The Farsider

September 25, 2014

 

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

 

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

 

 

RETIRED DEPUTY CHIEF LUIS A. HERNANDEZ

Memorial Service:
2:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5th
San Jose POA Hall
1151 N. Fourth St.
San Jose



Badge 1122
Age 75
Appointed June 15, 1963
Retired July 2, 1993
Died Sept. 21, 2014

Luis was admitted to Good Sam on Sept. 13th for internal bleeding. He then had respiratory problems that led to a heart attack. The retired Deputy Chief was subsequently placed on life support in ICU, after which the family made the difficult decision to end the support. Following is the obituary we received from his daughter Christina that will appear in the paper.

"Luis Antonio Hernandez passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 21, 2014 surrounded by his loving family. Luis was born in Brady, Texas to Ignacio M. and Maria V. Hernandez. He graduated from Casa Grande Union High School in Arizona, San Jose City College, and San Jose State University, making many lifelong friends along the way. Luis had a rich professional life. He took great pride in his 30 years of service with the San Jose Police Department, retiring as a Deputy Chief in 1993. He was a graduate of the 133rd session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA. Luis touched the lives of many as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and mentor. He will be remembered as an honorable man. Luis is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years, Maria (nee Manriquez). Together, they enjoyed gardening, traveling, hosting family gatherings, and doting on their grandchildren. He is also survived by his daughters, Cristina Harman (Kirk), Monica Hernandez-Gain (Mike Torsky), and his cherished grandchildren, Noah Hernandez-Gain, Aaron Harman, and Diana Harman. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the San Jose Police Department Chaplaincy at <www.sjpdchaplain.org>."

 

FORMER SERGEANT JOHN DIEHL

(No photo available)
Badge 1154
Appointed Sept. 13, 1965
Resigned Nov. 8, 1980
Died Sept. 21, 2014

Former SJPD Sgt. John Diehl died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound a little after 5:00 p.m. last Sunday, Sept. 21. SJPD units responded to a "shot fired" call at Lincoln Glen Manor, a senior living facility on Plummer Ave. in Willow Glen. The call was phoned in by a neighbor of the facility. John was found deceased on the porch along with a firearm by the responding officers.

Residents who reside at the facility fall into one of two groups: those who can care for themselves, and those who require assistance. Staff told the responding officers that John was among the former, that he had a car, and that he was usually visited by a son every week.

Coincidentally, one of John's two sons called yesterday, unaware that I already had the information about his dad. Gavin Diehl, who was the regular visitor each week, said that a memorial service for his dad would be restricted to family only.
 
Police Personnel has no photo of John, nor does one appear in the 1983 SJPD Commemorative Album. No further information is available.


 

FORMER SJPD CHAPLAIN JOHN MAC DONALD

According to Fred Reid, who was a member of the Chaplaincy Board during its early years, John was one of two ministers appointed to their respective positions shortly after the Chaplaincy was created in mid-1977. John worked with Chaplain Tom Foster, a priest who was on call to serve Catholic personnel. John left a few months after Dave Bridgen became SJPD's full-time chaplain in May 1986. John was a calm and steady man who was easy to talk with. His personality significantly helped get the Chaplaincy through some difficult times during the early years. Before coming to the PD, John was pastor of the Blossom Hill Baptist Church, which may no longer exist. At the end of his tenure in San Jose, John and his wife, Marilyn, retired to Nevada City.

Following is the John MacDonald obituary that appeared in the Sept. 13th edition of The Union newspaper which serves Western Nevada County, CA.

John Allan MacDonald went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Aug. 30, 2014, after enduring the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease for the past several years.

A celebration of life will be at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21, at Sierra Presbyterian Church, 175 Ridge Road, Nevada City, CA 95959.

John was born in Stockton, Calif., to John and Maude MacDonald, the second of four children. He attended Stockton public schools including College of the Pacific for two years, transferred to Wheaton College, IL, graduating in 1943 with a degree in philosophy.

He met his wife Marilyn there and they married in 1944. John attended Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, Penn., planning on entering the Navy in the chaplain program if the war continued. They moved back to California, settling in the Oakland/Berkeley area where he finished seminary and began a assistant pastor at First United Presbyterian Church in Oakland in 1946.

In 1947, the family of three, with daughter Kathleen born in 1946, moved to the Grass Valley/Nevada City area with the hope of establishing a church in Nevada City, which became a reality as Community Baptist Church.

Three more children were born: Daniel in 1948, Janna in 1949 and Karen in 1952.

After leaving Nevada City in 1956, John served as pastor in several other churches in Northern California: First Baptist Church, Lakeport; First Baptist Church, Mill Valley; Blossom Hill Baptist Church in San Jose. They returned to Nevada City for retirement in 1986.

He worshiped and served at both Community Baptist and Sierra Presbyterian churches, doing interim work and being pastor to seniors at Sierra Presbyterian for a time.

He was active in many organizations over the years, among them Civil Air Patrol, board member of Jews for Jesus, chaplain of San Jose Police Department, ministerial associations in each community, Grass Valley Male Voice Choir, and Lions’ Club.

He is survived by his wife of 11 years, Mary Ann Smith MacDonald; children, Kathleen Higgins, Daniel MacDonald, Janna Schumacher and Karen Driscoll and their spouses; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Marilyn Rundlett MacDonald, in 2001.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Sierra Presbyterian Church or to Jews for Jesus, 60 Haight St., San Francisco, Calif. 

 

MORE ON JOE MAC NAMARA



Memorial Tribute scheduled for
10:00 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 2
California Theater (old Fox Theater)
345 S. First St. (south of San Carlos)
San Jose

Reception immediately following the Memorial Tribute
San Jose POA Hall
1151 N. Fourth St.
San Jose
(Additional parking available across Fourth Street)

An online Mercury News' Memories and Condolences guestbook is available for those who would like to leave a message and/or review what others have written. Click HERE to access it…

 To send the family a card of condolence, email <bilmat@comcast.net> a request and I'll reply with Laurie's address in Carmel. Following is the text of Joe's obituary prepared by the family that will appear in the paper shortly...

Joseph D. McNamara

A Memorial Tribute to honor retired Chief Joseph D. McNamara will be open to the public on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 10:00 a.m., at the California Theater, 345 S. 1st St. San Jose, with a reception immediately following at the SJPOA Hall, 1151 N. Fourth St., San Jose 95112.

Joseph McNamara passed away peacefully in his sleep at age 79 on Sept. 19 at his home with his loving wife Laurie by his side. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. He is survived by Laurie; her son Cameron and his wife, Heather; son Donald McNamara (Rose); daughters Lauren McNamara Barrus and Karen McNamara Rust (Paul); and four wonderful grandchildren, Matthew McNamara, Dexter and Gabriella Barrus, and Ethan Rust.

McNamara had a life-long love of and fascination with policing and American society. His thirty-five year career in law enforcement began as a beat patrolman in Harlem for the New York Police Department (NYPD). He rose through the ranks and, in mid-career, was appointed a Criminal Justice Fellow at Harvard Law School, focusing on criminal justice research. Following this appointment he received two LIttauer Fellowships from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, obtaining a Doctorate in Public Administration. Returning to duty with the NYPD, he was appointed Deputy Inspector in charge of crime analysis for the City of New York.

