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September 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Wyandanch in the town of Babylon has earned a reputation for being one of the poorest communities on Long Island. Surrounded by some of the most well-to-do areas in the United States, this working class hamlet has struggled with poverty and crime. But that’s all changing. Wyandanch is currently is the middle of a $500 million redevelopment plan, which calls for affordable housing, commercial businesses, infrastructure and transportation improvements. In our continuing series, Chasing the Dream, Long Island Business Report anchor Jim Paymar takes us to this little corner of Suffolk County to tell us what the plan could mean for other struggling communities across our area and across the country.

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Episode
September 15, 2016 at 5:31 am

Tonight, results from yesterday’s primary may have disappointed some New York incumbents, but it turns out a dead man can still pull in votes. We let you know where the votes fell and who will be taking over political office. With what is sure to be an exciting general election quickly approaching in November, how do the results from yesterday shift power in New York?

Next, all studies point to one thing that has a positive effect on not only the success of an individual but the national economy they live in: a quality education. That simple fact doesn’t change that America, once known as one of the top countries in educational achievement, has fallen behind, especially in topics such as math and science. So what is keeping our nation’s students back and how can we become top achievers again in a global market that becomes more competitive with each day? A new Nova documentary, School of the Future, explores those questions and the challenges facing today’s students. Dr. Pamela Cantor is one of the subjects in this film and she will join us to discuss the issues our kids deal with in and out of the classroom.

Then, as America’s youth heads back to school, high school seniors are facing the daunting task of applying to college. Between taking the SATs, writing admissions essays, and completing scholarship applications, the payoff has increasingly been a rejection letter from some of the most elite schools in the world. It’s a hard blow for many students and their parents, but does the university you attend really determine how bright your future could be? The New York Times columnist Frank Bruni joins us to discuss the stressful time students have applying for college and whether picking the right school is as important as we think it is.

Finally, what makes the world round, the sky blue, or gives every snowflake a unique shape? Those seemingly unanswerable questions are explored in a new PBS series called Forces of Nature. This four-part series will show how we experience the natural forces that shape our world and the fundamental laws governing all life and matter on Earth. Tonight, PBS’ Vice President of Programming Bill Gardner will join us to discuss the making of Forces of Nature and what you can expect from the program before it premieres tonight.

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September 14, 2016 at 6:26 pm

What makes the world round, the sky blue, or gives every snowflake a unique shape? Those seemingly unanswerable questions are explored in a new PBS series called Forces of Nature. This four-part series will show how we experience the natural forces that shape our world and the fundamental laws governing all life and matter on Earth. Tonight, PBS’ Vice President of Programming Bill Gardner will join us to discuss the making of Forces of Nature and what you can expect from the program before it premieres tonight.

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Episode
September 13, 2016 at 5:26 am

Tonight, School is back in session for the academic year and this week, we’ll be taking various looks into education and academics. Tonight Soledad O’Brien is back to tell us about hosting American Graduate Day, a PBS special celebrating individuals and organizations that are helping kids stay on track for graduation. She will also talk about how mentoring has played an instrumental part in her life and about Starfish Foundation, her non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping young women graduate and pursue higher education.

Next, yes, you read that right. New York is holding its third and final primary tomorrow, September 13, before the general election in November. What kind of power is at stake this close to Election Day? The answer is simple: a lot. And after previous primaries in April and June, worries over voter fatigue and low turnout may not be an overreaction. POLITICO’s Albany Bureau Chief Jimmy Vielkind gives us more information on how tomorrow’s primary has the potential to shift the balance of power in Albany and the rest of New York State. Plus, he reacts to the frenzy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s fainting spell after leaving the 9/11 Memorial in New York this weekend.

Finally, college, for most Americans, is seen as a gateway to opportunity and success; and for some, could be an opportunity taken for granted. For many young black men living in under-served communities, the notion of not only obtaining admission to but graduating from a university seems out of the question. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 52% of black high school graduates enrolled in a college or university in 2015, and the majority of that percentage were female students. Robert Henderson III is one of the subjects of a new POV documentary called All the Difference, which offers a look into the challenges facing young black men seeking a post-secondary education. He joins us to discuss the film and share his college experiences.

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Episode
September 10, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, 45 years ago today, the inmates in Attica Prison rose up, taking guards hostage in one of the most important moments in civil rights history. Their actions protested years of mistreatment in the Upstate New York prison, and the situation continued for four long days as prisoners negotiated with state officials for improved living conditions. On the last day, Governor Rockefeller ordered armed state troopers to storm the prison and retake it by force. That decision would cost 39 prisoners and hostages their lives. More than four decades later, historian Heather Ann Thompson will join us to discuss her book Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy and her journey to uncover hidden evidence for which no one has been held accountable.

Next, Sunday marks 15 years since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, that killed nearly 3000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It’s a day New York City won’t soon forget, and we have built countless tributes to ensure that we don’t. Tonight, we take a look at a new documentary that chronicles the building of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza and the most overlooked aspects of the somber setting: the trees. Director of The Trees, Scott Elliott, and the Executive Producer Katherine Drew join us to discuss the 400 swamp white oaks that make-up one of New York City’s largest urban forests and the life they bring back to Ground Zero.

