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The Farsider

October 3, 2013


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


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



—Former Chief of the San Jose Police Reserves—

Feb 16, 1919 — Sept 18, 2013
Resident of Campbell

This is George's obituary as it appeared in the Mercury News on Monday of this week...

George W. Cochern, PhD

George, 94, has gone to be with the Lord. Survived by his wife of almost 70 years, the former Bobbi Grime of Cazenovia, NY and his 7 children, Linda Guerra (Joe), Tom Cochern, Judy Porras (Fred), Roger Cochern, John Cochern, Betsy Godinez (Rich) and Carol Allen (Scott). A grandfather of 23 and great grandfather of 46 and counting. Born in Buffalo NY, graduate of Buffalo State (BA) and Syracuse University where he earned his Master’s and Doctorate.

An Army Air Corps WWII Veteran, serving in the China Burma India Theater, Chief of the San Jose Reserve Police (Badge #001A) for 30 years, receiving numerous commendations, and a Professor of Education at San Jose State University where he touched and shaped so many lives.

They moved to the west coast for just “two years," landing in Campbell in 1955, and found they really liked the lack of snow and never left.

A dedicated soldier, police officer, educator, husband, father, and grandfather. He lived a wonderful life and God granted him a peaceful passing surrounded by loved ones.

Service at Venture Christian Church, Fri. Oct. 18th, 10am. 16845 Hicks Road, Los Gatos.



Let's start with this excerpt from the I.A. column in last Sunday's paper...

Mercury News — Sept. 29, 2013

Reed’s Ballot Initiative Draws Plenty of Fire

We reported last month that San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is considering a statewide ballot initiative that would make it easier for California government officials to trim their employee pension plans and control their soaring costs, something that might help his case if a court tosses his Measure B. Well, the folks fighting to ensure that the days of government officials retiring early with $100,000-plus pensions never end signaled last week that they’re not going to let a California retirement reform initiative effort get airborne without a fight.

The Institute for America’s Future, a liberal Washington, D.C., think tank, released a report last week called “The Plot Against Pensions.” It essentially calls concerns about ballooning government pension costs a unicorn birthed by Wall Street sharpers. It singles out in particular John Arnold , a Texas investor whose Laura and John Arnold Foundation bankrolls pension reform efforts in California and other states.

Calling Arnold an “Enron billionaire,” the report argued that “conservative activists are manufacturing the perception of a public pension crisis in order to both slash modest retiree benefits and preserve expensive corporate subsidies and tax breaks.”

Arnold made his pile trading in natural gas, including for Enron, the Texas energy trading company accused of profiteering off California’s deregulated electricity markets before collapsing in a fraudulent accounting scandal in 2001.

The report doesn’t mention San Jose, and we can’t vouch for its findings. But you can see the campaign arguments taking shape.

• • • • •

Craig Shuey spotted this article in today's SacBee and got it to us just prior to press time...

The State Worker: Pension Reformers Retooling with Help from Texas

By Jon Ortiz <jortiz@sacbee.com>
The Sacramento Bee — Oct. 3, 2013

With the first deadline looming for a new public-pension proposal to make the November 2014 ballot, a Texas nonprofit has emerged in a behind-the-scenes battle poised to break into public view next year.

Union interests are howling that San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, a Democrat pushing a controversial idea to dial down government retirement benefits, asked a Houston-based group to give $200,000 to his local chamber of commerce last summer for “policy analysis for statewide pension reform,” according to a report Reed filed in August.

The Texas organization, Action Now Initiative, is a 501(c)(4) group (a reference to the applicable IRS code) that can raise and spend unlimited money, tax-free, without revealing donors.

Action Now’s gift revives memories of an Arizona nonprofit that last year put $11 million into defeating Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative and to support another ballot measure to hobble union-dues collections. The group had connections to the Koch brothers, but we still don’t know who gave the money. When a court ordered disclosure, the organization pointed to two other faceless out-of-state nonprofits.

