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The Farsider

May 22, 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.



 

JOE MC NAMARA FIGHTING BACK AGAINST CANCER

Around the same time that JoeMac and his wife sold their Menlo Park residence and moved into their new home on the Monterey Peninsula he was diagnosed with cancer that called for extensive radio therapy and chemo. Chaplain Bridgen spoke with Joe a few days ago and learned that the treatments are complete for the time being and that he is in what is hoped to be the recovery stage. Because of the weight loss he sustained as a result the treatments, his doctors have him on a very rich diet so he can regain the pounds that he lost.

Joe would like to hear from folks, but not by phone at this stage of his recovery. If you would like to drop him a line, send your thoughts to this address:
<mcnamara@hoover.stanford.edu>


 

PENSION NEWS



Member Participation is Needed

 May 20th

 The City Council is looking to make more changes to our Retirement Board structure. The proposed changes will affect our representation on the Board.

For those of you who remember, several years ago the City Manager hired an outside consultant — Cortex Applied Research — to provide recommendations on changing the structure of the Retirement Board. After just a few years of implementing the new Board model adopted by the City Council, it is now recommending new changes to further alter retiree and active representation on the Boards.
 
The City is seeking "input" prior to heading to the ballot to change the City Charter to implement these changes, and we have been granted a whole hour of input! Two public meetings for an hour each have been scheduled.

   

Meeting Information:

San Jose City Hall

200 East Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Wednesday, May 28th
6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
City Council Chambers
and/or
Thursday May 29th
12 Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Committee Rooms (118, 119 and 120)

The recommendations before the Council include:

• Change the number of retirees on the board from 2 to 1.

• Change the number of actives on the board from 2 to 1.

The change being actively discussed would eliminate one of the two retiree members on the retirement board and replace him with an "independent" member that must meet the qualifications of the other independent board members (i.e. investment experience, pension fund management experience, etc). That person could not be a City employee or retiree. Retirees would be able to vote for which independent member they want to represent them. The same scheme would apply to actives.  

As an Association, we have weighed in on this issue to both the Retirement Board and the City Council and argued that such a change is unnecessary and will not lead to better fund performance. Below you will find the following documents:


• Cortex Phase II report (click here)

• Association Letter Regarding Cortex (click here)

Also included in the potential governance change is a concept we have supported for over a decade: allowing the Retirement Boards control over the Retirement Services' staff to ensure that they serve the best interests of the plan and are free from meddling from the City Administration and City Council. We believe this change is very important to having a well run, interference-free pension system.  

It is important for you to know that the City has refused to meet with us on this issue. We have asked repeatedly for meaningful conversations on this matter and all we have received is an hour of a public meeting.

As retirees, we do not have "meet and confer" or "bargaining" rights. This means the City has no legal obligation to negotiate with us. Our strength lies with you. City officials need to hear your voices to know that it is not okay to just change our pension board without any meaningful conversation with retirees. Let them know they cannot make sweeping changes without first showing how these changes will protect the plan and benefit the plan's beneficiaries, employees and the City.  

We gave the City decades on the job, and it is giving us an hour. Please show up and let them know that we deserve more respect than that. It was your strong showing at similar meetings a few years ago that helped us negotiate a successful change in the Board's composition — which resulted in an additional retiree representative on the Board.

We will follow up in the next few days with additional information including the main message points we think members should raise at the meeting. We also will announce a time and location before each meeting for members to gather.

We need your involvement again. Please do all you can to attend these meetings and be heard.

Jim Spence, President
<president@retiredsjpoff.org>


 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE SJPD AND THE CITY

From our perch it looks like Sam Liccardo will likely be the next mayor of San Jose despite the efforts of the various union groups (including the POA) that are trying to get Dave Cortese seated on the throne at City Hall. Let's face it, Liccardo has the support of the Mercury News — always an important factor in San Jose politics —  as well as a large segment of the public that continues to support Measure B. This article authored by Sam Liccardo that appeared on the Op/Ed page of yesterday's paper may give you an idea of what life may be like under his mayorship…

San Jose Deserves a Better Plan To Fight Crime

By Sam Liccardo — Guest Columnist
Mercury News — May 21, 2014

During the best days of my tenure as a criminal prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office, I felt inspired by the courage of victims and witnesses who came forward to tell the truth. I marveled how a trembling teenager could overcome intimidation and even threats to take the witness stand, offer her tear-filled account and identify her assailant sitting nearby in the courtroom.

Our community is made safer by their courage, and by that of the police officers who serve us daily.

We should expect no less courage from our elected leaders. Too often, though, we hear only simplistic, vague solutions for fighting crime. We aren’t told how their ideas will work or, in an era of budgetary scarcity, how we will pay for them.

