March 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
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
a week from this coming Saturday...
2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
POA Hall, 1151 N. Fourth St.
Latest Update from the POA
The firefighters were in court today on their application for a preliminary
injunction. Notably, on the day before the hearing, the City submitted a
declaration from Alex Gurza, Deputy City Manager, filed under penalty of
perjury, wherein Mr. Gurza stated that the City did not intend to implement ANY
of the following until January 1, 2014 at the earliest:
• Section 1506-A (the additional employee contribution of 4%)
• Section 1507-A (the one-time VEP)
• Section 1514-A (the "savings" clause [the additional 4% salary cut if section
1506-A is invalidated])
• Section 1512-A (a) (minimum contributions towards retiree healthcare costs)
• Section 1510-A (COLA)
• Section 1509-A (disability retirements)
• Section 1515-A (severability)
According to Mr. Gurza, the City will prepare ordinances so as to be able to
implement each of the above provisions on or after January 1, 2014. (Click on
this link to download a copy of his declaration:
Today, Judge Peter Kirwan considered the application by firefighters for
preliminary injunction to prevent any part of Measure B going into effect before
completion of trial on the merits (trial being scheduled to begin on June 17,
2013). Judge Kirwan declined to issue an injunction at this stage. He noted that
the parties have set trial in three months and the City has no current plans to
implement any part of Measure B that would directly affect employees. (He did
not consider the proposed changes to the administration of former SRBR monies to
be of sufficient harm to employees).
This continues to be a fluid situation and we will keep you updated as things
~ ~ ~
The Police & Fire
Retirees' Assn. sent out on Monday of this week to its members a special Billy &
Spanner that included the same basic information.
• • • • •
If you have been
following the pension reform issue in San Jose, this item from Sunday's I.A.
column in the Mercury News should be of interest...
irreverent inside view of the week—
— March 17, 2013
State Employee Panel Seems Stacked Against S.J. Pension Reformers
You probably read that San Jose’s battle to enact the
pension reforms voters approved overwhelmingly last June with Measure B widened
last week when staff attorneys for the California Public Employment Relations
Board — PERB — filed four complaints against the city based on unfair practice
charges by unions.
For those unfamiliar with the workings of the obscure agency that oversees
government worker rights, the dispute now goes before an administrative law
judge. The losing party may appeal to the board, whose decisions become final
unless a state appellate court agrees to review it. So what are the city’s
chances in this new theater of conflict?
On the merits, San Jose may have a better argument than San Diego, which faced
similar union charges of failing to negotiate pension reforms in good faith
before putting them on the ballot.
A PERB administrative law judge last month said San Diego’s voter-approved
pension reform measure should be deemed invalid because the city bypassed union
talks with a mayor-backed citizen’s initiative.
By contrast, San Jose spent months negotiating pension reforms with its unions
and made several changes before putting Measure B on the ballot.
But then there’s the politics of PERB to consider.
The agency’s four current members were all appointed by Democratic Gov. Jerry
Brown, who despite annoying government unions with his own pension reforms last
year, has relied on their campaign support, most recently in selling his
Proposition 30 tax hikes to voters.
The backgrounds of Brown’s board appointees suggest San Jose has a tough sell.
Two board members, A. Eugene Huguenin and Priscilla Winslow, are former lawyers
for the California Teachers Association, one of the state’s most influential
government employee unions.
Eric Banks is a former president of Service Employees International Union Local
221 in San Diego, representing county, city and school workers. PERB’s current
chairwoman, Anita Martinez, was formerly a longtime staffer for the agency. But
San Jose’s contracted legal muscle, Charles Sakai, told us he believes the board
still would be fair and judge the city’s case on the merits.
THE TRIALS AND
TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
Help is on the way for
the beleaguered men and women in blue of the SJPD, as reported in last
Academy Graduates First Class
in 3 Years
minted recruits hope to make a city troubled by crime, budget woes safer—
By Robert Salonga
Mercury News — March 16, 2013
SAN JOSE — For a police department that has seen its
share of trying times, Friday was imbued with an undeniable air of optimism. “To
be able to step out with that badge on my chest and step into a patrol car is
going to be unbelievable,” said 27-year-old Oxnard native David Cortez, class
president of San Jose Police Academy 18. “This is something I’ve wanted since I
was a young boy.” Cortez was one of 43 cadets who graduated Friday afternoon
from the San Jose Police Department’s first academy since budget woes left the
program dormant for more than three years. Even better, a 52-member class is
scheduled to start training next month.
The new police recruits arrive amid growing community concerns about rising
crime around the region, and finger-pointing by the police officers’ union which
blames Mayor Chuck Reed and his City Council allies for driving away officers
with pay and benefit cuts to bridge budget short-falls.
San Jose Police Department Recruit Officer Alex
Ribeiro was lauded for being the “top overall” recruit among
the 43 members who graduated Friday. They are the first
recruits to the SJPD since a series of problems halted hiring.
Reed has argued the compensation cuts were needed to
avoid even more officer losses to layoffs and that the city is aggressively
recruiting to fill vacancies.
Moments before the ceremony, acting Assistant Chief Edgardo Garcia said: “SJPD
has not lost its luster. We’ve had rough times, and have work to do. But people
still want to wear this badge and uniform.”
San Jose Police Department recruit officers sit on stage during
ceremonies Friday for San Jose Police Academy 18.
The class was ushered in at a formal ceremony attended by police brass, city
leaders and the new officers’ families inside a packed Parkside Hall downtown.
Cortez spoke for his fellow graduates in a speech highlighting their intense
six-month academy course.
“We never gave up, and our reward is this day,” he said, before leading his
classmates in reciting their personal class motto “One Family One Fight.”
Alongside Cortez, 32-year-old San Francisco native Alex Ribeiro — who was lauded
at the ceremony for having the highest academic scores and being the “top
overall” recruit — is set to join a force hovering around 1,050 officers. That’s
a 25 percent drop since 2008 sparked by budget cuts, early retirements and an
outflow of officers unwilling to wait for the city to resolve a polarizing
pension-reform battle tied up in court.
While it’s an unavoidable undercurrent, Ribeiro and his fellow graduates
aren’t letting themselves get caught up in the conflict. There’s too much to do
and learn, he said.
