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December 16, 2017


Posted: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Mark Krause

Good Planning Could Have Avoided Albion Angst. As a developer of affordable housing in Chicago, I am all too familiar with public rezoning hearings and NIMBYism. It is often vocal and chaotic. Residents’ concerns for many aspects of their community are often misplaced on the building design and on the politicians’ re-zoning decision. Experience has taught me that many residents don’t welcome changes they want their community to be exactly as it was when they arrived. But change is the constant – just look at the man-made environment around you.
And you can’t stop progress, nor do you want to. Apartment buildings make economic sense: Isn’t the elevator the most efficient form of transportation? Density created a multiplier effect 273 new households will invest their disposable income in our community and support our bookstores, movie theaters, and restaurants, whose profits and wages further multiply into our community – all to keep Evanston vibrant.
In the short-term, well-paying construction jobs will also be created, hopefully for Evanston residents and sub-contractors – another multiplying factor.
From a carbon-footprint point of view, an apartment in such a large building need only heat (and cool) one exterior wall per home, compared to five for a single-family home and trips to work, shopping, and entertainment are often made on foot or by train (most Evanstonians I know travel by car for every excursion from home).
I applaud the 15 affordable units developed onsite to create mixed-income housing. Evanston should be proud of this accomplishment. In downtown Chicago, the vast majority of developers choose to pay into the affordable-housing fund, which does not make for an economically diverse city core.
But I am also an advocate for urban planning. A well-conceived planning process allows measured development and helps create a well-functioning community. Thankfully, we are not Houston, which famously has no zoning laws, where “anything goes” and flood plains become freeways, office towers, parking lots – and flooded homes.
If I understand correctly, a downtown plan was put into place in 2009, which called for a traditional mid-rise building on this site. Why wasn’t the plan followed? If a great deal of time, effort, and money had gone into the planning process, a great deal of grief, aggravation and “I-don’t-want-a-high-rise-in-my-back-yard” could have been avoided.
Building design is not a democratic process. It should be a simple “Aye-Nay” vote, based on approved planning documents.

Posted: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Rob, Mike & Tony

Prairie Moon's Future Plans
Happy Holidays everyone!
There appears to be a little confusion about the future of Prairie Moon, so we’d like to take this opportunity to clarify the situation.
In early April, a major Evanston construction development was approved by the Evanston City Council that will affect Prairie Moon.
We want to assure you that Prairie Moon is open for business and is staying in its current location through at least March 2018.
We are busy settling on a relocation of Prairie Moon in downtown Evanston. We hope to open in late spring or early summer.
As well, we will open a new concept TBD in the new development, once it is completed.
Any gift cards purchased will be honored at our current location and our future locations.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out. We would love to hear from you

Posted: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Jana Hill

Elder Harassment
While much is rightfully being said about sexual harassment, I have been subjected to and observed elderly harassment in Evanston recently on school day afternoons. Teenaged Caucasian boys followed older women around the local TJ Maxx asking if the women felt they looked cute draped in women’s lingerie. Today teen boys were asking elderly women where to find Viagra at the Jewel Osco on Chicago Avenue.
This made me uncomfortable and wondering if they harass their own elderly female relatives, teachers, members of their house of worship, or neighbors in the same manner.
We are new residents of Evanston and wondering if we made the right move to a place where young people believe this kind of behavior is ok.

Posted: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Constance Porteous

Was Family Focus Board Unprepared?
I appreciated the detailed way that you covered the meeting about the Family Focus site. However, I want to comment on the way the Family Focus Board did not come prepared in any way to understand the needs of the community. They kept saying that they didn’t have the money to keep the building and had thought for a long time about putting it up for sale. There were no prepared numbers. They should have handed out to the community a document showing the costs of maintaining the building and what was owed in terms of the elevator. There was even an electronic smart board that could have been used to present the Family Focus receipts as well as its expenditures including salaries.
In my opinion, the Board failed in a major way to understand the needs of the community and do their homework before presenting the issue of selling the building. Furthermore, why did they wait until Nov. 12th to present this when they knew long before this that the situation was as dire as it is.
The emotions of the community were high, because they had been unprepared that this was the situation nor did they have any documentation in front of them to understand the problems.
Seriously, it seems understandable that the Family Focus Board is in the present situation if that is the way they work out their problems.

Posted: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Community forum entry by: Karen Singer, President/ CEO YWCA Evanston/North Shore

Thank You, RoundTable
Thank you so much for your excellent series on violence against women in its many manifestations.
Your articles brought to light, with thoughtfulness and thoroughness, an issue that affects every community, regardless of neighborhood, skin color, religion, or income. One of the persistent problems is that this violence occurs behind closed doors. You have helped open the door so that we can all better understand an issue that impacts so many women and families amongst us.
YWCA Evanston/North Shore continues its work to end violence against women and to engage men as allies in helping to solve this “outrageous problem.” Thank you for joining us in this effort.

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