Oct. 16, 2014
Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
The Farsider is an independent publication that is not
affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included
on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of
this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent
Association's Board of Directors or its membership.
This guy writes about California pensions, including
CALStrs, CALPers and private systems like our San Jose
Police and Fire Retirement System. In my view, he pretty
much stays on point about the issues and does not use
his writings to editorialize. The article which I am
including is ALL about San Jose.
Vote May Derail Pension ‘Rights’ Ruling
Reporter Ed Mendel covered the Capitol in Sacramento for
nearly three decades, most recently for the San Diego
Union-Tribune. More stories are at <Calpensions.com>.
An appeal of a San Jose pension reform ruling that could
cause the state Supreme Court to revisit “vested rights”
may be halted by a settlement with unions, if candidates
aligned with the policies of Mayor Chuck Reed are
defeated next month.
Labor unions opposed to the pension reform are backing a
candidate for mayor to replace Reed (barred by term
limits from seeking a third four-year term) and three
candidates for open city council seats, more than enough
to shift the power balance.
Reed has been operating with a thin margin of support,
at times just one vote, in a weak mayor system that has
10 council members in addition to the mayor. He helped
one ally, Rose Herrera, win re-election two years ago
despite heavy union opposition.
A Reed-backed measure approved by 69 percent of San Jose
voters two years ago has a provision that does what
critics of “unsustainable” pensions, such as the
watchdog Little Hoover Commission, think is the key to
controlling runaway employer costs.
Pension amounts already earned by current workers would
be protected, but the pensions they earn in the future
could be reduced. Cuts of this kind are allowed for
In California, state court rulings, a key one in 1955,
are believed to mean the pension offered state and local
government workers when hired becomes a “vested right,”
protected by contract law, that can only be cut if
offset by a comparable new benefit.
So most pension reforms are limited to new hires, which
can take years or decades to produce significant cost
savings for employers, depending on the rate of employee
The San Jose pension reform challenged the conventional
view that the pensions of current California government
workers cannot be cut, relying in part on a city charter
provision that reserves the right to change pensions.
Measure B gives current workers an option: Pay much more
to cover the pension “unfunded liability” or debt and
keep earning the old pension amount, or avoid the big
contribution rate hike (about 16 percent of pay) by
earning a lower pension.
Last December Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas upheld
12 of the 15 provisions in Measure B. She ruled that
making employees pay the unfunded liability by
increasing their pension contribution rate was a
violation of vested rights.
The judge upheld a fallback provision allowing the
unfunded liability, if the employee rate hike is not
allowed by the courts, to be paid by employees through a
similar cut in their pay.
Reed said last week the city council has agreed not to
attempt a pay cut until next July and has instructed
staff to negotiate an extension, while awaiting an
appeal of the judge’s ruling. He is optimistic the city
would win an appeal.
“It’s been a long time since the California Supreme
Court had a clear shot at the issues on vested rights,”
Reed said. “Lawyers will disagree, so we will have to
wait and see.”
Reed and others have cited a lengthy analysis (click
HERE) by Amy Monahan of the University of Minnesota
Law School that looks at the origin of the “California
Rule” said to prevent cuts in pensions offered at hire,
arguing that it’s an error.
A 17-page California Public Employees Retirement System
legal brief (click
HERE) issued three years ago on member vested rights
said “Rule 1” is that the pension benefits of current
workers can go up, but not down without their consent.
Police magazine cover on mayoral candidates Cortese
(left) and Liccardo
elected, the labor-backed candidate for mayor, Dave
Cortese, a county supervisor and former city councilman,
is expected to push for a settlement of union suits
against Measure B, including the current-worker option
and lower pensions for new hires.
The other candidate for mayor, Sam Liccardo, a
councilman, worked with Reed on Measure B. Liccardo is
endorsed by Reed and three former San Jose mayors.
Cortese is endorsed by four former San Jose police
A key issue is whether the Measure B pension reforms
endanger public safety, further reducing the police
force and curbing recruitment. A San Jose police force
that once was 1,400 has been reduced to about 900.
Reed said rising retirement costs and budget cuts
reduced the police officers to 1,100 before Measure B
passed. Since then injuries, vacancies and other factors
have dropped the number to about 900 “street-ready”
Police agreed to a 10 percent pay cut to avoid 150
layoffs, Reed said, but now a new contract is restoring
the pay cut. He said the city council wants an
additional 250 police officers and has added a third
The police union contends that most of the first new
training graduates this fall will leave, due to low pay
and pensions. And the police union president, Jim Unland,
predicts that 200 officers may leave if Liccardo is
Savings from Measure B are expected to help pay for more
police. Reed said more than $50 million will be saved
over two fiscal years by eliminating a “13th check”
pension bonus for retirees and a change in the
lowest-cost retiree health care plan providing full
At a city council meeting last week, Reed said, staff
said the lower pensions authorized by Measure B for new
police and firefighters will save the city $65,000 a
year per person, compared to current pensions, and
$35,000 a year per person for other employees.
In the October issue (click
HERE) of the police union magazine, “Vanguard,”
Unland said the city should have negotiated with the
unions on the “13th check” and retiree health care to
find a solution that would have avoided a court battle.
Lower pensions for new hires are part of the reason for
an “en masse departure” of new recruits who receive
training costing an average of $170,000, he said, which
means “this failed experiment has in fact cost the city,
Unland said a pension plan for new hires developed by
the union with the aid of the city would save the city
$300 million over the next 15 years. But the proposal
was “scuttled” by Liccardo and other Measure B
supporters on the city council.
In the courts, the trial record of the Measure B ruling
has not yet been prepared and delivered to the court of
appeal. The city also awaits IRS approval of the
current-worker option, along with a similar Orange
County plan negotiated in 2009.
“It’s in their work plan,” said Reed, who has made
several trips in the last six months to urge IRS
approval of the option. “There is a great deal of
resistance by the national unions who are lobbying
against anything that might give employees a choice.”
Last October Reed and four other mayors filed an
initiative for a state constitutional amendment giving
state and local governments the authority to lower the
pensions current workers earn in the future, while
protecting pensions already earned.
Reed and the mayors dropped the initiative when state
Attorney General Kamala gave the proposal an “inaccurate
and misleading” title and ballot summary. After a
superior court declined to order a change, the mayors
filed an appeal in August.
• • • • •
Remember back in early Sept. when four of our former
chiefs held a press conference criticizing the current
city leadership and calling for a new direction and an
end to the war being waged on public safety?
The local TV stations each devoted time in their
newscasts to the press conference. The Mercury News,
however, was conspicuous by its absence; not a word
about the press conference appeared in the paper. This
prompted us to send an email crying "Foul" to Barbara
Marshman, the Editorial Page editor. There was no reply.
Fast forward to last Friday when the paper gave Mayor
Chuck Reed a quarter of the Op/Ed page to pontificate
and try to convince the readers that the "falling crime
rate" is keeping the citizens of San Jose safe.
Can’t Afford to Roll Back Pension Reforms
Mayor Chuck Reed
Mercury News — Oct. 10, 2014
former San Jose police chiefs recently invited the media
into the police union offices to talk about the police
department and the San Jose mayoral race.
You might have expected them to compliment our current
chief and the department for the reduction of crime in
San Jose had the lowest rate of violent crimes of big
cities in America in 2011 and again in 2012 and the
first half of 2013. The record looks as if it will be
repeated in 2014. For property crimes, we had the
sixth-lowest rate of the more than 30 cities over
500,000 population in the first half of 2013, the last
date the Uniform Crime Reports are available on the FBI
web site (click
HERE). Total serious crimes of all types dropped by
9 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same
period in 2013, which had a 10 percent drop from the
year before (click
Those accomplishments certainly deserve praise. But, no,
the former chiefs came to criticize the department and
advocate rolling back voter-approved pension reforms.
This would take us back to cutting services to pay for
skyrocketing pension costs, which is what we did when
they were active chiefs and the department shrank by 300
officers. That was before pension reforms.
While I respect the opinions of the former chiefs on
policing matters, their argument needs to be evaluated
from a mayor’s point of view: How much will it cost, and
what cuts in services will have to be made?
Take just those four retired officers. Together,
including health care costs, they are now collecting
nearly $1 million each year in benefits from San Jose
taxpayers. And they can continue to work and draw
salaries from other agencies. They earned this right
through their many years of service.
They are not alone. The average police officer and
firefighter retires with a pension and health care
benefits of about $120,000 per year. They, too, have
every right to draw their pensions at an early age and
work elsewhere. In fact, the retirement system gives
them incentives to do so.
These great benefits are extremely expensive. San Jose’s
total retirement costs increased by more than $200
million per year in the last decade and will continue to
go up for another decade.
These payments threatened to bankrupt our city and meant
we could afford fewer officers, firefighters and
librarians. Despite repeatedly increasing the budget of
the police department, we have fewer officers than we
had a decade ago.
Something needed to be done. That’s why Measure B, the
pension reform plan, won the support of nearly 70
percent of San Jose voters. Those reforms have already
saved more than $50 million and will save millions more
every year. Undoing them will have huge negative impacts
The best solution is to invest the savings from reforms
in new officers and continue to work to make them more
effective, as mayoral candidate Sam Liccardo would do.
A top step officer costs the city about $120,000 per
year in pay and another $100,000 in benefits.
Reducing the cost of retirement benefits generates the
savings that allows us to hire more officers.
Our police officers and the department leadership have
done a great job in reducing violent crime rates despite
a shrinking work force. We need to increase the size of
the force, but we have to generate savings to do so.
Rolling back pension reforms will mean a smaller police
force, not a bigger one.
~ ~ ~
Just above Reed's piece was this Mercury News editorial
regarding the pension issue.
Pension Measure is Not Controversial
Mercury News — Oct. 10, 2014
presses: There’s a non-controversial, pension-related
measure on San Jose’s ballot this fall.
Really. You can vote for it without triggering new
volleys of scare-mongering campaign mail.
Measure G is the culmination of reforms to the city’s
two pension boards, which once were made up of union and
political appointees with little regard for financial
The city council now appoints a majority of the boards
with a standard of independence and financial expertise,
improving stewardship of pension funds.
Among other things, Measure G will allow the boards to
hire their own executives, befitting their more
professional status. They would still be held to public
meeting and other transparency standards, and the mayor
and council would control their budgets.
