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Our Chaplain Historical Society The Farsider


The Farsider

July 18, 2013


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.



The POA issued the following press release a few hours after we went to press with last week's Farsider. In addition to the media, it was sent to all POA members whose e-mail addresses are on file with the Assn.

Mayor Reed Wins Arbitration--SJ Cops Get No Pay Raise

For immediate release — July 11, 2013

City Admits to $92 million in General Fund Reserves but offer cops 0% in arbitration

San Jose (CA)-Retired Judge Flaherty rules in City of San Jose's favor on all issues arbitrated upon including City proposal of 0% pay restoration for police officers.

"Mayor Chuck Reed accomplished his goal of "reforming" arbitration by ensuring that San Jose cops get no pay raise as a result of the new arbitration rules hidden in the fine print of Measure V, passed by the voters in 2010," said SJPOA President Jim Unland.

Unland went on to say, "Mayor Reed sold the voters a bill of goods that has guaranteed officers will continue to leave to other jurisdictions, neighborhoods will continue to see car thefts, burglaries and gang activity increase and our once proud police department will be left in shambles."

The City of San Jose has at least $92 million dollars in General Fund reserves that could have been utilized to restore pay for police officers.  Mayor Reed and his supporters chose instead to offer a 0% pay increase that was adopted by the arbitrator.

"Many of us were waiting for today's ruling to decide what to do and this ruling of no pay increase and more benefit take-aways makes my decision clear, I will seek employment with an agency that actually puts public safety first", said veteran officer Juan Vallejo.

Today, there are 887 street ready officers in SJPD, 392 of which are assigned to and working patrol.  This has increased emergency response times to over 20-minutes for Priority 2 calls and requires the department to scramble every single day to fill patrol beats using a mix of pay cars, hold-overs, and mandatory overtime.


1. Arbitration Ruling:
2. 9% Pay Raise Lie Explained:
3. Comparison Wage Study (SJ Last):

~ ~ ~

The following Membership Alert also was sent to all members whose e-mail address on file a few hours after we went to press last Thursday...

July 11, 2013

We received the final written award from Judge Flaherty on July 1, 2013. He has sided with the City on all of the issues before him (click here to see the ruling: <http://tinyurl.com/nqy5j9t>). This award became binding today, July 11, 2013 at 2:00PM and the award has now been incorporated into our MOA pursuant to City Charter Section 1111. This award is the result of the changes made to City Charter Section 1111 via Measure V (click here to see Charter Section 1111: <http://tinyurl.com/o5azpl9>), which was approved by San Jose voters in 2010.  

As many of you may remember, the POA and the Fire Union fought vigorously to prevent voters from passing Measure V in 2010. We understood the fine print and feared it would lead to rulings like the one taking effect today. We attempted to explain to the voters that Measure V would not increase police staffing and would not provide for a fair and equitable resolution of contract disputes. Unfortunately, the voters of San Jose believed dishonest politicians who claimed Measure V would prevent excessive arbitration awards and allow the City to hire more officers.

As we put our Last-Best Final Offer together, we crafted a proposal that gave Judge Flaherty a legal basis for ending our 10% give-back. Even if he chose not to do this, the other issues also had legal basis' allowing him to rule in our favor (sick leave payout, paid overtime, etc.).

Regrettably, Judge Flaherty chose a conclusion that awarded all of the issues to the City of San Jose including the elimination of hazardous duty pay to any officer who is injured in the line of duty and goes on temporary disability. While this issue was clearly not a "compensation increase" it was also awarded to the City.

City leaders will claim they had no intention of giving us a 0% raise, that they were hamstrung by Measure V. But City leaders cannot distance themselves from the terrible consequences of the very Charter change they campaigned so hard for, Measure V. These same leaders drafted Measure V, voted to put it on the ballot, and then campaigned publicly in favor of it with false promises about what it really meant.

As you know, there was a 10-day period from the time the ruling was signed until it became binding. During that time, the City reissued a previous offer (click here to see the offer:
<http://tinyurl.com/psdb5dh>) that was mischaracterized as a 9% raise that isn't a 9% raise (click here to see our clarifying email: <http://tinyurl.com/pcwg44j>). The reissuing of an offer we had already rejected was a non-starter for negotiations during the 10-day period. In their correspondence to us, the City made it clear that negotiations can resume after today. Once the Council reconvenes from their July vacation, they will have an opportunity, if they so choose, to reach out to us with a true "no strings attached" wage offer.