We deserve the truth.

This requires moving beyond platitudes and sound bites. Our next mayor must identify specific, fiscally feasible steps needed to restore San José as America’s safest big city.

Politically powerful unions seek to reverse Measure B, the 2012 voter-approved pension reform measure, to boost officer morale and retention. Their plan suffers from one defect: they can’t find a way to pay for it.

We need a credible plan for restoring police ranks that includes how to afford the officers we’re employing.

Annual pensions for officers and firefighters retiring in the past five years averaged $104,000, with a 3 percent increase annually. With growing ranks of retirees, San José taxpayers spend $200 million more on retirement benefits today than 10 years ago.

We can’t hope simply that economic growth will solve this problem. Our three largest sources of tax revenue will increase by a projected $23 million next year, but retirement costs will grow by $24 million. And that’s in a good year.

A better path lies in continuing fiscal reforms but investing the savings in public safety. I crafted a strategy last year with Mayor Chuck Reed to identify more than $30 million in savings from pension and fiscal reforms to invest in police retention and hiring. We’re restoring officer pay — but not benefits — and committing millions more to hire and train cadets.

Hiring officers will take several years, however, and budgets will remain tight for several more. Through this period, how can we make San José safer?

We lack the dollars to spend more, but we can spend smarter. I’ve described a plan for doing so in a book now landing on San José doorsteps and on my website. Among the ideas:

• Restoring “community policing” by eliminating mandates that rotate officers among patrol beats as often as every six months, too short a time to build relationships and trust in our neighborhoods.

• Employing technology and analyzing data to improve officer deployment and setting up a voluntary online registry of security cameras to crowd-source information.

• Reducing truancy and gang recruitment through partnerships with school districts.

• Leveraging the expertise of our gang detectives by lengthening their three-year tenure in the gang unit.

• Focusing housing resources to shelter domestic violence victims and their children during their most vulnerable moments, the 24 hours after they flee their abusers.

• Strengthening police oversight of card clubs and other crime-inducing businesses and ensuring they’re paying their share in fees and taxes.

Sound bites urge that we “overturn Measure B, and the cops will return.” Yet we face a $3 billion unfunded liability in our retirement accounts. We can no longer meet today’s priorities by mortgaging San José’s future. We need a credible plan for safety — one we can afford.

Sam Liccardo represents District 3 on the San Jose City Council and is running for mayor. He wrote this for this newspaper.

 

POA UPDATES



May 21st

If you are an active or retired officer who has had the misfortune of being injured on-duty, then you have probably had an encounter with the City's Workers' Comp program. We need to hear about your experience. We have all heard, anecdotally, that there are problems with Workers' Comp being slow or unresponsive to our members or that treatment was needlessly delayed. We have also heard of members who have had a good experience with the process.

Retired Sergeant and current Retirement Board member Nick Muyo has been asked by the Retirement Board to look into the Worker's Comp system to determine if the process needs "fixing." He needs to hear about your experiences with the City's Workers' Comp process, and he wants to hear positive and negative feedback.

Contact Nick via email at
<sharx91@aol.com> or cell at 408.472.0698

Thank you,

Jim Unland
<president@sjpoa.com>
John Robb <vicepresident@sjpoa.com>

 

WEEKLY POLL
 


Last Week's Poll Results




For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here 

 
 

MAIL CALL

May 15th

Bill and Leroy,

Once again, thank you both for the Farsider. It means so much to so many. In particular, thank you for the regular list of our departed friends. It gets longer each year, and each year I take time to read each name and in many cases recall faces, adventures and personalities. It is said that one is not truly dead so long as someone remembers them.

Ken
(Hawkes)
<hawkes@garlic.com>
 

• • • • •

 

May 18th

Bill and Leroy,

I sometimes wonder if we really know how time takes away the past. Shortly after I became an officer, Richard Huerta was shot and killed while sitting in his police car. No one could have prevented his murder. No one could have changed the circumstances. It could have been any officer at that time and place. Richard was not performing a heroic deed when he was murdered, he was simply performing a routine task when he was shot and killed, something that all of us performed hundreds of times.

We all realized we were the lucky ones as any of us could have been sitting in that patrol car on B-3 that night. There is a fine line between being shot in the line of duty and just plain murder. Who's to say what is worse? I also recall that the murderer was the son of an Oakland police officer. Who could have predicted what took place that night?

Richard always sat in the same place during briefing. It was the first seat on the left side of the third row from the front. For many years after his murder we left that seat open as a remembrance of our brother officer. A wooden plaque bearing his name was eventually screwed into the table in front of the seat reminding new officers that the seat was taken.

