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Equip. Leasing Sales Rep: Strong sales and bus. dev. skills needed. Dev/manage portfolio, initiate bus. in upper Midwest . 3-4 yr  leasing exp.
or e-mail:

About the Company: Associated Banc-Corp is a diversified multibank holding company with $15.5 billion in total assets. Headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin .  Associated has more than 200 banking locations across Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.








Classified Ads--- Sr. Credit Officer/Sr. Management

    Economic Events This Week

        Reader’s Survey Results

            Cartoon---Man’s Best Friend

        "Lessors …The Vendor Leasing Marketplace"

    Classified Ads---Help Wanted

News Briefs---

    "Gimme that Wine”

        This Day in American History

            Baseball Poem





Classified Ads--- Senior Credit Officer/Senior Management


Senior Credit Officer experienced in middle- market leasing; structured, vendor and 3rd party to the fortune 1000. Proactive team builder, originations capable with strong work ethic. Email:


Senior Management: Baltimore, MD

25 year veteran of commercial and equipment leasing seeking a senior management position with leasing or asset based financing company in the southeast (Florida preferred) Email:



Senior Management: Denver, CO. Fortune 500 GM/SVP wants to team up with aggressive lender looking for Western expansion mid-market equip. finance/leasing. 20+ years experience within Rocky Mountain/ Southwest and Ca markets. Email:


Senior management: Hope, NJ.

25 years in optimizing call center operations, collections, billing, and back end revenue generation. Experienced in $7 + billion dollar portfolios. Verifiable achievements.



Senior Management: Irvine, CA.

Credit executive, portfolio manager and syndication facilitator. Extensive business building experience in small and mid-ticket operations. Highly innovative. Fortune 100 audit and technology skills. Bottom-line manager.Email:


Senior Management: Long Island, NY

Degree Banking/Finance. 13 years leasing exp. Now prez young leasing company where promises were not met. Interested in joining established firm with future.



Senior Management: New York, NY, NJ, Ct Tri-State

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Senior Management: Portfolio Management Consultant; 25+years experience in Collections, Customer Satisfaction, Asset Management, Recoveries, Continuous Process Improvement, Back end Revenue Generation, Cost per Collection Analysis. $5+Billion Portfolio expertise. Email:


Senior Management: San Francisco, CA., 25 years experience w/global leasing company, sales,marketing,business dev., P&L responsibility, asset mgmt, brokering and re- marketing. Interested in joining an est. firm with a future.


Senior Management: Somerville, NJ.

28 year veteran in Construction Equipment/ Transportation.

Full P&L responsibility, profit driven, team builder, sales manager, strong portfolio management skills. Will consider relocation.




   Full listing of all classified ads at:






 Economic Events This Week



   May 3


 Construction Spending March


   May 4


 Factory Orders: March


  May 6


 U.S. Productivity: 1st Quarter

 Sales of Leading Retailers: April

 Weekly Jobless Claims


  May 7


 Unemployment: April

 Consumer Borrowing: March





Reader’s Survey Results


                                by Christopher Menkin


                             "No” -- 292       "Yes” ---297


First, the money was NOT returned.


 As stated, we were asked "IF” a "settlement” was made, it might include removing the complaint from the Leasing News Bulletin Board.


It was an "if.”  In the course of the many conversations, we came to the conclusion that it would not be removed  from the archives, but since this would be a "precedent” or "policy decision,” the Leasing News advisors suggested we take a poll from our readers.


Actually, as we noted, it fit several recommendations made by our advisor Leasing News Advisor Edward Castagna, Nassau Asset Management.

Back to number one: not the full dollar amount, but a "settlement” was offered.


In reality, the dispute is now in the legal process with a second court date, an appeal. This party has had other complaints, which all were "settled.”


Two, they never said they would return any money, but if they did, would we remove the complaint? They stated carefully with an attorney involved, it may be one of the conditions of the "settlement,” and they were not admitting any "guilt.”


We did speak with the attorney from the company who made the complaint.


We also did NOT represent all the facts, but an abbreviated version, as stated. As many readers noted, they would have liked more of the facts, circumstances, background, to make a better decision on how they would vote.


Our goal was not to "judge,” or even ask readers to decide who was "right” or who was "wrong” on this specific bulletin board complaint.  No actual facts were presented. This was done on purpose, and also was a REQUIREMENT of all the parties involved.


Our sole goal was to obtain your viewpoint on the bulletin board process, plus opinion on the  precedent of removing a complaint once posted on the bulletin board. The survey was a "success.”  We thank everyone who responded.  All comments were read, too.



From the knowledge gained, Leasing News will remove a complaint from the Bulletin Board if the money is returned to the person making the complaint by cashier’s check and the concurrence of the person who made the original complaint. There may be circumstances when we might not follow this procedure. It does not include changing any of the archives, meaning newsletters printed and in our archives.


