METROFOCUS: NOVEMBER 13, 2019

Public congressional impeachment hearings have begun. Tonight, we will take a look at the ongoing inquiry into the president’s dealings with Ukraine. For the millions of Americans who look after loved ones, the toll on their own health can be devastating. TV talk show host Leeza Gibbons has experienced this difficult reality firsthand and now she’s counseling others on how to cope. An outraged pastor will explain that while opioids may be a national crisis, for Black America, crack is still a curse that kills. Coyote sightings are on the rise in New York State. We’ll tell you why and what we’re learning about these wily animals.

Aired on November 13, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' PUBLIC CONGRESSIONAL IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS HAVE BEGUN.

WE LOOK AT THE NEW TURN IN THE ONGOING DEMOCRATIC LED INQUIRY INTO THE PRESIDENT'S DEALINGS WITH THE UKRAINE AND A POSSIBLE QUID PRO QUO.

IT'S NATIONAL CARE GIVERS MONTH, AND FOR THE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHO LOOK AFTER LOVED ONES, THE TOLL ON THEIR OWN HEALTH CAN BE DEVASTATING.

TV TALK SHOW HOST LEEZA GIBBONS KNOWS THIS DIFFICULT REALITY FIRSTHAND, AND NOW SHE'S COUNSELLING OTHERS ON HOW TO COPE.

> RACE, ADDICTION AND ABUSE, AN OUTRAGED PASTOR DELIVERS A SOBERING MESSAGE WHILE OPIOID'S MAY BE A NATIONAL CRISIS, FOR BLACK AMERICA, CRACK IS STILL A CURSE THAT KILLS.

> AND COYOTE SIGHTINGS ARE ON THE RISE IN NEW YORK STATE.

WE'LL TELL YOU WHY AND WHAT WE'RE LEARNING ABOUT THESE WILEY ANIMALS.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAE RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN, MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A AND SIMON B POIYTA, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY:

> IF WE FIND THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ABUSED HIS POWER AND INVITED FOREIGN INTERFERENCE INTO OUR ELECTIONS OR IF HE SOUGHT TO CONDITION COERCE EXTORT OR BRIBE AN ALLY INTO CONDUCTING INVESTIGATIONS TO AID HIS REELECTION CAMPAIGN, AND DID SO BY WITHHOLDING OFFICIAL ACTS, THE WHITE HOUSE MEETING OR HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF NEEDED MILITARY AID, MUST WE SIMPLY GET OVER IT.

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

WE BEGIN TONIGHT WITH A HISTORIC DAY ON CAPITOL HILL.

AS THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST PRESIDENT DONALD J.

TRUMP GO PUBLIC FOR THE FIRST TIME, UNFOLDING LIVE ON NATIONAL TELEVISION BEFORE A DIVIDED NATION.

IT IS THE FOURTH TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY A PRESIDENT IS FACING IMPEACHMENT AND THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING REMOVED FROM OFFICE.

THE CENTRAL QUESTION TODAY, DID THE PRESIDENT ABUSE HIS OFFICE BY PRESSURING THE UKRAINE TO INVESTIGATE HIS POLITICAL RIVAL AHEAD OF AN ELECTION.

DID THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ALLIES TRY TO WITHHOLD MILITARY AID TO THAT COUNTRY UNTIL THAT INVESTIGATION WAS ANNOUNCED PUBLICLY.

IN SHORT, WAS THERE A QUID PRO QUO.

AT THE WITNESS TABLE TODAY, TWO LONG TIME DIPLOMATS BILL TAYLOR, THE ACTING AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE, AND GEORGE KENT, THE DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE.

INVESTOR SOLOMON TOLD ME THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP TOLD HIM HE WANTS PRESIDENT ZELENSKY TO STATE PUBLICLY UKRAINE WILL INVESTIGATE AN ALLEGED UKRAINIAN INTERFERENCE IN THE 2016 ELECTION.

IN FACT, AMBASSADOR SONDLAND SAID EVERYTHING WAS DEPENDENT ON SUCH AN ANNOUNCEMENT, INCLUDING SECURITY ASSISTANCE.

IN MID AUGUST IT BECAME CLEAR TO ME THAT GIULIANI'S EFFORTS TO GIN UP ELECTIONS, LEVERAGING, PRESIDENT ZE LEN SOKY CEASE DESIRE FOR A WHITE HOUSE MEETING.

DEMOCRATS INSISTED THE TESTIMONY POINTED TO A CLEAR QUID PRO QUO ON THE PART OF THE PRESIDENT WHILE REPUBLICANS ACCUSED DEMOCRATS OF PURSUING A SMEAR CAMPAIGN AND DEMANDED THEY BE ABLE TO QUESTION THE WHISTLEBLOWER WHO SPARKED THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY.

