August 28, 2014
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 TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE CITY AND SJPD
This article is reason #47 to be extremely
grateful that a City retirement check arrives in your mail box or bank account
SJPD: Smaller Force Puts Veteran Cops on Routine Patrol and Spurs Identity Shift
Mercury News — Aug. 16, 2014
SAN JOSE -- Seasoned detectives quelling rowdy bar crowds. Tactical team
officers directing traffic around car accidents. Motor officers off their bikes
and walking the streets.
A lot of veteran San Jose police officers are back doing what they did when they
were rookies, filling gaps in the understaffed patrol division, which police
brass have deemed the lifeblood of the force.
It's the new identity of the San Jose Police Department, which is funneling
resources into routine patrols and emergency response at the expense of the
vice, electronic crimes, gang and other special units. The proactive work of
those special units helped distinguish the department among its big-city peers
and is credited for the trumpeted years in the mid-2000s when San Jose was
regularly named the safest large city in the country.
"It will be more of a reactive police department," Assistant Chief Eddie Garcia
said. "When a business starts losing staffing, they need to concentrate on that
initial thing they provide. Ours is the uniformed patrol force, answering that
911 call for service. We're going to have to sacrifice some things, and quite
frankly, moving forward, we're going to have to sacrifice quite a few things."
Detective Alfonso Rodriguez poses for a picture at the San
Jose police department in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday,
Aug. 7, 2014. Rodriguez, a 20-plus year SJPD veteran who
works in the missing-persons unit, along with many of his
peers in the Bureau of Investigations, is back in his dress
blues and working a patrol shift, as part of a larger department
effort to focus resources on keeping an undermanned patrol
staff afloat in the face of dwindling manpower.
particular set of internal department figures bears that out. In 2007, before an
exodus of officers amid pay cuts and a still-running political battle over
pension and disability benefits, officers processed 9,830 suspects at police
headquarters rather than county jail, a figure generally used to benchmark
proactive arrests. In 2013, that number dropped to 1,788. Overall arrests have
dropped over the same period, but it's telling that in 2007 these
"self-initiated" arrests accounted for 27 percent of the total of 36,172, and
dropped to under 10 percent of the 18,314 total arrests in 2013.
A steady decrease in the national crime rate -- about 5 percent last year,
according to FBI figures -- might explain some of that decline. But department
insiders say it largely boils down to fewer working officers in each city
district, with emergency calls eating into time that might otherwise be spent on
investigation or crime prevention.
The focus on emergency response has also translated into sluggish response to
burglary calls and dwindling traffic enforcement. Prostitution and drug dealing
are stopped less often because the Metro special-enforcement team once dedicated
to those issues is instead helping curb gang violence. The rapid proliferation
of suburban illegal marijuana grows remains unchecked, surfacing only when grow
houses catch fire and threaten neighborhoods.
Back to patrol story
From a peak of more than 1,400 sworn officers in 2008, there are now just over
1,000, with about 900 available for full duty. About half are assigned to
patrol, which is still short of the 492-officer prescribed minimum for patrols
citywide. The shortage is made up in overtime shifts and reassigning officers
from other divisions. Such specialties as missing-persons and robberies merged,
while others, including auto theft, became one- or two-man units. Only four
detectives work financial crimes, an 80 percent reduction, against a backdrop of
rising property crimes statewide.
That was a sore point for Cambrian resident Lily Leiby, whose home-security
system caught clear video of a man breaking into her home Aug. 3. But like many
burglary victims, she was initially told her case was likely just being added to
"They said unless we would've caught him right there and then, they don't
investigate this much," Leiby said. "We had the same experience two years ago.
It's why we're so frustrated."
She got rare good news though, when dogged work by an off-duty sergeant led to
an arrest later in the week.
Recently, special-operations officers, such as those in the Mobile Emergency
Response Group and Equipment unit -- SJPD's SWAT equivalent -- were pulled into
monthly patrols, and the department is considering eliminating the motorcycle
unit and reassigning its 12 day-to-day officers.
Some question whether allowing patrol to cannibalize all others is the right
tactic, including Dennis Kenney, a professor at New York's John Jay College of
Criminal Justice and an expert in police-training procedures.
"Just maintaining patrol is probably not an advisable approach," Kenney said.
"There's a point of diminishing returns, a tipping point with patrol where you
have too few people."
He alluded to other departments in the country addressing similar shortfalls by
turning to analytics-based policing -- concentrating officers on high-crime
areas, but leaving safer areas thinly patrolled. SJPD's situation, he said,
provides a rare chance to fully re-evaluate each service's importance.
"They need to spend a lot of time thinking about, 'Is it worth doing?'" he said.
The cultural shift away from specialties has been a factor in many SJPD
departures, which have averaged more than 100 the past three years.
"Opportunities that people came to this department to do don't exist anymore,"
said Kirk Wilson, a 22-year veteran who left SJPD in June.
Wilson, who worked five years in the defunct high-tech crime unit, was one of
four specialized officers who left for jobs as investigators with the Santa
Clara District Attorney's Office. That included Patricia Jaime, a social
worker-turned-cop who worked in the sexual-assault and crime-scene units,
veteran gang investigator Clayton Le, and Internet crimes detective Chris
"I hope our departure sheds light on what's happening," Harden said. "We're
speaking with our feet."
The loss of that kind of knowledge and experience translates into unsolved
crimes, says retired Capt. Tom Brewer, who formed the department's Metro
special-enforcement unit in the late-1990s by merging the narcotics and
Brewer says it takes years working a beat to effectively thwart recurring crime
issues, citing gangs as an example.
"A crime can go down and one cop's knowledge of a little tattoo, and they know
who did it. You can't have good street enforcement without that
institutionalized knowledge," he said, adding that it could take "decades" to
Well-chronicled political struggles have largely driven SJPD's transformation:
City Hall-led initiatives to rein in spiraling pension and disability costs were
met with fierce resistance by the police union, and embittered officers left in
droves. The union blames city leaders for decimating the police force, while
city reformers accuse the union of running a fear campaign and driving away
applicants. Both sides now hope to hire more cops. But the rebuilding effort hit
an obstacle this month when the council could not muster enough votes to propose
sales tax increases that could have been used for those hires.