Yes, Mayor Chuck Reed, the unions’ nemesis, initiated
reform of the pension boards. But Measure G is a
consensus, good government plan placed on the ballot by
the city council. Vote yes.
you to the 25+ POA members and their families who turned
out to walk for Dave, Raul and Paul Fong last weekend.
We need to keep this momentum going through Election Day
on November 4th.
Your continued participation is vital as voting has
started with absentee ballots having been mailed out!
Volunteers Needed for Precinct Walking
Saturday, October 18th & Sunday October 19th
SJPOA, 1151 North 4th Street, SJ
We are also
hand-writing small messages on postcards like "Dear xxx
thank you for supporting Dave Cortese" that will be
mailed out to voters. You can take a stack home with
you, fill them out and return them to the POA. Stacks of
cards and instructions are be available at the POA
office for pick up.
For any campaign related questions please call or email
James Gonzales at 510-551-8218 or
If you don't select one of the many ways to volunteer,
please consider making a donation to one of your
candidates. Your future depends on it.
use the POA's address for reporting purposes: 1151 N.
4th St., San Jose, CA 95112
Click on the links below to read the latest news.
Bay Area: Low Staffing Prompts SJPD to Consider
~ ~ ~
News: San Jose Police Dept. Facing Tough Time Recruiting
Mercury News: San Jose: Already small, police academy
shrinks even more.
~ ~ ~
Bay Area: Police Union Accuses City of "Cherry Picking"
Data to Show Crime is Down
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE CITY AND SJPD
For you out-of-towners who don't read the Merc, here is
the continuing saga on the 49ers Ray McDonald domestic
violence issue that we covered in last week's Farsider.
Question: We are guessing that the cops who had a
lucrative pay job with the Niners and got to hobnob with
the professional jocks can't be very happy over this.
Bars Officers from Moonlighting for 49ers
Robert Salonga and Mark Emmons — Staff writers
Mercury News — Oct. 11, 2014
— The San Jose Police Department has barred officers
from working for the San Francisco 49ers after an
officer who was moonlighting with team security
complicated a domestic- violence investigation by going
to lineman Ray McDonald’s home the night he was
DA’s office is reviewing a case filed by the San
Jose police from a domestic violence investigation at
the house of 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald.
decision was announced hours after this newspaper
reported Sgt. Sean Pritchard, who was on duty and in
uniform when he went to the McDonald home Aug. 31, also
visited the home earlier that evening during a birthday
party the player was throwing with his teammates.
“Due to the complexities of the investigation, both
criminally and administratively, we feel that it is in
our best interest to suspend all San Francisco 49er
secondary employment related assignments until further
notice,” police Chief Larry Esquivel said in a brief
statement released Friday afternoon.
The department declined any further comment. A 49ers
spokesman also said Friday that the team would have no
comment, and Pritchard could not be reached.
The development is the latest response by a department
that faces tough questions about the relationship
between the team and SJPD officers.
Earlier in the week, officials said they were reviewing
how the department handles off-duty work by officers,
but until Friday had allowed 16 other officers to
continue to work for the team.
Pritchard, a gang-suppression unit supervisor, had
already been banned from such work, pending the results
of an internal investigation.
Under scrutiny is what role Pritchard played in the Aug.
31 domestic-violence incident between McDonald and his
pregnant fiancee that ended with the star defensive
Pritchard reportedly was called directly by McDonald
that night and was already on scene when other officers
arrived in response to a 911 call.
Pritchard was in uniform at the time, and questions
about whether he was there on behalf of the department
or the team has spurred an Internal Affairs probe.
Police have not said when they will complete their
overall review of secondary- employment policies,
particularly with regard to conflicts of interest, which
were mentioned in a 2012 city audit urging more
oversight of officers’ off-duty work.
Peter Keane, a Golden Gate University School of Law
professor and former San Francisco police commissioner,
said he thought it was prudent for the department to
take a step back.
“They need to make sure that the team isn’t hiring
police officers to run interference for them with the
law,” Keane said. “That would be very inappropriate if
that were part of the job description. … If there’s an
understanding that these officers are somehow going to
be baby sitters, well that’s just not the proper role of
Steven Clark, a former Santa Clara County prosecutor and
now a criminal defense attorney and legal analyst,
agreed that Friday’s announcement could be an
acknowledgment by the Police Department of the need for
a serious review of the relationship between its
officers and the team.
“I think they realize that the arrangement with the
49ers raises questions about what are the allegiances of
its officers,” Clark said. “Instead of just singling out
this one officer, I think they want to examine the
overall protocols in these kinds of situations.”
He added it’s understandable that the department is
concerned about whether officers are working for the
team or the community at large.
“You never want a question like that to be raised,”
Clark added. “That’s certainly not something that a DA’s
Office wants to deal with in a case.”
All of the SJPD officers working for the team were
contracted through a third-party security firm.
Sources say Pritchard’s presence at McDonald’s house
also stalled the investigation into the domestic-
violence incident, where police said McDonald’s fiancee
showed “visible injuries,” and was a factor in the case
taking a month to be presented to the District
No charges have been filed and the case remains under
The new detail that Pritchard was at the birthday party
a few hours before the arrest only fanned criticism that
the arrangement has become too cozy to maintain the
Police Department’s credibility in investigating players
whose team employs its officers.
The 49ers did not answer specific questions about its
security arrangements but said in a general statement
that it hires off-duty and retired law enforcement to
tap their expertise and experience.
Police brass also insist that the department’s ability
to investigate the McDonald and other cases remains
uncompromised, and that Pritchard, who was described as
an “excellent officer,” should be afforded the benefit
of the doubt until all the facts of the case are clear.
• • • • •
San Jose cop-turned-lawyer Dennis Luca received some
free publicity in this follow-up article about the
McDonald spousal abuse case involving the SJPD. (Way to
go, counselor, but pardon us if we don't act surprised.)
Walk Tightrope on Pro Team Security
—Ethical issue leads to ban on 49ers gigs for San Jose
Robert Salonga and Mark Emmons — Staff writers
Mercury News — Oct. 12, 2014
— When a San Jose police officer who moonlights as
security for the 49ers interjected himself into the
investigation of reported domestic violence by team
defensive lineman Ray McDonald, it did more than just
give the appearance of a conflict of interest.
It put the SJPD squarely in the national spotlight and
provided a rare glimpse into the shadowy world of close
connections between major sports organizations and local
law enforcement agencies. It’s common, in fact, for
teams to hire local police as an extra layer of security
— essentially serving as a protective detail for
But the case of Sgt. Sean Pritchard, who reportedly has
even traveled with the team, underscores how ethical
lines can become blurred, calling into question who
exactly off-duty cops are supposed to be serving and
Dennis Luca, a former SJPD lieutenant-turned-attorney
and onetime NHL liaison to the Sharks, is blunt about
the unspoken agreement when professional sports teams
hire sworn officers for security.
A ‘wink and a nod’
“There is that tacit wink and a nod: ‘If something
happens, you’re going to be there for us, right?’ ” Luca
said. “That doesn’t mean that every officer working a
side job is going to do that. But to not recognize every
day there is a potential conflict of interest is
absolutely foolish.” He added: “Of course, you’ll never
get that admission from anyone in pro sports.” The 49ers
would not give any specifics about their security
McDonald reportedly called Pritchard in the
early-morning hours of Aug. 31, and the officer, in
uniform, already was at the player’s home in the Silver
Creek area of San Jose when other cops responded to a
911 call. McDonald, a key contributor to the 49ers’
defensive unit, would be arrested on suspicion of
domestic violence after police said his pregnant fiancee
showed “visible injuries.” But Pritchard’s presence,
sources say, complicated the SJPD investigation and
contributed to why it took a month to reach the
prosecutor’s office — a time during which the 49ers’
controversial decision to keep playing McDonald grew
into a national fervor. The Santa Clara County District
Attorney’s Office announced on Oct. 2 that it had
received the case and continues to review whether
charges should be filed.
Former San Jose police Chief Chris Moore said he could
not speak specifically to the McDonald case, but he sees
no reason for an officer to go to a scene when someone
connected to the cop’s second job is involved.
“If it sounds at all like it has the potential for a
criminal complaint, you not only tell them to call 911,
but as an officer, you also call 911,” Moore said.
“Unless it occurs right in front of you, do not become
involved. It will just cloud the potential investigation
Sources also said this week that earlier on the evening
of the McDonald call, Pritchard visited the home where
the player was throwing his birthday party with
teammates. That close relationship is why some on the
force are upset about the perception of preferential
treatment by police in exchange for rubbing elbows with
sports stars on glamorous side jobs.
“These assignments never should have been authorized,”
said one veteran officer on condition of anonymity out
of fear of reprisal from the department.
Andy Dolich, a longtime Bay Areas sports executive who
has worked with the 49ers, A’s and Warriors, said most
teams have off-duty law enforcement working for them,
and that in his experience, it is a positive
“The important thing is you want everyone to act
professionally and just do their jobs,” Dolich said.
“You emphasize that any crossing of the line is
unacceptable. Not knowing the circumstances in this
case, it does seems like SJPD might be rethinking its
policies and making sure that officers are using the
best judgment possible.”
Last week, Pritchard, who is assigned to the
gang-suppression unit, was prohibited from working for
the team pending an Internal Affairs investigation. Then
on Friday, the department issued a blanket suspension of
all officers doing off-duty work with the 49ers “until
further notice.” In total, there had been 17 officers
moonlighting for the 49ers through a third party
But those moves were not swift enough for many inside
the department, who have been grumbling privately about
the damage the situation has inflicted on the force’s
reputation. Just as San Jose officers have begun working
after-hours for the team, the 49ers have become the
NFL’s bad boys. The team leads the league in recent
arrests with 10 since the beginning of 2012. Several of
those have occurred in San Jose, including cases
involving Aldon Smith and Chris Culliver.
SJPD hardly is unique when it comes to law-enforcement
agencies wrestling with ethical concerns about secondary
employment. But this was the sort of potential conflict
that a 2012 city audit explicitly warned could happen
because there wasn’t enough oversight governing the
after- hours work performed by officers.
