Dec. 18, 2014
Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster
The Farsider is an independent publication that is not
affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included
on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of
this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent
Association's Board of Directors or its membership.
SPOTTED IN TODAY'S MERCURY NEWS JUST PRIOR TO PRESS TIME
THERE WILL BE NO FARSIDER NEXT THURSDAY, SO WE ARE
PRESENTING THE SJPBA CHRISTMAS STORY RIGHT HERE, RIGHT
HERE to watch the happy feet of President Dave
Wysuph, Vice President Steve Windisch,
Secretary-Treasurer Larry “Lumpy” Lundberg, Sgt. at Arms
Bob Moir, and SJPBA Webmaster Leroy Pyle.
Nothing to report
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE CITY AND SJPD
Philip White’s Tweets — Act I — When is free speech not
Criticized for Tweets About Protests—
is under review; ‘speechless’ activist says ‘ he must
News — Dec. 15, 2014
SAN JOSE —
A San Jose police officer drew sharp criticism
throughout social media Sunday because of provocative,
threatening posts on his Twitter account that were
directed toward protesters who have been demonstrating
after the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of
One post on Officer Phillip White’s account read:
“Threaten me or my family and I will use my God given
and law appointed right and duty to kill you. #CopsLives-Matter.”
Another tweet added: “By the way if anyone feels they
can’t breathe or their lives matter I’ll be at the
movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun.”
By mid-Sunday afternoon, White’s Twitter account was in
“protected” mode, meaning his posts no longer could be
accessed by the public. But posts on his account were
captured on screen grabs by others on social media and
this newspaper, as well as the BuzzFeed website, which
first reported the story. White, who also is a Menlo
College assistant basketball coach, recently was
profiled in this newspaper for his good work with local
schoolchildren. He did not immediately respond Sunday to
attempts to reach him for comment.
A San Jose police spokeswoman said the department is
“aware of the issue and forwarded it up the chain of
command for review.” Added Sgt. Heather Randol in an
email: “We will not have a response until the review
process is complete.”
The department has “established guidelines” about how
employees should conduct themselves on social media,
Randol wrote. In a 2011 story in this newspaper about
the potential perils of social media, the SJPD said it
had a general policy not to post in ways that would
constitute “conduct unbecoming of an officer.”
Sunday, the San Jose Police Officers’ Association also
could not be reached for comment.
But Raj Jayadev, of Silicon Valley De-Bug, an advocacy
group that has looked to improve the relationship
between the San Jose Police Department and minority
communities, wrote in an email to Chief Larry Esquivel
that he was “speechless” after reading about White’s
“If these comments are his, he must go, immediately,”
Jayadev wrote in an email that he shared with the media.
“I know Chief you must be as appalled as I was reading
his tweets. I am certain his words do not represent what
the SJPD wants to reflect, and every second he has a
badge and a gun, our community is at risk.”
Protests have continued throughout the Bay Area and
around the nation over what demonstrators view as
rampant racial injustice by law enforcement and the
legal system. The protests have occurred in the wake of
grand juries declining to indict white officers in the
deaths of African-Americans Michael Brown in Ferguson,
Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.
Garner’s last words — “I can’t breathe” — have become a
rallying cry among demonstrators. Their ranks have grown
to include professional and college athletes, including
the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, which wore “I
Can’t Breathe” T-shirts on Saturday before its game
against Michigan. Also, #BlackLivesMatter has become a
common hashtag that sympathizers use on social media.
Other posts on White’s account, which were republished
by BuzzFeed, including some dating back several weeks,
indicated anger about the ongoing protests. Other posts
this weekend disapproved of a statement made by the UC
Berkeley women’s basketball team before their game
Saturday night against Long Beach State. Team members
wore homemade shirts with the words “Black Lives Matter”
and “We Are Cal” on the back, and the names of black
victims of violence on the front.
A post on White’s account about the Cal team’s actions
read: “This is BS. Free education. Don’t forget who is
paying for your school … me & other CA tax paying cops.”
According to the Menlo College website, White is a
first-year basketball assistant. He previously was a
junior-college assistant and a head basketball coach for
eight years at three different high schools.
An October story in this newspaper detailed his success
with a six-week-long pilot gang prevention education
program for schoolchildren. The program drew widespread
praise for discussing life issues with youngsters,
including choices and consequences, peer pressure and
bullying and harassment prevention.
White, identified as a 20-year-veteran officer, was
described as “really dynamic with the kids,” according
to police Capt. James Randol, who supervised the
One 10-year-old student added of White: “He teaches us
about what to do and what not to do.”
White added in that article that the classroom work was
just as worthwhile as taking criminals off the streets.
“I think we all sign up to help people and put bad guys
in jail,” he said. “Having an opportunity to help the
community in a manner in which we’re doing with this
program is very rewarding.”
~ ~ ~
Philip White’s Tweets — Act II — The continuing saga of
a personal train wreck…
Placed on Leave Over Tweeted Threats
—Cop’s angry responses to protests also cost him job as
Robert Salonga and Mark Emmons — Staff writers
News — Dec. 16, 2014
SAN JOSE — For weeks, San Jose police Officer Phillip
White had been using his personal Twitter account to
vent displeasure over the ongoing protests in Oakland
and around the country about the deaths of unarmed black
men at the hands of law enforcement.
his posts turned threatening last weekend, White learned
just how far-reaching words can be on social media. The
San Jose Police Department placed White on
administrative leave Monday as the furor over the
officer’s posts showed no signs of abating.
An online petition at change.org demanding his firing
gained more than 5,000 signatures in less than a day.
Civic leaders questioned how he can continue to be an
effective cop. Menlo College, where White was an
assistant basketball coach, cut ties with him.
The most inflammatory tweets, which evoked the strongest
social media reaction, read, “Threaten me or my family
and I will use my God given and law appointed right and
duty to kill you. #CopsLivesMatter” and “By the way if
anyone feels they can’t breathe or their lives matter
I’ll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my
Community leaders, particularly advocates for minority
groups, called on the Police Department to fire White.
