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.
RETIRED SERGEANT BERT KELSEY
Born May 13, 1931
Retired April 1987
Died Jan. 13, 2017
Bert succumbed to what was a probable heart attack or stroke around 10 a.m. last Friday the 13th at Jennifer Brown’s residence in Redmond, OR. She was the youngest of Bert’s six daughters and two sons. A longtime resident of Hollister, health issues resulted in Bert moving in with Jennifer and her husband in Dec. 2010, although he continued to maintain ownership of the Hollister property.
The 85-year-old retiree began his law enforcement career as a police officer in Austin, Texas where he spent three years before moving to San Jose and spending the next 27 years with the SJPD before retiring in 1987 as a Sergeant.
We spoke with Jennifer on the phone on Tuesday. She will be making arrangements with her seven siblings for a memorial service in Oregon. According to Curt Reeves, whose wife is the best friend of another of Bert's daughters, there is a possibility of a second memorial that will be held locally at the POA Hall in the future. The family is also putting together an obituary that Jennifer promised to send us once it’s completed. It will appear in a later edition of the Farsider.
Below are photos of Bert and family members we found on his Facebook page…
SERVICE THIS SATURDAY IN FREMONT FOR MARK
Retired Sergeant Mark Bennett
Born March 5, 1958
Appointed July 1983
Died Dec. 23, 2016
I received this email from Victoria Bennett late this afternoon. She wanted to make sure that everyone is aware that Mark's family and friends will be gathering for a memorial service in Fremont this Saturday, January 21st.
All of the information is listed below. I hope there is time to include it in tomorrow’s Farsider.
Andy (Galea) <AGalea@losaltosca.gov>
~ ~ ~
There will be a memorial service coordinated by the California family for Mark to be held this Saturday, January 21, at 1:00 p.m. Here is the location:
The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 3551 Decoto Rd., Fremont, CA; it starts at 1:00 p.m.
Mark's funeral and burial was held here in Michigan. It was attended by the officers of the Sanilac County Sheriff's Department. They honored Mark with a drive-by of our home with about 40 cars, kept guard over Mark, and every officer presented and saluted Mark, and some provided transport for his daughters and me to the cemetery where they performed a graveside ceremony that included his Last Call. Anything we needed was covered by his coworkers. The Sheriff himself spoke at the following gathering meal. Mark was well liked and appreciated at Sanilac County which was obvious in their devotion and respect. I will send you a few photos and an audio of his last call.
However, at this late hour of the California memorial preparations, Mark's brother has asked me to contact you. He wondered if you or another officer would be available to speak at the service or write a short essay about Mark.
Sorry for the short notice.
Come join in to help raise funds for SJPD Academy Class 9 and the SJPD Motors Unit to travel to Washington D.C. for the National Police Memorial. We want to show our support for Fallen Officer Michael Katherman, #3900 and his family, and honor his memory in our nation's capitol during National Police Week. More details about this fundraiser are on the flyer below.
Please come to the POA office during office hours to buy your tickets HERE!
Update: As reported previously, up to 300 retired cops and firefighters may have to pay back a portion of their pensions according to this article from last Saturday’s paper…
Fire Retirees Speak Out Over ‘Overpayments’
—Many now face reduced future benefits, may be asked to pay back money to city—
By Ramona Giwargis <email@example.com>
Mercury News — Jan. 14, 2017
SAN JOSE — Four months after he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, retired San Jose Fire Capt. Tom Gianatasio got another dose of dreadful news: He owes $34,042 because of a city error causing pension overpayments for two decades.
“Somebody made a mistake and now I have no recourse,” Gianatasio said, one day before he went in for a more than 6-hour surgery to attempt to remove the cancer. “I have this stress hanging over my head. It’s just not fair.”
The 66-year-old is one of 10 San Jose Fire Department retirees who each were overpaid by more than $13,000, public records reviewed by this newspaper show, and among hundreds who could be asked to pay some amount back.
It is the latest blow to city retirees who saw their pensions come under fire over the last decade as San Jose leaders sought benefit cuts to slow a spike in city costs. For retirees, that meant leaner health benefits.
Retirement officials say the overpayment happened because San Jose’s finance office gave them inaccurate salary figures, which were used to calculate pension checks. About 300 of San Jose’s 2,000 retired officers and firefighters were overpaid nearly $1 million for at least two decades, though for most, the overpayment was a couple hundred dollars.
And although city officials discovered the error in a 2009 audit, the overpayments continued and the affected retirees weren’t notified about the errors until last month.
“I don’t understand how they let it go on for so long,” said Gianatasio who retired in 2009 and now lives in Washington state. “If I thought I was overpaid, I would have stopped it. I would have done something seven or eight years ago.”
Roberto Peña, director of San Jose Retirement Services Department, says it took his office seven years to sift through a series of “complicated” records to figure out who got overpaid, by how much, and how to fix the problem.
Officials still haven’t determined exactly how to recoup the $1 million in overpayments — they could demand the money from the city, the retirees or a combination of both. The topic was discussed at a San Jose police and fire retirement board meeting last week, but no decisions were made.
San Jose firefighters voiced their concerns, saying
they “didn’t do anything wrong,” during a meeting of the
San Jose police and fire retirement board on Jan. 5.
It’s the second stunning mishap involving overpayments to San Jose city retirees.
A similar problem surfaced in November when officials discovered $500,000 in overpayments to a dozen non-public safety retirees. The city-appointed board overseeing that pension fund voted unanimously to go after San Jose with a lawsuit seeking reimbursement of $882,007 — which included $500,000 in overpayments plus interest.
Peña, who administers both retirement plans, said the goal is to find a remedy that is “fair, reasonable and legal given the circumstances of the situation.”
City spokesman David Vossbrink declined to say whether the city should be on the hook for the entire repayment, but said there’s a “joint responsibility” for the error between the city, retirement officials and retirees. The police and fire retirement board last week decided to adjust the future benefits of the impacted retirees to stop the overpayments.
That means retired Battalion Chief Stewart McGehee, 64, will get $220 less on his pension check each month. McGehee, who retired in 2011, was overpaid by $13,864.
Retired Battalion Chief Stewart McGehee shown in 2007,
is upset he will now get $220 less on his pension check.
He thinks the city should be responsible for the overpayments — especially because officials discovered the error in 2009, but apparently let the overpayments continue. McGehee said he and his fellow retirees don’t trust City Hall and worry mistakes will happen again.
“If the city knew this was a mistake and they let this continue, I don’t see how retirees could be expected to repay what the city knew were bad numbers,” said McGehee, a Livermore resident who now works in a civilian position at the Oakland Fire Department. “Why would you not stop it right then and there?”
