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The Farsider

November 14, 2013


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


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



As a follow-up to last week's Mail Call item about the passing of former SJPD Officer Brian McNamara, we received a link to his obituary from Tom Mazzone and Jack Baxter…

Brian McNamara

Feb. 14, 1939 — Nov. 1, 2013

Funeral services for Brian Michael McNamara of Mountain Home, Arkansas, will be private.

Brian passed away November 1, 2013 in Mountain Home, Arkansas at the age of 74. He was born on February 14, 1939 in Martinez, California, the son of Nicholas and Georgana McNamara. He worked as a police officer for the San Jose Police Department. Brian was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and has lived in Mountain Home since moving from Capitola, California, in 2003. Brian was a Peace Corps volunteer in Columbia. He was also a lay missionary with the Capuchin Brothers and flew as a bush pilot in the highlands of New Guinea. Brian cherished his many visits to Assumption Abbey in Ava, Missouri. He was an avid sky diver.

Brian is survived by his sister, Patricia Lydon of Rio Vista, California, and several nephews and cousins from all around America, mostly California.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Entombment will be in the Christ the Light Cathedral Mausoleum, Oakland, California.

Arrangements are by Kirby and Family Funeral and Cremation Services. Visit an online obituary and guestbook at the link below.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Brian McNamara please visit our Sympathy Store.

Click on the link below for more information…



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Nov. 7th


Attached are some pictures of our pal Brian McNamara that were taken during a special MERGE team meeting after work in the early '70s. I tried to cut his photo out to protect the guilty but it didn't work. Brian was a great guy, well liked and respected by everyone who had the honor of working with him. He had a great sense of humor and was an outstanding police officer who will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Jack Baxter


~ ~ ~


Nov. 7th

A tribute to a wonderful guy and the rumors from his past. As a rookie I was lucky enough to have my locker near Brian's. He was a quiet person with a big smile. I can't remember him ever speaking poorly about another officer. The rumors of Brian's exploits were more than just a passing fancy.

One day I heard that he was a very accomplished sky diver, so I decided to put him to a test. I was a member of the Monterey Sky Diving Club based at Fort Ord near Monterey at the time and had made several static line jumps as well as one free fall. I had also learned to pack my own parachute. With a beginning knowledge of sky diving I wanted to see if Brian was for real. It didn't take more than a few words before I realized that he was, as rumored, a very accomplished sky diver with multiple jumps.    

I was never able to confirm any CIA connection, but as we became a little closer I found out that he was learning to fly a DC-3. He said he was going to fly it in South America for his church.

My admiration for Brian grew stronger each time we spoke. One day when he seemed to vanish from the PD I assumed he had gone to South America for his church. When he eventually returned he never spoke about his absence. When he left San Jose and the SJPD and moved to the Santa Cruz area sometime later, I learned he was working full-time for his church.

As a relatively self centered person I let our acquaintance and small friendship slip away. I would have been a much better person if I had taken the time and made an effort to be closer to Brian.

Brian McNamara, thank you for the time I was privileged to know you.

Bill Yarbrough

~ ~ ~


Nov. 11th


I was saddened to learn of Brian McNamara's passing. Since moving to Hawaii I lost contact with him but he was never forgotten. Like many of us, he struggled with his demons and life's burdens. The last time we spoke he mentioned the pulmonary fibrosis that appears to have finally taken him.

Brian was the first person I rode with when I joined the Reserves, and the first officer I rode with as a partner on midnights when I was hired. Those were different times, and I guess our collective insanity would today end us all up at either VMC mental health or downstairs booking.

Brian fit in well with Rich Huerta, Tom Perez, John Diehl, Roger Princevalle and those other night-crawler reprobates at a time when police work was still a craft and not yet a profession. He left the department and went to work in New Guinea as a helicopter pilot for the Catholic church, ferrying missionaries into the jungle. A crash resulted in a lower back injury that made it difficult for him to move one foot on the pedal, so he came back to the Bay Area. Many people thought he had worked for the Agency, but he always denied it to me. Perhaps the true stories about his adventures in Central America contributed to that rumor. My favorite was how he escaped from the police by hiding inside a very large tractor tire that was being hauled over the Andes.