“We’ve been so busy learning how to do the job,” Ribeiro said. “That’s for
politicians. All I can do is do my job properly, and that’s what I’m focused on
Cortez, Ribeiro and their fellow rookie police officers will now receive
on-the-job training with veteran officers and are expected to be ready for
patrols on their own starting in July. They faced tough odds to get to this
point: their recruit class was whittled from a pool of more than 800 applicants.
The next academy class was selected from about 1,400 applicants.
That dynamic has allowed the Police Department to be highly selective. Paul
Watermulder, a Burlingame pastor and former Berkeley police officer whose son
Tim is entering the next recruit class, said he was impressed by the standards
of the admission process.
Tim’s pedigree as a former Army Special Forces sergeant who served in Iraq
didn’t spare him from a rigorous admission process, the father said.
“My hat’s off to San Jose...I was saying to a friend who was a lead detective in
Daly City, ‘I don’t think I could have survived this process,’” Watermulder
said. “They have the right police model. Most guys on that force are there
because they want to help people who are in trouble and are marginalized. I know
Tim has been impressed with the people he has met in SJPD.”
Cortez recalled that in 2008 when he first started applying for police jobs
in the throes of the recession, it would be routine to see 500 people testing
for a handful of positions.
“Things were really bad,” Cortez said. “Everything was plummeting.”
Cortez got a job as a corrections officer at a federal prison in Lompoc but knew
quickly that it wasn’t the kind of law-enforcement work he wanted to do.
Ribeiro took a less direct path: Once a pastry chef in his native San Francisco,
he later worked as a uniformed security officer at the Bellagio hotel in Las
Vegas before heading back to the Bay Area. He said watching vice crimes like
prostitution go unchecked in that city steeled his resolve to become a police
Rising crime rates in San Jose convinced him to look to a city once known mostly
as a suburban metropolis.
“When I left San Francisco, I always remembered hearing
San Jose was the safest large city in America,” Ribeiro said. “Now I hear about
these crimes and things like that, and I’m thinking, ‘What happened?’ ” Part of
what happened is that the department’s on-going decline in manpower stretched
the patrol forces that Ribeiro and Cortez are expected to bolster.
“This is just part of the equation,” Garcia said, referring to the group of
newcomers. “It’s a piece. But without the piece of bringing officers in, we
won’t be able to grow.”
The fact that they are being counted on to reinforce the strapped department
weighed heavily on their minds as they started training in September.
“The first week was probably the longest week of my life. There was so much
thrown at us,” Cortez said. “There was the pressure of being the first San Jose
class in three years. It was an undertone. We had a lot to live up to, and we
didn’t want to let down the city.”
Ribeiro echoed the sentiment, showing gratitude for a police job in tough times.
“I owe the city and people a debt,” he said. “I feel that they gave me a chance
to serve them and do the right thing. I want to make the city safer.”
Police Department recruit officers watch
their class video during the San Jose Police Academy
18 graduation in San Jose on Friday.
Last Week's Poll Results
For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
Because you were a friend of Roger Finton's, this is a photo of the San Jose
officers in my academy class dated Feb. 1971. Roger, on the far left of the top
row, and the rest of us were all hired in 1970, but we went to the in-house
academy 6-18 months after being sworn in. We all worked patrol prior to
attending the academy classes at the old Health Building across the street from
the PAB. We also had officers from Santa Clara and Los Gatos in our academy, but
this photo was taken with just the SJPD guys.
Ron also provided us
with the names of those in the photo: Top Row L-R: Roger Finton; Tim Jones;
James Taylor; Greg Sekany; Rhett Retzloff; Ray Berrett; Ron Webster; Bill WIskel;
and Craig Shuey. Bottom Row L-R: Bob Christiansen; John Kensit; Claud Furnare;
Ken Yules; Craig Smith; and Joe Vasta
• • • • •
Regarding the motorcade
video for the two slain Santa Cruz officers in last week's Farsider, Ron wrote
an excellent letter to Acting SJPD Chief Larry Esquivel. As of yesterday, Ron
hasn't received a reply.
March 11, 2013
I hope you’ve had the opportunity to view the video shot by the CHP motorcycle
officer during the funeral procession for the two Santa Cruz officers last
week. The video is a seven minute condensation of the route from the Santa Cruz
boardwalk to the HP Pavilion in San Jose. It is a very moving and emotional
video with fire personnel and public citizens lining the route.
Of particular note is the segment beginning at the 5:43 mark showing several San
Jose officers standing next to their patrol vehicles and saluting the procession
as it passes. It is an outstanding example of the professionalism of the San
Jose Police Department. It’s as if those officers are saying to the Santa Cruz
police family, “You’re in our town now and we’re going to help you. We are going
to shoulder some of your grief and attempt to lessen some of your burden. Rest
easy for a while as we, the San Jose Police Department, watch over you.”
Attending police funerals is never easy, but I’m certain that the sight of those
San Jose officers had a heartwarming effect on the families, friends and
coworkers of Sgt. Baker and Officer Butler.
In this instance, I am pleased to see that the current turmoil concerning wages,
benefits, and retirement issues has not diminished the spirit of our department.
Ron Webster #1462
SJPD 1970 – 2000
Unfortunately, the memorial
motorcade video we included last week that was shot by one of the CHP motors in
the escort has been removed from the Internet, possibly because of a copyright
issue dealing with the music that accompanied it. There still are several videos
of the motorcade on YouTube, but they were all shot from stationary video
cameras. To view them, go to
and enter "Santa Cruz Memorial Motorcade" (without the quotes) in the search
• • • • •
March 16, 2013
Rich Vizzusi sent a blurb to a few of us Lincoln locals about Dick Hunter's
health. I asked Rich if it was okay to pass on to you for a wider audience and
~ ~ ~
I talked to Karen McGilvrey, Dick Hunter's daughter. She told me that his
Parkinson's disease has progressed to the point that the family made the
decision to place him in an assisted care facility in Scotts Valley. The name of
the facility is Oak Tree Villa, located at 100 Lockewood Lane, Scotts Valley, CA
95066. The phone number of the facility is (831) 438-7533, and Dick is able to
take phone calls and also short personal visits. His two daughters live close
by, which is why the placement was in Scotts Valley.
If you are able to give him a call or stop by for a visit, I am sure it will
brighten his spirits!
