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The Farsider

March 1, 2012


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.



Condolences are extended to Harry Robertson (Sgt. 1969-75) over the loss of his uncle. As of last Friday Oakland PD was treating the death of 78-year-old Joseph Robertson as a possible homicide. The Feb. 23rd Channel 7 news report below includes a brief interview with Harry during the 2-minute video that was shot at the scene...


Following are links to other Bay Area news outlets that also covered the story...





• • • • •

Bob Moir drew our attention to this obituary from last Saturday's paper. He noted that George Hesse was a retired Chief Investigator for the D.A.'s Office and that he knew lots of our "old timers."

George Charles Hesse

July 30, 1931 — Feb. 23, 2012
Resident of San Jose

George Charles Hesse was married to Beverly Hays Hesse for 58 years. He is survived by his wife, Beverly, daughters, Debe Kahn (Marty), Laurie Isaia (Fred), Cherie Ronsvalle (Noel), Sandy Wilmott (Brian), Karen Hesse, Chris Hesse and grandchildren Shelby Kahn, Jamie Isaia (Anthony), Joey Isaia, Damonn Ronsvalle, Taylor Ronsvalle, Justin Wilmott, Joshua Wilmott, and Jacob Wilmott.

George was retired from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office where he served as the supervising investigator. He was a member of San Jose #10 Masonic Lodge where he served as master. George was also active in many other Masonic organizations. He was also a member of numerous historical societies and other service organizations. Friends and family are invited to a memorial service to celebrate his life at the Los Gatos United Methodist Church at 111 Church Street in Los Gatos, CA on Sunday, February 26th at 2:00 p.m. His burial will be a private service for the family.

• • • • •

E-mails that arrived last weekend from Tom Cannell, Jack Baxter and John Trussler advised that retired Santa Clara PD Sgt. Ron Lee was in critical condition from cancer at Good Sam. Their messages said that Ron was a friend to many members of the SJPD, and that he was responsible for the framed SJPD mirrors that several of you purchased years ago. On Monday, Tom Cannell forwarded the following e-mail he received from the family...

Feb. 27th

Hello All,

I am sad to inform you that Ron's condition continued to decline. Despite the doctors doing all they could, there were no further treatment options.

Ron passed away peacefully in my arms at 6:53 a.m. this morning. Friends and family are invited to the following:

Visitation: Friday, March 2nd, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Lima Family Mortuary
466 N. Winchester Blvd., Santa Clara

Service: Saturday, March 3rd, 1100 a.m.
Lima Family Mortuary
(same address as above)

In lieu of flowers, Ron has requested donations to the Lucy Packard Children's Hospital, 725 Welch Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94304.

Love to all,

Ron and Luanne

This obit and photo is from yesterday's (Wed.) Mercury News...

Ronald Owen Lee

May 28, 1942 - Feb. 27, 2012
Resident of Campbell

Ron, 69, passed away peacefully after a long battle with cancer. The son of Owen W. and Elvera B. Lee, he was a lifelong resident of Santa Clara Co. He attended Lincoln HS 1956-57 and graduated from Willow Glen HS in 1960. A proud and accomplished Police Officer and 23 year Sergeant for the SCPD, retiring in 1998 after 33 years of service. Ron loved Elvis, skiing, Hot Rods, the SF 49ers and Ballroom Dance. Ron is survived by his loving wife of 15 years Luanne Lee; daughters, Christine (Anthony), Whitney, Candra, Cassie (Don); granddaughter (and favorite sports buddy) Kayla; and twin brother Donald (Coleen). Ron touched the lives and hearts of everyone he met and will be remembered with love. Friends are invited to visit Fri. Mar. 2 from 5 to 9 pm at Lima Family Santa Clara Mortuary, 466 N Winchester Blvd.; where the Funeral will be held Sat. Mar. 3 at 11 am. Entombment will follow in Los Gatos Memorial Park.



—See the Local News for Out-of-Towners column for print updates—

Thursday, Feb. 23rd — NBC Bay Area News update:


Friday, Feb. 24th — Numerous Bay Area News Outlets:


Saturday, Feb. 25th — KGO Radio interview with Councilman Ash Kalra:


Feb. 27th — POA files a Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) complaint against the mayor:


Feb. 28th — NBC Bay Area News update — SJPD: Overstaffed and Inefficient?

(If the video doesn't come up, enter "Overstaffed and Inefficient?" in the search field)

March 1st — "Where's the Beef?"





