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Brooklyn Paper Radio
25 minutes | Mar 4, 2020
Meet the Married Couple Who Cleans Hoarder Houses for a Living
Brooklyn Paper Radio host Rose Adams speaks to Julian Bannister and Yannick Jules-Bannister, a married couple who run the business, New Beginnings, which specializes in hoarder houses. Since the company’s founding in 2016, the Downtown Brooklyn-based duo has scrubbed dozens of houses across the city, and encountered have rat nests under piles of trash, cockroach-infested teddy bears, and even dead pets along the way. Today, they talk about some of their most memorable clients: a former model who slipped into depression after a debilitating back injury, and a bereaved mother unable to throw out her son’s belonging after his tragic death. How do Julian and Yannick change their clients’ habits? Compassion.
9 minutes | Dec 12, 2019
The Story Behind Brooklyn’s RV Community
For the last few years, small communities of RVs have sprouted up across the borough. The semi-mobile homes — equipped with water tanks and generators — have become refuges for Brooklynites unable to pay rent, residents say, and the communities are growing. Today, Brooklyn Paper Radio speaks to two RV owners who live under the Gowanus Expressway in Sunset Park to learn why they moved there, what their community is like, and why more Brooklynites are moving in. Check out this and our other Podcasts at https://podcasts.schnepsmedia.com/ or download where podcasts are found! (Photo by Trey Pentecost)
29 minutes | Jul 17, 2019
On BPR: Tune in for the latest news on the city’s borough jails plan, the recent spike in cyclist fatalities, things to do in Brooklyn, and more
Brooklyn Paper Radio returned to the airwaves this week to discuss some of the biggest stories in Brooklyn! Co-hosts Zach Gewelb and Johnny Kunen were joined by reporter Kevin Duggan, who discussed Borough President Eric Adams’ recent recommendation regarding the city’s plan to close Rikers Island and implement borough jails. Adams issued a purely advisory recommendation last week for a facility that would replace the Atlantic Avenue holding facility, asking that the Mayor’s Office for Criminal Justice and the Department of Corrections reduce the proposed building’s height from 395 feet to 235 feet, and from 1,437 beds to 900 beds. The jail currently houses 815 beds and is 170 feet tall at 11 stories. Duggan also discussed the alarming rise of cyclist deaths throughout the borough. Cycling advocates accused Mayor Bill de Blasio of failing his own Vision Zero street safety initiative — a citywide mandate to prevent any traffic-related fatalities — in the wake of back-to-back fatalities that recently claimed the lives of two Brooklyn bikers. There have now been 15 New York City cyclists killed by motorists in 2019, compared to 10 last year. Reporter Rose Adams made her Brooklyn Paper Radio debut, speaking about a food pantry in Bensonhurst that is short on funds and is asking the community for help. Located on New Utrecht Avenue between 77th and 78th streets, Reaching-Out Community Services is a staple of southern Brooklyn, offering a range of social services and food to 9,800 families from across the borough. But while donations have plateaued in recent years, demand for Reaching-Out’s services has grown, forcing the organization to turn away needy families. Rounding out the show was arts editor Bill Roundy, who provided listeners with three things to do in the week ahead — one event that’s child-friendly, another that’s intellectually intriguing, and one where Brooklynites can get their booze on. Tune in to the show for the list of events and for the latest happenings around the borough. Brooklyn Paper Radio can be found on BrooklynPaper.com, SchnepsBroadcasting.com, iTunes, and Stitcher.
29 minutes | Apr 9, 2019
On BPR: What’s next for the BQE and the playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Paper Radio this week hit the waves to talk the latest news regarding the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, as well as the playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets. Co-hosts Zach Gewelb and Johnny Kunen were joined by reporter Kevin Duggan, as the trio spoke with Peter Bray, the executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, about the fall out following last week’s town hall as it relates to the BQE. Bray said that “a threshold has been achieved,” given that the city will no longer be trying to force a highway onto the Brooklyn Promenade. In fact, it was the day of the most recent town hall that the city revealed a new “expert panel” to consider some other solutions. “Clearly the city is saying that it made a mistake before with its original two plans, that it didn’t widely consider other options, and now its time to talk a fresh look and the fact that the panel was announced on the day of the town hall meeting… It didn’t surprise us,” Bray said. Kunen then pitched his own idea on how to solve the BQE’s issues: make the triple cantilever an above ground two story tunnel. Bray didn’t dismiss the idea, saying that “all creative ideas need to be put into the hopper.” Moving on, Gewelb and Kunen talked about the exciting playoff-clinching weekend for the Nets and how they might match up against either the 76ers or the Toronto Raptors. Nets coverage will continue on next week’s show as we discuss the team’s first-round match-up. We encourage listeners to email firstname.lastname@example.org with comments on the Nets’ playoff chances and the BQE. We’re happy to read some of the comments on next week’s show. Brooklyn Paper Radio can be found on BrooklynPaper.com, iTunes, and Stitcher.
