Evanston RoundTable
“Home” features a simple staging with three platforms. (Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre photo)

Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

Under the direction of Tim Rhoze, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre delivers a relevant, tender and moving rendition of “Home,” writes Doris Popovich in a RoundTable review of the production.

Written by renowned author and actor Samm-Art Williams, the play tells the story of Cephus Miles, a farmer who never loses heart despite profound personal loss, crippling racism and a life spent looking for a soft place to land in an inhospitable world.

Girls basketball teammates celebrate their victory. (Photo: Dan Stein)

On a night when points were hard to come by for the host team, ETHS girls basketball assistant coach Travis Ransom rallied the Wildkits to a 45-34 victory over Glenbrook North in the second half of the Class 4A regional title game at Beardsley Gymnasium.


In case you missed any of the most important news, here’s a roundup of the top stories from the RoundTable this past week.

City News

COVID-19 update: If metrics continue to improve, city plans to drop mask and vaccine mandates. Daily COVID-19 cases in Illinois declined from a seven-day average of 32,501 on Jan. 12 to a seven-day average of 3,299 on Feb. 17, down 90%.

For now, though, mask-wearing requirements continue, and there are more free federal KN95 masks available in Evanston. The KN95 masks will be distributed Wednesday, Feb. 23 at the Levy Senior Center, Public Library main branch, Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center and the Police Department.

The EPD “Transparency Hub” shows the race/ethnicity of those involved in use-of-force incidents.

Evanston police website offers data on use of force, crime statistics and more. The new “Transparency Hub” features community engagement resources, a diversity dashboard, crime statistics and data on use of force by Evanston police officers. 

AMC is one of several new Church Street Plaza tenants. (RoundTable photo) Credit: RoundTable file photo

AMC confirms plan to bring movies back to Evanston later this year. AMC Evanston 12 and a MacGuffins bar are coming to Church Street Plaza, the movie theater chain says.

The Butcher Boy site is seen in 2007. (Cook County Assessor)

Music school might get reprieve as city considers revised plan. The Butcher Boy School of Music Production might not be on the chopping block after all.

Evanston Hospital (Photo by Evan Girard) Credit: Evan Girard

Council allocates $200,000 to workforce development program with NorthShore Health System. In a discussion that at times turned testy, council members voted 5-4 to approve the funds.

Evanston officials discuss setting up ‘one-stop shop’ to address housing needs. A single point of contact could let Evanston residents more easily access affordable housing resources, climate-resilient property improvements and other basic housing needs.

False report of knife-wielding man near Hinman and Davis briefly disrupts schools. Police officers Tuesday afternoon responded to a distress call in the 1600 block of Hinman Avenue, but found no evidence of the alleged incident.

Council adds COVID-19 vaccine/testing mandate for boards, commissions and committees. Members of city panels will be required to be vaccinated or test negative before in-person meetings.


Schools

High Consumer Price Index may pave way for District 65 to address structural deficits through tax hikes. The district’s latest projections provide a much more favorable picture than six months ago, and may underestimate the surplus and overestimate the deficits.

Evanston Township High School. (Photo by Adina Keeling) Credit: Adina Keeling

15 ETHS students are named National Merit Finalists. The National Merit Scholarship Corp. has determined which of the Semifinalists are advancing to Finalist standing.

Joseph E. Hill Education Center. (Photo by Adina Keeling) Credit: Adina Keeling

District 65 considers $189 million plan to upgrade almost every school building. Evanston/Skokie School District 65 is considering a complete overhaul of its facilities.

(Photo courtesy Black Brown + Breathing Facebook page)

Helping students take a deep breath during challenging times. Black Brown + Breathing, a grassroots organization, “hosts socially distanced, healing-centered activations” at ETHS and elsewhere.


Art & Life

Evanston historians win national award for work documenting city’s history of racial discrimination. Morris “Dino” Robinson Jr., Founder and Executive Director of Shorefront Legacy Center, and Jenny Thompson, Director of Education at the Evanston History Center, are honored.

Nonku Adumetey with her two books (Photo provided)

Nonku Adumetey’s new book focuses on authenticity, empowerment. Cloaked in playful imagery and colorful illustrations, local author Adumetey’s new book pushes children to pursue their passions, express their thoughts and assert their opinions.

Mandarin cranberry preserves. (Photo provided)

Pastry chef’s One Last Bite preserves are works of art. Julie Corbier de Lara, one of the pastry chefs at Beth’s Little Bake Shop, began baking treats at a young age with her Easy Bake oven.

Black History Month: Video series honors Black women who helped build America. A video series at Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre highlights the contributions and influence of Black women.

National journalists weigh in on representation in newsrooms. Executives from major outlets spoke at the panel, “Does the News Represent Us? The State of Journalism from Those Who Shape It.”

Rank and File | ETHS takes third place at state chess finals. The ETHS Chess Team won a hard-to-get Illinois High School Association trophy by finishing third out of 126 teams.

