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tv   Earth Focus  LINKTV  May 14, 2012 7:30am-8:00am PDT

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funding for crossroads cafe was provided in part... by the departments of education of the states of... california florida, illinois... and new york. and by the united states department of education. and the united states immigration and naturalization service.
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what a mess out there. with all this construction going on, it's going to take a miracle to get our customers in here. i thought you called the city to find out what was going on. i have called them every morning and every afternoon for the past two weeks. - what did they say ? - nothing. i still haven't spoken to anyone. - in other words, they're campaigning for reelection. - exactly. - hello. - hello. - i am hassan. - i'm sorry, sir. we are not open yet.
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no problem. i think you should know, sir, there are people who are placing... pieces of wood with stripes on them all over the street in front of your cafe. yes, we know. the city promised to remove them. but it hasn't happened yet. i see. excuse me, one moment. what a strange man. i can't help thinking he reminds me of someone. so-- has anyone seen my cousin ? i told him to wait out in front of the cafe. i should have guessed. okay, everything is much better now, huh ? hassan, what are you doing with those ? they were blocking the traffic. hassan is here studying english, so he can be a tour guide back in egypt. hassan, meet mr. brashov rosa and katherine. it's very good to make your acquaintance. same here.
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definitely a family resemblance. - thank you for at least trying to help. - oh, it-- it was my pleasure. - thank you for thanking me. - you're welcome. you are also welcome. - ah, good morning, jess. - victor. what is this ? my water bill. jess, i have enough problems paying my own bills. just look at it. thirty thousand dollars for one month of water ? surely this must be a mistake. have you called the city ? the water department told me to call their accounting department. accounting said i had to pay the bill first, then apply it for a refund. i told them i didn't have $30,000 lying around. what a city. why can't they just have a telephone hot line so ordinary people with a problem
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can call in and get some help ? i do not understand. if the city officials are not doing their jobs why don't you replace them ? good question. i bet anyone in here can do a better job than those fools in city hall. sure. how about mayor brashov ? or superintendent rivera ? or councilman washington ? wait a minute. why is that so crazy ? well, because-- well, it's just that-- i don't know. why is that so crazy ? what are you talking about victor ? i have no political experience. yes, but you were a manager with the post office. - you care about people. - and you are an excellent chess player. i have no experience operating a political campaign. - we could all help. - definitely. - yes, absolutely. well, thanks for your vote of confidence. but i'd rather continue reading my newspaper and drinking my coffee. speaking of which.
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i can smell the meat loaf cooking from here. it just needs your final touch. i hope you don't want any water to drink with your dinner. at $30,000 a month, i'm thinki champagne would be much cheaper. don't get me started, carol. i've had it up to here with this city. yeah, me too. you won't believe this, but some of the people over at crossroads cafe had this crazy idea. - yeah ? - they can be so silly sometimes. - so what was their idea ? - they think i should run for city council. what's so crazy about that ? - you're kidding ? - jess, you know this city like the back of your hand. you're serious about this. you bet i am. i'm tired of professional politicians who promise... to do everything and end up doing nothing. they only get elected because there's no real choice. this could be different. you could be the people's choice.
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the people's choice ? i like the way that sounds. hassan. hassan ! it's still crooked. here it is. "fourth district voters survey: "if the election were held today, who would you vote for ? "johansen: 36%. bohman: 22%. altounian: 19%" ? what about washington ? how many would vote for washington ? "collins: 11. nichols: 9%. others: 6%." - which one are you, jess ? - i'm "other." - "other" ? - there must be some mistake. - no mistake. as far as the voters in this town
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are concerned, i'm a nobody. well, that's going to change. how do you figure ? because you are going to talk to them every day here at crossroads cafe. that's a great idea. come on. let's start now. what are you doing, victor ? you are going to give a speech. but i'm not prepared. i don't know the first thing about-- ladies and gentlemen. if you will forgive this brief interruption, i would like to introduce you to the next city councilman from the fourth district... and our best customer, jess washington ! - thanks, victor. - shh. shh. hi. i'm jess washington. i guess you know that, since victor just introduced me. is that club sandwich ready yet ? well, anyway i just want to say that if i'm elected, i promise to be the best councilman this city ever had. i can also promise that this city will work for you, instead of against you.
