Mike Stephen discusses the state of unions in Illinois from the WGN Skyline Studio.

Mike Stephen discusses the state of unions in Illinois, explores how low-income students often face low expectations, and learns about the exciting work of ProjectArt Chicago. Plus, we track down Producer Collin at Midway Airport for the OTL Wrap Party!  This week’s local music is brought to us by Good Enough. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #479- The importance of CTU’s vote to strike, Jefferson Park Forward, The Secret History of local folker Bob Gibson

Mike Stephen talks with:   In These Times associate editor and Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity author Micah Utrecht about the importance of the Chicago Teachers Union strike;   Jefferson Park Forward founder Ryan Richter about the future of Chicago’s northwest side; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about folk hero Bob Gibson for this week’s edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, we discuss Chicago the band entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame via a controversial fan vote.   This week’s local music is provided by Vamplifier.   OTL host Mike Stephen always dresses a little nicer around the holidays. Nice shirt!   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #438- Another look at unions and IL politics, Story Week Festival of Writers, The Secret History of Chicago Music: Baby Doo Caston

TO HEAR THE SHOW, PRESS THE “PLAY” BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST… (broadcasting on the “baby-doo” radio station WGN-AM 720) Mike Stephen takes another look at unions and their influence on IL politics, previews Story Week Festival of Writers, and gets the lowdown on Chicago musician Baby Doo Caston.   Frank Manzo–  Policy Director, Illinois Economic Policy Institute We heard a lot of listener feedback on the topic of influence of unions on IL politics.  This week we get another perspective on this issue.       Eric May– Author and artistic director of Story Week Festival of Writers Columbia College presents this annual festival that celebrates the written word and the art of storytelling.  We get a preview of this event that runs from March 15-21.  Eric May discusses the upcoming Story Week Festival of Writers with Mike Stephen     The Secret History of Chicago Music– Local music historian and artist Plastic Crimewave (aka: Steve Krakow) profiles 20th century Blues musician Baby Doo Caston in this week’s Chicago Reader.  He gives us the lowdown on his musical contribution to Chicago.       OTL #438 local music provided by Molehill…

OTL: Episode #437- Union influence on IL politics, The attack of the Emerald Ash Borer, Previewing the Hideout Harmonica Hoedown

TO HEAR THE SHOW, PRESS THE “PLAY” BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST… (broadcasting on the “rockin’-the-harp” radio station WGN-AM 720) Mike Stephen looks at union influence on local politics, discusses the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer on our trees, and gets a preview of the 4th annual Hideout Harmonica Hoedown.   Diana Rickert–  VP of Communications for the Illinois Policy Institute We examine the role of unions in the Illinois political process.  The Institute just released a report entitled The Anatomy of Influence: Government Unions in Illinois.       Mark Cinnamon– State Plant Regulatory Official Have you noticed trees disappearing from Chicago streets?  We examine why the infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer is a serious wreaking havoc with our local greenery.     Bob Kessler– Harmonica “colorist” and founder/curator of the Hideout Harmonica Hoedown We get a preview of the 4th annual hoedown, the premiere celebration of the harmonica, taking place Sunday, March 8th at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia).  Bob and Mike share a jam sesh on the 50,000-watt blowtorch too!   Bob Kessler and Mike Stephen have a harp jam in the WGN Radio studios.   OTL #437 local music provided by Bob Kessler…