February 21, 2013
Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
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
ALL WILL SOON BE
Fresh from the front page
of today's paper is this article that shows how the police shortage is turning
around and staffing for Bay Area law enforcement agencies will soon be back to
normal, right? Well perhaps, but the citizens of San Jose shouldn't hold their
Wanted: New Cops
years of cutbacks and layoffs, region’s law enforcement agencies are beginning
to take on recruits—
— Feb. 21, 2013
After years of cutbacks, layoffs — and now climbing crime rates — police
departments throughout the Bay Area have begun taking on new recruits again.
Over the past five years, of 13 Bay Area police agencies surveyed by this
newspaper — including the California Highway Patrol, Oakland and San Jose — all
but one have shed officers, a total of 981 cops, leaving 6,637. That’s a loss of
12.8 percent, forcing some departments to focus on responding to crime rather
than preventing it.
But the rush of hiring will reverse the downward trend and begin to rebuild the
forces, many of them undermanned and demoralized from years of reductions.
Authorities say the expected infusion of about 480 cops among the 13 agencies
will beef up services such as street patrol and anti-drug units and even allow
more officers to bust lead-footed drivers. Yet for larger departments,
especially Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco, the incoming officers will
mostly stabilize the ranks, which are being depleted by retirements and
“We’ve turned a corner; we’ve changed directions,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck
Reed. “We’re no longer shrinking, and now it’s a question of how long it will
take us to grow.”
As California plunged into economic crisis in 2008, police departments across
the state stopped recruiting new officers and some even laid off cops. San Jose,
for the first time in its history, cut 66 officers in June 2011, bringing its
ranks down to 1,106. Oakland made cuts a year before, losing 80 cops, which left
it with about 695. Both cities have seen crime increase since the cuts.
Oakland’s killings hit 131 in 2012, an increase of 19 percent over 110 the
previous year. San Jose, long called one of America’s safest big cities, had 46
killings last year, a two-decade high.
Dozens of recruits line up
outside the Contra Costa
Sheriff’s Office training site in Pittsburg on Feb. 9.
Jordan Waters, of Turlock, carries a 165-pound
part of the applicants’ physical testing.
Police unions have argued the crime increases were directly tied to the cuts,
but experts are less confident. Franklin E. Zimring, a crime expert and
professor at UC Berkeley’s law school, said it’s not clear if those increases
are troubling trends or “just variation that can come down as easily as it goes
But violent crimes and property crimes statewide were up 6.8 percent in the
first half of 2012 compared with the previous year, which is the biggest jump
the Golden State has seen in 20 years of consistently falling crime, said
researcher Mike Males of the San Francisco- based policy group Center on
Juvenile and Criminal Justice.
Recruits sprint Feb. 9 during
a 500-yard run as part
physical testing at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s
Law Enforcement Training Center in Pittsburg.
recruits also took a two-hour written test.
Officers on streets
A still sluggish job market and a small number of police jobs have sparked a
feverish response to recent large-scale hiring efforts. Jerri Mannion, 22, of
Wilton, was among a crowd that recently turned out for Contra Costa County
Sheriff’s Office recruit testing.
“It’s really competitive,” said Mannion, who has applied with eight agencies in
the region. “There are so many people trying to get into law enforcement right
now. There are so many applicants, you have to be the best of the best to get
The approximately 480 officers the 13 departments plan to hire in 2013 would
bring their ranks to 7,117. Some of the agencies, such as the California Highway
Patrol, had gone several years without a mass recruitment, though many
departments occasionally added already trained officers even in the darkest
years of the recession. The current rush of hiring won’t necessarily mean a
flood of new cops on the street. Authorities will cut some recruits; others will
drop out during the months of academy and field training. Other barriers will
also thin the influx.
For example, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office says it has long struggled
against deputies leaving for better paying jobs at other departments. So in
addition to rebuilding after cuts — it has 59 fewer deputies than in 2008 — it
must keep up with turnover.