“I couldn’t believe it was real, that he would put his
face out there in the Twittersphere and make these
statements as if he’s baiting the public to engage in a
violent altercation,” said Walter Wilson, who sits on
the board of the city’s African American Community
Service Agency. “If this is real, he should not have a
gun and a badge. The Police Department deserves better
than this guy.”
San Jose police Chief Larry Esquivel said in a statement
that White’s posts do not reflect “the thoughts or
feelings” of those on the force.
“The San Jose Police Department recognizes the sensitive
nature of this matter,” added Esquivel’s statement,
which announced White is on paid leave while an
investigation is conducted.
Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell said her
office forwarded a community complaint about the tweets
to the department’s internal affairs unit, where White
was once assigned. The department also received a direct
The police union spoke out against the posts without
mentioning White by name.
“Offensive, disrespectful and inappropriate social media
comments have no place in the public discourse
surrounding the tragic loss of life from recent
officer-involved incidents,” according to a statement.
“We condemn these comments.”
White also lost his coaching position at Menlo College,
which said in a statement that the school “will not be
represented by expressions of intolerance and bigotry on
the campus, on social media, or on the Internet.”
Mayor-elect Sam Liccardo said he hopes the posts don’t
taint the broader department.
“It undermines everything that our officers are working
to accomplish in our Police Department to build
relationships with trust in our community, and I’d
support the chief taking any and all disciplinary
actions, including termination, to ensure this kind of
conduct does not continue,” he said.
White, a 20-year-veteran officer, could not be reached
for comment Monday. An October story in this newspaper
detailed his success with a pilot gang prevention
education program for schoolchildren.
The controversy marks the latest black eye the
department has received nationally. This fall, the
department was roundly criticized when a sergeant
moonlighting for the San Francisco 49ers complicated a
domestic-violence investigation involving defensive
lineman Ray McDonald, who ultimately was not charged.
San Jose police officials have said they have a policy
not to post in ways that would constitute “conduct
unbecoming of an officer.”
White’s Twitter posts, which were first reported by
Buzzfeed on Sunday, are protected speech under the First
Amendment, said Steven Clark, a legal analyst, defense
attorney and former prosecutor. But they do not preclude
him from discipline if they prove to diminish his
effectiveness as a police officer.
“Because of the nature of his job and his interaction
with the community, it creates a problem,” Clark said.
“At a time when police should be building bridges with
communities, this is the opposite of that.”
Lauri Stevens, a Boston-based social media strategist
who works with law enforcement, agrees the First
Amendment gives officers the right to state their
opinions, but that doesn’t mean it is wise. She urges
police to actively tell their story — like all the good
things they do.
“But they have to keep it positive,” Stevens said. “And
if they’re thinking about saying something that they
probably shouldn’t, then they should just not say it.”
Cops, she added, are feeling like their profession is
under siege. This officer, she said, might have been
expressing what is a common frustration — that their
lives matter, too.
“He’s angry just like the protesters are angry,” Stevens
said. “They can say what they want. But because he’s a
police officer, he can’t.”
Demonstrators have been protesting what they view as
rampant racial injustice by law enforcement.
They have occurred in the wake of grand juries declining
to indict white officers in the deaths of African-
Americans Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric
Garner in Staten Island, New York. Garner’s last words —
“I can’t breathe” — have become a rallying cry, and #BlackLivesMatter
now is a common social media hashtag.
Staff writer Mike Rosenberg contributed to this report.
~ ~ ~
Philip White’s Tweets — Act III — The Mercury’s
Editorial Board piles on…
Threatening Tweets are a Black Mark
and/or approved by Editorial Page Editor Barbara
News — Dec. 16, 2014
San Francisco Bay, we have two extremes of police
officers’ public reactions to the protests over the
recent deaths of black men at the hands of law
In Richmond, Police Chief Chris Magnus joined protesters
last week under the rallying cry “Black lives matter” —
or, in Twitterspeak, #Black-LivesMatter. He stepped into
the crowd and held a sign to that effect.
In San Jose we find the other extreme. Officer Phillip
White fired off a series of tweets over the weekend that
moved from being critical of the protests to sounding
ominous and belligerent. The most damning: “Threaten me
or my family and I will use my God given and law
appointed right and duty to kill you. #CopsLivesMatter.”
White has been placed on administrative leave pending an
investigation, and Police Chief Larry Esquivel on Monday
assured the community that the officer’s tweets “do not
reflect the thoughts or feelings of the men and women
here at the San Jose Police Department.”
We know that’s true for the vast majority of the force,
but it would be naive to think the anger White expressed
is unique. Proclaiming it publicly compounds the
problem, however. It shows a tone deafness to community
concerns and an abysmal lack of judgment.
It’s hard to imagine White returning to active duty in
San Jose, where his behavior from now on would be
scrutinized in light of his own statements. Defending
your life or your family is one thing, but — a “right
and duty to kill you”? Really?
It’s easy to become jaded about the Black Lives Matter
While many marchers are standing up for a cause, others
are opportunists grasping an excuse for vandalism and
The movement has had a high financial cost for Oakland
and other strapped cities, reducing resources to meet
other community challenges.
But you can’t argue with the national pattern of law
enforcement’s treatment of blacks. Blacks comprise 25
percent of the U.S. population and nearly 40 percent of
prison populations. According to an NAACP analysis, if
current trends continue, one in three black males born
today is likely to go to jail at some point.
In these Opinion pages Thursday, conservative columnist
George Will declared it an outrage that the killing of
Eric Garner, who was selling cigarettes illegally, was
found to be justified.
In Richmond, Chief Magnus is in hot water with his
union: He was wearing his police uniform when he hoisted
the Black Lives Matter sign, and state law bans
political activity in uniform. Magnus says, “When did it
become a political act to acknowledge that black lives
matter ... ?”
