Episode
August 16, 2016 at 5:21 am

Tonight, late last year, Brazil saw unusually high numbers of a birth defects called microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads. The phenomenon was soon linked to a mosquito-borne illness known as the Zika virus. The epidemic soon spread beyond Brazil to most of South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. In February, the World Health Organization declared Zika a public health emergency, and now the virus has reached New York State, with over 530 people infected; 444 of those cases in New York City. Don’t panic, though. Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Dr. Mary Bassett joins us tonight to put your worries at ease and tell you about the real threat Zika poses, plus the city’s plan to deal with it. In addition, Commissioner Bassett will address how to stay safe during the ongoing heat wave hitting the metro area.

Next, ever wonder why New York City seems to feel the heat more than the rest of the area? Turns out, it’s not all in your head. New York Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy Bill Ulfelder joins us to explain the “Urban Heat Island” effect and how New York City plans to battle it.

Finally, tonight, we continue our conversation on the Presidents with Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. This time, we take a look at the presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. This election year, the PBS documentary series American Experience is taking us inside the oval office with its special presentation The Presidents, which looks at the critical moments of consequential modern presidents. The series continues this week with episodes featuring Jimmy Carter on August 15th, Ronald Reagan on August 16th and 17th, and George H.W. Bush on August 18th.

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Episode
August 06, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, climate change has New York City at the mercy of Mother Nature. With rising sea levels wreaking havoc around the globe, our city appeared on a list of 10 cities that are most vulnerable. Find out from climate scientist Dr. Radley Horton just how significant the flooding could become and what steps could possibly be taken to minimize the flooding.

Then, imagine walking up and down every single block in New York City. Sociology professor at the City College of New York William Helmreich did just that. It took him four years to comb through all five boroughs of the city– that’s roughly 6,000 miles– and he went through about ten pairs of shoes and spoke with hundreds of people who crossed his path. What did he find? It’s all in his new book The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City. Tonight, Helmreich joins us to give us insights into his adventure and talk about how he got a better understanding of our city’s crime, poverty, and gentrification issues.

Next, New York Harbor may become home to billions of oysters, but no, they’re not for you to have on the half shell. About 120 years ago, New York Harbor was the site of one of the richest oyster grounds in the world. Those mollusks acted as natural water filters and protected the city against rising sea levels and superstorms. But between all the pollution and over-eating over the past century, that important part of New York’s natural protection have all but disappeared. New York Executive Director of the Nature Conservancy Bill Ulfelder stops by to tell us how New York could once again become the “Oyster Capital of the World.”

Finally, guitar legend Warren Haynes might be best known for his role in rock band the Allman Brothers, but these days, he’s up to something slightly different. Still playing and touring, Haynes takes the time to sit down with MetroFocus’ Noah Eckstein to talk about preserving and expanding music and music education as his tour with the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration prepares for its last performance in Central Park.

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Clip
August 05, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Imagine walking up and down every single block in New York City. Sociology professor at the City College of New York William Helmreich did just that. It took him four years to comb through all five boroughs of the city– that’s roughly 6,000 miles– and he went through about ten pairs of shoes and spoke with hundreds of people who crossed his path. What did he find? It’s all in his new book The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City. Tonight, Helmreich joins us to give us insights into his adventure and talk about how he got a better understanding of our city’s crime, poverty, and gentrification issues.

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Clip
August 05, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Guitar legend Warren Haynes might be best known for his role in rock band the Allman Brothers, but these days, he’s up to something slightly different. Still playing and touring, Haynes takes the time to sit down with MetroFocus’ Noah Eckstein to talk about preserving and expanding music and music education as his tour with the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration prepares for its last performance in Central Park.

Continue Reading

Episode
August 05, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, on Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced that he will be stepping down from his post next month. We listened in on his press conference where he thanked those who supported him through his 45 year-long career in the public eye. But what lies in store for the New York Police Department after Bratton takes his leave? Journalist Ellis Henican joins us to discuss what’s next for the Big Apple.

Then, Ally Hilfiger’s childhood was not easy despite being the daughter of renowned fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger. Her arduous health ordeal began at the age of seven when she was bitten by a tick. Her test was inconclusive, and for years she dealt with unbearable pain and misdiagnoses- from rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, to fibromyalgia. The pain being too great, Hilfiger says she turned to marijuana for relief. Her habit ultimately led to her being committed to a psychiatric hospital. In her new book Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me, Hilfiger opens up about her personal battle with Lyme disease, and shares how she hopes to help others.

Finally, it turns out millennials – or those born between 1985 and 1996 – as defined by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, are significantly worse off than the generation before them. In fact, the job market they entered several years ago during the Great Recession was similar to that of the Great Depression, or at least according to Scott Stringer. A recent report from his office shows millennials are struggling to make ends meet, earning 20 percent less than their predecessors did in the 1990s. The Comptroller joins us to talk more about his findings and tell us what the city needs to do in order to help this stalled generation.

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Clip
August 04, 2016 at 6:28 pm

It turns out millennials – or those born between 1985 and 1996 – as defined by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, are significantly worse off than the generation before them. In fact, the job market they entered several years ago during the Great Recession was similar to that of the Great Depression, or at least according to Scott Stringer. A recent report from his office shows millennials are struggling to make ends meet, earning 20 percent less than their predecessors did in the 1990s. The Comptroller joins us to talk more about his findings and tell us what the city needs to do in order to help this stalled generation.

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Clip
August 02, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Koko the Gorilla isn’t your average ape. This 45-year-old primate was taught sign language as a youngster by an animal psychologist who has gone on to become her surrogate mother. For decades, Koko has received worldwide recognition for her ability to communicate with humans. But some in the scientific community are skeptical about her true ability to understand and respond […]

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Episode
July 30, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the right to vote is a large part of American democracy, but what makes a voter choose a candidate when they go to the polls? Filmmakers Sarah Klein and Tom Mason set out to create a documentary with the mission to discover just that. They join us to discuss their film How to Win an Election and to share their surprising conclusion that the issues discussed in debates and campaigns might not matter to voters as much as you’d think.

Next, is the drinking water safe in New Jersey? After the water crisis in Flint, the quality of water has been questioned in many areas throughout the country. Lead-contaminated water was found in many Newark public schools, heightening the concern of people in the region. New Jersey Capitol Report co-anchor and MetroFocus contributor Steve Adubato is here to break down the larger problems surrounding New Jersey water.

Then finally, in just a week, Rio de Janeiro will be awash with athletes, media, and tourists as the world tunes in for the Olympic Games. In 2009, the International Olympic Committee crowned the city as the host of the 2016 Olympics and the reaction was joyous. But despite the celebrations that took place seven years ago, Rio has faced many struggles including an economic downturn, political scandal, corruption, and organized crime. What legacy will this city leave on the Olympics this year? Award-winning journalist and Associated Press Correspondant in Rio de Janiero, Juliana Barbassa witnessed it all. She chronicles it in Dancing with the Devil in the City of God and she joins us to talk about the roadblocks this Olympic host has run into leading up to the games.

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July 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Is the drinking water safe in New Jersey? After the water crisis in Flint, the quality of water has been questioned in many areas throughout the country. Lead-contaminated water was found in many Newark public schools, heightening the concern of people in the region. New Jersey Capitol Report co-anchor and MetroFocus contributor Steve Adubato is here to break down the larger problems surrounding New Jersey water.

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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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