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Leasing News is a web site that posts information, news, and
entertainment for the commercial alternate financing,
bank, finance and leasing industries

kitmenkin@leasingnews.org
   



Byline Financial Group
Bannockburn, Illinois

Positions Open
Customer Service Repesentative
 Credit Administrator
   Sales Coordinator
(Click on position to learn more)

bylinebank.com/byline-financial-group/

Byline Financial Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Byline Bank, Member FDIC


Wednesday, July 31, 2018



Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

The Inside on What is Going On
at Amur Financial Group
  By Christopher Menkin, Editor
Delaware Appeals Court Affirms Judgment
  in Amur Finance Case
  By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
Top Six Leasing Company Websites
   in North America
Marlin Completes $201.7 Million
  Term Debt Securitization - Why?
Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
  Positions Available Now
Developing Strong Leaders for the
  Commercial Equipment Leasing/Financing Industry
Add me to mailing list
   Subscription is Free
2018 ELFA Software Guide Helps Equipment Finance
   Companies Compete in the New Digital Frontier
German Shepherd & Wirehaired Terrier Mix
  SPCA of Westchester, New York  Adopt a Dog
The Largest Gathering of Business and Commercial Brokers
  in the United States, October 16-18, 2018, Miami, Florida
News Briefs---
Syndication at Heart of SEC and Criminal Investigation
   into 1st Global Capital $282 Million in unsecured lender claims
Online Lenders and Payment Companies Get a Way
    to Act More Like Banks
U.S. Considers Higher Tariffs on $200 Billion in Chinese Imports
   Raising Rate to 25 percent
‘Eye-popping’ payouts for CEOs follow Trump’s tax cuts
  Executive Stock Compensation Pays Off Big
Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages
   the most extensive effort to interfere in American politics

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (wrilter's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months

www.leasingcomplaints.com (Be Careful of Doing Business)
www.evergreenleasingnews.org
Leasing News Icon for Android Mobile Device 

You May have Missed---
 Poem
  Sports Brief----
   California Nuts Brief---
   "Gimme that Wine"
     This Day in History
      SuDoku
       Daily Puzzle
        GasBuddy
         Weather, USA or specific area
          Traffic Live----

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release,” it was not written by Leasing News nor has the information been verified. The source noted. When an article is signed by the writer,
it is considered a “byline.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer.

Please send a colleague and ask them to subscribe. We are free
Email kitmenkin@leasingnews.org and in subject line: subscribe


[headlines]

--------------------------------------------------------------

 


The Inside on What is Going On At

By Christopher Menkin, Editor

Leasing News has heard from many insiders regarding Gordon Glade, Founder of Axis Capital (name changed to Amur Financial Group), leaving (1) and his lawsuit (2), as well as Co-President and Chief Commercial Officer Michael Karman abruptly leaving Amur Financial Group (3). We are waiting for a third collaboration of a meeting last week in White Plains, New York, concerning the direction of the company hiring, which is quite newsworthy.

Leasing News has been working on this story for many years, and this specific article started June 25, Monday, communicating with multiple sources who are well known to the editor.

This is the result of these sources with various information being confirmed.

                        --------------------

For the last several years, millions of dollars was spent on recruiting/hiring experienced "Vendor" sales people/managers and technology to turn Amur in to a serious vendor player. In February, there was a drastic 180 turnaround for the focus of the business at Amur Equipment Finance. Without notice or explanation, the focus turned from high volume (low profit) vendor originated business to high risk - high yield ("C", "Start Up", "Broker") business rather than "flow" business from vendor/manufacturer programs.

All Sales people’ salaries were reportedly taken away in exchange for 30% of gross margin (or EVA "Economic Value Add").  For those sales people focused on transactional, one-offs (2nd, 3rd, 4th look business from a vendor), the new model makes perfect sense and the sale people make more money than ever.  For those doing consistent "flow" business for A-B credits as they were hired to do, they are now rewarded with 40-50% pay cuts YOY vs. 2017.

Since Amur Finance took over majority ownership of Axis Capital, the model, as it was sold to all the new hires and lenders, providing lines of credit to Amur (aka Axis Capital) was always to convert AXIS Capital (90%+ Broker business) to 80% Axis/Amur direct originations and 20% Broker. This was the case in 2016 and 2017 but abruptly it changed in February 2018 when they opened the flood gates on the credit window for Broker business. It quickly increased to 50% Broker and 50% Direct (high risk/high yield), according to multiple informed sources.

All of this then reportedly quickly unwound nearly 5 years of work to become a true "Vendor Player." The abrupt change coincides with the Pine Valley lawsuits and the subsequent resignation of several senior employees. The new focus on High Risk/High Yield business, including the drastic increase in percentage of broker business (50%) is likely to cause many if not all of their banking relationships to halt current or future credit lines, hence the "sprint" to the August securitization.

The post in Leasing News on Monday had to do with Pine Valley disputing Amur Equipment Finance from spending $7M in legal expenses fighting Pine Valley and Pine Valley arguing Amur can't spend Pine Valley dollars to sue/fight Pine Valley.  The more damaging notice comes from the enclosed link: https://www.dailydac.com/commercialbankruptcy/investors/past-public-notices-of-sale/

With an upcoming approximately $200M Securitization, the news of $50 million in assets being sold at auction will certainly cause concern as will the already increasing rate of defaults associated with the new "high risk-high yield" business model. Also, there apparently is a $50 million lawsuit in Kansas City that Amur is fighting, making it more difficult for Mostafiz to find an investor to replace Pine Valley.

All syndication responsibilities reportedly were taken from the 30 year industry veteran and chair of National Equipment Finance Association, Mike Coon, and given to Elliot Klaus, in-house council, with allegedly no leasing experience. Why? To bring all controls to White Plains.

Michael Karman, 30 year leasing veteran, who was hired to transform Axis/Amur from a Wholesale to Retail Vendor player, was stripped of all Sales (Direct, Wholesale, Syndication) responsibilities this Spring under the new turnaround and all departments reported to Mostafiz Shah Mohammed (CEO/Founder of all Amur related companies).  In an obviously very calculated move, Mostafiz transferred all Sales, Marketing, Operation, Credit, etc. to his Cronies in White Plains, New York. Not one of them, or any member of the board, reportedly has any leasing experience at all.  

If this New York Auction sale happens and the August securitization is stalled/canceled, the company could unwind very quickly. I hope not, for the sake of all the great support people in Grand Island. 

(1) Gordon Glade, Founder Axis Capital, is Out!
  No Statement Where He Went or Why
http://leasingnews.org/archives/May2016/05_18.htm#gordon

(2) Axis Capital Subject to Possible Receivership
   By Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
http://leasingnews.org/archives/Jun2016/06_27.htm#axis

(3) Changes at Amur Financial Group  -
  Co-President/Chief Commercial Officer Gone
http://leasingnews.org/archives/Jul2018/07_30.htm#changes

 


[headlines]
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Delaware Appeals Court Affirms Judgment  in Amur Finance Case
by Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Court of Appeal Allows Pine River to Pursue Collateral But Most of It Is Gone

Pine River Master Fund v Amur Finance Company Delaware Case No. 2017-0145. 

Last year, I wrote about Amur Capital and its very serious problem with its lender, Pine River. The simple problem was that Amur allegedly wasn’t making interest payments and was diverting revenue from its securitized leases on its $167 million line of credit. The more interesting legal problem was that this hundred page credit agreement was so complicated that a judge with three college degrees and a twelve year stint in complex litigation couldn’t figure it out. Mired in overly detailed provisions, the judge simply couldn’t see the forest for the trees. This is a drafting problem, not a problem with the court. 

Notwithstanding the horribly drafted document, the judge found a default and entered a judgment against Amur on part of the claim. Sadly, things have gone from bad to worse for Amur Capital which was once listed at the third largest independent equipment lessor in the United States.  Amur is now a sinking ship. The facts follow. 

Pine River loaned Amur $167 million in 2013. The loan document package is ridiculously complicated with numerous special purpose entities and various distribution scenarios for the revenue associated with the equipment leases.  It is far too complicated to explain here, other than to say Amur was alleged to have siphoned off revenue to which Pine River was entitled. 

Pine River filed suit in Delaware in early 2017, alleging a breach of the credit agreement through a failure to pay interest, as well as the illegal distribution of proceeds to Amur or its parent. Amur claimed that there was no breach of the interest payments because the calculations were wrong and that it was entitled to make distributions to itself through some vague provisions in the credit agreement. 

