Credit: Susy Schultz

Good Sunday morning, Evanston!

The Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market was gone with the wind Saturday. Or at least, it was the final market of the season, and it was very blustery. In the photo above by the RoundTable’s Susy Schultz, Dimitra Gianes, of Rogers Park, shops for winter squash from Geneva Lakes Produce.

Welcome back to Central Standard Time; clocks moved back an hour at 2 a.m. this morning. More time for local news – we’ll begin with the top 10 stories of last week:

City workers allege racism: More than 30 Black city employees from at least 11 departments reported racial discrimination in an explosive 39-page document. The group offered 20 solutions; a Human Resources department audit tops the list.

Albany Care: The psychiatric rehab center near Grey Park had been prohibited by the state from accepting new residents. That probation recently ended. The center has plans to be a better neighbor, in part by adding a second-floor smoking area to discourage residents from smoking in the park.

Credit: Chelsea Matson Photography

They Do: Maggie Krause and Connor Allen bonded over math equations at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. And things have added up for them ever since.

Credit: Audrey Thompson

Parks and Recreation: After a scathing report found sexism, abuse and harassment among Evanston’s lakefront employees, this summer was transformative. Part one of a two-part series from reporter Duncan Agnew looks at the new Parks and Recreation leadership and changes to the lifeguard program.

Credit: Gina Castro

Meet the chief: The Evanston Police Department’s new Chief of Police Schenita Stewart made history her first day on the job. The Evanston native sat down with the RoundTable to discuss her top priorities.

District report card: At Evanston Township High School, RoundTable analysis found that ETHS’ graduation rate is up but racial opportunity gaps persist, even widening, while test scores fall. At District 65, many students, particularly Black and Hispanic students, are not on track for college and career readiness.

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

Redistricting dilemmas: The city is drawing new ward boundaries, but it’s more daunting than anticipated. The nine wards need to be equal in population, and the Redistricting Committee wants to keep three wards as majority-minority districts.

Evanston Rules: Ben and Melissa Blount moved to Evanston with their young child less than a decade ago. The Evanston Rules podcast talks with them about family, art, activism, taking chances and what it looks like to show up and make a difference.

Credit: Evan Girard

Memorable MashUp: The gala at the Autobarn was packed with hundreds of people eating, drinking and celebrating some of the city’s most creative, kind, generous and entrepreneurial people. And yes, that’s the mayor juggling flaming torches.

Credit: Northwestern University rendering

New Ryan Field: Northwestern University released its timetable for the $800 million stadium project Thursday at a special Seventh Ward meeting. But neighbors had questions about the school’s plans for concerts and a liquor license.


Support the Evanston RoundTable

Credit: Michael Benabib

Please join us for an online conversation about the threats facing journalism and democracy. Margaret Sullivan, former media critic of The Washington Post and public editor of The New York Times, will be interviewed by RoundTable Editor Susy Schultz in a webinar at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. This event kicks off our fall NewsMatch fundraising campaign – a chance for the community to support our work as Evanston’s nonprofit news source.


City News

Evanston’s City Council members held several public budget discussions. On Tuesday, First Ward Council Member Clare Kelly hosted a meeting with police and fire officials, who urged the city to fully fund its pension plans.

Meanwhile, at a combined Sixth, Seventh and Ninth ward meeting on Tuesday, Council Member Juan Geracaris, 9th Ward, said a proposed city property tax hike has been taken off the table. But the Library Board’s tax levy is separate.

Credit: Annabelle Dowd

At a virtual First Ward meeting, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, above, offered reassurance for those worried about rising property values and tax bills: “If everyone’s value is going up by 30%, your share of the burden may not change at all.”

The Reparations Committee wants to use the city’s graduated real estate transfer tax to fund reparations. Though this would tap an existing revenue stream, not impose a new tax, it took steps to safeguard the program from court challenges.

Credit: Wendi Kromash

Two Access Evanston bus tours took participants across the city, pointing out resources, success stories and pain points for the 18,000 Evanstonians with disabilities. Advocates see signs of progress, and more work to be done.


