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 website 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.
Mark your calendars! Santa will be coming to the POA next week, and the following week will be our annual Open House. Please see the flyers below for more details.
We also have another supply of Katherman key-chains. Please stop by the POA during office hours.
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
Is San Jose a “sanctuary city?” Not according to Chief Garcia or Mayor Liccardo. But if you publicly tell the Hispanic community you are not going to cooperate with ICE, what else can it be?
Jose Allays Deportation Fears
—City leaders affirm there will be no immigrant police force under Trump administration—
By Robert Salonga <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mercury News — Dec. 3, 2016
SAN JOSE — Amid growing post-election fears, San Jose has joined a growing number of California cities looking to reassure its immigrant communities that their local police departments will not become deportation forces for the incoming presidential administration.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia sought to address an increase in complaints about minority residents experiencing harassment after the election of Donald Trump, who campaigned on a platform that antagonized immigrants, spurring worries that police would start asking people about their immigration status when responding to 911 calls.
“The San Jose Police Department has not and will not enforce federal immigration laws,” Garcia said at a news conference Friday at police headquarters. “It’s not our role.”
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia speaks Friday during a
news conference, reaffirming the department’s longstanding
practice of not enforcing immigration policy in its police
work. “The San Jose Police Department has not and will
not enforce federal immigration laws,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the stance does not reflect a change in the department’s or the city’s policies and practices on the issue. The rationale behind not asking about immigration status is to eliminate a disincentive for minority residents to report crimes or cooperate with police out of fear that they or a family member could end up being deported.
“We will not do anything to destroy that relationship and trust,” Garcia said. “Without cooperation, we would be ineffective as a department.”
Mayor Sam Liccardo echoed that, citing his former career as a criminal prosecutor in Santa Clara County.
“If there is any hesitation” in calling 911 or reporting criminal activity “because a relative in their household might be deported, we are all going to be less safe,” Liccardo said.
San Jose has not deemed itself a “Sanctuary City,” a moniker some cities, including San Francisco, have adopted to tout their practice of not prosecuting residents solely for violating federal immigration laws. Liccardo contends that such a label is simply “rhetoric,” because cities cannot stop a lawful deportation.
“We are exactly what we’ve been and what we’ve always been, a place that is welcome to all human beings,” Liccardo said. “Rather than getting into the labels, I’d rather tell the community exactly what we’re doing and what we’re not doing.”
San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles are among several cities that in recent weeks have publicly reaffirmed their hands-off stances on local police and immigration enforcement.
Mauricio Toussaint, Consul General of Mexico in San Jose, said his office has been flooded with calls and visits from people concerned about a new political landscape some worry will be heavy-handed toward the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, many of whom have lived most of their lives here or were brought here as children.
“There are fears of what will happen with immigration measures announced by the new government,” Toussaint said.
Some residents have already been victimized by people exploiting that fear. Toussaint cited a smattering of reports where legal immigrants have been solicited into paying to be placed on a list that scammers promise will spare them from scrutiny by immigration authorities.
Zulma Maciel, who runs San Jose’s year-old Office of Immigrant Affairs, said she has heard numerous anecdotal accounts of immigration-related harassment, and SJPD has observed a “substantial increase” in similar activity in the past month.
“People are experiencing harassment on the street and a lot of it is not reported,” Maciel said. “We hear about someone walking down the street and someone shouts ‘Go back to Mexico.’ She’s minding her own business and someone shouts this from a car.”
The concerns have made her recently established office, which works to make City Hall and city services more accessible to immigrants and non-English speakers and supports existing city and community advocacy programs, particularly relevant.
“The timing could not be more important now,” Maciel said, “for us to be a beacon of hope to the community.”
Toussaint advised patience and caution, given that the new presidential administration hasn’t even taken office.
“Keep calm, and try to be well informed,” he said.
Liccardo similarly described any anticipation of changes in federal immigration enforcement as a “moving target” since President-elect Trump has vacillated in his public statements on immigration. His public comments on the issue increased significantly after the July 2015 shooting of Pleasanton resident Kate Steinle, who was killed at San Francisco’s Pier 14 by a ricocheted bullet fired by an undocumented immigrant with a stolen federal agent’s gun.
Toussaint also preached pragmatism, encouraging Mexican immigrants to visit the consulate to gather identification documents “in order to be prepared” for any potential trouble, while also putting faith in the U.S. government to act fairly.
“We trust that the United States is a country of law,” he said. “Everybody deserves and has rights that are to be protected and guaranteed.”
• • • • •
—690 unwanted firearms taken off the streets, into hands of SJPD, county law enforcement —
By Tatiana Sanchez <email@example.com>
Mercury News — Dec. 4, 2016
SAN JOSE — Hundreds of firearms were taken off the streets and put into the hands of law enforcement Saturday in what appeared to be the most successful gun buyback event ever sponsored by the San Jose Police Department and other Santa Clara County agencies.
Dozens of cars snaked around the SJPD’s substation on Great Oaks Parkway as residents anonymously handed over unwanted firearms in exchange for Target gift cards with no questions asked. Those who turned in handguns, rifles and shotguns were given $100 cards, while individuals who handed in assault-style weapons were given $200 cards.
But an hour and a half into the five-hour event, organizers ran out of the $20,000 they had in Target gift cards and were handing out cash instead. Police said the first person in line turned in 45 handguns. Police said they collected 690 weapons, breaking the old record of 450.
