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The Farsider

June 19, 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.


 

RETIRED STAFF ANALYST EVELYN CAVA



The following was prepared by Evelyn's daughter, Veronica. Her sister, Bernadette, has prepared an obituary that will soon appear in the Mercury News.

~ ~ ~

My mom (and best friend), Evelyn Cava, passed away on June 2, 2014. When she first came to the Police Dept. as a Staff Analyst she was assigned to the Research & Development Unit. It was there that she was finally able to put to use her excellent writing and analysis skills in order to procure State and Federal grant monies for various units in the Police Dept. She retired from the City in 1988, but was recruited to come back in 1995 to work part-time, as her colleague, and friend, April Bullock describes below.

“In the mid-1990s there was an abundance of grant opportunities and R&D needed an additional Analyst to write, manage and monitor them. Evelyn had been retired for several years but was recruited to come back. Of course, she easily fell right back into the routine. She possessed the writing skills and analytical abilities to successfully "translate" what Washington or Sacramento was looking for and bring new projects into the Department. During her tenure, she was involved in grant projects that included hiring and training dozens of new officers, acquiring equipment, institutionalizing community policing, combating domestic violence, preventing youth gun violence, and providing funds for narcotics enforcement special projects. There was over $20 million to be properly channeled through various governmental bureaucracies and accurately reported on. Evelyn had the right combination of tenaciousness and tact to work well with units throughout the Department as well as City, State, and Federal agencies. Her attention to detail was a must in the job, and she could be relied on to "get it right." When the City revised its policy regarding the continued employment of retirees, Evelyn had to leave the Department, the job and the people she enjoyed so much. Otherwise, there are plenty of people who think she would still be there, giving it her best!”

In addition to working in Research and Development, my mom also provided her Staff Analyst skills in the Domestic Violence Unit and the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.

Throughout her almost 20-year career with the City, my mom worked in almost every City department. But she loved the work she did and the people she worked with in the SJPD the best. She felt, as I did during my years working there, that she was a part of a very special family, and she missed everyone terribly when she had to leave.

A celebration of life for my mom will take place at a later date, not yet determined. Please feel free to send me any endearing memories you have of my mom. I would love to see them.

Veronica Cristiana (Cava)
8550 Paseo de Caballo
Atascadero, CA 93422
Ph. 805-466-6186
<cristiana@tcsn.net>

 

RETIRED POLICE DATA SPECIALIST II PAT ALESSE

No Photo Available

Little is known of Pat's passing. We were advised of her death by Joan Lockwood, who is Secretary of the San Jose Retired Employee Assn. (for non-sworn employees). <http://www.sjrea.org/index.html>

Joan said she received notice that Pat passed away in Phoenix, AZ on April 21st. Police Personnel records show that she was hired on May 1, 1968, and that she was issued the very first N number (N1). Her retirement date is not as clear, however. Joan's info has Pat retiring on Feb. 29, 1992 while her Personnel records show a retirement date of Jan. 6, 1991. There are no photos of Pat in her Personnel records, nor could we locate one from any other source. We also searched the Arizona Republic newspaper's obituaries going back to Pat's date of death but came up empty.

Joan said she spoke with Pat a couple of months ago and she was not in the best of health. Joan is trying to obtain further information about Pat from her nephew but is having a difficult time making contact.


 

DID YOU MISS LAST WEEK'S (JUNE 12th) FARSIDER?

Because we sent out a special newsletter about the passing of retired Reserve Officer Lou Masella  last Sunday that was tied to the "current" Farsider link, many of you logged in on or after the 15th and thereby missed the June 12th newsletter that was published 3 days earlier. We believe that's why last week's poll results show approximately 100 fewer participants than usual.

To obtain a more accurate count of your opinions, we will publish last week's poll total next week along with the results from this week's poll. If you missed last week's June 12th Farsider and the poll and want to access it, click
HERE.


 

PENSION NEWS

Nothing of note this week.


 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE SJPD AND THE CITY

So what are the odds that the good citizens of San Jose will vote themselves a tax increase? We figure they are about the same as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid renouncing the Democratic party and joining a Tea Party group. But it looks like the City is going to see which way the winds are blowing anyway based on this article from yesterday's paper...

San Jose Eyes Sales-tax Hike, Passes Flat budget

—City may test if voters will pay to restore lost services—

By Mike Rosenberg
<mrosenberg@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — June 18, 2014

SAN JOSE — With another status-quo budget ahead, San Jose leaders who are increasingly frustrated with the lack of city service improvements are eying a ballot measure to raise taxes.

Soon, potential voters will be getting phone calls from pollsters to ask them whether they’d vote to bump the sales tax up a quarter- or half-cent in San Jose, or increase the marijuana shop tax. If the response is encouraging, the proposal will likely hit the November ballot, and, if passed, could give the city enough cash for general services such as staffing up fire stations and extending library hours. Another option would send all the money toward something specific such as hiring cops or plugging potholes, but two-thirds of voters would need to be supportive.

