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

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

You May Have Missed Tom McCurnin’s Conclusion on
  Warren Capital Receiver and Law Firm Joining
              The Gravy Train
   Classified Ads---Sales
Leasing Business Up Since Last January, But Weather…
  ELFA:  Up from Last Year 12%, Down 48% from December
January, 2015  "The List"
--- Mergers, Acquisitions & Changes
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"--
  Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Industry
Leasing News Advisor
   Hugh Swandel
The Secret of Our Success--But
   Ed Kaye Is No Longer with the Company
Chesswood Announces Agreement  Acquisition
 of Blue Chip Leasing and EcoHome Financial
Former BofA Sr. VP Pleads Guilty to $6.4 Million
  Misapplication of Bank Funds
   Queen and Country/Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
  Fury/The Judge/D.0.A.
 Film and DVD Reviews by Leasing News Fernando Croce
   German Shepard
    Novato, California Adopt-a-Dog
News Briefs---
Divided FCC Votes to Reclassify ISPs Under Title II
 Apple expected to unveil Apple Watch news in March

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (writer's columns)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)
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You May have Missed---
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    Sports Briefs---
      California Nuts Brief---
       "Gimme that Wine"    
          This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

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

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You May Have Missed Tom McCurnin’s Conclusion on
Warren Capital Receiver and Law Firm Joining
The Gravy Train

It seems “Warren Capital Receiver Michael Kasolas and his Attorneys at Arent Fox Billed Nearly $577,000 for Fees for Six Weeks of Work.”

Legal News Editor Tom McCurnin’s Conclusion:

Aside from the shock value of this supposed pillar of the community committing fraud and the receiver’s billing frenzy, what are the take-aways here?

First, I was struck by the sheer size of the attorney fee bill for only six weeks of work. And only for meetings! By simple math, the firm billed a little over 100 hours per week for six weeks. 

Second, putting aside the ridiculous attorney fees, the goal is to preserve as much money for the victims as possible. Perhaps the receiver could have gotten creative with his attorneys and bargained for a flat fee? 

Third, who says you have to engage counsel and have meetings and litigate endlessly?  Perhaps the correct answer might be to do nothing, and simply distribute the $3 million? While that may seem counter-intuitive, I just don't see having a pool of $3 million in the future will be very likely.

Fourth, like the evolution of the French Revolution, receivers often cannot resist suing the very class of people the receiver has sworn to protect.  Often the receiver sues the old investors, claiming that the disbursements of so-called “profit” were really fraudulent conveyances. The leasing community got stung in a similar Ponzi scheme last year with Equipment Acquisition Resources ----and several notable lessors were sued by the receiver who was supposed to protecting, not prosecuting, the creditors! 

Fifth, like the scam by John Otto of HL Leasing (Heritage Leasing, Fresno, California), I was struck by the naivety of the investors. I'm sure none of them sought the advice of counsel, or took a written assignment of these nonexistent “leases”. I forget who said “there's a sucker born every minute,” or “a fool and his money are soon parted.”

I guess the bottom line for me is I'm perplexed by the receiver hiring these big time lawyers milking the case—and I'm disappointed, but not surprised, at the stupidity of the investors. I don’t believe that there will ever be as much money on the table as there is now, and mark my words, the best course of action is to distribute the $3 million now, and fire the receiver and the lawyers.

Full Article:



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Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:



Leasing Business Up Since Last January, But Weather…
ELFA:  Up from Last Year 12%, Down 48% from December

MLFI-25 New Business Volume (Year Over Year Comparison)
click to make larger
(Chart: ELFA)

Leasing Industry leaders contacted by Leasing News report the weather has affected their sales, as well as in many states, effecting employees being able to show up for work or even work from home, no electricity.

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Monthly Leasing and Finance Index for January found January new business volume up 12% year-over-year, down 48 percent month-to-month, as they put it: ""Volume was down 48 percent from December, following the typical end-of-quarter, end-of-year spike in new business activity."

Actually, January was not that bad compared to previous MFLI-25 years:

2014 $6.0
2013 $5.9
2012 $5.1
2011 $4.2
2010 $3.4
2009 $4.5
2008 $5.9
2007 $5.5


Richard A. Baccaro
Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Ascentium Capital LLC
Kingwood, Texas

"Funded volume in January 2015 was up 52% vs January 2014

"Application volume was up 65% over the same period

"We simply don’t compare December to January as it’s like comparing a bottle of 2001 Far Niente Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon to Two Buck Chuck at Trader Joe’s…"

John Boettigheimer
Centra Leasing, Inc.
4Hour Funding
Plano, Texas

"There is no doubt that there has been a weather-induced slowdown as we keep seeing flashes of increased volume followed by short slowdowns.  Since Dallas has had 3 straight days of snow and ice (with more on the way), we are also experiencing processing slowdowns due to weather issues. We have worked with a half-staff for almost 3 days straight this week."

Christopher Enbom
CEO and Chairman,
Allegiant Partners Inc. dba
First Star Capital dba Clearview Financial

"We only look at the year over year comparisons of the months.  Looking at December versus January does not really have much meaning – December is always a huge month due to people looking for tax deductions, manufacturers looking to close out the year, etc.

"The beginning of the year is always a bit slow for us due to vacations, the planning cycle involved in buying equipment (most people are still deciding what to do the first few months), the nature of the businesses we are in (one industry’s peak buying season is October), etc.  In general, small business owners seem pretty upbeat, gas prices are still pretty low and the stock market is high so we expect a good spring.  February started a bit slow for us, but our backlog is now huge."

Dwight Galloway
SVP Broker Funding
RLC Funding
Columbia, South Carolina

"Application volume held steady but fewer approved transactions were closing, perhaps evidence of the impact of weather in many parts of the country." 

Barbara Griffith
Southern California Leasing, Inc.
Tustin, California

"We have noticed a slowdown glad to hear it was not just us."

Valerie Jester
Brandywine Capital Associates
West Chester, Pennsylvania

"We are experiencing inconsistent market activity which may be attributable to the difficult winter conditions in the Northeast this year. The industry continues to experience a surplus of capital, creating yield pressures and credit decisions that may not be sustainable if small businesses do not continue to feel the 'real' recovery."

Paul J. Menzel, CLFP
President & CEO
Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc.
a subsidiary of Umpqua Bank

"The YOY trend shows a logical and positive picture of recovery in our industry.  FinPac experienced almost 80% YOY growth in originations but that is due to Umpqua Bank’s influence on pricing and market strategy resulting in market share growth rather than economic organic growth.

"We also experienced a slight softening in January that we expect every year.  February is making up for the monthly impact."

Gary Shivers
President & CEO | Navitas Lease Corp.
Jacksonville, Florida

“We also saw a pullback after a strong 4th quarter.  Application volume started to pick up at the end of the month and has been strong so far this month.”

(Asked if the weather affect his operation, he responded:)
"Not really.  That wasn’t until February.  And we have offices in NJ."


MFLI-25 January Statistics

Aging of Receivables:

click to make larger

Average Losses (Charge-offs) as a % of net receivables
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger

Credit Approval Ratios As % of all Decisions Submitted
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger

Total Number of Employees
(Year Over Year Comparison)

click image to make larger


Participants in the ELFA MLFI-25:

•BancorpSouth Equipment Finance
•Bank of America
•Bank of the West
•BB&T Bank
•BMO Harris Equipment Finance
•Canon Financial Services
•Caterpillar Financial Services
•Dell Financial Services
•Direct Capital Corporation
•EverBank Commercial Finance
•Fifth Third Equipment Finance
•First American Equipment Finance, a City National Bank Company
•GreatAmerica Financial Services
•Hitachi Credit America
•HP Financial Services
•Huntington Equipment Finance
•John Deere Financial
•Key Equipment Finance
•LEAF Commercial Capital Inc.
•M&T Bank
•Marlin Leasing
•Merchants Capital
•PNC Equipment Finance
•RBS Asset Finance
•SG Equipment Finance
•Siemens Financial Services
•Stearns Bank
•SunTrust Robinson Humphrey
•Susquehanna Commercial Finance
•TCF Equipment Finance
•US Bancorp Equipment Finance
•Verizon Capital
•Volvo Financial Services
•Wells Fargo Equipment Finance



January, 2015  "The List"
--- Mergers, Acquisitions & Changes
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"--

CIT Group, New York (01/15) CIT Reports 4th Quarter 2014 Net Income $251 Million, Full Year Net Income of $1,130 million

Integrity Financial Groups, Alpine, Utah (01/15) New Bulletin Board Complaint

Warren Capital, Novato, CA (01/15) Closed, Employees Reportedly Let Go

Global Funding LLC. Clearwater, FL (01/15) Third Time Maricle Found Guilty in Not Returning Advance Fees

Matric Business Capital, Long Beach, CA (01/15) New Bulletin Board Complaint


Leasing News Alphabetical Order

Leasing News Chronological Order List




Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted


Help Wanted ads in Leasing News Work---Give us a try.
Contact: 408-354-7967


New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Industry


Alex Alonso was hired as Senior Commercial Underwriter at Curve Commercial, Hollywood, Florida; based in Miramar, Florida. Previously, he was Director of Business Development and Credit, Allstate Capital, LLC (January 2010–February 2015); President, Bullseye Financial Services, Inc. (March 1999–January 2010); Director of Credit Services, Unicyn Funding Group (January 1993–March 1999); Director of Marketing, Denrich Leasing (June 1989–January 1993). Organizations: Miami Association of Realtors, Sales Associate. Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Sales Associate (November 2013–Present), Assist buyers and sellers throughout South Florida. Languages: English, Spanish. Education: Barry University
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Finance, General (1990–1994). Florida International University,  Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Associates (1984–1986).

