April 4, 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
A CELEBRATION OF
LIFE FOR ROGER IS THIS COMING SATURDAY
1:00 to 3:30 p.m.
POA Hall, 1151 N. Fourth St.
A buffet lunch will be served by the POA caterer.
Please feel free to bring photographs. There will be an
opportunity to share your personal stories about Roger.
Most if not all police
retirees are already aware of the increase in their health care costs. Those who
are affected the least are the retirees over the age of 65 who also are covered
by Medicare. This story made the front page of yesterday's paper...
S.J. Targets Health Care for
are on more solid legal ground, expert says—
By John Woolfolk
Mercury News — April 3, 2013
SAN JOSE — While San Jose battles unions in court to
enact pension cuts voters approved in a nationally watched June ballot measure,
the city is already deflating its ballooning retirement bill with an unheralded
move to shrink health benefits.
The fate of San Jose’s Measure B pension reforms remains uncertain — a Santa
Clara County Superior Court trial is scheduled June 17, with appeals expected.
But like a host of other local governments, San Jose is finding health insurance
a quicker path toward trimming retirement perks that are more generous than
those in private industry, and whose growing costs have devoured funds for
staffing and services.
“Retiree health care is generally easier to reform than pensions,” said David
Crane, a Stanford University lecturer and president of Govern for California, a
non-partisan reform group, who has written extensively on pension issues. “It’s
generally accorded less protection legally.”
San Jose workers and retirees oppose the health plan changes that add higher
co-payments and deductibles. The San Jose firefighters union and Police Officers
Association have filed grievances, and a retiree representative hinted recently
at possible legal action.
“You’re passing these costs on to people who can least afford it,” Bob Leininger,
president of the San Jose Retired Employees Association, told the City Council
last week. “They’re older; they’re not in the best of health in many cases.”
But city officials believe they have a strong hand to
defend retiree health care cuts and say that they’re already seeing savings. The
recent health benefit changes shaved $400 million off the nearly $3 billion that
the city expects to owe its retirees beyond what it has funds to cover, said
Deputy City Manager Alex Gurza. And that is saving San Jose $12.5 million a
year, Gurza said, $6.5 million of that in the general fund that pays for most
“It had a significant impact putting in a lower-cost plan,” Gurza said.
Even so, the city’s annual bill and unfunded debt for employee retirement
continues to grow, though not as steeply as had been feared a year ago, thanks
not only to health plan changes but to layoffs and pay cuts. San Jose’s total
yearly pension and retiree health bill will increase from $242 million to $266
million in the coming year. By comparison, the city’s projected general fund
budget is $858 million. The retirement bill has more than tripled in a decade.
And the unfunded debt for future retirement continues to inch up, from $2.89
billion to $2.9 billion, according to the latest figures.
“We’re still by no means out of the woods,” Gurza said. “We need to continue on
the path we’re on to bring these costs down.”
Retiree health plans have become rare in private employment but remain common in
government. San Jose began offering retiree health care in 1986, and city
officials say the perk is generous even by government standards. Most
governments pay retirees a stipend toward health premiums. In San Jose, retirees
can get full premium coverage for the cheapest plan available to employees, a
better deal than when they worked for the city and had to share in premium
San Jose was able to cut the cost by offering all of its employees a cheaper,
Because San Jose didn’t define the lowest-cost plan available to retirees, the
city was able to cut retiree health costs by simply adopting a cheaper plan.
Instead of a Kaiser HMO with $25 co-payments to visit a doctor, the cheapest
plan now has a $1,500 deductible, $40 co-payments and premiums that cost 24
percent less. Retirees who want to keep the Kaiser HMO now have to pay the
Hard to challenge
Courts suggest that challenging the city’s health care move may be tough.
That’s why both Vallejo and Stockton cut retiree health
benefits rather than face uncertain court battles over pensions in seeking to
lower costs in bankruptcy. A federal bankruptcy judge ruled in August that
Stockton’s retiree health benefits can be cut as part of the proceedings. And a
federal judge that month also ruled against Orange County retirees who argued
they were entitled to implied rights to cheaper health premiums.
