May 9, 2013
Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
The Farsider is an independent publication that is not
affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely
for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does
not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or
REMINDER FOR NEXT WED.
Wednesday, May 15th
Bar opens at 5:00
Buffet dinner to follow
NEXT WEEK IS
NATIONAL POLICE WEEK
By John "JET"
National Police Week commences this coming Sunday and National Peace Officers
Memorial Day will be observed next Wednesday, May 15th, with ceremonies across
our country and in our nations capital. Locally, the California Peace Officers
Memorial ceremonies were held in Sacramento this past Sunday evening and Monday
morning as a total of 12 more California officers names were added to the
growing Honor Roll of over 1,500 officers. Included were two officers who made
the ultimate sacrifice during 2012 and an additional ten officers from years
past. The two California officers who perished last year each succumbed to
Stanislaus County Sheriffs Deputy Robert Lee Paris, Jr. was shot and killed on
April 12, 2012, while attempting to serve civil eviction papers. On September 5,
2012, California Highway Patrol Officer Kenyon M. Youngstrom was fatally wounded
by a driver during a Contra Costa County traffic stop. (Both assailants died
after being engaged by other officers.) Those two deceased officers names were
added to the California Peace Officers Honor Roll this past week. In addition,
police historians identified ten additional officers who perished in the line of
duty over the past 100+ years. They, too, were honored at the recent Sacramento
Next week we will post the
photos of SJPD's Fallen and the sad but growing list of our former friends and
coworkers who are no longer with us.
NOT AN OBITUARY
For those of you who
e-mailed, called or otherwise saw what appeared to be an obituary in last
Saturday's paper about retired SJPD Sgt. Tony Colon (below), it was only a
memorial tribute, not an obit...
We posted a Farsider
supplement regarding Tony's passing on May 4th of last year, the day after he
Nothing to report this week.
THE TRIALS AND
TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
We couldn't find anything that would qualify for this column
Last Week's Poll Results
For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
Please inform your readers who are members of Facebook that I have started a
Vintage San Jose Police Group FB page. Russ Jones and I have already posted
several old San Jose photos and articles, and I encourage others to join and
post their old photos and material. I hope we can recall through photos and
related comments the San Jose Police Department's past and perhaps preserve some
Although this is primarily a San Jose Police FB page, I also invite and
encourage other Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies to participate,
including the DA's Office and the CHP.
By the way, I define "vintage" as being anything that occurred before the turn
of this century. In other words, "The Good Old Days."
I noticed in the Mercury News today, 5-8-13, that Claude Hughes passed away at
the age of 67. I worked with Claude when we were SJPD dispatchers in 1971. In
1975 our Communications Dept. merged with County Communications, supposedly to
save money. Against our wishes, we all then became County employees. Six months
later I became a San Jose cop while others left Communications all together. A
few years passed and the City learned that the merger was not working for a
variety of reasons, mostly due to the loss of control over San Jose's
communications that directly impacted the department's patrol functions. The
City then built the annex that would house City Communications on the top floor
of what would become known as the PAC. Claude chose to stay with the County
until he retired, while others happily returned to the City.
Dec. 31, 1945 April 22, 2013
Claude will be missed as he was not only a fine dispatcher, but a fine man
and a friend to everyone.
As Yogi Berra said, "It's deja vu all over again." Isn't it interesting that
back in 1975 the City wanted only to "save money" by trusting another
governmental agency with running a major portion of our Police Department? It
didn't work then, just as it isn't working today. Lay off cops, cut their
salaries and benefits, reduce the efficiency of our Police Department just to
As a nine-year retiree, and one of hundreds of other retirees, I thank our
current officers for all that they do with so little support from the City.
Paul's message included
the following link to Claude's enhanced obituary that also includes a link to
the guest book...
OPINION ON THE POLICE FOUNDATION
This opposing point of
view of the Police Foundation item from two weeks ago ("One Cop's Opinion")
should have been included in last week's Farsider, but it apparently got lost in
Cyberspace and showed up too late to meet our deadline...