And the McDonald case isn’t the first time pro athletes
in San Jose have turned to a police officer working for
a team for help. In 2004, former Los Gatos detective
Randy Bishop, who moonlighted as a security consultant
for the Sharks, was convicted and Judge William Danser
was disbarred after a conspiracy to dismiss traffic and
parking tickets for players and friends.
Dan Durbin, director of the USC Annenberg Institute of
Sports, Media and Society, said it’s wise to have a
police presence at sporting events. He notes that the
lack of security has been cited as a factor in the
infamous beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow outside of
Dodger Stadium in 2011.
But off-duty cops serving as what amounts to bodyguards
leaves the potential for too-cozy relationships to
develop, he added.
obviously felt this was a safety net,” Durbin said. “If
you have a cop coming to your house, it’s a lot nicer if
it’s a cop you know. So who is going to blame McDonald
for doing that? But it really puts the cop in a
challenging position because now his objectivity is in
Using local officers
Sports leagues have created sophisticated security
operations — often populated with former high-ranking
federal law enforcement officials. Each team, including
the 49ers, hires its own security staff. “But leagues
don’t have the breadth or ability to know everything in
all cities, so they work through the teams with local
police departments,” Dolich said. “Knowledge really is
power, and you want to work to protect your athletes and
your fans.” When Dolich ran the business operations of
the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, the team employed local
police. “Officers might travel with the team so that the
players are protected from all manner of threats, like
from known gamblers or stalkers,” he said. Leigh
Steinberg, who has been one of the NFL’s most prominent
player agents over the past four decades, said he too
has hired off-duty officers to serve as “companions” of
his clients when they are out in public.
“High-profile athletes always have people coming at
them,” Steinberg said. “Police understand crowd control,
sense pending danger and know how to prevent worse
things from happening. It’s just smart. If I owned a
team, I would have a good group of them around.” Michael
Gilleran, the executive director of the Santa Clara
University Institute of Sports, Law and Ethics, said
it’s not necessarily a bad thing for sports teams to
cultivate relationships with law enforcement.
“There’s nothing wrong with them saying, ‘We’d like a
heads-up if our guys are hanging out with bad actors,’ ”
Gilleran said. “That’s fine. That’s constructive because
nobody wants trouble in their community.”
But Gilleran also is a former NCAA investigator who saw
how “cooperation” turned into something more nefarious
as police — often in small university towns — actively
would help athletic departments cover up missteps by
“The local chief might call the school and say, ‘Hey,
Joe Bob is causing a ruckus. We’ll be there in 20
minutes, so you better get down there in 10 minutes,’ ”
Luca contends that the risk of conflict is inherent for
police officers, off-duty or otherwise, and that it
boils down to each officer’s moral fiber.
“This mistake is a judgment mistake by an officer who
forgot his primary job is as a police officer,” he said.
“It’s about whether or not you recognize your ethical
and moral duty and whether or not you can follow the
Your composing and editing work (and tireless
contribution) constantly impresses me. It seems to get
better (how you can endlessly outdo the previous work is
beyond me) every time I read. Thanks for keeping us
together, up-to-date, informed, educated and
entertained. You two are truly heroes.
I attended the Louie Hernandez memorial on Sunday at the
POA Hall, and it was very well done. Rev'rend Red led
the event, and former D/C Arca was essentially the
'official' spokesperson for the Department side of
things. Great choice, and he did a good job. Probably a
70-30 mix of attendees; family and lifelong non-police
friends making up the 70% number.
It was done in great taste, and I'm sure my friend would
have been humbled and pleased. His widow, Maria (yet
another friend) was almost speechless with the overall
great memorial tribute to Louie. Many spoke up with
great stories of my friend and early career mentor. A
brief slide show of his life was projected (heck of a
job on that one, too) and then a buffet was served by
John Nguyen while people got to reminisce. Mariachi
music picked up the remaining time before we all finally
"closed the place."
Thanks for including the announcement in the last
Thanks for the kind words, Kenn. (Our check is in the
mail, but please don't cash or deposit it until the end
of the month.)
• • • • •
I opened the Farsider after missing 3 weeks. I had been
traveling for part of that time taking my flying machine
to Yuma and flying along the way. My only communication
was my iPhone and it was pretty limited. Opening the
Oct. 2nd issue reminded me of how important the
information is that you print each week. The work you
and Leroy do for us is above and beyond. Thank you,
thank you, thank you.
As we grow older, we have to expect the passing of
people who have touched our lives. Without your
dedication to the Farsider we would miss so much of the
information. In my radio control hobby we have a saying,
"Each of our planes has an expiration date on it
someplace; we just can't find it." That holds true for
us as well. The older I get the more I appreciate that
little thought and truly cherish every day that I have.
John Diehl and I went to the academy together and became
friends. Like many friends, we frequently go our
separate ways and sometimes lose touch. You and the
Farsider often bring us back in touch with those people.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes for the wrong reason.
John was a special person, different in many ways, but a
very special person. I enjoyed reading the Dan Jensen
and anonymous writer's letters. They captured who John
Diehl was. And thanks to John's sister for sharing his
last communication with us. It meant a lot. May he rest
On a different note, the five missing SJPD officers in
the 1965 academy picture are James McElgunn, Jack
Woodall, Dave Crandall, Joe Weinreb and Ron Williams.
starting from left. Gary Thompson (LaRault), John
Trussler, Jerry Albericci, Mike Destro, Rich Arca, Dave
Bartholomew, Paul Farlow, Jim Silvers, Ron Williams,
Bruce Fair, Bruce Hodgin.
Middle Row. Jack Morris, Jack Woodall, Dave Crandall,
John Kracht, John Diehl, Joe Weinreb, Ken Herrmann, Lou
Sitting. Chuck Blackmore, Charlie Belveal, James
McElgunn, Pete Guerin.
Thank you, too, for the positive comments, Dave, but you
will have to wait until we order some more checks. Stay
safe while you play with your flying machine.
• • • • •
Having worked for Joe McNamara in IA and playing on a
couple of softball teams with him, I was a supporter of
his. I was very disappointed that I was out of town and
missed his memorial service. I've read all the articles
and enjoyed the photos, but if there is some way I can
see a video of the service I would very much enjoy
seeing that and hearing first hand what everyone had to
say. Can you help me?
Also, thank you again for all that you and Leroy do for
us in keeping us connected with so many in your
professional publication of the Farsider. I look forward
to it every Thursday and can't even imagine how many
hours you two put in for all of us.
Sorry, Paul, but to my knowledge there was no video
taken at the memorial other than a couple of snippets
that Channel 2 and possibly one or two other TV stations
used in their newscasts. I'll include your message in
the Mail Call column in the event someone took some
video with their smart phone and is willing to share it
• • • • •
The Farsider has become my Thursday read as it has
become a very professional and informative online
publication. Sometimes I feel the need to express myself
with an article or opinion, but I always place them in
my draft folder. Then I wait a while to determine if it
is worthy of hitting the Send key. As of late, the
Delete key has become the norm. but not this time.
My far right attitude and beliefs have become stronger
and stronger. Because of Jane Fonda and her cronies in
the liberal film industry I have not in recent memory
gone to a theater and paid to watch a movie. And after
many wars and the loss of hundreds of thousands of
American lives, I cannot believe that my vote can be
canceled by an illegal immigrant who doesn't have to
show any identification to cast his vote. I cannot and
will not give up my freedom of speech to be politically
correct. Government intervention has become so pervasive
that my way of life is gone, seemingly forever.
What was WW I, WW II. Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and
Operation Iraqi Freedom all about? I missed WW I, but
have lived through all the rest. Each day I find that
our country is losing more of what our founding fathers
wrote in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
It seems that I no longer own anything I possess. Half
of my earnings are taxed. I feel that my home, car,
boat, trailer and everything else of value are only on
loan from the government. In one way or another I pay to
use almost everything I possess to the government. Fail
to pay and the government repossesses, fines or charges
interest of up to twelve percent per year.
Upon my death the government distributes my assets. Gone
is the handshake to seal a deal. Gone is the traditional
marriage between a man and a woman. Gone is the right to
repair your own property without a permit from the
government. Gone are so many other rights that Americans
have taken for granted for generations.
To sum it up, it's probably time for me to go. While I
am 79 and may be close, I am otherwise healthy, happy
and wise. And when the time comes, I will go out
screaming and kicking. But I will forever regret what
has become of our once wonderful American way of life.
Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, Bill. I'm sure that
your feelings reflect those of many other Farsider
readers. Memorize this: Noli nothis permittere te terere.
HERE if you are unfamiliar with that Latin phrase.)
• • • • •
I read Russ Russell's piece on military benefits and
think that more needs to be said simply as a reminder to
those of us who served.
If you were discharged from service with other than
dishonorable status you are a veteran. Burial benefits
for veterans include a gravesite in any of our 131
national cemeteries with available space, opening and
closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government
headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential
Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Spouse
and dependents are also entitled to this burial space.
Social Security provides a $255 death benefit. There are
other potential benefits (Click
HERE) to explore more. Go to (click
HERE) for the information on Social Security
This benefit is a significant monetary savings. Typical
civilian burial plots cost from $2,000 to $4,000 dollars
or more, rarely less, depending on where you are buried.
For a husband and wife, burial at a VA burial site
represents up to or more than $8,000 in savings — plus
burial in a distinguished environment. My father is
buried at the San Joaquin National Cemetery near
Gustine. It is a distinguished resting place which
includes the California Korean War Veteran's Memorial.
My mother, wife and I will be planted there with my
Unless you live under a rock you have seen the USAA
(United Services Automobile Association) advertisements
on television (click
HERE). USAA is a full service financial company
which provides banking, insurance (life, auto, umbrella,
travel, etc.), investment and discounted travel to
military personnel — that is, those who have or are
serving. It is hard to beat their rates (I say
impossible). This benefit used to be exclusive to
officers, but now includes enlisted personnel. I have
talked with colleagues of my age who are reluctant to
switch from their current insurance company to USAA
because they have been with their current company for
eons and don't want the hassle of the switch, but those
who do not switch will deny their progeny this benefit.
If you join USAA, your kids can also join and enjoy the
benefits and discounted prices. If you don't, they
If you are a veteran and don't belong to the Marines
Memorial Club and Hotel, you are missing out. Go to
HERE) to review this site. To join it will cost you
a tax deductible $125 a year. Your membership will allow
you to stay in San Francisco at Union Square for less
than $200.00 a night. Moreover, they provide you access
to reciprocal clubs throughout the world. We have stayed
in London, Edinborough, France, and Germany in exquisite
properties and low prices.
