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October 07, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Two of the biggest issues in this year’s presidential election are rising income inequality and stagnating economic mobility. Not only that, but these issues are everyday concerns for millions of Americans who used to buy into the idea that hard work leads to prosperity. Political comedian John Fugelsang is taking a candid look at these issues in his new documentary, […]

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Episode
October 04, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, for one night only, America’s political focus will shift from presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to their vice presidential picks, Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. Tomorrow night, these vice presidential candidates will take center stage at Longwood University in Virginia for their first and only debate before the election in November. In the past, vice presidential face-offs haven’t always been as momentous as the presidential debates, but in a race as contentious as this, is tomorrow’s debate going to be one to watch and will it have an impact? Amy Holmes, a political analyst for the polling company Rasmussen Reports, and former Newsday columnist Ellis Henican join us with a preview of the showdown.

Next, last week’s presidential debate clearly displayed the bitter hatred between candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but it couldn’t hold a candle to the contention witnessed during the 1968 debates. Liberal Gore Vidal and Conservative William Buckley were bitter political enemies that the media followed closely during the two presidential conventions. The resulting fireworks between the ideological opposites would change political media coverage and shape it into the blood sport it is today. Tonight, Director and Producer Robert Gordon joins us to discuss his Independent Lens documentary, Best of Enemies, which examines these men and their rivalry and the film “Best of Enemies” before it airs tonight on PBS.

Then, it’s been over 15 years since Amadou Diallo was brutally killed by four New York City police officers in February of 1999. Although his name may be a forgotten headline for some, his mother Kadiatou, the message that was ignited by her son’s death is as important as ever. In fact, Kadiatou is worried that the country is headed in the wrong direction. She has said, “What is going on here is like many years ago…We’re going backwards, so each time I relive my tragedy.” And the same is true for the countless other mothers of unarmed, black men that lost their lives at the hands of the police, including Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, and many others. In this installment of Listening In, we take you to a panel discussion including Kadiatou and the mother of Eric Gardner where they discuss healing New York City’s communities and putting an end to events like the ones that claimed the lives of their sons.

Finally, Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish High Holidays. It’s a time of year when many in the Jewish community come together at their local synagogue for prayer, self-reflection and a greater sense of community. But for some, it’s physically impossible to make a trip to the synagogue. And for others, the attendance fees for holiday services may well be unaffordable. In an effort to reach more of their community, one synagogue on Long Island has gone high tech, and we take you there to see how they’re making the high holidays more accessible.

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October 03, 2016 at 6:27 pm

It’s been over 15 years since Amadou Diallo was brutally killed by four New York City police officers in February of 1999. Although his name may be a forgotten headline for some, his mother Kadiatou, the message that was ignited by her son’s death is as important as ever. In fact, Kadiatou is worried that the country is headed in the wrong direction. She has said, “What is going on here is like many years ago…We’re going backwards, so each time I relive my tragedy.” And the same is true for the countless other mothers of unarmed, black men that lost their lives at the hands of the police, including Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, and many others. In this installment of Listening In, we take you to a panel discussion including Kadiatou and the mother of Eric Gardner where they discuss healing New York City’s communities and putting an end to events like the ones that claimed the lives of their sons.

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September 30, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Tonight, we are continuing our coverage of yesterday morning’s crash of a New Jersey Transit train that caused catastrophic damage to the Hoboken Terminal. The incident injured over 100 people and left one dead, disrupting the morning commutes of NJ Transit passengers across the region. MetroFocus returns to the scene of the terrible accident where MetroFocus contributor William Jones investigates […]

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Episode
September 29, 2016 at 5:47 am

Tonight, the nation is still a livewire of opinions and emotions after Monday night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University. Both political camps have been impassioned on social media and in television, including Vice President Joe Biden, who took to the stage in Philadelphia yesterday to campaign for Hillary Clinton. Tonight, as a part of our ongoing series Listening In, we’ll show you the no-holds-barred speech the vice president gave at Drexel University concerning statements Donald Trump made regarding taxes and his finances during the first presidential debate.

Next, a federal investigation is underway and disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner will potentially face federal charges over his latest sexting scandal. The FBI, as well as the NYPD, have opened preliminary investigations into allegations that Weiner exchanged sexually explicit messages with a 15-year-old high school student. This is all in addition to the existing investigation by the New York City Child Welfare Agency after images from a previous sexting scandal surfaced including his 4-year-old son. Will Anthony Weiner find himself serving time? Criminal defense attorney Paul P. Martin joins us to discuss the investigations and the charges Weiner could face if the allegations prove to be credible.

