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The Farsider

November 28, 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.



 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING
 

For the past three months we have been training three "supremely" luscious birds to perform a little song and dance number to celebrate today's Thanksgiving holiday. Unfortunately, we did such a "supreme" job that it looks like we will be dining on tofu birds shaped like a turkey this evening. We hope you enjoy your "supremely" traditional real bird with all the fixin's, and that you will enjoy this "supreme" performance by our meals that got away...

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCJ78Ttzuf4>


 

PENSION NEWS

Has Mayor Reed bitten off more than he can chew with his proposed ballot initiative to reel in pubic pensions? Check out this article from yesterday's paper and decide for yourself...

Pension Initiative Opposed

—Pro-labor mayors ask S.J. counterpart to quit statewide push—

By Mike Rosenberg
<mrosenberg@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — Nov. 27, 2013

After announcing a 2014 statewide pension ballot initiative with fellow mayors from around California, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has run into some opposition — from other mayors.

Nineteen mayors — along with two vice mayors, two county board of supervisors presidents and five additional council members — signed a letter to Reed on Tuesday urging him to abandon his effort that would see public employees pay more for their retirement. Many of the opponents are labor-backed Democrats from small towns, and several of them are relying on donations and support from public employee unions as they run for re-election or higher office.

Leading the list are Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu. They were joined by top officials from three cities neighboring San Jose: Campbell Mayor Evan Low, Sunnyvale Mayor Tony Spitaleri and Cupertino Vice Mayor Gilbert Wong. Mayors from San Mateo, Millbrae, Richmond, Alameda and Santa Rosa also opposed Reed’s measure.

It comes after Reed proposed the initiative last month with the help of four other California mayors, including Anaheim’s Tom Tait. One of the supporters, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, has since dropped out as a formal supporter and been replaced by Vallejo Vice Mayor Stephanie Gomes. In the middle are mayors from more than 400 other California cities who have not voiced their opinion on the measure.

Tentatively set for the November 2014 ballot, Reed’s initiative would give California cities and other public agencies power to negotiate changes to existing employees’ retirement benefits. Employees would keep the benefits they had earned up until their contract changes but could see reduced benefits going forward. Reed and other supporters say the changes are needed to stop the sharp rise of pension costs that have crippled taxpayer-funded public budgets. Last year, Reed won overwhelming San Jose voter support for Measure B, to trim city workers’ future retirement benefits, but employee unions sued to block it.

They argue that California court decisions suggest that once employees are hired, their pension benefits can never be reduced, even in future years, something Reed’s statewide initiative would change. The Legislature also approved pension reforms last year, though mostly for new hires.

But critics led by public employee unions say cities and the state of California have already done plenty to cut back pensions and that voters should not get involved in an issue best decided at the bargaining table.

“We believe that engaging our public servants in construction (sic) dialogue rather than political battles is a more effective way of achieving balancing (sic) budgets,” read the opponents’ letter, which contained several typos.

Reed disagreed with the opponents’ characterization of the measure and said he’d “be happy to sit down with these leaders to explain exactly what our initiative does.”

“I wholeheartedly agree that pension matters should be decided locally — and that’s exactly what our initiative would empower local governments to do,” Reed said in a statement.



 

POA UPDATES




Nov. 27th

Protect San Jose website (article):

Supervisor Dave Cortese Statement on POA Tentative Agreement

<http://tinyurl.com/lh2j58c>

~ ~ ~

The Daily Fetch (article)

Reed asks court to delay Measure B implementation


<http://tinyurl.com/ltsb4sr>


 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD

The City does the math and says that when the bennies are added to a San Jose cop's salary, he or she is near the top in the Bay Area, but in the middle when only the salary is considered. What's up with that?

How Police Tab Adds Up

—Officers’ benefits rank high, but many leaving for more pay elsewhere—

By Mike Rosenberg and Daniel J. Willis — Staff writers
Mercury News — Nov. 24, 2013

SAN JOSE — The toughest case to crack at the San Jose Police Department may be figuring out how to hire more cops when taxpayers already are paying more for their officers than nearly any Bay Area city — even as officers are fleeing for bigger paychecks elsewhere.