Deputy district attorney Johnny Cepeda Gogo talks to a driver who
dropped off a gun Saturday during a gun buyback event in San Jose.
Authorities hoped to attract city and county residents who owned guns they no longer used or maintained. The event held particular significance this year as the nation’s 10th largest city struggles with an uptick in homicides.
San Jose has had 45 homicides so far this year and as of Saturday was one homicide away from matching the city’s 20-year high in 2012. Last year, the city had 30 homicides.
Saturday’s gun buyback program in San Jose collected
nearly 700 guns, a record. A sampling of collected weapons
from the third annual event are shown above and below.
Johnny Gogo, a community-focused prosecutor for the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, said it’s difficult to tie buyback events to a decrease in homicides or other crimes. “But when you see the line of cars that we have and you see the number of people turning in their firearms, you can’t help but think that that’s going to have an impact on these issues, from violence against our police officers to stolen firearms from residential burglaries,” he said.
“These gun buyback events do not solve our issues of gun violence, but it’s a small effort to try to help those issues,” added Gogo, who has helped organize previous buybacks.
Gogo credited the event’s success to extensive community and social media outreach and pleasant weather, along with timing. The department’s previous gun buyback was held 18 months ago.
Residents transported their unloaded firearms in the trunks of their cars and were asked to remain in their vehicles. Volunteers gave individuals a gun lock and information on gun safety. Another group of volunteers and police officers counted and logged the weapons.
Firearms found to be stolen will be returned to their owners. The rest will be destroyed.
Sergio Jimenez, the new councilman for District 2, said he was surprised to see the long line of cars.
“That’s the importance — to make sure that we take as many guns as possible out of the streets and out of the homes of people who just don’t use them,” he said.
The gift cards were paid for by asset-forfeiture funds from the District Attorney’s Office and the San Jose Police Department, as well as donations collected by the San Jose Police Foundation.
Event sponsors included the offices of newly elected Assemblyman Ash Kalra, Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman and Assemblyman Mark Stone, as well as First 5 Santa Clara County and The Health Trust.
• • • • •
Jose Cop Must Pay Punitive Damages in Excessive Force Case
By Tracey Kaplan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mercury News — Dec.6, 2016
SAN JOSE — A
tech salesman whose legs were kicked out from under him by a San Jose police officer
investigating a noise complaint is entitled to the $45,000 in punitive damages
he was awarded two years ago by a jury, a federal appeals court has ruled.
In reinstating the rare award, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it was reasonable for the lower court federal jury to have found that officer Bruce Barthelemy callously used excessive force against Aleksandr Binkovich during the 2009 incident at the downtown Hilton Hotel.
“Viewing all evidence in favor of Plaintiff, substantial evidence supported the jury’s finding that Defendant evidenced ‘callous indifference’ in pushing Plaintiff against a wall and, without warning, sweeping his legs out from under him, when he presented no threat to the safety of the officers or others,’’ the appeals court ruled late last week.
Although the punitive damages technically were imposed only against Barthelemy personally in this case, City Attorney Rick Doyle said the City Council has already agreed to pay them.
The city had appealed the case because officials strongly believe the force Barthelemy used was “not unnecessary,’’ and that the officer exhibited “no malice,’’ Doyle said.
“With all due respect to the Ninth, we don’t agree this merits punitive damages,’’ Doyle said.
San Jose police officer Bruce Barthelemy picks
up gift bags to hand out during his Christmas
Eve shift. (Mercury News archives)
Barthelemy is considered a hero by fellow officers for once saving a colleague who came under fire and another time killing a driver who was coming at him and other officers. Both shootings were ruled lawful by the District Attorney’s Office.
However, Binkovich’s lawyer, Anthony Boskovich, said the conduct of the officer and the two other policemen with him was “oppressive.” The same federal jury in 2014 that found Barthelemy had used excessive force found the two other cops were not liable.
The city could end up paying Binkovich $45,000 in compensatory damages. Punitive damages which are intended to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar conduct, are extremely rare against police officers.
The city also is responsible for paying legal fees and costs to Binkovich’s attorney, estimated at more than $120,000.
Doyle said the city hasn’t decided whether to ask a larger group of Ninth Circuit judges to take up the case, which the court is not required to do. Friday’s ruling was made by a three-judge panel.
• • • • •
What a shock to see that Jim had passed away. He was so much fun to be around. A quick wit, always a smile and a great cop too. I remember the first time I met Jim was when I was working swing patrol in old B-22 and was checking out a dead end portion of Narvaez which was surrounded by orchards on each side. This was an area popular for lovers and dumping stolen cars.
I spotted a new Chevy Camaro Super Sport, all striped up, a really expensive car with a huge 427 engine parked at the dead end. I wasn't sure what I had so I hit it with the high beams and spotlight. As I approached the car I could see there was at least one person inside, and as I got to the car door I met for the first time Jim Baggott, a funny person even then. I asked what he was doing in lovers lane and he said he was "just talking." I then looked over to the passenger side and there was Ron Gaumont who had a very sheepish grin on his face. They both blathered on and on about how they were going to join the San Jose Police Dept. and were talking things over about what they had to do to get hired. Who knows, they might have even had some beer in the car; I don't remember! Jim had bought his "muscle car" with some of his military "muster out money." That car could fly if you could keep gas in it.
