METROFOCUS: AUGUST 22, 2019

Residents living near JFK and LaGuardia airports are concerned that the constant noise from planes flying over their homes is having potentially damaging effects on their health. Tonight, meet the Long Island legislator who’s seeking out answers and options. Will taking opioid dependent prisoners into the great outdoors be a way to a road to recovery? The legendary musician takes us inside his amazing career and his work fostering education in the arts.

Aired on June 17, 2019 and August 22, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS.'

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

THAT'S WHAT SOME RESIDENTS NEAR JFK AND LAGUARDIA AIRPORTS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE CONSTANT NOISE FROM PLANES FLYING OVER THEIR HOMES AND ITS POTENTIAL EFFECTS ON THEIR HEALTH.

IN A MOMENT MEET THE LONG ISLAND LEGISLATOR WHO IS TRYING TO GET SOME ANSWERS AND CHANGE THE PATTERN.

> A NEW PROGRAM FOR THOSE INCARCERATED AND ADDICTED TO OPIOIDS TAKES PRISONERS FROM BEHIND BARS TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS.

WE'LL JOIN THEM.

AND THE LEGENDARY HERB ALPERT SHOWS HOW HE'S GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY BY FOSTERING EDUCATION AND THE ARTS.

THAT AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪ ♪ ♪

THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI. ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRILL TISCH.

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARZ.

ROSALIND P. WALTER.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY --

CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL PI RAMON.

RESIDENTS HAVE HAD ENOUGH FROM THE LOUD NOISE OF PLANES CONSTANTLY FLYING OVER THEIR HOMES.

THAT ACCORDING TO A PAIR OF STATE LAWMAKERS WHO SAY THEIR OFFICES HAVE BEEN FLOODED WITH COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE NOISE AND HAVE INTRODUCED A BILL IN THE STATE LEGISLATOR TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE.

JOINING US NOW IS ONE OF THE COAUTHORS OF THAT BILL, ASSEMBLY WOMAN JUDY GRIFFIN WHOSE LONG ISLAND DISTRICT IS IMPACTED BY THE AIR TRAFFIC.

ASSEMBLY WOMAN GRIFFIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY.

MY PLEASURE.

SO, ASSEMBLY WOMAN, YOU HAVE SAID THAT THIS EXCESSIVE DAILY NOISE OF AIR TRAFFIC IS, QUOTE, A NUISANCE THAT HAS CONTINUED UNABATED FOR DECADES.

SO IF IT HAS LASTED FOR DECADES, WHY THIS LEGISLATION NOW?

WHAT HAS TRIGGERED IT?

WELL, I THINK JUDGING FROM THE AMOUNT OF COMPLAINTS THAT WE GET ON A REGULAR BASIS, IT'S PEOPLE HAVE LIVED IN THIS AREA.

A LOT OF -- YOU LIVE CLOSE TO AN AIRPORT, YOU CAN EXPECT SOME NOISE.

SURE.

BUT THE PROBLEM IS THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT HAVE LIVED THERE FOR 30 YEARS, 20 YEARS, AND ONLY MAYBE IN THE LAST FIVE TO TEN YEARS HAVE THERE BEEN HIGHER FREQUENCY, HAVE THERE BEEN MORE PLANES.

MAYBE SOME OF IT IS LOW-FLYING CARGO PLANES THAT CREATE MORE NOISE AS WELL.

SO IT'S A PROBLEM THAT HAS REALLY GOTTEN OUT OF HAND NOW AND THERE IS A CERTAIN DECIBEL LEVEL THAT AIRPLANE NOISE SHOULD BE UNDER.

AND WHAT WE DO KNOW IS IT DEFINITELY ARE PERIODS OF THE DAY IT IS HIGHER, AND WE HAVE CONSTITUENTS -- THERE WAS ONE MAN LIVING IN LYNN BROOK WHERE HIS WHOLE HOUSE SHAKES FROM THE VIBRATION.

AND THERE ARE PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, THEY CANNOT SLEEP, SO THEY'RE SLEEP DEPRIVED.

YOU KNOW, PEOPLE FEELING SICK, LIKE THERE'S ALL KINDS OF -- SUCH A BIG IMPACT THAT THIS DOES MAKE.

AND SO WHY WE WANT THIS LEGISLATION IS WE WANT AN ACCURATE STUDY DONE THAT REALLY REFLECTS THE ACCURATE LEVEL OF NOISE.

