Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

It’s been a busy week and perhaps the perfect time to relax with a walk along the North Shore Channel path. Our Picturing Evanston photographer Joerg Metzner tells us if you head north of the Evanston Ecology Center, you’ll not only get the calming effects of nature but also learn about your neighbors, the local foxes. Here’s our weekly recap of RoundTable’s coverage, but also a few new stories.

Credit: Les Jacobson

SPACE has been hosting its annual outdoor weekend series, Out of Space, at the Canal Shores Golf Course. It ends tonight with legendary Blues guitarist Buddy Guy headlining. On Friday the RoundTable’s Les Jacobson was one of 5,000 who enjoyed the venerable British rocker Elvis Costello play some of his greatest hits plus a few new numbers during his 90-minute set.

Credit: Madeline Rome Photography

The courtship and wedding of Jeff Zhao and Justine Andrus is a love story not to be missed. And you won’t as its in our new column They Do: Kismet or fate? Finding love on a first date. Zhao surprised Andrus one night at the Merrick Rose Garden on Lake Street, getting down on his knee to present her with a sparkling solitaire diamond engagement ring that once belonged to his grandmother.

City News

City will not move forward with Carol Mitten as a candidate for City Manager after a mutual decision that the Urbana city administrator was “not the right fit” for Evanston. This is the third city manager search this year to fail after candidates were named, and the fourth the city has conducted since longtime City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz left in September 2019.

‘I didn’t think I had a chance’: Meet one of Evanston’s first 16 reparations recipients. Louis Weathers, an 87-year-old longtime Evanstonian is one of the first 16 recipients of Evanston’s reparations program. He described his feelings after he had learned his name was drawn to receive reparations as if he’d won the lottery. “I didn’t think I had a chance,” he told our reporter.

Corporation Counsel Cummings on administrative leave. Evanston Corporation Counsel Nicholas Cummings has been placed on paid administrative leave for a personnel matter since July 5, according to a city spokesperson. Not much else is know of the circumstances, Meanwhile the city has contracted with Derke Price of Ancel Glink law firm to serve as interim corporation counsel.

Evanstonians for Reproductive Rights act quickly to raise funds for Planned Parenthood. More than 300 people gathered at The Custer Oasis for the Old School Vinyl Dance Party for Reproductive Rights last weekend. Hosted by Evanstonians for Reproductive Rights, which formed two weeks ago after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the group is raising money for Planned Parenthood.

Engagement, outreach keys to participatory budgeting effort. Organizers with Northwestern University-based group PB Evanston held a town hall Thursday evening to kick off the City of Evanston’s participatory budgeting process, where residents will pitch, develop and vote on projects for $3 million of funding.

Council members could be flagged for bad behavior under proposed changes to ordinance. The City Council’s Rules Committee made a formal recommendation which, if approved, would mean Evanston’s elected officials could be charged with misconduct for inappropriate behavior.

City Government 101: The many departments that police Evanston. A wide variety of departments at every level – local, county, regional, state and federal – help police Evanston. The RoundTable provides a rundown of the nine primary police organizations active in Evanston. Also, the EPD announced Thursday that its ongoing officer shortage means it will have to reassign officers and reduce services.

Public Health and Safety

EPD join investigation after ‘unknown serial robber’ hits Howard Jewel-Osco. The FBI is collaborating with Evanston and other North Shore police agencies after the seventh in a string of robberies took place Wednesday at the Huntington Bank branch in the Howard Street Jewel-Osco, just south of the Evanston border.

Public health warnings lately are a lot to take in and can seem overwhelming after the pandemic. But here is what you need to know:

COVID-19 update as of Aug. 4: Cook County stays in ‘high’ community risk level, Evanston in the ‘medium’ risk level. The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 163 for the week ending Aug. 3, compared to 185 for the week ending July 28, a decrease of 12%. The seven-day average of new cases in the state also decreased by 12%; hospitalizations declined by 4%.

U.S. joins Illinois in declaring monkeypox a public health emergency. The formal declaration will relax paperwork requirements and red tape for providers and provide more resources for tests and vaccines. As of Wednesday, Aug. 3, the U.S. has reported more than 6,000 cases, of which Illinois has seen more than 500.

Evanston widow warns of West Nile Virus risks, expert urges mosquito precautions. Lincoln Janus, a 73-year-old retired attorney and longtime Evanston resident, died of complications from West Nile virus in 2021. The Evanston region is a hotspot and breeding ground for the kind of mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus.


Analysis: District 65 set to present new 5-year goals in September. The RoundTable’s Larry Gavin analyzed school-by-school plans from Evanston/Skokie School District 65 to reveal what Evanston’s elementary and middle schools are (and aren’t) prioritizing in the coming years.

ETHS 101: Everything you need to know before school starts. In less than two weeks, Evanston Township High School opens its doors for the first day of the 2022-23 academic year Monday, Aug. 15. Here is the RoundTable ETHS primer on everything new and not new for veteran as well as incoming families.

Sports, activism, education excellence all add up to ETHS sophomore Olivia Ohlson. Ohlson, a standout athlete in basketball, golf and softball and a community activist and fundraiser, founded and runs a program called Diversify Golf to teach children the sport’s basics. Based at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, the program targets young girls of color, but all are welcome.

