Evanston RoundTable

Good morning, Evanston.

City Council Member Devon Reid moved pushcarts ahead of food trucks for increased use in the lakefront area in a revised proposal at Monday night’s City Council meeting. Mr. Reid, 8th Ward, announced at the start of the discussion that he would be dropping food trucks from his original proposal. That proposal had called for the City to lift restrictions on both food trucks and pushcarts in the lakefront area, where the City currently issues only three licenses for their use.

The Foster Street Garden was abuzz yesterday morning with Family Focus Summer Campers, representatives of the Evanston Food Exchange Board that sponsors the Foster Street Urban Agriculture Program, and members of the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club. Chef Q Ibrahim taught campers how to recognize some of the different herbs growing in the garden; campers then picked the herbs and prepared to make pickles. The Foster Street Urban Agriculture Program is one of 15 local organizations to receive a community service grant from the Evanston Lighthouse Club this year.

Here’s a roundup of other top stories from the RoundTable this week.

City News

Chicago Ethics Expert Says Citizens Board Meets Best Practices. A citizens board with the authority to decide on ethics cases would be the system most in line with best practices used to investigate ethics complaints, the longtime head of the Chicago Board of Ethics told an Evanston committee last week. “It’s critical to have the ability for the board itself to hear all the evidence, and to make a decision, not to rely on a single individual who is an administrative hearing officer.”

Plan Commission Scheduled to Consider Major Zoning Changes tonight. At its upcoming meeting, the City’s Plan Commission is scheduled to consider a recommendation to delete the definition of “family” in the Zoning Code and instead rely on the occupancy limits that are already in the City’s code to address concerns about overcrowding.

(Drone image from Steve Lemieux-Jordan, Evanston Photographic Studios)

Cars line up for the Evanston Recycles event at ETHS on Saturday, July 10. Each year this free “Drive up, Drop off” event provides residents an opportunity to recycle and donate a variety of items and securely shred documents.

School News

State Mandates Teaching of Asian American History in Public Schools. According to census estimates, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing demographic group in Illinois. However, the history and contribution of Asian Americans are rarely included in the social studies and history curriculums of public schools. This will soon change. 

Arts & Life

ETHS Tennis Player Scores Points with Local Campers. Wimbledon may be over but 16-year-old Hannah Finkelstein, a rising junior at Evanston Township High School, is just getting started in her efforts to spread tennis love throughout the community.

‘The Nazi’s Granddaughter’ Author Silvia Foti Bravely Confronts Truth. The Levy Lecture on June 29 featured author Silvia Foti discussing how a deathbed promise to her late mother led to uncovering a disturbing – and hidden – family history: her mother’s father, revered as a hero at home in the tight-knit Lithuanian community in Chicago and in his native Lithuania, was instead an active Nazi accomplice.

Dr. Benjamin Williams (Submitted photo)

Dr. Benjamin Williams 1934-2021. Dr. Benjamin Williams, the first African American director of the Evanston Human Relations Commission for the City of Evanston, passed away peacefully on June 30th, 2021, in Hilton Head Island, S.C. He was 87 years old.

Author Sharisse Kimbro (Submitted photo)

Evanston Author Adds Local Flavor To New Chicken Soup for the Soul Anthology. Humor, heartbreak and wisdom are key ingredients in the new book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: I’m Speaking Now,” featuring Evanston writer Sharisse Kimbro. The title may be long, but the vignettes are short and can be consumed as quick literary snacks. The perils of raising sons and daughters in an unjust world, the painful legacy of segregation and the healing power of soul food are just a few of the topics presented with aplomb in this collection of essays, reflections and poems.

Evanston Pride Reschedules Events for July 17. After rain forced the cancellation of Evanson Pride Celebrations – but not the Parade – the events have been rescheduled for this Saturday, July 17.

Abdel Shakur discusses Evanston Beach Token Policies and Black Residents with Library. Mr. Shakur, a local writer, teacher and advocate for excellent Black teaching, in an Evanston Public Library Q&A gave some history and discussed policy that was used to block marginalized residents from Evanston beaches in the past.

Public Square

The Lighthouse Keeper sees …

… that there are some very big shoes to fill now that the Traffic Guy has retired and hopes that this view from the Lighthouse will help.  … that Lake Michigan water levels had dropped enough by last week to allow Greenwood Street Beach to open for the season.  

Nancy E. Anderson: He’s just a cat, right? I always tell my kids that Arnold is the best cat I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot of cats. The first cat I remember was Frisky. Then there was Signe, named for my great-grandmother. Then Roo, Larry and a host of others who dotted my central Illinois upbringing. 

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