The ball is in their court. All of their talk of retention is, so far, just that. We are on target for reaching three straight years with nearly 70 or so officers, per year, resigning. While this has been occurring, we are on pace for a third straight year of homicide totals in the 40's. We expect four Councilmembers will be running for Mayor next year. They have to be asking themselves how they can defend their policy choices that have brought ruin to this Department. They are running out of time to reverse course. We'll let you know if we hear from them.

We have more we want to communicate to you but for today, we want to provide you time to look over the ruling for yourself. Over the next few days we will explain what this decision means for our contract and your future with the City of San Jose. We will show you that the City's refusal to give us a meaningful raise is a choice, not an inability to pay, and we will explain what our future looks like under Measure V. We will explain how binding arbitration under the current terms of Measure V is ineffective and will continue to hinder our efforts to secure a competitive benefits package for you.

We do not want to presume what emotions you and your families are experiencing as the news of this ruling sinks in. We did everything we could to give Judge Flaherty a legal foundation to begin the process of undoing the damage this City's leadership has wrought. We are disappointed in Judge Flaherty's ruling and angered that the City leadership continues on a path, through their destructive policies, towards the complete collapse of our Department. Please understand that had our proposal been accepted, in June of 2015 you would have been making what you made in 2009! Hardly a lofty or greedy goal. We felt, and still feel, that this is the minimum first step the City needs to take to stem the exodus of officers to other agencies. Our member's current take-home pay is less than it was in 2004. It appears very likely that San Jose Officers can expect that it will take many more years to restore their 10% pay reduction and many more years to ever see a true raise again.

In our next two email blasts we will provide specifics about our contract changes. After those, we will show you what the City did with the taxpayer's money.

Jim Unland
John Robb

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In addition to the Press Release and Membership Alert above, the POA also sent to all members links to the following video clips from various TV stations that aired last Thursday after we had already gone to press...

NBC Bay Area: Mayor Reed Wins, SJPD Gets Zero Raise


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KGO 7: SJ Police Ready to Quit


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KTVU 2: Zero Raise for SJPD


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CBS 5: No Raise for SJ Cops


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There were a couple of additional Membership Alerts sent out last Thursday by the POA, but they dealt almost exclusively with active (non-retired) personnel. They should be available in the Members Section of the POA website for anyone who wants to view them.

~ ~ ~

In front page headlines, this is how the paper covered the loss by the POA of the arbitration last Friday...

Police Union Denied Raises

—Arbitrator’s decision could lead to more cops leaving;
city calls for talks, but labor refuses offer—

By John Woolfolk
Mercury News — July 12, 2013

SAN JOSE — An arbitrator’s decision made final Thursday denied San Jose police officers any pay hikes, raising the specter of even more officers fleeing the already lean force.

Despite the arbitrator’s decision, which cited limits voters approved in 2010, the cops and city could still negotiate a deal for raises. City officials said that while they could not yet afford to give the cops the full 10 percent raise they demanded, they remain eager to discuss more modest pay hikes and pleaded with the officers’ union to return to the bargaining table. But the union refused to do so, a stance Deputy City Manager Alex Gurza, the city’s lead negotiator, found baffling.

“We simply are perplexed,” Gurza said. “We certainly believe some raise is better than no raise. If it didn’t meet their needs, a counter­proposal would certainly be welcome. To not negotiate is very troubling. We want to negotiate pay raises for police officers.”

With officers already bolting the department for higher pay elsewhere, both sides had agreed raises were in order. But the agreement stopped there. The officers insisted the city fully restore within a year or two the 10 percent pay cuts they had accepted in 2011 to limit layoffs amid huge budget shortfalls. City officials offered raises up to 9 percent over two years. But the union’s leader said much of that came with “strings” they couldn’t abide. Just 2.5 percent of the offer was for the current budget year. An additional 2.5 percent next year would depend on savings from retirement cuts the cops are fighting in court. An additional 4 percent next year would not count toward pensions.