As in our survey at the end of last year, everyone who responded said that if the lease did not go through, they would return the deposit.  It was the right thing to do.


Let me add to those who thought this was about "Keystone Leasing” are incorrect.  It involves another complaint on the bulletin board.


Barry Reitman of Keystone Leasing has never offered to return the "advance rental.”


100% of the survey at the end of last year said he should have.  This is after the, ex-president, incoming president, most of the directors and many ex-directors asked to be removed from the mailing list and said they would never read Leasing News. They obviously did not vote.  They also stated in their e-mails to us Keystone should not

return the "advance rentals.” The then current president indicated the same viewpoint.


That is not a fair hearing of the facts or circumstances, and is one of the indications that ethics involves funders and not brokers at National Association of Equipment Leasing Brokers.  It is one of the reasons I say " Talk the Talk, but not Walk the Walk."


Ironically, the person who made the complaint that is posted on the Bulletin Board regarding Keystone Leasing responded to the survey, voting "yes.”


Here are comments from people who voted "no:”



"If money is kept when it should have been returned, the damage is done and it should be reported as such. No deal-making after that fact changes anything...”


"I assume that as your policy is to attempt a settlement prior to posting the Complaint, that this was the case in the instance here. As you are providing an archive, it would be my suggestion that the Complaint remain, but the word "Resolved" or "Settled" or such be noted next to the company's name. This should be done only after the prospective lessee verifies to you that the money has been returned and funds cleared.”



"It seems that this company/person would not otherwise return the deposit. If they are so well respected than they should return it without having to result to bribery. They should have thought about having the complaint show up before they decided to keep the money.”


"Ethics in this industry have not improved in my 26 years of equipment leasing. We need to do the right thing on every deal from start to finish. Those who stumble should be accountable, always.”


 "It is not so much the amount of money, or that they paid it. it boils down to is the company reputable, ethical and trust worthy. we often see lessees, brokers, etc. pay when they are forced into a corner, but should not reasonable people be able to negotiate or compromise their differences without force, legal action or other threatening means?”


   ( name with held)



  "If this is the first complaint and it is settled promptly, then I would remove the formal complaint from your system. If this is the second problem for this broker/lessor, then I would NOT remove the complaint. I would jump twice as hard on this entity the next time, if it comes up again.


"I get commitment fees on almost all the deals I do. I have only kept three fees in my life (20 years in the leasing business) and the customers did NOT complain. The fee language was fully explained. I only had the right to keep the fee if the deal is approved as stated on the proposal letter and the customer backs out.  When it was time to do the business, they were the ones that backed out. If someone is keeping two fees per year, then it would appear to me that it is their intention to keep fees, rather than earn a living by helping people acquire financing for capital equipment.


 " Rationalizations, such as "I worked really hard on this deal" or the "customer lied to me" are NOT sufficient reasons to disregard your agreed upon "Commitment Fee" paragraph on the signed proposal letter.  A much worse rationalization would be something like "the deal is approved, the documents are all signed, but the lessor won't pay the vendors, so it isn't my fault".  If the lessor (you chose) won't pay the vendors in a timely manner after all the documents are signed and returned, then by definition, the deal is NOT approved.


"AS AN ASIDE: I did hear from one attorney about a commitment fee in the early 90's.  I faxed him the signed proposal letter and a copy of the signed leases and I never heard from the attorney again.”



    David  Murray

    Evergreen Financial, Inc.


"If the pressure from Leasing News was the major contributing factor for the return of the money, then I don't feel the complaint should be removed. What if it happens again and someone doesn't complain? A disclaimer can be put on that the issue was resolved amicably, but it still needs to be noted. I liken it to a credit rating. If someone is 90-120 days past due, but then brings the account current, it still needs to be reported that the account was past due. It allows other financial institutions to make up their own minds about the character of the customer. Not returning down payment monies, goes toward the character of the broker/lessor.”


"If money is kept when it should have been returned, the damage is done and it should be reported as such. No deal-making after that fact changes anything...”


  ( name with held)


"Unless the initial complaint was in error, people need to know that there was a violation, even if it was resolved. But the original item should be amended to indicate that there has been a resolution. It remains true that there WAS the incident. Let's not try to change the historical record.”





    (name with held/government agency)



"If the pressure from Leasing News was the major contributing factor for the return of the money, then I don't feel the complaint should be removed. What if it happens again and someone doesn't complain? A disclaimer can be put on that the issue was resolved amicably, but it still needs to be noted. I liken it to a credit rating. If someone is 90-120 days past due, but then brings the account current, it still needs to be reported that the account was past due. It allows other financial institutions to make up their own minds about the character of the customer. Not returning down payment monies, goes toward the character of the broker/lessor. "


"No, I think you should keep it on there...if ethics were violated once, there is a chance they could be violated twice. I think with the industry in the state it is in, every method of due diligence should be explored. I do however think that each individual should be given a FAIR opportunity to dispute your claim prior to being posted on the complaint board initially. But I’m not sure what method, or who's moral judgment should be considered as an accurate portrayal of good vs. evil intentions.....”