McGehee says the $220 reduction will “hurt,” but he’s more concerned for widows on the retirement plan. They’re already given a reduced portion of their spouse’s pension, he said, and now they might be responsible for the overpayments.
“There are widows who are on the survivor benefits of a third or half of the retirement, and if they have to pay it back— I don’t know,” McGehee said.
Mike Alford, president of the Association of Retired San Jose Police Officers and Firefighters, echoed the concern.
“My problem is the widows who will be on the hook for five or 10 grand, that is going to be devastating,” said Alford, a retired San Jose police detective. “If you’re on a fixed income, any hit like that is going to hurt. That’s gross negligence on the part of the city.”
Gianatasio’s wife Karen lives with that fear every day. The doctor painted a grim picture, she said, and she fears her husband will lose his battle with cancer in a few years.
“You’ve got your husband dying and your income goes in half — and now they want you to pay extra money,” Karen Gianatasio said. “I can’t spend all my life savings on this when he passes away. I didn’t expect to be alone.”
Gianatasio is among three retirees with the highest overpayments — behind a retired deputy fire chief who was overpaid $53,085 and a former battalion chief overpaid $47,818. For now, he was told his future payouts would be reduced by $20 a month. But the situation, Gianatasio said, adds “insult to injury.”
He said firefighters like himself put their lives in danger every day on the job, and after a career of exposure to toxic smoke, are at higher risk of disease in retirement. His best friend in the department just died of cancer. Now, they’re being punished for someone else’s mistake.
“They’re taking advantage of people who already put in their time,” he said. “I’ve been dealt the cards I’ve been dealt. Do I think about it? Every day I think about it.”
• • • • •
Don’t let this headline from the Op/Ed page of yesterday’s paper rattle your nerves; it shouldn’t apply to our Police & Fire pension system. (The key word in that sentence, of course, is “should.”)
Court Should Enable Pension Reform
Mercury News — Jan. 17, 2017
The California Supreme Court has an opportunity to correct its mistakes and enable state leaders to rein in excessive public-employee pension costs.
Two appellate courts recently ruled that state lawmakers may alter benefits for current employees so long as they still receive “reasonable” benefits.
That’s a radical departure from decades of rulings that pension benefits could not be reduced. Once granted higher accrual rates, workers were permanently entitled to them.
Whether the high court agrees will profoundly affect California’s ability to slow soaring costs.
Pension calculations rely on three factors: years on the job, final salary and a multiplier based on the worker’s retirement age.
The latest appellate court ruling, issued Dec. 30, pertains to years on the job. Under a 2003 law, workers could purchase “airtime,” credit for years they didn’t actually work.
“While a public employee does have a ‘vested right’ to a pension, that right is only to a ‘reasonable’ pension — not an immutable entitlement to the most optimal formula of calculating the pension,” wrote Associate Justice James Richman.
The benefit was supposed to be cost-neutral. The state Public Employees’ Retirement System would calculate the airtime price based on expected investment earnings. But CalPERS consistently overestimated returns and underestimated the lifespan of retirees. It did not charge enough for airtime, so taxpayers paid more.
The Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012 ended airtime, and state firefighters sued. The appellate court noted that airtime wasn’t for actual work, and workers theoretically didn’t lose anything because the benefits were supposed to be cost neutral. Besides, the court said, state lawmakers can alter benefits as long as they’re reasonable.
The earlier appellate court ruling pertains to the salary used for pension calculations. A 2012 bill ended schemes county pension systems had used to inflate final salaries.
Marin County workers sued, claiming they were promised they could spike their pensions, so they were legally entitled to do so. The appellate court rejected that argument.
“While a public employee does have a ‘vested right’ to a pension, that right is only to a ‘reasonable’ pension — not an immutable entitlement to the most optimal formula of calculating the pension,” wrote Associate Justice James Richman.
The Supreme Court will review that ruling and similar pending cases from Contra Costa, Alameda and Merced counties.
If it agrees with the “reasonable” standard, that could affect California’s ability to roll back overly generous formulas.
Currently if a government increases the formula for a worker, it can never reduce it. But reducing reducing future benefit accrual rates could profoundly reduce costs. That would be real reform.
• • • • •
The editorial board of the Mercury News seems to be obsessed with public employee pensions. This is the paper’s non-solution solution to San Jose’s police & fire pension overpayment issue…
S.J.’s Debacle Over Pension Payout
Mercury News — Jan. 18, 2017
San Jose’s pension overpayment fiasco — with mistakes going back some 20 years — is doubly frustrating because there’s nobody around to blame. Here’s who is not to blame, however: The retirees.
The City Council and retirement boards need to keep that in mind when they decide how to handle the overpayments — some hundreds of dollars, some in the thousands and a few in the tens of thousands, totaling around $1 million.
Public money paid by mistake is supposed to be returned by law, but sometimes the demand doesn’t seem quite right.
The Pentagon learned this last year when it tried to recover bonuses that National Guard recruiters had used improperly to persuade soldiers to re-enlist during a war.
The city case is different; retirees weren’t given the extra money to go risk their lives. But rules sometimes need tempering by a human touch.
There are pension problems for two groups of San Jose retirees. For non-public safety workers, 12 were paid more than the IRS allowed. That seems like the fault of the retirement plan, although the retirement board is suing the city to make up the difference.
The public safety plan’s problem is greater and more complex, affecting 300 of the 2,000 safety retirees.
Going back nearly 20 years, some city finance staffers — most or all of them probably long gone — miscalculated pension payments for public safety retirees. Paychecks include overtime and a whole range of other add-ons, and staffers improperly applied some to pensionable pay. The potential problem showed up in a 2009 audit, but it took seven years to sort out, staff says, because all 2,000 retirees’ numbers had to be checked through complex records and because the period coincided with drastic budget cuts in the city, leaving the finance staff stretched paper thin.
Pension payments will be adjusted going forward, but the city and the boards are still pondering how to deal with recovering overpayments.
Some say the retirees should have known their pensions were off. But if they’re so complicated to calculate, how could retirees double check them?
Probably a few had an inkling, but it wasn’t like finding an extra million dollars in your checking account and going out to buy a yacht.
The boards and the city need to work with retirees individually on reasonable repayment plans. That appears to be happening.
There may be hardship cases, particularly for older retirees, that require creative financing — or even some measure of forgiveness, if that can be done without entitling everyone to a free ride.
In the abstract, every penny should be paid back ASAP. But taxpayers may understand the value of cutting some slack for folks facing hardship because of mistakes others made long ago.
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD
City, SJPD Ink Tentative Deal
—If approved by the union, the department would get a 20 percent raise over 3 years—
By Robert Salonga <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mercury News — Jan. 13, 2017
SAN JOSE — The city and its police union reached a tentative agreement on pay and other work conditions Tuesday, marking a significant step toward finally undoing a years-long political fight that helped fuel an exodus of nearly a third of San Jose’s police officers in less than a decade and left the city scrambling to patrol its streets.