Of course later both Jim and Ron became full-time police officers and the three of us had many chuckles over the years of our first chance meeting in "Lovers Lane.” I always felt so fortunate to work with such great officers and friends over the years.
Dennis McKenzie <email@example.com>
• • • • •
My friend, John Howsden, is a retired Fremont PD Sergeant who lives up in Copperopolis and has been writing “Gunfights and Kisses” for some time. It's on Amazon for about $12 bucks. I bought a copy and found it a great read, especially the first chapter. It’s one of those books you can't put down and I highly recommend it.
Jim (Silvers) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Leroy may know the author and/or recognize some of the players in the book since he cut his law enforcement teeth at the Fremont PD before moving to the SJPD.
In addition to the hard copy ($11.95), the book is also available for the Amazon Kindle for $5. For more details about Gunfights and Kisses, click HERE
• • • • •
Retired Lt. Norv Pulliam does not have a computer, so we had no way of emailing him and asking for a green light to publish the following message about his son that was authored by Bob Moir. We did, however, get an OK from Gary Johnson, who is Norv’s cousin.
Last week I notified you that Norv Pulliam’s son Jonathan, 56, was enroute home to his house in Trinity Center just outside of Weaverville when his vehicle ran off the road and hit a tree. The driver of a vehicle headed in the opposite direction called for help.
Jonathan was conscious and told the CHP at the scene that he didn't recall what happened; that he might have fallen asleep. CHP life-flighted him to Mercy Hospital in Redding where he was treated for several injuries that included a stroke or aneurysm.
Jonathan was the sole postal employee of a post office about 8 miles outside of Weaverville, a job he had held for at least the past five years. Prior to that he had been a CHP officer in San Jose, Monterey County and the Weed offices before being medically retired.
While at Mercy Hospital in Redding, numerous citizens from the postal area he served (a population of about 1,000) showed up to offer their support to the Pulliam family during Jonathan’s touch-and-go medical procedures. Some of them had to travel three hours to get to the hospital.
Also holding vigil at the hospital were Norv’s other son Jaime, a retired corrections officer from Soledad State Prison; a married sister, Jessica Sherrick and her family from Fairborn, Ohio; two other sisters, Jennifer and Janet, from San Jose; as well as Norv and Nancy. They were anticipating a lengthy rehab program in the San Jose area when Jonathan passed away suddenly on Nov. 29th.
Plans call for a private family burial in the Janesville area, about 65 miles north of Reno and just south of Susanville. Later, after the snow clears, there will be a memorial in the Weaverville area for the numerous supporters who showed up at the hospital following the accident.
Norv is unaware that I am sending this to you. Because he was always well liked and “one of us,” I am including his address for anyone who would like to send a sympathy card:
and Nancy Pulliam
P.O. Box 653
Janesville, CA 96114
All of the information above was based on a phone conversation I had with Norv. No notes were taken. If there are any errors they are mine.
Bob (Moir) <email@example.com>
• • • • •
Regarding the SJS riots, Roy Isle and I were in the crowd when I spotted two AH's working their way through. They were carrying wooden table legs. We tried to get to them, but the rioters got there first. We "rescued" one of them, Doug Orr. I took a set of brass knuckles off him that were actually aluminum.
He wasn't a Hells Angel yet, just a "pledge." I don't think he ever made it as a full member because he failed his assignment to beat up the rioters. I don't know who got the other one.
Larry (Otter) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm thinking that the retired Capt. meant to type HA's in the first paragraph instead of AH's. While the two initials frequently refer to the same thing, an HA can usually be recognized by a black vest with his chapter colors on the back. An AH can be wearing anything or nothing at all.
• • • • •
I was enjoying myself by watching some CNN and MSNBC YouTube clips from the night of the election and ran across this one that I had to watch twice to make sure it was really Chris Matthews who took on Rachel Maddow.
Talking Points (email@example.com>
Clicking HERE will take you to the YouTube video TP sent in. It seems unlikely that there was a thrill running down Matthews' leg this presidential election. If anything, it was probably a warm liquid.
• • • • •
This is a new take on the Christmas song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time.” If you choose to include it in the Farsider please don’t print my name. My wife voted for Hillary and she will be even more pissed than usual if she sees this video and my name is attached to it!
(Name withheld by request)
Have it your way, Wuss. (Just joking; I know where you are coming from.) HERE is the parody with the full title of, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time in Eight Years.” (4:20)
We’ve been inundated this week with clips from Trump’s supporters who apparently enjoy twisting the knife. Try not to gloat over THIS example. (3:04)
• • • • •
Please print this short thank you to those Farsider readers who attended the Vienna Boys Choir concert on November 22nd, at the Campbell Heritage Theatre.
Dear Farsider Readers,
As a representative of Saratoga Rotary, I want to extend my appreciation to those Farsider readers who attended the Vienna Boys Choir Concert at the Campbell Heritage Theatre.
About 50% of the cost of your ticket will go toward protecting the 39 children residing at Villa Infantil <villainfantil.com.mx>, an orphanage near Lake Chapala, Mexico. The $19,000 net funds raised by the concert will go toward completing the twelve foot security wall surrounding the entire ten acre campus. It's being installed to protect against crop fires ignited by lightning, floods caused by tropical and hurricane storms, and criminals who might want to steal from the orphanage or kidnap for ransom the occupants. The only adults residing at the orphanage are three Catholic Sisters and a caretaker, and the wall will give them a lot of comfort. The only thing the Mexican government provides is the children. For everything else, the Sisters and children rely on the generosity of people like you. Thank you.
