City year in review


Daily file photo by Daniel Tian

Two parked Evanston police cars.

Jane Recker, Reporter

EPD Body Cams

Due to national trends and some specific issues within the Evanston Police Department, all EPD officers are now required to wear body cameras.

The cameras will record the actions of all officers while on patrol, and any individual can request access to the recordings through the Freedom of Information Act. The five-year contract for the cameras cost the city $1.1 million.

While most agree they are a step in the right direction by increasing transparency, former 9th Ward Alderman Brian Miller suggested the police department needed to go one step further and change the protocol for making arrests.

Gubernatorial Race

Illinois will have its gubernatorial election this November, and the race between Northwestern alum J.B. Pritzker (School of Law ’93) and current Gov. Bruce Rauner is shaping up to be the country’s most expensive gubernatorial race in history.

It’s estimated Rauner spends $83,000 a day on his campaign — a seemingly small amount compared to Pritzker’s $207,000. Both billionaire candidates bring controversy to the table. Rauner is widely criticized for his role in Illinois’ budget impasse that nearly gave the state a junk credit rating. Further, tapes were released of a phone conversation Pritzker had with former Governor Rod Blagojevich about filling Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat where he calls Jesse White the “least offensive” African American for the job.

Cheesie’s Closes

After serving NU students a healthy dose of night cheese for years via their creative grilled-cheese sandwiches, Cheesie’s unexpectedly closed its doors in June. If I may editorialize for a moment, the loss of Cheesie’s felt like the sudden death of an old friend.

Cheesie’s was there for me during late nights in the newsroom. You know what I credit with getting me through my first big break-up? Cheesies. And where else would I have solidified some of my best collegiate friendships other than at 2 a.m. in Cheesies?

There was not one time I didn’t feel mildly ill from the sheer amount of cheese consumed through one of their sandwiches. But Cheesies had always stood by me, so, damn it, I stood by Cheesies and continued to assault my body with dairy … until I couldn’t anymore. No, thanks to rising rent in downtown Evanston, a restaurant that defined a generation of Wildcats is no more.

The restaurant is looking for a new location in downtown Evanston.

Harley Clarke Mansion makes controversy

One of Evanston’s most divisive current issues is whether or not to demolish the Harley Clarke Mansion — a historic lakefront mansion just north of Northwestern’s campus.

Originally a private residence, then the national headquarters of Sigma Chi fraternity, the mansion served as home to the Evanston Arts Center until 2015, when the city decided the costs of maintaining the building exceeded its available funds.

Pro-Clarkers argue that demolishing the house would permanently erase a part of Evanston’s history, but those in favor of demolition (which is the current approved plan) say it’s the fiscally responsible thing for Evanston to do.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @janerecker

Read more from the 2018 Orientation Issue here.