Defining politics is tricky. But at least Magnus knows
In San Jose, White’s tweets confirmed the worst fears of
minority communities leery of anyone in uniform. He
hasn’t helped his colleagues who struggle every day to
earn the community’s trust.
~ ~ ~
Philip White's Tweets — Act IV — Throwing more gasoline
on the fire as only a newspaper can…
#Stupidity Unbecoming an Officer
Herhold — Columnist
News — Dec. 17, 2014
Jose police Chief Larry Esquivel decides what punishment
to give Officer Phillip White for his threatening
tweets, he will need a supply of antacids. The default
question has to be stern.
The question is not whether White should be fired. On
the surface, he has given the chief plenty of reasons.
The question is why White should not be fired. There
might be answers to that. But I’m not convinced they are
A veteran police supervisor I know used to guide young
cops through the basics — how to write reports, how to
handle tough situations, etc. Then he’d add this
reminder: “Don’t do stupid stuff.”
What the 20-year veteran did was beyond stupid. It was
conduct unbecoming an officer. And I say that as someone
who supports free speech for cops. They are as entitled
as the rest of us to broadcast their political opinions.
There is, however, one big difference. Cops carry guns.
And when White sent out a tweet saying, “Threaten me or
my family and I will exercise my God given and law
appointed right and duty to kill you,” he was putting
other San Jose police officers at risk.
When he added another tweet that said, “By the way if
anyone feels they can’t breathe or their lives matter
I’ll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my
gun.” he drove the idiocy home.
Naturally, there will be an extensive investigation.
Every tweet that White ever sent, every social media
message, will be analyzed and dissected. The cops who
worked with him will be quizzed.
And they may well find mitigating circumstances. White
taught an anti-gang program in the schools. He coached
basketball at Menlo College. The probers might find his
tweets were the product of frustration at work or home.
(I’ve often thought that Twitter could profit by
offering a 20-minute delay option on tweets. A timed
message would ask whether you really wanted to send your
rant. But that’s a topic for another time).
Yet the damage has been done: Even the San Jose Police
Officers’ Association, usually quick to defend an
officer, put out a statement condemning White’s
If Esquivel does not fire the officer, he will certainly
face a furious political reaction. By Tuesday, more than
10,000 people had signed a petition asking that White be
I couldn’t reach Esquivel or White for immediate
comment. But to insiders in police departments, this
situation presents an irony. Esquivel can fire White.
But whether a firing will stick is another matter.
If White were to appeal a firing to binding arbitration,
my sources tell me, he would stand a good chance of
getting his job back, with back pay, albeit after a year
or so without a paycheck. It is very difficult to fire a
cop. White could argue that his transgression was a
matter of words, not action. And that’s one more reason
why Esquivel will need a supply of antacids: By canning
White, he can send a message to the rest of the troops
that such a mix of prejudice and threats will not be
But it may be a very expensive message.
Not satisfied with the skimpy number of readers the
Farsider is capable of providing, Pete Guerin preferred
to have tens of thousands of people see his missive, so
he sent it to the Mercury News instead…
PD Displays Its Professionalism
to the Editor
News — Dec. 13, 2014
I am a
retired San Jose Police Department officer (1965-1995).
Watching the film coverage as well as reading the news
reports of the situations involving police officers in
Missouri and New York makes me think of our own local
What a shame that our city officials and many citizens
don’t understand and appreciate what a talented,
educated and well trained group of men and women they
have here, who by their quality of work don’t make the
headlines and film at 11 p.m.
Peter T. Guerin, San Jose
• • • • •
I would like to thank you and Leroy for your work that
is so meaningful for us and those who no longer live in
Sandy and I have sold our floating home and have settled
in Port St. Lucie, FL. This is a state where you can get
a CCW permit with just a DD 214 or a gun safety class.
It is honored in 38 states, but not those on the West
I read Russ Jones’ “Honorable Intentions” and would like
to email him so I am requesting his email address. His
book was a great recall tool.
Thank you again for the Farsider.
You should have received Russ’ email address by now,
Jim. Enjoy your new home. You were probably wise to move
far away from California as it seems to be getting bluer
and bluer every month.
• • • • •
After nearly twenty years in a blue and white I have
only one thing to say, Bad guys are bad guys regardless
Hells Angels, Gypsy Jokers, Skin Heads are almost all
white, but I don't like or trust them.
The Bloods, Black Panthers are all black, and I don't
like nor trust them.
MS 13 are all Mexicans, and I don't like or trust them.
I don't like or trust criminals of any color.
As a cop who has dealt with just about every type and
color of criminal, I can say that the fine Blue Line is
slowly disappearing. Let the general public keep on
condemning the Police and calling the criminals the
victims and surely the last line of defense in our
country will disappear.
When a 185-pound cop must fight to retain his weapon
inside a police car, he has the right and responsibility
to protect his life. When a six-foot-four inch, 295 lb.
criminal attacks a cop while on duty and in uniform, the
cop has every right to use all means and force to save
Tom Sellick in the TV series "Blue Bloods" made a great
statement: “It is better to be judged by twelve people
than to be carried to your grave by six.”
When a 350 lb. man resists arrest, someone is going to
get hurt. I am very glad that all the arresting
officers in New York City got to go home to their
families that night.
I have almost always been a strong supporter of Bill
O'Reilly's, but after he stated in the Garner arrest
that he would have loosened his neck hold on Garner
while making an arrest, I realized how little he knew
about the job of making an arrest. That arrest was a
team effort, and each officer depended on each other to
do the best they could to protect all the arresting
officers. I saw nothing in the video that I would have
done differently. The bad guy choose to resist arrest,
and he is responsible for the results.
