Madonna of the rain barrelsRoundTable photo

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… that road repairs continue around town. On Monroe west of Ridge and east of Dodge, crews are fixing the water main. The work should be completed by November.
Elsewhere – 230 “elsewhere,” to be specific – crews from Precision Pavement Markings of Elgin are refreshing pavement striping and markings in places where patching and other repair work damaged or removed the stripes and marks. Weather permitting, this should take just over another month. Crews will use thermoplastic striping material, a reflectorized pavement marking material applied to the surface of the pavement through a heat-fusion process. These new markings should last about three years and could last up to five.

… that, speaking of markings, the Lovelace Park tennis courts are back in action, with newly surfaced courts and fresh-painted lines. Pickleball court lines are a welcome addition.

… that Evanston Township High School will buy a new Toyota Avalon for the Superintendent, to replace the car purchased for him five years ago. The high school will buy the new one from AutoNation Toyota in Liberty for $37,500, and the Superintendent’s current car will go to the Driver Education Department.

… that gas prices in the area fell 15.7 cents per gallon earlier this month, averaging $2.98 per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,437 stations. The prices were 41.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago, yet stand 15.8 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy says, “The national average price of gasoline has now fallen to the lowest level of the summer, but even better, the lowest since March as gas stations pass along the recent drop in oil prices brought on by the U.S./China trade rift. However, the drops in gas prices could slow in the weeks ahead as some OPEC members talk about cutting oil production to stem the recent drop in oil prices. … However, a production cut from oil producers may be more akin to putting lipstick on a pig, as oil markets have plenty of downside ahead as demand for fuels begins to move lower into the fall with summer driving season ending soon.” Does this news – or the news of, say, Iceland without ice – make anyone want to walk more, use a bicycle more or drive a hybrid or an electric car?

… that the Ladd Arboretum has a new wood chip path (photo below left), well, a partial or perhaps just-begun path to the east of the Ecology Center and close to the edge of the hillside that eases down to the canal.
Walkers who choose that path rather than the asphalt one may also get a glimpse of these rain barrels.

From our readers: TG: I have been a loyal reader of the RoundTable and your column for the last four years. I usually like what I read in your column. However, this last week you again reared your hatred of bicycles in favor of the automobile.
Under the eight annoyances in life, you managed to find two bike related items out of eight (in other words, a full quarter of your life’s annoyances had to do with the bicycle).
I find it ironic that you didn’t find the car drivers that are texting or speaking on the phone while driving their cars annoying. It’s certain now – the Traffic Guy is a certified anti-bikite.      – Andy Schwarz

From TG: Thank you for your letter, Mr. Schwarz. TG apologizes for coming off as an “anti-bikite” and sincerely hopes that is not the case. TG does care – and apparently complains too often – about behaviors that seem, well, a bit heedless, and these are often easier to spot when the folks doing them are riding bicycles than when they are driving. But please note that, as often as possible, TG includes gas prices in the hope that folks will seek cleaner transportation alternatives.

TG: We live next to Lovelace Park and went for a walk last evening. This heron was in front of the parsonage of the Hillside Church having a good evening snack in whatever it found in the grass. – Sigrid Pilgrim

From TG: Thank you for the photo, Ms. Pilgrim. Evanston is fortunate be home to such stately birds as herons.

Jefferson Airplane Remembered
TG: Remember the Jefferson Airplane? The photo of these rabbits was taken in our backyard yesterday in North Evanston. Mom looks very protective, doesn’t she? Little “Albie” is about seven inches long.                                          – Mike Roche

From TG: “If you go chasing rabbits …” from “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane. Great pic, Mr. Roche, great memory.

TG: Do you know who Sherman Avenue is named after? A couple of generations ago, my family lived at 2253 Sherman Ave., and since then the name Sherman has been given to some of my family. I assume there may be a connection between the street name and my family members. Stephen Pooley, brother of Richard Sherman Pooley and nephew of Sherman Leslie Pooley

From TG: TG referred your question to Janet G. Messenger, a local historian and author of several books on Evanston, including “Streets of Evanston.” She reported, “Sherman Avenue in Evanston is name for Alson Smith Sherman, mayor of Chicago from 1844 to 45. He never lived in Evanston but served on Northwestern’s first board of trustees.” Hope that helps solve the family conundrum.

The Traffic Guy thinks …
… that there are dozens of missing street signs throughout Evanston, such as this one at the intersection of Payne and Forestview. Perhaps readers of this column can identify and send us other examples of missing signs, so the City can replace them.