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On BPR: Something’s rotten in the borough of Brooklyn

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Hold your noses!

Brooklyn Paper Radio is back with an all-new episode, on which co-hosts Anthony Rotunno and Johnny Kunen dove right into the latest stinky situation to engulf the beleaguered L train.

The duo invited reporter Julianne Cuba on to discuss the city and state’s ongoing response to reports of noxious fumes emanating from the subway’s tunnels and stations, which reportedly caused one straphanger to faint and sent a group of union transit workers to the hospital, despite officials’ claims that the odor is harmless.

“People started noticing it last week,” Cuba said. “The MTA brought on an external environmental consultant who determined that the air was safe but that didn’t stop union employees from falling ill and having to be taken to the hospital.”

Ever the sleuth, Kunen attempted to put two and two together upon learning the workers were hospitalized even as officials claimed the fumes were safe.

“I smell a scandal!” he speculated.

The trio noted that concerns over the stench recalled similar worries that Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members expressed about the state agency’s new plan to repair the line — which will allow continued, reduced service throughout the job, but could expose riders to a harmful chemical called silica as contractors repair the concrete walls inside the L’s East River–spanning Canarsie Tube.

Cuba stuck around to fill the co-hosts in on another issue locals’ recently made a stink over — the lack of a formal presentation at a long-awaited city meeting about officials’ proposal to rezone a massive chunk of Gowanus surrounding the neighborhood’s eponymous, fetid canal.

The city’s plan could dramatically alter the built character of the historically industrial enclave — allowing for structures between 22 and 30 stories along parts of Brooklyn’s Nautical Purgatory, and others as tall as 17 stories along a stretch of Fourth Avenue. But instead of guiding the hundreds of locals who came out to the recent meeting through the massive rezoning proposal, officials stood behind tables and forced any attendees with questions to stand in line and ask them — a passive approach that led to anarchy, Cuba explained.

But the episode wasn’t just relegated to sniffing out controversy. National treasure and Brooklyn Paper Arts Editor Bill Roundy came by to conclude the show with a list of activities — including concerts, museum exhibitions, and an epic mac-and-cheese cook-off — happening across Kings County this week, which will surely stimulate all senses.

Tune in now to hear it all go down!

Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded and podcast live on Tuesday afternoons — for your convenience — from our studio in America’s Downtown and can be found, as always, right here on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.

Updated 5:02 pm, February 13, 2019
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