August 1, 2013
Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
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
The trial phase of our Measure
B litigation is over. There are still some document housekeeping issues to be
resolved between the City and AFSCME. The final briefs are due on 9/10/13, and
Judge Lucas has reserved the date of 10/11/13 to reconvene the parties if she
has any questions once she reviews the briefs. We can expect a decision sometime
after that date with appeals also expected.
This story from last Sunday's paper will take you in the
courtroom for the first day of the Measure B litigation noted in the POA
Membership Alert above...
Much Riding on Ruling
million in yearly retirement savings at stake for city in Measure B case—
By John Woolfolk
Mercury News — July 28, 2013
SAN JOSE — San Jose’s
pension reform is in a judge’s hands now after a week of testimony in a closely
watched trial pitting the city’s ability to control ballooning retirement costs
against the expectations and rights of its employees and retirees.
Judge Patricia M. Lucas is expected to take months to decide the Measure B case
after lawyers submit written closing arguments, and appeals are likely. But much
is riding on the outcome.
For the city, some $68 million in yearly retirement savings is at stake — $20
million already is budgeted for employee raises and staffing to restore services
that were cut to pay pension costs. For Mayor Chuck Reed, who championed Measure
B, which won nearly 70 percent voter approval in June 2012, its fate is key to
his legacy and the political fortunes of his City Council allies.
“Unless it’s implemented,” said San Jose’s lawyer, Arthur Hartinger, in opening
statements to the judge, “the city’s pension and post-employment benefit
programs are unsustainable and out of control and threaten the city’s ability to
provide essential city services.”
For city employees who already have taken 10-percent pay cuts to help the city
weather its growing pension bill, a loss would saddle them with higher paycheck
deductions for their retirement benefits. Retirees are fighting to restore extra
pension checks and health care subsidies they argue the city unlawfully cut. And
unions hope a victory will deter similar ballot measures elsewhere. Their
lawyers argue that decades of California court decisions make it illegal for
government employers to cut retirement benefits for current or retired workers.
“The city has made an express promise,” said John McBride, a lawyer representing
several city employees, in opening statements. “Here is a benefit you will have
an entitlement to earn.”
The case drew keen interest from top city officials, retirees and union leaders,
who nearly filled the small, second-floor downtown courtroom during the
hearings. Reed was in the courtroom most of the week, often on the edge of his
seat during testimony, along with several of his council allies. Pension reform
advocates also dropped by during the week.
For her part, Lucas wore a weary expression during the trial, chiding the
lawyers about paperwork issues and witness availability. Several times, she
questioned measure foes’ lawyers about the relevance of their witness testimony
or line of questioning. And, in her June 20 ruling rejecting the city’s request
to dismiss critics’ charges before trial — her only remarks on the substance of
the case — she was skeptical of the city’s defense.
Not all of Measure B was at issue, at least in this trial. Unions and retirees
weren’t challenging the city’s ability to reduce pensions offered to new hires
since its passage. San Jose already has more than 100 new employees covered by a
reduced pension plan, expects to have one in place for police later this year
and is seeking one for firefighters through arbitration.
Unions also are trying to block Measure B with unfair labor practice charges
through the state Public Employment Relations Board that argue it violated their
During the trial, Measure B foes took aim at several key provisions. One was a
provision that employees would have to contribute up to 16 percent more toward
their pensions. Opponents argued the city is solely responsible for paying
accumulated debt in San Jose’s retirement plans. They called actuary Thomas
Lowman, who testified to that effect, as well as Daniel Doonan, a labor
economist who said that with the pay cuts and now Measure B, “the city wants it
“The pay cuts were already implemented to pay for the increased cost of
retirement benefits, and at this point,” Doonan said, “the city is coming back
asking for higher contributions as well.”
Measure B opponents also assailed the city’s efforts to eliminate a benefit that
paid retirees extra pension checks when retirement funds had high earnings.