SO WHAT WE'VE HAD SO FAR IS THEY AVERAGE THE NOISE.

SO IF A PLANE EXCEEDS THE DECIBEL LEVEL, LET'S SAY IN THE MORNING, THEN MAYBE AT 2:00 THERE IS A PLANE THAT DOESN'T EXCEED IT.

SO THEY PUT THAT ALL IN AND THEN THEY HAVE AN AVERAGE FOR THE DAY AND CONVENIENTLY THEY CAN SAY, OH, YOU KNOW, THIS MEETS THE STANDARD.

IT'S NOT GOING ABOVE THE DECIBEL NOISE.

SO WHY WE WANT THE LEGISLATION, I HAVE INTRODUCED IT IN THE ASSEMBLY, JIM GORAN HAS INTRODUCED IT IN THE SENATE.

WHY WE WANT THIS LEGISLATION, WHY WE FEEL IT IS IMPORTANT, WE WANT A STUDY THAT ACCURATELY MEASURES THE NOISE LEVEL AND THEN THAT WAY WE HAVE SOMETHING TO GO WITH.

IT'S A STARTING POINT FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO MAYBE MAKE CHANGES.

SO THE LEGISLATION -- LET ME GET THIS RIGHT.

THE LEGISLATION IS SIMPLY ASKING FOR A STUDY OF THE NOISE LEVELS, CORRECT?

YES.

SO FAR THERE IS A LOT OF SUPPORT FOR IT.

THERE'S A LOT OF NEIGHBORING DISTRICTS, I'M IN ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 21, WHICH RUNS FROM FREEPORT TO THE EDGE OF MALVERN -- I'M SORRY, VALLEY STRIEM.

IT INCLUDES PART OF VALLEY STREAM, PART OF LYNN BROOK.

BUT ALL OF THAT IS VERY MUCH AFFECTED BY THE NOISE.

AND SO -- BUT THEN THERE'S NEIGHBORING DISTRICTS THAT ARE ALSO HAVE THE NOISE.

THESE HIGH NOISE LEVELS.

AND A LOT OF THOSE ASSEMBLY MEMBERS AND STATE SENATORS WILL ALSO BE ON THESE TWO BILLS IN BOTH THE ASSEMBLY AND THE SENATE.

SO THERE IS A LOT OF INTEREST.

THERE'S A LOT OF BIPARTISAN INTEREST.

SO, I MEAN, I'M HOPEFUL THAT IT CAN ADVANCE AND, YOU KNOW, I KNOW IN MY DISTRICT WHERE I REPRESENT ALL OF MALVERN, ALL OF LYNN BROOK, THOSE AREAS, DEPENDING WHERE YOU LIVE, ARE REALLY IMPACTED BY THE NOISE LEVEL.

AND ALTHOUGH I REPRESENT PART OF VALLEY STREAM, VALLEY STREAM IS HIT VERY HARD BY THE NOISE LEVEL.

I ONLY REPRESENT A SMALL PART OF HUGH LET, BUT THE FIVE TOWNS, OF COURSE, IS AFFECTED.

THERE ARE OTHER AREAS ON LONG ISLAND THAT ARE AFFECTED BY THE NOISE LEVEL AS WELL.

JIM GORAN IS UP ON THE NORTH SHORE, BUT THERE IS -- HIS AREA IS ALSO IMPACTED BECAUSE OF THE WAY THEY REROUTE PLANES AND SUCH THAT THERE ARE VARIOUS AREAS ON LONG ISLAND THAT MAY NOT BE CLOSE TO AN AIRPORT, BUT THEY'RE STILL GETTING THE NOISE.

IF YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK, CHANCES ARE YOU'RE GOING TO BE LIVING NEAR AN AIRPORT.

THE AIRPORTS THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT SPECIFICALLY ARE LAGUARDIA, JFK, RIGHT?

YES.

IT SEEMS LIKE AROUND THE SOUTHWESTERN SHORE OF NASSAU COUNTY, IT SEEMS LIKE WE HAVE MUCH MORE OF THE PLANES LEAVING JFK THAT IS PRESENTING THE ISSUES.

SO ASSEMBLY WOMAN, WE KEEP REFERRING TO THIS AS A NUISANCE.

BUT YOU HOLD, YOU BELIEVE IT IS MORE THAN A NUISANCE.

IT'S A HEALTH HAZARD.