A message left Wednesday with Action Now wasn’t immediately returned, but it shares an address with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, which was launched in 2008 by a former Enron executive and his wife. Its website lists a number of causes, including “structural changes” to public pensions that are “comprehensive, sustainable and fair.”

That agenda aligns with Reed’s idea to alter California’s constitution so that state and local governments could lower pensions prospectively for current employees, while keeping their earned benefits intact. Prevailing wisdom says that retirement promises to current employees can’t be altered. A voter-approved rollback for San Jose city employees is testing that theory in court.

Meanwhile, Reed has about a month to file ballot initiative papers, said Mike Arno, head of Arno Political Consultants, “and ideally you have money, leadership and a coalition before that.”

Then Attorney General Kamala Harris will give the measure its ballot title and summary by the end of this year. Proponents of a pension measure failed to get their proposal before voters last year, they said, after Harris skewed the language and killed their fundraising.

Assume that doesn’t happen again. Reed raises a couple million bucks. His group collects 1.3 million signatures. The state certifies them around the end of June.

Reed raises $10 million to $20 million from deep-pocketed donors. His campaign cites Stockton, San Bernardino, Vallejo and Detroit as proof of flawed pension math. Mayors from other struggling cities ask, What will it be? Pensions or police services? Pensions or parks?

The unions throw everything they have at the measure. Their messages: It’s an overblown issue. New pension reforms are taking hold. Government must keep its promises. Reed is a tool of the rich.

Just look, they’ll say, at Action Now.



Sept. 27th

Silicon Valley Daily Fetch (Article)

Document reveals Chuck Reed funneled $200,000 from shadow
Texas group to SV Chamber to change California's constitution


• • • • •

Sept. 30th

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is feverishly working to launch a statewide ballot measure to steal retirement security from police officers, firefighters, nurses and other public service providers. Included are two links to the latest news out of San Jose on how Mayor Reed is using a Texas billionaire's Enron money to promote his attack on public safety professionals.

Silicon Valley Daily Fetch (Article)

Did SJ Mayor Reed hide true source of state pension measure seed money?


~ ~ ~

San Jose Mercury News (Article)

'Plot Against Pensions' blasts reforms like those Mayor Reed wants


• • • • •

Oct. 2nd.

KTVU News at 6:00 (Video)

Chuck Reed May Launch Pension Ballot
Measure to Change California's Constitution


~ ~ ~

San Jose Inside (Article)

Mayor Reed Won't Reveal All Secret Donors Behind His Statewide
Pension Grab Effort — Former Enron Executive Involved





As virtually all retired and active San Jose cops are aware, there is little incentive for the new SJPD recruits to stay with the Dept. once they get through the FTO program and hit the streets given their salary and retirement benefits. That's the issue that Scott Herhold addressed in this column a few days ago...

Will New Police Stay in San Jose?

By Scott Herhold, Columnist
Mercury News — Oct. 1, 2013

Confident and immaculately dressed in a dark blue uniform, the petite female recruit stood to one side of the audience Friday, posing for pictures with every assortment of family and friends. She looked like someone proud of her achievement. After all, she had just gotten through the San Jose police version of boot camp. I had wandered over to the newly refurbished San Jose McEnery Convention Center on Friday for the graduation of San Jose’s 19th police academy class, 41 recruits who got their badges after six months of intensive training at Evergreen College.

As happy as I was to see more cops coming to San Jose’s force — we are badly down, and everyone knows it — my purpose as a reporter was to measure the political temperature. These cadets belong to Tier 2, which means they will have a lower pension than cops retiring now.

And that raises the question whether they will really stay in San Jose — or whether, having gotten their training at the city’s expense, they’ll move to another city where the pension and benefits are sweeter.

You rarely think of a pension when you start a job. It seems like a gut check of your own mortality. Yet it becomes more important as time passes.

