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The Farsider

June 12, 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.


 

PENSION NEWS

This item from yesterday's paper hardly comes as a surprise...

San Jose to Appeal Measure B Ruling

—Pension reform battle may be felt throughout state—

By Mike Rosenberg
<mrosenberg@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — June 11, 2014

SAN JOSE — The battle over San Jose’s signature pension reform measure is headed back to court in a case that figures to have statewide implications. The San Jose City Council on Tuesday voted 8-3 to appeal a lower-court’s ruling from December that struck down key parts of the Measure B pension measure after unions sued to block it. There had been some settlement interest brewing between both sides in the last few months, and the city recently backed down slightly on its disability retirement rules in an attempt to please unions. But it wasn’t enough to garner a deal, at least not yet. Measure B has hung over San Jose as City Hall’s definitive issue since voters overwhelmingly approved it in June 2012. On one hand, the city sees pension cuts as a key area to save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars after retirement deals handed out last decade caused pension costs to skyrocket. But the changes have angered employees, particularly police officers who have responded by quitting for cities that offer better compensation packages. It’s not clear when the appeals court will hear the case, though their decision will likely not come before the November election. Measure B is a key part of the mayor’s race, with Supervisor Dave Cortese wanting to end the court war and find pension savings at the bargaining table, while Councilman Sam Liccardo would keep fighting to defend the measure in court. Pension reform is also a key topic in the three City Council races on the November ballot.

Mayor Chuck Reed, who has championed pension reform, has repeatedly said he wants the California Supreme Court to hear the case.

That would enshrine a decision with statewide impact to guide other cities dealing with similar pension problems. A new mayor and four council members who take office at the start of 2015 would have to make that decision, however.

Both the city and the unions are looking for a better outcome in the appeals court. The biggest war — over whether cities could force existing employees to pay more toward their pensions, as Measure B called for — was won by the unions the first time around. The judge still did side with the city on 10 of the other 14 provisions of the measure, which combined would still allow San Jose to save tens of millions of dollars per year. That has unions signaling an interest in an appeal, as well.

Council members Ash Kalra, Xavier Campos and Kansen Chu, who typically vote with union interests, were against an appeal.


 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE SJPD AND THE CITY

This news likely sent a chill up the leg of Barbara Marshman. She's the editorial page editor who writes and/or approves the opinions of the Mercury News that appear in the paper…

Reed Giving Nod to Liccardo

—Councilmember faces union-backed rival in November—

By David E. Early and Sharon Noguchi — Staff writers
Mercury News — June 9, 2014

SAN JOSE — Mayor Chuck Reed, the outgoing city executive, will formally endorse Sam Liccardo to replace him as mayor of San Jose.

Last week, City Councilmember Liccardo won a November spot in a runoff election for mayor against Dave Cortese, who carried a strong union-led reform package into the primary. The Santa Clara County supervisor promised changes to the fiscal reform policies of Reed, who is termed out.

The mayor will make his endorsement at 11:30 a.m. Monday at La Petit Trianon Theatre, 75 N. Fifth St. in San Jose. Reed is choosing the candidate who most closely promises to continue Reed’s get tough fiscal reforms and economic policies.

Reed, reached by phone Sunday, said he would not comment until Monday. But after the election, he had issued a statement saying “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.

“Sam Liccardo knows what it takes to restore services to our residents and taxpayers and has the courage to do it.”

On Sunday, Liccardo said, “Most residents agree with Mayor Reed and myself that we don’t want to return to the days when special interests and their enablers at the City Hall buried our children under billions of dollars of debt.”

Liccardo campaigned on “spending smarter,” a theme reflected in a book he wrote that highlights plans to use technology to improve public safety. Not only will Liccardo have Reed’s backing, but he came through the primary having raised — by far — the most money in the race, especially from high tech, other business groups and wealthy CEOs and others from outside San Jose. Behind Liccardo were candidates Madison Nguyen, the vice mayor and Councilmembers Pierluigi Oliverio and Rose Herrera.

Cortese, the only non-councilmember in the race, wants to overturn much of Reed’s work by abandoning parts of a voter-approved pension reform measure the city’s unions are fighting in court. Labor groups support Cortese and have pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into his campaign, provided plum endorsements and launched full-out voter outreach efforts on his behalf.

