Credit: Rich Cahan

Good Monday morning to you, Evanston!

Evanstonians had a lot of choices on what to do this weekend. Besides the Farmers’ Market, there were the Latinx Heritage Festival at Elk Park, ETHS sports – a whole bunch of ’em – and “Bike the Ridge” on Sunday morning. For Julia Ferguson (above) it’s a tradition. RoundTable photographer Richard Cahan caught up with Julia as she led her family down Ridge Avenue during the annual September event. Hundreds of bikers filled the two-mile stretch between Church and Howard streets until brief afternoon sprinkles. That’s when they pedaled home. And now, we move on to other important Evanston news as we let in the sunshine to your morning.

Jeff Balch and his solar panels. Credit: Wendi Kromash

Two Evanston homeowners, who are also Illinois Solar Ambassadors, opened their homes and shared their experiences with people curious about solar technology on Saturday, Sept. 24, as part of the 2022 Solar Tour. The Illinois Solar Education Association hosted the event and lined up more than 100 homes and businesses throughout Illinois.

In the first and second episodes of Evanston Rules’ second season, the podcast turns the microphones on its very own co-host Ron Whitmore. “The skin I’m in, Part 1,” takes listeners through Ron’s career in education. It started in Evanston and took him to Chicago, where he was the officer of early childhood education and a school principal. He delves into a range of topics including family, home, loyalty, racism, education, opportunities and living in Evanston as a father, teacher and unapologetic Black man.

Credit: Wendi Kromash

It’s no secret the pandemic caused a major economic shock for everyone. And it was true for the three women-owned Evanston businesses profiled by Wendi Kromash. The owners had to radically change how they did business. In so doing, they found the “pivots” they had to make to accommodate customers during COVID proved so positive that none of the three will go back to business as before.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 20 new cases and no new deaths were reported as of Sept. 22, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 47.14 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Dear Gabby: Isn’t this the same platter Aunt Elaine gave you in 1996? Dear Gabby, I was at SPACE last night, and the people behind me were talking while the musicians were playing. And they weren’t the only ones. I shushed the people behind me and they looked at me like they wanted to kill me. But I didn’t pay good money to hear their conversation, I came to hear the music. What should I have done? Where’s a muzzle when you need one?

Credit: Betsy Bird

Books: Donation as charity. A fellow librarian once told me something very wise that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since, says EPL librarian Betsy Bird. We were discussing the state of library donations. We talked about how Evanston Public Library is one of the very few libraries in the Chicago area to actually accept donations. “Well, it’s an act of charity,” he said. “We’re being charitable to people by taking their books. The library is actually providing an emotional public service.”

Take the lakefront improvements plan survey. The City of Evanston has begun long-term planning for shoreline repairs and potential lakefront improvements following record-high lake levels in recent years. As part of this process, Evanston wants to hear from its citizens about how you use the lakefront parks and amenities. Take the city’s survey.

Picturing Evanston. Howard Street, where Evanston and Chicago meet, sports a handsomely designed sign.

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Around the web

Collective bargaining amendment brings national labor fight to Illinois ballot. Atop ballots throughout Illinois this fall, voters will be asked whether Illinois should enshrine into the state constitution the right of workers to unionize and collectively bargain, a proposal backed by organized labor to preempt future right-to-work laws but opposed by anti-union groups that contend it will raise taxes and grant unions unprecedented power.

20 trails where Chicago-area hikers can enjoy nature, peace before winter sets in. Illinois, Indiana and southern Wisconsin offer trails that are free, close, not congested, and they offer a solace and beauty all their own. There are hiking gems to be found within three hours of Chicago that aren’t as urban as the North Branch River Trail or as crowded as Starved Rock State Park in Utica.

U-pick apples, cider and donuts: Here are 10 of the best places to go. This is an apple-picking season not to miss, orchardists say, as dry conditions have made for particularly robust fruit crops.

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Susy Schultz

Susy Schultz is the editor of the Evanston Roundtable. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and is the former president of Public Narrative, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching journalists and...