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

The City reports that, even with three free beach days per week, people are buying beach tokens. (RoundTable photo)

Honor System in Play on City’s Free Beach Days. Evanston beach attendants are following the honor system in admitting people to the beach, since the City Council declared three free days for residents, the City’s Parks & Recreation Director told a Seventh Ward audience June 24.

Key City-Planning Documents Due for an Update. Publishing trends come and go but the City’s Strategic Plan and Comprehensive General Plan had been standard reference works for local officials contemplating land use and capital improvement decisions from the mid-1980s onward. The Comprehensive General Plan, in particular, was the product of several years of work of the City’s Plan Commission members, hosting public meetings and roundtable discussions. The result was a highly readable description of various land uses throughout the City, providing an important reference for future policy makers. Both plans, City officials say, are badly in need of updating.

Sol Anderson, Evanston Community Foundation

Evanston Community Foundation Names Sol Anderson as President and CEO. The Evanston Community Foundation Board of Directors announced Sol Anderson as its third President and CEO. Mr. Anderson most recently served as the Executive Director of I Grow Chicago.

COVID-19 Update on June 25: No New Cases in Evanston, 292 in the State. The top chart shows that the weekly number of new cases per 100,000 people in Evanston, suburban Cook County, Chicago, and the State are each at or below 14. For each region, there was a slight increase in the number of cases in the week ending June 25 compared to prior week.

Schools

District 202 Board Selects Mirah Anti to Fill Vacancy. The District 202 Board of Education selected Mirah Anti to fill a board vacancy during a special meeting on June 21.

District 65 School Board Members Propose Priorities for the 2021-22 School Year. At the June 7 District 65 School Board meeting, each Board member was given the opportunity to list three to five things they would like to have placed on the Board’s calendar for the coming year. Conceptually, the input will be taken into account in prioritizing what will appear on the Board’s calendar and be discussed at the Board’s meetings in the next year.

50th Anniversary Celebration of Baby Toddler Nursery Honors State Senator Pacione-Zayas. At a 50th anniversary celebration on June 24, Executive Director Steve Vick of the Infant Welfare Society of Evanston singled out the work his devoted staff, dedicated teachers, the board as well as parents and child caregivers do every day, saying “they are uplifting families and educating children.” The Baby Toddler Nursery, caring for children as young as six weeks old and founded 50 years ago this summer, is the critical first stop in this journey.

Arts & Life

Parade prepares to depart Ryan Field (Photo by Matt Simonette)

Proudly Braving the Elements: Evanston Pride Parade Kicks Off. Though Mother Nature threw a few curve balls this weekend, Evanston Pride nevertheless staged its LGBTQ Pride Parade the afternoon of Saturday, June 26. The organization’s planned picnic and candle-lighting ceremony will be rescheduled thanks to the region’s inclement weather, but organizers were determined to let the parade proceed as scheduled, despite a heavy rainstorm. 

Rahmaan Statik adds finishing touches to his mural at the Juneteenth celebration in Ingraham Park. (Submitted photo)

Evanston’s Juneteenth Celebrations Highlight Impact of Black Artists. Evanston’s 2021 Annual Juneteenth Parade and Celebration featured multiple art genres including fine art, literary art, musical and spoken word performances, murals, drumming, poetry, and dance. Hosted by the City of Evanston in partnership with Evanston Present and Future on June 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., it drew hundreds of people from Evanston and surrounding communities.

The Evanston Farmers’ Market draws hundreds to purchase fresh produce, flowers, and plants and chat with vendors and each other. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Evanston Farmers’ Market Returns for the Summer. Nothing beats an Evanston summer: the lake, the music, the food, and of course, the crème de la crème, the Evanston Farmers’ Market. For 46 years, Evanston residents and tourists alike have relished on sunny Saturday mornings throughout the summer meandering through the maze of tents filled with flowers, fresh fruit, and handmade baked goods. This year, the market features more than 50 vendors, including the always popular Henry’s farms and Evanston staple Bennison’s Bakery.

Evanston Dimensions | Ask the Historians. After our last column, Paul Ilmer submitted the following question for historians at the Evanston History Center: I was wondering what the original construction and use of the building was which is today owned, or at least houses, Oscar Isberian rugs, at 1028 Chicago Ave. It appears to have a fly loft at the rear up against the train tracks. It’s as if there was a performing stage with fly space and perhaps a stage there. What can be discovered?