Under the proposed terms, officers in the San Jose Police Department would receive a 20-percent raise phased in over the next three years, starting with a 10-percent bump in the 2017-18 fiscal year. The raise includes a 3.75 percent pay increase phased over two years for completing crisis-intervention training, which Chief Eddie Garcia made mandatory department-wide last year.
Officers would also receive an immediate, one-time $5,000 retention bonus upon the finalization of the contract.
“Our top priority is rebuilding this police department, and this contract gives us a clear path forward,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said. “With this contract, we are now competitive.”
The agreement, subject to ratification by the rank-and-file with a formal vote expected in the coming weeks, was forged on the shoulders of a previous agreement that was beset by legal challenges from taxpayer advocates, spurring the city to put it on a ballot measure that voters passed last November.
It also comes amid cooperation among the city, union and police administration that had been unprecedented in the past decade.
“We are committed to recruiting and retaining as many officers as possible, and this contract is an extremely important step toward achieving that goal,” Paul Kelly, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, said in a statement.
That same trinity backed declaring a technical state of emergency in August that allowed Garcia to override the existing police contract to reallocate officers and buoy undermanned street patrols.
Some of that emergency plan included further entrenching mandatory overtime to maintain minimal patrol staffing, which under the new agreement would be phased out once the department reaches its authorized staffing level. The department is currently 200 officers away from that target.
City administrators and the union reached a pact in the summer of 2015 aimed at undoing many of the austerity-driven retirement and benefit reductions brought on by the 2012, voter-approved Measure B ballot initiative.
The new pact eventually evolved into the Measure F initiative this past November.
Garcia and the union both argued that the new terms were crucial to stemming the labor strife that plagued the department and helped drive staffing from more than 1,400 in 2008 down to the current total of about 900. Today’s authorized staffing level of 1,109 officers — which reflects available spots, not actual officers — is the same as it was in 1986, when the city’s population was more than 40 percent smaller. The size of the actual police force has similarly not been this small since the mid-1980s.
Garcia and city leaders argued that this labor agreement would eliminate competitive obstacles that have stymied recruiting, as prospective applicants flocked to other regional agencies that offered better pay and retirement plans. Police academy classes in San Jose reached anemic levels in the past few years — with a nadir of less than 10 in one instance — and are gradually building back up.
“I have been extremely proud of our officers during these trying times, and they are among the hardest working officers in the country,” Garcia said in a statement. “Our goal has been to once again be the safest city in the country, and the steps taken recently by our city leaders will establish the foundation to achieve this benchmark.”
Department insiders also say many prospective applicants and potential lateral hires have been waiting for the new terms to take effect before joining the ranks in San Jose. The new agreement would sweeten that process for existing officers, who would be eligible for incentives of up to $7,500 for recruiting cadets or officers from other agencies.
Should the agreement reached Tuesday gain final approval, the city and police department will be under considerable public pressure to begin delivering on their pledges to replenish a storied police department that was once a destination for aspiring cops from around the country.
It remains to be seen how that rebuild would be affected by a new provision requiring police academy graduates to pay back an amortized portion of their training costs if they leave before completing five years of service to the city. The “clawback” had been previously proposed by the city, and until today was generally resisted by the union.
The inclusion of that provision was inspired by frustration from past City Councils over officers who were trained by SJPD then left for other agencies not long after graduating, essentially leaving the city routinely footing the bill to train officers for other municipalities.
The union took a neutral stance on the issue, and Liccardo said it was a necessary act of good faith to the residents who will be funding the police raises. “If taxpayers are paying more, they deserve to be protected from instances where cadets are simply coming to San Jose to get their training and then move on to a quieter suburb,” Liccardo said. “It’s important that we attract the best and brightest, but it only works if we keep them here.”
Ron Webster, who resides in Tucson, sent in this video and accompanying article about an Arizona State Trooper who was ambushed and shot by a subject, who in turn was shot and killed by a Good Samaritan who had stopped to help the officer. Click HERE for the story and video.
• • • • •
Bill & Leroy,
While in Phoenix this past weekend I heard and saw one answer to my question, “What would you do?” I read the story about how a passerby saved the life of an ambushed and beaten Highway Patrolman. The story told of a hero and his actions. In Arizona, this man is a hero and should receive a medal.
This is the story: An unidentified motorist came upon a scene where a uniformed officer was shot and being beaten to death by a suspect. The motorist made an effort to intervene and help the officer, but when he was unable to stop the deadly attack, he retrieved his firearm from his vehicle and shot and killed the attacker, saving the Patrolman's life. The right to own and carry is the law in Arizona.
Similar situation in the State of California. A motorist observed a Highway Patrolman who was shot and being beaten to death. The motorist goes back to his car, removes the ignition keys from his vehicle, walks to his cars’s trunk and opens the lid with his car keys. Once opened, he takes the locked box which contains his gun and uses a second key to unlock the box. He then removes his gun from the box. He now opens a second locked box which contains his bullets. He loads his gun and goes to the now most likely dead Patrolman’s aid. By this time the assailant had finished killing the officer and now engages the motorist in a gun fight. Let's say the motorist wins the gun battle and calls for help. The responding officers take the motorist into custody. They confront the motorist and run a warrant and background check. They take his gun and run the serial number to see if it was registered and that he is the legal owner. If the background check comes back to outstanding warrants and the gun is not properly registered he would be arrested and his car impounded. That is just the beginning of the motorist long list of problems.
All the rest of the rubber necking passersby went home to a nice dinner and a night of TV with their families. The question still is unanswered: “What would you do?”
In Arizona the answer is a given. In California the question still remains.
Bill Yarbrough <email@example.com>
• • • • •
The following is in response to Bill Yarbrough’s letter last week (and his response above) about a police retiree coming to the assistance of an officer or citizen who needs help.
Bill Yarbrough raises a serious concern and I would certainly support a National Police Officers Good Samaritan Law. A retired police friend has also encouraged me to get concealed handgun insurance for essentially the same liability concerns. I have not done that yet. Although his argument is persuasive, my fiscal status is not.
My answer to the Sorahan–Yarbrough discussion is hell yes I would assist. In fact, if it were a police officer who needed I would not hesitate. If it was civilian vs. civilian, I might take a little more time to analyze the situation. I have lived a professional life of service; 34 years in law enforcement and 12 years working with at-risk street youth. In those 46 years I have often had to resort to physical conflict in order to control and/or resolve the situation.
As Bill Y. pointed out, I was under at least some form of a liability umbrella throughout those 46 years, although I never really considered or worried about lawsuits when action was required. As most retired police officers, I am now without any type of professional liability umbrella. I am on my own. The good/bad news is I do not have much in the way of fiscal assets so a lawsuit would not garner anyone very much.
