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The Farsider

June 5, 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.


 

POA UPDATES 
 



May 30th

New SJ Retirement Department projections disclosed by the POA show 186 police officers are eligible for retirement over the next 22 months. Also, 4 more experienced police officers resigned and have blamed San Jose's new disability definition for their departure. 

Click on the links below to see the news coverage.

KTVU Channel 2 (click here)



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KNTV Channel 5 (click here)



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KOFY (KGO newsfeed) (click here)



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KGO Channel 7 (click here)

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The Daily Fetch Article (click here)

 

 

June 4th

As of 1 a.m. Wed., all of the POA endorsed candidates appear to have won outright or will make it into the runoff in November. With strong first place finishes are Dave Cortese and our own Raul Peralez. Ballots are still being counted.

Ed. — All votes have now been counted. Click here for the final tally of the state, county and city results. The images below show the results for the San Jose Mayor's race and for San Jose District 3 in which Officer Raul Peralez was a candidate.




 

COLOR US SURPRISED

We found it surprising that Dave Cortese (the POA's and other labor organizations' pick for Mayor) came out on top in the primary race for mayor given that Liccardo raised far more money than Cortese. He also had the support of the Mercury News, and is strongly in favor of the pension reform issue that was supported by a vast majority of San Jose voters in the last election. Coming in second means Liccardo and Cortese will face off in November to see who wins the mayor's gavel. So as an underdog in our eyes, how was Cortese able to beat Liccardo? Could it have had something to do with the article below that was co-authored by three of our former Chiefs? It ran in last Sunday's paper alongside two others, one touting Liccardo and the other in support of Nguyen…

Candidates’ Backers Make Final Pitches

Mercury News — June 1, 2014

These essays are condensed from longer versions that appear at <www.mercurynews.com/opinion>

Cortese Can Restore Pride in Police Ranks

By Rob Davis, Bill Lansdowne and Lou Cobarruviaz

We support Dave Cortese for mayor of San Jose, and we’d like to tell you why.

As former chiefs of the San Jose Police Department, we understand all too well the dire straits in which our department finds itself. We didn’t just lose 400 officers over the last six years. We lost literally centuries of police experience that will be difficult to replace — patrol officers who knew the community, detectives with thousands of cases under their belts and future leaders groomed to take leadership roles.

We are losing them because City Hall essentially made them the scapegoats for poor budget decisions and a bad economy. As a result, they transferred to other police agencies to regain respect and to secure better wages, benefits and working conditions.

The next mayor cannot restore our community’s safety without convincing hundreds of recruits to join an agency where they will be paid less than their Bay Area peers, inspiring existing officers to stay and closing the trust gap between officers and City Hall. This will take more than a “plan” mentioned in campaign mailers. Candidates who believe they can solve this crisis on their own don’t understand the challenges.

During our tenures as chief, we’ve seen many proposals fail because politicians refused to engage in meaningful dialogue with stakeholders. It will take a mayor with a record of collaborative leadership and support from police officers at every rank, for we are in a crisis. It is a leadership crisis, and it’s why we believe Dave Cortese is the best candidate for mayor.

Blaming our rank-and-file officers for budget woes is a poor way to avoid the hard work necessary to solve very real fiscal challenges. We know it will take collaborative leadership to heal our Police Department and restore San Jose’s public safety. We also recognize that San Jose and other cities across the country face fiscal challenges, and the new mayor and public safety unions will need to address them. All of the mayoral candidates are honorable people, but not all possess the type of leadership style that is needed. All of Cortese’s opponents supported the failed policies that have decimated and demoralized our police force.

We strongly believe that Dave Cortese can bring everyone together. A collaborative leader can push the unions outside of their comfort zones and achieve fiscal savings. A trusted leader can begin the healing process so we can once again be America’s safest big city. Dave Cortese is that leader. We support him, as should voters.

Rob Davis was San Jose’s police chief from 2004-2010, Bill Lansdowne from 1998-2003 and Lou Cobarruviaz from 1991-1998. They wrote this for this newspaper.
 

• • • • •

 

Liccardo Knows What To Do, and How To Pay for It

By Tom McEnery and Ron James

How are we going to make San Jose safer — and pay for it? Those are the two questions a responsible mayor must ask and, more important, must answer.

As mayors you once entrusted to lead San Jose, we and former Mayor Susan Hammer support Councilman Sam Liccardo. We are confident he will best lead a safer San Jose — and find a way to pay for it.

Liccardo’s career as a deputy district attorney gives him a unique insight about public safety. He has shown the independence to stand up to powerful interests such as the card clubs and marijuana industry that impact neighborhoods’ safety.

Liccardo offers a road map for a safer San Jose in his book at <
www.samliccardo.com> with innovative ideas for restoring community policing and leveraging technologies to better anticipate crime hot spots. Above all, he understands the need to pay for it. He led the effort with Mayor Chuck Reed in 2013 to identify more than $30 million in fiscal reform savings to hire additional police officers. With pay restorations, some officers have returned. The rebuilding has begun.