 "If money is kept when it should have been returned, the damage is done and it should be reported as such. No deal-making after that fact changes anything...”

Christopher Simpson

CreditLease, Inc.

877/45LEASE (877-455-3273)





        "You should note the fact that the dispute has been settled but removing it entirely would be a bit inaccurate. History is valuable. If the cops catch a bank robber running down the street they still prosecute him even if he hands over the bag of loot.”


       (name with held)


"Should be removed only if the underlying complaint is found

to be untrue...This should not be like one's driving record -  going to

driving school serves to expunge the  record. "



Ron Bannerman



P:  415.664.4373

F:  415.664.4397

C:  415.987.0660


"I have never kept a deposit check in my life.  It is unfortunate some people in the industry are using that tactic to recognize revenue.  If you look at it from the customers perspective they have no recourse except to go after the Leasing Company legally which does not make sense financially.  No one wants to involve lawyers so what recourse does the customer have?  They go to Leasing News to see if they can help.  Just like people go to 60 Minutes when an injustice is done.  Lets police ourselves!  I think it is a horrible business practice and I hope that no one involved in any of the associations are practicing this technique.   It only hurts the industry as a whole.” 


J. Thomas Williams    

100 First Avenue South, Suite 265

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

(800) 499-2577 x 262

(800) 233-8303 Fax




"No, you shouldn't be able to buy integrity.”




"What don't they just return the funds and forget about removing the comments/facts. If they are honest and know the funds should be returned, then what is the problem. Can't they admit they were wrong and do what is right. I think people should be advised of issues of this manner and the people or companies just have to face the facts. By removing the complaints/facts would be like sweeping it under the carpet. "


"It is not so much the amount of money, or that they paid it. it boils down to is the company reputable, ethical and trust worthy. we often see lessees, brokers, etc. pay when they are forced into a corner, but should not reasonable people be able to negotiate or compromise their differences without force, legal action or other threatening means?”


 (name with held )


"Protect future users. If threats need to be utilized to get them to do the correct action, then users need to be aware of how they typically conduct their business transactions.”


  (name with held )


 " Description of complaint should mention prominently that payment has been made, as well as circumstances and conditions (if any) of such payment. But if it took a public complaint to get that payment, that in itself is worth knowing.”


  (name with held )


"I believe it should stay posted but with an amendment to the posting that the dispute was settled and deposit returned or whatever the outcome simply remove it because it was paid doesn't justify the reason they made it on the complaint board in the first place. Thus setting a precedent, you get on the complaint board, you pay what’s owed, you get off the complaint board? This doesn't make sense, the whole object I would think is NOT TO GET ON THE COMPLAINT BOARD!”


( name with held )






Why I Changed My Viewpoint


These comments from readers changed my mind, and reminded me of the role of both Leasing News, and the Complaint Bulletin Board postings:



"Life is short. Forgiveness is not overrated. If there is no mechanism for resolution your complaint board serves only to punish and not to reform.”



"Definitely. It should not be the role of leasing news to be both judge and jury on anything. Leasing News is a source of information and an impartial way to maintain fairness in an industry with virtually no federal regulation. (Let's keep it that way) If money is returned...mission accomplished.”




"I think this speaks well to the power of your newsletter to reach resolution for the person who sent in the complaint. I think the thing they were looking for is a resolution to their problem and appealed to you to help. Thus I think that as leverage for the offender to do the right thing, the exchange would be to have the complaint removed. "



"Your stated purpose is to resolve these problems, not necessarily to punish anyone. This action would be consistent with that goal. "



"If the advanced rentals are returned, that should be reported as a positive resolution of the matter.  Show the complaint and the resolution.   If a Google search continues to result in references to the party’s' business, let the record show both the complaint and the positive resolution - it will speak volumes to his credibility in future dealings.


"There are some circumstances where keeping PART of the advanced rentals may be appropriate.  For example, large ticket deals where expenses of a UCC search, pulling a D&B, remitting for a site inspection, can run into several hundreds of dollars.  If an approved candidate signs documents and returns them with intent to proceed, then later changes his mind perhaps for a better deal utilizing the same structure from another source, THEN it makes sense to subtract those fixed expenses from his documentation fee and potentially part of his advanced rentals payments if need be prior to returning the balance.