In this case, the new recruits are looking at a maximum pension of 65 percent of their salary, compared with 90 percent for cops retiring now. It’s still a good deal, but the difference over 20 years of retirement could amount to a half-million dollars.

Mayor’s optimism

Certainly the issue of whether the city can retain the new cops was on the mind of Mayor Chuck Reed, who wrote the Measure B pension reform. “We have competition,” he told reporters. “They want to hire our good people. And we want to keep them.”

When he took the stage, the mayor was upbeat, suggesting that people in the audience could help the city sell convention space (my take: unlikely).

Then Reed played the card he could, family allegiance. The mayor said he hoped the new cops would be with the city for a long career and that they would need the support of friends and family. Translation: We hope your parents can help with that loyalty issue.

Then the ceremony turned to the work recruits had done. A video underscored physical tasks at the academy. I was impressed that the cadets had been tased. It might help before they pull the trigger.

Family pride

Was anyone talking of pensions? No. In the audience, you could sense the family pride, a feeling of relief that cadets had found a stable career. (This despite a woman who got up and shouted, “There’s not enough women up there!” She had a point: I counted only a handful of female cadets).

Yet you know that the new cops will be tempted, and some will be lured away. This is the cost of pension reform. What is right for one city easily can be trumped by another.



Last Week's Poll Results

For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:



Sept. 27th

Hi Bill,

Regarding OB care, I've been on Kaiser Medicare for 6 1/2 years so it's hasn't affected me, yet, but several of my business tenants who are self employed have seen their private insurance more than double since OB care passed. One can speculate on both sides of the argument as to why. Do you think it might have something to do with the insurance companies being required to cover "children" on their parents insurance through the innocent age of 26. I guess at 27 they will have to get off their skateboards and get a job.

Bruce (Hodgin)

The "kids" should be OK as long as they can continue to live in their parents' basement.


• • • • •


Sept. 28th

Open message:

On 9-16-13, my social Yahoo e-mail account was hacked while I was in Canada. I thought I had fixed the problem, but this was not a simple one-time hack. I found out today (9-28-13) that the scum-sucking spawn of a venereal disease-ridden swine who hacked my system had not only deleted all my e-mail addresses, he went into my account file and changed the return address.
The hacker created a bogus return address of
<hmullins08@hotmail.com>. This is NOT my address, and I have no Hotmail address that uses any part of my name. There are two things that those of you who have received and replied to an e-mail between 9-17 and 9-27 should know: 1) If you replied to an e-mail, it went to the bad address, and 2) I had the problem fixed on Saturday 9-28-13, but if you replied to the next few e-mails, double check the return address.
This problem does not affect anyone who received an e-mail from my Yahoo address and did not reply, or anyone who sent me an e-mail using my real address.
I am very sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Please practice safe cybering.
Harry Mullins

Several readers have had their e-mail address stolen over the past few years along with some or all of the addresses in their e-mail address book. The easy fix for this is to go into your e-mail preferences or account settings and change your e-mail password. We sent Harry a new Farsider subscription roster with the e-mail addresses which should enable him to restore many of the addresses that were deleted from his address book.



Click on the link below to download it to your desktop...



Seating will be limited to 250, so make your reservations early.

Saturday, December 14th

San Jose Holiday Inn, 1350 N. First Street

Member Free
Guest Ticket $70

Reservations/Sales begin October 1st

Ticket Reservations for Retirees:
Margie Thompson, Retiree Tickets

Seating Reservations:
Ted Vasquez
408 772-1909

Remember, seating will be limited to 250, so get your reservations in early!




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

Is this photo of a man with an extra nose
growing out of his forehead real or fake?

New Articles

• Report about a drug concoction known as krokodil that can rot the skin of users who inject it.

• Photograph shows a man with a nose growing on his forehead.

• Warning that wearing certain types of sanitary pads causes uterine and bladder cancer and has resulted in the death of 56 girls.

• Did the chairman of the Barilla pasta brand say he would never use homosexual couples in his advertisements?