35 minutes | Mar 26, 2019
On BPR: The oft-overlooked doctor who blazed the trail for black female physicians in Bklyn and beyond
Let’s hear it for the girls! Brooklyn Paper Radio this week took a page from its sister podcast Power Women, dedicating its latest episode to those females whose contributions to Kings County truly made it the city’s better borough. Co-hosts Anthony Rotunno and Johnny Kunen recognized the culmination of another Women’s History Month by inviting Brooklyn Historical Society curator Erin Wuebker on the show to fill them in on an upcoming exhibition she is putting together for the cultural center, which will showcase the life and legacy of a little-known local doctor who blazed the trail for future female physicians when she started practicing in the County of Kings in the 19th century. Susan Smith McKinney Steward — who lived in a neighborhood locals then called Weeksville, and now call Crown Heights — upended convention by becoming New York State’s first black female doctor, and the country’s third, according to Wubker, who said history has often failed to give the pioneering physician the recognition she deserves. “Even though she was well known in her lifetime, most people haven’t heard of her,” Wubker told our hosts. “There aren’t any major biographies about her. She is really an important pioneer when we’re talking about both women’s history, and black history, for Brooklyn and also the nation as a whole.” The 1847-born Steward treated borough women and children, a focus Wuebker said was largely due to societal conventions of her time. Her career will be featured as part of the curator’s forthcoming “Taking Care of Brooklyn” exhibition, which will explore the history of care and public health in the borough when it opens at the Historical Society in May. But the show didn’t exclusively spotlight ladies — the hosts also welcomed a gent poised to make his own mark on Kings County as the incoming editor-in-chief of Brooklyn Paper, and Schneps Media’s other local newspapers. Zach Gewelb, who previously ran our sister TimesLedger newspapers published in Queens, this week took the reins atop our company’s Brooklyn editorial operation, succeeding Rotunno, who gave a heartfelt thanks to those colleagues, readers, and listeners who inspired him during his almost two years with the borough’s number-one news source. “Brooklyn is my home and it will always be my number one love,” said Rotunno, who is leaving the organization to be a senior editor at New York Magazine. Gewelb enthusiastically promised to hit the ground running, assuring Brooklynites they can expect the same style of deeply reported, hyper-local news to fill the Paper’s pages, and website, under his reign. “In community news, the people are what is most important, and whether it’s sports or in the arts, our job is to highlight those people,” he said. “I can’t say enough how excited I am for this opportunity. I am absolutely thrilled to be here.” To learn more about the Paper’s future, and the borough’s medical past, you’ll have to tune in to the show — which will, of course, go on under Gewelb, but may take a week or two to return to the airwaves as he settles in. Brooklyn Paper Radio, recorded at our studio Downtown, debuts new episodes every Tuesday, and can be found, as always, on BrooklynPaper.com, iTunes, and Stitcher.
53 minutes | Mar 19, 2019
On BPR: A lifelong Brooklynite shares his tips for surviving in the big city
Will the real Brooklynites please stand up?! Brooklyn Paper Radio this week celebrated those native Kings Countians who stuck around as the better borough evolved over the decades, with help from a lifelong local who just released a book about how to survive — and thrive — in the city. Park Slope born-and-bred Journalist Jake Dobkin, the co-founder of website Gothamist, joined co-hosts Anthony Rotunno and Johnny Kunen in studio to share tales from his new book “Ask A Native New Yorker,” which features dozens of Dobkin’s popular columns of the same name that his digital news site published over the past 16 years. Dobkin framed the discussion by noting that he defines a native as someone born in the city, who chooses to live out the majority of his or her days in the five boroughs — and to die here, too. “The natives are a very hearty species. Half of us are going to die in our apartments because we got a good deal,” he said. There are various ways New Yorkers gird their loins for a lifetime of city living, but one thing that Dobkin, the Downtown born-and-bred Kunen — who is begrudgingly still considered a native despite defecting Brooklyn for Staten Island — and the non-native Rotunno — who spent the last decade living locally after growing up upstate — all agreed that true natives share is an ability to cope with change. “I don’t ever want to be like those old cranky New Yorkers that think the city was so much better twenty years ago,” Dobkin said. “It’s ridiculous, the city has always been in flux — since the Dutch arrived and displaced the Native Americans, and then the English arrived and displaced the Dutch.” During the broadcast, the trio honed in on one such looming change that could affect thousands of Brooklynites and countless more city dwellers — the implementation of a congestion-pricing toll levied on motorists who drive into a designated swath of Manhattan — which could become law as soon as April 1, if a provision calling for the scheme stays in the state budget that Gov. Cuomo must sign by then. Advocates for congestion pricing — money raised from which would allegedly exclusively fund the beleaguered, state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority — claim it the billions in annual revenue it generates will result in much needed upgrades to the city’s subway and rail systems, as well as new bus routes to better serve transit starved areas in Brooklyn and the outer boroughs, according to proponent Kate Slevin of the Regional Plan Assocation, who called in to discuss the proposal with our hosts and Dobkin. Slevin’s independent organization, which monitors transit issues in the metropolitan area, is among dozens of like-minded groups that banded together form pro-congestion-pricing coalition Fix Our Transit. The collective’s experts claim that the scheme, if enacted, would only affect some 1.3 percent of Kings County commuters that currently drive into the special Manhattan district below 60th Street — but will annually rake in roughly a billion dollars that, when bonded, would amount to closer to $15 billion in funds for the authority each year, she said. Still, motorists won’t be hit with any fees — which are not yet set, but Slevin estimated could cost around $6 per car — for years should Cuomo sign a budget authorizing congestion pricing, because state lawmakers would still need to flesh out the scheme’s specifics before it takes effect on city streets, she said. But to hear our cohosts’ and Dobkin’s thoughts on the proposal, you’ll have to tune in to the whole show — which also features another appearance by Arts Editor Bill Roundy, who again shared some can’t-miss activities coming up in the borough of Kings. So listen now! And don’t forget to stream the latest edition of our sister Power Women podcast when you’re done. Brooklyn Paper Radio, recorded at our studio Downtown, debuts new episodes every Tuesday, and can be found, as always, on BrooklynPaper.com, iTunes, and Stitcher.