Richard: Those of us who were present will always remember you as our lives get shorter with every passing year. History has become part of your legacy, and we all will soon join you in the Briefing Hereafter. You will not be forgotten.

Bill
(Yarbrough) <billyarbrough36@yahoo.com>
 

• • • • •

 

May 16th

Bill and Leroy;

Thank you for posting the names of our brothers and sisters who have passed on. It's nice to be able to read each individual name and reflect on the memories. Just know that we appreciate all that you guys do to keep us in touch. There are not many who would have bitten off what you and Leroy have chosen to chew.

Thanks again,

Jim
(Silvers)
<jimsilvers@icloud.com>

There were two other items Jim sent in. This first one pertains to CCW carry for former Army CID personnel...

May 19th

Bill/Leroy,

I am sending you this because I do not know how many San Jose Officers or Retirees were Accredited Criminal Investigators with the U.S. Army CID Command. I was one for many many years with the 380th MP Det. (CI) in Oakland CA. I know that Rich Gummow and Manny Jurado were also members. I retired from the Army and the PD at around the same time and have not stayed in touch with its members. I just received the following information in the Criminal Investigation Division Agent's Association (CIDAA) newsletter. It could be of interest to some of your readers.
 
"In January 2013, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which included an amendment to the 2004 Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). In accordance with this amendment, qualified current and retired military law enforcement officers are authorized to carry concealed weapons nation-wide, irrespective of state laws regarding concealed carry. Since that time, US Army CID Command (USACIDC) has held the position that no LEOSA compliant credentials would be issued until such time as DoDIG updated DOD instructions (DoDE) 5525.12. On 8 February 2014 CIDAA President Charlie Cooper appointed a committee to poll the CIDAA members to determine whether they desired CIDAA to advocate with USACIDC  for the issuance of said credentials.  On 13 February 2014, the updated DoDIC5525.12 was published, putting the ball squarely in USACIDC's court to implement the law after a 13 month delay
<http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/552512p.pdf>.
 
I have no idea where this is going. but it could be of interest to certain individuals at the department.

Jim


The third and final item from Jim was this photo of the 1964 San Jose City College Academy Class. Some faces we recognize; others we don't.

 

• • • • •

 

May 19th

Bill,

Are Farsider readers sleeping well at night? If they were to browse this site their sleepy eyelids will be wide open. I am very concerned of these threats.

This YouTube link is the same as the one embedded on the Public Intelligence website above, but it is of higher quality.

The START project at the University of Maryland is one of the best programs in the country dealing with the study of terrorism and responses to terrorism.

Just because you think they are out to get you, doesn’t mean they are not!

Regards,

Mike
(Young) <jecasmi@gmail.com>

The CNN-Indian Broadcasting Network (CNN-IBN) is an English-language news and current affairs television channel. Click here for more info. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNN-IBN>

I knew Mike (Sharon Young's son) was working in the Middle East, but not in what capacity, so I asked him to explain. This is a short excerpt from what he sent back. I have my doubts whether it would be wise to share the rest of his response in the Farsider that virtually anyone can access.

Hi Bill,

I work 60 miles north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in what 5 years ago was a fishing village called Thuwal.
<http://kaust.edu.sa/>.

Our University is intended to be a catalyst for changing the Petro-centric economy of Saudi Arabia, and our community has introduced mixed gender education to the country as a “Social Experiment."

We have male and female Master and PhD students sitting side-by-side, as well as male and female faculty and staff that are not in segregated areas exclusive to each gender. Our entire community is free of the Saudi normal separation of genders. Women, if they hold a drivers license from anywhere, are allowed to drive inside the campus walls.


 

PLAN NOW TO ATTEND THE 2014 KEITH KELLEY SUMMER BBQ

Members Only — No Guests



 

ALSO MAKE PLANS NOW TO ATTEND THE
SONS OF SAN JOSE 5th ANNUAL GOLF TOURNEY


Sponsored by the
"San Jose Vietnam War" Memorial Foundation"




Monday, Aug. 4th
Coyote Creek
12 Noon Shotgun Start
Box Lunch and Dinner and Beer & Soda on Course
$150 Per Person

Contact Larry Reuter
H: 408.2275296
C: 408.529.2048

For more information, click here


 

A PRESIDENT WE WILL NEVER SEE OR EXPERIENCE AGAIN

After all the submissions we have received of this item over the past six months we decided it was time to run it as a comparison to other Presidents of late...

Harry and Bess Truman

Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He made as many if not more important decisions regarding our nation's history as any of the other 42 Presidents that preceded him. A measure of his greatness, however, may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri. His wife Bess had inherited the house from her mother and father, and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions with large salaries he declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people, and it's not for sale."