“If they gave us a very simple wage offer we’d take it to our members,” said San Jose Police Officers’ Association President Jim Unland. “We haven’t seen an offer that looks that clean. All of their offers continue to come with attachments and strings.”

Relations between the city and its officers have been strained to the breaking point as soaring costs for retirement benefits, greatly enriched over the last decade, have eaten into the city budget and spurred cuts to pay and perks. Officers and other unionized workers bitterly protested ballot measures Mayor Chuck Reed sponsored over the past two years to reduce arbitration awards and pension benefits. The police union is among several suing to block the pension measure that would either reduce or make them pay more for their retirement benefit.

But the arbitration award raised fears that an already worrisome officer exodus will become a stampede, leaving the police department dangerously shorthanded.

“We’re worried,” Unland said. “There were a lot of officers who were on the fence and watching this decision closely. If it came in at 10 percent, they would find a way to stay. Most of these officers don’t want to go. But if it came in at zero, they’re going out.”

Officers noted that the city’s police force has shrunk from nearly 1,400 officers to fewer than 1,100, thanks to budget cuts, retirements and resignations. About 150 officers have left in the past 2½ years, while crime rates have risen throughout the region.

Unland said the officers see no point in discussing raises with the City Council out on summer recess. The council gives guidance to city negotiators and ultimately approves contracts. Unland said he doesn’t believe his union can get a better deal until the council returns and perhaps tells management to drop the objectionable “strings.”

Gurza disagreed and said the city is willing to have a mediator work with them to help reach an agreement. It is unclear in light of the arbitration decision, which is binding but can be superseded by a negotiated contract, whether the council could award raises to the officers without the union’s agreement.

While the officers were unable to reach a deal with the city on pay, San Jose’s largest union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, reached a tentative one-year agreement that will give its workers a 2 percent raise. Those workers had not only been forced to swallow the 10 percent pay cuts to help close massive deficits a couple years ago, but also an additional 2 percent they had received in the final year of an expiring contract while others took cuts. Workers were voting on the contract this week, and it would go to the council for approval next month.

Union leader Yolanda Cruz said employees were eager to begin restoring both pay and relations with city leaders.

The top annual base salary for a San Jose officer is about $98,000 a year, including a uniform allowance. But city officials say benefit costs effectively double that figure to almost $194,000, up 21 percent from four years ago. They note that the police budget has grown 9 percent while staffing has fallen 13 percent since 2009.

City retirement costs that more than tripled over a decade drove Reed to push ballot measures to curb them. Measure V in 2010 limited arbitration awards for officers and firefighters. Measure B in 2012 sought to reduce pension benefits going forward for new and current employees, and goes to a court hearing later this month. Voters approved both overwhelmingly.

Among Measure V’s provisions was that an arbitrator cannot increase total employee compensation, including benefits, at a rate that exceeds average city revenue growth over the last five years. The city argued that revenue grew just 1.24 percent over the last five years, but because police pension costs rose 4 percent, no raise could be awarded in arbitration. Retired Judge John Flaherty, who was the deciding vote on the arbitration panel that included Unland and Gurza, agreed he could not award raises in arbitration, and urged a negotiated settlement.

“If this award does become final,” Flaherty warned in the decision, “neither the city nor the SJPOA will have achieved their goal of providing wage increases to police officers.”




Last Week's Poll Results

For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:



July 12th


Your attempt at humor at my expense caused me great pain. Once again I am forced to correct the libelous photo and slanderous narrative so depicted in this organ of information. Hence I have included for your perusal and subsequent publication a photo depicting what we consider can be best described as real All Terrain Vehicles parked behind the house. Ha!

Note: I'm leaving tomorrow for San Jose and intend on being there to discuss this further over steaks on Wednesday eve. Will bring a blank check so you guys get together with Lumpy (or whoever) and decide who I make it out to and for how much. See ya then.
Bruce (Fair)

True to his word, Bruce did make the trip to San Jose from the Land of Flat and attended yesterday's annual PBA barbecue meeting. We can't confirm this, but we heard that instead of his checkbook, he paid for his steak with a sack of freshly cut corn from his backyard, and that a few members commented that the Kansas farmer bore a slight resemblance to this guy with the pitchfork...