Much of the hoped growth hinges on an ambitious recruiting plan: to field three
police academies a year of at least 50 cadets each. The current class has 24
cadets, a historic low. Police officials expect future classes will approach the
Garcia says he's optimistic, and inspired by the tireless work being done by
officers in tenuous circumstances.
"Nobody answers the bell more often than the men and women in this department,"
Garcia said. "You put aside all the issues, and still, nothing beats the job
itself as an SJPD officer."
• • • • •
Looks like the first class
of CSOs have graduated and are hitting the streets. Don't be too quick to
criticize. Wouldn't you have preferred to have one of them take those humdrum
theft or 460 reports when you were working the field?
Community Officers to Help Lighten SJPD’s Heavy Load
—Inaugural graduates ready to assist in non-urgent matters—
Mercury News — Aug. 22, 2014
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Police Department marked a historic day Thursday by
graduating its inaugural class of Community Service Officers, who will be tasked
with easing the burden on an undermanned and overworked patrol force. It made
for upbeat but sober spirits at a South San Jose church where 25 men and women
received the first-ever CSO badges issued in the city.
“You’re not the cure-all for all our staffing needs,” Chief Larry Esquivel told
the graduates. “But you’re definitely a much-needed shot in the arm.” Mayor
Chuck Reed, architect of controversial reforms to rein in spiraling police
pensions that coincided with shrinking officer numbers, voiced similar thoughts.
“We can’t do everything we want to do, but being able to add these CSOs is a
very big thing for San Jose,” he said. It was a moment for celebration for a
group filling a new niche in city law enforcement.
Community Service Officer graduates Juliette
Licon, Angelica Vasquez and Oscar Cardenas
stand during the ceremony held Thursday at
the Family Community Church in San Jose
think being the first, we get to take what was meant for the program and mold
and shape it,” said Roberto Franco, 44, of San Jose.
The new community officers will respond to non-urgent situations such as
burglaries, auto thefts and vandalism. They’ll write reports and, in some cases,
gather evidence such as dusting for fingerprints but typically won’t be handling
any calls that involve inherent danger or an active suspect.
They’ll wear light-blue uniform tops and carry a police radio, high-powered
flashlight and pepper spray, for which they received training similar to that of
police academy recruits. They’ll drive compact cars affixed with amber light
After five weeks of an academy curriculum built from scratch, the 25 CSOs will
undergo three weeks of field training with SJPD officers and then will be sent
out on their own.
Their addition comes at a crucial time for the department, where in six years
the sworn force has shrunk from 1,400 to just more than 1,000, spurred in large
part by a bitter political battle over pension and disability reform. To meet
staffing minimums, other divisions such as the detective bureau and
special-operations have been pulled into working patrols.
Sgt. Brian Misener pins
a badge on Kellie Carroll
during the graduation
“It has come at the perfect time,” said Sgt. Skip Harsany, who will oversee the
new program. “
The hope is the CSOs will free up street officers to focus on proactive arrests
and crime prevention.
“We’re not trying to take over,” said Kellie Carroll, 50, recipient of the
class’ leadership award. “We’re there to supplement them.”
The inaugural class was whittled down from a pool of 800 initial applicants, and
breaks down nearly evenly by gender: 13 men and 12 women spanning young and
older, different races and backgrounds. Some already worked with police in a
civilian capacity, like Carroll, who after 22 years as a dispatcher will be up
close and personal with the kinds of people she used to help over the phone.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Carroll said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
In other police circles, the department’s ongoing struggles with recruiting and
retaining officers has spurred some skepticism over whether leaders are doing
enough to address the shortfall.
“I appreciate the fact they’re out there and sincerely here to help, but we need
cops,” said Sgt. Jim Unland, president of the San Jose Police Officers’
Association. “It’s a distraction from the real problem: We cannot hire and
retain police officers.”
The CSOs will work Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. — hours
police say the preponderance of cold-call reports are made — with a four-hour
overlap in the middle of the day. They’ll be split evenly among the city’s four
patrol divisions, with headquarters at the new police substation in South San
A police lieutenant will serve as their day-to-day supervisor, with Harsany
overseeing the overall performance. Any complaints will be fielded by the
department’s internal-affairs unit, the same as if they were sworn officers.
They will also be expected to fill the community- relations gap with residents
and merchants that has grown with sworn officers increasingly prioritizing
“We want them out talking to the community, let them know what they do and why
they’re here and do some of the community policing many of our patrol officers
don’t have the time to handle.”
• • • • •
This is a follow-up to last
week's article about the young lady who was shot and killed after she threatened
officers with what appeared to be a handgun, but turned out to be a cordless
drill painted black. The original article can be read by clicking
to access last week's Farsider.
Parents Open Up About Daughter
—Couple recalls young woman who shined despite her illness—
Mercury News — Aug. 27, 2014
SAN JOSE — For their daughter’s entire life, Jim and Victoria Showman labored
tirelessly to help with her severe bipolar disorder. The work went right up
until the final minutes.
Jim Showman’s last words to 19-year-old Diana came Aug. 14 in an early morning
phone call: He reminded her to take her psychiatric medication.
The same morning, Victoria Showman was talking with the intake director at San
Andreas Regional Center in hopes of enrolling her daughter for services aimed at
helping developmentally disabled people live independently. She needed a
document from her husband, and he took a break from his job as a systems
engineer to go back to the Blossom Hill Road duplex where his daughter lived
His path was blocked by police cars. What he didn’t know until hours later was
that Diana was mortally wounded by a police officer during a confrontation on
busy Blossom Hill Road. As the Showmans struggle with her death, they are also
questioning whether the shooting was necessary, and why police wouldn’t let them
be by her side in her final moments.
Jim Showman was whisked away to San Jose police headquarters and led to an
interview room. Victoria soon followed. Police refused to tell them what
happened to Diana.
“I told them, ‘What you’re doing is cruel. We don’t know if our daughter’s
alive,’ ” Jim Showman said in an interview with this newspaper.
He got to the shooting scene at 10:30 a.m. Diana Showman was pronounced dead
about 12:30 p.m.
Her parents would not find out for another hour.