TOMORROW ON 'METROFOCUS,' WE'LL EXAMINE THE FACTS SO FAR, AND PREVIEW WHAT'S TO COME IN FRIDAY'S HEARING, INCLUDING THE TESTIMONY OF MARIE YO VAN VIR -- YOVANOVITCH, WHO TOLD INVESTIGATORS SHE WAS WARNED TO WATCH HER BACK AS PRESIDENT TRUMP UNDERCUT AND THEN RECALLED HER.

> NOVEMBER IS NATIONAL CARE GIVERS MONTH AND IN THE U.S.

ALONE, MORE THAN 65 MILLION PEOPLE PROVIDE CARE FOR CHRONICALLY ILL, DISABLED OR AGEING FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIENDS DURING ANY GIVEN YEAR.

OF COURSE WATCHING YOUR LOVED ONE AGE CAN BE HARD AND HELPING CARE FOR THEM CAN BE EVEN HARDER WITH CARE GIVERS FACING INCREDIBLE PRESSURE TO LOOK AFTER THEIR LOVED ONES, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME MAINTAINING THEIR OWN DAY-TO-DAY LIFE.

TV HOST AND ADVOCATE LEEZA GIBBONS UNDERSTANDS THE STRUGGLE AFTER TAKING CARE OF HER OWN MOTHER DURING HER FIGHT WITH ALZHEIMER'S AND AFTER EXPERIENCING HER FATHER'S COLLAPSE IN HIS HOME DUE TO A HEART ATTACK.

THIS IS ONLY EMPOWERED HER TO HELP OTHER CARE GIVERS COPE WITH THE UNIQUE ROLE OF LOOKING OUT FIR THEIR LOVED ONES WITH HER CHARITY, LEEZA'S CARE CONNECTION WHICH SHE OPENED IN HER HOMETOWN USING MONEY SHE RAISED ON PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER PROGRAM, CELEBRITY APPRENTICE.

LEEZA GIBBONS JOINS US TO TALK ABOUT HER ORGANIZATION AND TO SHARE HER ADVICE AND SUPPORT FOR OTHER CARE GIVERS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

LEEZA, WELCOME.

THANK YOU, GOOD TO BE HERE.

GIVEN THAT YOU HAVE HAD THIS FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE OF BEING A CARE GIVER, IN YOUR TIME, WHAT WERE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT CAME UP THAT YOU NOTICED ISSUES THAT PERHAPS WEREN'T BEING ADDRESSED OR ACKNOWLEDGED IN THE GENERAL ATMOSPHERE.

FIRST OF ALL, I THINK WE DON'T EVEN RECOGNIZE CARE GIVERS, THE FAMILY MEMBERS THAT SHOW UP EVERY DAY, LIKE FIRST RESPONDERS, THERE'S A CRISIS, EVERYBODY IS BAILING, AND THEY'RE RUNNING TOWARDS THE EMERGENCY TO TRY AND FIX IT, SO I THINK THAT JUST ADJUSTING TO A NEW NORMAL IS HARD BECAUSE THAT'S CHANGE, AND, YOU KNOW, WE ALL ARE KIND OF -- HAVE A TENDENCY TO RESIST CHANGE, BUT WITH CARE GIVERS AS WITH ANYONE WHO IS SUCCESSFUL AT ANYTHING, YOU DON'T FEAR THE CHANGE, YOU LEARN HOW TO CHANGE THE FEAR, AND THAT'S WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL CARE GIVING EXPERIENCE, I THINK.

OKAY.

THAT IS REALLY POWERFUL.

BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE, PEOPLE WHO ARE ON OUR STAFF WITH 13, EVEN IN MY OWN PERSONAL LIFE, CARING FOR A CHRONICALLY ILL LOVED ONE CAN BE INCREDIBLY EMOTIONALLY TAXING.

IS THAT SOMETHING THAT YOUR ORGANIZATION HELPS PEOPLE DEAL WITH AND PROCESS?

WE DO.

BECAUSE YOU EMPTY OUT, YOU KNOW, AS CARE GIVERS WE'RE NURTURERS, 2/3 OF US ARE WOMEN.

I THINK THIS IS THE WOMEN'S ISSUE OF OUR TIME, AND SO, YOU KNOW, WE GIVE AND GIVE AND GIVE, AND THAT'S OUR HONOR AND OUR JOY TO BE ABLE TO OFFER THAT, BUT THAT OFTEN MEANS WE'RE DEPLETING AND FAMILIES ARE UNRAVELING, EMOTIONALLY AS YOU SAY, FINANCIALLY, SPIRITUALLY, PHYSICALLY, THEY'RE JUST ERODING, ERODING, ERODING, SO OUR MANTRA DURING FAMILY CARE GIVER MONTH IS TAKE CARE TO GIVE CARE.