WHAT KIND OF HEALTH HAZARD ARE WE TALKING S?

WELL, IF THE DECIBEL LEVEL IS OVER WHAT -- THERE IS A DECIBEL LEVEL THEY CONSIDER TO BE -- IT CAN'T PASS THAT LEVEL.

SO ONCE THE NOISE LEVEL IS BEING PASSED, YOU'RE DISTURBING BABIES, YOU'RE DISTURBING ELDERLY, YOU'RE DISTURBING ANYONE.

YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE WAKING PEOPLE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND THEY CAN'T GET BACK TO SLEEP, THAT'S AN ISSUE.

NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP IS A MAJOR HEALTH ISSUE.

MANY OF -- MUCH ILLNESS IS CAUSED JUST SIMPLY BY NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP.

AND THE AGGRAVATION, FEELING NERVOUS, ALL OF THAT IS INCLUDED.

BUT IN ADDITION TO THAT, IF THE PLANES ARE FLYING AT LOWER LEVELS, THERE IS ALSO AN IMPACT ON YOUR AIRWAYS.

SO THERE'S A LOT OF CHILDREN -- THERE'S A MEASURE DONE WHERE CHILDREN HAVE HIGHER LEVELS OF ASTHMA IN AREAS WHERE THERE IS A LOT OF LOW-LYING PLANES AND ALL.

SO THERE IS AN ISSUE FOR THAT.

BUT JUST DEALING WITH THE NOISE ALONE, IT IS CREATED A GREAT DEAL OF ANXIETY FOR MANY OF THESE HOMES WHERE PEOPLE LIVE WITH THIS CHRONIC NOISE ONGOING EVERY DAY.

AND SO FOR THAT, THAT IS -- THAT DOES BECOME A HEALTH ISSUE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S ABOVE THE LEVEL.

YEAH, IT'S A NUISANCE IF IT'S JUST NOISY, BUT THEN WHEN IT'S ABOVE THE ACCEPTED LEVEL, THEN IT'S EVEN WORSE, AND THEN THAT REALLY IS GOING TO SERIOUSLY IMPACT YOUR HEALTH.

AND EVEN TO ANIMALS AS WELL.

SO, ASSEMBLY WOMAN, AS YOU MENTION AIR TRAFFIC IS UNDER FEDERAL JURISDICTION.

SO EVEN IF YOUR BILL PASSES AND THE STUDY IS CONDUCTED, WHAT CAN IT REALLY DO TO CHANGE THINGS?

WELL, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT IF WE HAD A STUDY THAT SHOWS THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT ISSUE HERE.

AND IF THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT ISSUE THAT CAN BE PROVEN WITH THE STUDY, THEN WE CAN, WE CAN ASK FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO COME IN AND MAKE SOME ADJUSTMENTS AND MAKE SOME CHANGES.

WITHOUT -- WITH THE EXISTING STUDY, BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN STUDIES DONE, BUT IT'S JUST THE AVERAGE.

SO NOW NO ONE HAS TO DO ANYTHING BECAUSE THEY CAN SAY, OH, IT DOESN'T EXCEED THE DECIBEL LEVEL.

SO IT'S JUST GOING TO BE A STARTING POINT IF WE CAN ACTUALLY WHOLEHEARTEDLY HAVE A STUDY THAT PROVES WHAT WE ALL KNOW TO BE TRUE.

WHAT'S THE TIME LINE WE'RE LOOKING AT HERE?

WHEN COULD THIS BILL BECOME A LAW?

WELL, IF THIS BILL BECOMES A LAW THIS SESSION, THEN WE WOULD LOOK TO DO THE STUDY -- AND I THINK IT WOULD BE PROBABLY THE STUDY WOULD TAKE PLACE IN 2020.

YOU KNOW, SOMEWHERE IN THAT TIME FRAME.

SO I HOPE THAT WE CAN HAVE THE BILL ADVANCE THIS SESSION.

AND THEN IF IT DIDN'T ADVANCE THIS SESSION, WE WOULD INTRODUCE IT NEXT SESSION.

SO HOPEFULLY IT WOULD ADVANCE THE SESSION.

WE COULD DO THE STUDY, AND THEN AT LEAST HAVE THAT INFORMATION READY.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, ASSEMBLY WOMAN GRIFFIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THIS.

YOU'RE WELCOME.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

HI, I'M MATT RYAN, NEW YORK NOW MANAGING EDITOR AND 'METROFOCUS' CONTRIBUTOR.

