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September 08, 2016 at 6:29 pm

This November, voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will all decide whether to join ranks with states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington and legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Meanwhile, Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and Missouri will decide whether to legalize the prescription use of the drug for medical purposes. New York passed marijuana-use legislation in 2014 with the Compassionate Care Act, which legalized medical marijuana. One activist at the forefront of marijuana legislation is the former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura. He joins us to discuss his book, Marijuana Manifesto, and makes the case for legalizing cannabis.

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September 08, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Gucci is one of the top names in fashion, synonymous with wealth, prestige, and class. Although Gucci won’t be holding a show here in New York during this Fashion Week, we take a moment to remember the visionary who transformed his father’s small Florentine luggage company into a globally known symbol for high fashion. Aldo Gucci, despite his business success, harbored a secret in his personal life: his mistress Bruna Palombo and their love child, Patricia. Patricia Gucci joins us to discuss her book, In the Name of Gucci, a Memoir, where she chronicles the untold love story between her parents and details her own personal relationship with her father.

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Episode
September 03, 2016 at 5:52 am

Tonight, rent increases are a fact of life here in New York City but a proposed hike in Queens is being called excessive, even for the world of New York real estate. The landlord in this case is Amtrak, which rents out space owned by the railroad under the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria. A handful of homeowners there have been using the land as their backyards for generations, paying a fee of around $25 every year. Now the railroad wants to raise the rent and not just by a couple hundred dollars. For some, the rent could go up to over $26,000 a year. The railroad says these lease holders have not seen rent hikes in more than 70 years, and they will be paying a fraction of the fair market rental rates. Our guest tonight does not see it that way. Congressman Joe Crowley is the representative for the 14th district, which includes this Queens neighborhood, and he has intervened on behalf of the homeowners. He joins us with an update on the situation.

Next, Billy Crystal continues his conversation with baseball legend Joe Torre and his wife, Ali. After finally opening up about his abusive childhood at the hands of his father, Joe Torre created the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation. The organization focuses on educating kids about the effects of domestic violence and abuse in order to give them hope that they are not alone. In this second installment, Billy, Joe, and Ali reflect back on Joe’s career on and off the field and how the lessons of his past has helped him communicate with his players.

Finally, Tony Danza is perhaps best known for starring in beloved and long-running television shows, Taxi and Who’s the Boss. But his career goes beyond what you might’ve seen on the small screen. Danza not only established himself as a Broadway star in hits like The Producers and A View from the Bridge, but also as a cabaret song and dance man. Tony’s latest cabaret act, Standards & Stories debuted to a sold out audience at the famous Carlyle Hotel in New York City. The show received rave reviews, and he joins us to discuss its success ahead of his performance at Michael Feinstein’s 54 Below on September 8th and 9th.

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September 02, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Rent increases are a fact of life here in New York City but a proposed hike in Queens is being called excessive, even for the world of New York real estate. The landlord in this case is Amtrak, which rents out space owned by the railroad under the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria. A handful of homeowners there have been using the land as their backyards for generations, paying a fee of around $25 every year. Now the railroad wants to raise the rent and not just by a couple hundred dollars. For some, the rent could go up to over $26,000 a year. The railroad says these lease holders have not seen rent hikes in more than 70 years, and they will be paying a fraction of the fair market rental rates. Our guest tonight does not see it that way. Congressman Joe Crowley is the representative for the 14th district, which includes this Queens neighborhood, and he has intervened on behalf of the homeowners. He joins us with an update on the situation.

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Episode
August 31, 2016 at 5:36 am

Tonight, former Congressman Anthony Weiner found himself in the midst of sex scandals, starting in 2011 and again in 2013. Recently, the New York Post ran a report alleging a sexting scandal with an unidentified woman who provided sexually explicit conversations and photos to the paper in exchange for anonymity. The cyber-trysts reportedly began over the internet in 2015, and Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin, who stood by him through the previous two scandals, confirmed yesterday that she’s separating from her husband. We discuss the story and a larger issue it brings to light: sex and porn addiction. Psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere joins us to share his insights.

