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The Farsider

May 1, 2014

 

Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <bilmat@comcast.net>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <leroypyle@sjpba.net>

 

The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.



 

RETIRED SERGEANT JIM HELLAM

(No photo available)

Badge 1329
Born Nov 28, 1946
Appointed Feb. 21, 1968
Retired Jan. 18, 1981

April 30th

Hi Bill,

I'm sad to report that Jim Hellam died this morning at Kaiser-Santa Clara. He lost his fight with mesothelioma after having his left lung removed about two years ago. When I receive more information I'll pass it along.

Bill
(Leavy) <mwc127@earthlink.net>

Jim's personnel records have been purged, which is why no I.D. card photo is on file. We will send out a special notification immediately if we learn that a memorial service has been scheduled before we go to press next Thursday.

 

JANET GRAY HAYES



Former San Jose Mayor
Jan. 9, 1975 — Jan 9, 1983
Born on July 12, 1926 in Rushville, Indiana
Died on April 21, 2014 in Saratoga, CA

For you out-of-towners who are unaware, former Major Janet Gray Hayes passed away last week. She served two 4-year terms from 1975 to 1983 as San Jose's Mayor and died from a stroke at the age of 87 in Saratoga. Comparatively speaking, the POA and the City negotiated a reasonable pay and benefits package during those years of double digit inflation while she was Mayor. She was preceded by Norman Mineta and succeeded by Tom McEnery, who authored the following remembrance that appeared in last Friday's paper…

Remembering San Jose’s Janet Gray Hayes

By Tom McEnery

Mercury News — April 25, 2014

Janet Gray Hayes died this week, but I have thought of her often in the last few years. Perspective is funny that way.

She was mayor of San Jose during a time of great trauma and confusion. Growth had exploded in our city and the downtown had imploded, all in the flickering of an eye. Anxiety was here too as cities across the nation struggled with staggering centripetal forces. It is difficult to see how anyone could have reversed these awesome economic and societal factors. Some sought to channel them.

She navigated in this difficult time with a nimble style. It was difficult to see some of her skills close up; I know that well. She had her faults. Most mayors do — but she swam in treacherous waters with a cast of quirky colleagues that others of us did not endure. Many of them would have fit well in the cast of “House of Cards.”

She had many legacies — controlled growth and the creation of an economic engine in Redevelopment to rebuild the downtown. She possessed impeccable ethics, so much so that in a nasty re-election run off, her billboards said merely: “Honest. You have one choice. Hayes.”

But at the end of it all, when I think of her, I think of two things.

One is the stop light across Naglee Avenue that I pass each day and my grandkids use safely. It’s what propelled her into city affairs. I like that entrance.

Then I think of people: her protégé and a successor, Susan Hammer; others like Shirley Lewis, Judy Stabile, Nancy Ianni, Iola Williams, Pat Sausedo, Trixie Johnson, Pat Dando — women who for nearly two decades gave San Jose some of the poise and stability that had eluded the testosterone-driven councils of previous years, which blessedly I did not inherit. I have said frequently that I attribute much of the success of my time as mayor to a majority of women on the council with associated common sense and with egos more firmly in control.

Janet Gray — she insisted on having both her married and “real” name used, I really liked that — truly cared deeply about our city and served in a time here when citizen-politician was not an oxymoron.

In a speech to the Rotary Club two years ago, I said she was a severely underrated and appreciated mayor. When I told her later, she looked at me wryly and said, “ Oh, really.” I had seen that look before, but others can elaborate.

Janet Gray Hayes was possessed of a certain stubborn honesty such that even when you were furious at her position, you could scarcely fail to admire her for it. That, and the wry look, is how I’ll remember her.

Tom McEnery was mayor of San Jose from 1983-1990, immediately succeeding Janet Gray Hayes. He wrote this for this newspaper.

 

NATIONAL POLICE WEEK IS COMING UP
May 11th through May 17th

In preparation for National Police Week, John Trussler authored the following article about California law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2013 as well as some other officers who were identified from the past. We will publish the updated SJPD Memorial List on Thursday, May 15th, which is recognized as National Police Memorial Day.

California Peace Officers Memorial



By John Trussler

During 2013 law enforcement officer fatalities dropped for the second year in a row to the lowest level in six decades and the number of officers killed in firearms-related incidents was the fewest since the 1800s according to preliminary data compiled in the annual research bulletin published by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF.)

According to the report, 111 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide in 2013.  This was the fewest number of fatalities for the law enforcement profession since 1959 when 110 officers died.  The 2013 total was eight percent fewer than 2012 when 121 officers made the ultimate sacrifice.

The number one cause of officer fatalities in 2013 was traffic-related incidents, which claimed 46 lives. Thirty-three officers were killed in firearms-related incidents last year, which was a 33 percent drop from 2012 and is the lowest number since 1887 when 27 officers were shot to death. Thirty-two officers died due to other causes last year, including 14 who suffered heart attacks while performing their duties.

National Police Week commences a week from this coming Sunday, May 11th, and National Peace Officers Memorial Day will be observed Thursday, May 15th, with ceremonies across our country and in our nation’s capital.

Locally, the California Peace Officers Memorial ceremonies will be held in Sacramento this coming Sunday evening and Monday morning as a total of 13 California officers’ names are added to the Honor Roll of over 1,500 officers. Included will be the eight who made the ultimate sacrifice during 2013 and an additional five officers from years past.

• Galt Police Officer Kevin Tonn was fatally shot on January 15, 2013, while attempting to apprehend a burglary suspect.

• Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain and his partner were ambushed in their marked patrol vehicle in the early morning hours of February 7, 2013, Crain succumbed; his partner survived. (Christopher Dormer was their attacker.)

• On February 12, 2013, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Detective Jeremiah MacKay succumbed to his gunshot wounds after exchanging gunfire with Christopher Dormer.