Put cameras on every officer. Make policies and
procedures to govern the cops. Take videos showing the
use of force. Judge every action of a police officer
while sitting in your armchair. The truth is that each
and every day a police officer makes split second
decisions to protect your life and his life. Go ahead
and live in your glass house and continue to throw
CORDELL TAKES CENTER STAGE ON GRAND JURY ISSUE
Both the Mercury News and the Chronicle covered an Op/Ed
penned by San Jose Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell. This
is the Chronicle’s version followed by a rebuttal that
was authored by retired Asst. District Attorney of Santa
Clara Co. William Larsen, who worked as a prosecutor for
more than 39 years.
Criminal Grand Juries
San Jose Police Auditor LaDoris H. Cordell
Francisco Chronicle — Dec.12, 2014
Congressional staff members protest grand juries’
to indict officers in the killings of unarmed black men.
system of law, police and prosecutors have strong and
close relationships. If prosecutors file charges against
police officers, however, they alienate the police on
whom they depend to investigate the crimes they
prosecute. If they don’t file charges, they face outrage
and condemnation from the public. The criminal grand
jury process allows prosecutors to emerge unscathed,
leaving the jurors to be blamed and vilified no matter
what the jury decides.
In short, there’s nothing grand about criminal grand
jury proceedings. It is time to get rid of them.
The grand jury decisions in the aftermath of the
officer-involved deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner
are demonstrations of the mischief that is done when
court hearings are held in secret. Criminal grand jury
proceedings are antithetical to our system of justice
and an affront to our democratic values.
Grand jury proceedings were designed to protect the
reputations of accused individuals should the grand jury
decide they should not stand trial. In them, witnesses
testify but are not cross-examined. Because there are no
rules of evidence, no one objects. The only lawyer in
the room is the prosecutor; the jurors hear only his or
her side of the story. Prosecutors present evidence in
whatever fashion they choose to get the results they
want. The entire proceeding is shrouded in secrecy,
closed to the public. This sounds like the description
of a trial in repressive countries such as China or
In fact, these star-chamber-like hearings happen in
several states across America.
In state courts, preliminary hearings are commonly held
to determine if there is probable cause to believe that
a person should stand trial for felonies. Judges
preside, and the proceedings are open to the public. The
accused, defense attorneys and prosecutors all
participate, and the rules of evidence apply.
Preliminary hearings are adversarial, with checks and
balances to ensure that the rights of the accused and
the rights of the people are protected.
Criminal grand juries, on the other hand, are convened
by and at the sole discretion of prosecutors. Their
purpose is the same as preliminary hearings — to
determine if there is probable cause. Unlike preliminary
hearings, these proceedings are closed to the public.
They are so secret that the prosecutor and even the
court personnel (court clerk, court reporter and
bailiff) are prohibited by law from disclosing anything
that occurs inside the courtroom.
When the proceeding is over, the grand jurors can never
disclose to anyone how or why they reached their
probable-cause decisions. Prosecutors choose the
witnesses, question the witnesses and decide what
evidence the jurors will consider. There are no checks
and balances. Behind closed doors, prosecutors can — and
do — have their way with grand juries.
Our criminal justice system is founded upon principles
of public accountability, fairness and transparency. The
grand jury process undermines these principles; and in
doing so, it undermines our trust in the courts. The
public’s loud and widespread protests against the grand
jury decisions in the Brown and Garner cases make that
One-sided, secret proceedings have no place in our
criminal justice system. In 1791, the framers of our
Constitution followed England’s lead in bringing the
grand jury system to America. In 1948, England abolished
criminal grand juries, and all of the countries in the
former British Empire have followed suit.
We should do the same.
LaDoris H. Cordell, a retired Santa Clara Superior Court
judge, is San Jose’s independent police auditor. She
monitors the Police Department’s investigations of its
~ ~ ~
Ed. — Retired Santa Clara Co. Asst. D.A. Bill Larsen (a
Farsider subscriber) wrote an excellent rebuttal to
LaDoris Cordell’s opinion about abolishing the grand
jury system and sent it to the Chronicle. It starts
HERE and concludes
OH TO HAVE BEEN A FLY ON THE WALL WHEN THIS HAPPENED...
Negotiator with S.J. Employees Reassigned
escorted out of building by two security guards—
News — Dec. 13, 2014
SAN JOSE —
The city’s chief negotiator in its heated, ongoing
dispute with employees has been escorted out of City
Hall by security guards and is no longer representing
the city at the bargaining table — at least for now. But
it’s not yet clear why. San Jose Deputy City Manager
Alex Gurza is still employed by the city but is “out of
the office” and his employee relations duties have been
“temporarily reassigned” to other officials, City
Manager Ed Shikada said in an email to council members
Lenka Wright, a city spokeswoman, said there has been “a
change in (Gurza’s) responsibilities” but she could not
reveal further details because it was a “personnel
matter,” though she indicated more information may be
released next week. Even council members said they were
denied information on what happened. Wright said two
city security guards escorted Gurza out of City Hall on
Thursday. Wright declined to comment on why there was a
security escort or why he was still employed by the
city. Gurza’s most high-profile duty has been
representing the city as its lead negotiator with its
employee unions. The city for years has sparred with its
unions over the Measure B pension reforms voters
approved in 2012, a topic that has landed in court and
continues to be the biggest ongoing issue at City Hall,
and dominated the debates in this year’s election.
This week, incoming Mayor Sam Liccardo vowed the city
will return to the negotiating table with its unions in
January in hopes of settling the dispute, which has
contributed to the departure of hundreds of police
officers. But it’s now unclear who would represent the
city in those talks.
Gurza did not immediately respond to a request for
comment Friday. Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705.
Follow him at Twitter.com/ RosenbergMerc.
~ ~ ~
Labor Negotiator Alex Gurza demoted with a 71 percent
cut in pay? Ouch! He probably wishes now that he had
belonged to a union.
City Executive Escorted Out by Security Gets New City
Job with 71 Percent Pay Cut
News — Dec. 16, 2014
SAN JOSE --
The high-ranking city official who was escorted by
security out of City Hall last week will remain on the
payroll -- but he has been terminated from his old role
and given a huge pay cut in an unusual shake-up that
grew even more mysterious Monday.