The local economy may be humming, but city officials insist the extra tax money is being balanced out by the increased cost of city workers — from rising pension costs to restoring pay hikes that were cut during the recession. As a result, the city’s $1.1 billion general fund budget approved by the City Council on Tuesday has San Jose lined up to essentially continue business as usual when the new fiscal year begins in July.

That’s not good enough, some council members say. After a couple years of stable budgets, they’re ready to test voters’ support to pay more to restore the services they lost — from laid-off cops to temporary fire station cuts — during a decade of budget shortfalls.

On Tuesday they voted 7-4 to spend at least $50,000 to test support for a potential tax measure, and they’ll decide in early August whether to place it before voters.

The council also decided to scrap other potential money-raising measures that were seen as less likely to pass, including a potential new parcel tax.

A quarter-cent bump to the city’s 8.75 percent sales tax rate would net the city another $34 million annually, while a half-cent increase would generate an extra $68 million. The big debate is over whether the money should go into the general pot of city funds, or if it should be earmarked for specific services, such as public safety or road repairs.

A special tax earmarking funds for specific purposes might generate a better response from voters but would need two-thirds approval from voters to pass. A general tax increase just needs a simple majority but isn’t likely to make it onto the ballot without very strong poll results.

“I know there are at least several members of the council that won’t support a general sales tax, and are interested in a special sales tax” directed at specific services, Mayor Chuck Reed said.

Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen noted she and fellow mayoral candidates on the council — Sam Liccardo, Pierluigi Oliverio and Rose Herrera — all spoke out against a general sales tax during their campaigns. All but Liccardo, though, were ousted in the June primary, and several of the mayoral hopefuls said they’d be open to a tax directed toward a specific popular service. Even the council’s two Republicans, Johnny Khamis and Pete Constant, said they were willing to look at a special tax.

“Our roads are horrific,” Khamis said.

Eight of the 11 council members must approve the measure for it to reach the ballot, and they are scheduled to vote Aug. 5 following a six-week recess.

Local business leaders last week pushed plans for a countywide tax measure to fund transportation improvements from this November to 2016, giving San Jose leaders more comfort Tuesday that their initiative would pass.

But convincing voters to increase their own taxes is risky, and San Jose is already one of the most expensive places in the country to live. The last poll on the plan to increase the city’s sales tax, released in February, found 54 percent would likely support the measure, but only 31 percent would definitely back it.

 

POA UPDATES



June 17th

SJPD Blue Goes Above and Beyond.

San Jose Police tracked down and arrested two suspects in a now notorious and brutal road rage killing, while at the same time raising more than $120,000 for the victim's family. This case has brought national attention to the compassion and professionalism of this department. Outstanding job SJPD!

 

Click HERE to watch the NBC Bay Area news report.

 



June 17th

Our discussions with City Manager Ed Shikada about fixing Measure B have continued. They have been informative and cordial, yet after multiple meetings and a 12-hour session yesterday, the last day before the Council goes on its summer vacation, we still do not have a deal worked out with the City to take a Measure B fix to the voters this November. Ed seems very serious about trying to fix this mess, but the City Council does not. Unfortunately, time is running out.

The meetings have been going on since February: City Manager Ed Shikada, Assistant City Attorney Norm Frimann, and outside legal counsel Art Hartinger and Linda Ross are on one side; Local 230 President Joel Phelan and attorney Chris Platten, POA attorney Gregg Adam and President Jim Unland are on the other.

The meetings were initially confidential. We wanted to give each side the best opportunity to reach a settlement, but we had to publicly disclose the meetings after Councilmember Sam Liccardo implied the POA was not engaging with the City on disability issues — something he knew to be untrue.

To his credit, Ed Shikada was not distracted by Liccardo's theatrics or the public disclosure, and with Ed's leadership we have built up the best working rapport with the City in years. Each side has invested a lot, and Ed has to be commended for the personal time he has put into this. Discussions have centered on recreating secure disability benefits for all police officers; creating a competitive Tier 2 retirement plan that allows us to look Tier 2 officers in the eye and tell them they should stay, and an overhaul of retiree healthcare guarantees in light of the uncertainty Measure B has created about them.

Our collective goal was to bring sensible proposed amendments to Measure B that would create competitive but sustainable retirement benefits to the City Council, and to get its approval to present them to San Jose voters during the upcoming November 2014 General Election.

We can only do that if the City Council acts NOW. Last year, state law changed. Charter cities like San Jose can amend city charters only during general statewide elections, meaning even-numbered years: November 2014, then not until November of 2016. (The Charter could be amended at a special election if a sufficient number of signatures were collected; however this is not a feasible option for San Jose.)

In short, we either fix this mess now, or it will be another 2½ years before we get to try again. As you know, with over 180 officers eligible to retire over the next 21 months, hundreds more are expected to resign, and with the current Tier 2 sinking like the Titanic, little of this department will be around in 2½ years. The City Council held its final meeting before its summer recess today. It does not meet again until Tuesday, August 5th, which happens to be the last day that the Council could approve ballot language for the November election.

