… that it may not be golf season, but things are happening at Canal Shores. People are creating art along the golf course, thanks to an initiative by the golf course association, Evanston Made, and Downtown Evanston.  Artists of all ages and talents are invited to participate. What, no supplies? There’s always snow.

As soon as the weather permits, volunteers at Canal Shores will resume the labor-intensive but necessary task of removing invasive species such as buckthorn, honeysuckle, and oriental bittersweet, from the habitat. Yes, the canal banks and some of the wooded areas will seem bare for a time, but saplings and other native plants will eventually fill the gaps. And when the course opens again, golfers may be able to purchase refreshments – beer, wine, mixed drinks, packed sandwiches and other snacks – if the City permits.

Photo of Canal Shores habitat from Pam Ferdinand

… that the City is also looking toward spring. This week Council authorized a $26,000 contract renewal with  Cleanslate Chicago, LLC for mowing services in City parks and approved $45,000 in contracts to purchase more than 200 trees: $21,555 goes to Goodmark Nurseries LLC of Wonder Lake for 117 trees and $24,000 to Wilson Nurseries Inc. of Hampshire for 100 trees. And to complete a tree-fecta, Natural Habitat Evanston is likely to donate more than $6,000 to reimburse the City for the purchase of 31 American Elm trees – the kind of elms that have shown resistance to Dutch elm disease. To protect the existing elms, the City will purchase 64 gallons of Arbotect fungicide from Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements of   Minnetonka, Minn., for $27,000.

… that nonetheless it is still wintertime. At Clark Square, the Little Tree By the Lake, which was iced over many times last year, is standing as tall as possible against the elements.

The tree at Clark Square, iced over again this year. Photo by Mary De Jong

… that the City continues to shear off portions of public streets for private parking. Both sides of the 1000 and 1100 blocks of Colfax will now allow limited parking except for residents.

… that, speaking of parking, cars displaying any color of “Disabled” placard may park at spaces so designated. TG notes that these are not “disabled parking spaces,” as some carelessly suggest, but parking spaces for vehicles displaying placards denoting a disability of the driver. But please note, a yellow/gray placard will allow the vehicle to remain in the space past the maximum allowed time.

And more: Mike Allen of Axios reports cities are “replacing street lights with ‘smart’ LED fixtures that could one day be able to find you a parking space, monitor air quality, and announce an oncoming thunderstorm,” citing  Axios Cities author Jennifer A. Kingson. So a City such as, well, you know, Evanston, could install these smart fixtures and monetize the pole space by leasing it to companies that provide information like weather updates, where to find parking, etc.

… that Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans) will host the Bicycle Film Festival as it makes its virtual way around. Between Feb. 24 and March 7, folks can see short films about, for example, The first BMX crew in Nigeria, a charismatic Ghanian immigrant in Amsterdam who teaches refugee adult women to ride bikes, a bird’s-eye view of a Black Lives Matter bicycle protest ride in New York and New York City through the lens of female bike messengers.

… that, with Groundhog Day just past, by some calendars we’re into the second half of winter. But this week is chockablock full of New Year’s days. Just a few days ago, Feb. 8, was New Year’s Day of Year 36 on Mars. EarthSky.org reported that scientists on Earth began Mars timekeeping at the northern Mars spring equinox of April 11, 1955. Earthbound math is not the path to equating 1955 to 2021 with 36 years.   More familiar might be the Lunar New Years celebrated on Feb. 12, when the Chinese calendar ushers in the Year of the Ox and the Vietnamese welcome the Year of the Buffalo – not the American bison, but the water buffalo, akin to the ox.  And Mardi Gras is Feb. 16.

 The Traffic Guy thinks …

This is the problem.

… that maybe a solution to the Great Beer Pong Controversy is “Where I’m From.” Readers will remember that at least one alderman would like to ban beer pong from front yards and porches – hence this sign in opposition.

Where I’m From beer from Temperance Brewing Company

But profits from Temperance Brewing Company’s Where I’m From beer benefit the City’s Reparations Fund, making drinking it practically a City virtue. So maybe the ordinance could allow beer pong in front yards and on porches if the beer is Temperance’s Where I’m From.