Episode
July 21, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the GOP Convention heads into Day 3 as the focus shifts to opportunity and prosperity, and we continue to keep you updated on the highlights. Tonight, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Eric Trump, and Indiana Governor and presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence are set to speak. New York State Senator and alternate at-large delegate Thomas Croci sits down with us to talk about what’s been going on in Cleveland, and what is to come.

Next, today is the 47th anniversary since the first man walked on the moon. That first man might have been Neil Armstrong, but tonight, we talk to the man who was just a few steps behind him. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin continues to explore and advocate for space travel decades after the Apollo 11 mission landed him on the moon in 1969. We meet Aldrin in the Space Shuttle Pavilion on the deck of the Intrepid Museum where he opens up with us about his famous journey, and talks about the lessons he’s sharing in his new book No Dream is Too High: Life Lessons From a Man Who Walked On The Moon.

Then finally, growing up, most of what kids know is the world right outside their doorstep, but ABC News veteran Melvin McCray is trying to broaden the horizons of student journalists through the lens of a camera. McCray created and directs the Digital Media Training Program in Harlem where he hopes to teach students video reporting skills so they can better understand the communities they live in and tell the stories that are important to them. Nathalie Cabrera, a student reporter in the program, is covering the ongoing Boko Haram tragedy in Africa. But it turns out that what seems like a situation half a world away still impacts New York City. Melvin McCray and Nathalie Cabrera stop by to discuss the program and how Cabrera’s project relates back to our larger community here.

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July 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Growing up, most of what kids know is the world right outside their doorstep, but ABC News veteran Melvin McCray is trying to broaden the horizons of student journalists through the lens of a camera. McCray created and directs the Digital Media Training Program in Harlem where he hopes to teach students video reporting skills so they can better understand the communities they live in and tell the stories that are important to them. Nathalie Cabrera, a student reporter in the program, is covering the ongoing Boko Haram tragedy in Africa. But it turns out that what seems like a situation half a world away still impacts New York City. Melvin McCray and Nathalie Cabrera stop by to discuss the program and how Cabrera’s project relates back to our larger community here.

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Episode
July 16, 2016 at 5:27 am

Tonight, more than 100 people were rushed to emergency rooms this week after overdosing on K2, or synthetic marijuana. This number is a staggering increase, since it accounts for more than all K2 hospitalizations for the entire month of June. With synthetic marijuana affecting more and more lives in the Big Apple and throughout the state, Governor Cuomo has announced an aggressive plan to stop this epidemic in its tracks. MetroFocus contributor and NJTV News anchor Mary Alice Williams speaks with WPIX11’s chief correspondent, Mary Murphy about what exactly is in this drug. Next, 2,600 children and teenagers lose their lives to firearms every year according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It’s an under-reported crisis but one church in the East Village has placed a powerful vigil in their yard, hoping to create awareness and tell the stories of these often forgotten young men and women. MetroFocus’ William Jones paid a visit to the church and met with a family to hear about their encounter with gun violence and the impact this crisis has had on them. Then finally, we continue our conversation with television producer Norman Lear, who is the latest subject in the new American Masters documentary depicting his life. The documentary, titled Norman Lear: Just 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.

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July 15, 2016 at 6:29 pm

More than 100 people were rushed to emergency rooms this week after overdosing on K2, or synthetic marijuana. This number is a staggering increase, since it accounts for more than all K2 hospitalizations for the entire month of June. With synthetic marijuana affecting more and more lives in the Big Apple and throughout the state, Governor Cuomo has announced an aggressive plan to stop this epidemic in its tracks. MetroFocus contributor and NJTV News anchor Mary Alice Williams speaks with WPIX11’s chief correspondant, Mary Murphy about what exactly is in this drug.

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Episode
July 15, 2016 at 5:32 am

Tonight, in the age of iPhones and constant contact with the internet, technology has made it easier for people to record interactions with police. In fact, there is a decades-old consent decree preserving the right to do just that. But now, a New York City man named Ruben An is in the midst of a legal battle after he recorded a conversation between three officers and a man on the sidewalk in July 2014. An was held in jail for 15 hours and charged with obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. A year later, the case went to trial and the jury found An not guilty on all counts. Now, An is filing a lawsuit to affirm that he was in the right the day he was arrested, and that the arrest violated his constitutional rights, on top of issuing a permanent injunction that would bar the NYPD from interfering with or retaliating against citizen videographers. Tonight, Ruben An’s attorneys on this case, Joshua Carrin and Cynthia Conti-Cook join us to discuss this unique case. Next, food waste is perhaps one of the biggest problems in the world that people are not talking about. You may not realize it, but statistics show the average American throws away over 20 pounds of food each month. With about 15 million children living in food insecure households nationwide, new programs are now being adopted in communities across the country to make sure leftovers end up on dinner plates – and not in landfills. New York City is no exception. As part of our ongoing reporting initiative, Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America, we’re taking a look at this problem with help from The Huffington Post, which recently launched a campaign called “Reclaim” to cut down on food waste. Then finally, meet the man who raised a generation and redefined comedy television in the 70’s. Norman Lear is best known for his hit shows like All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Sanford and Son; titles that laid the groundwork for a new era in sitcoms and created a format that would be reused for countless other shows. Lear is now the subject of the newest American Masters installment, Norman Lear: Another Version of You, and he takes some time out to sit down with us and discuss the documentary.

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July 14, 2016 at 6:29 pm

In the age of iPhones and constant contact with the internet, technology has made it easier for people to record interactions with police. In fact, there is a decades-old consent decree preserving the right to do just that. But now, a New York City man named Ruben An is in the midst of a legal battle after he recorded a conversation between three officers and a man on the sidewalk in July 2014. An was held in jail for 15 hours and charged with obstructing governmental administration, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. A year later, the case went to trial and the jury found An not guilty on all counts. Now, An is filing a lawsuit to affirm that he was in the right the day he was arrested, and that the arrest violated his constitutional rights, on top of issuing a permanent injunction that would bar the NYPD from interfering with or retaliating against citizen videographers. Tonight, Ruben An’s attorneys on this case, Joshua Carrin and Cynthia Conti-Cook join us to discuss this unique case.

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Clip
July 14, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Food waste is perhaps one of the biggest problems in the world that people are not talking about. You may not realize it, but statistics show the average American throws away over 20 pounds of food each month. With about 15 million children living in food insecure households nationwide, new programs are now being adopted in communities across the country to make sure leftovers end up on dinner plates – and not in landfills. New York City is no exception. As part of our ongoing reporting initiative, Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America, we’re taking a look at this problem with help from The Huffington Post, which recently launched a campaign called “Reclaim” to cut down on food waste.

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Episode
July 13, 2016 at 5:33 am

A few weeks ago, we reported on the city homeless shelters you may have stayed in before: hotels. PIX 11 reporters Jay Dow and Mario Diaz joined us to show these “homeless hotels” in New York City that started housing families that are in danger of living on the streets, sometimes next to paying customers. Now, they are back to focus on the former Pan American Hotel that became a full-time homeless shelter in 2014, and their findings are worrisome to say the least: the shelter is home to level 3 sex offenders. In this Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America, we take a look this hotel and how this affects those that are trying to rise out of their situation.

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July 12, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival kicks off next week and as part of the month long event, the venue is bringing together 1000 volunteer vocalists from across the five boroughs to perform a special composition on the Hearst Plaza. It’s called the Public Domain and following weeks of rehearsals across New York City, the singers will come together for the event on Saturday, August 13th. MetroFocus had the chance to talk with the musicians behind the landmark project – the conductor, Simon Halsey, and David Lang who composed the piece.

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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, 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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