MetroFocus: Full Episode

MetroFocus reports on the debate over raising the minimum wage. Rick Karr follows one Bronx woman living on a low wage. Rafael Pi Roman interviews Stephanie Luce, Associate Professor of Labor Studies at CUNY. To begin our Five Borough Ballot reporting project on the mayoral election, editors Jarrett Murphy of City Limits and Morgan Pehme of City & State join Pi Roman to discuss the surprising concerns of people at five unique locations we’ll be revisiting in coming months. NJ Today’s Desiree Taylor covers a wave of New Jersey students spending their spring break helping shore up homes and residents’ spirits after Sandy, while two Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism students track Sandy’s impact on avian wildlife. Finally, The New York Times’ Poh Si Teng takes us to a tiny monastery in upstate New York where some increasingly famous cheesecake is sustaining a dwindling order of nuns.

Watch the individual MetroFocus segments below and stay up to date on MetroFocus news from the New York region on Twitter.

 

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TRANSCRIPT

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> FROM THE WORLD'S LEADING CENTER FOR FINANCE, THE ARTS PUBLISHING, SCIENCE, RESEARCH, MEDIA, INNOVATION AND MUCH MORE, THIS IS ''METROFOCUS'' WIT RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

TONIGHT, IT'S THE MINIMUM BUT IS IT ENOUGH

IT'S AS IF YOU'RE FIGHTIN THE RICH

STEPPING UP TO SHORE UP NEW JERSEY STORM-STRUCK HOMES.

EVERY ONE OF THE KIDS YOU SEE IN THIS ROOM ARE THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY

WHAT THE FUTURE MEANS FOR BIRDS AND BIRD-WATCHERS.

AND HOW CHEESECAKE BECAME RELIGIOUSEXPERIENCE IN NEW YORK

AFTER A YEAR, IT SEEMED LIK IT WAS PRETTY REGULAR WORK, SO WE DECIDED YES, CHEESE CAKES ARE THE WAY.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRILL TISH, CHERYL AND PHILLIP MILL STEIN AND FAMILY.

JODY AROUND HOLD BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ THE NISSAN FOUNDATION AND TH FORD FOUNDATION, WORKING WIT VISIONARIES ON THE FRONT LINES OF CHANGE WORLDWIDE.

CORPORATE FUNDING FO ''METROFOCUS'' IS PROVIDED B MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOU RETIREMENT COMPANY

> HELLO, I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN WELCOME TO ''METROFOCUS''. IT'S THE MINIMUM AMOUNT YOU CA BE PAID, $7.25 AN HOUR BUT IS IT ENOUGH, AND IF I ISN'T, HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?

RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE IS ON THE BALLOT IN NEW JERSEY NEX NOVEMBER PRESIDENT OBAMA WANTS TH FEDERAL RATE TO GO UP FROM $7.25 TO $9.

IN NEW YORK, LEGISLATORS PLAN TO PHASE IN AN INCREASE STARTIN NEXT YEAR, GOING FROM TH CURRENT $7.25 TO $8 IN 2014.

$8.75 IN 2015.

AND $9 AN HOUR IN 2016 BUT IN NEW YORK CITY, TH MINIMUM DOESN'T EQUAL WHAT A MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY ANALYSIS CONSIDERS LIVING WAGE.

THAT STUDY FOUND A SINGLE ADUL NEEDS TO MAKE $12.75 AN HOUR AND A FAMILY OF FOUR NEEDS AT LEAS $22.32AN HOUR BASED ON THE COS BASED ON THE COST OF LIVING.

RICK KARR BEGINS REPORTIN FROM THE BRONX HE'LL LOOK AT WHAT IT'S LIKE T LIVE IN A LOW WAGE IN NEW YORK CITY

Reporter: SATURDAY MORNING IN THE SOUND VIEW NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE BRONX, AND ON THE 12th FLOOR OF ONE OF THE AREA'S HIGH-RISES, LINDA ARCHER IS GETTING READY TO HEAD TO WORK

OKAY.

SEE YOU LATER.

Reporter: SHE LIVES IN HE ELDERLY MOTHER'S APARTMENT ARCHER'S 60 YEARS OLD WITH A COUPLE YEARS OF COLLEGE CREDIT AND TWO OR THREE DAYS A WEEK SHE HEADS TO A McDONALD'S IN MIDTOWN MANHATTAN FOR A JOB THAT PAYS $8.05 AN HOUR 80 CENTS MORE THAN THE MINIMUM WAGE

FOR ME, IT DOESN'T GO FAR A ALL.

BECAUSE I HAVE MY -- I HELP OU WITH -- TO MY MOM, WHICHEVER I CAN.

I HAVE TO PAY MY STUDENT LOAN.