In 1973, McNamara became police chief of Kansas City, Missouri, leading that department into ground-breaking research and innovative programs. In 1976, he was appointed police chief for the city of San Jose, California, where he remained until his retirement in 1991. During his tenure, San Jose became the safest large city in the country, despite having the fewest police per capita.

In 1991, McNamara was appointed a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, where he continued to write, speak, and work on the issues dear to him until his death.

Joe McNamara was also a prolific author of five cop noir novels, including three best-sellers and a respected crime prevention text; the most recent, published two years ago, was "Love and Death in Silicon Valley."

The McNamara Memorial Tribute is sponsored by the City of San Jose, the San Jose Police Department, the San Jose Police Officers' Assn., and the San Jose Police Benevolent Assn. The public is invited.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to either of the following organizations are preferred:

The San Jose Police Chaplaincy
P.O. Box 2202
San Jose, CA 95109

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
1500 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 200
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266


• • • • •


We sent Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold a copy of last Friday's notification about the passing of Joe McNamara along with a request that he pass it along to whoever was responsible for reporting on high profile deaths. Turns out he chose to report on Joe's passing himself. This was his column 24 hours later...

McNamara a Police Chief for the Ages

—Innovations turned around beleaguered S.J. department—




By Scott Herhold, Columnist
Mercury News — Sept. 20, 2014

When Joe McNamara arrived in San Jose in 1976, it was like landing behind enemy lines: His first mission as police chief was to placate a community disturbed at the heavy-handed tactics of the force. But the strength of his 15-year tenure as chief came in the way he promoted, rotated and rewarded his officers. He accomplished it all with a political verve and skill no one of that era had seen in the chief’s job before, and he ushered San Jose and its police force into an era of national prominence in public safety.



Joe McNamara in 1996

McNamara, 79, died at 4 a.m. Friday at his Monterey-area home, with his wife, Laurie, and a caregiver beside him. He had battled cancer for several years. In a family where the men often died young of heart disease, he knew that he had enjoyed a long life. There was no word Friday about memorial and funeral plans.

After retiring as chief in 1991 — he joked that he was a step ahead of the posse — McNamara became a novelist and a fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Always outspoken, he was known for his tart criticism of the nation’s “War on Drugs,” which he felt was too draconian. His last book two years ago was entitled “Love and Death in Silicon Valley,” about a retired sheriff hunted by local gangsters.

“Joe McNamara was a giant in law enforcement, innovative, community-oriented and strong,” said former Mayor Tom McEnery. “He was pivotal in building a modern police department from a demoralized and challenged one. We owe him much.”

The San Jose police force of the mid-1970s was not without talent: The department had several mid-level sergeants and lieutenants who showed promise of moving upward. But it was marked by the reputation of the so-called “cowboys,” who wreaked havoc among minorities.

Into this cauldron stepped a 41-year-old Ph.D. who had just completed a gig as chief in Kansas City and had begun his career as a New York City beat cop. The new chief easily could have been labeled an egghead who didn’t understand the street.

McNamara met endlessly with departmental critics. He risked the wrath of the rank and file by sending out news releases when he imposed discipline. He introduced a bilingual staff to the internal affairs unit and improved the technology of communications.

But McNamara also backed his officers, guiding them away from the billy club by skillful promotions that changed the department permanently. And he stood up for them when it came to pay raises, helping to cement the loyalty of the police union. One of the chief’s innovations was the so-called “Rule of 10,” which allowed him to pick from the top 10 candidates for a coveted job — say, lieutenant or captain.

In the old days, a chief would go straight down the list: McNamara’s new rule allowed him far more latitude to pick officers he believed were skilled at handling people.

Much of what he did was controversial. At one time, the police union even delivered a vote of no confidence in the chief. But in retrospect, even his critics came to respect him.

“It wasn’t until years later that people recognized that McNamara was the best police administrator in the country,” said retired police Sgt. Dan McTeague.

Though he held a doctorate in public administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, McNamara was guided by political instinct honed in New York’s rough streets: The chief would typically announce promotions around 3 or 4 p.m. on Fridays.

When he was asked why, he explained that the officers who had been passed over were so disappointed that they needed the weekend to recover. It was far better to deliver the bad news on Friday afternoon than nourish Monday complaints.

Another McNamara innovation went by the stodgy rubric of “career development,” which was his code for breaking up the fiefs that once ruled the department.

The chief insisted on rotating officers who had previously settled into coveted assignments like homicide, vice or the motorcycle squad. The result was a knowledgeable patrol force that knew the intricacies of dealing with a homicide or sexual assault.

When he promoted an officer to an important position, McNamara would frequently ask for a private conversation to pass on one of his fundamental rules of management. “Remember,” he’d say, “sometimes personal needs are more important than departmental needs.”

By that, the chief meant that a supervisor needed to be aware of troubles in an officer’s personal life — a divorce, say, or a kid enmeshed in drugs. If an officer was given a break to deal with personal needs, McNamara believed, he would be a far more loyal employee in the future.

None of this is to say that the chief was without guile. For many years, he insisted that San Jose did not really have a gang problem: He did not want to give the gangs publicity.

And when one intemperate councilman was arrested for public drunkenness, McNamara had no problem when the tape of his angry encounter with cops was leaked to reporters. He disliked the idea of his officers taking abuse.

“I have to laugh, remembering my first five years,” McNamara told me in 2012. “It hurt to know that people hated me. Now they’ve forgotten all of that.”
 

• • • • •


A second, different article about Joe's passing by the Mercury News was syndicated and reported by various other media sources such as PoliceOne.com.

Iconic Former San Jose Police Chief Dies of Cancer 

"He was known by his colleagues for his tireless public
service and deep commitment to promote ideas that contributed
to positive solutions pertaining to law enforcement"


By Robert Salonga
Mercury News — Sept. 20, 2014

SAN JOSE — Joseph D. McNamara, the iconic former chief who helped usher San Jose and its police force into an era of national prominence in public safety, has died after his latest bout with cancer.

McNamara, 79, died in his sleep about 4 a.m. Friday his Monterey-area home. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last Christmas Eve.

Since leaving police work, McNamara was a fixture in police academia, and at the time of his death was a research fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, which released a statement in cooperation with his family.

"Joe was a rare person: a man who not only served as a revered police chief, but who had uncommon insights," read a statement from the institution. "He was known by his colleagues for his tireless public service and deep commitment to promote ideas that contributed to positive solutions pertaining to law enforcement. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Laurie, and his children."

McNamara served as police chief from 1976 until his retirement in 1991. Before coming to San Jose, he was chief in Kansas City. He began his career as a Harlem beat cop for the New York Police Department.

"He really laid the groundwork for turning an average police department struggling with community issues into one of the most progressive agencies in the country," said former chief Rob Davis, who joined SJPD near the start of McNamara's tenure and later led the department from 2004 to 2010.

Indeed, when McNamara came to SJPD after three years as chief in Kansas City, the department's reputation was that of a brutish force, particularly in its dealing with minority communities. He is credited with making sweeping changes to professionalize the department, though the abrupt new direction shook up so many longstanding practices that the rank-and-file gave him a vote of no confidence.

"I have to laugh, remembering my first five years," McNamara told this newspaper in 2012. "It hurt to know that people hated me. Now they've forgotten all of that."

McNamara is credited with diversifying the police force with respect to minorities and women, and reorganizing the department to focus on community-based policing and heal existing rifts, which included introducing bilingual staff to the internal-affairs unit.