Retiree health often represents a disproportionate share of unfunded government
retirement debt because until recent years most governments hadn’t been setting
aside funding to cover anticipated costs. A study by California Common Sense
found only Los Angeles and Burbank out of 20 major California cities had socked
away more than half the money needed to cover expected retiree health costs.
In San Jose, the benefit remains only 19 percent funded for most workers and 11
percent funded for police and firefighters. Unfunded debt tops $1.1 billion,
more than a third of the city’s total retirement shortfall.
But retiree health care still accounts for only a sixth of San Jose’s yearly
retirement bill. Even small changes to pension benefits can yield big savings.
One piece of Measure B the city already imposed, cutting a perk that paid upside
investment returns in pension funds to retirees instead of banking it to offset
losses, shaved $72.5 million off the unfunded debt and $17.8 million off the
yearly bill, $13.4 million of that in the general fund. Crane said that’s why
governments keep looking to cut pension costs as well as retiree health costs.
“Since both are so large,” Crane said, “I expect cities to keep looking at ways
to do both.”
~ ~ ~
A look at San Jose’s employee
• The average yearly pension for retirees who worked a full 31-year career for
San Jose is $68,664 for most employees and $104,112 for officers and
firefighters, including annual 3 percent raises.
• Retirees who worked 15 or more years get full premium coverage for the
cheapest city employee health plan. That used to be a Kaiser HMO plan with $25
co-payments to see a doctor. But the city now has a Kaiser plan with $1,500
deductibles, $40 doctor-visit co-payments and premium costs 24 percent lower
than the Kaiser HMO.
• The total unfunded retirement liability — the gap between current funds and
projected costs — is $2.9 billion, of which more than a third, $1.1 billion, is
for retiree health benefits.
• The city’s yearly retirement payment for the coming year is $266 million, up
from $242 million. Of that, $44 million, about a sixth, is for health benefits.
• The deductible health plan reduced unfunded retirement debt by about $400
million and the city’s yearly cost by $12.5 million, $6.5 million of that in the
• The city’s pension plan is 62 percent funded for most workers, 79 percent for
police and firefighters. The city’s retiree health benefit is 19 percent funded
for most workers, 11 percent for police and firefighters.
THE TRIALS AND
TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit Strikes Again
Is this report by the
NBC Investigative Unit much ado about nothing, or are members of the San Jose
City Council being paid to party? The POA sent out a membership alert with the
following headline and link to the video below...
The NBC Bay Area Investigative
Unit uncovers SJ City
Councilmembers spending taxpayer money on alcohol and parties
• • • • •
The I.A. column in last
Sunday's paper included two items of note: 1) Pete Constant has tossed his hat
in the ring to replace Mayor Reed, and 2) Danny McTeague has been dubbed a crime
stopper at 73, and at the cost of a torn rotator cuff...
San Jose Mayor’s Race Is
San Jose city Councilmen Pierluigi Oliverio and Pete Constant have now
declared they are joining the scrum to succeed Mayor Chuck Reed after his term
ends next year. They will be vying for the job with at least Vice Mayor Madison
Nguyen , who quietly filed papers declaring her interest in December.
All three are Reed allies and, though they differ in style, would be expected to
champion the pension and other fiscal reforms that have been the centerpiece of
his administration. Constant said voters would benefit from having so many from
Reed’s voting bloc in the race.
“We’re all going to take the city in a positive direction,” Constant said, “just
different paths to get there.”
A couple of long-shot contenders, Luis Garza and David S. Wall, have also filed
papers declaring their interest in the race, which officially kicks into gear in
Two other presumed contenders, San Jose Councilman Sam Liccardo and Santa Clara
County Supervisor Dave Cortese have yet to decide. Liccardo is also a Reed ally
on the council, as was Cortese, a former councilman whom Reed nominated as vice
mayor before he left for the county board. But the supervisor has since
criticized Reed’s approach to the city’s pension mess and is expected to be the
standard-bearer for Reed’s union foes.
