Evanston RoundTable

Good Thursday morning, Evanston.

It looks lovely out there this morning. But expect a high of 91, with south, southwest winds blowing at 10 to 15 mph and gusts up to 30 mph, according to the National Weather Service forecast. That forecast and the low humidity means perfect conditions for grass fires (who knew?). So, we are under a hazardous weather alert for just that reason through tonight.

There was significantly low voter turnout Evanston for the 2022 primary elections, according to the Cook County Clerk. It looked like only about a quarter of registered voters in the city voted as of Wednesday night. Mail-in ballots will continue to be counted, so that figure could change in the coming weeks. What might have caused this? Don’t discount boredom and/or general weariness with political discord. Yet, leading theories include, no real competitive races on the Democratic ballot, where most of the voting occurred. Also the primary date changed. This was a first-time June primary. Remember how it used to be in March? (If you just said, “Oh yeah,” let’s rack one up for weariness.)

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

The city is making sure there will be time to talk before it changes ward districts. Evanston’s Redistricting Committee wants to listen to community members and is setting two town halls to help redraw the city’s ward boundaries, which have not been changed since 2003. Citizen feedback will be key, as even small shifts in ward boundaries have the potential to affect long-term constituencies. The town halls will be virtual, and are tentatively planned from 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 13 in English and July 20 in Spanish.

Credit: Isi Frank Ativie

Doria Dee Johnson left the world too soon. Yet, she left a large mark. Her work brought truth to history. Through her diligence and scholarship, she found and elevated stories left behind and then made sure they were heard via her philanthropy. She uplifted and brought people together. Evanston Rules is honoring that legacy with a new charity golf tourney and bringing people together to support the next generation of scholar. Laurice Bell and Ron Whitmore, hosts of the podcast Evanston Rules, were also the hosts of the inaugural Doria Dee Johnson Scholarship golf outing last month at Canal Shores Course. The money collected will be used to support students attending historically Black colleges. Bell and Whitmore say that for certain this is the start of a tradition.

COVID-19 by the numbers: There were 38 new cases reported on June 28, the last date the city updated its totals, putting the city’s seven-day average at 32.1 cases. There were no deaths on June 28, leaving the total number of Evanston deaths since March 14, 2020, at 152.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Photo courtesy of Tracy Vaughn-Manley

Levy Lecture: Quilts, community and literature by Black women. Tracy Vaughn-Manley will tell you quilts are much more than utilitarian objects to cover us. They also tell stories. They are “tactile repositories of history. They serve as tangible historical markers of a specific generation or rite of passage, as well as textile narratives, telling the stories of a particular culture through fabric and design,” the Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University said about her research on the intersection of quilts, community and Black women’s literature in post-Civil Rights America. She spoke at the final 2022 Levy Lecture – the organization’s 100th program in the series.

Credit: Raphael Wicker on Unsplash

Letter to the Editor: Thank you for supporting humane horse legislation. Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, writes to publicly thank Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.-IL.) for her leadership in moving along two bills: the Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act and the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act.

Le Tour de Noir and Black Business Expo returns. The Black Business Consortium Evanston North Shore will host its fifth annual bus tour and fourth annual marketplace and expo to support local Black businesses on July 16 at James Park.

City announces facility and service schedules for the 4th of July. Many of Evanston’s public services and locations will be affected by the national holiday, in part to accommodate the Central Street parade and Clark Street Beach fireworks display.

Credit: Richard Cahan

At This Time. Jae Wook Lee’s last day at his Evanston Grill is Thursday, which is the restaurant’s last day too. Lee, 86, who is Korean, bought the restaurant in 1994. Stop in today to say thank you. His specialty? Bi-bim bop, a rice and vegetable dish, which is well-known and well-loved in Korea – and those discerning Evanstonians who frequent the Grill.

Credit: Joerg Metzner

Picturing Evanston. Concentric tree skirt at Fountain Square for a tree that provides welcome shade on a sunny afternoon. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

Court dismisses most claims in lawsuit against city, former police chief. A district judge dismissed multiple claims from a February 2020 lawsuit filed against former police chief Demitrous Cook and the city Tuesday. The claims stemmed from a February 2020 incident where Cook posted mugshots of more than 30 EPD suspects to his public Snapchat story.

Safer bike lanes, with concrete curbs, coming to Chicago streets. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a project Wednesday to fund bike lane safety improvements within her five-year, $3.7 billion capital plan. The first lane to receive concrete barriers will be on Kinzie Street, between Milwaukee Avenue and Wells Street.

How the Supreme Court’s Abortion Decision Affects Tech and Privacy. Motherboard’s Matthew Gault and Samantha Cole detail how the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson affects data privacy in an episode of the Vice podcast Cyber.

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Alex Harrison reports on local government, public safety, developments, town-gown relations and more for the RoundTable. He graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in June...