We need leadership; someone to step up and move past the politics and do what's right for the citizens and public safety in San Jose. The Mayor is not likely to let that happen. He prefers to litigate the City to a slow and expensive death. Last week, for example, he pushed through the City's appeal of its loss in the trial court on Measure B. The City authorized another $600,000 in legal fees for the appeal and has now spent more than $3 million defending Measure B.

We will keep all of you informed of any progress. It is important for everyone to understand that if a ballot measure is not placed on the November ballot by August 5th, we will have to wait many years for another opportunity.

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

 


 
WEEKLY POLL
 


Last Week's Poll Results will be displayed next week along
with the results from the poll above. For those who missed
last week's June 12th Farsider and the poll, click
HERE. 

For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click HERE:


 

MAIL CALL

The following is about longtime Reserve Officer Louis Masella, whose passing was covered in a special Farsider sent to all subscribers last Sunday.

June 15th

Hi,

I looked up Reserve Officer Masella in my 'History of Watsonville and Salinas Auto Racing' by Dennis Mattish. Lou got a write-up on page 186.

On June 15th, 1973, 41 years ago tonight, Lou was in the Sportsman semi-main event. He was battling for the lead going into a banked turn against drivers Don Delward and Joe Roletto. All three crashed, flipped and went off the track. Lou ended up in the hospital with cuts and bruises while the other two drivers were able to walk away.

Will Rendler
<willrend@yahoo.com>

• • • • •


We are including this letter from Harry Mullins and his son, Cormac, because we found it interesting given what's going on in the Middle East.

June 17th

Comments on the Current Middle East Conflict

I am passing along this e-mail from my son, 1st Lt. Cormac Mullins, currently going through pre-deployment training at Fort Hood. Next stop, Afghanistan. Obviously I am proud of his observations which is one of the reasons I am sharing them with some of my friends.

Harry (Mullins)
<hmullins08@yahoo.com>


~ ~ ~

Mullins Luck = The week I get mobilized the entire Middle East falls apart.  

I can share that the sentiment from the Soldiers who spent time in Iraq, one of which who is a CPT and gave 26 months to that Country, is one of utter disappointment. The concept of breaking a country down, building it up, and then leaving in under 8 years is unheard of. Look at Japan, Germany, Italy, and Korea. Decades after those conflicts ended we still have a footprint. In the business world we would refer to it as a quick dime rather then long term profit.

While I have no personal experience I have been told the difference between Iraqi and Afghan Soldiers is that Afghans will actually fight. For an Iraqi garrison of 30k to abandon their post based on a force of 800 is absurd, 37 to 1.  

The concept of Nation States will never work with the Shia and Sunni denominations of Islam. Politically, those denominations make our Congress look functional. Mixed into this are Islamic Extremist, which are just that. In my opinion that is where our problem lies. Unfortunately, when we arm "rebels" and "Freedom Fighters" in countries like Syria and Libya we are actually either directly or indirectly arming Extremist Groups when they seize them. For example, the Stinger Missiles we gave to the Syrian "Rebels" are now reported to be in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I am sure they are just waiting for Assad to come make a visit and won't use them on coalition forces.

Every generation has some sort of major geo-political challenge and conflict. I was not around for WWI, WWII, Korea or Vietnam. Our challenge will be the Middle East and Islamic Extremists. We made it through the previous challenges by pulling together as a nation, leveraging our Allies and putting others before ourselves.  My generation needs a gut check as they are almost exactly opposite of those core strengths. I am confident we will figure it out, the only question is at what cost? 

Until then stock up on 5.56, 9mm and sharp knives.

Cormac (Mullins)


• • • • •

 

June 18th

Hi Bill,

I believe I saw you at Dave Bridgen’s retirement dinner, but never got close enough to say hello. I don’t go to many functions, but Dave’s was very special and a touching tribute to a real hero. Could you please provide me with his home address as I would like to send him my appreciation for a job well done?

Thanks, and keep up the good work. I 'always' look forward to reading the Farsider when it comes hot off the press. You and Leroy are heroes, too.

Thanks,
Sam Pearson
<samnade@comcast.net>


As we told Sam when we sent him the address he requested, Dave was indeed a very special person and a gift to the SJPD. Fortunately, he has promised to try and keep an eye on us retirees even in retirement. Other readers who would like to have Dave and Betty Ruth's home address can request it by sending an email to <bilmat@comcast.net>
 

• • • • •

 

Part-time work available for retirees...
 

June 18th

Bill,
 
I have been working in private security for some years out at Xilinx Computers in San Jose. I was first with CSC (Chuck Wall's company) and most recently with Allied Barton security. The manager at this site in interested in seeing if any of our retirees would be interested in working part-time for them here at Xilinx. Would it be okay to put such a notice in the Farsider? It could go something like this:
 
"Allied Barton at Xilinx Corp, located at Union and Hgwy. 85, is looking for retired police officers who might be interested in working part time at this one location in San Jose. The pay is $23 an hour. The need is for officers to cover days, swings and mids, seven days a week. Contact the Allied Barton on-site manager Chris Crivello at 408-879-7183 if interested."
 