Cortese told us last week that “certainly a large number of constituents have
been working on getting me in the race” and that “I’m getting pretty close to
making a decision.”
Liccardo said he’s “been working very hard on critical
issues facing my district and the city like crime, homelessness and economic
development and won’t make any decision for several months.”
~ ~ ~
Retired S.J. Police Officer
Helps Nab Young Suspect
Retired San Jose police Sgt. Dan McTeague is a popular
man who has been on the edges of local politics for decades. In the past, he’s
even been mentioned as a potential City Council candidate. What happened the
other day didn’t hurt his reputation. It did, alas, hurt his shoulder.
Here’s the Reader’s Digest version, according to McTeague. A young man was
suspected of burglarizing a home in McTeague’s Cambrian neighborhood. He fled
from police, jumping over fences and leaping into McTeague’s backyard. McTeague
says he confronted him as he jumped over the front yard gate.
“He gave me an unexpected strong push to the chest, and the fight was on,”
McTeague explained by email. “My wife ran back into the house and called 911
while I fought the suspect for four or five minutes.”
The retired sergeant managed to rip two shirts off the alleged burglar and slow
him enough that the cops caught him two blocks away.
In the process, however, McTeague suffered a torn rotator cuff.
Police said the juvenile was cited on suspicion of possessing marijuana for
“I was proud of myself seeing that I’m 73 years old and was able to stay toe to
toe” with the younger fellow, he explained. “It’s sort of strange how you go
into autopilot after 30 years of training.”
Rumor has it that the
in this recent photo
credits his youthful look to Botox.
Internal Affairs is an offbeat look at state and
local politics. This week’s items were written by Tracy Seipel, John Woolfolk,
Scott Herhold and Paul Rogers. Send tips to
or call 408-975-9346.
• • • • •
Should the police
substation dubbed a "white elephant" by some be turned into a theme hotel and
restaurant? That's one of the possibilities offered by Herhold in his column
that appears on the front page of today's paper...
Let’s Power Down Vacant Police
By Scott Herhold, Columnist
Mercury News — April 4, 2013
The Great White Elephant of San Jose’s municipal
building boom, the empty police substation in South San Jose, has blazed at
night more brightly than the White House Christmas tree. It’s become a landmark
for drivers heading north on Monterey Road.
All that light has managed to deter vandals, always a threat in certain parts of
San Jose. The station has no graffiti. No drop-in motorists on meth. No broken
windows. No big signs saying “RIP Tommy.’’
But it’s been costly. In a two-year period, the city spent nearly $275,000 on
electricity bills for a vacant 107,000-square-foot building.
That’s almost $11,500 per month. From my talks with building managers in the
valley, that could be at least twice as much as necessary.
Put another way, San Jose probably could have deterred the vandals — and kept
vital systems going — by unscrewing every other light bulb.
South San Jose
Source: Google Images
“We took a fairly conservative approach toward making the building look occupied
as a kind of deterrent,’’ said Dave Sykes, the city’s director of public works.
“We’ve been maybe overly cautious.’’
Sykes estimates that an occupied police substation might demand $25,000 per
month in power bills, and that a vacant building should take about one-third of
that, $8,000-plus. “Energy costs are higher than we’d want to see,’’ he said.
One commercial real estate broker had a lower estimate. Extrapolating from a
15,000-square-foot vacant building he handled, the costs for the substation
would be around $4,200 a month.
Is the difference a lot of money? In the big picture, no. If you accept the
broker’s estimate, the city might have saved $180,000 over two years. That’s
about the salary and benefits for one veteran cop for a year.
And yes, I know: It is a police station, not a generic Silicon Valley tilt-up.
But consider a couple of facts.
The $92 million substation on Great Oaks Boulevard is not the only city building
to suck more power than it should. City workers have told me the new auto-rental
garage at the airport falls into the same category. It is lit brightly even
after flights have stopped. Second, this is supposed to be a city with a green
vision, first announced by Mayor Chuck Reed six years ago. Not everyone has
gotten the memo.