From pay and overtime to city contributions toward their pension and medical benefits, San Jose police officers in 2012 cost taxpayers an average of $189,621 each, this newspaper’s review of payroll data found. That total ranked fifth out of 79 Bay Area cities that supplied raw payroll data in response to public records requests — and that’s before a pay raise the officers won last week.

But police cost so much in San Jose mainly because their benefits are so expensive. Looking just at regular wages, San Jose officers’ average gross pay of $111,185 ranks only in the middle of the pack in the Bay Area and near the bottom in Silicon Valley, the data reviewed by this newspaper showed. As a result, many officers have been hitting the road for better-paying cities, creating a shortage so bad that some detectives are being pulled off their investigations to roam the streets on patrol.

“Our take-home pay is, like, at the bottom,” said Sgt. Jim Unland, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. “We know that because we’ve had nearly 200 officers resign and go to other places, and these guys are comparing paychecks.”

On Tuesday, facing the officer exodus and concerns over rising crime in one of the nation’s safest big cities, city leaders agreed to give officers a much bigger raise than they had initially offered, totaling nearly 11 percent over the next two years. But don’t expect that to end the bitter feud between the officers and City Hall. City leaders say the only way they reasonably can afford the additional $20 million in raises without gutting other programs is by shrinking benefit costs. They already are asking new recruits to work longer for a smaller pension to keep costs in check. And the police union is leading employee efforts in court to fight voter-approved retirement benefit cuts that would make veteran officers either pay more for their pensions or reduce them. From 2010 to 2012, San Jose police saw their average gross pay fall by about $14,000 following a 10 percent pay cut, dropping the city way down on the list of the Bay Area’s best-paid cops, from near the top to No. 32. But the cost of the officers’ benefits shot up so dramatically during that span that the total bill for taxpayers to employ each officer still increased nearly $20,000 overall.

“Total cost is a problem,” said Mayor Chuck Reed, who led the effort to shrink pension benefits and costs. He argues that “young officers are more interested in pay” now than a big pension down the road. The average officers’ gross pay would rise to about $123,460 in 2015 under the new raises — an increase of about $12,000 per cop. They’d also get a one-time bonus of about 2 percent of their pay. Union members and the full City Council still must ratify the contract. San Jose pays about 69 percent more than the Bay Area average for officer benefits — $78,436 per officer for things such as medical insurance and pensions, the newspaper’s review found. Deputy City Manager Alex Gurza says officials from other cities “fall off their chair” when they hear how high their pension costs are.

By some measures, San Jose has been quite generous to its retired officers thanks to pension increases since the 1990s. A Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research study last year found that San Jose had the highest average police and firefighter pension — $90,612 a year — among California’s 20 largest municipalities with their own retirement plans, rather than a state-managed benefit.

But San Jose’s high pension costs may stem in part from how it manages its finances. Many other cities participate in a state retirement system that critics say has been too slow to pay down its debts and eventually will be forced to pass along huge costs to member cities — costs San Jose already is taking care of.

Reed argues that the city’s officers cannot afford the hefty pension benefits any more than City Hall can. Officers already contribute toward their benefits and now are seeing bigger bites out of their paychecks to cover retirement fund shortfalls and rising health premiums.

Health care contributions for single officers have tripled over the past decade, to $80 per month this year. If the city wins its pension reforms in court, officers will see a fifth of their gross salary shaved off for pensions and retiree health care if they don’t agree to less expensive benefits. Unland argues that taxpayers already “are getting a hell of a deal from their police force,” which patrols a city of nearly 1 million with barely 1,000 officers, one of the nation’s leanest big-city departments. But the bottom line, he says, is that officers compare what they can get in pay and benefits from San Jose with other departments.