Pine River sought summary judgment in 2017. In a series of two extremely long judicial opinions totaling over 80 pages, the court ruled that the credit agreement was ambiguous, but that Pine River could for certain other breaches pursue its collateral. 

Amur appealed the partial summary judgment. In a terse, one sentence opinion, the appellate court affirmed the granting of the partial summary judgment. Pine River is now allowed to pursue its collateral.

However, the only collateral left to Pine River are Amur Financial Group lease contacts which were secured at other banks, which means Amur might only have a 10-15% interest in those leases plus residuals when the leases expire. The problem is these leases are not going to raise $50 million cash, let alone $167 million.  A copy of the notice of sale of collateral is linked below. 

According to multiple sources that have communicated with Leasing News, Amur has been hemorrhaging cash and employees for several months and multiple insiders have told Leasing News that many employees are suddenly quitting. According to these informed sources, Amur’s focus turned from safe high volume vendor originated business to high risk - high yield "C" broker business.  The sales force compensation was reportedly changed, which resulted in double-digit pay cuts for many salesmen who continued with vendor business. Michael Karman, one of the Presidents and Chief Credit Officer suddenly resigned after the appellate opinion was issued.  His focus was reportedly vendor relationships, so it’s obvious that his services were no longer needed under the alleged present business plan.

So what are the takeaways from this case?

• First, Clarity in Document Drafting Helps the Back End. I was shocked that a $167 million dollar credit agreement could be construed as ambiguous. Smart lawyers can draft easy to understand legal documents, although it’s not easy.  Forest for the trees. 

• Second, The Lender Usually Wins. Judges are a conservative lot and generally side with the lender where there is no allegation of wrong doing by the lender. No surprises here, except that the documents sucked.

•Third, Given the Default, Why Would Amur Defend Instead of Settle This Case? Informed sources have told Leasing News that the legal bills defending this case have exceeded $7 million dollars.  Other sources have told Leasing News that there is another $50 million dollar suit in Kansas City.  This judgment, now affirmed on appeal, and other actions will certainly have a cost beyond the $167 million. 

• Fourth, Getting Sidewise with Creditors Will Cause the Collapse of the Company. Most sales persons have very little loyalty to a company that can’t pay its bills.  Once a creditor starts seizing assets, sales people will start abandoning ship.  The lawsuits, judgments and appellate decisions all send a strong message to potential banks and other funding sources that if they do business with Amur, they may not get paid and Amur will vigorously defend all lawsuits. Will these banking sources really want to come to the rescue of this sinking ship? 

The bottom line to this case and the attached three opinions is that it appears that Amur Finance is sinking. That loud sucking noise you heard this morning was the Amur ship sinking into the sea.  Hopefully, most of the employees got in the lifeboats. There may not be a bank willing to rescue the captain.

July 9, 2018 Judgment Confirmed
http://leasingnews.org/PDF/pine_river2018.pdf

Notice of Collateral Sale
https://www.dailydac.com/commercialbankruptcy/investors/past-public-notices-of-sale/public-notice-of-disposition-of-collateral-amur-finance-iv-llc

Pine River vs. Amur Finance case
http://leasingnews.org/PDF/pine_amur2018.pdf

Pine River vs. Amur Finance Memorandum
http://leasingnews.org/PDF/pine_amur2018.pdf

Amur Finance Company Sued on Warehouse Loan Agreement
http://leasingnews.org/archives/Sep2017/09_22.htm#amur

Axis Capital Subject to Possible Receivership
http://leasingnews.org/archives/Jun2016/06_27.htm#axis

Tom McCurnin is a partner at Barton, Klugman & Oetting
in Los Angeles, California.

Tom McCurnin
Barton, Klugman & Oetting
350 South Grand Ave.
Suite 2200
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Direct Phone: (213) 617-6129
Cell (213) 268-8291
Email: tmccurnin@bkolaw.com
Visit our web site at www.bkolaw.com
Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:
http://www.leasingnews.org

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:
http://www.leasingnews.org/Conscious-Top%20Stories/leasing_cases.html

 

 

[headlines]
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Top Six Leasing Company Websites
in North America

These ratings are all from Alexa, July 30, 2018: Three Month Ratings. They are ranked with the lower number, meaning where they place on the USA list (the lower the rating, the more visitors. The numbers are not how many visitors, but ranking on the list.)

These are not ranked by a vote of who has the best website, but the ranking conducted by Alexa, an Amazon company.

At one time, there were ten, then nine, and now six under 1,000,000.

In the realm of things, there are many public, retail, business, and even personal websites, many of them with an APP.  Crest is back at number one. The main reason is their website is disguised as a Section 179 website (1). 

CIT is back in to second place.  FinTech Breakthrough named the CIT Point-of-Sale Platform as the "Best Small Business Lending Solution" in 2018. 

Crest Capital is number two, falling from number one, as their claim to fame is the Section 179 website, which Leasing News wrong about (1). 
TimePayment remains at number two. Direct Capital in New Hampshire gets most of its business via the use of the internet and was a leader in this field very early, one of the reasons for their success (purchased by CIT in March, 2015). They were number one of this list for a long time, but are now number four.  Despite Balboa Capital complaints, they remain in the top due to their internet marketing, as do the other companies.

Throughout the taking of the ratings about every three months, it should be noted that Financial Pacific has steadily improved their ratings. Their following is primarily from  "third party originators" who send them business, so they must be very active on the web.


www.crestcapital.com
388.051


www.cit.com
401,336


www.timepayment.com
407,094


www.directcapital.com
485,350


http://www.balboacapital.com/home.aspx
485,714

 
www.finpac.com
807,726

It should be noted that Alternate Finance Companies have many more “hits.” They obviously know how to promote to obtain business on the internet.  For instance, OnDeck ranking is 148,168 and Rapid Advance is 891,952, which would have gotten them on the commercial leasing list.

 


[headlines]
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Marlin Completes $201.7 Million
Term Debt Securitization - Why?

Leasing News recently wrote about Marlin Business Services ABS announcement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (1).  On Tuesday, Marlin filed their press release announcing the completion of a $201.7 million asset-backed note: "This transaction was Marlin’s eleventh term securitization and its first since 2010.  As with all prior term securitizations, this financing provides the Company with fixed-cost borrowing and will be recorded on its balance sheet as a financing transaction.  The Notes, which were issued in seven classes, have fixed interest rates ranging from 2.55% to 5.02% (with a weighted averaged fixed interest rate of 3.41%) and legal final maturity dates ranging from July 22, 2019 to May 20, 2025."

The question is why?

Jeffrey A. Hilzinger, Marlin's President and CEO, explained in the announcement, "The primary strategic objective of this financing was to diversify our funding sources and to release capital for growth by achieving a higher advance rate against the securitized assets than was being achieved in Marlin Business Bank, our wholly-owned depository,” said Hilzinger.

 “While we expect Marlin Business Bank to remain an important source of our funding, we also expect to be a programmatic issuer of asset-backed securities in the future as we use a mix of depository and wholesale funding to optimize our capital structure over time and across credit cycles.”

Definitely more to the story.

Full Press Release:
https://www.marlinfinance.com/industry-news/marlin-completes-201-7-million-term-debt-securitization/

(1) Marlin Business Services Files Equipment Finance ABS
          with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
http://leasingnews.org/archives/Jul2018/07_16.htm#marlin

 

  



[headlines]
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Help Wanted

Byline Financial Group
Bannockburn, Illinois

Positions Open
Customer Service Repesentative
 Credit Administrator
   Sales Coordinator
(Click on position to learn more)

bylinebank.com/byline-financial-group/

Byline Financial Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Byline Bank, Member FDIC


 

Leasing Funding Coordinator
Los Angeles, California


Visit: Recent Transactions
Visit: Leasing Program

Job Description

www.dakotafinancial.com
Asset-Based Direct Funding Source




 

 


[headlines]
--------------------------------------------------------------


Developing Strong Leaders for the
Commercial Equipment Leasing/Financing Industry

Sales Makes it Happen by Scott Wheeler, CLFP

There are so many opportunities in the commercial equipment leasing and finance industry to improve your skills, to become more engaged, to be an advocate for superior services and products, and to be a better a professional. Here are just a few:

  • Become active in an association. It is great to be a member of one of the associations that serves the commercial equipment leasing and finance industry. But, membership is not enough - you need to join a committee, volunteer to be on the board, be a presenter, and/or sponsor an event.
  • Get Certified. The CLFP has made tremendous strides under the leadership of its board and executive director, Reid Raykovich. The number of CLFP's in the industry is continuously rising with nearly 600 certified professionals. If you are not a CLFP or are working on becoming one - now is the time! For more information or to order its new handbook: http://www.clpfoundation.org.
  • Advocate for the industry. Being successful in the industry requires you to advocate beyond your own company. Participate in community events, or visit colleges and educate the next generation. If you are a member of Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, participate in Capitol Connections. If you are a member of the American Association of Commercial Leasing Brokers or National Equipment Finance Association, go to their conferences, or at least joint and communicate with other members.
  • Mentor younger professionals. Those who have knowledge are able to teach others. The best means of improving your own skills is to share your knowledge with others.