Then again, very little about the substation ought to surprise us. Funded by a
2002 bond issue, the building easily has been the most troublesome city project
in a generation, cursed by design problems, fault lines and escalating cost.
Since the building was dedicated in October 2010, the city has filed a lawsuit
against the RossDrulis-Cusenbery, the Sonoma architects.
Then there is the bigger issue. The substation was begun when the city had some
1,400 cops. It now has fewer than 1,000 available for full duty.
With a little more money, council members have been talking about opening the
building. But maybe they should explore unloading it.
A tech company might find it cool to have jail cells on the premises. A theme
hotel and restaurant could fit nicely. Interrogation before dinner.
Incarceration at night. And a white-elephant sale would have this sweet benefit:
The new owners would pay the PG&E bills.
Tush's story about the siren in the last Farsider reminded me of this incident.
It's the midnight shift in 1965 or '66 and I'm working B-12 on the west side of
town around Saratoga Ave. I'm having a 10-87 with (I don't remember who) at
Saratoga Lanes, a bowling alley where there was always trouble from members of
the younger generation when a Code 20 (need help in a hurry) comes over the
radio. It was from a Reserve officer who was working at a lounge across from
Valley Fair on Stevens Creek Blvd.
In the blink of an eye I'm off and running Code 3. The red lights in those days
consisted of two front red rubies on the roof of the car and a red bubble gum
spinner between the two lights of the '64 Plymouth station wagon. A Code 3 run
in those days was a big deal, and I wasn't going to miss out.
Down Saratoga Ave. I flew to Stevens Creek, then east to the scene where
assistance was needed. Although the electronic siren was warbling away, we still
had a manual siren in those days which you could activate with a floor button,
and I'm pressing down on it as if I'm trying to push it out through the
floorboard. With all the noise I'm hearing, I apparently missed the Code 4 that
came from the radio, and I roll up to the scene while still Code 3 and skid to a
stop. Everyone is just standing around and looking at me when then-Sgt. Larry
Tambellini saunters over and says, "Hey Mike, didn't you hear the Code 4?"
Looking back, I have to confess that I may have heard the Code 4 a few blocks
before I arrived, but my memory has faded in the near half-century that has
When I assured Sgt. "Tambo" that I would listen more closely to the radio in the
future, he replied, "By the way, Mike, when you run Code 3 at night you should
make sure your headlights are on."
Sgt. Mike Thompson, SJPD 1965-95
Ed. — I'll assume that
if I have the following wrong, someone will correct me: Toward the end of the
1960s it was understood that a Code 20 called for a Code 2 response. Officially,
responding Code 2 required officers to respond as quickly as possible without
breaking any speed laws and without the use of the red lights and siren, but you
could turn on the flashing amber light on the rear deck so the people you pass
would understand that you were on "official business." This concept was patently
ridiculous. In reality, most officers responding to a Code 2 call drove as fast
as if they were responding Code 3, but without the benefits of the red lights
and siren to help clear traffic. The lights and siren, however, were commonly
used to clear an intersection if necessary, after which they were turned off and
the accelerator was again pushed to the floor. The net effect of this was that
it ensured the officer's ass would wind up in a sling if something went wrong,
not the City's. In other words, the officer would be liable for any damages
and/or punishment from a Code 2 run that would otherwise be legally covered to
an extent by an official Code 3 response.
• • • • •
Tony Destro and i went to see Dick Hunter this afternoon. We spent about 2 hours
with him and had a good time shooting the the bull with old war stories. He has
a nice facility to live in and said that things were very good there. He is
rather frail but was very alert. Although his voice was very soft, we could
understand him well and had a very good conversation with him. Overall, it was a
If any of his friends want to visit, they should call first and set it up with
him so he doesn't receive too many visits at the same time. He can be called
direct at 831-438-3574. I plan to see him again in a few weeks.