Jim and Victoria Showman talk Tuesday about the Aug. 14 officer-involved
shooting of their daughter, Diana, at the law offices of Steven
Clark in San Jose.
“This was wrong, not (being) able to see our daughter in her dying minutes,”
Victoria Showman said.
Police are sympathetic to their plight, but contend that investigative protocols
would have prevented the parents from being at Diana Showman’s bedside even if
they had gone directly to the hospital. A spokeswoman said the wounded woman’s
room became part of the crime scene, and had to be secured.
“Once it’s determined that someone has life-threatening injuries or might die,
the room is sealed,” Sgt. Heather Randol said. “We know this is a horrible
situation for the family. But it’s important we preserve the integrity of the
investigation and follow these procedures.”
But for Jim and Victoria Showman, who broke their silence Tuesday, it compounded
the pain of spending nearly two decades watching their daughter struggle with
her affliction, then reach the cusp of a once-unimaginable independent adulthood
just as her life ended.
“The way this was handled was not the right way in dealing with a family who
lost a child,” said Steven Clark, a well-known local attorney representing the
Diana Showman was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was just 5 years old,
the Showmans said. While struggling privately and having to cope with an
ever-changing array of medications — up to eight at the time of her death — she
thrived in school, they said, playing softball and graduating from Leigh High
School last year.
On the morning she died, Diana Showman called 911 and reportedly told emergency
dispatchers she had an Uzi and was going to shoot her family. But nobody else
According to police and witnesses — some of whom captured the encounter on
cellphone video — Showman emerged from her home with an item in each hand, and
at some point dropped one of the items on a grassy berm. But she kept a large
black item — later revealed to be a black-painted cordless drill — in one hand
and continued toward the officers, defying their orders to drop it. As she got
close to Officer Wakana Okuma, the officer fired a single shot.
As it happens, Okuma, a 13-year department veteran, was one of a battery of SJPD
officers who had undergone what is known as Crisis Intervention Team training,
which focuses on mental-health response.
It’s a tough situation for everyone involved, local mental-health experts said,
trying to balance a potential threat and assessing whether it’s legitimate or a
mental-health crisis, perhaps both.
The grieving parents are convinced that she was never a threat.
“Part of her disability is she had poor impulse control and didn’t always
understand the consequences of her actions,” her mother said.
Jim Showman also dismissed the notion that his daughter’s death was a “suicide
by cop” scenario.
“When I saw the video, she was not committing suicide. She was looking for
attention,” he said.
That the video, widely viewed online, and the cordless drill have become the
lasting symbols of what happened that day is something the Showmans — Diana’s
mother, father and two brothers — want to change. To them, her bipolar disorder
and the shooting should be a footnote in the memory of the vibrant, fearless and
athletic woman they memorialized Friday with nearly 300 family and friends.
They’ll remember the Diana Showman who was an ace baseball player, occupying
third base in Little League and later women’s softball, both as a teen and
adult. They’ll think about how she reveled in working for several years with
special- needs children.
“She put herself out there in so many ways. She was a delight,” Victoria Showman
said. “She was our baby and we loved her. We miss her every day.”
What is being done with the Police Substation in South San Jose? I never see
anything in the papers or in the Farsider on the cost of operation or lack of
operation for the building. Millions of dollars has gone into its technology,
furniture and other equipment that sits dormant as far as I know. The building
is still surrounded with rented fencing. This is an obvious expense the City
doesn't need since the Police Department has downsized and continues to do so.
I have spoken to many people in the South San Jose area who don't even realize
the Substation exists. I would think that people would be more irate to know
their tax dollars are paying to maintain a building that serves no purpose when
public safety is at an all time low.
I didn't have any answers
for Sandi, so I told her in an email that I'd include her message in this column
in the event one of you readers can shed some light on the 'dark' substation.
• • • • •
Bill and Leroy,
Just a note of appreciation for what ya’ll do. When I left the Sheriffs Office I
moved to Montana and enjoyed the most peaceful existence I have ever known. I
now live in Oregon in the same wilderness surroundings. My point is that reading
the Farsider every week not only keeps me informed on the well being of a
vanishing bunch of SJPD folks I had the privilege of working with, but it
reminds of the hectic, overpopulated and extremely busy city of San Jose. You
guys have got bigger balls than I do to live there.
Sorry to hear of SJPD's dilemma of possibly disbanding the motor cops. Big
mistake. They do more for our law enforcement image by just being seen than
anything else I can think of, not to mention the traffic enforcement angle. This
goes back a long way, but I remember old B.J. Collins and the couple times he
was a big help to me. Despite his personal problems, he was a good man.
Enough said. In my old age I have a tendency to ramble. Anyway, thanks again.
Leroy and I are going to
take your comment about us living here figuratively, Mike, so don't reach for a
• • • • •
With the recent realignment of sworn personnel to beef up the Patrol Division
that has resulted in the reduction and/or elimination of several investigative
and specialized units, it isn't surprising to hear they are thinking about
eliminating Motors and transferring those officers to patrol as well. If the top
motivating factor behind all of this is monetary, it would make more sense to
maintain the Motor Unit as the revenue generated for the City in citations for
moving violations alone makes them more valuable in their role as traffic
enforcement officers than it would to move them back into patrol to assist in
answering calls for service.
But they would become even more of an asset to the City if the traditional role
or mission statement of both the Motor Officers and the Radar Officers was
changed to include taking routine accident reports. This would relieve patrol
officers from this duty and thereby make more patrol officers available to
answer routine calls. It might even create more time for
self-initiated/pro-active endeavors by patrol officers.
I realize that suggesting the dispatch protocol be changed to have available
motor officers and radar officers routinely assigned to traffic accidents over
patrol units won't sit well with some, but if it can be worked out as a
compromise, wouldn't it be better than having the Motor Unit disbanded? It seems
logical that radar officers will be reassigned to patrol as well.
Motor officers would still receive their differential pay for riding their
motor, and they would still be able to do most of what they did before, only now
they would be responsible for handling minor traffic collisions.
In addition, the department should consider hiring civilians to fingerprint the
scene of a burglary and collect any potential evidence and book it in at the
property room after the patrol officer has taken the initial report. This, too,
would make more officers available to answer calls for service and perform some
pro-active police work.