Ted Arnow promoted to Chief Credit Officer - U.S. Commercial and Vendor Finance at Element Financial, Horsham, Pennsylvania.  He joined CoActive Partners which was purchased by Element Financial, May, 2011, as Director of Credit, and promoted to Vice President of Credit, August, 2013.  Prior, he was Deal Manager, GE Capital Solutions (March, 2007 – May, 2011); Credit Officer, PNC Bank (January, 2006 – March, 2007); Vice President, Private Banking Relationship Manager, Mellon Financial (January, 2005 – December, 2005); Vice President - Credit Risk Manager, Mellon Bank (April, 2004 – December, 2004 ); Vice President, CIT (January, 1997 – January, 2002); Research Associate, Lehman Brothers (January, 1997 – January, 2001); Financial Analyst , Merrill Lynch (January, 1993 – January, 1994). Education: Hofstra University, Bachelor of Business Administration, Banking and Finance. Activities and Societies: Beta Gamma Sigma. 

Don Coolbaugh was promoted to Chief Sales Officer, Advantage Funding, Lake Success, New York. He joined the firm June, 1996, and last position was Vice-President, Sales.  He also serves as President, D.E.D., Inc. (January, 1995-Present).  Prior, he was President, DJC Consultants, Inc. (March, 1993-June, 1995).

Alvaro (Al) Damiani was announced as being promoted to President at Advantage Funding, Lake Success, New York.  He took the promotion December, 2014. He joined the firm, 2012, as CFO. Previously, he was CFO, Vendor Finance, US, CIT (September, 2008 - July, 2012).  He started out as Controller at Copelco Capital, Inc, 1997, which was acquired by Citigroup.  He was promoted to CFO- Business Technology, Healthcare Energy Groups, CitiCapital (Citigroup) (2000 – 2006) and in 2006, became CFO of the Commercial Finance Group. Education: Fordham University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Accounting. Pace University, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Finance, General

David Lemar was hired as Vice President, Leasing at Bank of the Ozarks; based in Portland, Oregon. Previously, he was District Sales Manager (Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana), Commercial Credit Group (June, 2013- July, 2014); Managed Services, Bank of the West (February, 2011 – June, 2013); Director, Battle Ground Youth Basketball (September, 2008 – August, 2012); District Sales Manager, GE Capital Solutions (August, 2008 – November, 2008); District Sales Manager, CitiCapital Commercial Corporation (January, 2007 – July, 2008); Account Executive, Zions Bank (2005 – 2007); Financial Sales Specialist, Volvo Financial Services (1998 – 2004); District Sales Manager, Green Tree Servicing (1996 – 1998); Transportation Credit Manager, Orix Credit Alliance (1991 – 1996). Education: University of Washington (1986 – 1990). Activities and Societies: Lambda Chi Alpha, Fort Vancouver.

Lori Maxon was hired as Vice President, First Niagara Equipment Finance Albany, New York Area.   Previously she was Relationship Manager, UniFi Equipment Finance (formerly Ervin Equipment Finance) (November 2013–January 2015); Leasing Manager, KeyCorp (July 1998–October 2013). Honors & Awards: Leasing Manager, Key Equipment Finance. Key Equipment Finance: Million Dollar Club recipient: 2012, 2005. Key Bank: Business Banking Business Partner Award: 2011. Key Equipment Finance: Sales Achievement Award: 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2012. Key Equipment Finance: Highest Percentage of Goal: 2001. Education: Utica College of Syracuse University, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Marketing

Thomas Pericak was promoted to Vice President - Capital Markets Origination & Syndication at Key Equipment Finance, Superior, Colorado.  He joined the firm June, 2008 as Sales ACT Rotational Program Associate; promoted March, 2010 to Assistant Vice President, Capital Markets & Syndication.  Prior, he was Worldwide Television Distribution Intern, MGM Studios (2007); Worldwide Television, Distribution Intern, MGM Studios (2007 – 2007). Education: University of Colorado at Boulder - Leeds School of Business Bachelors of Science, Finance & International Business
(2004 – 2008). Activities and Societies: Delta Sigma Pi, Beta Gamma Sigma

Gavin Shea was hired as Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Wells Fargo Practice Finance; based in Pleasanton, California. Previously, he was SVP, Equipment Lease & Finance Manager, Umpqua Bank (December 2011–December 2014); Director of Sales, Wells Fargo Practice Finance (October 2007–November 2011); Regional Production Manager, Matsco (June 2004–September 2007). Organizations: Equipment Lease and Finance Association. Education: California State University-Fresno, Bachelor of Science (BS), Marketing (1992–1996).

Daniel Wittlin named Chief Operating Officer as well as joining the Board of Directors, Chesswood Group, Toronto, Canada.  He currently is CEO Eco Home Financial (August 2013 – to become part of Chesswood); President & Chief Executive Officer, Blue Chip Leasing Corporation (June, 2008 – to become part of Chesswood); Director of Operations, The B & W Group of Companies (1998 – 2002). Education: The University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business, HBA (1994 – 1998). York Mills Collegiate

Anthony Zambon was announced as Sales Manager, Canada, at Wells Fargo EF Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He joined the company, September, 2014. Prior, he was at PayNet, September, 2009, as Strategic Sales Director, Canada, and was promoted January, 2012, to Director, Market Development, PayNet. Previously, he was Principal Zambon Consulting Services Inc., (2008–September 2009); VP Operations and CSO (Chief Sales Officer), CIT (1998–2007); National Sales Manager, Vendor Finance, GE Capital (1993–1998). Languages: English, French. Organizations: The Risk Management Association (RMA), Canadian Finance and Lease Association (CFLA). Education: Concordia University, Bachelors (1980–1983). 

Harry Zander was announced as Senior Vice President, Element Rail, Element Financial Corporation.  He joined the firm November, 2014. Previously he was Managing Director - Senior Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Macquarie Rail (July, 2006 – October, 2014); Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (2000 – 2006); Senior Sales Manager, GE Capital (1997 – 2000). Organizations: La Casa Norte. Education: Insead, Masters, Finance (2007 – 2009). University of Colorado at Boulder, Bachelor of Arts, Economics (1985 – 1990).



Leasing News Advisor
Hugh Swandel

Hugh Swandel
Senior Managing Director - Canada
204.477.0703 direct
204.996.4844 mobile

Hugh Swandel is the senior managing director of The Alta Group in Canada. The Alta Group is a global consultancy practice specializing in the asset based finance industry. Mr. Swandel is well known to the industry and a frequent speaker at industry events and a current member of the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association board of directors. During recent years Hugh Swandel has assisted many top Canadian industry firms on a variety of projects including market entry studies, acquisitions, due diligence, funding and strategic planning.

With extensive North American contacts in the equipment finance and leasing  industry, Hugh has a strong reputation as an effective negotiator of win/win agreements involving mergers and acquisitions, business development, market entry, operations and analysis, securitization and other matters of importance to lessors.

Hugh is on the boards of directors of the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association (CFLA) and is a past President of the National Equipment Financing Association (NEFA, USA). He also is a member of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association of America (ELFA).

In 2006 and again in 2010, Hugh received the Canadian leasing industry's highest honor when he was named "CFLA Member of the Year." In 2010 Mr. Swandel was also named President and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Equipment and Finance Association in 2011. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has had several articles published in leading industry magazines.

