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July 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm

High school students have to tackle many hurdles to get to college, but some students face bigger challenges than tests and homework. Recently, a group of college-bound high school graduates were celebrated for achieving academic success while being in the homeless system. MetroFocus Contributor Andrea Vasquez takes us to the celebration that honored 100 homeless high school graduates who overcame instability at home to excel in school.

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Episode
July 20, 2016 at 5:25 am

Tonight, from the drop of the gavel, catch the highlights of yesterday’s GOP convention and what to look forward to tonight as the focus shifts to the economy. This morning, Melania Trump is in the midst of a plagiarism controversy after giving a speech that was very similar to one Michelle Obama gave in 2008. Tonight, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Kentucky Senator and majority leader Mitch McConnell, Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump Jr, and more are set to speak as Donald Trump tries to unite the Republican party. We have the latest, and you won’t want to miss it. We’ll speak with Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, who is a lead GOP fundraiser in New Jersey and an official fundraiser for the Trump campaign.

Next, the 2016 Election is said to be the most polarizing Presidential race in over 20 years. In the end, it will be up to the people to decide who gets to move into the White House, but who are American voters, and what issues are they concerned about? VICE reporter Abdullah Saeed and two co-workers, Martina de Alba and Wibert Cooper, set out on a road trip across the country to find out. They documented their journey in an ongoing series called “VICE DOES AMERICA.” Abdullah and Martina join us to talk about their trip and what they learned from it.

Then finally, Motown was a sensational genre of music during the 1960’s and 70’s that produced an impressive roster of stars from Stevie Wonder, to Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Supremes, and more. All these artists had a hand in creating the musical soundtrack that played an important role in the racial integration of pop music. Behind all that, was a legendary label named Motown Records, founded by Berry Gordy Jr., who would go on to produce song after song that would top charts and be featured in the four time Tony nominated Motown the Musical, which recently returned to Broadway for a limited run. Gordy joins us with the musical’s director, Charles Randolph-Wright, to talk about the show and why it’s still relevant today.

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Episode
July 15, 2016 at 5:32 am

Tonight, in the age of iPhones and constant contact with the internet, technology has made it easier for people to record interactions with police. In fact, there is a decades-old consent decree preserving the right to do just that. But now, a New York City man named Ruben An is in the midst of a legal battle after he recorded a conversation between three officers and a man on the sidewalk in July 2014. An was held in jail for 15 hours and charged with obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. A year later, the case went to trial and the jury found An not guilty on all counts. Now, An is filing a lawsuit to affirm that he was in the right the day he was arrested, and that the arrest violated his constitutional rights, on top of issuing a permanent injunction that would bar the NYPD from interfering with or retaliating against citizen videographers. Tonight, Ruben An’s attorneys on this case, Joshua Carrin and Cynthia Conti-Cook join us to discuss this unique case. Next, food waste is perhaps one of the biggest problems in the world that people are not talking about. You may not realize it, but statistics show the average American throws away over 20 pounds of food each month. With about 15 million children living in food insecure households nationwide, new programs are now being adopted in communities across the country to make sure leftovers end up on dinner plates – and not in landfills. New York City is no exception. As part of our ongoing reporting initiative, Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America, we’re taking a look at this problem with help from The Huffington Post, which recently launched a campaign called “Reclaim” to cut down on food waste. Then finally, meet the man who raised a generation and redefined comedy television in the 70’s. Norman Lear is best known for his hit shows like All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son; titles that laid the groundwork for a new era in sitcoms and created a format that would be reused for countless other shows. Lear is now the subject of the newest American Masters installment, Norman Lear: Another Version of You, and he takes some time out to sit down with us and discuss the documentary.