Brian seemed quiet most of the time, but a quick story tells something about him: His elderly mother was living in the East Bay when she got mugged one day while walking home and was a bit bruised up. There had been several muggings of various types in the area, so Brian unpacked his old unregistered .38 Colt Police Positive, put on his semi-nice clothes and spent nights for the next week pretending to be a passed-out drunk businessman in the hopes someone would mug him.

The majority of Brian's life revolved around two things: flying and the Church. He worked for some time as the caretaker at the Catholic church across from the lighthouse in Santa Cruz. We would occasionally meet at a coffee shop and discuss one of his favorite subjects: How one can achieve a life where one is living in a State of Grace. At one of our last great debates he was critical of my pursuit of Zen Buddhism in a way that fractured the relationship for both of us. So it goes.

I am grateful for having known Brian, and am so very impressed with the way that Charlie Seaton continued as his friend for so many years. I am certain that Brian has found the peace he so ruggedly tried to achieve.
Mike Zanoni



The final PBA meeting of 2013 will be held next Wednesday, Nov. 20th, at the POA Hall. Members are reminded that the PBA doesn't meet during the month of Dec. Next Wednesday's get-together will feature the standard fare: an open bar that will be pressed into service at 5:00 p.m. followed by a buffet dinner prepared by Johnny Nguyen and his crew around 6:00 or shortly thereafter.

Mark Your Calendar for the Valentine's Day Dinner Dance

The 2014 PBA Valentine's Day Dinner Dance has been scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15th, at the POA Hall. Further details will be forthcoming. In the meantime, you may want to put a mark on your calendar.



Nov. 7th

NBC Bay Area News Investigative Report (video and article)

San Jose Police Department Gang Stats Misleading


~ ~ ~

KTVU Channel 2: Investigation (video)

Investigation shows SJPD staffing lowest in
the nation; 117% below minimum standard


~ ~ ~

San Jose Mercury News (article)

San Jose: More than Meets the Eye in
SJPD's Gang-related Homicide Stats


~ ~ ~

San Jose Inside (article)

The New Math: Drop in Gang Violence
Aided by Change in Accounting



Nov. 8th

I wanted to give the retirees a little feedback on the outsourcing of backgrounds. First off, let me say thank you for all of the calls, texts, emails and Facebook entries of support for the active members of our Department. I can't keep track of the number of fronts we are fighting right now, but this background issue is one where we have had a great deal of success.

Over the last few weeks a handful of retired officers have signed up for the job and have then changed their minds and withdrawn from the position. Up until today I have not made any direct contact with any of these individuals, so I can only credit the retirees who have civilly and professionally reached out to them and asked them to reconsider their choice.

Currently, we have 41 officers off work, out on disability. These are officers injured severely enough to keep them off the street. Because we now only have 10 authorized exempt employee positions (Article 39) down from 30, many of these officers have to stay at home because we do not have work for them. Many of them could do desk work (backgrounding work) if the positions were available.

More concerning is that 7 of the 41 officers have used all of their disability time (one year of 4850 time) and are now on integration status (the officer has to use their own vacation, comp and sick time while on the mend). If we can convince the retirees not to work the backgrounds job, our hope is that the City will be forced to bring back some of these officers to do the job.

As things stand now, I know of only two retired SJPD officers who have accepted employment in backgrounds in a civilian capacity. The Department is also trying to reach out to non-SJPD retired cops. Once they are hired, I will have to submit a PRA to obtain their names. I will then reach out to them and ask them to walk away from this job so that our injured have a chance to come back to work.

I have left messages with the two retired SJPD officers and hope to convince them to reconsider their opinion. Thank you again for your support and solidarity.