Then, 2017 is quickly approaching, and for Mayor Bill de Blasio, that would mean having to choose between running for re-election or passing the torch on to someone else. In 2013, de Blasio won the election in a landslide, with nearly 75% of the overall vote and 96% of the Black American vote. Nearly four years later, and the polls may show very different results. In fact, an influential group of Black church leaders is so disappointed with the mayor and some of his economic policies that it’s trying to ensure he doesn’t get a second term. Reverend Dr. Johnnie Green, Pastor of Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem, is the President of Mobilizing Preachers and Communities, the group that is trying to oust de Blasio. Reverend Dr. Green used to fully support the mayor, but he joins us now to discuss why his support has dried up and how he is looking to change things around.

Finally, according to a recent study, nearly 64% of Nassau and Suffolk County renters cannot afford a typical two-bedroom apartment on Long Island. Pair that with fair housing law violations such as discrimination of potential renters, and Long Island quickly becomes a difficult place to thrive. What can be done to improve the island’s affordable and fair housing markets? President of Long Island Housing Partnership Peter Elkowitz and Executive Director of Long Island Housing Service Michelle Santantonio discuss that and how to make Long Island a more viable housing market for all in this latest installment of Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.

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August 30, 2016 at 6:27 pm

According to a recent study, nearly 64% of Nassau and Suffolk County renters cannot afford a typical two-bedroom apartment on Long Island. Pair that with fair housing law violations such as discrimination of potential renters, and Long Island quickly becomes a difficult place to thrive. What can be done to improve the island’s affordable and fair housing markets? President of Long Island Housing Partnership Peter Elkowitz and Executive Director of Long Island Housing Service Michelle Santantonio discuss that and how to make Long Island a more viable housing market for all in this latest installment of Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.

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Episode
August 30, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, how was former nursing home Rivington House sold and slated to become luxury condos if there was a deed restriction on the property? That’s what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is probing after the De Blasio administration handled the sale of the former nursing home. As we continue our ongoing series, Corruption Watch, former Federal Prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers joins us to discuss just one of the several headaches that the De Blasio administration faces as Bharara investigates City Hall, and the recent court victory that may allow Bharara to pursue the state pensions belonging to disgraced politicians Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver for unpaid forfeiture from ill-gotten gains.

Next, what was supposed to be Amber Scorah’s first day back at work after the birth of her son would turn out to be something far more tragic. In July of 2015, Amber left her 3 month-old newborn son, Karl, at an unlicensed daycare in SoHo. When she went back to check on him just a few hours later, she made the horrifying discovery that her son had died. It’s a nightmare no parent should ever have to go through, but it was a reality for Amber and now she is fighting to change parental leave laws in the hope that no other parent has to choose between working to provide for their family or being present to care for them. She joins us to discuss how she’s calling on legislators to ensure paid leave for working parents across the country.

Finally, how could a record released more than 35 years ago still be selling out venues like Madison Square Garden? Bruce Springsteen’s “The River Tour” is coming to the iconic New York City arena, but if you’re trying to get tickets, you’ll need nothing short of a miracle. We discuss why the music and its artist is still captivating audiences decades later with Peter Ames Carlin, the author of the New York Times best-seller Bruce, the first biography in 25 years to be written with the musician’s full cooperation.

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August 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

How was former nursing home Rivington House sold and slated to become luxury condos if there was a deed restriction on the property? That’s what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is probing after the De Blasio administration handled the sale of the former nursing home. As we continue our ongoing series, Corruption Watch, former Federal Prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers joins us to discuss just one of the several headaches that the De Blasio administration faces as Bharara investigates City Hall, and the recent court victory that may allow Bharara to pursue the state pensions belonging to disgraced politicians Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver for unpaid forfeiture from ill-gotten gains.

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Clip
August 29, 2016 at 6:28 pm

What was supposed to be Amber Scorah’s first day back at work after the birth of her son would turn out to be something far more tragic. In July of 2015, Amber left her 3 month-old newborn son, Karl, at an unlicensed daycare in SoHo. When she went back to check on him just a few hours later, she made the horrifying discovery that her son had died. It’s a nightmare no parent should ever have to go through, but it was a reality for Amber and now she is fighting to change parental leave laws in the hope that no other parent has to choose between working to provide for their family or being present to care for them. She joins us to discuss how she’s calling on legislators to ensure paid leave for working parents across the country.

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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, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, Jody and John Arnhold, Rosalind P. Walter, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross, and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte.

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