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Good Sunday morning, Evanston!
It was a day of love and community Saturday at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation’s synagogue. Rabbi Rachel Weiss and cantor Howard Friedland were at the front door greeting all who came. Law enforcement had warned there was a credible national threat of violence from white supremacist or neo-Nazi groups, who termed Feb. 25 a day of hate. Evanston Police kept a watchful eye, yet JRC triumphed over hate with a normal day of love and worship. The RoundTable was there to chronicle it.
Last week was busy, and it looks like more of the same is in store for this week. The RoundTable has a roundup of a few key items the City Council will consider at its Monday meeting, including construction of a new animal shelter, proposed cannabis lounges and an update on the shared housing ordinance. And now, here are the week’s top stories for your Sunday reading.
Business owners in the commercial district at Chicago Avenue and Dempster Street are questioning why it took so long for officials to recognize that Yun Park, owner of Soapie’s Dry Cleaning & Tailoring, was hit by a car on Feb. 8. Police, fire and hospital officials initially thought Park, who remembered nothing of the ordeal, had fallen. “But the injuries were so much more extensive than anyone could have from a fall,” said one shop owner. The GoFundMe page started for her is up to $54,000.
City Manager Luke Stowe told City Council members they are contributing to an “unhealthy work environment” for city employees. He sent a strongly worded email to council members on Jan. 20 about how city workers are treated, listing multiple issues and urged “a substantial and meaningful course correction.”
It’s been a year since District 65 and Evanston Township High School boards identified a need to “reboot” a joint literacy goal, but Tuesday both schools administrators and boards agreed to “move away from” that goal. D65’s Superintendent Devon Horton and Assistant Superintendent Stacy Beardsley defended the new goals, as the goal to increase the percent of students meeting standards on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness is more rigorous.
A 14-year-old male ETHS student has been referred to juvenile court for disorderly conduct after allegedly posing with a fake gun in a social media post. The EPD said it received a text-message tip Tuesday about the post captioned “can’t wait 4 eths 2 blow up.” The weapon was actually a prop gun being used in a lesson about Romeo and Juliet.
Viet Nom Nom closed for good Friday, but owner Alan Moy (center) is holding his head high. “I can wholeheartedly share that I am more than proud & fulfilled by our journey,” Moy wrote in a Facebook post. The RoundTable talked to him about it.
There are three candidates slated for the Second Ward council seat in the April 4 special election. All three candidates – incumbent Krissie Harris (above, from left) and challengers Patricia Gregory and Darlene Cannon – participated in a forum last Saturday sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Evanston.
The debate about Northwestern University’s proposal to build a new Ryan Field continues to dominate the list of Evanstonian’s concerns. This week the city’s Economic Development Committee said it will conduct an independent study of the project and concert plans. Last Sunday’s town hall organized by the Community Alliance for Better Government, talked about the project as an opportunity to negotiate an agreement between the university and the city. What NU pays or does not pay Evanston is at the heart of the stadium debate.
The five hopefuls vying for three spots on the District 65 school board were all at the virtual candidate forum Feb. 16. “They have a vision for our youth, and we have to know what that is before they take those seats,” said moderator Meleika Gardner, founder of Evanston Live TV.
Fire, smoke and water damage from a Feb. 3 fire took a heavy toll on 4Suns Fresh Juice. “The process is like when you lose a loved one,” owner Gabi Walker-Aguilar (above) said. While insurance coverage was not sufficient, a loyal customer of the juice, smoothie and smoothie bowl shop started a GoFundMe page to help.
It was tennis vs. pickleball at the Feb. 16 Parks and Recreation Board meeting. A crowd of avid local pickleball and tennis players gathered at the Evanston Ecology Center to add their voices to an increasingly complicated debate over what spaces should be used for the two sports. It is the first of two meetings to gather public feedback. Another will be held in March.
Good news for our canine companions. Tomorrow starts the sale of dog beach tickets. The beach is set to open March 1.
Dear Gabby: This week our intrepid advice columnist tackles questions about phone call etiquette, clearing out old musical clutter and the ethics of a somewhat violent strategy to encourage eye contact from passersby.
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