Good Friday morning, Evanston!

It may be a bit cloudy out there today, according to the National Weather Service. But not to worry, as it looks like it will only get worse with a 40% chance of thunderstorms later today. Which means, while a smile may be a great umbrella, you might also want the real thing with you. Now, on to the news.

At age 98, Mike Nussbaum is the oldest (and still, perhaps, one of the best) working actors in the Actors’ Equity Association. His memory is sharp and he can still memorize his lines. Though he said he’s hesitant to navigate moving around a stage, reading a play from a chair is an ideal alternative, especially a play written for him by famed playwright David Mamet. 

About 75 residents at Avidor, a senior apartment complex at 1727 Oak Ave., were treated to a private performance by Nussbaum and his longtime friend B.J. Jones, Artistic Director of Northlight Theatre, as the theater company looks to establish relationships with its new Evanston neighbors. The two accomplished actors read Pilot’s Lounge, a 12-minute, two-person play inspired by a story Nussbaum shared with Mamet years ago.

The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 254 for the week ending June 8, 4% lower than the week ending June 2. The number of new cases in the state increased by about 4%, but hospitalizations declined.

Cook County, including Chicago, is in the “high” community risk level. Lake, McHenry, DuPage and Will counties are also in the high community risk level. City officials say Evanston is in the “medium” community risk level.

However, researchers estimate the actual number of new cases is some six or seven times higher than those being reported because many people are not reporting positive home tests.

Join the RoundTable at the Farmers’ Market. This Saturday, June 11, the Evanston RoundTable will be out among the vegetables, flowers, fruits, foods and all the amazing vendors at the Downtown Evanston Outdoor Farmers’ Market. We’ll be at a table from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. waiting to talk with you!

COVID-19 by the numbers: 33 cases were reported on Wednesday, June 8, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 36.3 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Ted Muller at his ETHS graduation.

Ted Fund celebrates 25 years of sending Evanston kids to summer camp. Named in honor of the late Ted Muller, an ETHS graduate and former District 65 teacher, the Ted Muller Camp Scholarship Fund partners with District 65 social workers at each school to identify students to fill what now add up to 160 slots for low-income Evanston students to attend camp for free.

City might help ease switch to electric-powered leaf blowers. With gas-powered leaf blowers on their way out, city officials are moving forward with a financial-assistance program to support the transition by Evanston-based landscape companies to electric-powered machines.

At This Time: Thursday at 4:46 p.m. It’s a porch summer so far for Delante Walker and his children Elijah, 5, and Desire, 3. “It’s a good place to enjoy the outside,” said Delante. “You see your neighbors and soak up some sun.” He wants to teach games to his kids, but they prefer playing with toys on their Jackson Avenue stoop near Foster Street.

Come ‘Home’ Children of the Land. If home is where the heart is, Fleetwood-Jordain’s production of Home found and completely claimed mine, our reviewer writes. The story touches the soul, but it’s the performances that make the on-stage magic. 

Letter to the Editor: Critical framework for choosing a city manager. “It is wrong that Evanston turns a blind eye to the systems that prevent families from prospering for generations, while we allow concerns about recreation, esthetics, leisure, convenience for the privileged and landscaping to take up the time and energy of our governmental systems,” Michelle Hays of Back on Their Feet Evanston writes.

The Weekender: The RoundTable Roundup for June 10-12. Nothing says summer like outdoor concerts! The Levy Center’s Jamming Jean Concert Series will kick-off this Friday with the popular band Suite Mollie in James Park. A little further east, the Main-Dempster Mile Association will present its first outdoor concert of the season with another fan favorite, Chicken Bone.

City will recognize Juneteenth with parade and commemoration on June 18. In partnership with Evanston Present and Future, the City of Evanston will honor Juneteenth with a parade and commemoration on Saturday, June 18. Juneteenth, also referred to as Emancipation Day, Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, marks the end of slavery in the U.S. and is observed annually on June 19.

Letter to the Editor: Is ranked-choice voting what Evanston needs? “By all means explore ranked-choice voting for Evanston. But expand the conversation beyond the borders of Howard Street and Linden Avenue,” John Opdycke writes in the RoundTable.

City provides free meals for youth through the Summer Food Program. Beginning this Monday, June 13, the City of Evanston’s Parks and Recreation Department will provide free cold breakfasts and lunches to youth ages 1 to 18 at six locations throughout Evanston as part of the Summer Food Program. The program will run through Aug. 12.

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Around the web

Key questions the Jan. 6 committee will tackle in its hearings. Representatives in Congress conducted the first of six hearings investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Thursday night, which was broadcast live to the nation on news networks. Some of the most significant questions that lawmakers are expected to focus on include what members of the Trump family and cabinet were doing and saying while a far-right mob stormed the Capitol.

Support for gun rights has eroded after nearly a decade of mass shootings, poll shows. Six out of 10 Americans think it is more important to control gun violence than protect gun rights, a significant rise over the last decade evident in the latest PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll, as mass shootings continue to erupt across the U.S.

Most Americans expect inflation to get worse, poll finds. Almost 90% of Americans say that inflation has impacted their everyday lives, with 60% reporting driving less and cutting back on electricity and eating out, for example. Over a third of the nation described the current inflation crisis as a major financial problem for their households.

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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...