Evanston RoundTable
Zen Leaf Dispensary at 1804 Maple Ave. in downtown Evanston. (Photo by Duncan Agnew) Credit: Duncan Agnew

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

More than two years after marijuana legalization went into effect in Illinois, many industry experts say that social equity license holders have yet to reap the benefits of the state’s weed market.

As Evanston City Council member (and craft grower license holder) Bobby Burns has said, the cannabis industry has proved wildly profitable, but the question remains: Who will benefit?

Marijuana 101: What the heck is 420? April 20, also known as “420,” has become a day to celebrate weed in all its many forms. But where did the nickname “420” come from? And does your average pot smoker actually pay homage to the holiday?

Margarita Inn
Connections for the Homeless began using the Margarita Inn in 2020. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Evanston-based nonprofit Connections for the Homeless began housing people in the Margarita Inn at 1566 Oak Ave. during the pandemic and is now pursuing a permit to make the former hotel a permanent shelter.

Last month, more than 200 people attended a meeting to discuss the future of the Margarita Inn. While some neighbors supported the nonprofit’s plans, many expressed concerns, particularly regarding safety in the area.

At a Housing and Community Development Committee meeting on Tuesday, the nonprofit’s Executive Director, Betty Bogg, discussed what she said were misconceptions about Connections and its facility in the Margarita Inn.

She said Connections tracks all incidents that occur in the facility, and since Jan. 1, 2022, its records show only two incidents that required a police response.

New RoundTable Editor Susy Schultz

The Evanston RoundTable is announcing a major expansion of its newsroom leadership team today with the appointment of Susy Schultz as Editor.

Schultz has been a journalist for more than 20 years and spent the last six running nonprofits, including serving as President of Public Narrative, which is dedicated to teaching better storytelling to journalists and community nonprofits. 

“We are delighted Susy is joining our team. She is an experienced journalist who also understands the ins and outs of nonprofits,” said Tracy Quattrocki, the RoundTable’s Executive Editor and President. “And we are pleased that our news organization is growing, thanks to the support of this amazing community.”

COVID-19 by the numbers: 28 new cases were reported Monday, April 18, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 32.4 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Kensington School’s revised plan for the Unity Church on the North Shore site. (From DAPR packet)

‘Tricky’ intersection, lack of sidewalks prompts closer focus on day care center’s traffic plan. Concerns about the Central-Crawford-Gross Point intersection became particularly relevant April 12 as the Design and Project Review Committee examined Kensington School’s plan to operate a day care center at 3434 Central St., the present site of Unity Church on the North Shore.

Northwestern’s Imagine U forms theater partnership with District 65. Northwestern University is launching a unique community-based theater arts partnership between Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and Northwestern University’s Imagine U, a nationally recognized producer of theater for young audiences.

The sculptural installation at Evanston’s Fire Station No. 1, Aqua Vita, is made of both bronze walkway and red sedum. (Photo by Gay Riseborough)

Fire Station No. 1 goes with the flow of Aqua Vita. Evanston’s Fire Station No. 1, at 1332 Emerson St., features artwork by Donna Zarbin-Byrne that was funded by Evanston’s Percent for Art program when the station was built in 1996. The work is titled Aqua Vita, meaning “water of life.”

Library, Fire Department team up for seminars on seasonal weather hazards. To help Evanstonians mitigate spring hazards like floods, tornadoes and power outages, the Evanston Fire Department and Evanston Public Library are presenting an in-person and virtual seminar this Thursday, April 21.

Picturing Evanston. One of the many colorful Little Free Libraries that can be found in Evanston’s neighborhoods. This one is on Florence Avenue just south of Crain Street. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

ETHS baseball: Brooks slams door shut on helpless Trevians. Taking over a role that many high school baseball programs don’t even have, sidewinding senior Owen Brooks tossed shutout ball over the final 1 2/3 innings and preserved a 2-1 Wildkit win.

Haven Middle School (Photo by Adina Keeling) Credit: Adina Keeling

Letter to the editor: Haven records response shocking. Jonathan Baum writes that the lack of public records from District 65 concerning incidents of violence “is truly shocking.”

Letter to the editor: Where are District 65 leaders? “What in the world is going on that the District 65 Superintendent and school board are not responding to this problem? Nor to the District 65 community?” Mary Anne Wexler writes.

Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for opportunities in editorial, development and advertising sales.

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Over 90% of our funding comes from donations from readers like you and almost all of our expenses in 2021 were news gathering, reporting and publishing.  

Many of you have made a financial gift to the RoundTable in the past year and we are so grateful for your support. If you have not yet done so, please consider joining this community of supporters!

Around the web

Masks no longer required on buses, trains or at airports in Illinois, Pritzker says. After a federal judge tossed out a national mandate for masks on public transit earlier this week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday that the state is no longer requiring masks on public transportation or in airports.

How a school bus driver in Skokie has brought joy to his community for decades. Alvin Carter, a school bus driver and custodian at Elizabeth Meyer School in Skokie, has become a central figure and source of joy for children in the community during his 28 years at the school.

Community leaders anticipate Northlight Theatre’s return to Evanston after 25 years in Skokie. Northlight began in Evanston in 1974 before moving to Skokie in 1997. Now the organization and local business owners look forward to its planned Evanston homecoming, and a yet to be built theater complex.

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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...