Therefore, if I were to happen upon a situation that needed intervention to help protect someone I would intervene. But I would do so with caution to minimize physical damages and only to the point of stopping the conflict. My personal sense of honor would not permit me to walk away; the consequences be damned.
Harry J Mullins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
• • • • •
More from Harry…
Bill M. & Bill Y.
I passed along Brother Yarbrough’s question and my response to several retired LE friends of mine. Here are the responses I have permission to share. Mr. Mattos, feel free to put them in the Farsider if you so choose.
This is question that I have given some thought to, as well. To help a Police Officer, I would give a qualified yes. To help a citizen, I would give a qualified no.
When it comes to helping a police officer, even recognizing that I have no political entity to cover my actions, I think sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. My biggest concern would be being mistaken for another bad guy by the next cop arriving on the scene.
With regard to a helping a civilian, it would take a pretty bad, very obvious situation before I would risk becoming involved. There is just too much risk in misidentifying who the bad guy is (see above) and there is no legal protection for good intentions.
Interestingly, even cops in Washington State may soon be in the same position as everyone else. A few months ago the Seattle Times discovered, much to their horror, that Washington State Law protected a police officer from criminal prosecution as a result of a bad shooting as long as the officer was "acting in good faith" and "without malice.’ Our legislature stepped up the plate and formed a committee to review this travesty and has, after receiving testimony from a black Seattle Seahawks’ football player, recommended the legislature amend the law to make it easier to prosecute cops.
So even if I was still a working cop, I think I would answer this question the same way. I would help the other cop, but I am afraid I would have to let the civilian rely on the more qualified professional football player.
Retired Kings County, WA Deputy
~ ~ ~
You can pass this response onto your other retired cop friends.
I would come to the aid of a law enforcement officer. In regards to a citizen v. citizen, I would take a little time to evaluate the situation, like you said you would.
As you know, I carry liability insurance that would provide me with high quality legal services if I am involved in a use of force situation. This legal service not only covers my use of a firearm, but also a knife, club, or any other object used as a weapon for self-defense. My wife, who is now covered under the policy, does not need a CC permit if the self defense happens in our home or vehicle.
As far as getting sued, we may not have much in fiscal assets, but most of us have monthly retirement funds, own at least one home, vehicles, etc. So there would possibly be something for the lawyer to go after. Even if the lawyer knew there was a chance they could lose a suit, it could cost us a lot of money ($100,000+) just for a good lawyer, and most of us do not have that kind of money. So if you carry a concealed weapon and would get involved, or just have to defend yourself, you should be carrying liability insurance. The same as if you drive you have auto insurance, and if you own a house you have fire insurance, etc.
A Retired LE Good Samaritan Law would be nice, but will only happen if the different LE retirement associations (Fed., state, local agencies) get together and push for such a law. Under a Republican congress this type of law may get passed.
Retired Portland Police Bureau Officer
~ ~ ~
If it was civilian vs. civilian, I might take a little more time to analyze the situation."
Harry, those are magic words. I've done a lot of undercover work. I've looked ratty and grubby. Several cops have pointed guns at me. I'd hate to have a "good Samaritan" attack me thinking they are doing a good deed. Also off-duty cops have been injured (and killed) by uniformed officers who saw a gun before they saw the badge (usually in New York).
In my opinion helping a uniformed officer is mandatory.
Liability? Sure, it exists. There is some protection, but you may still end up in court.
See PC 171.5 (d)(1) and NYPL 35.15
~ ~ ~
Harry, good comments.
Another mitigating factor would be the location of the incident. In Texas, this is a "no brainer!"
~ ~ ~
My thoughts strained through some Heineken: After over 40 years in LE I would always stop and help an officer as long as my loved ones or non- combatants with me can be safe and I feel I won't be mistaken for part of the problem. Even though I can carry a concealed weapon I seldom do unless headed into rural areas or to and from work.
To stop and help a citizen is a different situation. Things are not always what they appear, and often deadly weapons may not be apparent. Most likely it would be best to be a good witness and call 911. Example, recently a man and women were seen fighting in a mall parking lot. The citizen who saw them was legally packing. He secured his wife in a safe place (their car) and took a vantage point at a safe distance and called 911 rather than interfere. He gave 911 excellent details of the location and description of the action. Good thing. Turned out the male was a plain clothes cop trying to arrest a shop lifter. Had he pull his weapon and tried to help it could have turned into a bad situation.
Those of us not on duty or no longer an officer come under different rules of engagement as you know and we have to be careful. An armed bad guy running away is a danger to the community. An officer can shoot him but not a citizen.
Insurance is another consideration. I have always carried a large liability umbrella policy via my home owners insurance. I also have two policies for off duty concealed carry that provides the same help on duty as LDF does. You call them and they send a lawyer to wherever you are. I can share more info on them if you wish. Not expensive.
Just another thought. Whether or not I am packing, and if so, what I am packing can enter into the decision to get involved. I consider most concealable weapons as defensive. Not offensive as an on-duty weapon would be.
Retired Berkeley PD
• • • • •
If you decide to publish this clip of Laurel and Hardy celebrating Trump’s win, you should first warn those who voted for Hillary and suggest they skip to something else.
Red State <email@example.com>
Red is correct. As Obama explained to McCain shortly after he took office, “Elections have consequences.” Click HERE for a consequence of the 2016 election.
• • • • •
Post Election: Where We're At:
We’ve just witnessed and participated in an historical and unprecedented presidential election in so many ways. An election in which principles such as character, morals, ethics, facts and truthfulness, were the decisive losers.
We ended up electing a president who claims he won by a “landslide.” Actually he won the Electoral College by a margin of 6.5 percent, which puts him among the bottom third of all prior presidents’ election results. The popular vote left him over 2.9 million votes behind his opponent, That's a margin of 2.1% and one we haven’t seen since 1876.
Last week the results from the first major national opinion poll taken since the November 8th election were released by Quinnipiac University. This week the Washington Post–ABC national poll, which asked most of the same questions, showed nearly identical results.
Historically the president elect's favorable approval ratings increase during the 2 1/2 months following their election. That didn't happen this time around.
Here are some of poll results.
• Trump’s overall favorable rating from this same poll conducted just prior to the election was 44%. It now stands at 37%, with 28% saying they feel worse about him now than they did prior to the election.
• 39% believe that he's honest and 33% believe he's levelheaded.
• 27% believe he will make us safer than we are today, while 45% believe he will make us less safe.
• 40% feel he will help in uniting the country while 54% believe he will cause greater division.
• 53% said they don’t believe he will make things better for them and their families.
• 30% said that, in general, they approve of his cabinet nominees.
