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Evanston RoundTable

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

Anthony Simpson leaves the Morton Civic Center after casting his ballot Wednesday during early voting. Why vote? “I care about the future,” said Simpson, a former Haven Middle School custodian who retired last year. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Early voting for the April 4 consolidated election is underway. Catch up with what’s on your ballot with our Evanston voting guide.

Credit: Matt Simonette

The Evanston Land Use Commission on Wednesday unanimously refused to back changing the city’s Clean Air Ordinance to allow cannabis consumption lounges. The city has received no applications for any lounge, and final authority rests with the City Council. But two additional marijuana businesses are under discussion, including a combined dispensary-bakery at Howard Street and Chicago Avenue.

Credit: Desiree Shannon

A daylong Starbucks strike, part of a coordinated effort across the country, nearly brought business to a standstill Wednesday at the coffee shop on Main Street. The store attempted to stay open as baristas participated in the strike outside. Connor Brennan, a member of the store’s labor committee, said the store closed hours earlier than usual. Local Starbucks managers declined to comment.

Credit: Gina Castro

The city’s Housing and Community Development Committee voted to move forward on three proposed affordable housing ordinances suggested by the Equity and Empowerment Commission. One of the ideas, to require owners to maintain the original unit counts of buildings with two to four units, received some pushback. Commission Chair Karla Thomas presented the recommendations Tuesday and addressed a decision in her past: Ten years ago, she converted her home from a two-flat to a single-family home, a decision the commission now seeks to ban.

COVID-19 by the numbers: Four new cases and no new deaths were reported Tuesday, March 21, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 9.86 cases per day.

More RoundTable reads

Credit: Heidi Randhava

The Chessmen Club of the North Shore’s 65th Anniversary and Community Service Awards Gala on Saturday celebrated the group’s long history of investing in youth, assisting vulnerable seniors and honoring community service leaders.

Credit: Evan Girard

The RoundTable is thrilled to announce its participation in the second annual Advancing Democracy Fellowship. Twenty newsrooms across the country will participate in training to shift the news narrative from problems to potential solutions identified by local communities.

Credit: Composite image

Five unions representing teachers and staff at Evanston/Skokie School District 65 have endorsed three candidates of the five running for the school board. Sergio Hernandez, Mya Wilkins and Omar Salem received the unions’ nod.

Credit: RoundTable file photo

The city’s Finance and Budget Committee wants to pay for $17.7 million in capital improvement projects by issuing long-term bonds, despite some members’ reservations. Committee members voted 6-2 on Tuesday to support the staff resolution, which now goes to the full City Council.

Credit: Laine Hoffman

Tens of thousands of birds have been injured or killed over the past 10 years in Evanston after flying into windows. Leslie Shad, an organizing member of Bird-Friendly Evanston, shares ways to stop birds from hitting your windows.

Credit: Duncan Agnew

Wheels are in motion for modernization of the CTA’s Red and Purple lines, including the Evanston stretch between Howard and Linden stations. The work will make all Purple Line stations accessible and able to accommodate eight-car trains.

Credit: Brandon Brokowski Twitter

ETHS senior Brandon Brokowski, in his third season as Evanston’s starting catcher, led the Wildkits to their first win of the spring on Wednesday, a 10-2 triumph over Payton Prep.

Credit: Chicago Jewish Funerals

Howard S. Ellegant, 1942-2023: Ellegant died March 16. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia, worked for the Army Corps of Engineers for 16 years and was a member of the Society of American Value Engineers College of Fellows.

Credit: Oakton College

Oakton College recently allocated its remaining federal institutional COVID-19 funds, about $920,000, to forgive outstanding balances incurred by Oakton students during the pandemic. Nearly 1,200 students had an average of $689 relieved.

Picture perfect: Send your photos of people, places and events around town to news@evanstonroundtable.com for a chance to be included in this newsletter.

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Around the web

Abandoned guinea pig found in Evanston park; its name is Macchiato. Animal control warden Caitlin Schulien located the guinea pig in Mason Park; the apparently abandoned animal is now at Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital.

Princeton’s Blake Peters is the most interesting man in the NCAA Tournament. The Evanston grad plays classical guitar and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese – and by the way, his team plays Creighton in the Sweet 16 on Friday.

Illinois House passes bill prohibiting libraries from banning books due to partisan pressure. House Bill 2789 is in response to the pressure from politicians to limit books about race, gender identity and sexuality.

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Gina Castro

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