Results from last week's poll..

Last week's poll was identical to a Fox News poll that Bill O'Reilly ran on his show throughout last week. We copied it because we wanted to see how our results lined up with his. Last Friday, O'Reilly announced the results of his poll. More than 30,000 viewers participated, and these were the results:

Marco Rubio — 56 percent
Paul Ryan — 17 percent
Sarah Palin — 13 percent
Chris Christie — 13 percent



For the full scope of state and national polling by Scott Rasmussen, click on this link:

For the most recent releases, click here:



Feb. 23rd

Hi Bill (again),

Hopefully this will be the end to the badge saga...

Dave Byers stated when we got the new badges we were allowed to buy the old sterling silver badges that we'd been wearing. He gave some good info, but the cost was $3.11, based on the going rate of sterling at the time. The city probably spent a hundred hours coming up with the price. Most of us had the badges chrome plated so we didn't have to continually polish them.
(Dick) Tush

Yes, this will be the end of the badge saga. (Yawn)


• • • • •


Feb. 24th

Hello Bill,

It's been too long since I've written. Hope you're doing well. My wife, daughter and I moved from San Jose to Battle Ground, WA (next to Vancouver) last year. We built a new home on a one-acre piece of property that included an old barn that we plan to fix up. Life is good, and I hope the same is true with you. I and a few hundred other City of SJ employees were laid off in June 2010. While I had worked several civilian positions at SJPD, most recently I worked as a Public Information Officer for Chief Davis. I miss everyone there.

Thought I'd include just a bit of trivia about the "History of the SJPD" video in the most recent Farsider. The narrator is my old friend Julie Stevens, morning co-host (along with Gary Scott Thomas) on San Jose country music station KRTY. I've known Julie since the late '70s, when she was a student and I was an instructor at the Ron Bailie School of Broadcast in SJ. We later worked together at KEEN radio for about 8 years before we both left in November 1987. She moved on to radio stations in Sacramento and then LA, and I became a full-time officer with Los Gatos PD, where I had served as a reserve since 1979.  

Keep up the great work and thanks for your efforts.

Dirk Parsons

The video Dirk referenced in his missive was this clip of the "History of the San Jose Police Dept." that we included in last week's Farsider. (4 Mins.)


While we are on the subject of the video above, an e-mail received last Friday from Bob Moir identified the officer on the left in the photo as George Cannell, father of current retiree Tom Cannell. George would eventually retire as Assistant Police Chief prior to his passing in San Francisco last year at the age of 95.


• • • • •


Feb. 25th


Aloha from Kona. Just sold my place here and will be moving back to the mainland full-time in May. Reno will be my new home, and I am looking for Bob Bradshaw's e-mail address. Do you have those listed, or is there a site I can go to? That way I won't have to ask dumb questions.

As always, thanks to you and Leroy for keeping us informed.

(Ingraham) #1397 <nodb387@cs.com>

As far as the Farsider is concerned, George, there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers. And Leroy and I are experts at providing them. Welcome home. (You should have already received the e-mail roster.)


• • • • •


March 1st

Please remind the troops again of the parole hearing for Thompson in April. Second week in March is the deadline for Dick's friends to comment. Thanks Bill.

Richard 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 Attorneys Office
Lifer Hearing Unit
Attn: Deputy DA Ron Rico/Maria Serrano
70 West Hedding, West Wing
San Jose, CA 95110

Re: Emile Thompson, CDC # B38349




There were no smoking guns in this pension reform article from last Friday's paper, but it does provide a look at how some San Jose city council members are tip-toeing through the issue...

Pension Cost Inquiry Urged

—Five members ask staff to show how estimate of $650 million originated—

By Tracy Seipel
Mercury News, Feb. 24, 2012

Stepping up the pressure on city staff, five San Jose City Council members Thursday asked City Manager Debra Figone to explain the origins of a $650 million estimate of future pension costs that has been called into question by employee labor unions.

Council members Ash Kalra, Kansen Chu, Xavier Campos, Don Rocha and Nancy Pyle, all supported by labor unions, sent their request in a two-page memo.

Though the request keeps alive questions about the city’s pension cost estimates for fiscal year 2015-16, it stops far short of the full-scale independent ethics investigation that union employees want the council to launch.

