Evanston RoundTable
Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

Cutting the ribbon Wednesday at Evanston’s first affordable backyard home, called an accessory dwelling unit, are Robinson Markus (above, from left), of the Evanston Development Cooperative; Second Ward Council Member Krissie Harris; Mayor Daniel Biss; Richard Koenig of Housing Opportunity Development Corp.; builder Fazel “Peter” Alexander; and Fifth Ward Council Member Bobby Burns. The two-bedroom house will rent for $850 per month to qualified tenants.

And now, on to more news.

Credit: Northwestern University

Northwestern leaders and Seventh Ward Council member Eleanor Revelle Wednesday night held the first joint meeting with Evanston residents about the university’s proposed $800 million football stadium development on Central Street. While neighbors said they were excited about a new Ryan Field with more amenities and a design to address traffic, light and noise concerns, the elephant in the room was the college’s desire to host concerts and sell alcohol at events.

City Council

Evanston’s budget process has begun. The 500-page document released this week, to be presented to City Council on Monday, sets the total 2023 fiscal year budget at $402,510,693 – a $42.1 million increase from 2022. The proposed budget includes a property tax increase as well as increases in two fees, plus new city hiring. The RoundTable takes a look “under the hood” at the numbers.

Children lost a tireless advocate Wednesday: Bernice Weissbourd, 99 (above), a researcher who built on her experience as a Head Start teacher to become a national leader in promoting the critical role of families in their children’s early childhood development, died Oct. 12 at her home in Evanston. Her legacy is huge and lives on in Family Focus centers and more than 20,000 other programs still operating today.

COVID-19 by the numbers: Nine new cases and nop new deaths were reported Oct. 11, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 9.71 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Jack Weiss

Eye on Evanston: Thoughts on Design | Coming of age in the 20s. In December 1988, the state Historic Preservation Office asked the City of Evanston to suggest additional preservation districts – and Anne Earle, one of Evanston’s highly respected architectural historians, jumped on the opportunity to recommend northwest Evanston. Jack Weiss of Design Evanston starts a four-part series on that rarely seen proposal.

Credit: Gina Castro

Evanston LWV hosts ranked-choice voting discussion. The 2022 general election is less than a month away, and to help voters sort through a key referendum question the Evanston League of Women Voters hosted an online discussion of ranked-choice voting, featuring Executive Director of Reform for Illinois Alisa Kaplan (above) and Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss. Ranked-choice voting lets voters list candidates from most preferred to least, and it has pluses and minuses.

Plan moves forward for Masonic Temple apartments. Built in 1926, Evanston’s Masonic Temple is eligible for national landmark designation, but the city’s Preservation Commission recently paved the way for plans to convert the building at 1453 Maple Ave. into 30 apartments.

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

Peggy Tarr: Everyday importance. Columnist Peggy Tarr is talking about ranking, but not voting. Instead, she discusses the everyday ranking that we all seem to do of various things and experiences.

Les Jacobson: Shostakovich and Putin. The great composer, who visited Evanston in 1973, had a lot to say in his Fifth Symphony about life under Stalin. The same trauma and beauty inherent in the music speaks to Putin’s Russia today, our columnist says.

Credit: Forest Preserves of Cook County

Election 2022: Letter to the editor: Vote yes for the forest preserves. “This small tax increase, approximately $1.66 per month for the average taxpayer, is a tiny amount considering the enormous benefits provided by the current 67,000 acres of forest preserve land,” writes Libby Hill.

New animal shelter moves one step closer. The Evanston Land Use Commission voted unanimously last night that the city raze the one-story animal shelter at 2222-2310 Oakton St. and build a new one. Now, it’s on to the City Council.

Halloween Pop-Up offers free costumes at Fleetwood-Jourdain this Sunday. From 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16, ESCCA will host its third annual costume giveaway. New and gently used children’s costumes and accessories will be available for free. But it is first come, first served.

Senator Fine and State Rep. Gabel to sponsor Community Resource Fair this Saturday. If it is a municipal, county, state or federal agency, expect them to be at the Community Resource Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Robert Crown Community Center.

Credit: Provided by City of Evanston

City to host shoreline repairs community open house on Oct. 25. The City of Evanston invites community members to attend an open house meeting regarding potential improvements to Evanston’s lakefront parks and shoreline from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave.

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Around the web

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5. The Food and Drug Administration gave a green light Wednesday for children 5 and older to receive the new and improved shots designed to provide protection against omicron variants of the virus. The CDC is now expected to provide its own approval.

The election for Illinois’ attorney general comes at a dramatic legal moment. Surprisingly, one of the most significant races in the upcoming elections is for the state’s attorney general, with incumbent Democrat Kwame Raoul facing off against Republican challenger Tom DeVore, who rose to fame after suing the state over its mask mandates in public schools.

A history of initiatives and attempts to increase affordable housing in Evanston. The Daily Northwestern compiled this list of ways the city has tried to expand its base of affordable housing units over the years, through efforts like council committees and purchasing vacant buildings.

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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...