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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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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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Episode
August 26, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, late last year, an unusually high number of babies were born in Brazil with abnormally small heads, a condition called microcephaly. The birth defect soon became linked with a mosquito-borne virus called Zika. Since the initial outbreak, the Zika virus has been named a public health emergency by the World Health Organization. But Zika isn’t the first public health emergency in recent memory. In 2014, the world watched in horror as the deadly Ebola virus ripped through West Africa, leaving 10,000 dead. Both viruses are examples of zoonotic diseases, or spillover infections, a term used to define diseases that originate and spread from animals. This is exacerbated by the fact that as our population grows, we are forced to have greater interactions with the wildlife that surrounds us. Veterinarian, epidemiologist, and Associate Vice President of Conservation Medicine at EcoHealth Alliance Dr. Jonathan Epstein joins us to talk about these diseases and his role in a new PBS documentary, Spillover– Zika, Ebola & Beyond.

Then, 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.

And finally, you know her for her hits like “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” and “9 to 5, and now legendary singer, songwriter and philanthropist Dolly Parton is back on MetroFocus! This time, she is out traveling the country to promote her 43rd studio album Pure and Simple, in her largest North American tour in 25 years. She took some time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about her life, decade-spanning career, and her new music that is selling out shows around the nation.

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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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Episode
August 23, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, just this past weekend, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claimed that he would help Black Americans and Hispanic Americans in ways that Democrats, he alleges, have not done in the past. Although he is trailing in support among minority voters, and his previous statements regarding race have come across as inflammatory to many members of his party, many Americans still think he is exactly what the country needs. But what do we know about those who are supporting him? Author Alexander Zaitchik hit the trail to find the base of Trump’s supporters, traveling through six primary states all while conducting biographical interviews. The result is his book, The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride Through Donald Trump’s America, which documents the everyday Americans who see Trump as a savvy patriotic businessman and tough talking savior.

Next, can something as simple as mentoring a child help them overcome poverty and change their life? Well, that’s what National CARES Mentoring Movement believes. Since 2005, the National CARES Mentoring Movement has recruited, trained and connected more than 140,000 caring mentors with more than 200,000 children in schools and local youth-serving programs in 58 cities. As part of our ongoing reporting initiative Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America, Susan L. Taylor, former editor-in-chief of Essence magazine and founder of National CARES Mentoring Movement, stops by to discuss how the program is allowing under-served children the opportunity to realize their dreams.

Then, it is one of the most controversial teaching methods in education today: common core. As part of our continuing series American Graduate, a project to help local communities find ways to keep students on the path to graduation, we look at common core and the growing movement to opt out of testing. Since the initial pilot phase in 2011, the common core standards have resulted in great frustration, and have drawn much criticism throughout the state. But some New York education officials still stick by them. Pass or fail, we look at the education conundrum.

And finally, they say dogs are a man’s best friend, but for almost 140 years, the American Humane Association has been the best friend of dogs and other animals around the world. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the American Humane Association’s animal rescue efforts, and its history of working with our nation’s military and first responders. Many of the animals helped by the American Humane Association go on to serve and protect the military servicemen and women who protect us, and it is their hope to soon increase the number of certified service dogs working with our nation’s veterans. Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association, joins us with her special friend Axel, a service dog, to discuss the organization’s history of animal rescue.

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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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