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Episode
July 08, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment claim against her former boss Roger Ailes, one of the most powerful media executives in America. Tonight, Gretchen gets real and shares in detail about her past personal journey as the victim of the sexual assault she was subjected to as she built her early career in television. Next, every June, the New York Yankees reach out to shine a spotlight on five people, families, or organizations that are giving back to the community and impacting them in a positive way. This year, one of the honorees Alvin Irby has been recognized for starting a non-profit called Barbershop Books, which helps young boys connect and get excited about reading. We were invited to help tell that story and get in on the fun as a group of school children were surprised by several Yankee players at a Harlem Bookshop. Then, more and more families are turning to New York City’s homeless shelters as an affordable housing crisis grips the region. In fact, the city’s 2016 Social Indicators Report shows that nearly 65,000 people entered city homeless shelters in 2015, and more than two thirds were families with children. Now, the NYC Department of Social Services has partnered with WNET Public Media to open a children’s waiting room in the homeless services intake center. MetroFocus contributor Andrea Vasquez takes us to the new space, designed to let children play and learn while their parents undergo the long process of entering the homeless system. Finally, every once in a while, a band comes together and redefines an entire genre of music that influences a generation. In the 50’s, there was the Four Seasons, in the 60’s there was the Beatles, and in the 70’s there was the Ramones, and they took punk to another level. The band took shape in Forest Hills, Queens, and their 1976 debut album titled simply “The Ramones” launched a career that spanned two decades. Although the four original Ramones from Forest Hills have since passed away, their music and their fans live on. Now, the Queens Museum is displaying their art and other memorabilia in an exhibit called “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: The Ramones and the Birth of Punk.” We take you through the exhibit and talk about the illustrious career of these punk rockers.

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July 07, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Every June, the New York Yankees reach out to shine a spotlight on five people, families, or organizations that are giving back to the community and impacting them in a positive way. This year, one of the honorees Alvin Irby has been recognized for starting a non-profit called Barbershop Books, which helps young boys connect and get excited about reading. We were invited to help tell that story and get in on the fun as a group of school children were surprised by several Yankee players at a Harlem Bookshop.

Continue Reading

Clip
July 07, 2016 at 6:27 pm

More and more families are turning to New York City’s homeless shelters as an affordable housing crisis grips the region. In fact, the city’s 2016 Social Indicators Report shows that nearly 65,000 people entered city homeless shelters in 2015, and more than two thirds were families with children. Now, the NYC Department of Social Services has partnered with WNET Public Media to open a children’s waiting room in the homeless services intake center. MetroFocus contributor Andrea Vasquez takes us to the new space, designed to let children play and learn while their parents undergo the long process of entering the homeless system.

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Episode
July 02, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, every weekday over 200,000 people use the “L” train to shuttle between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and now, talks of a shutdown could mean that all of them would need to find another way to get around. The reason? The tunnel linking the two boroughs has needed repairs since Superstorm Sandy flooded the city in 2012. And while another option is on the table, that plan would take twice as long as a full tunnel shutdown and drastically reduce service on one of the city’s busiest subway lines. Vincent Barone, a transportation reporter for amNewYork, is on top of this story and joins us tonight to break down both options and tell us what a shutdown could mean for the city.

Next, the Orlando massacre was a harrowing reminder of the legitimate safety fears that members of the LGBT community face every day. For LGBT youth, these alarming challenges of harassment, abuse, and bullying can be part of their daily lives as they go to school. Research shows that more than 81 percent of LGBT youth reported being harassed because of their sexual orientation. Now, New York City’s Department of Education has taken an important step in providing positive and supportive school environments for LGBT students. For the first time, the department is hiring an LGBT community liaison to facilitate making schools an inclusive space for these students and developing an LGBT curriculum for teachers. New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm spearheaded this initiative and he joins us tonight to talk about it.

Finally, Political commentator and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brad Thor has written over 16 books featuring Scot Haravath, a former navy seal turned espionage and counter-terrorism operative. In his latest installment to this thriller series, Foreign Agent, the story continues as Haravath goes on a journey to track down a dangerous terrorist. It’s certainly a story that bears relevance to current events, and Thor is with us today to talk about the Orlando terror attacks, his latest novel, and to speak on some controversial statements he made on the Glenn Beck Show

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July 01, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Every weekday over 200,000 people use the “L” train to shuttle between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and now, talks of a shutdown could mean that all of them would need to find another way to get around. The reason? The tunnel linking the two boroughs has needed repairs since Superstorm Sandy flooded the city in 2012. And while another option is on the table, that plan would take twice as long as a full tunnel shutdown and drastically reduce service on one of the city’s busiest subway lines. Vincent Barone, a transportation reporter for amNewYork, is on top of this story and joins us tonight to break down both options and tell us what a shutdown could mean for the city.

Continue Reading