Art & Life

‘A lot happening’ at the Thursday Night Market: An Evanston community centerpiece. An impressive variety of local artists, makers and retail shops brought a steady flow of residents and visitors Aug. 4 at Fountain Square’s community plaza south of Davis Street. Many stayed to dance to music by DJ Johnny Price, drink craft beer from Smylie Brothers Brewing Co. and enjoy the warm summer evening.

Getting to know B.J. Jones of Northlight Theatre. In this edition of People You Should Know, award-winning actor, director and Northlight Theatre’s artistic director B.J. Jones is interviewed by ETHS alum Eric Smith, Northlight’s staff administrative assistant. The video series is produced as a joint project of the RoundTable, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce and Byline Bank.

Credit: Photo by Evan Girard

Summertime is mural time in Evanston as four new ones debut. The new murals are brightening our fair city, and the first was completed in early July at 1815 Norwood Court. Gay Risenborough takes us through all of them, and introduces us to the artists behind them.

Credit: Matt Simonette

‘Pride doesn’t exist only in June’: Evanston’s LGBTQ+ community celebrates. Evanston Pride is all year around according to the city’s LGBTQ+ families who gathered for the second annual community picnic last weekend in Ridgeville Park. The family- and youth-oriented event was co-founded by Rada Yovovich, who told the RoundTable “pride doesn’t exist only in June.”

Credit: Debbie-Marie Brown

At Taste of Hemenway, church serves up dishes and diversity. The Hemenway United Methodist Church held its annual Taste of Hemenway event last weekend serving up a variety of cultural foods in a buffet cooked by church parishioners. Church secretary Fay Bennett organized it more than a decade ago.

Credit: Submitted

The Art of Making Art: Barista Dexter Zeiler. As a barista at Evanston Pour at 528 Dempster St., Dexter Zeiler creates espresso-based art that we can drink, such as a great latte, cappuccino or cortado. While you’ll appreciate a cute design on top, no design makes up for poor-tasting coffee. The art is when the taste and the design are both great and your coffee shop experience comes to life.

ASAPI stories told through art at Evanston Art Center. Local artists who identify as Asian, South Asian and Pacific Islander are featured in Kitchen Table Stories, the first ASAPI exhibition at the Evanston Art Center, running through Aug. 21 in the gallery at 1717 Central St.

BOOKS: Questions for author Susan Garthwaite. Q&A with Evanston resident, spiritual director and retreat guide Susan Garthwaite, who wrote Saint Hildegard: Ancient Insights for Modern Seekers, which is a treasure trove of St. Hildegard’s bracing, rich and transforming insights.

REVIEW: ‘Where the Crawdads Sing.’ Reviewer Doris Popovich gives the long-awaited film adaptation of Delia Owens’ first novel a thumbs up, saying, “The film is a slow-burn toward freedom from hardship and provides a well-timed reminder to look around at all we do have.”

Walsh Natural Health owner pivoted from corporate life to nutrition and wellness. The store, named for a previous owner, is now in its 17th year under Lynn Bednar’s ownership. At 2116½ Central St., it’s a top Chicagoland destination for health and wellness solutions.

Public Square

Nancy E. Anderson: What to make of all the lawn signs. RoundTable columnist Nancy Anderson traces the proliferation and dominance of plastic signs – from the academic to the political – in lawns across the country. She writes, “It’s funny, in this digital age, that such an analog form of communication has surged in popularity.”

Les Jacobson: Beethoven splains it all for you. Our RoundTable columnist analyzes a single movement from a Beethoven string quartet to reveal “a lifetime of sonorous beauty and worthwhile lessons.”

Peggy Tarr: ‘Fix Me.’* Our columnist reflects on an increase in crime and the efforts that community and faith leaders have taken to address it, such as holding a conference to highlight “respect, self-control and self-help.”

Letter to the editor: Thank you, city staff. “Dozens (hundreds?) of dedicated professionals are getting up every morning and heading to the office to run the city. With numerous positions unfilled, everyone has to pick up the slack,” Svetlana Bekman writes in the RoundTable.

Don’t let COVID kill my mother. I’ll do that. This week’s Dear Gabby column discusses how to communicate positive COVID results after a wedding, telling friends to make safer choices, and safely criticizing an education program while taking it.


Basketball and beyond: New FAAM president talks importance of mentors for middle schoolers. Omar Brown, the new president of the nonprofit Fellowship for Afro-American Men, became involved with the middle school basketball league 17 years ago as an assistant coach. Whether it’s hard work, being a good teammate or learning how to control yourself in situations that get out of control, Brown said, middle school is a time for teaching and mentors.

Credit: Heidi Randhava

Volley4Change seeks to level the playing field in girls sports. The newly formed nonprofit, created by three rising high school seniors, aims to help girls overcome racial and economic barriers to entry in competitive volleyball – the second most popular sport for girls in the United States, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Rank and File | Nepomniachtchi and Ding will play to succeed Carlsen as World Chess Champion. With World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s recently announced retirement, the next move belongs to Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren to determine the new world chess champion. In the recent Candidates Tournament, “Nepo” and Ding opened play with a game that suited Nepo’s playing style better than Ding’s.

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Alex Harrison

Alex Harrison joins the RoundTable for the summer in between his undergraduate and graduate studies at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.