Media and democracy are important!

Mike Stephen discusses the future of media and democracy with Nikki Usher, associate professor of journalism at the University of Illinois and author of News for the Rich, White, and Blue: How Place and Power Distort American Journalism, and talks to civic educator and public defender Tom Tresser about the latest in the Chicago TIF saga. And in the OTL Wrap Party, Mike and Producer Collin give some love to media and democracy. Yay, democracy! To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our Apple Podcasts Page, Spotify, or our RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #456- Utilizing IL urban wood, Illuminating TIFs in Chicago, The Secret History of Chicagoland’s 60s garage rockers The Riddles

Mike Stephen talks with:   Illinois Wood Utilization Team chairperson Edith Makra and IIT College of Architecture studio associate professor Paul Pettigrew about giving dead urban trees new life;   TIF Illumination Project lead organizer Tom Tresser (support their Indiegogo campaign!); and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about late-’60s suburban rockers The Riddles for this week’s edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   This week’s local music is provided by Farkus.   OTL host Mike Stephen visits Illinois Wood Utilization Team chairperson Edith Makra and IIT College of Architecture studio associate professor Paul Pettigrew at the IIT Architecture Model Shop.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #369- Chicago’s proposed 2014 budget, Tacofancy, A Chicagoan visits the White House

TO HEAR THE SHOW, PRESS THE “PLAY” BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST… (podcasting from the studios in the OTL Bunker, somewhere in Chicago) (broadcasting on the “Tacofancy” radio station WLUW-FM (88.7) Chicago) Mike Stephen looks at the mayor’s proposed 2014 budget, discusses a community-driven online taco repository, and talks to a Chicagoan who attended the Blackhawks’ championship celebration at the White House.   Ellyn Fortino– Reporter & blogger for Progress Illinois Recently Mayor Emanuel proposed his version of Chicago’s budget for 2014.  We analyze the budget and how it would impact the city’s finances.     Photo courtesy of Progress Illinois   Tacofancy– A community-driven taco hub Mike discovers Dan Sinker‘s online taco repository.  And it’s delicious.   A delicious taco.     Brandon Wetherbee– Host of the You, Me, Them, Everybody podcast and Managing Editor of Bright Young Things Brandon, a Chicagoan, attended the Blackhawks Stanley Cup ceremony at the White House and gives us a behind-the-scenes account. Photo courtesy of Brandon Wetherbee/Bright Young Things.     OTL #369 local music provided by Brice Woodall…  

OTL: Episode #346- TIF Illumination, Representation Without Taxation

TO HEAR THE SHOW, PRESS THE “PLAY” BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST… (podcasting from the studios in the OTL Bunker, somewhere in Chicago) (broadcasting on the “illumination” radio station WLUW-FM (88.7) Chicago) Mike Stephen learns about the TIF Illumination Project, Looks back on the future of music predictions, and discusses how some big businesses avoid paying taxes.   Tom Tresser– Educator, organizer, and co-founder of CivicLab TIF reform is an important topic and Tom is in the thick of it.  Check out and a series of public events to learn more about how TIFs work.  You can also sign a petition to put TIFs on property tax bills.     Looking back at the future of music– Mike discovered an interview he recorded in the old WLUW studio with writer Lou Carlozo from 2001.  In this this clip they discuss when the future of music could be.  We see if what they talked about came true. The old WLUW studio circa 2000.   Celeste Meiffren– Filed Director for the IL Public Interest Research Group IL PIRG’s report, Representation Without Taxation, shows how some Fortune 500 companies exploit loopholes and distort the tax code to avoid billions of dollars in taxes.  Celeste discusses the report.   OTL #346 local music provided by Sonia Khaleel…