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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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Clip
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.

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Clip
June 30, 2016 at 6:29 pm

No trip to Coney Island would be complete without a stop at Nathan’s Famous in Brooklyn, but do you know the history behind those iconic hot dogs? Author, filmmaker, and grandson of its founder, Lloyd Handwerker talks about his recent film and subsequent book titled Famous Nathan that chronicles the story of how his grandfather, Nathan Handwerker, started the family business and grew it into the American success story it is today.

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Episode
June 28, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, Newsday political editor Jack Sirica takes us inside some of the most contentious primary races in the state taking place tomorrow, and explores the impact of their outcomes for New York ahead of the November election. We also discuss the proposal by Councilman Joe Borelli for Staten Island to secede from New York City. Next, Author & Journalist Tavis Smiley joins us to address the biggest political issues facing America currently. The host of the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS discusses his Ending Poverty Initiative and his thoughts on how President Obama has handled the poverty crisis plaguing the nation. Smiley, who in the past has termed Donald Trump a ‘religious and racial arsonist’, also offers his perspective on the 2016 presidential election and how the Republican nominee has resonated with a large swath of voters across the country. Finally, Marilu Henner, best known for starring on the hit sitcom ‘Taxi,’ joins us with her husband Michael Brown to discuss how they beat Brown’s bladder and lung cancer. And get this: they did it without chemotherapy or radiation. Together, they tell the story in Henner’s new autobiography ‘Changing Normal: How I Helped My Husband Beat Cancer.’

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Episode
June 23, 2016 at 6:35 pm

A simple walk down 8th Avenue would be more than enough proof that New York City deals with homelessness on a broad scale. Shelters overflow with men, women, and children on a daily basis, and it’s to the point where the city is relying on low-budget hotels to house the homeless along with regularly paying guests. WPIX-11’s Jay Dow and Mario Diaz started reporting on New York’s homelessness crisis more than one year ago, before the subject started making major headlines. This special Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America episode of MetroFocus goes into the new reality of homelessness across our region and takes takes us into the shelters that you might have stayed in during your last stay in the city.

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Clip
June 08, 2016 at 6:29 pm

The FBI has arrested powerful union leader Norman Seabrook, longtime president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, on corruption charges for allegedly receiving kickbacks connected to the union’s pension fund. The arrest comes just as five of the ten corrections officers on trial for the 2012 beating of Rikers Island inmate Jamal Lightfoot were found guilty of all charges after prosecutors alleged that the corrections officers had written false documents to explain the inmate’s injuries. On top of that, this comes on the heels of increased federal investigation into the NYPD and scrutiny of Mayor de Blasio’s campaign fundraising during his mayoral campaign. Tonight, we explore the implications for the city and corruption investigations.

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Episode
June 03, 2016 at 6:41 am

Tonight, New York City food pantries have been running dry and that’s on top of Mayor DeBlasio proposing further funding cuts in his preliminary fiscal budget. Now, the organization Food Bank For New York City is asking the mayor to up funding from $8.2 million to $22 million in order to support the emergency food assistance program. The Vice President for Research and Public Affairs for this organization, Triada Stampas, sits down with us to explain the strain budget cuts have put on the city’s food banks and pantries and how they are working with the Mayor and city council to rectify the issue. We’re also joined by 69-year-old Myriam Rias. She’s worked her entire life but is still dependent on these pantries to feed her family. She offers us her thoughts on the impact further cuts will have on her livelihood and health. Next, he made millions building and selling tech companies and now he’s a star investor, swimming with the sharks on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. Robert Herjavec, in his new book You Don’t Have to Be A Shark: Creating Your Own Success, draws from his life experiences to share tips on how you too can strike it rich using the skills you didn’t know you had. Then finally, you may know her as Thelma Harper in the hit ’80’s sitcom Mama’s Family but she’s also an alum of The Carol Burnett Show. Tonight, Vicki Lawrence is here reminiscing about some classic moments from The Carol Burnett Show ahead of the upcoming PBS special Carol Burnett’s Favorite Sketches where comedy legend Carol Burnett walks us through the stories behind some of her favorite scenes.

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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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