"In small ticket deals the costs of due diligence can be typically covered by the documentation fee charged, so the full return of the advance rentals should ALWAYS be the rule.  The downside is too great to our pool of potential clientele to risk quibbling over an amount that none of us can retire on.


"We need to adhere to a strong ideal of self policing.  I do not think any of us are looking for outside regulation of our industry.  Integrity is everything.  Let's act accordingly.  "





"If the money is returned, there is no reason to keep the complaint listed. Leasing News will have served its function. Of more import is whether this complaint stops the behavior in the future. A non-public archive against which new complaints are checked could monitor this very real and worthwhile goal. Also, posting the new complaint with reference to the repeat nature of it should help resolve the new complaint faster and reinforce the preventative nature of the bulletin board. "




"Sounds like a quick, good faith effort by the broker to just make this one "go away." If it were me, I'd appreciate the removal.”


Sonia Stoddard Stoddard & Associates


" I say if returning the money has resolved the dispute you should remove it.”




"Their is no reason to continue listing a complaint that has been resolved. By fostering a policy of removal upon resolution, you are encouraging resolution. Additionally, the posting remains seriously misleading if resolution has been reached, and this is known to you, and the complaint is neither removed or amended to indicate resolution. Stephen E. Jenkins, Esq.”





15910 Ventura Boulevard 12th Floor

Encino, California 914

(818) 501-3800

Fax:(818) 501–2985




"My personal philosophy is this: If an applicant gives a commitment fee and the lease is approved at the rate offered in the proposal and the applicant refuses to accept the lease, the fee has been earned! Because of problems in the past, we do not require a commitment fee! "


"Perhaps some sort of statement of apology should be issued by the company along with the returned deposit.”


"Yes ,but on one stipulation that the company does not take any one deposit again and acknowledges that they were in the wrong. "


( )



Money needs to be return before hand. The situation caused the company enough discomfort to re consider refunding advanced rentals not earned so I would say the Bulletin Board Complaint worked. Only when you are satisfied the money have been returned should the posted notice be removed.


          Larry Biricz - Toronto                                                    



Interesting, most of the people we asked who responded "yes,” if we could quote them, did not want to be quoted or did not respond, which may be a "time” situation. 




Here are comments without attribution:



"People can complain all they want, just like people can sue all they want sometimes for no legitimate reason. When it's settling in or out of court, it's dismissed and removed. Auditors don't list it as a liability or a contingency, why should leasing news, if it has truly been settled.”




" I think a valid question to be asked is, "How many chances does an individual or company get before they can no longer 'buy' themselves immunity from the bulletin board?"


"In the justice system within our great country, when a person has a judgment entered against them and they satisfy that judgment, in the reporting systems, i.e. credit bureaus and D&B, is not that satisfaction noted? "



"Seems to me that if the money is returned as requested then the dispute is settled and the complaint can be removed HOWEVER if there is  another similar complaint that indicates a trend or behavior pattern then I'd reinstate the original and the new complaint permanently.”



"Like you say if the money is returned there is no complaint.”


"As a one time concession with notice that any similar complaint in the future will void this concession. Thanks Kit! Keep up the strong effort. "



"I reluctantly agreed to this without knowing the entire story; however you do not want to harm someone's business over one incident. On the other hand, is he returning the money only to eliminate the complaint? Your potential course of action (if he does it again, list the complaint again) should act as a deterrent.”.


"Only so long as the customer is satisfied, and the funds are good. I say this because the guy in question is supposed to be "respected and well liked etc." If he was a scoundrel, then I would say the complaint should be removed but a warning to people put in its place . . . I'm tired of these people screwing us and our customers . . . it hurts OUR business and we stop having business, so do the Lessors/Financiers.”



"Assuming this is a one time event and not a pattern as to the way this person normally conducts his business. He may even be correct in retaining the monies, but based on the way you have described the situation, even if he is correct, then it is not worth the hassle and negative goodwill generated by the leasing complaint.”





And there were also people who said yes, and had similar reservations:



            Kit, I'm having a mixed reaction trying to answer this question with a  simple yes or no!. If it is only a single or occasional problem then yes I believe it should be removed because situations do arise where credit work is done and the Lessee just decides to go another way and demands all of their deposit back. However, if there are numerous complaints against the  same Broker or Lessor and it is obvious that they have no intention of  returning a deposit, ever, then I believe they've earned the right to be identified on your "wall of shame" as someone to avoid.


                Bob Robichaud     

            Lease Financing Officer PFF Bank & Trust                                                                                                          





You can do whatever you think best but I believe the

key is to be sure going forward the policy to be the

same to all.



