It’s April 29, the 130th day of the year. Yesterday’s temperatures of Lake Michigan were 47 degrees at the Chicago crib and 50 degrees at the Chicago shore. 

Eddie Irizarry wrote a story about the Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR 2, which passed Earth at some 4 million miles away. The story, from Astronomy Essentials/Space was posted in EarthSky.org on April 29. Here is a part of it: “A big – very big – asteroid passed relatively close to Earth this morning (April 29, 2020). … It’s the biggest asteroid to fly by Earth this year (that we know about so far); according to current estimates, it’s probably a bit over a mile wide (2 km) and mostly spherical. Closest approach was April 29 around 4:56 a.m. Central Daylight Time (09:56 UTC). An online viewing of the asteroid from the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome, Italy – originally scheduled for April 28 – has been rescheduled due to clouds last night. The new time for the online viewing is today (April 29, 2020) starting at 1:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time (18:30 UTC; translate UTC to your time).”

This day in history (from history.com):

1429, Seventeen-year-old French peasant Joan of Arc leads a French force in relieving the city of Orleans, besieged by the English since the previous October during the Hundred Years War. 

1854, The Pennsylvania legislature approves a charter for Ashmun Institute, the first college founded solely for African American students. The college was named for Jehudi Ashmun, the U.S. agent who helped reorganize and preserve the struggling African-American colony in Africa that later grew into the independent nation of Liberia. 

1974, President Richard Nixon announces to the public that he will release transcripts of 46 taped White House conversations in response to a Watergate trial subpoena issued in July 1973.

The lockdown continues. “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day …” – from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

Ecclesiastes in the Christian Bible and the Pete Seeger song “Turn, Turn, Turn” based on it proclaim there is “a time for every purpose … ” for example, a time to cover one’s face and a time smile freely at the world; a time to stay in and a time to go out; a time to refrain from socializing and a time to see one’s friends and family again.

But the lakefront is still open, as are the park paths, though playgrounds remain off-limits. The RoundTable welcomes and greatly appreciates the photos readers send in with their snippets of life in lockdown. Those seeking a wider viewership may wish to post their photos of wildlife – flora as well as fauna – on a website created by wildlife biologist and Evanston resident Renata Leite Pitman: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/tracking-evanston-wildlife-during-the-lockdown 

Meanwhile, most City buildings and offices will remain shuttered through the end of May. Here are some updates:

  • Evanston 311 will remain open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and for extended hours on Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., throughout the month of May. Evanston 311 will be open on Sunday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday hours will be determined weekly based on anticipated call volume. Residents can contact 311 by calling/texting 847-448-4311, online at cityofevanston.org/311, or using the Evanston 311 mobile app.
  • All City facilities will remain closed to the public through May 31. Residents are encouraged to complete City business online at cityofevanston.org or by calling/texting 847-448-4311. 
  • Evanston Public Library facilities will remain closed to the public until further notice. Residents can access the library’s digital resources and information at epl.org. Librarians are available to answer questions at 847-448-8630 and online by email and instant message. Additional library information and resources can be found at epl.org/closure_faq.
  • Parking enforcement for non-safety related issues has been suspended through May 31. Parking enforcement officers will continue to issue fines for public safety violations, such as blocking a fire hydrant, stop sign, bike lane, or alleyway, or parking in a “No Parking” zone.
  • Street cleaning operations will continue in May in order to clear leaves and debris, and prevent flooding. Due to the Stay at Home Order, parking citations will not be issued. Residents are asked to comply with the street cleaning schedule posted on street signage and online at cityofevanston.org/streetcleaning to facilitate operations.
  • Weekly trash, recycling, and food and yard waste collections will continue as normal. All items must be placed in the appropriate collection containers; no loose items will be picked up. Residents can now purchase yard waste stickers online. Stickers are also available at Jewel-Osco locations and Lemoi Hardware.
  • All permit types are now being accepted and issued. Plan review and permit applications can be submitted in pdf format only at permitdesk@cityofevanston.org. All required documents must be sent in a single email or the permit will not be processed. Permits shall be issued with recommended COVID-19 procedures and all workers must wear face coverings while performing work in Evanston.
  • Building inspection requests can be scheduled by calling or texting 847-448-4311. Most inspections will be performed remotely via photo/video. Inspectors will provide the resident or contractor direction on what is acceptable to show code compliance. 
  • Free, cold breakfasts and lunches will continue to be served to youth ages 1 to 18 years old at locations throughout the city on Mondays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the following locations: Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, Robert Crown Community Center, Kamen Park David Wood Fieldhouse, and Mason Park. During Memorial Day week, meals will be served on Tuesday, May 26 instead of Monday, May 25. Community members can support this program by making a financial contribution at cityofevanston.org/youthmeals.
  • The City has partnered with Northwestern University’s Office of Neighborhood and Community Relations to establish an emergency food pantry at James Park every Wednesday through the end of May, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pantry offers Evanston residents free, prepackaged boxes of food, including non-perishable items, produce, and protein. Boxes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis
  • The Levy Senior Center and Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center’s Congregate Meal Program will continue to provide meals to seniors registered for the program on scheduled days. For more information, please contact 847-448-8250.