Evanston RoundTable

Good Sunday morning, Evanston!

Last night was Evanston Township High School’s homecoming dance, with a “Glow in the Dark” theme. Hundreds wore glow necklaces and lights as students filled the field house for the first homecoming held indoors in three years. Event organizers also offered a game room and a quiet space. “We want to be all-inclusive,” said Denise Clarke, director of student activities. “It’s time to get together. We don’t have many opportunities to do this.” (Photo by Richard Cahan)

One night earlier, the ETHS Wildkit football team celebrated homecoming with a big shutout win over Niles West. See the story below in Sports. And here’s more of our latest coverage:

Credit: Patrick Hughes

Cracks are appearing in the concrete slab floor of the main lobby of the Robert Crown Community Center, which has been open only since 2020. City Council members have approved an investigation of the cracks, authorizing a $12,800 contract with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates of Northbrook to look into the problem.

Credit: Wendi Kromash

Growing Evanston e-commerce company Anatomy Warehouse sells detailed models of human and animal body parts and processes. The lifelike products are used to educate current and future health care providers, but they’re also props for movies, TV and theater productions.

Now, in case you missed any of the most important news last week, here’s a roundup of the top stories from the RoundTable. To get our complete day-to-day coverage in your inbox, just change your preferences and never miss a story.

City News

Credit: Northwestern University

Northwestern releases early design concepts for new Ryan Field. Plans call for a smaller stadium, with a capacity for 35,000 fans, or 12,000 fewer than the current stadium, surrounded by green space and plazas. In addition to from football games, the university says the stadium could host concerts as well.

‘They’re not newspapers’: The not-so-mysterious publications in your mailbox. North Cook News is one of several publications owned and operated by conservative radio host and Republican donor Dan Proft. The papers don’t identify any owner and don’t have any masthead or contact information. Turns out, fake newspapers are a nationwide issue.

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

Parking study recommends higher meter rates, fee increases. A new report on Evanston’s parking system recommends that officials consider raising the $2-per-hour off-street parking rate downtown and hike rates in other areas of the system too, generating revenue to bolster aging infrastructure.

Evanston’s public nudity rules are stricter and less inclusive than many nearby communities. The city’s ordinance has been a hot debate topic for months. LGBTQIA+ advocates say it’s time for Evanston to catch up with comparable cities. The RoundTable’s Gina Castro does a deep dive into the rules, the history and the reasons for the proposal to change the ordinances.

Credit: Evan Girard

Connections for the Homeless files permit to continue operating Margarita Inn shelter. After a long wait to get a signature from the property owner and conducting several discussions with neighbors, Connections for the Homeless filed its application Wednesday for a permit to continue operating the Margarita Inn as a homeless shelter. But getting public support may be another obstacle.

Credit: Evanston Fire Department

City looks at buying fire-damaged Howard Street property for mixed-income housing and business development. Council member Devon Reid (8th Ward) revealed at a virtual ward meeting that the city may buy the fire-damaged property at Howard Street and Elmwood Avenue to develop it for mixed uses and affordable housing.

Black business hub Aux nears $7.5 million goal with big boost from state. The Aux, which has been working since 2020 to establish a space dedicated to empowering Black businesses in Evanston, is set to receive $1.5 million from the state of Illinois. That will put the Black-owned business hub just $500,000 away from its $7.5 million fundraising goal.

Credit: Submitted

New animal shelter proposal headed to City Council. A proposal to fund a new $6.3 million building for the Evanston Animal Shelter is closer to happening. It should be on the Oct. 10 agenda of the City Council.

Need affordable rental housing? Get on a waiting list, agency urges. Community Partners for Affordable Housing hosted a session at the Robert Crown Community Center library about how to find affordable housing. RoundTable reporter Bob Seidenberg writes how the agency can help people in Evanston.

Solid Waste Fund gets $1 million injection from general reserves. The City Council agreed to transfer $1 million into the Solid Waste Fund. The fund has maintained a negative balance for years, but the city finally approved a cash injection from the city’s reserves.

Noise and trash bug Fifth Ward residents. The Sept. 29 community ward meeting focused on two persistent complaints in the community: noise and trash. Fifth Ward Council member Bobby Burns and several city officials discussed the problems and possible solutions with residents.

Public Safety and Health

COVID-19 update as of Sept. 29: Evanston and Cook County rated ‘low’ risk. The State of Illinois also announced Sept. 29 that it is launching a pilot program to analyze school wastewater for COVID-19. Samples will be collected from sewers or catch basins at 20 schools twice a week and delivered to a University of Illinois Chicago testing laboratory.