During the Global Credit Crisis Hugh was retained by the Canadian Finance and Leasing Industry to prepare materials and provide insight into the impact of the credit crisis on Canadian independent finance companies. Mr. Swandel presented to the advisory committee to the Minister of Finance and was later asked to provide commentary to the CD Howe Institute at policy development discussion with government and industry representatives. Mr. Swandel has also been a presenter at industry conference, published in numerous industry magazines and co-authored a research document for the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation on the Canadian Market.

Prior to founding his consulting firm, Swandel and Associates, in 2001, Hugh served as president and chief operation officer of Electronic Financial Group (EFG). EFG was a Canadian company that launched a multi lending web based credit system. Earlier, Hugh spent 10 years with National Leasing Group in a variety of senior positions. National Leasing Group is Canadian lessor that has won numerous awards for excellence in management and innovation.


The Secret of Our Success--But
Ed Kaye Is No Longer with the Company

A press release announcing  Advantage Funding, Lake Success, New York,  CFO Alvaro (Al) Damiani's promotion to President, and Don Coolbaugh becoming Chief Sales Officer, that Leasing News learned of a major change.  (Both are included in the New Hires-Promotions, above). Marubeni, a multi-national, multi-billion-dollar Japanese trading company, stated in the press release that they now had full ownership of the company; they had originally purchased 80%.

The press release stated, "Marubeni America executives had long expressed an interest in assuming full ownership of Advantage Funding, and a recent agreement reached with Advantage Funding’s principals made this possible."

Ed Kaye

Reached by email, Ed Kaye responded: "My understanding is that Al is president and CEO, I am no longer with the company.  Marubeni bought out all minority shareholders, my two partners included."

"Yes, we do have a noncompete (which we will honor), and I am too young to retire!  We are looking for new opportunities that are not competitive with Advantage Funding.  It was a great experience for a long time.  The company is in good hands and in good shape.  I wish them well."

In Leasing News feature on Successful Companies, this was run on February 8, 2010:

The Secret of Our Success
by Ed Kaye, Advantage Funding

"I think Advantage Funding is the industry leader in ground transportation finance. PFSC has had the pleasure of working closely with Advantage and has thoroughly enjoyed watching and participating in their success. As a Marubeni Group Company, Advantage Funding has been insulated from the turmoil in the capital markets, allowing them to remain a consistent and reliable financing source in the markets they serve. While many equipment finance companies have faltered, Ed Kaye and his partners have continued to improve upon their leadership position in the leasing industry."
John Enyart, President, Portfolio Financial Servicing Company (PFSC)

Eric C. Coolbaugh, Vice President; Michael P. Kaplan, Secretary Treasurer; Edward P. Kaye, President

Nobody says they want to go into the leasing business when they grow up. But for the three partners that started Advantage Funding, it worked out well.

After 10 year careers with a large independent auto leasing firm, the three account representatives, Edward Kaye, Eric Coolbaugh, and Michael Kaplan found themselves without a home. Their employer decided to relocate from their native New York City to Florida and the three did not like the way the business was heading and decided to start their own firm, Advantage Funding.

“In hindsight, it was the best move of our lives,” says Kaye, the current president and a principal of Advantage. “We each kicked in $7,500, rented a small office, purchased an inexpensive phone system and made cardboard boxes our desks,” he added. “We were very young, worked very hard and had fun every day,” he stated.

“We started out as brokers for the first several months with existing bank and leasing company relationships and quickly realized that we needed recourse leasing lines to grow the business,” said Eric Coolbaugh, vice president and a principal. “The first lender to provide a warehouse line of credit was Ford Motor Credit,” he added. In the late 1990s it was relatively easy to obtain bank lines and the three were able to leverage lines with All Points Capital (now a subsidiary of CapitalOne Bank), Sovereign Bank (now Banco Santander), European American Bank (now Citigroup), and New World Lease Funding, which was all they needed to grow their modest investment into an $80 million portfolio.

With good portfolio performance and disciplined buying habits the company steadily grew, adding staff and eventually moving to larger offices with real desks and furniture. “Although it certainly was not what many people expected to see when they walked into our office, a converted two story dye house in an industrial neighborhood, we called it home. We never believed in investing a lot of capital in window dressing,” said Michael Kaplan, secretary treasurer and a principal. “We always had the same goal of investing in the business for the long term,” he said.

Advantage Funding specializes in direct and indirect niche transportation finance and leasing. Their target transactions are leases and loans of new and used commercial coaches, minibuses, school buses, paratransit vans, ambulances and limousines. They also establish captive finance programs for commercial transportation equipment manufacturers. They do not fund trucks, trailers, or any collateral with residual value risk.

“In 2001 business was very good. New business volume was up, delinquency was down, and we had healthy margins. Then 9/11 happened,” Kaye says.

At the time Advantage was the largest independent finance company to the Black Car industry (prearranged chauffeured sedan transportation) in the City of New York. “We suffered enormous losses but didn’t panic,” Coolbaugh says. “We created special finance programs to liquidate the repossessions,” he added. “We kept the banks informed of our activity, they supported us, and it worked out,” Kaplan says. All of Advantage’s lenders were paid 100% on the dollar after 9/11, according to Kaye.

In 2006, the company caught the attention of Marubeni America Corporation (, the North American subsidiary of Marubeni Corporation (, the multinational Japanese trading conglomerate. “We were still happy doing what we were doing but decided after 9/11 that having a large partner had its benefits,” Kaplan says.

The main concern for Advantage was management and existing employees remain in place after the acquisition. Marubeni agreed, according to Kaye, and they purchased a majority stake in the company. “Marubeni immediately lowered our internal cost of funds and provided treasury and financial support services that otherwise would not be available to us,” Coolbaugh says.

With Marubeni’s backing, the company self funds all of its transactions and has grown the portfolio to over 4,000 vehicles or $300 million. Marubeni’s involvement was important in growing the business but the three partners give equal credit to their loyal and dedicated sales people, back office staff, and customers.

“We have worked with many of our sales people and employees for close to 20 years. They have devoted their lives to our business and we are fortunate to have such long standing relationships with them,” Kaplan says. “Many of our customers have been with us for 20 years as well,” added Kaye. They were loyal to us before Advantage was formed and stayed with us,” he said.

The three partners function as one unit in managing the daily operation. Given the current challenges the economy is experiencing, the three have a clear direction in how to lead the company through this cycle.

“We each bring something unique to the table and respect each others’ opinions. This is what makes the partnership, and ultimately the company strong” Coolbaugh says. In today’s economy there are a lot of issues to deal with and it helps that we have a clear direction and understanding of what it takes to succeed in difficult times.” “It’s hard enough battling customers, we do not want to spend any energy battling your partners,” Kaplan says.

Advantage has 10 salespeople strategically located throughout the United States and 30 employees in its corporate headquarters in Lake Success, Long Island, New York. The portfolio is serviced by the third party servicing agent, PFSC of Portland, Oregon.

“When we look back at what we’ve accomplished and how we got here, it makes you realize how lucky we have been in a career we each fell into,” Kaye says. “We’ve come a long way and we could not have planned it better.”

Edward P. Kaye, President; Eric C. Coolbaugh, Vice President; Michael P. Kaplan, Secretary Treasurer




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

Chesswood Announces Agreement  Acquisition
of Blue Chip Leasing and EcoHome Financial

- Established Prime Lessor and Emerging Consumer Finance Businesses Position Chesswood for Continued Growth
 in Multiple North American Markets

- Addition of Blue Chip provides Chesswood with a North American platform able to fully leverage product and target-market expertise

- Acquisition of EcoHome provides access to the highly attractive consumer finance market, which is counter-cyclical to Chesswood's existing commercial equipment finance businesses

- Transaction is expected to be high single-digit accretive to EPS
 in the first full year of operations

TORONTO, ONTARIO - Chesswood Group Limited ("Chesswood" or the "Company") (TSX:CHW) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Blue Chip Leasing Corporation ("Blue Chip") and EcoHome Financial Inc. ("EcoHome").

Blue Chip is a tenured, prime, small ticket equipment finance company serving brokers and vendors from coast-to-coast in Canada. Blue Chip has almost two decades of experience in the Canadian commercial leasing industry, and had net finance receivables of $74 million as of September 30, 2014.

EcoHome provides financing solutions to the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) and home improvement markets. This is an attractive market generally characterized by the high credit quality that Canadian homeowners demonstrate along with longer terms on the related loans and rentals. EcoHome had net finance receivables of $47 million as of October 31, 2014.

