Evanston RoundTable
“The fact that you are all here and went through the process is so meaningful,” Council Member Peter Braithwaite told the reparations recipients. (Photo by Bob Seidenberg) Credit: Bob Seidenberg

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

Evanston officials paid special tribute to the first recipients of housing grants through the city’s historic reparations program on Monday, April 25, holding a dinner in their honor and expressing hope their participation in the program will serve as a first step toward attempting to repair harm caused by past racial discriminatory practices.

Nearly all 16 recipients, longtime members of Evanston’s Black community and many middle-aged and older, attended the dinner in the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.

“These individuals didn’t win a prize. They didn’t get a gift,” said Claire McFarland Barber, a member of the city’s Reparations Committee. “Evanston instead began the journey of a long overdue redress for these past wrongs.”

Northfield temple reparations talk

Earlier this week, former Evanston Council Member Robin Rue Simmons and Mayor Daniel Biss brought the reparations conversation to Northfield at Temple Jeremiah in a conversation moderated by Rabbi Paul F. Cohen.

Biss said that he’s Jewish and the grandson of Holocaust survivors on his mother’s side. His grandmother survived Auschwitz and received reparations funds from the German government. Biss said that although the money didn’t make up for what was lost, the tangible acknowledgement was important to her.

“We are part of this country,” he said. “As citizens, we have a responsibility to contribute toward the repayment of our country’s debts.”

Credit: Pixabay stock photo

With a mix of younger and older residents pressing for action, Evanston City Council members approved a resolution Monday declaring a climate emergency and committing to an immediate mobilization effort to restore climate stability.

To applause from audience members, the Evanston City Council voted 7-0 on April 25 in favor of the resolution, which draws on a statement from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change about the dire need for action.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 18 new cases were reported Monday, April 25, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 32 cases per day.

Also on the RoundTable website

Josh Gilbert, founder and owner of Temperance Beer Co., stands by brewing tanks. Credit: Duncan Agnew Credit: Duncan Agnew

Temperance Beer Co. brews up local business partnerships and community support. In 2013, Evanston native Josh Gilbert founded Temperance Beer in a World War II-era building on Dempster Street, the first brewery in the historically dry town of Evanston.

Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club and Great Lakes Alliance Earth Day beach cleanup
The Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club and the Great Lakes Alliance participate in an Earth Day beach cleanup. (Photo credit: LK) Credit: LK

The Lighthouse Keeper sees … that people of all ages marked Earth Day by contributing to efforts to clean up public spaces in Evanston.

City to host City Manager candidate town hall on May 3. As part of the city’s search for a new City Manager, a candidate town hall will be held virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, May 3, with one candidate beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m., to provide the public with an opportunity to meet the two finalists and ask pre-submitted questions.

At This Time: Tuesday at 12:38 p.m. They usually go to the lake to visit, but it was too cold, so they stopped at Raymond Park. Ellie Pierson (left) holds her 9-month-old daughter Marlowe and shares coffee with Chelsea Domanico and her son Enzo, who just turned 1. The women met in grad school and now both work as mental health therapists. Juggling work and child care is a test, Pierson said. “Finding a balance is tough. Throw in the pandemic and there are additional barriers and challenges. But we are making it.” (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Professor Pier Gabrielle Foreman. Credit: Penn State

NU to host renowned Black history scholar at May events. On May 2 and 4, Professor Pier Gabrielle Foreman, a renowned scholar, educator and author, will give two public lectures on Northwestern’s campus. She will also lead workshops for faculty and graduate students through May 6. 

First Maker’s Market of the season on May 1. Maker’s Markets in Downtown Evanston invites the community to shop for hundreds of handmade goods, from original art to handbags, in a covered parking garage on the first Sundays of May, August and October.

Picturing Evanston. There is a definite color palette to this wall and door on Elmwood Avenue and Main Street that just works in its own way. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

Some are concerned about the safety of bird feeders amid the avian flu crisis. (Credit: Pixabay) Credit: GabrielDouglas/Pixabay

Guest essay: Bird feeders and bird flu. RoundTable contributor Libby Hill discusses the current crisis of avian flu, also known as bird flu. She writes that based on current data and information, if you are feeding only songbirds, it is safe to keep feeding birds.

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Around the web

Despite gun violence crisis, the Pritzker administration has been sitting on $50 million in federal anti-violence funds. In the budget passed last year by the Illinois legislature, Governor JB Pritzker set aside $50 million of federal government COVID-19 relief funds, but the state has spent just $56,764 of that money so far.

More than half of Americans have been infected with the coronavirus at least once, the CDC says. According to statements made by federal health officials Tuesday, 60% of all Americans and 75% of children in the country had contracted COVID-19 by February 2022, fueled by a nationwide outbreak of the highly contagious omicron variant this winter.

Illinois funds child savings accounts, makes college saving more accessible. Starting Dec. 31, every child born or adopted in Illinois will receive a college savings account with the State Treasurer’s office and a $50 starting deposit, thanks to the Higher Education Savings Program approved in 2019.

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Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...