Robert D Baker CLP


Wildwood Financial Group, Ltd

16292 Westwood Business Park

Ellisville, Mo 63021

800 373 3581

877 235 0808 Fax









"What Lessors Are Saying About…The Vendor Leasing Marketplace"


  ELT News ( Equipment Leasing Association )


ELA recently hosted its annual Captive and Vendor Leasing Conference where a record number of nearly 150 captive, vendor and service provider members convened at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club in Ponte Vedra, Florida. ELA wanted to get a pulse on how the vendor leasing market is faring, and spoke to a number of conference attendees for their take on this market segment.


Chuck Thomas, IBM Global Financing, noted, "What these ‘Lessors are Saying’ echoes the conclusions of the Industry Future Council. Our Business Council members are cautiously optimistic, with most small and medium ticket players seeing an uptick in new originations. The large ticket arena, however, continues to be weighed down by real and anticipated regulatory and legislative changes. A common theme for all members is focus on finding and developing new talent; people who will identify with leasing as a career, not just a product.”


Robert Fine, Norvergence Capital, is very encouraged by the state of the vendor leasing marketplace. He said, "The players in the vendor leasing arena are aggressively looking for new products. There is a lot of liquidity and a lot of banks competing for business, and that makes this a good marketplace for vendors.” Fine’s seen a shift away from the lower levels of activity of the last few years to banks now adding salespeople, looking to increase volume and growing their organizations. "It’s a good sign for everyone involved when lessors are looking to do business rather than just maintain,” he said. He also sees the small ticket and middle ticket markets as very strong, with the large ticket market volatile due to government regulatory intervention.


Carol Schafer, Siemens Financial Corporation, thought the turnout for the Captive and Vendor Leasing Conference summed up the state of vendor leasing very nicely with its attendance hitting a new milestone of in excess of 150 attendees. "We're seeing a pick up in volume by vendors," said Schafer. "They're selling more, and we're seeing more industries considering offering equipment leasing." On the downside, she cited tighter regulations changing the structure of various programs and product offerings and consolidation on the funding source side. However, there's definitely availability of funds and it is still a highly competitive environment.


John Cortese, Charter One Vendor Finance, LLC, offered a detailed summation. He noted what was "good”:


"Both captives and lenders are more optimistic about the future than they were last year. Business has picked up from 2003 levels and everyone seems to believe that sunny days are ahead of us. No one believes that we will see a return to 1999 and 2000, but after a very tough 2003, everyone is in a better mood.


"Captives are getting more and more sophisticated about revenue recognition issues, the need to work in tandem with the sale/manufacturing side, and developing the internal processes that make them a better run company as well as a profit center on their own. They seem to be developing their own professional identity and are not the stepchild they used to be.


"For lenders, business is picking up and there is a new push for new vendor relationships. Everyone is seeking to expand their vendor sources. It seems that the key for most lenders is to become the lender that is the easiest to do business with. Using a variety of hi-tech solutions, going more retail, expanding the credit box, expanding the product mix, and fine tuning their pricing models is being looked at by all lenders.”


Cortese also noted some "bad” including:


"Revenue Recognition issues are driving everyone nuts. The basic wholesale vendor model is changing as a result of new accounting rules, making getting sales treatment increasingly more difficult. This is posing a problem for captives that require sales treatment and lenders who have to live with fewer safeguards. What makes this issue more troublesome is that the accounting rules will keep getting more and more restrictive, making it more and more difficult to do business that meets both the captive and the lenders’ requirements.


"Industry consolidation among lenders serving the vendor finance marketplace is a continuing concern among captives. They see fewer and fewer lenders serving this market, particularly on the upper end, and this causing a lot of sleepless nights. Consolidation is causing many captives to decide that they will not have a sole source, and will avoid putting all their eggs in one basket.


"The market is very competitive and lenders are seeing their margins dropping. This is great news for captives but lenders are struggling to find ways to meet ROE requirements. Lenders are also struggling with meeting a captive’s need to expand the credit box and do business without traditional protections.


He concluded with "The business is continuing to evolve for both captives and lenders, and while there are significant challenges ahead, most agree that if all parties to a vendor relationship take the time to understand each others’ needs, resolutions can be found for almost every problem. So, while it's always tough to do business, challenges create opportunities.”





   Classified Ads—Help Wanted




Accounting: PricewaterhouseCoopers seeks executives with experience in equipment leasing to help clients improve their leasing businesses by assessing "as is" conditions and designing and implementing solutions to operational issues.  PwC also seeks CPA's with a broad based knowledge of FAS13 and familiarity with accounting for leases with simple and complex transaction structures.

About the Company: PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York, NY.

Equipment Sales Representative

Equip. Leasing Sales Rep: Strong sales and bus. dev. skills needed. Dev/manage portfolio, initiate bus. in upper Midwest . 3-4 yr  leasing exp.
or e-mail:

About the Company: Associated Banc-Corp is a diversified multibank holding company with $15.5 billion in total assets. Headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin .  Associated has more than 200 banking locations across Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.