“They look at it as a straight business decision,” Unland said. When you add it all up, Councilman Pete Constant — a former San Jose police union board member in his days as an officer, who supports the city’s pension reforms — said the recent raises will keep the city near the top of the pack in total cost-per-officer and near the middle in terms of pay. “Because of the pay, we’ve had difficulties both in recruiting and retaining police officers,” Constant said. “We have to stem the tide of departures in the city, and pay is a critical component of that.”
 

• • • • •

 

Will the South SJPD Substation open before the Obamacare website is fixed? Place your bets...

Planned Opening of Police Substation Is Put on Hold

—Chief wants to be certain staffing levels are stable—

By Carol Rosen — Correspondent
Mercury News — Nov. 24, 2013

SAN JOSE — Though the San Jose City Council had approved the opening of a new police substation in the southern part of the city by July 1, the police chief wants to wait until staffing is more stable.

Police Chief Larry Esquivel doesn’t recommend a move before July 1 because the department may have “potential impacts of decentralizing with the current low-filled staffing levels,” he wrote in a memo. Instead, the administration will reevaluate the potential impact before deciding a good time to open the substation in South San Jose.

The department’s budget for this year includes 1,109 sworn staff, but has only 988 street-ready officers. That includes 70 sworn staff on leave or modified duty, with 39 officers currently in the field training program and 53 recruits that started in the academy last fall. The department is recruiting for a spring academy.

However, department trends indicate that about 10 percent of recruits don’t graduate and another 10 percent don’t pass field training. The department typically averages two to three retirements and five to six resignations monthly.

The substation also won’t open until it’s able to manage a change in deployment, the chief said Its opening was included in the $20 million general fund contingency plan in the current city budget. But that is based on the city winning a legal decision regarding the supplemental retiree benefit reserve from the passage of 2012’s Measure B. If and when the city can implement the two-tier health care plan changes, the facility can be opened, Esquivel said.

In addition, there is more work to be completed to ensure the building and its infrastructure are working properly. The building lacks furniture and equipment.

The structure, which was built several years ago, is designed to accommodate patrol, pre-processing, records, investigations and various other units.

Esquivel expects it to open in stages. The first stage includes the southern patrol division, some non-patrol units, funding for 14 positions and $2.3 million to support the police, public works and parks, recreation and neighborhood services. Another $3.2 million includes grants for furniture, fixtures and equipment for an alternate emergency communications system.

Initial staff will include officers primarily assigned to the southern division, including detective divisions, civilian communications staff and civilian operations support services division personnel as well as civilian service mechanics.

“This is not all inclusive, but it is a start,” Esquivel said.

Councilman Johnny Khamis, whose District 10 would be served by the substation, said he would like the station to open earlier, but he doesn’t expect it.

“The money is in place to finish the building,” Khamis said. “Once there are more officers — there are 200 less than we need and want — I expect it will open.”

“The SJPD has been working with everyone at City Hall as we re-evaluate the operational impacts and efficiencies to determine when the appropriate time is to move into the facility,” Esquivel said.

The four council districts closest to the substation are Districts 2, 8, 9 and 10, but patrol officers assigned to the station will be used based on departmental needs. The number of officers assigned will be determined later.

 


WEEKLY POLL
 


Last Week's Poll Results




For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
<http://www.rasmussenreports.com/older_content/home/top_stories/most_recent_articles>


 

MAIL CALL

John Carr Jr. of the SJPD Historical Society is trying to identify the officer standing next to the '57 Chevy in the photo below. If you can help, Please send John an e-mail at <jbc3335@aol.com>.

 

• • • • •


Nov. 26th

Bill,

Please remind the readers that the Keith Kelley Club Christmas Dinner Dance is sold out, and for those attending to be sure to bring their dinner tickets for admittance. Parking will be validated. They should also bring their appetites and dancing shoes.

Margie Thompson
<sssq@aol.com>

 

NEW VANGUARD AVAILABLE

Hard copies of the Dec. edition of the POA Vanguard are in the mail. It can also be read on-line by clicking on the POA link below. When the page comes up, click on the image of the Vanguard…

<http://www.sjpoa.com/Vanguard.asp>


 

RETIREES' ASSN. NEWS




Nov. 21st

Dear Members,

They're back.  Some of you undoubtedly remember the City's consultants on pension board governance, Cortex of Canada.  