Being part of the commercial equipment leasing and finance industry is more than a job, it is a career. It is part of who we are. We are financial professionals who help businesses grow and flourish.

I established Wheeler Business Consulting nearly ten years ago to help build stronger leaders in the industry. If I can help you or your company, please do not hesitate to call me: 410- 877-0428.

Scott A. Wheeler, CLFP
Wheeler Business Consulting
1314 Marquis Ct.
Fallston, Maryland 21047
Phone: 410 877 0428
Fax: 410 877 8161
Email: scott@wheelerbusinessconsulting.com
Web: www.wheelerbusinessconsulting.com

 

 

[headlines]
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To subscribe: email kitmenkin@leasingnews.org

Thank you, 
Leasing News Editorial

[headlines]
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##### Press Release ############################

2018 ELFA Software Guide Helps Equipment Finance
Companies Compete in the New Digital Frontier

Washington, D.C. – In order to compete in today’s rapidly changing world, equipment finance firms are innovating their business processes and recognizing the value of investing in technology upgrades, according to the 2018 ELFA Software Guide released today by the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. This online resource highlights the leading software solutions for the industry and outlines some key technology trends for equipment finance companies.

The 2018 Software Guide includes information on “How Do You Know When It’s Time to Upgrade Your Software Platform?” and outlines the following scenarios when an equipment finance company may decide it’s time to consider a change in systems:  

  • Outdated: You are concerned your current platform is no longer secure, reliable or compliant with new and ever-changing standards, such as the new lease accounting standards and GDPR.
  • Inflexible: Your business is constrained by an inflexible system. Whether you are looking to offer new financial products, enter new markets or utilize new sales channels, you need a software platform that gives you the flexibility to grow your business as you need to.
  • Not meeting customer needs: Your customers increasingly demand more flexibility in their agreement structures, including a desire to have bundled, managed services or non-standard finance agreements and your current software platform doesn’t support these capabilities.
  • Straining headcount: Due to system constraints, you cannot scale your business significantly without increasing headcount.  
  • Insufficient reporting capabilities: Your key systems do not enable you to access data for meaningful analytics and service-level metrics tracking.
  • Not integrated: Your integration capabilities are severely limited, preventing you from providing seamless processing for both internal and external users.
  • Slow: Your software platform requires you to remain in overnight batch mode while the rest of the world, including your customers, has moved on to instantaneous response times.
  • Out of alignment: Your software platform does not align with your current technology goals or digital strategy. If after assessing your business strategy and capabilities needed to achieve your business objectives you find your current system severely lacking or unable to adapt, it might be time for a change.
  • Waning vendor support: Delayed updates or an end-of-life announcement may be commonplace with your vendor. From new functionality to bug fixes, your business is at risk.

Visit the ELFA website to access the full 2018 ELFA Software Guide:

Learn more about technology and the equipment finance industry at the 2018 ELFA Operations & Technology Conference, Sept. 17-19 in Philadelphia. See details at www.elfaonline.org/events/2018/OT

About ELFA
The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the $1 trillion equipment finance sector, which includes financial services companies and manufacturers engaged in financing capital goods. ELFA members are the driving force behind the growth in the commercial equipment finance market and contribute to capital formation in the U.S. and abroad. Its 580 members include independent and captive leasing and finance companies, banks, financial services corporations, broker/packagers and investment banks, as well as manufacturers and service providers. For more information, please visit www.elfaonline.org.

### Press Release ############################

[headlines]
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German Shepherd & Wirehaired Terrier Mix
SPCA of Westchester, New York  Adopt a Dog


Raina
Female
Puppy
Good in a home with other dogs, children
Vaccinations up to date, spayed

Meet Raina
When to Come:
Unless noted differently above, our hours are Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1pm-4pm. Our adoptions are first come, first served based on the status of your application.

Adoption Process:
We do same day adoptions pending application approval/satisfactory reference checks, except in the case of dogs listed as Trainer Adoptions (on occasion, some Trainer Adoption dogs are able to go home same day). With all adoptions, every person living in the home where the dog will reside must come meet the dog, and any dogs already in the home must come for a meet and greet as well.

All Puppies: $375.00
SPCA of Westchester
590 North State Road
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510
shelter@spca914.org
914-941-2896

Adopt a Pet
http://www.adoptapet.com/

[headlines]
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The Largest Gathering of Business and Commercial Brokers
in the United States, October 16-18, 2018, Miami, Florida


"We regret to say that we are almost sold out of exhibitor tables and only have three sponsorship opportunities available,” Kris Roglieri, Founder of NACL, reported.

“Now is your chance to get your brand in front of hundreds of the nation's top commercial loan brokers in the country. Increase your deal flow and gain new relationships in just two days. With only 8 tables left, this is on a first come, first serve basis.
 
“Not only will our exhibit halls be crowded but our exclusive networking events will serve as the perfect networking opportunity to mingle with top brokers.”

Over 800 commercial loan/ISO brokers are expected to attend to meet over 150 funders, lenders and banks, that offer multiple products to serve your clients such as: Equipment Financing, Equipment Leasing, SBA Lending, Merchant Cash Advance, Project Funding, Commercial Real Estate Lending, Fix and Flip Financing, Unsecured Lines of Credit, Alternative Financing, Asset Based Lending, Factoring, Purchase Order Financing and much, much more.

To Learn more, click here:
https://www.naclb.org/exhibitors-sponsors/

To Register:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/naclb-2018-registration-39232925737

 

 

[headlines]
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News Briefs----

Syndication at Heart of SEC and Criminal Investigation
   into 1st Global Capital $282 Million in unsecured lender claims
https://debanked.com/2018/07/syndication-at-heart-of-sec-and-criminal-investigation-into-1st-global-capital/

Online Lenders and Payment Companies Get a Way
    to Act More Like Banks
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/31/business/dealbook/fintech-bank-charter.html

U.S. Considers Higher Tariffs on $200 Billion in Chinese Imports
   Raising Rate to 25 percent
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-31/u-s-said-to-plan-higher-tariff-on-200-billion-of-china-imports

‘Eye-popping’ payouts for CEOs follow Trump’s tax cuts
  Executive Stock Compensation Pays Off Big
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/30/eye-popping-payouts-for-ceos-follow-trumps-tax-cuts-747649

Facebook takes down suspected Russian network of pages
   the most extensive effort to interfere in American politics
https://money.cnn.com/2018/07/31/technology/facebook-removes-pages/index.html


Leasing Funding Coordinator
Los Angeles, California


Visit: Recent Transactions
Visit: Leasing Program

Job Description

www.dakotafinancial.com
Asset-Based Direct Funding Source


 

[headlines]
--------------------------------------------------------------


You May Have Missed---

U.S. Considers Higher Tariffs on $200 Billion in Chinese Imports
   Raising Rate to 25 percent
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-31/u-s-said-to-plan-higher-tariff-on-200-billion-of-china-imports


[headlines]
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The Batter

From the book
That Sweet Diamond

by Paul B. Janeczko, Carole Katchen (Illustrator)

He approaches the plate,

ponderous,

swinging smoothly

in slow motion

knowing his choice is simple:

swing or not.

 

As he paws

the back line of the batter's box,

matching concentration and stare

with the pitcher,

he knows

indecision

or

hesitation

makes failure likely.

 

Pitcher rocks.

 

Batter waits.

 

Then, in the time it takes

a happy heart to beat,

decides.

