Evanston RoundTable
Credit: Photo by Gay Riseborough

Good Tuesday morning, Evanston!

There is a lot going on today but let us say there will be no need to remind you to keep your sunny side up as the National Weather Service tells us we will have sun all around us, all day, with a high near 82.

But when the sun goes down, join the RoundTable and the city tonight as we co-host a town hall meeting to discuss the search for the City Manager with Mayor Daniel Biss at 7 p.m. at the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., in the 4th floor Parasol Room. You can submit questions in advance online or in person at the meeting. Those who prefer remote participation can watch live on City Channel 16 or on the City’s YouTube channel.

Coming today on our website. Last night the City Council approved a proposal for a fall referendum to see if residents want rank order voting to be implemented in Evanston’s 2025 municipal elections. Reporter Bob Seidenberg will have that story later today, so plan a visit to the RoundTable website.

Later this week, we would not be surprised if you stumble on an easel or two as you walk through town. After all, we are expecting more than 40 artists to be here as the first Plein Air Festival will be happening in Evanston July 14-17. The brainchild of Evanston artist Mark Cleveland, this juried invitational festival will celebrate painting (and in this case selling) landscapes created “en plein air” or out in the open air. It’s sponsored by Downtown Evanston and Evanston Made.

Credit: Northwestern University

Northwestern University’s President-elect Rebecca M. Blank announced Monday morning that she must step down before she even starts her job as she learned last week she has an aggressive form of cancer. In a heartbreaking email to the community, Blank wrote: “I do not have the words to express to you how disappointed and sad I am to be telling you this.” Current NU President Morton Schapiro, who announced in 2021 he would retire at the end of August 2022, agreed to stay while the Board of Trustees launches a new search, Board Chair J. Landis Martin said in a statement.

Credit: City of Highland Park

Just a week after the Highland Park shooting that left seven dead and more than 30 injured when a 22-year-old turned an assault weapon on a Fourth of July parade crowd, the city’s Mayor Nancy R. Rotering went to the White House with Governor J.B. Pritzker and Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill. They came for the signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act but also met with President Joe Biden. Rotering wrote in a letter to residents that all agreed the Act is “a first step to reducing the carnage … but we need to do more. … We need a federal assault weapons ban. Combat weapons have no place on our streets.”

COVID-19 by the numbers: There were 35 new cases reported on July 10, the last date the city updated its totals, putting the city’s seven-day average at 33.79 cases. There were no deaths on July 10, leaving the total Evanston deaths since March 14, 2020, at 152.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Jamie Harris

Bereaved parents find support in dealing with tragedy The group Jamie Lynn Harris started in 2019, Life Without My Child, meets on the fourth Saturday of each month. Harris joins with 23 angel moms and one angel dad, who like her, come together to help each other cope with the unbearable pain of loosing a child.

Letter to the editor: City close to crisis mode without city manager. The League of Women Voters told Evanstonians that the organization “believes in community participation. …But it is not the job of the community to decide who the next city manager should be. That is the job of our elected officials. … Let’s have our elected officials interview candidates and make a decision.” 

Letter to the editor: The City Manager is not above the people. Representatives from three Evanston groups – Citizens Network of Protection, Community Alliance for Better Government and Reclaim Evanston – said they disagreed with the League of Women Voters letter, writing: “The City Manager is the single most important and influential position in Evanston’s city government. … Engaging with the public process is a necessary step for identifying that leader.”

At This Time – Monday at 6:49 p.m.: Becky Trisko shows the first tomatoes of the season from her community garden plot at McCormick Gardens. “Fresh new tomatoes, there is nothing better,” she said. The city rents 220 plots at four community gardens, including McCormick, across the street from the Ecology Center. This is Trisko’s fourth year in the gardens and she’s already harvested strawberries. “Fresh new life is good for the soul,” she said. “It’s meditative, but a lot of work.” (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Credit: Joerg Metzner

Picturing Evanston. Warm summer evening at Lee Street Beach. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

President Biden reveals the James Webb Space Telescope’s stunning first image. The image is of a cluster of galaxies as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago, and is far sharper than similar “deep field” photos taken by the more than thirty-year-old Hubble telescope. The Webb telescope is a collaborative project between the space agencies of America, Europe and Canada, and first launched on Christmas Day 2021.

Uber broke laws, duped police and secretly lobbied governments, leak reveals. A massive amount of internal emails, files and text messages leaked by former Uber lobbyist Mark McGann reveal an open willingness by compoany executives to violate laws and regulations while aggressively expanding into cities worldwide. The Guardian and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists organized the reporting, which has contributions from 180 journalists in 29 countries.

Chicago Giving Out 5,000 Free Bikes Through 2026. Bike Chicago, a collaboration between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Transportation, will kick off this summer with at least 500 free bikes in the first year of the program. The city will prioritize giving some of the bikes to CPS students who receive job training in the Greencorps Chicago Youth Program.

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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...