Jim Unland

Nov. 8th

KTVU CHANNEL 2 (video)

KTVU Investigation Reveals Many Crimes in San Jose
are not Investigated and the Crooks are Taking Notice


~ ~ ~

Mercury News (article)

San Jose: As cop exodus continues, brass
rolls out new plan to boost patrol division


~ ~ ~

The Daily Fetch (article)

San Jose Officials admit to "Juking the Stats"


Nov. 11th

The Labor Beat (article)

SJPOA Attorney Gregg Adam selected as a Top 20
Municipal Lawyer in California by the Daily Journal


~ ~ ~

Sacramento Bee (article)

California Unions to San Jose: Drop your pension initiative


~ ~ ~

Sacramento Bee (article)

Viewpoints: Slashing pensions at the ballot is foolhardy


Nov. 13th

The November edition of the POA Vanguard is now available on-line. To view it click on the link below…


Hard copies of the Vanguard will be in the mail shortly



Last Saturday's paper included this update about the detectives who will occasionally have to don their uniforms and lend a hand on the street by responding to calls in a blue and white. But just how effective this is going to be is in question since the guys and gals working Homicide, SAIU, TIU and IA are exempt since they are all on-call.

Detectives to Help Patrol Streets in San Jose

—Uniformed officers will get needed boost from once-a-month shifts—

By Mark Gomez <mgomez@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — Nov. 8, 2013

SAN JOSE — As the depleted San Jose Police Department continues to see officers resign and retire at a record pace, command staff is trying to find ways to maintain a minimum level of cops to patrol city streets.

For the past 18 months, that void has been filled largely by officers working dozens of overtime shifts each month.

But in a new move, the police department leadership is requiring detectives to trade in their suits for patrol uniforms on a regular basis. Once a month, 78 detectives assigned to investigate crimes such as robberies, gang cases, assaults and other cases will spend one day per month on a patrol shift, according to Sgt. Heather Randol, a department spokeswoman.

The move, which started Nov. 1 and is scheduled to last at least through January, is expected to cut in half the number of overtime shifts the department needs to fill each month.

“We want to make sure we can respond to priority calls for service,” Randol said. "That’s our most important priority. More officers is always a better thing.”

San Jose patrol officers for the past 18 months have been
working dozens of overtime shifts each month to fill a void
left by city budget cuts and department resignations.

The once-a-month patrol shift is mandatory for detectives in all bureaus except homicide, sexual assaults, traffic investigations and internal affairs (detectives in those units are exempt because they all have on-call duties). Detectives won’t be investigating cases from their respective units while on patrol, which is not an overtime shift.

Because of the exodus of cops from the force, the department needs officers to fill about 170 patrol shifts each month to maintain minimum staffing levels. Randol said the new strategy was undertaken to make sure police continue to respond to high-priority 911 calls in a timely manner, as well as have enough officers on the streets to keep each other safe.

At the end of January, police command staff will evaluate the program and look at the impact it had on investigations before deciding if it should continue.

But James Gonzales, a detective in the domestic violence unit and a San Jose Police Officers’ Association board member, does not believe the move is temporary.

“This is a test run for something that will be expanded,” Gonzales said. “What this program means is an additional police service is lost for our citizens. Taking myself away from my DV cases means those go on hold until I come back.”

Gonzales said officers have been constantly working overtime shifts for the past 18 months and now fatigue is setting in.

“Because of burnout, they’ve gone to this program because they feel officers can no longer work at a safe level,” Gonzales said.

Officers have been willing to work the overtime shifts to make up for the money lost in pay cuts, according to Gonzales.

“That comes at a cost,” he said “Officers’ families want them at home. I think it’s imperative officers have their time off to recharge and come back and do the best job they can under these circumstances.”

In 2011, officers approved a 10 percent pay cut in an effort to limit layoffs.

San Jose police staffing levels have steadily dropped for the past five years, shrinking the force down to just under 1,000 after fielding more than 1,400 five years ago. Currently, there are 912 officers who are street ready, with another 74 on disability or on modified duty not considered ready to be deployed.

Since last year, 138 officers have retired and 67 have resigned, most of whom are taking law enforcement jobs in other cities. Police brass hoped to stem the flow of departing officers with a fresh batch of recruits out of the academy. In March, 43 cadets graduated from San Jose’s first academy in more than three years. In October, another 41 recruits got their badges. Of those 84 recruits, 10 have already left San Jose for jobs in other cities. There are currently another 53 officers in an academy class that will likely be ready to hit the streets on their own in late April or May.


