Episode
July 22, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, today is day 4 of the GOP Convention in Cleveland, and we continue to keep you updated on what’s happening in C-Town. Among tonight’s bill of speakers is American football star Tim Tebow, Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, Ivanka Trump, and the Republican presidential nominee himself, Donald Trump. We’ll talk to New Jersey Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick ahead of all the excitement tonight and get the latest.

Next, Synthetic Marijuana, commonly known as K2, has had a recent surge in overdoses here in New York. Between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, many plans to crack down on the drug are being proposed, with serious consequences to those selling it. On top of that, Senator Chuck Schumer confirmed that he’s planning on introducing legislation to outlaw more than 20 substances found in the makeup of the drug. K2 overdoses are nothing new, in fact, 6,000 patients were treated at New York City hospitals since 2015 due to overdosing. But now, a video shot in Brooklyn earlier this month depicts dozens of K2 users and public officials were worried by what they saw, leading to police raids of stores and bodegas believed to supply the drug. New York Daily News writer Graham Rayman has been covering this epidemic as it develops, and he’s here to comment on the latest.

Next, between the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and police officers in both Dallas and Baton Rouge, the question remains of how to bridge the seemingly unbridgeable gap between law enforcement and communities of color. The NYPD is no exception to the question, and they are turning to the people they protect for the answer. In the Fall of 2014, the NYPD started a small pilot program with 54 body cameras for officers, which is expected to expand to an additional 1,000 body cameras on officers. But before officers are outfitted with these cameras, the NYPD is offering a questionnaire as a joint initiative by the Policing Project at NYU’s School of Law. The survey will allow New Yorkers to give their input on how they think cameras should be used, with the hope that it will foster a better relationship between the public and the police. Director of the Policing Project, professor Barry Friedman stops by to talk about the pilot program and the questionnaire.

Then finally, high school students have to tackle many hurdles to get to college, but some students face bigger challenges than tests and homework. Recently, a group of college-bound high school graduates were celebrated for achieving academic success while being in the homeless system. MetroFocus Contributor Andrea Vasquez takes us to the celebration that honored 100 homeless high school graduates who overcame instability at home to excel in school.

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July 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm

High school students have to tackle many hurdles to get to college, but some students face bigger challenges than tests and homework. Recently, a group of college-bound high school graduates were celebrated for achieving academic success while being in the homeless system. MetroFocus Contributor Andrea Vasquez takes us to the celebration that honored 100 homeless high school graduates who overcame instability at home to excel in school.

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Episode
July 21, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the GOP Convention heads into Day 3 as the focus shifts to opportunity and prosperity, and we continue to keep you updated on the highlights. Tonight, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Eric Trump, and Indiana Governor and presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence are set to speak. New York State Senator and alternate at-large delegate Thomas Croci sits down with us to talk about what’s been going on in Cleveland, and what is to come.

Next, today is the 47th anniversary since the first man walked on the moon. That first man might have been Neil Armstrong, but tonight, we talk to the man who was just a few steps behind him. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin continues to explore and advocate for space travel decades after the Apollo 11 mission landed him on the moon in 1969. We meet Aldrin in the Space Shuttle Pavilion on the deck of the Intrepid Museum where he opens up with us about his famous journey, and talks about the lessons he’s sharing in his new book No Dream is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked On The Moon.

Then finally, growing up, most of what kids know is the world right outside their doorstep, but ABC News veteran Melvin McCray is trying to broaden the horizons of student journalists through the lens of a camera. McCray created and directs the Digital Media Training Program in Harlem where he hopes to teach students video reporting skills so they can better understand the communities they live in and tell the stories that are important to them. Nathalie Cabrera, a student reporter in the program, is covering the ongoing Boko Haram tragedy in Africa. But it turns out that what seems like a situation half a world away still impacts New York City. Melvin McCray and Nathalie Cabrera stop by to discuss the program and how Cabrera’s project relates back to our larger community here.

