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October 25, 2016 at 6:27 pm

This year, millenials are not the only youth who will vote in the election, some high schoolers will also gain the privilege to head to the polls and cast their voteS on Election Day. But the reality is, most of them won’t show up, as youth voter turnout is at an all-time low. During the 2014 midterm election, only 20 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds participated in the election, which is the lowest youth turnout in the past 40 years. Gina Figliozzi, a recent graduate from Smithtown High School East on Long Island, wanted to try and turn those dismal numbers around. After voting for the first time during April’s primaries, she made a poster in the hope that she would interest her peers to vote. Her teacher, Tim Needles, took notice of the poster and entered it in a national contest from PBS LearningMedia called “Meet Me in D.C.” Out of 400 entries, Gina was chosen to be one of the competition’s two winners and earned herself a free trip to Washington D.C. She joins us tonight with Tim Needles to discuss why youth turnout on Election Day is going to be vital, and why simple acts like hers could make a difference.

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Episode
October 21, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, that’s all she wrote! The last presidential debate of the season took place last night at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. The candidates stated their views on a wide range of topics including the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, the economy, and immigration, but the biggest headline of the night came from Donald Trump. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked the Republican candidate whether or not he would accept the results of this election and help unite the country should Hillary Clinton win the White House. After some skirting around the issue, Trump said he would keep the American people “in suspense,” and today, Trump has put out a statement that he would accept the results if he wins. Has the businessman made a fatal mistake? We discuss that and break down the rest of the debate with Adele Malpass, Chairwoman of the Manhattan Republican Party, and Hank Sheinkopf, President of Sheinkopf Communications Ltd, who has contributed to hundreds of political campaigns in the United States.

And in other news, we discuss three arrests making headlines in Long Island. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, his wife, and the Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto were taken into custody early this morning in connection with corruption charges including conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and honest services fraud. We’ll have more details tonight.

Next, still can’t get a ticket to Hamilton? 20,000 students from New York City public schools serving low-income populations are getting the opportunity to see the sold out show, all for the cost of a Hamilton– $10. How? The show’s producers and the Rockefeller Foundation are picking up the rest of the tab. But the students don’t get to just walk into the Richard Rodgers Theatre and see Broadway’s biggest show. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has created an interactive study curriculum for them to study before seeing the hip-hop musical. This is all part of a successful education program and its history-making tools that are helping New York City students view their classrooms in a progressive light. James Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute , and Dr. Barbara McKeon, the Head of School at the Broome Street Academy, join us to discuss this transformative educational tool and look at how Broadway is helping kids become more engaged in U.S. history.

Finally, the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center is a one of a kind, state of the art cultural institution acting as a voice of tolerance across Long Island. Set in a former Gold Coast mansion, the center transports its visitors to a critical time in history and empowers them with vital lessons of understanding and acceptance. To commemorate this unique tribute to the lives of Long Island’s Holocaust survivors, Treasures of New York: Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center takes us to the site of this precious piece of history. Catch a sneak peek of the vital role this establishment plays as a resource for combating prejudices and violence in our world today and then watch the entire film tonight at 8 p.m. on WLIW21 and Sunday at 7 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

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October 20, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Still can’t get a ticket to Hamilton? 20,000 students from New York City public schools serving low-income populations are getting the opportunity to see the sold out show, all for the cost of a Hamilton– $10. How? The show’s producers and the Rockefeller Foundation are picking up the rest of the tab. But the students don’t get to just walk […]

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Clip
October 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center is a one of a kind, state of the art cultural institution acting as a voice of tolerance across Long Island. Set in a former Gold Coast mansion, the center transports its visitors to a critical time in history and empowers them with vital lessons of understanding and acceptance. To commemorate this unique tribute […]

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Episode
October 15, 2016 at 5:02 am

Tonight, New Yorkers in Harlem are furious with Jon Girodes, the Republican candidate running to represent their district in the New York State Senate. These feelings ignited after the candidate made promises to serve racially stereotypical food at a local campaign event. Residents of New York’s 30th District, a primarily Black community, are making it completely clear that they don’t approve of the Girodes’ comments to serve “Kool-Aid, KFC and Watermelons.” NBC 4 I-Team Investigative Reporter, Sarah Wallace broke the story and tonight, joins us to tell us more.