• • • • •
In an email to Phil Norton (former POA
president and member of the California Bar), Ken Hawkes wrote...
Phil, I know you are very
familiar with this, but most of us follow it with a very limited understanding
and a great deal of suspicion. I for one fear that more and more the law becomes
secondary to progressive politics. The outcome will certainly be of interest to
all of us. Perhaps your observations/opinions can be included in the Farsider?
This is the article Ken
referenced in his email. Phil's reply to Ken appears under the story...
Judge Rules Stockton to Enter
Bloomberg Business Week
By Tracie Cone — April 1, 2103
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The people of Stockton will
feel financial fallout for years after a federal judge ruled Monday to let the
city become the most populous in the nation to enter bankruptcy.
But the case is also being watched closely because it could answer the
significant question of who gets paid first by financially strapped cities —
retirement funds or creditors.
"I don't know whether spiked pensions can be reeled back in," U.S. Bankruptcy
Judge Christopher Klein said while making the ruling. "There are very complex
and difficult questions of law that I can see out there on the horizon."
The potential constitutional question in the Stockton case is whether federal
bankruptcy law trumps a California law that says money owed to the state pension
fund must be paid.
In making his ruling, Klein disagreed with creditors who argued that Stockton
failed to pursue all avenues for straightening out its financial affairs.
"It's apparent to me the city would not be able to perform its obligations to
its citizens on fundamental public safety as well as other basic government
services without the ability to have the muscle of the contract-impairing power
of federal bankruptcy law," Klein said.
A statement released by creditors said the group "respectfully disagrees with
the court's ruling." The legal team for those creditors declined to say whether
it would ask Klein for permission to appeal his decision — a requirement of
Stockton has tried to restructure some debt by slashing employment,
renegotiating labor contracts, and cutting health benefits for workers. Library
and recreation funding have been halved, and the scaled-down Police Department
only responds to emergencies in progress. The city crime rate is among the
highest in the nation.
Since cities can't liquidate assets, those that declare bankruptcy must come up
with a plan for creditors to forgive some of the debt.
Holders of the biggest portion of Stockton's debt insured $165 million in bonds
the city issued in 2007 to keep up with payments to the California Public
Employees Retirement System as property taxes plummeted during the recession.
Stockton now owes CalPERS about $900 million to cover pension promises, far the
city's largest financial obligation. Many struggling cities across California
are in the same situation.
So far, Stockton has kept up with pension payments while reneging on other
debts, maintaining it needs a strong pension plan to retain its pared-down
Attorneys for creditors argued that it was unfair for their clients to accept
reduced payments while the pensions negotiated in flush times went untouched.
They argued that employees who shared the wealth during good times should bow
have to endure some of the pain with cuts to their pensions.
Legal observers expect the creditors to aggressively challenge the repayment
plan presented by Stockton in the next phase of the process.
"That's where it will be precedent-setting," said Karol Denniston, a municipal
restructuring expert who monitored the trial. "Does bankruptcy code apply to
CalPERS or not? If bankruptcy code trumps state law, then that's huge and it has
huge implications in terms of what happens next for other municipalities across
The state pension plan manages $255 billion in assets but was underfunded by $87
billion in 2011, the last time calculations were made. CalPERS is in the process
of setting new rates to close the liability, said spokeswoman Amy Norris.
The changes could further strain at least two dozen other financially strapped
cities, including San Bernardino, San Jose, Compton, Fairfield, Watsonville,
"Just about everybody has an unfunded liability," Norris said.
Legal observers of the first-ever Chapter 9 bankruptcy case questioning state
pension obligations expect an appeal to decide whether the 10th Amendment that
gives rights to states is more powerful than federal bankruptcy code
Even Judge Klein, who was inclined at first to approve bankruptcy without a
trial, said he was going forward with the hearing that ended Monday to create an
Now the city of nearly 300,000 people begins a months-long process of
negotiations over debt repayment. Already Stockton has spent $2 million on
mediation and up to $5 million on the eligibility case, said Bob Deis,
Stockton's city manager.
