OTL: Episode #524- Cook Co. back-taxing local music venues, Press START to Drink, The Secret History of Rude Guest

Mike Stephen talks with:   freelance reporter Lee V. Gaines for an update on Cook County’s ruling on what is “fine art” and their pursuit of back taxes from small music venues;   Chicago Loot Drop chairman Mike Chuck about “Press START To Drink,” their 7th annual holiday fundraiser for University Of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about early ’80s ska band Rude Guest for this week’s “The Fall of Punk” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, we play a voicemail from #1 OTL fan Mrs. Stephen… who’s always looking out for her son’s safety!   This week’s local music is provided by Gramps The Vamp.   OTL host Mike Stephen has his very own nameplate to display in the WGN Radio Showcase Studio. This weekend it’s next to a Cubs W Flag sign! #AndyHermannReflection #FlyTheW   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #523- Chicago’s Equality Index score, Local parking and transit roundup, A new fun kids book inspired by the CTA

Mike Stephen talks with:   Human Rights Campaign legislative counsel Xavier Persad about how Chicago ranks in the fifth annual Municipal Equality Index, a nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy;   The Expired Meter blogger The Parking Ticket Geek about Wrigleyville parking restrictions, raising parking meter rates around Wrigley Field, and the closing of all the Chicago vehicle emissions test facilities; and   local author Patrick McBriarty about City Railways Go Above and Below, his latest children’s book about riding public transportation.   Meanwhile, we learn how long you should #FlyTheW flag after a Cubs win!   This week’s local music is provided by riverhorse.   Local author Patrick McBriarty stops by the WGN Radio studios to talk with OTL host Mike Stephen about his new children’s book City Railways Go Above and Below.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #522- Vacant buildings in Chicago, It’s Filmed There, The Secret History of Savage Beliefs

Mike Stephen talks with:   Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce president Brian Nadig about the Vacancy Fraud Investigative Unit Act and how some Chicago landlords are exploiting a tax reduction for vacant buildings;   It’s Filmed There website creator Chas Demster about researching and meticulously documenting television and movie filming locations around Chicago; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about early local hardcore band Savage Beliefs for this week’s “The Fall of Punk” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, we share the feel-good story of Toons Bar & Grill recovering its beloved smoker Black Pearl!   This week’s local music is provided by i.e. kokoro.   OTL host Mike Stephen MCs New Year’s Eve from behind the bar at Toons Bar & Grill after chowing on some meat from the legendary Black Pearl smoker. [photo circa 2010-2011]   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #521- Religion and politics, Ruckus Entrepreneurs, Chicago food truck struggles

Mike Stephen talks with:   U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom chair Fr. Thomas J. Reese, SJ about his upcoming “Religion & Politics 2016” Albertus Magnus Lecture at Dominican University;   Concordia Place teen program manager Gwyndolyn Siebert Moss and teen program instructor Rene Pineda about teaching kids to run a business via the Ruckus Entrepreneurs program; and   Illinois Food Truck Association head Gabe Wiesen about the struggles to run a food truck business (like his very own Beavers Donuts) in the city of Chicago.   Meanwhile, we celebrate the CTA testing non-fabric plastic seats on its buses and trains!   This week’s local music is provided by The Gold Web.   OTL host Mike Stephen III shows his son Mike Stephen IV around Wrigley Field. Go Cubs! [circa summer 2015]   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.