WBEZ | Evanston http://www.wbez.org/tags/evanston Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago pumping $30 million into improving Purple Line express http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-pumping-30-million-improving-purple-line-express-112356 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 5.05.13 PM.png" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">The Chicago Transit Authority is promising a faster, more reliable purple line express by November of this year.</p><p dir="ltr">CTA officials and Mayor Rahm Emanuel dropped by the Howard station Thursday to announce a $30 million renovation of the Purple Line tracks between the Lawrence and Jarvis stops in Chicago. This is on top of work that was already done in 2013 to renovate tracks and eliminate slow zones on the same line.</p><p dir="ltr">Dorval Carter Jr., recently named president of the CTA, said this would be the biggest investment in the train line that runs from downtown Chicago to the near northern suburbs in the last 40 years.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;By replacing track ties, running rail and other improvements on this century old structure, riders will get a commute that has far fewer slow zones and that is smoother and more comfortable,&rdquo; Carter said.</p><p dir="ltr">CTA officials say around 13,000 passengers ride the Purple Line express each week, which totals up to about 3.5 million riders each year. Carter said normal Purple Line express traffic shouldn&rsquo;t be affected by the construction, as work will take place solely on weeknights and weekends. The work is also supposed to be out of the way of normal Red Line service, though there may be occasional reroutes.</p><p dir="ltr">Construction is set to begin on July 20.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s city politics reporter. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 16:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-pumping-30-million-improving-purple-line-express-112356 Global Activism: Therapeutic art for African children http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-therapeutic-art-african-children-111662 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/548912_161587657298988_454226701_n.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Angela Lyonsmith is an artist and art therapist. She works for the Therapeutic Arts Program (TAP), an initiative of Global Alliance for Africa, because she wants to give aid and comfort to children in Kenya and Tanzania who were left orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Angela&rsquo;s passion also led her to open &lsquo;Gather&rsquo;, a community art studio and playspace in Evanston. For Global Activism, we&rsquo;ll ask Angela about how her work has inspired family and friends to work for the benefit of people suffering around the globe.</p></p> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-therapeutic-art-african-children-111662 Morning Shift: What do female voters want from their Mayor? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-23/morning-shift-what-do-female-voters-want-their-mayor-111443 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/League of Women Voters of California.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We discuss issues relevant to Chicago&#39;s women voters as Chicago Women Take Action Alliance preps a mayoral debate. Dr. Leon Benson provides tips for staying safe while playing winter sports. And, the folk/soul sound of Zusha serende the studio</p> <div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-chicago-women-see/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-chicago-women-see.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-what-chicago-women-see" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: What do female voters want from their Mayor?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 08:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-01-23/morning-shift-what-do-female-voters-want-their-mayor-111443 Evanston man hit by truck, finds himself at fault http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/evanston-man-hit-truck-finds-himself-fault-111371 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/StoryCorps 150109 Andrew Emily bh.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>About four years ago, Andrew Kerr was crossing the street in Evanston when a city utility truck drove down the block. He didn&#39;t see it and was hit by the truck and thrown about twenty feet in the air.</p><p>Kerr recently came to the StoryCorps Booth with his friend and neighbor Emily Grayson to talk about the incident, and the lasting impact it&rsquo;s had on his life.</p><p>&ldquo;Do you remember the moment it happened?&rdquo; Grayon asks him. &ldquo;I kinda remember only the moment it happened,&rdquo; Kerr says. &ldquo;Just the sheer terror of realizing I was going to get hit by a moving truck in the face. And there was no getting out of the way. And the next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital.&rdquo;</p><p>There, Kerr learned the severity of the accident - he had some brain injuries, his skull and arm were fractured and he had bruised some ribs. The hospital staff was supportive throughout his rehabilitation and pushed him when he needed to be pushed.</p><p>&ldquo;There was this CNA who worked there,&rdquo; Kerr says. &ldquo;And he was the one who was like &lsquo;You&rsquo;ve been here this many days? You need to stand up today.&rsquo; And I was terrified. I remember just sobbing in fear about trying to walk. And him holding me, this stranger in a hospital, doesn&rsquo;t know me, a nursing assistant helping me take my first steps after having brain injury, lying in this bed for a week or whatever it was, and pushing me like someone who cared.&rdquo;</p><p>Kerr&rsquo;s wife was also at his side. He had known her since he was a teenager.</p><p>The accident caused several permanent injuries in Kerr, including significant hearing loss, and the loss of his sense of smell.</p><p>Kerr owns a small construction company in Evanston and when the accident happened his wife called his clients and kept the business going. Through all of it, Kerr&rsquo;s wife was at his side, taking care of their small children too.