AND I HAVE, YOU KNOW, A PERSONAL UTILITY BILLS TO PAY, AS WELL.

I LIVE FROM PAYCHECK T PAYCHECK IT TAKES ME THREE PAYCHECKS TO PAY OFF MY BILLS FOR THE MONTH AND ONE PAYCHECK FOR PERSONAL.

Reporter: ARCHER IS ELIGIBL FOR ASSISTANCE FROM THE STATE, BUT SHE DOESN'T TAKE IT.

SHE CHOOSES TO LIVE WITH HER MOTHER SO SHE CAN HELP TAKE CARE OF HER SHE WOULD RATHER WORK CLOSER T HOME AND AVOID HER HOUR-LONG COMMUTE.

BUT THE BRONX HAS NEW YORK STATE'S HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 13.4% IN JANUARY AND ARCHER HASN'T HAD AN SUCCESS WITH EMPLOYERS IN HE NEIGHBORHOOD

YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE SO MAN PEOPLE IN THIS AREA THAT NEE JOBS SO THE COMPETITION IS REALLY LONG WHEN THEY ARE HIRING, THE LINE ARE DOWN THE BLOCK, AROUND THE CORNER

Reporter: WOW

THAT TELLS YOU HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE REALLY OUT OF WORK.

Reporter: A 35-HOUR-A WEE JOB AT MINIMUM WAGE WHICH TH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS FULL TIME PAYS JUST OVER $13,000 A YEAR TAX CREDITS CAN BRING THAT CLOSE TO $14,000 AND NUTRITION ASSISTANCE BENEFITS CAN BE WORTH AN ADDITIONAL $1,900.

A WORKER EARNING THAT SALARY WOULD ALSO BE ELIGIBLE FOR VARIOUS HOUSING AND HEALTH CAR BENEFITS WHILE LOW WAGE WORKERS SAY A BOOST TO THE MINIMUM WAGE WOUL HELP THEM, OPPONENTS OF RAISIN THE WAGE SAY IT COULD HAVE THE OPPOSITE EFFECT.

BECAUSE IT WILL SQUEEZE TH BOTTOM LINE FOR EMPLOYERS.

WHAT IT MIGHT MEAN IS THE DON'T CREATE NEW JOBS, OR IT MIGHT MEAN THEY CUT HOURS FO THE LOWEST-WAGE WORKERS.

OR IT COULD TRANSLATE INTO HIGHER COSTS FOR THE CONSUMER.

Reporter: HEATHER BRISHETTI REPRESENTS FIRMS WIT 1.5 MILLION EMPLOYEES STATEWID AND OPPOSES RAISING THE MINIMU WAGE, BECAUSE IT WOULD INCREAS THE COST OF A FULL-TIME MINIMU WAGE EMPLOYEE BY 24% THE COUNCIL SAYS THAT'S LIKELY TO BE HARDEST ON UPSTATE EMPLOYERS.

ESPECIALLY SMALL BUSINESSES.

BRISHETTI SAYS IF LEGISLATOR WANT TO HELP WORKERS WITHOUT HURTING EMPLOYERS, THEY SHOULD RELY ON THE STATE'S TAX CODE INSTEAD OF ITS MINIMUM WAGE.

NEW YORK HASN'T EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT THAT BASICALLY PERMITS LOW-WAG EARNERS TO GET MORE BACK IN TAX CREDIT THAN THEY ACTUALL PAY IN AND THE NET RESULT IS AN EFFECTIVE MINIMUM WAGE CURRENTLY OF OVER $10 AN HOUR IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK.

Reporter: BUT IN NEW YORK CITY, WITH ITS HIGH COST O LIVING, EVEN $10 AN HOUR ISN'T A LIVING WAGE.

LINDA ARCHER SAYS SHE THINKS SHE IS WORTH MORE THAN ANYONE IS CONSIDERING IN ALBANY OR WASHINGTON

I'M HOPEFUL THAT IT CAN CHANGE BUT IT'S HARD.

YOU KNOW IT'S AS IF YOU'RE FIGHTING THE RICH BUT I KNOW THE WORKER WOULD UNITE TOGETHER, AS WELL AS THE COMMUNITY, THIS CAN HAPPEN

THE OWNER OF THE McDONALD'S FRANCHISE SAID IN A STATEMENT HE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDIN EMPLOYEES WITH COMPETITIVE WAGES AND FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES, AN CANNOT SPEAK TO THE LARGER INDUSTRY OR POTENTIAL RISE O MINIMUM WAGE LINDA ARCHER SAYS SHE AND HE COLLEAGUES WOULD BE HAPPY WITH ANY RAISE, BUT THEY'LL KEE PUSHING FOR A LIVING WAGE.