Alex Gurza, who had served as the San Jose's top labor
negotiator during its contentious battles with its
employee unions over pension reform and other key
issues, had made $222,921 a year as a deputy city
manager, one of the top appointed positions in City
city officials disclosed that Gurza started work in a
much lower position: as an entry-level analyst in the
Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services department
making $64,459 a year -- a 71 percent pay cut.
Gurza said City Manager Ed Shikada relieved him of his
duties Thursday but gave him no reason, and he has no
idea why he was escorted out of the office by two city
security officers -- a rare practice for the city.
"Security escorts are normally used if there is reason
to believe there is a concern related to workplace
violence or other safety concerns, which is absolutely
not the case in my situation," Gurza said. On being
fired from his old job, he said: "If I could summarize
my reaction in one word, I think it would be 'shock.' "
City spokeswoman Lenka Wright said Monday that because
it is a "personnel matter," the city could not provide
any details on why Gurza was ousted from his old
position after 3½ years or why he was escorted by
security. When the security escort was first reported
Friday, Shikada's office would only say that Gurza was
"out of the office" and that his employee relations
duties had been temporarily reassigned.
Without union representation, Gurza could be axed from
the deputy city manager's role for no reason. But having
previously been a union-represented employee, he was
automatically offered a replacement union job, though
Shikada gave him the lowest possible slot, an
entry-level position Gurza held when he was first hired
by the city 20 years ago. Gurza said he took the
replacement job for at least the time being while he
ponders his future.
His demotion appeared sudden; in an agenda released
Friday, Gurza is still listed as the chief negotiator
for an employee bargaining session set for Tuesday
It could be the start of a long-expected shake-up at the
top of City Hall. The City Council on Tuesday is set to
discuss the fate of San Jose's top appointed official,
and Gurza's old boss, Shikada, and he, too, may be
It's long been believed in San Jose political circles
that Shikada, who took over the day-to-day operations of
the city a year ago this week, has been filling the role
only on a temporary basis until after the November
election, when the new mayor and City Council can tap
their own city manager. The city manager also appoints
other department heads who could be replaced, including
the chiefs of the police and fire departments.
Sam Liccardo replaces termed-out Mayor Chuck Reed on
Jan. 1, and will be joined by four new council members,
with a fifth coming after a special election later in
Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at
~ ~ ~
There is another angle to Alex Gurza’s ouster as the
City’s Lead Labor Negotiator as reported by San Jose
Inside. Unlike the Mercury’s reporting, this article
includes some readers’ comments at the bottom that don’t
speak well of City Hall. Click
HERE if you are interested.
NOT MUCH LOVE SHOWN BETWEEN THE MAYOR OF THE BIG APPLE
AND HIS COPS
Tell de Blasio: Stay Away from Our Funerals
Post — Dec. 12, 2014
York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Al Sharpton
their dead bodies.
Cops are warning Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker
Melissa Mark-Viverito to stay away from their funerals
should they be killed in the line of duty.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association distributed a
flier to members, blaring: “DON’T LET THEM INSULT YOUR
SACRIFICE!” Cops were encouraged to sign and submit the
“Don’t Insult My Sacrifice” waiver to ban the
cop-bashing pols from their funerals.
“I, as a New York City police officer, request that
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa
Mark-Viverito refrain from attending my funeral services
in the event that I am killed in the line of duty,” the
“Due to Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito’s
consistent refusal to show police officers the support
and respect they deserve, I believe that their
attendance at the funeral of a fallen New York City
police officer is an insult to that officer’s memory and
Officers can download the form on the PBA’s Web site and
drop off a signed copy to their PBA delegates.
The mayor traditionally attends funerals for fallen
“This is deeply disappointing,” the mayor and the
council speaker said in a joint statement.
“Incendiary rhetoric like this serves only to divide the
city, and New Yorkers reject these tactics.
“The mayor and the speaker both know better than to
think this inappropriate stunt represents the views of
the majority of police officers and their families.”
Sources say the revolt was sparked by the mayor’s lack
of support for the NYPD following the grand jury’s
decision not to indict the officer involved in the death
of Staten Islander Eric Garner.
De Blasio added fuel to that fire in a press conference
about the grand-jury vote where he said he had warned
his 17-year-old, mixed-race son, Dante, to be careful
around police officers.
“We’ve had to literally train him, as families have all
over this city for decades, in how to take special care
in any encounter he has with the police officers who are
there to protect him,” the mayor said.
PBA President Patrick Lynch reacted to that by accusing
the mayor of throwing cops “under the bus.”
The Post reported that amid protests on the Garner
verdict, a “Pro-Cop Rally” at City Hall is being planned
for next Friday.
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
thru Dec. 16
magazine has named “Ebola Fighters” the 2014 Person of
the Year. The Ebola fighters said they were honored to
be chosen and look forward to the ceremony. Then Time
said, "Oh no, we'll just mail them to you."
Facebook revealed that Ebola was the most popular
Facebook topic in the U.S. this year, with the World Cup
coming in sixth. So welcome to America, where even Ebola
is more popular than soccer.
President Obama was talking about the new report on CIA
interrogation techniques and praised our country’s
ability to quote, “face our imperfections, make changes,
and do better.” Which sounds less like a speech on
torture and more like the comments on a kindergartner's
Jeb Bush’s brother Neil said that their mother has “come
around” to the idea of Jeb running for president in
2016. Because if there's anything that says you're
qualified to be president, it's your own mom saying, “I
guess you could do it."
Joe Biden will assist in the 35th annual lighting of the
National Menorah at the White House. When he heard that,
Smokey Bear said, “Hold my calls. This is not gonna end
This week Biden said that he will decide on a potential
2016 presidential campaign by the spring or the summer.
Then he said, “Whichever comes first.”