He could not be reached Sunday for comment. Reed openly worried that in exchange for such support, Cortese would give too much taxpayer money to city workers.

“We’re going to be unstoppable,” Cortese said Tuesday night at a labor-sponsored party. “What happened today is the residents of San Jose called 911, and they asked for change. We need a city that works for everybody, and we just took a big step in doing that.”

The primary was largely between which of Reed’s four allies would make the runoff. Liccardo won and will now have Reed’s public backing.

“So far, so good,” Liccardo said following Tuesday’s vote. “The plan was to finish second in June and consolidate support in the runoff, and so far we’re right on plan.”

 

• • • • •


As the headline says, Reed has made it official. With his endorsement as well as the Mercury News' along with Liccardo's money and the probability that most of those who voted for the other mayoral candidates will vote for Liccardo, Dave Cortese will no doubt be fighting an uphill battle.

Mayor Makes it Official

By Sharon Noguchi
<snoguchi@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — June 10, 2014

SAN JOSE — As widely expected, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed on Monday endorsed Councilman Sam Liccardo’s bid to become San Jose’s next mayor. Reed earlier had said that he was confident his fiscal policies — employee pension reforms and holding the line against union pressure — would continue under Liccardo. In last week’s primary election, business-backed candidate Liccardo came in second and will face Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese in the November general election.

 

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, left, shakes hands as he gives his
endorsement to mayoral candidate Sam Liccardo during a news
conference on Monday at the LaPetit Trianon Theater in San Jose.

Cortese on Monday said the endorsement came as no surprise. “It’s something I expected even before I declared my candidacy.”

He said he has won endorsements from more elected officials than did any of his opponents in the primary.

“I’m satisfied with the endorsements I have,” said Cortese, who has the backing of union leaders. “Sam’s not running against my endorsers, and I’m not running against Chuck Reed.

“I look forward to many opportunities to engage in public debate.”



Weston Starbird hangs a banner for Liccardo before
termed-out Mayor Reed endorsed Liccardo, who
faces Supervisor Dave Cortese in November.


• • • • •


Don't be deceived by the headline below. Herhold is writing about the SJPD cop whose stash of weed was found in a storage locker...

Blame it on the Mayor or Fess Up



By Scott Herhold — Columnist
Mercury News — June 10, 2014

Editor’s Note: A warning to literal readers: Not everything in this column is meant to be taken at face value. Expect an ironic comment or two. Or three.

In all the hubbub over the June primary election, you might have missed the most intriguing story of Election Day — the arrest of a 20-year San Jose police veteran on charges of accumulating a substantial amount of marijuana in a public storage locker.

The officer, Son Hoai Vu, 42, is facing two felony counts of possession, one for sales and one for cultivation. He has been put on paid leave while the case is pending. News reports said the managers at his Public Storage locker at 475 Tully Road in San Jose unloaded his stuff when he fell behind on payments. Vu will undoubtedly offer his own explanations — things like “what pot?” or “that belonged to my brother-in-law,” or “hey, it was evidence in an old case.” But in the interests of airing this matter fully, and bringing compassion to a difficult situation, let me suggest five alternative lines of defense: A) It was all Mayor Chuck Reed’s fault. The mayor gets the blame for everything else, so he might as well shoulder this one. The San Jose police force is demoralized because of Reed’s move to cut pensions and benefits. Cops are leaving for the exits faster than theater patrons when someone yells “fire.” When you have a demoralized force that needs a few extra bucks, what happens? Well, officers figure the rules don’t apply to them.

And they’re hard-pressed to pay their bills.

B) The officer was involved in the “Weed for Votes” plan of the medical cannabis collectives. In this version, Son Vu was just a citizen doing his bit to help voter turnout. You may have read that marijuana collectives wanted to influence Tuesday’s election by giving marijuana to patients who voted. Son Vu wanted to contribute for selfless reasons — even though the pot recovered was classified as “shake,” or end bits.