Evanston Arts Council opens applications for $195,000 in grant programs. Applications are now open for two arts grant programs.

The Albion Evanston. (Photo: Ellen Galland)

A sinuous sculpture and kinetic metal ‘wall’ enliven public park at Albion. The piece, named Amalga, is made of steel, dense foam and fiberglass, with mosaic tiles applied to its curving indentations.

Evanston Water Utility. (RoundTable photo) Credit: RoundTable Photo

The Lighthouse Keeper sees … that the city has identified seven Capital Improvement Projects to Watch in 2022, two of which involve work on significant parts of water infrastructure.

A partial view of Hewn’s bread collection. (Photo provided)

Hewn bakery continues to rise. After almost a decade filled with expansions, moves, a pandemic and multiple awards, Hewn bakery doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

Allison Lavey reads to son Zach. (Photo by Sam Stroozas)

Valentines for pooches and their young companions at Crown library. Evanston families and their pets attended the K-9 Valentine’s Day event Feb. 12 at the Robert Crown Community Center’s branch library, with free books for kids – and milk bone treats for dogs.

Putting names in lights: Charlie Evanson of Neon Design. In the latest episode of “People You Should Know,” Evanson talks about his business, Neon Design.


Ice crystals outside Jenny’s window. (Photo credit: Jenny Heckathorne)

The week in photos: Feb. 7-14. Icy Evanston may not be comfortable, but it’s certainly photogenic in these stunning photos snapped and submitted by some of our readers.

She knows she’s busted. Dear Gabby, Last summer, my camp counselor told us that she couldn’t find her sweatshirt – an iconic, very cool sweatshirt that everyone sort of coveted. Last week I saw one of my cabin mates wear it to high school!

Theater review: ‘Something Rotten!’ is exactly what we need right now. The premise of the show is a rivalry between two playwrights in 1595 London.


Public Square

An open letter to District 202: Please, no metal detectors. I am writing to you to provide an alternative parental perspective from “Evanston For Safe Schools.” 

Letter to the editor: ETHS students can adapt to metal detectors. I am writing to you as a tired, retired literacy teacher. I am tired of state testing guidelines changing every three years.

The reverse of the Lincoln cent displays “E Pluribus Unum.”

Charles Wilkinson: E Pluribus … What?  It’s vitally important to consider the lessons we need to learn from COVID’s devastation.

Peggy Tarr: Civil and Right. I became familiar with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when I experienced racial discrimination as an employee, our columnist recalls.

Barbara J. Zimmer, activist and school board member, 1933-2021. Barbara Jean Malone Zimmer, age 88, died peacefully on Dec. 13 in St. Paul, Minn. Barbara was born in Portland, Maine, on Feb. 5, 1933. She and her husband moved to Evanston in 1964 and lived there for more than half a century.


Sports

ETHS boys swimming: Wildkits send 12 individuals, 3 relays to state. The Wildkits scored a sectional team championship and secured qualifying spots for all three relay teams and 12 individuals for next weekend’s state finals.

ETHS boys basketball: Kits conclude regular season with 58-43 crossover win. Evanston’s defense showed that it was playoff-ready Tuesday night in Highland Park. So did senior center Jack Tully.

ETHS girls basketball: Wildkits press past Niles West in regional debut. Coach Brittanny Johnson’s squad harassed Niles West into a staggering 29 turnovers, more than enough to allow the hosts to ease to a 48-19 victory.

ETHS wrestling: Flores, Ramirez write first chapter in girls mat history. Junior Ariana Flores and senior Alize Ramirez earned the right to represent the Orange and Blue at the first-ever Illinois High School Association girls wrestling state finals.

ETHS boys wrestling: Wildkits bow out at Barrington Sectional. Three Evanston wrestlers just missed qualifying for the Illinois High School Association state finals at the Barrington Sectional tournament.

ETHS girls bowling: Summers qualifies for state tourney. Raivyn Summers became the first female bowler in program history to qualify for the Illinois High School Association state tournament.


Become a member!

We look to you, our most loyal readers, to support our mission to report news that strengthens and enlightens our community, encourages civic engagement and bolsters our democracy.  

More than 90% of our budget comes from donations from readers like you, and almost all of our expenses in 2021 were news gathering, reporting and publishing.

Many of you have made a financial gift to the RoundTable in the past year and we are so grateful for your support. If you have not yet done so, please consider joining this community of supporters!    


Thank you to our recent supporters:

Sheryl Bartol, Alexa Bezjian-Avery, Suzanne and Bob Calder, Tommy Clancy, Donna Davies, Linda Gartz, Sue and Howard Gartzman, Marla Green, Scott Hallen, Lester Jacobson, Kelly McCabe, Thomas Merkle, Irving Miller, John J. Mohr, Katherine O’Connor, Angela Platt, Tracy Quattrocki, Amy Ravi, Hallie Rehwaldt, and Robert and Diane Teska.

Adina Keeling

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...