Good Friday morning, Evanston.

Looks like it should be another beautiful summer day to play it cool, boy, real cool. Sunny, mostly clear with a high in the 80s and south-by-southwest winds of 5 to 10 mph. But the National Weather Service and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency are also telling us looks can be deceiving. We are under an Air Quality Alert through tonight, meaning ozone or widespread particulate matter will be at unhealthy levels for those who are sensitive. If that is you or your children, limit prolonged outdoor exposure and please be safe out there. Now, let’s turn to the news.

Business beginnings: A new salad place and a new patio in downtown Evanston. Wendi Kromash reports on the opening of salad restaurant Sweetgreen in the newly renovated Fountain Square Building, and the addition of a permanent covered patio to Farmhouse Evanston.

Credit: Photo by Wendi Kromash

Local bee enthusiasts recently met to celebrate the passage of “The Bee Bill,” which amends Illinois’ Environmental Protection Act to ban a class of pesticides that can be toxic to honeybees. The bill was inspired by Winnetka student Scarlett Harper (second from left), who, after sharing her concerns with State Sen. Laura Fine (left) and State Rep. Robyn Gabel (right), recruited them to sponsor the bill more than two years ago.

The city’s Planning and Development Housing Subcommittee met Thursday to discuss ways of improving inspections and code compliance among Evanston’s rental properties. Tenant property registration, a public rental registry and increased frequency of routine inspections were suggested. The subcommittee referred landlord licensing back to the parent committee for further evaluation.

The total number of new cases of COVID-19 in Evanston was 215 for the week ending June 22, 6% higher than the week ending June 16. The number of new cases in the state decreased by about 16%. Hospitalizations remained at about the same level. Cook County and Evanston are in the “medium” community risk level.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 42 new cases were reported Wednesday, June 22, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 30.7 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Submitted by the Evanston Environmental Association

The Weekender: The RoundTable Roundup for June 24-26. Happy Friday! Our intrepid Weekender reporter Anne Bodine lists all the events you don’t want to miss this weekend.

Meez Meals hopes to up the ante on home meal kit delivery. Local working mother Jen Moore founded the company in 2011, before many of today’s mainstream meal kit delivery companies emerged. Today, Meez says it stands out from competitors by allowing customization free of charge and offering a dinner hotline to provide live meal prep advice.

At This Time. Charles and Marjory West scan the eastern horizon at Lee Street Beach for the alignment of five planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. “We saw three,” he said, as well as the waning crescent moon. The planets will be lining up 45 minutes before sunrise for the next several days. Best morning: Friday. Best time: 4:30 a.m. If you wait, your next look won’t be for a while: March 2041. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Picturing Evanston. Lots of support and celebration can be seen around Evanston during Pride month. These flags sprouted outside the store Stumble & Relish on Chicago Avenue just north of Dempster Street. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

Sondheim Tribute at Nichols Concert Hall on June 25. Marvelous Moments, The Music of Stephen Sondheim  will be begin at 7:30 p.m., presented by Blank Theatre Company and JAM Orchestra. Tickets can be purchased at

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Around the web

The FDA is banning all Juul vapes and cartridges from being sold in the U.S., reportedly because the company provided insufficient and conflicting data about the potential risks of its vape pens in market applications. Juul said it will appeal the decision and consider all options to regain approval.

Chicago’s City Council is calling on the CTA to address the growing unreliability of the city’s train and bus lines. 35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa introduced a resolution Wednesday demanding a public hearing with the CTA, which received endorsements from 34 other council members.

The Daily Northwestern published a Q&A with NU alum and former Chicago Bear Tommy Doles. Doles recently published a memoir, Gridiron Redemption: The NFL, Paris, and a Pandemic, which details his struggle to move on after his NFL career came to an end.

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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.