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
HEALTH & WELFARE
THE LATEST ON
Rather than bury this
article from yesterday's (Wed.) paper in the Local News for Out-of-Towners
column below, we thought we'd place it here at the top so it stands out..
Revised Pension Ballot Advised
urge softer approach to reform after union criticism—
Woolfolk — Mercury News, Feb. 22, 2012
San Jose officials Tuesday called for softening a proposed June ballot
measure to trim city worker pensions while acknowledging they failed to reach a
deal with employee unions to slow growing retirement costs, ensuring a tough
election fight that could draw national interest.
A divided City Council had approved a June ballot measure in December but held
off sending it to the registrar of voters to allow for changes based on
mediation talks with workers. City Manager Debra Figone said that unless the
council votes to change or withdraw the ballot language, it will go to the
registrar as it was approved in December. But Figone recommended Tuesday that
the council, at its March 6 meeting, soften the language approved in December to
reflect union concerns that arose in mediation. The city must submit the
language by March 9 to meet the deadline for the June 5 primary election.
The new proposal would reduce additional amounts that employees would have to
pay toward their pensions to cover accumulated debt in the retirement system,
and make benefits for new hires slightly more generous.
Figone called the revised ballot measure “a critical step toward reducing
retirement costs” that is needed to protect the city’s “viability and public
safety” while maintaining “fair” retirement benefits for its workers.
But union leaders, who have amped up criticism of the city’s pension approach in
recent weeks, were not impressed. Earlier this month, they accused Mayor Chuck
Reed and other top city officials of stoking public outrage and stampeding
employees into concession talks by claiming the city’s $245 million retirement
bill could balloon to $650 million by 2015, a figure union leaders say wasn’t
based on solid independent research. The official projection was $400 million
but is expected to drop to account for layoffs and pay cuts last year.
“There are 650 million reasons why we oppose this latest ballot measure, and it
starts with it being premised on a bogus pension cost projection coming out of
the mayor’s office,” said Nancy Ostrowski, who leads a union of city engineers
San Jose has emerged as a central battleground in a public employee pension cost
debate that has gripped state and local government officials nationwide and
outraged both taxpayers and unions.
In California, efforts to tackle the problem statewide have stalled. A private
group, California Pension Reform, abandoned efforts to put a measure on the
ballot earlier this month, blaming Democratic state Attorney General Kamala
Harris for a summary description to voters that its president, Dan Pellissier,
called unfair and misleading.
Gov. Jerry Brown last year proposed a package of pension reforms that many
lauded as a serious effort but gave long odds of passage through the Democratic
San Jose and San Diego have in turn drawn greater attention for efforts to curb
municipal pension costs through June ballot measures. San Diego’s measure,
backed by Mayor Jerry Sanders, would put new city workers except for police on
401(k)-type retirement savings plans. City unions fighting the measure claim it
violates laws governing labor talks.
The San Jose measure calls for making current workers pay more toward their
pensions and reducing retirement benefits for future hires. Union leaders say it
would violate their rights and note that the city has warned its bond buyers
that its pension reform plans are legally risky.
“They’re telling Wall Street that their pension scheme is chock full of legal
risk, but they’re not telling that to the public,” said Robert Sapien, president
of the San Jose firefighters union.
San Jose workers already make sizable contributions toward their retirement
benefit, which also can include free retirement health insurance premiums. But
the city pays more than three times as much as employees, including covering all
the “unfunded liability” costs for market losses and retroactive benefit
The proposed ballot measure would have workers pay up to half the “unfunded
liability” bill. But the modified measure reduces the cap on how much workers
would pay as a percentage of their paycheck.
Reed said he supports Figone’s recommended changes and that they show that the
city is making a sincere effort to negotiate with workers.
“We’ve moved a lot, but it’s been in response to what we heard in negotiations,”
Reed said. “We’re trying to accommodate the legal constraints and trying to
fashion something that works. But the fundamental problem is being addressed,
and that’s the key thing. That’s always been my goal, is to solve the problem.”
