Evanston RoundTable

Happy Labor Day, Evanston!

Above, former teachers Eileen Cohn (left), who turns 95 this month, and Nelda Hobbs, 81, share a bench in Raymond Park. “We are talking about what was and what is,” said Cohn. “And how we can help,” adds Hobbs. Cohn taught 45 years at Lincoln School and 15 years as a substitute. Hobbs worked for Chicago Public Schools for 38 years, retiring as principal of Eugene Field School. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Usually this newsletter directs you to the RoundTable’s articles, but here’s a plug for the comment section at the bottom of our stories. The lively but polite discussion you’ll find at the end of many articles serves as the city’s online park bench, where neighbors come together to talk about “what was and what is” as well as “how we can help.” We hope you’ll join the conversation!

Now, on to more stories.

Credit: Gina Castro

Most people today do not associate Labor Day with its history and its origins in strikes and rebellions by organized workers. But many relate it back to their work. New RoundTable reporter Gina Castro asked people at the Evanston Farmers Market on Saturday how they felt about the end-of-summer holiday, and everyone seemed to have the same plans: relax.

Credit: S.L. Stein Pub. Co., Library of Congress

The RoundTable’s presentation of Placemaking, a series to uncover Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander histories in Evanston, continues today with part three. The Evanston History Center’s Jenny Thompson relates the story of Chinese immigrant and Evanston resident Wong Aloy. She traces his work as an interpreter in the Chicago court system, his brush with national fame after surviving an assault and his partnership with journalist and activist Wong Chin Foo. (Click here to read part one, an outline of the overall project, and click here to read part two, the beginning of Wong Aloy’s story.)

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

In his first appearance since he was placed on administrative leave on July 5, Corporation Counsel Nicholas Cummings attended Thursday’s Reparations Committee meeting, providing input on how to administer benefits to the family of deceased Ancestor recipients. The city would not comment further on his leave, saying out was a personnel matter.

COVID-19 by the numbers: Eight new cases and no new deaths were reported Thursday, Sept. 1, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is six cases per day.

Coming tomorrow

On Tuesday look for part one of a two-part series: Evanston’s historic reparations program: A 101 guide. The RoundTable traces the city’s reparations initiative back to its origins, providing a narrative of the events and steps that lead to today’s Restorative Housing Program and the payment of benefits to Ancestors. A graphic timeline will offer links to sources and documents for further reading.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Evan Girard

Evanston Made makes a new pop-up store. Executive Director Lisa Degliantoni (from left), volunteer Anne Wolff and Co-Director Liz Cramer were among those working Friday night to set up the new gallery, at 832 Dempster St., for its opening. The nonprofit will sell pieces from local artists both established and emerging.

Credit: Wendi Kromash

Growing a garden to call home. The Midland Condominium Association, 723 Hinman Ave., is home to 27 families and a vibrant garden. The collection of flowers and foliage will be a featured stop on next year’s Evanston Garden Tour. It’s a labor of love for Stuart Katz and others on the the building’s garden committee.

David Ellis: 1947-2022. For more than 18 years, David Ellis served as General Manager of the Evanston Symphony Orchestra. He knew all of the musicians and all of the ESO’s subscribers, including their concert hall seat numbers. It was a job he threw himself into fully, did exceptionally well and enjoyed immensely. Ellis, 75, died July 26 from heart complications. 

Credit: Olivia Landon

Evanston Made’s First Saturday in September. Inspired by Chicago’s First Fridays, Evanston Made created the First Saturday showcases as a way to keep Evanstonians engaged with programming and art. Now, First Saturday happens at 12 different locations across Evanston, bringing out residents to enjoy local artists’ works and create some art of their own.

ETHS boys soccer: Second-half surge completes comeback. Four second-half goals propelled the Wildkits to a 5-2 victory over Walter Payton Prep on Saturday, earning the team the Evanston Invitational Tournament title for the 10th year in a row. But all three games in the round-robin tournament saw the Kits give up the first goal.

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Around the web

A quick jump into space — and back — for pictures of ‘star stuff.’ On Aug. 21, a NASA-funded team, which includes Northwestern faculty and students, launched the “Micro-X” rocket from White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico. The rocket snapped an image of supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, a star that exploded approximately 11,000 light-years away from Earth.

As 50 more immigrants arrive in Chicago by bus from Texas, Lightfoot asks for donations. Their arrival brings the total number of immigrants bused to Chicago by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott since Wednesday to 125 people. City officials launched a website to accept donations to help the immigrants.

Chicago is (still) a union town. Chicagoans are organizing their workplaces at a rate the city hasn’t seen in more than a decade; So far, in 2022, union election petition filings in Chicago have increased 45% over the same period last year. Starbucks workers filed eight of this year’s 32 petitions.

Illinois families must again prove students need school meals. Some Illinois students will continue to receive free or reduced-price breakfast, lunch and after-school snacks but will have to submit information to see if they qualify. A pandemic-era federal program that allowed all students to receive free school meals has ended.

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Alex Harrison reports on local government, public safety, developments, town-gown relations and more for the RoundTable. He graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in June...