We have great respect for our former police chiefs for their service to San Jose and to other cities they’ve served since their retirement here. But they never had the job of paying to keep San Jose safe. Chiefs advocate for money, but they don’t have to find that money.

These former chiefs worked to build a great Police Department, but skyrocketing pension costs have decimated it. They haven’t had to grapple with the additional $200 million the city pays today for retirement costs or address annual budget shortfalls of more than $100 million that forced the layoffs of hundreds of employees in 2010, including 66 police officers.

If Sam Liccardo and the council majority had taken the easier path of “pension reform light,” as Santa Clara County has done, layoffs would have continued. Instead, they crafted Measure B, overwhelmingly approved by voters, and are using $25 million (and growing) annual savings to hire more cops. Liccardo has the backbone to make these decisions. He understands that safety isn’t just about spending more. Police expenditures increased by 43 percent over the last decade. The average annual pension is over $104,000.

Mayors must balance all of San Jose’s pressing needs. Yes, the next mayor could unravel Measure B to appease the powerful police union. As mayors, though, we understand the price of such acquiescence.

Sam Liccardo gets it. He will make San Jose safer, not by just spending more but by leading smarter.

Tom McEnery was mayor of San Jose from 1983-1991 and Ron James from 1967-1971. They wrote this for this newspaper.
 

• • • • •

 

Nguyen Has Shown She Can Lead the City

By Frank Araujo, Bob Kieve and Heather Lerner

We support Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen for mayor of San Jose because we have worked with her for almost a decade in District 7. We have witnessed a leader who is completely dedicated to making San Jose the safest, most business-friendly city in the United States so every citizen can have pride of hometown.

Each of us owns or operates a small business or nonprofit in her district. She has demonstrated time and again the knowledge, patience and understanding to work with neighborhood groups, individuals and businesses for the good of all. No other candidate is as transparent, fair and solution-oriented.

The next mayor has an opportunity to bring residents together and create opportunity for all. The vision and leadership that averted what could have been the bankruptcy that other cities experienced can now help our city prosper.

Our next mayor will need to continue to focus on fiscal responsibility but also on restoring our Police Department. We need to create an environment attractive to businesses; we therefore need to fix our roads, support education and meet the increasing demand placed on our stellar libraries, parks, trails and community centers. This mix is inextricably linked to public safety and the quality of life in San Jose.

Madison will reclaim San Jose’s top spot as the safest big city in America. She wants to restore the burglary unit to respond when residents report break-ins. She will require police academy graduates to repay the costs of training if they don’t remain in San Jose for five years. She will get park rangers back on the job.

As a teenager, Madison worked in the fields picking fruit with her parents. Because of this, she has compassion for those who earn each and every dollar they make, and she sees the importance of partnering with business to create good-paying jobs. She would create a position of mayor’s business advocate to attract businesses, which will generate revenue the city can use to improve services. She pledges to fix our roads, not with higher taxes but by working with regional, state and federal leaders to find more funding.

Madison has been a more than effective leader during nine years on the council and two terms as vice mayor. She has the energy and passion to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of our city. If we want a better San Jose in four years, we should vote for Madison Nguyen.

Frank Araujo owns Araujo’s Mexican Grill. Bob Kieve is president of Empire Broadcasting Co. Heather Lerner is a nonprofit executive director. They wrote this for this newspaper.
 

• • • • •


But don't cheer yet. Dave Cortese may have an uphill battle in his quest to be mayor that could be difficult to overcome, and this article from today's paper correctly points out why...

Twist in Race for S.J. Mayor

—Ousted Candidates Likely to Send Votes to Liccardo, not Cortese—

By Mike Rosenberg <mrosenberg@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — June 5, 2014

SAN JOSE — Could Dave Cortese suddenly be the underdog after finishing on top in Tuesday’s primary for San Jose mayor?

The Santa Clara County supervisor took pole position in the five-way primary race with a third of the vote, securing a spot in the November runoff against Councilman Sam Liccardo, who got about a fourth. But the rest of the votes, which are now up for grabs, went to three council members who are expected to ask their supporters to back their ally, Liccardo, in November.

“It’s a new ballgame now,” said Garrick Percival, a San Jose State political science professor.

Cortese stood out in the primary largely by advocating a City Hall overhaul. The union-backed challenger was the only candidate who wanted to appease cops by abandoning parts of a pension reform measure that they blame for officers leaving for better-paying cities.

The other four candidates all aligned with outgoing Mayor Chuck Reed and his fiscal and pension reforms they say were needed to curb runaway benefits costs that have devoured funds for police and other services. Liccardo emerged on top of that pack after spending the most money in the race. Now the fight goes on for Cortese and Liccardo to win over the 37 percent of voters whose candidate was eliminated Tuesday. Those three contenders — Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and council members Pierluigi Oliverio and Rose Herrera — said it was too soon to announce an endorsement for November.

A similar scenario played out in the last open mayoral election, in 2006, when union-funded candidate Cindy Chavez emerged from a five-person primary field to face the fiscal-restraint candidate, Reed. In the November runoff, Reed easily won after gobbling up votes that had gone to ousted primary candidates who largely opposed unions and Chavez.