“Our deputies and dispatchers are historically among the lowest paid in the Bay
Area,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jimmy Lee. “Accordingly, we are one of
the few law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area that has continuous year-round
Similar to Contra Costa County, the hiring in San Jose, San Francisco and
Oakland will mostly replace retiring officers or fill gaps left by layoffs or
Despite this, the departments surveyed said the new officers will allow them to
restore or beef up investigation and crime prevention. San Jose police Sgt.
Jason Dwyer said the incoming officers could help provide sorely needed manpower
to the city’s patrol division. That could bring faster response times to calls
for help; the more officers, the faster they can deal with requests.
Daly City plans to hire six to eight officers this year and would like to use
some of them to work in schools. The department cut back its community service
bureau, which leaves two officers to do the work once done by eight. With the
four new officers Hayward hopes to hire this year, plans are in place to assign
more back to the traffic enforcement unit. Palo Alto is also looking at
resurrecting its traffic unit, which was cut in July 2012.
No new services
None of the 13 agencies surveyed by this newspaper said it planned to offer new
services. Some of the changes, such as having victims of less serious crimes
fill out their own reports online, are here to stay.
In Oakland, the bolstered staffing will be part of an effort to bring officers
into neighborhoods where they can get to know the community and who is behind
“When you have more police, you have less crime, but it’s not just the number,”
said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. “It’s having them deployed on a geographic basis
where they actually know the community and strengthen community policing. Those
two things bring down crime significantly.”
Staff writers Natalie Neysa Alund, Erin Ivie, Daniel Jimenez and Robert
Salonga contributed to this report. Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335.
THE TRIALS AND
TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
TV news clips about the SJPD over the past week included this one
from last Saturday by KTVU Channel 2.
San Jose On
High Alert Due to Spike in Crime
• • • • •
Looks like the POA has won the first of two rounds relating to
the re-election of Rose Herrera...
Committee that Backed Rose Herrera's Re-election
Mercury News — Feb. 15, 2013
SAN JOSE -- The state's political watchdog commission
has proposed a $2,500 fine against an independent committee that supported the
re-election of San Jose Councilwoman Rose Herrera last fall.
The penalty is based on one of two allegations in a complaint filed with the
California Fair Political Practices Commission in mid-October by the San Jose
Police Officers' Association, which opposed Herrera.
The FPPC found that the committee backing Herrera violated state law by failing
to disclose the names of its largest contributors in a mass mailing. But the
FPPC said the committee had cooperated during its review and that its failure to
include the required disclaimers was not intentional. Because the committee
immediately agreed to cease any mailings with the inadequate campaign
disclosures, the FPPC lowered the fine, which could have been $5,000 plus up to
three times the cost of the mailings.
The police union also alleged that a $100,000 donation to the San Jose Reform
Committee Supporting Rose Herrera for City Council 2012 violated campaign laws
governing the transfer of money between political committees because it came
from a committee linked to Mayor Chuck Reed's Measure B pension reform campaign.
Herrera is a Reed ally who supported the mayor's
pension reform Measure B, which San Jose voters passed overwhelmingly in June.
Herrera's opponent, attorney Jimmy Nguyen, was supported by an independent
committee funded by the police union, among others. The union is fighting
Measure B in court.
In a five-page FPPC report Friday, the commission only addressed the mailing
violation. The allegation about the $100,000 contribution is still under review.
"We're appreciative that the state's political watchdog confirmed that the
committee supporting Rose Herrera violated the law, and we eagerly await the
outcome of the ongoing investigation of Mayor Chuck Reed's illegal funneling of
$100,000 to further support Rose Herrera," said Tom Saggau, spokesman for the
San Jose POA.
Matt Mahood, chief executive officer of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of
Commerce, which helped establish the independent committee to support Herrera,
said the group learned a good lesson.
"Once we were notified of the technical violation," he said, "we took immediate
action to correct the error and to ensure that it would not happen again in the
Both sides have agreed to the fine, which must be signed off by the FPPC's board
at its Feb. 28 meeting.