Ed. — Rich's message included a personal phone
number for Dick, which I chose not to publish. Those who wish to talk to the
retired sergeant should be able to get through by calling the facility's main
number. Or you can e-mail Rich.
DEDICATION IN SAN JOSE SET FOR MARCH 30th
The long-awaited Vietnam Memorial engraved with the
names of the 142 "Sons of San Jose" who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the
Vietnam War will be dedicated on Saturday, March 30th, at 12 noon. The venue
will be on W. Santa Clara St., just east of the Shark Tank. All military vets as
well as the public is cordially invited to attend this special dedication.
For more information that includes an upcoming Memorial Dance and Golf
Tournament as well as a link to make a tax-deductible donation in support of
this important memorial, please visit our website at...
Feel free to contact me for
• • • • •
paper included this detailed and moving story about the Memorial dedication...
New S.J. Monument Gives Voice
to War Dead
3 of those casualties and the families and friends who can never forget them—
By Joe Rodriguez
Mercury News — March 19, 2013
As vividly as she can remember anything, Anita Bernal
Laguna remembers when her only brother, Raymond Bernal Jr., joined the Army, and
how she learned he would never return.
“I begged him not to go,” she said on the telephone from Las Vegas, where she
now lives in retirement. In 1965 she was a spunky, smart young woman from San
Jose’s old Northside neighborhood. She used to closely monitor the grisly
Vietnam body counts on television and had come to oppose the war in Southeast
“ ‘Nobody can kill a Bernal!’ That’s what he told me,” Laguna recalled. “When he
left he was so proud. I decided I would have to be OK with that.” And she was,
until a year later when her brother was 19 years old. That’s when two soldiers
appeared at the door wanting to speak with her mother, who cried out, “No, not
my son!” All Laguna remembers is one of the soldiers quietly mumbling, “I’m
On March 30, city officials and veterans will unveil a “Sons of San Jose”
monument for the 142 city boys like Raymond Bernal who died in the war. Unlike
today’s revered soldiers, Vietnam era warriors were not lauded as heroes and had
precious few chances to become revered figures in the public eye. Their
sacrifices were shrouded in protests and shame.
Franceschi works on the Sons of San Jose Vietnam memorial in
River Park in San Jose on Friday. A dedication ceremony for the memorial
held March 30 honoring the 142 city men who died there.
Now, nearly half a century
later, an elegant hunk of black granite, etched with local names, might help the
public finally honor those soldiers. Here are three of San Jose’s proud
Antonio Chavez hung out with Bernal at San Jose High in a tight-knit group of
nine friends. All of them joined the military.
“Raymond was the only one who didn’t come home,” said Chavez, a retired Santa
Clara County social worker.
The tall and chubby Bernal was a sweet dancer who was also destined for musical
greatness. He played sax, clarinet and bass guitar in his own rhythm and blues
band. He performed in nightclubs before he was of legal age, and often got
hauled home to his mother by the police. Bernal was so good, he played with the
Righteous Brothers at the Civic Auditorium, and James Brown’s entourage was
recruiting when Bernal joined the Army.
Chavez said Bernal was wounded twice in Vietnam and could have come home early,
but he rejoined his unit out of loyalty. He was killed in a fire fight in
November 1966 with only a month to go on his combat tour.
“My own life spiraled out of control,” said Laguna, and the family unraveled
from “internal blame.” Laguna dropped out of school, married and divorced an
abusive guy and struggled as a single mother. It took years for her to finish
college and reclaim her own life and even become a business owner.
Bernal wasn’t forgotten. The city named a small park on the north side after her
brother, but something was always missing. Until the memorial was born.
“The names of all the other guys from San Jose,” needed to be together, she
said. “Raymond will be with them. That monument will finally bring him home. He
can rest now.”
Holding out hope
Leo Flores still thinks about his best buddy from the Vietnam War, Army
machine-gunner Robert Susumu Masuda of San Jose. Actually, Flores still thinks
about Masuda a lot, every time he sees reports about Afghanistan and Iraq, or
attends a therapy session for the post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s
guilt he brought back from the war.
“I was supposed to be his assistant gunner that night,” Flores said by telephone
from his home in Hollister. “They sent a new guy instead.”
Masuda and Flores were both short, but Masuda was stocky and strong enough to
carry a heavy machine gun and the ammunition belts.
“The other guys used to make fun of us for being short, but when they saw him
use that gun, that got him respect.” He remembered Masuda as friendly, devoted
to his girl back home and to his Japanese-American friends, family and culture.
The two buddies had bonded after several fire fights, including a two-week
battle for one hill in the Mekong Delta. But on a routine mission, Masuda was
sent to guard a trail leading to a village in May 1969. He and his new gunnery
assistant simply disappeared. Flores said all they found of Masuda was his
infantry patch, torn from his shirt and nailed to a tree. He was only 21.
“They always did that to try and scare us,” Flores said.
Masuda’s body was never recovered and is now listed as “died while missing.” It
took years for the memorial organizers to track down the Masuda family, some of
whom still live in San Jose.
“Our father passed away a year after my brother became missing, from a heart
attack,” Ronald Masuda wrote in an email. “We feel it was too much for him not
knowing what happened to Bob. We still hope he might come home, but it’s been 44
Chosen to speak
Karen Nastor Paulson never knew her uncle, Army paratrooper Tony Nastor Jr., but
she’s the one her surviving uncles have chosen to speak about him.
“It’s still painful for them,” said Paulson who only knows her Uncle Tony
through family folklore. “I remember sitting with my grandma…and she would
always say, ‘The good die young,’ when she talked about Tony.”
The Nastor family lived in San Jose and all of them worked together in their
ancestral occupations as fishermen and farmers.
Together they fished and dived for shellfish, oysters, mussels and abalone off
the Santa Cruz and Monterey county coasts. As the oldest son, Tony headed up the
collection of the daily catch. When his younger brothers were old enough, he
taught them how to free dive and bring up abalone.
“It was always a competition with the three boys,” Paulson said.
Tony graduated from San Jose High in 1965 and enrolled at San Jose City College
in hopes of becoming a police officer. But he asked his dad for permission to
drop out and join the military after a friend was killed in Vietnam.
“He wanted to take revenge,” Paulson said.
