February 10, 2003
Post time 6:13 a.m. PST



Pictures from the Past --1995-Four Well-Armed Women

          Classified Ads---Job Wanted

            Economic Events This Week

             Abacus Leasing, Buffalo, NY ---Complaint Bulletin Board Notice

                 Ron Paterson Found---

                    PinnLeasing---Grand Jury Indictment Now Public

                      Microfinancial/Leasecomm Stocks Falls to .73 cents on Friday

                         RW Professional---Up-Date

                            Romania Calling

             Major U.S. Web retailers are now collecting sales tax

               The Fed Closes check processing centers in five cities

                 AGLF 2003 Annual Spring Conference May 14-16

                   New Opera Browser is out

                      No Issue Last Friday-February 7,2002

                        Buffalo hunts gaining in popularity

                          Philly Liquor stores open Sunday/first time since Prohibition

                            Equipment Leasing Association New Website

              Greater Community Bancorp Delivers Proposal to Acquire 1st Constitution Bancorp

               AMD Introduces 3000+--Fastest CPU Processor Around

                 Callaway Golf's Great Big Bertha II Titanium Driver

                       Notches Second Consecutive Champions Tour Victory 


      ### Denotes Press Release    




Pictures from the Past --1995-Four Well-Armed Women





“ ‘There’s nothing like a well-armed woman,’ (clockwise from left ) Maureen Colton, Patricia Eaton, Cheryl Leas, and Holly Houghtaling show us their stuff.”

    November, 1995  United Association of Equipment Leasing





                        Classified Ads---Job Wanted


  Contract Administrator: Chicago/Naperville

18+ years experience in leasing US/Europe, as both lessee and lessor. Am versatile and adaptable to lessee, lessor, or lender career opportunity. Chicago relocation desired. Email:kris_k11@yahoo.com


       Contract Administrator: Los Angeles, CA

6 years small ticket leasing - Credit Analysis up to $75,000, Documentation & Funding. Highly organized team player trained sales/operations in credit, pricing, docs. Email:miri7ca@yahoo.com


        Contract Administrator: Portland, OR Doc./ Funding. 6+ yrs small-ticket w/mgmt. exp.. Proficient w/ bulk, portfolio, multiple transactions& broker, vendor, captive enviro. Expertise in departmental structuring& development. Highly motivated& exper. email:susanc777@hotmail.com


     Controller: Seattle, WA

CPA w/ 15 years management exp. as CFO/ Controller/5 yrs w/ PriceWaterhouse Coopers. Extensive exp.providing accounting/ tax guidance for the equipment lease industry. Willing to relocate. Email:bltushin@hotmail.com


       Credit: Mill Valley, CA

Senior corporate officer with financial services credit background. M and A, fund raising and workout expertise. Email:nywb@aol.com


     Credit: Corona, CA.

VP credit Consumer Credit prime/sub prime Auto lending/leasing/mortgages. 20+yrs exp. If you are looking for someone to affect the bottom line I am that person. Will relocate. email:amosca2000@yahoo.com


  full lists at:


 ( go here to post a “free” job wanted ad: )





             Economic Events This Week


  February 10



 February 11



 February 12



 February 13


   Retail Sales: January

   Weekly Jobless Claims


 February 14


   Valentine Day

   UN Iraq Report

   Inventory-Sales Ratio


  Industrial Production


 Pay Day for Many

 Long Three-Day weekend

    ( holiday Monday )



          Abacus Leasing, Buffalo, NY  ---Complaint Bulletin Board Notice


“My name is Terry Miller and I am the GM for Pacific Toxicology Laboratories in Woodland Hills, CA. I would like to give you a brief history of what has occurred with Abacus Leasing, owned by Mathew Burke. On June 30, 2002 I entered into discussions with his west coast representative to set up leasing for a $200,000.00 Perkin Elmer analyzer for our lab. I was told by William Finch (west coast representative) that we could get the deal done.


 “In order to avoid signatures of personal guarantees we sent Abacus leasing $50,000.00. I also signed a lease proposal which expired July 25, 2002. Long story short, he has failed to find us an appropriate lease and still has our money.




“I will fax you a copy of the cancelled check and the signed lease proposal


“Mathew Burke's address is 3380 Sheridan Drive, #186, Buffalo, NY 14226. Phone number 716 332 0751.


“Once again, I appreciate any help you can give me.”