This time, Reed, the termed-out mayor who did not endorse in the primary, is expected to throw his support behind Cortese’s opponent.

“I don’t think voters want to go back to the days of cutting services to pay for employee pay and benefit increases, and that’s what they’ll get with Dave Cortese,” Reed said Wednesday while praising Liccardo.

But Cortese points to differences between this year’s election and the 2006 race. Cortese comfortably scored the top spot in the primary, unlike Chavez, who was second eight years ago. And Cortese says Reed won the 2006 race not because Chavez was backed by unions but largely as a result of his stance on a major issue of the time: ethical reforms at City Hall. The outgoing mayor, Ron Gonzales, was tainted by a scandal, and Chavez as vice mayor suffered by association.

Now, Cortese says another issue that has overtaken residents’ minds — crime — will be much more important to voters than his union support.

“In this race, the deciding factor is going to be public safety and how we decide to restore it,” Cortese said Wednesday. Voters “are concerned with safe neighborhoods, not ‘did my council member support this guy or that guy.’” Cortese’s plan to regain police staffing is to settle a union lawsuit that calls for the city to abandon key parts of a pension reform measure voters approved two years ago. Liccardo wants to keep fighting the case in court in hopes of keeping the reforms and would increase police staffing through taxpayer savings from the pension cuts.

Mayoral candidates who back pension reform scored 62 percent of Tuesday’s votes, compared with 69 percent of voters who approved the pension initiative, called Measure B.

Liccardo maintains his strategy was to finish second in June and then win over voters who had supported Nguyen, Oliverio and Herrera in November.

“I can appeal to the same voters with the same message — finding ways to improve services and safety by spending smarter rather than spending more,” Liccardo said. It’s less clear that Nguyen’s supporters will flock to Liccardo, though. Many of her backers are immigrants or Asian-Americans who said they followed Nguyen because they could relate to her inspiring personal journey from Vietnam, not necessarily for her policy specifics.

And Percival points to one other large wild card: A large crop of new voters who didn’t cast ballots Tuesday but are expected to come to the polls in November, when turnout is usually much higher. Those low-interest voters historically lean a bit left, which could help Cortese, he said.

“That may supersede any benefits that Liccardo might get from really hitting the Measure B theme hard,” Percival said. “It should be a good race.”
 

• • • • •


Scott Herhold's column in today's paper puts the upcoming race for Mayor into sharper focus.

Gloves Will Come Off in Mayoral Race



By Scott Herhold — Columnist
Mercury News — June 5, 2014

Now it gets serious. Two Italian-American men, established competitors, members of well-known families, square off against each other in November to become San Jose’s next mayor. Supervisor Dave Cortese and Councilman Sam Liccardo did not look wholly surprised Tuesday night. After all, each had money. Each had polls. Each had a political tracking device.

This is nonetheless the moment when the gloves come off, when the restrictions of a five-person race disappear, when the opponent is clearly and irrevocably identified.

In anticipation of a runoff, each man had laid on a good party Tuesday night — Cortese at the Loft on South Second Street, Liccardo at the Blackbird Tavern two blocks away.

You could get some idea of their campaigns from the crowds — Cortese’s more blue-collar, sprinkled with family members, Liccardo’s a more establishment gathering with better music.

Make no mistake: These two men, though both Democrats, stand on opposite sides of San Jose’s great labor-business divide. And in part, they will refight the pension wars of the last three years. In this battle, Cortese is already claiming the battered flag of “change,” meaning he wants to restore the labor amity and benefits that Mayor Chuck Reed’s Measure B sought to take away.

“A lot of people want to see change,” Cortese said in brief remarks before he went upstairs at the Loft. “People are starting to respond. They’re looking for something different.” As labor would draw the scenario, Liccardo is the defender of Measure B. And the continued erosion of cops to other departments makes him vulnerable to attack. But in a different way, Liccardo, a man of a dizzying flurry of ideas, is really the agent of change, a man willing to trim pensions out of fiscal necessity.

When I asked him about his chances of luring voters who had picked Madison Nguyen, Pierluigi Oliverio and Rose Herrera, all supporters of Measure B, Liccardo responded carefully: “Voters in this city have overwhelmingly and consistently supported moving forward with leadership that can restore safety and services sustainably,” he said. “So in other words, I like my chances.”

You can do the math: Cortese, who ran a disciplined, professional campaign that showed he had learned much from his defeat eight years ago, finished with a third of the vote. Liccardo had only slightly more than 25 percent — but when you add in the 9-plus percent that went to Pierluigi Oliverio, a political cousin, his side got slightly more than did Cortese.

This math should all come with caveats: The universe in the general election in November is different, usually more liberal. And political warfare has a way of creating its own dynamic.

That’s why there will be issues that don’t hew to standard yes-or- no on Measure B. Cortese has already taken a shot at Liccardo on bike lanes. Liccardo has raised the issue of card club money going to labor’s effort for Cortese.

Neither man is shy about bringing the attack. In the end, the voters will have a stark, well defined choice in November. And that’s all to the good.

