Evanston RoundTable

Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

Above, ETHS band alto sax players Lucienne Juhnke (foreground) and Lucya Sullivan are lined up at Boosterpalooza, the main fundraiser for Evanston Township High School’s Booster Club, on Saturday at the Autobarn Nissan of Evanston (Photo by Richard Cahan). More than 500 people attended the event, the first in-person Boosterpalooza since before COVID-19. (If you went, send your photos to news@evanstonroundtable.com!)

In honor of Boosterpalooza, sing along to this 2020 pandemic recording of the ETHS fight song. (Or, if you need the lyrics, this 2010 version.) And while you cheer cheer cheer for Evanston High, here’s the latest news:

Credit: City of Evanston

Mayor Daniel Biss announced Friday that he is appointing Oakton Community College administrator Krissie Harris (above) to fill the Second Ward City Council vacancy. Pending a confirmation vote from sitting council members on Monday, Harris will take the seat previously occupied by Peter Braithwaite, who resigned in July. She appeared at a public forum alongside six other applicants for the position on Tuesday, answering questions submitted by residents.

Credit: City of Evanston YouTube

Three finalists for Evanston police chief fielded resident-submitted questions Thursday evening in a virtual public forum, presenting different roads to change for the EPD and public safety in the city. Chicago Deputy Chief Migdalia Bulnes (left), Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Investigations Chief Joshua Hunt and East Dundee Deputy Chief Schenita Stewart each had an hour to answer questions from Sol Anderson, CEO and President of the Evanston Community Foundation.

Credit: Genie Lemieux/Evanston Photographic Studios

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) gave high praise to the Moran Center for Youth Advocacy at the organization’s annual gala Thursday, saying “there should be a Moran Center in every state and city in the United States.” Waters and other speakers called for the audience to stay engaged and outraged about the school-to-prison pipeline incarcerating America’s youth and support the center’s work.

And RoundTable readers, please be aware: We’re upgrading our website systems with a new signup and account management system. This upgrade will continue into the next few weeks, and you might be required to re-verify your email address. Fear not – the RoundTable is still free for all, and you never left our family! But please bear with us, complete the prompts and re-enter your email if the system asks so we can continue to provide you with high-quality and in-depth journalism.

Now, in case you missed any of the RoundTable’s coverage last week, here’s a roundup of some of our top stories:

City News

Credit: Evan Girard

Frustrated residents continue debate on solutions to ‘aggressive panhandling.’ At a Fourth Ward meeting Tuesday, City Manager Luke Stowe, who ordered anti-panhandling signs removed, said the notices had been vandalized and seemed ineffective. But several people in the audience said they were disappointed the signs were taken down. Some said the Margarita Inn shelter and Albany Care residential building create a high concentration of low-income, high-need individuals in the area.

Credit: Nancy McLaughlin

A tale of two Mendozas: Evanston’s powerhouse Latina leaders. Stephanie Mendoza (right) became Evanston’s first Latina city clerk in 2021, while Rebeca Mendoza, who works as an international grants officer for Rotary International, is founder and president of Evanston Latinos, an advocacy group formed during the pandemic that continues to provide services to Spanish-speaking residents.

Evanston’s historic reparations program: A 101 guide. In this two-part series, the RoundTable traces the history of Evanston’s reparations initiative from its inception in the Equity and Empowerment Commission in 2019 to the first payments for the Restorative Housing Program in 2022. Part one can be read read here, and part two can be read here.

Credit: Richard Cahan

As beach season ends, four lifeguards look back at a ‘rebuilding year.’ As the 2022 beach season came to a close, the RoundTable interviewed four lifeguards – two veterans and two “rookies.” We asked them their thoughts about the beach working environment in the past and the season just ending. Is there a new culture? Do they feel safe? What were the best and worst aspects of their job?

Emissions data show slow recovery in energy consumption from pandemic. Evanston Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator Cara Pratt met with the city’s Environment Board on Thursday to give updates on local energy use. In 2021, electricity consumption only slightly rebounded from 2020’s pandemic shutdown. But there are more and more electric vehicles registered to Evanston, and the city may not be able to keep providing free use of EV charging stations.

Public Safety and Health

COVID-19 update as of Sept. 8, Cook County stays in ‘medium’ community risk level, Evanston in ‘low’ risk level. The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 51 for the week ending Sept. 7, compared with 42 for the week ending Sept. 1, an increase of 21%. The seven-day average of new cases in the state decreased 2.6%; hospitalizations increased 4%.

Credit: Chicago White Sox

Police honor guard performs at Chicago ballparks. Members of the Evanston Police honor guard presented the colors during the national anthem at the Sept. 2 White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field and repeated the honor at Wrigley Field Friday.


