OTL: Episode #526- Film crew parking, Funding charter schools, The Secret History of The Imports

Mike Stephen talks with:   Chicago’s 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins about media production companies paying for lost parking and extending The 606 past the Kennedy and the river;   33rd Ward Working Families spokesman Nick Burt about his organization’s successful referendum against charter schools in the election; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about moody Hyde Park band The Imports for this week’s “The Fall of Punk” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, let’s take action. Now is the time to get your skin in the game.   This week’s local music is provided by The Claudettes.   OTL host Mike Stephen re-familiarizes himself with the microphone before broadcasting from a seventh floor radio studio in the Tribune Tower.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #525- The CTA gets new buses, Preparing to vote with BallotReady, A proposed Chicago River Bike Trail

Mike Stephen talks with:   DNAinfo Chicago reporter/producer Heather Cherone about the CTA’s upcoming new buses and improved service and why Chicago aldermen were upset about not getting World Series tickets;   BallotReady co-founder Alex Niemczewski about educating ourselves about political candidates and how she’s helping to make voting easier; and   Active Transportation Alliance advocacy director Jim Merrell about proposing a riverfront bike trail for Chicago… with some of it possibly floating!   Meanwhile, we realize that the city is still standing after the Cubs won the World Series, and we warn our listeners that businesses rewarding voters on election day is an illegal act.   This week’s local music is provided by Pool Holograph.   OTL host Mike Stephen is a Chicago Cubs lifer! #FlyTheW [photo circa 1980]   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.