"He humanized the community to the police department, and humanized the police department to the community," said Davis, who last saw McNamara two months ago at a police conference in San Francisco.

McNamara is also credited with making SJPD among the first departments to aggressively use crime data to deploy officers and install computer terminals in patrol cars to access that data in real time.

Davis remembered as a rookie cop the acrid department atmosphere McNamara inherited, and marvels now at how many of the reforms the chief introduced are taken for granted as standard police practice given how much resistance they initially faced.

That was embodied in McNamara's moves to discipline and demote misbehaving officers, often publicly, as gesture of transparency and accountability to an uneasy citizenry.

"It's interesting to me when I came on how people were grousing about him. He professionalized the department," Davis said. "We would have professionalized ourselves, but he helped us be 20 years ahead."

McNamara was one of the first prominent law enforcement officials to criticize the war on drugs. He would later go on to advocate for the legalization of marijuana.

Sgt. Jim Unland, president of the San Jose Police Officers' Association, was hired at the end of McNamara's tenure as part of a hiring surge that McNamara fought for as crime rates spiked nationally. Unland noted McNamara's zeal in advocating for the department at City Hall.

"Chief McNamara was a visionary leader who put public safety first and spoke the truth to political power," Unland said. "He will be missed."

After retiring, in addition to his work at the Hoover Institution, McNamara served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice, State Department and FBI. He held a bachelor's degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and a doctorate in public administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

He was also a crime novelist, with his latest title, "Love and Death in Silicon Valley," released two years ago.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

• • • • •


The NEW YORK TIMES described Joe as the "Father of Community Policing."

Joe's passing was also covered by the
WASHINGTON POST

This is how Joe's death was reported by the
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE


Then there was this article in the
LOS ANGELES TIMES


If you choose to read how the late Chief's death was reported by
SAN JOSE INSIDE, make sure you also review the readers' comments at the bottom of the article.



 

PENSION NEWS

This item from last Sunday's I.A. column in the paper caught our eye…



Mercury News — Sept. 21, 2014

San Jose Police Pension ‘Soap Opera’ in Reruns?

If your weekly viewing of “As the San Jose City Council Turns” is looking like a rerun, it certainly could have been Tuesday.

The drama that’s been playing out for the past two years — the current council majority defending pension reform against a union onslaught of criticism that it has prompted an officer exodus — was at the forefront of a vote over a new police staffing retention plan.

As such, the latest cop staffing measure unveiled by Mayor Chuck Reed, his preferred mayoral successor/Councilman

Sam Liccardo and others was approved by a 6-4 council vote Tuesday even as council members openly acknowledged that it wouldn’t amount to anything. That’s because the measure requires police union approval that isn’t going to come amid an election. The plan would delay implementation of a key portion of Measure B — in which current cops would have to pay more from their pensions — for an additional year from its scheduled start date of July 2015. That provision had been struck down in a lower court but is being appealed.

In exchange for the delay, the city would allow police who are about to retire to continue working patrol duty while collecting a piece of their pension. Over the next three years, about 170 cops are scheduled to retire, compounding the police force staffing problems.

The approval means the city can negotiate the deal with the police union, though the council members supported by the union — Ash Kalra , Xavier Campos, Kansen Chu and Don Rocha — all voted against it. In other words, it’s going nowhere.

While the debate hasn’t changed, council members got emotional at the council meeting.

“It just breaks my heart,” Kalra said, decrying pension reform’s effect on police. But Councilman Johnny Khamis would have none of it, saying he was “tired of it” and “can’t let it stand,” blaming the police union for officer staffing woes.

• • • • •


Then there was this piece in yesterday's paper about a judge's decision that adversely impacts our firefighter cousins who make up the other half of our Police and Fire retirement fund.

City Wins Pension Battle for New Hires

—Arbitration decision reduces benefits for future employees—

By Mike Rosenberg <mrosenberg@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — Sept. 24, 2014

SAN JOSE — In the latest battle with its employee unions, the city of San Jose has won a long struggle with its firefighters over reducing pension benefits for new hires — several years after voters approved the changes.

The final arbitration decision, announced this week, will save taxpayers millions of dollars compared to more generous retirement plans previously given to firefighters. It’s a victory for Mayor Chuck Reed, the city’s chief pension reformer, and his fiscal conservative allies that make up a majority of the City Council, who have seen the public costs for employee retirement skyrocket in the last decade. But the firefighters union says the cuts will lead to fewer job applicants, much in the way recruitment has slowed for the short-staffed police department, which is dealing with the same pension cuts.

Retired Judge Catherine Gallagher, the arbitration board chair, made the rul­ing nearly four years after voters approved a second “tier” of reduced retirement benefits for new employees, and more than two years after voters set limits on those pensions. Gallagher noted in siding with the city that the voter-approved measures prevented her from adopting anything that increased taxpayer costs.

The firefighters are the last of 11 city unions to implement the pension plan changes for new hires, while voter-approved cuts to current employees’ retirement plans remain tied up in court.

The firefighters had seen their contract with the city expire at the end of June and were waiting for the arbitrator’s decision before starting negotiations, arguing the cuts were illegal and inferior to statewide standards. Before arbitration, the two sides had negotiated unsuccessfully for more than a year.

The changes mean newly-hired firefighters can retire at age 60 with a pension of up to 65 percent of their salary. Current firefighters can still retire at age 50 with up to 90 percent of their salary.

In response to the arbitrator’s decision, the firefighters union proposed a 2016 ballot measure that would provide new firefighters with pensions that are about halfway between those two plans — allowing them to retire at age 55 with 75 percent of salary. That proposal is expected to be denied by the current 11-member City Council, though the mayor’s seat and up to five council spots will turn over after the Nov. 4 election.

“City Hall is hell bent on doing to the fire department what they have done to the police department and the results will be the same; firefighters will leave San Jose and 911 emergency response times will increase,” firefighters union president Joel Phelan said in a statement.


 

POA UPDATES



Attention Police Retirees

Sept. 22nd

To all retired police officers, we need your help. Your benefits will continue to be attacked and eroded if Sam Liccardo is elected Mayor. After attending recent negotiation talks with city officials, we believe they have your Retiree Healthcare in their sites. Last year you all remember how the lowest cost plan was changed driving up your monthly health care premiums by hundreds of dollars. If San Jose does not see some political change in the near future, those costs may only be the beginning.

This is what we think the City wants to do next. They are looking at options that would take away the retiree healthcare benefit from active employees. Once the active members lose this benefit, retirees would be next with the aim of moving retirees into the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care). Alex Gurza is quoted in the Mercury:

"But in San Jose, the country's 10th-largest city, staff said they wouldn't rule out the idea, at least for its 2,100 retirees under 65."

"Although we have not yet evaluated moving under-65 retirees to health care exchanges, we will be continuing to explore all options, including those that may be available through the Affordable Care Act," said Deputy City Manager Alex Gurza."

We need you and your fellow retirees to help us protect your benefits! With only six weeks left before the November election, we need help with our walking and telephone campaign. Both Fire and Police have begun our precinct walking efforts in support of Dave Cortese, Raul Peralez, and Paul Fong. To say that police's turnout has been anything but disappointing would be an understatement. We are actively working to encourage the active officers to walk, but they are exhausted. After years of pay reductions, benefit cost increases, and mandatory overtime, they are struggling just to get enough sleep before the start of their next shift.