For retired veterans, the Armed Forces Recreation
Centers in Honolulu, Garmisch, Seoul, and Orlando are
excellent venues for travel. Take a look at this website
HERE). We have stayed at many of these.
The Kilauea Military Center (KMC) is another option
The Navy Federal Credit Union is another benefit (click
HERE). If you don't belong to another credit union,
this is a viable choice. If you use a bank, you are
throwing your money away.
Those who have questions due to my lack of clarity can
feel free to email me.
IS CORTESE THE ANSWER TO SAN JOSE'S PUBLIC SAFETY WOES?
It's no secret that the Mercury News is pushing hard for
Sam Laccardo to replace Chuck Reed as Mayor. Does that
mean there is bias showing in this lengthy article from
yesterday's paper? We're not saying it does or it
doesn't. That's for you to decide.
Cortese Make Plan for Cops Work?
—Mayoral candidate’s proposal too costly for S. J., say
Mercury News — Oct. 15, 2014
— At rallies for Dave Cortese’s mayoral campaign,
supporters say they are tired of living in fear — not
knowing if their house will be broken into before they
get home, or if there will be any cops around to
Cortese, a Santa Clara County supervisor, says he got
into the race to change the course of City Hall, which
is currently determined to fight a pension reform battle
that has helped spark a public safety crisis headlined
by a rash of police officers fleeing the city.
alarming to see the resignations start to stack up and
it was very predicable that it would lead to public
safety problems,” said Cortese, pronounced Kor-TEZ-ee.
The main difference between him and opponent Sam
Liccardo, a city councilman, in the race to replace
termed-out Mayor Chuck Reed is that Cortese has vowed to
open up the city’s checkbook in an attempt to lower
crime and attract cops. He would pay for police raises
and block voter-approved efforts to make cops and other
city employees pay more for their benefits. With the
rank-and-file’s support, he argues this strategy would
beef up the depleted police force by hundreds of cops.
“Our argument is: You have people crying out in their
neighborhoods for patrols. What’s the holdup?” he said.
But there are serious questions about whether Cortese
can deliver on that promise, and at what cost to
Opponents argue that the city isn’t exactly awash in
cash. After years of cutting vital services — closing
fire stations on some days, laying off cops and reducing
library hours — the city has only a flat budget forecast
for the next half-decade and has no money set aside for
huge increases to officer compensation. Cortese has no
concrete plan to pay for the growing cost of employee
benefits, saying only that the city has enough cash now
and would make cuts if the current boomtimes end.
What’s more, Cortese wants to settle the lawsuit city
employee unions filed to block about $50 million in
annual potential retirement cost savings from 2012’s
Measure B pension reform. By contrast, Liccardo, like
Reed, strongly wants the city to continue fighting for
the voter-approved reforms because city employee
retirement costs have more than tripled in the last
decade, devouring money for city services. Retirement
costs already account for more than $2 out of every $10
San Jose spends on general services, and they are
forecast to increase by another 12 percent in the next
half decade. Further unsettling his opponents, Cortese
has strong support from unions, perhaps the most
powerful and well-funded special-interest group in San
Jose. Unions have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars
buying lunches for campaign volunteers and sending
campaign mailers; retired firefighters routinely come in
to the campaign headquarters and call undecided voters;
and the police union pitches stories to journalists
about how San Jose has turned into a crime-ravaged city
under Liccardo’s watch, even if he wasn’t mayor. In
reality, while the homicide rate remains higher than
last decade, the overall rate of major violent and
property crimes has started to fall in the past 18
months and is now 3 percent higher than when Liccardo
Activist Salvador Bustamante, left, and Santa Clara
and San Jose mayoral candidate Dave Cortese talk with
also argue Cortese would be beholden to interest groups
such as the unions that are bankrolling his second
attempt in eight years at winning the mayor’s seat.
Among those stumping for him are five retired city
police chiefs, who get more than $1 million a year
collectively in pension payments. Firefighters, who have
driven around personal trucks with Cortese campaign
signs, strongly agree with Cortese’s plan to keep
staffing levels up by maintaining three firefighters on
emergency medical calls — a higher staffing requirement
than most other cities in the county, and one that
critics have called needless. Developers, who seek to
negotiate lucrative deals with the city, have written
big checks to his campaign.
But Cortese scoffs at the notion he’d be a pushover to
any special-interest group. And he points to the current
local economic boom time and remains optimistic that the
city will have enough money to implement his plans.
“This isn’t Detroit — it’s Silicon Valley,” Cortese
said. He adds that he won’t be afraid to make cuts, even
in employee pay, if another recession hits.
Cortese, who served as a San Jose councilman and pension
trustee during the last decade when the city boosted
employee retirement benefits, does want to maintain $25
million in annual pension reform savings already put
Wages and benefits
Cortese notes that there is already funding at City Hall
for new cops but that the current wages and benefits are
so unattractive that San Jose has been unable to hire
new recruits or keep existing officers. That’s led to
staffing levels that have dipped below 1,000 officers
after peaking at 1,400 cops last decade — and even that
figure was already low compared with other cities, on a
per-capita basis. “They can’t even get this money out
the door to hire more cops,” Cortese said. He says
raising the pay for new cops is the only way to attract
more to the city. Supporters say they need cops on the
“They’re never sure if someone will break into their
house or if their car windows will be smashed,” Cortese
backer Salvador Bustamante, a union supporter and leader
in the San Jose Latino community, said at a recent East
Side vigil. “The general feeling is we’re tired of not
getting the same services we used to get.”
Cortese, a 58-year-old who represents the Evergreen
area, is the son of a former assemblyman and has been
involved in politics since he was a kid growing up on
his parents’ ranch. Still, he comes off with a more
wooden personality than most politicians, especially in
larger groups, and has a tendency to ramble on about
wonky policy matters instead of ripping off snappy sound
bites like his opponent. He shines more talking with
voters and other policymakers one-on-one.
A lawyer by trade, Cortese was elected to the City
Council last decade and rose to be Reed’s vice mayor,
but not until after he was easily defeated by Reed and
others in a 2006 primary for the last open mayoral seat.
As a councilman, he championed home development in his
East Side district, even for land approved for jobs,
angering opponents who are desperate to see more
businesses move to the city to increase its tax base. As
a county supervisor, he voted in favor of a countywide
ambulance contract for Rural-Metro, a move San Jose
leaders opposed at the onset. The company failed to meet
contractual response times in late 2012 and went
bankrupt, and while it has since consistently met
performance goals, the county is still analyzing the
company’s finances before deciding whether to renew its
At a recent campaign stop at a Willow Glen senior home,
some likely voters in attendance gasped, with one woman
exclaiming, “Oh my gosh,” as Cortese laid out recent
crime sprees in a stump speech. But illustrating the
complexity of this issue, they also questioned the
motives of the officers who have painted the cop exodus
solely as being about pension reform when there were
many other factors at play. For instance, Baby Boomer
cops are eligible to retire and the police union has
actively encouraged officers to leave, hosting job fairs
with recruiters from other cities. “I find it hard to
believe that they’re bailing out just because of their
retirement benefits,” said Kent Humpal, an undecided
voter who lives at the facility.
Although they have received less attention, Cortese has
many other goals as mayor that differ from Liccardo —
and they also focus largely on spending more money. He
would support a bond to help fix potholes and fund the
city’s huge backlog of street repairs. He also wants to
build more fire stations to help improve lagging
response times to emergency medical calls. He has a goal
to buy more land for public parks.
Pressed on how he would pay for these improvements,
Cortese said he would launch a “retail opportunity”
study to search for areas where businesses may want to
move, thereby increasing the city’s tax base.
His backers say those worried about the long-term
finances under a Mayor Cortese are ignoring the even
bigger concern: that a city without a robust police
force can’t succeed.
“It’s about the citizens,” said former police Chief Rob
Davis, “being able to reclaim those services that they
expect from the Police Department.”
• • • • •
On the other side of the pension issue was this article
about Cortese's opponent that made the front page of
Vows to Continue Pension Fight
—Councilman backed by ex-mayors, reviled by unions—
News — Oct. 16, 2014
— Seven years before Sam Liccardo began running for
mayor, he joined the City Council and was promptly told
that the city had more than $1 billion in employee
retirement costs it didn’t have the money to pay for.
That bracing revelation led him, he says, to devote his
time in office — and now his campaign for mayor — to
stopping the pension crisis.
“What became apparent was that the magnitude of these
costs was threatening everything else we were trying to
accomplish in the city, from safety to restoring
services,” Liccardo said.
In the race to replace termed-out Mayor Chuck Reed, the
key difference between Liccardo and his opponent, Dave
Cortese, is how the candidates would balance the city’s
fiscal problems with residents’ concerns over public
Liccardo pushes a more urban San Jose
county supervisor, wants to give new officers better pay
while keeping existing cops’ generous retirement
benefits in a cease-fire proposal to appease a police
union that has encouraged officers to flee. Liccardo, on
the other hand, plans to continue to fight the union in
court to enforce the 2012 voter-approved Measure B
pension reforms, which force employees to pay more for
Liccardo’s argument is simple: Without the pension cuts,
the city will run out of money and won’t be able to
afford officers, anyway — the city already had to lay
off dozens of cops in 2010 after the “tidal wave of
debt” from retirement costs, as Liccardo calls it,
flooded the city. He plans to modestly improve police
officers’ wages in hopes of enticing more to work for
San Jose, and predicts the battle with the unions will
settle down after election tensions fade away.
“We couldn’t pay officers to work because we were paying
them so much to retire,” Liccardo says. “We were able to
hire cops now when we couldn’t before.”
The problem? That strategy, used for years under Reed —
who endorses Liccardo — has exacerbated the staffing
crisis in the Police Department, and it’s not even clear
the battle will be worth it for taxpayers.
A judge has already struck down about two-thirds of the
planned pension reform savings, prompting the city to
spend millions more in attorneys costs on appeal. And
Liccardo and others badly miscalculated just how heated
a war they would create with the city’s employee labor
groups, namely the police union.