TV STATIONS ACROSS THE STATE FOCUS ON THE GROWING OPIOID EPIDEMIC AND WHAT'S BEING DONE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES TO HELPING THOSE TRYING TO RECOVER FROM THE ADDICTION.

WE TRAVELED UP NORTH TO EXAMINE A PROGRAM THAT HELPS THOSE AFFECTED BY GETTING THEM BACK IN TOUCH WITH MOTHER NATURE.

I WOULD DO ANYTHING AT FIRST, LIKE DRINK, SMOKE POT, ECSTASY, COKE, ANYTHING.

I REALLY FOUND OPIATES.

SHE BATTLED WHAT WAS AN ADDICTION.

IT INCLUDED TWO ARRESTS, ARGUMENTS WITH HER FAMILY AND AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE.

THERE ARE MANY MOMENTS, I KEPT GETTING WORSE AND WORSE AND BAD THINGS JUST KEPT HAPPENING.

I KNEW I HAD TO GET CLEAN.

I JUST DIDN'T KNOW HOW I WAS GOING TO GET CLEAN.

IT TOOK AWHILE, BUT THE REALIZATION CAME THE HARD WAY THIS PAST WINTER.

SITTING IN THE COUNTY JAIL DETOXING, YEAH.

THAT'S WHERE IT KIND OF HIT.

BUT INSTEAD OF JAIL TIME, EXTENDED PROBATION AND MORE FINES, THE 28-YEAR-OLD TOOK A HIKE, LITERALLY.

IT'S PART OF A DIVERSION PROGRAM RUN BY THE GLENS FALLS HOSPITAL RECOVERY AND THE COUNCIL FOR PREVENTION.

IT'S ALSO A COLLABORATION WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT IN BOTH WARREN AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES.

THE GOAL IS TO GET PEOPLE LIKE CARRIE OUT OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND INTO TREATMENT AND REDUCE THE DAYS SPENT BEHIND BARS.

WE KNOW AS A COMMUNITY THAT BOTH WARREN AND WASHINGTON COUNTY JAILS STRUGGLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH POPULATION.

I WAS AT A PANEL WITH UNDER SHERIFF SEAN LEMMERY.

HE SAID WARREN COUNTY 60% OF THE INMATES HAVE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

WE KNOW MANY PEOPLE WITH OPIOID ADDICTION END UP WITHDRAWING IN JAIL.

IT'S BRUTAL.

IT'S SOMETHING YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO PUT YOUR WORST ENEMY THROUGH.

SO WE WANTED TO COLLABORATE WITH THE COUNCIL AND WITH THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMUNITY TO CREATE A PROGRAM THAT WOULD MAKE IT BETTER FOR THE PATIENTS WE WERE SERVING.

THE IDEA IS TO MEET A YOUNG PERSON WITH AN EARLY CRIMINAL JUSTICE EVENT, PREFERABLY A MISDEMEANOR THAT CAN BE SCOOPED UPPED AND FUNNELED INTO TREATMENT, AND STILL HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROBATION AND THE COURT OR WHATEVER THAT LOOKS LIKE FOR THE INDIVIDUAL.

AND THEN RATHER THAN SERVING THAT SENTENCE IN JAIL, USE THEIR TIME IN TREATMENT AND HELP DIVERT AWAY FROM THE JAIL PIECE.

SO THAT'S KIND OF WHAT WE'RE AIMING AT, TO KEEP PEOPLE OUT, IN THEIR HOMES, CONCENTRATING ON GETTING JOBS OR EDUCATION, BEING WITH THEIR CHILDREN, WHATEVER THAT LOOKS LIKE TO KEEP THE FAMILY UNIT UNIFIED AND PREVENT THE TIME IN JAIL.

JUAN RODRIGUEZ IS A SOCIAL WORKER AT THE CENTER FOR RECOVERY.

HE EXPLAINS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE COURT REFERS A PATIENT.

THEY REVIEW AND LOOK AT ALL VIABLE CANDIDATES.

THEREAFTER THE COURTS ARE INVOLVED WITH REGARDS TO IS THERE PROBATION INTERIM OR ARE THEY PLACED IN INTERIM PROBATION.

SO BASICALLY WHAT COMES DOWN TO IS THEY MAY BE PLACED ON ONE YEAR INTERIM PROBATION, WHICH IN THAT TIME FRAME OUR ADVENTURE BASE PORTION OF IT IS FOUR MONTHS OF THAT YEAR.

