Friday, July 23, 2004
######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release”
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Funding Tree Kendra Bernal in Utah
Kendra Bernal is “alive and well,” evidently working for an
attorney in Utah, who specializes in finding missing heirs for
a finder’s fee of 50%.
Sent to Leasing News October, 2001:
“The Funding Tree, Inc., Riverside, CA has been accepting sub-prime deals on trucks and other equipment. They collect 15% prepaid residuals and doc fees up front. They cannot fund and getting refunds is next to impossible. I know of deals that are 3 plus months old. They also claim on their letterheads to be members of the NAELB (National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers). They are not according to Maria at the NAELB .”
Some deals are as old as 7/01
Gary W. Psaledas
Western Equipment Financing, Inc.
83 Abajo Dr., Edgewood, NM 87015
505-286-5437, Fax 505-286-543
Thirty-three years, Member NAELB
Funding Tree Response:
“We have 3 deals that are 120 days aged. 1 is a managed credit program, which means, this is normal. The vendor receives the payments and once the lessee makes 4 or more consecutive, on time payments the vendor is paid. The other two transactions are trucking transactions.”
The Funding Tree, Inc.
6141 Riverside Ave., Suite 1
Riverside, CA 92506
Looking into this further, Leasing News reportedly found over thirty transactions not funded:
Dealers Not Funded
Midwest Truck Sales, Inc. John Saied 888-446-1127
R.E.B. Express Ellie Corbello 888-968-3563 X 113
Volvo of Utah Rebecca Hall 888-478-2276
Rush Finance Brent Hughes 800-973-7874
Coastal Finance(broker) Jim Coxe 800-887-0843
Volvo of Albuquerque Venita Coffee 505-843-7703
Inland KW-Phoenix Jerald Collens 800-258-7791
TEC Equipment Georgia Field 800-497-7667
Idaho FL Frank Flemming 800-658-5084
Danforth Capital (broker) Dan Chagnon 800-910-2225
Whited Trucks Mark Walsh 800-786-4736
IMCO Trailers Paul Yberra 888-496-4626
Prudential Leasing (broker) William Ross 972-392-3008
AMEX Equipment Dick Steensland 623-872-3468
Premier Truck Center Chris Mehaffie 800-671-6882
Atlas Trucks Gordon Chou 877-860-6757
S.E. Truck Sales Peter O'Donnell 877-295-3748
M&K Quality Truck Sales, Inc. Ron Meyering 800-510-8727
I-10 International Trucks Gayle Austin 877-954-9241 returned
half of $26,000 up front money
Tulsa Freightliner Dan Clark 800-725-5312
According to the Department of Corporation, there are another two dozen deals from dealers on one street that were not funded, money not returned, and they have an on going investigation and hearing to be held on the allegations.
At this time, Gary Psaledas of Western Equipment Financing goes on line via listserve of the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers to warn other members about the Funding Tree and the experience he is having. Other brokers have similar problems with the Funding Tree.
He then contacts the California Department of Corporations.
“I received a phone call from John Noonan, CA Dept. of Corps., Investigations division, 916-322-6067. He asked a lot of questions regarding the Tree. He also told me that Bernal had 9 Felony counts in 97 of which she pled to two. I will be talking with him again today. This may be a good source for you to send the ex-employees and the other brokers.”
Leasing News confirms this information with the Department of Corporations and the District Attorney, who confirmed what we were told. One of the requirements was “ Mrs. Bernal not to handle money of others.” The Funding Tree nor Kendra Bernal is not a licensed in the State of California, although she originally told Leasing News the company was licensed.
Ex-employees, including the ex-sales manager tell us about high lease factors, advance rentals and 15% deposit collected on many hard credit “owner-operator” leases, but commissions not paid, and they suspect the leases were not funded. They state the Funding Tree was also collecting monthly rentals from lessees, although the vendors had not been paid. Reportedly “commission only” sales people come and go.
Kendra Bernal states this is a misunderstanding and she will have a statement soon.
In the meantime, the Funding Tree and Integrity Group merges. She tells us they have money and will be funding leases, as part of the agreement to merge, plus they are seeking new “investor money.” Please wait, she asks, as this will all be straightened out.
And was she good at spinning a story. Even her attorney is out
$15,000, as she never paid him for representing her. Accordingly
he asked to be dismissed from the case, but the judge said, “no.”
Her court records show that she is out on $184,000 bail.
Her attorney of record is owed $15,000 for legal fees, he
says, but he can’t collect because he says she’s skipped.
Leasing News did give him her new telephone number.
“I called Kendra, and that is indeed her. I am probably ethically precluded from divulging the substance of our discussion, as she was once a client, much to my chagrin. However, I thought you would want to know that your source has in fact found the real Kendra Bernal.”
NorVergence Telecom Legal Co-Op Continues to Grow
The fee to join the non-profit Telecom Legal Co-Op is twice the monthly lease payment with a minimum of $995. Please note it does not replace any staff or private attorney.
For legal purposes, you must first join the Telecom Agent Association, who’s membership is free.
“Subscription to a complimentary TAA membership is open to all telecom agents, vendors and end-users who wish to access objective "How To Choose & Who To Use" decision making information about telecom network products and other related business services.”
“The following is information TAA can share publicly with all TAA members:
“1. Many finance companies are starting to put many Norvergence customers under pressure to get current on their lease payments or be forced to pay the entire amount at once. TAA has had reasonably confirmed reports that one finance company in particular has already filed suit against a Norvergence customer in Florida.
“2. TAA is working closely every day with the Norvergence Customer Legal Co-op and has provided all documents in it's possession to the co-op to assist in determining if the Norvergence rental agreements are enforceable. If you are in possession of documents you believe will help, please fax them to 909-494-4257 if you have not already done so.
“3. TAA is attempting to contact all Norvergence customers to let them know that TAA is creating a storehouse of information that their attorneys can draw upon. If you know of someone with a complete list of Norvergence customers that can help TAA distribute this information, please contact Dan Baldwin at email@example.com.
“4. Many thanks to all who are helping to support TAA's efforts to help Norvergence customers. In summary, following are the items that are currently needed:
“A. Copies of your Norvergence agreements IF YOU'VE NOT ALREADY FAXED THEM IN.
“ B. Copies of any letters you've recently received from the leasing companies.
“C. Notes on your letterhead of anything that transpired from your first contact with Norvergence to your last contact with the leasing company that you believe points out a specific example of an impropriety.
“ D. A complete list of Norvergence customers so that TAA can make sure all Norvergence customers know that TAA is creating a central storage point that all Norvergence customer attorneys can draw upon.