Opponents also blasted the claim by the city that it can lower its retiree
health insurance subsidies by offering current employees a cheaper,
high-deductible plan. The city argued the retiree health benefit is tied to the
lowest-priced premium of plans offered any city worker and that Measure B did
not change this. But lawyers for police officers and firefighters argued their
retirees’ benefit is tied to a higher-priced and more generous plan offered to
officers and firefighters.
The city offered testimony from City Auditor Sharon Erickson, whose 2010 audit
showed the city’s pension plans have reached unsustainable levels due to poor
market returns, benefit increases and faulty assumptions. The city also called
City Manager Debra Figone and Deputy City Manager Alex Gurza.
Figone testified about the cuts to police, fire, library, parks and other city
services — some 2,000 jobs eliminated over a decade — to cover soaring
Gurza testified that employee unions had agreed to make extra pension payments
to help the city close budget deficits in 2010 and that several offered to
eliminate the extra pension check benefit. City lawyers argued that shows the
city can require higher pension payments from employees and eliminate the extra
checks because the unions cannot waive a legally protected “vested right.”
After the hearings, Robert Sapien, the San Jose Firefighters union president and
a plaintiff in the case, said he felt employees had presented a solid case, and,
noting that Reed is seeking a state ballot measure to soften pension
protections, added, “it doesn’t seem like they have a lot of confidence.”
Reed said afterward that the city’s lawyers and witnesses “did an excellent job”
and presented a case that was “clear, straightforward and understandable.”
THE TRIALS AND
TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold devoted last Sunday's column
to former POA President Bobby Lopez's upcoming retirement...
Retirement Unlikely to Change
By Scott Herhold
News — July 28, 2013
There are two essential
things you need to know about Sgt. Bobby Lopez, who made his mark as the fiery
leader of rank-and-file cops in San Jose. The first is that he is much smarter
than he looks. The second is that he enjoys a political brawl. The guy who wears
a T-shirt and looks like a janitor originally wanted to be a lawyer. He has
immersed himself in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.’’ He devours biographies of Lord
Horatio Nelson, Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan. If you underestimate him,
you court peril.
Lopez, 56, is retiring after
23 years with the San Jose police and 10 years in the Santa Clara County
Sheriff’s Department. His last shift will be Friday. But he plans to remain a
leader of the Fraternal Order of Police, trying to create a regional movement to
“I enjoyed the job,” he told me. “I don’t think there’s been a day until
recently that I didn’t get up and want to come to work. It’s like an E-ticket
ride at Disneyland. Every day is what you make of it.’’
From early 2006 to late 2009, Lopez was president of the San Jose Police
Officers’ Association, an era of generous benefits for cops.
To the media’s delight, he had a flair for the middle-finger response. When the
Mexican consul criticized San Jose police over allegations of brutality, Lopez
rallied the troops — and spurred criticism — by suggesting Mexico had not solved
its own police problems.
He doesn’t have kind words for his successors at the police officers’
association, who return the tart judgment.
Jim Unland, the current POA chief, has led a stout defense against the Measure B
pension reform but has sounded pessimistic about the future for cops in San
Jose. Lopez comes across as a firebrand, but he doesn’t have pessimism in his
I asked Lopez who, in his experience, were the best and worst mayors (Tom
McEnery the best, judgment still out on worst); the best and worst police chiefs
(Bill Lansdowne and Chris Moore, who he says “couldn’t decide whether to be
chief or ambassador to Oz.’’ Moore declined comment).
Occasionally, Lopez’s outspokenness has landed him in trouble. In 2010, the
Mercury News quoted him as saying he had a spy in the office of police auditor
LaDoris Cordell. Lopez called the story inaccurate. And an investigation
determined no confidential auditor’s information was leaked. But the affair did
not help him. Councilman Pete Constant branded Lopez a liar.
Beyond the rhetoric, however, Lopez does not scorn his opponents. He accepts
that it’s the job of union leaders to push for better benefits, and the job of
the mayor to push back.
