Episode
August 23, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, just this past weekend, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed that he would help Black Americans and Hispanic Americans in ways that Democrats, he alleges, have not done in the past. Although he is trailing in support among minority voters, and his previous statements regarding race have come across as inflammatory to many members of his party, many Americans still think he is exactly what the country needs. But what do we know about those who are supporting him? Author Alexander Zaitchik hit the trail to find the base of Trump’s supporters, traveling through six primary states all while conducting biographical interviews. The result is his book, The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride Through Donald Trump’s America, which documents the everyday Americans who see Trump as a savvy patriotic businessman and tough talking savior.

Next, can something as simple as mentoring a child help them overcome poverty and change their life? Well, that’s what National CARES Mentoring Movement believes. Since 2005, the National CARES Mentoring Movement has recruited, trained and connected more than 140,000 caring mentors with more than 200,000 children in schools and local youth-serving programs in 58 cities. As part of our ongoing reporting initiative Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America, Susan L. Taylor, former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine and founder of National CARES Mentoring Movement, stops by to discuss how the program is allowing under-served children the opportunity to realize their dreams.

Then, it is one of the most controversial teaching methods in education today: common core. As part of our continuing series American Graduate, a project to help local communities find ways to keep students on the path to graduation, we look at common core and the growing movement to opt out of testing. Since the initial pilot phase in 2011, the common core standards have resulted in great frustration, and have drawn much criticism throughout the state. But some New York education officials still stick by them. Pass or fail, we look at the education conundrum.

And finally, they say dogs are a man’s best friend, but for almost 140 years, the American Humane Association has been the best friend of dogs and other animals around the world. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the American Humane Association’s animal rescue efforts, and its history of working with our nation’s military and first responders. Many of the animals helped by the American Humane Association go on to serve and protect the military servicemen and women who protect us, and it is their hope to soon increase the number of certified service dogs working with our nation’s veterans. Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association, joins us with her special friend Axel, a service dog, to discuss the organization’s history of animal rescue.

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August 22, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Can something as simple as mentoring a child help them overcome poverty and change their life? Well, that’s what National CARES Mentoring Movement believes. Since 2005, the National CARES Mentoring Movement has recruited, trained and connected more than 140,000 caring mentors with more than 200,000 children in schools and local youth-serving programs in 58 cities. As part of our ongoing reporting initiative Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America, Susan L. Taylor, former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine and founder of National CARES Mentoring Movement, stops by to discuss how the program is allowing under-served children the opportunity to realize their dreams.

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August 22, 2016 at 6:26 pm

They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but for almost 140 years, the American Humane Association has been the best friend of dogs and other animals around the world. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the American Humane Association’s animal rescue efforts, and its history of working with our nation’s military and first responders. Many of the animals helped by the American Humane Association go on to serve and protect the military servicemen and women who protect us, and it is their hope to soon increase the number of certified service dogs working with our nation’s veterans. Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association, joins us with her special friend Axel, a service dog, to discuss the organization’s history of animal rescue.

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Episode
August 20, 2016 at 5:27 am

Tonight, crime in New York City is at record lows, but not everyone is feeling all that safe. According to a new study from NYC Park Advocates, violent crimes soared 23 percent during a nine-month period compared to the year before. The NYPD responded by saying that crime in parks is rare, and that they are some of the safest places in not only the city, but the entire country. This comes as park safety has been dominating headlines, including the story of Karina Vetrano, the 30-year-old woman whose life was cut short while jogging in a Queens park. Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, stops by to discuss the study and what he thinks the city should be doing to make parks safer.

Next, this month will mark 30 years since Robert Chambers strangled and killed his then 18 year-old friend, Jennifer Levin, in Central Park. The killing and subsequent arrest made headlines as “The Preppy Murder.” CBS’ 48 Hours revisits the case with an exclusive interview with Chambers himself. 48 Hours Senior Executive Producer Susan Zirinsky joins us to discuss the case and the impact it’s had on New York City.

Finally, next Thursday marks 100 years since Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service. In the time that’s passed, the number of national parks has grown from 35 parks and monuments to now over 400 areas, covering more than 84 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. To commemorate this monumental anniversary, The National Park Service will light up the New York City skyline this Monday in a celebration that features Bill Nye, Questlove, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. The event hopes to inspire new generations to venture out and discover our country’s national parks. Karen Sloat Olsen, Chief of Interpretation and Education of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, will join us to talk about the celebration and The National Park Service’s centennial year.