Last Week's Poll Results

For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:



Ed — With knowledge that Joe McNamara was about to sell his Menlo Park residence and relocate, I asked that he keep us in the loop. We received the following from the former Chief last weekend…

Nov. 10th


I've sold my house in Menlo Park and am getting ready to move in a couple of weeks to Carmel. I have just been reappointed as a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution for three years and will continue to study policing and government and maintain my office at Stanford. I'm presently writing an article on the pension problems (Disclosure: I was not in the SJ pension system and do not receive a pension from SJ – so no vested interest except as a citizen and scholar of government.)

Basically, I believe that the police side of the issue has not received fair reporting. The cops negotiated in good faith over a lot of years, following the rules in collective bargaining. They did not occupy City Hall, stage unruly protests, or engage in other conduct. Instead, they followed bargaining rules set by state legislators. The reforms suggested by Mayor Reed rest upon inaccurate accounts of how and why problems exist. His suggested "reform" is no reform at all and will most likely worsen the situation. I heard the mayor, in a recent speech at Stanford, tell the audience that the pension problems developed because he and the city council were restricted by CALPERS and the CA Teacher’s Union. In fact, SJ is not involved in CALPERS or with teachers or the education budget.

The mayor’s proposed reform, to give mayors and city council more power, will only worsen problems because mayors and city councils had complete power to agree or not to collective bargaining contracts. Giving the people who had and have the ultimate responsibility for the present situation by amendment the CA Constitution more power is no “reform.” Instead of fixing the problem, it is far more likely to worsen it.

I will be spending time in San Jose and Stanford as well as working from Carmel. I seriously considered moving to San Jose but decided that the lack of police staffing and other political uncertainty discouraged me. In the past, I have signed to support ballot Initiatives to amend the California Constitution and will be happy to sign on in opposition to the “Reed reform” Initiative.

(McNamara) <mcnamara@hoover.stanford.edu>



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

Is this an authentic photo of an F/A-18 Hornet flying past
an apartment building, or has it been photoshopped?

New Articles

• Did Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy announce that the chain would oppose blacks as a marketing ploy?

• Did Tom Cruise say that 'being an actor is like serving in Afghanistan'?

• Does a new law taking effect in 2014 prohibit smoking in cars when children are present?

• Has a man in China sued his wife for bearing him ugly children?

• Warning about Huggies Snug and Dry brand diapers causing chemical burns on infants.

• Did the word 'picnic' originate with crowds gathering to witness lynchings?

• Were Navy SEALs ordered to discontinue wearing the 'Don't Tread on Me' uniform patch because it is too closely associated with 'radical groups'?

• Photographs show a desert memorial constructed to honor the victims of UTA Flight 772.

• A round-up of tainted candy news reports from Halloween 2013. Are they all true?

• Photograph shows an F/A-18 Hornet flying past a Detroit apartment building.

• Woman gains revenge after being charged $250 by Neiman Marcus for a cookie recipe.

• Newspaper reader writes letter to the editor suggesting that the earlier start to Daylight Saving Time has exacerbated global warming.

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

Worth a Second Look

• Photograph shows a tearful World War II veteran embracing a wounded Marine.

Still Haunting the Inbox

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

Fraud Afoot

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



• • • • •

Let's kick off the column with this item from Bill Leavy who says this is one of the most creative and romantic marriage proposals he has ever seen, at least for the bride and groom to be. For the ring bearer, not so much. (1 Min.)


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(Language warning) Rumor has it that Dick Tush has never tried McDonald's Chicken McNuggets, but if they are as addictive as this video implies, he said he's going to make a Code 2 run to the nearest Golden Arches and order a 10-piece meal. (We recommend the BBQ sauce, Richard.) (2 Mins.)


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We can't tell what happened to this BBC cameraman after the Polar Bear attacked his shelter because the video ends prematurely. We're going to guess that the bear was no longer interested because the shelter most certainly would have smelled differently than it did prior to the attack. (2 Mins.)