A story: As a deputy, Lopez and several other officers were dispatched to arrest
a 17-year-old parole violator who had a .45-caliber handgun and swore he
wouldn’t be captured alive.
At the last minute, as Lopez held a shotgun, the kid dropped the gun. Lopez
asked why. “I looked in everybody else’s eyes. I didn’t think they would
shoot,’’ Lopez quoted the kid as saying. “I looked in yours, and I knew you
Lopez says the kid later got a job and raised a family.
~ ~ ~
Another former POA
President was also in the news last weekend. The I.A. column of last Sunday's
paper included this item about George Beattie's retirement from the SJPD and
move to the Hayward PD, whose chief is Diane Urban, another former San Jose cop
who held the rank of Asst. Chief when she left San Jose for the No. 1 job at the
Mercury News — July 28, 2013
Gets Job for Ex-Colleague at SJPD
When he stepped down as
president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association at the end of 2011, Lt.
George Beattie said his mind had shifted toward retirement, and he was exploring
other jobs. We can report now that the 53-year-old lieutenant has landed
After 25 years and two
months with the San Jose police, Beattie has taken a $132,000 per-year civilian
post as personnel and training administrator with the Hayward Police Department.
Hayward officials say he began officially early this month.
What’s the background?
Well, insiders may remember that the chief of police in Hayward is Diane Urban,
formerly the assistant chief in San Jose. Urban knows Beattie well, and as the
exodus of veteran officers continues from San Jose, she hired him.
“George Beattie is an all-around class act who will bring years of field
experience, people skills and leadership to our organization,” Urban said by
Will he recruit San Jose cops in his new Hayward gig? Don’t bother to ask.
Last Week's Poll
For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
Leroy received the
following message regarding the George Zimmerman case from former SJPD cop Ron
Martinelli along with a notation that it was OK to publish in the Farsider...
Tired of media hype? Think you know all about the
George Zimmerman case? Think again. Forensic criminologist, use of force and OIS
expert Dr. Ron Martinelli takes you inside.
(Guys: Feel free to send this out to everyone you know. I hope the truth will go
Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., BCFT, CFA, CLS
Martinelli & Associates: Justice & Forensic Consultants, Inc.
Temecula, CA 92591
• • • • •
Thanks for the photo of the
1974 Narcotics Bureau. The gentleman fourth from left standing was LAPD Sgt Lynn
Leeds. He was an "Addict Under the Influence" expert bought up by Lt. Bertotti
to assist us in forming the 11550 enforcement team.
The effectiveness of this
team was illustrated when Craig Buckhout put on his uniform to attend a funeral
in a marked vehicle. On his way back, Craig spotted a street person he knew and
stopped for a look. With impunity, the individual conducted a drug transaction
right in front of him. When Craig pinched the hype, he loudly complained about
how unfair it was for "Buckles" to disguise himself as a cop.
I consider myself fortunate to have been in the same room with this collection
of great cops. The five years I spent watching these crews at work was the most
fun I ever had in my life.
"Nails" (Larry Fernsworth)
Nails is in the middle of the top row, next to
LAPD Sgt. Leeds. We know the names of most of the others, but since we can't
name them all, we'll stop at Nails and the L.A. sergeant.
• • • • •
Bill & Leroy,
It was reported that a prison in Fremont was promoting a "Rent a Cell" for the
prisoners. I remember an old USAF base in Fremont called Parks Air Force base
back in the fifties that was taken over and made into a Federal Prison. Is that
the same old place? It was a prison that offered federal prisoners tennis
courts, special meals, and other not-so-hard-to take-prison benefits. Now they
can rent their rooms with personal showers and soft beds for a price? That's the
place I want to go when I'm to old to care for myself. In round figures at 60
dollars a night for 30 days and nights with 24 hour care I would only have to
pay 1,800 a month. At that price I would only have to pay $21,600 a year for
24-hour care. Compared to the going rate of nearly $100,000 a year for private
care. it is a real good deal. Free food, free medical, free supervision, no tax,
etc. All I have to do is commit a federal white collar crime and my last days on
earth will not be a burden to my family. Only in America. Not cleaned up nor
checked on Snopes. Just dancing fingers.
