Evanston RoundTable
ETHS students leave the building on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Good morning, Evanston.

A sense of optimism and energy permeated the air on Tuesday afternoon as students flowed out the doors of ETHS on the first full day of the school year. The sight of students talking with friends as they emerged from the building was both familiar and new.

Tuesday was the first day of full-time, in-person learning since March of 2019, which made it unlike any other opening day of school.

“Although it was a little hard at first, it was definitely easier just being around all these people. Teachers were nice, friends were helpful. It was just a good environment,” an ETHS sophomore told the RoundTable.

Kelley Gandurski (City photo)

The Evanston City Council intends to appoint Deputy City Manager Kelley Gandurski as Interim City Manager as the City undertakes a community-informed, nationwide search to recruit and hire its next City Manager. The City Council expects to vote on Gandurski’s appointment at its next meeting on Sept. 13. Gandurski will begin her role as Interim City Manager on the departure of current City Manager Erika Storlie on Oct. 8.

Walking her dog early one morning, an Evanston resident was approached by three dogs who had apparently left their owner’s fenced-in backyard through an unlocked gate. One of the dogs, a black Rottweiler, attempted to mate with the woman’s dog, said Commander Ryan Glew of the Evanston Police Department. When the woman started to walk away, the Rottweiler grabbed her forearm, bit down hard and dragged her several feet north on Forest Avenue toward Dempster Street. The victim was transported to Evanston Hospital with lacerations and a bone fracture; she was admitted and underwent emergency surgery. 

Here’s a roundup of other top stories from the RoundTable this week.

City News 

A City Council Committee rejected a recommendation of the City’s Preservation Commission that the Second Church of Christ, Scientist building and lot at 2715 Hurd Ave. be designated a local landmark. The building is across the street from Willard School in the City’s Sixth Ward. (RoundTable photo)

Move to designate church a landmark fails to make it off Council Committee floor. Members of a City Council Committee denied a request Aug. 9 that the Second Church of Christ, Scientist building and lot at 2715 Hurd Ave., be designated a local landmark. Committee members voted unanimously against moving the issue out of Committee to the Council floor for consideration. 

The City received a grant of $750,000 initially from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to install a state-of-the-art “green” parking lot behind the Morton Civic Center at 2100 N. Ridge Ave. (City of Evanston photo)

Crumbling concrete. Evanston officials could only congratulate themselves on their good fortune in 2014 when the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District announced it would be giving the City $750,000 toward construction of a state-of-the-art “green” parking lot behind the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, where most government offices were then housed. 

Mayor Daniel Biss: An update on COVID-19. During a few wonderful weeks back in June and early July, it seemed COVID-19 might finally be in retreat. The City reported zero new COVID-19 cases for 18 of 20 consecutive days back then, which, together with the resumption of many activities that had been on hiatus, led many to breathe a sigh of relief after an incredibly difficult 15 months.

City seeks public input on leaf blower policy. The Evanston City Council is seeking public input as it considers changes to the City Code impacting the use of leaf blowers. The Council is considering the changes as the City works to meet the goals set out in its Climate Action and Resilience Plan, which calls for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Evanston Fire Department responds to house fire in 1300 block of Dewey Ave. On Monday, Aug. 16, at approximately 8:45 a.m., the Evanston Fire Department responded to reports of a house fire at a residential home in the 1300 block of Dewey Ave. First-responding companies encountered restricted access to the home with heavy smoke and fire on the first floor. The fire was quickly upgraded to a box alarm, bringing in neighboring fire departments to assist with the response and to provide coverage for Evanston.

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Art & Life

From left: Head Basketball Coach Mike Ellis, ETHS Senior Accountant and Assistant Varsity Coach Rudy Meo, and freshman Basketball Coach Jetter Gibson look at the new street sign at Church St. and Dodge Ave. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

‘Black Lives Matter Way’ street sign ceremony honors an inclusive movement. The portion of Dodge Avenue between Church Street and Lake Street was officially designated as “Black Lives Matter Way” at a recognition ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 14. Close to 50 community members of all ages gathered at the intersection of Church Street and Dodge Avenue for the unveiling of the new street sign. Evanston Council member Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, and Evanston Township High School Head Basketball Coach Mike Ellis were early advocates for renaming the street.

College students gather at Bob’s Pizza on Tuesday nights (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Thanks to Tuesday Night Trivia, Bob’s Pizza is ‘the hottest joint in Evanston.’ On Tuesday evenings, groups of Northwestern students hurry down Sherman and Chicago Avenue to snag a table at Bob’s Pizza. The restaurant hosts Trivia Night every Tuesday at 8 p.m., and while players are busy scribbling answers onto note cards, servers supply steaming pizzas and $10 pitchers of beer, a favorite among the college students. “Bob’s Trivia is kind of the hottest joint in Evanston these days,” Northwestern student Sarika Rao said. 

Evanston hosts Vintage Garage (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Vintage Garage moves to Evanston, bringing with it 75 sellers. Shoppers at the Aug. 15 Vintage Garage saw no shortage of leather jackets, patterned button-downs, old electronics and retro home decor. The vintage market attracted 75 vendors, who sold everything from Christmas decorations to leather cowboy boots.

Photo of Blue Heron by Mike Roche

‘Blue-form’ of the gray heron. Mike Roche captured the “blue form” of the gray heron while kayaking on the North Shore Channel earlier this week. The heron was feeding near Bridge Street around 7 a.m.

A sand tatoo by Cécile Trentini (Submitted photo)

The art of making art: Cécile Trentini. Cécile Trentini is a textile artist. After frequently visiting Evanston from Switzerland for 10 years, she located here last year during the pandemic. It was a very big journey for her. Another kind of “journey” is a key component of her Daily Walking series she has been working on for the past seven years. Many of us feel a need to exercise and struggle to find time for it because of competing activities. 

Evanston Cradle to Career Advocates for Action, partners sponsor back-to-school event. To help connect youth and their families to community resources, information, and support before the start of the 2021–2022 school year, the Evanston Cradle to Career Advocates for Action, with support from Evanston/Skokie School District 65, Evanston Township High School, the Giving Storeroom and the City of Evanston, will host a back-to-school event in August.

Eric Rhodes named new president of AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital Evanston. AMITA Health welcomed Eric Rhodes as the new president of AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital Evanston, effective Aug. 8. Previously, he held the position of chief operating officer for HCA Johnston-Willis Hospital in Richmond, Va. 

Public Square

Henry Wilkins’ open letter to the District 65 School Board. Dear School District 65 Board and Administration, On behalf of STEM School Evanston’s Board, the hundreds of supporters, families, advisors and volunteers who advocated for our vision to open a Community School located in Evanston’s Central Core, we would like to thank the School District 65 Board and Administration for hearing our call to restore a public school to the Central Core.


Derek Guimond goes up for a spike in the Nea Salamina Famagusta vs Anorthosis match in 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Derek Guimond)

ETHS grad gives volleyball players an opportunity to compete overseas. After graduating from college, ETHS alum Derek Guimond (Class of 2011) thought it was the “end of the road” for his volleyball career. But, when he received a scholarship to the University of Essex in the U.K., he found a way to continue playing volleyball while getting his M.B.A. Because of this positive experience, Guimond decided he wanted to give others the same opportunity to continue playing volleyball after college. 

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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...