• Santa Cruz Police Department Sergeant Loran L. “Butch” Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler died on March 7, 2013, when they were ambushed by a sexual assault suspect.

• On March 25, 1013, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Officer Gilbert Cortez was fatally injured when he drove off the roadway and overturned in rural San Diego County,

• Laguna Beach Police Motorcycle Officer Jon Coutchie was fatally run down and killed by a motorist late Saturday evening, September 21, 2013.

• At approximately 2:40 am, December 24, 2013, Tulare County Deputy Jeremy Meyst lost control of his transportation van, was ejected and subsequently died of his injuries.

In addition to the above eight officers, historians have identified five California law enforcement officers from years past. Their names will be added to the growing list of California heroes.

• Warden Leon H. Nelson, California Department of Fish and Wildlife end of watch (EOW) October 27, 1979.

• Sergeant Raymond C. Willis, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department EOW April 15, 1957.

• Special Agent Buford French, BNSF Railroad Police Department EOW November 10, 1932.

• Constable Anthony B. Couts, Los Angeles County County Sheriff's Department EOW October 25, 1914.

• Constable Anton Harnischfeger, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department EOW March 20, 1889.
 


 

PENSION NEWS

Nothing of substance to report this week


 

POA UPDATES

None received


 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE S.J.P.D.

And the clubbing of the San Jose P.D. goes on. This is from last Friday's paper...

Proposal: Lie and You’re Fired

—City councilman is suggesting reforms that would make lying grounds for instant dismissal—

By Robert Salonga
<rsalonga@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — April 25, 2014

SAN JOSE — After an audit chastised the San Jose Police Department for continuing to employ two officers who lied about having sex on duty or in police attire, a city councilman is advocating reforms to make such conduct grounds for automatic firing.

If approved, Councilman Sam Liccardo’s proposal would compel either city administrators or Chief Larry Esquivel to revise the police duty manual to expressly make lying to obscure or impede a police investigation immediate cause for termination.

In a memo for Tuesday’s council meeting, Liccardo — who is running for mayor — acknowledged the possibility of mitigating circumstances that are unknown because the investigatory details are not public. But Liccardo said employing such officers raises credibility issues with both public trust and any future court testimony the officers would give.

“This rule is as much about ethics as it is about the pragmatic reality of ensuring that our officers can be effective witnesses in future criminal prosecutions,” said Liccardo, a former Santa Clara County prosecutor. “Without passing judgment on these particular cases, both our workforce and the public need to hear a clear and unequivocal message that while we expect everyone to make mistakes, we cannot operate a police department if lying to criminal or IA investigators is tolerated.”

The police department said it already has policies in place that punish officers who lie to investigators.

“It’s unfortunate that the council member has submitted this memo without giving the department a chance to discuss and analyze our current process with council,” police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol said. “We absolutely do not tolerate misconduct, especially dishonesty. That said, each case is unique and there are mitigating circumstances to each investigation. When appropriate, we impose discipline, including termination.”

Liccardo’s proposal comes as the police department just released figures showing an 83 percent drop in department-initiated internal affairs investigations of alleged misconduct.

The drop has been interpreted two main ways: Officers, in the face of unprecedented police understaffing, are behaving better; or because of said personnel woes, officers are too pressed to call out each other’s bad acts.

Meanwhile, the city’s Independent Police Auditor reported citizen-fueled police complaints are at a four-year high.

At the heart of the reform proposal is an annual report released last week by the IPA , helmed by retired Judge LaDoris Cordell . The report took particular issue with two unnamed officers who were found to have lied to police internal affairs investigators about sexual incidents.

One officer wore San Jose police attire while working an off-duty job at a local school and had sex with a woman at the school, which spurred the woman to made sexual assault allegations.

In a separate instance, another officer violated policy by routinely going home during shifts and had sex with a woman while in uniform. Both officers received one-month suspensions, but the IPA report suggested they be fired.

Police union president Sgt. Jim Unland echoed the idea that the chief can already fire officers for lying, which he said should “lead reasonable people to believe there is more to the story” about the two officers. He then suggested an expansion of Liccardo’s proposal.

“I would like to see him add his own profession to that bill so if a politician is caught lying, they lose their job too,” he said.

Cordell, the police auditor, was critical of the idea that an officer could be found to have lied to investigators but could still be fit for the force. She supports a stringent zero tolerance policy.

“I’m curious as to what mitigates a finding that an officer is a liar. I don’t know what that means,” she said. “I have yet to hear anybody explain to me, or give me one mitigating circumstance that says, ‘You’re a liar, but it’s still OK for you to be here.’ I’d love to get an explanation for it.”

However, she did not agree with the manner by which Liccardo is pursuing the change, saying she would rather have a running dialogue with police brass in which they see each reform as being in their best interest. She noted the police department implemented all of her office’s recommendations from 2012.

“I don’t believe it’s appropriate for council to micromanage the department,” Cordell said. “It might one day get to the council, but there’s a reason you hire a chief to run the department.”

 

• • • • •


Scott Herhold weighed in on the issue of officers lying. This is his column from last Sunday's paper...

Problem with Zero Tolerance



By Scott Herhold
<sherhold@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — April 27, 2014

Zero tolerance has always made for good politics. It’s forceful, it’s bold, it creates good headlines. It’s peculiarly American. As a people, we’re uncomfortable with nuance.

So from a political viewpoint, you can fathom why San Jose Councilman and mayoral candidate Sam Liccardo suggested that an officer who lies to internal affairs investigators should be fired. The problem with zero tolerance, as we’ve seen in the schools, is that it pushes common sense to the sidelines. A kid who accidentally carries a butter knife in his lunchbox can be suspended from school.

Liccardo’s memo, which was co-signed by another mayoral candidate, Councilwoman Rose Herrera, comes after independent police auditor LaDoris Cordell reported that two unnamed officers kept their jobs after lying to internal affairs investigators about sexual incidents.