FOR SOMEBODY WHO MIGHT BE HEARING THIS OR SEEING THIS AND SAYING OKAY, I HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER, THEY NEED MY HELP.

I'M ALSO A MOM OR I HAVE A FULL-TIME JOB, AND I JUST, I DON'T EVEN SEE HOW I COULD BEGIN TO POSSIBLY BALANCE ALL OF THIS.

THERE'S NO BALANCE.

BALANCE IN THIS SCENARIO IS BOGUS.

WE HAVE TO JUST FORGET IT, AND RESET TO SOMETHING THAT MAKES SENSE BECAUSE THAT'S GOING TO GO INTO OUR HEAD AND BE THIS OVERWHELMING, OH, MY GOSH.

IS THIS A MATTER OF PRIORITIZING, THEN?

I THINK IT'S A MATTER OF HAVING A PLAN, RECOGNIZING THAT YOU CANNOT WALK THIS PATH ALONE, AND THE TENDENCY IS TO KIND OF ISOLATE, AND WE THINK -- WE GET CAUGHT IN THAT TRAP OF OUGHT TO, COULD HAVE, SHOULD HAVE, I OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS, I'M HIS DAUGHTER.

I SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE PATIENT.

I'M HIS WIFE.

WHATEVER IT IS, THOSE ARE TRAPS.

AND SO THERE'S GUILT THAT'S INSTRUCTIVE, AND THERE'S GUILT THAT YOU HAVE TO GET RID OF BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO TRIP YOU UP.

EVERY CARE GIVER HAS GUILT.

IF YOU'RE FEELING TWINGES OF GUILT BECAUSE YOU LOST YOUR TEMPER, THAT'S INSTRUCTIVE BECAUSE THAT SAYS TO YOU, I NEED TO DEVELOP MORE SKILLS.

I NEED TO TAKE A BREAK.

I NEED TO GET MORE SLEEP.

THAT'S WHAT I CALL THE GOOD GUILT.

THE OTHER GUILT IS JUST NOT HELPFUL ON YOUR JOURNEY AND IT WILL BRING YOU DOWN.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER TIPS YOU CAN GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH THIS.

I ALWAYS SAY THERE ARE SOME F WORDS THAT ARE HELPFUL DURING THIS JOURNEY, AND ONE OF THEM IS FLEXIBILITY.

THE OTHER IS FORGIVENESS.

YOU KNOW, FORGIVE YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU CAN'T FIX IT.

YOU CAN'T ALWAYS MAKE IT BETTER.

YOU WILL MESS UP.

FORGIVE YOUR LOVED ONES FOR HAVING THE AUDACITY TO GET SICK.

YOU KNOW, LIKE, OUR PARENTS, WE THINK THEY'RE GOING TO BE ROCK SOLID, YOU KNOW, THAT'S WHO THEY REPRESENT TO US.

AND OUR HEROES FOREVER GL.

AND OUR HEROES FOREVER.

GIVEN THE FACT THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO CREATE THIS AMAZING ORGANIZATION ON MONEY THAT YOU WON ON CELEBRITY APPRENTICE, I'M WONDERING, WHAT WAS REQUYOUR FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE.

MUCH DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT LIVING ON A REALITY SHOW.

I KNEW DONALD TRUMP'S BOARD ROOM WHICH IS A PLACE ON THAT SHOW THAT IS KNOWN FOR BEING SO FEROCIOUS IT, YOU KNOW, BRINGS THE TOUGHEST GUYS AND MEANEST GIRLS TO TEARS AND TANTRUMS.

FOR ME IT WAS A PLACE TO REALLY PUT THE FOCUS ON MY BURNING DESIRE, AND I THINK THAT'S HOW I WON.

YOU KNOW, REALLY EASY TO DISMISS, OH, SHE'S NOT GOING TO GET VERY FAR.

SHE'S TOO NICE.

OR WHATEVER.

BUT NEVER UNDERESTIMATE SOMEBODY WHO REALLY HAS A BURNING DESIRE, AND I WANTED TO HONOR MY MOTHER'S JOURNEY WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE.

I WANTED TO RECOGNIZE CARE GIVING FAMILIES AND THAT'S WHAT GOT ME TO THE END.

AND THEN WHEN TRUMP ANNOUNCED TO ME, IT WAS LIKE, WELL, WHOEVER GETS INTO THAT OFFICE IS DEALING WITH UNPRECEDENTED NUMBERS OF A GROWING AND AGEING POPULATION LIKE WE HAVE NEVER SEEN.

WE HAVE EVEN GOT 10,000 BOOMERS TURNING 65 EVERY DAY.

THIS IS, YOU KNOW, LOOKING AT CARE GIVING, LOOKING AT THE INCREASE OF CHRONIC ILLNESS AND DISEASE, THAT'S A VERY REAL, I HOPE PRIORITY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP.