• 66% believe he should place all of his business interests into a true blind trust and not simply turn them over to his children.
• In response to the question of whether they still want to see Donald Trump’s tax returns to identify possible conflicts of business interest, 72% answered in the affirmative. This includes a majority of Republican participants. Both president elect Trump and his Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, last week continued to claim that, “American’s don’t care at all about Donald Trump’s tax returns.”
• In a follow up question, 60% said they were concerned or very concerned, that Mr. Trump would veto congressional legislation that would be good for the country, but harmful to his business interests.
• • • • •
In the early ’60s I was stationed on the cutter 'Westwind,’ an icebreaker out of Brooklyn, N.Y. We would depart New York sometime in mid-May and head to take on fuel at Halifax, Nova Scotia. From there it was all points north and into the ice fields to spend the summer in and around Thule Air Force base in Thule Greenland. The north Atlantic can be a dangerous and treacherous place to be when a storm came up. Many times I can recall the ship being tossed around like a cork.
In advance preparation of the impending storm, the warning call would be sounded over the ship's loud speakers. That call should now be sounded loud and clear as Donald Trump takes the oath of office tomorrow to be our next President: "Batten down the hatches and stand by for heavy rolls!"
Dave (Scannell) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
• • • • •
I normally don’t like to forward email items, but this one “got me,” and I wanted to share this photo of these American Heroes. Their smiles, after all that they have been through, show their True Grit.
Dan Bullock <email@example.com>
We see lots of pictures of wounded male veterans, but women vets get wounded and maimed too.
You may need to take a second, closer look. The first thing I saw was a bunch of beautiful smiles. But study the picture again. Let the story it tells sink in. These women and many others like them — as well as their male comrades — paid this price for our freedoms.
And they did it for less than what welfare recipients are paid. There is more patriotism and class in those 11 ladies than the majority of Congress — and a hell of a lot more than those over-paid athletes who choose to “take a knee” when the National Anthem is played.
They risked these injuries (or death) for America. God Bless them all.
Feel free to pass the photo along. Women Veterans deserve our full support and recognition.
HERE'S A GREAT DEAL FOR PBA MEMBERS — BRING ANOTHER COUPLE
TO THE ANNUAL VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER DANCE FOR $25
—Neighbors, Friends, Relatives, Your Choice—
Members: $25 per couple — Second Couple $25
(maximum of one additional couple per PBA member)
$50 total for luscious Hors d’oeuvres, Open Bar, Wine on the table and Prime Rib & Salmon
Saturday, Feb. 11th
Reservations Deadline, Monday, Feb. 6th
Doors open at 6:00 — Dinner at 7:00 — Dancing to 11:00 p.m.
POA Hall, 1151 N. Fourth St.
Hors d'oeuvres aplenty
Entrees: Your choice of Salmon and/or hand-carved Prime Rib
Hosted Bar with Wine on the Tables
Dancing to your kind of music following dinner
Make checks payable to the "SJPBA" and mail to:
P.O. Box 42
San Jose, CA 95103
Questions? E-mail PBA President Dave Wysuph at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
or Secretary/Treasurer Lumpy Lundberg at <email@example.com>
SAY "HI" TO THE BIRTHDAY BOYS FROM LAST NIGHT'S MONTHLY PBA MEETING
Celebrating a January birthday at the first PBA membership meeting of 2017 was this motley crew comprised of (L-R) Larry “Lumpy” Lundberg; Mike Amaral; Mike Fehr; Cake Cutter Dick Tietgens (doing his best imitation of Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis); Larry Reuter; Craig Clifton; Guy Bernardo; Dave Hendrix; and Jim Spence. Congratulations, guys, for hanging in there for another year. (Photo by Aubrey "Bird" Parrott)
READY FOR SOME CIOPPINO?
HI Bill, Leroy and Every One of Our Farsider Subscribers.
Happy New Year! We are starting it off by throwing quite the party. Please mark your calendars and get ready for a raucously good time shared with friends old and new.
Enjoy some camaraderie with other police agencies from Redding to San Diego that will also be in attendance. The Cioppino Feed is open to all Law Enforcement Officers, guests and friends.
Comedian Michael Mancini — “World’s Funniest Cop” — will bring tears of laughter of how police work was done in the good ol’ days!
We will be hosting the best of the best Cioppino Feeds ever! Enjoy a relaxing evening and let your hair down (so to speak).
So get your reservations in and join us on Saturday, March 11th at the SJPOA Hall in San Jose for a great evening with good eats.
Hope to see you there!
Rich Bailey, SJPD Retired 1379
PAPER COVERS THE FUNDRAISER FOR MIKE KATHERMAN’S FAMILY
Colleagues Raise Funds for Fallen Officer’s Family
—Michael Katherman’s wife and children had to flee Hollister home—
By Robert Salonga <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mercury News — Jan. 14, 2017
SAN JOSE — Colleagues of the late Officer Michael Katherman, who died in a motorcycle accident while on duty last summer, are again raising money to support his wife and children after they were forced out of their home by recent storm flooding.
According to the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, Katherman’s wife and two sons were safely evacuated from their Hollister home Tuesday night, thanks in part to emergency personnel that included San Jose firefighters.
“As you can imagine, there is a lot of damage and right now they are still in the process of assessing their needs,” reads a posting on the police union’s website. “They cannot occupy the house and do not yet know what will be covered by insurance, but there will be loss that can not be recovered.”
Katherman, 34, died June 14, 2016, after his police motorcycle collided with a minivan at North 10th and Horning streets in North San Jose. The 11-year police veteran was honored at a public memorial at the SAP Center in downtown San Jose. He was the 13th SJPD officer killed on the job, and the second motorcycle officer.
STORIES OF THE WEEK
The Devil you say…
A few minutes before the church services started, the congregation was sitting in the pews and talking.
Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church.
Everyone started screaming and running for the back entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.
Soon the church was empty except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy was in his presence..
Satan walked up to the man and said, “Do you know who I am?”
The man replied, “Yep, sure do.”
“Aren't you afraid of me?” Satan asked.
“Nope, sure ain’t,” said the man.
“Don't you realize I can kill you with one word?” asked Satan.
“Don't doubt it for a minute,” replied the old man in an even tone.
“Did you know that I can cause you profound, horrifying agony for all eternity?” persisted Satan.
“Yep,” was the man’s calm reply.
“And you are still not afraid?” asked Satan.
“Nope,” said the old man.
More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, “Why aren't you afraid of me?”
The man calmly replied, “Been married to your sister for 48 years.”
• • • • •
She’s lucky there were cops nearby (sort of)…
Posted on Facebook by Craig Clifton
You will not believe what just happened to me! I pulled into a gas station and noticed two police officers looking at a woman who was smoking while fueling her car.