We are thinking about creating a new weekly column for the Farsider entitled "Readers' Opinions in Five Sentences or Less." Here's how it will work: We will post a question or topic each week and invite readers to express their opinion about it. The only hitch is that the opinion cannot exceed a maximum of five sentences. This is what it will look like...

Readers Opinions in Five Sentences or Less

Topic for this week:

Was the prosecution of George Zimmerman politically
motivated, and if so, who was responsible?

(Leroy and I will kick start this column with our opinions. If you want to submit a photo to help make or emphasize your point, fine. But just one.)

Yes, the prosecution was politically motivated by numerous parties that included Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and even  President Obama by his comment early on in which he said, "If I had a son it would look like Trayvon." But I place most of the blame on the MEDIA (caps intended) and Angela Corey, the special state prosecutor who bypassed a grand jury and brought the charges against Zimmerman solely on her own for political reasons. Had it been left up to a Grand Jury to hand down an indictment based on testimony from both sides, it is highly unlikely that Zimmerman would have been prosecuted in the first place. I hope that Corey is sued by Zimmerman for malicious prosecution and/or sanctioned by the Florida Bar for her action. And since I have one sentence left, I hope like hell that Zimmerman wins a ton of dough in his lawsuit against NBC for doctoring the 911 tape that made him sound like a racist. -- Bill, Editor

~ ~ ~

The media initiated the racist aspect of the incident, most notably by editing the original 911 tape, and then referring to Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic.” Labeled a racist incident and quickly parroted by most media outlets, the usual suspects were attracted. Race baiters Sharpton and Jackson entered the fray with liberal talking heads leading them on. The left side of the political spectrum quickly followed the lead of our president who infamously stated, “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.” I honestly believe that this president has contributed to the setback of race relations by 50 years. — Leroy, Webmaster

Care to join the discussion? Send in a maximum of five sentences expressing your opinion and we'll include it in next week's Farsider, but only if we receive at least a dozen responses. If we don't reach that level, we'll write this off as a dumb idea. But we are confident that many of you have an opinion and can string together up to five coherent sentences to get your opinion across. So think it over and e-mail your opinion to <bilmat@comcast.net> or <leroypyle@sjpba.net>. The deadline to send it in will be 12 noon next Wednesday, July 24th. If this works, we'll provide another topic or question next week.



Like many of you, we often receive e-mails that have gone viral. One that has showed up in our inbox several times over the past few months claimed that this photo was of Trayvon Martin. It was not.

Snopes researched the e-mail and determined that the image is of rapper Jayceon Terrell Taylor, known by his stage name "Game." Says Snopes:

"As far as we know the following is the last pre-mortem photograph of Trayvon Martin (shown standing on the far right), a picture taken as he posed with family members gathered for his mother's birthday nine days before he was shot and killed."

For more details, click on the link below...



Received on Tuesday, July 16th

For details or more information, send an e-mail to
or call her at the POA Office, 408-298-1133



Association of Retired San Jose Police Officers & Firefighters Annual August BBQ

Coyote Ranch
(just off of Monterey Hwy in the Coyote Valley)
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Time: 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Dinner will be served at 5:00 PM

$10 for Members
$15 for Spouse
$20 for Non-Members    

Make Checks Payable To
AORSJPO&FF and send to:
P.O. BOX 28041
SAN JOSE, CA 95159
(please write "BBQ" in the memo section of check)  

Menu: Chicken. Tri-Tip and Beverages
You can sign up online at our website (see link near top of page)

We will need a count of Retirees and Spouses
who will be attending the BBQ, by August 12, 2013.

Coyote Ranch Map


FROM 101 South: Take the Bernal Road Exit West - Right turn: turn right at the 2nd stop light - you will dead end into Monterey Road. Turn left: go 1 mile south to Metcalf Road - turn left: make immediate right turn (approx. 50 yards): follow that road to Coyote Ranch.

FROM 85 South: Take Bernal Exit West - Right turn (DO NOT GET ON 101): turn right at the 1st stop light - you will dead end into Monterey Road. Turn left: go 1 mile south to Metcalf Road - turn left: make immediate right turn (approx. 50 yards): follow that road to Coyote Ranch.