Bill, you can write this any way you want and thanks
 
If they have questions they can contact me using my email address.
 
Joe (Ross)
<jross1373@yahoo.com>


There was no need to rewrite it, Joe. You did an excellent job.


 

THE PAPER JUMPS ON THE LAM FAMILY FUND-RAISING BAND WAGON

This front page story from today's Mercury News should generate some additional financial help for the Lam family and goodwill for the SJPD…

 

The Heart Behind the Badge

—Worldwide response to S.J. officer’s drive to help slain man’s family— 

By Robert Salonga <rsalonga@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — June 19, 2014

SAN JOSE — It began with the simple gesture of passing the hat around to other officers to help a family threatened with destitution after losing a father to a senseless act of violence.

San Jose police Officer Huan Nguyen never imagined he was starting a movement that would resonate around the world and set a record for generosity.

“I couldn’t imagine more than I’ve seen so far,” Nguyen said, “to see people have the same feeling as you to help this family.”

A fund Nguyen started to support the family of Phuoc Hong Long Lam has raised about $125,000 — $113,000 donated online — since Lam, 37, was killed May 6 in an apparent road rage shooting as he and his wife ran morning errands for his upcoming birthday. It is the highest total a police-initiated effort has garnered for a crime victim’s family in the city’s history, according to the San Jose Police Officers’ Association.

 

Dieu Hien Thi Huynh chats with San Jose Police Officer Huan Nguyen while
holding her son Steven Lam, 4, next to her son Henry Lam, 7, at her San
Jose home. Nguyen helped raise more than $120,000 for the family.

Media coverage of the fund and the family — highlighted by a widely published Associated Press feature — spurred donations from all over the United States and overseas, topped by a pledge to fund a trust for Lam’s two children until they’re college age.

“I’m speechless. I don’t know how to express my appreciation for everybody around the world,” widow Dieu Hien Thi Huynh said in Vietnamese, as translated by Nguyen. “I’m going to value it and treasure it.”

Deputy Chief Phan Ngo, who oversees SJPD’s bureau of investigations, lauded Nguyen’s efforts to bring attention to the fund.

“There’s been a longstanding history of San Jose police officers extending themselves beyond the call of duty to help victims and family members during their most difficult times,” Ngo said. “What Officer Huan Nguyen did is a prime example of this tradition.”

 

Lam and Huynh were driving along Senter Road the morning of the shooting to get some speakers fixed so they could have karaoke at Lam’s birthday 10 days later. It was a rare respite for Lam, who often worked seven days a week driving a charter bus to support his wife and two sons, 7-year-old Henry and 4-year-old Steven. Huynh stayed at home to meet the special needs of Henry, who has severe autism.

Nguyen said a car pulled out from a side street into Lam’s path, forcing him to swerve to avoid a collision. Both cars pulled over near Baltic Way, and Lam and Huynh got out. Before any words could be exchanged, someone pulled a gun from the passenger side of the other car and fired, hitting Lam in full view of his wife.

Lam died that evening. The suspected shooter and driver fled but police revealed Sunday they were arrested in late May after vehicle descriptions and a license plate number helped police identify suspects Daniel Alejandro Reyes, 23, and Fidadelfo Silva Ortiz, 17. Reyes was arrested in Tracy on May 19, and Ortiz, charged as an adult, was arrested May 23 in Oakdale.

“There wasn’t even an accident, just a close call,” Nguyen said, referring to the lead-up to the shooting. “It’s so random and senseless.”

Within hours, Nguyen found out that Lam’s widow had two small children but no source of income and no other family in the country.

This was far from the first tragedy that Nguyen has come across in his 17year police career. But more so than with most incidents, he could see himself in the victims: Nguyen hails from a Vietnamese immigrant family in the same area — he is a Yerba Buena High School alum — and has two children, ages 11 and 9.

“I grew up in the same community. This could happen to any of us,” he said. “That could be me driving home. That could be me leaving two kids behind.”

He conferred with a small group of officers with a modest goal.

“I said, ‘Hey, we need to chip in and help them,’ ” he said.

He had no fundraising experience, but he had the Internet. He came across a free hosting website. By the end of the week, the fund was set up, and the word went out to the police union and media.

Within 24 hours, Nguyen had received more than 100 text messages and emails, and the till topped $10,000.

 

San Jose Police Officer Huan Nguyen says goodbye to
Steven Lam, 4, in his home in San Jose. Nguyen has
helped raise more than $120,000 to aid the family
after Steven's father, Phuoc Hong Long Lam, was killed.

The story kept spreading, most notably in an Associated Press feature that was picked up by news outlets around the United States. More donations poured in, ranging from $5 to $1,000, spanning from as far away as London.