Police officers, often encouraged by their union,
continue to leave in droves for better-paying cities,
and the city struggles to attract new recruits. The
union claims hundreds of additional officers will leave
the force of slightly less than 1,000 if Liccardo is
elected. All the while, response times have increased,
and San Jose’s crime rate — while still very low for a
big city, and dropping lately — has topped the statewide
and nationwide averages.
If the city loses its appeal in court, Liccardo says it
may have to cut cops’ and other workers’ pay to make up
the difference — and that might cause even more officers
Liccardo maintains that while the police force has lost
400 of its 1,400 officers over the past half-decade, the
vast majority of those departures came before the city
enacted its pension reforms. He also points to police
data from the past year and a half that show many crimes
— including the overall crime rate — are steadily
beginning to decline while he and his allies have added
an additional police academy to speed up the recruitment
While he readily admits the police force needs more
cops, he accuses his opponent and the police union of
exaggerating the problem — and contributing to the
crisis by encouraging officers to leave.
“The union bosses are putting politics over professional
duty,” said Liccardo, who thinks voters won’t be
“bullied” by the union’s “fear mongering.”
“San Jose voters are smart, and they can look at the
44, is built in the mold of a classic politician — tall,
handsome and ready to break off a sound bite to any
reporter who will listen. He’s more polished and
personable than his stiffer opponent, quick to take off
his suit jacket and roll up his sleeves during campaign
events, mingle and crack jokes.
A former sex crimes prosecutor who represents the
downtown, Liccardo rose to prominence after helping
Silicon Valley business leaders in 2000 pass a ballot
measure to help bring BART to San Jose. The Harvard Law
School graduate is known around City Hall for an endless
stream of proposals that have steadily kept him in the
news over the last decade. When he knocks on doors
around town to campaign, people tend to recognize him.
But one of the main criticisms of Liccardo during his
tenure on the council has been that he tries to do too
much and is not focused on the biggest issues.
Despite being the more fiscally conservative of the two
candidates, Liccardo has shown a progressive streak,
backing same-sex marriage (unlike Reed), pushing more
transit projects and expanding bike lanes downtown. He’s
also launched programs to put the homeless in local
motels. More than anyone in City Hall, he’s pushed to
make San Jose more urban, starting with incentives for
high-rise buildings downtown.
Liccardo’s backers say continuing the fight with the
unions over the pension battle is worth the risk to
protect the wishes of the voters who overwhelmingly
approved pension reform. Along with Reed, his endorsers
include three former mayors who say they trust Liccardo
to make the best decisions for residents, instead of
interest groups such as unions.
“As a mayor, it’s very enjoyable to say ‘yes,’ ” said
former Mayor Tom McEnery, a Liccardo supporter. “But
it’s those few times you say ‘no’ I found are the most
critical to what direction the city will ultimately go
in. And I think Sam has proven himself in those areas in
incredibly trying times in the last eight years.”
At a Willow Glen house party recently, host Jason
Portman said the city could devolve into bankrupt
Detroit if it lets the unions get their way on keeping
“Throwing more money at (the police force) isn’t
necessarily going to fix the problem,” Portman said. “We
don’t have the money to throw at it.”
As he was knocking on doors before the party, Liccardo
found receptive voices from voters such as Mike Fox.
“It’s been an unfortunate situation where we lost so
many officers. But the retirement costs are out of
control,” said Fox, who said he’d be voting for Liccardo.
But he also encountered the reality facing many San Jose
residents: They don’t feel as safe as they used to.
“Burglars around here are unusual,” Deborah Sanders said
inside the doorway of her home in a well-manicured
Willow Glen neighborhood, where crime historically has
been low. “It’s a little frightening.”
Liccardo departs from Cortese on other issues, too, and
generally those differences come back to an overall plan
to spend “smarter” and not more, while generating new
He wants to charge fees to developers to pay for
affordable housing. He supports more density downtown
and retail shops in suburban neighborhoods to promote a
larger tax base. He’s backed hiring cheaper community
service officers to do desk work and routine tasks to
free up sworn cops for more intense duties, a move the
police union has resisted.
Just as Cortese’s critics are concerned he will give too
much money to the unions that support him, others fear
the wealthy CEOs that have spent huge sums backing
Liccardo will benefit too much from business incentives.
Liccardo, who is also endorsed by environmentalists and
District Attorney Jeff Rosen, disputes this notion and
says his supporters have much less at stake financially
in the mayor’s race than Cortese’s union and developer
backers, who negotiate deals directly with the city.
“I don’t think he’s tied to any interest group,” said
former Mayor Susan Hammer, a supporter. “He’s
evenhanded, and God knows he’s smart.”
FOLLOWING THE WHITE HAT
working the Jets at Patriot game tonight (Thurs.) that
will be televised on CBS. On Sunday, Oct. 26th, he and
his crew will officiate the Houston at Tennessee
match-up. The following Sunday (Nov. 2nd) is a Bye week,
and on Sunday, Nov. 9th, he'll be in Detroit for the
Dolphins-Lions game. As of now, that's as far as Bill's
WELL DONE, GUYS
Sgts. John Carr Jr. and Jarrod Nunes — both of whom are
sons of retired San Jose cops — have not only taken it
upon themselves to compile a pictorial history of the
Dept. and work tirelessly to update a museum of SJPD
artifacts, they also will become part of the Dept.'s
history itself for their tireless efforts and untold
number of hours of volunteer time they have devoted to
the San Jose Police Historical Society. They are well
deserving of the publicity and accolades paid to them by
the paper in the article below, and I'm sure we speak
for all of you when we congratulate and extend to them a
John Carr, left, holds a vintage lantern and Sgt. Jarrod
holds a vintage flashlight in front of a historical
display of police
memorabilia at the San Jose Police Department. The two
SJPD officers spent two years curating a collection of
photos and anecdotes to produce an anthology of the
dating back to the Gold Rush era and California
Mercury News — Oct. 11, 2014
— Sgt. Jarrod Nunes and Sgt. John Carr are veteran
officers with the San Jose Police Department, and the
sons of veteran SJPD officers.
That lineage helps fuel their work for the San Jose
Police Historical Society, where they and a small group
of both active and retired cops help chronicle the
storied past of a force that traces its roots to the
Gold Rush era and California statehood.
Lately they’ve been hunting ghosts. But their kind of
search has less to do with the paranormal than tracking
down obscure bits of department lore and seldom or
unseen photographs, as well as gathering anecdotes from
early 20th-century officers whose advancing age means
the windows on recording their stories is shrinking by
“We talked to people who in 10 or 15 years might not be
able to talk with us anymore,” said Carr, a
second-generation officer with 18 years on the force.
“There were a lot of stories to tell.”
photo of an officer is part of the display.
Carr and Nunes collected images, as well as
information from early 20th-century officers
whose advancing age means the window on
recording their stories is shrinking each year.
officers produced a now-available 127page book,
presumably the first of its kind in the department’s
history, that takes readers through a picture- heavy
narrative starting with the organization’s inception on
Sept. 24, 1849, about a year after the first constable
was appointed in the city. From there a steady stream of
facts and anecdotes flow from the introduction of
horseback officers of the early 1900s to the time in
1933 when police had to shoot and kill a mountain lion
that wandered to Seventeenth and Santa Clara streets, in
what is now the outskirts of downtown San Jose. Among
the more distinct images from the book is a
“re-imagining” of the 1931 shooting of a Willow Glen
police officer (when it was a separate town between 1928
and 1936) by an intoxicated motorcyclist. The image
consists of an artist’s drawing of the shooting
overlayed on top of a photograph of the neighborhood,
and ran on the front page of the San Jose Mercury
Herald, a precursor to this newspaper.
San Jose Police Department (Images of America series)”
on sale now at local bookstores and major online
including Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. Also the
through the pages of “The San Jose Police Department,”
an entry in the “Images of America” book series, also
details a photographic evolution of the city, from the
days of dirt streets to the bustling metropolis of
today, and all of the periodic changes in police
uniforms, cars, weapons and technology.
“The way we approached this was, if someone gets a
Reader’s Digest version of SJPD, what would that be?”
said Nunes, a third-generation officer with 22 years on
the force. He and Carr worked patrol and, off the clock,
“locked themselves in a room” to pore over how to cover
165 years of department history into the 127page
template of an “Images of America” book. They contacted
more than 100 people from coast to coast, examined
graying and yellowing photos with a magnifying glass to
identify their origin, and debated over what should be
included in the book.
two people, we had to sell each other on our ideas.
Trying to cram the history into 127 pages is
impossible,” Carr said.
But for Nunes and Carr, this wasn’t about just writing a
book. It was about recording stories — like the former
Alviso chief donning an SJPD uniform for a single day to
bless the 1968 annexation of the town of Alviso into the
larger city — before they were lost to time.
And some almost were: In the Alviso instance, Nunes and
Carr talked to surviving family members of those
That notion carried them through what was an exhaustive
and entirely extracurricular task that spanned two
“When I wanted to throw my hands up and stop, my wife
told me, ‘Who’s going to tell the story?’ ” Carr said.
Furthermore, the endeavor centered them about their jobs
during a time when the department is heavily steeped in
political turmoil and struggling morale as officers have
left by the hundreds over the past few years.
“The morale isn’t at its highest, but there were ups and
downs back in the day, too,” Nunes said. “Doing this,
our pride level went up. Hopefully people who see this
can help bring the police department back to where it
It was also a tribute to the police force that has been
intertwined in their lives literally since birth.
“For some people, it’s just a job,” Nunes said. “For me
and John, we grew up with this.”
JOE MC NAMARA AND THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Several newspapers from the Washington Post to the L.A.
Times covered the passing of Joe McNamara (see
THIS Farsider). The article below appeared in the
Wall Street Journal earlier this week. At the bottom of
the story you will find a link to a large number of
readers' comments about the article and our often
controversial police chief.