Bill & Leroy,
Just a quick note with an opposing view to last week's article proposing a
boycott of the Police Foundation. While I don't have the ability, nor the
interest in attempting to defend board members like Victor Ajoulany, I believe
the Foundation was, and still is, a worthwhile organization and a friend of the
SJPD. As the creator of the Foundation, I can tell you that it was established
when Rob Davis saw what other police foundations were doing across the country
specifically generating revenue and obtaining resources that were not otherwise
available to local police departments. We set up our foundation based on the
successful models of others and tried to avoid mistakes made by other
foundations. I think, for the most part, we were successful.
The Foundation has raised a lot of money and, unless things have changed since I
left a few years ago, nearly all of the money has gone right back to the PD. The
operating and administrative costs of the Foundation are almost non-existent.
There were no paid board members and no paid staff. The office space was donated
by the Chamber of Commerce. Maybe some people see that as a bad thing, but I
don't. I see it as free office space donated by an organization that promotes
city business. I'm not going to address individuals from the Chamber or anywhere
else who supported Measure B. Some of them are, or have been Police Foundation
board members. I think we all know Measure B was a colossal mistake, but I don't
think labeling anyone who supported the measure as a "police hater" as some have
done, negates the great work of the Foundation, or is any reason to oppose an
organization whose only purpose is to get money, equipment and resources for the
PD that are not available through the normal budget process.
Politicians will do what politicians do. If some see being associated with the
Police Foundation as an image booster for them, well, that says a lot about the
Foundation. I'm not saying it's right, and I certainly don't want to see
politicians get mileage out of something they have no right to, but the
Foundation is not the enemy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Very few
residents of San Jose have or ever will support the PD with their money or time
the way many of the Foundation board members have. They do it because they
believe in San Jose and want it to be a better and safer place even if they
voted for and/or supported Measure B. It might not make sense, and I can't
explain what I don't understand, but I would urge anyone considering a boycott
or any other action detrimental to the Foundation to study the issue carefully
before jumping on a bandwagon that has a few easy targets. There could be a lot
of collateral damage, and in the end, the active men and women of the San Jose
Police Department will be the real losers. Times are hard enough for those
unfortunate officers who have to operate in a poisonous environment where they
seem to be the recipients of nothing but bad news on a daily basis.
If the Foundation has the ability to raise money and be able to make the job
easier and safer for those who do what we used to do, I say we should do all we
can to help the Foundation.
I hope your readers will support the upcoming "Bowling for Badges" event and
anything else the Foundation does to raise money. I would also encourage
everyone to actively let the Foundation know what you think about the
organization, and that would include opinions about board members. The
Foundation was designed to operate as an independent 501 (c) 3 with no ties to
the PD, the POA or the City. That was intentional. It needs to stay that way so
the City cannot dictate how it operates. But that does not preclude anyone from
communicating with the organization and letting it know how you feel.
Cops are good at collecting the facts before acting. That's all I ask here.
Thanks for listening and feel free to contact me with have questions, or if I
can provide any additional info.
THE HISTORY OF THE
SJPD SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN
The Story of
the Blazing Bullets
Back in the pre-semi-automatic days of service 'revolvers' only .38s and
.357s officers adjusted their "control of firepower" with the introduction of
tracer rounds that provided officers firing at night a clear vision of the
direction and destination of the rounds they discharged. The first recollection
of a tracer gone wrong took place at the Woolworth Store on S. First St. just
south of Santa Clara.
On a Sunday evening just prior to Easter a "home invasion" took place at a
residence in Saratoga. (to be accurate, the term "home invasion" wasn't coined
until later; at this time it was simply called a "hostage and robbery
situation.") The owner of the residence and manager of Woolworth's was taken at
gunpoint to his store in downtown San Jose while his 88-year-old mother was tied
up and left at the residence, but she managed to free herself and use the phone
to call the Sheriff's Dept., which had jurisdiction in Saratoga. When the
Sheriff's Dept. notified the SJPD of the call, the action began.