62 minutes | Mar 12, 2019
On BPR: Think of the children!
We did it for the kids! Indeed, local youngsters were the through line in this week’s all-new episode of Brooklyn Paper Radio, on which co-hosts Anthony Rotunno and Johnny Kunen took a deeper dive into stories unfolding across the borough that put children front and center. Our co-hosts first welcomed reporter Kevin Duggan, who zipped to the studio straight from an event hosted by District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, where he laid out his so-called Justice 2020 initiative that aims to eliminate the trend of incarceration-as-first-resort in Kings County. The scheme in part calls for a reduction in prosecution of so-called school-based offenses in order to divert young people from the criminal-justice system — which Gonzalez said for too long encouraged the jailing of individuals who could be appropriately punished without spending time behind bars, according to Duggan. “The main thing was to avoid people being sent to jail,” Duggan said. “It’s basically what he calls a progressive approach to criminal justice.” Reporter Colin Mixon then joined the hosts to remind listeners of officials’ call to vaccinate their children, after 21 new victims contracted the measles virus when leaders of a Williamsburg yeshiva allowed a sick, pre-symptomatic kid to attend class. “Within the past month or two, a single yeshiva has been home to more than twenty cases alone,” he said. Mixon then pivoted to another developing saga on his beat — residents’ growing chorus of calls for a dominatrix to flee the sexual-education space she operates inside a Bedford-Stuyvesant residential unit, one neighbor of which claimed draws “creepy” clientele who could simply snatch a hapless child from the street one day. “I always thought the worst kind of neighbor would be a drummer,” Johnny mused after hearing of the Bdsm battle waged by the dom’s neighbors. Reporter Julianne McShane closed the broadcast’s hard-news segment by joining the hosts to discuss a new bill up in Albany that would bring 750 school-zone speed cameras to city streets if passed. The legislation, proposed by Bay Ridge state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, would preserve and massively expand the speed-camera program — which briefly powered down last summer when state pols failed to pass legislation to extend it beyond its original expiration date — that proponents claim saves lives, and opponents blast as another way for lawmakers to take cash from taxpayers’ pockets. “The bill would authorize the city to install up to 750 cameras, and would also change the scope of how they operate — cameras would be on longer, from 6am to 10am, and could be placed within a quarter-mile radius around the school, instead of just on the block,” McShane said. To wrap it all up, Arts Editor Bill Roundy again visited the studio to share his list of can’t-miss events — for all ages! — coming up in the borough of Kings. Tune in now to hear it all — and don’t forget to stream the latest episode of our sister Power Women podcast when you’re done. Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded at our studio in America’s Downtown, debuts new episodes every Tuesday, and can be found, as always, right here on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.
59 minutes | Mar 5, 2019
On BPR: It’s trains, parades, and audiophiles!
It was something old, something new, something “Borrowed” — and something green! That’s right, folks, this week’s new Brooklyn Paper Radio episode featured all of the above, as co-hosts Anthony Rotunno and Johnny Kunen talked their way through another news-packed show with guests who discussed the latest calls to split service on the beleaguered R train between Brooklyn and Manhattan, the first formal appearance of LGBTQ marchers in the Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Brooklyn Public Library’s forthcoming podcast, “Borrowed,” which the book lenders will debut this month. Reporter Julianne McShane joined the hosts to fill listeners in on locals’ concerns about a quartet of local politicians’ demand that officials with the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority again bifurcate interborough R-train service. The scheme — which would stop Manhattan-bound R trains at Court Street, allowing weekday riders to freely transfer to 4 or 5 trains to continue their journeys, and weekend straphangers to ride to the distant isle along the N line over the Manhattan Bridge — drew heat from some residents, one of whom called in to question just how many local opinions the electeds sought before putting the request in writing to authority bigwigs. “I would want to know about this feedback some of them claim they are acting on, where it came from. It seems like many of us didn’t know this was being considered,” said Bay Ridgite Nancy Ford, who said the last time transit chiefs bifurcated R-train service, in the wake of superstorm Sandy, it added at least 15 minutes to her regular commutes to Manhattan. The show then turned from the subways to the streets, welcoming Irishman and LGBTQ advocate Brendan Fay to discuss Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade organizers’ historic decision to formally open the march to participants from those communities for the first time in its 44-year history. Fay, whom police arrested with seven others for “parading without a permit” after they tried to join the 1999 march through Park Slope, said it is about time that people who identify as Irish, and as LGBTQ, can celebrate those identities without fear of retribution. “Parades are so important. I didn’t appreciate their meaning back in Ireland, because we were Irish in our own country, but when you come to New York, every cultural community has its moment on the streets,” he said. “I am very moved to hear the news. It’s going to be a great celebration.” Finally, the hosts celebrated another borough first — the March 12 debut of the local library system’s inaugural audio-streaming series — with one of the brains behind the “Borrowed” podcast, Krissa Corbett Cavouras, and beloved Arts Editor Bill Roundy. But to hear more about what to expect from the library’s podcast — and Roundy’s expert picks on how to fill your free time this week — you’ll have to tune in to ours. And don’t forget to listen to the latest installment of Power Women, featuring a conversation between Victoria Schneps-Yunis and the president of the Queens-based Long Island City Partnership, Elizabeth Lusskin, when you’re done! Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded at our studio in America’s Downtown, debuts new episodes every Tuesday, and can be found, as always, right here on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.