Transaction Highlights

This transformative acquisition is expected to enhance Chesswood's financial and operational strength and growth prospects, in several important ways:

  • Establishes a North American Platform. Allows Chesswood to leverage product and target market expertise in both Canada and the U.S.
  • Enhances Scale. Significant scale is gained, with a pro forma portfolio of net finance receivables of $315 million as of September 30, 2014.
  • Financially Attractive with Strong Cash Flows. The proposed acquisition is expected to be high single-digit accretive to earnings per share in the first full year of operations. This accretion and the enhanced growth opportunities are expected to deliver strong free cash flows and support Chesswood's track record of paying and growing dividends.
  • High Growth, Complementary Market. Entry into the high growth consumer finance market, which is counter-cyclical to Chesswood's existing businesses.
  • Greater Diversification. In addition to diversification through the counter-cyclicality of EcoHome's business, the acquisition provides further diversification in terms of products, geographic concentration and credit quality. Blue Chip's prime portfolio enhances the overall credit quality of the consolidated financing portfolios.
  • Management Team Fully Aligned and Incentivized. The acquisition adds management with almost two decades of experience. Each of Daniel Wittlin (CEO of Blue Chip and EcoHome) and Ed Dias (President of EcoHome) will be entering into multi-year employment agreements. In addition, Mr. Wittlin will join the board of Chesswood and will be assuming the role of Chesswood's Chief Operating Officer. Both Mr. Wittlin and Mr. Dias will be indirectly acquiring a significant number of Chesswood shares as part of the transaction, which will be subject to multi-year escrow arrangements. The purchase agreement for these acquisitions also includes significant incentives tied to performance of Blue Chip and EcoHome over the next several years.
  • Efficiencies and Growth Opportunities. The sharing of expertise and infrastructure is expected to generate synergies and accelerate growth.

Barry Shafran
Chesswood President, CEO

"We are tremendously excited by the critical mass and breadth of programs this transaction provides Chesswood" said Barry Shafran, Chesswood's President and CEO. "Blue Chip brings years of experience in the prime equipment finance space and a pattern of growing profitability to Chesswood, which will allow us to have a complete product offering to the commercial equipment finance industry" added Shafran.

"Adding EcoHome to Chesswood's fold not only adds almost $50 million of net finance receivables to our portfolio, and earnings to our bottom line, it also allows us to enter the consumer finance market where we believe we can grow substantially, in Canada to begin with, and eventually in the U.S." said Shafran. EcoHome has experienced significant growth since its inception in 2010 and has carved out a niche in the home improvement finance market, primarily in Ontario, that provides superior returns on equity and continued growth prospects.

"For our shareholders, Blue Chip and EcoHome provide the strategic platform to accelerate the growth and diversification of Chesswood's revenues and cash flows," said Shafran, "and importantly, the transaction is expected to be high single-digit accretive to EPS in the first full year of operations." Chesswood has increased its dividend eight times since 2009 and the strong cash flows provided by the acquisition are expected to enhance the Company's ability to continue to grow dividends.

Acquisition Terms and Timing

Chesswood will pay an aggregate of $64 million to acquire Blue Chip and EcoHome with the possibility of additional consideration if performance targets are exceeded. The purchase price for the acquisition will be paid through a combination of (i) $17 million of cash, (ii) approximately $28 million from a fully committed senior secured bridge facility, that is to be replaced with the proceeds from an equity public offering, subject to market conditions, (iii) approximately $6 million in equity through a private placement to certain senior management, directors and other insiders of Chesswood, and (iv) the issuance of Chesswood common shares to the vendor for the balance. Closing of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions and regulatory and third party consents, and is expected to occur as soon as practicable but no later than April 3, 2015.

Each of Chesswood's directors, including its CEO, and the Board's advisor, Mr. Edward Sonshine, will be participating in the private placement offering referred to above, reflecting their commitment to Chesswood's future and their support for this transformative acquisition.

Daniel Wittlin
CEO, Eco Home Financial
President, CEO
Blue Chip Leasing Corp.
President, Founder

"We're very excited to be joining Chesswood in what we consider to be a truly strategic transaction" said Wittlin. "Blue Chip, EcoHome and Chesswood's businesses will help accelerate the growth of one another. We will be creating critical mass and entering into a new market segment for Chesswood in Canada" added Wittlin. "We believe very strongly in the potential for this North American platform. I am excited by the opportunity to become a significant shareholder of Chesswood, and to become its new Chief Operating Officer."

RBC Capital Markets acted as Chesswood's financial advisor on the transaction. McCarthy Tétrault LLP served as Chesswood's legal counsel.

Fourth Quarter Financial Results

Chesswood's audited results for the 2014 year-end will be issued later in March and the Company expects to report fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $5.0 million, compared to $5.2 million in the same period of the prior year. Non-recurring items during the quarter include the Company's write-off of the remaining $607,000 in unamortized bank fees under Pawnee's revolving line of credit, which was retired in December and replaced by Chesswood's new U.S. $150 million revolving line of credit. The Company expects to report net income for the fourth quarter of $1.9 million, which would represent approximately 11% growth over the prior year fourth quarter net income of $1.7 million. These figures are all based upon management's unaudited financial statements, pending completion of Chesswood's year-end audit.

Chesswood is providing these preliminary results in light of the circumstances of the proposed acquisition and potential financing, and does not intend to continue to provide preliminary results for future periods.

Non GAAP Measures

References to Adjusted EBITDA are not recognized measures under International Financial Reporting Standards and do not have standard meanings. Accordingly, these measures may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers.

About Chesswood Group Limited

Chesswood is a specialty finance company with operating businesses in both Canada and the U.S.

To learn more about Chesswood Group Limited, visit The separate websites of Chesswood Group Limited's operating businesses are at,, and




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

Former BofA Sr. VP Pleads Guilty to $6.4 Million
Misapplication of Bank Funds

WASHINGTON, DC - Former senior vice president at Bank of America (BOA) in Las Vegas, Nev., pleaded guilty on February 24, 2015, to misapplication of bank funds in a scheme that led to more than $6.4 million in losses to BOA on two business-related loans.

Justin T. Brough, 39, of North Las Vegas pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of misapplication of bank funds before U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon of the District of Nevada. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 28, 2015.

According to court documents, Brough was a senior vice president at BOA in Las Vegas, serving as a business banking market executive. Brough provided financial services to high-net-worth clients. Brough admitted to misapplying bank funds in connection with two business loans: a $6.3 million short-term construction loan, and a $600,000 line of credit in connection with the acquisition of a business. Brough admitted that neither borrower qualified for the loans, because they did not meet the bank’s underwriting requirements. Brough further admitted that he falsified documents in order to help both borrowers obtain the loans, including forging signatures on loan papers.

According to Brough’s admissions, when the borrowers had difficulty making payments on the loans, Brough misused the bank’s general ledger fund to make a total of $436,676 in payments on the loans for the borrowers. Brough admitted that he disguised those payments, among other ways, as “goodwill,” “miscellaneous adjustments,” and refunds of various fees. He also admitted that he kept each of the individual payments under $10,000 so he would not need additional approval within BOA.

Both borrowers ultimately defaulted on the loans. According to Brough’s plea agreement, the aggregate loss to BOA was $6,468,767: $5,291,000 on the first loan, and $1,177,167 on the second loan.

“Brough, a former senior vice president at Bank of America, pleaded guilty to misapplying bank funds in a scheme designed to bypass the bank’s controls on requiring personal guarantees for a construction loan and line of credit to acquire a business, loans that later defaulted and cost the TARP bank more than $6.4 million,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP).

“Months after Bank of America received TARP bailout funds, the bank’s risk management department decided that the bank would not make a $6.3 million construction loan that Brough requested unless the borrower made a cash guarantee of $5 million. Brough forged the signatures of other unsuspecting clients to make the guarantee. In another instance, Brough tricked a set of clients into signing personal guarantees. When both loans began to go bad, Brough misapplied the bank’s general ledger funds in an attempt to conceal his scam and to keep the loans current. Risk management at banks, particularly at TARP banks, is incredibly important to protect not only the bank, but taxpayers who were called upon to bailout these banks. We commend the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden, and the FBI for standing united with SIGTARP against bailout-related crime.”

BOA received a total of $45 billion in taxpayer funds through the U.S. Department of the Treasury Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and the bank repaid the funds in full in December 2009.

The case was investigated by SIGTARP and the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Nicholas Acker of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division Fraud Section.