Wasn't there a time when
motor officers had the responsibility to respond to traffic accidents, or is
what's left of my mind turning to mush?
• • • • •
Back in the early '70s — before SWAT, and therefore before MERGE — we had the
TAC Squad under the leadership of Bill Brown. I can think of a few times, like
during the Angela Davis riots, when he would have loved to use this weapon.
Jonesy is right, but only
if the rioters were downwind. Click
to see what we're talking about. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Bill & Leroy,
Wanting to avoid a trip to SJ to renew my I.D. card with the CCW provision, I
took advantage of Dan Bullock's info to qualify here in Nevada County. (Thank
you, Dan.) That was the easy part and I now have my new I.D. card. Those who
also want to renew their I.D. cards via mail will need a lot of patience. We are
all aware of the staffing issues at SJPD, so be aware that it may take some
time. In my case it took a little over 5 weeks after I mailed in my papers
before my I.D. card arrived. But it was still better than spending a long day
driving to San Jose and back plus the cost of gas.
We're sure to be asked by
an out-of-area retiree or two to rerun the procedure, so
is the link to the Farsider with the details…
• • • • •
I do not read the Merc, but my wife reads it every day, and she mentioned that
Cortese is in favor of San Jose accepting some of the illegal alien “children”
(which includes those up to 20 something) who are crossing the border. If he
made that statement, then he doesn't get my vote. My better educated and former
liberal wife (until she worked for Santa Clara PD as the Police Management
Analyst) will not vote for Cortese for that reason. Has Liccardo taken the same
position on illegal immigration?
If you asked either candidate for a position on this issue, could you believe
their answer? If they said they would bring more illegals to SJ, then I would
certainly believe they would do so. Do they want to bring more poverty, crime
and social issues to San Jose?
With all of the problems facing the City today (and into the foreseeable
future), the last burden San Jose needs are more essentially uneducated,
unskilled, illegal aliens, some of whom may have ties to violent gangs. Do the
recent shootings in Salinas by teenagers serve as a warning for us?
Additionally, the United States has approximately 4.8% of the world’s
population, yet takes in about 50% of the world’s immigrants. By allowing more
unskilled, uneducated illegal immigrants into the country, we not only insult
those immigrants who follow the rules, we also are in danger of becoming less
than a 1st world country. As societies decline, law enforcement is the first to
bear the brunt of turmoil (French beat cops could probably give us some
examples) resulting in diminished protection for the populace.
Maybe Cortese is the “best” choice for mayor, but voters almost never get a good
or bad choice, we usually get a bad choice and a worse choice. Are those the
choices we face now?
"Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder." (Arnold J. Toynbee)
Hard to argue with the
points you made, Charlie. If one looks back at the history of the Romans,
Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, French, British and countless other societies —
and you consider how long they each dominated — the U.S. is still in its
infancy, and it is already beginning to fragment. Or as you credited Toynbee
with saying, "Die from suicide." Makes me glad that I'm in the twilight of my
life and won't be around to face the consequences and misery that I see coming
down the road. But hey, everything else is okie dokey, so party on.
• • • • •
This letter wasn't directed
to the Farsider; it was authored by former POA President Carm Grande and
appeared in Monday's paper…
Liccardo’s Police Policy Misses a Big Factor
Mercury News — Letters to the Editor — Aug. 25, 2014
Sam Liccardo’s oped (Opinion, Aug. 21) left me with a larger question: Why all
of his dialogue about forming a new police department when San Jose’s had been
historically known as one of the best? Few of his proposals have been proven and
most of the others have been discarded in the past.
He left out that we have lost thousands of years of experience over the past
five years and, at the rate of resignations, the department will be left with
neophytes training neophytes. Many of us will be long gone before the San Jose
Police Department will be able to re-attain its glory, while those responsible
will not be held accountable for lowering the status of San Jose to much less
than one of “America’s safest cities.”
I believe that mayoral candidate Dave Cortese possesses the wisdom necessary to
manage the city and its future, exemplified by his local political performance.
Carm J. Grande
San Jose Police Department (Retired) San Jose
Readers who would like to
comment on Carm's letter can contact him at
The Mercury News, which is
supporting Liccardo for mayor, also included this anti-Cortese letter in
Reasons Not to Vote for Cortese for Mayor
Mercury News — Letters to the Editor — Aug. 25, 2014
There are many reasons why I will not be voting for Dave Cortese for mayor of
San Jose. Here are just a few: While a San Jose City Councilman, Cortese
approved the building of the fancy, overpriced City Hall that has put a huge
burden on our city’s budget. Also during his tenure as a councilman, Cortese
supported the city’s failed efforts to take over the Tropicana Shopping Center
through the use of eminent domain. More recently, Cortese suggested that a new
prison be built at the old City Hall property site. Does anyone other than
Cortese think that that would have been a good idea?
Finally, Cortese enjoys the complete and enthusiastic support of the public
employee unions and the South Bay Labor Council. Need I say more?
Pete Campbell, San Jose
• • • • •
Bill & Leroy,
Thanx for using my article about the Traffic Unit last week as it triggered my
memory about a particular incident. As I mentioned last week, we had lots of
tales in traffic. Back in the '70s we'd just finished 10 a.m. traffic roll call
when several members of the MERGE unit came in talking about how they were going
to take first and second place at the "Turkey Shoot" at the range in Milpitas.
They were bragging about how they couldn't miss because they'd been practicing.
Hell, we didn't know anything about the Turkey Shoot, so we asked our Lt. (Lyle
Hunt) if we could participate. He said sure, if we had enough good shooters. We
put together a five man team of Brian Bennert, Ed Bush, Bob Duffy, Bucky DeMers
and myself, and off to the range we went. Surprise! We won first prize, and I
have a photo on my Ego Wall of BFO Dep. Chief Bobby Allen presenting us with
plaques as he held the large First Place trophy. When Allen gave me my
individual plaque he kissed me on each cheek as though we were in the French
Army. Lt. Lyle Hunt got a big kick out of that.
