March 08, 2016 at 5:00 am

New Jersey Transit and rail workers are back at the bargaining table this week in hopes of reaching a deal. If not, employees threaten to strike as soon as March 13, and officials are scrambling to secure a contingency plan for the more than 100,000 commuters. Former Deputy Executive Director of NJ Transit Martin Robins joins us to explain what’s driving the dispute and how a possible strike would impact you. Famed novelist Jerome Charyn returns home in his latest work, “In Bitter Bronx: Thirteen Stories. Charyn’s new novel depicts a world before and after urban renewal destroyed the borough’s gritty sanctity made famous by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joltin’ Joe. Charyn joins us to discuss why it was so difficult to make the journey home. You probably know him from his long-running eponymous television show: Dick Cavett joins us to discuss his most recent book “Brief Encounters,” a collection of his columns for the New York Times. While he’s here, we reminisce about his talk show days and all the big names in entertainment he’s rubbed elbows with over the years. Dame Maggie Smith is a critically acclaimed and award-winning actress best known for her roles from “Harry Potter” to Masterpiece Classics “Downton Abbey.” Although the Grantham family and the doors of Downton have closed for the last time, we sit down with Maggie Smith’s biographer, author Michael Coveney, to see what a post-Downton world holds for Smith.

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March 05, 2016 at 9:00 am

Compared to this time last year, transit crime is up 25 percent and assault is up by 14 percent. In this year alone, there have been 15 slashings in the subway. Curtis Sliwa, an American anti-crime activist and founder and CEO of Guardian Angels, joins us to comment on why the group is back in the subways for the first time in more than 20 years. Managing Editor of “New York NOW” Matt Ryan joins us to give us a round-up of the biggest topics coming out of Albany. The final season of Downton Abbey is currently airing on PBS. As the show counts down to the final episode, we look back with senior culture editor and writer for The Daily Beast Tim Teeman. He explains why Downton and the Grantham family captured the hearts of so many viewers. The stretch of 8th Street between Third Avenue and Avenue A is known as St. Marks Place, which has served as the backdrop to music videos and artworks throughout the decades. Ada Calhoun, author of ‘St. Marks is Dead,’ examines the history of this iconic area and why its days–as it is–may be numbered.

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