The changes came the same day as a new report from the Stanford Institute for
Economic Policy Research found San Jose has the highest average pension for
public safety workers — $90,612 — and second-highest for other employees —
$39,076 — among 20 of the state’s largest city and county retirement systems.
The report said future costs will vary greatly depending on assumptions of
investment returns that offset city and employee costs. San Jose and other
pension plans have been lowering those assumptions to reflect today’s more
uncertain market. The report said San Jose would have to pay nearly $400 million
this year for retirement benefits if it used conservative risk-free assumptions.
Results from last week's poll
For the full scope of state and national polling by Scott
Rasmussen, click on this link:
For the most recent releases, click here:
Jaime Saldivar via Tim Knea)
Huerta's killer is coming up for parole on April 4, 2012. Four years ago the
parole board received over 400 letters in opposition of his release. Let's do it
again. The letters must be received before the second
week of March.
Send them to:
Santa Clara County District
DA Ron Rico/Maria Serrano
Hedding, West Wing
San Jose, CA
Thompson, CDC # B38349
• • • • •
To add to the continuing badge saga, I hired on with four other guys on April
22,1968. We, in full-uniform at the PD (then located on the first floor of City
Hall at 801 N. First St.) promptly met with Joe Earnshaw at 0800 in his office
in Police Personnel.
Joe assembled us in his office and opened his top middle desk drawer. Inside
were several randomly numbered badges. Joe told us to look at the badges and, if
any number struck anyone right away, go for it. You could pick a number because
it matched your weight, IQ, part of your birthdate, whatever. None of us chose a
number that was close to the choice of the other new hirees. Checking these
badges, we saw that they were made of sterling silver. I can't recall if anyone
got a hat piece that matched their badge number, but several months later
someone handed me a hat piece that matched my badge number. I polished it up and
it still adorns my old hat today.
I recall in later years that some senior officers would hover around Earnshaw's
vying for a real low badge number that someone had given up due to his
retirement or promotion. I think it was either long-time motor Officer Dick
Erickson or patrol favorite Joe Vittoe who ended up with patrolman badge #1. No
one seemed to care about it one way or another back in those days.
Tush was right. When we got the new four-digit numbered badges they looked
smaller and cheap. And they were cheap. At least we got the option to
purchase our old silver badges for, I believe, the bargain price of $25. The
idea was that when someone got promoted, the bottom rocker on the badge would be
removed and one reading "Sergeant" would be affixed. I think most of the
Sergeants purchased their own badges that didn't look quite so cheesy.
Then there's the story about the guy who thought that if he could flatten his
badge out he would look more like a senior officer. Unfortunately, he did so
using a ball peen hammer. (Good job, Ernie.)
• • • • •
Mike Thompson — a man of few words when he has
to type them — sent us a message last Friday that read,
"Sure looks like Ken Banner directly behind the
Schiekmeister." (Mike later said that's
what Rush Limbaugh calls Bill Clinton.)
Below Mike's message was a
link to last Thursday's on-line SF Gate portion of the Chronicle. It opened to
an article about presidential candidates who have visited San Francisco in the
past and included this photo...
I agreed with Mike that
the person standing behind Clinton did in fact look like Ken Banner, a former
San Jose cop who left the Dept. to join the Secret Service. Many of us who knew
Ken at the time were aware that he had been assigned to the Presidential Detail,
and since the timing seemed right, we forwarded Mike's e-mail to Ken and asked
if it was him with the Cigar Aficionado? This was Ken's reply...
Man-'o-man, that sure looks like me. Yep, after long reflection, I did work him
when he was in SF as a candidate — and it seems like everywhere else in the free
world. My assignment was Assistant Detail Leader (ADL), the position in the
formation that puts you off his shoulder. This was a challenge because he was
taller than me (like most guys). I often told him that "if the s - - t hits the
fan" I was going to have to jump up and snatch his ass down. He thought that was
funny. While we in the USSS didn't talk politics, I'll have to admit that I
enjoyed his jokes, focus, wit, and his eye for "eye candy" in the crowds. After
he won, my Mom died, and he sent me a personal note on WH stationery that our
family has to this day.