• • • • •
The I.A. column in last
Sunday's paper addressed the issue of the Austin (TX) PD recruiting San Jose
cops with the knowledge and assistance of the POA...
Union Helps Austin Recruit City Officers
Mercury News - Feb. 17, 2013
It isn’t just Texas Gov. Rick Perry who’s looking to lure Californians to the
Lone Star State.
The San Jose Police Officers’ Association hosted the Austin Police Department
last Tuesday to promote Austin’s effort to recruit the city’s cops. Austin was
seeking city officers chafing at pay and benefit cuts brought on by the soaring
cost of their city retirement pensions. It’s not the first time the SJPOA has
hosted outside recruiters in recent months.
But critics feel the officers’ union is being hypocritical by inviting
recruiters to poach city cops. The SJPOA has argued that the department is
dangerously short-handed and blamed Mayor Chuck Reed’s pension reforms for
driving officers out and allowing crime to spike. A recent newsletter likened
the department to the sinking Titanic.
“Truly counterproductive behavior” was how Councilman Pete Constant, a Reed ally
and former San Jose cop, put it, arguing that the union is “encouraging people
to leave” the force and further jeopardizing the safety of remaining officers
and the public. “Their energies would be much better used in looking for ways we
can increase the size of our department rather than decreasing it.” SJPOA
consultant Tom Saggau said that while continued police departures are “a
concern,” officers are free to pursue other job options.
“People are filling out applications all over the state and the region,” Saggau
said. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
It’s worth noting the context: While the San Jose police union has stymied
Reed’s voter-approved pension reforms with lawsuits, it’s in contract renewal
talks with the city and seeking raises totaling 16 percent over three years.
Reed and his City Council allies have said the city can’t afford that without
cutting libraries and other programs but have suggested smaller, one-time
retention bonuses to keep officers on the beat.
Austin’s police recruiter, Lt. Jerry Gonzalez , said the recruitment trip was a
success. About two dozen San Jose cops showed up and more than half are
potential candidates to join his department.
San Jose has been scrambling to recruit more officers, and hundreds have
applied. Deputy City Manager Alex Gurza said San Jose’s retirement plans appear
similar to Austin’s and that salaries are much higher. The base salary is
$97,198 for a veteran officer in San Jose, compared with $82,553 in Austin.
“We are still an attractive place to work,” Gurza said, “and we still have
police officers who want to work here.”
Meyer Weed got
a little wordy this week and wrote this blog entry about last week's "San Jose
Inside.com" article entitled "POA Wants What's Best for Members: Helps
Facilitate SJPD Exodus." It was authored by Kathleen Flynn and we included it in
last week's Farsider. This is the link to Flynn's opinion piece if you want to
review the numerous readers' comments that appear below the article...
Open letter to Kathleen Flynn
There is a
thread on San Jose Inside regarding SJPOA hosting recruiters from the Austin
Texas Police Department. I composed this response to many of the things Ms.
Flynn posted. The problem is, I exceeded the character limit for posts by nearly
2000, so the piece was rejected. I don't feel like editing it so I am posting it
Kathleen, we appreciate the support for public employees and public safety
specifically. We appreciate your range of advocacy and understand your desire to
“build bridges” and mediate. But you can't mediate math. With fewer employees
and the same amount of work, employees have no choice but to do more work.
Unfortunately more “hours in the day” aren't included with the “more work” part,
so the work has to be prioritized, and the lower the priority, the less likely
it is to get done.
First, SJPOA, Fire and MEF all held press conferences pre-Measures V, W and B.
All media were invited. Sometimes they showed up, sometimes they didn't. The
media picks and chooses what they show up to and what they report on. All
received press releases covering what they attended and what they chose to
ignore. I am just one voice, but I had extensive email exchanges with the Merc's
Herhold and others trying to educate them to the public employees' side of the
story. Herhold said our version was “too complicated for the common man to
understand.” Woolfolk chose/chooses “job security” by reporting the City's side
and is taking a wait and see approach if/when the City's efforts fail. I gather
he wants to do some sort of retrospective look at the situation sometime in the
The unions did waste plenty of money on full page ads in the Merc. I say “waste”
because I'm not sure anyone reads the Merc in print. I understand that they may
have had to pay to have Op-Ed letters published (the Merc is a business you
know). Did you read any of them?
