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 6:29 pm

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 […]

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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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Clip
October 25, 2016 at 6:29 pm

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.

Continue Reading

Clip
October 25, 2016 at 6:28 pm

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.

Continue Reading

Clip
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 25, 2016 at 5:30 am

After 11 Tony awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and sold out shows until summer of 2017, it’s no doubt: Hamilton is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s biggest Broadway hit to date. In July, Miranda stepped away from the show and his role as the title character, Alexander Hamilton. The torch passed on to his alternate, Javier Muñoz, who has been stepping in as Hamilton […]

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October 24, 2016 at 6:29 pm

After 11 Tony awards, a Pulitzer Prize, and sold out shows until summer of 2017, it’s no doubt: Hamilton is Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s biggest Broadway hit to date. In July, Miranda stepped away from the show and his role as the title character, Alexander Hamilton. The torch passed on to his alternate, Javier Muñoz, who has been stepping in as Hamilton […]

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Clip
October 24, 2016 at 6:28 pm

New York City, home to over 8 million residents, has a history of bringing people together across all religions, races, and social classes. Now, 3,000 religious leaders are preparing to gather at the Jacob Javits Center for this year’s Movement Day Global Cities, an annual conference that aims to address various issues facing New York and other major cities all […]

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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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