Regards, Terry Miller



Leasing News spoke with Matt Burke, who requested we fax to him copies

of documents that we had.  He would then give us a response.  This was two

weeks ago. Since there we have left three telephone messages and sent two subsequent faxes.


There appears nothing in the commitment letter that entitles Abacus to

a $50,000 fee; in fact, it states quite the contrary.  The fact is the lease was

never approved as per the commitment letter, as evidenced by subsequent

communication from Abacus. 


Leasing News could not confirm that the company belongs to any leasing

association. From our telephone conversations, it appears the company

is basically a small broker operation.  It is our understanding that it

is against the law in the State of New York to keep “advance rentals”

or “deposits.”  In this regard, we are seeking an opinion from the

Attorney General’s office of the State of New York.


Here are key copies of items faxed to Abacus Leasing:






                        Ron Paterson Found---


Due to your post, Ron Paterson contacted me this afternoon was very helpful

in clearing up many of the issues that we are trying to resolve.  Thanks for

your assistance.




Eric L. Mann

Corporate Credit Manager

Konica Photo Imaging

725 Darlington Avenue

Mahwah NJ 07430

(201) 574-4014 (Voice)

(201) 574-4130 (Fax)

(201) 237-7750 (Numeric Pager)




((I am trying to locate information concerning Ron Paterson, formerly of

American Eagle Financial Group aka Eagle Leasing and  American Eagle.  I'm trying to sort out some issues for customers - their claims are rather unusual, but I seem to be hearing the same stories from folks who don't know each other.  I was advised to contact you by one of my contacts at C2 Capital.  Thanks.)




                  PinnLeasing---Grand Jury Indictment Now Public




In the original filing, PinnLeasing former president Tommy Larsen ( from June, 1999 to March,2001) denied claims that involved not only himself, but “Copyfax,” which charged payments in the millions of dollars, plus “fraudulent, non-$1.4 million in direct payments.


The claim also alleges $108,200 in transfer of assets, plus $1,000,000 in compensation above his contracted salary of $180,000, plus non-payroll of $419,940.87, not including $713,292.07 in American Express Credit Card payments from 1999 to 2001.


Leasing News spoke to Mr. Larsen, 53, who believed he would be found

“not guilty.” He recently  was charged with a 23-count indictment that includes charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, perjury, subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice and tax evasion. The judge denied him bail, it was reported.


Page 4 of the February 2001 Grand Jury United Sates District Court,

Southern District of California, now a public document:


“16. In furtherance of this conspiracy, defendant Tommy A. Larsen and other conspirators used the following methods and means, among others:  they:

   a. created and funded fraudulent equipment leases;

  b. provide materially false PinFund financial statements to creditors such as banks and other financials institutions, knowing said financial statements to be materially false:

  c. created material false and misleading equipment invoices, including by the following means:

   (i) inflating the prices of equipment listed on the invoices;

  (ii) failing to disclose that equipment listed on the invoice was not new;

  (iii) failing to disclose that the transaction represented in the invoice was sale-leaseback between Copyfax/3KL and PinnFund or  PinnFund’s own used equipment, rather than  a sale by Copyfax/3KL to PinnFund of new equipment; and

   (iv) listing equipment that did not exist at PinnFund, and was never delivered

to PinnFund.

  d. engaged in sham transactions relating to those false and misleading invoices;

  e. provided materially false invoices to creditors, knowing said invoices to contain material false information and material omissions.

  f. provided PinnFund kickbacks of the funds advanced by creditors based upon the false invoices and false financial statements the creditors had been provided;

  g. rigged creditors’ inspections of their leased equipment, including by altering serial numbers on the equipment at PinnFund to conform with creditors’ expectations.

  h. provided regular payments to creditors, usually directly from PinnFund but occasionally through other means; and

  i. provided short-term loans to PinnFund to cover cash flow problems between

installments of fraud processes.


The allegations include several involving PinnFund president  Fanghella and

others ( who have turned state’s evidence to receive a lesser charge. editor).

Among the creditors defrauded are mentioned Dolsen Leasing Co.,Yakima,WA

and Scripps Bank, San Diego, CA.


There are also charges of perjury and other fraud with documentation in the 21

page February grand jury report now public.









              Microfinancial/Leasecomm Stocks Falls to .73 cents on Friday




The high was last April 2,2002 at $9.20.  Here is a copy of the stock performance




No news about the CEO selling $500,000 in stock before the demise.