The chief’s job

Here’s my take: The two officers might well deserve firing. The best person to decide that is not the City Council — but the chief of police, Larry Esquivel, who has the power to dismiss them. Discipline is one of the chief’s most important duties. And when the council tries to usurp it, that treads on dangerous turf. If the council dislikes the chief’s performance, it can lean on the city manager to fire him.

“We absolutely do not tolerate misconduct, especially dishonesty,” said police Sgt. Heather Randol. “That said, each case is unique, and there are mitigating circumstances to each investigation.”

A few critics of the police profess not to see such grays, or any reason why an officer who lies should be kept on the job. So let me try to suggest a case with nuance. A rookie cop comes across a veteran officer sleeping, or “cooping,” in his squad car. Asked about it later by internal affairs investigators, the rookie says he did not know the veteran was sleeping. (“I don’t know” is the most common lie.) Let us suppose something else is at work. The rookie knows the veteran has just gone through a divorce and has a kid on drugs. The veteran has to spend his days tending to his fractured family. Should the rookie be fired for having covered for the veteran?

Maybe so. But a zero-tolerance policy offers a cudgel when a scalpel is the better instrument. The rookie I’ve just described might still turn out to be a good cop.

Dishonesty

In Liccardo’s defense, there’s a practical side to this. Defense attorneys can file a motion for the records of cops with a background of dishonesty. And he’s included lawyer-like language that says the lying has to be for the purpose of “avoiding responsibility for substantial misconduct.”

Few of us, however, lead blameless lives. And cops use lying as a tool, particularly in trying to elicit a confession.

By that, I don’t mean the cops’ system of discipline is beyond criticism. Cordell’s office has done an admirable job of holding their feet to the fire.

But it is always dangerous to base a broad policy on a couple of cases that we may not fully understand. Insuring integrity is the quiet work of a chief, not of a headline.
 

• • • • •


Sunday's paper also included this item about the Vice Mayor's comments on police staffing in its I.A. column…

Nguyen Comments About Police Come as Surprise

Of all the hot-button issues in the race for San Jose mayor, there’s no topic hotter that police staffing. Residents are angry because crime is up and arrests are down as the police department can’t even find applicants to fill about 200 vacant officer positions.

So IA was rather surprised at the public comments made Thursday by Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen , one of the candidates to replace termed-out Mayor Chuck Reed in the June 3 primary.

“We don’t have a problem. We have so many people that want to come and want to be a San Jose police officer,” she said at a City Council committee meeting on public safety, referring to the issue of police recruitment. She was struck by the numbers that showed the city had gotten nearly 1,400 eligible applicants for an upcoming recruit academy, easily the highest in years.

Deputy Chief Dave Knopf (no relation to Art) replied that many more of those recruits than in prior years were applying to several cities and wound up taking jobs elsewhere. So the total number of initial applicants didn’t mean much since so few recruits actually wound up choosing to work in San Jose.

Knopf replied that, considering the city could only fill half of the 60-slot cop recruit academy that starts next month, “we do have a problem.”

But Nguyen was again undeterred: “To say that hardly anyone wants to come work for the police department, I just want to publicly make a statement that that is not very accurate information from the media reporting we’ve heard in the last two years and also from the police officers association,” she said. Nguyen later clarified her comments, acknowledging that the city had a problem in retaining officers. But she wanted to make clear that it wasn’t fair for critics to say the city was struggling to even get applications from potential cops.

“I’m just talking about recruitment — trying to dispel these innuendos that people aren’t interested in applying for the San Jose police academy,” she told IA. “The problem is retention vs. recruitment.”

Internal Affairs is an offbeat look at state and local politics. This week’s items were written by Scott Herhold, Tracey Kaplan, Mike Rosenberg and Paul Rogers. Send tips to
<internalaffairs@mercurynews.com>, or call 408-920-5782.
 

• • • • •


Looking for another reason to be deliriously happy that you are retired? Watch this Investigative Unit report from Tuesday's NBC Bay Area newscast. Or read the accompanying article if you have trouble playing the clip...



<http://tinyurl.com/mlnoqwe>

Calls for Police Transparency at San Jose City Council Meeting

By Stephen Stock, Jeremy Carroll and Kevin Nious

Calls for transparency rang from city hall Tuesday as San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel presented the agency’s Department Initiated Investigations (DII) statistics for 2013.

The report details the number internal investigations sparked by complaints against officers that were initiated from within the department.

According to the report, the total number of DII allegations fell during the last five years from 97 in 2009 to 52 in 2013.

But the rate of those found to be true, or sustained, remained consistent hovering around 75 percent.

The report also shows that in the last two years, 124 internal police allegations were sustained, including 30 allegations for conduct unbecoming of an officer. Only two of those officers were either demoted or fired in 2012, while none received such discipline in 2013.

While the DII report details annual statistics for investigations and disciplinary actions, the Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights (POBAR) prevents the public from knowing all the details including the names of officers who have been found to have committed misconduct. In addition, SJPD does not provide any narrative or description of the conduct being investigated.

It’s an omission that the Independent Police Auditor (IPA) and former Judge Ladoris Cordell wants the department to address.

“When you hold individuals and organizations accountable they are much less likely to engage in misconduct or misbehavior,” Cordell told NBC Bay Area.

Cordell presented her office’s independent annual audit report to the city council Tuesday and formally gave her recommendations to increase transparency within SJPD. Her suggestions include requiring the department to provide a descriptive narrative in their DII report, allowing the public to understand why an officer was disciplined or exonerated.

“There is a due process for the employee which we need to be mindful of and there is a process that we have and I think the process is pretty thorough and fair,” Esquivel told NBC Bay Area.

While the department does not disclose any information about specific internal investigations, Esquivel assured that his office treats all allegations as a serious matter.

