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

Irvine, California

Resolve Customer Billing Issues
Reduce Receivable Delinquency

Click here for full description.
 Please send resume and cover letter to:

Senior Credit Analyst
Irvine, California

Underwrites larger, more complex transactions up to $250k in high volume faced paced environment. Works within credit and across departments to resolve issues and improve the credit submission process

Click here for full description.
 Please send resume and cover letter to:
Quick Bridge Funding has the financial
products a business needs to grow!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

The Second Response: "Leasing News blatantly lied
     in Publishing"
Classified Ads---Executive Management
 Top Stories:  March 17 - March 19
  Opened Most by Readers of Leasing News
Report: “The Impact of Alternative Financing on the
    Equipment Leasing and Finance Industry"
Equipment Finance Lender Stung for $1 Million Dollars
For Inappropriate Collection Activities
   by Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor
“Travel Expenses for an Employment Interview”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII
Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted
Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLFP
  Signatures on Documents
US Business Funding Responds to
  Leasing News Complaint Bulletin Board
Confidence Increases Again in March
   Reports Equipment Leasing and Finance Industry
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Parma, Ohio  Adopt a Dog
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News Briefs---
U.S. farmers turn to equipment leases to cope with profit slump
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    IBM Study Shows Mobile App Developers Neglecting Security
     Tag Heuer to team with Google, Intel for smartwatch

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The Second Response: "Leasing News blatantly lied
in Publishing"

The Charge that Menkin Lied:

"On or about December 5, 2014, Leasing News again published unverified allegations made by Larry D. Dubin against MBC. And although Brian Acosta emailed Christopher Menkin regarding these allegations on the morning of November 25, 2014, Leasing News blatantly lied in publishing: "The following Cancellation Letter and Timeline of Events was sent by Leasing News to Brian Acosta several times for a comment; no response was received[.]"
New Cease and Desist Attorney Demand
Delete Leasing News Bulletin Board Complaints or Else!

Leasing News never received any response from Matrix Business Capital, nor Brian Acosta, regarding the complaint.  This was over a two month period. No email or telephone response from Brian Acosta was ever received by Leasing News.

However, that is not the issue. Matrix never returned the deposit for a lease that did not go through, thus the Leasing News Bulletin Board Complaint was legitimate.

As noted in the response for the "Cease and Desist Demand," Leasing News was able to contact the party who made the complaint and asked them for their reaction. March 20, 2015, this came from Larry D. Dubin:

"I never received an email from Brian Acosta.  There is a reason that so many complaints have been made against his company." 


The issue really began April 8, 2014 when Larry D. Dubin, Fidelity Voice and Data, Beachwood, Ohio: "I received an e-mail from Erik McDnald (sic) that we were pre-qualified for up to 150k for an equipment lease." (1). Six months later, Larry Dubin sent a cancellation letter to Matrix Business Capital, September 15, 2014, formally requesting his deposit be returned, regarding the time involved and change in term of financing, as well as inability to fund the lease transaction. (1) (2)


Since Mr. Dubin in his original letter submitted a "timeline" of what transpired, this response will be in a similar presentation, based primarily on emails sent and received:

October 17, 2014:
After another month, seven months since the $150,000 pre-qualified letter of April 8, 2014, and not getting the deposit back, Larry Dubin started calling those he found in the leasing industry, emailing to Leasing News on Oct. 17, 2014: "I am requesting a formal inquiry by your organization into the business dealings of Matrix Business Capital.  I have enclosed a copy of our company's cancelation letter from September 15, 2014 and a time frame of events that took place during our business dealings with Matrix Business Capital. To date Matrix Business Capital has not returned our deposit of $4,254.79.  This company does not represent your industry well.  Our dealings with this company couldn't have been more deceitful." He included a timeline of what transpired (2)

October 20, 2014
Leasing News collected copies of the contract, emails, and learned Robert Marks was the Founder and CFO of Fidelity, who was first approached and was dealing with Matrix.

October 21, 2014
10/21 Leasing News telephoned Brian Acosta and the next few days, sent two emails. No Response.

October 26, 2014 (Sunday)
10/26 Larry Dubin sent email that they had not received any response.

This went on for a few more weeks. Leasing News began preparing the complaint for the Leasing News Bulletin Board, and kept trying to get a response from Matrix Capital.

November 17, 2014
Larry Dubin emailed: "They have contacted us and we are discussing. They have agreed to apply our money to another lease. I am contemplating doing a very small lease in order to resolve. I will keep you posted.”

November 20, 2014
Larry Dubin emailed "as usual Brian is trying to play games. Any further industry pressure that can be made by you is appreciated." 

November 24, 2014
Leasing News contacted Brian Acosta again. No response.

December 3, 2014
Larry Dubin emailed regarding his contact with the National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers: "I talked to them but because they were kicked out of the organization, they would not accept a complaint."

December 3, 2014
(Leasing News verified this information and the fact that he was no longer a "Best Practicing Broker." "He was denied membership in the NAELB this year.  The NAELB had 3 complaints filed last year on Acosta." 

December 4, 2014
The National Association of Equipment Finance emailed: "Our records show that neither Matrix Capital Solutions nor Ability Capital Solution nor Brian Acosta are current members of NEFA."

Gerry E.

Gerry Egan
Executive Director
National Equipment Finance Association

December 4, 2014
Leasing News was informed "He was denied membership in the NAELB this year. The NAELB had 3 complaints filed last year on Acosta."

December 5, 2014
Mr. Dubin sent two emails, a letter, timeline, and a copy of the cancellation letter to Reid Raykovich, CLP, Executive Director of the Certified Leasing Professional Foundation (as a side note, he thought she was a "he.") He forwarded what he had sent.

The deposit not returned since the original request on September 15, 2014 by Fidelity Voice and Data, thus the complaint was legitimate and Leasing News published:

Bulletin Board Complaint
Matrix Business Capital, Long Beach, California

  1. Timeline of Events: Starts April 8, 2014
  2. Cancellation Letter: September 15, 2014



Classified Ads---Executive Management

(These ads are “free” to those seeking employment or looking
to improve their position)

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All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:



Top Stories:  March 17 - March 19
Opened Most by Readers of Leasing News

(1) Reader Complaint About LEAF Financial Investment
          Says He and Sister Were Misled

(2) New Cease and Desist Attorney Demand
   Delete Leasing News Bulletin Board Complaints or Else!

(3) First Response to Cease & Desist
        By Christopher Menkin, Editor/Publisher

(4) Securitizations and Alternative Financing
           Hot Topics at Investor’s Conference
               by Bruce Kropschot

(5)   Marlin Business Bank Launches Funding Stream,
      an Innovative Loan Program Exclusively for Small Businesses

(6)  US Banks Are Giving Guidance on Doing
 Business with Marijuana Dispensaries
   by Tom McCurnin, Leasing News Legal Editor

(7) New Hires---Promotions in the Leasing Industry

(8) Meet the biggest bank in Chicago you never heard of

(9) Steve Crane, CLFP, Back in Town

(10) Leasing News Website Down on St. Patrick's Day


The Impact of Alternative Financing on the
Equipment Leasing and Finance Industry

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation released a 46 page in- depth study by Charles Wendel,, on “Alternate Financing growth in the Equipment Leasing and Financing Industry.”

The report gives a thorough understanding of the alternative finance marketplace and the environment in which alternate finance companies operate.  The information comes from interviews with many of the players, including OnDeck and Rapid Advance, and from research and other reports emphasizing Financial Technology (what it is and how it works).

