Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

With the return of school and work, people are back into old routines – or contemplating new beginnings. At the Davis Street Metra station, Northwestern students Sara Frank (center, holding cellphone and coffee) and Linda Shi (left) prepare to start their working lives. “I’m excited, I guess,” Frank told photographer Richard Cahan. “We don’t have to take classes this quarter.” Said Shi: “We’re trying not to overstress it.” The two journalism seniors will be working at internships in personal branding.

At the RoundTable, with the holiday break over, we’re back to our full newsletter format. So, on to the news.

Evanston officials discussed a proposed ordinance that would allow cannabis smoking lounges, which council members said could increase marijuana tax revenue for the city, potentially boosting the city’s Reparations Fund.

Credit: Manan Bhavnani

The Smylie Brothers Brewing Co. brewpub downtown shut down on New Year’s Eve after eight years in operation. A social media post blamed the pandemic. Annie Coakley, executive director of the Downtown Evanston business district, said local businesses are feeling the crunch.

Credit: Chelsea Hoss/Chelsea Joy Photography

Julia Freeman and Blaise Filippini met as juniors at Evanston Township High School; they ended up in the same lab study group in AP Biology. Filippini asked Freeman out, but she was hesitant. “I told him I had to think about it,” she recalled. She eventually said yes. They wed Oct. 23.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 14 new cases and no new deaths were reported Sunday, Jan. 1, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 19 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Wendi Kromash

Evanston will see its cycling network grow this year, with three projects in the design stage, including new bike lanes or paths along Church Street and Oakton Avenue and reconstruction of a route on Chicago Avenue. Plus, the Evanston Transit Alliance surveyed area cyclists; check out what local riders had to say.

Credit: Karen Young

“Common sense suggests we have a better chance of realizing our annual goals if they are few in number, achievable and reasonably significant.” RoundTable columnist Les Jacobson reflects on three goals for 2023 and how a few small resolutions can make a big difference.

Credit: Susy Schultz

City of Evanston crews will pick up holiday trees through Friday, Jan. 27. Trees will be picked up on the same day of the week as residents’ normal refuse and recycling collection.

Picturing Evanston: The Levere Memorial Temple dominates the intersection of Hinman Avenue and Sheridan Road with its Gothic style. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

New Illinois laws 2023: A full list of what has changed for this year. New laws going into effect have changes for schools, drivers, homeowners and more.

Cook County property tax payments pushed to April. Payments usually due March 1 will instead have an April 3 deadline, Treasurer Maria Pappas’ office said.

Frank Galati, Tony Award-winning Chicago director, writer, actor, dies at 79. Galati, who was born in Highland Park and got his master’s and doctorate degrees in speech at Northwestern University, was a mainstay of the Chicago theater scene since the 1980s.

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Manan Bhavnani

Prior to joining the RoundTable, Manan Bhavnani covered business and technology for the International Business Times, with a focus on mergers, earnings and governance. He is a double Medill graduate, with...