72 minutes | Feb 26, 2019
On BPR: City’s BQE fix could create landmarking crisis not seen since destruction of old Penn Station
The city’s proposal to turn the Brooklyn Heights Promenade into a six-lane speedway in order to repair the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway’s crumbling triple cantilever could undermine decades-old local and federal landmark laws put in place following the destruction of the old Penn Station, according to a preservationist. “I dislike going back to that well, but this has the opportunity for having profound implications for how landmarks are treated in New York,” Simeon Bankoff, head of the privately run, citywide preservation group the Historic Districts Council, told Brooklyn Paper Radio co-hosts Anthony Rotunno and Johnny Kunen on an all-new episode. Bankoff joined the show to discuss the letter he and other local leaders recently fired off to officials, which noted the city’s so-called innovative approach that would transform the Promenade into a roadway for no less than six years while workers repair the three-tiered expressway — one of three options currently on the table for the fix — could generate a flurry of legal opposition if ultimately chosen, due to the walkway’s locally and federally protected status. The Promenade is protected by no less than three designations, Bankoff explained. It is within the city’s first-ever protected neighborhood, the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, an enclave the Feds later recognized with two separate distinctions, including a spot on the country’s list of National Historic Landmarks, and another spot on the National Register of Historic Places — whose main purpose is to ensure local governments do not destroy historically significant sites as they execute public projects, such as roadway repairs, according to the preservationist. “It doesn’t affect privately funded development, but very much affects publicly funded development,” Bankoff said of the historic places register. “The main function is to make sure that government, in the course of doing a road widening proposal, doesn’t knock down the house that George Washington slept in.” And should officials proceed with turning walkway into speedway, they risk setting a dangerous precedent that could defang city landmarking restrictions established to protect historic homes and other sites after workers redeveloped Manhattan’s once grand railroad hub into a far less impressive commuter-and-commercial space. “How are you supposed to tell somebody that they need to reconstruct their stoop when the city is destroying a major national landmark with public money?” Bankoff asked. Kunen and Rotunno let that question linger in the air before welcoming the show’s next guests: wood expert Zack Rike, who told our hosts why he doubts Brooklyn Bridge Park officials’ claims that faulty black-locust planks will require them to raze and replace the Squibb Bridge following its second closure, and Kensington-based musician Lucy Kalantari, who earlier this month took home her first Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album. And, of course, beloved Arts Editor Bill Roundy again joined the guys to share his picks of where to go and what to do in the better borough this week. Tune in now to hear it all go down — and don’t forget to stream the latest episode of our sister Power Women podcast, featuring an interview between Schneps Media President and Publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis and preschool developer Margarycel Nunez. Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded at our studio in America’s Downtown, debuts new episodes every Tuesday, and can be found, as always, right here on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.