                   RW Professional---Up-Date



Readers ask us for an up-date, but similar to the Commercial Money Center

bankruptcy filing, the RW Professional arrests by the FBI are going through the

judicial system as well as the suit bought by a consortium of community

banks allegedly charging fraud and misrepresentation  by the company and its officers.








                           Romania Calling


  Subject: Leasing companies in Europe

  Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 13:22:39 +0200 (E. Europe Standard Time)



I work in leasing industry since 5 years, in Romania. I consider your newsletter excellent, even if I am located in East Europe, and problems are a little

different then in Canada and US. Reference the e-mail sent by the Canadian company RENOWTECH FINANCIAL INC., asking about leasing

companies in Europe, I can advise them  to visit the

following site: http;//www.leaseurope.org

where you can find all the associations of leasing companies for each country.


Thank you for all the useful information you provide

every day.

Kind regards,

Carmen Ghiorghiu


Marketing Manager

Planet Leasing SA

11th, Aviator Marasoiu,S1


Tel: +4021-230 5232 / 230 5243

Fax:+4021-230 5002=0D

http:// www.planetleasing.ro




                 Major U.S. Web retailers are now collecting sales tax


By Lisa Baertlein



PALO ALTO, Calif – The Web units of major U.S. retailers have begun collecting sales taxes this past week as part of a groundbreaking agreement that means higher prices for online consumers and increased revenues for cash-strapped state coffers, retail and state officials said late Friday.


The deal involves eight major retailers, including Toys R Us Inc., Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. , 38 states and the District of Columbia, officials said. Larger internet companies are to follow and the questions remains the choice of smaller internet companies, who may find themselves not only having to collect the tax, pay fines, but for perhaps as far back as three years.


Under the terms of the agreement the participating retailers would be given amnesty for any prior uncollected taxes in exchange for starting to collect them now.


The shift in tax practices, which may eventually involve more online stores and other states, comes after more than three months of negotiations and arrives as many states are looking for ways to ease slowdown-related budget shortfalls.


The names of the retailers were not made known to the states during the course of negotiations and it was not clear how much new tax revenue the policy shift would generate, said Eleanor Kim, assistant director of tax administration for Texas, one of the participating states.


"We don't really know until they start paying returns. This is tax that's not being collected," she said. Texas imposes sales taxes of between 6.25 percent and 8.25 percent, depending on whether consumers face additional local levies.


Last year, Internet retailers rang up sales of more than $73 billion, according to estimates.


Although traditional retailers have argued that tax-free Web purchases have put them at a disadvantage, Congress has balked at proposals that would have required states to collect sales tax on online purchases.


Streamlining tax practices


In the meantime, a coalition of states, including Texas, have been working to streamline tax practices in the thousands of U.S. jurisdictions that often treat the same good differently. For example, orange juice is sometimes taxed as a fruit, but sometimes exempted as a beverage.


Retailers with online units skirted the tax issue by separately incorporating the Internet selling arms. Up until now, many of those online stores collected sales taxes only in the handful of states where they had headquarters or operations such as call centers or fulfillment centers.


Walmart.com spokeswoman Cynthia Lin said her company, a subsidiary of the world's largest retailer, had been collecting taxes in nine states where it had operations before it voluntarily began collecting taxes in all 50 states on Feb. 1.


The company already was moving in that direction because it is increasingly integrating its Web and brick-and-mortar operations, she said.


For example, she said, Walmart.com customers now can order tires on the Web and have them installed on at a local store. That kind of activity might have drawn scrutiny from state tax auditors who would have challenged a tax-free online sale, experts have said.


Online giant Amazon.com collects taxes only where it is required to, but began doing so this month on behalf of partners Target.com and Toysrus.com, Amazon spokesman Bill Curry said.


Curry said the new plan is a step forward, but not a fix-all for the woes inflicted on businesses by the nation's complicated sales tax system.


Among other things, he said a single zip code in Denver covers five different taxing jurisdictions with applicable tax rates ranging from 4.3 percent to 8 percent.


He also noted that the agreement does not level the online and offline playing field since physical stores collect sales taxes based on their location while Web retailers figure sales tax based on where a customer lives.


"It's nowhere near ready to take to Congress," Curry said.


California, the nation's most populous state, has not joined the project to streamline state sales taxes and no state has yet passed the legislation that would make it a signatory to the November agreement. Five states – Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Montana and New Hampshire – have no sales tax.


(The Equipment Leasing Association has been working on a Streamline Tax Project, which Leasing News and other industry publications have been following very closely.)