“Whether it’s a conduct complaint through a citizen or the IPA or internal affairs, those are all not only investigated in every instance, but we don’t look lightly on those,” Esquivel said.

Esquivel trumpeted the recent decline in DII allegations brought against SJPD officer as the result of SJPD’s efforts to improve officer conduct.

“Believe me, [officers] are held to a standard and that’s what we’ll impose,” Esquivel said.

Still, Mayor Chuck Reed agreed with the independent auditor’s office that the agency could be more transparent.

“You can’t really figure out what happened to this person after [an allegation] is sustained. We will never know what happened to the person,” Reed said as he called for the agency to provide more information about the conduct of fired police officers. “It’s important for the public to understand that we do discipline police officers”

Despite the calls for additional information, SJPD is still among the more transparent police agencies in the state.

San Jose is one of only four Bay Area cities (Palo Alto, San Francisco and Oakland) with independent public oversight monitoring police conduct. However, both Esquivel and Cordell agreed that still areas for improvement.

One of the hotly debated areas at Tuesdays meeting was surrounding how to discipline officers who lie to criminal investigators and internal affairs.

The auditor recommends SJPD policy be modified to require officers who lie to investigators be fired after her audit uncovered two separate cases of officers lying to internal affairs.

The city council couldn’t agree on whether to adopt such a policy Tuesday, and according to the data presented, the officers in question appear to remain on the force as neither were fired nor demoted.

 


WEEKLY POLL
 

Last Week's Poll Results
 



For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
<http://www.rasmussenreports.com/older_content/home/top_stories/most_recent_articles>

 
 

MAIL CALL

April 28th

Hi gents,

Keith Kelley Club Vice President Mike Katherman recently created a website for the club that includes current info on the activities, a detailed history of the club as well as member information and contact info. Please let your readers know that it is available to our current and retired members so that they can keep abreast of the annual events like the Summer BBQ and Christmas Dinner Dance. The website is at <
www.keithkelleyclub.com>.  

We are working on the new SJPD Historical Society website and will send you the link as soon as it is completed and posted on the Web.

Many thanks,

John
(Carr) Jr. <Johnjr.Carr@sanjoseca.gov>

Members can bookmark <www.keithkelleyclub.com> for future reference, or access the KKC website directly from the PBA Home Page by clicking on the image below when it comes by in the Scrolling News on the right side of the home page…



 

TEAM TREY GUN RAFFLE


As we highlighted in past Farsiders, a fund-raiser to help reduce the enormous cost of the cancer treatments for Leroy's grandson will take place from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 31st, at the Hub Cedar Center in the town of Arnold on Hwy 4 in the Sierras, east of Angels Camp.


Below are the rifles and shotguns that will be raffled as part of the fund-raiser. Tickets are $25 each, and they will draw eight times, so every ticket gets eight chances to win. You do not have to be present to win, but you will need a ticket. The mailing info is provided below…

Leroy will send back a raffle stub by return mail upon receipt of your check. Make sure your name and Phone number is included for notification if you win a gun. For PBA members, Leroy will be present at May's PBA general membership meeting on Wednesday, May 21st, so you can purchase a raffle ticket directly from him at the time.

Some retirees have reported that they will be attending the "Day for Trey" fund-raiser in Arnold on Saturday, May 31st. Feel free to join in the festivities if you are able.

For more information, click on
<www.ADayForTrey.net>


 

CAN I COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT?



By Margie Beiderman

Hi Everyone,

I will be participating in the Law Enforcement Torch Run to help raise funds for Special Olympics Northern California and will be joining hundreds of other Law Enforcement personnel throughout Nevada for the same cause. I am asking family, friends, and co-workers to make a monetary pledge on my behalf. Can I count on you to help?

Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. But it is so much more than a sports program. It is training for life, empowering these individuals with self-confidence and self-esteem that carries over into their everyday lives. Currently over 16,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics at no cost to the athletes or their families.

Our Law Enforcement fund-raising efforts plays a huge part in making that happen.
The funds I and other Law Enforcement personnel will raise will go a long way to ensure that Special Olympics continues to enrich the lives of the intellectually disabled children and adults in our local communities.

Thank you so much for your support. Together, we can make a difference!

Click on this Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Special Olympics:

<http://tinyurl.com/k6c8ud9>

Thanks again,

Margie Beiderman
<margiebeiderman@hotmail.com>


    

THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
     
April 23 through April 29

A pharmaceutical company in Canada is offering $47 billion to buy the company that makes Botox. People at Botox were pretty excited — I mean, you should've seen the look that wasn't on their faces.

Congrats to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who was named the NBA Coach of the Year for the third time. While a random guy waiting for a train was named coach of the Knicks.

A zoo in China has a depressed panda so they just installed a TV in its cage to cheer it up. Then the panda said, "Or, you could let me out of animal jail."

New York City is getting a new bakery that promises to sell low-calorie doughnuts. The doughnuts come in a variety of flavors including, “So-so,” “Just OK,” and “Almost Like a Real Doughnut.”

While he was in Japan today, President Obama visited a science museum, where he played soccer with a robot. Joe Biden is negotiating with the prime minister in Ukraine, and Obama is playing soccer with a robot. It's like the White House version of "Freaky Friday."

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected last night for having pine tar on his neck, and rubbing it on his hand to get a better grip on the ball — because league rules clearly state that all illegal substances must be put INSIDE your body.

Hooters is coming out with a new loyalty program to help frequent customers track their receipts and orders. So if you're someone who goes to Hooters enough to take part in their loyalty program, I'm sorry your wife got the house.

Police in Canada were called after a bear got its head stuck in a jar and then walked down the street. Animal control immediately removed the jar and said, “Oh, sorry we didn't recognize you, Mayor Ford.”

The city of Chicago is building a new high school named after President Obama. I hear their student government isn’t that good, but the golf team is amazing.