—Joseph McNamara was a philosopher-policeman who had
far-reaching effects on U.S. law enforcement—
Street Journal — Oct. 10, 2014
used to cerebral soldiers. Every American generation has
given us a sprinkling. Contemporary generals are
expected to be tough and irrepressible. They are also
expected to be thoughtful and, increasingly, humane. Not
so our cops—or at least not until very recently. If an
American police chief has had a philosophy, it has been
the stuff of no nonsense, one with which he has presided
over an armed workforce that keeps order in a Manichaean
Last week I attended a memorial service for a man—a
cop—who was a glorious exception, a
philosopher-policeman. He was Joseph D. McNamara, a man
who had been chief of the San Jose Police Department
from 1976 to 1991. He retired from the force just days
after calling for the resignation of Daryl Gates, chief
of the Los Angeles Police Department, four of whose
officers had savagely beaten an unarmed black man named
Rodney King —an act of violence, caught on tape, that
came to be seen as the nadir of American policing.
McNamara had been one of a very few senior American
police officials who had condemned Gates in public. In
an op-ed on these pages, written in April 1991 while he
was still running the San Jose Police Department,
McNamara said that “the videotape of the LAPD brutality
affects the credibility of all police officers. It has
cast a cloud over policing that won’t be lifted until
police chiefs drop their own code of silence and speak
out against one of their own’s peculiar philosophy of
McNamara died on Sept. 19 of pancreatic cancer. He had,
in the time since his retirement in 1991, been a fellow
at the Hoover Institution at Stanford (where I was his
colleague for the past seven years). He wrote
prolifically — op-eds for newspapers, this paper in
particular, and crime novels of a lively (and sometimes
best-selling) flavor. His obituary in the New York Times
recognized him as the “father of community policing” in
this country, which he was indisputably; but he was also
In an email to me, Ray Kelly, until recently the chief
of the New York Police Department, described McNamara as
“a visionary leader in law enforcement at a time when
they were in short supply. Starting as a beat cop in
Harlem in the 1950s, he became a scholar and an advocate
for progressive policing throughout the country. Never
afraid to speak his mind, he was the most influential
police officer-academic of his time.”
Although McNamara received a Ph.D. in public
administration from Harvard (having earned his
bachelor’s degree through night classes at the John Jay
School of Criminal Justice), he started his life on the
force pounding the streets of some of America’s toughest
precincts. Perhaps for that reason, and from beat
experience acquired the hard way, he believed in the
stop-and-frisk policing policy that lately has been
demonized in New York and beyond. McNamara saw
stop-and-frisk as a policy that benefits, on balance,
the communities in whose midst it is practiced. He
supported it for utilitarian reasons: In inconveniencing
(or worse) a few citizens, it increased the safety of a
much larger number. Yet he was alive to its political
flaws as a policing tool.
McNamara was only 39, and not long out of Harvard, when
he left the NYPD to become police chief of Kansas City,
Mo. “I was then the youngest big-city police chief in
America,” he wrote in his last essay before his death,
an op-ed for Reuters on the events in Ferguson, Mo., in
which an unarmed, young black man was shot dead by
police. In the piece, McNamara recalled a very similar
incident that occurred only a few days after he took
charge in Kansas City, “on a crystal clear day in 1973.”
An unarmed 18-year-old black man had been killed by a
uniformed officer as he fled the scene of a daylight
break-in at a home.
Following the shooting, and despite fierce opposition
from his own ranks, McNamara instituted a form of
policing that called on officers to be more sensitive to
the people they policed, to work closely with leaders,
churches and the like, and to be respectful of the
citizens they were paid to protect, especially those
from ethnic minorities. This was a radical idea, and
deeply resented by the force. Speaking at McNamara’s
memorial, Chris Moore, a retired San Jose police chief,
said that “ Joe engaged the community in a way that no
police chief had done to date. He believed that to have
legitimate policing in a democratic society, you had to
have the consent of the governed.” Today, “community
policing” is America’s default mode, however imperfectly
it may be practiced.
McNamara also was ahead of his time in other ways. He
created a rotation policy at the San Jose Police
Department, where he arrived after three years at Kansas
City. Officers weren’t allowed to take root in
departments, where they ran their own fiefs and kept
younger officers out of fresh avenues of experience. He
revolutionized the practice of promotion, instituting a
“rule of 10,” which allowed him to fill positions by
choosing from the 10 most senior available candidates.
This enabled him to pick more recently recruited
ethnic-minority officers for promotion, and had a
salutary effect on police and community relations.
He also had some of the strictest rules in America
governing the use of deadly force by officers. After the
young man was shot in his first days as police chief at
Kansas City, McNamara shredded the department’s policing
manual. He didn’t believe that officers should use their
firearms unless there was imminent danger to human life.
His officers were ordered never to fire except under
those circumstances, a command that sprang from the
depths of his own morality and from his personal
practice as a cop.
In November 2006, a black man called Sean Bell was shot
dead by NYPD officers who fired 50 rounds at him. It was
an incident that inflamed New York, and brought back
memories—still raw in the black community—of the
shooting in 1999 of Amadou Diallo. Writing on these
pages, McNamara said, “After the Diallo case, I wrote
that I, my father, older brother and countless other
relatives had collectively served the NYPD for more than
a century and a half and that none of us would have
fired at Diallo. I say the same about the lethal volley
that took Mr. Bell’s life.”
McNamara remained an implacable foe of the way in which
American policing became the heavily armed affair that
it is today. In the aftermath of the Ferguson episode,
he called on American police forces to “recalibrate
current militarization policies, in which officer safety
is paramount. The fundamental police duty is protection
of life. Officer safety should never supersede
democratic policing.” He went on to ask, “What
justification do the police have for killing an unarmed
suspect? The answer is always: None.”
In all these respects, Joseph McNamara, described by a
succession of retired police chiefs at his memorial as
being “20 years before his time,” deserves to be
recognized not just as America’s foremost
philosopher-cop, but as one of the most consequential
American policemen of the past 50 years.
Mr. Varadarajan, a former editorial features editor
of The Wall Street Journal, is a research fellow at the
Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
~ ~ ~
Readers comments about this article run the gamut from
very positive to very negative. To review them, Click
I DON'T CARE
Here's an interesting opinion piece that is making the
rounds. It showed up our inbox from six different
readers, so we are including it. By interesting, we mean
that it has a been credited to several individuals, the
last of which was a "British housewife." Wrong! It was
actually authored back in 2005 and published on the
<gopusa.com> website. If you choose to read it, you
can pull up the original article authored by freelance
columnist Doug Patton by clicking
HERE, or the version below that is currently
circulating around the Internet and wrongly credited to
a British housewife. Both read pretty much the same, but
keep in mind that it was written 9 years ago…
British Housewife Speaks Out
you might like to read this letter to the editor of a
British national newspaper. Ever notice how some people
just seem to know how to write a letter? Here is a woman
who should run for Prime Minister! Written by a
housewife to her daily newspaper. This is one ticked off
Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or
was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to
our shores in July 2002, and in New York on 11 Sept
2001, and have continually threatened to do so since?
Were people from all over the world not brutally
murdered that day in London, and in downtown Manhattan,
and in a field in Pennsylvania? Did nearly three
thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning
or crushing death that day, or didn't they?
And I'm supposed to care that a few Taliban were
claiming to be tortured by a justice system of the
nation they come from and are fighting against in a
I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in
and repents for incinerating all those innocent people
on 9/11 and 7/7.
I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the
Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere
belief of which is a crime punishable by beheading in
I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry
for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed
through his gurgling slashed throat.
I'll care when the cowardly so-called 'insurgents' in
Afghanistan come out and fight like men instead of
disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques
and behind women and children.
I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves
up in search of Nirvana care about the innocent children
within range of their suicide bombs.
I'll care when the British media stops pretending that
their freedom of speech on stories is more important
than the lives of the soldiers on the ground, or their
families waiting at home to hear about them when
In the meantime, when I hear a story about a British
soldier roughing up an Insurgent terrorist to obtain
information, know this:
I don't care.
When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when
he is told not to move because he might be
booby-trapped, you can take this to the bank:
I don't care.
When I hear that a prisoner who was issued a Koran, a
prayer mat and 'fed special food' that is paid for by my
taxes is complaining that his holy book is being
'mishandled,' you can absolutely believe in your heart
I don't care.
And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's
spelled 'Koran' and other times 'Quran.' Well, believe
me! You guessed it...
I don't care!
If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all
your email friends. Sooner or later, it'll get to the
people responsible for this ridiculous behavior!
If you don't agree, then by all means hit the delete
button. Should you choose the latter, then please don't
complain when more atrocities committed by radical
Muslims happen here in our great country!
And may I add: Some people spend an entire lifetime
wondering if they made a difference in the world. Our
soldiers don't have that problem.
I have another quote that I would like to add:
Only five defining forces have ever offered to die for
1. Jesus Christ
2. The British Soldier.
3. The Canadian Soldier.
4. The US Soldier, and
5. The Australian Soldier.
One died for your soul, the other 4 for your freedom.
~ ~ ~
Amazing how little has changed in nine years, eh? Click
SNOPES link for details about this article.
A MESSAGE TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION
Submitted by Phil Norton
like to refer to us as senior citizens, old fogies,
geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs. Some of us are
“Baby Boomers” getting ready to retire. Others have been
retired for some time. We walk a little slower these
days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once
were. We have worked hard, raised our children,
worshiped our God and grown old together. Yes, we are
the ones some refer to as being over the hill, and that
is probably true. But before writing us off completely,
there are a few things that need to be taken into
In school we studied English, history, math, and science
which enabled us to lead America into the technological
age. Most of us remember what outhouses were, and many
of us had firsthand experience with them. We remember
the days of telephone party-lines, 25-cent gasoline, and
milk and ice being delivered to our homes. For those of
you who don’t know what an icebox is, today they are
electric and referred to as refrigerators. A few even
remember when cars were started with a crank. Yes, we
lived those days.
We are probably considered old fashioned and out-dated
by many. But there are a few things you need to remember
before completely writing us off. We won World War II,
fought in Korea and Vietnam. We can quote the Pledge of
Allegiance, and know where to place our hand while doing
so. Most of us wore the uniform of our country with
pride and lost many friends on the battlefield. We
didn’t fight for the Socialist States of America; we
fought for the “Land of the Free and the Home of the
Brave.” We may have worn different uniforms, but we
carried the same flag. We know the words to the "Star
Spangled Banner," "America," and "America the Beautiful"
by heart, and you may even see some tears running down
our cheeks as we sing. We have lived what many of you
have only read in history books, and we feel no
obligation to apologize to anyone for America .
