Evanston RoundTable
The District 202 Board of Education approved the notice of Dr. Eric Witherspoon’s retirement, effective in June 2022. (Photo by Nate Perry)

Good morning, Evanston.

Dr. Eric Witherspoon began his journey as an educator more than three decades ago as a high school English teacher. He since has held posts in Iowa and Indiana. And in June 2022, he will retire after serving for 16 years as superintendent of Evanston Township High School District 202.

“I know how many people count the days until their retirement, but for me this is bittersweet,” he said. “… I leave completely loving this school and this job.”

Evanston City Council members on Sept. 13 pushed back their vote to appoint an Interim City Manager.

Council members had been scheduled to vote on the appointment of Deputy City Manager Kelley Gandurski to the post of Interim City Manager, the City’s top executive position, at the Sept. 13 meeting, with Erika Storlie slated to leave the job Oct. 8.The proposed appointment is receiving plenty of attention from a residents group opposed to the choice.

The Evanston RoundTable has adopted a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) statement that will be a core part of our evolution and growth.

The RoundTable is committed to building a diverse leadership team, and a staff of editors and reporters who reflect our community; to including voices that have been unheard or marginalized; and to promoting honest – even if uncomfortable – dialogue among ourselves and within the community.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

City News

Revised Ethics Board proposal returns residents to decision-making role. City residents would again have a role deciding ethics violations brought against public officials under a revised staff proposal that was backed by the City Council’s Rules Committee members at their Sept. 7 meeting.

The City of Evanston hopes to expand its animal shelter at 2310 Oakton St.

Models present vision for new Evanston animal shelter. Volunteers at the City’s animal shelter, which opened in the 1980s, work under cramped conditions. But that could change as Evanston officials consider designs for a new building, which would feature more space to house animals for adoption as well as a food pantry and event space.

‘Kits, ‘Cats and Kids video recap

‘Kits, ‘Cats and Kids celebrate 10 years. Evanston celebrated 10 years of community partnership between Northwestern University and Evanston Township High School on Sept. 9. The event was held on the high school’s marching band practice field and featured a collaboration among various community organizations, food vendors and student volunteers. The RoundTable’s Debbie-Marie Brown was there to capture the highlights in this video.

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Children’s books on display at the Evanston Public Library. (Photo by Kristin Brown)

While conducting her senior studies project at Evanston Township High School, Gwen Tucker researched the libraries of two of the City’s elementary schools. Her analysis concluded that “all of the popular books with characters of color were written by white authors,” she said. However, librarians in District 65 and the Evanston Public Library have been taking steps to expand and improve the diversity of their collections, with assistance from advisory groups.

Art & Life

(Photo by Julie Chernoff)

Pepper up your autumn. The humble pepper, genus Capsicum, has global appeal. Whether your preference is for the hot or sweet variety, now is the time to experiment with different recipes that showcase peppers while there are so many to choose from. 

Public Square

Les Jacobson: The wind blows and we are alone together. I was your typical happy-go-lucky, clueless kid, content to play baseball and ride my bike and ignore the drearier aspects of life, such as homework and Sunday School. So it is perhaps surprising that once, for the briefest of moments, I experienced something like youthful transcendence.

Peggy Tarr: September 2021, days of note. Yom Kippur – the holiest day on Jewish calendar, is this month, as are the International Day of Democracy and the International Day of Peace.

Upcoming Events

Bike the Ridge set for Sept. 26. Bicyclists of all ages are invited to pedal up and down Ridge Avenue in Evanston from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26. The street will be closed to vehicular traffic and open to bicycles from Howard to Church streets during this free, noncompetitive, City-sponsored event. Residents along Ridge will not be able to use their driveways between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sept. 26.

Paws and Claws Chicago Rescue to host Rally for Rescues. Paws and Claws Chicago Rescue will host its first in-person event, the 2021 Rally for Rescues Walkathon, at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at 1114 Judson Ave. Participants will get to take photos with animals, enjoy family-friendly activities and bagels and pick up a free swag. The event concludes with a parade through town.

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