Among the donors is Shane Ortega, president of Ortega Family Enterprises, a prominent New Mexico-based tourism and hospitality firm, who Nguyen said pledged to make ongoing contributions to a trust for the Lam family. The Sharks Foundation — the nonprofit arm of San Jose’s hockey franchise — has sent over signed pucks to be auctioned off for donations.

 

Steven Lam, 4, points to San Jose police Officer Huan Nguyen’s
patrol car outside his home in San Jose. Nguyen, a father of two,
grew up in the same neighborhood.

Ortega said he was struck by a news image of Lam’s family huddled around a framed photo, prompting the father of seven to envision himself in Lam’s place.

“He did everything right. He was working hard for his family,” Ortega said. “I just imagined what it would be like to be a father dying and that even if you did your best, not be able to take care of your family. How can we not step up and help?”

The support from so many people who don’t even know the family has been a comfort to Huynh, whose sons are only beginning to absorb the idea that their father is really gone. Portraits of Lam adorn the walls of their small two bedroom apartment, one of which Henry kisses each day. The boys have been told that “dad has gone to heaven,” but they still wait for his return from work each day and cry when he doesn’t appear.

For Huynh, the emotions are still raw, and flare up often: To take her kids to school, she has to drive by the spot on Senter Road where she watched her husband disappear from her life.

“Without him,” she said, “it’s a lot harder.”

To contribute, go to <
www.youcaring.com/sanjose15homicide> or send checks to any Wells Fargo branch under the account number 1440267027.


 

THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES     

June 11th thru June 18th 

For the second day in a row, President Obama made an unscheduled trip out of the White House, this time for a burger at a nearby restaurant. Obama wants to be OUT of the White House more than Hillary wants to be IN it. Well, almost.

“Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin joined Twitter this week. He already has 80,000 followers — and that's just the cast of “Game of Thrones.”

Donald Sterling said he's fighting the sale of the Clippers because the NBA is a “band of hypocrites” and “despicable monsters.” He added, “And those are my kind of people. Please don't make me leave.”

Father’s Day is this weekend. And get this: The average American will spend $113 on a gift for Father’s Day. Or in other words, none of us are average Americans. I get my dad the same thing every year: a six-pack and a scratch-off ticket. And if he wins, we split it.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost Virginia's Republican primary to a tea party candidate. And get this. It was revealed that Cantor’s campaign actually spent more money at steakhouses than his opponent spent on his entire campaign. Or as one of my guests tonight put it, “So? What’s wrong with that?” Hey, I’m talking about Chris Rock, not Chris Christie.

The New York Rangers beat the L.A. Kings in Game 4 last night to stay alive in the Stanley Cup Finals. So they now trail 3 games to 1. Or as they say in hockey, they're hanging on by the skin of their tooth.

Today was the start of the World Cup. It's that special time of the year when Americans in bars shrug, “Well, I guess we're watching this now.”

Father’s Day is just a few days away. And in a new interview President Obama said that he is a fun dad who teeters on the edge of embarrassing his kids. Because nothing says you're a fun dad like SAYING you're a fun dad.

Last night the San Antonio Spurs beat the world champion Miami Heat to win the NBA title. You could tell the Heat players didn’t have their heads in the game, especially when some of them left to catch the season finale of “Game of Thrones.”

LeBron James had 31 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in the Heat's loss to the Spurs. While his teammates had, uh, a lot of fun out there.

President Obama just had his annual physical, which showed that he’s suffering some pain in his right foot. When asked why he doesn’t get it treated, Obama said bitterly, “It’s not covered by Obamacare.”

Alex Trebek has broken a world record for game-show hosts, after hosting 6,829 shows in his career. When asked how he's made it through so many shows, Trebek said, “What is Scotch?”

Congrats to the U.S. soccer team for beating Ghana in the opening round of the World Cup. Yeah, they did the impossible — getting Americans to watch soccer.

In a new interview, Hillary Clinton said the Bible is the most influential book she's ever read. Some people think she might be pandering to Southern Christian voters. Then Hillary said, "Oh come on y'all — little ol' me?"

Google introduced a new smartphone alarm that can wake users up on the subway so they don't miss their stop. As opposed to the alarm they use now: getting elbowed by the stranger they're drooling on.

A woman in Massachusetts recently had twin boys who were born 24 days apart. It got weird when the second baby was born. The second twin said, “I guess I should have downloaded that alarm that wakes me up when it's my stop.”

Since House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost to an anti-immigration candidate, many Republicans are feeling pressure to take a harder stance on immigration. In fact, the Republicans are so paranoid, today Chris Christie sent back his chimichanga.

George H.W. Bush turned 90 today and he celebrated by jumping out of a plane. Isn't that cool? So if you include Obama there were two presidents in freefall today.

Hey, America's in the World Cup. Did you even know that? Experts say they have less than a 1 percent chance of winning the World Cup, and even their coach said winning is not realistic — all of which sounds like one hell of a pre-game pep talk.

