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The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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STOP! In the name of safety
STOP! In the name of safety
Izabella Paracuelles, Feature Editor • March 15, 2024
Launched in 2017, the Evanston Mural Arts Program collaborates with talented local artists to create visual art around the city. They have produced close to 30 murals throughout Evanston.
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City Council advances solar power initiatives, approves economic recovery plan in Feb. 12 meeting

Mayor+Daniel+Biss+opposed+those+who+wanted+to+reconsider+an+already-signed+lease+of+office+space+for+the+Council.
Mayor Daniel Biss opposed those who wanted to reconsider an already-signed lease of office space for the Council.

During the Feb. 12 City Council meeting, many topics were on the table for discussion, including plans for economic recovery and transitions to solar power.

The meeting started off with public comment, where the majority of speakers asked to change the beach rack rules to one rack per household. Citizens claimed that it was an equity issue and that the change needed to be made as soon as possible.

The special orders of business were discussed next, among them was the One Howard Street Economic Recovery Plan. Paul Zalmezak, Community Development Manager, and Courtney Kashima, Founding Principal of MUSE Community Design, led a presentation explaining the focus of the One Howard Street Economic Recovery Plan. 

“[This plan] is to tackle the small stuff and create a big vision for Howard Street,” said Kashima.

The plan would be funded through an Illinois RISE grant, given on the basis of economic initiatives, and would include improved bus stops, gateway identifiers, an improved tree canopy, public art, community gardens, improved lighting and event spaces. A new space, called Callan Plaza, is where most of the community events are set to take place. The One Howard Economic Recovery Plan was passed 7-0.

Another special order of business addressed was Invision 2045, a plan that would focus on land use, zoning, transportation and housing. The topic was hotly debated in council, but no conclusive decision was reached.

After the special orders of business concluded, the consent agenda was next, with a solar power purchase agreement up for vote.

“This action will lead to solar panels being installed on the roof of Robert Crown later this year,” said Fourth Ward Councilmember Jonathan Nieuwsma. “It’s a milestone.” 

Cheaper electricity would be another result of the solar panels; it would be 25 percent less than the City is already paying. This agreement was approved 7-0.

Last on the agenda was a discussion about the previously passed resolution to lease temporary office space while repairs were being made to the Civic Center. Fifth Ward Councilmember Bobby Burns requested another look at the resolution, wanting to examine the differences between a 10-year and 15-year lease. When asked, Biss responded that the resolution had already been signed.

“So we’re just locked into [the resolution] no matter what? That just doesn’t sound right to me,” said Burns.

“I think a situation where you pass something, and then it’s signed, and then ended and then unpassed later is totally incoherent,” said Biss. “You can’t really govern that way.”

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About the Contributor
Rosie Witt, Assistant News Editor
Hey! My name is Rosie Witt (she/her) and I am a junior, and this is my third year on staff for The Evanstonian. I am an Assistant Editor for News and have written for News and Feature as well! I love being on The Evanstonian because it is such a great community and has truly helped me become a stronger writer. It has also been a fantastic experience for improving my journalistic skills. Outside of The Evanstonian, I am on the ETHS varsity softball team and I dance at Dance Center Evanston. Hope you all enjoy all of the incredible aspects The Evanstonian has to offer!! Peace out. 
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