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July 27, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Tonight, we’ll take you to a treasured urban oasis in the northern part of New York City: The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. A national landmark, this botanical garden covers 250 acres with beautiful landscapes, is internationally renowned for plant research, education and conservation, and caps off with its classic and iconic conservatory building. To celebrate the 125th anniversary of this New York gem, a newly revised book titled The New York Botanical Garden documents this iconic garden as the unparalleled epitome of New York City’s beauty.

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Episode
July 27, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, night one of the Democratic National Convention boasted rousing speeches from U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and First Lady Michelle Obama. As we head into Day 2 the roster of speakers continues with names like President Bill Clinton, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and 9/11 police responder Joe Sweeney planning to go to bat for Hillary Clinton. Tonight, we are joined by Democratic strategists Philip Alagia and Bill Pascrell III to discuss what’s coming as the week progresses.

Then, nearly 15 percent- which comes out to more than 46 million people in this country- are considered to be living under the poverty line. That means these people are surviving on about $24,000 a year. In New York State, the average resident spends more than that, annually, on housing alone. So, the question is reasonable: When faced with such a high cost of living- Is poverty something that can be eradicated? Turns out, the idea isn’t so far-fetched. Roosevelt Institute scholar Dorian Warren and author of How To Truly Eradicate Poverty joins us to share the steps that he believes could help put poverty behind us.

And finally, legendary singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka has been giving audiences something to groove to for almost a record 60 years. Best known for early rock and roll classics such as “Calendar Girl,” “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” “Love Will Keep Us Together,” and “Stupid Cupid.” From the opening chord, songs like these have a knack for taking listeners down memory lane, and now at 77, Sedaka is still performing, composing, and bringing his hits to audiences around the world. His new studio album I Do It For Applause boasts twelve new songs and his symphonic piece “Joie De Vivre.” Neil joins us tonight to talk about his amazing career in music and his newest installment to his collection.

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July 26, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Legendary singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka has been giving audiences something to groove to for almost a record 60 years. Best known for early rock and roll classics such as “Calendar Girl,” “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” “Love Will Keep Us Together,” and “Stupid Cupid.” From the opening chord, songs like these have a knack for taking listeners down memory lane, and now at 77, Sedaka is still performing, composing, and bringing his hits to audiences around the world. His new studio album I Do It For Applause boasts twelve new songs and his symphonic piece “Joie De Vivre.” Neil joins us tonight to talk about his amazing career in music and his newest installment to his collection.

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Episode
July 26, 2016 at 5:39 am

Tonight, with the Republican convention in the rear view, Democrats are now gathering in Philadelphia to begin their own convention and anoint Hillary Clinton for President. But while the anticipation is building, party leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz was met with heckling and disruption as she gave a speech this morning. She will be stepping down as soon as the convention wraps, amid pressure from the WikiLeaks emails release, one of which show staffers discussing how to weaken Sanders’ support by referencing his faith, as well as Hillary’s campaign saying the Russian government may have orchestrated the debacle. Is this an omen for what is to come, or will the Democratic party pull it together? How will Bernie Sanders react when he takes the stage tonight? We speak to New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who was the chair of Bernie Sanders’ campaign in that state, about the tumultuous first day of the Democratic convention.

Next, America has the largest prison population in the world, and in New York City, 4000 people are locked up in jail, although they haven’t been convicted of any crime. They remain there, awaiting trial, not because their crime demands it, but because they simply cannot afford to pay their bail. In a new documentary titled Limbo, three prisoners tell their story and the high price they are forced to pay as a result of our country’s bail system. Filmmaker Razan Ghalayini and senior planner at Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections Insha Rahman join us to talk about the broken criminal justice system in America and whether it discriminates against the poor while costing us $9 billion a year.

Then finally, who said STEM skills were best learned in a classroom? Mohonk Preserve is breaking the status quo for STEM kids and taking their lessons outside, using the natural environment to reinforce science, math, technology and engineering programs. MetroFocus’ Jenna Flanagan takes us to the preserve and shows you how the program is taking kids from areas like Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh, making them comfortable with the outdoors, and melding it with their interests in STEM.