According to a new study, the number of car crashes linked to marijuana has risen. Fortunately, when the cars crashed they were all going eight miles per hour.

Last night 7 million people watched the "Game of Thrones" season finale. Seven million people. That's one viewer for each "Game of Thrones" character.

The World Cup is underway. A lot of World Cup soccer players have been faking injuries to draw a penalty from the other team. Meanwhile, a lot of Americans have been faking following the World Cup.

Pope Francis has pledged to remain neutral during the World Cup. When asked why, the Pope said, "I picked the Miami Heat and look how that turned out."

Today at the World Cup, Mexico and Brazil ended in a 0-0 tie. Fun fact: Both teams were ordered by their coaches to abstain from sex. In other words, these guys can't score on or off the field.

Protesters at the World Cup got into trouble for burning American flags. It's a shame because children in China worked very hard to make those flags.

Yesterday, the Iranian president tweeted a picture of himself all alone watching a World Cup game on television. Yeah, then he watched his favorite show — "It's Always Sunni in Philadelphia."

This morning the Pentagon announced that the United States has captured a leader responsible for the Benghazi attacks. Republicans were ecstatic and said, "So, they finally got Hillary?"

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was defeated in the primary election. He spent $5 million on his primary campaign. Ladies and gentlemen, what is wrong with this country when you can no longer buy an election?

While trying to get re-elected, Eric Cantor spent $168,000 on steakhouses. Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie said, "That's all?"

It is the 20th anniversary of the O.J. Simpson arrest. That trial just went on and on. And when they announced the verdict, 300 million people were watching. Today they all remember exactly where they were when they said, "YOU'RE KIDDING!!"

Later in his life O.J. Simpson was arrested, tried, and convicted. He is in prison now for stealing sports memorabilia. Double homicide, not a problem. Stealing sports memorabilia — that'll get you in the slammer.

Barbara Walters retired last week and now she's come back out of retirement. Isn't that crazy? She's going to play one more season for the Jets.

The world's oldest man lived to 111. He passed away. Boy, I didn't see that coming.

You know who's on the show tonight? Regis Philbin. This guy is difficult to book. We had to trade five Taliban prisoners to get Regis.

You know who is in trouble? Radio Shack. But I love going into Radio Shack. And the reason I go there is to ask directions to Best Buy.

I had the best Father's Day I've ever had. It was my 10th Father's Day, and my wife and my son were so sweet on Sunday morning. Rather than rushing in and waking me up, they were kind enough to just let me sleep it off.

Over the weekend, President Obama got his annual presidential physical. His cholesterol is up and his approval rating is down.

Obama wants to lower his cholesterol, but Congress is blocking him.

The doctor said Obama passed his physical. That's the first thing he's passed in the second term.

President Obama is sending a couple hundred troops to Iraq. We spent six years trying to figure a way to get out of Iraq. And now we're back. But this time there is an exit strategy. Barack Obama has an exit strategy. In 2016, he's gone.

Now, the way I hear it the Iraqi army had some trouble with the insurgents and they just dropped their guns, took off their uniforms, and went home — just like the Miami Heat.

Soccer is one of those things that the rest of the world cares more about than we do — you know, like healthcare, education, gun control.

If you love soccer, you have to wait four years for a World Cup. It's like making an appointment with a VA doctor.

Kim and Kanye are on their honeymoon. It's going to last until this weekend. Not their honeymoon. Their marriage.

Kim and Kanye are honeymooning in Mexico. Republicans and Democrats agree that if there's ever a time to seal the border, this is it.

I have an idea. While Kim and Kanye are out of the country, we should all hide. Then they'll come back and say, "Hey, look at us" — and then they'll say, "Hey, there is nobody here" — and then maybe they'll go to another country. Hey, it's just a thought.

The World Cup started today. People in Los Angeles are torn. They are not sure if they should be pretending to care about soccer or hockey.

The U.S. is scheduled to play Germany soon at the World Cup. President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel already have a bet going. The loser keeps Hasselhoff.

The Russians will probably do well at the World Cup. Today Vladimir Putin gave the Russian team a motivational speech. He said, "Remember, if you can't beat 'em — invade 'em."

The World Cup is not the only thing on TV. Nearly 5 million people watched the season premiere of "Duck Dynasty" last night. On last night's show, the governor of Louisiana gave the cast an award. I'm not sure which award. I'm guessing it's not a Tony.

The World Cup action is going crazy. Mexico won the match against Cameroon. Thousands of Mexicans are dancing and going crazy in the Mexican city of Los Angeles.

I was surprised how many Cameroon fans there are in Hollywood. There are big names like Cameroon Diaz and James Cameroon.

It's Friday the 13th and it's a full moon. There won't be another full moon on Friday the 13th until the year 2049. By then it'll be a national holiday, declared by President Honey Boo Boo.