I START WITH THEM FROM THE BEGINNING, WHETHER IT BE PRE-CYCLE.

I START WITH THEM ON ONE ON ONES.

I IDENTIFY GROUPS THAT WILL HELP THEM IN THE RECOVERY AND TREATMENT PROCESS.

THEN WHEN WE HIT THE FOUR-MONTH CYCLE, THAT'S WHEN WE START WITH THE OUTINGS.

SPENCER MORRIS IS THE DIVERSION PROGRAM COORDINATOR AT THE COUNCIL FOR PREVENTION.

THE IDEA WITH THE ADVENTURE BASE PORTION OF THE PROGRAM IS THAT NOT ONLY IS IT A VIABLE MODEL FOR TREATMENT, THIS EXPERIENCIAL LEARNING, GETTING PEOPLE OUTSIDE THEIR COMFORT ZONE TRYING THINGS, IT'S ALSO ABOUT RECONNECTING PEOPLE WITH THEIR PLACE, THEIR COMMUNITY.

SO BEING IN THE SOUTHERN ADIRONDACKS FOR AN ADVENTURE BASE TREATMENT, WE HAVE THIS WONDERFUL PLAYGROUND THAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE DON'T NECESSARILY UTILIZE IT.

THE OUTINGS INCLUDE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, HIKING, KAYAKING, CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING, APPLE PICKING, AND ONE OVERNIGHT CAMPING TRIP.

YOU HAVE THIS GREAT BIG BACKYARD AND YOU HAVE A WAY TO RECREATE IN A SOBER WAY THAT COSTS NEXT TO NOTHING.

SO SOMETHING LIKE HIKING, THERE'S A THOUSAND HIKES YOU CAN GO AND DO.

IF YOU HAVE TRANSPORTATION, WHICH IS A BARRIER FOR PEOPLE, BUT IF YOU'VE GOT A MEANS TO GET THERE, YOU CAN GO HIKING.

IT DOESN'T COST YOU A DIME.

SO THAT'S REALLY KIND OF THE CORE OF WHY WE ARE TAKING PEOPLE OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY.

IT'S NOT JUST TO ENGAGE THEM PHYSICALLY OR TO CHALLENGE THEM MENTALLY.

BUT IT'S REALLY ABOUT HELPING PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE OPTIONS AS FAR AS, YOU KNOW, A WAY TO SPEND YOUR TIME.

A WAY TO DEVELOP NEW HOBBIES THAT AREN'T RELATED TO SUBSTANCE USE.

AND THEY'RE RIGHT HERE IN YOUR BACKYARD.

CARRIE'S FATHER WHO OFTEN DRIVES HER TO AND FROM HER MEETINGS HAS SEEN A BIG DIFFERENCE SINCE SHE ENTERED THE PROGRAM THIS SPRING.

LIGHT YEARS.

HER PHYSICAL WELL-BEING, HER MENTAL STATE, SHE'S FOCUSED ON HER JOBS, SHE'S PUTTING MONEY AWAYS WHERE THERE WAS NONE BEFORE, EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS MAKING A LOT.

I JUST SEE SHE'S HEADED THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

I JUST THINKS CARRIE WAS STRUGGLING FOR A TIME, AND SHE FOUND THE WILL AND THE STRENGTH TO ADDRESS IT.

AND THIS PROGRAM REACHED OUT, AND WHAT IT HAS IN THE PROGRAM, IT'S COMMUNICATION, IT'S COLLABORATION.

AND THE THING THAT IS BUILT HERE IS CONNECTIONS, POSITIVE CONNECTIONS THROUGH ACTIVITIES, WHERE WHEN I WAS A PROBATION OFFICER, THE REFERRAL WAS TO ONE AGENCY, ONE PERSON.

AND IF THEY WENT ONCE A WEEK AND TALKED ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY'RE NOT DOING IT AND DRUG TESTED, THAT WAS IT.

BUT IT WAS EYE OPENING FOR ME BECAUSE I REALIZED I'M NOT DEALING WITH CARRIE, I'M DEALING WITH ADDICTION, AND IT WAS HARD TO SEPARATE THAT AT TIMES.

SHE WAS KIND.

WE HAD SOME CLASHES.