“Fax information to 909-494-4257 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Subscription to a complimentary TAA membership is open to all telecom agents, vendors and end-users who wish to access objective "How To Choose & Who To Use" decision making information about telecom network products and other related business services.
Customers Tells Us They Will Be Stopping Payment
by Christopher Menkin
We are asked on the listserve communications for advice, particularly
regarding that they do not want to make leasing payments:
“We’re not going to pay it. Will see them in court. I'm sure the leasing companies new that it was a scam when the same box leased to different companies were all different lease amounts.”
Here is a posting we recently made, our advice to NorVergence
“I would strongly advise that you continue to make leasing payments.
“Norvergence would sign contracts and sell them off, just like many mortgage companies do. That you bought something that does not work has nothing to do with the leasing contract you signed---although there is a class action suit to try and prove otherwise---but in the meantime, to not affect your credit or prejudice your position, it is advisable that you continue to make lease payments in a timely fashion.
“You signed the contract, you should honor the obligation and not become similar to what you accuse NorVergence of being.
“If you think the contract is "wrong," then you can join a class action suit or engage an attorney, but the best advice is not to affect your credit and make the payments on time----If your two year old car stops working, you don't stop making payments to the bank because it has little value, so do the same here.
“The leasing companies bought your credit and relied on you
that what you chose had value. They did not choose the
equipment, you did. You are responsible. Live up to it.
“Keep the payments current as it has great value to you personally and to your business.”
Here is one response we received:
“...And this is why I think we need some legislation to regulate leasing. When we start talking about the kind of numbers we have here, 7000 to 10,000 customers..?....quarter of a billion dollars?.. If a lease involves a service that is contingent on the performance of others, or service to be rendered, it seems a little bit different than just a lease for a tangible asset. Most customers understand that they need a good Telecommunication system, but don't understand all the intricacies. They partnered with a Company to provide a product, and on-going service. In the case of a small business it is a struggle just to keep the store open-- let alone being an expert on all of the peripheral services you depend on! Explaining that the customer should have a -"Done their telecommunications Homework"- before they sign a lease for that service doesn't wash with me. You should be able to trust someone...you would think. I would think that with the numbers we had here, maybe the leasing companies should have done some homework. Why should the leasing business be bullet proof and risk free?
Leasing companies can afford to hire the talent to do feasibility and risk analysis studies,--The bakery cannot. -- If my leased vehicle breaks down..you and I both know chances are pretty good I'll get it fixed. Could you say the same about these deals?... you have to draw the line somewhere. The customers and employees are all taking a bath on this one...I'd like to be the first to move over and welcome the leasing companies to the bathtub!....
and our response back:
Leasing does have such an instrument and it is called a "maintenance lease."
It is priced differently than a "standard" lease and includes what you mention. It is also not uncommon in automobile or computer or copier leases, where they even put in mileage or "per copy" as part of the agreement.
These leases have a different rate and structure, much higher than a "standard" lease.
In all the many, many leasing contracts I have seen the leasing companies go out of their way to state they did not choose the equipment, have no responsibility for warranty, service, or maintenance, as that is the responsibility of the lessee.
The lease is priced for this philosophy. Very similar to an insurance policy, the higher the risk, the higher the premium to cover the risks
( return on investment, if you will.)
There are furniture workstation leases that wind up costing more to take apart and move than they are worth, or laptop computers after three years or personal computers after three years cost more to dispose than the value of the parts, and the list can go, as to collateral value.
However, I will agree with you that the leasing companies who got involved with NorVergence should have done their home work. For over two years Leasing News readers were telling us the problems they were having and to be weary, but not everyone heard, let alone
listened. The employees who also knew what was going on, where are they now, but crying the blues because they did not get paid. It wasn't their responsibility the company went under, they claim.
But in the end, the lessee took responsibility for choosing the equipment.
If a woman burns her thighs on the hot coffee she was holding in her lap while driving, she blames the restaurant.
If your teen-age son kills himself, you blame the rock 'n' roll musician he liked.
If your daughter gets pregnant by the football captain you blame the school for poor sex education.
If your neighbor crashes into a tree while driving home drunk, you blame the bartender.
If your grandchildren are brats without manners, you blame television.
If you smoke three packs a day for 40 years and die of lung cancer your family blames the tobacco company.
If you blame your wife for not wanting romance, but you have done nothing to promote it, and call her "cold."
"God bless America, land of the free, home of the blame."
What's going on here? No one is willing to step up to the plate? It's always someone else? It's not me? It's the Leasing Company.
Passing the blame???? Look in the mirror!
Leasing News since its inception has been trying to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
### Press Release ##############################
BALBOA CAPITAL HIRES FOUR LEASING SALES VETERANS
(Irvine, CA) Balboa Capital Corporation announces the hiring of Robert Fischer, Saul Sloman, Kerry Smith, and Mike Dish as Account Executives in its Corporate Sales Division. This group, hired over the last quarter, brings over 60 years of leasing industry experience across different geographies and target markets. They are expected to have an immediate impact developing customers and vendors in their respective geographic markets.
Robert Fischer, based in Memphis, TN, possesses over fifteen years of industry experience. He was a multiple year President’s Club achiever with ILC. Saul Sloman brings twelve years of leasing experience, most recently with Enterprise Leasing, and is working out of Atlanta, GA. Kerry Smith, based in Boston, MA, adds 18 years of experience and a strong vendor background with companies such as AT&T Capital and Deutsche Financial. Mike Disch, Minneapolis, MN, has been hired by Balboa Capital as Director, National Accounts. With Balboa, Disch is beginning his 34th year in the leasing industry. For the past 5 years Disch was a partner in Barrish Industries, Inc. Prior to Barrish, Disch held national and international sales and sales management positions with a number of leasing companies including ITT, Dana Credit Corporation and Rockford Industries. Disch will be based in Minneapolis.
Corporate Sales Manager, John Miscovich, says, "We are extremely excited to have these specialists on board. Their talent and experience will add further depth and leadership to our sales force and will continue to help us capitalize on Balboa’s greatest strategic advantage, our collaborative culture.”
# # #
About Balboa Capital
Balboa Capital provides equipment leasing and financing to small and mid-sized business in the United States. The company markets its products through its direct sales force, broker channel, and vendor partnerships. The company offers leases in the range of $ 5,000 to $ 5,000,000. Balboa Capital is privately held and based in Irvine, CA.