C) To save money, Vu was staging his house for sale and needed to remove the dope. A subtler version of the Chuck-Reed-made-me-do-it defense. Any good real estate agent will tell you that you need to remove clutter to sell your house. What’s the definition of unwanted stuff? A roomful of pot plants qualifies. How will buyers envisage a nursery for a 2-year-old amid a green sea of dope?

D) Vu wanted to take a stand against the arbitrary rules the City Council is considering to restrict marijuana. The council deadlocked 5-5 over new rules in what seems to be a legislative version of the endless lawsuit in “Bleak House.” No one understands it anymore. One restriction would have prohibited a marijuana collective within 1,000 feet of a school. Sure, Franklin School is across the street from Vu’s locker. But do we really expect kids to wander over to smoke the officer’s stash?

E) The veteran officer was stupid. Admittedly, telling the truth is a risky defense. Vu should consider it anyway. By allegedly not paying his storage fees — and thus causing the storage company to unload his locker and eventually call police — Vu put at risk a pension that is worth at least $1 million to him over the course of a lifetime. If you figure he was paying $200 a month and was a couple of months behind, he was saving $400, less than half-a-percent of his lifetime payout. It’s the definition of insanely stupid, right? What jury wouldn’t have sympathy for a dope like that?


 

PBA MEETS NEXT WEDNESDAY

POA Hall
Bar Opens at 5:00
Dinner at 6:00 (or thereabouts)
Bring your appetite



 

POA UPDATES



June 9th

Don't forget to buy your tickets for the San Francisco Giants 11th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night! Please see the flyer below for more details.

The best way to get the seats you want is to come into the SJPOA office and purchase your tickets. If you are unable to come in, please email Joanne at <joanne@sjpoa.com> with how many tickets you would like to buy and she will respond to you within four business days. Tickets cannot be held or purchased over the phone.
 

 WEEKLY POLL
 


Last Week's Poll Results




For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
 

 

MAIL CALL

Fellow Retiree Needs Our Help...

Don Hale, whose wife (Gloria) has been engaged in a long battle with ALS, has been in close contact with Jim Lisius and his family. Jim was an SJPD officer who also was diagnosed with ALS and has since retired. That was the basis for this POA Membership Alert we ran back in April. An update from Jim's wife on how the fundraising is going appears below the Alert…



April 8th

We received the following email update from Wendell Martin:  

I have created a campaign to generate donations to help buy the Lisius Family a used mobility van on "Healthdonor.com" (
http://www.healthdonor.com/). The founder and CEO is none other that one of our own, Andrew Watson #4099. The great thing about this site is that 100% of the donations (minus credit card charges and any banking fees) go directly to the recipient. Similar websites take a percentage of the donations, this one does not. The account was activated today, and I encourage everyone to visit it.

I also have opened a bank account called the "Lisius Family Mobility Van Fund" at Wells Fargo Bank for those who choose not to use the web. The account number is 6837185351.  

Another option is to route any donation to me in the Background Unit, or James Cooper in BFO.  

As of today, April 7th, donations have reached over $5,000! Any donations remaining after a van is purchased will go to the family to help pay for Jim's 24-hour, 7 days-a-week care!

I cannot thank everyone enough for their support. We just started, but we still have a ways to go. I encourage everyone to reach out to businesses and other law enforcement agencies. Some of you have done just that and I thank you!

Thanks for your support!

Wendell Martin #3232

Don forwarded to us an email he received from Jim's wife (Francis) on June 7th. She has given us permission to reprint it…

June 7th

Hi Don,

Sorry I didn't get this to you sooner. Kind of a busy day yesterday getting loan on van from the Credit Union, picking up the car, setting up the insurance, one of his old partner's visit, taking Jim for allergy shots, taking him on a walk and on and on. A typical day in the life of ALS. I didn't want to forget to send you the information for the account and website donations. They can be made two ways:

At Wells Fargo Bank to the "Lisius Family Mobility Van Fund" or on the Healthdonor.com website at: 

<https://healthdonor.com/campaigns/lisius-mobilty-van-fund/>

So far between both accounts and to us there have been donations of $17k+. The van purchase is $42k. In addition, our caregiver needs and other expenses, which include someone awake at night due to Jim's vent are running between $8-10k per month and our Long Term Care coverage only covers $2700 of this.  This is what keeps me up at night worrying about how to sustain this on my part time salary and Jim's retirement pay. We are working next to see how we can reduce this.