I LIKE TO SUPPORT CARE GIVERS BY HAVING THEM LOOK AT WHAT'S AVAILABLE.

AND I'LL TELL YOU THERE'S A LOT OF TECHNOLOGY OUT THERE NOW THAT IS OFFERING TREMENDOUS PEACE OF MIND AND TREMENDOUS SAFETY.

MY DAD HAD A HEART ATTACK, AS YOU SAID, AND HE, AFTER MY MOM DIED, LIVES ALONE.

SO I WAS WORRIED OUT OF MY MIND ABOUT MY DAD, WHAT IF HE FELL, NUMBER ONE PROBLEM.

I LIVE THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY, AND SO I REALLY KIND OF GUILTED HIM INTO GETTING A MEDICAL ALERT DEVICE.

BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WANT IT.

OF COURSE NOT.

RIGHT.

RESISTANT, PROUD.

AND I DON'T NEED A BABYSITTER.

THAT'S IT.

THAT'S IT.

YES.

NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME.

AND SO I COULD RECOGNIZE THAT WAS HIS VULNERABILITY AND HIS FEAR.

SO I SAID, BUT DADDY, IT'S FOR ME, AND IT REALLY WAS, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I WORRY AND I KNOW YOU DON'T WANT ME TO BE WORRIED.

SURE ENOUGH, HE HAD A HEART ATTACK, HAD HE NOT BEEN WEARING HIS PHILLIP'S LIFELINE, WE WOULDN'T HAVE MY DAD.

I THINK FOR ME AT LEAST THE BIG TAKE AWAY IS BUILD A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY IF YOU'RE A CARE GIVER.

THAT'S IT.

AND WE WAIT A WHILE TO DO THAT.

WE'RE RESISTANT TO THAT BUT IT IS GETTING BETTER SO DURING THIS MONTH, IF THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT I KNOW ARE CARING FOR SOMEONE TO SAY I KNOW IT'S HARD WHAT YOU'RE DOING, AND YOU'RE DOING A GREAT JOB.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT GOES A LONG WAY.

DOESN'T IT.

I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO JOIN US.

I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

MY PLEASURE.

AND THIS WAS SOME REALLY HEALING INFORMATION AND TIPS THAT I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN USE NOW OR WILL BE ABLE TO USE IN THE FUTURE.

AND IF YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION, A LOT OF SUPPORTIVE INFORMATION AND FACTS ARE THERE, HOW TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE THROUGH THE TECHNOLOGY PIECE AT PHILLIPS LIFELINE.

EXCELLENT.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LEEZA GIBBON'S ORGANIZATION, LEEZA EASE CARE CONNECTION AND HER TIPS FOR CARE GIVERS, VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

> ACCORDING TO THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, OPIOID OVERDOSES HAVE CUT AMERICANS LIFE EXPECTANCY BY AN ASTONISHING 2 1/2 MONTHS.

THIS NEW ANALYSIS WAS RELEASED JUST ONE MONTH AFTER THE LARGEST FENTANYL BUST IN NEW YORK CITY HISTORY WHICH UNCOVERED ENOUGH SYNTHETIC NARCOTICS TO KILL 32 MILLION PEOPLE.

THE NYPD IS NOW ON A HUNT TO STOP THOSE TRAFFICKING THIS LETHAL DRUG BUT NOW A BIG QUESTION HAS ARISEN.

COULD THE OPIOID CRISIS PERMEATING MIDDLE AMERICA BE MAKING ITS WAY TO THE BIG APPLE?

THIS WOULDN'T BE THE FIRST TIME A DRUG EPIDEMIC HAS INVADED OUR GREAT CITY.

WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENT, PASTOR MICHAEL WALROND, WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

SO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS ABOUT THE WAY THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC IS BEING HANDLED VERSUS PREVIOUS DRUG EPIDEMICS, FIRST OF ALL, WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

WHAT IS AMAZING NOW, I THINK, WHEN WE THINK OF THE OPIOID CRISIS AND WE HEAR THE LANGUAGE ASSOCIATED WITH US, ESPECIALLY FROM EVEN THE PRESIDENT ON DOWN TO LOCAL LEGISLATORS AND POLITICIANS OF THE LIKE, THE LANGUAGE NOW IS OF EMPATHY AND COMPASSION VERSUS 30 YEARS AGO WHEN CRACK WAS, YOU KNOW, RAMPANT AND PERVASIVE IN MANY COMMUNITY OF COLOR.

THE LANGUAGE WAS THAT OF SCORN AND REALLY A CRIMINALIZATION OF THE DISEASE IN MANY WAYS AND SO I WAS STRUCK BY HOW NOW THERE'S THIS DESIRE TO REHABILITATE THOSE WHO ARE ON DRUGS, TO FIND COMPASSIONATE MECHANISMS TO BRING ABOUT HEALING IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WHO ARE BEING RAVAGED.