“It’s premature for us to presume that anything anyone did is wrong,’’ Kalra said Thursday. “All we are doing is asking some very basic questions.’’ He said the memo “should be looked at totally separately’’ from any ethics investigation.

The group addressed its memo to the City Council’s Rules and Open Government Committee, which sets the council’s agenda. The five council members are seeking answers from Figone, Retirement Services Director Russell Crosby and acting Finance Director Julia Cooper about how the “worst case’’ estimate of $650 million in retirement costs came about. They want to know who developed it and when, and are asking for any internal city documents that would help shed light on how it was calculated.

Mayor Chuck Reed, who chairs the Rules Committee, said he will recommend that the memo be discussed in March during a special study session on retirement costs that’s already been requested by the council. At that point, Reed said, city employee retirement boards will have returned with their latest retirement cost projections for the next fiscal year.

For his part, Reed said, he’s already explained how the $650 million figure came to be and does not apologize for using the figure as a worst-case scenario.

“The people of San Jose should be aware of the risks that we are facing if we fail to act,’’ Reed said. “The voters should have some idea of how bad it could be.’’

The memo stems from a recent allegation by the city’s employee unions that the mayor, Crosby and other city officials overstated the worst-case projections that San Jose’s retirement costs could hit $650 million by 2015 and forced workers to make unnecessary concessions.

An ethics complaint filed by the unions said Crosby and a former colleague knew the figure wasn’t based on independent analysis and even advised the mayor not to use it. Despite this, the complaint stated, 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.

Last week, the city’s Elections Commission concluded that the allegations would not violate city laws under the commission’s jurisdiction. The commission agreed to send the complaint to the City Council. Before it can advance to the full council, however, at least one council member would have to bring the matter to the Rules Committee for consideration.

In Thursday’s memo, the five council members say that “good governance’’ is what’s at issue, “not the pension reform debate,’’ and they want to be “very clear that we make this recommendation not on behalf of any individual entity or organization, but on behalf of the almost half a million residents that we collectively represent.’’

“I’m not trying to start a war here, or be part of anything that resembles trying to go after anybody,’’ Pyle said. “I’m trying to go after the truth.’’

But others who aggressively support reining in pension costs scoffed at that notion.

“These are council members who carry water for big labor,’’ said Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio. “They’re just trying to present fear, uncertainty and doubt about the ballot measure.”

Councilman Sam Liccardo said he also found it “curious” that council members who last year sat through hours of public hearings and study sessions on retirement costs and their budget impact would wait until now to ask questions.

“I think it reveals a very important fact behind this red herring, which is that nobody relied on a $650 million figure to make decisions about layoffs, service cuts, compensation reduction or a pension reform proposal,’’ Liccardo said.

“We all relied on the official verified estimates as well as the actual retirement costs that we faced.’’


• • • • •

If parts of this Mercury News editorial from Monday's paper has you seeing red, you are in good company...

Clear the Air on Pensions and City Efficiencies

—The theme of the week for the San Jose City Council should be: Let’s talk.—

Mercury News Editorial — Feb. 27, 2012

That IBM efficiency study that suggests, among other things, that San Jose can shrink its police department because there’s not a lot of crime? Police and firefighters wanted to junk the report out of hand, but a good public discussion will be healthy. It’s on Tuesday’s council agenda.

Then there’s last week’s request from five council members (that would be one short of a majority) for an explanation of where the $650 million estimate of a worst-case pension obligation for the city came from. The recent flap over Mayor Chuck Reed’s use of the figure is way overblown, but a public discussion would be useful. The council Rules Committee will decide Wednesday if it happens. We say go for it.

IBM donated to the study by its Smarter Cities team at Reed’s request. Its statistical analysis of the police, fire and parks departments is exhaustive. Many findings are similar to ones made earlier by the city auditor and others.

The police analysis looks a little loopy to us — a statistical case for basing the size of the department on the number of major crimes, which have gone down over the past decade. It dismisses community policing and foot patrols because they have no direct, measurable effect on crime — they just make people feel safer.

Just? Bingo. Feeling safe can’t be distilled to a number, but it’s critical to neighborhoods and business districts.

And crime prevention can’t always be reduced to a formula.

That said, the IBM team wasn’t the first to suggest more efficient ways to schedule shifts, plan patrols and target crime hot spots — good ideas to consider as the department rebuilds from last year’s layoffs. So the report is worth a review by city staff, which is what the council should call for Tuesday.