Yesterday I met a Santa Clara officer at Togo's that had a brother who just lateraled from SJ and father who retired from SJPD after 30 years. Last name was Cardin (sp?). I told him how supportive the Dept was being with us and I just picked up a van that they raised donations for. He told me he had not heard about Jim and that we should send information about him to Santa Clara as he and others would be willing to donate. Almost brought tears to my eyes. This is where the brotherhood is really evident. I will probably let Wendall Martin and Mike Dzuiba know this as they have been leading the charge on the donations so far.

I've included pictures of Jim with his old VCET team and our family at briefing last month where they presented him with his badge, patches and coins from the teams he was part of. Such a memorable and touching event for us after all that happened.

Thanks again for thinking of us! Looking forward to the walk at Vasona with Gloria soon!

Francis
<flisius@yahoo.com>

Ed. — I just logged into the Health Donor site and made a contribution towards the van, and I challenge you other retired cops to do the same. Our brother needs some assistance.


 

WOUNDED VETS APPRECIATION BBQ LUNCH



June 10th 

Association's Wounded Veteran's Appreciation Barbecue Lunch

Once again, the Association is hosting a BBQ luncheon for wounded military veterans who are being treated at the VA Hospital in Palo Alto.  

The event will be held on Saturday, July 12, 2014. This is an excellent opportunity to show our military veterans just how much we appreciate their service.  

The flyer below provides event details and information on how you can help.

To sign up as a volunteer, or for any questions regarding this event, please contact Tom Scully at 831-331-7275 or by email at <secretary@retiredsjpoff.org>


 

MORE NEWS FROM THE RETIREES' ASSOCIATION



June 5th

Dear Members,

First, I would like to thank everyone who showed up to one of the two public meetings regarding the Cortex Retirement Board governance changes. There was a good showing by our members, federated retirees and active employees.  

It really does make a difference when our members show up and take action. You can read the summary of the meetings written by the Office of the City Manager
here

 
Previously we informed you that we had requested a meeting with the City Manager, but had received no response. Following the public meetings, the City Manager has reached out to us for a meeting. We will meet with him next week to discuss our various concerns with the changes to our retirement system.

For those of you who were unable to attend the public meeting, you can get a copy of the PowerPoint presentation presented to us at the meeting by clicking here.

For those of you who are interested, you can watch one of the pubic meetings on line by clicking here.  

We will keep you informed as this issue develops over the next few weeks.

Jim Spence, President
<president@retiredsjpoff.org>


 

NEW VANGUARD NOW ON-LINE

Hard copies of the June Vanguard are in the mail. Click here to view it online.



 

KEITH KELLEY CLUB IS SEEKING DONATIONS TO HELP ITS MEMBERS

Note the times and location of this weekend's fundraising event to benefit Keith Kelley Club in need. Questions may be addressed to Margie Thompson at 408-891-3760 or <sssq@aol.com>



 

THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
     
June 4th thru June 10th

Tonight was Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals with the L.A. Kings playing the New York Rangers. California Gov. Jerry Brown said if the Rangers win he’ll give New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo a package of rice cakes. Cuomo would give Brown some chicken-wing sauce if the Kings win. That's just crap in their pantries that no one ate.

French President Francois Hollande will host two dinners tomorrow night, the first one for President Obama, followed by one for Vladimir Putin. Hollande was pretty worried about keeping them separate. Then his girlfriend and his mistress said, “You'll figure it out.”

A Republican candidate for Congress in Arizona, who is white, recently changed his name to Cesar Chavez to appeal to Latino voters. It backfired when Arizona’s governor immediately deported him.

The World Cup starts next week. A wildlife center in China says that its baby panda will correctly predict the outcome of the World Cup games. When asked what will happen, the panda said, “None of the stadiums will be ready and all the games will be canceled.”

The NFL just released a logo for Super Bowl 50 that features the number instead of the standard Roman numeral. The Roman numeral is just "L." They say it's a "Loser."

