April 5, 2012
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
There were only a few items
of possible interest this week: This POA Membership Alert that links to the
Protect San Jose website, the Sacramento Bee article from Craig Shuey below, the
on-going Mercury News poll that we mentioned last week, and an article from
today's (Thurs.) Mercury News. There is also some information in the Retirees'
Assn. "Billy & Spanner" newsletter and the POA's "Vanguard," both of which you
can access below.
If you are not a POA member, or you are but your e-mail address is not on file
with the Association, you may want to start with the link below.
(Members whose addresses are on file should have already received
Here is an article from today's Sacramento Bee which may be a little bit of good
news for us retired civil servants. Medical benefits referred to in the article
were not part of a pension package; they were, as I understand it, gratuitously
granted to Sacramento County Employees by the Board of Supervisors, enjoyed by
annuitants for several years, then reduced in 2007. The employees are arguing
that gratuitous offerings have since become vested rights and cannot be reduced
or taken away. The Federal District Court seems to be willing to listen to that
Retired Sacramento County
Workers Win Ruling in Pension Suit
By Denny Walsh
Bee April 4, 2012
A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit pressed by retired employees
of Sacramento County over the reduced amounts paid to them by the county since
2007 to offset their health care costs.
U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ruled that the retirees present enough
of an argument to require a resolution on the merits and not just the law.
Noting that the law requires her at this stage to accept the plaintiffs' version
of events as true and apply the law to it, Mueller ruled the plaintiffs "have
alleged sufficient facts" to sustain their constitutional claims pending
resolution of the suit by the judge or a jury after all the relevant evidence is
The motion to dismiss was filed in lieu of an answer to each contention in the
complaint, and Mueller ordered the county to file such an answer by April 21.
She also set a status conference for June 21.
Read more here:
The third item is the
ongoing poll the Mercury News that has been running the past few weeks that is
asking readers if they support a ballot measure to control pension costs for San
Jose employees? On the left below were the results we posted last week. On the
right is the vote tally as it looks today.
While it's logical to
assume that the poll was initially "stacked" after word about it spread via
e-mail and Facebook by City employees and retirees which we encouraged last
week what's strange is that the percentages of Yes and No votes have stayed
rather steady over the past week. In fact, the Yes votes have even declined by a
few percentage points while the No's have risen. So what's going on? The poll is
designed in such a way that you can only vote once from the same computer, so
employees and retirees are unlikely to be voting multiple times. Is it possible
that the majority of the Mercury News readers haven't been paying much attention
to the pension issue, and that because Democrats far outnumber Republicans in
the area served by the Mercury News, their voting is in line with the perception
that Democrats are pro-labor while Republicans are not? If you have a theory,
feel free to share it with the rest of us. Send your thoughts to
If you want to check and see what the results look like now, click on the link
below, then scroll down and you will find the poll on the left side of the page:
The fourth and final item
about the pension issue was this article from the front page of the local
section of today's paper...
Judge Upholds Most of Ballot
Separate ruling foils labors bid to keep measure off ballot
From staff reports
Mercury News April 5, 2012
A Superior Court judge Wednesday overruled the objections of labor and affirmed
the city of San Joses right to use the word reform on its June pension
Judge Kevin McKenney issued his decision after an 80minute hearing Tuesday that
at times resembled a dress rehearsal for the expected legal battle after the
McKenney also ruled that the city could use the words To protect essential
services at the beginning of its ballot description, words a union attorney
said would mislead voters.
The judge approved two minor revisions. The city and the unions agreed to cut
the word abuses from a description of disability retirements. And a sentence
in the analysis about establishing controls over retirement contributions was
changed to say additional controls.
Taken together, McKenneys ruling did not dramatically change the description of
Measure B, which Mayor Chuck Reed has pushed to slow pension costs.
But a spokesman for the employees who brought the lawsuit said they had filed an
appeal of McKenneys ruling with the 6th District Court of Appeal, arguing that
the opening language of the ballot summary was advocacy, not analysis.
In a separate ruling, McKenney denied the San Jose Police Officers Associations
bid to keep Measure B off the June ballot.
Labor forces say Measure B infringes on benefits promised to employees. The
measure requires employees to pay more for pensions or choose a cheaper plan.
Meanwhile, retirees could see their automatic 3 percent cost-of-living increases
suspended if the council declares a fiscal emergency.
While the argument Tuesday centered on the narrow language of the ballot
measure, the underlying question of its legality kept arising.
A union attorney, Robin Johansen, said the words To protect essential services
misled voters that Measure B savings would not necessarily aid police patrols
An attorney for the city, Linda Ross, countered that pension costs already had
forced reductions in services. The idea that this is a campaign slogan is
wrong, she said.