Bruce E. Hodgin (Badge 31 in 1965) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bruce, on the left, is helping build the wall to protect the children, the two Sisters and the caretaker. He’s been enjoying this activity so much that he’s in a hurry to get it finished so he can begin work on Trump’s Wall.
• • • • •
It’s not a surprise that some (many?) aren’t pleased with Chief Garcia and Mayor Liccardo for announcing last Saturday (see article above) that the SJPD will not cooperate with ICE. We spotted this letter to the editor just as we were about to go to press with today’s Farsider…
Chief Garcia Should Just Uphold the Law
Letter to the Editor
Mercury News — Dec. 8, 2016
How wonderful that San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Police Chief Eddie Garcia are openly concerned more with the rights of illegal immigrants than the actual rights of the very citizens that pay their salaries. In Garcia’s own words “The San Jose Police Department has not and will not enforce federal immigration laws.” (Page 1B, Dec. 3). The rationale for this irrational position is that illegal immigrants will not cooperate with law enforcement if they fear deportation. What kind of two-wrongs-make-a-right logic is this? True logic would dictate that we don’t need their cooperation if they aren’t legally here in the first place. As citizens, we have the right to expect our mayor and police chief to put their citizens first, to enforce the law and protect their legal citizens. Liccardo should be recalled immediately for dereliction of duty, and Garcia should be fired in favor of someone who believes in law enforcement.
Craig Bates, San Jose
THE POA VANGUARD IS NOW ONLINE
The December 2016 eVanguard is now online. Hard copies of the magazine should have already arrived in the mail. Please click HERE to download the PDF, then on the Vanguard.
SAY “HI” TO THE GRADUATES OF ACADEMY CLASS #27
We’d tell you who the graduates are, but we can barely make out their faces because they are all wearing their covers (hats). Besides, they have all been photo-bombed by Chief Garcia and his hatless command staff, only two of whom have any hair that a hat would cover. It’s good to have you grads onboard, We look forward to seeing you down the road, but not in the context that we initiated a call for service. Remember your training and stay safe.
SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR THE RESERVES, PAST AND PRESENT
The SJPD Reserves are celebrating the anniversary of their formation and 75 years of dedicated service to the City and its residents on January 28th of 2017. It was formed on Dec. 8, 1941. hence the motto: Established in War, Serving in Peace.
Reserves have always provided thousands of hours of volunteer service annually and are responsible these days for much of the Community Policing activity at the department.
Since many of our retirees have also been Reserves either at the beginning or end of their careers, please consider publishing this information for the Farsider readers? The price is right: FREE dinner, entertainment, and war stories at no extra charge for the first 125 attendees (and their guest) who respond to the email address to reserve (sic) a spot! <email@example.com>
For those who wish to stay overnight there is a low rate available at the hotel too. We are also looking to add to our photo display of any photos of Reserves in action. They can be sent through the regular mail or via email to <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Or I’ll be happy to collect, scan and return any images some might have available.
Many thanks for yours and Leroy's excellent work in keeping us all informed and up to date with the happenings at the PD.
Jim McMahon <email@example.com>
RETIREES’ ASSOCIATION’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON INVITATION
Association of Retired San Jose Police Officers and Firefighters
Christmas Luncheon 2016
San Jose P.O.A. Hall
1151 N.4th St.
Thursday, Dec. 8th
Doors open at 11 a.m.
Lunch will be served from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
Please bring an unwrapped gift for a child.
Dress is Business Casual
Cost: Free for Everyone
If you plan to attend, we need you to sign up on-line as soon as possible by clicking HERE.
GUN SAFETY CLASS FOR YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
This Saturday, December 12, the San Jose Municipal Shooting Range is offering a free outreach program to teach safe handling and reduce the fear factor some Officers' significant others and members of the public have of firearms.
Staffed by volunteer instructors and coaches from the Santa Clara Valley Rifle club the event is aimed at anyone who is shooting for the first time. A short safety briefing is followed by the opportunity to fire .22 caliber pistols, rifles and revolvers under the individual supervision of a range safety officer. All firearms and ammo are provided by the club at no charge.
A BFO officer commented on Yelp, "I brought my wife to the free program. It was the first time she picked up a firearm. The volunteer Range Officer made sure she was safe and comfortable. His coaching was so friendly and helpful that by the time we left she was talking about wanting to join me whenever I go shooting."
Sign in begins at 2pm at the San Jose Municipal Firing Range, 1580 South 10th Street (Just south of the Ice Center), on the second Saturday of each month. That’s THIS SATURDAY. No advance reservations are necessary.
For further info contact former SJPD Reserve Deputy Chief and NRA instructor Dick Reizner at (408) 828-3555 or <Dick@Reizner.com>.
Have fun and be safe.
'TIS THE SEASON...
Here again for the 8th year in a row is your link to 50 of the most popular Christmas songs from the 1950s. All you need to do to listen to them is click on your song of choice after the chart pops up on your screen. When it does you might want to consider bookmarking the site so it will be easy to come back to in the future. And while you are on the site, make sure you have a look around as there are additional offerings from artists such as Patsy Cline and Elvis. (The list below is a shrunken image of the song chart only; you need to click HERE to bring up the song chart.)