When Woolworth's was surrounded by officers front and back, two armed subjects
could be seen inside the store. One subject made the near-fatal mistake of
seeing the police activity outside the store and raising his pistol in a
"threatening manner" which resulted in a volley of shots by officers through the
plate glass front door. One live round a tracer was observed by the
assembled troops to strike the subject in the head, rendering him disabled.
Although it could easily have been a fatal round, the tracer was observed to
ricochet and embed itself in a wall above the rear door of the store. The
injured robber was taken away by ambulance, the second robber was taken into
custody and the store manager was released.
During the subsequent search of the store, which included the lower basement
level, noises alerted the searching officers to "suspicious activity," which
turned out to be baby chicks and rabbits for the Easter sale. They just missed
becoming fodder for the Rising submachine gun that was being carried by an H
Unit sergeant during the search, but he released the pressure on the trigger
just in time.
Fire laddies responded and had to use a ladder to pry the hot tracer round out
of the upper wall in the back of the store. Their action likely prevented a
roaring inferno from engulfing the store had the still hot tracer not been seen.
In the end, two robbers had been captured and the victim had been released with
minimal damage to his store.
Ironically, coincidentally call it what you will the same officer who
discharged the tracer round at Woolworth's gave the two rangemasters at the
Scott Creek pistol range in Milpitas a little heart-pounding activity when he
fired a couple of tracers at the old beat-up target car. To his and the
rangemasters' surprise, one or both of the rounds started a range fire that
began devouring straw and hay that was used for cattle feed. When all the foot
stomping and attempts to beat back the fire with their jackets were
unsuccessful, the Fremont Fire Dept. had to respond and put an end to the
embarrassing incident. (Although it was known as the "range in Milpitas," it was
actually located in Alameda Co., therefore Fremont Fire handled the situation.)
The Dept. immediately issued a verboten order: "No more tracers. Turn them in to
the rangemasters immediately."
What could go wrong now, right?
The surrendered tracers were taken for disposal to a second range on Kidder
Ranch in the community of Coyote that also was used by the SJPD. To get rid of
the tracer ammo the rounds were fired into targets set in front of a hillside.
Guess what? Another range fire erupted. And again neither the jacket pounding or
foot stomping could control the blaze. This time Santa Clara Co. Fire had to
respond and extinguish the inferno.
The incidents involving SJPD's experience with tracer ammo seems to give
credence to Murphy's Law, thereby supporting the adage that what can go wrong,
often does go wrong.
Assuming that tracer ammunition remains outlawed for everyday use by the SJPD
today, the incidents at Woolworth's, Scott Creek and Kidder Ranch may have
something to do with it.
URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF MAY 4, 2013
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
Did Nancy Pelosi pose for this photo as "Miss Lube Rack" in 1959?
Was New York mayor Michael Bloomberg denied a second slice of pizza at an
Italian eatery in Brooklyn?
Has Johnson & Johnson lost their license to sell cosmetics?
Photograph purportedly shows a young Nancy Pelosi as "Miss Lube Rack" of
Does the web site Genpets.com sell packaged, bio-engineered pets?
Did a girl named Laura Buxton release a balloon that
ended up in the hands of another girl named Laura Buxton 140 miles away?
Is Facebook planning to introduce video-based advertisements to their site?
No, Facebook isn't going to be closing down for good on 15 May 2013.
Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a
collection of odd news stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
Does placing tin foil in a car's hubcaps or hanging a CD from the rear-view
mirror fool police radar?
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, you decide...
We're not trying to be cute
or funny by saying that a motorcycle accident cost Alan Kempster an arm and a
leg, because it did. But like many war veterans who have come back from overseas
with missing extremities, Alan forged ahead and didn't give up what he loves.
Have a look at this inspiring story received from Paul Salerno.
If you missed the episode
of Rock Center with Brian Williams about the Polish Airlines 767 that had to
make a belly landing with over 200 souls on board because of landing gear that
wouldn't extend, this clip from Roger Coen will show you the drama that took
place both inside and outside the aircraft. (5 Mins.)