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thank you very much. can i have the check ? rosa ? for you. for me ? but why ? very simple. pretty flowers for a pretty lady. well, thank you, hassan. that is so sweet of you. wasn't much of a speech. maybe i'm just not cut out for this political stuff. - i'd vote for you. - you see, jess ? but with speeches like that, not too many other people would. - forgive me for asking, mister-- - miller. dan miller.
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how do you know so much about politics, mr. miller ? let's just say i work for people in business who work with people in politics. i do not understand. what was wrong with jess' speech ? nothing. the bottom line is, you can make speeches until doomsday. what you need more than anything else is money. without that you haven't got a prayer. i have a few hundred dollars available. i would give it to jess in a second. no, i'm talking big money, as in lots of zeroes. well, that's not going to happen. of course not. jess is not going to win by buying votes. i'm sure you're right. well, good luck to you. and thank you for the coffee. what does he know ? probably a lot.
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[ narrator ] "government of the people, by the people and for the people--" a basic principle that is the foundation for governmt in the united states. most citizens see the close relationship between government and the people... at the local level close to home. the mayor of a city or town represents the executive branch of local government. motion to second to approve recommendations of staff. please vote. the role of the mayor of riverside is both complicated and simple. you're involved in chairing meetings and being the official spokesperson for the city. in addition to the kind of formal things, i try to see problems, get people who can make some difference ing them together and say, "let's do something about this." [ narrator ] the city council makes the laws that govern the city. they represent the legislative branch of government similar to congress on a national level. i'm having some concern, not feeling comfortable about... what our long-range plan is at the sewer plant. what we'd like the opportunity to do is to review the report,
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have the different departments look at it and come back with the council in the second week of february. [ narrator ] in this city, like many others a city manager administers the services the city provides. i work for the mayor and city council. they're the elected representatives. and they hire me to operate the city on a day-to-day basis providing services to the citizen. all the way from water, sewer, electric, police, fire public works, all the different city services. [ narrator ] the judicial branch of government is also represented at the local level. courts of justice handle both criminal and civil cases that are brought to trial. the success of government by the people at whatever level... is dependent upon the ongoing active involvement of concerned citizens. in many ways what's happening to family what's happening to school what's happening to neighborhood, what's happening to church... is something you can affect. you can go to public meetings, visit with your elected representatives,
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make your thoughts known as a citizen and ally have an impact. thank you for the report. maureen king. i just wanted to ask you if you would, please, pass on... gratitude for the communication that we received. sure. i'll pass it on to her. that-- that is helpful. so, what are we doing in this dive ? you getting tired of caviar ? no, sir. i thought we'd take a look at how the other half lives. that's very generous. now, what are we going to do about nichols and bohman ? we're going to forget about them. it's pretty obvious they don't want our help. and altounian's got more money than he knows what to do with. so, you've dragged me over here to tell me we've struck out ? no there's washington. who ? jess washington, the guy over there at the end of the counter. you got to be kidding. i didn't even know he was running.
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nobody does. that's the point. i'm not paying you to talk in riddles. he's new to all this. i think we might have a decent shot with him. well, i can promise you one thing. if we don't get a team player on the cocil soon that new downtown parking structure will be history. and so will you. excuse me. excuse me, ladies and gentlemen. - here he is. - my name is jess washington. and if you don't mind a little interruption to your lunch i'd like to tell you-- and there's no reason why we can't get our garbage collected on a regular basis. and certainly no reason why we can't get answers regarding our water bills. thank you very much. garbage ? water bills ? just give me a chance. jess ! nice to see you again. hello, mister-- miller. dan miller. in this game, jess you got to remember
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people's names. have a seat. well, to tell you the truth, i don't think... i'm going to be playing this game much longer. before you do anything hasty there's someone i'd like you to meet. jess washington, say hello to andrew comstock. hello, mr. comstock. oh, call me andy. i like what you were saying in your speech. well, judging by the polls you're one of the few. forget the polls. i know a lot of people in this city who are looking for a candidate... to get behind in this election. i'd like to offer my support. well, that's very kind of you, but you don't even know me. no, but i believe in what you stand for. and with a little fine-tuning i think you're going to make an excellent councilman. well, thank you. call joe and rita. i want them on this full-time, starting now. - you got it. - hang on, mr. councilman. you're in for quite a ride.