Police and Fire are not “punishing” you or anyone else over the passage of the
ballot measures. It is simple math. There are fewer police, fewer firefighters,
fewer librarians and fewer pollution control employees, deputy city attorneys,
park maintenance workers, code enforcement officers, fewer workers in streets
and traffic and every other classification... Oh no, wait, the Mayor has the
same number of advisers as does every council member, and hey, the IPA (Cordell)
got a raise and increased her office budget and the size of her
What's the point? Someone forgot to tell the crooks that there would be fewer
cops and to take their business elsewhere. They forgot to tell residents to stop
calling 911 when their house was on fire, or their child was drowning in the
pool, or Dad was having a heart attack. Police and Fire with fewer cops and
firefighters get at least as many, if not more, calls to answer. We still
have the same number of parks that need tending and the same miles of asphalt,
libraries, meters, red zones and toilets flushing.
Meanwhile, the IPA ramped up “community outreach” to help make SJPD even more
professional than the world thought it was. She (with her increased budget and
staff) has justified her existence by exponentially increasing the number of
complaints her office fields with no corresponding increase in exposed problems
within the SJPD.
San Jose employees are burned out. Fewer coworkers and the same amount, if not
more work, means those who remain are doing more work. There is mandatory
overtime which the City and its taxpayers love because (1) It isn't pensionable,
contrary to what anyone in the media or the City Council says; (2) Contrary to
urban legend in SJ, most overtime is paid in “Compensatory Time Off” and
not in cash, and (3) It is cheaper to pay in cash and compensatory time off than
it is to hire and pay salary plus benefits, even though CTO is an unfunded
liability that negatively impacts the City's bond/credit rating.
Yet, you and others will cross your arms and stomp your feet and demand that
SJPD detail non-existent resources to bust a guy who lights fireworks on the
Fourth of July of all days! When it is calmly and rationally explained why this
is not a priority in the grand scheme of policing a city of 1 million when there
are fewer than 90 officers for the entire City, you stick your fingers in your
ears and hum. You complain to the Lieutenant, the Captain, the Chief and the
Council that heads should roll. Perhaps next year there will be a squad of
officers detailed to ensure that the guy with the patriotic fireworks is dealt
with. Where were you these last few weeks during the “Lunar New Year”
celebrations and the accompanying pyrotechnics? Do you know that the same City
Council and command staff who placated you with promises of action next 4th
participated in the “Lunar” celebrations complete with illegal fireworks? That
the security at sanctioned celebrations (complete with illegal fireworks) was
required by the City to be provided with SJPD officers and the Office of the
Chief's Secondary Employment Unit? Reality check!
Again, no one is “punishing you.” I have no doubt that you voted against Measure
B (thank you!), but it is a cliché now for folks to point out when they “need”
the police that they voted against the measures. (Kind of like “I was at
Woodstock.”) It is quite amusing to hear about all of the citizens out there on
the neighborhood blogs who have taken the law into their own hands. Any idea how
many times a cop has heard from these modern “internet tough guys” something to
the effect of, “I want to remain anonymous” or “I don't want to identify the
crook because I am afraid he will retaliate against me!”
As we have heard time and time again from the Mayor, Council and the Merc, the
voters “overwhelmingly approved Measures V, W and B by more than 70 percent.”
This is small “d” democracy in action. The Mayor went outside of an existing
contract and convinced a majority of the minority of voters to change the City
Charter and enact pension reform. Reed will be termed out in less than 2 years,
yet the citizens and employees will suffer as a result of Reed's decision to
reform pensions the way he did for years!
