Evanston RoundTable

Good Monday morning, Evanston!

Ji-Aire Bamberg, 9, gets a bald fade on the side at Free Haircut Day along Dodge Avenue near Church Street. “It teaches them to keep their glamour together,” said barber Reese Taylor, one of many who donated their work at the Ebony Barber Shop and Cutting Edge Hair Gallery. With haircuts came free school supplies, food and music for more than 100 middle and high school students. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

With the school year under way, the swimming season is over at city beaches – but Evanston officials say the city has work to do on access and equity. Here’s the latest:

Credit: Richard Cahan

At Thursday’s Parks and Recreation Board meeting, Director Audrey Thompson outlined a plan to make Lake Michigan wheelchair accessible at all six of Evanston’s swimming beaches, as well as provide beach wheelchairs at at least two beaches. “This is a right-now project,” she said, “even though the beaches are closed for swimming.” The plan comes just over two weeks after the RoundTable’s Richard Cahan detailed the lack of access to the water for wheelchair users, as paths for ordinary wheelchairs reach the lake at only one beach.

Also on Thursday, the Equity and Empowerment Commission met and members agreed to support removing language from the city’s public nudity ordinance that requires women to cover their breasts and nipples. Commission chair Karla Thomas said the current ordinance isn’t only unfair to women but also to nonbinary and transgender people. “I see a huge equity issue,” she said.

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

In the near future Richard Eddington will take his second retirement as Evanston’s police chief. He served in that role from 2007 to 2018, before returning in 2021 as interim chief while the city seeks a permanent appointment. The RoundTable’s Mary Gavin pulled together statements of his from conversations over the past few months to assemble his view on how police departments in general, and EPD in particular, work at developing and preserving the trust of the community.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 11 new cases and no new deaths were reported Thursday, Sept. 15, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 7.3 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Wendi Kromash

Photo essay: Evanston Bicycle Club’s 37th annual North Shore Century Ride. Cyclists gathered at Dawes Park on Sunday morning for the event, with each choosing one of four routes through the North Shore – some riding 25 miles, others choosing 50, 62 or even 100 mile routes. RoundTable reporter Wendi Kromash rode with her dog, Fig, and along the way she took pictures, enjoyed the day and talked to volunteers and other riders.

Credit: Wendi Kromash

Beautiful night for wine and walking the Main-Dempster Mile. Crowds of people moseyed up and down Chicago Avenue and Main and Dempster streets Thursday for the ninth annual Evanston Wine Walk. Three different routes with 37 participating businesses were available as the event returned after a two-year absence caused by COVID-19.

Denise Martin: She loves life and it loves her right back. In season 2, episode 13 of the Evanston Rules podcast, hosts Laurice Bell and Ron Whitmore talk to Denise Martin, a retired assistant superintendent at District 202 and CEO of the Joe “Butch” Martin Fund at the Evanston Community Foundation. She loves Evanston but says the city needs to keep trying: “No bulls-eye yet, we keep shooting arrows. We got lots of arrows.”

Dear Gabby: My husband tells inappropriate jokes. From Gabby’s mail: “How do I apologize to my relatives? How do we get my husband to stop telling racy jokes to 6- and 8-year olds?” Gabby, as you might imagine, has thoughts on that and other dilemmas.

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Around the web

Northlight plans its Evanston homecoming. For the past 25 years, Northlight Theatre has been a tenant in Skokie’s North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. Its next 25 years are hinged on its pending move back to downtown Evanston. After five years in the works, plans seem to be falling together.

Northwestern professor takes on ‘forever chemicals,’ and he just might win. NU chemistry professor William Dichtel and colleagues in his lab have come up with a simple, inexpensive method to destroy the harmful and ubiquitous contaminants called PFAS, known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment or the human body.

Justice Elena Kagan talks Supreme Court legitimacy at Pritzker School of Law. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan spoke about the legitimacy of the Court, her judicial philosophy and her career trajectory in a Wednesday discussion at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. 

Northwestern’s $130 million Bronzeville clinic, 43 Green and Black-owned dispensary get key city backing. Chicago’s Plan Commission approved proposals for a $130 million Northwestern Medicine outpatient facility in Bronzeville’s Cottage Grove Avenue corridor and three other projects. Block Club Chicago reviews the four proposals, which are scheduled for City Council review this week.

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Alex Harrison reports on local government, public safety, developments, town-gown relations and more for the RoundTable. He graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in June...