NEWSLETTER FOR MARCH
Clicking on the link below
will download the current Retirees' Association newsletter to your desktop,
after which you can open it with a double-click of your mouse. It includes some
info about the pension issue.
APRIL EDITION OF
THE VANGUARD AVAILABLE ON-LINE
Clicking on the link below will take you to the
SJPOA's home page. Then click on the image of the Vanguard and a .pdf file will
be downloaded to your desktop. Next, double-click on the icon and the on-line
edition of the April Vanguard should appear on your screen:
Results from last week's poll...
For the full scope of state and national polling by Scott
Rasmussen, click on this link:
For the most recent releases, click here:
Good to see you at the PBA meeting. In regards to Ted Sumner, I remember him
too, but I didn't see much of him as he went undercover almost immediately after
he got out of the Academy as previously mentioned.
On another note, I drove down from Redding to get a new ID card last week and
was told they are now issuing them for one year only, not the 4 years as before.
I'm guessing that this is to coincide with the annual qualification necessary
for CCW authorization. If so, it would seem to put a glitch in Dan Bullock's
efforts that would allow for qualifications outside the city so we
out-of-towners could avoid long trips to San Jose.
I called Police
Personnel and spoke with Sgt. Ken Lawson about this. Here's the deal: To have a
lawful I.D. card with an HR 218 (CCW) endorsement, you will have to come in and
qualify once a year, at which time you will be issued a new I.D. card with the
endorsement. If you don't want or have a need for the HR 218 endorsement, your
I.D. card will be good for 4 years. Ken acknowledged that Chief Moore is aware
of the inconvenience this poses for retirees who live out of the area, but until
a solution or work-around can be found, this policy is required because of the
annual qualification requirement.
So what happens if you come in, qualify and walk out with a one-year I.D. card
endorsed for HR 218, but don't come back in a year to renew it? The card would
no longer be valid 12 months after it was issued.
Hypothetical question: Let's say your HR 218-endorsed I.D. card has expired, you
get stopped on the road or in person, and the officer becomes aware you are in
possession of a sidearm. Would he look closely at your card and see that it has
expired? Or would he just look at the photo and the HR 218 endorsement, then
hand it back and assume you are legal? Who knows?
It's not uncommon for some retirees (perhaps many) to feel that if they needed
to use their weapon in a life-or-death situation that was clearly justified,
it's unlikely that having an expired CCW-endorsed I.D. card would be a major
issue except, perhaps, to a civil attorney. But again, who knows?
I would wager that there are a number of retirees who are carrying expired HR
218-endorsed I.D. cards today.
Want to join the conversation? Send your thoughts to
I certainly remember Ted Sumner. He was on my MERGE team back in '77. He was a
great cop, and his partner in MERGE was Ernie Carter, another great cop. Ted did
work undercover in the high schools with another Narc named Charlie Rosseau.
Both were very successful. Unfortunately, Rosseau turned to the dark side when a
relative of his got popped on drug charges and snitched on Charlie. The
investigation showed that he was stealing drugs from the evidence room and
having his relative sell them for him. As a result, Rosseau was convicted and
went away to prison. The incident changed the way narcotics were booked in and
stored in the evidence room. Ted later transferred to MERGE, but left the
Department a while later and joined in the family business which sold business
And now you know the rest of the story.
When I left the SJPD in 1987 I lost contact with all but a few fellow cops. My
leaving was a sudden act, but necessary at the time. As you post items with
names from the past my mind plays tricks on me. I associate the names with my
last memory of the person and how they looked at the time. When you post a
current picture of someone I knew, it's difficult for me to visualize and update
my perception of the individual as the same person I once knew, so all but a few
will remain young in my mind and heart.
Well put, Bill. I suspect
your sentiments apply to many others who moved out of the area and have been out
of touch for a couple of decades.
Thanks so much for keeping us informed on matters of interest to us retirees.
You and Pyle are a breath of fresh air in a sometime sea of BS. I have made
repeated calls to the PD to find out about range qualification for us retirees
who live out of town, but it seems they are so overworked that they can't find
time to return my calls or messages.
Please know that your effort is much appreciated.
Thanks and God bless.
Ed Caragher, Badge 1343
Retired and living in So. Cal.
Good to hear from you, Ed. As you may have read
in the first Mail Call item above, qualifying for out-of-area retirees is
problematic at best, and I have no idea how it's going to be resolved, if it
ever is. What I do know is that you will no doubt "Wow" the Range guys if you
make the drive north to qualify and show up with that ivory-handled revolver you
wore when you were a street cop!
A scenario similar to the video below was given to students in one of my
granddaughter's high school classes. It was a great learning experience and
generated a lively political debate.
To keep peace in the Family, I have ceased
including overt political items in the Farsider. Given the general ideology of
the readership, which is heavy on conservatism and light on liberalism, coupled
with the fact that virtually everything that comes in is conservative in nature,
all the Farsider would be doing is preaching to the choir while pissing off the
other 20 percent.