Paulson recently found an emotional letter to Nastor written by his father,
urging him to carry on. But Nastor died before it arrived and the letter found
its way home, where it remained sealed until Paulson opened and read it last
The high school near downtown, oldest in the city, has a plaque listing every
graduate who died in the Vietnam War. Paulson said her uncle was killed, at 21,
by a booby trap when he was on patrol in Binh Dinh Province shortly after the
Tet Offensive in 1968. That horrific North Vietnamese attack was widely credited
with convincing the American public that the war was not worth the sacrifice.
“Until the day my grandmother died,” Paulson wearily remembers, “she always
said, ‘The good die young.’” Contact Joe Rodriguez at 408-920-5767.
Vietnam era warriors were not lauded as heroes and received little respect from
the public upon their return from war. Now, nearly half a century later, an
elegant hunk of black granite, etched with local names, might help the public
finally honor those soldiers.
IS IT DEJA VUE
ALL OVER THE AGAIN? WE REPORT, YOU DECIDE...
Those of you
who were around in the '80s and early '90s will recall two in-house cops whose
views differed significantly over the issue of gun control. In one corner was
our boss at the time, Joe McNamara. In the other corner was Leroy Pyle, who was
then closely associated with the NRA and went on to achieve fame as our
Webmaster. For the record, Joe and Leroy have been friends for the past several
years. And as we all know, friends often have fun "tweaking" one another.
In his role as a Fellow at the Hoover Institution, JoeMac was recently
interviewed by Stanford Magazine on the topic, "What's To Be Done After
Newtown?" And suspecting that Leroy wasn't a regular reader of the publication,
Joe sent him a link to the magazine interview along with the message: "Hi Leroy
— I send you this for your enjoyment (just kidding). — Joe"
Believing that no "tweak" should go unanswered, Leroy responded to Joe and his
article with one of his own that appears under Joe's interview below.
It needs to be emphasized that the disagreement over gun control between Joe and
Leroy wasn't seen as personal between the two; it was simply a case of differing
views. But as is the case with most controversies, supporters on both sides of a
given issue tend to express very strong opinions. If you are inclined to read
Joe's interview and Leroy's retort, carry on...
What's to Be Done After
gun control advocate explains his positions—
During his law enforcement
career, including 15 years as San Jose police chief, Hoover Institution research
fellow Joseph McNamara was well known for his staunch advocacy of gun-control
measures. In combination with his broader public profile (he also writes
detective novels), his outspoken views led to sharp clashes with the National
McNamara’s beat cop experience began as a New York patrolman in Harlem, where he
famously chased, tackled and handcuffed a much larger man who had just stabbed
someone. He eventually obtained a doctorate in public administration at Harvard
before returning to police work. He was police chief in Kansas City, Mo., before
taking over in San Jose in 1976. When he left for Stanford, a 1991 editorial in
the San Jose Mercury News commended him for a variety of achievements including
his gun-control stance, saying “somebody’s got to fight for it.”
Amid current debates over so-called assault weapons and possible new federal
gun-control legislation, Stanford sat down with McNamara for a
question-and-answer session, challenging him to explain and defend his positions
on a variety of issues. This edited transcript is a fuller version of the
interview that appeared in print.
Would any additional gun control make a significant difference in reducing
crime and violence?
I think so. There’s no panacea; there’s no law that passes that will totally
eliminate the massacres that we’re disturbed with, or will eliminate gun crime.
But at the same time, there’s a lot of unnecessary violence with guns in our
country. There’s a good deal of evidence that when you bring a gun into the
home, it’s more likely to be used against a member of that family or household
than against the stranger who’s endangering the people inside the home.
There are plenty of instances where mentally disturbed people have access to a
weapon and use it, when if that weapon was not present the moment would pass and
that they might well go on, live the rest of their lives and not hurt anyone
else. So I think there’s a whole climate affecting the use of guns in our
country that would be changed from the picture that the pro-gunners create,
which is so defiant of common sense that it’s sometimes hard to understand why
it has lasted this long. And some of their slogans illustrate, I think, the
emptiness of their arguments. For example, one of their chief spokesmen said the
only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. If you think about
that for a moment, what in the world are they really suggesting? That the United
States of America go back to the days of Dodge City and the shootout at OK
Corral? That for us to be safe each of us has to turn into a gunslinger, that we
have to have our children armed with guns? That we have to have armed people in
all the schools and that we have to adapt to a kind of culture where we’re
constantly in danger because someone next to us is carrying a firearm?
The pro-gunners like to argue that guns don’t kill, people kill. And that shows
again the emptiness of their arguments, because while it’s true that the gun by
itself will not kill anyone, a person with a gun can kill a lot more easily and
can kill a lot of people. Whereas some reasonable limitations on the type of
firearm that you have can really make a significant difference in the danger to
Isn’t the counter-argument, that with so many guns already in circulation,
the determined criminal or the psychologically unstable person would never be
able to be really deterred from getting hold of a gun—and that the answer
therefore is a good guy with a gun?
No one’s arguing in favor of gun control by saying that it will never happen
that a criminal or a deranged person will get a gun and kill other people if we
just pass this law. But the pro-gunners raise that as if we have, this straw man
argument, when in fact we’re not proposing anything like that. We’re proposing
some common sense.
For example, why not argue that a rifle-propelled grenade is a good weapon to
defend your family? In a sense, it’s a firearm, it’s dispensed through a rifle.
Well, because it just would kill a lot of people, and it’s not appropriate. When
we’re talking about gun control, we’re talking about things that people
overwhelmingly approve as a wide majority: that convicted felons and people who
have been convicted of violent crimes, people who are drug addicts, people who
are insane, should not have firearms. And people of a certain age should not
have firearms. We have those kinds of restrictions on people driving automobiles
and in other parts of our society because it’s recognized that, in the public
good, you have to have some balance. We do infringe on people’s rights to drive
cars, but we do it because we don’t want a lot of people getting killed
unnecessarily. And that’s a pretty established principle.
Which brings us to the subject of the Constitution and the Second Amendment.
The recent decision of District of Columbia v. Heller [a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court
decision supporting individual gun ownership] reversed a couple of hundred years
of law in that the consensus of federal lower court opinions was that the Second
Amendment language explicitly referred to a militia. Let me just read it [the
Second Amendment] to be completely clear: ‘A well-regulated militia being
necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and
bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ That had been interpreted by the lower
courts to mean that this was not an individual right to bear arms, that it had
to do, as it was written at the time, with the necessity of having militias
because we did not have a standing army in our country.
