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The Farsider

February 7
, 2013

 

Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <bilmat@comcast.net>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <leroypyle@sjpba.net>

 

The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.



 

PENSION NEWS

Nothing new to report this week.



 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD


Yada-yada-yada. The paper's editorial pontificated last Friday on the idea put forth by Councilmembers Liccardo and Constant last week that by giving San Jose cops a one-time handout might stop the exodus of experienced officers. The article that follows is from yesterday's paper and expands on the idea...
 

San Jose Can Find Ways to Keep Officers

Mercury News Editorial — Feb. 1, 2013


San Jose City Councilmen Sam Liccardo and Pete Constant have taken a page from the police and fire unions’ playbook.

They’ve publicly proposed a retention bonus plan for officers, even though no compensation package has been presented at the bargaining table.

Before the passage of Measure B for pension reform last June, the public safety unions would introduce their pension proposals at news conferences before negotiations. The intent was the same: to declare publicly that they understood and wanted to solve the problem at hand.

The problem now is that the police department is hemorrhaging experienced officers frustrated with Measure B, which the union is fighting in court, and with the 10 percent pay cut for all city workers that the police accepted in 2010 but now want reversed. Council members who supported Measure B, like Liccardo and Constant, do need to show that they’re committed to finding ways within budget constraints to stop the bleeding. Their bonus idea and proposal for a study session on retention are good starting points.

Mayor Chuck Reed, Measure B’s author, should make retaining officers a theme of his State of the City speech Thursday. He talked about it last fall, but the intent needs to be reinforced. Animosity between Reed and police union leaders stays at a fever pitch and is probably incurable, but the mayor’s message can still be important to individual officers.

Of course what will count is the compensation proposal the city puts on the bargaining table once the budget picture is clear, probably in February. A return to the good old days of budget surpluses isn’t going to happen, and the council can’t abandon its resolve to eliminate the structural deficit that has dogged San Jose for a decade. But at a minimum, there will be some one-time cash available, and police retention should be the priority for it.

Crime is up in much of the Bay Area. Even the safest smaller cities such as Sunnyvale and Palo Alto have had spikes in burglaries. But low staffing in San Jose does limit officers’ ability to respond to these property crimes, which have a powerful effect on residents’ sense of safety and well-being.

The city needs more police officers, and it needs to hang on to as many experienced officers as possible. There’s no shortage of new recruits, but the fortune it costs to train rookies is money that can’t go into raises or additional hiring in public safety or other departments. And you can’t put a price on experience.

San Jose is down to about 940 officers, with 59 soon graduating from the academy. The department would be in worse shape today if the union hadn’t accepted that 10 percent pay cut two years ago to prevent some layoffs — but the important thing now is keeping the officers we’ve got.
 

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Don't be misled by the headline of this article from yesterday's paper. If approved, the 16-percent pay increase for the working cops would not be immediate; it would be over a period of three years...

Pay Hike of 16% Tops List for Cops

—As contract talks open, union says raise critical to keep veteran officers—

By John Woolfolk
<jwoolfolk@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — Feb. 6, 2013

SAN JOSE — San Jose police opened contract talks with the city by seeking pay increases totaling 16 percent over the next three years, raises that would include restoring 10-percent pay cuts this year that the officers had accepted to limit layoffs amid record budget deficits, plus 3 percent raises in 2014 and 2015.

The officers’ opening salvo comes amid heightened concern about rising crime and a shrinking police force whose ranks have been thinned by a combination of layoffs, retirements and resignations. City leaders have said they would support modest raises. But the San Jose Police Officers’ Association has argued that bigger raises are needed to keep officers from leaving for other departments offering richer pay and benefits. The union also called for opening negotiations to the public, something few city leaders have supported on grounds it could hinder talks.

“With council members floating trial balloons, disguised as proposals, the POA wanted our members to know what we believe is necessary to stem the exodus of officers from San Jose to other jurisdictions,” said police union President Jim Unland. “We hope the city will join us and open negotiations to the public so that light will shine on a process that is now broken and in need of repair.”

Councilmen Pete Constant and Sam Liccardo last month proposed that the city consider one-time bonus payments to keep officers from leaving the force.

And Mayor Chuck Reed in the fall suggested the city could offer some additional pay to the officers as the city’s budget slowly recovers from the recession. But he said San Jose cannot afford the increases the officers are seeking without significant cutbacks to other departments. Just restoring the 10-percent pay cut to the police, Reed said, would cost $20 million, an amount equal to the annual cost of 100 officers.

