Air date: 02/28/2013



Also featured: Manhattan Marriage Bureau, proposed development plans for East Midtown, New York libraries’ new role in communities, and a “Listening In” segment on poverty


It has been four months since Superstorm Sandy struck the New York area. This edition of MetroFocus takes a look at three regions affected by the storm that are still struggling to cope with the devastation. In Hoboken, NJ Today’s David Cruz reports on the city’s efforts to find new ways to prevent potential flooding from future storms. In Manhattan, two students from Columbia’s University’s School of Journalism return to the South Street Seaport where they first met the owners of the Paris Café after the storm. The restaurant still remains closed and many of the businesses are still boarded up. On Long Island, Jim Paymar, host of the Long Island Business Report, speaks with Randi Dresner, President and CEO of Island Harvest, about the non-profit food bank and its effort to feed hundreds of thousands of people after Sandy.  MetroFocus airs Wednesday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. on WLIW21; Thursday, February 28 at 8:30p.m. on THIRTEEN; and Tuesday, March 5 at 10:30 p.m. on NJTV. After broadcast, the program will be available to national audiences on with integrated online stories and additional reporting.

Also featured on this edition, Vin Cipolla, president of The Municipal Art Society of New York, speaks with host Rafael Pi Roman about potential plans to rezone and redevelop Manhattan’s East Midtown area. Pi Roman also talks to the Center for an Urban Future’s David Giles about the city’s libraries and their new role providing services and programs to immigrants and low income communities.

In this episode’s “Listening In” segment, an excerpt from the City Limits and the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness-sponsored “Tackling Poverty” panel features keynote speaker Bob Herbert. Concluding the program, Samantha Stark from The New York Times introduces viewers to the man who may be the happiest employee in city government. James Mitchell works at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau marrying as many as 200 couples a week.

MetroFocus is a production of WLIW21 in association with WNET, parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21.  For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Jody and John Arnhold, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, The Nissan Foundation, and The Ford Foundation. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America.



About MetroFocus
MetroFocus is a multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. The MetroFocus television program features interviews, in-depth reporting, content from many partners and solutions-oriented reports from the community. Major areas of coverage include sustainability, education, science and technology, the environment, transportation, poverty and underserved communities. amplifies that reporting with daily updates and original stories that also cover culture, government and politics, the economy, urban development and other news in the metropolitan region.  More information at:


About WNET
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and the operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah!  and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and, MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region.