A full moon on Friday the 13th is very rare, indeed. It's a combination of things you don't see often, like the Bravo network and straight dudes. Like the L.A. Lakers and winning. Like the Pope and a small hat. Like supermodels and food.

People are saying that the Kardashians think Khloe's new boyfriend doesn't love her. They think he's simply using her to be famous or as they put it, "Welcome to the family."

Some Northern California counties want to form a separate state. They smoke a lot of weed up there. What would you call a state based on marijuana? Toke-lahoma. Flori-duh. How about Spliffs-consin? Dela-weed. New Hemp-shire.

"22 Jump Street" is a new buddy cop movie. That's been a Hollywood staple for years. They've given us pairings like Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, Mel Gibson and the voices in his head.

"22 Jump Street" stars Channing Tatum. I love Channing Tatum. And he's got range. Even his name Channing Tatum could be anything from an action star to a servant on "Downtown Abbey."

"Star Trek" is a successful film franchise. It's easy to forget it started as a TV show — unless you're like me and you know William Shatner. Then you never forget because he always reminds you.

It's Icelandic Independence Day. Happy Independence Day, Iceland, or as it will be known in 50 years — Waterland.

Iceland was named after an explorer who first discovered it: Vanilla Ice.

Actually, Iceland was settled by Vikings, those adorable people from "How to Train Your Dragon 2," now playing at a theater near you. It’s America's favorite family movie of the summer.

Tonight we're joined by the newly crowned Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. And they brought the Stanley Cup with them. You know, it's easy to forget that these tough, gritty, heavily bearded guys are playing for what is essentially an oversized piece of dinnerware.

Last night the San Antonio Spurs really pounded the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the finals. They are now the NBA champions. Miami was so far behind in the fourth quarter, they tried to pull their goalie, but then they realized they don't have goalies so they gave up.

Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father's Day gifts, which sounds like a lot, but it's only about 10 bucks a dad. Thanks for nothing. I'm a father. To be perfectly honest with you, I'm a little bit upset.

My kids once gave me a mug declaring me "World's Greatest Dad." Then yesterday I saw some other guy with a mug that said "World's Greatest Dad" on it. I was duped.

The campaign manager who helped unseat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last night is a 23-year-old man who interviewed for a job at Panera Bread last month. Said Cantor, “Is that position still available?”

Hillary Clinton said she may not run for president because she loves having time to hang out with her friends. Thankfully, most of her friends live in Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Florida, and the great state of Pennsylvania.

A new study shows that red wine can boost short-term memory. Three or four glasses, and you’re guaranteed to remember your ex’s phone number.

Today is the start of the World Cup in Brazil. I know you guys know that. I'm telling Brazil. "Hurry up. Finish the stadium!"

The World Cup starts today, which means you're all about to find out which of your friends lived in Europe for a year.

Scientists have created a mutant version of the deadly 1918 Spanish flu virus in an effort to better understand how pandemics start. I'm not a scientist, but this is how pandemics start.

A man in Virginia Beach has started protesting road conditions while dressed as Spider-Man on his days off. Something tells me he has a lot of days off.

Congratulations to the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are NBA champions after defeating the defending champion Miami Heat in five games. The Spurs celebrated today by treating themselves to an extra-long practice.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West this week turned down $11 million for the rights to publish their wedding pictures. Which can only mean one thing: Someone offered them $12 million.

A new study shows that men who carry their cellphone in their pocket have a sperm count nearly 10 percent lower than those who don’t. While men who keep their cellphone on a belt clip don’t need to worry about it.

Over the weekend Starbucks announced a new program that will pay employees to take online classes at Arizona State. Said Starbucks employees, “We already went there. That’s why we work at Starbucks.”

A 10-year-old boy in New York set a new world record for his age group after running a mile in 5 minutes and 1 second. He was able to set the record after he accidentally made eye contact with a girl.

A new report shows that Brooklyn is now one of the country’s most popular baby names. Still the least popular baby name: “Staten Island.”

A Colorado man unsuccessfully tried to break into a University of Colorado ATM by spraying it with acid and waiting for it to eat the protective covering away. He was caught when authorities examined the three hours of security footage of his face.


 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF JUNE 14, 2014

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



Is this a real, untouched photo of registered sex offender Brian Wells?

New Articles

• Photographs purportedly show actor Tom Hanks posing with a drunk, passed-out customer in a diner.

• Did a study recently reveal that 1 out of every 3 Americans
has been implanted with an RFID microchip?

• Did President Calvin Coolidge's son die from
blood poisoning caused by the dye in his black socks?

• Is ground glass really a
deadly poison, as depicted in so many mystery stories?

• Are all U.S. stores going to stop
accepting coupons as of 1 July 2014 due to 'Extreme Couponing' fraud?

• DISTURBING IMAGE WARNING: A widely circulated photograph purportedly shows Mohammed Fazl, a Taliban prisoner exchanged for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, posing with the
severed heads of five victims.

• Image shows newspaper account of a kitten who nearly died from being fed a
vegan diet.

