Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Monday morning, Evanston.

The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies. Children take part in the Dance It Yourself Nutcracker at the Noyes Cultural Art Center yesterday morning, and the RoundTable’s Richard Cahan was photographing – and listening. “I will warn you that tiaras hurt,” organizer Angela Allyn told performers. “They are real metal tiaras. Just know: Beauty is painful.’’

We hope it’s all gain and no pain to get caught up on Evanston’s news. Here are today’s stories:

Credit: Ian Mitchell

Nearly seven weeks after dropping a bombshell 39-page report alleging workplace racial discrimination and harassment, the City of Evanston Black Employee Action Group described the city’s response as dismissive. “Literally, they [the city] have to dismantle their system,” one member of the group said. “Because hiring new people, rolling out roadmaps is doing nothing to dismantle the system that has been created.” The group also says its members have faced retaliation.

What to do when a family friend asks if you liked her thoughtful and expensive gift – and you didn’t? Our advice columnist Gabby has some thoughts on that tricky topic, just in time for the holidays, and she weighs in on a few more dilemmas.

RoundTable Roundup

Happy Hanukkah: Join Mayor Daniel Biss and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois, for a menorah lighting celebration at 5:30 p.m. tonight in Fountain Square. The party will feature live music, a robot dancer and Hanukkah treats for everyone.

Rebuild Ryan Field: The Evanston/North Shore NAACP chapter is hosting a community forum on Northwestern’s new football stadium proposal at 7 p.m. tonight at Second Baptist Church. NU President Michael Schill and Athletic Director Derrick Gragg are scheduled to be in attendance

Happy Challah Days: Evanston’s Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation is holding a workshop on Jewish traditions for parents and their young kids at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

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COVID-19 by the numbers: 21 new cases and no new deaths were reported on Thursday, Dec. 15, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 22.3 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

For a fun holiday musical, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie checks all the gaily wrapped boxes. “It is a classic love story guaranteed to bring a smile – even if you have a Scrooge in your brood,” writes critic Wendi Kromash.

Chess Champs: ETHS wrapped up the North Suburban Chess League South Division title on Friday with a win over Highland Park. Next up, the conference tournament in January, where the Wildkits will be the top seed.

Nine Wildkits on the Evanston boys wrestling team went to Glenbrook South last weekend for the Rus Erb Tournament, where ETHS finished 10th in a 20-team field. Now, the Wildkits have just a few weeks to prepare for the state tournament series.

Picturing Evanston. The light is on at the decorated back door of the Grosse Point Lighthouse, 2601 Sheridan Road. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

Father of accused Highland Park shooter charged with seven counts of reckless conduct. Robert Crimo Jr., the father of the Highland Park shooter, sponsored his son’s application for a gun permit in 2019. Now, he’s charged with one count of reckless conduct for each of the people killed in the July 4 massacre.

ComEd will spend $40 million on a plan to rid homes of natural gas. The Chicago energy giant is rolling out a project that will “decarbonize” homes and make them more energy efficient.

Grieving parents warn: Packed snow at side of elevated roads can be deadly. Drivers in snowy Midwest cities like Chicago and Milwaukee can run into snow and ice piled up on roadsides by plows, which can cause dangerous spinouts in wintry conditions.

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Duncan Agnew

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...