BUT THE MORE I GOT EDUCATED ABOUT THE ADDICTION ISSUE, I REALIZE I'M NOT -- I'M BATTLING THAT.

AND SHE FOUND THE INNER STRENGTH.

IN ADDITION TO THE ADVENTURE OUTINGS, CARRIE ATTENDS OUTPATIENT GROUPS EACH MORNING, GOES TO REPORT WORK, AND REPORTS TO COURT EVERY FRIDAY.

LIKE ANYONE BATTLING AN ADDICTION, SHE KNOWS THESE ARE THE EARLY STAGES OF WHAT WILL HOPEFULLY BE A CLEAN AND SOBER FUTURE.

JUST EVERY DAY IS A CONSTANT REMINDER.

YOU SEE WHERE YOU WERE, WHERE I WAS SIX MONTHS AGO, I DON'T WANT TO BE THAT PERSON ANY MORE.

ANY TIME I HAVE DOUBT, I DO NOT WANT TO GO BACK.

THE GRANT THAT SUPPORTS THIS PROGRAM CAME FROM OASIS, THE OFFICE OF ALCOHOLISM AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES, AND WAS WRITTEN SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUNG ADULTS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 35.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND HOW TO COMBAT ADDICTION, THEIR WEBSITE IS OASIS.NY.GOV.

IN ALBANY FOR 'METROFOCUS,' I'M MATT RYAN.♪

IT'S PROBABLY SAFE TO SAY THAT LEGENDARY TRUMPET PLAYER HERB ALPERT IS BEST KNOWN FOR A MUSIC CAREER THAT EARNED HIM FIVE NUMBER ONE HITS, NINE GRAMMY AWARDS, 15 GOLD ALBUMS AND 14 PLATINUM ALBUMS AMONG MANY OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ALSO PERHAPS HAVING COFOUNDED A&M RECORDS, ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL INDEPENDENT MUSIC LABELS IN HISTORY.

HIS PHILANTHROPIC WORK WHICH HE HAS LARGELY CARRIED OUT THROUGH THE HERB ALPERT FOUNDATION.

I RECENTLY HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK WITH ALPERT AND I BEGAN OUR CONVERSATION ABOUT SKING HI.

I FELT I HAD TO GIVE BACK.

I HAD THIS OPPORTUNITY WHEN I WAS 8 YEARS OLD IN MY GRAMMAR SCHOOL.

THERE WAS A MUSIC CLASS, WASN'T A MUSIC APPRECIATION CLASS, BUT A CLASS THAT HAD A BUNCH MUCH INSTRUMENTS ON A TABLE.

I COULD GO AND PICK UP ANY ONE AND PLAY.

TUBA, TROMBONE.

I PICKED UP THE TRUMPET.

YOU KNOW, I COULDN'T MAKE A SOUND OUT OF IT.

I THOUGHT YOU JUST BLOW HOT AIR INTO THE TRUMPET AND THERE IS IS THIS SOUND.

IT'S NOT.

TOOK AWHILE FOR ME TO DO IT.

BUT WHEN I DID, IT WAS SPEAKING FOR ME BECAUSE I'M AN INTROVERT BASICALLY.

AND AS A CHILD, I WAS PRETTY MUTE.

SO WHEN THIS HORN WAS TALKING TO F FOR ME, THAT WAS GREAT.

OBVIOUSLY IT CHANGED MY LIFE, AND I THINK THE ARTS ARE JUST CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT FOR KIDS.

WHETHER THEY'RE DANCING, POETRY, SCULPTING, PAINTING, WHATEVER IT HAPPENS TO BE, AND THEY GET A FEELING OF, HUH, MAYBE I'M NOT SO BAD.

THEY START GETTING INTO THEIR OWN UNIQUENESS AND IF THEY CAN DO THAT, HOPEFULLY -- HOPEFULLY -- THEY CAN APPRECIATE THE UNIQUENESS IN OTHERS.

WELL, LISTEN, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THE FOUNDATION DOES IS GIVE OUT THE HERB ALPERT AWARDS AND THE ARTS, KNOWN AS THE HHIA.

HAS ANYBODY CALLED IT HI, YA?

FIRST TIME I'VE HEARD THAT.

THAT'S PRETTY GOOD.

TALK ABOUT IT.

WHO STARTED IT, AND WHAT'S THE CRITERIA WHO GETS THE AWARD?

THESE ARE ARTISTS, THEY'RE NOT QUITE AT THE FINISH LINE YET.

