Evanston RoundTable

Good Monday morning, Evanston.

Limbo lower now! You will not find a more joyous depiction of the Evanston community than this video from Friday’s Disco in the Parks, filmed by the RoundTable’s Richard Cahan. Take 2 minutes and 25 seconds to watch, and it’ll put a big limbo smile on your face.

Now that you can’t get that music out of your head, on to the news:

Credit: Richard Cahan

Although the 2022 beach season is ending in two weeks, on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 5, city staffers are already taking steps to head off a repeat in 2023 of the lifeguard shortage that led to early beach closings this year. Parks and Recreation Director Audrey Thompson told the Parks and Recreation Board that the department is exploring a number of options, such as switching to a less strict certification standard and beginning recruitment of ETHS students earlier in the year.

Credit: Duncan Agnew

While classes won’t start until Wednesday, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 will welcome back teachers and staff at an opening convocation this morning at Quad Indoor Sports. Festivities will include breakfast, music and remarks from Evanston NAACP President the Rev. Michael Nabors, Mayor Daniel Biss and School Board President Sergio Hernandez.

Credit: Richard Cahan

The ETHS Wildkits open the football season Friday, Aug. 26 at Lazier Field against Indian Trail of Wisconsin, and Evanston’s path to the playoffs could start on the ground. Wildkits’ quarterback Dylan Groff is a dual threat and a better runner than most of his counterparts, and the team’s offensive line returns four starters, suggesting a renewed emphasis on the running game.

COVID-19 by the numbers: Four new cases and no new deaths were reported Thursday, Aug. 18, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 10 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Grady Bird Sanctuary fountain repairs nearly complete. Located in the Ladd Arboretum between McCormick Boulevard and the North Shore Channel and behind the Ecology Center, the Grady Bird Sanctuary is home to a small fountain that resembles a waterfall, meant to serve as a water source for visiting birds. In recent years the fountain was vandalized and had to be shut off, but now renovations and repairs are nearly complete.

Credit: Belinda Lichty Clarke

Ramie Gulyas opened apothecary store The Alchemist’s Wife at 917 Chicago Ave. in 2005, drawing inspiration from the alchemist Flamel in the Harry Potter series. The store offers a large variety of skin and hair products, both fragranced and not, along with 230 fragrance options to add to unscented products for customization. Reporter Belinda Clarke spoke with Gulyas about her store and the inspirations behind her products.

ETHS boys soccer: Kits will rebuild, but without sophomores – for now. Veteran coach Franz Calixte doesn’t plan to waver in his philosophy to reward seniors who have stuck with the program for all four years, even while replacing almost his entire starting lineup from last year’s 15-3-4 team. The varsity squad will open its season tomorrow with a home contest at 7 p.m. against Barrington.

When is it OK not to text back? This week’s Dear Gabby column discusses not texting back, receiving a gift you can’t enjoy and finding a new doctor.

Credit: Joerg Metzner

Picturing Evanston. What’s Evanston’s best drive-in that’s not a drive-in? Bill’s Drive-In, an Evanston institution on Asbury Avenue, hasn’t been serving cars for decades. But when you crave a burger or hot dog, the staff at Bill’s will take care of you. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

Northwestern astrophysicist uses Webb Telescope as ‘time machine’ to trace origins of the universe. Allison Strom, a Northwestern University professor of physics and astronomy, is harnessing the telescope’s infrared capabilities to detect light that’s been traveling for 13 billion years.

Northwestern federal award recipients reflect on their experiences, future endeavors. Two Northwestern students, junior Isabella Twocrow and sophomore Kadin Mills, recently won competitive awards through the Udall Foundation, which focuses on supporting policies for Indigenous people and environmental activism.

Turning 103, ‘Sister Jean’ is getting ready for another year at Loyola — dispensing advice about love, life and perfecting the free throw. Sister Jean Dolores Bertha Schmidt, better known to Loyala students as just “Sister Jean,” celebrated her 103rd birthday Sunday. She spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times about what she’s learned in her time as chaplain for the Ramblers’ men’s basketball team.

Columbus statues shouldn’t return, Balbo monument should be taken down, city committee says. A City of Chicago committee released its report Friday after spending more than a year meeting with neighbors and community groups as it reviewed what should be done with controversial monuments. It’s not yet certain if officials will follow the committee’s recommendations.

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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...