OTL: Episode #541- Possible CPD reforms, Navigating Lake Street, The Platoon of Power Squadron series concludes

Mike Stephen talks with:   Chicago Justice Project executive director Tracy Siska about changes that need to be made within the Chicago Police Department;   Fulton Market Association executive director Roger Romanelli about fixing the treacherous stretch of Lake Street between Halsted and Ashland; and   The Platoon of Power Squadron creator/writer/director Jake Jarvi about about his long-running locally-produced web series that’s coming to an end.   Meanwhile, we discuss street musicians dodging a proposed ban on performing on Michigan Avenue, and we play a voicemail from #1 OTL fan Mrs. Stephen, who feels like she’s been double-crossed by Mr. Fix-It himself… Lou Manfredini.   This week’s local music is provided by The Red Plastic Buddha.   OTL host Mike Stephen poses with his mom’s prized Lou Manfredini poster. [not pictured: Mrs. Stephen]   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #540- Rent control in Chicago, The Secret History of Queen Sylvia Embry, Assisting Chicago’s immigrant community

Mike Stephen talks with:   Pilsen Alliance director Byron Sigcho about the displacement of some of our city’s residents and the movement for rent control in Chicago;   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about singer and bassist Queen Sylvia Embry for this week’s “Winter Blues” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music; and   Centro Romero executive director Daysi Funes about how her organization is helping with the challenges facing Chicago’s immigrant community.   Meanwhile, we discuss Billy Dec, the recent insanity between Mayor Emanuel and Governor Rauner, the Thompson Center’s food court, and wacky bass players.   This week’s local music is provided by The Sweet Maries.   OTL host Mike Stephen (far right, on harmonica) and his band Detagoh rock Wise Fools Pub in 2005. [not pictured: “Socks” the bass player]   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #539- Protecting high school journalism, Chicago Plant Rescue, Inside the Read/Write Library

Mike Stephen talks with:   Illinois Journalism Education Association board member Stan Zoller about the continuing importance of teaching journalists at the high school level;   Chicago Plant Rescue community outreach director Nora Bryne about what her organization is doing to save orphaned greenery; and   Read/Write Library Chicago executive director Nell Taylor about the importance of documenting local history via books, zines, and periodicals.   Meanwhile, we discuss the upcoming #RumpsAgainstTrump protest and the growing sanctuary restaurants movement.   This week’s local music is provided by The Real Gone.   OTL host Mike Stephen supports high school journalism.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #538- Revitalizing the Pedway, Changes for Newcity, The Secret History of Little Brother Montgomery

Mike Stephen talks with:   Environmental Law & Policy Center president and executive director Howard Learner about ideas to improve Chicago’s vast pedway system;   Newcity editor/publisher Brian Hieggelke about changes in store for his venerable Chicago alternative newspaper; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about influential self-taught pianist Little Brother Montgomery for this week’s “Winter Blues” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, Mike reveals what the Chicago bag tax is really about right before making a surprise political announcement!   This week’s local music is provided by Cafe Racer.   OTL host Mike Stephen reads the 31st anniversary issue of Newcity — the last weekly edition of the venerable Chicago newspaper.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.