THAT'S UNUSUAL IN ITSELF BECAUSE MOST OF THESE AWARDS GO TO YOUNG ARTISTS.

THAT'S TRUE.

ALSO, THESE ARTISTS ARE -- THE ONES THAT GO TO THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED, YOU KNOW.

I LIKE THOSE ARTISTS.

I LIKE THE MILES DAVIS, THE CHARLIE PARKERS OF THE WORLD, THE ONES THAT DID THEIR OWN THING.

IF YOU LIKED IT, GREAT.

IF YOU DIDN'T, THEY DIDN'T CARE.

I READ A QUOTE FROM YOU, THE ARTIST YOU LIKE, THAT YOU LOOK FOR, NOT THE ONES WHO WORK OUTSIDE THE BOX, BUT THE ONES WHO ASK, WHAT BOX?

WHY DO THEY ATTRACT YOU SO MUCH?

I THINK ART IS A MYSTERY.

I THINK THE WHOLE THING IS A MYSTERY.

WHAT DOES IT SAY THAT ENGAGES YOU WHEN YOU SEE A PAINTING OR SCULPTURE, YOU KNOW?

IT'S THAT THING YOU CAN'T DESCRIBE.

I DON'T THINK YOU CAN DESCRIBE MUSIC, YOU KNOW.

TAKE AN ARTIST THAT YOU LOVE AND YOU SAY, WHAT DO I LIKE ABOUT HIM OR HER?

IT'S HARD TO PUT YOUR FINGER ON IT.

I THINK ART IS ALL ABOUT A FEEL.

AND IF YOU TRY TOO HARD TO ANALYZE IT, IF YOU TRY TO GET REALLY COMPLICATED ABOUT IT, STAND IN FRONT OF A JACKSON POLLACK PAINTING AND ANALYZE IT, YOU'RE LOST, IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

IT'S ALL ABOUT A FEEL.

YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT IN FROM ANOTHER ANGLE.

YOU PLAYED THE HARLEM SCHOOL OF THE ARTS.

YOU LIVE IN L.A.

THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY.

WHAT WAS THE CONNECTION?

THE CONNECTION WAS MY MOM WAS BORN IN LOWER EAST SIDE.

SO THERE IS A LITTLE BIT OF NEW YORK IN MY DNA.

I SAW THIS ARTICLE IN 'THE NEW YORK TIMES.'

THEY WERE CLOSING, AND OUT OF FUNDS.

DID SOME RESEARCH ON IT AND, YOU KNOW, WE DID WHAT WE HAD TO DO.

OPENED THE DOORS.

THE DOORS WERE GOING TO CLOSE.

OH, YEAH.

THEY WERE CLOSING.

SO YOU SAVED T YOU GOT IT OPEN.

MORE THAN THAT, IT REVIVED, RIGHT?

AND YOU'RE STILL INVOLVED.

IT'S FLOURISHING.

IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL.

FOLKS HAVE TO GO BY AND SEE IT.

IT'S AN AMAZING PROJECT.

STARTING IN AUGUST WE'RE GOING TO UPDATE IT.

IT'S GOING TO GO UP INTO THE 21st CENTURY, WE'RE GOING TO PUT A LITTLE TECHNICAL SPIN ON IT, ACOUSTICALLY, THE LOOK IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT.

NOT THAT -- IT'S GOOD THE WAY IT IS, BUT I JUST WANT TO TAKE IT UP AND MAKE IT MORE MODERN.

I WONDER IF WE COULD TURN TO YOUR MUSIC FOR A SECOND.

FIRST OF ALL, I WAS STRUCK BY A QUOTE FROM MILES DAVIS.

HE SAID, YOU LISTEN TO THREE NOTES, AND YOU KNOW IT'S HERB ALPERT PLAYING.

HOW DID -- HIGH PRAISE.

HOW DID IT MAKE ME FEEL?

YEAH, HOW DID IT MAKE YOU FEEL?

WHEN KIDS ASK ME, ANYONE ASKS ME WHAT'S THE SECRET?

YOU HAVE TO FIND YOUR OWN VOICE.

HOW DID YOU FIND YOURS?

WELL, THROUGH A SERIES OF -- LOOK, I WAS DRAFTED IN THE ARMY.

I LIED MY WAY INTO THINKING TELLING EVERYONE THAT THE ONLY THING I KNOW HOW TO DO IS PLAY THE TRUMPET, PERIOD.

