Episode
October 27, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, new developments in the Eric Garner case are making headlines today as the Justice Department shakes up the investigation against Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer responsible for putting Garner in the chokehold that became the catalyst for his death. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” caused national outrage and have become a mantra for Black Lives Matter protests and the conversation surrounding the use of force in police encounters. The New York Times reports that the Justice Department replaced the federal investigators handling the case in Brooklyn with their counterparts from Washington D.C. While New York feds are furious about the decision, saying that the shuffle is a move to make an example of Pantaleo, some believe that it’s a step in ensuring that justice is served. Tonight, former NYPD lieutenant Darren Porcher weighs in on this case and the significance of this shift in power.

Next, earlier this year, a water main break on the Upper West Side flooded the streets, damaged basements, and opened up a large sinkhole on Amsterdam Avenue that swallowed an SUV. This is hardly a first for New York. Last year an even larger sinkhole swallowed a whole intersection in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. This phenomenon of the ground suddenly and unexpectedly collapsing beneath our feet is occurring more frequently around the globe and is a dangerous and sometimes even fatal occurrence. The threat they pose and their causes are documented in the NOVA film, Sinkholes— Buried Alive. Tonight, we’ll take an in-depth look at the film with its producer Larry Klein.

Then, while there have been monumental victories in the fight for equality among the LGBT community, advocates are quick to point out that there is still a long way to go. In fact, many LGBT youth are rejected by their own families and forced to leave home because of their sexuality. Studies show that LGBTQ youth make up about 40 percent of the homeless youth population in New York City. Not only that, but LGBTQ youth on the streets experience higher rates of sexual assault, violence, trauma, HIV infection, mental health issues, and substance abuse compared to their heterosexual peers living on the streets. The Ali Forney Center is dedicated to helping this vulnerable part of the population, providing safe shelter, health care, and a nurturing environment to get young people back on their feet. In this latest installment of Giving Back, we Listen In to a recent benefit gala the Ali Forney Center held to honor the legacy of the late Bea Arthur, an actress who fought for LGBT rights and was a key benefactor for the center’s work.

Finally, dealing with big oil, poachers and gunfire is nothing new to animal rescue missions in Africa. But while much attention has been paid to the real possibility that elephants and rhinos could be extinct within two decades, wildlife experts may have let giraffes slip through the cracks to suffer their own “silent extinction.” One particularly committed giraffe researcher, however, has not ignored their plight, and with his family and extended rescue team, has committed himself to relocating and protecting these long-necked-leaf-eaters before it’s too late. PBS Nature’s executive producer, Fred Kaufman joins us with a look at the series’ new documentary Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants which shines a light on the efforts to protect these threatened animals.

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October 26, 2016 at 6:27 pm

While there have been monumental victories in the fight for equality among the LGBT community, advocates are quick to point out that there is still a long way to go. In fact, many LGBT youth are rejected by their own families and forced to leave home because of their sexuality. Studies show that LGBTQ youth make up about 40 percent of the homeless youth population in New York City. Not only that, but LGBTQ youth on the streets experience higher rates of sexual assault, violence, trauma, HIV infection, mental health issues, and substance abuse compared to their heterosexual peers living on the streets. The Ali Forney Center is dedicated to helping this vulnerable part of the population, providing safe shelter, health care, and a nurturing environment to get young people back on their feet. In this latest installment of Giving Back, we Listen In to a recent benefit gala the Ali Forney Center held to honor the legacy of the late Bea Arthur, an actress who fought for LGBT rights and was a key benefactor for the center’s work.

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October 26, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Dealing with big oil, poachers and gunfire is nothing new to animal rescue missions in Africa. But while much attention has been paid to the real possibility that elephants and rhinos could be extinct within two decades, wildlife experts may have let giraffes slip through the cracks to suffer their own “silent extinction.” One particularly committed giraffe researcher, however, has not ignored their plight, and with his family and extended rescue team, has committed himself to relocating and protecting these long-necked-leaf-eaters before it’s too late. PBS Nature’s executive producer, Fred Kaufman joins us with a look at the series’ new documentary Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants which shines a light on the efforts to protect these threatened animals.