Many of our actives have scheduling challenges. You all remember what it was like to work midnights in patrol and then try and get some sleep before your next shift. Today our midnight officers are routinely held over onto dayshift as part of the mandatory overtime/minimum staffing model that has been implemented. We need our retirees to become more active in this campaign.

We will continue to coordinate our walks with Fire. These walks are based out of the POA and begin every Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 AM and again at 1:00 PM for a second shift. You will be done by 1:00 PM or earlier. Throughout all of the Measure B litigation, the active employees have supported you. We are asking for your help.

If the weekends don't work for you, we are also walking every Monday and Thursday starting at 5 PM out of the POA. All times for walking are flexible if you want to come a little early, we are there, or if you arrive late, that is fine too. Please contact James Gonzales at <
gonzales@sjpoa.com> for a weekday walking schedule being run by Fire. If you cannot walk, at least donate to the campaigns. Even if it's $25, it helps.

www.cortesecampaign.com

www.raulperalez.com


You can use the POA's address for reporting purposes:

1151 N. 4th St.
San Jose, CA 95112

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


 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE CITY AND SJPD


An excellent article penned by POA President Jim Unland appeared on the Op/Ed page of Tuesday's paper. But will the citizens of San Jose pay attention?

Measure B Really Has Decimated Police Ranks

By Jim Unland, President, San Jose Police Officers' Assn.
Special to the Mercury News — Sept. 23, 2014

To make the claim that the San Jose police force has not been decimated by Measure B is a disingenuous attempt to rewrite history. One only has to look at the words of departing officers in hundreds of resignation letters to understand how the divisive pension reform measure has forced an exodus of hundreds of officers — with calamitous results for public safety.

Mayoral candidate Sam Liccardo made this claim in a recent op-ed on public safety. He is wrong. Hundreds of officers who once staffed the disbanded burglary investigations unit, the extinct auto-theft unit, the vanquished Violent Crimes Enforcement Team and our understaffed patrol division have left.

According to a report by San Jose City Auditor Sharon Erickson, the result of the police exodus has increased emergency 911 response times. Priority 2 response times now exceed 20 minutes (the goal is 11 minutes), and Priority 1 response times now exceed the 6 minute target in 13 of the 16 police districts. This is unacceptable for a city that was once the safest big city in the nation.

The fact that many officers left before Measure B passed does not mean the measure is not the cause of our staffing crisis.

The two-year run up to Measure B and all the negative messaging that went with it played a significant part in those officers’ decisions.

From the date the first Measure B draft was unveiled in May of 2011, more than 400 police officers have either resigned or retired. Think of it as a hurricane: Thousands will flee an area before a storm makes landfall; you can’t count among the affected only those who flee after it arrives.

Liccardo wrote, “What of Measure B’s impact on the police force? The number of sworn officers dropped from 1,065 to 1,023 in the two years since its implementation, a net loss of 42 officers, as new hires offset some who left.”

The casual reader might think that only 42 officers have left since Measure B’s passage. In fact, 270 have either resigned or retired since then. The alarming consequence is that for the first time in the department’s history, more officers are leaving than we can hire and retain.

The police department cannot fill its academy because we cannot attract enough qualified candidates. The first academy class after Measure B was adopted began with 50 new hires, but just over a year later, only 13 remain.

The two most recent police academies were only able to fill 29 of 60 available slots.

The city council’s policies have taken a toll. Our time-tested model of proactive community policing can no longer be practiced because officers scramble from 911 call to call, leaving little time to interact with the community. No predictive policing model can replace an officer meeting with the community and strengthening relationships.

We agree with Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, Liccardo’s opponent for mayor, who has called for retaining portions of Measure B that were found legal, preserving $25 million in savings already included in the budget and establishing a competitive Tier 2 retirement plan that would reduce pension costs and allow for the rebuilding of our police department.

Legal pension reform is the solution to recruiting and retaining police officers, not continuing litigation over Measure B.

Four hundred former San Jose police officers, six former police chiefs and I will tell you that only Cortese’s approach can save our police department.

Jim Unland is president of the San Jose Police Officers Association. He wrote this for this newspaper.

 

• • • • •


Herhold's column in today's paper about Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell's "shallts" is interesting in that Councilman Pete Constant disagrees with the walking civilian review board.

Watchdog of Police Won’t Fit One Mold



By Scott Herhold <sherhold@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — Sept. 25, 2014

Very often, the most interesting issues to come before the San Jose City Council are not matters of ideology or money or land. They’re personal, and in that sense, they ultimately become political.

Such was the case this week with a proposal from Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell, who attempted to persuade the council to approve a set of qualifications for the next auditor. This in itself was a little strange. Cordell has not quit her job, though at 64 — 65 later this year — the fit former judge is among the older ranks of city employees (Mayor Chuck Reed is 66.) The police auditor, who has gotten favorable reviews for her work over the past 4years, serves as a check on the Police Department’s internal affairs investigations, which have sometimes been found wanting.

In an item originally put on the consent calendar with Reed’s signature, Cordell essentially wanted the council to lock in the qualifications for her successor before a new council takes office at the turn of the year.

Among her “shalts” — the document had a Ten Commandments ring — were that the independent police auditor had to be a lawyer with criminal law experience, had to have at least 10 years separation from a police department if once a cop, and could not have immediate family members who were police officers, including grandparents.

Cordell called these requirements “absolutely imperative” to maintain the credibility and independence of the office. But with the help of the mayor, she was proposing an unreasonable straitjacket. And Councilman Pete Constant, an ex-cop who has voted against his former colleagues on pensions, took her on.

Non-lawyers

Constant argued persuasively that there were plenty of non-lawyers who could do the police auditor’s job — a veteran investigator familiar with police practice, say, or a psychologist who knew how to ask good questions. He insisted that the 10-year period was too draconian. “We have created a box that is too small,” he said. Ultimately, with one small tweak — it made the ban against being cops apply only to the current status of family members — the council sided with Cordell on a 6-4 vote. Council members Sam Liccardo, Pierluigi Oliverio and Johnny Khamis voted with Constant on the losing side.

The dissenters had a point. Being a lawyer is no guarantee of effectiveness. A Cordell predecessor, Teresa Guerrero- Daley, a lawyer who is now a judge, seemed eager not to antagonize cops. What’s needed is a well-organized person who knows how to ask tough questions. Cordell, who is called “Judge” around City Hall, makes an error that many successful people do: She assumes the job must be done in the same way she has done it.

But we already suffer from over-credentialism in America. It is one reason why student debt is so bloated. There are different approaches to being an independent auditor. And the best thing the next council could do is quietly dump these handcuffs before they seek Cordell’s successor.

 

MAIL CALL

Sept. 18th

Bill:

I was hoping to see a letter defending the action by the PD in returning the MRAP. It apparently didn't materialize, either because your readers all agreed with me or the politicians, et al, don't read the Farsider.
 
I guess I'll just have to contain my frustrations in not being able to, as President Obama says, demolish, destroy and contain the fuzzy thinkers now at large in the City of San Jose.

Phil (Norton)
<ponorton2008@gmail.com>

Seems strange that there haven't been many requests from the local politicians to receive the Farsider. Perhaps they have been forewarned that they are often the target of some literary arrows.