Thanks a million for sharing this one.
To read the article and view photos of other
visits to the City by presidential candidates, click on this link:
• • • • •
I attended Glen Castlio"s service on Saturday. It was nice, and I felt a kinship
as he and I delivered a baby on Lincoln Ave. in '61. Without your efforts I
would not have even known that he had passed away.
Notifying retirees of the
passing of other SJPD family members was one of the primary reasons the Farsider
was created, Mike. Fortunately, such notifications are far and few between.
Unfortunately, that may be subject to change as time goes on.
• • • • •
Thanks for all you do to keep up informed and entertained through the
"Farsider." I look forward to receiving it each week for all your updated info.
I am forwarding info on a fund raiser for the son of my longtime friends now
living in Colorado. He is a police sergeant in need of a liver transplant. As
you will note from my email below, reference to his law enforcement connection
on the website was not emphasized, but it was explained as a result of my e-mail
below. I will leave it up to you to include it if you feel it's appropriate.
After reading the details on the website, Bev
sent an e-mail to the Longmont PD that read:
Where can I send a check? Also, I don't see any reference to his law
enforcement connection. I would be happy to pass this info on to our local PD
but would like to see some PD connection.
She received the following response:
Thanks for wanting to help. We tried to keep the LE
connection to a minimum on the public site. The picture of Chris was taken while
he attended the FBI National Academy last year. Chris is a 20-year officer and
is now a patrol Sgt. who served on the SWAT team for 15 years. Please feel free
to call the department and speak with Chief Butler or any of the Commanders to
confirm. I totally understand your concern and would expect nothing else from
fellow LE officers. We see too much not to be suspicious, especially of online
types of things. Our department is Longmont PD and the main line is
303.651.8555. All checks should be made to Chris Schmad.
Thanks for taking the time to inquire. Be safe.
Officer Greg Ruprecht
Farsider for Greg's home address for checks. Credit card info on website below.)
Sgt. Chris Schmad
is in need of a liver transplant
The website is soliciting
donations to help defray the cost of a liver transplant. The money will be used
for medical costs and related expenses not covered by insurance. For the details
and/or to send a donation, click on this link...
• • • • •
When I came on in 1954 I was issued badge #83, and when I was promoted to
Sgt. I was given sergeant's badge #65. When I made Lt. I was issued a "real
gold" lieutenant's badge (#33). When the 4-digit badges were issued I was
Because of the value of the original gold Lt.'s badge I was concerned that if my
house was ever burgled the badges would go, so I "secreted" them in the
residence, where they remained "secreted" for over 20 years. Unfortunately, they
were "secreted" so well that the "secretor" was unable to "unsecret" them, so I
was forced to purchase a set of the centennial badges when they became
available. Later, I was able to "unsecret" the original badges, so I now have
the originals as well as the centennial set.
Point of conversation: When I was a patrolman and we issued a citation, we wrote
the citation number on the tag, not our badge number. A separate number was
issued to each officer for citations, and that number had no correlation to our
badge numbers. This often became a conversation starter when citizens got
animated and demanded, "Give me your badge number!"
Back then, you probably would have been safe
writing your badge number on your citations, Robert. Since you would have been
writing with a stick of charcoal on a ticket made from parchment, it's unlikely
the errant motorist would have been able to discern your badge number!
LOCAL NEWS FOR YOU
From last Sunday's paper
comes this editorial opinion on San Jose pension reform issue. I see some truth
and some spin. What see you?
No Conspiracy in San Jose’s
Mercury News, Feb. 19, 2012
Now that the smoke has cleared, it’s obvious there’s no
substance behind the propaganda grenade that’s been lobbed at San Jose Mayor
Chuck Reed over his use of a worst-case estimate of pension obligations in
Claims that the city retirement director asked for and got a bogus pension
projection from the independent actuary Cheiron are ridiculous, too.
And if city unions made concessions last year because of the mayor’s rhetoric,
they were not paying attention. The budget deficit last June was no projection.