If something comes up and you are not able to make the dinner, please let us know by sending e-mail to




Things Are Officially "That Bad"

Been a while since I have posted anything. The last few months have taken a toll on the men and women of the San Jose Police Department. The team the SJPOA put together to represent the membership in the (Measure V) Arbitration hearing did an incredible job presenting their case to the judge.

No matter, the Judge ruled in favor of the City on every line item being arbitrated. “No” to reinstating the 10% salary giveback members agreed to give back for no more than 2 years, “No” to removing the caps on vacation and Comp Time accrual until Department Staffing increases to 1250 officers, “No” to an 80 hour buy of accrued vacation / comp time. “Yes” to freezing unused sick leave balances for future buyout at current hourly rate — all new sick-leave earned has no cash value (use it or loose it).

The City supposedly was caught with its pants down when the POA presented evidence proving that he City was hiding 92 million dollars. Shortly after admitting the money existed, the City Manager, Mayor and Council diverted those funds to existing budget funds then created some new funds and a Council policy to ensure that the money was not available for pay and benefits. The City can move very quickly when it needs to.

So where do we stand? The term of the “arbitrated” contract is one year and is set to expire on June 30, 2014. The SJPOA and City will once again go through the charade of negotiating another contract which will most likely result in nothing but less pay and benefits for employees.

Morale is in the tank. Once upon a time, the Bureau of Field Operations was considered “fully staffed” at about 630 officers spread across 3 shifts. Two years ago, 530 was “the bottom line” that “we” were not going to fall below. I wish I had a nickle for every time a command officer calmed fears with “we will cut every unit in the department before we loose another patrol position!”

In Feb of 2013, the “bottom line” number for patrol staffing was “492 and not an officer less!” I am sad to report that just 5 months later, Patrol is staffed at 386-400, depending on who you talk to. BUT, don't worry, that bottom line number is holding fast at 492 and is covered through ever increasing numbers of overtime pay cars!

And just think, prospective applicants: you could get hired by a police department that pays the least (more than 21% less) than the average of the 10 largest, comparable Police Departments in the state for a retirement that you will have to work more years to an older age for a lower percentage of a lower base pay.



When Playing Cops and Robbers was Fun

In the early 1960s, when playing cops and robbers was fun, an event unfolded one Sunday evening that met that criteria. During the 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. briefing a wanted notice was distributed to the troops that said an escapee from the Canyon View State Prison in Washington had local family ties to the San Jose area, mainly in the Seven Trees area of Senter Rd. (Your old stomping grounds, Cha Cha.) We had the name and description of the escapee as well as family addresses in the Seven Trees area. Contingency plans were made that if the felon was spotted or a 211 went down in the area, a "picket line" would be established on Tully Rd., and that the units would embark southbound so a thorough search could be made for the subject. Sure enough, an armed robbery was reported at a market at Southside and Monterey.

The robbery report stated that the escapee had stolen a vehicle from a female shopper at the market and fled S/B on Monterey. As units on the picket line began to head for the area, another robbery was reported at the Shell station at Roeder and Monterey. The situation now became far more serious because, when the subject abandoned the stolen car, and commandeered another one, he took the owner hostage. The direction of travel was again given as S/B on Monterey.

Patrol units were close by and quickly caught up with the escapee and the hostage. Lead units reported that they could see the subject holding a handgun to the hostage's head, so all units were advised that the safety of the hostage was of primary importance and that everyone should "hold their positions" and continue to monitor the moving situation.

WHOOSH! Suddenly unmarked vehicles from an apparent Federal agency intermingled with the SJPD units. The situation got even more complicated as SJPD radios began to lose contact with Communications on the Hill as they continued south; they could talk car-to-car, but communication with the dispatcher was weak at best. Initially, one SJPD unit would drop back so it could maintain communication with the dispatcher and relay info to the cars ahead. Then a second unit would drop back and add to the chain.

Under the underpass and into Morgan Hill went the convoy. It wasn't a chase or a pursuit in the general sense. At best it was a slow-speed chase in which the patrol units simply kept the subject and his hostage in view.

Next it was in and out of San Martin and into Gilroy. Law enforcement throughout the area was being kept abreast of the situation, and the "convoy" attracted more and more units from south country jurisdictions as well as the CHP.