Hillary Clinton made news this week when she said that older women can still make a difference in politics. Even her supporters said, “Oh my God, just say you're running already!”

Facebook has come out with a new feature that lets people see where their friends are at all times. It's called, “Nearby Friends,” which is better than the original title, “Avoiding Relatives."

More than 70,000 people will travel to Indianapolis this weekend for the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association. The weekend will feature a brunch, a gun raffle, and no sudden movements.

L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling was recorded telling his girlfriend not to hang out with black people. Some people are actually defending Sterling, saying he has a very good record of hiring minorities. For instance, he always has at least one white guy on the team.

President Obama is calling Donald Sterling's racist remarks “incredibly offensive.” And you know it's bad when even Vladimir Putin says, “I hate to say it, but I am with Obama on this one.”

George Clooney is engaged. You can tell he’s excited to get married because he’s been throwing himself a bachelor party for the last 20 years.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to the U.S. next month to talk with President Obama about the situation in Ukraine. And to try to get Clooney to change his mind.

L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling was recorded on tape making racist comments. He now has been banned from the league for life. Great, just where Sterling wanted to end up — the blacklist.

On the bright side, at least Sterling still has a wife and girlfriend to lean on.

Paula Deen is continuing her comeback by launching a 20-city cooking tour. Her first gig: catering Donald Sterling's farewell party.

Producers are currently working on a remake of the classic 1959 Charlton Heston film “Ben-Hur.” They're calling the remake “Ben-Hur, Done That.”

Here in L.A., Donald Sterling, the owner of the Clippers, has been caught on tape making racist remarks. After the audio was released, the NAACP decided not to honor Sterling with a second lifetime achievement award. Instead, they're giving him "The Reason We Still Need an NAACP" award.

Today Donald Trump called Sterling's remarks disgusting and his girlfriend a terrible human being. Then Trump said, "And that's why I've invited them both to join the next season of 'Celebrity Apprentice.' "

The L.A. Clippers protested their owner's racist remarks by wearing their uniforms inside-out. Meanwhile, the L.A. Lakers have been wearing their uniforms inside-out so no one would know they play for the Lakers.

Spanish scientists say they have discovered the oldest reproduction of Jesus Christ. It's a selfie he took with Larry King.

The NBA has banned Donald Sterling for life for his racist comments. If Sterling has a problem with black people, maybe he should think about owning a hockey team.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he doesn't think Donald Sterling should be kicked out of the league for comments made in private conversation. After hearing this Sterling said, "Wow, this is the first time I've liked a Cuban."

NBA players had threatened to boycott if Donald Sterling wasn't banned for life. In fact, the Lakers are so upset they decided not to play for the rest of the season.

Jamaica is reportedly close to passing a measure that would legalize marijuana. Yeah, in Jamaica. Political analysts are calling it a bold move that could change nothing.

Evil Vladimir Putin said this about President Obama. He said, "If I were drowning, I think President Obama would rescue me." And I thought: Well, give that a try.

A kid, 16 years old, got on a plane in San Jose and flew all the way to Hawaii riding on the landing gear. And the airline is embarrassed, so they say next time he wants to fly they will get him a spot in the baggage compartment. They'll upgrade him.

Sometime this week, Queen Elizabeth will turn 88 years old. A lot of people really enjoy the royal family. I don't. I didn't vote for them, so what do I care?

President Obama is visiting Japan, and for dinner last night he had $300 sushi. That's a lot of dough, but you know, it comes with unlimited bread sticks. And Mercury poisoning is covered by Obamacare.

Today is "Bring Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day." And my kids are here — Tina, Nancy, and Frank, Jr.

The Yankees played last night and their pitcher had pine tar on his neck. You can't have a foreign substance on your neck. Why can't the guy be like everybody else and just forget the pine tar and use the steroids?

I don't know what's the matter with that pitcher. There's only one place for pine tar in baseball and that's on the hot dogs.

Beautiful day outside. I mean, 65 and sunny, like Katie Couric.

They're auctioning off stuff from the Titanic. There's a menu of what was being served in the dining room the night the "Titanic" sank. And listen to this, the salad they were featuring that night: iceberg lettuce. True story.

I'd like to have that Titanic menu. It would go great with my Hindenburg soup spoon.

President Obama is in Japan. He's over there visiting the Benihana Training Institute.

President Obama is out of the country. Vice President Joe Biden is out of the country. And you know what happens then. They turn over nuclear launch codes to Oprah.

George Clooney is engaged to be married. How about that. Good for George. Another success story for eHarmony.com.

In Rome we got two new saints, and it's the first time we had two Popes officiating over the canonization. St. Peter's square was packed. The first 50,000 people got bobblehead dolls.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling is in trouble for making racist remarks. It must be terribly embarrassing for this guy, you know, to be identified as the owner of the Clippers.

Earlier today Sterling was rushed to the Paula Deen Rehab Center in Georgia.

In the middle of his second term, President Obama's approval rating once again has dropped. Obama's approval rating is so low that today Hillary Clinton said, "I'll take it from here."

Once again, this show has been honored with a Tony Award nomination. The category: Biggest waste of a Broadway theater.

George Clooney is getting married. You know how they found out that he's getting engaged? Somebody spotted him at Kay Jewelers.

The mayor of Amsterdam is trying to close the city's marijuana shops. Amsterdam without pot is like late-night TV without middle-aged white guys. It would be like a “Real Housewife” without Botox. Like Lance Armstrong without steroids. It would be like Ukraine without Russian troops.

Happy birthday to comedian George Lopez. Who else has a birthday? None other than William Shakespeare. Please don't applaud. He can't hear you.

William Shakespeare and George Lopez are very different, of course. One's a genius wordsmith whose timeless observations on the human condition can make you laugh one minute, cry the next. The other one is Shakespeare.

