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May 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Can your trash be another man’s treasure? For some Americans, called Recyclers, gathering bottles, cans and other materials from our nation’s vast rivers of trash is a way of life and their only source of income. In the new documentary Dogtown Redemption, filmmakers Amir Soltani and Chihiro Wimbush chronicle the lives of three recyclers over seven years as they navigate the streets of West Oakland in search of recyclables.

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Episode
May 14, 2016 at 5:58 am

The Bronx is on fire, but probably not the way you’d think. A new report from the Real Estate Board of New York shows that the city’s often forgotten outer boroughs, The Bronx and Staten Island, are hot with buyers. Over the last twelve months, these boroughs have seen a 35% surge in home sales; the largest gains in the metropolitan area so far this year. Reporter Ivan Pereira of amNew York has an inside look at what’s behind this outer borough housing boom. Then, Ally Hilfiger’s childhood was not easy despite being the daughter of renowned fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger. Her arduous health ordeal began at the age of seven when she was bitten by a tick. Her test was inconclusive, and for years she dealt with unbearable pain and misdiagnoses, from rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, to fibromyalgia and a developed marijuana habit that ultimately led to her being committed to a psychiatric hospital. In her new book Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me, Hilfiger opens up about her personal battle with Lyme disease, and shares how she hopes to help others. Finally, In 1981, six gay men and their supporters gathered in playwright, author and LGBT rights activist Larry Kramer’s living room to address what was being called “gay cancer” at the time: AIDS. That meeting would provide the foundation for the first HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy organization now known as Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Anthony Hayes, the organization’s vice president of public affairs and policy, joins us to celebrate their 35th anniversary and to discuss their annual AIDS walk happening this Sunday May 15th in Central Park.

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May 13, 2016 at 6:28 pm

The Bronx is on fire, but probably not the way you’d think. A new report from the Real Estate Board of New York shows that the city’s often forgotten outer boroughs, The Bronx and Staten Island, are hot with buyers. Over the last twelve months, these boroughs have seen a 35% surge in home sales; the largest gains in the metropolitan area so far this year. Reporter Ivan Pereira of amNew York has an inside look at what’s behind this outer borough housing boom.

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May 06, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Love horse racing? Live in New York? Want to place a bet? You can’t! Not anymore. Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby, but as some prepare to bet on those competing on the track, we’ll look back on New York in the 1970’s when the city was the only place outside of Nevada to legalize off-track betting. During that time, OTB parlors generated millions of dollars in bets each year, before it was wiped out in 2010. Filmmaker Joseph Fusco covers the rise and fall of this notorious chapter in his new documentary “Finish Line: The Rise and Demise of Off Track Betting.”

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May 06, 2016 at 6:26 pm

You’ve probably heard of “The Three Tenors” and the “Three Musketeers,” but what about the “Three Doctors?” As part of our ongoing initiative “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America,” MetroFocus contributor Mike Schneider talks to Dr. Sampson Davis about how a pact between him and his friends when they were teenagers helped him survive the mean streets of Newark and achieve his dream of being a doctor.

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Episode
May 06, 2016 at 5:54 am

Laura Nahmias, Politico New York’s City Hall reporter, sits down with us to talk about the campaign finance laws that prompted an investigation by the New York State Board of Elections into the donations Mayor Bill DeBlasio received from his 2013 mayoral campaign. These donations are said to be between him, union allies, and political groups with the alleged intention of creating a campaign that would allow Democrats to regain control of the State Senate. A Democratic controlled State Senate was never reached, but a probe was initiated to investigate the campaign for ignoring the fact that individual donors are supposed to adhere to a limit of $10,000 donated to a campaign. How is the Mayor’s office handling the controversy sparked by this investigation? We have analysis. Then Bella Abzug didn’t take “no” for an answer. The congresswoman was a New York political icon in the 70’s, and will forever be remembered as a champion of women’s rights, and for encouraging a new generation of women to take up leadership roles. Now, nearly twenty years after Bella’s passing, her daughter Liz continues her cause with a non-profit organization named after her mother. Liz Abzug shares with us how the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute is trying to level the political playing field by helping young women get the necessary education and training to become tomorrow’s leaders. Next, Dolly Parton is many things: a singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist, Kennedy Center Honoree and National Medal of Arts recipient. But the “queen” of country music hasn’t forgotten where she came from. Raised in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Parton rose from poverty to become one of the most successful musicians of all time. Her iconic song, “Coat of Many Colors,” tells Parton’s story of growing up poor, and was recently made into a TV movie. Tonight we sit down with the music legend to talk about the story behind that song and her illustrious career. Finally, he sings, and she reports. Rock legend Rod Stewart and Hoda Kotb, a co-host of NBC’s Today Show, have a lot to talk about. Stewart is still touring and performing on some of the biggest stages around the world, but he recently took a break to appear on a different kind of stage with Kotb at New York’s 92nd Street Y. Tonight we listen in on their conversation as they discuss one of his most iconic songs.

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May 05, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Dolly Parton is many things: a singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist, Kennedy Center Honoree and National Medal of Arts recipient. But the “queen” of country music hasn’t forgotten where she came from. Raised in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, Parton rose from poverty to become one of the most successful musicians of all time. Her iconic song, “Coat of Many Colors,” tells Parton’s story of growing up poor, and was recently made into a TV movie. Tonight we sit down with the music legend to talk about the story behind that song and her illustrious career.

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Episode
May 03, 2016 at 5:42 am

Lately there has been plenty of finger-pointing among Republicans over what led to the rise of Donald Trump and his status as GOP front runner. Steven Rattner, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and a former treasury advisor to President Obama, believes he knows the real reason for the billionaire businessman’s ascension and joins us tonight to share his take. Hint: Republicans should take a long, hard look at themselves. A year ago, Carmelyn Malalis took over as Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Within weeks of being in office, Malalis vowed to enforce the city’s human rights laws and revitalize the agency. Now, we speak with her to see what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done for undocumented immigrants who find themselves at the mercy of the law and discrimination. Every year, on the first Monday in May, New York City hosts its most fashionable and star-studded party, held by The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Not many score a ticket to the affair, organized by Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, and even less get to see what goes into planning the event. Now, in a new documentary, The First Monday in May, filmmaker Andrew Rossi gives us an inside look into last year’s exclusive Met Gala. He joins us to discuss the documentary and the extravagant “A-list” metropolitan event. Then finally, is the Bronx heading towards a renaissance? An article in the American Prospect is calling attention to new businesses and investments that are injecting the northern-most borough with greater life. Bronx Council Member Ritchie Torres and executive editor of the American Prospect Harold Meyerson analyze this revival and consider whether or not these small changes are indicators of what’s to come.

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May 02, 2016 at 6:27 pm

A year ago, Carmelyn Malalis took over as Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Within weeks of being in office, Malalis vowed to enforce the city’s human rights laws and revitalize the agency. Now, we speak with her to see what has been accomplished and what still needs to be done for undocumented immigrants who find themselves at the mercy of the law and discrimination.

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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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