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


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Fernando's View
By Fernando F. Croce

A heartfelt comedy-drama ("Queen and Country") and intoxicating horror ("Da Sweet Blood of Jesus") come to theaters, while DVD releases offer tough battlegrounds ("Fury"), dramatic courtrooms ("The Jury"), and classic suspense ("D.O.A.").

In Theaters:

Queen and Country (BBC Worldwide Americas): Veteran British director John Boorman ("Point Blank") delivers his best film in years with this affecting drama, which follows his 1987 semi-autobiographical hit "Hope and Glory." Picking up the story years after the earlier movie, the story takes place in the 1950s as it follows the seriocomic misadventures of Bill Rohan (Callum Turner), a young Londoner who joins the Army. Though unfolding during the Korean War, the film mostly focuses on the protagonist's rapport with his quirky friend Percy (Caleb Landry Jones) and his military nemeses, Sgt. Bradley (David Thewlis) and Major Cross (Richard E. Grant). A versatile, engrossing and eccentric storyteller, Boorman maintains an effortlessly light and sweet touch while addressing a nation's darkening period, resulting in one of the year's most satisfying early releases.

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (Gravitas Ventures): Spike Lee follows last year's intense "Oldboy" remake with another venture into baroque filmmaking, this time tackling the horror genre. Remaking the 1973 cult vampire favorite "Ganja & Hess," the controversial director tells the bloody, funky story of Dr. Greene (Stephen Tyrone Williams), a man who becomes literally bloodthirsty after being cursed by an ancient African artifact. While trying frantically to control his brutal new addiction, he falls into an obsessive romance with Ganja (Zaraah Abrahams), the gorgeous wife of an art curator. Can their relationship survive as deeper and darker secrets are revealed? Mixing gruesome thrills with sexy humor, Lee's movie is provocatively strange, rich with subtext, and brimming with stylistic intoxication

Netflix Tip: Classic Hollywood's perennial suave Frenchman, Louis Jourdan (1921-2015) could always be counted to add a debonair presence to any feature. So check out the highlights of his career, which include the Hitchcock drama "The Paradine Case" (1947), the romantic masterpiece "Letter from an Unknown Woman" (1948), and the Oscar-winning musical "Gigi" (1958).


Fury (Sony): After a terrific comic turn in "Inglourious Basterds," Brad Pitt goes to a considerably more serious battleground in this solid war drama, directed by David Ayer ("Street Kings"). Set in 1945 as the conflict in Europe nears its brutal end, the story follows tough Army Sergeant "Wardaddy" Collier (Pitt, in fine commanding form) as he leads his crew of men inside a tank behind enemy lines. As they get closer and closer to Nazi leaders, the soldiers have to deal with danger from every side, from the skirmishes hiding just around the corner to the inexperienced new grunt Swan (Shia LeBeouf) in their midst. Can they survive long enough to make it back home? Depicting life and death in this hellish landscape with relentless intensity and a cracking supporting cast, the movie is a forcefully visceral portrayal of combat.

The Judge (Warner Bros.): A predictable story is redeemed by a high-octane cast in this enjoyable legal drama, which marks a dramatic shift for comedic director David Dobkin ("Wedding Crashers"). Taking a break from comic-book blockbusters, Robert Downey Jr. stars as Hank Palmer, a hotshot lawyer who finds himself back in his small hometown in Indiana to take care of some family business. His father Joe (Robert Duvall), who also happens to be the local judge, has been accused of murder following an accident. Hank must square off against a ruthless prosecutor (Billy Bob Thornton), but the real battle takes place not in court but at home, where the arrogant big-city attorney must come to terms with his personal matters. The plot may be filled with clichés from older thrillers, but the performances make the movie an engaging ride.

D.O.A. (Mill Creek): Suspense doesn't get much tighter than in this underrated 1950 film noir, directed by noted cinematographer Rudolph Mate. Edmond O'Brien stars as Frank Bigelow, a small-town accountant out and about in San Francisco for a freewheeling weekend before his wedding. Unfortunately, the night's outcome is quickly revealed to be something far more serious than a hangover--having been mysteriously injected with a toxin, he now has barely a week left to live. With the clock ticking, Frank embarks on a frenetic journey to track down the culprit, an investigation that sends him to the city's darkest corners and seediest characters. Can he discover the truth behind his own murder? Cannily visualizing the doomed protagonist's frantic desperation and paranoia, the film is an unforgettably tense ride that's a must-see for any thriller fans.


German Shepard
Novato, California Adopt-a-Dog

Honey Bee
Female 1-3 years
Good with Cats?
Yes Good with Dogs? Both
Located in East Bay, SF

"Honey Bee would like to say a big thank you to Kristen Ott for sponsoring her!

"Honey Bee is a sweet girl in a tomboy kind of way and she's very goofy.  She's like a very happy bucking bronco, with body parts moving in every direction.  When she is told to contain herself, she stops and then barks a funny bark.  She's got a great personality.  Honey already has some of the basics for 'talking', but she would likely learn more with help from her human.  Did we say she's a goof?  Yes she is!  She is so hard to correct for barking when she purposely barks a donkey sounding noise.

"Honey Bee is a bit over a year.  She loves to play with all the dogs that she resides with.  She loves to play rough and tumble, and she will bark in dogs' faces to get them to play with her.  There's nothing bad in this girl's bones; she's all good.  But she does need training!  She has lots of energy and would be a good exercise pal.

"Honey sleeps in a crate at night, and we can't say she's quiet all night.  She does make a bit of noise when she thinks it's time to play. When told to be quiet, she gives that funny bark; she just wants to have fun.

"Professional Test Kitty went into action with Honey.  Honey was happy to meet him, perhaps a little too happy, wanting to play.  We will say that Honey is cat-workable with the right cat(s) and owners.

"She is a level 3 dog in the east bay.  She will benefit from training, and she'll be a great dog.

Adoption Process


Mailing Address:
Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue
P.O. Box 2846
Novato, CA 94948

Hotline Phone Number:
(855) 473-5683
(855) GSD-LOVE
We will get back to you within hours!

Adopt a Pet


News Briefs----

Divided FCC Votes to Reclassify ISPs Under Title II

Apple expected to unveil Apple Watch news in March


Receivables Management LLC
John Kenny

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Edible Energy: Find the Right Bar for Your Needs


Winter Poem

Winter’s Embrace

By Joanna Fuchs

When winter blows its cold breath everywhere,
And throws a chill white blanket on the ground,
The sun makes sparkling diamonds on the snow,
And trees with icy diadems are crowned.

It’s time to snuggle in for winter fun
In cozy places, maybe by a fire.
A good book and some cocoa feel just right
In flannels, sweaters, winter’s warm attire.

Winter’s gloom is comforting somehow,
As life retreats from its rushed and frantic pace.
We’re ready now to stay indoors awhile,
As we settle into winter’s calm embrace.



Sports Briefs----

Adrian Peterson’s Suspension Is Overturned. but...

Council OKs Los Angeles-area stadium backed by Rams owner


San Francisco 49ers: Worst-Case Scenario for Round 1 of the 2015 NFL Draft


California Nuts Briefs---

Storm heading into Northern California won’t dent the drought


“Gimme that Wine”

Fountaingrove becomes newest appellation in Sonoma County

California Wines Fuel $1.49 Billion in U.S. Wine Exports in 2014

Robert Parker: I'll never retire, despite giving up Bordeaux en primeur tasting

Sonoma State Offers Two New Seminars March 12th

"Women of the Vine" to Host a Grand Tasting Gala in Honor of Women's History Month