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Episode
October 26, 2016 at 5:46 am

Tonight, it was Halloween night in 1975 when the quiet town of Greenwich, Connecticut, discovered the body of 15-year-old Martha Moxley, who had been bludgeoned to death with a golf club. The gruesome murder caused a lot of buzz with law enforcement and the media, but it took 27 years to make a conviction in the case. Michael Skakel, a neighbor of the victim and relative of the famous Kennedy family, was convicted and sentenced to 20 years to life behind bars despite the scant amount of evidence connecting him to the crime. He would go on to serve 11 years of his sentence until he was released when a judge threw out his conviction citing an unfair trial with inept defense. After all that time, Robert Kennedy Jr. is releasing his book, Framed: Why Michael Skakel Spent Over a Decade in Prison For a Murder He Didn’t Commit, which gives the acclaimed attorney the chance to shed new light on the case, attempt to prove his cousin’s innocence, and add two more names to the list of suspects. Tonight, Robert Kennedy Jr. joins us to discuss this thrilling exposé and why he felt writing this book was necessary.

Then, we continue our conversation with television producer Norman Lear, who is the latest subject of the new American Masters documentary depicting his life. The documentary, titled Norman Lear: Another Version of You, takes a look at how he became the man behind the screen that shaped a new generation of sitcoms in the 1970’s. Tonight, we switch gears from his legendary career to his heart for political activism, speaking on subjects such as organizations he has started and what his opinions are concerning this current Presidential election.

Finally, this year, millenials are not the only youth who will vote in the election, some high schoolers will also gain the privilege to head to the polls and cast their voteS on Election Day. But the reality is, most of them won’t show up, as youth voter turnout is at an all-time low. During the 2014 midterm election, only 20 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds participated in the election, which is the lowest youth turnout in the past 40 years. Gina Figliozzi, a recent graduate from Smithtown High School East on Long Island, wanted to try and turn those dismal numbers around. After voting for the first time during April’s primaries, she made a poster in the hope that she would interest her peers to vote. Her teacher, Tim Needles, took notice of the poster and entered it in a national contest from PBS LearningMedia called “Meet Me in D.C.” Out of 400 entries, Gina was chosen to be one of the competition’s two winners and earned herself a free trip to Washington D.C. She joins us tonight with Tim Needles to discuss why youth turnout on Election Day is going to be vital, and why simple acts like hers could make a difference.

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October 25, 2016 at 6:27 pm

This year, millenials are not the only youth who will vote in the election, some high schoolers will also gain the privilege to head to the polls and cast their voteS on Election Day. But the reality is, most of them won’t show up, as youth voter turnout is at an all-time low. During the 2014 midterm election, only 20 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds participated in the election, which is the lowest youth turnout in the past 40 years. Gina Figliozzi, a recent graduate from Smithtown High School East on Long Island, wanted to try and turn those dismal numbers around. After voting for the first time during April’s primaries, she made a poster in the hope that she would interest her peers to vote. Her teacher, Tim Needles, took notice of the poster and entered it in a national contest from PBS LearningMedia called “Meet Me in D.C.” Out of 400 entries, Gina was chosen to be one of the competition’s two winners and earned herself a free trip to Washington D.C. She joins us tonight with Tim Needles to discuss why youth turnout on Election Day is going to be vital, and why simple acts like hers could make a difference.

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Episode
October 21, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, that’s all she wrote! The last presidential debate of the season took place last night at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. The candidates stated their views on a wide range of topics including the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, the economy, and immigration, but the biggest headline of the night came from Donald Trump. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News asked the Republican candidate whether or not he would accept the results of this election and help unite the country should Hillary Clinton win the White House. After some skirting around the issue, Trump said he would keep the American people “in suspense,” and today, Trump has put out a statement that he would accept the results if he wins. Has the businessman made a fatal mistake? We discuss that and break down the rest of the debate with Adele Malpass, Chairwoman of the Manhattan Republican Party, and Hank Sheinkopf, President of Sheinkopf Communications Ltd, who has contributed to hundreds of political campaigns in the United States.

