Episode
October 11, 2016 at 5:30 am

If you’re from New Jersey, expect an unpleasant surprise when you go to fill up your gas tank. The price per gallon for gas is going to hike up 23 cents, a price that Governor Chris Christie has agreed on with the state’s Democratic leaders. Where will the added nickels and dimes go? The state’s depleted transportation fund, which foots […]

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Episode
October 05, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, our nation’s first vice president, John Adams, described the job as “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived, or his imagination conceived.” Is he right? As the person who is just a heartbeat away from the presidency, the vice president gets a unique window into history that only a select few could ever dream of having. This November, either Virginia Senator Tim Kaine or Indiana Governor Mike Pence will add their name to that historically unique roster. In anticipation of tonight’s vice-presidential debate and the election’s outcome, we look back at some of our best and worst vice presidents with presidential historian Tim Naftali.

Then, Silver and Skelos: They’re not just names that made headlines. They’re the disgraced former Speaker and Majority Leader of the Albany State House, a place that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara calls a “cauldron of corruption.” Bharara’s newest case is equally worthy of that title. Both his office and State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have unveiled separate criminal charges against top state power brokers and prominent developers, including two former aides to Governor Cuomo and members of his inner circle, Joe Percoco and Todd Howe. All this is part of a wide-ranging corruption probe of major construction projects upstate tied to the government’s development program “Buffalo Billion.” As part of our ongoing series, Corruption Watch, we sit down with Jennifer Rodgers, a former federal prosecutor and executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity at Columbia Law School to analyze this latest scandal in Albany.

Finally, best known for songs like “Rocky Mountain High,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and “Annie’s Song,” singer and songwriter John Denver was a unique voice in the music world with a legendary career that spanned nearly four decades. Proclaimed the “country boy” of his time, Denver loved to sing about the clear, blue skies and country roads in the state of Colorado. With the 19th anniversary of his passing this month, PBS remembers this classic performer with a reprise of the documentary John Denver: Country Boy. We relive the life and career of John Denver with Tom Crum, a close friend and Denver’s former partner in the creation of an environmental foundation.

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October 04, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Best known for songs like “Rocky Mountain High,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and “Annie’s Song,” singer and songwriter John Denver was a unique voice in the music world with a legendary career that spanned nearly four decades. Proclaimed the “country boy” of his time, Denver loved to sing about the clear, blue skies and country roads in the state of Colorado. With the 19th anniversary of his passing this month, PBS remembers this classic performer with a reprise of the documentary John Denver: Country Boy. We relive the life and career of John Denver with Tom Crum, a close friend and Denver’s former partner in the creation of an environmental foundation.

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Episode
September 23, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, bad behavior in Albany is making headlines once again after two former aides to Governor Cuomo along with other members of his inner circle were charged with corruption. Joseph Percoco and Todd Howe are named as part of a 79-page criminal complaint unsealed this morning in federal court. The charges include counts of bribery, corruption, and fraud involving the governor’s upstate economic development programs. And it’s T-minus 4 days until the first presidential debate at Hofstra University. Anticipation is building as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump prepare to duke it out at the Long Island college during an event that could shatter the record for the most watched debate ever. (That title has been held since 1980 by Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.) Here to share their perspectives on all this is Amy Holmes, a political analyst for the polling company Rasmussen Reports, and former Newsday columnist Ellis Henican.

Next, today, busy schedules keep many of us on a diet of fast foods and on-the-go meals, but what do we compromise by eating like this all the time? Do we really know how the food we eat gets to the table? The Slow Food movement encourages people to eat local, sustainable, and seasonally grown foods. MetroFocus’ Andrea Vasquez takes us to the eastern end of Long Island to meet some Slow Food supporters and see how they’re taking the guesswork out of the recipe.

Finally, it was a sitcom that started off in 1989 as a self-proclaimed show about nothing. Fast forward nine years and many successful seasons later, and Seinfeld aired its final episode to an audience of more than 76 million viewers. In 2016, it still remains as a recognizable facet of American culture, with fan-favorite episodes and relevant quotes that are still a part of our mainstream lives. A new book Seinfeldia celebrates creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, bringing fans behind the scenes of the show that became an American television phenomenon. T.V. historian, entertainment writer, and author of Seinfeldia, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong joins us to discuss how this show went from humble, comedic beginnings to a television series with a lasting impact.

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September 22, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Today, busy schedules keep many of us on a diet of fast foods and on-the-go meals, but what do we compromise by eating like this all the time? Do we really know how the food we eat gets to the table? The Slow Food movement encourages people to eat local, sustainable, and seasonally grown foods. MetroFocus’ Andrea Vasquez takes us to the eastern end of Long Island to meet some Slow Food supporters and see how they’re taking the guesswork out of the recipe.

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Episode
September 21, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, who is the Chelsea bomber and did he have help? Yesterday, we followed reports of a shootout between police and Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect taken into custody for the New York and New Jersey bombings that hit both states this past weekend. And although they are scenes of what some are speculating to be acts of terror, New Yorkers remain calm and unfazed. Tonight, we look at new details that have surfaced about Rahami and his family, and how the attacks are making their mark on the election ahead of next week’s first presidential debate.

Next, after four years, $65 billion dollars in damage, and countless relief efforts, the region is still rebuilding the damage Superstorm Sandy left behind in its wake. Families and homeowners are still struggling to piece their lives back together, even after billions of dollars in relief money has been raised. So where did the money go? A new FRONTLINE documentary “Business of Disaster” follows the money trail and reveals who made a small fortune off of others misfortune. Correspondent Laura Sullivan, joins us to discuss the film and who makes their living off of disasters like Sandy.

Next, 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.

Finally, back in 1939, Waitstill and Martha Sharp left their children behind in Massachusetts to rescue refugees and dissidents from the Nazis. Over the course of two years, the Sharps would save more than 130 people from the horrors of the Holocaust. Despite their heroics, the Sharps’ story remained largely untold for decades. Now it is coming to light as part of a documentary co-directed by their grandson and the filmmaker Ken Burns. Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War makes its PBS premiere tonight at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN. Ahead of its debut, we sit down with Artemis Joukowsky, the Sharps’ grandson, to talk more about the film and his grandparents.

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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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Funders

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, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross, and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte.

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