WE KNOW MOST OF THE OPIOID CRISIS NOW SPOKEN OF WE FIND IN MIDDLE AMERICA, SUBURBS OR RURAL COMMUNITIES, WHEREAS 30-ODD YEARS AGO WE TALKED ABOUT CRACK AND PREDOMINANTLY COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.

THE LANGUAGE WAS DIFFERENT.

THEN HOW DO WE SEEK TO END NOT THIS DISEASE, BUT THE CRIME ASSOCIATED WITH THIS, AND THERE WAS NOT ONLY CRIMINALIZATION OF THE DISEASE BUT DEHUMANIZING LANGUAGE USED TO PEOPLE IN COMMUNITIES OF COLOR, CRACK BABIES, WELFARE QUEENS, SUPER PREDATORS, AND NOW THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO NEED TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO PLACES OF WHOLENESS.

IT STRUCK ME.

IN SOME WAYS IN OUR COUNTRY, AMIDST THE DIVISIVENESS, THERE'S ALSO THIS RACIALIZATION OF COMPASSION.

EVEN NOW COMPASSION HAS A RACIAL COMPONENT WHEREAS THE FACE OF THE OPIOID CRISIS IS WHITE, THE FACE OF THE CRACK EPIDEMIC WAS BLACK AND THE LANGUAGE IS DIFFERENT, THE APPROACH IS DIFFERENT, AND THERE WAS MORE OF A DEHUMANIZING ATTEMPT BACK THEN THAN THERE IS NOW.

DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCERN, I MEAN, CONSIDERING THIS BUST THAT JUST HAPPENED IN QUEENS THAT THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC COULD BE COMING TO NEW YORK, SPECIFICALLY TO COMMUNITIES OF COLOR, BECAUSE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ONCE AGAIN AN INEXPENSIVE DRUG.

YEAH, I THINK IT -- WELL, IT -- THE DRUG EPIDEMIC HAS BEEN IN COMMUNITIES OF COLOR FOR A LONG TIME.

I THINK NOW WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT PERCOCET AND OXYCONTIN, IT'S A DRUG OF CHOICE FOR MANY, ESPECIALLY MILLENNIALS IN MANY WAYS.

I THINK WE SEE A SURGE IN THE USAGE IN COMMUNITIES OF COLOR, BUT THE RAMIFICATIONS CONNECTED TO ADDICTIONS HAVE STILL BEEN PRESENT IN COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.

HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PRESENT.

MY CONCERN IS THAT IN THE MIDST OF TRYING TO BRING HEALING TO THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM OPIOID ADDICTION, THAT WE DON'T FORGET THE COUNTLESS NUMBER OF UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES, COMMUNITIES OF COLOR, AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES, LATINO COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE BEEN SUFFERING UNDER DRUG ADDICTION FOR YEARS, AND THERE HASN'T BEEN THE SAME COMPASS GNAT LANGUAGE AND APPROACH -- COMPASSIONATE LANGUAGE AND APPROACH TO BRING ABOUT HEALING.

INCARCERATION AND HEALING ARE TWO DIFFERENT LANGUAGES.

HOW DO WE END THE SCOURGE OF THE DRUG ADDICT, THE CRACK ADDICT, NOW IT'S HOW DO WE HEAL THE COMMUNITIES AND BRING WHOLENESS.

THAT'S MY CONCERN IN THE MIDST OF TRYING TO FIND WAYS TO BRING ABOUT HEALING AND WHOLENESS, WE DON'T LEAVE BEHIND COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH DRUG ADDICTION FOR YEARS.

CAN YOU MAKE THE ARGUMENT THAT THERE HAVE BEEN SOME STEPS MOVING FORWARD LIKE WE HAVE CHANGED SOME OF THE DRUG LAWS.

THERE'S BEEN A STRONG PUSH TO CHANGE THE MARIJUANA LAWS SPECIFICALLY IN NEW YORK STATE, THINGS OF THAT NATURE.

HAS THAT HELPED MOVE THE NEEDLE AT ALL AND MADE THINGS A LITTLE BIT MORE FAIR.

WHEN YOU THINK OF THE FAIR SENTENCING ACT OF 2010 THAT WAS REALLY CONTRARY TO THE ANTI-DRUG ABUSE ACT IN 86 THAT BROUGHT MANDATORY MINIMUMS.

THERE HAS BEEN A CONCERTED EFFORT TO REALLY REDUCE THE INCONSISTENCY AND RATES OF INCARCERATION, AND SENTENCING TIME THAT WE SAW AS A GREAT DISPARITY 30 YEARS AGO, WHERE YOU COULD BE CAUGHT WITH 50 GRAMS OF CRACK AND GET TEN YEARS VERSUS IT WOULD TAKE 5,000 GRAMS OF COCAINE TO GET THE SAME TEN YEAR SENTENCE, SO I THINK THERE'S BEEN AN ATTEMPT TO REALLY TAKE AWAY THE DISPARITIES WITH REGARD TO SENTENCING.

