A view of the ABLA land on Chicago’s near west side. (Photo credit: Mike Stephen/WGN Radio)

Mike Stephen discusses Chicago’s affordable housing issues with ProPublica reporter Mick Dumke, talks to local musician Al Rose about his new album, and discovers the mysterious Secret History of R&B singer Barbara Livsey. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our Apple Podcasts Page, Spotify, or our RSS feed.

Mike Stephen talks with Geoff Smith, executive director of the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University, about the state of rental housing in Cook County, connects with John O’Rourke, station manager at WELT-LP (95.7) in Fort Wayne, to learn about that station’s community programming, and connects with Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) to learn about the Secret History of Chicago organ player Deacon Jones. The local music this week is powered by soul-shakin’ blues powerhouse Curio. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #565- Improving public schools, Affordable housing near The 606, Fritz Kaegi runs for Assessor

Mike Stephen talks with:   Generation All associate program officer Misuzu Schexnider about their plan for improving neighborhood high schools and the new Chicago Public Schools app;   Logan Square Neighborhood Association former president Lissette Castañeda about the fight for affordable housing in areas by The 606 park system; and   Cook County Assessor candidate Fritz Kaegi about his vision for transparent and competent assessments for everybody.   Meanwhile, we discuss how the Chicago Triathlon is introducing a one-mile Underwear Run along the lakefront this year!   This week’s local music is provided by Ratboys.   OTL host Mike Stephen III, son Mike Stephen IV, and wife Jenny Stephen I enjoy The 606 park system. [circa summer 2015]   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #542- Affordable housing on the NW Side, Roses4Austin, The Secret History of Big John Wrencher

Mike Stephen talks with:   Chicago Housing Initiative organizer Ben Goldsmith about the controversial push for affordable housing in Jefferson Park;   Oak Park and River Forest High School senior Sydney Jackson and St. Catherine – St. Lucy School principal Sharon Leamy about the Roses4Austin after-school program and the importance of volunteering in the community; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about one-armed harmonica player Big John Wrencher for this week’s “Winter Blues” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, we discuss CityHealth’s questionable study that rates Chicago as one of the healthiest cities in America.   This week’s local music is provided by the Boogers.   OTL host Mike Stephen poses with Roses4Austin founder Sydney Jackson in a classroom at St. Catherine – St. Lucy School in Oak Park.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.