More trivia: Receiving the handheld Motorola radios back in the '70s was a
blessing for the entire Department. Not long ago I received an obituary from
Pittsburgh about a Lee Crowley who was from my neighborhood in the Manchester
District of Pittsburgh. We went to school and graduated together. Lee later
became an engineer with Motorola and was credited with inventing the handheld
radio we used back then.
Dick Tush, Badge 1230
Damn! Wish I'd had a pic of
the D/C planting a wet one on your check back then. Would have been fun to paste
it up in the old INSIDER along with a suitable caption. JoeMac saw the value of
including humor in the Dept's house organ back then as he knew that people were
more likely to review it before it wound up in the trash basket.
WAITING PERIOD TO PURCHASE FIREARMS IN CALIF. RULED
Upon receiving an email from Paul
Gardner shortly after the news broke, we performed a Google search on the
subject below which turned up numerous links confirming the ruling by a Federal
judge. After reviewing several of them, we chose the following article that
appeared in the Aug. 25th edition of the Modesto Bee...
Fresno Federal Judge: State's 10-day Wait to Buy Firearms Unconstitutional for
The Fresno Bee — August 25, 2014
federal judge in Fresno on Monday ruled the state's 10-day waiting period for
buying firearms is unconstitutional for those who've previously purchased
weapons and cleared background checks.
U.S. District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii issued the ruling after a March bench
trial, as well as deposition testimony and numerous briefings that concluded at
the end of June. Last December, he had denied a request by state Attorney
General Kamala Harris to throw out the lawsuit. Harris, along with the
California Department of Justice, were defendants in the suit.
Guns on display in a case at Herb Bauer Sporting Goods in Fresno.
"As an individual plaintiff I was ecstatic," said Madera County resident Brandon
Combs. "It was years and an awful lot of work."
But as executive director of The Calguns Foundation, Combs said the decision is
a step in what he sees as a restoration of gun rights that are part of the
Constitution. Next up: almost certainly, another federal lawsuit, this one
targeting the state's limit on handgun purchases to one every 30 days.
"Under state law, you can only buy one handgun a month," Combs said. "We think
that is simply unconstitutional."
Ultimately, a challenge to the state's entire waiting-period law could come at
some point in the future, he said, depending on what happens in the state
A spokesman for Harris’ office said the ruling is currently under review and no
decision had been made on an appeal.
Ishii's decision comes more than two and a half years after the lawsuit was
initially brought by gun owners Combs, Jeff Silvester and Michael Poeschl, as
well as The Calguns Foundation and The Second Amendment Foundation. Two of the
plaintiffs are local: Besides Combs, Silvester lives in Kings County. Poeschl
lives in Orange County.
"Basically, the waiting period doesn't make any sense when someone has already
been cleared, has a concealed carry permit and already owns a gun," Miko Tempski,
general counsel for the Second Amendment Foundation, said in a statement. The
foundation is based in Bellevue, Wash.
Ishii's 56-page ruling specifically states that "it is expressing no opinion on
the constitutionality of the 10-day waiting period in general or as applied to
first-time California firearms purchasers."
The suit contended that the state's 10-day waiting period violates the U.S.
Constitution's 2nd and 14th amendments by requiring firearms buyers "who
lawfully already have at least one firearm registered in their name" to
continually go through the waiting period.
Combs, for instance, has already gone through the background check and has a gun
license with the state, and officials statewide would know instantaneously if he
committed a crime or did anything else that would disqualify him as a gun owner,
The suit says California has had a waiting period for firearms purchases since
1923 -- but that it has been inconsistent, varying in time from one day to as
many as 15 days.
It says that "ten days to allow the Department of Justice to investigate
prospective purchasers and to allow repeat purchasers to 'cool off' is an
infringement on the purchaser's fundamental right to keep and bear arms in their
Ishii did not address the 14th Amendment claim in his decision. The amendment
includes the Equal Protection Clause, which requires states to treat all
"Because of the Court's resolution of the Second Amendment issue, the Court need
not reach the Fourteenth Amendment challenges," his ruling said.
The initial lawsuit had also said the waiting-period law for those who've
previously purchased weapons and cleared background checks violated the
Constitution's equal protection clause by including multiple exemptions.
It listed 18 exemptions to the waiting-period law and pointed out that
California has opted out of a federal computerized background check system that
can "instantly determine" whether a gun buyer is eligible to buy firearms.
Combs isn't sure if Harris will appeal Ishii's ruling.
"I think that the odds are 50-50 that (Harris) does not appeal and lets the
Legislature figure out what they want to do," he said.
THIS MIGHT BE OF INTEREST IF YOU LISTEN TO KGO 810 IN THE MORNING
I'm not including this item because KGO Radio Talk Show Host Ronn
Owens has admitted that he has Parkinson's disease. It's because I happened onto
his blog and was surprised at what he wrote. Like many of you I have listened to
him off and on for the past few decades and thought I had a good idea of his
politics and opinions in general. Give his blog a look and you too may be
surprised. It follows the Parkinson's article...
KGO’s Ronn Owens Discloses He Has Parkinson’s Disease
Mercury News — Aug. 26, 2014
Longtime Bay Area
radio personality Ronn Owens told listeners Monday he has Parkinson’s disease.
Owens, 68, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001. He said he was prompted to go
public with his condition after Robin Williams’ wife disclosed, a few days after
his suicide, that the actor and comedian had the disease, SFGate reported.
“I felt it was important to tell people that you can have it like I have for 12½
years and not be severely impacted by it,” he said.
Owens said his close friends and family know about his condition, which he’s
kept in check with medication.
“The main reason that I didn’t want to come out, it’s twofold,” he reportedly
told SFGate last week.
“One, I just cannot stand the thought of people feeling sorry for me. And the
other, which is more of a factor with me, is that I don’t want to be defined” by
The disease is a degenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system.
There’s no known cure.
Owens has six months left on his most recent contract with KGO, which has an
option for another year.
~ ~ ~
to read the more detailed Golden Gate article about Owens having Parkinson's
~ ~ ~
Those of you who have
listened to Ronn Owens over the years might be surprised to read what he wrote
on his blog on <www.ronn.com>.
July 3, 2014
didn’t particularly want to say it on my program nor write it as I’m doing now,
but I just can’t support Barack Obama any more.
Do I regret voting for him a second time? Yes.