 

• • • • •

 

Sept. 19th

Bill,

I too sent a letter to the Merc regarding its failure to acknowledge the press event with the former chiefs. My letter was almost identical to yours, and guess what? They didn't use it. I also sent an email to Scott Herhold as I knew him from when I worked in the Mayor's Office. Included is the email I sent to him, followed by his very weak response. Hopefully you'll have better luck than I did.

Chris (Galios)
<cgg1515@aol.com>

Chris' email to Scott Herhold…

Scott,

I've searched the Merc the last few days for any kind of article regarding the former SJPD chiefs' press conference about the mayoral race and I couldn't find anything. Did I miss something, or did the Merc purposely ignore this because it may hurt their chosen candidate? Now that I live in AZ, I don't have a vested interest in San Jose, but I still enjoy watching the game. The Police Dept. has been ruined to a point that it will take many years to come back. It is on life support now, and I'm afraid that after the election, the plug will be pulled.

Chris Galios

Herhold replied...

Chris,

I don't really know the story. In general, I know that we're way down in staff (from 400-plus to less than 75), so they may have decided that it wasn't something to cover.

Hope all is well,

Scott (Herhold)

• • • • •

 

Sept. 18th


Bill,

I have to say (again) how much I appreciate you including me in the distribution of the Farsider. Thank you.

Regarding the La Bamba clip, I am a big fan of the Play for Change movement. It is comprised of 185 musicians from 31 countries. My favorite so far is not a compilation like La Bamba, but a track released by an American Bluesman, Keb' Mo’ called “The Old Me Better." It should make most every married man smile just a bit.



<http://youtu.be/oJa1B89Z3bk>

Thank you also for providing the links to aftermath of the Benghazi attack. I cannot fathom how our Ambassador and three other patriots were murdered, our diplomatic mission was pillaged, and all we hear are crickets. That’s quite an employee retention policy they have at the Department of State.

Last year Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) sponsored a bill nominating both Ty Woods and Glenn Dougherty for the Congressional Gold Medal, not the Medal of Honor. The bill was referred to to the House Financial Services Committee. I don’t know if that’s the path for all nominations like this, or if this got detoured so it can be lost, forgotten or buried.

Many think they were contracted security and thus obligated to protect, but they were actually on a mission to locate and “purchase” military heavy weapons from the black market in Libya.

Remember, those guys were not in Benghazi when the attack began; they chartered a plane and flew from Tripoli against orders when they heard there was an attack on the Consulate.

I hope Karma is a bitch to those responsible.

Thank you again,

Mike Young, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
<jecasmi@gmail.com>

 

• • • • •


Former PBA President John Carr (Sr.) brought the following candidate for judge to this month's general membership meeting as a guest. He addressed those in attendance and was well received...

Sept. 20th

Dear Bill,

I work on the Matthew Harris for Judge campaign. John Carr suggested that I email you with information about Matt’s campaign for The Farsider.

I’m not sure what information you would like, but I’ve attached his logo and below is a short write up. Please let me know if you would like something different.

Thank you very much for the opportunity, and for the support!

Elizabeth Sanford
<elizabeth@epsanford.com>

Matt Harris’s broad experience, qualifications and demeanor have earned him strong support from Judges, Elected Leaders, Law Enforcement and the Community for Superior Court Judge Seat #24. He has the experience and qualifications to immediately conduct criminal felony trials and preside over civil or other noncriminal cases. For over 22 years, Matt has served on the majority of the DA’s major felony trial teams and has tried and won many jury verdicts including homicides, sexual assaults, robberies, kidnapping and gangs. As a judge, he will provide fair and impartial decisions on all matters before him without consideration of or engaging in irrelevant matters. He will make decisions based on the law and facts.

Biographical Highlights         

• Award winning, highly experienced and respected Prosecutor of 23 years

• Handled homicides, including capital homicide, gang crimes, sexual assaults, DUI murder and major white collar frauds

•Community Prosecutor stopping crime by improving neighborhood quality of life

• Special Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting crimes in federal district court

• Extensive civil litigation experience: Consumer Protection, Asset Forfeiture, and Civil Trial Firm

• Endorsed by 27 current and retired Judges, 16 Law Enforcement Associations and the last 3 District Attorneys

 

• • • • •

 

Sept. 22nd

Hi Bill,

Hope all is well with you. Realizing we live in the age of hypocrites in our public lives, we've almost lost track of what's real and true and have become casually complacent. We almost expect those is the public eye to be twisting and manipulating, double-talking, showing up for this cause, then running for cover from that one, because it is just too hot or too uncomfortable

Take for example the recent National Football League scandals. Child beating, girlfriend sluggings; the list is long. Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Jonathan Dwyer, Greg Hardy plus more to come, and all in just the last ten days or so. I'm not going to write about their crimes here, that's up to the justice system now. I just wanted to ask a couple of simple questions that have to do with public figures and talking truth and such.

Where are the people with the loudest voices when you actually need them? Where are the headline grabbers and the fact twisters? Where are the speech makers and the bull horn ranters? Where are the leaders of the marches? Don't they have something to yell about regarding this? Where are the street blockers? Where are the chant repeaters? Where are the "Not Guilty" sign wavers? Where the heck are the rallies and the rabble rousers? Where are the out-of-state agitators?

And for gosh sake, where are the two big hot air balloons? Please tell me. Where is Jessie Jackson? Where is Al Sharpton?

I rest my case.

Peace.
 
Dave (Scannell)
<silent.eagle46@yahoo.com>

Having your say is what the Mail Call column is about, Dave. As for Sharpton and Jackson, my day was going fine until your brought up their names.
 

• • • • •

 

Sept. 23rd

Bill,
 
When Joseph McNamara became Chief of Police at San Jose, I was working in Narco. He became aware of studies I was conducting at the University of San Francisco that dealt with the impact of drug use on the crime index of a community, and requested copies of the research as it progressed. McNamara would ask a question now and then—questions that would assist me with project—but he never let on as to his thoughts or opinions at the time.
 
During those short meetings in his office there were times when I wanted to ask some deep and thought provoking questions as to his recent administrative decisions—like “what the #@&% are you doing?” He apparently knew what he was doing.
 
Shortly after he retired from San Jose, McNamara and I crossed paths and he was instrumental in involving me in several of his activities. When Sally and I last visited Joe and Laurie, they had just sold their home and were happily preparing to move to the Carmel area.
 
There were a few subjects Joe and I never did come into agreement on, one being gun control—after all, I do live in Texas now. What we did agree on was the negative consequences of the War on Drugs. Joe’s fight in this arena may well be his legacy, as best explained in the attached recent article.

Russ (Jones)
<rjones1502@yahoo.com>

 

Click HERE to access the article.


 

NEW RETIREES' ASSN. NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE



Click HERE to access the Sept. edition of the Billy & Spanner 




 

SJPD HISTORY BOOK NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE AND FROM THE POA
 


All sales will benefit the SJPD Historical Society. The book went on sale on Monday of this week and is available at most book stores as well as on-line at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also shave 5 percent off the $21.95 cost by purchasing the book at the POA Office.

  

THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
 
Sept. 16 through Sept. 23

Bill Clinton gave a speech this weekend. He criticized Republicans for spending all their time dissing President Obama. But people from Iowa missed the rest of the speech because they were busy looking up the word "dissing."

Hillary Clinton also gave a speech in Iowa. She fueled speculation that she’ll run for president when she admitted that she's “thinking about it.” And next week, she'll be “thinking about it” when she's in New Hampshire before she spends a few days “thinking about it” in Florida.

