Credit: Debbie-Marie Brown

Happy Friday, Evanston.

It’s another busy weekend here with events across the city. The Out of Space concert series at Canal Shores Golf Course kicked off last night, and continues all weekend with performances by Elvis Costello and Lucinda Williams. Plus, the Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market will be up and running all morning on Saturday and the latest installment of Starlight Movies in the Park is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at Larimer Park. Enjoy. And now on to today’s top stories.

RoundTable reporter Debbie-Marie Brown caught up with Louis Weathers, pictured above on his front porch, an 87-year-old lifelong Evanstonian and one of the first 16 recipients of a $25,000 grant through Evanston’s Local Reparations Restorative Housing Program. His parents came to Evanston and in 1932 bought the home he lives still lives in. Three years later, Weathers was born in Chicago’s Cook County Hospital because Evanston Hospital would not accept Black mothers.

The Evanston Police Department announced it is temporarily reassigning five members – four officers and a sergeant from the Community Policing Unit – to active patrol for at least the next 60 days. The move “is necessary due to the continued staffing shortages faced by the Department,” the release said. In the meantime, EPD also said community engagement programs and educational materials posted on social media will decrease as it reduces its community policing staff.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Small Landlord Taskforce opens Landlord Assistance Program survey. The city is asking local landlords to complete a five-question survey “that will provide context and data to the [Housing & Community Development] Committee to develop a Landlord Assistance Program for consideration by City Council,” according to a news release.

COVID-19 update as of Aug. 4: Cook County stays in ‘high’ community risk level, Evanston in the ‘medium’ risk level. The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 163 for the week ending Aug. 3, compared to 185 for the week ending July 28, a decrease of 12%. The seven-day average of new cases in the state also decreased by 12%; hospitalizations declined by 4%.

City Government 101: The many departments that police Evanston. A wide variety of departments at every level – local, county, regional, state and federal – have a hand in the city’s law enforcement operations. Here is a rundown of the nine primary police departments and organizations active in Evanston.

U.S. joins Illinois in declaring monkeypox a public health emergency. Just three days after Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared the state’s monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra followed suit, declaring the virus a national emergency during a Thursday news conference. 

Letter to the editor: Thank you, city staff. “Dozens (hundreds?) of dedicated professionals are getting up every morning and heading to the office to run the city. With numerous positions unfilled, everyone has to pick up the slack,” Svetlana Bekman writes in the RoundTable.

At This Time: Thursday at 7:04 p.m. Jamie Horn and Steve LaKind take in the Out of Space concert standing as they watch Trampled by Turtles open this year’s series at Canal Shores Golf Course. They came for the headliner. “I’ve been a big Jenny Lewis fan for a long time,” LaKind said. “She’s melodic and fun and a little edgy.” Out of Space presents three more concerts this weekend and four concerts at Temperance Beer Co. next month. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

ASAPI stories told through art at Evanston Art Center. Local artists who identify as Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander are featured in Kitchen Table Stories, the first ASAPI exhibition at the Evanston Art Center, running through Aug. 21 in the gallery at 1717 Central St.

Rank and File | Nepomniachtchi and Ding will play to succeed Carlsen as World Chess Champion. With World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s recently announced retirement, the next move belongs to Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren to determine the new world chess champion. In the recent Candidates Tournament, “Nepo” and Ding opened play with a game that suited Nepo’s playing style better than Ding’s.

Credit: Photo submitted

There are still outdoor exercise classes to take but play it safe. Designed to encourage physical activity and community wellbeing by providing greater access to fitness offerings in public spaces, these outdoor classes are meant to appeal to all ages.

Picturing Evanston. Adventure awaits any child ready to let their imagination free rein at Penny Park’s fantastical wooden structures on Lake Street and Ashland Avenue. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

Illinois is reducing sales tax on school supplies for the next 10 days. Starting today, Illinois families and teachers will have the chance to save money on school supplies during a statewide tax holiday from Aug. 5-14, the first tax break of its kind in over a decade. During the 10-day period, the state sales tax on school supplies and other school items will drop from 6.25% to 1.25%.

City Claims On Anti-Violence Program Are Overblown. An investigation by the Better Government Association revealed a new office created by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to curb violence has often overstated its accomplishments and its effectiveness. The Community Safety Coordination Center has an $8 million budget for marketing and communications alone, and a leader with a history of hyperbole.

In the heart of gay Chicago, worry that monkeypox is creeping ‘closer’. With Market Days, the largest street festival in the Midwest that draws large crowds from the LGBTQ community, coming up this weekend, WBEZ Chicago talked to men in the Northalsted neighborhood about their fears of monkeypox transmission, the stigmatization of sex for gay men and frustrations over the public health response.

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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...