FOR ''METROFOCUS'', I'M RICK KARR IN MIDTOWN MANHATTAN.

JOINING ME NOW IS STEPHANIE LUCE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF LABOR STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSIT OF NEW YORK'S JOSEPH F. MURPHY INSTITUTE FOR WORKER EDUCATION

THANK YOU SO MUCH

PROFESSOR LINDA, WE JUST MET.

IS SHE TYPICAL SHE MAKES A LITTLE MORE THAN THE MINIMUM WAGE IS SHE TYPICAL OF THE PERSON WHO MAKES AROUND MINIMUM WAGE, OR IS THAT A TEENAGER STARTING OUT I THE WORK FORCE

YEAH.

MANY OF US THINK TEENAGERS ARE THE MAIN MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS, BUT THEY'RE 35 YEARS OLD WORKING FULL TIME AN CONTRIBUTING ABOUT HALF THEI FAMILY'S INCOME.

SO MORE AND MORE WE'RE SEEIN THAT THE LOW-WAGE WORKERS AR ACTUALLY IN THIS LOW-WAGE CAREER PATH FOR LIFE.

NOW, WHETHER YOU'RE YOUNG O OLD, MINIMUM WAGE EARNER, TH FACT IS, IN THIS COUNTRY YOU DON'T STAY AT MINIMUM WAGE EARNER FOR LONG, RIGHT I MEAN, I'VE READ STUDIES THAT SAYS WITHIN THE YEAR YOU GET A LEAST ONE RAISE.

RIGHT WE DO SEE THAT WORKERS GET RAISES THEY'LL GO FROM $7.25 TO $7.75 MAYBE UP TO $8 AN HOUR BUT WE SEE AFTER FIVE YEARS, THEY MIGHT BE UP TO $9 AN HOUR THEY ARE GETTING RAISES, BUT NOT MOVING INTO LIVING WAGE JOBS AND THAT'S ONE OF THE REAL PROBLEMS.

AND WHY IS THAT WHAT'S STOPPING THEM FROM MOVING INTO LIVING WAGE JOBS?

WELL, PARTLY THE JOBS JUS AREN'T THERE SIX OUT OF TEN NEW JOBS CREATE IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY PAY MINIMUM WAGE OR CLOSE TO MINIMUM WAGE AND SO WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT AN UNDEREMPLOYMENT AND THEN THE JOBS OUT THERE, THERE'S JUST TREMENDOUS COMPETITION FOR ANY LIVING WAGE JOBS THAT EXIST.

BUT THERE ARE SOME GROUPS THAT SEEM TO BE BREAKIN THROUGH.

A LOT OF STUDIES I READ, ASIAN-AMERICANS, FOR EXAMPLE ARE RELATIVELY MUCH MORE SUCCESSFUL AND MOVING FROM POVERTY TO THE MIDDLE CLASS.

WHAT ARE THEY DOING?

WHAT'S THEIR SECRET?

WELL, THERE'S STILL A TREMENDOUS VARIATION WITHIN TH ASIAN WORKER COMMUNITY SO IT'S HARD TO CHARACTERIZE YOU KNOW, REALLY GENERALIZ ACROSS THE BOARD BUT REALLY WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS, THOSE WORKERS THAT EARN MINIMU WAGE AND THEN MOVE TO A HIGHER WAGE CATEGORY GENERALLY AR MAKING A COMPLETE BREAK TO A NEW CAREER SO TRUE, WE STILL HAVE TEENAGERS THAT WILL DO MINIMUM WAGE WORK WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL BUT THE THEY GO TO COLLEGE, GET DEGREE, MOVE INTO AN ENTIREL DIFFERENT CAREER IT'S RARE TO MOVE WITHIN THE SAME OCCUPATION FROM MINIMUM WAGE

AND WHAT ABOUT THE ARGUMENT THAT WE HEARD IN THE PIECE AND THAT WE HEAR FROM BUSINESS REPRESENTATIVES A LOT, WHICH I IF YOU RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE, WELL, AUTOMATICALLY IT'S GOING TO FORCE EMPLOYERS TO CUT HOUR OR NOT TO CREATE NEW JOBS, OR TO PASS ON THE COST TO CONSUMERS IF THEY CAN DOES THAT MAKE SENSE

WELL, IT SEEMS TO MAKE SENSE.

THAT'S WHAT I WAS TAUGHT I ECONOMICS.

AND THAT'S WHAT ECONOMISTS BELIEVED FOR QUITE A WHILE AND THEN WE STARTED TO DO ACTUAL STUDIES COMPARING WHAT HAPPENED, SUCH AS ON THE BORDER OF NEW JERSEY AND PENNSYLVANIA, COMPARING FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS.