This is graphic but
somewhat sanitized dash cam footage that has aired on some news programs of a
two-person Middlefield (Ohio) police unit making a car stop, then coming under
fire by the driver who was armed with an automatic weapon. The accompanying text
provides the details. The car stop and audio begins at about one minute into the
video. (3 Mins.)
This link will show you the
full, unsanitized version of the same video that shows the suspect going down in
a hail of bullets. That you can hear him yelling "Kill me" just prior to his
demise has led some to believe this may have been a case of Suicide by Cop. (3
On the lighter and more
humorous side of the coin, watch this short TED Talks video we received from
Dewey Moore and you will have a better understanding of what motivates the
"Occupy Wall Street protesters." (3 Mins.)
We're happy to report that the mystery of the
large number of crow deaths in Kansas has been solved...
When approximately 200 dead crows were found near
Topeka there was concern that they may have died from the Avian Flu, so state
officials had a bird pathologist examine the remains of all the crows. To
everyone's relief, he confirmed that the problem was not the result of the Avian
After further investigation, the pathologist determined that 98 percent of the
crows had been killed by impacts with trucks, and that cars were responsible for
the other 2 percent. Officials then hired an ornithological behaviorist to
determine the reason for the disproportionate percentage of the killings between
trucks and cars.
He concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always assign a look-out crow
to a nearby tree to warn of impending danger. His conclusion was that all the
look-out crows could shout was "cah." None were capable of yelling "truck."
Could this story about the
discovery of a tiny alien-looking skeleton be legit? My former
"partner-in-crime" (Tom Macris) and I report, you decide...
We estimate that of the 878
Farsider subscribers, three or four consider their favorite animals to be pigs
and baby goats. This clip is for them. (2 Mins.)
If you consider yourself a gearhead you may want to stop by and
visit Ernie's Dwarf Car Museum the next time you find yourself in Maricopa, AZ.
Here's a short preview of what you will see. (4 Mins.)
Here's a short video of a
railroad train you can literally eat. But at 3,000+ pounds and 112 feet in
length, we don't advise trying to consume all of it in one sitting.
Click on the link below for
a more detailed view of this tasty example of Belgian transportation.
Here's another one of those
Just for Laughs videos that have become so popular. This one is about a drunk
helicopter pilot who shows up to take people for a ride.
Bruce Morton is pissed. In
1959, a year after the Hula Hoop was invented, he had dreams of becoming the top
Hula Hoop performer in the world as a means to find fame and fortune. Not only
did he practice 24/7 for over a year to perfect his act, he also had a special
costume designed to wow the audiences. Alas, it was not to be, so he went on to
the second item on his career list and became a cop. He has now learned that the
performer on this Swiss TV talent show not only stole his act, she is also
wearing the same costume Bruce wore during his performances, which may provide a
clue as to why his show business career was short-lived.
brings us to this final item of the week:
Many people are aware that one of David
Letterman's go-to routines is his Top 10 List. And most of them also are aware
that he is a strong supporter of the Obama Administration. That's why he would
never consider a Top 10 List that reads like this:
Top Ten Indicators that Your Employer has Changed to
Obama's Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare)...
(10) Your annual breast exam is done at Hooters.
(9) Directions to your doctor's office include "Take a left when you enter the
(8) The tongue depressors taste faintly of Fudgesicles.
(7) The only proctologist in the plan is "Gus" from Roto-Rooter.
(6) The only item listed under Preventative Care Coverage is "An apple a day."
(5) Your primary care physician is wearing the pants you donated to Goodwill
(4) "The patient is responsible for 200% of out-of-network charges," and this is
not a typographical error.
(3) The only expense that is fully covered is "Embalming."
(2) Your Prozac comes in different colors with little M's stamped on them.
And the number one sign you are now being covered by Obamacare:
(1) You ask for Viagra and they give you a Popsicle stick and duct tape.
Pic of the Week