####### Press Release ######################################
Classified Ads—Help Wanted
Account Executive / Small ticket leasing account reps
Business Development Office
Marketing Indirect Origination
Senior Contract Specialist
Marlin Leasing Completes $304.6 Million Term Debt Securitization
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J-Marlin Leasing Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Marlin Business Services Corp. (NASDAQ:MRLN), announced today the completion of a $304.6 million term asset backed securitization. This transaction was Marlin's sixth term debt securitization and the first time the company issued notes with the highest "Aaa/AAA" rating. As with all prior term debt securitizations, this financing provides the company with fixed cost borrowing and will be recorded "on-balance sheet." Proceeds from the offering were used to repay borrowings under certain of the company's warehouse credit facilities. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as the structuring and lead placement agent, with J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. acting as co-manager.
This was a private offering made to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, by Marlin Leasing Receivables VIII LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Marlin Leasing Corporation. The senior/subordinated structure included six classes of notes rated by Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services with three classes of floating rate notes swapped to a fixed interest cost to Marlin. The initial blended interest cost to Marlin approximates 3.30%. The weighted average interest cost over the term of the financing to Marlin approximates 3.81%. Approximately $80 million from the transaction was deposited into an account to fund future lease production through October 15, 2004.
Avg. Fixed Rate
Class Size (MMs) Life Moodys/S&P Benchmark Coupon Equivalent
---------- -------- ----------- -------------- ------ ----------
A-1 $89.000 0.43yr P-1/A-1+ 1 Mos. LIBOR L+5 2.04%
A-2 $60.000 1.25yr Aaa/AAA 1 Mos. LIBOR L+22 2.91%
A-3 $24.000 2.00yr Aaa/AAA 2.0 Year Swap 3.36% 3.36%
A-4 $61.574 2.81yr Aaa/AAA 1 Mos. LIBOR L+30 3.88%
B $49.684 2.32yr A2/A- 2.3 Year Swap 4.35% 4.35%
C $20.362 2.50yr Baa2/BBB 2.5 Year Swap 5.47% 5.47%
"This is another significant milestone for Marlin as we celebrate the completion of our first ever 'AAA' rated term securitization," said Dan Dyer, Chairman and CEO of the company. "This transaction provides us with $304.6 million of fixed rate financing to support our growth while reducing our exposure to rising interest rates. The 'AAA' structure provides for improved borrowing efficiency and attractive funding costs."
Conference Call and Webcast
We will host a conference call on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 at 9:00 a.m. EDT to discuss our second quarter 2004 results. If you wish to participate, please call (877) 407-8031 (International participants please use (201)-689-8031) approximately 10 minutes in advance of the call time. The meeting number is 110678. The call will also be webcast on the Investor Relations page of the Marlin Business Services Corp. website, www.marlincorp.com. An audio replay will also be available on the Investor Relations section of Marlin's website for approximately 90 days.
About Marlin Business Services Corporation
Marlin Business Services Corp. is a nationwide provider of equipment leasing solutions primarily to small businesses. The company's principal operating subsidiary, Marlin Leasing Corporation, finances over 60 equipment categories in a segment of the market generally referred to as "small-ticket" leasing (i.e. leasing transactions less than $250,000). The company was founded in 1997 and completed its initial public offering of common stock on November 12, 2003. In addition to Mount Laurel, NJ, Marlin has regional offices in or near Atlanta, Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia. For more information, visit www.marlincorp.com or call toll free at (888) 479-9111.
CONTACT:Marlin Business Services Corporation Bruce Sickel, 888-479-9111 ext. 4108
### Press Release #######################################
Pacific Capital Bancorp Reports Increase in Second Quarter Earnings Per Share
SANTA BARBARA, Calif-Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq:PCBC):
-- Earnings per share of $0.36
-- Net interest income increases 18% over Q2 2003
-- 25% reduction in nonperforming assets from previous quarter
-- Sustained positive RAL collections
Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq:PCBC), a community bank holding company with $5.7 billion in assets, today announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2004.
Net income for the second quarter was $16.5 million, a 23% increase from $13.4 million in net income reported for the second quarter of 2003. Earnings per share for the second quarter of 2004 were $0.36, a 24% increase from earnings per share of $0.29 reported for the second quarter of 2003.
Pacific Capital Bancorp's return on average equity (ROE) and return on average assets (ROA) for the second quarter of 2004 were 15.08% and 1.18%, respectively, compared to 13.52% and 1.21%, respectively, for the second quarter of 2003.
"We are pleased with the strong performance in the second quarter, which resulted from a combination of organic growth and a meaningful contribution from our recent acquisition," said William S. Thomas, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Capital Bancorp. "We saw particular strength in our small business lending, commercial equipment leasing and consumer lending businesses, which helped generate 9.8% annualized loan growth (excluding RALs) during the quarter. In addition, we continue to see significant improvement in our asset quality, which is having a positive impact on our bottom-line results."
Throughout this press release, the Company has presented certain amounts and ratios that are computed both with and without the impact of the Company's RAL and RT programs. The Company's management utilizes the non-RAL/RT information in the evaluation of its core banking operations and believes that the investment community also finds this information valuable. The information that excludes balances and results of the RAL/RT programs is reconciled to the consolidated information prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in several tables at the end of this release.
During the second quarter, total interest income was $71.4 million, compared with $60.4 million in the same quarter of 2003. The increase in total interest income was primarily attributable to increased securities holdings and higher loan balances, which was partially offset by a lower yield on earning assets.
Total interest expense for the second quarter of 2004 was $16.0 million, compared with $13.5 million for the second quarter of 2003. The increase in total interest expense was primarily attributable to the higher borrowings incurred to support the purchase of securities in connection with the Company's leveraging strategy, as discussed in earnings releases for prior quarters.
Net interest margin for the second quarter of 2004 was 4.42%, which compares with 4.71% in the second quarter of 2003. Exclusive of RALs in both periods, net interest margin in the second quarter of 2004 was 4.35%, which compares with 4.59% in the second quarter of 2003. This also compares with a net interest margin of 4.63% in the first quarter of 2004, exclusive of RALs. The sequential quarter decline in net interest margin is primarily attributable to an increase in prepayments in the securities portfolio and fixed rate loans renewing at lower rates. In addition, the Company's cost of funds has increased slightly due to an increase in rates paid on certificates of deposit in order to remain competitive.
Noninterest revenue was $15.4 million, compared with $15.1 million in the second quarter of 2003, and included the following items:
Service charges on deposit accounts increased during the second quarter of 2004 to $4.1 million, up 6.6% over the second quarter of 2003.