AND WE'RE FINDING IT DOESN'T LEAD TO CUTTING JOBS, DOESN' LEAD TO CUTTING HOURS AND EVEN IF IT LEADS TO HIGHER PRICES IT'S -- AS A MATTER OF ONE CEN PER HAMBURGER, SOMETHING OF THIS NATURE WHERE CONSUMERS AREN' REALLY FEELING IT.

SO IT'S BEEN A SHOCK, YOU KNOW A SURPRISE TO ECONOMISTS WHO DIDN'T EXPECT TO FIND THIS BUT THIS IS WHAT WE'RE FINDING AND PART BECAUSE THE MINIMUM WAGE IS JUST SO LOW.

THERE'S A LOT OF ROOM TO GROW.

BUT THE BUSINES REPRESENTATIVE IN THE PIECE SAID THAT IT WOULD FORCE BUSINESSES NOT TO CREATE JOBS HOW DO YOU MEASURE JOBS THAT WEREN'T CREATED?

CAN YOU DO THAT?

WELL, THE OTHER SIDE IS LOOKING AT WHAT WE THINK -- WE HAVE SEEN IN THE PAST WHEN THE MINIMUM WAGE GOES UP AND THE INCREASED EARNING POWER OF LOW-WAGE WORKERS SO LOW-WAGE WORKERS SPEND THEI MONEY LOCALLY, THEY CREATE JOBS.

SOME ESTIMATES SUGGEST THAT IF WE RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $10 AN HOUR, IT WOULD CREATE 140,000 NEW JOBS

SO FINALLY, WHAT SHOULD ELECTED OFFICIALS BE LOOKING A WHEN THEY'RE MAKING A DECISION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO RAIS THE MINIMUM WAGE

I THINK THAT THEY SHOUL CONSIDER THAT THE LAST 30 YEARS, POLICY OF KEEPING WAGES LO HASN'T WORKED FOR GENERATING JOBS AND WEALTH FOR THE BOTTOM HALF OF OUR ECONOMY.

I THINK THEY NEED TO THINK ABOUT HOW DO WE GET MONEY INTO THOSE PEOPLE THAT WILL SPEND IT, HOW DO WE DECREASE DEBT AMONG TH LOW-WAGE EARNERS AND HOW DO WE RAISE THE FLOOR ACROSS THE BOARD FOR THE ENTIRE ECONOMY

ALL RIGHT, PROFESSOR, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

SURE, THANK YOU

> NEW YORK CITY ELECTS A NEW MAYOR THIS YEAR AND TO DAT THERE ARE MORE THAN A DOZE DECLARED CANDIDATES.

SOME BIG NAMES IN THE RACE INCLUDING FORMER CHIEF JOE LOADA, JOHN LEW, BILL DEBLASIO AND CHRISTINE QUINN.

WE ARE STARTING OUR OW REPORTING AS PART OF A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NEWSPAPER CITY AND STATE AND THE INVESTIGATIVE NEWS ORGANIZATION, CITY LIMITS.

WE CALL THE PROJECT 'THE FIV BOROUGH BALLOT.'

JOINING ME NOW ARE JARRETT MURPHY, EDITOR OF 'CITY LIMITS AND ERIC PEKNA

THANKS FOR HAVING US.

WHAT IS THE PROJECT

THE 2013 RACE IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT WE ALSO KNOW THE MEDIA ARE GOING TO COVER WHAT THE CANDIDATES AND CAMPAIGNS ARE DOING, SPEECHE THEY'RE MAKING, COMMERCIAL THEY'RE RUNNING, STRATEGY, FUND-RAISING THOSE ARE IMPORTANT.

BUT ALSO IMPORTANT ARE WHA PEOPLE IN NEIGHBORHOODS THIN ABOUT THE CITY AND THE DIRECTION IT'S HEADING WHAT ISSUES MATTER TO THEM WHAT PARTS OF THE CAMPAIGN ARE CONNECTING THE PURPOSE OF FIVE BOROUG BALLOT IS REALLY TO GO INTO FIVE DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOODS IN THE CITY OF FIVE LOCATIONS WHERE NEW YORKERS GATHER AND FIND OUT WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT THE RACE AN WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT THE CITY BECAUSE MORE IMPORTANT, REALLY THAN WHO WINS THE ELECTION THI YEAR IS THIS QUESTION OF ARE NEW YORKERS ENGAGED IN THEIR CITY, ARE THEY ENGAGED IN THEI GOVERNMENT, AND WE FEEL THIS PARTNERSHIP OF CITY AND STAT AND CHANNEL 13 WILL HELP US TO TRY TO ANSWER THAT

AND MORGAN, WHAT ARE YO FINDING?

ARE THEY ENGAGED DO THEY ALREADY KNOW MORE OR LESS WHO IS RUNNING OR WHO I LIKELY TO RUN?

