Credit: Becca Heuer Photography

Good Monday morning, Evanston.

That’s Jolly Old Saint Nick arriving for Saturday’s tree lighting at Independence Park on Central Street, with an assist from the Evanston Fire Department. Check out photos of the festivities.

And to our Santas, who have contributed to RoundTable, a big hearty thank you. You know who you are but we have also listed your names below. Please join them in helping sustain the RoundTable.

Speaking of decorations, Evanston’s skyline might be decorated too – but in this case, by a glowing “UL.” Read on for that news and more.

Credit: City of Evanston packet

The Evanston Land Use Commission voted 6-1 to back allowing two signs atop the 20-story tower at 1603 Orrington Ave., where UL Solutions units may lease four floors. (The rendering shows the signs in day and night views.) “Standards were developed in 2008, but in 2022, we’re in a different world,” said one commissioner.

The 1926 Masonic Temple building at 1453 Maple Ave. Credit: Susy Schultz

The Land Use Commission also supported a proposal to transform an Evanston landmark, the Masonic Temple. The interior of the structure is not landmarked, and developers plan major changes to convert it into 30 rental apartments.

Credit: Duncan Agnew

Ukrainian students at Northwestern University held a concert to benefit Ukraine Sunday at the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts at Northwestern. The group wants to make sure Russia’s invasion of Ukraine does not just become the “new normal,” and it’s doing more than just raising funds.

The RoundTable Roundup

City Council: The council meets at 6 p.m. tonight and the city’s proposed budget is set to be introduced. Check out the complete agenda.

Coffee with the Chief: The Evanston Police Department’s new Chief of Police Schenita Stewart is making her rounds. She’ll be meeting with the Second Ward on Wednesday, the Fourth Ward on Thursday and the Sixth Ward on Friday.

Winter Expo: The Evanston Art Center kicks off its free Winter Arts & Crafts Expo on Saturday.

Check out more events on our calendar.

Don’t see your event on the calendar? Submit your event here.

Thanks to all those who have supported the RoundTable during our fall NewsMatch campaign. Here’s a partial list of our donors:

Aleca Sullivan, Amanda Jacobs, Amy Parker, Amy Ravi, Barbara Butz, Barbara Kramer, Carlos Briones, Carol Liner, Charlene Jones, Christiane Tacke, Christine G Paschen, Daniel A A Engel, David Bernstein, Elizabeth Goodbody, Emily Wexler, Evelyn McGowan, Gloria Callaci, Greg Klaiber, Hillis Howie, Hollis Clayson, Irene Elkin, James Croegaert, Jane Grover, Jean OKeefe, Jeannine Martin, Jeff & Regina Wootton , Jill Bishop, Jim Perkins and Jane Sisco Perkins, Jo Ann Budde, Joanne Zolomij, Jonathan Greene, Jonell Nimock, Judith Cieslak, Judith Jahant, Judy Newton, Julie Strauss, Karen and Al Telser, Kate Kniffen, Katherine Best, Kathryn Rhodes, Kay Branz, Kelly Brest van Kempen, Laura Krain, Lauren Spain-Bondi, Linda Kruhmin, Linda Polenzani, Linda Walker, Magnus Cheifetz, Margaret Lurie, Marianne E Moberly, Marie Quinn, Mary Jane Crotty, Mary Rosic, Matthew Tobin, Monica and Brad Sageman, Patricia Skaja, Philip W Kenny, Rachel Hayman, Rena Appel, Richard Winship, Sam Sibley, Scott Lewis, Sharon Sachse, Susan and Fred Lewis, Susan Munro, Susan Siebers , Susannah Pratt, Thomas McDade, Thomas Mulhern, Tracey Sanders, Walter Keevil, Walter W Farrell, Wendy Miller, Yolanda Vanderlaan, Yvonne Fogerty

Please add your name to the list (or give anonymously, that’s fine too!) and support Evanston’s nonprofit news source.

COVID-19 by the numbers: Eight new cases and no new deaths were reported Friday, Nov. 11, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is 15 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Credit: District 65

The Midwest Middle School Debate League has disbanded, so District 65 has placed its middle school debate teams on hold for the year. But district leaders say they’re focused on preparing students for next year.

Credit: Justin Barbin

The RoundTable’s Wendi Kromash says the musical adaptation of As you Like It playing at the Ethel M. Barber Theater at Northwestern may not be for Shakespeare purists. But she says everyone else will probably like it, a lot.

Dino Robinson of the Shorefront Legacy Center continues sharing stories with Evanston Rules in part two of a two-part episode. He talks about growing up in Evanston and his work to ensure the Black experience on the North Shore is not forgotten or ignored.

Is it OK to keep your kids’ secret from your spouse? RoundTable advice columnist Gabby tackles this and other questions in her latest sassy column.

Join our team: The Evanston RoundTable is growing! Check out our jobs page for reporting opportunities in editorial.

Become a member!

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

Meet the 23-year-old Indian American who flipped a Republican Illinois district. Nabeela Syed, 23, will be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly. She changed the Republican-held 51st District in Palatine to blue.

Chicago area rises back up to ‘medium’ COVID risk level as health officials push boosters. After steady upticks in cases and hospitalizations, the elderly and immunocompromised are advised to mask up around others indoors.

Suburban Farm-to-Table Stronghold Farmhouse Evanston Is Closing. After nine years in business, the restaurant will close after its annual all-day Thanksgiving buffet on Thursday, Nov. 24. Its owners plan to open a new restaurant in the space.

Like what you’re reading? Share it!

If you appreciate the RoundTable newsletter, please forward it to friends and suggest that they sign up!

Gina Castro

Gina Castro is a Racial Justice fellow for the Evanston RoundTable. She recently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she studied investigative...