping] sewer rehabilitation project, but after viewing the post-construction video tapes they will have to go back and reheat the water main lining on Howard Street.”

… and, that all over the City the annual resurfacing/patching program has begun. Some sections of the roadway will be ground. According to information from the City, “Construction will be noisy and dusty at times; … attempts will be made to minimize inconvenience to residents.” Residents should watch for temporary “No Parking” signs, which will be posted 48 hours in advance; in most cases evening and nighttime parking – 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. – will be available. Parking restrictions, such as neighborhood parking only, street-sweeping and the like, will remain in place throughout this project, which is expected to last through October. Anyone with questions may contact Division Manager Donald Cornelius at 847-866-2944 or 

… that the property at 1402-08 Brown may be rezoned from R2, single-family residential, to R4, general residential, which would allow for multi-family structures. And a developer would like to convert the warehouse at 609 South Boulevard into a 16-unit residential building. A few variances are requested for the project, so readers should stay tuned. And at Ryan Field, Northwestern would like to “construct exterior improvements to the east façade” of the stadium.

… that there are some lovely yarn bombings around town. Here are some photos of trees along Dempster east of Chicago. TG would love to have more yarn bomb pix. Send them to to the attention of TG.

… that the Earth’s aphelion – its farthest distance from the sun – occurred on July 6.

… that Myefski Architects is entering the ninth annual Canstruction Chicago, a one-day food drive for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Last year the event brought in 110,000 pounds of shelf-stable food, and the jury selected the canned-food gorilla by Myefski Architects and Valenti Builders for the Structural Ingenuity Award. (See photo above)

This year, Myefski’s structure will be Kung Fu CAN-da. Myefski provided this brief bio of this hunger-fighting dragon warrior: “After saving the Valley of Peace from the evil snow leopard Tai Lung, Po – the kung fu panda turned Dragon Warrior – is here in Chicago to assist those in need of food security. Symbolizing the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s (GCFD) mission and relentless pursuit to end hunger, Po demonstrates the ability to master impressive physical feats when motivated by food.

The Dragon Warrior and GCFD know that the secret ingredient in the battle against hunger is believing that the support of a community CAN make all the difference.”

From our readers: 
TG: Always good to hear from the media about the improvements at Canal Shores, but the Golfzilla is no gimmick. It is a training aid used to improve the chipping ability of young golfers (wouldn’t hurt an older golfer either). More than 450 have enrolled in Youth Golf Camps at Canal Shores, making this the largest youth golf program in our recent history. The sport is growing in Evanston and Wilmette because of a focus on good golf in great communities, not gimmicks
– John Powers

From TG:
 Thank you for the clarification, Mr. Powers. TG intended no disparagement.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that this year’s Ethnic Arts Festival should be even nicer than before – the first City festival to take place around the newly refurbished and recently christened Arrington Lagoon at Dawes Park.

… that July’s blue moon – its second full moon – will occur on July 30.