Now that the Super Bowl 50 logo uses just the number and no Roman numeral, people in Rome are saying, "Whew. Now we know what number it stood for."

A company in Japan says it will start selling human-like robots that can babysit your children. That story again: Japan is making a robot that can turn on a TV.

The robot babysitters apparently keep your kids quiet by making them hide in fear.

Last night was Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. The air conditioning stopped working during the game, which made it feel like 90 degrees inside. Or as football players, baseball players, tennis players, soccer players, and runners put it, “Must be rough.”

That’s right, LeBron James sat on the bench for the final four minutes of the game. And what’s crazy is his teammates still kept passing him the ball.

I can’t believe how hot it got during that game. It was so hot that even the LOSING team dumped Gatorade on its coach.

Tomorrow is the Belmont Stakes. California Chrome will try to become the first horse in 36 years to win the Triple Crown. And he's going to have to do it without air conditioning.

Hillary Clinton said she wants to travel this year, and won't make any announcements about her plans to run for president until 2015. When asked where she’ll travel, she said, “New Hampshire, Iowa, and maybe spend a few months in Florida.”

President Obama faced some criticism for chewing gum during a D-Day ceremony. He said, “Sorry, but if I don't get my Nicorette, there's going to be another war on this beach.”

Last night “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” won the Tony Award for best musical. It’s about a wealthy man who wants to eliminate all the heirs in his family so he can take over. Or as Prince Charles put it, “Go on...”

Actress Audra McDonald broke Angela Lansbury’s record last night when she won her sixth Tony Award. She’s got more Tonys than a beach in New Jersey.

President Obama’s daughter Sasha turned 13 years old today. That means that now he has two teenage girls. But thanks to Congress, he's used to people ignoring him.

Paramount is planning to re-release “Forrest Gump” this year to celebrate the movie’s 20th anniversary. So it’ll be back in theaters. Which is great because before if you wanted to see “Forrest Gump,” you had to turn on your TV at literally any time of day.

Lawmakers in Jamaica are now considering a bill that would legalize marijuana. Let me repeat myself: Lawmakers in Jamaica are considering a bill to legalize marijuana. In related news, lawmakers in Italy are considering a bill to legalize spaghetti, and lawmakers in Ireland are considering a bill to legalize whiskey.

A guy in New York is selling the world’s largest video game collection, which includes 11,000 games. He doesn’t really want to sell it, but he needs some way to pay for the divorce.

Last week a 13-year-old girl became the youngest female to climb Mount Everest. She didn't mean to. She was just texting her friend and the next thing she knew she was on top of Mount Everest.

The co-founder of Burt's Bees was forced out of the company for having an affair with an employee. He says everyone should mind their own beeswax.

That's right, the co-founder of Burt's Bees was forced out of the company for having an affair with an employee. In his defense, he was just trying to explain to her the story of the Burts and the bees.

You want more? Hey, the co-founder of Burt's Bees was forced out of the company for having an affair with an employee. He was caught during a sting operation.

Last night the Los Angeles Kings won game one of the Stanley Cup finals in overtime. Fans in L.A. went crazy after they heard about it this morning at work.

Donald Sterling has agreed to sell the L.A. Clippers for $2 billion. Let that be a lesson to your kids. If you make a racist remark to your mistress, you will get a check for $2 billion.

When asked about criticism from Hillary Clinton, Russia's President Putin said he doesn't like to argue with women. Putin is either being a misogynist, or else ladies he's the perfect catch.

A Japanese clothing company has been criticized for labeling United States sizes skinny, fat, and jumbo. After a huge outcry they changed them to "small, medium, and American."

Scientists have developed a robot that can converse exactly like a teenager. When the scientists unveiled the robot, it screamed "I hate you" and slammed the door to its room.

The winner of the Miss USA Pageant is Miss Nevada. She has a black belt in Taekwondo. Actually, she wasn't technically the winner, but she made the winner give her the crown.

In North Carolina, an obese man was caught hiding 40 bags of heroin in the folds of his stomach. Something tells me he is not on heroin.

The L.A. Kings are one game away from winning their second Stanley Cup in three years. Here's what's interesting. In other cities when the hockey team wins the championship, rowdy fans overturn cars. In Los Angeles, rowdy fans UNPLUG cars.