• Does a flurry of activity in FEMA Region 3 indicate that 'something big is coming'?

• Has the FCC classified Fox News as 'satire' rather than a news source?

• Did actor Brad Pitt author the essay "A Secret of Love" about his wife?

• Photographs show an unusually colored buck taken by a hunter.

• How valid is a "personality test" supposedly advocated by Dr. Phil?

• Was The Boomtown Rats song "I Don't Like Mondays" inspired by a deadly shooting at a school?

• The story of a shark who developed an affection for the fisherman who saved her life.

• Did a Salvation Army official state that homosexuals 'deserve to die'?

• Has President Obama suffered a mental breakdown?

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

Worth a Second Look

• Did a Congresswoman call for hurricanes to be given African-American names?

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.



Chuck Blackmore is betting he can get a steep discount on an outside cabin with a balcony on the starboard side of the Costa Concordia now that it has been raised. Check out these pics, but exercise a little patience as the site may take a few moments to load.


Click on the link below if you want to watch a 90-second time-lapse video of the righting of the cruise ship...



• • • • •

One of the nice features of classical music is that it goes well with a variety of videos, such as this one titled "The People vs. Winter" received from Paul Niquette. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

Feeling down? Need an emotional lift? Harry Mullins came through with this short video about a cat, dog and a hedgehog. (2 Mins.)


• • • • •

The subject of this short film entitled "405 The Movie" came up the other day and we thought it was worth including again for those of you who were not part of the Farsider family three years ago when we first ran it. The video was made by two guys in the Southland using Apple's Final Cut Pro video software. Have a look. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

Tom Macris goes through several golf caddies a year because they either drown retrieving his balls or getting eaten by bears in the woods, so he invested in this one that should last him a few years. (2 Mins.)


• • • • •

Is your brain getting enough exercise to match your age? This simple test received from Lumpy will reportedly answer that question...

Measure your brain age in 2 minutes by playing some fun games. If your final score is younger than your actual age, then you are doing enough brain exercise for your brain. if you score higher than your age, you need to exercise your brain more.


• • • • •

Have any of you gearheads ever had the desire to drive a Fiat 500? Right, we already know the answer to that question, but Bob Kosovilka thinks you may change your mind after watching this video. (10 Mins.)


• • • • •

Ever notice when you have viewed old film footage from back in the '20s that four-wheel-drive didn't appear to be necessary? Have a look at this short Dodge Brothers promotional film sent in by Alice Murphy. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

Harry Mullins says this guy is good, and almost as good a truck driver as Harry claims he was back in the days when he was hauling around a set of triples. (2 Mins.)


• • • • •

This edition of Jay Leno's Garage is about the history of CHP patrol cars dating back to 1969 and includes a look at the new cruiser pictured below that will soon be part of the CHP fleet. (18 Mins.)


• • • • •

Lumpy refers to this as the "world's best prank." It involves several Kiwis who plumbed a buddy's house so that beer instead of water came out of every spigot in his house. Whether you judge it to be the best prank or not, it certainly seems to be the most elaborate when one considers the time, work and money it took to pull it off. (7 Mins.)


• • • • •

This is the latest (Sept. 2013) "People are Awesome" compilation video if you have the time to watch it because it runs for... (31 Mins.)


• • • • •

For lovers of music that dates back several decades, here is an impressive library from my brother-in-law that most of you will be able to listen to with a simple click of your mouse.


• • • • •

A Special Closer

Whatever you think today about President Richard Nixon, he was in fact the Commander in Chief who brought the remaining 590 POWs home from Vietnam. This video received from Larry Reuter, Hank Schriefer and Brent Pascoe documents the occasion and takes the viewer to the 40th Reunion of the former POWs held this past Memorial Day at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library here in California. A Kleenex is optional. (12 Mins.)


• • • • •



Pic of the Week

Jim Silvers says this photo shows how to tell if your family dog is involved in a sex scandal...


Scrolling Box

This is the message box, using the scroller component.



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