Evanston RoundTable

Good Sunday morning, Evanston.

In an email sent on Thursday, November 18, the president of the Evanston/Skokie District 65 Educators’ Council (DEC) Maria Barroso encouraged DEC members to prioritize their mental health and take a sick day on Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.

In her email to teachers, Barroso stated that several factors, including an increase in COVID cases, are causing stress and affecting DEC members’ mental health. Teachers who need “a day to just breathe” should call in sick, she wrote. 

The following day, District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton announced that all District 65 schools will be canceled Monday and Tuesday, November 22 and 23, due to a lack of available staff and substitute teachers.

Catalytic converter
A catalytic converter, marked with red spray paint. (Photo by Wendi Kromash)

Due to a rise in catalytic converter thefts, on Saturday, November 20, the Evanston Police Department sponsored a free catalytic converter marking event in the Morton Civic Center parking lot.

From 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., approximately 200 preregistered residents were able to drive up, check in and get the catalytic converters on their cars marked with spray paint, all within a few minutes. This community service was offered as a potential deterrent to the thefts.

In case you missed any of the most important news last week, here’s a roundup of the top stories from the RoundTable this past week.

City News

Credit: Bob Seidenberg

With no ARPA funds to help, Library Board struggles over tax decision. For the third year in a row, members of the city’s Library Board have approved a budget with no tax increase, but the decision was not easy.

Possibility of two-way protected bike lane for busy Chicago Avenue stirs excitement among cyclists. Historically, local cyclists have avoided biking on Chicago Avenue, one of the city’s main north-south arteries.

COVID-19 Update as of Nov. 18: 16 new cases in Evanston, 4,267 in the state. New COVID-19 cases are continuing to increase in suburban Cook County, Chicago and Illinois.

City of Evanston reaches agreement on staff vaccine policy with last remaining union.

Popular Evanston Police newsletter had readers, plenty of intriguing material, but folds after criticism at Council Committee hearing.

Art & Life

Curry family
Curry family Thanksgiving photo in 2016. (Courtesy Elizabeth Curry)

New film spotlights former Evanston family with 12 kids. A new documentary by local filmmaker May May Tchao profiles former Evanston residents Elizabeth and Jud Curry along with their 12 children. The film gets its national broadcast premiere Tuesday, November 23.

In Evanston, abortion access options are limited. As well-publicized fights over abortion play out around the country, particularly in states like Texas and Mississippi, quieter changes to abortion access laws are being made closer to home.

Music review: A warm night in November. On a cool, unusually balmy Tuesday night in November, Chicago Avenue was quiet and hazy. The crowd sauntered into SPACE to catch a set from Texas singer-songwriter Hayes Carll.

Tied in knots before anyone ties the knot. Dear Gabby, My parents (in their 70s) have been separated for three years. Neither of them did great financial planning. My mother recently started dating a wealthy man, let’s call him Bob, who turns out to be the father of a friend of mine.

Local teen seeks to aid women and girls, here and in Africa.

RoundTable hosts panel on future of local journalism.

Goddesses rule at Northwestern gardens. The Northwestern University campus on Evanston’s beautiful lakeshore holds many charms – and a few surprises. Among the surprises are the two sunken gardens at either end of the iconic Charles Deering Memorial Library, built in 1933.

Brigitte Giles sits in her barber chair (Photo credit: Debbie-Marie Brown) Credit: Debbie-Marie Brown

The legacy of Marshall Giles: Ebony Barbershop and iKandi Hair Studio. Run by the well-known community powerhouse Briggite Giles, who goes by ‘Gigi’, Ebony Barbershop is both the oldest and youngest Black-owned barbershop in Evanston.

Sunflowers by Kate Wyatt. (Photo by Kate Wyatt)

The Art of Making Art: Kate Wyatt. Kate Wyatt creates botanical watercolors and abstract landscape oil paintings.

The Lighthouse Keeper sees… that Evanston businesses encourage people to mark Small Business Saturday on November 27 by shopping locally.

Last weekend in photos

Public Square

Guest essay: Coffee (and maybe churros) with a cop can make a difference. La Principal, southeast Evanston’s deliciously creative Mexican restaurant, opened its doors to host the casual get-together.

Obituary: Gerald ‘Gerry’ R. Adler. A Chicago native and graduate of Austin High and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Gerald taught history for 38 years in the Chicago Public Schools.

Eye on Evanston: Thoughts on Design | COVID-19 and the challenges of the architecture office.

Rank and File | World Chess Championship preview: Could Carlsen lose?


ETHS girls basketball: Kits get in Lincoln Park’s face for first win. In-your-face defense has always been a part of the team’s identity since Brittanny Johnson took over as head girls basketball coach.

ETHS girls basketball: Bolingbrook buries Kits in season opener

ETHS girls basketball: Kits set to challenge state’s elite teams

In the United States, 25% of newspapers have ceased operation, and 2,000 community newspapers have closed in the past 15 years. The vacuum created when local journalism declines poses a serious threat to democracy. Our democracy relies on a free press to educate the public.

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Adina Keeling

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...