 

 WEEKLY POLL
 


Last Week's Poll Results




For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:

 

 

MAIL CALL



...was a resounding success!

June 1st

WOW, what a "Day for Trey."

Bill, I enjoyed visiting with you, the Pyles, the Cripes, the Suskes, the Shueys, Dave Hendrix and his wife, and Tom Anthony. (I hope I didn't miss anyone else from the SJPD who was present.) I was very impressed with the turnout from the community. Over 500 people bought dinner tickets and enjoyed a great meal of Tri-Tip steaks and chicken, salad, beans, bread, beer, wine and soft drinks, and hundreds more attended the fund-raiser just to lend their support for Leroy's grandson who is battling cancer. All the food was donated, and three great bands volunteered their time and played from the beginning of the event to the end. Booths were selling beer, wine, coffee, soft drinks, snow cones, nachos, cotton candy and other snacks. There were "bouncy things" for the kids, display booths for the CHP, Sheriff's Office and the Fire Department. Several classic cars were on display, one of which was an old Studebaker police vehicle. A huge American Flag flew above the venue, and the organizers made sure there were plenty of portable johns.

It was mind boggling to see tables and tables of donated gifts for the raffle and silent auction. I was personally touched by the four little girls who came up on stage and gave their savings that totaled $13. After counting the money, the emcee addressed the audience and said a box for additional donations would be passed around and that when it was returned, he would match the money collected. After the donation box worked its way around the audience and was returned to the stage, it contained $1200, which was in fact doubled by the generous emcee. So a $13 donation by four little girls was transformed into a $2400 contribution. It turned out that one of the little girls was celebrating her birthday, and with a cue from the emcee, the hundreds of people who were present sung Happy Birthday to her. I'm sure it was a birthday she will never forget.

All of the proceeds and services were donated to help finance Trey's cancer treatment, which is ongoing. Another WOW! If that wasn't enough, people volunteered to have their heads shaved if people would donate money to the cause. This started a frenzied auction which resulted in shaved heads for at least three women and a bunch of men. (No, I wasn't one of them, nor were Dave Hendrix or Rodger Cripe.)

What a day! Fantastic weather with temperatures in the mid 70s, a great venue, and an overwhelming response by hundreds and hundreds of folks turning out to help Trey and his family finance his cancer treatment. It was overwhelming, and I am grateful to have been a participant.

A big thank you also is extended to the readers of your newsletter who chose to donate, but were unable to make it up to the town of Arnold on Hwy 4 above Murphys last Saturday and attend the event.

Jim Silvers
<jimsilvers@silversmail.com>

Leroy and Cheryl arrived early and staked out a shady portion of the park for the SJPD contingent. It was the perfect place to sit, chat, pop a Corona or sip a glass of vino, munch on hors 'oeuvres and people watch. (Photo by Leroy)

Click here to view a photo layout of the fund-raiser for Trey's cancer treatment, then double click on any of the photos to enlarge it…

 

HERHOLD PAYS HOMAGE TO DAVE BRIDGEN

SJPD Loses Longtime Chaplain



By Scott Herhold — Columnist
Mercury News — June 3, 2014

Dave Bridgen doesn’t sugarcoat the worst news. In the most fraught of his roles as the San Jose police chaplain, he has been called upon to tell a parent, a wife, or a girlfriend that their loved one — a San Jose cop — has died or been injured in the line of duty. “I tell them the truth,” says Bridgen, a tall man with the stoop of Parkinson’s but a full head of gray hair. “If you tell them straight out, it hurts, but they get the information. You have to be honest.”

Over his 28 years as chaplain, Bridgen, now 69, has occupied a trusted role as a man who marries, buries and consoles cops. So here’s the bad news, as many of his clients in blue see it: Bridgen is retiring. They’re going to see him out in style at the Hayes Mansion on Thursday night.

“Dave understands the difficulties of our job and has been exceptional at remaining nonjudgmental and supportive,” says POA President Jim Unland. “He’s walked with us and been at our side for every significant part of our life’s journey.” A military supply officer who suffered exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam, Bridgen has always wanted to ride along with cops. He’s been there when they’ve been in fights. He’s flown along in the helicopter. In his desk, he carries an inch-thick set of copies of wedding certificates of the cops whose weddings he has presided over. “Some names are in there twice,” he says with a rueful smile.

No pension

It’s never been a job for someone who craves money. Supported by donations from cops and others, the chaplaincy operates now from donated space on the second floor of the Darling Fisher Mortuary on East Santa Clara Street. Unlike the cops, Bridgen has no San Jose pension.

He also has no regrets. “I’ll be fine,” he says, explaining that he’ll continue to call on retired cops in the hospital.

Beginning as an assistant chaplain in 1986 and then going full-time in 1990, Bridgen, who was trained as a minister, has presided over some of the saddest and most joyous moments in the department’s history. When San Jose cops Gene Simpson and Gordon Silva were killed on a downtown street corner in 1989 — Silva from the ricochet of a cop’s bullet — Bridgen was one of three who told Simpson’s widow. Later he was with Silva’s relatives in the hospital when he died.

