Evanston RoundTable

Good morning, Evanston.

In case you missed any of the most important news last week, here’s a roundup of the top stories from the RoundTable this past week.

City News

Library Board Members Call for Roadmap to Chart Library’s Journey to Recovery. Evanston Public Library officials have been lifting restrictions and carefully returning services to the City’s libraries as the area recovers from COVID-19. At the April 21 Library Board meeting, some trustees spoke about speeding up the process and called for a roadmap to chart progress.

Changes to Leaf Blower Ordinance Proceed at City Council. Changes to the City’s leaf blower ordinance – including reducing the days and times leaf-blowers can be used and holding property owners responsible for violations – moved a step closer to passage at the April 26 City Council meeting.

Alderman,’ ‘Alderperson,’ ‘Council Member’ – Next Evanston City Council May Move to More Gender-Neutral Titles. The next Evanston City Council may not only see a change in who’s filling the seats, but also in the title by which aldermen – er, alderpersons –  are addressed.

COVID-19 Update on April 30: ­­­­­­­­­Eleven New Cases in Evanston, 3,207 in the State. The Illinois Department of Public Health has not yet determined that the State meets the criteria to move to the “Bridge” phase, which is the first step to getting to Phase 5 of the State’s Reopening Plan, the new normal.

Cook County Clerk Certifies Election Results Confirming Kelly Winner of First Ward Aldermanic Seat. First-time candidate Clare Kelly is the official winner in Evanston’s First Ward Aldermanic race, defeating longtime incumbent Alderman Judy Fiske by 26 votes.

City to Move Forward With a Study That Will Evaluate the Potential Relocation of the Civic Center. City Council members approved a resolution at their April 26 meeting that will begin the process of evaluating the costs and feasibility of relocating the Civic Center and consolidating several City functions.

City Approves Partnership Agreement with Northwestern to Give University Wide Use of Robert Crown Community Center. Northwestern University’s Club Hockey and Synchronized Skating teams as well as the school’s students and faculty will be given wide access to the City’s new $54 million Robert Crown Community under an agreement that some aldermen and residents maintained contained hazy details.


District 65 Announces Members of Student Assignment Advisory Committee. The Student Assignment Project, which may result in redrawing attendance areas and establishing a new school in the Fifth Ward, is “well underway,” said Sarita Smith, District 65 Manager of Student Assignments, in an April 25 memo to the School Board. One key step in the process is that members of a Student Assignment Advisory Committee have been selected.

District 65’s General Plan for the 2021-22 School Year, Detailed Plan to Be Presented in May. At the April 26 School Board meeting, District 65 administrators laid out the broad parameters of a plan to provide all students an opportunity to attend school for in-person learning in the 2021-2022 school year, and to provide an option for remote learning.

Firmer Discussions About an Oakton Community College Satellite in Evanston. The City of Evanston and Oakton Community College are discussing the possibility of building an Oakton satellite campus in Evanston.

Arts & Life

Evanston Dimensions | Ask the Historians. After our last column, a RoundTable reader submitted the following question for historians at the Evanston History Center: “We moved to Evanston in 1970. There was a hotel/rooming house on the south side of Main Street, on the southwest corner of Forest, across from Lincoln School. It had a front porch and a beauty salon and a restaurant and reception desk in the lobby. And I recall an old creaky elevator. We stayed there for several weeks in 1972 between apartments. Mostly older people lived there. When was it built and I do not recall when it was torn down? I think it was called Evanston Inn.”

Green Matters. People in Evanston report higher levels of asthma than in the rest of the State of Illinois. Inappropriate items in recycling bins endanger workers at the recycling facility. With a wink, parents can have spinach added to their child’s smoothie at 4 Suns. These are just a few of the takeaways from Earth Week for Everyone, organized by Citizens’ Greener Evanston last week.

Children’s book author Juleya Woodson (Submitted photo)

New Children’s Book by Local Author Celebrates Cultural Differences. Juleya Woodson drew on the anxiety she felt in the chaotic wake of the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor killings to do something she had always wanted to do: She wrote a book.

Mask or No Mask? As President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris close the chapter on their first 100 days in office, the President outlined new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on masks in advance of his address to a joint session of Congress on April 28. The President acknowledged that “we still have a long way to go in this fight” against the virus that causes COVID-19, but he also noted that cases and deaths are down dramatically from when he took office on Jan. 20.

In the Throes of a New Relationship, We’re All Idiots. Dear Gabby, My 50-year-old friend – let’s call her Susan – has recently started a new relationship after several years of singledom following a difficult divorce. I’m a little concerned about the dynamic I observed in Susan and this new person.

Vivian Killebrew in her shop, Stepping Out on Faith (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Shop Owner Vivian Killebrew Is Stepping Out on Faith. Vivian Killebrew always dreamed of owning her own shop. When her husband fell sick, he urged her to follow through with the dream. “You gotta step out on faith,” he told her.  On Oct. 16, 2009, 10 months after her husband’s death, Ms. Killebrew’s shop opened its doors for the first time. Located at 1632 Orrington Ave., her store, Stepping Out on Faith, sells clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories for men and women.

Jill Wine-Banks, Author of ‘The Watergate Girl,’ Discusses Impact of Scandal, Lessons Learned, and Relevancy Today. Jill Wine-Banks, author of “The Watergate Girl,” was featured as a Levy Lecture speaker on April 20 as she spoke via Zoom to a group of nearly 400 people, mostly seniors 55 and older in the Evanston environs. The candid conversation spanned nearly two hours, as she provided an overview of the Watergate scandal, her perspective on the recent and current political environment, and some observations about the trial of Derek Chauvin.

Richard Webster, at keyboard, leads Bach Week. (Photo by Burlingham Productions)

Chicago’s Bach Week Festival Announces Virtual Concert Lineup for May 16 and May 21. Chicago’s 2021 Bach Week Festival will arrive as a virtual two-concert series of free-to-view webcasts May 16 and 21 featuring instrumental and vocal music of the festival’s namesake, Johann Sebastian Bach, plus a work by Bach contemporary Georg Philipp Telemann, in prerecorded and live-streamed performances.

Public Square

RoundTable columnist Les Jacobson regularly picks up trash at Butler Park.

Les Jacobson: Lessons from the Earth Day Challenge. On the occasion of the very first Earth Day, in 1970, I decided the best way to show my support was to make a bold and dramatic personal statement.

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