Fees generated by the Company's Trust & Investment Services Division in second quarter 2004 were $3.7 million, a 6.4% increase from $3.5 million in the second quarter of 2003.
Income from other service charges, commissions and fees (excluding all RAL and RT-related noninterest revenue) for the quarter ended June 30, 2004, was $3.3 million, compared with $3.2 million recorded in the same period for the previous year.
Other income for the second quarter 2004 increased to $1.1 million, up from $615,000 reported at June 30, 2003. The increase is primarily attributable to gains on the sale of SBA loans.
In response to rising interest rates, the Company has repositioned selected securities by selling them at a loss and purchasing higher yielding securities with the proceeds. As a result, the Company's net gain on securities transactions declined by approximately $1.1 million from the previous year. In the second quarter of 2004, the Company recorded a net loss on securities transactions of approximately $449,000, compared with a net gain of approximately $604,000 in the second quarter of 2003.
The Company's operating efficiency ratio for the second quarter of 2004 was 60.46%, compared with 61.01% in the same period last year. Excluding the impact of the RAL/RT programs in these periods, the Company's operating efficiency ratio for the second quarter of 2004 was 60.98%, compared with 63.85% in the same period last year and 59.73% in the first quarter of 2004. Increases in salaries and benefits for the quarter reflect the full quarter impact of the addition of payroll resulting from the acquisition of Pacific Crest Capital, Inc.
Total gross loans were $3.73 billion at June 30, 2004, compared to $3.69 billion at March 31, 2004. Excluding RALs, total gross loans increased at an annualized rate of 9.8% during the quarter. The growth in the loan portfolio in the second quarter 2004 was primarily attributable to 60% annualized growth in the leasing portfolio, a 32% annualized growth in the consumer portfolio, and 30% annualized growth in the nonguaranteed small business portfolio. Total gross loans were up 25% year over year from $3.0 billion reported at June 30, 2003.
Total deposits were $4.35 billion at June 30, 2004, compared to $4.29 billion at March 31, 2004. Total deposits at March 31, 2004, included $90 million in deposits related to the 2004 RAL/RT programs, compared with $22 million at June 30, 2004. Excluding RAL-related deposits, total deposits increased to $4.33 billion at June 30, 2004, from $3.61 billion at June 30, 2003. Noninterest bearing demand deposits increased to $961 million at June 30, 2004, from $831 million at June 30, 2003. The acquisition of the former Pacific Crest Capital (PCCI) in March 2004 contributed approximately $282 million to the increase in total deposits and approximately $8.3 million to the increase in noninterest bearing demand deposits from the prior year period. Excluding deposits related to the RAL program and the acquisition of PCCI, total deposits increased 12.2% and noninterest bearing demand deposits increased 14.7% during the 12 months ended June 30, 2004.
Asset Quality and Capital Ratios
In the second quarter of 2004, the Company recorded a provision for credit losses for loans other than RALs of $737,000 versus a negative provision of $1.3 million for the same period last year.
At June 30, 2004, the allowance for credit losses (excluding RALs) was $48.1 million, or 1.29% of total loans, compared to $51.6 million, or 1.42% of total loans, at March 31, 2004. This compares with the industry average of 1.58% of total loans for the Company's peer group. All peer group comparisons are based on data provided as of March 31, 2004.
Total nonperforming assets, which include nonperforming loans and OREO, were $26.5 million at June 30, 2004, a decline of $8.7 million, or 25%, from the end of the previous quarter. Of this decline, two relationships totaling $3.8 million were charged off and the majority of the remaining $4.9 million was either paid off or migrated to more favorable risk categories.
Total nonperforming assets at the end of the second quarter of 2004 represented 0.47% of total assets (excluding RALs), a decrease from 0.67% of total assets at the end of the prior quarter. This compares with the Company's peer group average of 0.63% of total assets.
Total nonperforming loans (excluding RALs) decreased $11.7 million, or 33%, to $23.6 million at June 30, 2004, from $35.3 million at March 31, 2004. Total nonperforming loans (excluding RALs) represented 0.63% of total loans at June 30, 2004, down from 0.97% at March 31, 2004, and 1.81% at June 30, 2003. This compares with the industry average of 0.88% of total loans for the Company's peer group.
The Company's ratio of allowance to nonperforming loans (excluding RALs) was 204% at June 30, 2004, compared to 146% at March 31, 2004, and to the peer group average of 179%.
"Through the general improvement in the financial condition of borrowers, as well as the satisfactory resolution of a number of problem credits, we have seen dramatic improvement in our credit quality over the past year," said Thomas. "At June 30, our ratio of nonperforming loans to total loans was approximately one-third the level it was a year earlier, indicating that we have returned to an acceptable level of risk in our portfolio."
Net charge-offs (excluding RALs) were $4.3 million for the three months ended June 30, 2004, compared with $2.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2004.
Annualized net charge-offs to total average loans (both excluding RALs) were 0.46% for the three months ended June 30, 2004, compared with 0.33% for the three months ended March 31, 2004. This compares with the Company's peer group average of 0.48%.
During the second quarter of 2004, the Company reassessed estimated RAL credit losses as a result of continued improved collection performance. The Company now believes that there is sufficient experience available on this improved collection performance to provide an estimate of collections to be received in the second half of the year. Based on actual recoveries during the second quarter and continued improved collection performance, no provision expense was required. This compares to provision expense for RALs of $3.9 million for the second quarter of 2003.
The Company's capital ratios continue to be above the well-capitalized guidelines established by bank regulatory agencies.
CONTACT:Pacific Capital Bancorp Deborah Whiteley, 805-884-6680 email@example.com
### Press Release ############################################
Greater Community Bancorp Reports Second Quarter 2004 EPS of $0.24, up 20%
TOTOWA, N.J--Greater Community Bancorp (Nasdaq:GFLS) today reported net income for the second quarter of 2004 of $1.8 million, an increase of 19.4% over the $1.5 million reported for the second quarter of 2003. Diluted earnings per share were $0.24, an increase of 20.0% over the $0.20 reported for the prior-year quarter. The earnings improvement reflects strong loan growth coupled with good expense control.
For the first six months of 2004, the Company reported net income of $3.7 million, an increase of 15.1% over the $3.2 million reported for the first six months of 2003. Diluted earnings per share were $0.48, an increase of 20.0% over the $0.40 reported for the prior-year period.
Anthony M. Bruno, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Greater Community Bancorp, commented, "We are pleased with our solid performance this quarter in a highly competitive environment. We are generating strong loan growth while successfully controlling costs. The initiatives we undertook over the past eighteen months to reposition our balance sheet for the higher rate environment are beginning to show results. We are funding loan growth with lower-cost deposits gathered earlier, allowing us to be competitive in our marketplace. Our recently-hired commercial lenders are becoming increasingly productive, enabling us to take commercial loan market share from our regional competitors.
