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April 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Anti-Israeli sentiment on college campuses has now hit close to home as graduate student unions from New York University and CUNY vote to boycott the Jewish state. But are these protests anti-Zionist or anti-Semitic? And are Jewish students becoming the scapegoats, and the real victims? We speak with an activist who is investigating anti-Semitism on college campuses across the country.

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April 26, 2016 at 6:26 pm

The Girl Scouts don’t just sell cookies, they chase dreams. But for around 70% of the 29,000 girls in the Girl Scouts of Greater New York particularly its Black and Latina scouts – poverty and a lack of resources makes it harder for them to focus on their education. We see how the organization is working to help these girls overcome poverty, and this troubling trend.

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Episode
April 26, 2016 at 5:46 am

Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich team up in an effort to deny Donald Trump the republican presidential nomination, while Hillary Clinton is reportedly scouting for potential running mates. Behind the scenes, Bernie Sanders is pressing for a prominent role in drafting the platform for the Democratic Convention. This all continues to unfold as the candidates prepare to face-off tomorrow in the Connecticut primary. FiveThirtyEight’s senior political writer and analyst Harry Enten joins us with the latest and a look at the significance of the Nutmeg State’s primary. Then, are we safe from another big terrorist attack? Juliette Kayyem, former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security weighs in on the threat assessment post Paris and Brussels, and speaks candidly on how she balances a life on the front lines of terror and as a mom at home. Next, when school budget cuts come up, arts and music programs can be some of the first on the chopping block. Yet research has shown the positive impact of arts education on children’s overall success in school. A non-profit called ProjectArt provides art classes in public libraries around New York City, in neighborhoods where local schools have had to cut art classes. Finally, Central Park is among New York City’s most famous landmarks. But a nearly bankrupt New York City in the 1970’s saw a city-wide disintegration of park services, which left the park crime-ridden and painted with graffiti. Enter Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, who launched the Central Park Conservancy in the 1980’s and restored the park back to its former glory. Rogers chronicles the development of Central Park and six other of the city’s green treasures in her book, Green Metropolis: The Extraordinary Landscapes of New York City as Nature, History, and Design.

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April 25, 2016 at 6:26 pm

When school budget cuts come up, arts and music programs can be some of the first on the chopping block. Yet research has shown the positive impact of arts education on children’s overall success in school. A non-profit called ProjectArt provides art classes in public libraries around New York City, in neighborhoods where local schools have had to cut art classes.

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Episode
April 23, 2016 at 6:40 am

North Carolina made headlines last month after Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill limiting public restroom access for transgender individuals. This week, a federal appeals court overturned a similar anti-transgender policy at a Virginia high school, which may affect the challenges being made to the North Carolina law. Mitchell Gold, a prominent gay activist and the chairman of North Carolina-based furniture company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, joins us to discuss North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” and its broader implications. Today is Earth Day, and the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement. We’re getting into the spirit by taking a look at one of New York City’s smelliest treasures. The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn has earned a reputation for its less-than-glamorous odor. What most people don’t know though, is the role the canal played in famous chapters of American history, including the Revolutionary War and the Industrial Revolution. The author and historian of the book Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal digs into the waterway’s past and explores how the canal shaped modern-day Brooklyn. Next, Every day, about one hundred thousand New York City kids make their way through metal detectors on their way to class. Metal detectors in schools have become a prominent security measure not only in New York City, but across the country. While supporters point to dangers they’ve prevented, proponents of their removal claim they make schools feel like prisons. Are they necessary? Greg Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237, which represents the city’s school safety officers, explores the debate. Finally, exclusive and expensive: two words often synonymous with arts and culture in New York City. But think again. NYC Inspires is a new initiative that seeks to change that perception by making city landmarks more affordable and accessible. The program is set on raising forty million dollars in funding with the aim of getting kids out of the classroom and into some of the cultural treasures across all five boroughs. New York City Council Member and Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer is a supporter, and he explains the importance of having students experience these cultural institutions.

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April 22, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Every day, about one hundred thousand New York City kids make their way through metal detectors on their way to class. Metal detectors in schools have become a prominent security measure not only in New York City, but across the country. While supporters point to dangers they’ve prevented, proponents of their removal claim they make schools feel like prisons. Are they necessary? Greg Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237, which represents the city’s school safety officers, explores the debate..

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April 22, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Exclusive and expensive: two words often synonymous with arts and culture in New York City. But think again. NYC Inspires is a new initiative that seeks to change that perception by making city landmarks more affordable and accessible. The program is set on raising forty million dollars in funding with the aim of getting kids out of the classroom and into some of the cultural treasures across all five boroughs. New York City Council Member and Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer is a supporter, and he explains the importance of having students experience these cultural institutions.

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Episode
April 22, 2016 at 5:46 am

A number of former ‘Apprentice’ candidates who have spoken out denouncing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign for being one filled with sexism, xenophobia, racism, and violence. Trump fired back describing his apprentices as “failing wannabes” only interested in the limelight. In a MetroFocus exclusive, Tara Dowdell, who appeared on season three of The Apprentice, tells us why she believes the media mogul turned politician isn’t fit for the highest office. Next, veteran actor Matthew Modine has starred in acclaimed films as “Vision Quest” “Full Metal Jacket” and in the Showtime series “Weeds”, but for this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Modine has stepped behind the camera. Director of the short-film “Super Sex,” Modine helps tell the story of two siblings who found a very special birthday gift for their aging dad. He joins us to talk about the film and his experience making it, especially about directing his daughter who stars in the short-film. Finally, on the eve of Passover, we are bringing you a different story about Jewish history that would have been largely forgotten if not for a Catholic priest. Father Patrick Desbois has spent over a decade traveling across Eastern Europe in search of mass graves used by Nazi Germany killing squads to bury some 2 million Jews — or roughly a third of those who died during the Holocaust. We sit down with Desbois to talk about his work and his goal: to learn from the past and stop this kind of genocide from happening again.

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April 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm

On the eve of Passover, we are bringing you a different story about Jewish history that would have been largely forgotten if not for a Catholic priest. Father Patrick Desbois has spent over a decade traveling across Eastern Europe in search of mass graves used by Nazi Germany killing squads to bury some 2 million Jews — or roughly a third of those who died during the Holocaust. We sit down with Desbois to talk about his work and his goal: to learn from the past and stop this kind of genocide from happening again.

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MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, 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 Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, the Metropolitan Media Fund, Laura and Jim Ross, Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte and the Anderson Family Fund. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America, your retirement company.
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