59 minutes | Feb 19, 2019
On BPR: Bklyn advocate candidates stump for seat
They’re their own best advocates! Two Brooklynites running in the 17-person race to fill the city’s vacant public advocate seat campaigned for their candidacy on Brooklyn Paper Radio this week, ahead of the Feb. 26 election to fill the office. Bushwick Councilman Rafael Espinal and civil servant turned community activist Tony Herbert, who grew up in Prospect Heights, pitched themselves for the citywide watchdog position to co-hosts Anthony Rotunno and Johnny Kunen, and Brooklyn Paper political columnist Kevin Duggan, who is keeping a close watch on the race and joined the special show. Both Espinal, who is running on the Liveable City party line in the city’s first nonpartisan election, and Herbert, who is running on the Residents First party line, blasted those pols and critics who claim the seat should be abolished because it is a waste of taxpayer dollars, with the councilman dismissing legislation introduced by a colleague — which if passed would create a ballot referendum to let voters decide whether or not to axe the office — as nothing but funny business. “I thought it was a joke,” Espinal said of the bill introduced by Councilman Kalman Yeger (D–Midwood). “From the moment it was introduced, I didn’t believe it was a viable bill.” The two also explained how they, as public advocate, would have worked to bring more transparency to the controversial — and now kaput — deal to bring tech behemoth Amazon to Queens, a courtship Espinal noted he opposed from the get-go. “If you look at the impact Amazon has had on Seattle, just on the overall livability of the city, when it comes to the cost of living and the infrastructure, it has been a big problem,” he said. Both men positioned themselves as fighters for whom they called real New Yorkers, with Herbert — whose resume includes administrative positions in Council, state government, and at city do-good groups and private companies — recalling his family’s own experience with gentrification amid the redevelopment of his native Prospect Heights over the last decades. And the activist — who will not participate in the final public advocate debate on Wednesday — fired back at Rotunno when he questioned whether he had the name recognition to land a victory. “For the last ten years, I’ve been in peoples households utilizing the tool that has made me the advocate that I am — media — thus making myself somewhat of a household name,” Herbert said. The episode wasn’t all politics, however. National treasure and Arts Editor Bill Roundy again joined the show to share his picks of where to go and what to do in Kings County in the coming days. But for those picks, and to learn more about Espinal and Herbert’s campaigns, you’ll have to listen to the full episode — which you can do right now! And don’t forget to check out the latest episode of our sister podcast Power Women when you’re done. Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded at our studio in America’s Downtown, debuts new episodes every Tuesday, and can be found, as always, right here on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.
54 minutes | Feb 12, 2019
On BPR: Something’s rotten in the borough of Brooklyn
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 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. 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 happening across Kings County this week. Tune in now to hear it all go down! Brooklyn Paper Radio streams new episodes each Tuesday, which can be found on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.
13 minutes | Feb 7, 2019
What’s that sound? It’s BPR!
It’s order in the recording studio! Schneps Media is thrilled to announce the debut of an all-new Brooklyn Paper Radio podcast, which is returning to the airwaves as one of the first digital programs under the company’s streaming arm, Schneps Broadcasting. Starting next week, the new Brooklyn Paper Radio will return with weekly Tuesday episodes chock full of local news you need to know, including exclusive interviews, deeper dives into its stories that are driving conversations across Kings County, and expertly curated lists of where to go and what to do in the better borough. But to celebrate its launch, co-hosts Anthony Rotunno, Brooklyn Paper’s editor-in-chief, and Johnny Kunen, whom some listeners will remember as “Jimmy” the producer, welcomed Schneps Media President and Publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis for a very special episode this week, featuring a must-listen interview between the Brooklyn-bred Schneps-Yunis and another local luminary, the Hon. Judith Sheindlin — whom millions of television viewers know better as Judge Judy. The two forged a friendship as classmates at Midwood’s James Madison High School, back when kids were more familiar with their neighbors than their smartphones, according to the judge. “You knew your neighbors and your neighbors knew you,” Sheindlin said. “It was a closer community and we weren’t tied together by machines the way children are now.” The women only strengthened their bond as each pursued their equally accomplished careers, with both offering some sound advice to young professionals looking to kick-start their own professional journeys. For that, however, you’ll have to tune in to the full show, which is live now on BrooklynPaper.com, and, of course, available via one of the many fine services that stream the beloved podcast. And don’t forget to come back next week for the first full episode of the new Brooklyn Paper Radio. 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, on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.
61 minutes | Oct 19, 2018
Gounardes: Golden should lose job, driver’s license
He’s at the end of the road. State Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) should have his driver’s license revoked, according to his Democratic challenger, Andrew Gounardes, in his inaugural appearance on Brooklyn Paper Radio on Oct. 19. The state Senate hopeful said Golden’s history of reckless driving — which includes racking up 18 parking and speeding violations within the past two years — proves that the beleaguered pol should never again be allowed behind the wheel. “[His driver’s license] absolutely should be revoked — that is not safe driving and that is not a great example to be setting for your constituents at all,” Gounardes said. “That’s a danger to our community — anyone who has a driving record like that, the length of a CVS receipt, should have their licenses suspended and removed.” Gounardes, a born-and-bred Ridgite, insisted that he received his one and only speeding ticket more than a decade ago, as a naïve youngster careening down the Gowanus Expressway. “I was going towards the