CHRISTMAS GIFT SUGGESTION FOR THE GRANDCHILD(REN)
Available from Amazon by clicking HERE
STORIES OF THE WEEK
From the Farsider Archives
A store that sells new husbands has opened in Melbourne, where a woman may shop for a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:
"You may visit this store only ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increases as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!"
So a woman enters the Husband Store to find a mate. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:
"Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs."
The woman is intrigued, but she continues to the second floor where the sign reads:
"Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids."
"That's nice," she thinks, "but I want more." So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:
"Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking."
"Wow," she thinks, but she feels compelled to keep going and shows up on the fourth floor where the sign reads:
"Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help with Housework."
"Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!" Still, she goes to the fifth floor and reads the sign.
"Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak."
She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor where the sign reads:
"Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store."
~ ~ ~
To avoid charges of gender bias, the store's owner opened a new Wives store just across the street.
The first floor has wives that love sex.
The second floor has wives that love sex, have money and like beer.
The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.
• • • • •
A Heartwarming Christmas Story
When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the pre-Christmas pressure.
Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.
When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were gone.
Then, when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.
Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug that shattered into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. When he went to get the broom he found that the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.
Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
The angel said very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?"
And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.
• • • • •
Also from the Farsider Archives is this list that we feel may be emblematic of today’s college freshmen who were in high school when they were asked by their English teachers to submit examples of analogies and metaphors from their high school essays. These excerpts are published each year for the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners...
1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it, and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E.Coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.
8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.
9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.
10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.
13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.
14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.
16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.
18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.
19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.
20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.
22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a landmine or something.
23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.
25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
LET'S HEAR IT FOR OUR NEW DEFENSE SECRETARY...
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
Nov. 30 — Dec. 6
Nov. 30: Tonight was the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Thousands of people waited for hours in the cold just to go, “Cool. Back to the hotel, let’s go back to the hotel.”
The Obamas just had the White House decorated for their final Christmas before they leave. They want to make it look nice for Santa, since he’s not coming back for at least four years.
Trump and Mitt Romney were spotted having dinner here New York last night, and everyone’s talking about Romney’s expression. It got even worse when the spaghetti came and Trump said, “Ever see ‘Lady and the Tramp’?”
A Swiss company just released a new $250 drone that’s actually attached to a rope that you hold in your hand. They say it helps to control the drone. It’s great for first-time users — basically, it’s a really expensive kite.
Dec. 1: The holiday season is in full swing and Macy’s has hired over 80,000 seasonal employees. So, good news, the busiest shopping time of the year is being run by people who have had exactly one day of training.
American businesses added a total of 216,000 jobs over the last month, as stores hire workers for the holidays. Mall Santas are now able to have their checks direct-deposited right to the liquor store. Isn’t that nice? Isn’t that sweet?
Rockefeller Center is jammed with people here to see the Christmas tree. If you go outside, you hear the festive sounds of jingle bells, holiday music, and every parent yelling, “Stay with me!”
Donald Trump is considering Sarah Palin to be his secretary of Veterans Affairs. Palin says she’s great at helping veterans. John McCain was like, “Wrong.”
Yesterday, Jill Stein officially requested a hand recount of 4.8 million ballots in Michigan, but Donald Trump says he’s going to fight it by shouting out other numbers while they’re trying to count.
Dec. 5: Al Gore met with Donald Trump today to discuss climate change. They probably talked about how climate change could lead to massive floods in places like New York City. Trump was like, “That’s why I live on the 58th floor.”
The other big news is that Trump appointed Ben Carson as his secretary of Housing and Urban Development. That means Trump talked with Ben Carson and Al Gore in the same day, which is kind of like popping an Ambien before you watch the Weather Channel.
Meanwhile, Trump announced that the CEO of Disney will be advising his transition team. Thanks to him, Trump won’t have to build a wall anymore. He’ll just charge so much for admission that nobody will want to come in.
Donald Trump is still trying to decide who to nominate for secretary of State. He’s reportedly considering David Petraeus, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, and Jon Huntsman. Apparently, Trump is taking them all on a group date tonight, and one of them gets to join him in the fantasy suite.
Dec. 6: The finalists for Time’s Person of the Year include Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg, Vladimir Putin, and Beyoncé. Putin was like, “Most of group is weak. But even I cannot compete with Queen Bey!”
Speaking of Beyoncé, both she and Adele got a bunch of Grammy nominations today. They were each nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year. Marking the first time in 2016 that America has two finalists they actually like. (We don’t even need Jill Stein for this one.)
Yesterday, Joe Biden said he’s not completely ruling out running for president in 2020, and even said “what the hell.” When asked what his campaign slogan would be, Biden said, “I just told you — ‘what the hell.’”
The White House just announced a new program to teach computer science to more American schoolchildren. They say if it goes well, one day America will be able to hack its OWN election.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended the New York Jets game at MetLife Stadium, where the Jets lost 41-10. Pence heard so much booing, he thought he was seeing “Hamilton” again.
Nov. 30: This week, Sarah Palin said that God helped Donald Trump win the presidential election. When he heard this, a furious Satan said, “Don’t I get credit for anything?”
Yesterday, Donald Trump had his third top secret intelligence briefing. If you’d like to know the details, just check Trump’s Twitter feed.
At their dinner together, President-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney dined on sautéed frogs legs. I don’t know about you, but eating frogs legs with Donald Trump sounds like someone lost a bet.