Evanston man charged in robberies of two postal carriers.The U.S. Postal Inspection Service partnered with Evanston Police Investigative Services to arrest a suspect in robberies, during which “arrow keys,” which allow access to secured vestibules and common areas of condo and apartment buildings, were taken.


Joseph E. Hill Education Center in Evanston
Credit: Adina Keeling

District 65 is still having payroll issues. Multiple teachers did not receive stipends for extra summer work done or teaching an extra class. Others have reported incorrect retirement payments, among other problems. Many of these payroll issues go back to last school year.

Tanyavutti’s seat to be filled in October. After longtime member and former Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board President Anya Tanyavutti announced her resignation, the board publicized a plan to appoint her replacement next month. The school board has a special board meeting set for Oct. 10.

Deemar case set for additional briefing on District 65’s right to set curriculum. A lawsuit from a drama teacher in District 65 alleges the school is reinforcing the idea that white people are oppressors and inherently racist. The case is set for additional briefing concerning District 65’s right to set curriculum.

Chess player
Credit: JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Rank and File | ETHS chess team aims for state championship. The ETHS chess team is setting its sights on winning the 2023 state title. The team received third place at last February’s Illinois High School Association Chess State Finals.

Art & Life

Credit: Heidi Randhava

Book: Detective Blue & the Crew takes kids on a K-9 ride along. A former Evanston Township High School track and field stand-out is now a published author. Curtis Wideman was celebrated Sept. 25 at the Levy Senior Center for his new children’s book, Detective Blue & the Crew. The book was available for purchase at the event, along with Wideman’s first book, Top Dog, published in 2016. 

Credit: Submitted

Books: Q&A with local author Lynn Sloan. Evanston resident Lynn Sloan is a writer and photographer. Her first novel, Principles of Navigation, was chosen for Chicago Book Review’s Best Books of 2015, and her second novel, Midstream, was published in 2022 and called “luminous” by Foreword Reviews.

Credit: Music Institute of Chicago

MIC celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with quartet performance Oct. 15. A multiple Grammy Award-winning string quartet from Mexico City is kicking off the Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Concert Hall 2022–23 season.

Downtown Evanston to host annual Fall Fest on Oct. 9. The second annual Fall Fest is around the corner. The street fest will take place in the heart of downtown at Fountain Square. There will be a mix of entertainment, including live music, art activities, live t-shirt printing and plenty of food vendors.

Public Square

Credit: Alex Harrison

Les Jacobson: Beautiful days. “With fall at hand, it’s a good time to look back at the last three months. And what a summer it was: Mild, clear and sunny, with little serious heat or humidity. While the rest of the country has been suffering through drought, fires, heat waves, hurricanes and dangerous air quality, the weather in the Midwest has been – is sublime too strong a word?”

Peggy Tarr: L’chaim. “This year, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, began at sundown on Sept. 25 and ended on sundown Sept. 27. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days that end on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on Oct. 4. I was made aware of Jewish holidays because school was either canceled on those days or formal classes were replaced by study halls. Teachers did not discuss the essence of the holidays.”

Letter to the editor: Is Evanston’s Climate Action Plan sustainable? The city has hired one person since developing its Climate Action and Resilience plan. Is the plan even sustainable? Chuck Wasserburg with the Citizens’ Greener Evanston contemplates this question in his letter to the editor.

Letter to the Editor: City’s hiring practices bypassed in police chief search. Tom Laue writes, “However qualified, a ‘preferred’ inside candidate appears to have landed the job without much serious consideration of other applicants.”

Credit: Saul Lieberman

Wildkits football gets a victory for Homecoming. The Wildkits ended a four-game losing skid and celebrated Homecoming with a 31-0 blanking of Niles West in a Central Suburban League South division matchup at Lazier Field.

Credit: via Facebook

Sophomore Davis helped ETHS cross country team get no. 2 at invitational. Davis scored a fifth place finish and led the Wildkits to the runner up spot in the 3A White Division team standings with 109 points, behind only Oswego High School.

. Credit: ETHS

ETHS boys golf: Wildkits advance behind regional champ Low. The ETHS boys golf team claimed one of three automatic team qualifying spots with a score of 318, behind champion New Trier and Loyola Academy in the eight-team field.

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Gina Castro is a Racial Justice fellow for the RoundTable. She recently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she studied investigative reporting....