And we should keep in mind too that today the pro-gunners raise the hunting
issue, a sports issue. But at the time the Second Amendment was written, hunting
was not a sport. For a lot of people, it was a way of providing meals and food
for their families. The idea of firearms as sport was not incorporated in the
Second Amendment, and I don’t think it really has any place in this discussion.
I have nothing against weapons that are appropriate for hunting being legal and
I don’t think that the responsible people for gun control argue that hunting
weapons should be excluded. In fact, we raise the issue that, why would you need
a weapon with the firepower of an assault weapon to go hunting?
Years ago, Barry Goldwater, the conservative Republican candidate for president,
who was a member of the NRA, said on this issue [that] any SOB who takes an
assault rifle into the woods shouldn’t be allowed to hunt. I think that’s the
way most responsible hunters feel. The pro-gun argument is, well, yeah, but if
we yield on that point, the next step will be [to] take all of our guns away.
And I think that’s an argument that really has to be dealt with, open and out
front . . . it’s not just crazy people who have that attitude. There’s a lot of
distrust of government in our country. I often write about some distrust that I
have over the police use of SWAT teams that has resulted in unnecessary civilian
deaths, because we have this silly idea to use these military-type invasions of
people’s homes just simply to enforce a drug search warrant, which is obtained
in secret and often on very skimpy evidence that would not stand up to anything
but this ex-parte kind of legal process.
The fear that we have of government is part of our DNA, and indeed the
Constitution reflects that fear because it pits the three branches of government
against each other. That’s why my prediction [is] that the [Supreme] Court will
not sustain Heller very long, because the [re-elected] administration within the
next four years will undoubtedly appoint at least one justice, and Heller was a
5-4 decision on really unprecedented grounds. One of the four dissenting judges
said that it created a totally new constitutional right based on very specious
arguments. So the Supreme Court will go back and forth, and I think that is
something that has worked well for the United States. . . . in the sense that
we’re the most powerful country in the world with, I think, the most freedom and
economic freedom and highest standard of living of any civilization in the
world. (I’m) not saying that we don’t have plenty of problems that need solving,
we do. But at the same time we should recognize that, as Winston Churchill once
said, democracies aren’t great but there’s nothing in second place.
What kind of additional gun control do you think would be most helpful? Is
the issue the assault weapons?
Yes, and the difficulty here is the other side is really quite skilled at
masking the real issue. They raise the issue of, well, how do you define an
assault weapon, and there’s really no such thing; and you would call them
military weapons and they’re not really military weapons, they’re civilian
weapons. But the key issue here is . . . the capacity for the weapon to fire a
lot of rounds in a very short period of time. That’s what law enforcement is
concerned about and that is what many of the pro-gun-control people are
concerned about. If someone has a six-shot revolver, yes, they can kill people.
And then they have to reload to put six more bullets in. That takes time.
Whereas someone who has what we call an assault weapon can, for example, fire a
36-round clip within, say, a half second if it’s fully automatic and perhaps two
and a half seconds if it’s semiautomatic. So the argument over whether a weapon
is automatic—which is a machine-gun type weapon, one pull of the trigger will
dispatch all the rounds of ammunition, as opposed to a [semiautomatic] single
pull of the trigger for each round—is meaningless. It’s only a matter of a
couple of seconds, so the fire is almost continuous. And it’s that fire that can
kill a lot of people, keep law enforcement SWAT teams and law enforcement
officers at bay so that they cannot get in to rescue hostages.
California police chiefs took the position of limiting the weapon to seven
rounds. Others take the position of limiting the weapon to 10 rounds. But [the
clip] can be prevented.
What about contentions like the one in a recent Wall Street Journal
article that any gun can be modified to take a clip of size?
Yes, any weapon can be modified. However, by making [certain modifications]
against the law [such as a full conversion from semiautomatic to automatic],
we’ve taken a very important symbolic stand that this kind of weapon is
improper, that it has no place in a civilized society, and that it is a serious
crime to do so. I have no doubt, given my 35-year experience in law enforcement,
that the overwhelming majority of people in this country support that kind of
law; and that gradually public opinion will solidify; and that people who are
found to be in possession of weapons that have been modified will be dealt with
severely under the law, as they should be. And that eventually, in a gradual
process, that law will become the law of the land, and people [will] turn in
The trouble with buyback programs now is that [the payouts are] used to obtain
weapons with more firepower. So they have never worked anywhere to reduce
homicide, and it’s really a stupid idea that wastes the public money and ends up
with a better-armed criminal. The idea that they just sell their weapon and
never get another one may happen occasionally, but we know it probably doesn’t
happen as much as people saying, ‘Gee, I’ve been looking to get a new assault
weapon and here’s my chance.’ . . . But if you had buyback programs and it was
rigidly against the law to buy a weapon with a magazine and the capacity for
magazines, then they might buy another weapon that was reasonable for their own
I personally am not opposed to people having weapons. I wrote my first book a
long time ago, in 1984, called Safe and Sane. It was a crime prevention book,
and I said to people, if you think you need a firearm to protect your home, that
usually is OK—you shouldn’t be required to get a license, but you should be
aware that there’s a lot of danger there and that proper use of a firearm is not
something you can just assume, like a toaster. . . . There’s a lot of education
involved there and tragedies that we have seen happen. Most of the police
officers I know would tell you they have seen many more gun accidents than
actual cases where someone, a criminal, has been shot invading a home.
Where is the evidence that the now-expired federal ban on assault weapons
worked in any way? Hasn’t violent crime decreased since the law expired?
We all know as researchers that the methodology that you adapt can often
determine the outcome. When you look at crime statistics, you should keep in
mind that in the annual FBI release of crime statistics, Crime in the United
States, every year it warns against drawing generalizations from homicide and
other statistics like that. Now, I could argue. . . [that] the latest statistics
show homicides are up throughout the United States and that’s since . I
don’t make that argument because I feel as an ethical researcher that I couldn’t
really in good conscience interpret those crime statistics on a single notion
that it had to do with gun control. There are so many variables in analyzing
There’s also the argument that better than any gun control would be
harsher gun-sentencing laws.