</p><p>&ldquo;I best describe it as watching my own episode of &lsquo;It&rsquo;s a Wonderful Life,&rsquo;&rdquo; Kerr says. &ldquo;Being alive to see how loved I am: My customers lining up to help, which to me said I mean something in your life. My mechanic came and visited me in the hospital. The guy from Home Depot brought me fresh fruit, just because he was concerned. I&rsquo;m amazed at how many people came together.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 09 Jan 2015 09:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/evanston-man-hit-truck-finds-himself-fault-111371 Morning Shift: New book explores Evanston's segregated past http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-12-22/morning-shift-new-book-explores-evanstons-segregated-past-111280 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/10351574_574005002700653_1059057015540077285_n.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We get an update an update on weekend Chicago sports. And, we talk race, friendships and Evanston with author Mary Barr on her new book &quot;Friends Disappear: The Battle for Racial Equality in Evanston.&quot; Plus, a music performance from Morning Shift 2014 archives.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-122/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-122.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-122" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: New book explores Evanston's segregated past " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 22 Dec 2014 08:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-12-22/morning-shift-new-book-explores-evanstons-segregated-past-111280 Illinois lawmakers call for pot task force http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmakers-call-pot-task-force-110091 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Marijuana Arrests.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As the state of Illinois drafts rules for medical marijuana, Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey wants lawmakers to open up the discussion for recreational pot use.</p><p>Fritchey&#39;s proposing the state legislature form a task force as a first step toward full legalization.</p><p>&ldquo;We can find a way to do this and look at what other states have done, and cherry pick the good ideas, dismiss the bad ideas and find a workable policy that recognizes what we&rsquo;re doing now simply isn&rsquo;t right,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Fritchey was joined by State Representatives Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) and Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) who looked to Colorado and Washington, states that have already legalized recreational pot use.</p><p>Colorado officials anticipate generating about $184 million in tax revenue in the first 18 months of legalized sale. That&rsquo;s an attractive figure for some lawmakers of the cash strapped state of Illinois.</p><p>Some critics say legalizing pot would open the door to greater substance abuse, especially among teens.</p><p>Fritchey said regulation would address such concerns. He noted at least some portion of legalization or decriminalization would put less of a strain on resources for public safety.</p><p>&ldquo;Marijuana usage among racial categories is essentially the same,&rdquo; Fritchey said.&nbsp; &ldquo;The disparity in Chicago and Cook County is overwhelmingly disproportionate toward African-Americans and Latinos being arrested for simple possession.&rdquo;</p><p>During the press conference, lawmakers were asked if they would try pot if it were legalized. After a second of nervous laughter, Fritchey said a hesitation to answer the question reveals that the topic needs more discussion; people aren&rsquo;t comfortable talking about it.</p><p>Fritchey recognized it would be some time before any legislation is introduced.</p><p>In February, State Representative Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) introduced a bill calling for the state to study recreational cannabis. It now sits in committee.</p><p><em>Susie An is WBEZ&rsquo;s business reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/soosieon">@soosieon</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 07:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmakers-call-pot-task-force-110091 Evanston’s first craft brewery is Temperance in name only http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-12/evanston%E2%80%99s-first-craft-brewery-temperance-name-only-109416 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/evanston liquor.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">The first-ever craft brewery in the Chicago suburb of Evanston is officially going public.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://temperancebeer.com/">Temperance Beer Company</a>, which just started production this year, is opening its tap room tonight.</p><p dir="ltr">The space is small but smart, with sleek, light wood fixtures and exposed brick walls. That is thanks to owner Josh Gilbert&rsquo;s first career as an architect.</p><p dir="ltr">But the brewery&rsquo;s name is a reference to Evanston&rsquo;s past. The city was founded as a &ldquo;dry&rdquo; community -- meaning production and sales of alcoholic beverages were forbidden. In the late 19th century, it became home to the <a href="http://www.wctu.org/frances_willard.html">Women&rsquo;s Christian Temperance Union.</a></p><p dir="ltr">Led by Frances E. Willard, the organization fought for social reforms, such as the eight-hour work day, and tried to stamp out tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.</p><p dir="ltr">That history had a huge and lasting impact on Evanston, which only issued its first liquor license in the early 1970s. Plenty of liquor stores and bars have come and gone since then. But even today getting alcohol into Evanston is not easy.</p><p dir="ltr">The path to Temperance was first cleared by Paul Hletko, who owns the craft distillery <a href="http://fewspirits.com/">Few Spirits</a> in Evanston. Few just opened in 2011, but Hletko&rsquo;s products already have won a number of major awards.