Personally, I think SJPD should put a priority on the neighborhood nuisance
calls as improving the quality of life would certainly generate good press for
the police. In reality this is wishful thinking because we all know how the
media and a vocal minority in the public makes mountains out of mole hills when
murderers, robbers and rapists are taken off the streets. Most of us have been
around long enough to know that we are damned if we do, and damned if we don't.
As for scholarships? No thank you. We will seek and earn our own. The terms will
be known and we will accept or reject awards accordingly. This way we can ensure
that there are no strings attached, or favors that can be called in later.
Community appreciation barbecues? Again, no thanks. Don't want 'em, don't need 'em.
We need to feed, clothe and house ourselves and our families 365 days a year.
You want to thank us? Compensate us in the manor specified in the contracts that
the City and the unions negotiated and agreed upon. If the City can't uphold its
end of the contract, we understand. Times are tough for everyone, so let's
return to the negotiating table and work this out together. But don't insult us
with claims that we are to blame. We did nothing except show up to work with and
without contracts. When the City needed us to give up 10 percent, we gave. But
we have now learned that we were mislead into believing our sacrifice was
temporary. Once again the City lied, and we are left with no choice but to
appeal to the courts to make us whole.
More City employees living in the City Limits? First, the cost of living is too
high, even with the salaries employees were making prior to the 10 percent cuts.
Those who owned homes in town took their profits, but had to move out of town to
be able to afford anything livable. Second, all bargaining units at one time or
another have asked the City to provide incentives such as low interest loans to
live inside the City limits. The City's answer has consistently been, “No Way!”
The only exception to this is for certain City Department Heads who can
negotiate their own contract terms with the City. Remember Barbara Attard, the
previous Independent Police Auditor, who scored a condo that was subsidized by
the taxpayers? Her contract wasn't renewed, the condo went upside down, she
skipped out on the loan, and now the taxpayer is picking up the tab for the
condo. That debacle should give everyone insight into the character of the
person who the Mayor and Council appoint to be the watchdog of police integrity.
It should also give everyone insight into the integrity of the Mayor and Council
who appointed her. There were a number of federal programs that offered
subsidies to police officers who purchase homes in cities where they worked, but
they required home purchases in the worst gang-infested neighborhoods in SJ and
are/were not an option.
Unfortunately, this bad blood isn't going away anytime soon. You didn't create
it and neither did the employees. The bad blood between the City and its
employees is a sad fact of life. Reed has declared that should Measure B fail in
the courts, he will resort to more pay cuts and layoffs. In his recent State of
the City speech, restoring pay is his third priority behind restoring services
and hiring. He clearly is out of touch with reality as the City continues to
loose trained and experienced employees to other employers who pay better. And
the City is failing to attract applicants for existing vacancies because its
compensation package is far below “market rate," and so it goes. The City isn't
getting any smaller and its decline isn't slowing, yet the one thing that would
turn the tide (competitive pay/benefits) is a non-starter under this regime.
Results from last week's poll...
For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
This subject has bugged me for some time. One of the most common gun term
mistakes thrown around is the word "clip," referring to the device inserted into
a firearm to arm it.
A magazine is a spring-loaded device that feeds the weapon itself. A clip is
used to feed the magazine. For example, the M1 Garand uses a clip, whereas an
AR15 and a Glock 22 use a magazine. I realize there are rare exceptions to the
above, however, the word "clip" that is thrown around by the media is most often
Thanks for your patience.
Bob Tenbrink #1468
• • • • •
From the proposed bills California is considering, it appears we will join
Canada on the gun control issue of registration preceding confiscation. One of
the bills specifically targets the 166,000 "assault weapons" that were
registered in CA when the first "assault weapon" ban was passed. These are the
rifles commonly referred to as pre-banned, and to my knowledge, very few if any
have been used in crimes. If there had been, the anti-gun crowd would have been
screaming it at their press conferences.