Federal Reserve announces closing of check processing centers in five cities








WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve has decided to close five regional check processing centers in a cost-cutting move that reflects the fact that fewer Americans are writing paper checks.


Fed officials said late Friday that in addition to the five centers that will be closed, eight other Fed facilities will stop processing checks.


The action will affect 1,300 workers, but the Fed said only 400 positions were being eliminated. The other 900 positions would be transferred to nine check processing centers that will get expanded responsibilities.


"Nationwide, consumers and businesses have made a significant shift in how they make payments, substituting electronic payments for checks," said Cathy Minehan, president of the Fed's regional bank in Boston.


Fed studies indicate that roughly 40 billion checks were written in the United States in 2002, down from about 50 billion in 1995. The Fed changes are expected to reduce operating costs at its check processing centers by about $60 million in 2005 and about $300 million over the next five years.


The five regional check centers that will be closed are in Charleston, W.Va.; Columbia, S.C.; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; and Peoria, Ill.


The eight regional Fed centers that will stop processing checks but continue with other Fed operations are in Pittsburgh; Richmond, Va.; Miami; Little Rock, Ark.; Louisville, Ky.; Omaha, Neb.; El Paso, Texas; and San Antonio.


The Fed said the nine Fed regional facilities that will increase check processing operations are in Cleveland; Cincinnati; Chicago; Des Moines, Iowa; Baltimore; Charlotte, N.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Dallas.


Checks still account for about 60 percent of all non-cash retail payments, but that figure is down from 85 percent in 1979. Credit cards and other types of electronic payment have grown in popularity.


The Fed is the nation's largest processor of checks, handling about 17 billion of the 40 billion checks written last year. Private check processing firms handle the rest of the volume. The processing operations move checks from the banks where they are deposited to the banks holding the accounts on which the checks were written.




On the Net:


Federal Reserve: www.federalreserve.gov




                              AGLF 2003 Annual Spring Conference


May 14-16, 2003 / Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, NV


With budget cuts, all government entities will be looking to leasing.  Learn

the ropes from those who have been working this niche market for many years;

how to approach vendors to sell to this marketplace, where to go with all size

government transactions, how to develop more municipal and government leasing



The 23nd AGL&F Spring Annual Conference will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Four Seasons Hotel – May 14-16. Room rates for the Four Seasons Hotel are $230.00 per night till April 11, 2003. You may call now to make your room reservations by dialing 1.877.632.5200 – Please be sure to mention that you are with the Association for Governmental Leasing and Finance to receive the above special rate. Guests may ask for this discount.


New members and non-members invited.





Wednesday, May 14

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Basics Session


Thursday, May 15

8:00 AM – 5:00PM Keynote Speaker, General Sessions and Luncheon


Evening – Annual Conference Dinner Event


Friday, May 16

8:00 AM – Noon General Sessions, Ending with the Lawyers’ Panel


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the 2003 Annual Spring Conference:




2003 Meeting Schedule

May 14 -16, 2003 / Four Seasons Hotel & Spa / Las Vegas, Nevada


November 12-14, 2003 / Loews Ventana Canyon Resort / Tucson, Arizona






                             New Opera Browser is out


Version 7.1 is now out.  It is “super.” Clean, fast, better than Explorer

or Netscape, in my opinion.


Give it a try: www.opera.com


Kit Menkin




                   No Issue Last Friday—February 7,2002






donde Friday?


Brian Hunt






Kit I have received it all week except today.

Is it late?

Please advise.



Elliot Kalus Elsank@aol.com

Business & Finance Associates, Inc.

18400 West Dixie Highway Suite D

Miami, FL 33160


-- Did not receive a newsletter today. Did you publish one?



Lou Kammerer

The Writer Plus



(After receiving e-mails about not receiving the Friday edition, all readers

were sent an e-mail.  From time to time, we do not go to “press,” particularly

if there is not sufficient equipment leasing news.  We try not to just print

press releases to print press releases.  There are many software programs

that collect all press releases regarding a certain subject and automatically

load them on a website.  Leasing News does not do that.  We are plain

and simple, just reporting the news, an occasional cartoon that we buy

or do ourselves, pictures from the past, and often sports. “That’s

the way it is” (Walter Cronkite, former CBS-TV News Anchor.)











              Buffalo hunts gaining in popularity


                            By Carl Manning, Associated Press


MARQUETTE, Kan. (AP) It's bitterly cold on the prairie as Lewis Mitchell lives his dream of hunting buffalo.