"Greater Community has traditionally focused on the commercial side of banking to drive its revenue growth. However, we are also adding several new initiatives to improve our retail penetration. This past quarter, we hired a seasoned executive to oversee an expanded retail strategy that will include all three of our banks. We are in the process of developing a suite of new products and services to attract new customers, and we are expanding our retail branch network in areas which we feel are under-served by community banks. Our new branch in Parsippany, NJ will be completed in the third quarter of this year, and two more branches are on the drawing boards for 2005.
"In June, our Board declared a 2.5% stock dividend and a $0.12 per share quarterly cash dividend, which together represent an increase of 11.6% over the cash dividend paid in the first quarter. This represents an annualized cash dividend of $0.48 per share. We are pleased to share our success and reward shareholders for their commitment to Greater Community Bancorp."
Total revenue, consisting of net interest income and non-interest income, was $8.4 million for the second quarter of 2004, an increase of 5.9% over the same period in the prior year. Net interest income increased 4.6% to $6.6 million, reflecting growth in average earnings assets of 7.6%, partially offset by a nine basis point decline in the net interest margin from the year-ago quarter, to 3.60%. Mr. Bruno noted that, "Competitive market conditions have impacted interest rates; however, the rates we charge our borrowers reflect their high quality, which is confirmed by the performance of our loan portfolio." Mr. Bruno added that the recent increase in the prime rate will favorably impact the Company's net interest margin going forward.
Non-interest income for the second quarter of 2004 was $1.9 million, a 10.8% increase from the second quarter of 2003. Excluding securities gains, non-interest income was $1.3 million compared to $1.5 million in the prior-year second quarter.
Mr. Bruno noted the Company's successful efforts to control its expense structure. Non-interest expense totaled $5.5 million for the second quarter of 2004, a decrease of 3.0% over the second quarter of 2003. Salaries and benefits rose 3.5%, reflecting annual increases in compensation and benefit costs, partially offset by a slight decline in the number of employees. Regulatory and professional fees declined 27.3% due to a decline in legal costs. The efficiency ratio improved to 69.3% from 72.9% in last year's second quarter.
At June 30, 2004, assets were $799.9 million, an increase of 6.1% over June 30, 2003. Loan balances grew $84.9 million, or 18.5%, year-over-year; growth was derived primarily from commercial real estate loans, up $66.7 million or 32.0%, and lease financing receivables, up $11.0 million or 54.3%. Loan growth was funded through a combination of deposit growth and the liquidation of investment securities. Deposits increased 9.0% to $623.0 million, and included 6.9% growth in non-interest bearing deposits, which now constitute 26.1% of total deposits.
Mr. Bruno noted, "Asset quality is strong, as indicated by the consistent level of non-performing assets and strong reserve coverage." Non-performing assets were 0.37% of total assets at June 30, 2004, down from 0.45% twelve months ago and 0.49% from the first quarter 2004. Annualized net charge-offs were 0.24% of average loans for the second quarter of 2004 compared with 0.26% for the same period last year. Loan loss reserves were 1.58% of period-end loans.
Shareholders' equity totaled $52.4 million at June 30, 2004, down 1.3% from twelve months ago. Shares outstanding at quarter-end were 7.4 million.
Corporate action was taken on July 20 - 21, 2004 to remove Erwin D. Knauer as Executive Vice President of the company and as a Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of its non bank subsidiary Greater Community Services, Inc.
CONTACT:At Greater Community Bancorp Anthony M. Bruno, Jr., 973-942-1111, ext. 1001 firstname.lastname@example.org or For Media: Margolin & Associates, Inc. Linda Margolin, 216-765-0953 lmm@margolinIR.com
### Press Release ############################################
Synovus Reports 9.1% Increase in Net Income for Second Quarter 2004; Financial Services Segment
Growth Continues as TSYS is Selected by JP Morgan Chase
COLUMBUS, Ga--Synovus' (NYSE:SNV) second quarter earnings grew 9.1% over the second quarter 2003 to $105.1 million, which represented earnings per share growth of 7.7% to $.34 per share, Synovus' Chief Executive Officer James H. Blanchard announced today.
"Throughout the first half of 2004, the Synovus Financial Services segment provided the key drivers for impressive growth in net income," said Blanchard. "Excellent credit quality, strong loan growth and a stable margin led the earnings momentum in the second quarter. Additionally, one of the more significant events in TSYS' history occurred during the quarter - TSYS was selected by JP Morgan Chase to provide its credit card processing functions."
Return on assets for the quarter was 1.86% and return on equity was 17.60% for the second quarter 2004, compared to 1.88% and 17.81%, respectively, in the same period last year. Shareholders' equity at June 30, 2004, was $2.49 billion, which represented a very strong 10.55% of quarter-end assets. Total assets ended the quarter at $23.6 billion, an increase of 11.8% from the same period last year.
Asset quality continued to improve during the second quarter, continuing the positive trend from the fourth quarter of last year. The net charge-off ratio was 0.22% compared to 0.32% for the second quarter of last year. For the first six months of the year, the net charge-off ratio is 0.19%. The ratio of nonperforming assets to loans and other real estate decreased to 0.52% from 0.56% last quarter, and 0.73% a year ago. The allowance for loan losses was 1.38% of loans, which provides coverage of 368% of nonperforming loans and the provision for loan losses covered net charge-offs by 1.83x for the quarter. Net interest income grew 10.2% over the same quarter last year as average outstanding loans grew 11.3% and interest expense decreased by 16.3%. The second quarter net interest margin was 4.24%, the same as last quarter, and stable when compared to 4.25% in the second quarter last year.
Net income for the Synovus Financial Services segment increased 11.1% over the second quarter of last year. Return on assets for the quarter was 1.41% and return on equity was 17.26%, compared to 1.39% and 16.61%, respectively, in the same period last year. Financial Services' non-interest income was flat as compared to last year, as mortgage banking revenue was down 68% compared to last year. Service charges on deposits and credit card fees for the second quarter increased by 18% and 19%, respectively, compared to the same period last year. Financial Management Services and insurance revenues increased 8% over last year, with fees for financial planning and asset management up 33% and brokerage revenue up 16%. Financial Services' G&A expense was up 4.1% compared to the second quarter last year and down 1.5% compared to the first quarter of 2004. Financial Services' efficiency ratio was 52.7% in the quarter and 52.8% for the first six months of 2004, compared to 54.3% and 53.6%, respectively, in 2003.