 


[headlines]
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Sports Briefs---

How LeBron James’ new public school really is the first of its kind
https://www.sbnation.com/2018/7/31/17634370/lebron-james-school-akron-i-promise-different

NFL legend Joe Montana and wife Jennifer share the secret
behind their 30-year marriage
— and why she turned down his first proposal
https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/nfl-legend-joe-montana-wife-jennifer-share-secret-behind-30-year-marriage-turned-first-proposal-193038898.html


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California Nuts Briefs---

Firefighting ranks swell on Mendocino Complex fires
www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8585758-181/firefighting-ranks-swell-on-mendocino

Carr Fire update: 20 missing in Shasta County,
    new details emerge about 6th fatality
https://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article215865700.html

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri, other Humboldt County residents
      help those affect by fires
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/07/31/celebrity-chef-guy-fieri-other-humboldt-county-residents-help-those-affect-by-fires/

California Republicans complain Trump’s farm aid plan unfair
https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article215654035.html

Trump tariffs add another obstacle to Bay Area building
https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/07/31/trump-tariffs-add-another-obstacle-to-bay-area-building/

 

[headlines]
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“Gimme that Wine”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJnQoi8DSE8

Americans Still Favor Beer Over Other Alcoholic Beverages
https://news.gallup.com/poll/238100/americans-favor-beer-alcoholic-beverages.aspx

Wine Prices by vintage
http://www.winezap.com
http://www.wine-searcher.com/

US/International Wine Events
http://www.localwineevents.com/

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page
http://two.leasingnews.org/Recommendations/wnensprts.htm

[headlines]
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This Day in History

     1498 - Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sets foot on the American mainland for the first time, at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela. Thinking it an island, he christened it Isla Santa and claimed it for Spain. He explored the Orinoco River of Venezuela and, given its scope, soon realized he had stumbled upon another continent. Columbus, a deeply religious man, decided after careful thought that Venezuela was the outer regions of the Garden of Eden. Returning to Hispaniola, he found that conditions on the island had deteriorated under the rule of his brothers, Diego and Bartholomew. Columbus' efforts to restore order were marked by brutality, and his rule came to be deeply resented by both the colonists and the native Taino chiefs. In 1500, Spanish chief justice Francisco de Bobadilla arrived at Hispaniola, sent by Isabella and Ferdinand to investigate complaints, and Columbus and his brothers were sent back to Spain in chains. He was immediately released upon his return, and Ferdinand and Isabella agreed to finance a fourth voyage, in which he was to search for the earthly paradise and the realms of gold said to lie nearby. He was also to continue looking for a passage to India. In May 1502, Columbus left Cýdiz on his fourth and final voyage to the New World. After returning to Hispaniola, against his patrons' wishes, he explored the coast of Central America looking for a strait and for gold. Attempting to return to Hispaniola, his ships, in poor condition, had to be beached on Jamaica. Columbus and his men were marooned, but two of his captains succeed in canoeing the 450 miles to Hispaniola. Columbus was a castaway on Jamaica for a year before a rescue ship arrived. In November 1504, Columbus returned to Spain. Queen Isabella, his chief patron, died less than three weeks later. Although Columbus enjoyed substantial revenue from Hispaniola gold during the last years of his life, he repeatedly attempted (unsuccessfully) to gain an audience with King Ferdinand, whom he felt owed him further redress. Columbus died in Valladolid on May 20, 1506, without realizing the great scope of his achievement: He had discovered for Europe the New World, whose riches over the next century would help make Spain the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth.
    1619 - First black slaves (20) land at Jamestown, Virginia.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1h289.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1p263.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1i2991.html
http://www.historian.org/local/jamstwnva.html
    1620 - The Speedwell leaves Delfshaven, the Netherlands, with the Pilgrim Fathers, headed to America by way of England.
    1764 - Birthday of Anne Willing Bingham (d. 1801), Philadelphia.  She conducted social salons for leaders of the newly-born United States such as Jefferson, Washington, etc., and had a lot to say to them. Bingham is one of the largely unrecognized cadre of early American women who, with Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, and others, attempted to gain human rights for women from the framers of the U.S. Constitution. She reportedly was used as the model for “liberty” on US coins. 
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/reidgold/draped_busts/debate.html
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/reidgold/draped_busts/pics.html
http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/P/tj3/writings/brf/jefl69.htm
    1776 - The first Jew to die in the American Revolution, Francis Salvador, was killed in a skirmish with the British loyalists. He was also the first Jew selected to office in colonial America. He was voted a member of the South Carolina Provincial Congress in January, 1775. He was known as the Southern Paul Revere for having warned of the approach of the British fleet at Charleston, SC.  On August 1, 1776, while he was leading the militia under the command of Major Andrew Wilinson, his group was ambushed by Native Americans and loyalists near Esseneka (Seneca). Salvador was shot through the body and the left leg and was scalped by a group of Cherokees who sided with the British.
http://www.fau.edu/library/brody3.htm
    1776 - Birthday of William Clark (d. 1838) at Caroline County, Virginia. The soldier, explorer and public servant served seven years in the US Army and then gained his lasting fame when Meriwether Lewis asked him to join an expedition exploring the Louisiana Territory (1803-06). Clark was an able leader and contributed detailed maps and animal illustration on the journey. A grateful President Thomas Jefferson made Clark brigadier general of militia for the Louisiana Territory (1807-13) and superintendent of Indian Affairs (1807-38).  Clark was also governor of the Missouri Territory (1813-20) and surveyor general for Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas (1824-25). Clark foresaw the tension between US interests and the native peoples of the western US, and he urged that US treat native tribes with respect. 
    1779 - Birthday of Francis Scott Key (d. 1842) at Frederick County, MD. (and if you don’t know who he was, turn in your citizenship papers). American attorney, social worker, poet and author of the US national anthem. Key was onboard a ship in Baltimore Harbor during the British bombardment of Fort McHenry on the nights of September 13-14, 1814. Thrilled to see the American flag still flying over the fort at daybreak, Key wrote the poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  The minor league baseball team in Frederick is known as the Frederick Keys in his honor.