Today the Pentagon announced they are going to spend millions shooting clouds with super-lasers to create more precipitation. It's in the Washington Post. A newspaper is like a blog except everything is from yesterday.

Controlling the weather would be great because L.A. is so dry right now. Our rainfall is lower than Obama's approval ratings. It's lower than the Lakers winning percentage. It's lower than CNN's ratings. Lower than Tom Cruise's foot stool. Lower than the box office for that new Johnny Depp movie.

Lasers that control the weather are hard to explain. Basically they hit the cloud and create nitric acid particles that bind water molecules to create condensation nuclei. I hope that clears it up for you.

There was a man in Rhode Island that was arrested after he tried to rob a bank using a potato shaped like a gun. I'm glad he didn't try that here in L.A. People would have freaked out. "Oh no, carbs! Back off, everybody! He's packing carbs!"

It's Arbor Day, when we all celebrate trees. As well we should. Because trees require so little attention, yet do so much to enhance the world. They're opposite of the Kardashians.

Arbor Day started in Nebraska in the 1800s. Nebraska's governor thought of that while Nebraska was famous for corn, while today Nebraska is best known for . . . corn.

Friday is also World Penguin Day. Penguins are more popular since the "March of the Penguins" movie. I'm not sure why it's called "March of the Penguins." Penguins don't really march. They just kind of waddle. Like fat people on vacation.

Donald Sterling, owner of the L.A. Clippers, got caught on tape allegedly spewing vial racist hate to his mistress. You know it's bad when you get caught on tape with your mistress and it's what you said that's the problem.

Right now every NBA fan here in Los Angeles knows there's a dark, ugly cloud of shame hanging over the Staples Center. But enough about the Lakers. There's also the Sterling thing.

Aquaman is making his big screen debut. He will be in the upcoming Justice League movie. Unlike other superheroes, Aquaman doesn't wear a mask. He hides his identity another way — by not being popular enough to need a secret identity.

I'm not clear how Aquaman will get into the Justice League headquarters. It's an all-glass building with no rivers or streams leading to it. It gives me a bad feeling that Aquaman arrives through the toilet.

The NBA has banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life. He's pretty old. They could've just said two years. It would have been the same thing.

Sterling is not allowed to have any contact with any professional basketball whatsoever. It's like he's an honorary L.A. Laker.

They fined Sterling $2.5 million. At a typical NBA game, $2.5 million is what you pay for those big foam fingers.

Tony Award nominations were announced this morning. They celebrate the best of Broadway. The ceremony will be hosted by Hugh Jackman, but I wouldn't count on it because here at CBS hosts seem to be jumping ship left and right.

Yesterday was Earth Day. And today we went right back to throwing Jamba Juice cups in the rainforest.

I never know what to get the Earth for Earth Day. So I just bought it an iTunes gift card and buried it.

We all know how humans feel about Earth day. I wonder how Earth feels about it.

People magazine today unveiled their annual list of the 50 most beautiful people. People magazine has an interesting process for choosing the most beautiful person. The editors look at every single person on Earth. Then they vote. It is really the only fair way to do it.

President Obama is in Japan today. They showed him a robot developed by Honda that can kick a soccer ball. It's cute watching the president interact with a prototype that will one day enslave us all, isn't it?

A strange new product is coming to your liver this fall — Palcohol, which is powdered alcohol. It's like Crystal Light that will get you drunk.

Palcohol is great for astronauts looking to get wasted in space.

Palcohol flavors include Vodka, rum, mojito, cosmopolitan, and lemon drop. I think Keith Richards will sprinkle this stuff on his Cheerios in the morning.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling was caught on tape saying racist things to a woman. The NAACP was set to give him a second lifetime achievement award but rescinded the honor. I think that's a mistake. I think he should be forced to show up and accept the NAACP award.

Everyone agrees that Sterling should be forced to sell the team. I have a solution. I will buy the team. Donald Sterling, I will give you $5,000 in cash. Do with it whatever you want. Give it to the NAACP. Maybe they'll give you another award.

I would be proud to take the reins of what once was and again will be the worst, most miserable franchise in all of sports.

President Obama was asked if he would save Vladimir Putin if Putin were drowning. Obama said, "Yeah, I would save Putin. I would save anyone except Donald Sterling."

Clippers owner Donald Sterling was captured on tape saying very racist things to his girlfriend. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver handed down the toughest punishment possible. Friends say to help lift his spirits, Sterling has been watching "12 Years a Slave" in reverse.

Someone who doesn't want to associate with black people owning an NBA franchise is like a vegan buying a steakhouse.

The CEO of Starbucks announced plans to open 600 new stores in the United States. Is there room for 600 more? There are two on every corner already.

Believe it or not, Starbucks says they're significantly under-stored, which I didn't know was a phrase. For instance, currently there is no Starbucks at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. That needs to be fixed immediately.

A Kansas man on trial for first-degree murder wants to remove a tattoo across his neck reading “murder” because he’s worried it might prejudice the jury. Though he might be able to create reasonable doubt by just adding a question mark.

China’s state media has announced that its “Cleaning the Web” Campaign has successfully shut down 110 porn websites. That’s like New York City announcing that their “Cleaning the Subway” campaign has successfully exterminated one rat.

The Detroit Metropolitan Airport has unveiled indoor patches of grass that serve as toilets for service dogs. And the New York subway continues to offer hundreds of square miles of tile that serve as toilets for everybody.

Today is "Take Your Child to Work Day." Or as kids refer to it, "Play With an iPad in a Corner Day."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to build the Barack Obama College Preparatory High School, which will open in 2017. The Obama school is expected to be very popular . . . at first.

McDonald’s has given their clown mascot Ronald McDonald a makeover, trading in his jumpsuit for cropped pants and a blazer. While McDonald’s customers are trading in their sweatpants for bigger sweatpants.