Donald Sterling has reversed his decision to sell the Clippers to Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft. If Sterling gets his way, the deal will fall through and Ballmer won't be able to buy the team. When asked about it, Ballmer said, "That's OK. I'm used to things freezing and then crashing."

A Whole Foods store in New York will start offering customers cocktails while they shop. It's part of Whole Foods' new slogan, "You'd have to be drunk to pay these prices."

One of the top people in a Mexican drug cartel is a woman who apparently looks exactly like Kim Kardashian. The only difference is the head of the drug cartel has a job and is less of a threat to America.

We bring back a POW, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, from Afghanistan and to get him back we traded five Taliban thugs. And now everybody's gone crazy. People say it's the most controversial trade that has taken place since NBC traded me here to CBS.

These guys were down in Gitmo and now they get freed after 10 or 15 years. So now they're released and they get to fly home. And I'm thinking, if you go to the airport and you're stuck behind these guys in security, good luck.

When they sent the Taliban thugs back to Qatar, they got picked up in a stretch camel.

I hope California Chrome wins horse racing's Triple Crown this weekend. I'll tell you why. I really have trouble remembering the Double Crown winners.

CBS is trading me for five Taliban prisoners.

President Obama says that the United States never leaves soldiers behind. But that's because we never leave.

This Bergdahl guy was in a Taliban prison for five years, and he's now recovering in a hospital in Germany. The reason he is in Germany is because he couldn't get into a VA hospital until 2020.

Hillary Clinton has a new book out on her experiences as secretary of state. Instead of a book jacket, her book is wearing a pantsuit.

Over the weekend, a Tony Award went to "The Late Show With David Letterman." The category: best waste of a Broadway theater.

There is a new study involving rats. It turns out that rats actually can understand the feeling of regret. Thank God we got to the bottom of that.

President Obama went for a walk and went to a Starbucks. If this guy can afford coffee at Starbucks, the economy must be improving.

The president was sitting there having his coffee with his laptop open, arranging another deal for Taliban prisoners.

President Obama had a cup of his favorite coffee — the Kenyan Socialist.

You know the carriage rides you can take in New York City? One of those horses got loose, was running around Central Park, and slammed right into a cab. It's been a tough couple of days for California Chrome.

There are rumors that Robert Pattinson from the "Twilight" movies may be the next Indiana Jones. If there is one thing I want with my rugged action heroes, it's a little bit of sparkle!

I think Robert Pattinson would make a great Indiana Jones. Instead of searching for the lost ark, he could go searching for a deal on moisturizer.

Instead of battling Nazis, Pattinson could battle flyaway bangs.

Today is National Cheese Day. A lot of celebrities are very excited. There's Monterey Jack Nicholson. Rush Limburger. Brie-oncé. Mozzar-Ellen DeGeneres. And Parma-Sean Connery.

Everyone in Los Angeles is very excited. We're celebrating last night's victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. Everyone in Los Angeles is now pretending they watch hockey.

The game went into overtime. L.A. hockey fans were very tense. More tense than Donald Sterling at the Apollo. More tense than the countries on the edge of Russia. More tense than Bruce Jenner's face.

Donald Sterling says he won't sue the NBA for forcing him to sell the Clippers for $2 billion. Apparently he decided this after a short meeting where someone explained to him that he was getting $2 billion.

Disney announced they're making a live action "Beauty and the Beast." Of course we're all familiar with the story. An attractive woman falls for a horrible monster and then forces him to sell his NBA team for $2 billion.

It is a great day here in Los Angeles. Gay Pride Weekend starts today, and Sunday night right here on CBS is the Tony Awards. Coincidence?

The new Tom Cruise movie opens today. It's called "Edge of Tomorrow." Tom Cruise is an intergalactic warrior fighting to save our planet from aliens. I have no idea who he plays in the movie.

"Edge of Tomorrow" is about a guy who's forced to relive the same thing over and over and over again, day after day after day. I can't relate at all.

Today's a great day for Sweden. It's their "National Day." It's the day Sweden celebrates independence from Denmark. Sweden's about 400 miles from Russia. That means they've still got a few years before Putin gets to them.