There are so many issues where I believe the President has come up either short
or just plain wrong. Domestic issues first:
• IRS – It is clear the IRS targeted certain groups and individuals. The
president knew about it approximately six months before it became public and yet
nothing was done. Now he appoints a new IRS director whose arrogance testifying
before Congress was disgusting. (Imagine the IRS wanting you to produce your
records and you said you couldn’t because your hard drive crashed. I’m sure
they would be most understanding.)
• Veterans – When running for his first term, he pledged to make VA hospitals
and veterans themselves a top priority. The callousness of administrators
letting these men and women wait months, even years just to get the appointment
while giving themselves bonuses, is inexcusable.
• Obamacare – Although there were parts of it which were definitely positive (in
the long run adding preventive medicine and coverage for many who have no
insurance, for example,) the way the plan was rushed out after having years of
preparation was careless and sloppy.
• Congress - no President, even Jimmy Carter, has had worse relations with
Congress. Yes, the Republicans have shown no cooperation at all, but there’s
much the president could have done if he swallowed his pride and schmoozed them,
much the way Bill Clinton did.
There’s more (the NSA, total lack of transparency, the consistent efforts to
“level the playing field” along with his view of a different America for
example,) but overall his leadership has been sadly lacking.
Yet as bad as his domestic record has been, his International report card is
• The Russian “reset” has emboldened Vladimir Putin and our relations with them
are significantly worse.
• His lack of a response to the famous “line in the sand” declaration with Syria
has enabled Bashar Assad to remain in power, brutalizing his own people. Now
(over a year later) there are attempts to provide weapons to the opposition. A
bit late, especially since the bad guys (al Qaeda and ISIS) have gained in power
within the rebel fighters groups.
• Iran is talking with the US and other countries about nuclear capability while
they use the time to build up their ability to gain those very weapons.
• In Egypt he first supported the Muslim Brotherhood. Then he pulled back but
still sent them some equipment. The Army now doesn’t trust us, though clearly
our peace efforts in the Middle East are better served with the military.
• His contempt for Israel has created fractured relations with our only
heretofore trustworthy ally in the region.
These examples of seriously wrong choices are multiplied by the time he takes to
make any decision.
• You might notice I haven’t mentioned Iraq. He pulled our troops because the
American public demanded that, just as we’re doing now with Afghanistan. I don’t
put ISIS as his failure. If anything I feel sorry for how he is boxed in right
now and his need to make lose/lose decisions.
I have had three members of Congress, strong Democrats, express their disgust
with this Administration. Do I think Hillary Clinton would have done better?
Even though I don’t know if I’ll vote for her in 2016, I’ll answer in one word:
IT MAY SURPRISE YOU TO KNOW...
Ken Hawkes says he was eating at a local Mexican restaurant in the South Valley
last week when he overheard a conversation at the table next to him that was
occupied by two elderly Jewish men whose names were apparently Sid and Abe.
Sid asked, "Do you know if any people of our ancestry were ever born and raised
Abe replied, "I don't know, let's ask our waiter."
When the waiter arrived, Abe asked, "Are there any Mexican Jews?"
The waiter replied, "I don't know señor, I ask the cooks."
He returned from the kitchen a few minutes later and said, "No señor, the cook
say no Mexican Jews."
Abe wasn't satisfied and asked, "Are you absolutely sure?"
Realizing he was dealing with "Gringos," the waiter said, "I check once again,
señor." He then went back into the kitchen.
While the waiter was away, Sid said, "I find it hard to believe that there are
no Jews in Mexico. Our people are scattered everywhere."
The waiter returned and said, "Señor, the head cook say there is no Mexican
"Are you certain?" Abe asked again."I just can't believe there are no Mexican
"Señor, I ask EVERYONE," said the exasperated waiter. "All we have is Orange
Jews, Grape Jews, Prune Jews, Tomato Jews and Apple Jews, but no Mexican Jews."
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
Aug. 19 through Aug. 25
(New material only; does not include show repeats)
Hillary Clinton is returning to Iowa next month for the first time since her
failed presidential run in 2008. Hillary denies just being there for politics.
She said, “I love Iowa for their . . . OK, I'm running for president.”
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon apparently sent the National Guard to Ferguson
without letting the White House know first. When he heard he was left out of
such an important decision, Obama said, “Holy crap, I’ve been Bidened!”
Yesterday the Clippers' new owner, former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer,
promised fans that the team will win an NBA championship. He says he has a great
strategy for rebuilding the team — Control-Alt-Delete.
Yankee Stadium says it will start adding metal detectors as a way to beef up
security. And then they went back to selling beer and baseball bats to New
Yesterday Egypt's foreign ministry called on the United States to show respect
for the rights of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. Yeah, Egypt said that. Man,
talk about living in glass pyramids.
A new study found that it costs $245,000 to raise a child until age 18. Or about
$600 if you just give them an iPad.
A man in Massachusetts was arrested this week for breaking into a family’s house
after a night of drinking and passing out in their living room. Or as most
people in Boston call that, “Uncle Mike's here.”
SeaWorld just announced that it will soon double the size of its killer whale
habitats. The whales say it's almost as good as their previous tank — the ocean.
Rob Ford is running for mayor in Toronto, and some people think he’s still on
drugs. So yesterday one of the candidates facing Ford challenged him to take a
drug test before the election. Then Ford said, “Sweet! I love testing out drugs!
It seems everyone’s upset with President Obama. Congressman Paul Ryan claimed
that Americans are having buyer's remorse about President Obama. I think they
might be right because today I saw Obama just standing next to an ice cream
maker and a Bowflex.
Hulk Hogan and David Hasselhoff are going to be starring in a new movie
together. The film's expected to be released in June . . . of 1985.
A medical marijuana store in California has a new iPhone app that lets people
get marijuana delivered to their door. The first step: remembering where you put
your iPhone. The app is called, "I Know a Guy."
Disney's stock just reached a new high this week of $90.37 a share. That's when
you know tickets to Disney World are too expensive — when it's actually cheaper
to own part of the company.
