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September 01, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Without a doubt, one of the biggest fads of the summer has been Pokemon GO, a mobile app that brings the animated Japanese anime to life. Since the app’s release in early July, users have had the opportunity to virtually catch and collect Pokemon in their communities and around the world. It sounds harmless enough, but a report by New York State Senators Jeffrey Klein and Diane Savino found that many of these Pokemon wound up popping up at addresses of known sex offenders in New York City. New York State Senator Jeffrey Klein joins us to discuss bills he and other lawmakers are sponsoring and how he hopes to help kids still have fun playing Pokemon GO and similar games while ensuring their safety.

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September 01, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Huma Abedin may be making headlines as the now estranged and embarrassed wife of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, but she is not just the woman who stood by his side through his first two sexting scandals as well as his 2013 campaign for mayor of New York City. Abedin is one of the top aides and closest confidantes to Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton and an instrumental part of the campaign trail. She’s been described as the candidate’s second daughter and has even stood in for Clinton at several campaign-related events. Even though she lives and works so close to the public eye, the question still remains: Who, exactly, is Huma Abedin? Vanity Fair Contributing Editor William D. Cohan joins us to shine some light on the story behind this enigmatic political figure.

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Episode
August 31, 2016 at 5:36 am

Tonight, former Congressman Anthony Weiner found himself in the midst of sex scandals, starting in 2011 and again in 2013. Recently, the New York Post ran a report alleging a sexting scandal with an unidentified woman who provided sexually explicit conversations and photos to the paper in exchange for anonymity. The cyber-trysts reportedly began over the internet in 2015, and Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin, who stood by him through the previous two scandals, confirmed yesterday that she’s separating from her husband. We discuss the story and a larger issue it brings to light: sex and porn addiction. Psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere joins us to share his insights.

Then, 2017 is quickly approaching, and for Mayor Bill de Blasio, that would mean having to choose between running for re-election or passing the torch on to someone else. In 2013, de Blasio won the election in a landslide, with nearly 75% of the overall vote and 96% of the Black American vote. Nearly four years later, and the polls may show very different results. In fact, an influential group of Black church leaders is so disappointed with the mayor and some of his economic policies that it’s trying to ensure he doesn’t get a second term. Reverend Dr. Johnnie Green, Pastor of Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem, is the President of Mobilizing Preachers and Communities, the group that is trying to oust de Blasio. Reverend Dr. Green used to fully support the mayor, but he joins us now to discuss why his support has dried up and how he is looking to change things around.

Finally, according to a recent study, nearly 64% of Nassau and Suffolk County renters cannot afford a typical two-bedroom apartment on Long Island. Pair that with fair housing law violations such as discrimination of potential renters, and Long Island quickly becomes a difficult place to thrive. What can be done to improve the island’s affordable and fair housing markets? President of Long Island Housing Partnership Peter Elkowitz and Executive Director of Long Island Housing Service Michelle Santantonio discuss that and how to make Long Island a more viable housing market for all in this latest installment of Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America.

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August 30, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner found himself in the midst of sex scandals, starting in 2011 and again in 2013. Recently, the New York Post ran a report alleging a sexting scandal with an unidentified woman who provided sexually explicit conversations and photos to the paper in exchange for anonymity. The cyber-trysts reportedly began over the internet in 2015, and Weiner’s wife Huma Abedin, who stood by him through the previous two scandals, confirmed yesterday that she’s separating from her husband. We discuss the story and a larger issue it brings to light: sex and porn addiction. Psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere joins us to share his insights.

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Episode
August 27, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, the use of excessive force by the police, particularly in relation to Black Americans, has been one of the most pressing local and national issues in recent memory. Now, New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake is making headlines as he files a formal complaint against the New York City Police Department. The Assemblyman claims he was grabbed and forcefully shoved by an officer while trying to defuse a street confrontation at a community event in his district last July. A superior officer intervened, realizing Blake was an elected official, but NYPD Commissioner William Bratton refused to publicly apologize to Blake for the incident. As Commissioner Bratton steps down and passes the torch to James P. O’Neill, Assemblyman Blake joins us to discuss how he’d like to use the transition in a new strategy to improve the relationship between the police and the community.

Next, millions of fish washed up along the shore in Keansburg, New Jersey, which is causing residents to worry about what happened below the surface that could have caused this devastating effect. The community is certainly not benefiting from the fishy situation. Local businesses are usually bustling with end-of-the-summer activities as families try to get in their last chances at fun in the sun before school starts. This year, these beaches look different. Pix-11 News’ Marvin Scott has the story, and he’ll give us the details tonight.

