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 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.

OTL: Episode #546- Closing the IL gender pay gap, Future of the Great Lakes, The Secret History of Big Smokey Smothers

Mike Stephen talks with:   Women Employed policy director Melissa Josephs about Equal Pay Day, the Illinois Equal Pay Act, and preventing employers from asking about salary histories;   Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Egan about protecting our region’s greatest natural resource, as detailed in his book The Death and Life of the Great Lakes; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about rhythm guitarist and ice cream vendor Otis “Big Smokey” Smothers for this week’s “Winter Blues” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, we compare Chicago’s population density to other major cities.   This week’s local music is provided by Moon Bros..   OTL host Mike Stephen knows which stack of papers is his due to WGN Radio super engineer Bob Ferguson’s helpful note.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #537- Living with lead in Chicago, Fatal crashes and cell phone privacy, Is Restaurant Week a good deal?

Mike Stephen talks with:   City Bureau co-founder/editorial director Darryl Holliday about his news organization’s special issue “Living With Lead: How Generations of Chicagoans Carry the Weight of a Toxin Hiding in Plain Sight;”   Streetsblog Chicago editor John Greenfield about his Chicago Reader column on whether or not police should be checking drivers’ phone records after serious crashes; and   Chicagoist food editor Anthony Todd about how not to get screwed by Restaurant Week 2017.   Meanwhile, Mike explains why he turned down Portillo’s this week!   This week’s local music is provided by Go Time!.   OTL host Mike Stephen III and his son Mike Stephen IV watch an episode of Elmo’s World while enjoying a tall glass of Chicago tap water. (Text “LEAD” to 312-697-1791 to find out more about potential lead poisoning in your area.)   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.