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (think of Illinois).

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed,"My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!



 

A SHAMELESS PLUG FOR A BOOK ABOUT MY BROTHER-IN-LAW




Did your offspring become addicted to Nintendo and/or Sega video games when they were growing up? Did you? My brother-in-law — Tom Kalinske — first made his mark in the business world as President of Mattel when Ken and Barbie were national icons, then as CEO of Universal Matchbox (remember the itsy bitsy cars that competed with Mattel's Hot Wheels?), and later as President and CEO of the then fledgling Sega video game company. It was in that position that Tom turned Sega's fortune around (literally) with Sonic the Hedgehog, sports games and a faster processor which pushed Nintendo down to a lower rung on the video games ladder. Another key factor that gave Sega an edge was Tom's aggressive marketing that appealed to an older audience. Soon adults were playing numerous sports games like "Joe Montana Football" and "PGA Tour" while Sega's huge fantasy library of games appealed to the younger set. In short, the 16-bit Sega Genesis that was twice as powerful as Nintendo's 8-bit processor wasn't just for kids.

"Console Wars" is a newly released book (hard cover and Kindle) that covers the battle between the two giant video game companies, not unlike today's skirmishes between Apple and Samsung. The book wasn't written by Tom, but it IS about him and his rise and success as President and CEO of Sega of America.

In addition to the book, a documentary film also has been produced and is scheduled to be released this Fall. The stars of the film — Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg — have picked up the feature film rights, and Scott Rudin ("Social Network," "Moneyball," "Captain Phillips") have agreed to produce the film, which Sony will distribute next year.  

 

Tom and Ronnie Lott discussed "Console Wars" over breakfast last week.
The 49er Hall-of-Famer then had Tom autograph the book before telling
him he planned to read it during his flight to Boston later in the morning.
 

Console Wars — Amazon Review

Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars—a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.

In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about video-games and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.

The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.

Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.


 

TIP OF THE WEEK

If you shop at Costco and like pizza, try one of their deep-dish pies during your next visit. Weighing in at 3 pounds, it is chock full of sausage, pastrami and some of the best tasting variety of cheeses on top of a light crust to be found anywhere. Just remove it from the carton, place it on the middle rack of a 375-degree pre-heated oven, bake it for 50-60 minutes and you've got yourself a mouth-watering $9.99 treat; it's the same price as the standard 14-inch pizza sitting next to the deep-dish and is also served by the slice at the snack bar at the front of the store. One quarter of the deep-dish pizza makes a hearty meal for even us big boys for the paltry cost of $2.50, not that cost is important for something that tastes this good. What is it Mikey used to say? "Try it, you'll like it."


 

THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
     
May 14th thru the 20th

A day after Donald Sterling's explosive interview with CNN, Anderson Cooper sat down with Magic Johnson for a follow-up interview. And Magic actually said he's praying for Sterling. Yeah, he’s praying for him to get stuck in an elevator with Beyoncé’s sister.

A federal judge ruled yesterday that Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, so now it’s legal for gay couples to get married. Idaho's gay people all cheered — from their homes in San Francisco and New York.

Happy Birthday to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who turned 30 years old today. It's a big milestone for him because he's now officially the youngest person on Facebook.

Yesterday Alec Baldwin got busted for riding his bike the wrong way in a bike lane, and then arguing about it with the cops. He was charged with two counts of “being Alec Baldwin.”

Last night was part two of the Anderson Cooper interview with Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Sterling said that people think of him as an ogre or Frankenstein. Which isn't true because Frankenstein and ogres are still allowed at NBA games.

The new “Godzilla” movie opened worldwide today. They say New York City could survive a Godzilla attack. Seriously? It takes five cops to handle Alec Baldwin when he's riding his bike the wrong way.

In an interview, Neil Patrick Harris said he'd never want to do a late-night talk show because he thinks it would be boring doing the same thing every day. And if you want to see more of Neil, you can check him out in that play where he says literally the exact same thing every day.

Yesterday Chris Christie said he thinks it would be fun to run against Jeb Bush for the Republican presidential nomination. While Jeb Bush said it would be fun just to watch Chris Christie run.

Donald Sterling is now planning to sue the NBA for banning him from the league. That’s good because it’s the only way he'll ever see a court again.

This week the FCC rolled out a new service that lets people text 911 for help. That'll mean if you're driving and you see an accident, you can cause another accident.

The stadium that will host the opening match of the World Cup still isn’t ready yet because there are problems with 20,000 seats. When asked what’s wrong with the seats, officials said, “There’s no stadium built around them.”

A new report found that the average life expectancy for women in the U.S. is 81, while the average life expectancy for men is 76. Or as both husbands and wives put it, “Good.”

