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August 22, 2016 at 6:27 pm

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.

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August 22, 2016 at 6:26 pm

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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Episode
August 20, 2016 at 5:27 am

Tonight, crime in New York City is at record lows, but not everyone is feeling all that safe. According to a new study from NYC Park Advocates, violent crimes soared 23 percent during a nine-month period compared to the year before. The NYPD responded by saying that crime in parks is rare, and that they are some of the safest places in not only the city, but the entire country. This comes as park safety has been dominating headlines, including the story of Karina Vetrano, the 30-year-old woman whose life was cut short while jogging in a Queens park. Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, stops by to discuss the study and what he thinks the city should be doing to make parks safer.

Next, this month will mark 30 years since Robert Chambers strangled and killed his then 18 year-old friend, Jennifer Levin, in Central Park. The killing and subsequent arrest made headlines as “The Preppy Murder.” CBS’ 48 Hours revisits the case with an exclusive interview with Chambers himself. 48 Hours Senior Executive Producer Susan Zirinsky joins us to discuss the case and the impact it’s had on New York City.

Finally, next Thursday marks 100 years since Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service. In the time that’s passed, the number of national parks has grown from 35 parks and monuments to now over 400 areas, covering more than 84 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. To commemorate this monumental anniversary, The National Park Service will light up the New York City skyline this Monday in a celebration that features Bill Nye, Questlove, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. The event hopes to inspire new generations to venture out and discover our country’s national parks. Karen Sloat Olsen, Chief of Interpretation and Education of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, will join us to talk about the celebration and The National Park Service’s centennial year.

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August 19, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Next Thursday marks 100 years since Woodrow Wilson signed the act that created the National Park Service. In the time that’s passed, the number of national parks has grown from 35 parks and monuments to now over 400 areas, covering more than 84 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. To commemorate this monumental anniversary, The National Park Service will light up the New York City skyline this Monday in a celebration that features Bill Nye, Questlove, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell. The event hopes to inspire new generations to venture out and discover our country’s national parks. Karen Sloat Olsen, Chief of Interpretation and Education of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, will join us to talk about the celebration and The National Park Service’s centennial year.

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Episode
August 19, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, last week, a 13 year-old Staten Island boy committed suicide, claiming in a note that he was bullied and although he sought help at his school, there was no intervention. The boy, Daniel Fitzpatrick, is sadly just one example of the high costs of bullying. Nearly six years ago, 18 year-old Tyler Clementi became the victim of bullying when his roommate at Rutgers University publicly outed his sexual orientation online. The ridicule proved to be too much for Tyler and he ended his life. Tyler Clementi’s mother, Jane, and older brother, James, join us to talk about their personal tragedy and how through their tragedy, they hope to teach tolerance.

Next, although a motive is still being sought in the murder of an Imam and his assistant in Queens, mosque officials and those within the community are certain that the killing was carried out as an act of hate. And if that, in fact, is true, this would not be the first event of its kind in this borough of New York. In June, a man was beaten outside of his mosque in Jamaica, and two Muslim women were harassed on the subway for wearing hijabs. A new Huffington Post initiative is tracking these acts of Islamophobia across the U.S. in the hopes of confronting the hate that drives these attacks. Two journalists spearheading the initiative, Rowaida Abdelaziz and Christopher Mathias will join us to talk about their work and what they hope to achieve with it.

Finally, in April of this year, we reported on 50 New York millionaires who wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo asking to pay higher taxes to provide public programs and revitalize infrastructure. Among those signers was notable filmmaker and heir to the Disney empire, Abigail Disney, who shared her thought with us earlier this year. But is that solution realistic? Tonight we talk to Travis Brown, author of the book “How Money Walks,” and he’ll lets us know why this tax, although it sounds good, might cause more harm than good.

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August 18, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Last week, a 13 year-old Staten Island boy committed suicide, claiming in a note that he was bullied and although he sought help at his school, there was no intervention. The boy, Daniel Fitzpatrick, is sadly just one example of the high costs of bullying. Nearly six years ago, 18 year-old Tyler Clementi became the victim of bullying when his […]

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August 18, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Although a motive is still being sought in the murder of an Imam and his assistant in Queens, mosque officials and those within the community are certain that the killing was carried out as an act of hate. And if that, in fact, is true, this would not be the first event of its kind in this borough of New York. In June, a man was beaten outside of his mosque in Jamaica, and two Muslim women were harassed on the subway for wearing hijabs. A new Huffington Post initiative is tracking these acts of Islamophobia across the U.S. in the hopes of confronting the hate that drives these attacks. Two journalists spearheading the initiative, Rowaida Abdelaziz and Christopher Mathias will join us to talk about their work and what they hope to achieve with it.

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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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