Last night, Donald Trump and Mitt Romney had dinner together at an expensive restaurant in New York City called Jean-Georges. The two billionaires dined on fancy French cuisine and then talked about how out of touch Washington is.
In the next few years, the federal government is planning to forgive $100 billion of student debt. So, congratulations to six USC grads.
An expert panel has recommended that a medically-induced pregnancy made from three people’s DNA could begin as early as next year. So finally some good news for the Jonas Brothers.
Two Connecticut residents stole over $1,000 worth of candles from the Yankee Candle Village. The suspects are being described as white.
Dec. 1: This is a true story: For his secretary of defense, Donald Trump has chosen a retired Marine general whose nickname is Mad Dog. So sleep well, America!
It’s been reported that President-elect Trump has chosen four-star Gen. James Mattis for secretary of defense. When Trump was told the general had four stars, he said, “Wow, that’s a great Yelp review.”
Mitt Romney is being mocked by many Republicans for going to a fancy French dinner with Donald Trump. It’s also not helping that afterwards, Romney let Trump get to third base.
The CEO of Starbucks announced he’s stepping down. He’s going to become the CEO of the Starbucks across the street.
Dec. 5: Today, Al Gore met with Donald Trump to discuss climate change. To try to explain it in terms Trump would understand, Gore said, “The planet is getting hotter than your daughter Ivanka.”
Donald Trump is reportedly considering two Democrats for his cabinet. That’s right — and those Democrats are Donald Trump from 1996 and Donald Trump from 2004.
Minnesota’s Mall of America has hired its first-ever black Santa Claus. Which sounds like a big deal until you realize that in Minnesota, I’m considered black.
On Saturday, the hearse carrying Fidel Castro’s remains broke down and had to be pushed. The hearse was being driven by Cuba’s minister of metaphors.
Dec. 6: The Supreme Court has ruled that Samsung did not violate Apple’s patent on smartphone technology. The justices said, “It’s clear that Samsung came up with the idea of a phone bursting into flames all by themselves.”
According to a new poll, only 19% of New Jersey residents approve of their governor, Chris Christie. And they’re all restaurant owners.
Donald Trump has yet to pick a secretary of state. Right now it’s between Mitt Romney and a guy spinning a sign in front of a “we buy gold” shop.
This week, Donald Trump is going to North Carolina, Iowa, and Michigan — all states that voted for him — for his “Thank You” tour. Then, he comes here to California for the “You’re Dead to Me” tour.
The CEO of Lego will be replaced next year. The new CEO’s head is being snapped on as we speak.
Nov. 30: Yesterday Donald Trump sat down to dinner with Mitt Romney at Jean-Georges French restaurant in the Trump International Hotel, because nothing says “man of the people” like eating an $800 dinner in a tower you named after yourself.
If you are wondering what was on the dinner menu, Romney started by eating his words. Then for the main course he swallowed his pride, dignity, and self-esteem.
If you are having trouble getting in the Christmas spirit you might want to move to Japan, where Domino’s is doing a promotion where they say your pizza will be delivered to your door step via reindeer. Even Santa Claus was like, “I don’t believe this is real.”
In other weird Japanese news — or as they call it in Japan, news — there are now plans for a park in Japan that will be a combination of a hot springs spa and an amusement park. It either sounds nice or like a sanitary nightmare.
Dec. 1: The cereal company Kellogg’s pulled their advertising from the conservative alt-right website Breitbart News and its readers responded by calling for a boycott of all Kellogg’s products. That’s right: The culture wars have now reached cereal.
Breitbart News received a lot of criticism for running questionable news stories during the election. So basically Breitbart counts as real news in the same way that Apple Jacks counts as real fruit.
Kellogg’s pulled their ads because they say Breitbart promotes discrimination. It really isn’t a surprise that Kellogg’s would be sensitive about this. The mascots of one of their best-selling cereals are three male elves that all live together.
Dec. 5: The Dakota Access oil pipeline, which the Sioux tribe has been protesting for months, will no longer be routed through their land. It’s a big win for Native Americans — and if the next 9 billion things go their way, we can finally call it even.
Protesters from all over the country have gathered there. I would like to imagine the guy who was late and just got there today, like, “I’m here, how can I help? We did it? Yeah!”
The Native American people who have been protesting announced that their fight is far from over, but for now, hippies with guitars can stop coming to help them.
This is kind of a blow to the oil executives, who say they plan to regroup, re-plan, and look for alternate ways to ruin our environment. So we look forward to that.
Donald Trump has announced another Cabinet position. Dr. Ben Carson, who ran against him in the primary, has been nominated for secretary of Housing and Urban Development. I just get the feeling that Trump heard the word “urban” and immediately decided, “Who do I know who’s black?”
Trump actually first announced this in a tweet, and it becomes official as soon as Congress retweets it. I think that’s how the U.S. government works nowadays.
Dec. 6: Holiday shopping is upon us, and Amazon is trying to make it even easier by debuting a new store concept called Amazon Go. It’s a store where sensors detect which items you’ve grabbed, charge your Amazon account, and you can just walk out. Now, Amazon is calling this “just walk out technology” — is this groundbreaking? That’s how I shopped all through my teenage years. I just walked out.
Maybe other retailers can learn from this. Hey, CVS Pharmacy, are you watching? This is how you do self-checkout. Not me scanning my own stuff for 15 minutes while a woman with a ring of keys judges me.
