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Prologue

Every city's got a place like this: that weird no man's land on the outskirts of town, with junk yards and landfills. Charlie Gregerson grew up near that stuff, on Chicago's far south side, and he remembers finding debris from famous Louis Sullivan masterpieces in the garbage dump after those buildings were demolished.

Act Three: Yes, In My Backyard

The story of the government cracking down on smokestack emissions at a city factory...even though the residents LIKE the emissions. We hear from Jorge Just, who explains the one, magical, special secret about Chicago no one outside Chicago ever believes is true, from Brian Urbaszewski, Director of Environmental Health Programs for the American Lung Association in Chicago; and from Julie Armitage, Manager of Compliance and Enforcement for the Bureau of Air at the Illinois State EPA.

Prologue

Every city's got a place like this: that weird no man's land on the outskirts of town, with junk yards and landfills. Charlie Gregerson grew up near that stuff, on Chicago's far south side, and he remembers finding debris from famous Louis Sullivan masterpieces in the garbage dump after those buildings were demolished.

Act Two: 2004

We continue with the story of Irving Elementary, and hear what's happened to make Cathy La Luz think about quitting. In just nine months, the reforms that had made the school a model began to unravel.

Act Five: U.s.a., Me-s.a.

Ira talks with Chicago Public Radio reporter Shirley Jahad about white Chicagoans and Arab-American Chicagoans facing off, each side waving American flags and shouting "U.S.A."...and how each means very different things when they do it.

Act Four: Invisible Man

A postman explains how it is that he can be so much a part of the scenery that people commit crimes in front of him, on quiet daytime streets, as if he's not there. This American Life producer Alex Blumberg spent a day with postman on Chicago's west side, to find out what he sees...and who sees him...and who doesn't see him, even though he's right there.

Act Four: Throwing Money At The Problem

A few years back Alex Kotlowitz wrote a book called There Are No Children Here, about two boys growing up in Chicago's Henry Horner public housing projects. Those projects were across the street from the site of the 1996 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and when the convention came to town, money poured in for a makeover.

Act Five: One More Dream

A Bulls dream from Chicagoan Brett Grossman, and an acoustic guitar cover of Bulls theme music from Chicago musician Rick Karr.

Act Four: Basketball and Commerce

Chicago playwright Beau O'Reilly goes with Ira to the Scottie Pippen Dodge Store.Then, singer/songwriter/playwright Jeff Dorchen on Niketown.

Act Three: The Meaning of Basketball

Chicago playwright David Isaacson, on hating the Bulls.Then, Nancy Updike presents a sound portrait of a Philadelphia woman and her basketball trophies.

Act One: Pier Pressure

Navy Pier's renovation was presented as a success in last week's show, but recent press reveals that the pier is bleeding money. WBEZ personality Aaron Freeman and his kids take Ira on a tour of the pier, looking at it from a child's perspective.
Serial Season Three: Hear Every Episode