A shopper leaves the Howard Street Jewel on June 1 with one of the thicker plastic bags allowed under the city’s current ordinance. Officials say those bags aren’t being reused as hoped. Credit: Bob Seidenberg

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

Evanston grocery stores may be allowed to hand out single-use plastic bags again – but a 10-cent tax might be charged for their use under a proposal that drew support from members of the city’s Economic Development Committee on Tuesday, May 31.

In 2014, the City Council prohibited Evanston stores larger than 10,000 square feet from distributing disposable plastic shopping bags. Officials had hoped the ban would lead people to use other kinds of bags, such as thicker plastic bags, paper bags or compostable bags.

Those bags, however, “are often an unnecessary single-use waste item, too, and not disposed of correctly,” officials spelled out in in a May 25 memo.

Haven eighth graders gather on the stage of the ETHS auditorium for their graduation ceremony Wednesday night. Credit: Kristin Kutzner Huzar

Proud families and friends gathered June 1 in the Evanston Township High School auditorium to celebrate eighth-grade graduation for Haven Middle School students. The ceremony marked the first in-person middle school graduation festivities for any Evanston/Skokie District 65 school since spring 2019.

Graduation comes at the end of a particularly difficult year for Haven students, teachers and staff. But, as Miles Lyons, student speaker and recipient of the African American Youth Achievement Award, said during the ceremony, the eighth graders persevered in the face of adversity, did not shy away from difficult conversations and will soon be moving on to high school.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 34 new cases were reported Tuesday, May 31, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 34 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: North Channel Community Rowing

Evanston youth rowing program steers clear of exclusivity. When Evanston Township High School launches its new crew team this fall, many recruits will be ready thanks to North Channel Community Rowing, a free program for Evanston middle schoolers now entering its second year.

At This Time: Wednesday at 3:56 p.m. “I started gardening in childhood,” said Lynn Sloan. “I was my mother’s accomplice: ‘Go weed the garden.’ But you get your hands dirty, and you love it despite the fact that it seems like a chore.” Here she plants impatiens – a perfect name, she says, for an annual flower: “They impatiently bloom and then they are gone.” Sloan, whose novel Midstream will be published in August, has lived on Lincoln Street near Hartrey Avenue for 30 years. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Superintendent’s Spotlight June 2022. Credit: ETHS District 202 YouTube

Witherspoon shares his final message as ETHS superintendent. After years of leading Evanston Township High School District 202 as superintendent, Eric Witherspoon shared his final message with the community in a video posted Wednesday afternoon on YouTube. His official last day is June 30.

ETHS girls soccer: Wildkits work overtime for trip to state semifinals. Evanston sophomore Jocelyn Leigh scored goals in the 92nd and 98th minutes and lifted the Wildkits to a 2-0 double overtime win over Libertyville on Tuesday in Northfield. ETHS will meet Barrington in the state semifinals at North Central College in Naperville at 5 p.m. Friday.

Picturing Evanston. Geometric murals by James Marshall, better known as Dalek, complete the reconstructed intersection at Emerson Street and Ridge Avenue. It also features the Stitch sculpture by Warren Langley. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

Nancy E. Anderson: What makes a marriage work? I’m still not sure. “Physical chemistry, loyalty, trust; these are all good. I would also say that it helps if your spouse brings you coffee in the morning and cleans the snow off your car,” the RoundTable columnist writes.

Teacher Excellence Award winners. (Top, from left) Anita Bucio, Michelle Green, Teresa Houston. (Bottom, from left): Ganae McAlpin-Toney, Abdel Shakur, Adriane Slaton. Credit: ETHS

ETHS announces 2022 Teacher Excellence Award winners. Evanston Township High School honored six teachers at its annual Teacher Excellence Award ceremony on May 18. This year’s honorees are Anita Bucio (English and AVID), Michelle Green (World Languages), Teresa Houston (Career & Technical Education), Ganae McAlpin-Toney (History & Social Sciences), Abdel Shakur (English) and Adriane Slaton (Science).

Credit: Everytown for Gun Safety

Wear orange, find an event, demand action on Gun Violence Awareness Day, June 3. National Gun Violence Awareness Day is an annual event on the first Friday in June, and is the beginning of Wear Orange Weekend. Everytown for Gun Safety urges the public to #WearOrange to honor the lives of people in the United States affected by gun violence, and elevate the voices of those demanding an end to this crisis.

Sustainable garden coming to Central Street. The Highland Garden Club of Evanston is pleased to announce a complete redesign of the community garden at the corner of Stewart Avenue and Central Street, which the club established in 1992 and has maintained ever since. To raise funds for the redesign, the club is hosting a Backyard Botanicals Sale on Saturday, June 4.

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Around the web

Illinois collects data about who gets abortions. But it keeps race and ethnicity hidden. Illinois is one of 22 states that did not report the race and ethnicity of abortion patients to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the most recent reporting year, but with the overturning of Roe v. Wade possibly on the horizon, the Illinois Department of Public Health said it is looking into making that information available to show potential disparities in abortion access and care.

Ultimate list Of 2022 Pride Month events in Chicago. Throughout June, organizations, restaurants and other businesses are celebrating the LGBTQ+ community with hundreds of events and gatherings. Check out this comprehensive list of things to do to celebrate Pride Month around Chicago compiled by Block Club.

Northwestern President Morton Schapiro discusses COVID-19 response, athletics and fundraising in Faculty Assembly meeting. In response to a question about why NU has not reimplemented a mask mandate, Schapiro said he recommended returning to a campus mask mandate more than a week ago but was outvoted.

Job openings in April remain near record highs, U.S. employers report. New data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the U.S. economy registered 11.4 million job openings in April, while 4.4 million Americans quit or changed their jobs during that same month. Monthly layoffs fell to a record low of 1.2 million as more businesses looked to retain the workers on their staff.

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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...