I'M NOT -- I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ELSE.

SO THEY GAVE ME THIS M.O. AS A TRUMPET PLAYER.

THEY SENT ME TO BAND SCHOOL IN FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY.

AND PRIOR TO THAT I WAS LIKE, YOU KNOW, THE NUMBER ONE TRUMPET PLAYER IN L.A., ALWAYS THE FIRST TRUMPET PLAYER IN MY SCHOOLS.

I GO TO THIS BAND SCHOOL AND THERE WERE 12 GUYS THAT WERE BETTER THAN ME.

THEY PLAY HIGHER, FASTER, LOUDER, THEY COULD PLAY BETTER JAZZ.

THEY WERE JUST -- IT WAS AN EYE OPENER.

I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, IF I EVER WAS GOING TO BE A PROFESSIONAL, I'D HAVE TO COME UP WITH MY OWN WAY OF DOING IT.

AND THEN I HEARD LES PAUL, 'HOW HIGH THE MOON' THIS RECORD HE HAD WITH HIS WIFE.

HE WAS LAYERING HIS GUITAR ON THIS TRACK, THE SOUND OF MAYBE THREE OR FOUR DIFFERENT LAYERS OF HIS OWN GUITAR.

AND THE STOUND WAS GREAT.

SO I HAD TWO TAPE MACHINES AT HOME AND I STARTED FOOLING AROUND WITH THE TRUMPET, GOING FROM ONE MACHINE TO THE NEXT.

BINGO, I HAD THIS SOUND THAT WAS LIKE THE GENESIS OF A TIJUANA BRASS SOUND.

♪ ♪ ♪

THAT WAS THE LONELY BULL THAT STARTED A&M RECORDS IN 1962.

THINGS STARTED ROLLING.

I WAS GETTING CARDS AND LETTERS FROM PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

LIKE I SAID --

AND A LOT OF PEOPLE INCLUDING MY FATHER THOUGHT YOU WERE HISPANIC.

OH, I DID MYSELF FOR A WHILE.

YOU KNOW, I USED TO WATCH BULL FIGHTS IN TIJUANA, AND THERE WAS A BRASS BAND IN THE STANDS.

I NEVER HEARD MARIACHI MUSIC, BUT THERE WAS A BRASS BAND IN THE STANDS THAT INTRIGUED ME.

BECAUSE EVERY TIME THE BULL OR SOME OTHER PART OF THE EVENT WOULD COME OUT, THEY'D GO, THAT-BA-YANG, SOMETHING WOULD HAPPEN.

I GOT CAUGHT UP IN THAT AND I TRIED TO COMMUNICATE THAT IN A RECORD, YOU KNOW?

WELL, LISTEN, THE CAREER IS STILL GOING STRONG.

I HAD THE PLEASURE TO LISTEN TO ONE OF YOUR PERFORMANCES IN YOUR CITY ONE TOUR, YOU WENT TO FIVE CITIES AND PERFORMED A BUNCH OF TIMES.

IT WAS A TWO-HOUR PERFORMANCE, AND YOU WERE AS GOOD AS EVER.

I MEAN SINCERELY, I'M NOT JUST SAYING THAT.

IT WAS SOLD OUT.

TWO HOURS.

WHERE DO YOU GET THE MUSICAL AND PHYSICAL FITNESS TO DO THAT?

AND HOW DO YOU KEEP THE INSPIRATION?

WELL, FIRST OFF, I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT IT.

I LOVE TO PLAY.

IT GIVES ME A THRILL TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT.

BUT ODDLY ENOUGH, IT IS EASIER FOR ME TO PLAY NOW AT 84 -- I AM 84, YES, I AM.

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT MYSELF, BUT I AM.

YOU GET A BIRTHDAY EVERY THREE MONTHS.

I'M GETTING A BIRTHDAY EVERY THREE MONTHS.

IT SEEMS LIKE IT.

I DON'T KNOW.

BUT ANYWAYS, I GUESS I'M JUST GETTING MORE OUT OF THE INSTRUMENT WITH LESS EFFORT.

IT'S BEEN BEAUTIFUL.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, WE HAVE TO END IT THERE, HERB.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, ONCE AGAIN, FOR JOINING US.

IT'S SUCH A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

JAMES AND MERRILL TISCH.

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARZ.

ROSALIND P. WALTER.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY -- ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

Funders

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

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