• Has President Obama signed a bill forgiving all
student loans taken out within the last ten years?

• Account describes entrepreneur Sam Walton's efforts to
evade paying his employees minimum wage.

• During a Fox News interview, did
Michele Bachmann say the U.S. could 'use a President like Benjamin Franklin again'?

• Photograph purportedly shows a man named Brian Peppers who was a
registered sex offender in Ohio.

• 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 more collect phone calls made on
Father's Day than on any other day of the year?


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


We've seen lots of old film footage of soldiers marching to what's been called the "goose step," but none of the soldiers marched like this. (40 Secs.)

 

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Can you guess what surprised this guy who works at a 115,000 volt electrical substation? (35 Secs.)

 

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Here's a fascinating tidbit of information about spiders we'll bet you didn't know. (Don't be squeamish; no real spiders are shown.) (1 Min.)

 

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Have you ever seen a lizard that acts like a dog? Watch this one-minute clip and you'll be able to say you have.

 

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Who would have thought that Whales like to be petted? At least that seems to be the case with this Gray Mother Whale and her Baby. (3 Mins.)

 

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So what do Cats and Babies have in common? For one thing, they sometimes like to watch TV together. (26 Secs.)

 

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Here's something you've probably never seen before: It's an interview with a Guinea Pig (2 Mins.)

 

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This "Dear Kitten" clip received from Alice Murphy provides excellent advice from a veteran house cat to the new feline in the home. It's actually a Friskies' cat food ad, but don't let that stop you from watching it. (3 Mins.)

 

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This clip answers the age-old question that people have been asking for decades: Is it possible to get an elephant to sleep with the singing of a lullaby? (2 Mins.)

 

The critters have gone bye-bye


We decided to start this section of the Lighter Side with another one of those
space aliens that are living among us while inhabiting the body of a human child. (6 Mins.)

 

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Try to imagine how much courage it took for this 4-year-old boy who is totally blind and has been using his white cane for only a few months to step down a curb on his own. "I can do it," says Gavin. (45 Secs.)

 

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Watch this clip received from Dick Tush and you will likely come to the same conclusion we did: That the windows on the van are open because of the horrific odor of you-know-what inside. Think about it. (3 Mins.)

 

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Perhaps not all of the Russians in this clip received from our retired Police Artist are nuts, but we would be hard pressed to I.D. anyone in the video who isn't. (3 Mins.)

 

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This is a short but interesting story about the very first Air Force One that was originally named Columbine II and used by President Eisenhower. Technically, any fixed wing aircraft used by the President is designated as Air Force One, with the exception of the helicopter that transports him to and from the White House and Andrews AFB, which is designated Marine One. Unfortunately, Columbine II is wasting away in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and in need of restoration. You can help the cause by telling your friends about this video and sending them the link below. (5 Mins.)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehwvZXVKmPU

 

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Assuming this video about police harassment in Oakland and Berkeley is on the up-and-up, we need more people like investigative journalist Lee Kaplan to expose organizations like the ISM and the people who purposely harass the police, like this one who calls herself Andrea Pritchett. (5 Mins.)

 

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Want to compare brain waves? There are no winners or losers, so why not go for it? The tests are simple and quick.

Click
HERE to test your mental age and compare it to ours as shown below…


Now click HERE to determine which side of your brain is the more dominant and compare it to ours below…

 

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Hey, who's that in the backseat?


Dirk Parsons' brother, Mike, was a pylon judge at the Reno Air Races this year and captured several photos of various aircraft with his camera from his unique position, including the one above with a familiar shape in the backseat. Many of you may know him as R2D2.
 

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Say what you want about the French when it comes to fighting wars, but don't let it be said they don't have cajones when it's time to change shifts at lighthouses in foul weather. (2 Mins.)

 

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Speaking of the French and cajones, we heard that when this guy gets up each morning he has a cup of coffee and a croissant, then his wife gives him a good swift kick between the legs and sends him off to work. Here he is at his job. (5 Mins.)

 

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Why walk when you can ride, right? With that thought in mind, some would argue that if Jesus was alive today, this is what he would be driving. (2 Mins.)

 

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Here's video evidence that bikes and where they are ridden have come a long way since my folks plunked down $39.95 and bought me my "dream bike" in 1956 — a new Schwinn Corvette. But it came with the proviso that I pay them back with my paper route earnings. I did, but it took me four months. (8 Mins.)

(I had between 65 and 75 Mercury customers in the Silver Creek Estates and Foster Village tracts southwest of Story and White on the Eastside, and one of my customers was the late Sgt. Al Heiken. The Mercury was the morning paper back then while the News was delivered in the afternoon. But I digress.)

 

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We decided to conclude this week's Farsider with this belated tribute to all of you Dads, courtesy of Dove. (1 Min.)




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C'ya

 

Pic of the Week
 

An example of the new KFC Protection Program  

 
   

Scrolling Box

 
This is the message box, using the scroller component.
 

 

 

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