OTL: Episode #515- Back taxes for Chicago music venues?, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Visiting Studio Gang’s rooftop garden

Mike Stephen talks with:   freelance reporter Lee V. Gaines about Cook County attempting to define “fine art” while going after small venues for supposed back amusement taxes;   Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project executive director Dave Benjamin about how his organization is working to prevent drownings in Lake Michigan through education; and   Studio Gang model shop co-workers Schuyler Smith and Lydia Meyer about the wheat they’re growing in their rooftop garden and where it ends up in the community.   Meanwhile, via a listener tip, we run through some of the Chicago Transit Authority sounds featured on the Chicago “L”.org website.   This week’s local music is provided by The FeverTones.   OTL host Mike Stephen boats way out into Lake Michigan for his safe swimming practice. [photo circa 2008]   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.   Wait… that’s not Andy Hermann. (We love you, Illinois Entertainer!)

OTL: Episode #514- The Secret History of Charley Organaire, Mick Dumke on the Chicago violence epidemic

Mike Stephen talks with:   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about reggae and ska harmonica innovator Charley Organaire for this week’s edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music; and   Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter Mick Dumke about his special report on Chicago’s murder victims in first half of 2016 and addressing the crime problem at a community level.   Meanwhile, we discuss how Cook County is going after small venues for back amusement taxes.   This week’s local music is provided by Yell?jaket.   Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter Mick Dumke and OTL host Mike Stephen rep the city and solve the world’s problems during their post-show breakfast meeting.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #513- Guided Meditation VR, Another way to fund CPS, A local Syrian-American sings his heart out

Mike Stephen talks with:   Cubicle Ninjas CEO Josh Farkas transporting yourself to exotic locations without leaving your home via the brand new Guided Meditation VR app;   Center for Tax and Budget Accountability executive director Ralph Martire about funding Chicago Public Schools via taxes on services; and   local musician Bassel Almadani about his smooth funky tunes and his experiences as a Syrian-American artist.   Meanwhile, we discuss what it’s like running into a genuine “Chi-lebrity.”   This week’s local music is provided by the aforementioned Bassel & The Supernaturals.   OTL host Mike Stephen and Mr. Fix-It host Lou Manfredini, fellow “Chi-lebrities,” pose for the paparazzi at a remote at The Hidden Shamrock in Lincoln Park. [photo circa December 13, 2014]   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #512- Turning the Page Chicago, Saving the monarch butterfly, The Secret History of The Sunshine Sequence

Mike Stephen talks with:   Turning the Page Chicago managing director Kylia Kummer about engaging families with public schools to ensure a high-quality public education;   Keller Science Action Center at the The Field Museum social science coordinator Alexis Winter about “A Monarch’s View of the City” and the conservation efforts to save this important pollinator; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about 1960s all-girl garage band The Sunshine Sequence for this week’s edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, we discuss the fact that O’Hare International Airport is really stepping up its food game.   This week’s local music is provided music provided by Jaime Rojo.   WGN Radio host John Williams bumps into OTL host Mike Stephen at O’Hare International Airport… but they did not dine at The Publican. [photo circa August 3, 2011]   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.