But for Vance Hopp, who owns the buffalo, it's more about dollars than dreams. Turns out, it's more profitable now to sell the rights to shoot and butcher a buffalo than it is to sell the animal at auction.


''It's really the nostalgia of going in and shooting a buffalo, that's about what it amounts to,'' said Mitchell, the crunch of frozen grass underfoot the only sound except for the wind.


He was stalking a half-ton, 2-year-old bull in a fenced pasture where Hopp operates his buffalo hunts about 10 miles northwest of this central Kansas town.


Mitchell, of Hutchinson, fired twice from about 250 yards with his high-powered rifle at the shaggy silhouette atop a rise.


The buffalo flinched and circled the area, nearing Hopp, who fired the fatal shot. He feared the wounded animal would crash through the barbed-wire fence and head for the nearby woods.


While he didn't bag the buffalo, Mitchell enjoyed the hunt.


''Oh yeah, at least we got out and did it. It's better than sitting at home and wishing you had done it all your life,'' he said.


Hopp is counting on a lot more hunters like Mitchell.


Like other buffalo ranchers faced with declining market prices and rising overhead, Hopp figured he could get more selling hunts than selling the animals he manages for his father and sister.


''Prices haven't been that good and there was just too much expense, especially with the drought,'' Hopp said. ''We were going to sell the herd off, but we couldn't sell the big bulls, so we thought this would be a good way to get rid of them.''


Since December, Hopp has sold some 30 hunts, ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 apiece. He said the best hunting is December through February when buffalos have their heavy winter coats.


''It turned into a lot better deal than we thought it would. We were surprised at the reception we got,'' Hopp said.


Around the state, buffalo hunts range from $500 to $2,500, depending on the type of buffalo and services offered, such as food, lodging or guides.


Aside from being a trophy, the buffalo have meat that is leaner than beef. An 1,100- pound buffalo will yield about 400 pounds of edible meat.


While there are no firm numbers, the National Bison Association says buffalo hunts are on the rise in Kansas and other states, including Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado and Texas.


''Just about everybody who is raising buffalo is putting on some sort of hunt because the market isn't worth a damn now,'' said Todd Griffin, who's in his second year of selling hunts near Minneapolis, in north-central Kansas.


Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association, said buffalo prices started dropping in 1998-99, sometimes by as much as 70 percent. He said that over the past decade the buffalo numbers in the United States have tripled to about 300,000.


The Kansas Buffalo Association boasts one of the nation's largest buffalo auctions. Dick Gehring, the group's sale chairman, said rising supply combined with the drought and the sluggish economy have hit sale prices.


At the association's December sale in Salina, the average price for 2-year-old bulls was $409, compared to $768 in 2000. Carter said that price drop is in line with what's happening elsewhere.


Hunting buffalo is older than the United States. American Indians did it before settlers all but eliminated the vast herds. Gehring said hunting buffalo on private land also isn't new.


Roger Mauck is in his fourth year of operating buffalo hunts near Hoxie on the high plains of northwestern Kansas. He sold 36 hunts this season a 30 percent increase from last year.


''It seems to be more popular because we're getting calls from a larger area,'' he said. ''This is one more animal they haven't hunted yet.''


Carter said there's a good reason for that.


''It's part of the heritage and culture of America,'' he said. ''The idea of going out and getting your own buffalo, there's a mystique that people find very attractive.''


On the Net:


National Bison Association: http://www.bisoncentral.com

Kansas Buffalo Association: http://www.kansasbuffalo.org

Buffalo Commons: http://www.buffalocommons.net/

Pipe Creek Buffalo Hunts: http://www.huntinfo.com/pipecreek2/


(Did you know that Commercial Money Center leased cows, bulls, and



  (okay, if we had a story on hunting buffalo---it is okay then to see

the foibles of states and their solution to curbing alcoholism by limiting

when wine or liquor can be sold.)


                   Liquor stores open on Sunday for first time since Prohibition


                                 By Jason Straziuso, Associated Press


PHILADELPHIA (AP) Bottles of bourbon and Bordeaux were on sale in Pennsylvania on Sunday for the first time since Prohibition.


The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board opened 61 stores across the state Sunday roughly 10 percent of Pennsylvania's 638 stores under a program that won legislative approval last year.


Many consumers welcomed the start of the two-year trial program, but critics said Sunday alcohol sales would only widen the damage alcohol can do.