</p><p dir="ltr">In fact, his rye whiskey was just <a href="http://whiskyadvocate.com/whisky/2013/12/11/whisky-advocate-award-craft-whiskey-of-the-year/">named craft whiskey of the year</a> by Whiskey Advocate magazine. To get there, Hletko had to persuade Evanston officials to change the city&rsquo;s laws so a distillery could be set up and licensed.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I lost track of the hearings after 15,&rdquo; said Hletko. &ldquo;But I never took a &lsquo;no&rsquo; vote.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Gilbert says he got the same treatment from lawmakers, which he described as much better than in the bigger city next door.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Dealing with permits of any kind is way more difficult in Chicago than in Evanston,&rdquo; said Gilbert. &ldquo;Here, there was no pushback. Everyone was helpful and in favor of the project.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Gilbert grew up in Evanston, which is probably best known as the home of Northwestern University. He started thinking about a brewery in 2008, when he says the economic downturn &ldquo;gave me a lot of free time to explore other projects.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">He found head brewer Claudia Jendron at a bowling party hosted by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild. Jendron&rsquo;s ball got stuck halfway down the lane, and Gilbert watched in horror and awe as she walked down the lane to get it.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It was great, I&rsquo;m such a good bowler,&rdquo; joked Jendron. &ldquo;I killed it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Jendron at the time was brewing at Goose Island Beer Company, long the dominant craft brewery in Chicago (and, since 2011, a division of mega-beer corporation Anheuser-Busch InBev). It was a skill she picked up after starting out as the company&rsquo;s receptionist.</p><p dir="ltr">She and Gilbert found they had similar tastes in beers, and thoughts about how to run a brewery. Despite Jendron&rsquo;s tenure at the famed Goose Island, Temperance&rsquo;s recipes came from Josh&rsquo;s experiments in home brewing.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Home brews are home brews,&rdquo; said Jendron. &ldquo;But I saw something in them. The flavor was awesome.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Jendron and Gilbert say they will serve all of the Temperance beers in the tap room (there are six, including a wheat beer, an ESB and a porter) and small &ldquo;tastes&rdquo; made from local foods.</p><p dir="ltr">And though Evanston has changed, Gilbert still sees a connection between their current efforts and the Temperance movement of the past.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think we are reformers on a micro scale here in Evanston,&rdquo; said Gilbert. &ldquo;Because it was historically dry. And we&rsquo;re dampening it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Temperance Tap Room opens tonight at 2000 W. Dempster Street.</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is the Arts and Culture reporter at WBEZ. You can follow her on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy">Twitter</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison">Facebook</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport">Instagram</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 17:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-12/evanston%E2%80%99s-first-craft-brewery-temperance-name-only-109416 After Prentice: Northwestern shows finalists' designs for new building http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-11/after-prentice-northwestern-shows-finalists-designs-new-building-109127 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/23.jpg" style="height: 564px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="" /></p>I spent the weekend eyeballing the three final submissions for Northwestern University&#39;s highly-publicized architectural bake-off to build the school&#39;s new biomedical research facility.</div><div><p>The finalists include three Chicago firms: Goettsch Partners is working with Philadelphia company&nbsp;Ballinger; Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture is partnered with Payette from&nbsp;</p><p>Boston; and Perkins and Will is going at it alone.&nbsp;</p><p>To make way for the building, dubbed the Feinberg School of Medicine Medical Research Center,&nbsp;architect Bertrand Goldberg&#39;s Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital is being torn down.</p><p>The winning design will be built in two phases. Construction of the 600,000 sq ft first phase is expected to begin in 2015. The space would then double &mdash; and the lab tower would grow substantially, as the Goettsch/Ballinger rendering above shows &mdash; in a planned second stage.</p><p>So what can we make of all this?</p><p>One look at the submissions shows why the university never would have reused the old Prentice building. Not that it couldn&#39;t have been, but the&nbsp;proposals&nbsp;show Northwestern is looking for a big, efficient, machine-like building somewhere between a hotel and office building in space, amenities and design. Prentice, with its concrete quatrefoil shape and relatively small size, was never going to be that.</p><p>Judging projects based on renderings is always risky, but here are some images of the proposals.</p><p>Shown above, the Goettsch design seems to me unimpressive on first glance. The angled windows reminding me of Helmut Jahn&#39;s two-decade-old <a href="http://www.lpcmidwest.com/our_properties/120-north-lasalle-street%E2%80%93chicago-il/">120 N. LaSalle Street</a>. But that&#39;s the problem with renderings &mdash; in this view below where the building meets the street, the design and the facade seem to have a lot more going for them.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/goetsch.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 335px;" title="" /></div><p>Next is Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill&#39;s submission, which depicts the building after the second phase is complete. The undulations in the facade are good and one of several elements designed to bring natural light into the core of the building.