Then, what once was a place for New Yorkers to enjoy the simple pleasures of nature in the middle of a bustling Manhattan has now become the dangerous backdrop for a number of robberies, assaults, and gang violence. Cell phone robbery and brutal assaults by roaming gangs have been on the rise in Central Park, with multiple incidents reported in the past month. This week, a woman in the park was robbed and assaulted before she managed to get away during an attempted rape. Her alleged assailant was arrested two days later after authorities tracked him down by using the victim’s “Find My iPhone” app. Luckily, that story has a better ending than most, but the public still remains on edge as these crimes become a trend, despite the fact that police say crime is down for the year in Central Park by about 35 percent. New York City Park Advocates’ Geoffrey Croft joins us to make sense of the statistics and share how the police plan to ensure the public’s safety.

Finally, tensions are hitting an all-time high in police forces across the country as countless videos come to light showing police shootings of unarmed black men. As Americans grow more irate over daily headlines, the debate over the use of force has come to the forefront of policing. Some veteran cops are even admitting to feeling uneasy when they don their badges, but what is the next generation of this occupation thinking? Tonight, MetroFocus’ William Jones heads to Monroe College in the Bronx where their criminal justice program is moving away from textbook learning in favor of putting their students on the virtual front lines.

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October 14, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Tensions are hitting an all-time high in police forces across the country as countless videos come to light showing police shootings of unarmed black men. As Americans grow more irate over daily headlines, the debate over the use of force has come to the forefront of policing. Some veteran cops are even admitting to feeling uneasy when they don their badges, but what is the next generation of this occupation thinking? Tonight, MetroFocus’ William Jones heads to Monroe College in the Bronx where their criminal justice program is moving away from textbook learning in favor of putting their students on the virtual front lines.

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October 13, 2016 at 6:27 pm

The national average rate of recidivism among prison inmates hovers above 60 percent. With the help of organizations like Rehabilitation Through the Arts, or RTA, that number plummets to about five percent. RTA is a creative arts program operating in multiple maximum and medium-security New York State correctional facilities. Its mission is to use the arts to transform those behind […]

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Episode
October 13, 2016 at 5:31 am

Tonight, 2017 is quickly approaching, and for Mayor Bill De Blasio, that means having to choose between running for re-election or passing the torch on to someone else. In 2013, De Blasio won the election by a landslide, with nearly 75% of the overall vote and 96% of the Black American vote. Nearly four years later, 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 tells us why the mayor would have to “make a very sharp U-turn, and he would have to do it quick” in order to get the support of his organization back.

Next, Hispanic Heritage Month ends on October 15th, and MetroFocus is celebrating this vibrant community by sitting down with the legendary Gloria Estefan! This multi-talented and award-winning singer is part of the inspiration behind the hit Broadway musical On Your Feet!, but tonight, Gloria opens up about growing up Cuban and whether she and her husband, Emilio, will ever perform in their homeland. This Hispanic Heritage Month, PBS is honoring the people, ideas, and moments that inspire you by giving you the chance to share and be a part of a national conversation on what it means to be Hispanic! Share what you love by uploading a photo, video, or stories on social media using #MiHistoria.

Then, cases like the O.J. Simpson trial concerning the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown-Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, changed the way our country approached the issue of domestic violence. Today, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be victims of domestic violence or abuse in their lifetime, and despite the new visibility of this issue, there is still much to be done. New York was one of the states to address domestic violence head on with the help of current New York State Supreme Court Associate Justice John Leventhal, who presided over the nation’s first felony domestic violence court in Brooklyn when it was founded in 1996. Judge Leventhal details his experience behind the bench and what needs to be done to end what he sees as the “epidemic” of domestic violence in his book My Partner, My Enemy: An Unflinching View of Domestic Violence and New Ways to Protect Victims.

Finally, Hummingbirds: they may be little, but they are some of Mother Nature’s most amazing fliers. Their unique ability to fly up, down, left, right, backward, and even upside down is a trait seen in no other species of bird on Earth. Super Hummingbirds, a new Nature documentary airing tonight at 8 p.m. on PBS, gives us a never before seen look into the lives of these amazing little birds. We sit down with producer and cinematographer, Ann Johnson Prum for a preview.

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Clip
October 12, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Hummingbirds: they may be little, but they are some of Mother Nature’s most amazing fliers. Their unique ability to fly up, down, left, right, backward, and even upside down is a trait seen in no other species of bird on Earth. Super Hummingbirds, a new Nature documentary airing tonight at 8 p.m. on PBS, gives us a never before seen look into the lives of these amazing little birds. We sit down with producer and cinematographer, Ann Johnson Prum for a preview.

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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, 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, Ellen and James S. Marcus, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross.

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