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Evanston RoundTable

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

It’s that time of year: street cleaning season. A sweeper had to drive around this car Tuesday on Judson Avenue. Beware: Tickets are $75.

Over the past year, Northwestern professor kihana miraya ross, alongside her research team, has interviewed and surveyed more than 400 Black Evanstonians about their opinions on local schools and the plan to build a Fifth Ward neighborhood school. The data overwhelmingly showed that the city’s Black community remains distrustful of school leaders and teachers when it comes to taking care of Black students and their needs.

Rad skateboard news: The Evanston City Council approved a $1.757 million contract with a construction firm Monday night to build a skate park at the eastern end of Twiggs Park. Construction is expected to begin in mid-April and be completed by December. “It’s really, I think … a great thing for the youth in town and also us old guys who still skateboard,” said Ninth Ward Council Member Juan Geracaris.

Reparations Committee Chair Robin Rue Simmons.

During a special meeting tomorrow the city’s Reparations Committee is expected to debate offering cash payments, rather than only $25,000 housing grants, to eligible recipients. The committee previously approved cash payments for two ancestors who do not own any property and have no direct descendants. The city has long stated direct cash payments would be taxable, but Corporation Counsel Nicholas Cummings has said the Law Department’s stance has evolved.

Stories of the pandemic: The RoundTable is compiling stories about the pandemic lives of everyday Evanstonians as we prepare to mark the third anniversary of the initial COVID-19 shutdown in March 2020. Share your thoughts, memories, experiences and photos with us by emailing news@evanstonroundtable.com.

COVID-19 by the numbers: Seven new cases and no new deaths were reported on Monday, March 13, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 9.1 cases per day.

More RoundTable reads

Pi Day, Evanston style. Jory Downer, owner of Bennison’s Bakery, tops mini chocolate cream pies that – along with mini lemon meringue, apple and strawberry rhubarb pies – sold for $3.14 each on Tuesday. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

A fire broke out early Tuesday in a second-floor apartment at 208 Custer Ave. All residents evacuated safely, though the Evanston Fire Department said two were displaced due to smoke and water damage.

Credit: RoundTable file photo

Letter to the editor: “There are too many examples where the status quo in Evanston is prohibiting all children from reaching their full potential,” Max Weinberg writes, urging that ETHS’ equity focus include support for students with disabilities.

After a two-win season in 2022, Wildkit softball is back and better than ever, in large part thanks to the return of star junior Serafina Goodwill, who missed last year with a torn ACL. The home opener is 10 a.m. Saturday.

Join Family Focus for a virtual meeting at 6 p.m. tonight to discuss plans to renovate its building, the former Foster School, which is adjacent to Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center and the planned site of the new Fifth Ward school.

The Evanston Running Club, in collaboration with the Evanston/North Shore YWCA, is offering a free “Couch to 5K” training program that begins Sunday, March 26, as preparation for the Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate on June 18.

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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

As SNAP recipients see reduction in funds, Chicago residents make adjustments: ‘I make do’. The federal government had previously boosted the amount of food benefits available to eligible families during the pandemic, but those additional funds ran out in February.

Chemistry Ph.D. student, GoSTEM founder Nicolas Watkins dies. Watkins was a decorated chemist and the founder of Northwestern’s affiliate chapter of the national nonprofit Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

San Francisco backs reparations plans, including $5M to eligible Black adults. The board of supervisors heard a range of options Tuesday. An estimated 50,000 Black people live in the city, but it is not clear how many would be eligible.

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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...