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This clip was sent to Joe Brockman by the Pastor (and retired Navy Chaplain) who married Joe and his wife. "I have mixed feelings on gun control, but this certainly presents a powerful argument," said the Pastor. Joe watched it and sent it to us along with the comment, "This is a great clip." (7 Mins.)


Ed. — Bill Whittle is a conservative blogger who is best known for his internet videos and short films that he posts on his  website, "PJ Media."

• • • • •

You probably think that getting caught in the morning or afternoon commute here in the Bay Area sucks, even if you are retired. If you do, think of those poor schmucks in Boston. It's so bad there that a song was written about it. Have a listen. (3 Mins.)


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Last week's Farsider included a clip about a mouse and a cookie, the moral of which was "never give up." This video from Bruce Morton has the same message, but this one is about an injured pup who was found along the side of the road. (5 Mins.)


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Remember the movie "The Owl and the Pussycat" starring Barbra Streisand and George Segal? Here's a clip I received from my sister-in-law that proves a real owl and a real pussycat can be playmates. (3 Mins.)


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This is rare color footage we received from Phil Norton of carrier operations in the Pacific during WW II. We included the clip in the Farsider back in 2007 when it was first posted on YouTube, but because it is so rare we thought we'd include it again. The only thing missing is a sound track by Richard Rodgers of "Victory at Sea" fame. (9 Mins.)


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Since we're looking at rare WW II color film footage, feel free to hop aboard one of these P-47 Thunderbolts and ride along on a combat mission. No CGI here; it's all real. (5 Mins.)


• • • • •

This video originated with Dirk Parsons' brother, who's a pylon judge at the Reno Air Races. According to the brother, "This is one of my favorite videos of the races. It's very short, but you definitely get the impact of the speed and sound. Turn up the volume, but not too loud as it will get really loud very quickly. The first plane makes the photographer jump." (28 Secs.)


• • • • •

Many of us learned how to produce a loud shrill whistle using a couple of fingers when we were kids, but Mitsuhiro Mori learned how to convert his hands into a hand flute and use them to produce beautiful music. Have a listen to this clip sent in by Alice Murphy. (6 Mins.)


• • • • •

If you think this biker is good, you should have seen Bob Kosovilka perform the same stunts on his police motor 20 years ago. The only thing he had a problem with were the back flips at the end as he had trouble getting enough air due to his knee-high motor boots. True story? You be the judge. (4 Mins.)


• • • • •

This CNN clip we received from a handful of readers is kind of scary as it shows how thieves can get into locked cars with a hand-held device that neither car manufacturers or law enforcement are familiar with. (2 Mins.)


• • • • •

Pop Quiz: What is the biggest animal that has ever lived on planet earth, even larger than the biggest dinosaur? Imagine an animal so big that its tongue weighs as much as an elephant, it's heart is as big as a car, and some of its blood vessels are so wide you could swim in them. The answer may surprise you. Listen as Sir David Attenborough describes the animal in this short clip from the BBC series titled "The Blue Planet" (1 Min.)


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As far as videos about "man's best friend" are concerned, this clip from Dean Janavice is somewhat profound and sure to be loved by dog owners. The title is "So God Made a Dog." (2 Mins.)


• • • • •

In the interest of equal time, let us not forget that God also made a cat, and here is a clip about that very subject. (3 Mins.)


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With Christmas right around the corner it might behoove you to watch this South Korean postal worker because it's very likely that your spouse is going to assign you the task of boxing presents and getting them ready to take the post office. (2 Mins.)


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We're not sure what made us laugh more at this clip sent in by Alice Murphy, the reaction of the kid with the BB gun or his hysterical father. (1 Min.)


• • • • •

Happy belated 238th birthday to the Marines, past and present. This rousing video epitomizes what the men and women of the Corps are all about. Oorah and Semper Fi. (5 Mins.)


• • • •

And finally, here's a feel-good video we thought we'd include to conclude this week's Farsider. It's about a middle school football team in Michigan that did something so special during a game that it even surprised their coach. Steve Hartman reports. (3 Mins.)


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Pic of the Week


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