Several years ago, Cortex made recommendations to dramatically change the face of our retirement boards with a strong effort to have active and retired employees removed from the Boards.  

Back then, this Association led the charge to fight to preserve and expand our role in ensuring our pension funds are effectively managed.  As you probably know, the Board structure changed by removing City Councilmembers and City staff from the Board and replacing them with "independent" members with specialized qualifications to help oversee the fund.  At the same time, the Board changed to allow both a police and fire retiree on the Board (previously we rotated between a police rep and a fire rep).  

In Cortex's latest report to the Retirement Boards and the City Council, they advocate for reducing the number of retired and active members on the board (from 4 down to 2) and replacing those two members with non-employee/non-retirees elected by employees and retirees to represent their interests.  Further, Cortex recommends combining the Police & Fire Board with the Federated Board.  The final major recommendation is to allow the respective boards to hire and fire retirement department staff. This is a position we strongly agree with Cortex on.

<http://sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/23699>

Just as we did in 2009 and 2010, this Association is working to ensure that the information promoted by Cortex (and their supporters) is factual, within context and is part of a larger dialogue on governance issues with a larger group of stakeholders (specifically retirees) than is typically performed by the City Administration.  To that end, we submitted to the Police & Fire Retirement Board and the City Council this letter analyzing the Cortex report and its conclusions.  You can view the letter here…

<http://tinyurl.com/lg7dqyx>

The City will continue to explore the ideas presented by Cortex.  We will keep you updated on how this develops over the next several months and will keep working to ensure the City's consultants are kept honest as they do their work.

Jim Spence
<president@retiredsjpoff.org>


 

THE HISTORY OF THE SJPD SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN

Sometimes we find ourselves at the keyboard without rhyme or reason. It has been a rainy day here in Escondido, and I brought up the Farsider to stay inside and dry. Reflecting on the history of the PD I find it remarkable that no one has discussed the pay jobs we enjoyed in the past. They made most of us a few extra bucks so we could enjoy some amenities that our regular salaries could not provide for. Regarding these off-duty jobs, I'm not sure if the following is Farsider material. If it isn't, feel free to dump it in the round file.

I enjoyed Mike Ross's article as it put me back inside a patrol car on the Eastside which, in hindsight, seems like a lifetime ago. They were the days of H-cars and A-cars, and Green, Blue and the special White radio channels. There was no academy, no handpack radios and no hand-written reports; they were recorded by phone and transcribed by clerks at the station at the end of shift, usually in the Report Writing Room. The 3- by 6-inch white cards filled out by officers during the shift were kept for future information and safety. We bought our own uniforms, gun and leather, our own flashlight and in my case, a leather sap back in those days, and we all carried a knife of some type; a gravity knife, switch blade,whatever we desired. Most officers carried a back-up firearm as well. My choice was a Browning 9mm back-up tucked tightly in my leather belt under my shift. Most officers worked one-man cars back then. It was, to coin a phrase, the best of times and the worst of times.

What has seldom been discussed and is almost forgotten about is the Pay Job. In 1968, a pay job paid $5 an hour. Most of them were in uniform with full police authority. I was in charge of security at the-then Plaza Lanes bowling alley on the Eastside. The bar inside was called "The Monkey Bar." In today's world that name would generate controversy. Ditto with Sambo's Restaurant. Today those names are only a vague memory.

Every Saturday night the Monkey Bar catered to a very active group of African-Americans from all over the Bay Area, and what went on inside the bar stayed inside the bar. Our main activity was to secure the bowling alley and the parking lot. It was not uncommon to see a black Cadillac with strange smelling smoke seeping out of the windows, but we knew that trying to make an arrest was a suicide mission, so we took the attitude of no harm, no foul. Besides, due to the heavy activity on the Eastside in general, a call for back-up would have been an exercise in futility, so we adhered to the concept that intelligence would win over a stupid arrest.