Evanston author Mark Larson, left, and actor Ed Asner (Submitted photos)

Mark Larson Discusses Ed Asner, Actor and Activist at Levy Lecture. Local author Mark Larson, author of “Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater,” spent the pandemic mostly working from home, interviewing friends, family, and colleagues of Ed Asner. At the Levy Lecture on June 15, Mr. Larson presented some of his research – photos and audio clips – and also shared memories with two special guests: Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, author of “Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted,” and Joyce Bulifant, the actor who played Marie Slaughter, wife of Murray Slaughter, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Fourth of July Association Members Wait Another Year for a Big Centennial Celebration. Evanston Fourth of July organizers were hoping to celebrate their 100th year of festivities with this year’s event. They are now going to have to carry that theme forward once again with an in-person event docked a second year because of COVID-19.

This robotically engineered hand is one of the assistive medical devices Dr. Argall’s research lab has developed. (Submitted photo)

This Northwestern Professor and Robotics Engineer is Unstoppable. When Brenna Argall was starting college with an undergraduate major in mathematics and minors in music and biology, she never imagined she’d become a robotic engineer developing highly complex machines to assist people with severe motor dysfunctions. More than two decades later, Dr. Argall has the distinction of being Associate Professor of Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Physical Medicine and Robotics at Northwestern University. She is also founder and director of the assistive and rehabilitative robotics lab (argallab) at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago).

Dear Gabby: My Boyfriend’s Mother Doesn’t Like Me. Good news, bad news….my boyfriend introduced me to his parents recently, which I appreciate. But he subsequently told me that his mother didn’t like me, which I didn’t appreciate. Thoughts? Signed, Confused

Weaving Workshops for Domestic Violence Abuse Victims and Survivors Provides Much Needed Support. A textile artist, painter, weaver and art educator, Bryana Bibbs has used art as an outlet for her own experience with domestic violence. Six months after her relationship ended, Ms. Bibbs quit her retail job. She wanted to become a full-time artist again, but then, COVID-19 intervened. After waiting a few months, she began leading in-person weaving workshops in September of 2020 for domestic violence victims and survivors in Chicago, Oak Park and Evanston.

Social Justice

Evanston’s Annual Juneteenth Parade and Celebrations Draw Hundreds. Evanston’s Juneteenth Parade and Celebration kicked off at 11 a.m. on June 19 with Grand Marshals Cheryl Judice and Jason Powell. Presented by Evanston Present and Future in partnership with the City of Evanston, Evanston’s Juneteenth commemoration continued with a celebration lineup that included speakers, muralists, musical and spoken word performances, drumming, poetry, and dance.

Ninth Ward Residents Battle Environmental Justice Issues: ‘This Area Has Really Been Abused and Neglected’ Seven years ago an explosion in Evanston’s southwest Ninth Ward rocked the homes of some nearby residents. Highly flammable and combustible materials were densely packed behind the Home Depot plaza, particularly along Pitner and Hartrey avenues. Residents in this area, already subject to heavy air pollution, truck traffic, litter, and toxic fumes, worry about the possibility of another explosion.

Public Square

Les Jacobson: Two-Track America. Notes from the Lake Shore Limited, which leaves 3:30 in the afternoon three days a week from Penn Station in New York and arrives at Union Station in Chicago 20 hours later. A version of this iconic train has been operating between New York and Chicago since the 1890s.

Peggy Tarr: A Telephone Game Every Day. As a child and as an adult, I participated in the “telephone game” at get-togethers.  As many of you probably know, the “telephone game” begins with one person whispering a message to another person, who then whispers it to another person until the whispered message reaches the last participant in the game. However, in everyday life, the “telephone game” also occurs resulting in misquotes, misunderstandings, false rumors, and hard feelings. The game takes place in families, neighborhoods, jobs, churches, politics, etc. but not always on purpose. 

Sports

ETHS senior Kalil Johnson wins two state championships in hurdles. (ETHS submitted photo)

Johnson Blazes Way to Two State Hurdles Titles. Focus and determination can take you a long way in high school athletics. Kalil Johnson used that formula – along with his remarkable talent – to rise to the top Saturday at the Illinois High School Association Class 3A state track and field finals at Eastern Illinois University. Johnson blazed his way to a pair of hurdles championships, in the 110-meter and 300-meter events on the blue oval at EIU.

Obituaries

Linda Barr. Linda Ann Barr, 78, was a caring mother, grandmother, cousin, and friend. Linda peacefully passed away on May 25 after a courageous battle with bladder cancer.

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