"When considering how best to describe the alternative financing now occurring in commercial lending (which includes equipment finance), six key characteristics emerge. These are:

  • Dependence on Financial Technology (FinTech)
  • Emphasis on segmentation
  • Introduction of “new” operating models
  • Use of risk-based pricing
  • Emphasis on ease and convenience
  • Use of FinTech (not bank) culture"

"Oxxford Information Management calculates that 36.1 million active businesses operate in the U.S. Most of them are home-based businesses with only one employee and little revenue. (Note that approximately six million firms have multiple employees.) Oxxford screened this group, using three criteria that many banks also apply to their lending: companies with sales volume of $250,000 to $10 million, in operation at least three years, and with an average or above-average credit score. Based on these criteria, Oxxford found that only 10.2% of U.S. businesses would qualify for what they term “standard lending status” from a bank or non-bank entity. That 10% translates into less than 24% of the available loan volume from the universe of customers."

"Nearly a dozen factors have fed the development of alternative finance and, while not quite a “perfect storm,” many of them have combined to create a major growth opportunity for new lenders. The factors are discussed below:

  1. Limited bank appetite for small-business lending despite these borrowers’ immediate needs
  2. Alienation of customers
  3. Poor image of traditional lenders
  4. Strong non-bank brands
  5. A low interest rate environment causing investors to look for higher returns
  6. The shift in demographics from Baby Boomers to Millennials
  7. Role of social media
  8. Stable-/slow-growth economy
  9. The value of data analytics
    10. The rise of Financial Technology (FinTech)"

Donors to the foundation may obtain the report for free. Non-Donor Price is $300:



Equipment Finance Lender Stung for $1 Million Dollars
For Inappropriate Collection Activities
by Tom McCurnin
Leasing News Legal Editor

Credit Acceptance Corporation is a Lender of Last Resorts for Car Loans. CAC is Found Liable For Collecting On EFA, Where It Never Gave Borrower The Certificate of Title.

Peel v Credit Acceptance Corp.  408 S.W.3d 191 (Mo. Ct. App. 2013). 

Bad facts make bad law.

Carrie Peel had credit problems and in 2008 went to a used car dealer to purchase car financed through Credit Acceptance Corporation. As a condition to signing the EFA, CAC required her to sign a GPS and Starter Interruption Device, which enabled CAC to locate the vehicle and disable it in the event of a default. The applicable interest rate was 24% over four years. 

Peel never took title, because the car dealer’s floor plan financer never delivered it to the car dealer. The automobile dealership never paid the floor plan financer, which refused to deliver the certificate of title. CAC refused to help as well, stating that this was Peel’s problem, not theirs. She finally consulted an attorney and was advised that under Missouri’s Merchandising Protection Act if she didn’t receive title, the sale and the car loan is void. She was pulled over numerous times for driving an unregistered car.

CAC knew, from prior dealings with the automobile dealership, that the floor plan financer did in fact have the title. CAC also knew about Missouri’s MPA law. Despite this knowledge, CAC told Peel that she had to keep making the payments on the loan or CAC would disable the car with the ignition-interruption device, repossess the car, and report her to the credit bureaus. Over 100 calls were documented between Peel and CAC. 

Peel sued CAC based on the MPA law and was awarded $11,000 in compensatory damages, $1.1 million dollars in punitive damages, and $165,000 in attorney fees. 

The jury was instructed that “the sale of a motor vehicle without the assignment and delivery of the certificate of ownership is fraudulent and void and the buyer has no obligation to make payments under the contract of sale.” CAC argued to the Court of Appeals that it was Peel that was at fault, and she should have sued the automobile dealership to obtain her title. 

The Court of Appeal stated that “to blame the consumer for not being given something that the seller is required to produce is absurd.  Not providing a title is fraudulent. Collecting payment on a void contract to purchase a vehicle is also fraudulent”  What was especially damning for CAC was the fact that Peel notified CAC of the problem within 30 days and asked to speak to the company’s legal department, and was told that CAC does not have one.  CAC had been in business in Missouri for over 15 years. CAC also argued that Peel suffered minimal damages as her only real loss was the difference between driving a titled car and driving an untitled one. This argument demonstrated CAC's continued indifference to Peel's plight. Finally, CAC argued that it, not Peel, should be awarded damages for the balance of the car loan. That last argument must have really ticked off the jury.

What are the lessons here?

First, CAC was licensed by the Missouri Division of Finance, and had to certify that it was aware of the laws of the State in which it was conducting a licensed business. If an equipment financing company is licensed in a particular State, take some care to read and follow the applicable laws. CAC had a legal department, and I’m not sure where they were in this picture.

Second, it doesn’t hurt to be gracious. Obviously, the collectors knew this woman’s plight. Do they really have had to threaten to shut off her car? Can they elevate the dispute to a manager or a representative of the company’s legal department before being complete jerks?

Third, I’m not sure what settlement discussions took place here, but this case is a stinker, and CAC should have thrown some money at this case and made it go away.

Fourth, if the arguments made to the Court of Appeals were similar in nature to the ones made to jury, I’m surprised the verdict was not larger. It was Peel’s fault?  She wasn’t damaged? And finally, CAC should have been paid the balance on their contract? Those are fine technical arguments which might be appropriate to a judge, but certainly not a jury. Moreover, given the language of the decision, the arguments are probably inappropriate for even a judge.

The bottom line to this case is that really bad facts in a legal case generally don’t bode well for a good ending. Throw some money at a bad case and make it go away. 

Peel Case

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

Tom McCurnin
Barton, Klugman & Oetting
350 South Grand Ave.
Suite 2200
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Direct Phone: (213) 617-6129
Cell (213) 268-8291
Visit our web site at

Previous Tom McCurnin Articles:



 “Travel Expenses for an Employment Interview”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII

How do I handle interview travel expenses/what is the proper etiquette?

Travel costs will be handled one of three ways:
(1) Employer does not cover any expenses, and you will be 100% responsible
(2) Employer will make all the arrangements and cover all costs
(3) Employer will have you make the arrangements, cover the costs, and you will be reimbursed either immediately after the interview OR within a two-week period

It should be the employers’ responsibility to cover interview travel expenses (it is the cost of doing business). Every client I have ever worked for has covered Candidates’ interview travel expenses. However, many companies will have the Candidate make the travel and/or hotel arrangements and then reimburse them after the interview or will disperse a check covering all expenses via mail within a two-week period. In smaller organizations and for Remote Sales Positions, often we see the Hiring Manager travel to interview the Candidate.   

Make sure you discuss up front (in a phone/screening interview) with the Hiring Manager; better yet, the HR Representative, as they are more familiar with policies and procedures (write down the name of the person you spoke with and take notes). If a company employs a policy that does not cover ANY interview travel expenses, and you want the job, then be prepared to cover the cost but keep an itemized list for your tax records (speak to your accountant about deductions).

I suggest before agreeing to cover your travel costs, asking how firm your candidacy is; e.g., “I’m interested in this job and happy to pay my own way out there if you think I’m likely to be a match. However, before I do that, could you give me an idea of how strong a Candidate you think I am?" pay close attention to the answer. There is a big difference between “You’re our leading Candidate” and “We’re interviewing eight people, and you’re all qualified.”

