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home : community forum : community forum - submit/review comments April 30, 2016


Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Community forum entry by: Lesley Williams

Last Friday, as I stood outside the UIC pavilion , I looked into the face of hatred, people who regarded me and the multiracial, multiethnic crowd with contempt and disdain, for the way we looked, the way we dressed, our accents, or all of the above.

Yet I also felt surrounded by love. The love of Latinos chanting "Viva Palestine!" in Spanish. Of Muslim and Mexican women arm in arm chanting "Stop deportations!" Of White college students chanting "Black lives matter!". Whatever you may have heard, UIC that night was a vision of America at its best,with groups of all ethnicity supporting each others' causes, lifting each other up. Love was stronger than Hate that night, and when Love stood up, Hate backed down and was silenced.

Battling hatred and intolerance is not something we can do one day, during one campaign. In December, I invited the Evanston community to stand against Islamophobia, and hundreds of people, from dozens of local churches, synagogues, mosques, and community organizations responded. This Sunday March 20th, I am again inviting you to stand together in solidarity against bigotry. We will be rallying in Fountain Square, to hear the words of inspiring Muslim ,Christian and Jewish community leaders. We will then spread across Evanston, going from door to door and store to store, inviting merchants, houses of worship, and residents to post signs in their yards or windows affirming: “Stop Profiling Muslims" and "Refugees Welcome". We hope you will join us in this effort.

I'm proud to be standing alongside a growing list of community organizations, including the American Friends Service Committee - Chicago American Muslims for Palestine - Chicago Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (AJP) CAIR-Chicago CIOGC - Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago First Congregational Church of Evanston, UCC Freedom First International SCLC Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation Jewish Voice for Peace, Latino Resources Muslim Community Center Open Communities Public Interest Fundraising Second Baptist Church St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Tzedek Chicago and the YWCA Evanston/Northshore.

We represent a variety of political and religious beliefs. We disagree pointedly on many issues. yet whatever our opinions on immigration reform, Israel/Palestine, crime, or the economy, we all agree that government policies should never target people based on their race or religion. Furthermore, we condemn any organization or government that exploits racial or religious bigotry in order to further its agenda.Any politician, candidate or organization that demonizes Muslims, Mexicans or any other religious or racial group should have no place in our community.

We also stand firmly for humanitarian care and support for refugees of all backgrounds. As Americans, many of us trace our lineage to refugees whether from the Holocaust and the Cold War in the 20th century the potato famine and pogroms in the 19th century or religious intolerance in the 17th and 18th century. It is profoundly unAmerican for a nation founded by religious dissenters to ever consider denying access to those of a particular religion.

This past Saturday, two Northwestern students were arrested for spray painting the university chapel with racist, homophobic slurs, and painting swastikas over the faces of Muslim students. Clearly, even in our "enlightened" Evanston community, there is a need to speak out and speak up against bigotry .Make no mistake: the bigotry that profiles Muslim men at checkpoints, rips hijabs off Muslim women, or calls for mass deportations of the undocumented is the same bigotry that results in young black men dead in police custody, in harassment and threats against gay or transgender students,and in toddlers drowning because they can not find asylum.

So join us this Sunday, 2:00 pm at Fountain Square, and stand up. Stand up for American values. Stand in solidarity against bigotry.

Lesley Williams

Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Community forum entry by: Dick Lanyon

I enjoyed reading about Waukesha in your Feb. 25 article in the RoundTable. However, the last paragraph needs some clarification. I’ve never seen a map where Evanston or Ridge Avenue was included in the Lake Michigan watershed. The U.S. Geological Survey map shows that all of Evanston is included in the diverted watershed, that is, the area diverted from the Lake Michigan watershed to the Mississippi River watershed per the U.S. Supreme Court Decree allowing Illinois to divert water from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi. All of Evanston’s drainage is collected by municipal and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago sewer systems and sent to the Mississippi, except for a very narrow strip along the beaches and lakefront parks.
Also mentioned was 2 million gallons per day of water diverted for the Chicago area. Actually, the 3,200 cubic feet per second allowed by the court translates to 2.1 billion gallons per day. However, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Water Resources has been managing the diversion with conservation in mind. The latest year of record for diversion, 2012, certified by the Corps of Engineers is 2,267 cubic feet per second or about 1.5 billion gallons per day. Most of the diverted quantity is for domestic uses by the various municipal water departments, Evanston included. The remainder is allocated for lock operation, direct diversion for water quality maintenance in the canals and stormwater runoff from the 673-square-mile diverted watershed.

Posted: Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Community forum entry by: Michael Kormanik

Evanston-based Greenwise Organic Lawn Care (, the leading organic lawn care and sustainable design/build landscape company in the Chicago area, is hiring experienced landscape professionals at its job fair on March 28th & 29th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Greenwise Shop, 2215 Main Street in Evanston.

Chicago’s fastest-growing lawn care company is seeking experienced landscapers, arborists and horticulturalists as foremen to lead its dynamic team of professionals.

“We’re looking to add to the amazing team that built Greenwise into the best landscape company ever” Bernie Carranza, Greenwise operations manager, said. “We take pride in creating and maintaining the finest-looking landscapes in Chicago and on the North Shore and want folks who our share commitment to excellence.”

At the Job Fair, attendees will meet and learn about the Greenwise team, the company’s mission and operation. The company will be providing job applications, conducting hiring interviews, and administering skills tests.

Ideal candidates for Greenwise will have experience in residential landscaping, lawn care, snow removal, arbor care and/or horticultural skills as well as an interest in organic lawn care and sustainable landscaping. Applicants must have a valid Illinois driver’s license and be conversational in English.

For more information, visit, call the Greenwise office at (847) 866-1930 or email

About Greenwise Organic Lawn Care
Founded in 2007, Greenwise Organic Lawn Care is the leading organic lawn care company in the Greater Chicago area. Greenwise provides organic lawn care, sustainable landscape design and installation, eco-friendly landscape maintenance, sustainable horticultural and arbor care, and eco-friendly snow clearing services.

More information about Greenwise can be found at

Posted: Monday, February 29, 2016
Community forum entry by: Robin Shannon

Workshop for Adoptive and Foster Families on April 9!

Leave with a new energy and some new ideas on how to engage your child in a more playful and loving relationship! Expert Dafna Lender, LCSW, Certified Theraplay Therapist, Trainer and Supervisor, shares practical techniques to help you to respond to behavior, attachment and trauma issues using The Theraplay Institute’s attachment-based parenting approach proven to strengthen family bonds. The all-day, interactive workshop is held in Evanston from 9-5pm on Saturday, April 9, 2015. Family caregivers and pre-adoptive parents welcome. Professionals can attend with clients or independently. Come with a family member or therapist and receive a 20% savings! REGISTER NOW at For more information email

Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Community forum entry by: Ann Saltz

Voting for a judge is one of the most important decisions on the ballot. For most of us, we are more likely to have personal contact with a judge than with our president, senator, congressperson or state legislator. In considering who deserves your vote, I hope you will cast a vote for Judge Jerry Esrig, who was described by Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin as “one of the most exceptional candidates for judge that we’ve had in the 9th Subcircuit.”

The Chicago Bar Association, Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois agree, all having given Judge Esrig their highest rating, making him the most highly rated judge running in the 9th Subcircuit.

I am am honored to join an impressive list of Judge Esrig supporters, including: Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and the majority of Evanston Aldermen. I encourage you to vote for Judge Jerry Esrig on March 15. He not only has the knowledge and experience, but the compassion and integrity to be a strong independent voice on the Bench.

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