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November 30, 2016 at 6:27 pm

“G” is for gentrification, a buzz-word in many New York City neighborhoods. Student journalist Pamela Puello’s new film documents how rising prices and new construction drives many locals from their Harlem homes. Ellen Baxter, executive director of Broadway Housing Communities, helped shepherd a low-income housing complex called the Sugar Hill Project, featured in Puello’s film, which acts as an affordable option in the fight against gentrification. We hit the streets for a look at the changing neighborhood and what it means for the people living there.

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Episode
November 30, 2016 at 5:13 am

Tonight, do you have enough pennies saved for a rainy day? A recent report from the non-profit Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development reveals that nearly 60% of New York City residents don’t have enough cash in the bank to cover household expenses for at least 3 months. Amy Zimmer outlines the troubling statistics facing many of our neighbors in a recent DNA Info article titled “Most New Yorkers are Roughly 1 Paycheck Away from Homelessness” and shares her findings with us as part of our ongoing initiative, Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.

Then, it’s the political pay-to-play corruption case that has cast a long shadow over state politics for the last two months: a far reaching, bid-rigging, bribery scheme that led investigators to the indictments just days ago of eight men. Two of those men, Joseph Percoco and Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, are key members of Governor Cuomo’s inner circle and are facing charges including wire fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit extortion and honest services fraud. What light could the felony trial shed on Albany’s shady dealings? Politico Albany Bureau Chief Jimmy Vielkind has the latest on what this could mean for the Governor.

Next, the lighting of the Christmas tree in New York City’s Rockefeller Center has been a holiday tradition for America and NBC, which broadcasts the spectacular event that signals the coming of the Christmas season. Ahead of tomorrow’s broadcast, we rock around the Christmas tree with a special history lesson from Al Roker, “America’s Weatherman” and anchor of the Today Show, who will once again host this year’s festivities.

Finally, what makes a good leader? Can leadership be learned? And what are the consequences when leadership fails? There are just some of the questions raised by Steve Adubato, host of One-on-One With Steve Adubato, in his latest book Lessons in Leadership, which spotlights a wide gamut of innovators and provides concrete tools and tips for any aspiring leader. Adubato joins us to share his insight on the critical importance of good leadership.

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November 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Do you have enough pennies saved for a rainy day? A recent report from the non-profit Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development reveals that nearly 60% of New York City residents don’t have enough cash in the bank to cover household expenses for at least 3 months. Amy Zimmer outlines the troubling statistics facing many of our neighbors in a recent DNA Info article titled “Most New Yorkers are Roughly 1 Paycheck Away from Homelessness” and shares her findings with us as part of our ongoing initiative, Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.

Continue Reading

Clip
November 29, 2016 at 6:27 pm

The lighting of the Christmas tree in New York City’s Rockefeller Center has been a holiday tradition for America and NBC, which broadcasts the spectacular event that signals the coming of the Christmas season. Ahead of tomorrow’s broadcast, we rock around the Christmas tree with a special history lesson from Al Roker, “America’s Weatherman” and anchor of the Today Show, who will once again host this year’s festivities.

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Episode
November 24, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, nearly 60,000 people are sleeping in New York City shelters every night, according to the most recent statistics from City Hall. That number is up 18 percent since Mayor de Blasio took office two years ago, but city officials say congestion in shelters would be much worse if not for large investments in homeless programs. For many people on the streets, part of the problem is that they don’t know where their families are or how to contact them. That’s where Miracle Messages steps in. The organization uses videos and social media to track down and reunite the homeless with their families. The group’s founder, Kevin Adler, joins us tonight to talk more about the city’s homeless problem and the miracles his organization is facilitating every day.

