Good Monday morning, Evanston.

Rembrandt Chamber Musicians John Macfarlane, from left, Calum Cook and Brandon Acker get casual with 17th and 18th century music Sunday at a Holiday Baroque concert at Alice Millar Chapel on the Northwestern campus. The sounds and sights of the holiday season were proliferating across Evanston this past weekend – read on for your Santa scoop. But first, some news:

Credit: Richard Cahan

City Manager Luke Stowe says hiring a Manager of Equity and Organizational Performance is one of his top priorities in 2023. “I would describe this as critical work – especially in light of the report that we’ve received,” Stowe said, referring to a document filed by the City of Evanston Black Employees Action Group that highlighted more than 60 allegations of racial discrimination within city government.

Credit: Michael Kellams/

The Evanston Township High School boys basketball team remains undefeated. The Wildkits topped the Mundelein Mustangs 61-48 on Saturday afternoon at Beardsley Gymnasium. That victory, putting the team record at 6-0, came after a nail-biting win Friday night vs. Glenbrook South.

When is it OK to tell a lie to preserve people’s feelings? Gabby sounds off on the rules and realities of little white lies. And she wants to her from you, dear readers, about how you balance honesty and white lies.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 23 new cases and no new deaths were reported Thursday, Dec. 1, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 20.6 cases per day.

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The perfect holiday gift for any Evanstonian: Encountering Evanston History, a book benefiting the Evanston RoundTable Media not-for-profit, features 75 stories from 18 authors. Find out more at the book’s official website.

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Congratulations to Christopher, the winner of last week’s raffle. He will receive two pairs of tickets to a Northlight Theatre show and $50 to Koi. Thank you again to Koi and Northlight Theatre for their support and kind donation.

This week we are raffling two new books hot off the press by Evanston RoundTable authors. The winner will receive a copy of Encountering Evanston History as well as RoundTable board member Mark Miller’s new book Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track. Donate today to be included in the raffle!

The RoundTable roundup

Fifth Ward school: At 6 p.m. Tuesday, a community meeting will discuss the future of the Fifth Ward school and Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center.

Holiday stroll: From 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, visit Main-Dempster Mile open houses for caroling, tree-decorating contest voting, and free hot cocoa.

Tree lighting: The Central Evanston Business Association hosts a holiday festival from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Church Street and Dodge Avenue.

Participatory Budget: The Participatory Budgeting Idea Collection Assembly is 11 a.m. Saturday, brainstorming ideas for ways to spend $3 million.

Duke It Out! Nutcracker: The Music Institute of Chicago presents its holiday tradition at 2 p.m. Saturday, with an instrument petting zoo before the show.

Hanukkah a cappella: Chicago a cappella will go beyond the Dreidel Song at the 4 p.m. Sunday Hanukkah concert at Congregation Sukkat Shalom in Wilmette.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Julie Windsor Mitchell

When your church is named for St. Nicholas, celebrating the Christmas season seems like a natural fit. St. Nick’s Fest – with a tree sale, a craft fair and this year, Mexican food – is a key church fundraiser. And the tradition is “one of the things that brings us hope,” said Bob Shuford, coordinator of the craft fair.

Credit: Manan Bhavnani

Hundreds of Evanstonians braved 20-degree weather and a fierce wind Saturday at the tree lighting at Fountain Square. Hot chocolate from Collectivo Coffee warmed the crowd for musical performances and a Santa sighting. Check out our photos.

Credit: Nancy E. Anderson

The dilemma of the artificial Christmas tree. Columnist Nancy E. Anderson reflects on the advantages of fake trees and the complicated suspension of disbelief associated with some genuine Christmas memories.

Credit: ETHS wrestling

ETHS senior Charlie Bolich led his teammates on the boys wrestling team as the Wildkits wiped out Mather (70-6), Phillips (70-0) and Simeon (78-0) at the Elias George Memorial Tournament on Saturday at Willie May Fieldhouse.

Picturing Evanston: Jane Beller hands out prepared lunches at the Second Baptist Church’s food pantry in the alley south of the church off 1717 Benson Ave. (Photo by Joerg Metzner, Nov. 22)

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Around the web

Evanston Starbucks workers back union drive. Baristas at the Starbucks at 519 Main St. filed a petition Sunday with the National Labor Relations Board asking for a union certification election.

Cook County property tax hike riles homeowners: ‘What would constitute such a big increase?’ Chicago homeowners discuss impact of Cook County’s property tax hike.

Lightfoot’s plan to replace Chicago’s lead water pipes has switched out 280 of an estimated 390,000 service lines. Beginning in January, state law will require the city to replace lead pipes every time there is a break or leak in a water line. That’s estimated to be at least 4,000 lead lines a year, perhaps 5,000.

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Gina Castro

Gina Castro is a Racial Justice fellow for the Evanston RoundTable. She recently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she studied investigative...