Marketing Indirect Originator

New York. One of the largest ind. equip.lessors needs  motivated, self-starter to purchase single investor leases from institutional investors; min.transaction  $1 million; portfolio of primarily investment grade lessees/good "story credits". 
Min 3 yrs exp. sourcing/ originating leasing transactions, knowledge credit and pricing.

Middle Market Sales Representative

Middle Market Sales Rep.: exp. sales reps throughout country for middle market leasing/financing. Must have min.5-years exp. in "hard assets” ranging from 100K -$1.0MM generated from vendor and /or direct sources. Excel. benefits, base salary and commission program. Resumes to .

About the Company: A rapidly expanding Middle Market Leasing / Finance Company located in CT. Equilease Financial Services, Inc


Syndicator: packager/syndicator. min. 4-yrs evaluating, underwriting and /or syndicating transactions from 100K -$1.0MM. Outstanding opportunity, future growth, excellent benefits, base salary & bonus arrangement.
Resumes: .

About the Company: A rapidly expanding Middle Market Leasing / Finance Company located in CT. Equilease Financial Services, Inc

Title Clerk

Title Clerk: exp. motor vehicle title clerk. Min. 3-years experience in titling, perfecting security interest commercial vehicles in various states. Comfortable work environment in fast growing company. Excel. salary & benefit package. Resumes:

About the Company: A rapidly expanding Middle Market Leasing / Finance Company located in CT. Equilease Financial Services, Inc





     News Briefs---


30-year mortgage rates top 6% for first time in 2004


Fed prepares for interest rate increases – but not a replay of 1994



Buffett warns of 'too low' US interest rates





    "Gimme that Wine”


Mendocino County's Oldest Winery Changes Hands,1145,2453,00.html


As their marriage ends, Michael and Elaine Honig stay wedded to their winery


Marketing executive to lead Oregon wine group



Ernie Els Purchases Permanent Home for South African Joint Venture,1145,2452,00.html


End of the road for corkscrews?



Atlas Peak wines to be made at William Hill


Wines of Spain and Mexico




This Day in American History



    1494-Christopher Columbus cited the island of  Jamaica on his second voyage.. He never actually saw nor did his discoveries include the United States, but the island off the continent  It was the Spanish who first brought slavery into the new world. The islands were Europe’s main gateway into the New World.  The first Revolutionary naval battle was fought here to gain control of this ocean thoroughfare. .


    1654- Richard Thurlow built the first toll bridge with his own money over the Newbury River at Rowley, MA.  The court fixed a rate of toll for animals, but passengers were permitted free passage. It remained until 1680.

    1761 - Large tornadoes swept the Charleston, South Carolina harbor when a British Fleet of 40 sails was at anchor. It raised a wave 12 feet high, leaving many vessels on their beam ends. 4 people drowned.

    1774 -a May snowstorm from New York City to Virginia covered the ground. A severe frost killed fruit in North Carolina

    1825-Laura Matilda Towne Birthday.  After the Civil War, LMT with her close friend Ellen Murray founded one of the earliest, and most successful schools for former slaves on the coastal islands of South Carolina.   She had studied homeopathic medicine privately and taught school in her native Pennsylvania before volunteering to teach - and in many ways care for - a large population of former slaves of the Sea islands of South Carolina.   She taught, acted as physician, and directed relief aid and in 1862 with Murray founded the freedman's Penn School that used the same curriculum as New England schools. For dozens of years Penn School was the only education available for the black population of the islands.  Her school was eventually taken over by the South Carolina public school system.

    1862-after nearly a month’s siege, General Joseph Johnston’s outnumbered Confederate forces evacuated Yorktown, VA, and moved back to Richmond. General McClellan’s Army of the Potomac occupied Yorktown the following day.

General Johnston is considered one of the top generals of the Confederacy,

the United States, and if it were not for the overwhelming amount of money,

the ability to "buy” foreign recruits, the war would have gone the way

of the Confederacy due to military leaders such as Johnston. With the capture of Yorktown, President Abraham Lincoln left Washington,

DC, for Fort Monroe, VA, to observe the ongoing Peninsula Campaign.

    1895 -A f5 tornado carved a 13 mile path through Sioux County in Iowa. 9 people were killed and 35 were injured.

    1903-John "Honey” Russell, Basketball Hall of Fame player and coach born at New York, NY. Russell played in more than 3,200 pro basketball games in the sport’s early years. In 1936, he became coach at Seton Hall University, remaining there for 11 seasons. He was also a baseball scout, a football scout and a promoter.  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964. died at Livingston, NJ, Nov. 15,1973.