Leroy was the first to respond:
Parks AFB was up in Pleasanton, behind the Alameda Co. S/O and comprised of a
bunch of old barracks. I started at Fremont PD in '64 and got my tear gas
training at Parks. I think that's why I gravitated towards training. It was my
way of getting revenge for that tear gas experience! — Leroy
There seems to be a lot
of misinformation about Fremont's "pay-to-stay" hoosegow. First, it has nothing
to do with the Federal prison system. The Federal Correctional Facility (FCI) in
Pleasanton (actually Dublin) that was often referred to as a "country club" for
Federal prisoners opened in 1974 as a minimum security prison for men. In
addition to junk bond king Michael Milken, it also housed Jeffrey MacDonald for
a period of time. He was the Green Beret medical doctor who was found guilty of
murdering his pregnant wife and two children in 1970. The facility was converted
in 2012 to a female only FCI.
The Fremont jail where misdemeanants can
"pay-to-stay" is an entirely different facility. Following are some pertinent
excerpts from a KTVU Channel 2 news report about the jail facility:
Lt. Mark Devine, who oversees the program, said it is designed for those who
have committed a petty theft or a DUI and need to serve one or five, or maybe 10
days in jail.
"It's still a jail; there's no special treatment," Devine said. "They get the
same cot, blanket and food as anybody in the county jail, except that our jail
is smaller, quieter and away from the county jail population."
The program might give Fremont an economic boost, Devine said. If the jail is
able to house about 16 inmates for at least two nights a week, the city could
turn an annual net profit of about $244,000, he said.
"The jail has 58 beds, but at any one time on the weekend we're lucky if we have
a dozen people using it," Devine said. "We have a lot of unused capacity, so we
have unused taxpayer-invested money just sitting there."
Similar pay-to-stay jail programs are offered in other California cities,
including Anaheim, Beverly Hills and Roseville, which is located near
For the full story,
click on this link:
NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE ON-LINE
To download the
June/July 2013 issue of the Billy & Spanner to your desktop, click on the link
below, then double-click the icon to open it...
THE HISTORY OF THE
SJPD SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN
An Addendum to
Last Week's California Cheese Co. Homicide
Reading about the Cheese Factory homicide in the latest Farsider brought back a
couple of memories related to one of the SJPD investigators who had a small part
in the case. For this addendum he shall remain nameless.
With a change of venue that moved the trial to Los Angeles, the investigator was
required to fly to L.A. to testify. It was to be a turn-around for him; fly
down, testify, fly back the same day. This would be an all-day ordeal for him
because it required an early flight out of San Jose and an afternoon departure
One day after court he engaged in a conversation with the defense attorneys and
hitched a ride with them to LAX. After they bought their tickets they continued
to converse while they proceeded to board the airplane. Their conversation
continued until the plane was about halfway between L.A. and the Bay Area when
one of the attorneys mentioned that he was surprised the investigator was bound
for San Francisco and not San Jose. "Oh s%&#," said the detective. "Wrong
How he got home from SFO is another story.
When the same investigator later split up with his wife he moved into an
apartment as a single. His new residence needed a good cleaning, but the
detective didn't have a vacuum cleaner. When he came to work the next day he
asked Sgt. Jim Cornelius if he could borrow his. Jim agreed and brought it to
work with him the next day and told the investigator that he left it in his
unlocked VW Bus that was in the city employees' parking lot.