It was an actual shortage for the current year, when pension costs totaled $245
million, more than three times what they were a decade ago. If union leaders
regret making concessions to save 400 colleagues’ jobs, well, at least city
residents can be grateful that libraries are open for a few more hours and that
there aren’t even fewer police officers on the streets.
The most unfortunate thing about this smoke screen is that it obscures the
continuing need for pension reform to keep San Jose’s plans solvent and maintain
Reed has done himself and the city no favors with his insensitivity to
employees’ morale — telling cops risking their lives every day that they’re on a
gravy train, for example, and proposing a pension reform measure last May so
extreme much of it would not have held up in court. But as to that $650 million
worst-case scenario he talked about — if the use of hyperbole were a capital
offense, no politician would be left alive. This all blew up with a report by
KNTV on Feb. 8 that appeared to be coordinated with union leaders, who scheduled
a news conference the next day and had an ethics complaint against the mayor all
set to go.
The premises were that Reed persisted in using the $650 million estimate after
he was told not to and that retirement director Russell Crosby asked an outside
actuary last June to cook up misleading projections.
Crosby mentioned the $650 million at a public meeting in February and says he
later told Michael Moehle on his staff to tell the mayor’s office not to use it.
Both Moehle and the mayor’s staffer involved are no longer with the city and
haven’t returned our reporters’ phone calls, so we can’t verify this.
But Reed seems to have used the number only as a worst-case possibility. The
operative 2015 figure in city analyses was the actuary’s, around $400 million,
as the unions well knew.
As to Cheiron, an email from Crosby has been taken out of context. Crosby asked
the independent actuary to check a previously released number that city finance
officials had questioned. The new pay and employment numbers based on
concessions and layoffs were sent to Cheiron about the same time as this
request, but it took Cheiron until November to analyze them. That’s when the
lower forecasts began.
Did Reed exaggerate projections to get the council to declare a budget emergency
and adopt his drastic pension reform proposal? Maybe. But it would have been
stupid. The new numbers were going to come out anyway.
Pension projections now are down mostly because there are fewer employees and
lower salaries. But that’s no long-term budget solution. San Jose will need to
improve services again and to eventually hire employees at competitive salaries.
Pension reform still is needed. We had hoped city unions would agree on a plan.
We still do. But time is running out for a June ballot measure, and this latest
circus sure hasn’t helped.
The unfortunate thing about this smoke screen is that it obscures the continuing
need for pension reform to keep San Jose’s plans solvent and maintain city
• • • • •
No one ever said you had
to have a Bachelor's degree in Logic to get a letter published in the paper.
This is from Monday's paper...
Unions Have No Right to Be
Upset at Reed
Letter to the
Editor — Mercury News, Feb. 20,2012
Am I the only one who finds it interesting that the
public employee unions are upset regarding San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s use of
approximate deficit figures (“Ethics panel lawyer: Mayor is in the clear,” Page
7B, Feb. 15)? After all, if it were not for the unions’ greed the deficit
number, whatever it is, wouldn’t be an issue, now would it? Talk about the pot
calling the kettle black.
We had to go
back to Local section page 7B of the Feb. 15th Mercury News to find the article
the Cupertino resident referenced in the letter above. Don't know how we missed
it, but we did...
Ethics Panel Lawyer: Mayor is
in the Clear
alleging Reed exaggerated pension problem—
Feb. 15, 2012
A union complaint accusing San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed of exaggerating the
city’s pension problem hit a roadblock Tuesday when a city ethics commission
lawyer concluded the allegations wouldn’t violate city laws under the
The San Jose Elections Commission, which reviews complaints about alleged
violations of city campaign, ethics and lobbying rules, is scheduled to consider
the complaint at its Wednesday meeting.
But Mike Moye, an attorney with the Hanson Bridgett law firm in San Francisco,
which evaluates complaints for the commission, said “we find no cause to conduct
an investigation as the complaint fails to allege facts” that would violate the
municipal code “for which the commission has jurisdiction to act.”
