OTL: Episode #485- The future of Chicago Public Schools, Racism in the Chicago Police Department, What’s up with those blank billboards in Logan Square?

Mike Stephen talks with:   retired art teacher, union guy, and blogger Fred Klonsky about Governor Rauner and Mayor Emanuel teaming up to bust the Chicago Teachers Union and more;   journalist Evan F. Moore about his Chicago Reader interview with three African-American cops caught between black and blue; and   Logan Square Preservation president Andrew Schneider about an ongoing fight to remove eyesore billboards from the neighborhood.   Meanwhile, we pay tribute to Dan Turner, a personal friend and social justice activist; and we wish Mike’s mom a happy birthday!   This week’s local music is provided by Jodee Lewis.   OTL host Mike Stephen takes a selfie under a blacked-out billboard in Logan Square.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #484- Stopping harassment on the CTA, The Secret History of Bluesman Magic Slim, Previewing Toons’ Wing Fling

Mike Stephen talks with:   Courage Campaign: CTA founder Kara Crutcher about combating harassment on Chicago public transit and her reaction to a controversial ad campaign;   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about guitar shredder Magic Slim for this week’s “Winter Blues” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music; and   Toons Bar & Grill owner Danny Beck about owning a neighborhood tavern and the Toons 5th Annual Wing Fling.   Meanwhile, we talk about how restaurants are serving us way too many calories.   This week’s local music is provided by Fine Subterraneans.   OTL host Mike Stephen not only was the MC at the 4th Annual Wing Fling at Toons Bar & Grill, but he also was the milk distributor after the hot wing eating contest!   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #483- Ald. Arena talks Chicago finances, Diversity in the teacher workforce, Getting crafty with Handmade Market

Mike Stephen talks with:   Chicago’s 45th Ward alderman John Arena about the city’s finances and why the Progressive Caucus is urging the Emanuel administration to reconsider its plans to pay interest rate swap termination penalties;   Jenner Academy of the Arts principal Robert Croston about school diversity and what it takes to produce more black teachers; and   Handmade Market organizer Heather Flett about what you can find at one of the longest-running craft markets in town.   Meanwhile, we defend our neighbors against RoadSnacks and their “10 Worst Chicago Suburbs” list.   This week’s local music is provided by the Ben Marshall Band.   OTL host Mike Stephen reps his beautiful yet economical hometown of Elmwood Park, Illinois.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #482- Documenting Chicago’s segregation in pictures, Protecting our civil liberties, The Secret History of Blues guitarist Eddie Taylor

Mike Stephen talks with:   Connected Division artist/photographer Austyn Wyche about documenting segregation in Chicago via his Connected Division project;   Scrappers Film Group journalism producer Yana Kunichoff about the new “Rights Lab” web series (in collaboration with Truthout) that premieres with the Can the Government Spy on My Phone? episode at High Concept Laboratories; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about Delta-to-Chicago blues link Eddie Taylor for this week’s “Winter Blues” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, we discuss Andy Boyle going big-time viral for his personal story of quitting drinking (and play back an excerpt from his appearance on the 12/30 Mike Stephen Show fill-in shift), as well as Goose Island offering refunds for some odd-tasting beers.   This week’s local music is provided by Out the Car Window.   OTL host Mike Stephen and funny dude Andy Boyle discuss quitting drinking.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.