http://www.marylandtheseventhstate.com/article1014.html
    1790 - The first census revealed that there were 3,939,326 citizens in the 16 states and the Ohio Territory. Virginia, with 747,610, was the most populous state; Rhode Island, with 68,825, the least. New York City had a population of 33,131, Philadelphia had a population of 28,522, and Boston had a population of 18,320. The US has been taken a census every 10 years since 1790. 
    1791 - Virginia planter Robert Carter III confounded his family and friends by filing a deed of emancipation for his 500 slaves. One of the wealthiest men in the state, Carter owned 60,000 acres over 15 plantations. The deed included the following words: “I have for some time past been convinced that to retain them in Slavery is contrary to the true principles of Religion and Justice and therefore it is my duty to manumit them.” The document established a schedule by which 15 slaves would be freed each Jan 1, over a 21-year period, plus slave children would be freed at age 18 for females and 21 for males. It is believed this was the largest act of emancipation in US history and predated the Emancipation Proclamation by 70 years.
    1794 – The Whiskey Rebellion began as a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791, during the presidency of George Washington. The so-called "whiskey tax" was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly-formed federal government. It became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue to help reduce the national debt.  Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a US marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of a tax inspector. Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. With 13,000 militiamen provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Washington rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned. Most distillers in nearby Kentucky were found to be all but impossible to tax; in the next six years, over 175 distillers from Kentucky were convicted of violating the tax law.  Numerous examples of resistance are recorded in court documents and newspaper accounts.  The Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new national government had the will and the ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws. The whiskey excise remained difficult to collect, however. The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already underway. The whiskey tax was repealed after Jefferson’s Republican Party, which opposed Hamilton's Federalist Party, came to power in 1801.
http://www.whiskeyrebellion.org/rebell.HTM
    1801 – First Barbary War:  The American schooner USS Enterprise captures the Tripolitan polacca Tripoli off the coast of modern-day Libya.
    1809 – William Travis (d. 1836) was born in Saluda County, SC.  At the age of 26, he was a Lt. Colonel in the Texas Army.  In March, 1836, he, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, among many others, died at the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution against Mexico.
    1812 - A rare tornado hits Westchester County, NY.
http://www.rootsweb.com/~nylnphs/HH/2.htm
    1818 - Birthday of Maria Mitchell (d. 1889) at Nantucket, MA.  An interest in her father’s hobby and an ability for mathematics resulted in Maria Mitchell’s becoming the first female professional astronomer. In 1847, while assisting her father in a survey of the sky for the US Coast Guard, Mitchell discovered a new comet and determined its orbit. She received many honors because of this, including being elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and its first woman. Mitchell joined the staff at Vassar Female College in 1865, the first US female profession of astronomy, and, in 1873 was a co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Women.
http://womenshistory.about.com/library/bio/blbio_mit
http://209.68.19.123/
http://ne.essortment.com/biographyofmar_rhff.htm
    1819 – Herman Melville (d. 1891) was born in New York City.  He was an American novelist, poet, and writer of short stories, the most famous of which is “Moby Dick” (1851).
    1838 - Abolition of slavery in Jamaica. Spanish settlers introduced the slave trade into Jamaica in 1509 and sugar cane in 1640. Slavery continued until this day when it was abolished by the British.
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Lslavery33.htm
    1842 – The Lombard Street Riots in Philadelphia began.  During the years immediately before the riots, there were periodic outbreaks of racial, ethnic and religious violence among Irish Catholics, German protestants, African-Americans, and pacifist Quakers. These were the result of social and economic competition, especially between Irish Catholics and African-Americans, who were generally at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Many Irish refused to work on labor teams with African-Americans.  Irish Catholics, often competitors for the lowest-paying, unskilled and menial jobs, perceived the city's more successful African-American residents as flaunting their success, setting the stage for blacks to become targets for the Irish immigrants' frustration, envy, racism, and rage.  On the morning of August 1, a parade was held by over 1,000 members of the black Young Men’s Vigilant Association on Lombard Street between Fifth and Eighth streets in commemoration of the eighth anniversary of the end of slavery in the British West Indies.  The paraders were attacked by an Irish Catholic mob.  The rioters moved west, setting fires and attacking firefighters and police as they went, heading for the home of African-American leader Robert Purvis. Purvis and his home were reportedly saved from the Irish mob solely by a Catholic priest's intervention.  Requests to the mayor and police for protection initially led to the arrest of several of the victims and none of the rioters. Over three days of attacks, the Second African American Presbyterian Church (on St. Mary's Street near Sixth Street), the abolitionist Smith's Hall, and numerous homes and public buildings were looted, burned and mostly destroyed.  The mayor had credible evidence of a plan to burn several local churches, which he ignored.  Eventually, as the rioting began to subside, the local militia was brought in to restore order.  The mayor refused to arrest most of those known to have led the riot.
    1852 – Birthday of Calamity Jane (d. 1903), born Martha Jane Cannary, at Princeton, Missouri. Between legend and the usual misrepresentations, the true life of this frontier woman is shrouded. She usually dressed as a man, yet historians claim she was a prostitute. She claimed to have scouted for the army, including for Gen. George Custer while others say that was impossible. She was part of a geological expedition to the Black Hills and stayed after gold was discovered. History says she also was a "companion" of Wild Bill Hickok who died 27 years and one day before she did, and is buried next to him, not his wife. She lived her last years in poverty. How she earned her living appears to be a mystery as many historians claim that she was not a stage driver, a scout, nor anything else like that. She was in El Paso for a time where she married a Clinton Burke who soon deserted her. She was believed to have been a mail carrier in Deadwood, but her exact ways of earning a living are just not known. In reality, most of what we think we know of Calamity Jane is the product of dime novels and Hollywood movies of the era that portrayed her as beautiful and daring.
http://www139.pair.com/read/Marthy_Cannary_Burk/
Life_and_Adventures_of_Calamity_Jane
/Life_And_Adventures_Of_Calamity_Jane_p1.html
   