On one hand, it would be relatively easy to collect them in California since the
state knows who has them. On the other hand, it would be more difficult than in
Canada since some of the weapons have likely been sold in other states where
there is no paperwork to trace them, and some of the owners have probably moved
to other states. However, the weapons in question could easily be placed in a
data base that shows it's a felony to possess one in California and illegal to
sell in another state.
With the Feds pushing for a nationwide background check (which means
registration) on every sale, the government has tools in place to seize any type
of gun that is later deemed to be illegal. I personally do not trust the powers
that be or any future powers to have those tools and not use them.
• • • • •
For general information related to firearms, this site has detailed assembly
instructions and blow-up diagrams for every rifle and handgun made. Just search
the site for your brand and model number and download the info for free. And
consider saving the data on a CD and placing it in a zip-lock bag for future use
if needed. Click on this link:
• • • • •
For the Farsider, how about a survey on how retirees feel about the MERGE
T-shirts with the skull and crossed rifles/carbines? I hate to agree with
LaDoris Cordell, but I think the shirts send out a very unfortunate, if
unintended, image of the SJPD. Those officers are very much respected by all for
their training, expertise and willingness to take the point on whatever hairy
situation might arise next. But the skull sends a wrong message. Think of the
LAPD officers shooting at a wrong vehicle while looking for Christopher Dorner
and injuring two innocent women? Wouldn't their lawyer like to have a T-shirt
like that to hold up to a jury?
Anyway, if you like the idea of a vote, sorry it's a little late for presstime
this week. But if our membership avoids a knee-jerk reaction in support of the
"Us versus LaDoris" issue, maybe it could have a salutary message go out to the
troops in question.
Hi Bob. I seriously doubt there is more than a
small handful of readers — if any — who would agree that a T-shirt bearing that
design was a smart idea, and I don't think we need a poll to establish that.
Even if we ran such a poll and it confirmed that the vast majority of retirees
disapproved of the design, it wouldn't have an impact because there is a
disconnect between us (the retirees) and them (the actives). Furthermore, when
we first covered this issue in the Farsider back in December it was a "proposed
design," and I'm not aware if the T-shirt actually went into production. As for
it being criticized by LaDoris Cordell, I also doubt that anyone's opinion about
the Independent Police Auditor is going to change, even though they may be in
agreement with her over the T-shirt issue.
THE HISTORY OF THE
SJPD IS NOT TO BE FORGOTTEN
It's 1963. Downtown is not only the center of the business community for the
city, but also for Santa Clara Valley. It was the bustling hub known as The
Valley of Hearts' Delights as all of the major department stores were located in
the downtown area. At First and Santa Clara was Roos Bros., and on the opposite
corner was J.C. Penney.
Shortly before 5:00 p.m. on March 22, 1963, a violent explosion shook the
downtown area after a 6-foot-tall boiler exploded in the bottom of the J.C.
Penney store, destroying the Thrifty Drug store that was on the main level of
the building. The catastrophic event killed 3, injured over 70 and scattered
glass and wreckage into the city's main intersection of First and Santa Clara.
Along with fire and medical responses, the SJPD responded in force and utilized
its police station wagons as ambulances to transport the injured to nearby
hospitals. It was an event that made national news.
Fast forward to several years later when an enterprising Records Sergeant came
across an audio tape of the emergency radio transmissions of the event. The
Records Division at the time was located on the ground floor of the former City
Hall at 1st and Mission streets (801 N. First for you perfectionists).
Thinking that the Records' ladies might find the tape interesting, the Sergeant
decided to play it for them one morning during the Records briefing. What he
overlooked was that the interior walls of Records did not run from the floor to
the ceiling; instead, the walls left about a two-foot gap between the top of the
walls and the ceiling, and located next to the briefing room was the Patrol
At about 0730 one morning, eight to ten ladies were engrossed listening to the
actual radio transmissions of the emergency. When the Captain next door heard
the portion of the tape where personnel on the scene were heard to call "Send
more ambulances to 1st and Santa Clara," the Captain immediately sprang into
action by punching up his direct line to Communications and bellowed, "Get more
ambulances to 1st and Santa Clara." The dumbfounded Senior Radio Dispatcher
could only stare at the phone in his hand; he had no idea what was going on.