''A lot of people think that Sundays are a day for families and a day for God and that it's inappropriate to sell things,'' said Jonathan Newman, chairman of the state liquor board. ''But this is 2003, and the modern reality is that Sunday is the second most popular shopping day of the week.''


John Dennis, the manager of a liquor store in Philadelphia, said he'd heard nothing but positive feedback from customers.


''The way I see it is the state is responding to consumer demand,'' he said.


Customer John Goodwin, 43, said he understood why some might be opposed to Sunday sales, but that he was happy with the new program.


''I think it's great. You have to be 21, you have to be an adult,'' Goodwin said. ''It's more convenient than getting it on Saturday.''


Protests were held outside several stores. A half dozen people held signs outside one Philadelphia store that read ''A liquor control board? What a joke'' and ''Sunday Sales End With Monday Mourning.''


''Fact is, more alcohol sold is more harm done,'' said protester Fred Stair, 70, who said he used to work at a state liquor store.


Stair said that Sunday sales only adds to a ''slippery slope of loss of control'' of sales by the state board.


Other critics said Sunday sales will lead to more fatal accidents caused by drunken drivers. But Newman said he'd rather have consumers buy alcohol in a store and take it home than drive home from a bar.


But several protesters who worked at state liquor stores such as Stair said some people drink the alcohol outside of the store and then drive home.


Newman said Pennsylvania and Utah are the only states that control wholesale and retail wine and spirit sales. But about half the states in the country restrict Sunday sales, he said.


Alcohol sales deliver more than $300 million in net revenue to the state through taxes and sales profits every year, Newman said.


''If you're going to use this system you might as well make it the best and make sure you maximize revenue in a socially responsible manner,'' he said.


The two-year trial period will help the state determine if Sunday sales simply lower Saturday sales or if they attract customers who would have purchased alcohol in border states such as New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia, which allow some form of Sunday wine and liquor sales, Newman said.


Ohio and Delaware don't allow Sunday sales, he said. New York allows Sunday wine sales only at wineries.


In New York, Gov. George Pataki last year vetoed a bill that would have allowed wineries to sell wine on Sundays from their offsite ''satellite stores.''


Legislative leaders, however, are considering lifting New York's ban on alcohol sales at liquor stores on Sundays, as well as allowing grocery stores to sell wine, as ways to increase state tax revenues and fill a multibillion dollar deficit.


After the two-year trial period in Pennsylvania, Newman said, the state board or the Legislature will reevaluate Sunday sales.


Goodwin, who was shopping for champagne and a bottle of cognac, said the alcohol was for a group of friends gathering for Sunday's NBA All-Star game.


If the store wouldn't have been open, would he have bought the bottles on Saturday instead?


''Nah, we would have gone to Jersey, what we've been doing for years,'' he said.


On the Net:


Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board: http://www.lcb.state.pa.us/


New York State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control/State Liquor Authority: http:// www.abc.state.ny.us/


########### #####################################



Equipment Leasing Association New Website


Arlington, Virginia—The Equipment Leasing Association (ELA) unveiled last week a revamped and more member-centricWeb site at http://www.elaonline.com. ELA Online's new look is based on member feedback gleaned from research and focus group studies among member companies in 2002. Members expressed a desire for more benchmarking information, better and deeper industry data, original reporting of industry issues, and a simplified ELA Online. In light of these requests, specific enhancements were made to ELA Online, including password-free, daily industry intelligence, news and updates (now posted on the home page), simplified language, a re-formatted page design for better printing of pages, and easier navigation through pop-up menus.


"In 2002, for the first time ever, we conducted research around ELA Online and internet services to learn how members use ELA Online, what they like about ELA Online, and what they needed from the website that we were not presently offering," said ELA Communications Vice President Amy Miller Holmes. "We discovered members appreciated ELA Online, but needed a simpler navigation scheme, and to access the information they need faster, with less clicks. The members also told us they needed more original news and insight into industry happenings, and we are making that happen."


During the summer of 2002, ELA engaged Four Leaf Public Relations to conduct a telephone survey of member's needs to learn what information, products and services the association could offer that would be truly useful in business development and marketing. From the survey of the more than 110 companies, ELA discovered that members didn't require a separate area on the web site for marketing-related information, such as the Marketing Assistance site previously offered on ELA Online. Rather, members requested more and "better" data on markets, competitors and the industry. In addition, they wanted to access the information from an easy-to-navigate Web site, but not necessarily grouped and posted in a special area.