    1855 – Castle Clinton in New York City opens as the first U.S. receiving station for immigrants.  Originally known as known as West Battery, it is a circular fort located in what is now Battery Park in lower Manhattan.  It was renamed in 1815 to honor former New York governor DeWitt Clinton.  More than 8 million people arrived there from 1855 to 1890. It was operated by the state until April 18, 1890, when the Federal Government took over control of immigration processing, which subsequently opened the larger and more isolated Ellis Island facility for that purpose on January 2, 1892. 
    1861 - For trivia fans, John Tyler of Virginia, President of the United States from 1841 to 1845, became a delegate to the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States. He was elected a member of the House of Representatives of the permanent Confederate Congress on November 7, 1861, but died on January 18, 1862, before taking his seat.  He is the only former president to serve as an official of an “enemy government.”
http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/jt10.html
http://www.americanpresidents.org/presidents/president.asp?
PresidentNumber=10

    1861 – Brazil recognizes the Confederate States of America.
    1867 - Tennessee was readmitted into the United States in 1866. Thus, Tennessee was the only one of the Confederate states not affected by the highly contentious sections of the Reconstruction Acts, which placed the states under military authority. As a consequence, the state would be one of the first to fully understand how voting would change with the inclusion of a black voter population. The August 1 election of 1867 to select a governor marked the first time in Tennessee's history that blacks would be allowed to vote. More significantly, however, this was the first time since emancipation that Southern blacks would vote at all.
    1873 - The first cable car ran at 5am on Clay Street Hill, San Francisco, CA, while the City slept. It was ready to run its trails, and pictures were allowed to be taken on August 2. Revenue service did not take place until September 1. The ride cost five cents. This was the first cable car put into service anywhere in the world. It was invented by Andrew Smith Hallidie, who obtained a patent on January 17, 1871, on an “endless-wire rope way.” Today only three lines of the original lines operate.
http://www.americahurrah.com/Postcards/SFCC1.html
http://www.sfmuseum.org/bio/hallidie.html
http://www.americahurrah.com/Postcards/SFCC1.html
    1876 - Colorado admitted to the Union as the 38th state.
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/aug01.html
http://www.sfcablecar.com/hist1.html
    1890 – Henry Perky and William Ford invented shredded wheat, Denver, CO.
    1906 – Only months after the earthquake, Bank of Italy opened its first branch at 3433 Mission Street, San Francisco. 
    1906 – Brooklyn Dodger Harry McIntire no-hits Pittsburgh for 10 2/3 innings but loses in 13th.
    1907 - Army Brig. Gen. James Allen sent out Office Memorandum No. 6, which established the Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, an early predecessor of the U.S. Air Force. “This division will have charge of all matters pertaining to military ballooning, air machines, and all kindred subjects,” the memo read. At its inception, the Aeronautical Division had three people – Capt. Charles deForest Chandler, an experienced signal corps officer and balloonist, and two other enlisted men – and no airplanes.  In 1908, the Aeronautical Division, at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt, purchased an airship (Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1) from balloonist Thomas Baldwin and an airplane (S.C. No. 1) from the Wright Brothers for just over a combined $30,000. By 1911, the Aeronautical Division had five planes in its inventory and direct appropriation from Congress – a modest $125,000, of which the division spent $40,000. 
On Oct. 1, 1917, the Aeronautical Division was renamed the Air Division and was abolished altogether by the War Department the following year. In 1947, the U.S. Air Force was formed as a separate branch of the military – continuing the legacy started by the Aeronautical Division.
    1916 - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Established. Area of Hawaii Island, including active volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa, were established as Hawaii National Park in 1916. 
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/destinations/Hawaii_Volcanoes_National_Park/
    1933 - California introduces sales tax due to the devastating depression.
http://www.salestaxcpa.com/id50.htm    
    1939 - Glenn Miller Band records “In the Mood,” (Bluebird 104150). Non-royalty contract gives him only $175.  The #1 hit topped the charts for 13 straight weeks in 1940 in the U.S. and, one year later, was featured in the movie “Sun Valley Serenade.”  In 1983, the recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  In 1999, NPR included the classic on RCA Bluebird on the NPR 100, the list of "The 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century."  In 2004, it was inducted into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry which consists of recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
    1941 - Willy’s introduces the “jeep.” General Dwight D. Eisenhower said that America could not have won World War II without it.  After several bouts of ownership, Jeep is now a best-selling brand of Chrysler which is now owned by FIAT.
http://jeepin.com/history.shtml
    1941 - Birthday of Ronald H. Brown (d. 1996), born Washington, DC, grew up in Harlem and studied at Middlebury College in Vermont. After graduating from St. John’s University law school, Brown served as chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee. He went on to become the first African-American partner at the law firm of Patton Boggs & Blow, the first African-American leader of the Democratic National Committee, and later served as the US Secretary of Commerce during the Clinton administration. Brown died in a plane crash at Dubrovnik, Croatia, Apr 3, 1996, while on government business. Some say the death was not an accident.
http://www.rhbf.org/aboutron.asp
    1941 - Yankee Lefty Gomez breaks the Major League mark for walks in a shutout by issuing 11 walks in a 9-0 victory over the St. Louis Browns.
    1942 - Birthday in San Francisco of Jerry Garcia (d. 1995), lead guitarist and driving force behind the Grateful Dead. The Dead were the only psychedelic band of the 1960's to survive into the '90s. They had been better known for their 4-5 hour concerts than for their recordings, until 1987's "In the Dark." It was the Grateful Dead's biggest seller, and a single from it, "Touch of Grey," became their first top-ten hit. Garcia died of a heart attack on August 9th, 1995, at a residential treatment center in Forest Knolls, California. He had reportedly gone there to battle his heroin addiction.
http://www.jerrygarcia.com
    1942 - The American Federation of Musicians went on strike. Union president James C. Petrillo told musicians that phonograph records were 'a threat to members' jobs.' As a result, musicians refused to perform in recording sessions over the next several months, although live, musical radio broadcasts did continue.
    1943 – Race riots broke out in Harlem, NYC after a white police officer shot and wounded Robert Bandy, a black soldier, and rumors circulated that the soldier had been killed. The riot was chiefly directed by black residents against white-owned property in Harlem. It was one of six riots in the nation that year related to black and white tensions during World War II.  The riot became a subject of art and literature: it inspired the "theatrical climax" of Ralph Ellison's novel, “Invisible man,” winner of the 1953 National Book Award, it frames the events recounted in James Baldwin’s memoirs, “Notes of a Native Son,” and it appears in artist William Johnson’s painting, “Moon Over Harlem.”
    1943 - BAKER, ADDISON E., (Air Mission) Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Air Corps, 93d Heavy Bombardment Group. Place and date: Ploesti Raid, Rumania, 1 August 1943. Entered service at: Akron, Ohio. Born: 1 January 1907, Chicago, Ill. G.O. No.: 20, 11 March 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy on 1 August 1943. On this date, he led his command, the 93d Heavy Bombardment Group, on a daring low-level attack against enemy oil refineries and installations at Ploesti, Rumania. Approaching the target, his aircraft was hit by a large caliber antiaircraft shell, seriously damaged and set on fire. Ignoring the fact, he was flying over terrain suitable for safe landing, he refused to jeopardize the mission by breaking up the lead formation and continued unswervingly to lead his group to the target upon which he dropped his bombs with devastating effect. Only then did he leave formation, but his valiant attempts to gain sufficient altitude for the crew to escape by parachute were unavailing and his aircraft crashed in flames after his successful efforts to avoid other planes in formation. By extraordinary flying skill, gallant leadership and intrepidity, Lt. Col. Baker rendered outstanding, distinguished, and valorous service to our Nation
    1943 - HUGHES, LLOYD H., (Air Mission) Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 564th Bomber Squadron, 389th Bomber Group, 9th Air Force. Place and date: Ploesti Raid, Rumania, 1 August 1943. Entered service at: San Antonio, Tex. Born: 12 July 1921, Alexandria, La. G.O. No.: 17, 26 February 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry in action and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 01 August 1943, 2d Lt. Hughes served in the capacity of pilot of a heavy bombardment aircraft participating in a long and hazardous minimum-altitude attack against the Axis oil refineries of Ploesti, Rumania, launched from the northern shores of Africa. Flying in the last formation to attack the target, he arrived in the target area after previous flights had thoroughly alerted the enemy defenses. Approaching the target through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire and dense balloon barrages at dangerously low altitude, his plane received several direct hits from both large and small caliber antiaircraft guns which seriously damaged his aircraft, causing sheets of escaping gasoline to stream from the bomb bay and from the left wing. This damage was inflicted at a time prior to reaching the target when 2d Lt. Hughes could have made a forced landing in any of the grain fields readily available at that time. The target area was blazing with burning oil tanks and damaged refinery installations from which flames leaped high above the bombing level of the formation. With full knowledge of the consequences of entering this blazing inferno when his airplane was profusely leaking gasoline in two separate locations, 2d Lt. Hughes, motivated only by his high conception of duty which called for the destruction of his assigned target at any cost, did not elect to make a forced landing or turn back from the attack. Instead, rather than jeopardize the formation and the success of the attack, he unhesitatingly entered the blazing area and dropped his bomb load with great precision. After successfully bombing the objective, his aircraft emerged from the conflagration with the left wing aflame. Only then did he attempt a forced landing, but because of the advanced stage of the fire enveloping his aircraft the plane crashed and was consumed. By 2d Lt. Hughes' heroic decision to complete his mission regardless of the consequences in utter disregard of his own life, and by his gallant and valorous execution of this decision, he has rendered a service to our country in the defeat of our enemies which will everlastingly be outstanding in the annals of our Nation's history.
