Episode
October 07, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, City Hall is under serious scrutiny as Mayor Bill De Blasio’s political nonprofit organization, “The Campaign for One New York,” goes under investigation. The ethics violations that triggered the inspection have now led to a sweeping subpoena on our city’s seat of power and an extensive look into the communications between the mayor, his aides, the organization, and its donors. What are they looking for? Tonight, we’re digging for those answers with William K. Rashbaum, the New York Times reporter who broke the story.

Next, to this day it remains both one of the greatest aviation mysteries in history and a deeply personal tragedy for our area. On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport on its way to Paris, France. Twelve minutes later, the Boeing 747 jetliner exploded off the coast of Long Island and plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 230 people on board. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the plane went down after a short circuit led to an explosion onboard, but not everyone agrees with the conclusion. 20 years after the crash, News 12 Long Island went back and interviewed those involved with the case to try and figure out what exactly happened. Tonight the producer behind that report, Brad Trettien, joins us to explain what he and his team uncovered.

Finally, Emmy and Tony award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth boasts a career that spans all facets of show business, and now the notoriously bubbly performer is opening up to MetroFocus and revealing a side of her that’s never been seen…a sultry, jazzy side. Her new album, “The Art of Elegance,” has been described by critics as vibrant and beautiful, and has debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Current Jazz Chart. A bit of a departure from her Broadway persona. At the Great White Way, she’s known for roles such as Glinda the Good Witch in the original cast of Wicked and Sally in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Now, she’s returning to her roots in a limited engagement at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in My Love Letter to Broadway. And after all that, she shows no signs of slowing down. By the end of this year, Chenoweth will have put out “The Art of Elegance,” designed a jewelry collection, and starred in NBC’s Hairspray Live! as Velma Von Tussle. Tonight, the multi-faceted actress takes time out of her jam-packed schedule to discuss what’s new and what’s next in her dazzling career.

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October 06, 2016 at 6:28 pm

To this day it remains both one of the greatest aviation mysteries in history and a deeply personal tragedy for our area. On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport on its way to Paris, France. Twelve minutes later, the Boeing 747 jetliner exploded off the coast of Long Island and plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 230 people on board. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the plane went down after a short circuit led to an explosion onboard, but not everyone agrees with the conclusion. 20 years after the crash, News 12 Long Island went back and interviewed those involved with the case to try and figure out what exactly happened. Tonight the producer behind that report, Brad Trettien, joins us to explain what he and his team uncovered.

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Clip
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 7:30 pm

This morning’s commute took a deadly turn when a New Jersey Transit train failed to reduce speed while entering a major station in Hoboken. At 8:45 a.m., a commuter train went airborne after hitting a bumper block and plowed into a crowded passenger concourse; the force of the crash caused parts of the ceiling to cave in. At least one person standing on the platform was killed by falling debris, and more than 100 people sustained injuries both inside the train and the station. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated that all passengers trapped on the train were safely evacuated earlier today and investigations are ongoing to determine what caused this tragic event. Tonight, MetroFocus is on the scene in Hoboken getting you the latest from the people there and what this might do to transit in New Jersey and New York.

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Episode
September 21, 2016 at 5:30 am

Tonight, who is the Chelsea bomber and did he have help? Yesterday, we followed reports of a shootout between police and Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect taken into custody for the New York and New Jersey bombings that hit both states this past weekend. And although they are scenes of what some are speculating to be acts of terror, New Yorkers remain calm and unfazed. Tonight, we look at new details that have surfaced about Rahami and his family, and how the attacks are making their mark on the election ahead of next week’s first presidential debate.

Next, after four years, $65 billion dollars in damage, and countless relief efforts, the region is still rebuilding the damage Superstorm Sandy left behind in its wake. Families and homeowners are still struggling to piece their lives back together, even after billions of dollars in relief money has been raised. So where did the money go? A new FRONTLINE documentary “Business of Disaster” follows the money trail and reveals who made a small fortune off of others misfortune. Correspondent Laura Sullivan, joins us to discuss the film and who makes their living off of disasters like Sandy.

Next, Wyandanch in the town of Babylon has earned a reputation for being one of the poorest communities on Long Island. Surrounded by some of the most well-to-do areas in the United States, this working class hamlet has struggled with poverty and crime. But that’s all changing. Wyandanch is currently is the middle of a $500 million redevelopment plan, which calls for affordable housing, commercial businesses, infrastructure and transportation improvements. In our continuing series, Chasing the Dream, Long Island Business Report anchor Jim Paymar takes us to this little corner of Suffolk County to tell us what the plan could mean for other struggling communities across our area and across the country.

Finally, back in 1939, Waitstill and Martha Sharp left their children behind in Massachusetts to rescue refugees and dissidents from the Nazis. Over the course of two years, the Sharps would save more than 130 people from the horrors of the Holocaust. Despite their heroics, the Sharps’ story remained largely untold for decades. Now it is coming to light as part of a documentary co-directed by their grandson and the filmmaker Ken Burns. Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War makes its PBS premiere tonight at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN. Ahead of its debut, we sit down with Artemis Joukowsky, the Sharps’ grandson, to talk more about the film and his grandparents.

