Evanston RoundTable

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston!

If you’re looking for something fun to help break up your week, the Evanston Symphony Orchestra is celebrating Wilmette’s 150th anniversary tonight with a free pops concert in the Wallace Bowl at Gillson Park. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and lasts an hour. Ahead of the performance, the RoundTable’s Richard Cahan photographed Daniel Dicesare, above, as he rehearsed Tuesday. Now, here are today’s top stories:

A CDC electron microscope image showing monkeypox virions, left, in a sample of skin tissue. Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As of last week, Evanston reported a total of seven monkeypox cases and no hospitalizations, according to Ike Ogbo, the city’s director of Health and Human Services. In a paper in Scientific American, Northwestern University Professor Steven Thrasher argues that health authorities should treat monkeypox as a sexually transmitted infection in order to target the most vulnerable populations and expedite vaccinations and drug treatments.

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

In downtown news, an external investment group has purchased the Hilton Orrington hotel for a reported $34 million. The new owners plan to spend between $10 million and $20 million renovating the Evanston landmark in an effort to revitalize the building and its rooms, according to Economic Development Manager Paul Zalmezak and Downtown Evanston Executive Director Annie Coakley.

COVID-19 by the numbers: 11 cases were reported on Monday, Aug. 22, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 9.3 cases per day.

Is business your business?

Are you into Evanston’s business? Do you worry about the health and well-being of the businesses in our city? Are you interested in writing? If you answered a hat trick of “yeses,” we would love to talk to you about doing a little freelance writing for the RoundTable. No journalism experience necessary. Send a note to susy@evanstonroundtable.com with the subject “I mean business!”

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: Mary Gavin

Foster Senior Club celebrates 65 years. A luncheon celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Foster Senior Club brought more than half of its 100 members to Fleetwood Jourdain Community Center on Aug. 17. The club was formed in 1957 and members have been meeting weekly since then.

Parks and Rec Board wants more public input on park hours, public nudity proposals. Members of the city’s Parks and Recreation Board didn’t close the door on a council member’s proposal to remove park hour restrictions. But the Board urged Devon Reid (8th Ward) to do more community outreach to gauge support for the proposal as well as another he has suggested to change the definition of public nudity.

Cop on a Rooftop: EPD supports Special Olympics athletes. Evanston police officers took part in the annual Cop on Top fundraiser Aug. 19, renamed this year as Cop on a Rooftop, raising $2,300 for local Special Olympics programs while enjoying coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Dempster Street.

Evanston block party 101. Block parties have been a part of Evanston’s summers for decades, and Tom Twigg, the city’s Traffic Operations Supervisor, says there are typically some 180 block parties in the city from May 1 to Sept. 30. Check out this explainer to learn everything you need to know about the city’s quintessential summer celebrations.

Property tax appeal information session held Aug. 25; Appeal deadline Sept. 9. Evanston property owners concerned about their property taxes can submit an appeal to the Cook County Assessor through Sept. 9. Property owners may file an appeal on their own online and help from the city is available.

Picturing Evanston. Idyllic view of Clark Street Beach on a warm summer evening in August. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

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Around the web

Campbell talks new role, fresh vision. Evanston Township High School student journalists at The Evanstonian interview new District 202 Superintendent Marcus Campbell about his vision for ETHS.

Chicago’s top doctor shows cautious optimism on monkeypox. With nearly 800 cases of the virus reported in Chicago thus far, the city’s public health commissioner said on Tuesday that she has not seen the exponential rise in cases that was expected based on the spread happening a few weeks ago.

Most US adults want stricter gun laws, a new poll finds. Over 70% of all Americans, including about 50% of Republicans, favor heavier restrictions on guns, according to a new poll by the University of Chicago and Associated Press-NORC.

Your first brush with coronavirus could affect how a fall booster works. Well over two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have been infected, vaccinated, boosted, infected again and perhaps boosted again. Infectious disease studies have shown that our first encounter with a virus, whether it be the flu or COVID-19, determines how our body responds to future iterations of the disease.

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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...