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

      1717 - Perhaps the greatest snow in New England history commenced on this date. During a ten day period, a series of four snowstorms dumped three feet of snow upon Boston, and the city was snowbound for two weeks. Up to six feet of snow was reported farther to the north, and drifts covered many one story homes….well, maybe not as much as the Blizzards of 2015!!
   1728 - Importation of rum in the colonies for this year amounted to 2,124,500 gallons of liquor. Drinking was extremely heavy. This printed doggerel gave one reason why people did not drink:
There’s but one Reason I can Think
Why People ever cease to drink,
Sobriety the Cause is not,
Nor Fear of being deam’d a Sot,
But if Liquor can’t be got.
    1773 - Christ Church in Alexandria, VA was completed after six years of construction and a total cost of approximately $4070. George Washington purchased a pew for himself and his family at a cost of about $100. He also donated a handsome brass chandelier to the church.
    1776 - A colonial force of North Carolina patriots resoundingly defeats a detachment of Scottish Loyalists at Moore’s Creek Bridge near Wilmington. The battle ended Royal Governor Josiah Martin's hopes of regaining control of the colony for the British crown. In addition, this first decisive Patriot victory of the Revolutionary War raised morale for Patriots throughout the colonies. 
    1782 - In England, the House of Commons votes against waging any further war in America. On 5 March, Parliament enacts legislation empowering the English Crown to negotiate peace with the United States.
    1792 - A heavy snowfall at Charleston, South Carolina caused the Ashley River Bridge to collapse.
    1801 – Pursuant to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801,Washington, DC was placed under federal jurisdiction.
    1807 - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet and writer, was born at Portland, ME. He is best remembered for his classic narrative poems, such as “The Song of Hiawatha”, “Paul Revere's Ride”, and “The Wreck of the Hesperus”. He was the most popular 19th century American poet and first to earn a living solely from writing verse. His best-known narrative poem, ‘The Song of Hiawatha” (1855) adapted its meter from the Finnish national epic “Kalevala”. Died at Cambridge, MA, Mar 24, 1882.
    1813 - Congress authorized the use of steamboats to transport mail
    1813 – The first federal legislation dealing with vaccinations was passed.
    1827 - The first Mardi-Gras celebration is held in New Orleans.
    1850 - Charlotte Ray, first African-American female lawyer, born New York City. She became the first woman to be accepted by the District of Columbia Bar Association. Ray opened a law office in Washington, D.C., but racial prejudices proved too strong, and she could not obtain enough legal business to maintain an active practice. In 1879 she returned to New York City unable to establish and maintain a successful law practice on her own. There she became active with the National Association of Colored Women and the National Women's Suffrage Association. She was employed by the Brooklyn School System. Around 1886 she married a man with the last name Fraim and moved to Woodside on Long Island. She died on January 4, 1911 from bronchitis at the age of 60. She was a person that stood up for what she believed in. She did much to help women black and white to gain equal rights to vote and to hold the same occupations at men.
    1860 – Abraham Lincoln spoke at Cooper Union in NYC, a speech that is widely credited for his election.
    1863 - Confederate raider William Quantrill and his bushwhackers attacked Hickman, Kentucky, shooting women and children.
    1864 - As chronicled in the book “Andersonville”, the first Union prisoners begin arriving at the Andersonville prison, even though it was still under construction in southern Georgia. Andersonville became synonymous with death as nearly a quarter of its inmates died in captivity. Henry Wirz, commandant at Andersonville, was executed after the war for the brutality and mistreatment committed under his command. Originally designed for 10,000 men, it soon housed over 33,000 in quite deplorable conditions. The creek banks eroded, creating a swamp, which became part of the compound. Food was scarce, and guards were encouraged to “lessen the population” and were quite brutal and violent to the prisoners.
List of Union soldiers who died and their cause of death:
    1869 - American pathologist Alice Hamilton was born at New York, NY. She contributed to the workmen's compensation laws by reporting on the dangers to workers of industrial toxic substances. She taught at Harvard Medical School from 1919 until 1935. Hamilton died Sept 22, 1970, at Hadlyme, CT.
    1869 - John Willis Menard spoke to Congress in defense of his claim to a contested seat representing Louisiana's Second Congressional District, thus becoming the first black to speak to Congress. Congress decided against his claim, as well as the claim of the other contestant. Congressman James A. Garfield said "it was too early to admit a Negro to the U.S. Congress." So, Menard was actually the first black elected to Congress, in 1868, but he was not permitted to serve his term. He was reportedly paid by Congress a monthly salary for the term of office he was to fulfill. He was not only an active civil rights advocate, but a published poet.
    1872 - Charlotte Ray, first African-American woman lawyer, graduated Harvard University. She was employed by the Brooklyn School System. Around 1886, she married a man with the last name Fraim and moved to Woodside on Long Island. She died on January 4, 1911 from bronchitis at the age of 60. She was a person who stood up for what she believed in. She did much to help women, black and white, to gain equal rights to vote and to hold the same occupations at men
    1877 – Birthday of Walter Briggs, Jr. in Ypsilanti, MI.  He was an entrepreneur and part-owner of the Detroit Tigers (1919-35), and then sole owner (1935-52), when he died. Briggs also helped found the Detroit Zoo in 1928, and personally paid for many of its first exhibits.  He was also a patron of Eastern Michigan University and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
    1879 - Sugar substitute Saccharine was discovered by Constantine Fahlberg, who was working under the direction of Professor Ira Remsen at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Fahlberg described the discovery in an article entitle “On the Liquid Touensulphochloride,” which he submitted to the American Chemical Journal on this day. Saccharine is an edible substance 550 times sweeter than table sugar, but not absorbed by the body.
    1883 - Oscar Hammerstein of New York City, grandfather of the famous composer, received a patent for the first practical cigar-rolling machine.
    1888 – Historian Arthur Schlesinger was born in Xenia, OH.  He pioneered social history and urban history. He was a Progressive Era intellectual who stressed material causes such as economic profit and conflict between businessmen and farmers, and downplayed ideology and values as motivations for historical actors. He was highly influential as a director of PhD dissertations at Harvard for three decades, especially in the fields of social, women's and immigration history.  Schlesinger died in 1965.
    1890 - Cornet player Freddie Keppard born New Orleans, LA. Died 1933,,452708,00.html?artist=Freddie+Keppard
    1891 - David Sarnoff, broadcasting pioneer, was born in Minsk, present-day Belarus.  Sarnoff moved to New York at age nine, and at seventeen, he took a job as a telegraph messenger boy. He used his first paycheck to buy a telegraph and taught himself Morse code. Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company hired him as a telegraph operator. In 1912, Sarnoff was the first telegraph operator to pick up the Titanic's distress call; he remained at his post for seventy-two hours, monitoring the call and passing on information. Sarnoff rose rapidly through the ranks of the company in various capacities from shortly after its founding in 1919 until his retirement in 1970.  He proposed that Marconi market a "radio music box" and, in 1921, became general manager of RCA. Sarnoff also set up the NBC radio network and established the first U.S. television service in 1939.  He ruled over an ever-growing telecommunications and consumer electronics empire that included both RCA and NBC, and became one of the largest companies in the world.   Sarnoff died in 1971 in Manhattan.
    1892 – Actor William Demarest was born in St. Paul, MN.  He is best known as Uncle Charley in the TV series, “My Three Sons”.  A veteran of World War I, Demarest became a prolific film and TV actor, working on over 140 films, beginning in 1926 and ending in the 1970s. He frequently played crusty but good-hearted roles.  He died in 1983.
    1897 - Marian Anderson born at Philadelphia (some sources say in 1899 or 1902). Anderson's talent was evident at an early age. Her career stonewalled by the prejudice she encountered in the US, she moved to Europe where the magnificence of her voice and her versatility as a performer began to establish her as one of the world's finest contraltos. Preventing Anderson's performance at Washington's Constitution Hall in 1939 on the basis of her color, the Daughters of the American Revolution secured for her the publicity that would lay the foundation for her success in the States. Her performance was rescheduled, and on Apr 9 (Easter Sunday), 75,000 people showed up to hear her sing from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and the performance was simultaneously broadcast by radio. In 1957, Anderson became the first African-American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera. The following year, President Eisenhower named her a delegate to the United Nations. She performed at President Kennedy's inauguration and in 1963, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Some historians cite the Lincoln Memorial performance as the first strategic victory of the modern civil rights movement. Anderson died April 8, 1993, at Portland, Oregon.