Finally, for more than 50 years, THIRTEEN has become a cornerstone for public television and story-telling. Household names in everything from politics to entertainment have been interviewed and have shared their lives with us, from Julia Child, to Bill Moyers, to Dick Cavett, and countless others. To honor more than half a century of ground-breaking programming, THIRTEEN will offer a special presentation of Pioneers of Thirteen, a look back into their rich archives spanning from the 1960’s to the present. Tonight, President and CEO of THIRTEEN Neal Shapiro joins us to discuss the four-part special and the many people that have helped to pioneer this network into the trusted platform it is today, from Edward R. Murrow to Dustin Hoffman.

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September 09, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Sunday marks 15 years since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, that killed nearly 3000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It’s a day New York City won’t soon forget, and we have built countless tributes to ensure that we don’t. Tonight, we take a look at a new documentary that chronicles the building of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza and the most overlooked aspects of the somber setting: the trees. Director of The Trees, Scott Elliott, and the Executive Producer Katherine Drew join us to discuss the 400 swamp white oaks that make-up one of New York City’s largest urban forests and the life they bring back to Ground Zero.

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Episode
September 09, 2016 at 5:36 am

Tonight, this November, voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will all decide whether to join ranks with states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington and legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Meanwhile, Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and Missouri will decide whether to legalize the prescription use of the drug for medical purposes. New York passed marijuana-use legislation in 2014 with the Compassionate Care Act, which legalized medical marijuana. One activist at the forefront of marijuana legislation is the former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura. He joins us to discuss his book, Marijuana Manifesto, and makes the case for legalizing cannabis.

Next, as the 15th anniversary of the terrible attack on the World Trade Center quickly approaches, we take a look at the 9/11 Memorial, a steadfast tribute to those killed and the brave men and women who served the city that day. Today, a Freedom Tower now stands as a testament to the resiliency of the city, boasting an expansive view of the island, exhibits that educate attendees about the city as well as the building itself and several options for dining. But one of the building’s most engaging attractions may be one of the city’s least known and most amazing features: an elevator that offers a time lapse view of New York City. Starting at the very beginning of New York’s history in the year 1500, the elevator ride takes us through hundreds of years to the present. Visitors can watch the skyline appear and change as the city grows before their eyes. We discuss the inside story of the elevator with Michael Arad, designer of the 9/11 Memorial, “Reflecting Absence,” and New York Times reporter David Dunlap, who covered this amazing ride through New York’s history.

Then, Gucci is one of the top names in fashion, synonymous with wealth, prestige, and class. Although Gucci won’t be holding a show here in New York during this Fashion Week, we take a moment to remember the visionary who transformed his father’s small Florentine luggage company into a globally known symbol for high fashion. Aldo Gucci, despite his business success, harbored a secret in his personal life: his mistress Bruna Palombo and their love child, Patricia. Patricia Gucci joins us to discuss her book, In the Name of Gucci, a Memoir, where she chronicles the untold love story between her parents and details her own personal relationship with her father.

Finally, where would you go if you wanted to find the greenest block in Brooklyn? Every year the Brooklyn Botanic Garden sets out to settle that question with its “Greenest Block in Brooklyn” competition. This year, out of over 150 entrants, the winner for 2016 is the 300 East 25th Street Block Association in Flatbush. We went to see for ourselves just how green it was and discovered far more than what we expected for this NYC borough.

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September 08, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Where would you go if you wanted to find the greenest block in Brooklyn? Every year the Brooklyn Botanic Garden sets out to settle that question with its “Greenest Block in Brooklyn” competition. This year, out of over 150 entrants, the winner for 2016 is the 300 East 25th Street Block Association in Flatbush. We went to see for ourselves just how green it was and discovered far more than what we expected for this NYC borough.

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Episode
September 03, 2016 at 5:52 am

Tonight, rent increases are a fact of life here in New York City but a proposed hike in Queens is being called excessive, even for the world of New York real estate. The landlord in this case is Amtrak, which rents out space owned by the railroad under the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria. A handful of homeowners there have been using the land as their backyards for generations, paying a fee of around $25 every year. Now the railroad wants to raise the rent and not just by a couple hundred dollars. For some, the rent could go up to over $26,000 a year. The railroad says these lease holders have not seen rent hikes in more than 70 years, and they will be paying a fraction of the fair market rental rates. Our guest tonight does not see it that way. Congressman Joe Crowley is the representative for the 14th district, which includes this Queens neighborhood, and he has intervened on behalf of the homeowners. He joins us with an update on the situation.

Next, Billy Crystal continues his conversation with baseball legend Joe Torre and his wife, Ali. After finally opening up about his abusive childhood at the hands of his father, Joe Torre created the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation. The organization focuses on educating kids about the effects of domestic violence and abuse in order to give them hope that they are not alone. In this second installment, Billy, Joe, and Ali reflect back on Joe’s career on and off the field and how the lessons of his past has helped him communicate with his players.

Finally, Tony Danza is perhaps best known for starring in beloved and long-running television shows, Taxi and Who’s the Boss. But his career goes beyond what you might’ve seen on the small screen. Danza not only established himself as a Broadway star in hits like The Producers and A View from the Bridge, but also as a cabaret song and dance man. Tony’s latest cabaret act, Standards & Stories debuted to a sold out audience at the famous Carlyle Hotel in New York City. The show received rave reviews, and he joins us to discuss its success ahead of his performance at Michael Feinstein’s 54 Below on September 8th and 9th.

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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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