”Hmmm, super dangerous,” I thought, but with the police right there I didn't think much of it and started pumping my gas.
All of a sudden, I heard a loud scream. When I looked behind me I saw that the woman's arm was on fire!! She was freaking out and madly waiving her arm about.
The two cops immediately sprung into action. They ran over, placed her on the ground and put the fire out with an extinguisher one had retrieved from the trunk of their patrol car.
When the fire was out, they stood her up, put handcuffs on her and placed her in the backseat of their patrol car.
I thought “What the hell is going on here?" I asked one of the cops what in the world they were arresting her for, thinking that catching her arm on fire would be punishment enough.
The officer I was talking to looked me dead in my eye and said, “For waving a firearm around in public.”
• • • • •
had it all…
Received from Lumpy Lundberg
I spoke with a homeless man yesterday afternoon when I went out for some groceries and asked him how he ended up this way.
"Up until last month," he said, "I had it all. I had plenty to eat, my clothes were washed and pressed, I had a roof over my head, I had TV and Internet, and I went to the gym, the pool, and the library. I was working on my MBA on-line. I had no bills and no debt. I even had full medical coverage."
I felt sorry for him and asked, "What happened? Drugs? Alcohol? Divorce?"
He replied, “I was paroled."
• • • • •
Case of the Missing Wife
Received from Dirk Parsons
Husband: My wife is missing. She went shopping yesterday and hasn't come home.
I'm not sure. A little over five-feet tall.
Don't know. Not slim, not really fat.
Color of eyes?
Sort of brown, I think. Never really noticed.
Color of hair?
Changes a couple times a year. Maybe dark brown now. I can't remember.
What was she wearing?
Could have been pants, or maybe a skirt or shorts. I don't remember.
What kind of car was she last seen in?
She went in my truck.
What kind of truck was it?
A black 2016 Chevy 1500 Z71 LTZ 4X4 with 5.7 liter V8, LED lighting, back up and front cameras; with moose-hide custom embossed leather heated and cooled seats, individual climate controlled air conditioning. It also has a Gator Tri-Fold custom matching cover for the bed, and Weather Tech floor mats, a trailer package with a Draw-Tite Class IV hitch, sunroof, custom light bar, DVD with full GPS navigation, satellite radio, Cobra 75 WX ST 40-channel CB radio, six cup holders, 3 USB ports, and 4 power outlets, and built-in wi-fi. I added special custom chrome alloy wheels and Toyo Open Country M/T off-road tires. Oh, and it has custom retracting running boards and under wheel-well lighting.
(Husband starts choking up.)
Take it easy sir, I’m sure we'll find your truck!
• • • • •
wit and wisdom of David Feherty
Received from David Byers
David Feherty, a huge supporter of our military veterans, is a CBS and Golf Channel announcer who finds unique, colorful and uninhibited ways of explaining or describing whatever is on his mind. If you are unfamiliar with the game and its personalities, save yourself some time and move on. Otherwise, here are some Feherty-isims.
• ”Fortunately, Rory is 22 years old so his right wrist should be the strongest muscle in his body."
• “That ball is so far left, Lassie couldn't find it if it was wrapped in bacon.”
• ”I am sorry Nick Faldo couldn't be here this week. He is attending the birth of his next wife."
• “Jim Furyk's swing looks like an octopus falling out of a tree."
• Describing VJ Singh's prodigious practice regime: "VJ hits more balls than Elton John's chin."
• ”That's a great shot with that swing."
• ”It's OK, the bunker stopped it."
• At Augusta 2011: "It's just a glorious day.The only way to ruin a day like this would be to play golf on it."
• ”That was a great shot — if they had put the pin there today."
• "Watching Phil Mickelson play golf is like watching a drunk chasing a balloon near the edge of a cliff."
• • • • •
Received from Debbi Zearbaugh
The coach had put together the perfect team for the Chicago Bears. The only thing that was missing was a good quarterback. He had scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian and European leagues, but he couldn't find a ringer who could ensure a Super Bowl win.
Then one night while watching CNN he saw a war-zone scene in the West Bank. In one corner of the background he spotted a young Israeli soldier with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a 15th story window 100 yards away.
He threw another hand-grenade 75 yards away, right into a chimney.
Then he threw another at a passing car going 90 mph.
"I've got to get this guy!" the Coach said to himself. "He has the perfect arm!” So, he brings him to the States and teaches him the great game of American football.
At the end of the season the Bears go on to win the Super Bowl. The young man is hailed as the great hero of Chicago football, and when the coach asks him what he wants, all the young man wants to do is call his mother.
"Mom," he says into the phone, "I just won the Super Bowl!"
"I don't want to talk to you, the old woman says."You are not my son!"
"I don't think you understand, Mother," the young man pleads. "I've won the greatest sporting event in the world. I'm here among thousands of my adoring fans."
"No! Let me tell you!" his mother retorts. "At this very moment, there are gunshots all around us. The neighborhood is a pile of rubble. Your two brothers were beaten within an inch of their lives last week, and I have to keep your sister in the house so she doesn't get assaulted!” The old lady pauses, then tearfully says, "I will never forgive you for making us move to Chicago!"
IT'S ALL ABOUT PHONICS
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
Jan. 11 — 17
Jan. 11: Donald and Melania Trump are scheduled to ride with the Obamas to the Capitol on Inauguration Day. And you thought your Uber pool was uncomfortable.
Obama offered to leave behind the swing set that he had installed for his kids so that Trump’s grandkids could use it, but Trump turned him down. Trump said he’ll be building a bigger, better swing set and he’s going to make the kids pay for it.
The big story right now is the new report claiming that Russia has enough embarrassing material on Donald Trump to blackmail him. On the other hand, so does anyone who follows Trump on Twitter.
There will be a “20/20” special on Trump’s inauguration that has forced ABC to push back its premieres of “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” Yeah, to make room for the special about Trump called “Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder.”
Jan. 12: All of these accusations are coming out about Trump’s ties with Russia. In fact, a 2013 interview just resurfaced where Trump says he has a relationship with Vladimir Putin. While Putin’s like, “Ugh, you poke someone back on Facebook, next thing you know you’re in a relationship.”
Yesterday, Trump held his first big press conference since the election, and he got into a shouting match with a CNN reporter who claims that Trump tried to have him thrown out. Then the other reporters were like, “Oh, come on. Why does HE get to leave?”
Now Penthouse is offering a million dollars to anyone who has compromising videos of Donald Trump. When he heard about the offer, Trump provided the videos himself. “I know a good deal when I see one.”
Ben Affleck was patted down by TSA security at Los Angeles International Airport this week. Though when it was over, the woman whispered, “I’m not in the TSA.”
Jan. 16: I saw that Donald Trump himself is selling inauguration sweatshirts for $79. I know it sounds expensive for a sweatshirt, but just imagine how much they would have cost if they were made in America.
