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Evanston RoundTable

Good Tuesday morning, Evanston.

Raise a glass: Evanston’s water tastes the best in the state. “Now we get to go to the nationals,” said Darrell King, chief of the city’s Water Production Bureau, who brought the award home to the City Council on Monday night.

In a unanimous vote, Evanston City Council on Monday approved another milestone in the city’s reparations program: adding direct cash payments as an option. If you blinked, you might have missed the historic vote, part of the consent agenda. Cash payments, instead of housing assistance, have long been sought by many potential recipients, but the city’s Law Department had opposed the move because grant recipients may have to pay taxes on the funds.

Credit: Cordogan Clark

Also Monday, City Council members tabled action on a mixed-use affordable housing development in the Church-Darrow area, but voted to keep the issue before the council. The move gives the developer time to restore some retail space to the project, now four stories tall. The council rejected sending the matter back to the city’s Land Use Commission for another review. 

COVID-19 by the numbers: Four new cases and no new deaths were reported Sunday, March 26, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 6.1 cases per day.

More RoundTable reads

Credit: District 65

While the number of District 65 students who are new to English and those with individualized education programs (IEPs) has remained fairly steady, the percentage of students in those categories has risen, officials told the school board Monday.

Credit: Brian Petrone

The Art of Making Art: Columnist Jean Cunningham introduces Brian Petrone, an architect, painter and sculptor who creates small artworks through “woodworking, brick and stone sculpting, plaster molding and other big messy tasks.”

Credit: @ChrisRodriguez Twitter

ETHS seniors Miles Granjean (atop podium, with No. 2 Chris Rodriguez of Niles West) and Abrielle Artley captured individual titles in the 60-meter hurdles and 400-meter dash at the Illinois Prep Top Times Class 3A meet in Bloomington on March 25.

Credit: Casey Mitchell

At Evanston’s SPACE, The Arab Blues played to a packed house on March 21. Reviewer Patrick Romanowski writes that the instrumental duo “showcases a striking combination of original compositions and classical Middle Eastern music.”

Credit: Jeremy Damato

Out of Space, the outdoor music arm of Evanston SPACE, has announced the lineup for the July 27-30 Canal Shores Music Festival. Tickets for Dawes & Lucius, Lord Huron, Regina Spektor, Andrew Bird and more go on sale this Friday.

Photos from our readers

Reader Fernando Ferrer took this shot of the SpongeBob SquarePants musical at Chute Middle School on March 23 and said “it was amazing.” Send your photos of people, places and events around town to news@evanstonroundtable.com for a chance to be included in this newsletter.

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Around the web

‘We nearly broke the system’: Hospitals face staff exodus, violence three years into pandemic. Chicago-area hospitals are struggling with staff exodus and patient violence in a brave new medical world.

Reparations architect from Illinois to lead town hall in Amherst on Thursday. Former Evanston Council Member Robin Rue Simmons, now with FirstRepair, will visit Massachusetts for a local reparations discussion.

Evanston intake pipe replacement project starts at northeast end of campus. A project to replace an aging intake pipe at a Lake Michigan water plant began Monday and is expected to last about two years.

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Gina Castro

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