Joseph E. Hill Education Center in Evanston
Credit: Adina Keeling

District 65 receives 13 applications for school board opening. A vacancy left by former board vice president Marquise Weatherspoon’s resignation on Aug. 8 attracted applicants from a variety of backgrounds. The RoundTable obtained the list of applicants from the board’s secretary, and found some initial information about most through online research.

ETHS District 202 superintendent announces Listening & Learning Series. As part of the transition plan for new Superintendent Marcus Campbell, Evanston Township High School is hosting a multipart Listening & Learning Series this fall to establish a collaborative process for communicating with students, families, staff and community members.

Art & Life

Credit: New York Public Library

A portrait of Wong Aloy: A Chinese immigrant’s American journey. The RoundTable’s four-part series on the overlooked history of Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander people in and around Evanston wrapped up this past week. Part one, by Hannah Zhihan Jiang, introduces the project. Part two, part three and part four, written by the Evanston History Center’s Jenny Thompson, tell the story of Wong Aloy, a Chinese man who immigrated to the U.S. in 1882 and was one of the first Asian American residents of Evanston.

Artists Book House turns the next page to raise funds. Back in March 2021, Founder Audrey Niffenegger and the relatively young organization Artists Book House won a bid to take over the famous Harley Clarke mansion at 2603 Sheridan Road. Now, the group is looking to raise money through an upcoming book fair and haunted house as well as hiring a fundraising expert to help fund a renovation.

Credit: Gina Castro

Labor Day is for grillin’ and chillin’. Most people today do not associate Labor Day with its history and origins in strikes and rebellions by organized workers. But many relate it back to their work. The RoundTable asked people at the Evanston Farmers Market how they felt about the end-of-summer holiday, and everyone seemed to have the same plans: relax.

Credit: Olivia Landon

First Saturday highlights work of local artists and their venues. Inspired by Chicago’s First Fridays, Evanston Made created the First Saturday showcases as a way to keep Evanstonians engaged with programming and art. Now, First Saturday happens at 12 different locations across Evanston, bringing out residents to enjoy local artists’ works and create some art of their own.

Evanston resident launches new line of luxury sneakers. It’s taken more time than he expected, but financier Charles Hawkins is ready to launch his new line of “ultra-luxury” sneakers, branded Hawk & Sole. “As I approached retirement I asked myself: ‘What can I do to provide some relief for people? What can I do to create a big impact with a small firm?’” He found his answer in footwear.

Credit: Wendi Kromash

Ninety reasons to celebrate Sam Johnson. Longtime barber at Church Street Barber Shop Sam Johnson turns 90 years old Sept. 13, inspiring friends Melvin “Rommie” Taylor, Bob Reece and others to organize a special birthday party for him. A sizable crowd turned out to celebrate with Johnson, who was honored by the city in 2016 for his work as a community activist, a mentor to young people and as a successful businessperson.

Credit: Erika Mattingly

They Do: It was purely physical … therapy. Elizabeth Handler Krupkin shares the love story of Jane Handel and Ryan Breen, who married July 2. Although the two met each other at a pub crawl in 2016, their relationship really began in summer 2017 when Jane consulted him and other physical therapist friends on a possible concussion after suffering a nasty hit to the face in a volleyball game.

Credit: Jack Weiss

Eye on Evanston: Thoughts on Design | Sherman Gardens, Evanston’s mid-century modern gem. Designed by architect Henry K. Holsman and built between 1946 and 1948, the group of three residential buildings on Sherman Avenue between University Place and Emerson Street features a courtyard and distinctive concrete, brick and steel construction.

Credit: Barry Miller

The last 13 days in photos: Aug. 25 – Sept. 6. With almost two weeks worth of photos, there were a lot of happenings to catch up on! If you take any newsworthy or pretty pictures, be sure to email them to news@evanstonroundtable.com so we can include them in our next photo roundup.

Public Square

Credit: Graphic by Jasper Davidoff

Najiah Osborne: City’s opportunities shape your experiences. In the first of the RoundTable’s new “Evanston Essays” series, 19-year-old Osborne reflects on the many ways Evanston helped set her up for success: “Being in college has illuminated all of the positive experiences I’ve had socially in Evanston. I’ve been honored with the opportunity to indulge in my chosen career field, and the ability to volunteer.”

Do you want to share what is right or what you love about Evanston? If so, you can send an Evanston Essay of your own, about 500-600 words long, to news@evanstonroundtable.com.


ETHS boys soccer: Second-half surge completes comeback. Four second-half goals propelled the Wildkits to a 5-2 victory over Walter Payton Prep, earning the team the Evanston Invitational Tournament title for the 10th year in a row. But all three games in the round-robin tournament saw the Kits give up the first goal.

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Alex Harrison reports on local government, public safety, developments, town-gown relations and more for the RoundTable. He graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in June...