With this feedback, ELA promptly dismantled the Marketing Assistant site and re-purposed much of the information housed there to other areas of ELA Online. Additional information, such as original articles and market studies were added to the ELA strategic plan, responding to member's need for deeper and more relevant content.


"ELA Online's content is being updated daily, which is indicative of the industry's needs changing in the industry," Holmes continued. "ELA members now face unparalleled competitiveness; they require more industry information and more original research and reporting or various markets. The new ELA Online will help present that relevant information much more efficiently."


Other navigation changes to the site include greater database groupings, making "drilling down" faster, and removing "barrier" or interim pages that just made announcements for what users would experience next.


"The first ELA Web site launched in November 1995," added Holmes. "The way people use the Web has changed dramatically since then. No longer do members call us asking us how to navigate the Internet; they now e-mail us with content suggestions. We've worked hard to keep up with expectations and needs."


About The Equipment Leasing Association


Organized in 1961, the Equipment Leasing Association (ELA) is a non-profit association representing companies involved in the dynamic equipment leasing and finance industry. ELA's mission is to promote the leasing industry as a major source of funds for capital investment in the United States and abroad. ELA maintains an informational portal for financial decision-makers at http://www.leaseassistant.org. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., ELA has more than 800 member companies and a staff of 27 professionals. Equipment leasing was reported to be a $204 billion industry in 2002.


Visit ELA online at http://www.elaonline.com.

### #################################################


Greater Community Bancorp Delivers Proposal to Acquire 1st Constitution Bancorp


 (Highland Capital Corp., an equipment leasing and financing subsidiary.)


TOTOWA, N.J.----Greater Community Bancorp (Nasdaq:GFLS) has sent a letter to the board of directors of 1st Constitution Bancorp (Nasdaq:FCCY), expressing a strong interest in pursuing a strategic combination with 1st Constitution and requesting a meeting with 1st Constitution's board of directors to further discuss Greater Community's proposal.


Under the proposal, 1st Constitution's shareholders would receive approximately $32.40 per share, an 18.8% premium over 1st Constitution's closing stock price yesterday, in exchange for their shares of 1st Constitution common stock. The form of consideration would be a combination of 35% in cash and 65% in Greater Community common stock.


Greater Community previously delivered a written proposal to 1st Constitution on September 9, 2002, which was rejected by 1st Constitution's board of directors. Greater Community has submitted this second letter to 1st Constitution in order to update its proposal and outline steps it is prepared to take if 1st Constitution does not accept the proposal. A copy of this second letter is attached to this press release.


Greater Community Bancorp is a financial holding company headquartered in Totowa, New Jersey. The Company operates 15 branches in the northern New Jersey counties of Bergen, Passaic and Morris through its three state-chartered commercial bank subsidiaries: Greater Community Bank, Bergen Commercial Bank and Rock Community Bank. They provide traditional commercial and retail banking services to small businesses and consumers in New Jersey. The Company also owns two non-bank subsidiaries: Greater Community Financial, L.L.C., a full service securities broker-dealer, and Highland Capital Corp., an equipment leasing and financing subsidiary.



Greater Community Bancorp, Totowa

President & Chief Executive Officer

George E. Irwin, 973/942-1111, ext. 1018


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AMD Introduces World's Highest Performing Desktop PC Processor, the AMD Athlon XP Processor 3000+ (3gig CPU)


 ( to see your computer score, go to: http://www.cpuscorecard.com/

 If under the first scale, see key at right for your computer cpu )


    SUNNYVALE, Calif.--    AMD (NYSE: AMD) today introduced the AMD Athlon(TM) XP processor 3000+ -- the world's highest performing desktop PC processor. Featuring increased cache memory for greater performance, the AMD Athlon XP processor 3000+ outperforms competing desktop PC processors by up to 17 percent on a variety of industry standard software benchmarks.


    Systems based on the AMD Athlon XP processor 3000+ are immediately available from NEC-CI in Europe and soon from other computer manufacturers around the globe.


    "AMD leads the desktop PC processor industry by delivering unsurpassed application performance for business and home consumers," said Rob Herb, AMD executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer. "We are absolutely committed to listening to our customers and responding with the best products to meet their computing performance needs."