By the time we were south of Gilroy it became clear that the unmarked units that had invaded our fleet were agents from the FBI. Without the ability to communicate with our dispatcher, the SJPD units were "flying on their own." The FBI, however, had radio reception with their dispatch center.

Now the situation changed.

The commandeered vehicle with the hostage and the escapee exited the Monterey Rd. (Hwy 101) onto Hwy 129 West, heading to the coast. We continued along 129 past the rock quarry and into the town of Watsonville. It was here that an SJPD unit had problems. One of our unmarked H-units — no last names, but it was Gary and Paul — were very low on fuel as they initially left the Police Garage with less than a full tank. They pulled into a gas station on the main drag of 129 in Watsonville and instructed the gas pump kid to refuel the nearly empty tank.

As the H-car careened out of the station to rejoin the convoy, one of the officers yelled at the bewildered kid, "Charge it to the city of San Jose."

Back to the task at hand, the H-car and the rest of the convoy followed the hostage and the escapee to Hwy 1 where it turned north. The gun was still pointed at the hostage's head.

No traffic laws were being broken, but a more serious situation loomed before us. Where were we headed? Back to San Jose where we started? The question was answered when the commandeered vehicle turned off of Hwy 1 onto what is now State Park Drive on the way to Seacliff Beach and the ocean. At this point a major problem developed when the lead FBI unit lost sight of the subject. POOF! Gone. Frustration set in. How could a car (a VW Bug) disappear in front of so many units following it?

Enter a scenario right out of a James Bond movie. The kidnapped driver of the commandeered vehicle had grandparents who retired in the residential area just above the Cement Ship. The grandfather was retired military who had numerous international assignments during his career. In short, he was a "cool cat" under stress. The grandson-hostage had driven the vehicle to his grandparents' home and pulled the car into the garage, which explained why it had disappeared. Even cooler than gramps was the military-wife grandmother, who detected unusual activity inside her home. She managed to sneak into the garage and use a phone to contact the authorities in the Santa Cruz area and give them the location of the activity. She was then directed to exit the garage and wait for units to arrive.

And arrive they did. It was midnight and shift changes at all the law enforcement agencies in the area were taking place, thus Swing and Midnight units responded from the Santa Cruz PD, Santa Cruz S/O, Capitola, Watsonville, Gilroy and Morgan Hill police departments. SJPD had 24 officers on the scene along with the FBI. The grandmother provided details of what had transpired along with drawings of the interior of the residence.

Remember, this began on the Monterey Highway, close to downtown San Jose, and went on from there. Who knew where we were going? All we knew was that we had to secure the hostage wherever it would take us. We had no idea we would wind up at Seacliff.

We formed a physical line of officers 50 feet apart along the railroad tracks, just above Seacliff Beach. Several "strike teams" were assembled, one on each side of the house. Each of the five member teams was comprised of officers from various jurisdictions. I was fortunate to be on one team with FBI Special Agent "Buck" Sample, who is now retired and living in the Saratoga retirement community on Fruitdale Ave. But I digress...

Tom Bates of the FBI — who would later receive national acclaim in the Patty Hearst case — was the "lead guy" in the Seacliff operation. He managed to quietly enter the house and conceal himself in a hallway bathroom. When the grandfather and the victim-grandson came down the hallway with the escapee following behind, out came Bates. BAM! Case closed. The armed robber, kidnapper, auto thief and generally worthless piece of non-rehabilitatable convict was deceased. Case closed. As Inspector Closeau would say, "Zee case is sulved."

The only fallout from the event — and it was an event — came from the gas pump kid who got stiffed by the H-car for seven bucks. No receipt. No paperwork. No "fronting" the kid the $7.00 and putting in for reimbursement later. Nope. Made it hard for us to get Alice Muriyama (Murphy) to substantiate a cash payout without a receipt. Took a couple of months for the PD to make good on the picture of Lincoln and two of Washington.

If any active, non-retired coppers are reading this, remember to fill your tank to the top before you leave the Police Garage. You never know when or where the next great adventure will begin or take you.

(No reference material was used in this story. Just first-hand knowledge as a result from being a participant.)



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

New Articles

• Claim that the Obama administration "snubbed" the funeral of former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

• Musician Charlie Daniel's opinion piece about the Paula Deen controversy.

