Episode
September 09, 2016 at 5:36 am

Tonight, 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.

Next, as the 15th anniversary of the terrible attack on the World Trade Center quickly approaches, we take a look at the 9/11 Memorial, a steadfast tribute to those killed and the brave men and women who served the city that day. Today, a Freedom Tower now stands as a testament to the resiliency of the city, boasting an expansive view of the island, exhibits that educate attendees about the city as well as the building itself and several options for dining. But one of the building’s most engaging attractions may be one of the city’s least known and most amazing features: an elevator that offers a time lapse view of New York City. Starting at the very beginning of New York’s history in the year 1500, the elevator ride takes us through hundreds of years to the present. Visitors can watch the skyline appear and change as the city grows before their eyes. We discuss the inside story of the elevator with Michael Arad, designer of the 9/11 Memorial, “Reflecting Absence,” and New York Times reporter David Dunlap, who covered this amazing ride through New York’s history.

Then, 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.

Finally, where would you go if you wanted to find the greenest block in Brooklyn? Every year the Brooklyn Botanic Garden sets out to settle that question with its “Greenest Block in Brooklyn” competition. This year, out of over 150 entrants, the winner for 2016 is the 300 East 25th Street Block Association in Flatbush. We went to see for ourselves just how green it was and discovered far more than what we expected for this NYC borough.

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Episode
September 07, 2016 at 5:29 am

Tonight, “the deciders in this year’s presidential election will be young people and citizens of color,” said America By The Numbers’ Anchor and Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. The 2016 Presidential Election is already proving to be a polarizing political race which has divided Americans across the nation. But which Americans have the power? A new election special of America By The Numbers titled “The New Deciders” will examine voters who will have a large portion of the power and influence that will determine our next president. Maria Hinojosa discusses the documentary with us before it airs tonight at 10 p.m. on Thirteen.

Next, one woman is looking to change the way the public sees Sunday morning political talk shows. Multi-award winning journalist Soledad O’Brien is the familiar face that will be anchoring Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien, a relaunch of Hearst’s one season-old Sunday political magazine show. The show premieres this coming weekend, and O’Brien is with us tonight to discuss how she plans to go beyond the norm in political television and expand the conversation.

Then finally, Boston, Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, Orlando, and Nice: These are just a handful of cities that witnessed horrible acts of terror in recent years. This month will mark 15 years since the devastating terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001. And as hard as it might be to admit, this year will be the first year that children in schools will learn about the attack as an event in history instead of a day they will never forget. Does terror look the same today as it did on the morning of 9/11? Producer, director, and correspondent Miles O’Brien will join us to discuss his new PBS Nova special, 15 Years of Terror and how terror has evolved since 2001.

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September 06, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Boston, Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, Orlando, and Nice: These are just a handful of cities that witnessed horrible acts of terror in recent years. This month will mark 15 years since the devastating terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001. And as hard as it might be to admit, this year will be the first year that children in schools will learn about the attack as an event in history instead of a day they will never forget. Does terror look the same today as it did on the morning of 9/11? Producer, director, and correspondent Miles O’Brien will join us to discuss his new PBS Nova special, 15 Years of Terror and how terror has evolved since 2001.

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Clip
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 27, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the use of excessive force by the police, particularly in relation to Black Americans, has been one of the most pressing local and national issues in recent memory. Now, New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake is making headlines as he files a formal complaint against the New York City Police Department. The Assemblyman claims he was grabbed and forcefully shoved by an officer while trying to defuse a street confrontation at a community event in his district last July. A superior officer intervened, realizing Blake was an elected official, but NYPD Commissioner William Bratton refused to publicly apologize to Blake for the incident. As Commissioner Bratton steps down and passes the torch to James P. O’Neill, Assemblyman Blake joins us to discuss how he’d like to use the transition in a new strategy to improve the relationship between the police and the community.

Next, millions of fish washed up along the shore in Keansburg, New Jersey, which is causing residents to worry about what happened below the surface that could have caused this devastating effect. The community is certainly not benefiting from the fishy situation. Local businesses are usually bustling with end-of-the-summer activities as families try to get in their last chances at fun in the sun before school starts. This year, these beaches look different. Pix-11 News’ Marvin Scott has the story, and he’ll give us the details tonight.

