Evanston-based nonprofit Connections for the Homeless began housing homeless people at the Margarita Inn two years ago while under a pandemic-induced declaration of emergency. Credit: Adina Keeling

Good Friday morning, Evanston.

Members of Evanston’s Land Use Commission couldn’t reach a decision Wednesday night regarding the Margarita Inn, 1566 Oak Ave., and its designation as a “rooming house.”

Margarita Inn neighbor John Cleave was joined by Evanston resident Chris Dillow in arguing that the facility, managed by local nonprofit Connections for the Homeless, doesn’t match the zoning definition of a rooming house and that it better aligns with the definition for a transitional shelter, a transitional treatment shelter or an assisted living facility.


District 65’s Joseph E. Hill Education Center. Credit: Adina Keeling

District 65 student achievement has declined in math during the last two years – the COVID-19 years – but remained relatively constant in reading, consistent with national trends.

The RoundTable published an article on Feb. 24 showing trends in student achievement on five Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tests given to District 65 students in the last two years. This article takes looks at how District 65 students are doing academically two years into the pandemic, this time with the benefit of student results on the recent Winter MAP test. All the data was obtained through Freedom of Information requests.


The RoundTable’s Spring Membership Drive is on!

Did you know that the Evanston RoundTable is a nonprofit newsroom? We depend on the community’s support to power our growing coverage of Evanston’s city government, schools, arts and cultural scene and the local economy.

If you already are a member of the RoundTable – thanks for your support! If you’re not, become a member during our Spring Membership Drive!


Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

COVID-19 update as of May 12: Evanston’s weekly cases per 100,000 jump to 536. The City of Evanston has determined that Evanston is at a “high” risk community level based on its number of cases per 100,000 people and local hospitalization rates. Chicago, suburban Cook County and Illinois are all in the “medium” risk community level.

This balloon formation on Lazier Field Thursday celebrated the Class of 2022’s last day of school. Credit: Duncan Agnew

Graduating ETHS students celebrate inaugural Senior Send-Off. For the first time ever, Evanston Township High School threw a Senior Send-Off party for the graduating class. Graduating students from the pandemic-slammed Class of 2022 met on Lazier Field Thursday, which was also their last day of class, so they could celebrate in style.

Architect Charles H. Markel designed the home at 305 Barton Ave., which is classified as an Italian Renaissance design. Credit: Adina Keeling

History center spotlights Oakton district in this year’s walk, which isn’t just for Mother’s Day. The historic district is a “hidden gem” and remains unexplored by many community residents, said Eden Juron Pearlmann, Executive Director at the Evanston History Center. The center selected the neighborhood for the 2022 edition of its annual Mother’s Day Walk, a popular 47-year-old tradition and the organization’s biggest fundraiser.  

The folklore group Ochin Pakhi will perform music from Bengal and Bangladesh at Fleetwood-Jourdain this Sunday. Credit: Evanston In-School Music Assoc.

The Weekender: The RoundTable Roundup. Restaurants are opening up their outdoor seating, the lakefront is alive with people (and dogs) and the magnolia and crab apple trees are finally in full bloom. Keep a lookout for dressed up teens and limousines – the ETHS Senior Prom is this Saturday and back in person! Here’s what else is going on this weekend.

Police: Traffic stop leads to discovery of gun, 19-year-old’s arrest on felony charges. On Wednesday Evanston Police Department detectives stopped a vehicle with an expired registration and found an unregistered, loaded handgun on the 19-year-old driver. The state’s attorney’s office approved a charge for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

Steve Winwood

Les Jacobson: The unsung genius of Steve Winwood. May 12 is Steve Winwood’s 74th birthday, making it the perfect day to celebrate the British music icon’s unique talents as composer, producer, arranger, singer and multi-instrumentalist, RoundTable columnist Les Jacobson writes.

Community invited to review final plan for new skate park. The City of Evanston invites community members to attend a May 17 virtual public meeting to review the final concept plan for a new Evanston skate park planned for the east end of Twiggs Park. 


Spring has finally sprung and at the RoundTable our thoughts have turned to romance. In the coming weeks we’ll be launching “They Do,” a new column that will feature local folks tying the knot. Getting married? Know someone getting married? We want all the details so we can tell the story, from that fateful first meeting to the magical matrimonial event. To be considered for inclusion in “They Do,” please submit your name, address and the date of your wedding to News@EvanstonRoundTable.com.


Why does local journalism matter to you?

The RoundTable’s Spring Membership Drive is on – and we want to hear from you! Why does local journalism matter to you – and what does the RoundTable mean to you?

Share your thoughts by calling our testimonial hotline and leaving a short message at 708-736-0176. Or create a one minute video on your phone and send the clip to our Instagram or email address (news@evanstonroundtable.com). 

We’ll be featuring the voices of Evanstonians talking about local journalism and why it matters throughout our Spring Membership Drive this month. By leaving a message or sending a video, you agree that we may use your name and recording as part of our Spring Membership drive. 

Thanks for considering our request and for your continued support of the Evanston RoundTable. 


Around the web

Health care workers burned out during the pandemic. That could impact Illinois’ abortion care. Many doctors, nurses and medical assistants left the field after burning out from pandemic fatigue. Now, that staffing shortage could spell problems for abortion access and care as Illinois gears up to provide thousands more abortions if and when the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

What’s Behind America’s Shocking Baby-Formula Shortage? Nationwide, a stunning 40% of all baby formula is out of stock, leading to panic buying among parents and fear that the crisis could get worse. Supply chain issues from COVID-19 and an FDA recall of some brands of formula are mostly to blame.

ETHS, Northwestern partnership continues even as school leaders depart. Years ago, Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and ETHS Superintendent Eric Witherspoon established the NU/ETHS Partnership Office, which runs dual-enrollment courses and other community initiatives. Despite both Schapiro and Witherspoon retiring this summer, the collaboration between schools will live on through program coordinator Kristen Perkins-LaFollette.


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Duncan Agnew

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...