Then, another day, another corruption charge in Albany. First Sheldon Silver, then Dean Skelos. Now, the latest corruption case finds two former aides of Governor Cuomo charged by the U.S. Attorney’s office, along with a senior state official and others in connection to the governor’s signature upstate economic development program dubbed “Buffalo Billion.” This, of course, not only raises major questions about how the governor’s programs were managed, but also how the governor has handled corruption in the capitol, something he vowed to clean up when he took office. Albany Bureau Chief for Politico, Jimmy Vielkind sheds light on the current political climate in Albany and what it means for the governor and his administration.

And finally, the fight over gentrification and affordable housing in New York City is all too real for some New Yorkers. Last week, we introduced you to one of them, Raymond Tirado, who refuses to move out of his East Harlem apartment. He has turned down several buyout offers from his landlord, and is now the subject of the documentary “Last Tenant Standing in East Harlem.” Tonight we’re bringing you the other side of this story. Yi Han, the co-owner of Tirado’s building, has plans to redevelop the property and feels her project will make the Manhattan neighborhood more accessible to the middle class. She joins us with her response to the film and to tell us what challenges developers are facing as they try to build in the city.

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September 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm

The fight over gentrification and affordable housing in New York City is all too real for some New Yorkers. Last week, we introduced you to one of them, Raymond Tirado, who refuses to move out of his East Harlem apartment. He has turned down several buyout offers from his landlord, and is now the subject of the documentary “Last Tenant Standing in East Harlem.” Tonight we’re bringing you the other side of this story. Yi Han, the co-owner of Tirado’s building, has plans to redevelop the property and feels her project will make the Manhattan neighborhood more accessible to the middle class. She joins us with her response to the film and to tell us what challenges developers are facing as they try to build in the city.

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Episode
September 22, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, New Yorkers are always on the move, but one man in East Harlem refuses to move out of his apartment. Raymond Tirado is just one man out of the countless people who are worried about being pushed out of their neighborhood as New York City’s next gentrification project heats up. But while Mayor De Blasio has pledged to preserve and build affordable housing to ensure low-income residents of the area aren’t priced out, Raymond Tirado is digging in his heels and fighting to stay in the home he grew up in. Tirado, the subject of a documentary Last Tenant Standing in East Harlem, joins us with the film’s director, Andrew Padilla, to discuss the issue and how these projects affect other native New Yorkers.

Next, basketball legend and NBA star Shaquille O’Neal retired from the game after 19 seasons, but his name is still greatly revered in the world of basketball. The 7′ 1″ New Jersey native attributes his success on and off the court to the support and values instilled in him while he was young. Recently, he returned to his hometown of Newark to give back to the Boys and Girls Club on Avon Avenue where his story started. NJTV’s Michael Hill caught up with O’Neal at the Boys and Girls Club and asked him what it meant to him to have a place to go to when he was a kid and how he’s giving back. And don’t forget to log on to MetroFocus.org tonight to see the extended interview!

Then finally, young musicians came together from East End Arts Student Orchestra and The Perlman Music Program to harmonize in their fifth annual joint performance on eastern Long Island. East End Arts is an art education nonprofit based in Riverhead, and The Perlman Music Program is a training and mentorship program on Shelter Island founded by Toby Perlman, wife of violin viruoso Itzhak Perlman. Each group runs summer programs for young musicians from nearby and abroad. MetroFocus’ Andrea Vasquez was there as these classical musicians performed, and she gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the powerful music they create together.

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September 21, 2016 at 6:29 pm

New Yorkers are always on the move, but one man in East Harlem refuses to move out of his apartment. Raymond Tirado is just one man out of the countless people who are worried about being pushed out of their neighborhood as New York City’s next gentrification project heats up. But while Mayor De Blasio has pledged to preserve and build affordable housing to ensure low-income residents of the area aren’t priced out, Raymond Tirado is digging in his heels and fighting to stay in the home he grew up in. Tirado, the subject of a documentary Last Tenant Standing in East Harlem, joins us with the film’s director, Andrew Padilla, to discuss the issue and how these projects affect other native New Yorkers.

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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, Ellen and James S. Marcus, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross.

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