Unions think the IBM study is all a sham to advance Reed’s cost-cutting crusade. That’s pretty much how we see the $650 million caper, only in that case it’s the unions trying to undercut Reed.

Retirement services director Russell Crosby mentioned the number in public a year ago, and Reed used it from then on as a worst-case scenario, over and above the actuaries’ best-guess projection at the time, which everyone knew was around $400 million. Crosby now claims his people told Reed’s people not to use the number, but the “people” in both offices are no longer with the city and are not talking.

Unions have called for a major ethics investigation of the mayor, which would be ridiculous. But the request by council members Don Rocha, Kansen Chu, Ash Kalra, Nancy Pyle and Xavier Campos is reasonable. They’d like to know where the $650 million originated. Of course, they could have asked last spring, since it was not on financial documents at the time. So could we, for that matter; we published it a couple of times as a high-end possibility. But it’s important to resolve now because it’s creating a distraction from the issue at hand, which is the need for pension reform.

New actuarial projections came out Friday, and next week the mayor and council will vote on a pension reform ballot measure. The more they can clear the air by then, the better.

Some would like to ignore IBM’s efficiency report on San Jose departments; others would like to ignore the flap over pension estimates.

We say get both out in the open.

• • • • •

This story from yesterday's (Wed.) paper mentions the IBM report that said the city could be properly protected with far fewer officers if it operated more efficiently.

City Puts Tax Hike Discussion on Hold Until June

—Officials will let voters first decide fate of pension cost measure—

By John Woolfolk — Mercury News, Feb. 29, 2012

The San Jose City Council voted Tuesday to resume discussions about possible tax hikes in June, after a measure to slow growth in employee pension costs goes before city voters.

City leaders have been weighing possible measures to increase the sales tax a quarter-cent or half-cent, and to raise the city business tax. They also are considering a bond measure to raise money for road maintenance, similar to one San Francisco voters approved in November, in which costs could be covered by raising property taxes.

The proposal to resume tax discussions in June passed on an 8-2 vote with Councilmen Pete Constant and Pierluigi Oliverio opposed. Constant argued that tax revenues have outpaced inflation and that the city needs to curb spending rather than raise tax rates.

“To claim we’re short on revenue because we’re not getting enough taxes is disingenuous,” Constant said.

Mayor Chuck Reed sided with Councilwoman Nancy Pyle, who argued that taxes haven’t kept pace with population growth. Reed argued the city should enact the pension reform measure he plans to put before voters in June before discussing tax hikes. Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen was absent on maternity leave. The council also voted 7-3 to allow the city manager to examine suggestions from a recent IBM analysis of city police, fire and parks departments that could make them more efficient, provided any suggested policy changes be brought back to the council for consideration.

City workers blasted the IBM report, which suggested among other things that the police and fire departments, though thinly staffed compared to those in other big cities, do not get as much out of their staff as they could. The police and fire chiefs also took issue with the analysis, for which the company did not bill the city.

Councilman Ash Kalra, who opposed further consideration of the IBM study along with Councilmen Kansen Chu and Xavier Campos, argued IBM was merely trying to solicit city business for its data analysis products. But Reed argued the city still could benefit from the analysis, even if it doesn’t agree with all the findings.

“To not accept the report,” Reed said, “seems to me an odd thing to do.”


• • • • •

Here's one of what will no doubt be many votes for the mayor's pension reform measure if it reaches the June ballot...

Changes Are Needed in City Pension Program

Letters to the Editor — Mercury News, Feb. 29, 2012

In an era when most private corporations are moving toward 401k plans and playing with health care co-pay adjustments, our city is still in a defined benefit program. I will wait for the battle lines to be drawn, but several things must change: When the retirement boards set a rate of investment return, say 7.5 percent and it doesn’t earn that, the difference should at the very least be split equally. When it goes over, it should not go to the city’s general fund, but it should go into the pension fund, not redistributed to retirees as a bonus. No employee should retire, draw his or her pension and rejoin the city under special contract. Sick pay is not a God-given right.

On retirement the formula for reimbursement should be considerably less than 50 percent or absorbed into the retirement configuration. If the city is to survive, whether it’s a $400 million or $650 million pension deficit (that’s a very large hole) the newly hired should have a pension package that’s manageable.

David Eisbach
San Jose

• • • • •

This letter to the editor in today's (Thurs.) paper might be another Yes vote for the mayor's ballot proposal. Whatcha think?

