Credit: Richard Cahan

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

Soccer fans Michelle Monieson, left, and Jennie Abt watch the World Cup semifinals at Firehouse Grill on Wednesday, Abt’s birthday. It wasn’t easy for them to find a bar or restaurant with a big screen in the early afternoon, notes photographer Richard Cahan. They cheered for underdog Morocco, but France won. The finals are Sunday.

At the RoundTable, we’re neutral in World Cup action, but cheering for Evanston, always. Now, on to today’s news.

Credit: City of Evanston YouTube

Once again, the city’s move toward fully funding police and fire pensions is making headlines. On Tuesday, Dec. 13, several members of the city’s Finance & Budget Committee criticized committee Chair David Livingston for sending his own letter to the mayor expressing concerns about the pension funding plan.

A display at Beth Emet synagogue commemorates those lost to gun violence. Credit: Kristin Lems

Letter to the editor: Support the Protect Illinois Communities Act. “Weapons of war and mass casualty have no place in our communities,” writes Sara Hines, co-lead of the Evanston chapter of Moms Demand Action.

Credit: Richard Cahan

City Council Member Devon Reid, 8th Ward, will likely have to recuse himself from the vote on zoning permit issues for the homeless shelter at the Margarita Inn. Connections for the Homeless is applying for the special use permit and Reid recently utilized one of Connections’ programs distributing eviction prevention funds.

Support the RoundTable

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!

COVID-19 by the numbers: 14 new cases and no new deaths were reported on Tuesday, Dec. 13, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 20.4 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

At a Tuesday meeting, District 65 parents heaped praise on Oakton Elementary School’s African Centered Curriculum, which teaches traditional African values such as collective responsibility and respect for others. Many parents said 90% of the families they talk to have never heard of the program. This year, 86 students are enrolled across all classes, despite a capacity of 126.

Credit: Richard Cahan

Be a holiday hero: Buy a winter coat for an Evanston child. At This Time photographer Richard Cahan snapped Brigitte Giles, left, and Elizabeth Sayles at the Ebony Barber Shop, 1702 Dodge Ave. Shop owner Giles has organized a coat drive, with tags listing the child’s gender and size. Sayles picked up two tags.

Theo Ubique’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is raucous, bawdy and sexy, writes RoundTable critic Cissy Lacks. The show adds modern perspectives and hypes up the hypocrisy. “For an evening of rollicking fun, this production has it all.”

The ETHS girls basketball team put on a tough, gutsy performance against a strong Barrington squad on Tuesday. Trailing by 14 points with 6½ minutes left, the Wildkits came back and had two chances to tie or win in the final 15 seconds.

Seniors on the ETHS chess team excelled at the Palatine Pirate Tournament, taking second place behind Stevenson High School, the current state champ. Head coach Keith Holzmueller analyzes a key game.

Credit: Heidi Randhava

Join Mayor Daniel Biss, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky and others for a Menorah Lighting celebration at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, at Fountain Square. There will be live music, Hanukkah treats and an LED robot dancer.

Cookies, Cocoa & Cards: Drop by the Evanston Ecology Center from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, to make cards for first responders, veterans, nurses, hospitalized children and others in need this holiday season.

Picturing Evanston. The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation synagogue, 303 Dodge Ave., was the first platinum LEED-certified house of worship in North America when built in 2008. The reclaimed barn siding is weathering and the grounds are maturing, providing a habitat for insects and butterflies. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

Encountering Evanston History

The perfect holiday gift for any EvanstonianEncountering Evanston History, a book benefiting the Evanston RoundTable Media not-for-profit, features 75 stories from 18 authors. Find out more at the book’s official website and plan on attending the Bookends & Beginnings book launch reception at 6 p.m. tonight!

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

Become a member!

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 and in-depth 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

An Arctic Blast Is Coming, Bringing ‘MUCH Colder’ Weather To Chicago Next Week, Experts Say. Some extremely cold temperatures are expected in the Chicago area at the end of next week. The projected low for Dec. 23: zero degrees.

Mayoral hopefuls agree solving crime is the answer — no matter what the question. Eight candidates for Chicago mayor joined a forum on Tuesday evening, and most of them brought each topic back to crime and public safety. Public polling has suggested most voters are primarily concerned about those two topics.

Massive plan to extend the Red Line south wins Chicago council approval. Chicago City Council members greenlit a $4 billion plan to add 6 miles of CTA track to the far South Side, using federal money and a downtown TIF district to fund it.

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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...