I read that Trump raised a record $90 million in private donations to pay for his inauguration. Trump said, "Just another $10 million and we can cover my appearance fee."
I read about a man in Virginia who paid the DMV his $3,000 fine in pennies. It took the workers 12 hours to count them all. And that line still moved faster than the one you were in waiting in at the DMV.
Last night, "The Young Pope" premiered on HBO. You can tell this pope is young because when people say, "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned." He just goes, "Kay."
Jan. 17: Donald Trump’s inaugural committee is actually encouraging protesters to show up on Friday, saying, quote, “We’ll give you cookies and Kool-Aid.” Then Republicans in Congress were like, “Actually, we drank all the Kool-Aid.”
On Sunday, a Facebook Live video of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin trash talking the New England Patriots went viral. But Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t seem too bothered by it, telling a Boston radio station, quote, “I’m not on SnapFace and all that.” SnapFace?
Belichick went on to say, “If Tomlin wants to come at me on Instagoogle, that’s his business. We’ll settle this on the field, not Skypee, MyFace, or TubeBook. But please follow me on Pinterest for tips on how to update your home interiors for spring! ’K Byee!”
Jan. 11: At his press conference today, Donald Trump said America will build the border wall and then be reimbursed by Mexico. The invoice will be submitted to Mexico’s Department of “In Your Dreams, Pendejo.”
In a tweet today, Donald Trump compared the way he’s been treated to Nazi Germany. Which is unfair, because everyone knows Hitler won his election without the help of the Russians.
In his farewell speech, President Obama said being a father to his daughters was his proudest achievement. In response, Donald Trump said being a father to his daughter is the reason he’s not allowed to date her.
7-Eleven announced it’s now offering “breakfast pizza.” It’s all in keeping with 7-Eleven’s motto: “If You’re Here, You’re Probably Hungover.”
According to a new study, the average cost of raising a child in America is now over $200,000. The study was funded by Trojan condoms.
Jan. 12: The CIA is now saying that the Kremlin has multiple sexual recordings of Donald Trump. After hearing this, Trump smirked and said, “Yeah, all from the same night… #stamina.”
Today, the San Diego Chargers announced they are moving to Los Angeles. The owner of the Chargers said, “What can I say, we really loved ‘La La Land!’”
It’s raining so hard now, we’re actually having mudslides here in L.A. This morning I was driving to work and I was passed by a house.
Good news, the five-year drought is over. That’s right — last night, I had sex.
Donald Trump has named 72-year-old Rudy Giuliani to be his adviser on cybersecurity. Trump explained, “I’m not up to speed on the latest technology, so I wanted to get somebody two years older.”
Jan. 16: Over the weekend, Donald Trump sent out angry tweets blasting civil rights legend John Lewis. So I guess we all celebrate Martin Luther King Day differently.
A Bruce Springsteen cover band is the latest musical act to drop out of performing [at the inauguration]. Yeah. That's right. That's the situation we're in right now. It is not a good sign when a cover band thinks you're not a legitimate president.
In an interview yesterday, Donald Trump said he has a replacement for Obamacare that will provide insurance for everybody. Yeah, it's called move to Canada.
Dozens of Democratic members of Congress are boycotting Donald Trump's inauguration. Which is shocking because I didn't know there were still dozens of Democratic members of Congress. I guessed there were like two left.
In an interview, President Obama said that reading books helped him get through difficult times during his presidency. Reading books, yeah. So he said, “Thank you, Judy Bloom.”
There's a new app out there that describes itself as Tinder for adopting babies. So one day, siblings will be taunting each other with, "Ha ha, mom right-swiped you. You shouldn't be here."
Jan. 17: It’s expected to rain in Washington during Donald Trump’s inauguration. In response, Donald Trump tweeted, “The sky is rigged.”
It’s rumored that Donald Trump’s transition team is paying seat fillers to attend his inauguration. Just a word of advice to the Trump seat-fillers: Make sure you get paid up front, OK? Get the cash.
Donald Trump said after he’s sworn into office on Friday, he’s going to take the weekend off. Unless, of course, he has to deal with a national emergency or a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. It could go either way.
It was announced that Alex Rodriguez will host a reality TV show featuring former athletes who are now broke. Or as that’s already known, “Dancing With the Stars.”
Jan. 12: We want to start by talking about L.L. Bean, the outdoor clothing company. They were the focus of a boycott this week after it came out that one of the company’s co-owners, Linda Bean, had donated a lot of money to support Donald Trump. When Trump found out about the boycott, he just let it go and moved on.
I’m kidding, he tweeted about it. He thanked Linda Bean for her support and then he commands everybody to buy L.L. Bean. I for one am shocked that the co-owner of a company founded by a hunter, to sell hunting boots to other hunters, would come out in favor of a Republican.
A lot of people were upset that an L.L. Bean family member was connected to the Trump campaign, and I hear that L.L. Bean’s brother Cool J is absolutely livid.
So Donald Trump endorsed L.L. Bean on Twitter — because if anybody represents the rugged great outdoors, it’s a spray-tanned germaphobe who goes to the bathroom on a gold toilet.
Jan. 17: t was announced that the B Street Band — a Bruce Springsteen cover band — that was booked for an inauguration gala has since decided to cancel out of respect for Springsteen’s opposition to Donald Trump. You know it’s bad when even a cover band is like, “We don’t want to compromise our artistic integrity like that.”
The celebrities attending are so non-famous, they’d probably get cast on “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Maybe a Springsteen cover band canceling is all for the best. “Born in the USA” would have been an insensitive song to play at a party celebrating a campaign that was actually born in Russia.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus have announced they’re shutting down in May after 146 years. I get why their business is failing. It’s hard for Ringling Bros. to claim to be “the greatest show on Earth” when we all know the greatest show on Earth is “The Bachelor.”
Jan. 12: We have another NFL team in L.A. The San Diego Chargers have announced they will be known now as the Los Angeles Chargers. Two teams is a lot of teams. I was ready for some football. I don’t think I was ready for this much of it.
Reaction from fans here in L.A, I don’t know if I’d call it mixed. They reacted the same way to opening a Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon in the mail.
Meanwhile, in our nation’s capital, our elected officials had a late night of work. After seven hours of debating, they voted to approve a resolution that would rid the country eventually of Obamacare. Can you imagine, the senators finally worked until 1:30 in the morning, and it was for this? How would Congress like it if we all met in the middle of the night and voted to take THEIR healthcare away?
If Obamacare is repealed, 20 million Americans could lose healthcare which is a very big deal, but we don’t seem to be as fired up. If they voted to take Netflix away from us, we’d go nuts. We would burn things. It would be crazy.