At the memorial service at the Civic Auditorium, he delivered the message.

Knowing the people

Part of his success has consisted of knowing the terrain. When cops were called to deal with a man who had poured acid down the throat of his 2-year-old, Bridgen knew that one of the responding officers had just lost a child, and that others had children the same age. “I went around and talked with them,” he said.

But his biggest advantage has been his willingness to listen. He says it’s not a question of dogma or judgment. “I let them say what they want to say,” says Bridgen.

Bridgen will be replaced by Jim Becknall, who is also well-liked. But you have a sense that a legend of kindness and patience is leaving. “Dave is a Vietnam vet who’s been there, done that,” says Unland. “He understands cops and he’ll be sorely missed.”

Contact Scott Herhold at 408-275-0917 or
<sherhold@mercurynews.com>.

Dave's friends and supporters will be attending his retirement dinner this (Thurs.) evening at the Hayes Mansion. As the article stated, Dave plans on keeping his eye on his flock of retirees despite his official retirement.

 

NEW BILLY & SPANNER IS NOW ON-LINE…




Click here to download the Billy & Spanner to your desktop, then double-click the icon to open it…

 

 

THE SAN JOSE POLICE HISTORICAL SOCIETY WEBSITE IS NOW 10-8

It is linked to the SJPBA website, and/or you can bookmark the address below...




<http://www.sanjosepolicehistoricalsociety.com/>


 

RETIREMENT CELEBRATION FOR TRACEY MILLHONE



Contact Tammy Kimbrel with questions. Call or text 408-712-7611,
City Email <3111@sanjoseca.gov>, Civilian <tdk3111@gmail.com>

 

 

FIRST RAPE CHARGES, NOW DRUG CHARGES, WHAT THE HELL'S GOING ON DOWN THERE?

SJPD suspects officer of drug trafficking

—Police find marijuana stash in veteran city cop’s rented storage space—

By Robert Salonga <rsalonga@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — June 5, 2014

SAN JOSE — A police officer with two decades of service was arrested early Wednesday after authorities searched a storage space he rented and found a large marijuana stash they suspect he was trafficking, according to the San Jose Police Department.

Son Hoai Vu, 42, was booked at the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of two marijuana possession counts, one each for sales and cultivation, both felony charges. His initial bail was set at $20,000, according to jail records.

 

SJPD Officer Albert Morales discusses the
arrest of an officer after a marijuana discovery.

Suspicion about Vu was first aroused at 4:25 p.m. Tuesday when management at the Public Storage on Tully Road and 10th Street, near the Santa Clara County fairgrounds, was clearing out a storage space because of overdue rental payments, authorities said. They found a large amount of marijuana inside and called police. After an initial investigation, police spokesman Officer Albert Morales said patrol officers determined a San Jose police officer rented the storage space. .

The officers summoned investigators with the Criminal Investigation Detail, a subset of the Internal Affairs division, Morales said. Working with the District Attorney’s Office, which is typically involved in investigations of possible officer misconduct, an investigation was launched that ended with Vu’s arrest. Vu, who is assigned to the patrol division, has been placed on paid administrative leave. Morales could not confirm the volume of marijuana seized — one report estimated as high as 20 pounds — but said it was large enough to warrant suspicions of sale and cultivation. The storage unit costs about $200 a month to rent, according to the Public Storage website.

Morales said no other officers were involved in the suspected drug activity. Police contend that Vu’s arrest is an isolated case.

“We will not tolerate such conduct, especially criminal conduct, and we will hold those responsible for their actions,” police Chief Larry Esquivel said in a statement. “We are working closely with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office to ensure this investigation is thorough and complete.”

A handful of officers have been convicted of crimes over the past few years. In the highest-profile active case involving SJPD, Officer Geoffrey Graves is being prosecuted after accusations he raped a woman while on duty.

Even though criminal charges against officers are rare, they can powerfully influence public trust in police, said LaDoris Cordell, the city’s independent police auditor.

“I truly believe that most of the officers in the SJPD are good men and women,” Cordell said. “That being said, these individuals wear badges, take an oath to uphold the law and carry weapons. They must be held to far higher standards.”

Cordell said her office and police already fight an uphill battle for perception in many of the city’s communities.

“Even though it’s one or two or three out of several hundred, the message that goes to the public is a bad one,” she said. “It’s hard on the department and very difficult for us who work to try and build trust.”

 

WHY STOP WITH THE REDSKINS?

From David Byers comes this email sent to Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page after he wrote an article concerning a name change for the Washington Redskins...

Dear Mr. Page,
 
I always love your articles and generally agree with them. I would suggest, as in an email I received, that they change the name to the "Foreskins" to better represent their community by paying tribute to the idiots in Congress.

Here are some other politically correctness to consider: I agree with our Native American population. I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins. One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as fine warriors, but nay, nay. We must be careful not to offend, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward. Let's also ditch the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians.  

If your shorts are in a wad because of the reference the name Redskins makes to skin color, then we also need to get rid of the Cleveland Browns.
 
The Carolina Panthers obviously were named to keep the memory of militant Blacks from the '60s alive. It's offensive to us white folk.
 
