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… that the recent snowfall added a touch of beauty – and quite a bit of mandatory exertion, as folks swept it off cars and shoveled it off sidewalks. Speaking of snow, TG implores everyone to heed the parking signs. Remember, even if a snowplow has been down a street, it is not safe or wise to park until the time on the sign advises. The plows come back through, as to ticket-toting PEOs (parking enforcement officers)

… that there is not much in the way of infrastructure taking place these days, but the City is keeping things in motion with some recently approved contracts. There’s a contract with G & L Contractors of Skokie to haul debris and detritus from public works projects, such as water, sewer, and pavement repairs ($80,000) and another one with the same company to purchase granular materials for maintenance and restoration in projects like these ($50,000). Another contract is with Ozinga Ready Mix to buy $45,000 of “redi-mix concrete.” City staff say few if any companies feel they can compete with Ozinga because, being located here (on Oakton), the company can deliver fresh concrete to multiple sites here in a timely manner. Fresh concrete, according to a staff memo, “is a perishable product, having a relatively short time frame from when the water is added to the mix to when it hardens. Hence, time is of the essence when it comes to unloading a concrete truck and placing the material. If the concrete sits in the truck for too long, it will inhibit the quality of the product and potentially ruin a project.” With the plant nearby, the concrete can be delivered in smaller quantities to the individual sites, but a company bringing in concrete from a distance will either want to charge more for smaller orders or bring a large load and deliver it site-by-site, plus charge $2 per minute or more if the wait-time for a load is more than an hour.

… that the City has amended the Harbert Park lease with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, extending it to May of 2045. Readers may remember that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources awarded the City an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant in the amount of $320,000 for the renovations there. One condition of the grant is that the City have a lease of at least 25 years on the land that is the subject of the grant. In 1966, the City and MWRD signed two leases for recreational space – one for Harbert Park and the other for what is now known as Canal Shores. How fortunate the City and the residents – biped, quadruped and winged – are to have these beautiful areas along the canal.

 … that, speaking of parks, McCulloch Park is going to get a host of improvements: new playground equipment, pathways, basketball court, lighting, furnishings, and landscaping. The City is working with ComEd, AT&T, and Comcast to get their utility lines, well, aligned underground and, preferably, around the perimeter of the park.

This photo of the lonely basketball court in McCulloch Park, was taken by Lynn Trautmann shortly after the March 2020 lockdown.

… that the City will grant a 25-year sidewalk easement with Gendell/WN Stockton LLC and Gendell Partners Simpson LLC for the property at 2116 Green Bay Road, so the company can construct and maintain a new sidewalk. Walgreen’s the Social Security Administration and Institute for Therapy through the Arts are all in the little plaza there. The City will receive about $5,000 for the easement.

… that a proposal by First Ward Alderman Judy Fiske to ban beer-pong playing on porches and yards, where pedestrians can see the drinking game being played, is not wholly popular. In November, the headline in a Newswire story written by Lillian Stone, bore this headline: “Persnickety college town wants to ban outdoor beer pong, joy.” TG, being, well, anchored at Florence and Crain, has thankfully never experienced the horror of seeing a lawn beer pong game. On the other hand …

… that this week’s full moon is known as the Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, or Moon after Yule. According to EarthSky.org, the Hopi name for this moon – paamuya or Moon of Life at its Height 

… that Feb. 12, Chinese New Year, marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox (the year after the Rat and before the Tiger). The website Chinesenewyear.net says, “The second animal of the Chinese zodiac, the ox denotes the hard work, positivity and honesty that will be manifested in all of us in the coming 12 months, according to astrologers.”

From RT Readers:

“BE CALM – CARRY OUT.”  Perhaps that is what this Cooper’s Hawk was contemplating when he got hungry one morning in North Evanston. A finch was pecking along between the sparse dots of the overnight snow when she became part of a carryout menu. Other than spying the nosey photographer, our hawk friend seemed very calm as he began dining.

Don’t Forget to Support Your Local Restaurants!

Mike Roche

Note to Nancy Bradt:  The RoundTable asked Lawrence Hemingway, the City’s Director of Parks and Recreation, about washrooms and the possibility of portable toilets. Here is his response: “This season we have kept two restrooms open. In years past, we would only have one restroom open, at Clark Street. This year both Clark Street and Dempster Street restrooms are open. These facilities have heating capabilities and allow for the facilities to remain open year round. The other facilities do not, so that is the reason the restrooms are closed.  As far as the port-a-potties are concerned, I need to look into it further and get back to you.”

The Traffic Guy thinks …

… that RT readers will be delighted tomorrow (Jan. 29) when they meet Gabby, the new advice columnist. She will dish! And dish out advice on everything from testy teenagers and surly spouses to workplace woes and COVID conundrums:  questions like “Why should I call her just to tell her I’m not going to call her anymore?”, “How do I get my older relatives to use my correct pronoun?” and the classic, “Is it ok that I love my dog and want to cuddle with her more than my spouse?”

No question is too serious, too silly or too snarly for Gabby, who obviously adores alliteration. You can see by the microphone in the logo that she has a big voice. She also has a big heart. Read her column and send her a question. She’s waiting to hear from you. Send her a note at news@evanstonroundtable.com with “Dear Gabby” in the subject line.