    The AMD Athlon XP processor 3000+ features 640KB of total on-chip cache memory - an increase of nearly 70 percent over previous AMD Athlon XP processors and the highest amount of on-chip cache memory of any desktop PC processor. Increased cache memory allows more information to be stored closer to the processor, leading to greater performance on software applications such as digital content creation, 3-D gaming, media encoding and office productivity.


    "Consumers should be aware that PC performance is more than just processor frequency alone," said Kevin Krewell, senior analyst of The Microprocessor Report. "Today's PC processors can deliver higher performance through architectural enhancements such as increased cache memory and faster bus speeds. The overall performance of a system is what's important, and that's what buyers should focus on when making a purchasing decision."




    Systems based on the AMD Athlon XP processor 3000+ are immediately available from NEC-CI in Europe and soon from other computer manufacturers around the globe.




    The AMD Athlon XP processor 3000+ is priced at $588 in 1,000-unit quantities. For additional information on pricing, please visit www.amd.com/pricing.


    About the AMD Athlon(TM) XP Processor


    The AMD Athlon XP processor features QuantiSpeed(TM) architecture and support for AMD's 3DNow!(TM) Professional instructions for enhanced multimedia capabilities. Depending on the core, AMD Athlon XP processors feature either 384KB or 640KB of on-chip, full-speed cache. The AMD Athlon XP processor is compatible with AMD's Socket A infrastructure, and supports the advanced 266 or 333 front-side bus (FSB). AMD Athlon XP processors are manufactured using AMD's 0.13 micron copper process technology in Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany.


 (Yes, you may need a new motherboard and ram, too)



    AMD on the Web


    For more information about today's announcement, please visit our virtual pressroom at www.amd.com/news/spotlight.

    AMD performance benchmark information is available at www.amd.com/athlonxpbenchmarks.

    Additional press releases are available at www.amd.com/news/news.html.

    For more information about AMD's business products, please visit www.amd.com/business.


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Callaway Golf's Great Big Bertha II Titanium Driver Notches Second Consecutive Champions Tour Victory



    CARLSBAD, Calif.----Callaway Golf Company (NYSE:ELY) and its new Great Big Bertha(R) II Titanium Driver have started the 2003 Champions Tour season with two consecutive victories. The winner of Sunday's Royal Caribbean Golf Classic used a Great Big Bertha II Pro Series Titanium Driver and a Callaway Golf fairway wood to earn his first senior victory. Two of the top three finishers at the first full-field event of the Champions Tour season used Great Big Bertha Pro Series Titanium Drivers.


    The winner birdied the final four holes for a one-stroke margin of victory. He used his Great Big Bertha II Pro Series Titanium Driver to hit 77 percent of the fairways over the final round at Crandon Park Golf Course, one of the most demanding driving courses on the Champions Tour. The winner became the first Canadian golfer to claim victory on the Champions Tour.


    Callaway Golf was the No. 1 driver brand in play at the Royal Caribbean Classic, and the Great Big Bertha II Titanium Driver was the No. 1 driver model in play at the event. A total of 26 players used a Callaway Golf driver at the event, with 24 of them choosing to play a Great Big Bertha II Titanium Driver. Callaway Golf has won the driver count at each of the two Champions Tour events contested this year. Callaway Golf balls also had a strong showing in Key Biscayne, as two of the top five finishers used the CTU 30(R) Red golf ball.


    Callaway Golf Company makes and sells Big Bertha(R) Metal Woods and Irons, including Great Big Bertha(R) II Titanium Drivers and Fairway Woods, Big Bertha Steelhead(TM) III Stainless Steel Drivers and Fairway Woods, Hawk Eye(R) VFT(R) Tungsten Injected(TM) Titanium Irons, Big Bertha Stainless Steel Irons, Steelhead X-16(TM) and Steelhead X-16 Pro Series Stainless Steel Irons, and Callaway Golf Forged Wedges. Callaway Golf Company also makes and sells Odyssey(R) Putters, including White Hot(R), TriHot(R), DFX(TM) and Dual Force(R) Putters. Callaway Golf Company makes and sells the Callaway Golf(R) HX(R) Blue and HX Red balls, the CTU 30(R) Blue and CTU 30 Red balls, the HX 2-Piece Blue and HX 2-Piece Red balls, the CB1(R) Blue and CB1 Red balls, and the Warbird(TM) golf balls. For more information about Callaway Golf Company, please visit our Web sites at www.callawaygolf.com and www.odysseygolf.com.




    CONTACT: Callaway Golf

             Larry Dorman or Mike Galeski, 760/931-1771


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