The Los Angeles Kings are up 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Finals. Everyone in L.A. is pretending to like hockey now. They say things like, "Oh, this is so awesome. Hockey is the new kale!"

L.A. hockey fans are more excited than Donald Sterling at a white sale.

California Chrome, the prize thoroughbred, came up short in his bid for racing's Triple Crown. But don't feel bad for California Chrome. Remember, he's still got two more crowns than Prince Charles.

This summer marks the 75th anniversary of Little League Baseball. Or to put it in Little League terms, six innings.

This week, Tom Brady’s 18,000-square-foot L.A. mansion was sold to Dr. Dre for $40 million. Now, $40 million might sound like a lot, but remember, he’s a doctor.

Tonight the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs faced off in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. It’s the NBA’s annual contest to determine whose city will be set on fire.

A Danish firm has developed an underground beer fridge called the eCool that takes advantage of underground conditions to keep beer cold. So congratulations, I guess, for inventing the “hole.”

Scientists in Australia have rediscovered a bat species that was originally thought to be extinct for over 120 years. And thanks to the quick reflexes of one of the scientists, it’s extinct again.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Hillary Clinton said she would make her decision on running for president “by the end of the year.” Specifically, the year 1998.

Vladimir Putin’s personal envoy said that allowing Finland to join NATO could lead to World War III. Yes, if there’s one country that’s definitely going to start World War III, it’s Finland.

On Friday the CIA launched its official Twitter account. Which means that you could receive this terrifying email: “The CIA is now following you.”

A man in Florida was arrested after he was caught wearing the swimsuit of a woman whose house had just been burglarized. Even worse for that woman, it looked better on him.

President Obama surprised tourists by walking to a Starbucks near the White House. Even more surprising, he traded five Taliban members for a grande soy latte.

A Connecticut woman was arrested after she sent her son to school with a grenade for his World War II-related show and tell. Though I’d say the school was asking for trouble when they planned a World War II-related show and tell.

LEGO revealed that many of its executives use customized LEGO figures that resemble themselves in lieu of business cards. Which explains why their assistants always get calls asking, “Can I speak to Mr. Yellow Head, Brown Hair?”

 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF JUNE 7, 2014

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

New Articles

• Are hundreds of decommissioned bomb-sniffing Marine Corps dogs in need of adoption by the public?

 A case of airport security deeming the Medal of Honor carried by a war hero to be a potential weapon.

• Has the infamous
Charles Manson finally been granted parole?

• Photograph purportedly
shows a house painted in protest by its owner after he was barred from displaying a U.S. flag.

• Is the U.S. government opening gas stations to distribute
free gasoline in poor neighborhoods?

• Photographs purportedly
show a mule attacking and killing mountain lion.

• Rumor from the 1960s holds that the lyrics to the song 'Louie Louie' are
really obscene.

• Wal-Mart halted sales of Chinese-made
flip-flops after some purchasers reported suffering skin rashes or chemical burns.

• Was actor Don Knotts once the Marine Corps' 'most feared
drill instructor'?

• Did the father of Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, save a young
Winston Churchill from drowning?

• Has President Obama announced a nationwide
Muslim outreach program for children grades K-12?

• Do golf courses have 18 holes because a
bottle of scotch contains 18 shots?

• Was 'Willy Gilligan' the full name of the
title character in the television series 'Gilligan's Island'?

• Are
green potatoes poisonous?

• Bowe Bergdahl, the sole
American soldier held prisoner by Taliban insurgents, has been released.

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


Worth a Second Look

• Murderers have tried to pass off their crimes as
copycat Tylenol poisonings.


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


The guy who makes these Talking Animal videos is getting better and better. This one sent in by Dirk Parsons has received almost 17 million views. (2 Mins.)

 

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This clip is only 11 seconds long, but it proves that it's not only humans who laugh when they see someone slip and fall on their ass. (11 Secs.)

 

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If ever there was a video that showed the differences in personalities between canines and felines, one could argue that this one would be a candidate. (3 Mins.)

