Evanston RoundTable
(RoundTable photo)

Good morning, Evanston.

Happy Fourth of July!

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

In the Fireworks Season, Catching Perpetrators Can Be Difficult. The number of complaints about illegal fireworks use rises at this time of year. Evanston police are actively patrolling and citing individuals found in violation of a City code banning private fireworks.

Credit: RoundTable file photo

City Keeping Options Open for Next Waste-Hauler Contract. The City has had a long-running relationship with Groot Industries, Inc., the exclusive multi-residential waste-hauler not only for Evanston but for a host of other neighboring communities. That relationship, which dates back to 2008, may change, though, with officials looking to reach Climate Action Resilience Plan goals related to recycling and composting – and finding the right company to work with them on those issues.

Police Department Announces Two Promotions. Interim Police Chief Aretha Barnes on June 29 promoted two Evanston Police Officers to the rank of sergeant.

COVID-19 Update on July 1: No New Cases in Evanston, 457 in the State. There has been 1 new Covid-19 case of an Evanstonian in the last seven days. There has been a total of 1,719 tests administered to Evanston residents in the last seven days.


District 65 Teacher’s Complaint in Federal Court Challenges the District’s Anti-Racist Policies. The complaint says that it is brought under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit District 65 “from treating individuals differently because of their race.”

Rank and File | Evanston Players Win Awards at In-Person Chicago Open. Large, in-person chess tournaments are back in the U.S! After a year off, the Chicago Open was held during Memorial Day weekend at the Westin North Shore in Wheeling, where 550 players competed for $60,000 in prizes. While the biggest winner was Grandmaster Dariusz Swiercz in the Open section, a number of Evanstonians played successfully in the rating-limited sections, with several winning awards.

Arts & Life

July means berries at the Evanston Farmers’ Market. (Photo by Julie Chernoff)

The Berry, Berry Month of July. Every summer month brings a bumper crop of something delectable to the Evanston Farmer’s Market, and early July means BERRIES. I’ve never met a berry I didn’t like, be they blue, black, huckle, straw or rasp!

High school students (L to R) Christophe, Lila, Madisyn and Beres helped to keep the event running smoothly. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Summer Jubilee 2021 Celebrates Black Excellence. Evanston community members enjoyed an afternoon of music, food, and games at the Summer Jubilee 2021. Presented by Our Village The Black Evanstonian in partnership with Jennifer’s Edibles, the event was held at Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center on June 26.

Library Tech Assistants Offer a Helping Hand. The tech desk, part of the Innovation and Digital Learning department, has always been on the front lines of the Evanston Public Library’s service to the community.

Residents admired the roses at Merrick Rose Garden. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Hundreds Enjoyed 31st Annual Garden Walk. Seven Evanston homeowners welcomed nearly 700 strangers into their gardens on June 27 at the annual Evanston Garden Walk. The gardens on display featured blooming native plants, colorful flower displays, relaxing outdoor patios and lush foliage. 

Motown: The Music that Moved the World. Music aficionado Gary Wenstrup presented the Levy Lecture on June 22. He is a retired ad sales executive with a passion for music of all types. His presentation, “Motown: The Music that Moved the World,” had the virtual crowd of several hundred seniors reminiscing about and singing along to the music of their youth.

Dear Gabby: Should I Give Him Another Chance? I matched with a guy on a dating app and we had a great ongoing convo via text. Then he disappeared. Fast forward six months and we matched again! When we connected, I was like, you’re the guy who ghosted me. Then he apologized and said that he was having some mental health problems and deleted all his dating apps. Should I give him another chance?

Since being selected as an awardee of the Justin Wynn Leadership Academy in 2017, Josephine Teoudoussia has loved the community service opportunities and the special experiences at Camp Duncan open to all of the current “Wynners.” (Submitted photo)

Justin Wynn Fund: Out of Grief Comes Community Service. In 1987 the family of fourth-grader Justin Wynn created an organization to honor his memory and turn the tragedy of his early and accidental death into a legacy of youth leadership. Since the first annual Awards Brunch, the Justin Wynn Fund, through its Justin Wynn Leadership Academy, has now mentored 636 youths in fourth through 12th grades. The JWLA continues to develop programs and leadership opportunities to fulfill its stated mission to “celebrate and nurture youth leaders by helping them develop a deep sense of self and responsibility for improving their communities.”

“The Dance” by Dorothy Graden is one of the pieces in her exhibit “Liminal Spaces” at the Evanston Art Center.(RoundTable photo)

‘Liminal Spaces’ Exhibit Continues at Evanston Art Center. Dorothy Graden, an artist living in Valparaiso, Ind., tours the Midwest and other parts of the world showcasing her art and her love for history and nature. She is inspired by petroglyphs and pictographs that she finds on hikes and camping trips through the American south and west.

“Jimmy, ya gotta go,” a neighbor warned James Simmons. (Image from Jevoid Simmons’s book “Up From Down Home.”)

‘Up From Down Home’: A Family’s Flight to Safety. An edgy confrontation with white co-workers on the way home from his job at a lumber mill in Greenville, Ala., made James “Pop” Simmons wary. A menacing night visit by other white men shortly afterward put him on high alert. But it was the frightening warning from a concerned white neighbor that made Mr. Simmons hurry his wife and four children to safety before packing up and heading north.

Social Justice

Steven Rogers

Juneteenth: A bittersweet holiday. Every Independence Day, I have 30 to 40 family and friends at my house in Evanston for a cookout. I always brag that my menu of chicken rice pilaf with vegetables, grilled fish, turkey burgers, chicken hot links, grilled Brussels sprouts, asparagus, cabbage and baked sweet potatoes is much healthier than the traditional cookout foods of pork ribs, potato salad, baked beans and beef hamburgers. In addition to the fact that my food offerings do not fit traditional cookout menus, my guests and I also engage in other unique traditions on this day of celebration.

Sixth and Ninth Ward Host Trans-Affirming Workshop. Nearly 23 residents attended a June 22 virtual workshop on trans-affirming practices, co-sponsored by Council Members Tom Suffredin, 6th Ward, and Cicely Fleming, 9th Ward. The workshop covered topics including pronoun usage, intersectionality, terminology, the history and context of transphobic systems, “outing” and coming out.

Mayor Biss at the Indivisible Evanston Rally last Sunday. (Photo by Alicya Dennison)

Indivisible Evanston Rallies Against Voter Suppression. A crowd of about 100 rallied in Fountain Square last Sunday, June 27, against voter suppression.

Public Square

A Modest Farewell from Mary and Larry Gavin. Hello, Evanston, We are taking the center column this morning, June 28, to let you know that we are retiring from our editorial and leadership positions at the RoundTable.

One Pandemic Activity I’m Not Giving Up. My dining room table holds the square outline of a jigsaw puzzle. In piles around the square, I’ve sorted pieces by color. Slowly, painstakingly, I am filling in the outline. The pandemic is waning, and my life is returning to the way it was before. Yet I’m still working on a puzzle.


Scott Horne coached at ETHS before he became a coach at Georgetown University. (Photo courtesy of Scott Horne)

Beloved Coach Scott Horne Takes His Talents to the Georgetown Basketball Team. As a three-point champion in Evanston’s noted FAAM basketball program, a star player at Evanston Township High School, a basketball coach at ETHS and program manager at Chandler-Newberger Recreation Center, Coach Scott Horne is a household name across the Evanston basketball community. He is now making his mark with the Georgetown basketball team.

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