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… that the former Shore School has been demolished, and the City began construction this week on the underground water meter vault at Emerson and McCormick,  to be followed by a pipeline to connect to the vault from Emerson and an above-ground pumping station. The City expects the vault will be completed by December and the site restored by next May.

… that future of the buildings at 1108 Dodge is unclear. The owner is seeking a zoning amendment from the City to allow sales of automobiles as permitted uses and some associated vehicle uses – towing and repair, e.g. – as special uses. There could be as many as 30 cars onsite. The City would like to see some aesthetic improvement, such as more transparency on the front facade, removing glass block where customers can see inside and a showroom at the front and replacing (an) industrial-looking external facade with a more inviting-looking facade that makes the building more commercial for the block. Will that blue fence remain?
Speaking of fences, TG hears that the City did not agree to a request by a certain famous baseball player to erect a six-foot fence around his property to keep away stray animals, fans, autograph seekers, etc. it is quite nice to have Yu Darvish here, and respecting his privacy is something everyone can understand.

… that the City has sold a bit of land in the alley behind 1633 Florence Ave. for $16,000. According to the City, the parcel “consists of a small portion of an alley just south of the Church Street right of way and a portion of land adjacent to the Church Street right-of-way that serves no public purpose. The majority of the alley was previously vacated and the remaining portion currently only serves the property at 1633 Florence Ave.”

… that, beginnig next week, the City will begin “sealing and rejuvenating” cracks and fissures in various streets around town: 57,000 square yards of them.
Here is the process, as the City describes it: “This project involves spraying a clear liquid sealant on the street which penetrates, rejuvenates and seals the asphalt surface. This process lengthens the pavement life and seals it against water infiltration, an important step in preserving pavement infrastructure.” Once sealant is applied, a coating of limestone screenings or sand will be spread for traction while the material is absorbed. The street will be open for traffic approximately one hour after all steps of the application are finished.” As always, drivers should be alert to lane closures, street closures and temporary “No Parking” signs.
… that the City is going to purchase 67 tons of anthracite for about $24,000; it will be used in the water treatment plant. According to the City, there are 24 filters in the filtration system, with a peak-rated filtration capacity of 108 million gallons per day. Normal filter backwash operations eventually wear and smooth anthracite particles and cause the anthracite to be broken into small pieces that are lost during the process. On average anthracite should be purchased every three to five years to replenish the anthracite that is lost during normal operations.

… that another City purchase was of body-worn cameras and conductive electric weapons, that are sometimes referred to as Tasers.
According to dictionary.com Tasers were invented in the 1970s by Jack Cover, who wanted to create “a non-lethal weapon that could be used in situations in which firing a real gun would prove fatal, like in an airplane hijacking.” Dictionary.com said the inspirations were twofold and “eclectic. First, he witnessed a hiker survive a run-in with an electric fence. And second, he recalled a fictional electric rifle used in his favorite science-fiction novel growing up. It’s this 1911 novel, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle.”

… that Northwestern, the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association and the City have come up with this year’s football-parking arrangements.  Season ticket-holders will be able to park and party on holes 1, 2, 11 and 12 at Canal Shores during home games – four hours before the game starts and two hours after it’s over. Home games are scheduled for Sept. 8, 15 and 29; Oct. 13 and 27 and Nov. 3 and 24 (brrrr).

… that, speaking of parking (and fences, as above), Firehouse Grill will expand its outdoor seating area, eliminate one American With Disabilities Act (ADA) parking space and no longer have to provide parking. The new outdoor area will be 1,400 square feet, buffered by a three-foot-high planter box. The newly relocated ADA parking space, 16 feet by 18 feet, will have an accessible route into the restaurant as required. The restaurant will enclose the dumpsters and will be able to let customers fend for themselves for parking, a practice that has continued for quite some time. The City says when Firehouse opened, in the 1970s, it was initially to have 28 parking spaces, most of which were located away from the place and leased from the CTA. Things lapse, but diners still find their way there.

… that, in the same vicinity, Reprise Coffee Roasters will soon operate a shop at 710 Main St., coming down the shore from Lake Forest and Winnetka and offering coffee and other drinks, coffee beans and bakery items. Employees will have to find their own parking, as they are not supposed to use the metered street parking.

From our readers: TG: This photograph diminishes the words on the sign outside Beth’s Little Bake Shop on Central Street east of the train station, but they are well worth reading: “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a cupcake and that’s basically the same thing!”  – Janet G. Messenger

From TG: Thanks, Ms. Messenger for pointing out that Beth Welch has added her voice to that psychological conundrum. Over here on the west side, the RT continues its mission of searching for truth and the finest chocolate – some of which is undeniably found here in Evanston.

TG: It’s so much fun to see my alley photos in the paper. I’d just ask that you spell my name correctly, as it is in my email: Gail Siegel. In the last issue (I’m not pointing fingers; I don’t know your editorial process) (someone?)  spelled it Segal, which is pretty far off. Thanks! And thanks so very much for sharing my shots.

From TG: No excuses, Ms. Siegel, just apologies. Please keep sending us those interesting photos.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that the following is a really classy story, told by Mayor Hagerty at a recent City Council meeting: It seems that a woman had inadvertently put an Indian-head dime – a gift from her grandmother –  into one of the City meters. When she realized what she had done, she called 311 and asked for help. A member of the City’s parking staff sorted through the coins in the meter she described, found the coin and returned it to the owner.