Inside the Monkey Bar was live entertainment and alcohol that flowed freely. Very seldom was I called to enter the bar, and when I was called, it was immediately apparent that I was not welcome. Uniformed officers were never welcomed inside the Monkey Bar. It was a refuge and a safe haven for those in attendance while those of us in uniform viewed it as containment without a fence. Very few arrests were made during the two years that I and others were the security officers at Plaza Lanes. We were, for the most part, paid to perform escort service from the bowling alley to the cars in the parking lot, which suited us fine.

There were several other pay jobs available on the Eastside: Alexian Bros. Hospital, several high schools, and one of an unpaid security officer at Winchell's Donuts. (I don't mind admitting that it was difficult to eat five dollars worth of donuts in one sitting.) Other pay jobs throughout the city included the LeBaron Hotel which had the Jabawalkie (sic) Bar and the downtown and Fourth Street Holiday Inns. These pay jobs for active officers often supplemented those normally worked by Reserve officers. On Friday and Saturday nights it wasn't unusual to see a ten to twenty percent increase in the number of uniformed officers present.

Back in those days Sgt. Hans Gerdts headed up security at the Westgate Shopping Mall, Sgt. Dennis Sorahan was chief of security at several large hotels, Sgt. Bobby Burroughs was in charge of security at the downtown Fairmont, and the list goes on and on. Pay jobs allowed officers to earn extra money while providing an invaluable service to both the merchants as well as the SJPD as it helped with the department's staffing.

There was no conflict whatsoever between an officer working a pay job and an on-duty officer who was simply working his regular shift. Both were cops with equal responsibilities. We were a proud group of dedicated San Jose police officers who considered ourselves on duty 24/7.

~ ~ ~

Bill, as an Eastsider, you may relate to the Plaza Lanes more than others. James Lick, where you said you attended high school, was within walking distance from Plaza Lanes. I'm sure you bowled now and then.

You bet I was familiar with Plaza Lanes, Bill. It was where I learned to bowl (once shot a 279 in junior league play) and sharpened my pool eye (I used to gamble my lunch money on 9-ball). I had a newspaper route in the late '50s when the bowling alley was built. Before it was named Plaza Lanes it was called the Bowl-Larium. (That's how it sounds phonetically; I'm not sure of the spelling these days.) I walked or rode my bike to James Lick during my freshman and sophomore years at James Lick in '58 and '59. By 1960 I had earned enough dough working at Roger Eshelman's Shell Station at Story and White since I was a freshman to put a down payment on my first car: a brand spanking new 1961 Corvair Monza with "four on the floor." My dad had driven me to Courtesy Chevrolet on Stevens Creek Blvd. and dropped me off on the day the car was to arrive. As I watched it come off the truck I thought my heart was going to pop out of my chest and rip open my shirt it was beating so fast. What fun!

Thank you, Mr. Yarbrough, for contributing to the History of the SJPD that shall not be forgotten.



 

IDIOT

What more can be said?

Cop Booked on Felonies

—Veteran officer accused of issuing phony tickets to foe in 2008 lawsuit—

By Robert Salonga
<rsalonga@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — November 28, 2013

SAN JOSE — After a veteran San Jose police officer got in a car accident five years ago, he sued the other driver, ultimately settling out of court. But perhaps not to his liking.

And he apparently couldn’t let it go, say prosecutors who charged him with writing phony citations last month targeting the driver, and in a strange twist, the attorney he hired to handle his case.

George Chavez, 51, faces three felony counts of false personation exposing the victim to liability, and three felony counts of filing a false police report. The 23-year police veteran surrendered to authorities Tuesday night, and was freed after posting $60,000 bail.

Authorities say that on Oct. 28, Chavez used his police computer to look up a Texas man he sued in 2008 after a local car accident, as well as the attorney from the Sacramento area he hired to file the corresponding civil suit. The case was settled out of court, but apparently not to the officer’s liking.

He then purportedly used that data to write up one traffic ticket and two tickets for illegally parking in a handicapped zone, forging the signatures of the Texas man, the attorney and two other police officers on the citations.