This week Scotland will vote on whether it wants to leave the United Kingdom. If Scotland votes "yes," it will also leave the European Union and NATO and be responsible for defending itself. Or as Vladimir Putin put it, "I got dibs!"

Of course if Scotland does break up with England, it’ll just do what everyone does: Stalk them on Facebook.

President Obama hosted a picnic at the White House today for members of Congress. Obama said it was a great opportunity to gather every member of Congress in one place — so he could turn on the sprinklers. Payback!

The White House picnic was actually held one year after it was canceled. Last year the president had too much stuff going on to make time for a picnic, whereas now he just doesn't care anymore.

Hillary Clinton's supporters are calling on her to be more herself, after some of her recent appearances seemed to be too scripted. Hillary said, "I don’t know where you guys get this stuff. Shrug and shake head."

During President Obama’s visit to an elementary school yesterday, one little boy actually asked him if he ever fought in the Civil War. Obama told the boy he did not, but he re-enacts it with Congress all the time.

Obama actually told the student, “No I was born in 1961.” Then the kid said, “Where?” Then Obama said, “Uh, next question.”

Matt Damon is planning to shoot a fourth “Bourne Identity” movie. It tells the story of an actor who gradually remembers he has four kids to send to college.

A new study found that artificial sweeteners in diet soda might actually increase some people's chances of obesity. Doctors recommend people just drink water, while people said, “No. We’re drinking diet soda. You guys figure it out.”

Today is my 40th Birthday. And I’m not the only one having a birthday. This week, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley celebrated his 81st birthday by going on a 6-mile run. Seriously? I just got winded walking out here from backstage.

During a speech this week, Joe Biden referred to Asia as the “Orient,” just hours after he apologized for using another term that offended Jewish people. The White House calls Biden's remarks “unfortunate,” while Obama calls them “a welcomed distraction.”

That’s right, Joe Biden referred to Asia as the “Orient,” and also offended Jewish people. Which means he's one “pull my finger” away from being my grandpa on Thanksgiving.

There were some major security issues at the White House over the weekend. On Friday, a guy got to the front doors of the White House, and on Saturday another guy jumped over the White House fence. Officials are wondering why it's so easy to get in, while Obama is wondering why it's so hard to get out.

Chicago is reversing its plan to name a high school after President Obama after it received multiple complaints from people in the community. I guess parents were afraid their kids would spend eight years at the school and still not get anything done.

There was another round of leaked photos of nude celebrities this weekend, which included Mary-Kate Olsen. Mary-Kate said she was extremely embarrassed. Then her twin sister Ashley said, "Yeah, me too."

Some sad news from the world of reality TV. Mama June and Sugar Bear from “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” are splitting up. Their lawyers are citing unintelligible differences.

The White House has been having big security issues lately, after an intruder actually managed to jump the fence and make it inside. The White House actually said they will start locking the doors. When asked if he wanted a key, Biden said, "I'm fine just using the doggie door."

In an interview, Bill Clinton hinted that his daughter Chelsea’s baby is due in early October. Though it got weird when reporters asked if it's a boy or a girl, and Hillary said, "I haven't decided yet."

House Speaker John Boehner is facing criticism over a recent speech where he suggested that unemployed people are lazy. Boehner would clarify his statements, but he was on his second two-week break of the month.

Tomorrow night is the premiere of the new game show “Sports Jeopardy.” It’s got some pretty difficult clues like, “This NFL player ISN’T being investigated for a crime right now.”

Last year there was a slight increase in the U.S. prison population. It's expected to increase even more once the NFL increases to 34 teams.

A group that worships Satan wants to give educational activity books to Florida children. However, officials say it violates two of Florida's strongest taboos — Satan and education.

Street gangs are toning down their colors in order to be less noticeable to law enforcement. So now there are three gangs walking around in L.A. — the Crips, the Bloods, and the Earth Tones.

Problems for the NFL continue. Last week Nike suspended Ray Rice's contract and today they suspended Adrian Peterson's contract. So now Nike is down to Oscar Pistorius and Kim Jong Un.

A Michigan funeral home is offering a drive-thru viewing option. Or as they're calling it, "Jack Actually in the Box."

Archaeologists discovered a skeleton couple that have been holding hands for 700 years. Hey dude, it's been 700 years. Make a move!

A member of the Baltimore Ravens has retired from football so he can donate a kidney to his brother. Since receiving the new kidney, the brother has committed six felonies.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has put his post-college resume online for everyone to see. And it worked. He starts tomorrow at Quiznos.

A recent report says the majority of Americans cannot name the three branches of government — Judicial, Executive, and Legislative. To make it easier, the government is renaming those branches Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney.

The Islamic State is releasing its own "Grand Theft Auto" style of video game. In their version, the worse crime you can commit is letting a woman drive the car.

A man scaled the White House fence and ran across the lawn to the front door. Is it just me or is "The Amazing Race" running out of ideas?

The White House has re-evaluated its security and today they announced they'll start locking the front door. They're also going to start asking who's there when someone knocks.

The CEO of JetBlue announced he'll step down in February. Of course, it being JetBlue his actual departure may be delayed until March.

In another celebrity photo leak, nude photos of Kim Kardashian have been posted to the Internet. Kim said she'd be very embarrassed if only she knew how.

People are still talking about this guy who hopped the fence and ran into the White House. President Obama is calling for a security crackdown. In fact, today he announced a new punishment for anyone who breaks into the White House: Now you have to be president.

Kris Jenner has filed for divorce from Bruce Jenner. There were rumors of another woman. So Bruce explained, "I am the other woman."

Students at a high school in Detroit sent a YouTube video to the Pope asking him to visit their school. They want to see if the Pope can visit Detroit and still believe there's a God.

Honey Boo Boo's father, Sugar Bear, is denying charges that he cheated on Honey Boo Boo's mother, Mama June. It's being called the worst children's bedtime story of all time.

It's the first day of fall. The leaves are falling and so is the confidence in Roger Goodell.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally held a press conference on Friday. It was a tough press conference. They carried the guy out on a stretcher.

The situation in the NFL is awful. It's gotten so bad that even the Redskins want to change the commissioner's name.

Today was the opening of the U.N. General Assembly. There were 100 representatives from 135 nations in New York City — all here to pay tribute to Derek Jeter.

The United States has launched airstrikes against ISIS. It's being called "Operation Approval Ratings."

It's bad enough when you're president, but now there are guys hopping the fence. They beefed up security at the White House. Isn't it about time? People were waiting in line to hop the fence.

This guy gets all the way to the front porch of the White House. So they beefed it up. The security people added to the front door one of the sliding chain things.

This guy hopped the fence, ran across the White House lawn, and almost got inside the White House. And the Republicans said, "Well, let's nominate this guy."

In New York City today, the 69th version of the United Nations General Assembly was called to order. Manhattan was jammed with traffic, streets were filled with people wearing strange clothes and yelling in every conceivable language. Then the U.N. got started.

The U.N. delegates fan out across Manhattan to take advantage of diplomatic immunity. They do dangerous stuff just because they can, like get speeding tickets. They can even take pictures of Alec Baldwin.

It's always fun when people who can't stand each other come together, make speeches, and glare at each other in silent hatred, knowing they won't have to see each other for a whole year. It's like international Thanksgiving.