Verrazzano Bridge and I got caught taking a turn too fast,” Gounardes said. “I was 21-years-old — I thought I was invincible.” Gounardes will face off against Golden on Nov. 6 to represent the 22nd District, which encompasses Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, and parts of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park, and Midwood. Gounardes ran against Golden in 2012 and lost by a 16-percent margin — or about 10,300 votes — but the candidate said he’s confident that he stands a better chance this time around because he has more political experience under his belt, and has cultivated more support in the community than he had before his first campaign. Gounardes currently works as Counsel to Borough President Eric Adams, and formerly worked as an aide to former councilman Vincent Gentile and U.S. Sen. Bob Mendendez (D—New Jersey) who was charged in 2015 for an alleged pay-to-play scam. Menendez beat the charges last year in a mistrial, but Gounardes still scrubbed his D.C. work for the Senator from his bio — a decision he chalked up to the fact that he’s focused on campaigning for a job in Albany, not Washington. “Things change in bios — it’s really about condensing and finding the things that are most pertinent and most relevant to the job at hand,” Gounardes said. “In high school, I was the mascot — that’s not in my bio either,” he said. If elected, Gounardes would earn nearly $35,000 less than his current salary as an attorney in Borough President Adams’s office, but the candidate said he doesn’t care that he’d be taking a pay cut, adding that he’d make his Albany post a full-time job. “I have no plans other than to be a state Senator — that’s what I owe my constituents,” he said. “I’m not in this to make a salary. I’m in this to make a difference in the lives of my neighbors.” And he said he’d be busy writing bills and moving them through the chamber, which he said he’d prioritize over the community events — such as summer concerts, Easter egg hunts, and Christmas tree lightings — that Golden sponsors. “I’ve been to the concerts — the concerts are great,” Gounardes said. “But what we need is people who go up to Albany and actually have a legislative record that’s going to help their communities — anything on top of that is gravy.” Gounardes has picked up some high-profile endorsements, such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nod on Oct. 2, but perhaps none more so than actor-activist Alyssa Milano. Though in her tweeted endorsement the “Charmed” star called Golden her “hometown State Senator,” Brooklyn Paper editor-in-chief — and Staten Island resident — Vince DiMiceli insisted on setting the record straight, on-air, that the precocious moppet from “Who’s the Boss” is actually from Staten Island, not Kings County. “Listen, she’s from Staten Island,” DiMiceli said on the show. “She likes to say she’s from Brooklyn, but she’s from Staten Island — we’ve done the research on this.” But Gounardes was quick to jump to defense of his would-be (maybe) constituent, insisting that she’s from Bensonhurst and demanding DiMiceli provide proof of his slanderous claims. “Have you found her birth certificate?” Gounardes asked. “Are we back to the birther era now?” DiMiceli said that the only way to find the truth would be to have Milano on the Brooklyn Paper Radio show — especially since one of her early co-stars made an appearance on the show back in 2016. “We’ve had Tony Danza on the show, so it’d be nice to complete that circle and have Alyssa Milano on too,” DiMiceli said. Alyssa, the offer still stands: you have a standing invite to appear on your purported hometown paper’s radio show — preferably before Nov. 6. State Sen. Golden had also accepted and invitation for an interview with the Brooklyn Paper and its sister publications, but his spokeswoman abruptly cancelled the interview without explanation, the day before the interview was scheduled to take place. Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
58 minutes | Oct 17, 2018
On BPR: Heights Association brain trust on the destruction of the Promenade
The leaders of the Brooklyn Heights Association pleaded their case to save the Brooklyn Heights Promenade from destruction on the latest edition of Brooklyn Paper Radio, telling hosts Vince DiMiceli and Anthony Rotunno there are alternatives to closing the beloved walkway for almost a decade, and that they couldn’t understand why Mayor DeBlasio on Friday endorsed a plan that would turn it into a six-lane speedway. “The community was blindsided by the mayor’s comments,” said Heights Association executive director Peter Bray on the show. “I think it was extraordinarily unfortunate and inappropriate for him to comment at a point when the Department of Transportation has told the community that this is part of a lengthier community-engagement process.” Both Bray and Heights Association president Martha Bakos Dietz said they would rather the city divert traffic from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway’s decrepit triple-cantilever to unused portions of Brooklyn Bridge Park instead of destroying the only good thing that ever came of the original construction of the highway in the first place — the Promenade. And they, along with DiMiceli and Rotunno, wondered why the waterfront’s park, hotel, and condos were even built before the important stretch of highway was repaired in the first place. Bray hinted that the recession 10 years ago probably played a role in the state wheedling its way out of its responsibility to fix the highway, but DiMiceli took things a step farther, hinting that special interests convinced government officials to push through the lucrative park plan over an infrastructure project. “I think somebody made this decision,” he said. “Somebody in government said ‘Which one are we going to do?” and somebody said “You know, we’ve going to do the park.’ ” Ever the journalist and following the mantra to “follow the money,” DiMiceli later wondered if it was those same special interests that are moving the highway skyward and next to the multi-millon dollar homes in the Heights, instead of down nearer the water passing the newly built, multi-million dollar condos within the green space. Tune in now to hear it all, and make sure to stick around to the end when DiMiceli sprung a burning question on the civic gurus that we all want to hear answered: Is Brooklyn Bridge Park a good neighbor? Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded and podcast live every Tuesday at — 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. Listen to a feed of the latest show anytime at BrooklynPaper.com/radio.
57 minutes | Sep 26, 2018
Now on BPR: State Senate nominee Zellnor Myrie talks his primary win — and how he’ll do it again in Nov.