And finally, pizza guru Colin Atrophy Hagendorf tasted more than 400 slices of Manhattan pizza in search of the city’s best pie and recounts his journey in “Slice Harvester: A Memoir In Pizza.” Hagendorf tell us where he found his favorite slice and explains how he discovered it.

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August 26, 2016 at 6:29 pm

The use of excessive force by the police, particularly in relation to Black Americans, has been one of the most pressing local and national issues in recent memory. Now, New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake is making headlines as he files a formal complaint against the New York City Police Department. The Assemblyman claims he was grabbed and forcefully shoved by an officer while trying to defuse a street confrontation at a community event in his district last July. A superior officer intervened, realizing Blake was an elected official, but NYPD Commissioner William Bratton refused to publicly apologize to Blake for the incident. As Commissioner Bratton steps down and passes the torch to James P. O’Neill, Assemblyman Blake joins us to discuss how he’d like to use the transition in a new strategy to improve the relationship between the police and the community.

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Clip
August 25, 2016 at 6:28 pm

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the pictures in this project make up a lifetime story. The New York Times unearthed never before seen images from Black history drawn from old negatives buried in their archives. Once found, editors combed through 5 million photographs and 300,000 negatives to culminate in a project titled “Unpublished Black History.” During Black History Month this year, The New York Times ran pieces of the project with an explanation of their backstories and historical significance. We will speak to two of the editors on the project, New York Times’ photo editor Darcy Eveleigh and reporter Rachel Swarns to learn more about it.

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Episode
August 24, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the Brooklyn Bridge may be getting some major upgrades as city officials explore the idea of expanding the promenade. In recent years, the bridge has earned a reputation for being congested with people. Between tourists, speeding cyclists, and busy commuters, the 133 year-old landmark isn’t that easy to cross. The issue has caught the attention of the city’s Department of Transportation, who are trying to come up with a solution to the problem. Vin Barone, a transportation reporter for amNewYork, has been watching the story and joins us to explain the latest push to fix the Brooklyn Bridge.

Next, an investigation between local and federal authorities led to the take down of a large-scale racketeering conspiracy ranging from Springfield, Massachusetts, to South Florida, and involved members from four of New York’s five Mafia families. And no, we’re not talking the Sopranos. But what does the modern Mafia look like? Author and journalist for ganglandnews.com, Jerry Capeci tells us about the power of the modern day Mafia, a restaurant on Arthur Avenue that served as an alleged hub for criminal activity, and whether or not the authorities have had any success in cutting New York’s Mafia back.

Then, when Rutgers University joined the Big Ten conference, a collection of universities that organizes intercollegiate athletics, perhaps the most important goal was to bring in big bucks to New Jersey’s largest public university. But going big time in intercollegiate sports has actually cost Rutgers millions, and some argue that it has come at the expense of academics. Steve Adubato, co-anchor of New Jersey Capitol Report, weighs in on whether this prestigious university can remain a player in big college sports without compromising its academic reputation.

Finally, is it possible to be lonely in New York City? Surprisingly, even with 8.4 million people surrounding you, the reality is that human connection is not guaranteed. The case of 72 year-old George Bell exemplifies this notion. Bell died alone in his Jackson Heights apartment during the summer last year, but no one knew exactly when. The circumstances of his death were so troubling, they landed on the front of The New York Times. But is loneliness as distressing as we make it out to be? Olivia Liang is the author of a book that delves into that issue, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone. She joins us to explain her interest in this subject and share how her thoughts on isolation changed through the course of writing this book.

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August 23, 2016 at 6:27 pm

When Rutgers University joined the Big Ten conference, a collection of universities that organizes intercollegiate athletics, perhaps the most important goal was to bring in big bucks to New Jersey’s largest public university. But going big time in intercollegiate sports has actually cost Rutgers millions, and some argue that it has come at the expense of academics. Steve Adubato, co-anchor of New Jersey Capitol Report, weighs in on whether this prestigious university can remain a player in big college sports without compromising its academic reputation.

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

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