Episode
May 07, 2016 at 5:49 am

On Wednesday, April 27th, over 700 law enforcement officers conducted a bust in a New York City housing authority complex in The Bronx. This one bust led to the arrest and indictment of over 120 suspected gang members. Despite this success and the success of similar sweeps in the city, gang-related violence has increased, accounting for half of 2015’s 1,042 shootings and 40% of its 318 murders. Shanduke McPhatter, a rehabilitated gang member, is the founder and the executive director of the nonprofit organization Gangstas Making Astronomical Community Changes, which works with formally incarcerated men and women to help them transition back into society. We discuss the increase in gang violence, G.M.A.C.C., and what steps are being taken to combat the city’s gang problems.

Next, you’ve probably heard of “The Three Tenors” and the “Three Musketeers,” but what about the “Three Doctors?” As part of our ongoing initiative “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America,” MetroFocus contributor Mike Schneider talks to Dr. Sampson Davis about how a pact between him and his friends when they were teenagers helped him survive the mean streets of Newark and achieve his dream of being a doctor. Then finally, love horse racing? Live in New York? Want to place a bet? You can’t! Not anymore. Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby, but as some prepare to bet on those competing on the track, we’ll look back on New York in the 1970’s when the city was the only place outside of Nevada to legalize off-track betting. During that time, OTB parlors generated millions of dollars in bets each year, before it was wiped out in 2010. Filmmaker Joseph Fusco covers the rise and fall of this notorious chapter in his new documentary “Finish Line: The Rise and Demise of Off Track Betting.”

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May 06, 2016 at 6:26 pm

You’ve probably heard of “The Three Tenors” and the “Three Musketeers,” but what about the “Three Doctors?” As part of our ongoing initiative “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America,” MetroFocus contributor Mike Schneider talks to Dr. Sampson Davis about how a pact between him and his friends when they were teenagers helped him survive the mean streets of Newark and achieve his dream of being a doctor.

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Episode
April 29, 2016 at 5:49 am

Donald Trump is never one to back down from a fight, and now he has a new one involving his now defunct Trump University. The university has faced a number of lawsuits over the years, with the most recent being one from New York’s Attorney General alleging that it operated illegally, and defrauded it’s students. Trump has pointed to overwhelmingly positive reviews of the university by its former students, but in a recent exclusive investigation by the New York Times, some very different feedback emerged. Steve Eder, the New York Times reporter who broke the story, dives into what the investigation has uncovered so far. Students dealing with poverty, abuse and instability at home often have a harder time achieving academic success and going on to higher education. The non-profit Children’s Defense Fund-New York advocates for children’s rights to education, health, safety and equity. As part of our ongoing initiative “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity and America,” we have a look at the organization’s Beat the Odds scholarship program, which recognizes a handful of students who have overcome tremendous obstacles. Next, under a new initiative, drug users could inject heroin while supervised by a nurse. Finally, performer Megan Hilty has made her mark on Manhattan. Best known for her role as Ivy Lynn on NBC’s musical drama “Smash,” Megan Hilty is also a seasoned Broadway actress, having starred in “Wicked” and “9 to 5 The Musical.” More recently, Hilty snagged a Drama League Award nomination for her portrayal of Brooke Ashton in the revival of the slapstick comedy “Noises Off.” Now, she shares with us what it’s like channeling big names like Dolly Parton, and she talks about her upcoming live performance at the New York staple, the Café Carlyle.

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April 28, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Donald Trump is never one to back down from a fight, and now he has a new one involving his now defunct Trump University. The university has faced a number of lawsuits over the years, with the most recent being one from New York’s Attorney General alleging that it operated illegally, and defrauded it’s students. Trump has pointed to overwhelmingly positive reviews of the university by its former students, but in a recent exclusive investigation by the New York Times, some very different feedback emerged. Steve Eder, the New York Times reporter who broke the story, dives into what the investigation has uncovered so far.

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Clip
April 28, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Students dealing with poverty, abuse and instability at home often have a harder time achieving academic success and going on to higher education. The non-profit Children’s Defense Fund-New York advocates for children’s rights to education, health, safety and equity. As part of our ongoing initiative “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity and America,” we have a look at the organization’s Beat the Odds scholarship program, which recognizes a handful of students who have overcome tremendous obstacles.

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Episode
April 28, 2016 at 5:46 am

As the chances for scoring the delegates needed to be anointed each party’s standard-bearer becomes slimmer and slimmer with each passing primary, the remaining state contests have become bloodier and bloodier. Yesterday’s primaries in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland were no different, resulting in Donald Trump sweeping all five state contests, and Hillary Clinton winning all but Rhode Island. Both candidates are now looking toward the general election. Political analysts Ellis Henican and Amy Holmes discuss the results, and what the next moves are for the remaining candidates on their path to the White House. Next, New York City wasn’t built in a day. It involved savvy, skill, and sweat for the major “modern day” real estate moguls who built it into the commanding metropolis that it is. Amir Korangy’s publication The Real Deal has been hailed as “the Bible” of the real estate industry by development gurus, and now he gives us a candid glimpse into the genius of the city’s real estate titans in a book of compiled conversations with these men and women. Korangy joins us to talk about real estate mogul-turned presidential candidate Donald Trump, and the influence of power-playing developers in shaping New York City’s famous skyline. Then finally, Shakespeare said “all the world’s a stage,” but not everyone can make it in the cutthroat and competitive world of entertainment. Thousands of young and talented performing artists that live in the city are realizing that it takes much more than just talent to succeed. It takes business savvy too. Dr. William F. Baker, the former president of Thirteen/WNET, and currently a professor at Juilliard and Fordham University, is here with his new book The World’s Your Stage. In it, he shares inside knowledge about the entertainment industry, and his advice for how graduating arts students can make themselves more financially grounded.

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April 27, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Shakespeare said “all the world’s a stage,” but not everyone can make it in the cutthroat and competitive world of entertainment. Thousands of young and talented performing artists that live in the city are realizing that it takes much more than just talent to succeed. It takes business savvy too. Dr. William F. Baker, the former president of Thirteen/WNET, and currently a professor at Juilliard and Fordham University, is here with his new book The World’s Your Stage. In it, he shares inside knowledge about the entertainment industry, and his advice for how graduating arts students can make themselves more financially grounded.

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Episode
April 27, 2016 at 5:46 am

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. The sacrament of communion is banned for divorced and remarried Catholics, but is Pope Francis about to change that? As the pope continues his mission of mercy, his recent exhortation Amoris Laetitia has sparked debate among the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics for its call to welcome divorced and remarried worshipers. Monsignor Jim Lisante, host of the radio and TV program “Personally Speaking,” joins us with reaction to Pope Francis’ recent exhortation, and its future impact on the Catholic Church. 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. Finally, as we celebrate the legacy of William Shakespeare four centuries after his death, we offer a look at the bard, with a twist, and five shots of whiskey! Meet the actors behind the theater phenomenon “Drunk Shakespeare”. They give us a taste of their show, and we only hope they’re sober.

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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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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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