The Billboard Music awards were last night and there was an amazing hologram of Michael Jackson. He performed a new song called "Slave to the Rhythm." It was so realistic, Tito actually asked it for money.

Yeah, a Michael Jackson hologram at the Billboard Music Awards. Then he left to play golf with holograms of Tupac and Elvis.

They say this season of "The Bachelorette" will have fewer hot tub scenes than previous seasons. Which explains the show's new name: "What's the Point?"

Over the weekend, Brad Pitt spotted Matthew McConaughey on a balcony across the street from his house in New Orleans, so he threw him a beer. Because legally, that's what you have to do when you see Matthew McConaughey.

Yesterday President Obama made an unscheduled stop at a Little League game while he was on his way to a fundraiser. Yeah, because there's nothing parents love more than their kid's Little League game getting even longer.

Over the weekend, Beyoncé and Jay-Z released a trailer for their upcoming tour together. When asked what they like most about the video, they said, “We actually knew we were making this one.”

CNN had to fire an editor after discovering that she plagiarized 50 stories. CNN said, “Can you imagine if somebody actually SAW them?”

Scientists in London say they have invented a process that can actually turn light into matter, but warned people that their results won’t be visible to the human eye. Well, in that case, I invented it too.

A high school girl has invited Joe Biden to be her prom date. Isn't that nice? However, her father is refusing to let her go with a guy who can't really describe what he does for a living.

"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak posted several tweets mocking people who believe in global warming. The tweet was hard to understand because Sajak didn't buy any vowels.

This week is the 40th anniversary of the Rubik's Cube. If you kids don't know what a Rubik's Cube is, it's what people would stare at without human interaction before cellphones.

A Japanese company unveiled a robot that can tell jokes and then detect if the joke was well received. In a related story, I start my shift at Quiznos tomorrow.

This audience's applause is about as convincing as a Donald Sterling apology.

Researchers now say that drinking a lot of red wine is not healthy for you. What's next, crack?

Justin Bieber is accused of stealing a cellphone from a fan. The police now say that he is at large. He's armed and Bieberous.

Donald Sterling and his wife are divorcing. I didn't see that coming.

It's a very exciting time in television. This is the time when all of the networks and TV show providers get together and announce their new TV line-ups. CBS has a wonderful new show. It's called CSI-SPU — Special Parking Unit.

There also will be a socially relevant show on CBS about the first openly gay detective. He has a heightened sense of fashion.

President Obama was here, touring New York sites in need of repair. He wants to spend money on our infrastructure. For example, the port authority needs fixing. And the Tappan Zee Bridge, where the renovation is already finishing up way ahead of schedule — like Obama's second term.

The new "Godzilla" opens this weekend. In this movie, Godzilla is the first openly gay lizard.

They're finally able to control Godzilla when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie closes down the George Washington Bridge.

Godzilla destroys three cities. Then he sits down and apologizes to Anderson Cooper.

New York City is now bidding on the 2024 Olympics. And it was announced earlier today that New York City has been awarded the 2016 Kim Kardashian wedding.

California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby, he won the Preakness, now comes the Belmont Stakes. This is one of those miracle horse-racing stories — Mayor de Blasio fired the horse from his regular job pulling a carriage.

For a minute, it looked like California Chrome wouldn't be able to wear his Breathe Right strips on his nose in the Belmont, but now everything's fine. He will, however, not be allowed to use his reading glasses.

Bad news. Red Lobster is going out of business. Here's how I found out. CBS had to move my retirement dinner to Olive Garden.

There's a coffee shortage, and when the supply goes down, look out, I predict that those prices at Starbucks are going to start to get a little pricey.

In the new "Godzilla" movie, Godzilla starts out as a normal-sized lizard, and then he calls Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod gives him the number of an anti-aging clinic and then all hell breaks loose.

Godzilla gets crazy mad and destroys three cities. It's kind of like what General Motors did.

We are having lovely weather in New York City. Here's how nice it is. Today Beyoncé's sister beat up Jay-Z in the park.

It's springtime and earlier today Chris Christie closed the George Washington Bridge for a pollen study.

George Lucas, the creator of "Star Wars," is 70 years old today. George didn't bother celebrating. He spent the day making unnecessary changes to all his earlier birthdays.

It's a great day for Transylvania. The 14th century Transylvania castle that inspired the book "Dracula" is for sale. Personally, if I wanted a house that belonged to a creepy undead guy, I'd buy the Playboy mansion.

It must be tough for a real estate agent in Transylvania. The castle's a little on the dark side.