I was on the fence about including the animated video Bill included in his
message as it pits the ghost of Ronald Regan against Barack Obama. But because
the animation is cleverly done and takes pot shots at several politicians from
both sides of the aisle going back to "Tricky Dick" Nixon, I decided to run with
it. (6 Mins.)
Next parole hearing date for Emile Thompson is in 2022. The Richard Huerta
family would like to thank the 680 people who sent letters requesting denial of
Thompson's parole. Thanks to Chief Chris Moore and Sgt Jason Dwyer for
attending. I'll send more for next week's Farsider.
Greek (Terry Moudakas)
Just had an interesting experience. Tried to take some money out of my deferred
comp with ING. I did so before when we were under ICMA with no problems.
Somehow, when the City switched us to ING, they said I was again employed with
the City and was therefore unable to pull some of my own money out.
If you're thinking of taking some money out to buy yourself a new motorcycle you
may want to check with ING to see what your employment status is. When I called
the City I was told they were happy to get me off their books years ago.
Thanks for the advice, Terry, but I'm not
invested in ING. My life savings are tied up in solar energy outfits like that
slick looking building on Hwy 880 in Fremont, the one with big shiny letters
facing the freeway that read "SOLYNDRA." It's just north of the old Nummi plant
where the Tesla is being built. (I could have invested in Tesla instead, but
what kind of a knucklehead would choose an electric car over shingles that make
electricity?) In any case, I'm happy to pass along your suggestion for those
readers who have money invested with ING.
By Pete Salvi
Rick Bourbons, brother of retired officer Carl
Bourbons, owns an acrylic manufacturing shop in San Jose. He has done custom
work for Apple, Ferrari and Smith & Wesson. Rick recently made me an acrylic
custom case for my badge, and it came out so well he decided to make more and
offer them for sale.
The case is 5 x 5 and almost 2 thick. The center is
routed out to the dimensions of the badge, then hand polished. The front cover
is held on by four small magnets, so a slight tug will free the badge.
The cost is $60, and Rick can accommodate any style badge once it is scanned.
Those interested can either drop by his shop or mail their order in with an
additional $6.00 for USPS priority shipping.
San Jose, CA
Rick also made a similar acrylic case for a Smith and
Wesson revolver. Instead of magnets, there are locking bolts that require a
special tool. A prototype is currently at Smith & Wesson as the company intends
to use them in their historical museum.
URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF MARCH 31, 2012
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
Photograph purportedly shows a new Boeing 797 blended-wing airliner.
Photographs purportedly show an area in Japan rebuilt a year after the 2011
Photograph purportedly shows shooting victim Trayvon Martin flipping off
Will a badly-burned girl receive $3 towards her
medical care every time her photo is shared on Facebook?
Will participating in one-day boycott of gasoline on 15 April 2012 help
lower gasoline prices?
Prayers are requested for Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor who is
facing execution in Iran.
Do Medicare regulations require that doctors ask patients whether they own
Did Rick Santorum say that a ban on pornography was
'one of only a few things I see eye to eye on with the Taliban'?
Article details efforts of John Glenn's wife to overcome stuttering.
Photograph purportedly shows a brilliantly colored rainbow owl that dwells
Account by astronaut Buzz Aldrin describes his taking Communion on the
Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a
collection of odd news stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
Judge tells an atheist plaintiff who challenged religious holidays that
atheists already have their own holiday: April 1.
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
Don't forget to click on
the "Large Player" icon on the YouTube control panel in the lower right-hand
corner of the video when you watch the first clip. If you do, all other YouTube
videos should default to the same setting throughout the rest of your session at
A Must Watch:
We've presented over a dozen flash mob videos in the Farsider over the past few
years. Until now, we felt the "Sound of Music" performance in an Antwerp train
station was the best. Well, move over Belgium. The Russians have taken it to the
next level with this performance of "Puttin' on the Ritz" sent in by Alice
Murphy. The song, by the way, was composed by one of America's most famous
songwriters, a Russian-born American Jew by the name of Irving Berlin.
For those readers who
haven't seen the Antwerp train station "Sound of Music" flash mob performance
referenced above and/or those who would like to see it again here it is.
Since we last included it in the Farsider, it has received several million more
views and is now up to 26 million. (4 Mins.)
Flash Mob videos aside,
this music video of "Bye Bye Miss American Pie" featuring hundreds if not a
thousand or more Grand Rapids' citizens is my all time favorite. Sure, it's
lip-dubbed, but that doesn't take away from the magic. While this is also a
re-run from an earlier Farsider, it still chokes me up when I watch it and makes
me wish it was emblematic of our country today. Sadly, all the happy faces give
me the impression it took place on another planet. (9
As impressive as that music
video might have been in the promotion of Grand Rapids, there are many ways to
spur interest in a city. Here's a clip that uses a tech theme to promote
Stockholm, Sweden. What's impressive about this video is that the two guys use
what can only be described as magical iPads to get their points across.
