…that Evanston’s Grosse Pointe Lighthouse has had 16 Light Keepers since 1874 and since 1983 has been managed by Donald J. Terras, Director of the Lighthouse Park District. In 1934, the lighthouse became the first on the Great Lakes to install a photoelectric device that turned the light on and off, leading to the decommissioning of the lighthouse, and giving responsibility for upkeep to the Park District.

Unidentified object on Sherman at Main (RoundTable photo)

…that business owners and employees near Main and Sherman were not happy last Friday when they discovered this large piece of something…infrastructure? …equipment? It was left standing for the weekend with a noticeable tilt to the west, protected only by a ribbon of caution tape.

A Ryder Truck at the end of the street, viewed from Ashland and Simpson (RoundTable photo)

…that the Administration & Public Works Committee removed segments of Ashland and Simpson from the City’s designated truck routes. Trucks are not prohibited on these streets but are required to utilize the shortest route available for local delivery or pickup.

Sharing Greenleaf (RoundTable photo)

…that the signs along Greenleaf Avenue say “Local Traffic Only” and ask vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists to share the road. The Lighthouse Keeper supports all efforts to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety and looks forward to learning the results of the Greenleaf Shared Street Pilot as well as the Church Street Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements project. Stay tuned.

The speed limit is 15 mph on Streets with speed humps (RoundTable photo)

Speaking of safe streets, the Lighthouse Keeper notes that the residential speed limit in Evanston is 25 mph except where otherwise posted. Most streets with speed humps have a posted speed limit of 15 mph. Not surprisingly, many streets with speed humps and a 15 mph limit are located near parks or schools.

And speaking of parks, the Lighthouse Keeper thinks that one of the best things about Evanston is the City’s 89 parks and asks readers to share their favorites in the comments.

Popcorn and games at the Y.O.U. Carnival (RoundTable photo)

…that Y.O.U. held a carnival behind Nichols School for their middle school summer program participants.

The Lighthouse Keeper hears…

Armored EPD Vehicle at Dempster Dodge Plaza (RoundTable photo)

…that, for the past several weeks, the Police Department has been receiving complaints about vehicles “doing donuts” and burning rubber late at night in the Dempster-Dodge Plaza parking lot and at two other locations nearby. They’re keeping an eye on the lot.

Fire hydrant at Twiggs Park (RoundTable photo)

…that there are almost 1,400 public fire hydrants in the City. The Evanston Fire Department and Water Production Bureau conducts annual testing to make sure they can get water on a fire when and where needed.

CTA trains slow down over the Lincoln Street bridge (RoundTable photo)

…that the Chicago Transit Authority needed to perform emergency track reconstruction work on the Lincoln bridge at Ridge Avenue as soon as possible, so the City granted approval for the work to be done outside of typical construction activity hours on July weekends. 

…that Evanston residents can check out birdwatching kits from the circulation desk at the Main Library or request they be sent to the Robert Crown Branch Library for pick up. Kits can be checked out for two weeks and renewed as long as there are no holds. Each kit contains two pairs of Celestron binoculars, a laminated resource guide and a guide to common birds of Illinois all in a handy backpack. To place a hold, search for “Birdwatching Kit” in the catalogue or call 847-448-8630. 

Old trees with big, beautiful canopies (RoundTable photo)

…that the Planning & Development committee will discuss a new tree preservation ordinance that would protect certain trees on private property based on species and size. Evanston’s Public Works Agency and Community Development staff have shaped the framework to meet the City’s Carbon Action and Resilience Plan goals, noting, “Large, mature trees are exponentially more beneficial than young trees, which is reflected in the CARP goal of increasing the longevity of trees.”

…that the City’s new Referrals Committee has created a new process for tracking and prioritizing items referred to the City for assignment to various committees for discussion and action. 

…that several of Evanston’s iconic Tallmadge street light poles need to be replaced due to accidents, wind storms or damage from rusting. The replacement cost per pole is $4,435. The distinctive Tallmadge light fixtures, which have been used in Evanston for decades, are named after their designer, Thomas Tallmadge, a Prairie School architect who lived in Evanston.

…finally, the LK hears the deafening sounds of cicadas at sundown. Although the 17-year variety that plagued much of the east coast are not yet in evidence, the LK finds their songs at dusk bittersweet, both a sign of summer’s waning, but also a joyful expression of nature’s own symphony. And speaking of nocturnal sights and sounds, the lightning bugs – otherwise known as fireflies – seem to have come out in greater number this summer, apparently because the wetter spring offered a richer food source for the larval fireflies. From my perch, their twinkling lights at dusk are a hopeful sign of Evanston’s healthy ecosystem, thanks to the many environmentalists who live in our midst.

Lighthouse Keeper

The RoundTable's Lighthouse Keeper pays homage to Evanston's iconic symbol, shining a light on items that might not otherwise make news. Send your questions, concerns or tips to lk@evanstonroundtable.com.