The investigator drove over to the parking lot in his unmarked car, found the
vacuum and proceeded home to clean his apartment. But when he found the vacuum
didn't work, he took it to a repair facility to have it fixed. It was soon
returned, and the detective took it home and completed the job of cleaning his
When he asked Jim the following day where his car was parked so he could return
the vacuum, Cornelius was quite surprised. He told the detective that he assumed
he had taken the vacuum home, cleaned his apartment, then returned it to his VW
Bus the same day. It didn't take a great deal of investigative work to determine
that the investigator had initially taken the wrong vacuum, and that in the
owner's eyes, it had been stolen. Our unnamed investigator was now faced with
the problem of returning the fixed vacuum to the owner's car without being seen,
but he managed to pull it off.
Somewhere there was a city employee who, to this day, probably wonders how
strange it was for someone to steal a broken vacuum cleaner out of his car, only
to find a few days later that it had been returned and in working condition. He
or she may even have wondered if it might have been "divine intervention."
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN
LEGEND UPDATE AS OF JULY 27, 2013
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
Did a machine shop worker
who tore his scrotum
on a piece of machinery staple it back together?
• Photograph purportedly shows a service technician who was dragged off a
motor scooter and beaten by a mob of "Trayvon crazed thugs."
• Video clip purportedly shows an airplane making a safe landing after losing
• Did Paul Simon take the title of his song 'Mother and Child Reunion' from
the name of a chicken-and-egg dish on the menu of a Chinese restaurant?
• Did an 1875 report by the Horseless Carriage
Committee warn about the dangers of gasoline-fueled vehicles?
• New pastor secretly poses as homeless man, then reveals himself to
• Do the colored squares on toothpaste tubes identify the composition of the
toothpaste enclosed therein?
• Have musical acts declined to perform in Florida over that state's 'stand
your ground' law?
• In commemoration of the anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, we
present a collection of legends related to man's first trip to the moon.
• Medical case report about a machine-shop worker who
tore his scrotum in a piece of machinery and then stapled it back together.
• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news
stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
• Did presenting a rare 1943 copper cent to Ford entitle the bearer to a free
Still Haunting the Inbox
• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's
circulating in the on-line world.
• 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
You know the drill. Select Large or Full Screen for YouTube
• • • • •
In light of the Asiana Flight 214 (a Boeing
777) that recently crashed at SFO while attempting to land on runway 28-Left, we
thought we would reprise this video from the Jan. 3rd Farsider that shows how
the landing should have gone had the main landing gear of the aircraft not have
impacted the seawall at the beginning of the runway.
If you would like to be a fly on the wall of the
cockpit of the world's largest commercial passenger jet, click on the link below
and you will immediately find yourself aboard Lufthansa Flight 454 as the
massive A380-800 Airbus makes its approach and lands at SFO to a wet greeting by
two of the airport's fire trucks. (14 Mins.)
• • • • •
Speaking of the
Asiana crash, David Byers says he heard about a recent modification to the SFO
runway that will hopefully prevent any further landing mishaps...
• • • • •
While we are on the topic
of commercial aviation, a satellite representation of air traffic over a 24 hour
period condensed down to a little more than a minute might make one wonder why
there are not more catastrophic accidents than there actually are. That there
are not is a testament to the safety of flying. Note how the amount of traffic
is heaviest during the daylight hours over North America and Europe as the earth
revolves. (1 Min.)
• • • • •
Speaking of air traffic,
this link received from Jim Silvers will allow you to identify by flight number
the track of virtually all commercial aircraft in real time. Look closely and
you can see the planes moving, and clicking on one with your mouse will show you
its flight number and, on the left, more info about the flight. You can also use
your mouse to move the terrain to keep up with a specific flight. The website
has other features. so take a look around if this subject interests you.
• • • • •
(Confidential to PBA
Secretary-Treasurer Larry "Lumpy" Lundberg. Word has it that nearly 90 percent
of the membership have signed a petition directing you to follow this New York
cop's example of raising dough to supplement the Association's treasury, which
will allow you to reduce the amount of their monthly dues. Given your fortitude
and love for the almighty buck, it should be easy providing the BART employees
don't walk off the job again.) (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
writes: "Have you
utilized this fine display of Scottish manliness and patience? It is more
evidence that shows how modern technology is designed to frustrate as well as
irritate." (4 Mins.)