"There's nothing to celebrate about bankruptcy," he said. "But it is a
vindication of what we've been saying for nine months."
~ ~ ~
The real issue has not been decided yet. In this story the question is stated:
Whether or not Federal Bankruptcy law trumps California State Law on vested
rights of pension funds? Stockton's bond holders are owed millions. Stockton
says it will pay PERS as agreed. but that the bond holders will not get the
entire amount loaned on the bonds. The bond holders (east coast money) on the
other hand say the City employee pension contributions to PERS ought to take a
hit equal to their discounted payments.
The story is in error in naming San Jose as part of the PERS issue. San Jose is
not associated with PERS; it is a local retirement pension plan. All public
agencies could be impacted, however, if the bond holders seek a judicial
determination on whether State law trumps Federal Bankruptcy Law. If the courts
rule in favor of the bond creditors, then public agencies will run, not walk, to
bankruptcy court to dump their unfunded pension obligations. That's the real
fear for retirees, but the issue is not there yet. The bankruptcy judge has
ruled to allow Stockton to pursue debtors' remedies, but PERS is not on the list
of creditors yet because of conflicting state law protecting pensions. The bond
holders are, however, and they are screaming.
The thing to watch is the forthcoming litigation to be filed by the bond
creditors in an effort to force the bankruptcy court to order Stockton to cut
pension payments to PERS. It will be filed in Federal Court as a classic
conflict of laws case. This case is so important that it will end up in the U.S.
For all public retirees, this could be a defining case.
Does this help?
We had technical issues
with this poll we tried to run last week, so it was pulled shortly after the
Farsider was posted to the PBA website. We think the problems have been
corrected, so we're going for it again this week. The subject is UFOs.
Please take a moment and watch this short 2-minute video before you select one
of the three answers...
For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD
Clicking on the link
below will take you to the POA home page. Then click on the image of the
Vanguard to download to your desktop the April edition of the POA's monthly
ASSN. NEWSLETTER ALSO AVAILABLE
The new Billy & Spanner can be downloaded by clicking on the link
STOPPING THE SJPD
Patrol Sgt. Damian
Bortolotti (and POA Board member) wrote the following article that was posted on
the Protect San Jose website. Click on the link below to read what he had to
How Do We Stop the SJPD
Shortly after we went to press last week,
Meyer Weed posted a new entry on his or her blog entitled "Mayor Reed's SJPD
Retention Plan Released." To review it, click on the blogger's link above.
THE HISTORY OF THE
SJPD SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN
Robillard, SJPD Ret.
The Bean Rubber Caper
Back in the Golden Olden Days there were two rubber companies located within a
mile of each other on S. 10th St. in the city's industrial area. One was Burke
Rubber, the other Bean Rubber. This story is about the latter.
When officers patrolling in a marked 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. car were creeping and
crawling around the perimeter of Bean Rubber with their lights out and windows
open, they observed that a safe vault in the office was missing one of its doors
and thought they may have run across a burglary in progress. They then spotted a
single male in a Hawaiian shirt making his way to the rear of the plant in the
With one officer covering the rear, the other officer retraced his steps to the
front of the building. One officer then spotted an individual inside who was
wearing dark blue coveralls, but he couldn't communicate with the other officer
because this was before handpack radios were available for officer-to-officer
Under the belief that there were two burglars, the patrol car radio was used to
notify Communications to send additional units as two subjects had been spotted
inside the business. Because this incident occurred as the Midnight units were
going in service and the Swingshift units were heading to the barn, a swarm of
patrol cars responded to the scene, including an unmarked Juvenile unit.
After the building was properly surrounded, the Juvenile officer jumped into a
marked car, picked up what he assumed was the public address microphone wired to
the outside speaker and commanded the subjects in the building to surrender.
Unfortunately, he grabbed the radio mike instead and issued his stern command to
all of Northern California and many of the ships at sea. With enough officers
outside the building to start World War III, the Juvenile officer issued his
command a second time. Finally, a Communications dispatcher advised him to pick
up the other microphone and give his command again.