“It’s surprising and unfortunate because we put a lot of responsibility on police officers and give them a lot of power,” deputy district attorney Daniel Rothbach said. “Besides using his police computer, he went even further, exposing the victims to liabilities and abusing the trust of other police officers.”

The purported scheme unraveled when the officer whose signature appeared on the traffic ticket was notified after an administrative review of the citation, and alerted a supervisor. The motorist listed on the ticket was in Texas when the documented violation supposedly occurred. Further investigation turned up the phony parking tickets.

San Jose police officials expressed concern about the allegations against one of its officers.

“In these cases, we respect the criminal process and monitor the criminal proceedings, which will be followed by an administrative review,” Sgt. Heather Randol, a police spokeswoman, said. “We hold our officers accountable.”

Randol deferred additional questions to the District Attorney’s Office.

The charges carry a penalty of up to six years and four months in prison. Chavez was placed on administrative leave. His next court date is Dec. 10.



 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF NOV. 23,  2013

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




Is this an intimate photo of President
Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe?

New Articles

• Photograph shows John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe sharing an intimate moment.
<http://www.snopes.com/photos/people/jfk-marilyn.asp>

• Are the coincidences between the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations really so amazing?
<http://www.snopes.com/history/american/lincoln-kennedy.asp>

• Did Sophia Stewart win a large judgment in her copyright infringement suit regarding authorship of the film 'The Matrix'?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/matrix.asp>

• Photographs show a Ford Mustang ad campaign utilizing semi-transparent billboards.
<http://www.snopes.com/photos/advertisements/fordblur.asp>

• Is the United States returning the Statue of Liberty to France?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/statue.asp>

• Claim that some food products sold by Aldi stores contained horse meat.
<http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/aldi.asp>

• Another "shunned serviceman" business tale, this one involving the Posh Bagel store in Davis, California.
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/poshbagel.asp>

• Helpful tip advises that spraying a mixture of vinegar and water on your car's windshield will de-ice it but may also create pits in the glass.
<http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/household/vinegar.asp>

• Are Ugg boots made from sheepskin?
<http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/uggs.asp>

• Did McDonald's do away with their spoon-shaped coffee stirrers because people were using them as cocaine spoons?
<http://www.snopes.com/business/origins/mcdspoon.asp>

• Photographs show a bridge that collapsed when movers tried to pull a house across it.
<http://www.snopes.com/photos/accident/housebridge.asp>

• Constitutional law professor quips on the difference between the Bible and the Constitution.
http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/raskin.asp

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!
<http://www.snopes.com/daily/>


Worth a Second Look

• Did President John F. Kennedy call himself a jelly donut in his famous 1963 speech in Berlin?
<http://www.snopes.com/language/misxlate/berliner.asp>


Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.
<http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp>


Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
<http://www.snopes.com/fraud/topscams.asp>

 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS




• • • • •


Russ Jones says instrument landings where the pilot relies on his instruments to guide him to the ground don't get much better than this one. Toss in the beautiful scenery from the cockpit as this pilot prepares to land in Queenstown, New Zealand and you wind up with a spectacular video clip. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mxmFCw-Dig>


• • • • •


Those of you who have ridden and/or still ride a motorcycle should enjoy this clip that documents in nine minutes a 503-day, 82,459-mile trip through 22 countries from Alaska to Argentina. It's an epic motorcycle diary of one man, one motorcycle, and a GoPro video camera that is sometimes mounted on the handlebars, sometimes on his helmet, and sometimes on a long pole so he can capture his own image. (9 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85VErvTqgWc>


• • • • •


You auto enthusiasts and NASCAR fans should recognize the driver of Sprint car No. 99 in this video as Carl Edwards receives an up close and personal tour of a 1901 Ford named "Sweepstakes." He even gets to take it for a spin near the end of the clip. (8 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ru_hC9oGVbo>


• • • • •


Pop quiz for you history buffs: What was the "Bonus Army," and what did President Herbert Hoover, Douglas McArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Patton have in common? This seldom-seen series of old news clips answers the question, and it was not one of America's proudest moments. (7 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNOsIB5VMSQ>