Emily Fitzpatrick
Sr. Recruiter
Recruiters International, Inc.
Phone:  954-885-9241
Cell:  954-612-0567
Invite me to Connect on LinkedIn
Also follow us on Twitter #RIIINFO

Career Crossroads Previous Columns


Leasing Industry Ads---Help Wanted


Irvine, California

Resolve Customer Billing Issues
Reduce Receivable Delinquency

Click here for full description.
 Please send resume and cover letter to:

Senior Credit Analyst
Irvine, California

Underwrites larger, more complex transactions up to $250k in high volume faced paced environment. Works within credit and across departments to resolve issues and improve the credit submission process

Click here for full description.
 Please send resume and cover letter to:
Quick Bridge Funding has the financial
products a business needs to grow!


For information on placing a help wanted ad, please click here: 
Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees.


(Terry retired January 1, 2015.  To honor him and his many years of writing for readers of Leasing News, Leasing News is posting columns he has written that are still meaningful today. While companies are moving toward electronic signatures for speed as well as validity, most companies still use a written signature. This one from Terry is from August 19, 2011.)

Signatures on Documents

I have written on the subject of making sure all blanks in the lease are completed prior to the Lessor signing the lease agreement. The lessor’s signature completes the contract. However, lately I have inspected lease agreements where the signatures are mere scribbles on a line with no additional information. The question is---who or what signed the lease?

In the early 1970’s, even small ticket leases required a notary signature. Leasing salesmen and brokers became notaries in most state to comply with this. As more and more got into leasing, this practice ended in small ticket leases as the practice became to obtain a copy of the person’s driver’s license. Often, this was forgotten by the salesman and then followed up with a fax. Or often, the signer went into where the copier was kept and came back with a copy of the driver’s license, or worse, the documents were left for signature of the president with a personal guarantee and then presented with the driver’s license copy.

In reality, the driver’s license is not legal proof as a notary, plus does not stop the claim the lessee was not signing as an individual but as a corporate officer to all the documents, including the personal guarantee. Some leasing companies realize this and required the broker or salesman to sign as a witness, in reality a poor legal practice.

In preparing the document, it is important that the name of the signor should be typed or printed below the signature to identify the individual that signed the agreement. This includes the corporate resolution as well as personal guarantee documents. Next a witness line should be provided for; especially if there is no corporate resolution, or signing authority to attest to the right of the individual to sign for the firm.

We seem to follow these rules when there is a large lease but as the size dwindles down our documentation efforts loosen up. It is considered smart to revert back to witness lines when there is no request for signing authority. This happens often when the lessee is a small firm and the owner or manager signs the lease. But it is hard to determine who signed the lease when the signature is a scribble with no additional information. Why leave it to a court to determine if the copy of the driver’s license is sufficient? Or the signer stating he was signing all documents as a corporate officer, not as a personal guarantee. If it is typed or printed below his name there is no argument here. For added precaution, add a place for social security number and home telephone number.

A treasury agent told me some time ago that the more neatly you sign your name the more difficult it is to forge. The easiest to forge is a scribble or a constant wave of hills and valleys. You would be surprised at how often an executive assistant has learned how to sign her boss’s name. And a salesman after his commission may look the other way, after all is only a "small” lease.

The question of signing authority and who signed the lease has come up in court too many times to be ignored. You must have a witness or signing authority for each lessee signature. If you use the witness line, it would be best to use one of the Lessee’s employees and just like the actual signor the name should be printed below the signature to identify the person. If an employee of the firm is not available, then the lease salesperson can sign as a witness but it should be a last resort.

In addition the title of each person should be included to erase any confusion that they may be signing personally. This is also true for the Lessor, signature then title and a printed or typed correct spelling of his/her name.

Sloppy documents, failure to completed blanks in the lease and confusion on signatures has caused more problems in court than any failure to make payments. Also once the lease is complete you should send a copy to the lessee and record the date and how you sent it.

You should complete an internal audit of your portfolio at least once a year to look for these kinds of problems, so you can nip it in the bud and save yourself a load of grief in the future.


Previous #102 Columns: 



US Business Funding Responds to
 Leasing News Complaint Bulletin Board

Peter Ribeiro, CEO, US Business Funding, Newport Beach, California, has given a statement regarding the complaint by Global Stone DBA Umpqua Stone, Roseburg, Oregon, that appeared in Leasing News. (1) He did not address the key elements of the complaint:

1. The broker has no contract and thus no contractual basis to keep the deposit.

2. The so-called Equipment Finance Agreement had many uses of the terms "lessee," "lease" and "lessor" which the attached article from Attorney Barry Marks, said it could not include, as well as a "Purchase Option," which was not necessary for an Equipment Finance Agreement. Per the article...It is not a legal contract. (2)

3. No corporate resolution.

4. Sure the invoice was increased. The payment terms should have increased. If the broker couldn't get it approved based on the new invoice and revised numbers, then the deposit should have been returned.

5. Ribeiro’s employee previously gave the applicant approval for $150k. So I don't get it. (3)

6. Ribeiro is unlicensed. That doesn't really have anything to do with returning the deposit, but he is operating illegally.

Mr. Ribeiro did include some files, tagged as Exhibits (due to the disclosure of bank information and numbers, they are either blanked out or not included due to the personal information disclosed).

Following Mr. Ribeiro’s statement. To be fair, Leasing News requested William Willis, who represents Umpqua Stone, to also make a statement. He notes the email $150,000 approval, the collection of invoices to make the payment, as well as this email threat:

"We will place you in default and it will affect your business and personal credit...let me know which direct you want to move in."

(Note: The so-called EFA was never consummated nor did Mr. Willis personally guarantee the so-called EFA. Editor)


Mr. Menkin,

You stated in our previous article, “The job of a journalist is to verify what is told to you”. It would be great if you could practice what you preach. You went on to write - “Again, if there is any statement or comment that you or US Business funding would care to make, Leasing News would like to publish it in entirety without editing”. It has been evident that this does not hold true and the entire article is false, misleading, and completely manipulated. If you want to report the truth please post the following facts:

Notice the date US Business Funding sent the contract out to Global Stone DBA Umpqua Stone, August 5th 2013 (Exhibit A). The invoice was dated July 30th 2013 (Exhibit B) in the amount of $138,680.00. Based on this invoice, we offered a 60 month term with a payment of $2,710.00. Global Stone DBA Umpqua Stone then sent back the contract via fax on August 7th with a manipulated invoice dated August 7th 2013 (Exhibit C) in the amount of $159,029.00  How would US Business Funding have ever seen an invoice if it was made 2 days after we sent the contract? I ran Tvalue on these numbers and let me show you the math: $138,680 is the PV and the term is 60 months with a Payment of $2,710.00 = 6.45% far off from your calculation of .09387%. In regard to how US Business Funding would have made commission on the deal, the buy rate was 4.75% and the sell rate was 6.45%.

I would also like the leasing world to understand the phone conversations US Business Funding had with Mr. Menkin on 2/20/15 went as follows:

Chris Wilcox: “Mr. Menkin can I please record this conversation since you acted in such a professional manner after our first conversation?”

Kit Menkin: I am not playing these games (dial tone)

I want to make it clear that US Business Funding is disgusted with the manipulation, slander, defamation of character and extortion from Kit Menkin and Leasing News. Kit let’s not go off on different verticals and stick to the reason you contacted US Business Funding, It’s all predicated about returning a deposit you believed we unethically collected from Global Stone DBA Umpqua Stone (Exhibit D). Do not start going off on how our documents read etc.

Also KIT, we highly recommend you not alter any of the content in this email as it is copied to all of our lenders and relevant business associates.

Shame on you Mr. Menkin.  See you in court.