The New York Yankees offend the Southern population. Do you see a team named for the Confederacy? No! There is no room for any reference to that tragic war that cost this country so many young men's lives.
 
I am also offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our sports team names. It's totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Angels and the San Diego Padres.
 
Then there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged. We are talking about the horrible Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates!
 
Now, let us address those teams that clearly send the wrong message to our children. The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible fighting or even spending habits. Wrong message to our children.
 
The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants promote obesity, a growing childhood epidemic. Wrong message to our children.
 
The Cincinnati Reds promote downers/barbiturates. Wrong message to our children.
 
The Milwaukee Brewers — well that goes without saying. Wrong message to our children.
 
So, there you go. We need to support any legislation that comes out that will rectify this travesty. It's just the kind of thing the do-nothing Congress does best.
 
As a die hard Oregon State fan, my wife and I also feel it would make sense to change the name of the Oregon State women's athletic teams to something other than "The Beavers."


 

THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
     
May 28th — June 3rd

Marijuana dispensaries in San Jose, California, will give out free weed to people who vote in tomorrow’s municipal election. Which should backfire when the winner of the election is "Pizza."

Newly leaked documents show the NSA has been collecting millions of pictures of people online for its sophisticated facial recognition program. Americans said it's a huge violation of their privacy — then they went back to posting selfies every 30 minutes.

President Obama said Hillary Clinton would be very effective if she ran for president. And Joe Biden said, "Thank you very — wait, what?"

In a new interview, President Obama revealed that his daughter Malia recently went to her first prom. She wore a corsage on her wrist while her date wore a red laser dot on his head.

Pope Francis is now telling married couples to have children, because only having pets could lead to anger or bitterness in old age. As opposed to having kids, which leads to anger AND bitterness in old age.

Last Friday CNN had its worst 10 p.m. ratings of all time, with only 35,000 viewers tuning in. I left it on for my dog, and when I came back, she was reading a newspaper.

CNN got just 35,000 viewers. Even worse, most of those views came from monitors left on in the background on CNN.

Tim Tebow said that he’s staying in shape in case he gets another opportunity to play in the NFL. Then his boss said, “That’s great, but these Waffle Tacos ain’t going to make themselves, so . . .”

Today Apple announced a new feature that will let your iPhone monitor your diet and track your calorie intake. Or you can pay extra for an iPhone that minds its own business. Can you imagine Siri talking to you like, "Hey, Chunky."

Spain's king, Juan Carlos, has stepped down from the throne to make way for his son, who is more popular. Which, by the way, would be the worst "Game of Thrones" episode ever.

In Texas a family was attacked by a swarm of bees in a town called Beeville. That's true. The family said they're fed up with Beeville and they're moving to Wolftown.

A lot of people this weekend were talking about the hammock bear, a bear that wandered into someone's backyard and got into their hammock. It's very sweet. He's like, "what do I do now?" The bear is having a midlife crisis. "What does it all mean?"

A new study just came out that shows that hurricanes named after women are more deadly. Mainly because when they leave, they take half your stuff.

Pope Francis said that married people should have more kids. When asked for comment, married people said the Pope should have a kid and then get back to us.

There's reportedly a film in the works about Edward Snowden. Then today the script was leaked by Edward Snowden.

A new report out of Chicago reveals that the crime rate plummets during an NFL game. Mainly because the most dangerous criminals are busy on the field.

In New York City it's now legal to own a ferret, ladies and gentlemen. I'm telling you, it's just a matter of time before ferrets are pulling carriages through Central Park.

Now Donald Sterling is backpedaling and he's trying to prove to the world that he's not a racist, so on Sunday he attended services at a black church in California. He enjoyed himself so much that he bought it.

There was some confusion when Donald Sterling arrived at the church. He couldn't find the skybox.

Lindsey Lohan is moving to London. Before long, she'll be slurring in a British accent.

The United States has traded an American POW for five Taliban prisoners. Originally, the deal included Joe Biden, but the Taliban said no.

So these Taliban guys have been down there in Gitmo and now they're on their way home. They're flying home. How would you like to get stuck behind these guys at airport security?

I think the second term is getting to President Obama. He is saying that he wishes he could be anonymous. And I say: Hey, according to the new approval ratings, you're pretty close.

The mayor of New York has overturned the city's ban on ferrets. I didn't know you could ban ferrets. I've been going New York illegally taking my ferrets with me, I suppose. The mayor says he's trying to bring the hairy little weasels out of the shadows.

In a new documentary, Robert DeNiro reveals his father was gay. He realized it after he asked his dad what his favorite part of "New York, New York" was. And his dad went "Li-iiiiiiiza!"

Casinos in Las Vegas are now taking bets on when Kim and Kanye will divorce. I think that is outrageous. It's terrible. But if I were betting man, I'd put 20 bucks on "fall sweeps."

Guys from the band One Direction were caught on video smoking pot. Sounds like the one direction they're going is straight to Bieber-ville.