It was so hot today here in L.A. that a pipeline burst, sending thousands of gallons of oil into the streets. The oil company said it was an accident. They meant to spill it into the ocean.

It's a great day for Barbara Walters. In a few hours, she'll tape her final episode of "The View." Barbara is leaving and I'm leaving at the end of the year, so there'll be no more feisty old ladies on TV.

A cat in Bakersfield saved a boy from a mean dog. It is all over the Internet. Now the cat is a celebrity. Rumors say it’s in talks to be my replacement.

That video is amazing. It shows a cat actually caring about a human. That is like a Kardashian caring about privacy. It's like Vladimir Putin caring about the sovereignty of Ukraine. It's like Oprah caring about clipping coupons. It's like the Lakers caring about winning. It is like the "Duck Dynasty" guys caring about Broadway musicals.

"Godzilla" opens today. In the original movies, Godzilla always attacked Tokyo. But today Godzilla is such a revered hero, Tokyo actually has a statue of him. A city having a statue of the very thing that destroyed it? That would be like the L.A. Clippers having a statue of Donald Sterling. Like Blockbuster having a statue of Netflix. Or like Conan having a statue of Jay Leno.

Do you know who's in the new "Godzilla" movie? Elizabeth Olsen, the sister of the Olsen twins. She is not a twin. She is just an Olsen single. So she's used to being around weird, scary creatures.

I'm sure the new "Godzilla" will be a success, and I'm sure Godzilla will be getting more work. You'll probably be seeing him on the next season of "Downtown Abbey."

There have been 28 Godzilla movies. They include "Son of Godzilla," "Godzilla vs. Mothra," "2 God 2 Zilla," and "Godzilla vs. Tyler Perry."

There's a couple of birthdays today — Busta Rhymes and Cher. Busta Rhymes and Cher are very different. One's a tough, hard-bitten dude who smokes two blunts before breakfast. And the other one is Busta Rhymes.

In Hollywood news, they're making a sequel to "Mrs. Doubtfire." Robin Williams is returning as a guy who dresses as a woman so he can spend time with his kids. But I'm thinking if he's still dressing up like a woman after 20 years, it's probably not really about seeing his kids, is it?

Nothing against Robin Williams, but if Hollywood wants to make a movie about a creepy, middle-aged Scottish woman — what am I, chopped liver?

Part two of Donald Sterling's interview with Anderson Cooper aired on CNN tonight. It may have been the first time I've ever seen an apology that was more offensive than the thing being apologized for.

A Massachusetts woman, Brenda Drinkwater, was arrested on a seventh drunk driving charge. "Drinkwater" is good advice for her.

Yesterday in Bakersfield a 4-year-old was playing in his driveway when a dog comes in and attacks him. Then all of a sudden the family cat charges out and chases the dog off. The boy then gets up and gets out of there. A hero cat. Are you serious?

It got up to 101 degrees in Hollywood today. Although with the wind chill it was 98 degrees.

Here in Southern California today, we premiered what I think is the first-ever firenado. It's kind of like a sharknado, except instead of sharks in the nado there is fire.

If that firenado isn't the work of Satan, I don't know what is.

That hotel in New York fired the employee who leaked the security camera footage of the fight between Solange Knowles and Jay-Z. But don't feel bad for that person. He's rumored to have been paid $250,000 by TMZ. Let that be a lesson to every low-wage security guard out there. The lesson is to make sure your phone is charged before you come to work.

Over the weekend, the new "Godzilla" movie came out. I don't know how Godzilla doesn't hurt himself. I once had to go to the emergency room after stepping on a Lego piece.

The Clippers got knocked out of the NBA playoffs last night. Jack Nicholson, who has been sitting courtside at Lakers games for decades, was there. That had to be a mistake, right? He got confused.

Donald Sterling's attorney sent a letter to the NBA, rejecting his lifetime ban and refusing to pay the $2.5 million fine they hit him with. In case you are keeping track, Donald Sterling is 0 for 80 at making good decisions this year.

Even if Sterling wins the lawsuit, why would you want to own a team on which all of your players wish you were dead? He should pack those giant bags under his eyes and get out of L.A.


I was at a website looking at the sale section and I came across this item: a chocolate Easter Bunny reduced from $14.95 to $9.99. Who is buying chocolate Easter Bunnies in May? It's not like chocolate isn't available in other shapes.

If you did buy a chocolate bunny, an out-of-season candy rabbit, would you order it by mail? I mean, if your chocolate bunny isn't an impulse purchase, what is?

Yesterday the NBA formally notified Donald Sterling of its intention to terminate his ownership of the L.A. Clippers. And they also let him know that his face looks like a bag of melted silly putty.