My Best,
Peter Ribeiro


Reply From William Willis, Umpqua Stone:

“All of the invoices were not in when we started the process. They said
they would... "Just make an adjustment" I told them we could pay the
difference if necessary.
“Kit, I am 75 years old and have dealt with a lot of banks in my life time, and have never had a problem of any kind. We have paid off a half million in the last 5 years.
“I have no record of the following...  The invoice was dated July 30th 2013 (Exhibit B) in the amount of $138,680.00. Based on this invoice, we offered a 60 month term with a payment of $2,710.00....  I have no record of this offer, but it sounds like the amount with one more invoice to follow from our vendor.
“Please see the following... Another 13 complaints

 “The BBB of Santa Ana has 13 complaints Still an A+ rating. 

“Attached is one of the emails from Peter Ribeiro threatening my business and personal credit:

"We will place you in default and it will affect your business
and personal credit...let me know which direct you want to move in."

(Note: The so-called EFA was never consummated nor did Mr. Willis personally guarantee the so-called EFA. Editor)

(1) US Business Funding, Newport Beach, California
Bulletin Board Complaint $5,915 Deposit Made in 2013
by Christopher Menkin

U.S. Business Funding Attorneys to Sue Leasing News
by Christopher Menkin, Editor/Publisher

(2) EFA Definitions by Barry Marks, Esq.

(3) Copy of Memo granting $150,000—
         Also Ref. Collecting Invoices

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D


  1. US Business Funding Threat


 (Leasing News provides this ad “gratis” as a means
to help support the growth of Lease Police)



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

Confidence Increases Again in March
Reports Equipment Leasing and Finance Industry

Washington, DC,  –- The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) releases the March 2015 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI) today. Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $903 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 72.1, the highest level in four years, and an increase from the February index of 66.3. 

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent Harry Kaplun, President, Frost Equipment Leasing and Finance, said, “Equipment financing demand is continuing although there are increasing clouds of uncertainty.  In particular the full impact of lower oil prices has not been seen.  This favorable event for consumers has a mixed impact commercially.”

March 2015 MCI-EFI Survey Comments from
 Industry Executive Leadership:

Independent, Middle Ticket

William Besgen, President & COO
Hitachi Capital America Corp.

“Our truck financing business continues to exceed budgeted expectations with monthly credit applications the highest in our 14 years of offering financing in this market. Our vendor truck manufacturers continue to be optimistic as well.”

Bank, Small Ticket

Kenneth Collins, CEO
Susquehanna Commercial Finance, Inc.

“Housing in certain parts of the South is booming.  Rentals are up as well. The overall economy appears to be improving, but overregulation remains a concern.”

Bank, Middle Ticket

Thomas Jaschik, President
BB&T Equipment Finance

“Economists will be playing catch-up for the balance of 2015 in order to achieve their consensus 3 percent growth in GDP.  If we get there it will be a very good year for the equipment finance industry.  So far, we are lagging behind.”

March 2015 Survey Results:

The overall MCI-EFI is 72.1, an increase
 from the February index of 66.3.

When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 50% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up from 30.3% in February.  50% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, down from 63.6% in February.  None believe business conditions will worsen, down from 6.1% who believed so the previous month.

    • 41.7% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, down from 42.4% in February.  58.3% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 51.5% the previous month.  None believe demand will decline, down from 6.1% in February
    • 25% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 27.3% in February.  75% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, up from 72.7% in February.  None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from the previous month.
    • When asked, 70.8% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, an increase from 39.4% in February.  25% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, down from 57.6% last month.  4.2% expect to hire fewer employees, up from 3% who expected fewer in February.
    • 12.5% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” up from 6.1% last month.  87.5% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down from 90.9% in February.  None rate it as “poor,” down from 3% the previous month.
    • 45.8% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, relatively unchanged from 45.5% who believed so in February.  54.2% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, unchanged from February.  None believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, also unchanged from last month.
    • In March, 58.3% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 48.5% in February.  41.7% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, a decrease from 51.5% last month.  None believe there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.

About the Foundation
The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides vision for the equipment leasing and finance industry through future-focused information and research. Funded through charitable individual and corporate donations, the Foundation is the only organization dedicated to future-oriented, in-depth, independent research for the leasing industry.  Visit the Foundation online at

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Classified ads

Signing Service: New Jersey
Mobile NJ Lease Signing Service
We are New Jersey mobile lease signers and Notaries.We bring lease to clients, expedite signing and return docs. Same day. 
Jim Lissemore, Pres
Site Inspection: Placentia, CA 
On site verifications, document signing or collections. Quick, accurate and professional. Reports with photographs e-mailed direct. Agents throughout US. Contact for coverage and rates. 

Site Inspection: 
US & Canada 
Quiktrak performs equipment inspections within 24 hours of your job placement anywhere in the US. Order, check status & receive reports & photos online.

Site Inspection: National Property Tax Compliance Services to the leasing industry. Over 60-years experience and fifty Lessors as clients. References and free quotes available, (216) 658-5618,

Inspection: Tampa /St. Pete, FL 
Contact Dick Mitchell @ Randolph Lynn Associates for prompt professional pre-funding equipment inspections, collateral "visits", and related lessee/vendor contacts. (Florida locations) 727-302-9144
Site Inspection plus: Greater Baltimore area
C. and A. Courier Services™, TA / Andreas Klepp-Egge Jr., Baltimore MD  21229.Field Appraisal  Inspection Service, 410-746-6355,
Site Inspection: US & Canada
Funding Inspection Services perform equipment inspections within 24 hours of your job placement anywhere in the US. Order, check status & receive reports & photos online.
Asset Inspections/Lender Services:Serving Michigan, N.Ohio, N.Indiana – Lender services including asset inspection, business/vendor verification, collections, and lease/loan signings.  25 years experience leasing/financial.

Appraisals/Inspections – Construction & Mining Heavy Equipment, Transport, Agriculture and Manufacturing. We provide Certified Appraisal Reports, (USPAP Compliant), Inventory Inspections, Collateral Valuation, VIN and Serial Number Verification with Detailed Photos, Lessee and Vendor Site Inspections including Customized Inspections. In a Hurry? Try our Kwik-Kwote 


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News Briefs----

U.S. farmers turn to equipment leases to cope with profit slump

State transport chief delays Amtrak cars purchase

Bank Reports by State

Domino's Now Accepts Orders via Smartwatch

IBM Study Shows Mobile App Developers Neglecting Security

Tag Heuer to team with Google, Intel for smartwatch




--You May Have Missed It

Apple Opens Up to Praise New Book on Steve Jobs,
 and Criticize an Old One


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

Eight Healthy Ways to Start the Day


Spring Poem

Spring is Here

Winter is gone, just look around and see;
The snow is turning into slush,

Joining the singing river going down to the sea,
And over all there is a mysterious hush.
The soft warm winds are whispering,
"The bride in all her finery will soon be here!"
The bride (we call her Spring) — she's frolicking
Over the landscape, without fear.

She laughs at the trees' bare limbs
Till they tremble and call forth their leaves
To make a dress so green and trim,
Then joyfully they sway with the breeze.

The flowers sleeping beneath the ground
Awake and send up their blossoms to hear,
Then coquettishly join with the singing birds all around,
Acclaiming, "Spring is here, Spring is here!"

Bee Samann
“Easy Reading Poems”
Vantage Press, NYC



Sports Briefs----

Borland repaying 49ers part of bonus

NFL Trade Rumors: Adrian Peterson Leaving Minnesota Vikings
  for Arizona Cardinals?