Again the tape the ladies were listening to in the briefing room barked, "Send
more ambulances to 1st and Santa Clara," and again the Captain picked up his
phone, punched in the number for Communications and directed that more
ambulances be sent to the scene.
This time the Records Sergeant heard the Captain in the adjacent cubicle on the
phone to Communications and immediately realized what was happening. He quickly
turned off the tape recorder and walked a few feet to the Captain's cubicle and
advised him he was playing a tape of the Penney's explosion for the gals in
It goes without saying that the incident resulted in a few red faces. But then,
the asphalt jungle of the SJPD is replete with red-face stories. We'll explore
more of them as time goes by.
~ ~ ~
Google search turned up this news clip of the aftermath
of the 1963 Penney's explosion that made national news...
For more information about the catastrophic
event, click on any or all of the links below...
URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF FEB. 16, 2013
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
• Comedienne Kathy Griffin's controversial remarks during the 2007 Emmy
• College student evades a rapist by calling 112 on her
• Is Bill Gates giving $5,000 to Facebook users who
click a share link?
• Rumor: President Obama did not mention the death of
Chris Kyle but ordered flag flown at half-staff for Whitney Houston.
• Text purportedly reproduces a letter to the editor from a "proud Democrat."
• Did Starbucks refuse to donate free product to Marines serving in Iraq?
• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news
stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
• What are we celebrating on the holiday known as 'Presidents Day'?
Still Haunting the Inbox
• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's
circulating in the on-line world.
• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes
commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
THE LIGHTER SIDE &
OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
"Vote early and often" is
often used as a humorous cliché that is likely to have originated many years ago
in Chicago. But some people have taken that concept to heart, as this Feb. 8th
news clip from a local ABC affiliate in Cincinnati shows. If ever there was a
pro-argument for voter I.D. — which Progressives adamantly oppose — this clip
and numerous others you can find on YouTube by searching for "voter fraud"
should prove the point. (3 Mins.)
It took over a week for Fox
News to pick up and confirm the story, but it was finally covered on Greta Van
Susteren's show on Feb. 19th. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Mega kudos to whoever put
this website together. It's for anyone who has even a mild interest in aviation
as it includes 179 individual video clips detailing the history of aircraft from
World War I up to the present time. Several of the older clips are from those
Universal Newsreel films that used to accompany movies many of us saw in
theaters when we were kids in the '40s and '50s.
• • • • •
Speaking of aviation, this
is the story about a Pan American Clipper Flying Boat that was in the air when
Pearl Harbor was attacked and war immediately broke out between Japan and the
U.S. To get home to America safely, the 11-member crew had to endure a
high-risk, 31,500-mile roundabout route from Auckland to New York City. It's an
incredible story about endurance and luck. (5 Mins.)
I was too young to have
ever flown on a Pan American Clipper Flying Boat that brought world air travel
to the rich and famous in the years leading up to World War II. I was, however,
privileged to fly at government expense from Alameda to Honolulu at the ripe old
age of 10 with my family in 1953 on a similar Navy seaplane called the
Philippine Mars when my military father was transferred to his final duty
assignment at Pearl Harbor. Compared to air travel today, the 2,400-mile
overnight flight in the unpressurized seaplane flew at an average altitude of
10,000 feet and took a full ten hours. Simple division will provide you with our
Using rockets to help it into the air, the Philippine
Mars departs Alameda for Honolulu (circa 1955).
• • • • •
There's no need to go out
and buy a copy of Esquire if you want to read the story about the SEAL who
nailed bin Laden. It's on the Internet for all to see, and you can access it
• • • • •
After watching the
investigative news video embedded in this article received from Dirk Parsons,
some cops might cynically quip: "If I was a cop in Chicago I'd have to be half
buzzed to go to work." (4 Mins.)