TSYS reported net income of $35.9 million for the second quarter 2004 compared to $34.3 million last year. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter increased to $0.18, up from $0.17 last year. During the quarter, JP Morgan Chase selected TSYS to provide credit card processing for the merged card portfolios of the former Bank One Corp. and JP Morgan Chase, which will complete a planned upgrade of its card-processing technology. TSYS will continue exclusive negotiations with JP Morgan Chase to provide processing for the 87 million cardmembers of Chase Card Services. Both companies expect to reach a definitive agreement in the near future.
Blanchard concluded, "The second quarter performance is a confirmation of our expectations of earnings per share growth of 8 - 10 % for 2004. Improving credit quality, a stable margin, continued strong loan growth, fee income growth, and continuing expense control encourage us to believe the Financial Services segment will perform at the very top of the peer group. With the addition of JP Morgan Chase, TSYS is building momentum with over 100 million accounts in the conversion pipeline. With our very dedicated and highly motivated team members and our strong balance sheet, we believe we are in position to achieve higher earnings performance as the economy improves throughout the year and beyond."
Synovus will host an earnings highlights conference call at 4:30 pm ET, on July 21, 2004. The conference call will be available in the Investor Relations section of www.synovus.com under the "Conference Calls and Webcasts" tab. Please log on 5-10 minutes ahead of the call time.
Synovus (NYSE:SNV) is a diversified financial services holding
company with $24 billion in assets based in Columbus, Georgia. Synovus
provides integrated financial services including banking, financial
management, insurance, mortgage and leasing services through 40 affiliate
banks and other Synovus offices in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina,
Florida and Tennessee; and electronic payment processing through an
81-percent stake in TSYS (NYSE:TSS), the world's largest third-party
processor of international payments. In 2004, FORTUNE magazine named
Synovus as one of "America's Most Admired Companies" and also
ranked Synovus No. 20 on its list of "The 100 Best Companies To
Work For". See Synovus on the Web at www.synovus.com.
#### Press Release ######################################
Hitachi Capital America Promotes William H. Besgen to President & Chief Operating Officer
NORWALK, Conn.----Hitachi Capital America Corp., a subsidiary of Hitachi Capital Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, and Hitachi's independent U.S. finance company, today announced the promotion of William H. Besgen to president & chief operating officer. He succeeds Yuichiro "Ron" Shimada, formerly President & CEO, who retains the position of CEO.
In making the announcement, Mr. Shimada said, "William Besgen's promotion to president is in recognition of his leadership and excellent business results as evidenced by the successful development of our company since its founding in the U.S. in 1989."
Hitachi Capital America Corp., according to Monitor Inc., ranked 38 in annual new business volume and 54 in asset size of the 100 largest Equipment Finance/Leasing companies in the U.S. in 2003. It provides commercial equipment financing, not only for Hitachi companies, their affiliates and customers in the U.S., but also for many other major manufacturers and their customers in the computer hardware and software, medical equipment, medium duty truck and construction businesses.
Mr. Besgen joined Hitachi in April, 1990 as executive vice president and & chief operating officer. His career began at Citicorp in 1969 where he worked for twenty-one years as a vice president, having a number of senior management responsibilities, primarily in its various equipment finance/leasing businesses. He is a graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. degree in economics in 1968 and an MBA in finance and marketing from the Johnson Graduate School of Management in 1969.
Mr. Besgen is a nineteen-year resident of New Canaan, Conn. He and his wife Cathy have four children and six grandchildren. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Hitachi Capital America Corp.; The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education, Bridgeport, Conn.; and Shepherds Inc., Fairfield, Conn. He also is a trustee of St. John Parish, Darien, Conn., a member of The Order of Malta-American Association, Woodway Country Club, The Cornell Club of New York and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Hitachi Capital America Corp., a subsidiary of Hitachi Capital Corporation, is an independent, diversified leasing and financial services company providing financing to Hitachi group companies and the commercial business sector in the United States. For more information on Hitachi Capital in North America, visit http://www.hitachi.us/capital. Hitachi Capital Corporation is a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd.,(NYSE:HIT), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 326,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2003 (ended March 31, 2004) consolidated sales totaled 8,632.4 billion yen ($81.4 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's Website at
CONTACT:Hitachi Capital America Corp. Linda Mangold, 203-956-3230 email@example.com
SOURCE: Hitachi Capital America Corp.
### Press Release ########################################
Fastest Growing Leasing Company Adds Another Territory Manager To It’s Team
Wayne, NJ—Leasing Partners Capital, Inc., the fastest growing leasing company in the U.S., has added another Territory Manager to its Team.
LPC is pleased to announce the addition of J. Pat Romeo as Territory Manager located in Tampa, FL.
Pat holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Bridgeport (CT).
Following his stint in the U.S. Marine Corps, Pat has spent several years in the leasing industry with System Informatics Leasing Corp., Vernon Computer Leasing and, Sun Microsystems Finance.
“About the Company”
Leasing Partners Capital, Inc. (LPC) is a small to lower-middle-market equipment leasing company working with vendors and end users, headquartered in Wayne, NJ. LPC currently has offices in Naples, FL, Louisville, KY, Atlanta, GA, Pittsburgh, PA, Buffalo, NY, Minneapolis, MN, Houston, TX, San Francisco, CA, St. Louis, MO, Boston, MA, Detroit, MI, Seattle, WA and Litchfield, NH.
For additional information or questions about LPC, contact Bruce Larsen, National Sales Manager, 877-333-5864 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out their web site @ www.leasingpartnerscapital.com.
### Press Release ##############################
CIT Group Is “Hot”---No Haiku
CIT Group Inc.'s second-quarter earnings rose 29% on higher volume of business and improved credit quality. The financial services company earned $176.6 million, or 82 cents a share, in the second quarter, up from $136.9 million last year. A Thomson First Call survey of 11 analysts projected CIT Group second-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share. CIT Group's equipment finance arm lifted its second-quarter pretax income to $30 million, more than double last year's $13 million yield on lower charge-offs, improved margins and higher equipment gains. Provision for credit losses shrank by 35 percent to $65.7 million from $100.6 million. The company said delinquencies declined to $571 million as of June 30 from $926 million last year. During the quarter, CIT Group acquired the $520 million GATX technology portfolio and sold its $100 million test-equipment-rental business, $20 million of residual assets in Argentina and about $70 million of its direct venture capital portfolio. The company said it also accelerated the liquidation of its marine and recreational vehicle portfolios.
full press release at:
### Press Release ##############################
Peek to be Prez & COO at CIT Group
The CIT Group has promoted Jeffrey M. Peek, who had been president and chief operating officer, to succeed Albert Gamper as chief executive. Peek, 57, joined CIT as president in September 2003. Previously, Peek spent 18 years at Merrill Lynch and about two years at Credit Suisse First Boston.