WELL, ANOTHER ASPECT OF THI SERIES WAS TO SEE IF THE WORD ON THE STREET WAS REALLY JIVING WITH WHAT WE READ IN THE MEDIA ABOUT THE COVERAGE OF THE RACE THE POLLING AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.

AND SO IT'S BEEN VER ILLUMINATING TO SEE WHAT NEW YORKERS ARE REALLY THINKIN ABOUT IN TERMS OF THE RACE FOR INSTANCE, THE MEDIA IS S IMMERSED IN THE MAYORAL ELECTION AND WE GET CAUGHT IN THIS BUBBLE AND THINKING, WOW, EVERYONE MUST BE AS EXCITED AS WE ARE.

BUT WE FOUND THAT FOR THE MOST PART, NEW YORKERS AREN'T REALL FOCUSED ON THE CITYWID ELECTIONS YET.

AND ONLY FORM SOME PRETT SUPERFICIAL PERSPECTIVES ON TH CANDIDATES

SO WHAT ARE THEY TALKIN ABOUT, IF NOT THE CANDIDATES WHAT ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT, FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE BRONX?

IN THE BRONX, WE'RE LOOKING AT THE NEIGHBORHOOD, FOCUSED O A RESTAURANT, WHICH IS A LATIN RESTAURANT CRIME IS A BIG ISSUE THERE PEOPLE ARE STILL AFRAID OF CRIME.

THEY ACKNOWLEDGE IT'S BETTER THAN IT USED TO BE BUT THE CONCERN IS STILL THERE AND PEOPLE HAVE, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF VARYING OPINIONS ON HOW POLICING HAS BEEN OVER THE PAS FEW YEARS.

PEOPLE WHO LIKE STOP AND FRISK PEOPLE WHO DON'T BUT OVERALL CONCERN ABOUT CRIM AND DISORDER AND THAT'S ALSO SOMETHING WE HAVE SEEN IN OUR BROOKLYN SITE IN THE VAN DIKE HOUSING PROJEC IN BROWNSVILLE PEOPLE VERY CONCERNED ABOU TEENAGERS, WHO THEY DON' UNDERSTAND, A LITTLE BIT O AFRAID OF, QUESTIONING WHETHER THEY'RE BEING INVOLVED IN CRIME.

AND IF NOT, WHAT ARE THE GETTING INVOLVED IN, AND WHA SHOULD THEY BE INVOLVED IN THOSE ISSUES TEND TO KIND OF LINK THE NEIGHBORHOODS WE HAVE SEEN IN BRONX AND BROOKLYN

MORGAN, OVERALL, DO YOU FIN THAT NEW YORKERS TEND TO AGREE ON THE ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT, OR DO THEY DIFFER DEPENDING ON THE LOCATION WHER THEY LIVE?

CERTAINLY, THEY DIFFER, DEPENDING WHERE THEY LIVE.

THE ONE COMMON THROUGH LINE WE HAVE SEEN THROUGHOUT THE FIV LOCATIONS IS THE DESIRE TO MOV PAST MAYOR BLOOMBERG THERE'S CERTAINLY A LOT OF - STRONG FEELINGS ABOUT THE MAYO AFTER 12 YEARS I THINK EVERYONE IS READY TO TURN THE PAGE.

IN THE OTHER THREE LOCATIONS THAT WE FOCUSED ON, WHICH IS ONE BLOCK IN BAYSIDE QUEENS, SUBURBAN ROW HOUSES, SPORTS BA CALLED Ws AND A DELI ON TH UPPER WEST SIDE CALLED ARDIE'S THERE THE COMMON THREAD IS PEOPLE'S CONCERN ABOUT THE ECONOMIC FUTURE OF THE CITY AN WHETHER PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE PRICED OUT OF THEI NEIGHBORHOODS OR SMALL BUSINESSES ARE GOING TO BE PRICED OUT OF THEIR AREA SO DEFINITELY A LOT OF APPREHENSION ABOUT WHAT IS GOING TO COME ECONOMICALLY

AND TELL US MORE ABOUT MAN AT AN

WELL, THE SITE WE SPOKE -- WE CHOSE IN MANHATTAN IS TRADITIONAL JEWISH DELI ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE, VERY MUCH THE NEIGHBORHOOD PLACE WHERE PEOPL CONGREGATE ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY MORNING'S AND PART OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD DIALOGUE.

AND REGARDLESS OF THE ECONOMIC LEVEL OF THE PATRONS, EVERYONE FEELS THAT THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS GETTING PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE, AND THAT IT'S MOSTLY PEOPLE FROM OUTSIDE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD WH ARE MOVING IN THERE AND DRIVIN UP THE PRICES OF RENT.

