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The Farsider

August 28, 2014


Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <bilmat@comcast.net>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <leroypyle@sjpba.net>


The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.








This article is reason #47 to be extremely grateful that a City retirement check arrives in your mail box or bank account each month.

SJPD: Smaller Force Puts Veteran Cops on Routine Patrol and Spurs Identity Shift

By Robert Salonga <rsalonga@mercurynews.com>
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.

A 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 a pile.

"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 Harden.

"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 street-crimes teams.

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 rebuild.

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 maximum.

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—

By Robert Salonga <rsalonga@mercurynews.com>
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

“I 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 bars.

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 Jose.

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 emergency calls.

“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
HERE to access last week's Farsider.


Parents Open Up About Daughter

—Couple recalls young woman who shined despite her illness—

By Robert Salonga <rsalonga@mercurynews.com>
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 with him.

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 Showman family.

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 was home.

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.”



Aug. 21st

Hi Bill,

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.


Sandi Sly

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.

• • • • •


Aug. 21st

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.

Mike (McCaffrey)

Leroy and I are going to take your comment about us living here figuratively, Mike, so don't reach for a tape measure.

• • • • •


Aug. 21st

Hi Bill,    

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.

Steve (Postier)

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?

• • • • •


Aug. 22nd


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.

Russ (Jones)

Jonesy is right, but only if the rioters were downwind. Click
HERE to see what we're talking about. (2 Mins.)


• • • • •


Aug. 24th

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.

Rich Geiger

We're sure to be asked by an out-of-area retiree or two to rerun the procedure, so
HERE is the link to the Farsider with the details…


• • • • •


Aug. 24th


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)

Charlie Hoehn

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

Mayoral candidate 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 Monday's paper…

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

• • • • •


Aug. 25th

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.



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 Some

By John Ellis <jellis@fresnobee.com>
The Fresno Bee — August 25, 2014

A 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 Legislature.

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, he said.

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 home."

Ishii did not address the 14th Amendment claim in his decision. The amendment includes the Equal Protection Clause, which requires states to treat all citizens equally.

"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.



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 Parkinson’s.

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.

~ ~ ~

HERE to read the more detailed Golden Gate article about Owens having Parkinson's Disease.

~ ~ ~

Those of you who have listened to Ronn Owens over the years might be surprised to read what he wrote on his blog on <

July 3, 2014

I 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 worse.

• 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: Absolutely.



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 in Mexico?"

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 Jews."

"Are you certain?" Abe asked again."I just can't believe there are no Mexican Jews!"

"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."

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 Yorkers.

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! Let’s go!"

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 farm upstate.”

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 Foods.

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 insurance.

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 restaurant?

"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 paid off.

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 Broncos.

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' wives.

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 housekeeper.

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 peers.

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 2017.

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?



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

New Articles

• Upcoming parole hearing for one of the perpetrators of the
NEWSOM/CHRISTIAN murders sparks renewed interest in the case.

• Were remains of a
VIKING SHIP found on the banks of the Mississippi River near Memphis?

• Unanswerables: A collection of unusual and urgent
QUESTIONS posed by our readers.

• Message from Starbucks Chairman
HOWARD SCHULTZ extols the company's contributions to Israel.

• Is
RALPH LAUREN clothiers offering 'ni**er brown' shirts for sale?

• Report that
FACEBOOK will begin monitoring posts for indications of drug activity.

• Did
PRESIDENT OBAMA refuse to participate in the ALS Association's 'Ice Bucket Challenge'?

• Web-based rumors of a suspected "
SERIAL KILLER enthusiast" in Citrus County, Florida, are running rampant.

• Did comedian
ADAM SANDLER accurately predict several major tragedies via cryptic, one-line remarks in his movies and TV appearances?

• As the '
ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE' spreads across the social web, rumors of adverse reactions are going viral, too.

• Rumors claim that hacktivist collective Anonymous has called for nationwide '
DAY OF RAGE' protests.

• Is drought-stricken
CALIFORNIA really fining Ice Bucket Challenge participants for wasting water?

• The improbable tale of a
CIRCUS DWARF who bounced sideways off a trampoline and was swallowed by a hippopotamus.

• Photograph shows a sign bearing an
OMINOUS THREAT from the "Advancement of Islamic Agenda for America."

• Is your college on
PLAYBOY 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
TAPEWORM EGG diet pills.

•Did a group of teenagers re-enacting the plot of the film
THE PURGE 2 in Chicago murder over 112 people?

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

Worth a Second Look

• Photographs shows a "
DEVIL'S SWIMMING POOL" on the edge of Victoria Falls.

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.




Large or Full Screen recommended for YouTube videos.

• • • • •

Don't pass on THIS 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...

This SEQUEL to the video above should also be considered a don't miss…

And if you want to see how the sequel was made, click HERE.

• • • • •

The naysayers who have their panties in a bunch over SJPD's drone should be shown
THIS 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
MUST SEE 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
VIDEO. (8 Mins.)

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 hype.

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
AMAZON, 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
VIDEO 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
THIS clip from Fox News that a handful of readers sent in. (4 Mins.)

• • • • •

Does Eric Holder need to apologize to cops?
IMHO (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
THIS. (5 Mins.)

• • • • •

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 fascinating story!
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
KLEPTO 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 one of
THESE sofas that convert into a bunk bed in just a few seconds. (15 Secs.)

• • • • •

Anyone recall
THIS 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 surprised. Click
HERE 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
HERE 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 Mins.)

• • • • •

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.
WATCH 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
THIS 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 THIS final item for the week. (5 Mins.)


• • • • •


Pic of the Week

 From “Mean Dean” Janavice



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