    1943 - JERSTAD, JOHN L., (Air Mission) Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps, 9th Air Force. Place and date: Ploesti Raid, Rumania, 1 August 1943. Entered service at: Racine, Wis. Born: 12 February 1918, Racine, Wis. G.O. No.: 72, 28 October 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. On 1 August 1943, he served as pilot of the lead aircraft in his group in a daring low-level attack against enemy oil refineries and installations at Ploesti, Rumania. Although he had completed more than his share of missions and was no longer connected with this group, so high was his conception of duty that he volunteered to lead the formation in the correct belief that his participation would contribute materially to success in this attack. Maj. Jerstad led the formation into attack with full realization of the extreme hazards involved and despite withering fire from heavy and light antiaircraft guns. Three miles from the target his airplane was hit, badly damaged, and set on fire. Ignoring the fact that he was flying over a field suitable for a forced landing, he kept on the course. After the bombs of his aircraft were released on the target, the fire in his ship became so intense as to make further progress impossible and he crashed into the target area. By his voluntary acceptance of a mission he knew was extremely hazardous, and his assumption of an intrepid course of action at the risk of life over and above the call of duty, Maj. Jerstad set an example of heroism which will be an inspiration to the U.S. Armed Forces.
    1943 - JOHNSON, LEON W., (Air Mission) Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Army Air Corps, 44th Bomber Group, 9th Air Force. Place and date: Ploesti Raid, Rumania, 1 August 1943. Entered service at: Moline, Kans. Born: 13 September 1904, Columbia, Mo. G.O. No.: 54, 7 September 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry in action and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 1 August 1943. Col. Johnson, as commanding officer of a heavy bombardment group, let the formation of the aircraft of his organization constituting the fourth element of the mass low-level bombing attack of the 9th U.S. Air Force against the vitally important enemy target of the Ploesti oil refineries. While proceeding to the target on this 2,400-mile flight, his element became separated from the leading elements of the mass formation in maintaining the formation of the unit while avoiding dangerous cumulous cloud conditions encountered over mountainous territory. Though temporarily lost, he reestablished contact with the third element and continued on the mission with this reduced force to the prearranged point of attack, where it was discovered that the target assigned to Col. Johnson's group had been attacked and damaged by a preceding element. Though having lost the element of surprise upon which the safety and success of such a daring form of mission in heavy bombardment aircraft so strongly depended, Col. Johnson elected to carry out his planned low-level attack despite the thoroughly alerted defenses, the destructive antiaircraft fire, enemy fighter airplanes, the imminent danger of exploding delayed action bombs from the previous element, of oil fires and explosions, and of intense smoke obscuring the target. By his gallant courage, brilliant leadership, and superior flying skill, Col. Johnson so led his formation as to destroy totally the important refining plants and installations which were the object of his mission. Col. Johnson's personal contribution to the success of this historic raid, and the conspicuous gallantry in action, and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty demonstrated by him on this occasion constitute such deeds of valor and distinguished service as have during our Nation's history formed the finest traditions of our Armed Forces.
    1943 - KANE, JOHN R., (Air Mission) Medal of Honor.
Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Army Air Corps, 9th Air Force. Place and date: Ploetsi Raid, Rumania, 1 August 1943. Entered service at: Shreveport, La. Birth: McGregor, Tex. G.O. No.: 54, 9 August 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry in action and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 1 August 1943. On this date he led the third element of heavy bombardment aircraft in a mass low-level bombing attack against the vitally important enemy target of the Ploesti oil refineries. En route to the target, which necessitated a round-trip flight of over 2,400 miles, Col. Kane's element became separated from the leading portion of the massed formation in avoiding dense and dangerous cumulous cloud conditions over mountainous terrain. Rather than turn back from such a vital mission he elected to proceed to his target. Upon arrival at the target area, it was discovered that another group had apparently missed its target and had previously attacked and damaged the target assigned to Col. Kane's element. Despite the thoroughly warned defenses, the intensive antiaircraft fire, enemy fighter airplanes, extreme hazards on a low-level attack of exploding delayed action bombs from the previous element, of oil fires and explosions and dense smoke over the target area, Col. Kane elected to lead his formation into the attack. By his gallant courage, brilliant leadership, and superior flying skill, he and the formation under his command successfully attacked this vast refinery so essential to our enemies' war effort. Through his conspicuous gallantry in this most hazardous action against the enemy, and by his intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, Col. Kane personally contributed vitally to the success of this daring mission and thereby rendered most distinguished service in the furtherance of the defeat of our enemies.
    1944 - Warsaw Uprising. Having received radio reports from Moscow promising aid from the Red Army, the Polish Home army rose up against the Nazi oppressors. At 5pm, thousands of windows were thrown open and Polish patriots, 40,000 strong, began shooting at German soldiers in the streets. The Germans responded by throwing eight divisions into the battle. Despite appeals from the London-based Polish government-in exile, no assistance was forthcoming from the Allies, and after two months of horrific fighting the rebellion was quashed. 
    1944 - Anne Frank makes the last entry into her diary. To escape deportation to concentration camps, the Jewish family of Otto Frank hid for two years in the warehouse of his food products business at Amsterdam. Gentile friends smuggled in food and other supplies during their confinement. Thirteen-year-old Anne Frank, who kept a journal during the time of their hiding, penned her last entry in the diary Aug 1, 1944: ‘[I] keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would like to be, and what I could be, if . . . there weren’t any other people living in the world.” Three days later (Aug 4, 1944) Grune Polizei raided the ‘Secret Annex” where the Frank family was hidden. Anne and her sister were sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where Anne died at age 15, two months before the liberation of Holland. Young Anne’s diary, later found in the family’s hiding place, has been translated into 30 languages and has become a symbol of the indomitable strength of the human spirit.
    1944 – Adam Clayton Powell is elected to Congress from New York’s Harlem, the first black congressmen from the east.
    1944 - Top Hits
“Amor” - Bing Crosby
“I’ll Be Seeing You” - Bing Crosby
“Long Ago and Far Away” - Helen Forrest & Dick Haymes
“Is You is or is You Ain’t (Ma’ Baby)” - Louis Jordan
    1945 – New York Giants’ Mel Ott becomes the first National Leaguer to hit 500 HRs.  Ott finished his career with 511 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1951.
    1946 – President Harry Truman establishes the Atomic Energy Commission.
    1950 – Phillies lefty Curt Simmons became the first Major Leaguer to enter the Korean War.  Simmons won 17 of 25 decisions during the 1950 season, playing a major role in bringing Philadelphia its second NL championship of the 20th century. But, with the outbreak of the War, Simmons was called to active military service in September with only a month remaining in the campaign.  Although the Phils outlasted the Dodgers to get to the World Series, they were swept in the Series by the Yankees.
    1951 - Neal Hefti Band records his “Coral Reef.” Great trumpet player, greater arranger for Basie, Sinatra, and many others.
http://www.spaceagepop.com/hefti.htm
http://us.imdb.com/Name?Hefti,+Neal
    1952 - Top Hits
“I’m Yours” - Don Cornell
“Delicado” - Percy Faith
“Auf Wiedersehn, Sweetheart” - Vera Lynn
“Are You Teasing Me” - Carl Smith
    1953 - Birthday of guitarist and five-time Grammy Award winner, Robert Cray, Columbus, GA
http://www.blueflamecafe.com/index.html
    1954 - An August 1st concert, promoted by Alan Freed, features Fats Domino, Muddy Waters, The Clovers, The Orioles, and others at the Moondog Jubilee of Stars Under the Stars at Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn, New York.   It is the first large racially mixed crowd at a concert of this size.
    1956 - RCA released two of Elvis Presley's hit singles: "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Love Me Tender."
    1956 – The first solar-heated commercial building in the world was completed in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    1957 - Dodger first baseman Gil Hodges hits his 13th career grand slam and the last grand slam in Brooklyn Dodger history. The bases-loaded shot establishes a new National League record, since passed by Hank Aaron and Willie McCovey.
    1957 – NORAD, North American Aerospace Defense Command, is formed between the US and Canada.
    1958 - Feeling that label head Sam Phillips is spending too much time promoting Jerry Lee Lewis and not enough promoting him, Johnny Cash leaves Sun Records and signs with Columbia.
    1959 - After nine weeks as the best-selling song in America, Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans" is pushed out of the number one spot by Paul Anka's "Lonely Boy."
    1960 - Chubby Checker's recording of "The Twist" was released by Cameo-Parkway Records. Checker wasn't the originator of the song that spawned the '60s greatest dance craze. That honor belonged to Hank Ballard, who wrote and recorded the tune as the "B" side of his 1958 hit "Teardrops on My Letter." But it was Chubby Checker who rode "The Twist" to stardom. His recording went to number one on the Billboard pop chart twice - in 1960 and again in 1962. 
http://www.send4fun.com/twist.htm
http://www.chubbychecker.com/
    1960 - 18-year-old singer Aretha Franklin made her first secular recordings for producer John Hammond at Columbia Records. She had recorded some gospel songs at her father's church in Detroit four years earlier.
http://www.aretha-franklin.com/bio.htm
http://www.artistdirect.com/showcase//urban/arethafranklin.html
    1960 - For his embodiment of decadent American culture, Elvis Presley is named "Public Enemy Number One" by the East Berlin newspaper Young World.
    1960 - Top Hits
“I’m Sorry” - Brenda Lee
“Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini” - Brian Hyland
“It’s Now or Never” - Elvis Presley
“Please Help Me, I’m Falling” - Hank Locklin
    1961 – US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara establishes the Defense Intelligence Agency, the nation's first centralized military espionage organization.
    1962 – Red Sox’ Bill Monbouquette no-hits the White Sox, 2-0.
    1962 - Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced a new superhero for Marvel Comics in issue #15 of Amazing Fantasy that hit newsstands in August: Spider-Man. Nerdy teen Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and soon discovers that he has the proportionate strength and agility of the spider---as well as web-shooting talents and “spider sense.”  The arachnid crime fighter got his own comic book in March, 1963, and quickly became the center of a multimedia empire.
    1963 - Arthur Ashe, first Black male to win Wimbledon, becomes first Black person named to the US Davis Cup team. 
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/features/1997/
arthurashe/biography.html