• Omnibus piece claims drinking several glasses of water a day will ward off or cure a variety of medical ailments.

• Warning cautions that Facebook's new "Graph App" makes your private Facebook content visible to strangers.

• Photograph purportedly shows a newly discovered species of "Venezuelan poodle moth."

• Letter from high school offers to allow students to make monetary donations to offset in attendance and poor grades.

• Warning about eating farm-raised tilapia and other fish imported from China.

• Video purportedly shows a Golden Corral restaurant storing food in an outdoor trash enclosure.

• TV news investigation shows Jiffy Lube outlets charging customers for auto maintenance work that was never done.

• Baseball player protests a fine by paying it all in pennies.

• Rumor claims Facebook is planning to institute a monthly charge for users.

• Were several prominent politicians born nine months after the 1947 Roswell "UFO" incident?

• How the producers of radio's 'Lone Ranger' employed a ruse to cover up the death of the actor who voiced the role.

• How the consumption of poppy seeds used on bagels and muffins can produce positive results on drug screening tests.

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

Worth a Second Look

• Do the personalities of Disney's seven dwarfs represent the seven stages of cocaine addiction?

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.



Don't forget to set the YouTube menu to Large or Full screen...

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Here's a contribution from Russ Jones. It's an excerpt from the weekly TV show "Motorweek" that airs on the Velocity Channel (it used to be televised on PBS). The clip is of a St. Paul, Minn. car show with the theme "Back to the Fifties." If, like Russ and the two-man Farsider staff, you began driving back then, this video should bring back some fond memories. (5 Mins.)


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Pet owner or not, you should see this clip of Jumpy the dog we received from Sharon Lansdowne. He can perform more tricks than almost any dog we have seen. He can even follow the command to pee on mommy. (2 Mins.)


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"Don't judge too quickly" is the theme of this series of clever commercials that should be worth a few of minutes of your time. (5 Mins.)


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This is a heartwarming promotion from the Discovery Channel about a rescued seal named "Snuffy" that is being released back to its ocean habitat. (30 Secs.)


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To expand on Jeff Foxworthy's theorem that you know you're a redneck when...we take you to this buggy competition that looks like the trophy will go to the driver who can pull off the most spectacular crash. It's unlikely you will want to watch the full  clip because it can get a little repetitive after a minute or two, but it will show you one way many rednecks have fun down in the south. (10 Mins.)


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We've all seen video footage of what road rage looks like on public roads and highways. Here's what it looked like recently on a North Carolina racetrack when one driver got a little miffed at another one for spinning him out. (1 Min.)


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While still dealing with the animal kingdom, does this video clip received from Chuck Blackmore show a real bear, or a very large man in a bear suit? We report, you decide. (2 Mins.)


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The quality of this footage of the Navy tug boat "Secota" being sunk after colliding with the submarine "USS Georgia" isn't the best as it was shot when Beta and VHS ruled the nest. but it shows what occurred some 27 years ago. According to Wikipedia:

On 22 March 1986, near Midway Island, the Secota had just completed a personnel transfer with the USS Georgia when the Secota lost power and collided with the Georgia, impacting the sub's stern dive planes. As the Secota sank, ten crewman were rescued, but two drowned. The Georgia was undamaged.
(5 Mins.)


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Attention motorcycle owners: If you are getting a little long in the tooth and have found that your big Harley or Honda Goldwing seems to be getting heavier and heavier as you age, perhaps you could use an unobtrusive automatic landing gear system so you don't embarrass yourself by dumping your ride at an intersection or in a parking lot. Here's a demo of how the landing gear work on both Harleys and Goldwings. (8 Mins.)


Specific info for Harley owners...


Details for the Honda GL1800 Goldwing...


If you haven't mastered the technique of righting a fallen Goldwing with the Landing Gear system. Watch this...


And if you choose to visit the website, read the testimonials by riders who purchased the system, but be prepared for sticker shock if you check out the cost.


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In closing, this is a "keep-a-Kleenex-handy" video from Don Hale.It's about a young lady named Chase who has brain cancer, and whose hope was to meet a couple of members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (4 Mins.)


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Pic of the Week:

Police Dogs in Action



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