• • • • •
Heineken appears to have
tried to resurrect the Speakeasy that was popular during the prohibition era
with this short commercial we received from Lumpy. (2
• • • • •
Some people are critical of
celebrities and politicians using their fame and notoriety to push commercial
products. Here's an excellent example that Jay Leno recently pointed out during
his monologue. (1 Min.)
• • • • •
Congrats to these Purdue
University's Mechanical Engineering students who accepted Coca-Cola's challenge
to come up with the most outrageous way to share a coke. They done good.
• • • • •
If you remember
"Flipper" the dolphin, here's an incredible freak of nature story and a video
that backs it up, courtesy of Tom Macris...
"Super Mega-Pod" of 100,000 Dolphins Spotted Off CA Coast
Feb. 19, 2013
A "super-mega-pod" of over 100,000 dolphins was spotted
Thursday off the coast of San Diego as they traveled together in a gigantic
Joe Dutra, captain of Hornblower Cruises, who was out on his daily tour with a
group of nature watchers said that the enormous pack of traveling dolphins must
have been more than seven miles long and five miles wide.
"When you see something like that it is truly beyond belief," Dutra said after
seeing the moving pod first hand, according to NBC San Diego.
"They were coming from all directions. You could see them from as far as the eye
can see," he added. "I've seen a lot of stuff out here but this is the biggest
I've ever seen, ever. You had to be there to experience it. It was truly
Dolphins generally travel in packs of between 15 and 200 that are called pods.
However, what the nature watchers spotted on Thursday is best described as a
"super mega pod" given the sheer size of the group.
While experts do not know exactly why so many of the marine mammals were
traveling together on this particular day, some believe that the dolphins may
have grouped together because of the area's abundant amount of food such as
sardines, herring and squid.
"They're attracted to the same thing and might wind up in the same place,"
marine expert Sarah Wilkin told NBC. "They're social animals, they stick
together in small groups. Sometimes, the schools come together."
Although the super dolphin pod may seem like a very rare occurrence, experts
said that a very similar flock of thousands of dolphins were seem swimming
together in February 2012 about 65 miles north of San Diego, suggesting that
there may be an unknown migratory pattern that dolphins take on each year.
And here is a
video of the super-mega-pod. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Do dogs have dreams? This
compilation video received from Don Hale shows that they apparently do, which
probably won't surprise those of you who own a dog. (4
• • • • •
Speaking of dogs, what's
the story behind this police report written by a British police K-9 named
Peaches? Click on the link below sent in by Ken Hawkes and ye shall learn that
some people in the Her Majesty's justice system are seriously lacking a sense of
• • • • •
Who needs a safe when you
can hide your guns and other valuables in plain sight, providing you have tons
of dough to spend. (4 Mins.)
• • • • •
Imagine a golf course
specially designed for disabled war veterans. That's what we have here at the
American Lake golf course in Tacoma, WA. Have a look at this clip sent in by Guy
Bernardo. (5 Mins.)
• • • • •
Oh, those fun loving
Lutherans, what will they think of next? Check out the St. Luke's Bottle Band
from the St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. What better way to
put empty beer bottles to use than to turn them into musical instruments and
entertain the congregation with the band's signature rendition of the Peacherine
Rag, as shown in this clip received from Bruce Morton.
• • • • •
In closing, Dave Wysuph
wanted to know if this story was fit to print? We'll let you readers who managed
to get this far in the Farsider decide...
An old cowboy walked into the barbershop for a shave and a haircut. After he was
seated, he told the barber he wouldn't be able to get all his whiskers off
because his cheeks are so badly wrinkled from age.
The barber looked the face over, then picked up a little wooden ball from a cup
on the shelf and told the old cowboy to put it inside his cheek which would
spread out the skin.
When the barber was finished, the old cowboy told the barber it was the cleanest
shave he's had in years. But he wanted to know what would have happened if he
had swallowed the little ball?
The barber replied, "Just bring it back in a couple of days like everyone else."
• • • • •
Pic of the Week:
Join the North Korean Army and maybe you too
could be awarded a medal...
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