Unions Shouldn’t Get Such Good Benefits

Letters to the Editor — Mercury News, March 1, 2012

The more the unions bark at San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, the more I am determined to vote for a reduction in their retirement benefits.

They are receiving benefits that most of us can only dream of. Frankly, I don’t see any reason why they should continue to receive these entitlements.

Andreas Goedde
San Jose

• • • • •

Mercuryt News Columnist Scott Herhold added his two-bits to the continuing saga of the pension reform issue today with this column...

S.J. Politics, Pensions and High Drama

By Scott Herhold
Mercury News, March 1, 2012

If you’ve been following the pension brouhaha at San Jose City Hall, you may be shaking your head in bewilderment. A friend of mine describes the difficulties in covering the issue by saying, “There are times when you just want to eat a gun.”

Was Mayor Chuck Reed misleading folks when he used a worstcase scenario of $650 million in yearly pension costs in the future?

Was it $300 million? Or $400 million?

Does it make any real difference?

There is a way, however, of understanding the unfolding drama. It begins by fathoming the strategies of two major players: labor lobbyist Tom Saggau and the mayor.

In boxing terms, here’s the score card: Saggau scored a powerful punch against the mayor with a critical KNTV report two weeks ago on the $650 million issue. Since then, Reed has been punching back craftily and stolidly.

A funny, charming ex-gang prevention specialist, Saggau is borrowing a page from Karl Rove’s book by attacking a rival on his strength.

Reed’s strength is his reputation for integrity. The attack has tried to paint him as a liar.

The labor lobbyist and his business partner, Dustin DeRollo, bring a formidable set of skills to the fight: Saggau is superb with the media, skilled at using public records, ready with a pithy quote and savvy about how to repeat a charge, even a dubious charge.

When the elections commission punted on the labor complaint against Reed, union and mayoral forces jousted about what it had done. Referred the matter to the council? Allowed it? Transmitted it? Saggau was quick with a news release: “Beware, the Mayor’s office may also tell you that the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy actually exist,” he wrote.

The mayor’s case

Though he is not as skilled at theater — he’s the guy who knows his lines cold but recites them without drama — Reed has the stronger case: He had specified that the $650 million was a worstcase scenario, not the basis for negotiation.

Remember, we’re talking about a projection four years from now, hardly sacred writ. It’s like predicting the performance of your portfolio.

Is erring on the side of caution a lie? To bolster his case, the mayor has relied on third parties: The city’s director of employee relations, Alex Gurza, pointed out that San Jose’s worst-case scenario a decade ago significantly underestimated costs. A Stanford study revealed that the city’s average pension for public safety workers was more than $90,000, the highest of the big retirement systems in the state.

Ultimately, the mayor has common sense on his side. Whether the cost is $300 million or $650 million, the city can no longer afford the pension system it has. It cannot give cops and firefighters 90 percent pensions and automatic 3 percent cost-of-living increases.

Does the drama matter in the end? Not as much as we think: The mayor’s ballot measure to reform pensions will almost certainly pass in June.

For the moment, however, this is the political theater we have. We may as well understand it.


• • • • •

This article was posted on the KNTV Bay Area News site yesterday.

No Calculations for $650 Million, Yet

—SJ City manager says councilmembers questions will be answered March 29—

By Jenna Susko and Julie Putnam

The pension drama at San Jose City Hall continues to unfold tonight and council members filing a memo will be waiting one month for answers.

It comes after our exclusive NBC Bay Area Investigation into a questionable pension projection used by the mayor.

Today a firestorm of words at the Rules Committee meeting in response to a memo filed last week by 5 city council members asking to see the math behind the five-year pension cost projection of $650 million used over the past year by Mayor Chuck Reed.

The most recent five-year projection is $320 million.

In an interview with NBC Bay Area, the Retirement Services Director, Russell Crosby, told us $650 million was an estimate that was off the top of his head in a meeting last February. Crosby said the mayor was told not to use that number as a projection.

Today, council members hoped to find out how that controversial estimate was calculated.

Instead, accusations of political motives went flying.

The mayor said in the meeting this afternoon, "I don't think we should allow use and abuse of city processes for political purposes," referring to the memo request for calculations by the council members.

Councilman Pete Constant of District 1 agreed with the mayor, saying, "I think there is a significant political effort to do anything to delay and obstruct this pension reform ballot measure going forward."

