Evanston RoundTable
Workers use leaf blowers on a grassy area in Evanston. (Photo by Bob Seidenberg)

Good Friday morning, Evanston.

Are gas-powered leaf blowers on their way out? After the city’s Environmental Board recommended moving away from gas and propane-powered leaf blowers, City Council members are expected to debate and possibly approve a new leaf blower policy at their meeting November 8.

The ordinance amends the time and days when leaf blowers are permitted to be used, sets a new fine structure, establishes penalties and calls for a transition from the use of gas-powered to electric blowers effective April 1, 2023.

A day after the Illinois Department of Public Health authorized COVID-19 vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11, Evanston reported a total of 49 new cases for the week ending Thursday, Nov. 4, up from 40 new cases during the previous seven days.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced November 3 that it adopted the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children 5 through 11 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children that age is one-third that used for people 12 and older. There are two doses, three weeks apart.

Council member Jonathan Nieuwsma leads a Fourth Ward meeting on November 3. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

At a Fourth Ward meeting on Wednesday, November 3, City Council member Jonathan Nieuwsma announced that Albany Care, a Specialized Mental Health and Rehabilitation Facility in the Fourth Ward, will commit to making some changes in order to be a better neighbor.

Evanstonians living near Albany Care, 901 Maple Avenue, say the facility isn’t properly taking care of its residents, and residents worry about an uptick in unsanitary and aggressive behavior.

Parents of students who’ve changed high schools (or high schoolers who’ve switched!): The RoundTable would like to talk with you for a possible upcoming story. What prompted your child (or you) to change schools? Now that the change has been made, how do you feel about it? If you’re willing to talk about your experience with a reporter, please email your contact info to news@evanstonroundtable.com with “Changing High Schools” in the subject line.

Weekend in Photos: At the start of every week, the RoundTable will share photos from the various festivals, events, protests, block parties, full moons, sunrises, weddings, or even just pictures from the backyard or a park. To better know what goes on in each other’s lives, we’d like to see what keeps you busy on a typical Saturday and Sunday. We’ve loved all the pictures folks have sent in the last few weeks, so please keep sending us your weekend photos at news@evanstonroundtable.com!

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Charles Wilkinson: Way back when. Wilkinson reflects on the past in his latest column for the RoundTable.

Chicago Avenue multimodal corridor improvement project meeting, November 11. City staff and members of the consultant team will be available to solicit input and answer questions during the meeting at the City Volkswagen of Evanston.

Evanston Police Department to host catalytic converter marking event. EPD Officers will use spray paint to mark the catalytic converter under your vehicle, making it less desirable for potential theft. 

Around the web

Jeff Yang serves local musicians at Chicago Strings, runs multisensory project. A local shop on Orrington Avenue has helped repair and restore violins for musicians in the Evanston community since 2009.

Student test scores in Illinois plummet, offering first broad measure of the pandemic’s impact. Around 17% fewer students showed proficiency in math and English this year than the number who passed during the last round of testing two years ago.

In the United States, 25% of newspapers have ceased operation, and 2,000 community newspapers have closed in the past 15 years. The vacuum created when local journalism declines poses a serious threat to democracy. Our democracy relies on a free press to educate its cititzens.

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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...