Evanston RoundTable

Good Thursday morning, Evanston!

A programming note for our newsletter readers: We will not be publishing a newsletter on Friday and Sunday this week as we are juggling normal summer vacation schedules. But please visit our website for updated news and information. And look for us in your inbox bright and early Monday morning.

The skies are clear but expect a hot and sunny summer day in Evanston with a high of 92 degrees and humidity at 62%, according to the National Weather Service. Nearly a third of the country is facing excessive heat warnings, including the midwest, and there is a Hazardous Weather Outlook through Tuesday for our area. So while the lake effect breezes mean we can actually enjoy hitting the beach with a good book and a comfortable chair in the sand, don’t forget the sunscreen and a large bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated. Now onto more news.

At Dewey Elementary School, parents of students and teachers in the two-way immersion (TWI) program have reported a “lack of support” and “low prioritization” for Latino families and the Spanish language, according to an investigation by the RoundTable. Three of the six TWI teachers at Dewey are leaving for other schools or other districts this summer, two voluntarily and one whose contract was not renewed, and the program – the district’s largest TWI – faces serious problems if it is going to recover.

On Wednesday, the city announced Carol Mitten, who for the last four years has been the city administrator for Urbana, Ill., is the new and only candidate for the post of City Manager, according to a news release. City officials have scheduled a town hall for 7 p.m. Thursday in the Council Chambers of the Morton Civic Center to be moderated by Mayor Daniel Biss. This event, the release said, will be “part of the final decision process.” The response from the president of Community Alliance for Better Government, a local activist group that in the past has protested the hiring process for this post, carried a stern warning. “But we do want Mayor Biss and the [City] Council to know that we are holding them to their word – that this is part of the interview process, and that we assume that there have been no prior negotiations, indicating that she’s already obtained the job.”

COVID-19 by the numbers: 30 cases were reported on Tuesday, July 19, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 26 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Immortal library books: never gonna die. If you want to talk about the most popular items in any library, large or small, head straight to the children’s room. And indeed, writes the Library’s Betsy Bird, “when I got the final list there it was in the #1 slot for anyone and everyone to see: The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV, by Stan & Jan Berenstain.”

A guide to the Evanston Arts Council. The Council is a committee of 12 citizens that promotes the arts in Evanston. The Council is appointed by the mayor with the advice and consent of the City Council and is now led by Rosie Roche (above). To learn about this group, its members, its grants and its importance, take a look at our most recent story explaining the institutions important to Evanston.

At This Time: Wednesday at 7:48 p.m. Jon Schultz (upper left) just graduated from Northwestern University with a Ph.D. in chemistry. To celebrate, he organized a painting party for fellow chem researchers in Centennial Park. “This is a way to thank them for what they’ve done for me,” said Schultz, who’s off to Duke University. They bought paint, canvases and brushes, and painted a bucolic mountain scene in the style of Bob Ross, the former host of PBS’ The Joy of Painting. “It was a night of letting loose, trying not to be so precise,” said Schultz. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Picturing Evanston. An “archeological dig” on the site of the old Thai Sookdee restaurant at 1016 Church St. unearthed World War II-era signage for gaskets and oil seals. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

Can Chicago slow the spread of monkeypox? This week, hundreds of people across Chicago waited in long lines to receive a monkeypox vaccine, but the city only has 5,000 doses right now, with 15,000 more on the way. So far, about 200 people in Chicago have come down with the virus, and most of them are gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men. The virus spreads through prolonged close contact like kissing, cuddling and sex.

Trump’s choices escalated tensions and set U.S. on path to Jan. 6, panel finds. The Washington Post published this deep dive into the seven hearings held by the House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. After reviewing all the evidence, the committee “has formed a compelling presentation that in the lead-up to Jan. 6, Trump chose a course that made violence likely, if not inevitable.”

Bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage passes overwhelmingly in the House. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 267-157 on Tuesday in favor of codifying marriage equality into federal law amid concerns about the Supreme Court’s next ruling on same sex marriage after overturning Roe v. Wade. All Democrats and 47 Republicans supported the legislation, which now moves to the Senate.

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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...