"Political tactics?" District 9 Council member, Donald Rocha asks, "Using that to describe an information request is extremely troubling," he fires back, "I'm pretty disturbed sitting here. I'm just over a year in office and I never expected to hear this kind of response to an information request."

Councilman Rocha was not given an answer to that information request and still doesn't know the math behind the figure $650 million.

The mayor did say what we already knew, that the number came from Retirement Services Director, Russell Crosby.

The mayor said, "It wasn’t an actuarial methodology, he [Crosby] said it was an estimate done internally ," Mayor Reed continues, addressing Councilman Rocha, "so I'm trying to figure out what beyond Russell saying 'it’s an estimate' that you want."

"Using any methodology or was it just a professional estimate using what was in his head?" Rocha asks.

"Well I cant’ answer for what’s in his head," the mayor responds.

The city manager says these questions will be answered at a meeting March 29th.

Council members say they don't understand why it should take so long to produce a document if those calculations do exist.

The mayor issued this response.

Next Tuesday is the last council meeting before the March 9th deadline to put pension reform on the June ballot.



Sorry folks, but here we are again with a time-table facing us to determine on whether or not we will have this fundraiser benefiting the Chaplains.

Some of you may remember that we had the same concern with the Chaplains' golf tournament, but thanks to you Farsider readers, we were able to save the tournament and make it a success. I am again coming to you and asking for your support.
We are only 10 days away from the Chaplaincy Cioppino Feed, and the POA has advised that it has sold only a handful of tickets, which has made me a little concerned.

I'm asking you to help me in making a BIG push over the next few days by contacting the POA for your tickets. And those of you who can see your way clear to donate an item for the raffle can also do so by calling the POA at 408-298-1133.

Thanks again for your support of our Chaplains!
Juan M. Reyes



The facts behind the legends, information and

misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox

New Articles

• Item claims the Chevy Volt "costs more than 7 times as much to run and takes 3 times as long to drive across country" than a standard automobile.

• Family member runs obituary for deceased parent that maligns his siblings.

• Photograph purportedly shows a rare breed of Newfoundland dog bred to hunt bears.

• Does photograph show a Ron Paul supporter sneaking a message into a photograph with Barack Obama?

• Photograph shows Alexandra Svoboda, a protester hurt during a confrontation with Rhode Island police.

• A 71-year-old former Marine broke up an armed robbery attempt at a Subway sandwich shop in Florida.

• How concert violinist Joshua Bell played incognito in a Washington subway.

• Did Rick Santorum say that 'you need to treat females as though they have a mental disorder'?

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!

Worth a Second Look

• Did a man sneak onto one of the Titanic's lifeboats by donning women's clothing?

Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.

Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.



—Watch this program and you may change your mind!—

Continuing with the phenomena of UFOs that we touched on in last week's Farsider, this program is considered by many as the definitive documentary on the subject. While the program pauses occasionally for an advertisement, they are either very short, or you have the option of skipping them after 6 seconds.

For the best quality, click on the Large Player button at the lower right corner of the screen when the video begins to play. Or if you have an exceptionally fast high-speed connection, try clicking on the Full Screen button on the far right of the control panel instead. If the image is blurry and/or stutters, try going back to the Large Player...





Important info for those who passed over the UFO item above: For the best video quality overall, click on the "Large Player" icon on the YouTube control panel in the lower right-hand corner — if it's available. If you click on it for the first YouTube video you watch, it should default to that setting for all other YouTube videos during the rest of your session.


• • • • •

The term "slide show" sometimes results in the rolling of the eyes and thoughts of boredom. That would be far from the case with this one received from Dewey Moore. The BBC presentation plays like a video with excellent narration by the photographer who shot the extraordinary photos. (7 Mins.)



• • • • •

Stunning video images also are highlighted in this excerpt from a TED Talks presentation sent in by Sharon Lansdowne. Titled "The Beauty of Pollination," the video graphically shows how most living creatures are dependent on each other. (4 Mins.)



• • • • •

Eric Bolling has his own show ("Follow the Money") on the Fox Business Network and is co-host of "The Five," a popular show that airs on the Fox News Channel at 2:00 p.m. here on the West Coast. When Bolling ranted about the Chevy Volt on the air — primarily because of the taxpayers' subsidy required to produce it — G.M. gave him a Volt to drive with the hope he would change his mind. Did he or didn't he? This video clip will answer that question. (6 Mins.)



