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August 15, 2016 at 6:29 pm

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.

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Episode
August 13, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, fracking: Some say that this energy revolution is turning scarcity into abundance in America, which is giving us energy independence like never before. Furthermore, proponents of fracking say the practice could decrease the price paid for energy, create high paying jobs, and reduce our carbon footprint. But the practice isn’t without its opposition. According to opponents, fracking has negative effects on the health of workers and citizens, damages property, contaminates the environment and even increases earthquake activity. Director Jon Bowermaster presents the arguments surrounding fracking in his new documentary, called “Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution is Now.” He joins us tonight to talk about the film and the future of clean energy.

Next, about 1.4 million New Yorkers – many of them women, children, elderly and disabled – rely on food pantries and soup kitchens. Tonight’s latest installment of our ongoing reporting initiative, Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America, takes a real look at hunger in our city, and the many New Yorkers who struggle to make ends meet. Photojournalist Joey O’Loughlin spent three years documenting people on food pantry lines around the city, and now some of her portraits are on display at the Brooklyn Historical Society in an exhibit titled “Hidden in Plain Sight: Portraits of Hunger in NYC.” Tonight, we’ll take a look at what O’Loughlin discovered about what the hungry of New York City looks like, and who they are might surprise you.

Finally, how far has the sports world come in terms of LGBT acceptance and equality? Co-Founder of online sports magazine Outsports, expert in LGBTQ athletics, and author of Fair Play: How LGBT Athletes are Claiming Their Rightful Place in Sports, Cyd Ziegler stops by to share his perspective. We’ll take a look at key moments and issues that have transformed sports for today’s LGBT athletes.

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August 12, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Fracking: Some say that this energy revolution is turning scarcity into abundance in America, which is giving us energy independence like never before. Furthermore, proponents of fracking say the practice could decrease the price paid for energy, create high paying jobs, and reduce our carbon footprint. But the practice isn’t without its opposition. According to opponents, fracking has negative effects on the health of workers and citizens, damages property, contaminates the environment and even increases earthquake activity. Director Jon Bowermaster presents the arguments surrounding fracking in his new documentary, called “Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution is Now.” He joins us tonight to talk about the film and the future of clean energy.

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Episode
August 09, 2016 at 5:22 am

Race is one of the nation’s hot button issues, with opinions on all sides. Last year, The New York Times launched a series of documentaries titled Conversations on Race that examined race relations and discrimination. One of those documentaries, “A Conversation with Latinos on Race,” follows the intimate stories of 13 Latino Americans and reveals their challenges with race on […]

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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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August 05, 2016 at 6:27 pm

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.”

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Episode
July 30, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the right to vote is a large part of American democracy, but what makes a voter choose a candidate when they go to the polls? Filmmakers Sarah Klein and Tom Mason set out to create a documentary with the mission to discover just that. They join us to discuss their film How to Win an Election and to share their surprising conclusion that the issues discussed in debates and campaigns might not matter to voters as much as you’d think.

Next, is the drinking water safe in New Jersey? After the water crisis in Flint, the quality of water has been questioned in many areas throughout the country. Lead-contaminated water was found in many Newark public schools, heightening the concern of people in the region. New Jersey Capitol Report co-anchor and MetroFocus contributor Steve Adubato is here to break down the larger problems surrounding New Jersey water.

Then finally, in just a week, Rio de Janeiro will be awash with athletes, media, and tourists as the world tunes in for the Olympic Games. In 2009, the International Olympic Committee crowned the city as the host of the 2016 Olympics and the reaction was joyous. But despite the celebrations that took place seven years ago, Rio has faced many struggles including an economic downturn, political scandal, corruption, and organized crime. What legacy will this city leave on the Olympics this year? Award-winning journalist and Associated Press Correspondant in Rio de Janiero, Juliana Barbassa witnessed it all. She chronicles it in Dancing with the Devil in the City of God and she joins us to talk about the roadblocks this Olympic host has run into leading up to the games.

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July 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Is the drinking water safe in New Jersey? After the water crisis in Flint, the quality of water has been questioned in many areas throughout the country. Lead-contaminated water was found in many Newark public schools, heightening the concern of people in the region. New Jersey Capitol Report co-anchor and MetroFocus contributor Steve Adubato is here to break down the larger problems surrounding New Jersey water.

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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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