Jan. 12: President Obama today awarded Vice President Joe Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom With Distinction, which is an honor only three other people have been given over the last 30 years. Then Biden gave Obama his highest honor, double finger guns with a wink.
The head of the office of government ethics said yesterday that the only way for Donald Trump to completely avoid conflicts of interest is to sell his assets and place them in a blind trust. Trump was like, “Fine, I trust Ivanka.”
Senate Republicans today passed a budget blueprint marking the first steps towards repealing Obamacare. Which means it’s going to cost us a lot more to get this mole looked at.
Researchers in Japan are saying that flashing a peace sign in photos might increase chances of fingerprint data being stolen. And letting your mom take the photo guarantees it.
Children’s magazine Highlights has announced that its next issue will include a picture of a same-sex couple for the first time in its 70-year history. Making it the easiest game of “what’s wrong with this picture” Mike Pence has ever played.
Jan. 16: Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony is this Friday, which means Mike Pence's is on Monday.
After civil rights leader John Lewis called Donald Trump an illegitimate president, incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus claimed that Republicans never questioned the legitimacy of President Obama's election. And then President Obama sighed so hard his hair turned white.
Donald Trump tweeted about Martin Luther King Jr. this morning, saying people should celebrate, quote, "All the many wonderful things that he stood for." He then quickly logged off before anyone asked him to name one.
Donald Trump met with Steve Harvey at Trump Tower on Friday. Meanwhile, Trump's toupee and Harvey's mustache met for a play date.
According to a new report, 67 percent of millennials use Netflix, which must really tick off whoever owns the account they're using.
Jan. 17: Donald Trump will be sworn in as president this Friday at 12 noon. That’s when the big hand is on the 12, and the little hand is on the Bible.
Today was first lady Michelle Obama’s birthday. And for the eighth year in a row, an overexcited Joe Biden blew out her candles.
A Russian billionaire reportedly paid over $4 million to have Mariah Carey and Sir Elton John perform at his teenage granddaughter’s wedding. Said his teenage granddaughter, “Who are these people?”
A female zebra shark in Australia has shocked researchers by developing the ability to produce offspring asexually, after spending time away from her male partner. And she says that so far he’s buying it!
WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE
Click HERE for the most current update.
• • • • •
Meet 16-year-old Jackie Evancho, the young lady who will be singing the National Anthem at tomorrow’s inauguration. As is typical these days, her singing during Trump’s big day is not without controversy. She has a transgendered sister and has received numerous demands from the LGBT community that she not take part in the inauguration. Unlike some Hollywood celebrities who have backed out for fear of being blacklisted, and over 60 Democrats who have followed Rep. John Lewis’ lead by refusing to attend, Jackie is forging on and will be SHARING her God-given talent with the nation. You go girl!
• • • • •
We are going to assume that those of you familiar with the Master painters will agree with us when we describe this as a Monet masterpiece in motion. And with an accompanying soundtrack of the classical instrumental “Ave Maria,” THIS clip should reward the viewer with 3 minutes of pure relaxation. (3:07)
• • • • •
I’m as intrigued by these little North Korean guitarists today as I was when I first ran this clip last June. As I noted before, “If that crazy clown who runs North Korea could clone the two girls in the middle of THIS group of five, he could conquer the world using nothing more than their cuteness. (3:10)
• • • • •
We posted a clip last year that was similar to this one received from Steve Postier, but the earlier “Flyboard” only had a flight time of a couple minutes. This one can travel up to 15 miles. Here are the details:
Franky Zapata rides the 'Flyboard Air' in Naples, Florida, doing impressive maneuvers like spins and slalom, including an amazing breaking in front of the crowd. The innovative Flyboard® Air represents 4 years of hard work, resulting in an Independent Propulsion Unit that can achieve autonomous flight up to 10,000 feet, a top speed of 93 mph and delivers a range of up to 15 miles. Flyboard Air is still in the prototype phase and will not be available for purchase until 2017. Note: THIS is not a computer simulation or edited video. It is 100% real. (5:10)
• • • • •
Guys, gals, think back to your junior high school days. Did THIS ever happen to you? (3:30)
• • • • •
Comrade Kosovilka threatened to report me to the KGB if I didn’t post this short clip for the edification of his fellow dirt bike riders. He didn’t have to threaten me twice. (:030)
• • • • •
It can get lonely living as a single, so I thought about going to the animal shelter and picking up a dog or a cat. But before I left the house I checked my email and opened a message from a friend who had attached THIS video. Now I’m wondering where I can pick up one of these little critters. (3:20)
• • • • •
Could this turn out to be the new Pet Rock? I’m thinking I would buy one to set next to the fireplace or at the foot of the bed. Think what you would save on food, litter and vet bills, although it MIGHT be necessary to take it to see a geologist once in a while for a check-up. (0:28)
• • • • •
We’d like to enlist your help with this experiment by asking that you participate by getting a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil for this item because we are having a hard time believing what we are seeing. It’s about a Mentalist who appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden. If you are game, click HERE after you get a sheet of paper and a pen. (10:55)
• • • • •
Even if you have lived in the Valley all your life, we would wager that you have never seen the Lexington Spillway and Reservoir from this angle. You can credit the FOOTAGE to the recent rains and the technology of Hi-Def cameras mounted on Drones. (1:41)
• • • • •
If you plan on getting one of those remote control license plate covers to hide your plate from the camera and avoid paying a toll at a bridge or expressway, make sure there’s not a cop right behind you. This nimrod in Florida got caught and wound up being charged with a felony instead of digging out a buck-and-a-quarter. THIS is a short ABC news story and video that shows what we are talking about. (0:37)
Remote license plate curtains like this are are easy to obtain. HERE is one of many we found on YouTube (0:17)
• • • • •
I spent many miles in the saddle of a motorcycle and can tell you from first-hand experience that I hated it when THIS happened. (0:34)
• • • • •
This is something you skiers and snowboarders may find of interest. It is GoPro footage of a head-mounted camera of a snowboarder in Whistler, BC getting caught in an avalanche. Fortunately, he was wearing an inflatable backpack that kept him from being buried. The SOUND you hear as he is riding the avalanche to the bottom of the hill is the motor adding air to the backpack. (1:38)
• • • • •
By the reaction of some of those in André Rieu’s audience, it appears that the older one gets, the more profound the effect the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” has. Perhaps it’s because the song brings to mind the loss of a loved one, or maybe it’s because our own mortality becomes more apparent as the trail of life gets shorter. Whatever the case, THIS is what we chose to close this week’s Farsider. (5:01)
• • • • •
Pic of the Week
THE FARSIDER SUBSCRIPTION ROSTER as of 1/18/16
Additions and changes since the last published update (alphabetical by last name):
Ricky Brown — Added
Ken Tanaka — 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 <email@example.com>.
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