    1964 - The title track from The Beatles' movie "A Hard Day's Night" topped the record charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The film was originally titled "Beatlemania" until producers heard an offhanded comment by Ringo Starr as he flopped into a canvas chair and said "It's been a hard day's night, that was."
    1966 - Birmingham radio station WACI calls for the first "Beatles Burn-In," a bonfire of Beatles records to protest John Lennon's recent published comments that his group was "bigger than Jesus."
    1966 - Charles Whitman takes a stockpile of guns and ammunition to the observatory platform atop a 300-foot tower at the University of Texas and proceeds to shoot 46 people, killing 16.  Whitman, who had killed both his wife and mother the night before, was eventually shot to death after courageous Austin police officers, including Ramiro Martinez, charged up the stairs of the tower to subdue the attacker.  Packing food and other supplies, he proceeded to the observation platform, killing the receptionist and two tourists before unpacking his rifle and telescope and hunting the people below. An expert marksman, Whitman was able to hit people as far away as 500 yards. For 90 minutes, he continued firing while officers searched for a chance to get a shot at him. By the end of his rampage, 16 people were dead and another 30 were injured. The University of Texas tower remained closed for over 30 years before reopening in 1999.
    1968 - Top Hits
“Grazing in the Grass” - Hugh Masekela
“Stoned Soul Picnic” - The 5th Dimension
“Hurdy Gurdy Man” - Donovan
“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny
    1969 - The U.S. command in Saigon announces that 27 American aircraft were lost in the previous week, bringing the total losses of aircraft in the conflict to date to 5,690.
    1969 - The California newspapers San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner and the Vallejo Times Herald received letters from a killer claiming credit for three area murders that had occurred December 20, 1968, and July 4, 1969. Until these letters arrived, police authorities had not tied the killings together.  The letters included a cryptogram claiming (falsely) to reveal the killer’s identity. This was the beginning of a public terror campaign from a man calling himself the Zodiac.  The Zodiac killed two more people (perhaps more) and sent many letters threatening the school children of San Francisco. He was never identified.
    1970 - Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4" enters the Billboard Hot 100 where it will climb to #4. Many fans are confused about the song's meaning until it is explained that the tune was being written at 25 or 6 to four in the morning.
    1971 - The two Concerts for Bangladesh, organized by George Harrison, were held at Madison Square Garden in New York. Among the other performers were Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Leon Russell and Ringo Starr. A three-record set, which won a Grammy Award, and a documentary film were made of the event. The concerts, album and film raised nearly $11 million US for the impoverished people of the newly-independent nation of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan. But much of the money was impounded by the US Internal Revenue Service during a nine-year audit of the Beatles' Apple Corps Limited. $2 million was sent to UNICEF before the audit began, but it wasn't until 1981 that a check for the remainder was issued.
    1971 - “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” premieres on CBS television.
    1972 - Chicago's “Chicago V” LP is certified gold
    1973 - The first big oldies revival kicks off in earnest as George Lucas' new film, “American Graffiti”, premieres in Los Angeles. Portraying a night in the life of several California teenagers in 1962, it made stars out of Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips and others.  It also inspired the ABC-TV smash “Happy Days.”
    1976 - Top Hits
“Kiss and Say Goodbye”- Manhattans
“Love is Alive” - Gary Wright
“Moonlight Feels Right” - Starbuck
“Teddy Bear” - Red Sovine
    1977 - Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants hit the 18th and last grand slam of his career.  His total still stands as the National League record.  Alex Rodriguez holds the Major League record with 24.
http://www.eteamz.com/hallfame/files/AA06.txt
    1977 - "Elvis - What Happened," an expose by two of Presley's former bodyguards, was published. It sat in bookstores almost unnoticed until Presley's death two weeks later. Then it sold more than three-million copies.
    1978 – Atlanta Braves stop Pete Rose’ 44-game hitting streak with Rose whining that “they didn’t pitch to me.”
    1979 - Following her graduation from rabbinical college in Philadelphia, Linda Joy Holtzman was appointed spiritual leader of the Conservative Beth Israel congregation in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, making her the first female rabbi to head a Jewish congregation in America.
    1981 - The all music-video channel, MTV, debuted. VHq, another music channel owned by MTV Networks that is aimed at older pop music fans, premiered in 1985.
    1982 - Greg Louganis, US becomes first diver to score 700 (752.67) in 11 dives.
    1982 – Baseball Hall of Fame inductions:  Hank Aaron, the holder of the career home run record (755) and RBI record (2,297); Frank Robinson, the first player to win the MVP in both leagues and the first black manager in the Majors; Travis Jackson, an outstanding offensive and defensive shortstop for the Giants during 1920's, and former commissioner Happy Chandler, who provided leadership in breaking baseball's color line.
    1984 - Top Hits
“When Doves Cry” - Prince
“Ghostbusters” - Ray Parker Jr.
“State of Shock” - Jacksons
“Angel in Disguise” - Earl Thomas Conley
    1986 - A powerful thunderstorm produced 100 mph winds and large hail in eastern Kansas and southwestern Missouri, causing 71 million dollars damage, and injuring nineteen persons. It was one of the worst thunderstorms of record for Kansas. Crops were mowed to the ground in places and roofs blown off buildings along its path, 150 miles long and 30 miles wide, from near Abilene to southeast of Pittsburg, KS.
    1986 – Bert Blyleven becomes the 10th pitcher in Major League history to strike out 3,000.  He finished his career with 3701 Ks and was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2011.
    1987 - Record heat gripped parts of the Midwest. A dozen cities reported record high temperatures for the date, including Lincoln, NE, with a reading of 105 degrees, Moline, IL, with an afternoon high of 103 degrees, and Burlington, IA, with a reading of 102 degrees.
    1988 - Cincinnati AM radio station WCVG changes its format, becoming the first US all-Elvis radio station. The concept died out within the year.  Sirius XM Radio has an all-Elvis channel among its pay-for-play subscriptions.
    1988 - Conservative political commentator and radio personality Rush Limbaugh began his nationally syndicated show on this date with 56 stations.  It quickly became the nation’s top-rated show and rejuvenated the radio talk format.  According to December 2015 estimates by “Talkers Magazine,” Rush Limbaugh has a cumulative weekly audience of around 13.25 million unique listeners (listening for at least five minutes), making his show the most-listened-to talk radio program in the US.  In 2017, Forbes listed his earnings at $84 million for the previous 12 months, and ranked him the 11th highest-earning celebrity in the world.  His most recent contract, signed on July 31, 2016, will take his radio program to 2020, its 32nd year.  Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians on May 14, 2012.  A bronze bust of Limbaugh is now on display in the Missouri State Capitol building in Jefferson City. It is the only such bust with its own security camera to discourage vandalism. 
    1989 - Hurricane Chantal made landfall along the Upper Texas coast about sunrise. Chantal deluged parts of Galveston Island and southeastern Texas with 8 to 12 inches of rain. Unofficial totals ranged up to twenty inches. Winds gusted to 82 mph at Galveston, and reached 76 mph in the Houston area. Tides were 5 to 7 feet high. The hurricane claimed two lives, and caused $100 million damage.
    1989 - Gwendolyn King, became the first American of African descent to head the Social Security Commission.
http://www.ssa.gov/history/king.html
    1990 - The creation of what would become the World Wide Web was suggested by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Caliiau at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics at Switzerland. By October, they had designed a prototype Web browser. They also introduced HTML (Hypertex Markup Language) and the URL (Universal Resource Locator). Mosaic, the first graphical Web browser, was designed by Marc Andreesen, one of the founders of Netscape, and released in 1993. Until that time, there was “Archie,” “Gopher” and a few others. Mostly you had to
know the “numbers,” not name, to find the web site.  By early 1993, there were 50 Web servers worldwide.
    1990 - IBM sold off its typewriter and keyboard businesses. The move signaled IBM's increasing focus on the personal computer market. IBM also discontinued production of several of its PS/2 systems due to poor sales.
    1990 - Ashton Tate released a new version of its software package, dBase IV. Ashton Tate had dominated the database market in the 1980s but began to slide in the 1990s. At the height of the company's success in the mid-1980s, founder George Tate died of a heart attack at his desk.
    1993 - African-American Ronald H Brown, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, appointed head of the Department of Commerce by President-elect Bill Clinton.
    1993 – Reggie Jackson is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
    1993 – The Great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers floods peak.
    1994 - Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley confirmed that they had been married by a judge in the Dominican Republic on May 26th. Publicists for the bride and groom had been denying the marriage took place since word of it leaked out on July 10th. 
    1995 - Selling 331,000 copies, Selena's “Dreaming of You,'' her first English album, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. The slain Tejano singer becomes the first Latin artist ever to debut at No. 1.
    1996 – Atlanta Olympics wrap-up: Michael Johnson left his fellow runners in the dust to win gold in the 200 meters in a record 19.32 seconds. He was the first male Olympian to complete the 200/400-meter Olympic double. And French sprinter Marie-Jose Perec became only the second woman in history to win a gold medal in both the 200-meter and the 400-meter runs at the same Olympics. Perec joined American Valerie Brisco-Hooks, who won both the 200 and 400 races in 1984 in Los Angeles. The U.S. women’s soccer team claimed the gold medal and capped the first women’s soccer competition at the Olympics, beating China 2-1. And last, but certainly not least, Dan O’Brien won the gold in the decathlon, four years after failing to make the U.S. Olympic team. 
    1998 - Using the old Negro League teams represented in their respective cities, the Cardinals-Braves game Saturday featured throwback uniforms of the 1928 St. Louis Stars and the 1940 Atlanta Black Crackers.  This tradition has been repeated often during subsequent baseball seasons.
    2001 - For the 33rd time in the team's history, the Tigers turn a triple play as Mariner Mark McLemore lines out to second baseman Damion Easley, who throws to shortstop Deivi Cruz to double up Tom Lampkin. Cruz then relays the ball to first baseman Shane Halter catching Ichiro Suzuki off first to complete Detroit's first triple killing since July 3, 1992, when the victim was also Seattle.
    2001 – Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has a Ten Commandments monument installed in the judiciary building, leading to a lawsuit to have it removed and his own removal from office.
    2007 - The I-35W Mississippi River Bridge, an eight-lane bridge across St Anthony Falls spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapses during the evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145.  Re-construction was completed rapidly, and it opened on September 18, 2008.
    2013 - Russia grants NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden one year of temporary political asylum.  Repeated extensions have permitted him to stay at least until 2020.

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