The new iPhone is going to be the biggest one yet. If iPhones were foreheads, this one would be Nicole Kidman. If they were disappointing basketball teams, this one would be the Lakers.

At San Francisco's airport last Tuesday, customs officials confiscated 20 giant millipedes. You should never bring a millipede on an airplane. There's just not enough leg room.

Tonight was the big finale of "America's Got Talent." It's my favorite TV talent show, if you don't count "The X Factor," "The Voice," "American Idol," "Top Chef," "Top Model," "Project Runway," and "Twerking with the Stars."

People call "America's Got Talent" AGT. That's how lazy we've become. We can't pronounce three words.

Today the 50th annual Mr. Olympia contest starts in Las Vegas. Arnold Schwarzenegger won it something like seven times. So just think. Today's winner might someday ruin the state of California.

Did you see last night's football game? It's a shame that the Buccaneers and Falcons were forced to battle like that. Pirates and birds are usually friends.

You can't make pirates and birds fight each other. That's like making Jay Leno fight classic cars. Or Nicole Kidman fight Botox.

In Germany it's the start of Oktoberfest. It is a time of many contradictions. It's called Oktoberfest but it starts in September. It's a joyous celebration but it takes place in Germany.

Oktoberfest is the best time to visit Germany. Probably the worst time would be about 1937.

Justin Bieber's monkey is not German. He is abandoned in Germany, but he's actually Canadian. He went from "Give me the banana" to "Papers, please."

This is true. In L.A. we're having something called "Vegan Oktoberfest." Man, we really know how to take the fun out of everything! Do you have beer with kale in it? Do you have organic schnitzel?

It's a sad day as we hear that America's sweethearts — the Honey Boo Boos, Mama June and Sugar Bear — are separating. They're not consciously uncoupling. That's for people who eat kale.

Mama June and Sugar Bear are, and I quote, "broked up." Apparently Mama June caught Sugar Bear cheating with other women. They were Betty Crocker, Mrs. Butterworth, Little Debbie, Sara Lee, and Aunt Jemima.

The Secret Service is under scrutiny after a man jumped a fence and entered the White House. In their defense, when they saw a crazed maniac running down the White House lawn, they assumed it was Biden.

Earlier tonight, there was the new show "Gotham." It's about when Batman was a little boy and Robin was a little girl.

Bruce Springsteen is 65 years old today. Now when he's dancing in the dark, it's because of cataracts.

It's Sea Otter Awareness Week. It is taking the country by storm. Today Donald Trump put a sea otter on head. No one noticed.

Kris Jenner officially filed divorce from Bruce Jenner. They separated a year ago, but they waited until now to divorce because it's in the script.

Bruce Jenner says he's putting on a brave face. He took it out of the closet and put it on.

On Tuesday, Apple gave the new U2 album to all of their customers for free. It just showed up in their iTunes. People were upset about it. There was so much backlash that Apple released a tool to remove the album from your iPhone. Poor Bono and his weird sunglasses are soaked with tears right now.

The first trailer for the new, highly anticipated "Hunger Games" sequel came out yesterday. Of all the "Hunger Games" movies, they're saying this is going to be the hungriest.

Paris Hilton has a new dog. But not just any dog. A dog she paid $13,000 for. The breeder that she bought it from named the dog "Mr. Amazing" — I guess because it's amazing they were able to get somebody to pay $13,000 for a dog.

The reason Mr. Amazing is so expensive is that he's one of the world's smallest Pomeranians. For another $4,000, they will sell you no Pomeranian at all.

Apple today released the iOS 8 mobile operating system, which means we finally have more versions of iOS than "Police Academy" movies.

They're saying iOS 8 is going to revolutionize the way we ignore our friends and family.

The people of Scotland are voting on whether to declare independence from the United Kingdom. If Scotland votes for Independence, it could have major ramifications. Great Britain is concerned that if they lose Scotland, they could be cut off from a major supply of bagpipes and kilts.

The official ballot is one line: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" And that's it. Why is it that I have to go through 18 pages of terms and conditions to download iOS 8 while a whole country can secede from the United Kingdom by checking a box that says "Yes"?

Today is the first day of fall. But the weather doesn't change here. The only way we know what season it is in L.A. is by what Paris Hilton's dog is wearing. Today, cashmere sweater.

It was quite a weekend for Apple. Apple sold a record 10 million new iPhones this weekend, which I think is all of them.

There are no more of the new iPhones. If you didn't get one, you have to wait for the iPhone 7.

About 400,000 people marched in New York today to draw attention to climate change. They held up signs and banners. They chanted things like "Hey, hey, ho, ho, fossil fuels have got to go." You know when somebody begins a chant with "Hey, hey, ho, ho," they mean business.

Many of the leaders and assistants to the leaders from around the world were in attendance at the U.N. Climate Summit. They say this was arguably the most high-profile, significant meeting that will in no way change anything whatsoever.

Unfortunately, the leaders of two of the world's biggest polluters, China and India, did not show up for the summit. That's like Daniel Day-Lewis and Meryl Streep not showing up for the Oscars.

Kris and Bruce Jenner are getting divorced. Kris Jenner said it was a painful decision for her and Bruce and executive producer Ryan Seacrest. The Jenner family is asking that no one respect their privacy at this difficult time.

Poor Bruce Jenner. When I was growing up, he was the most famous Olympic athlete in the world. His face was on a box of Wheaties. Now his face isn't even on his face anymore. So watch out, Michael Phelps.

Did everybody get the free U2 album in their iTunes? Well, there were some complaints, so Apple built a webpage specifically for users to delete the album from their accounts. You just enter your birthday, and if you’re under 40 years old it deletes the album.

The White House today came out in support of requiring police officers to wear body cameras at all times. It’s a great way for fans to keep up with their favorite NFL players.

This week scientists at North Carolina State University announced they discovered a way to move and manipulate liquid metal with electricity. And Arnold Schwarzenegger has already been sent back in time to stop it.

A man was arrested yesterday after the garbage bag he was carrying split open and a human head fell out. If he’s convicted, the man could receive a two-week suspension from the NFL.

Royal Caribbean cruises will soon be adding robotic bartenders that can shake drinks, cut limes, and precisely measure alcohol. While Carnival Cruises announced they will soon be adding plumbing.

A bachelorette party missing since Monday after a hurricane hit has been found and safely returned to California. When asked about the ordeal one of the girls said, “We were screaming, everything was spinning, there were bodies everywhere — and then the hurricane hit.”

Tonight is our 100th show. We made it to 100 episodes. I want to thank the one group of people we couldn’t have done it without: people who drink coffee late in the afternoon even though they know it’s a bad idea.

The Secret Service is under investigation after two different men made it onto the White House grounds this weekend after jumping the fence. Said President Obama, “Jumping the fence, huh? Why didn’t I think of that?”

The militant group ISIS today released a new audio clip mocking American politicians, including John Kerry and John McCain. And Americans are really upset because they released it directly into everybody’s iTunes account.

Next week the Supreme Court returns to work and is expected to decide if statements made on social media should be enough to put someone in jail. And if your mom is on Facebook, you know the answer is yes. Something has to stop her behavior.

According to a new estimate, Congress has had a full work week just 14 percent of the time since 1978. Congress said they planned to address the report next week because it's already Tuesday.

