Offshoot of a ginkgo that survived the Hiroshima bombing

… that crews are finishing up their patch-patch-patching of streets. Alleys are next.  Capitol Cement of Chicago will pave two alleys around the Church Street waste transfer station, north of Church and east of Darrow. There, crews will install an eight-inch-thick concrete alley, storm sewers and garage aprons. Funds for this work will come from the settlement of the lawsuit between the City and a former owner/operator of the facility. The alley north of Dempster and east of Dewey will receive the same treatment but through a different funding source, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money.

… that other CDBG funds will go toward drainage improvements, such as path repairs and sewer installations in Butler Park and toward new speed humps and alley bumps in various alleys. These humps and bumps are known as “traffic calming” devices; TG is not certain that they have the same effect some drivers. The City lists alternatives to these works – LED lighting retrofit in Butler Park, improvements to the Fitzsimons Park tennis courts and a bumpout and crosswalk (with ADA-accessible sidewalk ramps and pedestrian push-button LED lights) at Emerson and Hovland.

… that a few days ago, as the sun was rising over the canal, a cloud was drifting in front of the full moon. The moon should be on the wane in time to allow the Perseid meteor shower to shine next week.

… that the City of Evanston has added Lincolnwood to its list of water customers. The City is anticipating a half million dollars in annual revenue from it. Fun coincidence that Lincolnwood began its relationship with Evanston in August, Water Quality Month.

… that the City has filed an application with the Green Infrastructure Project Partnership of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago for partial funding of the Main Street Improvements Project. Of the $4.7 million project, $430,000 is eligible – and, if the application is successful, MWRD would pay 75% of that, or $323,000.

… that a green one might say “over structure” – an arbor-shaded bench – now graces the southwest corner of the Ecology Center.

… that City Council recently approved the purchase of $750,000 of fuel – all types and all grades that City vehicles use. This fuel allowance is supposed to last a year.

… … that today, Aug. 6, marks the 75th anniversary of the United States’ bombing of Hiroshima. Readers may remember the ginkgo tree planted in 2013 in the Ladd Arboretum. An offshoot of one of the some 170 trees  in 55 locations within the roughly 1.2-mile radius of Hiroshima ground zero officially registered by the Municipality of Hiroshima as A-bombed trees, according to Green Legacy Hiroshima, the sapling – one of five brought here by of Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka. Near the end of his term as RI President, Mr. Tanaka met with HidekoYamada, a founding member of Green Legacy Hiroshima to discuss planting a tree in the Rotary Garden here to commemorate the garden’s 50th anniversary. Dick and Shelley Peach cared for the five saplings sent here, and one was planted on Veterans’ Day 2103. What a story of survival, forgiveness and compassion for the earth.

… that Eleanor Imster recently described a seismic phenomenon brought about by the pandemic. In Earth/Human World, she wrote that human-linked Earth vibrations dropped 50% during Covid-19 lockdown. “During those months, seismographs recorded a drop in human-linked vibrations in the solid Earth, by an average of 50%.” Although seismometers generally measure the seismic waves from large events such as bombs, earthquakes and volcanoes, they also pick up “seismic noise” – ambient vibrations – from things like wind, rivers, ocean waves and human activities (especially travel and industry). According to a new study by an international team of researchers, Earth’s seismic noise level dropped by an average of 50% between March and May 2020, during the Covid-19 lockdown. Ms. Imster added, “In a July 23, 2020, statement from Imperial College London, which took part in the study, researchers said this quiet period was likely caused by the total global effect of social distancing measures, closure of services and industry, and drops in tourism and travel. They said it is the longest and most pronounced quiet period of seismic noise in recorded history.”

… that astronomers have captured a picture of the “space butterfly,” the planetary nebula NGC 2899, which is somewhere between 3,000 and 6,500 light years away from Earth. Scientists at the European Space Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (to which the country of Chile is host) captured this image. NGC 2899 (New General Catalogue) is located in the constellation Vela (The Sails), which is visible from the Southern hemisphere. CNN posted a story by Scottie Andrew about the butterfly nebula as well as the image itself, “This planetary nebula isn’t long for this universe. Ultraviolet radiation lights up the shells of gas surrounding the star and causes them to shine quite brightly, the ESO said – but only for a few thousand years before they break up. That’s a relatively short life span in astronomy.”

The ESO also wrote that the space butterfly nebula “has two central stars, which are believed to give it its nearly symmetric appearance. After one star reached the end of its life and cast off its outer layers, the other star now interferes with the flow of gas, forming the two-lobed shape seen here.”

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that the Waukegan Harbor dredging project has great promise for Evanston’s hardest-hit beaches. Cleaned sand from Up North will be transported to shore up our supersaturated dog beach, vanishing Greenwood Beach and swept-over-the-sidewalks Lee Street Beach. But readers will doubtless recall that this is not a new concept: In the early 1960s, before there was an Environmental Protection Agency, Northwestern extended its campus by filling 50+ acres of Lake Michigan with sand dredged from Indiana. And before that, more than a century ago, the forward-thinking folks in Wilmette used the dirt excavated to dig the North Shore Sanitary Channel (now colloquially called “the canal”) to create their Gilson Park.