And finally, pizza guru Colin Atrophy Hagendorf tasted more than 400 slices of Manhattan pizza in search of the city’s best pie and recounts his journey in “Slice Harvester: A Memoir In Pizza.” Hagendorf tell us where he found his favorite slice and explains how he discovered it.

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August 26, 2016 at 6:28 pm

Millions of fish washed up along the shore in Keansburg, New Jersey, which is causing residents to worry about what happened below the surface that could have caused this devastating effect. The community is certainly not benefiting from the fishy situation. Local businesses are usually bustling with end-of-the-summer activities as families try to get in their last chances at fun in the sun before school starts. This year, these beaches look different. Pix-11 News’ Marvin Scott has the story, and he’ll give us the details tonight.

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August 25, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Late last year, an unusually high number of babies were born in Brazil with abnormally small heads, a condition called microcephaly. The birth defect soon became linked with a mosquito-borne virus called Zika. Since the initial outbreak, the Zika virus has been named a public health emergency by the World Health Organization. But Zika isn’t the first public health emergency in recent memory. In 2014, the world watched in horror as the deadly Ebola virus ripped through West Africa, leaving 10,000 dead. Both viruses are examples of zoonotic diseases, or spillover infections, a term used to define diseases that originate and spread from animals. This is exacerbated by the fact that as our population grows, we are forced to have greater interactions with the wildlife that surrounds us. Veterinarian, epidemiologist, and Associate Vice President of Conservation Medicine at EcoHealth Alliance Dr. Jonathan Epstein joins us to talk about these diseases and his role in a new PBS documentary, Spillover– Zika, Ebola & Beyond.

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Episode
August 17, 2016 at 5:54 am

Tonight, Oscar Morel of Brooklyn finds himself behind bars today for the alleged murder of a New York Imam and his assistant. Since the murders, New Yorkers and those living in the Queens community where the attack was perpetrated have speculated whether the Imam and his friend were targets of a hate crime or victims of a random act of violence. Police haven’t released Morel’s motive yet, but according to reports, his brother has mentioned that Morel felt hatred towards Muslims post-9/11. Tonight, MetroFocus’ William Jones goes to Ozone Park for reactions from the Queens community that Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin served.

Then, it was the news no New York City straphanger wanted to hear. The L train, one of the busiest subway lines in the world, is shutting down between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 18 months starting in 2019. The MTA reached that decision earlier this summer as it tries to repair a Superstorm Sandy-damaged tunnel that connects the two boroughs. Now, hundreds of thousands of riders will need to find a different way of commuting. Vin Barone, a transportation reporter for amNewYork, has been following the story closely and takes us inside the impending shutdown.

Next, Hoosick Falls, a village in Upstate, New York, received news that their water was contaminated with levels of perfluorooctanoic acid, better known as PFOA. Residents were tested and the results showed high levels of this toxic chemical in men, women, and children alike. Fed up with inaction by the local and state government, the young adults of this community are making noise to get the attention of Governor Andrew Cuomo and other officials to give solutions to their water crisis.

Finally, with a growing number of states establishing medical marijuana programs, in addition to the four states that have legalized recreational use of the drug, a new sector of unexplored business opportunities is emerging. Entrepreneurs, policy makers, and advocates came together to paint New York City green and make sense of this new money-making opportunity at the third annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition. Is cannabis prohibition coming to an end, or will political forces work to ensure former policies surrounding the drug? MetroFocus contributor Andrea Vasquez has your inside look at the Cannabis Expo held at the Jacob Javits Center.

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Episode
August 16, 2016 at 5:21 am

Tonight, 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.

Next, ever wonder why New York City seems to feel the heat more than the rest of the area? Turns out, it’s not all in your head. New York Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy Bill Ulfelder joins us to explain the “Urban Heat Island” effect and how New York City plans to battle it.

Finally, tonight, we continue our conversation on the Presidents with Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. This time, we take a look at the presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. This election year, the PBS documentary series American Experience is taking us inside the oval office with its special presentation The Presidents, which looks at the critical moments of consequential modern presidents. The series continues this week with episodes featuring Jimmy Carter on August 15th, Ronald Reagan on August 16th and 17th, and George H.W. Bush on August 18th.

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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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