According to a new report, Nigeria owes New York City over $500,000 in unpaid parking tickets for its foreign diplomats. Nigeria apologized and said they'll pay the fines right away if they we send them our bank account number, our PIN, and our mother's maiden name.


 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF SEPT. 20, 2014

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

New Articles

• Were the remains of an ancient city
discovered in the Australian desert?

• Despite what some people may think they've read, you still can't use
food stamps to purchase marijuana.

• Has the Nobel Committee expressed
regret for awarding the 2009 Peace Prize to President Obama?

• Is Durex offering limited edition
Pumpkin Spice condoms?

• Second grader acts out her mother's
birthing process in school as a show-and-tell offering.

• Update to the case of a Houston man supposedly
sentenced to jail for "paying too much child support" for his son.

• List collects statements about rape made by
Republican politicians.

• Photographs purportedly show giant
mutant spiders produced by government DNA experiments in Missouri.

• Photograph purportedly shows a rare, recently discovered trans-species of
human-dog hybrid.

• Outrage over Urban Outfitters' offering an item appearing to be a bloodstained
Kent State sweatshirt for sale.

• Are
child predators using Facebook to source victims by adding unsuspecting parents as friends?

• Did a Florida teacher give 6th grade students an explicit sex-ed lesson involving a
strap-on toy to satisfy common core requirements?

• A mother-daughter lesbian couple named
Vertasha and Mary seek acceptance of their taboo romance?

• Alert warns that this
Halloween has been designated as "National Kill a Pitbull Day."

• Did a California man post a selfie taken with his girlfriend's
stolen corpse?

• Does a public high school in Hilliard, Ohio, host a
Muslim prayer room?

• Has the brother of a top ISIS leader
repented and converted to Christianity?

• Are prisoners
swapped in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl now top 'ISIS leaders'?

• Image shows a 1980s advertisement offering a
free U2 album with every cassette player purchase.

• Has the federal government banned
public school students from bringing their lunches from home?

• Has First Lady Michelle
Obama filed for divorce from President Barack Obama over his golf habit?

• Has Colorado become the first state to
legalize recreational use of crystal meth?

• Video clip shows a
hapless bungee jumper get his head bitten off by a crocodile.

• Request states prayers are needed as the city of Queragosh has fallen to ISIS, and
Christian children are being beheaded in large numbers.

• Has rapper Sean Combs been
arrested in connection with the murder of Tupac Shakur?

• Did HIV-positive basketball star
Magic Johnson donate blood for leukemia patients?

• Can
Muslim men receive welfare benefits for as many as four wives?

• Has Netflix announced they must
declare bankruptcy because they cannot compete with piracy?

• List details crimes and disturbing backgrounds associated with members of the
U.S. Congress, the NFL, or the NBA.

• Did Kanye West score
106 points in a charity basketball game against a team of handicapped children in wheelchairs?

• Is Facebook banning
drag queens who are not using their legal names on their accounts?

• Do ISIS operatives plan to
slaughter American troops at their homes after finding the addresses of military servicemen online?

• Does the
National Football League enjoy tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization?

• Perth man buys first iPhone 6 in Australia, immediately
drops it live on television.

• Finally, Apple's new "Wave" technology allows you to quickly
recharge your iPhone by microwaving it. Not.

• Busch Gardens altered its
Halloween programming to remove decapitated props reminiscent of ISIS beheadings.

• Social media outrage:
Michelle Obama visits St. Jude's, disrupts treatments, alienates parents.

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


Worth a Second Look

• Photograph captures wildlife
fleeing a fire in Bitterroot Forest, Montana.


Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our
25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.


Fraud Afoot

• Visit our
Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.

 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS



Large or Full Screen recommended for YouTube videos.


• • • • •


Think about the ramifications of this product. Seriously. Imagine having a car painted with Line-X. Living about a mile west of the Hayward Fault, I'm even thinking of having my house painted with it, although I don't know how my Homeowners Assn. will feel about the color candy apple red when all the other homes are white or beige. The
CLIP is from NatGeo, so it should be on the up and up. (2 Mins.)




• • • • •


Want to see something truly amazing? Watch
THIS short video, then ask yourself how many legs were broken and fenders were dented during the rehearsals before the filmmaker got it right? (1 Min.)




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Skip this item if you don't like seeing political items sully the Lighter Side column:

This new "Firewall" commentary received from Paul Salerno was posted on the Internet a few days ago. "Bill Whittle hit it out of the park again," said Paul. Click
HERE to see if you agree. (7 Mins.)




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Some people — mostly military veterans — have allowed their noses to get out of joint because President Obama casually
SALUTED two Marines with a cup of coffee while disembarking from Marine One. But is that a big deal when you consider he never served in the military, and the only thing he knows about military protocol is what he has picked up over the past 6 years? Then again, it may surprise some people to know that standard military protocol does not require the President to salute military personnel under these circumstances. The tradition began with President Reagan in 1981. Click on this SNOPES link for the facts.




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Most longtime Farsider readers who have an interest in military aviation have already taken a low-level ride in an FA/18 Hornet. Here's your opportunity to ride along in a British
TYPHOON as it maneuvers around mountains and sometimes as low as 50 feet above the ground. (5 Mins.)

 

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Staying on subject, you pilots and wannabe flyboys will want to watch
THIS film sent in by Dirk Parsons. "Wings Over the Rockies" features Harrison Ford and is being shown continually at the Denver Air Museum. We're so sure you will enjoy it that we'll give you your money back if you don't like it. (10 Mins.)

 

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Canadian Rick Mercer has his own show and YouTube channel and is very popular on Canadian TV.
THIS clip from Lumpy highlights one of Rick's segments in which he participates in the "Train of Death." (6 Mins.)

 

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Damn! I was looking forward to hearing two loud
SPLATS! Anyone else tired of watching these crazy people land safely? (2 Mins.)

 

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When you fly 50 feet in the air off a ramp and miss the landing area there's only one word we can think of that fits.
BUMMER. The other crazies in this video from Bob Kosovilka fared much better. (5 Mins.)




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Stupid, stupid,
STUPID. Don't watch these crazy Russians climb to the top of the second tallest building in the world if you suffer from acrophobia. (5 Mins.)

 

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Here's another one of those excellent
INTERACTIVE websites (courtesy of Tom McFall) that show the difference from the past to the present over a span of 70 years. Left click your mouse, hold it and drag it slowly from left to right on the original photo from the past and it will become the same exact location today. Drag it back to the left and you will be in 1944 again.

 

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You say you've never seen anyone get tagged for driving solo in the diamond lane? Watch
THIS Oakland CHP officer looking for the scofflaws. (2 Mins.)

 

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It's one thing to deal with the nervousness of playing the flute in an international competition, quite another when Mother Nature decides to test your resolve to finish your musical number. Watch what happens to
THIS flutist. (1:30 Mins.)



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Talk about neighbors from Hell. Living next to a particular type of cathouse is one thing. Living next door to
THIS cathouse is quite another. Phew! (28 Secs.)

 

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We normally hate to LAUGH at the misfortune of others, but damn, this is funny. (25 Secs.)




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Speaking of felines, the guy in this short clip is going to open the gate and let the lion that weighs as much as he does loose. Is he about to get mauled? WATCH and see, they wave goodbye because we are outta here. (48 Secs.)

 

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C'ya

 

Pic of the Week

Breaking News:

House Minority Leader takes the Ice Bucket Challenge…