Christopher Platten, the union lawyer who filed the complaint last week, said he
wasn’t surprised and that employees would ask the City Council to refer the
complaint to an independent investigator to determine whether the mayor or
others violated city policies. Moye noted that council members may seek a
hearing on complaints against the mayor and other council members.
“I think the council has an obligation under its own policies to investigate
misleading statements of material fact,” Platten said.
The complaint accused Reed, city Retirement Services Director Russell Crosby and
one of his former staffers, Michael Moehle, of overstating worst-case
projections last year that San Jose’s retirement costs could hit $650million by
2015, stampeding workers into unnecessary concessions.
The complaint said Crosby and Moehle knew the figure wasn’t based on independent
analysis and even advised the mayor not to use it but that Reed continued to
cite it as he sought support for a controversial June ballot measure to shrink
the city’s retirement costs. The unions argue such a measure would be illegal.
“Why didn’t the mayor tell the council that the $650 million dollar projection
was off the top of Russell Crosby’s head and that he was told not to use the
faulty projection?” unions representing police, firefighters and other workers
asked in a statement Tuesday. Reed has called the union complaint frivolous
“political theater.” He said the $650 million figure was just a potential
scenario always cited with a smaller official $400 million projection, a figure
now expected to drop because of last year’s layoffs and pay cuts. Reed said
budget cuts and concession talks stemmed from actual retirement costs that more
than tripled in a decade to $245 million for pensions and free health care
premiums for many city retirees.
But Reed has maintained that the $650 million figure is “still a reasonable
estimate,” citing a Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research report in
December — which unions also criticized — that stated: “in the pessimistic
scenario, city retirement expenditures increase $663.8million above 2012
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN
LEGEND UPDATE AS OF FEB. 18, 2012
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
• Photograph purportedly shows a moose hanging from power lines.
• Photographs purportedly show politically themed floats from a German
• Photograph purportedly shows the remains of an 8-inch, mummified fairy
found in Derbyshire.
• Do lobsters mate for life?
• Is coconut oil an effective treatment for Alzheimer's
• Georgia held a hearing to determine Barack Obama's
eligibility to appear on that state's ballot as a presidential candidate.
• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a
collection of odd news stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
• Do cats suck the breath from babies?
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 LAST BOMB
If you are
interested in the beginning of the end of the war in the Pacific during WWII,
this four-part film sent in by Phil Norton will take you on one of the many
raids on Tokyo by numerous B-29s with P-51s flying escort. These were the
missions that culminated with the dropping of "Little Boy" over Hiroshima and
"Fat Man" over Nagasaki that ended the war with Japan. The film was produced in
1945 by the War Department with footage shot in technicolor by Combat Camera
panel — lower right corner of screen
Because the footage was
shot with 16mm color film and may look overly grainy if viewed in full screen, I
recommend you click on the larger of the two rectangles (second icon from the
right) after the film starts. This will enlarge the image while keeping the
graininess to a minimum. To go to full screen, click on the icon on the far
right after the film begins.
THE LIGHTER SIDE &
OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
I'm not a member of Facebook, but Leroy is, and
he sent in an e-mail with an item from Don Hale's Facebook page. For those of
you unaware, Don's wife, Gloria, is suffering from ALS (a/k/a Lou Gherig's
Disease), which affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that
control voluntary muscle movement. A close friend of Don's posted the following
message on Don's Facebook page in response to the Valentine's Day video below
that begins with a 10-second ultra close-up of Don's thumb...
"What does Love look like? It looks like this. This is
the sweetest Valentine's Day video I've ever seen, and I wanted to share it with
you, my friends. Gloria is a dear friend who has ALS, and her husband Don had a
little surprise planned for her on Valentine's Day. (I love you both!)."
• • • • •
Tired of the political
circus that's going on? Tom Macris is, so am I, and many of you probably are as
well. So why not focus your mind on something that may have deeper ramifications
for the future of mankind. Tom sent in two clips. The first is a compilation of
UFO sightings in 2011; the second is a compilation of (for lack of a better
description) sounds emanating from (nobody knows). One thing is for sure: the
two clips will get your mind off politics for a brief period of time...
