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Evanston RoundTable

Good Monday morning, Evanston.

The panoramic image above shows some of the 500 people and 40 restaurants at Sunday’s Taste of Evanston at the Charles Gates Dawes House. Volunteer Dan Coyne (in chef’s hat) estimates the fundraiser netted $100,000 for local nonprofits. (At This Time photo by Richard Cahan)

Credit: City of Evanston

Budget officials are warning City Council that while revenues appear to be holding their ground, expenses are set to surge by $20 million in 2024, in part because of pay hikes in newly ratified union contracts, a commitment to 100% funding of public safety pensions, the cost of vehicle purchases and city capital improvements. The city’s reserve fund, however, is looking flush and should finish the current fiscal year with a balance of $26 million to $29 million over the required reserves. A draft 2024 budget is set to be released Oct. 6.

RoundTable writer Simone Larson, a teacher herself, interviewed the new executive board of the District 65 Educators Council (above), the union representing more than 750 teachers. The board members presented an image of union strength ahead of 2024 contract talks. “I’m not combative,” said President Trisha Baker (center), “but I am also not willing to sit around and let people’s professional rights not be honored. I will stand up for our educators.”

RoundTable roundup

Tuesday: Writer Jill Riddell hosts a Levy Lecture, “Calm, Cool and Catalytic,” on how older Americans can lead on climate issues at 1:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Wednesday: A town hall meeting will discuss a plan to phase out natural gas connections in new construction at 6:30 p.m. in Room 4900 of the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.

Thursday: Historian Diane Dillon will speak on women’s contributions to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition at 7 p.m. at the Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood St.

For more events, check out our Events Calendar.

More RoundTable reads

Andy Vick, new executive director of Downtown Evanston, comes to his post with efforts to revitalize downtowns in Cumberland, Maryland, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, on his resume. Vick says programming such as family-friendly bike rides and more concerts will help draw people back to Evanston’s core.

Credit: Claire Zulkey

The Mexican Shop has been an Evanston shopping destination since it opened in 1967. No website, no social media presence and absolutely no Apple Pay. But Claire Zulkey writes that the store’s many fans have kept the boutique open “through illness, death, pandemic and even the gaucho pant revival.”

Credit: Time Stops Photography

Theater review: Theo, formerly known as Theo Ubique, is participating in the development of a musical about a student who produces marijuana edibles to pay college bills. Critic Cissy Lacks writes that Baked! The Musical needs work, but those going to see it “should feel good about supporting a work in progress.”

Dear Gabby: The RoundTable’s advice columnist opines on estrangement between parents and their adult daughter, a spouse who prattles on about work minutiae and how to react to a husband hinting around about his wife’s weight.

Photos from our readers

Credit: Linda Gartz

Linda Gartz took this shot of the Chicago skyline with the painted rocks of the Northwestern lakefill. Send photos to news@evanstonroundtable.com for a chance to be included in this newsletter.

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RoundTable journalists are excellent at what they do! From covering city hall and local schools, to neighborhood developments and breaking news, you can depend upon the RoundTable to keep you informed about all that’s happening in Evanston. Support us by becoming a member.

Around the web

Colorado peak named after former governor linked to a massacre of Indigenous people has been renamed Mount Blue Sky. The mountain had been named in honor of John Evans – Evanston’s namesake.

Illinois child care centers face crisis with loss of federal dollars: ‘They’re setting us up for failure.’ The end of pandemic-era funding could mean nearly 130,000 kids without child care, according to a study from the Century Foundation.

Mexican Independence Day Parade puts heritage on display in Little Village. The parade landed on the actual holiday for the first time in its 26 years.

Illinois House speaker’s staff could test limits of Workers’ Rights Amendment. The amendment approved by voters last year does not have any exemptions for the General Assembly.

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Alex Harrison reports on local government, public safety, developments, town-gown relations and more for the RoundTable. He graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in June...