A woman in New York is suing a Manhattan salon for $1.5 million over a bad haircut. The last time I saw a disaster like that with clippers was Donald Sterling.

What's the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut? About a week.

The L.A. Clippers have been sold. Yes, I also don't really care. Everyone is like, "Oh, OK."

The Clippers have been sold for $2 billion. That got your attention.

Donald Sterling paid only $12 million to buy the Clippers. This deal is very uncomfortable for the former owner because it puts him in the black.

President Obama had lunch today with Hillary Clinton. Hillary told the president, "After phoning my top advisers, I think I'll run for office." And the president said, "I know. I listened in."

A lot of people in Washington were shocked by this Obama-Hillary meeting. I'm not sure about Nancy Pelosi. She looks shocked all the time.

It's a great day here in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, the giant urban crap heap.

Clippers fans are celebrating their new owner, billionaire Steve Ballmer. Even though Ballmer is from Seattle, he promises to keep the Clippers in L.A. That's a relief. Otherwise L.A. wouldn't have a professional basketball team. I mean, well, I suppose there are the Lakers.

It makes sense that Ballmer would own a basketball team. He's got "Ball" in his name. That would be like Tom Cruise buying a cruise ship. Or Tiger Woods buying a zoo.

Justin Bieber was caught on tape making a racist joke. In Bieber's defense, the video was made when he was young and stupid.

Since word of this got out, Bieber has received a ton of criticism. And also an Instagram request from Donald Sterling. In fact, Bieber should receive the same punishment as Donald Sterling. Someone should give him $2 billion.

We're learning more about the sale of the L.A. Clippers. Insiders say it came down to a bidding war between Steve Ballmer and Oprah. I'll let you guess who Donald Sterling rooted for.

Last weekend Donald Sterling attended an African-American church. This was like seeing Mel Gibson at a Hanukkah party, like seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger at an acting class, like seeing the "Duck Dynasty" guys in a gay pride parade.

President Obama is in Poland. He's not doing anything official. He just wants to go before Putin invades. Poland shares a border with Ukraine, which shares a border with Russia. It's kind of like living two doors down from Alec Baldwin. Eventually you're getting attacked, right?

Happy birthday to CNN's Anderson Cooper. Friends threw him a party today. There was an awkward moment when they yelled "Surprise!" and he said, "What, somebody's watching CNN?"

The man who created the drug Ecstasy died at the ripe old age of 88. See, kids? That's what drugs will do to you.

In Massachusetts, a 3-month-old German shepherd drove his owner's car into a pond. Let me be the first to say, "Bad dog!"

Statistics for the 47 most damaging hurricanes revealed that those with female names killed twice as many people. The study found that when a hurricane has a woman’s name we take it less seriously and don't prepare as well. Either that or the female hurricanes want to hang around and cuddle afterwards.

Last week Apple bought Beats headphones for $3 billion. Guess what? They already lost it. They think they left it on the plane.

Yesterday Apple unveiled its new operating system for the Mac. It's called Yosemite. It monitors your heart rate, weight, and sleep — and if you sit on it, it can give you a colonoscopy.

A new book called "Rebels: City of Indra" from Kylie and Kendall Jenner was released today. That's right. Kylie and Kendall Jenner wrote a book, according to loose definitions of the words "wrote" and "book." Listen, I agree to keep up with the Kardashians, but my contract said nothing about having to keep tabs on the Jenners too.

This week it was announced that golfer Phil Mickelson is under investigation by the FBI for insider trading of Clorox stock. By the way, insider trading of Clorox stock by a professional golfer is the whitest collar crime possible.

The Clippers are gonna be bought by the former CEO of Microsoft. Apparently he's looking for something to occupy himself while Windows is installing "critical updates."

This morning President Obama announced a new 600-page proposal to lower carbon emissions and help stop global warming. Step one: Stop printing 600-page proposals.

This Sunday, Donald Sterling attended services at a traditionally black church in Los Angeles. And just today, the church was sold for $2 billion.


 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF MAY 31, 2014

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

New Articles

• Did President George W. Bush wave at blind musician Stevie Wonder at the 2002 Presidential Gala?

• Has the Kenyan government released '11 exclusive documents' suggesting that Barack Obama was born in that country?

• Did the New York Yankees adopt pinstriped uniforms to hide Babe Ruth's girth?

• Did a study find dangerous microbial growth on 70% of lemon slices served with beverages in restaurants?

• Does the Facebook 'Identify TV and Music' app on your phone listen to and record your conversations?

• Did the late Maya Angelou write an inspirational religious poem entitled 'I Am a Christian'?

• DISTURBING IMAGE WARNING: Photograph purportedly shows a breast rash caused by South American larvae.

• Letter from an airline pilot describes a flight on which the remains of a fallen U.S. soldier were carried.

• Is it dangerous to take bath or go swimming during thunderstorms?

• Photograph purportedly shows Michelle Obama failing to salute the flag during a 2011 Veterans Day ceremony.

• Is swabbing liquid soap on ticks a recommended and effective method for removing them?

• Photograph purportedly shows a veteran wearing a 'bullsh*t protector' ear flap during a speech by President Barack Obama.