Next, Koko the Gorilla isn’t your average ape. This 45-year-old primate was taught sign language as a youngster by an animal psychologist who has gone on to become her surrogate mother. For decades, Koko has received worldwide recognition for her ability to communicate with humans. But some in the scientific community are skeptical about her true ability to understand and respond to what people are saying. The documentary, Koko: The Gorilla Who Talks, from PBS and the BBC explores this remarkable animal’s life and the controversy surrounding her. Tonight we take a look at the film and sit down with the documentary’s producer to go inside Koko’s story.

Finally, while you snuggle up with your loved ones in front of the TV, what are some of the top films sure to get you in the holiday spirit? Our friends from Fandango share their list of the best season-starters.

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Episode
November 23, 2016 at 5:59 am

Tonight, a Thanksgiving terror arrest. The alt-right movement comes out in favor of President-Elect Trump as he blasts the media. And do black lives matter? The election of Donald Trump has sparked serious concerns among the most prominent organization fighting for racial justice in this country, the Black Lives Matter movement. In the days after the election, they released a damning statement confirming that their mission remains unchanged after what they say is the election of “a white supremacist to the highest office.” MetroFocus producer William Jones had the opportunity to sit down with Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery, who has covered the movement since its birth in Ferguson, about his new book They Can’t Kill Us All, and what the post-election period has taught him about the state of race in America.

Next, there has been a recent string of attacks against New Yorkers by mentally disturbed individuals. Recently, we spoke to DJ Jaffe, executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org., who essentially blamed the city’s mental health initiative ThriveNYC for its misguided and politically correct policies. Tonight, we go to the city’s Department of Health in Long Island City where Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett addresses these claims, and discusses how the $850 million dollar ThriveNYC initiative is helping New Yorkers.

Finally, from an early age, we’re told: “Don’t to talk to strangers.” In a city of more than 8 million people, New Yorkers are notorious for sticking to that rule. But TED speaker Kio Stark argues we have everything to gain by acknowledging strangers. In her new book When Strangers Meet: How People You Don’t Know Can Transform You, she explains that it all starts with “hello.”

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November 22, 2016 at 6:14 pm

There has been a recent string of attacks against New Yorkers by mentally disturbed individuals. Recently, we spoke to DJ Jaffe, executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org., who essentially blamed the city’s mental health initiative ThriveNYC for its misguided and politically correct policies. Tonight, we go to the city’s Department of Health in Long Island City where Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett addresses these claims, and discusses how the $850 million dollar ThriveNYC initiative is helping New Yorkers.

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Clip
November 22, 2016 at 6:13 pm

From an early age, we’re told: “Don’t to talk to strangers.” In a city of more than 8 million people, New Yorkers are notorious for sticking to that rule. But TED speaker Kio Stark argues we have everything to gain by acknowledging strangers. In her new book When Strangers Meet: How People You Don’t Know Can Transform You, she explains that it all starts with “hello.”

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Episode
November 22, 2016 at 5:43 am

Tonight, the challenges of having a president-elect living in the heart of Manhattan are posing unprecedented problems for New York. News this weekend that future First Lady Melania Trump will stay in the city as Barron Trump finishes out the school year is only expected to further complicate plans to protect the incoming first family while also allowing New Yorkers to go about their daily lives. Former New York City traffic commissioner and leading transportation advocate Sam Schwartz, otherwise known as Gridlock Sam, tells us what the city can do to prevent “Trump-lock Armageddon.”

Next, President-Elect Donald Trump campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare, which he often called a catastrophe. But his recent interview on CBS 60 Minutes suggests he may have changed his mind about completely repealing the Affordable Care Act. Is the new posture merely a change in tone? And if he does still intend to at least radically reform Obamacare, how will the changes affect us here in New York? Paul Howard, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, explores what healthcare could look like under a Trump administration.

Finally, for more than 140 years, New York city’s 92nd Street Y has been a valuable center for the arts, culture and the community. They are now expanding their reach to connect people and communities around the world with their newly named Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact. We look at how the new addition is re-imagining the role of the community center in the digital world, allowing everyone to give back and transform lives.

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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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