I think harsh gun sentencing is in place in many areas, and I think it has
reduced crime. Many people, criminologists, will argue that it’s the mandatory
sentencing that has caused crime to go down. So mandatory sentencing for gun
crimes, seeing that the laws that we have are enforced now, might work very
Sometimes the pro-gunners argue that instead of inventing new laws, we should
use the laws we have. I agree with that. But I would point out that they’re
playing a very double-sided game, because they know that we lack good data on
guns and gun violence. One of the primary reasons that we lack this data is that
the pro-gun forces have, through intimidating congressmen, ensured that the
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms department has been cut back, so that they cannot
enforce the laws that are on the books. They cannot do inspections of gun deals;
they cannot ensure that those guns are transferred and sold according to the
law. They’ve also been stripped of the ability to analyze gun crime, and the
Centers for Disease Control has been denied funding to do it. This is part of a
very skilled lobby with hundreds of millions of dollars to play with every year
to manipulate the lobbying system that plagues our political structure.
The only department that I know that is making major efforts to trace guns used
in crime is the NYPD, and they feel it’s extremely important to find out, when a
gun is used in a murder, ‘well, how’d that gun come into circulation?’
When attorney general [John] Ashcroft was in office, he blocked the effort of
the FBI to obtain the gun history of some 1,500 people that his department had
ordered rounded up as suspected terrorists. This was after the attack on the
World Trade Center, and the country was rightfully concerned about terrorism.
But how can you take the position that you should round these people up, that
they are viable suspects of being terrorists, and not be at all interested
whether they ever purchased firearms in the United States? He forbade the FBI to
do that investigation.
So I find it very hard to understand the level of almost fanaticism in terms of
any effort to get to the bottom of this and lay out it out. Let the American
people decide, let the Supreme Court rule as it will rule.
When you say the most important thing is to lay everything out fully, do
you not think that’s happening in the current debate?
There’s a great deal of emotion flowing back and forth, and polarization.
However, whatever laws are passed, I would like to see incorporated in that law
something that [pro-gunners] have criticized: that there’s a lack of data to
support gun control. So the elected officials, the Congress passing new
legislation, [should build] into the law an analysis by ATF, by the Centers for
Disease Control and by other government organizations, to evaluate over a couple
of years the impact of the new laws and what they achieved or did not achieve.
That’s reasonable for both sides.
the link to the Stanford Magazine interview...
• • • • •
to Joe's interview...
Feinstein and McNamara:
There you go again!
Pyle, San Jose PD (Ret)
Some things never change, and
that includes the minds of Dianne Feinstein and Joe McNamara. Dianne at
and Joe resurrects his tired litany with a rehash of his material
in the magazine interview.
Twenty babies are massacred in their classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School
in Newtown, CT by a crazed lunatic and the best these “veteran gun control
advocates” can come up with is the same, tired arguments they have used for 25+
years. Is it only me or should we all expect more from those who claim to be the
educated leaders of our society.
Diane recently feigned indignation when challenged by Senator Ted Cruz on her
Second Amendment stance and claimed, “I’m not a sixth grader, Senator, I’ve been
on this committee for 20 years” and studied the issue for a long time. She has
openly stated that she wanted to confiscate all “assault weapons” but didn’t
have the votes. Not having the votes does not appear to be important to this
Retired Chief of Police Joseph D. McNamara has every reason to be proud of his
Research Fellowship at the Hoover Institution and his degree from Harvard Law
School as well as his Doctorate in Public Administration from the JFK School of
Government. He is often interviewed for his gun control advocacy, but he has not
accomplished anything in the way of gun control other than the fame associated
with his advocacy.
I first became aware of their politics in 1989. At about noon on January 17,
1989, Patrick Purdy went to the school playground of the Cleveland Elementary
School in Stockton, CA and began shooting at children. He killed five and
wounded thirty, others including one teacher.
Dianne was Mayor of San Francisco at the time and Joe was my Chief at the San
Jose Police Department. They both garnered considerable notoriety for their call
for gun control. Then, as now, the emphasis was on the firearm. A gun is either
too small and easily concealable or two big and powerful; too black and
militaristic to be trusted in the hands of ordinary citizens. Their solutions
rely on various methods to disarm the honest citizen. Seriously, will anything
they advocate affect the activities of a murderer or robber? A crazed murderer?
The McNamara article referenced above does not mention Adam Lanza. A lot about
the retired Chief's belief that limiting your possession of guns is the
solution, but little concern for the murderer. Feinstein is in her glory, again.
She talks a lot about restricting your firearms, but not much is heard of Adam
It was much the same in 1989. Not a lot was said about Patrick Purdy, the
murderer. After all, McNamara and Feinstein’s reputations are noted as “gun
control advocates.” Not “crime control advocates” or “crazed murderer control
advocates.” They are all about controlling your guns.
Obviously, I am an advocate of safe and responsible gun ownership by honest
citizens. You don’t have to have one, of course, but you do have the right. I
began my career in the 1960s investigating murders, robberies, and rapes. Those
crimes continue to be perpetrated on the citizens of our communities to this
day. As a career police officer it was obvious that the best way to defeat a
person with a weapon is with a firearm. Why else would the police be armed?
I am reminded of one of the many news articles about Chief McNamara. In this one
it was reported that he heard a burglar on his roof and “ran out of the house
with gun in hand.” I wonder why he didn’t take his Harvard diploma, instead?
In closing, this is the best 7
minutes on gun control I have ever seen...
• • • • •
Joe's reply to Leroy's
Since Leroy had the
opportunity to respond to Joe's interview, it was only fair to give Joe the
opportunity to respond to Leroy. Our former boss came up with this...
Leroy is mistaken on the point he made that I have not
accomplished anything other than fame about my advocacy.
I became involved when Officer Joe Tamarit was shot at the Red Lion Hotel by a
jerk with an Uzi. Our detectives thought the shooter may have been trying to
imitate the mad man responsible for the San Diego McDonald's massacre in which
the SDPD SWAT team was criticized for waiting outside for 45 minutes while the
gunman continued to shoot people trapped inside. The lieutenant in charge of the
SWAT unit said he felt he couldn't send his men in against an automatic Uzi.
