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September 19, 2018

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Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Betty Kay

I like the art and lighting at Ridge and Emerson and I see it every day, more than once! The lights are fun and not glaringly bright and the colorful geometric walls are delightful. Thanks to the artist for the helpful extra lighting built into the design.
Now if someone would attack the rust!
Thanks for making a positive impact in Evanston!

Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Richard Halstead

Diagonals Create Anxiety
It seems that the city of Evanston has been duped twice at Emerson and Green Bay. I imagine experts were paid a significant amount to make the intersection less confusing and safer. Then other experts were probably consulted about what kind of art would make us less restive at the same site. Experts always seem to know better than we do about whatís best for us.
How is it that we cannot find the money to maintain the Harley Clark Mansion which is truly a time tested, beautiful piece of sculptural design but we can somehow find nearly $90,000 for a yellow squiggle that is no better than a traffic sign? At least pay someone who really needs work to paint the viaduct and stop spending our money on things we donít need or want. Anyone who knows anything about design knows that diagonals create anxiety, which is not what we want at that intersection.

Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Carolyn Laughlin

D65 School Leadership Is Past Due
:District 65ís continued steady decline in the 5 Essentials, identified by U of Chicago as correlating with improvement in academic achievement, is devastating. These essentials (ambitious instruction, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment and effective leaders) are all rooted in strong and capable school leadership. Yet, I donít remember hearing Dr. Goren nor the board speak to the urgent and critical need to identify, recruit, develop where needed and retain premier quality principals.
We have two of the best graduate management schools in the country within armís reach. Many other school districts and their leaders avail themselves of the executive leadership/management development opportunities at both Kellogg and U of C. These school districts take seriously the central role principals play in setting clear and inspiring direction, building trust and culture, providing effective feedback and coaching, and moving teachers and students to greater levels of achievement.
Is District 65 establishing/leveraging partnerships with these institutions? What are D65ís specific goals (as measured by the 5 Essentials), and where is the plan to achieve them?
I invite District 65 parents, Evanston/Skokie taxpayers, and other residents who care deeply about the quality of our K-8 education to make their voices heard. Articulate that a laser beam focus on District 65 school leadership is past due. Evidence that the board and administration is committed to ďbest in classĒ principals is imperative. The Roundtable provides an enormous service by keeping an intense eye on this issue, continuing coverage, and asking serious questions of District 65 administrators and board members.

Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Guestbook entry by: John Foley

Can You Help Me Decide?
We are coming upon another election cycle. Nationally, the economy is strong, unemployment is low.
Illinois is lagging. Unemployment in Wisconsin is 2.9%. Indiana, 3.4%. Illinois, 4.2% Ė above the national average of 3.8%. Illinois has $250 billion in unfunded pension liabilities (Moodyís).
In 2017, the Illinois legislature overrode Governor Raunerís veto of the income tax increase from 3.75% to 4.95%. In Evanston, voters approved the D65 referendum and increased our property taxes accordingly. Nationally, tax reform capped the State and Local Tax deductibility at $10,000.
Here are our candidates:
Governor Rauner: He hasnít moved the economic needle in Illinois largely due to Mike Madiganís ability to check his every move.
JB Pritzker: He favors progressive taxation which will further drive more of our productive citizens out of state. His recordings with Governor Blagojevich are troubling and while I canít fault Mr. Pritzker for breaking up bathroom fixtures to lower his property taxes, it wasnít his shining moment.
Kash Jackson: He has an economically appealing platform Ė tackling our pension problem, honoring our pension obligations, having our government live within its means. You will also find that he has problems paying his child support.
In the Illinois 18th, we have Robyn Gabel the incumbent representative. Visit and you will find she hasnít updated her blog since January 30, 2017. Her opponent Julie Cho does not appear to have a website.
In the Illinois 17th, we have Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz running against Peter Lee. Ms. Gong-Gershowitz received 97% of her nearly $700,000 in campaign finances from outside of the Illinois 17th, much of it from Mike Madigan PACís. On March 13, her campaign received $400,000 Ė from outside the district. Ms. Gong-Gersowitz was correctly admonished by the Evanston Roundtable for her campaign tactics in the primary. Her opponent Peter Lee does not appear to have a website.
For the 9th District Illinois Senate, we have Laura Fine running against Joan Lasonde. Ms. Fine is the current representative of the 17th district. Her primary concerns are for education and environmental issues Ė in particular, coal tar. Ms. Fine voted for the 32% tax increase last year. Ms. Lasonde has an active website. She supports rolling back the tax increase of 2017. She identifies out migration as a problem for Illinois. Neither candidate offers a solution to our $250 billion pension problem.
Why are people leaving? How will we solve our pension problem (besides leaving)? If we are going to go to a progressive income tax, what are those brackets and for states that went from a flat tax to a progressive tax, what did that progressive tax look like 10, 20 years later? How are those states performing economically now?
Ask the difficult questions and expect more this November.

Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Jean SmilingCoyote

Lisa D'Angelo asked: "how do you study in a library when there is a basketball court built above you?" I assume the answer is that proper materials will be used to prevent excess transmission of sound and vibration from the basketball court to the library. The materials and skills do exist, though not in my repertoire.

Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Guestbook entry by: Gay Riseborough and Bill Anders

Lights From NUís Athletic Field Disturb Lakefront Peace
Open Letter to Dave Davis, Director Community Relations, Northwestern University, Mayor Stephen Hagerty and Evanston Aldermen:
On Aug. 12, we went to the lakefront to watch the Perseid meteor shower. We chose the beach at the Harley Clarke mansion as our vantage point, thinking there would be the least light pollution from the city of Chicago. When we arrived, we saw the southern sky lit up a brilliant white by the Universityís dazzling, new Athletic Center swimming pool. It ruined the viewing, and probably did, from almost any other point in Evanston.
Why on earth is the building so lit up at night? Surely swim teams donít practice and lessons arenít given after 9 p.m.
Why does the City of Evanston permit this? Couldnít NU, at the very least, lower the light level?
Yes, itís a beautiful building, out of scale, but still beautiful, however, not so important that it ruin our nighttime experience of Lake Michigan and a cloudless sky on a perfect, stargazing night.
Dial it down, Northwestern.

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