### Press Release ###########################
NVCA New Study Reports Impact of Venture Capital on Economy
Gateway quarterly loss widens on charges
Ken Jennings Wins $52,000 Thursday on Jeopardy
Microsoft Earnings Jump Nearly 82 Percent
Fake lawns growing more popular in area
Ex-Titans RB George, Cowboys close to 1-year deal, sources say
Padres 9, Giants 4
Serena, Venus, Davenport Advance at Open
Ex - Husband Says Marion Jones Took Banned Drugs
“Gimme that Wine”
HUMM-DINGER One-of-a-kind wine
Auction big spender buys wet-and-wild ride from Wine Country elites
2000 deemed a good year for red Bordeaux -- at all price levels
Emile Peynaud, Who Influenced Winemaking Around the World, Dies at 92
A Campaign to Drink Another Glass of Wine for France
North America's Wine School Opens it Doors
Rare vintage: Winery for sale in Arizona—Leave the Leasing Business Now
Sonoma Showcase Highlights Regional Wine and Food, Raises $385,000
Pennsylvania shuts door on good, $2 wine
Napa Valley Heat is on, grape harvest may be coming early
This Day In American History
1788 - A weather diary kept by George Washington recorded that the center of a hurricane passed directly over his Mount Vernon home. The hurricane crossed eastern North Carolina and Virginia before moving into the Central Appalachians. Norfolk, VA, reported houses destroyed, trees uprooted, and crops leveled to the ground.
1829-William Austin Burt of Mount Vernon, Michigan, patented the first typewriter on July 23, 1829. The design of the keyboard was changed several
times without much thought, but the most common was the one designed basically so you could use the keys on one line to type out “typewriter.”
1827-The first swimming school in the US opened at Boston, MA. Its pupils included John Quincy Adams and James Audubon.
1885- Ulysses S. Grant died at 63 and was buried this day in a mausoleum on Riverside Drive, New York City, overlooking the Hudson River. The funeral of Gen. Grant was designated a day of national mourning. The body was taken to New York City on a special train shrouded in black curtains . The former president lay in state at City Hall, where citizens who wished to pay their last respects gathered in a line a mile long Day and night for two days the mourners filed past. The funeral procession to the tomb was enormous and people packed the sidewalks and rooftops along its route.
1885-the first state banking association was the Texas Bankers’ Association, which was organized at Lampasas, TX, with an initial membership of 31. The first president was James Francis Miller.
1886- a 23 year-old unemployed Irish immigrant Stephen Brodie was pulled from the East River, claiming that he had just jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge. The newspapers of
the day headlined his survival. Although Brodie was unable to produce any objective witnesses to say he had performed the feat---he was accused of having his friends drop a dummy from the bridge while he slipped unnoticed into the water from the riverbank---the newspapers made him famous. In 1894, he starred in a play called “On the Bowery,” during which he rescued the heroine by jumping off a bridge built onstage.
1904-Charles E. Menches of Akron, Ohio, Missouri “discovers” the ice cream
cone. The City of Akron gives him credit for hamburgers and corn snacks. While
many give him credit, there are others who also have claim.
The Official Day in History gives the credit to Menches:
As does the official website for the City of Akron, Ohio
It also may be that he invented the hamburger as we know it, too:
1908-Birthday of Charles Melvin “Cootie” Williams, Mobile, AL
1915-birthday of trumpet player Emmett Berry, Macon, GA
1918- birthday of Harold Henry “Pee Wee” Reese, famous short stop player for the
Brooklyn Dodgers, who I saw play often. Died August 14,1999
http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/hofer_bios/reese_pee_wee.htm ( perhaps my favorite personal baseball player, captain of the team, short stop. Readers probably get sick of me saying how baseball players would stay after games to autographs balls or pictures for free, thank you for coming to the game. )
1924-Birthday of African American physician Louis Tompkins Wright. Louis Tompkins Wright, a young African American physician interning at Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, DC, created a way to observe the Schick test on darkly pigmented skin. His discovery opened the way for the immunization of people of color against diphtheria and contributed to saving countless lives.
1925-Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees hit the first grand slam of his career as the Yankees defeated the Washington Senators, 11-7. Gehrig hit 22 other grand slams and still holds the major league record.
1930-Tenor saxophone player Richie Kamuca Birthday
( lower part of: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/jul23.html )
1934-Birthday of soprano sax player Steve Lacy, New York, NY.
1935-Birthday of Cleveland Duncan, lead singer of the 1950's rhythm-and-blues group, the Penguins, was born. The Los Angeles-based Penguins were responsible for one of the great r-and-b songs of the decade, 1954's "Earth Angel," which by 1966 had sold four-million copies. The record went to number eight on the Billboard pop chart, but a white Canadian group, the Crew Cuts, had an even bigger pop hit when they covered "Earth Angel" in 1955. "Earth Angel" hit the Billboard Hot 100 again in 1986 in a revival by the New Edition.
1936- birthday of Don Drysdale, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984. He was a pitcher for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1956 to 1969, compiling a Won-lost record of 209—166 with a career ERA of 2.95. Following his Playing career he became successful and popular broadcast announcer for the Chicago White Sox and then the Dodgers. He was born at Van Nuys, CA, and died at Montreal, Canada, July 3, 1993.
1941-Sonny Dunham records big band version of “Memories of You.”
1943-birthday of guitarist/song writer Tony Joe White, Oak Grove, LA
1947-Birthnday of Don Imus, radio personality (IMUS in the Morning)
You Can’t Be True, Dear - The Ken Griffin Orchestra (vocal: Jerry Wayne)
Woody Woodpecker Song - The Kay Kaiser Orchestra (vocal: Gloria Wood & The Campus Kids)
It’s Magic - Doris Day
Bouqeut of Roses - Eddy Arnold
1950- the “Gene Autry Show” premiered on television. The popular CBS western ran for six years starring movie actor Gene Autry. Along with sidekick Pat Buttram. His horse’s name was Champion. Autry helped bring criminals to justice. He later founded the California Angel’s baseball team ( a statue of him is at the Anaheim stadium ). He has a museum of Western History
The Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant
Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel - Elvis Presley
Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera Sera) - Doris Day
I Walk the Line - Johnny Cash
1960-Betsy Rawls became the first golfer to win the US Women’s Open four times, adding the 1960 title to those won in 1951, 1953 and 1957.