Kroenke designs 2-team L.A. stadium

San Diego City readies for stadium negotiations

Lowell Cohn: Raiders’ improvement an inside job


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California Nuts Briefs---

How Much Income Do You Need to Afford a Home in SF Peninsula or Silicon Valley?

Drought alters the face of Tahoe tourism

dog tech conference, no dogs attend

Jerry Brown: Opposition on climate change
   ‘borders on the immoral’


“Gimme that Wine”

Selling Subtlety to American Wine Drinkers

Reaction to lawmakers’ plans to quickly spend $1 Billion on drought

Napa Valley Vintners Announces 2015 Wine List Award Winner

No Brakes on the Rise of Cakebread

How to Pack Wine in Your Luggage

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in American History

       1775 - With the House undecided on whether to mobilize for military action against the encroaching British military force, Patrick Henry argued in favor of mobilization and ended his speech at St. Johns Church, Richmond, Virginia with words that have since become immortalized:  "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” He was addressing the Second Virginia convention and delivered his immortal speech against arbitrary British rule, responding to pleas from Massachusetts that the colonies create committees of correspondence to coordinate their activities related to the British.  Henry took the lead in Virginia.  Ironically, history has made this the best known, but from a contemporary journal, his most famous remark at the time, the one most repeated, occurred when he uttered:  “Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the first his Cromwell; and George the Third may profit by their example.”   He was then interrupted and accused of treason, whereupon he responded, “If this is treason, make the most of it.” The speech caused a sensation, being bolder than any speech given that year.
    1806 - After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Lewis and Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” begin their journey home.
    1810 - In France, Napoleon Bonaparte signs the Rambouillet Decree which mandates the seizure, confiscation and sale of any US ship in French ports. The Decree is published 14 May and is to be retroactive to 20 May 1809.
    1839 - “O.K.” first appeared in print. “The Boston Morning Post” printed the first known “ok”. It derived from a misspelling of “all correct” as “oll korrect.” Etymologist Allen Read doggedly tracked down the word’s origin in the 1960’s. “O.K” is now used in most languages.
    1842 - Congressman Joshua R. Giddings of Ohio is censured by the House of Representatives for introducing resolutions opposing slavery and the coastal slave trade.  The "Gag Rule," first adopted by a South-dominated Congress in 1836, and renewed at the beginning of each session thereafter, pledges every member not to mention the slavery issue on the floor of the House.
    1857 - Fannie Farmer was born in Boston.  Fannie published her best-known work, “The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book”, in 1896. The book's publisher, Little, Brown & Company, did not predict good sales and limited the first edition to 3,000 copies, published at the author's expense. The book was so popular in America, so thorough, and so comprehensive that cooks would refer to later editions simply as the "Fannie Farmer cookbook", and it is still available in print over 100 years later. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook standardizes measurements in cooking.
    1857 - Elisha Otis’ first elevator was installed at 488 Broadway, NYC.
    1858 - Eleazer A. Gardner of Philadelphia obtained a patent on an “improvement in tracks for city railways.” The cable was housed in an underground tunnel with a series of pulleys inside. It was not until 1873 that the cable car began operation on the Clay Street Hill in San Francisco. It was the first cable car put into service anywhere in the world, on an improvement and new patent by Andrew Smith Hallidie for an “endless-wire rope way.”
    1862 - As General George McClellan began the Peninsular campaign to move on the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson engaged a larger force of Union troops at Kernstown in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Although he ultimately was forced to retreat, the Battle of Kernstown provided a diversion central to the South’s military strategy. Fearing an attack on Washington, DC, northern troops were kept around Washington as part of its defense, leaving fewer troops available for the Peninsular campaign.
    1864 - George J. Dyke, the co-founder of Vancouver's first music school, was born in St. Blazey, England. In the 1890's, Dyke helped found a violin academy, which was a forerunner of the Vancouver Conservatory. Dyke died in Victoria in 1940. 
    1867 - The Second Reconstruction Act was passed over President Johnson’s veto. It provided for the registration of all qualified voters, who were subsequently to decide on readmittance to the Union.
    1868 - University of California was founded in Oakland.  In 1849, the state of California ratified its first constitution, which contained the express objective of creating a complete educational system including a state university.  The Organic Act, establishing the University of California, was signed into law by Governor Henry Haight that merged the College of California in Oakland with the Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College.  The current Berkeley campus opened in 1873 after Toland Medical College in San Francisco had agreed to become the University's "Medical Department"; it later evolved into UCSF. As of spring 2015, the University of California has 10 campuses, a combined student body of 238,700 students, 19,700 faculty members, 135,900 staff members and over 1.6 million living alumni.
    1872 - "Emperor" Joshua A. Norton is often credited with the idea of bridging the bay between San Francisco and Oakland. His most famous decree­ was on March 23, 1872 ­which ordered construction of a bridge between Oakland Point and Goat Island, was apparently based upon concepts outlined in several newspaper articles during the early 1870s. Charles Crocker of the Central Pacific Railroad had earlier proposed a railroad bridge from Oakland to San Francisco via Goat Island.
    1877 - Mormon zealot John Doyle Lee was executed by a firing squad for masterminding the Mountain Meadows Massacre. In 1857, a wagon train of 127 Arkansas Methodist emigrants, bound for California, were killed by a party of Mormon settlers and Paiute Indians at Mountain Meadows near Cedar City, Utah.
    1889 - President Harrison opens Oklahoma for colonization, creating the great Oklahoma land rush, which was fully out of control as
there was no local authority or representative of the federal government in charge. The date set was for April 22 and for white settlers only.
    1903 – The Wright Brothers obtained a patent on the airplane.
    1904 - Birthday of actress Joan Crawford, born Lucille Fay LaSueur at San Antonio, TX. Crawford became a Hollywood star with her performance in “Our Chancing Daughters”. She won an Oscar in 1945 for her role in “Mildred Pierce”.  Events of Crawford’s life are chronicled in “Mommie Dearest”. Other films included “The Women”, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” and “Twelve Miles Out”.  I am confused about the actual dates, but I believe it was in 1947, my father Lawrence Menkin was brought to Hollywood to work on the "Possessed" movie. He had a number of photographs of Joan Crawford and he (she also looked a lot like my mother.) He never said anything about her that I can remember, but he hated the Hollywood scene, the doctoring of the script, and after finishing whatever he was brought in for, was offered another film to work on.  Instead, he wanted to go back to New York where he was much better known, and had an offer from Dr. Dumont to work on television shows with James Caddigan for the new Dumont television channel, which he said was more exciting. He was born and raised in New York City. I can tell you he did not learn to drive until the early 1950's, so being in California without an ability to drive would certainly also be a deterrent, plus his family stayed in New York while he was working in Hollywood. By the way, Joan Crawford was nominated for an Oscar, but lost it to Loretta Young for "The Farmer's Daughter." She died at New York, NY, May 10, 1977.
    1907 - San Francisco Mayor Eugene Schmitz reportedly is considering resigning as chief executive of the city on the condition that he is granted immunity from further prosecution and indictment by the grand jury. Schmitz is being kept in his house at Pierce and Vallejo streets and is constantly watched by details or detectives. 