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September 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Wyandanch in the town of Babylon has earned a reputation for being one of the poorest communities on Long Island. Surrounded by some of the most well-to-do areas in the United States, this working class hamlet has struggled with poverty and crime. But that’s all changing. Wyandanch is currently is the middle of a $500 million redevelopment plan, which calls for affordable housing, commercial businesses, infrastructure and transportation improvements. In our continuing series, Chasing the Dream, Long Island Business Report anchor Jim Paymar takes us to this little corner of Suffolk County to tell us what the plan could mean for other struggling communities across our area and across the country.

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Episode
September 09, 2016 at 5:36 am

Tonight, this November, voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will all decide whether to join ranks with states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington and legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Meanwhile, Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and Missouri will decide whether to legalize the prescription use of the drug for medical purposes. New York passed marijuana-use legislation in 2014 with the Compassionate Care Act, which legalized medical marijuana. One activist at the forefront of marijuana legislation is the former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura. He joins us to discuss his book, Marijuana Manifesto, and makes the case for legalizing cannabis.

Next, as the 15th anniversary of the terrible attack on the World Trade Center quickly approaches, we take a look at the 9/11 Memorial, a steadfast tribute to those killed and the brave men and women who served the city that day. Today, a Freedom Tower now stands as a testament to the resiliency of the city, boasting an expansive view of the island, exhibits that educate attendees about the city as well as the building itself and several options for dining. But one of the building’s most engaging attractions may be one of the city’s least known and most amazing features: an elevator that offers a time lapse view of New York City. Starting at the very beginning of New York’s history in the year 1500, the elevator ride takes us through hundreds of years to the present. Visitors can watch the skyline appear and change as the city grows before their eyes. We discuss the inside story of the elevator with Michael Arad, designer of the 9/11 Memorial, “Reflecting Absence,” and New York Times reporter David Dunlap, who covered this amazing ride through New York’s history.

Then, Gucci is one of the top names in fashion, synonymous with wealth, prestige, and class. Although Gucci won’t be holding a show here in New York during this Fashion Week, we take a moment to remember the visionary who transformed his father’s small Florentine luggage company into a globally known symbol for high fashion. Aldo Gucci, despite his business success, harbored a secret in his personal life: his mistress Bruna Palombo and their love child, Patricia. Patricia Gucci joins us to discuss her book, In the Name of Gucci, a Memoir, where she chronicles the untold love story between her parents and details her own personal relationship with her father.

Finally, where would you go if you wanted to find the greenest block in Brooklyn? Every year the Brooklyn Botanic Garden sets out to settle that question with its “Greenest Block in Brooklyn” competition. This year, out of over 150 entrants, the winner for 2016 is the 300 East 25th Street Block Association in Flatbush. We went to see for ourselves just how green it was and discovered far more than what we expected for this NYC borough.

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September 08, 2016 at 6:28 pm

As the 15th anniversary of the terrible attack on the World Trade Center quickly approaches, we take a look at the 9/11 Memorial, a steadfast tribute to those killed and the brave men and women who served the city that day. Today, a Freedom Tower now stands as a testament to the resiliency of the city, boasting an expansive view of the island, exhibits that educate attendees about the city as well as the building itself and several options for dining. But one of the building’s most engaging attractions may be one of the city’s least known and most amazing features: an elevator that offers a time lapse view of New York City. Starting at the very beginning of New York’s history in the year 1500, the elevator ride takes us through hundreds of years to the present. Visitors can watch the skyline appear and change as the city grows before their eyes. We discuss the inside story of the elevator with Michael Arad, designer of the 9/11 Memorial, “Reflecting Absence,” and New York Times reporter David Dunlap, who covered this amazing ride through New York’s history.

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Episode
September 03, 2016 at 5:52 am

Tonight, rent increases are a fact of life here in New York City but a proposed hike in Queens is being called excessive, even for the world of New York real estate. The landlord in this case is Amtrak, which rents out space owned by the railroad under the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria. A handful of homeowners there have been using the land as their backyards for generations, paying a fee of around $25 every year. Now the railroad wants to raise the rent and not just by a couple hundred dollars. For some, the rent could go up to over $26,000 a year. The railroad says these lease holders have not seen rent hikes in more than 70 years, and they will be paying a fraction of the fair market rental rates. Our guest tonight does not see it that way. Congressman Joe Crowley is the representative for the 14th district, which includes this Queens neighborhood, and he has intervened on behalf of the homeowners. He joins us with an update on the situation.

Next, Billy Crystal continues his conversation with baseball legend Joe Torre and his wife, Ali. After finally opening up about his abusive childhood at the hands of his father, Joe Torre created the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation. The organization focuses on educating kids about the effects of domestic violence and abuse in order to give them hope that they are not alone. In this second installment, Billy, Joe, and Ali reflect back on Joe’s career on and off the field and how the lessons of his past has helped him communicate with his players.

Finally, Tony Danza is perhaps best known for starring in beloved and long-running television shows, Taxi and Who’s the Boss. But his career goes beyond what you might’ve seen on the small screen. Danza not only established himself as a Broadway star in hits like The Producers and A View from the Bridge, but also as a cabaret song and dance man. Tony’s latest cabaret act, Standards & Stories debuted to a sold out audience at the famous Carlyle Hotel in New York City. The show received rave reviews, and he joins us to discuss its success ahead of his performance at Michael Feinstein’s 54 Below on September 8th and 9th.

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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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