Evanston RoundTable

Good Friday morning, Evanston!

Notice anything different outside today? That unfamiliar white stuff on the ground? Photographer Richard Cahan ventured into the sprinkle of snow last night, where he found ETHS freshman soccer hopeful Samantha Caldwell practicing her shot at the Robert Crown fields. Scattered flurries are expected today. (And in soccer news, Argentina takes on France in the World Cup final this Sunday at 9 a.m.)

Now, on to your local news roundup.

A year ago today, Evanston Township High School went into a lockdown after a school resource officer found loaded handguns in two backpacks. To mark that anniversary, we’re doing something unusual: directing you to another publication. Read what students have to say about public safety issues in a special issue of The Evanstonian, the ETHS student newspaper.

Credit: Richard Cahan

A survey by Evanston’s Equity and Empowerment Commission found that 67% of Black respondents had little to no confidence in the Evanston Police Department’s ability to treat BIPOC residents equal to white people. Commission co-chair Karla Thomas, above, plans to finish analyzing the survey by next month’s meeting.

So far 10 candidates have filed to compete for a seat on either the Evanston/Skokie District 65 board (members of the current board seen above) or the Evanston Township High School District 202 board. Candidates have until 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, to file. The spring election is set for April 4.

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The RoundTable’s fall NewsMatch campaign is ongoing. Through Dec. 31, all donations to the RoundTable are being matched by generous national and local partners, so please support Evanston’s nonprofit newsroom and donate today!

RoundTable Weekend Roundup

Cookies, Cocoa & Cards: Stop by the Evanston Ecology Center between 6 and 9 p.m. Friday night to make cards for first responders.

Heavy Shtetl: Kick off your Hanukkah celebrations at 7 p.m. Friday at the Jewish Reconstruction Congregation, where the house Klezmer band is ringing in the holiday season with your favorite songs.

Encountering Evanston History: Join the RoundTable authors for a talk at 3 p.m. Saturday at Westminster Place or for a book signing at 2 p.m. Sunday at Booked on Main.

The Nutcracker: Check out Mudlark Theatre’s rendition of the holiday classic at 7 p.m. Friday at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday; $17 tickets.

Chanukah Wonderland: Chabad of Evanston sponsors Chanukah fun at Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday; $10 at the door.

Encountering Evanston History

Credit: Susy Schultz

See another side of Evanston history in the newly released RoundTable book, Encountering Evanston History. Written by founders Mary and Larry Gavin (above) and a host of current and former reporters and columnists, it provides a lively look at Evanston’s past, from Indigenous people living on the lake shore to the coming of settlers and the community’s growth into a modern city. Sales of the book benefit the RoundTable; find out more or order at the official website.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Evanston Cradle to Career’s Director of Community Engagement Kimberly Holmes-Ross is juggling a second job these days: interim executive director. Cradle to Career is searching for new leadership after Sheila Merry, its longtime executive director, retired for a second time.

Credit: Noah Sheldon

In late October, a charming shop, Pink and Tan, opened at 604 Dempster St. in an airy and light space perfect for displaying housewares, home décor and art objects. But the story of the store begins with a COVID-19 lockdown in China.

COVID-19 weekly update: Check out the latest data for Evanston, which remains in the “medium” risk category. Statewide, “Illinois is experiencing a significant rise in communities at elevated risk levels for COVID-19, including 29 counties at a high risk,” said Dr. Sameer Vohra, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Credit: Joerg Metzner

The Arts Council this month voted to build a new website – EvanstonArts.org. And to host a mixer in January. And it plans to find a replacement for the red sculpture formerly at Twiggs Park. And …

Credit: Northwestern University

Letter to the editor: NU overselling Ryan stadium’s economic impact. Studies show “that sports stadiums don’t do much to boost a local economy, even in cities and neighborhoods that have not used tax revenue to fund developments,” writes Ken Proskie, on behalf of the Most Livable City Association.

In related news, the Evanston/North Shore NAACP chapter is hosting a “Rebuild Ryan Field” community forum at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, at Second Baptist Church. Northwestern President Michael Schill and Athletic Director Derrick Gragg are expected to speak on the stadium project.

The Evanston Running Club, Commonwealth Running Company, Rogers Park Running Club, Evanston Bicycle Club, Evanston Masters Swimming and the Evanston Flying Turkey Race are sponsoring the Evanston Community Blood Drive with Vitalant Evanston Blood Donation Center. The blood drive runs through Jan. 14.

Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for opportunities in editorial.

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From day one, it’s been the RoundTable’s mission to bring you unbiased, in-depth reporting about the Evanston community. But we need your help to continue investing in high-quality journalism, reporting news that strengthens and enlightens our community, encourages civic engagement and bolsters our democracy. Please join our community of readers and become a member today.

Around the web

CTA, Pace to issue shared passes next year. The two transportation organizations recently announced plans to roll out one-day, three-day, seven-day and 30-day unlimited ride passes that count for both transit systems.

Chicago Is Ready For Arctic Blast, City Officials Say. Here’s How To Stay Warm And Avoid A Snow-Related Ticket This Season. Christmas is going to be cold, really cold, around Chicago this year, according to the National Weather Service. Try to keep warm air circulating through your home, and occasionally run all of your faucets so they don’t freeze, officials said.

Do sex toys belong in ‘comprehensive sex education’ for high school students? That’s the question at the core of a controversial debate over sex education at Chicago’s Francis Parker School. A far-right group recently obtained a secretly-recorded video of an administrator at the school discussing sex education topics, including the use of sex toys in high school health classes.

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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...