“We don’t have the money,” Reed said. “I wish we did. I think we’ll be able to restore some of the cuts, but very modest amounts.”

Reed said the union indicated it expects its contract to be decided in arbitration. But the mayor said the voter-approved arbitration limits he sought in 2010 require the arbitrator to consider any raise’s impact on the city’s budget and other programs.

The contract talks come as the city battles the Police Officers’ Association and other unions in court over pension reforms voters approved in June. Reed argued his Measure B pension reforms would deliver substantial savings to a city that has seen its employee retirement bill balloon from $73 million to $245 million in a decade due to benefit increases, investment losses and flawed assumptions.

That growing retirement bill was a key driver in record budget deficits that led the city to lay off 66 officers in 2011 even as the police union agreed to the 10-percent cuts.

The officers and other city employee unions say the Measure B pension cuts are illegal and that the city should have accepted their retirement concessions, which Reed and other city leaders had deemed insufficient.

In an update on litigation over the pension measure Tuesday, City Attorney Rick Doyle said the city faces a half-dozen lawsuits from city unions and retirees, most of which are expected to be decided together in Santa Clara County Superior Court some time in the spring. There also are an additional seven challenges to the measure before the Public Employee Relations Board.

Both sides were in court last week arguing over the scope of what could be litigated. In a ruling this week, Judge Peter Kirwan sided with the city on a few matters and the unions on others. Doyle said the unions also have just filed court papers to block Measure B implementation.

The ongoing legal battle drew sharp arguments from council members who remain bitterly divided over the pension reforms. Councilman Ash Kalra said the city has started a “war” with its employee unions that will only enrich the private law firms the city has hired to defend the pension cuts in an uphill legal battle. Councilman Kansen Chu noted the city already has spent close to $1 million defending Measure B and about $300,000 fighting related claims before the Public Employee Relations Board.

But Reed said the most controversial provision of his pension reforms — making employees pay up to 16 percent more toward their underfunded retirement plans — would save the city $70 million a year if upheld in court. Elimination of “bonus” pension checks would save $17 million a year.

“We’re leading the effort to find a fiscally sustainable way to reform retirement,” Liccardo said. “It’s a cost we should pay and I think will benefit our residents.”




 

WEEKLY POLL
 

 


Results from last week's poll...




For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
<http://www.rasmussenreports.com/older_content/home/top_stories/most_recent_articles>



 

MAIL CALL
 




 

FEBRUARY VANGUARD NOW AVAILABLE






Click on the link below to view the latest edition of the Vanguard...

<http://www.sjpoa.com/Vanguard.asp>




 

THE BIRTH OF OFFICER ROBILLARD




By the New Officer Robillard, SJPD Ret.

After an early December swingshift briefing back in the mid-'60s, a gathering of sergeants took place in the Sergeants' Office. During a lull in the conversation, Sgt. Dave "Porkchop" Evans picked up the phone, activated the line and placed a call to Capt. E. Dale McCay, a/k/a "Airdale" due to his tour of duty in the Air Force. When the Capt. answered, a voice (Evans) asked for time off (T.O.) for the upcoming Keith Kelley Christmas Dinner Dance. The Capt. told him that all available T.O. had been allocated and that no more would be allowed.

The caller began to plead and conjure up excuses, such as "I already bought my ticket"..."I already rented a tux"...and other reasons why he needed the T.O.

Capt. McCay was adamant that no additional time off could be granted due to staff shortages, and that staffing levels for the night of the dance were already at a bare minimum.

When the voice continued to plead for the T.O. and was continually denied, Capt. McCay finally asked, "Who is this?"

The caller replied "Officer Robillard."

The Capt. finally relented and told the caller that he could have the T.O., but only if he got a replacement.

the caller's response was, "F&%@ you!" Then the line went dead.

The Capt. quite naturally became irate and soon inquired of the assembled sergeants, "Whose man is Robillard?"

Almost in unison, as if by a prearranged agreement, the response was, "He's Miller's man," referring to Sgt. Art Miller, who was not in the room.

Thus began a lengthy internal search for the fictitious Officer Robillard who was never located or identified, but who did become part of the folklore of the SJPD. More stories about the invisible legend to follow...



 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF FEB. 2, 2013

The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox



Did a marlin really sink this fishing boat?

