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Evanston RoundTable

Good Friday morning, Evanston.

Local bookseller Bookends & Beginnings has cracked open a new chapter on Orrington Avenue. “This is my dream bookstore,” owner Nina Barrett (above) told photographer Richard Cahan on Thursday, the store’s official first day at the new location. Barrett also threw a “soft launch” party Wednesday night for donors who helped the store after a rent hike led to its departure from the original Bookman’s Alley location.

Now on to the latest news:

A large tree on Northwestern’s campus along Sheridan Road fell over just after noon on Thursday, injuring four university staff members; three were sent to the hospital. According to the Evanston Fire Department, one was in critical condition and two were in serious condition. The cleanup is continuing today. A spokesperson said Northwestern “is working with an arborist to determine what caused the tree to fall, and if other trees in the area are potentially compromised.”

With Artists Book House officially vacating the historic Harley Clarke mansion on Sheridan Road, four unofficial suitors for the property have emerged. But the Evanston City Council has decisions to make, even as the city negotiates a 40-year lease with the Jens Jensen Gardens of Evanston group for the grounds around the mansion.

Parks and Recreation Director Audrey Thompson addresses residents at Thursday's meeting.
Credit: Duncan Agnew

The city’s Parks and Recreation Board is debating ideas for the resurfacing of 14 tennis courts at four Evanston sites, and pickleball players want their own dedicated courts as part of the project. Can the two sports live together in harmony?

RoundTable weekend roundup

Random of Acts of Kindness Day: Stop by Booked on Main Street between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. today to make a free kindness card to give to a friend or stranger.

Reverón Piano Trio: The Venezuelan ensemble performs Latin-American music at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Nichols Concert Hall. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

Second Ward candidate forum: The League of Women Voters of Evanston hosts candidates Darlene Cannon, Patricia Gregory and Krissie Harris at 1 p.m. Saturday in the council chambers at the Civic Center.

From Behind Closed Doors: Join Chicago a cappella for this 8 p.m. Saturday concert at Nichols Concert Hall.

Community CPR Event: Learn how to perform hands-only CPR from the Evanston Fire Department during one of three one-hour courses Sunday morning at ETHS.

A Lifetime of Music: Take a tour through centuries of music composition with a Northshore Concert Band performance at 3 p.m. Sunday at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

More RoundTable reads

Most residents at a joint First and Fourth Ward meeting Wednesday night opposed Horizon Realty’s plan for a 15-story, mixed-use residential building at 1621-31 Chicago Ave., with 140 residential units. The project’s height was a major concern.

In some good news for downtown Evanston, two more dining options are set to open soon: the vegan Soli Grill at Bat 17 and Thomas & Dutch, which is replacing Farmhouse Evanston.

Weekly Covid update: Evanston and Cook County remained in the CDC’s low risk category, though local hospitalizations rose this week.

Credit: Northwestern University rendering

Letter to the community: A new group of residents, Field of Opportunities, writes that it is supporting Northwestern University’s proposed remake of Ryan Field. “Our concern is that the voices in opposition seem much louder than the thousands who support this sensible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The ETHS boys basketball team celebrated senior night on Tuesday, Feb. 14, with a 65-44 victory over Vernon Hills. The Wildkits face Lake Forest tonight at Beardsley Gym in the last game of the regular season.

Letter from the mayor: Mayor Daniel Biss is calling on all Evanston residents 18 and older to provide their feedback on the city’s local reparations initiative.

Picturing Evanston: Nope, not a Claes Oldenburg, just a stray shopping cart in front of the Robert Crown Community Center on the corner of Main Street and Dodge Avenue. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

Join our team: Do you like to write? Are you curious about the varied and dynamic life of Evanston? The RoundTable seeks feature writers to cover human interest stories and produce profiles about our fair city. If you’d like to write, we’d love to hear from you! Email us at news@evanstonroundtable.com.

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Around the web

Elderly pedestrian hit, critically injured in Evanston, police say. The injured man was taken to St. Francis hospital in critical condition, according to police.

Evanston seeks to fill job vacancies in some city departments. EPD and EFD have started to recover some of their workforce after severe pandemic-era staffing shortages.

‘A great injustice’: Property tax hikes lead to protests, workshops to help homeowners lower bills. Gentrifying Latino neighborhoods saw some of the biggest increases in their last property tax bill.

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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...