The 21st Show

‘Queer Eye’ In Quincy; IL’s History Of Resistance To Federal Laws; Water Quality In Chicago Beaches; DIY Deep Dish


Karamo Brown, from left, Bobby Berk, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness arrive at a For Your Consideration event for "Queer Eye" at Raleigh Studios on Thursday, May 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The town of Quincy, Illinois is enjoying the spotlight after being featured in the popular Netflix makeover show Queer Eye. We talk to the band teacher who brought the Fab Five to Illinois. Also, it’s finally beach season. Even though we don’t live by the ocean, Lake Michigan is always a drive away. But it turns out the water is sometimes too dirty for swimmers. Plus, Chicago officials made it clear they won’t cooperate with the Trump administration’s current immigration deportation policy. That resistance harkens back to another era more than a century ago. And, we hear tips for making classic Chicago deep dish pizza at home.

Quincy, Illinois — a city of about 40,000 on the Mississippi River — is enjoying the spotlight after one of its residents was featured on the Netflix makeover show, Queer Eye.  

In the season 4 premiere of the show, which was released this past weekend, Quincy native, co-host and member of the so-called Fab Five Jonathan Van Ness returns home to makeover his high school music teacher, Kathi Dooley. 

We had Kathi, the music director for Quincy High School, on the line. Joi Austin, the marketing and communications director for the Great River Economic Foundation in Quincy, also joined us.


President Trump’s Twitter announcement earlier this summer that he planned to "begin the process of removing millions of illegal aliens” had many in immigrant communities on edge. The President’s threats to ramp up deportations not only sparked protests from immigrant rights groups around the country, but prompted further reactions from state and local governments who oppose the federal law. 

Here in Illinois, for example, the state passed legislation banning private immigration detention centers. Governor Pritzker also responded to Trump’s ICE enforcement operation by directing all state agencies not to coordinate with ICE. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has also been outspoken on this issue.

Illinois residents and local governments have a centuries-long history of subverting federal policies they don’t agree with. Northwestern history professor Kate Masur pointed out these parallels recently in a column in the Chicago Tribune. She says Chicago’s resistance to ICE raids recalls Northern states’ response to the Fugitive Slave Act. She joined us on the line.


We’re in the height of summer, and if you need to cool off, there’s nothing better than going for a swim.

Illinois may not have the ocean, but we do have beaches along Lake Michigan in the Chicago area. But it turns out the water might not always be safe to swim in. 

On most summer days, at least one Chicago beach has elevated levels of fecal bacteria. And that doesn’t necessarily cause city officials to shut the beach down.

Monica Eng reported on this for WBEZ’s Curious City. Hannah Kim is an advocate with the group Environment Illinois. Her organization worked on a study testing all 19 beaches in Cook County.


If you’ve ever had a great meal at a restaurant and tried to copy it at home, you know that it can sometimes be a bit of an adventure. And some dishes and styles of cooking are harder to replicate than others.

But have you ever tried to make Chicago deep dish pizza at home? It can be pretty tough for a number of reasons. Recently, though, the Chicago Tribune’s Louisa Chu sat in on a class at a pizzeria on the city’s north side. She joined us on the show.

Story source: