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

Rendering of proposed Northlight Theatre on Church Street (from City of Evanston materials) Credit: City of Evanston packet

Northlight Seeks City Support of $2 Million in Federal Stimulus Funds to Get Theater Project Back on Track. Northlight Theatre officials were a few weeks away from buying a downtown property for their new theater center last March when the talks had to be canceled because of the uncertainty cast by COVID-19. Now back in talks on the property, theater officials are seeking help from the City – requesting $2 million of of the federal stimulus funds Evanston recently received – to get the project back on track.

Greg Lisinski at the Memorial Day ceremony (RoundTable photo) Credit: RoundTable photo

Memorial Day 2021: ‘A Sense of Normalcy’ The traditions continued – songs, prayers, speeches, reflections, wreaths, and salutes – but for many there was a new feeling, as a crowd of about 250 gathered Monday at Fountain Square for Memorial Day ceremonies.

COVID-19 Update on June 4: ­­­­­­­­­­­­Two New Cases in Evanston, 626 in the State. The State issued new guidelines for Phase 5 of the Illinois’ Reopening Plan. The State is on track to enter Phase 5 on June 11. “After a tremendously challenging year, Illinois has now reached a defining moment in our efforts to defeat COVID-19,” said Governor JB Pritzker in a prepared statement.

Four Shootings Last Week, No Injuries. Linda Hansen attends the Evanston Police Department’s Deployment Meetings, takes notes on the topics discussed and writes about other police-related matters of interest to the people who work and live in Evanston. Her weekly report on June 4 refers to four shootings in Evanston, none of which resulted in an injury to person.

Kenneth Kaye, January 24, 1946 – May 26, 2021. Kenneth Peter Kaye died at his home in Evanston on Wednesday, May 26. He was 75.

Arts & Life

Harith Razaa, owner of Comfort Desserts Reimagined on Dempster Street (Photo by Adina Keeling)

New Bakery Owner Harith Razaa Is in the ‘Happiness Business’. Harith Razaa only wanted to do two things with his life: own a bakery and become a florist. His parents disapproved, so he went to college at the University of Wisconsin and went on to work in radio, health care, government, information technology, and even opened up his own shrimp company.  Those jobs earned him leadership positions and made him money, but they weren’t fulfilling, said Mr. Razaa. Now, at age 70, he is finally opening the bakery he always dreamed of. 

‘Inclusiva’ Coming to Evanston in June – a large, new abstract piece of public art, called “Inclusiva,” will be installed on the east side of the new Robert Crown Center, just north of the main entrance.

Amanda Seligman and the History of Chicago’s Block Clubs. The Levy Lecture topic on May 25 centered around Chicago’s block clubs, presented by a former Evanston resident Amanda Seligman, a historian and expert in the subject.

New Literary Magazine From the Library. 10th Ward Lit, a new literary magazine from the Evanston Public Library, strives to give an opportunity to the underrepresented and lesser known artists of Evanston to share their work and be a further part of their community.

Chess is Now Entertainment. In January of 2020, chess was a game. Chess websites were becoming more popular but were primarily used as a convenient way for chess players to play games with one another. Media coverage of chess was limited; the leading story at the time was the Candidates Tournament, scheduled for March, to select the player who would challenge Magnus Carlsen for the world championship in 2021. By January of 2021, chess was more than a game – it was entertainment.

When Do I Have to Give Up My Covid Habits? Dear Gabby, When do I have to give up my bad covid-acquired habits? It’s been a rough year, and I have a few. I put a post-it on my office door that said I was on a call when I wasn’t. I napped. I bought snacks and didn’t share.  Signed, Feet up, head down

Social Justice

Evanston LGBTQ Organization Prepares for June Pride Celebration. A number of Evanstonians, who recently banded together to create a new community LGBTQ pride organization, recently unveiled plans for a Pride Month celebration at the end of June. 

Compass Food Service Workers at Northwestern University rally for fair wages. (RoundTable photo)

Northwestern Campus Workers March for a Contract. Veronica Reyes, an Evanston resident, has worked as a cashier and on the food service line at Northwestern University for 11 years. She says she values her job and especially her co-workers and students, whom she calls “family.” But at her $14.05-an-hour salary she has barely been able to keep up with expenses – a situation that became even worse when she was laid off for a time during the pandemic.


Menocal’s Header Powers Kit Girls Soccer Team to Regional Crown. Carly Menocal’s job is to prevent goals, not to score them. So it’s safe to say that the goal she scored Friday night was the biggest in the career so far for the Evanston junior defender.

Support Chicago independent media – and the RoundTable

The RoundTable recently joined the Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA), which includes nearly 70 outlets covering the African American, Latinx, Asian American, Polish, immigrant, LGBTQ, and other Chicago communities. We are also participating in CIMA’s annual joint fundraiser, which runs through June 11 – with foundations lined up to match donations.

Please join us in supporting independent media in Chicago. You can donate to the entire campaign, or select your favorite news outlets (including the RoundTable!)