     1908 - American diplomat Durham Stevens is attacked by two Korean assassins leading to his death in a hospital two days later.
    1910 – The first motor speedway in the US opened with the first race at Los Angeles Motordrome.
 1911 - National Urban League was founded as a nonpartisan civil rights organization based in NYC that advocates on behalf of African-Americans and against racial discrimination. It is the oldest and largest community-based organization of its kind in the nation.
    1912 - Residents of Kansas City, Missouri began to dig out from a storm that dumped 25 inches for snow in 24 hours. This snowfall total was nearly twice that of any other storm of modern record in Kansas City before or since that time. A record 40 inches of snow fell during the month of March that year and the total of 67 inches for the winter season was also a record. Olathe, Kansas received 37 inches of snow in the storm establishing a single storm record for the state.
    1912 – German physicist Wernher von Braun was born in then Prussia.  He was one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Germany and the United States and is considered one of the "fathers of rocket science". He was also a member of the Nazi party and the SS, and was suspected of perpetrating war crimes during World War II.  Braun was responsible for the design and realization of the V-2 during the war. After the war, he and selected members of his rocket team were taken to the United States as part of the secret Operation Paperclip. Braun worked on the Army’s IRBM program before his group was assimilated by NASA. Under NASA, he served as director of the newly formed Marshall Space Flight Center and as the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the super booster that propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon. According to one NASA source, he is "without doubt, the greatest rocket scientist in history". In 1975 he received the National Medal of Science.  He died in 1977.
    1912 – Dixie Cup was introduced as the brand name for a line of disposable paper cups that were first developed in the United States in 1907 by Lawrence Luellen, a Boston lawyer who was concerned about germs being spread by people sharing glasses or dippers at public supplies of drinking water. Luellen developed an ice-cooled water-vending machine with disposable cups and, with another Bostonian, Hugh Moore, embarked on an ad campaign to educate the public and to market his machine, principally to railroad companies. A Professor Davison's study was instrumental in abolishing the public glass and opening the door for the paper cup. Soon, the devices, which would dispense cool water for a cent, became standard equipment on trains.
    1913 - A vicious tornado hit the city of Omaha, NE. The tornado struck during the late afternoon on Easter Sunday, and in just twelve minutes cut a swath of total destruction five miles long and two blocks wide across the city killing 94 persons and causing 3.5 million dollars property damage.
    1917 - Pianist Johnny Guarnieri’s birthday in NYC.  He is perhaps best known for his big band stints with Benny Goodman in 1939 and with Artie Shaw in 1940. Guarnieri is also noted for his embellishment and juxtaposition of jazz with classical piano, such as Scarlatti and Beethoven.  He died in 1985.
    1918 – President Obama’s maternal grandfather, Stanley A. Dunham was born in Kansas.
    1919 – Benito Mussolini formed the Fascist movement in Milan, Italy.
    1923 - Frank Silver and Irving Conn release "Yes, We Have No Bananas".
    1926 - Birthday of Martha Wright, singer who sang one part 1,080 times for the longest run ever recorded on the Broadway stage, but few remember her name because she succeeded Mary Martin as Nellie Forbisch in South Pacific.
    1929 – The first man to break the four-minute mile, Roger Bannister, was born in England.  He achieved it on May 6, 1954 at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, in 3 min 59.4 sec.  Bannister's record lasted 46 days. More notable was that he had reached this record with so little training, while practicing as a junior doctor.
    1929 – The first telephone was installed in the White House.
    1932 - Birthday of guitarist/harmonica player Louisiana Red, born Iverson Minter in Bessemer, AL.  He was a blues guitarist, harmonica player, and singer, who recorded more than 50 albums. He was best known for his song “Sweet Blood Call”.  He died in Germany in 2012.
    1933 - The Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933, making Hitler dictator.
    1937 – Craig Breedlove was born.  He was a professional race car driver and a five-time world land speed record-holder. He was the first person in history to reach 500 mph (800 km/h), and 600 mph (970 km/h), using several turbojet-powered vehicles, all named “Spirit of America”.
    1938 - Birthday of vibes player Dave Pike in Detroit.  He is a jazz vibraphone and marimba player. He appears on many Herbie Mann albums.
    1944 - Woody Herman waxes homogenized protest “Milkman Keep Those Bottles Quiet.”  On this day in 1987 he makes his last appearance with the Herd, Grand Meadow, Minnesota.
    1945 - CARTER, EDWARD A., JR., Medal of Honor
Rank: Staff Sergeant. Citation: For extraordinary heroism in action on 23 March 1945, near Speyer, Germany
. When the tank on which he was riding received heavy bazooka and small arms fire, Sergeant Carter voluntarily attempted to lead a three-man group across an open field. Within a short time, two of his men were killed and the third seriously wounded. Continuing on alone, he was wounded five times and finally forced to take cover. As eight enemy riflemen attempted to capture him, Sergeant Carter killed six of them and captured the remaining two. He then crossed the field using as a shield his two prisoners from which he obtained valuable information concerning the disposition of enemy troops. Staff Sergeant Carter's extraordinary heroism was an inspiration to the officers and men of the Seventh Army Infantry Company Number 1 (Provisional) and exemplifies the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.
    1946 – Top Hits
“Oh, What It Seemed to Be” - The Frankie Carle Orchestra (vocal: Marjorie Hughes)
“Personality” - Johnny Mercer
“Day by Day” - Frank Sinatra
“Guitar Polka” - Al Dexter
    1950 - “Beat the Clock” premiered on television. On this game show from the team of Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, couples performed stunts within a specified time period (usually under 60 seconds) with the winners being given a chance to try a special stunt to win a great prize. Special stunts were very difficult, and the same one was attempted every week until a couple got it right. In 1952, James Dean got his first TV job testing stunts and warming up the audience. Bud Collier was the host, assisted by Roxanne (real name Dolores Rosedale). A 1969 syndicated version hosted by Jack Narz and then by Gene Wood had celebrities to help the contestants. A 1979 revival was hosted by Monty Hall.
    1952 - Bill Mosienko of the Chicago Blackhawks set an NHL record by scoring three goals in 21 seconds in a game against the New York Rangers. Mosienko scored at 6:09, 6:30 and 6:30 of the third period against goalie Lorne Anderson. Chicago Won 7-6.
    1954 - Top Hits
“Make Love to Me!” - Jo Stafford
“Cross Over the Bridge” - Patti Page
“Wanted” - Perry Como
“Slowly” - Webb Pierce
    1954 – UConn women’s basketball coach, Luigi “Geno” Auriemma was born in Italy.  He has led UConn to nine NCAA national championships, and has won six national Naismith College Coach of the Year Awards. Auriemma was also the head coach of the US Women’s national basketball team from 2009 to 2014, during which time his teams won the 2010 and 2014 World Championships, and the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.  Although he is still UConn’s head coach, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
    1954 – Fashion mogul Kenneth Cole was born in Brooklyn.
    1955 – Moses Malone was born in Petersburg, VA.  A three-time NBA MVP and one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players, Malone was the most successful prep-to-pro player of his era, going straight from Petersburg High to a 21-year career in professional basketball. By the time Malone retired after 19 seasons in the NBA, he was the last former ABA player active and held numerous distinctions in both leagues, including a championship ring and the NBA Finals MVP trophy won with the 1983 76ers.  Malone was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 2001.