    1900 - A massive snowstorm set records from Kansas to New York. 18.7 inches of snow was measured at Topeka, Kansas in 24 hours -- the city's greatest 24 hour snowfall on record. 17.5 inches fell at Springfield, Illinois, 43 inches at Rochester, New York, 60 inches in the Adirondacks, and 31 inches at Northfield, Vermont.
    1902 – Birthday of John (Ernst) Steinbeck, one of American’s best writers: “The Grapes of Wrath”, “Cannery Row”.  He was known also for his many short stories and “Travels with Charlie,” which generated several television programs. Died Dec 20, 1968. He lived a few blocks away from where I live now, and in the 1940’s and 1950’s wrote many of his books here.
    1902 - Gene Sarazen, golfer, was born Eugenio Saraceni at Harrison, NY. Sarazen was one of the game's greatest players and in his later years, one of its greatest goodwill ambassadors. The inventor of the sand wedge, Sarazen was also the first to win the modern grand slam (the Masters, US Open, British Open and PGA), although not in the same year. During the 1935 Masters, he hit one of golf's most famous shots, a four-wood for a double eagle on the par-5 fifteenth hole of the final round. The shot enabled him to tie Craig Wood for the lead and defeat him in a playoff. Sarazen's last shot was the traditional ceremonial tee shot to open the 1999 Masters. Died at Marco Island, FL, May 13, 1999. 
    1904 - James Ferrell, American author, novelist and short story writer, best known for his Studs Lonigan trilogy. Born at Chicago, IL, he died at New York, NY, Aug 22, 1979.
    1907 - Birthday of singer Mildred Bailey, Tekoa, WA. Tagged Mr. and Mrs. Swing she led a band with her husband Red Norvo, did solo vocals, and had her own radio show.  She died in 1951.
    1909 - Guitarist Harrison Verrett born Napoleonville, LA
    1912 - Hilton Lee Smith, baseball player, born at Giddings, TX. Smith was a dominant pitcher in the Negro Leagues. He possessed a superb curve ball and was often considered the equal or better of Satchel Page. Died at Kansas City, MO, Nov 18, 1983.
    1913 – American playwright, author, screenwriter, Irwin Shaw, born Irwin Gilbert Shamforoff in The Bronx. He was best known for his book “The Young Lions.” Died 1984.
    1917 – Former Texas Governor and Secretary of the Treasury John Connally was born in Floresville, TX.  He was a passenger and was wounded on November 22, 1963 with President Kennedy, the latter falling to the assassins’ bullets.  Connally died in 1993.
    1922 - A challenge to the Nineteenth Amendment, allowing women the right to vote, is rebuffed by the Supreme Court in Leser v. Garnett.
    1923 - Guitarist Chuck Wayne born New York City.
    1923 - Tenor sax player Dexter Gordon, Los Angeles, CA (saw him play many times, often at the jazz house in Half Moon Bay --I believe.)
Died April 26, 1996
    1926 - First jazz concert held at Chicago’s Coliseum, sponsored by Okey Records.
    1928 - Guitarist Roy Montrell born New Orleans, LA.
    1929 - The first movie by a major company for an African-American audience was shown at the Gaiety Theatre, New York City. It was the William Fox Movietone feature “Heats in Dixie”, a musical comedy drama of the South featuring 200 entertainers. It was a Paul Sloane production, written and directed by Eugene Walter, with story dialogue by Walter Weems. The featured actor was Stephen “Stepin” Fetchit. The entire cast, with one exception, was African-American.
    1930 - Birthday of actress Joanne Woodward in Thomasville, GA. Won Academy award for Best Actress, “The Three Faces of Eve” (1957) and nominated for several others. Won several Emmys for her TV work. Perhaps most remembered as long time wife of Paul Newman (Newman's Own).
    1932 - Birthday of actress Elizabeth Taylor in London, England. A complex and headline-grabbing private life and her violet eyes in an exquisite face, often eclipse the fact that she won two Academy Awards for Best Actress: “Butterfield 8” (1960) and “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1966). She had been nominated three other times. She received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Legion of Honor, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, who named her seventh on their list of the “Greatest American Screen Legends”. Helped form pioneer AIDS-fighting organization Am-Far and was a cosmetic executive. Her mother was actress Sara Sothern. She died in Los Angeles, Ca., March 23, 2011.
    1933 – Baltimore Colts Hall of Fame receiver and one of Johnny Unitas’ favorite targets, Raymond Berry, was born in Corpus Christi, TX.
    1934 - Consumer advocate Ralph Nader born in Winsted, Connecticut. His claim to fame was his 1965 book, “Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile.” Today he is an active political candidate for change.
    1935 - The 7th Academy Awards ceremony was held at the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel for the films of 1934. Actor/writer Irvin S. Cobb hosted the big show. "It Happened One Night" swept the awards, capturing Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Frank Capra), Best Actor (Clark Gable) and Best Actress (Claudette Colbert). A miniature version of Oscar was presented to child star, Shirley Temple “ grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment during the year 1934.” 
    1939 – The Supreme Court ruled that sit-down strikes violate property owners' rights and are therefore illegal.
    1945 - WATSON, WILSON DOUGLAS, Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division. Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 26 and 27 February 1945. Entered service at: Arkansas. Born: 18 February 1921, Tuscumbia, Ala. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as automatic rifleman serving with the 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 26 and 27 February 1945. With his squad abruptly halted by intense fire from enemy fortifications in the high rocky ridges and crags commanding the line of advance, Pvt. Watson boldly rushed 1 pillbox and fired into the embrasure with his weapon, keeping the enemy pinned down single-handedly until he was in a position to hurl in a grenade, and then running to the rear of the emplacement to destroy the retreating Japanese and enable his platoon to take its objective. Again pinned down at the foot of a small hill, he dauntlessly scaled the jagged incline under fierce mortar and machinegun barrages and, with his assistant BAR man, charged the crest of the hill, firing from his hip. Fighting furiously against Japanese troops attacking with grenades and knee mortars from the reverse slope, he stood fearlessly erect in his exposed position to cover the hostile entrenchments and held the hill under savage fire for 15 minutes, killing 60 Japanese before his ammunition was exhausted and his platoon was able to join him. His courageous initiative and valiant fighting spirit against devastating odds were directly responsible for the continued advance of his platoon, and his inspiring leadership throughout this bitterly fought action reflects the highest credit upon Pvt. Watson and the U.S. Naval Service.
    1946 - Top Hits
“Let It Snow” - Vaughn Monroe
“Symphony” - The Freddy Martin Orchestra (vocal: Clyde Rogers)
“I Can’t Begin to Tell You” - Bing Crosby with the Carmen Cavallaro Orchestra
“Guitar Polka” - Al Dexter
    1946 - The fourth of the “Road” films, "Road to Utopia", starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour and Robert Benchley, opened in New York City. Bing and Bob wound up in Alaska posing as escaped killers in order to locate a lost gold mine. Tunes from the flick: "Put It There, Pal", "Welcome to My Dreams", "Would You?", "Personality", "Sunday, Monday, or Always", "Goodtime Charlie" and "It’s Anybody’s Spring”.
   1948 - The Jeep was to be made by Bantam Motor Company for the US Army.  Bantam owed the patent rights, but they were sued by Willys-Overland for the right of production. Willys-Overland wound up producing the Army vehicle that would come to be known as the Jeep (they actually subbed it out to Ford, who built the most as Willys could not keep up with the demand), but for the record, the patent was owned by the Bantam Motor Company.  The origin of the word “Jeep” has been difficult to verify. The most widely held theory is that the military designation GP (for Government Purposes or General Purpose) was slurred into the word Jeep. The company has had a string of owners in the interim as Willys was sold to Kaiser Motors which was acquired by American Motors which was acquired by Chrysler in 1987, which was acquired by Daimler-Benz, then spun off to Chrysler LLC, now part of Fiat.
    1950 - The twenty-second amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, limiting the presidential term of office to two terms.
    1951 - Singer/politician Lee Atwater born Atlanta, GA
    1954 - Top Hits
“Oh! My Pa-Pa” - Eddie Fisher
“Make Love to Me!” - Jo Stafford
“Cross Over the Bridge” - Patti Page
“Wake Up, Irene” - Hank Thompson
    1954 - Doris Day's "Secret Love" hits #1
    1955 - For the first time, the 45 rpm vinyl single begins outselling the previous industry standard 78 rpm record.
    1955 - Neal Schon, vocalist and guitarist with the hard-pop band Journey, was born in San Mateo, California. The group's fourth LP, "Infinity," sold a million copies in 1978. Three years later, "Escape" became Journey's first number-one LP. A single from it, "Open Arms," hit number two on the Billboard chart. Journey is said to be the first rock band to inspire a video game - "Journey - Escape" was in the arcades in late 1982.
    1956 - Elvis Presley released "Heartbreak Hotel"
    1956 - Little Richard's first Number One R&B hit, "Slippin' and Slidin'," backed with "Long Tall Sally," is released on Specialty.
    1960 - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles make their first ever TV appearance, singing "Shop Around" on ABC's American Bandstand. 
    1961 - Five months after topping the US charts with "The Twist", Chubby Checker does it again with "Pony Time".
    1962 - Gene Chandler's "Duke of Earl" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The record, released only ten days after Chandler signed with Vee-Jay records in Chicago, remained in the top spot for three weeks.  [true story:  at one of our high school dances, we kept playing “Duke” over and over and over, (no DJs then, just record players!!), everyone dancing and having a great time.  Our principal, tired of hearing the same record, pulled it.  Dance ended about 15 minutes later, maybe 10 pm.]