The NBA gave Donald Sterling until Tuesday to respond. His lawyer asked for a three-month extension to prepare. I'll tell you what's happening here. He is stalling. Sterling is going to keep this in court until he dies. He is basically trying to run out the clock on being alive.

Last night, Magic Johnson told Anderson Cooper that he’s still waiting for an apology from Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Sterling responded, saying, “I’m very sorry you’re black.”

According to a new survey, 55 percent of Americans think that they are smarter than the average American. Said the average American, “55 percent? That’s almost half.”

A Chicago priest is offering a $5,000 reward to help stop gun violence. Meanwhile, people with guns just found out about a priest who has $5,000.

Last night in the second part of his interview with Anderson Cooper, L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling announced he and his wife are divorcing. Ladies, that means he's going to be single. So run.

Today President Obama took his 1,001st flight aboard Air Force One. And they still made him take his shoes off at security.

Independent film director Lars von Trier is writing a horror movie set in Detroit. But then again, so is history.

A new Michael Jackson album was released this week and it contains a track titled "Do You Know Where Your Children Are?" Even worse, the next song is called, "Can You Give Me Directions?"

A man in Phoenix accidentally shot himself in the leg while in line at Walmart on Saturday. Or, as they call that in Arizona, “taking a selfie.”

Today Merriam-Webster announced 150 new words being added to the dictionary, including selfie, dubstep, hashtag, and spoiler alert. Also, they’re considering removing the word “dictionary.”

Vladimir Putin ordered all Russian troops stationed near Ukraine to be pulled back to their home bases. It’s the first time Putin has pulled back since that one time someone tried to hug him.

A 24-year-old-cat in England has been named the world’s oldest cat. That cat is so old, if you give it a ball of yarn, it knits.

A man in Florida has been arrested for inappropriately touching two women outside a Walmart while claiming to be a psychic. Though to his credit, when the police picked him up he said, “I knew this was going to happen.”


 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF MAY 17, 2014

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

New Articles

• Update on the rumor that the Red Lobster chain is about to close its doors and go out of business for good.

• Recurrent rumor claims a worker at Pepsi or Frooti has contaminated those beverage products by injecting HIV-infected blood into them.

• Does cocoa mulch contain a chemical (theobromine) that can be harmful to pets?

• Airline disaster traps man into revealing his adulterous activities.

• Photograph purportedly shows roses bred to grow multi-colored petals.

• Resurrection of the old rumor that R&B singer Ciara was born male.

• Did President Eisenhower once observe that 'a few Texas oil millionaires' wanted to 'abolish social security'?

• Photographs show a man whose brain became 'infested with maggots' due to an ingrown hair or consumption of contaminated sushi.

• Did actor Edward G. Robinson personally fund the French Resistance during World War II?

• Was a Chinese coal miner recently discovered alive in an abandoned mine 17 years after he had been trapped inside it by an earthquake?

• A deceased mother finds a way to tell her son what their last dinner together meant to her.

• French playboy discovers the woman he's been romancing on the Internet for months is his mother.

• Dying child leaves a drawing of a sandpiper for a
curmudgeon she met on the beach.

• Did Clark Gable's bare-chested appearance in 1934's "It Happened One Night" lead to a dramatic decline in undershirt sales?

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!


Worth a Second Look

• Do penguins fall over onto their backs when trying to observe airplanes flying overhead?

Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.

Fraud Afoot

• 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 preferred for YouTube videos


The Critter Corner


Nearly 4 million people have viewed this 16-second clip about the greedy Chihuahua on the right since it was posted to YouTube three weeks ago. If you haven't seen it, watch what happens when the owner tells the dogs it's OK to eat the sausage. (16 Secs.)

 

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A match made in Heaven sounds like an appropriate way to describe this adoption of a deaf dog by a deaf woman. God bless 'em both. (2 Mins.)

 

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Think about how much less we would know about the natural world and the animal kingdom if it wasn't for National Geographic. This excerpt from Nat Geo Wild with a subtitle of "Living Music Action" makes our point. Trust us, it's worth a few minutes of your time. (5 Mins.)

 

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We're thinking the Giants should look into signing this little Beagle. Even when the ball slips out of his little furry glove he still manages to haul it in using his teeth. Have a look. (1 Min.)

 

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Speaking of Beagles, we saved this heartwarming video for the end of this week's Critter Corner. It's about the rescue of nine Beagles that had spent their entire lives in cages for laboratory and product testing. We can't help but wonder how many of the 1.3 million people who have seen this video drove over to the nearest animal shelter afterwards with the intention of rescuing a Beagle. (6 Mins.)

 

The Critters are now back in the barn


If Area 51 and the name Bob Lazar means anything to you, this recently posted investigative newscast by KLAS TV in Las Vegas should be considered a Must-See. (7 Mins.)

