Mike Stephen drops by The Levee in Hermosa as part of the OTL Winter Tavern Tour, discusses the future of The Old Town School of Folk Music with CEO Jim Newcomb, and learns about the struggle of life outside the Cook County Jail with author and sociologist Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve.  The local music this week is powered by Jan James. 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 beams over to Logan Square to geek out about Trek Talk, discusses the readiness of Black Chicago to organize for the upcoming mayoral election with Tiffany Walden of The Triibe, and learns the Secret History of Chicago Bluesman Lil’ Ed Williams.  This week’s local music is brought to you by Twin Talk. 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.