Evanston RoundTable
City Manager candidates Snapper Poche (left) and John Fournier speak at the virtual town hall. Credit: Bob Seidenberg screenshots

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

Last night was the first chance for the public to see the two finalists for Evanston’s City Manager post in action. At a virtual town hall, Mayor Daniel Biss interviewed Snapper Poche and John Fournier, drawing questions submitted by community members.

The questions included a variety of standing concerns for the city, such as issues of equity, affordable housing, climate action and the budget.

“We’re very much hoping the community will be deeply engaged,” Biss said to the community, kicking off the session with Poche, “and just sharing your thoughts and your reactions as council gets closer until the moment of making what I think is likely to be a difficult decision between two very impressive people.”

Cara Pratt speaks at the April 25 City Council meeting. Credit: City of Evanston YouTube channel Credit: City of Evanston Youtube channel

The city is falling behind on its climate goals, but a task force dedicated to helping the city implement its Climate Action and Resilience Plan, or CARP, will meet at 4 p.m. today to help the city catch up. 

During the virtual meeting, the CARP Implementation Task Force is slated to discuss plans that Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator Cara Pratt presented at a City Council meeting last week about the state of the city’s benchmarks. 

At that council meeting, Pratt told Evanston officials that the city is not on track to meet all of its CARP goals, but she has a tentative plan to help put things back on track.

Midges on a window screen. Credit: Adina Keeling Credit: Adina Keeling

If you’ve walked into a buzzing army of tiny flies lately, you’ve been a victim of the midge revival — a sure sign spring is here.

But it won’t last long, said University of Urbana-Champaign professor R. Edward Dewalt, an aquatic entomologist who studies these insects. “It’s like usually a two-week period of time that it’s miserable to be outside and next to a stream that has a lot of them,” he said. 

COVID-19 by the numbers: 25 new cases were reported Monday, May 2, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 34.1 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Jermell Chavis. Credit: Photo provided Credit: Photo provided

Would-be marijuana entrepreneurs seeking to open dispensary on Howard Street. Evanston resident Jonah Wine and his friend and business partner Jermell Chavis are working to bring weed shops to Howard Street in Evanston and to Chavis’ home neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago. But they have yet to win a dispensary license through any of the state’s lotteries.

At This Time: Tuesday at 5:14 p.m. Intrepid walker Don Daskais heads north on Hinman Avenue past a blooming magnolia near the Chiaravalle Montessori School as the rain lets up. It stormed for more than 12 hours. “Sure, this is a little extreme,” he said, but he appreciates the cool weather. “I love that it’s prolonging the time before we get the hot, humid weather.” (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Penny Park in the Second Ward. Credit: RoundTable photo

Despite debate, Evanston parks will still have closing times. Before eventually deciding to keep the opening and closing times for city parks, Evanston Parks and Recreation Board members discussed several reasons not to adopt a proposal to end park closure times.

Centrum Evanston. Credit: Google Street view photo from city packet Credit: Google Street view image from City of Evanston packet

Too much parking? City panel backs Centrum high-rise bid to end garage lease. The Centrum Evanston high-rise apartment building has 101 units but apparently few of its renters need parking. Centrum’s owner is asking that its required number of leased parking spaces be modified from 55 to 0.

“Shore Bird” by Ruth Ann Frazier. Credit: Gay Riseborough Credit: Gay Riseborough

Shore Bird could rise higher at the Ecology Center. Shore Bird, the abstract structure at the Evanston Ecology Center, is made of corten steel, which is intended to develop a rusted appearance but that doesn’t actually rust, the surface remaining permanent. The time to look for the sculpture is now or very late fall. In the summer it is often obscured by surrounding grasses.

The store hosts its first in-person workshop. Credit: Photo provided Credit: Photo provided

Bookends & Beginnings goes beyond the page with author workshops. When Nina Barrett opened Bookends & Beginnings in 2014, she had hoped to offer accessible programming to raise the profile of Evanston’s writers. But that idea had to wait. This year, with assistance from new employee Freda Love Smith, a local author, Barrett launched Bookends University in February.

Credit: Markus Spiske/Pexels.com

Les Jacobson: Spring has unsprung. I remember spring. It was several Saturdays ago, blue sky, light breeze, in the 70s. I took myself to the wonderfully named Rocky Miller Park at Northwestern. So nice. That was it, a one-off.

Sip ‘N Stroll through downtown Evanston this Saturday. Take a stroll around downtown Evanston this Saturday visiting local shops and enjoying tastes of wine and other treats.

Charles Wilkinson: Mindfulness and memory. When I stop to think about the who and why of me, I feel the need for honesty, humility and gratitude for every moment of my being. All of them add up to who I am, the Now of me.

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Around the web

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Illinois abortion laws: What a Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade could mean. If the U.S. Supreme Court follows through on overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, it would immediately split the country into states with abortion access and those that outlaw it.

‘Just Mercy’ author Bryan Stevenson delivers keynote speech at Northwestern. Author and lawyer Bryan Stevenson spoke about the criminal justice system and racial equity in the One Book One Northwestern keynote address Tuesday.

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Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...