 

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It may be politically incorrect to laugh at other countries' military personnel, but that didn't bother us in March of 2012 when we first ran this clip of the border closing ceremony of India and Pakistan, so why should we be concerned today? Anything that is good for a chuckle is a good thing in this day and age, right? (3 Mins.)

 

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This is an updated, high-definition video of the insane walk along the path to El Camino del Rey in Spain. If you can watch this entire clip without developing a major league case of the heebee jeebies, pat yourself on the back. You are then free to self-surrender to the nearest mental health facility. (9 Mins.)

 

Click here for information about El Camino del Rey (The King's Little pathway).

 

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With all due respect to retired police artists Tom Macris and Gil Zamora, and the suspects who landed up in the hoosegow because of their talent, have a look at what this sketch artist is capable of. The result of his work with both pencil and ink look more like a photograph than a sketch. (5 Mins.)

 

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Want to take to the skies in one of the safest and easiest to fly airplanes in the world? For about $50K — less than the price of a BMW 5 Series or a Lexus GS — you can. Take a look at this Hi-Def video touting the new 2-place, twin-engine Air Cam. (9 Mins.)

 

This is the company's website.

 

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If fifty large would give your wallet a hernia and you still want to fly, you can always pick up an F/A-18 Super Hornet like this one for a few hundred bucks plus the cost of a radio. And if you are lucky, you might be able to fly it using the runway at NASA-Ames Research Center across from the old blimp hanger at Moffett like these guys, one of whom is a Santa Clara Co. S/O deputy. (7 Mins.)

 

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We were not aware that helicopters were designed to do what you are about to see this one do. It's formally known as a Westland Lynx, a British multi-purpose military helicopter flown by the British Army Air Corps. (2 Mins.)

 

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Radio-control choppers, of course, are a different kind of animal. What this guy does with his RC helicopter seems almost unbelievable given the instant reflexes necessary to pull of the maneuvers and not turn his toy into hundreds of pieces of plastic. (4 Mins.)

 

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Before we put our feet back on the ground, here's an interesting recent CBS News clip about Malaysia Air Flight 370. It points out that the aircraft's crash/disappearance could result in a financial windfall for the airline. Click here for the details. (4 Mins.)

 

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Tom McFall passed along some of the wisdom he picked up many years ago as a Feebie...

• I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people. I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem work itself out.
 
• I changed my car horn to gun shot sounds. People move out of the way much faster now.
 
• You can tell a lot about a woman's mood just by her hands. If she is holding a gun, she's probably angry.

• Dear paranoid people who check behind shower curtains for murderers, if you find one, what's your plan?
 
• You know that tingly little feeling you get when you really like someone? That's common sense leaving your body.
 
• I don't like making plans for the day because then the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in the courtroom.
 
• I didn't make it to the gym today. That makes five straight years in a row.
 
• I did, however, stop calling the bathroom the John and rename it the Jim because I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.
 

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Let's see a show of your liver-marked hands if you remember dancing to The Stroll. If this doesn't take you back to 1958, the odds are nothing will. The song and dance originated on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. (3 Mins.)

 

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Too cute. That's the verdict of this clip of twin 11-month-old girls dancing to Daddy's guitar. (44 Secs.)


It is now one year later and they are still getting it on. Check this out by clicking here. (58 Secs.)



 

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Behold the giant bubbles in our own back yard. Well, Stinson Beach anyway. Appropriate music, too. (1 Min.)



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Hey guys, want to see what 365 straight days of exercise will do for you? Just the thought of it made me shudder, so I didn't. But for the rest of you, have a look at the results. (45 Secs.)

 

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Like it or not, the thing about aging is that it's impossible to stop, contrary to what the cosmetic industry would have you think. This link will expand on the changing faces below that show what these men and women used to look like, and how they look today…

 

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The residents of San Jose — indeed the entire Bay Area — should take a lesson from this video on how the citizens of Indianapolis are dealing with its pothole problem. (1 Min.)

 


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Have any of you been involved in a hot chase that ended like this one where the suspect vehicle was taken out by a train? The incident occurred in Salt Lake City, and the 29-year-old female driver survived the collision. (2 Mins.)

 

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This video titled "Look Up" that we received from Mike Young contains a message so important that nearly 38 million people have chosen to view it both here and abroad. It's why we chose it as this week's closer. (5 Mins.)

 

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C'ya

 

Pic of the Week

This was the ugly scene outside yesterday's PBA
   meeting when the bar was 15 minutes late in opening…

 
   

Scrolling Box

 
This is the message box, using the scroller component.
 

 

 

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