Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

There was a difficult discussion last night in the Fifth Ward about the future of the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center as school and city officials came to the center to talk about plans for a Fifth Ward school and its campus. Architecture firm Cordogan Clark presented preliminary designs for four options. More than 150 people were there and many got passionate as they questioned community leaders.

While on the topic of schools: The RoundTable has been looking into the reported demise of the Illinois Middle School Debate League and found good news – there is a new middle school debate league. But though all schools in the old league were invited to join, District 65 has declined, saying it will suspend debate this year and start an in-house program next year. Now, on to more news.

Credit: Manan Bhavnani

Last night, the city’s Preservation Commission unanimously adopted a new plan, replacing one from 1981. The nearly 18-year timeline sets out historic preservation and community engagement goals. The plan is tied to the city’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan, affordable housing program and economic development efforts.

Credit: Alex Harrison

Last night, Northwestern hosted a discussion intended to focus on the planned parks outside the proposed new Ryan Field. But comments from residents focused on neighborhood concerns, particularly the impact of concerts and alcohol sales. Northwestern administrators said 12 concerts a year would be necessary to make the stadium financially sustainable.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 14 new cases and no new deaths were reported Monday, Dec. 5, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 24.57 cases per day.

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The perfect holiday gift for any Evanstonian: Encountering Evanston History, a book benefiting the Evanston RoundTable Media not-for-profit, features 75 stories from 18 authors. Find out more at the book’s official website.

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Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Workers at a local Starbucks store joined a national movement and a contentious fight as they filed a petition to unionize. “We’re doing this because we’re severely understaffed,” said Hannah Anderson, a barista at the 519 Main St. store. In a statement, Starbucks defended its commitment to employees.

Credit: Julie Windsor Mitchell

From his first ride, columnist Les Jacobson was drawn to trains: “… the impatient automobiles behind the merry dinging gates and the sound of the train whistle, plangent and insistent – that drew me like a fly to a light.” Read about his rail love.

Credit: Michael Kellams/

The ETHS boys basketball team scored its seventh straight win on Tuesday, this time with a 46-30 victory over La Lumiere School from La Porte, Ind. The win was against the Lakers’ “Blue” team, not their top squad. But coach Mike Ellis had no problem finding pluses for the undefeated Wildkits.

Credit: Jack Weiss

If Evanstonians want to establish a Northwest Evanston Historic District, the community should fully understand the facts about historic districts, writes columnist Jack Weiss of Design Evanston. He explains more about the city’s five National Register Historic Districts.

The city’s Reparations Committee has extended the deadline of its art contest. Evanston youth are encouraged to respond to the question, “What comes to mind when you think of reparations?” Participate by submitting art in any form for a chance to win $200.

Credit: Lake Street Church of Evanston

The Lake Street Church of Evanston, 607 Lake St., invites the public to its festive annual Christmas concert at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 18. The chancel choir, guest musicians and orchestra will perform the Czech Christmas Mass by Jakub Jan Ryba.

Picturing Evanston. Careful: the handrail at Grace Lutheran Church on South Boulevard and Wesley Avenue is alive. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

Illinois lawmakers are exploring a ban on the sale and ownership of assault weapons in the state with the “Protect Illinois Communities Act. Rep. Bob Morgan, an eyewitness to the Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park, is the chief sponsor of the bill.

Zeta Tau Alpha’s Northwestern chapter, which began in 1923, is shutting down at the end of Fall Quarter. Its closure comes just a year before its would-be centennial. 

The CTA Will Give New Hires $1,000 Signing Bonus In Hopes of Filling ‘Severe’ Workforce Shortage. Transit agency leaders hope hiring bonuses, higher starting salaries and raises for staying on the job will entice desperately needed employees.

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Susy Schultz

Susy Schultz is the editor of the Evanston Roundtable. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and is the former president of Public Narrative, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching journalists and...