Not quite as good news for the pet supply chain PetSmart, which may soon be sold
to a larger company. Or as they told their employees, “Your jobs are going to a
A new study found that having a big wedding boosts your chance of having a good
marriage. While having a destination wedding boosts your chance of having
friends who hate you.
The Duggars from “19 Kids and Counting” just announced that their daughter Jill
is expecting her first child. In a statement, the Duggars said, “We’re excited
to meet the baby and welcome him into our army — family! We mean family.”
Analysts say that President Obama has been ignoring Hillary Clinton's advice for
years — which is why we've yet to see him in a pantsuit.
In response to criticism of its treatment of killer whales, SeaWorld said it
will build them a larger habitat. When asked for comment, a killer whale said,
"Hey, you know what's a larger habitat? The ocean!"
In South America a tribe of Amazon Indians has made contact with the outside
world for the first time. The tribe was shocked by skyscrapers, cars, and that
"Grey's Anatomy" is still on the air.
Off the coast of Russia, a 200-year-old bottle of booze was found in a shipwreck
and it is still drinkable. Isn't that amazing? Of course in Russia everything is
still drinkable — antifreeze, you name it.
Next weekend Los Angeles is holding its first riverboat race. All that's missing
is a river in Los Angeles with water.
Whole Foods has started selling rabbit meat. They're killing them humanely.
They're using only rabbits that died of shock after seeing the prices at Whole
The man who created the first Internet pop-up ad now says he's sorry. The man
also says that a 15-minute call to Geico could save you 15 percent on car
How about Johnny Football? Anybody see Johnny Manziel for the Browns? I got
nothing against the kid but I saw him play last night. I think they ought to
change his name to "Johnny Bench."
Toward the end of the game, Johnny Manziel gave Washington the finger.
Coincidentally, that's Barack Obama's exit strategy from Washington.
Anthony Weiner is opening a restaurant. Honest to God, how many of you — other
than losing a bet, how many of you would go to have a meal at Anthony Weiner's
"Meet the Press" has fired host David Gregory and hired another guy, Chuck Todd,
to host. To me, if your name is Chuck Todd, it might as well be David Gregory.
Todd Chuck, Gregory David, it makes no difference. They're all interchangeable.
You can now buy booze at Starbucks. So apparently my letter-writing campaign
A couple of hours ago I was in Starbucks. I had a vodka-cchino.
The NFL wants singing groups to pay the league to perform at halftime of the
Super Bowl. Isn't that crazy? It's like the NFL decided that there's some money
out there they don't have our hands on.
I remember last year at the Super Bowl, a group barely played. Oh, that was the
Summer is nearly over and it's back-to-school time. If you can, send your kids
to college so they get a degree and at least then they will know what kind of
work they're out of.
Starbucks in New York City is now selling liquor. I was in Starbucks earlier
today. I got a grande cappuccino with five pumps of Wild Turkey.
New York City is a big city. I mean, we could probably beat your city up.
What's great this time of the year is the Little League World Series. Does it
seem like the kids are getting older in Little League ball? When I watch the
Little League World Series, my favorite part is when they show the players'
The winner of the Little League World Series goes on to play the Mets.
Did you hear about the earthquake in California's Napa Valley? That's wine
country. The Red Cross now says they want some donations of Merlot.
A 6.0 earthquake. It was so powerful it knocked Arnold Schwarzenegger off his
6.0 — I've had heart attacks bigger than that.
How about the Little League World Series. I'm not crazy about a world series
that actually features teams from around the world.
How about the Emmy Awards last night? Almost every show on TV was nominated for
an Emmy, and once again I'd just like to say it's an honor to be ignored by your
Did the Emmy Awards seem like a long show? I felt like Sophia Vergara's dress. I
could hardly stay up.
President Obama watched the Emmys and said the U.S. would be out of the Emmys by
Over the weekend in California — a big one, a 6.0 earthquake. It was so powerful
that Lindsey Lohan was driving on the right side of the road.
Last night was the 66th annual Emmy Awards. A night of which all of television
makes beautiful, sweet love to itself.
The Emmys are typically on Sunday night. But they moved them to Monday for the
first time for 38 years. One reason is the VMAs were scheduled for Sunday night
on MTV. For those of you too young to know, music videos are something MTV used
to play before it turned into a network for pregnant teenagers.
The VMAs are a chance for all of the former Disney stars to show up with their
new tongue piercings.
A rare copy of Action Comics No. 1, which was the first published appearance of
Superman, just sold on eBay for $3.2 million. That's a lot of disposable income.
To buy a comic about Superman, you have to be as rich as Batman. I think that
means Superman wins, right?
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF AUG. 23, 2014
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
• Upcoming parole hearing for one of the perpetrators of the
murders sparks renewed interest in the case.
• Were remains of a
found on the banks of the Mississippi River near Memphis?
• Unanswerables: A collection of unusual and urgent
posed by our readers.
• Message from Starbucks Chairman
extols the company's contributions to Israel.
clothiers offering 'ni**er brown' shirts for sale?
• Report that
will begin monitoring posts for indications of drug activity.
refuse to participate in the ALS Association's 'Ice Bucket Challenge'?
• Web-based rumors of a suspected "SERIAL
enthusiast" in Citrus County, Florida, are running rampant.
• Did comedian
accurately predict several major tragedies via cryptic, one-line remarks in his
movies and TV appearances?
• As the 'ICE
spreads across the social web, rumors of adverse reactions are going viral, too.
• Rumors claim that hacktivist collective Anonymous has called for nationwide 'DAY
• Is drought-stricken
really fining Ice Bucket Challenge participants for wasting water?
• The improbable tale of a
who bounced sideways off a trampoline and was swallowed by a hippopotamus.
• Photograph shows a sign bearing an
from the "Advancement of Islamic Agenda for America."
• Is your college on
magazine's annual ranking of America's top party schools?
• Untold Stories of the E.R. segment echoes century-old urban legend about women
dropping weight by taking
•Did a group of teenagers re-enacting the plot of the film
in Chicago murder over 112 people?
• Don't forget to visit our
page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
• Photographs shows a "DEVIL'S
on the edge of Victoria Falls.
Still Haunting the Inbox
• Check out our 25
list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.
• Visit our
page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from
THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
Large or Full Screen recommended for YouTube videos.
