Mike Stephen talks to outgoing Ald. John Arena (45th) about local political issues, discusses the proposed state progressive income tax and budget with David Merriman of the Fiscal Futures Project, and learns about the work of Sunrise Movement Chicago.  The local music this week is powered by The Tentatives. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen stops by Cody’s bar in Lakeview to kick off the Winter Tavern Tour with @ChicagoBars, learns about Little Village’s fight for environmental justice, and discusses the statistics that show Chicago’s declining population with local demographer Rob Paral.  The local music this week is powered by Minor Moon. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen learns how the government shutdown canceled an EPA pollution hearing in East Chicago, previews the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival with artistic director Blair Thomas, and discusses a study analyzing increasing housing prices in Chicago neighborhoods and the impact of those price increases.  The local music this week is brought to you by Noiseferatu.  ALSO: Let us know about your favorite cozy winter neighborhood bars/taverns here! To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen learns about Illinois’ efforts to combat climate change with the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, gets the lowdown on a story about Chicago with the creator of a new podcast called The City, and discovers the Secret History of legendary Chicago Bluesman Otis Rush with local music historian Steve Krakow (aka: Plastic Crimewave).  The local music this week is brought to you by Scamlines. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.