New Articles

• Photographs purportedly show a fishing boat capsized by a black marlin.
<http://www.snopes.com/photos/hunting/marlinboat.asp>

• Rumor from the 1970s held that Jim Nabors and Rock Hudson were married to each other.
<http://www.snopes.com/movies/actors/nabors.asp>

• Opinion piece attributed to Bill Cosby details political and social issues he's tired of.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/imtired.asp>

 • Did Ann Coulter refuse to stay aboard an airplane because it was piloted by a black woman?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/coulter.asp>

• A list of political 'Which Side of the Fence?' entries attributed to comedian Jeff Foxworthy.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/humor/fence.asp>

• Tale about a troubled boy named Teddy Stoddard and the teacher who turned his life around.
<http://www.snopes.com/glurge/teddy.asp>

• Some Facebook users are eligible to claim a payout from the settlement of a class action lawsuit.
<http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/classaction/facebook.asp>

• Are service station customers getting stuck by HIV-loaded syringes affixed to gas pump handles?
<http://www.snopes.com/horrors/mayhem/gaspump.asp>

• Will credit card users soon be assessed an additional 4% fee on their purchases?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/creditcard.asp>

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!
<http://www.snopes.com/daily/>


Worth a Second Look

• Did a reporter covering the Super Bowl ask Redskins QB Doug Williams how long he'd been a black quarterback?
<http://www.snopes.com/sports/football/williams.asp>


Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.
<http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp>


Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
<http://www.snopes.com/fraud/topscams.asp>



 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS

With the national controversy relating to firearms, it shouldn't be surprising that this video is in the process of working its way through cyberspace, especially among the 2nd Amendment pro gun crowd. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-FiVULU9TU>


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Here is an interesting video received from Bruce Fair showing the ballistic effects ranging from a 9mm to a 50 cal. round. The target throughout was a 60-liter water-filled plastic drum. (2 Mins.).



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz8b3gMwld4>

 

• • • • •



Whoever posted this clip on YouTube apparently thought it was funny enough to repeat several times when the first 10 seconds tell the tale. Having said that, it should serve as a warning to those of you who ride a bike with saddlebags to be aware of the width you need to maneuver safely. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb22mDaqSP4>


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Being the magnanimous individual he is, Mike "Big Red" Thompson wants to pass along this tip that will no doubt help you golfers save some money while it helps your game. It's about a new brand of golf ball Mike has been using for the past 12 months. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIR3oCQMQBE>


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This "Kilt Roulette" clip sent in by Sharon Lansdowne is for you ladies. It's a segment from the Graham Norton Show that airs on BBC One in Britain and on BBC America here in the U.S. (5 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ops26WODvVc&feature=channel>


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If you have a grandchild who's about to start college and you promised to pay for his or her tuition, Dave Scannell suggests you send the kid to Father Guido Sarducci's Five Minute University. Not only will you save a ton of dough, the results will be the same five years after the kid graduates. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO8x8eoU3L4>


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The Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor looks far different today than it did in the late '50s. At the time it was nothing more than a platform with the American flag flying over a small bronze plaque memorializing the 1,177 sailors who perished on the battleship on Dec. 7, 1941. Only members of the military and their dependents were allowed to take a Navy launch to the platform at the time. As military brats whose fathers were stationed at Pearl in the mid '50s, Leroy and I were privileged to have visited the Arizona on occasion. It was not open to the public at the time.

It wasn't until 1958 that Congress voted for a bill that would make the Arizona a national monument. The bill was signed by President Eisenhower authorizing the building of the Arizona Memorial and Museum. But it was under the condition that only private funding be used. Ralph Edwards — the host of the then-popular TV show "This is Your Life" — jump-started the kickoff campaign that raised $95,000, and when funding slowed down, Elvis Presley gave a benefit concert that raised an additional $64,000. Eventually, enough money was raised to build the memorial and museum. The link below the second photo will take you to a 10-year-old Honolulu Advertiser story that provides further details...
 



<http://tinyurl.com/afe8wbh>


What few people are aware of is what takes place on occasion at the memorial late in the day after all visitors have departed. The video was provided by Don Hale explains...





<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvSL1cGal6Y>

 

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C'ya



Pic of the Week

After an extensive investigation, the cause of the
Super Bowl blackout has finally been determined...

 
   

Scrolling Box

 
This is the message box, using the scroller component.
 

 

 

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