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

New Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss didn’t hold back, offering candid opinions about his first months in office at a town hall meeting sponsored by the Central Street Neighbors Association. Jeff Smith, Vice President of CSNA, served as moderator of the event. (RoundTable photo)

A Little Bumpy Now, But Council’s Diversity Will Eventually Pay Off: Mayor Biss at Town Hall Meeting. Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss told a neighborhood group in late June that things may be “bumpy” at first with new City Council members working out their priorities for the City, but he believes the process will provide a richer product at the end.

Proposal Would Return Authority to City Clerk to Hire Top Assistant. The Evanston City Clerk would be able appoint her own Deputy Clerk, shifting that power away from the City Manager’s office, under a change backed by the City Council’s Rules Committee July 7.

Restaurants like Smylie Brothers Brewing Company at 1615 Oak Ave. are coping with a staff shortage problem. (Photo by Bob Seidenberg)

Staff Shortages Slow Restaurants’ Recovery. llinois officially moved on June 12 into full reopening with Phase 5, the final phase of Restore Illinois, which in effect lifted capacity limits. But for many local restaurants, getting up to full speed has been difficult because of extreme staff shortages.

Police, Council Member Emphasize Community Role in Response to Recent Second Ward Criminal Activity. At a neighborhood meeting July 9 called after a wave of incidents in the Second Ward, Council Member Peter Braithwaite and police officials stressed the role residents can play in helping quell criminal activity.

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Two Suburban School Districts Address the Social-Emotional Effects of the Pandemic. As part of a collaboration made possible by the Institute for Nonprofit News, the Wednesday Journal and Evanston RoundTable newsrooms explored various aspects of how two high school districts in similar Chicago suburbs – Evanston and Oak Park – addressed the social/emotional needs of students, particularly students of color, after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted their lives in March 2020.

Giving a hand to the many helping hands that kept Learning Bridge open since July 6, 2020.

Marking a Year Without an Outbreak. July 6 was the one-year anniversary of the reopening of Learning Bridge Early Education Center. The preschool, like all Illinois schools, had closed in March by order of Governor J.B. Pritzker. When preschools could open as part of Phase 3 of the Governor’s plan, Learning Bridge welcomed back nearly 70 students.

Arts & Life

Valerie shows off her split on July 4th. (Photos by Evan Girard)

Without Parade and Fireworks, Evantonians Celebrate July 4th. Evanstonians young and old managed to enjoy themselves in spite of the cancellation of this year’s 4th of July parade and fireworks. RoundTable photographer Evan Girard captured a variety of July 4th festivities.

Evanston American Legion Post 42 July 4 parade marchers.

American Legion Evanston Post 42 Conducts 4th of July Patriotic Walk. Evanston’s July 4th celebrations always bring out Post 42 of the American Legion, and this year was no exception. Members of Post 42, including some family members, friends and community members assembled at 2 p.m. for a 4th of July Patriotic Walk on the walkways along Central Street, from Green Bay Road to Post 42 in Chandler Park.

Dear Gabby: How Do I Curb My Own Instincts? I want to teach my kids to work their problems out for themselves, while still being there as a safety net of course, whether it is an emotional, academic, organizational or financial issue. Or at least I want to let them try to work it out before I swoop in and solve it for them. I believe that is the best way to instill resilience, independence and confidence. The problem is, I’m their mother! And I find myself throwing suggestions at them as a matter of course. Sometimes it comes out of my mouth before I even realize it. How do I curb my own instincts?

We are Water’s art outreach event at Evanston Made’s Makers Market on June 5.

We Are Water Evanston Creates Action Items for the City of Evanston. Evanston residents are all too familiar with recent flash flood warnings, which left some with flooded basements and leaking ceilings. Other residents are uncertain about where to seek help in the event of a flood, according to a recent survey by We are Water, a project that explores the relationship Evanstonians have with water.

Ms. Adumetey and her family: “I truly, truly love being a mom.” (Submitted photo)

Local Author Writes to Empower Children. When Nonku Kunene Adumetey’s father died, the childhood trauma she spent her whole life pushing down, resurfaced. She spiraled into a state of anger and sadness while juggling a new baby, grieving her father’s death, and seeing the people who assaulted her at his funeral.

Social Justice

From left to right: Ida Edwards, Opal Lee and Erica Edwards (Photo by Christine Escobar)

‘The Grandmother of Juneteenth’ Visits Evanston. Opal Lee was with President Biden at the White House on June 17 when he signed a bipartisan bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday, the first national holiday since Martin Luther King’s Birthday was established in 1983. On July 4, the 94-year-old Ms. Lee, of Fort Worth, Texas, spoke to a crowd gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Evanston for a meet-and-greet and book signing for her new book, “Juneteenth: A Children’s Story.”

Public Square

Some of the refuse left over at Butler Park on July 5th. (Photo by Les Jacobson)

Les Jacobson: Trash City. Hey Evanston, I hate to break it to you, but you’re a slob. I know, you love it here, Evanston is heavenston, blah blah blah. So why do you toss trash around with such careless abandon?

Peggy Tarr: Bored? At a July 4th get-together, one person asked if the month of July had a National Month designation. No one knew. I decided to Google the question. Wow! There were at least 15 National Month titles for July. 

Charles Wilkinson: Before and After. The self-help admonition to live in the Moment, in the Now which carries its own wisdom and responsibilities, requires us to understand how our past (our Befores) make us who we are, and that who we are now determines who we will become (our Afters).

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