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July 25, 2016 at 6:28 pm

America has the largest prison population in the world, and in New York City, 4000 people are locked up in jail, although they haven’t been convicted of any crime. They remain there, awaiting trial, not because their crime demands it, but because they simply cannot afford to pay their bail. In a new documentary titled Limbo, three prisoners tell their story and the high price they are forced to pay as a result of our country’s bail system. Filmmaker Razan Ghalayini and senior planner at Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections Insha Rahman join us to talk about the broken criminal justice system in America and whether it discriminates against the poor while costing us $9 billion a year.

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Episode
July 23, 2016 at 7:01 am

Tonight, it has been a long week of speeches and political commentary, but the Republican National Convention is over. Christine Todd Whitman– former New Jersey Governor and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator under President George W. Bush– joins us with reaction to the events of the week, and shares her thoughts on the direction of the Republican party.

Then finally, this year, the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center will feature the Public Domain Chorus, a group of 1,000 vocalists composed by David Lang and conducted by Simon Halsey. We talk to these musically-gifted men about how they scoured New York City to find, compile, choreograph, and coordinate this massive chorus into a utopian experience that would honor Mozart’s work.

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July 22, 2016 at 6:28 pm

This year, the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center will feature the Public Domain Chorus, a group of 1,000 vocalists composed by David Lang and conducted by Simon Halsey. We talk to these musically-gifted men about how they scoured New York City to find, compile, choreograph, and coordinate this massive chorus into a utopian experience that would honor Mozart’s work.

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Episode
July 21, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the GOP Convention heads into Day 3 as the focus shifts to opportunity and prosperity, and we continue to keep you updated on the highlights. Tonight, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Eric Trump, and Indiana Governor and presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence are set to speak. New York State Senator and alternate at-large delegate Thomas Croci sits down with us to talk about what’s been going on in Cleveland, and what is to come.

Next, today is the 47th anniversary since the first man walked on the moon. That first man might have been Neil Armstrong, but tonight, we talk to the man who was just a few steps behind him. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin continues to explore and advocate for space travel decades after the Apollo 11 mission landed him on the moon in 1969. We meet Aldrin in the Space Shuttle Pavilion on the deck of the Intrepid Museum where he opens up with us about his famous journey, and talks about the lessons he’s sharing in his new book No Dream is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked On The Moon.

Then finally, growing up, most of what kids know is the world right outside their doorstep, but ABC News veteran Melvin McCray is trying to broaden the horizons of student journalists through the lens of a camera. McCray created and directs the Digital Media Training Program in Harlem where he hopes to teach students video reporting skills so they can better understand the communities they live in and tell the stories that are important to them. Nathalie Cabrera, a student reporter in the program, is covering the ongoing Boko Haram tragedy in Africa. But it turns out that what seems like a situation half a world away still impacts New York City. Melvin McCray and Nathalie Cabrera stop by to discuss the program and how Cabrera’s project relates back to our larger community here.

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July 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Growing up, most of what kids know is the world right outside their doorstep, but ABC News veteran Melvin McCray is trying to broaden the horizons of student journalists through the lens of a camera. McCray created and directs the Digital Media Training Program in Harlem where he hopes to teach students video reporting skills so they can better understand the communities they live in and tell the stories that are important to them. Nathalie Cabrera, a student reporter in the program, is covering the ongoing Boko Haram tragedy in Africa. But it turns out that what seems like a situation half a world away still impacts New York City. Melvin McCray and Nathalie Cabrera stop by to discuss the program and how Cabrera’s project relates back to our larger community here.

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MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, the Anderson Family Fund, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Rosalind P. Walter, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Jody and John Arnhold, the Tiger Baron Foundation, the Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, the Metropolitan Media Fund, Laura and Jim Ross, the Dorothy Pacella Fund, in memory of Vincent Pacella and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte.

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