SO THE BUSINESS OWNERS AND THE RESIDENTS ALIKE ARE VERY CONCERNED THEY WON'T BE ABLE T LIVE ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE IN THE FUTURE

AND JARRETT, ANYTHING THA HAS SURPRISED YOU SO FAR

I THINK THE LEVEL OF DISLIK OF MAYER BLOOMBERG HAS SURPRISED ME A LITTLE BIT.

AND THE FACT THAT STOP AND FRISK THAT WE TALK ABOUT A LOT IN TH MEDIA, THE WAY IT PLAYS IN THESE NEIGHBORHOODS IS VERY DIFFEREN THAN WHAT WE EXPECT.

PEOPLE WHO LIKE IT, PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE IT BUT IF THEY DISLIKE IT, IT'S INEFFECTIVENESS IN THIS FIGHTING CRIME THAN ABOUT A CIVIL LIBERTIES OBJECTION.

SO THAT'S ONE BIG SURPRISE FOR ME

ALL RIGHT, GUYS WE'LL BE TALKING AGAIN THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING.

THANK YOU

> SPRING BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN NATURE, AND SOMETIMES I PEOPLE AS WELL NJ TODAY'S DESIREE TAYLO REPORTS FROM TOMS RIVER TOWNSHIP ABOUT A SPRING BREAK PROGRAM BRINGING TEARS TO THE EYES O THOSE STILL STRUGGLING T RECOVER FROM SUPERSTORM SANDY.

Reporter: GUTTING HOMES MOST COLLEGE STUDENTS DON'T DO THIS DURING THEIR SPRING BREAK BUT AFTER HEARING ABOUT TH DEVASTATION SUPERSTORM SANDY CAUSED ON THE JERSEY SHORE THESE STUDENTS FELT COMPELLED TO COME HERE AND HELP

LAST NIGHT WE CLEANED UP PARKING LOT AND FIRST HALF OF HOME, AND THEN TODAY WE AR GUTTING A HOUSE.

IT'S JUST REALLY EYE-OPENIN TO SEE THAT NATURE COULD DO SUCH DAMAGE AND CAUSE SUCH TRAVESTY IN A SMALL TOWN LIKE THIS.

BUT I HAVE TO TELL YOU, BEIN OUT HERE HELPING IS JUST THE MOST BENEFICIAL THING TO ME, YOU KNOW, FOR YOUR SOUL.

Reporter: THESE ARE AMONG THE HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO ARE COMING T THE JERSEY SHORE TO WORK THE NEXT COUPLE WEEKS.

THESE SO-CALLED ALTERNATIV SPRING BREAKS ARE ORGANIZED BY A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT GROUPS, FROM COMMUNITY COLLABORATION INTERNATIONAL AND THE UNITED WAY.

WE'RE MAKING SOME IMPAC HERE, THERE WILL BE STUDENTS HERE THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.

WEIL WE'VE BEEN SORT OF AT THE CENTER OF THIS, AND HAPPY TO GIVE STUDENTS THIS OPPORTUNITY

Reporter: UNITED WAY IS COVERING THE COST OF THE SUPPLIES, BUT THESE STUDENTS PAY FOR ROOM AND BOARD FOR THE WEEK.

MEANWHILE, A DIFFERENT GROUP O STUDENTS IS WORKING AT A NEARB FIREHOUSE, WHICH SUSTAINED MOR THAN $100,000 IN DAMAGES

WE'RE ONLY HERE FOR A WEEK, AND THEY DO THIS EVERY DAY O THEIR LIFE SO I'M SO HAPPY TO BE ABLE T HELP THEM TOO, BECAUSE THIS IS THEIR HOME

EVERY ONE OF THESE KIDS YOU SEE IN THIS ROOM ARE THINGS THAT ARE GOOD IN THIS COUNTRY THAT'S EVEN THE HEART OF THE VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY WE'RE HERE 24/7.

IT'S JUST A GREAT FEELING WHEN WE SEE OTHER PEOPLE THAT HAV THAT SPIRIT LIKE WE DO

Reporter: LIKE MANY SANDY SURVIVORS, THESE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS ARE DETERMINED TO SEE THEIR FIREHOUSE REBUILT, BUT RACHELLE DAVERN SAYS THAT'S NO AN OPTION FOR HER MOM, WHO HAS OWNED THIS HOME FOR DECADES.

SHE'S 92.

SHE'LL BE 93 ON THE 23rd AND SHE LIVES ON NOTHING BUT SOCIAL SECURITY.

AND WE HAVE TO PUT IT ON THE MARKET, BECAUSE EVEN IF SOMEBODY DID ALL THE WORK FOR FREE, SHE WOULDN'T BE BE ABLE TO AFFOR THE INSURANCE ANYMORE.