    1955 – Elvis Presley auditions for TV’s Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, where he plays “Good Rockin’ Tonight”. His performance is weak and the show’s producers turn him down.
    1955 – The Blackboard Jungle” premiered in US theaters. While it is a solid and even daring drama, it's remembered mainly for prominently featuring Bill Haley and His Comets' "Rock Around The Clock." The single, which had been released a full year earlier to little fanfare, rockets back into the charts and straight to #1, kicking off the rock and roll era in earnest.
    1956 – Pakistan became the first Islamic republic in the world.
    1956 - At a Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers concert in Hartford, CT, eleven audience members were arrested for allegedly inciting a riot.
    1957 – Elvis released “All Shook Up.”
    1958 – A teenage quartet from Hollywood, California, who called themselves The Four Preps, saw their first big hit, “Twenty-Six Miles (Santa Catalina)” peak at #2 on the Hot 100. They would go on to place six more songs in the Top 40 over the next four years, including “Big Man” (#3) and “Down by the Station” (#13). Bruce Belland, Ed Cobb, Glen Larson, and Marv Ingram were the originals.  Belland still performs as lead singer with the current incarnation of the group.  Larson, who died in 2014, went onto become a prolific television producer for such series as “Battlestar Gallactica”, “Quincy, M.E.”, “Magnum, P.I.”, and “Knight Rider”.   Cobb and Ingram both died in 1999.    
    1959 – The Skyliners, a five member group from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, entered the Billboard Pop chart for the first time with the now classic doo-wop hit, “Since I Don’t Have You”. The song will be their biggest success, reaching #12. Joe Rock would later say that he was upset about a girl who had just left him and wrote most of the lyrics while sitting in his car between stoplights.
    1959 – Bobby Darin released “That’s All”.
    1962 – Top Hits
“Hey! Baby” – Bruce Channel
“Midnight in Moscow” – Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen
“Don’t Break the Heart that Loves You” – Connie Francis
“That’s My Pa” – Sheb Wooley
    1963 – The Beatles’ first LP, “Please, Please Me,” was released in Britain. The album included the title song, which had topped the British chart a month earlier. The LP, with the exception of the title song, was recorded in one 13-hour session on February 11th. Other hits included in the Beatles’ first album included “Love Me Do,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Do You Want To Know a Secret?” and “Twist and Shout.”
    1963 – The Beach Boys release “Surfin U.S.A.”
    1963 – Ruby and The Romantics’ “Our Day Will Come” hit #1.
    1964 – IBM vastly underestimates System/360 demand. IBM told reporters that the company expected to install 5000 units of its new computer line, System/360, in the next five years. The company vastly overshot its goals, installing 25,000 by 1969. During the first two years of the new product line’s production, the company could fill only about half of the nine thousand orders it received. The System/360 line was the first series of compatible computers.  Previous computers were custom-built for each customer and required individual programming. The product line, which cost $5 billion to develop, fostered IBM’s dominant position in the computer industry.
    1964 – Elvis Presley received his final discharge from the US Army Reserve. He had left active duty in February, 1960. 
    1965 – Astronaut John Young became the first person to eat a corned beef sandwich in space. Young snuck the sandwich on board to supplement his meals of dehydrated foods, including powdered fruit juice.
    1969 - In response to the Doors' infamous recent concert there, at which lead singer Jim Morrison allegedly exposed himself, a "Rally For Decency" is held in Miami featuring Jackie Gleason, The Lettermen, Kate Smith, and Anita Bryant and promising that the crowd of 30,000 will contain no "longhairs and weird dressers."
    1970 – Top Hits
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon & Garfunkel
“The Rapper” – The Jaggerz
“Give Me Just a Little More Time” – Chairmen of the Board
“The Fightin’ Side of Me” – Merle Haggard
    1970 - Phil Spector took the tapes for the aborted Beatles project "Get Back" into Abbey Road Studios to begin reshaping them into the album that would eventually be called Let It Be”. Meanwhile, in the next room over, Paul McCartney worked on his first solo album.
    1971 – FITZMAURICE, MICHAEL JOHN, Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Troop D, 2d Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division. Place and date: Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam, 23 March 1971. Entered service at: Jamestown, N. Dak. Born: 9 March 1950, Jamestown, N. Dak . Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Fitzmaurice, 3d Platoon, Troop D, distinguished himself at Khe Sanh. Sp4c. Fitzmaurice and 3 fellow soldiers were occupying a bunker when a company of North Vietnamese sappers infiltrated the area. At the onset of the attack Sp4c. Fitzmaurice observed 3 explosive charges which had been thrown into the bunker by the enemy. Realizing the imminent danger to his comrades, and with complete disregard for his personal safety, he hurled 2 of the charges out of the bunker. He then threw his flak vest and himself over the remaining charge. By this courageous act he absorbed the blast and shielded his fellow-soldiers. Although suffering from serious multiple wounds and partial loss of sight, he charged out of the bunker, and engaged the enemy until his rifle was damaged by the blast of an enemy hand grenade. While in search of another weapon, Sp4c. Fitzmaurice encountered and overcame an enemy sapper in hand-to-hand combat. Having obtained another weapon, he returned to his original fighting position and inflicted additional casualties on the attacking enemy. Although seriously wounded, Sp4c. Fitzmaurice refused to be medically evacuated, preferring to remain at his post. Sp4c. Fitzmaurice’s extraordinary heroism in action at the risk of his life contributed significantly to the successful defense of the position and resulted in saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers. These acts of heroism go above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect great credit on Sp4c. Fitzmaurice and the U.S. Army. 
    1973 – “Concentration”, the longest-running game show in television, starring Hugh Downs, came to an end after 15 years on NBC. A syndicated version without Downs aired, but did not last long. 
    1973 – Jason Kidd, former basketball player and current coach of the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA, was born San Francisco, CA.
    1973 – “Derek and the Dominos in Concert,” the two record set released well over a year after the short-lived group’s break-up, goes gold.
    1973 – Paul McCartney and Wings released “My Love”.
    1974 – Cher hit the top of the music charts when “Dark Lady” reached the #1 for a one-week stay. Other artists sharing the spotlight during that time included: Terry Jacks, John Denver, Blue Swede, Elton John and MFSB.
    1975 – San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium is the site for a Bill Graham-run benefit show called SNACK (Students Need Athletics, Culture and Kicks). The Show features the Tower of Power, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Starship, Joan Baez, Graham Central Station, Neil Young and special guest Bob Dylan. It’s to raise money for the San Francisco school system which recently canceled most sports and after-hour activities because of a $3-million budget deficit. Almost $200,000 is raised, but it’s really not needed because the day before the event, an announcement is made that through a financial adjustment $2.1 million has been “found.”
    1977 – No. 1 Billboard hit:  “Rich Girl,’’ Daryl Hall & John Oates. Hall and Oates met in 1969 in a service elevator while trying to escape a fight between rival gangs at a record hop in Philadelphia’s Adelphi Ballroom.
    1977 – All 12 of the interviews with President Nixon by David Frost are recorded about Watergate and the Nixon tapes.
    1977 – Elvis began what would become his last tour with a concert at Arizona State University.
    1978 – Top Hits
“Night Fever” – Bee Gees
“Stayin’ Alive” – Bee Gees
“Lay Down Sally” – Eric Clapton
“Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” – Waylon & Willie