Political newcomer Zellnor Myrie, who stunned some Brooklyn Democrats with an impressive primary-election win over sitting state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, stunned and impressed host Vince DiMiceli and guest co-host Gersh Kuntzman on the latest edition of Brooklyn Paper Radio. Joining your hosts by phone, the soon-to-be state Senator who’ll represent Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, and Sunset Park in the 20th District — the fighten’ 20th! — didn’t back down from any of the tough question thrown his way on a cornucopia of topics including bike lanes, buses, subways, cars, roads, rail roads, pedestrians, the psychology of drivers and of course, weed. Now, we know what your thinking: “It sounds like you guys just talked about transit issues and weed.” Well that’s because Kuntzman new job as head blogger at StreetsBlog.org requires he ask questions about such things, and he didn’t hold back. Still, once in a while, DiMiceli was able to get a word in edgewise and on-topic, asking the man who took down one of the members of the state Senate’s old Independent Democratic Conference if he would ever consider closing a street to all traffic except buses if it meant improving mass transit. But as the son of Costa Rican immigrants got the first n-sound of his-sure-to-come “No” answer out, your hosts followed up. “Why not?” they said in unison. To find out the answer — and learn Myrie’s stand on legalizing weed — you’ll have to listen now, right here on BrooklynPaper.com ! 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. Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
61 minutes | Sep 18, 2018
Levin on BPR: Decison on 80 Flatbush not FAR off
Councilman Stephen Levin took a deep dive into what will guide his crucial decision regarding the controversial plan to build the most-dense project outside of Manhattan on Flatbush Avenue on the latest episode of Brooklyn Paper Radio. The Boerum Hill pol joined hosts Vince DiMiceli and Anthony Rotunno (along with intrepid reporter Julianne Cuba), who immediately asked him to break down the pluses and minuses of the so-called 80 Flatbush plan, which is presently weaving its way through the city’s mandatory Uniform Land Use Review Procedure — a process that needs to be approved by various agencies, Council, and the mayor before any zoning change can be made. And although he was able to come up with more pros than cons, Levin refused when Rotunno asked him to write the headline for Friday’s edition of The Paper, which sadly will go to press before the vote takes place on Thursday morning. “I really don’t know,” the councilman said. “I couldn’t say at this point.” But that didn’t stop your battle-hardened journalists from using every trick in the book to try and pry an answer out of him during a podcast so important, its dialogue was live-blogged by editors at competing websites. Cuba, for instance, put two and two together by explaining that, with Yom Kippur celebrations beginning, there really isn’t much time left for Levin to negotiate with anyone until at least sundown tomorrow, so he must know which way he is going to vote. But Levin said he didn’t. And DiMiceli used an old-school tactic and simply asked how he planed to vote, hoping to catch the two-term councilman off guard, but that didn’t work either. Still, Levin’s silence did not stop your local scribes from predicting the outcome — a common practice in the newspaper industry — with Cuba forecasting that the project will be approved pretty much the way it is planned, DiMiceli thinking it will be a bit smaller, and Rotunno, well, for Rotunno’s prediction you’ll just have to listen to the show. 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. Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
67 minutes | Aug 28, 2018
Dick Zigun on BPR: Yes, there is a big difference between a ‘talker’ and a ‘barker’
Brooklyn Paper Radio host Vince DiMiceli insulted guest Dick Zigun when he mistakenly on purpose referred to the legendary Coney Island carny as “barker” — a term frowned upon by those in the trade of locating, and exhuming the money from, one of those people P.T. Barnum famously said were born every 60 seconds. “You don’t say ‘barker!’ It offends carnies. It’s a ‘talker.’ ” Zigun said when DiMiceli unsuccessfully tried to label the man who has for 40 years been the face of Sodom by the Sea. “A dog barks, or someone who is trying to attract you to a strip show saying ‘Check it out … check it out … check it out.’ ” Zigun pointed out that what he and his ilk do is more artistic — by using 15 words to describe something that can be described in three, you attract the attention of the passerby and get them interested in seeing the show. “It’s a flowery appreciation for vocabulary,” he said. “Great wonders and human curiosities! They’re here! They’re real! And they’re alive on the inside!” Talking or barking aside, Zigun touched on lots of news about Coney Island, including just-announced plans for new log-flume and zip-line rides (“It’s the talk of the amusement industry,” he said); the one-millionth visitor that recently purchased a ticket to Brooklyn’s beloved off-off-Broadway production, the Coney Island Sideshow (“They were from Germany! I could have made that happen, but I didn’t!”); and Council last month signing off on the Reigelmann Boardwalk’s designation as a city landmark. (“Fancy neighborhoods have their landmarks, why can’t we?”). And that’s not all: last week, officials revisited a scheme that may put the fate of the neighborhood’s Abe Stark Sports Center and its beloved ice rink in the hands of a private developer — a good thing, according to Zigun, who argued the facility has languished in its decades under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation. “Maybe it’s time someone else took a shot at it,” he said. He had plenty more to say, too, so take a listen right now on BrooklynPaper.com. And don’t forget to take our poll below to tell us where you would rather sit on the Cyclone — in the front or in the rear. For the record, Zigun is a front-car man. 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. And listen anytime to a live stream of our most-recent podcast at www.brooklynpaper.com/radio.