When Officer Tamarit was shot with an Uzi at the Red Lion, we (the SJPD) were
stunned. I brought the case to the attention of the California Police Chiefs'
Assn. asking if these weapons were showing up elsewhere. The answer was yes, and
I was asked if I would represent the association in Sacramento with the purpose
of asking that these weapons be banned. I agreed, and Joe Tamarit — who was
still on injury leave — came with me and testified. He spoke eloquently, saying
that his radio didn't work on the forth floor of the hotel and that he left a
significant amount of blood on the hallway floor while crawling to the elevator
that would take him to the lobby because he didn't want his fellow officers to
respond not knowing the type of weapon they would be facing. Joe also said that
we know we have to take risks when we become officers, but something needs to be
done to help protect us. Even though the politicians in Sacramento were
intimidated by the gun lobby that day, it later passed a rather weak bill. Like
the other California chiefs, I didn't want officers to have to face that kind of
Calling people who speak in disagreement on the gun control issue publicity
hounds is silly. Senator Feinstein doesn't need publicity. Neither do I.
SHORTAGE OF COPS
EXTENDS WELL BEYOND SAN JOSE'S CITY LIMITS
The loss of police
personnel isn't endemic only to the SJPD. This SacBee article sent in by Craig
Shuey shows the problem is widespread. Put another way, there is no reason why
the SJPD should feel like the Lone Ranger...
Police Agencies Losing
By Phillip Reese
Sacramento Bee — March 13, 2013
Three of every four California police agencies shrank
during the last several years collectively, laying off thousands of cops the
latest FBI figures show.
The number of sworn police officers in California fell from 81,286 in 2008 to
77,584 in 2011, a roughly 5 percent decline. The number of police officers per
10,000 residents shrank by 7 percent.
Police agencies also employed about 3,000, or 7 percent, fewer civilian support
staff in 2011 than they did during 2008.
Crime declined over that period but began to rise again during 2012.
Many police agencies continue to cut staff, though some, including the city of
Sacramento, are hiring cops again.
Some of the biggest police cuts came in areas hardest hit by the recession,
particularly the Central Valley.
The map shows the change in police staffing by county from 2008 to 2011.
FOR GOLFERS AND
Submitted by Juan Reyes
the 4th Annual Marine LCpl Travis Layfield Memorial Golf Tournament & Fun(d)
Golf Course, 6900 Mission Road, Sunol, CA 94586
Click on the
link below for more information...
LAST CALL IF YOU WANT TO PIG OUT ON CRAB...
THE HISTORY OF THE
SJPD SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN
Back in the days before hand-pack radios and multi-channel car radios there
existed a need to be "in-service" so officers could be dispatched to calls. This
was an era when the fleet consisted of stick-shift patrol cars, some with
running boards. There were no shotgun mounts or holders back then. Shotguns were
slid into scabbards like those seen on the sides of saddles in western movies,
but the police scabbard was mounted parallel to the front seat, under the
driver's legs. Cages? What were they? Despite the lack of modern communications
equipment, officers were acutely aware of the rule, "Be prepared and be
available." This led to a love affair between the cops and drive-in restaurants.
Tom Spivey operated the Spivey's Drive-Ins at 12th and Santa Clara, Shasta and
San Carlos as well as similar establishments in Campbell, Mountain View and
Santa Cruz. The 5-Spot, operated by Tom's brother, was located at 1st and
Sutter. The "hood types" hung out at the Holland Creamery on the south side of
Santa Clara near 12th St., and the "teeny boppers" frequented Mel's at 16th and
Santa Clara. One of its customers back in '60 and '61 was a high school teenager
who, several years later, stopped in on occasion in his PD patrol car. He
eventually retired and created the Farsider, but that's another story. For the
record, Mel's still operates a drive-in on Hwy 49 in Auburn, where photos of
their former chain restaurants are displayed.
Further east at 31st and Santa Clara was Jalisco, where the cops talked Jesse
the owner into serving up a "Gringo Burger." Jesse's family still operates a
Jalisco on Campbell Ave in Campbell. Just up Old Bayshore, north of McKee, was
Abazabas. This was during the pre-freeway days and, therefore, before overpasses
were constructed at McKee, San Antonio, Story and Tully. At McCreery and Alum
Rock was Mark's Hot Dogs, which has since relocated on Capital Ave. off Alum
Rock. The west side of town had John's Drive-In at Stockton and The Alameda.
The listed eateries don't include Kings Drive-In just north of Alma St. on S.
1st as it didn't have carhop service. Even so, it was "owned and controlled" by
the SJPD, despite the fact that the Gypsy Jokers outlaw motorcycle gang called
it "home." Anita and Alberto of Kings were the purveyors of the burgers and
fries served at the tailgate promotional parties held in the Health Department's
parking lot across from the police garage at the end of shift at 03-dark-thirty.
Now if Guy Fierro of the TV show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" who was also a
car theft victim when his Lamborghini was recently stolen here in the Bay Area
needed a "canvas" for his show, this would have been it.
Having brought back memories of drive-ins and carhops and hand signals used for
coffee — straight across for black, thumb down for cream — let's now look at the
other drive-ins that were prevalent in the "golden olden days," namely the
drive-in movie theaters.
The Spartan Drive-In at 1st and Alma, behind Kings was the first one in the San
Jose area to show a ground-breaking adult movie featuring a "lady" named Linda
Lovelace. Then there was the El Rancho at Vine and Almaden. The Alum Rock
Drive-In (later to be named The Tropicana) on Alum Rock Ave. across from Marks
Hot Dogs featured "a buck a carload" on certain nights. Next up was the San Jose
Drive-In at Old Oakland and Gish which usually showed less-than-family-oriented
The box offices of these drive-in theaters were sometimes subject to armed
robberies, and the speakers that provided the audio from the movie could be
subject to theft. And every once in a while an errant customer would drive off
with the speaker still in the window, thereby tugging it loose from the stand
that supported it. Other drivers were known to drive or back into a speaker
pole, scratching or putting a ding in their ride while bending the stand over
and making the speaker suitable only for someone sitting in a lawn chair.
It was not unusual to find beat units "catching a flick" in the back row of a
drive-in theater, nor was it unusual to find one accompanied by an unmarked car.
The operators of these drive-ins welcomed the "boys in blue" on their lots, and
some of them afforded "freebies" to off-duty officers accompanied by their
families and/or friend(s) just by showing your badge, a/k/a buzzer, a/k/a
shield, a/k/a star, whatever. The presence of a police unit inside the drive-in
didn't prevent armed robberies; it only provided a faster response time. More
often than not, the bad guys was 5 minutes away by the time the call was made to
the PD (no 911 back then) and it was routed and dispatched. But at least "we got
there in a hurry," not like the citizens suffering in today's world.