• • • • •
Are you old enough to
remember this song that accompanies some clever editing of film footage from
performers of yesteryear that includes Stan and Oliver?
• • • • •
If you like to think of
yourself as a movie buff, here's your chance to prove it. How many of these
movie quotes do you recognize besides "Badges? I ain't got to show you no
stinkin' badges!" (11 Mins.)
• • • • •
If $139K was a little too
steep a price for the Icon A5 sport plane we showed you last week, think of the
fun you can have with this $100K Honda powered WaterCar, especially if it comes
with a blonde in a black bikini. This clip from Alice Murphy touts it as the
fastest amphibious car in the world. (1 Min.)
Click here for more info:
• • • • •
Lots of people turn to
YouTube for instructions on how to handle different chores, install various
items, etc. The key is to make sure the person presenting the tutorial knows
what they are doing. This clip from Sharon Lansdowne is an example of a video
that should not be followed by young ladies who want to know how to operate a
curling iron. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
We wouldn't call the guy in
this video sent in by Alice Murphy a virtuoso on the violin, but when it comes
to balancing acts he's not half bad. (4 Mins.)
• • • • •
Speaking of balancing acts,
Don Hale says this one looks to be impossible. (He's obviously never seen Leroy
practicing a similar routine on a clothesline tied to two trees in his
backyard.) (6 Mins.)
• • • • •
Some have suggested that if
President Obama wants to raise his sinking poll numbers, he should insert a
little humor in his speeches. After all, it seemed to work for Ronald Reagan.
• • • • •
This moving story about a
wedding and a broken fork we received from Chuck Blackmore looks familiar, but
because we couldn't find it in the Farsider Archives we thought it was worth
including. If you choose to watch it you will understand why it has subtitles in
Hebrew. (5 Mins.)
• • • • •
Here's a quarter-mile drag
race that features several super cars and should be of interest to you gearheads.
Unfortunately, there are only a couple in the line-up that most of us can
afford. (5 Mins.)
• • • • •
This short clip received
from Don Hale is a moving and patriotic TV ad by Food City that ran in some
parts of the country in early July. (1 Min.)
• • • • •
We chose as a closer this
week this contribution from Bruce Morton. Titled "The Rainbow Bridge," it speaks
to those of you who have ever lost a pet. (4 Mins.)
• • • • •
Pic of the Week
THE FARSIDER SUBSCRIPTION ROSTER as of 8/1/13
Additions and changes since the last published update
(alphabetical by last name):
To receive the email address of anyone on the list -- or to receive the roster
with all of the email addresses -- send your request to
Abram, Fred & Connie
Alvarez, Pat (Campbell)
Babineau, Dave & Cheryl
Bray, Mary Ellen
Brown Jr., Bill
Burroughs, (Bronson) Utta
Carr Jr., John
Clark, Bill (the one who stayed)
Embry (Howsmon), Eva
Foulkes [Duchon], Louise
Gonzalez, D. (formerly D. Avila)
Guido, Jr., Jim
Guido, Sr. Jim
Hare, Caren (Carlisle)
Harnish, Mary (Craven)
Horton, Debbie (McIntyre)
Howsmon (Sr.), Frank
Inami, Steve & Francine
Johnson, Tom & Fran
Klein, Lou Anna
Leonard (Lintern), Lynda
Long (Huntwork), Eunice
Ng, Dr. Jonathan
Perry (Cervantez), Martha
Rappe (Ryman), Bonnie
Reyes (Buell), Cindy
Richter, Darrell & Annette
Schenini (Alvarez), Joanne
Terry, Glenn & Maggie
Vallecilla, Ernie & Peggy
Van Dyck, Lois
Williams [Durham], Lanette
Windisch Jr., Steve
|This is the message box, using the