    1911-trumpet player Yank Lawson born Trenton, MO. Died Feb. 18,1995,+Yank.htm

    1913-birthday of playwright William Inge, born in Independence,  Kansas.  . He won the Pulitzer price for "Picnic,” some of his other plays included "Bus Stop,” "Come Back, Little Sheba.”

    1918-tenor Leopold Simoneau, considered one of the most distinguished Canadian singers of the century, was born in St-Flavien, Quebec. Simoneau developed an international reputation in the 1950's as a specialist in the works of Mozart. Among the many highlights of his career was his 1952 appearance in Paris in a production of Stravinsky's "Oedipus Rex," with the composer as conductor and Jean Cocteau as narrator.

    1919-birthday of folksinger, songwriter Pete Seegar, born New York, New York. In the 1940's, he performed with Woody Guthrie, before forming the Weavers, who had hits with such folk tunes as "On Top of Old Smokey" and "Goodnight Irene." Seeger was blacklisted by the US government during the '50s. In the following decade, he became a father figure to many younger folk and rock musicians. The Byrds, for example, had a number-one hit with Seeger's "Turn, Turn, Turn."

    1920-pianist John Lewis born LaGrange, Il.

    1921-Reece " Goose” Tatum, basketball player born at Calion, AR. Tatum played football and baseball and came into his own when Abe Saperstein asked him to play basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters.  Tatum’s best asset was his hands, big enough to allow him to hold the ball with one hand.  He perfected the overhand hook shot later used by Wilt Chamberlain, Connie Hawkins and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Suspended by Saperstein in 1955, he formed his own team, the Harlem Magicians. Died at El Paso, Texas, January 18,1967

    1921- Ray ("Sugar Ray’) Robinson, boxer, born Walker Smith, Jr., at Detroit, Ml. Generally considered "pound for pound the greatest boxer of all time,” Robinson was a welterweight and middleweight champion who won 175 professional fights and lost only 19. A smooth and precise boxer, he fought until he was 45, dabbled in show business and established the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation to counter juvenile delinquency. To this day, his name connotes class, style and dignity.  My father took me to his fight in Yankee Stadium when we lived in New York. My father was a great fight fan and took my brother and I

to many bouts.

    1928- James Brown Birthday, born in Macon, Georgia. 

He sold millions of records in the US from the mid- 1950's to the mid-'60s, yet remained virtually unknown to most white Americans. But by the late '60s, the breakthroughs scored by black artists on the Motown and Stax-Volt labels helped bring Brown to the attention of the mass audience as well. 

James Brown's first hit, with his group the Famous Flames, was "Please, Please, Please" in 1956. It sold more than a million copies - the first of his dozens of million-sellers. Thirty years later, in 1986, he was at the top of the charts with "Living in America" from the soundtrack of "Rocky Four."

In 1996, James Brown celebrated his 63rd birthday with a concert in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia. Musical guests included rock guitarist Slash, country group Sawyer Brown and soul star Isaac Hayes.

    1936-Joe DiMaggio made his major league debut for the New York Yankees and collected three hits in their 14-5 victory over the St. Louis Browns. For the year, DiMaggio hit .323 with 29 home runs and 125 runs batted in.  He used to visit friends in Los  Gatos, California often. I saw him eating lunch and dinner out several times.  He was well respected and never bothered in the restaurants here.

There were places here where Marilyn Monroe stayed, sometimes with him and they had great privacy, I am told. He was  a very private man.

    1937- Frankie Valli, lead singer of the Four Seasons, was born in Newark, New Jersey. They were one of the most popular groups of the 1960's, with more than 30 singles on the best-seller charts from 1962 to 1976. Frankie Valli's falsetto singing was the group's trademark on such hits as "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man." Valli began a successful solo career in 1974, and had such hits as "My Eyes Adored You" and "Grease." He has also put together Four Seasons groups for rock 'n' roll revival shows.

    1943-Robert Frost won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, his fourth time.  He won it for "A Witness Tree.”  His other awards were in 1924 for "New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes.” in 1931 for "Collected Poems,” and in 1937, for A Further Range.”

    1948- CBS Evening News began as a 15-minute telecast with Douglas Edwards as anchor. Walter Cronkite succeeded him in 1962 and expanded the news show to 30 minutes.  Eric Sevareid served as commentator.  Dan Rather anchored the news casts upon Cronkite's retirement in 1981.  At one point, to boost sagging ratings, Connie Chung was added to the newscast as Rather's co-anchor, but she left in 1995 in a well-publicized dispute.  Rather remains solo, and as Walter Cronkite would say "...that's the way it is."

    1952-  Eddie Arcaro became the first and only jockey to win the Kentucky Derby five times: 1938, Lawrin, 1941, Whirlaway, Hoop Jr, 1945, Citation, 1948, Hill Gail, 1952.

