Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston!

Busy night, busy morning, Evanstonians, but it appears a bright, sunny day is ahead, right? Yet, the RoundTable (and the National Weather Service) respectfully suggest you rethink any afternoon beach plans. A Beach Hazardous Statement has been issued for the area in effect from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. tomorrow. It means high waves and dangerous currents are highly likely. Yet inland it is expected to be sunny and a high of 77. Now, on to more news.

Mayor Daniel Biss spoke candidly Tuesday evening about how the current status quo with an interim city manager, an interim police chief and many staff vacancies cannot continue. “We have work that is not getting done as a result of these vacancies, and I feel a deep sense of responsibility to fill these vacancies and get things moving again,” Biss said. The mayor spoke during a town hall co-hosted by the city and the RoundTable about the city manager search process and the job’s importance in Evanston. The RoundTable’s city hall reporter, Bob Seidenberg, moderated the conversation.

The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education holds a special meeting at 8 a.m. this morning to consider new school safety and security plans, including a number of proposed new positions both in individual buildings and in the central office. The meeting agenda shows the proposals currently on the table include partnerships with up to four different software companies to assist with emergency responses, tracking visitors in school buildings as well as the proposed hiring of 16 new building concierge positions, a manager and assistant manager of prevention and special response and an assistant superintendent of operations. 

Eighth Ward Council member Devon Reid

Council members yesterday voted 7-0 to place a referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot regarding ranked-choice voting. The referendum will ask Evanston voters whether they want to move to the system starting with the April 2025 consolidated election. Before the vote, Council members Clare Kelly, 1st Ward, Bobby Burns, 5th Ward, and Devon Reid, 8th Ward, were critical of their colleagues for closing off debate on the question. “We’re talking about changing our voting system and folks want to rush this through. This is a horrible, horrible process for something as big as this,” said Reid.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 49 cases were reported on Monday, July 11, the last day the city updated case totals. The city also reported one death, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Evanston to 153. The seven-day average is 40.1 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Family Focus to receive $3 million in ARPA funds to fund historic building’s renovation. City Council granted a request Monday, July 11, from Family Focus, one of the city’s most historic social service agencies, for a $3 million allocation in American Rescue Plan Act funds, to renovate and upgrade its longtime home at 2010 Dewey Ave.

Spend July running for reparations. Run for Repair is a virtual marathon spearheaded by Kemone Hendricks, a community activist, who wants to raise money for the Community Reparations fund and promote Hendricks’ Reparations Ambassador program. This is the virtual marathon’s first year, and it – and maybe you – will run throughout July.

At This Time: Tuesday at 6:39 p.m. Still close knit. These women met two years ago at the CloseKnit Yarn Store. The pandemic sent them outside and later closed the store, but they still knit together on pleasant Tuesday evenings in Ingraham Park behind the Morton Civic Center. From left are Jane Young, Ellen Hummel, Sarina McBride and Lori Grupp. “We make knitting jokes, and we help each other out a lot,” said McBride. “It’s fun because we’re all hilarious.” (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Letter to the editor: Trim the flora to give us back our beautiful lakefront. “Walking by the lake can be simply joyful. Too bad you can no longer actually see the lake for great distances along it, for example between Greenwood Street and the Arrington Lagoon,” Neal Stamell writes.

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Around the web

As ‘island’ for reproductive rights, Illinois needs more federal support, state official testifies. Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday in Washington, where she told lawmakers that Illinois will need more assistance from the federal government to handle an expected influx of people from surrounding states seeking an abortion after the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

As Support Floods Into Highland Park, Chicagoans Facing Daily Violence Wonder: What About Us? Sixty people were shot and eight killed in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend, all while elected officials from Illinois including the governor and both U.S. senators flocked to Highland Park after the parade shooting there. “Every incident deserves this type of response,” one activist said.

105 Monkeypox Cases Reported In Chicago As City Works To Ramp Up Vaccinations. Local officials announced Monday that Chicago has now seen triple digit cases of Monkeypox, a viral disease that so far has mostly infected gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, although public health authorities have stressed that anyone can contract the virus. The city has received more than 5,000 vaccines to date, with more than 7,000 reportedly on the way.

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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...