Today, all that's left is the Capital Drive-In. Perhaps the boys and girls in
the blue and whites can give this remnant of what once was the service it
deserves, even if it's from the back row.
URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF MARCH 16, 2013
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
• Video purportedly features a North Korean propaganda
report on 'how Americans live today.'
• Will a few drops of Visine taken internally cause diarrhea?
• Does a video show NASCAR's Jeff Gordon pranking an unsuspecting car
salesman with a wild test drive?
• Unusual test is posed to a young man by his fiance's parents.
• Are criminals marking homes with colored stickers in order to steal dogs
for use in dog fighting events?
• Did Mark Kelly purchase an AR-15 rifle the day after testifying to Colorado
legislators about the need for additional gun control measures?
• Will participating in a one-day boycott of gasoline on 15 April help lower
• Did Marvin Gaye deliberately record a wretched album
designed to sell poorly in order to cheat his ex-wife out of royalties?
• 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 who couldn't motivate police to investigate a break-in report a
more serious crime instead?
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
—YouTube's Large or Full Screen option strongly suggested—
• • • • •
Let's begin with some sage
advice for all of us in this montage of beautiful photos set to the song "Starry
Starry Nights" that Harry Mullins sent to John Kregel, who forwarded it to us.
• • • • •
Oops. We had a bad link in
a Mail Call item from Paul Gardner last week. To listen to what the former
Secret Service agent had to say on the topic of gun control, click on the
corrected link below. (6 Mins.)
• • • • •
It's a good thing that
Spray-On Chrome wasn't available back in the mid '60s. It if was, people who saw
me driving my '66 Chevelle SS 396 in the sunlight would have been blinded. Step
into Jay Leno's garage and the late night talk show host will tell you about it.
This is the
website if anyone is interested...
• • • • •
Few things are more moving
than scenes of winter when they are captured at just the right moment,
especially when they are set to classical music. Our thanks to Pete Guerin for
sending us this work of art that may surprise you. (3
• • • • •
Here is the
comedy of Key & Peele again, this time with a short skit about President Obama
teaching his daughter Malia how to drive. (1 Min.)
• • • • •
While we are focused on Key
& Peele, here's another clip from Comedy Central about the substitute teacher
who was fresh from teaching in the inner city. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
So how much do you know
about Beavers? Seriously. Don Hale learned a lot about nature's builders when he
watched this clip. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
Somewhere in Canada, a buck
with a sweet tooth stopped by for his daily treat of munching on a candy bar.
• • • • •
Don't lose your old badge
as it may be worth a ton of dough. Have a look at this eBay item we received
from Jack Baxter...
• • • • •
Plan on moving to another
home? Alice Murphy suggests you stay away from Mayflower, United Van Lines,
Starving College Students or any other moving company and go with this outfit
instead. Sure, you will have to pay for round-trip airfare for a dozen or so
people from Japan to the U.S. as well as equipment rental, but once you see them
in action we're sure they will be your choice. (4 Mins.)
• • • • •
Want to have a ton of fun?
Try the Solowheel. It's basically a self-balancing, battery-propelled unicycle
using Segway technology that can carry you up to 10 miles on a single charge.
If you want to learn how to ride one in almost no time at all,
watch this video. (6 Mins.)
Here's the company's website if your curiosity has been piqued...
• • • • •
As enticing as a Solowheel
may sound, I think I'll wait until next year when Lit Motors goes into
production with its C-1 before I sell my Goldwing and opt for the new electric,
self-balancing, enclosed motorcycle that can't fall over. Especially since it is
expected to be priced similar to a loaded Goldwing with performance that is also
similar in terms of acceleration and top speed. I can't understand why, but as I
get longer and longer in the tooth, I would swear that my Wing gets heavier and
heavier. Have a look at the Lit C-1, which is expected to go into production in
This is the link to the company's website...
• • • • •
Those of us who own a
900-pound Goldwing give thanks to videos like this one of a young lady who shows
how to pick up the 900-pound monster after it has fallen over.
• • • • •
So what did God do on the
day following the seventh in which he rested? If this clip received from Don
Hale presented in the style of the late Paul Harvey is factual, He made a dog.
Look and listen, especially if you are a dog owner. (2
• • • • •
Pop Quiz: Put your books
down and look straight ahead. No talking, no cheating. Question: What makes it
so pleasurable for Dave Scannell and so many others to enjoy a walk on a beach?
A clue can be found in the image below, so take a quick look. TIme's up. To see
if you got the question correct, click on the link under the image...
• • • • •
We chose as our closer this
week this clip from the Late Show with David Letterman sent in by Dean Janavice.
It's from the end of Letterman's Elvis Tribute Week and features the top
European Elvis Impersonator. If you close your eyes while you listen, you would
swear that The King is back in the building. (6 Mins.)
This is the
text that was included in the e-mail with the YouTube link of the performance...
First European To Win The
Ultimate Elvis Impersonator
Ben Portsmouth and his band, Taking Care of Elvis,
present an amazing tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, with his looks, style
and fantastic voice which will set hearts racing and feet tapping.
In the blink of your eyes you’ll be taken back to what it was like to see, hear
and experience the young and sexy Elvis when he first burst on to the U.S. music
scene in 1954 right through to 1977.
Ben Portsmouth’s stunning outfits, all U.S. custom made, span the black leathers
of Presley’s comeback in 1968 to the white jumpsuits of the later Las Vegas
shows, all costumes are exact copies of the originals.
Not only is Ben Portsmouth a natural showman, he is also an extremely talented
professional singer/songwriter, a dedicated musician who sincerely goes that bit
extra in all his performances.
In 2006 Ben Portsmouth was awarded the title of Best Festival Elvis at the
annual Porthcawl Elvis convention in Wales which is the biggest of its kind in
Europe. He took the audience of assembled Elvis devotees by storm with his
remarkable voice and stage presence. In 2007 he was awarded the Gold Lame
(Jacket) Award for his 50’s set, and in 2008 he was voted best ’68 Comeback
Special. And now he has won the "The World's Ultimate Elvis Presley
• • • • •
Pic of the Week
The bumper sticker that is giving Republicans a
serious case of indigestion...
|This is the message box, using the