Business

Demolition work on the Home of the Whopper at Orrington Avenue and Clark Street began as Burger King got the ultimate to-go order. After the rubble is cleared, here’s a look at what’s coming to the corner site.

Credit: Isabelle Reiniger

In the latest Minding Our Own Businesses, columnist Isabelle Reiniger profiles two new enterprises. Shower Blooms is a sweet-smelling storefront on Central Street. The other venture is a Kickstarter project of former Northwestern students.


Public Safety and Health

With winter nearly upon us, the CDC is encouraging everyone eligible to get their COVID-19 booster and flu shots. Here’s what you need to know about the latest pandemic news and local trends.


Schools

Applications to District 65’s magnet schools are down, and officials are looking for ways to improve student recruitment and programming at King Arts and Bessie Rhodes, Evanston’s two magnet schools.

Garrett-Evangelical Seminary, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus, has formed an Indigenous Study Committee to examine its historical relationship with Native peoples and learn from Indigenous theological perspectives.

Credit: Libby Hill

All those modern glass buildings on Northwestern’s campus take a heavy toll on the bird population, nature activists say. A group of Northwestern students is petitioning the university to add bird-safety measures. They want you to sign up too.


Art & Life

Credit: Wendi Kromash

There were a lot of squished squash Saturday, but all the pumpkins and gourds collected behind the Morton Civic Center will be donated to a composting facility and most likely fed to farm animals. 

Credit: Christian Surtz

There is so much going on at the Robert Crown Community Center that it is very likely you have no idea just how much is going on there. “A Day in the Life of the Robert Crown Community Center” on Oct. 29 gave people a taste.

Credit: Yancy Hughes

An incident involving a biracial son exposes complicated emotions between two parents and tensions with the police in American Son. Critic Cissy Lacks says the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre play is a powerful, provocative experience.

Credit: Justin Barbin / Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts

Me … Jane, a musical look at Jane Goodall’s childhood, is a partnership between District 65 and Northwestern’s Imagine U, a producer of theater for young people. One capsule review: “This is the best show I’ve seen in all my nine years!”

Credit: Del Ryan

Betsy Uzzell was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a year old, and developed a stutter. To advocate for her son, who is deaf, she embraced “what I thought were my greatest weaknesses to change hearts.” She was honored by the Boy Scouts.

Credit: Submitted

Nancy ‘Nan’ Anderson: 1935-2022. Anderson, a former Evanston YWCA executive director and recipient of the Governor’s Award for Unique Achievement in recognition of her community service and concern for Illinois seniors, died Oct. 9.


Public Square

Letter to the editor: D65 must promote equity but maintain accountability. “My son’s second-grade class at Lincoln Elementary has 16 students in a classroom which once held almost 30. I appreciate the small class sizes, but this is a financial time bomb,” Third Ward resident Tom Hayden writes.

What to do about the rise of antisemitism? Evanston’s example of Black and Jewish unity could be a model, the Rev. Michael Nabors writes.

In honor of teachers: Third generation Evanston educator Simone Larson writes about the power of a great teacher, and why we remember them even decades later.

Credit: RoundTable file photo

College vs. career readiness? It’s time for Evanston to forget the “college for all” myth, writes Shelley Gates, the former longtime head of ETHS’ Career and Technical Education department.

Credit: Evanston Police Department

Do you go to “the Jewel”? Eat “a Loretta”? Then columnist Nancy E. Anderson’s survey of the quirks of local language is for you. Actually, it’s for the whole city, from the peak of “Mount Trashmore” to the exotic wilds of “Skevanston.”

A wedding ring can unite two people, or sometimes it can divide a family. Our advice columnist Gabby weighs in when relatives are divided over an heirloom’s fate.


Sports

Credit: ETHS

The Evanston Township High School girls swim team scored a surprise and took home second place at the Central Suburban League South division championship meet.


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Gina Castro

Gina Castro is a Racial Justice fellow for the Evanston RoundTable. She recently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she studied investigative...