46 minutes | Aug 21, 2018
On BPR: A peek at boro’s past — and present, and future — with the beep
He’s Brooklyn’s man for the ages! Kings County’s commander in chief is calling on locals to share photographs of the city’s best borough taken throughout the decades as part of a new visual-history project that he stopped by Brooklyn Paper Radio to tell our hosts about in an all-new episode. Borough President Adams is turning to the good old days for his “A Blast from Brooklyn’s Past” project as a way to unite his longtime constituents with their just-settled counterparts over their shared love of the County of Kings. “People romanticize the past,” the beep told co-hosts Vince DiMiceli and Anthony Rotunno. “And there’s something about looking at old photos — Polaroids, black and whites. They’re great visuals.” But the past was just one hot topic the co-hosts dove into with Adams. The pair discussed also the present — specifically, Mayor DeBlasio’s week-long residency in his former stomping grounds during his so-called “City Hall in Your Borough” initiative, which kicked off in Kings County on Monday with officials’ ceremonial ride over the Brooklyn Bridge on some of the new pedal-assist-electric rental bikes they’re deploying ahead of the imminent “L-pocalypse,” and continues with events through Friday. And also, the future, when Adams — a former cop and state senator — is expected to hit the campaign trail in an attempt to succeed the second-term DeBlasio as his tenure at City Hall comes to a close in 2021. “I’ve never made it a secret that hopefully one day I can be the mayor of the city of New York,” Adams confirmed. “And hopefully that day will come.” And although we, and he, will have to wait for that day — you don’t have to wait to listen to the entire episode, which is live now on BrooklynPaper.com. 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. And listen anytime to a live stream of our most-recent podcast at www.brooklynpaper.com/radio.
52 minutes | Aug 17, 2018
ON BPR: State Sen. Martin Dilan says his challenger was a Republican from Florida
State Sen. Martin Dilan doubled down on his verbal assault on the Florida immigrant to Brooklyn who is challenging him for his seat in Albany on the latest edition of Brooklyn Paper Radio. Joined by hosts Vince DiMiceli and Anthony Rotunno, Dilan, who has been in office since 2003, said despite the fact a judge had thrown out his case to get Democratic Socialist Julia Salazar off the ballot, he would continue the fight remove her because she’s just not from here. “We feel that she is a resident of Florida, and we are taking it to the Court of Appeals because we felt the judge who handled the case in the lower court did not look at the law,” Dilan said, claiming Salazar’s voting record and driver’s license proved she was, as far as the law is concerned, a Floridian. DiMiceli wasn’t buying it, claiming Dilan was trying to get Salazar off the ballot on a technicality, but Dilan said the law is the law. “If she wants to be a state senator, she should follow the law,” he said. On top of that, Dilan claimed that Salazar had only become a Democrat recently, just to take him on. “For you to come and run for state Senate when you have been registered as a Republican from 2009 to July 2017.” he said. “You go from true red to extreme left. That’s a problem.” Salazar, who appeared on Brooklyn Paper Radio in July, is hoping to ride the wave started by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialist who came out of nowhere to defeat time Queens Rep. Joe Crowley and knock of Dilan. She is also being backed by gubernatorial candidate and former “Sex in the City” star Cynthia Nixon. During his time on the show, Dilan also made the case for him being re-elected during the Sept. 13 primary which, for some reason, is on a Thursday instead of the normal Tuesday. “Who’s idea was that?” DiMiceli wondered. Dilan then pointed out Tuesday is Sept. 11. “Okay, that make sense,” DiMiceli said. Listen now to hear it all. Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded and podcast live every Tuesday at 2:30 pm — 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.
64 minutes | Jul 25, 2018
On the Radio: Learn how you can help revive Gage and Tollner restaurant
Finally, someone is doing right by Gage and Tollner — and you can hear all about it on Brooklyn Paper Radio. The venerable Downtown restaurant — which has been closed since 2004 — is being brought back to life, and this week’s guest, St. John Frizell, explained to hosts Vince DiMiceli and Anthony Rotunno how he and his team are going to recreate many of the celebrated bistro’s signature dishes, including its world-famous turtle soup. Just don’t expect to get any actual turtle in it. “It’s going to be mock turtle meat,” said Frizell, whose first name is pronounced “sin-jun,” “Because it is difficult to source responsibly.” But you can expect the inside of the latest iteration of the historic restaurant to look just like your grandparents remembered it, because its interior — which included gas-fueled chandeliers — is landmarked, and, according to Frizell, is in pretty good shape despite the space having been used as an Arby’s, TGI Friday’s, and jewelry store since going out of business. “The first moment we walked in, it was like walking into a cathedral,” Frizell said. “It was quiet, it was majestic, it was beautiful.” The amply mirrored interior will be spruced up, a tiki-themed cocktail bar will go in upstairs, and two private dining areas on the second floor will be readied for events, according to Frizell. And if all things go as planned, Gage and Tollner will reopen about a year from now. But reviving a Brooklyn institution takes a lot of cash. To get it done, Frizell, who also owns Fort Defiance in Red Hook, is teaming with other Brooklyn restaurateurs, including the owners of the Good Fork on Van Brunt Street, and anyone that wants to invest in the project — with the promise of a return on their investment. To find out how to become a part of the reborn legend, visit www.gageandtollner.com or www.wefunder.com/gageandtollner for all the details. Or, you can just take a listen to the show and hear them — along with lots of interesting anecdotes, including how DiMiceli’s heart breaks just a little bit every time he walks past the old “G&T” — right here on BrooklynPaper.com. Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded and podcast live every Tuesday at 2:30 pm — 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.
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