I'M JUST MORE FOCUSED ON THINKING ABOUT THE EXISTENTIAL RAMIFICATIONS OF PEOPLE WHO SEE THEMSELVES DEHUMANIZED AND DEMONIZED BECAUSE OF CRACK AND DRUG ADDICTION VERSUS THOSE NOW WHO ARE BEING HUMANIZED IN THE LANGUAGE OF REHABILITATION.

THESE COMMUNITIES OF COLOR IN THE MIDST OF THE DESIRE TO BRING ABOUT REHABILITATION ARE NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT.

DEALING WITH THIS.

YOU SPEAK OF THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA, I HOPE FOR THE DAY IN MANY WAYS, AND IT'S FUNNY HEARING A CLERGY PERSON SAYING THIS, IT BECOMES LEGALIZED, PRIMARILY BECAUSE IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE RATE OF INCARS NCERAT OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN MARIJUANA POSSESSION, AND 60 ARE BECAUSE OF MARIJUANA POSSESSION.

MY FEAR IS THERE WILL BE LOBBYISTS PUSHING AGAINST THIS BECAUSE MANY OF OUR PRISONS IN UPSTATE AND RURAL COMMUNITIES THAT THRIVE OFF OF THIS PRISON OF THE OF THE PRISON INDUSTRY.

IF YOU REDUCE BY 60 BY LEGALIZING MARIJUANA, IN SOME WAYS YOU DISRUPT THE ECONOMIES OF COMMUNITIES UPSTATE, AND I'M CONVINCED MANY ELECTED OFFICIALS WILL BE FIGHTING AGAINST THE LEGALIZATION BECAUSE OF HOW DISRUPTIVE IT WOULD BE TO THEIR LOCAL ECONOMY.

WHAT IS IT WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE CRACK EPIDEMIC WE COULD APPLY TO HELP MAKE US BETTER STEWARDS OF HELPING PEOPLE THROUGH THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC?

YOU KNOW, DURING THE ELECTION, THE PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN ELECTION, I REMEMBER HEARING FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON OFFER AN APOLOGY FOR THE CLINTON CRIME BILL THAT LED TO THIS MASS INCARCERATION ON MANY LEVELS CONNECTED TO DRUG ADDICTION IN MANY AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES AND THERE WAS A PART OF ME THAT CELEBRATED THAT, BUT THERE WAS THE OTHER PART OF ME THAT WONDERED WAS THIS BECAUSE OF POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY, AND I THINK AS WE LOOK BACK, WE SAW THE DESTRUCTIVE AND I THINK CHAOTIC RAMIFICATIONS THAT TOOK PLACE BECAUSE OF THESE ATTEMPTS TO WIPE OUT DRUGS, BUT REALLY WIPE OUT COMMUNITIES IN SOME WAY.

YOU THINK OF THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS WHO WENT TO JAIL BECAUSE OF MINOR DRUG INFRACTIONS, YOU THINK OF THEIR FUTURES THAT WERE REALLY STUNTED BECAUSE NOW THAT RECORD IS A STAIN AND A SCAR UPON THEIR FUTURE POSSIBILITIES.

YOU THINK OF THE COUNTLESS CHILDREN WHO GREW UP WITHOUT THEIR PARENTS BECAUSE OF THESE MANDATORY MINIMUMS AND AGAIN, BASED ON MINOR POSSESSION.

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THAT, I HOPE THAT AS WE MOVE FORWARD, WE THINK ABOUT THE COMMUNAL IMPACT ON COMMUNITIES ESPECIALLY OF COLOR THAT BEGIN TO TAKE HARD LINES INSTEAD OF HEALING LINES IN OUR COMMUNITIES.

I HOPE WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE DEVASTATING IMPACT OF HOW WE DEALT WITH THOSE DURING THE CRACK EPIDEMIC SO WE BEGIN AGAIN TO MAKE PEOPLE WHOLE AND BEGIN TO HUMANIZE PEOPLE.

THE LANGUAGE USED NOW IS A HUMANIZING LANGUAGE, VERSUS 30 YEARS AGO, WAS A DEHUMANIZING LANGUAGE.

I HOPE WE LEARN TO TREAT EVERYONE WITH THE SAME DIGNITY NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE OR WHERE THEY'RE FROM.

THAT IS A WONDERFUL MESSAGE TO LEAVE IT ON.

TO HUMANIZE EVERYBODY.

LISTEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US ON THE SHOW, AND TALKING US THROUGH WHAT IS AN INCREDIBLY I THINK DIFFICULT AND CHALLENGING ISSUE.