Apparently, it scans all your items and charges you later. At this point, I’d still be way too nervous that I’d get in trouble. I’d go in, grab a sandwich and be like, “I’m taking this. OK? I’m leaving now. Is everybody cool with this?”
I prefer the normal way of shopping through Amazon — buying stuff online at 2 a.m. and being surprised by whatever shows up at my front door.
Now let’s talk about Donald Trump, because this is a late night show and apparently it’s required by law.
Does Trump think Twitter is like Siri for the presidency? “Twitter: Cancel plane order! Twitter: Appoint someone secretary of state! Twitter: [Tick] off the Chinese for me!”
United Airlines just announced a new plan where you will have to pay to store a carry-on in the overhead bin. What’s next? “In case of a water landing, your seat can be used as a flotation device for only $129. Major credit cards accepted.”
Dec. 5: Congratulations are in order for Dr. Ben Carson. Do you remember him? President-elect Donald Trump picked him to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Which is going to be quite a surprise when he finally wakes up.
Ben Carson, in case you don’t know, is a former neurosurgeon with no experience in Housing or Urban Development. This is the first time the phrase “Well, it’s not brain surgery” is actually a bad thing.
Why would he get this job? He’s a medical doctor. I feel like Donald Trump just heard the word “urban” and nominated the first black friend he had.
Trump’s been busy assembling his Cabinet. His nominees are all pretty out there. As of today, the least-controversial person in his Cabinet is a guy named “Mad Dog.”
Dec. 5: Donald Trump began his post-election victory tour last week. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has wandered so far into the woods she found the Blair Witch.
Donald Trump reportedly invited the leader of the Philippines to the White House next year despite the fact that he previously told President Barack Obama to go to hell. Obama was like, “Oh, I’m already there. I’m already there.”
Donald Trump has nominated Ben Carson to be his secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. Incidentally, “hud” is the sound that Ben Carson made when he heard the news. “Ben, Donald Trump is on the phone.” “Hud?”
Ben Carson has accepted Donald Trump’s offer to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development, despite previously saying he did not feel qualified to lead a governmental department. But he changed his mind because he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
A recent poll found that 58 percent of Americans believe Donald Trump will try to work with Democrats. Oh, Russia has Democrats? I didn’t know.
Dec. 6: Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday that he may run for office in 2020 telling reporters, “What the hell, man.” I don’t know how to tell you this, Joe, but we already elected “what-the-hell man.”
Donald Trump is reportedly considering a fast-food CEO for labor secretary. “Oh, I’m not the Burger King,” said Newt Gingrich.
Today in 1884, the Washington Monument was completed, and if George Washington were here today to see it he would probably say, “That looks nothing like me.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan lit the Capitol Christmas tree today. It’s the first time anything involving Paul Ryan could be described as lit.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have announced that nearly half of their players will not stay at a Trump hotel in New York out of protest. And just to drive the point home, they’re going to stay in the woods with Hillary Clinton.
Gov. Chris Christie currently has a 19 percent approval rating in New Jersey. The only thing less popular in New Jersey is the top button.
Nov. 30: Trump and Romney last night were dining at a four-star French restaurant called Jean-Georges. Sounds fancy, but Jean-Georges could be French for “Waffle House.”
And they were joined by Reince Priebus, who is Trump’s chief of staff and not, as you may think, an item on the menu. “Would you care to start with some priebus? It has been lightly reince’d.”
The billionaire of the people ordered young garlic soup with thyme and sautéed frogs legs. I thought he said he was going to drain the swamp, not eat its contents.
Dec. 1: With roughly seven weeks until he takes office, President-elect Donald Trump still has a few things he’s researching. Needs to figure out, like, “What does a president do?”
And now we know he knows it’s not going to be that easy, because Trump surrogate and flesh snowman Newt Gingrich recently told USA Today that he talked to Trump about his new responsibilities as president and, according to Gingrich, Trump said, “This is really a bigger job than I thought.”
What do you know? Being leader of the free world is a bit harder than filming a reality show in your apartment.
The bad news is, starting Jan. 20, Donald Trump can send unlockable mass text messages to the entire nation. Yes, President Trump will be able to send text messages to every phone in the nation. The only person I would trust less with this technology is Anthony Weiner.
One recent study found that owning a cat could make you more into bondage — whereas owning a dog could make you more into “doing it” while a stranger sits in the corner and occasionally barks when he thinks you’re hurting each other.
EXPECTING A PACKAGE?
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE
Click HERE for the most current update.