• Has a franchise owner been granted permission to open a whites-only Arby's restaurant in Florida?

• Have scientists discovered that solar panels drain the sun's energy?

• Warning cautions that robbers are flinging eggs at cars to impair drivers' vision and force them to stop.

• A humorous essay seeks to describe how taxes work.

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


Worth a Second Look

• Are gang members across the country spreading a deadly mixture of LSD and strychnine on pay phone buttons?


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



This clip is about a bomb-sniffing dog that saved a soldier's life, and had its life saved by the soldier in return. (4 Mins.)

 

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This clip is also about a dog, but this one prefers to go flying instead of trying to sniff out explosives. We can't say for sure which activity is more dangerous. What say you? (3 Mins.)




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Behold, says Paul Salerno, a talking Prairie Dog that is trying desperately to get the attention of Alan or Steve. But wait, there's more. Watch it now and you will also see a singing Shark. (1 Min.)

 

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Meanwhile, somewhere in Ethiopia, Friday night is date night and love is in the air. (30 Secs.)

 

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Relax, guys, don't panic and cover your eyes. Although the title of this clip is "Piggy Gets a Warm Bath," it's about a real piglet, not Brian. (48 Secs.)

 

The Critters have turned in for the night



We have this theory that children who are geniuses and far smarter than most adults and/or can play a musical instrument at the level of a professional who plays for the Boston Pops are actually aliens from another world who are on earth posing as kids. There can be no other explanation. This clip from Paul Salerno is about one of them. Its name is Arden Hayes, and the little earth visitor appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show a few weeks ago for the third time. (7 Mins.)

 

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Here's another example of a space alien. This time it's impersonating an 8-year-old girl. If you choose to listen to 'her' sing the classic song "Summertime" in English on this Norway talent show, keep in mind that 'her' primary language is Norwegian. (6 Mins.)

 

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Titled the "Lips of Babel," this video features thirteen beautiful models from around the globe who try to recite tongue twisters in their native language. After each of their attempts, you might be surprised to see the faces that the lips belong to. (3 Mins.)

 

Sana Soegaard Belal
Denmark

 

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Who would have thought the city of Budapest would be such a magnificent venue for a spectacular air show like this one? (3 Mins.)

 

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Check out this video of a helicopter swinging a wrecking ball in order to knock down a dangerous rock face before it breaks loose on its own and tumbles onto the road below and smashes a Saab or a Volvo. (That's known as a venue clue.) The chopper then drops water to loosen and remove any remaining small rocks. (4 Mins.)

 

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You guys are mean, really mean! (We're referring to the five readers who sent in this clip and claimed it is how the former Speaker of the House has been commuting to Washington from San Francisco since she lost the speakership to John Boehner after the 2010 mid-terms.) (43 Secs.)

 

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What does it say about the sport of Soccer when a paper airplane draws the loudest cheer? (26 Secs.)

 

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So how to you get a sailboat with an 85-foot mast under a 60-foot-tall bridge? Dirk Parsons says this is how it's done. (4 Mins.)

 

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Doug Bergtholdt is right; sometimes the funniest people are those who aren't trying to be funny. Have a look and listen to this excerpt from the "You Bet Your Life Show" featuring Bill Cosby. (7 Mins.)

 

 

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Think you have a decent grasp on the Universe? Maybe, maybe not. Take a couple of minutes and listen to this guy if you're into that sort of stuff. He's good. (6 Mins.)

 

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We heard that if you have a fire suppression system like this one installed in your digs, you will see a moderate cost reduction on your home owner's insurance policy. (4 Mins.)

 

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So are the cars of today really safer in a head-on crash than those iron tanks from the late 1950s? Have a look at this short crash test video of a '59 Bel Air and an '09 Malibu. (1 Min.)

 

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The narrator of this video received from Sharon Lansdowne sounds like he's about to break down and cry over a yacht launching that didn't go as planned, even though he wasn't the new owner of the $10 million dollar, 90-foot-long rich man's toy. (5 Mins.)



This is a news clip of the mishap that provides a possible reason why the launching was a dud.

 

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Want to go on a first drive in this sleek and stunningly gorgeous self-driving car designed by the geeks at Google? Go ahead and climb in, and if you are embarrassed to be seen it it, place a paper bag over your head. Better yet, find a giant paper bag that will cover the entire car. (3 Mins.)

 

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Lumpy provided this short video as confirmation that the U.S. is a Christian nation, despite what you may have heard the President say during a speech a few years ago. In fact, those of you who agree with Obama's statement may also find the clip of interest. (3 Mins.)

 

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"We Are Americans" is the title of this video received from Bob Tenbrink. Narrated by Ronald Reagan, it is a fitting tribute to American military personnel in light of the fact that tomorrow, June 6th, is the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy when the U.S. and its allies crossed the English Channel to invade the European mainland and ultimately defeated the German army. (4 Mins.)

 

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This clip is about Alzheimer's, love and sensitive cops. Watch it and you will see why we chose it as this week's closer. (3 Mins.)

 

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C'ya

 

Pic of the Week

 
   

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