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MetroFocus covers Gun Violence, Lake George, NJ Arts District, and more

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This week’s edition of “MetroFocus” covers Gun Violence, Lake George Invasive Species, NJ Arts District, House of SpeakEasy and We the People.

Gun violence is on the rise in New York City. One argument to explain the increase is because the use of “stop, question and frisk” has dramatically decreased in the city. Council Member Robert Cornegy, who represents the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and northern Crown Heights, doesn’t believe that’s the case. He says the solution is for both police and residents to become more involved in the communities where gun violence is taking place.

It’s known as the Queen of American Lakes, in part because of its clean waters. But in recent years, Asian clams, zebra mussels, and other invasive species have begun to threaten the health of Lake George. Albany Public TV’s Matt Ryan looks at a new pilot program to stop the infestation by making sure the creatures don’t hitch a ride with unsuspecting boat owners. It’s a collaboration between The Fund for Lake George and the Lake George Park Commission and is the first program of its kind east of the Mississippi.

When artists move into a neighborhood, it often turns into the trendy part of town. Then the rent goes up and those same artists are forced out. But the Valley Arts District, a 15-block stretch spanning Orange and West Orange, New Jersey, is trying to change that. NJTV News reporter Maddie Orton shows us how local organizations are revitalizing the neighborhood by attracting and supporting artists, while building a community where they can also afford to live. As part of our “Listening In” series, we hear an excerpt from House of SpeakEasy’s “Seriously Entertaining” monthly showcase of live literary talent.

Author Susan Cheever shares a story about the poet E.E. Cummings from her new biography, E.E. Cummings – A Life. New York City non-profit Public Art Fund recently installed pieces of a life-size replica of the Statue of Liberty in Brooklyn Bridge Park and City Hall Park. Created by Vietnamese-born Danish artist, Danh Vo, the exhibit is titled “We the People” and invites viewers to reflect on the meaning of liberty from multiple perspectives, just in time for the Fourth of July. “MetroFocus” associate producer Matthew Chao spoke with associate curator Andria Hickey about the exhibition.