And in other news, we discuss three arrests making headlines in Long Island. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, his wife, and the Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto were taken into custody early this morning in connection with corruption charges including conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and honest services fraud. We’ll have more details tonight.

Next, still can’t get a ticket to Hamilton? 20,000 students from New York City public schools serving low-income populations are getting the opportunity to see the sold out show, all for the cost of a Hamilton– $10. How? The show’s producers and the Rockefeller Foundation are picking up the rest of the tab. But the students don’t get to just walk into the Richard Rodgers Theatre and see Broadway’s biggest show. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has created an interactive study curriculum for them to study before seeing the hip-hop musical. This is all part of a successful education program and its history-making tools that are helping New York City students view their classrooms in a progressive light. James Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute , and Dr. Barbara McKeon, the Head of School at the Broome Street Academy, join us to discuss this transformative educational tool and look at how Broadway is helping kids become more engaged in U.S. history.

Finally, the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center is a one of a kind, state of the art cultural institution acting as a voice of tolerance across Long Island. Set in a former Gold Coast mansion, the center transports its visitors to a critical time in history and empowers them with vital lessons of understanding and acceptance. To commemorate this unique tribute to the lives of Long Island’s Holocaust survivors, Treasures of New York: Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center takes us to the site of this precious piece of history. Catch a sneak peek of the vital role this establishment plays as a resource for combating prejudices and violence in our world today and then watch the entire film tonight at 8 p.m. on WLIW21 and Sunday at 7 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

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October 20, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Still can’t get a ticket to Hamilton? 20,000 students from New York City public schools serving low-income populations are getting the opportunity to see the sold out show, all for the cost of a Hamilton– $10. How? The show’s producers and the Rockefeller Foundation are picking up the rest of the tab. But the students don’t get to just walk […]

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October 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center is a one of a kind, state of the art cultural institution acting as a voice of tolerance across Long Island. Set in a former Gold Coast mansion, the center transports its visitors to a critical time in history and empowers them with vital lessons of understanding and acceptance. To commemorate this unique tribute […]

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Episode
October 15, 2016 at 5:02 am

Tonight, New Yorkers in Harlem are furious with Jon Girodes, the Republican candidate running to represent their district in the New York State Senate. These feelings ignited after the candidate made promises to serve racially stereotypical food at a local campaign event. Residents of New York’s 30th District, a primarily Black community, are making it completely clear that they don’t approve of the Girodes’ comments to serve “Kool-Aid, KFC and Watermelons.” NBC 4 I-Team Investigative Reporter, Sarah Wallace broke the story and tonight, joins us to tell us more.

Then, what once was a place for New Yorkers to enjoy the simple pleasures of nature in the middle of a bustling Manhattan has now become the dangerous backdrop for a number of robberies, assaults, and gang violence. Cell phone robbery and brutal assaults by roaming gangs have been on the rise in Central Park, with multiple incidents reported in the past month. This week, a woman in the park was robbed and assaulted before she managed to get away during an attempted rape. Her alleged assailant was arrested two days later after authorities tracked him down by using the victim’s “Find My iPhone” app. Luckily, that story has a better ending than most, but the public still remains on edge as these crimes become a trend, despite the fact that police say crime is down for the year in Central Park by about 35 percent. New York City Park Advocates’ Geoffrey Croft joins us to make sense of the statistics and share how the police plan to ensure the public’s safety.

Finally, tensions are hitting an all-time high in police forces across the country as countless videos come to light showing police shootings of unarmed black men. As Americans grow more irate over daily headlines, the debate over the use of force has come to the forefront of policing. Some veteran cops are even admitting to feeling uneasy when they don their badges, but what is the next generation of this occupation thinking? Tonight, MetroFocus’ William Jones heads to Monroe College in the Bronx where their criminal justice program is moving away from textbook learning in favor of putting their students on the virtual front lines.

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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, 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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