    1952-Historians give credit to Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Otis Fletcher as the first man to set foot on the "North Pole.”  The first airplane flight to land at the North Pole was made by a ski-wheeled Air Force C-47, which landed this day in 1952.  I took off from Fletcher’s Ice Island, about 115 miles from the Pole, carrying 10 air force officials and scientists.  It was piloted by Lieutenant Colonel William Pershing Benedict of San Rafael, CA, and copilot Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Otis Fletcher of Shawnee, OK. In 1997, historian Robert M. Bryce published the results of research indicating that no previous explorer succeeded in reaching the Pole, despite two long standing claims, and that Fletcher was the first human known to set foot on it.  In addition, Dr. Albert Paddock Crary, who was in this party, on February 12,1961, reached the South Pole by tracked vehicle as part of a scientific expedition.  He became then the only explorer to set foot

on both the North and South Pole.

    1952-CBS became the first network to televise the Kentucky Derby. Eddie Arcaro rode Hill Gail to a two-length victory over Sub Fleet.  Blue Man was third.  For Arcaro, it was a record fifth Derby win.  Trainer Ben A. Jones won for the sixth time, also a record.

    1955---Top Hits

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado

The Ballad of Davy Crockett - Tennessee Ernie Ford

Dance with Me Henry (Wallflower) - Georgia Gibbs

In the Jailhouse Now - Webb Pierce

    1956 - "Most Happy Fella", a musical by Frank Loesser, opened at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. The show, an adaptation of "They Knew What They Wanted" by Sidney Howard, ran for 676 performances on Broadway. Critics called the show a masterpiece, thanks to the outstanding performances by Robert Weede and Jo Sullivan. Many of the songs made the "Hit Parade.” Frank Loesser’s hits included "Standing on the Corner", "I Like Everybody", "Joey, Joey, Joey", "Big Acquaintance" and "Don’t Cry".  

    1960 - The play, "The Fantasticks", opened at the Sullivan Playhouse in New York City. It would later become the longest-running off-Broadway play. "Soon It’s Gonna Rain" was one of the big hit tunes from the production.  Many high schools make this their musical performance for students to present to their community.

    1963---Top Hits

I Will Follow Him - Little Peggy March

Can’t Get Used to Losing You - Andy Williams

Puff the Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul & Mary

Lonesome 7-7203 - Hawkshaw Hawkins

    1968-new owners Tom Cousins and Carl Sanders announced that the St. Louis Hawks of the NBA would move to Atlanta for the 1968-69 season. The team began as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks(1949-51), moved to Milwaukee and then to St. Louis in 1956.1980-Genuie Risk, ridden by Jacinto Vasquez, became just the second filly to win the Kentucky Derby. She posted a one-length victory over Rumbo.

    1970 --  Ohio Gov. Rhodes vows to "use every weapon" against antiwar protesters at Kent State University. Tomorrow he does.

    1971---Top Hits

Joy to the World - Three Dog Night

Put Your Hand in the Hand - Ocean

Never Can Say Goodbye - The Jackson 5

Empty Arms - Sonny James

    1978 - Persistent thunderstorms caused widespread flooding in southeastern Louisiana and extreme southeastern Mississippi. Rainfall totals of ten to thirteen and a half inches were reported around New Orleans causing the worst flooding in thirty years. The water depth reached three to four feet in several hundred homes, and total property damage was estimated at one hundred million dollars

    1979---Top Hits

Heart of Glass - Blondie

Reunited - Peaches & Herb

Stumblin’ In - Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman

Where Do I Put Her Memory - Charley Pride

    1987---Top Hits

(I Just) Died in Your Arms - Cutting Crew

Looking for a New Love - Jody Watley

La Isla Bonita - Madonna

Don’t Go to Strangers - T. Graham Brown

    1993 - Strong winds buffeted the Owens Valley area and the Eastern Sierra of Southern California. A USGS anemometer on Crowley Lake recorded a wind gust to 140 mph before blowing away. Bishop Airport had a wind gust to 65 mph. One person was killed when he was hit by a flying projectile. Many trees were downed and power outages were widespread.

    1998- Mariner Dan Wilson hits the first inside-the-park grand slam in the franchise's history.

    1999-The Dow-Jones Index of 30 major industrial stocks topped the 11,000 mark for the first time.






Baseball Poem


The Base Stealer

Poised between going on and back, pulled

Both ways taut like a tight-rope walker,

Fingertips pointing the opposites,

Now bouncing tiptoe like a dropped ball,

Or a kid skipping rope, come on, come on!

Running a scattering of steps sidewise,

How he teeters, skitters, tingles, teases,

Taunts them, hovers like an ecstatic bird,

He's only flirting, crowd him, crowd him,

Delicate, delicate, delicate, delicate - Now!


----Robert Francis



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