• • • • •

If you insist on leaving your cell phone on during Sunday services, Don Hale says you would do well to avoid this Burbank church. If you don't, there may be hell to pay. (1 Min.)



• • • • •

Ready to experience the thrill of flying? Climb aboard and fasten your seatbelt, but keep in mind that this isn't a typical airplane. Or pilot. (4 Mins.)



• • • • •

Speaking of aviation, but on a smaller scale, this clip showing excerpts from the 2011 IMAA (radio-control) Air Show in France supports the old adage that the difference between men and boys is, in fact, the price of their toys. (4 Mins.)



• • • • •

We're not through with aviation yet. This Duxford Flying Legends air show from 2011 received from Don Hale not only features beautiful music, it also highlights numerous types of aircraft flown by the Allies and Axis powers of WW II as well as several WW I biplanes and a Fokker tri-plane from the same era. (12 Mins.)



• • • • •


While the majority of motion picture film shot by combat photographers during WW II was in black and white, 16mm Kodak color film began being used in the second half of the war. Don Hale ran across the following rare color footage of the battle for Iwo Jima and the raising of the American flag(s) on Mt. Suribachi. (10 Mins.)



• • • • •

For those of you who want an all-purpose rifle for handling both big and small varmints, Bob Tenbrink recommends the 950JDJ. But aim carefully and don't waste the ammo as each round goes for about forty bucks. (4 Mins.)



• • • • •

Do you have an accent when you speak? You may and not be aware of it. Try this just for fun. (Time based on how fast you answer the questions.)



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For Lovers of Old-Time Jazz:

Tom Macris sent in a link along with a note that said, "Maybe some retirees who have been around for a while will enjoy this." Clicking on the link took me to a vintage 1961 NBC TV special hosted by Garry Moore and titled "Chicago and All That Jazz." As luck would have it, that solitary link led to five others that completed the TV special. If I had the power I'd trade this music (and arguably happier times) for today's Rap and Hip Hop in a New York minute...

A young Louis Armstrong ("Satchmo")

Part One 9 Mins.

Part Two (mislabeled part 3) 8 Mins.

Part Three 8 Mins.

Part Four 9 Mins.

Part Five 9 Mins.

Part Six 6 Mins. (Final)

~ ~ ~

Pop Quiz: Name one of the two game shows Garry Moore hosted in the 1950s.
Answers here:


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If you have ever wondered about the relative size of objects like the smallest (Neutrino) to the largest (the Cosmos), this link from Dewey Moore and Bruce Morton will take you to a truly remarkable site. When the image comes up, use the gray horizontal slider bar at the bottom to compare the objects shown. (Time depends on you.)



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If you find it difficult to imagine the quality of the musical talent that is coming out of this generation, this clip of 8-year-old Jonny Mizzone received from Bruce Morton will give you a clue. (1 Min. and may take a moment to load.)



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Ever been victimized by a Cursor Thief? When this guy comes to a halt, run your cursor over his head (don't click it) and watch what happens. (1 Min.)



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Dragon Lollipop anyone? They're only three bucks, plus the cost of air fare to someplace in the Orient. Watch this clip we received from our Webmaster. (3 Mins.)



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Doesn't seem that long ago that being able to drink a glass of red wine while twirling some hula hoops would get you on the Gong Show, but not much further. But it looks like the times have changed. Have a look at this clip we received from Chuck Blackmore of Anabel Carberry as she wins over a crowd with a routine she calls "A Glass of Red." (7 Mins.)



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One of the pastimes Saudi Arabia has adopted from the West is hill climbing with a four-by-four. But as Bruce Morton points out, this particular competitor may have been better off staying with a camel. (1 Min.)



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Bert Kelsey sent in this clip of President Bush 43 throwing out the first pitch of game 3 of the 2001 World Series that we ran last year. So why have we decided to include it a second time? Because it's symbolic of how united the country was for one brief shining moment, which begs the question: Will the USA ever be united like this again without having to live through another 9/11? (4 Mins.)



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If you can handle the stark reality of the beginning of life — and if you can't you're a wuss — here's some amazing footage provided by Sharon Lansdowne of the birth of a baby giraffe at the Memphis Zoo. (4 Mins.)


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Thanks for hanging out with us for as long as it took you to get this far. Your attention was very much appreciated by both of us. — Bill and Leroy.



Pic of the Week:

Update: The baby giraffe is now six months old, and look how smart he already is...


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