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Episode
August 19, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, last week, a 13 year-old Staten Island boy committed suicide, claiming in a note that he was bullied and although he sought help at his school, there was no intervention. The boy, Daniel Fitzpatrick, is sadly just one example of the high costs of bullying. Nearly six years ago, 18 year-old Tyler Clementi became the victim of bullying when his roommate at Rutgers University publicly outed his sexual orientation online. The ridicule proved to be too much for Tyler and he ended his life. Tyler Clementi’s mother, Jane, and older brother, James, join us to talk about their personal tragedy and how through their tragedy, they hope to teach tolerance.

Next, although a motive is still being sought in the murder of an Imam and his assistant in Queens, mosque officials and those within the community are certain that the killing was carried out as an act of hate. And if that, in fact, is true, this would not be the first event of its kind in this borough of New York. In June, a man was beaten outside of his mosque in Jamaica, and two Muslim women were harassed on the subway for wearing hijabs. A new Huffington Post initiative is tracking these acts of Islamophobia across the U.S. in the hopes of confronting the hate that drives these attacks. Two journalists spearheading the initiative, Rowaida Abdelaziz and Christopher Mathias will join us to talk about their work and what they hope to achieve with it.

Finally, in April of this year, we reported on 50 New York millionaires who wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo asking to pay higher taxes to provide public programs and revitalize infrastructure. Among those signers was notable filmmaker and heir to the Disney empire, Abigail Disney, who shared her thought with us earlier this year. But is that solution realistic? Tonight we talk to Travis Brown, author of the book “How Money Walks,” and he’ll lets us know why this tax, although it sounds good, might cause more harm than good.

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August 18, 2016 at 6:27 pm

In April of this year, we reported on 50 New York millionaires who wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo asking to pay higher taxes to provide public programs and revitalize infrastructure. Among those signers was notable filmmaker and heir to the Disney empire, Abigail Disney, who shared her thought with us earlier this year. But is that solution realistic? Tonight we talk to Travis Brown, author of the book “How Money Walks,” and he’ll lets us know why this tax, although it sounds good, might cause more harm than good.

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Episode
August 17, 2016 at 5:54 am

Tonight, Oscar Morel of Brooklyn finds himself behind bars today for the alleged murder of a New York Imam and his assistant. Since the murders, New Yorkers and those living in the Queens community where the attack was perpetrated have speculated whether the Imam and his friend were targets of a hate crime or victims of a random act of violence. Police haven’t released Morel’s motive yet, but according to reports, his brother has mentioned that Morel felt hatred towards Muslims post-9/11. Tonight, MetroFocus’ William Jones goes to Ozone Park for reactions from the Queens community that Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin served.

Then, it was the news no New York City straphanger wanted to hear. The L train, one of the busiest subway lines in the world, is shutting down between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 18 months starting in 2019. The MTA reached that decision earlier this summer as it tries to repair a Superstorm Sandy-damaged tunnel that connects the two boroughs. Now, hundreds of thousands of riders will need to find a different way of commuting. Vin Barone, a transportation reporter for amNewYork, has been following the story closely and takes us inside the impending shutdown.

Next, Hoosick Falls, a village in Upstate, New York, received news that their water was contaminated with levels of perfluorooctanoic acid, better known as PFOA. Residents were tested and the results showed high levels of this toxic chemical in men, women, and children alike. Fed up with inaction by the local and state government, the young adults of this community are making noise to get the attention of Governor Andrew Cuomo and other officials to give solutions to their water crisis.

Finally, with a growing number of states establishing medical marijuana programs, in addition to the four states that have legalized recreational use of the drug, a new sector of unexplored business opportunities is emerging. Entrepreneurs, policy makers, and advocates came together to paint New York City green and make sense of this new money-making opportunity at the third annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition. Is cannabis prohibition coming to an end, or will political forces work to ensure former policies surrounding the drug? MetroFocus contributor Andrea Vasquez has your inside look at the Cannabis Expo held at the Jacob Javits Center.

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August 16, 2016 at 6:28 pm

It was the news no New York City straphanger wanted to hear. The L train, one of the busiest subway lines in the world, is shutting down between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 18 months starting in 2019. The MTA reached that decision earlier this summer as it tries to repair a Superstorm Sandy-damaged tunnel that connects the two boroughs. Now, hundreds of thousands of riders will need to find a different way of commuting. Vin Barone, a transportation reporter for amNewYork, has been following the story closely and takes us inside the impending shutdown.

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Clip
August 16, 2016 at 6:26 pm

With a growing number of states establishing medical marijuana programs, in addition to the four states that have legalized recreational use of the drug, a new sector of unexplored business opportunities is emerging. Entrepreneurs, policy makers, and advocates came together to paint New York City green and make sense of this new money-making opportunity at the third annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition. Is cannabis prohibition coming to an end, or will political forces work to ensure former policies surrounding the drug? MetroFocus contributor Andrea Vasquez has your inside look at the Cannabis Expo held at the Jacob Javits Center.

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Funders

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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