Reporter: DESPITE THE FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL TOLL THIS STORM HAS CAUSED, DAVER SAYS SHE IS OVERWHELMED BY THE HARD WORK AND GENEROSITY O THESE STUDENTS

IT MEANS EVERYTHING

Reporter: DAVERN BELIEVES IT'S GRASS ROOTS EFFORTS LIK THIS ONE THAT WILL HELP THIS COMMUNITY AND OTHERS HIT HARD BY SUPERSTORM SANDY REBUILD AND RECOVER.

FOR 'NJ TODAY' I'M DID HE SA ROY TAYLOR IN TO HIM'S TOWNSHIP.

STORMS LIKE SANDY DO DAMAGE TO EVERY ELEMENT OF OU ENVIRONMENT.

JOURNALISM STUDENTS FOUND BIRD AND BIRD-WATCHERS CAUGHT UP IN THE STORM.

MONTHS LATER, THE WATCHERS ARE STILL WONDERING WHAT MOR FREQUENT STORMS ARE LIKELY T MEAN FOR THEIR BELOVED BIRDS ♪♪

IT'S LIKE UNREQUITED LOVE YOU CAN LOOK AT A BIRD AND B CAPTIVATED AND THE BIRD IS LIKE WHAT DO YOU WANT IS

Reporter: DEBORAH ALLEN LOVES BIRDS.

SHE DEVOTES EVERY WEEKEND TO LOOKING FOR THEM WHEN ALLEN SEES AN UNUSUAL BIRD, SHE QUICKLY SCRIBBLES ITS NAME ON TO HER LIST

A LIST.

YOU KEEP TRACK OF ALL OF THE BIRDS YOU'VE SEEN IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFETIME

Reporter: ROBERT PAXTON HAS BEEN BIRD-WATCHING SINCE HE WA 9 YEARS OLD.

70 YEARS LATER, HIS LIST BOAST ONE-THIRD OF THE 9,300 DIFFERENT SPECIES IN THE WORLD

WITHIN THE BIRD-WATCHIN COMMUNITY, YOU GET PRESTIGE IF YOU'RE REALLY GOOD AT THIS YOU HEAR ONE PEEP OR SEE JUST GLIMPSE, AND YOU KNOW WHAT I IS

Reporter: BIRD-WATCHING I ABOUT PATIENCE, WAITING FOR AN EVENT THAT BRINGS A RARE BIR SIGHTING

HURRICANE IRENE IS MOVING IN, AND PEOPLE ALONG THE EAST COAS ARE MOVING OUT

HURRICANE SANDY THREATENING A MASSIVE STRETCH OF THE U.S. FROM VIRGINIA TO NEW ENGLAND.

Reporter: WHEN A HURRICAN SPIRALS UP THE ATLANTI COASTLINE, IT MOVES TROPICAL BIRDS FROM THEIR HOMES AND DROPS THEM WHEREVER THE STOR DISSIPATES THE RECENT HURRICANE CAUSED BIRD-WATCHING FRENZY FOR THESE BIRDERS AMONG THE HUDSON RIVER

WE'RE LOOKING FOR A RARE BY REASON OF THAT HAS BEEN BLOW OFF COURSE

THERE IS A LIMITED WINDOW AFTER A BIG STORM HAS PASSED WHERE BIRDS WHO ARE WHERE THEY WOULDN'T ORDINARILY BE CAN B FOUND.

SOME OF MY FRIENDS HAVE HIDDEN OUT NEAR THE BEACH AND SO FORTH AND FOUND DEVIOUS WAYS T BE ON THE BEACH.

Reporter: WHEN TROPICAL BIRDS ARE SWEPT INLAND, THE LUCKY ONES RECOUP BEFORE RETURNING SOUTH.

BUT A FEW UNLUCKY BIRDS WIND U HERE IN THE NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM'S BIRD ARCHIVE, THE LARGES COLLECTION IN THE WORLD.

PAUL SWEET IS THE MAN WH COLLECTS AND PRESERVES THEM.

SOME TROPIC BIRDS THAT CAME IN AFTER IRENE THESE ARE BIRDS THAT PROBABL BRED IN BERMUDA.

Reporter: BUT IT'S DIFFICUL TO TELL HOW MANY BIRDS ARE BLOWN INLAND

DURING HURRICANE SANDY, W DID EXPERIENCE SOME SEA BIRDS IN UNUSUAL PLACES, BUT NOT TO THE SAME EXTENT WE DID WITH IRENE.

Reporter: MORE FREQUENT AND SEVERE STORMS PROMISE RARE BIR SIGHTINGS, BUT NOT WITHOUT A COST

MAINLY MOVEMENTS OF BIRDS COULD GET CAUGHT UP AND NOT INTO THE SHORE AND FORCED INT OCEANS

Reporter: ANDREW FARNSWORTH STUDIES MIGRATING BIRDS.

