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Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Sunday morning, Evanston!

It’s back! And yes, the dogs are out. This week the Evanston dog beach opened. The enclosed block-long canine playground is just south of the Clark Street Beach. Photographer Richard Cahan went out to see for himself and caught Lula playing with Sam, an old English sheepdog, and Fauci, a Catahoula leopard dog. A beach pass costs $75 and here are the other rules to know for the 2023 season.

Your RoundTable team has also been dogged this week. Below, in case you missed it, are the most read stories from the RoundTable this past week as well as a few news ones. Onward!

Credit: Kathryn Routliffe

The tent on campus was pounding with music into the early hours this (and yesterday) morning as the 2023 Northwestern University Dance Marathon finished its 49th year. This 30-hour philanthropic event raised $434,455 for two nonprofits, the Chicago-based Little Heroes League and Evanston Community Foundation.

Evanston History Center gives us a rich look at the history of Evanston’s Gilded Age in a deep dive five-part series that kicked off this week. In the first and then the most recent installment, the authors look at the business and civic life of James and Amanda Patten, both of whom were formative forces in Evanston.

Credit: Housing Opportunity Development Corporation

First Ward Council Member Clare Kelly and her council colleague Melissa Wynne (3rd Ward) wrote the mayor and city manager about the inordinate amount of time it took for Housing Opportunity Development Corporation, owners and managers of the Claridge Hotel Apartments, to respond to complaints of “an unusual odor.” Two weeks after the complaints were registered, HODC found the decomposed body of a 62-year-old resident.

Credit: Richard Cahan

City Manager Luke Stowe wrote Evanston City Council members saying they were contributing to an “unhealthy work environment” for city employees. Mary Gavin reports Stowe sent a strongly worded email to council members Jan. 20 listing multiple issues.

Five Evanston school teachers from District 65 were among 30 finalists for this year’s Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. Congratulations to Tawana Stiff from Nichols Middle School; Anthony Laera and Michael Likhite from Orrington Elementary School; and Aubrey Chang and Sherri Kushner from Chute Middle School. Award winners will be announced in the spring.

Credit: Manan Bhavnani

Evanston resident, filmmaker and entrepreneur Matt Wechsler opened Village Farmstand, an old-fashioned grocery store selling food grown by local independent farmers, during the pandemic. And he is hoping sustainability and environmentally friendly food habits will continue to appeal to customers.

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

It took more than three years, but Evanston will be getting a new animal shelter after the City Council voted 8-1 in favor of a $6.85 million construction contract to replace the dilapidated shelter at 2318 Oakton St. Vicky Pasenko, executive director of the Evanston Animal Shelter Association (above), celebrated success after years fighting for approval.

Credit: Duncan Agnew

Northwestern University-City Committee meeting Thursday was fertile ground for a discussion of a possible community benefits agreement between NU and the city as the university requests zoning variances to reconstruct Ryan Field. “I wouldn’t say that’s completely off the table,” NU official Dave Davis said.

Credit: Gina Castro

The city’s Reparations Committee took a big step Thursday morning when it voted to award the standard $25,000 housing grants for eligible ancestors and descendants in cash to Kenneth Wideman, 77, and his sister Sheila Wideman, 75. The two Evanston elders faced a deadline to use the funds but did not fit the city’s criteria for the grants. 

Credit: Susy Schultz

Yun Park, owner of Soapie’s Dry Cleaning, 1231 Chicago Ave., is out of the hospital and walking after a hit and run accident nearly a month ago left her in intensive care at Evanston Hospital. Questions remain about why the hospital and police did not talk about her circumstances earlier.

Credit: With Eudell Watts IV's permission

Six generations of Watts families are all deeply entwined in Old Arthur’s Barbecue sauce and the recipes that have been handed down from father to son. The Evanston family-owned company was awarded first place for its featured sauce by the National Barbecue & Grilling Association.

Credit: Northwestern University

As the city and Northwestern University continue to talk, the RoundTable continues to get letters about the construction of a new Ryan Field. Linda Schneider, a 40-year resident, opposes the zoning ordinance Northwestern University is requesting to rebuild Ryan Field in her letter to the editor. She writes she is in favor of the new field, but not the proposed zoning ordinances.

Credit: Evan Girard / Evanston RoundTable

RoundTable columnist Peggy Tarr recounts a disturbing incident that occurred outside the Main Street Post Office in November, when a white man threw a lit cigarette into a mailbox, then punched the Black woman postal worker who confronted him.

There was a debate this week about the powers and responsibilities of the Citizen Police Review Commission at the group’s meeting. What the commission can and cannot bring up was key, but also what it should be able to do. New co-chairs Samuel Jones and Kate Watson Moss (above) were also elected.

Credit: June Ahleman

June Chen Ahleman is a high school senior who makes big art – literally. Her portraits are larger than life, perhaps because they bring in the subject’s personality as well. Jean Cunningham profiles the young oil painter and her work in the latest The Art of Making Art column.

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From day one, it’s been the RoundTable’s mission to bring you unbiased, in-depth reporting about the Evanston community. But we need your help to continue investing in high-quality and in-depth journalism, reporting news that strengthens and enlightens our community, encourages civic engagement and bolsters our democracy. Please join our community of readers and become a member today.

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...