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We have absolutely no idea who THIS guy is, but we are sure of one thing: He has a brilliant future in comedy if he wants to pursue that career. Then again, moving out of his parents’ basement and getting a job is probably the last thing he wants to do. (1:34)
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Speaking of comedians, THIS clip is for the amusement of you Trump supporters. For you Hillary supporters, not so much. Watch these celebrities have their laughs by opining that Donald Trump could never be elected President: George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Bernie Sanders, Seth Meyers, Joy Behar (The View), Bob Beckel (CNN), Julia Roberts, Bill Maher (HBO), Stephen Colbert (The Late Show), Nancy Pelosi (congresswoman, former house speaker), Harry Reid (senator), Barack Obama, The Simpsons (TV show), Elizabeth Warren, and Fareed Zakaria. (5:32)
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Movie goers will recall that James Caan had every reason to fear Kathy Bates in the movie “Misery.” That same fear should apply if you plan to rip Ms. Bates off of a parking space she's been waiting for. Check out THIS clip from "Fried Green Tomatoes." (2:33)
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Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Madonna and all you other millionaire pop stars, you’re fired. Meghan Trainor, you’re hired. Not only did Meghan co-write (with Kevin Kadish) “All About That Bass,” she also rode the song to stardom when it was released last year. Since then, it and has received over 1.6 Billion (with a "B") views on YouTube. You may recall the song from last week’s Farsider where it was performed by Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ). HERE it is from Meghan’s pipes courtesy of Don Hale. (3:09)
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What’s going on at the Webber Academy in Ontario, Canada should warm the cockles of the hearts of the Hollywood celebs who promised to leave the U.S. if Trump got elected. That’s assuming, of course, that they have cockles. (Don’t ask, I don’t know either.) Be that as it may, check out THIS clip sent in by Alice Murphy. (5:44)
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Joanne MacDougall was kind enough to send in an extraordinary slide show of military aircraft that includes quotes of military wisdom dating all the way back to World War I. Clicking HERE will get you started on this unique collection.
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Here’s an aerial thrill in Dubai courtesy of Steve Postier, who was quoted as saying, “Personally, I’d be afraid of the Arabs taking me out with a surface to air missile, but THAT'S just me.” (2:20)
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No more of those wussy 45 second flights for this Flyboard dude. The reason he can stay aloft as long as he does is because what looks like a backpack is actually a fuel tank. YES, we want one, too. (5:10)
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You golfers know who this is. Click HERE and listen to him opine about playing a round with Trump vs. Bill Clinton. (1:22)
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The Hope for Paws crew responded back to the L.A. River AGAIN to rescue another little pooch who can now look forward to a happy life as soon as it is adopted by a forever family. (4:22)
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If you want to know how to handle a kangaroo who has your hunting dog in a headlock — something that happens all too often where ‘roos roam, right? — THIS short clip will show you what to do. (1:52)
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Community policing at its finest: THIS short clip is an example of why the series “Southland” drew a relatively large audience of cops. It also serves as a warning that if you do what these cops do, your butt may be called into I.A. (1:41)
How many times during your career have you heard the old “I pay your salary” line? Watch THIS final Southland clip and we’ll let Cooper and Sherman go back to work. (1:08)
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The kid in the pic below hasn’t been arrested. He’s the son of a deputy who died during a shoot-out in the line of duty, and he’s hoping against hope he can win his dad’s unmarked CAR that is going up on the auction block. (2:29)
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Not many school resource officers win the adulation that THIS Brentwood cop has. When you have the entire school turn out to celebrate your presence on campus you know you have made a positive impression. Look what the kids had in store for their favorite school cop. (5:56)
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The Fort Worth (TX) PD is using humor in its recruiting ads hoping they will draw some interest from those who grew up watching Star Wars. HERE is one of their latest examples. (2:32)
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Is that “Kars 4 Kids” jingle you hear on the radio and see on the tube driving you mad? Do you wonder how they rate with Charity Navigator? Wonder no more by clicking HERE.
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The girl getting up from a fall in the pic below is Paige Ginn, and she has turned falling down in front of others into an art form. Want proof? Have a look at THIS short clip that Sharon Lansdowne posted on Facebook. (0:52)
This is Paige from the video above with her boyfriend. Their shtick is to see how many YouTube views they can muster by falling down together. And we're the first to admit that some of their pratfalls border on the humorous. See what you think by clicking HERE. (4:41)
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It used to be that if you drew, painted or otherwise created and published an image of Muhammad you would be signing a death warrant. Does that still apply? We’re going to test it by including THIS clip where a painter is inviting you to experience the “Joy of Painting” as he renders an image of Muhammad and his wives. (5:32)
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This entry is about the Secret Santas from the Jackson Co. S/O in Kansas City, MO who had a cop’s dream assignment that we feel is worth highlighting in the Farsider every Christmas season because it is guaranteed to leave you feeling good about the career you chose as a profession. Click HERE and enjoy. (3:32)
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For our final item of the week, it’s no surprise that Apple would post a warm holiday greeting like THIS one that made its debut on Nov. 21st. Class company, class video. spectacular stock to own. (2:00)
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Pic of the Week
THE FARSIDER SUBSCRIPTION ROSTER as of 12/8/16
Additions and changes since the last published update (alphabetical by last name):
Craig Blank — Added
Anna Vanegas — Added
To receive the email address of anyone on the list -- or to receive the roster with all of the email addresses -- send your request to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Abram, Fred & Connie
Allen, Chaplain Bryan
Alvarez, Pat (Campbell)
Babineau, Dave & Cheryl
Bray, Mary Ellen
Bridgen, Betty Ruth
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, (Jr.) Frank
Howsmon (Sr.), Frank
Hunter, Dick (via daughter Kim Mindling)
Inami, Steve & Francine
Johnson, Tom & Fran
Klein, Lou Anna
Leonard (Lintern), Lynda
Muldrow, Mark "Mo"
O'Carroll, Diane (Azzarello)
Perry (Cervantez), Martha
Rappe (Ryman), Bonnie
Reyes (Buell), Cindy
Richter, Darrell & Annette
Schenini (Alvarez), Joanne
Taves, Phil & Paula
Terry, Glenn & Maggie
Vallecilla, Ernie & Peggy
Van Dyck, Lois
Williams [Durham], Lanette
Windisch Jr., Steve