Yes, we are old and slow these days, but rest assured,
we have at least one good fight left in us. We have
loved this country, fought for it, and died for it, and
now we are going to save it. It is our country and
nobody is going to take it away from us. We took oaths
to defend America against all enemies, foreign and
domestic, and that is an oath we plan to keep. There are
those who want to destroy this land we love but, like
our founders, there is no way we are going to remain
It was mostly the young people of this nation who
elected Obama and the Democratic Congress. You fell for
the “Hope and Change” which in reality was nothing but
“Hype and Lies.” You have tasted socialism and seen evil
face to face, and have found you don’t like it after
all. You make a lot of noise, but most are all too
interested in their careers or “Climbing the Social
Ladder” to be involved in such mundane things as
patriotism and voting. Many of those who fell for the
“Great Lie” in 2008 are now having buyer’s remorse. With
all the education we gave you, you didn’t have sense
enough to see through the lies and instead drank the
‘Kool-Aid.’ Now you’re paying the price and complaining
about it. No jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and
less freedom. This is what you voted for and this is
what you got. We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty
and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.
Well, don’t worry youngsters, the Gray-Haired Brigade is
here, and in 2012 we are going to take back our nation.
We may drive a little slower than you would like, but we
get where we’re going, and in 2012 we’re going to the
polls by the millions. This land does not belong to the
man in the White House nor to the likes of Nancy Pelosi
and Harry Reid. It belongs to “We the People,” and “We
the People” plan to reclaim our land and our freedom. We
hope this time you will do a better job of preserving it
and passing it along to our grandchildren. So the next
time you have the chance to say the Pledge of
Allegiance, stand up, put your hand over your heart,
honor our country, and thank God for the old geezers of
the “Gray-Haired Brigade.”
Can you feel the ground shaking? It is not an
earthquake, it's a stampede.
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
found that more than half of Americans see President
Obama's time in office as a failure. While the rest
said, "You saw him in his office? When?"
Obama was actually in his office yesterday. He met with
his Secret Service director to talk about the recent
White House security breaches. First they had to address
the elephant in the room. Not metaphorically — an actual
elephant wandered into the room. Security's just awful.
A new study estimates that only 3.4 percent of Americans
will vote in the midterm elections next month. But on
the bright side, 100 percent will still complain about
It's rumored that a sequel is in the works to the 1996
movie “Independence Day.” I'm not sure how scary it will
be. An alien invasion would be only like the fifth worst
thing we’re dealing with right now.
They just announced that the budget deficit has shrunk
to "only" $486 billion, which is the lowest it’s been
since President Obama took office. Obama said, “Well, I
guess we'll just have to work harder . . . Wait, is that
Today President Obama gave a speech in California to
motivate young voters by discussing his commitment to
new technology. Ironically, nobody heard him because
they were all staring at their phones.
This week a spokesman for Harry Reid said that even
though Joe Biden makes a lot of mistakes, he is still
able to connect and tell us what's on his mind. That
sounds less like a vice president and more like a
chimpanzee that knows sign language.
New York state is spending $750 million to open a solar
plant in Buffalo, which will create thousands of jobs.
Most of those jobs will be shoveling the snow off the
It’s reported that President Obama may take executive
action to shut down the prison in Guantanamo Bay. It
will backfire when the terrorists there say, "We're not
going out there. Those new terrorists are scary! I got
four meals a day here and I get my nails done. I like it
President Obama may close the Guantanamo prison. When
asked how he plans on letting the prisoners out, Obama
said, "I'll replace all the guards with Secret Service
agents." They'll just wander out.
This is kind of weird. This week Obama criticized the
GOP for being the party of billionaires — while he was
speaking at a fundraiser at a billionaire's house!
I don't see how that story could get any worse. But did
you see the name of that billionaire? He was Rich
Richman. Are you kidding me? Rich Richman is the guy's
name? That sounds like a Batman villain.
Rich Richman? Come on. Obama would have stayed longer,
but he was late for his lunch with Dollars McMoneybags.
President Obama played his 200th round of golf
yesterday. Then Democrats said, “You know what? He can
do whatever he wants as long as he's not trying to
campaign for us.”
President Obama was in California over the weekend to
attend a fundraiser hosted by the creator of
“Farmville.” Obama and the creator of "Farmville" have a
lot in common. They both really wish it was still 2009.
A new survey found that people in New York are the most
generous tippers at restaurants. You can tell the
money's good because the other day I met an actress who
dreams of becoming a waitress.
Runners from Kenya came in first, second, and third in
the Chicago Marathon yesterday. Even crazier, all three
runners turned out to be one dude lapping everyone.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first public
appearance yesterday in over 40 days. But since he saw
his shadow, that now means 60 more years of nuclear
A new study has revealed that the reading level of
presidential speeches has dropped significantly over the
last 200 years. Or as Americans put it, “Why dat?”
The search engine Bing has a new feature that can
predict who will lose in the midterm elections — because
if anyone's good at predicting failure, it's Bing.
A bar in London has been named the world's best bar for
the third year in a row. And if you want to know what
it's like being at the world's best bar, just keep
drinking in the bar you're at.
purchased Willie Nelson's hair for $37,000. Willy
removed his braids and the guy bought them for $37,000.
This is the kind of decision you make after spending the
day on Willie's tour bus.
Last night they had one of those special lunar eclipses
called a blood moon. The moon was glowing red, which
means that the Republicans have gained another seat in
Kim Jong Un is missing. Nobody's seen evil North Korean
dictator Kim Jong Un for about a month now. And his
daughter, Kim Kardashi Un, is worried sick.
Today is the 10th anniversary of when Martha Stewart had
to go to the penitentiary. Martha was in a minimum
security facility, like the White House.
The speed limit here in New York City used to be 30
miles an hour. Now it is 25 miles an hour. I've gotten
out of a cab moving 25 miles an hour.
They're now putting in speed bumps too. For years in New
York City it was just pedestrians.
Nobody had seen North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for a
week, then a month, and now six weeks have gone by and
nobody's seen him. They really started to get worried
when he didn't show up at the Clooney wedding.
They're getting ready for Halloween at the White House.
The pumpkins they're carving came out of Michelle
Obama's garden. She raised the pumpkins, and the knife
they’re using to carve came from a guy who hopped over
In London you can buy a hamburger for $1,700. Now, wait
a minute, before you start bellyaching, yes, it comes
with fries. It's $1,700. It's called the McSucker.
You know who they haven't seen in a while, Kim Jung Un,
evil dictator of North Korea. They haven't seen him in,
like, six weeks. He's probably spending more time
executing his family.
Today is the birthday of White House dog Bo. He had a
wonderful party at the White House — only three
intruders … I believe Bo is actually now distancing
himself from the president ... It's a bittersweet day
for Bo because he was recently trashed in Leon Panetta's
Right around the corner is the midterm elections.
There's an anti-incumbent mood in the country. People
are sick and tired of people who have been in the job
too long and are lazy and overpaid and out of ideas.
Wait a minute. I'm sorry. That's me.
The administration now has a name for the war against
ISIS. Every military operation has to have a name so
people can get behind it, and they now have a name for
the war against ISIS — Operation Hillary's Problem.
Happy Columbus Day to everybody. Columbus had three
ships: the Kim, the Kourtney, and the Khloe.
Scientists have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that
there is life after death — though they say it's
virtually impossible to get decent Chinese food.
Today they announced the Nobel Prize winner for
economics. It went to the guy who sold Derek Jeter's
socks for 400 bucks.
Vladimir Putin was nominated but did not win the Nobel
Peace Prize. Earlier today he said, "Who do I have to
kill to win a Nobel Peace Prize?"
Here in New York City we are ranked as the fourth most
rat-populated city in North America. We can do better
than fourth, can't we?
The reason we're only fourth in rat population is most
of our rats grow old and retire to Florida.
Because of health scares, they will be taking your
temperature at airport security. Well, that should speed
week was the big fundraiser for President Obama hosted
by Gwyneth Paltrow. It was hosted at her house. And
people say Obama never reaches out to the inner city.
A fundraiser at Gwyneth Paltrow's house was a good idea
for the president. He found the one person in America
with lower approval ratings than his.
Gwyneth Paltrow told the president he was so handsome
that she couldn't speak properly. I wish Obama would get
a little bit more handsome so she would shut up forever.
Gwyneth Paltrow's neighbors were very upset because they
didn't know about the fundraiser beforehand. Wow, that's
the first time the Secret Service managed to keep a
secret. Take that, people who can have me killed!
Dictator Kim Jong Un is back. He'd been missing. No one
knew where he was. No one had seen him for a long time.
It was like he was hosting a talk show at 12:30 on CBS.
Hulk Hogan says he's going to wrestle again. He hasn't
wrestled in years unless you count that sex tape.
Hulk Hogan is 61 years old. That's an old wrestler. He's
such an old wrestler, his arch rival is stairs.
Before Hulk Hogan gets his teeth knocked out, he has to
put them in. When he grabs a folding chair, it's to sit
down. His signature move is a nap.
hear what happened to Willie Nelson's hair? They sold
it. There was an auction this week and a pair of Willie
Nelson's braids sold for $37,000. It's a good deal
because each braid has a street value of $80,000.
Willie's braids were apparently cut back in the '80s
when his hair was red. Experts say they would have gone
for even more if they had ever been shampooed or
I don't know about you, but I don't have money to throw
away on country music hair. I have to save up to buy new
Apple products every two months.
Apple will unveil a new iPad this month. The last new
iPad was unveiled less than a year ago. Unless you can
sit on this one and fly, I'm going to stick with the old
President Obama's in Los Angeles tonight for a night of
fundraising and traffic jamming.
Traffic is so bad here to start with, and when the
president comes in it just gets so much worse. Here's
the thing: Obama has no understanding of commuting
because he works from home. He has a home office.
Tickets for the fundraising event ranged from $1,000 to
$32,000. For $32,000, you can meet President Obama. That
seems very high, especially considering the fact that
you can jump the fence at the White House and meet him
Traffic aside, it's kind of nice to see people in L.A.
raising millions of dollars for something that doesn't
involve "Transformers" for a change.
A lot of people have a three-day weekend because of
Columbus Day. In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue
and 522 years later a lot of people still get Monday off
to celebrate. No one's received more credit for getting
lost than Christopher Columbus in the history of
Unlike Columbus, if a pizza delivery guy got lost nobody
would give him a day. They wouldn't even give him a tip.