• • • • •


Looks like R. Lee "Gunny" Ermey has found himself a gig as a spokesman for Glock, and this appears to be one of the company's most recent internet ads. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2gCFOtaZPo>


• • • • •


Unless you are part of the Hollywood crowd — a/k/a "The Swells" — it's highly unlikely you got to see this Cirque Du Soleil performance that was part of this year's Academy Awards Ceremony. Why? Because it wasn't televised, or so we were told. Whatever the case, it is truly something to behold, so have a look. (4 Mins.)



<http://telly.com/embed.php?guid=L558O&autoplay=0>


• • • • •


In response to President Obama often blaming the Republicans for the ills of government — and specifically Fox News on occasion — Bob Moir sent in this short video of Fox's Neil Cavuto presenting a rebuttal. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDdmtJCEWPA>


• • • • •


Imagine that you don't yet qualify for Medicare and have to go to HealthCare.gov and sign up for one of the exchanges for a health care plan, but you only want to browse. A couple of Silicon Valley software wiz-kids have replicated the choices on the government's site that allows people to see what's available and the pricing. It's really quite simple; all you have to do is type in your zip code and age, then click on a few choices on the left side of the screen. The plans and the pricing will then appear on the right. The most difficult part of the exercise is trying to get a grip on the sticker shock if you are under the age of 65 and don't have access to Medicare.



<http://www.healthsherpa.com/>


• • • • •


Have a son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter who wants to become an air traffic controller? Tip: Suggest that they apply for the job in Australia as opposed to the USA if stress is an issue. Both of the images below were snapped at 10:10 a.m. (Australian time) on Friday, Aug. 2nd. They represent the live radar sites showing the USA and Australia…






• • • • •


After watching this video I'm closer than ever to making sure that Santa brings me one of these remote-controlled quadcopter drones with a GoPro video camera mounted on the bottom. I already priced the drone itself on Amazon at $469. Have a look at this footage of the drone hovering over Niagara Falls. (5 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfoLYTKObiU>

This is a video review of the DJI Phantom Aerial UAF Drone Quadcopter for GoPro



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cKYqR9Y-3o>


• • • • •


Is it a safe bet that the way they swing in Russia is totally different from the way they swing in Hollywood? You bet. Watch how this young lady (I think it's a female) does it in the former Soviet Union. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJNwg7lzLiU>


• • • • •


Speaking of the Russians, check out the ingenious way these guys pull a car out from a frozen lake. One might suspect this isn't the first time they did this. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0_oKHARhXw>


• • • • •


Some store owners believe in making their own local TV ads so they can get their exact message across to the viewers. Here's a good ol' boy who adheres to that philosophy. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmlwhNOd9Ow>


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Place your bets: Leroy and I have a ten-spot that says this little otter was a dog in a prior life. Any takers? (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY3NJFfDB1M>

 

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Not only has British Airways hired a kid to appear in a billboard in London and point at arriving and departing jets, the billboard also tells viewers the flight number of the jet and where it's coming from or going to. Have a look. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhxKKG-Ok5I>


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Listen to talk show host Jimmy Kimmel as he describes the biblical rainstorm that recently hit La La Land in this clip we received from Dirk Parsons. The gag comes at the end of the short clip with the sequence you see in the pic below. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBlDU8e7om0>


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Meet Sam, who was rescued from a dog fighting ring. Not coincidentally, that also happens to be the title of this video. He may not be the best looking dog in the world, but his rescuers found him beautiful in many other ways. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OluE-PFfbvo>


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This is another dog rescue story with a happy ending. In this case it was a pit bull that had been abandoned on a beach. (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE53ECH1tGw>


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No Farsider would be complete without a funny cat compilation video. Here's one of the latest that was posted on YouTube not long ago. (9 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0H6bXfOUv_0>

 

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This week's closer is short and sweet where nary a word is spoken, yet it speaks volumes. (1 Min.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoABty_zE00>


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C'ya



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