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Evanston RoundTable

Good Friday morning, Evanston.

Happy (soon to be) Earth Day! To celebrate, our photographer Richard Cahan took a walk on Northwestern’s lakefill and discovered these mysterious markings on an electrical box.

After District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton officially won the same job in Georgia’s DeKalb County School District on Wednesday, District 65 school board President Sergio Hernandez announced Thursday that the board plans to appoint an interim replacement by the end of the current school year. That person will take over for Horton in July, while the board begins a national search for a permanent leader.

Credit: Cordogan Clark/Land Use Commission packet

The city’s Land Use Commission voted 5-2 Wednesday night to recommend approval of zoning variations for the proposed new Fifth Ward school, shown in the rendering above. One key sticking point during the three-hour meeting was the playing field currently planned for the middle of the campus. The initial designs suggested the field would be made of artificial turf, but the Land Use Commission made an official recommendation to the City Council that the field be natural grass.

In case you missed it

Happy belated 4/20 to all those who celebrate. In honor of the informal holiday, check out this personal essay by RoundTable writer Wendi Kromash, who tried cannabis (in the form of a gummy) for the first time in decades last year.

RoundTable weekend roundup

10 Second Film Festival: Join District 65’s Climate Action Teams in celebrating Earth Day with 10-second films recorded and produced by Evanston students. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the One Rotary auditorium at 1560 Sherman Ave.

Earth Day Celebration: Drop by the Ecology Center between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday for family-friendly activities, featuring more than a dozen Evanston climate action and sustainability advocacy groups.

Dempster Cleanup: Looking to get down and dirty for Earth Day? Pick up trash along Dempster Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and you’ll get discounts at participating stores along the route!

Adopt-A-Beach: Help the Alliance for the Great Lakes reach its litter cleanup goals for 2023 from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at South Boulevard Beach, 525 Sheridan Square.

The Bard’s Birthday: Forsooth – Shakespeare is turning 459! Celebrate with readings and comedy sketches 8 p.m. Sunday at Studio5 Performing Arts Center, 1938 Dempster St.

More RoundTable reads

Mas Salud, a specialty mezcal bar serving Central and South American food and drink, is set to open at 720 Clark St. in downtown Evanston on Friday, April 28.

The Parks and Recreation Board recommended a proposed amendment to the city’s liquor laws that would allow one-day alcohol permits in public parks for special events.

Evanston has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 38% since 2005, but the city still has a long way to go and some tough decisions to make to reach its goal of total carbon neutrality by 2050.

Earth Day in Evanston: Check out our comprehensive list of ways to get involved in environmental efforts this weekend.

Weekly COVID update: Local hospitalizations continue to decline as Evanston and Cook County remain in the CDC’s low community risk category.

Message from the mayor: Unlike in previous years, this spring’s State of the City address from Daniel Biss will be free and open to the public.

Evanston’s local chapter of the NAACP is collecting clothes, toiletries and other essential items to donate to victims of the tornado that hit Rolling Fork, Mississippi, on March 24.

Fair Housing Month: To mark the occasion, local nonprofit Open Communities is hosting a talk on housing segregation this Tuesday, April 25, at the Unitarian Church of Evanston, 1330 Ridge Ave.

The city is relaunching its We’re Out Walking program, a 12-week physical fitness and health course for Evanston residents. The first class is this Saturday morning.

Photos from our readers

pink balloons caught in the trees
Credit: Vandell Cobb

Vandell Cobb spotted a flurry of pink balloons caught on the very edge of this tree on Pitner Avenue.

Send your photos of people, places and events around town to news@evanstonroundtable.com for a chance to be included in this newsletter!

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Around the web

Jacquis Irby remembered as family man, lover of basketball. Irby, 18, was killed in the Clark Street Beach shooting last week. Family members spoke to The Daily Northwestern about his love for his brothers and his 1-year-old son.

Chicago Park District employees are accused of defrauding federal pandemic-aid program. An internal investigation found more than 10 park district employees had potentially falsified documents to get benefits from the federal pandemic-era Paycheck Protection Program.

The war on gun violence has failed. And Black men are paying the price. A report from The Marshall Project found that, while gun arrests have risen substantially in Chicago, murders and shootings are still going unsolved at even higher rates. Black people comprised about 80% of the gun possession arrests since 2010, despite accounting for just a third of the Chicago population.

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Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...