    1962 - Top Hits
“Duke of Earl” - Gene Chandler
“The Wanderer” - Dion
“Norman” - Sue Thompson
“Walk on By” - Leroy Van Dyke
    1963 - The New York Yankees' Mickey Mantle signed a baseball contract worth $100,000, a far cry from his 1949 contract which Mantle had signed for $1,100. With this, he became the highest-paid player of his time.  Mantle has hit some of the longest HRs in Major League history.  In April of 1953, Mantle, batting right-handed in Griffith Stadium, in Washington, DC, hit a long home run off Chuck Stobbs of the Senators, over the 460-foot sign, out of the stadium, with the ball flying an estimated 565 feet. On September 10, 1960, he hit a ball left-handed that cleared the right-field roof at Tiger Stadium in Detroit and, based on where it was found, was estimated years later by historian Mark Gallagher to have traveled 643 feet.  In 1962, Mantle appeared in the movie "That Touch of Mink". In 1995, Mickey Mantle died in Dallas, Texas.
    1966 - Ladies Figure Skating Championship in Davos won by Peggy Fleming of US. She now lives in Los Gatos, California, and she and her husband produce and sell wine.
    1967 - San Francisco Police raided two Digger houses: 848 Clayton and 1775 Haight. The next day, a demonstration takes place at Park Station protesting the raids and police harassment, especially directed toward Patrolman Arthur Gerrans. Lt. John Curran estimated that 40 people stayed at each apartment on a nightly basis.
    1969 - A record snowstorm in Maine came to an end. Two to four feet of snow buried southern and central Maine, with a state record of 57 inches reported at West Forks. Drifts covered many single story homes, and the weight of the snow collapsed many roofs. Two to four feet of snow also buried northeastern Vermont and northeastern Massachusetts. In New Hampshire, Mount Washington reported 97.8 inches of snow, a record storm total for New England.
    1970 - Top Hits
“Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)/Everybody is a Star” - Sly & The Family Stone
“Hey There Lonely Girl” - Eddie Holman
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” - Simon & Garfunkel
“It’s Just a Matter of Time” - Sonny James
    1970 - Simon and Garfunkel received a gold record for the single, "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The duo was so impressed with their deserved achievement that they played the gold disc on their stereo. But they heard Mitch Miller’s "Bridge on the River Kwai" instead, and on the same Columbia label they recorded for! Amazing but weird, huh? 
    1971 - Five months after her death, Janis Joplin began a nine-week stay at the top of the Billboard Hot 200 album chart with "Pearl". 
    1972 - Unseasonably mild weather prevailed throughout the central US. Temperatures soared to 83 degrees in Kansas City, Missouri, setting an all-time high record for the month of February.
    1973 - Baseball star Dick ‘Don’t Call Me Richie’ Allen signed a three-year pact with the Chicago White Sox for a reported $675,000 after leaving the Philadelphia Phillies.
    1973 - 200 members of the American Indian Movement, led by Russell Means and Dennis Banks, occupied Wounded Knee, SD, a town on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Their demands included a review of treaties between the federal government and indigenous peoples, a Senate investigation into the treatment of Native Americans, and free elections of tribal leaders. The occupation ended on May 8 when the group surrendered to federal marshals. Gunfights during the siege killed one marshal and two protesters. Wounded Knee was the site of a massacre in December, 1890 when Army troops machine-gunned 200 Sioux men, women, and children.
    1977 - Center Stan Mikita of the Chicago Blackhawks, scored the 500th goal of his career in Chicago’s 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Mikita finished his career with 541 goals and entered the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
    1978 - Top Hits
“Stayin’ Alive” - Bee Gees
“(Love Is) Thicker Than Water” - Andy Gibb
“Just the Way You Are” - Billy Joel
“Don’t Break the Heart that Loves You” - Margo Smith.
    1980 - The 22nd Annual Grammy Award winners for 1979 are announced. The Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes" wins both Record and Song of the Year. Billy Joel's "52nd Street" wins both Album of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
    1981 - Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder recorded "Ebony and Ivory", which will top both the Billboard Pop chart and the Adult Contemporary chart during a 15 week run.
    1982 - Earl “Square Eyes” Anthony becomes first pro bowler to win more than $1 million. Anthony, voted "Bowler of the Millennium" later falls down stairs in his retirement and dies August 14, 2001 as a result.
    1984 - A severe winter storm, which began on the 26th, spread blizzard conditions across Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. 24 inches of snow fell in the Vichy-Rolla area in Missouri. 22 inches was reported in southern Illinois. Winds frequently gusted to 40 and 50 mph. Interstate 65, which connects Indianapolis with Chicago, was impassable for several days due to extensive drifting of the snow. Thunderstorms were reported which added to the heavy snow amounts.
    1986 - Van Halen released "Why Can't This Be Love," their first single since Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth as lead singer. It would rise to number three on the Billboard chart.
    1986 - Top Hits
“How Will I Know” - Whitney Houston
“Kyrie” - Mr. Mister
“Sara” - Starship
“There’s No Stopping Your Heart” - Marie Osmond
    1986 – The Senate allowed its debates to be televised on a trial basis.
    1987 - Former White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan resigns after the Tower Commission report gives him responsibility for the Iran-Contra affair to trade guns for hostages with money going to the Nicaraguan Contras.
    1988 - Debi Thomas, figure skater, becomes first African-American to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. After her Olympic career, she toured for several years then returned to school. Thomas completed her education to become a physician, and today is a practicing orthopedic surgeon.
    1988 - George Michael reaches number one in the US for the second time in his solo career with "Father Figure". He would go on to have a total of six after scoring three chart toppers with Andrew Ridgeley in Wham!
    1991 - Allied troops entered Kuwait City, Kuwait, four days after launching a ground offensive. President George H. W. Bush declared Kuwait to be liberated and ceased all offensive military operations in the Gulf War. The end of military operations came at 9pm, EST, 100 hours after the beginning of the land attack. At 9 p.m. (EST), U.S. President Bush said on live television, “Kuwait is liberated. Iraq’s army is defeated. I am pleased to announce that at midnight tonight, exactly 100 hours since ground operations began and six weeks since the start of Operation Desert Storm, all United States and coalition forces will suspend offensive combat operations”. Feb 26 is commemorated as Liberation Day in Kuwait.
    1991 - James Brown was paroled in Columbia, South Carolina after serving 15 months of a six-year-term for leading police on a chase through South Carolina and Georgia. He performed at the Oakland Coliseum at age 71 and got rave reviews from all the newspapers. 
    1992 - Tiger Woods, 16, becomes youngest PGA golfer in 35 years.
    1993 - Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" replaces Boyz II Men's 1992 hit "End Of The Road" as the longest running Billboard chart topper when it stays #1 for its 14th consecutive week. 
    1995 - Canadian singer Celine Dion made British chart history by becoming the first artist in more than 30 years to have both the number-one album and single for five straight weeks. Dion topped the singles chart with "Think Twice" and the album chart with "The Color of My Love." The last time that happened for five consecutive weeks was in 1964 with "I Feel Fine" and "Beatles for Sale."
    2004 - The initial version of the John Jay Report is released with details about the sexual abuse in the American Catholic Church.
    2006 - African Burial Ground National Monument Established by President George W. Bush, who signed a proclamation declaring a seven-acre plot at the corners of Duane and Elk Streets in Lower Manhattan, New York, to be a national monument. From the 1690s to the 1790s, this land served as a cemetery for both free and enslaved Africans and is believed to be the resting place of more than 15,000 people. 
    2011 - Academy Awards held at Kodak Theatre. Best Picture, "The King's Speech;" Best Animated Film, "Toy Story 3;" Best Actor in a Leading Role, Colin Firth, "The King's Speech;" Best Actress in a Leading Role, Natalie Portman,” Black Swan; Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Christian Bale,” The Fighter;" Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Melissa Leo, "The Fighter; Best Director, Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech;” Best Writer, Original Screenplay, David Seidler, "The King's Speech;" Adapted Screenplay, Aaron Sorkin, "The Social Network;" Cinematography, Wally Pfister, "Inception;" Music, "We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3: Music and Lyric by Randy Newman. 
    2011 - Resolution 1970 is adopted by the U.N. Security Council.  The resolution imposes sanctions on the regime of Muammar al-Gaddafi.
    2014 - Food and Drug Administration proposed to revise food labels by providing realistic serving sizes, emphasizing calories and sugar amounts, and breaking down fat listings into 'good' and 'bad' fats.
    2014 - GE is focusing on development of wind power in Japan, seeing an opportunity for the nation to expand its renewable energy portfolio after Fukushima.  GE has designed a wind turbine capable of weathering the country's distinct weather challenges



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