For you Michael Jackson
fans all three of you here's another interesting music video featuring
prisoners at a maximum security prison in the Philippines. I'm going to go out
on a limb here by saying it's probably something you won't see take place at
Pelican Bay anytime soon. (4 Mins.)
Remember the shock Susan
Boyle brought to the world when she first performed on Britain's Got Talent?
Although she wasn't destined to win a beauty contest, her music has been an
enormous hit and has since sold in the millions. Could this couple known as
Jonathan and Charlotte follow in Boyle's footsteps? (7
Speaking of music, Mike
"Big Red" Thompson says this kid reminds him of himself when he was two and
danced to the music of Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey.
Remember last week when we
used Lucille Ball as an example of a Hollywood celebrity who isn't normally
associated with dancing, but certainly knew her way around the dance floor?
Here's another example received from Dewey Moore. It's a clip of Jimmy Cagney
and Bob Hope that was in the Farsider a couple of years ago but is so enjoyable
to watch that we felt it was worth a re-run. Anyone who has seen Cagney in
"Yankee Doodle Dandy" knew he could "cut a rug." But how many associate Hope
with having a similar talent? What you are about to see took place at a Friar's
Club meeting in 1955, when Hope was 52 and Cagney was 56. Wouldn't our country
be far better off if Hollywood had more stars like these than the crop that
exists today? (4 Mins.)
Speaking of yesteryear, if
you are over the age of 60, this clip from Stan Miller should take you back to
your youth as it's a compilation of the TV shows most of us grew up watching.
Remember Annette Funicello, Barney Fife, Jackie Gleason, Lucy and dozens of
others who kept us glued to the TV? (13 Mins.)
In 1908 five years after
their first historic flight at Kitty Hawk the Wright Bros. took their then-new
and improved, two-place Wright Flyer to Europe for several demonstration
flights. Below is a short film captured by a camera in Italy that includes some
footage taken from the air after the camera was placed aboard Orville and
Clicking on the link below will take you to some information about the
demonstration flight, then clicking on the blue "See the film" box below the
info will start the projector. (4 Mins.)
Here is something that
Wilbur and Orville couldn't even have dreamed about. It's brand new footage of
the maiden flight of the PAL-V Flying Car that is scheduled to go into
production in 2014. (2 Mins.)
Flying machines don't have
to be big enough for a person or two to be fun. Think of the kicks you can have
scaring the hell out of people walking on the street or playing football or
soccer in a big open field if you had one of these Ornithopters. (2
Looking for what is
arguably the smallest .45 pistol that money can buy? Bob Tenbrink may have found
it. Click on this link, but be patient as the page may take a few moments to
"Oops" was the description
used by Les Nunes when he sent in this short clip of a mishap that occurred
about a week ago on a snowy mountain pass in Norway. The tow truck driver jumped
before it left the road, but the truck driver remained inside the cab all the
way down to the canyon below. The good news is that he survived his E-ticket
ride, according to Google News. (37 Secs.).
Pop Quiz: Can
our national bird swim like a duck? The answer to that question can be found at
1:30 into this 2-minute video clip.
(You can use your mouse
to force the slider bar to the right, but why would you want to?)
Bored? Need some extra
dough? If you go looking for a simple job, keep your wits about you and be
careful you don't wind up like this "senile cashier."
Finally, an airline that
caters to people like me and those whose flying experience can turn into a
nightmare when there are young kids on board. (2 Mins.)
"Listen To Your
Heart" is an apt title for this clip. It's a short video that rivals the magic
of the film, "March of the Penguins," and it is certainly worth a few minutes of
your time unless you have ice water coursing through your veins.
And finally, were aware
that the Navy has granted the wishes of USS Arizona survivors to join their
former shipmates when they pass on? It's a fact, and this video titled "Eternal
Peace" sent in by Bert Kelsey takes you to Pearl Harbor and explains the process
in detail. It is definitely worth a look. (4 Mins.)
So goes another week. Thanks for spending some time with us.
Pic of the Week:
A doctor on his
morning walk noticed the old lady pictured below sitting
on her front step smoking a cigar, so he walked up to her and
couldn't help but notice how happy you look. What is your
"I smoke ten
cigars a day," she said. "Before I go to bed I smoke a big fat joint.
Apart from that, I drink two bottles of Jack Daniels every week
and eat only
junk food. On weekends, I pop pills, and except for sex, I don't
exercise at all."
"That is absolutely amazing! How old are you?"
"Forty," she replied.