During his weekly address, Pope Francis assured the
crowd that all animals go to heaven. Then cats said,
“Have you met us?”
Golden Globe nominations were announced, but some people
are upset that “The Walking Dead” and “Modern Family”
were snubbed. It’s OK. President Obama has issued an
executive action granting them all a path to a
Over the weekend the co-chair of Sony Entertainment
broke her silence about the recent hacking scandal to
apologize for some offensive emails she sent about
President Obama. In response, Obama said, “Don't worry.
I secretly read those emails months ago."
The world's largest travel guide publisher has declared
Queens, New York, the best place in the U.S. to visit
next year. And if you don't believe it, neither does
anyone who lives in Queens.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently installed a
fence around Gracie Mansion for privacy and security
concerns. De Blasio wants to make sure the wrong person
doesn't get into the mayor's mansion — while New Yorkers
said, “Too late.”
Next year, Iowa will become the first state to offer
residents an app that allows them to use smartphones as
their driver's license. That way you can have the one
thing you lose most on the thing you lose the second
President Obama recently said that his day is all about
politics, so in the mornings he likes to watch ESPN. So
if you get the feeling he's repeating himself every half
hour, that's where he learned it from.
During an interview, former President George W. Bush
discussed his painting hobby and said, “Never paint your
wife or your mother.” Then he added, “Because it's
almost impossible to get the paint out of their hair.”
This evening marks the beginning of Hanukkah. It's that
special tradition where people find out their friend is
Jewish and think back on the number of times they've
asked them what they were doing for Christmas.
A FedEx truck crashed in New Jersey and spilled packages
on the highway. Police would've responded, but when
anything falls off a truck in Jersey, it's actually the
law to NOT ask questions.
A woman on
a Southwest Airlines flight gave birth to a baby. As
soon as he was born, the baby said, "I had more leg room
in the womb."
Reindeer populations are falling fast, according to a
study. We are three years away from Santa using Uber.
The General Mills cereal Cheerios will soon come out in
new flavors like quinoa. The CEO of General Mills said
the new flavor is in response to an overwhelming demand
by no one, absolutely no one.
The Justice Department ruled that Native American
tribes are allowed to grow and sell marijuana on
reservations. This decision was hailed as a victory by
Native American leader Giggling Eagle.
This morning, due to a massive storm, at least 150,000
people in San Francisco were left without power. Of
course, people in San Francisco without power are
usually called Republicans.
According to a new study, almost 300,000 tons of plastic
are currently floating in the world's oceans. About
200,000 tons of that plastic are discarded Bruce Jenner
Some people are criticizing the new movie "Exodus" for
casting the part of Moses with a white actor. They're
also not thrilled about the scene where Moses leads the
Israelites out of Egypt driving a Prius.
Today in Washington, D.C., several government buildings
were left without power. Of course, the White House will
be without power for two more years.
Sy Berger, the designer of modern baseball cards, has
died. He will be laid to rest in a shoe box somewhere in
Among the top Google searches of 2014 were Ebola and the
movie "Frozen." One leaves you with something highly
infectious that's impossible to get out of your system.
The other is Ebola.
The hackers who hacked into Sony have leaked the
upcoming script for the new James Bond movie. Some of
the executives said the news left them shaken but not
Russia has named Vladimir Putin its man of the year for
the 15th year in a row. Putin got 143 million votes and
the guy he was up against got killed in a mysterious
boating accident. The boat was in a warehouse.
A "Walking Dead" spinoff is going to be set right here
in Los Angeles. The zombies are expected to do the two
things that people in L.A. refuse to do — walk and eat
Streep is on the program tonight. I like to throw her a
little work whenever I can.
I spoke to Meryl Streep just a few minutes ago
backstage. She's such a good actress, she was actually
pretending to be happy to see me.
The royal couple, Kate and William, left town. Right now
the couple is at the JFK airport getting patted down by
The new CIA torture report is 6 million pages long. It's
almost as long as a George Clooney pre-nup.
Welcome to "The Late Show," ladies and gentlemen. I'm
Dave Letterman. Just another lame duck.
A company has developed a grease burn protection so you
can fry a skillet full of bacon naked. You can now fry
bacon naked. I know you think it's a joke, but that's
how Orson Welles died.
I did that once. I'm so embarrassed. I thought it would
be fun to cook bacon naked. And then Denny's fired me
right on the spot.
Here in New York City they have what they call a Santa
pub crawl. And like 30,000 Santas, early in the morning,
start going from bar to bar to bar, all day long. Last
year it was won by a guy from Kenya.
A guy in Pennsylvania was arrested because he was drunk
in his golf cart going from bar to bar. So they arrested
him. I said: Wait a minute. Isn't that golf?
On Sunday night you can tune in to the countdown with
Barbara Walters and find out who the 10 most fascinating
people in the world are. And I want to tell you
something, ladies and gentlemen, the suspense is eluding
Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People. Great, more
Today is the busiest package transporting day of the
entire holiday season. UPS today will handle 585 million
packages. They don't deliver them, they just handle
By the way, if you don't mail your package today, it
will not be destroyed by Christmas.
I'm so excited for my son. On Christmas morning I want
to see his face, to be there when he opens the gifts. I
want the see what my assistants got him for Christmas.
The Giants and the Jets won their football games
yesterday. Astronomers say this will not happen again
until the year 2164.
Guess who's running for president? Jeb Bush. Jeb was
governor of Florida and he speaks fluent Spanish, which
raises the question: What language did his brother
speak? What was that?
I feel like Bush presidencies are like "Godfather"
films. You should stop at two.
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Earlier today
out on the street, I saw a sidewalk Santa — I think he
was drunk — and he was fighting with a sidewalk rabbi.
The Giants won on Sunday and the Jets won on Sunday. The
Pope declared it a miracle.
Do you know
what I hate? People say "Craig, you're retiring." Whoa,
I'm not retiring. I am just not doing this crap anymore.