1962 - The "Telstar" communications satellite sent the first live TV broadcast to Europe. It was used to send TV programs between the United States and Europe
Rag Doll - The 4 Seasons
Can’t You See that She’s Mine - The Dave Clark Five
The Girl from Ipanema - Stan Getz/Astrud Gilberto
Dang Me - Roger Miller
1965-In a 5-1 win over the Mets, Phillies' first baseman Dick Stuart homers at Shea Stadium becoming the first player to have gone deep in 23 major league ballparks
1966 - Frank Sinatra hit the top of the pop album chart with his "Strangers in the Night". It was the first #1 Sinatra LP since 1960. The album’s title song had made it to number one on the pop singles chart on July 2nd.
1966-Napoleon XIV releases "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha! Ha!"
1969- James Brown walked out of Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty's office when the mayor failed to show up on time to present him with a proclamation for James Brown Day
Lean on Me - Bill Withers
Too Late to Turn Back Now - Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose
Alone Again (Naturally) - Gilber O’Sullivan
It’s Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer - Charley Pride
It’s Still Rock & Roll to Me - Billy Joel
Little Jeannie - Elton John
Cupid/I’ve Loved You for a Long Time - Spinners
True Love Ways - Mickey Gilley
1981- Billy Squier earns his first gold album. He has a big hit with his second solo record, "Don't Say No."
1984 - Miss America, Vanessa Williams, turned in her crown. It had been discovered that she had posed nude for "Penthouse" magazine. Williams, the first black Miss America, relinquished her title to Suzette Charles, the pageant’s runner-up.
1987 - Thunderstorms produced a record ten inches of rain in six and a half hours at Minneapolis, MN, including 5.26 inches in two hours. Flash flooding claimed two lives and caused 21.3 million dollars damage. Streets in Minneapolis became rushing rivers, parking lots became lakes, and storm sewers spouted like geysers. A tornado hit Maple Grove, MN, causing five million dollars damage. Baseball size hail was reported at Olivia, MN
1988- Saskatchewan's Dave Ridgway kicks record 8 field goals vs. Edmonton
Hold on to the Nights - Richard Marx
Pour Some Sugar on Me - Def Lappard
New Sensation - INXS
Set ’Em Up Joe -
1996- the first television station to regularly broadcast high-definition television was WRAL, a CBS affiliate in Raleigh, NC. There are many prime time television shows now broadcast in HD, but not many sets sold that will receive the broadcasts.
1992- Bruce Springsteen opens his first U.S. tour since 1988 at The Brendan Byrne arena in the Meadowlands complex in New Jersey. The Boss plays 10 sold out shows in the 21,000 seat arena, with some of the shows going until 1AM
1997- Netware International Bank was shut down by the FBI. The bank had been accused of improperly making loans and collecting deposits over the Internet.
1999-, NASA's first space mission commanded by a woman. Air Force Colonel Eileen Collins blasted off from Cape Canaveral in a rare night takeoff (12:26 am) and ended five days later (07-27-99) in a rarer night time landing (11:20 pm). On 07-24-99, mission specialist Catherine "Cady" Coleman was in charge of efforts to successfully deploy the $1.55 billion Chandra X-ray Observatory and did most of the delicate deployment herself. It wasn't until the next day that the public learned a fuel leak almost resulted in a highly dangerous, forced night landing. It would have been the first "forced landing" of a U.S. space ship. Captain Eileen Collins handled the crisis perfectly and the mission continued as scheduled.
2000- Joining his grandfather Gus and father Buddy, Reds' third baseman Mike Bell becomes part of the first three-generation family to play for the same team.
2000 -The Astros hit four homers off Cardinal hurler Andy Benes to tie the major league record for homers allowed by one pitcher in an inning. The second inning uprising help Houston set a team record for homers in one inning and tie a team record with six home runs for the game.
2000- After rejecting a trade to the Mets, Reds' All-Star shortstop Barry Larkin agrees three-year, $27 million contract extension that will keep him Cincinnati until 2003.
2000 - Tiger Woods won the British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland to become the youngest player (24 years of age) to win the career ‘Grand Slam’ of golf (The Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and British Open) and the first to win all four majors since Jack Nicklaus’ victory in the 1966. Woods not only was the youngest player to win the career Grand Slam, he completed it faster than any of the four greats who did it before him. The other players to win the Grand Slam were Gene Sarazen in 1935, Ben Hogan in 1953, Gary Player in 1965 and Jack Nicklaus in 1966 (age 26) at Muirfield. (Nicklaus went on to win the Grand Slam two more times.) Woods finished the British Open at 19-under-par 269, the best score ever at St. Andrews (Nick Faldo shot an 18- under in his 1990 win), and the lowest score ever at a major championship.
2002- Celebrating his 29th birthday by hitting three homers Boston's 22-4 rout of the Devil Rays, Nomar Garciaparra ties the major league record becoming the 26th player to hit five home runs in two games. It was Red Sox shortstops second three-homer game, who also accomplished the feat against the Mariners on May 10, 1999.
By: "Papa" Joe Chevalier
All nine innings and knee high strikes
The diamond cut by flashing spikes.
The infield hit, a long home run
Doubleheaders, the radar gun.
The curve, the knuckler, slider and splitter
A slugfest or the chance no-hitter.
The majors, the minors, the kids, the vets
The "Whiz Kids," the "Amazing Mets."
The squeeze bunt and the hit and run
The double steal on three and one.
Both real and artificial grass.
The routine grounder or astro turf hop.
Signs to take and signs to steal
Beating the deadline with a late night deal.
The brush back pitch, the managers warned
The visiting star locally scorned.
Balls with eyes and rain delays
Around the horn double plays.
Walking leads and frozen ropes
Bloops, blasts and springtime hopes.
The game of the week and cable TV
Descriptions like "Good field-no-hit
Or "Say goodbye baseball" at Safeco Field
Diving catches and trapped fly balls
Coaches sweating on 3-2 calls.
The pickoff move and stealing home
Games in the sun or under a dome.
Walks, balks, and fielders choices
An irate skipper getting the gate.
Cold soda, peanuts and ball park franks
Sometimes even the New York Yanks.
For all this and more I have good reason
To be pleased that it's Baseball season.
And if you guys don't mind suggestions,
Go somewhere else with your silly questions!
To hear the poem read by Johnny Nguyen