HE'S UNSURE WHAT THE INCREASE OF HURRICANES MEANS FOR THE FUTURE.

THERE'S A QUESTION EXACTL WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN HARD TO SAY.

I THINK, UNFORTUNATELY, WE'R GOING TO FIND OUT.

Reporter: FOR NOW, BIRD WATCHERS SIMPLY ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF THE STORM, AND THEY'L CONTINUE TO BRAVE THE DOWNPOUR COME HEAVEN OR HIGH WATER.

FROM COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SALEMA CAROMA FO ''METROFOCUS''

> WHAT MAKES A CHEESECAKE NO LIKE ANY OTHER CHEESECAKE?

NEW YORKERS HAVE AS MANY OPINIONS ABOUT THAT AS FLAVORS BUT FOR THE NUNS OF A TINY MONASTERY, CHEESECAKE IS MOR THAN DESSERT IT'S THE FOUNDATION FOR SELF-SUPPORTING LIFE OF FAITH.

'NEW YORK TIMES' VIDEO JOURNALIST POH SI TENG INTRODUCES US TO THE EASTERN ORTHODOX NUNS WHO FIND A DIREC CONNECTION BETWEEN THEIR DAILY PRAYERS AND DAILY BAKING ♪♪

I'M SISTER CECILIA.

I'M A NUN, LOCATED IN CAMBRIDGE, NEW YORK WE HAVE BEEN HERE SINCE 1969 ALTHOUGH THE MONASTERY WAS BUILT IN 1971, IS WHEN WE MOVED UP HERE WHEN WE GOT HERE, WE WERE TRYING TO FIND A WORK THAT WE COULD SUPPORT OURSELVES WITH ONE OF THE SISTERS WHO JOINED US SUGGESTED PERHAPS SHE COULD MAKE APPLE PIES AND CHEESECAKE FO SUPPLYING THE RESTAURANTS IN THE AREA AND SO WE SAID WE'LL TR IT AFTER A YEAR, IT SEEMED LIKE I WAS PRETTY REGULAR WORK.

SO WE DECIDED, YES CHEESECAKES ARE THE WAY.

SOMETHING WE CAN DO THAT IS NOT SO TIME CONSUMING THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO REFLECT, AN YOU KNOW, LIVE THE REST OF YOU LIFE IT REQUIRES YOU TO KEEP ACTIVE AND FOR ME MANAGING IT I HAVE A LOT OF FIGURING AND PLANNING AND STUFF TO DO

THIS YOU DON'T NEED

SINCE I'M 80 YEARS OLD, I'M AMAZED I CAN STILL DO IT BUT I REALLY ENJOY DOING IT.

IN FACT, I'M DOING CHEESECAK WORK -- I THINK MANY OF TH SISTERS HAVE FOUND -- YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN I THERE THREE HOURS WORKING AN YOU HAVE 200 CAKES MADE.

THERE'S A RELATIONSHI BETWEEN THE ACTUAL MAKING OF THE CHEESECAKE AND THE CONCENTRATION AND MEDITATION BEING PRESENT IN THE NOW AND DOING THE MIXING I LIKE TO WALK AROUND IN A CIRCLE, WHETHER OR NOT TO GO FORWARD, PUSH, DON'T PUSH TO HARD IT'S NOT GOOD FOR THE MACHINE.

AND IT'S NOT GOOD FOR MY ARM, MY SHOULDER THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS RETIRING

IN THE PAST, FOR THE MOST PART OF THE TIME LIVING HERE THERE WERE AT LEAST 12 NUN LIVING HERE.

SO TO BE DOWN TO ONLY FIVE PEOPLE IS REALLY A CHANGE.

THAT'S THE REASON WHY WE HIR PEOPLE SO THEY WOULDN'T HAVE T DO QUITE AS MUCH [ PRAYING

I'VE WORRIED A LOT WHEN I WAS MUCH YOUNGER BUT WE'VE ALWAYS MANAGED TO COME THROUGH AND SEEMINGLY WE ARE PROVIDED FOR

ALL RIGHT

LOOK AT THAT.

MMMM.

AND THAT'S IT FOR THI EDITION OF ''METROFOCUS''. I HOPE YOU'LL VISIT OUR WEBSITE, METROFOCUS.ORG I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

FUNDING MADE POSSIBLE B JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOL BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ THE NISSAN FOUNDATION AND TH FORD FOUNDATION.

WORKING WITH VISIONARIES ON TH FRONT LINES OF SOCIAL CHANGE WORLDWIDE.

CORPORATE FUNDING FO ''METROFOCUS'' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOU RETIREMENT COMPANY

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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