I'm not retiring. Dave's retiring. I have more to do. I
will probably do ads for local car dealers.
You have got to figure that if they bring back
"Hollywood Squares" I'll be in there. I'm not saying
center square. I'm not saying that.
I wish I had more time to do the monologue. But if you
want jokes, there are plenty of other middle-aged white
guys telling jokes on TV. It's not like, "If only there
was a middle-aged white guy telling jokes. There is
plenty of that."
In a remote village in Alaska, their one mailman quit.
He said the sad environment and icy working conditions
left him so miserable he had to walk away. Wait, sorry,
that's what I said because it's my last week in this
YouTube has revealed their 10 most watched videos of the
year. May I be the first to say, "Congratulations,
Jeb Bush announced today on the Internet that he may run
for president. The next presidential election could be
Bush vs. Clinton. It will be like 1992 all over again
except I won't be in rehab.
What is Jeb Bush's full name? Jebediah? Jebaroni?
Things were very different back in 1992. There was
unrest in the Middle East, we had a gridlocked Congress,
and everybody was talking about Bill Cosby.
The Danes are causing a bit of trouble. The kingdom of
Denmark claimed the North Pole as their own. Hey, you
can't just reach out and take something if you want it,
Denmark. That's Russia's job.
goes on recess starting tomorrow night. By the way,
that's all you need to know about Congress. They get
recess. A bunch of middle-aged adults get three weeks
off to play kickball?
Time magazine named their person of the year today. It
was not a member of Congress.
This year, the person — it's persons, and those persons
are the Ebola fighters. The people who were on the front
lines, working to keep Ebola contained. I think it's a
very good choice. Congratulations, guys. I'd love to
shake your hands, but you know . . .
This will be the first time an acceptance speech has
included the phrase, "We couldn't have done it without
There's a holiday gift giving trend that's supposedly on
the rise this year called self-gifting. I don't know why
everything has to have a term. Didn't that used to be
It's OK to buy a gift for yourself. But buying a gift
and wrapping it for yourself, that's pathetic.
For lunch today, I gifted myself a roast beef sandwich.
I haven't figured out gift cards. It's kind of like
saying I care about you, but not enough to leave the
line at Albertson's to find a real gift.
Nothing costs exactly the amount on the gift card. If
it's less, you wind up with a credit for like $3, which
you'll never use. If it's more, then you're partly
buying your own gift.
Sony was the victim of a massive cyber attack from
hackers presumed to be based in North Korea. In an
embarrassing email, a producer called Angelina Jolie a
minimally talented spoiled brat. Which makes this all
seem like a high school drama more than an international
act of cyber terrorism.
Angelina Jolie, meanwhile, is now unable to promote her
new movie, not because of this controversy with Sony,
but because she's got chicken pox. But that is some
timing. Now she doesn't have to go out and answer
questions about Sony.
It is kind of funny that Jolie directed a movie about a
guy who survived a plane crash, got lost at sea, and was
held in a Japanese prison camp, and she cannot promote
it because she has chicken pox. I mean, put on a
turtleneck and get out there.
In London magic mushrooms were discovered growing at
Buckingham Palace in Queen Elizabeth's garden. You know,
I was wondering why she knighted Jerry Garcia. And
that's probably why she changes the guards every hour.
She's completely paranoid.
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. And who better
to celebrate Hanukkah with than our guest tonight —
Garth Brooks. Right?
Hanukkah, for those of you who aren't overly familiar
with it, is the reason cashiers say "Happy holidays"
instead of "Merry Christmas" when you're at Jamba Juice
Here in Los Angeles, we celebrate Hanukkah by lighting a
Hanukkah lasting for eight nights is a good idea. When
you give gadgets to older relatives, it gives you more
time to explain them. I gave my aunt an iPad for her
birthday. She uses it as a cigarette tray.
magazine has named Ebola healthcare workers as their
person of the year. The Ebola workers were very excited
when Time magazine gave them the news — via Skype.
Today Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi received
the Nobel Peace Prize. And they’re giving an honorable
mention to whoever has to announce them.
Kim Kardashian said recently that she gained weight
while she was pregnant because God was punishing her for
being “so hot.” Though if God is making more Kardashians,
I think WE’RE the ones being punished.
Producers at Sony say that hackers have gotten a hold of
a script for the upcoming James Bond sequel. Although if
you really want to know what happens in the new James
Bond movie, just watch every other James Bond movie.
Yesterday the prime minister of Haiti announced his
resignation after several days of protests. Said the
prime minister, "Haitians gonna hate."
A man was recently admitted to the hospital for surgery
after doctors discovered he still had surgical scissors
in his stomach from a procedure performed 12 years ago.
Said his new doctor, "The surgery was a success. Now
where are my keys?"
Lindsay Lohan says she wants to move to London
permanently. It's a perfect fit because she already
drives on the wrong side of the road.
Jeb Bush announced on the Internet that he is exploring
a 2016 bid for president. And to increase his chances,
he’s going to run as just “Jeb.” He said, “My last name?
It’s not important.”
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Hanukkah lasts
for eight nights — unlike Christmas, which lasts for two
and a half months.
President Vladimir Putin has been named Russia’s man of
the year. Second place went to “Or else.”
This week Kourtney Kardashian gave birth to her third
child. So she now holds the record for the most times a
Kardashian has experienced labor.
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF DEC. 13, 2014
The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox
• The family of Addie Fausett, a 6-year-old girl with a
terminal brain disorder, has asked the public to
send Addie a "lifetime of Christmas cards."
• Has Michigan passed a law exempting emergency medical
treating gay people?
• Was a
whale carcass found in a field in Utah?
• Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has
converted to Islam?
• General Mills is bringing the cereal
French Toast Crunch back to stores in the United
• Are gang members really using
Super Soakers to hide big guns?
• Does James Bond actor Daniel Craig get
free Aston Martin cars for life?
• Were Deandre Joshua and Shawn Gray murdered after
testifying before a
grand jury in Ferguson?