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July 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Growing up, most of what kids know is the world right outside their doorstep, but ABC News veteran Melvin McCray is trying to broaden the horizons of student journalists through the lens of a camera. McCray created and directs the Digital Media Training Program in Harlem where he hopes to teach students video reporting skills so they can better understand the communities they live in and tell the stories that are important to them. Nathalie Cabrera, a student reporter in the program, is covering the ongoing Boko Haram tragedy in Africa. But it turns out that what seems like a situation half a world away still impacts New York City. Melvin McCray and Nathalie Cabrera stop by to discuss the program and how Cabrera’s project relates back to our larger community here.

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Episode
July 08, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment claim against her former boss Roger Ailes, one of the most powerful media executives in America. Tonight, Gretchen gets real and shares in detail about her past personal journey as the victim of the sexual assault she was subjected to as she built her early career in television. Next, every June, the New York Yankees reach out to shine a spotlight on five people, families, or organizations that are giving back to the community and impacting them in a positive way. This year, one of the honorees Alvin Irby has been recognized for starting a non-profit called Barbershop Books, which helps young boys connect and get excited about reading. We were invited to help tell that story and get in on the fun as a group of school children were surprised by several Yankee players at a Harlem Bookshop. Then, more and more families are turning to New York City’s homeless shelters as an affordable housing crisis grips the region. In fact, the city’s 2016 Social Indicators Report shows that nearly 65,000 people entered city homeless shelters in 2015, and more than two thirds were families with children. Now, the NYC Department of Social Services has partnered with WNET Public Media to open a children’s waiting room in the homeless services intake center. MetroFocus contributor Andrea Vasquez takes us to the new space, designed to let children play and learn while their parents undergo the long process of entering the homeless system. Finally, every once in a while, a band comes together and redefines an entire genre of music that influences a generation. In the 50’s, there was the Four Seasons, in the 60’s there was the Beatles, and in the 70’s there was the Ramones, and they took punk to another level. The band took shape in Forest Hills, Queens, and their 1976 debut album titled simply “The Ramones” launched a career that spanned two decades. Although the four original Ramones from Forest Hills have since passed away, their music and their fans live on. Now, the Queens Museum is displaying their art and other memorabilia in an exhibit called “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: The Ramones and the Birth of Punk.” We take you through the exhibit and talk about the illustrious career of these punk rockers.

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Clip
July 07, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Every June, the New York Yankees reach out to shine a spotlight on five people, families, or organizations that are giving back to the community and impacting them in a positive way. This year, one of the honorees Alvin Irby has been recognized for starting a non-profit called Barbershop Books, which helps young boys connect and get excited about reading. We were invited to help tell that story and get in on the fun as a group of school children were surprised by several Yankee players at a Harlem Bookshop.

Continue Reading

Clip
July 07, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Every once in a while, a band comes together and redefines an entire genre of music that influences a generation. In the 50’s, there was the Four Seasons, in the 60’s there was the Beatles, and in the 70’s there was the Ramones, and they took punk to another level. The band took shape in Forest Hills, Queens, and their 1976 debut album titled simply “The Ramones” launched a career that spanned two decades. Although the four original Ramones from Forest Hills have since passed away, their music and their fans live on. Now, the Queens Museum is displaying their art and other memorabilia in an exhibit called “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: The Ramones and the Birth of Punk.” We take you through the exhibit and talk about the illustrious career of these punk rockers.

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Episode
July 06, 2016 at 5:30 am

Have you ever heard of the expression ‘mob shaming?’ It’s formal definition is “a large group or crowd of people who are angry or difficult to control. Mob shaming has happened since the beginning of civilization and with the invention of social media and the internet, a cyber mob can dole out more damage than the stereotypical torch-and-pitchforks horde. It’s hard to imagine being the subject of such hate, but one 18-year-old, Tyler Clementi, didn’t have to. Clementi was a talented violinist and a freshman at Rutgers University when he was outed by his college roommate as gay by having an intimate encounter secretly streamed live not only to the entire campus, but to the world via Twitter. He experienced it, paid the ultimate price for it, and remains an example of not only how mob shaming can affect a person, but the struggles that LGBT youth face. Now, Tyler Clementi’s mother, Jane, and older brother, James, join us to talk about their personal tragedy and how they turned his death into something powerful.

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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, 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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