Evanston RoundTable

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

“I came out and said my goodbyes and went inside and cried.” That’s how Alison Eisendrath described the morning her grand front-yard tree was taken down section by section. Arborist Antonio Herrera, in the cherry picker, said the maple was 90 years old. The tree had lost large limbs during recent storms. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

More chilly weather but no storms on the horizon today in Evanston. And now, on to the news of the day.

Credit: Submitted

It’s taken almost four years, but a proposal to fund a new $6.3 million building for the Evanston Animal Shelter should be on the Oct. 10 agenda of the City Council. At a special 17-minute meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27, the Animal Welfare Board agreed to send a letter of recommendation to the City Council for the long-planned project.

Artists Book House, the nonprofit organization that in 2021 signed a 40-year lease for the Harley Clarke mansion, is asking City Council to modify some of the terms of the mansion lease. While the group still says it can complete renovations and have the bulding open to the public in 2026, it seeks changes to some intermediate fundraising benchmarks. It has also revised up the cost of renovations.

1012 Chicago Ave. rendering

City Council members at their Tuesday, Sept. 27., meeting gave three developers an additional 18 months to obtain building permits for projects at 1012 Chicago Ave. (in rendering above), 1900 Sherman Ave. and 605 Davis St. In a memo, Neighborhood and Land Use Planner Meagan Jones blamed the COVID-19 pandemic, its effects on construction costs, supply-chain issues and ownership changes for the delays.

Longtime District 65 school board member Anya Tanyavutti, the first Black woman to serve as president of the board, announced her resignation last week, prompting the other board members to start the process of finding a replacement. The board has announced its intention to appoint a new member at a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 10; Tanyavutti’s replacement will come from the pool of applicants who had sought to fill former Vice President Marquise Weatherspoon’s seat.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 13 new cases and no new deaths were reported on Monday, Sept. 26, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 52.7 cases per day, mostly driven by a backlog of cases reported by a lab last week.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Gina Castro

The personal is political: NU professor’s journey to studying reparations. Alvin Tillery Jr., a professor of political science at Northwestern University and the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy, is leading a survey of Evanston residents on their feelings about the city’s historic reparations program. The endeavor is personal for Tillery, who grew up in a Black neighborhood in West Philadelphia and faced racism and resistance when integrating into white spaces.

Books: Q&A with local author Lynn Sloan. Evanston bookstore Bookends and Beginnings sat down with Sloan, who went to Northwestern and later obtained her master’s in photography. She has won awards for her fictional short stories and written two novels, including Midstream, which was published in 2022 and called “luminous” by Foreword Reviews.

Incident at Howard ‘L’ station causes delays on multiple lines. CTA trains moving north and south around Evanston were delayed for multiple hours, in some cases, on Tuesday afternoon “due to a minor incident involving rail cars at Howard,” according to an agency spokesperson.

Peggy Tarr: L’chaim. In her latest column, Tarr reflects on the significance of the Jewish High Holy Days, remembering her experiences as a child interacting with a close friend whose mother died during the Holocaust. “Jews have suffered a lot,” Tarr remembers her mother telling her and her sister.

Letter to the Editor: Planning & Development Committee. “As a founder, past president and current board member of Design Evanston I know I can speak for the board: Billboards have a strong negative visual impact in our entire community. They need to be eliminated, not encouraged,” Jack Weiss writes, encouraging the city committee to “vote against eliminating the billboard ban.”

Two postal carriers robbed in two days; police warn of package theft risks. Evanston police urge residents to be wary of package theft after two postal service workers were robbed on back-to-back days this week. In both incidents, the offenders took “arrow keys” from the mail carriers, which allow access to secured areas of condos and apartment buildings.

Veterans Affairs Honor Grants applications due Sept. 30. The Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs is dishing out $1.5 million in Honor Grants for nonprofit organizations that serve the veteran community and their families.

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Around the web

Chicago organizations and government work to aid asylum seekers. Since late August, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has bused well over 1,000 migrants, most seeking asylum in the United States from poor or dangerous conditions in South and Central America, to Chicago.

Does Chicago have the tech workforce to satisfy Google’s massive appetite? The tech giant is in the process of buying the Thompson Center in the Loop, which formerly housed state government offices. As part of that move, Google is expected to expand its Chicago workforce by several thousand employees.

Lawsuit aims to stop Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. A lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday is looking to block the Biden administration’s plan to forgive up to $10,000 in student debt per borrower, arguing that the loan forgiveness would put an undue burden on people in states like Indiana that will tax the forgiven debt. Experts said the suit represents a serious threat to Biden’s plan.

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Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...