• • • • •
Don't pass on
item just because you may have seen it a few years ago when we first ran it. Not
only is it worth watching a second time, but it now has an equally entertaining
sequel. This is what the original from two years ago was about:
To launch the high quality TV channel TNT in Belgium we
placed a big red push button on an average Flemish square of an average Flemish
town. A sign with the text "Push to add drama" invited people to use the button.
And then we waited...
to the video above should also be considered a don't miss…
if you want to see how the sequel was made, click
• • • • •
The naysayers who have their panties in a bunch over SJPD's drone should be
video we initially received from Larry Otter and Steve Postier. We'll let the
clip speak for itself. (7 Mins.)
• • • • •
The Powers of Ten presentation has been significantly updated and improved since
we first presented it in the July 24, 2005 Farsider. (That's right, we are in
our 9th year of publication!) Whether you have seen this presentation in the
past or not, this version is a definite
if you have even a scintilla of curiosity about us and the scale of the
universe. Don't let the title dissuade you from watching. You don't have to know
diddly about math to understand or appreciate what you are about to see. Trust
us. (9 Mins.)
• • • • •
Damn the Chinese! They took the military shovel issued to GIs in WW II and Korea
and improved on it. Significantly. Behold the Chinese Swiss Army Knife of
shovels, and it's only $80 on Amazon. Check out the
The Chinese military
shovel’s impressive multiplicity of uses has led some to hail it as the ultimate
survival tool, perhaps outclassing even the legendary Swiss army knife. Despite
the promo video’s campiness, you can at least see why it’s received so much
As a tool, it boasts 18 functions that, besides digging, includes heavy-duty
capabilities such as sawing metal pipes, chopping vegetables, cutting barb wire,
climbing cliffs, hammering nails and opening canned goods and beer bottles. In
this case, the better question might be “what can’t it do?”
Reviews of the product on
where it’s selling for $80, are mostly positive, though word on the streets is
that it can be had for a much lower price if you’re willing to dig around some.
• • • • •
We have posted several videos of Bill Whittle of <TruthRevolt.org> in the past.
In this recent
received from Phil Norton he talks about Ferguson and what he calls "The Real
Race War." One can argue with his conclusions, but you would be hard pressed to
disagree with the stats that support his point of view. (6 Mins.)
• • • • •
Is the Rev. Al Sharpton really President Obama's "go-to man" on race relations?
God help us if he is. Check out
clip from Fox News that a handful of readers sent in. (4 Mins.)
• • • • •
Does Eric Holder need to apologize to cops?
(In My Humble Opinion), the Attorney General needs to apologize to the entire
nation for past non-actions, but I digress. This is another clip related to the
Ferguson mess that was sent in by several readers. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
The Bolt Report is a popular Sunday morning political discussion show in
Australia, similar to Meet the Press and Fox News Sunday. It is hosted by
conservative commentator Andrew Bolt. Earlier this month he was extremely
critical of Hamas and charged the organization with intentionally placing women
and children in harm's way in order to gain sympathy for their cause. If you are
pro-Palestinian or a Hamas sympathizer, you may want to skip
• • • • •
Calling WW II history buffs: This item received from Jim Silvers and Joe Suske
provides some aviation history about WW II that most people never knew. It's
about the Lake Michigan Aircraft Carriers.
The Great Lakes provided vital support for the war effort in WWII, from building
28 fleet subs in Manitowoc to providing the bulk of US industrial output. We
could not have won the war had it not been for the benefits of the Great Lakes
and their related industry.
However, there was another benefit of the lakes that is often overlooked. Japan
quickly lost the war because, among many other things, its navy could not
replace its carrier pilot losses. We could. But how did we train so many pilots
in both comfort (calm seas) and safety (no enemy subs)? We took two old
side-wheel Great Lakes passenger steamers and turned them into training carriers
on Lake Michigan! Virtually every carrier pilot trained in the war got his
landing training on these amazing ships. Sadly, nothing but these great photos
and the wrecks of the aircraft that ditched alongside them, remain to tell their
Check out this photo-rich Warbird Information Exchange
Overhead view of the training aircraft carrier Sable
underway on Lake Michigan with an FM Wildcat
making a deck launch from the flat top in 1945
• • • • •
It's a good thing that
the Cat Burglar (his real name is "Dusty") has targeted San Mateo. If he was
from San Jose, his identity would never have been revealed due to a lack of
police resources. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Have grandkids who come to visit over the weekend? If so, perhaps you can use
sofas that convert into a bunk bed in just a few seconds. (15 Secs.)
• • • • •
36-second award winning commercial about Blake's Auto Body sent in by Mike
Thompson? Some of you might because we first posted it back in 2008.
• • • • •
During the final minutes of the 2010 Canadian Rally Championship at Baie Des
Chaleurs, Subaru driver Patrick Richard and co-driver Alan Ockwell have an
unexpected disaster. What happens next leaves everyone more than a little
to see what happens. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Remember playing on a swing when you were a kid and wondered if you could make
it all the way around? That's what this guy attempts to do. Click
to see if he makes it, keeping in mind that for that brief period of time when
he's at the top, he has to hold his body weight with this hands on the rope. (2
• • • • •
If this kid was indicative of those who have come in from Central America, I
would be in favor of finding them foster homes and letting them stay.
his response as he first receives a prank gift of a cutting board, then how he
handles his emotions when he receives his real present. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
Say what you want about how drugs have a negative impact on society. On the
other hand, without them, videos like
one received from Don Hale would cease to exist. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
There is little
question that Tom Macris, our retired Police Artist, was one of the top forensic
artists in the nation. For proof, we point to Larry Singleton, the animal who
cut off the arms of a young female victim and left her to bleed to death on a
lonely road (she survived), was captured as a result of Tom's "Macrisketch"
after he interviewed her shortly after the crime and the rendering was published
in the San Francisco Chronicle. But even Tom would have had been challenged to
produce an image that looks more like a photograph than a drawing. And we know
for a fact that Tom wasn't nearly as fast as the artist who drew this portrait
of the late Robin Williams. Have a look at
final item for the week. (5 Mins.)
• • • • •
Pic of the Week
“Mean Dean” Janavice
|This is the message box, using the