Evanston RoundTable
Using chalk, children drew pictures and wrote messages about climate awareness. (Photo credit: Marie Cabiya)

Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

A team of parents, students and climate activists have been pushing for the decarbonization of Evanston/Skokie School District 65. These activists are part of D65 Climate Action Teams, a group of mostly staff and parents working to promote environmental awareness in the district.

The district is currently undergoing a facilities assessment and putting together a Facilities Master Plan. D65 Climate Action Teams is advocating that the master plan also include a road map to decarbonization – or the reduction of carbon emissions.

On Tuesday, Evanston Township High School announced that Friday, November 12 would be an online, asynchronous learning day, with before-school activities, field trips and meal service canceled for the day. Afternoon-school activities still went on as scheduled. 

The ETHS announcement about the change in plans stated that “this decision is aligned with the district’s wellbeing efforts for students and staff.” According to sources in the building, a perfect storm of circumstances created the need for transitioning Friday into an e-learning day.

In case you missed any of the most important news last week, here’s a roundup of the top stories from the RoundTable this past week.

City News

Evanston’s lead pipes are everywhere, and could become a significant health risk. Evanston city staffers are slowly working to replace the 11,471 lead service lines that carry the city’s drinking water, but they say it’s not an urgent matter.

City Council sets April 2023 date for phasing out gas-powered leaf blowers. Evanston City Council members’ approval of a new leaf-blower ordinance has started the clock running for the eventual phasing out of gas-powered leaf blowers. 

COVID-19 update as of November 10: 21 new cases in Evanston, 5,049 in Illinois. There was a total of 53 new COVID-19 cases of Evanston residents in the week ending Nov. 10, compared with 49 in the week ending November 4.  

First hour free in downtown garages set to expire January 1.

Licenses for landlords? City seeks to get tough on rental problems.

City, police patrol and firefighter unions reach memoranda of understanding on staff vaccine mandate.

Mental health advocates push for more federal ARPA funds from Evanston, describe system in crisis.

More than 500 applications for Restorative Housing grants expected; staff reviewing reparations paperwork.

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Evanston Cradle to Career partners meet for quarterly update and to revise their agreement. Evanston Cradle to Career, a partnership of public agencies and nonprofit organizations designed to improve fairness and equity in the city, held its quarterly partners meeting Thursday morning over Zoom.

District 65 seeks community help with shortages of subs, support staff, tutors.

Annual ETHS Achievement Report becomes Year in Review, with changes to data included.

District 202 plans maximum tax boost, but may have to wait extra months for funds.

ETHS student board member says school failed to address complaints about former band coach.

Art & Life

Veronica Brackett, owner of Sew Design Studio. (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

‘Sewing is like therapy for people’: Studio offers classes to fans of fabric, fashion. Veronica Brackett started sewing her own clothes in seventh grade. Her mother had required her to know how to pin, cut, mark fabric and sew by the time she was 10.

Catholic archdiocese may consodlidate Evanston parishes. Church pews could get a little more crowded for Evanston Catholics in the coming years if the Archdiocese of Chicago moves forward with possible consolidations involving four local parishes, as well as the Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University.

Honoring Evanston’s veterans, despite the rain. Veterans Day dawned cold and wet in Evanston, and an early morning tweet went out announcing, “Due to inclement weather, today’s Veterans Day ceremony in Fountain Square has been canceled.” Some veterans came out anyway.

New plaques honor Evanston Police and retirees for U.S. military service. This Veterans Day the Evanston Police Department held a ceremony to unveil two wooden plaques honoring EPD officers and retirees who have served in the armed forces.

Levy Lecture: Honoring Evanston Black history sites with Dino Robinson.

Evanston WWI veteran Helen Burnett Wood is honored in America and Scotland.

Evanston Pour to serve coffee, tea, wine, beer, cocktails on Dempster. Owners hope the former Starbucks space will be “the kind of place where we would want to hang out.”

ETHS student’s Cookies for Compost offers sweet reward to aid the environment.

Sweet or savory? Pears cross the divide. Pears just don’t get the love that apples do, and I really don’t understand why, because they pair (pun intended) so beautifully with so many different flavors.

Evanston Made’s holiday market opens, a space to ‘browse, buy and be delighted’.

Dear Gabby: Hold your tongue but extend your hand.

Public Square

Letter: Reclaim Evanston asks Council to reconsider its vote on TIF IGA. Reclaim Evanston believes the IGA should have been an essential part of the TIF. It would have added safeguards that the TIF ordinance and the resolution which supplements it do not provide.

Nancy E. Anderson: What am I thankful for? My physical therapist.

Peggy Tarr: November notes.

In the United States, 25% of newspapers have ceased operation, and 2,000 community newspapers have closed in the past 15 years. The vacuum created when local journalism declines poses a serious threat to democracy. Our democracy relies on a free press to educate the public.

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Adina Keeling

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...