ABSOLUTELY.

THANK YOU.

> THE LEGENDARY WARREN Z, HOW ABOUT THE COYOTES OF NEW YORK, SPOTTED IN NEW YORK CITY PARKS, ON ROOFTOPS, ON THE STREETS, COYOTES HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THEY ARE NOW HERE IN THE CITY, AND APPARENTLY HERE TO STAY.

A PILOT PROJECT IS KEEPING TRACK OF THE SHY YET CLEVER CREATURE AS THEY NAVIGATE AND TAKE A BITE OF THE BIG APPLE AS URBANIZATION ENCROACHES ON THEIR HABITAT.

AS PART OF OUR ONGOING SERIES, PERIL IN PROMISE, WE TAKE A LOOK AT HOW NEW YORKERS AND COYOTES CAN COEXIST.

JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS IS MARK WECKEL, THE COFOUNDER OF GOTHAM COYOTE PROJECT, THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF YOUTH INITIATIVES AT THE NATIONAL HISTORY PARK.

THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

TALK ABOUT THE PROJECT FIRST, BEFORE WE GET INTO THE SPECIFICS, HOW DID THE PROJECT COME TO BE AND WHAT DOES IT FOCUS ON?

GOTHAM COYOTE STARTED SEVEN YEARS AGO WITH A COLLABORATION OF RESEARCHERS, EDUCATORS, AND STUDENTS FROM NEW YORK CITY WORKING TOGETHER TO UNDERSTAND THESE NEW CRITTERS, COYOTES THAT HAVE RECENTLY ARRIVED IN NEW YORK CITY.

EXPLAIN TO ME WHY IT IS NOW WE'RE STARTING TO SEE, AND WE HAVE STARTED FOR A WHILE, THAT WE'RE STARTING TO SEE COYOTES, ESSENTIALLY INSERTING THEMSELVES INTO THE NEW YORK CITY ENVIRONMENT.

SO NEW YORK CITY IS ALMOST A LITTLE LATE TO THE GAME.

THEY HAVE BEEN IN CITIES SUCH AS BOSTON AND TORONTO FOR DECADES AND IT'S PART OF A MUCH LARGER STORY THAT AS THE COYOTES, WE THINK OF IT AS AN ANIMAL OF THE WEST.

WE THINK OF COYOTE AND THE ROAD RUNNER AND IN MANY WAYS IT IS A SYMBOL OF THE WILDERNESS.

OVER THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS, IT HAS BEEN EXPANDING ITS RANGE EAST AND ABOUT 1995 WAS THE FIRST TIME WE ACTUALLY SAW A COYOTE IN NEW YORK CITY.

HOW ARE THEY ABLE TO MAKE A LIVING IN WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT, IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW MORE ABOUT IT, WOULD BE SUCH A FOREIGN ENVIRONMENT TO THEM.

GOTHAM COYOTE, ONE TO GET YOU TO LISTEN BUT COYOTES IN NEW YORK CITY, THEY ARE IN THE NATURAL AREAS.

NEW YORK CITY IS LUCKY TO HAVE 19% OF LAND BE PARKLAND, AND THERE ARE THESE NATURAL SPACES, WOODLANDS, BRUSHY HABITATS AND FIELDS WHERE MOST OF OUR COYOTES CALL HOME, SO WHEN YOU'RE ACTUALLY WITH US IN THE FIELD, IF WE WERE TO TAKE YOU OUT TO SHOW YOU SOME OF OUR CAMERA TRACKS THAT WE USE TO MONITOR COYOTES, YOU WOULDN'T KNOW NECESSARILY THAT YOU WERE IN THE BRONX.

WE'RE DEEP IN THE FOREST OR DEEP IN THE FIELDS SO FOR THE MOST PART, A COYOTE IN NEW YORK CITY IS BEHAVING, ALMOST LIKE A COYOTE YOU WOULD FIND IN MORE RURAL ENVIRONMENTS.

IT'S EATING NATURAL THINGS SUCH AS SMALL MAMMALS OR RABBITS AND IT'S DOING SO IN OUR URBAN METROPOLIS BY AVOIDING US.

IT'S ACTIVE IN PARKS WHEN WE AREN'T.

SO IT'S THIS KIND OF INTERESTING MIX OF WHERE THEY CAN LIVE SIDE BY SIDE WITH US, BUT THE SECRET TO THAT SKUCCESS IS TO AVOID US AT ALL COSTS.

WHAT ABOUT US THEM, IS THERE A DANGER, COYOTES, THAT SOUNDS SCARY.

TOTALLY, AND THE REASON WE STARTED THIS PROJECT REALLY IS TO MAKE THE UNFAMILIAR, FAMILIAR.

AND THAT'S THE REASON WHY WE DO OUR RESEARCH AND OUR EDUCATION.

