Evanston RoundTable

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

Dan Fistler took his kids Bennett and Vivienne and dog Rizzo to Dawes Park (photo above by Richard Cahan) on Tuesday night for the film Dog, part of the city’s Starlight Movies in the Park series. “We are trying to soak up the last summer days,” Fistler said. District 65 starts school next week, but seven more movies are planned in parks through Oct. 8. Rizzo seemed uninterested in the doggie movie.

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

It’s official, Luke Stowe is interim no more and after three failed searches, Evanston finally has a new City Manager. The City Council voted unanimously to appoint the city’s former Chief Information Officer, who joined the Evanston payroll in 2012, as Evanston’s 10th City Manager, with a salary of $250,000 a year. The hiring ends a nearly two-year search for a chief executive for the city.

After the vote to appoint Stowe, Mayor Daniel Biss sent out a community letter acknowledging an internal hire was not the initial plan and adding, “I wanted to take a moment to explain how we got here and why I strongly believe this is the right choice for our community.”

And now, on to more news – filling the next open spot at City Hall:

Credit: Robert Seidenberg

Mayor Daniel Biss disclosed Tuesday that 12 people had applied to fill the vacant Second Ward City Council seat. But one candidate has already withdrawn, leaving 11 candidates for the seat left open when Council Member Peter Braithwaite (above) resigned in mid-July. The city will release the list of names when it finishes verifying the remaining 11 candidates. Two applicants have publicly announced their candidacies.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 14 new cases and no new deaths were reported as of Aug. 15, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 12.9 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

City may tap $500,000 from ARPA allocation to match low-income solar grant. City staffers are proposing to allocate $500,000 of Evanston’s American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide residential solar panels for low-income residents. The funds would match congressional grant awarded to the city earlier this year.

Credit: National Endowment for the Humanities

Les Jacobson: History in the making. Our RoundTable columnist recounts meeting famed historian David McCullough, who died this month. McCullough believed studying history was not some fusty and idle pastime – it was critical, he insisted, for understanding today.

Robert Crown Community Center
Credit: Patrick Hughes

Bird alive! Architecture saving avian lives. Columnist Betsy Bird writes that collisions with glass may cause as many as 1 billion bird deaths in the U.S. per year. That’s a lot of birds, and, as it happens, it’s preventable – just look at the new Robert Crown Community Center.

Police warn about traffic camera ticket scam. The Evanston Police Department is warning the public about a traffic camera ticket scam: Several citizens have reported receiving emails notifying them they have been issued a “Moving Violation Recorded by Traffic Camera.” The email specifically states the violation was recorded by a traffic camera in Evanston – but there are no traffic cameras in Evanston.

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Around the web

Jerry Starkman, who founded Mustard’s Last Stand near Northwestern’s football stadium, dead at 84. Starkman was nicknamed “Colonel Mustard” for founding the Evanston hot dog hut that has been in the shadow of Northwestern’s football stadium for 53 years. He died Sunday.

CTA receives nearly $29M in federal grant money to speed up electric bus project. The CTA said it aims to prioritize routes serving the South and West sides, which have historically been overburdened by air quality issues, for early electric bus deployment.

Highland Park City Council calls for federal, state assault weapons ban as Democrats in Springfield ponder next move. The Highland Park City Council unanimously approved a resolution urging state and federal bans on assault weapons and other actions to curb gun violence after seven people were killed at its July Fourth parade.

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Susy Schultz is the editor of the Evanston Roundtable. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and is the former president of Public Narrative, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching journalists and...