    1981 – No. 1 Billboard hit:  “Rapture,’’ Blondie. The song is the first rap song to reach No. 1.
    1983 – Barney Clark died after living almost 112 days with an artificial heart. The heart, made of polyurethane plastic and aluminum, was implanted in Clark at the University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Dec 2, 1982. Clark was the first person ever to receive a permanent artificial heart. Born at Provo, UT, Jan 21, 1921, Clark was 62 when he died.
    1983 – No. 1 Billboard hit:  “Billie Jean,’’ Michael Jackson. The song is the first No. 1 single from “Thriller,’’ the best-selling album of all time.
    1983 – In his “Star Wars” speech, Pres. Ronald Reagan proposes a space-based system, The Strategic Defense Initiative,  to blast incoming missiles out of the sky – just like the 1940 film “Murder in the Air,” whose hero, Secret Service Agent Brass Bancroft (played by Ronald Reagan!), gets involved with the “Inertia Projector,” a death ray that can zap planes.
    1985 – Billy Joel marries Christy Brinkley on a boat moored alongside the Statue of Liberty.  They announced in April 1994 that they had separated.
    1985 – Former Credence Clearwater Revival front man John Fogerty went to #1 on the US album chart with “Centerfield”.  “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today…gotta be centerfield…”
        1986 – Top Hits
“These Dreams” – Heart
“Secret Lovers” – Atlantic Starr
“Rock Me Amadeus” – Falco
“What’s a Memory like You (Doing in a Love like This)” – John Schneider
    1987 – A 3 day snowstorm commenced over the central Plains. It left amounts exceeding one foot in a south to north band from the Texas Panhandle to South Dakota. Blizzard conditions prevailed with winds gusting to 78 mph at Dodge City, Kansas and Altus, Oklahoma. Pampa, Texas was buried under 20 inches of snow, the worst in the area in at least 70 years. 24 inches of snow was recorded at Neligh, Nebraska.
    1987 – “The Bold and the Beautiful” premiered on TV. A continuing daytime serial created by William Bell and Lee Phillip Bell to be “young and hip.” It is set in the fashion industry of Los Angeles with two central families, the Logans and the Forresters. The cast has included, as the Forresters: John McCook, Susan Flannery, Clayton Norcross, Jeff Trachta, Ronn Moss, Teri Ann Linn, Colleen Dion and as the Logans: Robert Pine, Judith Baldwin, Nancy Burnett, Nancy Sloan, Carrie Mitchum (granddaughter of Robert), Ethan Wayne (son of John), Brian Patrick Clarke, Katherine Kelly Lang and Lesley Woods. Other cast members include Jeff Conaway, Tippi Hedren and Hunter Tylo.
    1989 – After 33 years, 59 year-old Dick Clark retired from hosting the television program, “American Bandstand.”  The show began in Philadelphia in 1952 on WFIL-TV as “Bandstand”.  After Clark took over as host in 1956, “Bandstand” was picked up by the ABC television network, renamed “American Bandstand”, and debuted nationally on August 5, 1957, a date on which we all ran home to watch the first show at 3 pm.  The show took off, due to Clark's natural rapport with the live teenage audience and dancing participants as well as the non-threatening image he projected to television audiences. As a result, many parents were introduced to rock and roll music. According to Hollywood producer Michael Uslan, "he was able to use his unparalleled communication skills to present rock ‘n’ roll in a way that was palatable to parents."  This was at a time when this music was opposed by many parents, religious leaders and educators as demonic and suggestive.  Many music historians credit Clark and American Bandstand with the impetus that made rock ‘n’ roll the extremely popular genre it became.  It certainly launched and propelled the careers of many artists.
    1990 – An upper level storm system produced heavy snow in the Lower Missouri Valley. Snowfall totals ranged up to nine inches at Kansas City, MO, with eight inches reported at Falls City, NE, Columbia, MO and Saint Louis, MO. Thunderstorms produced heavy snow in the Kansas City area during the evening rush hour.
    1991 – Elton John joins George Michael onstage at London’s Wembley Arena for a duet on the 1974 hit “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”. The ‘live’ version will be released as a single and top the charts on both sides of the Atlantic next December. Michael will donate $500,000 from the royalties to various charities.
    1991 – WLAF Makes its Debut: The World League of American Football, part of a marketing attempt by the National Football League to extend the game’s popularity in Europe, made its début as the London Monarchs defeated the Frankfurt Galaxy 24-11.
    1993 – During a surprise concert at The Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen ripped off his shirt and offered a version of Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart.” Springsteen told his audience that it was a “damn good” tune. The surprise show, which benefited the theatre and a food bank, was a warm-up for a European tour.
        1998 – The movie, “Titanic”, won a record-tying 11 Oscars at the 70th Annual Academy Awards (tying the number of awards won by “Ben-Hur” in 1959). Comedian/actor Billy Crystal kept the crowd at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, and the millions watching on TV, in stitches as “Titanic” (James Cameron, Jon Landau, producers) won Best Picture; Best Director (James Cameron); Best Cinematography (Russell Carpenter); Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Peter Lamont [art director], Michael Ford [set decorator]); Best Costume Design (Deborah Lynn Scott); Best Sound (Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, Gary Summers, Mark Ulano); Best Film Editing (Conrad Buff IV, James Cameron, Richard A. Harris); Best Effects/Sound Effects Editing (Tom Bellfort, Christopher Boyes); Best Effects/Visual Effects (Robert Legato, Mark A. Lasoff, Thomas L. Fisher, Michael Kanfer); Best Music/Original Dramatic Score (James Horner); and Best Music/Song (James Horner [music] and Will Jennings [lyrics] for “My Heart Will Go On”, performed by Céline Dion). Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt took top acting honors as the misanthropic writer and the waitress who softens his heart in “As Good as it Gets”. The Best Supporting Actor Oscar went to Robin Williams for “Good Will Hunting” and Best Supporting Actress was Kim Basinger for her “L.A. Confidential” part (Lynn Bracken: “Merry Christmas to you, officer.”)
    1998 - The National Football League awarded an expansion franchise to the City of Cleveland. The team, to be called the Browns, as was Cleveland’s former team that relocated to Baltimore as the Ravens when the city of Cleveland failed to approve a bond referendum to build a new stadium to replace the aging “mistake by the lake”, Cleveland Municipal Stadium.  Ironically, Baltimore has suffered the same fate in 1983 when new owner Robert Irsay, moved the Colts to Indianapolis in the dead of night.
    2004 - An album Paul Simon recorded in 1965 that never saw the light of day in America gets its first official release there. "The Paul Simon Songbook," previously only available as an import and long out-of-print even in that form, is released via Columbia/Legacy. The original 12-track album was recorded in the wake of the lukewarm response afforded Simon & Garfunkel's 1964 debut, "Wednesday Morning 3 A.M."
    2005 - During a test on a distillation tower in Texas City, TX, liquid waste builds up and flows out of a blowout tower. Waste fumes ignite and explode killing 15 workers.
    2007 - A trailer is thrown through a bowling alley as a tornado moves through Clovis, NM. About 100 homes and businesses are destroyed, at least three schools are damaged and telephone poles are snapped. Thirteen tornadoes struck a dozen communities along the New Mexico/Texas border. Two people were critically injured.
    2009 - A FedEx plane flying from China crashes at Tokyo Narita International Airport, killing both the captain and the co-pilot.
    2011 - A series of tornados are spawned from severe thunderstorms in Pennsylvania. In Hempfield Township dozens of homes and a high school auditorium where students are rehearsing a play are severely damaged.
    2014 - Kentucky beat undefeated Wichita State in the NCAA basketball tournament, ending Wichita's historic 35-0 record.  Ironically Kentucky enters this year’s tournament with a 34-0 record seeking to become the first undefeated NCAA national champion since Indiana University in 1976.


NCAA Basketball Champions This Date
    1948 - Kentucky
    1957 - North Carolina
    1963 - Loyola (L.)
    1968 - UCLA



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