Evanston RoundTable

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

At the end of a contentious meeting about the Margarita Inn, District 65 social worker Allie Harned (above) told the audience that almost 300 students in the district are registered as homeless. “Open your heart, open your doors, open your minds, and let’s find some affordable housing,” she said. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Here’s more coverage of that Wednesday night community meeting, plus the rest of the news from around Evanston:

About 100 people gathered at the Unitarian Church of Evanston to discuss the homeless shelter at the Margarita Inn. Connections for the Homeless intends to apply for a special-use permit for a permanent shelter and nearby residents offered mixed reactions as the city forges ahead on a good neighbor agreement to set expectations. Some expressed concerns about public safety and security, while others emphasized the desperate need for resources to aid the homeless population.

In the latest installment of our Reparations 101 series examining the restorative housing program in Evanston, RoundTable reporter Gina Castro dives into how the city is funding the initiative through taxes on recreational marijuana. There are still 132 “ancestor” applicants awaiting their grants – there isn’t enough money to disburse, in part because there is just a single cannabis dispensary in the city.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Sobering capital costs as city identifies ‘problem facilities’ and aging playgrounds. Six of the city’s 60 buildings have major structural issues in need of immediate repair, according to Capital Planning and Engineering Bureau Chief Lara Biggs, and those six include the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center. All six “are getting very close to having failure of multiple building systems,” Biggs said.

Credit: Duncan Agnew

Woman’s death near ETHS ruled a suicide. An autopsy performed by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the woman whose body was found on the ETHS campus early Tuesday died from self-inflicted stab wounds.

Smoke, fire and firefighters were near the Orrington. Wednesday morning, RoundTable Operations Manager Evan Girard was on the way to the Evanston Public Library when she encountered firefighters in the middle of a training drill next to the old Burger King building on Orrington Avenue.

Ninth Ward meeting centers on zoning study. Residents of Evanston’s Ninth Ward learned at a Wednesday virtual meeting about a study that is examining how zoning laws impact the quality of life and economic well-being of Evanston residents.

Movie review: ‘Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris’. “Do yourself a favor, put down the Times, turn away from the tube and lose yourself in this parable of unforeseen charm and potential. You will emerge richer, with a lifted spirit,” writes our film critic Doris Popovich.

City panel allocates $1 million in federal funds for a new homeless shelter. Evanston’s Housing and Community Development Committee on Tuesday night paved the way for the development of a new homeless shelter in Evanston, allocating federal pandemic recovery funds to the project. The city has yet to propose a location or a service provider for the shelter.

Bike the Ridge will limit Ridge Avenue traffic Sunday. To accommodate the annual Bike the Ridge event, Ridge Avenue will be closed to all vehicles except bicycles from Howard to Church streets during the morning of Sunday, Sept. 25.

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Around the web

Evanston Mural Arts Program paints the town, unveiling two new murals. Situated at the new senior living development Trulee Evanston, a mural by Molly Zakrajsek depicts an abstract night garden and another work by Max Sansing at the Metra line off Davis Street depicts two faces amid a cloudy sky.

As school book bans gain traction in the U.S., Barrington rejects bid to remove two LGBTQ books. Amid attacks nationwide on books about gender identity and racism, among other topics, the school board in northwest suburban Barrington on Tuesday voted to keep two books about LGBTQ experiences in the district’s libraries.

Crews have replaced less than 0.5% of lead service lines shown to contaminate tap water in Chicago homes. Two years ago, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot committed to removing and replacing 400,000 lead pipes bringing water to households. But new data shows crews have removed only 154 pipe lines to date.

Here’s why tech companies keep paying millions to settle lawsuits in Illinois. State residents have reaped payouts from class-action lawsuits filed against tech firms under the Biometric Information Privacy Act, which requires companies to get consumer permission before collecting facial recognition data and other info.

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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...