As the story goes, Columbus was aiming for India, wound
up in the Caribbean, and Americans have been terrible at
geography ever since.
The most rat-infested city in the United States is
Chicago. New York is fourth. That surprised me. I think
that report is a bit misleading. The list is based on
the number of calls Orkin got last year in each city. In
New York, if you see a rat you don't even bother to
Rats are considered to be roommates in New York. All you
can do is ask them to pitch in on rent and hope for the
It's hard to believe but they say we have more rats here
in L.A. than they have in New York City. I guess we're
so focused on taking care of the Kardashian infestation
that we forgot about the rats.
In North Korea, dictator Kim Jong Un made his first
public appearance in over a month. He's put on weight
and he's carrying a cane. Kim Jong Un is a top hat and a
monocle away from being a Batman villain at this point.
Comic Con is this weekend. It’s the world’s largest
gathering of people who weren’t invited to any other
This weekend a man in Oregon who is an advocate for the
open carry of firearms was robbed at gunpoint. The thief
apparently made off with the man’s entire argument.
Kim Jong Un has been out of the public eye and North
Korean officials say that it’s because he needs a total
of 100 days to recover from his foot ailments. When
asked what kind of foot ailments, they said
Over 200 airplane cabin cleaners at LaGuardia Airport in
New York have gone on strike over fears about the spread
of Ebola. But then they saw LaGuardia Airport and
decided to take their chances with Ebola.
Bookmakers have listed Pope Francis as the odds-on
favorite to win the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. So if you’re
placing a bet on the results of the 2014 Nobel Peace
Prize . . . you have a gambling problem.
A woman in the U.K. held a wedding ceremony to marry
herself. "I don’t know how to tell you this, but I think
that lady you just married might be crazy."
Last week North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un missed a
ceremony marking the 69th anniversary of the country.
Experts say it's especially strange because he knew cake
would be there.
Nobody knows where he is but the U.S. national security
adviser says there is no evidence that Kim Jong Un has
been overthrown. If anything, he was probably just
Today the Obama administration announced the 140 people
selected from across the country to participate in the
fall White House internship program. Unlike the White
House itself, the internship program is very hard to get
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un resurfaced yesterday
after more than a month out of the public eye. U.S.
officials think that the reason no one saw him for so
long is that he was starring in an NBC sitcom.
Brad Pitt said in an interview this week that he doesn't
feel safe in his own home without a gun. Said Pitt, "I
don't even know half these kids."
On this day in 1912, President Teddy Roosevelt was shot,
declined to go to the hospital, and gave a 90-minute
speech with a bullet in his chest. Then on this day in
2012, I spent the whole day on WebMD because my eyelid
wouldn't stop twitching.
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF OCT. 11, 2014
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
• Bodies of suicide victims have been mistaken for
Halloween decorations and ignored.
• Can the striped
mittenfish change its sex at will by turning its
entire body inside out?
• Viral image shows
cheerleader experiencing an unfortunate accident.
• Photograph shows children who
beheaded their mother on Halloween.
• Did President Obama send a White House representative
to thank the
mosque of the Oklahoma beheading suspect?
• Did an historian recently discover an
eyewitness account of Jesus' performing a miracle?
• Legal activist files a "deportation
petition" targeting President Barack Obama.
• Image circulates of a "captured
• Photographs show Peng Shuilin, a Chinese man who
lost the lower half of his body in an automobile
• Rumor spreads claiming a case of suspected
Ebola in Kansas City.
• Are pumpkin spice
tampons coming to a drugstore near you?
• Can cell phone calls from particular phone numbers
hemorrhage and death?
atheists trying to ban a Carrie Underwood song?
• Scientists have developed a crystalline material which
will allow anyone to
• Terminally ill Oregon woman Brittany Maynard
advocates for end of life options.
• A man named Adrian Merced has been
arrested in connection with an assault.
• Did Red Bull lose a $13 million
lawsuit after promising that its customers would
• Did Comcast get a man fired for
complaining about his service?
• In 2014 does Halloween fall on
Friday the 13th for the first time in 666 years?
• Did a man murder seven people with a
chainsaw at a haunted house in California?
• Has a school district ordered teachers to use the term
penguins" in lieu of gender pronouns?
• Rumors claim
7th Heaven actor Stephen Collins has taken his own
• How the photograph used for a University of Wisconsin
application booklet was
altered to include the face of a black student.
• Former 'Saturday
Night Live' star Jan Hooks has died at the age of
• Cabin cleaners at LaGuardia Airport went on
strike, citing fears of Ebola.
• Has the CDC admitted that the
Ebola virus is now airborne?
• Will banging on the hood of a car help
prevent cat deaths?
• Has an Ebola
outbreak in Chicago killed three people?
• Is there a Halloween
haunted house attraction so scary that no one has
ever finished it?
• Why does the CDC have a
patent on Ebola?
• A 14-year-old girl is
pregnant with the son of God?
• 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 physician once place dying patients on a
scale in order to measure the weight of the human
Still Haunting the Inbox
• Check out our '25
Hottest Urban Legends' to keep abreast of what's
circulating in the on-line world.
• Visit our
Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used
by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
Large or Full Screen recommended for YouTube videos.
• • • • •
This was an exciting and historic moment for the
passengers aboard a Virgin America airliner as Sir
Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic's "White Knight 2" and
"Spaceship 2" rendezvoused with the passenger jet over
the San Francisco Bay in preparation for landing at SFO.
VIDEO was sent in by Gary Johnson. (5 Mins.)
also sent in the
CONCLUSION of the flight showing both aircraft
landing on parallel runways at SFO. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
Don't miss this: David Pogue is my favorite tech guru.
Much of what I learned about computers and the Internet
years ago came from his "Missing Manual" books. They are
easy to read manuals that should come with computers and
other digital gear, but don't. And they are far better
than the "…for Dummies" books.
In this 6-minute Ted Talks video, Pogue offers ten time
saving tips that will make your computer and Internet
surfing experience faster and easier. Trust me, 99
percent of you should watch
THIS 5 minute clip.
• • • • •
What do you know about the news? I missed one of the
twelve questions on this Pew Research Center quiz sent
in by Alice Murphy, the one that asks what percentage of
Americans live at or below the federal poverty line.
Give it a shot and see how you do by clicking
• • • • •
While we're on the subject of the news, were you aware
that the NRA is responsible for the Ebola crisis?
According to this
MSNBC host it is. So should you turn in your
membership card and resign from the organization? (9
• • • • •
Jimmy Kimmel has pulled so many pranks on
AUNT CHIPPY that at this point he’s worried she’ll
catch on, so he sent his cousin Sal to mess with her
where she would least expect it: her weekly ceramics
class in Las Vegas. (7 Mins.)
• • • • •
If you plan to invest in one of those expensive
quadcopter drones with a GoPro video camera attached, we
suggest you refrain from flying it when there is a
HAWK in the vicinity as they don't like to have
their area invaded. (40 Secs.)
• • • • •
With the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge being yesterday's
news, some mishaps have shown up on the Internet, like
THIS one from Lumpy that should qualify for a Darwin
Award. (40 Secs.)
• • • • •
Want to see an example of what Jerry Brown's high-speed
rail service between Northern and Southern California is
going to look like during the first year when only one
track is laid down to accommodate both northbound and
southbound trains? Stick with
THIS clip and you will see how it will be handled.
• • • • •
"Dear Kitten: Regarding the Dog" is the title of
THIS entertaining (dare we say cute?) Internet ad
from Purina-Friskies. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
If you haven't yet been introduced to
THIS little blonde Deer Whisperer, here's
your opportunity. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Know anyone who has a porcupine as a pet? Moreover, have
you ever seen baby pumpkins make a porcupine squeal with
delight? That's what
THIS clip is about. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
THESE Bichon Frisés plan to appear on "Dancing with
the Stars," one of them is going to need more lessons.
Unfamiliar with the breed? Click
• • • • •
If it's fun to
WATCH a panda play on a slide, is it four times the
fun to see four of them? You be the judge. (1:30 Mins.)
• • • • •
We could swear we ran
THIS funny clip sent in by Paul Gardner before. If
so, we couldn't find it in our archives file, so it's
eligible for this week's electronic fishwrap whether
it's a repeat or not. It's about a post-wedding photo
session in Britain. (2 Mins.)
• • • • •
Here's a bubble and smoke show sent in by Lumpy that you
don't see every day. Or every month for that matter.
LOOK. (3 Mins.)
• • • • •
We are finishing up this week by returning to Makin
Island for the third time in the past six years because
some things in life need to be imprinted on our brains
as a constant reminder of the sacrifices others made on
our behalf. If we had our way, it would be compulsory
for every student who is entering college to watch
THIS video. (7 Mins.)
• • • • •
Pic of the Week
Two weeks to go before Halloween. Better get
your Sharia costume now before they sell out...
THE FARSIDER SUBSCRIPTION ROSTER as of 10/16/14
Additions and changes since the last published update
(alphabetical by last name):
Ron Mozley — Address change
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send your request to
Abram, Fred & Connie
Alvarez, Pat (Campbell)
Babineau, Dave & Cheryl
Bray, Mary Ellen
Brown Jr., Bill
Burroughs, (Bronson) Utta
Carr Jr., John
Carrillo, Jaci Cordes
Clark, Bill (the one who stayed)
Embry (Howsmon), Eva
Foulkes [Duchon], Louise
Gonzalez, D. (formerly D. Avila)
Guido, Jr., Jim
Guido, Sr. Jim
Hare, Caren (Carlisle)
Harnish, Mary (Craven)
Horton, Debbie (McIntyre)
Howsmon (Sr.), Frank
Inami, Steve & Francine
Johnson, Tom & Fran
Klein, Lou Anna
Leonard (Lintern), Lynda
Long (Huntwork), Eunice
Muldrow, Mark "Mo"
Ng, Dr. Jonathan
O'Carroll, Diane (Azzarello)
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Reyes (Buell), Cindy
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Schenini (Alvarez), Joanne
Taves, Phil & Paula
Terry, Glenn & Maggie
Vallecilla, Ernie & Peggy
Van Dyck, Lois
Williams [Durham], Lanette
Windisch Jr., Steve