May 1, 2014
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
RETIRED SERGEANT JIM HELLAM
(No photo available)
Born Nov 28, 1946
Appointed Feb. 21, 1968
Retired Jan. 18, 1981
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.
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
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…
San Jose’s Janet Gray Hayes
By Tom McEnery
Mercury News — April 25, 2014
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
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.
Peace Officers Memorial
By John Trussler
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
• 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
• 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
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
• Special Agent Buford French, BNSF Railroad Police Department EOW November 10,
• 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.
Nothing of substance to report this week
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
and You’re Fired
—City councilman is suggesting reforms that would make lying
grounds for instant dismissal—
By Robert Salonga
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
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
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
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...
By Scott Herhold
Mercury News — April 27, 2014
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
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
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…
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
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
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
Calls for Police Transparency at San Jose City Council Meeting
By Stephen Stock, Jeremy Carroll and Kevin Nious
transparency rang from city hall Tuesday as San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel
presented the agency’s Department Initiated Investigations (DII) statistics for
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
“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,”
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.
Last Week's Poll
For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
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.
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
CAN I COUNT ON YOUR SUPPORT?
By Margie Beiderman
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
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:
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
April 23 through April 29
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
President Obama is in Japan. He's over there visiting the Benihana Training
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
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
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 . . .
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
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
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.
Earth Day. And today we went right back to throwing Jamba Juice cups in the
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
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
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
• Will swallowing active dry yeast before drinking alcohol prevent you from
• Was medical waste that included human tissue shipped from British Columbia to
be incinerated at a power plant in Oregon?
• Article from a faux news site revives the "worm burger" rumor from the 1970s
and several other McDonald's-related legends.
• Does a death curse threaten U.S. presidents elected in years evenly divisible
• Is The Eagles song "Hotel California" about Satanism?
• Was actor Humphrey Bogart born on Christmas Day?
• Crooks are fingered by the electronic locators contained in items they steal.
• Did a childless couple discover the cause of their infertility was a lack of
• The youngest mother on record was a Peruvian girl who gave birth while only
five years old.
• Have Japanese scientists successfully cloned a saber-tooth tiger?
• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news
stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
• Did Atari bury millions of unsold E.T. game cartridges in a New Mexico
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
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:
• • • • •
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.)
For more about Guinness, click here:
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
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.)
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.
• • • • •
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?
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
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.)
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.)
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
Speaking of stone blocks, is this the real Spiderman? Watch him
scale this wall before you answer that question. (45
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
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.
• • • • •
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
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.)
• • • • •
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.
• • • • •
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
workers tightening the skin of a 2-ton Taiko drum.
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…
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
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…
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
The late Harpo and Chico continue to entertain thanks to the
Internet, even if the response from most college kids today would be, "Who?"
• • • • •
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.)
• • • • •
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.)
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.)
• • • • •
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.