 

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Have you ever seen a cat that can sign the word "eat" when it's hungry? Watch this 37-second clip and you'll be able to say you have.

 

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What is it that cats find attractive about boxes, bowls and other types of containers? And some dogs, too, for that matter? (2 Mins.)

 

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Speaking of cats, one could argue that they don't get any cuter than these baby kittens enjoying a snack. (36 Secs.)

 

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Can you solve this mystery of the deep? As the title of this Smithsonian Channel video proclaims, "Something Ate This Shark…But What? (3 Mins.)

 

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Have a look at one of the many things you can capture with a Go-Pro H-D video camera attached to a remote control drone you can buy through Amazon and tons of other retailers. It's pretty spectacular footage of a Dolphin and Whale stampede off of Dana Point. The drone is being controlled by the operator in the small boat you will see from time to time. He's looking at a small video screen that is showing him what the Go-Pro camera is capturing on video. (5 Mins.)


 

Shoo, critters, take a break...



Until I saw this clip of a young Russian archer I had no idea that archery had advanced to the point where semiautomatic bows were now available. Watch her and you will see what I mean. And if you look close, you will see that she is using wadcutter arrows. (2 Mins.)

 

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Want a helicopter that can land and take off almost anywhere but can't afford one? Dirk Parsons suggests you look at this far less expensive SuperSTOL airplane manufactured by Wild West Aircraft. You can almost land it in your driveway. (4 Mins.)

 

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This is an interesting video in that it's a series of shots of a guy who flies his RC airplane directly at himself and catches it with his hand. Sometimes he's successful, sometimes he's not. (2 Mins.)

 

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This is a well produced home video with music of a father who climbs into the baby crib to stop his daughter from crying and finds himself stuck there. (4 Mins.)

 

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What are the odds that the hearts of these folks paddling their canoes in the Antarctic began racing after they saw the waves generated by the partial collapse of a nearby glazier? (2 Mins.)

 

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Like gadgets? When Tom Macris alerted me to the availability of a Pocket Monkey I thought he was making one of those jokes about a guy's manhood. Turns out he wasn't. Watch this 2 minute video and see if it's something you guys may want to buy. If it is, they are only $19.95. But wait, there's more. Order right now — or six months from now — and you will receive two for the price of one. (Such a deal.)



Interested in having your own Pocket Monkey? Click here.

 

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I probably would have gone to church more often when I was younger if all sermons lasted as long and were as entertaining as this one sent in by Russ Jones. It has a good beat and is almost like rap, but not the popular kind of rap that makes my teeth itch and my ears bleed. Have a listen. (2 Mins.)

 

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Taking art to the next level is what this clip is about. Rather than try to describe what you are about to see, we'll just suggest you click here and watch. (2 Mins.)



 

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One could argue that Mother Nature was responsible for the subsequent exploitation of these two individuals. On the other hand, perhaps one or both of them enjoyed the notoriety of being part of the world's tallest and smallest men. (1 Min.)

 

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If any of you have the time to try this and you find that your brain will in fact extend the range of your key fob to lock/unlock your car, let us know. (5 Mins.)

 

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These people had a front row seat to witness how islands are made, never mind the fact they they were apparently unconcerned that another vent from the volcano could open up directly under them. (1 Min.)

 

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This web link received from Bill Leavy displays several historic photos from both World War I and World War II that should be worth a look. The Cologne cathedral pictured below is the subject of one of several before and after images that appear in the final item below…

 

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If you believe in the concept of "better late than never," you will forgive us for presenting this spectacular web page of historical photos of D-Day a week after the 70th anniversary of the June 6th landings. Clicking on this link will take you to a series of photos taken in 1944, and a simple click of your mouse on each photo will transform the image to what the same location looks like today in 2014 (similar to the pics below). Kudos to The Atlantic website for posting these images and the photographers who researched the historic photos and tracked down the locations from where the images were first captured 70 years ago.

 

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C'ya



Pic of the Week

With all the negative publicity about the prisoner exchange of Sgt. Bergdahl
for the five high-ranking GITMO detainees, an email with the image below is
in the process of going viral. But is it factual? Snopes researched the photo
and posted the facts on its website two days ago. Click
here for the details.


 

   

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