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/asgg2.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 630px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The small park nestled under this glass spine in the Smith and Gill scheme below is also worth noting.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/10.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 637px;" title="" /></div></div><p>Next, Perkins and Will&#39;s facade design is the most sculptural of the three, with the curves seeming to acknowledge the old Prentice building.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/perkins2.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 840px;" title="" /></div><p>&nbsp;This next view shows more of a separation between the tower and its base.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1_9.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 840px;" title="" /></div><p>The new structure will be a complex building, the success of which should not be judged as a beauty contest. The true heir to Goldberg&#39;s advanced-for-it&#39;s-time Prentice would be a structure that is a game changer among its building type; one so technologically advanced in architecture, engineering, energy usage and function that it couldn&#39;t have been built, say, five years ago.</p><p>It&#39;s too early to tell which of these designs are able to do that.</p><p>Northwestern has been soliciting public input on the designs, which you can see and contribute to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/biomedical-research-building-competition/">here</a>. Trustees are expected to make their choice within a month.</p><p>The designs and models will remain on public display at the Lurie Medical Research Center, 303 E. Superior until 7 p.m.</p></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 22:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-11/after-prentice-northwestern-shows-finalists-designs-new-building-109127 Evanston prevails over new Jewish boys’ school http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/evanston-prevails-over-new-jewish-boys%E2%80%99-school-106969 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Jewish school.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>An Orthodox Jewish school has lost <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/evanston-favors-vacant-lot-over-school-92297" target="_blank">a legal battle</a> with the City of Evanston in its bid to open a new learning facility there. In 2006, the Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov Elementary School purchased the former Shure Brothers electronics company building along Evanston&rsquo;s southwest border. They hoped to renovate the property into a new facility for early child education and for its growing boys&rsquo; school, which is currently located in Chicago&rsquo;s West Ridge neighborhood on the far North Side.</p><p><a href="http://www.cityofevanston.org/news/assets/Opinion%20and%20Order%20d%20%204-30-13.pdf" target="_blank">In a ruling this week</a>, Cook County Judge Mary Anne Mason sided with the City of Evanston, which denied the school permission to use the land for anything other than industrial purposes.</p><p>&ldquo;They made a business decision to go ahead and purchase the property, knowing that they still had a number of steps to go through afterwards to secure city approval,&rdquo; said Grant Farrar, Corporation Counsel for the City of Evanston. &ldquo;The City of Evanston was concerned about removing this property from the tax rolls.&rdquo;</p><p>Forty percent of Evanston&rsquo;s land is tax-exempt, owned by religious institutions, universities, and nonprofits. Some Evanston aldermen expressed concern that reclassifying the zoning for the school&rsquo;s property from light industrial to commercial, which would allow for use as a school, would permanently chip away at an already-diminishing property tax base. Evanston&rsquo;s industrial sector has thinned during the last several decades.</p><p>The board purchased the property for $2 million with knowledge that they would have to secure a change or exception to the zoning rule. They did not include a contingency clause in their purchase that would nullify the purchase if they failed to obtain the zoning -- a precaution that is common in similar cases. Still, representatives of the Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov Elementary School say they intend to fight further by appealing the ruling.</p><p>&ldquo;We continue to believe that that is an ideal property,&rdquo; said Moshe Davis, president of the school&rsquo;s board. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re looking at all options because we have to make sure that our children are taken care of.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is the reporter for WBEZ&#39;s North Side Bureau. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/oyousef" target="_blank">@oyousef</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 03 May 2013 09:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/evanston-prevails-over-new-jewish-boys%E2%80%99-school-106969 State invests $1 million in NU Internet service http://www.wbez.org/news/state-invests-1-million-nu-internet-service-105039 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Ed Yourdon_flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>EVANSTON, Ill. &mdash; The state of Illinois is investing $1 million to bring ultra-high speed Internet service to the Chicago suburb of Evanston, which is home to about 160 technology startup businesses. Northwestern University will also benefit from the new service.</p><p>In a news release, Gov. Pat Quinn says the investment will help Evanston become what is called an Illinois Gigabit Community. Quinn&#39;s office says such a move is crucial in developing an &quot;economic innovation corridor&quot; that will attract more entrepreneurs who will create even more jobs in the region.</p><p>Quinn&#39;s office says the investment will help connect fiber optic gigabit Internet service from downtown Chicago to Evanston, where Northwestern is located.</p></p> Sat, 19 Jan 2013 11:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/state-invests-1-million-nu-internet-service-105039