• • • • •
Roger Finton says he was
surfing the Web when he ran across a short video entitled "The History of the
San Jose Police Department." Those of you who have a 1983 SJPD Commemorative
Album will recognize many of the photos in the clip from the book's history
section. Despite the fact that the video was uploaded to YouTube over two years
ago, we had no idea it existed. Have a look...
• • • • •
This is an incredible
video captured by a video camera mounted on a radio-controlled airplane as it
flew around the Rhine Valley and other parts of Germany. There are dozens and
dozens of scenes, most of which you can spot the pilot. Don't miss the "splash
down" and "water rescue" at the end...
• • • • •
If you take photos of your
grandkids with a smart phone, you would do well to watch this video from Bruce
• • • • •
This clip from Bruce Fair
includes historical film footage of reunions shot between 1913 and 1938 of Civil
War veterans who fought on both sides. Bruce says viewers should stay with the
video until they see the stats at the end of the video showing the numbers of
lives lost in all of America's major wars...
• • • • •
John Kregel says there's
one in every family, and he sent in a video that proves it...
Speaking of monkeys, don't
take offense if you are of Irish descent, but anyone can be taught
When it comes to funny
monkey videos, however, this 16-second clip is still our all-time favorite...
• • • • •
If it was possible to trim
at least 20 years from my current age, I could go to my grave with a smile on my
face knowing that I might have had the opportunity to own and fly one of these
machines. C'est la vie...
• • • • •
Gary Johnson says this is
so wrong. My thoughts run along the line that adult males who pull this prank on
kids should be zapped in their testicles with a taser...
• • • • •
You gun fans might be
interested in watching this clip sent in by Pete Salvi, but don't waste your
time by e-mailing us and asking where you can pick up one of those nifty
50-round Glock magazines because we haven't the slightest idea...
• • • • •
If you have cat and it has
the run of the house during the day while you are gone — and you have been
experiencing exceptionally high water bills — this could be the reason...
• • • • •
Have a look and listen at
this clip from Sharon Lansdowne about a 5-year-old who calls 911 because her dad
is having chest pains. The audio is presented by this TV talk show host...
• • • • •
We can't help but wonder
how the ladies among you would react to this prank we received from Bruce
Morton? Would you cooperate by trying to replace the item in question? Or — like
a couple of divorced women I know — stomp on it and crush it to powder?
• • • • •
Bruce also sent in this
video that combines three of Hahn beer's best commercials. The title is
"Romantic Men," but the theme is more in line with "Why women are sometimes
justified to shoot a man."
• • • • •
This is Tommy Johnson, and
he claims to be the "real boogie man." After watching this three-minute clip,
we're inclined to agree...
• • • • •
A "ditty" is defined as a
short, simple song, and that's a perfect description of this one entitled
"Senior Moments" sent in by Phil Norton...
• • • • •
Mr. Macris thinks it's
amazing that this toddler has learned to read at such an early age, especially
since the 67-year-old retired police artist is still working on his reading
• • • • •
I was reluctant to include
this golf clip received from Bob Namba because it hits too close to home...
• • • • •
This Little Casanova prank
from Lumpy is cuter than it is funny, but it should still be worth 2 minutes of
• • • • •
OK, magic spoilers,
explain how this magician pulls off this illusion involving numerous pigeons (or
white doves). Whatever they are, the clip from Chuck Blackmore seems to defy
• • • • •
Final item for the week:
If Leroy and I thought it would do any good, we'd send this cell phone video
footage taken by drug smugglers to Janet Napolitano and ask, "Just how secure
did you say the US-Mexican border was?" If there's anything positive about this
clip, at least these are dope smugglers and not Islamic terrorists with bombs
strapped to their bodies. Border security? What a joke!
• • • • •
That's a wrap for the
week. Thanks for visiting.
Pic of the Week:
Is this guy
looking at you, or is he looking off to your left?
Keep your eye on him for a few seconds, then blink...