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here's your menu, sir. i'll just have a cup of coffee. - jess ? - good morning, katherine. - you don't like it ? - it's not that i don't like it. it's just that it's-- mr. brashov ! look who's here. oh, my eyes are not what they once were, but-- morning, victor. jess ! what has happened to you ? you look so different. my advisors think i ought to spruce up my image a bit. that's fine. but why are you sitting here and not at the counter ? oh, i'm going to have a meeting on some political issues. that telephone hot line you were talking about. that's probably something i'm not going to get into, victor. i don't understand. my advisors don't think it's an issue i should get involved with. good morning. vote for jess washington the people's choice.
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hi, i'm jess washington, a city council candidate. so, it gives me great pleasure to give you the next councilman from the fourth district the people's choice, jess washington. hi. sorry i'm late. that's okay. - any messages ? - yeah, lots. must be nice to be so popular. yeah, i guess. there's a story about you in today's paper. oh, yeah ? did you know your friend comstock tore down half the buildings in downtown... so he could put in parking lots ? most of those places are ancient. maybe, but they are places where people worked. well, people need to park their cars someplace. not if they can't afford to buy their cars. your friend has cost this city 1,200 jobs in the last five years. look, carol, i've been talking politics all day.
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what do you say we give it a rest ? fine. go ahead and turn your back on the issues that got you into this in the first place. all that stuff did was get me ignored. well, with your new look, i don't think you're going to have to worry about that anymore. - thanks for the support. - jess, when i said i'd support you for city council i meant you, not some political puppet. - meaning what ? - meaning you're not going to get my vote. i'm sorry, jess. me too. good night, carol.
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promises promises, promises. it makes me angry when people don't do what they say they will do. i promise i won't do that with "word play." i think you should know, sir there are people outside... placing pieces of wood with stripes on them all over the street in front of your cafe.
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and i promise i will not make you late for the rest of the story. shall we go ? well, mr. councilman knock 'em dead. jess, jess, jess, jess ! my fellow citizens as we look ahead and prepare to confront the difficult issues that loom before us the stakes could not be higher. do we want our government to tie the hands of our business community... with unnecessary rules and regulations ? no. no.
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or do we want-- or do we want to give them the freedom they need to pump new economic blood-- into-- what is wrong ? i'm sorry. this is not me. - and this definitely is not me. - jess ! look, the only reason i ran for city council in the first place... was because i got a water bill for $30,000 and i couldn't find anybody to do anytng about it. so i decided if no one was available to help an ordinary citizen solve his problem, then somebody ought to step in. i thought that someone might be me. anyway, i know people are tired of getting ripped off. and i don't care if it's by government officials who only care about getting reelected... or by developers who are only interested in making big profits.
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yeah. tell 'em, jess. i'll only make one promise... and that is to work for the interests of the people in this community. thank you very much. it's too bad, jess. for a while there, you really had a shot. honey ! jess, jess, jess jess, jess ! you wanted to speak to me, hassan ? rosa, i have enjoyed your company very much these past many weeks. i've enjoyed yours hassan. i'm going back to egypt, so i would like to ask you something. oh, yes, i almost forgot. i promised to give you some of my recipes.
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no, no, no. i have something to tell you. but, first, i would like to give you something. excuse me, please, huh ? - this is for me ? - yes. - is it for me to cook ? - if you wish. i don't understand. in my country, at one time it was customary for a man... to ask for a woman's hand in marriage by offering her family something of value. hassan, are you asking me to mar you ? yes, i am. oh, listen. i don't know how to
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say this without hurting your feelings. but i can't marry you. i'm sorry. oh. you want your goat back ? okay. thank you. hassan, would you mind helping me ? but i thought you didn't want to talk to me anymore. oh, just because i didn't accept your goat doesn't mean we can't be friends. hello ? okay, everybody, this is it. bohman: 17,211.
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washington: 18,422. johansen: 19,706. tom johansen has just been declared the winner. i am sorry, jess. as far as i'm concerned, you did win. you came close to turning this city on its head. and if that's not a victory, i don't know what is. it was very nice to have met you, hassan. yes. good-bye, hassan. bye-bye. and thanks again for all your help. it was all very exciting. and, rosa, it was a great pleasure to have met you.
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good-bye, hassan. so, jess, what are you going to do now that all the excitement is over ? i don't know but it sure was fun while it lasted. there's going to be another election in less than a year. i'll think about it. but in the meantime, let's hope tom johansen does a decent job. yeah, it's about time this city had someone good on the council. oh, i'm not thinking about the city. i just got another water bill. closed-captioned by captions, inc. los angeles
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crossroads cafe is a series that teaches english... to speakers of other languages. for more information call toll free:
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