Negotiations with a subject were subsequently successful. After exiting the
building in his blue coveralls, he was taken into custody and deposited in the
rear of a paddy wagon that had been called to the scene. A subsequent search
turned up a Hawaiian shirt in the plant's locker room, but no second subject.
(Can you guess the rest?)
When the subject in the paddy wagon was questioned, he maintained he was the
only one in the plant, and that he was the maintenance worker who had just
reported for duty on the midnight shift. He explained that the safe had been
damaged in a burglary that had occurred earlier in the day and that he was there
to "put things back in order." A subsequent check with headquarters disclosed
that a burglary had in fact occurred earlier in the day, but because the report
had not yet been distributed to the beat folder, the patrol officers had no
knowledge of the crime.
Officers then "brushed off" the maintenance worker — as in smoothing out his
clothes and removing the dust from the interior of the paddy wagon that had
collected on his work clothes — and thanked him for his cooperation before
releasing him so he could continue his duties.
It was later reported that the maintenance worker quit his job the following day
because "the plant is too out of the way and scary things happen there."
HAVE TIME TO SPARE
FOR A STRIKE?
Come strike up some fun at the
San Jose Police Foundation’s 5th
annual Bowling for Badges fundraiser at the ooh so cool 300 San Jose.
All funds raised will help provide safety and technology
equipment for the San Jose Police Department.
Click on this link for more information:
the participants from the 2012 event.
URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF MARCH 30, 2013
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
• A U.S. soldier named Bowe Bergdahl has been held prisoner since being
captured by the Taliban in 2009.
• Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was confronted by a
shareholder over the company's support for same-sex marriage.
• Do Toy Story characters at Disney theme parks stop and drop when someone
shouts 'Andy's coming!'?
• Cafe customers buy "suspended coffees" for less fortunate patrons.
• Does the Monsanto Protection Act create a
'precedent-setting limitation on judicial review of genetically-engineered
• Did Victoria's Secret introduce a line of provocative lingerie for teenage
• Did settlement of a wrongful death suit compel the
U.S. Post Office to mail letters with 'Frank' written on them for free?
• Warning about the use of expired cake mixes.
• Are tires or bumpers of cars parked outside gun
stores marked by gangs to identify them as potential gun theft opportunities?
• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news
stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
• Superstitions and lore associated with Easter.
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.
LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
It isn't over yet. Seems
that Greg Gutfeld's rant about Jim Carrey's mocking of Charlton Heston got under
the Canadian-born comic's skin as he had his agent send out the following press
release last Friday in response to Gutfeld slamming him over the Funny or Die
video. So you will know it's not a typo on our part, Carrey's press release
refers to Fox News as "Fux News."
Since I released my “Cold Dead
Hand” video on Funny or Die this week, I have watched Fux News rant, rave, bare
its fangs and viciously slander me because of my stand against large magazines
and assault rifles. I would take them to task legally if I felt they were worth
my time or that anyone with a brain in their head could actually fall for such
irresponsible buffoonery. That would gain them far too much attention which is
all they really care about.
I’ll just say this: in my opinion Fux News is a last resort for
kinda-sorta-almost-journalists whose options have been severely limited by their
extreme and intolerant views; a media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at
the seams and should be emptied before it becomes a public health issue.
I sincerely believe that in time, good people will lose patience with the petty
and poisonous behavior of these bullies and Fux News will be remembered as
nothing more than a giant culture fart that no amount of Garlique could cure.
I wish them all the luck that accompanies such malevolence.
~ ~ ~
Click on any of the links below for more info...
• • • • •
Here's a fun video we
received from Russ Russell. When the the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders did a dance
video to “Call Me Maybe,” U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan saw it and
performed their own version, matching the cheerleaders scene-by scene. Here are
the two videos together. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
This bloopers clip from
Dirk Parsons is about some moments that TV reporters would like to forget and
certainly would not want to appear on their professional resumes. (Too late,
boys and girls. Once on the Internet, it's there forever.)