99% OF NEW YORKERS WILL GO THEIR WHOLE LIFE NEVER SEEING A COYOTE.

I HAVE BEEN STUDYING FOR THE PAST DECADE, I HAVE ONLY SEEN ONE IN NEW YORK CITY WITH MY OWN EYES.

REALLY?

YES.

I WONDER IF PEOPLE WOULD RECOGNIZE THEM AS COYOTES IF THEY CAME ACROSS THEM.

AT A DISTANCE, IT PERHAPS LOOKS LIKE A SMALL DOG.

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A 35 TO 45 POUND ANIMAL, KIND OF A TAWNY COAT.

IT COULD LOOK LIKE A DNY PEOPLE MAY HAVE THOUGHT THEY SAW A DOG.

WE HAVE TO GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO GET THE DATA ON A COYOTE.

WE HAVE TO PUT OUT A CAMERA TRAP, SIMILAR TO ONE IN YOUR PHONE, TRIGGERED BY THE MOVEMENT OF A WARM BODIED ANIMAL.

WE HAVE TO LEAVE IT OUT TWO MONTHS AT A TIME, SIMPLY TO GET A SINGLE PHOTOGRAPH.

THEY'RE THAT ELUSIVE.

THEY'RE THAT ELUSIVE.

WE'LL PICK UP THEIR SCAT, POOP, FECES TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THAT DAY EATING AND EXTRACT THEIR DNA TO FIGURE OUT WHO THAT COYOTE WAS, HOW MANY THERE MIGHT BE, BUT WE HAVE TO GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO FIND THAT SCAT.

THESE ARE NOT ANIMALS THAT WHEN YOU GO THROUGH A PARK, YOU SEE THE PIGEONS, THE SQUIRRELS, THAT'S THE WILDLIFE MOST NEW YORKERS WILL ENCOUNTER.

IT'S CALLED GOTHAM COYOTE, BUT WE STUDY BRONX COYOTES, THAT'S THE BOROUGH WHERE WE FIND COYOTES.

IS THAT SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THE ENVIRONMENT, THERE ARE MORE PLACES THERE THAT THEY CAN COME TO, AND NOT JUST EXIST BUT THRIVE?

IT'S ALMOST JUST THE FIRST STOP.

IT'S OUR ONLY MAINLAND BOROUGH.

SO GETTING THERE FROM WEST CHESTER WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN SINCE THE 70s IS QUITE EASY.

DON'T HAVE TO TAKE A BRIDGE OR A TUNNEL.

DON'T HAVE TO TAKE A BRIDGE OR TUNNEL.

IT'S GREEN AND WELL CONNECTED, EVEN THE EAST BRONX WATER FRONT HAS BEAUTIFUL PARKS ALONG IT, AND THEY HAVE NATURAL AREAS WHERE A COYOTE CAN HUNT, RAISE PUPS, ALL WITH MINIMIZING CONTACT WITH PEOPLE.

SO LAST QUESTION FOR YOU, BOTTOM LINE.

WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT COYOTES?

WHAT'S IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO UNDERSTAND.

I THINK IT HAS TO START WITH KNOWING THEY'RE HERE.

IT CAN'T BE A SECRET.

I DON'T BLAME SOMEONE FOR HEARING ABOUT AN ICON OF WILDERNESS.

AN ICON OF THE WEST IN NEW YORK CITY, SEEMS LIKE A CONTRADICTION.

SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE SCARY.

THROUGH OUR WORK, FINDING OUT ABOUT THEIR ECOLOGY AND SPREADING AND LEARNING AND TEACHING PEOPLE ABOUT THIS, YOU CAN UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT IT AND COME TO FEAR A LOT LESS.

I WOULD SAY AT THE VERY LEAST AN APPRECIATION, MAKING A LIVING FOR ANYONE IN NEW YORK CITY IS TOUGH, I'M A NEW YORKER MYSELF, BORN AND RAISED AND EQUALLY TOUGH AS A COYOTE.

LEARNING ABOUT IT ALSO WILL AT THE SAME TIME LET US SEE OUR CITY AS NATURE.

AND THAT'S A NICE THING TO REMEMBER, AS YOU SAID IN THE VERY BEGINNING HOW MUCH OF OUR CITY IS INDEED GREENERY, AND NOT WHAT WE THINK OF AS THE CONCRETE JUNGLE.

A LITTLE BIT INSPIRATIONAL.

MARK, IT'S FACE NATING, WHAT YOU'RE DOING -- FASCINATING, JUST WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS SO INTERESTING AND COMPELLING, IN HELPING UNDERSTAND OUR ENVIRONMENT BETTER.

GREAT TO THAT TO YOU.

COME BACK SOON BE WELL.

> SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A AND SIMON B POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM, BERNARD AND I RESIGN SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY.

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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