Facebook has acquired a new mobile app that would allow users to track their exercise and measure how many calories they’ve burned. So if you love Facebook, and you love exercise, you’re lying about one of those.

Pope Francis today tweeted to his 4 million Twitter followers, "Inequality is the root of social evil." So it looks like he's giving away his season tickets to the Clippers.

A new study shows that teens who mix alcohol and marijuana are more likely to have a bad driving record. Also, you can take out the word "driving" and replace it with anything.

A Beverly Hills podiatrist makes his living by giving women the "Cinderella Procedure," a surgery that alters the shape of feet so they can fit into designer shoes more comfortably. One day, God willing, technology will advance to where it's easier to alter a shoe than a human foot.

A woman claiming to be Hitler's maid said that he pretended to adhere to a healthy diet but actually had an insatiable sweet tooth. I knew if we waited long enough, we'd eventually find some dirt on that guy.

This afternoon the NBA laid out the punishment for Clippers owner Donald Sterling. It will include a lifetime ban from the NBA, a $2.5 million fine, and two free throws.

A large Budweiser blimp was reported to be floating somewhere above New Jersey after it broke loose over the weekend. Which brings New Jersey’s total of out-of-control blimps to two.

Frontier Airlines has announced new plans to make customers pay for advanced seat assignments and to use the overhead bins. Frontier passengers applauded the move, since you actually get way more leg room if you sit in the overhead bin.

A New York man is being sued for a quarter of a million dollars after his ex-girlfriend claimed he harassed her with nearly a hundred emails. If 100 emails are worth a quarter of a million dollars, that means Crate & Barrel owes me $256 billion.

 

RSVP DEADLINE FOR DIANE'S RETIREMENT IS TOMORROW (FRIDAY THE 2nd)

 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF APRIL 26, 2014

The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox

New Articles

• Will swallowing active dry yeast before drinking alcohol prevent you from getting drunk?
<http://www.snopes.com/medical/homecure/yeast.asp>

• Was medical waste that included human tissue shipped from British Columbia to be incinerated at a power plant in Oregon?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/incinerator.asp>

• Article from a faux news site revives the "worm burger" rumor from the 1970s and several other McDonald's-related legends.
<http://www.snopes.com/horrors/food/wormburger.asp>

• Does a death curse threaten U.S. presidents elected in years evenly divisible by twenty?
<http://www.snopes.com/history/american/curse.asp>

• Is The Eagles song "Hotel California" about Satanism?
<http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/hotel.asp>

• Was actor Humphrey Bogart born on Christmas Day?
<http://www.snopes.com/movies/actors/bogartbirthday.asp>

• Crooks are fingered by the electronic locators contained in items they steal.
<http://www.snopes.com/crime/dumdum/locator.asp>

• Did a childless couple discover the cause of their infertility was a lack of sex?
<http://www.snopes.com/pregnant/fertility.asp>

• The youngest mother on record was a Peruvian girl who gave birth while only five years old.
<http://www.snopes.com/pregnant/youngestmother.asp>

• Have Japanese scientists successfully cloned a saber-tooth tiger?
<http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/sabertoothclone.asp>

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!
<http://www.snopes.com/daily/>


Worth a Second Look

• Did Atari bury millions of unsold E.T. game cartridges in a New Mexico landfill?
<http://www.snopes.com/business/market/atari.asp>


Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.
<http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp>

Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
<http://www.snopes.com/fraud/topscams.asp>


 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS



Large or Full Screen setting suggested for YouTube videos


The Critter Corner
 

There is so much insurance fraud in Russia that many motorists have installed a video camera in their vehicles to record proof of who was at fault. The footage that is captured also highlights scams and other crimes such as this one. Should you ever travel by car in Russia and accidentally hit a dog, Dave Wysuph says you should not leave your vehicle. Here's why: (1 Min.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K-zDK4wrI4>


• • • • •


Is Guinness a little too dark and sharp for your taste? Don't let this canine know because he's going to herd you into a pub that serves the Irish dry stout beer whether you like it or not. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y07at1bU89Q>

For more about Guinness, click here:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinness>


• • • • •


Too busy to play with your cat? You can always hire one of these feline cat sitters to do the job for you. After all, outsourcing manual labor is the California way. (30 Secs.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEyUL3QSrWQ>


• • • • •


And for you dog owners who are too busy or too lazy to play fetch with your pet, the solution is to adopt a dog that knows how to play fetch with itself. (2 Mins.)


<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxfGT-kKxiM>


• • • • •


As creative commercials go, this 1-minute ad from Thailand isn't only unique, it's also one of those that makes you wait until the very end to see what the sponsor is trying to sell. (1 Min.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDncfptDjPU>

 

So long, Critters.



Wanted: Retired officers to work 11-84 at this intersection in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Must be quick on your feet. Salary negotiable. (1 Min.)

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GroY7X8xeGI>


• • • • •


Most of you have seen this hot chase of a female in a Toyota Scion that took place in Orange Co. 5 years ago, but have you seen it since it was sped up and accompanied by the theme from Benny Hill? (2 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUYbu5DJA1U>


• • • • •


Behold the most amazing camping trailer you will ever see. If you are an off-roader who likes to camp, prepare to salivate. It's after it's parked and you see its features that things get really crazy. This is one of those items you will want to own even if you don't plan to take it out in the boondocks. (5 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpauUSmtJmA>


• • • • •


Even the arrogant Simon Cowell sometimes has to admit he was wrong. The caustic judge on "Britain's Got Talent" hit the rejection buzzer right away on a recent show, and then hastily had to backtrack when the 79-year-old grandmother wowed the crowd with her dancing. Sarah Patricia "Paddy" Jones, a grandmother of 7, and her much-younger partner Nico started their salsa slowly, and it didn't take long for Cowell to yawn and hit the "no thanks" buzzer. It was a BIG mistake. (7 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjHnWz3EyHs>