We also found this related
clip that should be worth a few minutes of your time if you enjoy looking at
miscues and other fails by TV personalities. (6 Mins.)
• • • • •
Any of you World War II
aviation buffs recognize this aircraft? The link below will take you to dozens
of highly-detailed WW II era aviation photos that you will likely be seeing for
the first time, including the one below of an experimental Douglas XB-19...
• • • • •
Lumpy calls this pro-gun
compilation video a must-see. From our perspective, however, it falls into the
category of preaching to the choir. (10 Mins.)
• • • • •
Back in the day, race car
drivers had to be crazy to do what they did. This was before safety features
such as seat belts, roll bars, effective crash helmets, fire suits and fire
extinguishers were even thought of, much less used. This video of vintage race
car crashes is proof that by yesterday's standards, driving a race car today is
relatively safe. (Discretion is advised as some scenes are quite graphic.)
• • • • •
By our estimate, over a hundred of you single
retirees might be interested in one or more of these personal ads that were
reportedly seen in a Canadian newspaper that caters to seniors...
Sexy, fashion-conscious blue-haired beauty,
80's, slim, 5' 4' (used to be 5' 6'),
Searching for sharp-looking, sharp-dressing companion.
Leisure suit and matching white shoes and belt a plus.
~ ~ ~
Recent widow who has just buried fourth husband,
Looking for someone to round out a six-unit plot.
Dizziness, fainting, and shortness of breath not a problem.
~ ~ ~
I am into solitude, long walks, sunrises, the ocean, yoga
and meditation. If you are the silent type, let's get together,
take our hearing aids out and enjoy quiet times.
~ ~ ~
Active grandmother with original teeth seeking a dedicated flossier
to share rare steaks, corn on the cob and caramel candy.
~ ~ ~
Beatles or Stones?
I still like to rock, still like to cruise in my Camaro on
Saturday nights and still like to play the guitar.
If you were a groovy chick, or are now a groovy hen,
let's get together and listen to my eight-track tapes.
~ ~ ~
I can usually remember Monday through Thursday.
If you can remember Friday, Saturday and Sunday,
let's put our two heads together.
~ ~ ~
Male, 1932 model , high mileage, good condition, some hair,
Many new parts including hip, knee, cornea, valves.
Not in running condition, but walks well.
• • • • •
"We'd like to welcome
our passengers aboard Balls of Steel Airlines. We'll be taking off from an
altitude of 10,000 feet today."
The first challenge that adventurers who choose to climb Mount Everest must
undertake isn't the mountain, it's getting there. That includes a short flight
from a "fly or die" airport in Lukla, Nepal. The pilots who fly the short-haul
aircraft follow the same take-off procedure that Jimmy Doolittle's flight of
B-25s were faced with when they launched from the USS Hornet to bomb Tokyo in
1942: Taxi in position, hold the brakes, throttle forward to maximum RPMs, take
a last look at your instruments, listen closely to the engines, take a deep
breath, release the brakes, say a prayer and put you and your crew's life in
God's hands. (6 Mins.)
• • • • •
It's said that "Baci"
(David Bacigalupi) dropped a hint to his wife Sue that for his upcoming birthday
he would like one of these hovercrafts that Masters Champion Bubba Watson uses
for golf, to which Sue replied: "Win a major PGA golf championship and you can
have one." (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
If you are a fan of the
performing arts, you should enjoy this video we received from Bruce Morton of a
pair of very talented dancers. (The performance is almost identical to the
one my former high school sweetheart and I performed at our high school talent
show back in 1959.) (6 Mins.)
• • • • •
For our final clip of the
week we chose this one we received from Cheryl Pyle. If you ever wanted to know
what it would be like to soar over San Francisco Bay like a bird, this will show
you what it's like. With the technology of stabilized aerial cameras, what you
are about to see will be the smoothest slow flight with recognizable landmarks
you are ever likely to experience. (5 Mins.)
• • • • •
Pics of the Week:
One dog or two?
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