MetroFocus Preview Oct. 10: Casinos in NY, Merck Layoffs in NJ, Jack Hidary

October 04, 2013 at 10:29 am

The next edition of MetroFocus features an in-depth analysis of this November’s controversial ballot measure to allow new casinos to be built in upstate New York.  Albany public television and Times Union state editor Casey Seiler talks to supporters and opponents and shows us where the proposed casinos would bring new jobs.

Host Rafael Pi Roman follows up with an interview with The New York Times reporter Charles Bagli who has been covering the gaming industry as it expands to racetracks and beyond across the region. Bagli tells Pi Roman, “I think what we’re looking at is the result of creeping incrementalism of gambling. You know, it used to only be in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Then we had the lottery, then we had racetrack gambling and you’re seeing such a proliferation particularly in the northeast where you’ve had casinos spring up not only in New York but also in Connecticut, in Pennsylvania, Maryland, on every flank. And so we’ve sort of gone from destination gambling to convenience gambling.”

There’s not-so-good job news in New Jersey.  NJ Today’s Desirée Taylor reports on more layoffs at the pharmaceutical giant Merck.

Who’s Jack Hidary? The former tech company CEO and education reform advocate hopes you’ll know he’s running for mayor by the time election day arrives.  Hidary tells Pi Roman he wants to focus on business development in the boroughs beyond Manhattan and on education, “We have to move away from over-testing. There’s so much focus right now in our school system on memorization and testing, that’s not really helping our kids.”

And why were Alec Baldwin, filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen and composer Carter Burwell on stage talking to neuroscientist Aniruddh Patel?  The answer is in MetroFocus’ Listening In segment where you’ll get a look at the World Science Festival’s recent event, co-sponsored with the New York Philharmonic called, “The Art of the Score: The Mind, Music and Moving Images.”