• • • • •
 

Ever find yourself in a restaurant but you can't make out the menu because you forgot or misplaced your glasses or cheaters? Worry not. Just watch this clip and tuck it away in your brain. All you really need to remember is the first 45 seconds. (3 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OydqR_7_DjI>


• • • • •


Attention iPhone users: If you want to meet the real Siri who is pictured below, click on the link under the pic and listen to what she has to say. Or you can ignore the clip and talk with her over your iPhone, Your call (pardon the pun). (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2bTymnb1uE>


• • • • •


Ever wonder what the Moon would look like if it were the same distance from Earth as the International Space Station? Probably not. But don't let that stop you from viewing this video as it presents a very interesting visual. (2 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBDZtt0vWD8>


Here's a similar video clip, but this one shows what other planets in our solar system would look like if they were the same distance from Earth as our Moon. (2 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB32ykkiJk8>


• • • • •


If you think it was a major feat transporting the multi-ton stones that make up Stonehenge in England that predates the birth of Christ by thousands of years — never mind the monument's purpose which no one is absolutely sure of — check out this clip received from Tom Macris about the giant megaliths found in Siberia, some of which weigh over 3,000 tons. The question is, how were they moved? (2 Mins.)

 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kngM_Pz20bw>

 

• • • • •


Speaking of stone blocks, is this the real Spiderman? Watch him scale this wall before you answer that question. (45 Secs.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RmrEsB6bao>


• • • • •


This clip is a don't miss. Here's a description of what you are about to see and hear: "KMel Robotics presents a team of flying robots that have taken up new instruments to play some fresh songs. The hexrotors create music in ways never seen before, like playing a custom single string guitar hooked up to an electric guitar amp. Drums are hit using a deconstructed piano action. And there are bells. Lots of bells. Many thanks to Lockheed Martin and Intel Corporation for their support." (4 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlqe1DXnJKQ>


• • • • •


Want to see what it's like to travel around the world in one minute? Here's a clip of a guy who made the journey and shot one second of footage in each location. Watch closely; this goes fast. (1 Min.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CyYpPqHn-s>


• • • • •


Three elderly men walked into the pro shop after playing 18 holes of golf. The pro asked, "Did you guys have a good game today?"

The first old guy said, "I had the most riders ever. I had five."

The second elderly man said, "I had 7 riders, the same as last time."

The last old man said, "I beat my old record. I had 12 riders today."
 
After they left the pro shop for the locker room another golfer who had heard the old guys talking about their game asked the pro, "I've been playing golf for a long time and thought I knew all the terminology of the game, but what is a rider?"
 
The pro said, "A rider is when you hit the ball far enough to actually get in the golf cart and ride to it."

 

• • • • •


You gun enthusiasts should have a look at the video embedded in this CBS news report received from David Byers. It's about the Navy's newest weapon, an electromagnetic rail gun that fires a projectile at seven times the speed of sound. (2 Mins.)



<http://tinyurl.com/ktpoxqw>


• • • • •


Imagine you are in Japan when the big quake like the one that hit in 2011 strikes and the ground begins to open up beneath your feet. What do you do? You pull out your smart phone and start recording of course. But a minute later you realize it might be best to secure your phone and run like hell. (1 Min.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAc3epDW8UM>


• • • • •
 

Speaking of Japan, Paul Salerno sent in this excerpt from the Science Channel on how the Japanese build their huge Taiko drums. What's needed is a very large lathe and more craftsmanship that you can shake a drumstick at. Have a look, especially if you are into woodworking. (9 Mins.)

Japanese workers tightening the skin of a 2-ton Taiko drum.

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tREzw1Dp2s>

It's one thing to build a Taiko drug, quite another to be physically fit to play them correctly. Here's a demonstration that accompanied the clip above…

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9kzrrw6FVY>

 

• • • • •


We recognized this clip received from Lumpy as one we ran back in April of 2011 and thought it was worth a rerun, especially for those of you who like to fish but admit to being lazy. (I'm even lazier than these guys; I do my fishing at Safeway.) (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3Bf0WhvsNk>


• • • • •


This is a very creative flashmob-like video that focuses on an empty plastic bottle lying on the floor next to a trash receptacle at a shopping mall in Quebec, Canada. We guarantee you will be surprised to see what happens toward the end of the 2 minute clip…



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYnd5JRu86E>


• • • • •


Chuck Blackmore laments the fact that quality workers are so difficult to find these days. And the lack of skilled workers isn't just a problem in the U.S. Watch this. (6 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78RrsepkQKA>


• • • • •


The late Harpo and Chico continue to entertain thanks to the Internet, even if the response from most college kids today would be, "Who?" (3 Mins.)


<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYxgjJK7kD0>


• • • • •


In need of a feel-good video? Take a few minutes and watch this video about Caine's Arcade. He's a 9-year-old boy who built an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad's auto parts store in East L.A. and is about to have the best day of his life. He has already inspired over 4 million people who have seen this video. (11 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faIFNkdq96U>


• • • • •

 

The Pale Blue Dot

This is the most interesting and profound item in this week's Farsider. It's a video titled The Pale Blue Dot, referring to our planet. The clip is one of the episodes from the Sagan Series, an educational project working in the hopes of promoting scientific literacy in the general population. The collection of video clips was created using audio excerpts from the original Cosmos series with relevant up-to-date video excerpts. The Pale Blue Dot is chapter ten of the series. (4 Mins.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=923jxZY2NPI>


If you found that video of interest, you should take the time to view other episodes of the series, and you can do so by clicking on the link below. (Each clip runs 3 to 4 minutes.)



<http://saganseries.com/>


• • • • •




C'ya



Pic of the Week

We heard an Internet rumor that says this is the
Piper Comanche Senator Harry Reid used for a flyover of
an Indian reservation in Nevada last week. It provides
evidence that many Native Americans are Republicans.



 

   

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