• Has Selena's killer Yolanda Saldivar been
granted early parole?
Iggy Azalea born biologically male?
Bret Michaels becomes the most recent in a long line
of celebrities who have not died in Jet-Ski accidents.
• NFL quarterback
Cam Newton was injured in a car crash.
• Will changes to
Facebook's terms of service change on 1 January and
allow the service to send data to the FBI, CIA, and NSA?
Al Sharpton owe more than four million dollars in
illegal loggers cut down the world's oldest tree?
• Does a circulating video show
Mike Brown beating up an older man?
• Did Kristen Stewart
slam the military and defend 9/11 terrorists?
food stamps now be used to purchase alcohol and
• Did ABC pay
Darren Wilson for an interview?
• Does Home Depot spray trees with a
chemical that killed a kitten?
• Did Kylie Jenner announce that
she was pregnant on Twitter?
• Don't forget to visit our
Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news
stories from around the world!
Worth a Second Look
Coca-Cola recall an advertising poster due to a
risque image hiding within it?
Still Haunting the Inbox
• Check out our
25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of
what's circulating in the on-line world.
• Visit our
Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used
by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS
or Full Screen recommended for YouTube videos.
• • • • •
To start, we say that the country needs more Secret
Santas and police-citizen stories like
THIS one from the CBS “On the Road” series. (2:49)
• • • • •
Can this ambulance drone save your life someday? This
video says the answer is
YES. Have a look. (3:22)
• • • • •
This unique form of motorcycling is called “trials
riding,” and many will argue it is the most difficult to
master. Watch what Red Bull rider Dougie Lampkin is
capable of after he unloads his trial bike from the
dogsled and fires it up. With beautiful photography and
an excellent audio track,
THIS video should be well worth a few minutes of
your time. (6:57)
• • • • •
Five Airbus A350 jumbo jets flying in formation isn’t
something you see every day.
THIS Airbus ad called “Family Flight” should be
worth a few minutes of your time if you are interested
in aviation, just don’t look for any Blue Angel or
Thunderbird maneuvers. (6:30)
• • • • •
The Jetman flies again,
THIS time over Dubai in formation with an aerobatic
• • • • •
From Bob Kosovilka comes
THIS contribution comprised of an extensive
collection of photos (circa 1956) of San Francisco that
many of you should be able to relate to. Just make sure
you give them a few moments to load.
• • • • •
Steve Postier felt it was time for another
VISIT to Paul Harvey’s “Freedom to Chains” broadcast
from 1965. And pay particular attention to the part
where he points out that all other successful nations
that have taxed their citizens more than 25 percent have
only lasted about 150 years before they began to decay.
• • • • •
Speaking of Paul Harvey, Bert Kelsey says
THIS broadcast that was originally titled “What is a
Policeman?” also needs to air again. Various individuals
have changed the slideshow photos over the years, but it
continues to remain a power presentation. (2:09)
• • • • •
Ethyl was a
bit of a speed demon on her electric scooter and loved
to charge around the nursing home, taking corners on one
wheel and getting up to maximum speed in the long
Even though she was a few fries short of a Happy Meal,
the other residents tolerated her, and some of them even
One day Ethel was speeding up one corridor when a door
opened and Kooky Clyde stepped out with his arm out
“STOP,” he shouted in a firm voice. “Have you got a
license for that thing?”
Ethel fished around in her handbag, pulled out a Kit Kat
wrapper and held it up to him.
“OK,” he said, “you can go,” and Ethel sped away down
As she took the corner near the TV lounge on one wheel,
Weird William popped out in front of her and shouted,
“STOP, do you have proof of insurance?”
Ethel dug into her handbag, pulled out a drink coaster
and held it up to him.
Harold nodded and said “OK, you can go on your way.”
As Ethel neared the final corridor, Crazy Craig stepped
out in front of her. He was butt naked and holding his
you-know-what in his hand.
“Oh no!” yelled Ethel, “Not that damn Breathalyzer test
• • • • •
So what is this woodworker creating? Suffice to say that
it is an exceptionally fine piece of Christmas art.
HERE if you want to see something truly amazing.
• • • • •
Planning on having guests over for the holidays?
HERE'S an inexpensive way to impress them, courtesy
of Alice Murphy. (2:09)
• • • • •
Familiar with the Shooter’s Grill in Rifle, Colorado? If
you are pro Second Amendment, you might want to eat
THERE. Just don’t get sassy with the waitresses.
• • • • •
We began this column with a clip that should be seen by
the masses, but won’t be. Here’s another
STORY about cops and citizens that seems to have
been ignored by most of the media with the exception of
Fox News. (4:09)
• • • • •
Cheers, all, and Merry Christmas.
Remember, there will be no Farsider next Thursday.
Pic of the Week:
things piss cops off more than tons of overtime just
prior to Christmas.
THE FARSIDER SUBSCRIPTION ROSTER as of 12/18/14
Additions and changes since the last published update
(alphabetical by last name):
Sandy Haynes — Added
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Abram, Fred & Connie
Alvarez, Pat (Campbell)
Babineau, Dave & Cheryl
Bray, Mary Ellen
Brown Jr., Bill
Burroughs, (Bronson) Utta
Carr Jr., John
Carrillo, Jaci Cordes
Clark, Bill (the one who stayed)
Embry (Howsmon), Eva
Foulkes [Duchon], Louise
Gonzalez, D. (formerly D. Avila)
Guido, Jr., Jim
Guido, Sr. Jim
Hare, Caren (Carlisle)
Harnish, Mary (Craven)
Horton, Debbie (McIntyre)
Howsmon (Sr.), Frank
Inami, Steve & Francine
Johnson, Tom & Fran
Klein, Lou Anna
Leonard (Lintern), Lynda
Long (Huntwork), Eunice
Muldrow, Mark "Mo"
Ng, Dr. Jonathan
O'Carroll, Diane (Azzarello)
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